I had gotten a call from my special friend, Miss Kitty Parn. Her neighbours had asked her to look after their son, four-year-old Billy, whilst they spent the evening at the cinema. Kitty had been happy to oblige, and had begun the evening by doing her homework whilst the young boy slept. However, the relative peace of the young girl’s first job as a babysitter was suddenly ended when she went to check on her charge -- and beheld him levitating several feet above his bed!
This, along with an ungodly odour that smelled like a mixture of rotten eggs and excrement, and a strangely far-off howling sound, convinced Kitty Parn that something quite out-of-the-ordinary was indeed occurring. The girl had immediately telephoned me, knowing from some former adventures we had experienced together that I was one of the few who would have any idea how to deal with such strange phenomena.
I hurried over to the suburban home located in the Timonium area of Baltimore County, driving my canary-coloured Edwardian roadster (affectionately known as “Lizzie”) and dressed in my usual finery -- including a frilled poet shirt and my favourite purple velvet dinner jacket.
Kitty Parn had met me at the door. She was even more beautiful than I had remembered; petite and perfect with rich auburn hair and eyes the deepest shade of blue; her skin as the purest white of alabaster. She was clad in a cream-coloured halter top and powder-blue miniskirt. After warning her to stay in the living room, I entered the young boy’s bedroom and began speaking the appropriate rite of exorcism. You see, I had immediately recognised young Billy’s trouble as the latest of a series of possessions I had been encountering recently; possessions by the Shaitans, those disembodied spirits of the horrid race of beings that had at one time inhabited the now-lost planet Eblis. Exactly why this series of Shaitanic infestations was occurring I had as yet not determined. It was as if it were a side-reaction to something; something big and horrendously dangerous on levels physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Something approaching. Something that had as yet not revealed its true import.
Billy rose up and glowered at me, his eyes glowing ebon-black with the force of the demoniacal control. I spoke the final words of the ancient exorcism formula:
“By the power of Allah-ha-Shem, the Maker of Worlds, I do cast you out!!”
With this, the hideous host of black Shaitan spirits issued forth from the lad, and, giving forth a noise like unto the baying of a thousand infernal curs, immediately vanished -- condemned by my rite to the inter-dimensional prison that is known as Hell or Gehenna.
“Weird adventures in babysitting,” said I.
After the last echo of this horror had faded away, I checked on Billy. He had returned to normal and was sleeping peacefully. I covered him with his blanket before returning to join Kitty Parn in the living room.
The girl was watching television (some animated children’s show) whilst munching on popcorn out of a large plastic bag. She turned around expectantly when I entered, a look of intrigue in her lovely eyes.
“Did you do it, Doctor?” she enquired. “Are they gone?”
“Yes, love,” I assured her. “The demonic forces have been exorcised, and all is now well.”
“Cool!” she exclaimed. “Will you sit down now and watch TV with me?”
Unable to resist the exquisitely lovely tweenager, I took a seat on the sofa. Kitty immediately slinked herself onto my lap.
I kissed the girl softly a few times on her cheek and neck. She giggled and I felt her warm figure move slightly as with increasing desire whilst she sat against me. I took a piece of popcorn from the bag and held it in front of her pretty face, focusing on the cherry-red sweetness of her luscious lips.
“Here,” I teased. “Let me put this in your mouth.”
“That’s what you always say,” smiled the little beauty. …
My name is RUMANOS -- DOCTOR DANIEL RUMANOS, Extraterrestrial Espionage Agent and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the physical appearance of an human being, I am in fact several thousands of years old and do carry within my blood the vastly superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL -- the most intellectually-advanced race in all of the known galaxies, whose technology is so sophisticated it often appears to be “miraculous” to lesser beings.
Whilst most Algolites live in elitist seclusion from the rest of the Universe, I am an Operative for a secret organisation known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department, tasked with maintaining peace and order throughout the farthest reaches of Space and Time. “Plausible deniability”, and all that.
Currently assigned to Planet Earth, I protect its people from the hideous manipulations of the arch-villain known as Master Don Wingus and his occult terrorist organisation, Spectral Paranormal;, as well as alien invasions, mad scientists, and indeed all manner of menace. I am the living icon of Algol upon this world. I am the sword of justice from the planet Daemonia.
I am -- THE DAEMON-STAR!!! …
I was still cuddling with Kitty Parn, kissing her softly on her lovely lips whilst my hands explored the slender curves of her pubescent pulchritude, her bare skin glistening in the light from the television whilst my desire again firmly arose, when something being said on the broadcast suddenly grabbed my attention. The programme had changed, and it was now some local news show about happenings at an inner city church.
“The atmosphere is exciting here at West Baltimore Covenant Church tonight,” announced the thin, suit-wearing African-American newsman. “We are waiting for the excavation that will in just a few minutes uncover this wall, behind which is rumoured to be relics of a former congregation’s delving into the dark arts of voodoo!”
“Wait a minute!” I said, suddenly tearing myself away from what was obviously turning into another passionate embrace with the girl. “Did he say ‘voodoo’?!”
“Earlier today,” continued the announcer, “we spoke with Reverend Sematerie, the current pastor of this church. We asked him about his opinion, as a man of the cloth, about the strange magic said to have once been practiced here, which is said to have involved the worship of a mysterious ‘serpent-god’.”
The broadcast then changed to a pre-recorded video of a microphone being held up to the face of a man in a clerical collar. His countenance was as of one of middle years, his visage still quite handsome despite being somewhat marred with the effects of lifetimes of extreme profligate wickedness. His hair was dark and rather long, and his face was decorated with a thin moustache and goatee. Most of all, his pale eyes shone with a diabolically-hypnotic gaze.
“Hey, isn’t that…?!” stammered Kitty
“Don Wingus!” I verified. “So he did escape from Edalpo. I should have known he had something to do with the recent increase in demonic activity!”
“We do not believe in voodoo,” stated Wingus in his guise as Rev. Sematerie. “Such things have no power in the world today. However, I am sure the little archaeological dig we have helped to fund will be of great enjoyment for your viewers. We hope they will remember it was brought to you by West Baltimore Covenant Church, Charm City’s most truly dedicated…”
“I need to get over there right away, Kitty!” I said, interrupted the fake pastor’s spiel as I stood up and quickly retrieved what I had removed of my clothing, having to extricate it from the tangle of the girl’s discarded skirt and top. “I do not know as yet what exactly Wingus is up to, but his evil must be stopped! I…”
“Hey, what they hell is going on here?” shouted an angry male voice from the front door. This query was accompanied by a woman’s scream.
I turned and beheld the man and woman, obviously little Billy’s parents having returned early from their cinema outing and shocked to find an unknown man in their home where they had only left the young girl to look after their child -- the same young girl who was now lying nude upon their sofa! …
At that same time, at west Baltimore Covenant Church, the news broadcast had continued.
“And the excavators are breaking through the wall now,” said the newsman. “Soon we will see if the secret room really contains evidence of voodoo worship and…”
His voice was suddenly cut short by an uprising of wind and rain, a sudden squall with near-hurricane like conditions. The broadcast would have to stop, and it would be officially attributed to one of the small but severe sudden storms that sometimes occur in the Mid-Atlantic region. …
Nevertheless, the true cause of this tempest was something else indeed. For at that moment, in a secret and lofty cellar beneath the church, was gathered a group of worshippers; worshippers not of any deity of goodness but rather worshippers of unspeakable satanic evil. There were twelve of them, and they all wore black, hooded ceremonial robes as they stood before a stone altar upon which were numerous black candles and an incense burner upon which were heaped unlawful herbs.
Standing before them all was Don Wingus, alias “Rev. Sematerie”, clad in his own black ceremonial vestment upon which was embroidered an inverted pentagram.
“Come forth, O great one!” chanted Wingus as he spread out his hands in unholy supplication. "Come forth, O serpent god and grant me thy power! Come forth, ancient dragon of lore! I, Master Don Wingus, by my rights do call thee to come forth! Come forth, horned snake from a distant star! Come forth, O Damballah!!”
It was then that all hell broke loose, the storm outside being a mere side-effect. For in this chamber, above the altar of blasphemous madness, began to be descried the nebulous shape of a gigantic serpent, glowing with an ebony-blackness beyond any darkness known to the world of rational sanity!
Looking upon this, the evil Don Wingus laughed a mirthless laugh of triumph and of unnameable wickedness.
Then, it was over as quickly as it began. Outside of the church, the news crew had already left the area when the storm subsided. In the secret chamber, the image of the horrid serpent faded from sight.
“The Lord Damballah has blessed us with his image,” announced Don Wingus to his followers. “He will return later tonight at our second summoning. That he may stay and bless me with his supreme power, we must prepare an offering for him! Hear me and obey!”
“We hear and obey, Master,” repeated the cult. “We hear and obey.” …
Kitty and I had hurriedly dressed and exited to avoid questioning from Billy’s parents. The girl had insisted upon staying with me, despite the dangers of my mission. She had more dreaded having to face her own family if they heard about what had occurred, and thought it would be best to stay away for a while until things calmed down over the matter.
We raced in my car, Lizzie, to the inner city area of Baltimore. It was just around midnight, and the particular neighbourhood to which we were going was rather deserted at this hour, due to concerns about street crime.
“So, what is it, Doctor?” Kitty asked along the way. “What is this voodoo thing about?”
“The ‘voodoo serpent god’ is Damballah,” I explained. “In reality, Damballah is an extraterrestrial, one of the Snakepeople of the constellation Draco. Many aeons ago, Damballah led an uprising among the Draconians, believing that they should leave behind their peaceful ways and become conquerors, as legend said their most distant ancestors had been. He had a dream of establishing an empire across the Galaxy. My people, the Watchers of Algol, of course opposed this. A network of twelve spies was sent from our planet, disguised as Space-going traders, to infiltrate and sabotage the rebel Draconians led by Damballah; but they found more than they bargained for. It appears that Damballah had managed to reactivate within himself some ancient serpent powers found deeply in the psyche of his race. They were dangerous and incredibly potent ‘psychic-spiritual’ abilities, forsooth abilities that the Draconians had suppressed by their philosophy of peace. The Algolite spies were nearly discovered, and, in order to keep Damballah from finding a way to integrate our technology into his own powerbase, and unable to return to Algol without alerting the serpent of our opposition to him, they gave up their own inherent powers as Watchers and went into hiding, scattered throughout the Galaxy. They have never been heard from since.
“Following this, the Draconian government secretly partnered with the Absolute Convention of Algol to defeat the Damballah rebellion. All of his cohorts were killed in the ensuing battle, but Damballah himself escaped. We later ascertained that he had come to Earth and set himself up as the ‘serpent god’ later remembered by so many religious traditions: The Midgard of the Norsemen, the Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs, and the one of the Afro-Caribbean voodoo traditions. After a time, his influenced waned. We hoped he was dead, but it has always been known that he could have just been in a slumber, a slumber lasting for many thousand of years. As such, Damballah would by now be near the end of his natural lifespan anyway, and would be looking for someone to whom he could pass on his power.”
“Oh my God!” exclaimed the girl. “Do you think that Don Wingus is trying to become that person? "
“Horribly enough, that is likely the case,” I replied. “If my old foe Wingus has discovered the slumber-place of Damballah beneath that church, he could very well be planning to acquire the serpent-power as part of his own bid to conquer the world!”
Just then, something bizarre occurred. Lizzie’s engine suddenly sputtered and died!
“What on Daemonia!” I exclaimed. “What could have happened to overcome the special modifications I have made to Lizzie? Her engines should be invulnerable to anything.. Well, anything from this planet!”
“Do you think this ‘serpent’ thing could have affected her?” queried Kitty.
“It seems likely, love,” I said. “Here, let me check.”
I left the driver’s seat and opened the car’s bonnet, then taking the transonic turnscrew (an highly-advanced scientific instrument resembling a writing pen) from my pocket, I did a quick engine scan.
“Yes, that seems to be it,” I announced. “If I can boost the fuel intake through the auxiliary guidance circuitry, I should be able to repair…”
“Doctor!” suddenly exclaimed Kitty, who had stayed in the passenger’s seat. “Look out!”
I stood up straight and whirled around just in time to behold several individuals in black, hooded robes approaching us down the city street. Before I could react, one of them raised his hand and sent forth a crimson blast of energy directly at me!
In immense pain from the intensity of the sudden attack, I felt my consciousness start to slip away.
“That is the power of the alien mind parasite that Don Wingus formerly introduced to some of his followers,” I said to myself, attempting to stay awake. “A few of them must have survived, and are now part of this ‘voodoo’ cult.”
Forcing away the pain and making myself stand erect. I aimed the transonic turnscrew at the cultist who had blasted me, then activated a certain setting on the device.
The cultist, along with two of his cohorts, shuddered and cringed. I saw their faces begin to rapidly age.
“I have been ready for this since my last encounter with the mind parasite,“ I told them. “The transonic is tuned to the frequency with which it has attached itself to your brains. As I force it through its natural life cycle, it tales you with it to old age and death.”
The faces of the three cultists soon rotted away into skulls, and then I soon saw their entire bodies crumble away into dust.
Nevertheless, there were a couple of other cultists who had not been among those affected by the alien parasite. One of these had sneaked up behind me and was just about to deliver a blow to the back of my head. I turned just in time, delivering a Daemonian jujitsu move that sent him crashing to the ground unconscious.
“Kitty,” I said, “we need to…”
I stopped short in horror when I saw the empty passenger’s seat. I looked around frantically in all directions, but there was no sign of her. Kitty Parn was missing!!
Do you recognise the extreme terror of this situation, dear readers? That helpless young girl, the beautiful Miss Kitty Parn, was gone -- obviously having been kidnapped by members of the voodoo cult of Damballah!
All was quiet on the street as I straightway drove my car, having quickly finished the repairs, to the location of West Baltimore Covenant Church. The huge neo-Gothic edifice of the building loomed before me as if itself part of some eldritch dread from another time.
I parked Lizzie and entered the church, finding its interior to be only dimly lighted by a few streetlamps shining through the stained-glass windows. I began to look around, searching for a passageway, an hidden door, something, anything that could serve to give me entrance into whatever hidden ceremonial chamber Don Wingus, alias “Rev. Sematerie”, was utilising for his horrible attempt to raise up the Draconian horror known as Damballah. This was the ritual of satanic fear that I hoped to prevent -- especially since I realised that the cult had kidnapped Kitty Parn in order to make the poor wee lass take an important (if unwilling) part in that hideous and utterly-mad ceremony!
As I explored the interior of the church, I was suddenly aware of the presence of a force, a power otherworldly. I felt it rising and seemed to hear around me a sound as of the hissing of serpents, and to feel the sensation as of the coils of these creatures surrounding me! …
Below the church, in the hidden ritual chamber, Don Wingus resumed his unholy chant as the power continued to grow around him. The remaining members of his cult stood in obeisance, all of their attention focused at what was on the altar -- young Miss Kitty Parn, helpless and in a swoon, as Wingus held aloft over her form a cruel ceremonial dagger!
“O great Damballah,” intoned the villain, “accept this sacrifice and come forth to grant me thy power! O serpent god of the magic of voodoo! Lost greatness of the Draconians! By the blood and life of this child I do bring thee forth!!”
And with this, the evil Don Wingus plunged the sacrificial knife to-wards the heart of the defenceless young girl!!!
Just in time, the form of little Kitty slid off the altar, causing the ritual blade of Don Wingus to clatter uselessly upon its stone surface.
I held the girl in my arms (having pulled her by her leg) and felt her start to revive from her swoon.
“Doctor,” she gasped, “what happened?”
“Fortunately, I was able to follow the presence of the serpent power to this location,” I told her, “and not a moment too soon!”
“You have done nothing, Rumanos,” sneered Wingus as the powers continued to swirl around the satanic chamber. “Damballah shall still come forth! He will just be angry that you have deprived him of the proper offering! The calling has been effective, for the hour is three, and you know what that means!”
“Time to go cruising for eighth graders?” I supposed.
“No, you nympholeptic nuisance,” snarled Wingus. “Not three PM; three AM! Ayy-Emm! The true ‘witching hour’!”
“Of course. The time that most humans are asleep, therefore clearing the psychic ‘airwaves’ for the most effective inter-dimensional callings.”
“Exactly! Now, listen and see, as Damballah comes forth!!”
Indeed, at that very moment the rising power reached a crescendo, and, coming into view above the blasphemous altar was the hideously-nigrescent shape of the serpent god himself! The phantasmagorical form grew strong and clear, and then the dark, deep, hissing voice of Damballah himself filed the chamber.
“Who has dared to call forth the greatest of the Draconians?!” he bellowed. “I am Damballah, and I may only be summoned by one worthy to receive my power!”
“It is I who have called thee, O great serpent god,” announced Wingus, "I, the Reverend Sematerie, leader of the rites of voodoo! I, Master Don Wingus of Algol!!”
“You are in truth not of this planet,” returned Damballah. “You are superior to them and indeed could use my power wisely.”
“I would use it as thee did; to rule over all.”
“That is the correct statement,” approved the Draconian serpent. “However, there is another here who is not of this world. Perhaps he would wish to have my power?”
“No!” I exclaimed, knowing it was obviously me to whom he referred. “I do not want the power! Why can you not leave the people of Earth in peace, Damballah? Why must you have someone to continue your attempts at conquest?”
“Because it is what I am!” retorted the horror. “I am the serpent god, bringer of the Draconian Empire, which must endure forever! The dissolution of my physical self is near. I must pass on my power that my imperial greatness shall go on!!”
“Then you will give thy power to me?” enquired Don Wingus expectantly.
“Yes,” affirmed Damballah. “My power -- the power of the serpent god of Draco -- shall be yours!”
“Damballah you cannot do this!” I insisted. “You cannot give the Draconian power to this execrable individual!”
“You would dare to oppose me?!” spat the serpent deity. “I am Damballah! You have already robbed me of the proper offering, and now you would stand in the way of the transfer of power?! That shall not be! For this insolence you now must die!!”
Then something unexpected occurred; something amazing; in sooth, something absolutely wonderful. For at that crucial moment Kitty Parn suddenly ran out from where she had been sheltering behind me.
“No, don’t do it!” screamed the girl. “Don’t hurt the Doctor! He is a good man and he is my friend! I love him! Please don’t hurt him! Take me as a sacrifice if you want, but please don’t hurt the Doctor!”
“What is this?!” shouted Damballah. “This little one would give her life to save another?! That is against all of the most ancient principles of Draco!! This world has become infested with the same contagions of ’love’ and ‘kindness’ as mine did! I have no place here! I have no place… anywhere! No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
Straightway, at this declaration, the black powers of the serpent imploded upon Damballah. I hurriedly put my arms around Kitty and held her close, using my Algolitish physique to shield her from any backlash of the phantasmal energy. There was a boom like the tolling bell of another world, as of the final passing of a most hoary and ancient evil, and the hideous snake-god then quickly blinked out of view.
The chamber was silent as I looked around. There was no sign of Wingus and his followers.
“What happened, Doctor?” queried Kitty.
“Well, you did, love,” I smiled at the pretty preteen. “Your willingness to sacrifice yourself for another was too much for the evil of Damballah to bear. He simply self-destructed, taking the cult members with him into permanent oblivion.”
“What about Don Wingus?”
“I am not certain,” I pondered. “As an Algolite, it is possible he could have survived the implosion, as I did; and as you did due to my shielding you. None the less, Wingus has weakened some of his Algolitish powers over the centuries by certain misdeeds, so it is also possible that he was swept away along with the humans.”
“I hope so,” said the lass. “He was a bad man. I hoped we’ve seen the last of him.”
I looked at the exquisitely beautiful tweenager, the lovely Kitty Parn. I reached over to stroke her silky hair and kissed her on her luscious hot lips.
“I say, Kitty, it is almost sunrise,” mused I. “What say you we take Lizzie over to the Baltimore Place Hotel? They have an excellent buffet, and after we regale ourselves of that we can check in to their best suite for a much-needed rest.”
“That sounds cool, Doctor,” giggled the girl. “You don’t really want to rest though, do you? After breakfast, wouldn’t it be even better to use the hotel bedroom to get back to more of what we were doing on the sofa earlier?”
“Of course, love,” I agreed as the sexy little lady and I left the church hand-in-hand. “That, after all, is truly the only real magic!”
***** DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN IN “SHUT UP AND DANCE”