"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
There may come a time, dear reader, that you awaken to find the Earth is amiss. For even if your slumber took place within the warmth and the comfort of your bed, you may rise in a rusted, filthy pew. Yes, you will flutter your eyes to find a church… a church you have never been to before. Do not panic, remain calm. Do not try to leave the church, for you have been chosen. Keep composure. There is no way this could have been avoided.
If you look around yourself, you will find that the entire setting appears to be elderly in a sense… the bibles are torn and shaded. The stained glass, portraying scenes from both the New and Old Testaments, will be smashed and shattered in numerous areas. You will be able to see from the lacerations in the windows that the sky outside is grim; night has not yet bypassed, but the precise time is not yours to know. Don’t bother searching in your pockets, if you wore any to bed. Don’t scrutinize for a clock, or the semblance of some sort of time-telling gadget. You haven’t brought your cell phone with you, and there are no clocks in this church. You will simply be wasting the uncharted time you DO have.
You will remain alone in this arcane, seemingly ramshackle house of worship for some time. You can get up and move around if you please. Just don’t fiddle with the light switches. I don’t suggest you make your way to the altar. Oh… and for the love of the Holy One Himself… do NOT in any way shape or form attempt to exit. You don’t wanna know what’s out there. You are safe where you are. Just trust me on this one, okay? I know what I’m talking about.
After a decent sum of time has elapsed, the overhead lights in the church will begin to gradually flicker. It seems textbook enough, doesn’t it? Their motions will be subtle at first, but you will notice the alterations. Anyone would. Do not pay attention. Carry on whatever meticulous exploring you may have been conducting… surely, there are more trinkets and whatnots you have yet to see inside the church.
As you move on inside the cathedral, the flickering lights will become more and more irrefutable. They will become violent; rather than taking the quiet, yet noticeable form they priorly took on, they will now be blatant and indomitable. It will seem as if the dark is conquering in a battle against the light- and one strike at a time, they are attempting to subdue one another. Eventually, as you may have formerly predicted, the light will succumb to the darkness.
The church will fade to black.
When this happens, and you are distinctly positive that the darkness is here to stay, stop whatever it is you are doing and clamber to a pew. I do not care how far you are. It will obviously be dark. Watch where you are going, by all means, but scramble. I mean that. You should have around 30 seconds or so to make it back to any pew, though the pews at the front, near the altar are the far most suitable. Take a seat. Stay quiet. Mass is about to begin.
You will see him before he sees you. He will appear out of thin air, so it seems. But he will be consistent. To put it plainly, he is everywhere, and you are in one place. There is strength in numbers, is there not?
Initially, you will see him at the sheer front of the cathedral. Once you spot him, you will want to cry. You will want to go home, more than ever. You will want to die… but that is not the way. He is horrific, this I know. This you will know, as well as those who ventured before you. However, you do not want to compromise your fate with his existence. You will feel him around you. You will feel him rub your shoulders, whisper into your ear. You will be able to swear on the grave he is tracing your bare back with his teeth- but fear not. Given you fell into sleep clothed, your garments have not left your body. Given you were stripped upon your slumber, he is not touching your body. He is not next to you. Even if his form be near, his spirit is not.
Keep your eyes forward.
He will not resemble anything you can recall.
His appearance… it has been described as mystifying, but I encourage you not to naturally associate this with a positive connotation. From the moment he takes his place in front of the altar, the entire atmospheric scene is certain to change. His eyes...they are not jet black like those of his counterparts. Rather, they are emerald green and transparent. His form, however dark and meaningless, is that of a seven foot giant, protruding over metaphorical mankind. His speech… though not a component of physical aesthetic, seems to have been extracted from satan’s croak and stir. It will appear to your sense of hearing as the desperate wails of your loved ones; the painful stirs and hysterical cries of agony. You will hear what he is saying, you will be able to comprehend the meaning of the words. However, you will not want to. A large part of you will want to flee the mass, to scream for help. To run into whatever streets are spread out beyond the local compass and holler to your heart's content. You must not. You must be silent.
He will recite gospel verses to his liking- in such manners you may have never heard them before. Words, and premises will be altered. This however will not shock you. If you had half the mind to glance around you, you would notice the pews were seemingly empty. That you were the only soul in attendance at the mass. However, this is not so. You just...you cannot see them. Either way, heed this warning and resist the temptation to gaze around you. Keep your fixation forward.
The mass will be tedious. Do as he asks. When he commands you to stand, do so, and without hesitation. When he commands you to sit, do so, and without exasperation. And when he commands you to repeat him, do so, and to the damn best of your ability. You were likely taught to remain courteous in places of high worship. You wouldn't want to leave your manners at the door, now would you?
Soon enough, at a time which will seem overdue and put off, it will become the moment to begin the collection. If at any point you should be at your most intrepid, it should be in this very instance. He will make an announcement, to say the least. A sort of beckoning. Inviting all seated in the pews to donate for the good of the cathedral. Surely, this is a practice you are at least familiar with if you have not witnessed it on a firsthand account. A basket is passed around the perimeter of the onlookers, and one by one, dollar after dollar is tossed into the pile. Each dollar deposited with an intention of aiding, of sacrificing for the purpose of moral righteousness and the pursuit of ever growing homes for religious doctrine. His collection follows many of these accustomed traditions- however, he has certainly made it his own.
He will proclaim, as it is his word and yours to heed, that his collection is not that of finances. He has no use for them, as he is not of your standard dimension and is unaccustomed with currency and with greed. Rather, he would like a sort of...spiritual attachment. Okay, I'm going to put it simply, he wants something from you. His grandiose preference, of course, would be your soul. Not that he would expect you to be so...generous.
You can make your choice once the basket seemingly levitates toward your perspective of what it is you would like to give. Some who have come before you have given locks of hair, others, a loose eyelash. Others, something as mere and microscopic as the remnants of a torn hangnail, formerly dangling from a fold in the skin between the nail.
And some...have given him exactly what he wants.
Why? I don't know for sure. I'm just the messenger. I'm not in charge of things like this. You'd have to ask them, although at this point, they are not of this earth. Surely there's some way you could summon them to receive their attention, but that is a procedure for another time. However, I tell you this. It has been said that ultimately donating your soul is greatly appreciated- and the physical downfall it results in is painless and less than brash at best. Some believe this to be the “easy way out,” as popular opinion leads others to believe. Like I told you, there is nothing I can be certain of. But to think the submission of one’s soul can provide a death more pleasant- more favorable than what may have befallen the mortal otherwise…. It's wicked, isn't it?
So that's just something for you to consider. If you wish to join the path of those before you who HAVE given their souls, you will know how. But only on the spot. That's not the sort of thing that can be entailed, you see. It is not to be explained. Especially not here. Especially not by me.
If you should continue to attend mass, assuming you bypassed the collection of your soul… You should be advised the mass is almost reaching its close. Sounds pleasant enough, does it not? Do not succumb to false safety just yet. The time for your judgment has not yet arrived.
The organ will sound.
The glass around you will begin to crumble and shatter even farther than it was before. The world- or whatever sphere it may be- outside will roar. The ground will tremble with an intensifying might. Rising from a platform at the center of the wrecked, fateful alter… Will be a marble black table. Rested firmly atop the fine marble, a slender, immaculate looking glass of wine will stand proudly beside a glistening wafer composed of bread. It is time for you to receive what is a testament to his body and blood- for you are the grand player in his piece of which he dubs a new communion.
Keep your gaze forward until he invites you to the altar. Proceed with caution, but once more, DO NOT avert your eyes from his form. You do not even want to know what is going to happen if you do. Stride slowly and calmly to his spot on his platform. At this moment, fear will almost overcome you. You musn’t show it. For if he senses your fear, he will have already made his choice.
Once you reach a spot within four feet proximity to his overbearing form, you may look away temporarily. But not to the side. ESPECIALLY not behind you. You may only move your eyes, and they may only move to the area in which the table is planted. Move closer and closer to the table, until the tip of your skin could brush against it. Then, without changing your lower body or head’s position, drink all the wine and swallow the wafer. The deed is done.
Following your dedication, you must once again glue your attention toward him.
He will now be inches away from you.
One of two things is going to happen from this point on.
If you scream, he will not react favorably. If you demonstrate weakness or cowardice, he will NOT react favorably. Do not try to hide. Not mentally, not physically. He already knows. He knows everything about you.
Why else do you think he would've called you here?
Once he makes his decision, your fate will have been sealed. You cannot change his mind. He is purely immune to the power of persuasion- he is aware he is far more powerful than any form of psychology or common knowledge ever priorly recorded.
He is going to ask you questions. You will know the answers. These questions will be- all about you. Do not lie. For he has seen the patterns, he has seen the ways in which you have developed- past, present, and future. Every foul word. Every collision. Every bump along the way. And every upswing. He knows it all. He knows what you've done. He knows how you think. He knows...you.
Following his examination of you, he will graciously hand you an envelope. You must accept it. Do not try to rip it up, do not try to throw it out the window, do not dare try to run with it. I assure you...he WILL catch you.
Calmly make your way back to your seat on the pew. You may now look around. For you are safe from the minuscule forces which had previously infested the cathedral- the mass has ended, however undeclared.
He will watch you. Don't look at him if you can help it.
Just sit down, and take a deep breath. Calm down. Calm down. Just calm down.
Now once you are sure you have reached a comfortable level of tranquility, take a deep, cleansing breath, and open up the envelope.
Enclosed will be a simple, pale white sheet of paper, folded neatly into four even corners. Take your time. Unfold the paper.
Behold before you, the statement of your immediate fate.
If you see an “o” written on the paper, congratulations. You have won. He likes you. He has decided to spare you- he will never call you here again. You are not among the chosen. He has made a misjudgment. You are not what he is looking for- he will be more than happy to let you go. If this is the path he has laid, when you look up he will have vanished. Don't leave… As long as you remain inside, you are safe now. Spread out across the pew. Find a position you deem perfectly comfortable, and go to sleep. You will awaken in the morning in the same bed you faded to sleep on the night before. You will have no memory of these occurrences.
If you see an “x” written on the paper, You are doomed. I pity you. He wants you. If you cannot find the quickest possible way to kills yourself right then and there, please say a prayer. It won't do much, but it might buy you enough time to distract yourself from the view of him charging you. You will die in the most gruesome way imaginable- he will do things to you I cannot even explain through simple adjectives and verbs and nouns. Common syntax has not dared to explore his antics. To the material world, it will appear your death was that of natural causes.
In his world, you will be a slave. Doomed to sit in the pews and observe his mass for the remainder of eternity. A fate you could have avoided if you had provided during collection.
How would I know?
Well… That's a good question.
You could say I've spoken to a being or two.
You see, people put their trust into me.
I'm a good person.
I'm nothing like he is. I'm here to protect you.