Exorcist Files

The Exorcist Files 101

#Notes to all Exorcists:

These files should be used to document demon and any other paranormal activity in the Archdiocese of Glasgow and Argyll. They are for the use of exorcists in the field and their superiors only. Exorcists should document all evidence and include personal assessments and thoughts. The latter are important and should not be omitted. The Glasgow Metropolitan Church (the Met) administrators and clergy have a duty to monitor individual exorcists for signs of corruption and/or possession during and after assignments and other investigations, so personal documentation is one way we monitor exorcists; it is for your safety and the safety of others.

Simon O’Hara: Case File 101

I’m not comfortable sharing personal information, but I will do my best to document things as I see them. I graduated from St. Anthony’s seminary some six weeks ago, specializing, of course, in exorcism. I’ve been lucky enough to join the Glasgow Metropolitan church (being a Glasgow boy) and serve out my time as junior exorcist on the front line against the growing tide of evil washing over our great city. When I began this journey five years ago, I was motivated by revenge. I know this was wrong and there has been doubt about my suitability for the job because of my past. However, after five long years of study, meditation, and prayer, I have cleansed myself of those feelings. I am sure that a demon or other entity will not be able to manipulate me, or trigger any strong emotions that may blind my ability to do my job as an exorcist. I appreciate that Deacon Anderson does not hold the same opinion. He believes me to be too unbalanced to be an exorcist. He has asked that I assist Father Jack MacKenzie (Mac) for a trial period, after which the Deacon will make a decision on whether I will continue as a junior exorcist at the Met.

14th November 1998, Met Library

I was studying ‘The Exorcism Rite,’ when Mac strode in, boots clomping on the parquet floor. He’s a big man, belly to rival Friar Tuck’s, and ruddy face like he’s spent the morning downing a couple of bourbons, followed by a half-bottle of whisky with a vodka chaser, and then a wee nippy sweetie to settle the stomach (this is truly what I thought; I still feel uncomfortable with this level of honesty in professional documents). He spied me sitting at one of the carrel desks, you know the ones: high-sided, meant to isolate the user from any distractions or, in my case any distractions and social interactions. I prefer to work alone.

“Right lad,” said Mac, stomping up to me. He pulled out a high-backed chair from the desk next to mine, scraping it over the floor like chalk on a blackboard. Father Kerr, the librarian, eyed Mac stiffly from the shelves he was stacking, but said nothing. Mac leant heavily on the chair and caught his breath; he’s got bad knees.

“I’m thirty-one Father, so not a lad.”

“Ouija board case, some stupid wee bint’s got herself on the Deacon’s radar.”

“I don’t think we should refer to women as bints, Father.”

“Enough with the backchat son, just get your coat, it’s raining out. Soft touch like you’ll get consumption and end up in the gutter, tits up, without one, and I canny be bothered with the paperwork.”

I’m never sure if he treats me with disrespect to toughen me up for the job or if he hates me. I suspect it’s the latter. I grab my coat; it’s thick, woolen, and black; I pull it over my black clerical shirt and trousers. No need to worry about fashion when you join the Met. I don’t wear a collar, not yet. Father Mac wears a traditional cassock; I think he likes the theatrics of it.

We walk up worn spiral stone stairs to the upper level. The Met division offices and training rooms are on the lower floors, above us on the ground floor is St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

“Scottish Ouija case,” says Mac and I try to stop myself laughing, but he can see me smiling. “What’s the joke posh boy?”

“Nothing?”

“Come on, what’s so funny?”

“You pronounce Ouija as Weegie, you know, the slang for Glaswegians, it… I.” I shut up as I catch the dark look on his face.

“Well, we know one thing. You’ll never get a job as a stand-up comic.” He pushes open the heavy security door. The Met’s security is first class, even though it’s built on sacred ground. Demons are intelligent creatures; you can count on the fact they’ll find a work-around one day, and we have to be ready.

“Explain Ouija possession; use a recent case as an example,” he wanted to see if I actually did any studying in the library, I suppose. We have to keep up to date with known contemporary and historical possessions. I have personal experience with a case, but I choose to tell him about another older case.

“Steven Smith, a forty-seven-year-old builder was possessed with the demon Agares after using an Ouija board in an attempt to contact his late wife during the grieving process. We know it was Agares, as he was unusually able to burn his seal into Smith’s back using hellfire.”

“And?” snapped Mac gruffly. We were outside now; rain drizzled, the air bitter. He lit a cigarette and drew on it deeply.

“Agares controlled Smith, inciting him to acquire a license for, and buy, a rifle. The victim then conducted a killing spree, while driving a jeep through the Fife town of Kirkcaldy. He killed nine people, including a seven-year-old boy. Father Duncan Grant performed the exorcism, but during the process Smith was able to break free and threw himself out of the third-floor window. He didn’t survive. Father Grant commented in his notes that Smith smelt strongly of honey, and the demon that possessed him reacted strongly to Pure Trinity and salt blessed by the nuns of the Righteous Flame.”

“And the O’Hara case?” asked Mac turning to look at me, watching for my reaction. I didn’t reply, just stuck my hands deep into my coat pockets.

“You going to be able to handle this son? If the shit hits it?” I stopped walking. Mac walked on a few steps till he realized. He turned, watching me closely, I caught his eye, holding it sullenly and saying nothing. I think he got the point. I wasn’t going to discuss the subject, not with him, not with anyone. It was in the past and I had dealt with it.

“Right, glad we got that cleared up.” He took another deep draw on his cigarette and coughed again, spitting whatever came up into the gutter. Disgusted, I walked on.

“Bint’s called Carla MacLeod. She’s a charlatan at best, possessed at worst. She used the Ouija board, at first, to help the police find murder victims and missing kids, that sort of schtick. She’s on the TV now, some Ghostie program and we’re going to her live show tonight.” He handed me a ticket.

“It’s three and the show doesn’t start till seven tonight?” I said. Mac shrugged.

“Time for a quick pint then.”

****

14th November, The Kings Theatre, Bath Street, Glasgow

We arrived at the Kings late, didn’t matter, Mac made a fuss and complained till we were let into the auditorium and took our seats midway up the stalls; turns out he’s a high-functioning alcoholic.

The show had already started. Carla MacLeod was on stage, alone, speaking to the audience. Mac dug his elbow into my ribs, “she’s some looker laddie,” loud enough for the people around us to shush and tut. “I canny get Russell, the love muscle, to do any exercise, if you get what I mean. The drink. Just saying ‘cause you carry on the way you’re going… ” He was talking rubbish, of course. I can take the drink or leave it.

“I thought we took celibacy vows Father, when we were ordained.” I said, trying to embarrass him I suppose or shut him up.

“I’m a fan of Han Solo.”

“Shut it! I canny hear her,” said the woman sitting on the right side of Mac. I turned my attention to Carla, she was indeed a looker; small, slender, and with hair the color of fall leaves. She moved from one side of the stage to the other, as graceful as a dancer, and she was asking the audience if any of them knew ‘a William, a John, or a James.’ There is a ripple of excitement as a woman in a green jumper, a few rows down from us, stuck up her hand.

“My husband!”

“Jesus, like half the room don’t know a William, John, or James” shouted Mac. I sink back into my chair. “Three of the most popular boy’s names from the turn of the century into the 1980s. Hands up if you don’t know a William, John, or James?”

The entire auditorium turn and stare, it feels, just a little bit hostile.

“Mac, I thought our objective was to observe?” I lifted my hand to my forehead in an attempt to hide my face.

“James!” shouts the woman in the green jumper. “James are you here? Is he here?”

“I’m sensing a James, was he known as Jim or Jimmy?” asks Carla.

“Not Jamie? You didn’t try Jamie lass,” shouts Mac.

“Jim,” says the woman in the green jumper, “Jim, my Jim!”

“Lucky break, MacLeod. It’s time to spout your nonsense, go on.”

“He was poorly; heart problems or cancer,” continued Carla; she was seemingly unaffected by Mac’s catcalling. Maybe she was hardened to it; it probably wasn’t the first time her ‘talents’ had been called into question. Mac leaned over, breathing whisky fumes into my face.

“She’s cold reading son.” I push him away. The woman in the green jumper was crying and a younger woman sitting at her side had reached over to hold her hand.

Carla walked to a table positioned in center stage; it was square, with a red felt surface angled so the audience could see what was on top of it: a Ouija board. Carla placed her hand on the Ouija, then, after about thirty seconds of intense concentration, she picked up a planchette.

“Alice?” asks Carla firmly, and places the planchette on the Ouija board, “Is Jim here? Does he have anything he wants to communicate?”

“Who’s Alice?” I ask Mac; I’m quite captivated by the spectacle. The audience has gone quiet, except for Mac’s snorts of derision. And there is something about Carla, the way she moves, her confidence and poise.

“Probably her spirit guide and by that I don’t mean her can tell her single malts from her blended. Some psychics claim a spirit guide talks to them and can connect to the spirit world, bring back messages from the dead, you know, a go-between.”

We are told to ‘shush,’ again. Mac takes the hint this time and shuts up to watch the goings on on stage with the rest of the audience.

Nothing is happening. Carla is standing stock still, then suddenly with an overdramatic flair, she thrusts out her arm. I glance at Mac, who has his eyes closed, and I wonder if the drink has finally sent him to sleep. Then I hear a few murmurs from the audience, and intakes of breath; my eyes dart back to the stage and widen in surprise. The planchette is moving, completely unaided, it glides across the board and settles its point on the word ‘Yes.’ Carla turns to the audience.

“Jim is here,”

“Bollocks,” snorts Mac.

The woman in the green jumper is sobbing uncontrollably. I turn to Mac and ask him a question, something I’ve wondered for a long time, “If a loved one had died and there was a way to let their partner or their children know they were okay, they’d find a way wouldn’t they, Father? Surely we have to give her the benefit of doubt?” I said. If I had died instead of Kirsten, I would’ve done everything in my power to contact her, whatever it took. Mac looked at me with what I took to be pity and patted my knee.

“I’m sorry son,” he said softly, “But that’s shite talk and don’t ever let the Deacon hear you speak like that. As far as the church is concerned, talking ghosts is the work of the devil: once you’re in God’s realm, there is no coming back. You think something else, maybe you should join the daughters of Conyngham?”

“… Security took their bloody time… ” someone near me said curtly. I looked towards the stage; Carla stood with her hand on her hip, eyebrows raised. I mean I couldn’t see her eyebrows from this distance, but, by the way she was standing, she probably had them raised. And the audience were unsettled; some had turned to look at me and Mac, others were chatting. A couple of large guys in suits walked up the aisle towards us; the first one beckoned.

“Daughters of whom?” I would have to check that out.

“Fathers will you go with security, they’ll show you out,” Carla spoke across the room to us. “I don’t think the show is for you and you’re ruining it for everyone else and Father,” she looked directly at me, “Kirsten with the blue eyes and the flame-colored hair, she says, find peace Simon.” My heart missed a beat. Kirsten. How could she know Kirsten? How was that possible? I felt Mac push me roughly.

“You want to get in touch with a spirit? I’ve got a hip flask full of the stuff,” said Mac to the audience, pulling out a flask and attempting to unscrew the top, while falling heavily to his side and into the lap of the lady who had sat to his left. She screeched with indignation, as the first security guard reached for the flask, “Get yer hands off!” Mac shouted.

“It’s alright Father,” I said, taking Mac firmly by the arm and hauling him up. I kept my head down as we walked past the security guards; they looked suitably disappointed with our behavior.

Five minutes later, we were standing on the pavement outside the theater; the night had drawn in and the rain had progressed from light drizzle to bucketing. Mac lit a cigarette and took a deep draw; the light from the theater’s entrance casting hard shadows across his face.

“Want to go for a nightcap, son?”

****

I took a cab home a couple of hours later and a lot worse for wear. It was only after I’d paid and the car had driven off that I noticed I was standing outside the house I’d shared with Kirsten. It looked the same, like I could let myself in and walk to the bedroom at the back of the house and find Kirsten sleeping. I would do anything to lay down with her, hold her close. Anything, please God.

Thoughts of Carla MacLeod crept into my mind, how she had gotten the description of Kirsten dead on. Flame-haired, blue eyes, blue as a summer sky, my heart still fluttered at the thought of her, though she’d been dead six years. We’d met in school and spent more than a decade together; she was my soul mate, my forever love.

I sat on the front step of our house that once was, and cried. God only knows how the new owners didn’t hear me.

Several hours later, I stumbled along the pavement, grumbling and swearing to myself about the two-hour walk home, when it popped into my head that maybe this was a sign. A sign from Kirsten that Carla needed help. Zeal charged through my body.

The next morning Mac mumbled something about the inside of his mouth being like a bear pit. His eyes were bloodshot and he seemed generally a little on the shaky side, but who was I to judge? It had taken an hour and a half to get home last night and then I’d had a few more ‘nightcaps’ to take the edge off the feelings visiting the old house had brought to the surface.

“This MacLeod woman, you can finish the investigation yourself son and write it up, keep me informed, eh?” he said. I asked Mac about including the drinking and other personal stuff in the files.

“Include everything. It’s a failsafe measure and there’s not an exorcist alive who doesn’t have his vices. Things we see, have to deal with, sometimes getting rat-arsed is the only way to relax.” I’m not sure I agreed. Meditation and yoga or a long run would probably be healthier options. But then again, sometimes passing out from the drink gave me peace from my brain and its constant thinking and feeling. “This is an important step in your training, do the follow-up, check there’s no possession, get the paper work done, and move on to the next case. I’m sure she’s a quack, so it’s an easy one, but if you hear banjos in the woods son, and a demon is involved, you call pronto. Got it?”

15th November 2015, Interview with Carla MacLeod, Dressing Room, Kings Theatre

Carla MacLeod agreed to talk with me in her dressing room a couple of hours before her show. I ask her about Kirsten, but she doesn’t remember mentioning her. She said that often her spirit guide, Alice, talks through her and on those occasions she doesn’t remember what was said.

I leave shortly after, feeling very low at the lack of information. I decide Mac is right, she is a quack, and head to the Met library to write up the report.

Article clipped from the Glasgow Telegraph

Bookshop owner, Kirsten O’Hara, died unexpectedly at home. The police are not looking for anyone in connection with the death. O’Hara, who owned a bookshop and was an active member of the local community, was said to have become obsessed with the occult shortly before her death. After a house clearance, she had come across a box of demonological grimoires; this lead her to join the Tears of Ra, an occultist sect of which little is known, except that its name refers to the tears shed by Ra, the Egyptian sun god; his tears were turned into worker bees. The sect was thought to worship demons.

16th of November 1998, Glenmore Avenue, Glasgow

After my first unsuccessful visit with Carla MacLeod, I decide to try again; this time we meet at her home, where I was hoping she, at least, would feel more relaxed. She wears a sweet perfume, which I find very pleasing, and her hair is a riot of dark auburn curls, which cascade down over her shoulders. I feel suddenly like I want to make a good impression.

“Can you tell me more about Alice?” I ask. Carla pushes her hair behind her ear and thinks; her dark blue eyes distant.

“She was a spiritualist from the Victorian era, died in 1887. She held séances in her home for believers. She had a large family, too, six children; she loved children. That’s how I first got in touch with her or, rather, she got in touch with me. She wanted to help with a police investigation for a missing child, Tim Clark” she said. I had come across the story of the missing child in my research and have included an excerpt from file #162 Father Rob Andrews.

Case File #162 Father Rob Andrews

CID Sergeant Grant from Strathclyde police stated that the information provided by self-proclaimed clairvoyant Carla MacLeod did not lead to the discovery of the missing boy, Tim Clark; instead, he called her a ‘time waster,’ and suggested ‘she wanted publicity for her show.’

16th of November 1998, Glenmore Avenue, Glasgow

“How did Alice contact you, Carla?” I ask.

“By email.”

“I… what?”

“I’m joking, Father.”

“Oh, I’m not. Not a Father, not yet. I have a few years training in my specialist area and then I’ll be ordained.”

“I see, well I’m sure life will be very interesting.” She leaned forward to take a sip of tea from a china teacup. Everything about her was elegant. “Alice came soon after I bought the Ouija board. I think she haunts it, some objects have strong connections with the other world, after a person passes they can leave a residual energy or intellect, which grounds itself in an object they once owned. I think Alice owned the board when she was alive; she only communicates with me when it’s near.”

“Can I see it? The board?”

“Of course,” I watched as she lifted herself gracefully from the couch and walked to an oak sideboard; the top half was made up of shelves upon which were an assortment of china cups and saucers, of all shapes and patterns. Not one item matched another.

She pulled an Ouija board from the cupboard underneath and brought it back to the table, pushing it towards me. I can’t say I felt anything, nothing spooky, nothing demon. It was an old board for sure, varnish cracked and yellowed, plain looking. The planchette was unusual though, sinister looking: heart shaped, with a face gouged into the wood, a hole on the wide end, presumably used to hang the planchette up, looked like a howling mouth.

“Alice tells me things, about people. About how they died.”

“Oh,” I say absently, as I turned the board around in my hands.

“She told me about Kirsten.” My heart began to beat faster, “About the demon who killed her; the name is Seraga.”

“I thought you didn’t know anything about Kirsten?” I looked up at Carla, her face was slack, eyes glassy. “Alice?” I ask.

“Kirsten says she just wanted a good life for you both. She’s so very sorry.” Carla’s lips moved, while the rest of her face remained slack and unreadable. And I realized my whole body was flooded with emotion. With hope.

“Kirsten…” I croak, trying to gain control of my feelings. I want to speak to Kirsten; I want to know where she is, if I knew then… I could go there, we could be together again.

“She’s gone to the other place, but she left word on the demon that killed her, how it can be found.” Alice says in a voice as hollow as a grave.

A sudden hot anger surged through me and an energy I hadn’t known since the day I had joined the seminary.

“Tell me,” my voice was strangled and tight at the mention of Kirsten in the same breath as that demon scum.

“Seven hundred and thirty, Great Western Road.” I furrowed my brow, anger dissipating into confusion.

“That’s uh, that’s very specific.”

*******

16th November 1998, 730 Great Western Road, Glasgow

It turned out to be a sports shop. Busy too, very busy, there was a queue outside waiting for the new Adidas trainer. Inside, a shop assistant with a pixie haircut said the trainer wouldn’t be out till tomorrow and that some people had brought camping gear and were going to make a night of it right outside on the pavement. They were a small shop, she had continued, and were lucky to get a piece of the Adidas action. I asked to speak to the owner; it was so busy we waited over an hour to speak with her, and then she took us to a coffee shop across the road, so we could speak in peace. I told her I was from the Metropolitan Church and that there had been some strange activity on the Great Western Road overnight and we were just chatting with local residents to reassure them. She seemed keen for a break from work.

 16th November 1998, Interview with Lily Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Sports

LK: Six months ago I was on the verge of bankruptcy.

CM: And now you’re looking for a manager?

LK: I’m run off my feet, but I need to set things up, so I get time off to look after the wee one. I’ll be able to afford an au pair to help out, but I want time with baba too. (She pats her stomach; she is clearly heavily pregnant).

SOH: Your social life is over (laughter).

LK: (laugh) It wasn’t up to much anyhow. I just go to the circle once a week, going later, it’s a real godsend. Only time I get a break and some breathing space.

SOH: The Circle? What’s that? A knitting circle?

LK: No, Father, it’s a mentor network, you know, for building relationships and coaching for local businesses. They’ve really helped me; I think it’s the key to why I’ve been so successful.

CM: And it’s just called the Circle?

LK: Circle of Ra, the Ra bit frightens people, they think it’s bad mojo or somethin’. But without the Circle I’d still be falling behind on my mortgage and not eatin’, so I could pay the employees their wages. Now thanks to their business seminars and mentors I’m quids in, and looking at maybe getting the mortgage paid off early. Living the dream, eh Father? (Laughter)

SOH: You meet tonight?

LK: We meet every Wednesday.

SOH: Maybe we could come along?

At this point, Lily became quiet; she asked me to switch off the voice recorder and declined to take part in any further questioning. She left shortly after, saying she was sorry and just to ignore everything she’d said.

The story sounded familiar. It was Kirsten’s story and, like Kirsten, Lily was just an ordinary woman, who wanted to help people in her community. Neither Lily nor Kirsten were looking for mega riches or power, they just wanted to keep their heads above water and maybe get a holiday or a car. Give their kids a good start in life. A memory of Kirsten flashed into my mind; her hand over her bare belly, the lines around her eyes crinkled as she laughed, “I just felt it kick.”

****

We waited in the car outside the community hall on Wednesday evening, half past seven, the time Lily gave us as the start of the meeting, but we see no one enter the hall.

“Maybe there’s another entrance?” says Carla. I decided to bring her along; her help so far has been invaluable. Also, I like her company and I explained we were only there to observe and collect intelligence.

I grabbed my backpack from the trunk of the car; in it were exorcist tools, not church issue; my own collection, just ordinary salt, holy water, and a couple of medals blessed by a priest, good for throwing. In hindsight, I realize I should’ve called Mac, or called for backup. In hindsight, the Deacon’s concerns about me were perhaps not unfounded. I did not know what ‘Alice’ was; I was taking Clara at her word and she was probably a liar. CID Sergeant Grant of Strathclyde police force seemed to think so, and there was the fact that ‘Alice,’ was pushing all my Kirsten buttons. I wasn’t thinking clearly; all I was thinking was how much I would enjoy killing the demon vermin who killed my wife. But when you are in the moment, you have to trust your instincts.

The community hall’s front door was locked, so we walked around the side of the building till we found a side door. I unzipped the front pocket of my backpack and fumbled for my lockpick set; it was a pin-tumbler lock, so didn’t take long. Inside it was quiet and the lights were turned off. At first, it felt like the place was empty, you know you can usually tell if someone is out when you ring their doorbell, it was like that, but then we heard a low chant. I pressed my finger to my lips as Carla opened her mouth to speak; instead, she pulled my sleeve and then nodded her head, indicating the sound was coming from the north end of the corridor.

We crept up to a door that was slightly ajar and peeked inside; a large hall; smells of incense, honey, and mold; seven figures stand in a circle, they were the ones chanting. They wore hooded cloaks; some gray, some black. Each held a golden scepter out in front of them, the figure in the twelve o’clock position held both a scepter and an ankh. Their chants were building and something was manifesting in the center of the circle; a ball of smoke crackled with energy, bolts of sick green light exploded from it and hit each of the figures, full in the chest. They stopped chanting. Some dropped to their knees and screamed. Others threw their hands in the air in exultation.

I pushed the door wide; Carla caught me by the arm, pulling herself into me, I felt her hot breath on my neck and ear, “I thought we were just observing; it’s too dangerous,” and she was right, but my gut told me I had to act now, and stop whatever was happening.

“Stop!” I shouted running into the room. The screaming did stop, and then the pandemonium started. Some of the figures ran; the ball of smoke dissipated as soon as the circle was broken. One charged straight at me and a moment later I was on my back as the cowled figure swiped at my face, nails tearing into the flesh. I yanked at the figure’s hood; it was Lily Kennedy; she snarled, eyes yellow. I clutched at the crucifix around my neck; Kirsten’s crucifix, the one I had given to her on her eighteenth birthday, and slammed it into Lily’s forehead. Smoke billowed and I smelt the flesh burning. It didn’t stop her though, just made her angrier, and she pummeled me with her fists; she was strong, unnaturally strong, and I forgot all my training. She slid her hands around my throat and started to press, harder and harder, and all I could do was flail, until I pulled myself together, smashing her arms away and covering my face with my hands. Using my elbows for protection, I quickly moved my left shoulder into her body, pinning her right arm into her stomach and making it impossible for her to punch me. She screamed, howled, swore, and spat. Then I hooked her right leg with my left, unbalancing her and toppling her over, and then I was on top, straddling her.

“Your wife was a whore…” Lily spat.

“My backpack, Carla!” I croaked, where was she? Had the others attacked her? But then my backpack was in my hands. It wasn’t Carla though; it was one of the other figures, her cowl drawn back, a blond woman, a look of shock on her face.

I threw salt in Lily’s face and quickly made the sign of the cross over her, then grabbed her wrists and pinned her to the floor. She bucked and writhed, screaming and cursing. I began the deliverance prayer.

“She left you because you’re a dirty drunk.”

“Shut up!”

“… Couldn’t get it up,” suddenly I had my hands around her throat.

“That’s not true, she loved me.”

“… Couldn’t have a baby.”

“No! No… We were happy, she was pregnant,” I shouted, spittle on my lips, my face red with anger. Lily spat in my face as I pressed harder and harder. The woman who had given me the backpack screamed.

That brought me round too, thank fuck. I caught Lily’s wrists again and started Deliverance from the beginning. Chanting it over and over and over. Time stopped as I focused on the cleansing words. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and opened my eyes. Lily lay under me, hair wet with sweat, cheeks flushed, and eyes bloodshot. But it was Lily; the demon had gone. I rolled off her and lay on the wooden floorboards; Carla knelt down beside Lily and took her hand.

“You nearly killed her,” said Carla, brushing hair out of Lily’s eyes. And I had. All it had taken were a few words and fury had blasted through my body; the need for revenge was still in the driving seat of my mind. Maybe the Deacon was right; I was too dangerous to be an exorcist.

“Where were you?” I asked, but she didn’t answer. Instead, she caught my eye and guided my gaze down Lily’s body until I saw the woman’s stomach. It was flat. She was no longer pregnant. She had never been pregnant; it had been the demon.

A team from the Met arrived an hour later and took the circle members who remained in the hall back to the cathedral for debriefing. The Met would track down the other members who’d run. Their debriefing would include personality tests and psychological analysis to assess how much damage they had done to their own psyches and if they were fully aware of the danger they had put themselves in by invoking the demon. Usually people are just stupid; they don’t think demons are real. For the few who do, and are seriously bringing evil into our world, well they somehow find themselves framed for a crime they didn’t commit and end up in jail, where they can do no more harm.

13th December 2018, Interview with Matilda White, High Priestess of the ‘Circle’

Matilda White was the name of the Circle leader, and she was also the blond woman who gave me the backpack when I straddled Lily. She and the group thought it was ‘white magic.’ Good things happened to people in the group; all of whom were found to be of sound mind. They made a mistake and there was no evil intent on their parts. Lily Kennedy was still in hospital recovering from her ordeal.

MW: I was interested in white magic; it felt right. I’d bought some crystals, learned a few spells, when I was contacted by email and asked to attend the community center. A woman met me there and we talked about the Circle of Ra and how it could help me and other members of the community.

SOH: Who was this woman?

MW: I don’t know. She wore a cowl, and may have been one of the other women in the circle that evening, or not. I’m sorry, part of the ritual was secrecy. She taught me about the ritual and said that one of the seven would be chosen first and once that person had found happiness then the next would receive help.

SOH: None of this seemed suspicious?

MW: Of course, but then one of the members said her business had turned around and that she was pregnant, even though she had been told by doctors she would never conceive. When you hear things like that, you can’t help but continue.

SOH: The smoke and lightening.

MW: The woman said that was our power, the power of the Circle, and that was what was bringing success.

I wasn’t so sure. This mysterious woman seemed to be the key, but the other members of the Circle had passed all the tests set by us and were shown not to be possessed or influenced by evil. Whoever this woman was, she had manipulated these women and possibly Kirsten (who was also unable to become pregnant), but to what end? To make people successful? That didn’t sound like the work of a demon, but sometimes demons worked in mysterious ways.

Simon O’Hara

Addendum, Father Jack MacKenzie

He fucked it up. He probably saved a life and banished a demon. Give him another try.

 

 

© Ellen South and Ellis Everley 2018.

 

File 102 will drop in a couple of weeks.