Friday, August 05, 2011
New Release from Dana Pratola
"The Covering" by Dana Pratola
What do a Christian woman and a faithless biker have in common? The devil of course.
“Your pastor says I’m marked for death.”
The abruptness of the announcement left her momentarily speechless and quite unsure she’d heard correctly. “What?”
“He thinks the devil’s trying to kill me.”
She looked closely for any sign of humor, but Gunnar didn’t have a sense of humor she was aware of.
“Why does he think that?” she asked.
“I told you I have nightmares, right?” Tessa nodded. Gunnar ran his finger along the edge of his napkin. “Well it goes a little beyond that.”
Tessa listened, enthralled, as Gunnar described in terrifying detail what he suffered in the night. A few things made more sense – his hostility for one – and she now had a better grasp of what pushed him toward suicide. God, how had he coped so long with the torment?
“I’d say Pastor’s right,” Tessa said when he finished.
The waiter arrived with their plates then disappeared. “You said when you had the gun to your head,” she shivered inwardly, “it didn’t feel like you.
It felt like you were being driven.” Gunnar met her eyes across the table. “I believe you were.”
“Demons, right?” he asked. Tessa inclined her head. “Can they do that?”
“They can’t pick up your gun and shoot you with it,” she said. “But they can be persuasive.”
“Yeah,” he grumbled.
Tessa glanced around the small room. To an eavesdropper the conversation would seem like mumbo jumbo and ordinarily she wouldn’t care if strangers thought her “out there” or weird, but she kept her voice low in consideration for Gunnar’s privacy.
“When was the last time you had one of those dreams?” she asked.
“It’s been a while. Thank God.” He made a sound exactly between a chuckle and a snicker. “I mean that.”
This time when Tessa reached for his hand he left it under hers, turning it upward to lightly grip her fingers. “But you don’t think it’s the end,” Tessa said.
He topped her thumb with his and rubbed gently. “It’s like they’re constantly hovering. Waiting for the right time.”
Tessa refused to acknowledge the chill that swept through her.
“I know when they come for me, I won’t be able to stop it,” Gunnar said. “And one of these times they’ll pull me back there and I won’t come out.”