Researching Kaymel

May 19, 2015:

The Magdalena is researching demons in the secret library when she realises she is not alone.

St Paul's Cathedral Library Annex

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The library of St Paul’s Cathedral, New York City. Not the one that the public get to visit – after filling in numerous forms and paying a hefty donation – but the one deep underground in the bowels of the cathedral. Accessible only via a secret entrance in the main library and then down a winding stone staircase, the large stone walled chamber is filled with ancient and medieval books, manuscripts and even papyrus rolls. The only available light is whatever the reader brings with them and, in this case, Maria has a lit candle sitting on the reading desk as she peruses a hefty tome bound in human leather. Forensic gloves cover her hands and she even wears a surgeon’s mask to avoid her breath touching the faded vellum pages. She is here to read up on Kaymel, the demon that fled the possessed Conchita Cross. But rather than go back to Hell, as all exorcised devils should, it joined a trio of other abominations before they all disappeared into the night.

With the lightest of touches she scans a line of text with her gloved finger. The writing is in Aramaic though previous readers have left notes in the margins in Greek and Latin. Those previous readers were no doubt Magdalena like herself. Not many others have reason to read a book on demons that was written from personal experience of the author centuries ago. It takes the Blood of Christ running in her veins to resist the madness inherent in each word, tale and hideous image. Many is the unwary or cocky who have opened this book and become babbling, drooling madmen by the time they have closed it again.
But Magdalena is not finding what she wishes to find. Her lips purse into a frown as she sags back into the uncomfortable, high-backed wooden chair that is supplied in the room. “Nothing” she sighs to herself. “Nothing to suggest that Kaymel could resist the exorcism…at least not by himself.” Magdalena leans forward again, slowly turning the page to look upon an image of the demon itself. “ But it was definitely you, Kaymel, I would remember that face anywhere.” The same hideous visage she encountered on the fire escape outside the victim’s apartment. “So…who are your friends?” She turns another page, hoping that the next demons described are known companions of Kaymel. Perhaps the other three she saw.

The sound of a drip hitting a pool of water echoes around the secret library…far louder than it has a right to be. Magdalena is immediately to her feet and reaching for a weapon that is not there – her equipment hidden away in her room. Her fingers curl into fists as she warily steps away from the book and into the dark corridors between bookshelves. The light of the candle soon left behind as she strains her ears and eyes for a sign she is not alone.

Then a splash.

Magdalena springs upwards, clambering up shelves and books to reach the top of one of the solid bookshelves. Crouching between wood and stone ceiling, her eyes try to pierce the darkness around and below her. The only light still the candle flickering upon the desk. She steadies her breathing, silencing it as best she can before scampering quietly towards where she hopes the sounds came from. The old wood creaks beneath her slip-on covered feet but there is little she can do about that. Then she sees something glisten in the gloom. Moving to her belly she crawls slowly towards the glint on the ground, just in time to see a shape of darkness in the air to her right. It is above the glint and moving slowly towards it until it breaks from the ceiling and drops to the ground and the pool of water that lies there. A splash and it is gone.

Magdalena needs light, reaching into the pocket of her pants and pulling out a phone. She is not a fan of these contraptions but the Pope himself gave it to her…and told her she had to use it. Now all she has to do is remember how. A few false clicks and jabs before the light springs into the life and she turns it on the ceiling first. There is the remnant of some kind of black ‘jelly’ that trembles under the glow of the blue light as Magdalena moves in for a closer look. She says a prayer to herself as she feels the taint of Hell emanating from what is no more than a thimble’s worth but substantially more dropped into the pool below. Her light moves over the top of the shelf and she spots a piece that has been chipped away. Magdalena’s fingers dig into the flaw and she peels off a sharp splinter about three inches long. Another prayer to herself as places the phone onto the wood and then jabs the shard into the top pad of her left index finger. She draws it downwards, her blood bubbling up from the cut before she uses that bleeding digit to make the sign of the cross over the jelly. Her holy blood spattering on the darkness and causing it to hiss and bubble before it evaporates into nothingness.

A breath of relief as the taint disappears with the ‘jelly’ before Magdalena suckles on her wound and then presses it closed with her other hand. She peers down at the pool reflecting the light of her phone. It looks to be only an inch deep and a couple of feet in diameter. Thankfully it hasn’t reached any of the books. Jumping down to the stone floor she holds her phone close to the water. No sign of anymore ‘jelly’ but she can also see a straight lined gap…like the edge of a trap door. Her fingers reach into the icy water, hoping for enough of a grip to lift it up and finding it. Just. She pulls the door upwards, fighting against decades of rust, rot and compacted mud. Then suddenly it is free, flinging open and clattering onto the stone floor, revealing a blackness filled with water. Magdalena holds her phone over the opening and she can see what looks to be wallpaper and the floating pieces of what were once chairs. There is a room down there. One that is now home to a demon.

Still watching the portal into the flooded room, Magdalena sits back against a bookcase and makes her first phone call…at the third attempt. “Father Elazar? It is the Magdalena. Would you be so kind to bring down some of my equipment to the library annex? I am unable to get it myself at the moment as I do not want the demon down here to slip away. Yes…demon. Two minutes? Thank you. I am in the north-east corner of the room.” With that she hangs up, or at least she thinks she does, and peers once more into the abyss as she says a little prayer.

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