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.
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.”