Crucifixes, Bibles, and Holy Water don't always protect against Demons.
[ Part I ]
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Crawfordville, which was having an early spring. Outside the doors of Our Lady of The Divine Passion Church, several parishioners gossiped and smoked waiting for the members of the processional to line up at the front door. The assorted members of the choir, the acolytes, the deacon, the lay readers, and finally the priest - The Right Reverend Allen Percy Allgood, upon the cue of the church organ, began their slow march into the sanctuary. The scattering of souls outside the church dutifully followed.
Stephen Dobson, M.D. and chief administrator at the James Memorial Hospital sat in the front pew along with his perky wife, Becky and their 19-year-old son, Joseph "Jo Jo"Dobson - in for the weekend from Tulane. The Dobson's daughter Emily sat two pews back with her friend, Robin. Both had coloring books and crayons at the ready.
Though there had been an ongoing crisis in the Church about young ministers losing their faith and leaving the Church, this did not apply to the Reverend Percy Allgood - he'd dropped the Allen years before. Percy never lost his faith because he never had any to begin with.
His father and grandfather had both been bishops in the Church and there had always been an expectation that Percy would follow their example. He really wanted to be an engineer, but family pressure pushed him towards the priesthood. Four years in the seminary did not change him. Even the president of the small seminary in the Tennessee mountains had doubts about Percy's commitment to the Church. He never commented on the matter because of the reputation of the Allgoods.
Percy, only thirty, had been in three churches during the past eight years. This was his first calling as priest-in-charge. Allgood connections to several of the wealthier families in Crawfordville had seen to that.
Although, Our Lady of The Divine Passion was small - the church was financially well endowed. Percy Allgood's salary and parsonage was as good as or better than any church in the diocese or any other church in Crawfordville for that matter. Percy, who liked money, thought he could do better.
Steve Dobson had sensed Percy's lack of faith upon first meeting him. It was a certain detachment and lack of enthusiasm that caught Steve's attention. At that first encounter, Steve made the decision to draw Percy into the Conecuh River coven of satanic worshipers. Five months later Steve succeeded.
Percy Allgood became a follower of his Satanic Holiness. Two years later, The Reverend Percy Allgood was the thirteenth member of the coven's council and would soon participate in the coven's first human sacrifice. Most of the coven thought it was all play-acting but lately the talk had become more serious. The most enthusiastic talker was Reverend Percy Allgood.
Prior to giving his sermon Percy sat on his bench and prayed silently - although with a twist - he prayed to Satan. In his seat on the front pew of the church, Steve Dobson offered up a similar prayer.
Up in the rafters above the gathered assembly, two demons watched and listened to the thoughts and prayers of Dobson and Allgood in wonder.
Unheard by the congregation below, the Demon Theodore said, "My parents used to bring me to this church. I can't believe what I'm hearing. It's frightening. Are you sure we're safe with all these crucifixes and bibles around everywhere??
"We're perfectly safe. Many members of this denomination are ambivalent about Satan and even more deny the existence of Hell. He is mentioned prominently in their prayer books, but most don't give him the credit our Master deserves. Of course we wouldn't want to try something like this at one of those Pentecostal meetings down the street - those people are natural born exorcists!" The Demon Theodore briefly shuddered as he surveyed the congregation and listened in...
Our Lady of the Divine Passion nearly lived up to her name. There was a lot of passion in the church, but it wasn't remotely divine. Becky Dobson glanced briefly into the choir occasionally catching the eye of Michael James whom she had reluctantly ended an affair with after Michael had cut it off fearing his wife was catching on. Becky hoped in a few weeks that they could start where they left off.
She would soon be disappointed - Michael had started another affair - his sixth of a 12-year marriage. Meanwhile, two women in the choir, one a prominent professor at the local college and the other an interior designer, unseen by the congregation, played an erotic game of footsies sliding their hosen feet up each other's ankles. Their husbands unaware of what was going on silently pondered how many months before deer hunting season.
There were some good Christian faithful in the church, but they noticed nothing. Very soon, however, because of strange events that were about to occur they would be jolted out of their inattention and become literally, Christian Soldiers.
When Demon Darius and Demon Theodore heard the synchronized prayers of Reverend Allgood and Dr. Dobson, they both looked at each other, knowing what had to be done. A sainted group of former parishioners hovering in the air above the choir loft looked on in horror.
"Are you ready Bro?" Demon Darius asked Demon Theodore.
"Yeh, I'm ready, which one are you going to take?"
"I think I want the priest. I know a lot about this church and I would feel more comfortable occupying his body."
"Got it!" Demon Darius said. "The doctor is more my style anyway. Let's go!"
The Reverend Percy Allgood approached the pulpit with a great deal of solemnity. He briefly smiled and placed his word-processed prepared sermon before him on the pulpit. He was just opening his mouth when he felt like his body had been violently struck. It had, the Demon Theodore had implemented a full body possession on Reverend Allgood. Percy literally felt himself losing control of his body. He couldn't speak. He felt his mind receding into a dark corner of his brain. Another presence had become the Right Reverend Allen Percy Allgood.
The congregation was shocked when suddenly the mild mannered almost emotionless Reverend Allgood burst loose with a torrent of Aramaic and Latin - the language of demons. Most weren't aware of that subtlety and thought it was some sort of gimmick. A cynical lot were the congregation of Our Lady of the Divine Passion. One parishioner, a woman newly transferred from diocese headquarters in Pensacola and purportedly a charismatic Christian, shouted,
"He's speaking in tongues!" Waving her hands in the air, she started shouting,
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!" Other pseudo charismatics in the congregation started waving their hands as well and shouting. Demon Darius who had not yet possessed Steve Dobson, looked towards Demon Theodore and telepathically sent him a sharp message, "Control yourself fool! You"d better come up with something to put a save on this and quick!?"
"I couldn't help it man! As soon as I took him over, I realized I had working parts again and then I realized how hot looking his - I mean -my wife - is. I couldn't help shouting. I'll recover this situation. You'll see, just watch." Demon Theodore regained his composure.
Meanwhile, Demon Darius wasted no more time in possessing Steve Dobson. Dobson who was a control freak reacted in horror to losing control of his mind. He could barely perceive what was taking place. His prayers had been answered and he did not like the result.
The Demon Darius could barely control himself. He now realized why Theodore was doing all that shouting. Becky Dobson was hot herself! Quickly reading Becky's mind and finding Michael James there, Demon Darius vowed to take her mind off the young philanderer very quickly. After tonight, she will be my slave. I'll have her walking on her knees bringing me my drinks on a silver tray positioned on her back...
Demon Theodore aka Reverend Percy Allgood drifted into silence and raised his hands in a calming gesture.
"Friends, through that little bit of drama, you witnessed the enthusiasm and charisma of the early Christians - persecuted as they were by the Roman Empire. Our sermon today is about how we as modern Christians can and must regain that enthusiasm. Question is, do we want to?" A few hands went up and in a louder dramatically persuasive voice; the possessed body of the Reverend Allgood shouted again, "DO YOU WANT TO?" The congregation stood up waving their hands and enthusiastically in one voice said, "YES! YES!"
Mabel Hortense Wedgeworth awoke from her slumber with a start. The octogenarian had the liturgy memorized and knew all the appropriate rest stops. The sermon was the longest one. What's got into this young whippersnapper? She asked herself. Something's not right here and I'm going to get to the bottom of it! Mabel - indifferent Christian that she had become - had been influenced by forces of Light and unknowingly been recruited into the Ecclesiastical Detective Corps - her life was going to suddenly veer out of its routine - forever...
Editor's Note: The third and last part coming soon.
See Mike Thomson's website: ThomsonTalks and blog: Motives for Murder