Hello. You may call me Lucien. I am a full grown man, but I’d like to share with you something that happened to me as a child. Something… terrible. I was only seven years old at the time, but the imagery remains fresh in my memory. It’s a scar that won’t ever fully heal. It’s days like today that I find myself overwhelmed and unable to focus on anything but my own repressions. As such, I feel a need to share my tale.
I was an only child. I grew up in a small town near Detroit, Michigan with my parents. It was a close-knit community where everyone knew one another. The glue that held everyone together was an old church located at the center of town.
Whether they were religious or not, almost everyone went to this church. It was the one place everyone could get together, re-connect, and catch up after a long week’s worth of work. Not only that, but everyone loved the pastor and his wife. They were respected members of the community.
There were very few individuals who didn’t indulge in a Sunday outing to the church. My parents and I fell into this category. The reason being, my parents were Satanists.
Before you get your knickers in a bunch, it’s not what you think. They didn’t sacrifice animals in the name of our dark lord, Lucifer. It wasn’t anything like that. They practiced a more practical form of Satanism.
When my parents were younger, before they had me, they met a man by the name of Jack Grovewood. He had formed a small group of self-proclaimed Satanists and convinced my mom and dad to join. It was less about worshipping an invisible god and more about free thinking and rational discourse. The group used Satanism as a platform to oppose traditional religious practices and to promote their own ideals.
Though my parents lost touch with Mr. Grovewood, they continued to live by his doctrine. Because of this, they refused to go to the church in town. Naturally, I never went either. I was only seven years old, but I was astute enough for my parents to explain to me why we didn’t go to church like everyone else. I didn’t fully understand their beliefs, but I respected their choice.
One thing that my parents emphasized was that I was not to tell anyone, not even my friends, about anything they had told me. I couldn’t so much as say the word “Satan” out in public. They told me that no one else in town would understand, and they would hate us if word got out about our religious beliefs. My mom made me wrap my pinky around hers and swear that I wouldn’t breathe a word of it to anyone. My mom knew that pinky promises were a powerful thing to a seven year old. What she didn’t know was that friendship was even more powerful.
Of all of my friends, Amy was my favorite. She also happened to be the pastor’s daughter. Every time her mother, Ruth, dropped her off for a play date, she’d try to rope my parents into coming to a Sunday sermon. My parents would always give them a “we’re too busy” bullshit explanation followed by the classic “maybe next time”. Ruth would adorn a frown of disappointment, and that would be that.
One day while my parents were talking to Ruth, Amy turned to me with a quizzical look on her face.
“So, why don’t your parents go to church with us?”
“I’m not supposed to talk about it.” I said.
“Come on! You can tell me anything.”
“I really can’t talk about it, Amy.”
“We’re best friends. We’re supposed to tell each other everything.”
Amy put on a look of disappointment, not unlike her mom’s. I felt bad not telling her, but what was I supposed to do? My parents asked me not to and my mom made me pinky promise. Even so, Amy’s sad eyes cut right through me. She was my best friend, and it wasn’t like she would tell anyone, right?
“Okay, Amy. My parents are Satanists.”
“Sata-what?” she asked.
“Satanists. Ya know, Satan? Like the devil? They believe in him, not God. That’s why we don’t go to church.”
“Oh, okay. I guess that makes sense.”
After that, Amy dropped the subject. We then went to play in the backyard, like we usually did. I had broken a promise to my mom, but I felt good confiding in Amy. We really were good friends, after all. But at age seven, it doesn’t take much to become friends. That’s why childhood friendships are referred to as such. They rarely last to adulthood. Little did I know, mine and Amy’s friendship would end that very year.
It was seemingly a day like any other for myself. I went to school, played with friends, and then started heading home. While walking, my friend Kevin caught up with me.
“Meet us at Amy’s house! We’re going to play hide and seek in the field!”
Kevin ran away as fast as he’d run up to me. His news was exciting. Amy lived in an old farmhouse that was surrounded by a corn field. Every now and again, her parents would let us come over and play in it. This must have been one of those days. I picked up the pace and hoofed it in the direction of the farmhouse.
I arrived at Amy’s house about an hour after I left school. None of my friends were there. This wasn’t surprising. I assumed they’d all met up in the middle of the field at the mothership.
The mothership was a makeshift crop circle that we’d all made a year back. Our plan was to make it large enough for aliens to see it from outer space. Then they could land there and we could meet them. We started calling the flattened patch of land “the mothership” and used it as a meeting spot whenever we played at Amy’s house.
I threw my backpack on the ground and headed off into the maze of corn stalks. It used to be scary walking through there alone, but after a year of doing it, I knew the path to the mothership by heart. I made it there in about three minutes flat.
There, standing in a circular formation, was all of my friends. Kevin, Billy, Mabel, and Amy. I walked over to them to see what was going on.
“Did you guys start yet?” I asked.
“Nope.” Kevin said.
“We were waiting for you.” said Billy.
“Okay. So who’s counting?”
“Last one to the mothership counts. You know the rules.” Billy said.
He was right. I had hoped they’d slip up and choose someone else. I always hated counting.
“No peeking.” Kevin said with a weird grin on his face.
I walked into the middle of the circle, closed my eyes, put my hands over them, and began counting.
“1… 2… 3…”
As I counted, I heard the familiar crunch of corn stalks beneath the feet of my friends. I could tell they were in a hurry to hide.
“4… 5… 6…”
Normally the sound of my friends shuffling around would get quieter and quieter as they walked further away, but it seemed as though it was getting louder.
“7… 8… 9…”
Just as I was about to call out the last number and open my eyes, I was tackled to the ground. I heard Billy’s voice on the descent.
I opened my eyes to see my good friends, punching and kicking me as hard as they could. I cried out in pain. I saw Amy off in the distance with her head in her hands. That’s when I knew that she had told them my secret.
I did the only thing that came to mind.
All at once, my beating had stopped. We had always used the term “time out” to call for a ceasefire in all of our games. I had a feeling they might stop, if only out of habit. It would be a chance to try and talk things out.
“Why are you doing this to me?” I asked.
Billy let out a smug laugh before retorting.
“Amy told us that your parents worship the devil. That makes you and your folks a bunch of demons.”
Kevin chimed in.
“Yeah. My Pa says anyone who worships the devil deserves to die for their sins.”
Mabel joined in.
“That’s right! You and your parents are freaks!”
As quickly as it had stopped, the beating recommenced. The physical pain was immense. The tears rolled down my face as I watched my friends pummel me into the ground. The worse part was the hatred in their eyes. I will never ever forget that.
Just as I was about to lose consciousness, I heard a woman’s voice in the distance.
“What is going on out here?!”
Ruth came storming into the clearing. Kevin, Billy, Mabel, and Amy turned to face her and froze in place.
“Is that… what have you done?!”
Ruth pushed the kids aside and ran to my aid, clearly devastated by my condition. Billy spoke up as she tried to comfort me.
“Him and his parents are devil worshippers. Tell her, Amy!”
Ruth looked at me and then over to her daughter.
“Is this true, Amy?”
Amy reluctantly nodded.
Ruth placed me back on the ground then stood up.
“You kids head back to the house! That’s an order!”
Amy and the rest of them ran through the corn stalks to get back to the house, fearful of Ruth. I was happy to be alive, and thankful for her saving me. I’d have thanked her verbally, but I was in no condition to speak. Not with how many times I’d been kicked in the neck.
Instead of picking me up and bringing me back to the house with the others, Ruth looked over at me once more, seemingly disgusted, and then walked away. I was confused more than anything, but I couldn’t even lift an arm to help myself, let alone think for a second about what was happening. Within a matter of minutes, I passed out.
I awoke to the sound of hammering. I opened my eyes, slowly. After letting them adjust to the light, I was able to discern the source of the sound. It was Amy’s mom. I was still in the mothership, and now Ruth was back, hammering a thick wooden stake into the ground. As baffling as this was, I would only become more baffled as her actions continued.
After securing the stake in the ground, Ruth came over to me and picked me up. She sat me up against the stake. She then grabbed some rope and began tying it around me. I was still unable to speak or move, so I had no choice but to give in to her will.
Once I was fastened to the pole, Ruth walked over to the edge of the clearing. There, I could see some more of the things she’d brought out with her. Two things worth noting were a large toolbox and some sort of plastic basin. I didn’t know why she needed them or what she was up to.
Ruth brought her items over and looked at me. She could see that I was on the verge of passing out again. That’s when she gave me a firm and swift smack to the face.
“Stay awake, boy!”
The pain in my cheek jolted me into an upright position. I was now fully alert. I noticed Ruth open up the toolbox and grab a syringe. I instinctually became frightened at the sight of it. After flicking it a few times, she held it up to my arm and looked me straight in the eye.
“We’ll get those demons out of you yet.”
She jabbed the needle into my skin – much harder than a doctor would, and injected me with a clear liquid. It’s my best guess that this was holy water. I tried to scream in agony, but my vocal cords were completely fried from the beating I’d endured. No one would be able to hear me out there.
After a few more injections, Ruth moved on to different methods. She grabbed the basin and began filling it with more holy water. After it was full, she brought it over to me and held it up to my face.
“If we can’t expel the demons from your body, we’ll have to drown them.”
Ruth vigorously dipped my head into the basin with her free hand, holding me underwater just long enough before I’d have actually drowned. She pulled my hair and yanked my head out to which I heard her reciting bible verses. She then dipped my head under again. This continued for what felt like a lifetime.
I nearly drowned on the last dunk. She pulled me out and I could barely see straight. A few more slaps to the face fixed this. Giving up on this method, I watched as Ruth started gathering loose pieces of cornstalk. She was frantic in her efforts, all the while mumbling under her breath. The only words I could make out were “Jesus Christ” and “demons”.
Ruth piled the cornstalk pieces all around the stake and on top of me. I had no idea what her next move would be, but I was not looking forward to it. I noticed that she had kept a few pieces to herself. She took these and dipped them in the basin that I had almost lost my life in. She then pulled a lighter out of the toolbox.
Ruth held the cornstalks up and lit them on fire with the lighter. I was petrified.
“May you and your demons die by holy fire.”
Ruth tossed her makeshift torch onto the pile with the rest. The flame started to spread. I began crying, uncontrollably. My life was over.
I thought about my parents and how I’d never see them again. I even thought about Amy. She may have sold me out, but I knew she didn’t mean for any of this to happen. She was still my best friend and I was going to miss her terribly – wherever it was I would be going. Just as I was about to close my eyes and accept my fate, there was a noise from the edge of the clearing.
As if an answer to my prayers, Amy and her father, the pastor, came running over. Her dad looked absolutely horrified.
“Ruth! What in tarnation is going on?!”
He ran over and quickly put out the fire with his robes. He didn’t seem to care that they were now ruined.
“You don’t understand! There are demons within him! His parents are Satanists!” Ruth exclaimed.
The pastor made sure the fire was out completely, turned around slowly, and looked at his wife.
“I don’t care if they killed the President and the Pope all in one fell swoop! Since when does anything make it okay to go around killing children?! The devil isn’t in the boy, Ruth. He’s in you.”
The pastor picked me up and ran me back to the house. He and Amy hopped in their car and they rushed me to the hospital. I fell asleep on the ride there.
Long story short, I was treated and made a full recovery. My parents met me at the hospital and spoke with the pastor. I couldn’t make out what they said, in my groggy state, but he seemed to be apologizing profusely. Once I was cleared to go, my parents took me the hell out of there.
That was the last time I saw Amy, or her dad. It was the last time I saw anyone in that town. Without even a second of hesitation, my parents left everything behind and drove far, far away. They wanted to keep me safe, above all else. I appreciate the sacrifice they made for me.
It was tough for a while, but we pressed on. My parents continued to practice their unique brand of Satanism, and I even followed in their footsteps. The terrible experience I had as a child has helped shape me for the better. No one should be ostracized for their way of thinking. No one should be bullied for what they believe in. And no one should be beaten and tortured to the brink of death because of who they are.
I’ve taken these and various other ideals and opened up my own church. The front door says “The Satanic Temple”, but really that’s just a front to get our point across. At our core, we seek to promote a hot commodity in this day and age – common sense.
We are open to any and all visitors. You can come in, learn about our teachings and look at our beautiful displays. If you want, you can even join our little club. It’s small now, but it is growing. Soon enough, the world will come around to a more rational way of thinking.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Christopher_MaximWrite a Review