Lu-seth and Lu-cedric were quickly joined by a host of other similar creatures, all jostling and fighting for the best view of the crash. They were watching as the shiny silver engine hit the bridge span at full speed. The bridge gave way, seeming at first to have no effect on the train other than a shower of sparks.
But as the heavy engine rose from the tracks and became airborne due to its forward momentum and the push of the other two engines behind it, a chorus of cheers arose from the observers.
“Lu-cedric, you’re the greatest,” one applauded.
“I helped,” Lu-seth yelled above the cheers.
“Sure, you’re a hero too,” Lu-cedric mocked him.
They watched as the massive engine broke through the bridge girders, and flew 150 feet through the air, to land nose down into the water and mud with a huge splash. The second and third engines followed, although not as far, and crumpled into a mass of broken metal.
“Look, the diesel fuel tanks have ruptured and ignited,” another observer shouted. Flames could easily be seen.
“That’s my kind of crash!” Lu-cedric boasted with pride.
The baggage car followed the engines off the bridge, and sank into the water. The crew dormitory car followed the baggage car, crumpling into the rear of the baggage car. The passenger cars twisted and jerked sideways on the bridge. The first two passenger cars plunged into the water, and the third swayed back and forth on the edge of the remaining bridge span, ready to plunge into the foggy quagmire at any moment. The remaining passenger cars, after the third, finally came to a stop, twisted and littered along the bridge span.
“One more, one more,” the crowd chanted, as they watch that third passenger car sway and teeter on the edge of the bridge.
Fire was consuming the bridge span closest to the engines. It soon ignited portions of one passenger car that remained above the water. The other passenger car in the water continued to sink.
A few of the passengers managed to escape the sinking, burning cars.
Lu-seth, totally consumed by jealousy about the disastrous crash, sneered, “If I had wrecked the train, I would have crashed and burned all of it.”
“I thought you were taking credit for the crash, stupid,” Lu-cedric said. “What was all that talk about delaying the train that I had to listen to from you?”
“You’re right. If not for me delaying the train, it would have been long gone over the bridge before the barge even hit it,” Lu-seth boasted.
“If, if, if! Sounds like a lot of speculation to me. The proof is in the crash,” proclaimed Lu-cedric.
“Lu-cedric, this beautiful crash will go down in the annals as a magnificent success, complete with mangled metal, loud noise, blazing fire, and rampant death and destruction. You even had a ‘target’ on this train who was being watched by an ’el,” one of the audience complimented him.
Lu-seth looked around, not seeing their primary target - Anna. He darted in and around the wreck, searching for her. “Where is she? It’s not possible that she escaped. She was on the train when it hit the bridge. And where’s that pesky ’el that’s always trailing along behind her?”
“She’s here somewhere. Keep looking, you idiot. Did you look in the water?” Lu-cedric asked.
Lu-seth shuddered, “You know I hate water. It goes clear through me, and cools my flames.”
“You idiot, look in the water. Where else could she be?” Lu-cedric commanded.
“There’s too much racket and too many distractions to feel her spirit,” whined Lu-seth.
“Quit feeling and look in the water. You know the Boss will be furious if you missed her after all this carnage.” Lu-cedric was sure she had to be here somewhere.
“If I missed her? I thought this was your caper,” Lu-seth blurted out in fury.
“And I thought she was your target. Do I have to do everything?” Lu-cedric answered with equal fury.
Lu-seth plunged into the murky, flaming water of the bayou. It teemed with snakes, alligators, fish, and now people, but none of them were Anna.
Lu-cedric joined the search, seeing that his glorious disaster might still be in jeopardy of failure after all. They searched inside and outside of the wreckage. Human bodies, both dead and alive, were everywhere. None of them were Anna. The truth started to dawn on both Lu-seth and Lu-cedric. Anna was nowhere to be found among the wreckage.
“It must have been that ’el. How else could she have escaped?” Lu-seth sneered, glad that it wasn’t him that engineered the train wreck.
“Look around brother, and you’ll see we’re surrounded by ’el,” Lu-cedric said quietly.
Lu-seth peered in all directions and confirmed the truth of Lu-cedric’s observation. He shouted into the night, “Andri-el, you miserable excuse of a protector, where are you? What have you done with that shrimp of a girl? Look around at the carnage. We will gladly exchange all these dying souls for hers. Can you be so selfish and unfeeling to all these who are lying here in need of help?”
“Thou shalt not harm My Anna,” Lu-seth heard echoed from all directions around him.
Lu-seth misquoted, “Even your Book says that to live is a cross and to die is gain.”
He heard the quote echoed correctly around him, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
His ears burned with the Holy Name, but he did his best not to flinch. He looked around for support from Lu-cedric and the others, but they had vanished at the correct quotation of the scripture verse. “Anna is mine,” he shouted. “Give her to me. I claimed her eleven years ago, and I claim her again today. I was cheated eleven years ago, and I will not be cheated today. It is written in the annals – Anna is mine.”
“Thou shalt not harm My Anna. She is covered by the Blood of Christ. You have no claim on her. You are deceived, and you aim to deceive. You are the son of the Deceiver. Depart from us, thou worker of iniquity,” the angels chanted in chorus.
“I’ll find her. You can’t hide her forever,” Lu-seth challenged.
“Depart, all thou workers of iniquity.”
Shouting curses, he had no choice but to obey the command and join the other tormentors outside the circle of ’el. The circle excluded them from getting close to the wreckage and causing further damage, or searching further for Anna. All Lu-seth could do was watch and see if Anna would show up.
He could see the fire burning brightly in the bayou as the diesel fuel burned. But he could no longer feel the evil emanating from the wreckage. He yelled and screamed and flung lightning bolts at the ’els in frustration, but they were easily deflected, every one of them.