Carlos sat near the back, just like he had all his life. He listened as the pastor went through the motions, feeling the Sunday morning chill and looking at the empty pews in front of him. Every year fewer people came, and the sermons would echo that much louder against the old stone of the place.

He has never lost faith, even after his wife had passed away at such a young age. He would pray but not for the lost souls in the square outside. To Carlos, his existence was just a living purgatory before the end, a test from god. When the service ended he stood up slowly and deliberately, feeling his age. He made his way to the exit and as he opened the heavy wooden doors he winced involuntarily at the bright sun and colorful crowds.

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