Sorry to be so wordy with the first entry of my new serial, but I promise to keep them shorter going forward.
This entry is brought to you by How to Destroy Angels “The Loop Closes.”
The doorbell rang. Murphy heard it from his deck overlooking the lake. He was leaning on both forearms against the railing staring at all the boats anchored in the southern bay of the lake. The laughter of the boats occupants enjoying the warm late June night breeze livened his mood slightly, but he was sure whoever was at his door was going to kill that buzz pretty quickly. He took a pull from his Coors Light tall boy as he turned inside.
Murphy had an idea who it was before he even answered the door. The word had made its way to him. He opened the door to two men. One had to be in his late sixties with thinning charcoal hair. He was tall and lanky, almost gaunt. Murphy could tell right away he was European, most likely an Italian. The other man he already knew. He was forty years old with jet black hair tied back into a ponytail just below his collar.
“Well I thought you guys always traveled with a young priest and an old priest, not an old priest and an older priest.” Murphy said as he stepped aside and waved them in.
“Nice to see you again Murphy,” Father Patrick said. They didn’t exchange handshakes. The elder priest walked in with his head facing the floor as if he was inspecting the hardwood flooring in the entranceway. The air in the room changed with his entrance. “I’d like to introduce you to Father Theosius. He has come in from Italy to assist me with the recent news.” It was at this introduction that Father Theosius finally looked at Murphy, directly into his eyes. Murphy knew Italy meant Vatican City.
“It is hard to carry so much evil with you Father, is it not?” Murphy said as he glared into his jaundice eyes. He knew everything of this man already, and they both knew it. He led the two men into his dining room and offered them a seat at the table. Murphy walked past the table and closed the door to his den.
“I don’t know where he is Patrick. I haven’t spoken to him in almost five years. ” Murphy said unprovoked. He had no love or use for the church or their mythos.
“Have you heard any word from him at all, or do you know who he might be working with now?”
“No I do not, nor do I care. My question is why the church has brought in a Junior Chief Exorcist all the way from the Vatican. The Father must be on to something to garner this much attention.” There was a slight reaction from the older priest at this statement.
“You know of me. Then you know why I am here. I do not care about you or your business in this life. We need to locate the Father.” He said sternly as if lecturing a class full seminary students.
“You have not done well in voiding yourself of the evil you face Father Theosius. It resonates in your words.” Murphy said allowing the fact that he was so pissed off at this man’s presence to come through in his tone. Father Patrick interjected.
“Murphy, it is critical that we find him. There is talk that he has found the passage and the Church is extremely concerned over this.” It was then that Murphy noticed their attire. Neither one of them were wearing their clerical collars.
“Does your Bishop know you are here?” Murphy asked.
“Murphy, we need to find the Father. Did you hear me….”
“The passage doesn’t exist Zachary. It is gone. Society is too far gone.” Murphy said as he stood up and walked into his kitchen to grab another beer.
“Murphy. You have spent the past ten years of your life looking for this passage to help your brother and now you have no faith?” Father Patrick asked him quizzically. Murphy closed the refrigerator door and walked back into the dining room with a new tall boy.
“Father, please don’t speak of my brother, and you know I never had faith and that is your weakness and will be your ultimate downfall. I help individuals; not enable the further corruption of the Church. The passage was a delusional idea brought on by extreme guilt and pain. I think we are done here.” Both priests stood and headed to the door.
“Murphy, I’m sorry you’ve lost your way. I’ll pray for you.” Father Patrick said and walked out the door.
“Please don’t.” Murphy said. Father Theosius followed him but clasped Murphy’s right forearm on the way out.
“I keep the evil near me as a reminder and weapon of what we are up against. You should remind yourself of the war you inserted yourself into, or we may have to.” He said coldly and left.
Murphy closed the door and headed to his den shaking his right forearm, “Damn that old man was strong.” He opened the door and went to his desk. The room was covered floor to ceiling with maps of the Northeast with every location he has worked a case dating back to his time with the Father. There were bibles strewn across the room, along with several reference books to ghosts, spirits and evil. Multiple computers were trolling websites for hits. He had the International Association of Exorcists hierarchy on one wall, similar to how the FBI frames out a crime family. There were multiple whiteboards with notes and scribbles all around a central phrase. Everything in the room circled this phrase, “Find the Passage”.
The doorbell rang again. Murphy swore out loud assuming it was Father Patrick again. He swung open the front door without even checking to see who it was. In front of him stood a young priest, very young, and he was wearing his clerical collar. Murphy did not recognize him, but he looked like a deer stuck in headlights.
“Who are you?” He barked.
“The Father sent me to get you.” The meek priest chirped.