“praise The Lord” (1)

Praise The Lord : A Killer’s Pact Chapter 3 (Fall of A Ghost)

29th March 2024 | 13 Views

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CONTINUE AFTER: Praise The Lord : A Killer’s Pact Chapter 2

3. The Fall of A Ghost

Moonlight carved its way through the tangled canopy, scattering skeletal patterns across the forest floor. Each leaf, a broken bone, each rustle, a hissed threat. Mark, his body a symphony of shattered aches, peeled off his gore-caked clothes, the pain a dull roar beneath the inferno of vengeance blazing in his chest. Michael’s clothes, eerily familiar, clung to him like a second skin, a chilling echo of their mirrored faces.

He plunged deeper, the silence shattered only by the frantic tattoo of his ragged breaths and the unseen eyes watching from the shadows. His senses, honed to a razor’s edge, twitched at every snap, every whisper of wind. Then, they materialized: four figures cloaked in black, the mocking dove insignia branding their chests like targets.

Fear flickered in their eyes, replaced by predatory grins as they recognized the borrowed face. “The ghost crawled back from his hole,” one sneered, his voice a distorted rasp. “Thought you learned your lesson, maggot.”

Mark didn’t waste words. He was a wounded animal, fueled by primal rage, and his roar tore through the stillness, a challenge and a promise. He was a whirlwind of fury, taking down two figures in a blur of bloody motion. Their surprised screams were choked by the hungry forest.

He weaved, he danced, his vision blurring at the edges, the metallic tang of blood heavy on his tongue. Each strike a desperate gasp for air, a defiance against the encroaching darkness. Two down, two remained. They fought as one, flanking him, their attacks relentless. His bones screamed in protest, threatening to shatter. He stumbled, fell, but refused to stay down. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

He fought until the world turned crimson, his arms leaden weights. A final blow connected, sending him crashing to the earth. He lay there, gasping, pain consuming him. But amidst the agony, a smile, twisted and grim, stretched across his bloodied lips. He had bought Michael time, a final act of defiance against the organization that had ripped his life away.

As the figures closed in, their faces twisted with sadistic pleasure, Mark closed his eyes. He saw Michael, his face a mask of the Ghost, walking away, carrying the torch of his vengeance. A single word escaped his lips, a whisper lost in the rustling leaves: “Father…”

The goons froze. “Father?” The word echoed in the silence, heavy with unexpected meaning. They hadn’t anticipated this final whisper, this glimpse into the ghost’s soul. Their sadistic grins faltered, replaced by a flicker of unease, a creeping cold slithering down their spines.

But for Mark, it was a final goodbye, a last echo of the man he’d lost, the reason he became the ghost in the first place.

The remaining two goons erupted in a cacophony of manic laughter, their bullets splitting the night sky in a grotesque celebration. They were drunk on the delusion of victory, their hubris blinding them to the truth. But fate, with its cruel amusement, had other plans. Even as their guns barked defiance at the moon, Mark’s body twitched, fueled by a primal instinct stronger than death itself.

Using the dense shadows cast by the moonlit trees, he became a phantom, gliding unseen. The goons, blinded by their own arrogance, remained blissfully unaware, their celebration ringing hollow in the silent forest. Mark, a specter bathed in moonlight, took aim from the shadows. The shot rang true, silencing one goon before his scream could even form.

Panic gnawed at the remaining goon’s mind. Realization dawned, chilling and absolute, as he saw the Ghost’s body missing from its place. His celebration became a death knell, his wild shots echoing into the emptiness, swallowed by the darkness. The forest itself seemed to conspire against him, the bullets vanishing without a sound, leaving only an unnerving silence.

Fear, a primal terror, clawed at his throat, twisting his grin into a grotesque mask. He spun around, fumbling over his dead comrades bodies, his gun trembling in his hands, searching desperately for the source of his terror. And then, from the shadows, emerged a figure bathed in moonlight, his clothes stained crimson, his eyes burning with an icy fury. The goon’s finger reflexively tightened on the trigger, but the gun clicked empty. He had wasted his last bullet, consumed by his own delusions.

Mark, a ghost reborn, stood before him, his voice a rasping whisper, “You took everything from me. Now, pay the price.”

The goon’s mind snapped. Reality warped into a terrifying hallucination. The darkness that had swallowed his bullets now seemed to twist around Mark, forming a monstrous maw with a chilling smile. His screams, a mix of terror and madness, echoed through the silent forest

as Mark struck him down, a swift and final blow. The goon crumpled to the ground, the taste of grass his last memory. With the last goon gone, Mark’s adrenaline rush too ebbed away. His tattered body couldn’t even stand still. Fumbling to take even a step forward, he fell to the ground facing the bright moon. He remembered his father’s figure telling him stories about the rabbit on the moon. Those memories brought a faint smile on his face. But in the next moment, his eyes welled up with tears. With a hoarse voice, watering eyes, he whispered, “I’m sorry, father. I couldn’t… I’m sorry…” as his barely audible voice trailed off, his consciousness too faded like smoke in the wind.

With that final word, silence descended. The crickets cried their melancholic song, the only witnesses to the fallen ghost. But there stood Michael, hidden amongst the trees. He witnessed the entire fight. He saw Mark’s desperate struggle, his last stand against overwhelming odds. He heard the chilling word “Father” escape his lips before the final silence descended. A cold anger, different from the fiery vengeance that fueled Mark, began to burn within him. It was an anger that steeled his resolve to destroy “The Church.” 

“I’ll pay the price, cop” said Michael as he turned around and walked away, leaving Mark’s body to be found by the organization. Mark’s death was just the beginning. The organization had underestimated the price of their cruelty, and the ghost they underestimated now carried a double burden. Michael, not just with a borrowed identity, but with the last mission of a fallen soldier, whispered on the wind – “Father.” His voice, a low growl laced with ice, spoke of a resolve to kill that would chill the blood of angels.

Phanindra Pocharaju

@Phanindra-Pocharaju

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