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Friday, January 2, 2015

Three

“What you have is an archdemon inside of your daughter, Mr. Scott,” I said to the somber man in his 40s.

“What’s the difference from what you said last time?” he asked.

“Last time I thought I was dealing with a regular demon,” I said, “mostly because that is usually the case in most possessions.  An archdemon rarely possesses someone.  They usually are the ones who command the demons who possess people.  They hardly can be bothered to do it themselves.”

“How do you know this?” asked Mrs. Scott.  She was the one who dragged my unconscious body from the girl’s room a month ago and got me to the hospital.  While my life wasn’t in danger, at the time I doubt even I was would have known it.

“It pretty much admitted it to me the first time,” I responded, “Also, it managed to command various imps, which are low level demons who aren’t strong enough to possess, but do like to knock physical objects around.  The Catholic Church sometimes believes them to be souls trapped in purgatory.”

Eric was casually setting up a protection circle as I explained what was going on.  He calmly poured the stuff around the living room of the house.  It would keep the imps out and protect the family from other possessions.

Paying no attention to my assistant, Mr. Scott asked, “so is that what hit you on the head last time?”

“No, it was the dictionary that the imp threw that hit me on the head,” I quipped then added, “that is why I brought help this time around.”

I pointed to Eric.  He looked up at everyone, smiled, then proceeded to pour more of the salt and ash in the circle.

“What do you need him for?” Mrs. Scott asked.

“Eric has unique abilities that will help keep me focused on the exorcism,” I responded, “mainly he can see the spirits where as I can’t.  This allows him to anticipate the attacks as well as fight back against them.”

“Fight back, how?” she asked.

“I usually just grab them and throw them against the wall,” said Eric, “despite their lack of physical form, I’ve been ‘gifted’ with the ability to see, hear, and touch them.  They generally flee when they realize that they can be harmed.”

“What do they look like?” Mr. Scott asked.

“Usually just blobs of odd colors, although they sometimes take physical shape,” he said.  He was leaving out one important fact: that those odd colors tend to drive seers like Eric insane over time due to the unnaturalness of them.  I was surprised that Eric had kept most of his sanity this long.

“Were you born with that gift?”, Mr. Scott asked.

“I was,” he responded, “but you have to understand that I hardly ever see them.  Also, most people who do see them usually do so because they had previously been possessed themselves.”

I shot a glance at him.  If the exorcism was successful, I didn’t want Holly’s parents to know that she might end up a gibbering idiot anyway.

Eric ignored me and walked to the coffee table, which was now in the center of the room.  He reached into the already opened briefcase that was placed on it and pulled out a blue candle with a cross on the side of it.

“Once I light this candle, you are to stay within the circle,” he said to the family.

“What good will it do?” Mrs. Scott asked.

“It will prevent the archdemon from possessing any of you once I am able to expel it,” I explained.

“What about the imps?” she asked.

“Once the archdemon is gone, they will disperse,” I said.

“What is to protect you or your friend?” Mr. Scott asked.

“Our gifts provide us with protection from possession,” I said.  In truth, our faith did, but I didn’t want to have to explain to them that their faith was lacking.  Also, the circle and the candle were merely tools to strengthen what little faith they had.  They did nothing on their own.

“We can explain all about our world after we finish the task at hand,” said Eric.  He then unceremoniously lit the candle.

I stood up from the chair and smiled at them.

“Don’t worry, today we will get your daughter back,” I said.  I shouldn’t make promises like that, but I was fairly confident that today the archdemon would be exercised at least.  As for the mental state of Holly, God only knows.

Eric and I looked at each other and walked down the hall toward Holly’s bedroom.  The door was shut with bolts.  She had been restrained with only her mother to take care of her, which had been troublesome at best.  I can’t imagine how that woman was able to change the bedpans and provide food to the girl without acquiring several injuries herself.  Perhaps this archdemon understood the importance of the caretaker until it was fully in control of the poor girl.

As we approached the door, Eric paused for a second.

“James, there’s imps all along the hallway and they’ve taken form,” he said.

Not good.  This meant that the archdemon was asserting more and more control over the various spirits in the area.  It also meant that he was going to be even harder to get out of the girl.

“We’ll deal with them later,” I said.

I unbolted the door and opened it.  Holly was sitting up in her bed, back against a pillow and a headboard.  She had a sinister smile on her face that would put most serial killers to shame.

In a demonic, yet sweet voice, she said to me, “Welcome back to my kingdom James.  I hope your performance this time around is more amusing than last time my court jester.”

The games these things play.  I glanced over at Eric.  He was already pale and nervously sweating.

“James, there are more than just imps in here with it,” he gasped, “there are two regular demons standing as bodyguards on either side of the bed.”

Shit.