Raven watched with amusement as the big guy in the tattered horse blanket led the Bigfoot buffoons around the forest, leading a group near their camp in the horse pasture. Good, she decided. It would keep the others under control. She smirked, make my job easier, why don’t you?
Once the man in the horse blanket was out of sight, Raven crawled under one of the cars and removed the bug. It had been useful before, but now she did not want the FBI agent to know where she was going. She left it sitting on the grass and crawled back to Power.
Nuzzling his ear and stroking his thigh, she whispered, “Let’s find somewhere more secluded. Too many people around. I have a present for you.” She stroked him playfully until she felt him “rise up.” She snuggled in closer. “Let’s go to the chamber.”
When they reached the chamber, Raven lit candles, ones she’d placed on natural ledges inside earlier that day. They cast an inviting glow and diminished the dampness within but, set high on the wall, they did not warm the natural coolness of the chamber too much.
After ten minutes of passionate sex, the two lay upon a bed of pine needles and soft furs. In the distance, crickets chirped their mating songs, and a night bird crooned to the far off cry of a coyote. The glowing chamber might have been inviting, she thought, if not for the figure now sleeping next to her.
Raven enjoyed the natural coolness one more minute, then she crawled out of the chamber and into the muggy darkness of the night. With one more glance back to be sure Power was still asleep, she slipped into her thin shift and grabbed her moccasins. She had work to do.
One particular stone–that was the reason she had enticed Power back to the chambers. She needed to be close enough to slip away and explore that stone before he woke and noticed she was gone.
The stone, triangular in shape, was placed over a small opening in the ground. On it was a shape, perhaps a hawk, perhaps a raven. She was not sure which it was, but she did know the red was rusted iron and iron was used to contain demons.
She allowed her senses to extend out in all directions, checking for danger. Thunder crackled in the distance. Streaks of lightening illuminated the old pines, and Raven saw a coyote prowling in the distance, a shadow of a beast in the flashes of light. That wasn’t the kind of danger she feared.
Raven focused on the stone. Yes, there was something there, a spell, a binding she knew, and the binding was contained in the stone. The work was well done. If there was still something inside, something sentient, she merely needed to move the stone to release it. “What do you hide?” she whispered. “Would you like to come out to play?”
Raven felt the force charge at her, a force angrier than a raging bull. It rushed at her only to be blocked by the binding and the stone. She recoiled at its fury–hot, slashing, and seeping through. This would be a challenge, even for her.
“Tell me your name,” Raven commanded when at last her heart beat normally again.
“No, I’ll give you no power over me,” snarled the demon within.
“Then you’ll stay under there for all eternity.” Raven stood and turned to walk away. Would this creature be hungry enough to call her back, to tell her the one thing that would give her ultimate power over it? I will not have a monster loose unless I control it. It would be such a waste.
Raven shot a backward glance and walked on.
“Come back, I say.”
She turned her head and lowered the pitch of her voice. “Do not presume to order me.” Her words were slow and deliberate. “Give me your name, or I leave now.”
“No name,” the beast countered in return. “Just my word. Among thieves, as they say. And three wishes–I will give you three wishes. Isn’t that traditional? And then I’ll be on my way. No harm to you.”
“The word of a Trickster? No, I am no fool.” Raven turned again and took two more steps.
“Come back,” the demon shouted into her mind, but Raven did not turn this time. Instead she continued her slow measured pace and moved farther away. “Please.” Still, Raven kept walking. “I will give you my name, but you must come closer. I will not shout it.”
Raven turned slowly and studied the stone, calculating the risk. Names, true names were words of power. With this creature’s name she could summon him anywhere, any time. He would have to do her bidding. But he could also trick her by giving a false name. Hungry to possess a human form once again, she would be his first victim. The only way was to use the name, to throw it back at him, but that would not work through the binding. She’d have to draw him out and into a protected space, one where she’d have the control, one that would contain him as the binding and the rock had done. She knelt down beside the rock.
“What have you found, my Lady?” Power stood over her, sweating and naked. He thrust his soft erection toward her, inviting her to respond. She wondered if he could even see his “thing” under that protruding belly. He reached out to touch her shoulder. Memories of his wet, sloppy lovemaking made her shudder. I should have switched his Valium for his Viagra.
“My Lady, did you hear me? I asked what you found.”
“My Lord, I have found one who can help us. Cast a circle, I will draw him out.”
“This could be dangerous.”
Raven whipped her head up, narrowing her eyes as she glared at him. “I did not come all this way to turn back now. That Ark is going to be mine.”
“Yours?” He drew one well-manicured fingernail, kept just a bit too long, roughly down her cheek. It left a long red welt on her smooth olive skin.
“Ours,” Raven conceded as she forced herself to look up at him. She smiled sweetly, allowing her hair to brush across his protruding flabby penis.
“I did not spend years training you only to have you take what is rightfully mine,” he bellowed. “Work with me and it can be ours. Work against me and, trust me, you will regret it.”
Raven lowered her gaze to the ground. “Together, we work together. As always. I did not mean….” Her voice trailed off.
Power stood before the Demon Stone. “The demon’s name is Ashta-molon. It will take both of us, I think, to safely bring him out. Cast the circle.”
Raven drew the dagger from her belt. Facing east, she held it in a two-fisted grip and pointed it to the sky. Hidden in the darkness, coyotes seemed to howl in response. “By the powers given to me in veiled-times and shrouded-places, I cast this circle of containment.” She lowered her arms to point the dagger out before her and slowly circled Power and the Demon Stone. When she got back to the east, she turned and bowed to Power. “It is done. The circle is cast. Our work may begin.”
Power pointed to the stone. “Demon! Arise before me.”
The very ground under them shook even as the forest itself remained deadly still. “Unbind my hole,” cried the demon.
Power smirked. “Raven, my dear, lift the stone.”
Once out, the demon would be hungry to possess the warmth of a human body and Raven knew she would be placing herself in danger. Once the stone was lifted, she needed to use its name before Power did. Then it would be under her control, not his. She knelt down and placed her dagger on the ground, making sure it was in easy reach.
The stone was heavy, heavy enough to give Raven an idea. “My Lord, I need your strength. I am not powerful enough to move it alone.” She smiled seductively at Power.
He knelt beside her. “But foolish enough to have tried, I see. We shall release this thing together.”
Raven stroked her fingers up Power’s inner thigh and watched him grow hard again. “Together,” she whispered in his ear.
“Ah, my dear, twice in one night. This time I shall make sure you come slowly, oh so slowly.” He reached down into the top of her shift, teased her nipples until they sat hard and yearning on her breasts. Then he reached for her mouth with his wild searching tongue.
Raven reached out to take up her dagger.
Power pulled away. “Later, my dear. First the demon.” He grabbed one end of the Demon Stone. Puffing out his pudgy chest, he heaved. When he had gotten it away from the hole, he beamed at Raven, just as she raised her knife.
“Ashta-molon!” Raven screamed as she sliced down deep into Power’s right hand.
“Fucking Bitch!” Power screamed and then lunged at Raven. Grabbing her, he threw her to the ground. The demon soared above them, the warmth of human flesh now within easy reach.
“Ashta-molon, I give you this man,” Raven shouted, still lying on the ground.
The demon soared down, drawn by the blood and the naked body below. Power pushed himself away and grabbed a rock.
The demon lunged at Power, but he wielded his rock like a hammer, striking blow after blow at the demon as they struggled. Power could feel the demon inching into his mind. Despite the heat of the summer night, Power felt himself grow cold and colder still until he dropped the stone no longer able to grip it.
Think man, think.
The binding stone was behind him. I need to position the stone between myself and the creature. If I do, it might be enough.
Power threw himself backward and scrambled over the stone. The demon, unable to cross, withdrew his grip on Power and circled to the left.
“Ashta-molon, leave me,” Power yelled, trying to stare down the demon who now circled to his right. Power circled to the left, just enough to keep the stone squarely between them.
The demon approached again, this time from the left. Again Power called the demon’s name and circled, keeping the stone between them.
Raven, unsure of the outcome, used all her stealth to open the circle she had cast, and using all her skills, disappeared into the forest.
The demon, hungry to take form, any form, human or animal, shot into the air and disappeared into the night, looking for easier prey.
Power, exhausted, sank to the ground as he stared at his injured hand. “Fucking bitch!” His manicured nails now dirty and tattered, his body exhausted, what he needed was a plan.
Louis Le Breton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons