Rodrick's boyhood was literally hellish. His parents were obsessed with sorcery and Satanism. That had a dire affect on Rodrick. It had the fringe benefit of giving him firsthand awareness of the supernatural, and making the dark side repellent to him. He was plagued by horrific nightmares. And during the day he felt that he was always shadowed by a malevolent presence. He couldn't shake it off. Like he was under round-the-clock surveillance. Rodrick desperately wanted to escape the life imposed on him by his infernal parents, but he seemed to be trapped.
Then in junior high he met a Christian classmate who had the gift for discerning spirits (1 Co 12:10). Ed was a kind of budding exorcist by vocation. Not just about casting out demons, but combating witchcraft and evil spirits in general.
Ed's parents were divorced. His dad had custody, but his dad was scientist of international renown scientist who frequently traveled to conferences, so Ed often lived alone when his dad was away from home. His dad never understood his son's interest in Christianity, but he let it slide.
When Ed first met Rodrick, he instantly sensed an aura about Rodrick. Not that Rodrick was possessed or evil. Indeed, Rodrick seemed to be good natured. But he was surrounded by invisible evil. Choked by evil. Especially at night he often felt the suffocating prevalence of evil spirits.
Ed offered to let Rodrick move in with him. In one sense that intensified the evil. Ed and Rodrick could actually catch a glimpse of the evil spirit following them. It was enraged by Ed taking Rodrick away from the coven.
Sharing a bedroom with a Christian, especially a Christian with Ed's particular gift, was a novel and liberating experience for Rodrick. To be in Ed's presence was like a buffer that shielded Rodrick from psychological invasion by the evil spirits. The ubiquitous, smothering sensation was gone. The spirits were unable to penetrate the screen of godliness. It was like an electric shock.
He sometimes had bad dreams that began as hellish nightmares, but then Ed would pop into Rodrick's dreams and keep the monsters at bay.
Ed introduced Rodrick to the Bible. Taught him the Bible. Taught him Christian prayer. Taught him Christian hymns.
Coming at it from the other side, Rodrick also had the antennae to detect evil spirits, but now he had the resources to fight back. Ed and Roderick formed a lifelong team.