: Demon At Large by amahra
OPTIONAL!ATTENTION: A synopsis is located below in blue for those who are new or fans who need to revisit past chapter highlights.
(Recap from chapter 24)
Karl Bergess has been viciously attacked by his best friend Jessie Carter who is possessed by a demon. Karl has been rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police, unaware of the supernatual element, puts out an APB on Jessie.
ICU- New Berwick Memorial Hospital
"Honey, please wake up," Karl's mom pleaded. Tears dripped from her cheek and fell upon Karl's fingers while she held his hand tightly against her quivering lips. After enduring hours of surgery and given multiple pints of blood, Karl had been placed on a ventilator so his body could rest from the extra stress of breathing--allowing it to heal better. He was badly swollen from his elbows to his hands, also his torso and from his thigh to his ankle. The IV served for his round the clock medication as well as fluids and food.
Karl's eyelids fluttered often, and though there was evidence of brain activity, he gave no response when spoken to. Only immediate family members were allowed to visit, one at a time. Detectives Joe Moss and Donald Reading came by the hospital earlier, but had left disappointed because Dr. Covington refused them access to Karl for questioning. Since Detectives Moss and Reading were familiar with similar cases involving victims like Karl, they were under the impression that he could communicate information to them through the movement of his fingers. But Dr. Covington had sternly assured them that given Karl's extensive injuries, that was impossible.
Karl's sister-in-law, Lois, and his nephew, Rodney, were patiently waiting to see him next. Lois wanted Karl's mom to have all of the time she needed.
"Mom, why is the hospital always so cold?" Rodney asked.
"Hospitals have to maintain thousands of life-saving equipment, honey, that function better in a lower temperature than most people aren't used to. If they kept it too warm, the equipment could malfunction."
"I have a jacket in the car. You want to go and get it?" She fingered in her handbag for her car keys.
"No. I'm good."
A hospital housekeeper tipped-toed into Karl's room to empty the trash; she didn't want to disturb Karl's mom who had knelt by his bed, holding an opened Bible and praying.
Quite unexplainable, the hospital had received an unusual amount of emergency patients in just three days. Karl had become their 405th patient. Unlike larger hospitals in Illinois, this was a strange occurrence for the small New Berwick region. People were basically very health conscious and major accidents and crime were practically non-existent.
At about 2:15 pm, Jewel's phone rang. River and Dex had gone deer hunting and the girls were hanging out at the mall.
Jewel answered. "Hello."
Ward Burgess hesitated for a moment then replied. "Jewel, it's me, Ward."
"I know--long time. How've you been?"
"Ah, well... I--"
"Never mind, I know that tone. What do you need? You know I'm always here for you, Ward."
"And never think I don't appreciate it, dear." He sighed, "God, where do I begin?"
Ward told Jewel about his nephew Karl's friend, Jessie and the night the two came to see him about Jessie's dreams. He told her about his theory on it's being the work of a succubus, but said he never thought the demon would move on Jessie so quickly. He also told her what had happened to Karl and the extent of his injuries. He said he'd wish he had been more aware of the dangers so he could have warned Karl to stay away from Jessie. Ward needed to find Jessie, but didn't know where to look.
"Great goddess, honey, I'm so sorry."
"I have to find Jessie before he hurts anyone else."
"I wish you had called me sooner."
"I thought I could help him. I let Karl down...God if he dies--"
"Ward, stop. We can fix this."
"Oh, Lord, Jewel, that's what I needed to hear."
"First, let’s find Jessie. I can cast a locator spell. Is there any way you can get me something that belongs to him: a hair brush, sock, shirt, anything?"
"I know where he lived, but don't know if I can get into his apartment without his key. I'm not a relative, so I don't think the manager will let me in."
"I can get you in. Just get over there then call me."
"Okay, I'm leaving now."
Ward clicked off and grabbed his truck keys from the dining room table. He took considerable time unlocking all the locks on the front door then bolted to his black and silver Lincoln Navigator parked in the garage. On the way over to Jessie's apartment, Ward put in a call to his sister, and Karl's mom, Nancy Burgess hoping to hear good news. Nancy whimpered on the phone and told Ward that Karl was still unconscious and she believed the experts were giving up on him. Ward told her to hang in there and to keep praying and that he'd check back later.
When Ward arrived at Jessie's apartment building, lightning lit up the sky and it began to rain; this was never a good sign to those like Ward who dealt with affairs of the supernatural. The doorman smiled and held the door open for Ward and he nodded and approached the desk where the security guard looked up from a book.
"Good afternoon, sir, can I help you?"
"Good afternoon. I'd like to see the manager please."
"Is he expecting you?"
"No. Tell him I'm the uncle of the victim, Karl Burgess, and I have to get into the apartment to get Karl's things."
"I don't know. Police are still going in and out of there. They said they didn't want anybody up there. But I'll try."
The guard picked up the phone and spoke with the manager for less than a minute then hung up.
"I'm sorry, but the manager said a detective instructed him not to let anyone in the apartment. I kind of knew he wouldn't. Some of Jessie Carter's relatives came by a couple of days ago and he didn't let them in either."
"Thanks for trying." Ward turned and walked away from the desk. "Shit," he said under his breath. He phoned Jewel.
"Yes, Ward. Are you in?"
"Hell no, I'm not in. The damn manager says the cops don't want anybody in the apartment. So, now what do I do?"
"I said I'd get you in there didn't I? Now go back and insist on seeing the manager."
"Okay," he said with a sigh. Ward walked back to the desk where the guard was back to reading his book.
"Something else, sir?" the guard asked looking up from under his glasses.
"Tell the manager I really need to see him. It's very important."
The guard appeared reluctant, but called and relayed the message. He hung up the phone. "His office is down the hall to your right," he said pointing.
"Thank you." Ward called Jewel while walking down the hall. "Jewel, I'm about thirty feet from the manager's office. What do I say?"
"Nothing--just hand him the phone."
"Hand him the phone?"
"Hand him the phone, Ward."
Ward walked up to the door and knocked. A short, chubby man opened it and stood in the doorway. A whiff of garlic hit Ward's nose. The man was chewing and tried to swallow whatever he was eating so he could talk. "Can I help you?" the manager asked.
"I'm Ward Burgess, Karl's my nephew. I need to get into Jessie's apartment and get my nephew's things."
"I can't do that sir. I'm under strict orders from the police department not to let anyone in there."
Ward held out the phone to him and stood dumbfounded.
The manager frowned and asked, "Who is it?"
"It's important, sir. I think you should speak with her."
The manager took the phone. "Hello?" he said, looking annoyed. Seconds into listening, his whole expression changed; his eyes grew wide and fixed. Holding the phone at his ear, he turned and slowly, walked over to a wall, pulled from it the master key--turned and walked back and faced Ward. "Seven twenty-three," the manager said like a bad recording and handed Ward the key.
Ward grabbed the key, shaking his head and smiling at Jewel's awesome abilities. He boarded the elevator and rode it up to the seventh floor. He read the numbers on the wall with an arrow pointing right. Jessie's apartment was third from the end. Ward opened the door to darkness and a foul odor. He hesitated for a moment, wondering if the demon was still inside. He swallowed a lump in his throat and straightened his shoulders. Walking softly and looking around corners, halls and passing dark rooms, he tried walking swiftly past the kitchen--not wanting to see where Karl had nearly died, but stood a few moments anyway--his eyes glassy.
Then he made his way to the bedroom. He walked past the bed and gasped loudly when he saw his own reflection in the mirror. He quickly recovered, holding his stomach and continued walking to a chest of drawers and picked up a hair brush; he also bent down and grabbed up a sneaker and the T-shirt lying next to it. He put the brush inside the sneaker and wrapped the sneaker in the T-shirt then stuffed it into his jacket pocket. An unfamiliar noise startled him. Ward high tailed it out of the apartment, down the hall and pushed the button on the elevator.
Once he got back to the office, the manager was still standing near his desk stone-faced with the phone to his ear. The man couldn't let the phone go, so Ward grabbed his hand and put the phone to his own ear. "Jewel, I've got everything."
"Good. Give him back the phone."
First, Ward slid the key into the manager's shirt pocket then returned his hand. After slowly handing the phone back to Ward, the manager suddenly snapped to himself and the frown lines returned to his face. "Look, Mister," he said to Ward, "I can't let you in, and that's all there is to it... You'll just have to take it up with the police department."
"I clearly understand, sir. Sorry to have bothered you."
The manager closed the door and Ward chuckled as he made his way down the hall. Before he got to the door, the guard called out, "Sir, you need to sign out."
"But I never signed in," Ward said walking out the door grinning. "Jewel, baby, I love ya." he said to himself.
The guard looked at the sign-in sheet then scratched the side of his face.
The prologue... The 1562 Witch Act forced witches to flee Europe and come to America. With their magic, they cultivated the land. Humans moved there hundreds of years later, forcing the witches to hide their identity. The 1800s...Covenant witches are not evil, but those who consort with the dead are evil sorcerers and covenant witches kicked them out of the coven. The sorcerers got revenge and turned human men into werewolves by sacrificing a human boy. The covenant witches got revenge on the sorcerers by casting a spell that confined them to their castle for hundreds of years.
The 1900s...Covenant witches refused to undo the werewolf spell because it required a human sacrifice. So the men decided to kill themselves off by killing their male off-springs. Some wolves refused to kill off their males, causing a split between the packs, creating a northern Pack and a southern pack, which also divided two werewolf brothers... River Porter and Dex Porter.
The late 2000s...A southern pack wolf kills a young human girl--this threatens to bring demon hunters down on the packs and start a civil war between them. River’s wife Jewel Porter, a covenant witch, found a spell to break the moon curse by sacrificing a boy's soul after a werewolf bite to his neck then bringing him back to life, but now the boy is a werewolf but doesn’t know it. The spell works, but a hospital worker discovered the boy’s inhuman blood that could expose them all. The worker is ambushed by werewolves on the way to the laboratory. They chase him into a dark wooded area where they terrorize him and steal the blood sample. All seems quiet in New Berwick for a while until a succubus seduces Jessie Carter and has sex with him. Jessie is later possessed by that demon and attacks his best friend Karl Bergess who is now in ICU and not expected to live.
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