American Chimera – 7.1

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The interrogator crossed her legs and placed her tablet on them, screen out and taut. “Of course, it’s very regrettable we had to do this, but evidence shows you may not be that closely connected to the issue at hand. If all goes well and you cooperate, I may be able to have you released from custody very soon.”

The man she spoke with gripped tight the arms of his chair, his hands unchained. “I don’t rightly know, ma’am, what I’m even here for. Even though I’m a sinner, I don’t believe I’ve done anything to deserve this.” He held out his hand, palm up, voice smooth as silk and wielding the accent with power. “But whatever I’ve done, my transgressions will be washed away by the blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Do you know how that’s gonna work, ma’am?”

She blinked her eyes. “No, not really.”

The man’s blue eyes brightened, his bald head sparkled in the dim lighting of the deeply interior room. “My God will look at this undeserved suffering, and He will enact justice upon those who transgress against the innocent. You can escape your Hellbound fate, miss, if you’ll put your heart and trust in the Almighty!”

The interrogator put her stylus to the tablet. “Prayer is good and effective, sir, but your repayment of the government’s perceived hostilities isn’t bound to happen in this life if you don’t listen to me. If you would just settle down and answer a few of my questions, you may become the first person to be released from my custody.”

The Reverend’s religious bubble seemed to burst. The light showed him to be somewhere between 50 and 60 years old, a bit tubby and balding, rather than an ageless messenger. He moved his lips around, wetting his mouth. “Paul suffered unfairly in a Roman prison. I will choose torture over unrighteousness.”

“Of course, Reverend. I wouldn’t dream of forcing sin upon you. All I want is your opinion on the person or thing you know as Dani Huffman.”

Reverend Hinkley’s bold and bright eyes bored into the interrogator’s. He gulped. “You mean…you mean this is all HER fault? I just have to tell you what I know about the demon and you’ll let me go?”

“Yes,” the interrogator said brightly. “I will submit request for your release. It will require time to process, and you will need to be patient, but release for you will be inevitable. God is looking over your fate, Reverend, and would never leave one of his flock untended. Like you said, even Saint Paul went to prison; it’s up to you if your stay will be as fruitful.”

Hinkley smiled. “You may have already talked with Brett or Janie, but let me set your story straight.”

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