Father Purgeon’s eyes had grown more accustomed to the dark. He thanked the crimson illumination pulsing from the glyphs above the cell’s door. That light was faint, but without it, he knew he wouldn’t be able to see anything at all. And the thought of being in this chamber without that sparse scarlet light terrified him.
He’d forgotten all about the markings he’d spied from the entrance, the ones on the rear wall, for he saw that there were five other statues in the room. Three along the left wall. Another three on the right. Of the six, four were cater-cornered. He made his way back to the first statue and knew that the plaque’s inscription would be in Enochian. Another of the seven deadly sins. Reaching the statue, he wondered where the missing seventh one was.
Standing before it, he saw that this one was female. Like the stone wrath statue, she wore armor, had a sword, and bat-like wings, a malevolent energy radiating from her. She was just as dreadfully gorgeous, yet her face seemed crueler, remorseless and wicked. Robust lips curled in contempt, her granite eyes seemed to seep with superiority. Her sword was sheathed between her wings. Clawed hands at her hips, arms akimbo. Below her taloned feet was the word ENVY in Enochian.
Father Purgeon turned to his left and made his way to one of the cater-cornered statues by the door. Even from a distance, he could see that this one was thinner than the other two. Barely had any meat on its frame. No musculature to speak of. Armor seemed too big for it. When he reached it, he looked up at its face. Couldn’t tell if the effigy was male or female. Loose skin sagged over jutting cheekbones. He could clearly see its skull. There were lumps on its skin, cancerous looking growths that disfigured its features. Its face was the epitome of despair, with passionless, apathetic eyes. Its wings hung limp at its sides, as if it didn’t have the strength or will to lift them. But Father Purgeon knew it wasn’t weak; he felt the energy beating from it; the same energy as the others. He read the plaque at its taloned feet: SLOTH.
The priest had seen enough. He wasn’t interested in examining the other three statues in the room. Again, he wondered where the seventh one was. Remembering the glyphs he’d been trying to decipher above the door, he made his way over to them, wishing he’d brought his cigarettes with him before leaving the rectory. He could use one now. He’d been too busy being scared to notice how bad his body needed the nicotine, craved it.
Squinting past the white mist that was his breath, he focused on the Enochian glyphs above the door, and deciphered them. He didn’t like what they said, so he reread them, made sure he wasn’t mistaken. After going over it several more times, he was quite sure that he was right. The Enochian words said: Their souls are not theirs to keep.
He wondered what that meant. He didn’t like the feelings they stirred, that washed over him now that he’d translated the glyphs. They were ominous words, foreboding, downright sinister. He wished he hadn’t read them. He wished he hadn’t understood them.
Their souls are not theirs to keep.
He turned away from the inscription and gave them his back, wanting to expunge them from his mind, and obliterate them from existence. He didn’t know why he felt this way. All he knew was that he just did. That’s when he noticed the humming sound again, that baritone droning. Had it been there all along? Or had it faded, dissipated when he’d been examining the statues? He didn’t think so. He thought that sound had always been there.
As he looked toward the back of the chamber, at the rear wall where the markings were, where he knew the sound was coming from, he discovered the seventh statue. It was overhead, depending from the ceiling, in the middle of it. It looked like it was swooping down toward him because its hair was swept back. Like the others, it was wearing armor, massive bat wings spread wide. It had a sword in one hand, a shield in the other. Enochian glyphs along the weapon and shield. In comparison, its face made wrath’s beautiful visage look repulsive. Its plaque read: PRIDE.
Father Purgeon was reluctant to walk directly beneath the statue, so he veered around it and made his way to the back of the chamber. The droning sound grew louder, drumming in his ears. He stopped several feet away from the wall.
He was staring at a giant circle that took up most of the wall’s center, from ceiling to floor. Set within it were seven symbols, sigils of some sort. Beneath each sigil were Enochian words, several of which the priest had just translated. His eyes widened as understanding dawned over him. He knew what they were and what they represented. They were seals, though not angelic. They were demonic seals representing seven demon lords, fallen angels.
As he digested this information, the droning sound grew louder. Then, the sigils ignited as one, scarlet light that blazed so bright that it made Father Purgeon’s eyes burn and tear. A grating sound followed as the entire rear wall began to slide backwards, away from Father Purgeon. He backpedaled away from the wall, shielding his eyes with his arm as he did.
Father Purgeon forgot how cold it was, forgot how much his body ached. All he knew was that he had to get away from the receding wall, and whatever lied behind it.