How the Devil Stole Pastor Henry's Soul

Submitted into Contest #182 in response to: Write a story where someone’s paranoia is justified.... view prompt


African American Crime Transgender

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

How the Devil Stole Pastor Henry’s Soul

By K Arlington Andrews

Part One: Traynesha

       The night I met Hen, the -stroll was hot and popping like fish grease.  When he pulled up, I got in, and our conversation just clicked off the bat, ya know? Didn’t take long before he was blowing up my phone, all the time. He was one of my regulars, and I didn’t know he was a preacher until Dominque and me went to his church on Save a Soul Sunday

         Every hustler, streetwalker, and gangbanger in the hood, knew about Save a Soul Sunday. It was held every first Sunday, at the old House of Transformation on 12th Street.

The streets had been talking about this new preacher that won $2 million in the Lotto. Some said he used to be a low-down-dirty pimp. Said his Momma was a witch from Haiti, and she cleaned the Mob’s dirty money through the Strip Joint she ran in Midtown. I heard all kinds of crazy rumors, but I never met that side of him. 

All I know is, Hen had a good heart, and did right by his people when He bought the old House of Transformation and turned it into the Dream Center. On Save A Soul Sunday, The Dream Center had service, and opened its doors for anyone in need.

He was still Hen to me when me and Dominique went to his church for the first time. I was so nervous; I had no idea what to expect when I walked through the doors. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d stepped foot in a church. But I had to see for myself if it was really my Hen that was the star of the show. 

It took a minute for the initial shock to wash over me. I couldn’t concentrate on a word he was saying because I was suddenly on fire.

Like flames, Random thoughts flashed through my mind.

Gotta turn in my application at the McDonald’s down the street… 

These too tight stripper heels is fuckin up my big toes…

I tried to think of anything other than the memory of his delicate touch, exploring every inch of me. His lips, kissing every part of my body, and I couldn’t wait to be alone with him again.

Later that evening, tucked under the covers, bolted behind locked doors in the sanctuary of my room at the Grand Hotel, he confessed to me, with an unhinged glint in his eye, that he had made his bed with the Devil, the night he met me.

Surely, he was joking.

Hen reached in the nightstand and pulled out a small jewelry box.


The sincerity of thought was like a wet slap. Hen was dead serious when he slid the delicate ring on my finger, and I wondered how he could stir my soul and stimulate my body at the same time.

 That night, he introduced me to his favorite scriptures. I believed him when he said God Loved me despite the whorish life I’d chosen to live. I deserved to be loved, and he surprised me again. This time with a trip to Indianapolis, just the two of us.

I’d never met someone who knew my secret and loved me for it. Maybe it was my spiritual depravity that Hen could relate to.  He’d been a liar and a thief, but God had changed his heart and delivered his soul. Every day he was fighting to stay right.

So, how can what we share, be right?

I knew the cracks in his family façade because I had tried to live that DL lie myself, many lifetimes ago. He’d forsaken  his wife, who stood faithfully by his side despite his transgressions. Running from his wrongs he’d escape to my room in secret, and I swept open the doors to his madness. Praying and crying, some nights he’d fall asleep in my arms.

I knew that I was surely going to hell, I’d done too much sinning to be saved. But I played along anyway. I loved being myself with Hen. Plus, I needed a vacation. 

Part Two: Dominique

           When the dumb bitch called me, it was three o’clock in the morning, and the Caller ID said it was an out of town number. Traynesha lucky I answered. But I already knew the trifling ho needed help. Bitch sounded like a hot mess. Girlfriend was Way Too high and completely hysterical. 

I finally got her to calm down when she Said she was stranded in Indianapolis with Pastor Henry and Begged me to help get her home. 

Bitch, where is Pastor? And she screamed,

Pastor Henry is dead. 

           My eyes were as wide as shit when she said:

Pastor Henry

 dead next to me

 in bed. 

Well, first of all bitch, if a married preacher man, worth over $2 million, is laid out naked and dead next to you in bed, being stranded is the least of your worries. I told the bitch to check his pockets. She found about $2000 in cash and enough credit cards to choke a horse. Told the bitch to grab every single one,  and get the hell out.

But first, and this is the best part, I told the dumb ho to take pictures. I think she did. Bitch wasn’t that stupid. I told her, don’t look back and call me when you touch down. That was the last time I heard from her. Claudine, who work housekeeping at the Grand Hotel, was the first one to call me with the T

Couldn’t believe it when she Told me they found Traynesha stabbed to death in her room. Same room the good ole Reverend used to creep to.

           Think this street life a game if you want to

Oh Yes child, everybody knew Miss Traynesha turned tricks over by Union and Martin Luther King.  Made good paper too when she got herself all made up. Kind-of remind you of a broke down Rihanna. I think that’s where she met Henry.

Yes sir. Gonna miss that bitch. I used to tell her to sit her crazy ass down. Seems like she was always working some kind a root. But I gotta give it to her. Traynesha knew how to make her coins, talking more shit than a little bit. 

She played these stupid ass tricks. Got them thinking they had picked up a real woman. Probably that mouth is what killed her. Somebody said it was thirty-seven stab wounds. Fucked that pretty face up. 

Now look at the bitch. Pastor Henry dead In bed with his tranny girlfriend.  Now she dead too. Don’t get no better than that shit.  Not that I got a problem with it. To each his own.

But I’m thinking to myself, really? Does your wifey know about this shit?

Part Three: Wifey

Dear Jasmine:

I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. You’ll be my baby girl forever and I love you, and my Grandbaby more than life itself. I’m so proud of the woman you’ve become. Stay strong, because you’re the only one who will know the whole truth after you read this letter.

You see I had no choice. Your father’s secret indiscretion had gotten out of hand. For years I was silent when he strayed. When he left me for days and indulged his sick tendencies. I tried to remember how much I used to love him. I reminded myself of the man I married and the beautiful soul he had.   

At first it was like my prayers had been answered when he won that money. You know how much it was a blessing for our family and the community. We created a ministry together and shelters for the homeless and in some ways your father was a prophet. But Henry was a troubled soul.  He had a dark side, like me.

Please don’t blame me for snuffing out that little bit of nothing, and that’s what she was. A piece of trash, simple as that. That heathen took pictures. Horrible Pictures of your father, my husband, laid out naked, in the hotel, where they found him. She was gonna tell and sell it all…

I had hired a private detective longtime ago, and I already knew about her scheming ways. So, I wasn’t surprised when she called. I went to her room at the Grand with $5000 in cash the heifer told me to bring. I was ready to pay for her silence and be done with it all.

But I wasn’t expecting her to be so pretty. She had a confidence that surprised me… so young and comfortable in her own skin. She said Henry loved her and would want her to be taken care of. I laughed in her face, but she wasn’t moved. She informed me that this $5,000 payment would be the first of many more payments to come.

I KNEW THAT SHE WAS A MAN under all that fake hair and makeup. How could Henry love her, and a fireball of hatred and jealousy consumed me. I couldn’t leave her room without making sure we were alone, and I checked her kitchenette for knives of which she had many. With the whisper that this would be our little secret, I slit her fine yellow flesh from ear to ear.

You already know the rest to be sure. They find her slashed to ribbons and I go mysteriously missing. The burden of hiding your father’s truth is too much to live with. You will receive this letter and see the postmark from Niagara Falls, New York. I imagine you will call the authorities and alert them to my last confirmed whereabouts as well you should.

I made sure your father’s ministry and business affairs were in order before I left. There will be no open casket for me. Please forgive me. 

With my Everlasting Love,

           Your  Mother

January 28, 2023 03:53

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TJ Seator
07:02 Mar 31, 2023

What a brilliant story. Your writing is lyrical and the dialogue is fantastic, your characters just came to life. This is hands down the best story I have read on this site so far.


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Tara Leigh Parks
03:26 Feb 27, 2023

"These too tight stripper heels is fuckin up my big toes…" Laughed out loud. This is so fucking great. I look forward to reading more of your work. This story reminded me of my elementary school and high school in some parts...I once saw a man who was the anti drug speaker at my high school driving a Mercedes late at night, wearing a fur, He had the light on in his car. I have been playing around with that scene in my writing and it always makes me smile but also wonder, "What the hell?" Anyway, this story reminded me of that and more. You ...


07:08 Mar 02, 2023

Thank you so much for your kind and generous review. I'm glad you "got" my characters. I was inspired by real people in my life and I think they make the most interesting subjects. All the Best! K


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Angela Mcfarland
18:07 Jan 31, 2023

Oh Mr. Andrew's this article had me on the edge of my search and the ending was definitely not expected. I WANT MORE!!!


22:24 Jan 31, 2023



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