DISCLAIMER: "Millennium" and Frank Black (and his family - Catherine and Jordan), Peter Watts, and The Millennium Group, Peter Bletcher, Sammael, Lucy Butler and Dr. Ephraim Fabricant are the property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Broadcasting Company. "Hellraiser", Pinhead, Cenobites and the Lament Configuration are the property of Clive Barker, New World Pictures, Mirimax Films and Dimension Films. Deacon Fox, Jonathan Saxby and all other support characters belong to me. This story is not written for profit and is for fan-fiction purposes only.
Stephen Maxwell Frankton-Lowe (email@example.com) a.k.a. Maxx Blackwell
“And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only, and the end thereof as a bitter day.” – Amos 8:10
“Frank? Peter Watts,” said the voice on the other end of the phone.
“Frank, the Group wants to send us to Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. It seems there’s been a murder there that they would like us to take a look at.”
“Evil knows no boundaries, Frank.”
“Why us, Peter? Surely the group has members in Canada given its global perspective.”
“Absolutely. But the group thinks your gift could really be of assistance in this case and that my insight due to prior experience may be useful.”
“So, when do we go?”
“Pack your bag Frank. I’ll pick you up in 45 minutes. That will allow you time to review some of the material I’ve received on our way to the airport. We have a 11:54 am flight out of Seattle-Tacoma and should be arriving at 10:53 pm Ottawa time.
Deacon Fox looked at the clock on his monitor – 1:00 a.m.. A man of thirty-five years of age, Deacon sat at his computer, nimble fingers tapping away at the keys. By the light of the computer monitor his skin took on a luminescent light blue tone. Piercing blue eyes looked at the rotating wooden cube with inlaid bronze patterns on his screen. As he moved the curser over the cube’s surface it rotated in response as though hanging weightless in space. Below the graphic, bids kept incrementing upwards. He raised his right hand and combed it through the gray hair above his ears.
Since public access to the Internet had become common-place his task of making quotas had been made easier, especially after the creation of online auction sites like ebay and onlineaUctions – At onlineaUctions we put U in the action.
In each case the successful bidder paid for their “art” through an online payment service to a charity selected from a list Deacon specified. Frequently the ornate boxes sold for amounts in excess of $1500 American, but in all cases the minimum bid was damnation.
Deacon lifted his coffee mug and took a drink. The harsh taste of black rum mixed with the Columbian coffee burned the back of his throat. He swiveled his head to the right of the monitor and looked at the cube that sat on his desk – another masterpiece of perfection – and touched it. It was as though he could hear a whisper calling his name but he knew it was no audible sound that called to him, but rather something that only his soul could hear. He removed his figure from the increasingly seductive cube, resisting an impulse to trace his fingers over its fine lines, revealing unseen surface pathways and …
“Seek and ye shall find,” commanded a cold unwavering voice, rich in bass tones, soothing to the nerves and lulling to the senses. “Knock and the door shall be opened.”
Deacon did not start but his eyes snapped back to the monitor wherein he saw a reflection of Hell looking down upon him from behind.
“You can hear its siren song calling out to you, but still you resist, Deacon Fox. So it is with each and every one.”
“You know the deal, so why do you pretend…”
“It is not I that pretends, Deacon Fox. It is you. It is you who denies the calling of your own soul. You know it could not be otherwise.”
Deacon swiveled round in his chair and looked up at the leather clad being that stood there looking down at him. Its skin was a deathly pale blue that seemed to glow in the light of the monitor. Its eyes were soulless black pits that sucked you in. The pale flesh of its head was lined vertically and horizontally with grooves and at the intersection of each, a nail had been driven in. Where the skin of its chest was exposed it had been torn away to reveal the deep red of raw muscle tissue – always wet as though it oozed, yet never clotted nor dripping. It wore a garment that looked like a priest’s cassock made of leather, from its high collared neck to the floor that it swept, concealing all hint of the human legs beneath. Unnervingly accessible were a small array of bladed hand tools which hung at its waist. A droplet of blood collected at the curved edge of one of the blades, became too heavy and plummeted, appearing to Deacon to fall as if in slow motion, to the floor where it splattered. Though they always bore signs of recent usage in the sculpting or carving of flesh there was little doubt of their sharpness. Deacon’s eyes tracked upward from the floor to its face. There was no doubt that this being was male, nor a doubt that it had once been human. It carried itself with a reverence befitting a prince, yet without the arrogance of one that lords his station above another. He was Hell’s favoured son, the Black Pope of Hell, a servant to Leviathan.
“Look, pinhead,” Deacon’s voice dripped with antipathy. “ You know very well that I opened that first box, years ago, and that we forged a deal. A deal that assured my damnation almost as surely as if I had resigned myself to the fate that cursed box had concealed.”
“Enough, Deacon Fox! We agreed that we would make you one of us, when you were ready, but your attitude bears out the lack of progress you have made to curb the chaos of the flesh and bring yourself into order. There are those in Hell that feel your progress has been less than exemplary. You buy yourself time in this realm as a puzzle guardian, but know that if you fail to discipline the flesh by the time your end comes, there are those eagerly awaiting to test and bring order to the chaos of the flesh that embodies you.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa there. Let’s not get too excited. OK? The deal we’ve got going is a good one. I distribute your little boxes and ultimately bring you souls. The fee for my little service here is for you to make me one of you. Let’s not let my passions…”
“Your passions threaten to be your undoing, Deacon Fox. If you bring out what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not bring out what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.”
Deacon shrank a little within himself. Perhaps he’d pushed this one too far. Deacon got a momentary faraway look in his eye as he sought a way to placate and reason with this Cenobite.
“Well, what about that guy — that doctor — the one who killed all those nurses? I found him for you and got him the puzzle and now he’s your, right? I got him the box just in time, and now he’s yours. And all the other ones got was his kidney, right? That’s gotta count for something, right?”
“Unlike you, Deacon Fox, the good doctor had a finely honed sense of order. Yet like you, he too was a slave to the yearnings of his flesh and this was his undoing. In Hell he travels the road most arduous in search of his salvation – the Path of Pain. But he is not beyond redemption. He lacks focus when it comes to the desires of the flesh, but in Hell he will find new purpose or new purpose will find him.”
Deacon Fox did not want to contemplate what that meant.
“Find what is within you Deacon Fox, and what is within you will save you.”
The computer behind Deacon chimed merrily and said, “You have mail.” Like Pavlov’s dog Deacon looked over his shoulder at the monitor.
“Fail to find what is within you and what is within you will destroy you, Deacon Fox.”
Hearing his name he looked back, but it was gone. “Betrayed by my own flesh …” he thought, “… again.”
Deacon Fox turned his chair back around just in time to see five hooks flying forward out from the screen. They tore into his flesh and dragged him forward out of this seat, blood streaming from the wounds, face crashing into the monitor.
“Eyaah!” he shouted, suddenly awaking and sitting bolt upright, the flesh of his face still imprinted with the keys of his keyboard. On his screen the ornately crafted box slowly rotated and below it a black and yellow striped bar, with the words AUCTION CLOSED knocked out in white, stretched across the screen. Superimposed on this was a message from his email program - You Have New Mail! According to the time on the clock it was now 3:33 a.m..
Deacon lifted his coffee cup to his lips but found it empty. What he really wanted was a cigarette, and maybe a little more black beauty in his coffee. “Screw the cigarette,” he said. “Gotta curb the yearnings of the flesh.” He got up and went to the kitchen and set about brewing another pot of coffee.
Jonathan Saxby read the message on his screen and couldn’t believe his luck. Superimposed on the screen bearing an image of a rotating ornately crafted box with a black and yellow striped bar with the words “AUCTION CLOSED” knocked out in white letters was a pop-up screen with the message: “Congratulation Saxman. You are the successful bidder for Lot 666. Please proceed to checkout to confirm delivery instructions for your item. As per your instructions the bid of $1,248.00 has been debited from your account and has been transferred to the charity of your choice: ‘The Missing Children’s Foundation.’”
Jonathan printed the screen as a memento of his success and pinned it to the corkboard above his desk. He next inspected the financial transaction, confirmed the shipping instructions and concluded the order by pressing “OK”. Next he printed the record of order screen that followed and filed it with his other online purchases. “A place for everything,” he said to himself.
He then shut down his computer and made for the bathroom. He retrieved the toothpaste from where it lay between his hair brush and his toothbrush, squeezed out a line of paste with a perfect curly-cue at the end, and capped it. He brushed his teeth for two minutes in a soft and massaging manner, in swirls and strokes away from his gums. He filled the rinse glass with water that was neither warm nor cold, swished with a mouthful and spat out into the sink. He then rinsed his toothbrush under the running water, emptied his glass rinsing the sink, refilled it to the half-way mark and drank the water down. He then turned off the tap and set his glass down where it came from, the toothbrush where it came from beside the toothpaste and then turned the taps again as final drop of water came loose and fell into the sink and splattered. He surveyed the hairbrush, toothpaste and toothbrush and adjusted them so they were straight, in parallel rows, and as he did so he said to himself, “And everything in its place.”
After attending to his comfort he switched off the light in the bathroom, walked to the bedroom and slipped between the sheets in a sitting position. He reached over and turned off the light, slid down into the bed, and within minutes, into a peaceful slumber.