Most held cell phones, recording footage. The man’s face was gnarled and he started spitting and making drawn out gurgling noises. His feet curled inward, bones on the verge of snapping. His wrists did the same; almost in a state of full-on paralysis.

Peter overtook the inhabiting soul. Their rumbling cries rose to a pitch higher than bearable as Peter used all his power to push the soul against the interior shell wall, until there was no more fight left in the originating spirit. In the twinkling of an eye, the tortured, displaced soul evacuated the body which he had been inhabiting for the past twenty seven years. He was instantly absorbed into hell, though well before his time. Swallowed up into fiery darkness at the hand of Peter, the lost soul desperate to exist anywhere but purgatory.

The man immediately stopped moving. He laid flat on his back, taking deep breaths, tears streaming down his flushed cheeks.

“Are you okay, sir?” Two men stood over him and reached for his hands, swelling and bruised. They helped the man to his feet then wrapped the man’s arms over their shoulders as they walked him to the bench and sat him down.

Amidst other queries from many of the onlookers, the man presented himself as though paralyzed. His focus was straight ahead, into space. Not a limb moved. The only sight of life was his chest rising and falling.

With the blaring siren of an ambulance not far away, The Gathering individually began entering the bodies of everyone at the scene. The remainder of the group fled down the street, or into a car and took possession. Savannah picked out a cute young blonde woman and seeped inside her core.

A hundred interior soul battles commenced. The Gathering brought unparalleled terror to each unsuspecting spirit. The magnitude of another person coming into your home, safe and secure, already possessed by you and trying to kill you and take your home is a nightmare most will never know. But to have an uninvited spirit infest your body and attempt to subdue your very soul by any means necessary, with the conclusion horrific… this was a new depth in extreme trepidation.

Like the man, at first, upon insertion, the bodies sense nothing. Inside were nothing short of homicidal mania. The original spirits shrieked and clawed at the visitor with every fiber. The invading spirits, unsure of what to do, first were more beat up than when Peter entered his being. The terror of seeing another soul in a state of horror and shock sent them into a tailspin. But when attacked, the dance began.

Ripping, clawing, punching, kicking, gouging, choking, mutilating, scarring. Many souls of origin were banished from their bodies, all plunged into the utter blackness and pain of the abyss eternal. And unplanned, many souls remained in their shells, somehow fighting to coexist with souls of The Gathering. Like ghosts with two heads, only mythical and out of stories of old, but now taking realization.

A subduing of impossible means. Two souls, violent and amuck, controlling one body. No longer spirits of desolation, but separately partnering among the lifeblood of humanity.

It was like test driving a tank, without license, training or the slightest know-how. The once lost souls could not operate these bodies properly though they tried every gear imaginable. That sense of stalling; that sense of smelling a hot burning of oil or metal grinding where it shouldn’t be. The feeling of utter failure yet no other option presents itself but to carry on. Was this any better than the cold abandonment of their exile? Is this how life will move forward?

They weren’t attached or connected to this current body they inhabit. The stark clash between themselves and the host’s brain was completely severed. The soul that each mind was aligned with was now at the mercy of each new soul: a lost soul operating out of fear and desperation of a final destination.

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