"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, it has been two days since my last confession

Angels of Rapture

"Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left." (Lk. 17:33-35)

It is the year 53 M.A.[1], over half a century since the Armageddon, the initial battle between good and evil. Those surviving who have yet to be judged are subject to live in a world where demons walk the earth. They are tested and tortured for their faith. Many have given up hope, those who have not are persecuted. Churches are burned and sacked, the clergy is hunted and executed. As once in the beginning, those of faith must go underground.

Outside the realms of the living and the dead, He exists. Watching over those who He created in a world ravaged by wars and plagues. Four were sent; angels who walk the earth to combat the evil plight of the human race. They are there to protect those ordained by good and to guide those who must decide which path they will take.

It is the Rapture and in a world of demons and evils, sorrow and sin, their hope is the only light that will shine through the darkness.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, it has been two days since my last confession."

"Confess your sins to the Lord for He is ever-forgiving," the priest said.

"Father. I've taken a life."

"Pater noster, qui est in caelo…" the penitent voice whispered over her clasped hands.

After the fifteenth time, she looked up, feeling a hand on her shoulder.

"I see you are here again, Ari," the kindly priest said.

"Yes Father," she said, twirling the rosary around her fingers.

"Someone of your age should be out with her friends or at school."

"I think I'm a little too old for school, Father," she said.

"I suppose," he said, chuckling, "But a beautiful young girl like yourself shouldn't be spending all her time in a church, it is a dangerous place to be. You should be out living your life."

"I have lived my life," she said softly.

"You seem troubled," he said worriedly.

The girl stood up and smiled at the priest, "More than you can ever know."

The priest was about to respond when he gasped.

"Your hand!" he exclaimed.

Ari looked down and saw a thick red liquid dripping through her fingers.

She was about to respond but was interrupted by the clatter of a religious relic falling from an altar. Father Lopez ran to hurriedly pick it up and check for damage.

"St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes," he said, retrieving the small statue, "Perhaps-"

He stopped short when he turned around and saw no one.

"I believe that it says in Leviticus-"

"Can we not start this again?" an irritated voice asked, bringing his sunglasses down.

"Wait, wait, let me finish," a tall exuberant young boy said, "I've got it this time. Leviticus 2: 4!"

"No," the other boy said coolly.

"No?"

"No."

"Why?!"

"'When you bring a cereal offering…" the annoyed boy started.

"Oh."

The other simply nodded while smiling.

"Speaking of cereal, is anyone else hungry?"

"No!" the other two asked.

Their attention was diverted to Ari, who appeared in front of them.

"Trouble?" one asked, taking off his sunglasses.

She nodded and held out her hand, "My rosary was bleeding."

"They're never subtle, are they?" the tall one asked smiling.

"Imma," she said to him, "Where?"

He shrugged, smiling. He looked around, taking in the scenery, trying to feel something.

"I don't think it's happened yet," Imma said.

"Well let's catch it before it does," the one with the sunglasses said.

Suddenly Imma was struck with a black emptiness that seemed to physically grabbed at him, closing his chest. He gasped for air as everything around him went black before coming to light again.

"Are you okay?" Ari asked, holding him up.

He nodded, "It's near." He pointed shakily east towards the park, the trees shielding the hospital behind it.

"I need 2 cc's of Halcion!" the doctor demanded.

The able nurses, who weren't trying to hold down the seizure-ridden body, rushed to get the necessary sedatives. The doctor wiped the blood mixed with saliva from his hands as he firmed his grasp on the syringe.

"Me noli tangere!" the five year old boy screamed, "Cum ipse malo pleneo!"[2]

"What? What is he saying?!" the doctor shouted.

The boy flopped around violently, breaking hold of the nurses holding him down. The doctor tried to hold his concentration despite the fact that the boy was screaming obscenities and gibberish while bloody foam spewed from his red lips. He shakily managed to pierce the boy's arm with the needle, filling his veins with the calming sedative. After a few minutes, the boy's seizures ceased and he calmed down. The doctor breathed a sigh of relief as the boy's eyes drooped slowly, closing into the quiet recesses of sleep.

"Is everyone okay?" the doctor asked looking around his harried staff, "Someone get his vitals."

"Cogitasne vere necari possum?"[3] the boy asked slowly, his eyes still closed,

"Stupid fool."

He slowly opened his eyes revealing the black orbs underneath, capturing all who witnessed in fright.

"Vos videbo morens!"[4] he lifted his hand effortlessly sending the entire staff of doctors and nurses flying back, slamming into walls, carts and any other solid object that broke their path of motion.

The boy smiled sadistically as he levitated in the bed, the IVs and tubings breaking off and falling languidly to the empty bed.

"Going somewhere?" Ari asked, standing on the other side of the bed.

The boy turned his head, his dull black eyes seeing more than a human's would.

"Who are you?" the deep raspy voice from the boy asked.

[1] Gk. meta apokalypsis, means "after the Apocalypse"

[2] "Touch me not!" "For I am filled with evil himself!"

[3] "Do you honestly think that I can be killed?"

[4] "I will see you die!"