Many doubt the word of the lord, but my congregation and I know the power of his mercy. Once this land was blighted and infertile, but our lord heard our prayers and saw fit to bless us with a bountiful harvest year after year, such is the fruit of our devotion. If the lord does not hear the prayers of others it is because they have lost their way, given in to temptation or forsaken the old ways for a “softer” more “modern” faith. Our god is a lord of mercy, but he is also a lord of sacrifice. To truly earn his favor, one must live a life of piousness and poverty. One must turn away from the marvel and glamour of the modern world, knowing that only through his glory can true, lasting happiness be achieved.
Before he saw fit to bestow his miracle onto our humble town there was rampant poverty and hunger. Our poor soil could not yield good harvest, and without crops for ourselves or our livestock, we were forced to purchase our food from outsiders, often at exorbitant prices. There was little industry in the town, many could not afford their daily bread. The church did what we could, but at times we strained to feed even our own mouths. When times seemed darkest, I would often refuse my supper so that a less fortunate soul may eat that evening, choosing instead to take long walks though the church grounds, stopping occasionally to pray to our lord for guidance. One cold winter’s eve, as I pray beside an old hand dug well on the north east corner of the grounds, my prayers were answered and I heard the voice of our lord! He said unto me that our prayers had been heard and will be answered. All that he asks is a display of faith, an offering. So it is that each year on the 5th of December, my congregation gathers to lower our offering into that blessed well, so that the lord may bless us with bountiful harvest in the coming year.
No good deed goes unnoticed it seems, by both our lord and our adversary. The devil sees our devotion and grows angry, jealous of the offerings we bestow upon our lord. Ordinarily we would merely offer bread and wine, but Mrs. Evens gave birth to three beautiful boys that September, and we wanted to ensure they would not want for anything in the coming year, so a live hen was lowered, and that is when the nightmares began. Visions of winged monsters made of white hot fire, speaking in tongues we could not understand. The whole town was having them. We agreed that the best course of action was to stand against the devil, and show the lord that even when faced with such terrors, our devotion was stronger than ever! Offerings became more frequent. Three Decembers since the nightmares began we had moved on from chickens and bread to sacrificing lambs and cattle, but still the nightmares persisted, the weather became harsh and a gloom overtook the town. The devil’s strength has begun to lead members of my flock astray. They look at their brothers and sisters as if they are monsters. They accuse us of haven been lead astray from gods word. The poor fools, they cannot even see the irony in their words. Still, it is not their fault, the devil has tricked many men wiser and more devout in the past.
Last night as I pray before the well, as has been my custom since that December night those many years ago, an angel was revealed to me. Its eyes glowed like the evening sun as its mouths spoke the will of the lord. The hold of the adversary on our little town would be lifted! All the lord asks in return is for us to bless the well with one last sacrifice, greater than a steer and far greater than any lamb. With claw extended the angel gave to me a dagger, carved from the bones of a past sacrifice. It is with this holy blade that I am to make the final offering, the souls of the Evens boys. Mrs. Evens and her husband fell away from the grace of the lord and left our congregation late last year. She will not give her boys to us easily, but hopefully when this is all over she will see that we do this for her. For everyone. For the glory of our lord, blessed be his names.