THE LORD hadn't fired the first shot, but if, in
history there was a shot fired that was heard
the world, then what, in the mind of man, could
lightning bolt that exploded from the hands of
Prometheus be called, but a shot heard throughout
heavens. One awesome burst of dunamis from the
of a man under the anointing bypassed the
natural systems power that governed the operation of
hydraulics so necessary to lift the garage
hatchway, and literally ripped the doorway open,
throwing on the lights throughout the compound as well.
Steven and Ketchum sprinted ahead. I knew they
hoping to stop whatever hellish madness was
place on Dr. Sheolman's altar. Ketchum had
gun drawn, and was following routine stalking
procedure, Steven right on his heels, the rest of us not
Ketchum stopped at every turn, placing his torso
against each wall intersecting each doorway, two
holding firm, the revolver arched high inches
his chin. Turning his torso, Ketchum took a
breath, released it, then stepped into each
doorway, gun poised to drop any resistance. None
Whoever or whatever had intercepted Sarah on the
highway had escaped. No one was at home.
central was vacant.
"They got my men, too," Ketchum lamented,
lowering his gun as the reality of our futile effort
against the backdrop of the architectural
our antagonists had vacated.
"We have a real problem here," Old Blackgoat
from the far end of the sanctuary that
the elevator. "I think the mountain is eating
devil's house. Everything here is
"Blackgoat, look above your head. It's the
vortex," Steven cried, fearing for the old one's safety.
"Yes, I see it," the sage said. "That
"What do ya’ mean," Ketchum demanded, "do you
to tell me that there vortex is swallowing up
"I'd say that is exactly what he is telling
Steven said to the officer.
"Well, if that's the case then we ain't got much
Sarah and all my men must have been sucked
that thing. If we don't get them out
immediately they'll be stuck in there forever.
you get that faith stuff back from Sarah before
"Yes," Steven said, "but at the rate that vortex
devouring this place, we won’t have the time to
into the oneness of spirit required to get it
"I guess we will just have to wing it." Ketchum
"We may still win this thing yet. I say
in after ‘em, but we all need to be
committed.....what do you think, Joseph, you've been
awfully quiet over there."
Indeed I had....."I'm sorry," I said,
was that again.. never mind,...committed...?
we all should be committed, committed to a mental
institution for allowing ourselves to be backed into
corner. If I hadn't seen the Spirit of the Lord
resting on Prometheus I would say we were beaten, but
know the Lord wants us to fight to the end.
I'm committed,..committed to God. Let's go!"
Ketchum had caught me napping, daydreaming,
whatever. I called it meditating. It had
that the vortex was something more than a
to a parallel dimension. After all, if the
could suck matter into itself like a black
it's original purpose had not been, as I had
believed, an escape route for Dr. Sheolman, but
Lucifer’s version of womb of creation.
I realized that Steven had been close to
truth. He believed that with enough pure oil of
lamb you could rule the world. It was a half
however. The pure oil of the lamb was indeed
powerful tool in the hand of anyone with strong
but in Dr. Sheolman's case, it's purpose had
to create an antitype womb of creation, a false
version of the realm of faith.
I'd thought it odd all along. A mountain
hideaway for wicked spirits to receive worship from
wicked entrepreneurs? Had there been long
of eighteen wheelers loaded with the lavish
furnishings that inlaid the mountain fortress?
were the dump trucks, the cranes? Surely the
building of such a structure would have caught the
of some passerby, but no..., not a
word...Sheolman had used the blood he had drained
the hearts of the innocent to concoct the potion
necessary to create a portal to a new realm. It
gift to his unholy master, a clever move on his part.
created the entire edifice by his own
He brought the entire superstructure into
existence overnight. Now he was removing all
evidence the place ever existed the same way he had
created it, and he had us right where he wanted us.
rate, Steven wasn't going to have to look further
the person and/or persons behind all that had
going on. Astarte and Sheolman were certainly
cahoots together, but it was now apparent to me
Dr. Sheolman was the man. He hadn't needed
wealth, a mentor, or benefactor, just occult
knowledge and dedication. The loss of hell central
important to him at all. He could duplicate
creation anywhere on the face of the planet with
newfound bag of tricks.
I expected to be the first into the vortex
but that wasn't to be the case. Old
Blackgoat, then Prometheus, Steven and Ketchum were
snatched from my view, as greater and greater
portions of the sanctuary were gobbled by the vortex.
This time there was no long accommodating
tunnel. We were instantaneously transported by the
to a very darkened arena. I wondered how near
were to Astarte's hacienda?
I was catching on. Dr. Sheolman was several
ahead of us. Even our rendezvous earlier at the
hacienda was a taste of what was to come. Even
central had begun to disappear within the womb
creation, but no, it wasn't disappearing at all,
reforming into something else, something even
remarkable than before. It was reforming and
becoming the arena we were now in, one that, as it
illuminated before our eyes, was more grand
the structure in the mountain in New Mexico.
We were in a mammoth indoor Romanesque coliseum,
reminiscent, in part, to the great coliseum of Rome,
many times more grand in splendor and craftsmanship.
of white marble pews encircled the arena,
arching high on etched balconies that sloped
gracefully to give perhaps ten thousand spectators an
excellent view of the carnage to follow. At our
a pure crystal floor caught the sheer beauty of
all. Ablaze from the ever increasing light, it
though we were standing on fire.
"I don't see Sarah or my men anywhere,"
Ketchum said, as we began to gather our wits
us, adjusting, as it were, to our newest of
Steven nudged me in the rib cage.
"What now," I asked.
"The thrones," Steven said, "the thrones are
materializing over there."
I heard the sound of a door opening high above
Sheolman stepped out on a lone balcony set high
"Well, if he ain't got himself a gol-dang luxury
Ketchum said, running his fingers through
hair, as if to declare his exasperation before
stating it. "Now I've seen everything."
I was about to say I sure hope cows don't fly,
Sheolman cut me short.
"Do you like my auditorium?" Dr. Sheolman
glaring down at us.
One couldn’t deny his genius, but I, for one
many, couldn’t fathom paying the price he would
assuredly pay during all of eternity.
"This is my baby," Sheolman went on. "This is
crowning achievement. I designed it myself you
There isn't anything like it anywhere else in
world. Even the marble of India, or the crystal
Nepal cannot rival the richness of quality I have
these marvelous pieces of stone. Not even
black onyx can compare with the perfection of
quality of stone with which I've endowed these
thrones. Have you ever seen anything so glorious?
that's right, I suppose you have..."
Dr. Sheolman abruptly changed his tone of voice.
know why I've brought you here don't you?" Dr.
Sheolman questioned lasciviously, bending his torso
the balcony enough to give us full view of his
hatred. "You caused my master to grieve! You
defiled his temple," Dr. Sheolman said with
welling up in his eyes. "Do you dullards
realize what the Lord Satan has had to sacrifice in
to have this grand opportunity to destroy your
souls? His grand fortress of pleasure! You
nothing more than ignorant fools, dullards,
tripe. You couldn't even avoid the simplest of our
traps. You kerrs think you have mastered travel
through the realm of the gods, and can escape us with
small pittance of faith you possess...and the
and the other agents,...do you expect to save
as well,...ha.,ha ha,"
Dr. Sheolman's maniacal laughter filled the
auditorium for some time. When he finished, he
balcony long enough to push a button. He had set
elevator in motion. We heard its tell-tale hum
turned to see who would appear. Doors opened
revealing Sarah and Ketchum's men.
All were pale and clammy, as though deprived
oxygen. It would be some time before they
recover enough to be of any real value when
made our stand. The elevator doors closed as
helped the last agent out of the shaft. With that,
knew our last natural avenue of escape had vanished.
pushed the buttons outside the elevator,
was dead to our touch.
“Well, it was worth a try, anyway.” Ketchum said.
With that Dr. Sheolman resumed his tirade. "This
grand coliseum to the glory of all evil will be
tomb," he said maniacally. "The true glorious ones
be here tonight and all the host of hell on
Earth. For us, this will be the greatest night of
rejoicing we have ever known. My master has waited
for permission to destroy such hated pests of
hated Christ of yours. The loss of my master's
pleasure palace and that careless coven beyond Mt.
Palomar are nothing to Satan compared to the delight
joy I shall have delivered to him with your
souls. You bastards! How can you hope to
from our reign. Our master has prepared all
signs and wonders to unleash on this age, and
God has left only fools to defend against us.
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha......"
Dr. Sheolman threw his hands in the air as he
laughed us to scorn, leaving us then to dwell on what
said. Within moments, he vanished from our
through the door to his balcony.
Even Old Blackgoat, though rejoined with his
granddaughter, seemed disheartened by Dr. Sheolman's
reckless tirade of blasphemy. We assumed there was
scathing rebuke to come. We weren't
disappointed. When the black-hearted reprobate
returned, he was escorted by the ethereal mystique of
Babylon. I couldn't fathom what Dr. Sheolman
Astarte's next venture might be.
"Listen, you fatted calves," Dr. Sheolman said.
"Do you recognize this woman?"
We stood silently.
"This is the embodiment of Astarte, witch
extraordinaire," Dr. Sheolman said. "I am sending
essence this very moment to make war with all
seed. She will draw your every blood
pit with her cunning wizardry."
"Behold," Dr. Sheolman said, raising his
in power toward the ageless witch...Astarte
twirled her hand...A mammoth fireball began to form
about it which she hurled at us with unerring
deftness, causing us all to agonize from the seering
which scorched our skin.
Again Dr. Sheolman threw his hands into the air
laughed us to scorn. He was done for the time
Steven sat down against the arena wall and fumbled
the bootblack can containing the lamb oil. For
time the wizened Peterian just sat staring at
container as though reaching for some conclusion
I approached him to see what was on his mind,
before I could speak he cut me off.
"Shh," Steven said, "hush, I'll tell you about it
if I get the chance. Ketchum has ears like a
I don’t know about the others, but I don’t want
getting upset more than they already are.”
I wasn’t upset by his comments, just perplexed.
turned aside to watch Old Blackgoat. He had
produced the paper on which he had earlier scribbled
Bible text, and was pacing back and forth
mumbling words under his breath I couldn't quite make
Meanwhile, Ketchum checked each of his men to
sure no permanent damage had resulted from near
asphyxiation. Then he confronted Sarah. I
coming. The Texan wasn't used to being bested by
woman. I didn't think the fact Sarah had rescued
bothered the old boy as much as her flippant
disregard for his need for more answers.
Even I didn't know Sarah very well, but I
thought I knew her well enough to predict the outcome
Ketchum's current approach. The young woman
a not so quiet confidence, and Ketchum was
to have his work cut out for him if he intended
reprimand or inquisition. She seemed to be the
would prefer days on bread and water, than flippant disclosures. When she said "you figure
out," she meant, "you figure things out."
I walked back over to where Steven was sitting. I
wondered if he was ready to explain himself while Ketchum was preoccupied with Sarah.
"You know," Steven said, twirling the bootblack can
fingers, "this stuff isn't going to work this
"How do you know?" I asked, feeling hope fade.
"This isn't my bootblack can…, see, my can had
spot on it right there. Oh, ya’, this is the
kind of can, but it's newer, and you know what,
there is shoe polish in here."
Steven opened the can…."Yep’, that's shoe polish,"
"You want to know what else," Steven said,
Looking me in the eye, "Sarah doesn't have the lamb oil
either,...ya’, she switched cans.. but take a look at
skin-tight jeans she has on...there is no can
there. They either took the lamb oil from her when
snatched her off the highway, or she hid it
at the church or in her car. Either way, it's
"So, what now?" I asked, puzzled by Steven's
seeming lack of concern.
Steven pointed at Old Blackgoat. "He has the
answer. I suppose it's time to quit playing and
praying. Our only hedge now is our faith in
word. It is fortunate for us Old Blackgoat
time to write down the kind of warfare
scriptures we're going to need later this evening.
“Joseph, I need you to gather everyone around Old
Blackgoat. Let's give the devil a fight,
born again, spirit filled believers we are."
I guesstimated the time to be about 8:00 P.M.
the doors leading to the balconies opened and
started filing in. We had spent an entire day
awaiting our fate.
Not long after, lights were dimmed above us.
arena itself became a stage on which a most human
was indeed about to be portrayed. The odds
"lions 5, Christians, 0."
People chatted nonchalantly. It was just
another opening night to them, but we were their
their opera. Only the curtain remained to be
the orchestra to play it's opening strain.
There was a tap, tap, tap. It echoed throughout
auditorium. Someone was testing a P.A. system.
Spotlights suddenly flooded the throne area, rotating
nervously, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the
ignominious ones. The crowd quieted. I
Imperceptibly at first, and then louder, the
rumbling sound of pounding horses hooves began to
through the deafening silence. Then we saw him
toward us, whited bones glowing from the
shrouded unholy glory accorded him by the blood
thirsty crowd, poised to explode through the veil of
netherworld into the tomb of our internment.
raised his bejeweled sceptre to oohs and ahs,
reared his pale horse and made it dance on hind
so all might see the gaping blackened sockets
holding the horses blood drenched eyes.
An explosion of blazing hellfire proclaimed the
arrival of the next night thief. Hell appeared, raising both knarled, pus‑oozing arms to accolades of
primordial groanings and gruntings from the crowd.
one elongated scoop of a taloned hand, the once
imagined prison keeper caught Old Blackgoat and
him above his slime covered fangs to roars of
approval from the crowd, then flung him back at us,
though a disdained morsel. He landed in our midst
sent us all sprawling. The crowd laughed
landing in our midst had broken the fall, and we
all ok, including old Blackgoat.
Then, without warning, a great white steed
appeared atop a towering whirl wind. A fierce
looking warrior dressed in shimmering white was upon
beast, holding a great golden serpent in his hands.
eyes, black as coal, pierced to the core
soul. The viper, unleashed by it's keeper,
slithered downward toward the sparkling burning
crystal beneath it. Satan withdrew to his throne.
Again the lights dimmed, drowning the pit in
darkness. An eerie glow enveloped the viper as it
a grotesque reptilian head and glared our way.
my knees begin to buckle, but sobered.
Light began emanating from a great circle that
suddenly appeared in the crystal floor. Dr.
materialized and stood near the serpent. The
remained motionless, its hungry eyes maintaining
death glare upon us. Were we to be its meal?
Bathed in the spotlight, Dr. Sheolman began his
introductions. "Tonight, we have the great
introducing to you a master of masters, the likes
whom you have not known before. Our gracious host
chosen this evening to reveal his mentor to you.
a night of great joy for our masters. Never in
glory to Satan, Hell, and Death, have covens been
blessed as this night. Never again will covens
power or prestige. As you shall see, this
all shall know the realm of evil has a king
the nameless other so called deities cannot
conquer. He shall never bow his knee to the
Christian God of the hopeless. This master and
monarch of all intrepid disdain is the life force of
child of pride. No one in this generation
escape the subtle malevolence of his
temptations, and you who serve him shall wield all
power on Earth. I give you…, LEVIATHAN!!!"
Dr. Sheolman retreated to shadow of the golden
serpent, close enough even to climb on its back,
he did. I watched with amazement as the
serpent lifted from the fiery floor and took flight,
to the delight of the frenzied onlookers. Moments later the creature came to rest atop the high
balcony above all. Still spotlighted, Dr. Sheolman
grandiose gesture with his hand, and the
serpent exploded in a great ball of fire which
brought a gasp from the crowd.
Again a great silence fell on the congregation
infamy. All turned their attention toward the
growing, lighted circle in the arena's center.
floor itself began to arc higher and higher as
some invisible hydraulic arm was
inching the circle upward. Higher and higher the
cylindrical aberration lifted, revealing a titanic
light-cage enshrouded in the glow of lamb oil. As
of the cage came into view, a tinge of reddish
told me Leviathan was near. Then I saw.....
First, blackened spires reminiscent of gothic
accompanied the bloody show of smoke
billowing up from the depths, then one head, then
another, then another, until seven heads, the likes
which I never hope to see again, filled the
restraining cylinder with the eternal beast of the
Armor plating tempered by the heat of the
smoldering coals of hellfire covered the beast's
and seven tyranisaurean heads. Teeth, each the
of a man, came to razor sharp points underneath
nostrils the size of prehistoric caves. Hypnotic
set deep in the creature's seven foreheads
dripped blood onto seven scissored tongues that
swirled continuously. One spiked horn adorned six
seven heads, each horn the shade of night.
the middle head, the seventh, had three horns.
horn reached its full height at the pinnacle of
As the beast admired its prey, some of the devil's
onlookers screamed. Spirits of fear began
the congregation for additional fodder. The blood
dripping eyes of the behemoth shot living chains of
at each cry, anchoring and silencing each
weakling in their spot. One crazed young woman
made a fierce effort to dodge her pursuer,
rattling locked doors in an attempt to flee the
horrific apparition, but to no avail, as the living
searched her out, crushed portions of her frail
and dropped her without mercy at our feet.
Prometheus pulled the disoriented woman to his
and prayed a desperate prayer for her soul.
Steven, Old Blackgoat and I, after kneeling to search
the condition of the woman, sprang to our feet,
sensing as one that the hour of our destiny was at
Prometheus soon joined us, laying the bruised,
alive body of the young initiate at the base of
Romanesque wall at our back. Two other resistors
fell limp at our feet. My, what tasty morsels we
about to make for the vainglorious heads. As the
protecting wall of luminescence began to fade,
the horror was soon to be unleashed upon us, Steven
The rest of us realized what we must do…and took to
Ourselves the whole armor of God.
"Leviathan," Steven roared, with such power, that
quieted in the auditorium. "It is written, in the
of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will break the pride
your power, and you shall be taken in your pride!"
I wasn't sure what effect scripture against
would have on the beast. Old Blackgoat had
selected the scriptures for battle with the unholy
trinity. I could tell the audience was stunned by
Steven's boldness, but I couldn't see the unholy trio
the horror before us.
Again Steven confronted the beast, repeating and
repeating the Almighty's Words. Seven times Steven
the Word missiles until I began to detect
momentary perplexity come across the creature of
perdition's eyes. Then, as though a dagger had
pierced to the core of the dragon's skulls, the
behemoth's eyes rolled as if smitten, and the head's
writhed with pain as though hammered from within.
Old Blackgoat joined the assault. "Oh Leviathan,"
Blackgoat thundered under the anointing of the Holy
"Pride goeth before destruction, and you shall
taken in your pride!"
Again the beast's eyes rolled, primordial heads
writhing in pain, darting side‑to‑side as if dodging
discomfort of the onslaught of "THE WORD OF GOD."
Incensed, Leviathan began a rampage.
inflamed head siezed a man from the balcony on
left and dashed him to pieces on the unyielding
crystal below. Another gaping skull arched high
Dr. Sheolman, thrusting an improbable spear
through the ceiling above. Dr. Sheolman scampered
escape, but it was too late, caught in the gnashing
sharp teeth of the behemoth, he screamed for
mercy. Seeming to understand for a moment, the
monster tossed Dr. Sheolman into the air, but the
was for the beast's pleasure, not Dr.
Sheolman's. Clinging to the tip of the highest
Sheolman again laughed us to scorn, but what
followed would have fouled the stomach of the
strongest man. The denizen of our worst nightmare
lowered its bloodied horn beneath the swirling
of the other flailing fangs. Dr. Sheolman's
pleaded his cause toward us, but we stood
helplessly by as six ravenous sets of tongues and
feasted on his fated frame, even tearing at one
another for the right to lick Dr. Sheolman's blood
the seventh head's taloned, middle horn.
A chaos of screams reigned supreme all around us
beast swung ten tons of burning hell across a
balcony forcing shrieking onlookers to plummet all
us. The time for verbal warfare had passed.
Nothing could be heard over the nightmare of screams
pitiful minions who flailed arms and legs in
attempt to escape the slashing jaws of the beast.
But all was not lost. Prometheus vaulted upon the
of the dragon as it turned toward Satan and his
cohorts, then leaped to catch hold of the greatest of
denizon's horned spires.
Never in the history of humanity has human sinew
with such might to tear a mortal enemy. I
think Prometheus would be able to succeed in
mission. Two herculean jaws attacked him, but
collided with each other, locking their own horns.
primordial shriek filled the arena as Prometheus
his weapon by tearing loose a spiked horn,
leaving a gaping hole in the monster's head. Prometheus then plummeted the full length of the
beast's own horn‑turned‑spear deep into it's head,
leaping to safety only as six other sets of fangs
crashing down on the spot he had vacated.
Choking and sputtering, the monster reeled from the
of its own blood, writhing and thrashing until
the trio of terror were forced to disappear.
not any too soon, for the falling beast toppled
fabled thrones and crushed them to powder. I
suspected they would return to fight another day.
As I continued to gaze at the mindless
spectacle, I heard a distant voice urging me, "Come
Joseph, hurry, we have to get out of here while we
I turned to see Prometheus standing beneath a
shattered balcony. The wall had been crushed just
to allow Prometheus to lift us all to safety.
could see that Old Blackgoat, Sarah, and all the
were already making their way to safety through
shattered doors above. I was the last alive in
pit besides Prometheus.
It only took Prometheus seconds to lift me
then he was left alone. I knew there was no
for the titan. The monster righted itself as I,
made my way to safety through the doors above. I
to see Prometheus face the matchless creature.
Although weakened, it was still six heads
against one. Tears flooded my eyes. I
watch any more. As I turned away the startling
of buckling metal brought me up short. Steven and
Blackgoat ran past me. "He's climbing the
elevator shaft," Steven bellowed, grabbing my tattered
sleeve and dragging me toward the upper
elevator doors. Sure enough, the crumbling edifice had
way for him to escape.
"Stand back," Old Blackgoat ordered! Seconds passed before two titan feet exploded the
elevator doors outward, yards into the air. "Hurry!" Old Blackgoat ordered Prometheus. "We must
join hands and pray.”
Instantly one in mind and spirit, the Spirit
our prayer of agreement, and soon caught