Authors: Tim Miller
Revenge of the Three
© Tim Miller 2013
All rights reserved.
The right of Tim Miller to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988.
Cover by Kate Kingsley
Thank you to my soul mate, Lori, for working so hard on this journey with me. And to my little girl, Ashley, who will always be my princess.
Father Sandoval watched from the doorway as people filed into the small parish. He had been the priest there for ten years, knowing each of the families by name. There were only around one hundred members, so it was easy for him to remember everyone. As they filed in, he could see almost all his parishioners where there for the service. As they took their seats, he made his way to the front, taking his place at the altar. The entrance procession played as he walked toward the front. Upon reaching the altar, he turned to face the crowd and began the day’s mass.
“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” he spoke in Spanish as he made the sign of the cross.
“Amen,” the congregation responded while returning the gesture.
As he began the Rite of Blessing, he sensed a warm and comforting presence. It wasn’t the first time he’d felt the presence of God during Mass. It was one of the things he loved about being a priest. The feeling was beautiful and warm; it was loving and secure. It told him no harm would come to him, and that God was in control. He had only experienced it a few times, but each time it was amazing. This time, however, something was different.
He continued the rite while scanning the church and saw a white mist filling the parish. The crowd was experiencing the same sensations that he was. All the parishioners had a look of euphoria on their faces, as if God himself was touching each of them. Father Sandoval knew what this was, it was a physical manifestation of the Holy Ghost. There were times in scripture when it was referenced. The most notable instance of this is the first Pentecost in the book of Acts, shortly after Jesus’ death; but he’d never experienced it firsthand.
The mist filled the church, swirling around the worshipers as feelings of love and peace consumed them. If someone were to walk in right at that moment, they might think the congregation was high on drugs. It was something much more than that though, this was supernatural. Father Sandoval stopped the rite as the crowd began talking and murmuring amongst themselves. Some had started giggling, placing their hands over their mouths to stifle the noise due to the euphoria. Sandoval wasn’t sure what to do with this, as this part of the experience was new.
He reached out to touch the mist and watched his hand sail right through it. It had no smell or taste as he closed his eyes and inhaled it deeply, taking in the presence of God. Feeling the Spirit filling him and becoming one with him produced a rush he didn’t want to end. His head began to swirl with the euphoria as he himself began to smile, then giggle quietly. He was overtaken by a joy he’d never known existed.
His eyes remained closed as he held his arms out to his sides, taking in the joy, the pleasure, the aroma of God. A scream from the back of the church snapped him out of his trance. Opening his eyes, he saw a man had collapsed. He thought of going back to check on him, but he didn’t want to break away from the high he was feeling. Perhaps the man had become overwhelmed with the sensations. Looking around, Sandoval saw no one had moved other than the woman sitting next to the man who’d collapsed. He couldn’t make out who she was due to the haze.
Finally, Sandoval was able to snap out of the trance enough to walk to the back and check on the man. As he approached, he saw it was Juan Sanchez who had fallen. Juan was a middle- aged man who had attended with his family for years. Juan’s wife, Camilla was trying to shake him as she looked up at the priest. Juan, however, was not responding.
“Father! Help him! I don’t think he’s breathing!” she said. Father Sandoval knelt down, still feeling as if he were in a trance of sorts and checked for a pulse. As he did so, there was another scream. His head jerked around and he saw several more people had collapsed. Standing and looking around, he noticed the mist was no longer white, but had turned a dark, grayish color. People had snapped out of their euphoric states and were frantically trying to help their fallen loved ones. As they did so, each of them succumbed to the mist, one by one. Some struggled a bit before they died, others just collapsed without another breath.
Some started heading for the door, trying to reach the outside as if the mist were some toxic gas. None of them made it, however. One woman grabbed Father Sandoval’s robe and held his gaze as she fell.
“Father, please! Help me! Please…” she said as she died in his arms. He lowered her to the ground, unable to save her. Now terrified, Father Sandoval could do nothing but watch as one by one his parishioners fell over dead right in front of him. He began to pray as the scene unfolded, helpless to do anything else.
“Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women,” he chanted as people around him screamed as their final breaths left them. The mist had turned completely black and filled the entire church. It was as if nightfall had filled the church. The bodies of men, women and children lie about motionless, while others tugged at his leg crying out to him as they died. Sandoval couldn’t believe this thing was killing them. He had thought it might be a demon, but deep down he knew that it was the Holy Ghost himself that had come for them.
“Why Lord, why?” he whispered as he went to his knees. The booming voice in his head that left him no doubt.
“I am the Lord your God. The Day of the Lord is upon you,” the voice said, as Father Sandoval took his last breath.
My name is Charlie Sims, or Pastor Charlie to some though I don’t pastor much anymore. A few years ago I had my own church near San Antonio, Texas but lots of things went wrong. I guess they didn’t go totally wrong. A man many people know as Jesus Christ came to town back then. He wasn’t calling himself Jesus, though. He went by the name of Bishop Hoover and he was trying to bring about the end of the world. It was during that ordeal when I met Lucifer himself, discovered I was part of an ancient race of half angels/half humans and that I had the power to read people’s minds, kill them and turn them into zombies, all by touching their heads. It was an eventful time in my life, almost like a second puberty.
Before all that happened, God used to reveal sinners to me - sinners who had committed acts from adultery to rape, or even murder. He would show them to me in visions, and I would kill them in the most brutal fashion I could imagine. I saw killing as part of my calling from God, along with my pastoring, a way of carrying out God’s justice. Well, at the time I’d thought it was God. It turned out it wasn’t God at all; I was just more messed up than I had originally thought. I hadn’t had a vision since the whole end-of-the-world ordeal, and so I hadn’t killed anyone in the past few years. I suppose that was a good thing. In order to stop Jesus, or the Bishop, as I called him, I had to kill around 70,000 people in the Alamoome in San Antonio. That number of kills at one time should carry me through for a while.
During that experience, I learned Jesus was not at all what we learned about as kids in Sunday school. He was actually a bit of an asshole. Fortunately, I was able to stop him and save the world for the moment at least. Since then, I’d been working in a funeral home in Del Rio, Texas. I would assist with bodies when needed, as well as preside over funeral services, help people make arrangements along with whatever else the Salazar family needed. They were the ones who owned the funeral home.
Jorge Salazar was the owner, but was semi-retired. He still came in for return clients who’ve used the funeral home for generations. His daughter Maria currently ran the home. At twenty-five years old she had wisdom and skill beyond her years. Having grown up around the funeral home, dead bodies didn’t bother her at all. She had a way of dealing with grieving families that put everyone at ease. She was one of the best in all of South Texas at restoring bodies, no matter how bad the damage.
You’d never guess any of this by looking at her. She stood at five foot two inches, had long black hair, brown eyes and flawless brown skin. When not in dress clothes, she would often wear a summer dress around, or a tank top and shorts. On this day, I was sitting in my tiny office finishing up paperwork on a pre-arrangement I had just set up. A local man had just discovered he had cancer. His prognosis was good, but he decided to pre-arrange his funeral and pay for his funeral just in case.
“What are you doing, Charlie?” Maria asked from the doorway.
“Just finishing some papers,” I said. “What’s up?”
“Did you see the news? I had it on in the break room. It’s pretty freaky.”
I got up and joined her in the break room. A CNN reporter was standing outside of a church in Paulau, Mexico. There were vans and ambulances all around.
“I have family that lives in Palau. They said about a hundred people died in that church,” Maria said, as she placed her hand over her mouth.
“Do they know what happened?” I asked. The TV flashed images of paramedics wheeling out gurneys covered with body bags.
“No, they said someone came to check on their family. I guess they never came home after mass should have been over with. They got there and found all the bodies. My God, it’s so horrible.”
I didn’t want to break it to Maria, but God either had nothing at all to do with it, or He was entirely behind it. Either way, it reminded me of the incident at the Alamodome a few years ago. I had known after I killed Christ that it wasn’t over. For the time being, I may have put the end of the world on hold, but in doing so, I’d upset the natural order of things. No telling what effect that would have on the cosmos. It was only a matter of time before God came back for round two. My fear was that this was it.
“You okay Charlie? You don’t look so good,” Maria said. I hadn’t realized it, but I had been holding my breath, causing my face to change color. I let out a long exhale and looked at her.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a sad sight is all.”
“Yes it is. It’s scary. That’s not too far from here. The news thought it might be the cartel, like maybe they poisoned everybody. I didn’t think even the cartel would defile a church, though.”
“Hard to say.” We both looked out the window as we heard a car pull up. We walked outside to see a black Suburban. Two men stepped out, both were wearing suits, but one had on a cowboy hat.
“Charlie Sims?” The man with the hat asked.
“That’s me. Can I help you?”
“I’m John O’Brien, Texas Rangers. This is Special Agent Peter Jenkins, FBI. We would like to talk to you.”
I felt my heart had jump up to my throat. I’ve had police talk to me before, and nothing good ever came of it. This most likely wouldn’t be any different.