THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 43
THE LEGION ONCE MORE
It was the ultimate price she would pay for her one act of failure, and eventually she would lose her life.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Jesus Christ! Damn, that’s Mrs. Shirley Okai, isn’t it? Jesus H. Christ … what the **** is going on here?
I turned to look at Frost. For once his strict cool jacket had failed him as he gawked at the ugly spectacle on the dais.
As if drawn by forces she could not resist her face came off the man with a jerk and swung toward me.
For a very brief moment time seemed to stand still and the place became non-existent – the space between us seemed to close, and I was standing right in front of her.
For that briefest of moments she reverted, and the real Shirley Okai reached out to me, her tortured pain so absolute that it sent chills down my spine.
She was in terrible agony, and her soul was in need of a release.
And then she was gone, and the woman up there on the dais suddenly had a blazing crimson mark on her forehead, and her smooth face began to contort and twist out of shape.
It bulged, contracted, bloated, and thinned – as if a thousand different shapes were trying to emerge at the same time. Her eyes changed from one colour to the other, one shape to the other …
Finally the face that stared across the room at me was that of a wolf-like thing. Its snout was long, the teeth large and dripping with goo. The face was hairy, the skin mottled and ugly.
It hissed at me, its potent menace vibrant and raw, defiant in the moment of truth.
And then, quite suddenly, I saw a diffused grey cloud moving angrily across the ceiling just above her, swirling terribly, enveloping her one second then releasing her.
Seeing the Shadow of Death!
She was going to die soon!
I moved forward, shoving bodies out of my way angrily.
Hey, s***face arse****er!
A rough voice cried out in indignation as I pushed its owner away.
The man regained his composure like a cat and glided toward me. He gripped my shoulder from behind and tried to turn me around.
I turned with his pull, and slammed my right fist into his face. I heard his nose give, and he squealed with shocked pain.
Youbroke my f****** nose, s***face!
He muttered gutturally, and I turned away from him in disgust. His face didn’t look so healthy anymore, and I hated to look at a face like that, especially when I had bigger fish to fry.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Boat, hold it right there!”
But I was about ten strides ahead of him – and paid no heed.
The wolf-thing hissed again, and then it retreated, and I saw Shirley’s face again. She bounced off the man, and I grimaced at the huge thing that slid out of her.
The man was endowed like a horse, and to take all that in her might have been really hard for a woman her age, unless of course she had a proven prowess far beyond my imagination.
Her lips came off the standing man – also another whopper – and then she was moving toward the edge of the dais.
The man she had been sucking bellowed with rage or frustration – maybe both – and leaped across the body of the prone man. He caught Shirley’s hair and yanked it backward savagely.
Hey b****! Where the **** you think you going? Come to Papa, b****! Come and feast!
She uttered a guttural growl and whirled toward him. Her hands flailed at him, one downward, and the other upward.
The man screamed with horror and tottered backward, his right hand gripping his throat, the other one on his lower abdomen.
Blood spurted from the deep wounds in his throat and in his groin. He screamed again as he saw the thick blood drenching him.
He tottered a few steps forward, and now blood was drenching his torso and thighs. He stumbled and fell off the stage.
The prone man looked absolutely dazed, and I didn’t blame him for a second. It might have been pretty awkward for any man to deal with a situation like that: caught in the throes of passion one second, and then being drenched with blood in another.
He lifted his head, his expression that of total incomprehension.
Shirley whirled on him, grabbed his hair, and savagely dragged him forward. She turned her face toward me, smiled maniacally, and then she banged the man’s head against the hard razor-sharp edge of the stage.
I winced as I saw the instant explosion of blood. The man’s body fell off the dais and landed half-across the legs of his companion, and then I saw him begin to jerk in his final death throes.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Oh, Gawd! Oh, s***! What in the name of Hades is she doing?
I broke free of the crowd, and she was just a few feet from me.
Already the crowd had started to stampede. Shouts and breaking glass were suddenly echoing behind me as pandemonium came to play.
Briefly I wondered about Bonner and hoped he would stay clear of them.
I should have been with him, protecting him from the rush of bodies because he was old and frail and could easily be flung into the paths of those maniacs, but my will was no longer my own.
I had been catapulted into another sphere and another dimension, my world separate from the ways of earthlings, and my ways were far superior and far deadlier.
Death was dogging me each second, and my concentration was required in excess of the normal.
Shirley hissed at me again, her face now turning a sickly green, the eyes bulging out in a crimson blast, the jaws elongating unnaturally, the teeth enlarging, the nose becoming flatter and flatter.
For a moment her shoulders hunched and it seemed she was going to come for me, and then I began to glow.
That slowed me down momentarily.
I was flooded with a relief so profound that I almost broke down in tears. I had been wondering, and I had been scared. Suddenly I had had doubts about my abilities and I had feared I had lost my gift.
But I was glowing now!
It did something really good to my confidence, and when I looked up again I was smiling too … and I was sure it wasn’t a very pleasant smile.
Shirley was gone!
I looked around in dismay, and noticed a door swinging slowly shut on my right. The red neon sign on a black background said ‘Emergency Exit’.
Oh, no, you don’t! I thought angrily and ran toward the door.
I burst through it and found myself in a wide alley.
A tall gate was standing open at its end, and standing just in front of it was Shirley, her back turned to me, her nude sagging buttocks looking unusually brown in the bright glare of the lights mounted on the walls.
I began to approach her at top speed, and then I was gagging as the terrible stench hit me. It was an overwhelming stink from a million unwashed sewers, something so strong that I bent double for a moment, and when I finally forced myself upward, it happened.
Shirley Okai, formerly of the rich and famous, began to change; she was being submerged, and something terrible began to take over.
Her legs exploded outward, thick, triple-jointed, hairy and beastly, and then a third one appeared. Her waist thickened and bulged, her head and shoulders shot upward, rapidly changing shape. Her arms bulged out, thick and stunted with three ugly fingers on each hand.
Her head bloated itself into a gigantic horned thing … something I was so familiar with!
Something I had seen coming out of my father….
Something I hate….
The ears changed last, elongating themselves and flattening out against the great horned skull.
And then the Legion turned, fully manifested now. Its crimson eyes were an island of wrath, and its blazing mark was like dripping blood.
WE DOST MEET ONCE MORE, CUNT! THOU WILST DIE THIS DAY!
Its voice rumbled, and it took faltering steps toward me.
I hurried forward to meet that vile thing, my right hand already raised, and I didn’t try to control the terrible fury rising up in my breast.
Death is on you, demons! Tonight you will witness the wrath of the Lord!
BAH! BOO! BAH!! THOU HAVETH NO POWER OVER US, MINION! THOU ART EXREMELY INCOMPLETE, AND THY HEART SHALL BE MINE!!
Its smile was so triumphant that I began to falter, even though I willed myself forward.
Its last word was uttered in a terrible scream that shook the ground and the walls, and then in a flash it flew at me, hands raised, its face rapidly changing into different forms, its eyes also changing fast in a terrible show of colours.
Incomprehension and fear were sudden companions in my chest.
Good Lord, it is attacking me! It isn’t fleeing from me! It isn’t even remotely scared! It is convinced I can’t harm it!
In the name of Jesus, halt right now!
The only effect it had was that it spurred on the Legion, and it came at me even faster and with maddened fury.
And suddenly there it was, right in my face, its fury terrible to behold. Its right hand was raised high in a terrible fist, and as it began to come down I panicked.
I knew that blow would split my head in two, and I was helpless to do anything about it. I slobbered, and my arms came up and covered my head defensively, like cowards always do.
I felt like a sissy; I knew I was being a sissy, but that was alright.
I was scared.
I had never been so scared in my life before.
But the terrible blow didn’t come.
Instead the Legion uttered a bellow of rage, and as I dropped my arms I noticed that I was glowing brightly again, and the Legion was tottering backward, its face filled with fury.
It tried to come at me again, but again my force-field glowed, and it took tottering steps backward.
In the name of Jesus, I command you demons to come out of her!”
My glowing arm was raised toward it.
(in furious growl)
STOP THY NONSENSE, YE INCOMPLETE LITTLE CUNT HOLE!!
And, horror of horrors, it remained standing in my face.
And that was when it finally dawned on me.
We had reached a point in the game often described to as a stalemate.
This was the dead heat, the great stand off.
Somehow I could not harm it, and it could not harm me.
Somewhere along the line, through some means I was not yet aware of, I had lost my power over the damn Legion.
And unless I regained it, somehow, there was no way I was going to face this thing down and defeat it, and that meant that if it decided to go for Paul Anderson there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
Oh, Jesus H. Christ ****er!
The terrified scream came from behind me, and I turned round to see Frost, Abbiw and two other cops crowding the alley behind me, all of them with drawn guns.
Even Frost was looking scared as hell as they stared at the demon.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
(in an unsteady voice)
What in the name of Hades is that?
I was stunned.
They could see it!
How could they see it?
What was happening?
And then the bellow came from behind me, and I saw all of them aiming their guns.
I screamed, holding out my arms, blocking their line of fire.
No, don’t shoot! Shirley Okai is in there!
The Legion was right behind me, and it gave me a swipe that lifted me off my feet and crashed me against the wall. I fell down, dazed, but I saw it suddenly bearing down on the cops, its right fist raised high.
The fist of the demon came down hard on the head of a heavyset cop, and his head just disintegrated. It seemed as if his ears came off, his nose and eyes shot off, and his teeth fell out just before his whole head became mashed.
My horrified eyes watched it falling down almost in slow motion, a huge body with a crushed head.
I could see bones, brain matter and blood up there … but it wasn’t a head.
That could’ve been me!
My head would have disappeared too if I hadn’t had a force-field.
Stupid cop, you should’ve had a force-field, and your head wouldn’t have been mashed like a watermelon under a two-hundred ton truck … dear Lord, that could’ve been me, that could’ve been me …
The insane thoughts ran through my head, unstoppable, and I knew that I was slipping into a sort of panic.
The alley was suddenly filled with the incessant sound of gunfire as the freaked-out cops opened fire.
I watched in helpless anguish as the bullets riddled the great body, and even as it was propelled backward I saw Shirley Okai’s head emerge above that monstrous body, and then one of her arms, and then her white buttocks flashed past.
Finally, when it hit the ground, the body wasn’t that of the Legion anymore, but the naked, blood-soaked, bullet-riddled body of Shirley Okai … one-time wife to a millionaire and part owner of a rich empire.
There was an insane moment, a sort of hiatus, when all we could do was stare at the bodies.
For me it happened because I was at the end of my tether, and didn’t know what else to do. For them it was because they had seen evil in the face, had confronted it, and the result had turned out to be nothing short of madness.
Frost finally looked at me, and I noticed that his self-assurance was all shot to hell.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
What is going on here, Boat? We shot at a monster, didn’t we? I wasn’t hallucinating, was I? s***, you saw it, right? This is bad, man. This is real bad! How’re we gonna explain this?
I rubbed a tired hand across my face.
All of you saw what you saw, and it was real. Mrs. Okai was occupied by a demon, and it manifested. God knows I don’t understand how you saw it, because I thought only people with special gifts would be able to see demon-possessed people.
Bonner suddenly spoke, and we turned to watch him as he limped through the emergency exit and came forward slowly.
Sometimes, when a vile demon like the Legion manifests physically, son, it wants everybody to see it, and it makes itself visible especially if it is inside a human vessel and wants to kill that vessel. This time round it intentionally made its real demonic figure visible so that the cops would fire on it and kill the human body. Chief Inspector Frost and his friends have eyewitnesses in each other, and we’re witnesses too, though I doubt that it will stand up in court. But nobody would be that sympathetic toward Mrs. Okai, though, for killing the people in her house, especially her husband. I’m sure you can come up with something to exonerate yourself, Mr. Frost.
He came to a stop in front of me.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Demons? Manifestations? What the hell are you two talking about?
Bonner ignored the policeman and faced me directly.
You had it cornered, Yaw. What happened?
I threw up my hands in despair.
There was nothing I could do to it! I said all that I was supposed to say. I used the name of Christ. I was filled with faith, I felt strong! But nothing happened. It laughed in my face and scorned my words. What is going on? Why don’t I still have all the powers of an Unblind? What is missing? Help me, because I simply can’t watch any more innocent people getting killed because of my inability to deal with this horde of demons decisively and put them away once and for all!
Did it try to hurt you?
But at the moment it wanted to crush me I glowed, and it retreated.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
Oh, Bragging Ground, Paul’s term for what you described. I can’t touch you, you can’t touch me. There was an occasion when he confronted a demon. It happened to me once too, before my final retirement. I couldn’t cast it out, and although I was scared my faith was strong enough to give me protection against its attack. Oh Lord, I could almost taste it! It has something against you, something really small and basic, and yet I can’t put a damn finger on it… oh, sweet Jesus!
Suddenly he reached out and gripped my arm, his face filled with terror.
Where is it?
Where is what?
The Legion! Shirley is dead! The Legion left her body but it needed a host immediately. You didn’t see it leaving her body, did you?
I pulled my hand free and stared at him with total helplessness.
Think , son, goddamn it! Use your damn gift!
I don’t have any gift, damn you! I’m useless against it.
But your presence can prevent the Legion from killing Paul. Look at the cops! Are any of them occupied?
Slowly my brain began to work, and his horror reached out to me.
Like a mannequin slowly coming to life I pushed past him and swung Frost round.
CHIEF INSPECTOR FROST
“Hey, **** it man, what’s it?
His tone was soft, almost gentle. He was still wrapped up in his moment of horror. The other two cops stared at me nervously. I looked at Bonner.
We said it together.
Bonner sagged against the wall, shaking his head, his face filled with fear. I looked at the open gate at the end of the alleyway. It had been closed when I confronted the Legion.
The Legion occupied Abbiw’ body! It is going after Paul. Move, son, save him!
I left them, running hard, running as I had never ran before.
When I got to the main entrance of the Kitty-Pussi
the other policemen confirmed it: Kweku Abbiw had come by, told them to wait because Chief Inspector Frost would need them.
He had taken one of the police sedans and ridden away.
With my heart beating like crazy I jumped into my Chrysler. I reversed and turned it round in one smooth motion, and then I stepped on the accelerator.
I pumped the car for all the speed it could give.
I would never know how I ever drove into the heart of Portville without killing myself. The needle crept up the speedometer until it was nudging towards the red zone, and still I pressed down on the accelerator.
It was still dawn, and vehicular traffic was at a minimum, but when I hit the interstate highway the traffic cops suddenly appeared on my tail.
They might have been parked off the road, maybe even dozing, or chatting idly as they munched on their stale sandwiches and drank their cold coffees.
They might have been gossiping about the tits of the new lady on the block, or maybe just exchanging false tales about the girls they had conquered.
Whatever it was, my over-speeding car provided them with more adrenaline rushes, and so they came after me. Their sirens wailed and their lights flashed, but I paid no heed to them.
I knew I was driving myself into obvious trouble with the law, but that was the least of my problems.
Aside from the gross inadequacies I felt as an Unblind, I knew I could never live down the guilt of Anderson’s death. He and his wife had trusted in me, and my ability to deal with their nightmare.
Nicole knew I was in Portville to help her father in one way or the other, and my deep love for her couldn’t stand the agony of knowing that I had failed her, and caused her grief.
Bonner, as usual, was right. I could not harm the Legion, but the truth was that the host of demons could not hurt me either.
With me beside Anderson I could at least prevent any harm from befalling the pastor until Bonner worked out whatever diabolical trait was rendering me powerless over the demons.
I emerged from a tunnel, took a sharp curve and found the road blocked by two police sedans parked nose to nose.
My headlights picked up about four cops lined behind the bodies of the sedans, guns leveled across the hoods.
I trod harder on the accelerator.
My windscreen shattered suddenly and I knew they were shooting at me.
I turned the wheel away from the center of the road and aimed for the tail of one of the cars. The Chrysler smashed into the car, spewing it across the road.
There was the nasty sound of shearing metal, and the car bucked for a moment, the engine whining in agony, and suddenly it sputtered, the engine almost going out.
I changed down, trod harder on the accelerator. The huge car leapt, screeching in protest, and then it was free and tearing down the road. I heard metallic clunks on the body and knew it had taken more bullets, but I was away.
And they kept coming.
More police cars were chasing me!
By the time I reached the quiet neighborhood of the Mission House the red lights in my rear-view mirror could have belonged to the whole police fleet in Portville.
I could see that about four powerful police motorbikes were also gaining on me hard.
I crested the knoll at top speed and sped toward the picturesque Mission House. The breath-taking sight of the lake failed to impress me this time; I barely noticed it as I sent the bucking car shooting off the stone bridge.
My heart sank with sudden misery when I saw the black and white police car slewed across the grass, parked awkwardly as if its owner had been in a terrible hurry.
Its headlights and inside lights were still on, and as I came to a stop and jumped out of the car I realized that its engine was still running.
There was a nasty gash along its side as if it had hit something and been dragged along it. Maybe – just maybe – Abbiw hadn’t had that much of a lead on me.
Maybe he had just got here, and there was still a chance to help Paul Anderson.
The main door was standing open, the interior dark. I ran forward and entered.
He must have been waiting just inside the door, crouched low, eyes already adjusted to the darkness.
I didn’t see it coming until something crashed against my shins. I fell down with a groan of pain, wondering dazedly if he had broken my legs.
I tried to control my fall and pinpoint where he was, but he was ahead of his game, and whatever he had hit me with came crashing hard against the side of my head.
The breath was knocked out of me, and I started losing my vision.
Hands gripped my shoulders, and I was lifted slightly off the floor, and then he threw me bodily out of the house.
My body sailed through the doorway, and my shoulders crashed into the stairs, sending shards of pain through my spine, and I fell face first into the wet grass.
I tried to struggle to my feet, but my body refused to obey me. I fought the unconsciousness, digging my chin deep into my chest as I breathed hard.
There was a wetness along one side of my face, and my shins felt as if they were being roasted in metal fire.
To be continued…
© – Agyeman
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