Best Intentions, Worst Results

Link to download the story – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/795392

 

Prologue – Carriage Ride to the Unknown

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:24

What lengths would you go to in order to do good? My name is Ashton and I am on a mission to find the City of Sanguine, a city said to have the blood of Jesus Christ Himself and used it to cure any and all diseases and injuries. This city was the talk of the world for a good part of a month before suddenly disappearing along with those who sought after the city. People thought that the city is just a rumor made to make men wander the world until they died or that it was just a false rumor made to give people false hope and pull a little prank on them. Whether a rumor or not, the people who left to find the city have disappeared without a trace which brings in talk of the paranormal. My curiosity seems to have gotten the best of me as I have accepted a stranger’s proposal to go to the city. I met him after I was talking about the city with a few friends after church. He said that he knew how to get to the city and that he would drive me there for free. I don’t know why I accepted this. Again, my curiosity seems to be the cause.

In case this is a bad situation, I take a pistol with me, which is a family heirloom. Strangely enough, while waiting for the man, I talk to a priest I know that tells me that he doesn’t see the man I met even after I described the man to him in detail. The unknown man arrives with his carriage at the front of the church and beckons me to go. The priest tells me to be careful and I tell him not to worry and tell him about my secret weapon. I get on the carriage with my luggage and ride off to the City of Sanguine or at least I hope I am. We go down a few roads that I am familiar with, but we take another few turns off the road into a forest. Once I start to worry about the path we are taking, we exit the forest and I see a city on an island in the distance.

“Is that the City of Sanguine?” I ask the man.

“It is! Doesn’t it look grand from here?”

“It does.”

The way the setting sun shines against the wonderful current Victorian architecture gives the city a grand feeling to it. As we approach the bridge that connects here to the city gates, we stop.

“What’s the matter?” I ask.

“I have a gift to give you before you enter the city. Come out so I can properly show you it.”

I get out of the carriage and the man brings a long scythe out of a box from the back of the carriage.

“You’ll need this. It’ll be of better use to you than a pistol.”

Does he know of my concealed weapon?

He continues by saying, “Now watch your fingers when you use this function for it.”

The man squeezes a small lever in the middle of the weapon and it becomes an ax spear with two ax head on both sides.

“What possible use would I need for this elaborate weapon?”

“It is just a gift from a stranger. You’ll never know when a gift such as this will be of use, however, what you gift I give you that you will use is this.  Let beasts be beasts and men be men. Do not give into temptation. You are a faithful son of God and one of His many instruments on earth.”

“That sounds like very sound advice. I will use it when the situation comes.”

“I will hope so. Now get back into the carriage. I’ll drive you across the bridge.”

We drive across the long bridge and to the gate which opens as we approach it. The carriage stops, and the gates close behind us. I step outside the carriage and the city appears to be empty.

“Excuse me, driver, where might I find someone-”

I turn to see that the driver is gone and the horses that we guided us here are statues. The carriage itself feels more like an antique model that you would leave in your house to show off and collect dust. The porcelain carriage doors won’t open, which is especially strange since I opened them so easily before and the texture on them didn’t feel this way before. Thankfully though, I left everything in the back of the carriage and my possessions are still here along with the strange weapon the man gave me. I take my suitcase and the long case that contains the weapon and walk through the city. This appears to be a ghost town with not a noise being made anywhere with only the sound of the wind to remind me that I haven’t gone deaf. I do see shadows that dart around the corners of buildings and windows.

“Hello! Hello?” I say to try to get one of the people’s attention, but none answer back and only retreat into the darkness.

With nowhere to really go to, I arrive at what looks to be a hotel. The hotel doors are open and yet, there’s no one here like the rest of the city. I ring the service bell on the hotel’s desk several times without an answer. On further inspection, there’s a note that says to leave a certain amount of money on the desk and I’ll receive a key a few moments later. I do as the note says with nothing else to do and search the hotel for signs of life. What seems to be sounds of laughter, whimpering, and mumbling coming from several of the rooms. I knock on the doors to try to get their attention, but no one answers the doors. A dinging sound that sounds like someone dropped a key is made downstairs and I return to find a key where I left my money. This is indeed a strange city.

“Thank you, whoever left this key for me,” I say.

…no response again. There’s nothing I think I can do right now so I go to the room this key belongs to and enter the room. It’s actually really nice and well decorated for the price I paid. I check my pistol, the ammo I have for it, my spare clothes, and the weapon the man gave me before I decide to take a quick rest. Maybe people will be out early tomorrow morning? Do they have some kind of curfew that says they must be in this early? I cannot fathom why a city that is supposedly famous for having the healing blood of Jesus Christ Himself would be like this. Nevertheless, tomorrow will hopefully give me some kind of answer.

 

 

Chapter 1 – The First Blood that is Spilled Can Fill the Ocean

A scream awakens me from my sleep and it appears that I haven’t slept for long as the sun is still setting though it’s a bit lower than before. I quickly take my pistol and head downstairs to see a nun in white. She appears to be a young adult though what’s strange is, is that she’s carrying a sword.

“Are you okay sister?” I ask.

“Why yes. I heard a scream and came here to see if anyone was in trouble.”

“That wasn’t you? Why are you carrying a sword?”

“Well, not all nuns are defenseless, especially in this town. You should get a better weapon than that pistol if you wish to survive the night.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ll see soon enough.”

“I got a scythe upstairs in my room, will that do?”

“Let me see it.”

I lead her upstairs and show her the weapon. She runs her hands through the weapon with an interested look on her face.

“You must’ve gotten this weapon from God Himself,” she says.

“Really?”

“You see this cross on the weapon? This cross is embedded into the weapon with a special material that blesses the weapon with immense strength.”

This explains the strange man and how weird it was on how I got here, but it’s strange that God Himself would lead someone like me here. I’m just an ordinary man or rather a waste of skin since I don’t do much for people.

“Can you wield this?” the nun continues.

“I have some experience wielding weapons, but not really.”

“You should be good then. Here, wield this weapon of God.”

I take the scythe and it’s lighter than I thought it would be. As I move the weapon’s blade through the air, it feels like I’m wielding a feather.

“We should go to the church,” the nun says, “It’s going to be safer there for us.”

“Ok. Are we going to ask the other people here to join us?”

“No, we regretfully won’t. You can hear their cries and laughter of madness, don’t you?”

“I can but-”

“I’m sorry but we must leave before they…I’ll explain along the way.”

We leave the hotel and make our way to the church. The church is the biggest building in the city which can be seen from most places in the city. Along the way, she starts to explain herself and the situation.

“My name is Sister Magdalene. I’m from the Holy Church of Jesus’ Blood and this town is suffering from an unusual curse. People here disappear and, in their place, come beasts that look like goats. These beasts come out at night and indiscriminately kill people then go back into hiding when the sun rises. They can only be scratched with regular weaponry, so we have to bless our weapons to hurt them. The church and the citizens here have been doing our best to get rid of all the beasts and eliminate the source, but we haven’t been too successful as our numbers dwindle with each passing day. There also doesn’t seem to be an exit for us as the only exit appears to be jumping into the abyss around the city.”

“Abyss? When I got here, it looked as normal as it can be.”

“You’re an outsider? You really are a blessing from God.”

“I don’t know about that. I just came here to see if the healing blood of Christ was true.”

“Oh, it is. I will give you some later if you wish.”

“Yes, please. I’d love to share your gift with the rest of the world.”

“Tis’ not my gift, but the gift of God. You truly are a blessing since you are here to spread our healing to the world.”

Again, I don’t know about that.

“So how did you obtain this blood?”

“We were given it by a stranger who drives a carriage. Once we confirmed the effects of the blood, he disappeared with his horses as if he was never there. His carriage was burned to ashes and his horses rotted on the ground with maggots in them.”

“That sounds similar to my carriage driver but not exactly mine. My carriage driver’s horses and carriage turned to porcelain.”

“Regardless of that minor difference, I truly believe that you are-”

“Yes sister, you’ve said what you believe I am many times already.”

“Yes, but I thought I’d reaffirm it-”

We suddenly hear a beastly scream that echoes throughout the city. It sounds like a goat mixed in with what I can only call a demon.

Magdalene draws her sword then says, “Prepare yourself…”

“Ashton. My apologies for not stating my name earlier.”

“You mustn’t worry about that now. Just draw your weapon.”

I draw my scythe and wait for the beast to show itself…wherever it is. In somewhat of a panic, I look around my surroundings and try to look for signs of the monster.

“Calm yourself, Ashton. You will know when it shows itself.”

Right…I’m calm now after a few breaths in and out and sure enough, the beast shows itself. It creeps out of the darkness with its goat demon head and big lanky body with barely any hair on it. Its skin also seems to be soaked in light blood as if it just killed its latest prey.

“Fear not Ashton for we are the hunters of these beasts and they are the prey. Now, attack without mercy!”

Magdalene charges in to attack and I follow. She goes on the left side of it and I go to the right. The beast lunges and swipes at both of us to try to break our pincer attack, but we dodge out of the way. Magdalene manages to slice off the arm of the beast with lightning speed before it has a chance to retract its arm. I follow her counterattack lead by raises my scythe and slicing the beast several times though it isn’t taken down so easily, so I quickly make the weapon switch itself to the ax to give one heavy finishing blow. After switching the weapon back and wiping some of the blood of me, Magdalene approaches me and begins to wipe the blade with her clothes.

Confused, I pull the weapon away then say, “What are you doing?”

“A weapon such as this doesn’t deserve to be dirty for so long.”

“Can’t we just wait to wash it at church?”

“We do have Holy water that would definitely improve the blade and make it clean. Ok then. I’ll wait,” Magdalene then gives me a smile that gives me a bit of unease, “You are truly blessed.”

“Thank you.”

What’s up with this city? Even Magdalene appears to be strange. We encounter a few more beasts along the way which is good practice for me as they don’t appear to be too much trouble for me despite their bloodthirsty way of fighting. This weapon is truly something special. It really makes my pistol look like a child’s toy when I try it on the beasts. Bullets don’t appear to have any effect on the beasts though Magdalene says that someone in the church could help improve it. After those encounters, we make it to a barricade in front of the walls of the church. There are people everywhere with torches, pitchforks, swords, and other weaponry but at least they appear to be normal.

Suddenly, Magdalene raises my hand that’s holding the scythe and proclaims, “Blessed is this dark night, for God has sent us a knight that will free us from this prison and spread His gift to the world.”

The crowd cheers for me. This what it must feel like to be celebrated, but I don’t feel like this is earned. Magdalene leads me through the crowd and they touch my shoulders while bowing and blessing me. They all seem so grateful for even receiving what seems to be a ray of hope. I guess shouldn’t do anything to spoil this and just help them in any way I can. As we approach the church walls, I see men and women with bows, crossbows, and rifles, above on the walls sniping what I assume to be beasts. The gate opens and there is a clergy of priests and nuns who are holding similar weapons to Magdalene.

“Sister Magdalene,” one of the priests say, “is this true that you’ve brought a gift from God?”

“It is true. I’ve heard his story and seen him fight. This man will give us great things,” she responds.

“We will see. What brings you here?”

“We are here to prepare him for saving us from this curse, bless his pistol, and give him a taste of the sacred blood of Christ.”

“Very well. Proceed though do be sure to check up on Lawrence if you can find him. He was posted on the inside of the front church doors, but no one can find him.”

“I’m sure he’s just resting or sharpening his blades.”

“Oh, those theories have not lost my mind, I am just merely telling you the situation with him.”

“I know. I’ll speak to you later. I must be on my way to help Sir Ashton.”

“Blessed be the path you walk.”

“Thank you.”

We both bow to each other and Magdalene and I continue up the church stairs.

“Who’s Lawrence?” I ask.

“The Holy Blade of the Church and one of the first church hunters. He lead many hunts on many nights so he has amassed much skill, strength, and glory.”

“And I’m a great blessing for this city? Lawrence sounds like your greatest blessing.”

“He’s one of them, but you alone have the tools to free us.”

“Whatever you say.”

As we approach the castle gates and open them, an unease creeps into me and with each inch the church’s front doors I see the reason why. The walls and ceiling are covered in blood and gore with mangled bodies that litter the ground. Magdalene and I are speechless as we walk into the church. A dismembered corpse manages to get up and we get to their aid.

The dismembered person says to us, “Ahh…ahh…please help us. An indescribable beast approaches. Lawrence the Abomination is hunting again. Please…God have mercy…have mercy on us all…hahaha!”

A terrible amalgamation of flesh, body parts, and beast approaches us on all fours. Its screech seems to be a combination of human, beast, and unimaginable horrors.

Though Magdalene is in more shock than I am, she reaches out to it while uttering the words, “Lawrence…is that you?”

The beast sets its sights on her and charges at her. I have to pull her out of the way to get her to move.

“Now is not the time for this!” I say while switching my scythe to the ax.

She slaps her face a bit before nodding and readying her sword. To beat this beast, we have to think on our feet as it seems adept at fighting us at the same time with wild flails of its body parts and charges to run away and make us swing at each other. Even so, a beast is still a beast and it falls, but then it catches a glimpse of something among the corpses. It reaches out one of its hands and grabs a huge greatsword. Its eyes seem captivated by it and as it grips it, it grows in size to match the beast’s size.

The monstrosity then lifts the sword to the ceiling and proclaims, “I am Lawrence the Holy Blade of the Church and I will fight as a Knight of God’s Will.”

It then stands on two feet and brings the sword in front of it as an honorable knight would. Though it doesn’t transform in any way, it seems to have taken the form of what I assume to be who Lawrence was and this brings tears to Magdalene’s face though she does not falter.

She shouts, “Lawrence! Honorable Knight of God’s Will! We will free you from your suffering!”

He fights more like a knight now that he’s gained some of his humanity back, which is more difficult for us now that can block and even parry attacks, but I feel more motivated to fight him. He’s a warrior who must be given an honorable death lest he goes down in history as a monster. With my weapon’s special ability, I get a great idea. I intentionally crash blows with Lawrence then switch my ax to the scythe which allows me to forcefully push his sword down to the ground which also slams him to the ground. I then spin and switch my weapon mid-swing to deliver the final blow, cutting off Lawrence’s head. The rest of the body melts into a sludge of blood though the head still remains and appears to be talking. Magdalene and I go to it to hear what he is saying.

“Forgive me, Magdalene,” he says, “The blood of beasts has consumed me and corrupted my body. Tell me…are the hunters of the church still fighting with hope and honor in their hearts?”

“Yes,” Magdalene says with tears still flowing from their face, “Yes, they are, and they will continue to fight as long as the sun shines in the sky.”

“Good. That gives me peace. Now…I’m afraid I must leave you again. God is calling His sword to its sheath…”

As Lawrence takes his last breath, Magdalene holds the head of her deformed friend and honorable knight and mourns his passing. I put my hand on her shoulder to give her some comfort, but then she stands up almost immediately.

She wipes the tears off her face then says, “I thank you for your help, but I mustn’t’ let this slow me down. Lawrence would’ve wanted us to not slow down for him and to just deliver salvation for the people he defended so valiantly. Now…let us improve your weaponry for the night has just begun.”

 

 

 

Chapter 2 – More Enemies, More Blood

We inform everyone what happened in the church and they’re just as shocked as we were. They try to help the injured though most if not all won’t live. Others help bury the corpses in the graveyard behind the church and clean the bloody mess that is everywhere, but I doubt that they’ll wash these bloodstains out of the floors and walls. In the meantime, Magdalene shows me how to improve my weaponry by cleaning it with Holy water and using a special kind of smelter with iron that gives it a very special quality. As for my pistol, she gives me special silver bullets that are better than regular ones and adds in different mechanisms that let it fire faster and load more than a few bullets into it, twelve to be exact. She also gives me a vial of what is supposed to be the Blood of Christ.

She tells me, “Please deliver the world the salvation it deserves.”

“I promise.”

“You can always get more here so don’t hesitate to heal yourself with it if you’re injured.”

Someone then barges into the room and says, “The beasts are coming!”

“Ashton, grab your scythe! It should be ready now.”

I grab the scythe and it feels exceptionally more different than it did before. Lighter, more versatile, deadlier. Magdalene, the rest of the hunters, and I exit the church to see the almost war-like state the outside is with beasts crawling and killing all over the place. We go to help, and I test out my new weaponry which works wonders. The pistol stuns and kills beasts with only one to two shots while the scythe cuts through them like butter and the switch to the ax is faster which is more destructive than before.

Magdalene turns to look at me then says, “Ashton!”

I turn to look where she is staring at right before a large dark grey hand grabs me and pulls me up and over the church walls. As it drags me through the city, I witness beasts crawling out of the darkness and woodwork as if the dark of the night itself births these creatures. They climb and crawl all over the city while killing people and heading for the church. Few take note of me and fewer chase after me since I’m being pulled at such a fast speed. I can’t really move my weapons at all though I still try to force my way out of this monster’s grip. It eventually pulls me on top of the city’s walls and lets me go here just to see the void between this city and where I came from. What was that hand’s purpose and why did it show me this just to fade into the darkness below? There’s no time to ponder such questions now as I must get back to Magdalene to help her and the others.

The streets seem awfully quiet after what I just witnessed but I still stay ready with both weapons in hand, ready for a bloody fight. I look up at the sky to see that there’s a blood moon out tonight. How appropriate. Blood and wreckage fill some of the streets with few bodies here and there. Thankfully some of the bodies are beasts so at least there are others here to fight them and help me. The further I go the stranger things I see and I’m not just talking about the lack of beasts who are probably just concentrating on the beasts. I find bodies of beasts who look somewhat human near houses, water fountains, and crosses. Even stranger, I find the exact opposite near the exact same landmarks. They all appear to have been killed or just killed themselves by hanging, gunshot or stab to the throat. I eventually stumble across one person who is slightly turned.

“Do not worry friend. I have the healing blood with me,” I say to him as I take out the blood vial.

The person stops me and says in a frightened tone, “Do not give me that accursed blood. It has killed more people than it can heal and-”

This person and many others around him start to transform into the beasts I see around the city, so I’m forced to fight and kill them. These ones have a more crimson look to their skin and are faster and stronger than the others as they can carve straight through the sides of nearby houses. Thankfully my skills and new weapons help me survive this skirmish with only a few scrapes and scratches. Is the blood the source of the beasts and madness among the citizens? It can’t be…can it?

Further along the way, I’m ambushed and put into a corner by these new crimson beasts. Suddenly, a few of them fall from strikes behind them and before the rest notice, they are slain.

A man in hunter attire walks over their bodies and greets me, “How do you do fellow hunter?”

“I’m alive thanks to you. You have my gratitude.”

“My name is Bradford. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Mine is Ashton.”

“What are you doing here Ashton? Looking to fight the more challenging beasts?”

“No, I was dragged from the church to the walls and now I’m trying to get back.”

“Don’t bother with that accursed church and faith. They’re what started this plague of beasts and endless nights.”

Right…so he’s not too fond of the church.

“Do you know if this blood is the source of all of this?”

“It appears to be though I’m not sure why. A few alchemists and I are performing experiments on the blood to see what it truly is.”

“You do not think it is the Blood of Christ?”

“I am not a religious man so that is not on my mind. You should come with me to help us free this city and topple the church.”

Hmmm, what do I do…I should probably confirm the curse’s origins with Magdalene or at least save her for helping me start in the city. I shouldn’t be too quick to trust this man either.

“I will later but I must help a friend who is in trouble.”

“Very well then. I will not force your hand. Farewell and good hunting.”

He took that very well as if it wasn’t any trouble at all I should get back to the church now. With only a few more encounters with other beasts and the new crimson ones, I make it back to the church walls. There are only a few citizens guarding the entrance with no bodies on the ground for some reason despite the blood. They don’t appear to be well thought they look a bit better than the person I saw previously but I should still be careful. I approach the walls with caution while paying attention to the odd citizens they don’t seem to pay attention to me, so things are normal? Whoa! An ax comes down on me when I turn to look forward. Thankfully my reflexes are still sharp, so I dodge out of the way before it nicks me. This was their plan. They acted normal so I can walk in the center of their trap. These people aren’t beasts, but they attack me like beasts. They’re out of their mind so I have no choice but to defend myself. First, I killed beasts and now I’m killing people though from what I’ve recently seen, I’m not sure that the two are so different. These “beasts” go down more easily than the other ones but they can still use guns and reload them as if some part of their brains still remember this. Though I’m at a disadvantage, I’m also at a great advantage with my long reaching scythe and ax and my pistol that kills the “beasts” with guns in one shot. That was honestly easier to handle than I thought it would be, but my experience here makes my fighting style more bloodthirsty aggressive than the way I previously fought.

There’s no more time to waste. If these people have turned, then I fear what must’ve happened in the church. The giant church wall doors are open enough, so I can move through and when I make it past the walls, a giant-sized devil beast jumps from behind the walls and lands in front of me. It’s hairier and more covered in blood than the other beasts with three heads. The body and arms are massive though its legs are much thinner and longer. Its head and horns are unmistakably goat-like as the rest but a bit more demon-like. I start to engage head on it despite its intimating nature and uncanny screech. My scythe cuts through its arms and body, spraying its crimson blood all over the place but it doesn’t appear to injure the beast too heavily like Lawrence. To defend itself, it swipes at me with its arms and long nails and jumps around to avoid some of my attacks. Killing this beast by myself is going to be a worthy challenge. This battle makes me excited to fight, to slice, to spill blood…haha…damn it. I’ve got to stay focused! I use my pistol to hit the beasts head when it charges up for a huge attack to stun it for my final attacks. My scythe isn’t strong enough to slice through its legs, so I switch to the ax and cut off its legs. The beast still tries to fight despite massive blood loss, so I cut the beast from the bottom of the body up to the chest, which gets massive amounts of blood on me. It still lives and tries to fight back though its attacks are pathetic. The heart is exposed and, on the floor, and still attached to it so I rip it out and squash it with my hands. This finally kills the beast and makes it melt into a crimson flesh mess. Whew…that was exciting. Now then, back to Magdalene.

I walk up the church steps and go through its doors to find Magdalene with others who are helping her tend to the wounded. She sees me almost immediately and runs over to hug me.

“Ashton! God bless you, you’re alive! Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m fine Magdalene even though I’m drenched in blood. I just fought this huge beast that jumped over the church walls and other citizens that have turned.”

“That’s truly dreadful, but amazing at the same time that you survived it all. It shows that you’re-”

“Truly blessed right?”

“You know me so well. Please, rest up for a bit. I’ll clean your weapons and your clothes so we both can go out again and put an end to this night.”

“Haha. More work? Don’t let me rest for too long.”

“Hahaha. You’re right. A hunters’ duty ends when the night does, but you should really rest.”

“I will. I will.”

But seriously don’t let me rest for long. There’s more blood to be shed.

 

 

 

Chapter 3 – Painting the Town Red

After my weapons are spruced up a bit and my clothes are cleaned, I suit up to go back out. While getting dressed, I catch Magdalene peeking into the room I’m in. She quickly closes the door once she sees I noticed.

“Haha. Peeking at a man getting dressed Magdalene? I thought nuns were pure of heart.”

She enters the room and says, “I am. I uh I was just checking on you.”

“Sure you were. Is this the first time you’ve seen a man partially dressed?”

“No. I’ve seen plenty of men partially dressed. Naked even.”

“Want to elaborate?”

“Not at this moment. It’s something in the past I wish to keep there.”

“I understand. I won’t push any further.”

Magdalene continues to stare at me with some kind of lust in her eyes while I get dressed.

I ask her, “I’ve heard rumors that the source of this curse of beasts is the Blood of Christ. Is that true?”

The look on her face changes back to normal as she says, “No of course not! It’s true that the curse came to this city after we got the Holy Blood, but it is not confirmed as many people here have taken the blood since it first got here and they’re perfectly sane and healthy.”

“What about those people outside the church walls? They attacked me as if I were a beast. Also, what about those priests that you were with? The church must’ve had the most access to it and they probably used it the most.”

“I don’t how much blood the citizens that guarded the walls took though they were given a fair share of it as payment for their services. The priests here experimented along with the alchemists here, so I would ask them, but they aren’t here. They went out to search for you and have yet to return. I fear their fate since the three have yet to return as well.”

“We have to ask the alchemists then. Do you know where we can find them?”

“Yes, but I’m not too fond of them. They don’t believe in God as much as everyone else and try to disprove His existence.”

“They’re just trying to prove everything with material facts, so I wouldn’t pay any mind to them.”

“But God’s existence can’t be proved with material facts alone!”

“I know I know Magdalene, but we still need to visit them to help get rid of this curse. Can you please put your bias aside for the time being?”

“For you, of course, I will. You are-”

“Yes, sister I know what you say I am.”

“But-”

I put my finger on her mouth.

“I know. Let’s go now.”

She smiles and nods her head. We leave the church in the hands of fellow hunters and go to search for the alchemists who hopefully have information we can use. Along the way, we encounter several monsters and mad men. The entire town appears to be full of them with no normal man, woman, or even child in sight. Some of the beasts are miniature and fast. I pray in my head that these are just animals and not actual children.

“These streets are getting too dangerous,” I say, “Let’s take a different path.”

We run through several connected alleys and get ambushed by crows, dogs, and rodents that walk on two feet like men. Several of them appear to be combined together as if they are the product of a Frankenstein experiment.

Magdalene says, “This is the product of those alchemists’ work! I’ve seen these beasts in their labs before!”

“I’ll be sure to talk to them about it then. First, we have to survive and find them.”

My pistol takes care of these and the child-like beasts with one shot and my scythe cuts through them like butter. Our path is clear and yet, we constantly stop and take a different path. It’s like the beasts are making it seem like we can go where we want then they push us in a particular direction.

“Do you know where we’re going, Magdalene?”

“An altar in the center of the city where we celebrated our receiving of the healing blood.”

“Do you have any idea why we’re being pushed there?”

“I have no idea. I thought they would keep us from getting to a place like that.”

This can’t be a good sign. The beasts are unrelenting and there doesn’t seem to be an end to them nor the bloodshed nor the night. We arrive at the alter that the townsfolk have set up on top of many stairs. We are pushed to the very top and the beasts don’t attack us there.

A very demonic voice calls out from the darkness of the city, “Behold for the Anti-Christ shall be born from this whore!”

“What are you talking about?!” I scream back at it.

“Do you really believe this nun is truly virtuous? She greeted men of conflict and law enforcement with sex and pleasure. She is more of a pagan temple prostitute than a Christian nun, therefore it is her body, which is laced with demonic blood, that will birth the Anti-Christ.”

Magdalene holds her stomach and cries out in pain as her stomach inflates and gives birth to an abomination. I can hear the beasts and demons of hell howl and wail out as they shake their fists to the sky.

“Kill me, Ashton,” Magdalene says as she grabs my arm, “You cannot let this demon into this world!”

“I-I…”

“Do it!”

I switch my scythe to an ax, hold it up in the air over Magdalene’s stomach for a few seconds, close my eyes then bring down the ax on her and the monster. When I open my eyes, I can still see Magdalene twitching and movement in her body. This damned thing must be keeping her alive to be born.

“Die!” I repeatedly shout as I smash the unborn child into the ground.

Magdalene’s lower body is in pieces now along with what was supposed to be the Anti-Christ. The beasts of the night that surround us retreat from the altar in fear. I fall to my knees in exhaustion. Is this what God wanted me to do? Is my purpose in this world done? If so, then take me from this world…Nothing.

I pick myself up and look around to see that the city appears to be empty now. Oh, I see a light in a building not too far from here. Smoke appears to be coming out of the chimney so that’s probably where Bradford is. I go there with no resistance from any of the beasts. Whenever I think I hear or see one, it runs away from me. If nothing else, at least they’ll stop bothering me. That demonic voice said Magdalene had demonic blood laced with her own. That must mean my worst fears are confirmed. The man in a carriage who gave these people the “Blood of Christ” actually gave them the corrupted blood of demons. It probably was no man at all and was just Satan in the flesh. I should probably throw away this vial of blood Magdalene gave me, but I don’t know where to dispose of it. From what I’ve seen, the vermin of the city will just drink it up and become monsters so there has to be a good place to hide it or get rid of it completely. If I can do this, I’m sure my purpose here will be complete, but what about the town? The people in the church will probably scum to the beasts or the cursed blood so God might just deal with it like how He dealt with Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now I’m around where that building I saw is. Wait, what was-oh more new beasts. This one has eyes on its body, more than one face, and elongated arms and legs like some perverse version of a cherubim. It leaps from the roof and attacks me. It’s way nimbler than the other beasts and even dodges my pistol shoots and the slices from my scythe. A barrage of rifle shots from the darkness take it out and I turn to see Bradford and a couple other people who I assume to be his fellow hunters. He takes off his hood to reveal his flowing blond hair. Before I could see only a few features of his face and now I can see he has quite the ladies’ man look.

“Ashton,” he says, “I assume you took care of your friend?”

“Yes, I have.”

“I saw from a distance. You have my apologies for not being there with you.”

“It’s okay. It was my purpose for being here.”

“If it truly was, then let me help you get out of this twisted fate.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4 – Seeing Clearly with New Eyes

We go to Bradford’s place and it is a place of alchemy and natural philosophy or science as some people say. People here are experimenting with weapons, the blood from the beasts, and the dead bodies of the beasts themselves.

“What Magdalene said was true then. You are responsible for some of the beasts outside,” I say to Bradford and his colleagues.

“We were just experimenting with the blood that the church gave us. Of course, there’s going to be failures when we’re dealing with the unknown,” Bradford explains, “We aren’t even close to knowing even half of what this blood is capable of and the church just decided to use it just because it could cure any disease or injury. This is how we got into the situation we are in today. We’re going to get out of this accursed city then experiment with the blood until we can use it for good.”

“Experiment with the blood? Didn’t you hear the demonic voice say that this blood is the blood of demons?”

“I didn’t hear that, and I don’t believe it. If it is the blood of a demon, then we can possibly purify it so that it is the blood of an angel. Maybe then it can be used without worry.”

“These are all just unproven theories in your head. Enough death and destruction have taken place because of it so let’s just get rid of the blood you have, burn the beasts, and let’s leave this place!”

“He’s right, Bradford,” one of his colleagues say, “We’ve been researching this blood for months now and we’ve learned nothing new.”

“This blood has killed our families and friends and destroyed all of our lives,” another chimes in, “We should destroy it and leave this God-forsaken place!”

Several other of Bradford’s colleagues agree with me and voice their disdain for experimenting with this blood.

“Enough!” Bradford says, “We will do as Ashton and you say and leave this city as soon as we destroy this blood, which of course you know is easier said than done, but I know of a quick way to do so. It came up in my research-”

“And you didn’t tell us?”

“No, because I never thought I would have to. There are three parts of a celestial body that has elements in it that will get rid of this blood to the last drop. The only difficulty is that the places were quarantined off by the city and guarded by royal guards who have had the blood since it came to us so they’re going to be extremely dangerous.”

“I will go with you then,” I instantly volunteer.

“I figured you would. Since we are low on fighting power, the last of you will stay here, hold down the fort, and try to get rid of this poisonous blood as soon as possible. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” we all say.

“Good. Let’s get to work gentlemen.”

Bradford grabs a bag to carry the parts of the celestial body, ammo for our guns, and a marked map that shows the location of the bodies parts. We head off to the closest location and encounter more of those many-eyed beasts. To avoid difficult fights, we cautiously move and use the pitch-black shadows to our advantage.

Along the way, I whisper to Bradford, “Where did these beasts come from? Don’t tell me this was your fault as well.”

“In a way it is. Some of the researchers and priests who had excessive amounts of exposure to the blood became beasts like the ones you see. I didn’t stop or warn them of the possible negative effects because I wanted to see what would happen,” he responds.

“Curiosity kills the cat you know!”

“Curiosity is also what evolves humanity, so we can advance as a species.”

“That doesn’t mean you should let your fellow man suffer to help everyone else.”

“What’s the suffering of a few people compared to the joy of the millions?”

“You can’t value the suffering of people like that!”

“Save your arguing for the ethics committee. We’re here.”

We break through a wooden door then go down a long set of stairs to find a small room with an iron door. The door has the sentence, “Obtain the eyes of an angel to your left or walk in the void”.

“Yeah right,” Bradford says before opening the door that leads to complete darkness.

He tries to use a nearby wall lamp to light the darkness, but it doesn’t make anything visible in the room. I look to the left to see a place where I’m supposed to look into. The inscription below it says, “Only the faithful will survive obtaining the eyes of an angel”.

“Ashton. You’re one of the faithful, aren’t you?” Bradford says.

“Yes, so I assume I have to do this. Hopefully, it won’t be painful,” I say as I look into the eyeholes-, “AAAAAHHH!”

“Ashton! Are you okay?!”

“No, I’m not! That piece of shit just plucked out my eyes and stabbed me in the eye sockets!”

I can hear Bradford tearing a piece of cloth off his clothes. I’m covering my eye holes since they’re bleeding and in enormous pain.

“Never thought I’d hear a believer like you curse.”

“Just shut up and give me a bandage! Do you have any medicine on you?”

“I regretfully don’t, but here’s this for now. Move your hands.”

He puts something around my head.

“Is this some kind of joke Bradford? You didn’t put anything on my head. I’m lucky that thing didn’t take away my sight and I’m no longer in pain.”

“What are you talking about? I put a piece of my cloak on your head.”

“No, you didn’t. Even if you did, I can see right through it.”

“How many fingers am I holding up?”

“You aren’t holding up any fingers.”

“What about now?”

“Nine.”

“Do you still have your eyes after what happened? Oh crap, no you don’t! How can you see without your eyes?!”

“I don’t have any eyes?! You must be joking because I can see clearly!”

“I’m not joking! Put this bandage back on for now because I don’t want to look at two empty eye holes.”

I put it on and for some reason, I can see right through it.

“Ashton, try looking into the room now.”

Looking into the room, I can see everything in it as if the room was never dark to begin with.

“I can see everything in it now.”

“Wow, miraculous.”

“I guess this turned you into a believer, didn’t it?”

“In a way.”

“Here, I’ll guide you.”

I take Bradford’s hand and walk him through the room, which is normal for the most part though Bradford does manage to still fall over and bump into things.

“You’re a klutz,” I tell him.

“I’m as blind as bat in this room!”

“You’re saying that to the man who literally doesn’t have any eyes.”

“Shut up!”

We make it through the room and come to a cavern.

“I can see now Ashton.”

“Good. I don’t want to hold your hand any longer.”

We explore the linear cavern until we come to an altar room with three people surrounding a body part. One person has a katana, the other has a claymore, and the last has a pike. Once they look at us, we see that they have snakes as their body.

“There’s no end to many types of beasts,” I say.

“I will not be defeated by mere serpents,” Bradford adds.

These creatures move like the many-eyed beasts, but my eyes adjust to their movement, so I can slice at them no matter where they move. I manage to take down two of them while Bradford is still struggling to land a single hit on the one he takes on. Feeling charitable, I slice his enemy in half for him.

“I had that thing on the ropes,” he says.

“I can tell.”

We take the lower half of the celestial body and leave the lower area of the city. The many-eyed beasts ambush us, but they are no challenge to me with my new eyes or rather lack thereof. I can see every small movement they make. My side vision even picks up on their sneak attacks.

After the battle, Bradford asks me, “I guess we don’t need to go back to my workshop for medication, do we?”

“Does it look like it?”

Now that I’m really looking at Bradford, he appears to have a strange red aura about him, which makes sense because of the man’s character. We continue on nevertheless as I keep a close eye on him.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5 – Without Form

We have to go through the residential area to find this next celestial body part. Along the way, we’re attacked by every form of beast that I’ve previously met.  They don’t pose a challenge to me now because of my enhanced vision. Now I can effectively wield my weapon as it was meant to be. A blade that cuts through flesh as if it was the air. It seems that we’ve killed most of the beasts in the city and now…all appears to be quiet, so Bradford and I just peacefully stroll under the blood moonlit night. Peacefully strolling while covered in the blood of beasts, but peacefully strolling nonetheless.

“How did you learn about the celestial body and how is it the cure for the demonic blood?” I ask Bradford to fill my curiosity.

“Legends and myths about fantastical events that happened in history,” he answers.

“You mean events like miracles and the resurrection?”

“Of course. After what happened to you, I’m starting to believe in the supernatural.”

“Only after what happened to me? What did those legends exactly tell you that makes you think the celestial bodies have the cure?”

“The elements within it, the nature of anything good purifying evil, and the various other things I had written down. I can’t remember everything exactly, but it should work.”

“You’re asking me to take a leap of faith with you?”

“Yes, but not in the way the church asks you. I have several foundational ideas that make my idea a step over a gap and not a leap of faith.”

“Did you know that faith is based on several foundational ideas and not just blind jumping?”

“In a way, I guess I do see it now, but not fully.”

“Think about this then. You have to have faith that nature continues to act in a consistent nature in order to do your tests and experiments. You have to have faith that the people you love won’t turn on you in an instant. You can trust them as much as you want, but you’ll never know what they’re truly thinking all the time. They could be just acting like they love you and betray you later.”

“I see your point. But what about the unseen?”

“Mathematics is unseen, and you use it. Morality is not written down in stone but is written on the hearts of men in their souls. They are a set of rules that everyone follows and yet, no one can empirically prove what is good and what is evil or even change what they are.”

“I didn’t know that you were such a philosopher.”

“Oh, I’m not. I’m just repeating what I learned from my priests and other teachers.”

“You’ve definitely peaked my interest. After this, we should talk about it more. We’re here.”

We’ve arrived at an orphanage, school, church hybrid.

“The celestial body part is here?” I ask Bradford.

“That’s right. It looks fairly innocent, so why would you expect them to keep anything secret here?”

“That’s clever.”

“It put children in danger.”

“I’m sure they had the best guards like the ones we faced guarding it.”

“I hope so.”

Bradford and I enter the orphanage and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of struggle or bloodshed here. There’s barely a speck of dust on the desks and chairs in this place as if someone is still living here.

“Someone might be here,” I warn Bradford.

“I’ll be on my guard then, but who would keep this place up with everything that’s happening outside?”

“Let’s find out.”

We wander through the halls with our weapons out and ready. An eerie silence fills the halls along the stench of the blood on us. Looking through each room that looks like we could find something, we find nothing but neat and clean classrooms, orphan rooms, and offices. The papers in the offices don’t mention anything that we’re looking for and only talk about the behavior of the children they took care of. The sound of movement in the halls get our attention.

“…Is anyone there?” I say with hesitation.

Silence responds to me, so I motion Bradford to follow me and he nods. We creep around the corner to find an empty room, that is until we see a cloaked figure walking through the halls. It appears to be wearing a nun’s outfits, but it has a tattered appearance to it. A book that appears to be a Bible is in her hands, but her hands are shaking.

“Excuse me, sister,” Bradford says to the nun.

I pull him back.

“What is it, Ashton?”

“Take a closer look at her.”

“I don’t notice anything. Are those new eyes of yours showing you something I don’t see?”

“She doesn’t have an aura. The beasts don’t have auras either.”

The nun turns to us and reveals a hollow dress. It then transforms so that multiple nuns come out of the dress with swords in their hands. Its form expands and starts to take up the entire hallway. Bradford and I run to the roof and it breaks its way through the roof to confront us. At least we have space to fight it now. We attack in a pincer way so that all of its attacks aren’t concentrated on us. The way its arms swing is almost on par with my scythe. I shoot at the beast, but my shots just go through the cloak as if spirits are controlling it. The beast hums a lullaby as it fights, which starts to take its toll on us for some reason. To try to end the fight faster by focusing on slicing off the multiple arms and this stops the humming after each extra nun dress is cut off.

Bradford appears to be making progress as well, but he concentrates more on not getting sliced to pieces. Now that most of the dress is sliced to pieces, we cut into the center, which completely stops the humming. With that out of the way, we’re fully awake and slice through the center multiple times finished off by one strong attack by the both of us. The beast then explodes into pieces and black fabric starts to rain from the sky.

“That will hopefully be the last nun I have to deal with,” Bradford says while being exhausted.

“I don’t blame you,” I respond, “Now let’s find-oh…is this it?”

A radiant looking torso is on the ground and appears to have come from the nun’s dress because of the fabric attached to it.

“It is! We only have one more body piece to find!”

“Whose celestial body do the legends say this belonged to?”

“Adam, the first man.”

“Why are you sure that his body will be the cure?”

“Because the legends say so. You trust me, don’t you? Have a little faith.”

“Since when did you become a believer?”

“Everything that I’ve seen made me one. Do you trust me?”

“Nothing that you’ve done has given me a reason not to.”

“Good man Ashton. We’ll get through this, go to a bar, and everything will be on me.”

I hope that Bradford is telling the truth. If he does end up doing something crafty, I’ll have to start planning now.

 

 

Chapter 6 – The Sum of All Suffering

Again, Bradford and I walk the streets of the city to get to our next location. It appears that we’ve killed every beast in the city since we’ve been walking for a while without even hearing the wind blow. My new eyes don’t pick up on anything either so we appear to be in the clear.

“Tell me, Ashton, how is God present in our lives right now?”

“He sent me here. How else do you explain me getting over the bridge and obtaining this weapon?”

“You just arrived from outside the city?”

“I did. I don’t think I mentioned that to you yet. A carriage driver, who I assume to be God now, told me about this place and took me here. His carriage turned to porcelain after he dropped me off here.”

“That’s interesting, but how is God helping us right now? What makes you think that he cares about what’s going on?”

“He sent me here with this weapon and without me being here, the Anti-Christ would’ve been born, and you wouldn’t be able to get these pieces of the body of Adam.”

“And yet he couldn’t have just changed everything in an instant?”

“He could’ve, but then he wouldn’t be dealing justice on the church for being so blind in their faith and on your alchemists and you for doing all of your unethical experiments.”

“But we were doing them to help humanity.”

“The means don’t justify the ends. You’re not doing anything for the benefit of anyone if you try to justify evil acts done for the greater good. You might as well justify the killing of the poor and homeless to get rid of poverty.”

“…I guess you’re right. I might have to rethink some of my plans.”

“What plans? What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing that you should concern yourself with now. You’ve changed me, I’ll admit that. I promise I won’t do anything that might cause anyone any more suffering. Believe me.”

“For now, I will. Just know that I’ll have to watch what you’re going to do to make sure you’re doing the right thing.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll approve of what I have in mind.”

I hope so.

“Tell me, Ashton. What makes you so special that God decided to choose you?”

“I’m nothing special honestly. I have a little training in weapons, study philosophy and natural philosophy in my spare time, and work as a farm attendant to make money for my family.”

“Such a humble upbringing for such a big responsibility.”

“God usually does do that. Jesus was born in a manger and worked as a carpenter and yet, He’s the most important person in human history.”

“Then someone like me can be important as well. I came from a poor family with my dad working as a cleaner and my mother even working as a housemaid for our neighbors. I got interested in natural philosophy in my teenage years, went and graduated college, and moved here to further human knowledge of the known world. Maybe God has a purpose for me since I’m still alive.”

“I’m sure He does. He has a plan for everyone.”

“Indeed.”

He’s really smiling right now as if a ray of sunshine is shining in his heart. I hope this is a good sign of the change of his worldview.

We’ve arrived at the place where the final piece of Adam is and I’m back at the church Magdalene is from. There doesn’t appear to be anyone here, so it seems like the last people here died or changed. As we approach the large building, the church bells in the city ring in unison. The blood and bodies from the city start to gravitate towards the top of the church and mesh together into one atrocity that’s a mess of dead and decayed bodies with one creature at the top that appears to be controlling the rest. It crushes the entire church when it full forms and lets out a yell that sounds like all of hell is howling.

“It wouldn’t be worth it if it wasn’t insanely difficult to get,” I say.”

“What the bloody hell are we going to do?!” Bradford frantically says as we try to fight the many creatures on the atrocity.

“Cutting, smashing, and shooting always worked for us.”

“I don’t think it’s going to work this time.”

“Probably.”

I see holy water and several rosaries that have come from the destroyed church. I run towards them and pour holy water on my weapons and wrap them in rosaries. Maybe a prayer or two will make this plan of mine work.

“I don’t think Hail Marys and Our Fathers will help us much in this situation Ashton!” Bradford says as he fends off the many creatures who are getting the most of him.

“Will you let go and give me control?” an echoing voice says.

“I do my lord,” I respond.

I switch my scythe to an ax. Ready myself then run towards the beast and hold it as high as I can before bringing it down with every bit of strength that’s coursing through my veins. The blade slices higher than I expected and cuts the atrocity in half, which makes it rain blood on the entire city.

Bradford stares at me in amazement then says, “That blade was reaching the skies. God really was on your side.”

“I’ve been told that I’m blessed. I didn’t know I was this blessed.”

“You truly are a gift sent by God, Ashton.”

“Thank you for the compliment, but we must get the last piece of Adam before anything other crazy events happen.”

“Oh! Of course.”

Shifting through the wreckage of the church and the atrocity, Bradford finds the head of Adam.

“This is it, Ashton! We’ve done it! Come now, we should get back to my lab as fast as possible.”

Is this going to be the end? It feels like it and I hope it is. Despite my importance in what happened here, I won’t lie when I say that I miss my normal life. I hope Bradford knows what he’s doing.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 7 – Unnatural

Our little group of people start a celebration at a bar across the street from the alchemist’s workplace as Bradford puts the pieces of Adam together. The blood moon appears to be setting and morning appears to be slowly but surely approaching. I’m not a big fan of alcohol so I let everyone else enjoy themselves in the bar.

“Hey, Ashton! We’ve found this bottle of rare Italian wine in the basement of the bar. We think that Bradford and you should have it,” one of the alchemists say.

“Thank you.”

“You should give some to Bradford right now. Maybe it’ll help him move faster.”

“Haha, right.”

Entering the alchemist’s workplace, I say, “Hey Bradford, the boys are giving us this rare bottle of Italian wine. Want to share it?  I’m not a drinking man so you can have most of it…Bradford? Are you too caught up in your work to be bothered? Respond to me in some way man.”

I wait for a response then go to where Bradford is supposed to be working. Once I open the door, I see what was keeping Bradford so occupied. He’s fused himself with the body of Adam and the demonic blood. He’s completely naked and his muscles are huge.

“Bradford! What the hell are you doing?!” I say as I take out my weapons.

“I am making the most out of creation,” Bradford says in an echoing voice, “With my body, people will be able to make a cure for any disease and fix any injury. Isn’t it glorious Ashton?”

“Bradford, you’re turning yourself into-”

“A beacon of hope, of healing, and of inspiration.”

“A monster!”

“…You must be mistaken. I’m still alive and stronger now than I ever was before. I know what is good and what is evil in the world. Who knows what is truly good and evil and does evil anyway?”

“The devil.”

“Then you must be the Archangel Michael. If I am truly at fault, then strike me down with your weapon that you got from God Himself!”

I run at him and the blade actually starts to cut through his skin.

“Impossible!” he says as he moves away, “That blade must cut through anything! It can’t cut through anything good and pure!”

“I think you’re mistaken.”

“Prove it then. Give me your blade. I’ll cut you, but I won’t kill you.”

“You expect me to trust you after what you’ve done?”

“I think I’m doing the right thing. Give me a chance or rather, have faith in God.”

What a time to test my faith. My intelligence in my head must’ve left me because I give Bradford my scythe. He uses it to cut me, but the blade just bounces off me while causing no pain.

“What?!” he says in disbelief.

Bradford then switches to the ax and that too bounces off me and I don’t feel a thing. I try to take the scythe back, but Bradford just pushes me through the door and out of the workplace. Bradford’s colleagues come to see what’s happening, but they are swiftly cut down by Bradford.

“This is a battle between Ashford and me!”

“What’s wrong with you Bradford?! You aren’t going to help anyone like this!”

“That’s where you’re wrong. This body holds the cure for every disease and injury.”

“Are you sure of that? You haven’t even tested that yet.”

“I believe in the legends. If they got me this far, they must be true.”

“You believe in a blind faith based on nothing but wishful thinking.”

“Shut your mouth!”

Bradford breaks my scythe into pieces but not without hurting himself. The bastard!

“Your weapon from God is broken and you have nothing left. Your pistol won’t help you kill me since your scythe was your most powerful weapon.”

What am I gonna do? I can try to run away, but he’ll eventually kill me.

“You’ve always been an instrument of God,” a voice in my head says.

“Of course,” I say aloud.

“What is it, Ashton? Have you come to the same conclusion I have?”

“No. I’ve always been the instrument of God’s will here. The weapon was just my aid.”

“You’re a fool.”

Bradford rushes at me as I feel a surge of power rushing through my body. I block his punches then give him one in the face that sends him crashing into a wall.

“Wha-What?!”

“This is the end of the nightmare here. And it ends with your death. I’m sorry Bradford.”

He yells at me as he sends a barrage of kicks and punches at me. None of which are very painful. Once he starts to tire, I grab his arms break them with a single twist.  I then break his legs by stomping on his knees. Each break makes him scream out like a beast in pain. As I stand over him, he looks at me with a sudden change in his face.

He says to me, “How long would it take for God to forgive me?”

“Quicker than an instant, my friend. If you’re honest.”

“…Thank you.”

With one single punch, I smash his face into the ground. The sun starts to rise, and the city starts to sink and simmer from the sun’s rays. I run for the exit and make it over the bridge, which is suddenly fully repaired. I’m fast enough to make it back to land to see the City of Sanguine sink into the abyss below the sea and watch the sea cover over where the island city once was. The bridge I crossed and even the island also collapses into the abyss to ensure that everything disappears. I take off the cloth on my heads as my vision blurs and look into the sea to see that I have my eyes again.

No one on earth, besides me, will know what happened here, but fame here doesn’t matter to me since it will eventually fade away. I’m sure God will reward me a different way later in my life. I hear a carriage coming from behind me and I turn around to see one.

The carriage driver says to me, “Are you, Ashton?”

“Yes, I am sir.”

“A wealthy man paid me to come pick you up here and drive you back home. He also told me to give you this large sum of money along with a new Bible. You must have friends in high places, don’t you?”

I smile and say, “I do. And I’m thankful every moment of my life for them.”

I’ll be telling my relatives stories about what happened here. Sure, they’ll never know that the story is nonfiction, but I hope they learn the lessons taken from it. I feel like I can do almost anything now. There’s this beautiful lady I know back home. We usually exchange small talk and smiles every day. I know she’s single so I’m going to take my chances with her. Being a father sounds like a great idea as well. Maybe I’ll even go to college and become a teacher. The possibilities are endless for me. They’ve always been.

 

The End

Author: Albert GimJuie Oon

A Catholic self-published author that writes to entertain and teach. Writes mostly horror, fantasy, and short story fiction. Amazon (paid kindle and paperbacks) - https://amzn.to/2NOBQ8S Blog - https://albertoonbts.blogspot.com/ Smashwords (free eBooks) - https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Gimjuie

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