“Bishop” James Short, the false minister who threatened to destroy the world in his incredibly insane attempt to gain power from a most ancient evil, is presumed dead -- utterly annihilated by the backlash of the mystical force necessary to halt his maniacal activities. But some of his disciples -- members of his hideous “Cult of the Sacred Harlot” -- live on in scattered numbers across the horridly-debased Midwest and South of the blissfully unknowing United States of America.
By far the most public of Short’s evil followers are a group calling themselves the Institution of Paranormal Clerics, a sickening clutch of supposed clergy who, of course, possess no legitimate credentials. Starting as nothing but a scam in order to raise money for James Short’s “ministry” by offering fake “exorcism services” to spice up the activities of redneck want-to-be “paranormal investigators”, the “Paranormal Clerics” actually gained some occult power by absorbing traces of demonic energy encountered during their false, unholy “prayer meetings”.
The nominal leader of this group is a certain “Father” David Pierce, a snivelling, cowardly 23-year-old man-child who in truth only became involved in all of this due to being a former lover of Bishop James Short. Second to him is Deacon Christina Flicker, an overweight, decidedly-butch Lesbian who was just pleased to find some “accepting” friends in the bigoted southern Ohio area in which the false Institution of Paranormal Clerics operated.
However, following the demise of their founder, the individual who had then become the dominant personality of this noxious cult was a man known as “Billy Breezewalker”, who claimed to be an “American Indian Shaman” even though his appearance made it clear that his ancestry was decidedly European and that his family were much more likely to be inhabitants of a trailer park than a village of wigwams.
It was Billy Breezewalker who had talked the members of the “Institution” into the activity that they were engaged in this evening at the grotesquely eldritch location of Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio.
Great Serpent Mound, an edifice some 1400 feet long, is shaped, as the name would suggest, to resemble a gigantic, coiled snake. It was created around the year 1000 of the common era by a Native American tribe which has long-since vanished. The mound, which surrounds a crater formed from a meteorite impact more than 300 million years ago, is said to represent a serpent spirit -- one among those who have from time to time filtered down from the stars of the constellation Draconis.
The would-be Shaman had duly said the appropriate magical formulae in order to assure that the group would receive no interruption from local law-enforcement authorities or nosey tourists during their ungodly endeavour that night -- an endeavour to do no less than to conjure up the powers of the great old serpent itself so that the Paranormal Clerics (or actually just Billy Breezewalker, so far as he was himself concerned) could contract a satanic covenant with the demoniacal monstrosity to assure world domination!
Joining the horrid “Institution” that night was a fourth individual, a girl named Sheena MacGillan, an exchange student whom Billy had met at the city college in his nearby hometown of Portsmouth. A tall, slender, astonishingly beautiful strawberry blonde with eyes the exquisite colour of bluest sapphires and skin of the fairest hue, the young woman had readily agreed to join the group in their impious evocation on that demoniacal twilight eve. Breezewalker had not even had to ply her with marijuana as he had originally planned to do. He had assured Sheena that she would not be harmed in any way. This latter claim was, of course, an outright diabolical lie.
Now, as the four participants stood around the bonfire they had kindled at Great Serpent Mound, Billy Breezewalker -- clad in the deerskin and feathers of his supposed Shamanic calling -- raised his eyes to the sky and chanted a repugnantly ancient, savage prayer into the demon-haunted darkness of that night.
Suddenly, as the sound of a strange, discordant tone began to ring out as if circling the group of unholy worshippers, and as sparks of crimson and silver mystical fire began to dart about them, the disgustingly immoral, deceitful personage known as Billy Breezewalker pointed to the young girl and shouted with evident, hideously-perverse delight: “Our master, the Great Serpent Spirit, demands a sacrifice! Prepare her!!”
By his command, Father David Pierce and Deacon Christina Flicker, wearing their black clerical garments complete with white pseudo-priestly “dog-collars”, grasped the arms of young Sheena MacGillan and tied them behind her back, then placing her upon the three-foot high, unhallowed Serpent Mound before tying her feet together as well.
A look of fear was indeed in the girl’s eyes, but she did not scream as Shaman Billy Breezewalker walked over to her and produced a primitive stone knife from out of his clothing. He then bellowed out the climactic ending of his fiendish conjuration while raising the strange sacrificial blade on high, preparing to savagely plunge it deeply into her warm, lovely, virginal flesh!!
“Rise up, O mighty Serpent Spirit!” intoned the sinister Billy Brezewalker, repeating the final line of his evocation in English as he raised the sacrificial knife above the form of Sheena MacGillan. “Rise up -- and make this world mine!!”
Just then, before the false Shaman could plunge the grotesque stone blade into her beating heart, Sheena suddenly kicked one of her long legs directly at his hand, sending the knife soaring safely away into the distance!
Sheena had already freed both her hands and feet without Billy or the other unholy worshippers even noticing. Then, in Billy’s one moment of stunned surprise at her sudden movement, the girl jumped up to face him -- and sent forth a wondrous beam of white and blue mystical energy from her eyes directly into his mid-section!!
Shaman Billy Breezewalker fell backwards and lay prostrate on the ground -- knocked unconscious by the magical force surprisingly wielded by young Sheena MacGillan! The other cultists, Pierce and Flicker, immediately turned and ran frightened from the scene. David Pierce, in particular, could be heard whimpering in abject terror.
“Capital! Capital!” an highly-cultured male voice was heard to state from nearby. “You have done quite well on your first assignment, Miss MacGillan.”
The voice’s owner strode forth from the shadow of the nearby trees. He was a tall, strongly built gentleman with dark hair, piercing eyes and strikingly-handsome Semitic-Mediterranean features; wearing an elegantly-tailored suit with a black leather trench-coat and matching Outback hat. A glisteningly gold Hexagram of Solomon pendent hung on a chain about his neck.
“Thank you, Doctor Rumanos,” replied Sheena in her charmingly-lyrical accent.
As the astute reader by now should have gathered, that gentleman was me. My name is DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Occult Detective and Master of all Magic Arts. Miss Sheena MacGillan, age 17, was my latest protégé. Though from a family with an illustrious Scottish lineage, she had grown up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where her father, a British Secret Service Agent, had long been stationed in order to combat the terrorist threat of the Irish Republican Army. Inspired by a combination of his example and mine, the young woman was training to start a chapter of my own Gargoyle’s Paranormal Investigations in her hometown. Its particular purpose would be to investigate and battle the growing threat of the revived Celtic “gods”, banshees, leprechauns, and similar bizarre apparitions, which had been increasing in baleful power on the Emerald Isle since the so-called “Republic” of Ireland had entered into full hideous rebellion against the rightful and spiritually-correct rule of the British Royal Family back in the year 1949. (That is, at least, their viewpoint concerning the matter.)
In preparation for this, Sheena was visiting the US, where this incident at Great Serpent Mound had been her first full-fledged training mission under my mentorship, and she had indeed done an excellent job of it. She had gone undercover as a student at Portsmouth City College, where she had soon enough met the infamous Shaman Breezewalker.
“I was prepared to jump in and save you, of course,” I continued. “You were never under any real danger from this lot. But you ended up doing quite well vanquishing them on your own.”
“Aye, Dr. Rumanos,” said the lovely Scots girl with mixed humility and pride. “I knew you were there watching all along, didn’t I? These wee cult sillies have no real power compared to you!”
“WE WILL SEE ABOUT THAT, RUMANOS!” shouted forth a gruesomely diabolical voice. It was Billy Breezewalker -- or rather, some demonic spirit speaking through him. His two cohorts had returned, and the three of them now stood facing us from atop the Serpent Mound. Their eyes glowed crimson red, and a presence of incredible, malicious iniquity was palpably felt emanating from them. They were possessed, and now under the control of myriads of demons -- the dark phantoms which they had absorbed into themselves during the numerous false “exorcisms” that they had so often performed.
“All right now, Miss MacGillan,” I stated. “Remember as I have taught you.”
“Aye, Dr. Rumanos,” said the girl, as she moved to stand shoulder-to shoulder with me, facing the horridly demon-possessed trio known as the “Institute of Paranormal Clerics”.
“Quite right,” I continued. “Now, erect the barrier.”
By my instruction, Sheena MacGillan then sent forth the bright white and navy-blue beams of magical energy from her eyes, using them to create a double magical circle around the three demoniacally-controlled enemies which we were opposing.
The possessed Billy Breezewalker and his wicked companions howled in demonic fury when they perceived that Sheena’s mystical force had very affectively bound them.
“Very good, Miss MacGillan,” said I.
“Thank you, Dr. Rumanos!” she replied with a smile.
With this, I then stepped forward towards our evil foes and raised my right hand. A powerful ray of orange and black Algolitish occult power shot forth from my palm directly at them. They writhed in pain and diabolical dismay as I spoke the proper words of exorcism:
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our supersubstantial bread, and forgive us our trespasses. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One!
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in our day of battle against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. ‘May God rebuke him’, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all of the evil spirits that roam throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls!
“Praise be unto ADONAI, to Whom is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, now and forever, world without end! Amen!!”
As the howling noise ceased and the demons passed into the depths of Tartarus, the three dregs-of-humanity false “paranormal clerics” -- Shaman Billy Breezewalker, Father David Pierce, and Deacon Christina Flicker -- all fell unconscious to the ground.
The last embers of the bonfire were fading away, and it seemed that our work for the evening was finished. I was just about to again congratulate Sheena on the fantastic success of her first assignment when I noticed that she was looking upwards, her beautiful young face transfixed towards the enormous, extraordinarily mysterious gulf of the starry night sky.
“Errr, Doctor…,” she said with evident anxiety, “look!”
I then raised my eyes to see at what she was staring, and in so doing I beheld an eldritch horror beyond all we had experienced that demon-haunted eve. Indeed, an horror beyond all sane imagining. For hovering in the inky darkness of the night sky directly above us was the huge, obscenely glowing phantom-form of a coiled snake, its silver and red scales glistening with unspeakably vile malevolence. Then, just when one would think things could not become any more dreadful -- it spoke.
“I have been ssssssummoned,” hissed the dreadful serpentine entity. “I am the Great Ssssssserpent Ssssssspirit. But my offering hasssssss been ssssssstolen from me. I sssssssssshall not depart without having reccccceived it. I demand that my offering be presssssented me. I demand my rightful gift. I demand my ssssssssacrificccccccccce!!!”
So Billy Breezewalker, the bloody little sod, had somehow managed to conjure the Serpent Spirit after all! And now, here it was, demanding a human sacrifice. Indeed, according to the laws and customs of Native American Shamanism, the spirit could not be sent back without the proper blood-offering being given to it. Oy bleeding vey.
“I demand my ssssacrificccce!” repeated the horrifying serpent in the sky, its bizarrely sibilant tones ringing across the southern Ohio valley. “I, the Great Sssssssserpent Ssssssspirit, will be appeasssssed!”
I moved in front of Sheena MacGillan, attempting to shield her from the gigantic serpent’s view as much as possible. “Great Serpent Spirit! I am RUMANOS, Supreme Magician and Guardian of this Planet! You were summoned here by one who falsely claimed to be of your people! He now lies there profaning your ancient effigy, along with those who assisted him!”
I pointed to Billy Breezewalker and the other two members of the sickening “Institute of Paranormal Clerics”, who were still sprawled unconscious upon the Mound.
“What are you offering, Wizzzzzzzzzzzzard Rumanossssssssssssssss?!!” hissed out the alien monstrosity.
“The lives of these three are yours! I take no protection over them! Take them for your sacrifice, and let it serve as a warning to any others who would otherwise attempt to blaspheme the ancient ways of your worshippers!”
“Yesssssss, Magiccccccccian! Yesssssssssss! This isssssssss acccccccceptable assssssss a ssssssssacred offering!”
Then an huge blast of silver and red flame came down from the hovering form of the Great Serpent Spirit, totally consuming the bodies of Breezewalker and his foul followers, so that not even dust or ash remained of them.
“Avaunt, Serpent Spirit!” I them domineeringly stated. “Go now! The Time of your return is not decreed until the coming of the Day of Chaos!!”
And so then, with a ghastly parting hiss, the hovering, colossal and phantasmagorical form of the Great Serpent Spirit vanished into the Stygian blackness of the night.
“Dr. Rumanos,” said Sheena from behind me. “Is it gone then?”
“Yes, my young apprentice,” I replied, turning to face the girl. “All is again well… for now. But we need to be getting you back to Belfast. You have a lot of work to do, young lady -- getting the new Gargoyle’s affiliate up and running!”
“Aye! You mean… You really are approving it then?!” she said, with a delighted smile upon her pretty face.
“Yes, Miss MacGillan, you have proven your intelligence, bravery, and magical ability to a quite remarkable degree; and may I add that, should I ever be blessed with a daughter or granddaughter, I do hope that she is much like you.”
“Oh…. Well, thank you, Doctor!”
I am Ipsissimus Daniel Rumanos, Doctor of Divinity, Master Occult Investigator, duly-Ordained-and-Consecrated Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Archbishop, Chief Cabalistic Rabbi, and Magician/Illusionist Extraordinaire. Along with my friends, students, and associates, I am indeed the only paranormal clergyman you will ever need.