CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-SIX
“Did you see that?” Jacob asked.
He pointed to something in the distance.
“What?” Mike asked.
Delphie squinted at Jacob. They were standing in the main Castle kitchen.
“It’s Chapter ‘666’,” Jacob said. “You know — the mark of the beast.”
“I thought that was 616,” Mike said. “You know, if you translate the Greek into Latin and then Hebrew and. . .”
Jacob and Delphie gawked at Mike.
“What?” Mike asked.
“How could you possibly know that?” Jacob asked.
“Hey, I’m not an idiot,” Mike said.
“No one said you were,” Delphie said. “We’re curious. How you learned this information?”
“Oh,” Mike said, tapping his chin. “How do I know that?”
Mike thought for a moment before shaking his head.
“When I was held in the caves, you know, in Afghanistan?” Mike asked.
“You were held in caves in Afghanistan?” Jacob asked, sarcastically.
“Now you’re just being rude,” Mike said with an exaggerated sniff.
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist,” Jacob said. “You were saying?”
“One gentleman was from somewhere. . .” Mike said. “Israel? Egypt? I’m not sure. Ethiopia. That’s it. He was from Ethiopia. Looking at mineral contracts. Got picked up and. . .”
“Anyway, he went bonkers,” Mike said. “The pressure was too much for him. He started ranting about the end days. This was a particular thread that he went on and on about. If you translate the Greek into Hebrew, you get ‘666.’ If you translate the other way, you get ‘616.’”
Mike looked from Delphie to Jacob. He nodded at their baffled looks.
“Anyway, it was his rant,” Mike said. “I didn’t realize I’d paid so much attention to what he was saying. I guess it just kind of got in.”
Delphie opened her mouth to say something.
“Oh, and they found a parchment that clearly said ‘616’ on it,” Mike said. “Or at least that’s what the head of the group that held us said. He and the head of the people holding us argued about it for days.”
“Before you ask, he died,” Mike said. “I’m not actually sure how or where. I either don’t remember or I don’t know. He was just gone. Poof.”
Delphie and Jacob watched Mike for a long moment to see if he was done talking. He gave them a slight grin.
“What do you want to do?” Jacob asked.
“About what?” Delphie asked. “Mike’s friend?”
“He wasn’t really a friend,” Mike said. “He was just someone who was there.”
“The ‘666’ thing,” Jacob said.
“I think we just move on,” Delphie said.
“Move on?” Mike asked.
“We leave those who believe to believe what they will,” Delphie said. “We’re living our lives. What matters to us is what we believe.”
“Do you believe?” Jacob asked.
“In what?” Delphie asked.
“The whole ‘666’ thing,” Mike said.
“Oh,” Delphie said. “In order to believe in the ‘666’ thing, as you say, I’d have to believe that there was a Devil waiting to judge us, torture us for eternity — all of that.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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