<<Previous  | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>

A Prophecy of Shadows


Chapter 13




Casey felt Daniel’s fingers intertwine with hers as they walked down the hallway, the warm caress causing her to smile.  "Why don’t we see if Sam wants to grab some lunch with us?" 

"Sounds good.  I think she’s spent most of the morning in her lab."  Popping in a few minutes later, that was exactly where they found their friend, intently staring at the screen of a laptop.  So much so she didn’t even realize she had company.  Only when Daniel waved his hand across her field of vision, saying "earth to Sam" did she jump slightly, startled by the intrusion. 

"Oh, hey Daniel, Case."  Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly. 

"You okay, Sam?" Casey asked, sensing an uneasiness in her friend. 

Sam shook her head, as if she was trying to rid herself of something.  "I’ve been going through Callie’s laptop," she said as she rubbed her hands over her face. 

"That bad, huh?" Daniel asked, glancing at the screen.

"Let’s just say it’s akin to dumpster diving."  Sam rolled her chair away from the table, as if to put some distance between herself and the offending machine.  "She created a page describing her ‘personal attributes’, apparently had it linked to a website for her turning tricks.  Listed all the things she’s willing to do, and posted a picture of herself that she thought was…sexy."  Sam looked like she had just swallowed back some bile. 

"It can’t be as bad as that crappy picture she stuck in Cam’s desk the day I broke her jaw," Casey replied as she came around to view the screen.  Sam took the mouse and with a few clicks had it displayed in all its glory.

"Geez Sam!  Warn a guy before you do that!" Daniel groused as he put his hand up to shield himself from the view.  He now understood why Sam had looked slightly ill. 

"She put that up as an advertisement?" Casey asked in astonishment, staring at Callie’s ass-to-the-camera glamour shot.  "Makes you wonder how many customers she drove away with a skanky-assed picture like that!" 

"Subtlety was not her middle name," Sam said wryly.  "I guess if you have a revolving door on your twat…sorry, Daniel…you’d think something like that was sexy." 

Daniel was trying very hard to wipe away the image that had seared his eyes by thinking of his Wife in that sexy lace teddy she had worn for him the night before…the way the candlelight had played across her soft skin, those luscious curves…okay, the stomach was settling, but now other things were starting to stir.  Heard Casey snicker slightly as she maneuvered herself discretely between her Husband and her friend, to save him from a bit of embarrassment.

"Did you find anything else?"  Casey couldn’t ignore the hairs that were beginning to stand up on the back of her neck—she knew there was something else.

"There were a few things, but I don’t know exactly what they mean."  Sam clicked out of the picture and double clicked on a folder, repeating the action on the next folder within.  "She had personal entries in this folder, kind of like a journal, I guess.  She talks about having a patron, and doing different rituals." 

"In relation to her work?" Daniel asked.

"Well, yes and no."  Sam cleared her throat, a little embarrassed by the turn the conversation was going to take.  "This ‘patron’, it’s not like a sugar daddy.  She talks about it in terms of worship, and uses it in rituals."

Casey rubbed her hand over the goose bumps on her arm.  "You keep saying ‘it’.  Does she identify it?" 

Sam bit her lip, nodding her head as she did so.  "Ares."

Casey paled noticeably.  "You’re kidding."

Shaking her head, Sam continued.  "She talks about a ritual that she does sometimes right before she turns a trick."  Sam scrolled through the paragraphs before she found the one she was looking for.  "Here it is.  She calls it ‘drawing down the sun’.  She talks about the gnarly sex she gets when she does it, and she "knows" it’s Ares possessing the trick, doing her as a thank you for all the stuff she’s done for him."

"Well, if there was any question as to whether or not she was certifiable before, I’d say that pretty much confirms it."  Daniel grabbed a chair and rolled it over to Casey when he saw her lean heavily on the desk.  "You okay, babe?"

Casey sat down in the chair, trying to keep the tremors at bay as she squeezed Daniel’s hand reassuringly.  "What else?" she asked softly. 

"Here, take a look at this."  A couple more clicks and she pulled up a picture of some guy.  "Apparently this is what she’s envisioning when she talks about Ares, but…"  Sam hesitated, not quite sure if what she was about to say was going to sound insane. 

"But, what?" Casey glanced at the picture. The man wasn’t bad looking, but he wasn’t what anyone would call ‘typically handsome’.

"Apparently Callie thinks this thing she’s worshiping is some hot stud.  But when I read this, all I can see is something that looks like a gargoyle, or….damn, what was the name of that thing…a horror movie…’terror’ something."  She sat lost in thought for a moment.  "Do you remember seeing a movie years ago called ‘Trilogy of Terror’?  The one where Karen Black had bought an African Zuni fetish doll, and it ended up possessing her?"

"The mouthful of jagged teeth!  Yes!  I had nightmares about that for weeks after I saw that movie."  Casey shuddered at the memory. 

Sam nodded, her blue eyes wide.  "That’s the impression I get from this…crap.  What guarantee is there that what she’s ‘drawn down’ is what she wanted to channel?  How many other things…" Sam considered her words for a second, before deciding to voice exactly what she had been thinking.  "How many other demons could have seen that channel open up and taken the opportunity to jump through that doorway?" 

Daniel massaged Casey’s shoulders with a firm, gentle touch.  The tenseness was radiating off her in waves, and he was trying his best to help her dispel it.  "Okay, let’s look at this objectively for a moment.  Ares is the embodiment of chaos—war, violence, hatred and slaughter.  If she truly is worshiping him, she’s channeling purely negative energy.  It certainly would explain why her life has been total crap—you attract what you pay homage to…you reap what you sow.  Only an idiot would worship something like that." 

"And since she’s been fixated on Cam, and trying to get Jessie out of the picture, we know where she’s been focusing that negative energy," Casey said softly.

Sam sighed.  "There’s more."  She closed the current file and clicked open another one.  "With her cutting the brake line on Jessie’s car, we knew she was trying to get rid of Jessie so she could make a move on Cam."  Seeing Daniel about to speak, she added, "I know, not a snowball’s chance in hell, but these are Callie’s delusions we’re talking about."  Turning back to the screen, she clicked through the pages until she found the one she was looking for.  "Personally, I don’t want Jessie or Cam to read this.  It’s just too…disturbing.  Callie was, well, ‘fantasizing’ about different ways Jessie would meet her demise.  She grabbed a hold of one idea and ran with it, writing out an extremely detailed account of this idea she had.  She has Jessie being kidnapped…tortured…brutally raped by someone, but the someone soon morphs into Ares.  The things she described," Sam shuddered at the recollection, "are unimaginable.  Once he’s finished with her, Callie has him calling in a legion to gang rape, beat, and finally dismember her."

"Jesus, Sam!"  Daniel exclaimed.

Sam shook her head.  "Look, I know Callie’s mental, but this," she said as she gestured to the screen, "this goes far beyond any mental disorder I’ve ever read about.  What she wrote was pure, unadulterated hatred.  And it wasn’t just a page; there were…chapters."

Casey felt Daniel’s firm grasp on her shoulder.  "Babe, I don’t want you reading that."  He looked at Sam.  "I agree; Jessie and Cam don’t need to know about that.  You might want to give Janet a head’s up about what she wrote—she might want to pass it on to the psychiatrist who’s overseeing Callie’s treatment."  Watched as Sam nodded in agreement.  "I think you need a break, too.  That’s enough dumpster diving for a day.  Let’s go get something to eat."

Sam was grateful for the excuse as she closed the folders and shut down the laptop.  After wading through the crap, she had an intense urge to scrub herself with a loofah sponge and bleach.  Making a mental note to forward the file to Janet when she got back, she followed her friends out of the lab.




After Jessie had dropped off the laptop for Sam to work on, she took the journals and the Book of Shadows home with her. While Casey had felt there was something important about Callie that they needed to know, it was Jessie’s own innate curiosity that drew her to the books. She was trying to decipher Callie…what would have led an apparently intelligent woman down the path she was on, a path littered with obsession, perversion and self-destruction. Her mind kept going back to that statue of Ares, the mythical representation of chaos, war and destruction. Jessie was used to dealing with concrete concepts, analyzing and deciphering situations based on facts, objects. This situation with Callie, along with her abstract hobbies, was something foreign to Jessie. Given her analytical nature, she wanted to make sense of the whole thing, understand the circumstances behind it. And the journals were the key to her doing just that.

She had read throughout the day, sifting through literally years of information. When Cam arrived that evening, he found her at the table, the books spread across the top, and Jessie going through the Book of Shadows. It didn’t take long for Cam to pick up on her subdued mood.

"Sam was able to go through the laptop. She found a journal Callie was keeping on it, as well as some other things. Said she was forwarding the stuff to Janet so she could let the psychiatrist take a look at it."

"Did she give any specifics about what she found?"

He shook his head. "Not really. She said Callie talked about turning tricks, and a little about the voodoo mumbo jumbo she was involved in." Looking at the books laid out in front of her, he asked, "Did you find anything in those?" Jessie didn’t say anything at first, and Cam soon noticed the unshed tears filling her eyes. Grasping her shoulders, he turned her gently until she faced him. "Jessie?"

She took a shaky breath, trying her best not to let the tears spill over. "The…the journals cover the last twenty years or so. She started writing them when she was eight years old." Jessie looked away, swallowing convulsively. "What Ginger said was true. Callie’s father began molesting her when she was ten years old." The tears began to roll down her cheeks. "Her…her mother, that bitch, she knew what was going on, yet allowed it to continue. They made her feel like it was her fault, that she had enticed her father to the point he couldn’t resist her." By this time Jessie had started sobbing, barely able to get the words out. Cam pulled her into his arms, cradling her against him as she cried. "She was TEN, for Christ’s sake!" She buried her face in the crook of his neck. Her words were muffled, but he could still understand them. "They called her a slut, a whore, said no other man would want her. The incest continued until she graduated from high school and left town. She fell in with the wrong crowd, got arrested for petty theft, DUI. Then she started popping pills, doing coke, LSD…turning tricks. One of the guys she ran across was a physiotherapist. He realized she was actually intelligent, and encouraged her to go back to school, get a degree, helped her along the way. She moved up to a higher class of tricks." Jessie swallowed against the nausea that was threatening to overwhelm her. "She would do things that got her a lot more money—multiple partners at once, women, sadomasochism. It was during that time she met the guy who got her the new identity, enabled her to get the military job." She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand. "Even with that, she continued to turn tricks on the side."

Cam shook his head. "No self-respect."

"And no self-esteem. Throughout the journals she tries to justify her lifestyle, her actions, by saying that everybody does it. She even tried to justify the incest in the same way."

"That’s because if she can justify it, if ‘everybody’ does it, then it makes it ‘not wrong’. It removes the stigma."

"It makes more sense now…the abuse she suffered, the insults and denigrating comments, it’s why she’s sought attention the way she has, using her body to garner the approval she needed. She’s proved her parents wrong by showing men do want her, find her desirable." Jessie grew quiet once again, and when she finally did speak, it was in a whisper. "I…I can’t imagine how hurt…how lost she must have felt. The two people who should have sheltered and protected her the most, one rapes her and the other tells her it’s her fault."

"Well, that explains why she’s so screwed up." Glancing at the table, he asked, "Was there anything in that Book of Shadows?"

Jessie shrugged. "Just weird stuff. It’s filled with handwritten spells, other things I’m not familiar with. I just get this sense of desperation, of trying to be in control, doing everything she possibly can to convince herself that she is."

<<Previous  | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>

SciFi Topsites