The crowd watched silently as Jack explained the optimal locations to strike to draw out the victim’s death.
It scared me. Not so much Jack, but the crowd. Gathered to take part in this twisted execution. Excited to play their part in a murder.
“Wh–what should I do?” Lilly whispered.
“If you can save an innocent life, then I’d say go for it. But…” I shook my head. “You might be able to stop this execution, but if she keeps insisting God is a woman…”
“Then it’s only a matter of time before she’s put to death again.”
“We have to try,” Flutter said, “We can’t just let her die.”
Jack finished his twisted lecture and stepped aside.
An older angel–a priest–took the stage. He nodded to the crowd before turning around to address the victim. “Rebecca Smith,” he said, “You have been found guilty of heresy. Treason against The Lord. The punishment for your sin is death, followed by an eternity in Hell.”
“You’re the one who’s going to Hell,” the girl said.
“You were once one of us,” the priest continued, “You hatched as an angel, a divine servant of The Lord. Not only have you rejected Him, but now you attempt to spread your lies, to trick us into doing the same.” A pause. “You have threatened the purity of the angels, and it is our duty to destroy your taint.” He stepped aside and motioned for Jack to make the first cut.
Jack stepped forward and, with one fluid motion, cut off one of the girl’s cheeks.
The crowd roared.
Jack smiled and returned to the crowd, tapping someone on the shoulder to indicate it was their turn.
I looked at Lilly.
She nodded and closed her eyes.
I closed mine, too. Felt the minds of the crowd. Each of them filled with hatred. Excitement. Bloodlust. But not for long. Lilly would fix that.
More cheers from the crowd as another person took their turn.
Come on, Lilly, I thought, Stop this madness.
“It’s not working,” Lilly said, “I–I think I can only do one person at a time. I can’t–I can’t get inside all their minds at once.”
I opened my eyes. “Then focus on the one taking their turn.”
I watched as a man approached the victim’s–no, Rebecca’s–right wing with a knife.
By now, she was a total mess. Covered in so much blood I couldn’t tell where the actual cuts were. She was trying to look strong, but it was no use. Her mind was screaming out for mercy.
Her assailant positioned himself to strike, then stopped and put the knife on the ground.
I smiled as I felt his mind. The bloodlust was gone, replaced by disgust. He was coming to his senses, thanks to my favorite mind-controlling goddess.
“Good job,” I told Lilly, “If enough of them do that, then–”
Suddenly, the man yanked out a handful of Rebecca’s feathers, and plunged them into a nearby cut. Twisted them around to agitate the wound.
The bloodlust was back. And even stronger now. He had to be pulled away so the next person could take their turn.
“T–Try again,” I told Lilly, “You–you almost had him, you…”
It was the same story with the next five attackers. Bloodlust, then moral outrage once Lilly took control, then even more bloodlust.
We were just making it worse.
Lilly looked at me, crying. “I–I’m sorry, Alex. I–”
“You tried your best.” I put my arm around her shoulder, rubbing her wing gently. “Come on. Let’s get out of here. I–I think we’ve seen enough.”