03 November 2010

Legion - Part 1

As I promised, a bit of fiction - and early! Hooray for me.

This is an idea I've had in my head for a while now. Christian demonology has always intrigued me (probably because I'm Catholic, and our priesthood tends to actively fight demonic machinations; and because of Warhammer 40,000, enough said there). More specifically is the story of the Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac in Mark 5: 1 - 20. Legion (the demons that are part of him) is free in the world, and doesn't want to leave. For a moment in the bible we see demons begging with Jesus. They have ongoing dialogue with Him beyond a simple "Be gone demon!" and general gnashing of teeth. Their conversation implies many deeper things than many of us can fathom - so I took a stab at it.

The story will be serialized in the coming weeks. There will be angels, and fighting, and general demonic wickedness. Let me know what you think!

So, without further ado, Part 1.

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     They could see Him approaching from their position in the tomb. For days they had dwelled there among the dead, enjoying their freedom. Many from the surrounding towns had attempted to stop them and shackle them. It was no use. With their combined strength they had tore their bindings apart and beat their would-be captors. They had even killed a man. The power they held was incredible.
     And then He came. They knew He would come, though they wished it wouldn’t. Now here He was, slowly walking up the banks of the sea. He seemed very plain at first – just another carpenter from another Judaic town. His shoulders and arms were taught with muscle from years of labor. His brown hair was splayed over his shoulders, matching his weather-beaten skin.
     But it was His eyes that riled them most. It was those eyes that had seen everything from before the beginning. They saw all and knew all, and His eyes bore holes into men’s souls. Those eyes knew they were there.
     For a moment the party stopped, and His followers motioned toward a heard of swine, calling greetings to their herders.
     Rage filled them. How dare He come here. How dare He bother them.
     Fury bubbled in their veins, and in a fit of anger they leapt from the tomb and charged toward Him and His followers.
     “Be gone, unclean spirit!” He roared, his face never losing its serene fa├žade. “Come out of that man!”
     Thunder crashed through the air, though no clouds hung in the blue sky.
     “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” they spat. Their body jittered, their neck twitched. “I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”
     Jesus stared down at them – those eyes cutting deep. For a moment there was only silence, Jesus’ followers awe struck at what they were witnessing.
     Then Jesus asked, “What is your name?”
     And they were compelled to answer.
“I am Legion,” they rasped, “for we are many.”
They continued to plead and beg with Him to leave. They were here – free of Lucifer and his machinations. Their power was unmatched by any living human (save Him). They implored Jesus to allow them to remain.
     It seemed as if Jesus would have none of it.
     They were desperate. They would do anything to stay.
     And then they noticed the pigs.
     “There!” they cried. “Send us into the swine! Let us enter them!”
Jesus chopped the air with his hand, and it was like the falling sword of an executioner.
“Be gone!”
Immediately, thousands of demonic souls leapt from the man into the swine herd and for a moment they thought they were free.
But animals are no place for a demon. Fear swept over the herd and they rushed into the sea. All the while the demons cried for them to stop, but to no avail. In moments thousands of pigs were drowned, and the demons were returned to their underworld prison. As they fell – as they had at the end of the war against God – they cursed Jesus.
“We will return!” they bawled, tumbling back into oblivion. “And we will have our revenge!”
For two-thousand years they sat, stewing in the depths of hell, awaiting the right moment.