Clang, clang, clang!
The bell in the Summeridge Square rang once, twice, three times. All those who were nearby fell silent as the most unexpected of characters trembled beside the bell, awaiting his confession.
The revered pastor wrung his hands, lips trembling. Everyone gawked, their mouths open and eyes widening. Who could have predicted this?
"I know which sin I am to confess." The words rang out with resolve. "I am to confess the sin which I committed before I turned to the Lord. I am to confess something which God Almighty has already forgiven!"
The crowd waited, silent and shocked.
"I refuse to bring up things which have already been forgiven by my Savior. What I have done has been cleansed, and there is no reason to speak of it anymore! My sins are erased; I refuse to drag the past back into the present! I care not if I endanger myself by saying this; it is the truth, and I will not turn from it."
The crowd parted as Pastor Mullen made his way through, heading back toward his home. What had just happened, nobody could understand, yet each was completely beyond words as they watched their preacher walk down the road, Bible in his hand.
Alina, who stood among the crowd, trembled. Yes, she admired her preacher's bravery, but what would Alexander do, now that his demands had been disobeyed? What would happen to Summeridge? Would Alexander cause further chaos?
Deep in her bones, Alina knew Summeridge would not go unpunished for the pastor's show of audacity.
When the punishment would occur was up to Alexander.
Alexander, who had been watching from a safe distance, had already thought up appropriate punishment.
Pastor Mullen, you have defied orders. You will pay. But not now. No, you will pay in due time...