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Rebekka Franck - 03 - Five, Six ... Grab Your Crucifix, Page 2

Willow Rose

  He had come to him in his bedroom more than thirty years ago. He had shown himself in a strong light and told the Priest that he should leave his Catholic church and start a new one. He showed him faces of people who had been possessed by demons and had died without the demon being exorcised. The hell of pain and agony they lived in now had made the Priest fall to his knees and cry before the Mighty God. He had screamed: “Please let me help those people, please teach me to help them.”

  So He had done. The next day the Priest quit as a pastor at his church and started reading about demons and exorcism. God had guided him on a trip where he visited churches all over the world that used exorcism to treat people from all sorts of deviltry that possessed them and caused them to live a life in pain. He had brought back his new knowledge to Denmark where he started his church and written a book about it. A book the church members were told to memorize and always keep close to them. This was their Bible now. Soon people came to him from all over the country wanting to be set free and he had helped them. He had helped thousands of people so far. That made him happy, so very happy. The agony of the faces burning in that awful way he had seen the night when God had spoken to him wouldn’t leave his mind and he was driven by the desire to prevent more people from ending up like them. That was his goal, at any cost.

  There had only been one he couldn’t help. One soul whose demon had been too strong. From his readings the Priest knew that once you’ve lost to a demon it was going to run loose. It would eventually try and take over. Death was its only weapon. Nothing could settle a dispute like death. Nothing could display who was more powerful in this world like death’s sting. He particularly remembered a story from a book about a demon that a priest hadn’t managed to cast out in Vietnam many years ago. Afterwards the entire town had been killed, children, women, burned alive or cut to pieces. Like some special viciousness had been let loose.

  In the years after the Priest had given up on the girl he had expected the demon in her to come back somehow. He expected the demon to come back after him and his disciples, eventually turning the lands into a slaughterhouse. But nothing had happened. Not yet.

  The Priest walked towards the door leading to the hallway with all the rooms where the other members of the church slept heavily. If anyone was out there, lost or looking for a shoulder to cry on, then he would be there to help him. As long as they worshipped him - and believed what he believed - he would help them.

  Just as the Priest reached for the handle it turned on its own.

  Chapter 3

  The fire in the fireplace was slowly growing and soon crackling in front of us. We had played all afternoon in the snow outside. Our cheeks were red and I ached all over but in a wonderful way. In the way that you knew that you had used your body and been outside. Now my cheeks were burning from the heat in the fireplace. I had put on warm, dry clothes while Sune prepared dinner with Dad. They were both whistling and humming along while they cut vegetables and prepared a nice roast beef for us. I looked forward to a good meal now. Being outside for hours always made me build up an appetite.

  I was poking the fire and trying to make it burn more. Then I threw in some more wood. I dusted off my fingers while Sune called the kids to the table.

  “Time for dinner!”

  The kids were giggling as they walked down the stairs. Sune smiled at me when he placed the meat in the middle of the table. It smelled heavenly.

  “Did you wash up?” I asked the children.

  They looked at each other. Then they nodded. I stared at them in disbelief. “Try again,” I said and pointed at the downstairs bathroom.

  They raced towards it. Julie won. Then they laughed. I sat at the table next to Sune. Dad carved the meat.

  “So what about a game of Scrabble once we’re done?” Sune asked.

  That had become our favorite game ever since we started hanging out a lot more during the weekends with our kids. I looked at him and took a piece of meat.

  “Sure. But don’t weep when I beat you,” I said with a grin.

  “Ha!” Sune exclaimed.

  I laughed and looked at him. He looked great. I loved the Mohawk. It looked nice on him. Even if I knew he probably wouldn’t keep it like that once he passed thirty-five, I still hoped that he would. It made him so different from anyone else I had ever been with. Different was good.

  The food was - as expected - just as heavenly as it smelled. I ate till I was about to burst. So did the rest of us. The cold fresh air had made us famished. After dinner I cleaned up while Sune and Dad chatted in the living room by the fire. I enjoyed watching them from a distance. They seemed to really hit it off. Even if Sune wasn’t quite the kind of type my dad had ever pictured me with, he wasn’t one to judge a person by his or hers looks. He liked Sune. He liked him even before we became an item. But I did have a hard time telling him about us. He had liked my ex-husband Peter as well. He had liked him a lot. I could tell it was hard for him to accept that I wasn’t going to go back to him even if he hadn’t treated me very well in the end.

  “He was sick, Rebekka,” Dad would say whenever his name was somehow brought up in our conversation. “One of these days he will be back for you, feeling much better and then what?”

  “He won’t be back,” I kept saying. “He’s too embarrassed. Plus I’m pretty sure he has moved on with his life by now. It’s been two and a half years. And so have I.”

  Sune laughed loudly while the kids found Scrabble in a suitcase and put it on the table. I prepared coffee and found the box of chocolate I had brought. I kept it in a safe place since I was trying hard to watch Dad’s diet. He had a stroke a couple of years ago and after the last doctor’s visit he was told to try and lose some weight and lay off the salt. His blood pressure was too high.

  “Yeah! Chocolate,” Julie exclaimed when she saw me bring it in.

  “Wait for everybody to sit at the table,” I said and put it in the middle so everybody could reach.

  I won the game as usual. Sune was grumbling while we packed up. He really couldn’t stand to lose. Dad brought the kids upstairs and put them to bed. Then he told us he would turn in as well. I looked at Sune and smiled. He smiled back. We had learned to cherish the few moments we had to ourselves.

  We walked into the kitchen and found a bottle of red wine. Sune opened it and I found two glasses in the cupboard. Sune poured the wine.

  “Let’s go outside,” I whispered while showing him a packet of cigarettes I had smuggled with me in my suitcase so neither Julie nor my dad would see it. Sune nodded and went to get our jackets. He liked to smoke now and then just like I did. It had become sort of our thing, like kids in school sneaking off somewhere to have a cigarette.

  Sune brought me my jacket and had already put on his own. The wind was freezing as we walked onto the porch. We found a bench and wiped off the snow before we sat down. I sipped my wine while Sune lit a cigarette. It was a beautiful night. So incredibly peaceful. The sky was clear and being away from the city and all its lights we could now see all the stars. It seemed like they continued for eternity, making me feel so small and insignificant. The full moon was right above our heads shining down on us making the snow glitter. Sune handed me the cigarette and I took it. I smoked and drank some more wine which made me feel warm inside even if the cold felt like needles on the skin outside.

  “This is really nice,” I said exhaling. “I feel really relaxed.”

  Sune looked at me. “That’s good,” he said. “That’s really good.”

  The forest surrounding us was as quiet as death. Not a single branch moved. It was like everything was frozen.

  While enjoying the silence I killed the cigarette in an ashtray. Then I drank some more wine. Neither of us wanted to speak. We enjoyed this calmness, this complicity. All day with kids yelling, screaming, fighting, laughing does that to you. Once it was gone you just had to keep quiet and enjoy the silence. Sune put down his glass on a table and leaned over me. Then he grabbed my glas
s and put it next to his. His breath smelled good as he approached my face. I felt a chill of excitement. My heart was beating faster. It was always like that with Sune. We never had much time to be intimate so it was always like the first time with him; it was always new, exciting. His lips were warm as they covered mine. He held my head between his hands while he kissed me intensely, demanding. Soon his hands were all over me. While he was kissing my neck and nibbling my ear I felt his hand on my thigh climbing up along the jeans, stopping at the top, finding the button and opening them. Soon his hand slid down and he started touching me. I felt an arousing excitement like shock waves through my body. Sune was moaning. His sex was hard against my leg.

  “I want you so bad,” he said under his breath.

  He found the zipper in my winter jacket and opened it, and then his hands found their way to my breasts underneath my sweater. I closed my eyes and enjoyed his touches. It was a strange situation but it felt good.

  “Do you want to go inside?” he asked.

  “We can’t,” I moaned. “Someone might wake up and hear us. The cabin is small and not very soundproof.”

  Sune kissed me again. His hands were touching me. Then he fumbled with my pants and managed to pull them down to my knees. I opened his. I touched him gently and led him to me. He entered me with a small shriek of pleasure. I closed my eyes and let him ride me.

  We were both almost at our climax when suddenly the silence in the forest was broken by a terrible scream. It felt like glass shattering inside of me. The sound of it caused me to shiver. It was ghastly and gruesome at the same time. Birds took off from treetops, dogs started barking. Sune froze and stared at me. We both went completely stiff. Never in my life had I heard this kind of screaming. Sune pulled out and put on his pants. The screaming continued. It was horrifying and I felt waves of chills all over my body.

  “Where is that coming from?” Sune asked.

  I got up and walked into the yard. I looked around and tried to detect where the sound could come from, but seemed to echo off all the trees in the forest and sounded like it came from more than one direction.

  “I don’t know,” I said and looked at him. His eyes were filled with as much terror as I imagined mine to be. “Do you think we should do something?”

  Sune sighed. “How? We don’t even know where it is coming from?”

  “Maybe someone needs our help?” I asked.

  Sune nodded. I looked at the cabin and thought I saw something move inside the living room. The curtain was pulled and Julie was looking out at us.

  “It woke up the kids,” I said and started running back.

  I opened the door and hugged Julie. “What is the awful noise, Mommy?” she asked while holding her ears. Her hair was messed and her eyes hardly open.

  “We don’t know sweetie. It’ll probably stop soon. We need to get you back to bed,” I said.

  “But I can’t sleep with this noise!” she exclaimed angrily. “It’s so loud. It hurts my ears.”

  “I know,” I said. “I have an idea. I brought some earplugs in case Sune was snoring too badly. You can have them.”

  I went to my purse and found the earplugs. Julie looked at me with her big blue eyes as I returned. She was shaking. I felt her arm. It was freezing cold.

  “I’m scared Mommy,” she said. “Who is screaming like that?”

  I stroke her gently on her cheek. “I don’t know sweetie. But I’m sure it’ll stop soon.”

  “Can you come sleep with me?” she asked.

  I sighed deeply, since I really wanted to spend the evening with Sune. But her eyes convinced me otherwise and the screaming had kind of destroyed the moment along with my mood.

  “Okay. I will. Here,” I said and pressed in the first earplug, then the second in the other ear.

  Then I grabbed her around her shoulders and looked in her eyes. “Better?”

  She looked at me like she didn’t understand. I knew then that they were working as intended. She could see that I was talking but not hear me. They weren’t ordinary earplugs, these I had gotten from the army when I was in Iraq. Julie wasn’t going to hear a thing all night.

  “I’m going to sleep with Julie,” I said to Sune.

  He looked disappointed at me. I shrugged. “It’s too eerie to be in the mood for anything anyway,” I said and pointed at the outside from where the screaming hadn’t stopped, only increased in intensity and depth.

  He nodded. Then he stroked me gently across my cheek. “I know. It’s just so rare we get to … you know.”

  “I do know. A rain check?”

  He smiled then kissed my forehead. I scowled in Julie’s direction. We hadn’t yet kissed in front of the kids. They knew we were seeing each other, we had told them that much, but somehow I think they had the idea that we were just good friends. We were never affectionate physically in front of them. Maybe that was a mistake but I feared Julie’s reaction. I had no idea how much she knew or how she would react. So I guess I kind of postponed it, which annoyed Sune greatly. He wanted to be able to kiss me whenever he felt like it and he was certain that Tobias didn’t care at all. Maybe I was just being overly protective; I thought as I climbed into Julie’s bed and held her tight while Sune called the police.

  Outside of the windows I could still hear the screams shattering the night. I realized now that this kind of scream wasn’t normal, this kind of screaming was filled with suffering and anguish to a point where it was almost inhuman.

  These were the screams of someone dying.

  Chapter 4

  The Priest was screaming from the top of his lungs. The pain, the agony inside of him was unbearable. His screams attracted his church members, some of them his closest friends through many years. Now they were looking at him with despair and helplessness. He was lying on the floor his body curled up, shaking in pain. He was throbbing, sobbing trying hard to speak to them but no words left his mouth, only screams and vomit every now and then. His skin felt like it was boiling underneath. His blood was raging through his veins.

  Oh the pain. This excruciating pain was eating him from the inside. Were they just going to stand there and look at him? He heard them talk amongst themselves, discuss what to do, but no one dared to touch him. No one wanted to come too close. Another wave of pain rushed over his body and caused him to throw up. As he did, a clump of hair fell off and landed on the wooden planks. He sat up on his knees and touched his head. Then he pulled another clump of hair out without even feeling it. Then he pulled even more out and to his astonishment threw it on the floor. He was drooling when another wave of pain rolled in over him and he screamed in anguish. His skin was bubbling, sizzling and when he touched it, lumps of skin just fell right off. He threw up again and felt how he was urinating at the same time and realized that he was lying in his own excrement.

  A woman, Isabella, the one he had trusted as his right hand, his apprentice, the one who was supposed to take over for him once the good Lord had taken him home, kneeled in front of him. Her eyes were terrified. In her hand she was holding his book and she was reading phrases from it, phrases he had written and told them to repeat again and again. The people surrounding her hummed and chanted while she mumbled the words in Latin.

  The Priest screamed his suffering out as another wave of pain rolled over him. It felt like something was eating him up from the inside, devouring his internal organs one by one. It was burning, so badly burning.

  “The …” he managed to stutter just before another pain forced him to fall to the floor again. He was trembling like he was having a seizure. Then more vomit. Now his head started to hurt. He held it in agony. Was it going to explode? It felt like something was pressing from the inside, trying to get out. The Priest screamed while holding on to it and tossing his body around while strange voices filled his mind and drowned his thoughts.

  The people watching started yelling. “Go demon! Leave this body immediately! Leave the Priest now. I command thee in the name of the Lord and
savior Jesus Christ. Leave this body and this place.”

  The Priest crumbled up while moaning and groaning. Then another pain from his stomach hit him like had he been shot by an arrow or punched by someone. He screamed again this time louder than ever, causing Isabella to stagger backwards in fear. He roared out in pain and screamed at her. She threw herself backwards. Others grabbed her and pulled her away from the Priest.

  Then he went quiet for just a second. He gasped for breath, got up on all fours and lifted his head. He stared at the people surrounding him. When they saw his face they jumped and drew backwards holding on to each other as if they were staring directly at the devil. A gasp, someone cried, others cursed the devil and tried to cast him out of the Priest. Then he opened his mouth.

  “The … The … girl,” he stuttered half choked. Drool ran down his chin and neck, blood was coming out of his nose and eyes, running down his face. Then he threw up again. This time only blood came up. His body was shaking, trembling, and his arms and legs could no longer hold him up. He fell with his face flat in his own bloody vomit and excrement.