The sight was so gut wrenching, yet I couldn't look away. The large ornate cross in the main hall of the church had captured my attention once again, it's tricky patterns woven into its skin mesmerizing and the contrast between the black surface and the white wall behind it making it more prominent. I couldn't take my eyes away from it.

And then suddenly, Rae appeared, suspended on the cross like all the caricatures of Jesus Christ. I blinked and when I opened my eyes, in his place was on the Infected, thrashing around trying to get down. I turned around to run from the church and instead saw endless rows of pews, all of them filled with Infected. They all began to scream, the sound so loud I thought my head would explode.

I shot upright in the uncomfortable cot in a handkerchief sized room. It smelled musty, like someone had left a pile of wet towels lying around. There was a small window on the wall above the cot. It was night time, the snow swirling around. The wind was whistling, and the trees swayed. I got up from the cot and stretched, my back cracking.

The door opened and Anthony entered. "My, my, my. You took quite the spill."

Then I remembered the Infected in the gated yard, I remembered Anthony leading the church into worship, praising the Infected, calling them Saviors. I pushed him against the wall, bracing my forearm against his neck. He sputtered, hitting my arm so he could catch his breath.

"You mind telling me what the hell is wrong with you?" I said.

"What do you mean?" Anthony coughed.

"Are you serious?" I said, looking at him in disbelief.

Anthony sighed. "Outsiders never understand."

"Never understand what?"

"Our beliefs, our way of life, the role the Saviors have. What they've done and what they'll continue to do."

"Those are sick people!" I said. "They're nothing but mindless animals!"

Anthony shook his head. "Tsk, tsk tsk. This is what I mean. You need to open your eyes, my son. You need to not be so close-minded, and realize what this world is now."

"And what is that exactly?" I demanded.

"God has saved us." Anthony said. I took a step back and he held his arms up, smiling at the ceiling. It honestly made him look like a maniac. "He has saved us from the Old World. The sinful ways of the Old World, the path humanity had been going down for a long time. A path of violence, lust, and gluttony. A path away from what God wanted. God weeped at the sight of humans, at their shameful deeds and disgusting way of living. He wanted to save the ones who still believed, save the ones who are still pure."

I wanted to cut him off, tell him how ridiculous this all was, but I was so taken aback by his words. His insane way of thinking and that of his flock couldn't possibly be real. And yet here I was, standing with a man who legitimately believed that the worst thing that could have happened to the world had somehow saved it.

"So God sent the Saviors, whose purpose was to purge the world of the unclean, purge the world of the unworthy. And those who are left, after these trying times, they are the ones worthy of God. Me, you, Rae, Mitch, Kayla, my people, all of us are worthy of God." He looked at me, grinning. One of his eyes twitched. "Doesn't that make you so happy?"

I shoved Anthony off of me. He fell against the other wall, and looked at me like I had just slapped him across the face.

"Don't you know how dangerous those things are?" I asked.

Anthony winced at the word "things" but he shook it off. "This is where most people get confused."

"Confused? What's so confusing about Infected tearing people to shreds? Tell me how you don't get it."

"You're confused because you don't see them for what they really are. They're here to help us, to make everything better. They're cleansing the world of sinners and making it a better place for us."

"That still doesn't explain why they attack anyone on sight," I said crossly.

Anthony shot me a smug grin. "Anyone?" He shook his head. "Come with me, my son, let me show you something."

Anthony led me out of the room and down a long hallway with paintings along both walls, all of them depicting the life of Jesus Christ. As we got to the end of the hall, the paintings depicted old men in long, eloquent black robes. Under the paintings were the names on the previous pastors of the church. We emerged into the main hall. Some of the townspeople were sitting at the tables, some were sitting on the steps of the altar. I saw Mitch standing on the altar, looking up at the cross on the wall. Rae and Kayla were sitting with the townspeople. One of the kids said something that made Rae laugh so hard he clutched his stomach.

It was the first time I had seen him smile in months.

Anthony took me outside to the Infected. He gestured toward them.

"Dangerous, right?" he asked.

I rolled my eyes. "Yes."

"Behold, my son, what you're about to see will surely change your mind."

The townspeople, along with Rae, Kayla, and Mitch, formed behind me to witness whatever Anthony was about to do. He reached into his robes and took out a single key. He unlocked the gate and it squeaked when he opened it. He stepped inside slowly.

"Anthony?" I said, shocked. I turned around and saw that Rae, Kayla, and Mitch looked as stunned as I did. But the townspeople were calm, not surprised or trying to stop Anthony. When I turned back, he was standing in the middle of the yard.

He smiled at me, with his arms outstretched, like he was about to embrace someone. The Infected didn't even notice him, didn't even acknowledge him. They all had their heads buried in their buckets full of animal flesh, munching and groaning. Anthony walked up to one, and pet it on the head. It looked up at him for a moment, and I thought it was going to lunge, but instead it turned back down to its bucket and continued eating.

I shook my head in disbelief.

"Behold our Saviors, Louis. Behold the agents of God. They won't touch me because I'm not a sinner. They won't touch anyone here."

He walked out of the yard and locked the gate behind him. He turned to me, flashing his perpetual creepy smile "But what would have happened if you had gone in there?"