Here is the last section of this short story. If you haven’t read the first two parts here they are:

Read Part 1

Read Part 2
And as always, I would appreciate any feedback.

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A week and a day later Knifeweed was shocked at how poorly things were going. In the hours after ScarMak’s breath had infected the honorable man entire body, he had indeed become more and more alert. Acutely alert. Terrifyingly alert. He had, on occasion, screamed with agonizing alertness. This had been fun to watch. No demon, no matter how forward thinking, could deny that. And again, hopes had illogically been raised, even in Knifeweed’s mind.

But the honorable man had continued to pray; his faith had continued uninterrupted, as expected. There was to be no Creator cursing as the chief had foolishly predicted at the beginning of the last meeting. Why was he so bold?

And even the hopes for the man’s wife soul had been dashed. Things had looked extremely promising at first. She had initially responded in the way they had hoped the man would. She, having lost her children and now with the fear and desperation of (what must be to her) the great possibility of watching her husband die, had momentarily lashed out against her creator. But her husband had pointed out her folly and she had calmed her self and now, as she watched her husband’s response, to their distress and dismay, was learning startlingly strong lessons in accepting evil from her creator.
 
And now these friends! They had been with him a week and what was their choice of activity? Did they try to comfort him with wrong minded and empty comforts and advice (which might have brought thoughts of sinful bitterness to the Honorable man’s mind.)

No, curse them, they chose the least helpful way – they had just sat silent near the Honorable man. For nearly seven days now the watching demons had whispered, grumbling. Where was these men’s selfishness? Didn’t they have more important things to do? Leave him in his suffering! Or at least say something! Something angry, judgmental or proud sounding!

But no, they just sat, Satan curse them!

But as he watched, the honorable man stirred himself. And then he began to speak.

Knifeweed listened intently. As one might guess, they weren’t cheerful words. In fact they were quite . . . negative. Nothing sinful, just venting. But perhaps it might . . .

Yes, one of the friends was obviously bothered by this. He begins to speak. Defending God, – not much hope there, just a misunderstanding of the Honorable man’s words. But there was some opportunity there! Knifeweed and the other demons begin to work on the other friends.

“There is no doubt. He must have sinned. He must have serious unconfessed sin. You should confront him.”

“Hey, wasn’t that blasphemy? You can’t let him get away with that!”

And now another friend is entering into the discussion . . .

Yes, there was some promise here.
==

Knifewood yawned. This was becoming annoying and boring. He had listened for hours. He’d heard much truth spoken for wrong reasons. Falsehood spoken with relatively pure motivations.  More misunderstanding and misplaced anger. And so much dangerous God glorification, too close to right on the mark. Even his best temptors were getting confused. What untruth should they be trying to instill now, again? . . . .

. . . Well, . . . . . maybe if we . . . . could we try . . .

Okay, Game over. God had interrupted and now was talking directly to the honorable man. Sure, of course. They knew it couldn’t last. They should have guessed that at some point, the hated King was going to put a stop all these words

And now the men would all learn. And forget ever getting these guys to doubt again! And then there would be – Yep, there it is. The man repenting.

And then the forgiveness . . .
And then the healing . . .
And then, if God chose the most merciful path, (which he did too often!) the blessing . . .
And then the Thanksgiving and Praise!

The temptors all snuck away. Lucky them. He had to stay and watch the horrific ending to this story. . .

==

Hundreds of years later, Knifeweed after much time away, found himself assigned back to this region, and so he had returned. An urgent mission. An important discovery: The story of the honorable man had been written down by one of the man’s friends (Where had the spies been? Why hadn’t he learned this as it happened?) Now there were rumors of rekindled interest in this document. He searched where his informant had suggested and found this document on a stack of scrolls soon to be read by a priest – an expert in literature and theology. As the priest picked it up, Knifeweed, knowing the truth that could be released to many if they didn’t stop it, brought in a team of able tempters. They shot thoughts at him as he read.

You don’t know where this story comes from. It may be false. It may teach falsehood about God.

This book gives Satan too much credit.

No, this book gives God too much credit. It’s main character seems to blame God for the evil that happens to him. Isn’t that blasphemy?

Boy, that ending is too pat. Blessed with twice as much as before the curse? Would anyone believe that? Do you?

He watched with dread as he saw the man’s mind open up to new truths about God. His dread continued as the man (in turn) developed a more sobered mind and then a more cheerful faith as he read the poetry. His dread grew as he watched the man get up when he had finished it, and carry the scroll to the chief priest. His dread reached its zenith, two days later, when the chief priest ordered that two dozen copies be made and sent to priests around the nation.

Ugh! Even if they kept at their hard work day and night for months, it might now be years or even decades before the chosen people again forget the name “Job.”

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