Dawn breaks upon the weary town, and people shuffle out of their homes with a ponderous dread. Though the Hand of God has come to their small and humble town, they know that it will not be as easy as one night of executions to stop the menace that plagues them.
As the town congregates around the statue of the angel, they find that their divine protector is not resting at his usual place. The people look to each other, and begin discussing in earnest where he could be, when someone speaks up and notes:
"Where's Ashkin and Shelby?"
The crowd stops their gossiping, and rush to the home of Shelby. The first man there lets out a ghastly scream of horror, and falls to the ground, flailing wildly.
The inside of his home is splattered with blood -- shelves have been torn down, bookcases ravaged and burned, and the shredded remnants of Shelby lies in the center of the room, his chest torn apart, heart devoured, innards becoming outtards. His face is locked, forever now, in an agonized horror, completely beyond any imaginable pain.
An intrepid person closes the door hurriedly, and marks it with the sign of a cross, before turning to the crowd and shaking his head.
"Now, where's Ashkin?" Someone notes, a look of concern on their face. The crowd shivers in fear, uncertain of what horror they will find.
Inside Ashkin's home, the body of the villager is discovered, fallen on his knees. It is charred to a crisp, his skin blackened and twisted by an intense heat -- but no other signs of burning or inferno can be seen, anywhere in the household. A careful prod sends the body to the ground, where it scatters into a fine black dust.
"Two have fallen," a voice proclaims, and everyone whirls around to see the Hand of God standing on the seat of the statue, arms crossed in deliberation. "And more shall still fall, before my job is done. The will of God works in mysterious ways -- we can only glean pieces of his truth, only feel parts of his protection. It is not in our duty to see the entire scheme of things."
He steps down from his perch, and crosses over to close the door to Ashkin's house, its steel handle melted and twisted by an impossible heat.
"Yet, the will of God is present. Let no one doubt his power and protection. Let no one doubt his wrath and mercy. Let no one doubt his prudence and wisdom. We have far to go, my brethren." The crusader closes his eyes, in quiet thought, and then looks up at the crowd, burning with a passion no one had seen in him before."The will of God shall be done! And none shall stand in his way!"
The crowd roars with divine fervor, and the second day has begun.
--thatshelby has died.Ashkin has died.