An excerpt from my Tent Revival novella

Damien is in a dream sequence here. Any comments are welcome. Thanks for reading.

The noise in the room stopped and when he opened his eyes. Rebecca stood where his Daddy was. The church was empty, and she looked at him. Her naked body, glistening in the incandescent bulb above the aisle.

“Damien, is your faith strong enough?” she said and held her hand out to him. Her arms began to writhe in front of him, turning into tentacles. Then her two tentacle arms became many. They were the color of her skin on top and white as snow underneath with small snapping mouths full of teeth every few inches. He stood there unable to flinch and not sure if he wanted to. Her eyes stared at him and he was mesmerized.

“Are you strong enough to love me, Damien?”

He felt he wanted to, with all his heart, but something in him kept him from jumping into her arms. Something deep down tugged at him. He wanted to ignore it, give himself completely to her. The tentacles wrapped around him and pulled him closer to Rebecca. Her lips met his and kissed him deeply. She bit his lip and sucked the small droplets of blood forming there. He closed his eyes again and when he opened them, a man was sitting in the church pew.

Damien looked at him with disbelief. It was Jonesy. Only it wasn’t the Jonesy Damien remembered. This man was brighter and healthier looking. He sat with his head down. Damien sat beside him. Jonesy considered him and smiled.

“What do you believe in, Damien?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Once you get past the veil of the living, do you know what’s on the other side?”

“Am I dead? Is that what you’re tellin’ me, Jonesy?”

“No, you ain’t dead. Rebecca’s just givin’ you a peek over here. I’m what you might call a guide. Someone to push ya in the right direction. Remember back on the front, how we always had each other’s back?”

“Yeah, I remember,” Damien said.

“Well, you had mine more than I did you. I should’ve stayed back with you instead of going up ahead. I might’ve been where you are now.”

“Where exactly is that, Jonesy?”

“Why, with Rebecca. You in a good place, Damien. A real good place. Give up what you know and follow her. You won’t be sorry.”

“I want to, but I gave up believing on anything. I let my faith go, it’s gone.”

“Naw, you didn’t. You just misplaced it; put it in the hands of idles. Your Daddy, my cards. You held onto the wrong things.”

“I didn’t hold onto anything my Daddy gave me. The crazy fuck only gave me and my family grief. He’s the reason I have no faith.”

“You’re mistaken. You did hold onto something from him. You don’t realize it. He gave it to you. The serpent seeks the dark heart.”

“I don’t understand, Jonesy. What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.”

“It will. If you follow her. Rebecca is calling to you. Answer her, go to her, Damien.”

Damien watched as Jonesy began to vanish along with the church. He closed his eyes again and drifted off to sleep.

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