Father Lewis cowered on the floor, the pain of the blow he had just received still reverberating through his body. Slowly, he regained his composure once more. He pushed himself to his knees, the pain an hour of torture still lingering strong in his old body. From his knees he pushed himself up to a standing position and looked into the face of his tormentor. He clenched at his cheek to try to squelch the flow of blood from the open wound fresh on his face.
The demon had not told Father Lewis his name, but by the seal on the book that the demon held, Lewis had discerned that it was Dantalion. It was forty years ago that Lewis had studied demonology with the monks of the Vallam Monastery in Russia. They had taught him then how to recognize a demon, they had taught him about the minor and major demons. In the past forty years he had seen dozens of minor demons. This was the first time that he had been face to face with one of the dukes of hell.
Dantalion was a mind reader. Lewis knew that today was to be the final test of his faith. If Dantalion got the information he sought, humanity would never get another chance. Father Lewis would keep his secret this day.
Bowing his head under the intense stare of Dantalion, Father Lewis prayed. “Dear Lord today I need you, I trust in your provision Lord as I take up the shield of faith, I ask you Lord for the helmet of salvation to keep my mind from straying, and please let me wield the sword of the spirit and wear your armor in my final battle with Dantalion”
As Father Lewis looked back to the demon, the fury was apparent in Dantalions face at hearing his own name. The first openly apparent sign that Lewis was right in his assessment of this adversary, Dantalions eyes turned a deep shade of red. With rage apparent on the demon's face, Father Lewis braced himself for the next blow, the blow didn't come.
With a laugh Dantalion spoke “vestri deus relinquo vos” the voice more than that of a man now, a thousand tortured souls screaming as the words echoed through the room. The voices changed to english, the words reverberating through room as if it were a cavernous chamber “Your God abandons you!”
The voices faded as the onslaught came this time. Father Lewis fell to his knees, clenching at his head. First came feelings of lust, desire for flesh, things Father Lewis knew he had not felt since his youth. Shame tortured his soul at the feelings. Next pictures of death, pain wracked his body as Father Lewis felt the pain of every tortured soul that died in his mind. Pictures of death, war, famine, and disease, with each picture in his mind's eye Father Lewis endured the pain of what he saw. The pain of death for a thousands years wracked his body and Lewis collapsed in a heap.
The spirit moved within him, “No” was the only word Father Lewis could manage as he pushed himself back up to stand before Dantalion once more. “God stands with me, you shall not learn what you seek this day” Lewis gasped, his mind exhausted from the torture, his body bleeding from a hundred wounds. Literally glowing with the armor of God, Father Lewis stood tall, staring into the eyes of his adversary.
Rage painting Dantalions face, a thousand voices screamed again. “You will tell us the truth, where is the boy! Tell us or die!”
The spirit moved further within Lewis this time, as the demon begin to probe into his mind. “No!” he gasped as he grabbed the knife from Dantalions belt. Plunging it into his own heart Lewis spoke, “The truth dies with me today,and the knowledge you seek.”
With his dying breath Father Lewis stood staring into the eyes of hell and spoke, “Et Verbum Caro Factum Est, Benedictum Nomen Iesu (and the word became flesh, blessed be the name of Jesus)... go back to hell Dantalion!”
Dantalion screamed in rage, a scream of a thousand voices that would be heard throughout the world this night.
Father Lewis collapsed to the floor and with him died the knowledge of where the baby Jesus had been born again.
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