Short Story: A Cup of Coffee With a Demon
We are constantly overwhelmed with questions of right and wrong. We want to remain spiritually aware. We keep seeking answers. Love is our staunch ally in these struggles; potent and subtle.
This story explores these topics. The story below is a work of fiction and does not represent any real or imagined people or places. Enjoy: “Short Story: A cup of Coffee with a Demon.”
Short Story: A Cup of Coffee with a Demon
Humanity prospers in imperfection. We have imperfect minds and hearts. Our bodies always require improvements. Consequently, when we strive for perfection in this world, we encounter problems of magnitudes unimaginable. For example, wars occurred over the “purity of race.” Potent “pure” drugs destroy our bodies. We build an unsinkable ship which finds the bottom of the ocean. There is strength in addressing and embracing flaws.
However, in Latin: excutite in fide dubitavit minibus. Or doubts shake hands with faith. (My Latin may be imprecise.) Or at least, the hands of doubt and faith may hold a warm cup of coffee, trying to figure out which decisions have led us in certain directions.
Nevertheless, my feet knew the way on this balmy fall afternoon, back to the small southern U.S. town where I first met my mentor, Padre Masters, a friend and someone I deeply admired. I had just returned from my mission in the northern country, the great cold lands where the people were sheltered most often by the purity of the snow from the hot insanity around the world. Yet, isolation didn’t stop a visitation from evil which brought me there.
Perhaps, that’s what my leader wanted to see me about. Maybe he had heard I drove the negative forces out of the village. Or maybe he did not. Truly, I had no reason to think that could be the case.
We are the Religious Organization of Detectives or ROD. We found his minions and sent them fleeing away from people. We don’t affiliate with any church; doctrines can get in the way of our mission.
I walked into the tiny cafe, staring into the dark eyes of Padre Masters. He was already seated, talking softly with a waitress, a short woman with a weather worn face. She had tired angry eyes.
As I entered, I drew Padre Masters’ gentle gaze. “Greetings, Padre Peters.” He grinned widely and went on, “We must talk.”
As I sat down, Padre Masters retrieved an old Bible from his briefcase, situated on the floor beside him. He put it on the table. He said, in a deep rumble, “Do you remember the training you received from the Infantile Gospel of Thomas?”
“What do you make of those lessons and teachings?” he inquired, knowing my beliefs because I had to write my paper on the topic before graduating from the academy in Argentina.
“Our Lord, Jesus Christ could not have acted so cruelly – blinding people, striking a child dead, and other evil deeds. It is not consistent with what we know of Our Savior.” I again summarized my paper.
“Yes, but he was a child. Can’t children be brutal? Could He have been persuaded by outside forces, like the evil ones we battle?” Padre Masters teased.
“No.” I nearly shouted, “The text is completely false.”
“Indeed,” he laughed, “that’s why you received such high marks. You were the youngest investigator ever to have an assignment. You have done well over the last twenty years.”
The waitress came forth, requesting my drink and if I wanted any food in a gravelly tone. I wanted some black coffee, and she nodded wickedly. She seemed to vanish into the back room.
Padre Masters followed her with his gaze, muttering before returning to our conversation. “I’ve called you to this place to inform you that now you will head our organization. I’m getting too old to run around this planet battling our enemy. I’m not as swift as I used to be. Congratulations.”
Stunned, I never rule out the impossible because that would make me unaware of possibilities.
“But before I turn over leadership to you, James Peters, there is a story I must share.” He said with trouble trembling in his words. “Let me begin:
Arriving in a small town in the western part of this nation, I stopped to sip some coffee at a local restaurant. As you know, Padre Peters, many of our leads come from simply listening. Well, I listened. The townsfolk were in an uproar. Apparently, a child had thrown his parents out and would not let anyone approach the house.
The conversation was loud. The crowd wanted to burn the house to the ground and execute the child. They swore he was possessed of some foreign entity. When I heard enough, I spoke up, “Will you allow me a chance to visit the dwelling?”
They looked at me, a skinny young man with a long beard. It was the 1960’s, I’m sure they thought: “This one is a hippie.” But the crowd hushed, long enough for the parents to say: yes, please save our son!
I walked the three blocks to the house, standing on the sidewalk, I said, “I know you are in there! Let me inside!” The doors opened, and I strolled in to the little house.
Sitting with his legs crossed on the floor was a three year old, fair skinned child. He laughed wickedly at me.
“What do you want, man of God!” he shouted. “I bet you want me to leave? I’m enjoying myself. This body is perfect for today!”
“That body is not yours, creature!” I roared, “You will go!”
As calm as a breeze, the child stared his green eyes into mine, “All right. But not before we have a chat, holy man.”
The child went on, “Here’s the deal. We tried working the high authorities into getting rid of you Jesus freaks. That didn’t work well. Love messes up everything. It’s unbeatable.”
I smiled, “Did you expect anything other than that, creature??
“Be quiet!” he pointed at a picture on the wall that flew towards my head.
I responded immediately, “Stop in the Name of the Son of God. It fell to the floor. “You had a story to tell. Get on with it!”
“O.K.” he said dryly, “I can’t match you power to power. But anyway, now, we are working with small groups – gangs, common folk, drug dealers and addicts, – we are having a little more success.”
“How does this impact what you are doing now, being” I inquired.
“Don’t you understand, idiot! You can drive me out of here. Run me away from there. We will always be back because we are dedicated with focus, determined to destroy humanity.” He laughed loudly.
“Yes, but not today!” I screamed. I prayed and sing the melodies of the love of Jesus Christ and God. I heard a rushing sound, turning to the window. The trees bent, but did not break. The house shook, but did not fall. The day itself blinked, but did not cease to provide light.
Then, suddenly, I was holding a sobbing young boy in my arms, reassuring him that he was loved.”
I was flabbergasted. “Seldom have they spoken to me. But I believe they will keep returning.”
Padre Masters admitted, “That’s why the young are needed. I’m not sure if I can detect them any further. I’ve become so given to finding them, searching the world over. Now, I can no longer see where they are hiding!”
I nodded with understanding.
The waitress finally returned to us with my coffee. I saw a glow in her face I knew immediately.
I ordered, “You followed him here? You have been after him for years now; haven’t you? I can feel you there. Now, you must go!”
The pale face of the lady began to sag. Something sounding mechanical spoke, “You can’t stop us either, Peters. We will bring humanity to ruin.”
At this point, I stood, “Not on my watch, creature.” I prayed and sing, and suddenly, an exhausted woman fell over, Padre Masters and I catching her. We told her that God loves her. She woke up and cried, heading home after three days from her family.
My former leader then turned to me, focusing his tired eyes into mine. “How did you know, Padre Peters?” Padre Masters asked.
“Simple” She was taking too long to bring my coffee. She was listening. No manager appeared at this store. No other customers came in that door.” I pointed. “It was a perfect set up.”
With fond farewells, he handed over the leadership manual. Now, I continue to track these demons. But if I become too single-minded, I will give an under investigator his turn. Doubt and faith can shake hands in parting as well as greeting, after all. We are imperfect in this realm, but our souls can return to innocence with His love.