Page One Hundred and Forty Nine, The Hands of The Devil

“I tried to stay in my son and daughter’s lives, but it was hard.”

“You didn’t care about them enough.  You were only thinking of yourself.”

Tom looked at the ground.  He knew it was true.

The priest finished his kiwi.

“What more can I do?”  Tom needed to know.

“That is up to you.  But remember this, you can always go back and start at the start.”  The priest stepped behind the tree and was gone.  Tom was now standing in an empty graveyard all alone.

He hadn’t noticed, in all the excitement, that the storm had passed.  Whatever was causing the brief lightning and thunder was gone.

Tom left the way he came in and drove back to his boat.  He found a good place on the bed and fell asleep for the night.  No dreams or nightmares chased around in his head this evening.

Tom woke up heavy the next morning, with the sun streaming in through the window just above his bed.  He could hear the water as it slapped with a gentle ease against the side of the boat.

Tom stretched, turned on his coffee pot, and then grabbed a shower.

When he got out of the shower and put on his clothes, he went in to the kitchen to have himself a little morning caffeine.

The devil was sitting at the table dressed out in his black suit, but looking more human than he did the night before.  The tie was still somehow on fire even though the rest of him wasn’t.

Tom froze.

Page One Hundred and Forty Eight, The Hands of The Devil

The devil said not a word, his red eyes, piercing and burning the night as they stared at Tom.

The priest removed a flaming white sword and held it up against Satan.  The devil backed up and then flashed out.

The beast was gone, for now.

“You see.  As long as you invite Satan into your life then you can never be free of him.”

“I can’t pray.”  Tom was ashamed to admit that to this man who was in such a high place of glory.

“I know.  I saw you try a few nights ago.”

“I wanted to, but I just couldn’t.  It didn’t feel real to me.”

The priest produced a kiwi from his pocket and began to peel it.  Tom watched as this green piece of fruit managed to stay green even in the midst of the blinding white light that covered the man’s hands.

“It will, Tom, you just got to open up your heart.”

“How?”

“You could start with Karlie.”

“My ex-wife?”

“She was your first real mistake.”

“We did make a kid.  That wasn’t so bad.”

“A wonderful one at that, but you didn’t do him or Karlie right.”

Page One Hundred and Forty Seven, The Hands of The Devil

When did you think about patching things up with your ex-wives, asking for forgiveness, charitable things, anything that wasn’t self related?”

“I don’t know.”

“That’s because, you haven’t.  Satan is playing on those weaknesses; and, as long as you remain out of God’s reach, he can’t help you.”

“I’ve tried.”

“No, you haven’t.  You can’t lie to me or him.”  The priest pushed his head upward in a pointing gesture when he said this.

“How dare you take that smug tone with me!”

“Don’t get upset with me, dear boy.  I am here only to state the obvious.  You have blamed your father for everything in this world, and you have let that hatred ruin every chance you ever had at happiness.”

Tom heard a loud hiss close to his ear coming from the tree behind him.

Tom looked up and saw a snake looking down at him.

“You may roar like a lion or crawl on your belly, but your disguises don’t fool me!”

The priest reached up and grabbed the snake.  He tossed it onto the ground; and, when the snake hit the ground, it exploded into a giant fireball.  When the fireball subsided, the devil stood there dressed all in black.  The only thing that wasn’t black was his tie which somehow seemed to be on fire while the rest of him wasn’t.  Tom noticed that the flames illuminated his goat-like face and horn-studded head just like a kid holding a flashlight under his chin trying to scare people.   This made the devil look evil, creepy, and unsettling; but Tom wasn’t afraid.  He felt safe even in the face of pure evil itself.

Movie Review: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2

The Batman has returned after a 10-year absence. The Gotham authorities want to arrest him. An old foe wants a reunion. The Feds want the Man of Tomorrow to put a stop to him.

via Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (Video 2013) – IMDb

Rating: 4/5

I really can’t say anything bad about this movie.  If you read my review for Part 1 you will see that everything I said there fits for this movie.  It had an excellent score (with an eighties vibe), story, directing, voice work, animation, and on and on that list will go from there.  They really did do a great job of bringing this Graphic Novel to life.  I will admit to flinching a few times when the Joker was on a rampage.  I am surprised by how much they will allow a PG-13 animated movie to get away with.  Anyway, just an FYI in case you watch it because I will recommend this movie.  The last twenty to thirty minutes might be some of the best stuff they have ever put into a Batman based movie.

My review to Part 1: http://262pages.com/2012/12/21/movie-review-batman-the-dark-knight-returns-part-1/

Page One Hundred and Forty Six, The Hands of The Devil

Tom rushed over to it, leaping over headstones and ignoring the place where the bodies lay.  For some reason, he had to find out about that light; he had to know what it was.

Tom reached the tree and stopped.

The white light didn’t burn out like it did the last time.  This time it moved toward Tom.  Tom took a step back.  He was curious just a moment ago, but now the unsure side of him kicked in.

Tom turned to run.

Not sure why; he just wanted to run.

A hand covered in white light grabbed Tom on the shoulder, stopping Tom’s forward progress.  Tom turned around, and he was now face to face with the glowing white priest from the church.  The one Tom saw slay the demons the night Karos got hurt.

“What do you want from me?”

“Relax, Tom, you are safe with me.”  Tom relaxed.

The priest took a seat on a nearby headstone and began to speak.  “There’s a war being fought Tom, and you are a part of it.”  Tom watched as the radiant light flowed from the priest like a billowing cape onto the ground.  “In fact the whole human race is caught up in it.  You are just one of billions.  The devil not only finds time for you, but so many wayward souls who just can’t find their place in God’s kingdom.”

“I never said I had a beef against God.”

“Your actions speak louder than your words Tom.”  The priest looked at Tom.  “When’s the last time you sat down and just prayed?

Page One Hundred and Forty Five, The Hands of The Devil

“That’s the reason why I don’t go to the movies these days.”  Tom replied as he climbed into his car.  He turned on some classic rock and sat back in his seat for a moment.

He cranked up the vehicle and pulled out of the parking spot.

The road was empty as Tom pulled his car onto it.

He let the music sink into his ears as he drove towards home.  While he was driving, he passed a graveyard, just as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” came on the radio.  Tom smiled at the irony and looked over at the headstones rushing past.

Something in this graveyard caught his eye.

Tom slid the car to a stop and got out.

A bolt of lightning lit up the sky.

Thunder of course followed.

Tom scaled the fence and launched himself off of it and into the graveyard.  The headstones stood out in numerous tightly packed rows all decorated and designed to fit the person who lay underneath them.

The flash of bright light Tom saw moments before he saw the lightning, looked like some kind of spiritual energy, but it was brighter than anything Tom had every seen.

Tom walked through the headstones, careful not to step on the part where the bodies were underneath the ground.

A bolt of lightning lit up the sky followed by its good friend, thunder.

Tom saw the light he saw from the road once again, just behind a tree.

Page One Hundred and Forty Four, The Hands of The Devil

So begins another Chapter . . . 

Karos was alone in his room as his lifeless body listened to the beeps and drips of the machines.

The floor number four was silent and dark.  It was resting time for the patients on this floor.

Something stirred within the shadows.

Something moved just behind the light.

Something was standing beside Karos’ bed.

Something was watching Karos’ as he slept in his coma.

Something evaporated as Tom sat in a movie theater waiting for his movie to start.

On the screen was a trailer about a couple who wandered off to buy Christmas Trees only to find out the person keeping the lot was a serial killer who had been at this for many years.  A quick shot in the trailer showed the killer sharpening his axe and then putting acid in the eggnog as a cute couple drove up to find a tree.

Someone screamed, “Don’t drink the eggnog!”

Tom smiled and then turned his attention back to the screen.

The movie ended a few hours later.

Tom was eager to get home and have a beer.  The movie had left a flat taste in his mouth as most of them so often do these days.  A high dollar, big budget, spectacle laced with just enough PG-13 moments to sell it to a large audience.