An excerpt from my novel
Cat Dubois Odyssey To Enchantment
By BoJenn or Bonnie Jennings
“Rise ye, journey and pass over the brook Arnon;
see, I have given into thy hand Sihon king of Heshbon, the Amorite, and his land; begin to possess, and stir up thyself against him in battle.”
“‘Hate’ is, simply, a latter-day bully,” Eleanor said. She knew it had an inflated ego and also large physical stature, an appearance that was intimidating to most. But Eleanor knew his game and ignored his posturing threats. “He is one of the chief devils Sihon King of Heshbon, prevented passage through the Amorites’ Territory of Moab.” He will try to prevent the passage of Catherine’s soul to that of our King, Eleanor said, in spirit, to Tadhg, Thomas and Lovey. “It may cost something, but the war is worth it. Do you all agree?”
Eleanor taught them the history behind the demons. However, to Catherine, she was selective in her teachings, as she didn’t want to unduly frighten her.
“Stand in the center, Catherine,” Eleanor pointed.
“Now, form a triangle around her,” she said, pointing to Lovey and Tadhg. “Take your places, please.” This, she allowed Catherine to hear; and it was the signal to them that the war was beginning.
Thomas moved to the Son’s place at the bottom, near the altar.
As they all took their places, there was a quiet—the kind of quiet before a storm. Catherine had
become aware that the impending doom was real—not a dream or a vision. The air hung heavy with dreadful anticipation.
Catherine’s mother’s apparition manifested, and moved to join Thomas, holding his hand, firmly, in the Son’s spot. She hushed Thomas with the right index to the lips. “Concentrate for Catherine,” she told him. It was the first time they had united in spirit; however, remaining quiet, they often looked at each other and smiled. They knew eternity was theirs; they would have all time to be together, once again.
“We are forming the Holy Trinity,” Eleanor informed them.
Tadhg held a candle, which floated in midair. The third box was next to Eleanor, on the left. Tadhg and Eleanor prayed in Latin, helping Lovey to learn the prayers, too. In unison, they sounded like something not of this world. Their eyes remained closed, and they were not distracted with the sounds of the manor, which were growing more intense. Doors slammed, music boxes played all at once, the sounds were distorted and chaotic. The sound of the tea kettle whistling, books being thrown, and glass shattering, started up in the den. Though they couldn’t see the books flying, they were acutely aware of the noise and thuds against the walls.
Cat stared around with huge eyes, as if to say, “Don’t you guys hear all these loud noises? What is going on?”
“Catherine, dear, close your eyes and pray,” Eleanor said, with her eyes still closed, picking right back up in their prayers where she’d left off. Eleanor voice and demeanor remained cool and calm as she should be—undisturbed by the threats of devils, demons and ghosts of the past.
“You bitch! You’re not getting away!”, “Spirit Daunting” cursed at Cat.
Catherine could not pray. She was too distracted by the cacophony of banging. Then, she laughed—an inappropriate laugh—it was a wailing whine, a sound totally foreign from that of her usual voice. From inside her heart, an image burst forth that all could see.
“It’s the demon, “Rejection”, Eleanor said, as it powerfully emerged and stood next to her, huge and dark and black. It held a knife at her heart.
Though Cat couldn’t actually see it, the rest of the onlookers watched the demon hover and circle Catherine like a rabid dog. Thomas and Lovey jumped from fear that it would kill Catherine. Moving the knife from the heart and circling her head with the razor-sharp point, it skimmed her hair. A lock of Cat’s black hair fell to the ground. She watched it float down as a chill, cold as ice, moved slowly, torturously, through her spine. Catherine became light-headed and giddy. She looked drunk, and started saying foolish things. “How ‘bout a drink? Anyone wanna get drunk? Come on!”, Cat said. She made very little sense in that moment. She moved nearer under the chandelier and begged,“Come on! Someone boost me up there to swing—it will be fun!” She tried to stand, but she found that her legs were like jello, and collapsed back down into the center of the pyramid.
“Drunk, slob!” Another bratty demon, “Taunter”, sneered at her lying on the floor.
Lovey growled ferociously. He watched Catherine, but threatened the devils coming out from within her. His stance was broad, his legs sturdily planted on the floor in the Father’s place. His back firmed up like steel, and he looked almost statuesque, as the pupils of his golden brown eyes grew wide, and his wiry eyebrows raised. His growl resounded, threateningly low.
“What are you growling at, Lovey?” Catherine pulled herself off the floor, and got up. She went over to him and bent to pet his black head.
Eleanor’s mouth dropped open. Dazed and frozen, her eyes were riveted to the battalion emerging from Catherine’s body as she walked. From her heart and mind, they permeated outward into the room. Eleanor’s heart raced as she took deep breaths to keep from being drawn into the heightened chaos of the atmosphere. They would know she was nervous and anxious if her vibrations changed in the room. They could pick up all negativity; it was what they knew best.
“Catherine, would you move back into the center. Stay within the marked lines. Stay within the center.”
Eleanor could not allow any negative feelings or any negative human emotions to affect her. The cleansing breaths she continued to take calmed her spirit.
“Where are the back-up angels?”, she wondered. She knew she must begin the prayers again, with Lovey’s help. “How long will we last without help?”, she thought. But, she quickly caught herself, daring not utter any thoughts aloud that could be used in attempts against Catherine’s deliverance, as the devils would have loved gaining the confidence that they had the upper hand. Instead, she focused on the meditations again, to keep herself from fret or worry about the lack of faithful backup. She blocked all negative vibrations in her mind to a full stop. “Deep breaths; have faith. Support will come,” Eleanor reassured herself.
Any words spoken carelessly by Eleanor, that would express doubt in her faith, was what “The Tormentors” hoped for most; the power of suggestion that she was wavering would be just the power they needed. Faltering belief, spoken in insincere prayers or confessions, are a lie. Any ambivalence between her doubt and faith, and “Fear” would readily realize her faith was a lie. Devils smell lies; and they are especially empowered when saints lie to themselves.
So, Eleanor fortified her belief that everything in process was as it should be. She concentrated on her own soulful power, saying to herself, “All is well; every step, every thought, every prayer is in synchronization and known by the King.” She knew that faith could not be conjured. It had to be real and authentic, and believed with all her soul.
Meanwhile, the devils talked among themselves, agreeing to promote every torment in pursuit of doubt. That would be their trump card, as they reminded each other of the special place in their fallen kingdom where previously revered souls, who lied and faked their faith, were banished. Many had lived their lives in the churches of earth; some had even been called saints before they succumbed.
There, those doubters, wearing white robes like monks, but stained with the stench of stale blood, walked around in endless circles, each with their “Big Guidebook”, constantly blaspheming the idea of faith in Supreme Goodness. Even the devils in charge hated being around them, because their holier-than-thou attitudes were empty—a bottomless pit—more deceptive and deceitful that the
“Accuser of the Brethren”, himself. Behind their eyes lay no souls, nor spirits, nor demons, nor devils, merely a black void of endless babbling of self-righteous lies. Their constant prattle of accusations covered everything from how to be holy, and why one is not, to how to get there. Their rambling was eternal; they lived in the torture of each other’s never shutting up or even quieting the circuitous gibberish of their claims to have the right word or the right message from God. Their place was the depth of everlasting hell.
Eleanor knew about those false prophets, themselves the basis of the brimstone that leeched from their rot across the underworld unto mortal existence. Several times over the centuries, she had crossed the battalion of special recruiting forces to boost their numbers. The devils and demons of that army were solely employed to watch, day and night without rest, for the insincere on earth and across the heavens. Their commanding officers were “Lies”, “Deception” and “Vagueness”.
Eleanor hadn’t lost sight of the forces that swooped out and above Catherine’s body; but Lovey was keeping a good eye on them as they swirled around trying to form a barrage for a unified assault.
Hoping that the special forces, concentrating on her role, had not read her mental moment of doubt, laced with fear, she regained her poise and confidence. But she cautioned herself that she must keep vigilant lest “Fear” and “Doubt” attempt re-entry. “After all,” she reminded herself, “they can make their way into the heart of the best of us.” She began to pray.
“Oh, King. I do believe. I repent of my unbelief. Please, heal me, forgive me and strengthen me, I ask humbly. But, God, where is the back-up? Come quickly. What else can I learn? This warrior is aging; I have had patience, but my stamina is not what it once was,” Eleanor inquired with matter-of- fact, internal supplication.
“Fear” smirked at Eleanor, staring at her like she was a joke. It circled her, breathing foul yellow sulphur from it’s large nares. They had met before, and he was relentless; but she was a seasoned warrior. He knew her weaknesses. She knew his. Their eyes met and centered on the other’s assumptions. He smirked again.
Eleanor’s affect remained blunted. A poker face of absolutely no expression would be her temporary defense. She would not allow him to assume anything. “No reading my thoughts will or can be accomplished by this enemy,” she said, armored and braced with the power of truth and goodness in her heart. She would not blink nor show any nervous energy, but she caught herself just as she started to look downward, feeling a bit weary from her temporary humanness. She fought that natural reflex and looked straight at “Fear’s” eyes.
“Your comrades are missing, I see?”, said “Fear”, with sarcastic laughter as loud as ever.
“Mind your own battalion,” Eleanor said, thinking at the time that the best defense was short responses to enemy questions meant to rattle, confuse; or foster itself, and doubt of a Supreme God. But, she realized, as soon as she’d said it, that she had actually made an error in strategy. “Fear” had prompted her to look at it; and that allowed it access through her eyes. Worse, she had responded with words.
She shouldn’t have engaged at all because “Fear” was known to throw its daggers into anyone’s eyes; and, through mutual eye contact, it can enter the soul of anyone who opens that door of opportunity. Susceptible humans—and almost all of them are vulnerable, at times—welcome “Fear’ by seeing it act out. “Fear” loves eye games. One of its favorite weapons is an evil eye, a bloody scene or a the sight of a horrific tragedy. Her best plan from now on would be no communication, whatsoever. She would, from this point forward, yield to the weaker posturing of using as little eye contact as possible to deflect entry.
Eleanor knew better, and she quickly reviewed her understanding of the demon. “Fear will not use its weapon on me,” she thought. “His weapons are shallow, but deadly.” She remembered, “Usually, this devil’s intimidations take years to kill…like planting the seeds for heart attacks and cancers that require time to manifest. But, not always does it take years for ‘Fear’ to accomplish its mission. Sometimes it can manifest so much fright that a human dies instantly from a heart attack or an aneurism.”
“I see you’ve been let down again,” the demon said, like he was playing, almost flirting with
Eleanor, as if they were in a casual conversation between old friends and not a battlefield.
“‘Fear’ sneaks up on its prey like a cat,” Eleanor thought as the devil tried to edge into her mind, and engage her eyes, again. “It tortures the mind, relentlessly—a task master of pain and suffering that loves to watch itself grow to influence others privy to its first victim. It can sadistically torture a victim until death; and it can cause victims to persecute and kill others.” Eleanor further considered the overwhelming emotion that the harbinger of robbed rationale casts on the unsuspecting—“Fear practices no restraints, leaves a person senseless, and depletes all empathy and compassion.” Finally, she concluded in her formulation of added defense, “If God didn’t step into play, the entire universe could be savagely destroyed by this one wicked entity.” She quieted her mind.
Lovey growled again at the sight of him. Low and deep, he warned the evil thing. He moved staying in his assigned spot, but walking in a circle following the creature as he began floating over and around Catherine. “Fear” snarled back at Lovey, but Lovey didn’t wilt. He gave the dog a hawkish look.
Eleanor didn’t blink or respond. Her gaze, away from “Fear”, was steadfast, showing no emotions.
Lovey did not cower either. He stood bravely, remembering the time when he and Eleanor had encountered this demon during the burning at the stake of witches. The witches had not been part of a battalion of demons and devils, but were from their own orders. “Fear” had hated them because they had powers unlike intimidation. Lovey saw the demon laugh and mock the witches. He witnessed the evil entity cause the flames to burn slower than normal. He laughed when they died, having suffered a longer death process than should have been. He saw “Fear” use serial killers who tortured their victims before killing them; and had not Eleanor been present to soothe the minds of “Fear’s” prey, then the soul would have been lost for eternity in the flames.
At the witches’ burnings, Eleanor and Lovey had brought a satchel filled with prayers, and ointments and aromas that caused the poor, tortured souls, relief. “Fear” had watched them, there, unable to stop them because God had commissioned them, just as now. “Fear” hated Eleanor and the stupid dog that had foiled “Fear’s” mission.
“Lovey, what are you seeing? What’s wrong, boy?” Catherine saw he was nervous, but couldn’t see “Fear”. She noticed Eleanor was acting strangely, too, looking at something near her. Lovey’s growls were directed to the same place beside her. “Something is happening,” Cat said. “What is taking place?” Catherine’s intuitions, over the past days, had grown stronger, providing her the ability to read the outer world. While she couldn’t see the spirits, she had gained the sense of feeling when the electric charge of negative forces were in the air. Such forces caused the hair on her arms to stand up. She tried to perceive the meaning of Eleanor’s odd, unsettling expressions. It was as if Eleanor was speaking to invisible beings in the room as she watched intently, her eyes wide open. She stood up only to feel dizzy and extremely weak. Then, another spirit stepped from Catherine’s core.
“The Accuser of the Brethren’s” demon helper, “Guilt” had emerged. It loved to occupy thoughts and memories. It was not affected by the Holy Trinity. Holding its dagger over Catherine’s mind, it did not jab or pierce her, for “Guilt” was governed by “Fear”, as well as “The Accuser”, and was not free to make final decisions. There was rank and file and order to their battalions.
However, “Guilt” had free-range over daunting and taunting of the mind—jabbing as it so wanted. But, “Guilt”, like any person under submission, must be given an order or decree to inflict total destruction. Any finality, such as the act of taking a life by death, by none other than the Supreme God, had to be ordained. Neither “Fear” nor “Guilt” had such orders for Elizabeth Catherine Dubois.
“Fear”, without the help of any devilish comrades, aimed its cruel sword at her mind and poked relentlessly, knowing that she must be defeated. “Guilt” stood watching, sending her accusing memories as “Fear” jabbed. Feeling faint all over again, Catherine fell to her knees.
“Eleanor, I feel so terribly weak,” she said. Cat doubled over and then slid to her knees holding her stomach. She was feeling the effects of the jabs.
Lovey stood waiting to pounce, but he too had rank and had to follow Eleanor’s orders.
Another devil creeped out from the shell of Catherine’s body—“Resentment”. Much like “Guilt”,
“Resentment” wasn’t troubled by the pyramid of protection. It held a sword pressing into her stomach. “Take that. Feel good?”, it mocked, digging its lance deeper.
Shadows almost took on life as they appeared to do their dance on the walls of the sitting room, as the afternoon sun set and a dark ominous cloud positioned itself over the manor. Soon, thunder, lightning and wind focused above the home on the hill.
“Resentment” took its claws and placed them around Cat’s head. “Remember why you hate everyone? You have good reason. Remember Glory Town? Oh, how those terrible Christian judges you hated you for all these years; and then, they burned your barn down with all your animals. Come on, remember them? You have good reason to resent them.”
“Don’t listen to that, Catherine! That demon is here to stop us from saving your soul by confusing you! Don’t listen. You’re above all that!”, Eleanor instructed, sending her plea with her mind. Cat looked at Eleanor. She chose to listen her. Then, Cat vomited, while lying on her side.
“Why is it so dark in here? What is happening?”, Cat pleaded. “Please, tell me what’s going on?” A jolt of lightening flashed directly overhead; then, the rumbling shook the manor house. Then, there was complete silence.
The lights went out throughout the home and, in the darkness, the devil soldiers glared at each other. Their eyes were likened to something not of this world, and Cat could then clearly see the images of the enemies. Speechless, she looked at their glowing, iridescent green irises. They all were a ghastly green—their eyes just horizontal slits on distorted faces that shared the room. She was even more alarmed there were so many of them.
Tadhg used his index fingers and pointed them at the candelabra, commanding its light with a flick of his fingers. “Light,” he commanded. The power was still out, but the flames from the candles began to glow amber.
As the light grew, projected throughout the room were the shadows of demons and devils on the walls. The figures moved, brandishing their spears, bows and knives in their hands. It was like
watching a movie on the wall. They were fighting other beings. There was a frenzy of killing by the demons.
“Fear” immediately issued forth the fear of death and dying. He cast a spell directed at Cat’s pineal gland, and warned her, “See the war you face? Keep it up; keep believing that crazy woman with you, and this will be your fate!”
“Don’t believe what your fears are telling you, Catherine!”, Eleanor told her through telepathy. “This is meant to distract you from what we are doing here. Focus on our goal.”
The manor grew darker again, but the lightning generated another baritone rumble followed by a booming blast; light flashed across the dance hall. Faces of death shown close to the lines of the pyramid. Cat gasped, but Eleanor hushed her, “Shh. Don’t react.”
Minor demons gathered in the dance room. The commanding devils of countless kinds of torment and doubt pushed their way to the front of the demons and circled around the symbol of the Blessed Trinity. The minor demons,who were in training, chittered, producing an annoying high-pitched noise like a room of squirrels. The devils positioned themselves proudly around the pyramid.
Some entered wearing the uniforms of Roman soldiers, with red capes draping across their puffed chests. They glared and said nothing. One devil even knocked a chittering demon away with a hiss of “Shut up!”
From a different plane, Eleanor heard the chants of angels on their way. They were coming. But, for now, she was alone with Lovey and Tadhg. She focused on the comfort of hearing the angel’s approach. Peace would come with them.
“Catherine, you must open the third box, now! Take it!” Eleanor arose from her position, on the left, and moved towards Lovey, at the top. She gently caused the box to raise off the ground, using her index finger which pointed at the box, and then moved it towards Catherine. It floated gently and came to rest in Catherine’s arms. “Open it!”, Eleanor pleaded, then moving back to the triangle’s left.
Catherine knew, in that moment, that she must trust Eleanor. She must do as she says. Eleanor
was a friend and not an enemy at all. Her mother’s appearance had confirmed and reassured her of Eleanor’s intentions, even if nothing else had. Cat was ready.
“Open the box!”, Eleanor exclaimed, again; and, with that, Catherine ripped it open with frantic tremulous fingers and hands.
“Be careful! Gentle!”, Eleanor called out, belatedly.
Catherine weakened as another spirit stepped out of her core. She almost collapsed. She tried to move out of the edges of the triangle, as the devil’s grasp was painful. It held her soul in its hands— twisting it, trying to pull it out of her.
“No, you must stay in the center, Catherine!”, Eleanor yelled. “Stay in the triangle. It will protect you.”
Lovey growled more ferociously, and deeper. He stood up and was ready to pounce.
The third entity, “Self-Loathing”, drew its fists and pressed it to Catherine’s stomach holding her soul tightly in its grip. Beside “Self-Loathing” stood “Resentment”.
“I feel sick. I’m going to get sick!”, Catherine screamed.
“You’ll be fine. Get sick. It’s understandable,” Eleanor informed her. “It’s just temporary.”
“Eleanor, what is going on?”, Cat begged, lying on the floor, on her side, with her head angled up at the ceiling.
Lovey began to bark, trying to motivate Cat to move. “Cat, get up! Listen to me!”, Lovey tried to tell her in her mind. “Open the box! Do what Eleanor told you! Get up! You have to get up!” But, Catherine could not hear Lovey.
All three devils had their corps rallied around them and outside the pyramid. The lesser devils stood together, filed by rank, and in combat stance ready to strike when given the order.
The lightning struck again near the manor, and the shadows on the walls showed their war was
right there in Catherine’s living room—not somewhere else, in a make-believe movie.
The leaves outside cast their shadows; they took on an energy all their own. They made threatening movements. The leaves were just another part of the devils’ corps; they were not of the King’s army but were in close allegiance with the devils. The leaves and their frightening shadows did just as they were commanded. “Make her scared! Show her decapitation—her cut-off head!”, ordered “Fear” with a loud, deep, gruff, brassy voice.
The corps devils held their weapons of arrows, bows, knives, fire axes, clubs and spears raised at Lovey and Eleanor. Lovey bit at one, and then another, darting forward and back, nipping, barking and growling at them.
“Lovey what are you biting at? Are you alright?”, Cat asked. She still wasn’t able to see into the spiritual plane.
A lesser spirit stepped forward, lunging at Lovey. Without a command from a superior, it stuck a knife in Lovey’s heart, and little Lovey fell to the ground. With one last whimper, he stopped breathing.
“Lovey! Lovey, what’s wrong?” Cat started to move toward him.
Tadhg prayed hard for Lovey, but stayed at his own post without moving. He wanted to strike the devil, but he could not leave his center spot in the Trinity, next to Catherine. He could only look at the puppy’s lifeless body, limp and still. A tear swelled in his eye, but he dared not go to him.
Eleanor motioned at Tadhg to catch his attention. “Keep your mind off Lovey!”, she warned. They needed to stay focused. Tadhg composed himself, instantly shifting focus to their combined prayer efforts. He was to hold up the walls of prayer until help arrived. It had to be a strong wall of intentions, or else it would be useless.
“Catherine, the oil—now! Inside the third box. Get it!”, Eleanor screamed at Cat.
“The oil?” Panting with nervousness, and fumbling with the box, Catherine finally unwrapped the package and got out its contents.
Inside the box was a chrismal, a small, crystal vessel to store the mixture—it’s the only object that could hold the oil of which Eleanor had spoken. Cat’s voice was shaking like a leaf; she couldn’t imagine what oil had to do with her precious Lovey, but she did as she was told and opened the Gothic crystal top. “What happened to Lovey?”
In the background the little demons’ chitters turned into a deep vibrational moan as they swayed in unison back and forth. Soon it became the chant uttered by the monk demons, “Ooouuummmhh… Oooouuummmhhh…”
Cat actually felt the deep vibration bass tone of their voices. “What’s that?”, she asked.
“Never mind that. Quick, and be careful. Sprinkle three drops on Lovey’s heart,” Eleanor instructed Cat. Eleanor never took her eyes of “Fear”. “Don’t get out of the triangle. Be careful,” she cautioned Catherine again.
Cat nodded, understanding. She moved on her knees to her little pal. Lovey’s body was still writhing in the area of the Trinity, as he lay where he’d fallen, maintaining the formation even up to that fatal point of his surrender. Cat’s hands shook, and she fumbled with the glass vial, as the demons started closing in on Eleanor’s Trinity formation. Normally, they stayed far away from such things, but they were emboldened and continued on, starting to press in tighter. “Perhaps, they were winning the war?”, Cat wondered.
The monk’s changed their chanting to, “Ahhhh HAAAA, ahhh HAAAA!” Then, more insistent than before, a sound erupted from them that caused human nerves to melt in anxiety and shake all over. “FEEEEeeee AAAAKoooo!” They directed the noise at Cat’s hands, which were trembling as directed by the negative hysterical vibrations aimed at them.
Catherine moved within the triangle to Lovey’s lifeless body. Though her hands were shaking uncontrollably, she administered the prescribed three drops to Lovey’s heart. She rubbed it through his black curly hair. “Don’t die, Lovey, don’t die!”, she pleaded. Her tears fell on his soft black coat. “What is wrong? Dear God, oh, Lovey!”, Catherine sobbed. “What’s going on here, Eleanor? His heart stopped.”
“Pour the oil over your head now, NOW!”, Eleanor ordered, but calmly.
“My head?” Cat fumbled again, almost dropping it, but barely managed to catch the precious oil with the same hand. Catherine lifted the chrismal above her head. “Three drops?”
She did not notice the voice, from the position of the Son in the Holy Trinity, that spoke with such strength and love, as that voice relayed commands from the base of the triangle to Eleanor.
“The oil. Take the oil gently. There, that’s right; lift it above your head.” It was Eleanor’s voice. She sounded like an angel, a calm in the storm. Undisturbed by the events at hand, she spoke so beautifully that Cat was able to hold the crystal vessel without shaking, and with confidence.
“Sprinkle the oil over your head, now,” Eleanor added again, when it seemed like Cat wasn’t moving fast enough. “Come on, gently now. Here you go…one, two, three drops.”
At her prompt, Catherine began to sprinkle three drops rather blindly over her hair, but suddenly the glass vessel flew out of her hands, as if someone had hit it with a baseball bat. It did not shatter, but it flew across the pyramid. Before it passed out of the triangular lines, Eleanor lurched forward to grab it. She landed face down, the flask with the chrism oil clenched tightly within her right hand.
“The Spirit of Intimidation” put his clawed foot over Eleanor’s wrist, holding the oil. He put enough pressure to break her wrist bone, but Eleanor still refused to let go. “Only over her one- hundredth death would the demon get it,” she courageously told herself.
Still remaining quiet, Catherine was knocked down to the floor by “Physical Abuser”. She began to make verbal jabs at the evil crew, even though they were invisible to her. “Hey, you bastards! You think you’re tough, huh?”
“Be quiet; don’t talk to them,” came a warning from the Son’s point. Thomas peeped into the conversation. “Don’t talk!”
“Why?”, Catherine whispered, looking toward the base of the triangle. “What? Who is that? Thomas?”
“Not now. Later. Hush!”, Eleanor advised. “Later, or else they will read us.”
Catherine looked back at Eleanor, “But how will I talk to you?”
“Remember when you were young? When you could read others? Do it now,” Eleanor ordered Catherine. Cat flashed back for a millisecond, and remembered how she could read the thoughts of others.
“In your heart—in your mind—read me. You will know what to do. Now, no more talking.” Eleanor got a visual lock on Cat’s eyes. Cat nodded, “Yes”; she understood. They nodded in unison, knowing now that their eyes recognized each other’s signals, energies and vibrations.
The fallen chrismal was protected by Eleanor’s fingers from where she’d snatched it. However, her wrist was painfully crushed, with her fingers barely moving where she lay, under the pig-faced devil that snorted mustard sulphur and sneered at her attempts to free herself. With his smashing stomps intended to disable her, Eleanor still remained calm.
The chrismal slipped from her broken fingers. But, at least she had allied herself with patience, which helped to stave off the proof of her pain with a mask of indifference. “Clever, swine,” she uttered in a sarcastically sweet tone of voice. But, Eleanor was losing control, and Tadhg signaled her. “Stay focused. It doesn’t hurt. It’s in the human mind. You don’t feel pain,” he reminded her. “Concentrate, no distractions.”
“The Spirit of Intimidation” leaned close to Eleanor’s ear, still holding her down. He had seen her mouth move, and call him a swine. “What? Say it again,” he mocked. “There, that’s what I thought. You are just like us. You name call, too,” he laughed, as he applied more weight to his foot and Eleanor’s bones crunched again.
“Mustard yellow skin—so, handsome!”, Eleanor jeered. Tears from the pain almost fell from her eyes, but she managed to hold them at bay. There was no way she would give into them. She was too proud; she would not show defeat, pain or annoyance. She heeded Tadhg’s reminders. Instead, she gave the devil a devilish smile. She played it’s own game.
“You’re just a loser. Face it, you have always been a bully; and you will never be anything but one.” She smiled again showing the grit of her teeth through her pink pretty lips. She was an angel who could rally to mask herself at any given moment; and the cocky expressions she mustered seemed more frightening and intimidating than the demon had predicted. Eleanor, then, transformed her face, putting on a plastered mask appearance, her lips beginning to expand like a clown’s, and her teeth growing dark yellow and long, like a mule’s.
“The Spirit of Intimidation” stepped back at the sight of her, turning to hand the figurative baton of relay to “Pride”. “Yes, there you have it, ” he told to “Pride” with a hearty laugh.
“Think you’re better than us, huh?” Pride taunted, not buying her game. He knew her weapons of warfare were a smoke screen. It may have baffled “Intimidation”, but not “Pride.” “Pride” stepped forward and pushed “Intimidation” back with its armed, metal appendage.
Still, the chrismal lay on the floor, with the chain woven between Eleanor’s crushed fingers, but the chrismal, itself, ungrasped, beneath her palm. The pig, “Intimidation”, might have forgotten about the reason he crushed her wrist, but she did not forget. “The demons and devils have short-term memory loss and often forget what they’re doing,” Eleanor noted to herself, wanting to use that against them in the matter of the chrismal. She could not pick it up with broken fingers, but it was laying, under her hand, just outside the triangle of the Trinity, so its power would be limited. Without the help of the Supreme, everything seemed hopeless.
“Pride”, so debonair, with coal black hair slicked back and falling upon a black silk suit, saw the chrismal. Being face down, with both “Pride” and “Intimidation” standing near and ready to physically and mentally overpower her again, there was only one option left for Eleanor to alter their dire situation: prayer.
It wasn’t that she hadn’t asked for help; she had. Giving up was out of the question, and continuing to ask through prayer, and believe, was the cloak for any seasoned warrior. But, Eleanor had to deal with “Pride” on her own account, too; the demon had begun constantly prompting her to throw in her white towel. And, even old warriors wearied and doubted in times of duress and pain.
This was one of those times—well, almost.
“Unthinkable,” was the response she molded to “Pride’s” taunts. With, countless successful battles and accomplishments behind her, to let disbelief slip in, or surrender to such a pig, was not an option. She knew she had to think of all the potential counter-attacks, and believe with absolute and solid clarity, and even just as much faith as a tiny mustard seed, to move the demons away and gain the chrismal.
Eleanor visualized a sword, holding it up, in her mind, to maneuver it. The sword was her symbol for her faith and belief, that no weapons formed against them could or would prosper. The sword she manifested appeared vertically, above and in front of her, its inlaid handle about a foot from the tip of her nose. The gold handle shone so bright as to cast its light on Eleanor’s face. All she need do was to wield it with her faith.
Suddenly, precisely, the blade turned horizontal in the air. For one brief moment, everyone watched with fascination; then “Pride” tried to turn Eleanor’s head in another direction, so she wouldn’t be able to direct its path. But, looking at the blade to guide it wasn’t necessary; Eleanor used her faith, her mind and her belief to move it through the air. Though its blade was short—15 inches in length—the weapon began stabbing at “Pride’s” handsome, chiseled cheeks. “Pride” defended its boastful face, covering it with its pincerlike extensions. But, the sword strategically darted at the demon, over and over again, with deft precision. It ripped in razored slices through the cloth on the sleeves of its forearm extensions. “Pride” tried to dodge it, finally moving away from Eleanor’s reach, trying to escape, but the blade, independent from her grasp, followed him, jabbing continuously, “Stab, stab stab…” No other demon was there to help him as he fell backwards.
There was no time to laugh at “Pride” as he cowered away. However, Tadhg and Eleanor both filed the vision away, so they might chuckle later at the demon’s forever predictable nature. Yet, the war was far from being over. The other demons and devils had re-appeared, and were not impressed with Eleanor’s stunt.
Catherine could see that Eleanor’s hand was oddly crushed, with the chrismal still beneath her
palm, and that Lovey was still downed, despite the applying of the powerful, spiritual oil. Catherine reached out to pet Lovey. She felt a gentle rise in his side, his breath so very faint—he was alive!
Catherine knew, then, that as much as she wanted to comfort Lovey, to whisper to him and tell him that he was going to be okay, she had to help Eleanor; so she began to crawl slowly toward her. She knew she would have to seize the chrismal for Eleanor, before the other devils saw how easily they could take it. She crawled, little bit by little bit, on her belly, towards Eleanor and away from Lovey.
Eleanor’s sword had only been a temporary divergent. “Fear” stepped out, once again, from behind the middle of the other demons and devils who had, by then, gathered around “Pride”, and stood next to its evil comrades—“Self-Loathing” and “The Accuser of the Brethren”. “Fear” and “The Accuser” were both considered to be the big guns of the command. “Where does she think she’s going?”, “Fear” challenged the others, in jest.
Eleanor, aware of the wicked ones’ stances, darted her gaze to Catherine. Eleanor’s eyes warned her to watch her every move. Then, without hesitation, and in one swoop, she twisted her full body to free one arm, so she could scoop the chrismal out from under her crushed hand and set it in flight towards Catherine.
“Dammit!”, Catherine screamed as the burning, piercing knife of “Fear” darted through Catherine’s arm, just as she had reached out and caught the chrismal before it jetted out of the Trinity boundary.
“Oh, hear Cat curse! Ha ha ha ha…”, “Mocking” screamed, leading the other dark forces to laughter for a moment.
“Ignore it! It can’t hurt you, unless you let it!”, Eleanor quickly advised Catherine. “Hang onto the oil. You’re in the Trinity now. The oil has full power in your hands. Use it wisely! Douse yourself.” Then, before talking further, Eleanor took a breath. “Catherine, listen to me, all things are not as they seem. Anoint yourself with the oil and the sign of the Trinity. Three drops of the oil, now. Hurry!”
Catherine immediately dribbled three drops of the oil into her hand, and anointed herself by making the sign of the cross on her forehead. “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,” she murmured aloud, reciting it in her mind, as well.
“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,” Cat whispered again. Then, she kissed the chrismal and made the sign of the cross over her heart, and then over her mind, again, at the pineal gland.
Eleanor smiled. Catherine had done it right.
The pack of demons cringed and moaned, “Stop her!” They cried and cursed with foul contempt for God.
Catherine moved over to Eleanor and shook out a few more drops from the chrismal. She made the sign of the cross over Eleanor’s forehead, and gathered her close. Then, after Eleanor’s anointing, she moved back to Lovey, and doused him once more.
Tadhg told her to move back into the center—that the war was not finished.
She moved back into the center, as he instructed. “Keep your mind clear. Focus your thoughts on your deliverance and being free, once, and for all time,” he told her. “Lovey and Eleanor’s conditions were incidents created to cause you to lose sight of the mission.” Tadhg was being very straight forward and highly focused. He had no emotion in his voice.
The demons circled the pyramid. They started calling Tadhg names, “Faggot, momma’s boy, wimp,” and so forth. Tadhg never blinked. He never broke his faith; he didn’t waver in strength. Still, he showed no emotion. He was solidly and firmly planted in his conviction, and that spiritual stronghold of might, was the reason Eleanor had chosen him.
The demons, then, swirled in a dance around Thomas, who stood at the Son’s position. He was shaking, with “Fear” breathing on him.
Tadhg looked at the situation, and with a wave of thought, slammed “Fear” back against the wall.
But Tadhg made no comment. “Fear” left Thomas alone from that time forward. The other demons and devils backed off, as well.
Tadhg had used the conviction of his thoughts to bind the devils in leather cords, and cast them on the floor, whining like sissy boys who called out for their mommies. Not once did Tadhg blink, smile or look at them in their dilemma. He looked elsewhere, standing like a statue of granite.
Tadhg then motioned for Eleanor and Cat to come closer to him, so they were near enough to touch. He, then, reached to each of them, gently bringing their heads together with his, and whispered to them to close their eyes.
Eleanor softly prayed, once more, reminding the Supreme God of their need for reinforcement. She also humbly thanked Him for their safety. Even though there had been no apparent presence of any of the Holy Alliance, Eleanor knew they must be present as the battle took no casualties. Lovey was still alive; and Catherine, throughout the battle, seemed to have, incrementally, gained understanding of all the spiritual concepts.
Outside the walls of the triangle, and outside the manor, roared the weather. Booming thunder, lightning, howling wind, hail, tornadoes and every fearful, trembling effect were cast by the demons. One demon, named “Retaliation”, and its alter ego, “Jealousy”, moved to the window. “Retaliation” carried a staff which resembled a lightning rod. He held it up at the sky, visible through the window pane, and started yelling gibberish words at the weather.
“Eleanor?”, Catherine whispered using mind talk.
“Yes,” Eleanor replied, looking at Catherine from the floor where she lay.
“Why does bad weather come with you and the others?”, Catherine whispered in her mind.
Eleanor chuckled. “There is a war happening right now, my dear. Surely, you would expect to see some evidence of that on the earthly plane?”
Catherine sighed, “Yes, I understand—we should see something, I guess. But, what should I do right now?”
“Pray. Just pray without ceasing. Talk to God. Give Him thanks and praise,” Eleanor instructed.
“Alright. How should I start?”, Cat asked.
“Start as a child would. Remember? Start with ‘Our Father…’” Then, Eleanor smiled at Catherine; she could see that Catherine had gotten the idea.
“Our Father who art in heaven…”, Catherine began. She spoke out loud. She wanted the demons and devils to hear her. “…Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
“The most important part to recite and remember is ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’”, Eleanor said.
“Shall I start again?”, Cat asked.
“Yes, that would be excellent. And, let the prayer become the life in you. Let it arise from within every cell of your body. Let it permeate outside to the floor you lie upon, to the chrismal you hold, to Lovey as you touch him; and, then, to anything you see, and to those things you see not. Believe and depend on every word, as it is the, Almighty himself, truth. Believe in God, and never let go of your belief. Even as the storms come and go, and the waters rage, never doubt. Always believe, and always, even if you’re frightened, remember to pray this prayer. Call out for help, Elizabeth Catherine Dubois, as He will always hear you; He will always come. You must trust, obey and believe.” Eleanor’s voice seemed to fade into the rhythm of the weather, as if it were part of a larger whole. But the weather began to worsen, in spite of Cat’s prayers.
“How much longer do I pray? When will it go away?”, Catherine asked.
“Never stop praying, Catherine. The storms will be here all the time—and, so will He. Keep praying; never cease.” Eleanor graciously spoke just like a fairy godmother, just like an angel, would. She seemed to glow with love that permeated every cell of light.
Lovey’s little tail began to wag; and though he remained exhausted, he was alive, and his faith had been restored; his belief had grown stronger.
“Sleep Elizabeth…sleep…and rest. The war is eternal. You must learn to rest despite the appearances of things and events that bring unrest.” Eleanor kissed Catherine’s brow. “When weary, rest. It is imperative for all human warriors. You are now a warrior.” Eleanor took the few drops of remaining oil from the chrismal, and, touching her forehead again, said, “I anoint you my warrior princess. In the name of our Father, in the name of our Brother, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, be the warrior you were called to be, forever more…”
The thunder, lightning and wind grumbled threats of imminent disaster. “Retaliation” and ”Jealousy” stood at the window, commanding more and more noise, lightning, and visual threats of impending doom to join in their performance. The more terrible the weather worsened, the more Eleanor and Catherine and Tadhg ignored the evil forces, the louder those two devils tried to distract them. “Fear” joined them; he would not give up after being slammed into the wall by Tadhg. “Fear” had directed “Retaliation” and “Jealousy” to continue the battle.
“Jealousy”, having gained no ground at all because of Catherine’s acceptance of Eleanor’s wisdom and power and grace, rather than her becoming jealous of Eleanor’s gifts, the demon then tried to point out every single temptation towards “Jealously” imaginable. The demon spoke to Catherine’s mind, taunting her about Eleanor’s beautiful light that shone in her from the inside out, and, then, the fact that Eleanor was so much more talented and had gifts beyond her simple Catherine Dubois pitiful self, and, then, that Eleanor was old and ancient and she was nothing, could never be anything, in comparison, thus she should seek to steal Eleanor’s talents, beauty and age-old wisdom.
It didn’t work. Cat didn’t buy into any of those thoughts. In fact, she had fallen asleep during the assault.
Catherine was bored with the comparison of herself to Eleanor. She slept, just as Eleanor had suggested.
Eleanor thought nothing of their despicable tactics. She and Lovey knew their evil devices. But, Eleanor was a bit surprised that Catherine slept so well, amidst all the ruckuses and feeble attempts to cast doom upon them.
What Eleanor did not know yet, was that, while dreaming, Catherine’s mind filled with ideas and thoughts poured into her subconscious from “Bad Dreams”, himself. He issued her ill feelings and concocted misperceptions of all that was real in conscious time awake; and his brother, “Scary Night Visions”, joined him to torment her in her time to rest. It was just another an invasion of what should have been a promise of her first, truly restful sleep in years; but “All is fair in war,” the brothers said to each other, reveling in their abilities.
To top off their insidious attack, they plotted to have the promise of sleep, when she awoke from the nightmares and tried to go back to sleep, robbed by their cousin, “Insomnia”, who would dish out the endless, looping tapes of creeping memories and worries of past and future.
Catherine’s dreams were filled with Thomas, who, suddenly, was accusing her of leaving him. “Is he really angry with me?”, she wondered.
Oh, and the tapes and whispers that “The Accuser of the Brethren” mastered and brought to the assault party were subtle and intruded when least expected. The devils were relentless.
In her mind, Catherine saw waves, pictures of mommies and daddies, and heard cries that mingled with the sadness of her forgotten childhood. Vivid faces of oddly familiar people flashed simultaneously with the bolts of lightning. With the thunder, thousands of distant voices screamed at her and called her names, “Idiot child! Thomas is gone all because of you!”
But Catherine did not move or flinch as the devils and demons spat at her, yelling their lies and torments as she lay there with, interestingly, a smile on her face. She knew there was absolutely nothing she could do about any of the accusations. But…they were no longer hers. After all, she had nothing to do with Thomas’ death, or, for that matter, any other tragedies she had experienced in her life. She had finally forgiven herself for being unique as a child, not at all a freak like she’d previously thought. She rested in the assurance that God did love her, and He had not and would never blame her at all.
“The oil is working,” Lovey said to Eleanor, so pleased he could barely contain his joy. He was
jumping up and down with puppy love. “It’s working, Tadhg; it’s working!”
Tadhg continued to stand in statuary-like place. He would not react until he knew the war was finished. Then, he would rejoice.
“Yes, for right now; but she will need more faith,” Eleanor observed.
“Where will she get more?”, Lovey asked Eleanor.
“From her own belief, Lovey,” she answered. “It will increase or decrease, but either way, we are a prayer away. It’s up to Catherine now. She has seen, heard and witnessed the power of God; and that is more than most humans will ever experience,” Eleanor sighed, with emotional release in the completeness of their mission. “It’s all but finished. It’s almost time to leave her, but the beasts continued to haunt her tonight, with their cruel accusations in dreams, trying to rouse her, to get her going, to get her tapes stuck in play mode, but they have been unable to do it at this time.
Just then, “Physical Abuser” approached Catherine, and kicked her again. But, she didn’t moan or turn in pain. In fact, she didn’t feel the kick or any pain. Her fear levels had temporarily subsided. Instead, she rested in peace.
“My goodness, she was only four!”, Eleanor exclaimed, as she defended Catherine using sarcasm as she addressed “The Accuser of the Brethren”, and his entourage, “Anger”, “Hatred” and “Lack of Forgiveness”. They would stop at nothing to break Catherine, if they could. “You idiots need to go. We’ve won; or, rather, Catherine has won her soul and her life back,” Eleanor informed them, smiling at them with the confidence of victory. “Ta Da! Go now!”
“Not yet! We’re not finished,” “The Accuser” spoke as an angry retort, stepping forward, then, into Eleanor’s space.
“Self-Loathing” began sending its share of memories, laced with daggers of self-accusation and blame, “Look at you! So what if you’re only four!”, as they all stared with disdain. “Self-Loathing” continued, “You’re an adult now and what do you have to say for yourself? Oh, you had the comfort of your mummy and daddy who erased your memories! Stupid girl! Too bad for you that the
memories are coming back! Now, it’s time to pay. ‘Guilt’ and ‘Shame’, ‘Remorse’ and ‘Depression’, and, let’s see what other of our black magic we can add on, will always be with you. You’ve lost years of penance. Brat! Thought you’d escape?”, they laughed. “We’ve finally gotten to you, Catherine.
“We won’t stop or give up!”, “Self-Loathing” shouted, thinking it best to remind her of those threats; however, Tadhg had joined them, grabbed the hateful devil by the throat, with all his Gaelic might, and cast it all the way to kingdom come’s opposite.
Cat didn’t flinch. “The accusations didn’t work,” she said as she smiled and whispered to her four companions, Eleanor, Tadhg, Thomas and her little black dog, Lovey, all alive and well.
Thunder rumbled and clashed against the manor, and rain swept across the roof the entire night; yet it seemed Catherine was unaware of the roars, or the screaming of the voices which began to quiet after several hours had passed.
“The oil has protected her,” Eleanor told Lovey.
“The oil that represents the Trinity,” Lovey added.
“She has the weapons of warfare. Catherine is courageous,” Eleanor told Lovey. “And,” addressing the little fur ball of love, formally, she continued, “‘His Glove’, we have completed our assigned tasks. The time has come to depart. You must say your goodbyes, little fella.” Eleanor patted his head.
“His Glove”, Lovey, whimpered. He didn’t want to say goodbye. He had grown fond of Catherine.
Thomas squeezed his mother’s hand, then released his grip and ran to kiss Catherine on the cheek. “Goodbye, sister. We will meet again, soon.” He ran back to their mum, who then walked over to Catherine, lovingly said her goodbyes, rubbing Catherine’s head and stroking her hair one last time. She took Thomas’ hand, nodded goodbye and thank you, then both vanished into eternal bliss.
The angels never arrived; they never had to come. The white feathers, which held the place of the angels at the right of the pyramid, now, rose up in a twirl and, “Poof”, disappeared.
Within Eleanor was a force as great as all the supernatural beings of God. She just needed the
reminder that the power of God was within her, whether the angels were by her side or not. Eleanor didn’t need any back up. And, God had trusted her from the beginning.
Tadhg told “His Glove”, “All the voices faded away to peaceful quietness.”
“Yes, but without us, how will she do?”, Lovey said, as anxious as cockapoos often are. “She will never be alone,” Eleanor said, firmly.
She whispered then, in Elizabeth Catherine Dubois’ ear, “You will never be alone, but you must ask. Only will you ever have not, because you will have asked not. Never expect without asking. Most importantly, always be grateful—always; and remember: He will never send more suffering and pain than you can physically or mentally handle. Each lesson may get harder and harder, but He will never leave you. We are always a prayer and a whisper, away. But you must call when you’re in trouble. You must ask.
One more thing, darling, dear Catherine, refusing to forgive yourself or another, is poison. It means to kill, and it is often successful. Always forgive yourself, first, so that you might forgive others. Walk with your head held high, with your heart braced with love and compassion for humans and animals. They are both gifts from our Father who art in Heaven.”
Eleanor, using her magical finger, ordered the room back to its tidy condition. She forgot the candles, though, and some other objects, like the pyramid of gold drawn on the floor.
When she thought they were finished, she said, “You know, Lovey, Catherine always thought I was her fairy godmother.” Eleanor chuckled. “She will always be like a child to me.”
“Goodbye, sweet Catherine, goodbye.” Eleanor kissed Cat’s forehead once more, and Lovey cried.
Lovey licked her cheek, and Tadhg blew her a blessing kiss goodbye—off to the golf course.
Eleanor waved her hands—all healed—over Catherine and the room, then over the house and across the property atop the mountain, where she blessed everything with the Father’s acceptance and joy. “Goodbye,” she said.
Elizabeth Catherine Dubois’ eyes opened. She ached with pains all over, and discovered that she lay atop the old Gothic rug in the center of the manor’s dank, freezing library. “Damn it, I hurt like hell,” she moaned. Three smoldering candles formed a triangle around her. They were symbolic, but she did not know why. She had very little recent memory of what had just occurred. “It’s different in here,” Catherine muttered curiously, glancing around her. “Something’s weird. Unusual. My dreams were so vivid—alive.” She was sensitive to the spiritual plane, so her feelings were understandable. “Somebody or something is trying to tell me something,” she concluded, but she was dazed and a little dizzy, and very weary. She lay back down, thinking she would just close her eyes for a moment. In the blink of an eye, she was fast asleep.
Just as soon as Catherine had drifted off, Eleanor came breezing in, having remembered she needed to finish the quick clean up. Otherwise, it would confuse Catherine upon her awakening. With the brawl of the final battle still on her mind, she had simply forgotten to rearrange and replace some minor details in Cats’ home. But, when she arrived and entered the foyer, she was surprised to find Tadhg and Lovey there, too.
“What are you doing here?”, Eleanor asked, sort of abruptly.
“Well, what are you doing here?”, Tadhg responded in a like tone of voice. He was just as shocked to see Eleanor.
Eleanor waited for their reply.
“We had a hard time leaving. We thought we might just watch her awaken from a distance. We would never disturb her, of course.”
I hope that you have enjoyed part of my novel Cat Dubois Odyssey To Enchantment by BoJenn or Bonnie Jennings. Thank you for reading and sharing. Your comments are also greatly appreciated.