The house appeared to be normal. A two-story, medium-size, plain cement structure. One of those that went unnoticed by everybody.
But not by Philip and Paulette.
They knew the house was more than it seemed.
It was evil’s retreat.
For more than six months they had searched for it without success. Only now, in front of the dwelling, reality shook them as they became aware of the magnitude of their intentions.
“Ready?” Paulette asked, her body as tense as a string.
“No. But it doesn’t matter,” answered the man.
They opened the small wooden fence door, which led them across the dried-up and lifeless garden, to the main entrance.
They checked their weapons, loaded with the most powerful ammunition they have found.
Philip would have liked reinforcements but most of his friends had died or were too sick, slowly agonizing along with their families. Him and Paulette being alive was already a miracle itself. For an unknown reason, they were immune to the plague.
While he forced the door with a screwdriver, Paulette glanced nervously from side to side. The night remained illuminated by a big silver circle and she could distinguish the adjacent houses invaded by the underbrush.
“Take it easy,” Philip said, when he noticed her anxiety.
The door yielded and they entered without a sound. Darkness became deeper inside. They had to remain still for a few seconds in order to decide which way to go.
“Upstairs,” Philip pointed out.
The woman stopped him.
“Remember your promise,” she whispered.
Paulette tried to guess her companion’s features when he answered:
They hadn’t even climbed a step when a silhouette appeared on the landing, a few feet above them.
“What are you going to do, Philip?” asked the deep and bizarre voice, resembling a chorus of angry wolves. “Come on, tell me.”
The couple reacted at the same time, pointing their guns at the shape coming down the steps.
The monster had guessed their movements. Or maybe he had always known about their plan.
It seemed big, strong. Even in the dark, its reddish eyes looked cruel and bloodthirsty. It walked like a man but was pure beast.
“What are you planning to do with that?” it asked, pointing to the guns. “Kill me?” It smiled; the foam on the corners of his mouth wet the hair of his chest.
“All I know is I want you dead!” shouted Paulette while pulling the trigger.
Philip didn’t take long joining her.
The dum-dum bullets penetrated the monster’s body, splashing blood over the wall and stairs. The projectiles exploded in its torso, neck, head, arms and legs, but it neither stopped nor emitted a sound.
“Sonofabitch!” Paulette cried, throwing the gun at it, trying to get something out of her knapsack. When she did, she had a metallic crucifix on her trembling hand.
“C’mon,” the monster said amused, “don’t make me laugh. It seems you have seen too many B movies. Do you think you can harm me with that nonsense? I thought you more intelligent.”
Philip tried to stop him but, with a slap, the animal crashed him against one of the deteriorated couches in the living room.
The man-wolf took the woman by her neck and raised her far from the floor.
“Welcome. Paulette,” said the animal. “Welcome to your funeral.”
The images arrived with a flow of pain.
* * *
The squalid nurse spoke with a fragile voice. She seemed as unwell as any of the clinic’s patients.
“Don’t worry, girl. Everything will be over in a few minutes.”
Paulette, lying on the operation table with her legs on the stirrups, ignored her while crying bitterly. The baby who was beginning to form inside her would never see the light.
She always dreamt of having children to take care and give her love to. But she could not bring a child into a world full of disease and death.
For a moment she thought about the baby’s father. Like the majority of her friends, he had abandoned her to join the Alliance of the Alien Spirit, the movement that was absorbing the will and souls of its followers. The leader, Reverend Simon, was a self-proclaimed messiah, the eternity’s savior. With unusual persuasion, he had been able to convert a good part of the city’s inhabitants.
The faction left everything.
They burned and destroyed their possessions and gave themselves into Reverend Simon’s hands, to later disappear without a trace. With the messiah’s arrival, desolation, mortal sickness and chaos had almost eliminated the populace in less than a year.
Paulette heard the nurse coughing violently.
She shut her eyes while the doctor began to work and destroy part of her life.
* * * * *
“You killed your own child, woman,” the monster said between his teeth. “You committed a mortal sin and you will pay for it.”
Paulette could not breathe.
Her face was turning blue, while trying uselessly to loosen from the claw keeping her up in the air.
“Go… fuck… yourself,” she groaned.
“Let her go!” Philip screamed while recovering from the attack. “Everything is your fault. It has always been your fault!”
“Mine?” its jaws arched in a poor imitation of a smile. “I only do what I am asked. That’s why I do…” -—the beast raised his claw—- “…this!”
With a sharp movement, he drove his very long nails into the girl’s heart, twisting and pushing while Paulette shrieked.
The bullet shattered the side of her head and she died instantly.
The animal let Paulette’s body go and turned toward Philip with a roar that shook the dwelling.
“How do you dare to interrupt my diversion, priest?”
The gun was still smoking in Philip’s hand.
“Because I promised her. And don’t call me priest. I am not one anymore, reverend.”
* * * * *
“Are you okay, Philip?”
The priest turned to see Archbishop Golino.
“Your Excellency. You didn’t need to come.”
The Archbishop approached him and put his bony hand over Philip’s shoulder. On the bed, an open suitcase let him see some clothes and books the priest was gathering.
“When one of my best elements loses his equanimity,” Galino said slowly, “and decides to scream, before his only parishioners, that God has abandoned us,I have to see him personally to know exactly what is going on.”
“Isn’t it obvious, Archbishop?” Philip cried while getting his clothes from a small closet and placing them inside the suitcase. “People prefer adoring a messiah which, in some way, has reached them faster and better than us. This is hell, Your Excellency. And I am not exaggerating.”
The words hurt the Archbishop, who took a deep breath before speaking. “The Lord works in strange ways, Philip. Please, don’t give up. We need you. Now more than ever.”
A coughing attack immobilized the Archbishop, his robe floating on his weak frame.
Philip turned to him.
“Since when, Your Excellency?”
“A couple of weeks,” he said trying to clear his throat. “Nobody has an iron-strong health as you do, Philip. Don’t you think that’s a miracle? Don’t you think God has chosen you?”
The priest looked at Golino in the eye and asserted with unusual hardness:
“God doesn’t exist, Your Excellency. We killed Him a long time ago.”
* * * * *
“I have converted everyone,” the monster roared. “All, except you two who seem immune…”
“Who are you, demon?” Philip demanded.
The animal’s eyes glowed. “The same, priest. I am all and all are me.”
Reverend Simon approached Philip and took him by the throat as he had done with Paulette.
“Your little lady friend killed her own baby, ” he went on. “That was her doom. Were you the father?
“She freed him. You will never possess him.”
The animal put his snout a few inches from Philip’s face.
“A shame. There is always room for children.”
His breath was nauseating. The former priest had to force himself not to vomit.
“Imbeciles,” the creature said, its voice filled with contempt. “Haven’t you noticed that only a pure soul can hurt me? The woman committed murder and you denied your God. How do you expect to harm me? With holy water?”
“With something better than that, freak!” shouted Philip, taking a small bottle out from hiscoat pocket, and rammed it inside the monster’s mouth.
The fetus tissue burnt everything on contact.
The beast shut his fangs, cutting Philip’s hand off.
He screamed, blinding pain shaking his body while holding the stump from which blood was flowing like a fountain.
The monster’s roars were deafening as the walls began cracking, throwing dust and debris everywhere.
As the animal turned into a moving torch, shaking clumsily and igniting everything on its path, Philip laid trembling on the floor in a puddle of his own blood.
Looking at Paulette’s lifeless body a few inches away and feeling everything vanishing, he recited:
“‘Leave room for rage; because it is written. Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord.’”Oct. 15, 2015, 3:16 p.m. 0 Comments Report Embed 0
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