“Get back from here, Satan!” I shouted. Thunder rumbled behind me, true sign to the monster and the two delusional humans it fed off of. They stopped in their tracks, unable to come closer to the altar where my Bible was sitting.
Satan wasn’t finished with me, though. He commanded his creature to attack, so it reared back on its hind four legs and began to spew poison from its fangs. The belly of the beast was just as dark, just as heavily armored as the top, but none of the iridescence shimmered there.
Great gobs of necrotic juice, purple and green and thick, spurted towards my head. I ducked, just in the nick of time, but the poison began to melt the altar behind me.
Just then, I held up my hand. Only God could have done what happened next, because I don’t have the power nor the strength. All my praise goes to him. I quoted second Samuel as I said, “For Thou art my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord will lighten my darkness!”
The lights in the church became bright, and they shone down on the demon and her slaves with divine light. “Begone, devil’s spawn!” I shouted. “Begone, and never come back! Get back from me, Satan!”
The spider shriveled, and Janie and Brett knelt to it. They cooed and comforted it like it was a baby, made kisses at it as if it were their child. I remember Janie’s eyes alight like flames, her heart dark and heavy when she screeched at me like a banshee, “What are you sayin’? We’re sorry we skipped out on church all these years, but you shouldn’t punish Dani for it!”
“It is you who invited a demon into their homes! It is you, Mrs. and Mr. Huffman, who are even now attempting to usher evil into God’s sacred house!” I could feel the power within me, and I knew at that moment beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was with me. I had no fear – why would I, after all, if evil could not harm me?
Evil, however, wanted so badly to rip apart my precious soul. Janie picked up the monster and held it to her chest, letting it suck power from her soul. It hissed at me when she held it tight, fangs reaching out to curse at me.
Brett’s face was angry, his teeth bared hatefully at me. “That’s our daughter you’re callin’ a demon. Now you gone and hurt her feelin’s, and you are lucky you’re a man of God or else I’d knock yer lights out.” He rolled up his sleeves. “Janie and I just wanted to have her grow up in the ways of the Lord, and you were s’posed to help.”
“Help? I’m giving you a chance, demon-lover, to help yourself. I will permit you to leave now. Otherwise,” I held up my hand, finding that it was radiant with divine power, “I’ll have to knock your lights on.” The congregation, what few of them had appeared early for worship, all stared at my hands, their gaze impossible to remove from the holy aura.
Brett stood in front of a tearful Janie and screeching spider. “You’re gonna regret this. Our girl’s gonna grow up to be important or somethin,’ and you’re gonna regret bein’ a-”
I regret that I can’t really bear to repeat his next words. They weren’t very kind, and the Lord probably cringes that I even let them sink into my thoughts.
“Then leave!” I said.
“We will!” Brett shouted back. “We can do church ourselves. Ain’t like you’re the only one that can read!”
Janie grabbed hold of his shirtsleeve. “Let’s get outta here, Brett. Obviously we ain’t welcome here, no matter what Jesus said about Church.” She scowled at me when she left, still holding the beast in her arms. As she left the sanctuary, the spider’s legs crept over Janie’s shoulders, its eyes peeking at me before it cursed me with a flick of its claw.
Upon their exit, the lights returned to normal, and I understood now how the devil had hooked into their souls. They worshipped the idea of children, something people of their type can’t have anymore, and Satan offered what they wanted. They literally couldn’t see the monster that I saw.
I should have tried harder to open their eyes, but at that point my faith waned. I sent them out, and they surely never came back. I only saw them again when I went to some of the local middle school’s volleyball games to support the church’s youth. There are so many things I failed at concerning that monster, things I will regret for the rest of my life. God bless America.