Who are you, Thomas, and what do you want from me?”
Thomas said, “You may find this hard to believe. I still find it hard to believe myself, but I am God’s last prophet.”
The pope looked at Thomas, scrutinizing him closely. Thomas could see that he was looking for a sign or some indication that what he claimed was either true or false.
His Holiness walked up to Thomas, reached into his robes, looked him in the eyes, and said, “Forgive me, Thomas.” He pulled a small ornate bat from under his robe, and he whacked Thomas squarely on top of his head. Thomas fell over and hit the ground like a dropped sack of potatoes.
When Thomas finally regained consciousness, he found himself lying on a very comfortable couch with the pope seated across from him still holding the ornate stick. As Thomas’s eyes began to focus, the pope held up the hand-carved wooden bat and said, “It is a religious relic, given to Saint Peter by Christ.”
Thomas looked at the pope and said, “Your Holiness, you could have just asked me, and I would have told you that I am not a demon.”
The pope eyed Thomas with a new respect as he asked, “Why would you say that, Thomas?”
“I can only assume that you thought that I might be a demon, so you hit me over the head to see if I healed quickly like a demon or slowly like a man. Is that truly a religious relic of power?”
The pope laughed and said, “Saint Peter called it daimon ksilo. I believe the term to be old Greek, and in translation, it would be called a demon stick. Apparently, Jesus had a sense of humor. Peter wrote in his memoirs: ‘When I questioned Jesus on how I could tell if I were talking to a demon or a man, he gave me the ornate stick that I pass down to my successors. My Lord said, “Hit the suspect demon over the head, and if he heals faster than a man, he is a demon.”’ You, Thomas, are obviously a man with information that only popes have possessed in the past.”
Thomas said, “I am just glad you didn’t kill me to see if I disappeared into the nether.”
Larry S. Gerovac was born and raised in the Midwest. He is a first generation American, U.S. Navy Veteran, ex-Air Traffic Controller, and a retired nuclear worker. He loves science, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His goal is to entertain readers for many years with some truly out of this world stories.