IT WAS THEIR FAVORITE, THIS MIDNIGHT HOUR WHEN THE TUG-OF-WAR BETWEEN DARKNESS AND LIGHT HAD AGAIN BEEN WON. WHEN THEIR TARGETS WERE WEARY AND OH, SO VULNERABLE. THIS JOB WOULD BE A CINCH, THEY HAD ALREADY AGREED. JUST A COUPLE MORE CRUCIAL DECISIONS, AND THE DIE WOULD BE CAST. THEY GRINNED AT EACH OTHER, THE ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT’S VICTORY WHETTING THEIR PEVERSIVE APPETITES.
John Madlon, chief executive of Adriax Manufacturing, yawned deeply as he maneuvered his BMW through the city streets. The distant bright neon lights beckoned him to the seedy streets on the outskirts of the shopping district. He nervously scanned the dark buildings as he dimmed his headlights and slowed to a creeping halt, perspiration already beading his furrowed brow.
“Ah—there it is!”
The brownstone warehouse zippered between the one-night stand dingy hotel and the deserted bus station parking lot emitted a dull, weak glow from its basement windows. Adrenalin pumping, John reached for the pricey leather briefcase on the seat beside him and stealthily crept out of his car.
In an instant, glaring lights and flashing cop cars screeched all around him.
“You are surrounded! Drop the case and put your hands behind your head,” bellowed the commanding voice behind a bull horn.
It was supposed to have been so easy. A get-richer quick scheme from a former business associate (a.k.a. Fiend Ferdie) to pad his overextended spending accounts, it would have guaranteed an upgraded lifestyle that would in turn bridge him to a position at a rival plant he had envied for years.
“YES! I DID IT!!” SUCCESS CLUNG SWEETLY TO HIS MOIST LIPS LIKE A FLY TO A SPIDER’S WEB AS HE SAVORED THEIR VICTORY. HOWEVER, HE DIDN’T REALIZE JUST HOW SHORT-LIVED THE GLORY WOULD BE. OUT OF THE MURKY SHADOWS WAITING IN THE WINGS, BLACK BOGEY EMERGED, NOT WITH THE CONGRATULATORY REWARD FERDIE WAS EXPECTING, BUT WITH STONE COLD REBUKE.
“YOU STILL DON’T GET IT, DO YOU? THAT ONE WAS ALREADY OURS! YOU MISSED THE TARGET, FOOL! LOOK OVER THERE,” HE ANGRILY POINTED HIS TALON IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.
Sallie Perkins gripped the worn Bible in between her calloused hands as she ranted on.
“Do you hear, God? Has it all been for ought, this straight and narrow road we have traveled for you? Is this our reward?”
She wailed and threw the Book on the bed beside the too-still form of her breathless son lay.
Sallie’s husband gently picked up her Bible and nudged it back onto her lap, praying out loud for God’s comfort during their broken-hearted ordeal. They sobbed with their arms around each other with the Word snuggled between them.
“I know, I know,” she murmured, “His way is always for our good in the long run, even when it hurts.”
“THERE! THAT’S ONE PLACE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN, YOU TWERP! NUDGING THE HUSBAND’S X-WIFE TO WHISPER DOUBTS IN HIS EAR, WEAKENING HIS FAITH! AND DOWN THE BLOCK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN—LOOK!
Christian teen friends Blare and Jason were invited to a popular school crowd’s weekend bash, and had agreed to attend. They were excited about standing firm and strong against the loose morals and drug-infested parties by being in the midst of their world friends’ amusements without succumbing to the temptations there. Blare had just turned down a spiked glass of punch for a bottle of water, but Jason began to waver when Jessica came on to him in her flirtatious get-up and fluttering eyelashes.
“YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THAT WITNESS AND TURNED IT INTO A TRIUMPH! JUST LOOK AT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE ACCOMPLISHED BY LACING THAT BOY’S DRINK OR TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS AT THE PARTY AT THE PRECISE MOMENT SHE TRIPPED INTO JASON’S ARMS!
GET IT, NOW? THE TIME YOU TOOK FOR A CASE WE ALREADY HAD WON, COULD HAVE BEEN BEST UTILIZED IN THESE OTHER TWO CASES! BAH! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER THAN TO TAKE A CHANCE WITH YOU, YOU USELESS PIECE OF DUNG! AND, WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE C.D.’S DREAM TEAM THIS MONTH. HE FIRED LENNY, FIGURING THAT THE TWO OF US TOGETHER WOULD DO A BETTER JOB FOR HIM. WE’LL BE LUCKY WE’RE NOT DEMOTED DOWN TO THE PITS FOR THIS!”
SIMULTANEOUSLY, FROM BEHIND, FIERY DARTS FROM CHIEF DEMON’S TONGUE PIERCED THEIR BLACKENED WINGS WHILE HIS RED-HOT NAIL-LACED WHIP LASHED THEM TOGETHER INTO A BALL OF WHIMPERING, DEVIANT CONFUSION, CONFINING THEM TO THEIR UNDERWORLD’S NETHER REGIONS.
And, heaven’s angels rejoiced that God’s children chose the right path!
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