Lending A Hand

The revenants were swarming about the room. Everything was a blur of motion, the crazy kind of action that can only be imagined, since you'll never see it from my perspective-- lying on a table with an old guy bleeding on my naked chest while an overhead lamp swung back and forth.

I heard Rex barking, and Reverend Tommy preaching to the Revenants:

"Get back, foul spawn! Get back from me or you will feel the wrath of the Lord of The Living People Only!"

The revenants snarled and moaned in that way they had; their voices sounded to me always like the echoes you hear through a sewer system. The old guy moved on my chest. He turned his head and looked at me.

"Rachel," he gurgled.

Reverend Tommy's voice got louder as Rex barked more: "Lord, I call upon thee, as a Living Person and one worthy of Your Attention and Love and Devotion, STRIKE DOWN these unholy hellspawn, drive them from this house."

Nothing happened. Rex leaped across the table, clearing table and me and old guy in a single leap and dove into one of the revenants that had gotten closer. A gunshot boomed around the room.

"Guns do nothing to them," yelled Reverend Tommy, and I saw he was right because the cop was pushed back onto the table next to me, his shoulder smacking into my face, a revenant on top of him. The revenant was wearing a trucker cap over a do-rag. He had one of those little goatees that's only on the chin. He was roaring, but distantly, and echoey. They don't have much air in those old burntout decrepit lungs. I tried to edge over to my left to get away from them.

"Rachel" the old man gurgled again and I looked at him and kept trying to look at him while watching the cop struggle next to me and try to avoid having his face eaten, which it looked like the revenant was trying to do while it also was trying to head-butt him. They're not very smart, revenants.

"What?" I asked the old man, as he gurgled again.

He couldn't or didn't talk, though, but his right hand flopped around. He tried to lift his head up but couldn't, very much. His arm flopped onto my face, busting into my nose and causing shooting pains all through my face. I felt it start to bleed and yelped. The revenant looked up at me, stopping his attack on the cop, as though it had just noticed me.

The cop took that moment to push back, but the revenant refocused and poked a finger into his eye. He yelled. The old man's arm flopped more, and his hand fell on my left breast. I yelled again. I couldn't believe he was trying to feel me up while all this was going on.

"Hand," he gurgled. My nose was killing me and I could feel blood running down both my cheeks. Rex was growling somewhere and I heard wood breaking. Reverend Tommy had continued his preaching.

"Foul soul-less things! I smite thee, as the Living People shall always Smite the Terrors of Hell!"

If I wasn't in pain and being molested, his rants would have really bothered me. The cop was getting pushed into me more and more. His head was mashing my ear and he was laying half on my right shoulder. The old man was still gurgling but his hand moved off my chest and over to my left hand. He fumbled at the straps.

"Begone! Get thee away!" Reverend Tommy yelled. Rex snarled somewhere and I heard a revenant yell louder.

The strap on my left wrist was pulled open as the revenant trying to kill the cop picked him up and was going to smack him down on me. The old man gurgled something again and held up my left hand as much as he could and said something.

The room fell silent.
My hand was clenched into a fist. I saw the old man's face, through the tears my nose was causing.

"Up. Hand. Up," he rasped.

I lifted my left hand up in a fist.

I couldn't see what was happening. The old man nodded and pushed back. He slid off of me. I looked to my right, where the cop and revenant had been wrestling. The revenant was just standing there, slack-jawed.

The cop took advantage of that to pull his gun out again and shoot the revenant point-blank in the face. Its head exploded all over.

I couldn't see anything else, but I heard Reverend Tommy praying and heard Rex snarling and the sound of flesh tearing.

I kept my left hand up in the air, in a fist.

"Put that down, unholy Lesbian!" Yelled Reverend Tommy. "Do not try to corrupt us!"

Rex barked.

"It's doing something," the cop said.

"Those who use the tools of evil become evil themselves," Reverend Tommy said.

Rex snarled again and I saw him flash over, leaping at me, grabbing my hand in his mouth and pulling it down. It hurt; his teeth were digging into me.

I heard the revenants begin howling again as Rex pulled my hand in his mouth down below the edge of the table, wrenching my shoulder as my arm twisted in ways it should not have. I was still strapped down by three appendages. With a weird keening, a revenant jumped up on the table and stood over me. He loomed up over me as Rex continued biting into my left hand. He leaned down and looked right into my eyes, blurry in my vision because my eyes were still watering.

I heard a thunk and he fell off the table, to the left, and my hand pulled free of Rex. I whipped it up and held it straight up, trying to make a fist and watching the blood course down out of the holes Rex's teeth had lost.
Everything fell silent again. I heard Rex growl and one small whimper from the revenant.
Reverend Tommy suddenly appeared in my vision and forced the hand down. "They're all dead now, again," he said, "And I don't need your help. Put the hand down or I'll cut it off right now."

I put it down.

He disappeared from my vision again, as he bent down. I heard him ask the old man if he was all right. There was some mumbling. He said "Don't worry, we'll find Brigitte."

There was a pause. The old man must have been talking. I was surprised to think that I hadn't realized before that he was Brigitte's father.

When the pause ended, Reverend Tommy said, "Yes, I'll tell her."

He stood up and looked in my eyes.

"He has something he wants me to tell you," Reverend Tommy said to me.

I waited.

"Something about his daughter, Brigitte," Reverend Tommy said.

I looked at him.

"He says to stop corrupting her or he'll find a way to leave Heaven, track you down in Hell, and destroy your soul for once and for all."

I probably should have been nicer, considering, but I was bleeding from a broken nose and was strapped to a table and my left hand could control revenants or something and was also bleeding and the mention of Brigitte had upset me because we hadn't settled things about Ivanka when I'd been shot down...

... and I realized just that moment, just before I spoke, that I'd been unconscious when I was shot down and hadn't gone to Hell...

... so with all that going on, I couldn't really restrain myself and I spoke loudly enough to make sure he heard:

"Yeah, well, she's pregnant and it's my kid, too!"

I heard a gurgle, so I knew he heard me. Then I felt bad because it was probably the last thing he ever heard.

Reverend Tommy looked outraged. He held up his hands.

"Oh, Lord of the Living People," he intoned. I watched him, wondering what he was trying to do. "It it be Thy Will, Lord," Reverend Tommy went on, "Allow me to destroy this Abomination this moment."

His hands began to glow and crackle like they were giving off electricity. He held them together, like praying, up over his head.

"Shall I smite her, Lord?" Reverend Tommy said, eyes closed, head back, hands arched over his head surrounded by a yellow nimbus.

I tried to wrench my right arm free. I couldn't. I remembered my left was free and tried to reach up to where my right hand was, to pull that strap off, but I couldn't quite reach. I yanked at my feet, feeling straps cut into my ankles. Nothing worked. Eyes blurring up again with pain, I looked back at Reverend Tommy as his hands glowed more and more.

Then the glow dimmed. He looked down at me, not smiling.

He said, then: "I am not to destroy you."

All the air whooshed out of me in a relieved sigh.

"Yet," he said. "I am not to destroy you yet."


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