by MW Cook
The sounds from outside disappeared, washed out by the drums and guitar rushing through the earphones. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
He opened them. The bad feelings past. Good.
The screen was on in front of him. His battlefield. The place where he waged his Holy War.
He opened his Bookmarks folder and picked a random web forum, trusting the Spirit to lead him. It was an atheist community.
He signed in: JesusLvr223
No new messages.
A smirk pulled at his mouth. They were afraid, of course. Afraid of the Spirit-filled words he threw at them. It was time to throw some more. Casting fearsome light into the shadows of midnight, the screaming music reminded him. Encouraged him.
Click, click. Open thread.
His fingers danced over the keyboard. Different sites cited. Logic backed up. A healthy dose of anger and righteous indignation. Done. Beautiful. He asked for a blessing on the post and hit Submit.
A clamor from outside tried to catch his attention. He reached for the dial on his earphones.
A homosexual community. He suppressed a shudder as he opened a new thread there. A treatise of anger calling for love, filled with Scripture and cynical arguments flowed from his inspired fingers. This one was longer, more passionate. Passion was good. It focused the thinking and made sure that he stayed on topic. Without passion it would be hard to convert anyone.
An Islamic Bulletin Board. A JW Community. Hindu. The Golden Compass Fan Site. He fought on all these fields. A lone warrior brandishing his sword made of words and pixels against the unevangelized masses of cyberspace. It was impossible to know how many he had already saved. Or how many seeds planted would grow and produce fruit. It hardly mattered. He was fighting, and that was noble in itself.
The clamor outside grew louder. Steel clattered against wood. Shouts. Screams. Cries.
Volume: 10 – Maximum.
He entered the chatroom. Real-time battles against democrats, Harry Potter fans and other infidels. He was cussed at. Insulted. Belittled. In short, horribly persecuted for his faith. They called him a fool. He replied that the foolishness of God was wiser than men. They called him closed-minded. He said their minds were so open that their brains fell out. They called him blind. He just threw that one back at them, cautioning them to avoid the ditch they were headed for.
He smiled, the light from the screen dancing on his pale face. Persecuted for Christ. Could there be anything better?
The noise from outside grew again. He didn’t turn to look out the window behind him.
The Darkness was not still. It never was. Ballard gripped the sword in his right hand while his left checked the wound at his side. Still bleeding. Maybe mortal, but not for a while.
His two companions crouched at either side of him, peering at the darkness and watching the princes and principalities it was spawning. They were uncountable. Long-toothed creatures of injustice stomped around, their massive arms crushing innocents and soldiers alike. The many-races of venomous serpents of Religion poisoned and ran, patiently waiting for their victims to die before fully devouring them. Orcs and giants spiders and wraiths, all representing a different side of the shadow, all worked together to expunge the light from the village. Few fought. Few ran. Many died.
Ballard gripped his sword tightly. He felt the wound at his side split open again and ooze out, the fluid staining his tunic.
“Are we ready?” he whispered.
“Always ready,” the friend to his right said.
The one on the left nocked an arrow and said a prayer as his answer. Ballard gestured to a particularity large group of serpents who had taken over an entire section of the village. Long and white, they went from house to house, taking entire families, searching for fresh prey with their large, moon-like eyes. His friends nodded. They attacked with a fierce cry.
Back at the computer, the pale man had figured out how to turn the volume up to 11.
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