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“You yobbo! What’d’ya think you’re doing?” the tall, skinny fellow in the Australian hat shouted.
“Well, it’s quite simple, really. I just need to possess your body for a short time to try it out – I’ve never possessed anyone alive before.” Silas was humble in his explanation of the situation, yet clear about what he needed from the Aussie cowboy, which was his permission.
“You’re a demon, right?”
“Yes,” Silas replied rather innocently.
“And you’re asking my permission to let you possess my body – is that right?”
“Yes!” Silas exclaimed enthusiastically, the hot sun beating down on the both of them.
“Haaa-ha! You’re serious?! No, you can’t possess me!”
“Well, um, why not?” Silas asked, genuinely confused.
A sinister voice answered as the Aussie’s eyes glowed red suddenly, “Ha-ha-ha. Because I already possess this soul’s body. I’d like to see you try to take it from me, Runt.”
“Oh, so sorry. I didn’t know. Nice meeting you!” Silas hurried off.
“So, how did it go?” D’Metri hissed. “Where’s the body?”
“I didn’t get it.”
“Well, why not?”
“Another demon already possessed that one,” Silas muttered at the ground quietly.
“Silas, you can’t just give up. That bag of bones has your name written all over it. Go negotiate!”
Silas approached the possessed Australian man again. “Um, excuse me.” The man slowly turned, transforming before Silas into the full hideous glory of the demon already possessing the human. “Listen. Can we talk about this?” Silas stammered.
The mighty creature drew close to Silas, breathing fire as hot as burning coals on him. A deep, gruff voice spoke. “Runt, what is there to talk about? I possess this body. Me. Not you. What do you want?”
“Well, I was really just hoping we could come to some kind of agreement, you know. I mean, well, here’s the thing – this body would be quite perfect for me and wouldn’t require much adjustment. And, if you agreed, of course, I’d be grateful to you for helping me out with my first real possession. And, oh, silly me. What was your name, again?”
“I am Legion, whom Jesus Christ Himself had to cast out into a herd of swine. And who are you?”
“Oh, Jesus Christ! I remember Him! Rather charming Firstborn of the Father. Yes, well, anyway, Legion, could I borrow this body for a short time? I promise I’ll return it to you in better shape than you loan it to me in. Um…please?”
“Who are you, that you ask Legion for such a favor?”
“I’m Silas. Nice to meet you, Legion.” Silas extended his clawed hand. Legion was amused.
“Silas…. Silas…. “. Legion turned the name over on his tongue thoughtfully. “Okay, Silas. You may have this body to possess. I like you, Runt. Let me know if you ever need a hand.” Legion shrieked as he left the body for Silas to possess and found a nearby flock of sheep to torment.
“Hello? Hello. Anybody?”
“P-p-please. Don’t hurt me. I’m right here.”
“Oh, hello! I’m Silas. What’s your name?”
The frightened soul spoke meekly. “I…I’m not permitted to tell anyone my name – to speak it, I mean, but – this body is called ’Devin’.”
“Well, hello, Devin! Nice to meet you! Why are you so scared, may I ask?”
“You seem genuinely concerned about me,” the soul puzzled to Silas. “Why would you have such concern, or any at all for my well-being?”
“Well, I want you to be comfortable in your own skin. I’d feel terrible if you continued to be so scared of me! What’s got you all worked up, anyway?”
“Legion was awful! He’d make me do abysmal, grisly things with my body. And he tormented me constantly night and day with my sins and the appalling things he’d forced me to do! He was absolutely terrifying!”
“Well, I’m no ordinary demon, I’m told,” Silas proclaimed. Devin shrunk back quickly. “What I mean to say is that I, well…. “ Silas trailed off.
“You…what?” Devin asked hesitantly.
“Well, I like to help people,” Silas finally stated.
“Oh, this is ridiculous! I am Legion! All these sheep can do is ’Baaa’ at each other. They’re too stupid to even have a bad encounter with one another! At least the swine were intelligent enough to be run off a cliff to their deaths. Ah, here comes the shepherd. Maybe I’ll possess him instead. At least he’ll be smart enough to potentially do something evil!”
“Here, Sheep! Heeere, Sheep! Heeere, Sheep!” the shepherd called out. They all began to follow as the shepherd walked ahead of them. Legion saw his opportunity, as the shepherd had his guard down. Legion slipped in. The shepherd fell to his knees in agonizing pain, clutching his chest with one hand and his head with the other. The sheep scattered. The shepherd began to utter a prayer, but Legion silenced him.
“Shepherd, your soul is mine, now, and you shall be mute except when I speak. Do you understand?”
The shepherd wept for a moment, still resisting Legion with futility. Finally, he arose and walked toward the home where his family resided. Legion had many things in store for them. The shepherd mumbled to himself the whole way, “I am Legion. We are many,” over and over again, shuffling along as if he was a deranged madman. His shepherd’s staff laid abandoned in the dust.
The next morning, the shepherd was taken by the local authorities for brutally torturing and murdering his wife and five children. He was asked repeatedly what happened. The shepherd’s eyes were bloodshot and Legion allowed him to speak. “I don’t know! What happened to my family?! I didn’t do this! I’m innocent!” the shepherd cried. The last thing he could remember was calling to his sheep in the lush green pasturelands. Legion had already dispossessed him, leaving him with blood-stained hands, face, and clothing.
TO BE CONTINUED…