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The Alley of The Magdalenes

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The Judgment for Sinners

On the trial day, the young man was all by himself. He had no cash left for a lawyer, yet his wife brought up two to prepare her case. The judge arrived, knocked his mighty gavel commencing the trial. The young man wasn’t prepared for this, yet his wife was a cunning woman who could act victim of the case. She accused him of being an alcohol addict, bringing evidences of the cans to the court; more conniving, she brought the neighbours she had bribed before, bearing witnesses for the young man’s deviant act.

The young man couldn’t deny any of the charges. He had no counter evidence. He had no friends to assist him in the court nor any relatives to become his witness. He was powerless. The forged evidence from the wife proved that he was an addict of alcohol and sex. The bribed neighbours gave all their witnesses convincing that the forged evidence was true. The judge decided that the wife had the right for the house property, considering the young man’s negative impact on the neighbourhood. The hammer gavelled. The trial ended. The young man had lost. He had lost before the trial even started.

That dusk after the trial, the sky was still the same, yet the young man didn’t merely lose his job, he lost everything. Getting fired, cheated, being connived and confiscated, he didn’t know how to act or what he should do next. He got on his motorcycle, the only thing he had left, gazed at the same sky where it all started. He drove his way to the dim alley, visited the boozer store, spent all his money and got drunk.

Being intoxicated, he walked through the dim alley, he saw one of the hookers walking on the street in her exposed garment. He entered the bar desiring to spend the night with one of them. The hooker asked for his dimes, howbeit, he got none. Upon the hooker’s rejection to spend the night with him, he was furious and enraged, misunderstanding the hooker’s rejection was to humiliate him. The young man hit the hooker, and the event ended up the young man being hit by patrons, thrown away to the street, laid out between the trespassers, and he slowly fainted out.

– –

The morning the young man woke up, he was in a cosy, warm bedroom. The morning light shone entering the window along with the chirp of sparrows. He wasn’t sure why he was there, his mind was fuzzy, his feet were numb, and his back was aching. He sat on the bed, put his hand on his head, recalling the thing happening the prior night. Nonetheless, it was so fuzzy that it was hard for him to remember things. He closed his eyes, shook his head, trying to sweep the fuzziness away.

The moment he opened his eyes there were a glass of water and a cup of tea. He looked around, there were flimsy, brown walls in his surroundings. He held the teacup. Hot. He felt it, yet he tried to drink it. It was sweet.

Sipping the tea, the young man’s feet stepped down from the bed, there was a pair of sandals, he wore it, slowly approached the window of the morning light and birds’ chirping.

It was a suburban view. The sky was clear, under it were rows and columns of flat roofs, rusted under red and dark blue colours. The housing was dense and the streets were narrow, the area was extending afar as if the land was covered in red and blue checked mat. The air was filled with sounds of childrens’ laughter and mothers’ cooking. On the horizon, connecting the sky and the housing, stood a building with black, bricked roofs embedded with the cross of Christ on it.

The young man recalled the accident from the night, wondering who brought him there. He went downstairs. It was someone’s abode. He saw a kitchen filled with old and rusty utensils, dust was covering all over the place, and the goods were in a mess. He tried to call, but nobody answered, subsequently headed outside, finding his shoes were properly placed on the doormat.

As the door opened, it revealed a long, narrow street filled with houses of thin, flimsy plywood. He raised his head up, there were balconies sticking side by side, blocking his view from the clear sky.

The young man walked down the narrow street, trespassed a group of women wearing colourful hoods, chit-chatting along the way. He turned left seeing a young lady was feeding her son, smiling with hopes that her son would grow up in health. As he approached the end of the street, he encountered a young lady holding an old, white haired, hunch-backed lady walking step by step down the street.

The young man thought he had seen the two young ladies before, yet he couldn’t recall. He strolled and turned, streets by streets, blocks by blocks, till he finally discovered the old church occupying the end of the housing.

The wooden door screeched, and the young man entered the holy place. The view there was as quaint as most churches would be. There was no lamp, yet it was filled with lights, shining the sacred places from the painted acrylic windows. Long, dark brown chairs were lined up, arranged in rows, side by side, providing seats for the prayers. Behind the preaching desk, Mother Mary stood holding the Jehova, showing love and forgiveness, to every sinner repenting. On the pulpit, candles were lit, surrounding every dim part around the holy Mother Mary.

The view nonetheless wasn’t the one the young man was looking at. His eyes were on the ladies in front of the statue. They were kneeling, praying, asking for forgiveness for every sin they had committed. The young man slowly walked towards them and noticed. They were ladies from the alley, the ladies who resorted to immoral acts after dusk.

“Owh, you’re awake.”

A soothe, soft voice came from behind. A young lady stood with black hair and jade green dress.The young man dazed, she was the lady from the balcony, she was the lady who drank alone under the moonlight.

The young lady came approaching, her eyes were still as bright as before, her thin lips were red, yet it was still enticing.

“You…” Before the young man continued his words, “Sshh” came out from the young lady’s lips. She held the man’s hand, brought him to the end row of the chairs, sat and folded her hand on her thighs, stared at the young man with gleaming eyes, waiting for him to continue his words.

“You…carried me to your house?” Continued the young man.

“Well, not alone. Some ladies reported there was a man fainting on the road, hence I asked some patrons for help to bring you to my house.”

“But…why?”

The young lady sighed, her eyes gleamed, with a smile she answered “Should we have a reason to help others?”

The young man dazed, silenced by the young lady’s response, unbearing the sight of the gleaming eyes, he turned toward the statue “Those ladies, they are…”

“Magdalenes…hookers from the street. They came here everyday to confess, for their sins, for they shall be forgiven.” The young lady calmly answered.

“Why do you call yourselves ‘Magdalenes’ ?” Inquired the young man.

“Mary Magdalene was claimed by many as a prostitute, in addition some said there were seven devils that resided within her. But once Jesus came and drove the devils out of her, she repented and became a lifelong devotee of Jesus. She even once washed Jesus’ feet with her hair… For us, she was our symbol, no matter how vile our body is, God will always forgive our sins.”

“But their job… aren’t you afraid of people condemning you as hypocrites?” Asked the young man, unbelieving the young lady’s explanation.

“A woman… was caught in adultery. Everybody around her was accusing her and they brought him to Jesus. They asked whether her punishment should be stoning as prescribed by the law at that time. Jesus looked at them and said that if any of them was without sin, he may cast the first stone on her. Hearing that, the people dispersed knowing not one of them was without sin. After everybody left, Jesus approached and asked the woman if anyone had condemned her. She answered that no one had condemned her. Jesus said that he too, didn’t condemn her, told her to leave and sin no more.”

The young man was silenced, again, by the words of the young lady. He stared at Mother Mary, pondered. Then he stood, “Where can I find the pastor?”

The young lady pointed at the wooden door beside the pulpit. The young man walked into the confession room, sat down, and started to talk.

“O’ father, I’ve committed many sins.” Confessed the young man.

“We all do, son.” Answered the other side of the room “What has the world done to you?”

“I was fired.”

“And why was that?”

“I stole my company’s and clients’ money, and I had cheated on my colleague’s work.”

“One of the apostles was once a thief before he followed Jesus. What other things have you done?” Replied the priest, calming the young man.

“I was an alcohol addict. The worst one.”

“Jesus once turned water into wine. You can still change.”

“My wife cheated and divorced me…” The young man halted, unbearing the memory of his wife’s affair.

“Were you a good husband?” Questioned the priest.

“Yes…no, I didn’t treat her fairly.” Answered the young man in a low voice.

“You’ve realised what you err with now. Anything else, son?”

There was no reply, the young man wasn’t there. After a moment, there was a sound of door screeching and slammed, echoed inside the chapel.

Years later, a black car with an etched horse symbol was parked at the station. A man stepped out of the car, headed into a street where there was only ruins and rubbles. The man went into the station asking about a chapel and a young lady, yet his search was in vain, the chapel had become ruins and the lady was unknown. The man, knowing his effort was fruitless, returned to his car, started the engine, and drove away from the alley. From afar, a beautiful woman sighed, smiled, looking at the black car getting out of sight, with a child holding her arm.

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