The moment Alice woke up, the horrifying image of the tzitzimime sprang to her mind and she tried to scream. A hand pressed itself against her mouth, blocking off any sound.
"Don't scream, or the doctors will come," Leo told her. He removed his hand with caution, but Alice only managed a whimper.
"I believe," she said. "I believe." She began to repeat those words over and over again as if they were a comforting mantra against the sharp shrills that still emerged from beneath the cage, which Leo had covered with a cloth.
"I have to get her out of here. Are you sure you're okay?"
"You're not leaving me!" Alice flung herself to Leo and hugged his arm. She didn't care about dignity anymore, Leo had been brave enough not only to comfront the creature, but to capture it. As far as Alice was concerned, she wasn't letting him out of her sight. Especially when she noticed Leo had washed off all the protective suns he'd drawn on the window.
"I need to take him to the priest."
Alice shook her head, but let go of his arm.
"The world is going to end," she whispered.
"We'll try to stop it," Leo said without thinking. As soon as his words filled the silence in the room, he blushed. "I mean..."
"What? There's a way to stop it?"
"Yes. We need to find a suitable sacrifice to keep the fifth sun running."
"You mean... kill someone?"
"That someone will be willing." Alice bit her lip. It all sounded so ridiculous, yet there was no ignoring the creature inside the cage.
"Take me with you... to see the priest."
"I want to help. This thing has turned my mother into an invalid. I need to do something about it. I mean, maybe the medallion can protect her now, but what if more of those things come? I need to do something about it." She wasn't thinking her words, she didn't want to. As long as the heroic impulse kept running through her, she'd never feel useless again. Remembering all the hours of helplessness passed at her mother's side, watching her get consumed by a mysterious force, Alice knew that she'd regret it forever if she passed this opportunity to do anything, even if it was holding candles for the priest.
"Are you sure? I mean, you just fainted."
"What would you have done? But I have seen it, now. I see it's face right now, it's something I'll never be able to take off my mind. And that's exactly why I need to go with you." Leo let out a sigh.
"Okay. You may come to the priest's house, it's going to be pretty harmless."