Thursday, July 05, 2018

Death of a warlock


Ethan Mather was captain of the Lacrosse team. Athletic and handsome, with flashing amber eyes like a lion, and a mysterious magnetism. Amber eyes ran in the family. His father and grandfather had them, too. The other boys viewed Ethan with respect, admiration, and fear. It was dangerous to be his friend, but more dangerous not to be.

He seemed to be able to read minds. And hex people. Not that anyone ever saw him or heard him hex another person, but if you crossed him, bad things happened. Uncanny things. Like the time he caught a classmate making out with one of his girlfriends. Next day the classmate was attacked by a swarm of bees. Hospitalized. Never returned to school.


Ethan was a warlock. That was the secret source of his strange abilities. He could anticipate what players were going to do before they did it. A gift that also helped him win at poker.

He didn't choose to be a warlock. He was born that way. He came from a long line of warlocks. A lineal descendent of Cotten Mather.

Yes, there really were witches in Salem. They infiltrated the highest reaches of society as mayors, judges, and governors. Their philosophy was to hide in plain sight. Gain civil power to protect themselves.

They infiltrated the church. Became ministers. Succeeded in defanging the spiritual power of the church by turning New England to unitarianism.

Cotten Mather participated in witch trials to deflect attention away from real witches. He targeted Christians. Witches feared Christian prayer.

Warlocks had preternatural longevity, so they had to feign aging and death, then start a new life elsewhere.


But the benefits were offset by terrible side-effects. Ethan's relatives suffered from depression, insanity, and bouts of murderous rage. Ethan suffered from hellish nightmares. Friendships were fragile. Ethan's kind were unforgiving. They could turn on each other. Joyless power.


Ethan once had a conversation with a progressive pastor who dismissed the supernaturalism of Scripture as superstition and mythology. Ethan was amused. He wasn't an atheist. He knew, as only the Enemy can know, how true the Bible is. He was more orthodox than most churchgoers.

He began to tell the minister things the minister had done that no one could possibly know about. The minister became alarmed.


The countryside was haunted by a wolf pack. The devil's familiars. People sometimes spotted the pack in the meadows, at dusk.

One day, Ethan met Jasmine. When Jasmine was cycling at dusk, the pack began to encircle her.

But Ethan happened to be jogging at the same time. He walked over to the alpha wolf. For a moment, they looked each other in the eye, then the pack took off. Jasmine was relieved, but puzzled by Ethan's inexplicable affinity with wild animals.

She and Ethan began spending time together. She was pretty, with a winsome personality. A churchgoing girl. Ethan could sense that she was authentic. He ran through many girlfriends, but she was the first girl he fell for. She had something that was missing in his own life. A different kind of mysterious magnetism.


One time she invited him to church. He was profoundly uninterested, but since it was a way of getting closer to her, he agreed.

Only, when he arrived at church, he couldn't go inside. With each step, he developed a raging headache and blisters. So he retreated.


Ethan was at a crossroads. Would he return to his old life?

He arranged to speak with the pastor on neutral ground. He could sense that the pastor was authentic.

He explained the situation. The pastor said the only solution was to undergo exorcism. If successful, Ethan would be liberated, but lose his occult powers. A tradeoff.

Ethan finally agreed. Although his powers were advantageous, they didn't make him happy. He felt a yawning darkness inside. He feared damnation. And he wanted to be with Jasmine.


The exorcism was excruciating. Ethan passed out. When he awoke, he didn't remember what had happened, but he felt different. Weaker, but better. The nightmares were gone. His eyes changed color. No longer amber. Now they were just plain brown.


Adjusting to normal life was frustrating. Everything had been so easy for him. But now he had to rely on natural ability and hard work. Now he had to experience failure for the first time in life. He was bumped from captain of the Lacrosse team because he lost his edge. Still a good athlete, but nothing extraordinary.

He and Jasmine married. His newborn son had brown eyes, not amber. Ethan was relieved. The family curse was broken.


  1. Great story. Reminds me of death of a guru.

  2. I'd really like to read more about the Reformed perspective on this kind of thing.... most of what I see is TradCatholic and Pentecostal.

    1. If you're alluding to exorcism, there are Lutheran and Anglican exorcists as well.

    2. But Deliver Us From Evil: an introduction to the demonic dimension in pastoral care, by Anglican priest and exorcist John Richards, is one of the more level-headed expositions.