Devil Cares: Chapter Nineteen

June 25, 2008 at 9:37 pm (Devil Cares) ()


Though his pride had been dinged a little bit, Wes soon got over it as they neared the school gym. They had gone home first to compare the papers from the bank with the files at the house. Apparently, succubae had illusory powers that were amplified in the presence of mirrors. Their M.O. was to appear in an attractive form and seduce men into all kinds of wild and crazy “debauchery,” and feed on the sexual energy produced. Some notes had said they were attracted to poppies and white roses, so Kimber had plucked some from the greenhouse to draw it out.
Wes’s pride wasn’t the only one that had taken a dent. Kimber hadn’t said much since Barrett grew his balls back. The air hadn’t been charged with his disapproving silence like usual, so maybe he just hadn’t had anything to say. Right.
Normally, Wes would have been at basketball practice, but he’d already missed a week so he hadn’t bothered. They decided to wait until seven before heading to the gym. That should be more than enough time for everyone to clear out.
In the hours until then the three brothers had restocked all of their supplies. Kimber refilled the rock salt shells he had used to fight the residual essence, Barrett fished out two big tubes of salt from the kitchen, and Wesson put on his silver cross necklace and grabbed a bottle of holy water. As well as all of these, each brother had his individual supplies. Wes had his duffle, Barrett had his canvas backpack, and Kimber had his trusty attaché.
It was a little after seven when Barrett’s truck pulled in behind the school gym. Wes urged to Kimber to open the door and let them out, but Barrett said, “Wait a sec.”
He looked at Wes, firmly. “Remember the rules, Wesson, what we say goes. If we tell you to get the hell out of there then you had best be getting’, understood?”
Nodding impatiently, Wes said, “Yeah, I got it.”
“I mean it, Wes.”
“I said I got it.”
Barrett nodded at Kimber. “All right then, let’s go.”
Swinging the door open, Kimber hopped out of the truck and stood to the side so Wes could clamber down. Their brother came around from the other side to meet them.
“Mom’s notes said the succubus was inhabiting this general area.” Barrett pulled a flashlight from his bag and gestured with it. The misty rain split the beam and made it mostly useless. “It could be in the back of the gym somewhere or in that little copse of wood back there.”
“We should split up and—” Wes began excitedly.
“No,” both of his brothers said at the same time.
“We’re all going together,” Barrett continued.
Wes grumbled.
Reaching into his bag, Kimber pulled out a flashlight of his own. He scanned it over the area while Barrett unhooked his cross. As he muttered the ritual words the holy icon began to take on the familiar pale blue glow. Both of the older Mossbergs switched off their lights.
Stepping away from the truck a few paces, Barrett slowly turned in a circle. The light got a tiny bit brighter when he was pointing away from the gym, toward the wood. Reattaching his necklace, Barrett flipped his flashlight back on. Kimber quickly followed suit.
Embarrassed, Wes realized he’d forgotten to add a flashlight of his own to his bag before they’d left. He felt a tap on his shoulder, and turned to see Kimber with holding another light.
Smiling ruefully, Wes reached out to take it.
The brothers were silent as they marched carefully through the small crop of trees, their only light the diffused beams of their flashlights. Barrett was in the lead, the faint glow of his icon providing only direction, not illumination. Wes came next, his excitement making him point his light every which way as he tried to be on high alert. Kimber brought up the rear, his calmer passes with his flashlight occasionally checking behind them. Any reaction he had to his brother’s lightshow antics wasn’t visible on his face.
Wesson’s wandering eyes almost missed when the brother in front came to a stop, and he only barely avoided colliding into him.
“What’s the deal?” he asked.
Slowly, Barrett’s reply came. “I don’t know. My cross stopped glowing.”
Leaves crunched behind them as Kimber came up to them.
With furrowed brows, Wes asked, “How’s that possible?”
“I have no idea,” Barrett said, voice still uncertain.
Kimber said nothing as he took in the un-glowing cross with his signature arched brow. Turning away from his brothers, he shone his flashlight out into the darkness.
Both Wes and Barrett just stood staring at the cross for a few minutes. Wes couldn’t remember a time when a holy icon had just stopped working like that.
“Say the prayer again,” he suggested.
Nodding, Barrett began to mumble the words it seemed he’d been saying nonstop for the past few days. With a sinking heart he realized he wasn’t even surprised when the light didn’t return.
“Nothing,” Barrett sighed.
“Well, now what?” Wes asked.
A voice came out of the darkness. “This way.”
Kimber had wandered a few feet away from his brothers, not surprised at all when the icon had failed them. If anything he’d been more surprised when it had glowed at all. He turned back toward his brothers as they came over to him.
“How do you know?” asked Barrett.
All eyes followed Kimber’s beam as he shone it out into the night.
“Well, gee,” he drawled, “a door standing upright all by itself might be a clue.”
Sure enough, a few feet away from them stood a door—frame and all. It looked almost like the doors at some hospitals, big and wide with metal around it. There was nothing special about the door just to look at it, aside from it staying upright independently in the middle of a grove of trees.
“She’s done everything but provided the white rabbit,” Kimber murmured.
Wes walked toward the door, shining his light up and down it as he approached. A warning filled Kimber’s mouth, but he didn’t let it out as Wes walked a complete circle around the door.
“It doesn’t go anywhere,” he said, confused.
“Of course it does,” Kimber disagreed, “but we have to open it first.”
Giving his brother a look, Wes said, “Kim, there’s nothing behind the door, nowhere for it to go.”
Shaking his head, Kimber started toward the door. “What’s that phrase Christianity is so fond of? Ah, yes: Oh, ye of little faith. Barrett, come here.”
As skeptical as his youngest brother, but out of options, Barrett walked forward with Kimber so that all three of them were standing before the door. Kimber reached out his hand.
“Wait,” Barrett said.
The hand stilled, halfway to the knob. “Yes?”
“Are you sure about this?”
He couldn’t see the arched brow he received, but Barrett imagined he could hear it in Kimber’s voice. “Yes, I’m sure.”
Barrett sighed, and Kimber didn’t wait for any other confirmation before he reached out and turned the knob.



  1. xinboon said,

    This is really interesting. A door standing by itself in the middle of a wood. I wonder where it leads to… the succubus’ lair? Is it a trap?

  2. jekloneo said,

    Eh, sorry, that was me.

  3. Zappaz said,

    *dramatic music* God only knows what will be on the other side — ooh, the suspense!

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