The Death and Life of Molly Dufrene

  1. Molly Dufrene

    Circular Inevitability

    Things had taken a turn for the worse. Molly clutched her side, the knife wound exactly where it had been on her body in the morgue. She instinctively tried to shield herself, but he was too quick, knocking her to the ground. His eyes had been replaced by those soulless pits of black, the same as the people, no not people, the things that had dragged her and Amber out into the forest before. The events that led to this moment flashed in her mind.

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    Molly had an odd feeling going into the catacombs. Not her usual jitteriness when out in the field, and not a true fear of the creepiness of the place. Well, it was super creepy, but that wasn’t the feeling. Something was going to happen.

    She hoped that the leads had finally panned out. The Codex had been stolen from Venice archives, snuck out by Phoenician agents. That in turn had led to the codex making it’s way through various occult dealer circles, where it had been auctioned to a man, who had made his way down into the Paris catacombs, if her magic was right.

    She sighed and continued deeper in. It was really creepy here.

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    Someone had definitely set up shop here. The room had a small cot, but more interestingly it had a wall covered in various notes, papers and diagrams of an arcane nature. Quite a bit of it was beyond Molly’s understanding, but it seemed to be a ritual of some kind. A summoning…

    “No way.” Molly whispered. He wanted to summon what they had summoned, her friends and herself, except a much larger scale. That was bad, really bad. She glanced around the room, where was that book?

    “You’re here looking for the book, no?” Molly awkwardly jump turned to the entrance to the chamber, which a man now occupied. The man, a bit scruffy but with a zealous gleam in his eyes, carefully moved forward. “All my careful plans to get the book, yet you are still here. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. You survived Keph-Ihughua, but you cannot escape him so easily.”

    “Wh-Who are you? Why are you doing this?” Molly asked.

    “Just a lowly archivist of the Council. Yet soon I will be the one who brings Keph-Ihughua to this place and time.” She could feel the man start to call upon magic energies as he drew a blackened athame. Molly instinctively called upon her anima, as she drew blood runes in the air, and their magic clashed.

    She could tell that he had more experience, more knowledge of magic. It didn’t matter. The bee’s sheer power was just too great, and his protective wards faltered.

    In the back of her mind she felt some remorse. He was human, not filth infected or inhuman. However, he intended to use the book to release that thing, he called it Keph-Ihughua. She needed to find the book, prevent it from ever being used.

    She quickly left the room, knowing the book had to be close. If she had been more attentive, she might have noticed the athame pulse with a dull glow.

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    It was in one of the bigger rooms that she found what the man had been working on. The book was carefully placed on an altar. Around the altar were various unfinished arcane preparations, much like the diagrams she had previously seen.

    Approaching the book, she found her hands shaking. Memories involuntarily rising to the surface of her thoughts, the realities of the past and the nightmares of the present. It was distracting, and probably the reason she never heard him coming until his fist was upside her head.

    She fell to the ground, her vision blurry. He quickly followed up the advantage, stabbing the knife into her side, the sharp pain pushing her to react. She tried a blood magic trick to slow him down, messing with his internal life force, but it didn’t seem to matter as he knocked her to the ground again.

    It had to be the knife. She got the same feeling from it that she got from the book. They were connected, or at least similar, and it was controlling his body now. It all had to be destroyed now. Focusing every bit of anima she had, willing it into fire.

    The blue fire that erupted from her body consumed everything. The book, the knife, the puppet body attacking her. Molly could swear, as the book burnt to ashes, and the knife glowed hot and melted, that they screamed. Everything started to warp and distort around her, then into her. It was the greatest pain she had ever felt, like her soul was being sliced into little pieces. She collapsed fully, laying on the mausoleum floor. She knew the next sensation well, she was dying.

    Please let me die this time. I don’t want to come back.

    She wished this every time she died. She knew that it didn’t matter, that always the sound of buzzing and the smell of honey would bring her to wakefulness.

    The buzzing never came. In an apartment miles away, the residents were disturbed by the noises of a group of agitated mini-golems. Three weeks prior to Molly’s death, her body was found in Darkside.

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