Landon Connors: Leap of Faith, Part 8

leap of faith

8

He was stripped bare to the waist, spread out on a black altar and surrounded by the naked flesh of cthonic acolytes. Their voices collided in perverse timbre, discordant and alien. It was a song born in the primeval soup in this planet’s dimmest memories… and they were singing for him. Singing him home.

It was a nightmare, to be sure, but all too real just the same.

Landon Connors strained against his bonds to no avail. Thick cords saw him bound tightly. No herculean effort would save this day. He would have to seek release through eldritch energies. Energies in conflict with those being raised against him.

The pain was, of course, all but unbearable, but an ancient prayer, learned in Nepal many moons before, quieted his mind in spite of the vicious sword wound in his side.

Blood was dried there, and it cracked with every movement sending a trickle of fresh blood sliding elegantly across his pale skin to pool on the altar for but the briefest of moments, for that altar did thirst and it drank what Connors offered and was empowered by it.

Quieted, another spell came to mind, a fakir’s dance of words that caused his bonds to stir. His lips moved ever so slightly, and the words themselves were all but inaudible especially as they mingled with the dark chorus of voices encircling him, but still, the power was true and vibrant, and the ropes were as serpents, slowly unknotting themselves.

Then a new voice joined in. His father. His betrayer.

“I loved him, ” the elder Connors spoke. “Do love him. I loved and love him as only a father can. And I can in turn show that love, both past and present, through this sacrifice, as his mother was laid down, consumed by the ancient fire, as too he will be.

“The ancient ones demand it and thus it falls upon me to see it through.”

Someone shouted “Iss mass saratu!” and Landon almost faltered, but he continued to manipulate the ropes that lashed him to this insatiable altar stone.

“Red is the eye in the black abyss,” his father continued, ” Resolute!, yes, inflamed, that’s it. We, the broken, the chained, shall be unfettered and the blood shall flow from the black spire and drown the world in it!”

Landon’s bonds at last fell away, and he sat up, left arm outstretched, a circle magically appearing there upon his broadened palm. With a whisper the room fell silent and green flame billowed from the occult detective.

As if on cue, a handgun barked from the darkness and an acolyte fell…

Suddenly chaos was everywhere as screams filled the desert night, turning the scene into true and utter bedlam. But Connors refused to lose focus. Still, in the unfolding melee, father and son were separated in the sea of confusion.

Connors found himself stumbling into the cold, then a blanket fell about him and unconsciousness once again beckoned…

to be continued

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