What kind of man am I?
It was a question he had asked himself a lot lately.
I am a man of God. I am His servant. I do His will.
But was that enough?
He stared at the small whitewashed house. Red-tiled roof, bright purple clematis crawling up its walls, bathed in the fading glow of the late-summer sun. Birds chittered in the trees. Bees buzzed lazily amongst the bushes.
Here lies evil. Here, in the most innocuous of settings.
He walked slowly up the short path. Fear gripped his belly. It felt like a physical pain, a cramping in his gut. He raised his hand to the door, but it opened before he could knock.
‘Oh, thank God. Thank the Lord you came.’
The mother sagged at the doorway. Lank brown hair stuck to her scalp. Her eyes were shot through with blood and her skin was grey and lined.
This is what it looks like when Satan enters your home.
He stepped inside. The house stank. Sour, unclean. How could it have come to this? He looked up the stairs. The darkness at the top seemed thick with malevolence. He rested his hand on the banister. His legs refused to move. He squeezed his eyes tightly shut, breathing deeply.
I am a man of God.
He started to ascend. At the top, there were just three doors. A boy, slack-faced, in a stained T-shirt and shorts, peered around one. As the black-clothed figure approached, the boy pulled the door shut.
He pushed open the door next to it. The heat and smell hit him like a physical entity. He placed a hand over his mouth and tried not to gag…