Donavan sprang quickly towards the door and the handle turned before the two men on the benches knew what had happened. They jumped up and tried to grab Donavan but could not get to him before he threw the door open. As Donavan let go of the handle and let the door fly open into the room he stopped dead in his tracks, as did the two men who followed him. The three of them just stared, bewildered at the sight and Donavan reached up and pulled his cowl back from his head. His eyes were wide, his mouth was open in astonishment.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God,” he whispered, frozen in the doorway from the shocking scene in the room.
Father Ryan was bound to the table by leather straps on his wrists and ankles, but his body was elevated off the table, contorted in an arc with his torso and abdomen seemingly being pulled to the ceiling. The screams coming from him were animalistic in sound and the words were spewing out in an a mostly unintelligible guttural growl. He turned and looked directly at Donavan. This was not the man he had spent the last three years praying with at this Monastery. His face was sunken in and he had blisters or welts on his skin. For a moment, Donavan thought he looked like a leper. His mouth was twisted in a bizarre “s” shape and there was a thick mucous dropping from the corners of his lips, stretching in a string to the table. On his forehead the shape of a cross was burned into his skin. His hair was soiled, wet, and hanging towards the table. A red-tinged froth was bubbling from his nose and his shirt was stained with blood. The table was saturated in his urine and as he looked at Donavan he began to defecate onto the table in a liquid stool. His arms and legs were thrashing, trying to free himself from the bondage.
The stench was overwhelming, and it wasn’t just from the feces and urine. It was a different smell, something Donavan and the others had never smelled before. But it was nauseating, and Donavan doubled over, holding his stomach and trying to fight it back as he vomited on the floor. The other men were dry heaving, both at the smell of whatever was poisoning the air in the room and at Donavan’s vomit.
“What are you looking at, you swine?” the possessed monk growled at Donavan as he grinned, showing his teeth that were covered the mucus and blood.