Last Part …
Declan sat down and sipped his brandy. “If you did not send me an invitation, why was I so easily accepted into the ‘Council’?” He asked.
“There was a letter, indication to expect you and that you were highly recommended by…” Doctor Croft halted mid-sentence to seek out the letter and Declan once again shuffled through the paperwork in his briefcase.
Finally both documents were placed side by side.
One invitation – One recommendation.
Same handwriting – Same wax seal.
Same signature – Same crest.
Same name – Rutan!
“Well this is a conundrum.” Daniel mused.
“Maybe it would help if we understood the context of the rhyme?” Julieta asked.
Declan nodded, “Around ten to twelve thousand years ago, the Mahabharata Ramayana and other sacred texts recorded a terrible war between Rama and…”
“The short version please!” Daniel sighed; this really was no time for a history lesson.
“Oh… Oh of cause…” Declan thought quickly to explain the whole story as simply as possible. “An ancient Indian demon was trapped by an ancient Arabic magician. This creature’s physical form was trapped and bound magically in a sarcophagus, then its spirit, or essence as it were, was banished into limbo.” He paused pondering over recent events and discussions the ‘Council’ engaged in the previous evening.
Julieta tilted her head to one side, waiting for Declan to continue, yet it was Doctor Croft who picked up the thread. “I believe this sarcophagus has been discovered and is destined for display in the London Natural History Museum.”
There were gasps and mumbles of concern amongst the gentlemen…
He continued “My research has lead me to believe that it has broken free with some foolish aid, which is why I have had Declan engaged in the Arabic translation for the banishment, without its ‘spirit’ it is weak, if both parts were unified, then it could unleash devastation equal to events recorded in the Mahabharata Ramayana.”
The ‘Council’ fell silent as the enormousness of the situation dawned upon them; the hypothetical theological debates they had discussed were suddenly a very real course of action the supernatural was encroaching upon the mundane with possible catastrophe.
“There is but one part of the translation which continues to perplex me.” Declan admitted, “It is said this demonic spirit may be unleashed from limbo to reunite with its physical being upon a ‘Black Moon’ … I’m aware that the new moon may also be referred to as a dark moon, yet the translation is clearly Black, not Dark.” He sighed and shook his head.
Julieta scoffed, causing her fellows to turn to regard her.
“A ‘Black Moon’ gentlemen, is when there are two dark moons within one calendar month, the second dark moon, is referred to as a ‘Black Moon’… and that is tonight!”
“I refuse! I no longer care for power nor will I aid you!” The Professor mustered up some frail courage in the face of extreme horror.
“Free me!” It bellowed, shaking the walls, causing dust to fall from fresh cracks in the tall ceiling. “Free me and I will save your precious Petra.” It promised.
Demetris turned to face the dark mirror, catching his own reflection in the black glass, eyes wild, corrupted by the degenerate force. He fancied that he could see a light snow falling within the surface, a pale hand reaching out with hope. The illusion caused him to chuckle, as he felt his own sanity slipping away, to free the beast from the void was madness! “You will free Petra?” He heard himself say, hardly believing that the words came from his very lips.
“Yes….” It whispered, stepping up behind the Professor. “I need her only as a beacon in the dark and then she will be free.” It lied. “To be with you.”
She spent a while trying to remember events up to this point and all she could focus on were the voices in the darkness… Indeed they were still there, whispering around in her. If she concentrated Petra found that she could hone in on one single voice at a time.
And there was something more disturbing… But she dare not focus on that…
It was then she slowly realised that she had no corporeal form, she was simply thought. A wisp of smoke drifting in void, unable to comprehend the situation, she found herself trying to tell herself it was nought more than another vivid dream. If she had a form it would have shivered, but as it was she closed her non-existent eyes and shed invisible tears.
The Professor felt detached from reality as he started to utter the ancient arcane incantation that would unite the fiend with its banished spirit – making it whole again – darkness fell across the room as the evocation stirred up entities within the ether. Petra’s life force shone like a bright silver beacon to the corrupt forces locked in limbo the words awoke them and the light of a pure soul guided them, yet the chant could only summon one, they only needed one to free them all…
It awoke; it felt the presence of its physical form beyond the glass illuminated by the frightened woman in a ruined costume. Shaking away fragments of a bored slumber it slithered forth, the sea of maundering evil parted, creating a path for this one, as it approached the ritual reached its crescendo.
With Declan, Julieta and Daniel being the youngest members of the ‘Council’ they sprinted ahead towards the Museum upon arrival it was Daniel and his questionable skills with locks which allowed them to gain entrance. Julieta near fainted as she crossed the threshold the immense energy unleashed by the demonic entity clouded her psychic mind and darkness threatened to overwhelm her thoughts. Declan swiftly caught the swooning woman and held her to her feet which she regained control of herself, focusing her abilities to guide the two men towards the Arabic display.
As the Professor threw his head back pitch rising as the bizarre language spilled forth from his lips with surprising ease. Tears of pure fear ran down his face as the wretched spawn at his back giggled manically.
Declan instantly knew the words, but froze in fear, astounded by the sight before him. Julieta clung to his arm and Daniel issued forth a colourful profanity.
“You have to stop him!” Julieta shook Declan’s arm, but Declan found his mind had gone blank.
That was when the demon turned to confront the intruders, it sneered at the three companions. “Fools!” It jeered, “You’re too late!” its laughter was enough to chill the soul.
The Professor blinked, startled by the arrival of the strangers, he stuttered over his words and fell silent.
“No! Finish the incantation! You cannot cease now!”
More cracks fractured the ceiling as the floor trembled from the dreadful outcry.
“Finish!” Dust fell around them, “Finish or the darling Petra remains trapped!”
Declan started to recite the words of the banishment, he could not risk everything for the sake of one soul, it was dreadfully regrettable, but there was no choice.
With a resigned nod the broken professor joined in with Declan, giving strength to the charm of exile. Both men chanted the ancient words in unison, diluting the creatures’ energy, sealing the mirror and preventing the foul union.
The mirror frame and the crowning tiara rejected themselves from one another, the frame ejecting the tiara from their former bond; it fell with a light tinkle as the final words completed the ritual. Silence fell, dust fell and the dark entity had fled.
The Professor collapsed gibbering, cackling… “May the screams in your head be the last thing you hear.” Daniel said, as he hoisted the insane man to his feet…
Julieta picked up the tiara and looked into the mirror with deep regret.
Several days later on a sunny afternoon Doctor Croft was seated by the French windows of the library. “Blanche?” He called over to the silent maid. She blinked startled by his use of her actual name and curiously approached the elderly man. He handed her a silken swathed gift, confused she carefully unwrapped the material to reveal the ancient tiara.
“We will find your sister.” He promised.
“Blimey!” One workman exclaimed to the other. “This’s bloody heavy!”
“’ere watch yer tongue.” His companion scolded as the two men hoisted the cumbersome relic up the final flight of stairs to a store room on the top floor at the ‘Et Consilium eiusdem duodecim’ estate.
Left in silence the artifact stood alone encased in thick sheets and a wooden case, yet the jarring movement had caused a single crack across the corner of the black glass, the mirror split and a small shard fell free from the frame… Fluttering leather like wings pressed hard against the damaged surface; however it was frail pale fingers that breached the gap frantically seeking freedom…
Anne Harrison 15.05.18