TITLE: THE KYRATHIM
Shamed by her hypocrisy and wary of the Lord's wrath, Ava Spenta struggled to sing for Runda's South Community Church after a sermon she absolutely loathed--starting with the Reverend's chastisement of her friend. This was hardly an unfamiliar battle, singing with composure while her spirit writhed. She couldn't ever have anticipated that within the hour, she'd lose the privilege of keeping it a private one.
The Rev. Griggs stepped up to the podium and raised his arms, his purple robes flapping like wings.
"Let the church say amen."
"I said, let the church say AMEN."
The vibrations of their reply echoed from the rafters, and a few stray calls burst from edified souls as the Reverend projected his voice--thick with his black ancestors' heritage--over the endorsements.
"And Hallelujah. Thank you, Ava Spenta, for your always beautiful, always healing rendition of the Lord's hymn, Amazing Grace. You have even managed to bring our afflicted sister, Tori Adams, some peace."
Judas Iscariot probably felt less shame than Ava did then. She nodded and took her place with the rest of the choir sitting behind the podium. No matter what, she wouldn't change her attitude towards the Reverend's much too regular threats against the evils of associating with members of The Verita.
Trent was Verita, and the last thing Ava would do was turn her back on a friend...again.
She masked a cringe when shrill howls and thumping started up again from the room beside the chapel's platform.