Ghostlight Prologue

So we’re introduced to a scene straight out of a hack horror movie from at least thirty years ago: a massive thunderstorm, lightning, a bunch of robed people with candles, and a naked oiled woman sprawled on an altar.

… um, are we sure this is really an occult ritual, and not the beginning of an orgy?

And now I’ve brought to mind the idea of an orgy involving a talking cat puppet. You’re welcome.

 
A naked woman reclined upon a draped wooden altar, her body glistening with oil. Her black hair was spread like a fan over the furs and velvets on which she lay.

And then she said, “Fuck me while I’m tight!”

I’m sorry! I had to make that joke! It was low-hanging fruit! Naked dark-haired woman sprawling around? I HAD TO DO IT! It was either that or talk about how Bella Swan finally embraced her inner slut!

 
At her head a red-robed woman stood, her own head thrown back in ecstatic communion with the forces summoned here tonight.

I was wrong. The woman having an orgasm because of the thunderstorm? SHE is probably Bella Swan.

 
Her hands cupped the unclad woman’s temples and she cried out words in an ancient tongue in counterpoint to the thunder.

“I-ay anna-way oke-cay and-ay am-hay andwich-say! Ith-way ettuce-lay and-ay omato-tay.”

So there are a bunch of robed people standing on a magic circle, and they’re chanting. I’m sorry, but is this some sort of parody? I’ve read so many people praising MZB for her depictions of what teenage Wiccans think Celtic spirituality was like in the crappy Mists of Avalon books. And in this one, the ONLY apparent depiction of any kind of occult spirituality is… a scene right out of a bad 80s horror movie.

Seriously, I watched Ghoulies. This is like the occult scenes from Ghoulies… but less funny. And with fewer hand puppets.

 
Over the sound of wind and voices, a hammering could be heard at the chamber’s one entrance.

“Dammit, Earl! You can fix the drywall later! Come in here, don your robe and chant!”

 
“He comes! He comes! He comes!” shrilled the red-robed woman.

“And hopefully he brought his own tissues! It will be gross otherwise!”

No, the person coming in is a blonde guy wearing silver stag antlers and a Ra-type headdress. I fail to see how he could easily wear both at the same time. Also, he’s naked except for an animal skin, and he has a giant sword with him. Hmm… he has a big phallic weapon, big phallic horns, and he’s walking around with his dick out. There might be a theme here.

“I am the key for every lock,” he intoned in a voice that held the deep organ notes of the sea. “I am the Opener of the Way!”

I bet you are, dude. You’re there to open plenty of ways with your big throbbing key!

Sorry, but the first thing that came to mind was something very dirty. I’m pretty sure it’s from all the well-oiled nudity and thunder-orgasms.

So PhallicMan, defeater of impotence, points his enormous sword at some random guy standing in the circle, and drives him out of it in a way that is totally not gay. There’s more chanting.

“The sun! Comes the sun! By Oak and Ash and Thorn, the sun! Comes the sun!”

Dude, it’s a thunderstorm, and we later find out this room is UNDERGROUND. I’m pretty sure there isn’t any sun down there.

 
“The sun is coming up from the South!” cried the red-robed woman. “I call thee: Abraxas, Metatron, Uranos …”

I’m sorry, why is this going on? I mean, the sun usually doesn’t come up from the south, so is this dude supposed to be the sun? And if so, why isn’t he coming into the circle from the east? I’m so confused, and the story hasn’t really started yet.

 
The horned man lay his great sword down at the foot of the altar and leaned over the naked woman.

I bet he does. Seriously, this entire chapter is one long wink-nudge routine.

Anyway, the naked woman’s name is Katherine, and she’s on drugs. Lots of them. ALL the drugs. And for some reason, the dude wearing antlers decides that this ritual just doesn’t seem right! Well, maybe if you entered the circle from the EAST, it might not seem so odd.

 
“Come … the … Opener of the Way,” she said, her voice slurred and husky.

I’m sure he will, lady. After all, you’re both naked and he’s covered in phallic symbolism.

So the people keep chanting, and the orgasmic lady starts yelling, “By Abbadon! Meggido! Typhon! Set!” cried the red-robed woman. “Open now, open now the Way!” I knew it! The orgy is about to start!

Nah, just kiddin’. Instead, there’s a poorly-described rush of power, and the guy with antlers starts yelling a bunch of archaic Greek words, some of which may actually be made up.

 
“Hierodule and Hierolator! Hierophex and Hierophant—” he cried out.

“Hireamaid! Hireagardener! Higherandhigher!”

And fortunately for his DRAMATIC EFFECT, the thunder chooses that moment to really let rip. Then the doors tear open, letting lots of cold rain and wind in. I can only assume that either the place is about to be destroyed by a hurricane (since storms don’t usually do such very convenient and localized damage), or he had somebody outside to kick the doors open. Either is possible.

“No! Don’t break the Circle!” the horned man shouted, but it was futile.

They had heard there was pizza for lunch, and they would not be denied!

So then everybody runs around in circles screaming, and the naked lady has some sort of seizure.

 
Then darkness.
Screams.
And, somewhere, a child crying.

Dammit, did somebody bring a kid into an R-rated movie AGAIN?!

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