When I asked Kelly Stone Gamble to write a real-life post for me, I never doubted she would deliver. This story will blow you away — not only her experience but the beautiful, clear way she shares it with us. Her courage is amazing and I’m honored she shared this harrowing story here.
I’m in love with Kelly’s writing. I can’t wait until she’s published so I can read more! Follow her, share this post with everyone you know, read it. Then read it again.
by Kelly Stone Gamble
I met the Devil once. I’ve always thought that for those who die a violent death, it must be a struggle between good and evil until the Devil eventually wins. Who else could perform such horrible acts of violence on another being but Satan in human form? That is my belief, and therefore, I have to say, yes, I met him once. Not a nice guy; I have the scar to prove it.
I ran away from home three times as a teenager, but the first two times were for just a few months. It’s the last that I really consider my ‘runaway time.’ I was sixteen and was gone from home for over a year. I went to Tulsa and lived on my own, and at times with other runaways. No matter what you see on TV, I know from experience that they leave out the best parts, the parts most of us ex-runaways choose to tuck away, that only come back when we don’t keep our minds busy on something else.
And I do leave a lot of it in the past. But every day, I look in the mirror and see the scar I have that runs from the left side of my lip down to my chin and I remember. I’ve never had the scar fixed, because I don’t ever want to forget. Every day it reminds me. Wolves dress as sheep and Satan parades as neighbors.
I was seventeen, it was summer and I was living in a house of lost toys. It was late, I was bored and decided to walk downtown. One of my favorite pastimes was to go hang out with the homeless people that lived there and listen to their stories. A car stopped, two men in the front, who asked if I wanted a ride. I got in.
I wasn’t completely stupid. I knew the driver. His name was Bill and he lived two houses down. He knew all of the people in my house, came to our parties, sat on the porch with us and drank beer. He was neat, clean and had a respectable job. Once when he was sick with the flu, I walked his dog for him twice a day for a week. A cute little mutt named Bingo. Of course I could trust a guy with a dog named Bingo. I crawled in the back, a two-door prison with no escape.
There was no discussion between the two of them; it was as if they had it planned. Bill turned the car around and headed the other way. I said something about going downtown, thinking maybe he hadn’t heard me, but Bill just ignored me. His friend did all of the talking, and immediately began to tell me in graphic detail, all of the horrible things they intended to do to me. Bill drove. His friend talked. And I thought about what it was going to feel like to die.
Realizing I had no way out of the car, and couldn’t possibly break free from two men, I did the next best thing I could think of; I started to cry. The friend turned around in his car seat and laughed. He held a small thin bladed knife in his hand and put it to my throat and told me to stop. I choked back tears, but not before he made a thin slice on my face and made a comment about how nicely I bled.
I knew then that there was a pretty good chance I was going to die. Bill knew I was a runaway, so who would be looking for me? Just another throwaway teenager whose death wouldn’t make the paper. At some point during that ride, I decided that I was not going to make it easy. I would fight as much as I could, knowing without a little help, one scrappy teenager against the Prince of Darkness wouldn’t amount to much of a fight. It’s a good thing that I believed in Satan, because in doing so, it also meant that I believed in another existence in this world that would be my only hope.
We stopped at an apartment complex on the outskirts of Tulsa and I was hauled out of the car. Bill led the way; I was sandwiched between he and the Devil. I was numb, I had to focus on walking, knowing if I stopped I would get a nice prodding from the animal behind me. Nowhere to run, even if I could.
I looked up as we entered the complex, and noticed something familiar. I had been here before. As we walked deeper into the maze, I remembered. Terry lived here. Terry, a large ex-marine who I knew from back home, who collected guns and shot things for fun. I couldn’t remember which apartment was his, or how I could possibly use that to my advantage anyway. Then something amazing happened. You know the other existence I mentioned above that would be my only salvation? He showed up.
Ahead, I saw Terry walk out of his apartment with his dog. I don’t remember the breed, but he was one of those that you don’t mess with. I heard Terry tell the dog to ‘stand down’ as he saw that we were getting close enough to put the dog on alert. I waited, walking slowly, until we were right in front of him and I made my only move.
I can’t say I actually remember what that ‘move’ was. I don’t remember if I fell to the ground, flung myself in his arms, or reached for the dog. I only remember closing my eyes and yelling ‘HELP ME.’ Maybe I don’t want to remember, maybe what happened next is tucked away somewhere in my mind, waiting for the perfect time to come to the surface and show me the rest of the story. Maybe at that point, I just passed out and will never know.
What I do remember is sleeping on Terry’s couch with his dog by my side, and calling my dad the next day to say I wanted to come home. Everything changed after that night. Everything. Changed.
I’m not going to say I became an angel overnight, because being a street-smart kid starting over at seventeen wasn’t easy. I did go back to high school and graduated, and even set my sights on college.
So why, after all these years, have I not hired the hand of some wonderful plastic surgeon to fix the scar? Well, the deeper scar can’t be fixed, and the visible one is there for a reason. To remind me that miracles happen. To remind me that once, an invisible hand pulled me from the depths of Hell. To remind me that good, sometimes, does win over evil.
But not always.
I was spared for something.
And thirty years later, I’m still trying to figure out what that something is.