Anders yawned into the elbow of his jacket as he dropped his rear end onto the bench outside the pastor’s office. He wouldn’t have returned to church later on a Sunday, but the pastor had interrupted his solemn lunch with a call, expressing his condolences and an order to attend an emergency meeting.
The clock on the wall ticked at six o’ clock, and the pastor’s door remained closed and locked. Unlike last meeting, the office stayed dead silent inside, almost as if the pastor hadn’t even bothered to live up to his own promises. The youth room, however, was teeming with the light-hearted laughter and chatter of all sorts of feminine voices, and Anders got up off the bench and peered through the tiny window in the door.
A handful of the women from the front row of the sanctuary were gathered in a disorganized group with a smattering of other churchgoers. Some were huddled in the corners of the room with their hands clasped together, petitioning God for obscure lives away from some perceived chaos and injustices. The majority of the room’s population were gathered in a circle with Bibles in their laps and painted smiles widening on their faces.
The woman with hair of snow cascading down her back, which was the side of her that Anders could see from his position, closed her bible with a thump. “Please excuse me. I have to go to the bathroom.” She slid her bible onto the middle table, and Anders dashed back to the bench and pulled out his phone, pretending to be engrossed with it. She unlocked the door and peered out, adjusting her belt and rolling her eyes when catching sight of Anders and walking past him like he was just another one of the riffraff.
Anders peered up as she sauntered past him on her way to the only bathroom across the building. The sway of her hips as she turned the corner five meters away, accentuated by the skirt rolling down her legs in Niagra-like falls, jolted his heart into beating faster. That’s got to be Miranda. He stashed his phone, which was in the process of choking on the sheer mass of drunk pictures texted to him from his clubbing friends.
Inside the pastor’s office, a few glass ornaments fell to the ground, and Anders stood up. The thought to force the locked door open and find out for himself what exactly the pastor was dawdling on crossed his mind, but the sound of the choir warming up inside the sanctuary caught his attention instead.
Anders backed away in caution from the pastor’s office, hesitating for a moment before slipping into the unlocked sound booth. It wasn’t a booth, to be honest, more of a rectangular divot in the wall which housed the computers and the soundboard that changed the worship team’s squawking and plucking into somewhat tolerable music. None of that was running, however, and the only “running” that the worship team was in the process of doing was running late.
The only other person present in the sanctuary was the white-haired woman, who was kneeling with closed eyes in front of the vacant lectern and allowing seemingly gibberish words to pour out of her in a silvery voice like she was the entire choir herself. The first round of “Kyrie eleison” echoed in the empty room as Anders sat himself underneath the computer desk, hidden by the divider.
I see we’ve crossed paths again, Anders. A warm shiver passed down his spine, and Anders’ face blanched as he dropped his head into his hands.
“Bes?” Anders’ chest convulsed, and he immediately worried that his sharp intake of breath would warn Miranda to his presence. His voice cracked as he felt the familiar strains of hyperventilation beginning to storm on. “How… Why…?”
It’s always been so fun messing with you, Anders. Remember when you admitted to your manservant Giles that you wanted someone to break into following your will? The sensation of weightlessness spread across Anders’ arms. He lost all sense of motor control as Bes pulled his wrists up, forcing them to rise to brush against the keyboard rack on the computer desk. We aren’t so different, you and I. Both of us want to indirectly rule the world and personally conquer a fellow sentient being.
The breath left Anders’ body as his mouth dropped open, his constricting eyes glued to his arms still suspended shock straight above him. “Please, Bes… No… Anything but this.”
I’m afraid it’s too late, Anders. I’ve already possessed your body. The flick at the base of Anders’ head could have been real or imaginary, but it didn’t matter as it stung like a thousand fingernails digging into his flesh- and the world around him faded away from his consciousness.