It was a nightmare in flickering, like film passing the light so slowly you can see the breaks between cells.
I was charged with selling long, rectangular houses. The owner of the real estate couldn’t get them off his hands, so he charged me with the task. The houses were old, shaped and constructed like single-story barracks. Each one was a single long room. The main entry was on the east, two auxiliary entries on the west and south sides. One high rectangular window was set high in the wall on the north side. There were no other light sources.
The tricky part of offloading these houses was that they were infested with the most evil, murderous, mind-fucking spirits one could imagine. They were thick in the houses like a filthy kitchen left to the cockroaches. The houses were also located in an isolated spot in a forest well known for marauding wolves and malevolent nature spirits—man-eaters, they cackled from every branch, their teeth glinting in what little sun peaked through the pine boughs.
Somehow, I managed to sell three of the four houses to three small, rough, stocky, red-haired bearded men and their small, stocky, red-haired wives and children. Women and men both bore axes sharp enough to trim a gnat’s eyebrow. They were unafraid.
The fourth house was a problem. In the process of selling the other three houses, I started to feel sick. The weight of the evil in those places was settling down upon and inside me. As the fierce, stocky people moved into their houses, the evil spirits moved to the next house and the next until the fourth house held all of them. I walked into the fourth house and laid a low, long table below the window. I put a white cloth over it and dressed it as an altar. I dressed myself in a white dress of light material. I knelt in front of the altar and lit a white candle. The intention was to clear the final house of its teeming evil. I lifted a mirror set in white porcelain to reflect what was behind me. I saw twisted forms in the light. Each form was composed of what looked like dust lit only by the gray light from the window. They wore thick layers of robes as if they were from some time in antiquity, though what culture or location I could not say.
I began an incantation.
The evil rushed me and I dropped the mirror. It did not break. I felt as if my head would come apart and my chest would explode. I fell backwards. I started screaming for my Aunt Kay, (my deeply beloved great-aunt who passed many, many years ago). I screamed like a child just waking from a nightmare. She did not come.
I was drowning in death. I closed my eyes.
I opened them after what felt like only a few seconds. I saw briefly the blue sky and seven huge black birds flying overhead. Each bird’s wingspan seemed like it would cover an entire city block. There were chemtrails in the sky as well.
“Call upon Jesus,” someone or something spoke softly in my ear. It was not a comforting voice. “Call upon Jesus to release you.”
I closed my lips tight, but I felt the name “Jesus” burbling up in my throat. “Jeee…” I began to burble before I gagged and closed my lips tight again. I closed my eyes and called to Hermes.
“That won’t work,” the voice said. There was a crushing pressure on my sternum now. “Jesus is your savior. Only Jesus can help you. Call upon Jesus.” I felt as if a thin, bony finger with a long gnarled fingernail pressed its way between my lips and went down my throat, the tip of that pointed nail dragging “Jesus” from my larynx.
“Jee…” I said again, then turned my head and vomited. Again, I closed my lips tight and, in my mind, called upon Hermes. I felt a weight crushing against my belly, like the owner of that voice were laying its full weight on me. I let out a huge rush of air, called on Hermes again in my mind, then let myself go off into the darkness as if I released my grip on a cliff rising above a lightless abyss.
The air in the abyss was cold and damp as the air would be in a cave at the end of winter. The musty smell in the air pleased me. It was familiar. It reminded me in a way of childhood.
“Here I was born,” I thought.
I was being carried through the abyss by someone or something with very strong arms who did not speak a word. I also maintained my silence, kept my eyes closed, and let my body go limp.
I woke up still feeling a touch of the fearful evil on me.
As nightmares go, this was the worst I have had in years and years. Words seem inadequate to describe the evil that was in those houses. I wish I could somehow convey the pressure, the smell, the weight, the crawling skin.
Last week, out of the blue, I woke up with a throat so sore I couldn’t talk. I have never had laryngitis like that in my life. I have never lost my voice. Not once. At the time I playfully blamed the touch of laryngeal plague on Apollon, but I see now it was a result of this incident and that the incident itself was only released to me a week after it happened. I suppose I needed the time to recover before the memory could be safely released.
I wish I knew those black birds better, or the brave, stocky people with their deadly axes. I wish I knew in what land and in whose forest those houses were built. I wish I knew who carried me through the caves. The person/thing handled me kindly, but with little personal familiarity. It was not Hermes. It seemed as if the entity were intentionally hiding its identity. It was dressed all in black with face and hands also fully covered.