A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing
“Can this hovel be the place?” The father asked their guide. The house was no more than a dilapidated shack in the edge of a forest miles from the nearest village. Though it was in shambles, there were signs of habitation.
“Oh yes, witch be there! But me no go near. You go… you go.”
Demacli was feeling a little better. The voices were not so overwhelming since they left the village they were lodging in in the coastal region of Sidon in Phoenicia for almost a week looking for this elusive priestess.
He and his father got off the horses they were riding. The guide took the reins of the horses and rode a short distance away to wait for them. Together, they approached the shack and when they got close enough. His father placed a hand on Demacli’s arm to signal a halt.
Then, he called out, “We seek the prophetess of Hermes. We seek her aid.”
No answer came but Demacli noticed at a window a torn curtain move. Clearly, someone was in there.
“My son needs your help. I have silver to offer.”
They waited outside for several minutes, then suddenly the door opened and a feminine voice said, “Come in.”
Demacli was expecting to see an old crone but to his surprise, they were met by a beautiful woman. She was not young but still beautiful.
“I am Elpida. What made you seek me? I am no longer a prophetess. Since I was cast out of Greece and returned home here where I was born, I have been branded a witch because I heal the poor with my poultices and potions.”
“Then, it is your healing that we seek,” said the father. He told her all of Demacli’s condition.
She had Demacli sit before her. She took his head and cupped his face with her hands. She looked into his eyes for what seem the longest time.
“I have come across this before,” she sadly said as she sat back rubbing her face like she was tired. “This is not the work of the goddess of mischief. This is much older… even older than our gods.”
“What can we do?” asked the father.
“I cannot help you. All I can say is that in time, the spirits that dwell in you will eventually take control of you. You will be capable of doing despicable things but it will not be you. It will be them. There is more. These spirits are evil and they are spiteful toward us who walk this world. Legend says they were once favored but then, because of the evil done by their leader, they were cast down here on the earth never to return. They will torment you. Those evil things that you will do, you will be aware of it and it will drive you mad.”
Again the father asked, “Is there no hope for my son, ever?”
“I have traveled the earth seeking wisdom. Knowledge I have collected from Greece, Egypt, Sidon, Phoenicia, Persia and even the lost religion of ancient Mesopotamia. In everyone, I have gleaned the existence of one God who is the god of all gods. It is to this God that these evil spirits fear the most. If there is any hope, seek those who worship the one God. Go to the Jews.”
To be continued…
Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.
There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.
Elpida the prophetess is also one of those biblical characters. You can read her story at THE SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN OF MARK 7:26 [part 1].