Father Mackenzie, having completed writing a sermon that no one will hear, puts on his coat and mittens and descends the rickety stairs from his office in the rectory behind St. Matthews. He enters the church, crosses in front of the altar (pausing to genuflect) and shivers before a small door in the back of the church as he fumbles for the key.
It was a chilly evening, and the church’s heating system had apparently broken again. Father Mackenzie assumed that the clanging sound was coming from the pipes again—for the past several years, as the church’s physical plant continued to deteriorate, he had frequently been startled by similar sounds from the heating vents as the pipes spasmed and shuddered like some tortured soul undergoing exorsim. Perhaps he could take a flashlight down there and see what was the matter, and then perhaps press upon Barry at the furnace repair company (the son of a late parishoner) to see what he could do on a discounted basis.
Father Mackenzie turned on the flashlight (the lights having failed long ago) and began to descend the stairs, only to nearly drop the flashlight when another loud *CLANG* resounded like a mockery of a carillion’s bell. That didn’t sound like the heater.
He composed himself, reached the bottom of the stairs, then noticed what appeared to be a jagged line of light on the basement wall. He approached and inspected it, finding it to be a wide and deep crack in the basement wall that the church shared with the Shade warehouse next door. There was another loud *CLANG*, this time very apparently coming from the other side of that basement wall. Pressing his face up to the crack, Father Mackenzie discovered that he could see into the basement. Curious about the source of the sounds, he observed closely…