The Book of Enoch
Chapter 9 – Safehouse
After a brief pause, the short man turned and strode to the bedside, removing his cloak as he came. When he reached her, he said nothing but draped the dark blue garment over her shoulders. A second later Beth nearly threw herself at him, clutching her arms around his neck and sobbing into his chest. He slowly sat at the edge of the bed, holding her silently. He gently stroked her soaked hair and let her cry until she finally slowed several minutes later.
“I need to do a few things, can I let go,” he asked meeting her eyes.
“Please don’t leave me!”
He smiled softly. “I’m not going without you, so stop worrying. But I must make sure our nasty friend doesn’t come back with help.”
Her eyes grew wide at the thought of more than one of the creatures. She swallowed in fear, but nodded quickly.
Standing, the Professor withdrew a handful of objects from his pocket and scattered them on the floor. Even as they fell, Beth saw them uncurling and righting themselves. They were copies of the little metal spider that the man had tossed to her at their first meeting, and they skittered off to all parts of her apartment. She shivered slightly at the thought of the strange things living in her home, but if they kept away monstrosities like the one that had just been crouched in her kitchen, then they were welcome friends. He started to cross the floor toward the kitchen when she hissed.
“Wait! The rug!”
He looked down, slightly confused for a moment, then had a realization. “Your dream?”
She nodded again.
Kneeling down, he carefully took the edge of the large circle and began to roll it in on itself. In a few moments he had rolled the entire rug into a long tube which he picked up.
“Closet?” He asked. Beth pointed to one corner. He placed a hand briefly on the surface of the door before opening it and then shoved the rug inside. He tried the light switch by the main entrance, but didn’t seem surprised that the light on the ceiling no longer functioned. He withdrew several more objects from another pocket and set one at each corner of the apartment. After about three seconds, each one began to cast a strangely warm green light about the room until there seemed to be very few shadows visible anywhere.
Finally, he returned to her on the bed and breathed a heavy sigh. “We should be safe for a few minutes now, but we need to leave here. If there’s anything you simply must take with you, tell me and I’ll try to help. We might not be able to get back here for a while, otherwise, we should go. I’m going to take you to my loft. Is that okay? You’ll be protected there.”
“Yes… please… Let’s go now! Wait… Here,” she said, passing him a small gym bag by the bed. “It’s the file you wanted… now PLEASE get me the hell out of here!”
The trip back through the city was uneventful, and still Beth sat in the passenger seat of the Professor’s rather unusual vehicle shivering the whole way. It wasn’t that he drove what appeared to be an old Mustang, but rather that aside from the outside appearance, nearly everything about the car had been gutted, replaced, or modified in some way. The steering wheel looked more like the controls found in a small airplane, and the dashboard was a twisted maze of lights, hanging glass bottles of glowing or bubbling liquid, and enough dials and knobs to launch the space shuttle. She mostly felt as though she were riding in a rolling collection of junk than a car, but she hardly cared so long as it took her away from her apartment and to safety… wherever that might end up being. One thing did strike her though, and that was the amazing silence in which they traveled. Professor Manatee’s car seemed to make little or no noise, not even what should have been the sound of the tires on the pavement. She had to look out the window just to confirm that they were actually moving.
“Go straight in when we get there,” he said quietly while he concentrated on driving. “The door will be open and you just go right in and up the stairs to my study. I’ll get your things and follow behind. I don’t want you outside any more than you have to be, understand?”
“I’m scared,” she replied.
“I know. But once inside you’ll be completely safe. They can’t get into my home uninvited. We’re almost there. Are you ready?”
She took a slightly ragged breath. “I think so.”
“Okay, here we are. Remember, straight in. Don’t look around or worry about me. I can take care of myself and will be right behind you in any case. GO!”
Opening the door, she was shocked by the sudden pressure of the rain that poured down as though the sky were trying to drown her. It made it hard to see more than a few feet, but she recognized the glowing amber light of a doorway directly in front of her and dashed forward. Her feet slipped on the wet sidewalk, and she nearly fell twice, but then the Professor’s hand was at her elbow and together they passed through the open portal and the warmth of his loft. She expected him to close the door right away, but he took a moment to stare back out into the street. She followed his gaze and saw nothing except the rapidly diminishing rain. In fact, in the span of a few short breaths it looked as though the deluge had simply passed. Aside from the sound of dripping trees and gutters, you might not have believed that seconds earlier it had felt like a typhoon.
“Harumph!” He exclaimed, shutting the door and setting a number of intricate and convoluted locks. Turning, he seemed almost startled to see Beth still standing there shivering. “Come, it’s a lot warmer upstairs.”
Taking a step, her foot slid out away from her and she started to tumble. To her surprise, Professor Manatee stepped in behind her and neatly caught her, scooping her up as she fell.
“Whoop! I forgot that you’re still covered in… er… I mean…”
“Indeed. I’d better carry you before you twist an ankle.”
He didn’t seem to be exerting himself, but she was still surprised. “Um, are you sure? I mean, I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”
He laughed softly. “You are hardly a trifle, my dear,” he replied and started through the maze of Abdicates. “I am quite a bit stronger than I appear.” She wasn’t so sure until he had carefully set her down on the rug at the top of the spiral staircase. He wasn’t even breathing hard and she decided she was going to have to rethink the Professor’s apparent age.
“I’ll get some towels and start a bath for you,” he said. “You’re going to want to wash off. I’m afraid I don’t have much of a selection of clothes for you, but I’ll come up with something before you’re finished.”
“Are… Are we really safe here?” She asked, her voice still a bit ragged.
“Yes. I have spent a great deal of time and expense to protect this building from exactly the type of creature you encountered tonight. This way…” He indicated a doorway off the main loft. Reluctantly, she followed his lead and cringed a bit as she saw the bathroom. It reminded her how she had started her evening.
Stepping inside, the Professor twisted a pair of strange looking knobs which caused a sudden gusher of water to start filling the large tub. Turning to a small shelf, the man selected several small bottles and emptied their contents into the quickly filling tub. Almost at once there was a half a foot of bubbles and the scent of jasmine.
“Take whatever time you need…”
“Please don’t leave!” she exclaimed, slightly hysterical.
“Miss LaHeron… Beth… I shall get you some clothes and then set myself in a chair just outside the door. Is that acceptable?”
Frowning, she nodded.
“Good. I shall return momentarily.” Stepping out of the bathroom, the man closed the door behind him. When she checked on the tub, she had a moment of panic when she realized that she had no idea how the odd water controls worked. As if reading her mind, the water abruptly stopped all on it’s own.
“Right,” she sighed in relief and then jumped at the sight of herself in the mirror over the sink. Her face was puffy from crying, and her hair was slick and plastered to her body by the thickening slime that covered her from head to toe. Professor Manatee’s beautiful cloak would need some serious cleaning. She smiled briefly, remembering his simple gallantry as she removed the garment and hung it on a hook by the door. Standing there naked, she shivered, both from the cooling substance covering her skin, as well as the memories that came crashing back to haunt her. She could still imagine the feel of the powerful tentacles wrapped all around her, seducing her, and slowly drawing her down into the endless sexual torment. Her breath caught, and she shook her head. She needed to be careful or she could lose herself in those recollections.
Turning to the bath, she carefully tested the water and then stepped in. The fragrant warmth felt heavenly, and was just what she needed to help wash away the slime, and her lingering fears. She had just settled herself under the bubbles when there was a soft knock at the door.
“Excuse me, Miss LaHeron. I found some clothes…”
“Please, come in.”
The door opened and the Professor stepped inside. He held up a pile of clothes and then set them on a spare shelf.
“I found a pair of shorts belonging to my sister that should fit you. Not the most practical, but I’ll keep the heat up. There’s also a t-shirt of hers and some socks. I’m afraid there were no undergarments…”
“I’ll be fine.” She answered from the tub. “Thank you.”
“Very good,” he said turning. “I’ll be outside then…”
“Wait!” she exclaimed, stopping him. “Please… would you mind staying here? Just for a bit? I… I really need know I’m not… alone.”
He sighed and nodded in understanding. “Of course. Is the water acceptable?” He asked when he had settled himself on a small dressing stool.
“It’s perfect,” she replied, smiling. “I wish I had a tub like this to soak in all the time. I’d forgotten how relaxing it is. Professor… Alvin, I… I also wanted to say, I’m sorry.”
“Sorry? For what my dear?”
“For not believing you… in any of this. For thinking you were responsible for those homicides.”
The man took a deep breath. “Well, I appreciate that, Detective, but you were, as the cliche goes, just doing your job. You had a right to see me as a suspect, given my background. To be honest, I should be the one apologising to you…”
“What? What on Earth for? You just saved my life, sir!”
“Well, that’s just it. In the course of your profession you are sometimes called upon to use, shall we say, unorthodox methods to reveal the truth. You applied those methods to me, and when I realized I had been played… I was miffed.”
“Hear me out. I was upset, but I should not have been. As I said before, it’s your job to get people to talk, and more so, you performed that duty with complete professionalism. You were courteous, and always respectful of me.”
“Well… I don’t know about the professional part. I conned you into dinner…”
“I offered dinner, and you accepted as a means to continue the discussion. More than reasonable. The point is, I let my bruised ego get in the way of my brain. Had I been thinking, I never would have let you leave my house…”
“What do you mean,” she asked, a little concerned by his tone.
“Beth, you had no idea of the danger you were in. As you mentioned, you were not yet a ‘believer’. But I was. I knew very well what could be stalking you. I knew the danger and I let you walk away without any protection whatsoever, not even a warning, simply because I was sore at having been jilted by a pretty woman. Any true gentleman would have seen to your safety foremost, above and beyond their own personal feelings. Later, it so bothered me that I finally had to do something about it. It’s why I called you tonight.”
Beth was silent to a few moments, thinking.
“No, Alvin, you’re wrong. You didn’t know for certain I was in danger, and what’s more, I never asked for your protection and most likely would have refused it even if you had offered. You’re not responsible for what happened to me.”
“Alvin, look at me. You are not responsible, I mean it. I choose my own path.”
“Perhaps, nothing. You’re off the hook. It’s more important that we focus on what happens from here on out. Now that I DO believe you, I’m scared shitless, and frankly, perfectly willing to accept any protection or advice you can give me. You’re the expert, and I’m following your lead. You say jump, I’ll ask how high on the way up…”
“You really are scared, aren’t you?”
“Petrified.” She replied, her heart racing. It had been going up since the Professor had entered the room. Seeing him brought back memories she would rather have cut out of her skull than relive. But she knew she had to face them, if only for her own survival.
“Alvin, I need to know something,” she said hesitantly.
“I need to know the truth. Was I… I mean, was that thing… oh hell. Alvin, was it real, or did I just imagine getting… raped, by that creature in my apartment?”
He took a deep breath. “Are you sure you’re ready to talk about this, Beth?”
“Ready or not, I have GOT to know. Please.”
He nodded once in understanding. “A bit of both I’m afraid. Watchers are incredibly powerful, but they do have limitations… and rules.”
“I know it seems unlikely, but just as you and I are governed by the rules of physics, those of the Angelic realms are also governed by certain unbreakable laws. One such law states that they may not influence you directly without permission.”
“Well they sure broke that law tonight!” She exclaimed forcefully.
Manatee sighed. “No, Beth, they didn’t. That’s what I’m trying to explain to you. When I came and got you at your apartment, you were afraid of the floor, or more specifically the rug. Without being too graphic, could you describe what happened to you in your dream that caused that fear.”
“It’s important, Beth.”
She thought about it for a few moments. “Alright, but not in the tub. With these bubbles and the warm water, it’s WAY too similar.”
“Very well, I shall wait just outside, okay?”
When he was gone, she stepped out of the tub and toweled off. Without the slime she felt much better. It would take weeks to fully rid herself of the feel of it, especially deep in her sex, but at least she was basically clean again. She found the shorts, which were just a little loose on her, and the t-shirt. The outfit was slightly scandalous without a bra and panties, but she smiled at herself in the mirror and decided that if the good professor wanted to stare then she probably owed him that much. Hell, she probably owed him a whole lot more than that. She noticed her own nipples and sighed, deciding that if Alvin Manatee wanted to collect more fully, she wouldn’t turn him away. Somehow, that thought actually made her smile.
“Okay, you wanted me to describe my nightmare…” she said, picking up their conversation while she sat curled up in a large papasan chair. A thick blanket was wrapped around her shoulders.
“If you can. I know it’s not something you probably want to remember…”
“Boy, that’s for sure. Alright, if it will help… In my dream I had just come out of the shower and was walking across my room… and the rug… changed. It was made up of white… uh, tentacles, that grabbed my legs… and… and pulled me down. The whole rug was tentacles, and they pulled me down into them, like quicksand or something…. uh…”
“It’s okay to go slow, Beth. You’re safe and there’s no need to rush. If it bothers you too much then stop, do you understand?”
She nodded. “It… it pulled me down until it had covered my hips. That’s when it started to get more… intimate. It… stimulated me until… until I gave in to it, oh god…”
“Gave in how?” He asked, softly.
“Oh god… I did it, didn’t I?! I asked for it. Shit! Shit!… I let it come inside me, fucking me. I can’t deny it… It was me. I wanted it!… oh god…”
“Beth, focus! Look at me! That’s right, keep your eyes on mine…” The man set something on the small table between them and there was a flash of blue light that caused her to jump. Abruptly, it was as though her fear was pushed back. Her mind cleared, and she actually felt her muscles relaxing.
“Whoa! What was that?!” She asked, looking down to the table. All she saw was what looked like a marble near the center.
“Something to help you concentrate,” he replied. “I’ll explain more about it later if you want, for now, I need you to try and continue. I think I know the nature of your dream, but I have to be sure.”
“Alright. I feel kind of weird describing what it was doing to me…”
“I don’t doubt it. I am sorry. Perhaps I can ask a few simple questions instead of you giving me a play by play. Would that help?”
She sighed with relief. “Yes, a lot.”
“Very well. Understand, the questions may still be difficult for you to answer, but I will try not to ask for details. Ready?”
She nodded that she was.
“The white tentacles you mentioned, were they encompassing your whole room?”
“No, just the area where my rug covered the floor.”
He thought back, remembering. “The one I rolled up and put in your closet?”
“Hmm… And you said you ‘gave in to it’. Gave in how?”
The Professor looked almost pained to have to ask.
“Please, Beth. It matters.”
“It… uh… teased me, but held back from actual penetration. It made me do it. I… I had to be the one to… to…”
“I understand,” he finished for her, holding up his hand. “And I’m sorry to have to ask this, but did it cause you to have an… er, orgasm?”
“Oh god…” she moaned, bringing her own hands up to cover her face.
“I know this is hard,” he said softly. “You’re doing fine.”
She was having a bit of trouble getting a full breath. “I… I’m damned to hell, aren’t I.”
Manatee was taken aback. “What? No. Certainly not!”
“Really?” She looked up, hopeful.
“Absolute rubbish,” he exclaimed forcibly. “More lies from the church to frighten people into submission. Your soul cannot be ‘damned’ to anywhere.”
Beth finally took a deep breath and let it out as a long sigh of relief.
“I apologise again, I should have explained that right away,” continued the Professor.
“I never told you that was what was bothering me.”
He shook his head. “I should have implied. No, the soul is not bought and sold or pre-commited to any particular place after we die. While there are spiritual implications of sexual intercourse, the state of you soul is not one of them.”
“Spiritual implications? I’m not sure I like the sound of that…”
“Intercourse causes a… temporary connection to form between two souls. It means that the Watcher now has an advantage over you, I’m afraid, at least for a while. Basically, it tricked you into giving it ‘permission’ to influence you physically here in our realm.”
“Shit… But, you didn’t answer my question. Was our… intercourse, real, or just in my dream?”
“Initially, it could only influence you in non physical ways, or indirectly. The demons can cause you remember things, feel fear, lust, happiness, any emotion. They are masters of illusion, and can trick your eyes and other senses. They can even create physical manifestations to get in your way or push you into a certain path. Remember the rain when I brought you here to my home?”
“Did they do that?” She asked in awe.
The man leaned forward slightly. “If unprotected, they are also able to shape your dreams and unconscious thoughts.”
“My nightmare… The rug!”
“Yes. When unconscious or asleep, they are able to force you to experience anything they wish, within certain limitations, even the impossibility of your rug coming alive and attacking you.”
“They can… arouse me?”
She considered this. “So, when I ‘gave in’… I gave it permission to attack me… physically.”
“I am so sorry.”
She closed her eyes for a moment. “Fuck. So… what happened? Did it have sex with me while I slept?”
“Your dream would have been the unconscious manifestation of what was happening to you physically. Without external intervention, a Watcher could easily keep you unconscious and trapped in the dream. My phone call broke it’s spell.”
“But… Why did it stop? I mean, it had me. If I gave it permission to attack me… physically, why didn’t it continue when I awoke?”
“Such a change of consciousness would have disrupted it for a short time.”
“I got lucky,” she said to herself. “If you had called me even a few seconds later…”
“About that, Beth,” he mentioned. “I know this is hard, but when you experienced, er, an orgasm, did anything happen within your dream?”
She stared at him. “How did you know?”
“I… I sank deeper. Each time that thing made me… With each orgasm I sank a few inches into… whatever had become of my rug.”
He stopped and considered this for a moment. When he looked up at her, his eyes held a tinge of fear. “… All the way?”
“I don’t understand…”
“Did you sink in all the way? Over your head?”
She just looked at him, terrified. Finally, she answered. “No. I was about to go under when you called.”
He physically relaxed, letting out the breath he had been holding and settling back into the couch.
“Alvin,” she asked tentatively. “What would have happened to me… if I had gone all the way under?”
He sighed. “Possession. The Watcher was trying to possess you.”
“Oh my god… What, like take over my body?”
“Yes. The conscious control of your physical body would have been subjugated allowing the demon to assume complete autonomy. You would have been consciously aware of what your body was doing and feeling, but unable to stop it in any way.”
She swallowed. “Driven like a truck…” she whispered, remembering their earlier conversation on the subject. “Um, for… ever?”
His face looked sad and tired, almost apologetic. “Once possessed, a victim is helpless. There would be nothing you could do. Most likely, the demon would use you for some purpose, then perhaps torment you by experiencing things you would never even consider… rampant sex, pain. It would revel in the full gamut of human experience until it grew bored with you. Then, it would most likely just walk you off a cliff, or drive you into oncoming traffic or something. It would never let you live and regain control of your body.”
Both of them sat in silence for several minutes. Finally, something else occurred to her.
“Um, given that the Watcher was physically having… sex, with me… could I be… pregnant?”
He actually looked quite surprised. “No,” he replied after a very long pause. “Impregnation would have required much greater preparation on it’s part, a… ritual of sorts.”
She relaxed, closing her eyes briefly. “Well, thank god for that.”
“Indeed. Though I doubt a higher power had anything to do with it.”