Chapter 6: Moloch
What could only be called a demon lived in the penthouse of the Bradbury Tower. It had wings and horns like a ram and a snout like a wolf. It had eyes. They glowed red, but the irises were slits, like a reptile’s. It had hands and claws. Its feet had claws as well. Its skin was tough and leathery as though layer after layer of scar tissue had built up only to have pus-filled sores erupt from the surface, heal and erupt again. After years of neglect the skin was truly frightful. His name was Moloch.
There were four other creatures that lived just below the penthouse level. They were all like the demon, just not as fully revealed. The least devolved was a female. She could still take human form. And she was most beautiful and alluring, with long black hair and an hourglass figure with large breasts that stood high and firm on her chest and an ass that made easy prey of the men who naturally lusted after her. Her name was Diva and when she lured men back to her lair she transformed as she had sex with them. Her fingernails lengthened and hardened into claws as did her toenails. Her teeth became sharp and long. Her eyes glowed red, and her skin became wrinkled and leathery. She usually finished them off before they did.
The second female had lost all her womanly charms many years ago and was now just a vicious, hollow creature yearning, thirsting for fresh souls to consume. Her name was Lilith. She was nearly bald now. Only thin wisps of white hair fell from her skull. Her face was filled with sores. Her breasts were hollow, shrunken, sunken bags of skin. She had begun to develop claws on her hands and feet. Her teeth were permanently sharp and angular, very canine. She would grip her prey with her claws and rip their flesh with her powerful jaws.
The first male was a bit more advanced than Diva. In his human form he was handsome, dashing and sophisticated. He had black hair that was a tad long that women found attractive. They were happy to go home with him to experience a night of passion, which would happen, but as they evening progressed and the sex became more intense, he would transform into an inhuman creature not unlike a large rat with whiskers and saw teeth, he would bite the woman who had given themselves to him in the neck, the breasts and the vagina. He always drew flesh and blood. Like Diva, his loathsomeness was only revealed when too late. His name was Fyren.
The second male and the last of the coven was the most devolved, and closest to the Master. He had sprouted a set of horns, while smaller than the Master’s they were objects of envy from the others. His claws had begun to develop and his face elongated. Instead of wings he had developed a layer of skin that when he opened his arms would spread out so he could leap out the window and glide on the wind and surprise his next victim. His name was Malvoglio.
In the penthouse Moloch the malevolent stirred and rose. He breathed in and faced his urges. He walked over to the picture window facing downtown Detroit and exhaled a groaning, hollow, guttural howl and felt the deep longing, the deep need gnawing inside, commanding him to feed. He looked down and saw a woman walking alone on the street. He pushed the window open and leapt out, unfurled his wings and glided into the night air, flapping here and there and then gliding down toward the lone woman. With his two sets of claws extended he grabbed her, bit into her neck and began to drain her blood while ascending powerfully and swiftly to the penthouse of the Bradbury Tower.
As he cruelly consumed the life and blood of the woman he reached out telepathically to Diva, Fyren, Lilith and Malvoglio and invited them to consume the scraps of his kill. They walked up to the Demon’s lair and rushed forward to rip the woman’s corpse apart and suck the blood out of every bit of flesh, slurping up every drop of blood that stained the floor.
The penthouse was an amazing interior space. In its heyday it could be reached by a private express elevator that was operated by a key. The key that operated the elevator also opened the door in the lobby that hid it from view. Since the elevators lacked the power to function, the only way to the penthouse now was through a secret stairway that led into the bowels of the building. There was a secret door on the eighth floor that opened into the octagonal platform and the stairway down or up.
The penthouse has high ceilings with dramatic views of the city. There is an outdoor patio that had a garden, long since left to death and decay. The main room was large and had a bar in it. There was a raised platform that could comfortably seat ten musicians and a dance floor in front of it. A grand piano had been pushed off, its top missing, strings exposed, broken and destroyed.
A large chair now sat in the center of the stage with a table to the left. Moloch sat in the chair as though upon a throne. Diva, Lilith, Fyren and Malvoglio approached him.
“Fyren, bring me the orb.”
Fyren went behind the bar, opened a cabinet and retrieved a large sphere about 12 inches in diameter. It had a stand. He lifted it up and brought it to Moloch and placed it on the table to his left. The stone had been fashioned from an enormous bloodstone.
Moloch placed his clawed hands over it and encanted “il diaspro sanguigno rivulano intrusi.”
The bloodstone began to emit crimson light. Its surface became animated and began to clear, as it became a window to the bowels of the building. They could see the Abandoned Detroit Tours members sleeping.
“There they are. Right below us. You should each take one for your nourishment.”
Diva, Lilith, Fyren and Malvoglio entered the secret staircase and made their way down the stairs.
Michael woke with a start and felt the urge to get up and explore. He took his flashlight and walked back through the doors to the theater down the long hallway and into the octagonal stairwell. He felt drawn up the stairs. He walked up to the fourth floor observation deck. There are four doors. He is drawn to the third. He walks up to it, turns the handle, pulls it open and walks inside.
Diva was sitting on a large wicker chair. Her black leather top is plunging down to her naval revealing the inner sides of her substantial breasts. Her nipples are barely covered. Her long raven black hair reached down to her thin waist and framed her striking face. High cheek bones, voluptuous lips, black eyes and a slightly upturned nose. Her hips wide and inviting. Michael was stunned.
“I didn’t know anyone else was here.”
“I like to stay here sometimes,” she said rubbing her left breast. “But it can get lonely. Maybe you’d like to stay with me tonight?”
“I’d like that. What would you like to do?”
She rose from the chair, walked over to him, put her right hand on his left breast and gave it a squeeze. He placed his right hand on her left breast and gave it a squeeze.
“I think I know what you have in mind.”
They began to kiss and writhe in each other’s arms, each exploring the other’s torso with their hands. He grabbed her ass with his right hand. She pushed him back and removed her top exposing her breasts to him and smiled.
“You got it going on girl.”
“We’re going to get it on.”
She took him by the hand and led him to a mattress near the rear window.
Rebecca’s eyes were open. In fact they had been open since they had supposedly turned in. She was having another bout of insomnia. She looked over at Don who was dead to the world, his chest rising and falling rhythmically, obviously deep in sleep. She got up, rummaged through their back pack and retrieved a flashlight and walked toward the entrance to the theater. She found herself wanting to return to the staircase with the concentric octagonal landings and get another look at it. She walked down the long hallway and opened the door. She walked up the stairs to the second landing and noticed that the first door was open. She walked over to it and went inside.
There was a strikingly handsome man sitting on a couch. He had long black hair that reached to his breasts. It was wavy and full bodied and had been trained off his face. His forehead was high, his eyebrows thin and his black eyes sat on each side of his long nose. His lips were full and red and pursed into a smile. His jaw was square and his chin reached a sharp point. His chest was prominent and looked muscular under his clothing. His waist was thin, the stomach flat. His legs were long and powerful looking. His eyes sparkled, full of mischief and good humor.
“To which of the Gods do I have to thank for delivering me such a ravishing creature.”
Rebecca smiled, taking in the beauty of this remarkable looking man.
“Just dumb luck I guess.”
“There’s nothing dumb about your beauty. What’s your name?”
“Rebecca. What’s yours?”
“That an unusual name. What’s it mean?”
“I’ll bet you are.”
“Why don’t you come over here and let me show you.”
Rebecca smiled and walked over to the couch. Fyren stood up and kissed her hand. He turned it over and placed his lips on her wrist and moved them gradually down kissing her palm and fingertips. Rebecca felt goose bumps on her arms. Her nipples became erect. She stepped forward and grasped his head and kissed him full on the mouth. He lifted her off the ground effortlessly, his tongue intertwining with hers. He laid her on the couch and sat beside her.
“I didn’t think there’d be anyone like you on the tour.”
“There’s nobody like me on any tour,” he said as he swept her up in his arms, kissing her face and neck and nestling his face between her breasts.
Michael and Diva were completely naked and fully engaged in sexual intercourse. Diva was on top and in complete control. Michael had never been so hard and this was just what he needed on this trip. This was the most seriously out of control sexual experience of his life. But as their passion increased, he noticed subtle changes in Diva’s appearance that began to become most pronounced. Tons of sweat was pouring off her skin. Her eyes seemed to grow red and he looked at her face which had become a mask of lust and anger. Her skin had turned leathery. Her fingernails were now claws. She opened her mouth and her teeth were sharp and canine. She orgasmed while Michael came deep inside her. While they were relaxing in the afterglow of their sex, she ripped the side of his neck out and began gorging on his blood.
Don stirred from a dream and suddenly found his eyes open. He looked for Rebecca but her spot was empty. He looked up at where the singles were sleeping and noticed that one of them was missing. Michael, the black guy. Great. He thought. My wife’s off fucking some strange guy. Bitch. I should just ditch her. Instead he got up and rummaged through their backpack and found his flashlight and went off in search of Rebecca and he presumed Michael.
He left the theater and walked down the long hallway toward the stairway with the concentric octagonal landings that rose up the center of the building. He began to walk upstairs and noticed the first door on the second landing was ajar. He heard the sounds of passion emitting from the room. He walked over to the door and entered the room. Rebecca was naked and prone on the couch. A man with long black hair was pounding his cock into her. He had a long snout and what looked like whiskers emitting from his upper lips and cheeks. He smiled and displayed a set of elongated sharp canine teeth. Rebecca screamed as he ripped a chunk of flesh from her neck and slurped down her blood.
Don was overcome with horror and turned to flee the room and ran straight into Lilith.
Lilith was a most loathsome creature. There was no need in her for the mirage of seduction. Only the need to feed and destroy life. Her claws pierced through Don’s skin and between the bones of the side of his chest and held him in a vice grip. He began to scream at a volume he didn’t know he possessed. She roared as she ripped his neck open and greedily consumed his blood.
Scott woke up and looked around. Everyone else was deep in slumber. He was a light sleeper and had heard what sounded like a scream. Actually several screams. Blood curdling was a term he had heard a lot. This sounded like that. It made his skin crawl. He got up, dug out his flashlight and walked out of the theater and into the long hallway toward the staircase with the octagonal landings.
He walked through the doorway and saw an unbelievable sight. A creature that walked on two feet and had two small horns extruding from its forehead, leathery skin covered in sores with thick claws on its hands and feet. It had a long elongated face that looked like it was melting. It began shuffling toward him and opened its mouth revealing a sharp set of canine teeth. It emitted a groan and a howl. Its foul, fetid breath repulsed and sickened Scott. He turned to run, but the creature had sunk its claws into his back. Scott began to scream in utter horror, seeing his fate as Malvoglio first turned him around and then ripped his throat out and drank from the fountain of his blood.
“Did you hear that?” Marlene said, reaching for her Glock 9.
“Yeah,” Cal said reaching for his .45.
“Can we get a head count?” Stephen said.
“Looks like we’re missing Michael and Scott,” Annette said.
“The Bakers are gone,” Kevin Handy said.
“I think we should check it out,” Stephen said. “But only the people who are armed.”
He pulled out a loaded .45 out of his back pack. Darrel pulled one out of his. They walked up to the singles.
“Anybody here packing?”
Marlene showed them her Glock 9, Cal his .45.
They all shook their heads.
“OK. Bring your flashlights and move slow and cautious. I’ll take point. I want you guys to cover me. If you have to shoot at anything. Make sure you miss me. I trust Darrel, but what about you two?”
“I’m a country boy. Guns are second nature for us.”
“I grew up in the ghetto. Guns are pretty much second nature for me too.”
“OK. Follow my lead and don’t shoot unless it’s life and death.”
With Stephen in the lead they made their way slowly down the hallway. The door was open and they could see Scott’s corpse, in a pool of blood, a chunk of his neck missing.
“Shit. Nothing like this ever happened on any of our other tours,” Darrel said.
They moved forward into the first landing and looked up. They saw four sets of what looked like glowing red eyes staring at them from the eighth landing. Then suddenly they were gone. There was click and a sound of something sliding. It stopped. There was shuffling and then sliding again and then a click.
“Let’s move upstairs,” Stephen said.
They slowly made their way upstairs. Stephen in front the other three training their guns into the darkness and made their way up to the second landing where Don’s corpse lay just outside the first door to the left, his neck also missing a chunk, blood all around.
Marlene suppressed a sob, feeling a bit sick to her stomach. Cal touched her shoulder.
“It’s OK. I feel it too.”
She looked at Cal. Tears welled up in her eyes and a couple rolled down her cheek.
“One time I was in the high country in Montana hunting deer. Pine forests, alpine lakes. Just beautiful country. Came across a mama bear and her cubs. The mama was foaming at the mouth. It had clear gone crazy and it was eating her cubs as they were trying to climb up to her nipples to feed. It was rabid. I puked as it continued to eat the babies. I took out my pistol and shot it in the head. Emptied my gun into it. There were only two cubs left. I picked them up and took them back to my camp where I fed them. I had to make some kind of harness to keep them from running away. I took them back to my pickup in the morning and drove them to an animal rescue place where they took over their care. I never found out what happened to them. I just assumed they were raised to maturity and released in the wild. Worst thing I ever saw in nature until this.”
She touched Cal’s arm. “Thank you.”
“Shit!” Darrel cried out. “There’s another one in here!”
They walked into the room and saw Rebecca Baker’s naked corpse, a huge chunk of neck missing and blood all over the place.
“You know we’re going to have to get the fuck out of here. It’s not safe to stay the night,” Stephen said. Let’s get back to the others and prepare to break camp.”
“What about Michael?” Darrel said.
“I don’t want to risk anybody else’s life looking for Michael. We need to get the hell out of here ASAP.”
They looked at each other and started back down the stairway toward the bottom. Guns were raised and pointed at the unknown above.
They worked their way back to the theater.
“OK guys. Gather up your gear. We’re leaving. This has been an unmitigated fucking disaster. Three of our people are dead. One is missing, presumed dead. My primary responsibility is to the survivors.”
Everybody hurriedly packed up their gear and back packs and left the theater, down the hallway to the stairwell where they made their way up to the fourth landing. As the others exited into the lobby, Darrel noticed a partially open door, pushed it all the way open and saw Michael’s naked corpse, his neck ripped open and blood on the bed and floor.
Marlene and Cal came up last. As Marlene began to make her way to the door to the lobby a red eyed beast with horns and claws and sharp teeth landed on the floor between Marlene and Cal.
“Get out Marlene!” Cal said as he emptied his gun into the head and torso of the monster. He ejected and slapped another magazine into his gun as Marlene whirled and fired off round after round into the beast.
“Come on Cal! Move it!” She yelled at him. Cal ran past the beast and joined Marlene, but not before it slashed his right arm with its claws. Cal and Marlene continued to fire at the creature. It leapt up several floors and disappeared from view. They heard it land on one of the landings above them. They rushed through the door to the lobby and slammed the door behind them. Cal grabbed a bench and placed it in front of the door. He got another bench and placed it in front of the first.
“What the hell was that?” Stephen said
“I don’t want to wait around and find out. Let’s get the hell out of this place. Marlene?”
Cal and Marlene ran to the exit, into the street and disappeared down the boulevard.
When the rest exited the building, Stephen took out his cell phone and dialed 911.
“I want to report a murder. Actually three murders.”
Darrel shows Stephen four fingers.
“Where are you calling from?”
“Don’t you guys have GPS tracking my phone right now?”
“Well I’m right here. I’m not leaving. Send some officers over right away.”
Five black and whites pulled up five minutes later.
An officer got out of the first car and walked over to the group.
“Who called this in?”
“Who am I talking to?”
“Stephen Richards. And you?”
“Sergeant Franklin Perez. What’s going on here?”
“I run a company called Abandoned Detroit Tours. We take groups into some of the architectural treasures that are falling apart in this city. We give them a last taste of the glory that once was Detroit.”
“Sounds like a damn fool idea to me. Run into some gangbangers?”
“I wish. We could have handled some punks. This is worse. A lot worse.”
“Maybe you should show us.”
The other officers started putting up crime scene tape as Richards and Carter led Sergeant Perez into the lobby. They moved the benches Cal had placed in front of the door to the stairwell and opened the door.
“Better be careful. A couple of my customers were shooting at something in there,” Stephen said. Perez and Richard pulled their guns out and walked into the stairwell. Carter joined them.
“Over here, officer,” Carter said, leading Perez into the third door. They saw Michael’s naked corpse, neck torn open, blood everywhere.
“Shit. They all like that?”
“Pretty much so. There’re two on the floor two levels below us and one at the bottom.”
They accompanied Perez down to the second landing where he saw Don Baker’s corpse and into the room that contained Rebecca Baker’s naked body.
They then led Perez down to the first floor where they viewed Scott Stoner’s corpse.
“Well. It’s as you say. All of them killed similarly. Thanks for reporting this. We’re going to want to have more extensive interviews with you and your people.”
“Whatever we can do to help officer. I’m devastated,” Richards said.
“Let’s get back up top.”
They walked up and out into the lobby and outdoors.
“They two who ran off. What were they shooting at?”
“I don’t know, but they fired off a lot of rounds.”
Perez addressed the other officers.
“We got a hot scene. Seal it off with tape. Don’t touch a thing. Put a call into CSI and get them to send an emergency team down here. Also put a call in for some detectives to come down here and begin an investigation. I’ve got to admit, I usually have a handle on these kind of cases. This one I haven’t got a clue.”
Everyone moved off to take care of their duties. Perez pulled out his cell phone and dialed Kowalski.
He picked up after three rings. “Kowalski.”
“Kowalski. Sergeant Perez. I’m at a crime that looks like it fits in with some of the weird shit you’re working on. I’m at the Bradbury Tower. Four stiffs with their necks ripped out.”
“Jesus. Can’t these fuckers take a day off?”
“In Detroit? Never!”
Kowalski hung up and stared pensively into space. He picked up his phone and dialed Falco.
Falco picked up after the fifth ring. “Yeah Kowalski. What’s up?”
“I’ve got a case that may require your expertise.”
“What is it?”
“We’ve got four stiffs at the Bradbury Tower who’ve had their necks ripped out. I’m going to assume they’re missing a substantial amount of blood.”
“Am I a suspect?”
“No. You behead your victims. These heads are attached to their bodies.”
”Sounds like I’d better bring a knife.”
“Whatever you think is best.”
“I’ll meet you there in twenty minutes.”
I opened the refrigerator and pulled out a bag of blood, poured a big glass and slurped it down. It tasted good and nourishing. I pulled out Victor’s obsidian knife and placed it into the sheath I carried on my back. I then put my black trench coat on over my leather jacket, let my self out of my apartment and walked down to the parking garage where I got into my Civic and drove out to meet Kowalski.
When I got there Kowalski was talking with Perez. Perez eyed me as I came up upon them.
“This guy again. You sure you know what you’re doing Kowalski?”
“Sergeant Perez,” I said offering my hand to him. “I only try to humbly help. I have the utmost respect for the difficulties and challenges of your job.”
He took my hand, sighed and we shook.
“Well, if Kowalski thinks you can help, I’ll just have to go with his judgment.”
“Thanks for your vote of confidence Sergeant. I’ll do my best.”
“Take us to the stiffs,” Kowalski said.
“Follow me, gentlemen.”
Perez led us into the lobby with the incredible domed ceiling and into the stairway with the amazing octagonal interior space. Perez led us into the third door on the floor and we saw the body of a naked black man on a mattress, his neck ripped open and blood on the floor.
“Show us the others,” I said.
Perez led us down to the second landing and the body of a man lying on the floor his neck ripped open. He then took us into the first door on the left where he found the body of a naked woman with her neck ripped open.
He then took us down to the first floor where we saw the last corpse: a man with his neck ripped open.
“Thank you Sergeant Perez. I’ll take over from here,” Kowalski said. “You’re dismissed.”
Perez walked up the stairway and exited into the lobby.
“You know what I have to do?”
“I know Falco.”
I reached behind my neck and pulled the obsidian knife out of its sheath and beheaded the man on the floor. I then went up to the second floor, beheaded the man on the landing and then woman in the first floor to the left. I then headed up to the fourth floor and beheaded the man in the third floor to the left.
“It was necessary,” I said. “There are too many monsters in Detroit already. We can’t afford four more.”
“Kind of screws up our crime scene. I’ll have to have a chat with Perez. Do you think you can do what you’ve done before?”
“Why not?” I said as I dipped my hand into the blood of the man on the fourth floor. I tasted it. It tasted good. I started to project into the city and ran into a crimson wall. I pushed forward. The wall pushed back. I could see nothing.
I rushed down to the second floor and tried the same with each body. The result was the same. I was blocked by a crimson wall and saw nothing.
I ran down to the first floor and tasted that victim‘s blood. Again, my psychic powers were thwarted. It was as though my radar was jammed. I saw nothing.
“My powers are useless here. I see nothing. It’s as though a greater power has superseded my powers. It’s jamming my radar!”
“Just one. There’s a woman I need to see.”
I got in my Civic and headed over to 666 Gehenna Street in search of Mama Midnight. It had been ten years since we met. She told me how to find Julie. She confirmed what I was to become. She told me she had ways of hurting me if I came back to see her. I was coming back, but I had no bad intentions for her. I needed to ask for her help. I parked my car across the street about three doors down with a good view of the front door, waited and thought. There was a sign to the left of her front door advertising PSYCHIC READINGS.
I hadn’t tried to contact her for ten years. I mean, her threat was pretty potent and she seemed like the kind of person to come through on a promise. I dialed Kowalski.
He picked up on the fourth ring.
“It’s me. I was wondering if you could run a reverse phone book check for me and get me a number?”
“What’s the address?”
“666 Gehenna Street.”
“OK. Let me call you back with the number.”
Five minutes later the phone rang. It was Kowalski. I answered.
“The number’s 779-2442.”
I ended the call and dialed the number. She picked up after the seventh ring.
“Hello,” she said in her sing songy Caribbean accent.
“Mama Midnight, I need your help in something.”
“Few peoples calls me by that name. How you know me?”
“Ten years ago you gave me some valuable advice. You helped me help someone very special to me.”
“I was bitten by vampires ten years ago. You told me I would change. You were right. I did change. I am a creature of the night now. You told me how I could find my girlfriend and because of you I saved her life and killed the coven while I changed.”
“I told you I got ways to hurt you if you come back. You comin back?”
“That’s why I’m calling.”
“I learned to channel my bloodlust. I don’t know why no one ever thought of it before. I suppose the hunger is so overwhelming that the need to feed supersedes any other thought. I have fed exclusively on criminals, killers, child killers, rapists, thieves, mobsters, pimps. Just one scumbag after another. Maybe you’ve read about my work in the paper? Headless body found drained of blood? Film at eleven? I may be a bloodsucker, but there’s no need to make any more of us.”
“So you telling me you be a good vampire.”
“I’m still a monster. I’ve just discovered a way to be of service to society.”
“I have noticed your crimes over the years. When I learn about the killed, I think it sounds like justice.”
“I was found out by a policeman. He’s asked my help in solving unsolvable crimes. I find them and they never hurt anyone again.”
“So what do you think I can do for you.”
“You taught me I had innate psychic powers which I have developed over the years. I have a business where I find lost people. But mostly I find kidnappers and murderers. They’re my next meal. If I save a kidnapped person I demand and get a handsome reward. It’s been very lucrative. I like to think of it as combining business with compulsion.
“Yesterday I was called to help at a crime scene that was obviously committed by vampires. Normally when I come to a fresh crime scene I merely taste the blood of the victim and my second sight leads me to the perpetrator where I have visions of the crime and crimes committed by the perpetrator. You know, I don’t feel remorse about consuming these monsters.
“Anyway. There were four murdered. Throats ripped out, blood drained. I dipped my fingers in the blood on the floor and felt my spirit rush out toward the location of the monster who perpetrated this crime and rushed into a crimson wall that pushed back on me, breaking the spell and I found myself falling back to my place. This repeated three times with the subsequent victims.”
“I remember you. You done good for a demon. I remember the night of the Blood Moon. A house burned down. Five decapitated corpses burned. I knew was you. I thought you consume your girl. I never knew one of you could do like you.”
“Julie’s alive because of you.”
“No child. She’s alive because of you.”
“I need your help. I am blind in this.”
“The ones you kill before. I knew of them. Victor was the most powerful. The others useless. You now face greater power. You take Victor’s bloodstone?”
“Keep it with you always. It has powers it can channel for you.”
“I have it.”
“Good. The ones you seek have much more power than Victor. You may not be able to stand up to them.”
“Can you help me?”
“Give me a day and call me back. I have something for you then.”
She hung up. I felt lost and uncertain of what to do next. I drove back to my place, parked my car and went upstairs.
Julie was waiting for me outside my room.
“I didn’t know where else to go.”
“You should go home to Dan and your girls.”
“But I need to see you.”
“Here I am. Happy?”
“Don’t mock me.”
“Sorry. But I took a great interest in ensuring your happiness. I guess I’m feeling a little unappreciated right now.”
“Rick, Rick,” she stepped forward and placed her hand on my right cheek and neck. “I’ve wanted to caress you and hold you for years. Don’t deny me.”
“You have a family now. This won’t end well.”
I remember how I’d been putty in her hands before. How I’d caved into her every desire and we were led into a nightmare that continued to this day. I grabbed her wrists and pulled them down to her sides.
“No!” I said forcefully. “This is wrong! You need to go back to your family!”
She looked at me, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“I’ll leave now Rick. But we’re not finished.”
She turned and walked down to the elevator. It opened and she rode it down out of my life.
I opened my door and secured my lair. I walked into the bathroom and looked into the mirror. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as well. I hadn’t realized how much she had affected me, how much I was still in love with her, how much I wanted her, wanted to be with her. But it could never be!
“Can you come and get me?”
“Right away. I’ve been so worried. The girls too. What’s been going on?”
“I’ll tell you when you get here.”
She thought of Rick. He was her one great passion. She knew it now. So long without him. Dan was wonderful to her and the girls. Even more than that. He was their father. But what she had experienced with Rick awakened the desire she felt at the base of her soul. “I’m a horrible woman!” she thought of leaving Dan for Rick. Dan was so attentive and considerate. Yet she felt passion for Rick. Self loathing rose in her breast as she vowed to find a way to reconciliation between her passions and her reality.
She threw herself onto the bed and began sobbing intensely into her pillow.
I dialed Mama Midnight. She picked up after the third ring.
“It’s me. You remember?”
“What do you have for me?”
“You come up against some bad, bad power. You up against two close to Victor’s power and three greater. You need potions I gots and you need God’s love, which I know you ain’t got.”
“How do I break through their psychic barrier?”
“Come to my home.”
“You sure? Last time I saw you, you said you had something bad for me.”
“That’s right, demon. Try anything, you find out.”
“I won’t try anything.”
I hung up and left for the parking garage where I got in my Civic, powered it up and drove out of the parking deck in the direction of 666 Gehenna Street.
I found a place on her street, parked and walked up the walkway to her door. I lifted the enormous knocker and knocked three times. I heard the shuffling of feet. The door cracked open, held by the chain and was confronted by an old, wise eye of an elderly black woman. I took off my shades.
“Better,” she said as she slid the chain off the bolt, opened the door wide and let me in.
“In case you be getting any ideas, I still have the means to hurt you.”
“Thanks Mama. You’re safe with me.”
“OK. First things first. You’ve found the most powerful coven in the Northeast. The leader, ancient. Maybe 4,000 years. The others are also formidable. One is 800 years. Another is 600 years. The two babes are 200 and 300 years each. Victor was 700 years and you defeated him, but you did so in the company of infants. They blocked you because they have a more powerful bloodstone than yours. They be living in the tower the murdered were found. You don’t have to use your powers to see that. You just have to find their lair and kill them. Providing they don’t destroy you first.”
“You mentioned some potions that could help me.”
“ I only have a little bit. First I have a preparation for you. I ground up the bones of saints, mixed in a little holy water and wormwood and stirred in a bit of hydrochloric acid, all wrapped up in a pretty little package with a bow. Throw it at them. It will break on contact and cause agonizing pain. I made twenty of them.”
“I’ve also prepared deadly herbs laced with an accelerant. Mandrake, Belladonna and Henbane mixed with gun powder and gasoline. Light the fuse and toss it. It will explode on contact and the deadly herbs will be infused beneath the skin. This will greatly hurt them and distract them. You have twenty of these.
“Finally, I want you to see what you are up against,” she said leading me to a sitting room off the side of the living room. I sat down. She pulled a drawer open and pulled out a dull flat pewter panel and set it on an easel.
“Focus your mind on the panel and you will see.”
I reached out with my mind into the panel as she said I should and I was amazed at what happened.
It was as though a light lit up from inside it. I now saw the inside of the room the evil dwelt in and the visage of each of them. I was horrified. Not just by their ugliness and evil, but by the knowledge that some people thought there was no such thing as evil.
I saw them all and knew their names. Diva, Fyren, Lilith, Malvoglio and Moloch. The five monsters that ruled the Bradbury Tower. I now knew who they were. I knew they must die.
“Here. Take this panel. See them. Defeat them.”
I went back to my apartment, opened the door and secured it. I placed the pewter panel next to my computer and looked into it. I found that when I focused my mind on it, it began to glow from within and I could see the interior of the penthouse. There was a stage with a chair and a table, a dance floor in front of the stage, and a bar in the rear of the room. It looked like it had been a nightclub at one time. Probably a private playground for the rich and privileged.
As nothing was happening I used my mind to turn off the window into the penthouse, got up and walked over to the refrigerator, opened it up, took out a bag of blood and poured a tall glass. It felt wonderful going down. Refreshed, I took out my cell phone and dialed Kowalski. He answered on the sixth ring.
“Well, did you find out anything?”
“I did. Turns out there are five very dangerous creatures like me living in the Bradbury Tower. They killed those people. They will continue to kill until they are stopped.”
“Can you stop them?”
“I don’t know. They are all much older and more experienced than me. If I go after them it’s kill or be killed. Either I destroy them, or they destroy me.”
“Is there any way I could help?”
“I don’t know. Probably not. I did get some potions from the psychic who helped me find them. They may have the capacity to hurt them, but I don’t know how powerful they are. The only way to know is to engage them and that’s risking it all.”
“I appreciate what you’ve done for us so far and what you’ve done in the past. I’d like to help. There are some other officers who’d like to help too.”
“The level of Evil I may face is beyond your ability to withstand.”
“Doesn’t matter who’s first through the door. It’s good to know there’s somebody behind you who’s got your back. I’ve got your back Falco.”
“Maybe these potions can help keep you safe. I’ll have your back too.”
Even though I possessed the potential for immortality, I knew that death awaits even the undead. I mean, Victor was gone by my hand. I could be gone as well. Frankly, it wouldn’t be that bad a thing. A relief actually. These urges. This desire. This foul compulsion would be over at last!
Still, if I died at the hands of these monsters the living would face a curse I couldn’t allow to continue. Therefore I was determined to destroy them or be destroyed.
I decided it was time to visit the Bradbury Tower. I entered the stairwell of my building and walked up to the roof. The door was bolted. I unlatched it and walked onto the roof and levitated up 250 feet and drifted toward the Bradbury Building.
When I reached the tower I circled it looking for signs of life. Seeing none I descended and landed noiselessly on the patio. I thought I heard shuffling from inside the penthouse and levitated up about 250 feet and observed.
One of the windows of the penthouse opened from a hinge and out leaped a creature with horns. With wings unfurled it soared through the canyons of the city. It suddenly swooped on a lone figure, a man, grasped it with its claws and began to feed. It flapped its wings and reached up to the penthouse and through the open window.
It reentered the penthouse and engorged itself on the victim and tossed it aside. It sat down on a chair on the stage and waited. Four figures made their way up from the floors below and fed on the scraps of the demon’s victim. One of them walked behind the bar and opened a cupboard and brought out an orb and placed it on the table next to the demon. It was an enormous bloodstone! It began to glow with a throbbing crimson light. Mama Midnight was right! My ring was miniscule in comparison.
Suddenly I sensed a consciousness attempting to penetrate my mind. I flew two miles away and landed on top of a skyscraper. I wondered if I’d been compromised. I then felt the consciousness attempting to penetrate my mind to force its will on mine again.
I heard a rush of wind behind me and turned to see a creature approaching with its arms open with skin stretched from its elbows to its hips, gliding on the wind. It had horns and claws and was rushing down on me with its jaws open and claws extended. I side stepped it and flew up to a steeple atop the building across the street.
I heard the flapping of enormous wings approaching me from above. I looked up and saw the demon rushing down at me with his claws extended and jaws open, saliva dripping from his razor sharp teeth. I leapt off the building and flew down the street and made a left turn, taking refuge in the sheltered entryway of an abandoned office building. I’d been compromised!
I stood in the dark and waited. I saw the first creature hurtling toward me from my left and I heard the wings of the second as they prepared to converge on me. I suddenly leapt into the air to the top of the skyscraper across the street and flew twenty blocks away, taking left and right turns. I stopped and listened intently. Hearing nothing, I leapt into the air and flew at an incredible rate of speed away and dropped softly onto the roof of my building. I stood there silently, for several minutes, listening and scanning the sky for movement. Hearing nothing and seeing nothing, I opened the door to the roof, bolted it behind me and made my way inside and down to my apartment level. I entered my apartment and sealed it up.
I went into my tomb and rested.
In the morning I decided to visit Julie and Dan in Bay City and walked down to the garage. I looked at the Civic and the Vanquish. What the hell, I thought. Might be the last time I drove it. I unlocked the Vanquish, powered it up and headed down to the exit.
I made my way to the 75N and set my sights on Bay City and Julie.
The Sun was out in full force. Fortunately I had my sun block on, my fedora and sunglasses and long sleeves. I parked the car and walked up to the door. It was about 1pm. I knocked.
I heard a rush of little feet running toward the door. I heard the latch turn and the door opened a smidgen. A most delightful little girl looked at me with a smile on her face.
“What’s your name?”
“Is your Mom and Dad home?”
“Yes.” She said as she ran off into the interior of the house yelling, “Mom and Dad. There’s a man here to see you!”
Dan and then Julie reached the vestibule.
Julie almost blurted, “Ri… Falco!”
“Are you really Falco?” Dan said. “I’ve wanted to thank you!”
I smiled and let his warmth enter me.
“Thank you Dan. I was wondering if I could have a few minutes alone with Julie?”
“We should go to the backyard,” Julie said.
We walked out the back door and strolled into the garden.
“Why did you come?”
“I face a challenge. I may not survive. I wanted to see you one last time. If that’s what it is. I have something to tell you.”
“That I’ve always loved you. That I’ve always watched over you. I made sure that you ended up with Dan. That I’ve always tried to make sure that your happiness would be secured.”
She reached out and touched my face with her right hand.
“I now know that I’ve always loved you Rick. I know things have changed, that we may not ever be together. I don’t know what you’re capable of, but I love you and want you forever. Can I kiss you?”
I thought about it. What the hell. “Yes.”
We embraced, our lips met. Her mouth opened as did mine. Our tongues intertwined. I lowered my hands from her shoulders to her hips and pulled back from her.
“It would have been great if it had been you and me.”
“It still could be.”
“I don’t know. There has to be a way.”
We walked back into the house.
“Nice to meet you Dan,” I said offering my hand to him.
He took it and we shook, I turned and left their home, got into the Vanquish and powered it up down the 75S back toward Detroit.
“What was that all about? I saw you kiss. Are you in love with him?”
“Darling. You don’t know what you saw,” she said guiltily “It was nothing.”
“It didn’t look like nothing.”
Moloch looked into the bloodstone orb and laughed. “I think we may have found something this interloper may care about. Fyren and Diva? I want you to go to Bay City and bring this family to us.”
I pulled into the garage and parked the Vanquish, got out, locked it, walked into the building and up to my tomb.
Frank got up in the morning, showered, dressed and went downstairs to the kitchen. Dominic was making espresso.
“Like a cup?”
“Definitely. How about a double shot?”
“Coming right up.”
He fired up his dual boiler semi automatic espresso machine and brewed Frank a double.
Frank took a sip.
“You sure know how to live Dominic.” He tipped his cup to Dorigo and drank it up.
“I’m going to have to run, Dominic. Fabulous dinner. Incredible wine. Give Paula my best.”
Frank walked out the front door, got into his car and drove to his place. When he got there his panel was glowing crimson. It was the dark spirit he served sometimes. He picked up the panel and opened his mind to the energy. He saw himself driving a limousine to the Bradbury Tower around the back, at 8pm, park and wait for riders who would come out to him. He agreed to the request in his mind and the panel faded to its natural color. He picked up the phone and called up one of Dorigo’s limousine services, Dream Limo.
“Dream Limo,” the voice of a cheerful young woman chirped.
“Let me talk to Gianni.”
“Hold on. I’ll connect you.”
There were three rings. He picked up.
“”Gianni. It’s Frank Morgan. I need to borrow a black Lincoln Town Car. The one that seats six passengers.”
“I’ll have it gassed and ready for you, Frank.”
“Good. I’ll be over this evening.”
At 7pm Frank drove over to Dream Limo, parked and went to the garage and approached one of the attendants.
“I’m Frank Morgan.”
“Yes Mr. Morgan. We’ve been waiting for you. Right this way.”
The attendant led Frank into the garage and pointed his limo out to him.
“This is the one. Black with blackout windows. Very private. Let me pull it up front for you. If you’ve never driven one before, handling them can take some getting used to. But it’s a great vehicle.”
Frank went up to the front and waited as the attendant pulled the limo out of its space and drove to the front. He showed Frank how the remote worked on the keys and traded places with him.
“Have a great time,” he wished Frank.
He put it into gear and drove over to the Bradbury Tower, pulled around back and waited.
Within a few minutes a door opened and out walked two people. The first was a spectacularly beautiful woman wearing what looked like leather. She had long black hair and an hourglass figure. The other was a barrel-chested man with a slender waist and long, wavy black hair. He looked powerfully built and athletic. Morgan rolled down his window. Fyren came up to him and handed him a slip of paper with an address: 13657 N. Monroe St., Bay City, Michigan.
“We’ll ride in back. We’re bringing back four passengers.”
Frank released the door locks to the back doors. Fyren and Diva got in.
Frank pulled away from the curb and headed to the 75N.
“Can you lock the doors so they can’t be opened from the inside?” Fyren asked.
“Sure. Windows too.”
“Good. When we pick up our passengers disable the doors and windows. We don’t want anybody going anywhere else but here.”
Where are we taking them.”
“Right back here.”
Frank pulled onto the 75N and drove toward Bay City.
It was nearly 10:15 pm when the limo slowly drove up to 13657 N. Monroe St. Fyren and Diva got out.
“Wait here. This shouldn’t take long,” Fyren said.
Fyren and Diva walked across the street toward the Stone’s house.
Julie was sitting at her computer working on her blog, answering posts and compiling the latest information on the arts from around the globe.
Fyren and Diva floated over the Stones back yard fence. They both concentrated and sent their minds toward Julie’s and beckoned her to open the back door and come into the back yard.
Julie began to feel light headed and suddenly had the urge to get up and go out into the back yard into the night air. She rose and walked to the back door, opened it and walked out.
“Good girl,” Fyren said grabbing her to his chest, placing his hand over her mouth. “You know what to do Diva.”
She smiled, nodded her head and entered the house. She looked toward Julie’s room and saw that it adjoined another room. Probably the bedroom with the husband in it. She turned left and went down the hallway with two doors, opened the door to the left and walked in. She saw Susan sleeping in her bed. She walked over to her and picked her up. Susan stirred and woke up.
“Who are you?”
“I’m a friend of your mother. Your mother wants me to bring you and your sister to her.”
“I don’t know who you are. My mother says not to talk to strangers.”
“Now be a good girl and be quiet.”
She carried her across the hall into Lucy’s room and picked her up and carried both girls out into the hallway when Lucy woke up and started crying.
Dan woke with a start and rushed out of his bedroom and saw Diva holding his girls.
“Who are you? What are you doing to my children?” he demanded.
Dan heard a sound to his left and saw Fyren holding Julie with his hand over her mouth, muffling her protestations. Dan rushed toward Fyren and threw a punch at his head. Fyren caught it with his hand and pulled him sharply toward him head-butting Dan severely. Dan dropped. He looked at Fyren and then at Julie.
“Now let’s be cordial. We’re all going to take a little trip together. We have a car outside. I promise you’ll be comfortable,” Fyren said with a dashing grin.
“What do you want from us?” Dan said.
“You’ll find out in due time,” Fyren said.
“Let’s get moving,” Diva commanded.
They walked out the front door and walked down the street toward the limo.
“Our chariot awaits,” Fyren said flamboyantly as he opened the back door and pushed Julie in.
“Your turn,” he said to Dan, who got in. Diva got in carrying the two girls. Fyren got in last, closed the door and said to Frank, “Let’s go.”
Frank disabled the door and window locks and pulled the limo away from the curb and headed back to Detroit.
They arrived back at the Bradbury Tower. Fyren and Diva exited the limo and escorted the Stones out. They returned through the door they came through to get to the limo. Frank drove the limo back to Dream Limo handed the key to the attendant, got into his car and drove home.