Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Idol and the Spell

When Georgina opened her eyes, she was tied hands on back - a situation she knew from earlier years (as you will know if you have read those of Enid Blyton's books where the title starts with "Five ..."). George was - poor guy - swaying back and forth with closed eyes in front of a man who seemed to dominate him. A thin and short man. Behind them there was some kind of broad fire - like fire for barbecues, but with no grate on it and much broader than any barbecue she had seen yet. She realised why the room was hot and she was thirsty.

Behind that there was some idol. Six arms, like the statues of Shiva in India. But unlike those, the head was a vulture's head, and the fingers and toes were rather claws, just as there was a beak on the vulture's head. It was an evil idol. I mean, idols are not exactly good, at least as far as Christianity is concerned, but Roman and Greek ones were usually at least gentle. This one was avid for blood.

"You thought you could rebel, that you could shake off Tash."

"Yes," said George in a very dry and lifeless voice.

What she heard thereafter, she was not able to recall without vomiting, so she has not told word for word. But it included a very abject submission from the poor enchanted George and also a very ugly incantation to someone or something called Tash (more than once called inexorable) by the evil little man. She looked about for something that could comfort her. At her side there was a Roman Catholic priest. But he too seemed under some daze.

Beyond him there was Simon, the father of George.

She got no further in looking about, since what happened before the idol called her attention back to it.

"Show us you are a vulture ..."

George started crying out with shrieks more birdish than human. And not the nicest birds at that. Then he started pecking on the ground, incredibly fast for a human as if guided by the forces of a bird, he picked up an unfortunate frog and swallowed it alive.

"Show us you can kill ..." the small man handed George a knife. A crooked knife like those found in the far off eastern countries. "Kill that girl" he said and pointed at Georgina.

George took the knife and started against his fiancée, the stopped.

"You need to practise a bit first. Pick some more food from the ground."

And George started pecking again, not using his hands except to still hold that crooked knife. He pecked after a very fortunate rat, whe ran away just in time. And he came closer and closer to Georgina.

She was sure he was so much under a spell that he would eventually kill her unless something happened. What could break a spell like that? Well, maybe some Christian confession of the truth. Of Christ's triumph over hell.

"The plowman answered then the priest,
Sir, I believe in Jesus Christ
Who suffered death and harrowed Hell
As I have heard mine elders tell."

As she said those words a few things happened. The evil man went forth to slap her. George, who was still under the spell and acted like a bird somehow found the independence to be a bird who shoved that man (who was occupied with other things than controlling him), and he shoved him so he fell into the fire. And the priest opened his eyes, just in time to hear the agony of the evil man, and see him try to get out of the fire but being pushed back time after time by George, who was using the pecking technique - as vulturish as the spell had made him.