Maintaining Order


Dead presidents’ hangout on white powder hills with expensive plastic names and the guns they’ve hired. Red rain, red hilltops and a giant head slams down on the coffee table pinned by a boot. A cloud of white lifts.

“Hope the holy can handle being high,” Isaiah says, pressing down harder on the priest’s head.

“What exactly is it you even need money for?” Finn asks.

“He can’t answer right now,” Isaiah says, “He’s got his head in the clouds,” and grabs the silver gun off the table. Inscriptions glow gold on the sides of the pistol and the arms of the Transistor. Geometric patterns and tiny engraved words and squiggles connect.

“Take it easy,” Finn cautions Isaiah as he puts the pistol to the priest’s head.

“No.” A splash of red cracks through the coffee table’s glass top and it shatters.

Presidents fall gracefully through clouds of joy and ecstasy as a head crashes down right through them into a pool of chunky red. The bang echoes and leaves the lingering ring of a bell.

“You can send them to The Gate, you know,” Finn says, watching Isaiah clean the tip of the pistol against his torn midnight blue designer suit.

“My finger slipped. I don’t exactly see you in a hurry to stop me either,” Isaiah says.

Finn heads to the mess of coke and blood and grabs a scripture engraved black chrome pistol from the ruins of the table and says, “You can send them to The Gate. Understand that. My job isn’t to stop one monster from killing the other.”

“Yeah, it’s to preserve the path to grace and protect the humans so they can access it or whatever. I know, I know. But I’m still human, which I can say for one of us, Mr. Apostle,” Isaiah says.

“Haha,” Finn chuckles, “If you truly believe you’re still human, you’re delusional.”

“Whatever, let’s get the hell out of here before more of these idiots show up and decide to level the town trying to kill us,” Isaiah say and brushes off his lost cause of a suit.

“Good call. Screw this place,” Finn responds. The shattered glass scrambles beneath their boots on the way to the large oak double doors.

They push through to the other side. Broken stained glass angels let the morning god rays light the pews that aren’t on fire, some of the dead priests that aren’t on fire, some of the dead priests that are. Feathers litter the blood drenched floors. The fires form a large circle around the center of the cathedral where the celestial, the fake angel, was sent to imprisonment.

“How many more like this are there left?” Isaiah asks as they walk out of the cathedral.

“Thousands,” Finn says, “And we’re still doing the easy small stuff.”

“Can’t wait to see what the harder stuff is.”