Sinner ~ Book 7 - A Faith Savage Demon Huntress Novel
Available Now at Mojocastle Press
(All Proceeds from the sale of this book to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters)
It was written that each soul would have a Guardian. A Warrior of Light to watch over it. Protect it. Be its shield against the darkness, its sword against the fallen. But the days grew dark. Man’s souls darker still. Many turned away from the Light of God, cast aside His word and His love. And the Guardians rebelled.
Some say that this was his second transgression. What led to his ultimate betrayal. Others say that he too was but pawn in God’s glorious manipulation. A means to an end of man’s dark days. One thing is certain, only God knows the truth of his story. Only He knows a soul’s true worth and its fate.
My name is Faith Savage. In this game of good and evil I’ve met the Guardian that God sent me. His story I am just beginning to learn. His history, I am told, has marked him as damned. But, everyone knows Christ died for the sinners. The only question that remains is, could we forgive him if we controlled his fate?
I blinked, and the world was filled the kind of mist you see at sunrise on those rare pre-fall days when the temperature hovers around fifty-five and the clouds have forgotten how to rise from the earth. Instead, they lay nestled in the dew hiding from the darkness, afraid the light will never come.
I heard a child's laughter from within this hazy darkness. Laughter that creeps along your flesh, burrows beneath the skin at your nails and scampers up the insides, on top of your bones like centipedes scurrying from the light.
"Grab her," someone said. The voice sounded familiar, stirred an ache in my heart. "She's headed for the corner. Grab her."
"I've got her, Father. I've got her," another man stated. There was a loud thud and a groan of pain followed, then the sound of bones snapping and a gurgled, pain-filled scream. Then the obvious slide of a body to the ground below and the maniacal ring of twinkling laughter.
"You should have died for him, Father," the child voice stated with graded vibrato.
"God has a purpose for all of us, dark one. Come down from that wall and we'll see what His purpose is for you."
"Ah, Father Daniel. The ever faithful servant. If I come down, will you die for this one?" the demon questioned. "Will you be her redeemer? Her savior?"
My stomach clenched at the mention of Father Daniel's name. At the memory I had no recollection of. My child body plagued by the darkness. My innocence devoured, entangled and displaced.
Father Daniel began to pray. "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name."
"Your pathetic prayers won't save her," the darkness bantered.
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us."
"Sinner, sinner, sinner," I, the child chanted from my place of repose against the top of the corner's wall.
"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen."
When I looked at the child, she now cowered on the floor, curled into herself. Crying.
"Come, little one," Father Daniel stated, picking up her battered and bruised body and carrying her to a cot in the middle of the room. "God has not forsaken you."
My heart hurt so badly to watch this scene of my life unfold before me. A memory torn from a void so dark and dank that I had absolutely no recollection of it. Why was I reliving this nightmare? Why had God protected me so long just to make me suffer its tortuous stain now? My demon tour guide laughed beside me. His hideous mirth rang in my ears like a plague of bees seeking my soul for their hive, coating me in the nectar of their lies.
The mist that had surrounded this memory lifted, but the heavy weight of angst remained. Father Daniel appeared before me, younger than any of my previous memories. Lighter in form, but still strong of faith and firm in his pursuit of righteousness. My child form now lay sequestered to the cot like a psych patient, the room padded, white and sterile.
"Shall we play a game, Father?"
"We cast you out, every unclean spirit, every satanic power, every onslaught of the infernal adversary, every legion," Father Daniel started.
"Who is we?" the child questioned. Clearly I was possessed. Truly beyond the light of God.
The temperature began to drop in the room and goosebumps broke out on my flesh as I stood and watched my past unfold before me.
"Who is this we?" the child-demon questioned.
There was suddenly a soft glow surrounding Father Daniel, and I think my heart stopped. Father Daniel, however, didn't skip a beat. "We cast you out, every diabolical group and sect, in the name and by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. We command you, be gone and fly far from the Church of God, from the souls made by God in His image and redeemed by the precious blood of the divine Lamb.
The child-demon laughed. "You bring me a coward and a sinner to fight for your Christ?" it mocked. "Two of Heaven's finest. Oh, this shall be such a fine game indeed, Father."
Still Father Daniel continued, "No longer dare, cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute God's Church, to strike God's elect and to sift them as wheat. For the Most High God commands you. He to whom you once proudly presumed yourself equal; He who wills all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of truth. God the Father commands you. The Son of God commands you."
"The Son of God commands me? Ask the sinner, Father what he has done for the Son of God? Ask him. Ask the sinner. Sinner, sinner, sinner!" the child-demon chanted.
I stood stoically silent while Father Daniel recited the exorcism over my gaunt, grey form. While I cursed, spat and spewed obscenities at my priest, my friend and my protector. Beside him stood two angels. One of glorious golden light; the light of the sun meeting the dawn blazing a path to Heaven. The other, my sorrow-filled, betrayer of man, Angel and Christ alike. And for the first time in my life, I questioned God's decisions.
"Be gone, you unclean, vile serpent. God the Holy Ghost commands you. Christ, the eternal Word of God made flesh, commands you. Christ, who humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, to save our race from the perdition wrought by your envy; who founded His Church upon a firm rock, declaring that the gates of hell should never prevail against her, and that He would remain with her all days, even to the end of the world, commands you."
The child-demon laughed again. "Would you die for her, Father?"
Father Daniel stumbled in his prayer.
"Would you die for her?" the demon bellowed, pulling on its restraints. Its gaunt face took on the ashen stain of death, eyes the flames of hell's inner sanctum and a rush of a thousand screaming souls echoed from a voice flowing with rot.
"Would you die for her?" it inquired to the first angel, voice the hard slice of death.
There was no response, and the darkness pulled free of its restraints. It scampered backwards against the wall, inverted itself as if it were Christ crucified upside down, and growled like a threatened dog. Doors opened, slammed closed. Lights flashed on and off. In the distance someone screamed. Then there was a loud moan, and blood sprayed from her right hand.
"Would you die for her?" the darkness roared.
In the startled silence, no one responded.
Wind and thunder from a skyless heaven whipped through the room. The crack came again. More blood, this time from her left hand--the piercing of the flesh. The child screamed. I looked at my own flesh and a bead of blood stained my palms. The child screamed again. I screamed too. My legs buckled.
"Would you die for her?"
The pain was unbearable. The horror profane.
"Would you, sinner? Would you die for this child?"
Silence. And pain.
From the outside looking in, lying in a heap on a floor, in a place no longer real, I understood a greater meaning. I understood a greater purpose