Matt Tholen was a person that went by with his life. He lived with his younger brother James Tholen who was a recovering alcoholic. James was a great software designer at Helov Enterprises while Matt worked as the owner of a shopping company called Distant Delivery. Matt liked to spend a lot of time in church since his best friend Ben Matula had surprisingly become a priest. Ben had a father named Chris Matula who was a rich and famous professional boxer that retired with a record of 59-0 with 49 knockouts while his mother Trista Matula Challans was the boxing promoter. Ben had a gift for fighting just like his father yet he did not want to harm other people as a career choice. Trista understood since her father Owen was also a Catholic priest and he had a big influence on Ben's life.
Matt always had a flask on his jacket where he put his ice tea ever since he was in the eleventh grade. He always had that flask in his jacket. Ben and Matt liked to hang out at Jerry's Café. Matt had learned a lot from Ben's Esther and grandfather. After all, he learned to defend himself at Martin's Gym which was owned by Nate Martín who was the trainer of Ben's father. Matt also liked that the gym taught MMA classes which were given by John Halquist. Matt learned two things from the Matula family which were different forms of self-defense and religion. Ben had heard that Matt's brother James was going to the AA meetings and that he was getting his life back together. Matt told Ben that he was glad that he was helping James with his recovery. Ben knew that James was more of a loner and he would meet with him with Matt's help. Matt would bring James to the church where Ben would meet with James since he had a degree in psychology.
Also, Matt would also buy the bottled water that Ben's father sold to him. After retiring from boxing Ben's father was the proud owner of Wild Spring Water which sold the best clean bottled water around. That was how Ben's father had made his new fortune. Matt felt calmed when he was at the church where Ben preached to his congregation. After Ben was done with James he gave James and Matt one bottled water for each to drink. Ben always told them that the water was a way to purify the mind, body and the soul. Matt knew exactly what Ben meant by that yet James did not know the true meaning of Ben's statement. Ben then told Matt that it would be good for him to go with his brother to the AA meetings while also going to spend some quality time together after those meetings.
Matt remembered how bad of an alcoholic his brother was. Matt always felt guilty about going away for so many years while James was taking care of his parents while studying to get his degree. When Matt came back both of their parents had died from natural causes and John still lived in the family home which had been completely paid for by their parents. During the first few years Matt and James got along just fine. However, James got into drinking from a couple of work buddies named Ted Winslow and Gerald White. The three of them liked to party together in different clubs and bars after work during the weekend. There were a couple of times that Matt found James passed out or puking in the bathroom. Matt was worried and he immediately contacted his old friend Ben Matula. Ben had always been close with Matt's parents, who were both faithful churchgoing folks. After calling Ben they both decided to meet up at Jerry's Café. It was there that he suggested an intervention. While being there Ben asked Matt if he had the flask that Ben had given to him as a birthday gift. Matt took out the flask from the pocket of his jacket and asked him: "Do you want a drink?" Ben was glad to see that he still had the flask and he asked Matt if he still remembered what they saw and went through when they were with Ben's grandfather and Matt's parents when they were younger many years ago. Matt told him that he still remembered what they went through and that he found a new respect for what Ben's grandfather did to help others.
After that friendly reunion Matt went back home and he surprisingly found that his brother James was sober yet he had a bad cut on his arm. James told Matt that his friend Ted Winslow was not feeling good and he wondered if he could help him. James told Matt that Ted started to act strangely by talking in a strange language and then proceeded to grab a knife to cut him. James then told Matt that while Ted was chasing him they ended up in Matt's room and during the scuffle James got the knife away from Ted while shoving Ted towards Matt's circular rug. The strange thing was that Ted could not get out of the circular rug. Matt then proceeded to his room and while he was going there he saw that Ted stood over the circular rug which had a circular demon trap under IT. Matt took out his flask and the supposed iced tea that he had there was actually holy water which burned Ted. Matt used his cell phone to call Ben and proceeded to tell him what happened. Ben then was going to contact his grandfather to get approval from the church to do an exorcism.
Ben arrived at Matt's house a couple of hours later and proceeded to do the exorcism with Matt's help. After the exorcism was done Matt went to see how James was holding up. James was in the kitchen drinking a bottle of water from the Wild Spring Water company. Matt then was thinking of how many years ago James had been possessed by a demon when he was a young kid. Since Matt's family were close friends with the Matula family they asked to see if Owen Challans could help their younger son. Ben had decided to aid his grandfather as he was already getting ready to become a priest. Owen wanted his grandson to be ready for all the responsibilities of being a priest. What Owen could not have predicted was the strong will and the strong faith that Matt had as he was also very helpful during the exorcism. After that Owen hypnotized James to forget about the exorcism and everything else that happened when he started to be possessed. For years, Matt had learned through Owen and Ben for ways to stay safe against demons and he learned ways to further help them in other demonic cases. Matt then told James only part of the truth as he told James why he had spent so much time with Owen and Ben before he moved far away. After that Ben was able to convince James to go to AA meetings and to have sessions with him. Ben also had a flask of his own filled with orange juice mixed with holy water and before each meeting with James he took out his flask to offer him a sip of it. Matt and Ben knew that evil existed and they always did their best to be prepared.
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Shades from Beyond: Do You Want a Drink?Short Story
This is the story of how two longtime friends reconnect after many years of being apart through a mutual acquaintance. Some lives are just linked to be together through tough circumstances.