Child of God

October 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM

The estimated reading time for this post is 28 minutes, 3 seconds

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August 1st marks the tenth anniversary of the day the hunters came, though none of my family celebrates this anniversary. I’m only telling this story because I owe it to those men who saved us that day.

I’ll be honest. It was my fault. It was all my fault.

Ten years ago I was a sadly unpopular, unattractive, loner girl in my high school. I had no friends growing up in rural Montana and no extended family to visit. I was raised by a single mother all of my life and together we both took care of my younger brother, Matthew.

My mother took us to a small Catholic church every Sunday for mass even though I never really believed in any religion. Apparently she baptized me as a Catholic but I don’t consider myself beholden to the church.

So, being a sixteen year old girl with no friends and no boyfriend, I desperately wanted someone to talk to. My mother was always working and my brother was only twelve which made it hard for us to relate to one another. One day on my way home from school, I stopped by the local bookstore and started looking for books about witchcraft. I (stupidly) thought that I could “summon” a ghost or supernatural entity which could eventually become my friend. I imagined befriending a ghost of a girl who died around my age so at least I could have someone who would understand the girl problems I was dealing with then.

I know, when I look back, I was naïve; but I was desperate for a companion and confidant.

I started reading into this pagan belief system called Wicca and though I thought the idea of practicing “white magic” (or what is considered benign magic) was cool, it didn’t offer me any solution to finding a friend. About two weeks after delving into Wicca, I went back to the bookstore to find a book about “black magic” (or what is considered malign magic) because I learned that black magic and necromancy are the schools of sorcery that would help me conjure a spirit.

All the while my mother had no idea, mainly because she was busy, but also because I didn’t tell her so she wouldn’t throw away my books because she was a devout Catholic. Although, when I look back now, I almost wish she found out and stopped me before I went to far.

So there I was, a teenage girl learning about the devil’s arts to raise the ghost of a dead girl in order to have a friend.

I was actually scared at first when learning these rituals and spells. Some seemed so silly that I almost didn’t believe they would work, but other spells had a feeling of absolute seriousness such as the ones involving animal sacrifices and self-mutilation.

I did my best to research before trying anything out because I didn’t want to slit my hands or arms for no reason, but when I found the spell that I was looking for, I was more than horrified.

Before I had to make the sacrifice, I had to pledge my faith to “The Darkness” and had to chant every night for hours on end using pentagram symbols and candles. I lived in a small home but in Montana we had five acres of wooded land behind us, so I would go into the woods at night to do my chanting. It was difficult at first because I was afraid of every sound I heard coming from the shadows, but after a month of performing my minor rituals, I became more in tune with the darkness.

I started to feel more depressed, but comfortable in my depression, and I would constantly think about morbid things. I would draw pentagrams in class when I was supposed to be taking notes and my whole being really changed. People started to notice me at school for the wrong reasons. I didn’t dress like a stereotypical gothic person, but I did wear darker colors and had some kind of malevolent energy always about me. I stopped smiling and laughing and I became more reclusive than I already was. But when I was in the midst of all this, I didn’t really notice.

Eventually it came time for me to summon my spectral friend. I went to the graveyard on a Friday night and had found the headstone of a girl who died when she was seventeen years old. I won’t give her full name out for the sake of respect for the dead, but I knew her as Jezebel.

It was a terribly gruesome rite I had to perform, but by that time, I had undergone such a transformation of character that I didn’t even feel remorse. On Jezebel’s gravesite, I chalked a pentagram, lit my candles, and slit the palms of my hands. Then I took the stray kitten which I found wandering around the outskirts of town (this was common for stray cats and dogs to loiter in the boondocks of my town) and I slit her throat. My blood and the kitten’s blood mingled on the soil of Jezebel’s grave and after reciting certain incantations, her shadowy form rose from the earth.

I was shocked that it worked but even more frightened of her. I expected to see a whitish or bluish spectral image of the girl whose grave I had defiled, but I never saw Jezebel that way. She was always just a black shadow; she had the shape of a teenage girl, she had the voice of one too, but never had a face. It was as if she was a perpetual silhouette which made it slightly difficult to befriend her. She had no eyes that I could look into and see a reflection of my own sorrow, nor did she have hair I could braid or a smile that I could find solace in; she was just pure darkness.

Despite her off-putting essence, she was kind to me. She followed me back home and found peace inside of our one story house. Jezebel liked to stay in my closet and would only come out at night and follow me to the woods to watch me continue performing rituals to confess my ever growing faith in the darkness that had brought her to me.

All was well for a few months until I began to notice her increasing affection toward my younger brother. I told her that Matthew was only twelve years old, but she took a weird liking to him anyway. Eventually she would leave the closet in which she slept only to stare at my brother while he was laying in bed. I asked her to stop, but she wouldn’t. She kept telling me that there was something “special” about his soul that she found so endearing.

Soon enough, Matthew began to hear something follow him around the house during the evening hours and he would complain to my mother who only blamed his young imagination. I can’t remember how many times he told my mother about feeling something following and watching him, but it seemed like far too many times to be ignored.

Despite all this, I stayed quiet, not wanting to reveal my secret involvement with necromancy and Jezebel. I tried to comfort my brother by telling him there was nothing to worry about, but he refused to believe me.

I had another talk with Jezebel about staying away from Matthew, but she didn’t take my words seriously. Instead, she became violent and knocked my nightstand over along with the pictures and glass of water that were on top of it. Now I had started to fear Jezebel, but sadly, it was much too late.

That very night, around three o’clock in the morning, Matthew woke my mother and I up with a hysterical scream. My mother rushed into his room not knowing what to expect, but I stayed in mine, not wanting to see what had happened.

According to my mother, she saw a black shadowy form grasping onto Matthew’s arm as he tried to leave his bed. At that instant, she threw a book from his desk at Jezebel and she relented her hold on my brother. Then I heard Jezebel speaking some strange language (which I later found out was Latin) and when I finally left my room, I saw my mother laying in the fetal position weeping incessantly. I began to cry too from the shock of seeing my mother so defeated. Jezebel left Matthew’s room and began to run to every door in the house; opening and shutting each door six times before moving on to the next one. As she did this, her voice morphed from the teenage girl’s to what can only be described as a voice of a demon. Jezebel kept repeating something in Latin which to this day I do not know what it was (nor do I want to know) and finally I grabbed the keys to the car and dragged my mother and brother outside the house and just started driving no sooner had the last car door closed.

Since I had no friends nor family to retreat to for safety, I just kept driving until my mother regained enough of her composure to instruct me to drive to the church. Once we got to the small church, my mother pounded on the door like she was about to be murdered. Soon enough, Father Preston opened the doors and took us all in.

My mother explained what had happened between sobs and our priest allowed us to stay the night in the church. We all slept on the pews until we had sufficient rest and when we awoke, Father Preston had a talk with all of us.

“I know Mary (my mother’s name), that you believe you saw a demon, but to be sure, we will all go to your home after you’ve had breakfast and I will perform a blessing.”

Father Preston decided to fast since he intended to bless our house, so after my mother, Matthew and I ate food, we drove our separate cars and arrived back home together. My mother was noticeably disturbed and Matthew was unusually cautious, but I was nervous that the priest would find out why Jezebel was there in the first place.

So Father Preston entered first and we all followed, and the house seemed normal then. There was an air of “heaviness” he said, but I didn’t notice it because of how involved I was with the darkness at that point. Nothing was out of order beside the beds not being made since we left them in a disheveled state the night before and Jezebel was no where to be found. I was smart enough to hide my chalk, candles, knife, and book outside in the woods where no one would find the evidence of what I was doing, but even still, Father Preston looked visibly bothered by my bedroom and closet, but he said nothing. He blessed the house in its entirety and gave my mother what would be only a fleeting sense of relief.

After the ceremony was finished, we all talked outside by his car and he told us what he thought.

“I did feel as if there was some being that was lurking around the house, but I couldn’t discern any evil that would mark this entity as being demonic in nature.”

My mother then replied,

“Well, I appreciate everything you’ve done for us Father, I hope we haven’t been too much of a bother on you.”

He then replied once more before he left.

“Nonsense Mary, looking after my children of the church is never a bother to me. Please, don’t be afraid to come to me again if you ever need help.”

Then he left, and my mother and brother did feel slightly relieved after the event. Yet I was still unnerved at the way Jezebel acted the night of the incident. Soon enough evening arrived and when I realized Jezebel wasn’t in my closet, I snuck out my bedroom window and went to my ritual spot in the woods. Sure enough, I found Jezebel and now her voice was again that of a teenage girl’s. She told me how disappointed she was with me and she accused me of being a terrible friend because I didn’t want her around my brother. Needless to say, her words cut me to the core because she was the only friend I had and I had let her down. After an hour of talking and me asking her forgiveness, I finally gave Jezebel permission to be around my brother.

If only I knew what this permission actually meant to her and what it would mean for Matthew, I never would have allowed it. That was the last restful night any of us would have in that house until the hunters came.

The next night, my mother and I again woke to the dreadful screams of my brother, only this time I reacted sooner. I almost wish I hadn’t left my room because I saw something I wish I could forget. Matthew’s body was lifted twelve inches in the air, hovering over his bed and all the while, Jezebel in the deeper demonic voice told my mother and I to leave the room.

“Leave Mary! Leave my room! Marissa gave him to me! She gave him to me!”

After we heard those words, my mother instantly fainted and I could do nothing to help her. I knew I couldn’t help my brother because Jezebel was right, I had given her permission to be around my brother and I could only cry after knowing what I had actually done. The only action I could take was to drive to the church and get Father Preston so he could save us from the horror that was Jezebel.

I drove maniacally fast even though I still only had my learner’s permit at the time and when Father Preston opened the church doors to see me standing there alone, without me having to say a word, he knew something was wrong. He grabbed his Holy Bible, holy water, his crucifix, and a coat and drove us in his car.

It was the most awkward car ride I’ve ever had and probably will ever have. Neither of us spoke the entire seven minute drive and I felt so disgusted with myself because I was bringing our old town priest into a situation that he didn’t know I created.

I have many regrets in regards to this entire experience, but this had to have been the biggest regret. I didn’t tell Father Preston about Jezebel, didn’t tell him how she came to be in our house, nor did I tell him how she had rightful control over my brother. I wish I told him before he learned it all from Jezebel herself.

So we walked into the house and at the end of the hallway we could see my mother’s legs around the corner where she had fainted and we heard the deafening noise of a door constantly opening and slamming. It was dark, but I could plainly see fear in Father Preston’s eyes when he became immersed in the nightmare with us.

Father Preston was a kind, old priest who had lived in our town for two decades and it was clear to see that he had never dealt with any evil of this magnitude before. I struggle to find words that could fitly describe the fear that I felt when I realized that our priest was physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually incapable of defending us against this monster.

After he endured the initial shock of entering the house to the sight and sounds that greeted us, with shaking hands, he opened his Bible and began to recite verses with an equally shaken voice. After only a few minutes of reading select passages from the Bible, Jezebel became irritated and decided to confront us, only this time, we were not facing her shadow.

Matthew was crawling on his hands and feet toward us from the hallway and growling the entire time. As he came nearer, we could see from the scanty light of our nightlight plugged into the wall that his eyes were pitch black and his face was unnaturally contorted in a way that barely resembled my younger brother.

Finally I broke down. I couldn’t hide my secret any longer because of the harm she was causing us. So I fell to my knees and started to cry out to Jezebel, pleading for her to leave us alone.

“Please Jezebel, please don’t hurt us! Please leave us alone! Please don’t hurt my brother!”

Jezebel, now using her girl voice, I assume to mock me, said,

“But Marissa, you gave him to me. Remember Marissa? You gave him to me.”

At such words Father Preston stopped praying and looked down at me. He put his hand over his face as if he was ashamed for what evil I had invoked. With faint words muffled even further by my weeping, I pleaded with our priest,

“Please Father, please help us.”

He found the strength to open the bottle of holy water and he cast the blessed liquid upon my brother while reciting more prayers. His body began to flail about and he growled even more until Jezebel finally had enough. Still in my brother’s body, she left through the back door, but not before opening and shutting it six times before she left. I knew she had fled to the safety of my ritual grounds but I also knew that she was not going to be gone for long. After Jezebel departed for the night, before checking up on my mother, Father Preston knelt to the ground in front of me and roughly grabbed my shoulders. With tears pouring down his face, he shook me with what strength he had left and chastised me saying,

“What have you done girl?! What have you done?!”

I could only reply while looking away from his face,

“I’m sorry Father, I’m sorry.”

Then we attended to my mother and when she conscious again, he drove us back to the church and spoke to us.

“Mary, I am sorry for doubting you, but I am now certain that your home is plagued by a demon. This demon was summoned by your daughter Marissa for reasons only she could tell us.”

He then looked at me demanding a reason for my sacrilegious actions and with my mother looking while now crying, I told them the truth.

“I wanted a friend. I performed a ritual to summon the ghost of a teenage girl so I could finally have someone to talk to.”

I then cast my head down, refusing to look at their harsh disproval and what words I heard next I don’t quite remember. I think I’ve done well enough to forget the chastising words of my mother and our priest. All I remember after that was the conversation about a solution to the problem.

“Mary, I’m terribly sorry, but I am too old and unpracticed in the workings of demons to rid this hell spawn from your home by myself.”

My mother then replied,

“What about the Bishop? Can you call him and ask him to do it for us?”

Then Father Preston continued,

“I could contact the Bishop of our diocese and tell him what has happened, but without more and substantial physical evidence, he would not be able to come out here to deal with this demon. It could be months before the church approves of any considerable action in regards to this problem.”

Now my mother in dire straights, pleaded with our priest and asked,

“Can you please call him anyway? There has to be something he can do. You saw that demon, Father. We can’t go back home, we just can’t.”

Father Preston took a deep sigh and relented saying,

“I will call him.”

We left his office and sat in the pews again for at least half an hour before he called my mother and I back in to tell us what could be done.

“I called the Bishop and I expressed to him the urgency of our matter and the lack of force we have in order to deal with such a malignant entity. What advice I am about to offer you is advice that is not officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church in any way. In fact, the Catholic Church does not condone the advice I am about to give you, Mary, but I see no other choice. I am the only Catholic priest in our area of Montana for three hundred miles and even the closest ones to us would still not be able to fight the evil that your daughter has allowed into our world. However, there are two men who can save your family from this demon and after I tell you about them, you have the choice to call upon them or not. But if you do decide to call upon these men, know that I cannot help you any further until this is all over.”

We were taken aback by what we had heard, but finally, my mother agreed to hear of these men who could possibly be our saviors.

“Our Bishop knows of two men, brothers even, who “hunt” demons with motives unclear to everyone who has heard about them. The younger brother is a practitioner of the witchcraft called Wicca which is forbidden and condemned by the church. He has no affiliation with us, but his older brother used to be affiliated with the church. Our Bishop went to seminary with the elder of the brothers whose name no one speaks any longer and whose records no longer exist in the church, but according to our Bishop, this man was different. He isn’t even quite sure how he was accepted into seminary because he was so quiet and indifferent to preaching. Though he did exceedingly well in his studies, he never seemed fit to lead a parish or even assist in one for that matter. He also had no friends the entire time he was in school. People tried to talk to him, tried to befriend him, but he would never allow anyone to get close to him. No one was quite sure what his reason for being in seminary was, but he stayed the course. Only until the last year of seminary did people start talking poorly of him, saying he shouldn’t be there and he couldn’t offer anything to the church, and he was consequently spoken to by the elders. Now, our Bishop didn’t see what had happened, but the rumor was that after so many warnings by the elders of the seminary, this man apparently mutilated himself and possibly tried to commit suicide. Someone found his unconscious body in the men’s restroom and he was carried to the hospital by paramedics. Shortly thereafter, he was expelled from the seminary and excommunicated from the Catholic church because of his reasoning for his behavior. Some also say that he was actually pronounced dead on the school grounds but was later revived without the intervention of any medical equipment or personnel. Though this man no longer has any record or affiliation with the church, our Bishop says that some still call upon him and his brother to hunt demons that they would be unable to exorcise due to the rigorous constraints of our protocol. In all the twenty years I’ve been here working with our Bishop, this is the first I’ve heard of these men. But because they were recommended to me by one who exceeds me in wisdom, I grant you the choice Mary, to call upon these men to hunt this demon, or to wait as long as you can until we gather sufficient evidence for the Catholic church to become heavily involved.”

My mother looked at me and then to Father Preston and said,

“I’m sorry Father, but we are not strong enough to wait. We can’t wait.”

Father Preston then replied,

“I understand Mary, I was witness to the horror that now lives in your home and I am glad you have done this for your family’s sake. Give me some more time to contact our Bishop who will then contact these men for us.”

So we left the priest again but only for ten minutes this time and with a look of uncertain happiness, he told us more when we returned to his office.

“The men are flying out tonight. They are on their way to the airport as we speak, but before I let you two rest, I must tell you more about these men. The younger brother, the witchcraft practitioner, is named Marcus. I am told he is an amiable fellow who knows much about his craft, much more than a man ought to know about sorcery, and his elder brother doesn’t have a name. The Bishop claims that no one speaks his real name any longer, but instead, to those that know about him, he is known only as “Child of God.” Apparently he keeps his faith in our God, but because he is not officially ordained, he cannot be a priest; thus, he uses a title that we all bear since we are all children of God. Not much else is known about these brothers, but the advice I can give is that you leave them to their own devices. Don’t get involved with them and stay out of their way. There is a reason why our Bishop says that they are called upon in times of great trouble and urgency and it is because they can overcome these evil forces. When they arrive, they know better than to step into this church, thus, they will be waiting for you at your house tomorrow morning. Now, get some rest before the night is spent and when our Bishop calls, I will wake you up for they will have arrived.”

After he gave us all the information we needed, we were able again to rest in the safety of our church knowing that we were getting help.

Father Preston woke us up at ten o’clock in the morning and gave my mother a copy of the Holy Bible in case she wouldn’t be able to get to hers at home. He also said prayers for us all and wished us safety in the coming trials.

Finally we left and had breakfast at a local diner. We were the only ones there and neither of us said a word the entire time. After our morning meal, we drove home to find a rental car in our driveway and there waiting for us was a man in a black robe. He was holding a tome of what was presumably spells and over his shoulder he had a satchel full of his materials, ingredients, and trinkets. My mother then asked sheepishly as she had never encountered a real life witch before,

“Are you Marcus?”

He replied without a smile, but with a warm face,

“Yes I am.”

I then asked,

“Where is your brother?”

Marcus gave reply,

“He is praying somewhere. He should be done any moment.”

No sooner had he finished his sentence did we see his brother come from the side of the house. From afar he looked like Marcus as he too was wearing a black robe, but as he drew nearer, I understood why the church doesn’t speak about him. His entire body was covered; he wore a black robe, black gloves, black boots, and a black hood. He carried with him a tome which wasn’t a Holy Bible as well as a walking staff. But the most disturbing part of him was his face, or lack thereof. His head was covered by a hood and his face was covered by what seemed to be an iron mask. It was an expressionless, genderless face mask and over the eyes was wrapped a fresh strip of gauze. I could only assume that he looked somewhat like Marcus if they were indeed brothers related by blood, but the iron mask was so vexing to look at that I could never truly imagine what “Child of God” actually looked like.

We were bothered by his brother, but to be kind, my mother extended her hand to “Child of God” as if to introduce herself, but with that blank, blind face, he stared at her and didn’t say a word. Marcus then asked to go inside in order to prepare and instead of opening the door, my mother gave him the key to the house. We intended to stay outside far out of their way, but Marcus insisted that we be a part of it, or at least be inside the house while they did what is was they were infamous for doing.

As soon as we entered our home, Jezebel began to slam doors and run in front of us through the hallway. Neither Marcus nor “Child of God” were bothered in the slightest by her outrage and their calm demeanors only seemed to frighten my mother more for some reason. To ease her fear, Marcus began to ask my mother questions.

“How did this demon get here and why has it possessed your son?”

My mother reluctantly looked at me and said,

“You explain to them Marissa.”

So I had the attention of both Marcus and his brother and I told them the story of Jezebel and Matthew. As I neared the end of my story, Marcus began flipping through his tome and when he found the page he was seeking, he reached into his satchel and retrieved a vial of powder and a flask of liquid of which I didn’t ask the names or purposes. Then I heard “Child of God” speak for the first time. His voice was soft and barely audible behind his metal mask and even then I couldn’t understand what he had said because he was speaking in Latin. He said something to Marcus and then he retreated in front of the fire place where he opened his book and began to pray.

All the while Marcus and “Child of God” were preparing themselves, Jezebel, began to taunt the brothers using Matthew’s voice, her female voice, and her demonic voice. Neither of them were fazed in any way by the taunts and they kept praying and preparing in silence. Their silence was broken when Marcus finally stood up with some blue powdery mixture in his hands and called to “Child of God”.

“Okay brother, I am ready.”

As he said this, “Child of God” stood up from in front of the fire place with his book and staff in hand and turned in our direction. The gauze wrapped around the eye holes of his mask were spotted red with blood and some began to drip onto the mask itself. At that point, I’m not sure who frightened me more, “Child of God” or Jezebel. But as he stood up, he began speaking to Jezebel in Latin and apparently said things which irked her immensely. They continued conversing with each other in their dead language until the demon finally charged toward the man in front of the fireplace. As she did this, Marcus stood in front and pushed his hands onto Matthew’s chest. A blast of powder filled the air and my brother was laying supine on the ground after having had the wind knocked out of him. Then “Child of God” took a chair and together they sat my brother’s body on it and Marcus then used some kind of white twine to bind his hands around the backrest and his feet around the chair legs. When he was able to breathe again, Matthew started to flail about, trying to break free, but the thin twine seemed to hold him in place as if they were metal handcuffs.

After they had contained Jezebel by chaining my brother to the chair, “Child of God” spoke again to Marcus in his hauntingly soft voice and Marcus translated for us.

“Do you have a garden?”

My mother looked at him curiously and with a feeble voice answered,

“Yes?”

Marcus then looked at me and gave me a command,

“You, girl, take my brother to the garden.”

I was too afraid to ask why, so I looked at “Child of God” staring at me through the bloody gauze and I just started to walk to the garden. He followed close behind me and when we reached the garden outside, he immediately walked to the rose bushes. I stood behind him as he set down his book and staff and I watched him pull out a massive hunting knife. He started to cut some of the stems off the bush and when I saw him destroy my mother’s garden, I called him out.

“Hey, what are you doing?!”

The instant I said that, he turned around and glared at me through the now bloodier gauze tape. He then pointed his finger at the door as if to tell me to go back inside. I was upset that he was killing our rose bushes, but I was too intimidated to argue with him.

A short while later he came back in the house with a tiara made from our best roses. It was actually very beautiful and well put together, it looked like something I would have liked to wear if not for the thorns in the stems. When Marcus saw this floral fillet, he just mysteriously stated his approval,

“Ah, roses. Even better.”

My mother, just as confounded as me, asked why he spent precious time making a crown of roses and Marcus told us why.

“This demon, though strong enough to possess your son, does not exude an aura that defiles all life in this house. Your roses are proof that goodness still exists midst this darkness that now has whelmed your home.”

He then took the crown from “Child of God” and then looked at me and said,

“Because this demon is spiritually linked to you, it is you who will help us destroy this demon. With your blood was this abomination released, and with your blood shall it be soon contained.”

He then quickly grasped my right hand and before I could react, punctured my palm with a thorn from the stem of the tiara. I recoiled in pain and my mother pulled me close to her to protect me from any more harm. Then Marcus took the crown of roses and gently put it on my brother’s head. My mother tried to stop him saying that the rose thorns would cut his skin, but as she said that, I think just to spite her, he jammed the fillet with great force onto Matthew’s head and then caused Jezebel in her girl voice to scream in pain. My mother was too afraid to do anything after this cruel display of disregard for my brother’s life. Then again, “Child of God” spoke to his brother and Marcus translated by asking me,

“Where do you conduct your rituals, girl?”

I said timidly,

“Outside in the woods.”

Marcus continued asking questions.

“Where are your books and tools of this devilish trade?”

So I answered again with my mother looking highly disappointed in me.

“They are all outside.”

Then his said,

“Lead the way.”

As I started to walk outside, Marcus held his brother’s book while “Child of God” dragged the chair Matthew was tied to as everyone started to follow me. All the while, Jezebel was trying to manipulate us by using Matthew’s voice to plea for help, then using her girl voice to shame me, and finally using the demonic voice to frighten us. My mother was nervous but “Child of God” tried to reassure her by saying something in Latin. Needless to say, his soft spoken words didn’t do much to calm my mother. Finally we reached the woods and my ritual site. When my mother saw the chalked pentagram, she nearly swooned and sighed,

“O goodness Marissa, how could you do this?”

I didn’t answer but instead retrieved my treasure chest that had all my candles, my chalk, my knife, and my books in it. Marcus looked inside, moved things around, and then closed the lid. Then he motioned to his brother and “Child of God” lifted Matthew and the chair and placed him in the center of the pentagram. The demon inside of him was furious and again began to flail to no avail. Now standing just on the outside of the circle, “Child of God” had his book again and began to recite prayers in Latin. As he was doing this, Marcus took a large jar of green powder and started to carefully pour it over the chalk pentagram. My mother was startled and quickly asked,

“What are you doing? What is that? It smells like gun powder!”

Marcus, without turning to look at my mother, in an annoyed voice, commanded her,

“Quiet woman!”

As each of these men were preparing for whatever rite they had planned, I noticed the gauze wrap of “Child of God” was soaking wet with blood and it seemed as he prayed longer and longer, more tears of blood dripped onto the mask. Finally Marcus had covered the entire circle and star with a thin layer of green powder and then he set my box of necromancy supplies underneath Matthew’s chair. He then took a lighter out of his satchel and lit the edge of the ring on fire. I don’t really know if that was green colored gun powder, but it smelled and burned like it. At the instant he kindled the flames, my mother tried to rush toward Matthew, but Marcus pushed his hands into her chest and knocked her flat on her back. She was heaving for air as her wind had been knocked out and I stooped beside her holding her in my arms.

Soon enough the entire pentagram shape went ablaze and then the box underneath my brother caught on fire. As this happened, my mother finally fainted from what I assume was pure panic and a lack of oxygen. I tried to turn away but I couldn’t help but look. Now in a frighteningly deep and loud voice, “Child of God” began to chant even more and it seemed like his words were some kind of acid being poured on Jezebel. Now using only her demonic voice, I couldn’t tell what she was saying to him, but it sounded like she was trying to reason with him, almost like someone tries to reason with their murderer before they are slain.

Then I watched as Marcus pulled out a small box from his satchel and walked behind the pentagram, facing his brother on the other side. “Child of God” slowly lifted his hands while still holding his staff and book, and as he did this, the fire rose higher as if he was a puppeteer pulling on the strings of the flames. Then I remember blinking because he shut the book which made a loud thud and then he held his staff over his head while walking through the fire to my brother. As “Child of God” walked toward the center of the circle, Marcus did the same from the other end. He continued to pray a little more until finally he drove the uplift staff straight into Matthew’s chest where his heart would be. Then I saw the shadowy Jezebel leave through my brother’s gaping mouth and as she finally left his body, Marcus held the small box over his face and captured her essence.

He quickly left the circle and wrapped the box in the white twine and he poured a vial of liquid over it once it was tied shut. After he doused the box in the liquid, the fire was extinguished and I saw only a circle and star of ashes where the pentagram was, a pile of ashes underneath Matthew where my box was, and ashes covering his face and head where the rose crown was. All the noise and fervor had ceased and Matthew was fast asleep. My mother was still unconscious as the hunters prepared their belongings and cleaned up the mess. Both Marcus and “Child of God” gave me their books and staff to carry for them while Marcus dragged Matthew in his chair and “Child of God” carried my mother in his arms like a dead body.

When we got back inside the house, “Child of God” laid my mother on her bed while Marcus untied Matthew and laid him on his bed. They then took their books and staff from me and without a word, began to walk outside. I followed them close behind and as I realized they had no intention of saying goodbye, I decided to give a farewell.

“Thank you for saving us.”

Marcus continued walking, just completely ignoring me while his brother, “Child of God” turned around one last time and stared at me. Through the blood stained gauze over his iron mask, I could feel him looking into my soul, and he said to me,

“I pray that I may never see you again.”

That was the first time I heard him speak English and the last. I will always remember those words he said to me because at first it stung, it felt like he hated me, but when I think about it now, when I look at my two year old daughter, I realize the sentiment is mutual. I also pray that my daughter doesn’t make the same mistake I made growing up and I pray that I may never have a reason see those men again.

Credit To – Marissa D.