Trying to knock down the numbers!
“I’m gonna need an old priest, and a young priest,” I told the receptionist. “In that order.”
“Do you have an appointment?” she asked me, taking in my ripped-up vacation finery and flopping flip-flops before focusing on the hat. That got me the same look of dawning realization I was getting used to seeing on the good subjects of Red Beach. They knew what Shamuses were, sure. They just weren’t used to somebody like me being around, and a pain in the ass.
“Nah, but I got an evil hell-sword that needs breaking,” I told her cheerfully. “Did you want to shut it down?”
Believe it or not: she did not. Instead she grabbed a bellpull and yanked on it until somebody poked his head out the door — no, wait, it was a her instead. Sister Daria, in fact. Small world, I guess.
She started to frown at me, but the macuahuitl got her attention, even wrapped in linen. “Get that in here!” She held the door open. “Now.”
“Good, I’m in the right place.” She backed up to let me come in; I couldn’t help but notice that she didn’t seem too thrilled to get real close. “Where do you want it, Sister?”
“Get it… on that table. The circular one.” While I did that, the good sister started lighting hanging braziers around the table. They must have been full of incense, because the room started smelling better right away. Sort of a cross between pine and oranges, or maybe lemons; I wasn’t familiar with it, but it didn’t seem to be affecting me.
“Hello,” came a voice from the door. I turned, to see an extremely old man beaming at me. “I’m Father Gerard. You must be the Shamus. Now, Tiffany out front said something about ‘an evil hell-sword?’”
I pulled the fabric away. “Take a look for yourself, Father.”
They both gasped. “Is that a…” asked Daria.
“A macuahuitl? Yeah, that’s what I’ve been told. All I know is, it’s old, scary, and smells like blood. Can you do something with it?”