Friday Frights: The Parisian Apocalypse

My Friday Frights submission: Issue 59: prompt – Apocalypse. Word count – 1200,

If you had said to me two years ago, that I was to become the instigator of the Parisian apocalypse, I, madame, would have said you were mad. Now, with hordes of the undead prowling the streets, I must plead my case, explaining my innocence.

Please, don’t all speak at once. May I suggest you leave your questions until I have finished. Thankyou.

As some of you know, I am a writer of occult horror. My interest in the occult began as a youth, when I discovered references to an ancestor of mine from some three hundred years ago, Sir Francis Dashwood, Grand Master of The Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe. Perhaps you know of the order from the more notorious name of the “Hell-FireClub.” Many half-truths and fabrications have been invented by the popular media, but no one really knows what rituals took place in the caves below West Wycombe. Perhaps it was only fitting that our family motto “Fay Ce Que Voudras”, meaning “Do As You Will” should be used by the best known practitioner of the black arts, Aleister Crowley.

Unbeknown to most readers, I suspect, the rituals described in my novels I base on actual events, practices and experience gained during my years of study while at Bath University. Many of you, media reporters, may not believe, but I can assure you, demonology and the occult is very real.

My involvement with the present day situation began when I was introduced to one, Sébastien Charnay. His father owned the funeral parlour just off Rue de Rivoli. A few months after the first meeting, he came to me with a request that I might help him in a necromancy ritual. As you may, or may not, know, necromancy is a way of communicating with the spirit of a deceased person with the intention of gaining information of which that person had knowledge during the time they were alive.

In the story Sébastien gave me, a young lady friend of his had been murdered. After several weeks of police investigation they, being no nearer to the discovery of her murderer, had released the body for burial. Sébastien discovered this on seeing the corpse in his father’s funeral parlour. His idea was to contact her spirit – Nicole her name was – and discover the identity of her killer. He showed me a ritual, from a 16th Century Grimoir of Demonology, which he hoped to use.

I accept, I should have been more astute in checking a translation of the ritual, but I saw this as a chance to use the rites of the ancient Mages for good rather than as the power of darkness to which the past has accredited such practices. I saw no reason to suggest Sébastien may have had ulterior motives.

We conducted the ritual in the funeral parlour on the night of 17th September, the day before Nicole’s burial. Sébastien read the invocation in the language in which it was originally written, a form of Latin and ancient French. As you know, even my present-day French is not good. I had no idea if his pronunciation of the words was correct. Nothing appeared to happen; no materialization of the girl’s spirit. I say nothing happened, but a vivid blue light appeared momentarily over the coffin. It was there for a split second then was gone, as if some spiritual entity had tried to come through. I assumed the ritual was either incomplete, or incorrectly read.

Sébastien seemed resigned to the fact that we had done all we could, and apologised for having, apparently, wasted my time. I realize, now, how rapidly he seemed to want me gone.

Back in my apartment, unable to sleep, I was concerned as to why the ritual did not work. I have used necromancy on several occasions in the past quite successfully. I began by searching the internet for information on the spiritual entity – you would probably say demon – Sébastien had invoked, Frucissire.

Eventually, my web browser unearthed – figuratively speaking – a reference to, “Cabalistiques Magiques, Grands Secretes des Liber Juratus.” A quick word search through the text produced the information I was looking for. I read, Frucissire revives the dead…”

Revives the dead – To reanimate!  Not to communicate! I wondered, did Sébastien know this? His attitude at the end of the ritual suggested he did, but I was certain he did not realize the danger to which he was exposing himself. A reanimated corpse without a soul? A zombie! I could only assume Sébastien’s relationship with Nicole was more intense than “just friends,” as he had indicated to me.

I tried to phone him immediately, but there was no answer. My concern was such that I actually ran the threekilometres across Pont de Sully at 4:00 am that morning rather than phone and wait for a taxi. The funeralparlour where I left Sébastien such a short while ago was a chaotic shambles of destruction. I dreaded actually entering, but enter, I did. I almost wish I hadn’t.

Several coffins complete with corpses had been scattered, literally picked up and thrown, about the room. Sébastien was dead. His naked, headless torso hung out of the coffin in which Nicole had lain. Nicole’s corpse was missing.

As you know, the police report at the time laid the blame on a crime syndicate, assuming Nicole was involved in organized prostitution. That her body was removed and the murder of Sébastien conducted by the group for reasons unknown. This belief was strengthened by the discovery from a comparison of the DNA in a semen sample, taken from Nicole during the original investigation, being identical with the DNA profile in Sébastien’s blood. They believed her death had been the result of a sexual game that had gone wrong, and that Sébastien, coincidentally or not, was her murderer. This confirmed, to me, his infatuation for bringing her back to life, The head of Sébastien has never been found.

The zombie apocalypse is not the result of failed military experiments, or of biochemical, hazardous waste as depicted in films. It is the work of the demonic entity, Frucissire, As Sébastien summoned the demon, he is the only one with the power to banish it. But as you know, Sébastien is dead. The demon walks this earth and we have no power to return it to its domain.

I pause, waiting for the incoherent babble of questions from the newspaper reporters in front of the dais. There is only silence. I look up. Every face is staring at something on the stage behind me.

Turning, I gasp in horror at the nightmare creatures shuffling, arms outstretched, toward me…

© 2012. Robert A. Read

Author’s note: You wish to reanimate a corpse? Frucissire really is the demon to invoke. You will need a copy of Cabalistiques Magiques, Grands Secretes des Liber Juratus which may be difficult to obtain. There are not that many in existence. The one on internet is incomplete. Just remember: you really, really would be creating a zombie.

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