It was before the Semiotic Interdiction–before the hundred year sede vacante–before the Conclave Murders and the Conspiracy Law broken by the Cardinal Wars–before Nuns went to War as Defenders of the Ring of the Fisherman (Annulus Piscatoris).
It was the Interregnum….
“C’mon, Sister, can’t you see I got nothin’? Nothin’ begets nothin’, Sister. I am pure of heart, Sister, and I know evil when I see it. That guy is evil, I swear. He ain’t normal. It’s like he’s from some inhuman race, Sister.”
“Larry, you’re breaking my heart. What am I supposed to do, huh? We can’t take a case without more than your pure heart to go on. And certainly not without some promise of future recompense like a set of fancy rims or a few head of cattle.”
“Ha, ha. You are so funny, Sister Sal. Okay. I can getcha hundred bucks. But give me a week, okay, Sister?”
Salastes took the maiden with the alabaster skin up the winding staircase–past the display of vulgar paintings in ornate frames: plump cherubim and naked nymphs with fatted folds of pink flesh–in varied forms of coital exhibit. And the girl with the alabaster skin was repulsed and frightened. She tried pulling away from Salastes but he was much stronger and pulled the girl into a velvet room smelling of patchouli, Chanel, and cannibis. Once inside, the girl with the alabaster skin succumbed….
“Well, how did it go, Sally?”
“Larry was right. That guy’s not normal by any standards, even Larry’s. Fran, I think he’s evil. I think he’s a demon. And he’s loose and living large. Listen, girls go into his place looking like models and come out decrepit and…spent.”
“An incubus? Sal, that’s just folklore and was a way of explaining away rape. Then again, we have seen some strange things in both the business of being Nuns and private investigators. I’m not sure of the next step.”
According to myth, an incubus only showed itself in dreams–rather, the victim believed they were dreams. It wanted sex, either because it desired issue, or just because it was evil and gained satisfaction from torturing a human woman–depleting her life force through coitus. The incubus, though considered to be a lesser demon, was insidious. An incubus did all this surreptitiously, so to see one loose, walking around NYC, was all wrong.
Sister Sally assigned a stake-out of the demon’s lair to Abe Horowitz and Nissam (Bob) Aronstein, moderate Hasidic Jews who decided to do something unorthodox and joined Three Sisters Investigations. They were heavily relied upon by the Sisters because of their unique and successful investigative skills.
The individual both Larry and Sally saw was not the incubus, but the mortal friend who gathered up beautiful women and served them to the incubus. Now came the hard part: getting rid of the demon. It was Abe who felt the entire three-story Brownstone seemed out-of-place. His sidekick, Bob, suggested the building was outside of time. That would explain why he and Abe couldn’t get through the front gate without becoming dizzy and nauseated and forced to retreat. Abe decided that two Hasidic Jews didn’t trump one good Rabbi. Bob suggested they add a Catholic Priest for good measure.
Fran enlisted the aid of Rabbi Lender and Father Lombardi. Each helped out on occasion when the Nuns felt they needed a “higher power” or when the Rabbi and Priest came nosing around, looking for something interesting to do. Sally originally named them the “Oy Patrol” but it quickly became the Toy Patrol for reasons not readily apparent. Armed with all the information the Sisters’ had on the case, Abe and Bob took Jacob Lender and Dom Lombardi to the demon’s address. Upon looking at the building, both the Rabbi and Priest agreed that it looked out-of-place. Back at the office the two devout men conjured a plan than would require the four of them to execute along with a liter of sheep’s blood and a paint brush. Fran easily acquired a paint brush.
Abe, Bob, Rabbi Lender and Father Lombardi remained in the SUV watching and waiting for the mortal friend to show up. Indeed he did, towing along two young professional women. Once they passed through the gate and entered the building, the Rabbi and the Priest quickly exited the car and stood by the gate. Rabbi Lender did a quick prayer and offering while Father Lombardi waited. Finished, the Rabbi opened the gate and stepped through with the Priest following. Abe and Bob quickly followed but they stayed outside to complete their assigned tasks.
It happened quickly. Bob stood at the entrance waiting to paint the last symbol on the building with the sheep’s blood. The Rabbi and Priest burst out the doors with the two women. As soon as they fled through the gate, Bob drew the final Babylonian symbol that would send the incubus back to its origin and dashed through the gate. No one looked back as they all dove into the SUV and Abe punched the gas pedal and they shot away from the curb. A luminous red enveloped the building behind them, reflecting off the car’s windows. Then a flash and something like a sonic boom ruptured the night as the building disappeared along with its occupants.
All the parties involved, including Larry, celebrated the success of an unusual case with beer and kosher pizza. Little did they realize that the unusual would become commonplace in the years to come. The Interregnum continued. Peter’s seat would remain empty (sede vacante) indefinitely as the Conclave of Cardinals tried again and again to find a new Pope. With each election white smoke rose above the Vatican, causing joyous cheering by the crowds of people awaiting the announcement of the new Pope. But each time the elected one refused the office….Something was not right in Vatican City….
Inspiration Monday: Toy Patrol at Be Kind Rewrite
Prompts: Toy Patrol, Conspiracy Law, Inhuman Race, Mortal Friend, Outside of Time
Word Count: <1000
Many, many thanks to the talented Stephanie Orges for hosting Inspiration Monday