The church was unfurnished, apart from an alter and dimly lit. The only sources of light were the wide ring of white candles on the small alter, and the few slivers of moonlight that managed to slip throught the cobweb-crusted stained-glass windows.
In the middle of the circle of candles, there was a large, ebony cross lying on the floor. A young girl, stripped naked and trembling with fear and cold, was lying in a crucifix-position on the cross. A small crowd was gathered behind the candles.
A man in white robes and a hood walked over to the cross. He was carrying a hammer, nails and a dagger. He placed a nail in the palm of the girl's hand and hammered it down. There were tears running down the girl's face, and she was whimpering, forbidden to scream.
After the gruesome hammering of the nails had taken place four times, one nail through each hand and foot, the man lifted the dagger. It was short and sharp, several amethysts glittering in the gold hilt. He slit the girl's throat from under her chin to her chest, and tried to save the blood in a silver chalice.
Then the people had to walk up, one by one, and sip the crimson liquid...