Author’s notes: This follows after Part Ten, but will be flashing back to events that happened in between Part Nine and Part Ten.

The Berkshire School is a real college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts and has been for over twenty years the summer location of the Berkshire Choral Festival. Founded in 1907 as a boys’ school it is now co-ed.

Memorial Hall, which is now due for demolition this year, was until recently a boys’ dormitory. My husband and I are basically familiar with this spartan residence from our first two years of participation in the Berkshire Choral Festival.

Chapter Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Eleven

BPRD Medical Facility, Boston, Massachusetts
Wednesday, November 22, 1978

Hellboy floated up out of a warm darkness and awoke to a kind of conscious awareness of his surroundings, but was still too weak to move or open his eyes. He began to realize that he had been asleep, or possibly unconscious, for a long time.

He could hear a muffled sobbing that was coming from somewhere very close by. He struggled to open his eyes and see who this was, but was unable. He eventually became aware that someone was holding very tightly onto his left hand.

Just as he was starting to slip back down into that warm and comfortable darkness, the sobbing stopped and he heard a man’s voice, hoarse from crying. “Give him back to me, you bastard. He’s my son, not yours. Give him back to me. Give him back.”

Hellboy heard a door open and another man’s voice spoke, “Trevor, you haven’t eaten or slept for days. You can’t keep going on like this. His condition is relatively stable, so why don’t you come with me and get something to eat and take a nap?”

“I can’t, Ed, I just can’t,” the first man said, “I used to think that he came to me for a reason; that I had been chosen to raise him for some purpose. I no longer give a goddamn for reasons or purposes. I just want my son back.” He began to sob again.

Hellboy strove with all his strength to reach out to the weeping man. He just couldn’t do it and slipped back into the unconscious state he had been in for the past several days.

(Beginning of flashback)

Early Sunday Morning, November 19, 1978

“What’s up this time, Pop? Where are we going?” Hellboy had just been woken by the code red alarm from a sound sleep. He dressed hastily and went to Trevor Broom’s office. He was informed that there was a very serious problem to be dealt with.

Broom was quickly collecting up everything that he thought he was going to need. “Something has come up at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts. It seems that some boys who had not left for Thanksgiving break yet had been playing around with a ouija board late last night and managed to call up something they couldn’t handle.”

Broom started to shove everything he had collected into the large wooden box that he had been toting around for as long as Hellboy could remember. “Do me a favor and go find Abe. He must still be in his private quarters. I want him to come with us this time.”

Hellboy stared at Broom. “What in the hell do we need him for?”

Broom looked up from his task. “Son, you know that I have spoken with you about wanting to start Abe working with us in the field. I really feel that we could use the extra help on this one.”

Hellboy scowled at Broom. “I don’t like it, Pop. We’re a team— just you and me. We don’t need anyone else, especially not old smarty-pants.”

Trevor Broom put down the book that he had been contemplating adding to his box and placed his hand on Hellboy’s shoulder. “You don’t object to the other agents we bring with us. Why this aversion to taking Abe? Son, I have a bad feeling about this one and I would really prefer that he be with us.”

Hellboy shrugged, “Anything you want, I’ll do; you know that.” He went out to get Abe.

Eventually they all piled into several black sedans and the ubiquitous garbage truck that Hellboy always traveled in. He was annoyed to find that this truck, which always seemed too cramped to him to begin with, now had a water tank installed and bolted into place. Abe was already inside of this.

By the time they added the rolling munitions cases and other equipment Broom thought might be necessary, Hellboy felt like there was practically no room for him. Abe ‘signed’ a greeting to him as he climbed into the truck, but he ignored him.

Hellboy grumpily crammed himself onto his uncomfortable bench. Trevor Broom got to sit in a nice comfortable seat in the front of one of the sedans; Abe had a pretty roomy tank to float around in. All Hellboy had to sit on was that stupid bench that was made even smaller by the need to accommodate Abe’s tank in the back of the truck.

Before they departed Broom had given out directions to all the drivers. Hellboy groaned when he found out that Sheffield was near Great Barrington. He used to live in Massachusetts. He knew that they were in for a long trip.

Having departed BPRD headquarters in Newark at 7:30am they arrived a little after 10:00am to Salisbury, Connecticut where they stopped for some coffee. While they were there Broom called ahead to the Berkshire School. They left Salisbury about fifteen minutes later, traveling north on Route 41, which eventually became North Undermountain Road. They found the entrance to the Berkshire School on the left.

They came to a stop right after they pulled onto the maple-lined drive that led onto the beautiful campus nestled at the foot of a mountain range. A school official was waiting for them at the entrance. He climbed into the lead car and spoke with Trevor Broom.

Giving directions to the driver he guided them to a campus road that diverged to the right and led to Memorial Hall, one of the older buildings on campus. There were offices on the first floor of this building, but the room they were heading for was one of the dorm rooms on the second floor.

According to reports there had been four teen-age boys in that room with a ouija board the night before. They were still in there. But no one could go into that room without encountering a freezing atmosphere and a sudden darkness that overcame them despite the fact that the lights were on in the room and it was now a relatively sunny day.

Most who had tried to get into that room had managed to make it back out, but one unfortunate student who had tried to pull his friend out of that room had been overcome. So at this point in time there were five boys lying unconscious on the floor of the room and anyone trying to get in could no longer get the door open.

Later that same morning

Trevor Broom and Abe Sapien were digging through the books Broom had brought with him. Hellboy was becoming more and more frustrated. They were on one side of the door and five boys were on the other side. They had no idea if the boys were dead or alive and he hated not knowing.

Earlier Abe had removed one of the leather gloves he usually wore to protect his webbed hands when he was outdoors and had pressed his right hand to the wood of the door. He became convinced that there was some really powerful entity of some type on the other side of the door and had ‘signed’ to Hellboy that he not attempt to break into the room.

“I think you’re over-reacting, Abe,” Hellboy grunted with his back toward him, testing the strength of the door with his enormous right hand. “What bunch of kids with a ouija board could conjure up something that big? And I really don’t like the idea of leaving those kids in there. Don’t care what you say, I’m going in.”

He pulled back his right hand in preparation for bashing the door in.

((No, don’t do it,)) Abe signed frantically at Hellboy’s back, but how do you argue in sign language with someone who won’t look at you?

“Damn it, you big red monkey,” an unfamiliar voice shouted at Hellboy. “Why…”

Hellboy stopped in mid-punch, swung around, and glared at the other agents there.

“Who the hell’s calling me a monkey?” He then realized that everyone was staring at Abe, all looking rather dumbfounded, including Abe himself.

Hellboy laughed. “Jeez, Abe, you sound like that robot from Star Wars. If we painted you gold you’d even look like him. You can swear at me and call me names all you want if I get to see that look on Father’s face again. At least my first word was ‘father’, or something that kind of sounded like it.”

Trevor Broom grinned. “No, Son, your first word was ‘crap’. You probably don’t remember that; it happened the first night that I found you. You never spoke another word until eight months later. That is when you attempted to say the word ‘father’.”

Abe chuckled under his breath at that and then spoke again, stumbling over some words, “I really m-m-mean it, Hellboy. Don’t g-go in there. N-n-nothing good will come of it.”

Hellboy shrugged and turned back to the door.

“Son, you really should listen to what Abe is telling you,” said Trevor Broom who again started digging through the books he had brought with him.

“You’re both trying to make out like I’m stupid or something. I’ve been doing this damn job ever since I was ten years old. I don’t see that there’s anything much to worry about. If something comes after me, I’ll just shoot it down. Bet it’ll be a piece of cake.”

Hellboy pulled back his stone-like right hand and punched the room door in so that it jumped off its hinges and fell into the room. He looked in through the doorframe.

Outside of five unconscious boys on the floor, the room looked perfectly normal. Light came into the room through the window opposite the door and a wan light was cast from the rather dim fluorescent ceiling light. Hellboy grinned at seeing the ugly, utilitarian furniture that filled the room. It looked like it was made from 2 by 4’s and, outside of the graffiti etched into it, was certainly the kind of furniture no boy could destroy.

He pulled his huge gun, the Samaritan, from its holster and cautiously walked into the room. Nothing much happened. He moved further into the room, closer to the unconscious boys. “Look at this, Abe, all that fuss over nothing.”

That was the moment when all Hell, literally, broke loose and everything around Hellboy went cold and dark. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t breathe; the Samaritan dropped from his nerveless fingers.

Something grappled him from behind and started dragging him backwards. He suddenly found that he could move again. He still could hardly see, but managed to grab up his gun again and shoot blindly at the creature that had a grip on him. Dark blue blood flew everywhere and whatever had him in its grip let go of him.

“Funny,” Hellboy thought, “I’ve never seen a monster that bled blue before.” This was his last thought before he was sucked back into that freezing darkness.

From Trevor Broom’s point of view, everything happened so fast that he hardly had time to react. At first, as he peered through the now door-less entrance, it just looked like Hellboy had stopped dead in his tracks and dropped his gun.

Abe, when he had seen this, immediately ran into the room to drag Hellboy out. The minute this occurred the room was suddenly filled with a strange inky blackness. The weirdest thing about it was that light was still pouring in through the window and shining down from the ceiling fixture, but was unable to penetrate this weird darkness. The boom of Hellboy’s huge gun rang out.

Desperate to know what had happened to Hellboy and Abe, Broom tried to enter into the room, but was unable to physically penetrate this barrier of darkness. A huge, dark voice unexpectedly spoke.

“Human, you have kept me from my son for long enough. I have returned for him.”

(End of flashback)

For those who might be interested, November 19th is my birthday. More to come…

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