Ophelia stood over the priest, and then the large teal woman burst into tears and curled herself into a sobbing ball. She had been so strong moments before, and now she was a puddle of grief. It was disconcerting to see her so frail and in distress.
Carefully, Ellie made her way over to the demon, which was no small effort. The flames were growing higher with every second. “Are you alright,” She asked Ophelia kindly.
“He’s gone. My master is gone, and there’s nothing I can do,” Ophelia pleaded. Suddenly she filled with concern for Ellie.”You need to leave. They’re going to come to clean everything up. They’ll clean me up, that is, if I don’t lose my mind first. You have to get out of here before they come.”
“I’m not going to leave you,” Ellie said, trying to calm the sobbing demon. The waves of grief returned, doubling in intensity. Ellie felt like she was intruding in Ophelia’s mind, but she couldn’t turn it off. She placed her hand on Ophelia’s shoulder to comfort her.
When she touched Ophelia, the demon began to shrink. Her color changed until it was the peachy skin tone she sported when they first met. Her size returned to normal, and her blond hair draped in curly ringlets around her shoulders. She was a girl again, small and fragile.
“My bracers,” Ophelia suddenly panicked, though it felt like a normal panic, and not the descent into madness which she had experienced earlier.
Ellie took her jacket off and wrapped it around Ophelia. “I’m not leaving you here. You’re coming home with me.” She lifted the girl out of the embers and started back towards her vehicle.
“Yes, Master.” Ophelia didn’t even have the energy to speak out loud.
Ellie grabbed the bracers from where they lay on the ground and snapped them onto Ophelia’s arms. “I’m not your master,” She chided gently and cradled Ophelia in her arms.
“As you wish, Master.”
Ellie didn’t bother to respond, and it wouldn’t have done much in any case. Ophelia was gently snoring in her arms. Even now, in light of the insanity which had just occurred, touching the girl sent unbidden thrills through her. She held tightly to the sleeping creature, her warm scent teasing Ellie’s nose. Was she human? She was certainly more than that. With these questions filling her mind, Ellie left the scene of the strangest crime she had ever known.
Behind her the bar burned, the smoke rising higher into the night.