Chapters 13-20 Chapters 21-30 Chapters 31-40 Chapters 41-50 Home
“We’ve been looking for that. Job well done,” said the groundskeeper, Arthur Faust. He wore a black trench coat and jeans as he entered the doorway pointing a black .45 at us.
“Give them to me,” he said as he stepped into the room. I extended my arm to the man and he took the plastic, tube from me.
“You don’t need the chronicles,” Bill said. “You people can do the ritual without it. I’m sure it’s been copied many times.”
“Of course, but there’s great power in the original writing. It’s sacred. All of you, line up on your knees, hands behind your head.”
“You don’t have to do this, Arthur,” I said. “Just take the documents and let us go.”
“Shut up, and do it,” The groundskeeper said, putting the barrel of the gun to my head. He lined us up next to each other in front of the desk on our knees on the hard, concrete floor, hands behind our heads. I was on the end to the groundskeeper’s right, Sister Victoria next to me, then Beverly and Bill on the other end.
The groundskeeper put the barrel to the white hair of Bill’s temple.
“I would have loved for Bones to have you tonight, Shuttersworth. He hasn’t been fed an apostate in a while, but that might be too messy.”
The groundskeeper’s finger pressed slightly on the trigger. A loud boom, like thunder outside the house caused him to pause.
Arthur Faust smirked and looked up. “Sounds like the gas station on Main.”
“It’s started hasn’t it, the Awakening,” Sister Victoria said.
“Quite astute, now shut up.”
In that moment, Bill cocked his head out of the line of fire, reached both hands up from the back his head, grabbed hold of the gun’s barrel and twisted it upward.
The gun went off with a blast. The groundskeeper dropped the weapon and the plastic tube containing the chronicles and record on the concrete floor. The gun bounced a few feet away from the wall. Instinctively, both men went after it. Bill, closer to the ground on his knees, dived for the gun. The tube rolled away into the corner of the room.
I got up from the kneeling position, retrieved my 9mm from the holster inside my jacket at aimed at the groundskeeper who wrestled with Bill for the gun on the floor. The women got up and Beverly screamed as they backed away from the three of us.
I couldn’t get a good shot. Bill and the groundskeeper struggled for the firearm. Neither Bill nor the groundskeeper took possession of it. The groundskeeper grunted psychotically as he tussled violently for the weapon.
I aimed at the groundskeeper, but he and Bill were too close to each other. I put my gun back in the holster and I lunged at Faust, grabbing his shoulders, pulling him off Bill. There was lifeless rage in his eyes. He swung at me with a left, I ducked, avoiding it and hit him in the jaw with a hard, right cross then rushed him into the brick wall.
“Cole, Move!” Sister Victoria yelled as she stood holding the groundskeeper’s .45.
I let him go and moved away. Bill got himself up from the floor, still within Faust’s reach. The groundskeeper grabbed Bill, facing him towards everyone in the room, his arm around Bill’s neck, enforcing a choke hold.
The groundkeeper’s left forearm pressed painfully on Bill’s Adam’s apple and squeezed hard. Bill clenched his teeth and his face turned red as an apple.
“Let him go!” Sister Victoria demanded.
“One move and I break his neck!” the groundskeeper screamed. “Put the gun on the floor and slide it in my direction!”
Sister Victoria lowered the gun to the cement floor.
“Slide it over to me with your foot! Easy!” the groundskeeper said.
Sister Victoria gently kicked the gun across the hard surface to him, it spun on its center.
As the groundskeeper bent down to pick up the gun, his choke hold loosened, Bill sank his teeth in the groundkeeper’s hand, drawing blood. He wailed as Bill broke free from his grip. The groundskeeper went for the gun on the floor, but my gun was already free from the holster. I let go two rounds penetrating his chest. It had no effect. He kept coming like he did that night in the cemetery. One more shot in the chest took him to the floor on his stomach.
“Oh my God!” Beverly cried.
“Let’s go, there might be more where he came from.” Sister Victoria said and took the .45 from the floor. The groundskeeper jumped up from the floor with a scream and grabbed Sister Victoria’s left arm. She unloaded a single slug into his head, and he fell to the floor, dead.
“Where’s the plastic tube?” I asked the group.
“I have it,” Beverly answered.
“Give it to me,” I said. She handed me the tube and I put it down the back of my pants, a portion stuck out from behind my belt, underneath the jacket. I exited the small room first, glock drawn, and ran up the basement steps. The team followed.
On the first floor, we went through the kitchen to get to the back door, the same way we came in. Apparently where groundskeeper entered too, it was open.
“Wait,” Sister Victoria whispered. “Look.”
Through the windows of the enclosed porch, dark figures were seen coming from the woods behind the house. Two men wearing black, headed for the back porch of the house. I locked the kitchen door, giving us some time to get away.
“Let’s leave through the front.” Bill said.
We ran out of the kitchen into the hall toward the front of the house. The women and I followed him. In the foyer, Bill peered through a section of blinds. “Two more headed this way” he said. “They have guns. They’ll be at the door in less than ten seconds.”
“Block it with a chair!” Beverly said, running into the dining room. She grabbed a hard, oak chair and tilted the back of it underneath the knob.
Loud banging came from the back door of the house. They were on the back porch trying to get into the kitchen.
“We’ll hide upstairs and fight our way out, as they come up to look for us,” I said.
Bill and I followed the women upstairs to the second floor as banging persisted at the front and back doors of the house.
“We split into two teams,” I said, “each pair in one of these rooms.”
The banging at front door downstairs became louder, they were forcing their way into the foyer. A deep, guttural, growl came from somewhere in the darkness of the second floor.
“We’re not alone up here,” Beverly said.
“They’ll come up here to look for us. We take these guys out fast, run downstairs, out the back door and head back to the boat.” I said.
A load crash came from downstairs in the front hall: the chair crashing on the floor. They busted through the front door and were now inside the house.
“Victoria, you and Bill take the music room. Beverly, you and I will take the playroom,” I instructed, and we darted into our rooms.
Beverly headed in first. Once inside I shut the door behind us. It was dark, and the creepy dolls sat comfortably in their miniature antique chairs throughout the room. The vanity was to the right of the shut door, Beverly crouched on the other side of the vanity, out of sight. I waited on the left side of the door. If opened, I’d be behind it.
Footstep ascended the stairwell. The blonde, curly haired doll in the white dress was reminiscent of Shirley Temple. She stared at me smiling, as if saying “I see you and I’m going to tell.” But it wasn’t her that snitched; it was the damn rocking horse. It rocked, back and forth, squeaking loudly.
My heart pounded. The rocking horse rocked faster, the squeaks louder giving us away. I felt shifting weight on the wood floor in the hall outside the door. The knob turned, it clicked, and the door opened. Slowly, it swung in my direction, stopping a quarter of the way, shielding me.
The rocking horse stopped rocking.
The tip of a barrel from a large gun appeared from in front of the door. There were two of them, clad in black. I saw them through the crack of the door where the hinges connected to the wall. The gun wielder in front paused, trying to make sense of the horse. His hiatus was a short and opened the door further. Both men stepped into the playroom slowly.
The first man, holding his pistol, looked at the large toy trunk which was about ten feet in front of me. Maybe he thought someone could have been hiding behind it. He moved forward and his partner moved to his left in Beverly’s direction. The first gunman walked over to the trunk and opened it, revealing old teddy bears.
Three loud gunshots rang from the hall outside. I didn’t know who shot at who. The gunman in front of me turned around quickly in reaction to the gun fire I pulled my trigger. One shot directly in the chest, he fell backward taking Shirley Temple and her little chair with him to the hard wood floor.
His partner swung toward me. I let go two more shots in his chest. The partner fell onto the floor dead and I came out from behind the door. Trembling, Beverly appeared out from the side of the vanity. I led her out into the hall, my gun drawn.
Sister Victoria stood there in doorway of the music room, arms straight in front of her holding the firearm. Two dead men dressed in black lay on the floor in the hall. What the hell kind of nun is she?
“Let’s go!” Bill cried, standing at the top of the steps, Beverly in front of him.
I reached down to one of the dead men on the floor, took his firearm and put it in my pants at the small of my back next to the tube containing the documents. The demonic growl sounded again somewhere in the darkness of the second floor.
Whatever it was, we weren’t staying to find out. Sister Victoria and I ran after Bill and Beverly downstairs. Midway down, Beverly paused as if a sudden sickness struck her.
“It’s here,” she said.
Bill grabbed her hand and pulled her after him down the steps onto the first floor. We ran to the back of the house into the kitchen. The back door had been broken through and wide open. I ran out onto the back porch and peeped out.
“It’s clear,” I said and ran out toward the woods, followed by Sister Victoria, Bill dragging Beverly by the hand.
The moment Beverly stepped through the threshold; a massive jerk pulled her backward. Bill looked behind him, his hand empty. Beverly lay on her stomach on the floor, arms stretched outward on the back porch and her body in the kitchen.
“Help me!” Beverly screamed.
She was pulled backward, dragged into the kitchen on the floor. It was the thing I saw in the attic. It hunched over behind Beverly as its boney fingers gripped her ankles. Its skin was a gray-brown, looking wet and slimy. Long stringy hair hung down over its gaunt face and strings of drool fell from the lips of a wide, but crooked smile.
“Help me!” Beverly cried, looking at me in desperation.
I aimed the 9mm at the creature. Four shots rang out right on my mark. The bullets were absorbed in the monster’s body as it dragged Beverly across the floor. Realizing the gun was to no effect, I holstered it and grabbed Beverly’s wrists with both hands before she was completely pulled inside. Bill and Sister Victoria came to help, each of them pulling on Beverly’s arms.
“We’ve got you!” I said.
The creature gave no eye contact; its focus was on Beverly as it growled and grunted violently. We pulled her toward us as hard as we could. It felt as if her thin frame would to snap in two.
“Don’t let it take me! Please!” Beverly begged, tears streaming down her face.
We huddled together on the back porch and clutched some part of Beverly’s arms and wrists, but the creature pulled harder on her ankles. The thing grunted, continuing its tug of war. A long line of slobber dripped from its mouth as it dug its nails into the flesh of Beverly’s ankles.
“Bill! Don’t let it get me!” Beverly cried.
Tears ran down her cheeks, terror in her face. Abruptly, Beverly’s hands slipped from ours, her fingers spread wide. The thing tore Beverly away from us and quickly dragged her deep into the main hallway.
“Help!” Beverly cried sliding backward across the floor. The thing leapt onto her back, its shoulder blades pointing up at the ceiling as it sank its teeth into Beverly’s upper trap near her neck. Blood spurted out onto the floor and all over the thing’s face as it dug its maw deeper into her flesh like a pit bull.
Sister Victoria and I ran into the kitchen and fired at the monster; I don’t know how many times. The thing stood up, mouth covered in Beverly’s blood, taking a step over Beverly’s body toward us. It was seven feet tall.
We opened fire again and it vanished. The thing was gone, and so was Beverly. She wasn’t on the kitchen floor, only blood. We all ran into the dark house and couldn’t find her. No Beverly, no monster.
“We have to go! Now! There nothing we can do for her! The thing’s got her. We’re running out of time.” I said.
“Bev.” Bill said sadly, but knew I was right.
The ritual was going to start, and we had to stop it. Bill, Sister Victoria, and I ran out of the back of the house toward the woods to get back to the boat, I quickly glanced back at the doorway of the house and saw nothing but darkness inside.
The creature, I assumed was the “Bones” that the groundskeeper mentioned. We headed through the woods, in the direction of pier, hopping over sticks and rocks.
“The trail to the boat is this way!” Bill said, side stepping trees.
“What’s the time?” Sister Victoria asked, panting as she ran by my side.
I looked at my watch. “11:02,” I said. “We still have an hour.”
Cracking twigs and several footsteps were then heard behind us. I looked back, now there were maybe half a dozen men dressed in black. I could see the figures zig zagging in between the trees after us.
Another sudden boom was heard from the mainland in Ravensgate in the distance. Another gas station?
The men behind us were gaining, closer by the second. We ran for what seemed eternity and Sister Victoria began to unload her clip on the men behind us as she ran. I inserted a new clip into my piece and joined Victoria in gunfire. They fired back.
The pier was in view.
“Keep going!” I told Bill. “Get the boat ready. Victoria and I will hold them off!”
I ran back about ten feet where Sister Victoria leaned against the trunk of a tree. She breathed heavily.
“I should have never stopped going to the gym. What a loser I am.” she said jokingly under heavy breathes. She had a sense of humor, even when in danger. The men can closer. We unloaded our clips and they scattered like a flock of pigeons.
Bill was further ahead, closer to the clearing, already on the pier. The shots gave us time, as the men too sought cover and opened fire. Sister Victoria and I exchanged rounds with the enemy as Bill hopped into the boat from the pier and started the engine.
The smell of smoke was strong as Sister Victoria and I caught up with Bill on the beach, firing as we ran for the pier. The men appeared from the woods and onto the beach behind us. The sound of gunshots pierced our ears as they hit the water.
Sister Victoria and I raised our weapons.
“I’m out of ammo,” Sister Victoria yelled.
“Me too. I’m out,” I said as we hopped into the boat.
The men again spilt up and fired as the boat sped off on the water. Poor Beverly, I should have never brought her along.
“You’ve heard the saying ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’,” Bill said as steered the boat toward the mainland.
I saw what he meant when I looked across the dark river. Ravensgate was on fire. Flames lit up the town and pillars of black smoke trailed off into the gray sky.
Bill drove the speed boat back as I sat, physically and emotionally drained. Sister Victoria was tired too. She sat next to me, quiet, during most of the ride back to the mainland.
Dammit, Bev!” Bill cried, slamming his palms against the steering wheel. I wondered if Bill in any way blamed me for Beverly’s death.
The closer to the dock on the mainland the worse the burning smell became. Plumes of smoke rose from Ravensgate. Sirens wailed and the sounds of screams were heard from the chaos.
“It’s the Unholy Awakening,” Sister Victoria said calmly, staring at the water. “The night before the Feast of the Beast, the awakened alter-personalities are destroying everything.”
Gunshots echoed from the mainland which was a minute away. The groundskeeper’s .45 was empty, so Sister Victoria tossed it into the water. I had the spare gun I took from the attacker in the playroom, so I gave it to her. I still had my 9mm and put in a new clip.
“We’re going to catch hell trying to get to your house,” Bill said.”
Minutes later we successfully docked at Ravensgate Park. We climbed onto the pier. People screamed, sirens blared, and gunfire continued from downtown. The park was dark and empty. The Fillmore warehouse nearby was undisturbed.
A loud ruckus came from Mckinstry Street where we parked our cars, so we took precautions and crept up slowly towards the noise. We stopped behind a large oak when Mckinstry Street came into view.
We saw a big guy, maybe two hundred and fifty pounds wearing a blue jean vest over a white t-shirt. He sat on top of the chest of a smaller, elderly man in the street who lay on his back. The back of the big man’s wide shoulders faced us as he pummeled the smaller man underneath him, with both fists. Blood splattered all over the street as his victim lay unconscious.
“He’s killing him,” Sister Victoria whispered, concerned.
“There are probably plenty of people dead by now,” Bill said. “There’s no time, we have to get to Cole’s house.”
Gripping the gun’s handle with both hands, Sister Victoria stepped out from behind the tree, walked toward the big man in the street and stopped about ten feet away from him.
“Get off of him!” she ordered.
The large man ended his barrage of punches, lifting his head. Long dirty, brown hair fell on his shoulders as he looked behind at Sister Victoria, saying nothing.
“Get off!” Sister Victoria repeated; barrel aimed at his broad back.
The man kept silent, reaching for a metal pipe that lay next to him on the cement. He picked it up, arose from his victim and turned to face Sister Victoria as Bill and I joined her. Pipe held high, screaming, and madness in his eyes, he charged at Sister Victoria like a rhino.
“Stop!” cried Sister Victoria.
He continued running. Only seconds away from Sister Victoria, she let go two shots, penetrating both of the rhino’s patellas. He dropped the pipe and fell on bloodied knees on the concrete at Sister’s feet. He reached for her, but she took a step back out of his grasp. His legs were useless.
Sister Victoria lifted her right leg and landed the heel of her right foot to the man’s face with a powerful front kick. He fell back on the street, unconscious.
“Let’s go,” I said and ran toward our vehicles parked feet from the beaten, unconscious old man lying in the street. I looked at the poor bloodied fellow, he was probably dead.
“Let’s take one car, better to stay together,” Bill suggested said as he followed me in stride.
The wounded rhino awoke and army crawled on the street inching toward Sister Victoria. She stood there in front of him in silence, looking down, studying him.
“Victoria, come on!” I said as I opened my car door and got in.
She examined him a few seconds more. The sound of bustling then came from down the street. About a block ahead, a dozen men and women ran toward us down Mckinstry Street, screaming.
“Sister, let’s go!” I said from the driver’s seat.
She saw the crowd of maniacs coming for us then hurried to my car and jumped in the back seat. I swerved around the big injured man as he continued crawling and the unconscious man already lying in the street. The crazy mob increased their speed, running directly at us in the street.
“This is the only street that will take us to Main. I’m going to have to run right through them.” I said. “Hold on to your butts!”
I put my foot on the gas and sped the vehicle toward the group of crazed maniacs. They screamed and yelled, refusing move out of the way. One woman threw a rock at my windshield, cracking it, as I plowed straight through them like a group of protesters blocking traffic. One guy landed on the hood of my car then rolled off onto the cement as I headed toward Main Street.
“Absolute intention and focus,” Sister Victoria uttered from the seat behind me.
“What in the what?” I asked.
“He intended to kill me, for no reason.”
“Yeah, sure looked that way. Is this what the awakening is all about?” I asked.
“Very much so, these people are programmed killers, split personalities that have been awakened to wreak havoc on Ravensgate and kill as many people as possible. Destruction is their pure will.” Bill responded.
“What’s the point?” I inquired. “What does that have to do with bringing this demon Marazus into this dimension?”
“It’s the feast for the beast,” Bill said, “Evil entities feed on chaos, pain, violence, and sadness. It gives them strength. When Marazus comes into our world it’ll be hungry.”
We got off the side streets onto Main and away from the park. Car wrecks were sporadically spread along the street. Some vehicles crashed into buildings, smoke seeping out from underneath the front hoods.
People lay randomly on the sidewalk, dead or unconscious. Other people ran in all directions, away from awakened ones who chased them with bricks, bats, and guns.
We drove pass the Coffee Nook which was on fire; flames were visible through the large front broken window. I continued down Main and spotted two uniformed police in front of Blackstone Bar and Grill, using a street pole and mailbox for cover. A dozen maniacs ran at them, no fear, only programming driving them. The police fired, dropping four of them. The others ducked behind parked cars, firing back. One cop took a shot to the head and fell dead on the sidewalk.
Unexpectedly from a side street, directly in front of me on my right, a red Ford Fusion made a wide left turn onto Main street.
“Stop the car!” cried Bill.
I slammed on the brakes. My car stopped, almost hitting the front end of the Fusion. The driver sped around into the lane next to me and struck a teenage girl who ran for her life in the middle of the street during the commotion. The red car stopped suddenly when she hit the cement.
“Son of a bitch!” the driver screamed.
I recognized him. It was Detective Mason. I caused him to hit a girl. He and I made eye contact before he jumped out of the car to help her.
“We’ve got to help her!” Bill cried.
Detective Mason ran to aid the bleeding girl who lay on her side in the street.
“We can’t! We have to get to the house,” I said. “Mason’s helping her.”
Gunshots rang out as a bullet shattered the entire rear windshield of my vehicle; glass scattered all over the back seat. Bill, Sister Victoria and I ducked.
A large mob of men and women ran toward the back of the car as they carried knives, sticks, and guns. They shot at anyone they could. Detective Mason fired back as he picked the girl up from the cement. More shots zipped past our heads through the broken back window.
“Duck!” I cried to Sister Victoria and Bill as I shot back at the mob.
I stepped on the gas and the car screeched as Detective Mason helped the dazed girl into the passenger seat of his car. He fired at the crazed horde over the roof of his car as they split up in various directions.
Bullets zipped back and forth between the mob and Mason, but the Detective was outnumbered. Speeding away, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Mason hop in his car and speed off as a crazed woman from the mob continued firing at him.
Some of the disbanded mob ran toward the Red Fawn Bookstore and broke the large front window with bricks.
It was pure chaos caused by a blood-thirsty gangs. The streets were filled with fire, car accidents, gunshots, dead bodies, and people fighting for their lives. I sped away from the downtown area toward my house, time was running out. We heard a loud pop. One of my rear tires had been shot.
The rear tire on the driver’s side was destroyed and driving on the rim made a rough metallic grinding sound against the concrete. It slowed us down immensely.
A ten-year old boy wearing torn clothes stood in the street behind us firing at us as we drove away from him. We kept low as I fired back out the window.
“Please don’t kill him, he’s only a child,” implored Bill.
“I’m trying not to,” I replied the boy and I exchanged fire. “I’m trying to scare him.”
“You can’t. He’s programmed to do this,” Sister Victoria said.
“We can’t keep moving with this flat. We’ll have to stop the car and run for it,” I said.
We all agreed, and I pulled the car to the side of the road. Sister Victoria and Bill stayed low in the back seats. Victoria fired at the boy, hit her target and the boy dropped the gun and fell to the street clutching a bloody thigh.
“Good shot!” I said.
“We have to get out of here fast,” Sister Victoria said.
We jumped out of the car and the wounded boy, not caring about the lead in his leg, picked up his gun from the cement, sat up and continued firing at us. Bill and Sister Victoria and I ran up on to the sidewalk.
“It’s going to hit him!” Sister Victoria shouted.
Behind the boy, headlights glaring, a black SUV farther down the street speedily came toward him. The driver was either one of the awakened or didn’t see the him sitting in the middle of the street. The SUV got steadily got closer to the boy, the head lights larger. There was nothing we could do.
The boy ran out of ammo and just sat there in the middle of the street. The SUV slammed into the boy’s small, thin frame then the driver hit the brakes. The boy’s limp body slid twenty feet on the street like a rag doll leaving a red streak along the way. The driver stepped out of the vehicle; Wendy, the owner of the Red Fawn bookstore.
“Oh my God!” she shouted, her palms against her temples. “I didn’t see him! I didn’t see him!”
“Wendy!” I called. She looked up and recognized me.
“Cole, I didn’t see him! I didn’t…”
“Wendy, get in your car!” I waved, “They’re behind you!”
She was frantic, in the middle of Main Street, as a mob ran toward her, mere feet away.
“Behind you!” I yelled.
She looked behind her then attempted to jump into her SUV before they could kill her. Too late. They all grabbed her, the mob swallowed her up until she disappeared screaming into the swarm of lunatics.
“We can’t help her either,” Bill said. “If we don’t move, we’re next.”
I recognized our location, just a few blocks away from Jeff Johnson’s church.
“Follow me. That pastor’s church isn’t too far. If he’s there, maybe we can borrow his car. It’s the only option right now.” I said and ran down a side street called Jasper which was also filled with chaos but not like Main. We ran pass various scuffles on the street and couldn’t tell normal people from the awakened.
“There!” a woman cried. “Get them!” A said a blonde woman standing across the street with a man and another woman. All three of them stopped in their tracks and chased after us. The man carried a baseball bat and screamed with rage.
Sister Victoria quickly pulled out her gun and with three rounds took out a knee of all three attackers. They fell in the street.
“Where’d you learn to shoot like that?” I asked.
“The nun academy,” Sister Victoria said.
Was she even joking?
“This way,” I said and turned the corner down Whitmore.
We ran for a few minutes along the sidewalk passing several houses with all the lights turned out. No one was around. Most people probably barricaded themselves in their homes and cut the lights. The small church was just down the block and a light was on in one of the windows in the back of it that just went out.
“Someone’s inside. Let’s go around the back, we don’t want to bring attention to ourselves banging on the front door,” Sister Victoria suggested as we approached the church. We went along the side of the church toward the back and into the rear parking lot.
As far as we knew, no one saw us. The loud screeching sound of a car and the crunch of a crash were heard near the corner of the block. Paying no attention to it, hid our weapons, and I knocked on the back door. No response. I tried again a bit louder.
“They’re not answering,” I said. “We need a car and get to the house before the ritual starts, let’s go. Our only option now is to hijack someone’s car.” We turned around to leave.
“Cole!” someone called. Jeff Johnson peeked through the cracked door.
“Come in, Hurry,” he said opening the door.
As we slipped into the church, walking through a kitchen then a few other rooms, I introduced Bill and Sister Victoria to Johnson.
“I wasn’t sure if you were those things out there,” Johnson said as he led us downstairs into a neatly furnished basement. Sitting on a couch were a man, woman, and a little girl about eight years old. The man I recognized, he helped Johnson pack and move things from inside the church the day I met him.
“This is Dave, his wife Tammy, and their daughter Samantha,” Johnson said.
“Any idea what’s going on out there? What’s this all about, why the riots?” Dave asked.
“Yeah, well people have gone crazy. Something effecting the mind. It’s type of rabies only worse.”
“Rabies?” Jeff said. “How could that have gotten started and spread so quickly.”
“What? Rabid weasels?”
“Yeah. There might be a way to stop all of this,” Bill said. “But it’s really important that we have a car. Does anyone have one we can borrow?”
“Why should we give you our car?” Tammy asked.
“If we don’t get a vehicle soon then this madness will get much worse. We can to get help,” Sister Victoria said.
“And where are the cops?” Jeff asked.
“It’s long story. We just need a car.” I said.
“What’s going on outside is only the beginning. If any of you have a car, please, we need to use it.” Sister Victoria implored.
“I don’t see any reason why not. If you can get help, just do it,” Jeff said reaching into his pocket. He pulled out keys and threw them to me. “My car’s in the front, the white Pontiac, if it hasn’t been destroyed yet, use it.”
We all ran upstairs, except for Dave and his family, and walked down the long hall to the front of the church into the vestibule. With all the lights off the church was pitch dark. We looked out the front window into the street. The white Pontiac Grand Am sat untouched, behind the yellow pickup.
In the middle of street, facing the church was a small mob of eight people carrying different weapons like bats, bricks, and guns. Two of them held cans of gasoline. Among them was someone I recognized.
“This one’s next!” said Claire pointing at the church. “Burn it down!”
It looked like Claire, but I was positive it was Marla or some other alter ego. She led the mob as they marched across the street toward the church. The ones with cans of gasoline unscrewed the tops.
“They’re going to torch the church,” Jeff said.
One man in the mob hurled something at the front widow. Quickly, we moved out of the way as a flying brick broke through the glass and shielded our faces from the shards with our arms.
“We have to get everyone out of here,” Bill said.
Another brick came streaming through already broken window.
“Does Dave have a car too?” I asked Jeff.
“Yeah, the yellow pickup in front of my car.”
“Get him up here. We need his family and everyone out the backdoor as soon as possible.”
Jeff Johnson ran down the long hall to the back of the church and downstairs to fetch Dave and his family. Bill went with him in case there was another group at the back.
Sister Victoria and I, standing next to each other peeked out the broken window within the darkness of the foyer without being seen. Those carrying unscrewed gas canisters walked closer toward the church.
“We have to get the cars in front. There’s no choice but to confront these lunatics,” Sister Victoria said.
“Agreed”, I said, taking the 9mm from inside my jacket and aimed through the broken window. A bullet struck one man with a gas canister in the neck and he fell to the ground. Now they knew we were inside.
Gunfire began pouring through the broken, window from the mob as they walked up the front steps to the large wooden door. One of them with an axe began chopping at it.
Sister Victoria and I fired back while using the wall of the vestibule as cover, she on one side of the window, I on the other. I aimed at the front door that was being attacked by the man with the axe, firing a shot, hoping it would go through and hit him. The shots went through, but I missed.
He kept chopping through the ever-growing hole and glared at me through it, just like in that scene from that famous horror movie. He reached in through the hole for the doorknob and I shot him in the upper chest. He fell back into his group.
“Get out of here Sister! They’re breaking in!” I warned.
Someone’s arm from the crowd outside reached inside hole of the door, grabbed the doorknob and unlocked it.
“Dammit!” I said. “Let’s go!”
Guns in hand, Sister Victoria and I ran down the hall toward the back of the church. The mob kicked the front door open and began firing. Sister Victoria and I hung the quick left and caught up with Bill in the kitchen at the back of the church.
“Where’s Jeff and everybody?” I asked as we all moved toward the back door.
“They’re in the rear parking lot of the church waiting. Let these clowns have the church. While they tear it down from the inside, we sneak around to the front, take the vehicles and get out of here.”
“Cole!” called a female voice from out in the main hall. “Cole, let’s talk.”
Gun drawn, I took a quick peek into the hall from the kitchen. Marla was alone. She walked through the front door of the church, gun aimed at the floor.
I whispered to Bill and Sister Victoria, “I’ll stall for time. When it’s clear, get to Jeff’s car in front, here are the keys. Tell Jeff and his group to take Dave’s pickup and get the hell out of here. Wait for me in Jeff’s car in the back alley.”
Bill and Victoria ran to the rear parking lot of the church from the kitchen. I went down the hall toward the front of the church, my palm gripping the gun handle. Emotionless, Marla stood in the center of hall about ten feet from me.
“Give it up, Cole,” Marla said.
A man from the small crowd outside walked into the building and poured gasoline all over the floors and walls near the front. The strong odor engulfed the area.
Marla looked at her watch, “Just tell me where the Chronicles and the Record are,” Marla said. “I know you were at the museum on the island.”
“We looked all over the place and couldn’t find them, I answered.
Marla raised her gun at me.
“You lying mother fucker. Drop the gun and tell me. I’ll let you live if you tell me where they are. If you don’t, you die in the house of your God.”
The man continued spilling gasoline all over the walls and floor behind Claire.
“They’re in a safe place, I don’t have them.” I said.
Gunshots came from outside, in back of the church. Marla’s mob must have gone back there. The loud gun shots caught Marla’s attention and I raised my gun at her. We stood in the hall in a Mexican stand-off.
“If you kill me, Claire dies too,” Marla said.
“I don’t care, as long as you die with her.” I said, bluffing.
Marla fired three consecutive rounds; all of them zipped past my head, mere feet away from hitting me.
“What the hell!” she said, shocked.
Bill’s hypnosis worked, Marla wasn’t able kill me, Bill or Sister Victoria. She tried to pull the trigger again and struggled with herself. She couldn’t do it.
My gun was still directed at her as the man dropped the empty gasoline can and ran straight at me. He reached behind his pants, grabbing a gun. I shot him in the head before he could use his it. He and his gun fell on the hard wood floor. Marla started to run away.
“Don’t move, Marla,” I said as she stopped in her tracks.
Another man with a crewcut ran through the front door, reaching inside his jacket. He pulled something from his jacket. I shot him in the head too. He dropped a lit lighter as he fell. The gasoline on the floor burst into flames lightning fast, as the floor and walls became covered in flame.
“You’ll never find your missing friend,” she said. “Especially after tonight”.
Marla made a break for the front door. I shot at her but missed on purpose. I couldn’t kill her either; Claire was still in there somewhere. She stopped dead in her tracks and turned around to look at me.
“You’re weak, you have a soft spot for the bitch,” Marla said. “Go ahead, shoot me.”
She lunged at me, trying to wrestle the gun from me. She couldn’t kill me but that didn’t mean she could try to stop me. Fire spread to the ceiling and smoke clogged the area.
“If we don’t get out of here, we’re both dead!” I said.
“Fine by me!” she said.
I don’t fight burning building, so I jerked away from here and hit her on the forehead with the butt of the gun. She went unconscious just like she did when I hit her in the closet of the house. History repeats itself.
I took her gun from the floor, put it in my pants then dragged Marla down the hall toward the back of the building as the fire quickly spread. There was no more of her crew around.
I dragged Marla out of the church into the back, parking lot as far as I could and lay her down on the cement. Three dead bodies; two women and one man from the mob lay there on the cement: the work of Sister Victoria. The white Pontiac pulled up in the lot.
“C’mon!” cried Bill. He sat in the driver’s seat of Jeff Johnson’s car.
“Leave her, your little girlfriend will be fine,” Sister Victoria said sarcastically from the passenger seat. I hopped in the back of the car and we headed for my house.
“Did Jeff and his friends get away? I asked.
“Yeah, took the truck and heading out of town,” Bill said.
We sped away from downtown Ravensgate onto the dirt roads. It was quiet and felt safe for a moment. Bill couldn’t remember his way through the winding roads; he said they all looked the same. I gave him directions and it wasn’t too long before we found Arkham Road.
“Rabid weasels, Cole?” That’s an interesting excuse for the Awakening.” Bill said sarcastically.
“I saw it in a zombie movie once,” I said.
The Victorian house sat dark and gloomy underneath the gray sky, the odor of smoke still strong from the burning town. Bill pulled into the driveway then we ran up onto the porch. I unlocked the door and we stepped inside.
I led my companions to the basement door at the back of the house, it was still locked. Rummaging through my keys to open it, we heard squeaking footsteps on the loose floorboards upstairs. We looked at the ceiling simultaneously. Someone was directly above us walking towards the front of the house.
“Open the basement door,” Bill said. “We’ll check it out.”
Sister Victoria drew her firearm as she and Bill went down the hall to the stairs at the front of the house. As I searched for the key, I thought heard a sound behind me, from Sandy’s sanctuary. I turned around and could only see darkness in the room. Down the hall, Bill and Sister Victoria stood staring at the top of the stairwell, her gun aimed upward.
“Who’s there?” Sister Victoria called.
The footsteps above crept closer to the front of the house. I had to know what was happening. I ran toward the front of the house, joining my teammates at the bottom of the steps, looking up the stairwell. In the darkness from the right, someone came down the steps from the second floor toward the landing.
“Come down slowly or you’re dead,” I said.
The figure stepped onto the landing into the light. I couldn’t believe it. The rotting corpse of Manuel Hall turned to face us then descended the steps.
“It’s already is dead,” said Sister Victoria as she raised her pistol and fired a shot in the chest of the re-animated corpse. Hall absorbed the bullet, paused on the stairs, then continued down. It paused on the steps again then kept coming.
“And who is that?” said Sister Victoria said as she pointed down the end of the hall toward the sanctuary.
Another figure stood in the shadows of the sanctuary’s doorway then stepped out into the light of the hall. He was bloated beyond belief with bluish-green skin and wore the familiar button-down shirt when he died. Karl’s swollen body stood in the sanctuary threshold.
I can’t describe the look on Bill’s face when he saw him.
“Karl,” Bill said, voice trembling.
I raised my gun to Karl and let out a shot in the chest. No effect.
“If we can’t kill them, we have to contain them somehow. The ritual is starting soon!” Bill said.
“We’ll herd them both into the living room, lock them in there!” I responded.
I ran into the living room and grabbed two pokers from the fireplace then ran back into the hall. One creature came down the stairwell and the other down the hall toward us.
“Victoria,” I said, “Bill and I will keep them occupied here in the main hall, go around through the dining room and kitchen on the other side of the house to get to the basement door. Unlock it. Here’s the key,” I said, handing my keychain to her, the basement key between my fingers.
“I just pray there’s no more of these things in the house,” Sister Victoria said, then ran through the dining room.
Yellowish foam dripped from Karl’s mouth as his jaw hung open and Manuel kept a steady pace down the steps. I handed Bill a poker.
“You take Manuel, I’ll take Karl,” I said.
Bill nodded, and headed up the steps, poker held like a samurai sword. I ran down the hall, swung the steel poker like a baseball bat and hit what once was Karl in its bloated face.
The thing took a few steps back then lunged for me. One, two, three, more times, I smashed the thing in its rotting face with the poker. Each time the creature only slowed but kept coming.
Karl reached for me, clutching my shoulders with both hands and leaned into to me with a wide gaping mouth. I put the business end of the poker horizontally into its mouth pushing the head back and away.
The jingle of keys could be heard at the basement door behind Karl.
“The basement door’s already open!” Sister Victoria cried from down the hall.”
Of course, that’s how Karl got in the house.
I pushed the poker through his mouth and out the back of Karl’s neck. Using the poker as a handle, I guided the Karl in a half circle, the back of him now facing the front of the house. I moved forward, pushing him back, then to the left toward the living room.
Pulling the poker out of his head, I gave him a hard front kick in the stomach. The corpse stumbled into the living room landing on the floor.
I turned to face the hall and saw Bill at the bottom of the stairs in the hall dealing with Manuel, slamming the sharp protruding end of his poker into the side of Manuel’s rotted face. Flesh came off his head revealing bone. Bill put the end of the poker in Manuel’s chest, pushing him backward.
“Guide him toward the living room,” I said.
“Watch out!” Bill warned.
The Karl corpse was back on its feet in the living room, behind me. I side kicked the creature in the stomach again with all my strength and he fell again on the floor.
I moved out of the way as Bill kept the sharp end of the poker in Manuel’s chest, shoving him in the living room, both creatures now together. I exited the living room and slammed the two French doors of the entrance together shut then slid the poker in between both handles locking the doors in place.
Bill and I ran down the hall to meet Sister Victoria at the basement door, she wasn’t there, but in the kitchen instead. A woman held Sister Victoria in front of her, arm around Victoria’s throat and a gun to her temple. Sister Victoria’s gun was in the floor.
“Cole, put your gun on the floor, now!” Tabitha, Claire’s mom commanded.
I did as ordered, and set it on the kitchen floor.
“Give me the chronicles and the record or I blow the pretty bitch’s head off.”
“Why? What’s the point?” I asked, “Aren’t you summoning the demon soon regardless?” I looked at the clock on the wall, four minutes to midnight.
“There is much power in the sacred text. Coded meanings you would never understand.” Tabitha said. “You have on the count of three. Hand over the black skull, the chronicles, and the record or the nun’s brains spatter all over the walls.”
“Alright, don’t hurt her,” I said, stepping further into the kitchen.
Tabitha pointed the gun at Bill, “You, stay where you are.”
“I’m going to reach behind at the back of my pants, underneath my jacket for a plastic tube,” I said. “The chronicles, the record and the skull are in it. I don’t have a weapon.”
“Do it slow,” Tabitha said.
I reached for the tube and felt Marla’s gun in the back pf my pants next to the tube. I chose not to pull it out, Tabitha would see it before I could get a shot and Sister Victoria would be dead.
I retrieved the clear plastic tube from underneath the back of my jacket, took a step closer to Tabitha, holding it out like a wand.
“Open it,” Tabitha ordered, “Show me what’s inside.”
I unscrewed the lid, the obsidian skull and scroll slid out into my palm. I unrolled the scroll to show Tabitha that the it was the Ravensgate Chronicles and the record.
“Put them back the tube and give it to me,” Tabitha said.
I did it and extended the tube forward once more. With her free arm, Tabitha snatched it. At that instant Sister Victoria clutched Tabitha’s wrist, turning the barrel of the gun up toward the ceiling.
Sister Victoria moved Tabitha’s wrist far back with great pressure causing her carpal bones to snap. Tabitha screamed, dropped the gun and tube on the kitchen floor. Sister Victoria kicked the gun and it slid across the floor, out into dining room somewhere in the darkness. Tabitha immediately darted into the dining room and Bill ran after her.
I picked up my gun and the plastic tube from the floor. As I put the tube back in the back of my pants, a loud kathunk was heard in the darkness of dining room. My gun drawn, Sister Victoria picked hers up from the floor and we started to go after them.
“Don’t move!” another voice cried from the hall near the basement door, it sounded familiar. Sister Victoria and I stopped in our tracks.
“Set the weapons on the floor and kick it away,” he said.
I turned to see Detective Mason pointing a .38 at us and we set our guns back on the floor.
“You don’t understand,” Sister Victoria said.
“No, you don’t understand,” replied the Detective. “Both of you, hands on your head. We did so.
I peered into the dining room. Bill’s feet were on the floor, he lay there unconscious, Tabitha’s doing. Next to his legs was the bust of Christina, blood on the sharp bottom corner. Tabitha was loose in the house and time was running out.
“You,” Mason said to Sister Victoria, “Step away from Mendoza.”
“Mason,” I said, “We need your help. There’s something going on in the basement and that you should know about.”
“Shut up! I knew you were involved in some weird shit. Both of you are coming with me.” Mason said as he pulled out some cuffs and walked into the kitchen but not before a figure appeared in the hall behind him; the lifeless, decaying Manuel Hall. Tabitha let the damned things loose.
“Behind you!” Sister Victoria warned but Mason didn’t look back.
“I said shut up and move from away from him.”
“Mason, turn around!” I screamed. Manuel Hall sank his teeth deep in the side of Mason’s neck. Blood spurted all over the place as Mason shrieked in pain.
I went to help the detective. His back was up against the basement door as Manuel fed on his neck and face. Mason shot rounds into Manuel’s rib cage to no effect.
Mason’s blood poured from his neck as Manuel bit into him. Mason struggled, then fired a shot with the .38 in Manuel’s temple. Brain matter and skull fragments flew in my direction and landed on my face and shirt. The thing collapsed to the floor. The close-range head shot did the trick.
Mason was weak and losing blood. Tabitha appeared from the hall, grinning, with pleasure. She had retrieved her gun from the dining room floor and aimed it at me.
“Give me the fucking documents!” Tabitha cried.
Detective Mason, stumbled in front of Tabitha, weak from loss of blood.
“You’re pathetic.” Tabitha said, aiming at Mason’s head then pulled the trigger. He fell to the floor dead next to Manuel.
Karl’s corpse appeared from the hall behind Tabitha and took a gaping bite out of her face. She screamed, blood spurted as she struggled with the creature, dropping her gun. Karl overpowered her, continuing to eat, gnawing on her throat.
I picked up my gun from the floor as the grandfather clock chimed, striking midnight. The ritual began underneath the house. Everything moved in slow motion, as if under water. Elise mentioned the grandfather clock on the EVP and in her writings. It had to be important. Sandy.
Time slowed down around me. I saw Sister Victoria moving in slow motion, going after her gun on the floor and Tabitha struggling with Karl as he bit into her.
I ran into the sanctuary, where the tall, wide grandfather clock gonged. I stepped in front of it and couldn’t see the pendulum or weighted chains through the lower glass door. Instead there was a bright, white glow emanating from inside the body of the clock.
I opened the glass door, the light disappeared, and I looked inside. The sanctuary was visible on the inside of the clock. I looked into sanctuary, the very same room in which I stood. I ducked, squeezing through the wide, open door of the large body of the clock.
In an instant, I stepped out of door of the clock into the sanctuary again. The other sanctuary. It still chimed as it struck midnight. All the plants in the room were shrouded in darkness and all was silent. I immediately ran into the hall of the house and no one was there. The house was empty, but the lights were on.
“Sandy!” I called. No answer.
I looked in the kitchen at the calendar on the refrigerator. It was the same calendar from last year. The one I threw away when I first moved in the house.
I stepped back out into the main hall. The basement door was shut. I looked down the hall toward the front of the house. Floating in mid-air, in the hall between the living room and the dining room was human skull facing me. It hovered six feet from the ground for about three seconds then flew up the staircase with lighting speed. I ran to the bottom of the stairs and looked up but saw only darkness.
“A visitor,” said a man’s voice from the above on the second floor.
I pointed my firearm up the stairs.
“Who’s there?” I asked.
A man descended the stairs from the right, stopped on the landing, and turned to face me. He wore a black suit, black button-down shirt and white tie. His skin was pale gray, he had jet-black hair which was neatly cut. He had no nose, except for two holes. He walked down the staircase toward me.
“That is of no use here. Put the weapon away.” He said.
I didn’t listen and kept it drawn.
“Stop there!” I ordered.
He continued walking down the stairs in defiance of my firearm. The handle of the gun became hot to the touch and I dropped it on the floor, resulting in slight burns on my hand.
“Who are you? Where’s Sandy?” I said.
The man stepped onto the floor from the last step looking at me. The entire surface of both his eyes were solid black. No white, no pupils, no irises. Just pure black. He walked past me into the living room.
“There is something you want. There is something I want.” said the man.
“I’ll ask you again. Who are you?” I questioned.
“I am called Abaddon,” he said as he sat down on the couch in front of the fireplace.
“Sit,” he said, gesturing his hand toward the love seat across from him. I did as he asked.
“Where’s Sandy?” I asked.
“Close. I can help you find the woman you’re looking for.”
“Ok, where is she?”
“First, tell me. What do you want with her?
“I just want to take her back.”
“Back to your time. That is possible. Although time moves slower here, you do have to hurry.”
“Where exactly is here?”
“Ravensgate, a Victorian house on Arkham Road. ‘When’ is the question.”
“What do you mean?”
“When is the past, in regard to the time you came from. A time-slice of the past to be exact.”
“Time-slice? I don’t understand.”
“Imagine a loaf of sliced bread. Each slice represents a section of your timeline. Remove a slice from the loaf, you have isolated a section of time. Since the slice has been separated from the rest of timeline, all natural living things in the world have moved forward in time, no longer existing in the removed slice. Except, your friend managed to find her way here, unfortunate for her.”
“We're in some kind of a time warp?”
“After a fashion. Here, time repeats itself. Time within this slice, starts, ends and starts again in between the two sides of the slice. Its duration is only the width of the slice. A thinner slice will repeat sooner than a thicker one. However, free will is not hindered for entities that exist here so we do not continuously repeat our actions each time the loop starts. So, when the time loop repeats, new possibilities exist, but only in that slice of time.
“Ok. Weird. I don't really get it. All I care about is getting Sandy and I out of here. How do I do it?”
“I’ll tell you. On one condition. You must agree to it.”
“What is it? What do you want?”
“I want to exit this slice of time with you through the portal, back to your era.”
“You leave here with me and Sandy? Sure, ok, fine. You can come with us, as long as we get out of here.”
“Good. Then it’s a bargain.”
“Alright then. Where is she?”
“The Grigori, the Watchers, they have her. In the woods.”
“Yes. Some of them are trapped here. As I am. When your friend came here it was discovered that she has a psychic ability that gives them sustenance. We could smell it on her. The Grigori keep her, as one would keep a cow for its milk.”
“Alright. So how do I get to her?”
“She’s deep in the woods. Directly behind this house. Go behind the garage and stay on a straight path until you find her. Go.”
I got up from the couch, ran into the hall and picked up the gun from floor. I continued down the hall toward the back of the house, through the kitchen, out the back door into the back yard. I kept forward past the garage into the woods.
It was dark and the sounds of twigs snapped underneath my feet as I trekked deeper. The moon lit my way, barely. There was no sign of animals, birds, insects or anything living. I kept on foot for about sixty yards.
“Stay straight.” said a voice in my head. It was Abaddon.
I was veering in the wrong direction but got back on track and kept straight. After a few minutes of walking, I saw a soft green glow in the darkness off in the distance. It was too dark to tell what it was, so I slowed down but kept forward.
As I got closer, a shape began to take form. There was a set of stairs made of stone in the middle of the woods, high railings on both sides. Each step was about a foot and half in height. The staircase itself was about twenty feet high from top to bottom.
At the top of the stairs was a stone platform, on which stood a rectangular, vertical glass case. The green glow emanated from inside and I could see the figure of a woman within it. Sandy. She stood erect, hands at her sides, eyes closed. She looked like she was sleeping. The glass case was just like the ones in the cavern beneath the Victorian.
I ran up to the top the staircase and banged on the glass calling out her name. She didn’t wake up. I heard a load roar from somewhere in the distance out in the woods.
With the safety on, I attacked the glass with the butt of the gun in the upper right corner. Once, twice, three times. This created a small fissure in the face of the glass. The beast-like roar came again from the woods only louder this time.The wind began to blow, and a strong stench permeated the air, the smell of feces and rot.
I kept pounding on the fissure with the butt of the gun. It began to grow and fracture like a spider’s web. I carefully pounded the glass with my fist, causing the spider’s web to crack further, spread then finally break. Small shards fell on the stone platform, and Sandy stood there unscathed.
I carefully removed glass shards from the front of the case by hand, making a human-sized hole large enough for Sandy to get out. I reached in for her and the green, glowing light went out. Sandy collapsed but I caught her in my arms before she fell.
The roar became louder, the stench stronger, along with the sound of footsteps running through the woods toward us. Sandy began to wake up, mumbling incoherently.
“Sandy!” I said. “Let’s go! Down the stairs!”
“Huh? Who are you?” she said.
“It’s me, Cole. Come on!” I said, she held onto my waist as we descended the tall, stone steps down to the bottom. She looked at me, squinting her eyes.
“Cole.” She said.
“Yeah, it’s me. Keep going, Sandy. Down the stairs. Let’s go!”
The stench became almost unbearable. I felt like puking as we made it down the stone staircase together. At the bottom, Sandy became more oriented. She wobbled as we ran back toward the house in the dark woods together.
The loud roar in back of us became tormented screams. I look behind me and saw the silhouette of a huge man, nine or ten feel tall running through the woods after us. I aimed my gun and fired.
“Fool,” said Abaddon. “You’re wasting time. Put the weapon away. Run.”
His voice was louder in my head. I holstered the gun. The giant’s large legs enabled him to run fast and was gaining on us.
“Keep moving, Sandy!” I said.
Eventually, we passed the garage, into the back yard of the house, and approached the back porch. The Watcher was right behind us as he entered the backyard seconds after we did. He reached out to grab Sandy by the back of her tangled blonde hair.
The sound of flapping wings came from above. Unexpectedly, a demonic creature, black as coal, with the face of a deformed horse, the body of a man, a serpent-like tail, descended from the above. His eyes glowed yellow and large, leathery, bat-like wings protruded from its back.
The thing swooped down and rammed itself into the giant’s left side. The Watcher fell to the ground, giving me and Sandy a moment to enter the back porch and then into the kitchen of the Victorian.
Looking out through the back door in the backyard, the flying demon, flew in a large circle and collided into the Grigori once more, knocking him to the grass again as he tried to get up. The giant cried out to the demon, in a deep, guttural voice in an unknown language. The flying creature flew toward the back door, pulling its wings together as it entered the enclosed back porch.
“This way,” I said to Sandy as I guided her into sanctuary.
The demon transformed itself into Abaddon, wearing his black suit and tie and stepped into the kitchen. Sandy screamed in shock.
“YOU OWE ME!” Abaddon said with rage in his glowing yellow eyes.
“Ok, let’s go. “I said. “Through the grandfather clock.”
“I cannot enter through the gate in this form.” Abaddon said.
Loud pounding began at the back of the house, the Watcher couldn’t fit through the small door. He began to demolish the walls of back porch to gain entry.
“Son of Adam, give me the woman!” The giant said in a low, gruff voice.
I turned to look and saw the large man staring at me with intense black eyes as he banged the walls with his huge fists.
“I must enter the portal through a non-living vessel,” Abaddon said as he produced a small snow globe in his right hand from thin air. Inside the glass sphere was a miniature town. The word “Ravensgate” written on the base.
The back porch was torn to shreds as the wall of the kitchen was being ripped apart like cardboard by blows from the giant.
“Abaddon!” the Grigori said from the destroyed porch as he peeked into the kitchen from the small doorway. “Azazel, will have your head!”
“Azazel is a wretch! You should yourself know this, Vatrael! I’ll deal with your Lord soon enough. Tell your master what you’ve seen and I’ll be coming for him!”, Abaddon replied to the giant then handed me the snow globe.
The giant continued to smash the wall around the kitchen door, making the hole larger.
“Take this globe through the clock with you.” Abaddon said as he handed it to me.
Once through, destroy it and set me free. If you do not, I will be free from it eventually, and I will kill everything you love. I will murder your entire family until there is no more of your bloodline. I will rip out the entrails of the nun whom you hold so dear. Do you understand, son of Adam?” Abaddon said.
“Yeah, I gotcha.” I replied.
Abaddon transformed himself into a black mist and entered the snow globe in my hand, causing it to blackout the miniature town inside. The large, gaping hole made in the kitchen wall by the Grigori was finally big enough. He ducked as entered the kitchen.
“Let’s go!” Sandy cried.
The Watcher crouched as his head almost touched the kitchen’s ceiling. He was a huge, hulking man, gray skin, long red hair and beard, six fingers on his hands. His whole area of his eyes were black as pitch, widened in a psychotic stare as he reached for us. Sandy and I ran into the hall from the kitchen.
The doorway was too small for the giant and he began to smash the wall with his huge fists. Sandy and I fled into the sanctuary and the lower door of the large grandfather clock was still open. Sandy squeezed through door first, and I after her with the snow globe in my hand.
In less than a second, Sandy and I stumbled through the grandfather clock, back into the sanctuary of our timeline. The chiming continued, and the face still read midnight.
“Thank you, Cole,” Sandy said, hugging me.
I kept my word to Abaddon, lifting the snow globe and threw it onto the hard wood floor as hard as I could. The globe shattered, releasing the black smoke as it floated out of the room into the hall.
We followed the smoke into the hall, stepping over the dead bodies of Tabitha, Manuel, Detective Mason, and Karl as we ran toward the living room at the front of the house. Sister Victoria peeked out into the hall at us from the living room doorway.
“Cole! Where did you go? What happened?” she said looking at me and Sandy.
“Long story,” I said. “I’ll explain later. Sister Victoria, this is Sandy.”
“Sandy! Hi!” Sister Victoria said. “Yeah, I’d love to hear that explanation.”
Bill lay on the couch, unconscious from the head injury Tabitha gave him. Sister Victoria had dragged him into the living room and put him there.
“What happened with Tabitha and Karl?” I asked.
“It, Karl, killed her, took a big chunk out of her neck. I shot Karl in the head. Multiple times, that finally took him down. Bill’s unconscious. His breathing is good, and his pulse is strong, but he needs medical attention. I called an ambulance, but they said they couldn’t guarantee how fast they’d get here do the chaos in town.” Sister Victoria said.
At those words, Bill began to move and mumble. He seemed to be alright, just out of it.
“You two stay here with Bill, I’m going down in the cavern,” I said.
“I need to be there too,” said Sandy.
“Bill is wounded, and I’m of no use to him, I’m no doctor. Let’s get down there and take those bastards out,” Sister Victoria said.
She was so hot when she talked like that and I had no time to disagree. We ran down into the basement and entered the dark, secret passage toward the cavern. We had no flashlight to illuminate the way, the only light came a cell phone.
I went in first, then Sandy, and then Sister Victoria behind her, the time was 12:03 a.m. We kicked away the rats and traveled down the dark path as silently as possible. A faint, glowing yellow-orange light became visible up ahead from around the bend to the right.
Noises. someone spoke but it was more like a murmur. I edged up to the wall and stopped at the bend to peek around the corner into the large cavern.
The light came from candles, placed on at each point of the triangle on the floor next to the three glass casings containing the upright corpses of Elise, Judith, and Christina.
Other candles sat on severed body parts that lay on the floor; arms, legs, torsos, and heads scattered everywhere around the outside edges of the triangle. The slaughtered corpses of naked infants lay sporadically about on the floor, candles placed on them, wax melting on the flesh. I wanted to puke.
I then saw it: an opening in the far rocky wall on the other side of the cavern; a doorway. There was another secret passage that led into the cavern from somewhere else. This is how they all entered the property.
I counted six members performing the rite. They did not wear the typical flowing, black, robes. Instead they wore black leather skins that were wrapped around the, held together with large metal pins. Two members stood outside of each edge of the triangle. The participants wore an ugly mask displaying twisted, disturbing features.
Sandy and Sister Victoria peeked around the bend with me.
“There’s Beverly,” Sister Victoria whispered into my ear.
There she was, Beverly, barely conscious tied to a wooden cross inside the triangle near its apex in front of glass case containing Elise. Dried blood was on her upper trap where the thing at the museum bit into her. She slightly moved her head which hung down like the images of Christ.
“She must be a powerful psychic,” Sandy said. “She’s food, a sacrifice on a cross. More feast for the beast.”
“We have to get her out of there,” Sister Victoria said.
The leader, the one who spoke, walked close to the apex of the triangle but did not step inside of it. He raised the ritualistic dagger up with two hands and spoke as the others repeated after him:
“Heylel, Heylel, Heylel,
We beseech you, let the beast loose,
Give to us Marazus,
The gate is now open, O beast of outer realm.
Devour your feast, on the cross of elm.”
A gray mist appeared, swirling on the floor within the triangle. The three glass cases containing the dead women became illuminated with green light which glowed through the eye sockets, mouths, and ribs cages of each corpse. The light then became streams of ambient green energy that shot forth from the top of each glass case at an angle, meeting together in the air at a point forming the shape of a pyramid.
Sandy, Sister Victoria and I moved back a bit in order not to be seen. I reached for the 9mm.
“Wait,” cautioned Sandy, staring at the spectacle. “We need to redirect or disrupt that energy. The triangle of manifestation is in the center of the cavern, which is illuminated by the candles. We’ll creep in the darkness on the outer edges of the cavern, sneak up to the three glass cases and knock them to the floor. This will disrupt the light paths that form the pyramid and close the gate.”
“I have the small, black skull that should nullify the energy in the triangle as well,” I said as I removed the obsidian skull from the plastic tube then put it in my front pocket.
“I may have something that will disrupt the energy too. I’m not positively sure, but it’s worth a shot.” Sister Victoria said as grabbed the cross around her neck and opened it like a locket. She took out a small piece of wood about an inch in length.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It is a piece of wood taken from the cross that Christ was crucified on. The Catholic Church holds many ancient relics. It’s holy and powerful.”
“That may help,” Sandy said.
“Cole, sneak up behind the glass case at the apex of the triangle, the one containing the body of Elise. Sister Victoria, can you do the same for the glass case containing Judy?” Sandy asked.
“I can.” Victoria responded.
“I’ll knock down the case containing the Christina’s body. Cole, toss the black skull on to the floor within the triangle so you can enter it. Get your friend off the cross and out of the triangle of manifestation before the beast comes through the portal. The properties of the skull should prevent you and her from being taken into any portal if it’s open.”
Within the triangle, a large shape began to form, a colorless, transparent mass, about thirteen feet high and about twenty feet in length.
“Marazus is manifesting as we speak. Their attention will be on the beast. Now’s our chance.” Sandy said.
Quickly, the entity began to take physical form. The occult group continued to chant. While the ritual was performed, Sandy, Sister Victoria and I kept low within the darkness on the outer edges of the cavern, creeping toward each class case. I could see that occult members eyes were closed through the eyeholes of the masks as they recited.
“Set your tabernacle among us.” They chanted.
Successfully, Sandy, Sister Victoria and I reached the bases of the three glass cases containing the dead women, crouching behind them unseen by the cult.
“Oh Marazus, make your covenant with us!” The lead member said, still raising the dagger in the air with both hands.
I looked at Sister Victoria and Sandy then mouthed the words, “One, two, three.” On three, we pushed the glass cases forward with the triangle. They fell on the floor with a resounding crash that echoed throughout cavern. Shards of glass scattered everywhere as the three corpses fell free from their glass prisons.
The members of the Temple of the Beast opened their eyes. The ringleader shouted as a flying shard of glass entered his eye through the hole in his mask.
“You bitch!” cried the leader, one hand covering the left eye, pointing the dagger at Sister Victoria with the other. “I should have killed you years ago!”
Sister Victoria ran to me and handed me the piece of wood from Christ’s cross. “Get Beverly!” she cried.
I took the obsidian skull from my pocket and tossed it onto the floor within the triangle like a die then ran to Beverly who hung on the cross. I untied her wrists from the horizontal beam.
The streams of green light from the three fallen dead women on the floor flowed through the atmosphere above like electricity in all directions. The once cohesive flow of energy was disrupted, closing the portal from the other world. It was too late, Marazus had completely manifested into flesh.
“The beast lives!” cried one of the cult members.
I can’t truly describe the thing, because a thing of a beast it was. It was color of flesh tone and had no significant shape. It had misplaced eyes and had a large mouth in what should have been described as its torso. The beast let out sickening guttural shriek as it moved across the floor toward me and Beverly with what could only be described as legs.
A line began to form on the thing’s upper chest from top to bottom. It became sunken and deeper into its flesh then began to tear open into a slit. The flesh of the creature was ripped apart, creating loud tearing sound as the slit became a deep oblong hole in its torso. Inside of the creature was deep, dark red and glistened with a translucent substance. It appeared that this newly formed hole was the equivalent of a mouth.
The large hole opened wide as tentacle like appendages sprouted forth from it. The creature moved toward Beverly and me as I aimed, then hurled the small piece of wood from the cross of Christ into the opening in the thing’s chest. The beast stopped in its tracks and let out a growl. This gave me time to untie the rope around Beverly’s wrists.
The leader took of his mask, still clutching his bloody eye, revealing a familiar face. Blood fell from his injured eye, hand, and down his face onto his white beard. It was Alexander Pike, the man in the painting above the fireplace in the historical museum, the early founder of Ravensgate from near two-hundred years ago. He was still alive.
“Kill them all. Especially the nun, she’s been a thorn for far too long. Remove her head from her body!” Pike commanded his followers.
One by one, the other masks came off. Immediately I recognized some of them; Natalie, the ex-wife of Jeff Johnson, Jack, the man who ran the hardware store, and Wendy, the Red Fawn Bookstore owner. We saw her attacked by the psychotic mob in town after she hit the boy in the street with her SUV, obviously faked.
Beverly was now awake but groggy, and free from the rope of the crossbeam. I reached my arm around her back, holding her on my left shoulder. Cult members ran into the triangle of manifestation, running at Sister Victoria, Sandy and Beverly and I from all directions.
Pulling my 9mm from the holster inside my jacket, I shot at the attackers dressed in black leather as Beverly and I darted to exit the triangle near its apex. I shot Natalie in the shoulder and she fell to the hard rock floor.
Sister Victoria revealed her gun, shot Wendy, and some others consecutively in their chests as they approached her and Sandy. Her aim was spot on. Beverly on my shoulder, I called for Sandy and Sister Victoria to exit through the passageway that we entered from to escape the madness.
The beast regained its strength, moving across the floor. It was now bigger, growing larger. Its shape morphed and a long, slimy, rope-like appendage shot forth from the gaping hole in its body. A spear-like structure at the end of the appendage pierced through the chest of a cult member and out the other side. The spear opened into three sharp prongs, anchoring themselves into his back. The tentacle jerked the man back to the large hole in the beast’s torso. Blood spilled everywhere as the creature consumed the body.
The beast morphed again as more tentacles began to spurt forth from its form. As the body of the man had been fully eaten, what appeared to be his head grew out on the body of the beast, his face clearly visible as he screamed in anguish.
The faces of members of the Temple of the Beast changed as well becoming deformed and distorted. Their cheekbones protruded, eyes became sunken and glowed yellow, like the groundskeeper’s eyes in the cemetery the night he killed Karl. The ones who had been shot got up from the floor.
“They have remnants of the Kindred blood!” cried Sister Victoria, “Bullets won’t affect them for long!”
Pike ran after Sandy with his dagger as she ran away from the triangle. “We’ve come too far you bitch!” he cried.
Before I could aim my gun at Pike, Wendy from the Red Fawn appeared from my side, clutched my throat and squeezed.
“Useless eaters!” she cried.
My larynx felt like it was being smashed. I aimed the gun for Wendy’s head but she grabbed my wrist, redirecting it to the floor with unnatural strength. Pain shot up my arm from her grip.
During the commotion, candles that were placed around the wooden base which once held the glass case containing the body of Elise fell. Flames touched the wooden base and it slowly began to heat up and smoke.
Pike lunged at Sandy and jabbed the knife into her torso, puncturing the flesh beneath her sternum, blood staining her blouse. I could do nothing to help her with Wendy’s hand on my throat. I dropped Beverly to the ground as Wendy lifted me up, inches off the floor with her right hand and controlled my wrist holding the gun with her left. On the floor, Beverly began to fully regain consciousness, and aware of her surroundings and screamed.
The wooden base finally caught fire and burned strongly. Flames spread the wooden base onto the wooden cross next to it.
Sister Victoria ran toward us and unloaded the last of her clip into Wendy’s back causing her let go of my throat and fell forward to the floor. I was finally able to breathe and grasped my neck.
For a moment all was silent. All eyes in the cavern were on the corpses of Elise and Judith and Christina, now free from their cases. They suddenly picked themselves up from the ground and stood up. The last of the green light emanated from their ribcages, eye sockets, and mouths of their skulls as they began to now walk freely. The corpse of Christina clutched Pike’s long white hair, from behind pulling his head backward as he dropped the dagger.
Sandy stumbled in pain from her stab wound. The beast, smelling psychic energy on Sandy moved toward her as tentacle from the beast’s body shot forth and wrapped around her body. The tentacle itself began to suck Sandy’s life and psychic energy from her body. I immediately ran toward the thing, unloading my clip into beast’s large misshaped form with no effect.
Sister Victoria ran for Beverly on the floor who saw the horror that took place in the underground cavern. She picked Beverly up from the floor, whose stance was steady. Sister Victoria gave her support, holding her hand.
“Pray with me,” Sister Victoria said as Beverly repeated each word.
“Dear Father, bless us with your providence, banish the evil here in the cavern. Stop the beast. Save the people of Ravensgate from the awakening. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The beast lifted Sandy off the ground with the writhing tentacle as she screamed. It opened the hole in its body wider, as it began to insert Sandy inside. The wooden cross was now fully consumed in flame as the cavern became smokey and it was now harder to breathe.
Within seconds, a bright, white ball of light with outer edges in yellow, formed at the high ceiling of the cavern above the triangle on the floor. The light was warm, growing larger, brighter until it took the shape of a human figure hovering in the air. There were no features or face. The glowing figure descended as it floated over the beast and gestured his right hand toward it. The beast roared in a human-like noise as the tentacle loosened its grip, dropping Sandy to the floor.
“Nazarene!” Pike screamed in defiance as he looked up at the bright, glowing, figure, Christina still clutching his throat. Occultists began to shriek and scatter and in different direction like cockroaches.
The obsidian skull on the floor within the triangle now glowed green as the beast bellowed in anguish. The burning wooden cross fell on the creature and it too caught fire.
The glowing figure hovered above the beast as white light came forth from his hands, entering the beast’s body. The creature’s tentacles flayed wildly as it let out a terrifying human scream. The thing burst into fleshy pieces which transformed into black ghostly wisps of smoke. The smoke hovered above the triangle on the floor and was then pulled into the black, stone skull.
Wendy got up from the floor and ran for the skull as the dark smoke continued to be sucked into it.
“Lord!” Wendy cried.
The dark smoke was now gone, completely captured inside the small, stone skull. Natalie and Jack, the hardware store owner along with other members I did not know also ran for the black skull within the triangle.
“Marazus is in the skull!” Natalie cried.
Elise’s corpse pushed Natalie into the fire of the burning cross before she could snatch the skull from the floor. Judith’s corpse reached for the Jack’s throat with both hands. Natalie screamed as the flames consumed her.
Sister Victoria and I ran into the triangle of manifestation among the chaos. I went after Sandy among all the broken glass as Sister Victoria grabbed the black skull containing the demon from the floor.
I lifted Sandy up from the ground who was breathing and able to move. The heat from the fire was unbearable, sweat dripped from my brow as more smoke filled the room. I began couching.
“Let’s go!” I cried, as Sandy, Beverly and Sister Victoria, and I headed for the tunnel and back to the basement of the house. As we ran, I glanced behind us into the cavern once more. Pike struggled for life as Christina strangled him.
“Nazarene! This does not end tonight!” Pike managed to utter as he closed his eyes then fell to the floor.
The green, glowing light emanating from the skeletons of Elise, Judith and Christina finally went out. In its place was a white-yellow radiance. It formed into a ball of light within each of them then exited the dead bodies of the women, floating up toward the hovering, glowing man. The empty corpses fell to the floor.
The illuminated figure opened his arms as the three balls of light entered his chest. He then turned his head toward me and my companions and spoke in a soft yet authoritative voice. “I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age,” He said and his light went out.
Sandy, Beverly, Sister Victoria and I quickly escaped through the dark tunnel and back into the basement, shutting the brick wall behind us. We headed upstairs to the first floor of the house. I thought about what Pike said about all of it not ending tonight. The spirits of three dead women were now gone, leaving members of the Temple of the Beast alive.
We shut the wall to the secret passage and locked the door to the art studio. Once upstairs, I locked the basement door and we stepped over the dead bodies in the hall and went to the living room to check on Bill who sat on the sofa, somewhat alert. He saw Beverly, got up and ran to give her a hug. Beverly was weak and Sandy was still losing blood.
“Sandy, Beverly, I’m taking you to the hospital.” I said.
They agreed and we all left the Victorian house to seek help. The riots would have lasted all through the night on the Feast of the Beast if the one Alexander Pike called the “Nazerene” had not put an end to it. The destruction of the town of Ravensgate ended before the National Guard arrived.
Property damage, the many the injured and dead are still being attended to. Authorities are uncertain as to what caused the events. Some suggest political protest, others claim rabid weasels as the cause. The awakened ones were labeled “the maniacs”. No one arrested can give answers. The maniacs, victims of the Temple of the Beast, have no memory of the devastation they caused.
Bill, Beverly and Sandy were split into three rooms in the packed ER. I questioned Sister Victoria that night in the hospital waiting room as we sat among loved ones of other victims of the chaos.
“Alexander Pike said something, before Christina got to him,” I said. “He said you’ve been a thorn for a long time. What did he mean by that?”
“I was going to tell you at the right time, Cole. I belong to a special order of the Catholic Church called Knights of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Its function is to investigate and combat satanic activity.
The Catholic Church has been infiltrated worldwide by those who side with Lucifer and have corrupted it. For this reason, I was stationed at St. Mary’s orphanage, suspicious things have been going on there.
When I heard you were searching for information pertaining to Elise Hall, I knew it was related to Manuel hall, who as you know, had ties to the Temple of the Beast. I’ve had run-ins with them before.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about all this sooner?” I asked.
“I had to know if I could trust you. I needed to see if you told the truth about your situation. I gave you Elise’s orphanage records to watch your actions. That black sedan with the tinted windows belongs to my order. You were followed to see if you were legit. Once I knew you were, I gave you my full support.”
It explained Sister Victoria’s resourcefulness, where she got the boat, the firearm and combat training. She left that night to report to her superiors in her order. She gave me the black skull containing the entity and I put it in the tube with the Chronicles and the Record. I gave her the tube and Marla’s gun which I still had.
“Hold on to this stuff for me will you. Not sure what to do with these mystical items yet. Maybe the church can put them in their collection.” I said.
“Sure,” she said. “They’re yours. I’ll hold them for you.”
After a hug, we promised to get in touch later.
Other details were filled in by Sandy that night in the hospital bed soon after she was stabilized. When I walked in her room, she smiled. I stood next to the bed and she grasped my hand.
“Thank you, Cole, for everything. Not only for me but my sisters and niece.
“I never knew you had any family. Why did you keep silent about them?”
“Let me explain. Elise and I were born to the same young, troubled parents. We were put up for adoption together. I was adopted by a family in Detroit but kept my last name. The Singleton’s adopted Elise and changed her last name to Singleton. Later, my biological mother had another daughter, Judith. She was put in foster care and later adopted by the Doyle’s. When she was sixteen years old, she had a baby, Christina.”
“Tell me more about her.”
“Christina was a troubled kid, but a good girl. She ran away when she was fifteen and the relationship between her and Judy was strained. A few years later, Christina came back to Ravensgate, living with her boyfriend. She and Judy worked on their relationship.”
“How did the Temple of the Beast get involved in all this? I asked.
“Elise married Manuel whose government job had ties with the Temple of the Beast. Manuel immersed Elise into Project Glass House without her knowledge and she endured ritual abuse. Manuel began doing the same to Judith because there’s more power in the rituals due to their blood relation. When Manuel, Pike, and the others learned Christina was in town, they wanted her too, and they got her. She was subjected to the same occultic ritual abuse. The three blood related women were perfect for the Triangle of Manifestation.”
“And how did you get involved in all of it?”
“I asked Elise to tell Manuel that she didn’t know what happened to me, that we weren’t in contact. I really fell into a depression and wanted to be left alone. But I started having dreams about the girls, and what was happening in Ravensgate. I contacted Elise and she said my dreams were accurate, evidence that I have psychic ability.
Manuel learned that Elise and I were communicating while she was under hypnosis. He encouraged the contact between us so I would come to Ravensgate. Because of my relation to the girls and my psychic ability, I would be the perfect feast for the beast. But Elise killed Manuel before I got there.
I needed to know what exactly happened to the girls and find them, so I moved in Elise’s house to investigate. That’s when I learned all three of them were dead. Their spirits were in the house and led me to the secret cavern in the basement. I found their bodies in the glass cases and was compelled to create busts in their honor.
I learned about the Feast of the Beast ritual through dreams from the spirits of the girls. Later, Elise’s spirit led me to her writings and the Glass House documents behind the painting above the fireplace. She also showed me Pike’s book, The Hidden Doctrine, in Manuel’s library in the house. From reading it, I learned about disrupting energy that created the portals.
I tried to destroy the Triangle of Manifestation underneath the house so when the ritual took place, the Temple of the Beast would be powerless. I went down into the cavern with the book and the ritualistic tools. I turned to the page that contained the words to say them. But, the Keeper, the evil entity in the house tricked me. When I recited the words from the book, I closed my eyes and he turned the page. When I opened my eyes to continue reading, I read the wrong words on the wrong page, creating a small portal myself.
The next thing I knew I saw the glass door. I opened it and went through. I stepped out of the grandfather clock into the sanctuary of the past. The rest, well, I don’t want to talk about right now.”
“It’s okay, Sandy. You don’t have to say a word. Just get some rest” I said.
I took Sandy’s explanation for what it was. I believed her, considering everything else I’ve been through in Ravensgate. I told her I’d be in the waiting area and gave her a hug as she lay in the hospital bed, hooked up to tubes and wires. As I pulled away from her and she closed her eyes.
I sat in the waiting area watching the tv mounted on the wall. The news was on, covering the chaos in town. The devastation was unbelievable.
Over the loudspeaker in the ER came a woman’s voice; “Code Blue, Medical staff to room 602. Code Blue, Medical staff to room 602.”
That was Sandy’s room. The code team of doctors and nurses jumped from their workstations and rushed down the hall into her room. I got up and followed them but was stopped by a nurse.
“Sir, this is an emergency. Your welcomed to have a seat in the family waiting area.” she said.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“She’s going into cardiopulmonary arrest. Please let the doctors attend to the patient. We’ll be with you as soon as we can.”
I went back to the waiting area and sat back down just as four law enforcement officers approached me.
That was the last I heard of Sandy since I’ve been locked away here on the second floor of the Ravensgate Psyche Ward for about a week and a half. I’m accused in connection to the murder of Karl Lansley, Tabitha Kensington, Manuel Hall and Detective Mason. All four bodies were found in my house. Mason had already suspected me for Karl’s murder and that’s on record. All evidence seems to point at me and I’m awaiting trial.
No one believes my story although I didn’t disclose all of it. I might have to go with the “maniac” alibi. Claim I don’t remember what happened, like the many awakened ones who don’t remember either. It’s hard to explain to a lawyer.
I don’t think Bill, Beverly, and Sister Victoria even know where I am. I hope they find out and corroborate my “bizarre” alibi. It’s what got me institutionalized instead of jail.
I think a lot about everything that transpired that night as I stay confined within these four walls. Poor Karl gave his life in search of the unknown, if it wasn’t for him, none of us would have been able to go up against the Temple of the Beast.
I have not since heard from Bill and Beverly. I hope they’re doing well and recouping from their injuries. I wonder about Claire sometimes and hope she’s alright. I don’t know what happened to her. Will her sub-personality, Marla, be switched on in the future?
Time goes by slow here; minutes seem like hours as I lay in a semi-comfortable bed, staring at the ceiling. There’s a staff member whose been doing rounds here on the second floor. I’ve only seen her from the small window of the door to my room, but she looks a lot like Wendy. She’s currently delivering meds to the room next door as I write.
The one window belonging to my room is barred but slightly open and I hear the crackle of gravel out in the front driveway of the institution. I look out; it’s a black sedan with tinted windows pulling up.
Within fifteen minutes, a male staff member opens the door to my room. In walks Sister Victoria alone, tall, statuesque, wearing black business attire. Her long, dark brown hair is in a ponytail. She looks at me with her striking blue eyes and smiles.
“Cole, I know it’s just been over a week, but it feels like it’s been a really long time since I saw you,” she says before she hugs me.
Our faces brush against each other, almost resulting in a kiss. Her face slightly blushes.
“Yeah it does. I’m glad to see you.”
“Me too. Cole, I...I wanted to say that I…”
“What is it?”
“I think I feel that there is something between us. I know there is. I’ve committed myself to the church, but I’m confused.”
“Victoria, I feel the same. Let’s talk about this over dinner when I get out of here.”
“Okay. We will.”
“So, did you come here to bust me out?”
“Yeah, I did. You can leave now.”
“How? What happened? What did you do?”
“All the charges have been dropped. The Catholic Church is very influential. I’ll explain the details later. You’re welcome.” Sister Victoria said smiling.
“Yeah. Took you long enough.” I chortled. “Thanks, Victoria. I have to work on putting my life back together after all this craziness.”
“For sure. I have other good news. Sandy is alive and still recovering well in the hospital. She’s going to be ok.”
“Good!” I said. “Thank God.”
“Cole, there’s something else. I’ve learned a lot about the awakening in Ravensgate since the Feast of the Beast.”
“What about it? What now?”
“There are other places like Ravensgate, not necessarily towns but sleeper cells. They contain victims with alter personalities ready to surface when the time is right. Ravensgate was a dry run. They’re going to do it again on a bigger scale. We just don’t know when. We have a plan but would like outside help, if you’re inclined. The church is willing to pay any expenses.”
“Well, there’s an elite team within my security company, seven of the best, including myself. Will the church compensate seven of us?”
“Who are the other six members?”
“They’re a good crew. Greg, Rich, China Man, Savante, Less, and Sue.”
“Is there a name for your team?”
“It’s called Alpha-7.”
“If you can get them together, we’d like your help.”
We left the room together. Side by side we talked as we exited the building after I got the paperwork. We decided to go visit Sandy at the hospital, entered the black sedan and left the property as Sister Victoria drove.
As the sedan traveled path and finally left the property, Sister Victoria pulled out a black box from underneath her driver’s seat and handed it to me.
“Here, these are yours,” she said. “Decided what you want to do with them yet?”
I took off the lid from the passenger seat. Inside the box was Marla’s firearm and the plastic tube containing the Ravengate Chronicles, the Record and the black skull which held the demon god, Marazus.
“We may have to sneak inside another cemetery, bury the skull and documents. Get rid of these powerful items for good,” I said.
“Right. But somewhere far from Ravengate gate.” she responded.
“Victoria, I have a question.” I said. “Have you ever heard of the name Abaddon?”
“Yeah, I have. Not in a long time. The name is in the Bible, a powerful demon in the book of Revelation who brings destruction to the earth from the pit. Where did you hear that name?”
“I heard it when I went through the portal, back in the time slice where Sandy was. He told me his name.”
Sister Victoria stopped the car and looked at me, worry in her eyes.
“You spoke to Abaddon? He was there?” she asked.
“Yeah, he helped me find Sandy. But he didn’t do it for free. He wanted something in exchange.”
“Which was what?”
“To come through the portal with us. To Ravensgate.”
“Abaddon is here? It’s too early. This isn’t supposed to have happened. Tell me everything. This is not good.”
Chapters 13-20 Chapters 21-30 Chapters 31-40 Chapters 41-50 Home