When I first met Meg, I thought we wouldn’t be able to work together. I didn’t even see us getting along. She was youthful and almost too pure for this job, or so I thought. Moreover, she isn’t the most mobile person around, so that’s a massive handicap – more so for me than her. I have no idea how they even let her in. A wheelchair-bound woman shouldn’t be able to hunt demons.
Yes, those exist and yes, my partner, Meghan Davis, and me, we hunt them. We’re exorcists in our definition. The stuff you hear about from the church and on tv is just a cover-up. It’s just priests performing some “ritual” for the sake of appearances. The real deal doesn’t have a happy ending. Once you’re possessed, you don’t get out of the ordeal in one piece. Demons are like spiritual parasites that need a physical body to exist in our world. They take over one and make it their own. It’s termed Spirituales Virum in Latin. To get one out, you have to either kill its victim or maim it to the point the Spiritual virus decides the host isn’t going to work for it any longer. Now there is a caveat, if a demon stays inside its host for too long, it might sap out enough organic material to generate its own physical body and that’s a whole different problem because these suckers aren’t restrained by the physical forms of humans or animals that they possess.
We do work for the church; however, we aren’t part of the clergy or anything. Some of us don’t even like that organization, myself included. It’s a marriage of convenience. The organization I work for is called the Iscariot Initiative. You won’t find anything about us unless you’re very well connected within the church.
Anyway, back to the story of me meeting my partner, Meg. I was told that she is my new partner the moment I came to pick up my assignment. Imagine my shock when I saw a young woman in a wheelchair waiting for me. In my head, I thought I needed to babysit some handicapped lady while I’m trying to get rid of a murderous parasite? I wasn’t thrilled about it in the slightest, and I let it show. Even worse was when my superior, we’ll call him Judah, pulled me aside and told me her three previous partners all died after working with her. He told me to be extra careful with her. I nodded and marched towards my van.
Once in the car, she extended her hand and introduced herself, “Meghan, nice to meet you.”
“Johan” I retorted as I shook her hand. Her skin wasn’t as delicate as I thought it would be. She was used to using these hands for manual labor.
“You don’t sound too pleased about this arrangement, Johan” she quipped.
Looking away, I started the car and let her know bluntly that I wasn’t. I wasn’t happy babysitting some potentially dangerous wheel chaired woman. She, in turn, found it amusing and thanked me for my honesty. I guess people went easy on her because she can’t use her legs or something. I wasn’t going to be easy on her. To me, she was disposable back then. Now it’s a different story, we’re probably each other’s only friends. It’s kind of sad and yet amusing at the same time.
Anyhow, she asked me where were we going and I told her about our assignment. Some teenage girl who had decided to pull off some crazy ritual to get back at her cheating boyfriend and got stuck with an infernal parasite eating away at her insides. Three months beforehand. Now, looking back on it, I wonder how they manage to find these rituals and practices that actually work.
Meg looked at me with a slightly concerned look on her face, “So it means we’ll probably have to deal with the demon in its own body…”
“We? Really now, we?”, I thought, in my head, she was this helpless girl who might be good as bait or for some paperwork. I had to deal with the actual exorcism, not her. “We? More like me, buddy.” I told her sarcastically.
She chuckled and retorted with, “I can help!” a large smile forming on her face.
“Right and do what? Run over the demon?” I sarcastically remarked.
She found that funny, laughing out loud before saying, “Nah, I have my ways of getting the job done. Ask the dead guy who thought canning a boy to death to get a demon out was a good idea.”
I slammed on the brakes, “what?”
She reacted with “What, what? He had it coming.”
“You killed him, why the f…”
“For torturing a child, I know how this job is done. You don’t need to make a thousand cuts to get a demon out. Just kill em’ if you’re at it and get it over with.” She hissed, disgust echoing in her previously soft voice.
I looked at her, “So how can I trust you don’t try to murder me over something like that?”
“I take it you always kill them, and prefer to do it quickly, I’m fine with that. Just so you know, I was the one who requested to work with you.” She said, smiling at me once again.
“Great…” I sighed, I knew I had no choice for now but to work with her. I was going to get rid of her as quickly as I could. I just needed to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible this once and then I’ll just move elsewhere, away from the crazy witch.
We spent the rest of the way in silence until she decided to turn the radio on. I didn’t talk to her, not until we got to our destination. It was a two-store building, owned by some white-collar family, all freshly painted with a picket fence and a mowed lawn. Almost too serene to be real. Disgustingly neat, not a fan of that squeaky clean appearance. Before we went inside, I told Meg that she has to stay with the family and try to comfort them or something, to make sure they don’t get in my way. The possessed girl was on the second floor, the family hadn’t gone up there in two months. Too scared to face the monstrosity their daughter had become. I can’t say I blame them. I wouldn’t want to look at a possessed person either. It’s like watching a ghost.
Meg told me that if I needed any help just to scream her name, I scoffed and made my way to the lair of the demon.
The second store was dark and cold, a perfect example of a demon’s environment. Not even ten steps in, I stepped on something half liquid. That’s when the smell hit me, a foul combination of shit, piss, and vomit assaulted my nostrils making me cough. I took a step back and looked around, shining on the walls with my phone – they were covered in symbols in a language I cannot understand. Clearly, demons don’t speak Latin or Aramaic, or Hebrew. It’s some alien language that sounds like barks and whistles and clicks that are written in complex geometric symbols.
I called out the girl’s name, but nothing came. Walking around the rooms in the second store, I couldn’t find any signs of life – only human waste piled all over. Eventually, I heard a soft whimpering sound coming from the bathroom. I pulled out my gun and slowly made my way towards that room. The closer I got, the louder the whimpering became. I called out the girl’s name again but still, no answer followed. I slowly opened the bathroom door and looked for the source of the sound. In one of the corners sat a ghastly pale, shriveled up girl. Her long hair hung over her face, concealing it from me. I called out her name again, and she moved her head slightly. Revealing the snow-white eyes and a long cut running along her face.
“Shit” I cursed.
Pointing the gun at her I was about to apologize for killing her but she let out a shriek so loud I could feel the room shaking around us. Her head fell backward and with a sickening tearing sound a long, white-clawed hand shot out of her head and towards me. I tried moving, but I was grabbed and tossed backward.
I landed hard on my back and lost grip of my weapon. Standing back up, I heard the sickening tearing sound intensity followed by a sloshing sound. Luckily, I found the gun right away and made my way back to the bathroom. Inside stood the ugliest motherfucker I have ever seen. Granted, I had to deal with a physical manifestation of a demon before that a couple of times, but this one was unique in its ugliness. Imagine a drunk Labrador’s front half standing on white long five-fingered chicken legs with a snake, complete with a functional hissing toothy head for a hind half. It half coughed-half howled at me before pouncing at me with a speed I didn’t expect it to be able to.
I shot the monster, but the bullets seemed to have done nothing. Before I could shoot it in the head, the demonic dog chimera was on top of me. I tried wrestling it off myself, but to no avail. It was too strong. The thing pinned me to the floor with its claws and snarled into my face, covering me in sputum. I kicked its abdomen, but the thing just bit into my shoulder, sending wave after wave of pain across my body. I managed to free my other arm from underneath the demonic beast. Pinning my gun to its head I was feeling like I got this one but then, the snakehead bit me on the arm causing me to drop the gun.
The pain was searing, and the snakehead wouldn’t go. My heart rate rose, and I felt myself getting dizzy. I couldn’t tell if it was the pain or if the chimera had poisoned me. The dog-head let go of my shoulder and roared in my face. Blood was flowing down my torso. Everything turned painful, even breathing. The jaw of the dog head started opening wider part, revealing a sea of shark-like teeth in spiraling rows that went on into the infernal abyss that was the maw of this beast. In a matter of moments, the jaw of the beast seemed to hang by a tiny strip of skin. It was large enough to swallow my head whole. Fearing the end, I had no other choice than to trust in my partner and I called out her name.
The beast seemed to understand what I was dying and found my cry for help to be funny as it laughed this deep, mocking, hoarse yet shrieking laughter with its lower jaw still hanging loosely from the rest of its head.
I called out Meg’s name again, and then all the doors on the second floor started opening and closing, making a thunderous noise. The beast on top of me seemed perplexed by the strange occurrence and looked up, its eyes moving about in every direction as if it was trying to find something. They moved independently from one another, like the eyes of a chameleon. The beast got off of me, with the snakehead tearing its fangs across my skin as it was being pulled out of my body. I screamed and cursed. The beast ignored me and started walking around, barking. It was barking words – in a voice so unbelievably low. I grasped my hand and watched as the beast walked around. Its stature was seemingly diminishing. It started crouching and its voice had turned quieter. I called out Meg’s name again, and she called back to me from somewhere… I was too disorientated to make out where her voice came from.
The doors opened ajar, and a freezing gust of wind blew throughout the floor, sending chills down my skin. A spiderweb of blue lightning ran across the ceiling above me. Something moved in the corner of my eye, I turned to see a gargantuan shadow standing over me. It was the blackest thing I’ve ever seen, the blackest and the coldest. I vaguely remember the form of the shadow, it had two curved horns.
I saw the thing move towards me, but I couldn't even move. I called out to Meg who sounded way closer this time, even though I wasn't sure where she was. She told me not to worry and I just… I saw that thing walking through me and I felt like I was being suffocated by something from the inside like my chest cavity was being crushed, my arteries were clogged and the life was siphoned out of me. Like the worst panic attack combined with being thrown into ice water. I heard this awfully loud chirping and saw a bright light behind me, but then I passed out. Coming to, I was being tended to by Meg, who was hovering over me with a pack of bandages.
“Wha-what just h-happened?” I muttered.
“Don’t worry about it. We took care of the demon…” she reassured me.
“Wh-what was that thing? Black an-and C-c,” she didn’t even let me finish.
“It’s a secret. One day, I’ll tell you what it was.” She said with a smile while she kept on bandaging me.
Soon enough I was patched up and made it back up to my feet. The first thing I noticed was the charred remains of a demon, no longer recognizable as a snake dog hybrid with fish eyes.
The girl, well, she was mostly intact, save for the massive hole in her head. The girl’s parents were knocked out cold when we left the house. We called for a priest to come down and do the church’s thing over there. Meg said she put them to sleep so they won’t cause a fuss.
I tried getting the answers to what happened that day from Meg, but she wouldn’t let me know until a couple of years of us working together. She’s been a lot of help and we’ve become inseparable. I really do like working with her. It adds some flavor to my depressing job. Looking back, I have no idea how I managed without her help. I know what’s her secret, but I can’t outright reveal it. I can say that she is Hekate Magna, domina apostolorum rex ad virum spiritualem.
We’re still hunting demons and exorcising people, every time is an astounding success. I do have to say one thing though, for all my gratefulness for Meghan being my partner and friend, I have to admit that I still occasionally get surprised whenever her manual wheelchair moves unaided.
Written by MLycantrope