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Chapter Nine - Sleuths of the Spirit

by Dennis R. Cook


Chapter Nine - Sleuths of the Spirit

by Dennis R. Cook

After a short night's sleep we arose at 4:30 A.M. and planned the day's activities. As usual we would spend the morning tending the flock. After lunch we decided to have Prometheus demonstrate how best to use the pure substance of faith. We wanted to be prepared should we be caught by the enemy without Prometheus. About 4:00 P.M. we intended to load up Steven's old 4X4 and drive to Albuquerque where we would catch our flight to Los Angeles.

Prometheus' presence made the morning walk with the sheep more interesting. Hearing a voice projected by an invisible source took some getting used to. Prometheus would interject things like, "the sheep desire to eat of the shrubs under yon pinion tree."

Old Blackgoat seemed to enjoy the game. The moment Prometheus would give a direction he would turn the sheep that way, and, I swear, I could darn near see the sheep smile.

One thing bothered me about the sheep and Old Blackgoat, though. And that was, it didn't look like we would be able to tend the sheep beneath what Ol' Blackgoat called, the blue sky which clothes the high green mountain range above the passageway of the serpent. I knew Old Blackgoat had his heart set on it, but after our encounter with Death, I, for the life of me, couldn't figure out who would be fooled by our little ruse.

After lunch Prometheus took his seat on the floor against the refrigerator, while Steven, Old Blackgoat, and I, sat at the kitchen table.

Steven brought out the substance of faith from his hip pocket and removed the lid, then set the canister in the center of the table.

A knock at the door interrupted our proceedings, however.

"That will be my granddaughter Sarah," Old Blackgoat beamed. "She was supposed to have business down in Zuni this morning. I thought she might stop here on her way home. This is good timing. I want her to see how great the substance of faith can be."

"What about Prometheus?" Steven whispered before Old Blackgoat could reach the door.

"Don't worry," Old Blackgoat said, "she may not understand at first, but she will catch on. She has always been a good learner."

"Granddaughter!" Old Blackgoat said, as he opened the front door of his modest abode. "Come in and join our powwow. You know Steven and Joseph. And I have someone else I would like for you to meet."

As Sarah entered the tight confines of the kitchen the same alluring smell of Georgio reminded me of our first meeting. Her demeanor hadn't changed either. She was all business. Nothing seemed to ruffle her feathers, not even the sight of Prometheus sprawled half way across the kitchen floor. She didn't even blink, and that aroused my curiosity. Although she projected an impenetrable aura of abject stoicism, something told me that was a front. I vowed to find out more about her.

"Oh, Steven!" Sarah said, reaching for Steven's open bootblack can on the kitchen table, "this is the pure faith you were telling me about, isn't it? May I have just a little?" Sarah asked, becoming instantly more likeable and personable.

"Sure," Steven said. "But do you have something to keep it in?"

Sarah produced a small pill box from her purse and held it up for Steven's inspection. "Will this do?" she said.

"Excellent choice," Steven said.

"Ad nauseam, ad nauseam," I said to myself. "This girl can wrap Steven around her little finger."

"Perhaps," a voice answered in my head.

I looked over at Prometheus. He was smiling.

I determined at that point, to guard my thoughts more carefully.

Back to the pure oil of the lamb. I was still quite in awe, dumbfounded, and somewhat amazed at the radiant glow the prize emitted. Could I really move a mountain with a smidgeon of the stuff? I was about to discover.

Prometheus directed us to gaze into the glowing substance, and meditate upon it until we felt confident a shield of protection was forming around us that was rock solid, impenetrable. He directed us to picture the shield and desire it with our whole heart. He admonished that we should agree that such a shield was present, and then aloud, to say it was so.

"Are you now protected from the greatest of disasters that could come upon you?" Prometheus asked.

We all agreed that we were, and said so, still meditating as one on the substance of faith.

I, for one, really expected to see something form over us. Instantly I had a vision. The pure substance of faith twinkled, as though emitting tiny balls of light into the area directly above us. And I saw a shield form!

Prometheus then leaped from his seated position with the speed of a Cheetah and raised his right arm above Steven's head. I thought he was testing us to see if we would flinch. I was wrong on that one!

The sound of Prometheus's fist striking our shield of faith was deafening. The sound snapped my eyes shut and jarred the table with such force my entire physical body began vibrating. By the time I could focus my eyes again, Old Blackgoat, who had wisely moved away from the table when Prometheus raised his arm, had returned, and was running his hand along an unseen surface, not ten inches above my head.

"Praise God," Steven said, tilting his head backward to look up, while raising his arm to feel the impenetrable shield pure faith had formed over us.

"There is one more trial I would like to see you pass," Prometheus said with a smile.

"And what is that?" I asked, alarmed, still trying to get my ears to pop open by pressing hand to ear and ripping it away.

Again Prometheus directed us to follow the steps he had taught us moments earlier. This time, however, we were to envision all five of us sitting outside on straw next to the church, and, of course, to say so.

We all focused our eyes on the substance of faith, and believed with all our hearts. But after sitting there at the table in dead silence for two or three minutes without anything happening, I looked over at Steven.

"Now?" Steven asked.

"Now," I said, with a touch of disgust in my voice.

"Now!" We all yelled, adding the full force of our collective mind and will to the task. "We are sitting outside the church on straw!"

In an instant of time I felt everyone's mind merge into agreement with my own. In my mind's eye I observed a small explosion at their touch, as though energy to complete our journey had been released. And the next thing I knew, we were all sitting beside the church on a mound of straw.

"Now, if only we could spin this straw into gold," Old Blackgoat said.

"You all will be worthy opponents of Lucifer," Prometheus promised.

We brushed the straw from our backsides.

"Just remember this," Prometheus said, "your heartfelt belief, your vision, your agreement, and your words must be one. When they are, this faith will accomplish whatever you desire. Use it wisely. But do not be afraid to use it up, for the little that is in this small container is more than enough to last you all a lifetime."

"Oh, I see," Steven said. "If only a grain of mustard seed can move a mountain, then..."

"Exactly," Prometheus said.

We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up and packing our gear. Most of what we had brought wasn't suitable to take along to L.A., like our sleeping bags and outdoor clothing. We decided to stow those items in Steven's 4X4.

Of the rest, we each selected items that were fashionable, but not too flashy, just enough to fill one medium sized suitcase along with essentials like our shaving kits.

We drove south to Gallup and turned on I-40.

The drive to Albuquerque was pleasant. Although the day was a tad cool, with more wind than I cared for, the high sky and warming rays of sunlight glistening atop snowy mountain peaks had given me a feeling of renewal.

Steven seemed to be lost for the moment in his driving, but I knew his silence spoke volumes. We all had a lot on our minds.., too much! After all, who could relate to our experiences? A Vietnam war vet maybe...

Prometheus marveled at gargantuan eighteen wheelers that screamed by us at frightening speeds. I suspected he was concentrating his uncanny mind-reading ability on unsuspecting passersby in order to increase his knowledge about modern mechanistic wizardry. He had to have a lot of questions after being imprisoned three thousand years. In a way, I suspected, he was having fun.

Meanwhile, the proverbial New Mexico crow, ever present companion on bleak stretches of I-40, appeared alongside us in various sizes hunting for its daily diet of putrescence.

The Albuquerque airport was hectic with Friday evening traffic, and finding a parking spot took some doing, but we managed with time to spare.

We still had two hours until our flight was to depart, but rather than wait in the cramped conditions of Steven's 4X4, I suggested we check our overnight cases through, then grab a magazine and cup of coffee.

We cautioned Prometheus one last time, reminding him not to appear in the airport area, and he reminded us not to worry about Dr. Sheolman, that he would be close by at all times.

We grabbed our bags. Steven finished locking up, and we were off.

After checking in, Steven and I each purchased some magazines and knickknacks, then sat down at a booth in a coffee and sandwich shop close to our boarding gate. From time to time while browsing through his periodical, Steven would give fleeting glances at passersby. I knew he was searching for Dr. Sheolman, but I didn't let on. For some reason I knew he would show.

I wondered what Old Blackgoat and his granddaughter were up to. Sarah had not indicated to us how long she planned to visit. Her plans weren't any of my business, but I assumed she would stay and have dinner with her granddad. Had I given it some thought, I would have asked her to stay with the old sage in our absence.

A voice sounded over the airport public address system announcing that we could board our flight. We finished our coffee and paid our tab, checked our things through security, passed by the waiting area, submitted our boarding passes for inspection, and strolled on down the boarding ramp. A polite stewardess greeted us with a warm smile, surveyed our tickets, and directed us to our seats.

I took the window just behind the wing on the right side of the plane. Steven took the aisle seat. He hoped to get a good look at Dr. Sheolman as he boarded.

Steven bristled as a Navajo man of medium build with cold, brooding eyes appeared through the archway that separated us from first class. He took a seat in the front row on the far side of the coach.

"Bingo!" Steven said. "Our pigeon has landed."

"Indeed he has," I said with guarded optimism.

"Time to get this show on the road," Steven said, unable to quell his excitement, eager to get on with the business of sleuthing.

Flight attendants assumed their stations to explain safety and emergency procedures. I loved the pantomime demonstration that accompanied the voice, but hated the idea of ever having to apply the techniques in a real crisis situation. It reminded me of the Marine Corps Paris Island joke. You know, if a coral snake or water moccasin bites you, what do you do? Bend over, grab your ankles, and kiss your derriere goodbye.

I was a tad nervous, although not from our impending departure. I have always enjoyed flying, especially those rare moments underneath silvery moonlit skies, when the moon's rays bounce off fluffy white cloud tops. Our flight had that potential. I crossed my fingers.

No, I wasn't nervous from a fear of flying. The feeling was more like that of a hound dog anticipating a coon hunt. I hoped our adversary wouldn't prove too wily, though. I was looking forward to treeing his be-deviled hide out on a limb for real. I eyed Steven. His countenance told me he was still on point.

Then there was Prometheus. Was he on guard as we? Or was he caught up in some other moment? It didn't take me long to get an answer.

Words popped into my head. "I expect this flight to be a true wonder of wonders," Prometheus said. "But I can't help remembering the days when riding with Father in His chariot, I would observe sights like flaming fires of glory bursting free from an exploding supernova, illuminating an entire galaxy with it's splendor, subduing countless solar systems in mere seconds."

"Really," I said, sitting up to look in the direction the voice came from.

"That would be an incredible sight. Care to elaborate a little? Just what is heaven like?"

"Ah, Heaven," Prometheus said. "Where shall I begin? How shall I describe it for you so you will understand? You have asked a very difficult thing, Joseph. Heaven, hmm.., heaven is a quality. It is the quality of life that exists when every creature's motive is not only to do good, but to delight, take great pleasure in doing love things for one another.

"It is the delight a wealthy earthman might feel if, upon finding a husbandless woman with three small children; destitute, downtrodden, and homeless; he took her in, dressed her in royal robes, gave her a great mansion stocked with every imaginable provision, provided her with servants, schooled her children, and never asked anything in return.

"Heaven is like each creature having all the wealth of the Earth, all the time of the Earth, and all the means of the Earth, with no end in sight. The presence of Heaven has no end or beginning. It has always been like that, and always will be like that. In heaven, all things are always possible, all of the time."

Prometheus paused. "Shall I continue?"

"No, that will do for now," I said. "But thank you very much for sharing. Perhaps when this mess with Dr. Sheolman is over you can share more."

"Very well, then," Prometheus said, but added, "you must tell Earth people heaven is filled with great joy and excitement. Not one creature in heaven is ever bored!"

I didn't argue the point, or pursue his exposition further. It seemed hardly the time to delve deeply into Heaven's bounty when Hell was right next door, that is to say, a few rows away. Rather, I turned my attention back to my finance gazette. I didn't locate any articles, however, that offered hope for Detroit, or piqued my interest, so I chucked it for a geography periodical someone had left on the back of the seat in front of me.

Thumbing through I happened on a pictorial spread of modern Iran. It seemed their unscrupulous anti-christ want-a-be leader had envisioned designs of restoring the Tigris Euphrates valley into its former Babylonian glory.

Bits and pieces of the Bible's book of Revelation that gave a latter day account of Babylon came floating back to me. I decided to open my pocket Bible which I always carried for study and memorization.

As I read through the Old and New Testament scriptures about Babylon, I recalled that the birthplace of civilization was the Tigris and Euphrates valley, i.e., Mesopotamia, the region where Prometheus roamed eons ago. Things seemed to gel. I gained some understanding. Babylon, it seems, was touted as the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth. She was the "great whore" of Revelation chapter seventeen, verse five, that denizen of the dark world unknown to us, that rode the dragon with 7 heads and ten horns to power near the end of time. Perhaps she was Astarte herself way back then, that demi-goddess that seduced our titan friend.

"Ah, now I remember," I said to myself. "This message was on one of Blackgoat's teaching tapes. He was talking about ancient Babylon. He said thatBabylon was credited with being that part of the cradle of civilization which first introduced witchcraft and idolatry into the post-flood Mesopotamian era. That certainly seemed genuinely plausible when one considered that we had Prometheus and the lamb oil.

I remembered Blackgoat saying that the witches of Babylon were widely feared, and people of that day believed demons could only be kept at bay through human sacrifice and ritual. I laughed. Some of my own people, Americans, were lost in the same grave yard. When would the knowledge dawn on civilization that dominion of the Earth belonged to man, that not even Lucifer has our authority, unless, and until, he is born as one of us.

Old Blackgoat had said as much, said man had made him-self a dupe where Satan was concerned, that always the exact opposite of what man believed about the devil had been true. Man believed that keeping the devil away required ritual sacrifice, when, in fact, it had always been ritual sacrifice that had given the devil legal entitlement to enter a man's life and destroy it.

America has had its problems, Blackgoat had said. Newspaper and magazine articles, television talk shows, and numerous books since the early seventies had detailed the hazards, pitfalls, and perhaps even judgment coming on our dear country. Perhaps the recent bizarre weather patterns were warnings, too.

Blackgoat was becoming weary of pleading with so called Christians that Father didn't exist solely to shower us with a multitude of blessings. He, and only he, also had the responsibility of disciplining his family and chastening nations, especially those daring to insult him by worshiping demons and sacrificing children to the devil.

But, Old Blackgoat had gone on to say, our great nation still had time to avoid greater chastening, especially if Christians stopped stumbling, as it were, over the truth inherent in scripture. What was required of us, Blackgoat had said, was to believe the promises of the Bible, and take dominion over pseudo governing forces by acting and doing just as instructed. Furthermore, he said biblical history painted a grim picture of what might be in store for us if we didn't. Israel was used to judge nations after her release from Egypt. The nations she overcame were nations steeped in the occult. However, when Israel absorbed those same practices through inter-marriage, the Lord visited the same judgments upon them, though far worse, scattering them abroad into the jaws of Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.

Was Astarte that mother? I wondered? Prometheus had said it was she who had plagued mankind with false prophets and deceptions since Nimrod's day. To what degree were we under her spell? Blackgoat's teachings helped me draw some conclusions.

Iran thought of herself as the great hopeof the middle east, a nation destined to fulfill a calling. You know, ordain a new world order founded on the back of a super ruler, who appears to stave off chaos in the knick of time.

I shuddered to think what that might mean to us if we didn't kick a few demons in the butt with the Word of God, and slam some jail doors shut on baby killers and murderers of children....and do so in a hurry. Otherwise, America might one day be the recipient of worse than Iran from the hand of God. (Gosh, I was beginning to sound like Old Blackgoat!)

Blackgoat had completed the analogy for me, and I remembered, of Judah, God said, that it never came to His mind that they would sacrifice their children on the high places. How awful for a nation to allow such to go unchecked in its midst, the shedding of innocent blood, that is, and I wondered, was America going to wind up like Judah? Was America going to wind up in the hands of Mother Babylon because we kill babies?

"What do you think, Prometheus?" I asked, wondering if the creature was tuned in to my thoughts. He was.

"I most certainly will recognize that witch Astarte if I see her," Prometheus said. "If she is the grand design behind this Dr. Sheolman, then it is now clear why he is in possession of the lamb oil."

"What is the portent of that for us?" I asked.

"She is capable of great deception. She could very well be your Mother Babylon.

"She will infect every strata of your society. All her schemes will vary from cast to cast or scene to scene, and they will seem dissimilar, but they will, in fact, have one basic plot at their root."

"Oh, I see," I said to Prometheus, "then what Old Blackgoat has been teaching is true, the Satanists are just the tip of the iceberg. They are like a sign, a dark vision of Lucifer's real intent. The other factions are buried more deeply in our culture, most notably, the Humanists, Free Masons, Tri-Lateralists, Masters of Wisdom, or whatever name they are going by these days. They, along with the New Agers, Hindus, and the like, all have channeled writings that predict a coming time when they will make the vaunted quantum leap into the god class.

Blackgoat saw things clearly. He said that which they predict, and await, will come, but via cataclysmic upheaval, and the end result, however, will not fare as well for the inhabitants of planet earth, as Fascism for Germany. He foreshadowed the goal of Iran. Scary.

I shuddered to think of Blackgoat's prophetic words. Taken in total they painted a grim picture indeed, and what was worse, I understood them. God judges nations and peoples that allow Mother Babylon to sink her poisonous talons deep into their culture. It just takes him a long time to make his statement. He works from microcosm, the Tower of Babel, to macrocosm, Mother Babylon in our day. His statement has taken some five thousand years to evolve. That is some statement using analogical data, perhaps one that deserves the kind of careful consideration given to theplan before its implementation. "They are going to do it," I heard Old Blackgoat say, "they are going to enslave humanity, and they don't realize how angry The Lord can become when world leaders invite Satan to rule them."

The seat belt lights came on and the plane slowed to approach speed. Then came the familiar greeting and Captain's advisory. I noticed I hadn't bothered to unfasten my belt.

Steven apparently warned the stewardess away when she offered us nuts and soda. I hadn't missed the sundries but my stomach had. I was famished. I turned my attention back to Prometheus hoping to forget my hunger.

"Old Blackgoat is a very interesting herald," Prometheus said. Might he not desire to tell this story to everyone?"

"Perhaps he will," I said, "perhaps he will." "Listen," I said to Prometheus, "I want to remind you to follow Dr. Sheolman until he settles in somewhere, then report back to Steven and me. Be sure not to get so close to him that the demons inhabiting his body discern your presence. Steven and I will be staying at the Westchester Inn. I doubt you'll have any trouble finding us."

"As you say, Joseph," Prometheus said, sounding like a good soldier.

The wheels of our plane scorched the runway. Screeching tires and the mighty whine of the engines reversing themselves to slow our speed soon brought us to the appropriate taxi speed. Within minutes we were up, heading for the exit ramp. As we crept along behind other passengers toward the exit, Steven gave me the oddest look.

"What in the world were you thinking about during the flight?" He asked.

"Well, you know," I said, "I had a veryenlightening conservation with Prometheus."

"Oh?" Steven said, "I'd like to hear that..."

"Later," I said, "I have to get something in my stomach before I discuss that stuff again."

"That deep, uh," Steven said.

"You got it," I sighed.

After collecting our baggage and a satisfying dinner we took a cab to our hotel destination, the Westchester, and settled in, choosing to wait until morning to rent a car.

We were both exhausted after our brush with Death at hell central. 4:30 A.M. had come all too soon. Then, of course we had spent a long morning tending sheep, which had drained our resources even more. Learning to use faith had all but depleted our reserves, and the drive to Albuquerque was enough to finish us off. Fortunately, the tasty meal at the airport had revived us some.

I planned on sleeping until noon if I could get away with it...ha! I doubted Dr. Sheolman would be involved in much devilry until the evening. At any rate, I wasn't going to chase him all over Los Angeles until my strength returned. Besides, Prometheus could pick up Dr. Sheolman's thought trail and find him anywhere, anytime, I presumed. It seemed too easy.

Steven felt as I. Indeed, he felt worse. The bumps and bruises he incurred flying across the unholy trio's sanctuary were hurting him fiercely, and I thought it inevitable, after seeing him down a few aspirins, that he would fall asleep before Prometheus returned.

Our room was large and spacious with thick, deep-piled, orchid-colored carpet, with two king beds. A business accounting area was equipped with a computer. The phone had a fax. The furniture was exquisite. There were other amenities as well. Get the picture?

It wasn't going to be easy returning to the New Mexico outback.

I had insisted on the best accommodations available, having been vacation-less for several years while climbing the corporate ladder at Mammoto. Steven hadn't argued. I was paying.

Steven surprised me. I had expected him to be dozing, but the spark of curiosity I had aroused in him as we left the plane hadn't quite fizzled out. He continued to badger me about my conversation with Prometheus, until wearily, I gave in, doing my best to explain how Prometheus had helped sharpen myperspective on the nature of Astarte.

"Astarte?" Steven said.

"You know," I replied, "that demi-goddess that seduced Prometheus."

"Sure," Steven said, "go on."

"Well," I said, "Prometheus, along with some of the things Old Blackgoat has been saying, brought the greater work of Astarte into focus. She is Mother Babylon, you know," I predicted. "From what Prometheus told me about her, I realized her work is plainly visible in the social strata of our society. Secular Humanism, New Ageism, and Hinduism, to name a few, are so closely related, they must be reminiscent of ancient Babylon; most importantly, how deeply entwined they seem to be in our educational system, government, scientific community, media, business, and worst of all, our Christian church.

However, what alarmed me most was recent talk by world political leaders about a new worldwide monetary policy. Such would involve currency other than the American dollar as a base, and signal the decline of our status as a nation. Bottom line was, we would no longer control the world's purse strings. The stage would be set for world government and the rise of the anti-christ.

"We screwed up toward the beginning of thiscentury," I told Steven. "We Christians blew it. When the world said, "the church is powerless to effect positively, the course of individual lives, and the course of nations, let us invent psychological clap-trap to take her place," the resounding voice of Christianity from continent to continent was "yes, amen, let us invent psychological clap-trap to explain away spiritual things.

"Steven," I said, "we should have been screaming whoa, Nellie, let the Word of God be true and everyman a liar."

Having finished my little recitation, I figuredSteven would have numerous comments, but guess what? The big baby had wimped out on me. He was sawing logs.

I waited another hour for Prometheus to turn up, before finally succumbing to exhaustion myself. The bed was simply too comfortable. I fell asleep in my clothes.

The next thing I heard was Steven ranting and raving about something. It took me a while to catch on to exactly what it was he was upset about, but the phrase "lamb oil missing" saw me bolt out of bed, if you will pardon the expression, like a bat out of purgatory.

"It's gone," Steven said, throwing his hands in the air. "The substance of faith is gone. The can was right here on the dresser with my wallet. The wallet is here, but the faith is gone!"

"Have you looked under everything to see if perhaps it fell to the floor and rolled under the bed or something?" I asked.

"Hey, I've looked everywhere," Steven said. "But the missing faith isn't our only problem, where in the Sam-hill is Prometheus?"

"Do you think Prometheus might have taken the can while we were asleep?" I asked.

"Not on your life," Steven said. "I suspect, somehow, they caught him again, and some kind of spirit slipped in here while we were sleeping and ripped us off."

"Let's just say that they did," I said, "what, then?"

"I bet Prometheus has been trying to contact us all night," Steven said, "but couldn't get through to us because we were sleeping. We need to focus. Let's focus all of our heart, mind, soul, spirit and strength in agreement and concentrate on Prometheus. Maybe he will contact us telepathically."

"Let's also pray and ask the Lord to show us all we need to know in order to complete our mission here," I said.

"Done, let's get to it."

After praying for some time, and gaining a oneness of mind and heart, images began forming before our eyes. We assumed the events we were seeing from the previous evening were flowing to us from Prometheus.

Dr. Sheolman hadn't taken a room Friday evening at all. He had rented a limousine and driven south toward San Diego. He stopped at a stately villa just outside of La Jolla to pick up a female companion that he seemed to know very well.

I wondered if she was indeed that demi-goddess Astarte. Was she the force behind all this madness? The money was certainly there. Owning a villa in southern California was a four or five million dollar affair. Seemed to me Steven's assumptions were right on target. Sheolman had a mentor of hubris, and a wealthy one at that. Was she Mother Babylon?

I watched as Dr. Sheolman and companion proceeded east toward Mount Palomar before turning northward on a farm road leading into a valley full of peach trees. I perceived that somewhere in that orchard served as a coven headquarters, and that Prometheus and the can of faith were there.

More images followed. I found myself inside a huge farm storage facility. Dr. Sheolman and his friend from La Jolla were seated behind a brazen altar much like the one on the reservation. I perceived Dr. Sheolman and female companion constituted high priest and priestess, respectively.

Soon, the two arose and brought the meeting to order. That same moment I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck. There, on the far side of the altar were three thrones of ebony, and upon them sat the enemies of our souls, Satan, Hell, and Death.

"Bring out the prisoner," Dr. Sheolman commanded.

Two huge green serpentine creatures with manlike torsos and webbed ears appeared before Dr. Sheolman and bowed, then disappeared, then reappeared in a flash holding the limp form of Prometheus. His hands and and feet were bound with cords gleaming with the substance of faith.

A great howl went up from the crowd at the sight of our beloved friend. I grew angry! The thought of multiplied thousands of faithful human beings having given their lives over the centuries to fill up the cup of Christ's sufferings boiled me over.

Dr. Sheolman raised his hands. The crowd quieted.

The one the Lord rebuked rose from his throne and walked with purpose toward Prometheus. Raising hands toward the crowd, he cracked them together. A towering burning cross appeared. The crowd roared with approval.

Hell dismounted his throne, and slithered across the floor with his tortured, bent frame seething scum as he went. Like his predecessor, he threw back his head as he stood with powerful regality over Prometheus, then gave a shrill cacophonic laugh that chilled my bones. Thrusting his hands into the air, the arch fiend produced three red hot iron spikes. The crowd again roared with approval as Hell delivered the honor of execution into the hands of the only dark lord left seated.

Death descended to the floor beneath his regal perch with purpose, no doubt the last of its kind to be humiliated by Prometheus in front of its peers. Its was the hand that I feared the most upon the mighty titan.

His advance upon Prometheus was that of a juggernaut, red eyes blazing with rage. The crowd hushed. I sickened within.

"Take the pure oil of lamb's blood and bathe the traitor from head to foot," Death commanded the green skinned demons laboring with the limp body of Prometheus.

"Dr. Sheolman," Death bellowed, "crucify him!"

"Crucify him!, crucify him!," the crowd bellowed in unison.

Dr. Sheolman turned to the witch at his side and commanded, "bring forth the spell necessary to bind this dung to the cross of our master's triumph."

The witch moved rhythmically to Dr. Sheolman's side holding a scroll which she clutched with power. Standing over Prometheus, she unrolled the parchment, left hand at its top, right hand at its bottom.

Prometheus, it seemed, repentant heart and all, was about to return to what purported to be a nightmarish prison, even for a fallen angel.

As the witch prepared to speak, wrought iron chains were fastened about Prometheus with which to hoist the titan upward onto the flaming cross when the time came. I didn't think I could take any more, but there was more.

Two tiny impish looking creatures appeared in a small puff of smoke above the crowd of onlookers and paraded around the gathering holding the bootblack can of faith. The spectators roared their approval.

Once again Satan arose from his throne. Standing, he began to command, "wake the traitor from his dreams, that he may hear of the judgment that is to be upon his head."

"There will be no need of that," a booming voice countered.

Prometheus was awake!

I could see that power had returned to his sinews. And with a jerk of his mammoth arms, the resilient titan tore his limbs free from the serpent's grasp, and shattered chains and burning cross as though twigs.

Faster than my eyes could follow, Prometheus ripped the scroll from the witch, snatched the can of faith, and disappeared into the night.

I popped up off my knees, lifted my hands to heaven, and screamed, "YES! AMEN!"

"Did you see that, Steven? Did you get all that?"

"You bet I did," Steven said.

"Prometheus got saved," I yelled, throwing my fist in the air. "Glory to God Almighty. The Holy Ghost let Prometheus get just enough taste of the cross to under-stand its significance. I know Prometheus received Jesus into his heart. I know it! Jesus is his Lord!

"You're absolutely right," Steven said. And let's not forget that every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."

"But how did Prometheus get saved?" I asked.

"What justification can be given for Prometheus getting saved? Now I'm confused."

"Don't be," Steven insisted. "The Bible says preach the gospel to every creature. Prometheus is a creature, isn't he?"

"Well, err, ..." ended that conversation.

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