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February 26, 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Four-Part Story Part Three

Filed under: flash fiction challenge — Tags: , — Eva Therese @ 12:33 pm

This is third part of Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: The Four Part Story. This week I’ve written third part of Bart Luther, Freelance Exorcist. First part by Josh Loomis here. Second part by Pavowski here. You should go read those first. I’ll wait here.

I knocked on the door. Ed retreated back towards the stairs like he was expecting something to blow up, but the door simply swung open without a sound.

The room was a mess, even worse than downstairs; books, clothes and other belongings strewn everywhere. But except for that, it was as typical of a teenage girl’s room, as to almost look like a set piece. Posters of the latest boyband on the walls, although half of them were torn to shreds; a vanity decorated with string lights, the mirror cracked.

Samantha herself was sitting on the bed, on the quilted bed cover with the rose motif which looked handmade under the filth. She had her hands folded in her lap and was looking at us, unblinking. Her breathing was loud and erratic, but other than that she was sitting perfectly still. A grimy, blue sundress, one strap slipped from the shoulder, a mix of girlish innocence and womanly allure.

At a casual glance she might have looked like any other girl, except she looked pale and her skin was glistening, dark curls clinging to her forehead. I remembered asking Father O’Donnell, if it was possible she was just running a fever. But there was something in her eyes. Literally, something in her eyes. Her pupils were enlarged, not just to catch the rather dim light, but as if something or someone inside her head wanted a better view and had thrown the shutters wide open.

Dry, cracked lips contorted into a smile, as if to tell me that she knew that I knew and it didn’t worry her at all.

“Hello, Samantha,” I said. “Are you alright?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” Her voice was perfectly light and charming.

I took a step into the room. The smell of sulphur made my noise itch. I had to fight the urge to scratch it.

“You seem a bit pale. Unwell.”

“Do I?” An innocent tone laced with mock surprise.

I took another step into the room, allowing Nora to enter behind me.

“So you father wanted us to check up on you.”

“Did he now?” Her face was expressionless as a mask, but there was a hint of disapproval in her voice. From outside on the stairs, I heard a small gasp.

I took another step towards her.

“Tell me, priest, is that a bible in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

“I’m not a priest.”

A frown, the first hint of real emotion, I had seen on the girl’s face and it was gone in an instance. “I see the past, the present, the future. If I say that you are a priest, then that is what you are and what you yourself think is of no consequence.”

I started to run through the catalogue of demons in my head. Quite a few would have the knowledge that this demon claimed to possess and all of them were prideful fuckers, but it did still narrow it down.

“At least you’re right about the bible,” I said and took it out.

She didn’t even flinch. “I’m not some squatter, whom you can just kick out. I took a lease on this place.” It ran Samantha’s hands up and down her body, a sensual motion.

I frowned. If what the demon said was true – and I had never come across one who was able to lie about these things – the possession of the girl wasn’t just pure bad luck, but rather something had drawn it in, given it a foot in the door to the household so to speak. But surely the girl’s father would have …

Beside me, I heard Nora ask: “Her mother? She had an affair, something like that?”

Yes, of course. I let out a quiet breath. She hadn’t left because she couldn’t deal; it had been guilt. She had known, at least on a subconscious level, that she was to blame.

The demon gave a loud screech of mirth, making us all jump, and clapped her hands in an exaggerated motion. “Very good. Very, very good, priest’s daughter. And now you see why you don’t scare me. You have no power here.”

I bit my lip. She was right; I didn’t have any advantage over her. Unless … I went through my mental list again. Knowledge of the past and future, connections to Lust, both narrowed it down, but there was still too many. I sent up a wordless but heartfelt prayer before making what I would like to think of as an educated guess.

“Are you sure about that, Vual?”

The demon’s lips formed a pout, the very image of teenage sulkiness. “That’s Duke Vual to you.” It narrowed its eyes as if in a belated attempt to hide its true nature. “Much good it will do you.”

I gripped my bible tighter, the leather worn soft and warm from my touch; it almost felt like living skin. I held it in front of me. “Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde, in nomine …” I began. Then everything happened at once.


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