Chapter 21 - Angel

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Shrieks and hisses were drowned by the explosive bangs of sticks on scales. The lamia were fast and adamant but not enough to escape the fire. The team roared as they fought with everything they had. It was dark but they could see just fine – cold but they felt hot.

In the midst of the battle, Matt gazed up to the sky and clenched his jaw at the sight of the full moon. Half of it was already overshadowed. A lamia went for him and he smacked it away to smithereens. Alejandro landed away from him and rolled over. He forced the jaws of a lamia apart with his bamboo stick. It pressed harder against him, dripping saliva on him. Alejandro shouted and got Matt's attention. He shifted his eyes from the moon and hit the lamia.

"Are you alright?" Matt asked Alejandro as he helped him up.

"Yes I am but you seem out of it." Alejandro remarked, concerned.

Matt pointed to the moon. "We are running out of time." he stressed.

"We have taken out more than half of these things already!" Alejandro shouted over the explosion to their left.

"Yes, but we can't afford to waste any more time here!" Matt shouted back.

Vela, who was still in her lamia form, looked at the ashes of her fallen sisters in disbelief. Wrinkles formed on her forehead and her fangs stretched longer. She spread her claws apart and hissed demonically in fury. Her sharp eyes spotted Fernanda fighting off her sisters.

"You bitch, why can't you just die!?" she screamed as she charged at her.

Her fellow lamia saw her coming and gave way to her. Vela violently swept across the forest – knocking down a tree Adrianna was in. She drew closer to Fernanda's back and opened her jaw wide. She was just about to touch her when a bright light appeared out of nowhere. Vela raised her hands up and screamed so loud in pain.

Fernanda slowly turned and grinned at Vela. "Don't touch my anointed; saith the Lord."

The sight of the flames engulfing Vela petrified the surviving lamia that they immediately retreated back to the river. Vela screamed in anguish and the flames grew fierce. Her hand fell off and turned to ash before the other one met the same fate. Vela threw her head back and it fell off. Her remaining body burst into ash and was swept away by the wind.

The team dashed into the forest, each running as fast they could. The darkening moon in the sky constantly reminded them of how much little time was left. Matt was in the lead. His expression was of stress and frustration. The mansion became visible and his heart skipped at the sight of it. Ruth, his Ruth, was in there and for once she no longer felt so far away.

****

Ruth, in her wedding dress, sat still by the mirror. Her pale face depicted nothing but sadness. She didn't even have the strength to look at herself. She kept her gaze away from the mirror as much as she could. A maid sprayed her with a lavender scented perfume but Ruth was unfazed by it.

'You've got to, kiss an angel good morning'

'And let her know you think about her when you're gone'

'Kiss an angel good morning'

'And love her like the devil when you get back home'

Matt, here I am singing my favorite song and wondering if you are alive to think about me or are you perhaps gone forever? How ironic is it that the one who will love me like a devil is an actual devil? Except there won't be any love nor will there ever be a home for me.

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