The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 9

“Thank you so much for your cooperation. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.” Lucy said, standing in the front doorway of the hotel.

“That sounds like a cheesy tag line.” Lizzy chided.

“You’re acting was impeccable by dear,” Lucy applauded.

“Thank you.” She beamed.

Mr Pringleberry stepped forward and shook her hand. “I cannot tell you what it means to me. Imagine, my humble abode having a reputation of possession. Ha!”

“I still don’t see why I couldn’t be there.” Timmothy sulked.

“My dear, we were performing an exorcism,” Lucy reasoned. “We needed to convince the demon we really meant him harm. We couldn’t have done that if you were right there asking him if he wanted a sandwich.”

“Maybe someday you can sit in on a demon ousting. Someday.” Mr Greensly appeared alongside the others, followed by Miss Brown.

Noticing her, Lucy smiled. “Hello Miss Brown.”

“It’s Trudy,” she said, reaching out to take Lucy’s hand. “Just Trudy.”

“Trudy,” Lucy said. “How are you feeling?”

“Better,” she said, her broken arm already in a cast and sling (what a hospital visit that was). “Thank you for helping me. I don’t really remember what happened, but everyone here seems to agree you are the hero.”

Lucy laughed nonchalantly. “I was just telling everyone I couldn’t have done it alone. Honestly, demons don’t have backbones so it wasn’t difficult to scare the one inside you to death. Then our little Timmothy brought in my defibrillator to bring you back, not the demon crowding you out.”

“Such a strange method for a priest.” Mr Greensly snidely remarked, folding his arms with an air of good-humor.

“Thus why I am not a real priest, only a consultant. Because I have my own methods…” Putting on her sunglasses Lucy raised her keys and unlocked her car with a beep. “And now I must be going, as I am sure you all have to, sooner or later.” All the others nodded and mumbled about places to go and things to do. “Then I shall be off. It was fun.” With that she turned on her heels and left the porch.

Watching the black car barrel down the dirt driveway the others felt varying degrees of melancholy. Gradually everyone left the entranceway, leaving only Mr Pringleberry to cast a glance one last time before closing the door.

The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 7

“We have a possession in the mansion! We have a priest in the house!” Mr Pringleberry decided first thing in the morning to be the life of the party and make the most of the situation by any means necessary. After serving breakfast he invited his four guests into the lobby. Running up the stairs he parked himself in front of Room 301, so as to not leave anyone feeling left out, and began to sing more about possessions and priests sitting in a tree.

Pained moans escaped the room as the flamboyant owner pranced back and forth along the railing. “She doesn’t like his singing either.” Timothy whispered.

“It’s too early for this,” Lizzy mumbled blurrily, rubbing her eyes.

“We’re going to have an exorcism!” Mr Pringleberry jumped up and down while waving an invisible banner.

Mr Greensly and Lucy remained silent, drinking coffee while looking up at Mr Pringleberry’s interpretive dance. “Can I push him down from there? By accident, of course.” Mr Greensly asked.

“Best not.” Lucy answered. “But don’t worry, God works in mysterious ways.” With that she took another swig of coffee, black of course, and walked back into the kitchen quickly followed by the others, leaving Mr Pringleberry’s singing and Miss Brown’s tortured moans all alone. A few minutes later Mr Pringleberry gave up and came down from the balcony. The group sat down at the kitchen table to discuss what would come next.

“After all,” Mr Greensly said with an air of arrogance. “It’s not like the thing’s going to get bored and wander off.” Lizzy glared at him from down the table.

“Actually that was my plan.” Lucy admitted. “To receive permission from the church to perform an exorcism takes months, sometimes longer. I’ll continue gathering information but it would be easier all around if the demon simply bored of its environment and wandered off.”

“So that’s why we’re supposed to ignore her,” Timothy said.

“Does that actually work?” Mr Greensly asked, wrinkling his nose.

“We could always just kill her and be done with it.”

Silence settled over the room. “What?” Mr Greensly sat forward. “What?”

“You heard me.” Lucy said.

“We can’t just kill someone.” Lizzy spoke up. “That’s against the law, regardless of the circumstances. Besides, Miss Brown isn’t gone, she’s still somewhere inside.” She looked around the room. “If we kill the body we’ll get rid of the demon but Miss Brown will be dead too. Wouldn’t that be giving the demon what he wants?”

Lucy set her drink aside. “In a way, yes. The demon wants you to be scared, to instill fear into everything it comes into contact with. What do humans fear more than death?”

“Murder convictions.” Mr Greensly said. “Forget it. It’s not happening.”

“Wait a minute,” Mr Pringleberry looked in deep concentration. “She might have something,”

“What?” Lizzy asked.

Mr Pringleberry looked at Lucy. “I have an idea.”

The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 6

Frozen pizza was on the menu that night. Mr Pringleberry despised using such measures to feed his guests but lacked motivation to prepare anything else. That being said, he did his best to jazz up the meal and cheer the somewhat uncomfortable atmosphere hanging over the group. Over the course of the meal little was spoken save Mr Pringleberry’s unrelenting chatter. Mr Greensly glared over his pizza at Lucy, who cheerfully listened to Mr Pringelberry’s stories. Lizzy and Timmothy ate sullenly.

After the table was cleared Lucy set to work, explaining to everyone what she required of them, which really was nothing at all. “I must do much research before anything else. If everyone goes about their normal business as I ask, I’m sure I’ll be able to solve this problem quickly.” Mr Greensly was not convinced but the others agreed listening to her would be best. Grudgingly he fell silent and nodded his consent. The demon, displeased with the way things were going, roared from the second story for attention, hopeful of even so much as a whimper to make its way up to him. The un-possessed ignored him relatively well and settled in for a night’s sleep.

Still, the group huddled together for comfort as they traveled up the stairs to their rooms. Miss Brown screamed louder, cursing everyone in the house for all they were worth. Unburdened Lucy cheerfully, albeit loudly for everyone to hear, bade the others a good night and disappeared into her room. Mr Pringleberry looked to Mr Greensly, who stiffly threw his shoulders back and stomped to his room, shutting the door without a word.

“Well,” Lizzy forced a smile. “See you guys in the morning.” Walking briskly down the hall she only speed up a little when passing Room 301. Timmothy looked up at Mr Pringleberry with big eyes. Unquestioningly Mr Pringleberry took his hand and brought him into his room. He didn’t feel like sleeping alone either.

Many hours later a full moon shone brightly, lighting up the balcony like sunshine. Mr Pringleberry snuck from his room, careful not to wake the sleeping Timmothy. He could not sleep for the life of him. Looking down the hall he spotted Lizzy standing before Miss Brown’s door. “Lizzy?” Drawing closer he heard whispers coming from Room 301, many voices speaking in such a way his very spin shivered. Lizzy stared blankly at the door, unmoving. Mr Pringleberry placed a hand on her shoulder. She started, jumping away from the touch. “I was just─” She began.

“I know, I know.”

“Do you think she’s going to be ok?” Looking back the door Lizzy wrapped her arms around herself.

“Lucy is an expert.” Mr Pringelberry assured. “I’m sure everything will be alright soon.”

Lizzy looked hard at Mr Pringleberry. “You’re always so positive. How do you do that?”

“It is my business.” He replied simply.

Lizzy shifted uncomfortably, looking the man next to her up and down. “Do you think… it would be ok if I slept with you and Timmothy tonight? I don’t like my room.”

“Of course.” Mr Pringleberry gently guided Lizzy towards his room, leaving the whispers to keep themselves company.

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.

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. 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.”