Dark Illumination

An entwined pair of stories that evolve murder, cults, and pseudo-science. Constructive criticism is always welcome. That's what the critique bowl is about.
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8.3

Filling the small Church of Grace was the busy silence of robed figures being escorted into police cars and officers talking to exasperated followers. Megan sat int the corner wrapped up in a wool blanket starring blankly at her robes which currently sat below where her feet dangled. Max’s blood was stuck to its very fibers. They had taken his body fifteen minutes prior. Megan would have gone with the body, but Lee wanted to see if he could get her coherent enough to explain what the hell was going on.

That wasn’t ever going to happen.

Lee sat down next to Megan and handed her a cup of cop coffee, which she took in both hands, not even glancing up at Lee’s concerned face. She was too focused on the blood. Max’s blood. Why?

“Ready to talk?”

Megan just shook her head “no,” staring through the cup.

“Well… I am. Its all kinda strange. This doesn’t surprise me in the least.” There was a certain sadness in his voice, like giving a eulogy at your great-grandparents funeral, and you didn’t really know them well enough to sat anything, but there was a deep, concerned emotion. “Always knew he’d go early, the way he acted. I tried to keep him out of trouble, but he… I dunno. Was just drawn to it.” Lee tried to smile at his next thought. “I always figured he’d go because he was tied to a rocket by an evil scientist and being shot at the moon or something. ‘You won’t escape me this time Ma-”

Megan cut him off as she dropped her cup between her knees and wrapping her arms around the bastion of worst comforter ever. Not that she’d tell him that, her face was buried into his shoulder.

Lee carefully put his cup down next to him and gently rubbed her back while looking out the door. Kind of weird. He was seeing things. Guess he was grieving more than he thought, if he thought he just saw- There it was again. “Max?”

Megan raised her head and punched Lee in the chest, still coughing up tears. “Don’t you even-”

“Oh hey! Lee! Leeeeeeeee!” Max was jumping up and down at the front of the mob that was growing the the dying storm outside, just behind two burly officers who saw the look on Lee’s face and let the strange boy pulling at the arm of a pale woman with deep red hair along behind him.

Lee… didn’t have anything to say. He was sure this was some serious grief. He guessed that he had taken for granted everything he’d ever-

“M- Max?” Megan turned around to see Max: all smiles and giving her a little wave with his free hand. Tears trailing behind her, Megan punched Max as hard as she could in the shoulder. “God dammit Max!”

“Ow, what was that-”

But the facade fell and Megan wrapped her arms roughly around him.

Thank God she’s seeing it too. Lee wanted to say something, like that he had actually missed the runts antics and a bunch of other stuff he would not have even thought to think not thirty minutes ago. However, the only thing to make it out was “What. The. Hell.”

Megan seemed a little more coherent as she stopped embracing and punched Max again in his other shoulder. “You don’t fuck with people like that!”

“I didn’t mean to!”

The pale woman, who was still holding Max’s hand quite tightly, cleared her throat in an effort to dispel and mood that might have been brewing.

“Uh. Right. Megan, Lee? This is Adeline. She’s helping.”

Megan raised an eyebrow. “…With what?”

Lee also raised an eyebrow, but his was more a failed attempt at being suave. “I could think of a few things.”

Adeline too raised an eyebrow. “What? No. Gross. Max, you didn’t tell me your friends were tactless.”

“Just Lee. Though I do suppose that’s like a third of my friends. Anyway, doesn’t matter.” Max turned back to the other two. “Where’d the prophet go? We don’t have much time left.”

“For what?”

“To shoot him.”

“Wait, what?” Lee seemed to be the only one who was not okay with what was just said. Megan had already thrown off the blanket to the floor over the bloodstained robe that she could forget about now. Lee wave his hands in front of him. “You can’t just-”

“You aren’t stopping me.” The glare in Adeline’s eyes gave Lee a terrible tremor down his spine.

Max smiled. “Its true, she’s got a laser gun.” Megan was about to say something, but Max interrupted. “No time to explain. Megan, you think he’d go back to the warehouse or something? Maybe ask the old man?”

“Uh, yeah.”

Turning to Lee, Max held out his hand. “Lee. Keys.”

“I can’t just- You don’t even know how to drive.”

“I do.” Megan in a deft maneuver walked by Lee and in the process managed to pilfer his keys from within his jacket pocket.

As Max ran by Lee, he shouted “Sorry Lee, not enough time left,” and knocked off his hat in an attempt to slow him down.

Max, Megan and Adeline ran out the back door with gleeful blood-lust on their faces.

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