“What about them?” Mark asked pointing at a tangle of walkers who had fallen down and couldn’t seem to get back up.
“Oh my God who cares?” Lucas croaked under his breath, but loud enough to be heard.
Mark looked him directly in the eyes, annoyed at his lack of empathy and said “because I care” pointing at himself.
Lucas turned pail, and seemed to grow older and thinner before Marks eyes.
“It’s been weeks since one of them has clawed their way out of that mess.” The preacher explained.
“I’ve been wishing one of them would, the last three times a walker got back up he was able to move on after the Sunday sermon.”
“Then why don’t you just help them up? I mean they are still people aren’t they, not to mention your congregation, if you’re supposed to be their spiritual leader.”
The preacher looked at Mark questionably, Lucas chuckled to himself in a now rougher voice, he was morphing more and more, the whites of his eyes were bloodshot, his teath now grey, his cheeks had sunken in.
Mark reached into the circle and brought up a pile of papers from the floor, a letter confessing sins, lottery tickets, rolling papers, it all turned to ashes to quickly to study.
“Reminders of their past.” Explained the preacher.
Mark thought for a moment, he was on the brink of understanding something big.
“If I were to fall down right here, and I couldn’t get up, you would help me right?”
The preacher contemplated his answer carefully.
“Right?” Mark asked again.
The thought had never crossed the preachers mind, their was a glimmer in his eyes now, something shifted inside his mind.
“Yes, I would.”
“Then why won’t you help them up?”
The preacher had only seen the walkers as something less human, something beneith him. He hadn’t reached out a helping hand because he simply didn’t want to get pulled into their mess, but Mark picked up piles of burning papers from the circle and was unharmed. His hands weren’t even covered in ash like the walkers were.
“You’re right.” Said the preacher, morphing more, his eyes now sparkled, his long hair was now soft and flowing.
Mark stepped into the circle speaking to the walkers, “Put it down, you don’t need to look at that stuff, it’s in the past now, it doesn’t matter anymore.”
The preacher looked on in amazement, they were listening.
Mark didn’t know exactly where the words he spoke were coming from, but in his heart of hearts he knew them to be true.
“You don’t have to stay here, you need to move on.” One by one the sparkle was coming back into their eyes as Mark gently spoke to them, reminding them of things they forgot.
Lucas rolled his dead eyes “this is so stupid” he said out loud to them.
The preacher stepped in and began to untangle the fallen walkers. They too were hearing and remembering the simple truths Mark was speaking.
“You are all free, no one’s keeping you here.” He continued.
There were becoming human once again, a bright light shone in from the church doors. One by one the left smiling and thanking Mark.
“There’s no need” he’d tell them, “just go”
Mark seen them all out, even the preacher, then he felt Lucas shove him from behind.
“What’s the big idea here? You’re just going to leave me? This is b.s.!”
Mark stumbled out the doors, as he turned to look back he seen them closing on Lucas who was yelling and screaming, trapped inside of Hell Church.
The sight bothered him and for a moment he to felt trapped on the ground. But he reminded himself of how freely he was moving just moments before, turning away from Lucas and Hell Church he picked himself up and moved on to the next astral plane.