Loreley, Episode 15: Simon Goes to Hell

Previously…

Two Loreley’s are running around! Simon needs to go find the original one. Things get weirder still.

Loreley, Episode 15: Simon Goes to Hell

Simon rushes the place where Loreley disappeared.

He sniffs the air, studies the wall with his astral vision. He can make out a vague pinkish rectangular outline in the subtle space just behind the shelves but it’s already fading.

He takes out his talisman to try to capture an energy signature.

The creeping black thing scutters across the floor at his back. Simon senses it and starts to turn just as the slimy segmented thing reaches him and creeps up his body digging into him with viscous, dripping filament like legs, paralyzingly him in place.

Reaching his face, it sends a filament from its featureless face into the center of Simon’s forehead.

Simon suddenly finds himself naked and screaming in the Great Hall of the black blob that he acquired the book from.

The Blob rumbles a pants-shittingly horrific sound that Simon understood as, “If you want a reason to scream, I’ll give you a reason to scream.”

Simon feels himself become enmeshed in a thick hedge of burning thorns.

Ba’al speaks. “You lost my prize.”

Simon screams back. “She’s not yours yet! I’m going to get that gate open.”

“So I’m going to what? Take your word, Simon? You do know that we talk to each other over here, right?”

The heat and pressure intensify. Simon only wants the pain to stop.

“Find Loreley. And then you can figure out how you can try using a book you can’t touch to trick someone who’s older than your sun. My gods, you’re stu-”

Suddenly Simon falls to the floor of the Curio shop with a hard thump.

Meanwhile, across town…

Loreley follows the glowing trail to an Art Deco office building. There is a doorman in an old-fashioned uniform at the concierge counter.

He asks when she tries to walk past him to the old gated elevator, “Sorry, may I help you, ma’am?”

Surprised, she asks, “You can see me?!”

“Yes, I see you,” he says, indignant.

The Raven seems to squirm a little inside her backpack. She feels it overshadow her.

“But you don’t remember me.”

“But I don’t …” He trails off, confused, searches on his desk for something he can’t remember, and Loreley takes the elevator to the thirteenth floor.

She follows the trail to a broom closet at the end of the hall.

She notices one of the coat hooks seems to be glowing.

She pulls it. It doesn’t move.

She pushes it up.

There’s a click and the left-hand wall cracks open. She pushes it and it opens onto a spacious studio apartment with hardwood floors and tall windows. It smells like herbs.

The walls are lined with bookshelves, idols, jars of specimens, bundles of dried herbs.

There are several piles of books and notebooks on random surfaces.

Loreley goes to the toilet, washes her hands and face, and falls asleep on Simon’s bed with the Raven beside her and the stone knife in her hand.