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In the Book of Revelation, a man named John has a prophetic dream. He dreams of the final prophecies that will come to pass – and the seven archangels that guard them. Each angel waits to sound their trumpet at God’s appointed time, preparing humanity to fight and win the final battle.
2,000 years later, Father Chris Mognahan is a member of the Hetairia Melchizedek, a secret society within the Catholic Church that studies Biblical omens. The society asks Chris to investigate an unusually grotesque crime – a murder on a college campus where the killer's hand literally burned off the victim's face.While the killing seems isolated at first, the society ties the murder to the final Biblical prophecy and a terrifying omen that the order of the prophecies is about to be disrupted. The final battle is coming too soon – long before humanity is prepared to win it.Suddenly, Chris finds himself fighting against time and hell to keep the prophecies in order and stop an early Armageddon. He is joined by a band of unlikely allies, and together they find themselves in Rome above the Vatican Necropolis – the city of the dead – where the future is revealed to them in ancient texts.They are not alone, however; an evil as old as time itself hunts them. As they travel across continents on their mission, the demonic force follows relentlessly, waiting in every shadowed corner, and every dark place.As Armageddon descends, Father Chris finds that his only hope lies in a young woman within the group who has a secret gift – and their belief that God Himself may have sent her to keep the final angelic trumpet from sounding out the early end of the Earth.
Clyde’s features were hardly distinguishable from his forehead down. There was some fragmented cartilage where his nose had once been, and one eye was still intact, although the eyelid had been missing. His cheekbone on the right side was gone, leaving the loose and shredded skin to fill in the sunken mess. The left cheekbone was bared, along with parts of his chin.
But the fingers…now they were distinguishable. Not Clyde’s of course, but rather the fingers of the person who hit him.
There were five visible areas of flesh damage – the first four were each the width and length of a finger beginning on the left hand side of his face and smearing across and down to the right. They looked like dark canals, jagged and full of black, dried blood, giving the mutilated face a striped look. The fifth and last “area of impact” was at his mouth – a shorter and smaller laceration the size of someone’s pinky – where Clyde’s lips had been removed.
“What about DNA? I mean, if someone hit him that hard, isn’t there anything from them…in there? Chris asked in a whisper.
“Nah. See where the,” the sheriff cleared his throat, “the impact lines are? You see them there in the picture? The forensic people couldn’t get anything from them. ‘Parently they’re burned in – not just cut. They were too damaged to carry any sort of identifiable…um…fibers.”
“Burned?” Chris asked the question for both he and Francis.
“Yeah, that’s not all just dried blood there.”
Chris had suddenly envisioned the black, flaky skin of barbecued chicken left on the grill too long.
About the Author:
Carrie Salo is a dark storyteller and emerging author of supernatural thrillers. Classically trained at an Ivy League university, she studied the works of master storytellers seven stories underground in the muffled heart of one of the world's largest libraries. Carrie looks to wield unrelenting suspense in her own exploration of all things (especially true things) that keep us awake at night. Her extensive travels have led her to many haunted places, including the private, underground catacombs of the Vatican. The Sounding is her debut novel.
Visit her at: www.carriesalo.com