His Lordship

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I’m Jason L. Secrest, an aspiring author and impoverished college student. Sometimes I blog. When I’m being real about real world things that other people also believe are real I post at wiseyetharmless.bogspot.com. Then there are the moments that I’m also being real, but in regards to a different real world where there is a real annoying talking demon in my basement and where my non-fake butler/valet/gentleman’s-gentleman knows Jujutsu. In those moment’s I’m Jason L. Secrest, Lord of the Manor, and I blog directly to you from my mansion study at whathowadsworth.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Crimson Surprise

Forgive me, but I'm still not talking about quarters today. I was working on a history of Beezle's obsession... trying to decide what was relevant and/or entertaining and what was not. Unfortunately something more drastic has occurred, and I felt it more relevant. Enjoy this week's installment of "Crimson Surprise!"


               The last few days have been trying to say the least. I've been dealing with things that are... less ordinary that what I'm used to. The details of the whole story started a long time ago, long before I was born, and I'm not really too clear about exactly how they go, so I won't attempt to divulge or explain them. My part begins four days ago on Saturday, May 28, 2011.
                Saturday morning I abstracted from the Mansion House to my Provo residence where I met up with a few friends who had invited me to spend the day with them at Conduit. Conduit, for those who don't know, is an annual convention that encourages authors and nerds in general to be as embarrassing as they want to be without feeling quite as self conscious about themselves. I've attended twice now, and after observing a few of the attendees I've concluded that a few of the people are much like me - we experience reality slightly differently than the people who surround us. I'm convinced, for example, that Larry Corriea carries a concealed weapon not because he's a gun nut, and not because he feels the need to protect himself from other people. I suspect rather, that he is acutely aware that creatures of myth and legend are stalking him on a regular basis. It is likely that Monster Hunters International is a spiced up set of memoirs.
                I enjoyed the convention greatly, took a few notes, and did my best to schmooze with the successful people around me. One such person goes by the name of Paul Genesse, though now I wonder if that's just an alias. You see, Genesse has been collecting stories about demons, and he's especially interested in Urban Fantasy (you know, accounts of winged nightmares that terrorize the streets in back-road villages; inner-city libraries that hide do-it-yourself possession booths in the self-help sections - stuff like that.) At first, I found Paul's invitation to submit a story intriguing. I keep a demon in my modern-day basement after all  and I exploit the antics of said demon shamelessly in an attempt to win myself a little fame and fortune without selling my soul. Paul's pitch sounded just exactly like my kind of thing. I said as much to Paul, and immediately regretted it.
                Most of the time, when I tell people about Beezle and The Mansion House, they chuckle with me and we move the conversation along. Paul however had a completely different reaction. He got a sort of darkly eager look in his eyes and started probing me with endless questions. I answered them uneasily and did my best to end the conversation. Paul reluctantly let me go, but he insisted on trading business cards. I pretended to have lost mine, but he pressed his into my hand along with a flyer requesting submissions for his Crimson Pact anthology. I smiled, said I might submit something, and backed my way towards Correia's corner of the room. Genesse's eyes followed me as I went, but I felt a little safer. Larry, as I mentioned earlier, packs heat. It wasn't long before Paul was smiling at another fan, and I slipped out of the signing area. I sent a text to my friends saying that I felt ill, walked around the street corner, and abstracted back to the mansion house where I breathed much more easily. I shrugged the episode off and completely forgot about it by dinner time.
                Monday was memorial day. I went home to Roosevelt to visit the graves of some loved ones and to enjoy the company of my immediate family. When I returned to the estate, I abstracted into the northwest forest. This perturbed me because I'd been aiming for the cluster of trees next to the driveway. The evening was late and cloud-cover hid the moon and stars. No lights were on in the house and the walk was dark and foreboding. I was severely anxious until I remembered that I'd given Wadsworth the day off so that he could honor a few comrades who had fallen in The Wars. (He wouldn't say which ones. He gets cryptic like that.)
              In Wadsworth's absence I grabbed a snack from the fridge and settled down in the study to work on my memoirs. After an hour the silence of the house was grating on my nerves. Beezle hadn't breathed a word. I checked my ventilation shaft. It was neither stuffed nor shut. Generally I see quiet as a blessing, but given that the day was Memorial Day, I wondered if Beezle wasn't preoccupied with some special way of honoring the dead. (The list of rules at the mansion house is growing long. One of the prominent rules reads "Reanimation and other extracurricular activates involving the (un)dead are strictly prohibited." This rule is preceded only by the rules that prohibit things like lighting me on fire.)
                Concerned, I cleared my throat and called into the air duct, "Beezle, how's Memorial Day been for you?" I got no reply. After several seconds I repeated, "Beezle? What are you doing down there?" Nothing. I listened intently. The silence was complete. Usually I can at least pick up the soft roar of Beezle's hellish fireplace. My stomach twisted with anxiety and I had to force myself to walk instead of run to the wine cellar. As I went I made loud remarks like, "Duncan is more than willing to lend me his witch taser," and "Beezle, answer me or so help me I'll cut off your internet access again." By the time I'd made it to the basement door I was jittery and nervous, looking everywhere for anything out of place.
               Nothing was. Everything was unnervingly still and orderly. Even with Wadsworth home there was always something misbehaving. I gave up on walking and dashed the rest of the way to the cellar. I had force myself to slow again and to take the stairs carefully. They're old and rotted. I replaced them once, but they decayed again before the day was out. At the bottom I dashed through the perpetually dusty wine racks. I seized the box of matches by Beezle’s tunnel. My hands were shaking so badly that I snapped three match heads before I managed to light the torch in the scone. Usually when I visit Beezle I burn away the ever present spider webs that lead to his door. This time I just ran with the torch before me and blazed a trail through the webs. In retrospect, this was rasher than it sounds. Some of those webs are occupied by more than one variety of deadly arachnid. The end of the tunnel and the heavy bronze door couldn't come quickly enough. I rounded the final corner to find that the door was already open.
                I cannot think of any situation in which that might be a good thing. Beezle can't open that door. He can barely affect the world beyond that door. If he found a way past it, heaven help this world. More than that, heaven help my Uncle. Uncle Nick travels dimensions. Beezle happens to be his ticket home.
                I burst through the entry, ready to charge into Beezle's cavernous lair. Only, it wasn't cavernous anymore. I nearly crashed into the close far wall. The room was as it had been ten or twelve years ago, when I unwittingly opened a portal for Beezle and launched my uncle deep into somewhere else. There were only two differences between now and then. The first was a large splotch of blood on the south wall. The second was a sealed envelope on the polished onyx floor. In shock I picked up the letter and examined the red wax seal. It was stamped with the letters CP. When I lifted the seal the bronze door slammed shut and a gust of wind circled the room. I ran to the door and inserted my key. It wouldn't turn. I tore the typewritten letter from the envelope and read,
 "Dear Lord Secrest,
 Until recently there has been an evil entity occupying this space. Whether you considered it a blessing, curse, or tenant, it will not bother you again. To ensure both your safety and cooperation this room has been sealed for the next twenty-four hours. Have an enjoyable weekend. As always, feel free to submit stories about any demons you encounter for inclusion in 'The Crimson Pact.'
 -The Spirit Traveler"
--to be continued---

Sorry for the break. I had to stop here to cry a little bit. Much as I hate to admit it, I've grown attached to Beezle. This is an emotional scene for me.


(Crimson Pact references used with the written permission of Paul Genesse. Get the anthology or risk your life submitting your own demon related experience at www.thecrimsonpact.com)