The Book of Monsters: The Glass Cage
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by Jason Brannon
Description: We took 10 new horror authors and asked them to create original fiction using classic horror monsters--without breaking the rules! The Glass Cage is Jason Brannon's contribution--new, original fiction about Demons.
eBook Publisher: Scrybe Press/Scrybe Press, 2004 The Book of Monsters
eBookwise Release Date: October 2008
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [63 KB]
Reading time: 15-21 min.
Matthew had been up in his room, leafing through an old horror magazine, when his mother decided to come up.
"Matt?" she called cheerfully. Without waiting for a reply, she tried the knob.
"Why is the door locked dear?" she asked. "Are you smoking cigarettes again?"
"No," he said as he let her in. She sniffed the air but seemed unconvinced.
"Was there something you wanted?" he snapped.
"Only to tell you that you need to clean up this pigsty. I don't want to be forced to wear a biohazard suit in order to see my son."
"I'll do it in a little while."
"You'll do it now," Cecelia said. "No more procrastinating."
"Why do you always tell me what to do?"
Cecelia looked her son in the eyes. There was a hardness to her gaze that wasn't readily visible in her everyday face. "You will do what your father and I tell you as long as you live in our house."
"This is starting to sound like an After School Special," Matt said, rolling his eyes. "I'd rather just clean the damn room than listen to The Speech."
Cecelia was stunned. "What did you say?"
"Don't worry about it," Matt said. "I'll clean the freakin' room."
Cecelia huffed. "You need to spend some time evaluating your priorities, mister. You seem to forget who's the parent and who's the child here."
It always pissed Matt off when she called him "mister." He suspected she knew as much.
Like most teenager-parent relationships, there was a rift between Matt and his mother. He was at the age when he didn't want to be told anything. That age was also the one that made mothers worry and become overprotective and feel like they need to say more than they really do. Neither of them truly understood that this was simply the way things were.
Somewhere, buried beneath the shell of angst and adolescent toughness, Matt loved his mother. That didn't mean he always liked her. That also didn't mean he wouldn't do things to try her patience.
Not surprisingly, Matt decided to leave his room exactly as it was for a little while. He had something else in mind at the moment. He was going to have a little fun with his mother ... then he would clean the room.
The previous Halloween he had bought an entire set of human bones from an online supply site that furnished medical colleges with cadavers. As a joke, he had hung the skeleton by a noose from the oak tree in the front yard. His mother hadn't been amused in the least, screaming the moment she saw what she mistakenly thought was a body swaying there in the moonlight. The next afternoon Matthew had found the skeleton in his closet. The keys to his motorcycle, however, weren't so easily located.
He hadn't liked being without his bike. But the prank was worth it. He liked to keep his mother guessing about him. Most kids do.
He suspected that his mother had probably forgotten about the trick he had played the year before and decided it was time to resurrect the old bones and try something new. The noose was still attached to the skeleton's bleached vertebrae, and Matthew first thought about hanging it from the downstairs ceiling fan. But his mother would probably walk in on him while he was doing it. So he opted to do it right there amidst the potato chip bags and hamburger wrappers and hope that Cecilia got angry enough to come back up. Testing the light fixture a few times, he found that it would support the skeleton well enough.
"Perfect," he said with a gleam of mischief in his eye.
After grabbing a razor blade out of his father's medicine cabinet, Matt then ventured into the basement where he gathered candles and matches. Upon returning to his room with the necessary supplies, he ransacked his drawers until he found the gold cross that his grandmother had given him several years earlier when he turned thirteen. He arranged the candles in a circle around the hanging bones, and upon lighting them, turned off the overhead light. He then placed the gold cross around the dead man's neck and fixed it in place with runny wax.
Trying to remember everything he could from the old horror movies, Matthew cut himself with the razor and let his blood drip onto the skeleton and the cross. With each drop of red that splashed onto gleaming white bone, Matt could actually believe that he was sacrificing someone in the name of some dark ancient deity.
While he had never actually tried to summon a demon, Matt had seen dozens of movies and listened to hundreds of death metal songs detailing the procedure. So far as he could tell, this seemed to be a reasonable facsimile of an invocation. If nothing else, it looked authentic. The blood assured him of that. Of course, he wasn't actually looking to call forth some hideous devil from the netherworld. He just wanted to get under his mother's skin the way she got under his sometimes with her constant nagging and haranguing.
Matt thought for a moment and then raced over to a huge box of compact discs. He began excitedly throwing jewel boxes over his shoulder until, at last, he found what he was looking for--a band named Petrified Saviour. After only a minute of searching through the liner notes, Matt located the song with all the names and invocations in it.
"Abbadon," he began in a loud voice of mock authority, "Chief of the Demon Locusts, Sovereign of the Bottomless Pit, Destroying Angel of the Apocalypse, I summon thee. Asmodeus, Astaroth, Beelzebub, Behemoth, and Belial depart from Gehenna and inhabit these bleeding bones, filling it with your evil. Barons of Hell who hear this invocation descend on this place and thy legions. May all of Hell's inner court find sanctuary in this unholy place of spilled blood and defiled Christianity. And may this sacrifice please my Unholy Lord."