Lucifer: Chapter 6
DAMIEN DIDN'T SLEEP well that night; it was quite hot, as he was sure Derrick had noticed, but that wasn't really the reason as he was used to the heat. The main reason was that he was still having those dreams. Like Derrick's little heat strokes, he assumed, his dreams came in phases; sometimes--though definitely not very often--he'd go for months without them, as he had until recently--then they would come back with a vengeance. Even when he did have them they usually didn't bother him that much; he was supposed to be used to them, too. There was really nothing he could do about it short of going to a shrink, and that was the last thing he wanted to do; that would be admitting he had a problem, which he was certain he didn't have. So he ignored them as best he could. At least the ones about his sister had stopped for a while. He found the fire one considerably more tolerable. Though not quite pleasant.
As he lay awake he barely thought about the dreams, but about his parents. Recently it seemed he'd taken up a personal crusade to get them out of that cult--Scorpio, as Derrick had called it. He hadn't even been sure it had a name. He knew it was silly to think he could possibly do anything on his own, as his uncle had hinted, though he had thought of it; though that didn't mean there weren't other ways. He never considered what his parents themselves might be thinking or feeling. The main goal was to get them out now, think later, before this Scorpio grew more hostile--if that were possible.
He could barely even remember them now. His father he could hardly picture at all. He supposed it was because he hadn't spent much time with him. Of the two, it was his mother he could remember more. Even as dim as the memories were he could sense her kindness pulling him through a time that any kid would have found at the most terrifying, at the least weird. He also supposed it was because of her that he couldn't remember anything inherently bad about the whole experience except for the incident in the field. She must have helped him hold it all at bay. Just as she did herself. As Father Damien had said she did.
Father Damien, in the meantime, was up late himself. He spent much of the evening poring over his books; he had a large collection of volumes on the paranormal lining his wall, with subjects like psychics and ghosts and demonology; Damien at first had found this a rather odd collection for a priest to have but didn't question it. Maybe it was because of the family. Midnight found him sitting on the couch, leaning his elbows on the coffeetable, frowning over a book on occult symbols; Harvey and Ez had gone to bed long before but once in a while he could hear them moving around, and was sure that at least several times that night they had crept down the stairs to peek out at him. He pretended not to notice; kids would be kids, and he would be curious too if he were put in their place. Besides, he was too busy to go chasing after them every time they sneaked out of bed.
Busy looking for something he was certain he'd seen before.
The book was a large leatherbound edition, something that looked fit to belong in an occult collection, which he'd actually bought in a used books store. It even had an old-fashioned book ribbon attached to the inside. Right now he was turned to the section on astrology and astrological symbols, and was looking it over carefully.
Astrology is an ancient science, dating back to the very beginnings of civilization. It is a study filled with occult symbols and terminology, many of them confusing to the neophyte. Here we will present a basic outline of the major points of Astrology, beginning with the aspects of the twelve signs.
Aries: Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, being that of the Ram, ruled by the planet Mars and representing the month of April. Those born under the sign of the Ram are said to be headstrong and impulsive. They favor a rather wild lifestyle and live for the moment, always wishing for excitement. People born under this sign are usually tall and well built, with reddish hair (due to the influence of the planet Mars). Sometimes their eyebrows even blend in with the nose to form the classic symbol of the Ram.
This was all very nice and interesting but it was getting him nowhere. There was no way he was going to read the whole book to find what he needed to know now. With a tired sigh he decided to skip a few pages and read on under Scorpio.
Scorpio: Scorpio is a rather unique sign of the Zodiac, being a triune of symbols--the Scorpion, the Snake, and the Eagle, the last alternately known as the Phoenix or the Dove.
Father Damien frowned. How was it that Derrick had known so much about this, unless he himself were a practitioner or student of the art?
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in other things, yes, but not coincidences.
He read on.
Scorpio is ruled jointly by the planets Mars and Pluto; we will speak of this rulership, and its overall effects upon the characteristics and mannerisms of the sign, in more detail later in this treatise. As there are three different symbols for Scorpio, so are there three different types. The lowest type is the Snake. These people are those who live on the fringes of society, quite self-degrading and hateful, but usually harmless to anyone save themselves. Those born under the Eagle, Dove, or Phoenix are the highest; they alone have managed to overcome all obstacles to achieve happiness on this plane, and as such are prepared to better serve humanity. Those born under the Scorpion, however, are the ones to fear. Like the scorpion, their sting is deadly, and they will not hesitate to inflict pain upon those who cross them. They demand power and respect from all, and will not tolerate disobedience or insolence of any kind.
"How fitting," Father Damien mused.
It is these people of whom the reader is advised to beware. Though most certainly not all are dangerous, quite a few can be, and will.
The Scorpio physiognomy--
Father Damien skipped the next part as meaningless; in fact, his eyes flew to the end of the description, where there was inscribed a symbol:
That's where I've seen it before. Father Damien slowly sat back, an eerie coldness enveloping his chest. He had to force himself not to shudder. His initial suspicions had been correct.
Derrick obviously knew more than he was letting on. A whole lot more.
He slammed the book shut, causing a cloud of dust to fly out from between the near-ancient pages and a scuffling sound to come from the stairs as he assumed Harvey and Ez dashed back up to their room, thinking, because of the loud noise, that he should be angry with them. He covered his eyes with his hands and rested his elbows upon the book, thinking. Derrick knew something about a cult called Scorpio. Derrick was wearing a necklace inscribed with the symbol of Scorpio. There had to be some connection. Whatever it was, he didn't wish to think about it.
However, he knew he had to, or else both he and Damien could end up being in big trouble.