Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

A Chapter by Raven Starhawk

     1

 

     Eve pressed her ear against the door.  Its thin cheap wood was cool to the touch, smooth and yet offensive.  Her knitted brows collected beads of sweat.  Heat crept up her neck, entangled her hearing as her vision blurred and her breath caught in her lungs.  Her fingers curled into a fist between her breasts.  Sound refused to drift from the room.  She waited.  Not a whisper or even an inhalation could be heard.  It was almost as if no one was there, but she saw Weston enter, initially heard Rory utter something too soft for her to make out and then the creak of the trunk at the end of their bed.

     She leapt back.  Now as she turned to retreat into the kitchen she reasoned the voice she heard was Rory, but it was a lie.  Fragments of speech hinted at him but overall it was another voice, a softer voice. 

 2

          In a moss cradle lay a tome.  Around its frayed edges glinting rock birthed fiery embers.  As they curled and branched out letters bleed through the cracked jacket that held its pages secure.  The hand penning them remained unseen as a figure approached.

       Elongated horns peaked out from under its hood, its robes dragging along the earth with every step, and it extended a hand.  From its sleeve thin ash fingers caressed the marvel nestled within the unsympathetic structure as an army of similar figures flanked it.

      A man who inhabits pain and sorrow will never know the true pleasures of life.  A body such as that will be the perfect vessel.  As I adapt to it my features will dominate.  I will devour thoughts, experiences and life slowly.

      Black razor fingernails poked the stony edging.  Instantly the book opened.  Its pages flipped until resting at a long passage.

        Flames crackled in the cavity's bowels.  Under its dwindling orange smolder a man in unrestricting robes folded his arms across his chest.  The leather texture of his hardened face matched the leather casing of the book.  Unspoiled it set in the heart of a pentagram.  A smile stretched his lips.  As he approached its pages flipped until a clean sheet of yellow parchment was present.  It was as though an invisible hand with its quill hovered over it then as words appeared fresh and smelling of incense.  He leaned near and read.

     He receded, his eyes narrow and mouth clamped shut.  As he turned his head to a band of similarly robed men he whispered a single word that silenced even the sound of crackling flames.  He nodded toward a thick man whose large meaty hands curled around a staff.  He then stepped forward and with its metal cone shaped end tapped the first point of the star.  Color immediately flared, sparked and raced from corner to corner and within seconds the seven point pentagram was a searing orange pulse of light.

     He slunk back as the first man opened his arms and threw his head back.  His fingers flexed, his tongue rolled and beneath their feet the earth shifted and writhed.  Loose rocks from high arched corridors and catacombs tumbled down glittering exteriors and scattered across stone slab floors.  As dust rose darkness fell.

      Before rubble concealed the book words scribbled across its exposed page.  Locked forever in sweet incense ink, passages thrived.

3

 

     "Where to now," he asked, slouching behind the stirring wheel. "What are you thinking about?"

      I sat still. I had yet to process what the next stage should be, where and when it should take place, or if it was even my business to make such decisions.

      "Talk to me, Mandy."

      The feel of his hand on my shoulder brought me back to the dark cab. There was no place to go. Home was an illusion though in close proximity of where I was needed. Sooner to later I'd have to return, drop in on Eve and present the box to...Rory.

     Alan leaned closer. It sort of took me by surprise and I moved as far back as the car frame would allow.

     "Dude," I said. "Do you mind leaning back?"

     Alan sighed and sunk in his seat. "You know all these years I harassed you for a reason. I thought by insulting you that maybe you... You have a sense of humor. I see how you insult everyone else and I thought that-"

     "Do you believe in the paranormal," I asked, feeling the box pulse in my pocket.

     "What?"

     I don't know how long we were parked there. Alan thumped the steering wheel with a leather gloved hand. For a moment the gleam from the metal spikes caught my eye as the moon shone bright beams down on us. I quickly looked away. His blue eyes were two sapphire jewels I could not gaze into. I hated myself for how they raised Goosebumps across my skin.

     "We better go," I said finally.

     "Where, Mandy?  Name a place and I'll take you there."  When I failed with a timely response he added, "We could always get a hotel room-"

     "Yeah," I interrupted.  "A hotel room."

     He perked up in his seat.  "Seriously?"

     Nodding I replied, "Yeah, but not for the reason you think."

4

 

     Approaching the L shaped structure I gestured to one of many empty parking stalls and said, "Here."

      "Why here," he asked as the car came to a full stop. He grimaced. "Looks like something from a horror movie."

      "Then go back home, Alan," I said upon cracking the door and removing my seatbelt. The dry dirt crunched under my feet as I headed for the hotel's entrance. Unlike the occult store visitors frequented here though usually with cocaine laced bills and stolen coins.

      "Mandy," he called after me and I paused. Expecting to observe him speeding back to tailored accommodations I nearly choked on my spit when he hustled toward me with car keys in hand.

      I took a deep breath. Though he appeared the tough delinquent who could come out a winner in a fight something about him told me he was far more fragile when dealing with something beyond physical limitations. Most humans were.

      "I'm coming with you," he said as a matter of fact.



© 2019 Raven Starhawk


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Added on March 23, 2019
Last Updated on March 23, 2019
Tags: occult, fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal, supernatural