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A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


The Book of Enoch

Chapter 19 – Bugs and Breakfast

Patrick Fennel sighed as he sat still at a desk chair and let his head drop forward a bit, giving Usha more access to his neck and the tense knots of his shoulders. Her decorated hands were small, but supple and strong, and her touch worked a form of magic as old as mankind, slowly forcing him to relax and let go of his tension.

“I hate just sitting here doing nothing,” he said after a bit, his face reflecting worry in spite of the massage.

“Shh.” She chided him. “No talking. You must try to relax…”

He brought his head up and caught one of her hands, and her eyes.

“I need to talk about this,” he entreated. “Please?”

She regarded him for a moment, then nodded, taking a seat on the edge of the bed, her hands folded in her lap. She waited.

“Everything is changing too fast.” He said. “I mean, I’m a reasonably religious man, but… Even I have a hard time taking all of this in. A week ago, demons were something to scare kids into being good little boys and girls. Tonight I had to take special bullets and backup just to go outside because I might fall under some kind of spiritual attack! And if it wasn’t enough to have your childhood nightmares realized, I also have a whole new world of strangeness to deal with, including magical relics, covert religious groups, and whole realms of pseudo-science that I hadn’t even heard of before. And then, of course, there’s you…”

She smiled in a sad sort of way.

“You’re the most beautiful, amazing, wonderful woman I have ever met. I feel energized just being around you, like my whole life up to this point had been idle fancy while I was waiting for you to show up. And now that you finally arrive,” he exclaimed, reaching out for her hand, “I find out that the whole damn world might come to an end, and that I’m right in the middle of it all!”

“I’m so sorry, Patrick.” She replied, squeezing his fingers. “I wish I could have met you sooner, but I am also happy that such karma has brought us together. Were it not for these exact circumstances, Kimi would never have sent me to you. But I’m so very glad she did,” she said, warmly, as she raised his hand to her cheek. “And if the end of all things is near, then I am very happy to be able to spend those last few days with you, whatever they may bring.”

He smoothed open her palm, admiring the complex Mehndi patterns that covered her skin. He knew the patterns reached nearly to her elbows, and that they were also present on her feet, belly, chest and back. Lifting her hand to his lips, he gently placed a kiss in the center of her palm and wondered at the way she blushed.

Distracted, but calmer, he looked to the doorway and the other room where the Professor sat, working.

“Do you think he can pull it off?” He asked.

She tilted her head and regarded the man in question. “I do not know. What he is attempting has never been done before. But I will say this, if anyone is able, it is him. He has the skill, but more importantly, he has the motivation.”

Patrick knew she wasn’t talking about saving the world… just one member of it.

Alvin accepted the tiny tool from one of his helpers without looking, or even thinking about it. He was entirely focussed on his work. The little clicking spiders that moved about the table handing him things were equally focussed, as though they sensed their master’s urgency. Once in a while, one would pause to look up at the room, or more specifically, the couple in the room next door, and then quickly return to the scuttle and dance. Hours passed, and his hands hurt. His fingers ached from the constant fine motor control that he had to exert to work the details of his craft. His back was stiff, and his eyesight kept blurring, no matter how much he magnified his view through his goggles.

Without being instructed to, one of the little spiders slipped off the table, down a chair, and across the floor. Its spindly legs clicked rapidly, carrying its body into the other room until it was a few feet from the man and the woman. There, it did a little dance, emitting an almost squeaky music by rubbing its legs together.

Patrick Fennel pulled himself away from the kiss with great reluctance, but the irritating noise was something that just couldn’t be ignored. When he saw what was making the disturbance, he jumped and reached for a magazine in order to squash the odd black creature. Usha stopped him.

“No, it’s a friend.” She chided.

“A bug?!”

“He is a… helper, and it’s mostly metal, like a tin soldier.” She regarded the little creature more closely. “I think it needs something.”

The spider-thing spun around and hopped enthusiastically.

“Okay, that’s really freaky…” Said the Detective. “So what does it want?”

There were more sounds and clicks, and Usha bent down as if to listen.

“I do believe it’s asking for something to eat.” She said.

Fennel shook his head. “How in the world did you get that out of a bunch of snaps and squeaks?”

“I… I’m not sure. But… yes, I’m certain it’s asking for food.”

“Okay, what does it eat?”

The woman turned and looked at him. “Not for itself… For him.” She answered, pointing at the Professor.

He looked out at the man hunched over the table. The unshielded desk lamp cast a bright, stark light about the room. When Patrick saw a dozen more of the spider-like creations bustling around and over Manatee, he shivered.

“Good grief! Is he alright?”

Usha giggled. “Oh yes. Like I said, they are helpers. Incidentally, they are also very good, um… what is the word… guard animals… no, um…”

“Watchdogs?” Offered Patrick.

“Yes! That’s it! They are excellent watchdogs. They can sense the presence of demons.”

He was impressed. “Well in that case I guess I could get used to having them around… eventually. Hey, how about this?” He held out a small plate of biscuits left over from an evening tea. Almost at once, the little spindly automaton rushed up and waited near his feet. As soon as the plate was lowered within its reach, it snagged one of the biscuits and started back towards the table, its prize held by several arms over its head. When it was about halfway back to the table, several others climbed down to help it, breaking the cookie into a number of bite-sized pieces and scurrying back up to the professor. He watched in awe as one of the black metal bugs took its cargo and brought it to the Professor’s mouth. It had to bump the food against his lips several times before he semi-consciously opened his maw and took in the crunchy treat. Another bite was carried up and accepted shortly thereafter, and by the time the third chunk had reached the man, a half dozen helpers had formed a makeshift bucket brigade to take the remaining biscuits from the plate up to his happily munching face.

Usha had her finger on her chin, thinking. “He’s going to want something to drink. Hand me that water bottle. Oh, and the straw, yes, perfect. I think I shall help them with this part though.”

She stood, and quietly walked out of the bedroom with the water. Without saying a word, she gently set the bottle nearby on the table and tilted the straw toward the Professor’s mouth. The little black helpers figured out then what she was doing and took over. She smiled when the man took a few long draws from the bottle and sighed, contentedly.

Ellen was burning again, the harsh yellow and white flames casting violent shadows around the dark woods that surrounded them. Remnants of her flowered dress flared an even brighter hue as they ignited and fell from her body. In this nightmare, she wasn’t consumed… at first. She sat before him, head down, her perfect form engulfed in the unquenchable hunger of the fire. She was literally radiant… beautiful even. Her hair floated up and around her, as though caught in an invisible wind, whipping about with increasing agitation as the heat of the flames began to grow.

He called out to her, but when she looked up, his heart froze. It was Beth’s face that looked back at him, her expression passive, her eyes cold. They were the eyes of the demon within her, their gaze freezing him in place with horror and loss. As she stared back at him, a slow smile formed. Not a happy smile, but a wicked, evil grimace. She had just started chuckling when a single hair near her cheek flared and came alight with heat. Like a terrible chain reaction, the consuming fire quickly spread to another hair and then another until her whole head was aflame. Her skin blistered, then burned. In moments the body of the detective was reduced to cracked and glowing char, seared to the bone beneath. Her demonic eyes stared back at him as two blood red embers, and she was still laughing…

With a start, Alvin jerked awake and fumbled for his glasses. When he saw that he was still seated at the small table at the inn, he sighed with relief. One of the little spider helpers looked up at him quizzically, its long limbs tapping lightly on the surface of the table.

“I’m alright.” He said to the automaton as his heart rate slowed. “Nothing you need to worry yourself about.”

As if in reply, the helper again tapped the table lightly near his arm. There was an object by his elbow, neatly wrapped in brown paper.

“Right.” He replied, remembering his efforts, and wondering how long he had slept. He turned to the clock on the wall – It was just after one in the morning. He gave the spider-thing a gentle pat and smiled. “Thank you, my friend. I couldn’t have done it without your help.” It clicked and bobbed up and down once.

Rising, he stretched and let his body pop and adjust as he went to the window. It was very quiet outside now. The rain had apparently just stopped, the only sounds from beyond the glass being an occasional drip of water from the eaves and gutters.

More closely, however, his ears picked up an unfamiliar noise coming from the other room. At first, he thought that Patrick Fennel and Usha were having a heated discussion just beyond the closed door, and he moved closer to see if he should intervene. He had just reached for the knob when he recognized the sounds and stopped short. It wasn’t random words he was hearing, but something much more rhythmic. The soft grunts and gasps were those of a couple making love.

Surprised, he had a moment of panic that the Watchers had somehow breached the wards protecting their rooms and were even now possessing the man and woman. But when he looked to the table and the little black metal automaton, it was unconcerned. If there were demonic forces present, it would have been wildly sounding the alarm.

He turned back to the door and listened for a moment longer with raised eyebrows. He suspected earlier that the pair might have been friendlier than they were letting on, but it still came as a surprise. Then again, the world might very well change drastically for the worse in the near future. Perhaps taking advantage of such pleasures now wasn’t such a bad idea. He sighed, thinking of Beth, and how she had tried to get him to open up and be more intimate with her. He might never get the chance now. He looked back to the table. There was still hope.

The muffled coupling was gradually rising in pitch and pace as they approached a climax. He heard Usha’s happy cries distinctly, and knew without doubt that there was nothing supernatural about their union, at least not in an evil way. He smiled and went to the phone. Twenty-four hour room service was one of the reasons they had chosen the odd little inn. He picked up the receiver and spoke with the kitchen, ordering several dishes and giving his room number. By the time he had finished, the sounds from the other room had gone quiet again.

He busied himself by cleaning up the small table, collecting his tools back into the bag and slipping the paper-wrapped object into his shirt pocket for safekeeping. He made a point of making enough noise that his friends in the room next door would know he was awake again. There were a few marks on the table that resisted his attempts to remove them, and he had just decided that it was a losing battle, when there was a knock at the door.

Immediately, several of the little mechanical spiders hopped down from the table and scurried over to the door. He watched them as they sniffed and tapped at its base, sensing for trouble. Finally, they scampered away, giving the ‘all clear’.

“Room service…” said a male voice.

He checked the peep hole and then opened the door. Smiling, the porter offered to bring the dishes in, but Alvin gave the man a fat tip and tilted his head to the room behind him.

“The Mrs.” He said as means of an excuse as he took the cart and closed the door again. He was just setting the table when Usha came out of the other room looking a bit confused.

“Did I hear the door?”

“Indeed.” Answered Alvin. “I ordered some early breakfast. I thought you and Mr. Fennel might be hungry. I certainly am…”

Usha had an overlarge bathrobe on, and looked radiant. She seemed quite surprised by the number of platters that he was unloading to the table, but then smiled warmly at him. After a moment, she came to his side and placed a hand on his arm.

“Thank you, Alvin.” She said, holding his eyes for a moment.

“You are most welcome, my dear.” He replied, patting her hand.

“Usha? Was it the door?” Whispered Patrick Fennel leaning out of the other room. He was still pulling on his shirt when he saw the woman taking a seat.


“Grab a chair while it’s hot, Detective.” Urged Manatee.

The man straightened his shirt and smoothed back his hair with his hands as he was drawn irresistibly to the table by the aroma of fresh bacon, pancakes, and cinnamon buns. Taking a seat next to Usha, he poured himself a glass of juice.

“Coffee?” Asked Alvin filling his own cup.

“Mmm… Yeff puff…” He replied through a mouth of pastry. Usha giggled while he cleared his mouth. “I don’t think I could sleep right now.” He mentioned, as the Professor passed over a cup of the dark liquid.

“No…” She agreed, next to him. “Has there been any word, Alvin?”

“Not yet.” He replied, sampling some sausage. “But they have time now. They’re not rushed since the threat of the Lock has been removed.” His breath caught at his own words, and he had to pause for a moment. Usha reached over and touched his arm again.

“Are you alright?”

He looked up and smiled at her. “Alright enough.”

She nodded, knowingly.

“So,” he said, distracting himself. “Mr. Fennel, I’m curious… How did you manage to find me earlier, at the diner?”

“Well,” the man replied, taking a sip of the coffee, “remember that I was the one who figured out the Watcher’s path in the first place. In hindsight, I kinda wish I wasn’t so good at my job…”

“Not your fault, sir. If not you, someone else would have caught their trail sooner or later. They would have made sure of it.”

Patrick nodded. “That put me in the general area. After that, I just put out a trace on Beth’s phone. As soon as you used it, I had you pinpointed to a couple of blocks.”

Manatee frowned. “I had no idea that was even possible.”

“Oh yeah,” continued Fennel. “If you had been in the city, I could get even closer; within a couple of meters even.”

“Remarkable… And a bit frightening, if I do say so.”

“I suppose it is a little scary from a privacy point of view.” Commented the Detective. “Then again, if your car runs off the road into a ditch and you need help, it can be awfully handy to guide the rescue crews… Could you pass that syrup?”

They continued the random conversation while they ate, each of them knowing that to talk about what was really on their minds would kill their appetite completely.

Sated, Usha excused herself to change while the men moved to the more comfortable seats in the room to wait. Patrick took the couch, and Alvin settled into a large wing-back chair. The detective seemed a bit nervous.

“Professor…” He started, checking to be certain the woman was out of earshot. “About Usha and I…”

Alvin smiled and sighed. “Relax, Mr. Fennel. You need not explain yourself to me. I think you two make a lovely couple.”

The man looked visibly relieved. “I… I’m not one to normally rush into a relationship, but from the moment we met, there was just something…”


The other looked up, surprised. Manatee continued.

“Usha is very special, Detective, perhaps more so than she has told you. However, it is not my place to discuss it.”

“She mentioned Kimi… That’s your sister?”

“That’s right. It would seem that Usha and Kimi know each other… professionally.”

The man sighed and dropped his eyes to his lap again. “I know so little about her, yet I feel like I have known her my whole life!”

Alvin smiled. “Kimi would say that you have a strong connection. That your souls were meant to be together.”

Fennel looked up again, his face desperate for answers to how he was feeling. “What do you think? Am I being impulsive? Reckless? She’s definitely involved with the case. I could be putting my career at risk.”

“Do you love her?” Asked the Professor, simply.

“I would die for her…” Replied the man, at once.

“That’s not quite the same thing.”

“In my case it is.” Answered the other, seriously.

He nodded. “And do you believe she loves you?”

“I know she does.”

Sighing, Alvin regarded the man on the couch with envy. “Then I wouldn’t squander a single moment, Mr. Fennel. Our time on this world may be very limited if my plan is unsuccessful.”

The two men stared at each other until the door into the other room opened. Without a word, both of them stood.

A brief expression of confusion slipped over Usha’s face before Patrick walked slowly to stand in front of her. Still without speaking, he took her hand in his and brought it to his lips.

The woman’s smile and blush was short lived, however, as a second later Beth’s cell phone rang.

Professor Manatee was at the table at once, but he hesitated a moment, steeling himself before picking up the device and pressing the answer button.

“Hello, Alvin.” Said Beth’s voice in a syrupy tone.

“Beth…” He replied, not to the female on the other end, but as an unconscious response.

“Did you miss me?” She continued, mocking him. Alvin had not realized how hard it would be to hear her voice, knowing that it wasn’t Beth he was speaking with, but a demon. He squeezed his eyes closed, pushing back his emotions, remembering that she was still in there, listening.

“What do you want?”

“Aww… You have something I need, Professor.” She replied.

“Yeah, so?”

“You’re going to bring it to me.”

He took a deep breath. “Why should I do that?” He was about to add that the demon would kill Beth anyway, but stopped short.

“Don’t fuck with me, Alvin…” Said the voice, in anger. “You know what I’ll do to her if you don’t bring me the relic.”

He sighed. “Where?”

“There’s an abandoned school just west of town, out on Maple. Come alone.”

The call went dead.

Turning to Patrick Fennel he said, “I’m going to need that clip I gave you.”