"GET DOWN WITH SATAN"
Sunday, June 29, 1997, 9:57 AM
It was a bright, clear, sunny day in Northridge, California. Summer was here. Birds were singing. Everything was really cheerful. "'After the thousand years are over, Satan will be set loose from his prison, and he will go out to deceive the nations scattered over the whole world, that is, Gog and Magog. Satan will bring them all together for battle, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. They spread out over the Earth and surrounded the camp of God's people and the city that he loves. But fire came down from heaven and destroyed them. Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.'" Kristen threw her head back. "Ah-ha-ha-ha!" "Kristen?" Lana asked. "Yeah?" "That's not scary." "It is if you're Satan." "I'm not Satan." Lana, Kevin, Rick, Stacey, Mike, Samus, Kristen, and Heather were sitting on Kevin's back porch. They had decided to play a game to see who could tell the scariest story, so Kristen had decided to read from The Revelation to John. "Now, c'mon, Kris," Rick said, "the point of the game is to scare your audience." "Speaking of scary stuff, I think Keene's pizza is ready." Mike said. "Hey!" Kevin yelled. They all stood up and went back into the house. Upon entering the kitchen, Kevin turned off the oven and took out his pizza - the Captain N Special. "Hey, Kev, you gotta think up a new name for the pizza; the old name's outdated." Lana laughed. Kevin frowned. He didn't find Lana's comment at all amusing. Kevin set the pizza on the kitchen table, got a pizza slicer from a drawer, and sliced the pizza into eight slices - one for each of them. They all sat down at the kitchen table and ate the pizza. "Yuck, this pizza sucks!" Mike said. "I'd sell my soul for some real pizza." Just then, the doorbell rang. Kevin stood up, walked into the living room, and went over to the front door. The heavy door was open, but the screen door was locked. A black man in a Pizza Hut uniform stood outside. He had a goatee and was holding a pizza box in his right hand. Kevin unlocked the screen door and opened it. "Yes?" "Yo, I got your pizza." the man said. "I didn't order a pizza." Kevin said as the man walked into the living room. Kevin followed him into the kitchen, where he placed the pizza on the table. "Hey, I won't argue." Mike opened the box and took a slice. He tasted it. "Mmmmmm, this is damn good pizza!" "Yeah, funny you should say it like that." the man commented. "So, what do I owe you?" Mike asked. "Your eternal soul." the man replied. "Okay." Then Mike looked up, surprised. "What?!" "You said 'I'd sell my soul for some real pizza.'" the man said. "Well, here I am. My card, yo." Mike took the card from him and looked at it. "Death Master G?" "You're saying you're Satan?" Heather asked. "Yeah, dat me." "Funny," Kristen said, "you don't look the same in person. Where are your horns and pitchfork?" "I ditched 'em, yo." Satan explained. "They were okay for a few millenniums, but then I kinda got sick o' 'em." "That's millennia, you dork." Lana muttered under her breath. Rick stood up. "Hey, you can't take Mike!" Mike stood up. "Yeah, I changed my mind!" "It's too late." Satan said. "You've already eaten of the Pizza of Evil. Y'know what I'm sayin'?" Stacey stood up. "Please, Mr. Satan, don't take Mike!" Heather, Kristen, and Samus stood up as well. Lana stood up and sighed. "Guys, this isn't Satan! He's an asshole!" "Dat's right! I am an asshole!" Satan yelled. "I am tha baddest motherfucker in the universe, and tonight at midnight, I shall return to take you down to Hell!" After yelling in Mike's face, Satan left the kitchen and went into the living room and out the front door. The others went over to the door and watched as Satan got into a Pizza Hut car, pulled out of the driveway, and drove up the street. "What just happened here?" Samus asked. "Mike sold his soul to a pizza-wielding Satan and is destined to spend eternity in the fiery pits of Hell." Kristen explained. "Way to go, dude." Stacey commented to Mike. "Yeah, real bright." Heather added. "I don't believe you guys!" Lana said. "That wasn't Satan! It was someone playing a joke on us!" "How can you be sure?" Rick asked. "Uh, hello!" Lana replied. Kevin looked over at the card in Mike's hand. "Hey, he's got an e-mail address. Praises at tan dot com?" Mike looked at the address: firstname.lastname@example.org. "Praise Satan dot com!" "Oh." "Look, we better learn how to battle him, just to be on the safe side." Heather suggested. "Right, Heather," Kristen agreed, "and what better place to learn battle skills than in church?!"
Kevin, Lana, Mike, Stacey, Rick, Samus, Heather, and Kristen walked into church. "Water fight!" Lana yelled, splashing holy water onto the others. "Hey, Kev, is Father Jeff still hearing confession?" Mike asked. "Yeah, for another half-hour." Kevin replied. Mike turned and walked out the door.
Mike drove his car up to the drive-thru confessional, parked, and shut off the engine. Mike did the Sign of the Cross. "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. It's been three months since my last confession." "Okay, dude, tell me your sins." Father Jeff said. Mike looked at him. Father Jeff was a surfer when he wasn't at church. He had long brown hair and looked to be barely out of his teens. How the hell did this guy ever get through the seminary? Mike wondered. He remembered that you're supposed to confess mortal sins before venial sins. "Well, I accidentally sold my soul to the Devil." "Whoa, dude, that's heavy!" Father Jeff replied. "How'd it happen? Did you dream it? Did he come to you in a vision?" "He drove up in a Pizza Hut car." Mike replied. "Devil in disguise! Whoa! Sneaky!" Father Jeff said. "Any other sins?" Mike shook his head. "Nothin' really important." "Okay then," Father Jeff said, "for your penance say one Our Father for the road. Now lemme hear an act of contrition." "O' my Lord, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy." Mike recited. "Outstanding!" Father Jeff exclaimed. "Your sins are totally forgiven! Go in the peace of Christ!" "Thanks." Mike said. "Oh, Father Jeff,...could you do a favor for me?" "What's that?" Mike picked up an item. "Could you bless this Super Soaker for me?" "Sure thing, dude! Drop it in the slot!"
Mike walked back into church in time for Mass. He took his seat in the pew. "So, what did you get?" Rick asked. "One Our Father." Mike replied. "You got one Our Father for selling your soul to the Devil?!" Kristen asked. "This is a pretty lax church! Oh, wait, this is a church in California. Never mind." "I think you'd better tack on a Hail Mary, just to be sure." Heather advised. They went through the entire Mass. Samus was utterly confused; Lana wasn't as much. The two readings, the Gospel reading, and the Homily weren't of any help. Finally, it was time for communion. The congregation slowly filed out of their pews and made their way to the altar. "Mike, I don't think you should receive communion." Father Jeff said. "Not so soon after selling your soul to the Devil." "Gimme the damn wafer now!!!" Mike screamed. "Dude, don't go postal." Father Jeff said. He held up a Eucharistic Wafer. "The Body of Christ." "Amen!" Mike replied. Father Jeff placed the wafer on Mike's left palm. Mike picked it up with his right hand, stuck it in his mouth, and did the Sign of the Cross as he walked back to his seat. Samus walked over to the deacon. The deacon offered her the cup. "The Blood of Christ." "Bullshit, it's wine." Samus corrected. "Either way, I don't wanna drink it. I'm not a cannibal, and I quit drinking alcohol. What the fuck are you trying to do? Poison me?" Samus walked back to her seat, leaving the deacon stunned.
Kevin, Lana, Mike, Stacey, Rick, Samus, Heather, and Kristen walked through the front door into Kristen and Heather's living room. Kristen locked the screen door behind her. "Well, that was no help." Rick commented. They all walked into the kitchen and sat at the table. "Okay, we gotta organize our own battle plan." Kristen said. "I'm gonna research all the holy books in my collection for anything that can help us." "I'll help you." Heather said. "I'll watch 'Repossessed' and the TNG episode 'Devil's Due'." Rick said. "Cool, Star Trek!" Kevin exclaimed. "I'll watch with you!" "Me, too!" Stacey added. "I'll watch some Christian programs." Lana said. "Man, that sounds weird coming from me." "Don't worry, I'll keep you company." Samus said. "And I'll go out to the desert to get a feel for Hell." Mike said. "Okay, we've all got our tasks." Kristen said. They all stood up.
Kristen and Heather entered Kristen's bedroom. They walked over to her bookshelf. They took a moment to look at all of the books: The Nag Hammadi Library, Josephus: The Complete Works, The History of Ancient Israel, The Bible and the Ancient Near East, Ancient Assyrian Spells, Primitive Christianity, Those Incredible Christians, The Compleat Witch's Guide to Mesopotamian Magick and Spellcraft, The Protestant Reformation, Dictionary of Saints, Mephistopheles, Lucifer, Satan, The Devil, Jesus: A Historian's Review of the Gospels, Parables of the Gospels, The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, A Complete Anthology of Near Eastern Texts, The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Western Church in the Later Middle Ages, the Book of Mormon, the Bhagavad Gita, The Essential Kabbalah, Early Christian Heresies, Clavicula Salomonis, Lesser Key of Solomon, Grimorium Verum, Grand Grimoire, Lemegeton, Dr. Johann Faustus' Miracle and Wonder Book, Grimoire Honorius, The Grimoire of Armadel, The Book of Abramelin the Mage, The Zohar, The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, Saint Augustine's Confessions, The Necronomicon, Dante's Inferno, Holy Blood Holy Grail, Satan Wants You, Messianic Legacy, Dante's Paradiso, The Satan Seller, Say You Love Satan, The Tragedy of Dr. Faustus, the Koran, the Kojiki, the Nihongi, the Tao Te Ching, the Jerusalem Bible, the King James Version, the Douray-Rheimes Catholic Translation, the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, the American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version, the Latin Vulgate translation, and a collection of Crowley paperbacks including the classic Magick Without Tears. "Holy shit," Heather said, "you're really into this, aren't you?" "Uh-huh. God's kinda cool." Kristen replied. Kristen and Heather took some books, sat on the bed, and started flipping through them.
Lana and Samus sat on the couch in Kevin's living room. Lana was flipping through the channels on the TV. One channel showed an evangelist. "Trust me, brothers, when you walk into church, you are saved no matter what you just did a minute ago!" Lana changed the channel. A Southern Baptist Revival was on this channel. "Do you want this church to walk?!" the preacher asked. "Yes, let it walk! Amen, brother, alleluia!" the congregation replied. "Do you want it to run?!" "Yes, let it run! Amen, brother, alleluia!" "Do you want it to fly?!" "Yes, let it fly! Amen, brother, alleluia!" "Praise the Lord!" the preacher said. "But if we want this church to fly, we need money!" "Let it walk!" the congregation replied. Lana changed the channel. This channel showed another evangelist, performing faith healing. He placed his fingers on a man's eyelids. "Lord, let this man see again." He lightly slapped the man. Ooh! Praise the Lord. Glory. Amen." Lana changed the channel. This channel showed yet another evangelist, driving demons out of people. He placed his hands on a man's forehead. "Take the evil out of this man, Lord! Let this be done in the name of Jeeeeeesus!" He began repeatedly pressing his hands hard against the man's forehead. "Black hell, go! Black hell, go! Black hell, go! There it is! There it is! Black hell, go! Black hell, go! Black hell, go!" He shoved the man to the floor. Lana shut off the TV. "Fuckin' weirdos." "Tell me about it." Samus agreed. "Want a Pepsi?" "Uh-huh." "No, there's no Diet. Just regular." Lana said.
Kevin, Rick, and Stacey were sitting on the couch in Heather and Kristen's living room, watching 'Repossessed' on TV. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Kevin stood up and walked over to the front door. He opened the screen door. A heavy-set balding man in wire-rimmed glasses and a shit-brown suit stood before Kevin, a bright smile on his face and a copy of the Book of Mormon in his hand. "Good day, friend!" he said in a cheerful southern accent. "My name is Ricky, Ricky Porter, and I am from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. Would you like to learn more about the Christian faith?" Kevin just shrugged. "A friend of mine has a copy already, and I can read it whenever I want to." Ricky smiled. "Wow, are you or your friend a Mormon?" "Nope." Kevin muttered, shaking his head. "She just has a really large library." Without asking permission, the heavy man pushed his way past Kevin to investigate. "What interest," he asked, almost to himself, "does a non-Christian have in our sacred Scriptures?" He walked quickly through the house, upsetting everyone and disturbing their movie. He finally located Kristen's room, and a shriek of horror echoed through the house. "Blasphemy!!!" he screamed, running from the room, sweating and panting. "Blasphemy!!! How dare you?!" Kevin laughed and opened the door for the man. "Ave Satanas!! Now get out of here before I summon forth my demon Terragon, and he rips you to shreds!" The man's stubby legs could barely carry him as he ran from the house in sheer terror, the door slamming behind him. Kevin smirked, locked the door, and walked back over to the couch, where he flopped down again with the others, a satisfied smile on his face. "I always wanted to do that." The phone rang. Stacey stood up, walked into the kitchen, and picked up the phone. "Hello?" "Hello," the man on the other end said, "how are you?" "Fine." Stacey answered. "That's good." the man said. "I'd like to speak with you for a moment. How would you feel about joining the Church of Scientology?" "Is this John Travolta?" Stacey asked. "No." "So, I take it there won't be any disco dancing?" Stacey asked. "No." "Then fuck off, geek!" Stacey slammed down the phone. Stacey walked back into the living room and sat down on the couch. "Who was that?" Rick asked. "Not John Travolta." Stacey replied. "What did he want?" Kevin asked. "He wanted me to join the Church of Scientology." Stacey said. "Don't!" Rick said forcefully. "Scientology is dangerous!" The doorbell rang again. Rick stood up and walked over to the front door. He opened it and opened the screen door. Two tall, well-built, muscular men stood outside. These football player-typed made Rick feel slightly uneasy. "Yes?" Rick asked. "Do you believe in God?" one of them asked in a threatening voice. "Uh,...yes." Rick said wisely. "Then come with us and worship at the Kingdom Hall!" the other guy said. Rick quickly slammed the front door and locked it. He went and sat back down on the couch. "Man, those Jehovah's Witnesses were scary!" Kristen walked into the living room. "I couldn't help overhearing, so I thought I'd add in some criticism just for the hell of it. The official beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses changes often, making it frustrating on the members. Furthermore, the very name 'Jehovah' resulted from a misreading of the current Hebrew text." The phone rang again. Stacey stood up, walked into the kitchen, and picked up the phone. "Hello?" "Miss, I really wish you would consider joining the Church of Scientology." the man said. "Look, buddy, for the last time, I ain't interested!" Stacey said. Kristen, Kevin, and Rick walked into the kitchen. "Stacey, give me the phone." Rick said. Stacey handed the phone to Rick. Rick spoke into the phone: "'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and goodwill, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers! And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!'" "Who is this?" the man asked, slightly frightened. "You know who I am." Rick said. "Lord,...is that you?" the man asked fearfully. "Yes, and I've got a message for you. If you continue to call this house and harass people, I will smite your ass so hard, you will feel the reverberation between Heaven and Hell!" Rick slammed down the phone. "Nicely done." Kevin said. "Thanks, Rick." Stacey said. "Rick, what passage is that quote from?" Kristen asked. "Ezekiel 25:17." Rick replied. "That whole thing?" Kristen asked in disbelief. "It's from the Tarantino Revised Version." Kevin explained. Kristen nodded, understanding. "Aaahhh..."
Unable to find anything useful, Mike and Kevin decided to drive over to a local Christian bookstore. They walked into the store and wandered over to the Bibles section. The two owners of the store looked uneasily at them. Kevin was wearing a Metallica shirt. Mike was wearing a Highlander-style trench coat. The old man and woman watched their every move. Mike picked up a King James Version Bible and started flipping through it. "Neat! I bet Kristen would love to have this!" Meanwhile, Kevin picked out some comic books.
The eight of them sat down at the kitchen table again. "Okay, what does everyone have?" Kristen asked. "I got nothin'." Lana replied. "Me neither." Samus added. "Well, we've come up with something." Heather said. "Yeah, I'm gonna recite some stuff from religious texts to try and cripple him." Kristen said. "Oh, speaking of religious texts," Mike said, "I got this at a bookstore for you." Mike handed Kristen the Bible he had bought. "Thanks, Mike, but I already have a King James Version." Kristen opened the book and started flipping through it. "Huh? What the fuck are First and Second Maccabees doing in the King James Bible? Oh, shit, this is a pre-colonial printing! Thanks, Mike!" Mike smiled. "You're welcome." "Hey, I got some stuff, too!" Kevin placed some comic books on the table. "Archie's Parables?" Kristen asked. "What the fuck?" Kevin laughed. "Back in the '70s, Spire Christian Comics published religious Archie stories." He picked up Archie's Parables and opened it. "'The Lord says------Don't be paralyzed by the enemy------for the battle is not yours... but God's!!!'" Mike picked up the Bible and turned to the Book of Isaiah. "And the Lord said to his people, 'Read not the Word of Archie.'" "'Go out and attack the enemy!!!'" Kevin continued. "Kevin?" Mike asked. "Kevin, read not the Word of Archie." "'Take off! Fly right! You'll find an...11 o'clock high!!!'" Kevin read. Mike snatched the comic book out of Kevin's hands and threw it to the floor. "Read not the Word of Archie!" Kevin grinned. "Okay, what else?" Kristen asked. "I got Father Jeff to come over and perform an exorcism." Stacey said with a smile. Kristen smiled. "Great, Stacey!" "And I've come up with a dancing ritual to cast Satan back to Hell." Rick said. "Cool!" Kristen said. "Well, if that's it, I guess all we can do now is wait."
TO BE CONTINUED...