The time had come Danny had spent the last several months preparing this one spell; it would be his first deliberately cast spell and he was beyond nervous. Not nervous about the spell itself but about the possible outcome. He sat in his living room all windows blacked out with thick curtains and blankets every possible thing he could do to get rid of any disturbance had been done to include having the power to his home shut off for the next three days. He wore only a pair of comfortable loose fitting black linen pants. Volnam assured him that he was ready to cast a spell even a relatively strong one but this one he didn’t approve of. Not for any other reason than he thought it was a waste of time. But because of his constant complaining Danny had locked him back in the abyss for the time being something he knew he would probably never hear the end of.
Danny reached out with one of his lighters and lit a small candle this one served no purpose, but it is what he would use to light the other three he needed. Once it was lit he took another moment to calm him and make sure his mind was as focused as was possible. Then he began a slow chant. a simple rhythm really not much more than a song one would sing in church and one that was probably need in many churches for this first chant and candle he was about to light would cause his home and the property it sat on to become truly sound proof, no noise of any sort would breach his walls. He lit the candle to his left and finished the chant he didn’t know how he knew it was done he couldn’t feel anything but he just knew that there would be no sound that would disturb him. Still holding his small candle in his hand he began the next chant similar in almost every way to the first one this one caused that no light no vision no action from his home could been seen through any portal, doorway or window. The second candle lit, the chant finished. Danny moved directly onto the third candle and chant, the actual spell he had been working on, the reason for all this caution.
Monique his wife the only person he ever loved the one stolen from him in the accident the same accident that stole his brother his lifelong companion and best friend he could speak to her see her again and if his studies were correct eventually with enough power and preparation bring her back to home to him and keep her here. But to make that work he had to have her permission that was the rule of the spell he wanted to use. He could speak to her with one but to resurrect her he needed her permission to call her back for good, to have her with him again. For a brief instant he remembered dinners together at their table he remembered her laugh and private jokes movies together and times spent talking about children they had decided they were going to have children before it happened before. He broke off the thought he was going to fix it he was going to have her back again he was going to make it like it was before.
His brother too if it all worked it would work he knew it would it had too what good was all his new found and hard fought power if he couldn’t have what he wanted. He caught himself drifting off he brought his mind back into focus and began the final stage of the ritual he had assembled and as his chant came to a close he whispered the most important part her name.
“Monique...” Just saying her name out loud again sent a shiver down his spine and he almost wept, he hadn’t said it in years just shortly after the accident after he saw her parents for the last time at the funeral. He waited a few seconds counting the time in his mind the same cadence as the chant. And then the name again,
“Monique…” This time he felt power in the name as he spoke it and he forced more into it as it left his mouth. Again he counted the time in his mind and prepared the largest amount of power he had yet fed into any form of his magic any of his practices more than he had used when he bound that fool woman beater to his will. As the timing was correct again and for the third and final time.
The eldritch energies that he fed into the word the last time burned both in his lungs as the breath moved to his mouth and from his head as his intent moved down to meet the breath and as the two joined and passed his lips it was as if he were speaking fire and then just as soon as he was done with the name the burning was gone like it had never happened. For a fraction of an instant he wondered if it would work and just as quickly put the thought away of course it had worked she had herd him it was up to her to come to him. She loved him he knew she would come.
So deep was he in his trance that time had no real meaning he could have sat there a few minutes or a few hours he didn’t know and he didn’t care. All he knew was that when she came it was like she had never… left. He felt her walk in from one of the bed rooms the same way when one feels there significant other walk into any other room on any other day, He just knew she was there but then he could not force himself to turn to look at her he hadn’t thought about it until then but what if she appeared as her body would now… at rest or would she appear as she had in life. It was silent he knew she was there and she was watching him. A few more seconds passed and another thought occurred to him what if she could not speak with no body and no mouth. He carefully branched out with the telepathy as barley a whisper as if trying to wake a child without frightening it.
“Monique? Is it you?... can you speak to me?”
Even with no voice his words were timid the emotions he found welling up in him were seeping through all the mental discipline that the Imp had forced him to learn and he was just barley capable of stopping himself from breaking down.
“Danny?... I heard you call; they told me I could come to you... to talk to you.”
She seemed unsure. Happy, but unsure of everything that was going on. But he had noticed that she spoke and that she sounded as flesh and blood as she always had he even heard her take a breath before she spoke at this point he turned and the tears began to flow down his cheeks he didn’t care he wasn’t one of those emotionless pricks in the pricks always having to be the tough guy. He was the opposite he always was until she had died. After then he felt next to nothing but contempt for everything around him. But not now, now she was back she was with him in their living room their house the house they bought right after they had gotten married. Still their house after he brought her back for good and it would be so much better now than before
Nothing would be able to take her again and the money that Algie was handling for them they could have a bigger house if she wanted whatever car. Then the thought hit him that he could still have a child with her still be the parents that they talked about. All these thoughts passed in the fraction of an instant it took him to turn around.
As he looked up at her he saw her saw what she looked like and it hurt his eyes she was so bright. It was like she had come to him through a spot light or that there was a spot light directly behind her he had to look down almost immediately on reflex. But then he looked up at her again not allowing another instant to pass not being able to see her. The radiance only added to her beauty she was to him the most beautiful woman that had ever been and this is before the touches that the afterlife saw fit to give to her. She looked down at him and she was smiling and he cried more his eyes were killing him but it was worth it for her smile. She had round red cheeks long thick chestnut hair in endless uncontrollable curls; she wasn’t wearing her thin wire
Framed glasses but why would she. As a defense his body kept forcing him to look down or away to the left or right but he kept forcing himself to look back. He reached out a hand to her tears running freely down his cheeks and she reached out to him as well in an instant he was on his feet they were hugging he had wanted that hug for so long now to feel her against him, to smell her feel her hair tickle his nose as he buried his face in the side of her neck.
But something was wrong it was very wrong he heard screaming it seemed distant at first but then it was there in the room and suddenly he realized it was coming from his mouth he was thrown back from he wasn’t sure if he had thrown himself or if she had pushed him but he hit the opposing wall and smashed in the paint and the drywall. He sat there his body in the worst pain he had ever felt and the blinding light never dimmed and his eyes couldn’t adjust to it. He climbed to his knees a lost and hurt look on his face and the same look was mirrored in hers.
He could smell smoke burned clothes and skin wafting up from him he didn’t look didn’t want to know what happened or why.
“I’ve missed you so much.” he managed to sob through painful gasps for air.
“Danny, how did you?...” her look was still confused but then she cocked her head to the side as if listening to something from far away and she began to cry and it was more painful watching her cry now than it was the day the police had come to ask him to Identify them from the accident.
“Danny is it true?” Her voice broke then and she couldn’t finish the question.
“What? Is what true? Who is that?” his voice was starting to lose the sobbing edge and take on a more defensive tone. Who was ruining this for them?
“He says that you have been learning evil things, magiks… speaking with demons?” She broke off again listening to that distant someone. Then she was looking at Danny again with that same hurt look but now the confusion was replaced with disapproval she was genuinely let down and it showed and he wanted to climb under a rock and hide there until he forgot his name.
“Monique… you don’t understand it’s not like that, I’m a warlock I was born this way I
Always was I just didn’t know, I just found out it’s a birthright it doesn’t make me bad it just makes me different. I can bring you back make us be together again I’ve learned how. We can…”
She held up her hand for him to be quite and he did. She just stood there silent for a few seconds she was so beautiful both earthly and naturally and heavenly and divinely. Then she spoke.
“Danny you have to stop now, you can’t do this ever again. Just walk away from it all and it will be ok. You can be forgiven and when the time comes you can come to me I want you to be able to come to me.”
She was still upset but she spoke like it was the simplest thing for him to just stop being what he was now to blind the newly acquired third eye and cut off the extra set of hands he had just so recently began to be familiar with.
“No see that’s the thing we can be together now I just need too… that’s why I called you I can make it happen now I need to you grant me permission and we can… I can have you back now…”
He couldn’t find the words to make her understand how fast and how simple it could be and she looked confused again.
“I would never give you permission to kill yourself life is too worthwhile to just end it
Danny and you can’t come to be with me if you do it that…”
Now it was Danny’s turn to hold up a hand for silence.
“No! Not suicide, never that. Things are too good now for that. There was a time where I had thought about it, even though just for a little while, but that was a long time ago. I can make you live again. Bring you back to me here in the living world. I just need your permission, give it and in no time we can walk in the park or go to the beach, live the rest of our lives together.”
She was listening to him he could tell but she was also listening to that other unnamed voice, The one that was quickly becoming Danny’s worst enemy.
“Danny listen to me… we lived our life together and it was shorter than you… we wanted but that is already done. Life goes on it really does for both of us I can’t describe to you what it is like where I am now but I can tell you that it is worth it the reward is so great and you have to do so little to get it in comparison.”
There was another pause she wasn’t listening to anyone else but just looking at him staring at him. She loved him he could still see the love in her and she was upset but it wasn’t upset at what he had done it was the type of upset you get when looking at a loved one who is badly hurt and you can’t help them when you wanted to help them more than anything but could only watch and hope that they finally figured out how to help themselves.
“Danny you have been tainted that’s why it hurts you to look at me and why you just burned yourself so badly. If you hadn’t been, if you had just said no, we could be holding each other still, right now.”
“Really? Cause it seems to me that if I had said no and turned away then I wouldn’t even be talking to you now or did you have a visit planned in the next few days and I didn’t get the email?”
He could feel the sarcasm seeping into his voice but things were hurting too much to fast now. The light was making his head feel like it was going to split. His eyes ached in a way that made him imagine them leaking out of his face before long. His body though he tried to ignore it was raked with a pain he didn’t know could exist.
“Time is different here you I can’t tell I could have died yesterday or a hundred years ago its only when we anchor to the living world that we start to gain a reference again”
“So there is nothing here that you felt the need to anchor too?”
Sarcasm was starting to mix with more common anger now she had left him here and just forgotten about him for years just forgotten never bothered to check on him left him to morn and never looked back.
“You took it so badly it was too painful to watch I had to stop, I just… I…”
“You wouldn’t have taken it badly if I were the one who left you alone here in all this?!”
“In all of what? It’s the same life. Only I wasn’t in it anymore. You weren’t like this before you met me. You aren’t the only man to have his wife die and most move on, they find happiness again until the time comes when they find each other again.”
“I found you again don’t you see that.”
“This isn’t right it’s not the right way you have to understand that, look at you if it were right if this was how we were supposed to be would you be mostly blind? Would you have burned?”
She cocked her head again listening to the other voice.
“Danny I have to go my time is up. I wasn’t supposed to come and argue with you. I’m sorry… please fix this, make the changes you have to make to come to me… when its time.”
The light in and around her began to dim she was fading out becoming transparent before his eyes. He stood and even though he knew what would happen he reached out and took her hand. She looked as if she would pull away if she had guessed what he was about to do but he could see it at least a small part of her was glad he had made the attempt. The pain in his hand and the burn in his eyes were almost too much but as he stared into her eyes he forced it all into the back of his mind it dimmed to the point of not being there anymore.
“So your telling me no then you won’t let me bring you back?”
He knew the answer and knew that it was pointless to ask. She attempted to speak but there was no sound and she smiled a warm and loving smile and shook her head instead he could see the tears in her eyes they were tears for everything, happy, sad, upset and hurt. The he heard another voice this one not faded and not hers it was a male voice and it was behind him.
“Let go of her she is no longer meant to be yours anymore darkened one.”
It was not hostile or aggressive but it was powerful and otherworldly. In some small part of Danny’s mind he wondered if god was standing behind him and then decided that one he didn’t care and two god was probably way too busy to come to his house.
Danny turned to see the intruder, the one who he did not call and did not include in his one conversation with the lost love of his life. The one who forced his way into his home and so extremely rudely kept interrupting his time with her. There he saw an Angel. Not a normal angel like most of the pictures the Catholics have or a lot of the protestant church’s with the huge bird
Wings it wasn’t like that at all this man bird had two arms two legs feet and a head just like every other man he had ever seen but around him. Only there were things that weren’t normal like his face was perfectly symmetrical Danny wasn’t sure how or why he noticed that but he did.
Instead of wings he had kind of like a nimbus of white yellow and blue light that constantly wove from back to front. He was sure that if he were a man a thousand years ago and hadn’t seen so much TV he would have thought that they were transparent wings too. The Nimbus seemed to move at incredible speeds and it flowed around whatever would be in its way. The coffee table the couch it just kind of slid over them like oil on water only using oil to describe it would make it sound dirty and it could not be described that way in the slightest. His face although perfect in every way that Danny could think of had one thing he didn’t like. A deep vicious looking glare which was aimed straight at Danny. Monique was gone now faded from this world back to heaven or paradise whatever they wanted to call it. Danny stood staring straight at the Angel neither had looks that portrayed love or compassion.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I am the Arch Angel Kepheral, the watcher of the seals. What you did wa…”
“I don’t care what you think about what I did what you did was inexcusable you...”
As he thought it over in his head Danny began to get madder and madder. His one visit his one chance to talk to her and this thing interrupted, who knows what bad things he told her what lies he fed her. The coward hid the whole time and now he shows himself with her gone and Danny alone and unable to set anything straight with her to defend himself against whatever this Kepheral accused him of.
“Enough I did not come here to argue or fight with you I came here to explain what
Monique could not.”
He had cut Danny off in mid-sentence just as easily and quickly as Danny had done himself. His voice was hard and distant but did not portray any emotion maybe they didn’t feel anything Danny always herd that angels were made to be servants and something about singers but that they couldn’t be like humans. As much as he wanted to cut in again and say his mind he also wanted to know what he had to say if there was any way of getting Monique back or even just seeing her again it would be worth it.
“Asmodan LeNoir she did not burn you or attempt to hurt you in any way you must know that first. She also had no knowledge of what would happen once the contact was made she was just as shocked as you were although the pain was only received by you.”
“She lived a good life she was an honest wife to you a good daughter to her parents and although she was not as open with her love of her Heavenly father as he would have liked she did walk in his light. Because of these things she is protected and carries his countenance on her.”
“What? She doesn’t look like god”
Danny thought he understood but only slightly and he still didn’t understand the pain which was still present in the back of his mind and slowly working its way to the forefront.
“You have been consorting with demons you carry their taint on and around you. You practice dark magics which increases the amount of the taint darkening you further because of this and the fact that she is a loved and favored child of her father in heaven. She is protected from the darkness. She is protected from you and what you are working to become.”
“I am her husband we were married in church she doesn’t need be protected from me she would never need to be, I could nev…”
“It is not a conscious thing that is happening here, no one is intentionally making it so that you cannot hold her it is the most ancient and basic law of opposites no darkness can exist in light and no light in darkness and although you are not yet as like the midnight she is now like the mid-day sun all shadow is burnt away as you yourself were burnt and thrown away. If you were to stop and repent you too would have this form of protection in time and you would be able to be with her, and more importantly you would be able to be with your Heavenly Fa-”
“There is nothing more important than her!”
Danny cut him off and finished his sentence with such cold and confident conviction that the Angle stopped for a second to think about what he might say next.
“This thing you did today was foolish you violated the boundaries which I am charged to protect I did not punish you because I understood your motivation but I warn you now do not do it again. If you wish her to hear you again pray and ask that the prayer be passed onto her I promise you that it will be. As you pray remember who it was that made that possible, and say thanks to him.”
“I’ll do wha..”
“I have fought the war against darkness for millennia before you were given your body and sent forth to take the test. You are currently on the road to failing; I will kill you without a second thought if you attempt to use your sickened darkness to violate the boundaries again. Do not doubt this. My kind is unable to lie and have no need to.”
This time the angel did raise his voice and as he did so the light around him intensified. It burned. It seared Danny through to his core. He couldn’t do anything but fall back from it. He wanted to writhe on the floor but somehow he managed to stop himself. He would not let the angle see him crawl back and forth like some pitiful thing, some beaten animal. As the light grew more intense the ethereal wings swelled and flexed almost filling the room. Then as quickly as he appeared he was gone.
Danny fell back off his knees and lay there on the floor he did not know for how long and he did not care his world was only pain for hours maybe days he could not tell he could feel the sun when it came up and was now somewhere in the back of his mind afraid of it afraid of what light could do to him was it all light he thought to himself or only the god light? After a time it all fell to the back of his mind the fear and the doubt the pain also went away and it was when this happened that he pushed himself up to his hands and knees. To his surprise there were no burn marks. His skin and pants were fine there were no burn marks or holes in his shirt, He knelt there for a time and then decided that he needed answers and for answers he had to call Volnam, he pushed himself up to his feet and headed off to his circle and stopped himself half way there. Over and over his mind played Monique’s face the sound of her voice as she asked him to stop and turn away from the demons and his birthright. He looked down at the spot in his kitchen dining area where he would summon the Imp back to him and then felt the tingling reminder on his skin the reminder of the fire the burning that washed over him. He wanted to cry out in frustration he turned and sat down on the couch, elbows on his knees and head in his hands. After close to an hour he could feel the slight probing thoughts of an otherworldly entity attempting to contact him it was most likely Volnam and he simply closed the door which
Volnam was knocking at and locked it tight. He needed to rest and time to think and he wasn’t going to do the right thinking if he let the Imp come and automatically start explaining and twisting things so that they matched the view that the little scheming demon wanted him to have.
After a few more minutes on the couch Asmodan got up and went to bed. When he woke the next day he did feel a lot better he thought about the option of praying as the angel suggested but felt it was too much like having someone listen to a private phone conversation or read his email and decided that if he was going to do it he was going to wait a bit and let the idea settle with him first. A few days passed, he felt alone and at times in danger without Volnam around. As had become the custom each week Lily would ask Algie to contact Danny to see if he had a need for her yet, and as had become the custom he said no. The reason that Algie kept her and took care of her was because Volnam had said that they would need her after a time, but if Danny decided that he wasn’t going to have Volnam around anymore if he wasn’t going to become a warlock then did he still need her? Didn’t she have a life to go back to? He thought about it a while and decided that whatever life she had it was probably ruined the day he blew up her front door and ordered her boyfriend or ex or whatever that prick was to throw himself in front of a fire truck. He wasn’t sure when he decided to do it but as he thought all this over he found himself grabbing his coat and heading out the door. It was evening and it was unusually cool he reached out with his extra sense to see if it was a natural cool or if something was causing it and stopped himself was this also part of the tainted powers that would bar him from Monique forever? It was so basic to him now it didn’t require any effort from him he didn’t even really have to channel any power to do it he could just do it just as easily as looking at the sun to guess what time of day it was. That couldn’t be evil could it? As he reached the end of his street he turned a corner and just kept walking. Walking always helped him think things out before. His brother used to walk all over town with him when they were young. They talked about everything he wondered what Remi would tell him now? Would he tell him to continue with the current path and just take Monique for himself when he could? Was it even possible to take someone from heaven against their wishes? Would he have to fight that bastard Kepheral? Of course he would. He was already told that if he attempted to contact her again that he would be killed. As he thought about the Angel and the threat, how he talked to him. It made his blood boil. More of the encounter began to flood through his mind trying to talk to her and having him cut him off. Draw her attention away from Danny only to tell her how evil he was becoming, constantly feeding her poison about him. Before he knew it the fog was beginning to rise up from the ground around him. As he watched it he noticed that it was the same as it was whenever he had Volnam with him. Was it Volnam that brought the fog? He wasn’t here now. Was it only when Danny used his strength? He stopped walking and tried to calm down. It needed to go away if he was going to change. If someone was watching him now, then he would have to show them that really meant to do the right thing. He tried counting in his head the way they teach children that are about to lose their tempers in elementary school, it wasn’t working he could feel his temper rising not dropping he tried to think about Monique and how happy he was to see her but all that stayed in his mind was how wrong everything went. He finally tried to run out from the fog to just get away from it. At some point while he was in his head he did he must have lost his bearings. Instead of heading down the street he stumbled through one of the ditches that passed for gutters on country roads and landed in the front yard of the house that faced the street. He pushed himself up and found himself face to face with the resident’s large black German Shepard... German Shepard, Wolf, Great Dane mix is what popped into Danny’s mind as the small fanged horse began to issue a low deep growl that seemed to shake the ground Danny’s hands were resting on.