The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
"In the name of the Light you shall not enter!" Commanded Samuel, holding his hands up before him.
The hands became as bright as small moons, and a nimbus of pure blue and violet energies blazed around them, then shot at the door, enveloping it at the same time as something struck the door again. The door looked like something out of a cartoon as it broke inwards, but instead of shattering into thousands of parts, it pushed outwards like a balloon would stretch as if someone were pushing it from the inside.
In a matter of moments something out of a nightmare had its head forced into the cabin. Jimbo shoved Nanny behind him and aimed his pistol, waiting for a clear shot around Samuel.
Samuel was lost in what he was doing. He pushed forward and as he did, his hands grew brighter in the flames of the energies. The hideous face glaring at them, and the snarling lips opened to engulf him, but he stood his ground.
"You will leave. And you will leave now! We are not what you seek, devourer of souls!" He shouted.
The creature, Jimbo's worst nightmare, howled so loudly that the entire cabin shook, knocking loose anything that wasn't securely tied down, causing Jimbo to drop his pistol and clap hands over his ears the same time as Nanny screamed and he howled in pain at the force of the blow of the creature's terrible frustration.
Then as suddenly as it all began, the door flung backwards and became still.
The light vanished from about Samuel's hands. He turned slowly, his body casting off a faint nimbus of white light as Nanny and Jimbo both looked at him in awe. "We're safe now. I think I need to sleep now."
Samuel lay down on his sleeping bag and collapsed into sleep.
The next thing he remembered was the sound of crackling nearby, and a tasty scent in the air. Soy dogs. Jimbo and he both loved them, and had brought some freeze dried ones along for their meals.
He rolled over. Every muscle in his body felt tense and tight as a coiled spring, but it all loosened up, once he sat up and stretchd. He began doing a series of silent yoga postures, as Nanny watched from nearby, guiding the soy dogs on an antique griddle she had found, the plate burner beneath it casting flames up from the stove below.
Jimbo came opened the front door and came inside with an armful of wood tucked beneath his left arm and dropped them next to the stove. "Good morning, bright eyes." He greeted Samuel, then began shoving the wood into the snow.
He had left the door open and Samuel could see huge drifts of snow outside and Jimbo's footprints. But he could also see another set of footprints.
"Yeah. It was big all right." Jimbo said, catching his glance. "I tried tracking it..."
"That's dangerous." Samuel chided him.
Jimbo pulled out a grenade from both of his jacket pockets. "Maybe."
Samuel laughed. "You never fail to amaze me. Sometimes earthly weapons just won't stop these things."
"Well, if it can leave footprints and break wood, then it can also be broken." Jimbo said with finality, then shut the front door and the swirling thrusts of snow falling from above.
He shivered. "One thing is for sure though."
"You'll have a popsicle ass if you don't dress warm when you go out there. It's gotta be at least thirty below zero outside."
"More like forty." Nanny said as she scooped a soy dog onto one plate, slathered it with mustard from a tiny can, then did the same thing to two other dogs. She left three more warming up on the griddle and served the men.
Jimbo nodded, accepting his, then got out three cans of Doctor Pepper. "It's always good to have a Doctor in the house."
Nanny giggled. "Your jokes are almost as bad as Sam's."
"Actually, they're much better." Samuel admitted. "I just never tell him so, gives him a fatter head."
"Fatter?" Jimbo asks, glaring at Samuel, then looks away. "Oh. Right. Gotcha!"
Jimbo sits on the right of Samuel and Nanny squeezes between them. "Hope you two don't mind sharing a little body heat."
"Not likely." Jimbo replied with a grin. "Always my pleasure."
Samuel laughed. "And does he mean always."
"Hey!" Jimbo cried out. "Foul play."
"Isn't that what the last girl said?"
Nanny laughed so hard she spit out her piece of soy dog into her lap.
Both men broke into laughter. They spent the next ten minutes in silence, savoring their simple meal and companionship, listening to the sound of snow melting and draining down the pipe above into the simple water cistern inside.
"I wonder who lived here last." Nanny finally said.
Samuel shook his head. "Don't wanta know. Don't wanta ask."
"For a spiritual man. A detective. You sure don't act like one sometimes."
"We've both seen too much." Jimbo answered for Samuel, who was in the middle of another bite of his second soy dog.
"Well, for one thing, we've known each other since high school and we've been non-stop pretty much since then with one case or another."
"For money? You must both be rich by now."
Samuel laughed. "That'll be the day."
He looked to his right and saw Al and M dancing in a small circle. Al looked over at him and winked, then Marilyn waved.
"If it was about the money, this partnership would've been dissolved a long time ago." Jimbo said.
"Why? Everyone needs money to live."
"True enough." Jimbo explained. "But not everyone we help can afford us, so we make ourselves affordable."
"In other words you give yourselves away."
Samuel smirked. "Not quite so literally."
"I mean you donate your time."
"And sometimes more." Jimbo acknowledged, revealing a huge scar on his right upper arm, by pulling his thick wool shirt up. "This little badge of honor came from Cambodia. We was helping a village get rid of Demons."
"Well, they sure looked like them." Jimbo admitted.
Samuel nodded. "Horns, tails and glowing red eyes."
Jimbo whipped out his pistol and cocked it.
"Oh! So they weren't real demons after all."
Jimbo and Samuel exchanged glances. But neither said more.
Nanny went to the door and pulled it open again. "The snow's stopped."
And it had, but the drifts outside were some of them over six feet tall and the path they had followed to the cabin was gone and any other possible path as well.
Jimbo and Samuel came to the door and stood next to Nanny, eyeing the mess they would have to travel through. "Gonna be hard picking out anything throught that, Sammie."
Samuel shook his head. "I've got friends in high places. Let's pack up and go."
They spent the next ten minutes straightening up thee place, bagging their trash and storing it y the door, then making sure the stove fire was completely out by drenching it with fresh snow. It snizzled, crackled and popped for awhile, then the snow and extra heat began to face. In several more minutes they could see their breaths in the air.
Samuel looked at Al, who nodded, then stepped straight through Nanny, followed by M, who did the same. Nanny shrieked two times and shivered violently each time they passed through her.
"Do they have to do that!" She protested.
Samuel smiled. "They never do anything unless they have a good reason. God's got his finger on them and won't let go."
"I thought even angels had free will?"
"Whoever said they were angels?" Samuel asked, as Al turned back and stuck his fingers in his ears and gave them all the raspberry.