The man was dying. Alexander had a keen sense of encroaching death. He was often the cause of it. Angelo della morte – Angel of Death.
He wasn’t sure if the words inside his head were his own, or a whisper from the man who was near death before him. It was an appropriate name to give him, the most honest of the many he’d taken over the past several centuries.
A chill touched his spine.
The shadows were growing longer, yet the sun blazed infinitely brighter behind the figure who commanded the former priest’s enraptured attention.
‘You have damned your kind to a darkness greater than any you have known before.’
Again the words whispered softly, sadly, into his barren consciousness.
As Alexander watched, the sun passed behind the prisoner. He stood, immobile, and felt the shadow of the cross settle over him. Pain, a searing, fiery force that drove him to his knees burned into his dead flesh. He was being torn apart from within, and was helpless to move. Ice flooded through him in the fire’s wake. Again, he was paralyzed by the onslaught of terror and anguish.
For endless, eternal minutes, Alexander writhed before the cross. His mind screamed in a steady litany of agonized horror and emerging understanding. The darkness grew absolute around him and his pain eclipsed all other awarenesses…