SAGA OF DARKNESS VISION OF LIGHT
Chapter Ten - Shepherd's Ruse
by Dennis R. Cook
Soon after Steven and I
finished rejoicing like
newborn Christian babes over the magnificent salvation
Christ Jesus demonstrated in Prometheus we both
realized we had erred. Our rejoicing was
but we had broken off our telepathic connection with
the big guy, or so it seemed. Nevertheless, he
was still missing. We were puzzled. Why
returned to us?
It had been hours since
Prometheus had escaped
the terror of the black mass. What were we
to do? I didn't have the foggiest notion.
Steven thought perhaps
Prometheus had returned to
our base camp at Old Blackgoat's trailer, perhaps to
help him with some difficulty he might be having there.
"That may be true," I pointed
out to Steven, "but
if it is, why didn't he at least return your bootblack
can of faith to us so we could have some protection?"
"You're right," Steven said,
"things just don't
"Let's remind the Lord that perhaps we still
have all the information needed to complete
mission here," I said.
"Great idea," Steven said, "I can sink my
We sang praises and communed with God with our
spiritual language for some time before kneeling in
There was no response at first, so we persevered,
deepening our yearnings before the Lord with every
passing moment. Then, there was a beep at the
flashing light indicated an e-mail message to our room.
walked over to the computer and called up the message.
I had hated to stop praying in harmony with
knew the e-mail message might be important. The
message was the answer to our prayers. Prometheus
"I didn't want to risk leading a horde of demons
your room where they could capture all three of us,
broke off the telepathic connection and changed
course. The two of you should be out of harm's way
the moment. I'm on the web at Kinkos as I write
Quick thinking, huh?"
In his message, Prometheus went on to say how he
been captured, and how he had escaped. Of course
knew about the escape part, although we didn't know
exactly how he had revived. Prometheus pointed out
they had loosed the spell of ropes from his hands
order to prepare him for the spell of the cross.
it was then he had revived enough to realize he
being covered head to foot with the pure oil of
That was their mistake, Prometheus pointed out,
could use the pure substance to break all the
he had been shackled with, if only Astarte
delayed her incantation long enough for him to take
advantage of the situation. "If they would have
aware that I had revived," Prometheus wrote,
would still be hanging there."
He went on to say how he had realized the
significance of the cross as they were hanging
upon it, and from bits and pieces of information
gathered from reading our minds, knew that
prayer of faith in Christ Jesus could return
within the parameters of the grace of God. He
understood the doctrine of the substitutionary sacrifice
Jesus, and the significance of His blood.
There was more. Since he was covered in faith
head to foot, he assumed there would never be
better time to call on the name of the Lord. He
the enemies' own weapon against them. Prometheus
faith. faith. faith.
He prayed the prayer of repentance receiving
Jesus as his Lord and Savior without a clear
understanding of what to expect. However, the next
he knew, the weight of the world he had been
carrying for five thousand years lifted right off
shoulders. He knew God had heard his prayer of
and had set him free. Realizing the devil
couldn't hold him, he burst his bonds and escaped.
Later, Prometheus pointed out, while praying
prayer of Thanksgiving and praising God, the Spirit
reminded him of our need to know, and showed how he
contact us without placing us in too much
danger. He did the same for Prometheus, warning
banshees were out to get him back.
I suppose the other most intriguing part of his
message dealt with his capture. While tailing Dr.
Sheolman and Astarte, a company of man-like angels
stopped him and told him that the Lord and his angels
willing to cease their rebuke of him in the
presence of the Father, but only if Prometheus
accompanied them to heaven that very moment.
Not knowing quite what to do, Prometheus followed
but soon found out their destination wasn't
heaven. Then, without warning, four of the company
wrapped him in a net and dragged him to the nether
where more secure bonds awaited him.
I realized, of course, that Prometheus didn't
the spiritual fortitude to pass up a chance to
to glory, and quite overlooked the fact that
Spirit of God, in all likelihood, wasn't bursting
glory round about his unholy companions. However,
wasn't there, and, scripture does say Satan can
Masquerade as an angel of light. I suppose
and evil is a true weakness of most Christians.
Otherwise, if it wasn't, most ministers trained in
field of Psychology would never have been allowed
Prometheus told us one other thing in his letter.
hadn't gone, and wasn't going to go back to Blackgoat's
trailer. Reason? Unknown?
"Think Prometheus is going to do something like
Paul did after his conversion and move to
Damascus for a few years?" I asked Steven.
"Doubt it," Steven said. "I think he has had
conversation with other than flesh and blood.
guess is he needs some space to sort things out.
Besides that, we need him too much. I can't
abandoning us all together, but time will tell.
Still, Steven and I marveled at it all. The work
Father in Christ Jesus and their amazing
ability to deliver creatures from bondage astounded
Their works were awesome!
If any man will do the will of God, he shall
Well, Steven and I knew we had done it, the will
God, that is. We had rapturous feelings. The
had answered our every prayer.
Thanks to our spiritual insight, eh, vision
Prometheus and Prometheus' e-mail message,
were equipped with a keen understanding of what
Sheolman was up to. Hell, Death, the Devil, Mother
Babylon, (Astarte), and he, were prepping for the final
battle. Still, on the inside, we knew we were not
adventure had just begun. We each felt a powerful
pulling us back to New Mexico. Hell Central would
where the real action would take place.
Steven called the service desk and had them checkon
flight times for us while we collected our things
freshened up. By the time we were ready to head
the door, our room's fax was printing out a
possible itinerary. The only thing left for us to
settle the bill, and with a little extraordinary
we hoped to make our flight.
Last call for boarding alarmed us. We wouldn't
time to check our bags through. It didn't
matter. We were traveling light enough. We
our luggage on board. The hitch, of course,
getting through the security gate without a lot
hassle before the flight attendant closed the
boarding hatch. But, you know, when God is for
It was four P.M. We tossed our bags in the back
climbed into Steven's old 4X4. We had an outside
of making Old Blackgoat's for dinner. I
starving, but I could wait for some of Old
Blackgoat's home cooking. We had missed lunch,
had downed a few peanuts on the flight. They
just gonna have to do till we got to Old
Passing "Giant," a fine place to eat just east
Gallup, wasn't easy, but we sucked in our guts.
Turning on to the rough outback road to Old Blackgoat's
and home brought my attention back to the sheep.
Perhaps we would transport them up above hell central
pasture after all. The idea intrigued me.
so sure. We both knew of the hazards that
in that pit. Nevertheless, there was some
to the idea. The time Steven and I had spent
praying in Los Angeles had cleared my head and
sharpened my spiritual perspective. Perhaps taking
battle to the enemy wasn't such a bad idea. The
would benefit, and working them would sure beat
sitting around on our laurels waiting for Sheolman to
his next move.
Another thought that whizzed through my mind as
rolled the old 4X4 to a stop behind
rugged exterior of Old Blackgoat's church had to
with Prometheus. It concerned me that Father
encouraged him to return home immediately, and
intended to find out why. Perhaps getting closer
Father on the mountaintop would bring the answer.
Old Blackgoat came dashing out from behind the
shed when he heard our car doors slam. He was
holding a nasty looking pair of sheep shears. He
us he had been in the mood for some time for
shearing season, and had managed to motivate himself
task of sharpening his cutters.
"Why are you back so soon?" Old Blackgoat
"No one would feed us," Steven said, tongue in
"Haven't you eaten?" Old Blackgoat asked,
realizing Steven had set him up.
"Let's eat," I said.
Mumbling something under his breath, Old Blackgoat
off to rustle up some chow. Steven and I
"What did he say?" I asked.
"Lamb chops, I think," Steven said.
"At least I don't have to do the dishes," Old
Blackgoat said, self satisfied from the sumptuous
feast. "I believe you two could get jobs doing
know, he teased," still sitting at the dinner
with a smug look on his face.
Old Blackgoat's enthusiasm soon brought Steven
to recount what had cut our trip short. We
couldn't, of course, reveal the whereabouts of
Prometheus unless, or until he contacted us
telepathically or showed up in person. That left
without the comfort we might have experienced
had known the when and the where of his return.
However, we did have his e-mail letter, and we did
comfort from it.
On the down side, explaining what happened on our
in Los Angeles to Old Blackgoat enabled us to face
that is to say humbly, we really messed things up
assuming that Dr. Sheolman had no plans for Good
Friday, and we knew we had to do better.
still Easter weekend, and the Son would indeed
on the morn.
* * *
With Easter past, Monday arrived early and we all
the deck running at 4:30 A.M., eager to transfer
sheep to the meadows on the mountainside above
passageway of the serpent. Something phenomenal
about to take place. I knew it...just didn't
why, and I had to be there.
One question, however, still haunted us. Would
Sheolman arrive at school on schedule? Or, was
neatly disposed of? From what we had seen in the
Prometheus had given us when he had communicated
us spiritually, if Dr. Sheolman was in trouble
his mentors, there wasn't any hint of it in what
No, I expected news of his return. In fact, I
figured he was at school that very moment. After
absence across state boundaries would bring an FBI
investigation that might make some poltergeists mighty
uncomfortable. Of course Steven didn't agree.
would no doubt be considered chief suspects in his
disappearance. After all, we were convenient
Not long after the break of Monday morning light,
mid-sized cattle truck arrived with the wherewithal
move the bulk of Old Blackgoat's sheep entourage
away. By seven A.M. we were on the road heading
north. Blackgoat opted to ride with his friend.
followed in his 4X4.
Turning up the steep mountain grade that would
us to our destination, I commented to Steven that
somehow our little trek seemed familiar.
"Could it be," Steven offered gamely, "we've been
portion of this road before?"
"Could be," I laughed.
Steven flipped the 4X4's turn signal upward
indicate a right turn off the main highway.
As he slowed to turn, I caught sight of a Bald
and watched in wonder as it lifted from a far
rocky crag, and soared high above the rich, flowing
mountain meadow we were driving toward.
The cattle truck had entered ahead of us. I
noticed, as we followed closely behind it, that the
we were on looked vaguely familiar.
"How far away do you think that parking garage
attached to the hideaway is?" I asked.
Steven laughed. "How far? We just rolled
"Oh..., I didn't realize we were going to be this
to hell central," I said naively, rolling my eyeballs
a few times.
"Yes," Steven said, "things could get real hairy
up here in a hurry."
I sobered somewhat, then turned my gaze skyward to
a last glimpse of the huge white headed bird
had come to greet us.
"Looks like we're going to have some mighty
interesting company during our stay up here," Steven
"Better than what's just below us, anyway,"
Steven sobered, and paused a moment. "Better hope
stays that way," he mumbled.
The mountain pasture was surrounded on theupper
side by the same tall pines that were
prevalent below. The lower side of the meadow was
by what appeared to be a drop off of some sort.
assumed it to be the cliff from which the debris
rained down upon us earlier. On each side
grasses continued on beyond my vision.
10:30 A.M. came and went before we finished
unloading Old Blackgoat's sheep in the northern most
of the meadow. There was a small, half open
made of wood that could provide some shelter
rain, and perhaps snow, if the conditions didn't
too blizzardy. A wire pen with a wooden gate
enable us to keep the sheep from straying in
Off the cuff I caught the name of Old Blackgoat's
and introduced myself. His name was Harold
Yazzie. He was one of the board members of Old
Blackgoat's church, but I didn't recall him being
present the night Mrs. Begay revealed what she knew
Dr. Sheolman. I would have enjoyed learning
about him, but he and Old Blackgoat were soon
their way back down the mountain to load and
transport the remaining sheep.
Steven and I stood by the sheep gate as Old Blackgoat
Harold rolled off toward the mountain trail that
get them back to the main road.
The sun was now high enough in the sky to give
corner of the meadow some needed warmth, and I
tell the sheep appreciated it, too.
"I wonder how far we are from the mountain's
crest," Steven said, eyeing the tree-line above us
obstructing our view.
"No idea," I said. "I, for one, am more interested
locating our water source. There has to be one
"Which way, then?" Steven said. "I'm game.
to find anything standing around here."
"Why not try south," I said.
"Fine with me," Steven said. "Let's grab our
canteens. What have we got to lose?"
Going south meant we would walk a straight line
the sheep pen. If we would have gone north we
have eventually met up with the highway. East
have taken us to the mountain crest. West, of
meant we would, at some point, be faced with
challenge presented by a long hike back up the
mountainside. I wasn't eager for that much
Besides, from where we stood we could see that
search for water westward from our vantage point
most likely be futile. Some trees obscured our vision
hell central's entrance, however, but we already
that area was dry.
We passed through the tree line on the south side
meadow and fought pine needles for a few
hundred yards before wearying of that direction.
didn't want to stray too far from the sheep.
Steven insisted that we try east, and although I
eager to do any climbing, gave in, because
his turn to choose the direction. As it turned
we found a small brook directly above us. It was tiny,
perhaps a yard wide, and ebbed from a ground source at
of a small rocky cave. From there it wound its rickety
down the mountainside back toward the highway.
If we had gone east toward the mountain crest
first choice we would have saved ourselves half
hour. Notwithstanding, we had time to kill.
Steven laughed and said, "Joseph, you might as well
used to it. We'll most likely be walking to that
source with all the sheep twice a day. You
sheep cannot drink from water rushing down the
"I know," I grumbled, "they'll drown unless they
from still water."
"You're catching on Joseph," Steven said. "There
hope for you yet."
I wasn't so sure. Nevertheless, putting the
thoughts of minor inconveniences aside, I anticipated
hot cup of coffee would taste like when brewed
the sparkling spring water. I kneeled beside the
cupped my hands, and scooped up what I hoped
a mouth full of thirst quenching wetness.
"That's good stuff, Maynard," I said.
Ike gave me a puzzled look. "Good stuff, Maynard?"
"Kid's phrase," I said. "Used to use it around the
neighborhood when I was growing up. We used it to
something special. Guess I should quit using it, huh?"
"You don't get out much, do you Joseph? I mean, where
actually have to carry on a conversation with adults
isn't about cars."
I didn't have to answer. He had made his point.
Steven kneeled beside me and began filling his canteen.
I followed suit.
It was 2 pm by the time Old Blackgoat and Harold
returned with the remainder of the sheep herd
some bales of straw. While waiting Steven and I had
ourselves collecting wood for an evening fire.
job done, and the last of the sheep pinned, we needed
back down the Mountainside to load provisions
Four P.M. came and went and there was still no
of Prometheus. We had loaded the 4X4 with
were ready to roll. I can't say Steven and I were
witnessed his escape, but I, for one, was starting
feel a tad pressured, anxious, or whatever,
suspected Steven was, too.
We all felt the need for Prometheus to be with
He was a hedge against onslaught. He had proven
His importance to the mission was, at the
great; at the most, critical. He was our
friend, one to be counted on in the clutch. Even
sheep would miss him.
The light had dimmed considerably and the air
cooled somewhat by the time we pitched and rolled
into the colorful pristine alpine meadow. We
need a fire. If all the evenings were to be
cool, fetching wood had a place in our daily routine.
Oh joy! Busting shins in the underbrush.
plenty of firewood for the taking. Most of it was
dead, dry wood that had been brought down by time,
winters, and relentless winds. It didn't look
the mountainside had been cleared by fire in quite
time. It was ripe for a natural burn. We'd
careful. Our own carelessness, the carelessness
others, or lightning could trap us in a hell hot
with no escape.
"We're going to have to be careful about fire up
I told Steven, tongue in cheek. "But don't worry
you hear, I'll make it my special job to
wood and tend the faar."
I used my best imitation of a hillbilly voice.
Steven laughed. "Don't think you're going to get out
trekking up and down the mountainside with the sheep."
I wasn't amused.
"Hey," Steven said, changing the subject by pointing
index finger eastward. "There is a path above the
that leads to the mountaintop, and there is
another meadow up there."
"How do you know?" I asked.
Old Blackgoat told me," he said.
"Oh, joy of joys," I said sarcastically, wearied
the thin mountain air and our long hikes.
Old Blackgoat and Harold Yazzie had brought
several bales of straw with them on their last trip
meadow, and they were our first priority after
unloading the week's provisions. We had to provide
Blackgoat's sheep with some of the comforts of
and we, too, were rewarded with pallets of our
one the corner of the shed. Man, what a life!
The evening was consummate. A full moon draped
pines and meadow grasses with soft, glistening
Our campfire cast flickering shadows against
backdrop of our crude mountain shanty. Beef stew,
bread, and honey butter, hot coffee made with spring
and sweetened with goat's milk..., Steven rose and
his empty dinner tin in the wash bucket.
"Time to draw straws for first watch," Steven said.
I drew first watch.
"Who wants to sit down there alone?" Old Blackgoat
the two of us. "Let's all go."
I wasn't about to object.
Flickers of light cascading between spindly pine
aided in our descent. We moved as quietly as
possible, Old Blackgoat leading the way. The
of a single truck echoed from the stretch of
winding curves below us. I wondered who that could