Revenge of the Three (Hand of God) (4 page)

BOOK: Revenge of the Three (Hand of God)
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Chapter 7

 

             
Maria’s car was still at the funeral home when I got back there. I ran inside and found her sitting in the break room watching TV.

             
“Everything okay?” I asked.

             
“Yeah, everything is fine. You get your stuff taken care of?”

             
“Oh yeah, all set. I was just wondering, you sounded upset when you called earlier.”

             
“Oh no. I thought I heard something outside, kinda creeped me out for a bit but it was nothing.” She looked around for a second. “What’s that smell? Is that you?”

             
Shit. The hydrofluoric acid. I hadn’t washed up before coming back.

             
“Oh, my car overheated and I had to look under the hood and refill the coolant. Maybe that’s why I stink.”

             
“I never smelled coolant like that before.  Smells like acid or some kind of nasty chemicals.  What exactly do you do when you go run errands?”

             
“Nothing, just the bank and stuff. I don’t know where any acid would come from. Like I said, it was hot and I was messing around under the hood of my car.”

             
“Guess so.” She yawned. “What time is it?”

             
“It’s almost nine.”

             
“I think I’m gonna head home. I’ll see you in the morning, Charlie. Just be sure to wash whatever that smell is off of you.”

             
“Sure thing. See you tomorrow.”

             
She got to the door, stopped and looked at me.

             
“Oh, Charlie?”

             
“Yes?”

             
“You’re not in some kind of trouble, are you?”

             
Oh, no. Now I was sure something happened while I was gone.

             
“No, not at all. Did something happen while I was gone?”

             
“Um, not really.”

             
“Not really? What is that supposed to mean? Something either did or didn’t.”

             
“I’m tired Charlie.  Good night,” she said and disappeared through the door.

             
The last thing I wanted was to drag Maria into my twisted world of fallen angels, deities and death. Though she already got a lot of the death part. I thought I’d left that world behind, but it had caught up to me. The fact was, there was no running or hiding from what I am, gods or no gods. The Ghost was up to something, and it seemed to be targeting churches, at least one church that I knew of so far. I needed to check a few things out for myself. I closed everything down at the funeral home, locked up, and headed back to my place.

             
My apartment in Del Rio was much smaller than my old one in San Antonio. I didn’t need a lot of room, though, since I wasn’t home much. I found my laptop on the bed and flipped it open. I did a search of churches and strange deaths. Turns out, in the last year or so there had been a few.  One occurred at a small church in Brazil, another in Belarus. Mexico was the most recent one. In all cases, no one knew the cause. People were just found dead, as if someone flipped a switch. I’d seen a man die that exact same way, and that is exactly what had happened. Yeshua, the “Messiah” himself, snapped his fingers and the man was dead.

             
Now that I had some information, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I took a shower to clean the acidic smell off of my body and threw away the clothes I’d worn that day. Once I was changed, I headed out to my Explorer. I was in the mood for a Whataburger. I was unlocking the door when a black van pulled up behind me. Before I could see who it was, a cattle prod was thrust into my ribs and God knows how many volts of electricity went coursing through my body. My legs turned to jelly beneath me and I started to fall. I couldn’t talk or move, and I think I pissed my clean pants, as some guy in a ski mask threw me into the back of the van. Once I was in, he threw a pillowcase over my head and I heard duct tape ripping and then he bound my hands and feet.

             
Needless to say, this was not a good situation. I had no idea who these guys were, other than the fact that they spoke to each other in Spanish. I couldn’t move and could barely breathe. I was just going to have to wait until we got to wherever we were going to figure this out. That is, if they didn’t just kill me and dump me somewhere. It had been a long time since I’d used my little power to turn people into zombie-like freaks. Looks like that would change today if I got the chance. In the meantime, I guess I knew what it felt like to be one of my victims.

 

Chapter 8

 

River of Life Church, El Paso, TX

 

              Pastor Robert Kirkland stood on the stage preaching to his congregation. They sat on the edge of their seats, hanging onto his every word as if the Lord God himself were speaking.  Even though it was a midweek service, the building was now packed with over five hundred people. He couldn’t believe that only a year ago they were merely holding Bible studies in his living room. Now that small fellowship of five people had grown a hundredfold in so little time. He hoped to see it grow to over five thousand by next year. As Kirkland spoke, his band played, and people stood, clapping and singing along.

             
“Who is ready to praise the Lord tonight?” He shouted into his headset. The crowd let out a big shout. “I don’t know about any of you, but I’m ready for the Holy Spirit to come and light this place on fire!”

             
“Amen!” they shouted. The band tore into a guitar solo to the tune of
Amazing Grace
and led right into
Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble
. Kirkland threw his hands into the air and danced around on stage, doing his best air guitar at one point, but no one was paying attention to him by then. The congregation was in its own state of worship, singing, dancing, and jumping up and down.  Some even collapsed in the aisles as they became overwhelmed with God’s joy. Kirkland threw his arms into the air and looked to the sky.

             
“Our Father in heaven, we thank you! Yes! We thank you Lord for this glorious day!  Thank you for blessing us with this wonderful church where we come to worship you. Thank you for giving us the gift of eternal life! Please show yourself tonight, oh Lord! Bless us each with your presence!”

             
The crowd let out another cheer as the band played and the people danced. Kirkland was pleased with his own prayer. His father had been a Pentecostal preacher for the Assemblies of God. Robert had left the denomination after they had a falling out. The Pentecostals felt Robert was a bit too radical when it came to his beliefs in spiritual gifts, such as healing and prophecy, as well as his beliefs in holy manifestations. It was for the best, he figured, since the denominations had turned into little more than religious corporations. Now, he had his own church, with no governing body to tell him how to run things.

             
As he watched the people dancing, Kirkland felt something warm at the top of his head. He turned around and saw each member of the band had a small flame on their heads. He almost fell off the stage when he realized what was going on. It was a sign from God! Kirkland knew, because in the book of Acts in the New Testament, after Jesus died, as the apostles were praying for guidance the Holy Spirit made his first appearance in the form of a small flame on top of their heads. The flame did them no harm, and the apostles came to know it was God working through the Spirit. The crowd began muttering and whispering as it began to notice the flames as well. By now, everyone in the congregation had the flames on their heads.

             
“Children of God! The Holy Spirit is among us! I’ve never seen this before. It isn’t a trick, I’m not doing any of this. I can feel it. I can feel the Lord inside of me, inside all of us!” People held their arms to the sky and began chanting in tongues. The band members continued to play their hearts out, as if they were trying to pound their instruments to pieces. Kirkland closed his eyes and raised his arms, feeling the warmth of God. No preacher he knew ever experienced anything like this. He was glad he had begun recording his services. This would get him a TV deal for sure. Before he could relish the thought, someone screamed.

             
A man in the front row was engulfed in flames. The people around him were screaming and crying. The loudest scream came from the man himself. His shrill cries of pain didn’t even sound human. The band stopped playing as Kirkland ran backstage and grabbed a fire extinguisher. He jumped off the stage and began spraying the man with it. Kirkland could smell the man’s flesh, hair and clothing burning as he emptied the device on the man but it had no effect whatsoever. The man fell to the ground motionless as the flames consumed his body. Then there were other screams, several more. Bodies in flames were running up and down the aisles screaming. Others began waving at the flames on their heads, trying to put them out. Even Kinkaid felt a sense of panic coming over him.

             
“Get it off me! Get it off me!” One man cried as he ran past Kirkland. He bolted from the sanctuary and into the foyer. He found the men’s room and ran in, trying to wash his head in the sink, running cold water over it. He looked in the mirror but the flame was still there. He grabbed paper towels and tried to smother it, but it didn’t go out. He ran back to the church as the screams grew louder. Once he was back inside, he saw everyone—members of the band, women, and children, all engulfed in flames. Some ran around while others were rolling on the ground. Still others lie motionless, already dead.

             
Kirkland didn’t know why this was happening. Why would the Holy Spirit do this? He could only conclude that it had to be Satan. They had been fooled, and now it was too late. He kept trying to put out the flame on his head, but to no avail. Before the fire took him, he wondered what was more horrifying, watching all his people burn to death, or knowing he was next.

Chapter 9

 

             
When they pulled the hood of me, I was hanging upside down in a dark room. There was a single light coming from behind me. The room was hot and stuffy and smelled like body odor. There was a pair of boots standing in front of me, and I heard voices behind me speaking Spanish. Finally a large Mexican man bent down so I could see his face. He had thick black hair, a beard and was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.              

             
“Hello
senor
,” he said.

             
“Umm, hola?”

             
“You are in some trouble my friend.” His accent was thick and he smelled like beef jerky.  Plus, I had no idea what he was talking about.

             
“What kind of trouble?”

             
He stood back up and kicked me in the side of the face. The left side of my face stung as my body rocked from side to side like a pendulum on a grandfather clock. After a few seconds, the stinging turned to throbbing as my eyes began to water.

             
“Does that jar your memory
senor?”

             
“Uh, not really. Just made my face hurt a lot.”

             
The man laughed as he took out a long knife and pointed it at my face.

             
“You’re a funny gringo. I like you. So I will tell you why you’re here and give you a chance to save yourself. Our associate, officer Medina.  You killed him.” Now how in the hell did he know that?

             
“What?” I asked.

             
“You need another memory jarring?”

             
“No, that’s ok. Who are you people?” I tried to move my hands, but they were bound tightly behind my back.

             
“You ask too many questions my friend. And who I am is not important. What is important, is who
you
are, who you work for, and why did you kill Medina?”

             
“I work for the Salazars at the funeral home.” I said. He stood and kicked me on the other side of the face. I swung back and forth again as the stinging pain seared up and down my body.

             
“Just so you know, I’m going to kill you before any of us leave here.” That got another laugh from Hawaiian Shirt.

             
“See? You’re funny guy! I might just kill you quickly.” I said nothing as he laughed at his own joke.  “Ok, so Medina,” he continued. “We had been following him since we thought he was taking money from the Melendez cartel. He seemed to be working both sides. Then you show up and stuff him in a barrel of acid. That’s how we sometimes get rid of bodies. So, it’s not a wild guess that you work for Melendez. So why did you kill our man? Was he working for you too?”

             
“Look, I think there’s been a mistake. Sure I guess you got me, I killed Medina,” no point in holding back now. I had no idea how many thugs were standing behind me, but I was hoping to make some kind of move. “But I’m not working for anyone.”

             
“Then why’d you kill him?”

             
“Honestly? I knew he was a dirty cop, and I wanted to see justice done.”

             
He stood and laughed. His partners behind me laughed too, causing him to laugh harder and harder. It was like a ten-minute long creepy giggle-fit until they all settled down. Hawaiian shirt knelt back down by me.

             
“Justice? Is that what you said? There is only one kind of justice here, gringo. That justice is me!” This time he punched me square in the stomach.

             
“Now stop playing stupid, or we are going to get very unfriendly. I have lots of tools and lots of ways to use them
senor
. You can tell me so I can kill you mercifully, or you can make me cut it out of you. Either way is fine with me.” He ran the knife up and down my stomach and face as he spoke. During his little speech, I had managed to loosen the duct tape that bound my hands. I was so sweaty I could slide my right hand out when I was ready.

             
“Okay, please don’t torture me. I will tell you everything I know,” I said.

             
“Very wise choice my friend. See? Maybe you’re not so stupid!”

             
“Yes, thank you. It’s hard for me to talk like this. Can you bend down here so I can tell you?”

             
He knelt down again and put his face near mine.

             
“Okay. Go ahead and tell me, and I will put you down with one bullet to the head.”

             
“Well, thank you. That’s very kind,” I said, wondering how often he had this conversation. “So here’s what I know.”

             
As he leaned in, I pulled my right hand free and pressed it against his face, my fingers sinking in through his skull as he screamed. Before his partners could react, I pulled my hand away. Hawaiian shirt was shrieking and screaming like a scared little girl. The two men that had been behind me ran to his side, but all he did was scream and flail around. They tried to grab him, but he threw himself into them, as they all tumbled into a pile in the corner. The two living men cried something in Spanish as they tried to pull away from their boss.

             
I pulled myself up and grabbed the bar my feet were attached to. Situations like these made me glad I’d stuck to my ab workouts. I worked the tape at my feet until it broke lose, sending me crashing to the floor. As I stood, the two men turned to face me. Before they could get to their feet, I charged and grabbed them each by the face. Within seconds, all three of them were screaming, zombiefied freaks. The noise was more than I could stand, so I placed my hand over each of them and they collapsed to the ground, dead.

             
My wrists, ankles and face were all throbbing, but I needed to get out of there. I went through their pockets and found a set of keys on Hawaiian Shirt guy. I ran out the door and pushed the button on the remote until I heard a car chirp. It was a black Cadillac Escalade. I hopped in and started the engine. This had turned into a complete mess. Not only was I about to go to war with the Holy Ghost itself, but I now had drug cartels after me. I wasn’t sure which one was worse.

BOOK: Revenge of the Three (Hand of God)
10.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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