Excerpt from "The Angel Hunters" by Christian Leithart

This week's excerpt is from "The Angel Hunters", by Christian Leithart. Regin and four others have gone out at night into the Nevada desert in pursuit of something they may not be prepared to encounter.

Up ahead, Regin saw a bluish light. It crackled and threw dancing shadows behind every ridge in the stones. She came out between two boulders and entered a small clearing in the middle of the rock field. She threw up a hand to shield her eyes.

In the middle of the clearing, a shining orb of light floated ten feet off the ground.

On the other side of the clearing stood La Ferrier, holding the 4-D net gun, his Raiders cap askew. He was standing absolutely still, like someone in a trance, and his face, still wearing that vacant smile, was filled with blue light.

“Garcia, cover your eyes! Don’t look at it!” Regin shouted.

Garcia walked slowly past her without turning his head. His boyish face was upturned, staring straight into the light. Behind him, his shadow writhed across the ground like an insect pinned to a board.


The priest ignored her. His lips moved. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” he whispered. He reached out a hand toward the orb and took another step.

Out of the corner of her eye, Regin glimpsed a second spiky shadow moving across the ground toward Garcia’s. The two shadows met and Slugger tackled the priest to the ground.

“Get down!” Slugger yelled at Regin.

Garcia twisted under Slugger’s bulk. “Let me go!” he shouted.

“Shoot it, Regin. Quick!” Slugger grunted as he pinned Garcia’s arms down. “Do it!”

Regin didn’t stop to ask questions. She sighted in on the sparking orb, the stock of her weapon cold against her cheek. As she started to squeeze the trigger, the glowing shape grew until it filled her vision. Her limbs felt like candle wax. Electric tendrils groped for her.

When he was eight years old, Christian Leithart moved with his family to a small town in northern Idaho. He has loved the west ever since. He is a graduate of New Saint Andrews College, where he received an MA in Trinitarian Theology and Letters, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s in English at Villanova University. He can be found online at www.pushlings.com or on Twitter @cleithart.

Mysterion is now available for purchase.