Story by DragonWriter17
Written by DragonWriter17 and CN Winters
Directed by CN Winters
Produced by CN Winters and Susan Carr
Edited by Lilly
Sounds by CN Winters
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, Zahir al Daoud, Isis, Mattxxx and CN Winters
Cover Art by Robert Kidman
Farmhouse – Child's Bedroom – Night
A young girl, perhaps ten years old, lay sleeping in her bed. On the wall beside a picture of Jesus with children and lambs was a crude wooden plaque, like those made at church camp or vacation bible school. On it was the name Christabel.
As the child slept, an elderly woman with long gray hair made motions over the girl's body. The tendrils of wispy magic seeping from the woman's fingertips marked her as a witch. On the other side of the bed, a younger woman, the child's mother, watched the proceedings with deep worry in her eyes. When the witch was done, the old woman closed her eyes and let her arms rest at her sides.
"Miss Hilda?" the mother prompted. "How's my Christie?"
Hilda opened her eyes and looked at the young mother. "It's definitely not a demon possession or haunting," she told her. "I sense no other presence in her or around her."
A look of relief came over the mother's face, but it quickly reverted to worry.
"Her Gift is strong, Miriam," Hilda said.
Miriam nodded. "Yes, like her grandmother's. Mine is…" She just shrugged as a finish to that sentence.
"You must teach her," Hilda instructed. "Even if it means going against your husband's wishes."
Miriam glanced uncomfortably around the room, which was peppered with crosses, pictures of Jesus, and Christian posters and knickknacks. "He's very devout…"
The mother nodded again, acknowledging the truth of the older woman's words. A whimper from her daughter drew Miriam's eyes to the bed. "It's started!" she whispered urgently to Hilda.
The witch turned back to the child, and she could clearly see that Christabel was beginning to have disturbing dreams.
"Come, join with me," Hilda commanded.
The two women joined hands across the bed, and then each placed a hand on the girl's forehead.
After Hilda had murmured a quick incantation, both she and Miriam jerked in reaction to the spell that took them inside Christabel's nightmare.
Series of Quick Shots
– Monstrous demon armies clashing violently on a huge battle plain
– A fanged demon screaming as he clutched a black stone in his hand
– Emaciated bodies being dragged from gas chambers and callously heaped into shallow graves
– A man viciously clubbing a two-year-old child in a dilapidated home
– A girl, naked and bound, begging for her life as a woman laughed
– A man brutally stabbing another man, then using the blood to paint a panther's paw on the wall
– Dozens of women and children writhing in seizures on the grounds of a jungle compound
– Through it all, an ancient voice – cold, cruel, compassionless – whispering, commanding, exulting
Farmhouse – Child's Bedroom – Resume
As Christabel woke up screaming, Hilda and Miriam were screaming with her. While Christabel remained in a terrorized state, the two women got themselves under control, and Hilda ended the spell that had bound the three together. Panting breathlessly, Hilda and Miriam un-joined their hands.
Miriam immediately sat down next to her daughter and took her into her arms. She crooned comforting words to the child and caressed her hair. Soon Christabel calmed down and stopped crying. She pulled out of her mother's embrace and looked both women in the eyes.
"Now you know," she told them. "It can't be stopped."
"What do you mean…'it'?" Hilda asked warily.
Suddenly, Christabel's entire demeanor changed. The look in her eyes, the tone of her voice, her very presence suggested that it was no longer her child-self speaking, but rather the ageless, immortal soul inside her.
"It is unending pain, the scream that never dies, it is suffering…eternal…inescapable…" Christabel said. "It is…the Loathestone."
The mother and witch look at each other, puzzled and concerned.
Farmhouse – Hallway – Later
Hilda and Miriam stood in the hallway outside the bedroom, talking quietly. The door was open, and they could see inside. Christabel was awake and sitting up in bed, still looking traumatized.
"What can we do?" Miriam asked desperately.
"I don't know," Hilda replied. "The Ritual of Sundering would strip her of her Gift, but –"
"No," Miriam said firmly. "It would kill her."
"Perhaps that would be a blessing…" Hilda grimly mused.
Miriam frowned in pain and moved to stand in the doorway to look at her daughter.
Christabel was now rocking in place, singing to herself in a soft and broken voice, "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus…"
New York City – Motel Room – Night
Sitting on the room's double bed, a grown-up Christabel hummed the same four lines that her younger self had sung.
Voiceover, Hilda: "Unless we can find a way to prevent her from 'Seeing' this-this…Loathestone, unless we can somehow sever her connection to it, she'll go mad."
Christabel repeated the final line of the verse, singing it aloud, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus."
She looked down at the basket in her lap; it held a collection of snacks and church flyers. Her mouth formed a small smile as if she were pleased with her work.
Suddenly, her eyes went wide, and she picked up another object lying on the bed and pulled it closer for inspection. It was a large butcher knife. It gleamed in the light as she examined it with awe.
"For my sword shall be bathed in heaven," she quoted. "It shall come down upon the people of my curse…to judgment."
End of Teaser
To Act One