Every night, I lie awake on my bed. I lie there in the darkness, staring at the ceiling. I’m afraid to go to sleep, but I know that I will, eventually. My eyes are heavy, my muscles are weak, my head is numb. I know it’s there. I can feel it, staring at me, waiting for me to go asleep. I can hear its footsteps, walking around next to me. When I leave my house, it knocks over my pictures, it throws my books on the floor.
It’s taunting me. It loves my fear, it loves making me scared. I want to throw the pillow over my head and hide from it, like a child, but when I do, it gets angry. It throws more of my possessions around. It wants a reaction, but I refuse to give it one. I stare at the ceiling, trying to ignore it. Eventually, I fall asleep. This is when it takes over.
In my dreams, it shows me its world. In its world, I’ve eaten the dead bodies of children. I’ve tortured innocent men and women. In my dreams I’ve enjoyed every sickening act of depravity. It shows me its face. I stare into its glowing eyes, I see its rotten teeth buried within a charred face, I feel the fiery heat of it’s breath in my eyes as it snarls at me, then I wake up in a cold sweat. This happens every night.
During the day, it’s still there. It never goes away. It follows me wherever I go. It tries to control me, and I never know it’s there. It’s sly, it only listen to its own rules, and it knows how to control me. It makes me hate, it makes me violent, it makes me angry.
I punched a man walking his dog the other day. As I approached him, he looked at me; he looked me straight in the eyes. I didn’t like the way he looked at me. He looked at me like he was disgusted by me, like he was better than me, like I was absolute scum to him, so I punched him in the face. I heard the snapping of his nose. He fell to the floor. His dog started whining, and licking his bloody face. People ran over and helped him up whilst I walked away, still furious about the way he looked at me. Days later, I learnt the man was blind.
I live with it, but I hate it. I want it gone, but I know it has complete control over me. I don’t leave the house anymore, I don’t want to hurt anyone else. However, when I stay inside, I make it angry. It makes me hurt myself, the wounds on my arms and wrists reflect its hold on me. Each cut represents a day, each burn represents a year. I’ve begged for help, I even went to see a doctor. He told me that I have nothing to worry about, that I’ll be completely fine with their help, and he arranged for some counseling to help me. But counseling didn’t work, it never left me. It still makes it’s home within my head, it still torments me day and night.
The doctor then arranged sessions of Electro Shock Therapy. I lost all of my childhood memories as the electricity flowed through my head, down my body, though my legs. My muscles tensed, I screamed and clamped my teeth on the rubber block shoved clumsily in my mouth. Every second felt like an hour in indescribable pain, but after everything I endured, it still didn’t leave. During the EST sessions, I felt like I could see it, standing beside me, laughing at me as I writhed in agony. It relished in my torture.
Now I sit, and wait. I’m waiting for the priest to visit me. My neighbor sent him over without my permission, but I’ll just send him away. God cannot help me. I haven’t been to church since I was a child. I gave up on God; he never showed himself to me. He’s never helped me before; I’ve never felt his love. How can I love him when he allows this horrid thing to latch itself upon me? Have I not been a good person? Have I not followed the rules of his society? Haven’t I loved and cared for anyone who asked for my love? If all that is true, then why do I suffer under the hands of this thing?!
There’s a knock at my door. I open it. On my porch stands the old priest, carrying a leather bag. He asks to enter my house. Feeling polite, I let him into the house, but as he steps through the threshold, I become uncontrollably angry. I begin to hate this man with all my being. This man does not belong here, he doesn’t belong in my house, he has to leave. I demand him to leave. The priest walks up to me, and stands face to face with mine. I scowl as I stare into the priest’s eyes. Those Christian eyes that judge me, those Christian eyes that advocate death and torment, those Christian eyes that support everything I hate. I scream in his face. I yell at him to, “Get the fuck out of my house!”
Instead of leaving, the priest holds up a coin, and he tells me to hold it. He takes my hand, and he places the coin into my hand, then he closes my hand. I feel the coin begin to heat up, I feel it scorching my skin, I feel it burning, I feel it making my hand weak with pain. I drop the coin, and stare at my hand. I can still feel the scorching heat, but there is no mark, no blistering, no sign of any wound.
“What was that?” I ask the priest, in shock.
“It’s a blessed coin”, the priest calmly replies. The priest then puts his hand on my shoulder, and I feel my shoulder become numb. The priest stares me straight in my eyes, then calmly tells me: “You’re in danger. I know what’s happening to you, and I can help you. If you will let me help you.” He moves his face closer to mine. “Will you let me help you?”
Staring into his eyes, I don’t feel angry anymore. I begin to feel sad, very sad. I begin to cry as I stare into the priest’s hazel eyes.
“Yes,” I say, “Please, please help me.”
“I will, my son, but you must trust me. No matter what happens, you must understand, I am helping you. Do you understand?” I nod my head.
The priest says I have to be comfortable, so I lead him to my bedroom. He tells me to lie on the bed, and as I do he opens his leather bag. He pulls out a purple sash, decorated with white crosses, and lays it over his shoulders, so it drapes across his chest. He asks me if I own any belts. I tell him I keep them in my top drawer. He opens the drawer and pulls out two belts. He walks over to me, and takes my hand.
“Do you trust me, my son?” he asks.
“Yes,” I shakily reply.
The priest takes my hand and, using the belt, ties my arm to the headboard of my bed so it cannot move. He then ties up my other hand to the headboard with the other belt. My arms are outstretched like Jesus as he lay upon the cross.
“Why are you doing this?” I ask him.
“It’s for your safety,” he replies. He takes a bible and a rosary out of his bag. He closes his eyes, and calmly chants the Lord’s prayer, then he places the rosary upon my chest. I squirm as I feel the rosary burning my skin, piercing my chest as I lay on the bed. My arms are restrained, so I cannot move, I cannot take this scorching rosary off my chest. It hurts, my God, how it hurts.
The priest begins to say another prayer, a prayer I’ve never heard before. As he speaks, I hear a loud ringing in my ears. The priest gently takes my hand, and continues to pray. I try to squeeze his hand, to cause him pain, like the pain he is causing unto me, but in his gentle touch, my hand goes numb. He tenderly kisses my hand, then he continues to pray. He takes a glass bottle of water out of his bag, and pours the water onto his hands. He rubs his hands together, then he gently grabs my head, his thumbs resting against my temples. His touch burns me. Inside my head I feel such intense pain. The pain makes me remember, remember the hospital, remember when doctors tortured me with electricity.
I scream, but my own voice doesn’t leave my mouth. Instead, I emit a low gurgling sound from my throat. The water from the priest’s hands drips down onto my eyes, and I squeeze my eyes closed. The water makes my eyes feel like they’re being ripped out of my skull. My horrid, gurgling cries make my throat hoarse. My throat hurts, but I cannot stop screaming. I have no control over myself anymore.
The priest finishes his prayer, and suddenly, my body goes completely numb. I stop screaming, the only sound I hear is my hitched breath in the unbearable silence.
“Who am I talking to?” the priest says.
“Not who you see,” I appear to reply, my voice, however, is low and raspy. It isn’t my own.
“Who are you?”
“Not him…Something else.” I open my eyes and stare directly into the priest’s eyes.
“You know, Father. You know all too well.”
The priest stares knowingly at me:
“Why are you here?” he asks me.
“Because he’s mine. Because he gave himself to me, willingly.”
“His body is not yours. His body belongs to God.” I couldn’t help but giggle at this sentiment, like a little schoolgirl, and then I scream at the priest:
“His body is mine!”
“No, it’s not.”
“This body is mine!”
“No! it’s not!”
“God has forgotten this man!”
“God does not forget his children!”
“Say what you will, I will never leave my quarry!”
The priest tightly grabs my arm: “Leave him!” he shouts in my face.
“In the name of God almighty, I command you to leave this man.”
“You have no power, false prophet!”
“I command you to leave this man!”
“I command you to burn in Hell!”
“By the power of God, I command you to leave this man!”
“God does not have enough power to control Golial, the great beast of burden.”
The priests eyes widen, and he lowers his head to mine.
“Golial! Foul creature of Hell! Servant of Satan! In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, you will leave this man, and you will never return!”
My whole body beings to shake as I suffer my first ever seizure. I drool, staring at the wall. I can’t feel my body, I can’t control what is happening to me.
“Leave this man! Golial! Leave this man, and never return!” The priest places his hand across my eyes, blinding my sight. “Golial! In the name of God almighty, I command you to leave!” As I hear the priest speak, I lose consciousness.
I awake on my bed, my binds are free. My head severely hurts, and I feel completely exhausted. The priest is sat on the corner of my bed, looking over me as I sit up.
“How are you feeling, my son?” the priest asks.
“Exhausted,” I replied. “Is it gone?”
“It has, for now, but I cannot promise that it will never return.” The priest places his hand on my shoulder. “But if it does, then please, don’t suffer alone. Come to me. I will always be available help you.” The priest smiles at me, before turning away and picking up his bag. “Rest, my son, I’ll see myself out.”
“Father?” I say before he leaves through my front door.
“How is it that this happened to me? Was I not a good person?”
The priest sighs, and turns to me.
“That is complete nonsense my son. Good people will suffer more at the hands of demons than sinners. Demons want to corrupt and destroy. If there is nothing to corrupt, then there is no need to be possessed.”
“Then why don’t priests ever get possessed?”
“We do, every day we have twenty demons sitting on each shoulder, feeding us lies, and trying to control us.”
“Then why don’t you ever become like me?”
“Because we believe that accepting God’s undying love keeps us safe. That he will never leave us, and will always answer our calls of help, because we are all his children.” The priest turns, and leaves my house as I slowly lay my head down, completely lost in thought.
That Sunday. I went to church, for the first time in 23 years.
Written by Kurgen Zoltan