I stared at the red numbers on my alarm. A quarter past two. I sighed. Another night without sleep. Without making a sound I got out of bed and dressed myself. Quietly I slipped down the stairs. My boyfriend, Lucas, was a light sleeper and I did not want to wake him. I pulled on my coat and went out.
Without any destination set in mind, I strolled through the quiet streets, the few people I met ignoring me. Eventually I arrived at the local church. A man sat straight in front of the entrance smoking a cigarette. I already wanted to continue my journey when he called me. “Boy, I have something for you!”
I turned around, annoyance clearly dripping from my face. “For all clarity, I am one-hundred percent female.”
The man beckoned me. “Girl, I have something to help you experience another world!”
I rolled my eyes. “Not ‘girl’ – it’s Sarai. And, no thanks. I have no interest in drugs.”
“No, no!” he called out and he waved around wildly with his arms. “It’s not drugs, no addictions at all. It’s much better.”
He rummaged inside one of his pockets and I stared at him with distrust. He beckoned me again and as curiosity overtook me, I shuffled bit by bit towards the man. He opened his hand to show me what he had obtained from his pocket. A key made of something that seemed like copper.
“Look,” he said. “It’s calling out to you.”
I looked at him disdainfully. That’s what he wanted to show me? I turned around and was about to walk away again when I heard whispering, that made me stop in my tracks. I turned back to look, but the man was already gone. On the ground the key was left behind.
An indescribable desire to grab the key overtook me and I relented to this strange desire. I stooped low and grabbed the key. I carefully observed the copper-colored item, but there was nothing special I could discover.
A breeze picked up. Again a voice whispered into my ear. The same strange voice. I felt a chill running through my body, but I wasn’t sure whether it was caused by the cold night air or the mysterious whisper. “Put me inside the keyhole,” the voice seemed to say.
I looked around me, but there was no keyhole to be found, except for…
I turned back towards the church. The lock on the door of the church? Was that it? I stared at the key in my hand for a moment and then put it inside the lock. Slowly I turned the key around. Click. I pushed the door ajar and stiffened when it started to creek. God, I was ridiculous. What in heaven’s name was I afraid of? Devils do not dwell on the Colony. I gathered all the courage I could muster and opened the door all the way open. Nothing special. Still the same old church. I stepped inside and the door slammed shut behind me. An empty silence ruled the place.
“What in God’s name am I doing here!” I called out. My voice echoed through the entire church.
No one heard me. I was alone. Annoyed I decided to turn around an head back. However, when I tried to open the door I discovered that it was locked. I tried to put the key inside the lock, but somehow it did not fit anymore.
It angered me. I started knocking loudly on the door. “God damn it, open that damn door!” Did I really have to pull my hair out of my head, just to have someone listen to me?
I looked around me and noticed the sun had already begun to rise. How late was it? I lifted my arm and stared at my watch. Three o’clock. No batteries? I scrunched my eyebrows together. That wasn’t possible, I had changed them last week. Something wasn’t right here…
Suddenly a soft chuckle. It was that voice again. The soft chuckling got louder and louder and it didn’t take long before the chuckle turned into hysterical laughter. Candles started to burn out of their own free will and the first beams of light that shone through the window had turned red like fire.
The key in my right hand lit up and within moments the copper became glowing hot. So hot it became, that I dropped it out of my hand and with a loud clatter let it fall onto the floor. I stared at my hand and saw how the skin had been burned.
The insane laughter stopped and the voice began to speak loud and clearly. “How nice of you to join us, boy. Let me introduce you to my guests.”
On the floor the glowing key had started to draw a pentagram of fire. The moment the key was done, a gate opened within the flames. Dark creatures came crawling from the fire. The key itself had started to burn as well and slowly the small object had turned into a man. The same man who had given me the copper key.
“Three o’clock is the hour of the Devil,” he said, all the while chuckling in his insane manner. “I told you the key would bring you to another world. You nay-sayers still think that the Devil remains exclusively on the blue planet? You’re wrong.” Still grinning, he strolled towards me and I saw how his sharp fangs shone within the red light.
He stopped for a moment and turned his attentions to a monster draped in the garbs of a priest. He smiled.
“Breakfast is ready, Judas.”