Victorian Dreams Pt. 02byOrexis©
This is part 2 of a multipart story, and it is recommended you go back and read Victorian Dreams Ch 01 to gain perspective. For those of you who have expressed interest in the story I thank you and offer this part for your enjoyment.
This part as well as the prior part and any parts that fool are Copyright 2003, 2004 by Charles F. Johnson, and all rights are reserved under copyright laws of the United States and other countries.
Haley had never stolen anything in her life. It bothered her as she walked out of the church.
Why when she first resorted to thievery, had she chosen to steal religious items?
She made a mental note to return the item once it was of no further use to her.
She wasn’t sure if she was on the right track, but the thoughts that had almost overwhelmed her on a couple of occasions that day told her she probably was.
Haley hoped Clarice would give her a visit and confirm things for her. She wished there was a way she could summon the angelic spirit.
Yet, when Clarice had told her she would watch over her the night before, she said she couldn’t watch over her all the time. It seemed apparent to Haley she was basically on her own, and she wasn’t about to become one of the common concubines, which was her lot if she were to succumb to the seduction or fall to the trickery of the evil arrayed against her.
Though not a conscious thought the steeling of her resolve Clarice had promised was starting to occur. It would strengthen as she went further into battle with these demonic interlopers in her home.
She thought to herself the minions who had the use of the common concubines must be feeling fortuitous these days, for the promiscuity that started in the 60s and 70s and to lesser degree, perhaps, continuing unto today had a lot of women ‘impure out of matrimony’ and therefore of only one purpose to the Master of darkness, to service the lust of his evil hoards.
When she arrived home, Haley took her treasures to her sleeping quarters. She set the bottles of Holy Water on the table beside the bed, and laid the cross embroidered cloth on the bed. When she went to bed in her usual attire of panties and T-shirt, she wrapped the cloth around her neck, kind of like a muffler. She said the 23rd Psalm prayer at bedtime as she had become accustomed to doing.
That night was clear, and the orb of the moon was nearly full in its brilliance, so she had no visitors, of either the evil or the good variety. As she sat drinking her morning tea, she again wished she would get another visit from Clarice. After her first cup of tea, she refreshed it and went to the verandah, with Clarice diary, and began reading again. She went back and reread various accounts of the visits the girl had received from the evil women bent on having her join them and become a servant of the Master, and of the night the ‘ogre’ creatures had found her looking in the chamber window. She hoped this would give her some idea of what to expect and that she might be better able to prepare to protect herself.
Haley returned then to the place in the journal where she had left off and began reading of the accounts, further. Clarice wrote of more days where her mother seemed to be coherent and each time, she warned Clarice of the dangers of the basement chamber and had her reaffirm her promise never to go there.
Clarice reported these coherent days seemed to correlate with the nights the visitors to her room were particularly active. Her mother apparently wouldn’t have a sleepless night of activity if all the chamber dwellers except the Master were in her room. The Master had never come to her room, nor had the ogres since the night they returned her to her bed. This led Clarice to believe they must always be on patrol outdoors and that the Master was confined to the chamber, or simply didn’t appear every night. On these nights the concubines worked on Clarice, her mother was allowed a night of peaceful sleep.
The Master must be absolutely ‘allergic’ to moon light, if he was confined to the chamber and neither he nor his minions were active when the full moon promised a bright night.
The phase of the moon seemed to present a timetable to Clarice as to when certain activities would occur. When the moon was full and for the week before she never seemed to have visitors, or at least if she did, they didn’t show themselves. Then during the waning phase when the moon was growing smaller in the night sky, they would visit almost nightly. She always got a visit on the new moon when there was no visible moon in the sky, and for the week after. Then when the first quarter moon occurred and the moon continued to wax and grow larger toward the advent of the full moon, the visits would become less frequent. These patterns were only altered if the weather produced a night when the clouds would obscure the moons glow.
Clarice had tracked them carefully and they were well documented, so Haley began to feel fairly certain she could start to predict when she would have visitors.
It was just a passing thought to Haley, but she noted how this contrasted perfectly with the human concepts of the moons phases. Man seemed to have his worst activity when the moon was full, and other phases and points of lunation never seemed to bother man, though man did apparently follow the Farmer’s Almanac advice and planted on ‘the dark of the moon’ when it was a new moon. Fishing was also enhanced or inhibited when the phase of the moon was at a particular point, contrasting the activities of the servants of evil intent.
It seemed appropriate when taken in the context of evil doings. The nefarious characters of the underworld did their evil when the moon was lightless or almost that way, while man unwittingly did the devils deeds when the brightness of the moon prevented the evil entities from being active in the night.
It occurred to Haley that perhaps this was part of a grand design and the balance and equilibrium always sought in nature. The lectures of her Earth Sciences teacher and his stressing the balance nature always sought in life when she was a girl were fresh and vivid in her mind.
Clarice, in her writings, seemed to be growing bold in her abilities to cope with the evil that was ever-present and trying to lure her in to their bloated ranks. The young woman documented the fact she was glad she was a virgin, so the lusty pleasures they tried to seduce her with were unfamiliar and hard to fathom. Yet, that same virginity made her more vulnerable, first from naïveté then from the pressure the minions would bring to bear because she could serve as a brood wife for the Master, or as the energy to free the evil hoards in the ritual or ceremony that required a virgin sacrifice of some kind. Yet, apparently they had no way of knowing for certain she was a virgin, because the raven-haired lady always said ‘if you are pure’ and not ‘since you are pure’. Yet, in these more innocent times it was likely easy to assume the girl was a virgin. The upbringing of her parents in a time when sex and the reckless pursuit of personal hedonism were not as commonplace as they are today.
Clarice understanding was becoming rather detailed and the young woman had an uncanny sense of making sense of the seemingly nonsensical in her writings of the events taking place in her young life.
If Haley had not talked with the angelic spirit of the girl, had her heal her wound with a gentle touch and had not been visited by the minions, she would have by now, probably, written it off in her mind as schizophrenia or other psychiatric illness.
Hadn’t the websites she had researched on exorcism and demonic possession postulated this as the modern theory on possession.
This level of detail was a symptom she had already recalled from her psych class, of schizophrenia and related mental disorders, and would have compelled that assessment.
As Haley read, the depiction in the diary suddenly took an ominous turn again. Clarice spoke of awakening one morning and finding her mother gone. Her bed had not been slept in and Clarice searched the entire house and property, and she was nowhere to be found. That is she searched all places but the basement chamber. Missing or not she would not violate her promise to her mother and enter there.
All things considered, she didn’t think it wise to notify the authorities, either. First, she wasn’t yet 18 and would likely end up in an orphan’s home until she passed the age of majority. Second, how could she explain what had been going on around the house. Third, they probably already thought her wacky because of her assertions regarding her father’s death. Lastly, the brave girl couldn’t subject outsiders to the potential dangers of the chamber.
Surely any search of the premises would not exclude the chamber unless she could control it. She realized control was something she would immediately lose once adults and especially adult authorities became involved.
She promised herself to not contact the authorities.
Clarice had taken on a newer much more intense mantle of protectionism similar to that she had felt after the death of her father and that was basis of the responsibility for the odyssey she now found herself compelled to pursue.
Now she felt compelled to protect all of mankind, and that meant she basically had to fight this evil alone, without outside intervention. That was the only way she could be assured no one fell victim to the wiles of the evil that resided in her basement each night.
Clarice wrote of the weighty feelings of obligation she felt in this regard and though boldly taking on this mantle that had been thrust upon her, she resented the loss of the quieter times and felt the last brief moments of her childhood had been stolen from her.
She almost reneged on her promise to herself, not to contact the authorities, when that night the onslaught of the minions was the most intense it had been. It was still only the three concubines, but their pressure and the sirens song of the raven-haired lady was intense. Clarice wrote the first rays of the sun’s light on the horizon, which dispatched them all to the chamber, was immensely welcome.
As Clarice pondered the events of the night before and the fact her mother was still missing, she decided to notify the town constable. After all, had they not searched the chamber for a perpetrator when her father had died, and not been harmed?
Yet, Clarice didn’t contact the authorities, for in the end, she thought the chambers evil must have grown stronger since her fathers death and subjecting the constable or his deputies to the potential hell of becoming captive to the legions of the evil Master that dwelled in her basement was just not something she was prepared to do.
She again felt she was the only one who could fight this growing threat to the world. After all her mother had said, “They are always seeking ways to be released from the darkness so they can rain death and destruction on all mankind”. Though Clarice wasn’t certain what it took to ‘release then from the darkness’ she wasn’t prepared to unwittingly be party to that release.
The constable and his deputies were all men and she didn’t know what would happen to men if the Master seduced them, or if they were even susceptible to the seduction. After all in the accounts of the first evil seduction it was Eve and not Adam that was seduced by the evil in the presence of the serpent. But then, that may have simply been because Eve presented the first opportunity and not that she was more susceptible.
If events had been different then perhaps it would have been Adam that had altered the course of existence for all mankind. Surely the instigators of evil would not pass on even the slightest opportunity to subvert God’s intended good for man.
Rather than recruiting her father to the evil hoards, they had merely killed him, so perhaps men weren’t allowed, and the constable or his deputies might be killed, another thing Clarice wanted no responsibility for. But then Clarice surmised that perhaps contact by men was merely tolerated and the reason her father had been killed was due in part to his trying to remove the gargoyles and these somehow represented a source of strength to the evil.
The ‘ogres’ were male, obviously, having asked to use Clarice body for pleasure that night in the chamber, but if Clarice understood, they were the result of a pregnancy between the Master and an impure concubine, ostensibly the raven-haired lady. She had called them ‘her children’. Still the other contraindications to contacting authority still existed.
As Haley read these accounts she felt she knew just how Clarice felt, because it seemed every solution or resolution that was obtained provided more questions than answers. It must have been both frustrating and frightening to the young girl, all alone now in this big evil house, her father murdered by the evil here and now her mother missing, long enough now to be presumed dead.
Clarice finally indicated in her diary, she would give it a little more time. Then if she couldn’t locate her mother or her mother didn’t return, then she would revisit the idea of contacting the constable.
As it turned out that was a good way to pursue the situation. The new moon was approaching by Clarice calculations in her diary and the activity nightly in her room was intense. But it was like the loss of her mother to these doers of evil had steeled the girl in her resistance. It had gotten so easy for the girl to tune them out. Clarice was to the point she had to caution herself against falling asleep, for fear a misstep might occur when she was not yet fully awake.
Then the night of the new moon occurred and instead of the usual three visitors, Clarice had four. The common concubines were there in the corners of the room wearing their red see-through gowns and chanting their mantra “The Master cometh”
The raven-haired lady was there too, standing beside her bed as usual beseeching Clarice to go to the Master in the Chamber below, for he waited to receive her into his service in return for untold pleasure, power, and immortality.
The fourth visitor though was Chirsty Johansson.
Clarice mother materialized at the foot of the bed where the raven-haired lady, usually made her appearance, but stood there and didn’t move around to the side as the raven-haired concubine did.
Like the raven-haired concubine, Clarice mother wore the black ‘uniform’ of a concubine reserved for the Master, indicating what Clarice had already known.
The question unnecessary and inappropriate to ask, that her mother though no longer ‘pure’ yet, having lost her virginity within the confines of marriage.
Clarice almost didn’t recognize her mother when she first appeared. She looked much younger, like the mere act of dying had restored her youthful beauty, this probably a product of no longer requiring the sleep that was constantly robbed from her in the later days of her life.
What was surprising and alarming to the young girl was that this meant what she had feared, that her mother was in fact dead. The fact she could materialize was evidence enough, but the fact she wore the ‘uniform’ of a concubine was further evidence of the fact.
Her mother came just as the rosy glow of the rising sun started to tint the eastern sky outside of Clarice window. The others had been in her room assailing her with their diatribe and their chanting for hours already. As her mother appeared the others were starting to make their departure.
Clarice started to exclaim joyously that her mother had returned, but several factors held her silent. First she seemed to have joined the ranks of those who tormented her almost nightly now, and second, she feared expressing emotion in the midst of the other entities present in the room might represent a vulnerability to them, or lastly, it might put her mother in an awkward position, so Clarice remained stoic and silent for the moment.
The common concubines had already started to dematerialize and the raven-haired lady cast a furtive, wary glance toward the window and the growing presence of the rising sun. She then started to move toward the foot of the bed where Clarice mother stood.
Reaching the side of the woman, she embraced her, kissing he full on the lips as a man would kiss a woman, not as two women usually kiss. When she broke the embrace, she winked at Clarice giving her a knowing smile, or that she had a secret that was about to be revealed to Clarice, then poof she was gone. Now only Clarice and her mother remained in the room.
Moving quickly to her daughter’s side she took her hand and stroked it lovingly as she had done in the kitchen just days earlier, Clarice tried to hug the woman, but only had a vapor to embrace and with a wistful tear asked,
“Are you dead mother?”
“Yes, my baby, I am dead. I brought this on myself though.” Chirsty seemed to be defending the other spirits as she uttered these words. Clarice broke into hysterical crying, the long night without sleep and now the confirmation of the fears her mother was dead.
Looking toward the east-facing window, Chirsty had a worried look on her face and continued.
“I need for you to calm yourself and listen carefully to me, I don’t have much time.”
Chirsty Johansson stroked her daughter’s hair lovingly and gave the girl a moment to recompose herself and smiled at her before beginning to speak, again.
“If you remember I told you the only way the Master could have you is if you gave yourself to him, but I stopped short of telling you it could also be accomplished if I gave you to him. I told you when you asked not to worry because that wasn’t going to happen.”
“Yes mother, I remember, and those same conditions were stated the night I was taken prisoner to the chamber.” Clarice voiced her understanding.
“The Master started putting pressure on me to make you a gift as a token of my loyalty to him. I couldn’t do that to you and I couldn’t unleash the potential that presented on the world, so I threw myself in the well out back. I know you have been worried and I know I abandoned you in your darkest hour, but I knew I had failed in the temptations of the Master once and though I never even once conceived of ever giving you over to him, I was truly afraid I would fail to resist the temptations again."
"I knew If I was dead my powers would be no greater than that of the others that come here, and I have grown so proud watching you fend off their advances, so I felt certain you could fend off mine if I were put in a position where I would be asked to try to lure you to his service. Besides I was concerned I might become pregnant and deliver another hideous minion into the world. Since the Master can only procreate with a living being, I thought it wiser I sacrifice myself and die.”
Clarice was quick to realize her mother’s sacrifice, but that didn’t lessen the impact of her loss.
Chirsty glanced toward the window at the approaching sunrise and continued her discourse.
“I waited until I could put together a plan to talk with you as I am now. When they wanted me to start joining in the coercion they are putting you up against, I was afraid I would be too much and you might give in if I was one of the ones trying to convince you to do so. So I proposed coming at dawn and talking to you after they had worn you down all night."
"I convinced them this is when you would be the most vulnerable, and that I needed to be alone to talk to you as only a mother and daughter talk. So the Master agreed. They actually thought me brave to expose myself to the potential of the sun, but that is part of my plan. I will not try to get you to join the Master. I love you too much and the rest of the world to ask you to do that even if it meant you could somehow save me, and it doesn’t mean that.”