Mikey paced frantically around his cell, his hands over his face in frustration.
Helpless, he watched as the creature on top of me began thrashing its great, skewered tail around and scratching its nails down my startled face. Its jaws were dripping what I only hoped was saliva into my own gaping maw and I could see the smaller, sharper set of teeth from within its black heart retracting, ready to strike. Norris stood crying. Laura lay on the floor, womb-like and screaming. And me?
I felt the anger, the hatred and fear rise up in me as I saw reflected in the obsidian skull of that monster the face of my father, the face of Colonel Steerman as his life was torn from him, the faces of Norris and Laura and even Mikey, held captive by the fear generated by these creatures. Worst of all, I saw my own face, ashen, streaked with pain as they told me that that terrible power, that terrible power that had been unleashed in that moment I saw Steerman die had killed my father.
I had killed my father.
And in that moment I unleashed the full expression of my rage. Mikey dived to the ground, arms over his head as the glass to his cell shattered inward, the shards shattering in decrements until they hit his quivering body as nothing more than sand. My eyes blazed as the veins along my entire body formed tracks, rose up and channeled my energies out through a scream that scraped the bottom of my soul and bent the world around me. The wave of energy focused itself on the monster and gripped it causing the creature to squeal and lunge its snapping jaws at me, its arms held tight by its side. It whipped its tail at me but it was too late.
He was beyond me now.
No fate. No God. No intervention could save it now and I stared deep into the eyeless visage and spoke my piece to God.
“You have no home here.”
Then I eviscerated him. I closed my eyes and pulled the monster apart. I let my mind reach out and tear it to pieces; atom from atom, molecule from molecule until nothing remained. A small, hazy cloud fell where it had hung in the air, singeing the ground beneath it as it landed.
Then I fell into darkness, my body crashing against the floor in a state of complete shutdown. I was certain that I had fallen into the lands of the dead.
And in my heart, I knew there was no God on the other side.
* * *