The Evangelist

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Written for Flashy Fiction: Write a story using specific facts.

Amid the singing voices rising above the lights and the smoke, the Reverend could still hear her screams; he reveled in the memory. Just a week ago, this place was a ghost town; the kind of place where dirt, once inhaled, took up residence. A memo from an old acquaintance led his congregate here. His friend was right. It was perfect.

Once word spread of his coming, people traveled from every nook and cranny of the county and beyond. With them, they brought the last of their savings, valuables, and even treasured family heirlooms as offerings. They were ripe for the picking. Poor, hopeless, and isolated, he could prey on their fears, tap into their desperation. They wanted something to believe in; some sign that there was more to this life, and the one after.

Well, he knew something about life—and death. He was a true follower. His believers understood the sacrifices he made. Last night offered a rare opportunity. God had given him certain gifts; charisma, charm, and good-looks in abundance. He did not waste these. He saw her sacrifice as a gift. Once he realized that she was not enlightened, he had no other choice. When she finally gave in to the pain, her screams were his salvation. He felt her life-force join his. Now they would be connected forever; a bond stronger than any human could create. Certain sacrifices were necessary for him to continue his work.

On the other side of the curtain, their voices lifted; chanted his name. They already loved him. His chest swelled with pride. As he stepped onstage, he raised his hands above his head, and shouted, “Hallejulah, He has risen!”