Short Story: Padre Peters and the Devil Have a Deal
Who is the Devil?
Without question, many religions around the world believe in a being representing evil. Within the Judeo-Christian beliefs, the entity is known as the devil, a creature of immeasurable abilities that torments mankind. The devil is a fallen angel according to these religious perspectives. In the final story of the trilogy about Padre Peters, the devil gives insights into his tactics while the young Robert Stainson (Padre Peters) tries to outmaneuver him. Thanks for support from my wife and fellow writers. Nevertheless, the story below is fiction and any resemblance to real people, places, or events is coincidental. Enjoy: Padre Peters and the Devil Have a Deal.
Do you believe the devil walks the Earth to torment humanity?
Short Story: Padre Peters and the Devil Have a Deal
I love taking selfies near beautiful natural environments. A picture can go global on the internet in a snap. But I’m mostly invisible to you. I didn’t get where I am by being visible constantly.
My methods are much more subtle. Catch you and bring you in slowly. For your troubles, you will burn with the lust of agony. Do you desire money, power, or influence? What’s your drink to quench your fiery thirst? I’ll serve you.
Truthfully, I don’t care about you; I just don’t want Him to have you. That hurts Him, and I gloat.
Visit the beach or the mountains. Do unspeakable things. You have free will like I do. Exercise it even at home. Doesn’t it feel good to get back at that neighbor of yours? Your options are endless.
Your sins are your salvation, bringing you peace. Greed and misconduct give you freedom. All humans have it in them; I love to wave opportunity in your faces, and you bite it like a stupid fish. Temptation nets you.
But your bodies are unnecessary. Possession of human bodies is rare and messy. Yet, my minions can take over a town if I order it. Why bother with possession though when your sins give me what I want. It’s much easier to infest an object or a location. Or I might make you obsess over something. Perhaps, you insanely want something on the internet.
However, seldom do I direct my minions to attack and expose themselves to you. There's not much you can do about it anyway.
Having your first baptism doesn’t guarantee I will not come calling. Of course, you can get a private or public exorcism. I don’t care where you rest eternally.
Hurt, pain, and agony to Him! Your imperfections should not be loved by God when I'm perfect.
Some stay fooled, like Robert Stainson. I tried to get him to my way of thinking, but a sucker will be a sucker. What a punk.
He was invited to attend that awful Academy after graduating from high school. I met him leaving his church. He was tinkering with a camera and smiling. Snap, snap, snap went the camera. He didn’t notice me.
“Young man,” I said, “I hear you have plans.
He turned, examining my expensive suit and fine shoes, responding, “My future was prepared when Padre Masters dropped by last year. He convinced my parents the dreams I was having was concerning my spiritual journey. An angel named Jubilee told me to go to the Academy while I was napping outside. Why do you care?”
I stepped beside the boy who was dressed in worn jeans and an old t-shirt, whispering, “Now, don’t you want lots of money? Come work for me.”
“What will be the price?” His hazel eyes on his pecan brown face went up in amazement, “What would you want?”
“Nothing, take the cash. Go gamble. Visit bars. Date women. Have fun.” I reassured him.
He reluctantly nodded.
weeks later, I found Robert standing in the yard of his family’s home. I stepped over the security fence, and strolled over to him. I thought I had my trout ready to fry.
“Hello, Mister,” the little snot greeted me, “I went to the bank like you said. I took the money from the teller, blessing it at church. Your donation helped repair the church and fed two hundred families. We opened a shelter and now provide job training in the community. I'll pass on the ideas you offered.”
I was irate, fighting to control my temper in the North Carolina summer.
Far from defeated, I still had an advantage. Greater men than this boy had fallen to me.
I said casually, “That’s great, Robert. But the money stops now. Would you like power and influence? I can make that happen, too.”
He looked at me dubiously, “You can do that?”
I laughed, thinking the pan was heating, “Of course. As before, you will owe me nothing. Just agree. Persuade companies to take profits and leave the community. Order armies to invade countries. You will have the physical strength to challenge the greatest of men! It's yours, young man.”
I have worldwide investments that kept me from Robert for months. I found him at the airport. I was annoyed.
I ran up to him, screaming, “Did you not like my gifts? Why are you heading to the Academy in Argentina? Don’t you have things to do for me?”
He glanced up at the video screens showing the passengers and smiled.
“I wondered when you would arrive.” He said. “Because of my extra strength, I was able to save three children from a burning home. I influenced a corporation to support clean-up of a poisoned pond. The Academy now has a solid trust to keep it afloat for decades to come because of my efforts. I appreciate your gifts, but I will not follow your agenda.”
Enraged, I screamed, “How dare you! …”
He interrupted, “All power is God’s. He is the ultimate force because God’s will is all the influence we require. Money is a tool; I used it to further the goals of God. Lucifer, get thee behind me.”
I was astonished, “How did you know?”
That punk said, “I never told you my name. You couldn’t have walked into my parents’ yard without triggering an alarm. Without medication or exercise, I had the strength of Sampson. That’s impossible. It was evil. But I was protected, and you knew that.”
I reached for him. He made the sign of the cross. I recoiled.
He said, “You were not visible on our home security system, the photos I took, and you cannot be seen on the screens here. I knew who you were for a while now. And I'll battle you and your demons until you are imprisoned in Hell. You will know me as James Peters from this day forth. That’s my deal. Go. I command it through my Savior.”
I retreated and he boarded the plane.
Nonetheless, I’ll keep coming back because stupid fish have suckers. It's a fact: the devil is truly in the details.