December 2

The Manifestation (Part 1)


“Do they have to wear the robes?”

“We’re doing everything by the book.”

Literally. The title was branded into the cover in a language Watkins couldn’t translate. The book was leather‑bound, the color and texture of aged human skin. Stains in the crevices might have been dried blood.

He didn’t want to know.

They looked down as a robed man held the book before him like an offering.  The man walked to the circled edge of a diagram chalked into in the floor of the auditorium below, white candles burning at each of the five points. Two figures stepped to his side, grasped the hood of their leader’s robe and gently raised it to cover his mullet of flat, brown hair.

“Why didn’t we airlift Ozzy in here while we were at it?”

“Quiet, Hilliard.”

“Ah, they can’t hear us.”

True enough.  They sat in an observation room forty feet above an indoor gymnasium — formerly the play‑by‑play booth for school sporting events. The glass surrounding the front of the booth was soundproof. Hilliard, their technology expert, manned the control panel: the scoreboard switches and announcer microphones had been supplemented with modern radio transmitters and state‑of‑the‑art recording equipment. The thirteen hooded figures below wore wireless headsets, and Hilliard controlled what instructions they heard from the observation room.

In the booth, they were safely out of earshot.

And, Watkins hoped, far enough away from any trouble that might get summoned up.




[…continued in December 3 entry…]