Monthly Archives: August 2015

Chapter 18

The Golem’s feet slopped as it moved. It didn’t leave any traces of clay behind, nor leave any marks in Sam’s carpet. The magic that held it together, held it well.

Alix poked it with her finger, making a little hole in the red tinted grey muck that made up the golem.

“It’s not as tough as Doug was.”

“I haven’t finished him yet.”

“Oh.” Sam held her hand out almost touching the flat piece of clay that would have been the face. The clay started to crack open, right where his mouth would have been. The crack reached around to the back of his head. The top of his head lifted as the crack opened further. Pieces of clay slopped of the top half of his head, assimilating back into the bottom. His head was open, revealing a hole down his neck. “That’s horrifying.”

“Yeah, a little.” Sam stepped away from the golem that was now absolutely still. It seemed even taller than it was before.

Sam knelt down, she pulled out a draw from the coffee table. She grabbed a square sticky note and a pen out of the draw. Placing the note on the table she quickly wrote down what was needed on it. The name of the golem, the name of its owner and several words written in Hebrew ‘Earth, Fire, Soul, Servitude.’

Once she was done she popped back up, looking directly at the frozen mound of clay. Slowly Sam rolled up the sticky note, she half placed it half threw it into the hole in the golem’s neck. After several silent moments the golems head started to pull itself back together.

The clay made a wet slapping noise as it snapped shut. The flat patch that would have been its face returned with no sign of its recent split. Red patches slowly grew on its face as though it had seen someone undressing. The colour grew exponentially until he was more brick than clay.

The golem rolled its shoulders as its arms grew larger. His entire form grew and defined. The brick moved as though it was still a fluid, forming  more human muscle structure. Oversized biceps and  triceps, pectorals and abdominals, larger and more defined than any bodybuilder or previous governor of California.

“Alright Gerard, stop showing off, go compact please otherwise you won’t fit through any doors.” Sam waved her hand the golem sealing her control over it.

“Yes mistress.” Gerard’s voice was like it came out of the deeps of the earth.

“… And don’t call me mistress. My name is Sam.” The golem silently nodded accepting the information. His false muscles rescinded like the rest of his body mass. The liquid brick folded over itself seamlessly shrinking as it did so. Alix stood silent in awe, she had only seen Sam make a golem once before.

Gerard was now roughly the same size of Sam except without the bust and still half a head taller. He brought his hands out in front of him clenching and unclenching his fists, testing his strength.

“How will he hold up this time?” Alix came out of her daze as Gerard become less imposing.

“I’m not sure. At the very least he’ll be a lot harder to get rid of. So long as part of him remains he should be able to rebuild the rest.”

“Have you ever clothed one?”

“No, why?”

“Just seems a little impolite, having a naked man walking around behind you.” Sam just stared at Alix for a moment.

“He doesn’t actually have a gender, or a cock for that matter…”

“I know but…”

“But what? Are you seriously thinking about him as a naked man Alix?”

“He was all big… and muscle-y Sam!”

“Ugh! Alix!”

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Chapter 17

“You’ve told them what they need to know?”

“Yeah she told us, still not sure why we’re keeping something like that from Reese.”

“Oh, hello Sam. I’m on speaker phone then, I guess.”

“Yeah, sorry about that Doctor. I don’t much like to keep secrets.” Alix stared at the phone with a glare she had saved for Doctor Calms.

“You must understand, that ring will save many lives. Not only those, trapped in the stitch. There are many curses and seals that could be undone with it. Possibly even your own.”

“I doubt that doctor.” Sam’s first thought when she had entered ritual magic was to help those under Cain’s curse. “The four curses, as well as the soulless curse are far out of reach for any mortal magic.”

“The ring in question was crafted by none other than the Baron Om. I thought Alix would have informed you of this.”

“She did. Despite the Baron Om’s constant and usually successful battle with Death and the reapers, he could have never made something that could undo such things. Otherwise Death would have come for him much sooner than he did.”

“You’re right Sam. I was wrong to question your expertise on such artefacts. It would have come in handy before I tested the ring on myself.”

“Hang on, you did what?” Alix blurted out.

“Never mind that, we need to get down to business.”

“Right.” Alix blinked a few times to regain focus. “You said you know where the stitch is?”

“We do.”

“How can you know that?”

“An artefact like that has a very unique energy to it. One that is hard to hide.”

“And you’re tracking it. Can you predict its movements?”

“Mostly. But that’s not really the point. We’ve found that it’s looking for something.”

“You want us to get it first and use it as bait?”

“Yes.”

“What is it looking for?”

“Its creator.”

“Isn’t he, like, dead?”

“Has that ever stopped anyone?”

*

Bringing someone back from the dead is never easy, but there are a myriad of ways to do it. The easiest way is to make a deal with the angel or demon that has control over the area that their soul ended up. The cheapest way is to force their soul into a vessel or some form of enchanted item, it doesn’t have to be a living creature. However being cheap, means it’s not easy.

The stitch stood over the furnace. Smouldering ashes flickered light over its patches of faces. Whenever a magic called for metal object it had to be cast by the person casting the spell. The sweat and effort that went into its creation was as a part of the ritual just as much as the other ingredients.

The collection of souls that it had gave the stitch unparalleled power but also a wealth of knowledge. Mainly for magic but also metal work it seemed. Using its stronger arm it pulled the crucible out of the fire and poured the molten metal into the castings it had made. It did this several times until it had all the pieces it would need to make the large metal doll. The doll it planned to put its creator’s soul into.

*

“Oh yes, Reese rushed through my order!” Sam exclaimed as Mr. Red gave he the parcel.

“You can make your golem again, yeah?”

“Damn right I can. Come on, I’ve got to see if that boy’s still in my bed and get this ritual going.” Sam dragged Alix out of the refuge and down the street.

Both Alix and Sam noticed the feeling of emptiness in the apartment. The telling signs of a room recently occupied by a soulless breed.

“He didn’t even leave me his number.”

“Aren’t boys supposed to call girls?” Alix joked.

“Tell that to Kelvin.” Alix pointed at her with an accusatory look. “Ok, so my Golem mat is the cupboard under the sink and can you fill a bowl of milk for me.” Alix nodded and moved towards the kitchen while Sam opened her parcel on the coffee table.

Sam pulled out the contents. A soul infused rock, a vial of black sand and a self-sealing plastic bag packed with clay pulled from a volcano. Sam went all out when creating her personal golem. It would have the soul from the rock, the raw power of a volcano and the versatility of black salt. All while being a self-repairing clay golem.

She opened the bag and flopped the clay out onto the table. Flattening it out, using the sand like flour on dough. She finished moulding it around the rock when Alix called out to her.

“Your milk’s off!”

“That’ll be why he didn’t stay, can you transfigure me some?”

“Can’t.”

“Why not? I saw you make some this morning in the refuge.”

“I can’t be doing the same magic tricks all the time, my critics would go nuts.”

“Alright then Houdini, you can escape my apartment and walk down to the shop for me then.”

“Fine. I’ll make your damn milk.”

Sam got the rest of her ingredients out from her ritual room. She would have done it in there but she was keeping the return portal set up nowadays to make sure she could always escape a sticky situation. Even if she forgot it was there half the time. She mixed the assorted herbs and powders together with the milk and placed the Clay figure she had made in the bowl. Alix put down the mat and sat somewhere she couldn’t interfere with the ritual.

Sam had made mats for all of her common rituals, it made it easier then writing all the runes out each time, and drawing the circle which had to be almost perfect. She said the words and threw the last of the ingredients over top. There was a pause in the air. Then the clay figure grew out of the bowl, Soaking up the milk.

It almost touched the ceiling before it stepped off the table.

“Oh hello dear, how I’ve missed you.” The golem nodded with its featureless face.

“What are you going to call this one?”

“Gerard.”

“Really?”

“What? I have to make up new names every time I make one of these. I’m running out okay?”

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Chapter 16

“There’s something I can’t get out of my head Sam.”

“What? This stitch thing?”

“No, well, yes. But something else as well.”

“Well…?”

“It was something the doctor said about Reese.”

“What did she say?”

“She said he started the Refuge.”

“What?”

“I know, crazy right.”

*

“I feel like I’m dying.”

“You’re kind of right. Your bodies dying. Drink this.”

“Isn’t that like, I don’t know, a bad thing.” She took the cup of orange sludge and tried to get as much down as she could. Coughing, instead of throwing up.

“It would be, except in this case, we want to get rid of the soul that’s in there.”

“Oh.” Lucifer rubbed her shoulder and looked down at the ground in shame.

“Don’t feel that bad Lucy, she accepted this. She gets to go to a nice place afterwards anyway thanks to your purifying effects.”

“Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feel bad for killing someone.”

“People kill people all the time, some even do it when they are sure that the person will go to hell. You’re not even really killing her, I am.”

“Then how are you okay with it?”

“I’ve been alive long enough to learn how to deal with it. That doesn’t mean I’m okay with it.”

Reese drew a circle on the ground around where he had propped Lucy up with a pile of pillows. He drew the symbols around it from memory. Lucy remembered what they meant in her language as he wrote them. ‘Bind, seal, commit’ repeated around the circle.

He handed her a large silver medallion without stepping into the circle. She inspected it, making sure it was tarnish free. Inscribed on the front was more of her language, it was her name.

“How did you get this?” He continued working on the circle lines and symbols without answering.

He straightened up and grabbed another medallion out of the box he’d brought to carry the supplies. Lucifer stiffened up in all the places she could still move.

“A vessel free.” Reese pointed at her. “A name given. Bind and bound and bind again, seal the soul for time remain. The Catalyst shall be me.”

“No! Reese!” The medallion in his hand went red with heat. He only held more tightly. “You idiot!” The room’s contents started to shake and tumble.

“What else was I supposed to use? There’s no other children with only one curse anymore!” He started to shout over the noise of slamming and crashing.

“There were other catalysts!”

“They wouldn’t have worked!”

“You can’t know that!” She was pulled off the ground into the air.

Her wings expanded out from her back. They were not feathered, two of them weren’t, well one of them was. The one on her right was not held together it was just the bone-frame, but it wasn’t bone. The wing was a black substance, it had no edge to it, like it was sucking the light out of the air around it. Silver letters in angelic script were inscribed around each finger of the wing.

On the other side another wing was pulsing and moving like fire spreading across a wall, the black waves curving and waving. The feathered one was not black but a dark purple, unlike the others that were rising up behind her, the purple one swept around her from the left. Feathers fell from that wing, disintegrating into sparkles and disappearing as they touched the ground.

Her eyelids grew bright, they opened bursting out blue light, thick trails of glowing tears streaked down her face. Her hair had instantly grown to waist length and flew as though air had rushed up from below her. There was a crack like thunder, her hair dropped back down revealing large pieces of gold swirling around her head. Each piece had the same angelic script on them as her skeletal wing, some of the bits were dented and cracked. Large gaps were evident in the halo swooping over her. The wings behind her dropped over her shoulders as she dropped her head.

As the room went still there was an eerie silence then another crack of thunder. Her head flew back, as did all of the wings. Her left shoulder had a large silver spaulder upon it now. It elegantly flowed up into two points. The rest of her torso was bare. She had kept the breasts of the human body but they were just skin, bare like that of a child’s doll.

More silver armour was wrapped around her feet and legs all the way up to her groin which was also nothing but skin. Her mouth fell open. She yelled, her true voice shaking the building, probably the whole area. A line of black symbols started to form on the right side of her face, each drawing themselves, down along her glowing tears. They didn’t stop at her chin, they kept drawing all the way down, over a breast and along the stomach until they reached the top of her silver legging. As she regained control over herself she swept her feathered wing back around. Reese stood in awe, he almost asked her to not cover herself, he didn’t think he was ever going to see a true angel again.

“How long will I be in this form?” Her voice was no longer thunderous.

“As long as the body takes to reshape. I probably should have mentioned this earlier but some of these things won’t be absorbed back into the body.”

“What do you mean?”

“Bodies are built around a soul, she can only contain so much of you, even after this.”

“So I’m going to be stuck as a genderless angel on earth?”

“No, no, no. From what I can guess, you’ll just keep the wings, maybe the armour.”

“Keeping the wings! But doorways and hallways?”

“They are spiritual in nature, they’ll act like they always have. Invisible to those without sight and untouchable to things without balance.”

“Wait.” She looked down at herself. “Will I get my clothes back?” Reese pushed his lips together and raised an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry but I don’t know.” She frowned but it was hard to see due to the shining lines down her face.

“There’s something else I wanted to ask you.”

“Then why haven’t you asked?”

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear the answer.”

“Well don’t leave me hanging now.”

“Since I’ve been in this body so long, I’ve started to feel much deeper emotions. Why? And will it get worse?” Reese stepped closer to the glowing angel.

“An angel is only emotion, you don’t have a shielding. Being in that body didn’t make you have deeper emotions, you’ve just started to realize what they were because the body made you feel the lack of emotion.”

“So what I feel is real?”

“More real than anything anyone else has ever felt.”

She uncoiled her feathered wing and flicked it out. She lightly nudged Reese with it. He stepped forward again. She got it up behind him and pulled him in without resistance. She grabbed him and planted her head in his chest again. He awkwardly placed his arms around her, avoiding the wings and worrying about glowing tears on his shirt. She was warm all over despite being mostly naked.

She continued holding him in with her wing and arms until she had regained a mostly human form. She didn’t get her clothes back, but she didn’t care. He pulled away a little and looked at her in the eyes. The glowing eyes and tears were gone, so was the broken halo. The line of symbols still ran down her right side. Lucifer lowered her wings and used them to pull herself up of the ground.

“What?” She asked

“Wait for it.” Her head fell onto his shoulder. Her wings no longer holding her up.

“Why can’t I move my head?”

“The thing about being attached to a body is that you’ll have deal with those extra body functions.”

“Eating and shitting? I’ve done that before.”

“But you’ve never slept.”

“Oh.”

“That body has been awake for years.”

“Shit. Um…”

“Yeah, I’ll put you in my bed.”

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Chapter 15

The bar that housed the refuge was also a restaurant, as could be figured out by the tables and chairs that were in abundance around the drink bench. Signs outside said that it was only a bar, it was also called The Refuge, non-surprisingly. Mortals occasionally came in, mainly it was big burly men looking for a quiet place to sit and drink away from their wives and responsibilities. The other occupants didn’t bother them. The people who weren’t magically inclined would never think to look just little bit harder at things. So they would never see the true forms of the more scary creatures to dwell in the bar.

Thras swaggered out of the corridor into the main bar area, he was still clothed like he was when Alix saw him leave her in the hospital. His shadows hung above him, grabbing at the ceiling keeping out of the way of anyone who might pass by him. Sam spotted him first. She watched as he walked up to the bar, the look of fright appearing on the face of a regular mortal drinker. He hadn’t seen the tentacles. Even most magical creatures couldn’t without a special artefact, however Thras’ kind did look generally malnourished.

“Are you alright mate?” Sam heard the man ask.

“Oh yeah, I’m fine.”

“You don’t look fine.”

“Well, except for the cancer, and the chemo. But hey, life’s a bitch right? Drink to it?”

“Oh hell, damn man. Yeah I’ll drink to that.”

The three of them smiled at that, Thras acting like he had a short time to live. It was a change to the feeling of dread they felt after Alix had told them about the Stitch and its new found clarity. She would have to tell Sam about the ring later.

“How are we doing this?” Reese interrupted the silence.

“We wait for the doctor to call back and then we go and fuck shit up. Clearly.” Sam put forward an idea. “Cause we’re just that awesome.”

“It’s not that simple. We need to catch it, there’s no way we can kill it.”

Alix held a glass of water in both hands. Staring intently at its contents, letting herself lose focus on the rest of the world. It rested between her palms, she lifted it slightly off the table. The moisture on the outside of the glass stuck between the bottom and the table.

A piece of her hair fell onto her face.

She pulled the glass up another millimetre, the water disconnecting from the table.

The strands of hair flicked back onto her head without intervention.

She put the glass back on the table. Its contents now thick and pale. It’s a simple trick, turning water into other liquids. It doesn’t take much effort as most liquids contain water anyway.

“I’ll have to make another cage.” She put the glass of milk back on the table.

“I don’t think we’ll have to worry about warding it against attacks. The black magicians were few and far between before you got most of them caught Alix.”

“There were a lot of them there at the diner.”

“That was all they could spare, all the ones that the stitch didn’t kill were held in place with your stun crystals.”

“So the only thing we need to worry about is the stitch. That’s something I suppose.” Sam ran her hand through her hair. “If Maeve and Isaac can deal with six of them, and a demon invasion… then I think we can handle this one.”

*

Lucifer leaned back. The vertebrae in her lower spine clicked loudly. This body had a terrible posture. It would be something she would have to fix when she took it over completely. She twisted her head, getting rid of the knot in her neck. Opening her eyes, looking out behind her.

“Hmm.” She turned her head the other way. “Shouldn’t be able to turn that far around.”

The couch creaked as she pulled herself off. Her legs buckled as she put her weight on them. She fell straight down into a heap. “This is a fine mess you’ve got yourself into Lucy.” She dragged her way across the hotel room. Beside the front door a telephone sat on a small table. She knocked the phone off and pulled it over to her.

Holding down the star button the phone started to ring the front desk.

“Hey this is the Refuge front desk, you’re speaking with Naz.”

“Hey Naz. It’s Lucifer, if you see Reese can you tell him… Um. Tell him that he took so long that I can’t feel my legs. He’ll know what I mean. “

“Um… Okay?”

“Thanks Naz, I’ll give you a tip when I get out of this place.”

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