THIRTEEN HAUNTS OF HALLOWEEN
demon: a supernatural and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered a harmful spiritual entity which may cause demonic possession, calling for an exorcism. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish Aggadah and Christian demonology, a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled.
It is a small black book with small black writing, ink dragged first in a tight and careful hand, then turned progressively looser and messier with each turn of the page. The names inside are long and near-illegible, but I have seen them before - I have heard them in the unearthly voices broken through split lips.
The small black book came from a small black room. I am told that the room did not used to be black, but that it turned a different color on That Night. That is how people refer to exorcisms. That Night. That Day. There are no dates tied to these phrases. People know what you mean. On That Night something evil threw itself against the wall and bled into the folds of our reality. On That Day strange tongues rang off the high ceilings, screaming strange names at the sky and spitting curses at the holy water poured over a writhing body.
I have traveled thousands of miles, by plane and train and boat, to get this small black book. It comes from a priest I have never met who speaks a language I can only speak in fractured stammers. But it has to help.
It has to.
There is something inside of me. Something that twists my tongue in languages long dead and whispers things inside my head. It lives inside my skull and I can always hear it scratching there. Even when it stops its murmuring I can feel its claws against my bones; because this something wants out. It is fighting and my body is getting weaker and weaker. The small black book was inside a church I could not step inside, because the something burned me from the inside when I tried. Its heat still simmered beneath my skin each time I looked at the spiraling towers with their perfect little crosses shadowed by the sun - a punishment for wishing.
The something inside me pulls at the threads of my eyes when I try to read the small black book, and sings in my ears when I have it read to me. But I can’t stop trying. I whisper prayers that make it angry, let it scream itself to exhaustion, just so I can keep going.
It leaves me exhausted, too. Some days all I can do is sleep.
When I sleep, I dream terrible dreams of goat eyes and snakes, hordes of flies, blood spilling from black storm clouds and runes whose meanings are lost when, at last, I wake.
I am at war with this thing inside me. I don’t know how to win.
But I have the priest’s black book and a Bible blessed by Cardinals. I have Crucifixes that I right again and again, for the thing inside me gets out to flip them while I sleep. I have holy water and I have will. I think I still have will. It is smaller than it used to be; a little flicker in my belly that I must cling to, or else let slip away. It cannot slip away. The thing inside me tries to cut and shrink and shrivel it, but I cannot let it slip away.