Key Seven: Tate:
The air has changed in the City. He can smell the electric charge in the air. It was Cricket who voiced a long thought that he had running in his head.
“What happens when this city is filled with more like us?” he asked. Tate turned his head. Cricket stood in the doorway. The angel shrugged at him.
“Who knows?” Tate asked. Cricket walked over to him. He looked down at his hands at first. The other angel frowned.
“What?” he asked. Cricket lifted his chin.
“I can feel it too,” he said. Tate said nothing. The smaller angel shifted in place.
“I saw a man covered in blood the other day,” he said.
“A man, huh?” the other angel asked.
“Yeah. It isn’t his blood.” Cricket could hear the screaming. The man had no expression on his face the whole time. Why did he do it? Why did he do it?
“I saw him too,” Tate whispered. Cricket gave him a blank stare.
“He won’t be the last either,” the older angel said.
Cricket had a worried look on his face. “Well… is that all?” Tate narrowed his eyes.
“What do you mean by that?” he asked. The smaller angel shrugged and shook his head.
“Can you feel it too?” he asked. “That something bigger is coming?” The lead angel was about to answer when they heard footsteps running towards the door. The boys looked up to see another angel standing there, panting. Tate rolled his eyes.
“What is it?” he hissed.
“Boss!” the third angel shouted. “You’re going to want to come and see this!” He turned and ran back down the hall. Tate and Cricket looked as each other before following behind.
The three angels ran down the rocky dirt path. They could smell the electricity ripe in the air. Pockets of heat touched their skin. Cricket stayed close to Tate. The leader patted him on the head.
“What are you trying to show us, Sid?” he asked. Sid looked over his shoulder.
“It’s just down here,” he said. Tate frowned.
“You better not be shitting us,” he said.
“I’m not!” Sid insisted. “Just come on!” They made it down to a valley. Sid pointed up at the sky.
“Look!” he shouted. Tate and Cricket looked up at the sky. Small red swirls turned in the sky. A high-pitched howl filled the air. Tate titled his head.
“I’ve never seen it do that before,” he said.
“I know, right?” Sid said. The electric energy seemed to choke up the air. Cricket started trembling.
“He did this,” he murmured. The other two angels looked at him.
“That man in the living world,” Cricket said. “The one who killed his family in England. He caused this.” Usually, Sid would laugh at him for saying something like that. Instead, he stepped forward with his head tilted.
“What are you saying, man?” Sid asked. Cricket lifted his chin.
“The righteous man will become corrupt with the blood of the innocent,” he said. He looked Sid dead-on in the eye.
“Can’t you feel it?” he asked.
“Feel what?” Sid asked.
“Shhh, shhh,” Tate whispered. The other two angels turned to him.
“Tate?” Cricket asked.
“Do you hear that?” Tate asked.
“Hear what?” Sid asked.
“Shhh!” their leader whispered again. The three of them took a listen. It came through really low at first. Slowly it began to raise by octave. Sid opened his mouth to speak. Cricket shook his head. The sound grew into a high-pitched whistle. It only lasted about thirty seconds before going silence.
“What was that?” Sid asked. Tate shrugged and shook his head. Cricket bit his lower lip.
“Something bad is coming,” he murmured.
“What?” Sid asked. The small angel fell to his knees, trembling. He started breathing heavily.
“Cricket!” the other two angels yelled. The last time he saw was pure blackness.
They are all dead.
He opened his eyes. People in black robes were singing alms. The incense made his nose burn. They kept their heads down as if in mourning. One large woman stood near the black wailing aloud. He tried to reach out to one of the hooded figures but his hand went through.
A bell started to ring for each of the dead.
One. Two. Three. Twelve. Thirty-five. Fifty-two.
The bell wouldn’t end. His stomach dropped with each bell ringing.
He started to run up the black altar. The woman’s wailing grew louder. He reached for the leader mourning.
The small angel yanked open his eyes. Tate and Sid stood over them. Cricket narrowed his eyes.
“Huh? Wh… What happened to me?” he asked.
“You passed out,” Tate said. It took Cricket to realize that they were back in Tate’s room. The ceiling looked like it was going to crush him. The angel started to sit up.
“No, no,” the other two angels said.
“Stay down,” Tate said. Cricket laid back down. His mind floated back to that dream. The color drained from his face.
“They’re all going to die,” he whispered. Sid gave him a curious look.
“Who? The humans?” he asked. Cricket quickly nodded.
“Dude, that’s what they do,” Sid said. “They’re all going to die.” The smaller angel quickly shook his head.
“No,” he said. “No, this is different. It’s going to ruin us all.”
“What are you saying, man?” the angel with the buzzcut asked. He grabbed Cricket by the shoulders and started shaking lightly.
“You aren’t making any sense!” he shouted.
“That’s enough!” Tate snapped. Sid let go of the smaller angel’s shoulders. The leader cut him a sharp glare.
“You’re had enough for today,” he said. “Go out and look for some supplies or something.” Sid just shrugged and walked out the door. Tate turned to the smaller angel.
“You alright?” he asked. Cricket nodded. He started to speak but Tate put up his hand.
“Don’t talk,” he said. “Just rest.”
“But…” the smaller angel said.
“Rest,” Tate insisted. Cricket closed his mouth and laid back. The leader took a breath. The smaller angel couldn’t ignore the overwhelming feelings in his stomach.
It would only get worse.