I laid there a few minutes more, while Rex growled around and Reverend Tommy closed his eyes and mouthed words. It took only a few seconds for me to realize he was praying.

He looked at me, then, and scowled.

"If I must, I must," he said, more to himself than anything, and then walked around and quickly unsnapped all of the bands holding me down. "Get up, harlot," he said, and motioned towards a shelf. "Cover yourself."

"I didn't think men of God were supposed to be mean," I told him, and thought a little bit about covering myself up while walking across the room, but what was I supposed to cover up with? Plus, I was a little freaked out by now by the whole left hand thing.

"Men of the God of Living People Only," Reverend Tommy corrected me, still with a snap in his voice.

"And what's that all about?" I asked him.

He didn't answer and I began picking up the clothes he'd pointed to. I was skeptical. It was a blue sundress with a floral print on a white band around the waist. But it was all I had, and while everything I'd seen about Reverend Tommy, and everything Brigitte had said, told me that he was on the up-and-up, he really was a holy man and wouldn't be trying to take advantage of me, I didn't exactly want to walk around naked in front of him.

Plus, I wasn't sure yet how far I could cross him or whether I wanted to. If he'd managed to knock me out and I hadn't gone to Hell, I wanted to know more about that.

So I put the dress on.

He then led the way out of the basement -- it turns out we were in a basement -- by opening the door. We went up a narrow flight of stairs in the near-dark, first Reverend Tommy, then me, then Rex behind me. The stairs led out into a fantastic room, a large atrium-type area full of marble and glass and a spiral staircase and a chandelier and little recessed alcoves full of things that must have been valuable or something, because I couldn't see why they were here otherwise.

"Brigitte's family must be really rich," I muttered.

Reverend Tommy looked over his shoulder. "This isn't their house," he said.

I looked around, and back at the door, which had closed and blended into the wall so that I couldn't tell what it was -- or where it was.

"It's not?"


Reverend Tommy continued walking, and because I had nowhere else to go and wasn't sure what to do, I followed him.

"What is it?" I asked him. "Where are we?"

He didn't answer. Rex snarled a little, and I shot him a look over my shoulder. The look was supposed to say you're just a dog, shut up, but I don't know if I really conveyed that or not. I might have just looked annoyed. And a little scared, probably. Rex has big teeth.

Reverend Tommy walked through a couple of other doors in short hallways that had the looks of service corridors and then opened a door into another room. This one had wooden floors and white walls and paintings hanging on the wall. There were a couple of people in the room. They looked at us only briefly and then went back to considering the paintings in front of them. We walked through that room and I began to realize what we were in as we turned out and there was a long, narrower room filled with suits of armor and glass cases down the center. It was dim for such a big room, and there were even more people here than before. Reverend Tommy kept walking, and Rex kept me close to him.

We walked through that room and then through another atrium type room with staircases, and I was sure then that I was right. We were in some sort of art museum. Reverend Tommy remained a few steps ahead of me, and nobody really paid us any attention whatsoever as we walked past the lobby and out into the street and onto a set of broad steps that led onto a busy road surrounded by taller buildings. Electric busses and personal cars scooted around the city, and scores of people walked or biked or jogged or floated, and people were coming up and down the stairs brushing past all of us. A group of school kids jostled past me and Rex; Reverend Tommy was already off to the side, standing next to a large lion sculpture that had turned green with age.

I went over by him, and Rex stood between me and the public, watching everything. I looked back at the building we'd just come out of.


"Chicago?" I asked.

Reverend Tommy still did not answer me.

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