Figures. I’m here stuck with my collective family teenagers and they are getting bored. The power’s out so no TV or video games or music. I found a flashlight at least and some candles which had been promptly lit. I tried performing them some shadow puppetry but unsurprisingly they were most emphatically not interested.

“Okay, who wants to hear a scary story?”
“What like what happened to the couple necking in the woods? We’ve heard all of those.”
Don’t think I didn’t notice the sarcastic use of the out of date A little disheartened I nonetheless pressed on “No I mean a real scary story, none of that kids stuff.”
“Well, go on then.”
“Imagine if you will, a small town, not that much different from this one. It was inhabited by people pretty much like the ones that live here. Then one day a stranger moved into town.

“And at first nobody minded him. He was a preacher man, you see, and in this town people liked to see a man of God. He settled in quickly like people mostly do in small towns. In no time at all he was holding tea parties for the townsfolk, talking about the message of God to all people who would listen. Most of them didn’t believe that fervently, but they liked his tea parties because the food was good and they gave an excuse to spend an evening with the neighbours.

“Over time more and more people started believing. They started preaching the “Good Word” to anyone who would listen too. Before a year was gone after the preacher man moved into town the tea parties had turned into worship sessions and not long after that they started animal sacrifices to please the Lord just as it says in the Bible.”
“NO! That’s horrible” one of the girls shouts.

“Oh yes, and it gets worse. By now the townsfolk had banned television and radio, all sorts of things were being found to be against the Lord’s will. The first time things really got nasty was when the biology lessons at the local high-school started covering evolution for the semester. One of the preacher man’s inner circle had a son in that class and she was horrified to find out they were teaching something like that to her son.

“That night they had a tea party. It was louder than usual with lots of “The Lord shall smite the wicked” and similar things being said.” Then the preacher man read a passage from the Bible and they were off. They grabbed some stones from the edges of flower benches as they went by and went to the biology teacher’s house. He was just a young man and he never really understood why they were so mad. They just killed him. They beat him to death with the garden stones.

“That’s harsh.” One of the boys chimed in.

“The deaths didn’t end there of course. There was the young girl who was raped by a member of the congregation and they stoned her to death too.”
“But why?”
“Because they decided that she had purposefully seduced him into evil action.”
One of the girls made a noise halfway between a gasp and a sob.
“And the scary part is, a few weeks after that first night the preacher man announced that his work there was done and he was going to go spread the will of God to other towns and cities across the country. So the next town he comes a-calling, maybe yours.”