The cars engine spluttered and coughed for the last time as he parked his ‘Popemobile’ outside the house of one of his parishioners in Crabapple Close Gurnos Merthyr Tydfil.
He hoped that the first time this call was genuine.
He really wanted to do battle with the Devil face to face .
He looked up at the bedroom window and could see a luminous eerie glow inside.
His bumper sticker ‘Honk if you love the Lord’ was the only sign that he was a
Man of God ….that and the small silver image of a fish attached to the back.
Silverfishes were common in that part of the world.
This was the only Church courtesy car available to him -as the previous two in the trinity had been stolen by joy-riders - when he was coincidentally also on house calls.
This was one of the reasons why no longer anyone had a Wedding Reception in the Gurnos – the other was they would know you were away from home for the day.
Father Afield was a Catholic Priest and new to the area but he had learned the hard way that the Ten Commandments were broken daily in the Gurnos.
The Holy Man was also a Quaker as tonight he had received a call from his boss – one Bishop Hedley- that as locum priest for the neighbour parish of Penydarren that he was needed to conduct his first exorcism.
Whilst he had complete Faith in God, he wasn’t sure he ready to take on his opposite number.
After locking his car, putting on the steering wheel lock , car alarm and four’ Denver Boots’ he picked up his bible and crucifix and made his way up the small path to the front door.
He looked nervously at the eaves of the house which bore gargoyles, water spouts and a series of horseshoe pendants on the front door.
Some-one was clearly trying to keep evil away or trap it inside the house.
He genuflected and blessed himself before he knocked on the door.
His knees were knocking louder than the engine of the Proton ‘Trinity’ Car that he had arrived in.
The door creaked open and the Priest was relieved to see that he was met by a Court Bailiff known local as Swifty.
“ She’s upstairs…..she’s in some kind of trance….I am frightened to go near her…if you hadn’t come….I’d have had to put the eviction off till next month!” said the Bailiff – full name- Jonathon Swift.
Inside the house, Afield could see all the deadly signs of connection with the Occult.
Hanging from the ceiling were several Red Indian dream catchers, tarot cards were strewn everywhere and a Ouija Board was set in the middle of ‘living room’.
The Bailiff not a man to be easily frightened was ashen-faced and had aged in the time he had been left alone in the house.
The house stank of cat faeces and sour milk.
The Father said another prayer before he took his first step towards the bedroom.
The bailiff followed behind him as close as he could without touching the Priest.
He was frightened that the woman was a witch and that her mere presence had turned the milk sour .
The higher they got the colder the house became and once they reached the landing their breath was visible in the dark passageway.
The Priest tried to rationalise events- perhaps the electricity had been cut off because of the recent price hikes by the greedy foreign energy companies that monopolised the utility suppliers.
There was no light save as to an eerie glow from under the main bedroom door and of course that coming through the obligatory Gurnos punch-mark in the bedroom door.
The Priest tried the round door handle but as he touched it burned his hand.
He recoiled in horror as did the bailiff who was less than an altar boy’s distance from the priest.
“ Please be careful in there Father…it’s dangerous…some of the local kids are too frightened to even vandalise the house because they say she is going to give birth to the Anti-Christ!” whispered Swifty.
Taking off his hat, he put it over the burning door handle and turned the knob.
It came off in his hand.
It was the Story of the eternal bachelor’s life.
Reading from his Guttenberg bible, the door suddenly swung open without being physically touched- this really impressed Swifty.
“If you ever leave God’s Service….there’s always a job with us if you want it!” said the bailiff.
“ Never underestimate the power of prayer!” said the Priest feeling more confident by the remark but inside knowing he had stood on some dodgy floorboards.
Peering around the door frame, the Priest and the Bailiff stared at the scene that greeted them.
The room was lit only by a series of ‘lava’ lamps but they could make out that the woman tenant Rosemary Bede was naked on the bed.
As Father Afield plucked up the courage to enter the room, he could see that she was white as a sheet, perspiring and had a huge distended belly….she looked drugged out of her mind.
Bailiff Swifty re-assured him that this was how Gurnos women normally looked and not to be afraid.
Raising his crucifix in his right hand he stepped into the room.
The woman without opening her eyes somehow sensed the arrival of the Priest.
Like Jeremy Irons in the film ‘The Mission’ Crucifix held high in the air - covering his face- he walked towards the woman.
All of a sudden sharp metallic objects began propelling themselves through the air at the priest impacting on the magnetic cross.
The priest could see they were being fired from a ‘lady part’ that he didn’t even know existed.
It was the first time he had encountered a ‘Twat-apult’.
Tarot cards swirled in the air like caught in Superstorm Sandy and one card ‘ the fool’ landed on the open page of the Book of Revelation.
Right foot in the air, hovering above the centre of a Pentagram or Seal of Solomon Father Afield felt like he was in the middle of a hurricane, as an invisible force, like a fan on full force blew his hat off.
As he stepped on the centre of the Pentagram, he fell head first through the ceiling, landing noisily in the kitchen below.
Bailiff Swifty rushed back down the stairs to tend to the injured.
“ That was the work of the devil incarnate!” said the shaken priest still clutching the bible and crucifix.
“ No… that was Merthyr Valley Homes carpenters….they forgot to put some floorboards in …I’ve done that before myself!” said Swifty.
Dusting himself down Father Afield looked at the crucifix…it was covered in gold rings, bracelets , gold and silver earrings… all potential stingers from the golden honey pot.
They had somehow or other become attracted to the Holy Relic.
Father Afield often felt a ‘little cross’ that poor people seemed to throw their meagre possessions at the richest religious organisation in the World….but after all business was business.
He climbed the stairs a little more confidently now.
The Demon had won round one but now he was angry.
As he reached the bedroom door it slammed in his face again.
As if unseen hands or black cotton strings were working it.
This time it was personal.
He booted the door open and eye-balled Rosemary Bede which was quite difficult as her head was spinning on its axis like it was a plate on a stick.
The Priest read from his Bible a list of demon names
“ Come out Azaiel….. Beelzebub…… Mephistocles….Wormwuse…. Zool…. as he trotted through from the grimoire …until finally he arrived at the right name…
On the mention of ‘Nandos’ – a jet of projectile vomit shot through the air passing over the top of the cross splattering all over his face and hair.
“ Why couldn’t I have been a born a Buddhist….he said questioning his faith…at least a statue of the ‘enlightened one’ would have stopped me being enlightened!” he said black tunic dripping with yellow sick.
Bailiff Swifty had witnessed the whole thing but had missed the pea-souper.
“ There is another 57 varieties to come yet!” he said reassuringly “ try and get to the witch to ‘scratch’ her- as long as your draw her blood on your cross…she will lose her power!” said Swifty from a safe distance.
The rainbow torrent of putrid stomach bile continued to pour out in the direction of the Priest who took it all on the chin.
Diced carrots trapped themselves in his Mo-Vember beard.
Almost magically, on the bed Rosemary’s Baby started to disappear…but then she started to let out the most disgusting sulphur farts…which started to lift her body as if on air jets above the surface of the bed.
“ Look she is transcending…!” said the frightened Bailiff.
The Priest could see she had used several pairs of counterfeit jeans to raise herself up- to give the illusion of ‘levi’-tation.
The woman opened her red eyes and lifted both her arms which contained both a witch ‘poppet’ and a nail .
She proceeded to stab the doll of the bailiff right in his little Mascot Coat.
Clutching his heart- if he had one- he fled in terror into the night.
Only to be sent home by the Casualty Department at the Queen Camilla Hospital as a result.
No sooner than the bailiff had left the room seemed mysteriously to come back to normal.
The Priest felt something was not right – the creature was a little devil all right- but not the real deal.
Rosemary Bede winked at the Priest and wiped away the drool from her mouth.
“ Not the Anti-Christ…I ate a chicken intended for my cats….it was soaked in
Anti-FREEZE… it made my stomach swell….great for getting rid of that Bailiff mind…!”
“I can’t go back to the Court again….I owe nearly £6,000.00 in back rent as you…he was threatening me with a Warrant of Execution…. Luckily we wear our wealth in the Gurnos Hood…I had to find a place for my stash….that reminds me…!”
She reached down to the golden crucifix and pulled a lot of old Ratners off that had attached itself to the Relic.
Picking up the Holy Book she asked the astonished Priest.
“ Is there anything in the Ten Commandments that says ‘Thou shalt pay thy Rent?’”
“ No….but I think you had better be careful dabbling with the Black Arts…or you could end up getting properly Re-Possessed!” warned the Churchman.