When Peter and Savannah arrived, all were in attendance. Savannah felt it immediately: a presence of darkness. An enemy within grasp but out of sight. Peter sensed it too, and their gaze said it all.

Anticipating time was not their only issue, he addressed the group very directly. But first, many cries and accusations rang out from amongst them.

“What is left for us here?”

“Why did we believe you? Why did we follow? There is nothing for us here or anywhere.”

Another wailed between heavy sobs, whilst listening intently to the nest of demons lurking overhead. “The plan has failed! You cannot be The One! We are better off cold and dead, without air or without hope!”

Others went so far as to spit in Peter’s direction, among the yells and curses and tears. Savannah whispered to him, with a coy smile on her pale, pink lips, “They want your head. Tell them the good news and quick.”

Peter rose up, feet off the ground, with rays of purple electricity coursing through him and creating an aura surrounding him. His eyes glowed white and his breath spewed blue and red flecks of fire. “I did not lead you here to embrace defeat, so why hang your heads? Why do you throw stones and beg for death, when at hand are the keys to the exact freedom we came for?! Listen to me and never lose heart again, I command it.”

The wisest one of the group rebutted. “But what shall we do now? All of us are decaying bones. This is our new purgatory. We must embrace this.”

“No,” Peter said forcefully. “We are souls, lost but alive and yearning for home. Abandoned by our maker, we are at the threshold of what could be our only chance and my friends, we shall take it.”

The spirits of malice listened intently to what Peter was proposing. They waited in the quiet of the shade, keen on the instruction of the Abomination.

Peter drew a few breaths then gave them what they were wanting. “Possess. Let us inhabit those bodies that draw air. They are legion; many, many more than us. All shapes and sizes of humans, living and breathing. So take your pick.”

All souls in The Gathering, spirits of the night and The Abomination himself couldn’t, at first, process the words spoken. Amidst The Gathering, circles of five whispered amongst themselves. Heads began nodding, and some audible gasps could be heard. Defilement and his uneducated battalion of filth still were at a loss.

Then voices rang out, questioning. “But… but these bodies contain souls already!”

“No earthly shell can possess two souls!! Can they?!”

The Abomination began to cackle; deep and guttural, as though a massive, bloodthirsty hound growled as he eyed you for dinner. His minions followed suit and laughed heartily too, though clueless as to what was happening. He spoke in a gravelly voice to Defilement who was still beside him. “I knew we were in for something delicious. But this is better than what I could even imagine. I like this Peter.” They laughed and continued to watch the scene at hand.

More inquisitions came hard and fast at Peter. “If we can inhabit, what then? What if we get swallowed up and lose ourselves?”

“This will not work, just like any other plan you cook up! You can’t honestly think this will work?”

Savannah rose to the occasion, first in speech and then in action. “Listen, you fools. We are in this together!” Her voice exuded passion in its rawest form. “Are we not a tribe? Are we not one? That means you are as strong as I. And I, as you. So show me that strength! Carry hope as the blessing that it is!”

As Peter began to speak, Savannah propelled herself towards the great, old trees just behind them. She ascended slowly, up past the thick branches, surveying and listening with every ounce of her soul. Her eyes pierced the daylight, peering into another dimension but her vision found nothing.

Moving from level to level, her very face was inches from the demonic guise that hunted her. At their masters command, they remained still and without the faintest of breath, for they knew she sensed them and it was only a matter of time.

“I need your hope and your faith to the degree that this is our last chance, our truly only hope in this time. We will inhabit a living, breathing body which yes, dwells a living soul. Upon entry, I and you, must do what it takes to take ownership, to cancel out the possessing spirit. Then our bodies will be new and we live yet again.” Peter wavered at those last few words, for the outcome he himself did not know.

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