Of Demons and Holy Water

Frequently, I have very strange, vivid dreams, but I usually don’t remember them long enough to write them down. Usually, I dream of places I have never been, people I do not know, and in great James Bondian style of intrigue, mysterious happenings, and great feats. I am rarely  in danger per se, but am the one saving the world, rescuing the lost, well, you get the idea. Keep in mind that my dreams are all technicolor extravaganza style full onset smells even.

Last night was different. I was visiting my mother, who sabotaged me at every step of the way once I turned about 11 in real life. I was racing around her house, grabbing table cloths and long kitchen knives so I could hide from my uncle who was going to murder me. My mother came to my hiding place, where I lay beneath the window of the door he was going to come through, and told me to move, taking all 6 knives away from me. I raced to hide under the bar stools in the only dark area, hidden beneath my table cloth. I begged her to give me back my knives, and she returned 2 of them. I was found immediately because she told my uncle where I was when he came through the kitchen door. He pulled me out of my hiding place and started to strangle me. At that point I knifed him, except my nice long kitchen knives were now regular butter knives. Somehow I pierced one through his eye and into his brain while the other I forced into his chest. My mother just stood back and watched. She was not pleased that I had kept myself safe. After all I had just thwarted her plans for me.

I raced out of her house and found myself a bit in the future in a town I have not been to, or maybe I have and don’t remember it. My friends and I were walking from a shopping district into a housing area similar to the ones in New Orleans. We went through the curved, wooden gate into the back courtyard of one of the homes, when a teenage boy with copper colored hair joined us. He closed and latched the gate behind him as we walked to the other side of the pool. Looking across the rectangle of water, I watched as he shimmered and the overlay of teenager dimmed long enough for me to see the demon he was. He seemed to stretch out into a large, muscular, winged demon before my eyes, yet his boy shape never changed. I was still able to see the overlay of human that he was enforcing, the illusion that he was casting. He looked directly at me and told me that he was here to collect us, to dispose of us, to dine upon us. Then he grinned.

Without thinking about what I was doing, I stepped forward and found myself in the middle of the pool. I looked to the demon, then I, who haven’t been to church in literally years, crossed myself and said, “In the name of the father, and the son, and the holy ghost, I bless this water!” The water began to glisten, then to glow softly.

The demon’s eyes grew wide as he replied, “You cannot live in a pool forever.” Then he smirked at me and began stalking over to my friends who had neither moved nor spoken since he entered the gate.

“Your friends will be my snack. You, I shall feast upon after you have had your … bath.”

Then I did as anyone who has ever played in a pool knows to do. I cupped my hands and splashed him with the holy water that I was standing in. The water swelled up, rising in a great swoosh of sparkling wonder, and coated that demon sizzling everywhere it touched. He steamed, then disappeared before my eyes.

To Ask or Not to Ask #WOEGTTT

“The lilies go next to the curtains over in the right corner!” she directed Thomas, a volunteer at the church, as she placed her own vase on the opposite side of the altar. He placed them where she asked then exited towards the sacristy to get more supplies. Long nights of cutting ribbons, flowers, and sorting out all the details for her grandfather’s service had Kaitlyn’s head drooping. Her back ached from all the work but who was left to tend him while he was dying and now in his death? All were dead. One by one her family had met their ends none in the bed of old age save her grandpa. Sorrow pierced through her but it had to be done. The details, the details, must be followed to the letter according to his last words.

As she placed the brilliant hand-beaten copper bowl filled with holy water beside his head, the wind picked up, branches slapped against the windows threatening to shatter them. For an instant, Kaitlyn swore there was more in that bowl than holy water. Something whirled in its depths drawing her in, but then it was gone as the front doors to the church whipped opened, slamming against the walls.

Shaking her head at her momentary folly, she placed the deep purple, blue, fuchsia and white candles around the bowl in the diagram left by her grandfather. She laid out the herbs he requested then stepped aside to set the braziers alight with the spices at his head, feet, and hands. Sandalwood, cinnamon, and others mixed to create a murky aroma thickening the air around him, cocooning his body. Some of the spices would have been hard to come by in their small town by the ocean had her grandfather not been prepared. As he lay dying, he guided her through secrets in their old house that she’d never plumbed as a child. What else had he kept locked away?

The wind whipped a shutter off the side window bashing it into the stained glass, crashing hard enough to shatter, yet it did not penetrate. The glass, while broken into thousands of pieces remained in place, frozen.

“Miss, Finish It! The ceremony must be done and only you are left to complete it!” Father Eckels took her arm in his leading her to the altar.

Kaitlyn started at his rudeness. Father Eckels had never so much as touched her before and now this? She raised her eyebrows, “But surely Father, this is just a Nor’Easter. It will blow over soon enough. Shouldn’t we wait for the mourners to come?”

“Surely he told you! You cannot be his kin without knowing the reason why he never left! Why your family always searched, save him?” Father’s eyes grew huge as the wind whipped stronger, pounding rain and now hail against the stones of the church. He spun in his robes, his body tense with imminent danger.

Pulling her to him, “You MUST complete the ceremony, NOW!” With a quick swipe of his hand, he cut into her arm drawing it over the copper bowl forcing her blood to drip into its depths while she struggled in his arms.

“No! Are you mad?”Kaitlyn screamed as she pushed against him, shoving for all she was worth, but unable to escape. Kicking out, she lost her balance as he caught her up, taking her into the heart of the incense. She felt her muscles soften as she was forced to breathe in until all she could do was listen. Gently, he laid her down beside her grandfather, connecting their hands together.

He began chanting softly, deeply in a language that she recognized from her grandfather, yet did not know. She felt herself nodding as slowly, slowly the words began to echo. Images flashed through her mind. Defiance, protection, security, strength, and love. Yes, all of these and more. Webbed, intertwined within her psyche and then she saw it. The core, the reason for her family. Floating above herself, she felt his voice take her through the past, through the ceremony to the beginning. To the Promise. Broken all those years ago, it was up to her family to protect, safeguard and she was the last one left. Power unwrapped within her: unleashed, unchained, unguarded.

The window shattered, this time faltering as the wind burst inside sending shards of glass throughout the church. Pierced by spears of colored glass, Father Eckels faltered, falling to his knees.

“Die now knowing she will follow ending her line!” came a voice of beauty formed from glass.

Father Eckels only continued his tale blood welling up, dripping from his wounds. Forcing himself up, he lit the candles deep within the incense and began the chant.

Struggling, Kaitlyn brought herself out of the trance to sit up staring at the horrific scene around her. Fury at this interruption whipped through her. Gripping her grandpa’s hand in hers, she kissed it.

Rising, Kaitlyn turned to face the elemental, the glass sheathed intelligence trying to infiltrate the altar.

Arming herself with new born power, she cried out,“Leave this place!” Shouting the last word the force of her anger focused on the beast. Her hair whipped behind her as she stood, all traces of the incense leaving her.

“I said, LEAVE!” She growled.

A wall of force accompanied her very Will as the wind elemental was pushed backwards towards the window it had burst through. Taking a step closer to the being, Kaitlyn raised her hand focusing her power and began the ancient chant that Father Eckels kept repeating, enhancing it with the strength of her fury. Step by step, she walked the beast out of the church until the window righted itself once more becoming whole.

Stalking back to the altar, she blew out the candles. Taking the copper bowl, she dumped its contents on the old man. Glaring down at her grandfather as his eyes
opened, she growled, “Next time you want help, ASK!”

Buy Me Something Icy

“You’re a god? Right, tell me another one!” That’s usually the last thing most mortals get out before I blast ‘em. Granted, not very godlike, but hey, I’m not half demon for nothing, right? A girl’s gotta have her fun! At least I don’t eat them, well not anymore. Mom thinks she cured me of that a few decades ago. Fact is, mortals just give me indigestion, now.

But, I guess I should tell ya something about myself, huh? I could lie. I mean, I could make my daddy REALLY proud and tell you I’m some svelte five foot ten blonde who goes around in itty bitty shorts who likes to bend over, with super long legs and huge … I’m sure you can fill in the blanks there all of you with the filthy minds! Get your head out of the gutter, puhlease!

After all what’s wrong with me? SO what if my head doesn’t even begin to reach your shoulder blade! I count, too! Well, ok, I’m not even a blonde much less svelte. Yep, bleach is my best friend. Even us goddess types need a little help every now and then.

But then again, I’m only half goddess. You see my parents have this deal with the pantheon. It’s kinda like the one the Greeks had with Persephone, but WAY COOLER than that. You see, my Mom is the goddess of the hunt and my dad is the primo demon of torture. Do ya get it? Yep, half the year I get to hunt stuff with Mom. We have fun, but even that gets a little boring after a while. I mean, Mom’s into this hunt and release mode right now. What’s the point? I mean, she won’t even kill it to eat it anymore. All we do is hunt, hunt, hunt, with no reward. The second half of the year, Dad and I go out to torture the creatures that we hunt. But Dad’s not only about physical torture, he’s also into the emotional kind.

SO, I get to use the skills Mom has ingrained in me in the mortal world with all of you unsuspecting men. I may not be the buxom blonde that you adore, but I can pull you in, just the same. Once I get you into my clutches, Dad’s skills come into play. Did I say play? Oh YEAH! So, come on over, buy me something icy.

Jon Quinn

Night swept around him coloring the air in dank decrepitude. Standing, looking at the ground where he had just dropped the last of the demons, Jon Quinn knelt, touching his sword tip to the earth. Killing, fighting, protecting those he loved and those who would never know him was getting harder with each year. His body was a mass of scars both inside and out. Scars that would never heal for the promises he had made. His head bowed to the blood soaked demon before him as he made his prayers and released the soul of the lost one to the beyond. Perhaps this one would choose to not return.

As he rose, bones creaking with age, he caught a whiff of sandalwood echoing among the dank graves. No one was with him, he knew that, yet, there it was, that smell that told him it was time. Squaring his shoulders, Quinn walked to the oldest part of the cemetery where the vines drooped from tree limbs covering the ground. The markers had long disintegrated into dust and crumbled stones, the old stone path barely a deer track now, but he knew the way. When he came close to them, the vines breathed of him, waving to and fro gently touching him, then shifted out of the way revealing the most ancient of tombs yet still untouched by age.

The onyx tomb doors were open. Elyan was here. Gripping his blood caked sword in front of him, Quinn squared his shoulders and entered. Candles danced lighting around him as he walked to the center of the tomb, looking but not seeing her, not surprised. He pulled out a single white piece of cloth to wipe the blood from his sword, cleaning it as the fabric absorbed the mess as if drinking the blood into itself, drinking in the evil. Clean again, he raised the sword up with both hands in front of him and knelt samurai style in front of the altar ready for her bidding. He tipped his head back, but not in supplication, but rather waiting for her order, her demand.

“It is time, Jon Quinn. You’re usefulness is up.” Her sibilant voice slid over the marble. He heard rather than saw her scales slide around the columns of the tomb until she was finally before him. Her lovely face before him, stern eyes filled with determination and remorse.

“I see you are ready.”

Quinn’s hands shook as he lowered his sword accepting his fate. His would not question her this time. Gently, he placed his sword beside his leg, ready to complete his task.

“I know, bright one,“ His aged voice faltered as he undid his kimono never taking his eyes off of hers.

“You served our master well, this lifetime.” Her voice cracked and a ripple raced through her scales. Reaching a hand out, she traced his face softly, pushing his long gray locks out of the way. Leaning over she kissed his lips one last time, for this was the moment left to them, then curled her emerald body around him, cuddling his human one to hers trying to alter this never-ending cycle of pain that he had bargained for in order to save her.

“My Elyan, it is as it is” Quinn closed his eyes, nodded then raised his sword. In one quick slice, he ended this life. With his head slumped, he fell over into her arms as she brought him close to her serpentine body. She watched while his life’s blooded drain away, coating her scales, her eyes filled with tears and her scales slowly faded. Moments ticked past into miniature eternities as she became human for the last seconds of his life to hold him as he lay within her arms. Such was their fate.

This time she tried so hard to hold the tears back to not cry, but that too was not to be had and her hot tears came. Tears of sorrow, tears of shame, tears of years, centuries of servitude so that the demon who craved her would never find her. Pulling him closer and closer to her, wishing he didn’t need to do this ever again, but knowing the deal that had been made, she let them fall upon him. Crystal tears of life erasing the scars of age, erasing the lines of years, but never to erase the experiences he had served. With a soft breath, she kissed him one last time knowing this would be the last time she could hold him until the end came again. She said with tears in her voice as she felt the emerald scales begin anew,

“Rise, Jon Quinn, to serve again!”