The Jude Priestly Journals, Entry 15

June 17th, Year Two of the Vow

I had to break from journaling. My hand was cramping up last night. But anyhow, Dinah said she knew why I saw the spirit of Anabella, the Vampira Coven slain leader.

I was vexed. Not hexed, but vexed.

Let me make it clear, I never cheated on my wife, but facts can’t be denied that Anabella drugged me and she did it for me to do unnatural things with her and others for the sake of her sick, twisted, pagan practices. 

When I got back, I contemplated disavowing as a Nazarite feeling nowhere close enough to the holiness that God requires to carry on the call.

According to Dinah, Anabella’s spirit from hell was attached to me and she was assigned to haunt me from the place of death.

She was assigned some cases dealing with it.

Then she thought of an alternative explanation none of us wanted to hear. That Anabella was alive and astral-projecting a version of herself in the last state I saw her. She wanted me to think I was vexed by her dead spirit.

What would be the purpose of thinking I was vexed by her dead spirit if she wasn’t in fact actually dead?

Dinah said, “Well, the only way to get rid of a vexed spirit is to break the soul tie. Since soul ties can only be broken by the one who vexed you, you need someone who can get you in touch with her from the grave to break that soul tie. A spiritist. But, God’s Word forbids seeking out help from one. If she can get you to break God’s Word, then she can ensure you’re vulnerable, and she can use you for whatever plot she has underway.”

“You sought out spiritists to help people get out of these vexings?” Nike questioned.

“No, never, I love the Lord too much to do such a thing. I was assigned to confront those who knew better who were thinking of doing it. If or when they refused, I was then assigned to watch them from afar and await orders from there. The seven out of twelve times I had to intervene after they consulted with spiritists, it was an unfortunate conclusion. The result was just more death.” Dinah said looking out into the distance, avoiding eye contact with everyone.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, a soothsayer, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who consults the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God is going to drive them out before you.”

None of us believed God ordered the unrighteous who broke His Word to be killed by Dinah’s hands. We knew the series of choices they made, continuing to sin, led to their deaths. We’ve all seen it firsthand.

“There’s no way Anabella is still alive,” Blaze grunted. 

“She better not be alive,” Nike commented.

“Y’all didn’t burn the body like I suggested,” Leece said.

“She was stabbed in the gut and in the heart, no one could survive that,” Jaime said.

“We all know dark arts practitioners have ways of raising the dead or saving the near dead. We don’t know how they do it all the time, we just know they can.” Marge pointed out.

“Somebody go pray for Stevo, we need to know where Anabella’s body is buried and check if the body there is hers.” Nike order.

“I’ll go pray for my brother,” Dinah said, rushing back off to the dining area.

“I’ll get started on looking for Anabella’s tomb. I got a few ideas.” Zala said. She was the tech savviest of the sisters. She was probably the only one who could match Stevo’s super nerd skills.

“We need to rest,” Blaze huffed.

Nike glared her father down. “I’m not going to rest until I can be certain my husband’s greatest enemy is not a threat anymore. I’ll rest when I complete what I came here to do. Originally, that was to find my daughter’s aunt, and now, it’s to be sure her crazy ex-caregiver is dead.”

Blaze surprisingly didn’t have anything to say. He let his daughter walk past him and head to Stevo’s all-seeing-everything-techno-cave.

“I’m gonna rest, Jude.” A tired Blaze told me and he headed for the sleeping quarters, which were converted storage units into bedroom/holding cells.

Turns out the warehouse served as a prison for rogue Nazarites. They refused to disavow and they used their Nazarite power and knowledge for selfish gain or for evil agendas. Since there was no court of law to really convict them of their crimes, Stevo and Dinah took up the noble cause of imprisoning them until they disavow or repent.

They weren’t alone. Zalla, Jaime, and other Nazarites we haven’t met yet helped the Libermanns track rogues and bring them here.

I went where I felt I could help the most. I went to clean the kitchen and help put the extra food away.

Then, when I made the kitchen sparkle and dazzle, I sat down at the table and drank a glass of grape juice pretending it was wine, which I really missed. But I loved the Lord and, though scripture doesn’t say people can’t drink alcohol, Nazarites can’t drink alcohol.

I remembered a time my parents, my brother, and I were living in a warehouse in Cali. Father managed to make it feel pretty homey. I was only 16 and my brother took the Vow a few months prior. Our parents were off on a mission and Levi was stuck at home with me. He got benched for being caught showing off his super strength abilities on a pier like some small-time, side-show-attraction. He collected tips from onlookers convinced he was a fantastic illusionist. I asked him why he did it.

He told me, “One, I wanted to earn my own way for a change. Two, it feels really cool to show people who I really am, to not have to hide that.”

Levi was very much a Nazarite, and it confused me that he gave into his flesh. 

He added, “I love Mother and Father. And I love you brother. I definitely love the Lord, I just… feel so alone sometimes… I’m tired of being alone.”

At the time, I related to him. That sense of loneliness was why I didn’t want to be his record keeper or take the Vow myself. I went off and I found my tribe and I found my people. 

Nike, however, is my person. I thank God I have her to be my wife.

How different life would be though if I never went off to become a mini-indie-rockstar…

If my brother was still alive, he would have married Nike. I would be a rockstar, living my own life, probably still with Celly. Would I be happier than I am now?

I only got to know Caitlin briefly, but Celly, the alter personality of Caitlin, had a lot in common with the real Nike. How the Vampira Coven knew what my type of woman was before I knew what my type was, I’ll never know. Truthfully, if I didn’t start anything with Nike before Caitlin stormed into my life, I probably would have tried to make the relationship work for Hera’s sake.

I was over Celly/Caitlin for sure. 

“Jude,” I heard a voice whisper in my ear.

Was the corpse of Anabella around to aunt me again? I think at this point I’d prefer insanity. Not to insult anyone who suffers from mental illness, but as someone who doesn’t dabble with magic or the dark arts, I really don’t appreciate dealing with the repercussions as someone who does.

Well, wait? Was that true? I dated a witch who frequently used magic on me… maybe this was my penance?

“Jude,” the same voice whispers behind me.

I took a deep breath, and prepared to be struck with fear at the sight of Dead Anabella, and I spun to face whatever spooky thing was getting my attention.

Surprisingly, it was Celly. Okay, not really a surprise. Caitlin said the darkness was buried deep within her and she couldn’t escape from giving into her desire to practice witchcraft.

“Hey Jude, sorry to drop in on you like this, but I thought you could use my help.” Celly said.

I knew it was Celly and not Caitlin because Caitlin said she never learned how to astral-project. 

“I can’t consult you.” I said.

“It’s not consulting me if I came to you. But I was woken up, which can only mean one thing-,” Celly started to explain.

At the same time, we said what my wife, our family, and I were afraid of, “Anabella’s alive.”

“What are you all doing here?” Celly wondered.

I wasn’t about to tell her what our current plans were, just so she could tell Anabella and ruin everything.

“Nonetheless, her power is strongest when she is in Salem. You’ll find her there. Look for a place in the forest where the first set of witches were burned at the stake.”

“Like I’m going to follow any lead you give.” I said, fretful to trust her.

“Look, you have every reason not to trust me, but I will not allow Hera to become a witch. She will defy that fate like your mother did.” Cells said.

My mother was not destined to be a witch, what is she talking about? Before I could, though, she inconveniently said, “I have to go. I’ll meet you all in Salem, in the townsquare. I don’t care if you bring the whole gang or not, Anabella isn’t strong enough to take on the two of us, but the more people we bring the better the odds are on our side.”

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