The Circuit Rider
"The Boy Possessed"
By Justin Kennon
The sun burned high in the sky, not a single cloud defended the little settlement from the merciless heat.
The settlement sat in the western territory, in the middle of the American desert, so there were no trees for shade. The only way to stay out of the sun's eye was to stay inside, and even then, there was no escape from the hellish heat.
The buildings in the little mining town were gray, and rough. Some had paint on them. The saloon had its name in red and gold lettering. The sheriffs' had a yellow star, with blue top on each side. Other areas that could afford paint had done so.
"Ah!" The shouts coming from one of the poorer houses in the settlement, filling the ear of everyone in town, causing them turn their heads to where it was coming from.
Inside the house, a young boy, no older than ten snarled and growled like a wild animal. His arms and legs were tied to each of the four posts of a twin bed. He fought and struggled against the ropes. His clothes were worn, and his wrists and ankles where burned from the ropes. The constant screaming scared everyone in the town, especially the boy's parents.
Just outside of town, a Latino man in his late 20s came riding in on a black horse, only using his left hand to steer. His dark eyes hid under the shadow of his black 10-gallon hat, and he wore long, black trench coat. He had what looked like a cross shaped spear on his back. The spearhead was made out of a pure gold that blindly shined from the sun's rays bouncing off of it. The rest was made out of a well-kept oak wood. As he rode into town, everyone looked over with fear and hope. "The circuit rider is here! The circuit rider is here!" They shouted, as if Heaven finally answered their prays.
He slowly got off his horse when he reached the house where the screaming came from. People gathered around him, reaching out to touch him, and beg for salvation. "Take me to the one that is screaming first." The circuit rider told them.
"Yes, yes we well." One of the townsfolk pleaded to him. He turned to the rest of the crowd shouting, "Make way!" at them.
They did as they were told, and he walked up to the house.
Once he was inside, he was greeted by the mother and father of the boy. "Oh thank the Lord that you're here!" the mother cried tears of joy that were originally tears of grief.
"Please, save our son." The father added, tears showing on his cheeks as well.
"I will," he told them, "but I must know when this all started."
The parents were silent for a bit before they answered. "It all started sometime after he went playing in the mines."
"The mines…" The circuit rider hung on to the word. "Did you tell him not to play in those mines?"
"Yes, we did." The mother told him this time.
The circuit rider turned his head away from the parents. "Commandment 5, Colossians 3:20," he whispered under his breath.
"What is that?" The mother asked, hearing him speak.
The circuit rider slowly looked back at the two, his eyes unable to hold a cold stare, or a merciful one. "Honor thy father and thy mother." He told them, "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord."
Neither parent completely knew want he was getting at, but they had some idea. "You're saying… our boy… was possessed… because he didn't listen to us?" The mother asked.
"It could be that the mines have an opening to Hell somewhere. His disobediences only help the demon to possess him." The rider explained to the parents. "Don't worry. I will save your boy, but you and I will have a strict talking with him after I do."
"Okay." The father softy nodded. The circuit rider started to head up the stairs, when the father grabbed his arm. "Please, just save our little boy." He pleased.
The circuit rider just nodded and continued up the stairs. Once he entered the room, he saw the boy on the bed still failing. There was a chair next to the bed, and a small, hand-made dresser, nightstand, and desk. The possessed boy turned to look at him, a dark smile crawling on his face.
"Well Hell-o," the voice seemed almost comical, if it wasn't so menacing in tone. "Who, my master, are you?"
The circuit rider's face hardened, as he made his way to the chair. "My name is not important," he told the demon, taking his golden cross off his back with his left hand, and setting it up at the foot of the bed, before taking off his jacket. The inside of the jacket was full of tools used to expel demons. Mainly bottles of holy water and salts, a Bible, and bandages but something made the possessed boy smile. The rider's right arm was bandaged up to his elbow, and wrapped in a sling close to his chest. This arm seemed strangely larger than the left, however, as he took a seat, and pulled out the Bible and holy water. "For I come in the name of The True Master."
"Oh, are you going to read me a bedtime story." The voice changed to a more childish one, but it was still not the boy's voice.
The circuit rider just stared, opening his Bible, setting it in his lap, and opened the bottle of holy water. He started to read verses from the Bible, as he splashed the holy water on the boy. His weapon seemed to glow brighter the more he recited over and over.
The demon in the boys screamed in pain, but still talked to the circuit rider. "Aw! Why don't… you give up! I will… never leave! You're better off… using… that thing… you have bandaged up!"
The rider paused a bit, ending the exorcism, before it could be completed. He dropped the holy water, breaking on the floor, as he pushed his right arm closer into his chest.
The possessed boy breathed heavily, but turned and smiles in his victory. "I knew… it wouldn't… work…" it laughed at him, proud that he would break the rider focus. "Why don't you… use that thing… you have hidden away?"
The rider's anger only grew, as he slammed the Bible on the nightstand, getting up from the chair, and pulling out another bottle of holy water. He started the exorcism again; this time shouting the words out, and splashing the water faster onto the boy, as the cross glowed brighter and brighter and brighter.
After what felt like hours, the demon shot out of the boy, flying around in circles, howling in pain.
The rider didn't want this thing to get away that easily, so he did as suggested. "You wanted me to use my right hand!" He shouted at the still flying demon, he grabbed his bandages, and unraveled them, revealing the bone white claw and scaly arm nearly reached his elbow. "You get your wish!" He reached out, and grabbed the demon.
He pulled the demon so they were face to face. The rider's face was stone cold, as the demon wavered in fear, murmuring. The demon was imp size, pink, with tiny horns on his head, and a short tail.
"I am going to make sure you never come back, or want to ever come back again." He then looked over at the cross along with the demon, and that caused the demon to shake more.
"Please…" it begged for mercy, "I promise… to never return at all…"
"That cross is made from the gold that covers the streets of Heaven." He ignored the demon's plea. "It is nearly impossible to receive such a gift from God." He carried the demon over, as it tried to escape. "Only the good and pure can touch, let alone old it. Those with evil thoughts and desires, or of pure evil, burn away into nothingness."
Once they reach the cross, the rider slammed the demon into it, as the imp screamed louder than it ever screamed in its eternal life. There was a light coming from the cross that blinded and filled the whole room. Once it was done, the rider started screaming, as he was now grabbing the cross with the hand with the claw bone hand.
He quickly let go of the cross, and pulled out his bandages and holy water, and started wrapping his right arm back up again. "Not even ashes remain." He spoked, looking down at this right hand, still bandaging it up.
Once he was done, he looked over at the boy and found him sleeping peacefully. A small smile came across his lips, and he grabbed his stuff, heading downstairs to speak to the parents.
"Is he all right?" The mother asked him, getting up from her chair as she saw him coming in.
"His sleeping," the rider told them, "but I still want to talk to him with you after he wakes up."
"Of course." The father said this time, joining his wife. "Is there anything else we can do for you? Seeing how you did so much for us."
"I'd like to stay here with you till Monday, so I can keep an eye on the boy to make sure he will be alright, and that he will learn to listen to you. I also want expel any demonic forces that may still be hiding in the mines."
"Yes, you may stay." The mother nodded.
"You are welcome to stay as long as you like." The father agreed. "You can stay downstairs on the couch… if that's okay with you?" He lowered his head. It was such a small reward for saving his son's soul.
"I'll be happy to." He told them, smiling. "I've slept in far worse areas in my travels."
"Then it's settled!" The father said, shaking the rider's good hand. "What is your name by the way?"
He paused, looking down at his right arm. "Call me… Just call me the Circuit Rider."
"Okay Mr. Rider, welcome to the family."