more teeth spouted, just like the skull of a child
Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

Teen And Up Audiences
Archive Warning:
Graphic Depictions Of Violence
FAITH (Airdorf Video Games)
Father Allred & John Ward & Amy Martin (FAITH Video Games)
John Ward (FAITH Video Games), Father Allred (FAITH Video Games), Amy Martin (FAITH Video Games)
Additional Tags:
Canon Compliant, Whumptober 2023, Whump, Canon-Typical Violence, Body Horror, Blood and Injury, Gore, Demonic Possession, Catholicism, Hurt No Comfort, Dead Dove: Do Not Eat, The Dove Is Very Dead, Exorcisms, John Ward Needs a Hug (FAITH Video Games)
Part 8 of whumptober 2023
Whumptober 2023
Published: 2023-10-08 Words: 1,125 Chapters: 1/1

more teeth spouted, just like the skull of a child


"Because they will. He’s holding onto that childish hope. It’s like a rope for a drowning man, and he’s holding onto that with skinned and bleeding hands, and hopes someone will drag him on a boat and save his life."


Day 8: Overcrowded ER | Outnumbered | "It's all for nothing."

more teeth spouted, just like the skull of a child

John is shaking. Not the subtle tremble in his hands he grew accustomed to, one that has been there since that day. Not the one he can control and hide.

This one is worse. It’s full–body shaking, real and grounding in reality. It’s happening now, right now, he’s staring at the violently convulsing body of Amy, tied to a simple wooden chair and there’s nothing going on with him besides that awful internal tremble, one that starts rattling his soul, his faith and everything he’d built his belief system on.

It’s like all of his thoughts have disappeared. Into thin air, into brain matter, melting away and escaping him, leaving only an empty vessel to die by choking on his own tongue or trip and bash his head open on a bathroom cabinet.

There's blood dripping from every crevice of Amy's body, as if her soul is trying to escape the demon within. Mouth corners split from screaming, some unnatural force fighting out one hoarse scream after another, even with Amy’s vocal chords destroyed, the demon fights. John likes to think that it’s Amy fighting too, helping them in expelling the demon, but something – like Satan tempted Eve in the garden, wrapping around his mind like a vicious snake – in the back of his head tells him there’s probably no Amy left.

And that they’re fighting for an empty shell. A vessel without an inhabitant, nest left without its residents. Just a girl’s body without a girl, in a pale violet nightgown and with long, dark hair, obscuring the increasingly terrifying face of Not–Amy–Maybe–Amy.

The sides of her face are splitting away. At first, John thought that it was just another trick of the demon, or his own mind – but from the horrified expression on Father Allred’s face, he presumes that’s not the case.

The wounds were barely noticeable at first, but then became deeper, as if Amy was clawing her way out. From the inside, not outside, and there’s no scratching noise. John’s not sure if he preferred if there was, if he could rationalize it, that the scratches were real, or if he would be even more terrified. He can see her teeth, that’s how bad her cheeks are, white and deformed against the bloody remnants of skin, and John can only pray they won't require a surgery when they finally, finally cast the demon out.

Because they will. He’s holding onto that childish hope. It’s like a rope for a drowning man, and he’s holding onto that with skinned and bleeding hands, and hopes someone will drag him on a boat and save his life.

Amy's gurgling out horrifying, demonic noises, from her destroyed vocal cords and throat tissue, spitting blood and curses, eyes almost entirely bloodshot, bleeding excessively from where her wrists and ankles are bound with dark red blood. It’s not how normal blood sprays are. This is slower, more tar–like in its consistency and freaks John out enough for him to want to leave.

Father Allred looks grim as he motions for John to leave the room with him. John barely closes the door and opens his mouth to ask,

“It’s all for nothing, Ward.”

John's jaw falls. Father Allred has never, in the entire time John remembers, has been so blunt with anyone. He's all metaphors and unfinished sentences and mysterious glares. But now he's like an open book, waiting for John to look at him, into his eyes and realize how dire the situation is, and how fast they have to run.

“But– There must be some kind of a way. To save her. To save them all. There must be!”

“Oh, boy.” Father Allred suddenly pulls him into a hug. He’s an old man, with fragile bones and a narrow frame, but he feels surprisingly warm and safe when he wraps his arms around John. One large hand lands on the back of his head. John has to suppress sobs by turning them into hiccups, turning more and more violent with each second. It’s like something frozen is starting to melt inside of him, so much like when warmer spring days come to melt away the ice on rivers and coasts. “You have to let go.”

John shakes his head fervently, reverently, still holding onto believing until the last moment. “We can't just leave her. That’s not– That’s not what Lord would want.” He sniffles, and admittedly with pain steps away from Father Allred, wiping his nose and putting hands in pockets. “I can’t let go, Father.”

He doesn’t dare to look up to Father Allred’s eyes. He has an intense stare – the type that makes John shrivel and wring his hands uncomfortably by only looking at him, bright and scarily light blue and intelligent.

Father Allred’s feet shuffle under to soutane. The wooden stairs to the basement creak and squeak like an old wind–up clock when they barely move a muscle, much less when they were walking down, John thought the stairs might just give out at any moment. “We have to. You have to. Or it will kill us.” He stops talking for a moment. “It will kill you, Ward. You can’t keep putting all of yourself into this. You still have a long life ahead of you.”

John stays silent. He wants to argue and he wants to leave, he wants to show Father Allred that he can be trusted and he wants to be led out of this house, he wants to finish what they’ve started and he wants to forget about it. He wants and he wants and he knows that he will never get, because as long as he can remember, John Ward has never gotten his way.

As a boy, he prayed. He doesn’t know how many more years he’ll have to believe to finally be listened to.

“I’m sorry.” His voice is surprisingly steady. It hangs low in the silence of the stairway. There’s a painting, on the wall behind Father, of a big flower – he’s never been big with flowers, it was more of Lisa’s vice, he’ll ask her once he gets out of this hellhole – with exactly twelve smaller ones. John suppresses a shiver. “Father Allred.” He adds.

Father looks at him up. “I don’t trust you. We’re walking out of this together.”

Morning after, when John runs his hands over his arms over and over again, staring at a fly on the perfectly beige and shiny wall, he tries to piece together the last conversation. Analyzing every little detail, was there anything he could do to save him. Amy. Her parents. The twins. If there was anything to do at all, or if it was all agreed upon before.


Please drop by the archive and comment to let the author know if you enjoyed their work!