There was blood on the bedsheet, knotted and clenched between her teeth. Blood on the twisted sheets that tied her wrists to the bedposts. A spreading brown stain beneath her, dried foam at the corner of lips and mouth. Dried vomit mixed with blood on her shift. The small, fragile chest beneath did not move.
Beside the bed, the priest knelt, held his head in his hands and did not pray. The bible and censor lay on the floor where he had tossed them.
Somewhere, as far away as the next room, a rosary clicked. The old woman moving through her hails, dry lips whispering the words.
"There was supposed to be a demon," he managed, unable to look at his handiwork. "What in the name of God have I done?"