Devil Cares: Chapter Eleven

May 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm (Devil Cares) ()

I haven’t had the time to edit this chapter as thoroughly as I usually do so I’m sure it’s riddled with even more mistakes than usual. Post any mistakes you find, but I probably won’t be online to fix them right away like I usually do. My aunt and I are traveling back to my mom’s house today.
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Smoke rose from the incense censer, filling the room with the heady smell familiar to incense no matter what it was scented. Dangling from Barrett’s fist by a silver chain, the censer seemed to be a kind of shiny spider on its web. Slowly, Barrett began to swing his fist back and forth.
“Our Eternal Father in Heaven, Almighty God,” he intoned as the smoke rose heavenward, “we humbly ask Thee to bless and sanctify this working, that it might be pleasing unto Thee. Amen.”
Turning to his right, Barrett left the northern quadrant and walked the circle, gently swinging the incense as he did so.
When he had completed the circuit and was once again standing behind the candle he’d placed facing north, he began again.
“Our Beloved Savior, Son of the Almighty,” Barrett continued, and standing behind him in the center of the circle Kimber rolled his eyes.
He tried to appear calm and patient so as to not spoil the mood for Barrett, but he thought walking the circle three times to be a bit overkill. But for the second time, Barrett headed to his right and walked the circle.
When the oldest brother began his invocation to “Oh, Holy Comforter, Spirit of the Almighty,” Kimber had to stifle a groan. The third verse of Barrett’s ritual was completed and once again a circle was walked.
Reaching into his bag, Kimber pulled out the bag of anise and carefully shook out some petals behind Barrett as he walked. Barrett finished walking a few seconds before Kimber finished sprinkling, but when the anise was put away, Barrett handed the censer to his brother, who gently laid it on the ground.
Sinking to his knees, Barrett lit a candle match and held it over the northern candle. “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we entreat Your holy presence be below us and purify this place.” Barrett touched the candle to the wick.
Standing, Barrett headed to the eastern candle, and Kimber tossed a handful of ash leaves to the north.
“In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we entreat Your holy presence be above us and purify this place.” Barrett lit the candle and Kimber tossed the leaves.
In the south, Barrett prayed, “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we entreat Your holy presence be within us and purify this place.” Once again, ash leaves were sprinkled around the burning candle.
Finally, in the west, “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we entreat Your holy presence be without us and purify this place.” As the final candle was lit, and ash leaves placed, Kimber saw that a pale glow was coming from beneath Barrett’s shirt. A quick glance backward saw that Wesson’s was as well.
At least this overacted production of a ritual is working, he thought.
Barrett held out his hand, and Kimber pulled out the notebook which contained the ritual. He handed it over and Barrett flipped to the proper page.
“Echoes of spirits dwelling in this house,” came Barrett’s voice, pitched low and demanding, “heed the power of the Almighty. Your time is done, let your essence cloud this place no more. I cast you out, in the name of the Lord thy—”
But Barrett made it no further, for just at that moment the water exploded out of the tub. It rained down all over the ritual space, covering everything with little green flecks of basil.
“Barrett, the circle!” Kimber called as the water smudged the salt away. Instantly he dropped his bag off his shoulder and snatched up the two rock salt shotguns off the floor.
It seemed almost as if mist began to form in front of Barrett, but then a gun shot split the air as the salt round impacted the form. There was a puff of air, a growl of wind, and then it was gone.
“Keep going!” Kimber called out as the din of a roaring wind became steadily louder.
Above the commotion, Barrett declared, “I cast you out, in the name of the Lord thy God! May the Angel of the Lord be upon you, let the Heavenly Host guide you from this place!”
Back in the bedroom, Wesson rifled through his duffle bag for his iron chain. He stood at the ready as he watched the chaos happening just a few scant feet away. For now it seemed the essence hadn’t noticed him, but he wasn’t counting on that to last.
Another misty form rose from the tub, heading in a streaking arc toward Barrett. Kimber snapped the second shotgun into position and fired. Around them the wind became filled with an otherworldly howl of rage. It wasn’t loud, but it seemed to echo around them nonetheless. Quickly, Kimber snapped open the barrels and grabbed the rounds from the box on the floor. Reloading and then clicking them shut, Kimber whipped them around following the shimmery figures in the whirlwind around them.
Cabinets and drawers began to rattle, the brushes and combs on the bathroom counter were picked up by the wind.
“Rock of Ages, Lamb of God, let Thy Spirit attend, bring the shadows of these haunted souls into Thy eternal light!”
Barrett’s voice had grown steadily louder, competing with the ruckus the essence was causing.
With a sound like the crack of thunder, the cabinets flew open. Razor blades, scissors, and finger nail files were swept up into the wind. As the wind began to condense around a pair of black handled scissors, Kimber spun the gun in its direction and fired.
He was just a hair too late. The scissors released, flying through the air to thud into Barrett’s hip. Yelling hoarsely, the notebook fell from Barrett’s hand as he staggered, clutching at the scissors. He reached down and gripped the handle, yanking it out in one fast thrust. Gasping and breathing hard he held it up to his face staring at his blood dripping off of it. When he looked at Kimber his eyes were wild.
“This is your fault!” He shouted, “You should have had my back!”
Brandishing the scissors, the oldest Mossberg lurched toward the middle one. Despite himself, Kimber took a step back.
“Barrett, it’s the essence, fight it!” he called desperately, but his brother showed no recognition. Kimber may have had the occasional urge to wring Barrett’s neck, but not like this. His gray eyes filled with a grim determination. In such close quarters, there was no room to mess around.
Using the empty gun, Kimber whipped the barrel around, knocking the scissors from his brother’s hand. Barrett’s wild eyes filled with rage and he took a clumsy swing. Kimber ducked underneath.
“Damn it, Barrett!” Kimber spotted another form solidifying out of the corner of his eye, and he emptied his other chamber.
Again, Barrett lunged toward him, but Kimber was ready for him. Between them lay the still smoking censer. Hooking the chain with his foot, Kimber whipped the incense up into his brother’s face.
Falling to the ground, Barrett shouted and clawed at his face. Incense did not burn that hotly, it was the St. John’s Wort expelling the essence’s influence that caused him to scream.
“Sorry, Barrett,” Kimber said.
Pain blossomed across his cheek, and Kimber’s head whipped around as something impacted him. He staggered a pace and saw a razor blade sticking up out of the carpet. Making a sound in the back of his throat, Kimber dove back for the box of rounds. He had one locked and loaded when a heavy curling brush slammed into his forehead. The speeds propelling the brush was such that the gun clattered from his hand and he fell backwards onto the floor.
Reflexively placing a hand to the bruise, Kimber rolled to his side and tried to get up. Then he saw something that chilled his blood. The circle had been smudged already with the water, and now the wind had all but worn it away. Gray eyes widening, Kimber pulled himself up into a crouch.
Above him a vaguely humanoid shape was forming, disposable razors where the fingers should be. Desperately looking about for his gun, he saw it laying on the floor behind the figure. His eyes slipped sideways to where the censer had fallen, mostly empty now. In the few seconds before the thing struck, he tried to measure whether he had a better chance of diving to the left and flinging a handful of incense powder at the misty creature, or diving through it to get at his gun. Honestly, his chances of coming out unscathed performing either option weren’t high. He was prepared to take some damage as he gathered himself to move, but he hadn’t counted on the youngest Mossberg.
For one second, Wesson had considered letting Kimber handle himself. But then he saw the mist form’s hand raise and that option fled from his mind. Concern for his brother gave him an almost supernatural speed as he left his circle and dashed with all his might toward Kimber.
He dropped a length of his chain as he did so. The bulk of it he held in his left hand, his right hand gathered the portion he’d unraveled. As he stepped across the sickly remains of his brothers’ circle he snapped the iron cord at the creature. Another muted howl filled the air as the razors dropped harmlessly to the ground.
By this time, Barrett had recovered and began to gather himself to rise.
“Stay down!” Wesson shouted.
He gave himself more slack off his chain, and with his right hand swung it lasso-like above his head. The length he had allowed himself cut through the air, brushes and combs clattered against the wall, cupboards, and mirror as the essence around them dissipated.
A little more slack and a few more swings of the chain cut into the second swirl of air, the one holding the sharper objects. These too rained down around the bathroom.
“Wes, finish it!” Barrett called.
As the chain came around again, Wesson let loose and it sailed into the tub.
“With iron I banish thee!” He shouted into the wind.
Kimber launched forward to grab his gun and then bobbed to his feet. His voice announced into the air, “With salt I banish thee!” He fired in the direction of the tub.
Barrett dove across the floor, ducking into a roll. He snatched up the box of matches as he sailed over it. Coming to a crouch in front of the tub, he hastily grabbed a few of the matches from the box and struck them against the side.
“With fire I banish thee!” He tossed them into the tub. “In God’s holy name be gone!”
Light exploded from the tub, and Barrett somersaulted backwards to land on his face to shield it.
“Wes, look away!” Kimber pulled his brother to floor, throwing an arm over the back of his brother’s head, and burying his own face in the carpet.
The light billowed out over them, growing so bright that even behind their closed eyelids it was white. And then, with one last ghostly howl, the light was gone.
Such sudden silence in the room was deafening. Slowly, the sounds of their own harsh breathing reached the brothers’ ears. Kimber raised his head from the floor, blinking away the spots in his vision. He moved his arm off Wes, turning partially on his side to look down at where Barrett was.
He was already moving as well, groaning and putting one hand against the wound in his hip. Wesson also sat up, looking around at what a mess the room had become.
“That,” he declared, “was so cool.”
Clean-up took them a little while. The first order of business had been to bandage Barrett’s hip. Wes went out to Andy’s car to see if he had a first aid kit. It turned out that he did so Barrett had slapped one of the big squares on the wound and put a few hasty strips of tape over it. Then he’d put Kimber’s St. John’s Wort in the censer and lit it, walking around the room intoning that God’s love fill up the hole where the essence used to be. Kimber was surprised he knew enough not to leave a vacuum behind.
Kimber himself was in charge of vacuuming up the salt, incense, and various plant particles out of the carpet. He had to use the Byrne’s own machine for the task. Wesson walked around the room gathering up the things the essence had pulled out. Kimber told him what little he remembered about where they had been originally as he put them away. When the vacuuming was done, Kimber removed the bag from the machine and took it back downstairs. He kept the bag to burn when he got back to the ranch. Finally everything was mostly as it had been before, so the brothers headed outside.
Andy was still in his car. Barrett shuffled over to tell him they were finished and he could lock up. Surprisingly, Barrett had asked Kimber if he wanted to drive, but the truck was a stick shift and Kimber declined. Wes had instantly volunteered himself, but whatever miracle had made Barrett offer in the first place vanished and Wes was denied the opportunity. More curious still, on the way home Barrett didn’t speed even once. Kimber didn’t even harp on Wes about leaving his own circle.
Once they were home, Barrett limped inside, with Wesson helping him along. As they made it through the door, Kimber saw the red light blinking on the phone. He ambled over and pressed the button.
“Hey, boys, sorry I missed you,” came a polished voice, slightly electronic sounding from the machine. “Oh, this is Charlie Fuller, in case you couldn’t tell. I know it’s hard sometimes on these things. Anyway, give me a call when you get a chance.”
The name had pinged something in Kimber’s mind. He turned around to his brothers.
“Who was that?”
Very subdued, Barrett replied, “Mom and Dad’s lawyer.”


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7 Comments

  1. Zappaz said,

    *whistles* Intense! The action was really well written.

  2. jekloneo said,

    That was really intense, my favourite chapter so far! 🙂

    But a few typos here, I think:
    he’d PLACE
    placed?
    Barrett headed to THIS right and walked the circle.
    his right?

  3. Yahrlan said,

    Wow…just wow

    A few typos, though…
    ~Yelling hoarsely, the notebook fell from Barrett’s hip as he staggered,~ hand?
    ~he snapped the iron chord at the creature. ~ cord?
    ~Kimber the red light blinking on the phone. ~ Kimber saw the?

  4. Yahrlan said,

    Oh! I forgot to link the playlist (which is now updated).
    Playlist

  5. Seth Gray said,

    Thanks muchly for all the catches! I knew I sucked it up, but I didn’t realize it was that bad.

    Also, I’m glad this chapter came across like it was suppose to. Makes me happy.

  6. Kyla said,

    As they wind began to condense around a pair of black handled scissors, — As the wind…

    He reached down and gripped the handle, yanking it out in one fast thrust. — …yanking it out in one fast jerk (or action or movement) — thrust usually indicates forward motion to me rather than a reverse action.

    Desperately looking about for his gun, he saw laying on the floor behind the figure. — he say it laying…

    Clean up took them a little while. — Clean-up (one word as a noun)

    Good job! XXOOXX

  7. Seth Gray said,

    Sigh, I just can’t get them all, can I?

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