Chapter I: The Cry for Help
Children of the Full Moon, Coven
"What should we do then?" Cries from a desperate high priestess, undecided of what the coven should do next.
"Can we give her another banishment ritual?" One of the coven members suggests in a tense tone.
"She killed Renin and Jonas," the high priest mentions, out of options.
"Kill her?" Another member of the coven suggests.
"Why say such a thing?" High priestess scolds, "She is a member of the coven too,"
"But she disobeyed us and screwed up. Since she is becoming very unpredictable and violent, we must kill her."
"We don't know what could happen if we kill her. It can make matters worse," states the scholar, "I have an idea. I propose outside help. We need an exorcism. Since our banishment rituals are failing, that seems the other option."
"No," the high priest denies, "They will scold us for performing witchcraft and probably order us to get a cleansing too."
"We don't have to say anything about that," the scholar argues, "I do have connections to someone that knows how to deal with this sort of thing."
"Who?" The high priest asks.
"Father McKelsey and his daughter, Naomi" the scholar explains, "Naomi has a higher tolerance to similar cases before. She's not judgy."
"What about her father?"
"He is understanding."
The high priest takes a long sigh in silence. "Alright, make the call to the bishop."
The scholar nods and dials the number on her phone.
"Come on, Markus, you need your outside time. You're coming to the store with us," I fuss.
He rolls his eyes. It's not the first time he has done this. It's been a decade since we took care of him. Some of the effects he endured years ago were temporary. His organ failures and the inability to speak were gone. Well, his voice box sometimes leaves him or he refuses to talk on purpose, giving us the silent treatment. He is still paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Our connection with Markus is stressful. He literally hates his life. He went from dealing with sexual abuse, turned into a superhuman nutjob, and is now handicapped. I am not saying he deserved it. He sometimes gives us a hard time due to it. He sometimes refuses to cooperate with us when we try to take care of him. We tried to offer him therapy sessions with a counselor, but he downright refused. He feared that they wouldn't take him seriously. There's one part of me that still has a concern for Markus and wants to make him better. His actions may be highly unforgivable and unforgettable, yet would I rather live with a psychopath or a psychopath that has reformed? Definitely reformed. At least, he will be a changed spirit if he ever goes into the afterlife. After a decade, he did improve, but he needs to work on his social, mental, and emotional health. He did gain weight though; he doesn't look so starved, but he is still underweight. I guess it's a good sign that we are trying our best to care for him.
There are things that I've noticed while my father didn't. The dark angel still left some power within him; he can only do small amounts of telekinesis or manifestations. His eyes will turn slightly red while doing so. He still looks the same age as before he turned into a monster. Well, I never look a decade older. I guess these abilities affect age. But why does he still have them after the dark angel removed them? I know he doesn't feel sorry, but I feel he left them there to keep Markus alive. If he fully did, he would age rapidly and die. So Markus remains paralyzed forever as his punishment.
His decayed self reversed not long after he turned to normal. I suppose that the dark angel thought he was going to suffer enough and give some sort of compassion? The dark angel is fearsome, but not a total monster.
"Markus, you're coming with us," I move the wheelchair beside his bed, "Whether you like it or not. I guaranteed no one's gonna pick on you. If they do, I will kick their ass."
He stays silent, giving me the antisocial look. I ignore it and pick him up and set him down in his wheelchair. I warn him not to do anything stupid because I will strap him in like he is an insane asylum patient. I crafted the harness that's only visible when not worn. I don't want to do use it and I hate it. I only did it once because he bit me years ago when we were visiting my dad's parents. I could only imagine what he would do if he was still a lava jerk. He will take me to hell and back.
Thankfully, Markus didn't and I stroll him out into the van. Dad turns on the radio before driving off the market.
"The next few weeks are expected to have colder than average spring temperatures as a low-pressure system makes its way to us. We are also expecting a blizzard in the upcoming days. A possible worse one that might beat against the 1981 blizzard," the weatherman on the radio explains.
"It's 2062, shouldn't we see warmer temperatures?" Dad comments.
"Climate change," I let out, "But the weather always tries to discredit our monitors."
"Wildness mostly suits the United States."
"I cannot deny that."
We shop for items at the supermarket. We offer Markus some goods that he might enjoy, but he refuses by shaking his head. He is only going to get the food that helps his nutrition with ease. Once we got our groceries, we headed out back to the house. Buildings that were damaged from Markus's attack years ago were either rebuilt or historical landmarks. For so many years, no one suspected Markus or a creature would do such a thing. I thought once his abilities go away, people will see the real cause, but nope. Scientists will keep an eye on things for any changes while everyone resumes their lives. I can't move on, knowing that the killer is right next to me and I don't know what's going on in his head, whether it's nothing, revenge, or destruction. A vengeful taste has been saturated in his head for many years and he probably forgot what other emotions feel like. He's bland.
The night has soon fallen. It's a bit chilly out there, so we are getting cozy at the fireplace while watching TV. It's mostly football and other sports. Father is on another vacation. He is still a priest and he is training in exorcisms. He wanted to do more things other than preaching in sermons. Sometimes when I go by his room at night, I see him reading from texts. Does my old father get any sleep?
"Seeing all these strong football players makes me tense," Markus distresses. In his expression, he looks tense too.
"Why is that?" I ask.
"It reminds me of that one guy, John, back in high school. An athlete, well-known, and everything he spits out his mouth is rancid."
My dad takes a long deep breath, withholding a comment that he wouldn't dare to say.
"Did he bully you?" I ask.
"Yep," he nods, "He also beat my ass up. He's not afraid to throw his weight around."
"I guess pushing down the big players wasn't enough for him," I go.
Dad gets a call and heads off into another room for privacy.
"He picks on the weak," he replies.
"I did have a similar situation. My ex-friend, Megan, may not be physically aggressive as much, but she is uhh- mightier figure at school than I. Her words can be brutal and hurtful. She didn't think, but didn't admit fault. The school did nothing to stop her. Blath and I had to."
"Did the system here fail you too?" He asks, not sympathetically. He growls, "People turn a blind eye, bystand, or laugh at you while you feel singled out. I hate them all." His words become more grilled. Any longer and it will catch on fire.
"I exposed her to the whole school and she went physical. She did apologize and feel sorry for it though." I smile, hoping to lighten up Markus. I don't want to mention she was the one that he possessed and killed.
"Mine went on fire," he confesses, "Literally..." He seems to gently smile, trying to play it off as a joke.
"Do you ever wonder if there is another way to handle that?" I ask neutrally.
His smile abates and stares at me blankly. Before he can say anything, my father enters back into the living and has some news.
"We better start packing," he tells us, "Tomorrow morning, we are going to Hampstead. I got to investigate and exorcise a possible possession."
"Packing?" I raise my brow, "It's usually just you. I am old enough to take care of Markus."
"Someone requested you too; we are all going," he adds in, "And I got'ta feeling it's going to be a doozy."