The Angels Must Die - Chapter 0.2

PROLOGUE

part 2


Raymond.

The name of Barbara's only friend. The only remaining church comrade who still exchanged letters several times a year.

Raymond was the youngest among her peers. The 'apostles' called Barbara and the six boys 'Angel' whilst Raymond 'Little Angel'.

Barbara and the other kids were abducted before the age of ten, and were between the ages of fourteen and seventeen when rescued. However, Raymond was abducted at the age of four and was still seven when he left the cult. He was very thin when he got kidnapped, perhaps because his mother had neglected the boy.

Raymond was the only child who gained weight while he was imprisoned in the cult.

And in that place—Raymond was the one and only kid who sometimes still showed his smile. It was a reassuring smile among the peers, but a pity welled up when Barbara imagined it. Because it means that Raymond's former growth environment was so poor that he could still laugh even in that hellish place.

A sudden realization hit Barbara. Come to think of it, this man had said some strange things earlier.  He said, "I missed you guys, I've traveled all over the state."

No way. No way. Barbara's legs began to limp. It can't be. She was fooled by his ugly appearance. This man was dangerous. She wondered why she hadn't realized it earlier.

As if to warn Barbara, intense goosebumps ran down her skin. She no longer needed money. She had to run away. Right here, right now.

But before she could even turn her heel, the man reached his hand out. Grabbed her arm hard.

"Wait, I'm not gonna let you go. Answer my question. Are you Little Angel?"

Involuntarily, Barbara shook her head.

"...No. I'm not...Little Angel."

The pig snorted.

"I thought so. There's no way God is looking for someone like you. Then give me Little Angel's contacts."

"...Contact...?"

A muffled voice came out. Barbara's body trembled.

"Yeah. I called you out to look for Little Angel! I'll find him and get praised by God. I can do anything well if I put my mind to it. Now, will you tell me? You know him, right? You're different from the guys I've met so far. You're a real 'angel' who grew up in the church."

A shiver ran down Barbara's spine. Her body trembled violently. Why is this man speaking in such a childish tone? He didn't seem to have low intelligence. Besides, why did he look like he had blood in his eyes? Barbara could tell even in this dark night.

The ugly, fat man said in an ecstatic voice.

"Hurry up. God can't wait for long. He's waiting for him."

Barbara quickly shook her head. Raymond was such a lovely child. Not only his looks but also his personality. All seven boys were blonde, but Raymond's blonde hair was different. He was so beautiful that Barbara could not believe someone like him actually existed in this world. His hair would shine whenever it was hit by some light as if he had been blessed by the heavens.

She still remembered it clearly. Her fellow boys and the 'apostles' also loved Raymond the most. Everyone had special feelings for him. —Yes, just like this guy.

Barbara barely realized. She was not the one this guy was looking for. He was looking for Raymond, the Little Angel.

She barked the moment she was completely aware of the situation.

"I don't know anything about him!"

Raymond was honest and kind, young but brave. Each time Barbara and the other kids return to their room after being whipped by the 'apostles', the boy would shed tears and say, "Is it hurts? Are you tired? I will pray for the wound to heal quickly.” Stroking Barbara with his small hand despite the child knowing very well that touching each other was forbidden. He could be severely punished if caught.

He never backed off to the scary 'apostles'.

"Please, don't hit them! You can hit me!” He would exclaim and boldly protest with his small body. So many times Raymond was whipped because of that.

When Barbara and the other kids were punished by skipping meals, Raymond would cut his bread into pieces and secretly share it with them. Albeit his own piece was only about the amount of feed for birds.

As he grew up after being rescued from the cult, his demeanor became softer as if to rebel against the world, but Raymond's inner self did not change a bit. He was still as strong and kind as he was. And his letters were always honest and warm.

“You're taking care of yourself, right? I love you, Danny.”

Barbara stared fiercely at the fat man. Raymond was such a cute kid, she couldn't sell her one and only remaining comrade.

Barbara unconsciously rubbed her arms. The names of her and the other comrades were engraved on it.

During her life in the church of hell, the existence of other comrades was her only salvation. Not only Raymond, the boys were all sweet. Caring for each other. Because of them, Barbara was able to survive those difficult days. It was a hard life just like facing death, but the memories with her comrades were priceless and irreplaceable. So the names of the seven boys were engraved on her arms. So that she could walk with them until she died.

The man drew his chubby face close.

"Why are you shouting? You actually know him, right?"

Barbara turned her head. But the man brought his face closer she could even smell his bad breath.

"God wants to meet Little Angel! You have no idea how you should be grateful for that."

It's been a long time since the last time Barbara has seen such eyes like his. All the 'apostles' in that place had similar eyes. Their mad thoughts had eroded their brain, having no regard for the feelings of others. He had a glare of light similar to those who believe that they were the only pure and righteous ones.

And 'God'! Barbara screamed in anger.

"I don't fucking care about your shi*ty God! Let go of my hand! Little Angel, you ask? I told you I don't know! I would never tell you even if I do know him!"

Barbara tried to force her arm out of the man's grip, but the man was unexpectedly strong. His fingers dug into her arm like a vise, not letting go. She tried to pull away another two or three times but still won't budge.

"I have to report to God! I've finally found a real Angel, not a fake one!"

"That's enough! I said I don't know!"

She was screaming, seized with great fear. Why did she even have to come to such a deserted place? Barbara knew very well, a graveyard at night was dangerous. She had to run away now. Oh, how she wished she hadn't worn high heels today, but her opponent was a fat guy. Barbara will be much faster if she runs with all her might.

At that moment, a question popped into Barbara's mind. To the scary keyword hidden between the stories the man had told.

"...By any chance, have you met the other boys besides me...?"

The man chuckled. With his ugly appearance, only his teeth shone strangely white.

"No. You're the first real Angel I've ever met. Everyone else was fake. But my fellow apostles had found five of them."

That can't be! Barbara's whole body was gripped in deep fear.

"Fellow apostles...? But they were all sentenced to life in prison..."

Her voice trembled. A terrible thought ran through her head. So, does that mean new apostles has appeared? Or did some of those guys break out of prison?

Five people! A total of seven boys were rescued. Except for Raymond and Barbara, that means everyone might have met the 'fellow apostle' this guy mentioned.

The moon above was blue. Even in this place, the exhilarating tone of Dixie Land Jazz echoed in the wind. In the distance, the sound of young drunk men cracking some jokes was heard.

Anyone! Come this way, please! Barbara prayed earnestly. I'll give you a free deepthroat, so please just come here! And get this scary man!

The man laughed enjoying Barbara's terrified face.

"I mean, once upon a time, they were clean boys like angels, but they all grew up to be bad guys. Not as bad as you are of course."

"...As bad as me...?"

"Yeah, ugly and dirty. You make me sick."

I don't want to hear that from a pig like you! Barbara opened her mouth and almost screamed, but she barely held it in. It was better not to provoke him any further.

"...The boys had grown up dirty." The man sniffed his nose like a real pig. "But angels are still angels even when they grow up. If you look at religious paintings, you see adult angels too, do you?" He said that in a rude, really simple way. "So tainted angels must be judged by God."

Judged? Judged? Barbara repeated the word in her head.

The seven boys were more than brothers. After being rescued from the cult, each of them returned to their respective guardians, wept their farewells, then exchanged contact information. Barbara—No. Daniel at that time—and Thomas, Michael, James, Aaron, and Paul. Then Raymond.

Even after they were scattered across the states, they keep on exchanging letters and calls at first. Because the only people who knew each other's suffering were them. The ones who had experienced the same pain in that disgusting place.

Complaining about the life they were not used to, delicious food they try for the first time, and a conversation with a cute girl... Everyone worked desperately in each place to get their life back on track.

However, four or five years ago, one person suddenly had their contact cut off in a quite suspicious way. Followed by another two. A terrifying thought crossed Barbara's mind. She asked in a trembling voice.

"...You...you didn't do anything to the other boys...did you? So we all lost contact..."

The man grabbed Barbara's shoulder even before she gets the answer. She twisted her body to shake him off but returned to her original position by the fat man's strong force. His movements were so quick despite his obese body.

"Come on, tell me! Tell me! Where is Little Angel!"

Barbara couldn't escape. The man's hand reached the nape of her neck. His thick fingers dug into her skin. Her body trembled violently, but she couldn't scream.

"Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!"

No! She tried to scream, but all she could hear was a murky sound flowing backward from her mouth. Air disappeared from her lungs. Her eyes slowly turned red. It was hot rather than painful. And a massive headache!

Barbara's eyes popped out. Deep inside, she asked herself.

What is this? What the hell is going on? I need to tell Raymond now! He has to run! I have to tell him a mad man is after him!

The buzzing noise grew more intense. It sounded like something was rupturing in her ear. Did her eardrum tear from the pressure? Or did a blood vessel in her brain burst?

Barbara desperately searched the inside of her shoulder purse in her fading consciousness. Dropped the thing she took out to her feet. Barbara trampled on her cell phone with all her might by high heels. A sound of glass and metal breaking. Fortunately, the excited pig did not notice.

"...run...Ray..."

Now the man will not know Raymond's contacts.

No, come to think of it, do I still have that note? Which pocket did I put it in? Shirt chest pocket? Or is it the pocket around my skirt... Oh, no. I can't think of anything anymore.

Barbara put all of her strength against the man's thick fingers that were tormenting her. She needed to get his fingers loose somehow! Otherwise, she would die! She had to warn Raymond, but she got stuck in this place, strangled by a bastard!

Her body began to writhe in pain. The jazz tone flowing from afar was so relaxing that it was unrealistic.

Then, Barbara heard the last words she hated most in the world. A prayer disguised as the solemnity of a fanatic who blindly believes in himself as a messenger of God.

"Merciful Lord. Please have pity on this man. Guide him to the right path."

Barbara cursed in the fading consciousness.

I don't want to hear such words!

I don't want to hear those again!

Then she prayed not to 'God', but to her 'comrades'. To the 'angel comrades' of the church who truly believed and helped each other.

Everyone...please help!

Our sweet little brother, the Little Angel we love so much... Please protect Raymond...!



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