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“You can catch the Devil but you can’t hold him long…”
'This New Title Is Appearing Exclusively on The Bookmarketing Network!'
It's just one of the new dynamic short-stories that will be appearing in the new and upcoming book and sequel to HALLOW!,
HALLOW II!...An Portentous Epoch of Sagacious Redolence and Epiphany!
“Howl Of An angel”
Gregory V. Boulware
Just the other day, I was watching the political pundits throw rocks, bottles, and stones at one another. The silliness of their madness caused me to ponder over the dogma of the “he said – she said” rhetoric. I wondered why someone…anyone would back a candidate who blatantly tells you that he or she is going to take away your lifelong financial lifeline – namely, Social Security. Many working class people look forward to that safety net to help balance and/or alleviate the financial burdens of growing older (55 yrs. or more).
Watching, listening, and remembering all of the things that actually matter in this aging process. One would have you believe that aging is an honor, while on the other hand, a burden on society - the burden being money. How are we going to feed and care for the elderly? Do we do a bamboozling act on them by implementing the “Logan’s Run” theory? It might be easier on society’s coffers to eliminate the aging person by zapping them into oblivion at age 30 and convincing them to believe they are actually going receive a rejuvenation of life. The process would practically eradicate government money dilemmas.
Never mind the money collected from so-called ordinary working people – it is not (the governments of the politicians) theirs in the first place – it belongs to the working citizen who made the mandatory donation! So why is it that the average person is burdened with the responsibility to prove when, why, and for what reason they need to access that money – which belongs to them in the first place? Why does the politicians and government have the final say over which American Worker deserves access to the benefit? Is it ok for the government and politicians to gamble with and/or invest your money whenever or wherever they wish – whether you approve or not? When have they asked for our opinion or permission?
Who is it that actually runs this initially intended Anglo-Protestant-Hippocratic-Puritan society of government (i.e., “We The People,” which people?) working’s that’s riddled with corruption, racism, envy, hatred, oppression and suppression? Are they truly manipulated puppets of evil intent? How many of us remember that Satan was despised and cast out from heaven? Do you remember what he supposedly said and vowed to do? You may recall the infamous line – “It is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven?” He made no bones about his hatred for mankind. He vowed to kill or destroy every man, woman, and child of humanity – “all of them by any means necessary!”
While he usually or never has a direct physical contact with the masses, others are at the behest of his directives and desire.
Rod Serling’s ‘Twilight Zone’ depicted one such possibility back in the late fifties into the early sixties… ‘The Howling Man.’ “One of the easiest things to do is to convince mankind the Devil is non-existent…to make them believe it is they who are in control of the universe.”
…The weary rain soaked man stumbled upon the pathway to the door of the keep. He pounded upon the over-sized oaken doors with a weak and fumbled attempt. It was cold and dark. The heavy icy rain pounded down on the weary traveler to no end. He was sick. He needed shelter and warmth…now!
With all his might, he pounded again. This latest attempt proved more than the previous. A beard faced man with thick shoulder length hair appeared through the square door-peep-slot. The slot was high as nearly six feet. At eye level, he spoke in a strong yet stern voice. The eyes of the peeper were of a tired grayish blue. They were the eyes of what appeared to be an old hermit. He had with him a walking staff that bore a large hooked-shape top ending. It was like that of a sheep-herder…like the image of Moses in the movie, ‘The Ten Commandments.’
“What is it that you want of this keep at this un-Godly hour?”
The question was ominous and aglow with dread – a mystical warning to keep away from this place…
“My name is ‘Eduardo Tirilius Williams Hushmanzata.’ Someone must have been amused to name me as such. The year is 2012, August 26th. I do not remember too much about my parents while growing. I’ve been told they suddenly and mysteriously vanished…just simply vanished from the face of the Earth.
My professional research as a Historian has brought me to this region in search of artifacts and answers. My current project has placed me on the trail of the infamous ‘Lord Othello’:
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his new wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal.
The writing project, for an upcoming book, chronicles the adventures, trials, and tribulations of Shakespeare’s Black Conquering Usurper residing in the land of the whites. My journey brought me from the colleges and universities of the Philadelphia area of America to the wondrous and mystical land of Morocco and European Civilization. We, my beautiful assistant, ‘Isabelle’ and I; where swept away on a bus tour. The moors and hillsides of Ireland were beautifully green, brilliant, and vast. For this plot of earth called an island by men, would leave me to believe otherwise. We simply fell in love with this place. The rickety double-decker bus, upon which the tour proceeded, traveled over hill and dale to mystical ruins and places of dreamlike genres and imagination. Tales of the Arabian Knights, King Arturius/Arthur, and the likes of Lord William Wallace vividly came to mind. Visitors couldn’t help revisiting the old books of fame and childhood bedtime stories.
The castle, converted to a religious sanctuary or ‘Keep,’ if you will, sat ominously upon the spookiest hill in the area. It sat there looking at us, daring us to leave the sanctuary of the rattling, creaking, and cantankerous old bus. It beckoned as much as it warned to stay away from here. My curiosity would not leave me be. It kicked me, pulled at me, and slapped me. The site of this keep will never let me rest; it will never let me go. I needed to see inside. I needed to speak with its occupants.
I rang the bell for the driver to stop so that we could get a better, a closer look. It was just my excuse at attempting access to one of the excursion sites not listed on the tour itinerary. In fact it wasn’t on any of the local maps or international ones either. It was as if the mysteriously opulent and black castle never existed.
The villagers, upon our return, couldn’t provide us with any factual answers. They pretended, as did our tour docent, the keep was not there. Have you ever seen any of the old Dracula movies, Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing versions? Remember how the townsfolk behaved when Jonathan Harker inquired about the castle and the ‘Burgo Pass, in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania?’ They all cringed and cowered among the garlic cloves and crucifixes. Well, these folk behaved exactly the same…
Isabelle Christina Rialtodini carried several different types of cameras. One was digital while another was equipped with a long-rang telephoto lenses, and some other type of equipment. I can’t really describe the stuff as I am unfamiliar. She snapped and shot everything standing, moving, not moving, organic, non-organic, the living, the dead, anything, and everything was captured and retained within that bag of lenses and photo equipment. Although she was nervous, hesitant, and highly apprehensive, the undiscovered held a gripping fascination in her world. She wondered and marveled at the photographic possibilities, the probability of being recognized as a Pulitzer candidate or something. Isabelle was willing to go along with her intrepid co-conspirator.
The unwary duo sat and referenced their notes and mental recollections in mapping out the location of the village’s Tabooed Keep. They were successful in their global positioning of the black castle. With the completed information in hand, they were able to determine, along with the aid and review of her digital photos and hand written diagrams, its exact location. They had to be certain because they would more than likely have to deal with the possibility of a nighttime sky. With the completed route in hand, they were ready to go back to that place of hidden mystery and secrecy…the ‘Castle Wulfrum.’ The village below the Keep was a sleepy little whispering hallow. The citizenry were all God-fearing, honest, and peaceful folk. “It’s been that way since the before and after the First World War.” Said one of the patrons of the local pub; one that would talk to them. He excitedly warned them throughout the time they spent talking. The man explained some of the history and habits of the locals. The years after the war were the best of times for the folks in the village up until August of 1960. He also told them of the man who happened along almost as they had done. The difference was that he, unlike them, was on a walking trip. “An unwary traveler fell upon the old castle of Baron Wulfrum so many years ago…”
According to the tale, the man’s name was ‘David Ellington.’ He was on a walking trip when he became lost in the moonless black of a sky heavily laden with wind and rain. His long-time exposure to the harshly cold and blistering elements brought fever to Mr. Ellington. He could see no hope of escaping the blight-filled inclemency. Suddenly, visible on the not too distant hillside horizon, a light appeared. It was faint but grew brighter upon approach. It seemed like hours and felt like miles, but he finally arrived at the front door of the gloomy foreboding abode of ‘The Brotherhood.’
‘Ellington, in 1960, was initially turned away from the hermitage. The Brothers inside stated that they could not provide him food, shelter, of asylum within. When he turned to leave after a torrent of pleading, the water-soaked weary, ill, and exhausted traveler collapsed. From the cold callous and wet gateway stones, they carried him inside.
Several days passed with Ellington’s healing from fever and exhaustion. The Brothers provided nourishment and healing aids, nursing him back to a state healthy enough for his departure. The Brotherhood anticipated his leaving and wished he’d do it in great haste. They knew of the possible if not probable danger attached to this unwanted visitor.
Mr. Ellington was given an audience with Brother Jerome after his illness. He asked Brother Lucius, his caretaker, about a noise that seemed to repeat itself over and over again. The noise, at first, seemed like a dream. It was mystically beautiful while at the same time, horrifyingly dreadful.
“What’s that noise Brother Lucius?”
“What noise?” He replied.
The howl traversed the hall once again. The ominous and continuously sweet soothing and horrendously frightening bone-chilling cry of someone drowning in agony, floated through the air with the stabbing force of a poison dipped dagger through the brain. Like the howl of a blood thirsty wolf.
“That noise, Brother Lucius!” Ellington sternly insisted.
Brother Lucius stood in silence for a moment. With a sharp buzzard beaked swift reply, he turned with daggered eyes, peering into David’s, and scowled, “It’s the wind!”
Entering the chamber of Brother Jerome, Ellington was met with a graceful and authoritative, but amiable reception.
“Ah, Mr. Ellington, you’re feeling much better?
“Yes, Brother Jerome, much better, but not one hundred percent.” He replied with a disdainfully sarcastic laden tone of voice. David Ellington was very much annoyed with this hidden cult and its’ dark isolated separation from society, save the village below and the borough some thirty miles to the south. The prying snooping visitor stole an opportunity to speak with the imprisoned howling individual. Something pulled at him. He didn’t know what it was. It just compelled him to seek out the noise of the castle…he could not help himself. He wasn’t usually disrespectful, but he had to violate their way here…to insult the Brotherhood who had helped him, repaying them with spying and snooping around the sanctuary.
“I’ve spoken with the man who creates that God-awful noise.”
Brother Jerome’s amicable demeanor abruptly morphed into that of a mad soothsayer. His eyes flashed with fear. His voice heaved and cracked with thunder when he responded to the self-appointed inquisitor.
“What man? There is no man other than you and the Brotherhood among us here behind the walls of this Keep!”
“I’m sorry Brother, but there is a man here…why do you lie?”
Ellington’s words were sharp and crisp. The cult leader was visibly angered. He was also guilty and quite shaken at Ellington’s accusation because there was a ring of truth within it.
“Yes Brother, there is a man, I’ve spoken with him. Now will you tell me why he is locked up in a cell in the dungeon of this castle?” David was intensely insistent on an explanation.
“A man…here? I spoke of no man! There is no man imprisoned within this Holy Place!” Jerome shouted back with contemption.
Ellington stood his ground. He swayed and wobbled a bit. A wave of dizziness overcame him as he steadied himself between a table and chair.
“I’m going to the authorities to report this imprisonment…you have no right to keep anyone imprisoned here…you are not the law! The law enforcement people will most certainly be informed of this tragic crime.”
David Ellington was shaken and unsteady in his ability to control his lacking ability to focus correctly.
“So you think the police will help you Mr. Ellington? You are not a native of this land…going to the police will not help this situation; it will only hamper what we do here…. They will not help you, sir; it is you that they will investigate.”
“Sit down Mr. Ellington. I see that we will not be able to satisfy you with denials when I say, there is no man imprisoned within these walls!”
Brother Jerome attempted to calm himself. Regaining his composure, the Brother poised to explain the circumstances surrounding the doubt and suspicions of this most unwelcomed visitor.
Moving to place himself in the chair, David Ellington found himself in a staunched position to disbelieve anything the cult leader would have to say. Not really listening to Jerome, he thought back to the cell door beneath. He listened intently as the imprisoned man told him of how he came to be kept within the Keep.
Recalling how he had stolen away in the night seeking the howling man. He crept throughout the corridors and stairwells of the dark dingy and gloomy place while the Brotherhood slept. Finding the source of the continuing cry in the basement storage room, three levels below the main floor of the castle, the two finally came to an acquaintance. Ellington could not understand why his dizziness had increased while in the presence of this man. He felt uncontrollably weak as well.
“I am here my friend, why do you cry so? How did you come to be found in such a state as this?”
The howling man smiled his brightest soul consuming woeful and sorrow-filled soul-wrenching smile. David Ellington was faithfully beguiled. He truly believed that he was going to help this victim, this prisoner, this howling man. He truly believed he was going to help him by securing his freedom from this horrible and cruel medieval prison; to free him from this deep, and dark dwelling of the ‘Dark Ages’ with its high ceilings and putrid stained walls; the massive arched windows with bales of stone and war endowed shutters of holed wood. The slats were readily available to ward off assaults from any given enemy.
“Oh thank you, thank you my friend. Please do help me from this dungeon of horrors! They keep me here with no food and minimal water…I am cold, hungry, and afraid. They wish to commit murder upon me, they wish to kill me!”
Ellington was moved beyond measure with this young man’s plight.
“Rest assured my friend, this will not happen…I am leaving here and will go directly to the authorities of law. They will arrest these vile and brash villains and set you free.”
The distraught prisoner pleaded with his savior to not do that. He pressed David to do the deed himself.
Wallowing in self-pity, the prisoner continued to plead with the uninvited meddler.
“If you do that, I will surely die!”
The meddler pitied the prisoner and began to believe him more than before as his story further unfolded.
“I was walking down the street with my woman when we stopped off in the nearby woods to have a sit. We started to kiss. Our kissing progressed into love-play. We then embraced on an opportunity for some harmless love-making. Tucked away, behind a large tree, we engaged in the act. I kissed my woman in the woods. Is it a crime?” The prisoner continued on with his sad and pitiful story of love-making in the woods.
“We weren’t bothering anyone. No one was around. We were out of view, out of plain sight when one of the evil Brothers appeared. Did they tell you I was evil and wicked in my behavior? There men of the brotherhood are madmen who believe in their dogma of lies. The leader, Brother Jerome, wanted my woman. She refused him and he became furious. He ordered my arrest. The police took me away and brought me here. They took away my woman and murdered her…what was I supposed to do? They beat me and starved me into submission. They were quite forceful and strong as you, no doubt have discovered when they carried your prostrate unconscious body into this God forsaken place.”
The pleading prisoner had won over David Ellington. He believed his story and vowed to help him. He pondered over which authorities to contact about this criminalistic enterprise. He looked sorrowfully upon the pitied individual and started to speak when he felt a strong and forceful hand upon his shoulder.
It was the powerful hand of one of the Brotherhood. Brother Kristophus turned him around. His menacing piercing eyes chilled the blood running through the veins of the well-meaning savior.
“Mr. Ellington, have you lost your way?”
The beautiful and mildly masculine but undernourished prisoner began to weep as his new found friend was turned to walk ahead of the angered Brother. The beguiling prisoner continued his constant ominous shrilling howl.
David Ellington took a seat and prepared himself for Brother Jerome’s explanation. Brother Jerome began to speak. Ellington’s mental vision focused on Jerome’s appearance and compared it to the prisoner’s horrid coverings. Somehow, the prisoner was easy to look upon, pleasing to the eye except for his ragged and haggard apparel. His skin and face was soiled beyond the saintly looking exterior. The room had begun to spin when David sat to listen. His mental eye recalled, once again, the prisoner’s beautiful possibilities…his hair of brilliant yellow, eyes tender and Saintly blue (as Michelangelo or Da Vinci would have depicted), The traveler blinked, the hair and eyes of the envisioned figure changed from Raven’s Black and Chocolate Brown to a Sparkling and Brilliant Red and Vivid Green, blended Brown – Red-Yellow, and Speckled Iridescent Hazel and then a Bushy-Curly, Full and Thin, and a Pleasing Soft to Coarse Texture. An awe-struck mystifyingly blend of humanistic colors unfolded. An all-powerful tool utilized to please the eye of the beholder. A wondrous yet marvelous sight to behold indeed…
“I can see Mr. Ellington, you think me a fool. Once again I say to you, my son, abandon your well intent… The being you spoke with is no man!”
“I am not your son, Brother Jerome. It is you who must take me for a complete fool or an idiot. Just who is it that you think I was speaking to in the cell at the bottom of this castle?” Ellington said, with a wry and daring smirk on his face.
“Mr. Ellington.” The head hermit paused and looked down at the man in the chair. “Why have you come here? What is it you want from us?”
Ellington stuck to his guns and demanded to know by what right these men were able to keep and imprison this helpless innocent man in bondage.
The Brother slammed his fist down hard upon the table as he attempted to drive home the facts of his unforgiving, unrelenting message. “I tell you, there is no man kept prisoner here!” The Abrupt pounding noise more than gained his attention, it made him jump.
“Then for God’s sake man, tell me what you think I saw since you’re blind to the fact that a man is being held beneath these floors! Speak man, for honest men make unconvincing liars!” Ellington was jolted once again. This time it was the unsuspected and sudden direct cold stare that was received from Jerome. Just as suddenly as the first system jolting surprise, there came another. A blood-curdling screech and howl penetrated the ancient rain-soaked walls of the Keep. The un-Godly sound was like that of a poor retched soul slowly being torn to shreds, limb by limb, piece by piece. Re-gathering himself, David awaited Jerome’s reply.
“Please Mr. Ellington, I implore thee, I beseech thee… You spoke with no man. You spoke with the Devil himself!” Along with Brother Jerome’s statement, a bolt of lightning brilliantly flashed across the black and cold rainy sky. It never seemed to not rain over the Keep while the prisoner was kept inside. A violently loud booming and ground-shaking rumble of thunder accompanied the flare and flash in the nighttime sky. Both men and every soul under that sky reached for something resembling safety and security all due to the unexpected arousal. “You must believe me…you must believe!”
Ellington was tempted to accept the Brother’s word as gospel. But the sight beheld in the dungeon was all powerful and terribly convincing.
“Now I know you heard that one Brother Jerome. There is no way in hell you could not…” Jerome cut him off with the wave and clasping of his hands alongside his head, covering his ears.
David once again felt himself to be in a controlling position.
“Yes my son, I said the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Osmodeus, Esperion, Mephistopheles, Satanus Rex, Diablo, and many other names throughout the world!” Brother Jerome had Ellington’s complete and undivided attention.
“Yes my son, wherever there is disaster, pestilence, strife, mass death and destruction, Satan was there. One can surely count on and believe that. Whenever and wherever wars and killings have occurred, he was there! He may have just been an innocent looking bystander, a simple witness standing there amongst the crowd. He could have very well been standing next to you at the grocery store or sitting next to you on the bus or train…you’d never know it. And even if you were paying attention and noticed him, it wouldn’t do you any good. He’d simply laugh in your face while watching your demise. And even then, you might not see him. But alas, he was there! Wherever corruption and evil deeds appear and persist in the suffrage or mankind, the Devil is there – gloating, laughing, and reveling in man’s despair and destruction!”
Jerome excitingly conveyed the information to David as he listened closely to what the hermit was espousing.
“Oh yes, if you think me a mad-man, think again my son. I’ve spent many years, more than forty, living in your world. I’ve studied in society’s colleges and universities earning degrees in philosophy and religion. I’ve lived under the ceilings of several seminaries as well. Believe me, I am no fool. Just because you see this long white hair and beard, this garment representing the simple means of a destitute old holy man, who happens to follow the way of the Lord…I am no fool, young man. Do not judge me foolish because I’ve chosen this world over your so-called civilization – your outside world for want of this hermitage, this Holy Keep. It was the Devil who made me do it.” Brother Jerome continued speaking… ”Just like you, Mr. Ellington, I too have stumbled upon this Keep and was beguiled by Him. I believed what he said too. I trusted his words and set him free upon this Earth…to my unyielding regret and sorrow.”
Another howl creased the air and Brother Jerome clutched his ears between the palms of his hands in agony.
“So…you do hear the howling after all, don’t you – all of you?” Ellington excitedly asked.
“Yes young man…for five, no six long years I’ve been forced to listen to that un-Holy sound. I’ve endured and hardened myself to that agonizing howl to no avail.”
Ellington squirmed in his chair as he listened to Brother Jerome’s tale of woe and dread.
“Yes Mr. Ellington, wherever there is hardship and calamity, he is sure to be there. He fooled me into releasing him when I was convinced enough to not listen or heed the wisdom and warnings of the Holy Brotherhood. I’ve chased him for many a year, to the ends of the Earth…when I caught him, I kept him locked up behind the walls of this solitary Holy Keep.” The look in Jerome’s eyes indicated his mind was traveling through time as he spoke.
“What and where is this place?” Ellington asked.
“This place once was ‘the Castle of Baron Wulfrum, the first. He moved his family from the castle to civilization after the war. The world was at peace for many a year, especially here within this village of ‘Swarthmore,’ the distant town, and this entire valley. And then, I came along, just like you; and released this terrible horror out into the world upon mankind – this place is the home of the ‘Brotherhood of Truth.’ This bombed out old castle was converted into the Holy Keep to preach the word of God and the Holy Truth to mankind as well as a place to isolate and quarantine evil. Yes, we’ve imprisoned the evil of the Devil here within the dungeons of these Holy Walls. It’s the only place on the planet that can contain Him.” Jerome’s eyes flashed with a contemptible anger when he saw that Ellington wasn’t buying his story.
“Yes Mr. Ellington, the world was at peace until I mistakenly released him. It was once again peaceful and safe upon his recapture five, no six years ago. And now you have arrived… I dare say, Mr. Ellington, that you must leave this place before it is too late…leave here while you are strong enough to travel, else you find yourself in dire straits. We have successfully kept him from the world and mankind by keeping him here within this Keep of Truth! You must believe this truth and not the words of Satan – now, do not think of as the ignorant fanatic, fool, or madman… Brother Kristophus will see you back to your room were you will pack for your departure.” The Brother and the visitor stood facing each other.
“You must believe me, my son, do not listen to Satan. Those who do not believe in the Devil provide a safe haven for him – disbelief is his ultimate weapon.” Brother Jerome gestured David toward the door and the waiting Brother Kristophus.
The two men walked through the halls without talking. The howling persisted…it grew louder and louder as the minutes ticked by. Kristophus made sure to lock every door behind them – with a separate key of each lock. Ellington asked Kristophus why the doors where being locked in such a fashion. He looked at David and sternly replied, “For your safety, sir!” Ellington raised an eyebrow and walked on.
That night, there was no clock to strike twelve within the Keep. With no way to tell time (which didn’t matter here anyway), the visitor could only assume that it was beyond the midnight hour. Stealthily, he came upon the sleeping gatekeeper. David snuck up on him and stole the keys. They were affixed to a ring of metal which in turn was fastened on a long rope tied and hanging about the neck of the key bearer.
The thief felt faint and dizzy as he made his way to the basement. The inmate was well aware of his anticipated presence. There were no howls resonating throughout the castle as the rescuer gained access to his false friend’s prison cell.
“Hurry, hurry my friend and release me from this prison before it is too late!” The inmate frantically urged Ellington on in a hasty rush as he extended his hand to unlatch the lock. He suddenly realized there was no lock attached to the door. “Hmm, that’s odd.” He thought to himself and then aloud. “Why is there no lock on the door of your cell? What’s keeping you from exiting and freeing yourself?”
Ellington could not for the life of him, determine why this man believed himself to be locked in. All he had to do was remove the wooden staff from across the door. The staff was four and one half to five and one half feet in length with a hooked shape at the top, as its head…much like that of a sheep-herder, the leader of the flock, like the staff of Moses. The staff sat across the door of the cell on two metal brackets drilled into the wooden frame of the door-jam. It was less than an elbow’s length away from the prisoner’s reach. He could very easily have removed it and walked away Scott free.
“Why haven’t you…why don’t you remove the staff and leave?”
David was stressfully confused…puzzled over why the man did not free himself.
“Hurry please…they’ll kill me…the Brothers have placed a spell on the stick. It burns upon touch, please; they’re coming…help me my friend, please?”
“NO…DO NOT REMOVE THE STAFF!” The shouting Brothers begged Ellington to stop.
“STOP MR. ELLINGTON, THE STAFF IS ALLTHAT KEEPS HIM IN! IT’S A HOLY TOOL – DO NOT TOUCH IT!”
The Brothers rushed the outer door to the prison chamber to no avail. The prisoner was successful in convincing Ellington of his truth – the staff was removed and out walked the Devil.
David Ellington did not see the evil smirk on the face of the freed inmate. His back was turned to him. With his left hand, Ellington handed Satan the coat off his back while he glared at the horrified, frightened, and fumbling trio of the Brotherhood. They weren’t able to gain access to the prisoner in time – before his fruitful plan played out – before he could gain his freedom…it was too late. He was free again!
The howling man held a devilish and princely grin on his face. To the chagrin of Ellington, he suddenly realized the error in his actions. His body contorted and twisted in painful agony. When he tried to remove himself from the floor, he found that he couldn’t. The only thing the Brothers could do from behind the outer door was to watch the Devil regain control of his power. To control and command the ill-shaped human body that was for the moment imitating a twisted pretzel down on the cold and damp basement floor; and then vanish in a puff of white-blue mystical smoke.
Ellington searched the globe for forty-plus years until he caught him for the third time. This time, he caught up with him in Istanbul. He was able to box him and ship him home to the United States. His home in Connecticut was a safe place to keep him (so he thought) – where he could be watched closely. Ellington lived alone save a housekeeper who tended household needs five days a week. She was given specific instructions to not open a particular door of one of the rooms upstairs. Ellington explained in great detail about why he had instructed her so. She listened intently but didn’t believe him. She was a good woman, a good housekeeper, one who could be trusted, a good God-Fearing Christian Woman. She thought him to be a nut – an eccentric old fool – a madman. She jumped nearly out of her skin when she heard the blood chilling howl.
“I have to go out for a few hours. Pay no attention to that howling… it’s a trick… I know! All you need to do is keep that door closed and locked at all times!”
“But Mr. Ellington, there’s no lock on the door, only this little hooked stick.” Her hand sub-consciously removed the staff as they were speaking. Before he could exit the doorway of the room, Satan was loose… The maid was a pile of greyish-brown and black ash on the newly cleaned tiled floor.
Their mapping itinerary worked out quite well… The rain was dropping like stones in the bucket, wet, hard, and loud. The rental car leaked through what seemed like every orifice and crack. The heater/defroster didn’t work all that great either. However, they made it to their destination in one piece. The weather, they thought, was odd. It rained hard all the way out there from town. But when they arrived at the Keep, it stopped and seemed a bit warm with a great deal of fog. The fog rolled in thickly. They couldn’t drive the car up the muddy hill and didn’t dare attempt at driving over the dark field area for fear of getting stuck in the bogging moor.
There came a loud banging knock upon the large oaken doors of the Keep. It was Isabelle Christine Rialtodini and her intrepid employer-lover, Eduardo Tirilius Williams Hushmanzata. His friends called him ‘Eddie’ or ‘Hush.’
“You can catch the Devil but you can’t hold him long…”
Til Next Time…
Inspired by Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, ‘The Howling Man,’ Charles Beaumont, cir.1960
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