Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gordon Ferrell - Lunatic of Pens

Gordon was born on June 6, 1955 in Pens, Virginia.  His father, Edward Ferrell, had fought in World War II. Ed never talked about his experience, but Gordon's mother said he was a changed man when he got back. There was a fire burning in him that spared the need to sew his seed, and Gordon was the third of eight children over 10 years. For most of his life Gordon remembered his father as a drunk, and sometimes a mean-tempered drunk. Gordon managed to slip under his father's radar, unnoticed and untouched by his rage. Gordon learned how to be conniving when he needed to, and soon became used to throwing one of his siblings under the bus to save himself.

Gordon grew up in the church under the spiritual guidance of his mother. The memories he did have of his father were short, as he spent most of the time at the church. He joined the choir when he was eleven, although he couldn't sing. When that didn't work out, he floated around different positions in the church, until he became the treasurer when he turned eighteen.

It wasn't until Gordon was thirty that he began to embezzle money from the church. His mother had just died of cancer (his father had died by the bottle years before, but that hardly had an affect on Gordon) and Gordon began to see religion in a different light. It hadn't done much to help him, so he'd have to fix that.

But Gordon wasn't the only liar at Holy Pens. As a long-time church member, he noticed things others didn't. And he became quite sure that Pastor Leroy Cummings was taking more from the congregation than offerings. He 'accidentally' walked in on the pastor taking one of these offerings from Patricia Hawthorne in his office one Thursday evening after Bible Study developed a drug addiction from his newfound money. Pastor Cummings knew about Gordon's habits and threatened that he would have him arrested for embezzlement if he spoke any word of what he saw. The church was all he knew, and Gordon wasn't ready to give that up, so he obliged. Still, the Pastor was paranoid and eventually forced Gordon to leave. Gordon later heard whispers of his crimes amongst the congregation and he became ashamed, and furious. There was nothing he could do. Pastor Cummings had gotten in the first word, and anything he told now would merely look like the ramblings of a desperate sinner.

Gordon turned to drugs, though he continued to read the Bible everyday. Sometimes he would get them confused, the feeling of the Spirit when he prayed and the high when he injected.

When the infamous heatwave hit Pens, Gordon had been addicted for five years. His mind had become fried, and he obsessed over getting back at Pastor Cummings. He ended up hiring a HIV-positive prostitute to seduce the pastor. The pastor died during sex and became one of the many victims the day of the heatwave. Gordon didn't care either way. People now new the truth of Leroy Cummings. His sins had been paid for.

Gordon went through a change that day of the heatwave. He saw 'the light,' as they say, and it was good. He stopped drug abuse and studied the Bible even harder. Because now the Lord was speaking to him in a whole new way. The Lord had a purpose for Gordon. He had never felt that before. The Lord needed someone to bring the sinners of Pens to justice. Gordon's seen these sinners in his dreams, and has been making a list. And he would do anything for the Lord...

Gordon Ferrell may just turn out to be the most interesting character in this book. Is he doing good, or conducting evil? Is he a soldier for the Lord, or is he merely the Devil's pawn? As Pens goes to hell, how will his role be refined, intensified?

And, most importantly, who's on his list of sinners, and how will be prepare them for judgment?

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