The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 5

“It’s a nice day for an exorcism.” Miss Brown said.

“Oh?” Lucy wasn’t paying attention. Leaving the others outside she shut the door to room 301 for a one on one consultation with the possessed, her client. Walking around the room she looked at the clock, the paintings on the walls, even the crown molding. Everywhere except at Miss Brown.

“Aren’t you going to attempt one?” She asked.

“Why would I?” The demon laughed. Lucy crossed the room to look out the window, not a care in the world.

“Isn’t that why they brought you here?” Miss Brown tilted her head. “This woman is possessed.”

“Eh,” Lucy shrugged, saying no more. She heard the demon huff at her lack of interest.

“Aren’t you preparing for an exorcism?”

“Why would you want me to perform an exorcism?”

“It would bring us closer together,” Miss Brown cooed.

“Uh-huh. The thing is I don’t really care.”

“What?”

“I don’t care in the slightest actually.” Lucy continued. “Exorcisms take so long and the human never comes out quite right afterwards. Then come the follow up visits and counseling… Fact is I’m not authorized to perform an exorcism on you, so even if I wanted to I couldn’t. But the others don’t know that. So I figured, why not take a little trip and stay in a nice motel with pleasant company for a few weeks? Once their all gone, because they will leave here eventually regardless of your condition, I’ll check you out as a cured patient and drop you off in a ditch somewhere. Can’t be too hard this day and age for a demon to hitch a ride. Until then I’m smelling pizza for dinner.” Touching the curtains Lucy had to admire Mr Pringleberry’s interior decorating choices.

“You’re lying.” The demon argued. “You won’t perform an exorcism because you can’t. You don’t know how. You’re not even a priest.” The demon laughed. “You are the most sniveling person I have ever seen! You are delusional and the church won’t turn you out because of it’s stupid ideology. They didn’t believe those fools downstairs, didn’t believe there could really be a possession in this day and age, so they sent you: the lowly wannabe.”

After a pause Lucy found she had to agree. “But who is truly the pathetic creature in the room, you or I? It certainly doesn’t speak well of you that the church won’t take you seriously. You are weak.”

“What did you say?” The demon hissed.

“Are you sure you’re possessed Miss Brown? Or do you just need an anti-depressant?”

“You do not know who you mock.”

“Some subpar demon Hell could care less about?” Lucy smiled.

“I do not take ridicule lightly,”

“And I do not suffer fools.” Lucy threatened. “Leave this woman’s body immediately.”

“Or what?” The demon taunted.

“Or else I’ll leave you here in this room; alone, tied up, for the rest of eternity. No one will see you, no one will speak to you, and no one will be scared of you. What’s the boss going to say about that? Sounds like a failure to─”

“Shut up! You’re only saying those things because you can’t do anything to stop me from killing this woman right now and dragging her soul to Hell. You’re powerless and useless.” The glowered, straining against the ropes holding it to the bed.

“And I am what you got, for all your mighty display of powers.” Lucy turned away. “Maybe after a few days you’ll get bored and wander off.” The door opened and closed and Miss Brown was left alone.

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The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 4

All the people of the house, those still in possession of their own bodies that is, stared out the grand windows of the motel. Looking down the long gravel driveway they each reflected back on the previous days.

Scheduling an exorcism turned out to be far more difficult than they anticipated. Who do you call for such a thing? The Exorcist Hotline? Several days it took to be connected to a church with the knowledge they sought, let alone agree to send someone out. “It is the busy time of year, you see,” they said. “It being summer and all.” The string of profanity Mr Greensly unleashed on whoever was on the other line didn’t sway their case much. Finally someone somewhere agreed to send an expert out to take a look. Miss Brown stayed in her room all the hours, not once making a peep. Lizzy wondered if the woman was dead, but feared to look lest more body parts be mutilated. Mr Pringleberry only suggested she was waiting as they were, to see what would happen next. Timmothy only fretted over how hungry she was sure to be.

A long black car roared up the dirt road. “I wonder what he’ll be like?” Timmothy asked.

“Grey and moldy.” Lizzy asserted.

“Oh, I hope not. I don’t have enough air freshener.” Mr Pringleberry worried.

As the car neared the house the huddled mass inside expected it to slow and park alongside the building with a holy air reserved only for the Popemobile, but to the contrary the black car only seemed to pick up speed before jerking to the left suddenly, the tires crunching to a halt directly in front of the steps leading to the front door, spitting gravel against the porch and windows. “He’s blocking the door.” Mr Pringleberry said.

“Hush,”

The driver’s door opened. They expected a tall thin man, the driver, to emerge and walk around to open the back door, revealing their sure to be gimpy priest. Out instead stepped a young woman, tall and thin with long orange hair. An angular face covered in slick black sunglasses, he woman threw down a cigarette from her lips and stomped it out before blipping the car doors locked with her keys. Walking around the hood towards the front door revealed her dressed in clerical clothing with what could only be summed up by Mr Pringleberry as a daring, contemporary twist.

“Don’t answer it.” Mr Greensly said as the door bell rang.

“We have to.”

“No we don’t. We can fix this ourselves.” The doorbell rung again.

“What is your problem?” Lizzy whispered. “We were the ones who called for a priest and here she is. We can’t just send her back.”

“Look at her,” Mr Greensly pointed at the woman standing on the front porch as sole argument.

“What, women can’t be priests now?” Lizzy scoffed.

“I don’t believe they ─” Mr Pringleberry began.

“We need a professional, not a rent-a-stripper.” Mr Greensly interrupted. “We’d be better off looking up instructions on the internet and doing it ourselves.” The doorbell continued ringing, sounding more and more impatient with each buzz. Upstairs Timmothy heard Miss Brown making noises distressed in nature. She must be just as anxious to meet the newcomer as he. While the grownups argued and Mr Pringleberry fretted over the battle Timmothy walked away from the group to the door.

“Hello,” he greeted the tall lady after unfastening the lock. “Are you here to help Miss Brown?”

The woman smiled. “I am.” Looking up, the young boy wondered if she was what angels were supposed to look like. Just then Timmothy felt the wind of rushing bodies behind him as the three others came to the door.

“You’re the priest they sent us?” Mr Greensly fought to conceal his distaste.

“I am.” She repeated. “Miss Lucy at your service.”

“I didn’t think women could be part of the clergy.” He asked.

“Is your last name really Lucy?” Lizzy asked.

“No, Lucy is my first name. I only go by it. It will help in the long run.”

“Won’t you come in?” Pushing the others aside Mr Pringleberry held the door open farther, ushering the woman in. “Such a beautiful lady shouldn’t stand out in the sun.”

“Such a gentleman should be more strict with compliments.” She nodded and stepped inside, her boots landing heavily on the floor.

“Please Miss Lucy, there isn’t a moment to spare.” Mr Pringleberry continued to usher her deeper into the motel. “But please, let me pour you a drink. You must be tired after your long journey.”

“No thank you.” She said. “I am here to do business and that is all I intend to do.”

“Then by all means, tell us how we may help.”

“First, we must tie the possessed down.” Removing her sunglasses her angular face cast shadows along the wall as she was led towards the staircase.

“We already did that.” Lizzy spoke up.

“Good. With her up and free to walk around as she pleases there’s no telling what may happen. We need a lock down. No one in or out without my permission, got it?” She paused halfway up the staircase and turned to see the others following. Everyone nodded. “Good.”

The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 3

“Two for the price of one!” Mr Pringleberry cried in joy.

“That’s bad for business you know,” Lizzy said, eyes heavy with criticism.

“Depends on what business you’re in.” Mr Pringleberry snootily shot back.

Only an hour ago Mr Pringleberry, Lizzy, Timmothy, and Mr Greensly took the unconscious body of Miss Brown up to her room, tied her to the bed, and propped a chair under the door knob for good measure. They returned to the dining area and sat, breakfast forgotten, to plan their next move. “I’m telling you we need a priest.” Lizzy insisted.

“No, no, we don’t need that.” Mr Greensly batted her words away.

“Are you crazy?” Lizzy threw up her hands, hardly able to believe her ears. “The thing’s not going to get bored and wander off.”

“The weather outside is rather nice for a walk though…” Mr Pringleberry worried away at a napkin, greatly saddened breakfast was ruined.

Mr Greensly sucking in a breath through clenched teeth. “Mr Pringleberry, did you start this business up yourself or did your family so you would have somewhere to go?”

“Don’t talk like that to him,” Lizzy berated. “Just because you’re having a bad day doesn’t give you the right─”

“Excuse me? A bad day?” Mr Greensly raised his finger to jab at his battered face.

“And who saved you from worse?” Lizzy stabbed at her face for emphasis.

“Where’s Timmothy?” Mr Pringleberry questioned. The others paused to look around the dining area. The young boy was nowhere to be seen.

The door to the kitchen swung open and Timmothy appeared, carrying a plate overflowing with a messily put together double-decker sandwich. “Timmothy, what are you doing?” Mr Greensly asked, running his hand through his hair in nerve-wracked impatience.

“I made a sandwich.” The young boy said simply.

“Why?” Mr Pringleberry sounded hurt. “There’s still breakfast on the table…”

“It’s not for me.” Timmothy corrected.

“Who’s it for?” Lizzy asked.

“Miss Brown.” He said, heading towards the door to the lobby.

“Oh, Miss Brown,” the three turned back to each other. “Miss Brown?” Mr Greensly asked incredulously, turning back towards the boy.

Timmothy nodded. “She said she’s hungry.”

“Tisk, that’s the demon talking, not Miss Brown.” Lizzy chided.

“Well the demon says he’s hungry so I’m bringing him a sandwich.”

“Didn’t your parents ever tell you not to feed demons?” Lizzy asked.

“No,” he said honestly. “But Miss Brown is housing the demon and she needs to eat.” With that Timmothy continued on his way.

Shaking their heads Lizzy and Mr Greensly turned away before realization fully struck them. Mr Greensly rushed to grab the plate from Timmothy’s hands as Lizzy gripped his shoulders, turning him roughly towards her. “You mean to tell me you’ve been talking to it?”

“Sure,” Timmothy reached to take back the sandwich, but the height difference proved too much.

“Why?” Lizzy asked, worry peeking through her white cheeks.

“Because he asked me too. Give me back the sandwich,” Timmothy whined.

Pushing the child aside in a way that could have ending in a criminal charge the three adults rushed upstairs. Stalling at the head of the grand staircase they look down the hall to Miss Brown’s room, Room 301. The door was open, the chair sitting neatly next to it. Fearfully they inched their way along the wall. Peaking inside, Miss Brown greeted the trio sitting on her bed, still somewhat tied to the bedposts. Lizzy gagged. Miss Brown’s arm was broken, hanging limply from the rope, while all along her neck harsh bruises painted her skin.

Closing the door Mr Greensly looked at Mr Pringleberry. “We need an exorcist.”

The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 2

“What?” Lizzy furrowed her eyebrows. Mr Pringleberry simply nodded.

“Yup,” he assured gravely. “We most certainly have a possession in the house.”

Mr Greensly huffed and threw the paper on the table. “What sort of nonsense is this? Who is this Miss Brown?”

“A woman who checked in the day before you did,” Mr Pringleberry explained. “Yesterday she was fine, but now…”

“Oh this is foolish,” Mr Greensly stood. “I’m going back to my room.”

“No!” Mr Pringleberry leapt forward and pushed him back. “You’re room is right next to hers. It’s not safe.”

“Get out of my way,” Mr Greensly insisted. The two began arguing as Timmothy sat scared, not sure what possession was but knew it couldn’t be good. Lizzy sat thinking hard, trying to sort out if she even believed in possession.

As if in answer a cry of pain came from the other side of the door, subsiding into uncontrollable weeping. The four fell silent at the sound. Mr Greensly angrily said a few hush words to Mr Pringleberry before shoving him aside. Lizzy and Timmothy held their breath as he pushed open the door, tentatively despite his steely insistence.

Early morning light shown through the windows of the lobby, casting what should have been a halo of cheery light but instead seemed an eerie dark glow. In the center of the room huddled a female figure, a stranger to the group save Mr Pringleberry. “Miss Brown?” Mr Greensly called. Straightening his suit her confidently walked forward as the remaining three clung to the door frame, fearful of what could come next. Despite himself Mr Greensly shivered, cold upon entering the room. The crying seemed to come from the walls themselves, echoing off the high ceiling, rather than the small woman before him. As he neared her he slowed his walk, a sudden reluctance pulling him back. “Miss Brown?” Near enough, Mr Greensly reached out a hand.

Miss Brown reacted swiftly, grabbing Mr Greensly’s wrist so tightly he gasped in pain. Slowly her head turned towards Mr Greensly, looking up at him. His shallow breath caught in his throat. Though he had never seen Miss Brown before, he was sure something was wrong. Her features were contorted in such a way he questioned whether she still looked human. She smiled at him before lunging; an awful scream accompanied strings of profanity and threats as the woman clawed at Mr Greensly as he fell back in fear.

Lizzy, quick of mind, sprung into action. Leaving the two boys behind she ran into the lobby and grabbed the closest thing at hand: a lamp. Thinking small but effective ran to the attack and raised it over her head to bring down upon Miss Brown.

“No!” Mr Pringleberry shouted from the doorway. “I bought that in Paris!”

Miss Brown’s head turned to look at Lizzy. “I’ll suck your soul,” she said in a voice more grave than a ten day old corpse.

Sweat made her hands slippery. The lamp fell from Lizzy’s hands, hitting Miss Brown between the eyes. Her limp body fell to the wayside, revealing Mr Greensly’s bloody and bruised face. Quickly the two retreated, quickly joined by Timmothy and Mr Pringleberry.

“Now do you believe me?” He whispered. “We have a Class A possession on our hands.”

“Let’s say I believe you,” Mr Greensly panted, wiping the blood from his face with the back of his hand. “What are we supposed to do about it?”

“Tie her up,” Lizzy said, shuddering. “Tie her up and… call somebody.”

“Tie her up,” Timmothy echoed.

“We have a possession in the house,” Mr Pringleberry said. “How exciting.”

The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 1

There once was a mansion turned hotel on top of a tall hill in such and such a place, distant from any town or city. It was owned and operated by Mr Pringleberry, a very excitable and flamboyant man. Though the hotel was massive in size, there never seemed to be more than five people staying there at any one time. During this particular time there were four. Mr Timmothy Greensly, a young handsome business man who appeared by all accounts to sleep in his suit; Elizibeth “Lizzy” Ruely, a week-old adult lacking all colors in her day to day life save black; and young Mr Timmothy Shawl, a boy sent abroad by his pure-hearted parents to, well, he wasn’t quite sure. Lastly there was Miss Brown, but we’ll get to her in a bit.

“Timmothy,” A voice rang through the halls. “Breakfast is ready!” In the dining area fancy plates and silverware were displayed with pride. “I made that myself you know,” Mr Pringleberry hurried back and forth fussing over a grand table cloth in front of Lizzy and Timmothy (the younger one). Mr Pringleberry didn’t employ a staff. He didn’t need one. All of the cooking, cleaning, and maintenance of the business he saw to himself; more willing than capable, he was determined to create a sort of home-away-from-home atmosphere, including the home cooked breakfast every morning to be eating in the company of all those staying at the house, a rule which Mr Greensly was not abiding by.

“Timmothy! Breakfast is served and if you don’t come down here right this instant I’m coming up to get you! Don’t forget I have a key to your room mister!” Timmothy sat meekly at the table while Lizzy followed Mr Pringleberry with her eyes, unable to believe such a personality flourished. A minute later they heard a door open and shut roughly as feet burdened with early morning annoyance carried Mr Greensly to the table.

“Mr Pringleberry,” Mr Greensly started calmly. Perfectly put together from suit to hair the business man unfolded a paper napkin decorated with floral print and laid it across his lap. “I did not ask for a wakeup call. I would appreciate it if you left me alone unless I find myself in need of something. And don’t call me Timmothy, my name is Mr Greensly.” He shot after the owner as he dipped into the kitchen. Lizzy and Timmothy looked at each other and stifled giggles. Mr Pringleberry reemerged weighed down with plates of eggs, pancakes, sausages, toast, and various other breakfast items. Timmothy’s shock and awe at the feast overshadowed Lizzy’s attempt at being unimpressed and Mr Greensly’s apparent lack of interest, already embroiled in the financial section to the morning newspaper he snatched off the table at first opportunity.

Having served the food quite prettily Mr Pringleberry began lowering himself into his seat, cup of coffee in hand, before stopping mid-process. “We are missing someone,” he announced dramatically, looking from person to person. “No one eats anything until everyone is seated at the table!” He called back as, rushing through the swinging door leading into the lobby, he went to retrieve this mysterious person. Timmothy looked guiltily around as he set a fork full of pancake down.

“I didn’t know there was another person staying here,” he said, looking between the others. “I’ve only seen you two.” Mr Greensly ruffled his newspaper and flipped a page. Lizzy picked moodily at her chipping nail polish.

The owner of the hotel was gone for quite some time. Lizzy’s stomach growled. “This is stupid.” She determined and reached for the eggs. Just then Mr Pringleberry burst through the door, startling the three sitting inside. Breathing heavily, his nice silk shirt hanging in shreds, he blocked the door with his body, the whites of his eyes serving as warning. Silence hung in the air as each tried to process the sight in their own way before Mr Pringleberry spoke. “Miss Brown is possessed.”

Happy October

Happy October everyone!

Starting this week I’ll begin posting a short story which will last us well into the holiday season. I actually wrote this story a year ago this month and have been saving it until now. Let me elaborate. Last Halloween I watched The Exorcist for the first time. Whoa did it freak me out. In order to get over my freaked-outness I of course turned to writing, crafting a story both a bit serious and a bit silly.

Regardless of your opinions on demonic possession I hope you enjoy.

Best wishes and festivities,

April Schomberg