The Open Door
      "It's worth a shot.  Turn on your
computer and let's look up local retailers who specialize in
spiritual, Biblical, and religious material."
      Cody typed in a search that brought up
three places within a ten-mile radius.  The closest being a
place called, Word of God.  "They seem to have a large
inventory—mail order mostly—but it reads that they have a catalog
customers can look through.  Maybe they'll have what we need
already in stock."
      "Let's hurry; maybe we can get some
ideas before, IT returns.

    Candles flickered, distorting moving shadows
on the amber-lit walls of Mustapha’s home office.  He thumbed
through Scott’s documents and photos when a foreboding feeling
washed over him. 
      A language specialist and interpreter,
Mustapha had not been exposed to anything paranormal—it wasn’t his
line of work.  And yet he felt interested, even consumed with
Scott’s case since their first meeting.  Mustapha was
determined to unearth who or what was behind the heinous acts
perpetrated towards Scott. 
      An old fashioned ring chimed from
Mustapha’s 1950’s phone, “Hello?  This is Mustapha.”
      Silence absorbed the night, turning
the office into a seemingly unoccupied space.
      “Anyone there?  Hello?”
      A hissing sound coming through white
noise now filled his ear.  He listened intently, if nothing
else, out of pure curiosity. 
      “This is Mustapha.  I can’t hear
you.  Please call back.”   He hung up after figuring
there was nothing to be heard but noise providing nothing more than
      The phone rang again. 
      One, two, three, four . . . After
counting to ten, he would hang up.  There was no time for
prank calls.  Five, six, seven, eight, nine—a voice spoke
something in Arabic.  Then Swahili, Russian, Latin.  All
of a sudden, they were all speaking at once, but in a whispering
tone, like thousands of snakes hissing into the receiver. 
      Mustapha listened closely as cold
shivers ran the length of his short body.  He was able to make
out the Arabic; after all, that was his native language, but he
could only understand bits and pieces of the other languages that
spewed out.  What he was able to decipher left him feeling
hollow, cold, almost in shock.
      He wrote what he could remember on
paper, filling in the blanks to form complete sentences: Y ou and
your new friends are all damned to spend eternity with me, in
Hell.  You have been chosen, and all who help the tall
one.  There were many vile words said as well, but
Mustapha chose to leave them out—they were obviously added for
effect and held little to no relevance.
      After some needed research, he would
have to call Scott to arrange a meeting.  Mustapha was aware
that Scott’s friend, Cody had already helped him; he had to get to
Scott before anyone else was involved.  Including him, there
were now three, although Mustapha wasn’t certain if Cody had any
contact with what he presumed to be, demons. 

    Scott and Cody pulled into the near empty
parking lot. The building, which once housed a department store,
was now a plain looking brown-brick enclosure with the only window
being the entrance door. There was no signage displaying the name
of the company, just what was printed on the door; a sure sign the
business was a modest one.
    Scott and Cody approached the front door;
Scott pulled it open, causing the tiny bells to ring that dangled
from the top—surely the bells were to alert the few workers that
someone had entered.
    Cody sat in the lounge sifting through the
assorted magazines. Scott stood—too anxious to sit—and in too much
a hurry to waste time reading magazines containing cars he couldn’t
afford or movie stars he could care less about.
    Footsteps from the hall became

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