'For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Le...
'Here we go,' Odie said slowly, the light from his computer flashing across his glasses. 'The Book of Damnation website...why did we need to go onto this again?'
They all turned to Theresa whose eyes stayed fixed upon the computer screen.
'I just had a hunch,' she said vaguely. 'There! That's the spell I was talking about!' She exclaimed, pointing to a spell on the screen.
Archie looked up at her from his chair and said questioningly, 'A healing Spell? For the girl? But she's not sick, of all people; Cronos is the one with the sick mind!'
'A Healing Spell can also heal a wounded soul-' Theresa started.
'A 'wounded soul', hah,' Archie laughed. 'I can find a better quote in a fortune cookie!'
'Shut up Archie,' Theresa said sternly as her gaze drifted to the door to her room where the girl was soundly sleeping. 'This is serious.'
'I'll go see her,' Jay said, approaching the door.
'I'll come with you,' Theresa added quickly, following him out the door and into her room.
The girl was just waking up and rubbing her eyes as they walked into the room. She lifted the sheets so that they covered her mouth, but Theresa sat on the end of her bed and smiled reassuringly, relaxing the girl.
'Hello,' Theresa said. 'Do you know who I am?'
'Yes,' she nodded quickly.
'Theresa, move,' Jay said, pulling her off of the bed and sitting down. 'Let me handle this. I am the officer.'
'Fine,' Theresa said coldly, standing up, crossing her arms, and leaning against the wall, glaring at Jay. 'You handle it. After all, you 'are the officer'.'
'I want you to tell me exactly what Cronos did to you.' He ordered.
The little girl burst into tears and started sobbing into her sheets.
Jay looked desperately over at her, and Theresa smiled competitively, but then pulled him over.
'Jay,' she whispered sternly, pointing her finger into his chest. 'I want you to go outside and help Odie. You are not to come into here until we come out.'
'No, get outside and wait for me.' Theresa shoved him out of her room and slowly and calmly walked over to the girl.
'Hello. So do you want some chocolate, I have some in my purse.' Theresa said joyfully, but still quietly.
The little girl nodded as Theresa pulled out a Hershey's chocolate bar from her purse, the strap slung on the chair back.
'So, what's your favourite movie?' Theresa asked, her plan going into action.
She calmly walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.
'I just first have to say,' she said quietly, her gaze fixed upon Jay, and then her tone changed to an overjoyed, competitive one. 'I so told you so! Yah, oh sure, you are the officer and I can't do anything. He made her cry, nice adult skills, Mr. Morrow.'
Archie turned to Jay, smiling sarcastically and asked quietly while holding in a laugh, 'You made her cry?'
'She just needed to let it out,' Jay responded desperately. 'And the girls are always the ones who do the kid interrogations, I do the adults!'
'Okay,' Archie laughed, unable to hold it in any longer. 'Whatever you say!'
Theresa stumbled her way over to the couch downstairs and plopped down on it, setting her head in her hands.
'I just-I just don't understand why-or how-someone could do that to a little girl.' Theresa said wearily.
'Theresa,' Jay said calmly as he wrapped his arm around her gently. 'It's okay. Just tell us what happened.'
'Her name is Helen,' Theresa continued. 'She and her mom were taking a walk in the park when giants grabbed them and brought them to Cronos' lair, of which she didn't know where. He tied them up to chairs and said that he wouldn't hurt Helen, but he wanted to use her for something, that she could help him. He took her mother and he killed her, like, slashed her across the back, beat her, and made her bleed until she died. He took the sobbing Helen and brought her to where we would inevitably go looking for him after he gave her sleeping pills. She's been knocked out for about two weeks.'
'Two weeks,' Archie said, rubbing his temple. 'Two weeks! How could he have done this to her for two weeks!'
'Theresa,' Jay asked her, frowning. 'How long have we all been together?'
'Um,' she murmured, lifting her head from her hands. 'Nine days. Why?'
'Cronos knows we know about him,' Jay said, standing up and crossing his arms. 'This is a trap; we have to get rid of her. She might be bugged!'
'We can't just leave her!' Theresa shouted at him, too standing. 'Cronos will inevitably kill her anywhere she is! We have to protect her.'
'If Cronos knows we know, but he doesn't know we know he knows,' Odie muttered, sitting in one of the chairs. 'Then we might be safe. We have the power of knowledge, he has the power of being bad, and so he doesn't have a conscious. We need to protect her, but she may be bugged. We could send Helen to a shelter.'
'I guess that would be okay,' Theresa shrugged. 'But just one more day, please? I just want to make sure she'll be okay Just one more day.'
'Guys,' Neil said, a mischievous smile sliding across his face. 'Have you guys ever heard of the Book of Damnation?'
'The Book of Damnation is an ancient book that has mystical powers,' Neil said as he read from the computer screen. 'It comes from magical history that provides us with the magic we have today. History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity. In the medieval period, the most effective method of deterring a bibliomaniac from acquiring manuscripts from their proper owners was the book curse. The book curse was not a technological security system but a security system of social context. A book curse reminded would-be book thieves that books were valued and that there were repercussions for taking them without permission. As indicated previously, book curses were not unique to the medieval period or to the Catholic Church, they came out of a literary tradition that pre-dates Christianity. The book curse followed an established basic structure of promising severe consequences, most often religious, to anyone who would take or alter a book. In the older societies, the wrath of gods such as Thoth, Ashur, and Belit was promised but in medieval Europe, it was removal from the sight of God that drove the most fear into the hearts of bibliomaniacs. Lawrence Thompson notes that in the medieval period "...the curse gained in popularity as an effective measure against book thieves and continued to be used until the introduction of the printed book" (105).'
'So basically there is a curse that protects the book from being stolen.' Archie interpreted.
'Yah,' Odie said. 'Neil, how do you know this stuff?'
'You guys probably don't know this,' Neil said, leaning back on his spinning chair. 'I'm a horror movie maniac.'
'Neil,' Archie said. 'We know.'
'Oh,' Neil muttered.
'For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying out for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.' Theresa continued, her eyes running along the screen. 'This curse equates stealing with not returning a borrowed book and calls for the same punishment for both actions and so the scribe reveals a worldview that sees both of the bibliomaniacal behaviours as equally vile. It should be noted that the scribe did not call only for physical torments but included metaphysical punishment as well. This mixing of the planes of punishment was common in many book curses. So, If Cronos tries to steal this book, then he'll be attacked by various curses. Nice! This book protects itself, but then how do we get to it?'
'I think we can use your powers to get it,' Jay answered simply. 'I think that you have some sort of connection to it, right?'
'I think so,' she said, nodding her head. 'But I can't find it without a direct source. Neil, care to help us out?'
'No one knows where the real Book of Damnation is located,' Neil answered. 'Some say it's in Stonehenge, some say it's in England, more say it's in Hell, and others say it's buried in the earth, straight to the core. It's physically impossible to find.'
'Wow,' Atlanta said, astonished. 'That actually sounded really smart!'
'Theresa,' Herry asked. 'Can you sense it?'
Theresa closed her eyes and furrowed her brow. She focused all her energy in the book, until she saw it. Afire, a book lay open with pages whipping around in the air in a cylinder. Laughter wad heard and great explosions sounded. Pages from the book had ink splattered across it, changing into faces, and screams of terror. Cold, stone walls, swimming with algae and seaweed, dripping with salt seawater and a floor so cold it was covered with ice. Theresa held onto the image as long as possible, but her connection was just not strong enough. A wave of dizziness washed over her, but Theresa forced herself up, not to look weak, helpless; she had to keep her dignity, especially to Jay.
'I think I know where the book is,' Theresa said, straightening herself. 'I think it's in Atlantis, where the Antikythera Device was.'
'Theresa,' Jay ordered, grabbing his coat and cell phone. 'You, Herry, Odie and I will go there a.s.a.p, we'll get some wetsuits for the swimming, and Odie, you and Herry can get the submarine. We'll be waiting by the docks.'
'But how did Cronos know we'd go there?' Neil asked once the others were gone. 'How did he know that we'd know about Smith? Or Crystal? If he knew all of these things, he must have anticipated that we'd do exactly what we're doing right now.'
'That means that Cronos knows what we're doing right now,' Archie said in awe. 'Cronos knows about the Book of Damnation, he knows what Theresa can do.
'That means that Theresa is in great danger.' Atlanta said, her eyes widening. 'We have to save her!'