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ONCE IN A BLUE BLOOD MOON - by The Vesper's Bell - Halloween Special

I feel confident in saying that my last couple of Halloweens have been pretty unusual compared to most people’s. In 2018, I witnessed a friend being devoured by Chthonic spirits he called will-o-the-wisps. In 2019, I bargained with The Queen of the Underworld to free him and his entire bloodline from her realm in exchange for the soul of his forefather, who had treacherously managed to avoid that very fate.

All things considered, 2020 wasn't looking like it was going to be an exception to this new trend.

It was October 31st, with less than an hour of sunlight left, and my girlfriend Genevieve and I stood in her back yard wearing cocktail dresses, witches’ hats and masquerade masks, mine red and hers gold.

With my wand firmly in hand, I performed my customary ritual for summoning my spirit familiar.  

“Elam Crow. Under Sacred Sky and upon Hallowed Earth I invoke our pact and call you hence from the astral plane. Heed my summons and come serve your Lady. So mote it be!” I spoke aloud to the wind and to the Aether.

My familiar quickly materialized before me, his form unusually solid, most likely due to the weakness of the Veil on All Hallows’ Eve.

“Are you throwing another Halloween party, Samantha?” Elam smirked as he noticed our festive outfits. “I’d have thought you would have wanted to spend tonight as far from this county as possible.”

“Believe me, we’d love to be spending the weekend at a Bed & Breakfast somewhere, but we got a party invite that we couldn’t pass up,” I explained, passing him an embossed cream and gold invitation.

To Miss Samantha Sumner

You Are Cordially Invited To Mister Seneca Chamberlin’s ‘Blue Blood Moon Garden Party’, On October Thirty First, Six PM, Held At His Sombermorey Estate, Number One Pendragon Hill Terrace.

Please Be Sure To Arrive Punctually, As This Party Is To Witness The Rise Of A Rare Blue Blood Moon On All Hallows’ Eve.

As This Is A Highly Exclusive Event, You Are Not Permitted To Bring Any Additional Guests. Attempting To Do So Will Result In The Immediate Revocation Of Your Own Invitation.

RSVP, Regrets Only.

We Hope To See You Then.*

*Please Be Aware That As This Event Will Be Held Outdoors, Within The Local Limit For Outdoor Gatherings, And With Ample Space To Allow For Safe Physical Distancing, The Use Of Face Coverings Will Be Optional For Guests (Staff And Security However Will Be Fully Masked At All Times). If You Belong To An At-Risk Group, Are Experiencing Symptoms, Or Believe You May Have Been Exposed Within The Last Fourteen Days, We Understand If You Are Unable To Attend. Please Rest Assured That We Will Be Taking All Necessary Precautions To Ensure The Safety Of Our Guests. Valet Parking Will Unfortunately Not Be Provided. 

Triple Ouroboros Logo.jpg

Serpentis Sapientia Nos Quaerere

He quickly read it over, then glanced up at Pendragon Hill in the distance.

Pendragon Hill was at the Northwestern edge of town, and visible from pretty much everywhere in Sombermorey. Local folklore said that it was sacred to the First Nations people who had lived in the area (although a First Nations man I spoke with once insisted it had merely been a strategic lookout point), and that the Witches and pagans among the settlers had used it for black magic before the Chamberlin Manor had been built on top of it.

"We both got one – hand-delivered by Chamberlin himself," Genevieve said, holding up her own invitation. “I’ve only met Chamberlin once before at a charity gala. I thought that since we were both local LGBT business owners, we should maybe strike up a rapport, but holy fuck is he an asshole. I mean, he calls us both ‘Miss’ instead of ‘Ms.’ on the invitation, knowing that’ll piss me off, but he’ll just write me off as a straw feminist if I bring it up. I wouldn’t even want to go if it wasn’t for, well…”

“The Ophion Occult Order,” Elam said, glaring down at the triple Ouroboros logo on the invitation.

“Yeah – and don’t interrupt me,” she chastised, a little tongue-in-cheek but at least somewhat seriously.

“I didn’t interrupt you. You trailed off,” Elam insisted. I held up my hand, signalling to both of them that this wasn't the time.

“You recognize the symbol then?” I asked.

“That and the Latin motto, yeah. It’s some sort of secret society. My father was a member, and Chamberlin’s supposed to be the local chapter head,” he replied. “I was never invited to join, so that’s really all I know about it. But, if you’ve been invited to an Ophionic function, then…”

“Chamberlin must be planning on inviting us to join,” I said softly.

“I’m pretty sure he only wants you, babe. I only got an invite since he figures we’re a package deal,” Genevieve claimed. “I’ve never been invited to one of his Ooo parties before, and neither was my aunt. Strong-arming Persephone into freeing over a hundred souls from the Underworld apparently got you on Chamberlin’s hot-t0-watch list.”

“That’s not the only reason we’re going, though,” I explained to Elam. “One of those scrolls you left me predicted that tonight, at moonrise, there’s going to be a convergence of ley lines right over Pendragon Hill. I still don’t know what that means, but I’m sure Chamberlin does, so I’m not going to miss it.”

Elam nodded understandingly, and handed me the invitation back.

“So, what do you want me to do?” he asked.

“I’m honestly not sure,” I confessed with a shake of my head. “We’re not allowed to bring any guests, and since this is an occult organization, I’m pretty sure that includes ghosts. Just stay on this plane, and stay on alert, and only come to Pendragon Hill if you sense I’m in danger.”

“The instant you need me, I’ll be there,” he swore solemnly. I nodded appreciatively, gave him a farewell hug, and set off for Pendragon Hill.

And so, that’s how on Halloween night I found myself driving up a spiralling terrace to a hilltop Victorian mansion owned by a mysterious, eccentric millionaire, and possibly built on sacred Indian land. If you’re the type to yell at people doing stupid cliches in horror movies, you’re probably pretty upset with me right now.

The entire crest of the hill was encircled with a five-foot-tall wall of dark grey stones, topped with foot-long black iron spearheads for good measure. The polished titanium gates were fully opened, and we were only stopped by one squat servant in anachronistic livery and an expressionless full-face mask, its eyes shielded by mirrored lenses.

“Hello there, ladies, and welcome to the resplendent Pendragon Manor, the ancestral home of our magnanimous host, Seneca Chamberlin,” he greeted with a bow, speaking in one of those British accents that had some ancient vendetta against the letter ‘H’. “I trust you both have your invites with you?”

I nodded and passed him both of our invitations through the window.

“Do you need to see ID?” I asked.

“Not necessary, Miss. If these are faked or stolen, then it’s your heads, not mine,” he chuckled as he stamped our invites and handed them back to us. “Please park your vehicle in any of the designated areas, and enjoy your evening.”

I nodded, and pulled my little corolla into the opulently sized motor court, parking it between a Mercedes-Benz and a Bugatti. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to find it.

The mansion itself was three stories tall with steep roofs, deep red and gold siding, and around ten times the size of Genevieve’s spacious Victorian house. I regretted that we weren’t going to get a chance to see the inside, as I was very curious about what a man like Chamberlin might do with so much space in such a private and well-defensible location.

We followed a path marked by small, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns around the mansion and through a decorative floral arch to the rear of the estate. The lawn looked to be around a hundred yards from end to end, with well-tended flower beds and shrubberies flanking the perimeter.

A number of circular tables had been carefully spaced around the property, each lit with their own jack-o-lantern in the center of a display of autumn flowers. Orange and black paper lanterns had been strung overhead, and perched on the line nearest to the entrance was a rose-breasted cockatoo.

I looked around to see where it had come from and, sure enough, next to the mansion itself was an aviary bigger than my trailer. I could see that it housed many beautiful and exotic birds, including no less than three peacocks.

In the center of the lawn was an illuminated fountain that put the one from the Great Gatsby to shame. A pair of flamingos waded in its waters, and its entire perimeter was encircled by more jack-o-lanterns.

That by itself was hardly unusual, but when I paused to take more than a passing glance, I noticed that they were carved not with faces but with sigils, just like the ones Genevieve and I had made last Halloween.

The view afforded from the top of Pendragon Hill was no less remarkable than the manor or grounds themselves. Whereas the front overlooked the whole of Sombermorey, the back offered a view of the surrounding countryside, which included, I realized to some dismay, Harrowick Woods.

“Hey. Check out Jamie and Cersei over there,” Genevieve whispered to me.

I hadn’t yet taken much stock of the other guests. Most of them were in fancy costumes of some kind and I didn’t recognize any of them, and the ambient astral energies caused by the ley lines and the time of year made it difficult to focus on individual auras.

I looked where Genevieve had gestured and saw a young couple with pitch-black hair and baby-blue eyes. The man was in a tuxedo, the woman in a black cocktail dress, and both wore feathered masquerade masks. Both smoked cigarettes and drank martinis as they laughed with another guest in a pair of steampunk googles and a burgundy Howie lab coat.

It took only a quick reading of their auras to see that they were both twins and lovers. For a second, I felt a pang of sympathy for the girl, but a deeper reading of their auras quickly dispelled any pity and gave way to dread. Both of them were deeply, dangerously unhinged. I didn’t want to imagine what sort of other depravity they got up to besides incest, but I knew they were killers.

What was even worse though was that their auras were off in a way that I had never encountered before. It was like both their physical and astral bodies were contaminated by something that was of neither plane, something truly other, truly eldritch, and imbuing the twins with aberrant qualities.

“Miss Sumner, Miss Fawn, so pleased that you were able to attend,” Chamberlin greeted as he stepped in between us and the twins, seemingly eager to keep us apart. He doffed his hat and bowed. I curtsied, but Genevieve only responded by folding her arms across her chest. “A terrible shame though that the first party of mine you attend is such a subdued one. Normally my events are a good deal more lively than this. Honestly, this must be the quietest this place has been on Halloween in -”

“A hundred years, give or take,” I finished for him. He laughed at my blatant acknowledgement of his own immortality.

“That sounds about right,” he agreed. "Would you care to join me for a drink upon my sun terrace? You’ll have the best view of the moonrise from there, and we can speak more privately about anything that may be of… interest to you at the moment.”

Genevieve straddled up beside me and protectively wrapped her arm around my waist.

“We’ll have one drink with you – a glass of the most expensive red wine you have in that palatine playhouse of yours – and if you hurt us, threaten us, or even insult us, we walk,” she said definitively. “Is that clear?”

“Miss Fawn, of all the slanderous rumours that have ever been uttered against me, have you ever once heard that I was an ungracious host?” he asked with a slight hint of genuine offence. “Please, follow me.”

He led us across the grounds and up the wide steps of his grandiose sun terrace. It was large enough to accommodate an in-built pool, hot tub, bar, and firepit, the latter of which we sat around in impractically ornate patio furniture.

Genevieve and I nearly bolted back up when we noticed that a brain in a bubbling vat, which we had both thought to be a mere Halloween decoration, actually had a very human aura.

“Holy fuck, is that a possessed brain?” Genevieve shouted in shock. The brain reoriented itself towards us, as if glowering at us in disdain.

“Language, young lady. This is a society event,” a voice boomed out of a gramophone horn that was mounted on the dark oak podium the vat sat on.

“Oh, yes. Miss Sumner, Miss Fawn, allow me to introduce you to my business partner, Mr. Whitaker Crowley,” Chamberlin said with a reluctant gesture of his hand. “Crowley, this is Samantha Sumner, the Witch who plundered Xerxes’ old stash and handed him over to Persephone. Never mind the blonde. That’s just her plus one.”

“And we’re done,” Genevieve said, rising from her chair.

“No, please, wait,” I insisted, nervously biting my lip. I leaned forward towards the firepit and looked Chamberlin straight in the eye. “I figured you knew about that. I haven’t exactly been tight-lipped about my experiences over the last two years. Are you, either of you, angry with me over what I did to Artaxerxes?”

They both broke out in laughter at the very suggestion.

“Oh, Heavens no, Samantha,” Chamberlin assured me. “No, Artaxerxes was – oh, one moment. Garcon, three glasses and a bottle of the 77 Ephémère Chateau Shiraz Cabernet. Merci beaucoup. Now, Samantha, Artaxerxes was a business partner of mine, but he’s been dead nearly two hundred years now. I’ll admit, that when the last of the Crows passed and the curse or whatever it was over Harrowick Cemetery faded, I had given a thought to investigating it and seeing if anything of value had been left behind. No sense in letting good grimoires moulder, after all.

“But you beat me to it, and fair is fair. That cemetery and everything in it is yours, I don’t dispute that. And I think it’s absolutely hilarious that after two centuries of evading divine justice, you dug Xerxes up and literally handed him over to Persephone.”

He paused as his servant arrived and poured our wine.

“You see, Samantha; like Artaxerxes, like Crowley here, and yes, like me, you defied Persephone. That takes skill, that takes knowledge, and most of all it takes chutzpah. It’s because of that that I’d like to offer you something which I’ve offered to very few men and, I openly acknowledge, fewer women; the rank of Initiate Adderman in the Ophion Occult Order.”        

I remained silent for a moment, staring him down with the best poker face I could muster for someone who’s never played poker in her life.

“Which is?” I asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

“A centuries-old society dedicated to connecting supernaturally inclined individuals with one another and to accumulating and preserving occult knowledge," he claimed. "It's where those books you found in your cemetery came from, where Artaxerxes learned how to hallow the cemetery to begin with, and a lot more besides. I'm the Head Adderman of the Harrowick Chapter, and as such I’m overseer of a substantial amount of arcane materials that I’m sure you’d love to get a look at.

“You should be flattered; we’re a highly exclusive organization. There’s probably not much more than twelve thousand of us worldwide. Most of us use our gifts to become wealthy, or influential, or to extend our lives and evade the fate the gods have ordained for us.

“But, if you’re content merely honing your Craft in that cemetery of yours, that’s perfectly fine as well. Understand that I’m asking nothing of you other than that you share your knowledge with your Fellow Addermen and respect our policies on sharing that information with non-members, and in exchange, you gain access to our order's extensive occult resources. Does that interest you?"

I took a moment to consider the offer. I didn’t doubt that what he was saying was true, and that belonging to the Ophion Occult Order would come with significant advantages.

But it would also mean being under Chamberlin’s authority, which didn’t seem like something I’d enjoy, especially since I had plenty of reason to doubt his moral character. If he wanted me as his subordinate, it was because he thought I’d be useful to him, or maybe that he was even afraid that I might act against him at some point in the future.

“Well Mr. Chamberlin, I am flattered, but I’m also a Witch. And as a Witch, I value my independence and have very little interest in joining a stuffy organization of old men. I’m quite pleased with the progress Genevieve and I have made regarding our occult practices, confident in our ability to continue, and concerned that any sort of oversight on your or your organization’s part may ultimately be more of a hindrance than its worth. As such, I’m afraid I must politely decline your offer.”

I said all of that as dispassionately as I could, like I was reading it out of a textbook, before reaching for my wine. Secretly, I was terrified of Chamberlin. I had no idea what he was capable of, or what he would do to me for refusing his offer.

Genevieve sensed my unease and once again placed her arm around me in a display of protective solidarity as she stared Chamberlin down, almost daring him to try something.

Chamberlin though didn’t seem angry or even upset. He was an experienced businessman after all, and had likely expected his first offer to be rejected.

“May I request that you withhold your final decision until after you’ve witnessed the ritual I’ve arranged for the rising of the Blue Blood Moon?” he requested. “A demonstration of what our Order is capable of might just give you cause to re-evaluate your decision, and I’d hate for you to leave tonight with any regrets.”

I glanced over at the fountain surrounded by the sigil emblazoned jack-o-lanterns, then upwards at the invisible coalescing ley lines, and finally towards the eastern horizon as the red halo of the Hunter’s Moon began to rise.

“Alright. I’ll witness one ritual,” I conceded, casually sipping my wine. “Your fountain over there’s the casting circle, I take it? Are you summoning something?”

“Ah tut-tut. It’s almost time. No sense in ruining the surprise now,” he grinned. “Crowley, the miasma.”

A door slid open on Crowley’s podium, revealing a sterling silver chalice filled with some dense, fog-like black fluid.

“Try not to spill any of it this time, Seneca,” the brain said dryly.

Chamberlin rose from his seat and carefully picked up the chalice in both hands.

“You look like Trump holding a cup like that,” Genevieve snorted, taking advantage of his indisposed status to top off her wine glass.  

“Miss Fawn, if you had the slightest idea what condensed miasma was capable of, you wouldn’t dare to insult a man holding nine fluid ounces of it,” Chamberlin said as he made his way down the steps and towards the fountain.

Genevieve and I stood up to get a better view of what he was up to, but chose to remain on the terrace. Some of his guests began eagerly gathering around the fountain, but others seemed to agree with us and kept their distance.

“We’re not in any danger, are we?” I asked Crowley, who had wheeled up beside us. Since I could see and feel his astral body, him being a brain in a jar didn’t unnerve me as much as it might someone else.

“Only if the wards fail,” he replied. “And I have a twenty-thousand-dollar wager that they will, so, best be ready to make a quick escape if need be.”

Genevieve and I exchanged a nervous glance, then gave our full attention to Chamberlin’s ritual. He slowly poured the miasma into a channel carved into the rim of the fountain, which quickly spread to enclose the entire perimeter.

As the moon rose, Chamberlin rose with it, lifting his arms and chanting a quatrain in a strange language over and over again. A few of the other guests, including those horrifying twins, joined him, but apparently, most of them were not high-ranking enough to be privy to such powerful knowledge.

As the chanting continued, the water began to bubble and churn, and the vapour from the miasma wafted upwards and formed a whirlwind around the fountain. Genevieve and I both gasped as the flamingos that had been wading in the fountain failed to escape in time, their broken bodies falling into the pool below and turning it red.

Then Chamberlin pulled out a purple rose from inside his jacket, the same kind of rose that grew in my cemetery, and released it to the whirlwind.

When the Blue Blood Moon was fully over the horizon, the churning water and swirling wind began to settle, and as the rose wafted downwards it was caught by a tall, lanky man in a strange, dark fur robe who now stood in the fountain.

We hadn’t seen him appear, he was just there, when a second ago he hadn’t been. He also wasn’t standing in the water but on its surface, performing a literal miracle just to keep from getting the hem of his robe wet.

The skin on his gaunt face wasn’t just pale but translucent, displaying a network of strained blood vessels that throbbed with exclusively blue blood. He had no eyes, but on his forehead he had a horizontal triple ouroboros tattoo, and in the space where they overlapped were reptilian, vertical pupils.

The same black, miasmic vapour that had been used to summon him drifted out of his empty eyes, nostrils, and mouth whenever he opened it. His luxuriant, receding black hair was combed back and he had a long, regal beard. Around his neck, wrists, ankles and waist were exquisitely crafted chains of polished silver, each bound by an Ophionic branded seal.

It was the sight of these chains that scared me more than anything. As beautiful as they were, I knew that they were not adornments but restraints for an entity of otherwise unfathomable power.

The chained god held the rose to his nose and took a whiff, savouring its scent like it was the first physical sensation he had experienced in quite some time. Chamberlin opened his mouth to speak but was silence by a raised finger from the summoned spectre.

“I have a question for your first, Seneca,” he said, his resonant yet raspy voice sounding slightly annoyed. “Did you actually use goddamn flamingos for the sacrifice?”

“They… were what I had on hand,” he answered apologetically. “Great Emrys, it’s an honour to be in your presence once again. My fellow Addermen and I have summoned you here on this rarest of Blue Blood Moons so that you might –”

“Hold that thought,” Emrys interrupted, placing the rose in the left chest pocket of his robe. People screamed out in shock as the jack-o-lanterns around the fountain exploded one by one, showering the onlookers in orange shrapnel. Nearly all of those who had been keeping their distance, and even a few that had been up close, made a mad dash for the motor court at this development.

When the last of the pumpkins exploded, Emrys casually stepped out of the summoning circle that had been meant to contain him and strolled right over to Chamberlin.  

“Now, go on and tell me about what petty mortal tasks you were going to have me perform in exchange for two dead flamingos?” he requested, his shit-eating grim revealing teeth like broken volcanic glass.

“Well, I just won twenty grand. I also might die, so, on the whole, this a pretty unfortunate turn of events," Crowley lamented.

“Crowley, is that you?” Emrys shouted, looking up towards us. “You’ve lost weight.”

“Never heard that one before,” Crowley muttered sarcastically.

“Evie, I know who this is from Xerxes’ books. We need to make a discreet exit,” I whispered to Genevieve as quietly as I could. She nodded and we headed for the stairs, only to find our route of escape cut off by Emrys.

“Hello there, ladies. I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure,” he smiled at us, his tattooed snake’s eyes seeming to narrow ever so slightly. “Tell me, what’s a pair of lovely Witches like yourselves doing hanging out with these mystic fops?”

“We, we… what are you?” Genevieve asked, her face contorting in a mix of horror in confusion as she tried to make sense of his chaotic aura. “You’re not a mortal spirit, or an Elder Kin, or the avatar of a Cosmic entity.”

“Yes, very perceptive of you. I like that,” he nodded. “I guess you could say I’m a bit like Tom Bombadil. I don’t fit neatly into whatever mythos or theories you make to try to explain and classify things; I’m just sort of here.”  

“Emrys, please – I must insist you not bother my guests,” Chamberlin ordered unsteadily, desperately trying to reclaim some sort of control over the situation.

Emrys slowly turned around, glaring at him with those empty, fuming eyes, before reaching out his hand towards Crowley. The glass of his vat shattered and he went flying straight into Emrys’ open hand. Emrys caught the brain effortlessly and squeezed him like a stress ball, his spinal cord squirming like a fish’s tail.

“One more insolent word out of you and you’ll have to make a very long trek down to Hades to get him back,” Emrys threatened. “This is a very rare opportunity for me, someone adept enough to summon me but inept enough to mess up my containment wards, and I’m not about to let it go to waste.”

It was then that the twins straddled up beside Chamberlin, looking at Emrys like he was a steak dinner.

“Plan B then, Mr. Chamberlin?” the male twin asked hopefully, tossing a decorative miniature pumpkin up and down like a baseball. Chamberlin, his eyes wide and face drained of nearly all colour, replied with a nervous nod.

The male twin threw the little pumpkin straight at Emrys’ head with preternatural force, hitting him so hard it practically vaporized on impact. If Emrys had been mortal the blow surely would have been fatal, but it seemed to do little more than throw him off balance.

It was enough though for the male twin to get the jump on him, pulling his arms behind his back and causing him to drop Crowley. He spun Emrys around to face his sister, who began perforating him with a butcher’s knife at lightning speed.

“Oh… it’s blue! It’s actually blue!” she giggled, and I could see that the blood covering her knife and splattering all over and around her was indeed an inhuman shade of blue.

Emrys produced an impossibly loud roar and managed to throw the male twin off of him while pouncing on his sister. The male twin jumped right back on him and tried to break his neck as the female twin bit into Emrys’ face.

It was then that Elam appeared beside me, and he looked just as shocked and confused by the bizarre scene in front of him as we were.

“Elam, cover us while we get out of here! Buy us as much time as you can!” I instructed as I grabbed Genevieve’s hand and pulled her down the stairs. Elam obeyed and remained behind, but I doubt he knew what he would do if Emrys or the twins chased after us. I certainly didn’t.

The motor court was already half empty, with more guests fumbling for their keys when we got there. With only the bare minimum of caution needed to avoid crashing into other drivers, we sped down the winding road to the ground below. As we drove, the commotion behind us grew louder and louder, the hill shaking with it, with bright plums of astral emanations erupting from the summit like a volcano.

I don’t know exactly what happened there after we left, only that at least three eldritch abominations that had no business existing in our world were trying to kill each other. We were lucky to survive and that the fight never moved beyond Pendragon Hill.

I don’t know which, if any of them, won, since Elam retreated as soon as Genevieve and I reached the bottom of the hill. He did say that Chamberlin managed to grab Crowley and get to a safe room, though we were both skeptical that any safe room would be adequate protection from something like Emrys, or those twins for that matter.

I don’t blame Elam for leaving, I’m glad he’s safe, but it would be nice to know if Emrys is still loose in our world. I don’t know exactly what Emrys is, just that the Ophion Occult Order crafted his chains so that he can only come to our world when summoned, and even then, his power is limited.

I hope he went back to wherever he came from when the Veil strengthened at midnight or when the moon set, but without knowing the specifics of Chamberlin’s ritual, I can’t be sure.

If he is still out there, I doubt he’ll be idle. The good news is that without a rare Blue Blood Moon on Halloween he won’t be nearly so powerful, but he’ll hardly be impotent. I can only assume that his ultimate goal is to free himself of the Order’s chains, but I don’t know how he’d go about doing that or if it’s even possible.

I may be worrying over nothing. He may already be back where he belongs and I’ll never see him again. Genevieve and I will keep a vigilant eye out for any signs of him during our astral projection sessions though, and so will Elam when he’s not answering my summons.  With any luck, my next Halloween will be spent at home with Genevieve, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

But somehow, I doubt it.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

Written by The Vesper's Bell
Content is available under CC BY-SA