They tie the girl down to a chair. Her wrists are in hot pain from the ropes. Sweat drips from her brow, making her thick eyeliner trickle down her face. “Please,” she weakly pleads. She’s been here for ages, praying and pleading. They won’t take notice.

“Begone foul beast!” A priest shrieks and throws holy water on her face. 

She spits as the water rushes down her face. “I’m not possessed.” She is seeing black spots, she feels the end is coming. “I think I’m dying.”

“It’s the devil talking!” The priest howls as he snatches her by her hair. He roars at her, “I adjure thee, most evil spirit, by Almighty God.” 

She sits there pondering how this could have been prevented. Maybe she could have been nicer to her parents. Maybe she shouldn’t have joked around with those pentagrams. Was this all her negligence? It didn’t matter now, it will be over soon. She exhales her last breath as the father smacks her with a cross. 

“Stop!” A woman calls out, rushing into the room. She crouches down to the girl. “She’s not breathing!” 

The father stops and replies, “We could not recover this spirit.” 

“Someone get a doctor! My baby is dying!” The woman cries. No one moves. “Why are you just standing there?” A man steps in and grabs the woman. “You did this!” She declares, struggling out of his clutch. “You wanted her, exorcised! Are you satisfied now?”

“No,” he responds through his teeth. “But this is God’s will.”

“You’re insane! You’re all insane!” She laughs. 

One year later. 

“All rise.” A man calls out in a monotone voice. A judge walks into the courtroom. He sits at his bench. “Be seated,” the man says. 

“So we are here on the behalf of the Hansen case. You, Elizabeth Hansen, are suing Robert Hansen and the Rockwell church for the unjust death of your daughter, Bailey Hansen,” the judge stated. 

“Yes, your honor,” the woman responded.

“Can you tell me what took place?”

“Yes, my spouse, Robert, found a priest to perform a purification on Bailey,” she starts. 

“Was it just your husband who requested this or you both?” 

“Well, at first both but-“

“Then don’t blame it all on him,” the judge interrupts. “Proceed.”

“The purification went on for five hours until she died,” she whispered, sobbing.

“You didn’t consider ending it before then?” 

“They set up while I was still at work. When I got home, my husband informed me of what was taking place. I instantly rushed upstairs to stop it, but I was too late.”

The judge nods and asked, “Robert Hansen and the Rockwell church, do you have anything to add?”

A lawyer stands up and answers, “Your honor, it’s unfortunate that she died. Although, this is a sacred tradition, and the family knew what they were getting into. We should not hold the church liable for a religious exercise that was asked of them. Robert Hansen was only trying to help his child through his faith.” 

“Playing the religion card, I see.” The judge points out. 

After hours in the courtroom, the judge comes to a decision. “The court rules in the favor of Mr. Robert Hansen and the Rockwell church.” 

“No! You can’t do this!” Elizabeth cries. 

“Court adjourned,” the judge declared, hammering his gavel. 

Days later

Elizabeth is sitting in her apartment. She is still distraught from the court case. How could they side with them? They are the evil ones! 

She had tried everything. Everything in this world, at least. 

“Hello, Elizabeth,” a sultry voice said. She quickly turns around and sees him. The devil. He is relaxing in a chair in the room’s corner.

“Who are you?” She questions, not wanting to believe it.

“Why I am the answer to your problems,” he says, standing up. “I can make them pay. I can make the pain go away.”

“No, you’re evil. I can’t do it.”

“Am I as evil as the men that killed your daughter?” The question jabs straight through her heart. 

She stands there and looks at him.

“No? Yes? Do you want me to be?” he smirks. 

“What would I have to do?” She weakly asks. “Sell my soul?”

“What a small price to pay for making them hurt.”

“But it’s my soul. To be damned to Hell forever.” She faces away.

“Yes, but how many more children will suffer at the hands of that congregation? You could stop it. How many people do you think they have performed exorcisms on, and how many of them were possessed? I know the answer and it’s not good. Why, a trigger-happy church like that needs to be stopped.”

She looks as though she might cry.

“I can punish them the way they hurt her. The way they killed your daughter, your flesh and blood. You raised her from the beginning and they took it all away. They stole her life, all the things she could have accomplished.”

“Ok,” she mumbles.

“What? I didn’t hear you, love,” He said smiling. 

“I’ll do it!” she screams. 

“It has been done,” he remarks and disappears. She can still hear his laughter in the distance. 

The next morning

“A local church burned down last night, everyone inside perished,” a new broadcaster announces. “These are some of the thirty or so victims.” A list of names pops up on the screen. Elizabeth rushes over to the tv and looks at all who have died. The priest, his goons, the lawyer, and her husband are all deceased.