Sunday, August 9, 2009

Daily Story 116: A Theological Debate

The world seemed to bend and sway as reality was torn asunder - the nave of St. Dionysius the Areopagite's Cathedral appeared to twist inwards on itself before snapping back into place as if nothing had happened. For a moment all was still and an observer might have been able to convince himself that he had imagined it, but slowly the cold stone of the walls and the dark polished wood of the pews that had been lit only by sunlight streaming through the colossal stained glass windows began to darken. Soon the entire room was bathed in an unholy black light that pulled together as it grew darker, a shadow that folded in on itself until a form coalesced out of the inky fog. The being materialized in front of the altar, at the very spot where Father Roberts would have been giving his sermon any other Sunday - it stood and stretched, taller than any human, tattered wings glowing red in the light as his hideous mouth opened in a mocking sneer.
"Has no one stayed to welcome me?" The voice grated and slurred through the words, the sound of it enough to send most mortals mad.

"Only I." The small, quiet sound came from the entryway of the hall where an odd figure was walking into the room. She hobbled slightly as she moved, a trait that - combined with her traditional black habit - was certain to have brought on many penguin jokes over the years. In addition to this she had pulled a hand-knit shawl around her shoulders, which she adjusted as she made her way towards the demon. He watched with a bemused expression, unconcerned.
"I see! You have chosen to be the first to die at my hands - Or do you desire to convert over to my cause?" The nun smiled, wrinkles piling on top of one another at the corners of her eyes.
"I would rather rot slowly while alive, and be tortured over the course of hundreds of years than convert to a worthless piece of wasted meat like yourself." She said it calmly, as if she were merely mentioning the color of the sky.
The demon grinned even more widely. "So you have come to stop me? What makes you think you could prevent me from doing whatever I want? Your friends could not keep me imprisoned even on your own ground - it took a hundred of you to chain me for even three hundred years; what could you possibly believe you possess that could defeat me?"
"Superior firepower," the nun said simply, and she flung her shawl back with her free hand.

The demon's eyes narrowed in confusion as the nun lifted a strange flattened metal stick she had been concealing beneath her shawl. The highly polished device glistened as she lined up the sighting laser between the demon's eyes, the red dot appearing white on its skin. For the briefest of instants he tried to open his mouth to form the words "what is..." but he barely had a chance to take a breath before the nun squeezed the trigger down. Time seemed to slow in the instant where the flow of energy tore across the room like a sideways bolt of blue lightning, connecting with the demon's head perfectly. His misshapen skull shattered outwards like a tomato in a microwave, entire sections flashing into vapor as they fell across the beam. Before the nun could release the trigger the energy had already caused the stained glass behind the altar to flare and explode - bits of colored glass spun gracefully through the air alongside chunks of ichor and brains. They hung in midair for what seemed like forever, slowly raining to the floor in a strange symphony. The headless body of the demon remained vertical for a while longer, wings twitching like the discarded tail of a fence lizard, but eventually it tipped forward and crashed to the ground next to its somehow undamaged eye. Smoke rose from the neck, mingling with the fine mist of blood that was slowly settling around the hall. Sunlight shone through the window frame and played over the mess as bits of grey matter slid clumsily down the walls to land on green or blue fragments of window. Nodding at a job well done, the nun placed the particle beam cannon down on a pew and went to look for a mop.