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The church stood at the end of a long road, partially hidden from view by stands of trees that had stood for a hundred years. Its walls were blood-dark brick, crumbling in places where shadows lived. The roof cast its long shadow over playground equipment, incongruously bright and cheerful. 


The small garden would have seemed cheerful and quaintly English beside any other building, a place for tea and triangular sandwiches and the light conversation of bright voices. To me, it cried out like the wind whipping across a bleak English moor, dark and full of silent screams.

The shadow of St. Augustine’s fell across the parking lot in the strange gray light, and the shape of the skeleton cross at the summit of the roof lay directly in my path, upside-down.

 There were two cars in the parking lot. The front door stood open, neither inviting nor forbidding. All beyond was darkness.


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