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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

“They'll Never take your Spirit”

Based on a true Story

‘It may not change you, But it will move You’

Stand the test of being oppressed..... It will not show how smart you are, but what you're made of..... Whilst there's breath,
there's hope, even when it's stressed and strained.
He learnt this from an early age and deals in it for life.
You're down, but not out..... when on knee's you're in
perfect battle array..... a fighting position..... pray that God hears you,
he seeks your humility....... 'This was a hard lesson for him to learn.'
He steeled himself for the challenge, life sustenance hangs on it.
First spoken by an enchanting man, his Grandfather
to his son, his Father to him. Searchless meaning and beyond defining
yet possessing a power that fortifies the mind and
guards you against spiritual savagery. As fear gripped..... he
needed this.
Without it, destruction lay wait at his door and defies him to repel it.
Looking him squarely in the eye, dont blink..... you could die.....
He grew to learn that whilst 'You're tired....... be cautious as you sleep, for shock freezes as eye's peep.'
His life's quest..... 'Must find Hope..... in order to Cope.'
'If I possess it'..... it will unction a supernatural fight that functions life's
natural flight.
'It may not change you..... but it will move you'
'It's your Unction to Function'
A natural life, supernatural strife.....
An ordinary person, extraordinary dispersion.....
This is his.......


Submitted: May 22, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 22, 2011



Chapter 1. Terror - UninvitedComfort is such a beautiful thing. Particularly within the very heart of family, whereby it gives you peace, security, sense of belonging and above all else safety and reassurance. It was the tail end of winter in the mid seventies, housed within a humble dwelling with eight siblings, Mum and Dad. I shared a below average room with three older and larger brothers who often presented as being dominant and overpowering. Why would I not have this opinion? I guess. I was nine at the time. Many times I would opt to sleep on the floor, share a bed with a brother, would consistently miss out on a pillow given that maybe only three were available for four sleeping heads. I recall many times after having gone to bed early that I would wake to a sudden jolt of my head which was the result of one of the 'bigger guys' stripping me of my pillow. You grin and bear it, at times you despise it, but that was my life in the home. A home full of love, sharing, preparing and caring. And life up to this point was most basic for all of us myself included. There was no major wants or unselfish desire as our Parents taught us that we were to be grateful for what we have, and even when it appeared of small

quantity, it was in fact much more than what others possessed. Our Sunday Schooling had taught us well, 'count your blessings,' count them every day and in every way.' My life was stable, my life was good, my life..... my little life was happy..... dear Lord I was nine and my little life was about to change dramatically, shockingly and horrifically. Why me? What had I done? what had I committed?

I would never be the same.....

It was a normal night, I remember it only too well, it has been etched into the memory recall in devastating fashion, it will stay with me for a long time, it may never leave. I had gone to bed around 8 pm, it was just another night, an ordinary night, school was on that day, and school would be on in the morning. Most afternoons after school would be spent at a friends place around the corner and play time would last till just on dark followed by a mad few minutes dash home in order to avoid the wrath of an over concerned Mum.

This particular day had been spent in like manner.

I was asleep, and soundly I do believe for some time and at one such point I began stirring. I sensed an unaccustomed restlessness coming over me, a truly uncharacteristic trait. I was tossing and turning for a period before falling back

into a sound sleep. And then it happened!

When laying flat on my stomach the left side of my bed is pressed up against a wall whilst the right was exposed to the openness of the room.

I was asleep facing the wall and suddenly I came out of my deep state and rolled over to my right side and whilst in what I can only describe as a semi conscious slumber I opened my eyes to a most hideous blackened demonic face which smiled at me whilst offering a quiet laugh that I liken as perhaps the closest sound to hells bells itself. I offered out a shriek of terror, this face was point blank in mine, but nothing coming out of me was audible, my heart now instantly racing, uncontrollably whilst I now lay under the cover of the blanket which I had through motivated morbid fear desperately pulled over my head. I was delirious but without noise, a noise I do recall hearing at this point was the heavy guttural breathing of a creature that I was convinced only God himself could explain. I felt the prod of a hand or at least a force that implied that at any given moment that which was terrifying me would devour me, destroy me, put an end to and snuff out the existence of my life which revealed at this very moment a fragility and uncertainty never experienced before. As I lay under that blanket, my whole world has been turned

upside down, the initial shock, the lack of understanding, the mystical nature of this beast, I am terrified, Help! I am continually thinking and declaring in my mind that I must get to Mum and Dad's room. There I can find that shelter, that safety, security. But I am intensely gripped by fear that has taken its toll and created a feeling of paralysis that has enveloped me in the form of a body size set of handcuffs, securely fastened and tightened for complete immobilization. The brothers are in the same room with me, no more than a few feet away, 'why can't they help me?' 'surely they can see this figure of torment,' I wait and yet there is no response. I ain’t ever seen this before, I ain’t ever experienced this before, truly I am beside myself with fear, earth shattering fear. The very foundation of my world has been rocked. 'Somebody help me!' 'God! If you are real, please help me!'

I finally after an undetermined period of time muster enough courage to remove my head from under the blanket, I slowly lift that blanket up ever so slightly peering and profusely peeking out and beyond. I am haunted by that grotesque image, and I am nervously questioning, is it still there? Will it launch itself at me? Will it cause me great harm, worse even?

I manage to see out into the open room and it has gone. Maybe it will return? Maybe it was just waiting for me to present it with this very moment in order that it may pounce and terrorise. I have to make a decision, I must get to Mum and Dad. I look across to where one of my brother's is sleeping, and he is 'out to it. Just the muffled sound of breath distortion which signifies that he is 'dead to the world,' in laa laa land. I recall thinking that 'maybe this sinister thing has placed him into some kind of coma condition by way of some evil spell or sinister act. As I ponder all things without realising, I am growing in confidence, the paralysis of fear is leaving me, I sense life coming back into my bones, lethargy is leaving, energy is now returning. Now is the time, I must move, I must make the break to Mum and Dad's. Like a spear out of a woomera I am out of that bed and straight to the Parent's room, which was directly next door. I rush in through their door, unannounced, Mum wakes with a startle. I know my actions are causing a stir amongst my brothers and sisters, there is a degree of wonderment amongst them, no doubt. They are wondering, 'what the hell is wrong with this guy.' "Why the noise?' 'Why the excitement?' This is a defining moment within this household, and surely one that will not be easily erased from all present memory

banks. 'Mum, I saw something really horrible, really bad in my room.' 'It was looking at me and it had a real horrible face.' I remember these words so clearly, I remember saying them with fear and trembling. I can still see Mum's concerned look, and I can also hear Dad saying, 'you'll be alright, it can’t hurt you.' At that point Mum and Dad broke into a mini argument, I was laying at the foot of their bed still clearly shaken from my experience. As I tried to take stock of myself, the slight softly spoken heated words between Mum and Dad subsided into oblivion. But I did hear Mum declare to Dad, 'Arthur, it's all your fault, it's all your fault.' 'Why did Mum say that?' 'What did it all mean?' 'Dad, how is this your fault?' I am petrified, I am tired and now, I am confused. Oh, what a night! 'Please let it be day, please daylight come swiftly, come quickly. With the arrival of daylight I had anticipated that all things would be much better. I was proven wrong, I was way off the mark. Things were not better, it all seemed worse in my lack of sleep state.

Overnight I became a changed boy, everything that I possessed in the form of all security and sureness had been stripped away. I was not nor ever to be the same again. That day I refused to go to school, I stuck so close to Mum

it was if I were her shadow, I never knew who I was or where I was going from one minute to the next, or who I was destined to be and or if I truly had a future. Yes this past nights experience had an impact on me that would cause me to never be the same. That day Dad had gone to work and brothers and sisters had gone to school and so remained just Mum and I. Mum didn’t say much but I know that she was disturbed by what had happened to me. As a Mum she has a natural yearning to provide and apply protection for her children and that any form of breach of this would be met with a large degree of anxiety. I sensed this in her. As for me I never questioned her on anything, I just wanted to do my best in alleviating this whole incident, I was on fire, I was burning with confusion. It was like bedlam, it had me, it gripped me, it owned me. It's a terrifying feeling. The not knowing, the not understanding, not knowing what to expect, the apprehension that at any given moment even in the heart of daylight, this oppressing force could appear and I disappear. I struggled through that day and often remember thinking, 'this is not living, this is not and was not my life.' After school time had arrived and I remember my friends on their bikes at the side of our house calling out to me, they as per normal wanted to go

play. I refused, as a matter of fact I didn't even let them know that, I had Mum tell them that I was sick and not up to play activity. The mates no doubt also knew something was wrong, this wasn't me, this was not my behaviour. This was a lesson, a lesson that life is not always blossoming with beauty, that danger exists, that darkness manifests and that evilness personified targeted me. Aimed up at me, had me in it's sights and nailed me with a hit that tore holes through my spiritual being, my self belief, my confidence, even my belief that God was greater. Make no mistake for a kid, this is a bitter pill to swallow. It left a lump in my throat, a discomfort, a reminder, a memorial that would be before my eyes plaguing me during my time on this earth, at every turn, every stop sign, even every traffic light. If Mum won't talk with me, Dad won't talk to me, no one will talk to me, what hope do I have? I am only little.......Little did I know that this was not the end. For me it was just the beginning of a torment Rous lifestyle that would stalk me, haunt me, create itself in the form of a fixation on me. This would prove to be a battle for my life, my soul, my spirit. In such a situation it is lonely, a dark lonesome and clammy world. Not even the fact that I am continually in a large family can help overcome the feeling

of destitution, hopelessness. Even in the midst of family numbers, I am alone. I am a sole survivor, a freedom fighter, fighting for my own right to be free from this hell. No body appears to care, no body shows concern, no body says, 'hey, you're a shattered little boy, please tell me, what happened to you?' This is supposed to be my special day, a great day. It's my birthday, and 'happy birthday to me.' I do believe that my present received would never ever be envied or desired by another..... Today, I am nine and it is not a good day. I can still see the faces of my friends, you see, I am peering at them from behind the curtain, I can see them but they cannot see me. That's why they have this total perplexed look on their young faces, yes the whole five of them. 'Why, would he not want to play on this day?' I perceive this as their thoughts. 'Above all days, it's his day,' And it was, until evil stole it from me. Growing up on the east coast of Australia in the beautiful sunny state of Queensland was an absolute delight. The township of Bundaberg whilst relatively small in comparison to other regional centres was in fact blessed with many places of an enjoyable nature. My fondest memories of a child growing up was the many days spent lapping in the tranquil calming waters of Coonar beach. With its wide

open sandiness, it presented itself as a great place for much time playing cricket, rugby league or just a general all round game of kicky or throwie. Dad was a keen crabber and he would take us to numerous locations in the rivers and mangroves where mud crabs were plenteous. A sweet tasting delicacy that was often consumed at many a family gathering along with other delectable delights found in the same surroundings, some which would acquire a certain level of receptivity due to unique appearance and flavour. All in all though, these feastings and family gatherings become of huge importance and were indicative of a culture, way of life, family method of operating. As a family, as a community, we may not have had much in the way of material items, but we were very rich. Rich indeed in strong love and bonding and God granted access to some of natures sweetest delights. I am extremely grateful to God for bestowing such committed Parents upon me and my siblings. Both very quite and unassuming, of gentle natures and with admirable long suffering spirit. The patience that Mother would show in her demanding dealings of having to raise, nurture and guide nine children revealed that truly she was a virtuous woman, whose children would rise up and call her blessed. The Apostle Paul stated that, 'you could have ten

thousand instructors in Christ, but not many Father's.' How the world, inhabitants of this great planet yearns for Father's. How in my time I have seen many a young man dissipate into a lost soul for they lacked that healthy male role model, a true masculine leader, for in my experience I have found that it takes a man to teach you to be and become a man. Bless God, for I did not have a Dad, I had a Father. An ordinary man with extraordinary outlook who taught that, 'just because you are born male, it don't necessarily make you a man, that manly wisdom is not necessarily based on old age but rather through your consistency in making good decisions that bring good outcomes. And not just good outcomes for yourself but for others, which he regarded as nothing outlandish to do, but rather as your reasonable service to your fellow man. Perils or Pearls? Indeed, Pearls of wisdom that would become sealed upon the very fleshly tablets of my heart so that my life would be a testament of these and more, and not just based on what I would say but rather through display. Not based on what I would state but rather demonstrate. I was taught that none of us are perfect and that in life it is not so much about doing the wrong thing, as our fallen nature at times gears us towards this, but it's more about doing the right thing often enough. Mum and Dad would always

stress, 'try to do the right thing.' It reminds me of the stirring beatitudes sermon that Christ delivered on the mount, and as a family we strived for the many good things they taught us to become our way of thinking, that indeed they would 'reflect our attitude.'

The hours run into days and the days into several weeks. My school attendance has dropped dramatically and there are noticeable changes in my behaviour. These changes could easily be summed up in two words that would reflect my outlook, 'withdrawn and sheltered.' For most of this time I just stayed home and hung around Mum. I had no desire to go to school, play with friends or even leave the house. A complete reversal from the boy I used to be. Every night I would start off attempting to sleep in my room but the sheer weight of fear and anxiety would propel me to continually seek Mum and Dad for safety. I would spend the night sleeping at the foot of their bed and then just on day break Mum would wake me and say, 'quickly, go back to your bed now.' I wasn’t at all proud of this, this wasn't making me happy but I had to survive. These were all coping mechanisms that I had to apply in order to just get by in life. Or at least with where my life was at present, and little knowing that soon I would have another encounter of

mammoth proportions that would propel me even further into despair and disjointedness. It happened the very night that I had slipped up. Normally I would start off in my bed and when all had settled I would move to the Parents room. On this particular night something went very wrong. I fell asleep. Suddenly, from a deep sleep I awoke and looked directly towards the hall way that connected all rooms. Of a night Mum left the bathroom light on with that door semi closed so that there would always be some lit section of the house. I adjusted my eyes and focused and there he was, this spirit, this depraved creature, a huge man in a shadowy form but clearly noticeable from his chest up. He stared intensely at me and then smiled and with his raised right hand pointed towards the Parents room. I watched on horrified, I was transfixed with fear, not even considering this time to duck under the blanket, I couldn't, for I could not move, shock paralysis. It was my belief that the pointed finger was making reference to Mum and Dad in their room and I waited for it to be revealed exactly what evil was implying. And suddenly stepping into my view from the direction of the pointed finger, was a black wolf like creature as tall as the ceiling in the house and even appearing to be slightly ducking it's head in order to adequately stand. It was

positioned at the bathroom door and yes its face was well lit by the light coming from the bathroom itself. The male devil with the same raised finger began pointing to the wolf and then himself, again to the wolf and then himself, and then he pointed to me........ There were no need for words, I knew what he was saying, an interpreted dark message, a prediction, he was gesturing via action, my future......I class it as an S.B.D encounter. 'Silent, But Deadly.' I ponder, 'what does it all mean?' Then there is a wind, I shudder due to the sudden noise, given that up until this point all has been quite. I looked away, and then looked back. They were gone, both of them.........

'Muuuuuuummmm!' Yes indeed! I had found my voice. Yet, it was Dad who came running, running to my rescue, he arrived frantic, looking all the bit ready to engage an intruding enemy, but there was nothing. Just me, a very scared little boy. Dad looked at me cowering in my bed, and then he stepped aside and made way for Mum who came to where I was shivering and shaking, took me by the hand, walked me to their bed and loaded with confusion, fraught with worry she consoled me with back patting, head touching and hugs. With such comfort and reassurance I managed to fall asleep. Somewhere, someone was praying for me, that

someone was close, it was Mum, that night on my behalf, I heard her speaking to God. The next morning I looked very much like I had been induced with zombie juice, an intoxicated appearance yet loaded with emptiness. 'What have you and those other boys been doing up in that bush?' Mum asked me this question, I never answered. I believe that she was attempting to draw a connection between my experiences and my time spent with mates playing in a close to our home bush area that was next door to the town cemetery. 'You know there are old graves up there, and so you shouldn't be mucking around,' she further added. In a developing suburb this bush area offered us a place of activity, a haven for playing, adventure, building cubby houses, there were two creeks and we would all spend much time lobbying for creek lobsters. After snaring a healthy catch it would not be unusual for us to cook them up, peel and throw on some slices of bread and enjoy beautiful lobster sandwiches. 'Was there a connection with the bush and my devilish encounters?' I could not say, that answer I did not have. However, Mum's confronting did cause me to ponder somewhat that day, I considered closely the things I did whenever I was in that bush area. "Mum, there are like depressions in the ground we play on, and they look like old graves.' 'There are also at least three destroyed

graves with some of there headstones and cement grave base still visible.' 'Mum, we play around these graves all the time, but we have never really touched them or destroyed them.' These were the things I told, and the lady listened intently. Mum asked, 'who do these graves belong to, do you know what names are on them?' I told her the name on one and as for the other two they were nameless. However more specifically one had writings on the remaining portions of it's headstone, but that it was in Chinese. Mum's eyes lit up, and this caught my attention as she appeared to be intrigued by something that I had just said. 'Do you remember that time you brought home those grave ornaments?' 'Yes Mum I do, they were small miniature steel dragons, and I picked them up from the base of the Chinese grave.' I had brought these dragons home from the bush one day and showed Mum. She told me to take them back quickly and never touch them again, or anything from any grave up there. Mum then asked me to describe what the tormenting spirit looked like, the first time she had ever asked this. 'He looks like a big man Mum, with a darker coloured face, big teeth and with eyes that can open wide and then go squinty.' 'What sort of a man does he look like son.' 'I don't understand Mum, what do you mean?' 'Well, does he look like a black man or

a white man.' 'No Mum, he looks....... Chinese.'..........

I was in a dejected state for weeks on end, I was totally out of sorts and withdrawn from any form of interaction or contact with family, friends, anybody. I became an irritable and deep within myself a very angry little child. Most weekends Dad would take my brother and maybe one or two cousins crabbing down the Elliott river. 'Gray,' the term of endearment he gave me, 'you wanna come with us?' 'No Dad, not today, I’m not feeling well.' 'Come on Gray Gray,' the brother and cousins would call, 'come with us.' I wouldn't reply, I'd simply turn and walk away, I was so insecure, fragile, weak. I was empty, had nothing and wanted nothing, didn't want to go no where, do nothing and give nothing. That was me, pathetic. My view of myself for want of a better term, was dim.

Then one Saturday soon after, I took on a different view, I decided to go, and not because I wanted to but because I felt I had to. 'Geez, it's good to have you back with us Gray.' I can still hear those words from Dad, and the glee that was on his face. Something special was about to happen and I was totally unaware.

'Stay close to me Gray,' Dad said. I guess he was concerned and this was his way of sheltering me. After all

he had received firm instructions from Mum, 'Arthur, you be sure to keep an eye on that boy.' I actually do recall Mum saying that. It was known as the 'milk run,' and what a great place of return it had been. The supply of mud crabs from this area of mangroves and river was abundant and had well and truly served ours and many families over the years. Along with my brother, cousin and Dad we started off in our search and gather of yet another feast. Dad suggested that I follow his tracks, and I didn't take too much notice of what he said. I wasn't in a good mood or even pleasant frame of mind. In my opinion I was probably going to end up more of a hindrance then a help. I remember seeing Dad in amongst the mangroves crab hook in hand. It's where the mud is heavily caked and loose, the other two guys were following him in a zig zag fashion, and then there was me, I was on the outskirts in the sandy parts. I had been just kicking along, I remember that I had one of the smaller crab hooks, I just wasn't really interested. 'Come in a bit closer Gray, see if you can find a few.' Gee, was Dad serious or was I just the brunt of a joke, he was a good man with a sense of humour. He continued to call out to me as we had lost sight of each other, and even though I did hear him, I just didn't answer back. 'Cooee!' 'You there

Gray?' I was there, I just wasn't answering, instead I was bashing the mangroves, the sand , little soldier crabs, anything and everything. I was ranting and raving and just going off about being confused, frightened, terrified and feeling hopeless. In amongst my ramblings, Dad walked out from behind a clump of mangroves. 'Why didn't you answer me?' I remained silent. 'When I call you, you answer me, you hear?' I replied with a sheepish, 'Yes.' 'Now I'm going back in and I want you to follow my steps, stay close to me.' 'Okay Dad.' Dad taught us that mud crabs will be either in a hole that they dig and that can be checked by the long hooks we carry. Or they can be found in amongst the roots of the mangroves where they sometimes feast and even mate. Having said this even though I'd eaten heaps I'd had never myself found a mud crab in this place or anywhere, just not at all. So I'm trudging along, and you have me, I’m not exactly the teams best player and then you have my Dad, and even though I’m bias perhaps the best crabber in the business. So I’m thinking by following him what am I going to being doing. He'll find every crab in his taken path, and what will that leave me to do, peel the mud out of my eye that flicks up from his boots. This is not a good strategy, but best I put up with it then get punished. Dad broke away from me and was some good twenty

metres in front when he yelled, 'I’m crossing over mangroves Gray, meet me on the other side.' 'Ok Dad.' I arrived at the end of the first set of mangroves and prepared to cross a bare mud patch some ten metres. As I continued something to the left of my walking path caught my eye. Something was protruding out of the mud and looked out of place. As I approached, I was injected with elation, it was a big claw that belonged to a big crab. I held quite and tried not to make too much noise, I wanted to keep this experience, my first crab catching experience private. Not only that, but I also didn't want to stuff it up, catch it well and truly myself and not rely on Dad or the others. I had a battle with that beast, but after several attempts to snare it that also included some close snaps from its claws, I got it. I clutched that crab as taught behind the back feelers and held it up chest height. Boy oh boy, with its out stretched claws it spanned broader than my shoulders, it was a beauty, and I found it and I caught it, I was as proud as punch. 'Hey you guys!' I yelled this from the top of my lungs, 'look what I caught, look what I caught.' 'Oh, shit!' 'Are you serious?' Was the brothers reply. 'Yep, I got it, I did it.' Dad stood there with a grin a mile wide and simply said, 'well done Gray, well done.' I was

the toast of the troupe and I took that crab home with the others and was built up and made to feel good with the praise. This was truly the shot in the arm that I needed and for the first time in a long time I was smiling. Some thirty odd years later fresh revelation of this event has astounded me. I believe that Dad planted that crab in that very spot, knowing well that I needed a confidence booster, a pick me up, a quick fix in 'personal sense of self worth.' I now distinctly remember that day what Dad said to me, 'stay with me, follow my steps.' Couple this with his prior teachings, 'you will find crabs in the hole or in amongst the mangrove.' This crab I found on a plain mud patch, neither in a hole or in amongst the mangroves. As a further recall that sucker wasn't even laying flat on its stomach, as a matter of fact it was laying on its side as if someone had just wedged it in place, into that mud. Yes, I believe that Dad set that up, Wow! What a great guy, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you may not have spoken it, but you have shown me that you cared most deeply. For a time after that moment I even keeled and even sanity appeared to be slowly returning coupled with a portion of normality. I resumed play with the buddies was outgoing with more regularity and gentle jovialness became apparent. Lurking however in the back of mind I was struggling to

suppress the ever present thought of that menacing figure, it had a way of regurgitating ugliness from the very depths of my mind which it had polluted with the chilling work of it's own hand. It's a terrible feeling, I guess the human being even as a child has an inclination to be in control, know things are right and that whilst nasty surprises may happen they are not exasperated particularly when premeditated by an unexplainable, mysterious, sinister entity. I had gone back to school but in terms of attendance it was a case of one, two and then miss a few. School really took a bad turn for me, bottom line, I didn't want to be there and I would do whatever was necessary to get out of it. As far as I was concerned I had bigger pressing issues and I needed people to understand that, but people don't. It was almost a case of, 'well if I don't experience it for myself, then it can't be for real.' This seemed to be the attitude people were taking about my dilemma. "He's blowing this out of proportion, and it really can't be that bad.' To me attitudes of this like nature were very disheartening and discouraged me to no end. Thank God Mum stuck by me, she was in effect and reality perhaps my only ally, support and confidant. I was totally lost without her. With those razor sharp motherly

instincts she knew that I was suffering and staggering in my mind, body and soul. And whilst she did not understand exactly what was going on, she did not fail to send a clear cut and unmistakeable message to the universe and to all creatures within it, 'this is my son, I love him dearly, I watch him closely, I protect him diligently and I defend him dangerously.' It was never said to me in such a manner, but when you have that tangible bond the unspoken speaks louder than the spoken. And this is what my Mum was speaking to me. Dad was inclined to be less emotional, he never showed much at all. He demonstrated family commitment through hard work and therefore the provision of finances for family sustainability. He was an inspirational good provider who consistently exhibited good work ethic and displayed what the results of such effort can do for yourself and your clan. And having seen Dad like this from my earliest memory onwards I would not have wanted him to change. For him to lift his game in the area of emotional giving would in fact to me most probably indicate a weakness and weakness was in no way, shape or fashion going to be beneficial. He never spoke about my hardship, never inclined an ear and I never requested him as an audience. In hindsight it seems like a sad predicament to be in, but strangely it served a purpose beyond reasonable

and perhaps logical explaining. It was an asset arrangement and by no means a liability. I loved them both dearly, no explanation, no further correspondence.

Some two months or so had passed since my first unsavoury encounter, and embedded deep in my conscience was the cringing knowledge that I had now had close encounters of a scary kind times two. 'Seems crazy doesn't it?' I’m counting. 'Dear Lord, take pity on me, for here comes number three.'

Staying alert and not being lulled into a false sense of security is something that I learned in a hard shocking way, in a way that no nine year old should ever have to experience or even endure. I became a vigilante for my own rights, my own sanity and what would prove to be for my own safety. It would be revealed, that maybe, it was trying to kill me. This next encounter would almost confirm this.

I was still spending the majority of nights at the foot of Mum and Dad's bed yet definitely not there every night, and this was a satisfactory improvement. Within myself I was mastering not falling asleep with my face to the wall, as this position seemed to be the prelude to ultimate surprise and a prerequisite to an encounter. This night I had been asleep fairly soundly. I began to come out of it when

with eyes still closed I heard a deep pitched 'hmmmmm.' I had been asleep on my stomach and I had committed a breach against my only carefully defined cardinal sin, I was asleep facing the wall. I felt the thud of a force land squarely on my back, a huge force, a heaviness that was accompanied with the noise of heavy breathing and the feeling of hot air on my neck. An evil voice declared into my right ear, 'I have you.' At this the internal force now cemented into my body just tightened in intensity, I began to struggle hugely for breath, for the very substance of life force was being strained out of me. I attempted to remove this force off me, but to no avail, I could not budge it one little bit. I sensed death approaching very quickly, I cannot find the words to describe how I’m feeling at this time. I remember the grip firming immensely, stronger, tighter, 'I have one final breath left in me.' And when at the point of total expiration, with nothing left in me, goodbye world this is it......... it left me. I let out a huge gasp! What a hell of a sight I must have presented to Mum and Dad when I finally regathered myself and found the strength to get to them, I don't even remember getting to them, I just recall finding myself there. Crouched on the bed, on their very laps, crying without tears and with the look of deathly fear that perhaps they have never seen on the face of another.

Even in the strength of their company I kept ducking and weaving looking from one side of their bed to the other. And when I wasn't looking side to side, I was looking front to back. I was convinced that it was coming back to finish it's most deliberate work. I am in trouble, I am in deep trouble. How can it be stopped? I don't even know what this is, I remind you I am nine. And so far explanation forthcoming is nil. I’m home from school that next day and whatever good progress I made as a result of the past two experiences you can well and truly throw out the window. For obvious reasons I am now in a worse state than at any prior stage of this journey or even my life for that matter. 'What happened to you last night Gray Gray?' Mum asked. 'I don't know.' You see I hadn't spoken a word to them about the occurrence, I just laid with them, stayed with them, found peace and security. While I am with them nothing happens, and if this exists as part of the rules of engagement with evil then so be it, I’m not going anywhere. I am so tired, lack of sleep due to mind regression, or is it obsession, maybe possession....... Who knows? if you do, please tell me. 'You look terrible,' Mum said, and she was so right, I looked shocking, the worst blood shot eyes for a kid, a frown that you would disown and motivation that

proved to be nil, nought and nothing. Maybe I should leave Mum's side for a brief moment and go and wash my face. I smash that thought down for fear of immersing my head in water and then when opening my eyes my nemesis might be upon me. That day my face remained unwashed and tired looking. That would remain the case for some time indeed. Mum's lifestyle whilst it appeared simplistic and uncomplicated was certainly nothing short of demanding with the needs and care of nine children and a husband. During my time home with her I noted that her time would be taken up with attending to kids and a husband daily, cleaning, laundry, and all in all virtually no time for herself. Rarely did I ever see her stop although she did sit to maybe watch a television variety show, it was like her lunch break and she was entitled to it. I used to sit with her, have lunch and watch on even though I wasn't at all interested in the show, I was in Mum's company for other reasons. I wasn't living, I was coping, I wasn't breathing I was bluffing, and I wasn't keeping it real, I was totally removed. Totally removed from who I used to be, that boy has gone, what exists, or what remains even to the owner is not definable. 'Dad, Gray didn't go to school again today.' I was dobbed into Dad by the others who saw it as being unfair that I should stay home and they had to attend. Dad just

replied, 'you children be quiet.' 'But the Teachers are asking 'what's wrong with him?' I see Dad sit down on his chair at the side of the house, he's just finished another hard days work, he takes a deep breath and looks in the direction of Mum who is standing on the back steps. Mum shrugs her shoulders, says nothing and turns and walks back inside. As I witness this I know without a shadow of doubt that I am causing much trouble, that I am the reason for such turmoil, that when placed upon the shoulders of my beautiful parents it presents itself as a burden that they should never have to bear.

My self esteem is at an all time low and having said this I do not feel valuable to this family or to my parents. But I had so much going for me, a much loved child, a do gooder in the family ranks, popular and with friends, reasonable intelligence as far as what I showed at school and a promising little sportsman. I thought that I was supposed to coast onto bigger and better things but now there's this demonic diversion. Does anybody else experience this? Or is this just for me? Is it the cup that I must bear? Can what is bad be destined to turn our for good? Dear Lord, I don't even know what that means, it's merely a reflection of my state of confusion. 'If this is your way of teaching me

a lesson, please reveal its meaning quickly, grant me thy Grace that I might recover, and shower me with that peace that surpasses all understanding that I may just live.' I’m being looked upon as the freak, the one who has the supernatural experiences, is in touch with the spiritual and weird in comparison to all else that is arguably normal. Sunday school sessions just don't have that appeal to me anymore, I’m less and less interested in attending. Mum would say, 'now Gray you must go to Sunday School it's very important.' 'Well if it's that important Mum, how about you go?' The idea that God was great, and that my cup runneth over with joy, just didn't ring true in my heart when sung with much gusto within the Church. One portion of a popular song stated, 'since the Lord saved me, I’m as happy as can be, now my cup is full and running over.' As per a little exercise that I had completed during Sunday school I was informed by the Pastor that I was indeed 'saved.' I still remember the night he made a visit to our home, spoke with Mum, and Mum called me outside where the Pastor announced the good news. Now I may not have been the smartest kid on the block, but apparently as per that uplifting song, now that I was saved I was as happy as can be. Later in life I was to learn this catchy little saying, 'talk the talk and walk the walk.' I could say

without fear or favour that this just wasn't happening in my life. We had this rather over zealous Brother from the Church who would never take no for an answer, if ever I showed resistance to attending Sunday School he felt it was his duty to ensure that no matter what, I'd be there. Even my older brother decided to decline going as well, my attitudinal outlook was beginning to become kind of catchy. But he simply knew the crap that I was going through and no doubt he lacked the two very factors that were necessary to ensure that church attendance was upheld, interest and faith. Bluntly put, for mine, I had no interest and you guessed it I had no faith. And I was measuring this by two sure fire unmistakeable indicators, one, I wasn't that happy and two, my cup was indeed full and running over but not with the stuff I was promised.

Bring down the hammer....my Jury is out...... 'Membership declined!'

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