Loreley, Episode 2: The Grimoire

Previously…

Simon went in search of a wand and it cost his sister her soul. Simon tries to touch the ancient skin-bound grimoire.

Loreley, Episode 2: The Grimoire

As soon as it makes contact with his fingertips, they burn, a wave of nausea sweeps up from his stomach, and his knees buckle and he falls hard onto the thin cushion of crumbling cockroach husks which pulverize into dust under the impact of his weight. He retches a little and has a buzzing headache, but he’s pretty sure he’s not poisoned.

Loreley stares at him wide-eyed.

He spits a thick string of phlegm and bile to the floor and pants to catch his breath.

“Senpai…? Are you…?”

He holds up one finger to shush her.

“I’m fine. I think I …” he takes a deliberate breath, “I think I know what happened. I have a theory. Loreley, can you grab that book and just toss it in my bag right there?”

“Uh. No.”

“Loreley, trust me. It’ll be fine. I think I even know how we’re gonna beat this devil at its own game for once. Look, you’re covering for me. That means that book officially belongs to you now. By divine law, you’re the only human who can touch it. Probably.”

“Probably?”

“Look, we don’t have time for this shit. I’m pretty sure.”

“How sure?”

“Oh for fuck’s sake Loreley,” he says standing up and disgustedly dusting the roach dust off his knees in tiny white angry puffs, “I’m about 83% certain, ok?”

“Uh, huh,” she says, pulling a pair of rubberized gardening gloves and a blue IKEA shopping bag out of her pink backpack.

“What the fuck Loreley! You had gardening gloves the whole time and you just let me touch that damned thing!”

Loreley snaps the fingers of the gloves into place and shrugs innocently.

“You’re the Senpai. I just assumed you knew what you were doing, Senpai.”

Simon seethes as Loreley puts the ancient tome into the plastic recycle bag, folds it roughly and puts it carefully into Simon’s black courier bag.

“Careful with th-”

“The wand. I know Sempai. Jeez.”