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The Confession of Thomas Lig...

(by Joe DiMino who retains all reproduction rights) No part of this web-page may be reproduced, by any method, without written permission from Light-cards and Enterprises.

Fool? Aren't all of us?~on occasion even the must erudite? Yet, seldom will we admit so; and even during those honest purges we tend to diminish the fault, or taint impure colors with rosier hue. And fool I was, that not so distant night~definitely a fool! Boastfully a fool!~when I thought to challenge the Devil.

Most likely the tale I am about to pen, if not for some repulsive facts of record, would be no more than mere entertainment, though admittedly for a singularly morbid personality. Therefore, in such dark light, this account will go down as the ranting of an individual who has committed such a fiendish act that even his own mind need falsely rationalize in order to survive.

The idea to challenge the Prince of Darkness came to me on a frigid evening while in my study going over some ancient manuscripts. They were acquired from a rather unclean character I have been obliged to do business with on such unlawful occasions. He assured me they were genuine, and thanked me for respecting the privacy of his source. This led me to deeper investigation of certain enigmatic passages in the bible, and after several more hours of meditation, I decided I had stumbled upon some overlooked truth, though as I peer back I realize how naive and rash was this assumption. What's more, for the first time I felt free from man's oldest moral infirmity~knowing what is pleasing to God, exalting to God, but inclined toward the lesser, human expression of evil. I perceived myself filling with divine intelligence, bestowed on me for faithful studying of the scriptures, and began more intense consideration of my new knowledge, and the eradication of man's oldest misconception:

More often than not, the Author of Sin has been depicted in art as a powerful creature (when in physical form), so threatening in appearance that the strongest men think themselves feeble by comparison. And when not being depicted as physically invincible, his supernatural attributes are described as near omnipotent, and mortal features far inferior. But with new insight, for the first time I believed the Evil One was conceived with lesser than triumphant guise. Instead of virile, I saw him weak. For virility is associated with health and Godliness; therefore, "Virile" could not be his image. I assured myself, his form (whether physical or as a spirit archetype) must be in a continual state of ravage: organs replete with syphilitic sores; flesh hideously raw and oozing cancerous discharge; a pitiful creature, who if ever confronted face to face with a human would cower in fear. Thus, as I continued to belittle what I previously had ominous fear of, the notion to challenge the Devil (who was now depreciated in my mind to an abode of ineffectual nothingness) surfaced as an immediate resolution. The rest of the night passed in profound state of concentration. During which time I called~shouted obscenities~daring the Arch Villain to show himself, upon hitherto occasion I would proceed to spit a profuse gob of saliva directly between his terror filled eyes. Do you think me boastful? Of course!~are we not Sons and daughters of God? Do we need fear anything? So certain was I, so powerful in spirit, I offered to leave our Great God out of it, and the confrontation would be between he (or it~or whatever!) and I alone.

Several hours later, with the first rays of sunlight peeping around the drapery of my study there came to me the realization that no supernatural villain was going to materialize as I had hoped. Perhaps solidify out of the gaseous, ghostlike cloud of pipe smoke that gathered in the center of the room and whirled about in a possessed spiral! Or rise out of the mythical figures from an ancient Ritual Carpet trod upon which had made uneasy more than one visitor who thought to interpret its Satanic allegory. Or perhaps I had wished him to leap off a wall, congealing from dancing shadows, reflections initiated by the fireplace, fanned by a cool current entering the room from I knew not where causing the flame to wreathe in a wildly bewitching manner.

At first I was disappointed...thinking perhaps my premise in error. Then quickly turning defeat into victory, his not appearing was by default admission that at last someone had discovered a well guarded secret, the Dreaded Ones only power over mortals residing in fear alone; and relinquished of all, which I now was, left him powerless over me. Therefore, conceding no-contest between us, it struck him as prudent to remain a respectable distance. In summary, I rested upon this conclusion, though shortly after started a series of extraordinary events that I now realize none other than a direct result of my reckless endeavor.

During the early morning hours, after having fallen asleep while still seated in my study, I was awaken by incessant banging on the front door. Who in the Lord's Name would be calling at such an hour, I wondered? And judging by the rapid succession of knocks, surely there was an emergency of sorts.

Upon seeing to the source of the disturbance, I discovered my neighbor and good friend Ralph, frothing at the mouth~a man whom I have loved and admired many years for his cool headed demeanor, now ranting as if a madman. With arms flaring he shouted out of control! Violent outbursts of unjustified emotion exploding from him! He accused myself of having an affair with his wife, Eva. I attempted to convince him that his accusations were sheer nonsense, but he was beyond reasoning with. He left in a frenzied state, vowing the wrath of God down upon the both of us.

Thus began a pattern of verbal assaults: Ralph took to standing on my front lawn~whenever the mood struck him--persistently leveling charges and threats, punctuated by obscenities. Frightened Eva remained in the Dudley's residence, apparently to no avail having tried all she could to dispel her husband's doubts. Still, through it all, knowing Ralph in the past as devoutly level headed, we all believed he would soon win-out over this malady, and once again return to his amiable self.

Weeks passed without a positive change. Not only did we have Ralph to contend with, but also his dog, Homer, obviously fallen victim to a similar mind-set, no longer considering himself a seasoned cohort of Renegade, our gentle cat, began to take great delight in persecuting the lovable beast. Chasing and then trapping him up a tree, he proceeded to torment the terrified creature for hours on end.

Then Nature, herself, turned against us. Early one evening, a storm struck. Not the least forewarning was given us. Not a rustle of breeze first occurred~nor hint of changing barometer; just a sudden blast of gale and the maelstrom was upon us. Our two story, brick dwelling, sturdy by most standards, shook from the wind's intensity. Four years old, Beth Ann, our daughter, trembled at the sounds of shingle being torn from the roof. The first real danger came from an overhead power line (600 volts of deadly potential) suspended between to poles we thought a reasonable distance away.

A ripping gust of wind tore loose one end of the cable, sending it smashing through Beth Ann's bedroom window. Fortunately, she was already safely on the ground level in the recreation room, with my wife, Carol, and I.
The curtains were quickly set aflame. Upon hearing the crash of glass, I dashed upstairs. And after entering the room, fire licking at the ceiling, I made a breathless decision to smother the growing infernal, with a blanket swiped from my daughter's bed. At first, I didn't see the live wire snaking about. And when I did, it was already too late to escape. Forced into a corner of the room, I did my best to avoid the lethal fang, which struck at me time and time again.

It coiled up as a cobra, spitting white-hot fountains of death. Strangely, I was reminded of the serpent in the Holy Garden...the Evil Doer...and was this the consequence of my brash challenge some weeks earlier, I wondered amid the deadly onslaught?

Seeing Carol, horrified, standing in the doorway, I hollered for her to stay out. Again the serpent struck. The hairs on my arms singed as I shielded my face. I fell to my knees, no longer able to move fast enough to avoid the dreadful thing. Cowering against the wall, I thought my inevitable doom a forgone conclusion. Then the other end of the cable, the one still attached to the power pole tore free, causing the cable to fall around me in a harmless spiral.

Carol then rushed into the room, brandishing a fire extinguisher. Choking~gasping for breath~sweat soaking my face, I relieved her of the weapon, and did battle with co2 until not a glowing ember survived.

At length, safe~for even the storm had expelled its last foul exhalation~I admitted the possibility that I was under Satanic challenge had been accepted, and the odd behavior of my neighbor, and this freak storm, was a gauntlet tossed at my feet. Now the question was, did I dare pick it up?

With that thought in mind, the following day I called the weather station, inquiring about the nature of the storm, and why there was no advance warning.
"Storm? What storm," the official replied.
"Why the storm, last evening, that near destroyed my house."
"Lig. Thomas Lig, of 2784 Redwood Grove."
"Our instruments, which we believe are in perfect working order, haven't shown the slightest disturbance over the past several weeks. In fact, the entire West Coast has been so placid, we dare not stare at our monitors too often for fear of being lulled into sleep." I hung up, my suspicions strengthened.

Several neighbors informed me, indeed they had witnessed the oddity, which seemed to focus on my home alone, and leave the surrounding homes unfettered. In deed, none of my neighbors had ever seen such a spectacle before, and considered themselves fortunate to be looking out the window at the time. One commented, jokingly: "Had I angered Mother Nature, or incurred the anger of some evil spirit?"

The following day I resumed teaching. Summer recess was over, and as usual, the first day back, the preliminary introductions with new students, tired me to near collapse. Head professor for Theology at Valley University, an uncommonly popular institution, my responsibilities had grown enormous. I hastened to leave, wanting nothing more than a satisfying meal and a good night's rest.

Upon arriving home, I found Ralph, once again, standing on my front lawn. His accusations had reached a new level of fury. Now there was Eva to contend with. Apparently, the bizarre illness that afflicted Ralph and his dog, Eva had also succumbed to. I could see her standing at an upstairs bedroom window looking out, insanely laughing. The eerie red light filling the room made her maniacal form phantasmic in nature. She appeared to delight in my torment, the obscenity of her naked body and gestures testament to her madness.

Due to the importance of my position at the University, many nights I am forced to hold chair at meetings, which sometimes carry on late into the evening. The next evening, after the fore mentioned incident, the meeting was interrupted by a phone call from Carol. It took several minutes to calm her, before I could make sense of the conversation. She informed me she wouldn't spend another night alone in the house. She had just seen Ralph peering in at her though the parlor window. His once pleasant face hideously deranged~which caused her to flee upstairs to our bedroom, and this very moment she was seated on the bed, clutching Beth Ann at her side, and in her free hand held a revolver pointed directly at the door.

Somehow I sensed the authorities would be of little help in this matter. I made a discreet excuse for leaving the meeting, and hastened home. The traffic was light. And my accelerated pace assured me of covering the five miles home in 8 minutes of less. Yet the full moon hung in the sky as a Halloween jack-o-lantern, stretching the queerly, shadowed road before me into a specter filled path of infinite horrors.

Pulling into my driveway, I saw the blot of a man stir near a clump of hedge, and flit past a lit window. Cutting the figure off, midway across the lawn, I confronted Ralph. He stood before me, a ghoulish serenity about him. In his left hand, swinging loosely at his side was a large ax~and in his other hand, he held a flimsy leash, that barely restrained a tugging, snarling Homer.

I nervously asked, "What's this all about, Ralph?"
"About? About?" he replied. "About here...about there...about-about everywhere. Thought I saw a large sewer and about, about here. So me and Homer thought we'd chop off his head, and bake for our neighbors some rat-rat bread." And laughed and laughed and laughed.
And without another word, turned toward home, walking off...whistling the rhythm of his bizarre chant.
After calming Carol and Beth Ann, I guess I should have taken my family, that very instant, and left our home, never again to return, if that's what it took to keep us safe. 'But why let the Devil win?' I told myself. The gauntlet lay there before me...and now was the time to pick it up. Was this not the Holy Garden again? And the serpent revealed, surely his defeat would lift the curse from all humanity, and the origin of sin left relegated to fantastic art and dark poetry.

So I decided what I concluded our only salvation. Ours! Not mine alone! Nor just that my petrified family. But ours! Yours! All of humanity! I would murder my neighbors, the Dudleys. Surely God would understand~in fact, condone my leap of faith. It was Eden again. A Holy War...and I was to walk knee deep in Satin's serpent-blood. Oddly enough, I had come to this decision on the seventh day of contemplation~like our creator, I came to rest, taking this as divine approval, though on the surface what I planned seemed something crafted by the Devil himself. But these were no longer the Dudleys...instead flesh and bone possessed by evil. And to sever the spirit umbilical would set them free as well.
Thus I was decided that very same evening while my wife and daughter spent the weekend with my in-laws in Riverington~my excuse for remaining home was to grade some student test papers~for if she knew what I really intended to do, she would have vomited in disgust. Not simply because I had reconciled myself to snuff out two human lives, but the method and manner I had contrived made my own stomach nauseous.

First I carefully prepared a tempting leg of lamb. I found myself humming as I basted away~perhaps a nervous reaction, the way the human mind deals with distress, by denial or making light, even enjoyable, a particularly vulgar or unpleasant chore. I sang a rather appropriately contrived ditty: 'Baste and bake a leg of bah! Bah! bah!~Bo Peep would scream to find and there, pieces everywhere, in Homer's jaws to grind him.'

Prepared to scintillating perfecting, the dripping bait, filling the air with mouth-watering aroma was carried into the back yard. I proceeded to lead Homer along the fence that divided the Dudleys property from ours, and stopped at the far end, most distant from the house. Oh to see such a brute yipping...begging...drooling out of mind! 'There there Homer, something for you~to gulp and gnaw...till Old Tom is through!'

With Homer satisfying his salivating jowls, I retreated out of sight, jumping the fence nearest to Ralph's back door.
One could set his clock by the habits of the Dudleys'. As usual they were in the basement tending to a tropical fish hatchery, for many years having been maintained for pleasure and profit as well.

Removing a pistol from my pocket, I proceeded toward the back door, left open as was the practice in such rural neighborhoods as ours, and once inside crept quietly down the staircase. Oddly I wasn't in the least frightened or nervous. Instead I felt like a child creeping down stairs late Christmas Eve, trying to catch a glimpse of Santa leaving gifts for the children who were good. At the back door I had picked up Ralph's ax left lying against the house, so this was in my possession also.

Soon I was standing behind the Dudleys, who were so engrossed with the chore of tending to newborns~how ironic, side by side, life and death, and I had arms length power over both~neither Eva nor Ralph sensed my presence. I became infatuated with this aspect, as the Dudleys stood so close that I could touch either one on the shoulder; yet they remained oblivious to my lethal presence. Amazing it was, for I could not conceal my heavy breathing, stirring the air, perhaps tickling the hairs on the back of their necks, or sending a cold, shimmer of icy chill down their spines. I refrained several moments longer, purposely breathing deeper, and exhaling longer, and colder, feeling a power over life and death an elation of which I cannot begin to express. And finally, unable to contain the savage climax any longer, my pistol placed to the back of Ralph's head I fired one, shattering blast.

In the basement, and with so much property between houses, I had little fear of the other neighbors noticing. The 38 caliber had carried through the front of Ralph's skull, splattering blood everywhere. Eva was in shock. Her mouth left gaping...eyes staring, a frozen sculpture of terror. I felt a bit of sympathy, and raising the ax proceeded to dismember her form with brilliant adeptness, the first strike shattering her head as if there had been a dressmaker's dotted line drawn through the center. To my dismay, I felt no revulsion, raising and lowered the ax in precise rhythm, ecstatic currents surging through me. The finale remains a blur of activity~my clothing became saturated with blood~my gloves soaked clean through~all which I burned afterwards.

I placed the revolver in Ralph's limp hand~fired another shot into a plank of wood. Then after removing all evidence of the second bullet and putting a fresh cartridge in one of the two empty chambers, I was convinced it appeared as if Ralph had gone berserk, and after slaughtering his wife, turned the gun on himself. All in order, I hastened to leave.
I removed my gloves before leaving not wanting to leave any bloody smudges on the door, and pushed the door open with my body being careful of fingerprints, but I had forgotten Homer. With the door half open he was upon me. He strained to tear at my throat, bolting up on his back legs, his huge mouth thrusting forward. Ramming my right hand into Homer's neck, just below his snapping jaws, I was able to keep him at bay long enough, and in one, quick pivot succeeding in turning him sideways and into the house, slamming the door shut in his frothing face. All the better~now the police would be certain that no one could have gotten past Homer to commit the foul deed, and therefore was surely the crime of the husband.

Several minutes later I was back at home. I destroyed my blood smeared garments~bathed, and to my dismay, had no trouble fallen asleep. I was not in the least disturbed by what I had done nor bothered by Homer's incessant howling, what I image eventually caught the other neighbors' attention and is what brought the police to my door the following morning.

Upon being told what I happened, I first faked, paralyzing shock. Then began to dash toward the Dudley's house, as if momentarily having lost my senses, and disbelieving the finality of death wanted to race to the aid of my neighbors. I allowed myself to be restrained and calmed. After being helped back into my study, still feigning weakness, I began to explain Ralph's delusions, and how tolerant we all were. But as to what happened last night, though the possibility had presented itself to my mind, it was quickly dismissed, disallowing myself to believe my good neighbor of many years could ever perpetrate such an act. I sniffled...making my story convincing as the morbid occasion called for, certain that my acting was beyond reproach. But before leaving the police asked what I thought an exceeding odd and uncalled for request:

A detective entered with a clean white paper and tray of ink. He requested my right hand print. Of course I agreed to, not wanting in the least to raise suspicions, certain that I had been so thorough as to have nothing to fear. Afterward I was thanked for my cooperation, as I proceeded to usher the officers to the door. It was there that what I thought an odd request became startling clear.

Outside on the path, chained between two officers, was a snarling, tugging Homer. A sturdy muzzle had been fastened around his jaws. I must admit, I felt secret delight over his predicament, certain that his next home would be an outdoor junkyard in some rundown dredge of the city. Suddenly Homer's expression changed, calming down to a passive set with a great mischievous glint in his eyes taking prominence. Then abruptly bolting up on his back legs, there it own handprint, stamped in the victim's blood around his neck where I had kept him at bay. This is the end of my story...and my conviction and forthcoming electrocution an inevitable conclusion. Yet, surely you, the reader, having read my account must have sympathy of sorts for me. I was foolish~yes! Foolish for having challenged forces darker and more foreboding than any mortal can fathom! But inhuman! A monster of sorts, as I have been called! I dare say, my fate could be the same for any one of you...even the most pious~who would think to meddle in things best left to alone. To God alone!

He~the Author
of cause and effect;
Maker of body and spirit~
has the right alone,
over timely life
and timely death to reflect.....