Get Thee Behind Me

Found By Simon Downham-Knight

* The following is a transcript of a letter I found amongst post cards, trinkets and jee jaws in a shoe box under some fibreglass insulation during some recent works in my house.

Posted : 6/6/06

Dear Mother,

By the time you read this, I am sure you will have heard a lot of things about me. About what I have done and why I did it. I know you will be very upset about all this, but I also feel that you are the only person in the world who might actually understand why I did what I am about to do and once I have explained myself, you will know that I did it for the greater good. For the benefit of mankind.  

Mother, I know that you always regretted: telling me what you did at such a young age. You know well enough that I sometimes resented and detested you for putting so much pressure on my young shoulders and I wondered what sort of mother would do such a thing? However, in time, I ultimately learned to love you for telling me when you felt the time was right. That day, before you even knew you were pregnant, praying at the back of Christchurch Spitalfields. Everything became profoundly silent and you heard the voice of an angel say your name and tell you: “Be not afraid; I am an Angel of the Lord, here to tell you that you will soon fall pregnant; that it was going to be a difficult pregnancy but that everything was going to be all right. You are going to have a healthy boy child and that he is going to grow up to become a great man of God.” Mother, you kept me away from other kids and forced me into weeks of enflaming myself in prayer. You controlled everything, the TV shows I watched, the books I read and the music I listened to. You kept me safe and clean from the clutches of women, but Satan turned my head and took me down the road of addiction and alcoholism. Into the arms of whores. I know how much of a disappointment I was to you during the wilderness years; the years of debauchery and debasement; the years of running away from my destiny. I am happy to tell you though, that you were right. I am a great man of God. Now I am ready to fulfil my destiny and once it’s done, I will make you proud of me and take my rightful place at the right hand of God. 

You always said that you named me after the evangelist, John Mark, the writer of the Gospel According to Mark and, as such, it has become my favourite book in the Bible. It says in Mark 13:20 “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.” I AM the one whom he hath chosen and I will save the flesh of millions from death and damnation. He also says in chapter 13 verse 4: “Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” 

Two years ago, I found my way back to God. I became strongly involved in the Elim Pentecostal Church and Pastor John Farr took me into the bosom of his family. A charismatic, young visiting pastor, named Nicholas Abbott, and his wife Judy came to stay with the Pastor. They had with them a baby son, whom they had named Jude. I found myself an outsider again as they became the centre of attention, especially their baby, due to his purity and beauty. I became bitterly jealous of them, but, in time, Pastor Nick drew me into his family circle. He offered me fellowship and we grew closer during many of the church services, sermons, ceremonies and feasts that they put on at the church. When he told me that his first-born son was his greatest tribute to Jesus, whom he loved more than anything, my heart was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and my cup overflowed with love for this young family. I was invited to Pastor John’s house one Sunday after church and it was after dinner that they offered the baby Jude for me to hold. I took him in my arms and looked down at the tiny child. He looked up at me in a way that made me feel uneasy. I felt immediately hotter; more infernal. Sweat trickled down my back and my pulse quickened. I hastily handed the child back to his mother, but I couldn’t shake that deep feeling of apprehension. I went home and slipped into a fever. A delirium that lasted three days; and now I am struck that this was the same amount of time that Jesus remained dead after he was crucified. Three days in which I was assaulted with prophesies, visions  and dreams of the Apocalypse of John. I was consumed with visions of the fiery Red Dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 

Mother, why had this child affected me so? I prayed that God would guide my hand in this matter. At church the following Sunday, I sat away from the Abbott family, but they approached me with their son and offered him for me to hold once again. When I looked at the child, he looked at me with these dead eyes. Black eyes. Eyes of purest evil. My heart turned cold, and my stomach lurched and at that moment, I knew exactly who He was. I was terrified. I looked at Nicholas and Judy and I was overwhelmed with fear as I realised that they knew exactly who this baby was. No other than the Antichrist. These people are the ultimate liars. Acting and working in God’s name but really working in league with Satan to usher in the Great Tribulation. I hastily made my excuses and left. I haven’t been back to that church or spoken to Pastor John since because I cannot be sure that he is not in league with them.

Over the next few weeks, I spent countless hours days and nights in contemplation and prayer. You have given me this knowledge, Lord, now what would you have me do with it? Finally, it came to me. I must destroy the Antichrist. Mother, if you could go back in time and murder (REDACTED) when he was a baby, I am sure you would do so in an instant. The Abbotts returned to their hometown two weeks ago and since then, I have continued to fast and pray and have become more and more convinced that what I have decided to do is, indeed, God’s Will. My destiny. My way of becoming the great man of God that was promised to you before I was born.   

I am posting this letter just as I go to fulfil my destiny. By the time you receive it, it will already be done. I know I will be punished for this. I know many people will not understand what I have done, but I make the ultimate sacrifice. I do it to stop the abomination of desolation from having his way. Please know, Mother, that by killing this one person, I know that I am saving the lives of millions. As I finish this letter and make my final preparations before I leave for Victoria Coach Station, the wind is picking up, the clouds are swirling shades of white and grey. I can smell electricity in the air.  Lord God, let the storm be a special Spirit filled Passover. Let the breath of life direct it over our lands. In Jesus name. Amen.

I love you, Mother. 


Copyright 2022 – Simon Downham-Knight

Published by simonmandrake

A weekly dose of short stories, short films, web series, blogs and articles.

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