PURGED a Circle City Mystery
He could see the thirteen
sinners dressed in flowing medieval dresses and cloaks of deepest, darkest
obsidian, amethyst, and emerald. Oblivious to his presence, the women danced
around the fire chanting and singing the devil’s songs. In his anger, he vowed
to make them repent, or he would destroy them one by one. Doug listened from his
hiding place in the bushes, watching and waiting.
“Sisters, let us praise the
Goddess on this Sabbat Samhain and be one with the Earth,” cried a very tall
woman in black. The hood of her cloak slid off her head when she raised her eyes
and arms to the sky. Her long curly blonde hair glistened in the firelight as
she danced and twirled. He was sure this one must be their leader. Everyone
seemed to be following her.
The group chanted something
about thanks to Mother Earth for her wonderful fruits. Why weren’t they thanking
God, the real true God, instead? Earlier they were beckoning the dead. Feeling
his face flush with fear, he remembered his grandmother’s claim that Halloween
was an evil day—the devil’s day.
“Blessed be,” he heard the
leader shout. “Thanks be to our ancestors for communicating with us tonight.
Thanks to the Goddess for her many blessings of the Earth. Blessed
“Blessed be,”the others
“Let us go to our homes now and
feel refreshed and one with the Earth.”
The devil worshippers hugged and
talked for much too long. Doug could not take them all at once. Afraid his
mission could be thwarted if they left in pairs, he continued to peer at them
while his gut knotted with impatience. One of the witches took a bucket of water
and drenched the fire. Another came to help her stir it and douse it with
another bucket to complete the job. The time was finally at hand, and many of
them began to leave.
Doug’s knees ached from kneeling
in his cold damp hiding place. He hoped he would be able to walk once he had the
chance to move. He mustn’t fail, but must accomplish what he’d set out to do and
make his grandmother proud.
Then the miracle he’d hoped for
came to being. The leader stayed behind. He watched anxiously while she stirred
the dirt and ash where the fire had been. Then she picked up a bag and shone her
flashlight along the path leading to the parking lot.
Doug rose to his feet and
slipped quietly through the woods to the trail he knew she must take. His heart
thumped so loudly in his ears, he feared she might hear him coming. From his
jacket pocket, he retrieved a small freezer bag containing the rag he’d
prepared. At the sound of footsteps approaching, he hid behind a large
“Oh,” she said aloud in a joyous
voice. “I feel clean and whole again.”
When she passed him, Doug leapt
from behind the tree and grabbed her, causing her to drop her bag and
flashlight. Quickly he put the rag over her nose and mouth before she could let
out a scream. She bucked like a wild animal trying to free herself. She kicked
his shin and dug her fingernails into the skin on his right wrist exposed by the
struggle. He held her tighter, ignoring the pain in his determination. Finally,
the chemicals proved too much and her body surrendered.
He placed her on the ground and
rubbed his shin, allowing himself to feel the pain. Knowing it would only be a
bruise, he then checked his wrist. It bled, staining the sleeve of his coat, and
he thought of the blood Christ shed for him. His own wounds would be worth it
once he got her to confess her evil ways and denounce Satan.
Doug decided to check her bag to
see what evil instruments it held. Inside, he found a long, sharp, two-edged
dagger in a wooden case. The hilt was made of some sort of beast’s horn. He must
confront her about this instrument. How many sacrifices had she made with
Exhilarated, he put the dagger
on top of the witch, picked her up, and carried her toward his car. He laid her
on the ground a few feet from the parking lot and checked to make sure their two
cars were the only ones left. The parking lot was empty of other vehicles, so he
walked slowly to his, opened the trunk, and took out a large blue tarp.
Back with the witch, he tied her
arms together with duct tape then wrapped her and her evil tool in the tarp.
Doug smiled as he carried her back to his car and placed her in the trunk. He
sighed and looked up to the heavens. “Thank you,” was all he