Bones Part 10 - Final Part
Ed’s grip on her arm tightened at her silent confirmation of his words and what tumbled from his own lips following her silence was a brief prayer to St. Michael. A prayer for protection in the face of mortal peril, for protection for her no doubt. A prayer Lorraine didn’t join in on because she didn’t want protection, she wanted this creature sent back where it belonged. It couldn’t be left to continue to torture the many souls it kept captive here, the souls who had asked for her help. Souls she couldn’t just leave now that she knew, that she had seen what had been done to them, what continued to be done to them even after death. She had stumbled onto his playground and he had his sights set on her as a new toy.---
Squeezing Ed’s hand, she removed his other from her arm so that she could turn to face the demon who stood at the foot of the steps looking up at them. If there was any protest from her husband, she didn’t hear it as she met the demon’s glowing eyes, prepared for battle because they didn’t run from fights. She didn’t run from fights. If that last tombstone in her vision had been correct, if she was going to die here today, she would accept that. But, if she was going to die, she was going to take the demon laughing up at them out of this world with her.
The demon seemed surprised – pleasantly so – when she turned toward it instead of away, instead of trying to escape. Its eyes widened slightly as she stepped down a couple steps because surely she wasn’t going to make this that easy for it. Surely she wasn’t just going to willingly come to the one who meant her death, who had promised her over twenty years ago as it looked out at her through the eyes of a beloved family member that it was bored then but not done playing. That it would see her again.
It hadn’t been hard to find another game to fill the years in the form of the man – or what had once been human at least – it now wore. It hadn’t even had to push hard for any of the amusement that the man had given. A naturally born serial killer, sadistic and twisted with a taste for women eerily similar in appearance to the one who stood before it now. Perhaps that had been the original draw, perhaps not. Fate had a funny way of working things out, if one believed in such a thing.
It didn’t matter because this was what it had been building up to. This was the end game. The man was long gone, but the demon remained and so did its intended prey. It had irritated it at first that the tortured and wailing souls of the women they had destroyed through the years had managed to reach out for help beyond the purgatory it had created for them. But, then that desperation had been twisted into a form of bait when the girl child belonging to the family who now owned this house had been foolish enough to open the portal wider through the use of a Ouija board. It was perfect. A tiny push and the trap was set. But, it wasn’t for the girl as everyone thought. Not at all. It was for something much bigger and brighter. Something the demon had been waiting years for.
Twisting its lips up into a smile, it held out a hand as she approached. “That’s right. Come to me.” It encouraged, a slight hiss in its words, but not enough to be overly noticeable. “Death only has to hurt for a little bit. Come home with me and I’ll let the others go.” It was the trapped souls she had come for after all. There were many, so she was getting a deal out of this. And she carried no weapons to fight with. No crucifix or holy water. No bible, not even the rosary that she always seemed to sport.
Lorraine’s gaze briefly flickered over its shoulder, focusing for a moment before returning to its eyes as she stopped in her tracks. “Home? Anywhere that you could take me would be anything but home. I’m not going with you. But, you are going.” The hand that had been held out in offering dropped as she continued. “Your name gives me dominion over you.” Her lips twitched into something akin to a smile, though she was in no way amused. “And I know what it is.”
Its eyes narrowed because that wasn’t possible. It had never revealed its true identity, never given any real clues. It had to be a bluff of some kind. But, she seemed to confident for that even as her gaze darted behind him once more and his own followed. There stood Barbara. The bitch ghost who had begged for help to begin with and then directed Lorraine to the unmarked graves beneath their feet that could lead to their release once discovered.
“Your toys don’t want to play anymore.” As Lorraine called out the name, a howling wind whipped through the basement, rattling walls and shaking the very foundation beneath them. Her words turned to a brief scream as the wooden stairs she stood on cracked and splintered and then collapsed under her, sending her to the cement below with a gasp and grunt of pain.
Looking up, she could see Ed above her. He stood on the top step, frantically trying to figure out how to get to her without killing himself in the process. He was shouting, but she couldn’t hear him and she didn’t try to call out or reassure him in turn because she knew he wouldn’t hear it and it would be a waste of precious time to try. A screech was briefly added to the roar around them and the pure agony of the sound made her lift her hands to cover her ears, though she knew it wouldn’t help. A flash of blinding light exploding in the dark cut off the screech and she knew that Barbara was no longer going to be of any more assistance. She wasn’t just dead anymore, she was gone. Her soul completely obliterated by the demon that was now stalking toward her.
Dropping her hands, she reached for the tiny gold cross on the chain around her neck as she looked up at the furious monster above her, all razor-sharp teeth and claws and glowing eyes surrounded by shadow. It had dropped the human guise in its anger but somehow still managed to laugh at her and what it likely saw as a pitiful attempt at some kind of protection.
It sent a bolt of white-hot fury and determination through her to hear the sound of enjoyment coming from such a creature. Condemnation, condescension, triumph. All were wrapped in the laughter. It took pleasure in torture, in pain, in suffering. It had completely wiped out a soul without a second thought. And it thought it was safe to continue to do so. It thought wrong.
Clearing her throat, she again called out the demon’s name, her own voice mingling with the chaos around them as it roared and slashed out at her, wanting to hurt her before it killed her. A hiss left her lips as blood began to flow, filling the marks left by the invisible claws. Clutching the cross just a little tighter, she reached down deep into that place inside that shown brightly even in the darkest of times. “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit –“ She didn’t need a crucifix or holy water or even a Bible for this because she was never truly alone. “I condemn you back to Hell!”
The world exploded around her, a screech, a cry of despair and anger, the wind, the cold, cement blasted to pieces…and then the darkness that she allowed to overtake her, content in the knowledge that she had succeeded in what she had set out to do.
When consciousness finally began to return, the first thing she felt was pain. She ached all over, but she was alive. At least she was pretty sure she was alive. Slowly opening her eyes, she found herself being loaded into what could only be an ambulance, Ed climbing in beside her. There were tears in his eyes and on his cheeks and he looked terrified. More so than she had ever seen before. His hand held hers and so she shifted to squeeze that hand a little, just to let him know that she was awake and alive. That she wasn’t leaving him.
Attempting to sit up, she felt more than just Ed’s hands holding her down, though it was his voice that ordered – asked – her to stay still, to relax, to let herself be taken care of. “I’m okay.” For a moment she wasn’t even sure if the words actually made it past her lips or not as her attention was drawn back to the house they had just left.
There were police all around, coming in and out, more ambulances and other officials, radios squawking and sirens blaring while conversation was attempted over it all. But, that wasn’t what had caught her attention.
Standing just off to one side of the chaos, was a woman who was staring straight at her. It was almost like looking into a mirror, if the reflection was transparent that is. A glance around showed that no one else seemed to see this woman and somehow it didn’t come as a surprise. When she saw Lorraine looking at her, she offered a tiny smile and a wave, a mere lifting of her hand that somehow conveyed more gratitude than any words could have.
Lorraine offered an exhausted smile in return as the woman turned and started to walk away, fading with every step until she was completely gone, a sense of peace left in her wake. It wasn’t Barbara, who would never know that peace of finally being free to crossover, but it was a release for the rest, and she would settle for that.
Settling back, she was surprised when Ed leaned down to kiss her softly, his hand still holding hers. He said only three words, but they were words that spoke volumes. “You did good.”
I know what it is.