EPISODE TEN: The Voice of God
The streets were a mess. Rosemarie had only been to Downtown Miami once, for a friend’s party on the beach several summers ago. The place had been bustling with excitement, impaired judgment, and bare flesh, and it’d taken them more than an hour to find parking. The chaos of that day had left her scarred, but it could not compare to scene before her now. People ran in large groups in every direction, sweeping her along the current and dumping her in front of an old church building.
The police had been of no help. They weren’t interested in her descriptions of the creature, and they didn’t seem to care that she’d essentially murdered someone.
“We’ve got more than enough to deal with, ma’am,” the gruff young officer had said over the phone. “Your best bet is trying to get out the city, although I seriously doubt it would help much.”
“What’s going on?” She had asked, breathless. The creature’s blood was still on her clothes, and its foul stench was causing her to gag. “What are these things?”
“Ma’am, I don’t know. But I need to get going, and you need to find somewhere safe.”
He had hung up on her, and she had found her way into the crowds swimming on the pavement. The church they had swept her to was the largest church she’d ever seen, but the sign with the church’s name was faded and torn. An older gentleman sat in the middle of the empty parking lot adjacent to the building, and she made her way over to him.
“Excuse me, sir.”
The man looked up from his torn and dirty clothing, and smiled sadly. “Yes, young lady?”
“I was wondering if you knew what was going on.”
“Of course I know what’s going on.” The old man motioned for her to lean in closer. She obliged, and he whispered: “It’s the end of the world.”
“But this isn’t how the world is supposed to end,” she protested. “What about the Bible? It doesn’t say anything about this.”
The man laughed, stroking his small white beard. “Who are you to say what God will use to get the attention of his children?” He suddenly let out a loud cough and covered his mouth.
Rosemarie stepped away from him. “Excuse me, sir, I have to get going.” His cough alarmed her. She didn’t want anything to do with sick people. Omar’s pale, crushed face was still vivid in her mind.
“You can get some shelter in the church,” he said, sensing her thoughts. “It’s still safe in there.”
She stood up. “Thank you.” Rosemarie turned to the church. She hadn’t been inside a church building in years. Soren had reignited her faith in God, but something had happened, and she wasn’t comfortable walking into a place with other Christians. She was sure that what she had done was written on her face, and with one glance, they’d see her for what she was.
And now you’re a murderer, too.
It didn’t matter that it was self defense, and that what she had killed was a creature, not a human. Her mind always knew what words to say to make her feel guilty, the silky, menacing voice bringing up incidents of her failures at just the right moment to make her feel regret.
There it was. The voice again. But there was something different about the voice this time. It wasn’t the same voice from the darkness. She couldn’t remember where she’d heard it, but it was a voice she trusted. She felt compelled to walk into that church. It was going to be safe.
As the doors to the church slid open and she stepped into the air conditioned space, she recognized the voice. She had heard it once before, but only once, and never again since, until right now.
It was the voice of God.