James Conroy and Eddie Samuels were getting ready to return to Eddie’s house. James knew it was important to prepare Eddie for the confrontation that was ahead of them.
“We must be prepared for everything Eddie, remember, deception will be their biggest weapon, they will make you doubt your actions, but you must be strong, when you speak it has to be a command, just as you did when they came to the house earlier.”
“I’m fine James. I just want all this to be over, what started out as a celebration has quickly turned into a nightmare.”
James Conroy put his arm around Eddie.
“I understand Eddie, not long now.”
Eddie grabbed his beloved Bible and kissed it before putting it into his inside pocket. Stacey gave him a hug, then looked at James, she gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered in his ear.
“Please bring him back safe Mr Conroy.”
James smiled and whispered back “I will, don’t worry Stacey, he’s stronger than you think.”
The short journey back to Eddie’s house was spent in silence. Both men apprehensive about what would confront them when they returned. As they pulled in to the turning, all was quiet. It was three fifteen in the morning. The journalists outside were asleep in their cars and the house was in darkness. James parked his car well away from the house and walked with Eddie up the pathway. Eddie turned the key in the lock and they both walked into the dark and silence. The damp smell was still there, James could see there was a small light on in the kitchen. Eddie took a deep breath and pushed open the kitchen door, closely followed by James.
There, sitting at the kitchen table was Ray Samuels, a cup of coffee in his hand and a warm smile upon his face.
“Hello Dad, wasn’t sure if you were coming back tonight. Is Stacey okay?”
Eddie was taken aback, this was his old Ray, the son he dearly loved, gone was the monster that he’d seen earlier in the day, that had frightened him to the core.
Eddie and James sat down at the table.
“Yeh, she’s fine Ray, you all alone, where’s the others?”
“Oh, Mr Garner, the Policeman, left some time ago and Trevor’s in the spare room. I hope that’s okay Dad? I felt a bit sorry for him, he said he had nowhere else to go.”
“That’s fine Ray. Just remind me… how do you know Trevor?”
Ray shrugged his shoulders.
“If I’m honest Dad I’m not sure, I just do, maybe I met him while I was away, whatever it was, I feel close to him, like a brother, doesn’t really make much sense does it?”
Eddie was starting to relax, this was his Ray again, softly spoken, kind, considerate, polite, all the things that Eddie recognised. Maybe, just maybe, he and James had got this whole situation completely wrong.
“Lots of things don’t make sense anymore Ray, that’s why I think it’s important that we talk. That’s why I’ve brought along my friend James Conroy. He’s sort of a specialist in this kind of thing. I thought he might be able to understand what’s going on. Is that okay Ray?”
Ray smiled and gently squeezed his fathers hand.
“Nice to meet you Mister Conroy, although I’m not too sure if I can help. But I’ll try.”
Eddie took the Bible out of his pocket and placed it on the table. Ray sat back in his chair, he suddenly looked uncomfortable.
“Still carrying that old thing about then Dad?”
James and Eddie noticed a change in Ray’s voice, the tone was different, the words he spoke were full of sarcasm. Eddie didn’t react he just continued to speak in his usual soft manner.
“You know me Ray, it’s never far from my side. You should never be too far away from the word of God.”
Ray’s face became a rich red colour, it was if a great rage was building inside him. His words were mocking his father.
“Oh yes, your beloved God, the thing that you’ve spent your whole life worshipping. Was it all worth it Dad? He took Mum away from you before her time didn’t he, yet you still pray to him? You should have gotten rid of him when she went, you loved her Dad didn’t you, yet he still took her, took her away for no reason, maybe he’s not so good after all?”
Eddie was surprised at the words that were coming out of Ray’s mouth. In seconds he’d changed from the softly spoken boy that he loved so much to a person full of venomous hatred. A person he no longer recognised. Eddie looked at him, it was as if he was now speaking to a stranger.
“Why do you hate him so much? You weren’t even here when she passed. Why are you so angry at him?”
Ray stood up from the table and looked at the ceiling.
“Because he’s a liar, a thief that comes in the night and takes people away yet you all still follow him, you’re all being betrayed but none of you can see it, what do they call it Blind Faith?”
Rays voice was getting louder and taking a lower pitch. Conroy wanted to keep the momentum going.
“Yes Ray that’s what it’s called and your Dad has it, he has complete and utter faith in his god and God’s love, he is protected by the blood of the lamb.”
Rays eyes started to bulge in his head, he banged the table hard with his fists.
“He is a weak old man, that’s all. He is no match for us!”
The light in the kitchen went out and the room was plunged into darkness, both Eddie and James were aware of shapes within the room. Eddie stood up, took hold of his bible and shouted at the top of his voice.
“Show yourselves, I command you, show yourselves or are you too scared of this old man and his love of Christ?”
The room became light again and there in front of Eddie were three figures, Ray Samuels, Trevor Wilson and Colin Garner, their faces distorted in anger, their jaws protruded and madness in their eyes. They seemed to have grown taller than they were before. The damp smell was now so strong that James eyes started to water and sting. The three of them looked like a pack of wolves that were about to pounce on their prey.
James Conroy took a step back, he feared for his life, he picked up a carving knife from the draining board and held it out like a weapon for protection.
Garner threw back his head and started to laugh, it was a horrible sound like someone scraping their nails down a blackboard, the screech became a wail.
“Your weapon will do you no good here Conroy.”
As he said these words, the knife slipped out of James’s hand backwards, gouging a deep cut into his palm, blood begun to pour from the wound.
This time the other two joined in the screaming laugh. Eddie shouted.
“It is he that commands you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, be gone, I command you in the name of Jesus, it is he that commands you, it is he that wants you gone, now go.”
The three demons stood their ground but the wailing had stopped and there was silence.
Eddie kept on, saying the words over and over again.
“I command you in the name of Jesus Christ, be gone, leave this place.”
Eddie said the same thing for over five minutes, until he ran out of breath, his chest felt heavy, he was exhausted. Then there was a sound, a woman’s voice softly speaking from behind him.
“It’s okay darling, it’s fine, Rays back now, he loves you, just as I do, I miss you Ted.”
The only person that ever called him Ted was his late wife Edith. He recognised the voice.
“Edith, is that you?”
Eddie was staring at the kitchen door.
“Of course Ted, take my hand, come with me, we’ll be together again for always, you me and Ray just like old times.”
Conroy grabbed Eddie’s arm.
“It’s not her Eddie, it’s just deception, like we talked about.”
Eddie wasn’t convinced.
“But I can see her, it’s my Edith, it’s definitely her.”
Conroy was shouting.
“No Eddie it’s not, it’s them they’re trying to confuse you, you must carry on, come on Eddie we’re so close!”
Eddie had tears rolling down his face, he missed his wife so much and had dreamed of being re-united with her, but he knew James was right he had to continue. Once again he raised his Bible.
“It is the power of Christ that commands you, the power of his love and the faith that we have in him as our redeemer, it is in his name that we command you, be gone.”
He said it loud, over and over again. Every light bulb in the house exploded at the same time, the windows began to shake, the whole house seemed to vibrate. James held on tightly to the table until he could stand no more, he felt as though he was on a roller coaster. Eddie fell to the floor totally exhausted.
James was the first to gather himself, Eddie was lying a few feet away, lifeless, but still holding his beloved Bible tightly to his chest. James crawled over to Eddie.
“Eddie, Eddie can you hear me, come on Eddie, keep with me, please keep with me.”
Eddie Samuels was on his side, he eyes were closed and his head was bleeding from the fall.
“Come on Eddie, I made Stacey a promise, come on, please Eddie.”
James Conroy was covered in blood, he wasn’t sure if it was his or Eddies. He gently shook him. Very slowly Eddie opened his eyes.
“What’s….what’s…happened…..is it over?”
“I think so Eddie, for now anyway.”
James heard a noise coming from the room next door; he picked up the carving knife and moved slowly. Eddie was weak, too weak to stand.
“Be careful James, there’s a torch in the cupboard behind you.”
James grabbed the torch from the cupboard then opened the kitchen door, moved slowly in the blackness along the hallway and entered the living room. He was aware of someone crouching by the fireplace. He shone the torch.
A voice answered.
“James? It’s Spencer.”
“Yes, Ray Samuels is dead.”
James Conroy could see Spencer in the light of the torch, he was crouching beside the body of a man, he recognised the body…it was Ray Samuels.