To ORDER "A Darkness Over Covenant" click on the book -

A Darkness Over Covenant
(Originally - Storming Covenant-Eyer-)

Chapter 1

The Ambush

The demon streaked across the night sky amid flashes of unnatural lightning.  He landed on the roof of the building and hunkered there like a gruesome gargoyle on an ancient temple.  Beside him knelt a human sniper, carefully wiping his weapon with a thick, soft cloth.  The apparition reached over and buried the slime-coated yellow claws of his twisted right hand deep into the man's skull.

The sniper put his arm through the sling of his rifle and placed the butt-end against his right shoulder, looking through the night scope which provided an illuminated though dull, green overcast view.  He scanned the alley below, his heart racing with anticipation like a predator with the scent of his prey burning in his nostrils.  He smiled and whispered, "This is much too easy!"

He placed the cross hairs of the 30-30 caliber rifle square on his target and slowly squeezed the trigger.

*     *     *

"C-4, this is Central." 

The static of the police radio broke the stillness in the squad car.

"Central, this is C-4. Go ahead."    

"C-4, we have a 101 in the alley between 22nd and Olive streets."   

The officer chuckled as he answered the dispatcher.

"Central, I've never seen a suspicious vehicle yet, only the people who drive them, but I'll check it out."

"Cute, Josh. You're a real funny guy.  Central out."

This Sunday night was like countless others.  The air was cool and crisp, just perfect for taking a brisk walk.  The moon and stars shone with such brilliance that it made him want to reach up and pull them down from their place in the heavens.  A gentle breeze, wafting through the leaves on the trees, brought with it the fresh smell of newly mown lawns from the nearby residential area.   

The officer driving the squad car was Joshua White.  He was a six foot-three inch, muscular, two hundred pound bear of a man.  His crisply pressed, dark blue uniform was decorated with an abundance of ribbons, medals, and his gleaming silver badge.  Joshua's still jet-black hair was barber-cut in a neat, no-nonsense style.  His only indulgence in vanity was the blue contact lenses that deepened his already deep, blue eyes.  His thin face and square jaw gave him a stern and determined look that was softened only by his radiant smile.  At forty-one years old, he was a twenty-year veteran of the Covenant police force.

It was still early in Joshua's midnight shift--1:20, according to his watch.  The streets were quiet.  Occasionally a stray cat would scamper across the street or a dog would bark at some unseen intruder.  The late night strollers had long since returned to their homes, most of which were already totally dark.

It had been a slow evening, for which he was thankful.  He’d had to remind a few under-aged teenagers of the 11:00 P.M. curfew and checked on an alleged prowler, which turned out to be a raccoon rummaging through some garbage cans outside a local restaurant. Other than that, the night had been uneventful. 

He wished that he hadn't agreed to work Wilks' shift back to back with his own; he was feeling a little worn around the edges.  Ah well, that's police work for you, he thought to himself.  As Joshua cruised up and down the streets of Covenant, he hummed his favorite praise choruses and talked to God about things he couldn't share with his fellow officers.   

He thought about the report he'd given to Chief Wilson, wondering how the chief was going to react to the conspiracy that he'd uncovered. He was afraid that his superior officer would react the same way that Marla Brinkle had.  

Ms. Brinkle, an action reporter for the News Channel, had listened patiently as Joshua told her what his investigation had uncovered.  He'd discovered that Governor Bradley was a warlock and headed the largest coven in the state.   Bradley was planning to use the National Guard to invade Covenant, and strip the Christians living there of their citizenship. 

Ms. Brinkle had thanked him for coming and then summarily thrown him out of her office.  Well, maybe the chief would listen.  Either way he'd know soon enough--he was due to meet with him at 8:00 A.M.     

This call from central wasn't out of the ordinary.  In all these years he'd followed up on reports of hundreds of suspicious vehicles.  Probably just another false alarm, he told himself.  Teenage parkers again.  The thought brought a smile to Joshua's face.  Boy, the stories I could tell some parents about their kids!

Twenty-second and Olive streets were on the other side of town--the typical other side of the tracks--and embodied every implication in that term.  It was a run-down, shabby neighborhood.  Many of the buildings had windows boarded up with large sheets of graffiti-covered plywood.  The original signs over the storefronts were faded by the weather and the ravages of time.  The few windows that remained intact, were filthy, with iron or steel bars protecting whatever, or whoever, was hidden by the greasy glass. 

The sooty streetlights dimly exposed an equally deteriorated state of affairs on the streets and sidewalks of this section of the city.  There was trash everywhere.  Broken glass, beer cans, half-smoked cigarettes, crumpled newspapers, floating in the gutters, strewn on the sidewalks, or hugging some light pole.  The whole atmosphere screamed neglect and despair. 

A shiver of revulsion crawled down Joshua's spine.  The only sound he heard through the open window of his squad car was that of a beer can being tossed along the street by the brisk breeze that was picking up out of the west.  He found the intersection indicated by the dispatcher.

As he turned his squad car into the alley between the two run-down buildings, his nose wrinkled involuntarily in distaste at the evidence of how low and uncaring people could become.  He tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore the stench as he turned his spotlight on and shined it into the alley.  His stomach turned at the sight of the filth everywhere. 

The dumpsters behind the buildings were completely full, overflowing with slop and who knows what else.  Wine, whiskey, and beer bottles lined the alley, shining in his spotlight like discarded gems.

He couldn't see into the dark shadows--his imagination ran wild with thoughts of the rats probably feasting on the rotted garbage, which had been haphazardly thrown in the general direction of the dumpsters.     

Then he saw the "suspicious vehicle" parked a bit further into the alley, just beyond the dumpsters.  He called in his position.  

"Central from C-4, I've arrived."   

"Go ahead. C-4."

"Sure looks like parkers to me, Mandy.  Go figure why anyone would park in this dump.  We got one white male on the driver's side, and one white female in the front passenger's seat.  I'll stop and have a chat with the lovebirds."   

"Lucky you!"    

"I'll be out on pack radio, Central."   

"10-4, Central out."   

Joshua had lived in Covenant all of his life and loved this city of thirty-thousand-plus people.  Except for the recent upsurge in illegal drug business and the signs of occult activity, this was a peaceful, non-violent community.  The youth still tested the limits of their parent's endurance, as they did anywhere, but they were, for the most part, good kids. 

That's why Joshua wasn't too concerned as he marked the 1:30 A.M. time on his field report, turned on his pack radio and removed the flashlight from its charger, located just under the dash by his right knee. 

Nor was he concerned when he stepped out of his squad car and noted the night sky rapidly turning overcast.  The wind had a chilly bite to it that hadn't been there just an hour ago.  As Joshua approached the vehicle, which was lit up by both the spotlight on his squad car and the flashlight in his hand, another shiver ran down his spine.

*     *     *

A seven-foot tall, translucent figure glowed a pure white in the chilly, overcast night.  His nearly transparent wings unfolded from their neat, flat position on the angel's back as he jumped down from the squad car on which he'd been riding. 

Aaron had been assigned to protect Joshua White by Michael the Archangel himself, over forty years ago.  He'd gotten him through many dangerous situations and had helped him overcome many trials over the past forty years.  He really liked this man of God.

The hedge of protection around Joshua was a strong one--he was a praying man.  Aaron had very little trouble getting Joshua's prayers up to God or bringing God's answers back down again.

Aaron's job, however, required caution, so he advanced on the parked car just ahead of Joshua.  He had a nagging, uneasy feeling, and he didn't like it. Aaron searched deeper into the alley and spotted the source of his uneasiness thirty yards beyond the vehicle he and Joshua were approaching, on the roof of the building to their left.  Aaron whispered in disbelief, "Cono!"

Cono, a hideous, high-ranking demon, one of Satan's best, was looking down at Aaron and Joshua, and an evil smile formed on his lips like a mad dog baring his teeth.  He dug his yellow claws into the skull of the sniper who was lining up the cross hairs in the sight of his weapon on Joshua's forehead.

Aaron saw the flash from the muzzle of the powerful 30-30 rifle.  He drew his sword, which illuminated the night with its fire and, almost too late, deflected the bullet.  Instead of hitting Joshua squarely in the forehead, the bullet grazed his right temple.  Aaron let out such a high-pitched scream of rage, that it sent fear into the hearts of all the minor demons that accompanied Cono like leaches wherever he went.  Cono just laughed all the more with demonic glee at seeing Aaron's bewildered pain and loss, as Joshua's limp form slumped to the ground of the filthy alleyway.

Joshua had seen a flash, but before he'd even heard the report, he felt the impact of the bullet, as it kissed his right temple.  He didn't even remember hitting the ground.  He shook his head to clear his rattled brain.  Whoa! I won't do that again!  His head exploded with pain and he splattered himself with his own blood. He felt dizzy and nauseated.  

He groped for the mike on his pack radio and called in, "White to Central, 10-32, officer down, need back-up."   

Too dazed to say anything else, he just managed to clip the mike back onto his shoulder.     

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a dispatcher faster than those words do.

"C-4...Josh!  Respond, C-4."

No response.

Mandy called for back-up.

"All units, proceed to Twenty-second and Olive streets.  Shots fired.  Officer down."

She dispatched the ambulance and then as she picked up the phone to call Chief Wilson at home, she whispered through her tears, "They said they would just scare him a little."

Joshua drew his 9mm Beretta from its holster and rolled over onto his stomach.  Another wave of nausea and dizziness washed over his body.  Look at the bright side, he thought, at least you can still feel something.  Using the back of his gun hand to wipe the blood from his eyes, he saw the man get out of the driver's side of the car, followed closely by the woman.  He immediately recognized the 9mm automatic rifles they each carried.  He couldn't see the demon that rode on each of their shoulders--demons who dug their claws deeply into their victim’s skulls and whispered viciously,  "Kill him!  Kill him!  Kill him!"

Aaron saw the man and woman get out of the car accompanied by their tormenting companions and with his flaming sword drawn, he attacked with all the force of an angry and avenging angel.  When the demons saw Aaron advancing on their position, they were forced to let go of their slaves and defend themselves.  They drew their own swords and with their venom-filled eyes glowing fiercely red, attacked Aaron.

Joshua noted the sudden look of confusion on the faces of his attackers.  Taking the advantage, he took aim and fired twice at the man and then twice again at the woman.  The first bullet out of his Beretta hit its mark and Joshua heard the man's right shoulder shatter.  The second hit the man in the chest, driving two ribs deeply into his lungs.  The man dropped his weapon and fell to the ground, blood foaming from his mouth. 

Both shots fired at the woman missed their target, giving her a chance to get off one short burst just before Joshua fired again.  Two bullets hit home--one burrowing deep into Joshua's bullet-proof vest, breaking three of his ribs, the other passing cleanly through his left arm, embedding in the ground behind him.  He fired again, cutting a deep groove through the top of the woman's skull, taking her down.

He got to his hands and knees and began to crawl toward the man and woman.

Aaron ducked and whirled, swinging his blade and cutting deep into the chest of the demon on the right.  He saw the familiar puff of red smoke and smelled the noxious odor of sulfur, as the demon traveled back to the abyss.  With his blade free, Aaron faced the remaining demon, but instead of finding a fierce warrior, he faced a pathetic, terrified creature who was looking first at him and then to the dying body he used to possess.  Aaron lunged toward the panic-stricken demon and bellowed, "Boo!"  The demon turned and fled down the alley in terror.  Before it disappeared into the dark recesses of the alleyway, Cono stepped out, drew his sword and struck the retreating little coward down.  There was another puff of sulfuric smoke and the demon was gone.   

Cono stepped forward and with arrogant disdain, snorted at the heavenly being, "You don't even have enough rank for me to bother with you.  What do you want here?"  Without waiting for an answer, Cono continued, "Why don't you just collect the man's soul and take him to that foul place you call home.  Do it quick, angel, before I lose my patience with you!"    

The deep voice rumbled and though a weaker being may have been tempted to run, Aaron held his ground.  He stood straight and tall and without fear as he looked Cono right in the eye and said, "His soul is not for me to take--the man lives."  

Cono watched in amazement as Joshua struggled to his feet again.

"Let him rise, angel.  My man, Lt. Poe, is now controlling that sniper up there and he'll soon end this pathetic little dance." 

With a loud demonic laugh, Cono flew off into the darkness.

Joshua could definitely remember having better days than this one.  He got up cautiously.  His ribs were hurting terribly; the pain so great it took his breath away.  His arm was throbbing and he could feel blood running down and pooling at his feet.  He felt his body trembling uncontrollably--he realized he was going into shock. 

He closed the distance between himself and the man who lay silent, the woman only a few feet away.  From the time that he had called this in until now was only about a minute and a half, but it seemed like an eternity; everything was moving in slow motion.  He kicked the rifles away.  He knelt down by the man and after finding a weak pulse, began to pray fervently, "In the name of the Lord Jesus, I claim victory over this man's soul!"

Cono froze in flight, paralyzed by this man's powerful prayer.  He began to shake with fear and rage.

Aaron also stood still, not in fear and anger, but with reverence and worship for the name of Jesus.

The man moaned with pain, but he tried to open his eyes.  Joshua lifted the man and held him with great compassion.

"Young man, do you want to know Jesus Christ?"  

The man started to let loose with some vile expletives, as was his habit, but something in the cop's eyes stopped him.   

Jake had been raised in a Christian home by Godly parents.  He had even been baptized as a young man and had tried to lead a good life.  Somewhere along the way, however, he'd gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd and had turned his back on the teachings of his parents, the church, and God.  The look that he saw in the cop's eyes was the same look he'd seen in the eyes of his dying mother, when she had pleaded with him to turn back to God.  He hadn't been able to hold his mother's gaze that day because of the shame he felt.

But somehow, today, perhaps because he was so close to death, he could see a love and compassion that he wanted to share with his mother and the God he had turned his back on. 

Tears welled up in Jake's eyes and Joshua's face blurred.  Jake's sin-hardened soul began to soften.  Death scared him.  He whispered, "Yes, please."    

"Do you reject Satan and all of his works?" Joshua persisted.   

"Yes!" Jake answered with conviction.    

"Then accept the life that Jesus died for on the Cross, and announce that you believe and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!"   

Jake smiled and said, "I do accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, even though I ain't good enough."

Peace came over the young man's features as he kept whispering, "Jesus is Lord! Jesus is my Lord!"

Immediately a streak of white light shot out of the sky, and an angel appeared next to Aaron, who had been watching the exchange with pleasure.  Because of Joshua's prayer and Jake's repentance and acceptance of Christ, an angel had been dispatched to protect Jake and his soul.

Cono had heard Joshua's prayer and Jake's acceptance of salvation, and had seen the arrival of yet another angel.  He knew too well what his master would do to him when he found out that yet another soul was lost to the enemy.  This soul that they had toiled over and invested a lot of man hours in, had succumbed to the gentle pleadings of this bleeding heart cop, and now, he, the great Cono,  was in terrible trouble.   

He screamed at Lt. Poe, "What are you waiting for, you fool, kill him, now!"

The sniper, who didn't understand how he had missed with his first shot,  took careful aim, and fired a second time.  Joshua was looking into the face of this new Christian, when Jake's face exploded from the impact of another 30-30 bullet.

"Not that one you idiot, kill the cop!" Cono shrieked.

The new angel's job had been short.  He gave Aaron a salute and then collected Jake's soul and they departed for heaven and the loving arms of Christ.

Aaron was watching their departure when he heard yet another shot ring out and saw the high velocity bullet speeding toward Joshua's head.  This time it was right on target.

Joshua jumped, not from the deadly bullet speeding towards him, but rather from the knife that was suddenly and viciously thrust into his side from behind.  As he turned toward his attacker and fell forward, Joshua felt the woman withdraw the bloody knife, heard a bullet scream past his ear, and then watched as it tore open the woman's chest, killing her instantly.

Cono's first thought was to kill the sniper for his incompetence, but instead he just stood there, clenching and unclenching his claw-like hands, in impotent fury.  His bulbous eyes glowed red as his sulfuric breath spewed out one obscenity after another. 

As the woman's soul began to separate from her body, Cono ceased his ranting, and pulling rank on all present, dove down and claimed his prize.  He fervently hoped that by taking this soul to Satan personally, it might lessen his punishment.  Cono hungrily yanked the soul out of the dead body, locked her under his arm and then dove into the deep, dark abyss from which he had risen.   

The last thing that Aaron heard was the blood-chilling pleadings from the woman's terrified soul to a God who could not hear her.  She had waited too long.  Seeing his chance, Aaron stretched out his wings and flew to the rooftop where Lt. Poe was ripping at the sniper's brain while yelling, "Kill him, you moron!  Hurry!"

Lt. Poe was afraid.  He saw the look Cono had given him when he flew away.  Cono was going to hold him personally responsible for the killing of this cop, and he couldn't get this fool to fire again.  Out of the corner of his eye, Poe saw the white blade coming down on his neck.  He barely got his own sword out in time to block it.

Their swords clashed, and Aaron followed through with a kick to the midsection, causing Poe to stagger backward.  As he fell, Poe struck the angel in the right arm with his sword and was delighted to see the large red gash appear on Aaron's arm.

About five minutes had passed now, although it seemed like eons, and for the first time since this began, Joshua became aware of the sniper on the roof.  He thought to himself, "Idiot!  Of course, the roof!"  He was still on his hands and knees as he crawled over to the rifles, and picked one of them up.  As he struggled to his feet, he prayed, "Jesus, please help me.  Strengthen me, give me courage."

As Joshua stood, he saw a flash and heard the report.  His feet flew out from under him and he felt the death blow hit his already injured chest.  He squeezed the trigger of the rifle as he flew through the air, firing in the general direction of the sniper's roof.  Miraculously, he hit the sniper in the head and shoulders, toppling him headlong into the alley below.

Lt. Poe looked from the wounded Aaron to the falling sniper and greed made his decision for him.  After all, he could always kill an angel, but he wanted to get credit for this soul.

As the sniper hit the ground, Poe was already pulling the screaming soul from his body and was gone in a puff of smoke.   

Aaron, though wounded, still found the strength to fly down to where Joshua lay in the filthy refuse of the alley.  What he saw made him cry out to God for assistance, guidance, and miracles.

To read more click on the book to go to the order form -
If you would like this in e-book form go to Amazon Kindlle.

Thank You for being reader #