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... At that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked, and on that day I will send mine angels
to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire
Revelations of Joseph Smith 63:54

November 17 1870

Walsh sat down for a moment staring at the burnt and wattled darkness of his flesh.

"There are people among the Saints who do not follow the doctrine of the Church as set down by the Prophet, believing that the Prophet is either corrupt or grossly incorrect. The leaders of these sects are called Black Bishops. In a way I had become one of these Black Bishops, I had been lax in making certain that the rules laid down by the Prophet Joseph were kept by my flock. Out here, away from the main body of the Church, I had strayed, grown slothful in my duties, believing that frontier life allowed us certain dispensations.

By growing lax, my faith had weakened to the extent that I grew enraged when a madman questioned it. Had my faith been stronger I could have, if not converted him, then given him a worthy debate. Instead, my anger lead my entire town to commit a violence. This violence was repaid by the Lord a hundredfold. My sins destroyed Jeziah.

Walsh's malformed hands cupped his ruined face and he sobbed quietly.

"I had sworn off the path of violence when I laid down the gun and knife and turned in my wings." Noticing Dio's questioning look, he said, "I was an Angel, what the Gentiles call the Destroying Angels, but Mormons call Avenging Angels or Danites.

"I must have sent upwards of thirty men to the Lord, not counting those whom I killed during the Mountain Meadows massacre. Some men I used up were Gentiles but most were Mormons killed on orders of the Hierarchy. Bullet or knife blade, axe or sword, the only common element was that their blood had to be spilt upon the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, only in this way would the sinners be redeemed, as Prophet Young had revealed.

Although I knew I was doing a sacred work, most of my fellow Saints shunned me and I grew to be sickened of redemption by violence. I moved here with my family and started a new life, becoming appointed Bishop of this stake in due time. I see now, it was all just an elaborate test to see if I would become so complacent in my faith that I would be lulled into letting great evil pass out of my grasp. I failed the test and Jeziah's death was my reward."

As Bishop Walsh went on and on about this God stuff, I became impatient, Ryan's trail was getting colder as we spoke.

"You are welcome to join us, Mr. Walsh but we've got to get a move on if we are to catch Ryan."

We traveled south through the brilliantly and variously colored Painted Desert and crossed the Puerco river into the Petrified Forest. These fossilized trees retained a very faint residue of Ryan's energy. There was enough in the wood to point us in a new direction, westwards, Thrusting my mental fingers out as far as they would go still did not give me any certain fix on his location. I could not sense him physically only the faint trails he had left his wake.

We discovered something strange about our newest companion, he did not need to eat much. He ate a few handfuls of grass or oats each night before falling into a comatose sleep. Walsh absorbed energy from the sun and grew torpid when the sun was not shining, on rainy days he was sluggish as a stubborn mule, filled with a lassitude and lethargy. Shortly after sunset he would be asleep yet his body radiated off the heat he had accumulated during the day. Yet as he lost the heat during the night his flesh hardened ever so much until he was quite stiff in the morning. Like a lot of men.

During our travels westward, Bishop Walsh instructed me in the tenets of Mormonism, believing that I had been marked by God as had he. I found Mormonism to be as bizarre a faith as was Ryan's belief in the Eternal Apocalypse. Somehow the Mormon's prophet Joseph Smith had blended in elements of Hinduism, Judaism, Mithraism and early Christianity to come up with a faith that was uniquely American.6

Although they call themselves Christians they are not Christians as we understand them. They believe that God is a mortal being who was once a man as they were, they further believe that eventually if they perform all the proper ceremonies, love God and worship Him with all their hearts and reach the Celestial paradise, they too will become immortal God-like creatures, who can in turn create worlds and populate them.

God lives on a planet circling a star named Kolob on which a single day lasts a thousand of our years. He has a physical body and it is sexually active with our Heavenly Mother. God manifests himself as the Trinity which has two physical bodies, God and Jesus, and one body of pure Spirit which is the Holy Spirit. Although the Trinity works as one in common purpose, they have three distinct personalities.

Earth is the culmination of God's creation and the Fulness of Time can only be brought about whenever all souls in pre-existence have been brought into the terrestrial realm. Almost nobody is going to Hell, that is for the truly unredeemable. There are three levels of Heaven, the telestial where Gentiles can live forever in perfect bodies, the terrestrial where backsliding Mormons go and the Celestial for Mormons who have done all their duties and devotions.

Walsh told me all of the above, his eyes glowing with the blinding lights a true believer, for those few minutes his eyes the blue radiance of his eye sockets dimmed making them less evident in his black, furrowed and ridged face.

Since I could no longer nod my head in agreement or shake my head in disbelief, Walsh took my silence and stillness for avid interest. While I found it all fascinating, Mormonism had lost credence for me when Walsh suggested that Ryan would be redeemed when he had been killed in a blood atonement. No sir, Ryan was going directly to Hell and I was going to send him there.

As Walsh droned on about why plural marriage was actually necessary for the redemption of the universe, I shut him out and began to concentrate on Ryan. I shut out all my surroundings and went deep into my own mind, causing it to blank out like a piece of paper. On this blank sheet I formed the image of the madman, Donegal Ryan.

I was in this unconscious state for hours, my mind felt like it was afire from all the exertion and yet I could not get a fix on the bastard.

Suddenly the image changed, becoming a man wearing a white velvet Stetson and a white velvet robe. Streamers of blood ran down his face like ivy climbing a wall. His green eyes glowed with a blue radiance.Our eyes met and he screamed. I could see an army post in the background. An image of a lion's cub in his mind. Then the image went blank as my exhausted mind fell into a gray, dreamless slumber.

6 El Head had an enlightened, if erroneous view of Mormonism for his day and age.

Home · Ryan's Psalm
Chapter 1 · Chapter 2 · Chapter 3· Chapter 4· Chapter 5· Chapter 6·
Chapter 7· Chapter 8· Chapter 9· Chapter 10 · Chapter 11 · Chapter 12 · Chapter 13· Chapter 14· Chapter 15· Chapter 16·
Chapter 17· Chapter 18· Chapter 20 · Chapter 21 · Chapter 22 · Chapter 23· Chapter24· Chapter25· Chapter 26·
Chapter 27· Chapter 28· Chapter 29


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