Shunned - Part Three
Filed Under: Short Stories
Date Created:06 Apr 2015
Last Modified:07 Jun 2017
Number of Views: 504
“For we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but we speak in all sincerity as sent from God, yes, in the sight of God and in company with Christ.”
The words kept echoing in his mind. They were from the scripture of 2 Corinthians 2:17. He made his way down the winded path, his eyes fixed to the ground. This path was notorious for red ants and snakes. And yet it was the quickest route to the kingdom hall.
“We have to be right,” he told himself in an affirmative voice, literally giving himself a Bible discourse. “No, we are right. There is no way we are wrong. We alone preach the good news of God’s kingdom in fulfillment of Mathew 24:14, and currently, we are present in over 230 lands.
“We have God’s Faithful and Discreet slave, dispensing spiritual food. There is no other organization on Earth which has a faithful and discreet slave.
“We alone understand the Bible correctly.
“We alone stick to the pattern of healthful words.
“We alone are no part of this dying world!
“Rachel is so mislead. Rachel… my poor dear Rachel.”
His eyes watered as Rachel’s face came into his mind. He shut his eyes for a moment and felt her warm breath on his lips. He gasped and almost screamed, but instead he said in a whisper, “Why, Rachel? Why? I know I am not supposed to, but I still want you. I still love you.”
Guilt flooded his soul, and the tears sputtered down his cheeks. He looked heavenward and uttered a little prayer. “I am sorry, Jehovah. I am sorry. I promise I will stay clear of her and not think of her at all.”
He hastened his pace, determination etched on his face. He was going to do the will of Jehovah. He was going to serve Jehovah to the best of his abilities. He was going to spend the whole of today in the ministry.
Daniel was paired with Watson. Watson was a tall brother with a calm demeanor. There was a gentle softness on his face which always filled Daniel with a warm glow, no matter how miserable he was feeling. Considering the present circumstances, Daniel was only too glad to be paired with this beloved brother.
However, of late, Watson appeared a little disoriented, a little less of his cheery self. Having started school at the university, he probably had a little too much to contend with at the moment.
“How’s school?” Daniel asked as they plodded down the road towards their first appointment.
Watson was silent, staring straight ahead.
“How is school?” He asked again, assuming that Watson had not heard him.
Watson turned his head slowly and stared at him. Daniel almost jumped out of his skin. His eyes were a chilly red.
“I am sorry about Rachel,” he said in a somber voice.
Daniel gapped at him. He staggered a bit. He fought for a while to find his voice.
“Um… yeah,” he said, his voice catching. “It’s so unfortunate what happened to her.”
“Yes,” Watson said, looking quickly away as if he knew something Daniel didn’t. “You were pretty close.”
“She was my um… we were dating.”
“I can only imagine what you are going through.”
“I am recovering… thanks to Jehovah and his organization.”
“You must be thinking to yourself… what is worse that this? Can anything be worse than what I am going through?”
“Yeah… it’s like you can read my mind.” Daniel said wrinkling his brow.
“Actually, my situation may be worse than yours by far.”
Daniel stared at Watson in bewilderment. Watson in a far worse situation? The lovable and cheery Brother Watson? He as curious. “What’s going on?”
“I have a demon.”
Daniel almost ground to a halt. He felt all the hair on his body stand on end. He stared at Watson with his mouth open in a gap of horror. He couldn’t have heard right.
“I have a demon inside me.” Watson repeated, and Daniel knew that he had heard correctly.
“What… wha… how?”
“Not very sure. It happened at school.”
“Do the elders know?” Daniel asked. He felt as if he in a nightmare, drifting slowly to his death. It was very surreal. When Watson stared back at him, what he saw was not Watson anymore, but the red chilly eyes of a demon. He shuddered.
“Did they pray for you?”
“And did it work?”
“They said it will take some time.”
“Oh,” he didn’t know what to think or do. But he felt like fleeing; like running for his life.
“Yes, the demon—he is so warm.” Watson continued unperturbed. “He feels warm inside me—in my belly.”
“Um… ok.” Daniel felt his sanity sleeping away. A cold chill crept up his spine.
“You know… I have seen and heard so many absurd things. For example, there is this practice called soul-sniffing. A lot of people do it—sniffing other people’s souls. And unfortunately, a lot of people do it—even in the kingdom hall.”
“Oh.” Daniel was wrestling with a million thoughts at the same time. If the elders knew about his condition, why on Earth were they allowing him to go out preaching? Why would it take so long for their prayers to work? And soul-sniffing? What the hell was going on?
“Daniel,” he felt Watson’s hand on his shoulder. He glared at it in horror, his soul wilting away. “Daniel, stay away from Rachel. She is dangerous. She is dangerous to us.”
He felt his lungs deflate. Dangerous to whom? The demons? He knew she was dangerous to the organization… But if this was Jehovah’s Organization, would anything really be a danger to it?
“Daniel!” A voice shrilled behind him. He turned sharply and saw Jack, his classmate running towards him, gesturing for him to stop. Confusion rocked through him.
“Daniel,” Jack said breathlessly as he caught up with them. “Daniel, I have some bad news.”
“She tried to kill herself. She is in hospital—in intensive care unit.”
“Huh?” He felt his knees grow numb.
“Rachel… she needs you man. You just got to see her.”
Daniel goggled at him. He felt as if he was going to crumble to the ground.
“I am bouncing now, man… got to go to church.” Jack said receding, nodding at Watson. Watson stared back at him with chilly eyes.
“Thanks… for letting me know.” Daniel stammered.
The world seemed to melt away into darkness as he stared after Jack. He could hear Watson saying something, but he was too confused to make it out.
“Rachel,” he said, slowly coming to. He stared at Watson. “You—you knew about Rachel.”
Watson just smiled back sadistically at him, saying nothing.
“You knew she is dying…” the realization struck him slowly like the first rays of the sun at dawn.
“She is better off dead. All apostates like her deserve to die. They are mentally diseased and filthy to their core.”
The words made Daniel shudder. Rachel—deserving to die? Rachel—mentally diseased? Rachel—filthy to the core? He knew Rachel. He knew her better than they all did. And who was he to judge? Between Rachel and Watson, who was more diseased?
Suddenly, disgust filled him. How unchristian and unloving! A picture of a man crying flashed for a moment before his eyes. Yes, Jesus wept. This was not the spirit of Jesus. This was a different spirit.
“No… she doesn’t deserve to die. I must see her.” He said firmly.
“You will be disfellowshipped if you see her.”
He shook his head. Between Rachel and demon-possessed soul-sniffing brothers, he would choose Rachel and her Jesus. He shook off Watson’s hand, turned and ran.
Tears flooded his eyes as he walked towards Rachel’s bed. Tubes were running out of her mouth and nose. Her breathing was labored. Her face was contorted in pain. He sat beside her. He held her cold hand. He sobbed loudly, emotions choking him.
“God,” he said looking upwards. “If Rachel is right about you… if she is right; if she is right about us being deceived, save her please. Bring her back. Bring her back and I will serve you forever.”
He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. As he withdrew his head, he felt the light brush of eyelashes on his forehead. He heard a cough. He bolted upright in his seat and found Rachel’s big brown eyes staring back at him.
“No,” he said under his breath, his heart beating in his ears. “No way…”
Rachel slowly reached out and pulled the tube out of her mouth. She gestured for him to draw closer. He leaned forward and put his ear over her mouth.
“I saw Jesus,” she said in a breathy voice. “ He said I was not going to die. He said I have a lot to do. And he said you would help me.”
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