October Frights 2022 - PArt V
The 2022 October Frights tour is almost over! And be sure to check out everyone on the tour: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-blog-hop-participants/
I’m running a little late, Multiverse was really busy, but a great time this weekend.
On to the story. It's Part V of Spirit of Alchemy – the big finale is tomorrow!
The de Pons estate was well out of the city and far out Long Island, long stretches of woods and elegant hidden estates. The driver paid no attention to the decorated box on the seat beside me, holding Offredus’ skull. Sigils inside the box, and out, shielded his presence and kept him from roaming about. I’d filled a rolling chest with journals, parchments, and a few specific items at the old spirit’s request.
I still wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea, or that de Pons wasn’t trying to pull something, but given the options of destroying the skull, or a shot at respite, I had to take it. And the grumpy old bastard was as assured as I’d seen him in years.
Even if he was wrong, some part of me could gloat over him before I blew him to the ninth ring of Hell.
Deposited at a set of rusting iron gates that looked as if they hadn’t been opened in a century, we waited. And waited. More than an hour ticked by before the gates parted, screeching like a wounded owl. I walked through, rolling the trunk with the skull atop it. The gates closed behind us, squealing in pain.
Following the winding, overgrown road, I found the remains of an at least three-story mansion, long since lost to fire. Lights came from a cottage to the west. A small car, like something you would see the self-important in the city drive. I knew little of vehicles, and had tried operating one few times in my life.
Nearing the cottage, de Pons opened the door wearing a white apron smudged with dirt over rich blue slacks and white shirt. “I was unsure you would come.”
“As was I, until we arrived,” I let the trunk rest on the ground. “Shall we?”
Following de Pons into a warm kitchen, he closed the door, and guided me into a study filled with devices reminiscent of Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory, and two stainless steel surgical tables, complete with restraints.
“Did you bring what was requested?” de Pons glanced at the trunk.
I nodded in return.
“Can Lord Offredus hear us? Is he with us?”
I shook my head. “Not until I open the chest.”
“Good.” De Pons motioned for me to follow him into an adjacent den.
I sat in a leather chair, and accepted a glass of wine from my host.
“I must know,” de Pons sat down across from me with a glass of wine. “Do you truly desire death? What about mortality? Go out and live your life? Surely you wish for more?”
“I would not know how, and cannot imagine such a thing. What would I do?”
“Eat. Drink. Find companionship. When was the last time you…”
I shook my head. “The things. These things have been gone from me for far too long. I have few acquaintances, and no desire to try. I doubt I could ever be suitable company for someone not of our ilk.”
De Pons shrugged. “As you wish. In working with Lord Offredus, how this will work is I will restrain you on the table, he shall be placed on the other. I will conduct the ritual which will free your spirit, and he shall take possession of your body.”
“What do you get in this?”
“Immortality.” A thin slit formed across de Pons lips. “He will then guide me through the ritual, and I too will become ageless.”
“You seem quite certain.”
“I am. We have been so close. I needed a final secret from your great benefactor.”
I sipped at the wine. “Know that he is mad. He lies. Even while he was living, his hubris, keeping a secret, is how we wound up as we are. I cannot tell you what it was, as I do not know, but the other assistant in the room, he was the lucky one.”
“Thank you for the warning, but I know of the night of your making. I have studied it my entire life. Great Uncle Horace, he knew you better than you know yourself.”
“As you wish.” I drained the glass and motioned for the bottle. “But know, should you fail, I shall have no mercy.”
De Pons rose, handing me the bottle. “Noted. Give me a few hours with the material you have brought, and we will be ready to begin.
Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow for the finale and Part VI! In the interim, check out the rest of the tour!
And there's some giveaways at: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/oyHMogF.