It was Halloween and, although Beth's parents would not let her go out and blacken her soul by participating in the pagan ritual of dressing up, knocking on doors, and begging for candy, they did allow her to have a few friends over to eat potato chips and dip and tell ghost stories.
Beth went first. She told a story about a boy who was woken in the middle of the night by the sound of his guard dog choking on something. When he took the dog to the vet, the vet found that the dog was choking of a hook hand that he had bitten off of a burglar! It was very scary.
Beth's friend Theresa went next. She told a story about a man who was driving a truck and picked up a girl who was hitchhiking. When she got out of the truck, she left behind a hook that she had used for her hand. When the man went to her house to return it, he found out that the girl who he had given a ride in his truck had been dead for six years! She must have been a ghost! It was a very, very scary story.
Beth's friend Elizabeth told a story after that. Her story was about a girl who was baby-sitting and kept getting calls on the phone that said, "I'm going to get you!" When she called the operator to find out where the calls were coming from the operator said, "Get out! They're coming from inside the house...and the caller has a hook for a hand!" It was really scary, too.
Finally, Beth's friend Beelzebabs said she didn't know any stories, so instead she told about how her parents locked her in a closet, burned black candles on her dolls heads, and forced her to play ritualized penis games with farm animals. The girls didn't think that was so scary because there were no hooks in it or anything, but they were too polite to say so.
By the time they had finished telling their stories, it was after ten o'clock, but the girls were too excited to go home. Unfortunately, they couldn't think of any more stories to tell. Not wanting the party to end, Beth said, "Why don't we ask my mother to tell a story. She knows lots of them."
"Doesn't your mother only tell Bible stories?" asked Beelzebabs, a look of stark terror in her eyes.
"Yes, usually," said Beth. "But it can't hurt to ask."
They went and got Beth's mother. Beth's mother had been spending the evening answering the door, passing out tracts, and telling the trick or treaters that they were doomed to spend eternity burning in Hell, but she always had time for her daughter and her daughter's friends.
"I'd be glad to tell you a scary story," said Beth's mother.
Once they all were back in the living room, sitting in the circle on the floor, Beth's mother said, "So, what kind of a story would you like to hear?"
"How about a story with a gross bloody murder!" said Theresa.
"Yeah! Something with a hook in it!" said Elizabeth.
"All right," said Beth's mother. Turn down the lights and I'll tell you.
And this is the story she told:
One day God was mad at the Israelites for worshipping other gods so he made King Eglon of Moab strong enough to take them over with the help of Ammon and Amalek. King Eglon even took over the city of palm trees. He was so evil that his right hand was gone and had been replaced by a hook, but he liked it!*
The Israelites worked for King Eglon for eighteen years and then started to complain about it really loud. God heard the Israelites complaining so he sent Ehud, the left-handed son of Gera the Benjamite, to save them. The Israelites asked Ehud to take a present to King Eglon.
Before he went to see the King, Ehud made a big ol' two-edged dagger and hid it under his clothes on his right leg. When he was all ready, Ehud went to see the King (who was very, very fat, by the way).
After Ehud had offered the present to the King, he said, "Hey, King. Can I tell you a secret?"
"No so loud," said King Eglon, and he sent everyone out of the room so that he could hear the secret.
When everyone was gone, Ehud said, "I have a message from God for you." Then he jumped up from his chair, pulled out the knife, and stabbed the king in the tummy with it.
As it turns out, King Eglon was so fat that the knife went all of the way into him and his fat swallowed it up so that Ehud couldn't get it back. After that, poo came out of the hole in his tummy.
"Oooh gross," said Elizabeth.
"Disgusting," said Theresa.
"Cool!" said Beelzebabs.
Ehud went out onto the porch and locked the door behind him. When he was gone, the kings servants came to check on the king. When they saw that the doors to the king's room were locked they said, "I guess the king is covering his feet." And they stood around doing nothing until they were really embarrassed.
When they couldn't stand it any more, the servants got a key and opened up the king's room only to find that their master was dead with a hole in his tummy and poo coming out of it.
When Ehud got home, he went to the top of a mountain and blew a horn. All the Israelites came to see him and he said, "Follow me! God will help you beat the Moabites!"
So the Israelites followed Ehud and killed about ten thousand lusty men of Moab. In fact, there were no men left in Moab after that.
There was peace for eighty years, and after that Shamgar came and killed six hundred men with a pointy ox stick, but that's another story.
Beth and her friends thought about all this for a moment. Then Beth smiled and said, "That's a pretty gross story for something from the Bible." She didn't have any questions, but she noticed that nobody was eating the dip any more.
* This detail is an embellishment and does not appear in most reliable ancient texts.
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