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“You son of a b***h,” I yelled out.
“Now now, dear, is that any way of greeting a friend?” Bathym asked.
“You are not my friend!” I screamed at him.
“Come on, Stan. I have been in your head and I know you better than anyone else, surely that should count for something. I know you once went to summer camp and at night while you were sleeping in the bottom bunk, the kid on the top bunk pissed his bed and since you sleep with your mouth open, you drank his urine like it was about to expire. I know the other kids gave you names like Stan the piss-coholic and the urinal man.”
“What? How did you know that?”
“I also know your favorite boy band and you cried when they split up.”
“That’s a lie!”
“I also know-“
“Enough!” I screamed into the phone.
“Calm down, dear. I am actually glad you are up. I hope you are feeling better. Sorry I couldn’t send any flowers or cards, I was a bit busy. But I did leave you a present. But now that you are up, let’s pick up from where we left of, shall we?”
“No! To hell with that! You made me kill people. You lied to me!”
“While it’s true that I killed a couple of people because obviously you can’t open a hell portal without blood sacrifices, I didn’t lie to you. I just withheld that information from you. I had a feeling you would act this way.”
“Damn you, I never wanted anyone to get hurt. On top of that I am sure you didn’t release my brother.”
“Yes dear, Daniel is still inhaling the toxic fumes of perdition because of your tracker friends. They interrupted me before I could finish. If you allow me back in your body, I can quickly have good old Danny boy running wild and free from the flames of hell.”
“Lies! All you say are lies. It was a huge mistake working with you. I should have killed you when I had the chance. Now my friends want nothing to do with me and I have people coming to my hospital room wanting to kill me because of what you did with my body. The next time I see you, I am going to end you.”
“Now I am sure you don’t mean that, dear, given everything we have been through. Tell me, who is this person who wanted to kill you? I can murder him for you. That’s one of the best things of having a demon as your friend.”
“For the last time, I am not your friend. And I don’t need you to murder anyone else.”
“Oh dear you need me to murder people, trust me. There were a lot of people that wanted you dead and I took care of them.”
“What? What is that supposed to me?” I asked with a wave of discomfort building in my stomach.
“Have you seen the box?”
“What box?” I then remembered the box under my bed. I leaned down to look at it.
“You remember that present I talked about earlier? That’s it. Go ahead, open it.”
My bed began shaking and I realized it was being caused by my trembling body. Whatever the demon had put in there could not have been anything good. I reached down and lifted the box cover. The smell hit me first.
I gaged at the sight of severed heads in the box. Trackers. The box was full of heads of demon trackers. Mrs Brown, the fat naked Chinese guy, a couple of the bikers, the clowns and several other trackers had their heads piled on top of each other in the box.
All the heads had their eyes wide open and a look of shock was plastered on their faces. Their skin was turning pale as the first stage of decomposition was taking place.
I threw up next to the box but the sickness I felt never left.
“What’s wrong, dear? You don’t like my gift? You know all those people meant you harm? I did you a favor, don’t you see?”
“A favor? What kind of a favor is this? You killed all my friends. Arghhh I am going to kill you!”
“Your friends? You can hardly call those people your friends, half of them you don’t even know. But no worries, if you don’t like that gift, I can send you another one. How about I send you the heads of Joseph and Rebecca?”
I felt a sting in my abdomen. My throat narrowed as I couldn’t find the words to reply.
Bathym’s tone had changed to a serious and malicious voice. “That’s right, I have caught those two. I don’t know why they always want to challenge me, when they know they have no chance.”
“You are lying. Rebecca and Joseph are too smart for you. You can never catch them,” I said.
If the demon was telling the truth, I wanted him to prove it and to my horror he did just that.
The voice that spoke next was not of Bathym, “Stan? We need-“
There was a scuffling sound that cut off Rebecca before Bathym returned. “Their lives are in your hands, dear. I suggest you allow me back into your body so we can finish what we started. All you have to do is say one word and I will be in your room in a flash. I am closer to the hospital than you know.”
The light in my room began to flicker.
“One simple word could save your friends and get your brother out of hell. What say you, friend? Should I come?” There was a thud on my window and I jolted my head in that direction.
My intestines began looping around my stomach when I noticed someone was meddling with the window until it popped open. This was strange because from my window I could see the top of pine trees planted outside my room so that definitely meant I was not on the first floor. I am sure I was not on the second, third or fourth floor either but somehow the person at the window had managed to reach my room.
“Tick tock, Stan. What say you? Say yes,” Bathym spoke from the phone.
The person on the window slumped into my room. The light kept flickering and I couldn’t really make out the intruder’s face but he was well built and standing at least six feet tall. The person stood still for a second looking at me.
“WHAT SAY YOU?!” Bathym screamed from the phone.
The person in my room briskly walked up to me, took the phone from my hand and threw it against the wall. The phone shattered into pieces and the mystery person grabbed me by the collar with one hand and barked, “Give me one good reason not to gut you like goat right now!”
I felt something cold and sharp against my throat. The person’s other hand had a blade gently pressed on my neck. I then realized it was actually a sword. The sword was pressed harder on my throat and the person leaned in closer to me. The light had stopped flickering at this point and I could see the man’s face.
“Patrick?” I muttered.
“Do you have any idea of what you have done you dumb piece of s**t?” my boss asked.
“Wh-What?” I stammered.
“You just released two of hell’s foulest demons!”
“Well, technically it was Bathym.”
“Yes, but you were stupid enough to allow him to possess you. And now he has swiped out a lot of demon trackers from this town. I barely escaped with my life.”
He stared down for a moment as he seemed to recall what happened. “I have known some of those people for a long time,” Patrick’s voice was now solemn and low. “They were good men and women I had fought with them in so many battles. And to see their heads chopped off like a damn turkey on Thanksgiving wasn’t right. I don’t even know what that sick b*****d did with their heads.”
“Uhm, I have an idea,” I gestured with my head for him to look at the other side of my bed.
He let go of me and walked around my bed, when he saw the box and the heads inside, he threw up on the same spot I had vomited. He dropped his head into one of his hands and began sobbing. I didn’t say anything because I was afraid that I may further aggravate him.
I was also very concerned with how so many people were pissed with me. I guess that is what happens when you give a demon a joyride with your body.
“You did this. You killed them,” Patrick said as he looked up with a face of thunder.
“Don’t give me that s**t!” Patrick cut me off as he lifted his sword above his head. “I am sorry Stan you broke an important rule of demon tracking. You don’t deal with demons! There is only one punishment for that-death.”
My heart began beating in my chest like a jack hammer. But before Patrick could bring down his sword on me, I heard, “drop it!” Officer Richards had returned and was standing by the door with his pistol aimed at Patrick.
For some reason in his company was the man who tried to kill me earlier. The man was still cuffed and standing next to the police officer. “Sir, drop the weapon now, put your hands on your head and get on your knees!” Officer Richards yelled.
Patrick complied as he dropped his sword with a loud clatter on the floor.
“Is he a demon?” officer Richards asked.
“No, he is my boss,” I replied.
“Actually you are fired and you can’t say you quit because everyone heard it, I said it first,” Patrick said as he got on his knees.
Officer Richards ushered his first prisoner into the room, closed and locked the door. He placed Patrick and the other man in the same hand cuffs, with each having one hand restrained.
“What is going on? How come you came back with him?” I asked the police man.
“You are not going to believe this but something weird is happening here. My radio and phone are both not working. I have full bars of network on my phone but can’t get through to anyone. I even tried using Max’s phone but it’s also a dead end.”
“Wait, who is Max?” I asked.
Officer Richards pointed at the man who tried killing me earlier.
“Well, we could have used the phone I found under my bed but someone smashed it,” I said looking accusingly at Patrick.
“Anyway, that is not the strangest thing,” the policeman took a deep breath before continuing. “There is no one else in this whole hospital. Not a single soul. It’s like the building has been evacuated because of a virus or something. Trust me, we walked around this whole place and there is not a single person here. Patients and doctors alike are nowhere to be found.”
My spine was tingling as I heard this. Bathym had told me he was close, I wondered if he had anything to do with this.
“Even the streets are empty. Not a bird in the sky, no cats or dogs running about. There is nothing and no one out there. It is crazy,” officer Richards continued.
“I have a theory,” Max spoke up. “This guy’s demon buddy has killed everyone,” He said pointing at me as he rolled his eyes.
“He is not wrong,” Patrick chimed in. “Bathym is obviously behind all this.”
“Wait you can’t be serious. I am only joking you can’t believe there is actually a demon out there,” Max replied.
“Believe it buddy. What should we- Oh my god, are those decapitated heads?” officer Richards said pointing at the box on the floor. “How did they- who-” he went on to throw up on the exact spot Patrick and I had vomited on.
Max was holding back for a while but he also retched out on the same spot which was now a multi-coloured puddle of puke.
Officer Richards looked at me for an explanation but all I could say was, “it’s a long strong.”
“And somehow this guy is the only one not in cuffs?” a berated Max asked.
Officer Richards was about to reply when there was a knock on the door. We all stared at the brown mahogany door and even though no one spoke, I am sure we were all thinking the same thing, “Who the hell is that?”
“I thought you said there is no one else in the hospital?” I asked the policeman after a few seconds.
“There wasn’t. We checked everywhere.”
“Don’t open that door,” Patrick warned.
Again there was knock on the door, it was now rapid and louder. Officer Richards took out my revolver and pointed it at the door.
“Uhm, come in!” Max blurted out.
We all stared daggers at him and he just shrugged. The door knob turned a couple of times until the person realized the door was locked.
“It’s locked,” a female voice spoke from the other side.
“Who is there?” Officer Richards asked.
“My name is Phylis.”
Almost immediately the light began flickering again.
“I am a nurse here. I can’t seem to find anybody else in the hospital and I am really scared,” the woman continued.
“Don’t open that door,” Patrick said again.
“I think we should let her in. It’s too much of sausage fest in here. Besides she is harmless,” Max said.
“Hey, this is not some high school party. This is a life or death situation. Besides, how do you know she is harmless? She could be a demon,” Patrick said.
“Oh my God, again with the demon stuff?” Max then called out, “Uhm, Phylis?! Are you a demon?”
“No,” the woman replied as she was obviously confused by the question.
“You see,” Max smugly said in Patrick’s face.
“That proves nothing,” Patrick shot back and the two became engaged in a heated argument.
Their bickering was stopped by a metallic click and we all realized officer Richards had unlocked and opened the door. The nurse who had come to see me earlier shuffled into the room and stood in a corner.
“Why did you do that?!” Patrick screamed at officer Richards.
“Watch your tone, buddy. I don’t have to justify my actions to you,” officer Richards said as he relocked the door.
Max smirked and said, “Maybe the cop is possessed.”
Officer Richards turned to Phylis and asked, “Ma’am, are you okay?”
“I am fine, thanks. You can just call me Phylis no need to call me ma’am I am not that old.”
“Okay Phylis, do you mind explaining where you were? I walked around this whole hospital and couldn’t find anyone.”
“I was in the ladies’ room. When I came out, there was no one in sight and I was worried sick until I heard voices coming from this room.”
“Yeah, that checks out. We didn’t check the female toilets, officer. Maybe we should check them out now, you know, in case there is someone else in there,” Max said.
“I don’t trust her. It all seems rather too convenient,” Patrick said.
“What, you calling me a liar?” Phylis asked.
“Yes, there is something off about you, that’s why this light began flickering,” Patrick replied.
“So are we going to the female toilets or not?” Max asked.
“The light in this room has always had a problem. It flickers like this every ten minutes or so. You don’t know me mister and I don’t appreciate you judging me,” Phylis angrily retorted.
Almost immediately the light stopped flickering.
Patrick was about to respond when Officer Richards cut him off, “Is there a way we can check if she is possessed or not?”
“Yes there is,” Patrick said taking out a silver flask from his suit pocket. “Holy water.”
Phylis let out an ear shredding scream. I realized she was pointing at the box beside my bed.
“Calm down, ma’am, I mean Phylis,” Officer Richards said.
“I will not calm down! You people are crazy, talking about demons, holy water and keeping severed heads in boxes. Are you even a real police officer? I don’t care, I am leaving.” She started towards the door but was blocked off by the police man.
“I am a real police officer and you can’t leave, it’s not safe out there. Besides, we still need to confirm if you are possessed or not because if not, there is something out there that will possess or probably kill you.”
“Are you even listening to yourself? You sound craz-” Phylis stopped talking when she heard what we all heard.
A soft chanting.
Everyone in the room looked at each other worryingly. I strained my ears trying to determine where it was coming from. Since I was the closest to the box, I was the first to find the culprits. The discorded chanting was emanating from the heads in the box. They were all chanting something and slightly vibrating.
Gradually the chanting increased in volume and what they were saying became clear. “LET HIM IN! LET HIM IN!”
“What the hell?” Phylis murmured.
I was shocked but the real shock kicked in when the heads began shooting out of the box and landing sporadically around the room. The head of Mrs Brown landed on my bed, right on top of my legs.
I saw the head of the Chinese man fly into the hands of Phylis and she screamed. The severed heads had stopped chanting but kept shaking as if they were about to burst.
I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I saw something red sprout out from below each head. It was a thick tentacle which at first I thought was one of Bathym’s red stems but soon realized this thing had a head. It was a snake with a head the size of a human fist and it had two sharp front teeth like a cobra. The snakes kept germinating until the heads were floating on top of countless writhing cobras.
The heads now looked like those aliens from the Simpsons.
I was quick to shake off my shock because Mrs Brown’s head began slithering towards me with its snakes snapping their teeth at me. Luckily I still had my crucifix which I jammed into Mrs Brown’s eye.
The head’s screaming was accompanied by the cries of its snakes as it was combusted by white flames before exploding to black slime.
I saw officer Richards shoot the head in Phylis’ hand with my revolver. As soon as the head caught fire, Phylis screamed even louder than before and she tossed the ball of white flames into the air.
Unfortunately for Max the fireball landed on his head knocking him out cold. Another head jumped on the back of officer Richards and one of the snakes coiled its way around his neck. As he struggled to fight it off, he shot another head which had spiraled its snakes around Phylis’ feet. Maybe it was due to too much screaming or maybe it was the amount of black guck surrounding her that led Phylis to vomit her guts out right on the puddle of vomit we had all contributed to making.
While officer Richards wrestled the head on his back he slipped on the vomit puddle and his head hit a metal part of my bed. He fell to the floor and I couldn’t see what then happened to him because another head jumped onto my bed.
It was the head of the black wigged clown. Then green and yellow wigged heads also hopped onto my bed. As their snake legs slithered towards me, I tried to calculate how my crucifix can take them all out at once. The math wasn’t adding up.
A loud honking sound echoed in the room and heaps of confetti began raining down from the ceiling. The heads shrieked, lit up with white flames and were reduced to black slime as soon as the confetti landed on them. I noticed Patrick was standing upright with his pistol aimed at the ceiling.
My previously pristine white hospital room was now blemished with black slime on the walls, ceiling and floor. I had a great dealing of black slime all over my body as well.
“Thanks,” I said to Patrick.
I looked over at Phylis and she had her hands cupped over her mouth. Her wide eyes were staring at the floor.
From my bed I couldn’t quite see what she was looking at so I asked, “What’s wrong?”
She just shook her head as tears poured out from her eyes. Patrick was looking at the same thing she was and he plainly said, “The police man didn’t make it.”
My body was now free from rigidity and pain, so I was able to finally clamber down from my bed. It was only then I realized I was donned with those hospital gowns that leave your a*s out in the open.
I walked barefooted on the slime soaked floor. What was left of Officer Richards made him unrecognizable. He was now a black skeleton surrounded by slime and vomit. I had actually got to like the man and my heart imploded at the sight of his remains.
“Guess that means I am now a free man,” Patrick said as he took out keys from the black slime around the officer’s bones.
“Is he also dead?” I asked pointing at Max who was lying on the floor with one hand still attached to the cuffs him and Patrick were sharing.
“No he is just passed out, I think,” Patrick said as he freed himself from the cuffs.
He turned to me and said, “So where were we? Oh yes I am supposed to kill you now.”
“What? You have got to be kidding me. Just wait a minute you said a lot of trackers are dead, right? Surly you will need my help to kill Bathym and the other demons he released.”
“I do need help but I am not sure I will need your help. Hell, I could use the help of Phylis over there rather than yours,” Patrick said as he picked up his sword from the slime on the floor.
I looked over at Phylis and she was a mess. She was seated in a corner with her back on the wall, hugging her knees and rocking back and forth whispering, “this can’t be real. This can’t be real.”
Patrick lifted his sword for a strike but was interrupted by a gentle knock on the door.
We all froze with our eyes fixed at where the sound came from. I noticed even Phylis’ panic attack had stopped.
“Uhm Phylis, was there someone else you left in the toilet?” I asked her.
She shook her head. We all jumped the second time there was another knock on the door.
This time the knock was louder, angrier and definitely not friendly.