Prayer in the Dark

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 24, 2018

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Submitted: March 24, 2018



"Hail Mary, full of grace the lord is with you. Blessed are you among all women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of god, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

I rolled a new bead between my thumb and forefinger, starting the prayer again. Sitting cross legged on my bed, my desk lamp flickered on and off, making shadows dance along the walls. Outside my window, perpetual darkness reigned.

I continued my prayers, speaking every word in their proper order with the correct nuances, imbuing each word with the force of my fear and belief. Because if I stopped praying, if my concentration even strays for a moment, bad things will happen. I could feel it from the dead silence. The kind that waits, and watches you with unblinking eyes. It knows you're there but you can't see it so your imagination takes its place and you find yourself closing your eyes and wishing for it to go away.

The door to my bedroom opened and a man appeared. He wore an expensive suit and looked out of place in my bedroom. I couldn't see his face clearly because it was half hidden in shadows. He didn't say anything but I knew who he was.

-The devil has been painted swarthy, cloven-footed, horned, and hideous. Do we expect to see him in that shape? O, surely it would be better for us, if he did come in that shape! The trouble is the devil never does come in that shape. He comes by chance, with unregistered signals, and in all sorts of counterfeit presentiments.-E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

Fear paralyzed my body. Desperation made me pray faster. For a moment, I faltered forgetting the next word because of the intense fear I felt. He smiled, sensing my blunder and I quickly pulled myself together, clearing enough of my mind to continue the words. The rosary in my hand was the only protection I had against him. The edges of my bed held an invisible barrier against him and their fuel was my prayers. To stop or lose concentration was to mean death or even worse. I didn't want to think about the latter.

Smiling, he approached me until he stood beside my bed. He did nothing but continued to watch me and that unnerved me more than anything else. I stumbled over a sentence and panicked as I felt his eyes on me. He was so close, and although his face blurred every time I looked straight at him, his eyes shone bright red against the shadows. The barrier wavered for a few seconds. Screaming internally, I forced myself to get out of my panicked state and spew out the rest of the words. I did and the barrier returned to its solid state.

He left. Heart beating fast, I stared at the empty door and wondered if it was over. Could it be he had given up and was no longer interested?

My mom came in and seeing her was like a cool water on a hot day.

"Honey, are you alright? Were you scared? Don't worry, I'm here and everything's going to be okay."

I wanted to rush up to her and hug her. She stood by my bed and continued to speak soothingly but something felt wrong. She made no move to touch me and was persistent in coaxing me out of my prayer. (By this point, I was still praying fervently.) Another thing that didn't make sense is that my mom never comes to my room and she was scared of the dark. Yet here she was, in the dead of the night standing beside my bed, comforting me. Also the thing that bothered me most was her room was at the far end of the house while mine was the opposite, how did she get here so fast? And how did she know I was in trouble?

Like a light bulb switched on, I realized this person in front of me wasn't my mom but something else. She looked like my mom, acted like my mom but deep down, she didn't feel like my mom.  As if sensing I found out his ruse, the man came back in, standing beside my mom, looking a little bit disappointed.

It was all a trick and I was glad I didn't fell for it. Angry and frustration, I voiced my emotion through my praying, vowing never to falter again.

And the devil, as always, smiles at me with a patient look on his face. He didn't need to say anything. His face said it all.

"No matter how long you keep me out, when you falter and you will, I will always be here, waiting."

© Copyright 2019 Marie D. All rights reserved.

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