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Battling Demons in a Spanish Countryside

March 29, 2010

Sketch of Ciarkaos, 2010

An old medieval church, empty except for a man, woman, a ghastly demon named Ciarkaos and me. Stood in a circle Ciarkaos said it was time to perform the ritual. The young man shuddered at those words. The woman asked me who I was. I told her my name. But she didn’t believe me and pointed to the mark on the ground. The letters carved into the wood read: M A E K O S

Ciarkaos stomped his hoof to get our attention.

“I will handle the adversary himself,” he declared. “You will perform the ritual and hide yourselves in the basement.”

The human duo nodded. At that moment, being lucid was daunting. All of it felt too real. I wanted to run away or shift into another dream.

“Stop having cowardly thoughts,” said Ciarkaos. “This place will be filled with hundreds of demons the moment they complete the ceremony. You need to move quickly and kill as many of them as you can. They are the source of his power.”

“I don’t want to kill anyone, Ciarkaos.”

“Are you not a manipulator of matter?”

“Yes, but I’m not up for killing,” I said.

Our argument didn’t last long. The duo had finished the ritual. I saw them escape through a secret door. As soon as the door clamped shut an unseen force struck me. I landed on my back, street side. The world outside the church continued, unable to see the madness within. A child suddenly ran past me. I knew she could see the terrifying thing chasing her. I swept past the demon and carried the girl in my arms. I headed toward the church in an effort to keep it contained. If it proceeded to move through the streets everyone would eventually see it.

I met a blunt force upon entering the church. The girl fell through the pews, got up and ran to the secret door. I moved her with my mind and sealed the door. After recovering from a series of thrashings, I waved my hand over the demons closest to me and tied them into a knot. I looked into their eyes. Not empty. Nor dark. But foaming in milky white streams. They gnashed their teeth and hissed. I willed them into vapors, moving to the ones near Ciarkaos.

He was fighting mid-air with a murky shadow. I slipped outside briefly and took flowers from a woman in a market stall. I handed her a large bill and fled. Fresh daisies made of thin electrical wires. A very futuristic looking flower. The woman dropped to the floor. A demon must have passed through her.

I willed a cross bow into my hands and fired the daisies across the church walls. The malevolent spirits formed into a colossal blockage and charged toward me. A voice said, “Do you expect to kill us with such a concoction?”

But I knew it would work, killing demons with an amalgamation of nature and technology.

They became flesh, solid and strong, yet restricted to the laws of gravity. I was faster and more agile. At one point they cornered me and fired their own arrow made of fire. The fire died when it touched my skin.  I willed a blade and began an unavoidable massacre over this assembly of demons. If only I could forget the mess I made. The pews were broken, bathed in a white liquid, and demons parts scattered about. I had done the unthinkable.

Was Ciarkaos dead? The adversary stood before me, held out his hand and clasped it over my throat. I stopped breathing and concentrated on maintaining lucidity. It remained intact because my blade had turned into an illuminated sword that veered across the chalky neck of the adversary. A clean cut.

I was filled with sorrow in those final moments. Why had Satan seemed so human?

Ciarkaos took the silvery head and placed it in his sack. It would burn in a sacred fire where it would no longer be able to attached itself to a body.

The human duo and I jumped into a burgundy Chrysler convertible and drove through a Spanish countryside. They were students of medieval literature at the local university. The man was driving too fast and I had to intervene a few times to avoid a crash. When we’d reach the city he began to drive backwards, accelerating at an unsafe speed. The woman said we had to return the book used for the ritual. They’d stolen it from the museum.

Gunshots were fired. I caught the bullets and created a shield over the car. We pulled over and ran on foot. The man and I carried some potions in our bags. The woman concealed the book in her cloak. We made it safely to an alley near a cafe. As I stood talking to the duo, I fine tuned my vision until every detail appeared highly defined. Their faces glowed. His smile was warm, her hands sinewy and youthful.

“Where will you go now?” the woman asked.

“Back to my waking life. I think it’s almost time to wake up.”

“Is it a good place?”

“Most of the time,” I said. “But I can’t do this.” I floated into the air slowly and they laughed. I glided over the city’s gray buildings and lost myself in the skies above.

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