The storyteller of pain, p.19
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       The Storyteller of Pain, p.19

           Loren Molloy
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  “Yeah, actually...” Lily began but trailed off by the sight of him.

  John had reached into the box and took out the jar with the red dust.

  “What the hell is this for?” John laughingly asked her, while staring at the red brick dust.

  Terror flooded Lilian’s veins. She knew something was off when he called her ‘hot stuff instead of Sugarplum or Kitten. He wouldn’t have knocked either. He’d say that draws attention that no one needs.

  “Oh that? I just read about it here. Let me see that, you stud.” Lily wink at the imposter seductively like nothing was wrong. ‘It’ smiled at her and handed it to her.

  “Let’s see... ah yes here it is. This one... this one is-” Lily said pretending to find it on the page in the book in her lap. She was removing the lid as she was speaking. Lily looked inside it once it was opened, and put a handful of it in one palm. She sniffed it, like she was still trying to place it. She then looked at him and blew the red dust into his face.

  For some reason, Lily expected for it to act like the Holy Water and sizzle and burn. This didn’t do that! The dust coated his face like someone who got covered in baking powder or flour. He coughed red dust into the air, and chuckled. The imposter’s eyes were now glowing red.

  “Nice try, Bitch!” The thing snarled.

  The demonic creature pounced on top of her and snapped ‘John’s teeth’ millimeters away from her nose. He would have bitten it off but he coughed violently as the same red dust sprayed the air. The dust was morphing into what looked like blood red wax. It seemed to have taken on a life of its own.

  Somehow it even seemed alive. The dust transformed into burning, red liquid which was now completely consuming the imposture’s face in a blood red wax-like substance. It flowed into his nose and ears. The man-like creature began to scream and howl in pain. The red dust never stopped. It was on an all-consuming path of its destruction of the evil it had connected to. The eyes were glowing red, matching the burning red liquid that was taking over.

  The demonic thing’s hand had landed on top of Lily’s breast making contact with the stones. Light shone through her shirt, and straight through the creature’s palms, causing it to rear back in pain. Lily took that second to kick the creature off of her. The demon crashed back to the floor behind them. The light flew up his hands, up his wrists and arms, like bolts of lightning being shot through his veins. The light never stopped on its pathway. The dust had now covered his whole head and arms down to his thighs making the light, flowing through the man-like creature’s veins, look like red lightning on a blood red sky.

  The muffled screaming, coming from the demonic entity was maddening. In that moment, John & Vincent came in and gasped at what they saw. The creature exploded in red and white light. All three of them ducked and covered their heads waiting for the impact of blood and guts to shower them. After a moment, they looked up. No blood. No guts. Just red dust floating in the air like bits of paper that had been burnt and caught by a breeze.

  “Are you okay, Kitten?” John ran to her and hugged her tightly. Lily just nodded over and over again, silently still in shock. It all happened so quickly. From the moment she sprayed him with the red brick dust, to the explosion, must have taken only a minute or two but Lily’s heart was racing as if she had just ran a cross country marathon.

  After a few moments of catching her breath and hugging the real John, Lily said, “Well, at least I was able to test the red dust and stones. We now know they work,” Lily said.

  “That’s an understatement!” John said.

  “You killed it!” Vincent said stunned.

  “I don’t know about that. In science, we are taught that energy never dies. It just changes form. The notebook said it’s more likely that it just sends the thing back to ‘its side’. In essence, it’s changing from this world to another, like a solid to a gas.

  “That’s not comforting,” John said with a grumble.

  “Yeah, I know,” Lily said sadly.

  “Well, here’s a comforting thought. Shower and clean clothes,” Vincent said with a hopeful smile. He was holding out the uniforms the orderlies usually wear with such optimism, it touched Lily’s heart. ’Such a good man,’ she thought.

  John took the uniforms from Vincent’s hands with a smile. Before anyone could say another word, Dr. Rushfeld was walking towards the door.

  “Where are you going?” Lily cried out. She sounded like a scared child, calling after a parent.

  “To give you two some privacy, of course,” Dr. Rushfeld said, with his hand on the doorknob.

  “Wait!” John himself cried out.

  “Take some salt and brick dust with you for protection, just in case. I’ll come get you in a bit and we’ll figure out some kind of battle plan then. Ok?” John said, walking over to Vincent with a jar in each hand. John had noticed each box had jars of each in them. Least he could do was give Vincent one of each.

  John could see the father-daughter bond Lily and Vincent had. Lily adored the man as her own father and Dr. Rushfeld was always good to him. ’As surrogate father-in-laws go, I lucked out on that one,’ he thought. John certainly wasn’t going to allow the man to leave without the same weapons as they had. He’d never forgive himself and possibly Lily wouldn’t either.

  “Thanks. See you soon,” Vincent said with a big smile.

  Vincent looked out the door quickly before closing it behind himself, leaving the two of them alone. John locked the door right away and looked back at Lily. She was already walking toward him.

  “Thanks for that,” Lily said kindly.

  “Of course,” John said warmly.

  He leaned in to kiss her when she stopped him. “Hold that thought for a moment,” Lily said, holding up the jar of red brick dust.

  Lilian proceeded in placing a line of the red brick dust in front of the door. She then went over to her large office window and did the same thing to the whole length of the ledge. “There. Now we can take a shower,” Lily said with her hands on her hips, satisfied with her work.

  “We can, can we?” John said with a seductive chuckle, scooping her up in his arms and carrying her off towards the bathroom in her office.

  It took quite some time to get all the blood and yuck from their hair and skin. Red bloody water flowed down the shower drain for quite a while. It was long after the water ran clear and turned cold, that the two of them emerge.

  “Do we have to get dressed? Why don’t we just stay in here and I’ll keep you distracted?” John asked nuzzling the side of her wet head.

  “Normally darling I would say that sounds wonderful, but I don’t like the idea of getting caught with my pants down.”

  “I like that idea a whole heck of a lot, thank you very much, Kitten,” John said with a wink.

  John was hugging her from behind. Lily only had one towel in her bathroom which they were sharing like it was one blanket wrapped around them both. Lily could feel his excitement at the thought.

  “You catching me is one thing, but being caught naked by some evil entity, or worse, by Page... that I don’t want to even imagine,” Lily said.

  John hugged her tightly. Foolish of him, thinking she didn’t notice the lack of Page’s body in the hall. He should have known better. She notices everything and speaks about only a third of it out loud to anyone.

  “I had hoped to spare you that detail for a bit longer. Foolish me,” John whispered and kissed her temples many times.

  “I saw it right away. The moment we turned that corner, I saw his body was missing. We both know he should have been dead, but he got up and walked away,” Lily said, haunted.

  John tucked the towel around her and moved away from her to get the uniforms.

  Staring at the orderlies uniforms he said, “I have to tell you, when Vincent and I went to get these uniforms, the whole bloody mess was gone. Not cleaned up. Just vanished like it never occurred. Not even blood stains on the ceiling, walls, or floor.” John turned around with the
uniforms in one hand and looked at her in concern.

  Lily snickered. It wasn’t the reaction he had expected.

  “I swear! It’s not there anymore,” John said, thinking she didn’t believe him.

  “Oh, I believe you. It’s just hard to be very upset when you’re telling me naked,” Lily said with a giggle.

  John blushed and laughed with her. Note to self: tell all bad news naked. John thought with a chuckle.

  “Good to know,” John said before kissing Lily and tossing away the towel.

  A bit later when they finally got dressed John said to Lily with a chuckle,

  “I should probably go get Vincent, huh?”

  Lilian nodded with a smile.

  “Okay I’ll go and get him. I’ll be right back.” John kissed her quickly then left.

  Minutes later the two men returned looking very pale.

  “Hey, Sugarplum.” John said disheartened.

  “Hello, my dear,” Vincent said sadly.

  “Hey... what? What is it?”

  “I’m afraid Nurse Kingston is no more. We found her body... well part of it anyway-” Vincent began to ramble.

  “Part of it?” Lily stood up as she cried out.

  “Yes. When I went to get him, I saw the body. It’s been ripped apart leaving only her head, neck, and upper torso. The rest is missing. I think that demon dog finally got bored playing around with her,” John said.

  “Alive,” Vincent said.

  “What?” John said

  “It got bored playing around with her alive. She’s missing 2/3rds of her body. It’s still playing with it somewhere, otherwise it’d still be attached to the rest of her. Most creatures don’t eat skulls. Makes sense it left it,” Vincent said.

  Lily looked terrified.

  “You’re okay though?” she asked both of them, double checking.

  “Yes.” They replied in unison

  “Good. Then we stay in here until the flood dries up,” Lily said and sat down again.

  John and Vincent just looked at each other. It wasn’t realistic but they didn’t have the heart to disagree with her. John sat down behind her and hugged her tightly.

  “Ok, Sugarplum,” John said then kissed her temple.

  Vincent sat down in front of another box, looking at titles.

  “I’m sorry, my dear friend. I should have believed you,” Vincent said to the boxes.

  “I don’t think any of us could have believed demons are real until we were truly confronted by them personally. Don’t blame yourself,” Lily said.

  “Yeah, Vincent, Lily’s right. I only believed evil truly existed at this level after I was face to face with it. Before that demons were just something someone insane would speak of,” John said to him.

  “I know you’re right. I just can’t help hurting over the fact he spoke of this. He was convinced that Page was evil and using evil to make this hospital his, and evil, too. I sadly thought he was going mad. I could agree with him that, yes Page was a mean man. He was driven to success by his own selfish purposes, but I couldn’t agree with him past that. Now... he’s dead, by Page himself or possibly some demon of his. He died having everyone including me, his best friend, not believe him about Page, about the evil forces. Not even about his own sanity. He died alone without even belief or support from others. I just wish I could go back and tell him, I believe you.”

  Vincent’s voice wavered and wobbled with sorrow. He cleared it several times, forcing himself back into control.

  Feeling the need for a different topic, Lily said, “I don’t understand how I was chosen though.”

  “Easy. I was bragging about you, my dear. You were in your last year of school when Page overheard me speak of your brilliance and how you were one day going to be the crowning jewel of psychiatry. Youngest female to graduate.

  After I had walked away from the group I was speaking to, Page stopped me and asked about you. At the time I had no concerns about the Head of the Hospital taking interest in my star pupil. I was honored. He asked that I keep him abreast about your studies and progress. It wasn’t until Bob died that Page brought you up as the only possible replacement.

  I should have seen it then but looking back I realize now, he had always planned for you to be the Head of Psychiatry. In fact, it’s probably the only true reason Page killed Bob. To make sure you got the position the moment you graduated,” Vincent said.

  “Why me?” Lily asked to no one in particular.

  “You know why, Kitten. You’re the youngest, brightest, crown jewel not to mention truly beautiful as well. Of course he wants you, just not for solely professional reasons,” John said with a pointed look.

  “YUCK!” Lily exclaimed with a shutter.

  “I noticed it when we arrived back at the hospital. I believe he’s been trying to ’make you his’ for some time now. For some reason, nothing he has tried has worked. Thank Goodness,” John said

  “No wonder he resorted to trying to force me physically,” Lily said quietly.

  “Well, he couldn’t before you had all these awesome weapons. He sure as shit ain’t gonna now!” John exclaimed and hugged her tightly.

  Suddenly the intercom screeched to life making the three of them jump and look up at the speaker.

  “Hello, Hello, Hello there Radio Land. Don’t you just love performing before a live audience?” a deranged voice said through the intercom. A high pitched, insane giggle followed.

  The voice was demonic sounding like many male voices all squeezed through a meat grinder. Some basses, some tenors, and far, far too many high soprano voices all speaking as one. Once heard, it was truly unforgettable and sickening. A gurgling sound was the only reply the three of them could hear.

  “What? Couldn’t understand that maybe it’s because I have your tongue. Never mind! Let’s have our next contestant,” the demonic voice cackled with sickening glee.

  They heard the vile sounds of slurping and chewing. A loud gulp sound made Lily’s stomach flip.

  “Mmmmh. Delicious! Thanks for playing. Next up is a hot little number and I’m wondering if a nurse’s tongue tastes better than a patient’s tongue. Well, folks we’re about to find out! Hello you pretty little thing. Tell the good folks out in radio land your name.”

  “DORIS!” Nurse Doris cried out in fear.

  “No!” Lily yelled and jumped up.

  “Yes!” said the demonic voice as if it could actually hear her and was next to her.

  Maybe it could hear her, she thought.

  “Ok, Doris. Here’s the game. I will rip a pound of flesh from your body until I rip the tongue from your mouth, ending the game. How to win you ask? You Don’t! That’s why it’s my game and not yours buuuuut... if someone can stop me before I do so, well I’ll be fucking shocked!” The man laughed a loud, boisterous, and maniacal cackle again.

  Lily was already grabbing salt and brick dust as she listened to the demon speak overhead. John and Vincent silently followed suit. John pushed the boxes in the closet again and locked it. Lily closed the door to the office behind them and looked both ways down the hall. One way, Page’s bloody scene was gone and the other way, three doors past Vincent’s office, was the bits remaining of Nurse Kingston.

  Before they walked away from her door, she put a line of brick dust in front of it and locked it as well. The look of determination on Lily’s face was fierce.

  ‘Hold on Doris. I’m coming,’ Lily thought as she began to jog toward the room with the intercom. Lily wasn’t sure if these were any of the same demons she had already dealt with. She believed otherwise. She felt, in the depths of her, it was a different demon; different than any she had previously dealt with. Lilian began to jog faster, as did John and Vincent, making sure they kept up with her. The demonic man was still speaking over the loudspeaker as if he were a game show host.

  “Well, now that you understand the rules of the game, why don’t you tell our listeners how old you are and where you’re from?”

sp; “FUCK YOU!” Doris screamed in rage at him.

  ‘That a girl,’ Lily thought, ‘Don’t ever play along with that sick creature’.

  The three of them heard the very distinct sound of her being slapped across the face, very hard. She must have crashed to the floor by the sound of it.

  ‘That’s it. Buy us time Doris. I’m almost there,’ Lily thought to the woman.

  They could hear a chair scrape and a grunt. Lily’s mind saw the demon pulling Doris and her chair back to the sitting, upright position.

  “And we’re back from that momentary act of stupidity from our latest contestant. You’d think she wanted to lose her tongue by the way she was behaving folks, but don’t worry it’s now time for “Rip That Flesh!” This is the part of the show where I rip a pound of flesh from your body and eat it in front of you, the contestant. This game won’t stop folks, until there’s only the flesh of her tongue left or she dies! Either way I still win!” The demon laughed giddily

  Doris screamed, “Nooo!” at the top of her lungs. Terror and fear filled her voice.

  Lily, John & Dr. Rushfeld were inches from the door when Lily yelled to John to kick it down! John didn’t hesitate and kicked the door with all his strength. It didn’t budge. John did however. He flew backwards from the recoil.

  “John!” Lily exclaimed

  “It’s ok...I’m okay,” John said with a tired voice, but he was beginning to stand up.

  Doris screamed a nightmarish blood curdling scream which could only mean he had taken his pound of flesh. The sounds of chewing filled the airwaves and nausea hit all three of their stomachs.

  Vincent opened the jar of salt and threw a handful of it on the door and exclaimed, “Be Gone Demon force!” then kicked the door as hard as possible. He was also holding his black tourmaline pendant with one hand, out towards the door as he did so. The symbols on the stone glowing with white light as did the door.

  This time the door shook then they heard a “click” sound. John and Lily looked at Vincent in shock. “I don’t know! It just came to me to do that!” Vincent looked bewildered, shocked, and confused.

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