Grady's Site


On a dark and stormy night, much like tonight, I was at a crossroads.  In one hand I held a small, velvet sack full of fresh graveyard dirt, in the other I held the left, rear leg bone of a cat, around which was intricately woven a long strand of my dirty, blonde hair.  In the exact center of the crossroads I dug a hole big enough for both of my grotesque items.  I placed them gently inside the hole and covered it up with the loose soil.  I sorely regretted doing what I was about to do, but it needed to be done, or so I thought.  When nothing happened, I finally gave up and turned around.  That is when I saw him.  Standing there before me was a pale, white raven.

“That is an interesting form you have chosen to use for this visit, for that is all this is a temporary visit that ends at my discretion,” I said.  The corporeal essence of this demon shifted from side to side, then turned its head to get one good eye on me and said, “The ones who die and rise again, are always the ones to die again.”  Deep in thought, I puzzled over what he had said, but to no avail.

The ivory, white raven, as the reader well knows, is no ordinary raven.  Having spent millennia within the bowls of hell the raven had finally clawed its way to a curtain, a dimensionally thin spot in the fabric of time and space between Earth and Hell.  That is when he felt it, a sharp tug towards the curtain.  A smile slowly crept across what anatomically humans would consider a face.  There came another tug, he did not resist this time and it pulled him through to the other side.  Free, after millennia he was free.

I found living, or not living as the case may be, with the facts that that filthy bird had given me was almost impossible.  It started with those cursed riddles.  Always those cursed riddles.  Then he started telling me things, impossible things, stuff that did not make sense.  It was as if he was trying to learn how to speak.  Eventually, he started saying things that no one could know.  How he knew these things, I could only guess.  Finally, he told me what I had to do.  In order for my soul, which was indefinitely trapped on Earth's plane of existence, to be at rest I need to travel to the otherworldly well, a place of legend.  Following the spiraling staircase down into the underworld, I would find the ancient river Styx.  From there I would find the ferry master, Charon, and give him four gold coins, two to go across and two to come back.  Traveling deeper and further than any spirit has ever gone before, I would find the spidery abode of the fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.  In addition, these three women would tell me exactly how to put my soul to rest.

While interesting as that all was, I found it impossible to believe.  Therefore, reaching into my duster, a western style trench coat, I pulled out my colt .45 and shot the raven.  It exploded in a puff of white feathers.

In the eighteen hundreds, a Navajo shaman contracted a local gunsmith to build him a custom-made pistol.  The shaman gave the gunsmith a large piece of sky metal that he had spent one month blessing.  The shaman gave the smith specific instructions on how the weapon was to be built.  The colt was created in exactly thirteen days, with no extra metal used.  It had intricate inscriptions interwoven along the barrel and exactly six iron bullets.  Not one single bullet, in all of its existence, had ever been shot, until I killed the raven.

* * *

My name is Samantha Oldmen.  I'm a 23 year old, with brown hair and gray eyes.  I'm approximately 5' 4” tall, and 130 pounds.  I am a patient at St. Mary's Hospital for the Criminally Insane.  When I was sixteen I murdered my mother.  A white raven told me to do so.  He said that she was a demon, and that she was planning on stealing my soul.  He told me that in order to protect my immortal soul I had to kill her.  So I took a carving knife from the kitchen, and I waited for my mother to fall asleep.  After she had kissed my forehead goodnight, I waited.  And I waited.  When I finally heard her go down for the night, I got up and slowly crept to her room.  With the carving knife in hand, I stabbed her thirteen times, in the chest.

Thirteen weeks later, the courts found me guilty of murder in the first degree, but a doctor, Dr. White, diagnosed me with delusional schizophrenia and so I wound up at St. Mary's.  Now I battle everyday, to discover which of the two worlds I live in is real.  I try to ascertain whether I'm a six foot tall Aryan warrior or if I'm just a small terrified little girl.  The problem is that the white raven exists in both worlds and he has his beady, little black eyes on my bright, shiny soul.  For, as you already know, the little, white raven is not all that he appears to be...

* * *

I leaned down towards what was left over of the raven.  Using the end of the barrel on my .45, I moved the tuft of feathers around.  What I found pissed me off.


Not the black, tar-like blood of a demon, but a totem, cleanly sliced through the middle cutting the long white hair that had been wrapped around it in a Celtic knot.

A totem is a Japanese golem.  It is carved from acacia wood, into any image you wish your astral form to take, and then using a piece of your physical body you animate the carving with a small amount of your spiritual essence.  Thus, allowing you to communicate, and interact across long distances with out leaving the comfort of home.  The only down side of this is that if attacked, the spell is broken, leaving behind the carving and a piece of yourself.

“The bastard tricked me,” I muttered, “no wonder the spell took longer than usual to take effect.”  I reached down with my gloved right hand, and picked up what remained of the golem carving and the string of hair.  I placed them together inside a leather satchel hanging from my side.  I might be able to use them at a later date.

What to do now?  The summoning spell only works once a month on the full moon, so that idea is played out.  Not to mention it was the only lead I had.  What to do?  The only other information I had was what the demon gave me freely of his on volition.  Was it a trap?  No, even though it took longer to take affect, the summoning spell still compels the summoned to speak the truth.  So, my only option at this moment will be to find the otherworldly well.

“This might take some time,” I said as I turned and slowly walked away into the night.


Today, the 6th of June of the year 1995, was a Tuesday, and Tuesdays are always group share day.  Three other patients, besides myself, were present.  There was Virginia Bardwell, she was a thirty year old song writer with blonde hair and green eyes.  She had checked her self in due to an addiction to pills, mostly Oxycontin.  Then there was Simon Freud.  He's a twenty-four year old writer.  He has long black hair, the tips of which are dyed electric blue, and dark brown eyes that seem to pierce you through to your soul.  In the middle of writing the fifth novel of his career Simon had a complete mental break down.  Last of all there was Jimmy Ferris.  He's a forty-one year old retired Air Force Colonel.  He had salt and pepper hair with hazel eyes.  The year before the Colonel retired he was diagnosed with delusional schizophrenia.

“So Samantha,” Dr. White said, “do you have anything to share with us this week?”  I fidgeted in my seat.  Dr. White stared at me, wrote something down in his folder, and then pushed his black, nondescript glasses closer to his face.

“Come on Samantha.  We're all waiting.”  I fidgeted some more, and then coughed.  “Well,...Last weekend, Samuel shot the white raven...Only, um, it turned out to only be a totem, er, ah, golem.”  I started to chew on my lower lip.  I knew what was coming next.

“Sam, the white raven isn't real.  He's a projection that your mind has conceived to coop with the fact that you murdered your mother,” Dr. White explained.  While he had been explaining this, the white raven had landed on his shoulder and was shuffling from side to side.  He cocked his head to one side, pierced me with one of his coal, black eyes, and let out a loud, “KRAAAW!”

Starman turned from looking at Samantha, and said, in a deep southern drawl, “Doc, just leave the little lady alone.  We all know that whether or not the Shadow believes in reality will never change her place of residence.”

“Yeah!,” chimed in Dream-maker and Song-maker.

* * *

After Doctor White left, Starman and the others stayed behind to ask about Samuel.  I told them about the summoning spell and how the white raven had tricked him.  And then I told them about what the white raven had said.

“Does Samuel think it's a trap?,” asked Dream-maker.  Song-maker and Starman looked at me.  “No, he says that the spell compels the demon to speak the truth.  So, No.”

“Did he say anything else,” asked Dream-maker.  As he asked he took out a small, green notebook and a little stubby pencil, and started jotting down, in shorthand, everything Samantha told them Samuel had said.

“Sounds to me that Samuel needs help,” Starman stated.  He stood up, pushing his chair back, and pulled out a pack of Marlboro Reds.  “I'm going to go smoke.  So, Samantha, you keep at least one eye on that demonic raven.”  With a tip of his non-existent hat Jimmy left.

“This is going to make an awesome story!” Simon exclaimed.  Simon got up and walked out of the room, scribbling in his notebook and muttering under his breath.

“Come on Sam.  Let's go and get something to eat before lights out.”  As Virginia and Samantha left the room, the raven stepped out from behind a window curtain.  He hopped up, fluttered his wings, a bit, and landed on one of the remaining chairs.  The light from a lamp, that was sitting in a corner, cast a long, narrow shadow from the raven up the opposite wall.

“Follow her,” the raven said, “Don't let her out of your sight, or it will be your hide the master devours.”  With those words of encouragement, the raven's shadow became an amorphous cloud of dark, swirling mass that siphoned itself out of the room through the key hole.

* * *

...a market place crowded with people of all types; looking to buy and sell; one man towers over the rest, wearing a long brown duster and a leather, stetson cowboy hat...

Samuel was looking for Rajeesh, a black market dealer in rare and exotic magical merchandise.  Samuel had learned from a blind, one eyed crone that he was looking for a rare, magical coin that would lead him to the legendary city of Trimachinate, in the Land of the Midnight Sun, where he will discover an ancient map that will direct him towards the otherworldly well.

Rajeesh was sitting at his stand with a couple of fake magic lamps, a fake magic carpet, and a large assortment of magical amulets.  When Rajeesh caught sight of Samuel, his upper brow started to sweat profusely and he started fidgeting with his tan robe.

“ is it going?  Hee...hee”  “Rajeesh, I'm looking for coin, a very specific one.”  Rajeesh started looking even more nervous and started closing shop.

“My coin collection has diminished in the years since I sold you that Arcadian sword.”  Rajeesh picked up his belongings that he had stuffed inside a large, burlap sack.  He moved away from the crowded street in a hurried, and determined fashion.  “But maybe I could find what your looking for, for a price.”  The further away that Rajeesh and the Aryan got from the market place, the more confident he became, until, when the bazaar was no longer in sight, he was a completely different person.

“So tell me, my friend, what coin are you looking for?”  Rajeesh moved to a two story, dull white building with a single, blood red door in the center.  Pulling a small, copper key from under his robe, he unlocked the red door.  Motioning for the Aryan to enter, Rajeesh followed closely behind, and locked the door, after looking back and forth down the street, making sure that no one had followed them.

“I'm looking for the Trimachinate Rose.  It's a triangular shaped coin, that supposedly will lead the possessor to the city of Trimachinate.”  While Samuel was talking of the Trimachinate Rose, Rajeesh went behind the counter of his store, where, lining the back wall, was a bookcase filled from ceiling to floor with dusty, ancient tomes, filled with obscure and arcane knowledge.  Pulling one of these ancient tomes down to the counter, Rajeesh opened the book, seemingly at random, flipped a couple of pages back and forth, finally found what he was looking for, and turned the book so that Samuel could read what he found.

The Rose was first discovered in 1216 A.D. by the Knights of the Dragon in the tomb of their deceased leader Vlad Dracul.  Years of rumors that Vlad the Impaler was still alive as a Stratogi, or a Russian vampire, had reached the ears of the Knights.  When they exhumed the body of their Lord all they found was the Trimachinate Rose and a small scroll.

The scroll described a land full of demons and monsters.  A land where the sun only shone in the ultraviolet spectrum, casting everything in a purplish hue.  This land was once ruled by a extremely advanced civilization that had technology way beyond anything we have today.  The Jinn were a race of spectral demons that originally came from a parallel dimension similar to our own.  They came to our dimension to escape an ecological disaster that was created because they had shared their technology with a technologically inferior race that chose to use that tech to wage war with their neighbors.  They burned a hole in the atmosphere that allowed radiation from the sun to devastate the planet.

Once they reached our dimension they found that the corporeal bodies they once owned no longer existed.  That in order to effect the physical world,with the exception of writing, they had to be summoned and then in order to stay they had to be attached to an object.  From this stemmed the stories of Genies.

The coin was a piece of their technology that allowed one of their summoners to find the capital of their land, Trimachinate.  Once there the summoner could bring forth a Jinn or become a slave to one already summoned.  Most chose to summon a new Jinn, but they too became slaves, just to the newly summoned Jinn.  As the years went by and the stories traveled the summoned Jinn became old and died.  With no new summoners to summon more of their kind the Jinn civilization soon died out.

The Trimachinate Rose was now in somewhere deep in the Sherwood forest, where it is guarded by a white balverine, or were-wolf.

“Looks to me Aryan, that you need to find yourself a Hood,” Rajeesh stated.  A Hood was a warrior specifically trained to hunt Lycanthropes.  At the age of six they are chosen and trained in everything were related.  “I know a very lethal Hood that goes by the name “Red”.  He hunts the creatures for their weight in gold, but for a white balverine...he might just do that for free.  Rumor has it that a white balverine killed his fiance the night before their wedding, and that he has sworn to the Morrigán his soul if he lives until the last white balverine is dead.”

A knowing look came across Samuel's face.  He too had heard of Red the Hood.  He didn't care what it was going to take, he would get Red and that coin if it killed him, not that it could.


Red, a 6' 3” Celtic warrior, did not start off as a Hood, he was the adopted son of his clan's captain of the guard, as such he had been groomed to take his position once his father retired.  He had taken the position on his twenty-first birthday, and two weeks later he fell in love with Irene the baker's daughter.

Two years after they met they set a day for their marriage.  The day before their wedding stories of werewolves abounded through the neighboring clans.  People in the outlying country-side were dieing.  That night a white balverine came and attacked the village laying waste to everything that it came in contact with.  Red gathered his warriors together and attacked the beast.

They surrounded the balverine with pikes and swords, while archers lined the surrounding rooftops.  Red himself, with a hand and a half sword, took to the center of the ring to take on the beast.  The creature circled around as it saw Red enter the ring.  They both tried to gauge their opponent, to see if they were threats.  The balverine made the first move, he leapt at Red going for his jugular, a death strike.  Red dodged to his left, rolling up and bringing his sword across the back of the beast.

The balverine screamed in rage as his opponent's sword ripped open the flesh of it's back, slicing him from hip bone to shoulder blade.  The creature turned around and swiped at Red, laying it's claws across the leather armor protecting his chest, ripping it and leaving tattered pieces hanging from his shoulders.

Red raised his sword above his head and brought it down, only to have it shatter against the white balverine's iron claws.  Having gained the advantage, the white balverine raised to it's full seven foot height and came baring down on Red.  Red started backing up, when he stumbled over his legs and fell to the ground.  At this point one of his lieutenants took charge, “Archers fire!”  All except one missed.  The arrow, aimed well, hit the balverine right in the left eye.  The creature roared in pain, and leapt over the warriors' pikes, running off into the night.

As the white balverine ran screaming into the night, a soldier ran over to Red.  “Commander, sir.  I have some bad news, it's about your fiance.  The balverine killed her, sir.  I'm sorry sir.”

After hearing the news of his fiance's death, Red swore vengeance on all white balverines, selling his soul to the Morrigán for immortality until the day he slayed the last white balverine.

* * *

“Doctor White, I think my shadow is following me.  And the raven, the white one, you know, is missing.  I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks now.”  I looked around Dr. White's office, noticing as I did, out of the corner of my eye, my shadow snapping back into place.

“Miss Oldmen, I'm going to have your medication raised from twenty milligrams to forty milligrams,” Dr. White said, jotting it down in his notes.  “We'll see how you handle that, and whether or not it should be raised some more.  We have another session tomorrow so I'll see you then.  You can go back to the common room.”

* * *

A dark, smokey room.  In the center a long, rectangular table stands with a dark maroon table cloth covering it.  On either end of  the table are two large, black candle sticks, both are lit. In between the candle sticks is a large, silver chalice.  The goblet is filled with the blood of a recently sacrificed virgin.

Earlier the raven had taken a  small, thirteen year old, blonde girl and offered up her virgin body to Hades Lord of the Underworld, so that his master, Mephisto, could send a ethereal manifestation of himself from Tartarus, the bottomless pit in the deepest part of the underworld, to the Earthly plain.

Along with his brothers, Lucifer and Baal, Mephisto was banished to the deepest, darkest part of Hades, Tartarus, until such time as either Ragnarok came about or they, each, had collected 1,000 souls.  This one restriction allowed them only one privilege.  They were each allowed one servant to act on their behalf in the mortal realm.  The white raven was one such servant.

Using the virgin blood, the white raven summoned Mephistopheles's astral projection to the dark room.  The blood was an ancient secret used by the Greeks to summon ghost for information. Once drank, the blood allowed the spirit to take on a semi-corporeal form, and returned unto them the power of speech, which, coincidentally, was lost once one died.  Not that Mephisto needed such low forms of magic to sustain him, but it never hurt the raven to offer up something to his master, so as to appease his more wrathful nature.

“Ah, it has been a long time,” Mephistopheles said, stretching.  Now, Mephisto, contrary to more modern beliefs, was not some hideous half-goat, half-man creature or some horned fiend that most demons and devils are portrayed as.  Instead, he was the  epitome of beauty.  At six foot six, with long, radiant blonde hair and sky blue eyes, Mephisto could literally blind any mortal being with his beauty.

“How are things going, Asmodeus?”  Mephisto took a look down at his dusty, tattered toga, and snapped his fingers.  In place of the aged gray toga a crisp, new, pen-stripped armoni suit appeared.  With a pleased look on his face, Mephisto looked back at Asmodeus expectantly.  “Leviathan truly does love to belittle you, doesn't he?”

“Yes, your evilness, he does.  Every time I leave Hades he makes sure that I assume this form.  It's annoying!!  But, as for the plan, everything is going well.  Samuel is well on his way to Hades, and as for the girl, well, I have Belphegor keeping a close eye on her.  She's not going anywhere.”  It was kind of a disconcerting sight seeing the raven speaking.  It's beak and tongue moving in concert to form words that they were never meant to form.  Asmodeus took a couple of hops back so as to get a better look at Mephistopheles.

“Good.  Keep up the good work.  Don't disappoint me.  My future and yours, both count on this working.”  Then, with a blinding flash of light, Mephisto vanished, his six minutes of freedom used up.

* * *

Tuesday.  Again.  Dr. White was going on about alternative therapies for each of them.  Once therapy was over, Doctor White asked if Samantha would stay behind so that they could have a private discussion.  “Samantha, since you believe in the white raven so much, I suggest that we conduct an exorcism to rid you and your life of this “Demon”.  If you agree to this, then I can personally guarantee your immediate release.  So, what do you say?”

Samantha went over this in her head.  Could she really be free of the white raven?  Would an exorcism really work?  “Anything to get better, doc.”

“Okay, we'll do this tomorrow.  I'll get everything prepared and then we'll go to the site to preform the exorcism.  I must stress this thou, don't tell anyone about what we are about to do!  If someone found out I could lose my job.  Exorcism is not widely excepted, okay?”

“Yeah, okay.”

* * *

“Okay, Samantha this is it.”  Doctor White pulled his '91 Toyota Tercell over to park next to the curb.  Looking out, through the passenger side window, Samantha gazed up at an old, Victorian style church.  Surrounding the huge cathedral, was a long, stone fence, with a brass plaque near the iron barred entrance.  On the plaque was written a short quote:

“After your death you will be

 what you were before your birth.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer

The Doctor and Samantha both exited from the vehicle and headed towards the church.  As they walked through the gates towards the main entrance, Samantha noticed that the church had a large set of stained glass windows.  The one she had the clearest view of was a stained picture of St. George slaying a dragon.  It had brilliant hues of red, white, and blue.  At the large oak doors, Doctor White yanked one of them open, letting Samantha walk in first.

Following behind Samantha, the Doctor lead her down a long stone hallway from the entrance to the inner chamber where rows and rows of pews stood waiting for parishioners to come and invoke the powers of God.  Set up in the center, in front of the holy cross, was a rather large clearing with a stretcher in the middle.

“Okay, Samantha.  I need you to lay here on the stretcher.”  Samantha hopped up onto the stretcher and lay down.  Once she did Doctor White gently placed her arms and legs inside the lamb skin and leather restraints, tightening them until there was no hope of her getting out of them on her own.

“Doctor,” Samantha whispered, “what is this for?”  As he moved away, the Doctor turned over his shoulder and said, “Just your safety, my dear.  Don't worry, you'll get wrinkles.”  He smiled at Samantha, and continued on with his business.  In a pew to his left, the Doctor pulled, from a Wall-Mart plastic bag, five black candles and a large piece of red chalk.

Taking the red chalk, Dr. White drew a large circle around Samantha, muttering as he did so in Latin, and writing along the edge of his containment circle in Old Hebrew.  Taking a black candle he lit one at each cardinal direction, and put the last one in the center, next to Samantha.  At last he pulled a large leather bound book from his bag, opened it some where in the center, and began to read from it,:

“I call upon the great Mephistopheles,

the father of lies.  Hear me.

Take this soul as yours,

given unto you as a key to your prison.

With this I set you free from your eternal prison,

in the deepest part of Tartarus.

Do with it as you wish.”

With this prayer, the Doctor started chanting in Sumerian, the language of the birds.  A dark light started coming up from the floor.  As the light touched her, Samantha felt as if she was coming apart at the seams.  The molecules that made up her physical body were slowly being absorbed into Doctor White's leather tome.

Out of now where, a blinding white light blew apart the great wooden doors to the church.  Standing there, like some kind of gang of superheros, was Jimmy, Simon, and Virginia.  Simon was wearing some kind of long, tan-brown robe.  In one of his hands was a small, green, leather book, its pages empty.  In his other hand, Simon held a short twisted root with all sorts of stones and herbs attached to it.  Virginia was wearing a pair of black leather pants with a kind of lacy top that opened up at the sleeves.  In her hands, she held some white candles and a piece of blue chalk.

The moment the door blew open, Simon started chanting in Arabic.  With each word that spewed forth from Simon's lips, Samantha's body started to get more and more consistency.  As Simon did this, Virginia took her white candles and piece of chalk to the containment circle and where she found a black candle she replaced it with a white one, until she had replaced them all.  Then she took the blue chalk and created an entirely new circle called by some 'The Seal of Solomon' but called by Simon a 'Devil's trap'.  While she did this, she also rubbed out as much of the red chalk as she could.

Meanwhile, Jimmy had a different job.  The moment the doors reveled the horrific sight before him, he had leapt into action.  Jimmy was wearing nothing as dramatic as his comrades, just a pair of blue jeans and a white cotton t-shirt.  Out of his leather hiking boots he pulled an iron dagger.  Jimmy went strait for Doctor White.  The moment Jimmy came within a lunging distance, something spectacular occurred.  In place of his plain white t-shirt, a bright shinning silver breast plate appeared.  It was stylized with a golden cross the on the front.  His dagger grew another three feet, and on his back appeared large, white angelic wings.

“I am the archangel Gabriel.  I'm the keeper of the

Horn of the End of Time.

I Command, by the power given unto me

by the Lord our God, that you cease and desist.

If you do not I shall be forced to stop you.”

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!  You must be kidding!  Never!!!!!!!”

“So be it!!!  Go with the mercy of God!!!


With that battle cry, Gabriel charged the Doctor.  Having no weapons with which to defend himself with, Doctor White used the Book of Dark Exorcism to try and block the iron dagger-sword.  Instead of deflecting the blade as he had hoped, the sword went through the book and strait into the Doctor's heart, killing him instantaneously.

When Gabriel had announced his presence Belphegor had been attempting to fight back against Simon and Virginia.  Unfortunately for Belphegor, Simon's devil's trap wasn't just a typical weak one to counter-dark exorcisms, but instead was a full fledged 'Lesser Key of King Solomon' seal, with which to trap minor-greater demons of the inner four circles of the nine circles of Hell.  Needless to say, he was completely helpless.  With Virginia's help, Simon started chanting, him in Arabic, her in Gaelic, forcing Belphegor into the small leather green book in Simon's hands.  When they had finished, an image of Belphegor in his demonic form had appeared on the cover of the small tome.

As Belphegor's image appeared, that was when Gabriel's sword had penetrated Dr. White's heart, causing an explosion of dark energy.  The wall of energy caused everyone, with the exception of Gabriel, to be knocked on their backsides.  When the energy had finally dissipated Gabriel turned back into Jimmy.

“Okay folks,” Jimmy said, “I think its time to go, before all that dark energy attracts something really big and nasty.”

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