Echoed footsteps reverberated off the stone walls and marble floors. The measured pace an agonized pounding that was nearly enough to drive Dylan mad. He watched helplessly as their captor strode back and forth before them. His stature was unimposing, but the surety he carried himself with could only come from a sense of assured power and invincibility. The features of his face possessed both a beauty and a severity. There was no softness, no gentleness, no mercy present at all. Only an unrelenting that bordered on harshness. It was clear to Dylan that whatever he was, he wasn’t human. No soul could be present behind those black eyes. The petulant smile plastered to the monster’s face was the only thing more infuriating than his incessant footfalls.

The idea they were defeated wasn’t something Dylan was willing to accept. There had to be a way out. He couldn’t see one at the moment, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t one. He couldn’t communicate with Dinah either. There were so many men focused on them it was impossible to engage her without drawing someone’s immediate attention. He snuck a glance at his cousin from the corner of his eye and was shocked by what he saw.

Dinah showed no sign of concern despite their current situation. She stood confidently, her hands on her hips. There was a gleam in her eye that told Dylan she had a plan. In all the years they had known each other, Dinah had never been a good poker player. She wore her emotions on her sleeve, making it nearly impossible for her to bluff. Dylan prayed that was true in this instance as well. The wrong move would certainly cost them their lives.

“I have worked a long time for this moment. My master will be greatly pleased with me. Your capture has been his foremost goal,” the ghoul in a suit gushed confidently.

“Don’t be so certain of that” Dinah almost laughed as she spoke, ”You’re assuming it was your master who ordained this. What makes you think it wasn’t mine?”

The pacing ceased as the demon, Abbadon, turned to fully face Dinah and Dylan. He considered the strength in her stance for a moment, and the triumph faded from his face. He had expected their fear to be palpable, and yet here was this child, for all intents and purposes, denying him his moment of glory and revelry.

“You’re right when you call me a child. I am a child of the Great I Am. It is you who should be afraid.” Dinah spoke with such authority that her words struck like a braided whip.

Abbadon hissed as he realized Dinah had read his thoughts. His master had not prepared him for this.

“Of course he hasn’t prepared you for this! He couldn’t prepare you to win a victory you have already lost. I almost feel pity for you.” Dinah’s eyes raked up and down the demon’s frame, which seemed to visibly diminish under the weight of her spoken truth.

“What is this?! It is I who have trapped you! How do you have this power? To be inside my mind! I will destroy you!” Rage erupted from the fear roiling in the mind of the fallen angel.

Dylan reached out and grabbed Dinah’s hand. He wasn’t convinced yet that Dinah really knew what she was doing. His intent was to caution her but, the moment his skin touched hers, he felt a surge of power unlike anything he had ever experienced before. His fear vanished, replaced by the absolute assurance that comes from being one of the chosen children of God Almighty.

“You have no power over us! We are no longer slaves to fear!” Dylan stepped forward as he spoke, his eyes blazing.

All over the room, guns trained in on Dylan, ready to fire at Abbadon’s command. Before he could give the order however, Dinah raised her voice so even the men in the very back could hear her.

“Fear not! We are not your enemy. The one who commands us loves you, and wants nothing more than for you to be restored to him. Lay down your weapons! You are forgiven!” Her palms thrust forward on the word “forgiven” and a great rushing wind burst forth in every direction. The men were buffeted about by the blast and could barely keep their balance. Hushed voices washed over the three figures in the center of the room as the men were released from Abbadon’s influence and returned to themselves. All over the room, men lowered their weapons and fell to their knees.

“What are you doing?! Get up you fools! She is nothing!! I am the one who commands you!” Abbadon screeched at the men in desperation

“You have no power here demon.” Dylan closed in with clenched fists.

Abbadon glared back warily as his adversary stalked him. “I am the King of the Pit! This world was given to me by my master! I am not to be trifled with, boy!” He spat the last word as an insult, but Dylan merely grinned back, not slowing his pace at all.

“I won’t trifle with you. I will deal with you exactly as you deserve to be dealt with.” Dylan closed the gap with one more stride and grabbed the demon by the lapels of his designer suit. In one swift movement, Dylan threw the creature against one of the great stone pillars in the foyer. “There is only one King. The one who has called me has the power here. Can you see that now? Should I speak His name? Will that convince you?”

“No!” Abbadon cowered against the cold marble. All semblance of his former confidence having evaporated beneath Dylan’s fiery glare. Even the men who still surrounded them shrank back. Many were trying to gather their bearings and come to grips with the new reality, that their leader was no longer who they wanted to follow.

Dinah put her hand gently on her cousin’s shoulder, a quiet request for restraint implied by the touch. Once again, power flowed into Dylan, but this time it called him to peace instead of action. He inhaled deeply, centering his focus on who he belonged to.

“I want you to deliver a message to your master,” Dinah’s voice was calm, implying no imminent threat.

“Am I to be your errand boy now?” Abbadon hissed derisively.

“You can convey our message, or you can be the message. It’s up to you.” This time there was no mistaking the danger in her still, even tone.

“What would you have me say?” The demon knew he was in no position to argue.

“The One who was, and is, and is to come, has claimed this world as His own, and there is nothing that can separate us from Him. No matter what your master has planned, he will fail. The victory was won over two thousand years ago. You are both destined to return to the pit you are so proud to rule over. For eternity.”

Dinah could see the fear in Abbadon’s eyes. Despite his claims of dominion, he wanted to be free of the pit. He wanted to rule on Earth, not under it. Even his basic nature was to want to draw closer to the Creator’s creation.

“You know I speak the truth. Now go and speak that same truth to your master. Remind him who the Conqueror truly is! In Jesus’ Name!”

The moment Dinah spoke the savior’s name a tremendous crack resounded through the building and the marble foyer opened like a great maw to swallow Abbadon. Sheer panic reigned over the hardened warriors surrounding the cousins as the former temple of worldly knowledge shuddered and began to crumble around them. Their screams mixed with the thunder of falling stone as they tried to escape.

Dylan grabbed Dinah’s hand and she could sense his fear. Without stopping to think about what she was doing, she pushed the peace she felt in her soul outward from herself to cover Dylan as well. Immediately his hand relaxed in hers, despite the chaos that rained down, quite literally, around them. She knew there was no way she could explain what was happening within her, or how she was able to do what she had been doing. Dinah just knew that faith was the key, and as long as she trusted in Him things would work out exactly as they were meant to. She need only follow The Light.

Dust billowed up from the building’s collapse as Dylan and Dinah stood in the center of it. A moment before Dylan was wracking his brain for any possible escape route, squinting through the choking cloud that engulfed them. The noise nearly overwhelming him all on its own. Then Dinah’s hand was squeezing his and his fear vanished. As though she knew what he had been searching for, she raised her other arm and pointed. Dylan turned in the direction Dinah indicated. Light blazed through the tumult and beckoned to them. In unison they obeyed its call.