I went to a religious supply store the next morning and bought myself the most aggressive looking crucifixes I could find. I bought three rosaries to hang around my neck. I bought a bible. I even went and had a priest bless some water for me. To tell you the truth, I had no idea what I was doing. I suppose my plan was to burst into room 323, throw some holy water on the two psycho baby killer demons that wanted my blood to wake a sleeping superdemon, and try to subdue them by…hitting them with a bible and poking them with crucifixes? Trust me, at the time, it felt as stupid as it sounds here.
I got to work on Thursday night and relieved the day shift employee. I sat around for a while with my religious paraphernalia on my person, trying to muster up the courage to go to room 323. Shortly after the bartender left, the lights dimmed. All sound escaped the room. It was time; I knew it, and they knew it. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen now.
I walked up the stairs to the third floor and made my way to the infamous hallway. The two lights at the end of the hall shone bright at the apex as if to remind me where to go. I walked down and reached room 325. The door creaked open on it’s own, letting the red light seep into the hallway.. There was a metal table with skirts in the middle of the room, above a small pit, with a container on a track underneath the tabletop, the same type of platform from the polaroids that accompanied the ever informative legal pads. That was what they hoped to have me laying on in due time.
I continued walking to room 323. The door was closed. I used my master key to unlock the electronic lock and pushed the handle down. I hesitated before pushing the door open. Everything in me was telling me to turn around and run, and run, and don’t stop running, but I knew if I did that, this would never end. I would be hunted until I was caught. I would just be delaying the inevitable. I inched the door open. I didn’t realize I had been looking down towards the floor until I redirected my eyes up, and found Mario standing at the crack in the door, with a violently angry grimace adorning his face. The door flew open, yet Mario stood in the same place, almost as if the door simply passed through him. Not too far-fetched I’d say, given everything.
Mario breathed deeply and heavily, his chest heaving with every inhale. The anger in his eyes was mesmerizing. I managed to break my gaze and look past him, to see Marion posing in a curtsey in the back of the room, smiling her fearsome grin. I’m not sure which face frightened me more at the time. I hadn’t realized it, but I was holding up my three rosaries that hung from my neck in front of me. And to my surprise, it seemed to keep Mario at bay. Suddenly, he spoke.
“Do you not understand what your destiny is?”
“I do, I’m just not exactly okay with getting fucking stabbed and burnt and having blood poured all over me.” I said, with far more confidence than I previously thought to have had.
“No matter what you do, you can’t stop this.”
“So do it.” I spoke without thinking. I immediately thought “why the hell would I taunt a demon?”
To my relief, Mario didn’t move. He just glared at me.
I began to speak.
“You–” I was cut off. Not like interrupted, but like my voice stopped working.
Everything warped around me. Walls caved in, then bubbled out. Sounds erupted from no discernable source, interrupted only by random bouts of complete silence, which proved to be equally as deafening. Lights flared and dimmed simultaneously, blinding me and offering me comfort at the same time. I blacked out.
When I came to, I was laying in the middle of the floor in room 325. I was awoken by something dripping on my face. Before I was fully coherent I used my finger to check what it was. It was blood. I looked up. Hanging over me was a rudimentary canopy made out of a wooden frame that hadn’t been in the room when I looked in earlier. Hanging from this canopy was a body. Each arm and leg was tied by sheet to a corner of the wooden frame, then mass of the body sagging lower than the rest, intestines and other vital organs hanging halfway out of a gash in the victim’s back.
It was when I came fully to that I recognized the clothing the body was wearing. It was the bartender. Fuck. I had been responsible for his death. Maybe not directly, but I hadn’t acted fast enough. Fuck. Shame and regret coursed through my veins like a hit of heroin, momentarily paralyzing me with guilt. I couldn’t stop to feel sorry for myself though. I sat up, and saw the Kennedy’s standing in the corner of the room. I reached to my neck for the rosaries, but grabbed at nothing but air. They were gone.
Marion held up the rosaries and laughed with her signature cackling howl. The crucifix I bought was resting on the bible which sat atop a small table next to the Kennedy’s. Well, there goes that plan. Blood surrounded the floor around me. I was next to the metal platform. I used it to pull myself up from the floor, nearly slipping on the red coat of coagulating liquid that slicked the carpet below me. In an instant, Marion was face to face with me.
“So long it seems that we’ve been waiting for this.”
I didn’t know how to respond. I felt helpless. I felt I was in the final moments of my life. Subconsciously, I resolved all the internal conflicts that weighed heavily inside me. I silently made amends to those I’d wronged in life, and regretted certain past decisions I’d made. I raised a hand to wipe away a tear from my eye. As my hand descended back from my face to my side, it brushed against my pocket. I just barely felt the small tube of holy water I had placed there moments before walking down the hallway. While Marion talked, staring intently into my eyes, I, with all the grace I could summon, removed the tube from my pocket and twisted off the cap. On the top was a screen, so one could flick the wrist and sprinkle holy water out, like they do in Catholic church services.
“I truly hope you know how great of a service you’re doing. Ruezhal will be so grateful for your sacrifice. The blood of so many will proudly spill in the future because of your blood spilling today. Shall we begin the–”
Right here is where a CSI: Miami or Bruce Campbell-esque one-liner would’ve fit like a puzzle piece. A list of them ran through my head. “Sacrifice this.” “I’d rather spill some holy water.” “You look like you could use a shower.” But this isn’t a movie, and I’m not a shitty actor, so instead, I said absolutely nothing.
I raised my arm and shook the tube, which sprinkled holy water onto Marion. Instead of scalding her skin, which is what I’d been led to believe would happen by years of exorcism movies, she flew back against the wall as if hit by a wrecking ball. I quickly composed myself, and tossed holy water at the already advancing Mario, sending him back with the same force as his twisted lover. I looked at them, and they were both incapacitated. All I could think was “wow, how incredibly, ridiculously easy. What did I even have to be scared about?” I felt like the man.
Now I had to sacrifice them. I needed to show this fucked up demon that I wasn’t the one to tussle with…apparently. I kept the holy water clutched between my thumb and index finger as I dragged Marion’s body to the platform. It took some elbow grease. The full weight of a lifeless demon ghost is not much different from that of a living person. I retrieved a bedsheet from the closet while keeping an eye on Mario, who laid in the corner, unconscious. I placed the sheet over Marion’s body. The door to the room creaked open.
I readied the holy water and found myself in a state of instant panic. Much to my relief, Arthur Whitmore entered the room.
“You will need someone to conduct the ceremonial interview and necessary chants. That will be my duty.”
He then extended his hand; in it, a long blade with a thick handle. I took it from him and stood at the head of the platform, all the while keeping my peripheral vision focused on Mario.
“Nicholas Jacob Botic, do you offer this soul in the name of the infernal Ruezhal?”
“Do you intend to enter into a sacred truce with Ruezhal?”
“Do you agree to abide by his order, for fear of eternal damnation?”
“I do” I sputtered out, not knowing what I was agreeing to. Everything was happening so fast, I didn’t even give myself any time to listen to what was being said to me. It’s only in retrospect that I’m able to relay these words to you.
“Then without further adieu, please commence with the offering.”
I took the blade and without hesitation, repeatedly stabbed at the covered body of Marion Kennedy. Blood soaked through the white sheet that cloaked her body, the blade going clear through her to the holed, metal surface on which she laid. I heard blood drip through the holes into the bowl underneath. I stabbed until I felt as if my arm was going to fall off, all the while, Marion was completely and utterly silent. She didn’t move an inch. I don’t know if she was unconscious through it all or if she was just tough as any one woman ghost could be. I didn’t really care.
Arthur Whitmore simply stood and admired what I was doing. He motioned for me to continue on with Mario, whose body I laid halfway on top of his now thoroughly filleted lover. I repeated the process, thrusting the long blade into him, twisting and turning it as I retrieved it from his body. By the time I was done, I was out of breath.
Now, it was time to burn the bodies. My first thought was, “how am I going to have a bonfire in a hotel room without having this whole place go up in flames?”.Arthur spoke as if he could read my thoughts.
“Do not worry. The flames will fall into themselves. These spirits will burn hotter than any other earthy flame. It will be more of a contained burn than a roaring fire.”
Who was I to argue logic? Nothing else here made sense, why would this?
Arthur handed me a back of matches after I was finished stuffing the bodies into the small pit.
“Don’t forget to retrieve the blood.” Arthur reminded me.
I slid the bowl of demon blood off the tracks and set it on the tabletop behind me. An odor I hadn’t noticed before marinated in the room, stinging my nostrils. I imagine it was the stench of a rotting corpse. I looked at the bodies of the Kennedy’s, and noticed they were decomposing at an alarming rate. I took this as a sign that I must make haste. I struck a match and dropped it into the pit. As the fire erupted, flames shot high to the ceiling, then subsided, and just as Whitmore had said, the flames burned only an inch over the bodies, engulfing them and the table on which they rested completely but keep the rest of the room safe. The smell of burning flesh (?) permeated the air, nearly making me gag. Arthur and I stood there in silence, and just watched. As the fire began to subside, Arthur nodded towards the bowl of blood.
I retrieved the bowl and took it to the platform. I poured a bit over the smoldering bodies, which by this point were nearly bones, and even those were turning to ash. I then slid the table over and poured the rest of the contents of the bowl onto to the fire pit, extinguishing the flames. I had done it. I had sacrificed two demons to a more dangerous demon. I looked to Arthur. Only he looked different. He had a grin on his face. Like Marion and Mario would have. A disgusting, wide, toothy grin.
“Thank you.” Arthur muttered through his teeth.
“…for what?” I asked, uneasily. There was an immediate, palpable tension in the air.
Arthur laughed a cackling howl.
“For fulfilling your duties. They were going to be able to give me one day on the earth. You…will give me countless days.”
I tried wrapping my mind around what was happening.
“I am pleased to make your acquaintance.” He said.
He took a bow.
Fear ravaged through my body, making me feel more sick to my stomach than I already had from the smell of rotting bodies. I watched as “Arthur’s” skin began to fall off his face. The demon ripped the clothes from his body as his true form became clear. He was a hideous monster, with three horns. His feet were hooves. His hands looked more like bird talons, and his skin was jet black. His eyes were like pure white, large marbles. His teeth were sharp and jagged, crooked, and in rows in his mouth. He swiped his right hoof twice. He opened his deformed mouth and let out a loud roar. That is the last thing I remember of that night. I woke up, back at the front desk. I don’t know why, but something compelled me to quit right then and there. Now I know.
I suppose I owe it to you guys to explain what exactly happened.
When I quit the hotel, I went straight home. I took a shower. After that, I went to my sister’s house to visit her newborn son. I took mental notes, and figured out when would be the best time for me to kidnap my nephew, in order to sacrifice him.
You see, Mario and Marion were confined to the hotel. They were ghosts. Or ghost demons, whatever. But me, I had access to another male from the Whitmore bloodline. I could create more males from the Whitmore bloodline.
Ruezhal masqueraded as Arthur Whitmore. He can appear as a ghost if need be, but he can’t directly harm humans. Unless he is walking the earth in human form. As Arthur, he had me learn the summoning rituals, and had me summon him to me personally. That way, he was connected to me. Then, he had me perform a sacrifice. He knew I wouldn’t sacrifice a human, so he had Mario and Marion be my victims under the ruse that it would stop Ruezhal from hunting me. In reality, sacrificing a demon to Ruezhal only makes him stronger. Oh, and I learned that the holy water didn’t do anything. Ruezhal just led me to believe it had; in reality, he threw them against the wall hard enough to knock them unconscious.
Ruezhal explained to me that I was indeed the chosen one. Through the mistake of summoning and forsaking Ruezhal before performing a sacrifice, Arthur Whitmore had opened a door. As I explained earlier, that door was the opportunity to walk the earth by sacrificing the males from his bloodline. I was just unlucky enough to be the first boy born in a few generations. Since I was able to be found at the Whitmore as prophesied by Ruezhal, I was the easiest target. I could create more male descendents to the Whitmore bloodline.
I now spend my days in seclusion. I stalk and hunt victims. I impregnate as many women as I can, be it through consensual relations or not, usually not, and I wait. I wait until the sperm fertilizes the egg, and I sacrifice the woman in a ritual. Sometimes it would have been a boy, sometimes it’s not. Either way, Ruezhal is pleased. He thoroughly enjoys the days he gets to walk on earth. These can be recognized as any days that include a larger than normal death toll somewhere in the world. Obviously not every case, but certainly the more sinister instances.
I do this because I was shown Hell. And I do not want to go there again. I have to do this until it’s my time. If I do, Ruezhal promised I wouldn’t have to go back there. He said there’s another place I can go. I don’t really know if I believe him. But it’s the only thing that keeps me going. That maybe, after all this, something will be better.
I’m sorry if this isn’t the ending you were looking for. It’s just, this is my life now. I intended to tell my story completely and accurately, and this is it. It’s time for me to go now. I’ve been watching a woman on Fuller street for a few days now, and it seems pretty easy. So I guess I’m gonna go do it.