Revenge of the Three (Hand of God) (5 page)

BOOK: Revenge of the Three (Hand of God)
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Chapter 10

 

             
I ditched the Escalade on the south side of town and called a cab. Within twenty minutes the cab arrived and I hopped in and gave the driver my address.

             
“Can’t do that, Chuck,” the driver said. I knew before he’d even turned around, it was Lucifer.

             
“What are you doing?” Don’t you have a war to start or something?” I was getting tired of this guy always popping up.

             
“It’s already begun, my friend. We’re going to El Paso. The Ghost hit again.”

             
“In El Paso? Well that’s great, but I just had some cartel guys try to kill me.”

             
“Drug cartel? You going into a new line of work?” Lucifer smirked.             

    
“No! A cop I killed the other day was a thug on their payroll. Did hits for them and everything. They somehow found out and now they think I work for another cartel.”

             
“Jesus, Charlie. You sure know how to piss off the wrong folks.”

             
“Yeah, story of my life. So what happened in El Paso?”

             
“Oh yeah, the Ghost. Did it in epic fashion this time. The thing burned alive every person in a church there. Torched the whole building.

             
“Why is He going after churches and killing His own people? And how do you know it was The Ghost? Could have been arson.”

             
“There is no cause to the fire. No wiring problems, no accelerant, nothing. Plus he doesn’t have people. Church folks are the easiest because during worship they are the most susceptible to His influence. They welcome His presence, and then He strikes.”

             
“Jesus Christ.”

             
“Nah, we already took care of him.”

             
“Right. So what about Maria?”

             
“What about her?”

             
“I can’t just ditch her. I need to talk to her.”

             
“We don’t got time, Chuck. We gotta get moving.”

             
“Well, I’m sure He won’t end the world if we take a few extra minutes. She has been one of the few folks who have been good to me. So I’m not just gonna vanish on her.”

             
“I’m the one who is driving, if you hadn’t noticed.”

             
“And I can do my little hand trick that you love so much on you. I don’t care if you are driving. Or, you could head to Maria’s for a bit.”

             
“Wow, making threats now, are we?”

             
“Look, I spent most of the evening dangling upside down in a closet while Mexican drug guys used me as a piñata. Now you want me to help go after the holy firestarter from hell. I think you can give me a few minutes with the only person I’ve ever known who comes close to being my friend. ”

             
“Aww, Charlie. How touching. I think you like this girl.”

             
“I do I guess. It’s not like I have actual feelings. But I know she cares about me, so I figure, to normal people that means something.”             

             
Lucifer sat there and laughed.

             
“Dude, you should work for me full time. You’d fit right in. Hell, you’d fit in better than some of my actual demons.”

             
“Yeah, thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass. Look, this will just take a couple minutes. It’s like 3 am. Go by her place and I’ll tell her I had a family emergency or something. I’ll tell her I need a couple weeks.”

             
“Okay, we can stop by I guess.”

             
“You will stay in the car.”

             
“What? But she likes me.”

             
“Exactly. That’s why you’re staying in the car.”

             
“Charlie…”

             
“You know, my little magic trick works quite well on celestial beings.”

             
“Okay, okay. No need to get violent. I’ll stay here.”

             
We were both silent the rest of the drive. Truth was, I wasn’t sure what I felt for Maria, if anything. I’d never had a friend before, let alone a girlfriend. So this was uncharted territory. I figured it was best to not make too much of it. Maria was a smart, beautiful girl with her whole life in front of her. I guess if I really did care for her, I’d vanish from her life for good. She didn’t need to be dragged into anything from my crazy world.

             
When we reached her house, Lucifer looked back at me.

             
“Here we are, boss. You sure you don’t need me with you? You know for moral support?”

             
“Thanks but I got this.”

             
“Alright man,” he said as he held up his hands. “I’ll be right here.”

             
I climbed out of the cab and walked to Maria’s front door. I couldn’t help think that battling God was less nerve-wracking.

Chapter 11

 

“El Paso? Why the hell are you going to El Paso?” Maria shouted. The discussion wasn’t going as well as I had hoped. I sure wasn’t in the mood for an argument. However, there was no simple way to tell her. I couldn’t exactly tell her that in the last twelve hours, I’d dissolved a police officer in a barrel of acid, been hung upside down and tortured by drug lords who I later killed with my bare hands, but only after turning them into weird zombie things.  Maria and I were close friends, but not that close.

“It’s only a few days. Remember my college friend, Dennis?  He’s in some trouble.”

“I thought you told me he
was
trouble.”

“Well that’s just it. He’s in big trouble. He may be in danger, so I have to help him.”

              “Can’t he go to the police? You’re a freakin’ preacher, what are you gonna do? Pray his problems away?” I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation. She was my boss and friend, yet here we were arguing like an old married couple. She was beginning to sound like a nagging wife, bitching out her husband for wanting to golf on Sunday afternoon instead of mowing the yard.

             
“It’s complicated Maria. Okay? You’ve always trusted me. I just need you to trust me on this one.”

             
“It’s just that since you’ve been working for me, you’ve never left or taken any time off at all. It’s like I need you there now. I’m used to you always being there.” She sat on the couch and crossed her arms.

             
“I know. That’s exactly my point. I’ve never asked for time off. I’ve never asked you for anything for that matter. I’m just asking you for this, so I can get some things straightened out.”

             
She sat there staring up at me from the corner of her big brown eyes. I couldn’t help but notice how good she looked. I had woken her up, so the only thing she had on was a Houston Texans football jersey, though it fit her like a dress. She wasn’t angry at me for waking her, at least. We had an odd relationship indeed.

             
“Okay, so, one week?” She said.

             
“Yes, that would be perfect. Thank you.”

             
“I hope so. If not, I’m gonna come out there and kick your gringo ass.”

             
“Fair enough. Have I ever let you down before?”

             
“No, you haven’t. Just be careful with, whatever it is. I should come along and watch your back. God knows you’ve probably never been in a fight.” I told her the bruises on my face were from me tripping over a curb near my apartment. If only she knew the depth of my fighting skills.

             
“I know. I’ll turn the other cheek.”

             
“You don’t have any cheeks left other than your ass.” We both laughed as she stood and hugged me before I went back to the cab.

             
“Took you long enough,” Lucifer said. “How was it?”

             
“Shut up. We are driving all the way there in a cab?”

             
“Nope, we’ll go get your Explorer, more leg room.”

             
“Wonderful. Can’t you just zap us there or something? Seems like most of you supernatural beings are rather helpless.”

             
“Charlie, when is it gonna sink in that you are probably more powerful than any of us?”

             
“How do you figure?”

             
“When any of us are in this realm, we are limited. Even Christ himself was, as you saw firsthand. We have some power, but it is limited by time and space. You, on the other hand, you have the best of both. You have powers unlike most in our own realm. Yet, you can live in this realm and not be affected. That’s why you won’t see the Father crossing over anytime soon.”

             
“What about the Ghost?”

             
“Now, He is another story. Since He can cross over and not have to be in physical form.  Well not totally, he needs a body or bodies to channel his power. I’ve watched him do it for centuries. That’s how the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles got their power. Like I said about the churches, they invite his presence, so there he can do whatever he wants. But if he wants to pull a Bishop, and do something on a bigger scale, he’ll need a conduit of sorts.”

             
“So how do I stop him? It’s not like I can turn him into one of those zombies.”             

             
“No you can’t. And I’m not sure myself. Once you see the number he did in El Paso, you’ll have a better idea what we’re up against. He’s not as subtle as Christ, not healings or deception. Just straight forward destruction; kind of like you I guess.”

             
“Great, thanks a bunch.”

Chapter 12

 

             
Maria stood at the kitchen window watching Charlie and Dennis drive away. She hadn’t wanted him to go. For some reason she had a bad feeling about this trip. No doubt it was from the weird vision she’d had at the funeral home. She still didn’t know what to make of that. Had she been asleep and dreaming at the time? It was that, or she was losing her mind. That thought she wouldn’t even entertain. It had never been like Charlie to take off to go anywhere, let alone to El Paso. Yet, there had been something different about him recently. She’d spent her whole life around dead people, yet recently she was starting to feel creeped out. Something was going on, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to know what it was.

             
She had never told Charlie about the vision. Last thing she wanted was for him to think she was crazy. At the same time, she had no idea why what Charlie thought was so important to her. She’d seen employees come and go for years and she never got attached to any of them. That’s why her dad left her to run the place. Her ability to separate business and personal issues made her the perfect choice. Yet, none of their other employees had ever been like Charlie. He was so quiet and even a little mysterious. While he’d tell her anything about himself if she asked, he never volunteered anything.

             
Then there was this dangerous, dark side to him. It wasn’t obvious to the casual observer he’d seem just as gentle and quiet as any other preacher. Yet, she sensed something beneath the surface. There were times when she could tell something was bothering him, and she could tell that deep down, he was quite strong, and dangerous. She had no doubt that despite his gentle demeanor, if faced with a confrontation; Charlie would kick some serious ass. It was just an aura he gave off.

             
She walked away from the window and into the living room. As she turned on the TV, she thought of how her mom had told her she needed to find a man. Mom wouldn’t approve of Charlie, for sure, since he was the help. Her mom would insist on her marrying another business owner or a politician. As she walked over to the couch, the doorbell rang just as she was about to sit.

             
“Who the hell is it now?” She said to no one. It probably wasn’t Charlie, unless he came back for some reason. She walked to the door and looked through the peephole, but there was nothing. Cracking the door open, stretching out the chain lock she looked around, but there was nothing outside.

             
“Hello?” she called into the darkness. “Is someone there? Is that you, Charlie?” She closed the door and locked the deadbolt. After waiting for a couple minutes, she walked back to the living room. After flipping through channels she found one of her favorite
telenovelas
on Telemundo. It was a rerun, and about halfway through the episode, she dozed off.

             
The pounding on the door startled her awake.

             
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Over and over.

             
“Who’s there?” she shouted, but the pounding continued. She went to the door and pounded back. “Who the hell is this? Charlie if that’s you I’m gonna kick your fucking ass!” Then the pounding stopped. She didn’t open the door this time. She stood there waiting for several minutes, but it remained quiet. She went into the kitchen and looked out the window, but there was still nothing. There weren’t even any cars parked on the street. Part of her felt like calling the cops, but it would take almost an hour for them to even get there only to tell her she was nuts.

             
She went back to the living room and turned off the TV before heading to the bedroom. Just as she climbed into bed, the pounding started again. This time it was louder than before, nothing but a steady, repetitive cadence.

             
Boom! Boom! Boom!

             
She went to the drawer in her night stand and pulled out the .22 colt her father had given her. This was Texas, where dads do give their daughters guns as presents. She stormed back to the front door, gun in hand.

             
“Who the fuck is this? I have a gun, you asshole! I’ll shoot your ass if you don’t get the hell out of here!” She screamed through the door, but the pounding never let up. It actually began getting louder. With each new thump, she could feel her heart pounding harder and harder. The thump thump thumping of her heart keeping pace with the pounding as if they were connected.

             
She undid the chain and swung the door wide open as she held the gun out in front of her.

             
“All right bitch!” She yelled into the darkness. She couldn’t believe there was still nothing outside. Not a single sign of anyone or anything. The pounding stopped when she opened the door at least. She looked around each side of the house, even walking a few feet out onto the sidewalk, but it was clear. Shaking her head, wondering what was wrong with her, she headed back inside.

             
After closing the door and re-engaging all the locks, she turned away and leaned against the door, taking a deep breath. Before she could exhale, the door blew off its hinges, flinging her across the room and into the wall. Dazed, she looked around to see what had happened. When she saw what was moving toward her, her eyes grew wide, but she was unable to scream. As it got closer things began getting blurry and then dark. She thought about Charlie and how he wouldn’t be back for days. For some reason, she knew he was the only one who could save her, and then the darkness took over.

BOOK: Revenge of the Three (Hand of God)
2.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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