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The Magic of Pinewoods Cemetery

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The Magic of Pinewoods Cemetery

Postby walker » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:06 pm

THE MAGIC OF PINEWOODS CEMETARY

Catchy title. SSHHH!!! The movies starting.

The Legend : An evil man who practiced the dark arts and his twisted followers wished to make Pinewoods Cemetery their own. They had found that it contained almost boundless psychic energy that could be put to there nefarious purposes. A coven of virtuous Wiccans deduced his wicked plans. They chose to oppose this twisted individual.They found themselves fighting a losing battle. When things looked blackest a traveling adept, who was known by the brave leader of the coven, came to their aid. Even with the help of this seeker after all things esoteric, it still seemed hopeless. The adept knew of a warrior whom he had once befriended. Finally with his help, and after a magical combat that could only be called deadly, the tide turned. After great striving by the coven, adept and courageous warrior, the day was won by this plucky band. Right had triumphed over the oppressive forces of evil.

WOW!!! Did it really happen like that. It's got summer block buster movie written all over it. Bring the kids. GET THE POPCORN!

That was the legend on the crafts grapevine in the early 90's in the NY/New England area. "Bobbie" ( 1st and last time the " " will be there ) heard it when she was visiting friends in Salem. Yes, that Salem, though the fuss was in what's now Danville right next door. Legends, gotta love'em. It really surprised her. It had been her coven. She never looked at legends the same way again. Your humble chronicler, yup, I was the adept, and Bobbie and I went way back. Roberta was the first girl I ever slept with. Get your filthy mind out of the gutter! I was two and a couple months and she was one and a half. Our mother's traded gossip over the back fence while they were hanging the laundry out to dry during the day and our folks got together to play cards and drink a couple 6-packs on Friday nights. That's when we slept together you sex crazed people you. I told you we went WAY back.

REALITY - An ego maniac { to be known as Mr. Ugly } with control issues was practicing the craft for his own selfish purposes and gain. He conned some people into helping him. Probably by giving them the old I'll get you everything you want but you have to do as I tell you to get me the power I need to get you all those things you want line. It's an old line that still works because greed, sloth and mendacity are still all to common in the human race. He must have had either money or a smooth line, maybe both, because he had hired some street toughs to work for him too. The people in his coven were most likely greedy scum suckers, the weak minded or foolish, with some posers and wanna-bes thrown in.

BOBBIES COVEN was, well, a coven. Elder member, old man Chiera. Widowered ( Is that a word?{ Of course it is, I just made it up.} Oh. ) in his mid 50's. Fancied himself a ladies man, though not so much any more since he was now in his 70's. He still tried gods and goddesses love him. Always made sure it was one or more of the young ladies in the coven who helped him in and out of the car when the coven went to Pinewoods. Every once in a while he even caught one of their butts to pinch. I never figured it out. I knew they were all to fast for him. The closest I ever got to an answer was Becky's" He's harmless. It's kind of cute." I just wrote it off to elder care and left it at that. There was Bill and Ginny who'd been around the "Arts" almost as long as I have. ( To all those who have wondered at my continued use of the "Arts" maybe it's a racial thing. Both Ginny and I are part AmerInd . Craft from one side of the family and medicine from the other. It must equal Arts. WE were surprised that we both did it ). Debbie who's Bobbies cousin. Usually whatever guy Bobbies dating. She has this way of wearing them out. Maybe it's that flaming red hair and temperament that goes with it. She always told me she'd never get married. I think I heard that about the time the Newlywed Game came on TV in the 60's. I guess that goes WAY back too. And faces that passed the different times I got through the area till I finally dragged my sorry @ss back home to heal my body and maybe some day my mind. The flash backs have stopped except for once in the ER, but that's a different story.

PINEWOOD CEMETERY was a rural set of plots that had filled up in the mid 1920's. The county groomed the front gate and first hundred yards of the center road to the winter burial vaults because they were designed by some painter from the famous Hudson Valley School. Must have been no money in pretty landscapes that year. The vaults were there because there was no power excavation back in the day during the winter. The rest of the grounds ran from not bad to bring your own axe. The wrought iron fence was a little beat with holes in it but that came from hard winters not from vandals. There were big farms all around. If it wasn't the boonies you could see them from the cemetery gate. It was the most secluded place you could find in the tri-county Capital District. Bobbie said there was energy down deep and it was " slippery ". I didn't have a better name for it at the start of this whole adventure. It was just a nice, safe, pretty and out in nature ritual space.

ME- I've been around the Arts since I was an embryo. One greatgram an Onondaga Indian and another who was " A Carpathian not a gypsy DAMN IT! I do not take my home out on the roads." I guess they found me teachable and talented. I've been around a military tradition just as long. My granpa was a mud Marine ( yes there's different kinds, just ask one or PM me ) and my dad was in UDT ( what they called the Navy SEALs from '43 until '64 ). Needless to say, I had all my major malfunctions fixed when I was young. I heard all kinds of s#:t from them when I went over to the enemy - Air-Cav. So I liked skydiving and flying and would not put on SCUBA tanks for a million bucks. I like snorkeling fine, thank you. I will not be under 150 feet of water and run out of O2 or have trouble with a regulator. Some people think I'm a raving lunatic because I'll stick a sheet on my back and jump out of a fully functional helicopter that's not on fire or anything. (And we all thought you were supposed to jump high enough that you could use your emergency chute for more than a pillow) You pay your dollar and you take your chances. They finally stopped busting my chops when I caught some steel pulling one of my troopers off that god and goddess d@mn pool table top of a run way on Grenada after he went and got shoot in a crossfire. I was running the insertion teams guarding the radar and beacon team that was guiding the rest of Company A/1st/75th onto the objective at Point Salines. We had to take out the automatic weapons pits and bring a couple A-10 Wart Hogs onto the Z-23 AA guns. We got the job done. The Hawks made it in with the rest of A/1st. Salines was clear enough that the rest of the 75th could drop without getting hammered. We (well I was in a hospital by then so this is hear-say) cleared the runway so 325th/82nd could come straight in on their C-130's without having to do a para- drop. They could get to the kids and teachers at the Medical School and get them out. My family quit busting my @$$. So it was a happy ending all around. I've also got this thing about bullies and people who try to hurt my friends. THEY PI$$ ME RIGHT OFF!

GEORGE M. one of my Tech Sergeants at the time this all happened. Of all the weird things to have happen, he was from the 325nd/82nd and had been given to me along with two other Sergeants as training cadre.

END OF SUMMER 1989 - I was back in the Albany area when I got a call from Bobbie, "You got time to do a consult?" "For you any time. What's up?" "It's complicated." "Bobbie I've always told you --" "I know, old or bold. It's getting scary." "If it wasn't you and yours would have already taken care of it. Probably have already been beating your head on it any way. I'm glad to see your finally learning some caution." "If your going to be insulting I'll find somebody else." "Bobbie!" "Bring a couple of your friends." "Like that?" "Sometimes, not always." "Okay, see you in about 20 minutes." When Bobbie said friends she didn't mean drinking buddies. You know, Way back. I put on an OD T-shirt, light harness with a sheathed throwing knife on my back under my collar and my Bulldog in the holster in the small of my back (5 chamber revolver, .44 magnum round, small enough that it makes a good hide away piece. Sounds handy but its frame heavy and climbs like an S.O.B., 1st shoot hits some ones toe, 2nd shoot hits a low flying plane, 3rd shoot hits the space station. If you don't know what's what it's a fancy paper-weight.) and put on a forest green button down that looked like I had used it as a smock to paint a brown room. Forest camo without it looking like camo and it covered the harness. After we had a good look around the cemetery I waited until we were getting back in the car to say, "That is FU(K!NG SCARY Bobbie." This from a guy who was training insertion teams for the 10th Mountain. Night, 450 feet off the ground, 180mph, step out the Heli door, pull cord, hope your @ss don't hit the ground to hard, hope the guy behind you don't land on your head, do this amazing work that makes LSD seem like Tylenol really well and you get to take the show on the road to where unfriendly people with extremely bad attitudes and fire arms want to put large holes in your one and only body, You have no idea how good a handle I have on FU(K!NG SCARY.

The wards and protections were getting shaky, there were to many creepy-crawlies all over and there was desecration of the ritual spaces done by people who either didn't know or didn't care about the implications. That just made them human attack dogs. When I asked Bobbie she confirmed it. "Oh any number of the slugs." "I was thinking of a more strategic number, LIKE A NUMBER!" "But you turn such a nice shade of red." "BOBBIE!" "That would be six." "We'll figure 9." "DON'T YOU TRUST ME!" "Now who's turning red? It's called a hidden reserve. You have to think of them as the enemy to win." "What are we going to do to win?" "I am going to go put my feet up with a glass of wine at my elbow and read a good book." "WHAT?" "Sun-Tzu 'The Art of War'." "Oh? Oh. OH!!!". WAY back.

I decided I needed to find out about the "Thing" that was casting a dark shadow over Pinewoods. It seemed to hover at the edge of this reality. It's oppressive pall hung over the place. Also a preliminary battle had to be waged against the creepy-crawlies that were so thick in the cemetery. Up state NY has Rock Rattle snakes that are just as deadly as Diamond Backs. There is also a snake that, though rarer, is almost twice as deadly, the Puff Adler. If either bite you it will ruin your day. If you don't get the anti-venom fast it usually ends your day, all your days. I think that was Mr. Ugly's plan. Fill the cemetery with bait to bring them into the cemetery. Mr. Ugly was what I started to call him. I don't know what he looked like, but the name fit his personality. The bait was little snakes and lizards. Bigger snakes would soon be there, if they weren't already. I found it only fair that I return this gesture with one of my own. { '"No, not with the finger you idiot!" " Sorry." } Imatation being the highest form of flattery I thought it only fair I call some of my friends to dine. My spirit guide is the hawk. Hawks like to eat rodents and that's usually about all they get. They LUV to eat snakes. I thought it only fitting that, since such a lovely buffet had been set out for them, I would invite some of my friends to dine. I talked to Bobbie about it; " I need to find out just what that shadow is that's hanging over the cemetery. I'll let you know when I'm going to take a run at that little gem. NO fooling around Bobbie! I'm going to want everybody with you when this goes down. I WILL NOT have YOU messed up by WHAT I am DOING. " " What about that nasty scar your wife still won't look at when we go swimming up at Lake George." "D@MN IT BOBBIE! That is not the same and you know it. No planning, no thought. One of my men was down. If you heard somebody yell from inside a burning building are you going to wait for the firemen! Add to that responsibility. What are you going to do?" " D@mn it you don't fight fair!" "Do I get the mission done?" "Okay! Okay. Your right but don't ever tell anybody in the coven I gave up this easy." "Only in my memoires." "Oh! Like you know how to write." " Are Bill and Gin --- let me rephrase that --- would you ask Ginny to keep those littler creepies up and moving. I don't want to have our aircover getting bored or hungry." "Sure. You do know you almost said something really stupid?" "Yeah, my wife says that all the time." For scouting what I now thought of as the battle space, I decided to get some help. Truth be told, I figured if I tried to do this without another professional, I would get my head handed to me, with or without a silver platter. I decided I'd see if George, one of the Tech-Sergeants I had been working with for the last year, would like to help. He was tough, smart, good in the woods (we had done some deer hunting when we were scouting out likely training spots in the Adirondacks), self disciplined and curious about - "Did that sh:t really work". The last two were very important. Say "Want to help me bust up the coven of an evil warlock." to the wrong person and your in a rubber room. Self-disciplined, not all soldiers have it. Warrior ethic be d@mned. Achilles was a warrior. He got his best friend killed because he was insulted and sulking in his tent because he couldn't have his own way. He got himself killed because he was the biggest show off in the Greek Army. FU(K!NG MORON!!! Odyesseus won a war because he was a soldier. Of course, he got half the deities in the Greek Pantheon mad at him. Got him a one way ticket to the road trip from he!!. He won though. He finally made it home. I guess it's a risky old world out there. George would get out of Dodge if I told him to, even if some very strange things were going on.

George and I decided that hide in plain sight would be the best camo.We'd go farm to farm and back and forth through Pinewoods Cemetery looking like hunters looking for deer trails for hunting season. If you want to be nosey, the best thing to do is to look like your nosey about something different. We thought we might be able to figure out who was being Mr. Ugly's eyes in the area too.
We'd been up hill and down dale for about five hours. It was a little short of lunch time, when nature gave me a call I couldn't put on hold. We were cutting across the cemetery from the farms to the south and south west so we didn't have to navigate the ridge to the west of the cemetery. He!!, we did enough of that at our day job. We were about half way across at the very back. We stopped. I went into the heavier brush and George pulled out a flask to keep himself company.While I finished watering a shrub, my keen sense of terrain and memory of American Civil War history meshed. Right then I heard a voice that has come to my aid from time to time. This call was much more important then the one I had just answered from my bladder. I called George over and by the time he finished saying " Aren't you done yet?" he knew three very important pieces of information. We had eyes on us, I REALLY wanted to look over this piece of ground and to just follow my lead. I just love hand signals. What a great invention! I took about four steps and "took a fall". George came over and asked in a real low voice, " Is this how you pull us out of ambushes before they happen when we're on maneuvers all the time?". "Later." Now I knew why he was so interested in the Arts. Told you he was smart. He!! of a soldier too. Always looking to learn ways to fox the opposition. He got up after checking my "sprained ankle" and headed for the car to get the first aid kit. I knew he'd buy me the time I needed.

I was in the middle of a soldier's "horseshoe". Back in the day nobody had dog tags. They weren't real big on what we now call mortuary science. There was no refrigeration. Most of the battles were fought in the heat of summer and the bodies could lay out in the hot sun for days before they were collected. You do the math. The KIA's were usually only identifiable by unit. Most units in the Civil War (what a stupid name - there is nothing civil about war) were from certain areas. If a unit was very badly cut up villages and small towns could lose 5/6 of the men between 16 and 35. Nothing civil about that. The bodies would be buried row on row around an arc, hence the name - "soldiers horseshoe". This was where the energy was coming from. I had to contact some long dead soldiers. I did not have a lot to work with. If the world gives you lemons you make lemon aid, if the world gives you spirits to contact and you have to play nature boy you make an Indian medicine wheel. One to contact warrior spirits. There was plenty of stuff to do that. Sticks, rocks and assorted other bits of natural debris all over -check. A cemetery of dead warriors - check. The ability to do it? Sure, one of the first things you learn in Indian medicine - medicine wheel! Duh! I made up a wheel and got to work. I might get lucky. Some body listening might have some Indian heritage, they were certainly war dead. It worked FAST! I don't know if somebody was part or full-b!00d Indian. maybe chain of command still works on the other side. I figured they just found themselves between a spiritual rock and a hard place. That turned out to be it. More and more of them couldn't stand being in a perpetual death state. Their souls were shattering. The "shards" of these broken spirits were what caused all this free floating psychic energy. They were men of there time and society. Good and decent men who had soul deep fear. They had grown up with fire and brimstone preachers telling them they had to follow the Ten Commandments. One of the most stressed of these was "Thou shall not kill." WARNING ; EDUCATIONAL CONTENT - The Bible as it is read by us today was translated from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek to Latin to French to English. You just have to wonder is this the word of God or the screw-up of some under paid overworked translator. Yup! you guessed it - translation screw up. In Hebrew it reads "Thou shall not MURDER." Big difference. These men thought they had a one way ticket to eternal D@MNATION. I'm not boarding that train either. Kind of makes you wonder what else they got wrong. I know there were a lot of men that certain clergy do not want to meet in the here after.

The psychic energy was "slippery" because it was being guarded. If you could find it and if you had the ability and experience you could get to it and use it. I explained what was going on. I won't write down even some of the mildest things they had to say about it. These were soldiers who had fought and died while trying to stamp out one of the worst forms of oppression. Men who had faithfully tended the shattered remains of their comrades, their friends, and in one tragic case their brother. They had done this for more then a hundred years. To say they were unhappy in the extreme just saves me from opening a new topic to contain all the inventive cursing, cussing, swearing and in general vicious comments that came so easily to these men. I had a father who used these words and phrases as an artist uses his paint and canvas. He could be imaginatively colorful, let us say, just to be polite. If I were going to be impolite, I would say he could knock a deaf buzzard of a sh:t wagon at fifty paces. You get the idea. When they had finally worked through much of their anger I brought up what we should do to Mr. Ugly for coming up with a plan to act in such a conniving manner. They had some interesting ideas. Most of them involved hot pokers, sharp knives, and draft horses with ropes tied to different parts of Mr. Ugly's anatomy. I than told them my idea for what should be done to Mr Ugly and his "friends". They all thought it was a splendid idea and they promised their full support. I was saying my good-byes when George came back to the area and caught me talking to thin air. He heard me assure them we could pass them over to the other side. While he and I played out the charade of my "sprained ankle", we erased all evidence of what I had been doing. We then "limped" me back to the car. George had a lot of questions about how "that sh:t worked" on the way back to Bobbies house.He dropped me off and took my car to go to the hardware store to pick up some stuff we needed to complete this part of the battle.

That worked fine because I needed some time alone with Bobbie. I told you to "get your mind out of the gutter", GHEEEZ!!! " Bobbie, I'm going to need that diversion on Thursday night. When I'm looking to see just what that black thing hanging over Pinewoods is I want it real interested in the cemetery. Remember Bobbie - EVERYBODY! I'm going to have George go with you. If any of the bully boys show he'll open up a space for you guys to exit stage left. If it's only a few of them, none of you'll need to get into it at all. He's been seconded from the 325th/82nd Airborne to me. They're the ones we opened Selines up for, to get those kids out." "Is that where you got to know him?" I knew that tone and that little spark in Bobbie's eye. There was no Bobbie's boyfriend in the coven right now. George was going to get a very "personal" thank you when this was over. "NAh! I was already off the island. I been working with him for about a year. He's a tough man from a unit of tough men. Smart as they come too. If only three or four of the six show up, the odds will be even. From everything you've told me these are street toughs. They'll get a he!! of a surprise." "What's his wife have to say about that jumping out of things with a bed spread on his back?" Yup, real personal. "I don't think he's even got a regular girlfriend right now." "Really." REAL personal! " When you reconsecrate an altar don't scare him away. He's very interested in the Arts." "We could do it skyclad!" "With old man Chiera! He'll have a heart attack! You, Becky, Debbie ,Sue - especially Sue.." "DANNY! What would MaryAnn say?" "That I haven't gone blind. And that as long as I look, but don't touch, I may have the continued pleasure of having my hands remaining on my arms. Other parts of my anatomy remaining attached too." "OUCH! But she's as nuts as you are." "Bobbie, she's got to be to put up with me." " That's true I remember that one time you..." Just then George came back in and Bobbie wasn't the least bit interested in busting my BUTT any more. REAL PERSONAL

George and I had put our heads together over the USGS that had Pinewoods on it. We had done it on a Sunday morning. All my Techs had weekend passes and probably wouldn't be back till 0500 Monday. It had been private enough. Nobody from the 10th would bother us. They'd knock on one of the doors. They had gotten the idea that , even if it was a good idea to put a platoon, reinforced with a couple heavy weapons sections, on top of a mountain to call in artillery and air, they still thought we were dangerously insane and horribly contagious. No one would come into the old supply building we used for repacking chutes unless they were under orders. Maybe it was that the building was out at the edge of one of the firing ranges. We didn't care. It worked for us. We figured Thursday night would work for the final recon. George would get to look over the rest of Pinewoods, I'd get to figure out what Mr. Ugly was keeping as a pet. George needed to gauge if he could get in enough traps, tricks and general underhanded nastiness to be able to move through an unknown number of people who were intent on dealing out beatings and mess them up with out getting badly damaged himself. While this was going on, I was going to rid this plain of an entity of unknown strength using a charge of unfamiliar psychic energy with more power then I'd ever played with before. We weren't insane. Well. OKAY! But we weren't contagious.

I had been putting it off. I had to firm up the plan with Bobbie. George was interested in the Arts so I made sure I had him with me when I was going to talk to Bobbie. Maybe he would distract her. He was detached to me as training cadre. It was no problem having him with me in Albany. The two weeks we needed to get Mr. Ugly out of the magic game, I needed to have some one help me run security checks on the labs I was working on anyway. He!!, that's why I had been burning tires and getting to be on a first name basis with donut shop employees anyway. That, and proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that, the Adirondack mountains still went up and down. When I was talking to Bobbie, George just wasn't distracting enough. That or he found it funny to watch somebody I had known my entire life not be intimidated by or satisfied by my huffy but cloudy answers. "Did your brain fall out of your head and someone stepped on it or did you forget that I AM NOT AN IMBECILE!!!" I swear George strangled a snort of laughter. I really couldn't tell with the volume Bobbie was using. I knew that volume. I knew that tone. I knew I had to fess up. "Okay, George and I have figured out what we think they'll probably try to do to us." "PROBABLY!!!!" "Please Miss.." Call me Bobbie!" Please just listen Mi... Bobbie." BIG SMILE (and she didn't even lick her chops, That wouldn't have scared George away but the proprieties should be observed) {she smiled and isn't going to yank my head off to see if my brains are still in my head - THANK YOU GEORGE} "Okay, we figure Mr. Ugly will get his toughs and the braver of his coven members to go out through the woods and come in through the holes in the fence on one side or the other. Most likely the north side because that's the easiest going, but George is going to have the whole cemetery set up anyway. We've got a bunch of stuff we salvaged from training. It won't hurt them - bad. They won't be getting out of it with pocket knives though. He's going in over the back ridge in full camo at first light. I'll make a show of doing the last of what I'm putting on in front of the vaults to keep any eyes on me." "US!" "Bobbie!" "US!" "Okay, We'll figure how things should go when we're all together this afternoon to plan the diversion for tonight."

The argument started in the kitchen before anybody even showed up. That was okay though. It gave George time to relax in the living room. "D@MN IT BOBBIE! We'll see how everybody feels about this. If I'm going to try to run a circus it might as well have three rings." "What do you mean circus?" "Bobbie, the more people there are the bigger the chance for crap to go wrong. Who were you thinking about giving George and me help?" " Bill, Dave, Jerry, me... Maybe.." Bobbie if Bill is in the cemetery then Ginny will give me he!! if I don't let her in on it. Why don't we just hash it out when everybody gets here." "Your not talking me out of it. We are going to help you two in the cemetery! WE ARE NOT LETTING YOU TWO GET HURT DOING EVERYTHING FOR US!" "Okay, we'll talk about it as we go over everything. I knew George had had time to bring those bags in from the car that he picked up from the hardware store. The first battle was getting finished this afternoon."Anyway, we figure Mr. Ugly will send his pet up the road to the vaults. Most likely he'll come himself with a few of his most trusted coven members. His ego won't let him do anything else. He will have seen me by then, if he didn't already know I was there. At least that's what George and I figure the psychology of the situation looks like. He'll figure he's got a pincer movement, not that he probably knows that's what it's called. It'll be his toughs and most of the coven to beat the stuffing out of anyone they can find with Mr. Ugly to clean up the rest with his idea of the Dark Arts." "If you two are alone, you'll be surrounded and get the sh:t kicked out of you." "Bobbie, it's going to be a trap! It's not gonna be the Alamo. He's going to have people mostly used to the city doing this. How coordinated do you think they'll be moving through the woods, getting to holes in the fence that they've only seen during day light. They are going to be coming into ground that George is going to have prepped with enough physical impediments to screw up a small army. I'm not going to leave my @ss swinging in the wind either. IT WILL BE A TRAP! I want this guy and his group of friends to be so beat up, so sure that it was done with the Arts, that they'll get the Heeby-Geebies looking at a rabbits foot, much less trying the Arts again. You all will be helping out in the cemetery tonight when you keep the attention fixed right there. WE haven't figured out who's doing it, but somebody in the area tips him off when anything happens. You might not have such an easy time yourselves. Every bodies coming over to hash that out. Let's go over this when they're here. I'm sure I'll hear all about how ready every one is. OH! Stop looking so smug. I'm certain you've got everybody set to gang up on me."Bobbie let it go FOR NOW and we went into the living room to talk to George while we waited for everyone. Well Bobbie talked to George. He certainly didn't mind the attention so I took the time to run through what I planned to do my self tonight.

Soon everybody showed up , more or less in two big groups. I guess that no matter what Bobbie had told them, we still made them a little nervous. They all settled in and I moved a few fingers and flipped my wrist 1/2 over paused and brought it back. George crossed his arms in a rather tight manner. The first battle was about to begin. "Bobbie says you want to help inside the cemetery when we give Mr. Ugly his thumping." Nods, some yeses and even a yes sir. "Some of you, a few can help, if and only if you can do as I say - WHEN I SAY!" General agreement all around. Bobbie had probably told them I'd do something like this. They thought they were ready. They weren't."You get me a glass of water!" Up the youngest of the guys there got. then he got to meet the rug, very unexpectedly. Not wanting him to have all the fun of getting to know the floor better, I pointed at my next vict..ahh, ruggee. "Help him up right now!" Thud! Another person counting threads to see how good the pile was. George was with them with a knee just touching a couple of backs. It looked like a dental convention. The way so many mouths were hanging open, I could have told who had there tonsils out if I wanted to. "I think they're ready to listen to you Cap'n." "Thank you Sergeant." I wanted to impress on them that this was best left to professionals. Not even Bobbie gave me an argument after she saw what we did. With just a few things from a hardware store the living room was set up to snare any of a half dozen people. A space set for it could be a trap that nobody saw. What would it be like in the cover of bushs and trees in the cemetery at night. They also didn't feel as bad about it when I told them we were counting on them to be our eyes. They all agreed that George and I couldn't do what we planned without that help. It was every bit as important as what we were doing. I didn't tell any of them how relieved George and I were that we could keep them as safe as possible.

And they went cleansing and I went scrying. I really wanted this to be fine tuned. That can bite you in the @$$ big time because the channel can run both ways. A single optical depth with two candles is usually pretty safe as long as you hold your concentration. Using four mirrors with four candles is not for the faint of heart. You get some b!eed in and b!eed out no matter what. You need to be in and out fast. Still you get "Things" that can screw with you. Visions that play with your stability. You don't want to be lost at the cliff of screams where limbo's wind roars. Luckily I got in, found out what I needed to know, and was no worse for wear. I figured out what the shadow was.
Bobbie and every one was fine and in high spirits. Mr. Ugly didn't send anybody after the group in the cemetery. They got two altars back in shape and I was to tired to yank Bobbie's chain about dividing her forces [I think Bill & Ginny were looking for a good growling match between us}.I explained about Mr. Ugly's pet.

"Its a Demon. A minor aspect. Chaldean Pantheon - Ea, Anu, Enlil The society lived in the Basra area where the Euphraties and Tigress flow together circa 4,200 years ago. Their all consuming belief in Demons that went from ones that could make you stub your toe to others that could kill your family, including Aunt Mildred in the next town and roast you over a low flame. And all that before devouring it's morning sacrifices. Things like that take on a reality all their own. There are more things in heaven and upon the earth than are dreamt of in your science, Horatio. The disapearences, the events that can't happen but happen anyway. Who knows how much these things have to do with that." It wouldn't be hard for some half- taught or self- taught Nimrod who watched to many bad horror flicks as a kid to call up something like that. We all knew it was like some bad movie. We could walk away, play safe and this was going to be a slow motion disaster. A lot of people would get hurt. We didn't care if most of the ones that ended up dead or in insane asylums would have been the ones who brought it about. You don't let an 8 year old hold a loaded gun that wants to free itself. Then the gun would be out, in the world, fireing itself.

That left a week before whatever you want to call it was going to happen. George had a few more security checks to run. I went back to Fort Drum to straighten out a problem a team was having with consistently scattered drop patterns. { For anybody keeping score - scattering is bad. It means there are fewer of you surrounded by more of them, 45 men all together against 300 are do able till reinforcements get to you. 5 here and 3 there - you get the picture} He also started setting the more elaborate stuff in The Cemetery. I never asked, but I'd bet 10 dollar bills to donuts, that he and Bobbie went with a hide in plain sight strategy for that too. Bobbie did theater/TV work with make-up all around the area. And all you guys out there pulling the whole make up - never - thing. It's just camouflage. Lovers taking afternoon delight wouldn't raise eyebrows. If any one saw them at all. It's not excitement central. They wouldn't look like Bobbie & George. He!!, Bobbie was good enough they could have looked like Lucy and Ethel, except that George was 6'2" & 245'. Bobbie was busy to. There were some spells I wanted that she was just way better than I am at setting. She has a very gentle and precise touch, sort of like some one handling nitro. We were going to do it on Friday. We wanted Mr. Uglies people available to get thumped. We didn't want them rested, they didn't know to call in sick to rest up. We could do this at a time of our choosing. We could have our eyes out. We had battle space preparation 100% on our terms. Like I told Bobbie - Trap, not the Alamo. We knew there was a huge price at stake spiritually. Like any good users of the Arts, we use everything provided to us. I don't give a rats @ss if I'm using illusion and psychology, and military training. I'll get Mr. Ugly & coven stamped out just for the good of the earth. We will do it as if all of it is magic. The belief you instill in other's is as real and as guiding as anything. Remember intent. It's night , your nervous but sure this will go well , lots of friends, gonna get the things I want. Through the fence. Where are those Wiccans? HOLY SH:T!!!! I can't move my legs. Some thing slides by an I get roughed up some GET ME OUT OF THIS!!!! Sorry, mama can't hear you scream from way out here. Yeah there where some wires but something magical doesn't want me on the black path. If any of them do any thing in magic again, I'd like them to take a gentler approach to the Arts.

The day of the event was just before dawning. We knew George was going over the ridge right about now, and yes I said we. When George and I had gone out to the car that very early morning who do you think we found ? Did any of you need a second guess? Yeah, I didn't think so. Sleeping in the back seat was Bobbie. D@mn she was getting sneaky. What the he!!, she caught me with a beautifully executed surprise attack. I could only surrender gracefully." BOBBIE WHAT THE HE!! DO YOU THINK YOUR DOING HERE?" "Reading Sun-Tzu." It's a good thing George and I had become such good friends. I would have had a stripe off him. He laughed to the point he got the hic-cups! We drank coffee till we figured it was time to put on our part of the show. George would be the most active at the back of the cemetery pulling the traps together and it was later in the day, full camo or not. Bobbie and I would keep the attention on us. The Arts we had worked with the Craft were all in place to give Mr. Ugly his Medicine, It was not the type of medicine that would make him better. We did a contact with my medicine wheel to help the energy flow more evenly. We took it to the edge and maybe a bit past to be safe from having to hurt some of the toughs if they had shown up but we wanted to make sure Mr. Ugly was getting the message it was on. George made it okay and we were ready.

It was time to get to work. The feeling was right. That flow. The complex made simple and the mundane woven through with magical intent. The bundle of sticks that, separately can be broken easily, are bound into a unity stronger than the trunk of any oak. I could hear the music of the spheres singing it's sweet melody. Nature sang harmony and my heart beat was the counter point. I could focus intent to a pin-point. Bobbie wove hers with mine effortlessly as we had done so many times, for so many reasons. I got in the car and drove to Pinewoods with George riding Shot-gun. Bobbie would make sure everybody got off to the right places. About a mile from the cemetery I pulled over to let George get in the backseat so whoever was watching for Mr. Ugly would see me alone. I made a show of dropping the chain at the gate, driving my car over and replacing the chain. I drove my car behind the vaults to get it out of sight. I came out and started to put on a show of preparing some form of circle. Mine had been fixed into the soil with a little trick I had picked up with Calcium Carbonate and Magnisium for the better part of the week (it'll even hold up under rain if you put it down the right way). Cars of Coven members showed up and most of them got out to "sneak" into the cemetery. Just sneaky enough that Mr. Ugly would figure he could trap the trappers. Not so sneaky they wouldn't be seen by someone watching close to report what was going on. They moved along the fence line and went OUT the holes they were going to watch and settled in to wait. It did take some convincing that no traps would reach out and bite them while they were going through the cemetery. Maybe we over did it in Bobbies living room. The coven members in the cars stayed out on the roads. In a coffee shop here, a scenic stop there. Spotted around not to keep the more senior and less wood wise safe, but to give us eyes where I wanted them. I wanted to know what was going on out on the roads. Groups of young guys, especially if it was two or more cars of them, on the roads. George and I were ready to pull the plug on this and just make sure the coven made it out whole, even if the same was not going to be said about who ever messed with us. It was a good idea to know where the police where too. When it was full dark George got out of the car and came around to the front of the vaults.

We went inside and sat on a couple of openings that had once held the dead. He was starting his education in the esoteric. We took out our flasks and he learned to pour out a libation to the honor of the dead. "What's with the rebar in the pockets?" "I was wondering how long you were gonna wonder about that. Iron has a way of breaking up the energy used to accomplish a spell. Spells are just electromotive energy as far as I can tell. That grounds them out or breaks up the pattern I think." "Not to sound picky, BUT YOU THINK!" " Yeah. That's something that a lot of teachers won't let on about. The fact that they don't know everything, but that it works. That's why the throwing knives I'm carrying are brass."" I figured that was for show. They really look snazzy." "Completely functional, that's why I've got moccasins on. I don't have any iron or steel on me at all." Just then the clicks started in on the talkies.(dot-dash so the noise couldn't be heard more than ten feet away, even on a still night) Everybody got it right enough that George and I knew what was what and who was where. I told them they did great. George and I had master sets so we could use whisper mode if we wanted or needed to.

We went out front to wait." George, this is going to be on the knives edge tonight. If I tell you to get out of Dodge, no pick-up on a man down." "You're the only one here." "Exactly." I'll give him this he waited to get everything in place before he moved. Maybe he pulled it off with kids walkie-talkies. We had better commo equipment than he did. We knew we had guessed wrong and that he was using a full encirclement (double pincer) movement, not just swinging through one side of the woods to meet at the vaults. Mr. Ugly was REAL serious about this. It was a joke to us -"That poor, sad B@st@rd. He's got us surrounded!" That's how vertical envelopment-air mobile soldiers fight. It's our job." Give'em he!! George!" "Give'em he!! Dan!" And with that George drifted left and things started to happen pretty fast. I started hearing noise that was music to my ears. Crashing brush, swearing, cries of pain, assorted howls that I think were from George. Evil laughs that I knew were from George. I even heard broken incantations, and the happy sounds of general mayhem and his chief-of-staff major disturbance. I don't know how many people Mr. Ugly had. He must have thought he had enough. He didn't. He just never counted on coming across someone with George's training, guts and brains. The physical side of this battle was all his and he handled it superbly.

Then, of course, there was the reason for all this general unpleasantness. Up the road he came, bold as can be, with four guys in robes. This nut-job HAD watched to many horror movies when he was a kid. It would have been funny if there hadn't been this "something" with them. It had a quality all it own. It was as if your sight did tricks going through it. A different piece of reality was moving through ours. They definitely knew I was there. Their pace picked up. It was time for the kill. You could just tell when that Demon knew there where no protections around this human. He bore no jewelry. He had some prayers, blessings and best wishs layed upon him. The knives he had weren't even sacrificial. Here was a soul and it would be his. It would be his or he would know why. Mr. Ugly came BOLDLY with his pet. He and his helpers chanting in their Chaldean. Pronunciation be d@mned, it was intent that counted. The stench was obscene. Fetid and sulfurous, corruptions vapors assaulting anything they came in contact with. They were going to have what they wanted. A human soul to play with. All that power. They were coming up toe to toe.

I don't know who taught Mr. Ugly. Might have been self taught . He might have been taught by someone else. He was mine now! He was about to get schooled! THERE ARE BOLD USERS OF THE ARTS. THERE ARE OLD USERS OF THE ARTS. THERE ARE NO OLD ,BOLD USERS OF THE ARTS! Here's your next lesson - any spell can be reversed. If it can keep you out, it can sure enough keep you in. Turned inward you can't see it. You also can't see the other spells pumped with power waiting inside. All of a sudden the lunch can't be touched and its lashing us . Mr. Ugly , Demons don't like to be made this unhappy. They don't like to be held against their will, and they WILL let you know when they are PI$$ED. We were in our own little universe. Mr. Ugly was getting pretty beat up. My power was swelling, my power was accomplishing things I could never have believed true, my power was an illusion because it wasn't my power.... I knew the theories. I had put in the time to focus my thinking. Neurologists had even figured out that my corpus collosium is wired to cross co-ordinate the brain hemispheres, not just let them talk to each other. I had practiced. I had pushed results one way or another and to greater or lesser degree. But this, I had, had no comprehension of power. Raw, elemental power surged through every fiber of my body. It all jelled. I knew the theory. I understood things I never had before. Mr. Ugly was utterly beneath my contempt,but this Demon, this thing that would attack me, this thing that would attack my FRIENDS!!!, I lost my mind. This entity had committed the worst, the only sin, it would seek to attack those who I was sworn to protect. It was up to me to punish it. I would eradicate it. I began to take apart the facets of its personality as a gem cutter splits a diamond. I spread those facets all over the multiverse. Just at the end I tried to drag parts back. I saw the line I had crossed but I could not pull it back. I killed it with magic - necromancy.

I never knew what happened after that. I got the story of it during the last few hours of the victory celebration -Sunday night. They had carried me into a side bedroom at Bobbie's and just checked on me every now and again. George told me "D@mndest thing I ever saw! Foggy bowl that was flashing like a welder's arc. Smell of a two day old battlefield with all kinda cracking noises and then a pop like a champagne cork that was maybe a foot long. Mr. Ugly was layin' there bleedin' from the ears. You were standin' , making hand signals I had never seen. You were using the scaryest voice I have EVER heard sayin' I don't know what. I didn't think it was worth it to chase the guys in the fancy bathrobes. They were hauling @ss to parts unknown. I figured they could get Mr. Ugly if they ever thought to come back for him. I policed the battle space for intelligence. You were just standing there. You looked like you where off a Three-day pass you hadn't bothered to sleep on, so I just got you in the car and split.", Bobbie told me about passing over the Civil War dead. It was uneventful and they told her to let me know they were passing over on Full Dress Parade and giving Bobbie the Salute as my second in command since I had been incapacitated by the action. The party was payed for by part of the battle field intelligence, there was a wallet in Mr. Ugly's pocket. Rules of war - spoil of war. We sent the wallet back to a rather prominant local political/business family. It contained a note stating that we'd forget the name in the wallet if they would forget that Pinewood Cemetery existed. We also let them know the energy had been drained. We further stated that we didn't care what means they used to run there family or pubic affairs since we found it utterly distasteful to be the arbiter of someone else's morals or actions. They put the five parchments George had policed up into a laundry bag full of rocks and dropped them of a bridge into the middle of the Hudson River. I would have said the things that I think went on in that bowl of fog was some weird dream/hallucination except I paid the l Law of Three for killing an entity with magic. Maybe because I caught myself at the end and at least fought against being power "drunk", I was allowed a chance to be back here after dying 3 times. Maybe the powers that be had more for me to do. I know the way I was killed left me little doubt. Desert Storm - Yeah, still nuts! Insertion teams of one sort or another. Had ended up at the north end of the "Highway of Death" covering a team that controlled air strikes. (Not that many Iraqies got killed. If motor vehicles are getting blown up are you going to sit in a car or are you going to run like he!!.) There's a city up that way-Basra. Watching the No-Fly Zone is a good way to get bitten by a little swamp Demon {a mosquito carrying an obscure bacterium that I hadn't been vaccinated for}. Real easy way to die. I'll have to write up what happened to me in a different section. Bobbie and George - Well, they (being the calm, retiring and reserved people that they both are) had an on again, off again relationship that livened the lives of MP's at a couple of the finer military camps in the US. Bobbie, often decided to visit for different periods of time even when George had to change base to enhance his career. When I want to live dangerously these days, I just tell Bobbie she has a Common Law marriage with George. My wife just rolls her eyes and says "They're at it again". George still hic-cups when he laughs to much. You know, I wonder if they can get Christian Bale to play the young me in the summer Block Buster?
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Location: In my head with the rest of the inmates
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