The day of the lunar eclipse dawns. Pablo jumps out of bed as he felt a presence outside the village’s borders. He knows who he is, their paths have crossed before. The energy of this presence stirs his senses. She rushes out of Martha’s inn and runs to the cemetery to meet him. As he gets closer, he feels ready to vomit. The loathing of the person he would meet was evident on Pablo’s face. He knows that the Presence comes down on Earth to remind him of the Agreement and brag about the greatness of his own Master, of Him. He reaches the entrance of the cemetery and searches with half-closed eyes for the intruder.
At the edge of the cemetery, over the 8-year-old boy’s grave, a brown-haired man wearing a gray coat and hat of the same color stands and looks on. Pablo approaches him, and as soon as he is 10 meters away from the Presence he stops. He is allowed up to that point. Archangel’s light is strong, and his protection against sorcerers, like Pablo, is stronger.
“Michael, what a pleasure…”.
“Pablo…” he answers and points to the grave of the poor child.
“What do you want here?” Pablo asks, feeling disgusted.
“Something is missing from my friend down here. If my intuition is correct is a thigh bone.”
“You know our methods; you know what I needed; you know that I needed it.”
Michael is silent for a while, as he looks with his green eyes inquiringly at Pablo. With a serious tone in his voice and eyes nailed on Pablo’s eyes, Michael prays over the tomb. The air stops for seconds, and time bows to His grace. Pablo goes a couple of meters away to vomit. Michael finishes the Liturgy and looks at Pablo wiping his mouth with his sleeve and looking up to meet Michael’s.
“You did that on purpose,” says Pablo.
“You can’t stand the holy moment of His Divine Grace… and yes, I did it partly on purpose” Michael answers him back.
“What do you want here?” Pablo asks again.
“To remind you of my role in the Great Plan. Don’t forget that I will receive the souls of the innocent miners who have been tortured in hell for decades now, as well as this child;s soul.”
“Your Boss is supposed to be merciful. Why He wants to exchange the souls of such criminals for those of the miners and Isabella’s child?’
“The Balance must be maintained, and the innocents must be saved.”
“You’re not answering my question,” Pablo says. Michael nods.
“You couldn’t understand it. You are a sorcerer, an apparition. You don’t know about the plans of the Big Ones. Now open the Gate and let the souls come to me to lead them carefully to His Divine Path” Michael replies raising his hands to the sky.
“No trust on your part,” says Pablo with a grin.
“You have a good track record, that’s why.”
Pablo opens a gate inside the graveyard area with a wave of his hand, and dozens of bright, tormented souls emerge from it. Michael holds out his hand and one by one they ascend towards the bright sun to the East. Pablo goes to signal for the gate to close, but Michael stops him.
“You forgot someone,” Michael tells him, pointing to the grave.
Pablo also invokes the soul of the little child who appears through the fires of the gate. He looks bewildered at the two men and approaches Michael who has extended his hand. His body is full of lacerations from blades and bruises. His eyes are red from crying; he looks toward his grave and recognizes his name.
“Let’s go, Daniel,” Michael tells him and the little boy extends his hand. Like lights, they both shine as they disappear into the sky.
The council convenes in the late afternoon. Everyone is upset. The 8 men disappeared. Most people say that they should think according to logic; that perhaps they got lost on the mountain and that they certainly will come back; soon; some day. Some others fear the worst. The eclipse of the moon begins and they do not have the strong men of the village to protect them. They fear for themselves and their families. The Mayor tries to calm them down; the Priest is pale and prays to God with a trembling voice. The Doctor laughs and gets up to leave; “I cannot stand this bad comedy anymore”, he said.
“Go to your homes, hug your children and your grandchildren and pray for our salvation from evil”, the Priest advises everyone.
~~~~~Silence spreads over the village like a veil of moisture. Pablo goes out to Martha’s yard. He looks at the moon, it will be a total eclipse. He places the 4 candles on the ground and invokes the Beast one last time. He appears and commands him to take his normal shape in front of him. Pablo nods and he changes his appearance. Large thorns appear on his body and his eyes turn black. Scars from past tortures appear on his back and his claws grow longer, like knives that slaughter anything in their way. He breathes heavily and roars knowing that the residents will run for cover; some idiots will try to fight him back. He leaves the inn behind and walks towards the village, while the Beast laughs contentedly.