8. fate.

Thomas stands in the middle of the road and watches The Christian burn the bodies of his parents. They would have been buried, The Christian told him, but their sins were too great. No doubt what The Christian does to their bodies is nothing compared to the fires they suffer in Hell.

Thomas runs his fingers over his forehead and when he looks down at them, he sees blood. The cross that The Christian carved onto his brow still needs to heal. But there will be time for that. He will live now. God commands.

The Christian walks back to Thomas beside the motorcycle. Thomas looks up and smiles weakly.

"God spoke to me," Thomas says.

"Oh? What did He say?" The Christian asks, setting himself on the motorcycle. He motions for Thomas to get on and hands him his helmet.

"'No man can uproot the tree that I have planted'."

"Anything else?"

"'The groves were my first temples'."

Thomas puts the helmet over his head. "Where are we going?" he asks, voice muffled.

"Back to the city."

The Christian revs up the motorcycle and the two of them vanish down the road as night falls.