Chapter 22.

Death of the priest.



The priest was disappointed that Horn had not liked his idea of exorcising him. It was a quick and elegant solution he thought. And of course if the devil was responsible for all those murders only an exorcism could end the killings. The priest was slowly walking home when he suddenly smelled something funny, a strange acrid smell. He turned around but could not see or hear anything. He crossed the street and entered the park that separated his neighborhood from another one. The park was dimly lit but Verdi was afraid of no one. It was usually the other way around as people were afraid of his massive frame. He looked like a mountain that had sprouted legs underneath or a massive freight train that would run you over if you stayed in its way.

As he continued his walk he smelled that funny smell again, but this time it was quite near to him. He looked around and then saw where the smell came from; just over his head was some sort of black cloud, blacker than it’s surroundings. The cloud slowly descended and dropped to the ground just in front of him. Verdi had still not connected the dots, the fact that this black smoke was what Horn had talked about. And then something surreal happened as the black smoke was no longer smoke anymore transforming itself into a being. Verdi looked in awe as if he had seen his almighty God. He sensed that this was not normal and he instinctively began to fondle his wooden cross that hung around his neck and began to recite a prayer. He remembered his bible and quickly took it out from his bag, holding it in front of the apparition and in a loud voice began to harangue the being.

“Go away Satan, prince of darkness and foul thing that you are!” he said in a strong voice.

But the being said nothing except to stare at him. He was a few feet away from Verdi and so he could study this being closely. It had solidified but it was featureless as it was simply a black shape with the outline of a human. It had a nose, eyes and ears but no hair. At one point it opened its mouth but nothing came out and what it revealed was more darkness. Verdi was tense and was still fondling his cross with his hand. He stepped back but as he did the apparition began to advance slowly, inching towards him.

“Please, stop. Don’t continuing to advance or I’ll have to defend myself and then attack you.” Verdi assumed now a defensive position, his massive hands by his side as he stopped handling his cross. He felt the urge to do something, to show this being that he would defend himself if he had to, even to the death. He took his bible and threw it at the being with all the force he could muster. The book simply flew right through the apparition. Verdi was shocked as he had assumed the being to be real and to have a solid body. Verdi looked at his bible that had landed a few feet away from him and was now lying on the ground. If the book went through the being then perhaps that meant that the apparition wasn’t real. His courage in face of the apparition now increased ten-fold.

“You don’t scare me, you’re just smoke and mirrors. A sham. Go away before I really get angry at you.” he bellowed at the being, but the being simply stood its ground. They were now near some trees and it was pitch-black. The apparition suddenly rushed towards Verdi so quickly that Verdi only saw a blurred shape rushing at him. It simply pushed him on his back with such force that it nearly rendered Verdi unconscious as he hit the ground violently. In its left hand the being had the bible that Verdi had thrown. It then put its hand on the chest of Verdi and kept him down with such incredible force that Verdi was unable to get up or even move. Verdi realized then that the being had a physical shape and that it was real. He shuddered and now remembered what Horn had told him.

“Please, whoever you are, answer me, what do you want from me?” Verdi’s eyes were wide open. He saw his bible in the being’s left hand and was now looking at a face that had no eyes, with nothingness looking back at him. The being answered his plea by forcibly inserting the bible into Verdi’s mouth with such force that it entered the throat explosively.

Verdi tried to remove the book with his hands but the being pinned him down and continued to push the book in his throat. Verdi was now thrashing around like a fish out of water but then after a few moments all movements stopped as the priest was dead. The being was still over Verdi, still pinning him on the ground and looking to see if there were any movements when a scream was heard behind him. A woman was looking at the scene with her hands on her mouth wide-eyed. She had dropped her bags and the content of them was streaming down from her. The being immediately transformed itself back into a black smoke and flew above her head in an unknown direction. The woman looked dazed and then saw the body lying on the grass. She approached it cautiously and looked at the face. Verdi’s face was now red and swollen with his mouth horribly distended with his bible still firmly lodged in his throat. The woman screamed again as she recognized Verdi as the priest of Hollytown where she attended mass.





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