This is kinda hard to explain, but I encountered something very unsettling over the weekend that I would like to share with you now.
Last Friday night I was sitting alone, in my house. I live in a suburb about a 30 minute drive away from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It is a nice little area, and I got some woods in my backyard. I have lived here for quiet some time, and I have gotten to know all my neighbors. I know if someone is from my neighborhood or not outside of the area.
Anyway, away from me boringly describing the place I call home, I was sitting in my house Friday night playing a League of Legends game with some of my buddies. Yes I know some people do not enjoy this particular game, but we play it ever Friday. I was playing with them when all of the sudden I heard what was a faint yell. It sounded like it came from my woods. I did not bother with it because:
1. It was late and I did not want to go out into my woods just to check on something stupid like this.
2. I have pretty loud neighbors so I shrugged it off saying it was one of them.
So me and my buddies finished up our LoL game, which we won by the way, and I went downstairs to get some food before I went to sleep. Then I heard the faint yell again, this time it sounded a bit louder. I could not directly describe what it sounded like to be honest, it might have sounded louder, but it also sounded muffled and far away, I barely even heard it before upstairs. Curious me of course wanted to go outside and see what the commotion was. Then it started to rain, which was typical since it was a rainy month. I diminished the thought of the sound being distant thunder or something in nature.
I finished my before bed meal of an apple (always have an apple before going to sleep.) and some water, and I was about to head upstairs to my nice cozy bed, when I heard the yell a third time! This time it sounded louder then before, in fact, it sounded like it came from down the hill were my backyard goes into. It also sounded much clearer this time around, it sounded like "Help".
I was a bit frightened by this and decided to check it out. I know that most people would usually go to bed and forget about it in the morning, but I was actually curious, and I did not really feel tired, not to mention hot. So I decided to get a little hose down from mother nature and see what the noise was. I walked out onto my back porch and looked into my woods. It was insanely dark and I could not see a thing. I could only see the bushes on the edge of the woods and some trees. I turned back around to go back inside when a loud noise came from the woods.
"Help me please!" shouted the noise. I turned around and saw a man stumble out of the woods. He looked extremely bruised and battered. He did not have a shirt, and his pants were muddy and black.
"Help me, I can not go back." he said as he collapsed onto my lawn. I did not know this man, and I certainly did not know what "back" was to this man. Yet, being the good Samaritan I am, I rushed down and helped the poor man into my house. He felt like he weighed less then 100 pounds, and he looked skinny as hell when I got a good look at him.
I carried him into my living room and laid him on my living room sofa. He did not wake up for at least an hour. I got to look at him some more. He had dirt in his hair, and all over his body, like he had been buried for some reason. His fingernails were bleeding and his hands were cracked. His feet were blistered, like he ran a long way up to this point.
When the man woke up, he was startled and dazed. He looked around for a bit and saw me.
"Where am I?" he asked in a solemn voice.
"My house, obviously, you kinda had a heart attack on my backyard, so I helped you inside." I replied.
"I need to keep moving, gotta get to....." he moaned and held his bleeding hands.
"First off though, you gotta tell me your name." I stated.
"My name, is Elijah Harper," he said in a quiet voice.
"Well Mr. Harper, I will let you rest for a bit, but when I come back I want to know some more details." I said as I left him in my living room to clean up. He was pretty dirty, so I had to clean my hands from the dirt and blood. I also got an old shirt that he could wear.
I came back and saw Elijah laying in the same position, still with a dazed look on his face.
"Before I can offer you my hospitality, might I ask what you were running from." I stated. Half of me did not want to know the answer.
"The law." he stated as my stomach sank into my leg. I could be dealing with a fugitive I thought to myself. I was not quick to draw to conclusions, but in this case it could save my life.
"What did you do?" I asked the could be fugitive.
"I did do something, something terrible, and something I am ashamed of." He said in a still shaky tone.
"Which was what exactly?" I replied.
"Murder a guest of mine." He said. I was terrified now, and very tempting to go back upstairs and get my .45 Cal.
"It was some time ago, and I had a dinner for some friends," continued Elijah, "We all had some food and some drink, a little bit too much if you ask me. We all were merry and lovely, until my best friend admitted something heart wrenching. He said that he was screwing my wife. I thought the wine was taking its tool a bit to much. Then he began to rant on the experience, about how great it was, and so on, and so on. Drunk me could not handle this fact. I murdered him there with a knife we used to cut the pie at desert."
The story was indeed shocking to me. This man, in a drunken stupor, murdered a guest of his.
"I need to rest up still, I have a long journey." He said as he fell back asleep.
When I knew he was asleep I raced upstairs and grabbed my phone. I dialed 911 faster then I have ever dialed.
"911 Emergency Operator, please state your emergency."
"I would like to report a fugitive murderer resting in my house." I said in a terrified tone.
"Okay, I will get police at you house as fast as possible, but can you tell me the name of the fugitive?"
"Elijah Harper." A long silence endured on the other end.
"I am sorry sir, but that man is not registered as a fugitive, he is living in the South Side of Pittsburgh with his wife and kids."
"What, that is impossible, he is a murderer!"
"I am sorry but this man has no criminal record."
"Sir, I understand you, but the data shows the name is not a murderer."
The phone hung up, and I was immediately in shock. The man must be delusional, maybe it was an accident he could not prevent and he blames himself for it. But how in hell did he get from the South Side all the way to here?
Something else was nagging in the back of my mine, something more religious.
I remember reading the story of Dante's Inferno, you know, the story basically giving us a blueprint for eternal damnation? It was in high school but I remember a lot from it.
According to the Inferno, in the ninth circle of hell (treason) their are four circles, one for each type of treachery. The one that stood out to me was the Third Circle, which is the second-worst sin you basically could commit, lying right above the circle containing the devil. This was reserved for the sinners who committed acts of treason against guests
The circle has a name to, it is called Ptolomaea, named after the general Ptolemy who invited Simon Maccabaeus, the famous Jewish general who helped Israel rebel from the Selucid Empire in 145 B.C.E, and his sons to dinner before murdering them. This circle of hell is named after Ptolemy.
The circle, however, had a very chilling fact. Sometimes when the soul commits the sin of treason to a guest, their soul is immediately ripped from their body and thrown into this circle forever. The physical body is then possessed by a demon.
I went back downstairs with this knowledge in mind and went to Elijah. When I entered the room, Elijah stood up. I was terrified at this point, and now I felt threatened.
"I thank you for your hospitality, now I must leave." he said in a much stronger tone.
"Were are you going?" I nervously asked.
"Home." was his simple reply.
"I have so many more questions for you." I stated, sounding like an idiot for doing so, yet I asked anyway.
"No, no time, I have wasted enough already, I must get back before they......"
Then, a light came from my back window. I thought it was dawn at first, but then I looked at the time, 1:00 AM.
Then more lights appeared, this time in multiple windows. Soon all my windows were glowing.
"No.... no no no no no no!" stated the man in a very frightened tone.
"What the fuck is going on!?!" I shouted.
"They found me...." he whimpered.
The lights got more and more intense. Everything was bright and soon I could see nothing but pure white light. It was burning, yet at the same time filled me with a sense of awe.
I felt a lot of power in the air, yet I could not see anything.
"NO!" shouted the man.
"PLEASE NO, MY FAMILY IS IN DANGER, PLEASE, I CAN'T GO BACK!!!!" Elijah screamed
The light dimmed, and when my sight finally was restored, I was alone. Elijah was gone. It was like he wasn't even here. I was confused for a long time. I went to bed, yet I hardly slept at all. When I woke up, I went downstairs, and saw a note on my sofa. It looked like it was their all night.
"Please, I know they will find me, save my family." It said.
I understood everything at that moment. Elijah had murdered a guest, and Ptolomaea dragged him to hell. I do not know how he escaped that God forsaken place, nor do I want to know. Either way he escaped, only to have God send him right back.
You know the scary thing is not about being in the presence of a dammed soul.
Remember, Ptolomaea only takes a man's soul, while the Physical Body is possessed by a demon.