The story so far:
Light was extinguished and conversations were hushed, as we all waited for the Angel of Mercy to speak.
"The preacher is gone, for now." The soft feminine voice said, with just a hint of weariness. I wondered if I was the only one who noticed that the voice sounded weaker then before, as if tired out. Clapping and exclamations arose from the crowd. Cries of 'Hallelujah' and 'Praise the Lord' came from many voices. Mine was not among them. The Angel of Mercy said he was gone for now, but who knew where he went and what diabolical things he was up to? Also, the Angel Of Mercy sounded weary, and that seemed very bad.
"How do we stop him?" I asked loudly, a hint of irritation in my voice. These people were rejoicing for no reason. The voices softened, before being silenced altogether, waiting for the Angel to speak.
"He must be killed." The soft feminine voice had become a cold, uncompromising one. Thoughts of getting a gun, holding it to the preachers head and pulling the trigger flashed through my head. The Angel seemed to read my thoughts. "But it will not be easy. He is no mere man. There is a power behind him that must be removed."
How did he get this power? I wondered to myself. The Angel again, seemed to read my thoughts.
"Despite what you may think, the man you call the preacher is no demon, though he is recieving power from one. The preacher performed an ancient ritual and has created an unholy shrine. It is from this shrine that his demonic power comes from."
"So the shrine must be destroyed?" I stated more then asked.
"Yes. The shrine must be destroyed before the man can be killed."
"And where is this shrine?" I asked, hoping, though doubting the Angel knew the answer. The Angel's silence confirmed my doubt. I thought it over. "Likely wherever the man lives..." I muttered.
"Yes." The Angel replied. "And it is likely he knows what I am saying to you, and will be hiding there, ready to protect it."
"So I've got to find where this man lives, destroy the shrine he's protecting with his demonic powers, and then kill the man himself." I whispered under my breath. I shook my head. It seemed, no, it was impossible.
"You are wrong, my friend." A strong male voice interrupted my thoughts. It was Jeremiah. I felt him grip my shoulder. "You forget you were told to come to us. We are here to help you Peter."
"But you cannot." I replied, sighing. "He is a man, and you are not allowed to hurt hi-" I stopped myself, as a plan began forming in my head. I turned to the Angel. "He wants me, doesn't he?"
"I do not know. Perhaps it is because you love Mary, and have some connection with her spirit." I nodded. It didn't really matter why the preacher wanted me, only that he did.
"I have a plan." I said hesitantly. "But first, we need to figure out where the man lives. Does anyone have any ideas?" I doubted anyone knew anything, but it didn't hurt to ask. Besides, it wasn't like I had any other leads.
"I know..." Came a squeaky, obviously frightened voice. I recognized it. A young boy by the name of David. He couldn't be more then 12 years old. How would he know? "There's....a place way out in the woods....Me and Sam found it...There's...like a church, and a small field with headstones and stuff...." The boy sniffed and I was glad there was no light, for I could tell by the quivering voice that the boy was nearly crying. "It felt...wrong there."
"Wrong?" I asked, not wanting the kid to go on, but knowing he had to.
"Peter!" An accusing female voice interrupted, quite likely the boy's mother. I could not recall her name.
"Wait! There's more!" Another boy's chimed in. It must've been Sam's. He sounded older by one or two years. "David and I went there again a few days ago."
"Samuel!" Another mother's scolding voice interrupted, but Sam went on.
"And the graves...they were dug up and stuff. And there were no bodies!" He said suddenly, obviously excited to help, though I could still detect the fear in his voice.
"Very well!" I said loudly, to get everyones attention. The boys were right. The man probably got off using an old house and graveyard for an unholy shrine. I felt for and finally grabbed Jeremiah's shoulder. "Do you know how to destroy an unholy shrine?" I gulped. My whole plan was riding on the fact that a bunch of Amish people would know how to deal with an unholy shrine.
"Bishop Eash?" Jeremiah asked confidently.
The man harrumphed. "I believe we have the ability and faith to cleanse such a shrine."
"Good." I replied quickly, scratching my chin. It was all coming together. I'm going to save you Mary. I won't be helpless like before. This time, I can do something.
"Everyone listen!" I called out, getting everyones attention. "We should all go to bed and get some sleep for now. Jeremiah, I want you and Bishop Eash and whoever else you need to cleanse the shrine to be ready to leave at dawn. Don't take more then two or three more men." I should've said whoever went was risking their life, but didn't have the heart to. Besides, if my plan worked, I would be the only one in actual danger.
"Yes, I understand but Peter, what is your plan?" Jeremiah asked the question that everyone wanted to know the answer to.
"We go to the Preacher's house. You stay hidden. The preacher wants me so I will distract him and lead him away from his shrine. That's when you will sneak in and cleanse the shrine. Once the shrines cleansed, I will kill the preacher." I finished and nobody spoke.
Jeremiah did not like it, the fact that I would be facing the preacher alone, but I would not listen to his arguments. Eventually, everyone left to their own houses to sleep. Dawn would be coming soon. Jeremiah offered me a bed and I accepted.
Then it was only me and the Angel left.
"A risky plan Peter. If the shrine is not cleansed in time and you are killed, all hope is lost. And before the shrine is cleansed, you will be subject to a human with powers far beyond yours."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence." I said sarcasticly, then grew serious. "What can you do?"
The Angel of Mercy sighed, which I took for a bad sign. "I can protect you to some degree, but do not depend on it. My time on this world is fleeting, and with it, my power. I am not meant to intervene too much, but I will do what I can."
"It is likely that even though the preacher will come after me, he will leave guardians for his shrine."
"The dug-up graves."
I nodded. "If you need to, protect the Amish in my stead. We need that shrine to be cleansed."
"I will do what I can. You must sleep."
I nodded and closed my eyes. I breathed in and out deeply. "Do you think this will work?"
There was no answer, and as I opened my eyes, I realized the Angel was gone. I spoke again, this time to myself.
"Will this work?"