The Paris Awakening: Invocation – Part 4

The Artists church was in a state of chaos, tables overturned, boxes emptied. Piles of clothes, books, utensils and miscellaneous machine parts littered the floor. The artworks had been wrenched from the walls and lay in pieces on the floor. In the middle of this was a sack, making a strange high-pitched noise. 

The doors swung open violently and Miss Henderson burst in, followed by Morag and Sir John, who was very out of breath.

“We’re too late,” said Morag. “They’ve ransacked the place.”

“Where… are… the… vampires?” said Sir John, bent over and gasping for air.

“Well, one is here,” said Morag sniffing at the bag.

Miss Henderson went over and opened the sack. Phlebotomous crawled out and made a mewling sound.

“What is it?” said Miss Henderson. “Are you alright?”

“Osvold,” wailed Phlebotomus. “They took Osvold.”

“Where did they go?” said Morag. “Did they say?”

Phlebotomous held out his hand. He was gripping a piece of paper. Miss Henderson took it and read it.

“I think they took the key parts too,” said Sir John, looking amongst the rubble.

“They did,” said Miss Henderson, still reading. “And they want the fourth, in exchange for Osvold,”

Sir John came over and looked at the sheet.

“Oh dear,” he said.

“Give it to them,” said Phlebotomous. “We have to get Osvold back.”

“It’s not as simple as that, Phlebotmous,” said Sir John. “I know he’s your… friend, but we would be giving them the weapon.”

“We have to do something,” said Phlebotmous.

“We will, we shall,” said Sir John. “We’ll figure something out.”

“We don’t have a whole lot of time,” said Morag. “The exchange is tomorrow.”

“It’s a trap,’” said Miss Henderson. “They’ll steal the key piece then kill us all.”

“I suspect your right,” said Sir John. “And they’re rather keeping us on our toes so we can’t think.”

“They’ve played us from the start,” said Miss Henderson as a dark look crossed her face.

“Well, first we need to find somewhere safe,” said Sir John. “Obviously not here.”

“Emile’s apartment?” said Morag.

“They’ll know about that too,” said Miss Henderson. “I bet… I bet…”

“Good God!” said Sir John. “They killed him!”

“Nowhere we have been is safe,” said Miss Henderson. “Nowhere.”

“There may be one place,” said Phlebotmous. “The catacombs.”

“They sound nice,” said Morag. “Why are they safe?”

“Oh,” said Phlebotomous. “They’re full of vampires.”

There was a pause.

“Phlebotomous old chap,” said Sir John. “I don’t wish to seem ungrateful, or prejudiced,  but wouldn’t we be somewhat at risk. I know you’re… vegetarian, but I doubt they all are.”

“I know where the vegetarian vampires are, though,” said Phlebotmous.

“You’ve been there?” said Sir John.

“Not, been there as such, just heard about it,” said Phlebotmous, from Osvold. Anyway, I can talk to them and explain that we’re on their side.”

“We are?” said Morag.

“The vegetarian ones at least,” said Phlebotomous.

“Well,” said Sir John. “Beggars can’t be choosers, and hopefully not starters, either.”

The Paris Awakening: Invocation – Part 3

It was dark and a full moon lit the street. The doors to the Hotel Raoul stood impassive as ever. Suddenly a man appeared on the floor. He gasped for air, his voice raspy and weak.

“Help me!” he said. “Someone help me.”

Another, short man, walked over to him from a little distance away. The one on the ground looked up, his cut and bruised face turned to the short man.

“P-pook?” he said.

“Mr Bisset,” said Pook cheerily. “How was the ordeal, you were successful?”

“Help me…” said Bisset. “For God’s sake help me.”

“I shall make an assumption perchance that my question would be answered in the negative,” said Pook. “Ah well, it is good for the master to know the servant’s toils I think. Then he can truly appreciate the service given to him.”

“They came, they were, what were they?” rambled Bisset. “Abominations, yes, abominations disguised as angels. Please help me man.”

“Well,” said Pook, “you will no doubt be pleased, nay ecstatic, to hear that I am most certainly capable of offering you assistance. Indeed, as a precaution against just such an eventuality I have a doctor and, not one but two, nurses waiting but a short distance along.”

“You’re good… a good man,” said Bisset, “Fetch them.”

“I do have one small favour to ask first though,” said Pook. “I assume you will be more than happy to acquisie under the, shall we say, trying circumstances you find yourself.”

“What are you talking about,” said Bisset. 

“I need you to sign over control of your organisation to me,” said Pook.

“What!” said Bisset. “Of course not, I’d rather die.”

“Very well,” said Pook and made a waving gesture with his hand toward the end of the street.

“Stop, stop” said Bisset. “Are you serious?”

“Indeed, I have never felt further from humour in my life,” said Pook. “As proof of my vast sincerity in this matter, let me show you a contract.”

Pook, still smiling, produced a piece of paper from his jacket pocket and an expensive looking pen. He opened the piece of paper and pointed to a space.

“Sign here,” he said cheerily.

“You, you…” said Bisset. “This is an outrage.”

“Actually it’s rather more like a coup, but we can perchance discuss semantics later.”

Bisset swiped at the pen.

“Where’s the ink?” he said.

“Oh I prefer blood, it’s more… permanent,” said Pook. “Look, you have some already.”

Pook stuck the pen into an open wound and Bisset screamed.

“There we go, all done now,” said Pook and handed the pen to Bisset.

With a shaking hand the broken man signed the contract. When he was done, Pook took it, folded it and returned it to his jacket.

“Actually there is no doctor, or even a nurse,” said Pook.

“You…” started Bisset.

“What there is, is this,” continued Pook, and grasped Bisset’s head.

There was a sickly sound of tissue shifting and moving. Bisset stared open eyed, his mouth moving soundlessly. His wounds began to close and the bruises cleared to pure skin. Pook stared impassively, his breath shallow. When it was done Bisset stood up, unharmed, undamaged.

“How?’ he said.

Pook’s eyes looked glassy as he stared into space.

“I am that, that you should fear,” he said in a flat mechanical voice. “That, that rules and that, that you will kneel to.”

Bisset looked in awe and went down on his knees, timidly bowing his head.