SAGA OF DARKNESS VISION OF LIGHT
Chapter Sixteen - Powers of the Lamb Oil
by Dennis R. Cook
Where my companions were, I didn't know, but I,
given a comfortable apartment. Perhaps,
somehow, we had passed from the netherworld to
Astarte's plush La Jolla mansion. I didn't know
the scene before me was of the Mexican villa
one not unlike the one in the vision I had seen
in Los Angeles with Steven.
It wasn't lavishly furnished, but there were
amenities. I was most impressed with the small,
practical library that afforded me the opportunity to
up on my knowledge of the Bible. That's right.
very creatures bent on destroying me had placed
an environment most capable of keeping me
Quite a deception, huh?
I didn't know where to begin. There was a
kitchen, bathroom, bedroom with balcony, living room,
whatever. Although in awe of my new environment,
absence of sleep, the absence of my companions
coupled with nagging anxiety and mild feelings of
depression, led me to the conclusion I was in need of
I headed for the bedroom, but didn't get very
I felt drawn toward the Bible in the small
library. When I opened it my eyes rested on the
beginning of Matthew chapter 24, Jesus' forecast of
signs of his second coming. As I mulled over
contents, my mind began to drift back in time to
incidents in my own life that were, well, umm,
err,...sin filled acts.
Of course the incidents which had occurred
my Christian conversion were no longer viable
reminders of a fallen nature that needed a
remedy. Nevertheless, those nasty little deeds of
flesh haunted me to the nth degree from time to
I assumed that was normal.
I realized sin was not, as it were, something I
practicing as a reborn Christian, but rather a ghost
of my past that had followed me into life. It
always there, waiting to rear its ugly head in
most unlikely places. I felt the need to repent
confess again those nasty little deeds and be
with them forever.
I kneeled. I prayed. I felt refreshed.
Retracing my steps, I placed the Bible back in it's
rightful spot in the library, but while doing so,
spotted a stack of magazines I hadn't noticed
before. What were they? I lifted the top
men's magazines with a picture of sport's
fem fatale on the cover...just a little peek
"Oh my God," I thought to myself, remembering
I was, and the precariousness of the position I
in, "what have I done?"
It was too late.....A raging sense of
and fear flooded my torso, a confusion
explosion if you will. Terrified, I listened
the voice of judgment I thought must come. Then I
it speak its intent, "I'm going to give you all
things," a demon swore. Suddenly, I felt
I stood paralyzed by fear, not knowing, ashamed
failure. Was I doomed? Fire exploded in my
and cascaded downward into my belly. Hell had
I knew it.
I thought I must have committed the unpardonable
My playful attitude toward sexuality had
finally caught up with me. For one moment of
tasteless titillation I had sold out, it seemed.
Another voice sounded, only adding to my
confusion. "Now, you are saved," the voice said.
"How could that be?" I balked, kneeling by the
Again I felt the oppressor. This time I
understood what its intent was. I glanced toward
balcony. I felt compelled to throw myself off of
"No!" I shouted.
Again I tried to pray, but it seemed as though
hope and faith had gone out of me. I was shaking
from the fear and the fire, I couldn't find the
remotest iota of God given peace anywhere in my
I grabbed the Bible from the bookshelf again. I
it and ran references in attempt to find some
scripture that would enable me to regain some
semblance of peace, but nothing helped. A voice in
head kept repeating a Bible phrase that with all
certainty described my exact feeling, "well without
twice dead, plucked up by the roots."
Where there had been peace and strength and
confidence in my inner self, now there was hellfire,
unending fear. I needed help! Oh, God, how alone
at that moment...., and there was no one
there. Was this hell? Was this what it was
separated from God for eternity? Was this the
Jesus had given his life for us, to spare us
these things? Was this the kind of calamity now
on humanity from which we have so long been
There had to be a key to my dilemma. Jesus had
keys to hell and death and of Heaven. He had
have the key to my situation. I just had to find
"What are you going to do, look under the bed?"
mocking voice questioned.
I turned to see Astarte leering at me through
ethereal glow. I couldn't do or say anything.
there before her shaking like a wet dog in a
When she seemed satisfied my condition was
genuine, the walls of my prison dissolved, and I
myself again alongside my friends. One
agonizing glance at the trio told me they, too,
been poisoned by the sting of Death. Were we
doomed to experience hell forever?
How would we survive, how would we go on? I
to force the overwhelming scourge of doubts out
head and focus on our new environment.
seemed to be in some sort of dimly lighted central
of a hacienda. A ranch style building
surrounded us. Flowers and shrubs and walkways led
central fountain area.
That's all I could make out. That wasn't
enough. I knew my mind needed something concrete
on to, something, some thought that would enable
hold my soul together long enough for a
solution to present itself. I was sinking
and I knew the others, though mute, had to be
fighting the same battle. The fire burning the
head seared downward into my belly. It was as
all the water of life in me had been lapped
"Oh, stop the blubbering," a voice whispered.
air around me exploded with a familiar scent. I
that perfume. Giorgio. I turned toward the
but didn't find anyone there. Steven,
Prometheus, Old Blackgoat, and Ketchum were
startled as well.
"It's me," the voice whispered, "it's me,
"Sarah?" Old Blackgoat moaned, not quite knowing
to do or what to believe.
"Listen," the invisible maiden continued,
"you've got to remember you are all men of faith, men
God. Don't let that demon continue to steal your
"What you are experiencing is a deception.
Whatever you did in your separate chambers is of no
consequence to your eternal well-being with God.
your faith and fight. You were born into the
not that demon. You have authority in the
not that devil. Jesus is Lord!
"The only repentance you need is to realize the
taken in your quarters that got you in this
was not a faith action. Take the guilt off
yourselves. God didn't put it there, you did."
"I see it," Steven said, with some
I might add. "Whatsoever is not of faith, is
We all acted without faith."
"Do you all understand?" Sarah asked.
None of us answered. We were too busy rebuking
devil and regaining our composure. My mind
cleared. I stopped shaking. I felt peace
next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground
outside the vortex behind Old Blackgoat's church, and
companions were there with me, each, as the
We were all batting our eyes like little
froggies caught in a hail storm. Recovering my
enough to gaze through the dim light, my
came to rest on Sarah, hands on hips, no longer
stiff lipped matron, but the gallant warrior.
"You boys need to go see those of the congregation
remained at the church to pray and let them
everything is alright," Sarah said.
Apparently little time had elapsed since our entry
the vortex. The men were still around us.
"O.K.," Steven said, "let's all go inside."
The congregation, although exhausted, seemed
satisfied with our return, and especially the return
Blackgoat. They didn't balk at Old
Blackgoat's suggestion that they go home and
what was left of a night's sleep.
I longed to join them, but wasn't going to rest
Sarah explained how she had managed to rescue
As the last parishioner disappeared out the
door, our eyes fastened on the well-bred granddaughter of our mentor, Old Blackgoat. She
have to read our minds. Even Prometheus eyed
lass with such a sense of admiration, that Sarah
blushed. Nevertheless, the glow on the cheeks of
Tahitian bronzed skin didn't deter her from
explaining her actions with her typed intrepid
candor. Since I had met her she had always
deemed to be the archetype of human Christian
She held up the bootblack can, then handed
Ike, or so we thought at the time. "I know you boys
resented her calling us boys but she knew we all
thought the devil had picked your pocket, but it
me. I was with you the entire time. Steven,
time you revealed the power of pure faith to Joseph
your basement out in California until now I have
I would use it to set you boys free.”
"You mean, you knew all along?" Steven said,
incredulously, rising from his seat, shocked by
nefarious deed of silence.
"I knew I must," Sarah said, "for just such
as this. It wouldn't have done any of you any
to have knowledge that I could use the
substance. Satan could have discerned the
information within you and done to me as you. But
I have been absent during your trials, he has
occasion to attack me."
"Then you mean to tell us that the whole
we were in that hellhole, that you were there
us, that not only we couldn't see you, but the
either?" Ketchum conjectured, incredulous
she could be so wily.
"Yes, that is correct Mr. Ketchum," Sarah
"But... how?" Ketchum stammered.
"I know the Lord watches us from places that we
see, and from places where He cannot be seen
watching by the devil. I just believed for
put me in that place, and He did. From the
I left my car at midnight in front of the
church, I smeared the pure substance of faith on my
forehead and believed.
"Steven, you remember that small
you gave me at granddad's? I used it all.
"At the tree of knowledge of
and evil I decided I might need more faith,
took the rest of it from Steven. Don't be mad at
Steven. You are all safe because I believed and
"But how did you get us out of the vortex
without all hell breaking loose?" Ketchum
dumbfounded by our instantaneous exit.
"Oh, I remember now," I said, "my exit
the vortex up at hell central was instantaneous
figured out how to maneuver in there. Getting
out at once though, that took some kind of
I'm not familiar with."
Sarah yawned. "No more questions, boys, I
have to drive back to Teec Nos Pos tonight. I
to be at work by 7:45 in the morning. You boys
all intelligent. You figure out the rest of the
Old Blackgoat tried to persuade his
granddaughter to rest for the night, and head out
but she wouldn't hear of it, calling to mind
metaphor having to do with sardines.
"Women," Old Blackgoat muttered, as Sarah sped
the front door, "you can't live with them,..."
"And you can't live without them," we all chimed
"Well," Ketchum slapped his knees and stood
"This case certainly deserves a lot of analysis,
I'm dad blamed tuckered out. Figure you fellas
be moseyin' back up the mountain to tend those
sheep. I've got to get back up there, too, and
men. Somewhere along the line we're all gonna'
to get some shuteye."
Too tired to speak, I just rolled my eyes and
out the front door of the church toward Steven's
4X4. Somewhere in the back of my mind
and pieces of an old song began to surface.....
something like blah, blah blah, what happened? I
fill in my own lyrics on the way up the mountain
sleep left the humor trapped in the moment.
Flashing lights cut my nap short. I rolled down
passenger window of Steven's old 4X4 and thrust my
outside the vehicle in order to hear, as well as
what was going on.
"I just caught 'em in the corner of my
headlights," I heard Ketchum tell Steven. "They
off in the direction of hell central. They must
pushed her car off the road somewhere over yonder,
ain't got time to go huntin' for it. God only
what's happened to my men."
Steven motioned for me to get out of his 4X4. At
approach he repeated what Ketchum had told him,
of which I had overheard. What I had missed was
they had Sarah.
"Something big must be going down for them to
this stunt," Ketchum said. "I don't know
you fellas', but I've just about had enough of
Sheolman and his parlor tricks. Don't figure that
leadin' to their underground parkin' garage is
Ketchum didn't finish his sentence, but
trailed off. Old Blackgoat and Prometheus were
Old Blackgoat had his Bible in hand along with a
paper and pencil. I couldn't tell what he was
writing, but the old seer moved like a cat when he
to. He seemed oblivious to everything being
He didn't have to react. We knew he knew.
Prometheus, not a slacker either, had already
disappeared beyond the range of Ketchum's headlights.
something in one hand. I couldn't see what.
grabbing a lantern from Old Blackgoat's camper,
followed, knowing the remaining three would have to
their vehicles the short distance on to the
Approaching Prometheus, I could see he was
feeling for the lip of the hideaway with a crowbar.
"Here, shine your light here," the titan
"All I need is enough hand space with
to get a hold on the metal roof the road rests
Prometheus slammed the crowbar into place and
with all his might until he heard the metal
roofing buckle. "That did it!" Prometheus said
success, spawning a short lived grin. But his
not mask the primordial glare within that forewarned
that in the titan's mind, he had a score to settle...
Lights from the highway signaled reinforcements,
although all vehicles came to rest with
headlights on Prometheus, no one moved. The hair
head rocketed as my mind grasped, with the others,
sight unfolding before us. The Spirit of the
had come upon Prometheus. We were going to