The Second Sight

The Second Sight – Episode 35

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Th£ SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 35

®20+ SNVL

MEET!nG BONNER

h£ shuffled forward and stood at th£ side of th£ mahogany desk apprais!ng me. h¡s eyes were still a pierc!ng grey as h£ gazed unbl!nk!ngly at me.

I felt uncomfortable, but I did not bl!nk or look away, and returned h¡s look.

Mrs. Anderson stood up approach£d th£ old man. h£ h£ld unto h£r arm as h£ lowered h¡mself gently !nto an armchair to th£ right of Anderson.

h£ leaned [email protected]¢k with a contented sigh as th£ woman took h¡s walk!ng-stick and hooked it along th£ [email protected]¢k of one of th£ [email protected]¢ked chairs.

h£ spoke, hold!ng ©vt h¡s right [email protected], and h¡s voice was deep and soft .

OLD MAN

Come, young man, come.

As I approach£d h¡m I felt a sudden clos£ness, a blast of comfort that was as scary as it was nostalgic. I knew deep with!n me that I was go!ng to like h¡m profoundly. h£ rem!nded me so much of my fath£r, somehow, and for a moment I felt a deep ach£ !n my br£@st.

Anderson stood up as I shook th£ old man’s [email protected]

PAUL ANDERSON

Yaw, meet Pastor Charles Bonner, retired, co-founder of our church. You already know all ab©vt Yaw, Charles.

CHARLES BONNER

Hmm, a f!ne grip you have, son. Th£ grip of a man. But do sit d©wΠ. We have so much to talk ab©vt. Feel at home, son. I am also a retired Unbl!nd, for your !nformation.

I looked at h¡m as I sat, startled.

BOAT

(with sudden !nterest)

Really? You lived th£ life of an Unbl!nd?

CHARLES BONNER

(smil!ng)

Close to twenty years, son.

I noticed that h£ had most of h¡s teeth and wondered idly if th£y were fake.

CHARLES BONNER

(somberly)

But don’t let us dwell so much on that now. Before you ask questions, and above all else, I want you to tell me everyth!ng you have been through, son. Beg!n from th£ moment Paul met you … and please, try not to leave anyth!ng ©vt.

Com!ng from any oth£r man I might have been offended to be commanded to [email protected] my life on th£ table, but from h¡m it sounded j√$t right, and I wanted to do it.

I faced h¡m, deliberately cutt!ng off Anderson … and talked.

It ₱0ured ©vt, and as my words fell and I re-lived th£ horrors I found my h£art steady!ng, and warm peace began to wash over me.

It was a balm over th£ raw parts, th£ still hurt!ng parts that I could not let go. At times th£y had to sit through lengthy pauses as I tried to overcome th£ pa!ns that my story !nvoked !n me, but no one tried to stop or !nterrupt me.

Th£y sat and listened attentively, and for that I was grateful.

F!nally, wh£n it was done, I took a deep breath and covered my face with my [email protected]

I found moisture !n my palms, and realized that I had $h£d a few tears.

For my parents, yes.

Especially for my unknown moth£r who had died so h£lplessly.

Anderson and h¡s wife were still hold!ng on to each oth£r, but now with m©r£ !ntensity. Anderson had a lot of remorse on h¡s face, and h¡s wife wiped tears from h£r eyes.

Bonner seemed to have sunk deeper !nto h¡s chair, h¡s arms rest!ng limply on th£ broad supports, but h£ had lost none of h¡s alertness.

h¡s gaze fixed me with m©r£ !ntensity, and beh!nd that brow I seemed to h£ar an active bra!n work!ng overtime.

Wh£n h£ spoke h¡s voice was not quite steady as h£ too seemed affected by th£ extent of th£ horrors I had gone through.

PAUL ANDERSON

(remorsefvlly)

You’ve been through real h£ll, Yaw, and for that I’m profoundly sorry. I never expected all that to happen to you under th£ cir¢vmstances.

BOAT

(fiercely, angrily)

And why not? You should have expected worse! You knew I wasn’t ready for it.

CHARLES BONNER

(calmly)

Settle d©wΠ, boy. Th¡s is not th£ time to ₱|@y th£ blam!ng game. What had to happen happened. That was how our great God, !n all h¡s !nf!nite wisdom, wanted to happen.

And that really made me mad.

I spun on h¡m, my voice low but filled with bitterness.

BOAT

(fiercely, pa$$ionately)

Now don’t give me that, sir, please! Why did Pastor Anderson h£re have to leave me alone? Sure, I didn’t believe th£ story h£ fed me at first, but who would have? It sounded like th£ drivel of a mad man, but h£ knew damn well it was go!ng to happen! Th£ least h£ could have done was to stick @r0vnd and h£lp me ©vt! I could’ve died easily ©vt th£re! And I lost my fath£r, have you thought ab©vt that? If h£ had been @r0vnd maybe my fath£r could’ve been saved! Damn, h£ told me h£ was guided by h¡s predecessor, and that even

seasoned pastors who had foreknowledge of th£ gift sometimes couldn’t [email protected] it. I was an unbeliev!ng pagan, and suddenly I was thrv$t !nto th£ horror of anoth£r world. h£ should’ve been th£re for me and seen me through, and that was th£ least h£ could’ve done!

Bonner lifted a placat!ng [email protected]

CHARLES BONNER

Th£re are a lot of th!ngs you don’t understand ab©vt th£ gift, and yourself, son. No human could’ve seen you through, as you put it. Paul h£re was specifically commanded by God to leave you alone, and h£ did j√$t that. Now, let me ask you th¡s, are you s¢ar£d of th£ Legion?

I didn’t h£sitate.

BOAT

No. I wish m©r£ than anyth!ng to meet it aga!n.

Th£re was a pregnant silence !n th£ room. I saw Anderson and h¡s wife exchang!ng looks, but Bonner kept h¡s icy gaze on me.

CHARLES BONNER

(softly)

Th£re, you have your answer.

BOAT

To what?

CHARLES BONNER

(calmly)

You wanted to know why Paul didn’t stay with you. God wanted you to have th£ encounter with th£ Legion with©vt th£ h£lp of anyb©dy. You see, that group of demons – th£ one we refer to as th£ Legion – was spawned centuries ago, and it has plagued th£ people of God s!nce th£ death of Christ. Many Unbl!nds have faced it, but sadly it triumph£d over every s!ngle one of th£m due to one factor … our fear of it! It is th£ most vicious evil entity ever known, and no Unbl!nd has ever faced it alone. !n your story you mentioned an old Unbl!nd called Paul V. Clement…

BOAT

Yes, h£ tried to exorcise th£ Legion from my fath£r. h£ was killed by th£ Legion. It later turned ©vt that h£ had been hav!ng an affair with a teenaged prostitute for a long time. My fath£r told me that, anyway.

CHARLES BONNER

(regretfvlly)

Yes, a sad and sordid affair. Clement was my student.

Bonner said and rubb£d h¡s po!nted ch!n.

BOAT

(shocked)

No sh*t!

I exclaimed, shocked, and th£n shook my h£ad !n embarra$$ment.

BOAT

(shame-faced)

Aw, sorry, Mrs. Andersons, sirs. My bad m©vth. I’m extremely sorry!

Bonner waved th£ apology aside impatiently.

CHARLES BONNER

Yes, Clement succeeded me, and h£ was Paul Anderson’s teach£r.

BOAT

(genu!nely baffled)

Th£n what happened? Accord!ng to my fath£r h¡s death was nasty. Why? Surely h£ served God long and [email protected] enough – even though h£ erred !n th£ end – to deserve a m©r£ decent death?

Bonner nodded h¡s great white h£ad.

CHARLES BONNER

(gently)

Th£re are a lot of th!ngs you need to learn, son. With God th£re is no middle road. You’re eith£r for h¡m, or not for h¡m. S!n is s!n, no matter its shade or quantum, and s!n puts a divide b£tweeΠ us and God. It has been my hope that Clement, !n h¡s f!nal hour, was able to f!nd h¡s way [email protected]¢k to God. If that didn’t happen, th£n all h¡s faithful years of service would not account to much. But that is th£ way it is. Let me tell you th¡s. Years previously, wh£n Clement was my student, we met th£ Legion. It had by th£n occupied a young man who was my son. We almost succeeded !n cast!ng h¡m ©vt.

BOAT

(fasc!nated)

Why ‘almost’? If you were men of God, and you were Unbl!nds, why didn’t you deal with that th!ng?

Aga!n th£re was silence !n th£ room. I saw that Bonner’s eyes had taken on a faraway look, obviously re-liv!ng a terrible past.

CHARLES BONNER

(haunted)

Faith, my son, faith. Be!ng confronted with th£ true face of that th!ng, see!ng its basic and raw evil, its terrible resolve to destroy … Clement lost faith and fled th£ room, I lost faith too, and th£ Legion murdered my son, th£ only child I ever had. Faith is th£ only weapon of any Unbl!nd, and once it is gone, h£’s next to useless.

KNOW!nG Th£ ENEMY

Charles Bonner still spoke !n a rath£r sad, unsettl!ng k!nd of way as h¡s m!nd dwelt on th£ past.

CHARLES BONNER

Eventually it comes to each of us, though. Fight!ng those demons demands a daily devotion and total dedication to God, a build!ng up of your faith to h£ights unimag!nable, but th£ life of an Unbl!nd is a [email protected] one, and it s1©wly erodes one’s faith. And once faith wanes…

F!nally it began to dawn on me, and my startled eyes turned s1©wly and fixed on Paul Anderson.

h¡s face was awash with sweat, and h¡s eyes seemed large and haunted.

Yes, I f!nally understood th£ir irrational frenzy, th£ underly!ng terror that had virtually taken over th£ woman. It was like look!ng at a raw wound, and it turned my m!nd.

I shook my h£ad numbly.

Now I understood clearly why th£ woman had put so much trust !n me, a trust I wasn’t sure I could live up to.

Th£ implication staggered me!

Anderson had seemed as solid as a rock wh£n h£ was speak!ng to me !n my car.

h£ had seemed th£ epitome of unshakeable faith.

But I could see clearly now that it is no longer th£ case.

Th£ man has changed drastically.

BOAT

You too, Pastor Anderson? Your faith is gone?

Anderson could not look at me.

h£ looked d©wΠ quickly, but not before I glimpsed th£ sudden anguish !n h¡s eyes, th£ sudden blast of tears on h¡s la$h£s.

CHARLES BONNER

(sigh!ng)

Yes, Yaw. Paul’s faith is gone, and h£’s s¢ar£d of liv!ng th£ rest of h¡s life cooped up like I was. h£’s s¢ar£d of liv!ng virtually !n th£ house of God, wast!ng th£ rest of h¡s life away, s¢ar£d of th£ wonderful life ©vtside. Liv!ng and yet dy!ng … rott!ng away, each day m©r£ pa!nful than th£ rest.

BOAT

(angui$h£d, perplexed)

But why? I don’t understand it. Why does it have to be that?

Bonner stared at me for a long.

CHARLES BONNER

(softly)

It has to be like that, son, because ventur!ng ©vtside th£ protected house of God, go!ng ©vt !nto th£ s!n-filled world, is an !nvitation for death. Th£ Legion is wait!ng ©vt th£re. It never forgives, boy, and it never forgets. Th£ moment it separates one of us, we will be dead men.

I looked from one man to th£ oth£r. Th£y made no attempt to hide th£ torture of th£ir fears.

Suddenly I could feel th£ walls of th£ room clos!ng !n on me. I $h!veryed [email protected] … and it wasn’t because I was feel!ng cold.

It was fear.

Bonner spoke, tak!ng a sip of orange juice from a straw.

Th£re had been a little break wh£n Mrs. Anderson had brought us water, orange juice and a tray of home-baked apple pies.

Th£ pies were delicious, but only I was eat!ng

CHARLES BONNER

Fifty years ago it is, wh£n I had th£ chance to banish th£ Legion. As I said I was with Clement. It had possessed my twenty-year old boy, Phil¡p. I never knew wh£re I went wrong with that boy. By th£ age of sixteen h£ was already do!ng drugs and … well, had also achieved a sort of a reputation as a ₱©rnographic star. h£ was starr!ng !n ₱©rn movies.

h¡s old face was screwed up with pa!n now. Obviously h£ was muddy!ng waters h£ would have preferred to stay settled. I understood h¡s pa!n, and shared it.

Somehow, by [email protected]!ng our souls bare, that strange harmonious tie I had experienced with h¡m was be!ng strength£ned.

That bond was stronger now, and although I felt sorry for h¡m for th£ horrors h£ was aga!n experienc!ng, on anoth£r level it exhilarated me, and drew me up to h¡s platform wh£re I could see everyth!ng through h¡s eyes.

CHARLES BONNER

My dear wife was long dead by th£n – $h£ had cancer wh£n Phil¡p was ten, and died a year later. I tried to be with h¡m, but I guess h£ had always been m©r£ h¡s Moth£r’s son than m!ne. I was filled with th£ zeal for th£ Lord’s work by th£n, and I guess I neglected h¡m pretty much wh£n h£ was a kid. By th£ time I realized th£re was a gulf b£tweeΠ us, and tried to bridge it, it was too late. h£ came home one Christmas, wh£n h£ was twenty-three and I had not seen h¡m for six years. Th£ Legion was liv!ng !n h¡m.

h£ gently patted h¡s dry l¡ps and leaned forward slightly.

CHARLES BONNER

Clement was filled with fire, but I guess th£ fact that my son whom I loved so much was th£ one possessed threw me [email protected] from th£ onset. I had doubts, you know, and th£re had been times wh£n I had wondered wh£th£r it would have been wise to let Clement perform th£ banishment all alone. I would never know, though. We were do!ng pretty well, and had it !n a t!ght spot, wh£n suddenly it manifested. My teach£r had told me that from generation to generation men of God had panicked before th£ Legion, and fled before it. Well, Clement clean fled th£ room wh£n it manifested, and my faith was pretty much gone by th£n. Th£ only th!ng that kept me go!ng was th£ fact that my son was !n th£re. But th£ Legion knew I was operat!ng on adrenal!ne alone, and it m©v£d !n with its lies and half-truths, confus!ng and tortur!ng me until I felt completely alienated from God. I lost my nerve completely, and no amount of prayers could save me. I cowered and begged that vile h£ap of evil to leave my son. It laugh£d triumphantly and began to sqv££se itself !nward, and wh£n I h£ard th£ s¢r**ms I knew my son was be!ng sqv££sed dry, was be!ng cruelly murdered. Th£ Legion left, and I still h£ar th£ echoes of its derisive laughter !n my sleep. Phil¡p was on th£ floor – dead, with blood ooz!ng ©vt of h¡s nostrils, eyes, ears and m©vth. That was th£ end for me as an Unbl!nd. Clement took th£ mantle.

BOAT

(shocked)

My word! What’s th£ mean!ng of all th¡s? If your God is such a lov!ng fath£r why does h£ allow th£se terrible th!ngs to happen? Why doesn’t h£ j√$t get rid of th£ Legion and get it over with? I mean, if th£ damn th!ng is kill!ng you guys !n such great numbers why doesn’t God simply quarant!ne it somewh£re safe?

CHARLES BONNER

(gently)

I’ve asked myself that question, son. I don’t know how to expla!n it, but suppose you have a kid, a son you loved very much, and that boy is always be!ng bullied mercilessly, what would you do ab©vt it? You have two options: eith£r take on th£ bully yourself, or teach your boy to stand up to h¡m. Now, which would give your son m©r£ confidence !n you … and !n h¡mself? I th!nk th£ latter option, right?

BOAT

(explosively)

That is different! Man, we’re talk!ng ab©vt life and death h£re!

Bonner h£ld up a f!ng£r.

CHARLES BONNER

(calmly)

It is not different, son. You j√$t don’t understand th£ pr!nciple. No man of God is a weakl!ng. Th£ Legion has absolutely no power over any man of God. Even th£ newest believer – like a pagan who has been converted !nto Christ j√$t for ten seconds – has been given th£ power to triumph over any demon. Th£ trouble is with us, our imperfections, our doubts !n ourselves, and our !nability to cultivate our faith to a level wh£re it becomes fixed and unshakeable. That alone has always been our undo!ng. . You understand that?

BOAT

No, frankly I don’t. If it is that simple, why do you all suffer so?

CHARLES BONNER

(calmly)

I never said it is simple, son. Yes, it should be simple, but it isn’t. Th¡s is because we are human, made up of blood and f|£$h and emotions. We have fear and doubt !n our system, because we were born !nto s!n, and even though !n Christ we are cleansed of all s!ns, th£ truth still rema!ns that naturally th£ human h£art freezes at th£ sight of latent evil, and that limits our ability to develop faith to that ultimate po!nt wh£re we could tell a mounta!n to m©v£ !nto th£ sea and it would obey.

BOAT

(puzzled, disappo!nted)

Why should that be th£ case? Look at me; I don’t know half th£ th!ngs you know. h£ll, I don’t even have a pea’s worth of your experience, but I was able to deal with that little demon at Jackson Peak, th£ one that possessed Samantha Gaisie. You should be able to deal with th£ Legion easily!

Th¡s time Bonner and Anderson exchanged looks, and for a moment th£re was an awkward silence. I was aware that I had j√$t rebuked th£m, touch£d a raw spot, and I was !nstantly embarra$$ed aga!n.

BOAT

(h£sitant, embarra$$ed)

Look, I’m sorry. It didn’t come ©vt right. What I meant was –

Aga!n Bonner h£ld up a [email protected]

CHARLES BONNER

Don’t fret yourself, son. We understand what you meant. You’re right, we should be able to do m©r£ because we know m©r£ and have had m©r£ experience. !n oth£r words, we understand th£ turf as it is. But has it occurred to you yet, that maybe you’re able to do m©r£ because you don’t know m©r£? What happened at Jackson Peak was extraord!nary, but has it occurred to you that maybe it j√$t didn’t happen ©vt of th£ blue, that maybe it was all a part of your tra!n!ng?

I looked at h¡m blankly.

BOAT

You’ve lost me.

MULTIPLE GIFTS

Th£ old man nodded.

CHARLES BONNER

I know, but pres£ntly everyth!ng would be made clear to you. !n Jackson Peak two th!ngs happened. First you were given what we call Death’s Eyes. No, don’t !nterrupt, let me f!nish. You saw th£ Shadow of Death th£ moment it began to follow that man – Ray Mensah, right? – yes. You saw that. I have h£ard of men of God with that gift, but I have never met one. Have you, Paul?

Anderson shook h¡s h£ad and stuffed a piece of pie !nto h¡s m©vth.

CHARLES BONNER

Now, secondly, you did someth!ng else I have never h£ard of. You had an ©vt-of-b©dy experience. Wh£n you were pursu!ng th£ Legion !n th£ mar$h£s, you soul left your b©dy! Now, that is simply !ncredible, and I was really shook up by that. I have never h£ard, read or seen anyth!ng like that! That goes to prove what we were told all along and yet disputed. And th£n, thirdly, we come to th£ Bruno !ncident.

My h£art missed a b**t, and th£ Andersons sat up straighter.

PAUL ANDERSON

(puzzled)

Bruno? Are you talk!ng ab©vt what happened th¡s even!ng, Charles? What ab©vt Bruno? h£ went berserk for th£ first time s!nce I have known h¡m. I was worried. We all were, and I’ve !nstructed Junior to s£nd h¡m to th£ Vet tomorrow.

CHARLES BONNER

Th£re’s noth!ng wrong with Bruno. It is Yaw Boat who set h¡m on Andrew Okai !n a moment of childish jealousy.

Bonner kept h¡s eyes on me.

Th£y were all look!ng at me now. I could feel th£ h£at ris!ng up @r0vnd my neck. Twice I tried to speak, and failed.

Anderson and h¡s wife seemed a trifle bewildered and doubtful. I could feel th£ guilt written all over my face, and I looked at Bonner with new eyes.

BOAT

(lamely)

I didn’t set no dog on anyb©dy. Well, at least not will!ngly. I j√$t spoke ©vt loud, !nnocently, and I didn’t know that was what was go!ng to happen. And I def!nitely didn’t want that to happen! How th£ h£ll did you know anyway? Pardon my language, Ma’am.

MRS. ANDERSON

(!n a horrified wh¡sper)

Dear Lord, is it really true?

PAUL ANDERSON

If Charles Bonner said it th£n it is true, dear.

CHARLES BONNER

(softly)

I am also a Seer, son. It is one of those div!ne gifts that God gives to some of h¡s faithful servants. Let j√$t say God still reveals th!ngs to me. You underestimate your power. God has given you multiple gifts… m©r£ than I have ever witnessed !n any oth£r Unbl!nd. You’re dest!ned for a greatness far high£r than any of us ever imag!ned. You, young man, are dest!ned to deal with th£ Legion once and for all … if you will only avail yourself.

I shook my h£ad lamely.

BOAT

I don’t want any of it, Mr. Bonner. Why can’t you understand that? Why can’t

your God understand that?

Th£ old man leaned forward, h¡s eyes seem!ng to drill a h0l£ right through me.

CHARLES BONNER

Do you really mean that? I know for a fact that you set off h£re primarily to deal with th£ Legion. Your young h£art was filled with vengeance, and noth!ng could have stopped you from that showd©wΠ you craved so much. What has changed now? Is it th£ fear of th£ unknown, or is it that you feel pressured by Paul h£re and h¡s wife who, sadly, seemed to have placed you under undue stress !n th£ir moment of need?

Noth!ng escaped th¡s man.

Look!ng at h¡m I knew that I would never have my own way. h£ was th£re, as solid as a rock, pick!ng thoughts and feel!ngs off me as if I were an open book before h¡m.

Th£re was no need to fight h¡m. h£ had to be reasoned with. h¡s was an !ntellect I had never been exposed to.

After a moment I leaned [email protected]¢k resignedly and looked at th£ old man.

BOAT

(wearily)

Speak to me. Please make me understand.

CHARLES BONNER

Truth be said, Paul V. Clement was th£ best Unbl!nd I ever saw. I th!nk h£ took Phil¡p’s death personally; h£ never really stopped blam!ng h¡mself for th£ death of my son. h£ pursued demons relentlessly. h£ search£d for th£ Legion, and never stopped even wh£n Paul Anderson became h¡s protégé. Th£ hour of truth came wh£n th£y f!nally caught up with th£ Legion. h£ had possessed a mad self-styled archbishop !n Italy. Quite a powerful man, revered by th£ church !n that part of th£ world. Paul and Paul, as I used to call th£m, practically broke !nto th£ man’s room like thieves, and confronted th£ host of demons. Th£ir faiths were strong, and th£y were vibrant. Th£ir faith was fuelled by th£ir wrath, and th£ Legion had no chance. It couldn’t manifest, and it fled with terrible s¢r**ms. It was a moment of triumph and profound joy for all of us. For years – seven years, precisely – we never h£ard anyth!ng ab©vt it. And th£n, Clement’s wife died. No, don’t look like that. $h£ died naturally, yes. No sickness, no prolonged fight for life. Th£y had a normal even!ng, and went to b£d quite happy. Next morn!ng $h£ was gone, j√$t like that. Paul Clement had been devastated. h£ had no children, and $h£ was virtually h¡s angel. h£ turned away from our h£lp, and refused to take solace !n th£ arms of th£ Lord. h£ was very bitter, you know. h£ had dedicated h¡s wh0l£ life to God, and felt that th£ least th£ Creator should’ve done was keep h¡s wife alive.

BOAT

(wearily)

I cant’ say I fault h¡m on that. It would’ve been pretty [email protected] for h¡m.

I spoke sadly, my h£art reach!ng ©vt to a broken man whose source of joy had been snuffed ©vt like a candle with©vt warn!ng.

CHARLES BONNER

It was [email protected] for Clement, yes. h¡s anger and bitterness aga!nst God grew, and h£ began to dr!nk. h¡s faith suffered, and tried as [email protected] as we could we could not really br!ng h¡m [email protected]¢k !nto th£ barn. h£ was crav!ng death, and day !n day ©vt h£ cursed God for what had happened to h¡s wife. It was dur!ng that terrible time that h£ started visit!ng th£ teenaged prostitute, although h£ kept it a secret. !n th£ midst of all that confusion your parents and your grandfath£r found h¡m and asked h¡m to exorcise th£ Legion, which by th£n had ga!ned roots !n your fath£r’s b©dy. It was suicide, and that terrible night your moth£r, grandfath£r and Clement lost th£ir lives. Th£ Legion was [email protected]¢k, crav!ng for revenge, and Clement was at an all-time low. I’m pretty sure h£ knew that h£ was not prepared for it, but deep d©wΠ h£ didn’t really ¢ar£. h£ wanted to die. Th£ Legion tore h¡m to pieces, yes.

Th¡s time th£ old man’s silence was longer, and as I s1©wly looked from one to th£ oth£r I had th£ dist!nct feel!ng that h¡s reluctance was not borne ©vt of tiredness, as I had feared, but by th£ $h£er unsavoury nature of what was to follow.

Anderson’s haunted face was t!nged with a generous amount of guilt, h¡s wife’s nervousness and fear, and th£ old man’s sudden aversion to look!ng directly at th£ pastor s1©wly told me that somehow Paul Anderson was !n greater mud than I had presumed.

I cleared my throat and pa!nfvlly broach£d th£ subject.

BOAT

(¢ar£fvlly)

You told me Pastor Anderson was work!ng with Pastor Paul Clement that time !n Italy wh£n th£ Legion fled from th£m. It has been m©r£ than twenty-five years s!nce Pastor Clement died. Why didn’t Pastor Anderson go after my fath£r, whose b©dy was host!ng th£ Legion?

CHARLES BONNER

(sharply)

You’re mak!ng hasty a$$umptions, son. Forgive me, boy. I didn’t mean to bark at you. Yes, you’re right, it has been a long time. But we didn’t know your fath£r was th£ vessel. Remember h£ fled th£ scene before th£ cops arrived, and th£re wasn’t any evidence to show that your fath£r had been pres£nt th£ day Clement, your grandfath£r and moth£r were killed. Remember that th£ official police record showed that it was a terrible case of robbery gone wrong, that was all. Of course we knew better after we saw Clement’s mutilated b©dy. It never occurred to us that your fath£r, a most renowned man of God, could be th£ vessel.

BOAT

Still I figured h£ could easily have –

CHARLES BONNER

(!nterrupt!ng)

You figured wrong, boy. Th£ Legion is not like your common friendly poltergeist. It keeps a permanent host, yes, but it leaves its host at regular !ntervals and occupies oth£r hosts, especially wh£n it wants to do someth!ng drastic. Pastor Anderson was fvll of power; quite frankly I thought h£ was also go!ng to be th£ one to br!ng th£ Legion d©wΠ. But as I told you, h£ didn’t have to go after th£ Legion. That host of demons never forgot that Paul and Clement exorcised it, and once it had dealt with Clement we all knew it was com!ng after Paul next, who had no fear of it. !n fact Paul was eagerly await!ng th£ confrontation. However, one night both of us – that is, Paul Anderson and me – had th£ same dream. !n it th£re was a war go!ng on b£tweeΠ you and th£ Legion, and th£ two of us were j√$t spectators. !n th£ dream you were wear!ng a series of halo-like r!ngs from h£ad to feet. Now, before you start shoot!ng off your m©vth aga!n, I want you to know that it is th£ way God always reveals our successors to us. Now that you’re an Unbl!nd, you shall one day have a dream and see th£ next Unbl!nd wear!ng those halos. God showed us wh£re to f!nd you, and what message to give you. Wh£n Paul came [email protected]¢k and told me that you were a complete novice who didn’t even believe !n th£ existence of God I was so sad because it meant God had lost faith !n us. We all knew that as soon as you became th£ next Unbl!nd th£ Legion would m©v£ !n on Paul and h¡s family. Of course Paul Anderson isn’t so concerned for h¡s safety, but h£ is s¢ar£d, as we all are, for h¡s family.

To be cont!nued…

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