The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil
By Jack Barrow
Chapter 3 - Ritual Maganics?
Inside the crowded motorway services at Knutsford,
The Three Hidden Masters, two from
“What do you propose we do now?” asked
“Well, I left my tools at home, so I could get all the gear in the boot,” replied Clint.
“That was a spectacular idea,” added
Clint looked at
“‘Scuse me, can I borrow your sugar?” asked a burly caricature of a truck driver. He sat down at the opposite table with a copy of Steven Hawkin’s Brief History of Time and a folded copy of The Sun newspaper.
“A multi-tool?” quizzed Clint.
“Oh yes,” replied
“I had a Swiss Army Knife once,” said Clint, “it was made in
“That would be a Chinese Swiss Army Knife then,” responded
“That’s what I used to call it.”
“Can I look at it?” asked Wayne of Nigel.
“No, that’s a bit personal. Piss off!” replied Nigel.
The truck driver glanced across at them briefly over the rim of his mug.
“I think he means the multi-tool,” said Clint.
“Oh yeah, sorry.” said Nigel in response “It’s in with my stuff for the weekend.”
“Surely not in with your magical equipment?” asked
“No, with my spare t-shirts and clean underwear and stuff.”
Clint raised his eyebrows at Nigel. “You brought clean underwear! I bet you won’t use it.”
“There speaks the voice of a true festival goer,” replied Nigel.
“That all depends what we come up against this weekend,” injected
Nigel interrupted before
“We could try to suss out what’s wrong with the car,” said Clint bringing the subject back on topic. “The way it happened so suddenly, it sounds like electrics.”
“On the other hand, it could be mechanical,” added
“Or fuel,” continued Nigel.
“Well, that would just about cover all the options,” said Clint completely unimpressed, “I suppose, I should check it out.”
Clint was definitely the most mechanical of the trio, not that he did much of that sort of thing these days, preferring to trust to the infinite cycle of the second-hand car. Having been in the Royal Navy as an engineer, he had experience of all sorts of machines from the huge Deltic diesel engines, used in locomotives and ships, right through to some of the first nuclear power plants in submarines. Having left the navy so many years ago, he didn’t do much with engines now. These days he drove a road sweeper for a living, described as having more instruments than the Starship Enterprise.
“I think we should enchant to get it started,” said Nigel hopefully.
Clint looked scornfully at Nigel. “No way, man. You can’t do a ritual to repair a car!”
Nigel continued. “Well, if it’s an electrical fault, and a wire has just come loose, then surely a microscopic or quantum level of change might just be enough to make a contact.” The truck driver raised an eyebrow, glancing up from Stephen Hawkin as he took a longer look at the trio.
“I think you’re a bit out on the edge there,” responded Clint.
“We could draw a sigil in the oil on the top of engine and perform an enchantment.” added Nigel becoming enthused.
“Let’s have a look at that multi-tool of yours,” replied Clint, trying to ignore Nigel’s madness, “and who said there’s oil on my engine?”
Nigel was, by now, scrawling a phrase on the back of the till receipt
that read ‘Get us to
“Look dudes,” continued Clint, “you two are weirding me out! I can’t believe you are even thinking about this!” Clint’s complaint was tempered by an attempt to avoid raising his voice. Looking about, he checked that there was nobody paying any attention to them.
Nigel stopped and gazed into the distance for a moment, as he is inclined to do. Some think that at these times he is consulting his inner oracle while others suggest he is listening to the voices, others believe it’s down to indigestion. “No I don’t think so. Once we’re there we’ll be fine. We’ll get back okay,” he replied with confidence.
“I think, perhaps, I can detect a Ten-inch Pianist coming on,” said
The truck driver glanced up briefly from his book and frowned.
* * *
The Ten-inch Pianist is a term The Three Hidden Masters use for any magical working which could go awry. The idea came from the joke about the man who walked into a pub and put a tiny man and a piano on the bar. When the barman asked for some explanation the customer explained how he met a Genie who gave him his wish for a ten-inch penis, but he happened to spell his request wrong. It’s an old joke, but it serves a purpose. So, the Ten Inch Pianist is used for acts of magic where the magician gets exactly what is asked for, rather than what is desired.
The fact that the truck driver and a couple of other people in the café thought they heard Wayne say ten-inch penis was completely missed by our three heroes.
* * *
Nigel tore off and discarded the part of the till receipt with the original phrase, so he had just the string of letters remaining. Then, on a separate scrap of paper, he started to draw a diagram made up of each of the letters in the string. This jumble of letters, some large, some small, some upright, some inverted, became the sigil. The piece of receipt with the string of letters was discarded into the ashtray and he held up the finished sigil.
“Okay, orrff we jolly well go,” he declared.
As The Three Hidden Masters, two from Hemel Hempstead and one from Bricket Wood, got up, they nearly bumped into the truck driver as he stood up to make his way towards the toilets. Stepping back carefully, the truck driver let them go in front of him making a mental note to avoid any contact with them again.
* * *
Out in the drizzly car park, now with more wind than rain, they stood
in front of the slightly descript Japanese car. The bonnet was up as
“Here it is,” said Nigel emerging from the boot as he squeezed from between Clint’s car and an elderly Volkswagen Beetle, which had parked close behind them. He proudly held aloft a small elongated leather pouch with a press stud closure.
“That is nice,” declared
The folded device was about ten centimetres long and perhaps two or
three centimetres across. The ends were pleasantly rounded with a pair of rivets
through each end. The rivets at one end were connected by a hidden hinge between
the two sides and each side had a small elliptical cut out, which
Unfolding the device, he pulled the two sides outwards and back on
themselves as they rotated around the rivets at the connected end. This left
“So, where did you obtain this delightful device?” asked
“Oh, I treated myself to it when I left my last job,” replied Nigel as Clint examined the various pen-knifes, screwdrivers and things for getting boy scouts out of horse’s hooves. “It was in the shop at work where you can buy all sorts of executive stuff like in those Sunday supplement catalogues.”
* * *
What none of our heroes knew was that Nigel’s multi-tool was an imitation
of a device known to many as a Leatherman. Quite where Nigel’s multi-tool originated
they knew not, but it may very well have been from
* * *
As Clint tried the various options offered by the multi-tool, tightening screws, fiddling here and there, Nigel leant forward to look at the top of the engine.
“Has it cooled?” Nigel asked.
“Sure, it’s okay,” replied Clint “Try turning it over,” he said looking
Clint continued to fiddle under the bonnet, but he knew it was really just for show.
“I don’t think this is really doing any good.” Clint was growing a little frustrated by the situation. “We’re hung up without my full tool kit.”
Nigel leant forward over the engine and brushed his finger across the edge of the air filter cover. Looking at his finger tip, he observed a thin film of blackened oily grime. “Hmmm.”
Clint looked up at Nigel but said nothing. His silence, however, was enough to show his disapproval at what Nigel was clearly suggesting.
“I think we should put our robes on,” declared Nigel.
“This is rubbish!” replied Clint.
“Well, we have to do it properly, if we’re gonna do it at all,” responded Nigel to Clint’s complaint.
“What sort of magical weapons would you recommend?” asked
“Not you as well!” said Clint increasingly irritated as he tried crimping a wire as a last ditch attempt at rationality. “I suppose you’ll suggest you want to use the sacred soldering iron of the art!”
Nigel was not at all fazed by Clint’s sarcasm. “Well, there is an argument
to suggest that under this sort of circumstance the mediaeval elements and weapons
would be inappropriate.” As he spoke, he was already carefully copying the sigil
from the scrap of paper onto the flat circular space on the air filter. “Grab
my robe from my box, will you
“All right then dude! Just what sort of magical weapons would you suggest?” Clint spoke in a defiant tone.
“I’ve got a multi-tool!” exclaimed Nigel smiling. He was clearly gleeful at having got the better of Clint.
As Wayne and Nigel climbed into their robes, Clint looked on in some disbelief. The large car park was quite dark with cars peppered here and there. Their robes were of different designs, but they were similar in that they were both hooded and very flowing. Nigel’s hood was detachable where it was attached to a diamond shaped tabard the width of his shoulders. Once in place, the matching grey tabard came to a point at Nigel’s waist both at the front and back.
Wayne and Nigel tied knotted white cords around their paunches, leaving the loose ends hanging down to one side. They pulled the hoods up, giving them some protection from the wind and rain, but also obscuring their view as the deep cowls were blown across their faces.
“I’m getting in the car,” said Clint. “You two are going to get us busted!”
Unnoticed by the two magicians, a figure came out of the building and started walking towards them.
“The abbreviated version I think?” asked Nigel of Wayne in a deliberately overacted voice with more than a touch of pretension.
Holding up the multi-tool, Nigel began his magic with the standard incantation that he used in most of their rituals. This was the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. There is a Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, but they tended to use the lesser as it was easier to remember and they couldn’t be bothered with the extra complications of the full version. It was adapted from the works of Aleister Crowley, who undoubtedly got it from someone else, probably McGregor Mathers who, in turn, had probably got it from someone further back in history, in much the same way that second-hand cars change hands.
The Greater Pentagram ritual can be used for both banishing or invoking, but The Three Hidden Masters, two from Hemel Hempstead and one from Bricket Wood, tended to use the lesser ritual, just for banishing at the beginning and end of their ceremonies. Effectively, it was like a magical air freshener, which banished the mundane world at the beginning and banished any unwanted magical influences at the end. (The Grumpy Wizard of the West might have interpreted this with the idea that it primed the mind for magical practice and made you feel like a magician.) This time, because of the circumstances, Nigel shortened the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram even further to its most basic elements.
Bringing the multi-tool to his forehead, he spoke with a deep, vibrant, serious tone, “Ateh.” Touching the tool to his chest, “Malkuth.” Touching his right shoulder, “ve-Geburah.” Touching his left shoulder, “ve-Gedulah.” Clasping both hands to his chest with the multi-tool between them, “le-Olahm.”
As the truck driver approached he stopped dead for a moment, almost dropping the collection of chocolate bars, CDs and other stuff he had just bought in the shop along with his copy of A Brief History of Time and The Sun newspaper. As he stood there, he felt the wind gusting, blowing the rain into his face.
Holding the multi-tool in his right hand, Nigel drew a five-pointed star in the air above the engine and chanted, now in a more guttural tone, “Ye-ho-wau, Adonai, Eheieh, Agla.” When delivered, each word was almost reduced to a single syllable, forcing the words out with a punch on each breath.
Extending his hands out to either-side, he spoke again, his voice now strong and clear, the bat-wing sleeves of his robe blowing dramatically. “Before me, Raphael; Behind me, Gabriel; On my right hand, Michael; On my left hand, Auriel. For about me flames The Pentagram, and in The Column stands The Six-rayed Star.”
Dropping his left hand to his side, he raised the multi-tool to his forehead again and repeated the first sequence of movements, only this time with greater resonance. “Ateh, Malkuth, ve-Geburah, ve-Gedulah, le-Olahm…”
The wind seemed to blow stronger, his voice trailing off on the wind and rain as he paused, standing before the car in silence save for the sound of the weather. Clint looked on in continued disbelief from his position in the driving seat.
Looking around to see if anyone else was taking any notice, the truck driver continued to walk towards his car. Apparently he wasn’t a truck driver at all, or if he was it was his day off. He ducked his head down to escape the worst of the rain in his face.
Nigel stepped back, his work complete for a moment, as
Nearly all of
Clint sat in the drivers seat with the door partly open, not daring to look at the figure whom he had seen climbing into the car directly behind. He called out to the two magicians. “I told you man! You can’t start a car by magic!” The others seemed oblivious to the off duty lorry driver behind.
The lorry driver sat and stared at the antics, as he watched
“So, do you feel better having tried that?” enquired Clint.
Thinking it was time to leave, the lorry driver, grasped the gear leaver
of the Volkswagen Beetle, depressed the clutch and turned the ignition key.
The engine of the Beetle burst into
There was a crunch, as the front of the Beetle pushed forward into the slightly descript Japanese car, denting the rear—so making it that little bit more descript—causing its boot lid to close as the whole car rolled forward. Having been left in gear, with the ignition on and the handbrake off, the Japanese car burst into life and continued to roll across the car park towards the exit.
The driver of the Beetle–now half sitting, half standing in the open door of his car—called out to the disappearing magicians, shouting after them.
“Sorry, … my foot slipped!”
Wayne and Nigel clambered into the back of the increasingly descript Japanese car amongst a flurry and tangle of hoods, batwing sleeves and general hanging out robes. At the same time, music started to emerge from the tape player, something appropriate about leaving.
“So, who left it in gear then?” asked Clint of Wayne.
“You must have left the handbrake off,” replied
“And you left the ignition on,” continued Clint.
“I would have sworn that bloke was a lorry driver when he sat down next to us in the café,” said Nigel, “it just goes to show how you can never tell people by their appearance.”
Meanwhile, back in the car park at Knutsford Services the driver of the elderly Volkswagen Beetle thought exactly the opposite as he spoke to himself.
“You can always tell a bunch of weirdoes when you see them!”
Top of Page xx About The Hidden Masters xx Hidden Masters Index xx Home xx More Articles
Visit the publisher's web site and buy the book
Copyright © 2006 Winged Feet Limited
Visitors since Jan 01 2006
Copies of this text are lodged with representatives of Winged Feet Limited for legal deposit purposes
Although these stories are based upon real master magicians the names have been changed to protect the identities of those portrayed.
All efforts have been made to choose names that do not coincide with names of real individuals living in the areas where the characters originate, however, coincidences may still occur. But let's not get into all that coincidence stuff right now. Therefore, any resemblance between characters in this story and real people or entities, living, dead, undead, in god-form or demonic (by possession or otherwise), is purely coincidental. The same thing goes for organisations, companies and corporations that may appear in this story. I mean do you really think there is an organisation called Casino Resort Industry Marketing England? I mean, just look at the initials for god sake! So if you reckon you spot yourself or your company in this text just take it for granted that it is all made up. Okay!