Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dead Rite chapter 7.05

Legion offered her hand to Harold but he stepped backward. "That's okay." He thrust both hands into his pockets. "We'll take the handshake as read."

"If you wish." Legion inclined her head in a partial nod. "It is good to meet you, Mr. Waterman. Your mother has told me so little about you. Except, perhaps, that you might be advantageous in tracking down my errant children."

"That's mum all right." Harold gave a forced laugh, looking from one woman to the other. "You can't consider her a representative sample, mind. Some people in Laverstone are quite nice when you get to know them."

"Not all of them." Ada glared at her son. "Some of them are downright rude.." She coughed and composed herself. "Can we go into your office. What we want to talk to you about is a little disquieting for tender ears."

"Best you don't tell me at all then." Harold pointed at Delirious and at the box of scrap paper. "That needs recycling."

"How environmentally conscious of you." Legion glided forward. "It will do no good, mind. The apocalypse will happen whether you cut down your carbon footprint or not. It is ordained."

"So is a priest but it doesn't stop him touching the choir boys." Harold watched the eighteen-inch tall imp carry off a three-foot cardboard box. "Besides, we recycle paper into paper, the better to make accurate copies of old books." He walked over to a glass cabinet where a book lay under smoked glass. "Take this, for example. You might appreciate it.." He pressed a button and the case was flooded with blue light.

Inside were several scraps of parchment written in Aramaic, the brown ink faded in places and difficult to make out. Legion read what she could.

"And the prophet made me whole and I beheld the spirits entering the swine on the hillside, whereupon they ran down the hill into the sea and I saw them no more."

She turned to Harold. "What is this?"

"It's one of the Dead Sea Scrolls." Harold turned off the light again. "The apocryphal Gerasenes Gospel. the man from whom Iesua reputedly extracted two thousand demons."

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