PROLOGUE: COUNT DOWN
Most of the population across the globe held their breath, counting away the seconds at the turn of the millennium. Some were afraid for their very lives after rumours surfaced of a millennium-bug capable of destroying the world’s highest technological advances. This computer glitch was expected to reverse all the good that computers had done in the world; shutting them down so that any facility, company or individual that relied on computers would falter.
Internet and email that connected people internationally with growing popularity could potentially become inaccessible. Banks could lose all soft copy records of exactly how much dough was stored in each account: the rich could become poor and the debtors cleared. Traffic and street lights could become nothing but stakes in the ground waiting for unsuspecting drivers, plunged into darkness, to wrap their cars around. Television, radio, mobile phones and other communication devises could be nothing but useless shells ready for the scrap heap.
Preparing for the worst case scenario meant preparing for worldwide anarchy. Many families had bought years of tinned food supplies and other resources in case this superbug brought the world to its knees. Others withdrew large sums of cash, hiding it in an underwear drawer for the impending disaster.
But this five did not care. This five had never used a computer or mobile phone in their lives. Not that they refused to, it was simply unnecessary for them at this point in time. And any sort of anarchy that might result from the millennium-bug, would only work in their favour. While others were vulnerable, they would take a stand. If the world was turned upside down, they would gladly add to the destruction. While the world looked left, they would ambush from the right!
Not that they needed this millennium-bug to help them. The people of this world were blind enough without having to turn the physical lights out. But the time for war was fast approaching. And when that day came, the millennium-bug would pale in comparison to the upheaval that awaited the unsuspecting billions.
The five witches stood like the points of a pentagram; hands clasped in such a way as to form the shape of their prized astrological symbol. They chanted around a fire in the South Australian bushland, where there were no fireworks to celebrate the New Year; only dark skies with diamond stars shining down on them.
In the flickering firelight, their faces looked quite normal. Female only. Undeniably gaunt; but not unattractive. In fact, some were more attractive than others. One with eyes the colour of a blue lagoon; another with eyes that mysteriously changed shades from dark to light: browns, blues and greens. Their heights varied and they were all exceptionally thin. They did not have unusually long, pointy noses, warts, or unwanted hair follicles. They were just women. But they were not just any women.
They wore black from head to toe. Black dresses with skirts that touched the ground and sleeves that extended with jagged ends to the fingers. Black shoes and stockings tucked beneath. Long, black hair – whether dyed or naturally dark – extending past their shoulders. Black eye liner and mascara with dark burgundy shades of eye shadow and lipstick – the colour of dried blood – for those who chose to wear it. Black fingernail polish.
They were chanting to Beelzebub, prophesying a future that had not yet come to pass. A new day was dawning! Not just a new year or a new century or a new millennium; but a new period in history when the world would come to see the powers that surrounded them!
It was now time for them to emerge from the distant suburbs of South Australia and rejoin the society of Adelaide City. The city where Kelta still lived: the young woman who was going to lead them into power!
Kelta would be eighteen in a few more years. By that time she would be ready and so would they. But for now, sacrifices needed to be made. Blood needed to be shed. Identities needed to be redefined and personalities remoulded.
Two of the witches hadn’t killed in almost nine years. Nicia’s last assignment was to murder a little girl by the name of Bronwyn Leach in 1991; Dido’s was to kill Jennifer Patterson that same year. Calypso had killed more recently; her own mother in fact, in 1994.
But this would be Pleuro and Venus’s first time: the final step toward their initiation into the Undercover Satanic Witches’ Coven.
Pleuro was technically Calypso’s adopted sister. Nimbus had taken her in, nine years ago. She’d referred to the girl as ‘Princess Pleuro.’ Princess because there was something special about her, and Pleuro because she was the plural. Like the ‘s’ on the end of a word, she was the add-on; extra: Nimbus’s back-up plan.
However, when Calypso relieved her mother from her duties to the coven, sentencing her to whatever eternal plan Beelzebub had devised, she scrapped the ‘Princess’ reference. It was tacky. The girl was no more a Princess than she was. Pleuro may be important, but, not at this stage, irreplaceable.
Pleuro, who had just turned thirteen, showed enormous potential. She had passed several tests: ingesting the blood of a human being; skinning a rabbit and eating it raw; and stabbing herself through the wrists and ankles, to create false stigmata wounds as her act of self-mutilation.
Venus, on the other hand was not Calypso’s adopted sister, but her adopted daughter. A year ago Calypso had followed in the footsteps of her mother and taken in the orphan who was at that time, eight and a half years old. She too, now appeared to be ready. Venus’s early days of bed wetting and hysterical crying had ended eight months ago on the day that she’d first slaughtered a sheep, after her life had been threatened by starvation. Now Venus had come to accept her purpose in life as a Satanic witch.
Another orphan Calypso had adopted the year before, had actually starved, although the autopsy report cited a cerebral haemorrhage resulting from a car accident as the cause of death. ‘What a shame.’
As the witches chanted, Calypso could hear the whispers of the demonic forces around her. She was given four names. In a matter of time the people who went by those names would be dead. They would have a new residence for their coven. Three of the witches would have new names and new roles under these identities so they could blend into the world around them for a few years.
The sigh of relief over the superbug false alarm, would soon be drowned out by the mass hysteria of a world at war. And nobody would suspect a thing until it was too late.
“The dawn of redeeming GRACE”
“PEACE on earth and MERCY mild
God and sinners RECONCILED”
Jesus “Rules the world with truth and GRACE”
He is the “Son of God: LOVE’s pure light”
“Born that man NO MORE MAY DIE”
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth”
“Then let us ALL in one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made heaven and earth of naught
And with his blood mankind hath BOUGHT”
“Let EVERY heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing”
He will “Bless ALL the dear children in [his] tender care
And fit us for heaven to live with [him] there”
So “Hail the heaven-born prince of peace
Hail the son of righteousness
Light and LIFE TO ALL he brings
Risen with healing in his wings”
“Be near me Lord Jesus I ask thee to stay
Close by me FOREVER and LOVE me I pray”
I was at Carols in the Domain last night and I was moved to tears when some of the Christmas carol words that I have sung all my life, hit home to me in a new way. Above, I have quoted my favourite lines as a declaration of what Christmas represents to me personally.
Once upon a time, there was a wealthy old man who owned a thousand acres of land. The old man was unable to look after all that land by himself, so he went out into the world and hired employees.
He was a very generous man, and he knew exactly how he would gather workers. He stood on the street corner and called out at the top of his lungs: “Anyone who works my land today will be paid $1000.”
Immediately, some young, handsome, able-bodied men; forgot their agendas and went to work on the old man’s land, but the old man was not satisfied with the number of men who came to work for him. He wanted to be generous with many more, poor, lost souls, so he walked up and down the streets calling out: “Anyone who works my land today will be paid $1000.”
Over the next few hours, some scruffier, middle aged men nodded their heads and went to work on the old man’s land. Several women also stepped through the gates, giggling about whether or not they would be allowed to work since they did not consider themselves as physically capable as the men – but the old man didn’t bat an eyelid.
Halfway through the day, some prostitutes who were also roaming the streets; saw that women were allowed to enter the old man’s property, and decided they would follow suit to make some quick cash.
Throughout the afternoon, people of all ages, sizes, ethics and capabilities entered the old man’s property and went to work: lawyers, firemen, mothers, teachers, retail workers, tax agents, accountants, homeless people, dancers, singers, artists and actors. There were even some hung over alcoholics who woke up at 4:00pm and stumbled through the gates of the old man’s property after hearing his call: “Anyone who works my land today will be paid $1000.”
The old man kept gathering workers until 4:50pm, by which time the streets were empty and his land was abundantly full. At 5:00pm a bell rang and all the workers lined up at the gate to receive their pay. The funny thing was that the workers who came in last were the closest to the gate, so they received their pay first. Most of them could hardly believe their eyes when they received their $1000, for doing 10, 15 or 20 minutes of work.
Whispers floated down the long line of workers about how the generous and wealthy old man was paying lazy alcoholics $1000, and they began to estimate how much they would be paid – maybe up to ten times more since they worked ten times longer than some of the others.
Many of the workers stood in line for an hour, waiting for their pay, and when it came time for the last, able bodied young man to receive the money due him, his eyes were gleaming green with greed. When the old man handed him $1000 in cash, the young man’s eyes turned sour and he said:
“I have been working here since nine o’clock this morning in the hot sun – and I’m telling you: I worked harder than any other man here! I mowed your lawns; pruned your trees – I have blisters the size of grapes from pulling up so many weeds, and I walked your entire property line to repair every hole in your fence! Not to mention standing in line for an hour, waiting for my pay! How dare you pay that sloth alcoholic who came through your gates and started singing some drunken bar tune about swagmen and billabongs, the same amount as you paid me! I deserve better than that!”
The old man looked the young man calmly in the eyes and did not raise his voice. “How dare you claim that I am being unfair? You agreed to work today for $1000. Take your pay and go! If I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you – I have every right to do whatever I want with my own money! Or are you jealous because I am too generous for you to handle?”
So the LAST
Will be FIRST
In the Kingdom of Heaven
And the FIRST
Will be EQUAL
To the LAST
Matthew 20:1-16; 21:28-32– with writer’s liberty
Facebook – Victory Song
“For the earth will be filled…”
‘filled’ implies completely full
“…with the knowledge…”
the Greek word here ‘gnosis’ means to know intimately – similar to a husband and a wife who know each other’s nakedness, annoying habits, body odour, deepest secrets etc. Only with God, it’s even deeper than that – to truly know inside and out
“…of the glory of the Lord…”
his glory is his grace, his love, his peace, his creative beauty, his joy, his abundant life, his forgiveness, his goodness
“…as the waters cover the sea”
all incorporating, saturating, satiating
I want to ‘know’ you Jesus and I look forward to the day when the whole earth is full of your glory and every soul ‘knows’ you