Portland, OR

Jan. 22nd, 2019

“Who are you?!” the priest thundered, doing his best to ignore the shaking of the room all around him as back in the hallway he could hear the sobbing and moaning of a woman, the mother to this young girl that even now lay in the grip of something foul that he could not abide. Exorcisms were not unheard of in this day and age, but they were still rare since they had to be officially sanctioned by the church, and few if any had ever been performed in this part of the world, at least not in recent times.

“I command you to tell me!” the priest roared, pressing his holy symbol the forehead of the young girl that was strapped to the bed as she writhed and hissed at him. Every muscle and tendon was flexed to the breaking point as she strained against her bonds, threatening to rip the wood paneling to which she was chained from the walls at any second. Whatever had her wasn’t letting go no matter how much he and his fellow priest had tried.

The unfortunate fellow had been flung across the room, the hard crack of vertebrae sounding loud and horrible in the confines of the master bedroom as he’d struck a solid dresser with murderous force before being folded around the wall just behind it, half of his body lying in the short passage between the bedroom and the bathroom and the other half twitching feebly on the other side of the wall. He knew better than to look at his colleague and no doubt late friend, but the old preacher couldn’t help it as he cast his eyes in that direction for just a second.

It was one second too long.

“Fool!” spat the demon within the girl, levering her body up and around as she kicked up and out, the ball of her right foot clipping the old man hard in the temple as he cried out in surprise, falling hard to the floor after colliding with the nearby wall. He was dazed, but not dead, at least not yet. He barely registered a loud, cracking noise as a voice suddenly whispered at his ear, chilling him to the bone just before the lights went out for the final time.

“I am Azazel,” the girl whispered, “and I was invited.”

(to be continued)

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