I was a little surprised to find the door unlocked, though I suppose if you wanted the church to be a welcoming safe haven, being open most of the time probably made sense. And it wasn’t like St. Matthew’s had a lot to steal—the inside was pretty Spartan, none of the gold and velvet you’d imagine from seeing the Godfather movies. There was a stone basin of water, a table in a corner with some pamphlets on it, wooden benches with kneelers, and an altar.
No sign of Evil.
What gives? I texted. St. Matthew’s, right?
Side chapel. To the right.
If Father Rojas found me, I guess I’d tell him I came to pray. I skirted the benches and came to the little space on the right side. It wasn’t quite its own room, but the right arm of the cross that the building’s floor plan made. I knew this part of the building had its own name, but I couldn’t remember it. There was a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in an alcove in the back wall, with an iron rack in front of her holdings lots of votive candles. Only one of them was lit.
I was about to text Evil again when I noticed that the single burning candle sat next to a little rectangle of plastic. A card. I picked it up, and saw that it was a driver’s license. Ronald E. Patten, it said.
It was Evil’s driver’s license.
Evil? I asked.
In response, a picture suddenly appeared in the stream of my text conversation. It was a picture of Evil, wearing the same flannel shirt and Marines Never Die t-shirt he’d worn the day before. He sat inside a bathtub; his hands were behind him and he had a strip of cloth tied through his mouth as a gag.
This isn’t funny, Evil, I told him. My hands trembled.
This isn’t Evil. Pay close attention, now. You’re going to do exactly as I say.