HEAVEN AND HELL
By Honeysuckle Fiction editor Daniel RumanosWell, this was new. I received an email requesting my help from a group of Satanists in Denver, Colorado called the Rocky Mountain Goats.
A rather harmless group more interested in overdressing at various club nights than in worshipping the Lord of Darkness. It seems their headquarters had been attacked by some sort of immensely powerful Magical creature. No one had clearly seen the thing but it had been incredibly strong and had almost killed one of their members, who was now recovering in the hospital. It seems it also had the power to produce a form of supernatural fire. An extremist Christian group in Colorado Springs, which had been threatening to destroy the Satanists for some time, had claimed responsibility for the attack. Indeed, it was as if they had found a way to turn the powers of Hell itself against the Devil’s devotees.This Christian sect, Crown of Thorns Ministries, had an internet radio show hosted by their founder, Dr. Patrick MacHann, who had gone from doing fake “exorcisms“ via video-conference to head of one of those bizarre Midwestern fundamentalist “mega-churches“ in fewer than three years. He had denounced me as well on his hideous program, accusing me of having traffic with the dark forces — Ha! He didn’t know the half of it. This, however, gave me a clue on how to proceed with the investigation.I caught the next plane to Colorado, a nighttime flight, then immediately upon arriving hired a taxi to take me to the hotel nearest the ministry’s church headquarters. After checking into the hotel, resting a bit and having a meal, I just had enough time to get to the church’s Sunday evening services and check them out. I felt eyes upon me as I entered the big, grotesquely modern building that served them as their place of worship. Yes, some of this large congregation recognized me as subject-matter from their leader’s frequent tirades against occultism of all sorts.The service was the typical sort found in today’s “evangelical” churches: a lot of bad singing and passing of the plate for donations, followed by an excruciatingly lengthy sermon by the leader himself, the afore-mentioned Dr. MacHann. I had assumed his doctorate was some sort of honorary religious title, but wondered as I observed him. While his speech was about the usual faith-over-reason idiocy, he, with his high forehead, well-trimmed beard, and intense eyes, looked somehow more intelligent that other “mainstream” clergypersons I had encountered.I slipped out of the church near the end of the service, and loitered for a few moments outside before beginning the walk in the dark back to my hotel. I intentionally took the longer – and more deserted – route, going through a park which was closed for the night. Just as I reached its center I heard something swoop down from the sky and land behind me. As I had expected, they had sent their creature after me. I readied both my physical and occult defenses for whatever horrifyingly diabolical monstrosity this might be — whatever unholy phantasmal horror the Crown of Thorns sect had sent out as their ultimate weapon against their perceived enemies.Then I turned around and beheld the most breathtakingly beautiful girl I had ever seen.She looked about 19, with long, gorgeous red hair and a perfect figure. She was wearing a tight-fitting red and black outfit with a silver inverted cross emblazoned on the front of it. On her right hand was the number 666, looking more like a birthmark than a tattoo. Her exquisite eyes seemed to sparkle in the darkness, and her lips looked like the slightest taste of them would be the sweetest thing I had ever experienced. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to fight her or ask her to marry me.Finally, with a supreme effort I rallied my mystical defenses enough to overcome the speechlessness which the sight of this supremely lovely vision had inspired in me.“Who are you?” I said.She answered, “I am darkness against darkness for the cause of light! I am evil against evil for the victory of righteousness! I am… HEAVEN’S HELL!!”Despite the severity of her words, the fascinating loveliness of her voice even more enhanced the feelings she was inspiring in me. Fortunately, I was prepared for this. I used the strength of my desire for her to strengthen my psychic abilities, and initiated a telepathic joining of our minds, so I could read her thoughts and probe her history in order to gain the knowledge necessary to complete my mission.I entered her mind, penetrating her deepest memories. She offered no resistance. I found out her name was Katrina LeVay, also known as Heaven’s Hell. Patrick MacHann was, as I had suspected, an extremely mad scientist who had created her from the DNA of the late Zandor LeVay, Satanic High Priest and founder of the Temple of Astaroth, obtained when pieces of his remains were auctioned off by his widow, who had fallen on hard financial times. Katrina was fashioned in a laboratory ostensibly as the supreme and most powerful weapon of destruction in the Crown of Thorns sect’s particular brand of “spiritual warfare” — a creature of Hell itself to be used by devotees of Heaven in their struggle for supremacy against the forces of darkness. Her speed and strength were far above human levels, and she had the power of Infernal Flame, which could be projected from her hands by force of will against her opponents, and also could be used to propel her through the air and fly. While she could eventually grow tired from overuse of this power, it would replenish with time and rest. She was practically immortal. Her beautiful appearance was not something they had attempted, but simply the way she had turned out.I also found out that she was very troubled by all this. The quite normal emotions she was experiencing as a young, very intelligent woman rebelled against the group’s use of her, and her own genetic background coming from a High Priest of Satanism further exacerbated her dislike at being used against the worshippers of Lucifer.I injected a thought of my own into her mind — Not an attempt to in any way control her in any way, but merely a suggestion. I saw from her delightful smile that it was one which she accepted with much pleasure.The suggestion was that she and I go together to utterly destroy the grotesque workings of the Church of the Crown of Thorns. I took her hand in mine, and together we rose upward, she with her fire and I with my own Magical method of levitation. We headed back towards MacHann’s headquarters under the crystal radiance of that moonlit night.We crashed right through the window into the sanctuary — No need for subtlety in these matters, you see. Dr. MacHann was there and didn’t look all that surprised to see us, though perhaps a bit disappointed that I was still alive. Three members of his congregation stood behind him; large, subtly-deformed “redneck” specimens of the type that tend to make up the membership of such sects.“Daniel Rumanos!” snarled MacHann, “You accursed Cainite Sorcerer!”“The time for your bigotry and theologically-idiotic preaching is over, MacHann!” I replied with authority, “I have exposed your plot and will now put an end to your machinations!”“Yes,” added Katrina, “and you will never again use anyone as you attempted to use me! I am a human being, and will not spend my life as something created to atone for your inadequacies!”“So, the experiment comes to its end,” MacHann said sardonically, “No matter. My servants here shall clean up the mess.”The three hillbillies, two male, one female, and each weighing well over 400 lbs., moved towards us. I knew that they, despite their size and inbred savagery, had no chance against occult-powered beings like Heaven’s Hell and myself.I wondered if MacHann assumed that I considered these degenerate “trailer-trash” types human, or that I thought they were anything worthy of mercy. If so, he had underestimated me concerning a crucial fact. It was scum like this that had persecuted my ancestors for ages, and I had no qualms against payback.One of them, the largest of the men, centered its attack on Katrina. She hit him with a blast of her Infernal Flame, sending him back against the far wall with a decided crunch. Her flame flashed around the room dangerously but with a truly enchanting beauty.I hit the two approaching me with a spell of defense sending them across to join their fellow filth in what was now a lifeless heap of repulsive sub-human debris.But the gruesome monstrosities had served their purpose. They had kept us occupied long enough to allow MacHann to escape. I could perceive with my mystical senses that he was no longer in the area.By now the fire had caught well on in that hideous building and Katrina and I made our exit through the window. It was obvious that by the time the local fire department got there nothing would be left of that horrible church but ashes — not that they would have been able to extinguish this fire with their mundane, earthly methods anyway.A few minutes later, we stood on a nearby hill overlooking the town. The last dying embers of what had been the Church of the Crown of Thorns were now just a faint glow in the distance. Katrina turned and looked at me, her face more beautiful that the shining of a trillion stars.“I need to spend some time,” she said, “deciding what my life will be.”“You could, you know, come back with me,” I said, “Maybe I could help.”“That would be nice,” she replied, with a sweet smile, “But not so soon after this experience. I just need some time alone, I guess. I promise you though, when I am ready to share my life with someone, you will be the first to know.”Then she kissed me. While I was still experiencing an absolute sense of glorious intoxication from her lovely touch, she turned and rose into the air, flying away into the night, her fire trailing violet and vermillion behind her.During my walk back to the hotel I saw the morning star rising in the east — that which is called by the names of both the proud Lucifer and the Goddess of Love. How bloody appropriate that is, I couldn’t help but to think.That, then, is the origin of the fantastic and wonderful Heaven’s Hell, also known as Katrina LeVay. I knew then, as I know now, that she would always have a place of adoration, tenderness, and inspiration in my life far beyond any other. I knew that I had found my immortal. Daniel Rumanos is a Magician/Illusionist Extraordinaire; renowned paranormal debunker; award-winning author of The Weird Adventures of Daniel Rumanos dark fantasy series and fiction editor for Honeysuckle Magazine. http://danielrumanos.com