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statue of Jesus and Joseph of Arimithea were also missing. Who would steal a statue?
He decided he needed to report this to the police, but surely not now, at 4 a.m. in the
morning. How would he explain his intoxication? He prayed for about ten minutes in
silence, but then he found himself nodding off to sleep. He did not want any parishioner
to find him passed out in the Church, so he decided to stagger his way back to the rectory.
As he wandered back across the Church parking lot, he decided to say a prayer to St.
Anthony of Padua to help him find the missing statues. After all, Father Anthony was the
patron saint of lost items. Then he started giggling, thinking how ridiculous it was to
pray to a saint to find himself!
He made it all the way back to the rectory, where he set his alarm and passed out on
the couch. In his stupor, he never saw the gray van which pulled onto the parking lot
with its lights off about forty-five minutes later.
Ammar pulled the van as close as he could to the side doors of the Church. With his
janitor‘s keys, he opened the side door and propped it open with a wooden wedge. Then,
under cover of darkness, he took the large, newly painted statue of St. Anthony coated
with C4 and carried it into the Church, where he set it back on its stand. He walked back
the van, and took out Jesus. On the third trip, he took out St. Joseph of Arimathea. When
all three statues were in place, he inspected each one closely. He could not see any trace
of the detonators or wires. There was no extra paint anywhere. He went back to a point
in the middle of the pews, and stared from different vantage points at the statues. He was
confident that they looked exactly like the originals and that no one would notice.
Ammar quickly went back out the side door, locking it as he left. Then he drove his van
back to Georgetown. He spent the rest of the morning until his prayer time disposing of
all the materials in his makeshift laboratory. After all of the refuse was deposited in a
local dry cleaner‘s dumpster, he washed down his entire apartment with bleach. He
vacuumed the carpet and then removed the bag from the vacuum cleaner, placing it in the
trash barrel outside his neighbor‘s apartment. Then he took a hot shower, washing off the
last remnants of plaster and acrylic paint. The Builder‘s job was complete.
Father Timothy Rourke woke at 6 a.m. to prepare himself for 7 a.m. mass. His head
was splitting. He took some Motrin with a glass of water from the rectory kitchen sink.
He showered and donned his black trousers, shirt, and collar, glanced at his sermon notes,
and trotted off across the parking lot. When he entered the Church, he was
dumbfounded. The statues were there right where they had always been! He knew he
was really drunk, but he had never hallucinated that badly before. Father Timothy
crossed himself, and said a quick Hail Mary. He was certain that God was giving him a
warning, and he vowed to stop drinking again.
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