hen you deal with the occult, you open yourself up to dealing with every crackpot and crazy person out there. Whether they want to dabble to try and cast a spell over a recalcitrant lover or try and wheedle the winning lottery numbers out there or they want that does of “magical power” that can give them an edge. More money, more beauty, more wealth and fame. All of these things attract interest in the realm of the mysterious, the occult; magic itself. That had not been the draw for me. It was more the human element of wanting to find out why others craved power so much, and to see what they would or could do for it or with it that held the most fascination.
I was seated on the edge of the bed, the sheet wrapped around me, not for modesty sake, but to keep the chill off my skin. I looked up at Red.
“There has been another murder.” I said, ” It’s really fucked up but it looks definitely connected to the Pi murders. A girl was found dead in this hotel that does those medieval banquet things. They had one last night. She was one of the serving ‘wenches’. Of course she’s into this sort of thing more than most. Get this, ” I still could not believe what I had been told over the phone, ” she’s had plastic surgery on her ears to make them pointed like an elf or a Vulcan, whatever – and she’s got tattoos on her back like the runes from Tolkien, you know like the ones that I showed you. It looks like whoever did this laid her out like a sacrifice after the paying banquet guests had gone home, and the other staff had left. This girl, Raine Undine she called herself, was still cleaning when the last staff member left. They say she was alone. She must have let her killer or killers in and she must have been cooperative. There are no signs of a struggle, just the altar set up, magical equipment including a dagger with more elvish writing on it, and … her cooked and half-eaten heart left by her side.”
“Jesus.” Red murmured
“Oh yeah, and what is even more strange is that one of the suspects the police has in custody – he’s got a pi symbol tattooed on his bicep, just like that killer in Los Angeles.”
“A possible cultic connection?” Red asked pulling on a shirt.
“It would have to be, I can’t see how he could be the same guy,” I said, ” but we’ll have to do a trace on his movements.”
“Yeah. We’ll have to see if he could have flown to LA and back in time to do this killing, or if he’s got connections with anyone in LA, phone calls whatever.”
“I’ll shower and we’ll get down to the scene.” I said heading toward the bathroom.
As Red and I got to the scene, I felt the hair on the back of my neck standing up. Ever since Red King had given me insights into the whole Tolkien thing, pieces started falling into place that I never imagined would be. There was an air of familiarity about it that was all at once both exhilarating and also disconcerting. Chief Drucker and Detective Ringgold were already there. Forensics were also taking samples and pictures of the scene.
It was just as I had been told over the phone. The girl was laid out in a fashion that was consistent to the some of the darker sects of Paganism or even Satanism. Her face was frozen in an horrific stare that even made me wince. The air stung with the heavy metallic smell of blood. It was absolutely everywhere. I was just about to take a large step backward only to find myself nearly stepping on Red. Sensing my discomfort he lay a steady hand on my shoulder.
“She was an opfer,” I whispered, “she may have been willing at first, but I don’t think she bargained for what happened to her next. They say that when the opfer sees the blade plunging into their own heart and feel it, that is when they know the true ecstasy of Darkness.”
“Opfer?” Red inquired.
“It’s a ritual term. It’s another word for sacrifice. More specifically it is used in the Germanic, Teutonic and Satanic sects. Back in ancient times, “ I continued, moving out of the way of the forensics that now were putting the girl’s body in a body bag, along with what was left of her heart, “the person was a willing sacrifice. It was considered an honour. But…” I looked nervously at the place where she was sacrificed and around the room, “some of the symbols are clearly binding runes, some of this is not Elvish like we found, and the Pi symbol – someone is trying to harness a great deal of power.”
What I didn’t tell Red is that in spite of the horrific scene, the room the place was filled with magical power. It had been gathered and honed, whoever did this was not trying to disguise that they were after power. Most Adepts, if they are truly Adepts, can call this kind of magical power if need be, but they would have been able to control it far better. Still, something, something was not right. It felt as if two dark eyes were looking down and boring holes into my scalp. Involuntarily I looked up and saw something strange on the ceiling of the hall. The lighting was such that it made it impossible to see clearly into the upper recesses of the rafters.
Gently I tapped a police officer next to me on his arm and asked to borrow his flashlight. With a smile he handed me the heavy mag light, “Don’t get too far with that Ma’am,” he said with a grin, “last time I lent that to a pretty lady, I ended up having to buy a new one.”
“It will just be a moment. I promise, I will stay right here,” I said.
Red seemed to sense it to and was looking up as well, “What are you up to, Fanny?” He asked,” What is it you are thinking?”
I turned on the mag light and pointed it upward. I didn’t know if I was truly looking at what I was seeing or if it was all just one hellish nightmare. On the ceiling in the center of the room over the ritual area was painted a huge Pi symbol in red. They had painted the symbol in the victim’s own blood.
Fanny Fae/ Faelyn / Frances Moira MacKay © Ma’at Publishing, 1995-2007 all rights reserved.