The last few days had been a blur.

Father Perkins had led him to the scene. Whoever had done it wasn’t being shy about it. John supposed they had to act quickly. If The Graces weren’t behind it, and John was 99.9% sure they weren’t, they’d of swooped in to save Cherry. The door had been smashed and Perkins had had another put in its place before coming to see John. No, no cops would be called on this one. That’s why he came to John.

This wasn’t some random act of violence. It wasn’t staged as a robbery. It was clearly a quick, brutal, and calculated execution. Cherry, who had taken the form of a modest-looking, 20-something woman, had been a bit of a book worm. “She” had lived in the New York City libraries. Hard to imagine she could have met someone to get her into this kind of trouble. Her human appearance was just a cloak to hide her true form. All she’d of had to do was ask and she would have returned to Heaven. A simple phrase, unsaid, so this had happened fast.

A single stab to the heart, delivered at some precision. There were no other wounds. No post mortem incidentals. Just a woman, dead in her apartment, the only difference was the wound appeared to have burned a hole through her. Her true nature and death’s blow would have caused that. John went through the place, there was nothing. No reason or clues. The “why” constantly being overshadowed by the “how” because this shouldn’t have been possible.

John was dragged from meeting to meeting in secret rooms and secret places. He’d of rather been journeying through Hell again than sit through one meeting with these guys. After a few days of this he’d had enough. Emissaries from both sides swore on whatever they felt bore the weight worth swearing on to make the other side believe them that they had had no part in it. Everyone knew what an unsanctioned execution like this could result in and no one wanted that. So who was responsible and how had they accomplished the impossible?

The next morning came too quick for John. The knocking was annoying and incessant. John hollered, “GO AWAY!” The last few days had led him nowhere and the bullshit bureaucracy had frustrated him to no end. Last night’s bender and the ensuing headache was his penance. The knocking continued. He shuffled to the door, left it chained and opened it a crack. Perkins was on the other side, no shock there, but was furious.

“John! What the Hell!? Open the door!” Perkins scolded.

“Simmer down padre,” John chided. “That collar you are fond of forgetting to wear doesn’t excuse your language.” He shut the door, removed the chain, and opened it a crack again. Perkins burst in and slammed it behind him.

“It’s gone John, GONE!” he yelled.

“What’s gone?” John asked sleepily, still not caring, and rubbing his temples. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d drank that much and was regretting it even more so now.

“The Ark John,” Perkins paused waiting for John to respond. Annoyed at the lack of a response he stepped in close. “The Ark of the Covenant.”

(To read Part One – GO HERE)

(To read Part Three – GO HERE)