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The boy felt some guilt for the fact he’d taken Beth to Father Kerry. The pain she went through after the man of the cloth had put the crucifix against her head seemed to have been excruciating. Yet, it also showed she needed help. That she actually was possessed by a demon.

“Unbelievable,” Father Kerry said, glancing at the smoke coming from his crucifix.

“That… Hurt…” Beth said, exasperated.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Father Kerry said.

“You will have to continue though,” Beth told him. “Get that thing out of me.”

“As I told you before, I’m not an exorcist. I will need to dive into the books for a minute to read what I need to do. I always have had a keen interest in the subject, but that’s all.”

“Go ahead. I’ll wait,” Beth said.

“All right then,” Father Kerry said and walked over to the bookcase behind his desk. He started to take out thick books from it. He opened them, flipped through them. Some of them he put on his desk, others he put back. After a while he sat behind his desk and started to read passages from the books, making notes.

The boy put a hand on Beth’s shoulder. “How are you? Does it still hurt?”

“Not really. My head still tingles a bit where the crucifix was. But I’m okay. I just hope we can get this over with quickly. I hope Father Kerry can help.”

Father Kerry stood, closing the book he was studying. “We will need to get some ropes. We need to prevent Beth from hurting herself while I do the exorcism.”

“Ropes? You are planning to tie me up?”

“I’m sorry, it will be for you own protection.”

“I don’t know about that.”

“Please, you will have to trust me. I will buy all I need and see you back here tomorrow morning at nine, is that all right?”

Beth hesitated. The boy could see the doubt in her mind. Was she afraid? She probably was. He couldn’t exactly tell. He always had a hard time determining if anyone was afraid.

“All right,” she said. “I will be here.”

“Good. I will do my best to help you,” Father Kerry said.

The boy and Beth said goodbye and left Father Kerry’s office. As the door closed behind them, Beth said to the boy, “As if my life couldn’t become crazier.”

“Hopefully it will return to normal after the exorcism,” the boy said. “Can you do me a favor and drop me off at the Woody’s Diner?”

“Woody’s Diner? Yeah, I guess. Why?”

“The waitress there offered to give me some clothes that belonged to her son. Travelling costs a lot of money, I could really use a set of clothes.”

Beth tested the cloth of the boy’s flannel shirt with her fingers. “The fabric is getting a bit thin, that’s for sure. Let’s go over there, then. We can grab a bite to eat there as well. I’m not exactly in the mood to cook dinner myself.”

“Great. I could use something to eat as well, not to mention a Cherry Coke,” the boy said.

“Kid… Tell me something…,” Beth said and gave him an earnest look. “Do you really think Father Kerry will be able to get rid of the demon and those crazy visions?”

The boy shrugged. “It always pays to be optimistic.”

 

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Jochem Vandersteen

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