“You’re short.” He flicked at an imaginary piece of lint on the sleeve of his jacket.
“And you’re ugly.” She retorted absentmindedly, her eyes on the forest around them.
“…And you’re fat.” He quipped and she stopped short, glaring up at her demonic escort.
“I’m NOT FAT! I’m pregnant you cunt. You don’t call pregnant women fat!” Adramelech, in his human form, rolled his eyes.
“Well why the hell not?”
“Because they might accidentally do this.”
“Do wha….AAAAAHHHH!! Don’t do that! I’m sensitive!” She watched him pat out the flames that snaked up the back of his skull and lit his hair on fire. Lacy snickered softly as the copper locks spit smoke at her. His eyes went black.
“You’re a very cruel mistress.”
“You don’t know the half of it.” She turned her eyes back to the building they’d slowly been approaching, her voice low, in awe of the gigantic abandoned cathedral. “Is this it?” She asked and he gave a curt nod, a cheshire grin curling his already feline features.
“Yes. Catedral de la muerte. Home of the eternal Black Mass.”
“Black Mass? Explain that to me.” She ordered, her voice soft as he shouldered the large wooden doors aside and allowed her passage. The heels of her boots where loud against the broken concrete floor, echoing through the enormous sanctuary that she couldn’t help but notice was painted a dull fading black, the walls curling and buckling inward from water damage and age. Adramelech came to stand beside her, his eyes darting around the dark room, inhuman ears perked as he stayed on high alert.
“The Black Mass is a magical ceremony and inversion or ‘parody’ of the Catholic Mass that was indulged in ostensibly for the purpose of mocking God and worshipping Lucifer…” He fought his way through cobwebs, making it easier for her to pass, his arm snaking around her waist to lift her over broken pews and other obstacles. “It is a rite that was said to involve human sacrifice as well as obscenity and blasphemy of horrific proportions…” His voice drifted off and she absentmindedly rubbed her arms through her denim jacket as he released her and moved towards the pulpit. It was cold. Unnaturally cold. Outside it had to be in the sixties, but inside the cathedral the temperature dropped into the twenties. Adramelech held out his hand, palm up and manifested a little ball of fire that he used to illuminate the nearly pitch black sanctuary. It barely penetrated the air around him, the darkness so thick it felt like slime as it slid over her flesh and into her soul. “Here.” he said suddenly as he pointed to what looked like an alter that was covered in dead leaves. He used his hand to clear a spot and motioned her over. Lachesis approached with caution. “This is where they would bring in the sacrifices. Chained and screaming. Begging to be released. Probably some young pregnant woman, or even a child depending on the mood of the man overseeing the ritual. After sexually violating them he’d lay them down here…on the wood…and then BAM!” Adramelech clapped his hands together, the echoing sound making her jump. The flame in his hand flickered back to life slowly. “They’d bring down the ax and behead them. Hanging the body from it’s ankles….here.” He continued to move, now standing next to a large window with a clear view of the cemetery out back. Adramelech motioned to a pair of chains and an inverted cross connected to some sort of pully device and crank. “They’d hoist the body up here and take turns bathing in the shower of blood it expelled. Exciting isn’t it?”
“No.” She said simply as her eyes finally adjusted to the darkness, making her even more antsy than she’d been before he’d started talking. “No it’s simply horrific. And all this in honor of Lucy?” Adramelech laughed his wheezing laugh as he squatted down to inspect a spot on the concrete that looked like the remains of a pentagram that had been burned into the tattered carpet.
“What? I know you don’t think your precious little humans are incapable of cruelty.”
“Of course they aren’t. I’ve just…”
“Just?” He cocked a copper brow in her direction and she made vague hand movements until she found the right words.
“I’ve just never seen it first hand! Up close and…Personal…” She watched his eyes alight with mischief as he rose from his crouch.
“You’re frightened aren’t you? The twelve thousand year old ghost hunting, demon summoning…Fate. You’re terrified right now!” He laughed and she glared.
“I’m not afraid. I’m…having morning sickness. Now where are the ghosts?” she demanded and he grinned maliciously.
“One does not simply walk into a haunted cathedral and expect the specters to just jump out and go boo.” He licked his lips and motioned to a spot beside her with his eyes. Following his fixed stare she felt her heart drop into the pit of her stomach as her gaze traveled up the ghostly image of a man who’s throat had been slit. His head nearly severed.
“Boo.” he growled and with a squeak she stumbled backwards away from him until she ran into something solid and warm. Adremelech caught her about the waist and held her still as he smiled into her eyes.
“Now now mistress Fate, the poor thing hasn’t even been grounded yet. He can’t touch you let alone harm you.” He motioned back to the ghost who watched them with a stillness that was just…unnatural. The demon behind her scoffed. “Besides I think I deserve a bit more credit. I’m a thousand times scarier than…that.” Lachesis elbowed him in the stomach until he lifted his hands and let her go.
“Okay so what do we do with him?”
“You ground him and ask him if he wants to be released.” he gave her a droll stare and she fidgeted as she checked her pockets and tried to remember everything about ghosts she’d learned on the car ride over.
“Okay grounding, grounding. OH! A circle! I capture him in a circle like I would use to hold a demon.” She reminded herself as she pulled a piece of magnetic chalk from her pocket and went to draw a very wide, very lopsided circle around the ghost. Adramelech coughed and she erased it with her foot only to redraw it as correctly as possible. “Alright what’s next?”
“The forces of life…” The demon stood back watching, waving his hand in the air for her to carry on, much like a teacher who couldn’t be bothered to do his job would.
“Oh. The forces of life shine strong within me. The power of death binds you to…me…” She couldn’t remember the rest of the spell and even now the ghost was starting to look bored. “Well hells bells this is my first time you know!” She huffed and Adramelech sighed. Loudly, as he came forward, his palm out and the grounding spell falling fast from his lips. She watched the ghost solidify within her circle, his skin pale from his loss of blood and his neck wound looking even more gruesome.
“You are hopeless.” Adramelech stopped next to her before reaching out to pinch her cheek. “But you’re adorable so I guess I can let that slide.” She slapped at his hands until he released her.
“Cut it out. I’ll go home smelling like sulfur and then my husband will know what I was up to.” she frowned, her eyes never leaving the ghost.
“You mean the Lord Bael doesn’t know you’re out crawling around abandoned Cathedral’s after midnight freeing trapped spirits…in the company of a demon?”
“Well aren’t you the average everyday super hero. Shall I call you Batman or would you prefer spider-girl?”
“Shut up and lets just get this over with!” She growled at him and to her amazement the ghost laughed. Well…the best he could with most of his vocal cords having been severed. Lachesis cleared her throat. “Um. Hello Mr. Ghost. Would you like to be released into the next plane of existence?” The ghost gave her a droll look.
“So I can spend the rest of my after life in hell? I don’t think so kiddo. Why don’t you run along and find something else to do.” She blinked.
“You don’t understand. You can’t just stay here.”
“Why not?” he asked and she blinked again. He had a good point. Adramelech sighed loudly beside her.
“Oh for the love of the infernal lord! You’re useless! You!” He pointed at the ghost who licked his pale lips. “You don’t get a fucking choice. We’re releasing you and you’ll pay for your crimes in hell. Now. Lachesis release him.” He ordered and the goddess mentally flipped through everything she knew about ghosts.
“Uh…I don’t know how to?” Adramelech looked at her as if he wanted to strangle her. She appeared sheepish. “The book you gave me didn’t cover actually releasing spirits!”
“Never in all my years have I wanted to assault a woman more. Pay attention child.” He held his hand out again and the ghost visibly tensed. “I, Adramelech the fire king do hereby release you into the next plane.” He closed his eyes dramatically and Lachesis cocked a brow before reaching over to tug on the sleeve of his leather jacket.
“Was something supposed to happen? And I think our ghost is peeing on you.” He opened his eyes only to narrow them at the ghost who’d whipped out his cock and was sending a spectral stream of urine out of the circle and onto Adramelech’s pants leg.
“Why you filthy tosser.” He started forward and Lacy moved to hold him back.
“You’re not allowed to beat up ghosts! Let’s just release him so we can go home please?”
“I can’t release the bastard obviously. You’ll have to do it.” He told her and she gave him a nervous look.
“How?” She frowned.
“Repeat the release spell. Feed it power, but not too much, and will it to be so. It’s simple.” he lifted her hand in his, uncurling the fingers that where clenched in fear, his body moving behind hers, warming her and chasing off the chill. “Give it a go.” He whispered close to her ear and she inhaled deeply.
“Alright. I, Lachesis…um..Fate…do hereby release you into the next plane.” She slowly fed the spell power, her eyes never leaving the ghosts as he smirked. “Um. Adra it’s not working.” she looked up at the demon who had his head cocked, his brow furrowed in curiosity. The ghost smirked.
“I believe we’ve made a grave error here Spider-girl.” Adramelech said quietly as he backed her away from the circle.
“Error? What do you mean? And where are we…?” She stopped speaking, her eyes widening as the ghost stepped out of the circle that should have held him fast.
“He’s not dead.” Adramelech moved to stand in front of her protectively and she shook. “What we have here…Is another demon mistress.” The ‘ghost’ laughed darkly and before she could react she and Adramelech where blown off their feet as the cathedral threatened to crumble around them.