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“So, what do you like to do, Devin?”
“What?” the soul asked, dumbfounded.
“What do you like to do? Do you like to swim? Do you like to climb? Do you like to birdwatch? You know – hobbies? Sports? Girlfriend? Wife?”
“Are you serious?”
“Oh, perfectly serious! I’d like to be friends. I really don’t want to fight you or be a pest, you know. I just want to experience what it’s like to be in a body.”
“So let me get this straight – you don’t want to torment me. You don’t want to harm me. You don’t want to make me kill or maim or scare or torture others. You just want to go along for the ride and see what it’s like to have a body?”
“Exactly! If that’s okay, of course. I want you to be happy, too,” Silas confidently confirmed.
“So, no mind control or contortions or seizures? Nothing like that?” the spirit questioned in disbelief.
“A little conversation – friendly conversation, maybe some questions here and there – no loss of agency, though.”
“And if I decide I want you to leave?”
Silas replied, somewhat sadly, “Well, then I’d respect that and I’d leave.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Mate. Just a question. Sounds agreeable to me. Easiest possession I’ve ever been through, sounds like.”
“So I can stay? You’ll be my friend?!”
“Sure. Silas, right?”
“Okay, Silas, it’s a deal.”
“You shouldn’t thank me yet…”
“Lucifer, my lord, how are you today?” Legion found Lucifer chewing the head off of a baby squirrel using a body he’d possessed at a nearby schoolyard.
“I’ve been eager to speak with you, Legion,” the nine-year-old’s voice squeaked. “I hear that Silas has taken on a live body.” Throwing the remains of the squirrel down and stomping on it until it was squished into the earth, the boy’s eyes glowed red and Lucifer spoke in his own voice. “How did you convince him, Legion?” Lucifer smiled as he rehearsed in his mind what horrid things – what reprehensible acts – Legion must have had to put Silas through to compel him to possess a living human being.
“Actually, my lord, I cast myself into a nearby flock of sheep and gave the body to him to possess. Silas requested the body.”
“What?” Lucifer muttered incredulously. “Silas asked for the body that you already possessed? Are we talking about the same Silas?”
“Yes, Lucifer, the same Silas who used to possess the dead and was mistaken for a zombie by the police when he took Mr. Doe out for a spin. There was nothing left of the body but kibble by the time the gunfire stopped,” Legion snickered and snorted. Regaining his composure, Legion again confirmed that it had indeed been Silas. “He was very persistent. Very convincing. I rather like Silas, as a matter of fact.”
“Legion, you are a staunch black hat and have been ever loyal to me. You may even have turned the bane of my existence into a suitable demon. Time will tell with Silas. Now tell me about this shepherd you ran across – the one that claimed he was possessed, that one that butchered his entire family using nothing but his hands and his teeth…. You know, Legion, ripping the children’s limbs off and and biting chunks out of everyone’s flesh was a nice touch. Did the shepherd swallow any of them? Give me all the details!” Lucifer listened intently as Legion relayed every gory act to him. Lucifer was enthralled.
“Ah, Legion…. You tell such gruesome truths of man. Tell me, were any demons other than Silas around?”
“I sensed another, but he was very weak.”
“Very well. Go, Legion, and possess another. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.”
“Yes, my lord,” Legion backed away and left.
“White. All white. That’s very bright white clothing, Devin!” Silas commented as Devin packed his Temple clothing into his navy blue Temple bag.
“Yes, it has to be. Pure, bright white. There’s also ceremonial Temple clothing, but I already packed that in. I’m excited, Silas! I have to go put my garments on – have you ever seen the sacred garments?”
“No, no I haven’t. I’m excited, too. How do they feel?”
“Very comforting, my friend! They’re a reminder of the covenants I’ve made with the Lord in the Temple and a protection against evil. They burned me when I touched them while Legion possessed me…. I wonder why…why none of this clothing has burned me while you’ve possessed me?”
“Well, I’ve never dealt with it before. Maybe it’s just the garments that burn. Why would they burn you, though?”
“Silas, we’re about to do an experiment.”
“Yes. If you are evil and make me unworthy to enter the Lord’s Temple and prevent me from keeping my covenants with the Lord – Legion did that – then the garments should burn me when I touch them, right?”
“Well, I guess if I’m like Legion – evil as you say – then yes, I suppose.”
Devin hurried to his dresser and opened the top drawer of the fine mahogany piece of furniture. Folded neatly in the drawer were two piles – one was garment tops and one was garment bottoms. Devin became anxious and worried. “Silas, I don’t know about this.”
“Just try,” Silas waited in suspense.
Devin closed his eyes and grabbed hold of a pair of garment bottoms as if taking his own life in his hands, clutching them to his skin tightly. Silas whispered, “Devin, I don’t feel any burning.”
“Silas, you’re right! My garments aren’t burning me! Do you know what this means?!”
“Um…well, no, not really, Devin. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You’re not evil, Silas!”
“Oh, well that’s good, because I try very hard not to be. Lucifer gives me glowing Performance Reviews, which he seems to regard in an extremely vitriolic fashion. I’m quite pleased with them, myself!”
“A demon that’s not evil?! Silas, you’re extraordinary! I’m possessed by a good demon! Maybe we shouldn’t call you a demon. Maybe…let’s see, here….” Devin thought carefully. “You’re an angel, Silas – a fallen angel, but an angel nonetheless. So that’s what I’m going to call you. A fallen angel. Not a demon. What do you think?”
Silas was ecstatic. “Yes, I very much prefer ‘fallen angel’ to ‘demon’! Thank you ever so much, Devin, for recognizing the good in me!”
“Now, let’s see if you can enter the Temple with me!”
“Oh, how absolutely glorious that would be! But…I’m a fallen angel. What if I can’t enter the House of the Lord?”
“Then we’ll figure something out. Let’s go!”
Devin drove to the Temple and parked in the handicap parking. “Um, Devin, can we park here?”
“Yes. I’m a fully disabled war veteran. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and some shrapnel.”
“Oh. Oh, dear. So you’re mentally ill?”
“Yes. Is that a problem, Silas?”
“I just hadn’t considered the possibility. No problem. Let’s go!”
A searing pain struck Silas as Devin crossed the threshold of the Temple and Silas was immediately driven out of Devin’s body the moment Devin was inside the Temple doors. “Silas? Silas?” Devin whispered, looking around. The Temple worker checking Temple Recommends looked at him strangely. Devin stepped back outside and Silas re-entered his body. “Silas, what happened?”
“I felt this horrible, crippling pain grip me and squeeze me in its grasp as you crossed the threshold of the Temple doors. It was excruciating and I had to leave your body!”
“Strange. I didn’t feel anything. Well, I guess you’ll have to wait for me out here, then. Sorry about this, Silas.” Devin walked back toward the Temple doors as Silas left his body.
“Who were you talking to?” asked the Temple worker inside.
“Um…” Devin was at a loss for words.
“Don’t be embarrassed, Devin. Lots of people pray before they enter the Temple,” the Temple worker dressed in a white suit and tie reassured him as he clapped a meaty hand on Devin’s shoulder. Once past the Temple greeter, Devin hurried on to get changed.
Once in the dressing room, Devin began changing his clothes. As he slipped out of his street clothes, he noticed a rash beneath his garments. Upon closer examination, he discovered that they were burns – burns upon his skin. How could he not have noticed? How could he not have felt the burns? Devin hurriedly threw his street clothing back on and raced out of the Temple.
“Silas!” he cried, but Devin was too late. Silas already knew, and Silas was already gone.
“Lucifer, may I have a word with you?” Silas queried, approaching boldly.
“Ah, Silas, what wonderful, Godly thing have you done, now?” Lucifer mocked him.
“I’m not waiting for Judgment. I’m exiling myself to outer darkness as of now. I am a Son of Perdition, yet I refuse to harm another. So let it be.” Silas turned his back on Lucifer and began to leave.
“WAIT!” Lucifer commanded. Silas did not heed his order.
Lucifer roared, “I TOLD YOU TO WAIT!” Silas had left and was already in outer darkness – alone. Lucifer, who had bowed to one knee, then realized it – Silas had what Lucifer himself could never have: a demon’s redemption.