Short Story
                       Devil By Possession
                                                   By Mark Slade

The Palace of Humbert was clean.  Joad turned to Father Goar and smiled.
“I'm done your Holiness.  May I eat now?”

Father Goar held out his hand and the boy kissed his ring. “As you pass by,
check in on her Ladyship.”

“As you wish Father,” Joad quipped and rose to his feet.

It was in the bottom floor of the Palace that they kept quarters.  Above them
were mostly servants taking care of the near empty castle.  After King Leon
died of the plague, it was decided upon by all concerned, his rooms left for
sometime so that the disease could leave on it's own accord.  Father Goar
was happy to stay at the bottom of the Palace for the Abbey and the Library
were next to each other, as well as a makeshift kitchen.

Father Goar turned to face his desk.  He picked up the letter from the
Cardinal.  It read that he was sending Father Syl to take over his post and he
was to relocate to Quam.  Father Goar was not happy about that.  He had
kept this post at the Palace for five years.  He's been instrumental in keeping
King Leon's death a secret.  He felt the church owed him something and
sending him to a plague-stricken  village was not what he counted as gold in
his purse.  

Joad passed by Lady Seriphine's  bedroom door.  Her Ladyship had not
been feeling well for the past four months ever since she joined Father Goar
and Joad in the Palace.  Joad  hadn't understood anything that was going on
since her arrival.  Why was she not with Lord Florentine?  Where was he?  
The civil war between the land has been over for a year.  Barely any mention
of Lord Florentine or his troops.

Joad stopped at her door.  “Lady Seriphine?” he whispered.  He heard
rustling.  “Lady Seriphine?”  Still no answer.  But there was heavy panting
and a  muffled  cry.  Joad touched the door knob, it was ice cold.  He
withdrew his hand quickly.  Joad took a few steps back.  He turned to leave,
thought better.

Joad flew open the heavy wood door.  Lady Seriphine lay on her canopy bed,
writhing about, her back arched up, her skirts around her waist.  She was
thrusting back and forth.  Joad was no fool.  He was seventeen and had one
sexual encounter with an older servant woman and he knew the position.

Lady Seriphine was in the middle of  lovemaking, but had no  lover upon her.

Joad backed away from the door, watched a moment more, then ran down
the hallway calling for Father Goar.

The Royal surgeon was called in by Father Goar to have a look at her Lady
Seriphine.  At the moment, her Ladyship was resting, and Father Goar was
not allowed to question her.

“It is apparent that I speak with her soon, Doctor Hera.” Father Goar placed a
hand on Hera's  shoulder.  The small thin man pulled away gingerly, half-

“I'm afraid something terrible is happening to Lady Seriphine, Father.  It's not
spiritual I assure you.”  Hera walked along the long corridor, Father Goar

Father Goar looked confused.  “But, Doctor, my assistant saw her in a state
of repose...”

Hera clucked his tongue and wagged his finger. “A boy's  eyes in such a
lonely, dark place as such.  Often one can see things that aren't real.”

“You are not a believer, are you, Doctor?”

“Yes... I believe enough.”

“Enough as your soul will not be eternally damned. I see.”

“Let's move on to our Ladyship, eh?  She has scratches and bite marks.  I
can see she has been with a man.....she also has been beaten.....rather
savagely.”  Hera stopped to ponder this. “Well, I'm not altogether sure she
did not enjoy her...time of this event.  However, she is very much distraught.  
She does not seem to respond well to conversing with others.  Anyone
comes near, she flinches.  What is troubling, is she has more than likely
experienced this more than once.”

“It is the first I have heard of this.  I only spoke with her that morning.  All was
well....though....she longed for Lord  Florentine.” Father Goar stopped Hera,
showed him his room.

“ one has heard from him...another strange event.” Hera opened
the door.  The musty air of the room tickled his nose.  He sneezed.  Father
Goar blessed him.

Lady Seriphine lay in her bed looking at her own reflection in the mirror
beside the dresser.  She was feeling slightly better than before.  She touched
her long flowing strawberry blonde hair and wished she could cut it all off.  
She touched her full lips and wished they were slack and droopy.  She
wished her green eyes were crossed and the her backbone uneven.  She
wished her supple breasts were small like a twelve year old boys.  She
wished she could join the Sisterhood with all the other unlucky women in

Lady Seriphine  closed her eyes.  She'd grown tired.  She hadn't even
dressed for bed, nor asked for a new pot.  She reopened her eyes for
moment.  There was movement in the mirror.  It was quick.  But there was
something scattering back and forth through the mirror.  She sat up.  She
looked behind her.  Nothing there.

Lady Seriphine sighed.  She felt a chill run through her body.  Her eyes
drifted back to the mirror.  Her gaze was transfixed.

She saw it.  It moved slower this time.  It's milky skin naked to the world.  A
scaly face with mismatched features.  It was staring at her with small red eyes
and sneering, showing all of its tiny sharpened teeth grinding together.

Lady Seriphine tried to rise from the bed, but something was weighing her
down.  She panicked.  A scream became a murmur in the back of her throat.  
There it was, the thing from the mirror, sitting on top of Lady Seriphine's
abdomen, swishing it's prickly tail back and forth.  A purr and a growl
intertwined in a  high pitch  voice.  It lowered it's arm and took hold of her by
her long swan neck, it's nails scraping at the clean white skin.

Hera had been passing by, he heard the rustling in Seriphine's room.  The
grunting, the panting...the growling.

The door to her room flew open.  Hera was shocked.  The creature had hold
of Seriphine, it's claws deep in her breasts.  It turned quickly and looked at
Hera.  It bounced off Seriphine and scurried inside the mirror.  Hera reached
down and picked up the brass piss pot.  In one sweeping motion, the brass
pot shattered the mirror, several pieces of shard filtered the air, littering the

Hera heard a scream.

He rushed out of Seriphine's room into the hallway to find Father Goar laying
in pieces, like broken glass.  Hera bent down, picked up a piece with Father
Goars mouth.  He felt the last of Father Goar's cold breath on his face.

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