Possession is Nine-tenths

April 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Youthful determination and a few night school courses at the local community college had found me moonlighting as an on-call exorcist in the bewitched town of Debinshire. Recently, there had been a noticeable up-tick in the number of spooks taking control of local residents and as a result, I had begun to offer my skills pro-bono as a service to the community. It was around midnight on a Sunday when I was called in response to a case involving the possession of an older woman. She had been accused of eating the neighborhood cats to satisfy her ungodly cravings. I rushed to the scene and found several locals standing around the old woman’s home. They demanded an exorcism to rid their town of the fiend inside their neighbor. They also demanded new cats but I explained that I only deal with the demons, and that personal property losses would need to be addressed with a local insurance agent. I continued into the home and locked the front door behind me, preventing escape for both myself and the spirit I’d come to evict.

I search around the bottom floor but no trace of an old woman nor dead cat is anywhere to be found. Moving up the stairs, I hear faint cries for help emanating from a bedroom in the back of the home. I quickly make my way down the hall and rush through the door. Inside I am startled to find what appears to be a regular old woman sitting in a rocking chair. She motions me towards her with a shaky hand and requests my assistance in protecting her from the angry mob outside. I explain that she has been accused of demonic possession after eating several of the neighborhood cats and that I was here to cleanse her soul, free of charge. She refutes the claims and points to a rustling mound of fur and indifference writhing in the corner. She says that the cats had come to her of their own free will, and that she’s been feeding them cream and bits of fish until a solution could be determined. I step back and survey the scene for a moment, not sure what to make of the situation.

The woman assures me that the cats would likely follow her out of the residence, If I could just aid her in walking outside to meet the neighbors. Sensing no real danger, I oblige and take her hand, slowly guiding her back through the hallway and down the steps. The writhing mass of fur slowly follows, leaving a trail of half-eaten fish bits behind us. I unlock the door and approach the angry citizens outside. I raise my hands in an attempt to quell their outcries and describe the situation as I had discovered inside. I point out that the cats are alive and possibly even well fed before motioning them to return to their masters. The large furry mass immediately dissipates into dozens of smaller pieces that scurry across the yard and through the broken sections of the old woman’s fence. I clap in appreciation of myself, having saved the cats and an innocent old woman, before I am interrupted by the bloody screams of several people.

It seems that the rustling mass of fur was not in fact a pile of cats, but rather a pile of over-sized rats who had been feeding off the remains of a missing dock worker for several days. The rats are now swarming the residents that once stood in protest outside, devouring their faces, their feet, and in certain instances their souls. The old woman laughs maniacally, raising her arms and floating into the air above the yard. She shouts several phrases which I can not understand as she disintegrates into a cloud of flies that buzzes into the sky above. I scratch my head as I watch the rats proliferate throughout the surrounding blocks, the people nearby now sitting as barren corpses amid a backdrop of echoing screams that grow more distant as time rolls on.

Sensing there is little else for me to do, I begin the long and silent walk back to my downtown apartment.

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