The First Demon

By Josiah Bancroft. I could barely see the words of my pocket Bible by the yellow back porch light.But it didn’t matter much. I was too distracted, too cold, and still too sleepy after a middle-of-the-night phone call had gotten me dressed and outside in a cold winter rain.

“Josiah?” It was J.O. Hunter. “Sorry to call so late, but I need some help. Diana Roper just called and said Larry’s gone crazy. I was going over there to help. Could you go with rne? I’ll swing by and get you.” I must have said yes because I was dressed, outside and waiting for J.O.’s truck. The cold air outside made my breath show and my mind race. Larry, crazy? What kind of crazy? I’d only met Larry once. Dressed in Levis, farm-muddied work boots and a cap hawking “Roundup” herbicide, he looked like lots of folks where we lived. He’d smiled and shook my hand when we met.

Crazy? Maybe a “marital dispute” got rough after too much beer or dope. That was possible. That could make you act crazy alright. My next “maybe…” was interrupted by J.O.’s truck turning into the drive. I jogged toward the headlights to keep J.O. from blowing the horn and wak

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