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By Sarah Hapgood

First thing the following morning Julian went along to see Adam in his room, after noticing that Lonts, along with Tamaz and Toppy, were talking to Bengo and Bardin in theirs.

“It’s a rather sub-standard room you’ve got”, said Julian, looking round it “It’s quite small compared to some of them”.

“Much easier to keep warm you mean”, said Adam, who was getting dressed “The only problem with it is being right next to Josh. He has an annoying habit of sort of growling to himself late at night”.

“Probably fiddling with the enema kit!” said Julian, sitting down on the bed.

“You seem a bit sparkier this morning, Jules”, said Adam.

“I was stupid to let Crowley get to me”, said Julian “I know this sounds half-cocked but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had been trying to drain my energy in some way. Get me out of the forefront of the pack as it were”.

“I’m afraid nothing Uncle Aleister can do would surprise me at all!” said Adam. He gave a delighted cry as the electric lights came on “Thank God for Hillyard!”

“I think this is one of the daftest ideas you’ve ever had!” said Joby, down in the basement with Kieran, Lonts and one of the big concrete-smashing mallets.

“That malicious bastard, Angel, leaves us no choice”, said Kieran “I’m fed up with the likes of him and Crowley thinking they’ve got me over a barrel! They’ve turned me into a spare part round here and I won’t have it!”

“You’d better stand well back, you two”, said Lonts.

Kieran and Joby moved a few feet up the underground passageway. Lonts swung the mallet as though he was testing his strength at a fairground, and pounded on the stubbornly-sealed door with it.

Joby meantime felt something viciously grab his shoulder in a claw-like grip and gave a scream of alarm. Lonts turned to look at him, as did Kieran, and they both in turn let out cries. It was Angel standing there behind Joby.

“What the fock are you playing at, Angel?” said Kieran “What’s it to you whether this door’s open or shut?”

“Try bashing it down again then”, said Angel.

“No Lonts, don’t!” said Kieran.

But Lonts had wielded the hammer one more time and struck at the door with it. For a brief second a monstrous snake reared out of the door at them and then disappeared back again into the woodwork.

“It’s guarded, see?” said Angel “Tough shit and all that”.

He vanished on the spot.

Kieran took Joby and Lonts back upstairs and despatched them to the kitichen. He made an excuse that he wanted to go to the lavatory, but instead, once he was alone, he pursued Angel through the ether to the castle in the rainforest.

Once there he chased Angel through the enormous ground floor rooms. Mullawa had been feeding in one of them, and gave a scream of horror when he saw Kieran gallop through the air in front of him. Mullawa dived under the table.

Kieran meanwhile cornered Angel at a full-length mirror, which Angel, as a vampire, couldn’t get through (or see himself in, come to that). He tried to jump on Angel who had fallen back against the floor. Angel kicked him backwards. Kieran scrabbled to his feet and pulled off his rosary. He jumped on Angel again and tore open the vampire’s shirt, branding him on the chest with the silver cross. Angel screamed in pain.

“You don’t fock me about, Angel”, he said “You fock me about and I’ll come after you. I’m not as helpless as you seem to think I am!”

Mullawa, desperate to get “the abomination”, as he saw Kieran, out of his house, ran at Kieran with a meat-cleaver. Kieran, who wasn’t a vampire, ran to the mirror and slipped through it.

Kieran emerged into a ground-floor passageway at Starhanger. He was breathless, and he gesticulated before putting his rosary back on. Julian emerged from the shadows and, grabbing him by the ear, dragged him upstairs.

“Out of the way, Crowley”, Julian snapped at Aleister, who was loitering at the top of the stairs “This is family business”.

When they were finally in Julian’s room, Kieran asked him to check that Crowley wasn’t eavesdropping on them.

“It’s alright”, said Julian, bolting the door once he had checked “He’s gone back to his kennel. Now suppose you tell me what I’ve just seen. You were emerging out of a solid wall!”

“I pursued Angel to the castle in the rainforest”, said Kieran, still breathless.

“How the hell did you manage that?” said Julian “It’s on the other side of the world!”

“It takes a lot of psychic energy”, said Kieran “But I was so damn angry I managed it. I was determined to get at Angel. I know the Devil’s a mischief-maker who likes playing games, but he’s pushing his luck big-time!”

Julian picked Kieran up and carried him over to the bed. He laid him down gently and rubbed his stomach to try and soothe him. Kieran kissed him.

“I’ve never entered you”, said Julian “Let me do so. I’ll be as gentle as you could wish. I’ll be as gentle as Joby”.

Afterwards Julian lit a cigar and passed it to Kieran.

“It’s snowing again”, said Kieran, looking upside-down at the bedroom window.

Suddenly the window seemed to shake violently and the bed vibrated.

“What the hell?” Julian leapt to his feet “Is it an earthquake?”

“No”, Kieran got up too and struggled to get dressed “I swear it’s Angel. He’s causing this. It’s a fit of temper because I went to his house. I’d better reassure the others”.

Kieran tore across the landing and down the stairs yelling at anyone who could hear that it was nothing to be alarmed about, it was only Angel.

Sade, who was back in his manacles on the ground-floor, and who had been trying to masturbate, yelled vociferously in French. Madame de Sade, who had been in bed with Crowley, thought it was God’s judgement on her adultery, and jumped out bed wearing only her knee-high white stockings, which Crowley had asked her to keep on.

Down in the kitchen mayhem was in progress with items falling off shelves, cupboard doors flying open, and a large barrel of ale that had been standing in the corridor outside the old servants’ hall, was turned on its side and sent bowling along the floor at high-speed. Mieps, who had been walking along it at the time, had had to flatten himself against the wall.

“Are you alright?” Adam got to him when the shaking and pounding had finally stopped.

Mieps nodded and tried to rebutton his shirt, which had come undone during the mayhem.

“Thatta girl”, Adam patted his arm “Well damnit, I can’t call you anything else when you’ve got your tits hanging out can I!”

They slopped back through the pool of ale on the floor to the kitchen, where Joby, Bengo, Lonts and Finia had been trying to seek protection under the kitchen table.

“Is it over?” said Bengo, tentatively coming out from underneath it.

“I’m not sure”, said Adam “Exercise extreme caution”.

“Is everyone alright?” said Kieran, running and skidding into the room “It was only Angel doing a wee poltergeist attack. It’s nothing to worry about though, he can’t hurt you”.

“Can’t hurt us?” said Joby “Look at this”. He pulled his shirt off one shoulder to reveal a huge bruise where Angel had clamped his claw on him in the basement.

“Really Patsy, you are enough to make me despair sometimes!” said Adam “I do wish you’d stop interfering in things. I’m going to keep you busy down here from now on”.

“Kieran! Kieran!” Toppy skidded into the room “Madame de Sade wants you to take her Confessional”.

“Blimey, that’ll take a while!” said Joby.

“Well it’s going to have to wait, Toppy”, said Adam “We have the lunch to prepare. Madame de Sade’s immortal soul will have to be put on the back burner for a couple of hours!”

“Somebody should clean up the spilt beer”, said Codlik, having just fastidiously swished his way along the corridor “That’s a health and safety hazard leaving it like that”.

“Then you do it!” said Adam “Show us what you’re made of!”

He grabbed a mop and flung it at Codlik, who fell backwards and landed with a splatt on the beery floor.

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