The demon of pride banged his gavel on every available surface, including a few heads, like a carpenter on a drunken binge. “Look alive, scumbags! I’ve come up with an idea. The best idea yet. You’re gonna love it.”
Every slimy creature in attendance looked with contempt at the demon of pride. He always thought his ideas were the best.
Pride’s acrid voice rose over the crowd’s rumble. “The good pastor is so piously humble he surely wouldn’t dream of praying for his own finances,” the odious creature declared to his cohorts. “I think this is the chink we’ve been looking for.”
Talons extended, he slashed at the air. “Attack his finances. Begin with his car. Bring him to his knees. That puny so-called church is already overextended. They won’t be able to come to his rescue. Not soon enough to save him. It’s doubtful he would even ask for their help.”
He smirked, satisfied with his presentation thus far. His stomping and kicking had stirred up a stifling cloud of dust from the dirt floor. Slimy entities were hacking and coughing. Wretched eyes glowered back at him. Hatred hung like a thick black cloud over the gathering. The old shack shuddered under the weight of their malevolence.
“Think, you imbeciles!” He paced back and forth, thrusting insults into the crowd.
The more they sizzled in their hatred for him, the more effective they would be.
“Are you brain-dead? There are dozens of ways to squash him with money problems. Hello? Come up with a good enough idea and I’ll let you in on the kill, you putrid morons. Look at you. What a collection of hairballs you are.”
Pride had always been on the receiving end of the insults. What fun it was to stir up their rancor and watch them stew in their own animosity. His speech was followed by a tumultuous clamor as the vultures of the spirit world cursed and sputtered. He was sure they liked his idea. Just as sure as he was that they loathed him for thinking of it.
But the demon of pride didn’t tell all. He didn’t reveal to the others his pièce de résistance. The event that would leave Edward McAlester wounded and bleeding—not financially, or even physically—but spiritually. The happening through which he, and he alone, would pierce McAlester’s tough armor with one sharp talon. Ripping and tearing, he would gain ingress into McAlester’s very soul.
The battle is real . . . .