The image of Jesus on the wall outside his window was talking to him again. Mike didn’t want to do the things the image told him but he was scared of the consequences. Hell was for eternity, and the people he killed went to heaven. Sometimes, when he was about to strike the killing blow, the voices would tell him to stop, that this time it was just another test of his faith.
Anna was overjoyed when she got permission from the building owner to do a mural on the side of hardware store. She had never worked on anything of this scale in the past, but she had faith in herself. She didn’t know how she was going to incorporate the wires that ran across the top half of the wall but then inspiration struck. There was just enough room above the wires to paint a couple of hands. She would make it a mural of a puppeteer controlling a marionette below and the wires would blend in with the other strings.
The alleyway beside the hardware store was dark and secluded. This was the part of the job Anna didn’t like. Tethered by the lines meant to keep her safe from a fall, she felt trapped in the narrow lane. A man was approaching her; he looked like he had been crying. His head was tilted a little to one side like he was listening to something but the alley was silent.