SPECTRAL SEAS

As I say here “¡Adios para todos!” and I face this crossroads with the affection of my mother tongue, I know that I prefer this damn shitty hanging to that nameless terror from which I escaped and that these miserable and greedy fools will have to face. I have seen enough to know that what awaits them is not something I would like to see again. Better to die hanged, even if it takes twice as long as a regular execution. I can’t forget the howls of fear emitted by Warthog, a pig-faced brown man, my right arm since we looted together the clipper brig El Defensor de Pedro. It was hard to see one of the most insane men I have ever met pissing and shitting all over because of the nameless horrors we witnessed.

He was the first to die among the nineteen we lost in our twenty-two crew, not counting the remaining slaves and cargoes that, at the end of the storm, were all confiscated. Look at the irony: beings, humans and animals were hardly spared, but most things were untouched. For me, pure proof that this great Lord does not exist or is very cruel. On the other hand, perhaps he has been merciful to the dead, who have not lived to see what will come.

I myself did not expect to flee and survive long enough to be arrested. This was not only due to my achievements of, let’s say, nautical independence, which always raised the risk of death, but especially due to the extremely harmful curse that began to haunt me. Nor did I care much for those rascals with bloody & fiery eyes and putrid corpses in their souls. In fact, I was moved only by the despair derived from a simple shiver, which arose when I saw a tear in the fabric of everyday reality. It is an accelerated perception of things, of pure amazement. A deadly madness, a general and malevolent disconnection where it is only possible to run, not in the hope of hiding, but because one is driven so insanely.

To this feeling and only to it, never to any affection or consideration for Warthog and his naughty sailors, I attribute the shock that I suffered in my mind and my heart. The great gale had started shortly after he met with that decrepit old man inside my cabin to recite that accursed book. I thought I could, in the end, profit from some knowledge of that fetid being, which came from the most extreme margins of earth, saying that I could evoke and control the most powerful demons, making me King of the World.

It all started when we captured a slave ship overcrowded with captured African. As always, I left the initial contact with the prisoners to Warthog and his colored gang, while forcibly taking some women and getting me drunk with plundered wine and rum. I always laughed with my rotten teeth at the boldness of several imperialist governments of la puta madre calling me, Benito de Soto Aboal, a criminal. All of them enslaving and stealing these folks from Africa and the New Lands without any shame or piety. It just made me more sure that I was doing the right thing. I was just an independent competitor who wanted to take advantage when both sides succumbed.

According to what my frontman explained, while interceding for one of the slaves, called Adedewe, she was a bokonon, a voodoo sorceress with fearsome powers, not limited by the moralism of the vodunsi, the regular priestess of this African cult. Warthog was a strong and squat seminole and I respected him, as he knew the native tribes of La Florida and Las Islas like nobody else. An old sea-wolf like me, but who had free passage between blacks and Indians who dominated the best places to hide our ship and the xebecs we often ransacked. The Americas were mine! Now, none of these cruel Crowns respected these peoples like us. They just wanted to suck the milk out. We shared.

Que se jodan todos estos esclavos de la brutal Iglesia!

(May all the brutal Church slaves get fucked!)

At first, I accepted that the woman should not be sold, as she seemed weak, despite being relatively young. Nobody would pay much for her. I thought she would be more valuable in generating certain legends about me and imposing a mystique on my crew with some smoke tricks, plant drugs to control minds and hand reading to manipulate allies. Almost like the gypsies, I thought. If Warthog said that it could be important in dealing with certain more hostile groups on both sides of the Atlantic, so much the better that she was on our side and not against us. As the saying from my motherland goes “No creo en las brujas, pero que las hay, las hay” (I do not believe in witches, but they do exist).

I had always found ridiculous that gabble-jabber about souls, spirits, energies and loas, powers and enchantments. I tried not to get involved with it and left Warthog and the bokonon entertaining each other. In other free moments, they were doing disgusting practices with herbs, animals, shouting and drumming in a group organized after their trip to the Tecamseh tribe, the best of seminole leaders, as that asshole of Andrew Jackson called them. Months later, he would be the one who would make us pass as friends of everybody, while deep down he just wanted more power. It was in this “glorious” moment that I made life easier on both sides, providing weapons so that the Florida War could take place.

I never fully understood what Warthog and Adedewe were talking about when speaking of beings and rituals that I was totally unaware of. From a great joke, I started taking it seriously since the day we were adrift next to the cursed Bermuda Triangle. This place was avoided with enormous dread by everyone who steered into this corner of the earth. A strong storm took our last sail and the old Burla Negra was damaged and heavy due to the last looting of a load of gold and precious stones.

We had to get rid of some chests and prisoners in order to keep ourselves afloat and free from hunger. Well, actually, we ate one or two prisoners roasted deliciously in what was left of firewood. Human meat was the most delicious of all, better than pork.

The sorceress, until then just a great quack in my eyes, took me to the helm, ordered everyone to go down in the deck, leaving only the two of us over. The boat then floated in the middle of a sea so dark that it merged with the starless night sky. A light greenish mist, bright as thousands of fireflies, was forming around us. The huge white sharks that had been surrounding us and threatened to knock us down by hitting the boat stayed behind, spinning in a circle, signaling that not even the sea kings would dare to penetrate there.

I must confess that the idea of being stuck in piles of seaweed did not make me happy, making me swallow dry. Any attempt to get out of there was valid, even the most idiotic. I never stopped drinking a stolen Chateau D’Yquem from the 1811 comet harvest. Ii wwaass sslliigghttllyy ddrruunnkk, but I could still control myself. First she asked my permission, I stood as immobile as a stillborn, waiting for some magic trick or mockery. I closed my eyes. She quickly blew a virulent snuff into my nostril with some delicate tube. I don’t know what was it contained, but it woke me up on the spot, despite my nervousness and euphoria. My heart seemed to jump up in my throat!

After a while of singing exotic spooky songs, any noise of the sea disappeared. Any sound, by the way. There was a hushed silence. I felt like we were in a huge cave, even though we were sliding smoothly along an ocean stream. The witch then gave me some brownish golden mushrooms, ordering me to eat them. It had been hours since I had eaten anything and it wasn’t tasty at all to chew down that burn-oil taste.

However, after a few more incantations made with anger and accompanied by lightning around us, I could see ghosts hovering, hearing screams of terror from those who were forever trapped in a dungeon without walls, a spectral island amid a sea of shadows, and feeling eventual green and slightly translucent goo sticking here or there on my clothes and parts of the deck.

I was then able to better understand Adedewe’s spiritual arts by watching her control some of these wraiths and find a way out for us safely, even though in the end she was showing an unusual tremor. She usually helped us to dominate ships with her bow, arrow and fire, always very calm and firm, facing the direct attack with bravery and eliminating dangerous enemies with her knives, poisoned darts and chain hot hooks.

In any case, she always made a lot of dirt with various animals and unusual substances, collected by her in the woods and among her native people, in gloomy places of Africa. After having escaped the doggone triangle, we really started to have total luck in our favor and to become the terror of the Atlantic.

In one of these forays, near the Columns of Hercules, in Ceuta, while we were looking for a good supply of kief and afyun to intercept for our personal satisfaction during the return to the Americas, we ended up meeting this strange man. He looked like a dark-skinned Chinese, perhaps a Mongol, in view of his clothing and tent. I can’t say for sure, but he offered his services with preying birds, especially a fearsome & very well trained black hawk. He claimed to have corsair treasure maps and claimed he had been in Irem, the legendary and cursed desert city of Rob ‘al-Khali, the empty quarter of Arabia, known for its great dangers and sandstorms.

All he wanted in return was for us to help him steal a book. Easy!

We spent about 50 days from Mazayan, back and forth, entering a desert with small oases, some fortified. We managed to steal a cart and a cannon, invading a certain fortress during the night. Everything seemed more peaceful than we had thought and it wasn’t necessary that much brute force. Since we didn’t want prisoners, it was fun to kill everyone on our way in and out.

I tried to take the book with my own hands. It was written in ancient Arabic, a rare spelling. A metal seal on the cover of the book referred to a kraken or something like that, with a skull in place of the head, with bat wings and dragon claws. Horrendous! Abyssal!!

It conveyed something extremely malevolent and, when I managed to understand the title, “The Tales of Abdul al-Hazred, the Mad Arab”, a perverse feeling ran through my spine with abominable visions of exploding cities, rivers and oceans of human blood, with lava flowing and boiling water cooking all beings in this world, only to be devoured by indescribable beasts.

When I handed the book to the old Asian, he gave a diabolical laugh, twisting his face in a disgusting way. Upon seeing the book, a silent fear welled up in the witch’s face in a way that weaker spirits would have been shaken by seeing her like this. Me, Adedewe and Warthog began to study with the hoary ching-chong the ceremonial practices contained in the evil book, most of them involving sacrifices for which we used the prisoners of our booties.

The witch prepared herbal juices pointed out by the wizard, who claimed to be 222 years old. We spent months between killing, plundering, destroying, arresting and performing macabre rites, in which bizarre phenomena often occurred, such as manifestations of weird beasts, horrific dreams shared by everyone with indisputable accuracy, strange huge objects flying around our ship and other strange things.

Our master was beginning to demonstrate powers that I never imagined I could find in my life. He had with him a trapezoid that shone with what I can only call a black light, a pusillanimous and venomous atmosphere. It was kept in a small jewelry box full of chthonic images that looked like nothing I had ever seen in my life, not even in the Far East. Through this mysterious rhomboid crystal we started to face long trips outside the body through mind-boggling stops, absorbing a wisdom almost impossible to translate into words. We became increasingly insane in our attacks, which made us relentless.

In a few months, we had mastered the arts of nigromancy and necromancy in practice, often being able to kill with a gaze and to dominate weak minds with gestures (and how rare strong minds were). Entropy was in our favor in a way never dreamed of. We spilled more blood than ever. We began to drink the vital red liquid and to feel the power and knowledge of the enemies within us. Sipping their souls …. We were learning to devour souls!

Our mentor began to reveal to us the secrets of immortality and the worship of the bestial primeval gods existing before creation, beyond good and evil: Azatahuti, Yok Sodoth, Katulu and The Black Pharaoh of Creeping Chaos. Everything we had learned was intended to prepare us to invoke them on a date of stellar conjunction in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

On the same night, two other copies of the Necronomicon were surely being intoned, one in the Pacific Ocean and another in an unknown location, probably at some very high snowy peak or in some desert. Our part was to find a perfect woman to bear a son of the odious external god adored by the ancient inhabitants of Irem: Omar al-Tawil (“The Oldest One”, in Arabic, عــمر الــطوي), as the old wizard knew and as it was in our infamous grimoire, written on human skin and with the blood of people sacrificed during its making.

We ended up decimating even part of our crew in the sacrifices, so maddened that we put ourselves on the powers promised by the Mad Arab, the author of the book, to anyone who adored those dark entities. With each ritual we felt we were closer to accomplishing our intent, as beings increasingly bizarre appeared to take the bodies still alive. Some devoured only specific parts, such as brains and hearts, right there in front of us.

Exactly a day before the stars lined up, we found a small ship, too unprepared to face the dangers of the seas. We later learned that the galleon that accompanied it had been lost during a storm. Inside we discovered a seventeen-year-old Italian countess … Perfect, delicate, with blond hair, green eyes, pink complexion and with a perfume that must have been ordered directly from Paradise and brought by an angel.

On the planned night, everything seemed like that time in the Bermuda Triangle: without sound, without wind, without movement … The ritual went as expected, but without the great shows we were waiting for (except by the old rag, always laconic and impassive).

Omar al-Tawil appeared to us like the silhouette of a man behind a thin translucent veil. It was not at all horrendous like everything we had seen in recent times and which usually left our sanity on the verge of an abyss.

He ordered me to own the noble lady we were offering him. At the moment of ejaculating inside her womb, I felt possessed by something monstrous, too malevolent even for my hellish standards. I don’t remember much after the orgasm, just flashes of some of our men dying, a thunderstorm, images of dancing skeletons and a dark mist spreading all over, as if shadowy tentacles enwrapped and penetrated all beings and things.

I can’t say how we ended up on the reef that stopped our boat. Only the countess and two of our sailors were alive. Adedewe and the old man were gone without a trace. We tried to pretend to be mere sailors on a ship decimated by pirates, but the crew of the Spanish frigate who recovered us soon realized that we were pirates, due to the booties that could still be found in the hold of our ship, as well as our scars, looks and grimaces. The poor girl who was raped by me was in a deep sleep that only ended up on dry land and then she didn’t remember anything at all.

There was no way to fight in total numerical disadvantage and as weak as we were. We wanted to deceive them, but we got on badly. That is why I am now being hanged, but with a huge smile of relief, something that these fools cannot understand and attribute only to my madness.

After all, I know that this death is less painful than the one that awaits my executioners once the countess, restored to society after our capture, gives birth to the son of the abyssal god and his world reign starts. It will then be the beginning of unspeakable terrors even for soulless cannibals like me …

When I noticed more pebbles falling, my only impulse was to get a very sharp machete and ask the doctor to prepare a good dose of morphine. I delivered my strongest blow to the man using both hands. Afterwards, I was already bringing to the outside the worker without his forearm, helped by his colleagues. Under everyone’s astonished eyes, just over a minute later, a new massive plunge ended up sealing the gallery. Better to lose an arm than life, Baruch Spinoza would say.

Obviously, I was not happy. Not because of this uncomfortable situation or the leery gloats of men on a brave woman in their midst, which I had become accustomed to. What bothered me was having insisted on the wrong place for this tunnel and caused two accidents, the first one a few months ago, which suspended the job until now. Perhaps the natives who had protested when we started this part of the work were right about being a disturbance to a feared and inviolable place, which could result in an unimaginable danger to the world, according to them. Upon hearing this, I even laughed at the issue.

Rationally, I could not even consider such a hypothesis to be valid. However, I swear I was impressed after the inaugural detonation in the pre-existing niche revealed a side gallery to our route, with a long rustic staircase going down to the heart of the mountain. At its end, an unusual crypt similar to the pharaonic tombs. The artifacts that were able to be collected from it, all bizarre – a cube composed of metallic pieces and two small black stone slabs with several bas-reliefs – were being studied by the new priest to the village, a doctor of archeology. The few who entered the mysterious excavation felt enormous fear, as they left the region the same day, vowing never to return. However, the superior orders were to keep absolutely confidential about all of this: investors and farmers would not like any interruptions in the construction of this second railway line in the region “just so that some old things without any importance for progress would be unearthed.”

Arriving at a fast gallop to the friendly village with terraced houses, wooden painted in wine color, two simultaneous events intensified a feeling that something strange would happen. First, a huge, black, furry dog, more like a prehistoric wolf, stared at me fiercely on a deserted street, with glowing red eyes. As I could not stand his gaze, I turned away only to see a flight of many black birds. At first, I even thought they were bats. They came and went as if they formed pieces of the sunset image itself, as if the horizon was a flat painting. The scene seemed to unravel in small spots, revealing a dark and unknowable chaos behind it, just to recompose itself as an evening sight again.

As soon as I entered the headquarters manor of the company’s commander, located at the village’s highest point, the panoptic palace of a paranoid, Mister James Fforde, the chief engineer, humiliated me with his British politeness. He attributed my big mistake with the tunnel because I’m a woman. He scoffed, even if between the lines, about the fact that I am not English and summarily demoted my position. Then, looking for solace in the arms of my husband, also an Englishman and also an engineer, I felt even worse.

At that moment, his arms and voice only reminded me of my married name, Rita de Moraes Sarmento Miller, hammering a certain guilt in my mind. Sometimes I felt that I had stayed with him just for convenience, even though I was very fond of his sweet and calm company. That cold Friday night saw a dense fog descend which brought a huge uproar to the place: two young single women had disappeared without a trace. Before going back inside, some neighbors were terrified that this could be the return of the murder wave of almost a decade ago: – “Much like Whitechapel’s”, they said, or even of the mad rush that had spread there and also in the villages of Saint Bernard and Saint Paul in 1897, just a year before I arrived here, about two and a half years ago.

One of these cronies had once told me that it was precisely from that first occasion, in 1890, that certain people began to witness the legend of the Black Cape Man. The phenomenon had been called that for lack of a better term, as it would not be exactly a man wearing an overcoat. Those who claimed to have seen such an entity, reported a large figure made of the densest darkness and which seemed to flutter a mantle when moving, with a malefic laugh.

I was not easily impressionable, but that rest of the night I had a suffocating nightmare, in which I was chased by a furious mob of deformed people. When trying to escape, I always returned to the same place. I woke up inside the dream, as if in my living room and was startled by a black wolf with glowing red eyes, growling in front of me. So I really woke up, screaming, very shaky and sweaty.

Early in the morning, after a quick breakfast without food, I called my now former assistant, Phillip Whateley, to find out more about the items recovered from the strange catacomb. He was a man with wide eyes, eccentric mannerisms and quite laconic. Phil took us a delicious pie of pork shank, still smoking. We learned from the archeologist priest Patrick McElvoy, an Irishman recently arrived from Providence, USA, that the night before he had been attacked in the rectory. Although he had managed to defend himself, he had not prevented the strange cube from being stolen by the masked thief, leaving only the plates with the curious inscriptions.

While we were enjoying Mister Whateley’s delicious preparation, the priest asked him where he had found pork, as the village butcher said it was missing, since all the pigs in the area were disappearing. Phil elusively stammered when he replied that a neighbor had hunted a wild pig. At that time, a very tall and strong young man, with a steady look, called Aleister Crowley, knocked on the door. The priest waited for his arrival, having asked his friends in London to send urgent help to decipher the unusual writing on the tablets.

The guy moved and spoke with affected mannerisms like those of a woman, but he showed more firmness than any man I had ever met. He reported a little about his recent trip to Mexico and that he had experienced incredible things there, as well as the chance to study the Mayan codices in more detail. He was, therefore, an expert in ancient languages and occult symbology, in theory and practice, as well as a good-natured person. Lighhearted, yet, deep.

McElvoy soon presented his best brandy and we all started to speculate while drinking. Was that construction the work of the colonizers? By the type of icons and characters in the small slates, Crowley guaranteed that they were something even before the Phoenicians. How could that be?! Well, as the Vikings and Chinese had already visited the Americas, that didn’t sound so crazy.

The occultist said in English, laughing and licking his fingers: – “Hmmm, delicious pie! The flesh is soft like the thighs of a virgin … ”, to everyone’s dismay. While Phil widened his eyes and looked around, Crowley spoke in a fully experienced tone: – “Give me until the night that I will finish translating everything and interpreting the drawings. However, do not look for depth in words and symbols, as this is a mystery hidden by sages. Something that goes beyond the meanings and deals with the living essence of reality ”. We left there so that the specialist could rest a little from his trip and could dedicate himself to hard work without interruptions.

The night came again with a thick fog. With her, another ruckus. One of the girls who disappeared the night before was hanging upside down at one the main square corners, where it was customary to hang advertisements for the village, especially religious ones, such as weddings and baptisms. As the village doctor was far and would not arrive so soon, Father Patrick, Mister Crowley and I got access to the body with the police. A spongy purple fungus came out of every hole in the head, like the flesh of a mushroom. We didn’t touch anything with bare hands just in case. It was clear that it was something that came from the inside out, not the other way around. The occultist, as a good polymath, explained that he had learned enough at Trinity College, Cambridge, to attest that the mold was not of this world. After all, no fungoid being would act so fast, devouring a human being overnight.

The three of us later met at my home. Although at sunrise my husband had gone to the Sao Paulo Railway ceremonies at Luz station and would only be back in two days, the presence of a priest with me guaranteed my honor before “society” (not that I cared much about these things, I have to confess). Crowley revealed to us that the stone tablets contained cuneiform writing, probably Assyrian, since they mentioned King Tudiya. They had registered that the metal cube, called the Jeremiads Machine, would have been entrusted to humans by god Bunene. It was a key locking access to a kingdom inhabited by beings harmful to us. However, two lines were in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek alphabet, indicating that whoever brought the artifact and built the crypt was a detachment from the end of the Alexandrian Empire.

Before it got too late, we decided to look for the natives. According to Lord Boleskine (a reference to Crowley’s current and wealthy home in England), they might have known something more practical about all of this, since the inscriptions only revealed that the cube contained a puzzle that prevented it from being activated unintentionally. We were looking for one of the train drivers who had become my friend, Mr. Antonio Carrasqueira. He kindly pointed out to us which hill and trail led to a tribe where indigenous and recently freed Africans lived mixed in harmony. As we left, Crowley did a prediction to the man:
– “Your youngest son will be a very talented flutist and, with his music, he will dispel the darkness that will befall here again in the future”.

McElvoy said goodbye and returned home, saying he had trouble riding. Although not sure where to go, we had enough kerosene for several hours and I knew something about that path. Before entering the forest, we tied the horses on the road. It had not been twenty minutes of walking, the atmosphere was filled with a dense, unnatural darkness. Even the occultist had a serious face. I felt a presence that I can only characterize as an evil one. An abnormal profusion of horrific scenes crossed my thoughts, as if trying to penetrate me with images of people being killed in various horrible ways.

My partner calmly lit a pipe with whiff of opium, puffing it in my face. While he smoked, he uttered an incantation, but not in Latin or Greek. The artificial darkness then moved away, as if a cloak had been removed from us. We heard a high-pitched roar. However, it did not reach us through sound, only through the mind. A beautiful white owl appeared and guided us to the hilltop. There, we were received by a black woman, who said: – “Mother Nanapo is waiting for you”. You could see huts and two small fires. There was a comforting rather than an embarrassing silence. Natives and Africans were seen with the typical garments of each other mixed.

The black priestess was a beautiful woman with long, highly curly hair, crowned by a turban of a beautiful bright red cloth with a huge conch in the middle. Looking at her was both serene and strong at the same time. By her side, two other black women who seemed to form a triumvirate, given the parity of clothes and the equal reverence with which they were all treated. However, they were quieter, occasionally just whispering in Mother Nanape’s ears.

They received an offering from Crowley, who said it was some dried buds of peyote, a Mexican flower used by the natives of that place to “open up spiritual vision”. In return, they gave us little mushrooms to eat, saying they would be our allies to “see the light”. Then the yalorishah spoke to us, in a soft but serious tone: – “Yami Oshorongah was the one who brought you here safely. She is a primordial being, feared by those who ignore her wisdom. A few years ago, a malevolent being arrived here in the region and she is trying to stop him. We try to help her. Now, there is a risk that this evil will be strengthened by the fault of the white man”.

She explained that the husband of the three women, the shaman Andirá-ypí, would speak now. As if he had appeared out of nowhere, an old Native man started to dance, smoking his long pipe. He was naked, his body painted with drawings in black and red inks, a red stripe in the line of his eyes. When he stopped, he looked very closely at Crowley, as if he were stripping him down, while making strange faces and babbling. The occultist smiled slightly and nodded, as if he understood. The shaman said: – “The place that the carayba (literally, “pale face”, white man) opened kept a boat that brings demons from the purple mushroom. Shadow monster always tries to muddle the minds of the carayba. If these bullies arrive, everyone will be ruined”. He stopped for a while, puffing on us a good-smelling herb that he had placed on his smoking pipe.

Then he said: – “Inside each person there is a bright and a dark dog. They keep fighting each other. Do you know who wins? None. If any of them wins, vitality dissipates. For them to stop fighting, it is necessary to love and feed both, because each has its place. The carayba here will understand. For everything to return to its place here, you will have to unite the highest sky and the lowest depths”. He touched both of our low bellies at once, with each hand, and continued: – “You will see a stain. It will become a crack. This is the passage between everything and nothingness. The uncreated mind will come out of this”, seating and closing his eyes. Another pleasant silence followed before they took us to out of the village and down the trail back to the road.

Almost at the entrance to the village, we caught a man attacking a young woman. Crowley tried to chase him, but he ran through the houses. I went to her, but she was already dead. Lord Boleskine found that the girl’s throat had been cut, her abdomen cut and she was without her heart. He exclaimed: – “I found you, Whitechapel devil! Now I’ll get you”. He asked me to indicate Mister Whateley’s house, since the killer’s boots were the same as Phil’s. As we galloped as fast as possible, Crowley took a dagger from his pocket full of engraved symbols, with which he drew patterns in the air. When we arrived at my ex-assistant’s home, the occultist threw himself inside with the skill of a chasing policeman.

Going down to the basement, we found the owner of the house. The two Englishmen began to altercate. I was stunned to realize that the room looked like a kind of temple, decorated with grotesque images, with remains of human skeletons, some candles and a barrel full of salt. On a small pyre lay what appeared to be the burnt remains of a human heart. Crowley stuck the dagger into Phil’s stomach. At that time, some of the figures on the walls twisted and disappeared, as if they were animated by the Lumière brothers. My sanity was standing by a thread and all I could do was sit down.

After making sure Phil was dead, Crowley came over to me and made me take a generous sip of something that looked like laudanum, bringing me calm. He explained that we didn’t have much time, but that it would be necessary to make love there, to stop the dark energies evoked. What could have outraged me at any other time, just reminded me of what the shaman had said about the union of opposites. This was definitely a totally inappropriate place for the first night with a man, although I have been very attracted to the wizard since I met him. However, it was the greatest pleasure I ever felt in life, something unimaginable …

After the act, we were surrounded by a rosy luminosity, a sense of eternity and inseparability in which even the most apocalyptic evil was nothing more than a void to be filled by a stream of goodness. We went out calmly. The street lights went out, but we could clearly see the dark spectrum trying to overpower us again, casting shadows over us like long cloaks. Crowley, however, managed to face him using a strange gesture with his right hand, while keeping his other hand grabbing mine.

We walked, pushing the monster to the station. Strangely, a train that should not have been there at that time was stopped on the platform, about to leave to the Saint Bernard station. The nefarious being threw himself inside, letting out a hellish howl. The sinister cube was never found and Father McElvoy disappeared without any news. More than a year later, the new railway opened, my husband and I moved from there with our first baby. I never saw the English mage again and we never corresponded by letter or telegram, but I was never able to sleep in complete darkness again.