Have you ever pondered the duality of the word “mad”? Trust me when I tell you I have. Insanity or anger. Both play upon human emotion to great extents. Yes, mad is the word that most concerns me now, for reasons you will soon come to realize as I dictate to you my story.
It seems all I have now is time. Time to think. Time to reflect. Time to wonder what could have been. But more importantly, time to ponder what actually happened that glorious night in late November.
But I digress. What I now do with the rest of my life is of no circumstance to anybody. What is important, is what I have accomplished. It seems a tragedy now, that no one will ever realize the immaculate deed that I was able to accomplish. I should be seen as a international hero, no, a legend, with people rejoicing in the streets with the news of my overwhelming task. Yes, it seems as though I have the right to be extremely perturbed in accordance to my current situation. But I’m not. No, I have decided to take the so called “high road”. I know that whatever happens next is not important, and I know what lies in wait for me in the life after this means more than any glory and praise I could ever accumulate on this pitiful plane of existence.
Ever since I was a child I was always different, for a lack of a more suitable word. While other children were outside participating in sports, and playing games, I was always the one watching. Simply sitting on the sidelines watching the game unfold before my eyes. You see, I was never one for competition. I would much rather observe the aesthetic beauty, the story, the play that is life. By the time I started high school, I had made my decision on what I planned to do with my tenure here on earth. I was to join a seminary after high school, and become a priest. Until recently I was never really positive why I was so driven to become a man of the robe. It certainly had nothing to do with delusions of a glamorous lifestyle. No, now I understand why I was called. I of course was to be part of a plan. A plan of immense proportions. A plan that would bear an unbelievable amount of pressure and stress upon me. Most people would stray away from such an endpoint, But not I. I was a young ambitious child, with absolutely nothing to lose. Besides, if the Divine Father himself told you to do him a favor, I trust you would as well.
Yes, the Father came to me one night as a slept. It was a bizarre encounter to say the least. I was lying in my bed, slowly drifting into sleep, when the light in my room was turned on. I tried to ignore the light, and hoped to fall asleep despite it, but my efforts were in vein. It seemed every time I was about to fall asleep, the light would get brighter. As I grew more and more despondent, It seems I would have to disturb myself and walk to turn my light off. But as I opened my eyes to begin my trek to the light switch, I noticed an extremely illuminated corner of my room. My overhead light was turned off, and this was seeming to be the source of the light that was keeping me from sleep. I sat up in my bed, and wiped my eyes, partly to make sure I was not dreaming, and partly because the light was so bright I had little choice. As the light came into focus more, I saw something more. In the center of the light, there appeared an image. It seemed to be a man, but the light was so overwhelming, the only aspect I could make out of it was his silhouette. And not an entire silhouette either. Merely the bust. As if someone were peering over a wall at me, or through a window. At first I was frightened, as anyone would be in that situation. But the fear slowly melted away into inspiration. It was as though this figure had reached into the depths of my soul, and removed everything, every, emotion, memory, hope and dream, and replaced it with will to carry out a divine task. It was at this point I realized who the mysterious shadow standing in the corner of my room was. I tried many times to ask questions, and received only one answer to them all. For hours on end, till the morning of the next day, The figure only repeated one phrase. Every time I would make a statement or ask a question, He would simply reply by stating, “Eliminate the demon”. You would imagine that hearing that over a period of several hours could become monotonous and boring. But no, it wasn’t. Every time the words were said I had a shiver flow down the base of my spine. The hairs stood up on my neck, and I grew more and more anxious.
When the figure and light had finally disappeared hours later, it was already mid-morning, so I ventured to start my day. I went through my normal procedures, morning masses, and out to lunch with several peers afterwards. Although all seemed normal on the surface, I was in absolute turmoil on the inside. I could not figure out for the life of me what I was supposed to do, and the words “Eliminate the demon” kept playing in my head, over and over again. I’m not exactly sure how I came to write the incident off, but eventually all it became was an afterthought. Weeks had gone by, and I was not going to be consumed by a prior isolated incident. I told myself several times that I must have dreamt it, but I knew. I knew to myself I hadn’t gone to sleep that night.
After about three weeks, we were in the month of November. Why is this important you ask? Well, let me enlighten you. Every year our archbishop makes visits to all of his parishes to celebrate one mass for the Christmas season. Everyone of my parishioners, admittedly including I, was eagerly awaiting the phone call that would tell us when we were to be graced with the Cardinal’s visit. And when it came, I was ecstatic. I even mentioned the date and the time of the mass to my parishioners during mass several times leading to the day.
The night before the mass of the Cardinal, I received another telephone call. This one asking me if I would be able to accommodate the Cardinal overnight if he were to arrive early. This was the plan, because of a predicted snowstorm, hard passages, and closed roads. I of course said I would be more than happy to oblige.
The Archbishop arrived close to seven O’clock that Saturday night, while I was in the middle of supper. I welcomed him into my home, and we sat at the table and talked for hours. We talked not only of occupation. We talked of religious philosophy, and interpretation of bible quotes. His knowledge of religions in general astounded me. I could have sat and chatted for several more hours, but it grew late, and both of us eventually retired to our rooms. My rectory did have a spare bedroom, which I had set for the Cardinal.
I had been asleep for many hours, when I was awoken by an extremely cold, and seemingly dreary draft. This breeze seemed to pierce through my beddings, and hit me with every bit of energy it had. I sat up and looked at my windows. Both of them were closed, which made me extremely anxious. Anxious to the point where I could absolutely not return to my peaceful rest. I stepped out of bed, and walked out of my room. I began to slowly walk down the hallway, careful to not disturb his holiness. I had stopped at every doorway along the hall, and checked for any open windows or doors. Nothing seemed to be out of place, when at last I reached the door of the Cardinal. Surely he hadn’t opened a window in the middle of night in November. Even more certainly when there was a blizzard talking place outside. I put my hand upon the door handle, and then it began.
I immediately froze. The same dark and dreary draft that I had felt seemingly materialized within that door handle. As much as I wanted not to, I opened the door to investigate. The Cardinal was in a deep sleep, and of course all of the windows were closed, but I felt it. The breeze grew more and more potent, until it no longer became a breeze. It became a constant state of temperature. It was then that I noticed the Cardinal. He was sleeping with a sheet pulled over his face. I was close to dismissing this, when I noticed a small light within the corner of the room. Yes, there it was again. It was at that moment I knew I wasn’t dreaming, and I knew what I had to do. The figure again began to mutter the words that had been burned into my soul. “Eliminate the demon” echoed within my veins.
It was then I realized my deed. I slowly pulled the sheet away from the cardinals face, and was immediately in a state of shock. It was still the archbishop, but transformed greatly. His eyes were no longer closed. They were glowing red. As two rubies placed in the sun. This eerie glow was slowly followed by more and more transformations, as the Cardinal grew wings similar to those of a bat. His Pure white robes began to grow darker and darker until they were the blackest black imaginable.
Although I was frightened to the extent one has never been, it was over shadowed by the inspiration I was filled with. Divine Inspiration flowed through my like a raging river. I knew that I was about to take part in an epic battle of good and evil, and slowly prepared myself for the worst. But wait, the demon did not move. Even though I could see those hideous glowing eyes as clear as day, it seemed he was still initiated in sleep.
It was then I took my opportunity. I calmly made my way to the basement. I grabbed the most convenient object that I could use as a weapon. It happened to be an old rusty axe which I personally had never had any use for. I pondered my course of action, and came to the most barbaric conclusion.
I stormed into the Cardinals room, knocking the door off it’s hinges. As he sat up and stared in his bed, in oh the most loathsome and grotesque fashion, I wielded my weapon. It was then that I saw his frightened reaction on his face, and I stopped in good conscience. He then slowly looked into my eyes, for an amount of time I do not remember. It could have been five minutes, but it seemed like years. Then the look on his face changed. His eyes lightened even more with the despicable red glow. And he began to crack a smile. It was then that I noticed that the mysterious figure within the room was still present. He seemed to be watching with great interest, but again I cannot be sure. I picked up the axe and rested it on my shoulder. I raised the axe high above my head. The smile this time however did not fade from the demons face in terror. I struck down with all the force that I could muster. I felt the dullness of the blade prevent the axe from piercing skin. I felt the skull of the creature shatter under my blunt object. I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. And then I felt the withdraw of the figure from my house. And that was the last thing I felt. I then fainted, in shock and awe at what I was able to accomplish. I had carried out orders delivered to me from a divine source. I am a hero, I thought to myself as I slowly fell to the ground.
It was not until the next day I awoke. I found myself within the confines of a hospital. As I tried to sit up, I realized I couldn’t. I realized I was strapped to my bed without means of doing absolutely anything other than lay and stare at the ceiling. It did not take me long to realize I had been apprehended by the authorities on charges of murder. I explained to them my story on several different occasions in great detail. Greater detail than I have just dictated to you. They however did not have the patience with me that you have, and I was sent to trial.
That is how I find myself where I am today. Confined within the prison of these padded walls and heavy medication. They do not understand. I cannot expect them to either, if I were told such a story myself I would be skeptical as well. Yes it seems that my life goal has been accomplished. Time is all I have now. Time to sit and Ponder. Madness they call it. Grouping me in with schizophrenics. They dub me mad without giving any warrant to my story at all. Which is why I have shared with you my story. I leave you now with a decision. A decision that I have no say in, and a decision that you will make as soon as you walk out those doors. I tell you now, I know that I am not a madman. But it up to you to distinguish madness from sanity. Tell me now, taking into account the story that I have shared with you. Do you think I come across as mad?