THE DECEIVER – EXCERPT # 5

Terah, a citizen of Windfallow, has offered to take the two invaders back to their camp in Barrier Wood.  Nora and Rex, the woman who formed the Jackal figure and her partner, do not know the fallowfolk are on to them.  They hit Terah on the head with a rock when they get close to camp and leave him tied up…
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Nora answered. “I tried to find out in a round-about way, but no one knew anything about them. When I saw they hadn’t done their work, I tried to seduce one or two of the men, but they would have nothing to do with me. Even the man who guided us here….”
“What? You brought someone here with you?” The demon’s eyes blazed scarlet.
Rex spoke up then. “It was my idea, Sir. I thought if you wanted him, we could deliver him to you here and you could try to get him under your control.”
The demon went still. Nothing was said for several minutes, but no further punishment was meted out, so the two assumed their master was thinking.
“Bring him to me.”
“Yes, Sir!” Rex went back to Terah and found him awake. “Come along, fallowman, my boss wants to talk to you!”
(Terah has been tortured for some time.)
Terah had neither slept nor eaten for seven days. His eyes were red rimmed and dry, his tongue parched and swollen. Most of his fingernails were gone, his hands bleeding and raw. His body bore bruises; several bones were broken. Unable to sit or stand, he lay chained to the wall of the tunnel. His captors were seated at a table a few feet away, eating a fast food meal.
As hungry as he was, the smell was revolting to Terah. Everything about these creatures was revolting. It had been bad enough having to endure the blandishments of Marigold all the way from Windemere. But what he had endured here had been sheer agony.
He had not been able to disarm the demon or even to talk to it. There was a presence here that directed the humans. He could not see or hear it, but its essence seemed to be held in the figure of a wolf-like animal made of soft metal. Terah had only looked at it once in detail when Samuel (Name Rex gave them.) had held it in front of him and demanded he bow to it. Terah had looked into its eyes and, seeing hate and emptiness there, dropped his head and ignored it. It could not communicate with him or cause him to react in any way, for it was so foreign to Windfallow it created no effect here. But neither could he communicate with it. He could only resist it.
The physical torture had been hard, but he had been in pain before. It was to be endured until it could be corrected. The mental and spiritual torture had been far harder to endure, for it was totally foreign to his experience.
The humans had brought to the tunnel a cabinet containing pictures so foul he could only close his eyes and keep them closed. As long as he shut his mind to theirs, he could not understand the sounds coming from the machine. Then, they put things on his ears, held there by tape, which transmitted sound directly to his mind. He could not understand the words, but the cacophony of noise that assaulted his senses almost drove him insane.
They would take the headphones off for a few minutes and drag him in front of the Jackal, making motions for him to bow to it. When he did not react, they beat him and used every form of torture they knew to bring him into subjection. Now, he lay near death physically, but renewed in soul and spirit by his steadfast refusal to submit to evil. He knew no one could help him, for the Alari dare not let their presence be known to the demon.
Terah turned his bloody hands palm upward in the time-honored custom of prayer. “Almighty Father, Maker of our world and the heavens above it, I pray your blessing upon my brothers and sisters. Do not let this evil loose in our world. Strengthen me with your mighty power and let me die if I must rather than submit to this temptation.” His lips barely moved; his breathing became shallow. “Receive me, Father. Please let my brothers find my body that they may sing me home.”

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