The Devil, Chapter Nine

“It’s been raining in the mountains/And the river’s on the rise
And we cannot hardly make it/To the other side…”*

 

The War had begun, out beyond the cabin. Each of the devil’s one hundred and one lieutenants were trying to break through the angelic lines of defense surrounding the cabin. But they could not. Even at their strongest, they were still too weak-too disorganized-to make a solid or decisive attack. Their inner competition, that mechanism that drove them to hate taking orders from each other, stopped them from working in unison. Their in-fighting, which fueled their competitive tendencies, also separated them. both, combined with their bickering kept them from being even close to unified.

Their lack of agreement as to what their master wanted also defeated all their efforts. This became so paralyzing that there could be nothing but a retreat. And they couldn’t even do that in a unified manner.

This allowed the Masshittim to gain the upper hand. Heaven’s four generals held fast, pushing hard. As hell’s armies retreated, the advance was sounded. Arrows and lances flew, swords clashed upon shields and breastplates. And though the unholy army was in full retreat, there seemed to be no end to the storm. In fact, the battle seemed to make it storm even harder.

But heaven’s army was not hindered by the rain or the storm in general. Where they stood, the rain had stopped and the ground had dried. As soon as they had passed from the spot, the rain reclaimed the ground and air.

As arrows streaked toward the demonic lines, fire marked their passing. sword and shield crashed over even the lightning, shaking the earth. Those in the valley, who were still alive, would spend generations, after the battle, spinning tales of the war and the earthquakes. They would talk of fire in the sky and unearthly thunder that made them think it was the end of time.

***

Inside the cabin, another battle was taking place. this one was between Tori and the devil. But at the moment, she had no idea that he was the lord of lies. She still thought he was the priest from the valley.

“My child, you only have to believe that the storm will pass and that you can make this all end by declaring yourself mine.”

“I belong to God, Father. I cannot belong to you or anyone else.”

Child.” His impatience was beginning to be apparent. “Believe me when I say that you will still belong to him. You will just belong to me as well.”

“None can serve two masters.”

“Listen to me. All you have been taught is a lie.”

She weakened a little for a moment, and he struck. He wove his spell well, wrapping her in a trance. Now, she was his.

The door burst open and Abaddon entered, followed by the small band of siblings and allies.

“You’re too late, Jailor. She is mine.”

“I think not, Satan. You may have entranced her, but that does not make her yours. It only means that you have forced control over her through foul means.”

“But I have control of her. A single command from me, and you will be history, Jailor. You and your followers.”

“Lies. All lies. You know that I cannot be destroyed. Not by the likes of you.”

As angel and demon prince talked, Michael watched as the illusion was removed from his sight and the devil was revealed in his true form. Those in the Circle now also saw the devil in his true form. Patrick, though, had always seen him as he was.

***

The armies of hell fled back to the depths of hell. At the entrance, Michael and the other Heavenly generals held watch to make sure they could not escape again. One war had come to an end, another had just begun. They only hoped that those involved in the second war were strong enough to defeat their opponent.

*The Devil By Hoyt Axton. Used by permission.

Advertisements