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.

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The Exorcist Chronicles pt. 8

“Where’s Timmothy?” Miss Brown asked.

“Timmothy’s not here.” Lucy answered.

“Are we finally going to have an exorcism?” She asked eagerly.

“Oh, you’re out of luck,” Lucy leaned against the wall opposite the bed, thick sunglass concealing her eyes. Around the room stood Mr Greensly, Mr Pringleberry and Lizzy. A somber, resigned feeling filled the air. “The church called me this morning. Your exorcism has been denied.” Mr Greensly moved next to the bed and brought an axe into view.  

“What’s that?” Miss Brown’s face grew troubled.

“You’re execution.” Lucy said gravely. “It’s the next best thing.” On queue Mr Greensly raised the ax above his head.

“Are you serious?” Miss Brown’s eyes widened.

“We have no other options. Either we kill Miss Brown or you do. I think I know which she would prefer.” 

Looking up at the man poised to kill, the demon laughed. “Look at you!” He howled. “You can barely lift that ax. Don’t get any sweat on your suit!”

“Shut up and get what’s coming to you.” Mr Greensly said through clenched teeth.

“Oooooo,” the demon smiled. “You’re the one they choose? Or did you volunteer? You’re too much of a pansy to do it, and do it right. You,” the demon motioned with his one working hand, the other still broken. “You think by moving away and getting a nice government job no one would see? No one would guess?”

“Shut up.” Mr Greenlsy whispered.

“Why don’t you tell everyone about Tubby Timmy?” The demon said. “Tell everyone how they stripped you in the locker room and tied you up? Paraded the poor boy all around the school. It was ten minutes before any teacher noticed, but it felt like a lifetime to Timmy here,”

“Shut up!”  

“I bet Pringleberry over there would have loved to see it. He gets awful lonely most nights. The only reason he owns this shit-hole of a motel is because his family drove him out when they found out who he really is.” Mr Pringlberry stiffened in the corner he huddled in. “But don’t let little Miss Lizzy in on it. She can’t seem to find it within herself to like men after being raped by one. And sweet little Lucy the priest. I don’t think anyone here would find it surprising to find out you are not really a priest. Even if you were a man you still wouldn’t be. You’re not good enough. So go ahead, kill me. It will only prove your worthlessness to save this woman’s soul.”  

The demon laughed as Mr Greensly slowly lowered the ax. “What do you want?” Mr Greensly asked, desperation for logic thick in his voice. 

“This.” The demon said. “I want this. Misery, shame, sadness.”

Lucy’s tall figure deftly moved from one end of the room to the other. Pulling the pillow courteously left under Miss Brown’s head for support she held it tightly and thrust it over the demon’s face.

Everyone started forward. “What are you doing?” Lizzy hissed as the demon’s muffled laugh leaked out. 

“We have to kill her,” she said. “It’s the only way.”

No one said a word. At first the demon did not respond to what he thought was a hollow threat. But as time passed and oxygen grew thin he began to worry with his one good hand, pulling lightly as the ropes binding it. Quickly the worry gave way to frantic tugging, the legs kicking out in an attempt to knock Lucy away. She moved out of reach of the flailing but firmly held the pillow in place.

“Lucy,” Mr Greensly warned. “You need to stop. She’s really suffocating.” Lucy did not respond. “I’m serious.” He took a step forward.

“Stay back!” Lucy warned. “I was serious about what I said.”

“Lucy!” Lizzy stepped forward. “We didn’t agree to this. We were just supposed to scare it!”

“We’ll burn the body,” Lucy calmed. “No one will ever know.” Miss Brown’s broken arm became animated and slipped through the ties, grabbing at the pillow and arms, trying in vain to gain leverage to force the attacker off. In the struggle Lucy’s glasses fell to the floor. Mr Pringleberry gasped at the sight. Lucy’s eyes held no love, no redemption, no sign of God. Only unrecognizable, murderous intent.

Finally, the body fell limp and the silence grew cold.

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. 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.”