Beware the Dybbuk
By: Robin Renee Ray
While flipping through a few more pages of the leather bound book, Gabby found what she was looking for. “We have to draw a large circle on the floor leaving the south end open…wait, it says to make sure the opening is no longer than six inches. Says something here about needing bait to sit in the middle of the circle, but only after the four symbols have been drawn.” She then looked up at each of her siblings, knowing she couldn’t allow any of them to be the bait for the hell demon that was after them. “I’ll do it.”
“No, you won’t,” Sam replied. “I’m not afraid and you are. If you fear the Dybbuk then it has you hands down.”
“You’ve been afraid of this thing ever since you heard dad telling those stories.” Cindy crossed her arms and began pacing the floor.
“They weren’t just stories, Cindy. Dad was preparing us for this very moment, or the time he had to have known this thing would show back up. He told us the only one who had a chance against this thing had to have a ‘pure spirit’ as well as body.” Sam looked around at the three others. “How many of you are still pure, a virgin?”
“He’s right,” Gabby added as she read through the pages. “The one placed in the center needs to be pure in all aspects.”
“Other than not getting laid, what other good things can you say about being pure, Sam. You’ve been rotten all your life.”
“Maybe so, Cindy, but Sam is also the one who always tried to talk us out of doing stupid shit. Like when you broke your leg jumping off the barn into the hay at mother’s dad’s house. Sam begged you not to do it, even when you called him chicken in front of the others.”
“I’m not trying to say I’m perfect, but Mike is right. I give thanks for our meals, I’ve always mowed the Sampson’s yard for no cost because I knew they are too old to be doing it. I know you could do it as well, Cindy…but you have to admit that you’re just not that nice to others.”
“And I’m not a virgin and that thing would probably take over my body and do to me what it did to that creepy old man. No normal human could twist and move the way he did in that basement.”
“You didn’t tell me you had sex. I thought we told each other everything?” Gabby set the book down and stood up.
They all watched as the youngest of the girls walked back and forth at the foot of the bed. She was biting her nails one second, then fiddling with her hair the next. It was more than easy to tell that she was uncomfortable with the subject but also didn’t want there to be any reason for the demon to get to her. Cindy froze when Gabby stepped in front of her.
“What are you hiding?”
“It’s personal, that’s all.”
“Bull shit, Cindy. I told you when Mark and I…” Gabby stopped talking and looked back at her brothers, and then rolled her eyes and continued. “When we made love the first time.”
“I just don’t want to talk about it. It’s my business, not anyone else’s.”
Gabby gave her a long stare then walked back over and picked up the book. She finished reading what needed to be done then told her brothers that they would need to find something to draw the circle. Then she added that once the symbols were drawn one of them would have to cut their selves to mark the ground. After a few minutes, Mike came up with a black marker and handed it to Gabby who then drew the circle with the four symbols.
Cindy was now sitting at the foot of the bed, rocking back and forth, fighting her own thoughts and wondering if she should talk to her sister, before Sam sat down in the middle of the drawing. She glanced over and saw Gabby looking back at her. “We need all four of us to do this, Cindy. You think you can pull it together for a while?” Cindy nodded and then got up and went to the top of the circle, facing her three siblings.
“I’m afraid if we do this before we talk Gabby that the Dybbuk will try to get me for holding this secret for so long. But, if I tell you what I have been wanting to tell you the whole last year that you might be too angry to keep the evil thing from trying for you.”
“So you have been listening to dad’s stories,” Sam smiled then winked at her.
“We didn’t always have a choice and yes I heard what he said. God, I wish daddy was here right now.” Cindy turned her back on her siblings. “I’ve done the most horrible thing and it has been killing me on the inside.”
“It was you, wasn’t it? You were the girl that Mark told me he cheated with, aren’t you?” Gabby moved closer to Mike.
“I had been drinking at Joy’s party…”
“Oh please, don’t pull that ‘I was drink shit’ on me.”
Cindy turned to face her. “I wasn’t going to say that. He showed up as I was getting ready to leave and offered me a ride. Only your perfect man didn’t take me home he drove me out to the lake instead. He forced himself on me. It wasn’t the other way around like he told you.”
“He raped you?” Mike said walking up and taking her by the shoulders. “Tell me damn it!”
“He didn’t hit me or anything like that, but he threatened to tell Gabby that I threw myself on him and then lie that I had done it before. But I swear I never…”
So you slept with him to keep him from telling me a lie. What, you didn’t think you could come to me?”
“I thought you would believe him and hate me. Yes, I gave into his advances.”
As Gabby was fixing to reply, something crashed into the bedroom door. The boys pushed the girls behind them, Sam with his bat and Mike with two doubled fist. A second crash cracked the wood on the door, causing both girls to scream and fighting or not, took hold of the other in fear. Nothing seemed to happen after that so Mike and Sam began moving the items in front of the door.
“What are you doing?” Gabby whispered.
“If it is that butler then we need to take care of him right now so we can work on putting that thing back in the box.” Mike stopped what he was doing and turned to look at Gabby. “The box is in the basement in that room that Cindy and I were in…if he left it there, that is.”
“The book said you could lock the demon in almost any object, sealing it with the final spell.”
“Fine you and Cindy look around this room for anything that we can use. Sam and I will handle what’s on the other side of this door.”
“Gabby, I am so sorry. I swear I never meant you to get hurt.”
“Sister’s forever, besides he is history. I dumped him last week.”
“Can you two talk about all of that when we get the hell out of here?” Mike asked as he pulled the last of the furniture away from the door. He then looked at Sam. “On the count of three. One, two, three.” Then Mike pulled the door open.
Sam hissed at the site of the bloody smears on the outside of the door, but was grateful that there was no one or anything standing there. As the two boys stepped out the girls began looking around the room for anything they felt would work for what they needed. None of the four noticed the dresser moving away from the secret panel that led to the passageways in the walls. One blood coated hand slide around and pushed the desk further, making enough noise that Cindy glanced back. She screamed.
One final push and he stepped out. Harold the butler was a walking mess. Flesh hung from the left side of his face, both eyes so red it was hard to tell where the color of his eye began and a blackish liquid drooling from the sides of his mouth. The grotesque being stumbled into the room, with both hands reaching out, in the direction of the sisters who clung to each other in utter fear. His mouth opened and more than an animalistic sound came rushing out, a spew of the black gore flew from his lips and ran down the front of his already gore covered suit.
Sam ran in with the bat ready to make a good hit, when his body was thrown back and into the wall. A dark cloud formed over the circle and then all hell broke loose. The bed lifted off the floor and crashed just inches from where the girls were backing up. The photos on the wall flew off in every direction with books from the shelves flying out and their pages filling the room like the feathers from a pillow fight. The moment Mike stepped up to the door it slammed shut knocking him backwards.
“Mike!” Gabby screamed causing Harold to turn his attentions back to them. “Cindy, get behind me.” She then picked up a piece of the broken wood that came off of the bed and held it out, swinging it from side to side when the monster took a step closer. “Stay back, I mean it,” she cried as he rushed forward and the sharp end of the wood drove into the softness of his abdomen.
Black blood slowly began to drip on the tops of Harold’s shoes as he grabbed the wooden stake that was freely protruding from his gut. He stumbled back a few steps, looking down with demon red eyes, and then started pulling the offending wood from his body. In a split second, Sam yelled out and swung the bat hitting the end of the piece of wood, driving it even deeper into Harold’s stomach. The beast of a man’s head rose in slow motion just in time to see the bat coming down over his brows. His body went back and Sam kept hitting until the man moved no more and lay in a puddle of his own tainted blood.
Mike slammed his body into the door much like Harold had, knowing the reinforcement had already been compromised. On his third try the door flew open as Sam came down with one more blow from the bat, just to be sure. He went to move toward his sisters when the dark form floated down in front of him and materialized into a she devil with a skull face that was all cloaked under a hooded black garment. Though he yelled when its bone mouth dropped open and it screamed in his face.
Sam stepped into the middle of the circle. “Leave my brother alone you sorry piece of shit.” Then he swung his bat through the dense apparition that was moving closer to Mike. It turned with lightning speed, its skull face grinning an evil grin, as it now moved closer to Sam. He jerked but held his ground as the figure floated further around the circle. More loud banging started up from somewhere on the first floor. The Dybbuk hissed as it moved in front of the six inch opening at the bottom of the circle.
“Oh my God, it’s not finished yet. There has to be fresh blood by the symbols,” Gabby said as she started digging around in her pocket for Sam’s small pocket knife. She slid it across her hand and dashed for the floor only to be swatted back by the Dybbuk and with an invisible hand. The knife spun across the floor and Cindy picked it up and did the same thing, she slid the blade across the palm of her hand. She then threw the knife in the direction of Sam and just stood there.
The sounds of glass shattering rang out from the lower area of the house. The Dybbuk’s skull head swung toward the door and it screamed out in anger then disappeared altogether. That’s when Cindy rushed over and placed her bloody hand down in each drawing that Gabby had made. The air got thicker and a strange aroma filled the room.
“I wonder what’s going on down stairs, that thing looked surprised at that glass breaking,” Sam said.
“It doesn’t matter, we have to finish this or we will never be able to put it back. Cindy, you sit here and Mike you there. I’ll need to be here behind Sam to whisper these odd words in his ear, and then you have to repeat them.”
“What are we going to put it in?” Cindy asked as she set to Sam right.
“What are we going to put it in?” Cindy asked as she set to Sam right.
Gabby was shaking her head as she stared out into the room, seeing one thing that might work and it wasn’t broken like the rest of the wall hangs were. She rushed over and took the oval, antique mirror off of the mantel. It had fallen off of its nail and slid down to barely perch itself on the dark wooden edge above the fireplace. She then hurried back over and leaned it up against Sam’s back.
“You’ll have to be still or it will fall. Once that thing is in the circle with you, Mike you will need to use the marker and close it off. And you and Cindy have to repeat the words with me after Sam uses them to…” she paused and picked up the book. “To invoke the Dybbuk to bond with his soul.”
“Hey, no one said anything about letting that thing get in my body,” Sam said and started to stand up, being stopped by both of Gabby’s hands on his shoulders.
“On the last of the chants I’ll hand you the mirror and then you say the chant one last time. This book says the Dybbuk will be forced into the object as the ones on the outside of the circle repeat the chant that last time, then you lay it down in the center and step out, Sam.”
“You mean, if it all goes as planned?” Sam patted her hand and made himself comfortable.
“Now we start and it will force the Dybbuk to appear right where she was when she left. You guys ready to do this?”
“No better time like the now,” Mike nervously laughed.
“I agree,” Cindy concurred.
“Well, the trap is set with good bait, so let’s do this,” Sam added with a snort of a laugh, though the fear of the unknown showed clearly in his expression.
After Gabby lit the candles, she leaned as close to the circle as she dared and whispered words that he repeated, then she herself repeated them. As the last word fell from their lips a huge gust of wind blew in through the door and blew in a rush in a circle around the room before dying down as the Dybbuk’s black form materialized in the middle of the circle in front of Sam. Gabby nodded at Mike as she relit the candles to her left and right. The moment the circle was complete it was like an enormous door slamming, causing all of the four siblings to jump.
“Stay where you are…don’t get up,” Gabby spoke in a low tone then leaned in and whispered the chant again.
Sam spoke the words that none of them understood and the rest repeated him. The sounds coming from the Dybbuk had them all covering their ears and closing their eyes tight. Without coaxing from his sister, Sam said, strong and loud, the last chant and then reached around and pulled the mirror out and held it up in front of him. The others began to repeat the final chant when the Dybbuk went wild. Sam started screaming as a slash opened up on his cheeks, but he held the mirror firm. The bright golden glow came through the wall and right into the circle. The wind was once again blowing wild, tossing around the smaller contents in the room. Lady Bernstein’s living form transformed out of the bright light and she grabbed hold of the Dybbuk and threw herself, with the demon in hand, into the mirror that Sam held. He began screaming and the mirror shook violently, but then calmed as the mirror went still.
“Mike! Gabby!” a male voice sounded from downstairs.
“Daddy,” Cindy burst out crying and started to get up. “It’s daddy, can we get up now?”
“What if that’s not really dad?” Sam asked as he got to his feet, still holding the mirror out.
“Kids, where are you?” Then they heard him saying something but couldn’t make it out.
“Here, I don’t want this anymore.” Sam handed it to Gabby, who was reluctant to take.
Gabby flipped through the pages, looking up and frowning at the other. “We have to wrap this and hide it in a safe place.” She then took it from Sam and laid it face up on the seat of one of the chairs. “It’s solid black.”
“Let’s put it back where we found the chest and leave the book just in case someone does find it,” Mike spoke as he took Cindy’s hand and pulled her out and around the markings on the floor.
Sam slowly stepped out of the circle. “Yeah, we can break the handle off and shove all of the junk back in around it.
“Excuse me,” a man said from the bedroom door and even Mike yelled out in fear. “I’m sorry, but your father is downstairs and would very much like to see you.”
“How did y’all get in? We couldn’t get out,” Mike asked as Cindy took off running out the door and down to her father.
“The door was locked so your father had me break a few windows until I found one that wasn’t blocked by boxes.”
All of the children ran down the stairs, grateful that he had come to rescue them. He told them that he had had a horrible dream about the stories he had told them throughout their growing years, but then he added that he saw them all in danger and knew he had to come.
“We have to hide this Dad,” Gabby said, holding the mirror that she had wrapped in the sheet off of the bed. “Did you ever hear about this?” she asked then handed him the book. “It helped us put that Dybbuk in the mirror.
The driver cleared his throat to keep from laughing. “The things these kids come up with.” He then smiled and walked into the dining room to give the family some privacy.
“My mother told me about this book, but she said she never saw it. Her kin wrote this when they put the Dybbuk in the box, but I don’t know that I ever really believed any of it until now.” He ran his fingers over the words on the cover. “Beware the Dybbuk.”
“It would have made things much clearer if we could have read that in English,” Sam nodded at his dad.
“If you weren’t sure you believed, Dad, then why did you tell us all of those stories?” Cindy asked.
“Well, just in case they were true.” They all looked at each other then laughed, nervously.
Mike and Sam stuck the mirror as deep into the secret area under the basement stairs as they could, then laid the book on top. After they had the door shut, Mike took one of the large pipes that were stacked at the back of the room and broke the handle off, in hopes that no one would ever notice that it was more than an indention on the wall.
They all left in their father’s vehicle, with the full intention of sending a tow truck to pick up the one they were leaving behind. Their father also agreed to hire hands to go in and pack the place up. He then told them that he thought he had a buyer and all the funds would be split between the four of them, making the experience worth it…almost.
Four months later: The owners had been moving into the estate for the last week and found the dwelling to be the perfect place to raise their children. June Cramer had wanted the basement to be remodeled so that she could have a full wash room. Her older children were down in the basement, helping move things out. The oldest daughter, Kimberly, noticed something under the stairs after all the debris was removed. Using a screwdriver she pried opened what looked like a secret compartment. She first took out the wrapped up book and discarded it in one of the many trash cans that was being filled with the basement’s contents.
Kimberly pulled out the heavy object enveloped in a dirty old sheet and sat down on the first step of the staircase to see what was inside. She unwrapped the sheet to find a beautiful antique mirror that had a gorgeous frame. Her excitement had her running up from the basement to show her mother. “Mom…Mom look what I found. Can I keep it?”
June took the mirror from her child and turned it over then handed it back. “The mirrors not even good anymore, honey. You can’t see anything, it’s just a black piece of glass now.”
“But look at the frame. I can knock out the glass and make a photo frame out of it.”
“Well, okay, but you get your older brother’s help, if that shatters you could get cut.”
The smile on Kimberly’s face glowed as she took off looking for the brother who loved breaking things. One blow with a hammer and she would have more than just her frame.