Author: KimHua PM
Complete A skeptic of the supernatural encounters more than he ever expected when he attends a friend's séance. Written with a Biblical worldview. Feedback greatly appreciated.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,326 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-03-06 - Published: 01-11-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2087585
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
Robert was drowning. Every breath was difficult, the oppressive atmosphere choking his heart, his mind, his very soul. A deep malevolence began to fill the room, growing in intensity with every passing second. Evil. Unbridled evil, here, in this place. Like a wave it swept over him, washing his senses in a sea of yawning, aching dread.
He struggled to sit up, taking a moment to locate his friends. Scarlett knelt by the table, unmoving and unperturbed. She's in a trance or something. It must be a deep one; she has barely stirred! He shook his head in astonishment. My friend, what is this madness you're involved in? Alicia lay where she had fallen, her crumpled body visibly shaking. Robert crawled to her. "Alicia, you okay?" That's a stupid question, Rob, of course she isn't okay. "Alicia. Come on, sit up." He helped the girl push herself up into a sitting position, each trembling movement a titanic effort. Eyes that had no more tears to cry gazed into his, pleading for escape. "Please make it stop," she whispered. Robert looked away in grief for his friend. "I... I can't," he mumbled, his voice thick with emotion.
They both sensed the spectre's presence at the same time. Talos. The cause of all this anguish. Rage flared in Robert, briefly overriding all other emotions, and he spun round in angry defiance. His passion instantly died as he came face to face with Talos, the spirit's features twisted in a hideous grin that made Robert nauseous with fear.
"Raca!" growled Talos. "You pitiful, worthless wretches! Has it crossed your excuse for minds exactly what I am?" The students did not respond. "Perhaps I should enlighten you then!" Robert and Alicia watched, horrified, as the pale blue glow emanating from Talos' ghostly form began to fade, replaced with a fathomless darkness. It seemed to absorb all light, a deep void in the fabric of space. I'm looking at a three-dimensional shadow, thought Robert.Only the eyes were visible, having transformed into golden orbs that smouldered with hate. They hung in the midst of the blackness, boring into him. He cringed at the sight.
Talos pointed a finger at Robert. "Are you really so gullible that you believe the physical realm is all that exists?" His voice had changed, dropping several octaves. It rasped and growled, every word dripping with scorn. "Arrogant fool; you see your folly now! We are greater than you in every respect. You are nothing! Nothing!" Robert cowered, looking anywhere other than at the spectre before him. Long moments passed, a panicked gasping the only sound. Alicia lay curled up on the floor, her body twitching as she strained to control her breathing. "... God... please... no... help..." She's hyperventilating, Robert realised. She'll faint if she doesn't calm down soon.
"What are you doing, little worm?" sneered Talos; he had also noticed Alicia's desperate pleas. "Are you praying?"
Talos laughed in mockery, the sound cruel and harsh. "Ha! Why should God listen to you? You don't even believe in Him, do you? No, you trust in your crystals and your astrological charts. You trust in your own "divinity"! So just who are you praying to? Yourself?" Without warning the figure reached down to Alicia's prone form, grabbing her roughly and flinging her bodily onto the sofa. "Enough!" he rasped. "Now you will see the complete mastery we can exert over your miserable race." He moved towards Scarlett.
"Help..." whimpered Alicia.
"Silence!" roared Talos, causing the girl to flinch and look up involuntarily. Talos was standing in front of Scarlett. "Nothing and no-one will keep me from my prize! She is mine!" Robert wanted to look away, but could not. Friends are supposed to protect each other, he thought, his gut churning, but I could not protect you from this... monster. I've failed you, Scarlett. Talos stepped forward.
Blazing light exploded into the room, knocking Talos to the floor. In an instant he was on his feet, a long blood-red scimitar having appeared in his hands. Robert and Alicia stared, dumbfounded, as the black form stalked round the room, glowing eyes darting back and forth, the glittering blade held in ready position. Whatever that was, it scared him, thought Robert. He took the opportunity to scoot over to Alicia. "What's going on?" she whispered.
"I don't know," replied Robert in an equally hushed tone. They watched as Talos approached Scarlett again, his glittering blade vanishing. Alicia uttered a muted gasp. Another brilliant flash erupted, swatting the spectre away once more. He leapt up with a scream of rage. "I will not be denied!" He lunged forward, only to stop short as a glowing double-edged longsword materialised in front of him. It was followed by its owner, a powerfully built young man clothed in a long, impossibly bright tunic.
"Sagiv," snarled Talos.
"Talos," replied the swordsman, his tone light but full of authority. This evening just gets weirder and weirder, thought Robert. Sagiv – that must be his name, he mused, suddenly aware that he was no longer afraid. The arrival of the young man had swept all fear away; instead Robert felt calm and safe, although he was still a little unsure of himself.
Talos shifted uneasily, his eyes fixed on the burning blade poised at his chest. "This is none of your business," he said with deliberate caution.
"It is now," came the cool reply.
"She is mine!"
"What is your interest in this one?"
"The Lord of Hosts' people have been praying. He has given me comm-" Sagiv was interrupted by a string of curses. Robert shrank back, stunned by the awful obscenities that spewed from Talos. Never had he heard or even imagined such foul language.
"Silence!" commanded Sagiv, his voice like a thunderclap. Talos obeyed immediately, though it was apparent to all that he did it out of compulsion rather than by choice. "You will leave this place - now," said Sagiv, emphasising the order with a nudge of his blade. Talos inched back, and then with a sudden blur of motion brought his own blade up, knocking the longsword aside. He drove forward, slashing the wicked scimitar across his body. Sagiv sidestepped, deftly parrying the vicious blow. He stared into the golden orbs that faced him. "Go. You have already lost this battle," he said evenly.
"She is mine!" hissed his opponent.
"The Lord of Hosts says otherwise," replied Sagiv. With a howl of rage Talos attacked in earnest, Sagiv first defending and then counterattacking with swift strikes of his glowing longsword. The blade danced in his hands, slicing, thrusting, swinging with blinding speed. Talos tried furiously to make a telling blow, swiping with all his strength at his enemy as he dodged and blocked Sagiv's attacks. The blades crashed together in blazing flashes of red and white, Talos roaring in frustration.
Robert and Alicia followed the whirling storm of light and darkness with wide eyes. She was evidently more troubled by the new developments than her friend, who put a comforting arm around her shoulders. "It's going to be okay," he reassured her. "Watch and see."
Sagiv would not be stopped. Whatever Talos did, however he tried to feint, Sagiv correctly anticipated the next blow, his humming longsword tracing brilliant streaks of light through the air as it parried and struck back with fearsome power. In desperation Talos began to edge towards the kneeling figure of Scarlett. When he had moved within reach he grabbed her and threw the girl at Sagiv while lunging forward with his scimitar, hoping to take advantage of the distraction. Sagiv nimbly sidestepped, catching Scarlett's limp body in one arm and letting her sink to the floor. The other arm held up his sword to block his opponent's enraged charge. The parry was only just successful, the power of the attack knocking him backwards several steps. "The Lord rebuke you for such cowardice!" cried Sagiv. He doubled his efforts, his eyes glittering with righteous anger. Blow by blow Talos was driven back, his own fury growing by the moment as he was continually forced to give ground.
Robert and Alicia watched, awestruck, as Sagiv swung his sword in a final blinding arc that slipped past Talos' defences, catching him at the waist and ripping diagonally upwards to the shoulder. The spectre vanished with an eerie, wailing scream.
- - - - 0 - - - -
He's gone, thought Robert. He's actually gone! The evil presence he had felt was no more, replaced instead by an indescribable feeling of peace. The room felt clean and fresh, scrubbed of the earlier oppressive atmosphere. He turned to his friend beside him, his mouth turned upward in a wide smile. "Alicia! It's over!" She looked up at him with teary eyes, disbelief haunting her expression. "Are you sure?" she said, her voice quavering. "W-Where did he go?" Robert hesitated, his smile fading. He did not know how to reply. Things felt different this time; he knew Talos wouldn't return as he had earlier, but he was unsure whether Alicia would accept his reassurances.
"Talos has been banished, for now," interjected Sagiv, saving Robert from the uncertain answer he had not wanted to give. The two students looked over at their rescuer who stood tall and at ease, the sword no longer in his hands. He met their gaze with eyes that spoke of great kindness and compassion, but which still held a hint of the fiery zeal that had blazed just a few moments ago. One of the good guys, thought Robert. Sagiv bent to place a hand on the fallen Scarlett's head. "Your friend will awake shortly," he said, and straightened. "Be at peace." Abruptly he disappeared.
Robert blinked in the sudden semi-darkness, the only illumination being the moonlight which shone through cracks in the curtains. Hey! We didn't even get a chance to thank you. His thoughts were interrupted as Alicia took a shuddering breath. "Turn on the lights please," she requested, rising from the sofa and moving swiftly to Scarlett's side.
Robert flicked the switch, shielding his eyes momentarily as the room was flooded with artificial light. He grimaced as he noted the shattered glass by the mantelpiece, and moved to the kitchen to find a dustpan and brush. Upon his return he saw that Alicia had helped Scarlett into a sitting position. The redhead looked up at him, a scowl darkening her face. Robert cleared his throat uncomfortably and crouched to clear the strewn fragments of glass from the floor. "Welcome back to the land of the living," he commented with a small smile.
"What did you do?" demanded Scarlett, ignoring his attempt at light humour.
"What, this?" replied Robert, motioning with the brush.
"No, not that. Talos. Where is he? All I remember is talking with him, and then lying here with Alicia telling me to sit up. What happened?"
"Your friend Talos, that's what happened. He locked us in the room, scared us witless, smashed this glass, even beat me up." He fingered his bruised cheek. "Ask Alicia; she was thrown around too." Scarlett turned to her housemate. "Well?" Alicia gazed at her friend anxiously. "It's true," she said. "That's how you came to be laying on the floor. There was a fight-"
"Yeah. This other - I dunno what he was, but he looked like a young man; Sagiv was his name – appeared and fought with Talos. He isn't what you think, Scarlett. He's..." Alicia paused, looking to Robert for support with troubled eyes.
"... evil," finished Robert. No other word to describe him. Just evil. Scarlett jerked round to look at him, her face registering shock which quickly became something else. She doesn't like me saying that, thought Robert.
"What?!" she exclaimed. Alicia hastened to explain, noticing Scarlett's growing anger with alarm. "He changed before our very eyes, Scarlett. He became this horrible black figure; all you could see were his eyes. The rest of him was darkness." She shivered. "His voice... it became all deep and raspy, like a monster from an old B-movie, only a hundred, thousand, million times more scary."
"I don't believe you. Talos isn't like that," snapped Scarlett. Robert bristled, feeling the heat rise up his neck. His patience was rapidly wearing thin; he had had enough trouble this evening without his friend accusing him and Alicia of lying. "You think we are making this up?" he retorted, standing up with the dustpan and brush still in his hands. He pointed at Scarlett with the brush. "You were so zoned out that you didn't even wake up when your precious Talos picked you up and threw you across the room! So how the hell would you know?" She glared at him for a moment, then rose to her feet. "Get out," she said, her voice low and menacing. Her eyes flashed dangerously as she stabbed a finger at the door. "Out of my house. Now!"
"Scarlett!" cried Alicia, taking hold of her friend's arm. "We're telling the truth. Listen to us!" Scarlett rounded on the shorter girl, shaking herself out of Alicia's grip. "Go away! Leave me alone." When they did not move she strode over and yanked the door open. "Didn't you hear me? Get out!"
"Fine," muttered Robert, and retreated out of the room into the hallway, Alicia following him after a moment's hesitation. The door crashed shut behind them. Alicia looked up at Robert, an apologetic half-smile on her face. "Sorry about that. I don't know what's got into her."
"It's okay, it's not your fault," he replied. I know what's "got into her" - she's narked about what we said regarding Talos. He recalled her pleading with the spectre, completely oblivious to her friends. She had wanted so desperately to have him "take her", which Alicia had said meant possession. He shook his head. She must be crazy. If it wasn't for Sagiv...
"What is it?" asked Alicia in concern.
"Oh, sorry. It's nothing."
"Yeah. I was just thinking." He handed Alicia the dustpan and brush and stepped towards the front door. "Erm... I'd better go. I'm exhausted, and I need to clear my head. When Scarlett is in a better mood, tell her I said goodbye, okay? See you sometime."
"Okay Robert. Bye now."
- - - - 0 - - - -
Robert stepped out of the house into the cool night air, his mind working at a furious pace. So what now, Rob? For so many years you have scorned the notion of a realm you can't see. He stifled a yawn, wincing as his injured face protested at the movement. Well there's your evidence for you. No mere hallucination can hurl you clear across the room. Okay, so something was there. What, exactly? And what difference does it make even if there are... whatever they were. The sudden awareness of someone walking silently beside him broke him out of his reverie. Robert gave the figure a sidelong glance and frowned. He looks familiar. He stopped and turned to the young man. "Excuse me, but do I know you?" he asked. The figure did not face him. "Peace be with you, friend," he said. Robert jumped in surprise. The rich warmth in the voice was unmistakable. "Sagiv?" he spluttered.
"I am Sagiv, yes, the servant of the Lord of Hosts," replied the young man. Robert struggled to reply, his mind a sudden jumble of thoughts. Say something then! "Why are you here, may I ask?" he managed, his voice croaking.
"The Lord's people are praying. I was given command in response to their prayers."
"Oh." Robert followed Sagiv's gaze, his eyes resting on the iridescent white of the full moon hanging low in the sky.
"You ought to pay more attention to what your friends say," said Sagiv, his tone one of gentle instruction. Robert felt a pang of guilt and shut his eyes tight. Holly, the number of times I waved you off when you tried to speak to me. "They will lead you to the answers you are seeking," continued Sagiv. Robert turned to face him, the question he was about to voice dying in his throat.
Sagiv had vanished.
- - - - 0 - - - -
Holly stood up and stretched, working the stiffness out of her joints. Jake's arms slipped round her waist and she sighed, turning and leaning gratefully into him. She closed her eyes. It had been a heavy burden, but now her spirit was calm.
"Everything okay?" murmured Jake.
"Yeah, it's over now, praise the Lord." Minutes passed, the couple content just to relax in each other's arms.
The comfortable silence was broken by the shrill ring of Holly's mobile phone.
"I'll get it," said Holly, stepping a little reluctantly out of Jake's embrace. Her eyes locked briefly with his and she smiled at the tenderness she saw in his face. She picked up her phone off the windowsill. "Hello?"
"Holly? It's Robert."
"Hey Rob, how did it go?"
"Are you at Jake's?"
"Can I come round for a bit?" Holly looked up at her boyfriend, nodding at his silent agreement to her unspoken request. Times such as these, when Jake seemed to read her mind, caused her continual amazement and gratitude at the closeness of their relationship. "Sure. Something up?"
"Yeah, kinda. We need to talk."