• PART 3

    • Granny Lulu was out for over an hour. The kids started to worry and decided to go look for her; she didn’t go in her car, so they concluded that she must not have gone far if she went on foot. Lilith went towards the maze even though she had been specifically warned against it; she wanted to go back but she could feel something, like a force, calling for her to come deeper into the maze. She lost control of herself and followed the voice.
      Lilith heard whispers echoing her name in the maze.
      "Grandma is that you?"
      She asked. There was the presence of heavy winds blowing and laughter. Lilith couldn't trace where the laugh was coming from; the air around her slowly became thicker, making it hard for her to breathe. Lilith was scared she started to call out for help.
      “Help me! Is anyone out here? Someone, please help me! I can’t breathe.”
      The laughs continued, this time louder than before. Lilith lost control and fainted in the maze.
      Granny Lulu met Cris on her way back and asked of her sister.
      “Why are you alone? Where’s your sister?” Granny Lulu asked.
      “I don’t know. We split up when we wanted to look for you.” He answered.
      “Quick, we have to go back to the house.”
      They ran back to the house but could not find Lilith anywhere in the house so Granny Lulu suggested that they look around the villa. Soon enough, Cris found a lead.
      “Granny Lulu, look! It’s Lilith’s footprints.”
      Granny Lulu rushed to where Cris found the footprints. She saw the footprints leading to the maze and she knew what would happen to Lilith if she was not found on time.
      “Quick, boy, get me my torch!”
      Cris ran in and brought a torchlight for Granny Lulu’s torchlight.
      “Hang in there Lilith, I’m coming to save you. Please be fine till I get there.” Granny Lulu prayed within.
      They followed the footprints and found Lilith’s body lying on the ground deep in the maze.
      “Lilith!” Cris rushed to carry her but was stopped by Granny Lulu.
      “You cannot go near her. See those smokes around her? They will consume you just like they consumed her.”
      Granny Lulu recited some spells which cleared up the smoke, allowing her to move near Lilith’s body; she handed the torchlight to Cris and carried Lilith back into the house with Cris lighting up the path. Once home, Granny Lulu laid Lilith on the floor; she drew a circle around her and surrounded her with candles placed on the circle she drew. She put a call through to the other 4 members of the inner sanctum and, within a short while, they were all present at her place.
      “Lulu, what happened?” Doris, the second in command to Granny Lulu asked.
      “Are you sure of what her state is? We cannot have history repeat itself in Hartwood again. We must do what needs to be done to protect Hartwood.” She continued.
      That was when it dawned on Cris that the story their grandmother told them about a girl being possessed by a demon was true. His grandma was one of those who repelled the demon and sent it into a prison in the maze.
      “Are you telling me to rip out my granddaughter’s heart? Is that what you’re saying, Doris?” Granny Lulu asked.
      “We don’t even know if she’s been possessed or not. The spell Lulu cast is strong enough to weaken the demon if her granddaughter has indeed been possessed, and we’ll figure out a solution if it turns out that she has indeed been possessed. But first, we have to find out if she’s been possessed or just reacting to her own powers; the demon might have triggered something in her without possessing her. We have to wait and see, Doris.” Athaliah, the third member said.

    • The conversation was still going on when, suddenly, the candles that surrounded Lilith’s body went out and a strong wind began to blow in the house. They all knew the demon was back.
      The other lights in the room continued to flicker and went out and there were strange laughs and heavy wind in the already dark room. Suddenly, Lilith flew up with a sinister expression on her face.
      “I’m baaaack.”
      Athaliah was terrified.
      “Oh no!”

      “If you try to stop me, you will only end up destroying this body and I will take a new host. You cannot stop what is about to happen; you cannot stop my revenge – I will make you all pay."

    • And with that, she vanished. The Inner Sanctum knew what the demon was going to do next—look for soldiers.
      “We should have done what we had to do when we could.” Doris said.
      “Fortunately, this is not a strange situation. We should do what we did the first time.” Kanah, another member of the Inner Sanctum, said.
      “It won’t work this time.”
      “Why did you say that, Lulu? It’s the same situation as the last time, is it not?” Amaru, the fifth and final member of the Inner Sanctum, asked.
      “It’s not the same situation. The child has powers.” Granny Lulu said as she sunk into a chair.
      “What? How could you let this happen, Lulu?” Doris questioned.
      “What kind of powers does she have? We may be able to control it if we know now before it’s too late.” Kanah asked.
      “She has demonic powers. As far as I know, she can teleport, and she also can control people.” Cris answered.
      “Cris, how did you know that?” Granny Lulu asked.
      “She has done it before when she was a baby, but she only did it just once.” He explained.
      Lulu knew the demon would exploit Lilith’s powers to the fullest and this could lead to a disaster of unmanageable dimensions. The demon now had the power to finish what it could not finish 10 years ago.
      “What if we go back to the book?” Athaliah suggested
      “The book of spells?” Amaru asked.
      “Yes, we don’t have time.” Doris said.
      They went to the place where they buried the book but could not find it. The demon, Sekhmet, had already gotten there ahead of them and had taken the book.
      “What do we do now?” Athaliah asked.
      “If we don’t stop Sekhmet in time before it gets the blood of a hundred men, that will be the end.” Kanah said.
      Cris was confused.
      “Sekhmet? Wait a minute, you know the demon that possessed my sister, Granny Lulu?”
      Granny Lulu sighed.
      “Yes, Cris. It was imprisoned inside the pillar at the center of the maze, and that was why I told you never to enter the maze; I was afraid something like this might happen.”
      Cris’s expression changed from confusion to shock.
      “You mean we’ve been living with a demon in your villa this entire time? Why, Granny Lulu?”
      “Decades ago, a terrible pandemic swept through Hartwood and soon spread to other parts of Bannica. Scientists couldn’t even figure out what it was, much less find a cure. We got desperate, so we decided to summon a demon to help us out. The demon came through the pillar, which is the portal between our world and the demon world. The demon agreed to help us out but gave a condition which we agreed to. But after the demon got rid of every last trace of whatever was causing the pandemic, we betrayed it; we sealed the pillar and built a maze around it, infusing it with our magic. This would trap the demon in the maze forever and it would not be able to find its way out as long as the maze stood and the magic remained.”
      She paused for a moment and then continued.
      “As the head of the Inner Sanctum, it was my duty to watch over the maze and so I built my villa around it to make sure I never take my eyes off it.”
      “But why did you betray the demon?”


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