The red sunset seemed a perfect background to the black silhouette of the cathedral as Jonathan raced up the long steps to the heavy, oaken doors at the summit. The great building cast its long shadow down over him, as though anticipating what might come in the next hour or so. The bell tower reached up to the heavens, piercing the sky, as though standing silently and sternly warning Jonathan what might happen should he fail now. And the stain glass rose offered no comfort, but rather gleamed like some dark eye, only intensifying the point made by the bell tower.
As he reached the top of the stairs, he rapt upon the great doors. He could hear the shuddering of the air within as the sound echoed through the building, like thunder in a storm. Jonathan took the pause to look behind him apprehensively — no sign of Carlisle yet. He sighed in relief, though a part of him worried what it meant that the man wasn’t here yet.
One of the doors creaked open and the face of Father Andrew peeked out at him from the crack.
“Oh, it’s you!” he said. “Quickly, come inside!”
Jonathan hurried in. The priest watched him anxiously as he closed the door.
“Did you see him?”
“Carlisle? No, I didn’t. We may have a bit before he arrives. Where’s the ring?”
Father Andrew led him through the cathedral. They passed rows of seats and then turned at the altar, entering a stairway in the side of the building. They ascended into the bell tower, though they did not go quite as high as the bells themselves. Rather, they stopped by an old, forlorn door a bit below, which looked as though it hadn’t been used in ages.
“Here,” said the priest.
He opened the door. The room within was completely bare of anything, save for a single stone altar in the center. Upon this altar was a glass case, and in this glass case was a little golden ring.
“Right,” said Jonathan. He stepped over to the altar, but just his hand reached down and touched the glass, he heard a barking laugh behind him.
Turning around, his eyes widened in surprise to behold Carlisle, but not just Carlisle. The man held a woman in his grasp, a woman Jonathan instantly recognized as his childhood friend Lisa. She was struggling with her captor, but it was of little use, especially since Carlisle had a sword at her throat.
“Stand aside!” exclaimed Carlisle. “Or your precious girl dies!”
“No, Jon, don’t listen to him!” said Lisa.
“Quiet, girl! I don’t want to have to shut you up before you’ve done your task.”
Jonathan stood hunched, ready to spring into action, though he didn’t know quite what action he would take. He looked between Carlisle and Lisa, and then at Father Andrew, who looked anxiously and fearfully upon the scene. Carlisle grinned wickedly and pressed the swordblade against Lisa’s throat, starting a trickle of blood. Jonathan felt his heart pain seeing the blood, and realized he couldn’t sacrifice her just for the chance to save this ring from Carlsisle’s possession. He stood aside.
“Yes!” Carlisle laughed, pushing Lisa at Jonathan, who caught her just in time.
The villain sprang forward, bringing the pommel of his sword crashing down upon the glass. He snatched up the ring and put it on his finger, laughing all the while, before turning and pointing at his enemy.
“Well, Jonathan, it looks like I win after all! Tell me, how does it feel to know that you just lost? Don’t answer that — I won’t stand being interrupted now. And to think, you were so willing to save your precious girl, not realizing that I could just as easily kill her now, like pfffttt–”
A cloud of white dust blasted out of the ring, right into Carlisle’s face. Coughing, he looked over at the priest, who now felt the gaze of everyone in the room. Even Jonathan was surprised.
“Oh, right,” said the priest. “That’s the ring of powder, not the ring of power. Although, now that you have the one, you should be able to get the other.”
Carlisle turned back to the altar. Placing his ringed hand on it, something triggered inside, and a compartment opened up, containing a huge golden ring, much like the first one. Carlisle picked it up and put it on his finger. It hung, like some large hoop. He tried his thumbs — same result.
“What use is it?” he growled. “If it doesn’t even fit!”
The priest shrugged. “It was made for Logan the Large. I thought you knew that. What, did you think that this ring would even have the power to change size? It may be powerful, but it doesn’t have that power.”
Carlisle looked from the priest to the ring, crestfallen. At last, he let out a great scream of rage, as Jonathan and Lisa both sighed in relief. Apocalypse averted.