The malformed, grotesque abomination Claudia called God unleashed a hideous, pained roar and then collapsed, going still finally.
Heather slowly lowered her gun, which was hot in her hands from having been fired so often in just the span of a few minutes.
A few minutes...was that all? It felt like it had taken hours to kill that thing that Claudia had birthed.
With one last surge of hatred and defiance, Heather stepped up to the thing's silver, stonelike face and kicked it once. Twice. A third time. The creature's head moved slightly from the force, but otherwise it didn't even twitch.
Heather let out a breath she wasn't aware she had been holding and turned her back on it. The creature behind all of her suffering, dead at last...it felt too surreal for Heather.
"Is that the end...?" She asked, not entirely sure who she was questioning. "I guess it's time to roll the credits..."
But as she stepped forwards, the full weight of everything that had happened hit her like grenade shrapnel. With an anguished sob, Heather called out for her father as she fell to her knees, crying.
But she soon remembered that Douglas was waiting for her, that he was injured. There would be time to grieve later.
Heather stood on shaky legs and began her trek into the darkness, somehow knowing that she would eventually find the way out.
However, as she walked, she heard a noise. It was a small, quiet noise, and she only stopped and looked back because she wasn't sure that she had heard it at all. But there it was again. It wasn't until the sound continued that she realized what it was and her whole body went rigid.
She gazed at the corpse of the monster she'd vanquished, and her eyes grew wide.
Cheryl filled in Douglas on what had happened in the church as she helped him limp to the car with his broken leg.
She insisted that she drive to the hospital, despite Douglas's protests.
"Don't worry." She assured him as she opened the back door of the car and helped Douglas into the backseat. She wasn't sure how she knew, but the town was now...well, normal.
Whatever caused the shifts into that mysterious fog or Hellish Otherworld was finished with them. They were free to roam within the town as people regularly saw it.
She explained this to Douglas the best that she could ("Just trust me, we're okay now.") and buckled him in. "I'll be right back, okay?" She smiled at him and turned away.
She steeled her nerves as she made the short trek to the bench she had left it in.
She was scared. Scared that she would look at it and it would suddenly be this horrible monster, that being near it might drag her back into the Otherworld; nothing of the sort happened.
In fact, it was a perfectly healthy infant girl by all appearances.
Her icy blue eyes, pale skin, and shock of white-blonde hair gave away who she was; it appeared that she had followed in the footsteps of her 'sister'.
Cheryl gently picked up the baby, glad that she had borrowed that lap blanket from the church to wrap her in.
As she walked back towards the car, the baby looked up at her and gurgled happily, smiling at her as if she were the greatest thing in the world.
Despite knowing who this girl had once been, Cheryl smiled.
"My sweet sister..." She kissed the baby's forehead, much to her delight. "Little Claudia..."
She held Claudia as she drove to the hospital, telling Douglas that she would inform him of where she'd found the baby later.
Just as her 'sister' had followed in her footsteps, she was following in her father's.
She would care for the infant, with Douglas's help.
Claudia Wolf would get the happy, peaceful life she had always deserved, and the love that she'd always wanted.