– CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX –
Until now, the Reverend and his followers had all attempted to remind Clara that God would judge her… in the end. If she kept walking the path of a conduit, one day their god would judge her. There would be a booming omnipresent voice, blinding lights, a choir! It was a lot of flourish for a junk sinner like her. Of course, these last bits were Clara’s eye rolling exaggerations. Comical. Laughable.
Reality was the ground coming up to hit Clara in the face.
At her end, judgment was the hundreds—probably thousands—of eyes sighted on Clara at this moment. Those pairs of eyes belonged to soap box preachers, children, husbands with their wives, and the His Hand soldiers. All here. All their eyes judging her and Wendy. All of the followers had decided on who and/or what a conduit was. And they didn’t want those type of people in their community. In their world.
At her end, Clara’s judgment lay in the hands of the His Hand. Not God.
Clara took an inhalation at the wrong moment and began to choke. They had cinched the noose tight. Not enough to strangle. Snug. Strangulation and death would occur by her weight’s downward pull when they kicked the box out from beneath her feet.
It seemed everyone in the compound had made an afternoon picnic out of her hanging, the followers having flocked to the park like a gaggle of gulls. They sound like the sea birds too, squawking with pieces of trash in their mouths. In order to give each follower—from small to tall—a view of the proceedings, His Hand soldiers ushered the crowd to encircle the park’s gazebo completely, and they placed Clara and Wendy back to back.
Wendy’s fingers searched for Clara’s fingers. Clara laced her own with the other conduit’s and squeezed until she felt her knuckles pop. Neither let go.
A short time ago, Croo had led them both from the church into the park. He did the girls the courtesy of making the trip seem as much like a stroll rather than a death march. Wendy’s quiet sobs were enough to spoil that illusion. The chilly gust of wind that grazed Clara’s face, tossed her mane of black hair, and sent a jolt of cold along her spine also reminded Clara this was no jaunty walk around the park and back to the safety of her home with Mom and Leo.
Not long after entering the park, Clara spied the gazebo and the crowd around the freestanding structure where many walking paths joined and ringed the central piece of the park. The gazebo’s base was made of brick with whitewashed wooden columns ringing the outside to holdup a conical top similar to a turret, with flying doves crafted of iron at the peak. It was a place for weddings. For celebrations. A central ornamental piece of the compound. The gazebo was not unlike the Lady in the Fountain inside the Linden Grove gates, in the middle of the market square.
Home. Tears welled up in Clara’s eyes at the memory. She would never again see the Lady wading through her fountain, the children playing in the waters by her stone feet.
A tomato hit Clara in the jaw. The rotten fruit—the meat soft and rancid—brought Clara back to the park. An apple connected right below Wendy’s eye.
Croo did his best to keep the mass of agitated followers back, placing himself between the conduits and his follower brothers and sisters. More fruit flew, especially when Croo took several of the produce against his broad back. Clara was too busy shielding herself with her raised arms to look for Rose. Was Clayton out there somewhere? Did he have his own fruit to throw? Was this what he wanted for her?
By the time Croo managed to navigate the girls safely through the crowd and up to the gazebo—a pathway parted for them with the help of His Hand soldiers—Clara felt sticky and bruised. The dark skin around Wendy’s right eye was turning yellow with a bruise.
Soldiers at the gazebo steps would not allow Croo to accompany Clara and Wendy. He’d gone as far as allowed. The soap box preachers took over.
It was cool underneath the gazebo with shade spread out to the round edges. Except it was not so much shade but darkness. The cries of carrion birds only added to the ominous of the scene. Clara could not see the birds but she knew by them by the keening she heard, which was too sharp and grim to be the springtime song of a robin or blue jay.
Four sets of short stairs exited the gazebo, each guarded by His Hand soldiers. The soldiers wore splendid white armor-like the knights from fairy stories, a heavy set of plate over mail that clinked with every twitch of a muscle. Each sported on their left shoulder a golden pauldron shaped like hand large enough that it covered the shoulder completely, giving each soldier a supporting pat on the back. Instead of visors or safety bars on their helmets, they wore metal masks shaped like the faces of singing angels. Could Clayton be behind one of those masks with its lips stretched in a chanting O, tight curls of golden hair etched around the top edges, cheeks dimpling?
Fruit boxes were overturned in the middle of the wooden floor, varnished a dark brown, the boxes stacked two high.
That’s where they got the rotten fruit from, Clara guessed, angry at the church for supplying the soft, squishy projectiles to pelt her and Wendy with.
It’s all a show. No wonder they hate us… we’ve been cast as villains in a play!
Warty was under the gazebo already and waiting beside the overturned boxes. Him and another preacher pulled the girls up and onto the boxes. Clara and Wendy followed reluctantly. Both conduits thrashed about as the preachers tossed lengths of rope—thicker than a man’s wrist—over the rafters and placed the nooses at the ends around their necks. Far from stupid, the preachers didn’t remove the inhabiting collars… Clara had hoped… but no.
Clara’s fingers were going numb but she did not let go of Wendy.
Over Clara’s shoulder, Wendy whispered to her, “Thank you, Clara.”
Clara sighed. “I didn’t do anything, Wendy. I didn’t prevent us from hanging. From getting caught and brought to this hell.”
“You were my friend,” Wendy told her with a sniff. “Dozens of conduits came and went around me, for a long time. None went out of their way to be a friend. You gave me hope.” Clara snorted at how much the hope was worth in the end. Wendy soothed her, just as she had done in the Junker’s bus golem in those first days. “Even for a short time… hope was nice to have up until the end.”
“Glad I met you, Wendy.”
“Back at you. At least we have each other right now.”
“Girls day out. More people should plan these outings, they’re missing out.”
The girls laughed lightly, until Warty came up to Clara, grabbed her face in his hands, and began to pray for her soul. Clara heard another preacher doing the same behind her with Wendy.
Sacks went over their heads then, a death shroud to black out the world. Clara hoped Tink was fluttering somewhere nearby, as she always did when conduit and Nite were alone walking the road or tinkering with junk in the workshop below the Wrench Works. Clara said her goodbyes to her brother Leo and their mother. If Tink was nearby—as Clara hoped—she would deliver the messages. The Field… Clara wished she could touch the Field one final time…
Past the muffling enclosed space of Clara’s hood, the crowd’s jeers and idle chatter cut out. Everyone fell silent. Reverend Jimmy had begun speaking.
“Brothers and sisters,” the Reverend began. “A century has come and gone.” His voice carried clearly across the park without strain. He did not shout. His tone was natural, as if he were born an orator, meant to bring people together with his the passion in his words. “A century since God showed us His wrath and His compassion. The Lord took from our ancestors their heaven-stretching spires, their noisy devices, the lights that blocked out the sky each night, the machines whose filthy fumes clogged that sky, and He took much more. The Lord silenced the world. The Lord judged the wicked and the false idols—man and machine alike. But He showed His mercy as well, brothers and sisters.” Murmurs of agreement reverberated through the crowd. “He brought us together. He brought us back to our dinner tables and His hearth. He brought to us our Second Chance. In our hearts lay the poison, a dark illness from the old world. We stayed, then and now. This is nothing to shame you. We are human, not He who is faultless. Every day is a test. A temptation. Part of the old world lingers, an oily residue that fouls the world He cleansed so may have the Second Chance! It is our task now to turn the cheek. To walk toward His light! To take that light within our hearts and use that light as our lanterns to guide us as shepherds through this renewed gift of His.”
Passion filled the Reverend’s voice. The world seemed to tremble. That or the crowd was stomping their feet in unison, an army ready to march into Heaven through the absolute force of their will and their leader’s invincible faith.
The Reverend didn’t wait for the followers to calm. He continued to pontificate, a man on a mission from God, His hand, His mouthpiece. As much as the Reverend fueled the faith of his followers, they charged him and his words. “These two coppertops have failed to find His light. Their eyes are too clouded with the old world’s corruption, the temptation still clings to them. They call it ‘the Field’. They claim they can bring to life the demons of the old world. Life is for Him to bestow, not for them.”
In response to the Reverend’s accusations, Eve Powell spoke up, her own voice as alluring as her husband’s but more comforting. If only the followers knew she too was a coppertop like Clara and Wendy. “These coppertops have turned away from our lord. They refuse the help you brothers and sisters offer them.”
Coppertop… a slur meant to demean. It dehumanized conduits. Made it easier for the followers to accept their leaders hanging two girls just shy of an age when they others would call them women. Call Clara and Wendy girls or young ladies and they became humans. Conduits and coppertops were apart from society, the His Hand’s society. The His Hand god did not mean this world for their ilk, unless they asked for their humanity, begged for it.
The Powells went silent to allow their words to travel through the followers gathered in the park—which was near everyone who lived in the compound. The words were temptations of their own, whispers from either the winged conscious on one shoulder or the horned serpent on the other, each its own tempter.
Someone in the crowd called for “divine judgment” and others quickly picked up the chant. If the followers had asked for mercy, the same mercy their god used to spare the Lighted so many years before, would the Reverend and Eve listen? Probably not. This here was a show and everyone had their part in the mummers show.
There were so many people to avoid if she tried to escape. Clara didn’t think she stood a chance against all the followers living in the compound, gathered together in a cluster, a wall of immovable belief in her embodiment of a hundred-year-old sin. That’s what prevented Clara from attempting an escape in those last moments.
Clara could have sworn she heard several voices attempting to rise higher than the rest, leaping on to shoulders and waving vigorously. Knowing Rose, Merlyn, and Sammy were out there supporting her made Clara smile behind the death shroud over her head, though she still wanted to cry. Wendy was sobbing softly. Clara’s eyes were dry.
Footsteps ascended the short set of stairs off to Clara’s left, from the direction the Reverend’s voice had been a moment ago.
Every hair on Clara’s body stood on end waiting for the boxes underneath her slippered feet to drop away. Sweat sheeted her back. She could feel beads of sweat slip down her neck to join the chilly sheeting.
The approaching footsteps halted just next to Clara, to a spot where she and Wendy could hear.
“This world no longer belongs to your kind,” the Reverend told the conduit girls in a husky whisper. “God took your world away, snuffed out the beacon your kind tried to ignite atop towers you erected to revival God’s kingdom.” He guffawed nastily with disgust. “His Flood was a sign to us all. Yet you stubbornly cling instead of moving on with the rest of us.”
“The world is big enough for both conduits and everyone else,” Clara challenged.
“Let us go and we won’t bother you, sir, you or your people,” Wendy promised, voice grasping at any concession for their freedom.
“Stop this!” someone shouted. The words came from close by, if not, Clara doubted she would have heard them over the shouts of the crowd around the gazebo. With all that noise and the hood’s muffling of sound, Clara couldn’t be sure who the voice belonged to.
“Ask them if they would leave and renounce their ill begotten powers,” this champion said, promising he knew the answer. “Ask them and they would choose life. I know Clara. She has a good heart. She’s a conduit, yes, but she means no harm.”
“We wouldn’t hurt anyone,” Wendy agreed emphatically. The dark-skinned conduit’s box wobbled as she desperately tried to shake her hood free, to allow her big yellow eyes to plead for freedom alongside their champion’s voice. She no longer was squeezing Clara’s fingers for support.
Wanting to calm Wendy, to stop her from shaking the boxes she stood atop, Clara reach for Wendy’s fingers. But Wendy was wiggling around too much. Clara would catch a thumb or another digit for a second but the fingers would slip off.
“Settle, Wendy!” Clara implored, wishing the stupid hood was off her head. “Calm down before you rock yourself off the boxes and into the air.”
Wendy did not listen.
“Allow me to take responsibility for them,” the champion said, his voice so close he had to be underneath the gazebo with them. Clara finally recognized the voice. “They can live on my family’s lands, where I’ve promised a place of worship for the His Hand. Leave them in my trust, Reverend.”
Clayton. He was still her friend. He was here to stand against his own faith, for her. No, that wasn’t correct, Clara knew better. Clayton’s interruption was bitter sweet. Ironic. Clayton Mathers wanted to save Clara, true enough. He didn’t want her death, sure. But that didn’t mean he’d changed his mind about wanting her to turn away from the life of a conduit. He still wants to save me from myself… Clayton, you blind fool!
“Here or there, Brother Clayton,” the Reverend said, his voice projecting away from Clara now, he was speaking to Clayton only. “These conduits do not wish to follow our path. They will not turn away from their abilities. Their faces are buried in their dead junk and they are disconnected from the new world God has provided for His chosen. Either they give up their abilities, join the world, or we force them…”
None of this the other followers heard. The crowd too focused on their uproarious convictions. They clamored for judgment, the mob taking over, wanting the show promised. The conversation was also low, only for the ears of the soap box preachers, the Reverend, and the pleading Clayton. Albeit the Reverend made sure Clara and Wendy heard too.
Clayton fumbled to make his thoughts clear. “They’re people. Clara and the other girl… they’re people like me.”
“Not like you,” the Reverend said firmly, “not at all. They’re coppertops, brother.”
“As if that gives us no rights!” Clara disagreed fervently, words muffled by the hood. At her back, Wendy was still trying to shake off her hood, to have her pleas heard. Listening to the conversation, Clara was no longer attempting to grasp Wendy’s flaying fingers, to settle her. “We’re conduits but we’re part of humanity! You hear me! Huh? We’re just different. No better! No worse!”
They didn’t hear Clara. The Reverend wanted her to hear, to raise her hopes high so she would crash when he kicked the boxes out from under her feet, but she was not to participate.
“Honestly, brother,” the Reverend said to Clayton, “if not for a conduit, for some God forsaken piece of junk, would not your mother still be here with you and Sister Rose? Tell me true. God watches. He knows your heart.”
Had Clayton told Reverend Jimmy? Had he told him about how Rachel Mathers died? Clayton never spoke of that day. The little boy that day had bottled up all the residual emotions from that grim event, corked the bottle, and never let go. Each time anyone spoke of a conduit, talked of junk, anytime he saw Clara, when he saw her use her abilities, he shook that corked bottle. Years later, the cork was ready to pop, the emotions inside fizzing over. That little boy was still shaking the bottle today. And the little boy had just passed the bottle to Reverend Jimmy Powell.
Hank Mathers always bought junk from Clara’s father and her Uncle Marty. The Mathers patriarch collected junk more than most of the local ranchers. Any of his status could collect without eliciting too much bother. There was far more for the well-to-do to gossip about.
Collecting junk was expensive. Especially restored junk. Not too many people called themselves “mechanics” and would salvage and repair junk to a working order for a conduit’s use. The Mathers family had the wealth, though. And Rose and Clayton’s father always spoke of being fond of the old farming ways, by which he meant when machines had replaced the sweat and calloused hands of laborers.
His greatest obsession was tractors.
Tractors were great hulking golems. Vehicles capable of hauling large tools that could plow, dig, and speed up a planting and harvest. This type of golem might be slow going but it was powerful, tractors were giants among the road golems. Tractors fascinated the elder Mathers. He often reminded his workers, his family, and other ranchers that the tractor was part of humanity’s history, especially its agricultural history. He had several tractors in his collection, rusty junk buckets in Clara’s opinion. These were just for show. Mathers also had couple well-conditioned models Clara’s father had salvaged. With the time, parts, and effort those couple of tractors might Wake. Mathers paid the Danvers family well for the purchase of such large, ear-to-working junk.
While the rancher didn’t openly support conduits, Clara knew her father counted the man among his friends, and she considered the rancher’s children her friends.
Having a collection of sleeping golem giants like the tractors was one thing. A big-time rancher and junk enthusiast wanted more, something other ranchers didn’t, something he could show off at the balls and parties the privileged put together on their estates. Hank Mathers desired a working tractor. One a conduit could Wake and that function like it did before Black Out Thursday! If a conduit like Mo Danvers infused the vehicle with Nites, Mathers wanted the vehicle in prime working condition. The rancher didn’t want that tractor lethargic, tired, ready for retirement. Mathers and Danvers struck a deal. Mo Danvers would put his superior mechanical skills to work restoring a tractor for Mathers. A lucrative challenge for Mo.
Many times Mo came to ranch, when he did, he was given rooms in the main house with Hank Mathers and his family. Mo even brought Clara along—just shy of her eighth birthday at the time of the project’s beginning—as an attempt to induct her into the rancher’s world and facility her friendship with Clayton and Rose.
Between the salvage business with Marty and finding the necessary parts to outfit the tractor to work optimally with the Nites, the tractor project took near a year to complete, Mo working off and on.
Then the day came when Mo Danvers drew Nites from his personal Field and used them to Wake the tractor. The entire Mathers family indulged the rancher patriarch and came to witness the tractor’s Waking. Hank Mathers couldn’t have gushed with more excitement. That excitement affected the ranch staff who took breaks from their work to see a conduit perform a Waking.
The tractor came to life again. Blue Nite smoke common of golems and junk endowed with Nites, sputtered from the vertical exhaust tubes jutting from the restored engine at the tractor’s front. Metal plating freshly painted a forest green vibrated with the pent up energy and potential power the Nites provided, rattling the bones of everyone close at hand.
Everyone reluctantly drew nearer to the tractor at Hank Mathers’ urging, a child opening the box that contained his new toy. Hank Mathers flung his arms around his nervous wife Rachel Mathers and their awestruck children. He knew much about the tractor, having spent time with Clara’s father learning all he could about the vehicle. He was eager to boast about his knowledge and so described to his children Rose and Clayton all about how the tractor’s engine worked, the suspicion, how much it could haul behind it.
Clara knew some of what the rancher was describing was incorrect or greatly exaggerated. Her father patted her head before she could speak up. Squeezing his daughter’s shoulder, Mo Danvers told her to look at Clayton and Rose.
The brother and sister were not just awestruck by the farming golem—not completely. Their father’s knowledge of junk impressed them, it was a topic not discussed on ranch. A person had to travel outside the ranch walls to learn about junk. They had to venture inside the ruins. Deal with shady, back alley salvagers. To them, at this moment, their father was a hero, someone who’d braved danger, someone who’d stolen the world’s secrets.
As did Clara, Mo Danvers knew the Mathers patriarch was stretching his junk knowledge thin. That was okay, Mo told his daughter. Children should think their fathers are larger-than-life heroes from a fantasy. Clara told her father he was her hero. The older conduit smiled and was about to embrace his daughter, to throw her up on shoulder and walk up to the tractor for a better look. He missed a step when bending down to Clara. Sweat dripped off his face, which was a sickly pale. Mo looked ready to fall over and die. Clara felt her lip quivering with concern.
Then something went horribly wrong.
Young Clara turned toward the sound of rattling metal.
The tractor began to shake the way a beast might stretch its body after waking from a long hibernation that stiffened its muscles. Nothing unusual. Except, the vehicle’s shakes were quickly turning violent. It threatened to tip over on to its side, unable to choose which way to fall. The blue Nite smoke from the engine turned black with the burning of crude lubricants that kept everything running smoothly. Not everything was running smooth. Younger Clara smelled the metallic heating of metal that could burn flesh off a person’s bone. She could sense the vehicle’s… what, exactly? Its distress? She knew the tractor was worried, like a child’s worry about having to force down foul tasting medicine when sick, not sure if the medicine would even work. That’s the sensation the tractor poured out to her.
Black smoke was now leaking from seams in metal housing too.
Clara looked around for her father. Not a second earlier, he was right at her side, ready to lift her onto his should—
Behind the small crowd of laborers that had gathered to see the Waking, Mo Danvers lay, struggling to rise. When had he fallen? Clara rushed to her father’s side with an outpouring of alarm. Too many Nites, he explained. Drawing too much from his own Field had come close to knocking out the older conduit. The stress had almost burned him out.
Although his body was fatigued, his mind in a whirl, his shirt soaked through with more sweat than what had been on his brow a moment ago, Mo Danvers felt the same distress from the tractor. He told his daughter he had little time to react.
The near burn out slowed his movement. Clara helped her father to his feet as they heard the one scream above all others. A wail of terror and pain mixed grotesquely with the crunch of bone and the tearing of flesh.
The tractor was on its side when next Clara saw. Its man-sized wheels spun listlessly. Black smoke squeezed out of every crack in the middle. Inside the metal chasse, steam squealed. The buildup of pressure inside the tractor’s engine compartment shot forth bolts, nuts, and other bits of metal. Then Clara spotted someone underneath the fallen tractor. She assumed it was a person. Part of an arm and a whole hand stuck out. The hand seemed to wave at Clara. Blood began to spill forth and mix with the tractor’s lubricants.
Clara’s father turned her away from the gore.
Laborers on the ranch flew away, screaming with fright, sobbing.
Clara remembered Merlyn King dragging away Rose, her white dress with lacy blue ruffles covered with blood. The rancher’s daughter was crying and did not stop until her voice went horse and the cries turned to dry wheezes.
Clara’s eyes found Clayton, older than her by a couple years. Always willing to play hide and seek with her. Filled with laughter and fun, ready for an imaginary adventure in the tall stocks of crop the ranch grew. Now Clayton stood just outside the tractor’s chaos, stoic in his grief, face a mask of his father’s blood, distant from the entire bloody affair, already shoving his emotions into a bottle. It was a brave front for his father.
Hank Mathers was breaking down feet from his son. Laborers had upended the tractor when it settled and were quick to place the body of Rachel Mathers, wife and the mother, in her husband’s arms. He cradled her, weeping. The elder Mathers kept staring at the tractor, asking it why. Why had it taken his wife? Why had it snatched away his children’s mother? She was a good woman. Why her? It was as if he believed the vehicle was alive, knew its transgression, and could offer explanation. Mo Danvers attempted to answer the man, or at least take blame of the “accident”. This was his creation, his restoration, his Nites that Woke the giant golem from its Black Out Thursday hibernation.
Hank Mathers told Clara’s father that he had done enough today.
Clayton regarded the tractor with the same look of contempt he would wear in to his adult years. He wanted to take a hammer to the tractor. He wanted to pound the junk into dust and toss it back in the ruins so it would never again hurt a living soul.
“Brother Clayton,” the Reverend inquired of Clayton Mathers. “Would she not stand next to you today? I ask your heart.”
With the cacophony of noise from the crowd of followers, the suffocating darkness and the ringing in her ears from the tight isolation of the hood, Clara thought the universe was spinning off its axis. Could Clayton change his heart? He might, he just might say a conduit’s life was as valuable as any normal’s life. Was that possible for him? Chaos was spilling over the rim of this boiling pot Clara had tripped into. Anything could—
“My heart? You ask my heart, brother? My heart tells me if a conduit had not brought that piece of junk to life, my mother would still be with us today,” Clayton said frankly.
Clara wanted to shout her father’s innocence until her throat became scratchy. Horse. It was unfair for Clayton to blame every conduit because of an accident from their childhood. Her mouth was dry and the words came out as puffs of air. Maybe she couldn’t defend her father and other conduits. She knew the scars from Clayton’s trauma were too deep. She agreed that conduits needed to take precautions when Waking junk and golems. Her father’s mistake was not testing the tractor in an isolated, open area that he could control. Waking a large golem like a tractor was dangerous. Hank Mathers was so eager, though. The moment the tractor was restored, he had to show off his new toy to his closest friends, his family, and the people highest in ranking among his staff. Eagerness had blinded Mathers, fueled by the trust and confidence he had for her father.
“Mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes,” Clara mumbled, trying to convince herself more than her executioners.
No one heard Clara. Attention in the gazebo had turned away from her and Wendy while she reflected on past mistakes. A new voice had arrived under the wooden covering.
“… they won’t leave,” said the owner voice. The voice was small, frightened, speaking low with shame. “They’re a small group. Pitiful.”
“You told Brother Croo?” the Reverend asked.
“Brother Croo is on his way to the gates,” the voice answered.
“And they demand her? Her specifically?”
“By name, yes.”Clara recognized the owner of the voice now. Deseray was speaking to the Reverend.”They said they want her.”
“She, as we all are, belongs to God,” the Reverend said, torn between the execution and dealing with the uninvited guests at his doorstep.
“Pardon me. There is one other thing,” Deseray admitted shyly.
“Speak quickly,” the Reverend snapped, impatient.
“He’s with them. My father is outside with the group asking for her.” Clara could hear the recoil in Deseray’s voice. Deseray was angry. She didn’t want to see her estranged father and was fearful the Reverend would think she did.
Uncle Marty came for me?
“Is he now?” Reverend Jimmy sounded amused. “Well, this presents an interesting development in today’s events. The man walks in history’s footsteps.”
Reverend Jimmy approached the soap box preachers around Clara and Wendy. He ordered them to help down the two conduits but to keep them bound and hooded. “Do so before that one there,” he referred to Wendy then, ” kicks away her box and hangs herself before time.”
Warty objected to delaying the conduits’ “judgment” but bent quickly enough to his leader’s order. He reluctantly and with a snake’s hiss, pulled Clara’s noose from around her neck, cuffing one of her ears and tearing several curly strands painfully from her scalp.
“I thought you said the coppertops are for God to judge?” Deseray asked as Clara was lead out of the gazebo.
“They are, my dear,” the Reverend responded. “However, this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to others our Lord’s wrath. We are His hand, let us be His mouth piece now.”
“His will be done, father,” Deseray agreed.
Wanna read more? Turn the page to Chapter Thirty-Seven by clicking here.
© 2015 Clinton D. Harding, All Rights Reserved