The Devil in Denver.
Growing up in Denver, Colorado, Tony Piazzi was your typical sixteen year old boy. He went to school and got decent grades; he played sports and was fairly popular among his peers.
In 2002 Tony was at his local library when he came across a book, quite by accident. He was looking for a book about astronomy for a school project when he stumbled upon something he did not expect.
While Tony was attempting to pull out the book: Beyond Earth, another smaller, older looking book fell on the floor right at his feet.
Being a curious teenager Tony picked up the book and had a closer look at it. The title was in Latin from what he could tell. Tony opened the aged, dusty and dirty looking book and some folded up papers fell out.
Tony picked up the papers and saw that someone had deciphered the words in the book.
It was like the Rosetta Stone as far as Tony was concerned. He sat down at a table with his newly found book and began to decipher the text.
From what Tony could gather it was a book about creating spells, magic and contacting spirits. Tony had been interested in esoteric knowledge since he read his first Harry Potter book.
Tony knew in his gut that magic was real, yet he wasn’t able to do any except for some cheap sleight of hand magic tricks.
Well, Tony knew for sure he wanted to borrow this book so he went up to the librarian Mrs. Cruz to check it out. When he handed the book to the librarian she asked him, “Where did you get this book from?”
“I found it in the astronomy section ma’am,” said Tony.
“Well, this is not one of our books,” said Mrs. Cruz.
“Can I have it then,” said Tony.
Mrs. Cruz wasn’t going to just let him have it so she made a deal with Tony.
“I‘ll tell you what, “I am going to hang onto this book for one month and if no one claims it, then it is all yours.”
Tony wanted the book now but he agreed to the terms.
“Okay,” said Tony, “I’ll be back in thirty days to get this book if no one claims it.”
The truth is that Tony had no intention of waiting thirty days to get the book. He was going to get the book one way or another.
Tony left the library contemplating how he was going to get the book. He was thinking really hard when he found the perfect idea. His friend Tanya worked at the library part-time and she also like Tony a lot.
Tony called Tanya on his cell phone and explained what he wanted. Tanya was a bit hesitant at first, but after Tony “schmoozed” her she decided to do it.
Tanya was scheduled to work the next evening and that was when she was going to get the book for Tony.
Tanya went to her Library job after school the next day and went into the back office to look for the book. There it was sitting on the desk, opened.
Bravely, Tanya walked over to the desk and grabbed the book. She tucked it under her sweater and walked out into the parking lot where Tony was waiting. She gave the book to Tony but felt dismayed when she saw the look on his face.
“The papers, where are the papers,” said Tony.
“You told me to get the book; you didn’t say anything about papers.”
“I need the papers that were in the book, otherwise I can’t decode what is written in the book,” said Tony.
Now Tanya, who is feeling bad, has to go back inside and look for the papers. She went into the back office again to look for the papers that Tony was so adamant about getting.
She looked everywhere, on the desk, inside the desk, under the desk. They were not there.
She went back outside to tell Tony the bad news. He wasn’t happy.
Tony asked Tanya to go ask Mrs. Cruz about the book to pry some information from her. Tanya told Tony that Mrs. Cruz wasn’t in today.
Tony thought since the book is useless without the decoding sheet she might as well return the book to the back office. Which Tanya did.
Tony went home perplexed wondering what could have happened to the decoding sheets.
It wasn’t until the next day that Tony got his answer.
Tony went back to the library to plead with Mrs. Cruz to give him the book and decoding sheet now instead of waiting several more weeks. When Tony went into the library to talk with Mrs. Cruz he had a surprise.
He was informed by the new head librarian that Mrs. Cruz quit her job this morning and will not be returning.
Tony asked about the book to the new librarian. He asked her to go into the back office and check to see if there is an old book back there on the desk.
She went and checked and came back to tell Tony that the desk is clear. There are no books on that desk.
Now, Tony is steaming inside. He needs to talk with Mrs. Cruz and find out where the book is.
Tony talks to his friend Tanya and asks her if she can find Mrs. Cruz’s phone number.
When no one is looking Tanya goes into the back office and looks into the employees files. She finds Mrs. Cruz’s home phone and address and writes it down for Tony.
Tony immediately calls the number to Mrs. Cruz’s house but no one answers. Tony decides instead to pay Mrs. Cruz a personal visit.
Tony rides his bike over to Mrs. Cruz’s house and knocks on her door. Surprisingly she answers. “Hi Tony” Mrs. Cruz says to him. “What are you doing here?”
“The book, where is the book?”
“What book” she says, looking guilty as she says it.
“The book you were supposed to hold onto for me unless someone claims it.”
“Someone did claim it Tony, I did.”
“But it’s not yours,” said Tony.
“It is now,” said Mrs. Cruz as she slammed the door on Tony’s face.
As Tony hopped onto his bike and rode away he noticed a brand new Mercedes Benz sitting in the driveway. What an expensive car to be driving on a former head librarian’s salary, Tony thought to himself.
It was around 6:00 pm and Tony decided to head on home to figure out his next move because he was going to get that book one way or another.
Tony arrived at his home and went into his bedroom to lie down on his bed and think. He was so eager to get his hands on that book that he couldn’t even quiet his mind to think.
He managed to devise a plan in his head. He was going to break into Mrs. Cruz’s home and get the book. He knew it was a huge risk but he believed the risk was worth it.
Tony waited until midnight before leaving his house that night. He rode his bike over to Mrs. Cruz’s home which was just a few blocks away from his home.
When he arrived he parked his bike next to the old oak tree across the street and methodically walked over to Mrs. Cruz’s house. His first move was to check the flower pots for a spare key because he wasn’t keen on breaking and entering.
He checked all the obvious places for a spare key but he couldn’t find any.
He checked the back door and it was locked. He tried to open windows on the first level of the house and they were locked. He then thought about checking the basement windows and they were all locked except one.
Tony pushed open the hopper window and proceeded to enter, feet first.
The basement was unfinished, rather damp and moldy smelling. Tony’s goal was to find that book and he needed to find the stairs that go upstairs.
Tony entered into the laundry room of the basement and exited out through the door which entered into the main room of the basement. Tony looked over to his right and saw the stairs.
Awesome, he thought to himself. I bet the book is up there somewhere.
As Tony was about to take his first step up he heard a voice coming from the far end of the main room in the basement. From what he could see, there was a door over there. He walked away from the stairs and towards the direction of the door.
Tony heard what appeared to be Mrs. Cruz’s voice. She was chanting in some kind of foreign dialect. The door was slightly ajar and Tony could see in the room.
The room was filled with candles, hundreds of them. Mrs. Cruz was kneeling on the ground with what looked like a pentagram drawn around her and the book was laid out right in front of her.
There was smoke in the room as well. Mrs. Cruz was burning something like incense in a Thurible that hung next to her on a stand.
Tony was getting freaked out and his body wanted to go, but his mind was fixed on getting the book. He had to have it no matter what.
As Mrs. Cruz continued chanting on the ground Tony noticed the room began to tremble slightly. Next there was an odor that smelled like sulfur. Then Tony heard sounds of a man’s voice begin to come through Mrs. Cruz.
Her very feminine high pitched voice changed to a very deep masculine voice as she chanted.
Tony couldn’t believe his eyes. Mrs. Cruz literally shape shifted right in front of his eyes. Her body morphed into what appeared to be a reptilian being much taller than Tony who was six feet tall.
The Reptilian Being had horns on his head and wings on his back. Tony was completely frozen with fear and couldn’t move at all.
As Tony watched he could still see glimpses of Mrs. Cruz’s body, but the Reptilian Being had taken over almost completely.
Tony slowly stepped back to make his way across the basement to the laundry room where he came in. As he frantically walked towards the laundry room he heard the door open behind him.
It was Mrs. Cruz. She walked out and said to him, “Do you still want the book?”
Tony replied, “Hell No, You can keep it.”
He quickly ran for the stairs and left out the front door of the house.
Tony ran across the street and hopped on his bike where he left it and rode home as fast as he could.
He quietly, yet still full of fear because of what he just witnessed went upstairs to his bedroom and closed his door.
Tony jumped into his bed and pulled the covers over his head like a child. He was way too scared to sleep and he just laid there quivering until the morning.
Tony decided not to go to school that day, instead he just sat in his bedroom all night hoping to make sense of what happened the night before. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t.
The truth was that Tony was never meant to have the book. He was used as a tool to get the book in the hands of Mrs. Cruz. The book wanted her to have it, not him.