Anticipation roiled behind his eyes, and he would have run if his footfalls weren’t crunching loudly against the leaf-covered gravely surface of the road. The light at the top of the hill was growing in size. Whatever the source was, its increase in size marked an inexorable fate closing fast. He was prepared no matter what was revealed. After another hundred yards toward his target the sword began a very low vibration. The light was obviously a building with a rectangular opening like a garage or barn door. There was a shadow of movement across the front of the light. He crouched down instinctively, straining his eyes to notice any other shifts light. After a few moments of no change, he resumed his pace up the hillside, keeping his lowered posture. The reflection of a couple vehicles off to the side of the bright entrance were now visible. He pushed ahead as the ground started to level out. He could make out two figures at the opening of the structure moving about and voices began to reach him. The dirt driveway made a slight turn to the right letting the light spilling from the entrance illuminate a curve to the left leading to the entrance.
“Thank you Lord,” he whispered as he made his way around the hook in the road. Once he was facing the entrance, he settled into a crouch behind a tree, lowering the weapon to keep the any glint from the weapon from revealing him. Voices mingled with high-pitched music that carried no certain tune, spilling out of the building into the darkness. He began to study his forthcoming battlefield.
There was an old pickup and beat-up Jeep parked single-file to the right of the entrance. The area leading up to the entrance of the shop was white gravel leading to a concrete slab as wide as the entrance and ten yards deep connected to the entrance. The men inside were of opposite height and girth. The shorter being the wider, wore a ball cap. The thinner of the two wore long hair tied back. The fat man wore a black T-shirt and blue jeans, while the skinny one had on a white sleeveless top with black pants. From what he could tell at this distance, they seemed to be working over a large flat item suspended on four sawhorses. They were either sanding or drawing on it, then they would stop and speak to one another, followed by a measurement taken by the tall one. He decided that he did not know enough about the scene to make his assault yet, so he risked a closer inspection. Checking around and satisfied he could move with stealth, he slowly made his way to a tree several feet closer to the entrance. He repeated this action a few more times until he was within fifty feet of the entrance. Sweat trickled from his head and body. Every muscle was drawn tight. He his breathing was calm despite the setting before him.
The faces were contorted versions of human faces. Twisted mouths leaking thick strands of drool and large flat noses lead up to wild eyes under a protruding brow covered in dark hair from temple to temple. Their fingers were long and spindly with black claws. There were red pentagrams painted on the walls. Neither were wearing shoes and instead stood upon black hooves. He didn’t see any weapons near them, but he was sure that they could defend themselves. He listened closely to their speech. A demonic language with words of guttural grunts and snorts. Michael told him to announce his presence and intentions of execution. He set his teeth with determination and silently strolled out centering himself with the concentrate entrance.
The sword leaning over his right shoulder he called out, “Demons of Hell, God has sent me armed with a weapon of Heaven to cast you from this world into oblivion.” Both of the demons turned from their work to see him for the first time. The short one pointed at him, shook its head while grunting and growling at him.
“You cannot scare me with your threats. I will not leave until you are both crushed by the wrath of God.” He felt the warmth of Heavenly power surge through him. It felt as though he was glowing. His sword vibrated, “Now.” The enemy had moved to the entrance of the shop. They were pointing at him and turning to speak softly between themselves. “Prepare yourselves, demons.”
He began to walk toward them, and they both adopted aggressive stances. He whispered, “Praise God,” as he used the next two movements for longer strides, coming to a run by the third. The two targets looked to each other quickly before stepping forward to meet the him. He gripped the sword with both hands, and brought the weapon into a deadly arc from his shoulder aiming for the collarbone of the tall demon. He felt the weightless blade cut through the air, leaving a dark blur in its path . The tip whistled with speed for only an instant before the edge of the sword drove onto the body of the demon. A blast of white light exploded from the point of impact with a force that stopped his sprint and drove him to the concrete. The side of his skull fractured upon impact with the edge of the slab. “God grant me strength!” he thought. It was his last living action.
The two men looked down at their attacker. Blood was streaming from his left ear in a thin stream. The taller of the two checked his shoulder where the stranger’s switch had whipped him. He cautiously nudged the body with his work boot. “Holy shit, Dillon,” he said making sure there was no blood on his fingertips. “What the fuck you spose’ that lil’ fucker was up too, anyhow?
“I don’t have the slightest clue, man.”
“All that hollerin’ about God, he mustev’ been some crazed Bible thumper.” Dillon moved over to look at the dead face whose eyes now stared blankly down the edge of the concrete into the dark woods
“I don’t recognize him.” The heavy man said gazing down the driveway, back to the bloody-faced man on the ground, and gritted his teeth in anger. “Goddamnit, Will,” he looked to the taller of the two. “We are gonna have to go into town right fuckin’ now to get a cop out here. If we try to move him they’ll assume we hurt him and it’ll be fuckin’ huge mess, man.”
Will looked to the shop, and back to the dead stranger. “Yup, yer right.” He started to walk into the shop, “I’ll drive, my Jeep’ll git us there quicker.”
“Alright. Goddamit. You little fuckin’ twerp. What the fuck?” Dillon flipped off the body on his shop’s driveway.
The men climbed into the old Jeep and headed for the little town. At the police station, there was a hand written sign on the door that read, “Restroom—5 Min.” After much more than five minutes, an officer came to the door and looked at the two standing outside. He twisted the lock and motioned with his head for the two to enter. They walked in shortest first and waited for the officer to seat himself behind the counter.
“What can I do for you boys tonight?” The officer asked while picking up a white foam cup off the work surface below the visitors counter.
“Officer, we need to report a death on our property,” Dillon said. The officer stopped mid drink and cocked an eyebrow to the two.
“This dude appeared at the front of our shop and started telling us that God sent him to kill us. Then he charged us with a switch your mom would have had ya cut, hit Will with it,” Will leaned forward to show the officer the red mark that was still evident on top of his shoulder. “Then he fell over and died. Started bleeding out his ear. We didn’t know he was even out there until he was ready to fight.” Dillon’s voice had steadily risen through the telling of the story, and now, he stood wide-eyed waiting for the officer’s response.
The officer turned to Will.
“Yessir, boy was crazed ta’ all get out,” Will said.
The officer began to get some papers out from under the visitor counter, he said, “Alright, have you moved or touched the body?” Both men answered simultaneously, “No.” “Good, we’ll have you each fill out a statement, sign it, I’ll call in the county sheriff, and you fellas will lead him to the location. Clear?” Nods from each were answered with pre-printed affidavits. “I’ll need your full names and driver’s licenses right quick.” Once all cards and names were exchanged, the officer chimed in on his radio requesting county sheriff’s officers to respond to a death in a rural location in the county. The boys finished their statements and handed them to the officer. He offered each coffee, which they both accepted. The officer pried into the details of the location and situation taking a few notes. Eventually the front door to the station opened as a county officer entered. The story was retold and the county officer checked the mens’ hands and cloths for any signs of struggle. Satisfied that neither had beaten anyone bloody, he asked to be lead to the location. The two warned him that their shop’s drive wasn’t passable with his vehicle. He quickly called in a sheriff’s truck to meet them at the country store along the way. The officers noticed the old Lincoln taking up half of the dirt road and ran the plates, guessing the car belonged to the deceased. The men were questioned and business cards given. The body was bagged and taken down the hill in the bed of the truck to an awaiting coroner’s vehicle at the bottom of the drive. The old Lincoln was towed away a few hours later. The autopsy revealed an aneurism and hemorrhage from the skull fracture. His funeral was held at the church. The switch he used against Will was never used as evidence, eventually tossed outside where some other sticks had fallen.