Chapters 13-20 Chapters 21-30 Chapters 31-40 Chapters 41-50 Home
Bill held on to Beverly, guiding her back through the tunnel. Sister Victoria led the way with a flashlight. I carried the other one, staying behind the group making sure nothing followed. We made it back to the basement and entered Sandy’s art room safely.
Bill and I shut the brick wall that led to the passage behind us and put the heavy table back against it. I relocked the door to Sandy’s Studio and after we went upstairs to the first floor, I locked the basement door with the padlock. We sat the living room on the couch next to the fireplace. Beverly didn’t look well.
“How are you feeling?” I asked.
“Tired, I tried to fight the thing, but it forced its way. I’ve never came across anything so strong. I feel so grimy and dirty. I think I’ll be alright though.” Beverly said.
“It’ll take some time, but I’ll review the audio and video recordings to see if we’ve caught anything.” Bill said as he began to pack up his equipment.
Beverly was becoming exceedingly tired and wanted to go home. She wasn’t up for driving so Bill offered to take Beverly home in her car then take a cab back to my house, pack his equipment and drive his own car home.
We all walked with Beverly to the front door. Sister Victoria gave her a hug as I did and thanked Beverly for all she did.
“How much do I owe you? I’ll pay whatever you want.” I asked Beverly.
“I did this for Karl, remember? And for you, Sandra, and the women who are trapped in this house. You owe me nothing but just promise me one thing.”
“You name it.”
“Promise me the bodies of the women downstairs receive a proper burial. And make sure that you do a proper spiritual cleansing of this house.”
“You got it. I sure will.”
“I can help with the cleansing,” Sister Victoria said. “I’ll contact the proper people and a full exorcism will be conducted.”
We said goodbye and Bill took Beverly home promising to return in a cab within the hour.
Sister Victoria and I sat back in the living room sitting across from one another, I on the couch, her on the loveseat. I wanted to ask her out for dinner after all of this was said and done. I knew that I couldn’t though, she was already in a committed relationship, with the church. Would she even entertain a such a thing? What if she ever “broke up” with the church?
“You look troubled, Cole. I can understand why, considering what just happened. Don’t give up your faith and pray that we find Sandy.”
“Thanks for the concern. But there’s something else,” I said.
“What is it?”
I was going to mention dinner, but it just wouldn’t come out of my mouth.
“It’s what Elise Hall’s adoptive father tried to say.” I said. “He said ‘behind house’. When we went behind this house Beverly got nothing except an impression from the rocks on the land. I was hoping to find something that would help lead us to Sandy, Elise, Judith or Christina. ‘Behind house’ has a special meaning, something important. I know it.”
“Maybe Mr. Singleton was speaking about another house?” she suggested.
“I thought that too, but what house?” I asked.
“That one,” Sister Victoria said, pointing to the painting of the house above the fireplace mantle.
Maybe Victoria was on to something, couldn’t hurt to look. The painting was on the wall directly on the fireplace shoot. I took the flashlight from the table beside me and removed the guard at covered the mouth of the fireplace. I squat down and flashed the light upward the dirty shoot and saw nothing, it was empty.
“Take the painting of the wall,” Sister Victoria suggested.
I set the flashlight on the mantle next to the bust of Judith and lifted the large, wide, heavy painting from the wall. I carried it out of the living room, across the hall and into the dining room.
Sister Victoria followed and cleared the candle holder from the center of the dining room table. I laid the painting on the glass table, face down, wire protruding from the back of it. Nothing was out of the ordinary as I checked the thick matted cardboard.
“Look beneath the mat,” Sister Victoria said.
The cardboard was stuck in the frame, so I quickly went into the kitchen to retrieve a knife. I prodded the top corners of the thick cardboard from the back of the frame. The top left corner of the board popped out from the frame then I put the knife in the seam and slid it across the top until the whole board came out.
There was something behind the house. I completely removed the board and saw something stuffed in between it and the painting. Neatly placed was an unmarked yellow 8 ½ by 11 envelope containing papers.
“You were right,” I said as I looked at her and smiled. She returned the grin.
A loud knock came at the front door.
“That can’t be Bill, it’s too soon,” I said.
Sister Victoria walked to the front window and glanced out.
“There’s another car out there,” Victoria said.
I put the board back on the backside of the painting’s frame, lifted it up, hurried into the living room and arranged it back on the wall above the fireplace. The knocking at the front door continued. I went to the foyer and opened the front door. It was Detective Mason from the other night at the park.
“Mr. Mendoza,” he said.
“Yeah. Can I help you?”
“You sure can. Detective Mason, we met the other night.”
“I remember, at the park.”
“So much for solitude, huh? I see some cars parked outside here. Having a get together?”
“Yeah, one of the visitors wasn’t feeling so well so she was driven home by another guest.”
“I see. I’d like to ask you a few questions. May I come in?” he asked.
“Sure, come on in.”
We entered the living room and Sister Victoria was nowhere to be seen.
“Have a seat,” I said, gesturing to the couch. I sat across from him.
“What’s with the cameras and tripods around? Having some kind of photoshoot?
“Sort of. What did you need, Detective?
“Mr. Mendoza, I don’t know if you’d heard, but a Karl Lansley was murdered a few days ago.”
“Yeah, I saw the news. It was a shock, I knew him, just met him recently actually,” I said.
“I know you did. There are reports that that you were the last one seen with him at Blackstone Bar and Grill on Main a few nights ago. You want to tell me about it?”
“Sure. Well, I don’t know if you know or not, but Karl is…was a paranormal investigator.”
“Yeah, I know. A ghost hunter,” Detective Mason said. “Looked him up, he was well known in those circles.”
“I met with him in town a few nights ago regarding this house. We talked about it over food.”
“You got ghosts in this house, Mr. Mendoza?”
“I don’t know. That’s why I was meeting with Mr. Lansley, to find out.”
“That why you have all these cameras set up? Trying to take pictures of ghosts?
“Sure. What, you don’t believe in ghosts?”
“Not at all. So, what time did you two leave the bar that night?” he asked.
“Probably about 7:30, 8:00. After we talked about the house, I left and came home.”
“You left in separate vehicles?
“What else did you talk about besides ghosts?”
“Nothing else, that’s it.”
“How long have you known Mr. Lansley?” he asked.
“Not too long after I moved into this house. That’s when I started hearing creepy noises.”
“Creepy noises. So how did you meet Mr. Lansley?”
“Actually, he knocked on the front door. He was looking to meet with the previous owner. She was interested in his services as well, probably heard the creepy noises too.”
“You mean Sandra Breyer, your friend, the missing woman?”
“You’ve been around town asking about Mrs. Breyer, haven’t you, Mr. Mendoza.”
“Call me Cole. Yeah, hoping I could learn more about what could have happened to her.”
“Uh-huh. Well I’ll tell you, let us handle the Breyer case, alright, Cole? We’ll be just fine without your help.”
“Sure, of course.”
At that moment, the thumping and bumping sounds came from within the wall near the fireplace. Detective Mason and I both looked in the direction of the sound at the same time.
“Noises like that, Cole? Is that a ghost?”
“That? No. That’s rats in the walls. I think.”
“You should really have that looked into. They sound like really big rats.”
“Yeah, I’m planning on it.”
“This house has a lot of bad luck tied to it doesn’t it? The couple who lived here years ago are missing, Sandra Breyer too, and now Karl Lansley, guy who has a connection to this place dies suddenly. I sure hope nothing happens to you next.”
“Anything else I can help you with?” I asked.
“Yeah. Mind if I look around the place?”
“You’re going to have to provide a search warrant for that.” I said.
“Yeah, you’re right. Maybe next time then.”
“Anything else, Detective Mason?”
“No, that’s all for now. Your story about leaving the bar in separate vehicles lines up with what witnesses at Blackstone Bar say and the security cameras, just so you’ll know. Thanks for your cooperation.”
The detective got up from the couch and headed for the foyer. I followed and opened the door to let him out.
“Oh, by the way,” Detective Mason said, “the creepy noises you’ve been hearing, just the house settling. There are no such things as ghosts.”
“Maybe your right,” I said, and he was on his way.
I stood at the window, making sure he drove off down the road.
“You can come out Sister,” I said. She appeared in the hall behind me.
“Why did you hide?” I asked.
“As soon as he said he was a detective, I knew it would best not to complicate matters with me here. He doesn’t have any evidence against you whatsoever. If the time comes to testify that Karl was murdered by those freaks. I promise, I will,” she said.
Sister Victoria went to the window again.
“He’s writing down Bill’s and my license plate numbers,” Sister Victoria said.
“That might complicate things,” I said.
“Don’t worry, the plate on my car can’t be traced.”
“What? Who are you really, Victoria? Wonder Woman? Are you from Themyscira Island or something?”
She just smiled. I was just reassured that she’d testify if I was accused of Karl’s murder. We also have the video on Karl’s phone of the ritual in the cemetery.
We again focused on the painting of the house above the fireplace. I took it off the wall again then we went back into the dining room. I set the painting on the dining room table and checked to see what was inside the yellow envelope.
Sister Victoria and I sat at the dining room table as I took off the back cover of the painting revealing the envelope. I opened it. Inside was a small stack of paper about a quarter of an inch thick. On the cover page, typewritten, was a an odd symbol that was shaped like a triangle.
“That’s the Greek letter Delta,” Sister Victoria said.
Underneath the Greek letter were the words: Project Glass House. At the bottom of the page was written Department of the U.S. Army. Manuel Hall was in the military, maybe he left them in the painting. Strange terminology was used throughout the writing, but Sister Victoria and I made the most of it the best we could.
According to the document, the government is involved in an operation used to create fragmented or multiple personalities within certain individuals. They purposely create dissociative identity disorder through trauma.
Through specific techniques, much of them involving various kinds of extreme torture, the U.S. government was able to take a person’s psyche and split it up into many personalities.
These personalities created through intense physical and psychological distress are not aware of the other personalities within the mind. Each personality is sectioned off from the others and each can be brought out by certain triggers.
Memory is also sectioned off with what are called “amnesia walls” which make the victim forget that they experienced any lost time. This way, each personality was not aware of the rest and not suspect that something was wrong. However, some personalities are not allowed to be aware of others if it benefited a certain operation.
Each personality is “programmed” for a specific reason or goal, one could be a trained assassin, another to complete a certain mission, another to master the very torture/programming techniques, and even as sex slaves.
The document stated that these techniques were learned from members of the occult who had top security military clearance, “Luciferians” to be exact.
“I see why this is called project Glass House,” Sister Victoria said, “the human psyche is broken, fragmented like shards of glass.”
Another knock at the front door interrupted us. In fear of another visit from an uninvited guest, I shoved the papers in the envelope. Sister Victoria peered out of the window front window.
“It’s Bill,” she said, “The taxi is driving off.” I went to the front door to let him in.
“How’s Beverly?” Sister Victoria asked as Bill and I entered the dining room.
“She’s good. A little tired and shaken but she’ll be fine,” Bill said.
I invited Bill to look at the discovered treasure. We explained to him how we decided to check behind the painting of the house and the visit from Detective Mason.
“It seems a lot has happened in such a short amount of time,” Bill said.
We showed him the documents and explained what we’ve found. Bill claimed to be familiar with these types of procedures that certain occultists used to mind control victims. He was un-phased that our government had been implementing the very same occult methods to create spies with fragmented personalities. He mentioned a book called the Manchurian Candidate that was made into a movie about the very same thing.
Also, contained in the envelope was a small flat journal. Inside were the brief writings of Elsie Hall. The following is an accurate reproduction of her entries.
The first entry:
Something sinister is happening. Manuel is working on something dreadful with his government job: Project Glass House. I first heard of this project when he started talking in his sleep during nightmares.
The job is taking a toll on him physically and mentally. He won’t talk about his work due to military secrecy, and I know not to ask, but the things he says in his sleep disturb me.
The second entry:
I’ve stolen the key to his briefcase and looked in it when he fell asleep last night. I made copies of documents concerning Project Glass House and have been studying them in depth.
There is a connection between Manuel’s work and Ravensgate. This town is home to an evil, one that hides in the shadows and hearts of some who live here. The members of this secret society walk among us, unknown to the majority. Though few, they are responsible for many sickening things.
Our government collaborates with these practitioners of black magic and devil worship. These “Luciferian” cult members live and work in town, many of them in high ranking positions: community leaders, police, lawyers and judges.
The Project Glass House documents say that these occultists rip apart the psyche of their victims from town by means of extreme torture and trauma, some sexual, in order to program their behavior. Some of these victims are of use for the secret society and some are given to the government for their purposes.
My husband’s position with the military is in conjunction with these occultists. Their base of operations is the historical museum which is used to carry out this work. My sister Judy, the curator of the museum, is a victim of Manuel’s project. Manuel mentions her name at night during sleep.
The fourth entry:
I have explained to Judy what Manuel and this occult group have been doing to her. She didn’t believe me. By studying the techniques described in the Glass House documents, some of them hypnosis, I was able to prove it to her by surfacing an alter personality within her.
Using trigger words and showing her certain symbols, during sessions in which Judy is “under”, a sub-personality named Tiffany was brought forth. Tiffany revealed that the secret society in Ravensgate is responsible for the church closings and how they do it. I video recorded all of what “Tiffany” said on my phone and showed Judy after she came out of trance.
It’s called Project Black Widow: A woman, programmed with an alter personality, is chosen to become involved with a specific church. Her core personality is unaware that a sub-personality secretly comes forth to seduce church leaders.
This causes dissention and strife within the congregation that ultimately leads to the church closing. Cursed objects are also left in the church by others who pretend to be members to keep a demonic influence present. One of the objects is a small glass skull.
Why exactly the destruction of Ravensgate’s churches, other than that Luciferians hate God, I’m not sure.
The fifth entry:
I think I am now a victim of Glass House. It would explain bruises and scars that have been appearing on my body similar to Judy’s. If Judy didn’t know what is happening to her, then how would I know if it is happening to me?
I’m also worried about Christina, Judy’s seventeen-year-old daughter. She says she’s being followed by a man with long, dirty hair. She has the same bruises and marks as Judy and me.
The sixth entry:
Judy and Christina have been subject to a horrible experience in Ravensgate Cemetery. They were used in a blood ritual that they were not supposed to remember. I brought the memories forward by hypnosis.
They’re both marked with scars and bruises resulting from the ceremony. One is in the shape of an upside-down cross on their stomachs. Judy is distraught and won’t speak much. I’ve got Judy hidden in a place where she will rest safely, for now. Christina has run away, and I can’t find her.
The Seventh Entry:
A week has passed since I left Judy at the safehouse. She is finally talking and claims to have information about Manuel and what is happening. She says she stole evidence from him and hid it in the historical museum on Pike Island where they both work. She hid it there so if they ransack her house, they’ll find nothing. She won’t tell me where it is in case Manuel tries to get it out of me.
Manuel is becoming aggressive and violent. He’s been locking me up in the attic closet when he thinks I’m lying to him. I think he knows that I’m on to what he and this cult have been doing. I’m going to leave Ravensgate and take Judy. Christina too, but I have to find her.
The eighth entry:
Judy has gone missing. Maybe she went looking for Christina. She would have told me if she were to leave. I pray that the Luciferians didn’t do anything to them.
I have gotten myself into something I can’t get myself out of. I am being followed by someone in town. I see him everywhere, the greasy, dirty man that Christina described.
Sandy has contacted me concerning her vivid dreams about me, Judy and Christina. Her dreams are uncannily accurate to what’s been happening. Even though I didn’t want to get her involved, I told her everything. She invited us to come live with her in Detroit but we have to find Judy and Christina first.
The ninth entry:
Manuel tried to kill me tonight. He openly said I was going to be used in a ritual. We struggled and I fought him off. I admit what I’ve done. I hit him in the head with statue of the horse. I’ve killed him in self-defense. The grandfather clock in the back room, it wouldn’t stop chiming.
I now knew that Christina is Judith’s daughter, the unknown girl’s bust. I assume that Elise’s adoptive parents were the ones who she left Judith with. After reading the entries and a brief discussion at the dining room table with Bill and Sister Victoria, Bill asked to take a copy of the documents of Operation Glass House with him for deeper study.
I scanned the documents, printed out copies and gave them to Bill. We all agreed to meet later, then my two friends went home. I left the house and went back to the Lamplighter Inn. I didn’t feel like spending the night in that house after what went down with Beverly’s possession.
Elise’s journal was more proof that Judith hid something important in the Ravensgate historical museum concerning Manuel Hall. The rumor of Manuel leaving town in fear of legal repercussions was not true. According to Beverly, it was his dead body hidden in the ceiling of the closet of the attic.
I needed to find this evidence against Manuel Hall that Judith hid in the Museum. The more information I learn concerning him, the more light it may shed on Elise, Judith, Christina and Sandy.
I went to sleep in the motel room easily despite the disturbing events of the night. I dreamt of the groundskeeper. He stood in the cavern underneath the house. The camera zoomed up close to his face and eventually into the darkness of his eyes revealing a glowing blueprint of floor plans with many rooms within.
In each room, a person sat on a stool surrounded by darkness which disguised their faces. I felt the pain, the torment and despair that each person felt. I couldn’t take it abruptly awoke.
Sun light beamed through slits between the curtains of the motel and onto the bed. I lay there, among the sheets thinking about what the dream meant. Maybe the darkness in the groundkeeper’s head represented his mind and each room of the blueprint represented the compartmentalization of it. The people sitting in each room represented a different personality within his consciousness. They sit in darkness waiting to be called out when needed.
I looked at my watch, it was almost noon. I spent most of the afternoon in the motel, gathering thoughts and strength. I thought of just leaving Ravensgate and forgetting about everything. But of course, I couldn’t. I fell asleep again and awoke to the sound of the phone near 3:00 p.m., Bill called.
“Hey, Cole. How are you feeling?” Bill asked.
“Tired, how are things?”
“Good. I’ve been awake half the night going over the audio and video recordings of the investigation of your house. I haven’t finished reviewing everything but what we’ve recorded is amazing. Simply amazing.”
“What did you find?”
“Voices. They all belong to women. They were responding to Beverly’s questions in great detail. Some of them talk over each other. The sound quality is excellent. These are the best EVPs ever recorded.”
“What did the women say?”
“Too much to go over it on the phone, I have to show you in person. We need to sit down, maybes with Sister Victoria. I’d like her opinion on the matter. Is tonight ok?”
“Fine by me, but I’d have to consult with her. I don’t know what her schedule is like. What about Beverly, should she be there too?”
“No. It’s too soon after what she’s been through last night. Demonic possession takes a toll. Let’s let her rest first before we bring her any more of this mess. If Sister Victoria can’t make it tonight, we’ll brief her later.”
I agreed and let Bill go. After a can of microwaved Hormel Chilli, two cups of coffee, and an old rerun episode of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone (the one where the kid with god-like powers has a small town under his rule), Claire called. She sounded nervous.
“Cole, I need to talk to you. Are you alright?” Claire asked.
“I’m fine, is anything the matter? You don’t sound too good.”
“Something’s going on in Ravensgate, Cole. There’s a lot of talk about you in town. I think you might be in trouble.”
“Trouble? Like what trouble?”
I’d rather speak to you in person instead of on the phone. You never who who’s listening on these things.” Claire said.
“Alright. Meet me at my house in an hour.” I said.
I quickly washed, changed clothes, and headed to the house with time to spare. I made myself as comfortable as I could, turned on the television to make it appear the house was being lived in.
Around 4:00 there was a knock at the front door. I answered it and there stood Claire in the doorway wearing a light brown fall jacket. She looked worried.
“Hi, Cole,” she said.
“Hey, come on in.”
She walked in and we sat across from one another in the living room. Claire spoke first.
“I ‘m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you or anything earlier. I just thought you should know what people are saying about you in town. I know it can’t be true.”
“What are they saying?”
“It’s about that man that they found in the river.”
“Yeah, I heard about that. It was on the news.”
“Talk is that you had something to do with it. People say they saw you two and Blackstone Bar in town. Is that true?”
“Yeah, I was hanging out with him. But I had nothing to do with him in the river. After a meal, we left, and I came home. I don’t know what happened to him that night.”
“I hope they catch who did it,” Claire said. “And I hope they find his cell phone.”
“Uh… what now?”
“You know. If you happen to be in a cemetery at night snooping around with friends, you might catch pictures of ghosts with the phone. You might even be able to video record who knows what else.”
“I don’t know if I’m picking up what your putting down, Claire” I said.
“You know exactly what I’m putting down. And don’t call me that.” she said, her voice deeper than before
Don’t call you that? What should I call you?”
She reached into her jacket, pulled out a black 9mm and pointed it at me from where she sat on the love seat.
“You’ve been in Ravensgate long enough haven’t you?” Marla said. “You’ve obviously found them by now. Where are they?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about, the chronicles and the record.”
“Uh, yeah, no. Don’t have those. I just came to Ravensgate to look for a friend. That’s all.”
“Yeah, of course,” she said coldly. “The disappearance of Sandra Breyer: your cover. Who are you? FBI?”
“Nope. Not me.”
“How are you connected to that tall, pretty nun?”
“You mean Wonder Woman? I just met her.”
“Did she help you find the chronicles and the record? Where are they?”
“I told you I don’t know anything about it.”
“You have two choices, Mendoza, you either give them to me or you die here in this living room. Which is it?” Marla declared, emotionless.
“Okay. I don’t care. You can have them. I hid them upstairs in the attic.”
“Let’s go,” she said jerking the gun toward the stairway in the hall then back to me. I stood up from the couch, walked into the hall then up the stairs with Marla right behind me, the barrel of her gun digging into my back.
Neither of us said a word until we reached the attic door on the second floor. I broke the silence.
“I have to reach into my pocket for the key to this padlock,” I said.
Marla backed a few steps away from me.
“Go ahead,” she said
I fished the keys from my pocket, unlocked the lock, opened the door, flipped the light switch on, and slowly headed up the attic steps. Marla’s gun was stilled buried in my upper spine. As we reached the attic floor Marla gave me few feet of space ahead of her.
“Where is it?” she demanded.
“In the closest,” I said looking at the door.
“Go ahead, slow,” she ordered.
I walked past the shrouded furniture and the table that rammed into me the night before and onward to the closet door; she followed a few feet behind. When I reached the door, she ordered me to open it slowly. The only thing we saw was the torso of the bald mannequin woman sitting on the floor.
“You better not be bullshitting,” she uttered. “Where is it?”
“It’s hidden in the ceiling, on the other side of the wooden boards,” I said pointing to the ceiling. “You can see that the boards have been removed.”
She instructed me to go into the closet and prove it. We both entered the small space. The barrel dug into the right side my neck. My pulse throbbed against its cold metal.
“I have to remove the nails from the wood. They’re hidden in the ceiling. I’m going to have to use the hammer to pry the nails out.” I said, pointing to the hammer on the floor where I left it the night before.
“Go head,” Claire said. She took a step back giving me room, gun still aimed at me.
I removed the nails in first plank of wood and jerked it out from its place leaving a dark, oblong rectangular hole. I dropped the board on the floor and started on the next one. I tugged on the second board, moving it side to side until I was able to free it from the ceiling.
“Drop the hammer,” Claire ordered. I did as she said.
Once the plank was freed, the rotted face of Manuel Hall’s corpse peered out from within the ceiling space and we got a whiff of the dry stench. Marla’s eyes narrowed into slits, obviously not expecting the morbid spectacle.
“What the fuck,” she said, distracted for a split second.
I moved out of range from the gun’s barrel, swung the freed board I held in my hand and struck the side of Marla’s face.
The gun went off at the moment of impact, the blast ringed in my ear. The bullet went astray and penetrated the ceiling of the closet. I grabbed hold of the gun’s barrel, aiming it upward away from me. I wrestled with her, attempting to take the pistol away. She resisted, unaffected by the blow and roared with rage.
A blunt pain to my abdomen caught me off guard. She brought up her knee into my stomach with tremendous force. Fighting the sharp pain, my hands still on hers, I managed to free the gun from her tight grip.
Our roles were now reversed. Marla held onto to my wrist keeping the gun away from her body then rushed into me like a quarterback, slamming me the wall of the small closet.
She moved in close and sank her teeth into the flesh of my lower neck on my collar bone, snarling like an animal. The throbbing pain caused me to react, striking her on the left temple with a solid blow from my fist. She released her teeth from my clavicle as blood dripped down my chest and on my shirt.
The blow caused Marla to let go of my gun totting hand. I brought the butt of the pistol hard onto the back of her head. She fell to the floor unconscious.
I had a real problem. I was holding a loaded gun, a bloodied bite mark on my collar bone, and an unconscious girl in my house. I needed a little help and called Bill. Without going into detail, I asked if he could come to the house earlier due to an emergency. He obliged.
I put Marla’s gun in the back waist of my pants and lifted her dead weight up from the floor. I was able to drag her down the attic steps and into the guest bedroom. Not sure if she would attempt to attack me when gaining consciousness, I bound her hands to the headboard of the bed and her feet together with duct tape. I laid her upright on the bed, her head against a pillow.
I quickly ran to the bathroom, put peroxide on the bite and bandaged it. I then cleaned the dried blood on Marla’s mouth then I sat in a chair to her left, weighing my options.
Call the police? Nope. I couldn’t trust them, I also had detective Mason investigating me.
Marla’s was out cold for about twenty minutes, her head hung down to the side, her red bangs covering her forehead. She looked asleep. Finally, she mumbled, eyes still closed. My head propped up quickly.
She was silent for a moment, her body wriggling on the bed. She lifted her head and opened her eyes. She silently scoped the room up toward the ceiling then at the walls.
“What the…where is this?” she said in a groggily
She looked at me, eyes squinted, trying to make out my face.
“Cole? Where am I? What did you do?”
“You’re in the guest bedroom,” I answered.
“My head hurts, I have a headache,” she said then looked up at her wrists, duct taped to the headboard. “Why am I tied up? What happened? Did you do this?”
“Yeah. You kind of made me…”
“Made you?…Don’t hurt me,” she squeaked.
“I don’t want to, Marla.”
Was she was playing dumb? Was Marla a split personality or was Claire faking all this?
“Stop playing stupid,” I said.
“I’m not. I don’t know how I got here. Cole, if I’ve made you mad, I’m sorry.”
“For holding me at gun point? Look at what you did. You bit me.”
I removed the dressing from my neck and revealed the bite mark.
“I didn’t do that. I don’t know what’s happening,” she said, voice trembling.
A loud knock came from the front door downstairs. I left Marla (or Claire) in the room, shut the door and went downstairs. Please God, not Detective Mason with a search warrant, I thought.
I opened the door and Bill stood there with a black bag.
“Everything alright?” he asked.
“Nope, not one bit,” I said and let him in.
He set his bag in the main hall and I explained the scenario and who was upstairs in the guest bedroom bound in duct tape.
“And now she’s claiming she doesn’t remember any of it?” Bill asked.
“Yeah, I don’t know whether to believe her or not.”
“Well then, let’s go talk to her. All I ask for is a pair of scissors.”
I found him a pair and I led him upstairs to the guest bedroom. Claire/Marla still lay on the bed bound, looking frightened but silent.
“Hello,” Bill said as he sat on the edge of the bed by her feet.
“Who are you? What do you want?” she retorted.
“I just want to talk to you, that’s all. Cole says you came to his house and held him at gun point then bit him on the neck. That’s why you’re tied to the bed. Is it true?”
“No. I didn’t. I don’t know how I got here.”
“If you don’t know how you got then here, how do you know you didn’t pull a gun on him or attack him?”
“I don’t…I don’t know.”
“Well, then isn’t it possible Cole might be telling the truth?”
“I don’t know. None of this makes any sense.”
He has a bite mark on his neck. All we have to do is check the marks with your dental records. There’s a gun and your fingerprints are all over it. You could go to jail for attempted murder.”
“But I don’t remember,” she said crying, tears ran down her face. “I don’t want to hurt Cole. I don’t know what’s going on.”
“We want to help you find out what’s going on. We want to find out ourselves. Will you let us do that?”
“I just want to go home,” she whimpered.
“You will go home. But we just need to find what’s happening first. What’s your name?”
“Okay, Claire. Can I ask you of something?”
“What?” she said nervously.
Bill took out an ink pen from the inside pocket of his jacket.
“Will you let me ask you some questions and try to relax? Being relaxed is very important. I know it may be hard given the situation, but if you try, I promise we’ll figure out what’s going on. Could you do that?”
Bill held the business end of the pen up gripping it from the bottom. He scooted up a bit on the bed, closer to the girl and put the pen about a foot from her face.
“Just gaze at the tip of this pen. Relax. Everything is alright and you’re going home soon. Now just focus on the pen and take slow deep breaths.”
She did as Bill asked, her chest heaving with each breath. Bill talked to her calmly; his voice relaxing her. She became weary and her eye lids fell slightly, but her gaze was still transfixed on the tip of the pen. She went under. Her head nodded and Bill began a series of questions.
“What’s your name?”
“Claire,” she said in a shallow voice.
“Claire, how do you know Cole?”
“I met him at the coffee shop where I work.”
“I see. What’s your name?”
“Claire, I said.”
“Just checking. Claire, why did you try to attack Cole?”
“I didn’t. I like Cole.”
“If you didn’t then who did?”
“I don’t know.”
“Close your eyes, Claire,” Bill instructed, and she did. “Clear your mind. Empty it of all thoughts and imagine colors only. Imagine blues, greens, reds, yellows, and colors of all types, the ones you like especially. Imagine that they are swirling into and out from one another. Do you see the colors?
“Now, imagine the colors fade away slowly until there is nothing left but black. There is only blackness and your mind is neutral and still. You are in a state of pure calm and peace.”
Claire breathed softly, looking tranquil.
“Do you feel the peacefulness?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Now, I want to know if there is anyone else inside your consciousness sharing the space. If there is, I want the person who was last using the space other than Claire, to come forward. If there is no one else inside, I want Claire to open her eyes and wake up right now.”
Claire lay silently relaxed, eyes closed, her head resting on the pillow and did not wake up.
“Now, who am I now speaking with?” Bill asked.
“Marla,” she said in a slightly deeper voice.
“Marla. How do you feel, Marla?”
“Good. You feel relaxed. Stay in this relaxed state, Marla. Your body is limp as if there are weights on your hands and feet. You are sinking into the soft, comfortable, bed and you want to answer all my questions truthfully, easily and effortlessly. Isn’t that how you feel?”
“How will you answer all my questions, Marla?”
“Truthfully, easily, and effortlessly.”
“Very good…why did you come to Cole’s house?”
“To kill him and get the chronicles and the record.”
“Why do you want to kill him?”
“Because I have to.”
“Why do you have to?”
“Because he has the chronicles and the record. He’s is trying to disrupt our plans.”
“What chronicles? What record?”
“The Ravensgate Chronicles tell the secret history of our town. They’re old and sacred. They contain much power.”
“And the record?”
“The record contains the names of priests, priestesses and those who perform important ceremonies. Before a major ritual, instructions on how it is performed, who will participate, and how to stop it in case something goes wrong are recorded for future generations.”
“What makes you think Cole would have the Ravensgate Chronicles and the record?
“I was told that he would have found them.”
“What is the name of your society or coven?”
“The Temple of the Beast.”
“What is the Temple of the Beast doing here in Ravensgate?”
“We live here. We’ve always lived here. Preparing.”
“Preparing for what?”
“The Awakening and the Feast of the Beast.”
“What is the Awakening?”
“It’s when the Elect in Ravensgate awaken on the night before the Feast of the Beast.”
“Tell me more about the Awakening, Marla. What’s it for?”
“There are many people in Ravensgate called the Elect, who’s alter personalities slumber. When the time is called, they will awaken and complete the grand assignment.”
“And what is the grand assignment?”
“Chaos. Destruction. Ordo Ab Chao.”
“Why is the Awakening happening at the Feast of the Beast?”
“This year’s Feast of the Beast is different, special. This year the energies are so strong that we will be able to bring him back from where he was banished. It’s a celebration. For him.”
“Who is him?”
“The ancient god who will be resurrected when the ceremony is held at midnight. We’ll bring him back to this world and he’ll be hungry.”
“What’s his name?”
“Who banished Marazus in the first place, Marla?”
“The Nazarene. Did the Temple of the Beast order you to come here and kill Cole?
“Yes. He is disrupting the order of things.”
“How is Cole disrupting the order?”
“He has the Ravensgate Chronicles and the record. The record explains how to stop the ritual in case something goes wrong. He’s trying to expose us before our goals reach fruition, him and the nun.”
“What do you know about the nun?”
“I don’t know her. Only that she’s helping him.”
“Why do you think, Cole is trying to expose your coven?”
“He has been snooping around. He might be FBI.”
“Tell me, how many personalities reside in this vessel?”
“I don’t know.”
“Marla, I want you to listen to me very clearly: from now on you cannot kill Cole. Do you understand?”
“You cannot harm or kill Cole, the nun, nor myself. You are forbidden. You no longer have any triggers that will enable you to do such. The old triggers no longer exist. They are gone. Erased. Is this understood?”
“Now, Marla, I want you to go back… back to the recesses of the mind. Back into the depths where all is neutral and void. Go back now, Marla.”
Marla said nothing and lay quietly.
“Who am I speaking with at this moment?” Bill asked. No one answered, he was talking to the void, the emptiness. “Now, I want Claire to come out, I will speak with Claire now.”
She lay quiet, Bill waited a few moments before speaking, allowing Claire to come forth.
“Is Claire here now?” Bill asked.
“Claire, you feel so relaxed and will listen to every word I say. You will obey everything I say, easily and effortlessly. You will leave this house and go home. You’ll drive very cautiously, obeying every traffic rule. You will go into your bedroom and go to sleep for the rest of the evening. When you awaken tomorrow you will not remember that any of this took place. You will not remember seeing Cole, me or anything that happened in this house today. You will forget that there was any time lost today. Do you understand?”
Bill took the pair of scissors and cut the duct tape from Claire’s wrists and ankles.
“Now go home and when you wake up you will no longer be under trance. You will wake up refreshed, energetic, all of this will be forgotten. Do this now.” Bill instructed.
Claire opened her eyes and got up from the bed. She looked normal, but not once did she make eye contact with Bill or I, as if we weren’t there. She walked out of the bedroom into the hall and Bill and I followed her.
It was amazing. Claire did exactly as instructed. We watched her go downstairs and out the front door. Bill and I went to the living room window and watched her get into her little blue car. She started it, drove out of the driveway onto the Arkham Road and disappeared toward town.
Bill turned toward me.
“Cole, today is September the fifth. The Feast of the Beast is on September the seventh.”
“Not good. But did what I see actually happen? Are you sure she’s not going to try to stalk me and try killing me again?” I asked Bill as I held the blinds open.
“She won’t remember any of it. What I am worried about is how many alters she has. Obviously, she is one of the Elect. I have also heard about the Ravensgate Chronicles, not sure if they actually existed or not.” he said.
We sat down in the living room.
“As crazy as it sounds, some occultists, including Luciferians are able to program their victims by creating various personalities within one body.” Bill said.
This is what Manuel Hall was involved in with his military work, now I’m a firsthand witness to it. An alter personality tried to off me, and according to her there are many more in Ravensgate who will “wake up” on the night before of the Feast of the Beast. This was probably the “feast” that was written on the bust of Christina.
I then showed Bill the charged phone that Karl dropped. We watched the unholy ritual that took place in the cemetery the night Karl and the girl was killed. The video continued until the time of the attack by the robed cult members and Karl’s murder. The video was inconclusive and there was no way to prove that Karl was murdered by using it. But it would corroborate my story if it could be proven not to be a fake.
“Here, you take Karl’s phone. He was your friend. I’ve saved the video file elsewhere.” I said.
Bill took the phone. He then had audio for me to hear from the investigation that took place the previous night. He retrieved his black leather bag from the hall and took out his laptop then set it on the coffee table between the two couches. The laptop displayed an audio graph read-out that moved as the audio played.
What I heard was nothing short of amazing. Bill was right; we could hear the voices of women trying to communicate. They answered questions as Beverly spoke, even talking over one another, competing for attention.
“Help us,” said the voice of a youthful female. “He’s coming soon. Stop him!”
Could this have been the voice of Christina, the seventeen-year old? Judith’s daughter and Sandy’s niece?
“Listen to this,” Bill said as he fast forwarded the audio.
“Museum alarm 24, 32, 18, 17…in the vault…the record…the chronicles…stop the ritual under the house…midnight…stop Marazus.” Said the voice of a woman.
She sounded calm yet stern. This could have been Judith because she had information pertaining to the museum. Bill fast forwarded the audio again.
“Now check this out,” Bill said as he turned up the volume.
“Sandy tried to disrupt the energy…she’s alive…the grandfather clock…midnight.” said a third woman’s voice.
Could this have been Elise? The voices were clear and crisp.
“What exactly is being said here, Bill?” I asked. “Are we being instructed to go to the museum on Pike Island to find the record and the Ravensgate chronicles in the vault? Will this record tell us how to stop a ritual under the house?” I asked.
“I believe that’s exactly what they’re saying.”
“How do we know we can trust the voices on this audio?” I asked.
“We can’t know. Demons can mimic the voices of the dead. Even look like them. The Project Glass House documents line up with what we’ve just experienced with Claire and her alter, Marla. It’s worth a shot going to the museum to find what Judith hid in the vault to stop this demon who fancies himself a god. Plus, the voices give the only lead on your friend Sandy.” Bill reasoned.
Bill was right. I made the decision at that point to go to the museum on Pike Island to find the evidence against Manuel Hall. I had the keys and I was going to use them. Bill had to leave but asked to get together later that evening to plan on how to enter the historical museum. He suggested that he, Beverly, Sister Victoria, and I meet at the Library in Brookmere.
“I’d like to sit down and explain everything to Beverly and Sister Victoria,” Bill said. “If we ask the women to illegally break into a piece of property with us, we had better be honest and disclose all that we know.”
“Bill, I don’t want anyone to come with me. This could get messy and all of us can get in big trouble if we’re caught. This is my problem and I don’t want to put it on anyone else.”
“I’ll help if it means finding your friend and Karl’s murderer. Let’s explain what’s going on to Beverly and Sister Victoria. If they feel it’s not for them, then that’s fine. I’ll speak with Beverly tonight and I’ll tell you of her decision as soon as I know. You talk to the Sister. Let’s all meet at the library in Brookmere at 8:00 tonight. It stays open late and we could use one of the private study rooms.” Bill suggested.
Bill gave me the address to the Brookmere Library. I locked up the house and went back to the Lamplighter Inn. On the way back, through the streets of Ravensgate, I noticed the black sedan, following me again. It went wherever I did, and I couldn’t make out who was in the car but there were two men inside, wearing black suits and black fedoras. Detective Mason? The cult that was in town? Men in black?
I stopped at a fast food place and went through the drive through to grab a burger and fries. Eventually the black sedan made a left turn behind me and was out of sight. Was I paranoid? If Claire had a sub-personality that was programmed to kill me, then couldn’t others also?
I made it to the Lamplighter Inn safely, no one behind me. I kept my 9mm and Marla’s gun with me, just in case.
I called Sister Victoria briefly and spoke with her but didn’t tell her what happened at the house with Claire over the phone. Instead, we planned to meet Bill and Beverly at the library in Brookmere. I asked her to meet fifteen minutes early so I could fill her in on everything.
After hanging up, I set up my laptop and did an internet search on Pike Island. According to a Michigan website there were about two dozen old houses and roads along the island connecting them. It was at one point a vibrant community.
The historical museum on the island closed when the economy went south. People stopped visiting the museum and city money was no longer allocated to it. As property values went down people left the island to live on the mainland. The island was now closed to the public, owned by the State of Michigan. The bridge closed and blocked off, not allowing access to the island.
I turned off the computer and lay in bed. The Feast of the Beast holiday was tomorrow night, the day that Marla claimed the awakening would take place in Ravensgate.
I left the Lamplighter Inn at 7:00 p.m. making sure no black sedans followed me on the way the library in Brookmere. I parked in the large parking lot behind the two-story building, got out of my car and leaned against it, waiting for Sister Victoria. A few other cars were there but no one was around.
“Hope I didn’t keep you,” said the soft, feminine, familiar voice.
I turned to look behind me and there was Sister Victoria. She didn’t wear the habit. Her dark, brown hair was in a ponytail, making more prevalent her high cheekbones and wore a black wool jacket. I swore I didn’t see or hear her before that.
She stood there smiling, her beautiful blue eyes gazing into mine. Her pupils dilatated when she looked at me. That smile of hers made my heart melt every time I saw it. That’s never happened to me before.
“Where the hell did you come from? Been training with ninjas or something?
We made small talk. I gave Sister Victoria a little of my background: my growing up in a Mexican American household in Southwest Detroit and my business in private security.
“You’re tall for a Mexican. How tall are you?” Sister Victoria asked.
“Six-foot. We come in various sizes,” I said, chuckling.
I learned a little about her; she was the seventh of seven children and had a penchant for an active lifestyle and working out when she wasn’t doing nun things.
The conversation took a darker turn. I explained what happened with Claire and her other personality Marla. How she attacked me, and how Bill hypnotized her to get the information about the awakening and the Feast of the Beast ritual. I also briefed her on the audio recordings that Bill had me listen to from the investigation.
We entered the library through the back entrance. There was a small coffee shop on the first floor. I stopped to buy a café mocha for myself and a regular coffee, cream, no sugar for the Sister.
We made our way to the second floor which contained rows and rows of computers, free of use by anyone. Less than half of them were being used. I called Bill on the cell to confirm his arrival.
He was already there sitting by a brick fireplace. I could see the white hair of the top of the back of his head peeking from the back of a comfortable leather chair. There was someone with him, I recognized Beverly’s black hair, pretty, brown skin and glasses.
Sister Victoria and I walked to the fireplace and both sat down on the two other chairs that were set aside for us. Bill, with his black leather bag, suggested we get a private meeting room on the top floor.
In the center was a large wooden meeting table and a white board on the wall, complete with black, erasable makers on its ledge beneath. We sat down at the table and Bill set up his computer.
Beverly spoke first.
“Bill explained to me what has happened with the girl who tried to kill you, Cole. Whatever this awakening is in Ravensgate it’s big. We have to do our best to stop it.”
“The Feast of the Beast is tomorrow night at midnight, according to EVP. We need to get onto Pike Island before then. The bridge is blocked off so we can’t take a car. We need a boat.” I reasoned.
“We’ll have to rent a small motor-boat and get it as early in the morning as possible,” Bill said.
“Don’t worry about us getting across the river. We’ll have a small motor-boat ready. There are many docks off the water in Ravensgate Park. I’ll be there at a dock with the boat at whatever time we agree on,” said Sister Victoria.
“Do you own a boat, Sister?” Bill asked.
“Consider it a blessing from Yahweh,” she answered.
I was curious as to Sister Victoria’s resources.
“Alright then, we have a boat from Yahweh,” Bill said.
I offered to drive the boat across the river to the island. Bill then asked Beverly and Sister Victoria to listen to the audio from his computer.
We heard the voice of who we believed to be Judith.
“Museum alarm 24, 32, 18, 17…in the vault…the record…the chronicles…stop the ritual under the house…midnight…stop Marazus.”
Also, the voice of who we believed to be Elise.
“Sandy tried to disrupt the energy…she’s alive…the grandfather clock…midnight.”
Beverly and Sister Victoria were astonished by what they heard.
“It looks like that this record that Judith stole may have information on how to stop this Marazus.” Sister Victoria said.
“And she also provided us with the code to the alarm to the museum,” Bill said.
“But not the vault…how will we be able to find the vault in the museum?” I asked. “It will either take us all night or we’ll never find it at all.”
“That’s where I may be able to help,” Beverly said. “I might get a word of knowledge that may help us locate it. I can’t be one hundred percent positive, but I’ll do my best. Maybe the code to the alarm is the same for the vault?”
“Maybe. And we’ll need a map of the Pike Island to locate the museum on it. We can look it up on the internet and print copies here at the library,” I said.
Sister Victoria volunteered to use one of the public library computers to print copies of Pike Island and left the private meeting room. She returned with four black and white copies of the map of Pike Island and the coast of Ravensgate. She handed one to me, Bill, and Beverly then sat back down.
On the map we could see the coast of Ravensgate across the water from the island. Sister Victoria pointed to a dock which was connected to Ravensgate Park.
“The boat will be located here at this dock near the Fillmore warehouse on the block, next to the park,” Sister Victoria said pointing to the map. “We can park our vehicles here near the warehouse on McKinstry Street,” she said sliding her thin index finger less than an inch on the map.
“Judging by the distance from the port in Ravensgate and across the river to the island, the trip should take a mere five to ten minutes. We then dock the boat to this other pier on the island closest to the museum. Then we enter the museum as stealthy as possible,” Bill said.
It was determined that we meet at 9:30 p.m. the next night at the pier where Sister Victoria’s boat would be waiting. Hopefully this would be late enough to leave without being seen but early enough to make it make back to the cavern beneath the house to stop the ritual.
We’d take the boat to the island, disarm the alarm, and use Elise’s keys to enter the museum. Once inside, search for the vault with Beverly’s psychic help and retrieve what Judith had hidden in it. Come back to the house, stop the ritual at midnight.
“Before we go, what about the grandfather clock at midnight that Judith mentioned? What could that do with Sandy?”” I asked.
“I have a theory,” Bill said. “Your house is already situated on an energy cell. On certain occult holidays, the stars are aligned so to speak. That energy is super-amplified. This is why certain rituals are held on those days. In your house especially, the amplified energy has something to do with the grandfather clock that might help us find Sandy.”
“And this is how they’ll conjure, Marazus the demon? They’ll open a portal using that amplified energy?” I asked.
“Correct. Sandy probably learned of the Feast of the Beast ritual that was going to happen on September seventh through Elise. She read the section on how to stop rituals in the book, The Hidden Doctrine, that once belong to Manual Hall. Sandy more than likely went down in the cavern to kill the energy, before the ritual even took place. So, when the Temple of the Beast tries to bring in the demon, it wouldn’t work. That’s why you found the book still down there.”
“The spirit of Christina stopped on the page in the book about disrupting the portal energy to let me know this.” I said.
“Yes, only Sandy wasn’t successful. Something went wrong. She accidentally created a portal herself, or maybe something else created it and dragged her in. Either way, she’s still alive, somewhere, according to Elise’ spirit. The grandfather clock is the key.” Bill said.
All was set and before leaving Sister Victoria suggested a short prayer. No one objected. We clasped all our hands together and prayed.
“Our blessed Father, please keep us safe on this dangerous mission. Give us wisdom from your Holy Spirit and send us protection. We fear no evil as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.” Sister Victoria, said.
Bill and Beverly bid us farewell then I walked Sister Victoria trough the parking lot back to her car. She assured me that I should trust in God. It was something I’ve never put much thought into but took her suggestion into deep consideration.
Sister Victoria and I parted ways and I drove off back to the Lamplighter Motel for the night.
I slept lightly, awoke the next morning around 10:00 a.m. and headed downtown for breakfast at Colombo’s. Over pumpkin pancakes and coffee, I unfolded the black and white photocopied map of Pike Island from my pocket. I decided to take a trip after breakfast to Ravensgate Park to do recon, see where exactly Sister Victoria’s boat would be waiting.
I parked the car in the usual spot along Main Street. I walked through the park a short distance then turned right through a cluster of trees which slowly faded away revealing a clearing. From there I saw the Fillmore warehouse on McKinstry Street the next block over where we’d be parking.
From the clearing in the park I walked up to the small wooden dock, the water was practically still. There were no signs of anyone. I knew where I had to be later that night, so I entered the cluster of trees to get back to my car.
As I exited the trees on the other side, I heard commotion. A group of people sat at a picnic table not too far from me to my right. They were laughing, having fun and Claire sat there among them. I didn’t want to be seen so I quickly turned away and headed for the street.
“Cole!” said Claire from behind. I kept walking, pretending not to hear. “Cole!” she cried louder. I couldn’t keep up the ruse, so I turned around acting surprised. I didn’t know who to expect, Claire or Marla. Smiling, she got up from the park table and headed to me.
“Claire,” I said walking along the grass to meet her.
“Hey,” she said as we met face to face. “What are you doing here in the park by yourself?”she asked.
“Just checking out the scenery, taking in a breath of fresh air, what about you?”
“Hanging out with some friends,” Claire said swaying her hand to the side like Vanna White, displaying her buddies. “We get together once in a while. We all have work and school and don’t get together as often as we like. Come hang out with us.”
“Thanks, but I have some errands to run. How about you? How was your day yesterday?” I asked.
“I studied most of the day yesterday. I took a break and took long nap in the afternoon. I needed the rest. I woke up with a headache though,” Claire said. “Got this bump on my head too, weird.”
She didn’t remember any of it, the strike to her head or being tied up in my house. Either that or Marla was faking. I just went along with it.
“I hope you feel better. I’d really like to hang out, but I have to get going, how about a rain check?” I asked.
“Sure, no problem. Give me a call, let’s catch a movie or something.”
“For sure,” I said.
She went back to her friends and I to my car. It felt strange, the day before she held me at gun point, or Marla rather. I left the park and went right back to the Lamplighter Motel where I spent most of the day. It wasn’t long before I got a call from Bill.
“Cole…I’ll be honest. I find it very interesting that Sister Victoria is helping so eagerly and even supplying a boat but doesn’t offer to reveal her resources. It might be a good idea to be on our guard.”
“I was thinking the same,” I said. “But she cast the entity out of Beverly and has helped me from the beginning. I think we can trust her, but within reason.”
“Agreed,” Bill said.
I put on dark clothes, waited until 8:30 p.m. then left the inn and went to Ravensgate Park taking with me a flashlight, the keys to the museum, and the Glock. Nighttime in Ravensgate was always still. The few people and cars that that moved about barley made you blink.
Mckinstry Street, was silent and dim and I parked near the Fillmore warehouse. I saw Sister Victoria’s and Bill’s car already parked on the street. The warehouse parking lot was empty and surrounded by a chain linked fence with barbed wire. I looked closely to see if I could identify any cameras but didn’t find any.
I got out of my car and kept my hands in the front pockets of my black jacket as I walked through the park along the freshly cut lawn, looking among the trees and brush for anyone who might be around. I was alone.
Toward the river I saw the small wooden dock, the light of the moon glistening off the water. There was a small black silhouette on the water near the dock: a small boat with three figures in it. I could easily make out the persons of Sister Victoria, Bill, and Beverly. The moonlight reflected off Beverly’s glasses.
I checked the surroundings again for bystanders, all clear, and hurried to the dock, lightly jogging along the short wooden pier. I slipped carefully into the boat. It wobbled unsteadily on the water as my weight disturbed it. I acknowledged everyone and made my way to the back of the boat by the motor.
“Hey team, is everyone ready?” Beverly asked smiling, trying to conceal her nervousness.
“Time to make some noise I said,” as I pulled the cord that belonged to the motor. It sounded like a chainsaw struggling to come to life. After three consecutive jerks of the cord, my elbow reaching back as far as it could, the motor began a steady stream of shrilling noise.
I immediately moved to the front of the boat and sat in the driver’s seat. I took control of the wheel and we were off.
The flat Island ahead looked much larger than it did on the map. The dark leaves of the tall trees looked like one giant mass of gray storm clouds. The boat was as extremely loud as it glided atop of the waves. Streams of air crashed in our faces blowing our hair.
We were the only ones on the water passing orange buoys bobbing up and down. There were white lights in the distance to the west, but I couldn’t tell from what, probably boats.
Sister Victoria held her copy of the map of the island and carefully came over to me as I drove.
Bill turned to Beverly.
“How do you feel?” he asked, trying to speak above the motor.
“A bit nervous,” she said matching his tone.
“Do you sense anything yet?” Bill asked her.
“No, nothing yet, perhaps my nerves are throwing me off. I’ve never done anything like this before.”
I veered the boat sharply to the left and we steadied parallel against the island’s edge. Bill made his way over to Sister Victoria and I.
“Everything alright?” He said loudly.
“Yup,” I replied. “We’re going to the west of the island and dock there. It’s not too far from the museum itself.”
We stopped at the pier that came off the island and tied the boat there. Once securely fastened, Bill and I helped Beverly out. Sister Victoria didn’t need help and jumped right out. As far as we knew, we were unseen.
The island looked no different than a recreational park with large amounts of trees and brush. I took off the flashlight that was attached to my belt, shined it on my map of the island looking for the location of the museum, it was east, at least a three-block distance from where we docked.
We trekked through the woods, veering right into a patch of trees, the flashlight giving visibility. Sister Victoria walked by my side, Bill and Beverly behind us. After a few minutes, we came across dirt trail loaded with sticks that snapped with every step.
The mosquitoes were relentless. We swatted ourselves constantly as we ventured down the dark path. On occasion a pair of glowing yellow eyes appeared in the darkness near the ground then sharply disappeared; curious critters.
The trees began to thin out and a stone water fountain was visible sitting in the center of a clearing ahead. Just beyond that was the dark silhouette of a large house.
“There it is,” Victoria said, above a whisper. “We’re behind the museum.”
The fountain was noticeably dry and hadn’t been used in a while. We proceeded toward the back of the menacing house which stood between trees on either side of it. There was something familiar about it.
“Wait, look here,” Beverly said pointing to the grass as we approached the house. I couldn’t see what she pointed to. Bill squatted down for a closer look.
“Stones,” he said, “About seven, eight inches, coming out from ground. They trail off into a large circle surrounding the museum just like the stones surrounding your house, Cole.”
We stepped over the rocks, entering the huge circle and headed for the back door of the Ravensgate historical museum. The closer we got, the more I knew what was so familiar about the house. The back enclosed porch was exactly like porch of the Victorian I moved into.
“Wait right here, I’ll be right back,” I said then moved along the right side of the dark house. When I got to the front of the museum, I saw something I didn’t expect. I stood in front of an exact replica of my own house in Ravensgate on Arkham Road. The red color, the porch, the windows, and the large wooden door were identical.
“This looks just like your house, Cole,” Beverly said once I returned to behind the museum.
“If it’s an exact copy of your house, Cole, the layout of the inside should be exactly the same, easy for us to navigate,” Sister Victoria reasoned. “There shouldn’t be a problem finding each room. We’ve all been in your house.”
We approached the door to the enclosed back porch and saw the number pad to the alarm next to it.
“Let’s see if this works. The code.” Bill said. 24, 32, 18, 17. Bill punched in the code to alarm panel. “If these numbers don’t work, then we’re screwed.”
It worked. The alarm was disabled.
“Thanks, Judith,” I said.
I removed the keys to the museum from the inside jacket pocket. They lightly jingled as I searched through the set. I found the key marked “back porch.” It fit perfectly in the keyhole to the door of the enclosed porch, I opened it and we silently let ourselves in.
We walked up to the back door of the house itself; the window of the door was covered from the inside by small white curtains. I searched through the keys again and found the one labeled “back.” It fit into the hole beneath the brass door handle, and the lock mechanism clunked as I opened it.
We all stepped into the kitchen and I shut the door behind us. Sister Victoria was right; the layout of the house was exactly like mine. The dining room was directly ahead, and the hall that led to the rest of the house was to the left. The difference was the historical museum was just that, a museum.
The kitchen looked as if it would in the early 1800’s, it’s original look. An old black stove with a thick pipe that came out of the back and up into the wall sat in the corner.
“Cole, does your house have any hidden vaults?” Bill asked.
“Not that I know of.”
“I felt the supernatural presence in your house, Cole, the heaviness is just severe in this twin,” Beverly said.
I led the team into the hall from the kitchen, flashlights giving us sight. I thought my house was of traditional Victorian taste, but the one on the island was perfectly restored to its original visage. All the furniture was as antique as it could get, tables and chairs, everything.
Our footsteps on the floor clunked out of sync causing the wooden floor to creak. I suggested we search each room as we came to it, to manage time. We entered the bathroom and checked every place where a safe or vault could be hidden, under the belly of the bathtub held up by four legs, in the small towel cupboard built into the wall. The room was empty.
The room that was considered “Sandy’s sanctuary” in my house, next to the bathroom was some type of medical room in the museum. We shined our lights throughout and searched. A cushioned table, where a person would lay, was placed in the center. On top of the wooden tables surrounding it were various types of antique, metallic, medical instruments. A long thin hose connected to some type of device was next to the cushioned table. In cabinets above, with glass doors contained clear jars containing some type of liquid.
“This is where the dead were embalmed,” Beverly said. “That tube is how they injected embalming fluid into cadavers.”
“They embalmed people at home?” I asked.
“Quite right, they even held funerals for family members in the parlor. That’s why funeral homes are sometimes called funeral parlors. To be rid of the morbid connotation of death, parlors of the home are now called ‘living’ rooms.” Beverly said.
“Do you sense anything, Beverly?” Bill asked.
“A tremendous, dark energy. Also, death…this place is filled with it,” Beverly replied. “Sometimes people were put on this slab, mistaken for dead. Though alive, embalming fluid was rushed into the unconscious person’s body killing them.”
“We’re standing on another super-hotspot of energy,” Bill said.
We searched the room as our eyes adjusted slightly to the dark but unturned nothing then went into the parlor next. The living room was filled with uncomfortable looking furniture. Above the ornately decorated fireplace was a painting. It was portrait of a portly man wearing a suit. He had long, wavy, white hair down to his shoulders and a white beard, almost like Santa. The name on the bottom edge of the frame read, “Alexander Pike, early founder of Ravensgate.”
Bill stepped up to the fireplace then reached for the painting, lifting it from the wall. Underneath was floral wallpaper but no vault. Bill repositioned the painting on the wall.
Beverly had no psychic impression of anything hidden in the room. She suggested that she and Bill walk across the main hall into the dining room and search there while Sister Victoria and I continued in the parlor. She and I looked behind every picture frame on the walls, left no item unturned and found nothing.
Sister Victoria sat on the floral-patterned couch and put her hand to her chin.
“We won’t find it by looking under paintings or rugs. It’s someplace no one would expect. It’s my thinking that Judith would put the documents in a place that anyone working here or knowing the floor plans intimately would not suspect. Maybe a vault of her own making?” Sister Victoria said.
“Good assessment,” I said.
Sister Victoria got up from the couch and joined me on our way across the hall to the dining room. We passed the stair well to our right and an abrupt noise disturbed the silence; the sound of heavy feet above on the second floor in the hall.
“We’re not alone.” Bill said from the dining room.
He and Beverly quickly joined Sister Victoria and I in the main hall, all of us aiming flashlights up the stairs. A portrait of an unknown woman on the wall above the landing was the only thing visible.
“A burglar maybe?” Bill suggested.
“We’re the burglars. But anything’s possible,” I said. “We don’t have much time; we find out who’s up there.”
I took the 26 Glock 9mm from the shoulder holster from inside my jacket and began upstairs with the flashlight in the other hand. Everyone followed my lead.
The stairs creaked exactly like the ones at my house. I reached the landing, turned right, then paused to peek up at the second floor. Flashing the light, I couldn’t see much past the wooden banister.
I continued forward, gun in hand. As we reached the second floor, nothing was out of the ordinary, just the hall and closed doors to each room except one. The door belonging to the room (which would be the study in my house) was slightly open. Nothing but the pitch black was seen through the crack.
“Wait here,” I said. ‘I’ll check it out.”
“We’re all coming,” Sister Victoria said.
I nodded and continued toward the room, the others behind me. I approached the door, pushing it all the way open, causing a creak. I aimed the gun directly into the room along with the flashlight and could see instruments: a music room.
A vintage piano sat against the back wall. To the right of it was Victorian sofa with a violin and bow laying on it. To the left of it was a large harp. In front of that was a phonograph.
Anyone could have been hiding in the dark. I reached for a light switch along the wall and turned it on. Electricity didn’t work. Illumination from the flashlight revealed no one in the room, nothing more than instruments.
“Nobody,” I said.
“There are four more rooms,” Sister Victoria said. “This has to be done fast.”
The decision was made to check the whole second floor. After the music room, one by one I opened the doors of each room from the hall, the master bedroom next.
Bill kept one eye out in the hall while Sister Victoria, Beverly, and I searched inside for intruders other than us and possibly the vault.
The elegant bedroom revealed a large canopy bed, next to it a white vanity and other furniture. I checked under the bed and Beverly checked behind the furniture. Sister Victoria searched the closet, it contained nothing, not even clothes. She reached up touching the ceiling of the closest looking for hidden spaces.
Next was the room which would have been the guest bedroom in my house. I opened the door and turned on the light, my gun still in hand. It was a children’s playroom containing a toy box, a white rocking horse, and three small rocking chairs on which sat antique dolls with curly blonde hair, porcelain faces, and painted smiles.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it were one of these sinister dolls, we heard walking around up here,” Sister Victoria said.
We searched the closet, the toy box, underneath and behind furniture. Nobody and no vault.
The resonance of a soft yet gloomy melody traveled abruptly into the hall. The harp in the music room. Gun drawn; we rushed back to the music room to have a look. As suddenly as the music began, it stopped.
“They want us to know that they know we’re here,” Beverly said.
The music room was still empty.
We then searched the bathroom. As I opened the door, a black, gooey liquid, almost alive, slithered underneath the bathtub on the floor. It’s looked like the Venom’s black symbiotic goo from the comics. When I checked underneath, nothing was there.
The four of us met in the darkness of the hall expressing our fruitless searches. There was neither a person nor a vault on the second floor.
“I’m sorry if I’m not of any use tonight. I’m feeling evil and despair in this house but nothing about a hidden vault,” Beverly said.
“We’ll find it,” Bill said and aimed his flashlight at the attic door.
He opened it revealing the darkness of the ascending stairway. I looked up stairs as I aimed my light and I thought I saw something standing on the top peering back down. It was visible for a split second then vanished. I paused, unsure if what I saw was real. Bill saw the look on my face.
“What is it?” Bill asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said. “I thought I saw something standing at the top.”
“What did it look like?” Sister Victoria asked.
“A tall emaciated, naked man-like thing. It hunched over like it suffered from severe osteoporosis. Lanky arms hung down to the knees and ribs poked out from grayish-brown flesh. Tiny eyes were set deep in its skull and rotted teeth smiled from ear to ear. Mangy, stringy, gray hair dangled from patches on the skull."
“It’s trying to intimidate us,” Beverly said.
Those words pushed Bill to fight his fear and he marched up the wooden steps as we all followed. That attic was filled with a dry must and heavy dust in the air. There were rows and rows of old cloths from the 1800’s on hangers. Dresses and suits were protected in clear plastic which looked like movie set costumes.
The was a large table in the center of the attic. On it was a model of the red Victorian house itself about two feet high. A doll’s house. It a beautiful replica of the real thing.
The rest of the attic was empty except for the closet that was in the same spot as the closet in my attic. That too was empty.
Bill peered out the circular window at the front of the attic.
“You can see to the edge of the island from here.” Bill said.
I looked out the window and saw the front yard, trees and water beyond that. We searched the whole attic and found nothing closely similar to a vault.
“This is beginning to look fruitless,” Bill said.
“No, it’s in this museum somewhere. There’s something we’re missing…something unclear about the EVP. If I were Judith, where would I hide it?” Sister Victoria asked.
“There’s only one place left to check,” I said. “The cellar.”
We left the attic then descended the two flights of stairs to the basement door in the hall on the first floor. Sister Victoria tugged on the doorknob. It rattled, but the door didn’t budge.
“Check the keys,” Beverly suggested.
I took them from my pocket and checked under the light of the flashlight. One was marked with the letter B. The key fit perfectly. The basement was darker than the attic. My flashlight aimed downward, revealed wooden descending steps. I reached in, flicked the switch on the wall and the light turned on. The electricity worked down there.
Maybe someone changed the bulbs in the basement but not the rest of the house. I turned off the flashlight, fastened it on my belt.
“I get the same evil feeling I did in your cellar, Cole. It’s much stronger down here than anywhere else in this house,” Beverly said.
The basement in the museum was designed slightly different than in my house. It went much deeper down into the earth making the ceiling much higher. In the far-left corner was a metallic desk, old file cabinets next to it and a red metallic toolbox that looked like a chest in the right corner. A door was directly against the far wall, just like one in my basement that belonged to Sandy’s art studio.
“Looks like this is the office,” Sister Victoria said.
“She was in fear of her life,” Beverly said as she gripped my arm. She took a step back staring into empty space like she was seeing something we didn’t. “Judith hid it down here. Manuel knew she had possession of the chronicles and the record. So did the others. She stole them,” Beverly said.
“Stole them from who?” Sister Victoria asked.
Beverly paused, closed her eyes, took a breath and then continued.
“Judith left work late, heading back to the mainland in her car. As she approached the bridge, she realized she left paperwork, so she turned around back to the museum. When she arrived, she found the front door unlocked but was positive she locked it. The lights in the museum were off but Judith knew someone was in there. A voice...”
Beverly opened her eyes and walked up to the closed door on the far wall. She ran both of her hands along the walls and door then explained her detailed psychic impression.
“She heard voice from upstairs as she entered the front door. Judith silently climbed the steps up to the second floor in her flat, soled, shoes to listen. The second floor was dark, no one around.
The attic door was open. The voice she heard came from up there. Someone up in the attic said her name again. She ascended the attic steps, quieter than before and stopped as soon as the attic floor came into view, keeping out of sight.
The attic was dark, save for the few candles placed around the room Manuel Hall was speaking to someone on a cell phone, his back faced her as he sat at a table.
She made sure the museum was empty before she closed up. How could he have gotten in the house so fast?
‘Things are being prepped,’ Manuel said, as he sat at a table, writing something as he spoke. ‘Christina will be used tomorrow night….that’s right, Judy’s daughter. This is her first time, but she won’t remember any of it.’
Manuel finished writing on the sheet of paper and set it on top a small stack other papers encased in clear plastic. Next to that was small black skull and a clear plastic tube in front of him.
‘I’ll deliver the chronicles and the record to the new temple after I leave here,’ he said. ‘Everything else, is in the basement, I’ll get them now.’
Manuel hung up and got up from the chair. When he got to the attic steps Judith was gone. She hid in the music room on the second floor, waiting for him to go down in the basement.
After he traveled all the way down to the cellar, Judith quickly crept up into the attic, and briefly looked at the documents on the table. On one document were the names of her sister Elise, her daughter Christina, and herself which were to be involved in a future ritual. There were names of other people she recognized from town who were participating, including Manuel’s name.
She also saw the Ravensgate Chronicles which were in the clear plastic but didn’t have time to read them. She rolled them up together and put them in the clear plastic tube.
After heading back down to the second floor she hid in the music room again. Manuel came back up the staircase carrying a leather bag and a furry mask that looked like the head of a goat.
Once Manuel disappeared up the attic steps, Judith fled quickly downstairs and ran out of the house. She heard Manuel spewing profanities after he saw that the documents were gone. She got into her car and took off for the mainland.” Beverly said.
“How long did Judith have the scroll before she hid it?” Bill asked.
“Long enough to read both the Ravensgate chronicles and the record. Reading them surfaced hidden memories of how Manuel inflicted torture on her and Elise. Christina was to be next.
The record contained the names of who took what role in the ritual and when. It named the high priest, priestess and incantations. It also described how to stop the ritual if something went wrong.
Judith wanted to make it public but couldn’t at that point. She wanted to wait until she, Christina and Elise were safe, so she later hid it back in the basement of museum, the last place Manuel would think,” Beverly said.
“How did she die?” I asked.
“Judith continued to work here at the museum days after she stole the scroll in order to avoid suspicion. This is where she died,” Beverly said and pointed to the floor.
“Manuel knew she took the scroll…he saw her car driving away from the museum through the circular attic window. One night when he knew she would work late, he waited for her here in the basement and confronted her about it. When she denied it, he attacked her. She fought back, but he fatally struck her in the head. Ultimately her body was put it underneath your house in a glass encasing with her daughter and sister.”
“Why all three of them and why down there in the cavern beneath the house?”
“The blood relation of the three women together provide more energy to that already powerful cell. They need as much energy as possible for the ritual.”
“So, we know the vault is down here then, let’s find it.” Sister Victoria said.
We turned the basement office and everything in the main room upside down looking for any type of vault and found nothing.
Sister Victoria and I entered the smaller room which was used for nothing more than storage. Clear plastic boxes sat atop one another containing items like arrow heads, vintage schoolbooks over a hundred years old, and bottles of medicine that dated back to the 1800’s. The room’s structure was oddly different then the main room of cellar, the ceiling was shaped like a dome.
I directed my attention to the wall, like the one in my house that led to the passageway. I searched for a special nail in any wooden beam like in my basement but there were none. The walls and ceiling were entirely made of brick and there wasn’t any type of lever or secret button I could find. Maybe there was no passage in this house.
“Cole,” Sister Victoria said, “I know where Judith hid the scroll.”
Beverly and Bill walked into the storage room.
“I positively feel that Judith put the scroll in this room,” Beverly said.
“What are you feeling, Bev?” Bill asked.
“It’s in here. I don’t know where, but I feel the anxiety that Judith felt when she put it here.”
“Look up,” Sister Victoria said as she pointed to the center of the domed ceiling. “See how the ceiling curves up into a dome? From each of the four corners of the room there’s a row of small bricks that lead up along the wall and up the ceiling and meet at the center of the dome. This is called a vaulted ceiling. Many gothic churches are built similarly. Judith, being an art major, might have studied gothic church architecture in college. This may be “the vault” that Judith meant.”
“If that’s a vault like you say, then we give it a try.” I said.
The vaulted ceiling was too high to reach. Bill and I moved the desk from the outer room into the center of the smaller room after clearing away storage boxes. I stood on the desk and could reach the center stone of the vaulted dome. It was slightly loose when I tried to move it. The cement mortar that held the brick in place was a lighter color gray then the mortar that surrounded the other bricks. It looked newer. Maybe the brick was removed then replaced later with the newer mortar.
“Someone check that toolbox out there in the other room, see if you can find a hammer and a screwdriver,” I asked.
Within minutes Sister Victoria left and came back with them. She handed me a large Phillips screwdriver and a hammer. I chiseled away at the white cement that held the center brick in place. With almost no effort, dried mortar fell from ceiling onto the desk and floor.
The layer of cement was thin, and I chiseled most of it away. I twisted and removed the brick out of its position from the ceiling. As I brought the brick downward, a long, clear plastic tube, an inch and a half in diameter, dropped out from the hole.
“That’s it!” Beverly said.
Exhilarated, I retrieved the tube and hopped off the desk. Bill and Sister Victoria cleared away flakes of cement from the desk and I sat down on it, opened the lid of the tube and turned it upside down. A small, black, two-inch skull fell out into my palm. It was like the small skulls I had found previously but looked to be made of obsidian rock instead of crystal. After that, rolled up papers came out.
I unloosened a small string that bound the document at the center and unrolled five sheets of aged paper and one sheet of new paper. The newer sheet had a date and time, and roster of people who would participate in this year’s ritual of the Feast of the Beast, handwritten in black ink. Manuel Hall’s name was on the list among many.
Not only did it explain how the ritual was to be done, it explained how to close the portal in case, something went wrong. The black skull. That was the key. It contained an energy of a vibrational frequency that was the antithesis of the frequency that opened the portal.
The old, yellowed paper was contained in a thin clear plastic, obviously to protect it. It looked like an old copy of the Declaration of Independence. At the very top of the first page in old styled letters were the words: Ravensgate Chronicles.
“Amazing,” Bill said. “It exists.”
“You’ve heard of this?” Sister Victoria asked.
“Yes, when I ran in certain circles. I was always familiar with the Feast of the Beast holiday. Every coven celebrates it a little differently. But the chronicles were thought to be a myth or destroyed many years ago, when rival covens fought over it.”
“What is it?” Beverly asked.
“It’s documentation of a secret history of Ravensgate. It also tells how to do rituals which were done almost two hundred years ago. It instructs how to bring into this dimension powerful demons. One demon in particular will usher in a new age: Aquarius. But first, the current age has to be destroyed. To create a New World Order, you have to destroy the existing order. This is what is meant by order out of chaos.” Bill said.
I unrolled the chronicles and spread it down flat on the desk and read. To prevent the ceremonies contained in the document to be repeated I will omit much of text. I will only reproduce what I think is of relevance from the chronicles:
“The following is an account of what has transpired centuries ago, handed down by Shamans who dwell on this land, where now lies the town of Ravensgate.
In days of ancient past, the kindred passed down to man, secret knowledge, which was passed to them from their fathers, the ancient gods of light.
During the burning times, much of what has been remembered of the Kindred and their hidden knowledge had been lost. This writing salvages some of this lost knowledge.
They are called Kindred because of their blood relation to humankind. Yet they were also sons and daughters of those who have descended from the heavens. The Kindred were great in height and physical stature. The gods of light made the Kindred aware of two energy ports which are marked by stones in the earth in the form of a circle.
“The Nephilim” Sister Victoria said.
“The what?” I asked.
“The Nephilim. Genesis, chapter six. They’re offspring of angelic beings who were called the Sons of God. These ‘ancient gods’ are actually just fallen angels who procreated with the daughters of men. The Bible describes them as giants. Goliath and Og, the Amorite King of Bashan were of them.”
“These things are real? I asked.
“Yeah, the Book of Enoch goes into greater detail on how the fallen angels or ‘Watchers’ have influenced mankind,” Sister Victoria said. “The Kindred is just another name for the angelic, human hybrid offspring.”
The Chronicles continued:
One energy port exists on the small island outside of Ravensgate. The other on the mainland in the woods is the more powerful of the two. In these two locations the fabric of realms wears thin, where spirits are resilient, and where the Kindred worshipped the old gods.
These ancient gods made known to the Kindred a means in which to open a portals so that the old gods of light, who were banished eons ago, may return to our world.
Marazus, an ancient god, may enter this realm again and dwell among us. After three annual rituals are completed the beast will enter our world, begin the chaos in the land, do away with established order and Christianity.
The following is what was instructed by the ancient god, Jahbulon to the Kindred to bring forth Marazus, then to the initiated men and women in Ravensgate and what happened thereafter.
The final ritual on the mainland to open the portal between the Kindred and Marazus was disrupted. An alliance of native tribes sought vengeance on the Kindred for the continuous seizure their women and children. The number of native warriors was great, and the Kindred were attacked beneath the earth during the ritual. The battle ensued through the night and into the morning and onto the surface above in the forest.
Much blood was spilt and many lives lost but in the end the greater number of native men proved stronger, despite the Kindred’s size, strength and adepts in magic.
Bill stopped me from reading and made a note concerning the name of the deity that instructed the Kindred in the ritual.
“The name Jahbulon is known in Freemasonry. When I was a Mason, I was told that this is the true, lost name of God. Jahbulon, I learned later, was not God’s true name but a blasphemous one.”
“How so?” Sister Victoria asked.
“It’s an evil concoction combining the name of God, Yahweh or Jehovah with the false Semitic god Baleel, or Bul, and the city of On, a city in Egypt in reference to Osiris. As I ascended the ladder of Masonry, I didn’t know that it wasn’t the true God that Masonry worshipped, it was Lucifer wearing one of his masks.”
“They mix the name of God with the names of demonic spirits?” Sister Victoria asked.
“Right. These beings in the outer realm call themselves the gods of light. Light is a word Lucifer associates with himself,” Bill said.
“How is that possible? I though he was the Prince of Darkness and that all jazz.” I asked.
“Lucifer means Light Bearer. He fancies himself this bearer of light because he brought knowledge or light to Adam and Eve in the garden by coercing them to eat of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Sister Victoria said.
“Correct. We still use this terminology today. One is considered bright or brilliant when one is intelligent or possesses knowledge. This is why some secret societies or cults call themselves “illuminated.” Bill said.
“So, in essence this Jahbulon represents Lucifer,” Beverly said.
“The devil or a devil. But this god, Marazus, I am unfamiliar with. Regardless, Marazus is another powerful fallen angel or something else entirely.”
I continued reading:
Marazus may enter our world if instructions are followed completely. Every two hundred years at midnight at the beginning of the day of the Feast of the Beast the energy is great. It is even greater when three women related by blood are present to form the triangle of manifestation. Dead or alive.
Caution must be exercised. To prevent one from becoming trapped between realms, or in time itself, one must never enter the triangle before the manifestation of Marazus. If the words are not said correctly, or if the frequency isn’t precise, a portal may consume all performing the ritual.
If these situations be the case, the powerful obsidian skull, endowed with magical energies must enter the Triangle of Manifestation. The energies within the stone skull will disrupt all frequencies and the portal will be closed.
Beverly chimed in, “Now we know how to stop the ritual. The black skull must enter the Triangle of Manifestation. Let’s get moving they’ll be starting ceremony underneath the Victorian on the mainland.”
I rolled up the chronicles, the record, took the small black skull and put them back in the clear plastic tube.
“Hand over the documents. Now.” said a voice from the doorway of the room.
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