Joseph gathered up his followers and joined forces with a dozen or so pagans and the fortieth squad of Corpse Corps. They headed out for the hill by the water tower at Thornden Park. It had always been one of his favorite spots in Syracuse.

Never before had a mass been delivered so quietly or so well armed.

They stood at sunrise, facing east, and Joseph delivered an Easter prayer that he remembered from the Internet back when it existed.

In his basso profundo voice, he rumbled

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today raise us up
and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us….

And somebody, subconsciously sensing the pollen bursting forth on the spring breeze, trying in vain to resist as Persephone tickled her nose, sneezed as the sun burst over University Hill.

They heard the moan immediately. The crocuses were not the only thing springing forth from the matted grass.

They never returned to Hancock.

It’s not known whether or not Father Joseph survived long enough to perform last rites. If international mail service ever begins again, he will be nominated for beatification.

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