Melissa reached into her oversized faux-leather handbag and retrieved the crumpled handout she’d found on the bus ride home to double-check the address. Was she really this desperate? Was Brad’s death really taking this much of a toll on her? She knew things had been bad this past year; well, perhaps “bad” was somewhat understated. Since “that” day, when Melissa’s beautiful, kind-hearted husband was abruptly snatched away nothing was worth the effort she had to muster. Her life was as bland as the rice cakes she forced herself to eat every morning. Most of them ended up in the trash. Maybe she would too?
Her friends had tried their best, but Melissa knew that just one more psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist or counsellor’s card would be the one that pushed her over the edge. They couldn’t help. No-one could bring Brad back, and there was no possible way that her soul could ever “bounce back,” no matter how earnestly her Christian (or more than likely “brainwashed”) friend, Celina assured her she could. No. If God really, truly loved her, then why hadn’t he shown up before now? Didn’t he “know her by name?” Besides, Melissa was far too rational to believe in that spiritual realm mumbo-jumbo. Or was she?
“Is it time yet?” Pim was, for an imp, young and inexperienced; his overtly enthusiastic nature pleased Shamon more than he exhibited.
“Patience, young one, the proper order of things must be observed. And might I add that you executed the first part of the scheme splendidly.” Malevolence oozed from the pores of Shamon’s vile, sallow leather hide. Oh, yes, Melissa had fallen so easily for the flyer placed on the bus seat next to her; the rest was surely just a matter of time.
Melissa sat down on the vintage velveteen chair. Was she really here? Had she finally lost her mind? “Get a grip, Mel. It’s perfectly normal to want reassurance that Brad is in the “better place” he always went on about.” Sitting up straight, trying to at least appear confident, Melissa put her trust in Anne – “clairvoyant and mediator between this realm and the next.” About two minutes into the ‘reading,’ Anne’s body gave a small shudder.
Pim and Shamon circled the small, overly-incensed room; their breath, an insidious toxic plume, seemed to poison everything it touched. Watching, waiting, an intrinsic lust for evil, they finally had their foothold. With crazed faces contorted by pure evil they spewed forth their catalogue of Bradley J. Walker data; physical appearance, achievements, dreams, all were fed directly to Anne, who in turn would convince poor, lost little Melissa Walker that she had found the answer to her pathetic existence. If only they were all this easy to deceive, they’d win this battle in no time!
Melissa squirmed in the chair as Anne revealed fact after cold, hard fact about her husband. “I wish she hadn’t turned the heater on.” Melissa began to sweat, her mind growing fuzzy and … were her eyes playing tricks on her? Did she just see something move behind Anne’s head? Melissa closed her eyes, a sense of panic engulfing her mind, body, soul. “Okay, God. If you really, truly exist and care even a jot about me, now’s the time to show me!” Almost simultaneously, the answer came. Her eyes snapped open and scoured the room for her handbag. The answer she had so desperately craved had been with her all that time, she just needed to trust God, not ‘man’. She tipped the contents out right there on the table, shuffling through an accumulation of junk and personal must-have items to find it…
“What’s going on, Shamon? Why isn’t she captivated?” Pim waited for his reply, but there was none. Shamon had fled the scene the instant she’d remembered it in her bag… “SHAMON! Where are you?” Pim squeaked. Suddenly the room was awash with gleaming light, and before he had the slightest chance to grovel for mercy, Pim was vanquished.
Anne was at a loss to explain the sudden break in her connection with “Brad.” Without warning Melissa exclaimed, “I found it!” She eagerly un-scrunched a crumpled-up tract given to her by Celina and read aloud:
“John 14:6 - Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
With tears streaming down her jubilant face, Melissa politely excused herself from Anne. Outside, her mobile rang.
Thank you, God.
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