Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Read Part One here
Read Part Two here
Read Part Three here
Inside the hallway to the sanctuary, the clutter of overturned mahogany and discarded crucifix trinkets littered the long crimson-hued carpet that lined the main hall. The sight that disturbed the two clergymen most about the chaos displayed before them, however, were the empty garments that lay discarded; as if those that formerly bore them had simply vanished. The elder priest froze, the blood flowing through his veins chilled as he witnessed the forms of long, thin serpents extrude their scaly forms from the empty garments.
“Come now, there’s no time to lose!”, the Archbishop shouted as he went to retrieve the frankincense from the drawer that kept the oils and wine regularly used for the occasion of communion. As he retrieved the oil and dismounted two of the candlesticks; Father Carroway remained in place, the malign phenomena burrowing back into his recollections; feeling incapable of acknowledging his partner’s voice. The elder priest felt the taunts uttered by the wraiths sink slowly and painfully into his heart: “If God’s forgiveness is divine, how are we so many that are condemned? No relief in heaven, no damnation in hell, no forgiveness! Salvation is only the lie you spread! They have shown me the truth, Father; there is No Salvation!”
Those last two words, the two words that have haunted him for three days and nights; began to repeat as though they were some manner of demented mantra, screaming inside his mind like a chorus of shrieking maidens in great pain. Father Carroway’ trance was broken when he felt an object pushed into his chest. “Father, are you ready to begin?”, Archbishop Marcus queried, pushing one of the candlesticks into the center of Father Carroway’s chest. Clarity resuming control of his thoughts; the elder priest replied with a slightly hesitant breath, “Y-yes, I’m ready.”
“Then may we exorcise the evil from Christ’s temple!”, Archbishop Marcus declared with the blaze of determination raging in his eyes. As they set about dousing the main hall in the frankincense, crossing each stream they cast upon the surroundings; they each began to recite: “In Nomine Patris, et fili, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen”, until Archbishop Marcus let out a sharp cry of pain that abruptly ended his chanting. Startled, Father Carroway snapped his head in the Archbishop’s direction. His jaw slacked numbly as he spotted five of the abhorrent serpents with their fangs fixed firmly within his former mentor’s thighs. Archbishop Marcus’ eyes were fastened tight, his jaw agape as his face portrayed the sheer inutterable pain that coursed within him in that moment.
Father Carroway began to rush to the Archbishop’s aid, shock and panic molding into one as he saw his ally forced to his knees in agony. “NO!”, Archbishop Marcus screamed out with a strained cry, “STAY AWAY!” The elder priest halted, despite the fright-induced adrenaline urging him further. His strength waning, the Archbishop summoned the last of his will to let out a strained cry to Father Carroway: “It’s too late; I’m theirs now! I allowed this evil to birth, now you must destroy it!”
Another tortured wail escaped Archbishop Marcus’ mouth as the serpents swarmed him; biting and coiling themselves up and around his body and into his gaping mouth. As they burrowed into his throat, he began to let out a series of choking gasps. Before the serpents could overtake him, however, Archbishop Marcus sputtered one last command to the petrified elder priest: “Y-YOU… YOU MUST BURN BL-BLACK ROCK CHAP-EL!” His eyes rolled back as the breath of life left him, falling fully on his back. Father Carroway’s legs felt weak as he watched helplessly as the body of Archbishop Marcus became but a mere squirming mass of dark and crimson. The serpents then dispersed from where the Archbishop’s body lay; only the empty velvet robe remained, and scurried away collectively as though they were answering some summons.
His gaze following their flight; Father Carroway saw them slithering back into the sanctuary. Giving pursuit, Father Carroway’s eyes met with the embodiment of the horror that tormented the once-hallowed ground he stood upon. The abomination stood at the pulpit; arms outstretched as if exerting the the very force that beckoned the serpents to it.
The head of the abysmal creature was the likeness of the man Father Carroway formerly knew as Father Edwards. The rest of the beast’s form, however, was comprised of little more than a writhing mass of faces that appeared twisted in the same expression of unbridled suffering. Father Carroway stood at the entrance of the sanctuary, pale; struggling to comprehend the full extent of the unholy terror displayed before him as the multitude of serpents burrowed themselves in the many dark cavernous mouths of the agonized faces that comprised the abomination’s form. The tortured faces began to undulate more rapidly, as if attempting to breach through the flesh confining them, until a new addition began to mold itself into the center of the abomination’s chest region.
In anguish, Father Carroway cried out “NO!”, when he witnessed the agonized face of his former mentor take form in the monstrosity’s flesh. As he fell to his knees, stripped of his will; he felt as though he were once again in the nightmare, now with no relief of waking from it. “Now you see the truth, brother? Even the pious cannot be forgiven!” The voice, though uttered singly by the false likeness of Father Edwards; bore an ethereal quality to it that wholly devoided it’s resemblance to that of human. Haunting familiarity struck the elder priest’s ears when the voice of a young man, though still inhuman in nature; chided to him, “The truth stands before you: No Salvation!” He realized this to be the distorted vocals of the young adolescent from the confessional.
The eyes of the false priest’s likeness rolled back unnaturally into the skull and distended it’s jaws; regurgitating a large, squirming legion of black serpents. They slithered in haste to claim the elder priest. Father Carroway, witnessing this physical incarnation of horror; almost resigned himself to his fate when he remembered the candlestick he still wielded. “The frankincense!”, he nearly shouted aloud, holding his tongue, however, so as to not reveal his plan to the monster. With renewed hope, Father Carroway found himself to his feet.
Out of the dark orifices of the mass of twisted faces, more dark serpents came forth. Running to the empty velvet robe, Father Carroway retrieved the half-empty jar of the holy oil and proceeded to douse the sanctuary. Triumphantly, he raised the candle aloft, ready to set the room ablaze when a succession of sharp pains shot through his left leg. He looked down to see that a serpent had fixed it’s fangs within him. Within less than seconds, Father Carroway once again felt the venom’s crippling effects begin to claim him. His head throbbed and his vision began to fail him.
Nausea finally stripped his legs of his ability to stand, forcing him to collapse. As the serpents began to overtake him; Father Carroway, with the last of his strength; raised the jar of frankincense and doused himself. In a weakened breath, the elder priest uttered, “Though I walk in the shadow of the valley of death, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. I will fear no -“, his defiant speech was cut short as two of the serpents forced themselves into his throat. Just before the serpents would take him, Father Carroway thrust the candle’s flame upon himself; setting himself and the serpents ablaze. The scorched serpents hissed as they fled hastily from the elder priest’s burning body.
In their panic, the burning serpents slithered to the spaces dredged in the frankincense; igniting them. Within mere minutes, the entirety of the sanctuary was an inferno. The agonized faces fixed within the abomination’s flesh began to shriek in a uniformed cacophony of pain as the searing grasp of the flames came upon them. As the abomination’s flesh charred, the mass of faces began to protrude further from the form until breaking free of the flesh that held them bound; sending forth a cyclone of wailing apparitions that swarmed the burning sanctuary.
All through the night, the flames gutted Black Rock Chapel. When the sun rose, naught was left but hot, smoldering rubble. Seven sunsets passed with many of the folk attempting to speculate and ponder what had happened that night. “I heard some bloody priest went mad! Set the whole damn Chapel on fire, himself included!”, exclaimed a young man to the bartender. “Oi, you’re spouting fouler-smelling shit than what my farmhands use to grow my crops with!”, the bartender retorted with a hearty laugh. “Scoff all you want, I know what I heard. I know the truth!”
“Do you now?”, uttered the patron seated upon the neighboring bar stool. The young lad was taken back by the somewhat abrupt and unexpected query by his mute neighbor. “Well sure…”, the young man finally replied with an uneasy chuckle. The the stranger looked at the lad; locking the nervous eyes with his own cold gaze. The young lad saw that, despite appearing twice his own age; full dark brunette hair and a young, youthful face. The stranger also appeared clad in a dark robe, similar to what the young lad had seen worn by preachers.
“Say, you wouldn’t happen to be a priest, would ya?” The stranger’s mouth parted upward on the left corner in dry amusement. “I was, once…”, he said in the same dry tone, nearly devoid of emotion. “But then I learned the truth.” The young lad, suspecting some manner of bluff; challenged him. “That right? Now what would that be, holy man?” Still bearing the same devious grin, the supposed former priest told the young man to follow him behind the tavern if he wished to be bestowed with the truth he offered. The young man obliged and followed as a pig to slaughter.
Within seconds, the lad’s confident arrogance was replaced with sheer terror as the stranger opened his robe to reveal a writhing mass of tortured faces of pain branded into his flesh. “Like you”, the stranger began, “I was too arrogant to accept the truth, but I know now. It’s as they told me: Salvation is only the lie we spread, for all are condemned in the end.” The former priest displayed a menacingly joyous smile as a horde of black and crimson-scaled serpents silenced the young lad’s screams.
Credit : Corpse Child
Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on Creepypasta.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed under any circumstance.