From the records of Father Benedict de Monte. Dated 9 March 2007
As we were preparing to go to the work site this morning, Michael found himself short on toothpaste. I informed him I had an extra tube in my luggage he was welcome to, but when he emerged from my room he was carrying two books.
“What are these?” he asked, turning them over in his hands. “Is this a Book of Shadows?”
“The Book of Shadows, actually.” I stood and reached for them. “You’ll want to be careful with that, it has defenses.”
“I’m sorry. This is the original?”
“How did you get your hands on the original Book of Shadows? Was the Vatican holding it this whole time?”
“Quite the opposite.” I snatched the book from his hand. “My mother won it in a gamble. I inherited it.”
“Who the hell did your mother win it from?”
Michael shook his head and raised his hands. “You never cease to surprise, priest. So what’s this other book?”
“That came from Henry, Matteson’s father. He said it was a sort of index for the Book of Shadows, but he didn’t have time to really show me how it works before he died.”
“The Consociationes Daemonum? You mean to tell me that Anchor’s personal library included a copy of the bloody Consociationes Daemonum? And he just…let you take it?”
“I did tell you it was quite the collection.”
“This absolutely puts it into the impressive category. Where did he get this?”
“I have no idea.”
“He didn’t tell you?”
“Few things are more cryptic to me than a Matteson.”
He sat down and began flipping through the book. “I’ve heard of these books, you know. I had to study a great many occult works as part of my training. Copies of the Book of Shadows are rare, and copies that work are rarer still; the copy we could find for me to study was only available on loan for a day at a time from a strange man in a tower on the edge of the Abyss. I had to hand over a chunk of my soul as collateral until I returned it. Thankfully his days are longer than ours, but I have to tell you, that was a very strange period of my life.”
“And the Consociationes Daemonum?”
“Rumors, mostly. The last known copy was sold in auction to an American woman using what we believe was an assumed name in 1912. There was speculation that she returned to the colonies on the Titanic, and it was the book that cursed the ship to fail. No one knows if the story is true, or if so, whether or not the book sank with the ship. But,” he said, closing it, “I know how to use it. We had to be prepared, you see. Things like this pop up unexpectedly from time to time.”
“So you can teach me how to use that to read this?” I asked, holding up the Book of Shadows.
“I can indeed. If only to have a chance to see them in action. But right now, we have work to do.”
I nodded and we put the books safely back in my luggage before heading out.
Evidence compiled for use during the trial of Father Benedict de Monte.