Gathering Together

           The Boardroom

 

 

 

Abaddon sat proudly behind the intricately carved mahogany table. His large frame fit comfortably in the oversized leather tufted chair.  The king of the underworld ruled his subjects with a heavy hand and a vicious tongue.  He knew how to instill fear in those he ruled.  He could pierce one’s heart with only a look and cut it out with his sharp tongue, never thinking twice about the destruction left in his path after such encounters.

 

Belthar, Abaddon’s top ranking servant stood at the end of the table to Abadonn’s left.  He was hand selected and schooled by his master.  He was the best of tormentors and brought numerous souls to the table.  Belthar was quickly promoted and had charge of training the new recruits in various ways of deception and capturing souls.

 

“Who is next?”  Abaddon asked Belthar as he eyed the young recruits seated in the waiting pit wondering which one would be his next victim.

 

Belthar cradled the clipboard in his left arm and slowly ran his right index finger down the page until he stopped at the fifth name on the list.

“Aischros, approach your king,” bellowed Belthar. He raised his right hand,slid the broad red marker from behind his ear and carefully placed a check mark next to the young recruit’s name.

 

Aischros stood up. He heard his heart pounding as loud as sonic booms almost shattering his ear drums. He clutched his manila folder in front of him hoping that would muffle the sound of fear escaping from his chest wondering if everyone else could hear it too. After sitting for so long in the pit, Aischros legs wouldn’t cooperate with him as he tried to quickly approach the table. Abaddon hated to be kept waiting and gave Aischros “ That look” confirming his dissatisfaction  and intolerance..

 

“So tell me Aischros. How did you secure the soul of your charge Dorsey Green?” asked Abaddon as he leaned back in the soft leather of his chair. His elbows rested on the armrests while his forearms wrapped around his extended belly with his ring decorated fingers grasped together.

 

Aischros swallowed hard and his words tumbled out of his mouth with barely a whisper. “I have not secured her soul yet Sir. I need a bit more time.” Aischros kept his eyes riveted to the floor avoiding any eye contact with Abaddon.

 

“More time?” Abaddon asked in a low growl. He paused and slid his arms from the comfort of his rotund belly to the slick, high polished table top. He leaned in face forward crowding Aischros personal space. Raising his voice slightly louder than the first time he repeated the question “ More time?  What’s the problem?” He hissed. “Are you stupid? This is an easy one. Look at me when I am talking to you.”

 

Aischros forced himself to make eye contact with Abaddon. Each word Abaddon

 spoke came wrapped in the stench of his hot breath that settled upon Aischros as heavy as a full metal jacket..

 

“How much more time do you need?’ Abaddon asked with disgust.

“Sir, if I may explain. There has been a new development” Aischros said.

Abaddon nodded his head and waved the forefinger of his left hand signaling Aischros to continue.

 

 He gently placed the thick manila folder on the table and opened it. He flipped through the first three pages and then spoke. “Let’s see. Oh yes here we are. Dorsey Green has been asking for the gifts of the Spirit. She has been reading healing books instead of watching tv. She pursued opportunities to pray for the sick, and right now as we speak, she invited a friend of hers to take off work and attend the Healing Seminar over at the Rivers of Life Church.”

 

“Let me see that file” Abaddon demanded. Aischros turned the opened file around and gently pushed it toward his king. Abaddon scanned a number of the following pages in Dorsey Green’s file.

 

Tension hung in the air making it difficult for Aischros to breathe He waited in silence,  for Abaddon to finish his reading. He was sure he would understand the difficulty he faced with this new development. Abaddon was a rough taskmaster and accepted no excuses but Aischros was certain this time he would see what he was up against.

 

His eyes strayed for a moment and caught a glimpse of Belthar staring at him. He was not pleased. Belthar was as unforgiving as Abaddon and knew he would catch the wrath of his teacher once he left the boardroom.

 

Abaddon pulled back a dozen pages before he stopped reading. He tucked the pages under the bottom of the manila folder. Resting his elbows on the table weaving his fingers together for a chin rest Abaddon spoke. “Aischros. Were you absent the day Belthar taught on those things called spiritual gifts?”

 

Aischros searched the chambers of  his brain and wondered what bit of information he missed only to be found by the king. “No sir” He answered.

 

“Did Belthar give you a copy of the Bible for you to memorize? It’s very important for tormentors to be very familiar with the Word” asked Abaddon.

 

Aischros dropped his eyes to the floor haunted by what he missed in the file. The file he volunteered to Abaddon as if he were the smart one making a point. He answered “Yes Sir.”

 

“Well then,” continued Abaddon. “You must be ignorant and can’t read. Is that the case?”

 

Aischros felt like he was suffocating, longing for a breath of fresh air. He struggled again for an answer “No sir.”

 

Abaddon turned the file around and told Aischros to read what was written from his own notes on page 15.

 

Aischros cleared his throat and read his writing on the page. “September 8, 2007, Dorsey Green, her pastor and the pastor’s wife held a quiet one-on-one meeting in her living-room. The topics of discussion were the future of the church and what part Dorsey was to play in these plans.” Aischros thought to himself this was exactly what he was trying to tell Abaddon and for the first time since his king reviewed the file he felt he would be vindicated. With a bit more confidence, he continued reading, “Dorsey explained that she desired the spiritual gift of healing and began her pursuit in this matter and that she coveted the prayers of her pastor.”

 

He stopped reading and looked up at Abaddon. “This is exactly what I was talking about sir. This is the dilemma at hand” Aischros again began pleading his case.

 

Abaddon raised his right index finger to his lips silencing Aischros. “You have proven two things to me today. First, that you can read and second…you are an idiot. Continue reading.”

 

Confusion ran through Aischros’s mind like a rat in a maze, in and out of corridors finding only dead ends and no cheese. He slowly drew in a long breath, exhaled and continued reading where he left off. “Dorsey, in an off the cuff manner told her pastor and his wife she believed it would be easier for God to work through her raising the dead and healing the sick then for her to have the gift of love. After all she knew a lot of unlovable people.”

 

“Stop right there” commanded Abaddon.” See how stupid you really are? Any rookie knows out of the heart the mouth speaks…and she spoke it! Can you recite 1 Corinthians 13:2?’ 

 

Belthar glared at his student. He stood silently behind his king waiting for Aischros to answer. Whether he answered correctly or not, he was perfecting the ultimate punishment in his mind for embarrassing him in front of the king.

 

Aischros closed his eyes. He tried to concentrate. His head pounded like a kettle drum or was it his heart. He wasn’t sure and it point it really didn’t matter. It seemed like forever but then ever so slowly he visualized the book of  1st Corinthians. He scanned the chapters in his mind until he came to chapter 12 then 13, verse one and then verse two.

 

He was in a daze, almost mechanical. He opened his mouth and wasn’t sure what would come out. He didn’t think anything came out at first and then he heard the sound of his own voice, “Yes sir I know that Scripture. It says And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

 

No body said a word. Aischros stood there wishing someone would cough or drop a pencil. Anything, to break the deafening silence.

 

“I bet you feel pretty stupid right now. Don’t you Aischiros?”  Abaddon wasn’t looking for an answer as he continued. “You have one week to secure the soul of Dorsey Green.”

 

A sigh of relief escaped from between Aischros’s lips “Thank you sir. Thank you” Aischros repeated over and over as he bowed before his king. 

 

“Take your file and get out of hear.” Abaddon barked. “You disgust me.”

 

Aischros collected his file. Again he bowed to his king. Then he turned and walked out of the boardroom.

 

Abaddon turned to Belthar and instructed him to make a note and reschedule Aischros for review one week from today. Belthar removed the marker again from his ear and placed the note next to Aischors name. Once that was done, he announced the name of  the next recruit to approach his king.

 

 

Aichros found an empty work station at the far end of the War Room. He tossed Dorsey Green’s file on the desk. He made himself as comfortable as he could on the cold metal straight back chair. It was close to midmorning and he knew he had to work fast. He opened the file and skimmed the first couple of dozen pages. He found nothing. He kept digging and searching. He turned page after page after page. Then he saw it.

 

“This is it” Aichros said to himself as he read the entry dated April 23, 2003. “This is it!” he shouted to no one in particular, clapped his hands together and rubbed them back and forth so rapidly the friction brought heat to his hands.

 

His little victory celebration was cut short by the other tormentors occupying the numerous work stations telling him to quiet down. They had their work to do. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He glanced at the wall clock which revealed the time of 11:25 am.

 

Aichros picked up the receiver on the desk phone and tapped out the number of an old friend.

 

“Hey, Phobos old buddy. Got any plans for lunch?” asked Aichros. “Great. Feel like having a little fun?”

 by Jackie Horn