“A young girl murdered, during worship no less. And you wonder why people don’t attend church. The coffee is free, but it isn’t going to bring them in. We have beautiful women to seduce the men, our message is soft, and after a few weeks, congregants actually think God will give them more money, if they give us theirs… but that’s all over now because of a stupid murder. What was it? Did one of you sleep with her and have her killed because she was under age?”

“We’ve been doing that for years,” Sonny said. “And never had to kill anyone. No, this is something else. And it’s costing us our finances and our followers.”

“The police are investigating too,” Anton said. “And they’re a frightful bore. I’ve already been cross-examined twice, and they thought they caught me in a lie, but they were wrong–I actually had to spell it out for them on their notepad.”

“Well… who could have done it then?” Jim asked.

“It’s not who could’ve done it, but why would they do it?” Ron said. “We’ve got plenty of women in our congregation. A man needn’t look very far. We’ve totally taken care of any latent repressed sexual deviance; all men have free license to do whatever they want, and the women love them for that.”

Jim was staring intently into the hour glass, while the sand trickled into the bottom. “I hate meetings…” He said. “We aren’t any closer to solving this problem then when we started.”

“Would you stop complaining!” Sonny shouted. “Get on the floor with me and pray!”

“While we both believe in God, I’m not sure that God will help us.”

“Well… prayer never hurt anyone,” Sonny said.

“It hurt that girl. Now who was it? Was it you Anton? Or you Ron?”

“Come now, we all know that before a killing we consult each other. This one will bankrupt us all.” Ron looked out the window, into the storm. The lake was full of white caps and rain. “You left that kid out there, Anton. Why didn’t you tell him to go back?”

“I thought this was going to be a short meeting. I didn’t know you all were as clueless as I was. Well… without any leads we must go back to answering the annoying questions of the police.”

To be continued…

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