A man of God is challenged by dreams to intercede for the lost soul of a young girl.
Darkness and the tormented wails of forsaken prisoners assaulted his senses as he stumbled through the stone corridors of a twisted temple. His breath came to him in ragged gasps, trying to keep up with his racing heart; a heart that was throbbing with a heavy fear.
But fear of what?
That was the question Jonah could not answer. He could feel a definite evil presence lurking near him, pawing at his mind. Something didn't want him near the girl. It seemed to twist the very walls around him until he didn't know up from down any longer. Frustration overwhelmed him!
Images of the child consumed his every thought. How many times had he found the girl only to see her swept away before he could free her? Each time her skin appeared more pale, her eyes sunk deeper into her face. With each failure to reach her, Jonah watched them claim her! He saw the evidence of their shaping hands, stripping her of any remaining life; twisting her perception of the truth until there remained only bitterness and hatred. She was so innocent and susceptible. The imps and demons that surrounded her bartered for her trust with deceptions. She perceived them as friends and had no way of knowing any better. Her parents had trained her to believe in spirits as they themselves did. That lifestyle was all she knew. The child was lost if left unaided, unloved. Yet Jonah didn't even know her name. He didn't know why he was trying to find her, only that he must!
A cold doorknob presented itself to his groping fingers with such suddenness that he drew back as one bitten. He took a moment to collect himself and heard voices coming from the other side of the door. As he reached to grasp the door handle again, a numbing chill swept over him. The voices had suddenly become bloodcurdling howls of excitement!
Quietly he pushed the door open and peered within. The room was illuminated only by a single fire that burned at the far end of the room on a raised platform. Directly in front of the flames was a black robed, petite figure brandishing a silver dagger, its back to Jonah. His eyes went immediately from the long blade to the object of the killing stroke; a small, snow white lamb that lay silently tied to a sacrificial altar. The small figure was hesitating to strike.
It was then that Jonah's attention was drawn away from the fire into the surrounding shadows of the room. The voices he had heard were those of demons and man-beasts as they danced in glorious anticipation of the sacrifice. Jonah could see scores of demonic eyes glowing with the light of the flames and then they began to chant. Their howling became a coaxing murmur that grew in both volume and tempo enticing the figure to strike.
Jonah began to reach for his Spirit Sword at his side but stopped. The spawn were chanting a name and he could understand it. It was her name! There she stood before him, once again within reach, and yet so many demons stood between them.
Then, as if sensing his presence, all eyes were on him. The girl turned, lowering the dagger. She was nearly transparent in the engulfing black robes and her red hair poured out from her cowl seeming to lick at her face as the flames behind her illuminated every wave.
Their eyes met and Jonah spoke her name under his breath. A heart beat later, he was engulfed in grotesque, bloodthirsty bodies all attempting to rip her name from his heart. He was overrun before he could even draw his sword and was forced to bludgeon misshapen bodies with his own in a wild attempt to bulldoze through to the child. Inexorably, he was drawn down by the sheer numbers! He glimpsed her face once more, impassive upon him, and cried out her name!
Then all went dark...