“Your son is gravely ill from pneumonia,” Elijah said, rising from Jamie’s side. He tried to ignore Geraldine’s presence. How could she stand there with that hateful smirk when a child lay suffering only a few feet away? “He’s drowning in fluid. I might be able to save him by performing an emergency tracheotomy.”
“You ain’t gonna do nothin’ to Jamie.” The big man purpled in rage. He turned to his wife who sat crumpled and sobbing beside the gasping boy. “I told you not to bring this man in here!”
“This is my baby, my only child! I can’t stand by and do nothing!”
Elijah stared at him. “Dave, I don’t think you understand. Jamie is dying. I don’t think there’s anything I can do, but at least let me try.”
“No Satan worshipper is gonna use his poison to cure my boy,” Dave choked. “If God means to take him away, then it’s His will.”
“Not my boy! Don’t ... want him ... to die.” Sarah beseeched her husband through her harsh sobs.
Tears fell across Dave’s wide cheeks. He buried his face in his hands, unable to look at her.
“Let Dr. Webb save him, or God help me, I’ll never forgive you. If Jamie dies, you’re dead to me too!” Spittle flew from Sarah’s mouth as she went from begging to a mother’s desperate fury.
Geraldine’s shrewish voice cut into her wails. “Where’s your faith, woman? When God told Isaac to sacrifice his son to Him, did he cry and call on demons for help? Would you save your son’s life just to damn him and yourself to eternal Hell?”
Elijah looked from one person to another, incredulous. Had Geraldine actually brainwashed Dave into believing Jamie would be better off dead than to accept medical help? Surely they didn’t expect him to not try to save the child!
He laid a desperate hand on the other man’s shoulder. “Listen to me—”
“No, you listen.” Dave dropped his hands from his face. His skin blotched red. “Take this message to your demon friend Black Elk.”
Elijah saw him pull back, saw the big man’s hand clench, but didn’t believe he would actually hit him until the ham fist slammed into his jaw. Too surprised at first to feel the pain, he dropped to the ground.
Lying on the cold floor, his head ringing from the blow and darkness closing in, he gaped up at Dave. The despairing man bent toward him, his face twisted in a snarl. Elijah cringed as he reached for him.
Sarah’s lost scream stopped her husband. The last thing the doctor saw before blacking out was the wretched woman throwing herself across her son’s still, silent form.