Clara kneels, pink lips twitching as she whispers into the ether, essentially across an open line. It’s strange to Julius that people no longer protect their prayers. It makes him think that knowing is buried with the bones of the dead. But this one, whose soul is so clean that it hurts Julius to look upon it, should know better. Julius squints and sees just a teeny tiny speck of dark, hardly enough to work with.
“Tell me what you need child,” Julius says in his most pious voice, which frankly isn’t all that pious.
Clara’s shoulders stiffen. She breathes a prayer, “Get thee away from me demon.”
Julius rolls his eyes heavenward hoping the other boss is enjoying the show.
“Listen, this is how this moment goes: You tell me what you want, I make an offer and in this case you refuse, then we both go our merry ways. Until then I am free to pester, haunt or attempt infection in any way I deem appropriate. So, the sooner we do this, the sooner I can go,” says Julius inspecting the state of his nails.
Clara is suspicious but Julius’ words ring true.
“You can see it. I know you can. It is after all, the reason you are here.”
“See what?” asks Julius determined to have at least a little fun.
“The black mark on my soul,” sobs Clara.
Julius is a little taken aback at the fervor of this one, “It’s nothing, just a speck. God will truly rejoice at a soul such as yours.”
“I can’t go to him like this. Filthy.”
“I can heal you, return you to your original state of purity,” says Julius.
“For a price.”
“Do it! Burn it from me! I can’t stand it!” cries Clara.
And Julius does. He burns the dark from her, which would have faded on its own over time, all the while bathing Clara in one of the most powerful sins of all. Pride.