Cemetery Summons Ch. 21byGalloglaich©
Anthony's mind was in a world of confusion. Noise was all he could understand. Screaming on the highest mountains echoed through his head, and deep, horrifying moans from the deepest valleys he could imagine.
Satisfied grunting and panting across endless plains, grass waving in a soft breeze, traffic stops with cars honking, German folk music, rockslides, the clang of steel against steel. Fire burned, chickens clucked all about him, rain, endless rain poured down. All manner of sound berated his tired and weary mind.
He couldn't tell how long this had been going on. Every noise he had ever heard was coming back to him with a vengeance. Every voice yelled at him. Everything was so loud! His ears hurt! His head vibrated with constant buzzing somewhere in the back of his mind. He couldn't stand it! If this went on, he was going to go insane!
The noise drowned out his thoughts. He lay there, floating in an endless wash of sound, unable to even hear his own voice. The air in his chest seemed like it resounded with the songs of a thousand angels, or the chants of a thousand demons. He didn't care.
It was all too much for him.
He shouldn't have agreed to let Anathane send his soul back. Only one reason had propelled him toward this folly to tear sanity from his mind. Kan was worth this, but nobody else, not even Jack. This was an assault on his sanity. He didn't have room to wiggle his thoughts around the things swirling about him.
One particularly loud explosion sent his eyes open.
Unfortunately, it allowed him to remember that his vision was failing, and it was worse than it had been before. Now he could only see a little color, and the blurs from before were now just swathes of scratchy obliqueness. He sighed. At least the noise had stopped.
Looking around didn't help him get his bearings at all. Of course, he was half blind. Anthony muttered unhappily under his breath and got to his feet. He wished the noise would come back. His unhappy thoughts were almost enough to make him sit back down and wait for something to stomp him to death.
He started walking toward a massive, dark red object in front of him. His feet caught every sharp edge, every little pebble it seemed. It didn't make him angry, because he was used to walking around barefoot outside, but it was annoying that his feet were getting torn up because he was blind. At least with his eyes working he could have stepped past some of this crap.
He tripped when his foot caught something large, and he barely caught himself against an angular surface. He took a deep breath and righted himself against it. Feeling around, he realized that this was the big red thing he had seen earlier. It felt like steps, leading up above him. He looked up, but he could only see the red steps and the dark sky above, if that was even the sky.
He searched around for a little while and came to a railing of sorts jutting from the stone steps. He put his hand on it and made his way up the steps, glad to have some kind of support for his endeavor. Being blind wasn't very pleasant. It messed up his sense of balance.
He looked to his right and the red blur extended for as far as he could discern. It was the same to the left. He realized the magnitude of the structure he was climbing. It made him think of how long it had taken to build, or how much material it had taken. The pyramids at Giza had taken some twenty two years to build, and Anthony had seen them.
Those had been some of the most impressive and enduring structures on the planet, and some of the oldest too. Four thousand years later and they were the only Wonders of the World still standing. Whatever he was climbing was several times more massive.
He pushed the thoughts from his mind and looked back up. Whatever he was ascending, he was interested in what was at the top. He smiled faintly and understood why everyone in every Hollywood movie walked somewhere when they were transported to a strange and foreign location. Curiosity. That had to be it. That's why he was looking toward the top.
But, now at least, things were still bad for him. Anathane had tried the soul unbinding and said that he would appear to his host in time.
Well, that there was his only problem with this whole thing. In time could mean ten minutes from now or ten lifetimes. He hated all the vagueness Anathane had spoken to him with. Vague was assuring to a scared man. No details, just solutions.
Anthony heard a voice and stopped, looking around instinctively for its owner. He groaned inwardly as he realized that it was one of the more foolish things he had done recently. He couldn't see a damned thing! Of course, his fucking eyes didn't work anymore.
Grumbling, he raised his voice. "Hello?"
"Who, us?" came a sultry voice in return.
"Uh...sure, you. Do you know where I am?" Anthony asked timidly.
"Is that a joke, newcomer?" growled the voice. Anthony heard footsteps.
"No, I just wanted to know what this place is. Sorry to bother you; I'll keep going." He started to ascend the steps again, but the footsteps got louder, until a hand touched his shoulder. He whipped his entire body around to see a deep brown blur. He squinted and caught the vague shape of a person.
"No," the voice purred. Two black shapes emerged from the woman's head. "Just sit back and let me get to know you. You look tasty enough to eat."
Anthony kicked up. "No!" He sent the woman reeling back down the steps and bit two of his fingers. He started drawing a summoning circle from memory, hoping that just summoning an object would be okay. Not seeing what he was drawing was a problem though, but he winged it as best he could.
It was either this or death with no fight. And at least attempting to get a weapon was more than enough to face God with upon being judged at the pearly gates. He finished the circle and a red flash made his vision fade for a moment. He reached into the open, shimmering void and grabbed the first thing he could, pulling it out quickly.
Then he stood to face the horned woman, who he knew was a demon by her inhuman cursing as she rushed back up to meet him. She slowed to a stop not ten feet away from him though, and Anthony prepared himself for anything.
"A...a warlock. I...I don't know...what I..." She retreated back down the steps hurriedly, leaving Anthony very confused and scared. Was this a trick? Was she going to come back up and tear him to pieces once his back was turned. Judging by the way other voice were beginning to make themselves known, worried and fearful, he guessed not.
"Someone tell me what's going on, now," Anthony growled, turning to face a growing crowd of what he assumed were demons, blade gripped tightly between two closed fists. One in the crowd stood forward.
"You are a warlock, right? You pulled the sword from the ground?"
"And if I did?" he replied.
"Don't be angry with us if we seem surprised, milord, but we have all been here for, at least, several thousand years. We expected you to be here sooner."
"What in the flying fuck does that have anything to do with me?" Anthony growled, continuing up the steps through a parting crowd.
"You were not sent to release us?"
"No I wasn't sent to release you. Tell me where Anathane is. She told me that she would be here waiting for me. Where is she?"
"Anathane? The Great Healer?"
"Sure. Where is she?" Anthony asked again, more agitated now.
"Why would she be here?" asked a voice.
Anthony sighed. "She's the one who brought me here. Are you going to tell me or do I have to sever heads to find out which ones say useful things before being lopped off?"
"No! She's not here! Don't be angry!" The crowd began to edge away from him cautiously. Anthony snorted and continued up the steps, growling softly. Goddamnit Anathane! Anthony was going to give her his two cents about this. Fucking God was gonna turn his face away in shame of the words his creations could speak.
For now though, Anthony was just mad at Anathane more because she had confirmed his imminent blindness than anything else. In a way, he wished she had lied to him and told him it was all going to be better soon and that his fairytale land was just over the next hill.
But, for all it was worth, that would have just been another letdown for him. It was better that he know the truth so he could prepare for it eventually. Even though going blind at all was going blind too soon, at least he had a buffer zone to get his act together.
At the top of the steps, the large structure flattened out like a massive plateau of red bricks. Anthony couldn't see any deviation from the flatness in any direction, save for a single structure that stood in the center of the massive area that stood so high that it disappeared into the sky.
He pointed to it. "What is that?" he asked.
"That's the beacon," answered a voice.
"What does it do?"
"It calls all in this realm toward it. So we can find our partners in soul unbinding instead of having to wander for years in search of them."
"So," Anthony guessed. "Anathane will come here to find me?"
"If she is the one that brought you here," the demon replied timidly. Anthony let out a despondent sigh and walked over to what the demon had referred to as the beacon. He looked up and squinted again, unable to see much further than his face.
He put his back to the stone tower and slid down until he was sitting on the ground. He then stuck his blade into the ground and folded his arms across his chest. The world seemed dimmer now. Obviously, he was getting noticeably worse in his state of blindness. If he went to sleep, what he was looking at now would be the last thing he'd ever see.
Of course, his third eye was still staring blankly into the distance, feeding off his body to keep him aware of the heartbeats of his closest friends. Oddly enough, he could tell which beats belonged to each of his friends.
Anathane's was beating so slowly that Anthony almost lost track of the time gaps between beats. But the loud thumps in his head let him know she was still alive. Niaf and Fain shared a heartbeat, which wasn't hard to hear. Elassa's was very faint, but constant. Jack's however was very erratic, beating at odd intervals and thumping loudly one minute, only to die down and barely make noise the next.
A lump formed in his throat when he felt Kan's. Hers was the faintest for some reason, which led him to believe that she was in trouble. If she was hurt, he wouldn't forgive himself for it. His eyes teared up and he rubbed them softly to make himself stop thinking about her.
"I never thought I'd find a warlock in love with a demon. It is a sad day when man cannot resist his forbidden fruit," said a familiar, tempting voice. Anthony perked up and looked around for her.
"Anathane?" He stood up and she whistled from the top of the steps he had come from, a large crowd at her feet. She made a gesture to him, but he couldn't see what it was. She waved both arms in the air.
"Come over here, hurry. We haven't time to dawdle here. Our final battle awaits," she cooed. Anthony met her at the top of the steps and she grabbed him around the waist. For the first time, he realized that they were both naked. He felt blood rush to his face so fast he could've clocked a world record for it.
"Um, so..." he began. "How to we get back now?"
Anathane shrugged. "The door. But first, let me gather myself again. I'm glad I get this chance to sort myself out again. It's been quite a while since I've connec...ted...oh Gods." She looked down at Anthony. "I had no idea Kan had changed you so much. And...I...I hunted Jack? Oh, look at him. He's so cute when he runs away."
Her tone changed. "I'm hitching a ride this time."
"He looks almost scared. Poor thing. Why'd you do that to him?"
"Thank me, jerk. I made his sword."
"Well we folded it. Can't forget that, Anathane."
"Hey, room for a few more?"
"Are you guys done emptying yet? Anthony's getting scared."
"Oh, he should be used to it by now. He saw us not too long ago."
"No, he saw you not too long ago. I was just watching. Boy do I love being like a fly on the wall."
"Alright guys, you're actually scaring him and his jumping jimmy right there."
"He's like Jack in that respect."
"Have some respect for your elders. Formation of Andromeda Galaxy Split here."
"Oh, hey F.A.G., didn't think I'd see you outta there any time soon."
"Meh, I thought I might drop in and tell Jack a few stories about the old days, you know? Formation of the earth and all that. He's a history buff, you know?"
"Of course, we all do. Ever since he swallowed that tongue of hers."
"'At's my cue to wiggle on in here. He's still got that baby tucked away somewhere in that body of his."
"Alright, enough of this. Is everything transferred back and forth and whatnot?"
"I'm staying put."
"You're getting out. Turns, VY Canis Majoris Birth Split, turns. We can't all hog his time until this whole crusading fiasco is all over and we can wrap Jack up in a nice blanket of us and never let him go."
"Good, now is everyone ready for the severance?"
"Is everyone in that's coming?"
"Who made you leader?"
"I said is everyone in!"
"We might need a few more. Splitting into four pieces to protect Jack and fight one of the jailers is going to be some tough work if we're understaffed. Maybe we should overstock now and save ourselves the struggle later?"
"Hmmm, good point. We could fit a few thousand more in here, right?"
"If we squeeze in real tight, maybe. We can always clear a few out if not."
"Alright! A few more- a few! What's with all of you and rushing into things like this? There, that's the line. Everyone else just wait until next time."
"Everyone ready? Alright, see you guys later. We're going back to see our incomplete boy."
Anathane's body shuddered for a minute, her eyes shining like two pools of dark light. Her pupils turned maroon for a moment, and then she let out a deep breath. The shuddering stopped and her body returned to its former, calm state.
Her eyes glanced down at Anthony's groin and she flashed him a wide, happy smile. Anthony's didn't know what to make of it at the moment. Was she going to lead him back to Nyx's mansion, or was she about to throw him down and rape him half to death? He didn't understand her at all. She was the most confusing person he knew, and that was saying something, having friends like Jack and all.
But, to Anthony's relief, she just took his hand in hers and led him around to the other side of the beacon and pressed her opposite hand against its smooth stone surface. Anthony did the same after she motioned for him to, and Anathane began saying something under her breath.
Jack watched Anathane lie unconscious in the circle she'd drawn and used an hour ago. Her eyes were open, but dead. Nothing showed in them, no semblance of life or sign of thought. Her eyes just stared into the void, blankly, dead.
He wasn't worried about her though. She had promised him that she'd bring a new her back when she awoke. Jack wasn't sure what she meant by that, but he had a feeling that he was going to end up on the floor when she did come to. He wasn't relishing another assault at the moment. He was a little antsy to begin the end of this horrible nightmare in hell and get his lovers back.
Suddenly, the demon sat up and her eyes spun around like a chameleon's, unfocused and creepy. When her eyes did come into focus though, she put a hand to her head and blinked away the confusion that seemed to have held her for a moment. After a few seconds of rest, she got to her feet and looked about her person.
Everyone stared in silence, save for Jack. He wasn't worried. This was Anathane they were worried about. She could do anything, up to some point that Jack didn't ever think he could pry out of her. If he asked it of her, she could do it, no questions asked. He chewed his lip more out of boredom than anything else.
"I take it you as well, are accustomed to such sights?" Grymir asked flatly.
"I've seen every inch of her more than once, inside and out. Well, I guess you have too, given from what she said you two did. Sorry if I've seemed...a little jealous at times."
Grymir said, "I understand. She does belong to you after all."
"Anthony! Anthony, are you in there? Anathane, where is he?" Volna had Anathane pinned to the ground, pulling one of Anathane's eyes open wide as if she were trying to look inside of the demon's brain.
Anathane smiled and gave Volna a hug. "Of course he's in here. If you want me to, I can bring him out soon. Would you like that?" Anathane sounded very seductive right now. Especially since she had her legs intertwined with Volna's and a hand behind the raven-headed demon's head like a lover would.
"Bring him out now," Volva demanded.
"In a moment. I have my own priorities I need to set straight first. Namely, I want to meet Jack. It's been years since I've seen him. Since they have...since any of us have." She got to her feet and set Volna down on hers.
"Give me Anthony!"
Anathane glared. "After I get mine, whelp!" she snarled ferociously, baring long fangs. Volna backed away and let Anathane have her way. Jack wasn't surprised by the sudden show of force, because he had seen it several times before, but it was still a little unnerving to see her irritated.
She sauntered over to Jack, wide, womanly hips swaying with every single step. She hadn't cared to change the size of her chest yet, but he didn't care. He liked her however she appeared to him as. She was always beautiful.
Anathane stopped a few inches short of him and set her eyes upon him like wild hounds. Her fingers twitched madly as her black and red orbs took in what they were seeing. Jack watched her lips part a little as her mind drifted to darker places.
"Anathane, you okay? You're spacing out a little."
"I just...it's been so long, years without even...without even seeing your face..." She reached out and put her palm to his cheek like he was going to blow away into dust in a few seconds.
"But I saw you not half an hour ago. Does time move even faster wherever you were?" asked the incubus in a confused tone.
"I am not the me that left you then," she explained. "I am but a small fraction of me that resides within the larger me. Not a single split in this body has seen you since the massage, and to us, that was years ago."
"Oh, well then lean down and I'll give you a kiss. But not a long one, because Volna wants to see Anthony again." Jack smiled up at his lover as she leaned in for a kiss, lips quivering with anticipation. He could feel her hot, lusty breath on his face as her lips brushed against his.
Their mouths met, and Jack pulled away after a second. He stepped back to let her get some air, because she sounded like her lungs were emptying themselves and having no mercy on her.
She took a resounding step forward.
"I'm gonna let that slide for now," she said. Anathane grabbed Jack with all her might and kissed him fiercely. Jack felt his feet leave the ground, and suddenly he wasn't looking up, but looking down at her.
He tried to speak, but it wasn't until she was satisfied that he was even able to breathe. "I'm glad everything went okay Anathane," he said. He choked up and tears blurred his field of vision. Anathane's tears burned him too, but he couldn't have cared less. It only made him cry harder.
"Me too Jack." They kissed again shortly and then Jack's feet met the floor again. Anathane wiped the tears from his face with her thumb with a gentle smile on her face. It wasn't long after that she controlled her breathing to a degree. "Alright, time to give Volna back her man."