Authors: Byron J. Smith
Inside Lucifer’s War
Copyright © 2014 Byron J. Smith.
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, or as specifically allowed by the U. S. Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Published in association with Creative Enterprises Studio, A Premier Publishing Services Group, PO Box 224, Fort Worth, TX 76095. CreativeEnterprisesStudio.com.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984. International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Smith, Byron, 1971–author.
Inside Lucifer’s war / Byron Smity
1. Christian fiction. I. Title.
Cover Design: Dugan Design
Interior Design: Inside-Out Design & Typesetting, Hurst, TX
Printed in the United States of America
14 15 16 17 18 MG 6 5 4 3 2 1
It is often said that God works in mysterious and wonderful ways. This book is a living testament to that. When I first started writing, this was not the book that I wanted to pen. I had started writing a different book. While I was writing the other book, though, God put the concept of
Inside Lucifer’s War
in my head. He made the opening chapters very clear to me. Still, as I often do, I resisted Him, and I continued writing my other book.
My other book’s endeavor ended in June 2005 when my wife and I relocated from Texas to a small town in the Pacific Northwest. After almost a year of getting settled, I decided to work on my book again in my limited spare time. When I tried to find the book in my computer files, it was gone. Fortunately I had printed off a copy and saved it with some other personal documents in a box. I went through every paper in that box, but my manuscript was not there either. For a while I was frustrated and disappointed that I had lost that book. God, though, was not. With a gentle nudge, He pushed me into writing this book instead.
It took more years than I can recall to finally finish
Inside Lucifer’s War.
Often I would go months without writing, while at other times I would write with disciplined regularity. I hope potential writers take encouragement from knowing that. If you have an idea and you have some spare time, don’t give up on your book. Whether you write a paragraph or several chapters, don’t stop writing.
I’ve been asked, “What kind of emotional state were you in when you wrote the first several chapters? Surely, you were in a bad place.”
Interestingly, I was never in a dark place when I wrote those chapters. God put those chapters in my mind, and I found that they flowed relatively smoothly. Having said that, I confess I did not enjoy writing that piece of the book, and I often found it difficult to sleep at night after writing sections of those chapters. To be more transparent, I was probably in darker places when I was developing the love story in the book, and writing about the relationships was therapeutic for me.
What I enjoyed most about writing this book was its forcing function to draw me closer to Jesus. As you will certainly note in the book, I weave biblical verses into the story. It was important that the verses flowed with the story. To make this work, I had to spend time in the Bible trying to identify the right verses, their biblical context, and how I might be able to leverage them for my purposes.
The book also drew me closer to Jesus by causing me to rely on him. I look back upon it now with laughter, but while writing the book there were several moments of frustration for me. I felt as if Jesus was directing me in certain aspects of the story line, and as I pursued those paths, I came to dead ends. I had no idea where to take the story from there. At those moments I prayed more, and although the solution did not always come immediately, it did come in a perfect fashion.
In closing I will leave you with my favorite verse, Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Byron J. Smith
There are many people who helped build the foundation in my life that culminated in my writing this book.
First, I would like to acknowledge my wife, Carla, who has never wavered in her belief that I can achieve anything. She is a constant source of strength and encouragement for me.
Second, I would like to thank my kids, Meredith, Bethany, Henry, and Sydney, who inspire me to want to do more with my life.
I would like to thank my parents, Jerry and Norma Smith, who see only the good qualities in me.
Finally, I want to recognize Pastor Matt Boswell, whose biblical teaching was instrumental for this book.
There are also those individuals who helped me specifically with the book. It is important for me to thank all of those folks at Creative Enterprises Studio who assisted with this book. They helped me create a book I never thought possible. In their work, you can see their creativity and professionalism.
I would also like to thank my friends Bret and Sky, who read an early version of the manuscript, provided excellent feedback, and encouraged me to have it published.
Empty, cold, and afraid, I hear a chanting in a tongue I do not recognize or understand. It sounds like a chorus of people repeating phrases. Then I hear an evil laughter over the chants, a laughter that sends a chill down my spine. Fear encompasses me, and then I hear an incredible, deep boom. It is not a boom of explosion but the boom of a thunderous voice:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. I am the way and the truth and the life.
The words seem to originate from all around me but from somewhere beyond where I am, and they awake me from my haze. They reverberate through my whole body. Those who have been chanting now hiss and scream, making an awful noise that sounds like animals being tortured.
The room, if it can be called that, is dark and stinks. The stench is almost unbearable, making it difficult to breathe. My vision is blurred, but I sense there are things, live beings, in the room, though I am not sure who or what they are. I hear them breathing, and I can tell they are watching me. I have no idea where I am or how I got here. I try to recall something, anything, but nothing comes to my mind.
A voice, different from the booming voice, speaks, but this time closer to my ear, with venom pouring out: “You have long since forsaken those words and the book upon which they are written. That’s why I have chosen you. Tell me, Dr. Fields. Tell me what you believe. When darkness falls around you and has you in its clutches, who will rescue you?”
This voice makes me cringe and recoil. I feel hatred pouring over me.
“The answer is before you, Thomas,” the voice continues.
Something about the voice and the thing next to me doesn’t seem human, but I know that is ridiculous, so I try to block it out of my thinking. Instinctively, I try to stand, but my head begins to swim. I fall hard on my knees, and I realize how rough the ground is. My knees shoot with pain. My body seems to weigh twice as much as normal, and my strength is half, if that much. I steady myself and try again to stand, only to collapse again. I vomit on the floor. I scoot myself farther away from the vomit and the voice and lie still. Darkness swirls around me. Soon I lose consciousness.
When I awaken, the room is silent, but something the voice said triggers my brain to function. He called me “Dr. Fields.” My memory is returning. I am a writer and a philosophy and political science professor at the University of Texas. I have published several books and articles. I am famous in certain circles. I am well known. People will wonder where I am. Somebody will look for me when I don’t show up to class. But what day is it? Where am I? My long-term memory seems to be coming back, but my short-term memory is failing, which makes me wonder if I have suffered a concussion or some other injury. Things are still a blur, but I am slowly, ever slowly, losing the fog in my head, and my vision is clearing.
The room is still dark, though my eyes are adjusting to the lack of light. Things scurry about me but are silent. The stench is still present but doesn’t seem as bad. I am lying on hard ground, mainly rocks and dirt. I realize I am naked, and I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I look about and realize that I am in a cave, a very large cave. It looks like there are passageways. Where do they go? Corridors? Other rooms? I can’t see beyond the room where I find myself.
Then it hits me hard. This is no dream. I had thought that, at any moment, I would wake up and find myself at home with a hangover from too much bourbon. I try to put the pieces together. How could I have ended up in this place? I have no sense of time or short-term memory. I can’t remember what day it is or where I have been.
I try to reason it out, though clarity of thought is still beyond me. I must have gone out last night and had too many drinks. Some gang must have jumped me and thrown me into this place. They probably took my wallet and clothes and ransacked my condo while I lay here. All the stuff with the voices must have been a dream. I am alone in this cave with some rats, bats, and other creatures. Even if I can’t remember everything, at least this story makes sense. Now, I have to pull myself up and get out of here. Naked or not, I can’t stay here. Once out, I will call the police, or someone will call them for me when they see a naked man running down the road. The police will take care of the people who did this to me. I’ll make sure of it. I wish I had my clothes. I feel stupid and ashamed sitting here naked. I wonder why they stripped me. Terrible thoughts go through my mind.
I suddenly feel a presence that shatters my newly created reality. It is the sinister voice. I know it by the fear that grips my body. I can feel it. It is something more evil, more grotesque than some kids taking advantage of a drunken professor. The fear engulfs me like a wet blanket tossed over me, and I begin to weep. I sink down and hold my hands to my face and sob. My body aches as if I have the flu, and my teeth grind uncontrollably. I have never felt anything so terrifying, as if all hope has been suddenly torn from me. Fear and emptiness fill my heart. Weakness overtakes my mind and body as I feel the voice peer at me, almost through me. This is more than I can bear. I realize how foolish my ideas of escape are.
“They are all like this when they arrive, but you are luckier than most,” The voice whispers through me. The voice physically appears to be several meters across the cave from me, but its words seem to originate next to me. When it speaks, my body trembles. All I ever was and all that I have ever known are so distant from me. Here and now is all that is upon me, and it makes me uncontrollably ill.