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Im Namen des Vaters, des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes,

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Vater unser im Himmel,
geheiligt werde dein Name.

Tobias supposed the place he knew every single piece of like it was if it were his own limb was the punishment closet. He knew he was supposed to pray, sometimes, when in the closet. Hands clasped together, apologetic for being spoiled, from the moment the door clicked to the moment it opened. His knees would be numb when he did that, and when you say something too many times it becomes gibberish. And prayer should never be gibberish. So, he’d think.

Dein Reich komme.
Dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel so auf Erden.

He’d think about death. How easy it would be to die. He thought about how pain was supposed to make him the Strongest and Truest Son, but all he felt was misery. He wasn’t particularly mad at Emilio for that unwanted kiss. It was just surprising.

Only Father did that when he was very, very mad and needed the lesson to ingrain itself into every part of Tobias. That Tobias couldn’t inhabit his own body without fearing and remembering his sins. Mr. Edburt drove the message home, too.

That kind of punishment was out of anger and mockery. A permanent reminder that Tobias is disgusting.

So for Emilio to do it out of admiration was… confusing. Terrifying.

But he couldn’t blame him.

Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern.

He’d think about Halloween and its Paganism and how as sinful as it sounds he was looking forward to it, and that if he was just a better son perhaps he could have had just this one— no, already spoiled, already decadent. Prayer, Tobias. Prayer.

Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.

He’d walk by the punishment closet and think about its claustrophobic walls and eternal buzzing and the time he was left with the termites because Tobias is a liar and shudder. He’d walk by the closet and long to be in its claustrophobic walls, where it really was just him and the Lord glaring down at him as he thought about death and kisses and demons and his Envy and Wrath over Mattias. A Deadly sin. Two. Rotten to the core and beyond salvation.

Denn dein ist das Reich und die Kraft
und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit.

The punishment closet was the place he knew best in his own home, and he deserved it very much. He’d think about death and paganism and sin and how Tobias Schneien should die and absolve the world of one sinner, one act of good amongst all his sins that not even the Lord could forgive.