The womb of the mountain was honey combed with caves in which thickets of darkness extravagantly grew except in small patches where they were scythed down by an unnatural glow. The light was wan and seemed to shimmer. The lamps which emitted them were not visible to the ordinary eye. There was something eerie about this place, a diabolic presence that made one’s skin crawl.
Further beneath the mountain, some rooms held babies and pregnant women. They hung from hooks in the roofs, throats slit and blood dripping into large vats placed directly beneath the red tide of their lives’ essence. Some had dropped onto the ground and congealed. The Lord of the flies ruled here, his army of huge green insects through the straw of their proboscises fed on the blood with rapacious relish. The smell of fresh and stale blood suffused the air. Most of the victims were dead. The still living but slowly dying uttered whimpers, unending waves of agony and despair that rippled through the cave. It was a place of blood and death.
Following the trail into the heart of the earth, beautiful music filled the tunnels. A river of melody that made the buds of the senses explode with delight. The strains caressed and carried one into a chamber in which the most horrific graven image resided. The image was built like a seat and in its laps with a goblet of fresh blood sat the originator of the music, The Prince of Darkness. He took ceaseless sips from the crystal leaving a bloody moustache on his lower lip. Sighing with pleasure, he dropped the glass and picked up a harp. He strummed and plucked in harmony to the unending sweet tunes emanating from his throne.
Before him was an altar on which a baby was bound hands and feet. A sharp twisted knife was quickly slashed across her jugular and the blood drained into the gutters lining the altar from which the Prince and his worshippers filled their cups. The baby was then carried to the hanging room to finish draining, while another was hurriedly placed in her previous position.
Drinking, bowing, prostrating and slashing themselves with blunt knives, his worshippers toasted his health chanting “may your kingdom never cease”. The Prince was replete with satisfaction. The worship he craved and could not get from the Son of man was what he was getting so freely from the ones created in Adonai’s image. He rabidly abhorred man but thoroughly enjoyed his worship. The reason he was expelled from heaven was what he was getting from earth in massive doses. His pride swelled and the power of it all made him giddy. As they worshiped him, his domain grew in power.
He could not believe the commitment his worshippers displayed. The level of sacrifice they made to become wholly his. The display of affection and their obedience to his cause placed him on top of the world. They killed their conscience and became willing tools in his hand and through them he wrecked havoc on the world. Their service to his kingdom was impeccable and their dedication actually boggled his mind. They were committed to the point of giving their lives.
His lair had laboratories where explosives, ammunitions, guns and biological agents were prepared. There were entertainment and musical studios that churned out tons of decadent materials for subterfuge. He was out for the spirit, soul and body. His attendants, scientists and creative artists worked tirelessly night and day. With his willing minions, the earth would ultimately go up in smoke with the amount of malevolence he was unleashing…
He rose up arms extended, head turned to the ceilings and shouted “The time has come again my sons to steal, kill and destroy. Let the world feel the wrath of the Morning Star.”
His people equipped themselves with the worst kind of weapons mankind had ever seen. Stocked to the nines, they were ready in no time. Taking another sip from his cup, his eyes turned crimson red with streaks of green as he screamed….“GO!”
They left, bats of destruction geared towards releasing a tsunami of horror on the earth. The Prince of Hades kept standing, his laughter insanely roaring. The mountains echoed with the wild guffaw of a totally mad man….
On the other side of town, high up on the mountain ranges where the snowy peaks kissed the blue clouded skies stood a large temple. It was glassy and large and rays of sunshine glinted off the crystal, giving it a perpetual golden hue. Situated in a way that made sunny rays blaze on it continually, the temple was never dark. This was in keeping with the huge letters that adorned the roof “THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!” Paradoxically, moss like shadows clung to the building, filtering away rays of light and shrouding parts of it in gloom. Outside the temple gates were heaps of discoloured salt that had been thrown out and trampled upon.
Inside, the temple was divided into three with an outermost, middle and inner chambers. Most of the congregation was in the outer portion of the building. Strewn carelessly all over the temple were weapons of war. Gathering dust on the floor, swords, shields, breastplates, mail garments and helmets littered the sanctuary. There was also an abundance of moth eaten, broken crosses carelessly discarded all around. Spiders had been assiduously working on their looms weaving and covering most things in sight with their webby garments. The place was dinghy and cold. The altar’s fireplace was full of coal which had grown grey with age. No flames had crackled there in a long time.
Amongst the parishioners, some were trading, selling olive oil, magazines, religious paraphernalia and artefacts. Their voices rose as they quibbled and haggled. Not far from them, a young man’s hand nestled on the swell of a lady’s hip, hot images of a night of canoodling fluttering in his mind like candle flames. In another room, eternal scrolls were locked up in a glass box while a number of people had a heated discussion on philosophy and homiletics. The buzz saw noise of snoring could be heard from members in different attitudes of sleep on the pews. The slow river of saliva dripped from the corners of mouths opened to the heavens. Interspersed amongst them were others reading newspapers and soft sell publications with utmost concentration.
Before the altar was another cluster of folks who fervently supplicated. Energetic, jerky, shaky, nodding, shouting, jumping, punching, they prayed holding sheets with long lists. A closer look showed that they were lists of wants, cars, kids, houses, spouses, jobs, ad infinitum.
The happiest people in the room had their feet in traps they were oblivious to. Their lives were haemorrhaging way from the wounds caused by the snare but they continued having delirious fun. A closer inspection revealed that the traps were branded “The World”.
Another group had hung their Davidic worship instruments and were spell bound by the songs of a half clad superstar from the valley below.
A tray on the altar held stale, crusty bread and wine that had gone sour. Vats that used to brim with special perfumed oil now had few drops. Some were even totally dry and broken all together. Doves frustratingly fluttered about looking for whom to perch on and found none.
The research centres within the complex were bare and derelict. The antidotes to the poisons meant to destroy the worlds were supposed to be manufactured here but the people in charge had joined the throng. The custodians of creativity were nowhere to be found. Some had even crossed over to the other temple because of the lure of gold.
Going from the outer court to the inner, the passage increasingly narrowed until only one person could go in at a time. The passage way opened into a large golden hall where Winged messengers could be seen carrying crowns, priestly garments and other gifts.
A beautiful throne sat in the centre. So much grace showed in the stunning lines of the seat. On it sat The High Priest, carrying injuries on his hands and feet. Sweat poured copiously from his face mixing with his tears as He interceded for his children in the outer rooms.
His loved ones had gotten slothful in business and in the fervency of serving him. Their love for the culture of the valley below had made them drop their crosses and stopped them from following Him, The Shepherd of their souls. The thorns of the care and lust had choked their fruitfulness; the abandoned weapons of their warfare were now rusty and broken. Soldiers were living like civilians. He desperately searched for a man!
As He prayed, his loved ones prattled on about inconsequential things. Nonchalance, apathy and ignorance showed in their conduct. As they snoozed in the temple, outside there were sudden eruptions of explosions, screams and cries as the enemy pillaged, plundered, raped, stole, murdered and destroyed mercilessly…yet the called out ones slept on….
…WOE UNTO THEM THAT ARE AT EASE IN ZION…
© 2014 Ekpo Ezechinyere
All images from Google.