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HE HELD HIS head slightly lowered, peering at everyone around in somewhat disdain.

“No way,” Lee Davies was thinking. “No damn way!”

This couldn’t be Alan Prince, the boy who tried taking his own life and had been unconscious for the last week, who was now physically present in the hall with them, chained to the floor!

No way!

When the immediate awe settled fully on everyone, a murmur of astonishment and hushed exclamations sandwiched between words of prayer lifted into the air from several of the women at once.

Samantha Prince shrank back in denial and horror. Detective Lee Davies stood beside her stiffly, eyes intent on this person in the hall with hands unconsciously suspended in mid-air as if he was trying to grab onto thin air for support.

The creepy gaze of the ‘new’ Alan Prince swept across the hall tentatively as he took a moment to glare at each of the people, noting the trepidation on their faces. But his gaze lingered longer on Samantha.

His mother.

He seemed insidious and morbidly evil as he contemplated every inch of her forebodingly, spitefully. “Won’t you come and embrace me, Mother?” he said, his voice low and icy. “I long for your embrace.”

Samantha shuddered, her lips trembling. Then unable to look at him anymore, she lifted her hands to her face and cowered behind Davies, turning away.

“Be gone!” commanded the Mother Divine suddenly, in a stern voice, stepping forward to point at the boy with the scepter in her hand. “I adjure you, be gone, Demon!”

But Alan Prince turned slowly and merely stared at the girl, raised his finger as though to emphasize a sublime point. “I believe I do have the right to be here, just like every one of you.”

“You have no right to enter this sanctuary, Demon!” returned the girl, through clenched lips, fixing a hard stare on the being. “This is holy ground.”

Alan Prince snorted, shook his head. “Even so, Mother Divine; yet I have come because of her. She’s my mother, after all. Woman, behold your son,” he added with a sour countenance, quoting the words of Jesus when He spoke to His mother concerning His beloved disciple, John.

“She has sought refuge here, under protection of the Light and you cannot harm her,” said the Mother Divine, unflinching in her disposition.

In response, the character laughed softly to denigrate the girl and her faith. Then he eyed her in a vile, dismissive manner. “I have no trouble with you, Mother Divine.”

“Why?” said the girl, matching his stare.

The demon laughed scenically, revealing a set of white, well-cut teeth. His eyes flitted over to Samantha for a moment. Then he turned his gaze back to the Mother Divine. “She is a sinner deserving of judgment.”

“Well, aren’t we all sinners? Yet the Father is willing that none should perish,” said the young girl, looking at him.

Alan Prince seemed startled by her position, and he glowered at her viciously, lips pursed and fists tightened.

At the far side of the hall, the women were engulfed in their prayers to expel the foul spirit, with holy books in hand, chanting the words of the verses with nervous, stuttering lips. Their heads jerked and shook impulsively with the fervency of their prayers and their eyes stared wildly, fastened on the page before them.

The demon paused and shifted his wandering gaze to the Sisters, surprised yet unperturbed by their activity.

“Why do you want her?” said the Mother Divine, drawing Alan’s attention away from the ongoing prayer.

“And why not?” he answered, tilting his head sideways as he glared at her. “She made me who I am.”

There was a brief, intense silence. The girl stared at the demon with a frown on her young face that suddenly seemed severe with the burden of many spiritual assignments. She locked glances with Alan Prince and realized that what he meant was something far more severe than bringing forth a child physically.

She made me.

Then the demon turned slowly with a menacing look in his eyes and looked at Samantha. Her heart beat furiously within her chest, threatening to go into a cardiac arrest if it didn’t slow down soon.

You made me. You’re my mother.

The words were a brutal stab in Samantha’s guts, almost numbing her. The sheer terror in her grew with the words echoing in her head. This person, this demon staring at her in the hall, had access into her mind! It could speak directly into her head without necessarily using audible words, just like he just did, and the knowledge chilled Samantha to the core of her being in a frightening, surreal way.

Come and embrace your son, Mother.

And the hall echoed with the sound of Alan’s haunting laughter that only Samantha Prince could hear in her soul!

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