Would you make a pact with the devil!

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One of my short stories in my book Flight of Destiny is called “The pact” it is about a desperate man, whose wife is dying, who is forced into making a pact with the devil.

History is littered with people who have taken this dramatic step.

There is even a Pope, namely Pope Sylvester II, who seemingly was way ahead of his time, and of high intellect. This French pope is credited with inventing the hydraulic organ, pendulum clock, and introducing Arabic numerals to Western Europe, on top of this he also wrote books on mathematics, natural science, music, theology and philosophy. Due to his incredible intelligence, highly tuned scientific mind,  and ingenuity  people suspected he had made a pact with the devil. He is not the only senior church figure to turn to the devil. Saint Theophilus the Penitent turned to the devil to make a deal, in order to gain a high ecclesiastical position. The contract signed in his own blood proved to be a heavy burden for Theophilus. German alchemist Faust also  is supposed to have made a pact with the devil, in order to pursue his “boundless desire for knowledge” for the next 24 years.

It seems a recurrent theme that if you are highly talented, it seems there is the possibility you have formed a pact with devil, this was the case of virtuoso violin musician Nicolo Paganini. His great virtuoso performances led people to believe he had formed a pact with the devil, and that it was the devil who was aiding him during the course of his performances. He was  refused the last rites,  and it took a while before he was finally laid to rest.  Paganini was not the only violinist to come under the microscope. It seems to be an Italian thing, Giuseppe Tartini, claimed that he dreamed that The Devil appeared to him and asked to be his servant, not only this, the devil composed piece for him, which Tartini transcribed when he awoke.  The devil is also accredited for turning Robert Johnson  a noted American blues artist into a genius. Rather than quash rumors he encouraged them.  There are quite a lot of modern day musicans who it is claimed have a made a pact with the prince of darkness, Bob Dylan, Jay-Z? Led Zeppelin, to name but a few.

Below is an exert from Flight of Destiny as Jarret encounters a man who says he can save his sick wife and unborn baby and Jarret is forced into making a pact with the devil.

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Suddenly, he became aware his was not alone. A well dressed

man with shiny patent leather shoes was walking purposefully

towards him, as if he had something important to say.

“Jarret Lamb?” the dapper man asked in a sweetly scintillating

voice, pausing before the distraught Jarret.

Jarret froze, astonishment momentarily replacing pain.

“I can see you’ve a lot on your mind just now,” the man said

calmly, examining Jarret minutely in profile.

Jarret eyed him suspiciously, not knowing what to say.

“It’s your wife and child, isn’t it? They’re in mortal danger,”

declared the man.

“And how could you possibly know that?” demanded Jarret,

stunned.

“I just know,” the man replied matter-of-factly. “And, what’s

more, I can help.” The man’s eyes had a chillingly hypnotic draw, as

did the mesmeric tone of his voice. The man’s clothes, posture and

demeanor echoed confidence. He also emitted an enchanting aroma,

rather like an orchard of ripe fruit trees.

“How?” faltered Jarret.

“Your wife and child will survive,” avowed the man, resting a

hand gently on Jarret’s shoulder, like a father might when consoling a

son. Then his voice dropped and took on a more cautionary tone. “But

only if you do something for me in return.”

“And what exactly might that be?” asked Jarret confused, but

desperate for any shred of hope.

“You need only shake my hand, and everything will be righted. In

a few days you will receive a letter with instructions. In exchange for

your wife and child’s lives, you must carry out the instructions exactly

as written.” The man’s voice lowered to a rasping whisper. “You have

no alternative, really.”

“I see,” replied Jarret. Though trembling, his heart racing, he

couldn’t help but think, What do I have to lose? This man is probably

just a lunatic, but regardless, he’s seems more purposeful and sincere

than the doctors, who’ve thus far offered no concrete solutions or hope.

Crazy or not, he’s all I have at the moment. Jarret shrugged his

shoulders and slowly offered the man his hand. The man’s hand felt

strangely cool, and Jarret felt an icy-cold electric spark jump from the

man to him as they shook.

“There. Done and agreed,” said the man with a sense of agreeable

formality, like some of the businessmen Jarret dealt with at work.

“Now finish your walk, and return to your wife and child.”

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Guns and other killing machines!

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It all started off with bashing people over the head with a rock, followed by using a club, throwing spears, bows and arrows, crossbows, pistols, canons, explosives, right up to a 50 megaton nuclear bomb. Over the course of history Man has tried to find more and more effective methods to kill one another.
I was struck by a quote by Jesse Hughes, the front man of Eagles of Death Metal who said “I know people will disagree with me but it just seems that God created men and women and that night guns made it equal, and I hate it that it is that way. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them”.

I am sure this man has been traumatized by what happened in Paris, who wouldn’t be. If you are a musician, starting a concert, there is no way in a million years you can imagine maniacs arriving firing guns randomly causing a massacre. You have to admire the group for the way three months after this shocking event, they went back to Paris to finish the concert that was so dramatically shortened. However Jesse Hughes’ thinking can perhaps be brought into question. It is true that the concert goers were at the mercy of the psychopathic killers who burst in with powerful weaponry and had no means of defending themselves.

However imagine if you went to concerts knowing that most of the concert goers were armed with rifles, pistols or whatever…That standing next to you there could be an extremist, a trigger happy crazy guy hungry, for violence, a totally unhinged person, all of whom have freely been given the right to buy firearms in order to “protect themselves”. Put guns into the hands of everybody and people will be dying in far larger numbers and on a regular basis. Having said this it is obvious that measures should be implemented that ensure that what happened at the Bataclan is never repeated.

Everybody walking around in bullet proof vests would be a preferable solution rather than permit everybody walking around with guns. Sadly we have to face the fact that in Europe any major city can be attacked at any moment. We are reliant on the security services to intercept, decode, messages and derail any threats. What can be done in large concert spaces? Train security guards to use guns…have a police marksmen at any major event. There will need to be a system in place to protect people at important events.

Meanwhile the world in general seems to be a far less safer place, not that it has ever been a really safe place in my life time. We have rogue state North Korea, trying to show off to the world that it can do whatever the hell it likes. Testing an H bomb (theoretically) recently, firing a rocket, the only country that could make this errant country step into line is China, but they seem loathed to do so. Strong words might be uttered against their actions, but the threat remains constant, that their deluded “leader” Kim Jong-un, might go too far and try to pull off some crazy stunt that would tip the world into an Armageddon state.

Kim Jong-un is just one menace, but what is going on in Syria, also does not bode well for the continuation of the human race. We have arrived at a particularly dangerous moment in history. The possible illegal ground invasion of Syria by Turkey and Saudi Arabia could ignite a conflict engulfing the great powers that could spin out of control.

Added to this we have ISIS, or whatever name these morons  are labeled with, an organization, with evil on a par with the Nazis, an organization with warped ideology and a propensity to kill and destroy. They hate the West and wish to re-impose a world more akin to Middle Ages, with barbarity that has ceased to exist in the West.

The method of attack has gone far beyond throwing a rock at an adversary’s head, countries/politicians, the military have to consider the fact that they will send the human race over the abyss. Our only hope is that we end this perpetual cycle of hatred.

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Horror Moments

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I wouldn’t describe my book as all out horror, but there are certainly some dark moments. The first story in my book is about a man who is obsessed by a name of a person he cannot place. He becomes obsessed as well as paranoid about what the man whose name he can’t place might do to him. His partner goes out for the evening leaving him a state, in which he imagines the worse possible scenarios.
Things come to a head when he imagines an entity is forcing its way out of his stomach, not unlike the famous scene in “Alien”.

Here is an exert from this story.

Writhing on the bed, screaming in agony, the buttons of his shirt
popping off as his stomach continued distending, his last cohesive
thought was that the force inside him was seemingly poised to make a
decisive thrust to exit his belly. Something jostled inside him and he
watched with horror, the seam of his belly split open like a sliced ripe
watermelon. Blood, the deep red of mature geraniums, abruptly began
pouring out, soaking the beds heets and dripping onto the floor.
As he watched in stunned astonishment, a pair of wrinkled, baby sized
hands appeared from within the opening, followed by a
grapefruit-sized, shiny bald head. The two hands grasped tightly onto
either side of the ragged incision and began pushing and stretching the
cleft open until the head popped out. The head however was fully
developed, like a man who’d almost reached his twilight years, replete
with age-lines, wrinkles, and sagging features, the eyes turned and
stared at him blankly, without recognition, as if the man had awakened
from a long deep sleep.
The entity pushed the rest of its body from Branden’s, fell limply
onto the bed, then dropped with a thud onto the floor, where it began a
process of stretching and enlarging itself to that of a full-sized fully formed
man. Branden heard the man groaning and panting, and, as he
continued to unfold, saw him become more animated. The last thing he
saw as he slipped from consciousness, was the triumphant look of the
being, which had accomplished its sortie.
The second story in my book, involves any parent’s worst nightmare. Imagine if you were a man, trying to give your wife a rest, by taking you recently born baby out for a stroll in the park. Nothing could go wrong…could it? In this story the man returns home, however minus the infant. The story is called Snatched. His wife is quite naturally increasingly bitter towards him. There is no sign of the baby, until one day his wife tells him that “Baby” has returned. Naturally the man wants to see Baby…however his wife is adamant under no circumstances can he see baby siting his major fault of mislaying the infant while walking in the park. His wife gets more and more irrational as well as the fact that inexplicable occurrences begin to occur in the household.
In the coming days, Renton would discover other inexplicable
things: another pile of bones that looked like they had been mauled,
empty jars of baby food piled against a wall. He also noted the food
bill rising. Mother and Baby, it seemed, were consuming food at an
increasingly alarming rate, to the point that Renton began wondering if
she might be keeping more than one baby upstairs, and he began
dreaming of many babies, each one taking a turn clamping onto one to
his wife’s breasts and sucking her dry, only to move on to huge
quantities of succulent meat when she could provide no more milk.
Things were also being inexplicably moved around. He discovered, for
instance, a family photograph album, that included pictures of Baby,
just after his birth, some scribbled on, some torn to shreds. It was as if
an unseen entity had come to live with them in the house.

The last story in my book has a particularly gruesome passage. A reject from Hell returns to earth to wreak havoc, only to find herself the victim of a particularly nasty bit of revenge.

My body froze when a hand touched my shoulder, and I turned to
face the grey specter in what seemed like slow motion. A white light
flashed in my eyes, and I felt a watery splash on my face followed by
excruciating pain. I began to scream at the sound of flesh my own
flesh sizzling. Trickles of liquid ran from my face into my hands,
which instantly began sizzling and dissolving, adding further to the
pain. My legs buckled and I fell to the ground, writhing in agony,
screaming until my voice went hoarse. My assailant, whoever it was (I
would never be able to identify him or her, having been instantly
denied my faculty of sight) hovered over me for some time, no doubt
to witness my agony and relish the results of the effort.

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