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Kate Dawson ran down the dark street, the cold air pierced her pale skin as her mind remained blurred from the screeching sound of alarms. I wonder if I’ll get out of this alive, she thought. She frantically struggled to climb the wired fence as the voices behind her grew nearer. She thought of the time when she was in this exact situation two months before, only she was much luckier that time. Kate hopped the rest of the fence with ease and tore off into the familiar alley way, only glancing back once to see how many were following her.

Kate desperately dove behind the nearest grungy, graffiti embellished dumpster, quietly disappearing into the shadows. She held her breath as she waited for the sounds of urgent footsteps and angry voices to disappear. Three silent minutes passed with no interruption, to which she expressed a quick sigh of relief. She stared at her reflection in the murky rain muddle nearby, the fallen twigs and leftover autumn leaves slowly swirling from the slight breeze. Her lank brown hair fell into her dark eyes as she finally relaxed and listened to her soft, slow breath. This better work, she thought. God, or whoever it was that put her here, decided to be kind to her today. She took once last glance at the slightly worried expression on her plain face and swiftly proceeded the length of the alley way.

Running her fingers along the familiar pattern of the dirty red brick wall, she stopped in her tracks and peered suspiciously either way to make sure there was no one lurking about. With three confident knocks, Kate stood and waited. The large wad of cash that almost cost Kate her life annoyingly bulged in the side of her olive military-like jacket. Hurry up, hurry up, she thought. She definitely would not want to be caught in a place like this at this hour. Soon the sound of familiar scurrying and repeated plunks of Frank’s obviously fake wooden leg grew closer. Doorknob rattling, Frank eased it open and looked out with his one eye, the other covered by an eye patch that he did not even need. Kate stepped in and quickly looked him up and down before she breezed down the abandoned hallway, ignoring him as always. Once again he was dressed in the cheap pirate costume that she once heard he always aspired to be. She was sure he was mentally unstable; she thought for anyone who worked here would have to be so.

The day Kate has been waiting three weeks for finally arrived, it was going to happen, and she was finally off the hook. She eagerly opened the door at the end of the long hallway and bolted down the narrow spiraled stairs. It was if she had traveled back in time, she thought. The walls were gray, mossy and bricked, and faint torches flamed with an eerie candle light every few steps. A part of her was honestly, scared, but another curious in waiting what she was about to witness. Once at the end of the stairs, Kate immediately spotted two shadows in the front of the ancient chapel. She took in the room’s remarkable beauty and examined her surroundings. She decided it could have been worthy of royalty. One small figure with a ponytail was tied to an old wooden chair and strangely shook slightly back and forth, while the other in long robes sat still across from her, calming reading a gold embellished copy of the Bible. Kate took a deep breath and steadily made her way past the pews and broken stain-glass windows. The last one was of none other than the beautiful Mother Mary, placed on a throne with a halo emanating from her delicate head. Kate thought she seemed to be frowning, and wrinkles of worry seemed to have developed between her eyebrows that surely should not have been there. It’s just a picture, Kate convinced herself, and proceeded up the steps to the front of the altar.

“Here.” Kate said. She threw the bag of cash at the foot of the chair. She felt much relief now that the weight of guilt had been removed from her pockets. The lights were eerily dimmed. The sitting priest closed the holy book and a slow smile emerged on his face that was almost malicious. His teeth reminded her of sharp little daggers, and she could tell his skin was beginning to spot from old age. The spots stood out immensely on his seemingly pure white skin. “Excellent, excellent…” the priest drawled. He stood up and glided towards the fidgeting figure tied to the wooden chair on the verge of collapse. “You have successfully completed what was needed, and I shall return the favor, my dear Kate.” His beedy black eyes darted back and forth before he left the scene momentarily to gather his materials for the procedure.

Kate finally looked over to the girl sitting on the chair, heart pounding. The petite girl’s eyes were closed, but her head was softly shaking as if continuously nodding “no.” Kate didn’t dare take a step closer, but she was not sure exactly sure as to how she should feel, for she was not religious. The name on the girl’s purple warm-up jacket for gymnastics read “Jilly” in clear silver letters. Her skin was even paler than Kate’s to the point where you could see her small spider web-like green veins around the dark circles of her eyes. A certain abnormal vibe seemed to be emanating from her, but before Kate could exactly put her finger on it, the priest returned with a dusty cardboard box. He gently sat it next to the chair that Jilly was tied to.

Kate knew what was going to happen, but could not bring herself to leave the abandoned chapel. Her feet were glued to the once glossy floor with dark curiosity. “How much experience have you had with this again, um, Father?” she pointedly asked, but the priest said nothing and began the exorcism. “In the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit…” Kate realized that she was not at all ready for what was going to happen, but it was much too late for that.

Jilly’s eyes flashed open. But instead of blue, green, brown, or hazel, pure black pupils radiated in distaste. The whites of her eyes were strained blood red, and her gaze remained unfocused. The priest began murmuring chants under his breath and sprinkling her with holy water. In the midst of Jilly’s writhing, Kate noticed that the handle of the instrument filled with holy water was rather strange. It was a golden carved cow that looked far too expensive for a priest to possess. The lights caught it’s shiny, smooth surface and glinted with each of his movements. It was probably stolen, Kate thought to herself; that would be ironic. Kate tried to concentrate on that instead of what was happening to Jilly, but no matter how hard she tried she could still clearly see out of the corner of her eye.
All of the priest’s attempts just seemed to anger the spirit within the girl. She vomited a slightly green liquid and screamed as if a crucifix was stabbing though her heart. The priest continued on in determination, and started proclaiming scriptures about cleansing and purifying the soul. Nothing seemed to be working and Kate began to get nervous. I need to get out of here, she thought, my job was done a long time ago. Just as she began to take a step backwards, Jilly’s new rough, penetrating voice began speaking quickly in words of a language unknown. Kate was truly terrified and frozen with fear. All of a sudden she seemed vulnerable. Jilly’s eyes rolled into the back of her head as she violently thrashed to get out of her binding seat. Her whole body shook and raged, and was completely out of control.
The priest suddenly threw the Bible aside snatched his belongings. He sprinted towards the back door of the Church with the money and holy artifacts in hand. Kate’s first instinct was to run after him; confused and angry he was such a fraud. But in the midst of escape, something foreign seemed to clutch to her very soul. A heavy feeling made her stop in her tracks. A painful swelling erupted in her chest as her knees buckled to the ground. A different mindset completely washed over her and nothing seemed to matter anymore but this new mind. There was no good thought left in her, where did it all go? She did not know what good was, and such a thing no longer existed. A satisfying sense of pure hatred ate away her desires for anything else. She tried to fight against it but the presence was all too powerful. The last thing she saw through her own blurred eyes was Jilly lying still on the ground near her, finally free. Kate closed her eyes and finally succumbed to her new master, soul trapped within her own body.





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