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For I have sinned, July 9, 2024

This is a brief excerpt from a longer work-in-progress that packs a lot into its short space. We, the readers, watch the scene unfold in third person as two long-separated men reunite in a confessional booth. Their dialogue has script-like formatting, most of the work a conversation with brief pauses for description. Said description paints a vivid picture of the two, deftly characterizing them through both their appearances and actions. We’re told none of either one’s backstory or their shared history, but are left to infer it based on their conversation, which is sufficient to provide a strong sense of who each is—Andrey, charming and flippant; Joel, earnest and emotional—and why this reunion matters to them.

The religious aspect is well-employed, both to hint at what drove them apart—Joel is a priest, while Andrey has lost his faith—and to serve as an analogy. The work’s title is taken from a Catholic prayer, which when excerpted at the end is cast in a new light by what we’ve just seen play out. A hint of sacrilege, delightful in the deep meaning it gives their relationship.

There are no choices in the piece; the reader simply clicks a link on each page to continue, with the short length of the pages encouraging you to linger on each, taking in the richness of the writing, processing each beat of this emotionally fraught moment as it unfolds.

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