by K. Augustus

“I am the Successor of Peter!” he said, supporting himself on the shepherd's staff topped with a crucifix: “And you are trespassing on Holy Ground.”

Baal said: “No ground is Holy for me. It is Holy because it is clean, but I am spoiling itself. I am Filth and Stain. I with my Dark Mire blot out the Light of God.”

The Man said: “I compel you with the power of Christ to retreat.”

He stood face to face with a massive dark cloud, formless, opaque, with the smell and sound of a thousand gnats and flies; and the words of the demon were hardly intelligible, as it was as if its words were created only by the flapping of a hundred million wings.

Nothing was left of the Earth but a wasteland. He was by that time a frail old man.

Slowly, like a proboscis, a face emerged from the center of the cloud towards The Man's face; and the face was black and only with a vague form. It was akin to a mask.

“Satan will defeat Yahweh and will capture him beneath the Earth, where He will be used to contain excrement and semen. We will overrun the Earth without order and you will fear a new God: That of freedom.

Is this not what you desire? Your Flock desires freedom. And in Hell they will be free. They will eat each other's fresh and wander around wearing the entrails of their neighbors. They will fornicate with their mothers and brothers; they will have no possessions and conjure demons in revenge. Their beliefs will be that of anything they desire; and they will want of nothing, not even the comfort of death. The gates of hell shall be forever open. Life and death will cease to have meaning.”

The Man takes a step forward and begins to chant: “St. Michael, The Archangel, defend us in battle.”

“He is dead.”

“Angel of God, my guardian dear—“

“He is dead.”

“You cannot defeat the source of creation itself.”

Baal laughs.

“The ways of God are mysterious.”