I peered through the gap in the vestry door, toward the altar dais my mind in revolt, disgusted and baffled by what my eyes were beholding.
The white vestment cascaded to the floor revealing my sisters’ altered form. It was both hideous and cruel, but at the same time delicate and perfect. She had immaculate lilac skin although here and there were blemishes of scales and patches of gnarled hide. One foot was clad in a long shiny purple boot that ended above the wearers’ knee. The other, a confusing fusion of webbed lizard or bird claw.
The Mother Superior staggered back, her hand quivering at her mouth in horror. The apparition turned fully, a twisted grin on its lustrous face. It stalked over and grabbed the old sister by her neck and hissed in her face with a long forked tongue. With a flick of a taloned hand, the aged prioress was hurled through the lectern, splintering wood and casting the golden griffon down to be shattered across the floor.
Broken, bloodied and bruised the lady slowly crawled to her knees and fumbled for a length of the smashed lectern. She held it in front of her as a ward, peculiarly enough, another shorter shard was still attached giving the appearance of a cross or hammer.
‘Child,’ stammered the old woman. ‘You cannot comprehend what these powers will do to your body. Nor your mind!’
‘Oh no, Mother Superior.’ Spat the unholy siren triumphantly, ‘I know exactly what it will do.’ Her other hand and forearm disintegrated into purple smoke then solidified as an obscene crab claw. ‘I’m counting on it!’
Using her freakish appendage as a club she swung the pincer through the nuns guard and hurled her through a rank or two of pews.
I winced, fearing my superiors back broken by such a colossal force and hard impact. The daemon giggled a playful, mischievous laugh.
‘You sully the body I gave you?’ Croaked the preacher woman, as she climbed out the wreckage on all fours. ‘The body I nurtured through pregnancy? Through infancy and through your spiritual awakening? Have you no piety left in your heart? Are you so changed?’
‘No, Filth.’ Hissed the daemon. ‘I was incarcerated by you. I had no choice. Then I was dragged along your path behind you, stumbling and tripping all the way. Ironic don’t you think, that you were the mother and harbourer of a Siren, and given time a daemon prince of Pleasure? A Courtesan of Lust!’ foam bubbled at the sides of its mouth and its eyeballs swivelled as if in the throes of true bliss. ‘The true sovereign of this pitiful world…and the next.’
‘You know that cannot be, I have taken my vows, naive girl…’
‘You sort the sins of the flesh. You who are so pure allowed yourself to be corrupted for a mere few momentary pleasures. That is all that was needed. And I, me, this here, is the result of that debauchery.’
‘No, fallen one, it was a holy union, a sacred pact. Between God, loyal, reverent practitioners and their church. How else are we to sustain our faith and its purity?’
‘Clearly this is not the case, Mother, otherwise I wouldn’t be here now would I? Obviously one, if not both of you, slipped unto base temptation whilst enacting your, quaint little rituals.’
Mother Superior sank down on her knees and joined her palms. ‘I see that you are already committed’ her chest and shoulders slumped. Slowly and solemnly she began to chant a prayer of salvation in the classic tongue.
Lithely the monster stepped from the dais towards the humbled prioress on muscular legs seemingly longer than her body, her boot heel clicked ominously on flagstone. With each step her hips swung, her stomach muscles crunched then expanded. She produced a whip which snaked around her with a mind of its own, slithering between her thighs, breasts and coiling around her abdomen. Her shoulders reeled and circled as her back arched and flexed; like a slow erotic dancer in a house of sin, however the yards to her prey were crossed all too quickly.
Mother Superior came to the end of her verse and looked up into the face of her tormentor. Pity and love in her streaming eyes a painful smile on her bruised, bleeding lips. As I beheld her blessed countenance I restrained a wail and choked back a torrent of tears. This woman had nurtured me, tutored me, and opened my eyes to the world and the love of our holy deity.
The vulgar creature must have sensed the betrayal her mortal mother felt, the hidden hatred and perhaps the secret yearning for her own flesh, for the daemon entity couldn’t help but lick her lavish, fulsome, purple lips. A desperate, urgent, body shuddering moan escaped her. She raised her whip on high and sweetly cooed, ‘This is going to be…’ then hissed ‘intoxicating!’
From glands around her neck, wrists and thighs a heavily scented vapour billowed forth. It was nauseatingly sweet but at the same time raw and base. It was a distinctly natural and very human smell, but at the same time heady, cloying and stinging like the scent that clings to the opiate addicts I tend.
I felt a hot rush of blood around my body and swooned light headed. Suddenly the cold stone floor didn’t feel quite as uncomfortable and I no longer felt afraid. If anything I felt pleasantly relaxed.
Mother Superior concluded her vow in the traditional tongue, ‘please forgive me lord, for what I am about to do…’
‘Amen…’ I echoed my superiors lament in the quietest whisper. The lash swung through the pungent fog, the tendrils making a beeline for the nuns’ neck.
I wanted to close my eyes and prey I wasn’t discovered after the daemon had dispatched my dearest. But I just could not turn away. Whether In the grip of fear and shock or due to the mollifying musk of the daemon, I cannot say. But I believe my mind started to play tricks on me-
A glowing long handled weapon manifested in Mothers’ bloodied hands. A great war hammer bedecked with mock dwarfish insignia intercepted the barbed tails of the whip. The lashes immediately wrapped around the shaft and impulsively tried to disarm the opponent. However, the hammer sent out a brilliant shock of pure white light. A charge surfed up the lash to its wielders’ hand, shocking her violently and she staggered. The sirens’ lash hand and her long lustrous haired smoked and embers flickered to life here and there as if she was a beautiful canvas that catching fire.
The prioress tugged the lash sharply and brought her assailant sprawling at her feet. Staring down in pity she un-buttoned the front of her cassock.
Dazed the Daemon of Lust peered up at her expectantly, supposing to see flesh. However, when the nuns’ robes fell away they revealed a finally wrought steel breast plate.
I gasped in amazement, for I have never seen her looking so grand and formidable. Furthermore, it was clear she had actually come prepared with the soul intent of killing this thing!
‘The Darkness could never tamper with an unborn in the womb of His chosen daughters.’ Spoke Mother sympathetically, making the sign of the hammer across her chest. ‘I shall see you again in paradise my child.’
The daemons’ eyes widened, then it purred and squirmed as if in arousal and its lips came together pursed as the hammer descended. As the weapon contacted the demons head there was a flash and an eruption of sparks, the edges of the apparitions’ outline burned like hot coals, a foul substance leaked out onto the flagstone and began to burn off into acrid purple smoke. The sirens body began to writhe sparking, fizzing and disintegrating out of existence.
Once satisfied the exorcism was complete, Mother gave a great sigh and swayed a little. She then glanced over to my hiding place. I drew a sharp breath at being discovered then scurried out to support her all the same.
Mother greeted me with a warm smile. Arm in arm we wearily hobbled out of the church and towards the infirmary.