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The Minister's Black Veil: Based On A Short Story By Nathaniel Hawthorne With The Same Title MAG
All the townspeople stopped and stared with horror at Parson Hooper while he was greeting the worshippers at the church. Parson Hooper was wearing a mysterious, frightful black veil over his face. Before, the citizens of the small town trusted and loved Parson Hooper, but now he was the scum of the earth, and untouchable. Parson Hooper had alienated himself from the town all because of this small black piece of crepe.
The parson's sermon that day pertained to eternal sin, and all the citizens felt that Parson Hooper was wearing the veil because he had eternally sinned and he felt that he had to hide from decent humanity. This sermon was more motivating and emotional than most of his sermons. The people felt as if they had been through an extraordinary experience. As Parson Hooper drifted down the aisle after the service, he possessed an evil aura that caused people to shiver as he passed by.
The townspeople gossiped as they left church: "I can't really feel as if good Mr. Hooper's face was behind that piece of crepe." "Our parson has gone mad!" one said. "He has had an encounter with the devil!" proclaimed the gossip queen of the town. Parson Hooper had a wry grin on his face as he heard the townspeople chatter.
Mr. Hooper continued to perform ceremonies at the church, and the people continued to try to discover the motive behind the black veil. The veil was appropriate during funerals, but it made everyone uncomfortable and spread gloom at weddings. Whenever he walked about town, a hush would descend upon the neighborhood and wide-eyed children would stare in awe. One lady stated, "How strange that a simple black veil, such as any woman might wear on her bonnet, should become such a terrible thing on Mr. Hooper's face!"
The mysterious legend of Mr. Hooper's black veil spread throughout the county. People from other towns flocked to see the "evil" minister preach. Some people brought strings of garlic and crucifixes to protect themselves. An exorcist tried to banish the demons from Mr. Hooper while he was sleeping, but Mr. Hooper drove him out. "Why do you wear such a veil, Mr. Hooper?" implored the townspeople. Mr. Hooper perhaps presented his best sermon in the streets when he replied to that question: "There is an hour to come when all of us shall cast aside our veils. This veil is a type of symbol, and I am bound to wear it forever, both in light and darkness, in solitude and before the gaze of multitudes, and as with strangers, so with my familiar friends. No mortal eye will see it withdrawn. This dismal shade must separate me from the world: none of you can come behind it!"
"For the sake of your holy office, do away with this scandal!"
"NEVER!!!" cried Mr. Hooper in a booming, yet sad tone. "If my veil is to be removed, only our Lord can take it off me!"
Just as he finished his sentence, a column of wind began to advance toward Parson Hooper. As the column got close, a voice from the heavens rang out, " I HAVE COME TO UNMASK YOU, FIEND! YOUR TIME WITH SATAN IS FINISHED!"
"NO! My Lord, I have served you well and faithfully!"
"YOU ARE AN INSTRUMENT OF BEELZEBUB! WHY ELSE WOULD YOU HAVE NAMED YOUR PET DOG BEELZY!"
"Not true, Lord. I kneel before you humbly and beg your forgiveness!"
"I NEVER FORGIVE SONS OF THE DEVIL! PEOPLE, WITNESS THE REVEALING OF SATAN'S FACE AND SEE THE FIRE IN HIS EYES!"
"No! Auggh!" screamed Mr. Hooper as the whirlwind passed through him casting aside the hated black veil.
"Oh, how horrible!" wailed the townspeople. What they saw before them was a face mutilated on one side. A fresh scar ran down that side of his face and the red flames of hell-fire shot out from his eye-sockets. Now that he was revealed, his body grew to a gargantuan height and fangs appeared in his mouth and hair emerged from all parts of his body. Mr. Hooper had become a ghastly monster about the size of a house. The citizens prayed to God to help them, and their prayers were answered. Suddenly, thunder clashed from above and a huge figure formed out of smoke, brandishing a lightening bolt like a spear, he hurled it at the mutilated Mr. Hooper. It struck the monster right in the heart and Mr. Hooper was reduced to a pile of ashes at the townspeople's feet. God completed his task as a gentle breeze picked up the ashes and blew them into the sea. n