SECOND COMING by Jordan Smith
The Jeep Wrangler pulled into the dirt driveway that ended at the door of a small utility shed that once housed farming equipment. The building was off State Highway 140 and across the road was a large alfalfa field. There was also a large area of uninhabited scrubland that led off into some hills behind it. The area was quiet and almost desolate.
Once the vehicle stopped about ten feet in front of the shed Brother Sebastian exited the driver side. He slicked his long black hair back with his hands then took off his sun glasses and surveyed the area. Once he was satisfied nothing was amiss he put the glasses inside his trench coat pocket and grabbed the pentagram on his necklace. He fumbled at the six sided star and muttered to himself then looked back at the Jeep and nodded.
From the back right passenger side of the jeep emerged a man wearing a black ski mask, holding a shotgun. He reached in and pulled out another man. This man was unkempt and wore tattered, ripped and stained clothing and his face had a smear of blood on it near his mouth. He also had cable ties cuffing his hands together which he held out in front of him.
The man with the shotgun pushed the unkempt man forward and he stumbled a bit but righted himself and walked toward Brother Sebastian.
“The time is now. You will await your fate and help with the resurrection of our master,” said Brother Sebastian to the unkempt man.
“I... I didn’ do nuthin’. Why you gonna do this ta me?” muttered the man.
Brother Sebastian motioned for the man to follow him and led him up to the door of the utility shed. The man with the shotgun didn’t move and simply pointed the gun at the man in rags.
Brother Sebastian pulled out a key ring full of keys then proceeded to unlock two padlocks that kept the door of the shed shut. He slid the door open just enough so that the vagrant could go into the building. Brother Sebastian motioned for the man to enter and when he reluctantly started for the opening Brother Sebastian then pushed him into the shed with so much force that the man stumbled and fell to the floor. The door was then immediately slid shut and locked back up as quickly as possible.
The vagrant pushed himself up and realized he was almost in complete darkness. The sounds of feet walking on gravel could be heard outside the building then followed by the vehicle doors being slammed shut. A moment later and the Jeep could be heard driving away.
The vagrant turned his back to the shed door and used his cuffed hands to wipe sweat from his brow as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. Only a few places in the small building let sunlight stream in through cracks in the walls or small gaps in the corrugated metal roof. Once his eyes got used to the gloom a scene emerged that sent him into mental shock.
Throughout the room were dead bodies. A quick mental count noted at least seven of them. Mostly men and a couple of women. Some seemed fresher than others and the ones that were had pools of dried blood on the floorboards around them.
When the vagrant realized that he would never get out of this building alive he started to scream as loud as he could, but the shed muffled his yells to the outside world.
Three days later and Brother Sebastian drove back to the abandoned utility shed. He was alone this time and he had a canteen of water with him.
He parked the Jeep near the door to the shed on the dirt driveway and got out. He stood for a moment and then muttered something under his breath while gently caressing his pentagram like he did a few days before. Feeling satisfied, he then reached back into the Jeep and pulled out the canteen and a small plastic cup then walked over to the door of the shed.
The door had a small slot that was covered with a small rectangular makeshift corrugated metal cover. It was locked with a small padlock and rested about eye level. Sebastian placed the canteen and cup on the ground then reached into his pant pocket for a small key and unlocked the metal cover. He slid it back and waited.
A few seconds later and movement could be heard in the shed. It came closer to the slot and then a voice said, “Mister I ain’ done nuthin’ to ya.”
“I know you didn’t,” replied Sebastian. “But you are integral to what we must do. You must be thirsty and hungry.”
Sebastian then reached down and picked up the canteen and cup. He unscrewed the canteen lid and poured water from it into the cup. He then held the cup near the slot in the shed door. A dirty pair of hands tied together with plastic cables gropingly felt for the cup and eventually pulled it inside while spilling some of its contents on the door.
Sebastian waited a few seconds then said, “That water must have really hit the spot after three days of not drinking, didn’t it?”
“Mister, please lemme go. I ain’ done nuthin to ya!” came a reply from the slot in the door.
“You must be hungry. Eat this and I’ll think about letting you go,” said Sebastian as he dropped the canteen to the ground. He then pulled out a silvery object from his pant pocket and presented it to the slot in the door.
The cuffed hands at once reached for it and grabbed the object, pulling it into the shed. Once it was safely inside his hands the vagrant took a look at it in the dim light of the building. It was a candy bar but it didn’t have any corporate logo on it or nutritional facts or anything one would normally see on a wrapper. That was kind of strange but that didn’t stop the vagrant from haphazardly tearing it open with his teeth while he held it. The chocolate morsel seemed so inviting after three days with no food so he plopped it in his mouth once the wrapper was free and began to chew. He then noticed that it tasted of blood but he swallowed it anyways.
Outside the door Sebastian slid back the metal cover of the slot but didn’t lock it. He then looked at his watch and noted the time. A second later and he nonchalantly walked back to the Jeep and got inside.
It wouldn’t be long now, he thought to himself. It will only be a few minutes wait.
Inside the utility shed the vagrant fell to the floor with his back against the door. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and a moment later he started going into epileptic fits. His spasmodic bodily contractions were so violent that Sebastian could see the door jiggle every time the vagrant slammed against it. A few minutes later and it was over. Then there was three subtle bangs on the utility shed door.
Sebastian smiled then got out of the Jeep and walked to the shed.
“Let me out of here!” said the voice of the vagrant from behind the shed’s door.
Sebastian pulled out his key ring and proceeded to unlock the two padlocks that kept the door shut then stepped backwards a few paces in eager anticipation for the inevitable.
The shed door swung open and sunlight basked the vagrant in its warm glow. The vagrant stepped out of the shed and stared at Sebastian for a moment. Sebastian smiled when he noticed that the vagrant’s eyes were completely red and shimmered with a brilliant hue.
“It’s been over a month, Sebastian. Have you any new news for me this time? Or have you wasted yet another opportunity?” said the vagrant.
“No my lord. I think I have found a lead that will help us in your quest for bodily manifestation. I know you grow tired of inhabiting these mortals.”
“Indeed I do,” said the vagrant.
“Master... er, I mean Lucifer. We must go into town at once. Time is of the essence.”
They both walked back to the Jeep and got in. Sebastian reached into the glove compartment and pulled out his sunglasses and handed it to his master. The vagrant smiled and then put them on. The dark opaqueness of the lenses immediately blocked out the glow of his eyes. Sebastian nodded in satisfaction then started the Jeep, pulled out of the dirt driveway and headed back to town on the highway.
Pathetic fool, thought the vagrant that Sebastian ignorantly thought was Satan himself. You know nothing about your fate or those you have duped into following you. For I am Saklas and you will help in my return.
Saklas looked over at Sebastian as he drove. Sebastian seemed content. Gratification then crossed Saklas’ mind as he pondered a delicious death for the man after he would gain his power and glory again.
The drive back to town was uneventful and Sebastian took them both to the section of town near the train station. This area of town was mostly composed of run-down and abandoned industrial buildings. Very few people could be seen driving around this area and numerous weeds and plants sprouted out of cracks in the concrete structures and pavement. The location reminded Sebastian of what Hiroshima looked like after it was destroyed by an atom bomb. However the desolation looked it was a nice quite place for Sebastian’s coven to meet and perform rituals.
Sebastian’s Jeep stopped on the side of the street next to a large brick building that lacked windows. The building used to be part of a small lumber mill that was torn down years prior. It used to house most of the mill’s equipment and the part that opened up into the rest of the mill was boarded up when the rest of the mill was torn down. Sebastian was able to rent it cheaply since the government took over the property when the company liquidated and sold it off via a realtor firm. Nobody in Sebastian’s coven ever bothered to ask him where he had the money for the property and building. Many thought Sebastian had some kind of inheritance since the man never seemed to have a job. Sebastian would never say; he believed secrets were useful to upholding the mystique of a person’s identity.
Saklas noticed that there was at least six other cars parked on both sides of the street.
“The others have arrived, master. I have assembled the entire coven for tonight,” said Sebastian as he saw Saklas enquiring look.
“Then you have found a person capable of transforming me back?” asked Saklas.
“Yes but he’s not here. We will have to get him. Hence the reason the entire coven has arrived tonight. I’ll explain once we get inside.”
Saklas nodded and they both exited the Jeep and walked to the building.
The entrance was a large double door with two large square windows in each half but those windows were covered from the inside with tinfoil. No light emanated from the crack at the door threshold and no noise could be heard. It was as if the building was abandoned. Sebastian walked up to the door and wrapped on it a few times. Saklas stood behind him.
A few seconds later and the doors swung inward to reveal a long dark hallway with black sheets and black blankets hanging downwards on the walls. The effect was almost like looking into a bottomless pit. There was a rather rotund male with a thick beard and black hair dressed all in black that stepped aside after the doors were open. Sebastian entered the building and Saklas followed him.
“Thanks Jimmy,” said Sebastian. The bearded male nodded then closed both doors once then two men were inside. Saklas noticed Jimmy had a red pentagram pinned on his shirt above his left breast.
Both men walked down the hallway. It was still quiet and Saklas almost felt like he was trapped in the Abyss again as the darkness of the unlit corridor enveloped him. They both stopped once the hallway ended about eighty feet from the entrance. A windowless door was on their right and Sebastian rapped on it a few times. The door opened inward and revealed a very large room.
A skinny woman dressed in a black shirt and pants stood just outside the door threshold into the large room. She bowed slightly then stepped aside and motioned for the two men to enter. Saklas noticed that she also had a red pentagram pinned on her shirt as well. Both of the men then entered.
The room must have been at least two stories high and multiple concrete columns stretched from the concrete floor to the ceiling. Black rugs were interspersed on the floor and a few black or brown coffee tables were spread around the area with candle holders or candelabras resting on them with freshly lit candles. A few of the walls had black blankets draping down and one of the walls had a large black sheet with a large red pentagram embossed on it hanging from some makeshift fasteners. A few black couches were also set against the walls and black bean bags and pillows were strewn about the place. Throughout this rather macabre scene were over a dozen people all dressed in black sitting, standing and meandering back and forth. Many of them were talking to one another and they each had a red pentagram pinned on their shirts right above their left breast.
As the men went deeper into the room, Saklas suppressed a chuckle to himself. Every time he took over another host and was brought here the coven added more and more decor to the room and more people eventually joined the group. All Saklas had to do to maintain the loyalty of these gullible buffoons was to perform a few paltry tricks to enamour them. Tricks that he would once again do this night.
The group of people noticed the two men enter the room and their murmuring and gentle talking ground to a halt. They all stopped what they were doing to look upon Sebastian and their obvious master that has taken on a new host. Sebastian stopped in the middle of the room and Saklas took a step behind him in anticipation of the obligatory speech that was done each time Saklas came into the coven building.
“Brothers and sisters,” started Sebastian as he spread his arms out with his palms up. “The time has come for our master’s return. He has been stripped of his power and cast down. Then he has been imprisoned in our world by the meddling of youth that were too naive to understand the implications of their tampering with powers they did not understand. It is a prison that keeps him here in this form.”
Sebastian stepped aside and Saklas took a step forward then took off his sunglasses. A radiant red hue emanated from his pupilless crimson eyes. Everyone in the coven looked upon Saklas with reverence and awe. Some of the new recruits even gasped when they saw the supernatural wonder of the blood coloured lustre of his eyes.
Sebastian lowered his arms and said to the group, “Tomas, approach our Lord as it is time we filled him in.”
An older man parted through the coven and then stood in front of Sebastian. His hair was brown except for gentle grey streaks in his sideburns and he wore a goatee that was mostly grey with age. He was, like the rest of the coven, dressed all in black.
“My lord,” said Tomas to Saklas. “We have infiltrated another group here in town. One of our members is in their midst even as we speak.”
“Indeed,” said Sebastian. “It’s some kind of New Age cult. The group is interested in mumbo jumbo nonsense like UFOs and they sit around trying to master astral projection in order to reach some form of enlightenment.”
“Their leader, however, does practice some form of black magick,” said Tomas. “He also used to be a Franciscan monk and was apparently kicked out of the Franciscan Spiritual Centre here in Milwaukie. Uh... here in Oregon. The town is just outside of Portland.”
“You’re confident this ex-Franciscan monk has the capability and knowledge to revert me?” asked Saklas.
“Yes master. I am confident he does,” said Sebastian. “Our inside man has been getting to know the ex-monk for the last month. He says the monk has many esoteric books and scrolls with magick formulae. Says the monk even participated in a successful exorcism once. Says he even saw some of the old VHS recordings of the ritual.”
This pleased Saklas. “Well... When do we get this monk?” he asked.
“The group is assembling this very moment for one of their meetings. Tonight they are supposed to be meditating in attempt to astral project,” said Sebastian.
“It should be a small matter to sneak upon them en masse with our entire coven. The plan is to kidnap the monk and hold the rest at gun point,” said Tomas.
“The police with arrive you know,” pointed out Saklas. “How do you expect us to get away from the local law enforcement?”
“Provided they do call the police somehow, we won’t need to hold the rest of the group hostage. We will simply take off for as many locations as we can. The police, if they manage to get to the New Ager building, will be forced to chase every vehicle we have. They don’t have the resources to follow everyone. It will be a wild goose chase!” said Sebastian. “Besides, you and I will take the monk leader and head out first. We will bring him back here. I have a room set up for the process. It may take a few days of starvation before the monk becomes cooperative.”
“Some of you may get caught,” mused Saklas.
“Even if we do we are ready to sacrifice ourselves so that you may return to glory!” Tomas almost shouted.
“Now then,” Sebastian said and turned to the assembled coven. “It is now time to prepare.” The group of people dispersed to different parts of the room. Tomas gently bowed to Saklas and walked out of sight behind one of the immense concrete columns.
Sebastian motioned for Saklas to walk with him to which Saklas obliged and they started moving towards the wall with the large black sheet with the embossed red pentagram on it.
“We have done some research into your current manifestation after your state of possession,” said Sebastian. “We have learned that whatever ritual was done on you was originally used by medieval groups to contain uncooperative demons so they could be devoured. It was a guaranteed way to ensure possession. You might say it was a form of unholy Eucharist.”
I guess I was stripped of so much of my power I could be affected like a demon in some ways. But why not other ways? Saklas thought to himself.
“Then why do I take the shape of a candy bar?”
“Well, the way we figure, the ritual would force the demon to manifest itself in corporeal form,” said Sebastian. “The medieval cults would obviously want something they were familiar with so the ritual would force the demon into the form of some kind of wafer, like consecrated bread the churches use for their Holy Communion. Since this took place in modern day I guess the shape was a candy bar. This begs the question of why a candy bar, though?”
Both of the men stopped walking when they were only a few feet from the wall with the sheet on it. “I told you before,” said Saklas, “I don’t think the kid knew what he was doing. I’m sure the ritual was done out of desperation to contain me.”
“Then the incantation must have drawn upon his unconsciousness. That’s why you were not forced into the shape of a communion wafer,” said Sebastian. “The spell took on a sort of modern day vibe to it. The kid must have enjoyed chocolates.”
“And every time I possess one of these meat suits I only have about a single day before-”
“—before you’re forcefully ejected from the body,” interrupted Sebastian.
“No, not forcefully ejected. I am shit out!” almost shouted Saklas.
Sebastian nodded then looked behind him and saw that Tomas came back into the middle of the room holding a plastic container in both arms. Some other coven members saw this then one moved a lit candle off the nearest coffee table. Tomas then set the container on the table then opened it up. There were an assortment of handguns in the container and he started pulling them out one at a time and handed each one to members of the coven that were all now gathering around him.
Sebastian smiled at Saklas then gently bowed and then walked over to Tomas. Tomas handed him a pistol after giving one to a female coven member. A minute later and each of the coven gripped a pistol except Tomas. Tomas nodded after mentally surveying that each member was armed then reached into the container and pulled out two remaining guns. He put one pistol between the small of his back and his pant waistband then gripped the muzzle of the other pistol and held it out as he walked to Saklas with the obvious intention of giving it to him.
Saklas smiled. Then he concentrated on the gun in Tomas’ hand. The gun gyrated a bit and Tomas looked at it in confusion. The pistol then jerked itself out of his hand and flipped end over end in the air at Saklas who now had his right hand open in the direction of the gun. A second later and the gun was now in Saklas firm grip. The assembled coven all looked at the supernatural feat with wide eyes. Tomas stopped in his tracks and lowered his hand.
Sebastian looked at the coven and said, “For you new recruits that even had a single doubt in your heart, now you know. Satan is amongst us and we are here help give him back his glory!”
This is too rich, though Saklas. After I’m through with them they’ll wish I actually was the devil.
Tomas smiled at Saklas and bowed and the rest of the coven started to whisper amongst themselves. Sebastian only nodded.
Two hours later and Sebastian heard a chiming noise on his smart phone. He pulled it out of his pant pocket and looked it over. It was a text message from Brandon, his coven infiltrator, and he was confirming that the New Age group was now assembling to start their astral projection training.
Without further ado Sebastian informed the coven that the time to move on the New Age group has arrived. Every one of the members then filtered out of the building and into the street then entered into one of the many vehicles parked outside the building. Sebastian led Saklas back to the Jeep Wrangler and they both got inside. Sebastian’s vehicle was the first to pull into the street and he took the lead. The rest of the cars followed Sebastian as he drove out of the area and onto South Sixth Street leading deeper into town.
Saklas put on Sebastian’s sun glasses. He enjoyed the way the red glow reflected off the passenger side window but remembered the glasses in time so that when they drove by traffic they would cover his eyes and not bring any unwanted attention from any passing vehicles or wandering pedestrians that may look at the Jeep.
“We’ll make this quick, master,” said Sebastian as he reached over and pulled out a walkie-talkie from the Jeep’s glove compartment. “Tomas, check in please,” he said into the radio speaker.
A slightly static voice responded, “This is Tomas. I’m third car behind you. Janice is right behind your Jeep.”
“Good. Stay alert and follow single file in one lane only. I will maintain the lead,” replied Sebastian.
Saklas looked at Sebastian. The man seemed so content and focused on his task. He wondered at what the man thinks he would gain by Satan’s supposed resurrection. Power? Supernatural abilities? Saklas could only view him as just another self-deluded fool that had a longing for some point, purpose or meaning to his pathetic existence. It was amusing to him.
The drive out to the cult was exhilarating and Saklas could only gaze in wonderment at what the human race had accomplished in only a few thousand years. Indeed, even the vehicle he was in seemed no small a miracle of technology to allow one faster travel than a person would on horseback. He then remembered his followers and how they grovelled before him and remembered what life was like for humans when people could die of the common cold and people thought unclean spirits caused illnesses. Then his mind drifted to earlier times, back to the very beginning.
Saklas remembered being birthed. It wasn’t a birth in a conventional sense. It was more like awakening one day with all of your cognitive faculties in full order. He could remember the sense of being stretched into being as part of a divine emanation from the totality of God along with his six other brothers. The only thing analogous was a bacteria reproducing through fission but instead of coming from another bacteria his maker was God himself. Because of that he and his brothers would always be divine, but not all-powerful.
He instantly knew the names given him and his brothers at the moment of conscious lucidity when he became self-aware: Yaldabaoth, Elilaios, Eloiein, David, Seth, Iao and Saklas. Each one was tasked with part of creation and given certain innate abilities. For Saklas it was dominion over matter itself as well as its creation. He needed no instruction and his powers were as much a part of his essence as his newfound knowledge of reality without the need to learn. Oh how the angels in Heaven praised their creation. Even the angels Lucifer and Michael revered their magnificence.
As Saklas daydreamed of the past the Jeep slowed down and drove onto the overpass that crossed the railway lines.
“The building is just over on 11th Street,” said Sebastian. “Brandon just texted me. Says he left the door unlocked for us after making an excuse to go use the bathroom. Clever. They won’t know what hit them.”
Ten minutes later and the convoy of vehicles all drove down 11th Street towards their destination. Sebastian pointed the building out to Saklas when it drew near and then found a parking spot on the other side of the street behind a minivan when they arrived. After checking in with Sebastian over the walkie-talkie the other coven members found spots to park on either side of the street as well.
Saklas quickly got out of the Jeep and walked over to Sebastian who was just now stepping out of the vehicle, closing the door behind him.
“So this is the building?” asked Saklas.
Sebastian nodded. “Yes. This is it. This is where the cult is,” he said.
Saklas looked up and down the street. The only people he saw were members of the coven who were now all merging toward Sebastian after exiting their vehicles. If anyone saw this gaggle of people all dressed in black wearing pentagram pins they would definitely be suspicious that something was up. Most of the houses and the one apartment complex down the street seemed quiet and nobody else was currently driving down the street. The area seemed noiseless. To Saklas that was a good thing.
Once the coven members gathered around Sebastian he took out his pistol from his coat pocket then chambered a round into it. The other members pulled out their guns and did the same. Saklas then remembered the gun he took from Tomas and pulled it out of his pant waist band from behind the small of his back. He cocked back the action then lowered the gun to his side.
“Now we are ready. This should go smooth and simple,” said Sebastian to the coven. “I’ll take the lead and our master will follow me. Once inside point your guns at anyone close by.”
Tomas then turned to the group and said, “Janice, you and I will do crowd control. The rest of us forcefully stop the monk if he tries to run. Just don’t harm him.”
Sebastian nodded then started to cross the street to the building. Saklas adjusted the sunglasses on his face then followed Sebastian. The coven members momentarily stared at Saklas then they began to follow him a few steps behind.
The building was two stories tall and the lower floor lacked the multiple windows that the second story had. The roof was flat and the entire building was coloured a light blue. Saklas thought the structure must have been some kind of office building at one time perhaps for something medical like dentistry. There was a small parking lot in front of the building and it was full of different vehicles. All the members of the coven passed through and around the parked cars there on the way to the single door facing the street in the buildings face. Sebastian kept lead.
When Sebastian got to the door he stopped and faced the coven that now gathered around. He put his forefinger of his free hand to his lips to remind them all to keep quiet. He then turned and gently twisted the door knob and slowly pushed it open. He peered inside then, satisfied that nobody was there, looked back to the group and nodded. Tightly gripping his pistol he was the first to enter the building. Saklas followed him and then the others filtered in as well.
They were all in a long hallway. Toward one end was a windowless door and the other end opened up into a new room. Sebastian motioned for everyone to follow him and he led them all to the end of the hallway that opened into another room. That room had another door facing them. The room looked like it was a waiting room and even had an unused counter that was flush against the wall farthest from them. Gentle, but unintelligible words, could be heard from the other side of the door here. Sebastian hushed anyone’s urge to speak by putting his forefinger to his lips as he walked over to the door and pressed his ear against it.
Sebastian heard some more muffled speech then looked back to the others.
“Okay. This is it,” Sebastian whispered. “You’re up Tomas and Janice.”
Tomas parted through the group with a dark haired woman in tow then stood before Sebastian. Saklas recognized the woman but she was a newish member and he only saw her the last time he possessed a person’s body and previously never got close and personal with her.
“We’re ready,” whispered Tomas. Sebastian nodded then raised his pistol and reached his free hand to grab the door handle. He then gently twisted the nob and pulled it open.
Tomas was the first to dart through the door. He brought up his pistol and shouted for everybody in the other room to freeze and not to move. Janice followed behind and moved into another part of the room and out of sight. Sebastian motioned to the remaining group and each coven member slowly walked into the room single file with their guns gripped at thigh level. It was very nonchalant the way each one walked into the room; like they were simply moving from one store to another inside a mall. When the last coven member passed the door threshold Sebastian said, “After you,” to Saklas. Saklas nodded then walked inside.
The room was about forty feet wide and sixty feet long. There were no windows and a small podium stood off centre on the farthest wall away from the door. On the floor was about twenty people sitting cross-legged on yoga mats. Some of them gasped and looked around the room in confusion. They all looked terrified. Facing the group was an older silver-haired man wearing a blue robe just starting to stand up.
“What the devil is this?” said the silver-haired man. Tomas pointed his gun at him and the man took a step back then raised his hands. Janice walked around the circumference of the group of people on the mats and pointed her gun at each one of them as she moved.
Sebastian finally entered the room and closed the door behind him.
“We’re here for you, old man,” said Sebastian. “You have something we need.”
The silver-haired man squinted then stepped forward and said, “I am Brother Bartholomew and I am in charge here. We don’t want any trouble. Just tell us what we can do for you.”
“You can come with me, monk. I already know who you are,” said Sebastian as he walked toward Bartholomew with his gun raised.
CONCLUDES NEXT WEEK