The Deal: Muirmill Asylum Part 7

Friday, 15 January 2016


Judging by the crude sketches I guessed there had been some poor woman used as part of the ritual. I felt certain the good doctors of the hospital where the main culprits behind the sinister offering.
   Tall burned candles stood on ornate holders nearby, which suggested the ritual was carried out late at night when most of the asylum’s occupants would either be sleeping or sedated enough not to be able to care.
   My disappointment was beginning to grow as I glanced around and found that there wasn’t much else to see in the loft area. That was until my gaze landed on a small hatch just under the last of the large arched windows.
   I could feel the palms of hand grow slick with sweat as the disappointment gave way to anticipation. Was it possible that the hidden room was actually just a small cupboard space, tucked out of the way that in a place no one would have been allowed to enter in the first place?
   I figured that after everything I had seen in the last few days since making my deal with Satan, that anything was now possible. But I still moved with caution as I reached out and opened the small doors.
   Inside the darkened space was thin paper binder like the kind used by doctors to keep their patients’ medical records in one place.
   The anticipation grew as I reached out and picked up the folder. In my mind and in my heart I just knew that what was inside would enlighten my world and the way I viewed my wife Lisa.
   With shaking hands I peeled the front cover back and was instantly greeted with a smiling, black and white mugshot, of Lisa. She couldn’t have been any older than sixteen when it was taken. As I studied the photograph I couldn’t help but notice that her smile looked forced. It wasn’t the one I had become accustomed to in our short time together. Her eyes too looked wide but there was no sparkle. No glint that suggested the best years of her life where upon her.
   Then again, I’m pretty sure she never thought she would end up marrying a hitman. I don’t pretend to understand much about women, but I felt certain that getting married to someone in my profession was the last thing they looked for in a happy life.
   The following pages of the dossier went into detail about her stay in the hospital. How they found it difficult to manage her with medication which was also listed for the benefit of any other doctor willing to treat her.
   The prognosis was apparently paranoid schizophrenia, but I just found that incredibly hard to believe. In the five years we spent together, Lisa had shown no signs of manic mood swings or anything else that suggested her brain wasn’t quite wired the right way.
   Another thought popped into my head at that moment. Lisa was a kindergarten teacher when she was committed to the asylum, as the legend goes anyway. Yet the photo they had of her was from her teenage years. How was that possible?
   How could they have a photograph of her much younger than she was when she was committed?
   The answer to that question lay in the last page of the folder. Lisa’s attending physician happened to be Mitchell Williams. It was the surname that finally gave it away. It was her father.
   I glanced from the dossier to the crimson ritual circle near the centre of the room. It took a few seconds before the thoughts finally connected with each other and I could feel my heart swell with sorrow once I realized that my beautiful wife had been damned the minute she was born into the world. And it was all thanks to her father.
   He was the ring leader of the small band of worshippers in the asylum. He was the one who decided to offer his own daughter to the dark lord, probably in return for some kind of mystical or supernatural power that Satan had no inclination to give him.
   I could imagine the smile the dark lord must have worn on his face as he was presented with the vibrant young girl, although at that first meeting I could believe she was probably terrified.
   He had taken her. The reasons for his doing so still remained unclear, although I as beginning to form a theory that it was because he needed her in some way.
   My mind flashed back to the image of the young boy. The seventh in a class of six. He was the odd one out and now as my mind lingered on his face, I could pick out the resemblance between him and his father.
   It was Satan’s son. The dots had connected. Satan needed Lisa to be a mother and nanny to his only heir. His son. She had been snatched away from me because he couldn’t be bothered to take the time to look after his own.
   The sorrow in my heart merged with the tears that pricked my eyes. I stood there, the patient dossier hanging limply in my hand, feeling like my world was slowly caving in on its self and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop it.
   I threw the paper folder back to the cupboard I had retrieved it from, its contents scattering over the floor and Lisa’s smiling face staring up at me accusingly.
   Why had I not seen all of this earlier?
   Was Gabriel right, was I the one destined to bring hell back into order?
   I sorrow and sadness was beginning to be tainted with anger. Not just a brief spark of anger but it was slowly bubbling within me, turning into rage that would soon need a vent. I had to keep my cool though. Killing the winged demon, as much fun as it would be, was still not a good option. Not until I decided what I was going to do next.
   ‘I’m sorry you had to find out this way, Samuel,’ said Pertilius.
   I didn’t even jump this time as the tall monk from hell appeared behind me. I was half expecting him to show up earlier and had been expecting him ever since.
   ‘Well, your friend Gabriel paid me a visit and shared his vision of the future,’ I said, turning to face the big monk and staring into the emptiness of his hood.
   ‘Ah, that angel is so excitable,’ he said, and I was sure there was a smile growing within the darkness of his hood.
   ‘Do you believe that I am the one who is destined to rule hell?’ I asked, secretly hoping he would say no.
   Pertilius shuffled a little, as if his feet where sore, despite the fact that I couldn’t see his feet thanks to the long black robe he wore. I admired the gold, ornate design around the hood and the cuffs, identical in most ways to the tattoos left on my body as reminders from the artefacts I had managed to collect.
   ‘I do believe that the throne is rightfully yours. Both I and my brothers have been waiting a long time for you to come back to us,’ he said.
   There was a note of tension in the monks’ voice. It was like he was chronically aware that his master could appear at any time and the whole fight to the death scenario could get started a whole lot sooner than was planned.
   ‘Is there a way I can get my wife out of hell before I make a move for the throne?’ I asked, feeling sure that there was still hope for her soul.
   There was a brief silence as Pertilius thought about my question. I was probably making him nervous but by that point I simply didn’t care who got hurt anymore, and that included myself.
   I wanted Satan to pay for what he had put my wife through and I was going to make sure that I got some sort of revenge before he took my soul.
   ‘Satan keeps all his deals in the great library. Your wife, under the duress of her father, signed a deal just like you. If you can get into the great library and destroy the scroll that contains her sworn oath to Satan, then her soul will be set free,’ he explained.
   ‘You say set free, but there is no mention of her going to heaven where she belongs.’
   ‘Well, that’s the thing Samuel. Because she has spent so long in Hell, her soul will not recognized in Heaven by the angels or god himself. She will have to wonder the plane between earth and hell for the rest of eternity,’ said Pertilius.
   I could feel my heart sink further into my stomach. It had not been the answer I was hoping to hear, even though a part of me already guessed that there wouldn’t be a clear cut solution.
   The monk must have sensed my sadness as he moved a little closer.
   ‘Samuel, there is one other thing,’ he said.
   ‘What’s that? What else do I need to know that isn’t going to go right for me?’ I complained, feeling sorry for myself more than anything.
   ‘Well, if you take the throne from Satan then you will have the power to put Lisa back on this plane, in her original body. Essentially you will be able to give her life back,’ he said.
   Suddenly hope sprang up like a fountain inside. In my head I had already figured that it wouldn’t take long for word to reach Satan that I had destroyed his deal with my wife, if I was able to get inside the great library.
   By that point it would be an outright fight between the two of us. A battle of the strongest in many respects, with me having the significant disadvantage of less power than him.
   But the simple truth was, we were on a collision course no matter what, and at some point the fight for the seat of hell was going to take place whether I wanted it to or not. The only question that remained was did I stand and wait for that day or did I grab the bull by the horns and go for it with everything I had.
   After a moment’s thought I decided on the latter.
   ‘I need you to do me a favour,’ I said to Pertilius, who, if he had a face that I could see, I imagined was looking down at me with sympathy.
   Sympathy on the face of a monk from hell, which would be a first for the history books.
   ‘I can only but try, Samuel. What is your request?’ He asked, sounding a little unsure of what I would want from him and how much shit it could possibly put him in.
   ‘I need you to take me to hell,’ I said, my determination rising with every second.
   ‘Are you sure?’ he asked.
   ‘Yes. It’s time to bring the fight to Satan. I’m done running from him,’ I said, and braced myself to be let down by the one person who had been by my side from day one.
   ‘Very well, I wish you the very best of luck and please don’t forget the brotherhood should you manage to regain your throne,’ said Pertilius as he stretched out his arms towards me.
   Thick tendrils of black smoke began to pour from the sleeves of his robe. I watched as they engulfed me and noticed that dust seemed to sparkle within it. I recognized this as the magic of the brotherhood Pertilius belonged to.
   As the smoke fully engulfed me and I could hear the roaring fires of hell grow louder and I braced myself for what I was going to do next.
   Once I had freed Lisa from her cage in purgatory it would be time to take on the Devil once and for all.


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