The Midnight Hour

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Chapter 4

I scroll through website after website, searching for answers all night. Everything I find relates to that of spirits and demons to possessions, it all sounds similar to what is happening to me, but I don’t know. I never really believed in any of that crap, but I simply can’t explain what’s happening anymore.

I come across an ad for a demonologist named Gerold Moore, he has an office in the next town over, maybe he can help me. It’s worth a shot I figure. I jot down the address and phone number on a ripped piece of paper and stuff it in my pocket. The night air has given a chilly overtone to the outside. I grab my old black hoody from the floor and throw it on as I head out of the house to my car.

The sun is just creeping over the sky as it rises, I’ve been driving for about an hour now. So far, no more incidents have happened, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

I pull into the small dead city of Hopkins, you could blink and miss the whole place. A bullet hole riddled sign stands just off the road as you enter, real inviting place. The roads turn to rock as I turn down main street, glancing back and forth at the small buildings on each side. His office should be around here somewhere.

“There it is.” I whisper to myself.

I pull up to the curb, killing the engine, pausing to look at the decrepit old building. A small neon sign flashes that the office is open, though the lights are off. I hop out of the car and head towards the front door. A slight feeling washes over me, freezing me in place at the door. Maybe I made a mistake, maybe I shouldn’t have come here.

I stare down at the golden door knob, unsure whether to turn it or not. The smell of incense floats in the air. I look up with a jolt back as a man is staring at me from the other side of the door sending my heart into overdrive.

“Are you just going to stand there all day?” The man asks.

I open my mouth to speak but the words escape me as I stare at the man. He swings open the front door, a small bell rings as it opens.

“Well?” He asks again.

I give him a weak nod and slowly walk inside. Smoke from incense fills the air burning my nose. Strange artifacts and symbols are strung throughout, tall shelves filled with more books than a library cover the walls. I look around in awe, taking it all in.

“What can I help you with?” The man asks.

I turn to look at him, clearing my throat.

“I’m looking for a Gerold Moore.” I state.

The man chuckles. “Well, you found him. So, what do you need then?”

He points me over to a set of chairs in the center of the room. I walk over and sit down, staring at a rug below my feet imprinted with some sort of star on it. The entire room is dim, giving it an eerie look that unsettles me. I have had enough strange things happen for one lifetime already.

Gerold sits in the chair across from me, watching me as he waits for me to speak. His hair is white from age, a gray beard accompanies it. He is dressed in all black with a dark jacket over top. His eyes are stern with a seriousness to them that makes me uneasy. He has small wrinkles on his face forever keeping him stuck with an angry appearance.

He is wearing strange rings on his hands, as well as a star talisman around his neck. I haven’t a clue what they all mean.

“So?” He asks.

I look at him in confusion. “Oh, right. Well, I seen on the internet that you do work with some kind of demonology or spirits or something like that.”

“Yes, have been for about twenty-five years now.” He replies.

“Right, well. I think I may be having some kind of issue related to that kinda thing.” I say.

A smirk crosses his face. “You think? I would say if you are having problems in that department you would know.” He retorts.

I stare at him for a moment unsure what to say.

He claps his hands together. “Well, what has happened to make you think you are being tormented by a spirit or demon?” He probes.

“I…” I clear my throat. “Well, since the other day strange things have been happening to me. First, I was just sitting at home and all my electronics started scrambling, then shut off. These weird images flashed on my tv through the static, then there was this growling shadow in my hallway hiding in the dark.”

I pause to gauge his reaction so far, he just keeps staring at me intently as I speak. “Then, the next morning I coughed up maggots after I drank some coffee. I then went to work and a swarm of flies flew out of my office phone. After that, I was driving home and something made me drive into oncoming traffic, nearly crashing me into a semi.” I shake my head.

“I just didn’t know what to do, none of it made any sense to me, so I found you. I was just hoping you could help.” I say taking a deep breath.

He stares at me, placing his hand to his chin, as if he wasn’t sure whether I was telling the truth or not. He then stands up and walk over to a bookshelf, sifting passed book after book before snagging one from the shelf.

“Hmm, well if what you say is true, I would bet you were right to come here. Tell me did anything strange happen before you started seeing these things?” He asks, flipping through his book.

I look down, trying to remember everything. “Well, there was this old guy.” I start.

“Go on.” He insisted.

“Well, he was turned down for a bank loan where I work, he became aggressive at the news, then attacked me in the parking lot.” I pause. “He wrestled me to the ground and yanked my hair out.” I stop and lean forward to show him the missing chunk on my head.

His eyes widen as he looks at me. “After that he mumbled some kind of chant in a different language at me, then blew my hair into the air.” I say. “It was strange, but I didn’t really think anything of it at the time, just that the dude was nuts.”

Gerold stares at me for a moment before retreating to another bookshelf. He sifts through the shelves before stopping on a large dusty book with a tear in its spine. He grabs the book and flips through the pages. He stops, pointing at something on the page.

“Here, I think this is what may be haunting you.” He states, showing me the page.

A black demonic image is on the page, a tall horned creature is depicted. It looks exactly like the horned shadow I had seen.

“What is this?” I ask.

“This is Alastor, also known as the executioner. He is a demon of vengeance. I believe that old man summoned him upon you with some kind of ritual.” He says.

I freeze, unsure whether I want to believe him or not.

“So, what can I do to make it stop?” I ask.

He lets out a slight chuckle, shaking his head. “Well, I would pretty much say you’re fucked. I don’t know much about this specific entity, but I know it’s not leaving without something. That something is you my friend, it wants your life, your soul.” He pauses, looking at me as I go pale.

“However, you may be able to get the old man to reverse it if you give him what he wants. To take back whatever curse he has placed on you. Keep in mind, I’m not saying that will work, but you don’t really have a lot of options.” He goes on.

My heart is pounding in my ears, blocking out all sound. I almost wish I didn’t know what could happen, that I never came here. At least then I wouldn’t see it coming. I have to find that old man.

“I… Never mind, thank you for letting me know.” I say.

I turn to walk out the door. “Be careful.” He says. “Come back if you live to tell the tale.” He chuckles.

I walk out the door, taking a deep breath of the fresh air. The incense from the building was making me nauseous. I don’t know whether that guy was a genius or a psycho, either way he gave me the creeps.

I walk over to my car and hop in, twisting the key as the engine roars to life. I head back down the road towards Independence.

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