Emma’s Struggle by

”Thee I invoke, the bornless one.

 Thee, that didst create the earth and the heavens:

 Thee, that didst create the night and the day.

 Thee, that didst create the darkness and the light”


The pain that follows shocks her, like a close-range fusillade across the face. Legs wobble, knees buckle, and within seconds she’s lying supine on the mossy woodland floor. Her limbs twitch and deviate in several impossible angles, popping from each joint with squelching sounds. 

Boiling tears blur the vision, the desire to scream is obliterated by the totality of this agony: caustic, lacerating, parasitical. Emma has known pain before, but nothing compares to the torment radiating through her body. 

She remembers to breathe, rationing each gasp of air between the spasms. Doused by oxygen, the pain retreats somewhere deep inside her navel and sits there, gnawing at her bowels with the sharp teeth of a nocturnal animal. Heaving, she wonders if there was a flaw to the ritual, or if suffering is the price one must pay for the privilege and the glory.

 She wants to finish what she started. 

The words, Emma. They leave the deep crevasses of her memory carried by broken whispers: “Come thou forth, and follow me: and make all spirits subject unto me so that every spirit of the firmament, and of the ether, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land, or in the water, of whirling air or rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of God, may be obedient unto ME!”

Nerves and capillaries hum with shards of electricity, her body is now pulled by foreign strings. Emma no longer sees. Under the solemn watch of ancient oaks, she basks in the primordial energy evoked from a foreign plane, and all falls silent.

It’s in the darkness of her mind that the being reveals itself in strobing flashes: a cat, a toad, a man. Each vision blurs into the next, a kaleidoscope of hues and pungent smells. Trumpets drone from afar, announcing its arrival. A chill descends onto the forest.

Bathed in silver moonlight, she opens her eyes. Euphoric pulses ricochet across the entirety of her being.

 Emma is whole. Reborn.

“By that same power by the rich I have called thee forth, I bind thee, that thou remain affably and visibly here before this body, so constant and so long as I shall have occasion for thy presence; and not to depart without my licence until thou hast duly and dutifully performed my will without any falsity.”




Freddie is based in London and works as a lighting director. He enjoys dabbling in writing the uncanny in his spare time. He’s working on a collection of flash fiction horror stories set around London.


Photo – Treeline by Freddie Bonfanti



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