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Mother of Abominations

Chapter Text

Jornada del Muerto desert, New Mexico
July 16, 1945

I found her on a night of fire and noise
Wild bells rang in a wild sky
I knew from that moment on
That I'd love her till the day that I died

And I kissed away a thousand tears
My Lady of the Various Sorrows
Some begged, some borrowed, some stolen
Some kept safe for tomorrow

On an endless night, silver star spangled
The bells from the chapel went jingle-jangle

--

It was neither the splitting of the atom nor the casting of the ritual which drew Her into that world, but the occurrence of both together.  The Trinity test weakened a boundary between two worlds, and the Babalon Working pulled Her up against it, and the two of them together dragged Her into a place where She did not belong and She never wanted to be.

She came from beyond the material omniverse, but when She ripped through the thin spot between the worlds, the nature of her destination’s reality demanded that She take a form.  Until then, She had been a negative, a less-than-nothing in that place beyond the beyond, and now as She knew physical sensation for the first time, She gave a wordless, soundless scream.  Being, existing hurt.

She had no words because She had never needed them before.  She had thought within Her depths but had no cause to express her thoughts.  Likewise, She knew Herself but had no need to name Herself.  Yet this hateful, binding new world also demanded of Her a name, and She thought, everything must be named—conscribed—labeled and classified and known because they cannot stand not to know it, not to place a name upon it so they can control it

Someone had tried to name Her, and that was partly how he had bound Her and drawn Her there.  All those names.  When She kept still and listened, She could hear his names for Her, although most of them were concepts for which She had no reference and could not understand: Scarlet Woman.  Sacred Whore.  Lady of the Night.  Mother of Abominations.  Babalon.

She rejected them all because they revolted Her.  They all were wrong, as wrong as the means by which he had used them to call Her.  So instead, Her name became Jowday.  Because time could have no meaning for an eternal negative, as soon as She entered the omniverse, She had always existed there and always would.  She had always been Jowday, and She always would.

Her body, at once newly-formed and ancient, had taken the shape of that world’s dominant species yet lacked most of its sense organs: no eyes, no ears, no nose, only a huge and gaping mouth through which to give Her anguished cry.  Yet She saw and heard and smelt with the delicate antennae upon Her ponderous and faceless head; She tasted the poison of the Gadget whose detonation a few milliseconds before had shattered the reality of the world forever.  It sickened Her.

Floating in the void of dark space above the world, She shuddered, and nausea racked Her hateful new body.  She was a negative, yet She could feel something new being formed inside Her.

how? She wondered.  The conception sickened Her further.  The caster of the Babalon Working had called Her Whore and Mother, and now Life was growing inside Her.  The ritual had been more than calling of false names, however; it had involved something fluid and hateful, as poisonous and sickening as the Gadget’s broken atoms, and the sickness had come from the caster.

When She kept still and listened, She could hear him:

Envision thyself as a cloaked radiance desirable to the Goddess, beloved.  Envision Her approaching thee. Embrace Her, cover Her with kisses.  Think upon the lewd lascivious things thou couldst do.  All is good to BABALON.  All.

Now She understood the names the caster had called Her.  She could feel the parts of Her that he desired, the parts to which he would do things lewd and lascivious, but the Life squirming inside Her had nothing to do with those.  The caster had tried to make Her into his Sacred Whore with his toxic sexual ritual, but She had absorbed that other toxin too: the toxin of the atom bomb.  The toxin of the evil that men do.

Even with the distraction of nausea and the gorge rising in Her narrow, delicate throat, She was able to concentrate Her thoughts into language and swear an oath to he who had summoned Her:

Babalon might be your Whore, but Jowday is not

Jowday will approach you as the Mother of Abominations, and you will embrace Her

and you will burn

and Her children will catch your world in their death bag

Then Her slender body was overwhelmed with the sickness, and She retched.  Her bony shoulders heaved as She vomited a miasma of cloudy fluid, silent save for a slight gasp.  She felt no relief, only the urge to vomit again.  Arms outstretched, legs drifting behind Her, antennae quivering against Her skull, She birthed the abominations of men’s evil in four spasms—not from the female organs the caster fetishized but from Her retching mouth.  Then, finally, the feeling of sickness passed, and She was left weak and quivering with relief.

With Her antennae, She sensed Her children. . . Her abominable children, mothered by Jowday, fathered by the man who fancied himself a magician and by the evil of his world.  Most of them were embryonic, sleeping within eggs which floated in the fluid She had expelled.  But one of them had emerged fully formed, swathed in a darkness that was more than Her own negative force, more even than the ritual caster’s obsession.  She did not know what else had shaped that child of Hers, nor did She care to know.  She cast it away from Her with all the others and turned them loose upon the world that had sired them.

She was vaguely aware of something—some things—scurrying between the worlds, flickering in and out, always arranging and gathering and preparing.  agents of the Black Lodge, She thought without knowing quite what that meant.  They were aware of Her too, and they were already moving to use Her children for their own purposes.  She let them have their way and then put them out of Her mind.

Until She found the one who had cast the Babalon Working and used it to trap Her in this world, Her only concern lay with Her revenge.  She drifted and waited, knowing that he would summon Her again, for he could not be satisfied yet.  Having brought Her to his world would not be enough for him; he would demand to possess Her with his body as well.  She had only to wait until his impatience overwhelmed him, and he revealed himself.

He would call out for Babalon.

And Jowday would answer.

--

To be continued

Chapter Text

Pasadena, California
June 17, 1952 (I)

She was given to me to put things right
And I stacked all my accomplishments beside her
Yet I seemed so obsolete and small
I found God and all His devils inside her

In my bed she cast the blizzard out
Mock sun blazed upon her head
And so completely filled with light she was
Her shadow fanged and hairy and mad

Our love-lines grew hopelessly tangled
And the bells in the chapel go jingle-jangle

--

She was supposed to be beautiful: like his first wife Helen, like Helen’s sister and his lover Betty, like his second wife Candy.  Not this monstrosity, chalk-white and bony, with ribs prominent as a washboard and breasts hardly larger than a man’s.  Only the gash between Her thighs gave any indication of a sex at all, for there was nothing else feminine about Her.  It wasn’t that She was masculine, though—if that had been it, Jack Parsons would not have been so disappointed.  He could still find beauty in the masculine; at times, he even preferred it, although he certainly would never expect to see any manliness in the One he sought to manifest.  But She was not masculine, and She was not feminine.  Female, but not feminine.

She disappointed him.

Jack Parsons had tried so many times to summon Her, tried for so long to succeed where his mentor Aleister Crowley had failed.  Jack called his ritual for drawing Her the Babalon Working, but Babalon was only one of Her names.  She was also the Scarlet Woman, the Great Mother, the Sacred Whore, and the Consort of Chaos.  She was the Goddess, the Eternal Feminine.

She was a monster, and She repulsed him.

--

He thought he had succeeded in the Babalon Working years ago, in 1946, back when Ron Hubbard was helping him.  (Back before Ron betrayed him, before Ron invented his Dianetics bullshit because he was more interested in power and money than the truth, before Ron ran off with Jack’s life savings and Betty—and Ron would have gotten away with it, too, if Jack hadn’t summoned the dark fire spirit Bartzabel to stop them.)  Jack thought the Working had succeeded, because that was when he’d met Marjorie Cameron, the woman who was to become his wife and, more importantly, Candida: the mother of Babalon’s human incarnation.

Marjorie was beautiful, red of hair and blue of eye, exactly how Jack had always envisioned Babalon herself.  He gave her the magical name of Candida, Candy for short, and began the ritual to impregnate her immediately.  When it did not succeed, Jack was puzzled—the Working had been progressing so well!—but they married anyway, and he kept trying.  Years passed, and there was no child, and then finally Jack found out why.  She never meant for him to know, but by accident he discovered that the ritual had succeeded, even before their marriage.  On a visit to New York City, Candy had found out she was pregnant, and she had terminated the pregnancy before she returned home.

He tried not to resent her for it.  He had not told her about the Babalon Working or that their intercourse was anything more than lovemaking.  She could not know that she was thwarting the incarnation of a goddess.  They almost divorced anyway, although the aborted pregnancy was far from the only issue between them.  Ultimately they reconciled, yet Jack still hated her a little.

He wasn’t positive that Candy could never get pregnant again, but he feared she could not—and even if it were medically possible for Candy to conceive, perhaps Babalon would now shun her womb since Candy had once rejected the goddess’s blessing.  Jack decided he couldn’t take that risk.  He had to try the Working again.

But this time, he went about it differently.  He told no one, not any of his friends or associates, and certainly not Candy.  This time, Babalon would not need a female host to conceive and bear Her incarnation in the form of a human baby; this time, Jack would summon Babalon Herself.  He knew he would succeed because since his earlier attempts, he had gained two new components to the ritual.  One was a mystical chant comprised of just four seemingly simple lines.

The other was the ring.

Jack had decided to make a fresh start with Candy.  They planned to spend a few months in Mexico, where Jack had been promised a government job; then they were going to Israel.  Candy talked about “starting a family” there, and when she did, Jack smiled and nodded and went along with it.  If they did manage to have children, ordinary children, that would be fine.  In any case, he vowed to himself, from Mexico onward, she would be his wife, his ordinary human wife.  She was not an avatar of Babalon as he had once believed, and she would never bear the goddess’s earthly incarnation.  But in Mexico and Israel they could begin their careers anew, he in rocketry and she in art, and they could learn to love each other anew as well.

(And, Jack hoped, he could also escape the persistent spying of the FBI upon him, particularly the meddling of one Major Douglas Milford who had been eyeing Jack’s ring a little too closely the last time they met.)

Jack and Candy were leaving for Mexico on June 18, so he decided to cast the altered Babalon Working on the 17th; it might be his last chance to work in privacy for some time.  The gods seemed to be smiling upon his endeavor, for everything fell into place.  Jack had taken up manufacturing explosives to pay the bills once his occult activities left the government unwilling to hire him, and he’d gotten a last minute order to fill.  That gave him an excuse to hole up in his home laboratory, and even better, Candy had gone out shopping.  Alone in the house except for the tenants who rented upstairs rooms, and whom he knew would not disturb him, Jack retreated to his lab and laid out his chemicals so he could fill the explosives order quickly once the ritual was through.

Once he had summoned Babalon and She had received him with open arms.

The chemicals prepared, Jack turned away from his work tables and, with shaking hands, slipped the ring off of the fourth finger of his right hand.  It was a gold signet ring set with an oval cabochon of some green, jade-like material.  Jack held the ring up before his eyes and stared at the stone and at the symbol carved into it.  It was not the Seal of Babalon Crowley had depicted, yet Jack had been assured that the ring was key to the ritual’s success.

The symbol upon it was a diamond with two carats emerging from its upper faces, like the wings of a bird arched in flight or a pair of mountains in the distance. . . nothing like the seven-pointed star of Babalon.

Jack now placed the ring onto the fourth finger of his left hand, the wedding ring finger; then he drew in a deep breath and exhaled it.  He could bypass all the other parts of the Working, the ritual masturbation and the other invocations, for the ring and the chant should be enough.  Jack rubbed the pad of his thumb over the etched surface of the ring; then he spoke the words of the chant:

Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see.
One chants out between two worlds,
“Fire walk with me.”

--

And She came to him.  Not incarnated as a human woman but in the flesh. . . if the chalky white form before him could be called flesh.  She did not approach him, She did not invite his embraces.  She only stood still and erect before him, and She judged him.

But, Jack realized, She wasn’t standing still at all.  Instead, She seemed to be in constant motion before his eyes, little jerky movements that kept him from focusing upon Her and seeing Her clearly.  In a way, he was glad; he didn’t want to see the hideousness of Her body.

He had not yet looked at Her face.  He was afraid to.

He saw from the periphery of his vision that Her head was as white as the rest of Her and that no hair grew upon it, just as none seemed to grow upon any part of Her body.  Jack had imagined Babalon’s hair to be red like Candy’s, long and sensual.  This was another disappointment.

As he stared at Her body, the planes of Her hips and Her muscular thighs, something like smoke began to rise around Her legs.  Yet it was blacker than smoke, a mist blacker than anything Jack had ever seen before.  It encircled and obscured Her ankles, calves, and knees.  He panicked at the thought it might cover Her entirely and She could disappear.

If I lose sight of Her, Jack thought, I will never find Her again.

He made himself lift his head and look into Her face.  The world seemed to stop around him, and She stopped moving too.  He could see Her clearly now, and his revulsion turned to something deeper and more primal, something beyond even horror.

Jack Parsons beheld the face of Babalon, but Babalon had no face.  No eyes, no nose, no ears; only a wide, flat mouth closed in what Jack somehow felt was a disdainful scowl.  Just above where eyes might have been, a pair of antennae emerged from the brow of Her elongated skull.  Jack’s own eyes fixed upon them, and he found he could not look away, for they unnerved him more than the void where Her face belonged, more than the strange, large mouth.  The antennae were long and delicate.  Graceful.  Sensitive.  Beautiful.

The beauty of them contrasted too sharply with the rest of Her and made him feel disoriented.  Moreover, they had something familiar about them although they looked like no earthly arthropod’s antenna; instead, they rose upward from Her brow then crooked downward again to sweep the sides of Her skull.  As he traced them with his eyes, Jack suddenly realized where he had seen their shape before.  He lifted his left arm—slowly, for his arm felt oddly heavy and almost numb—and held his hand in front of his eyes so that he could see the ring.

The symbol upon the ring was the shape of Her head, the diamond Her skull and the carats Her antennae.  The symbol was Babalon, far more literally than Crowley’s sigil.  Jack let his arm fall back to his side with a thump.

As if waiting for a signal, She opened Her mouth at the sound.  Jack reeled.  Her mouth consumed the lower half of Her face, its interior as black as the mists curling around Her legs.  Conflicting impressions of the mouth of Babalon clashed against one another in Jack’s brain: it was expressive and sensual, but at the same time, it parodied a gaping sexual orifice which abruptly reminded him of all the things he’d dreamed and written of doing to Her.

But now She raised no desire in him, no lust, nothing but revulsion because every fantasy he imagined ended with that cavernous mouth devouring him.  Jack tried to drag his eyes away from Her face but with every attempt, the unwanted fantasies grew more vivid.  Think upon the lewd lascivious things thou couldst do, he had written, and now he could think of nothing else.  He remembered everything he had ever wanted to do to Her, and he saw himself doing it all—not to the Babalon of his fantasies, ginger-locked like a girl in a Rossetti painting, but to the pasty, hairless monstrosity standing before him.

Then, worse, he began to remember more.  He remembered things he had thought of doing not to Babalon but to real, human women, and She absorbed those memories too; then he thought of the things he had done to real, human women.  He thought of everything, and in his mind, She absorbed everything.  Every woman Jack had ever known became Her—Candy, Betty, Helen, all of them.  He knew then that the ritual had succeeded, horrific as the idea was.  Only Babalon could have given him visions like those.

Jack swallowed, although it was difficult; his lips, mouth, and throat felt sticky.  When he finally managed to speak, his voice sounded faint and hoarse.

“You. . . you are She,” he rasped.  “You are Babalon.”

She drew Her shoulders back as if startled, and it was such a human gesture, it startled Jack in turn.  But then Her uncanny mouth distorted into a wide, scornful leer and shaped itself to form words.  Her voice was utterly unearthly, deep and throbbing like a howl compressed into words.  Jack felt hatred and anguish and fury in it, and when he realized that he was the cause of all those emotions, he wanted to fall to his knees and beseech Her forgiveness.  At the same time, he thought that She deserved to suffer for being what She was—and what She admitted She wasn’t, when She finally spoke.

“No,” She said, “not Babalon.  Jowday.

--

To be continued

Chapter Text

Pasadena, California
June 17, 1952 (II)

All things move toward their end
I knew before I met her that I would lose her
I swear I made every effort to be good to her
I made every effort not to abuse her

Crazy bracelets on her wrists and her ankles
And the bells in the chapel go jingle-jangle

Do you love me?  Do you love me?
Do you love me?  Do you love me, like I love you?

--

Aleister Crowley had written not only of Babalon but also of Babalon’s daughter, the Moonchild: a twelve-year-old girl, golden-haired and long-lashed, the Holy One and the Eternal Virgin.  He described her as the Virgin Universe in his Book of Thoth, the guide to his Thoth Tarot: We are come unto a palace of which every stone is a separate jewel, and is set with millions of moons.  And this palace is nothing but the body of a woman, proud and delicate, and beyond imagination fair.

It was this daughter Jack Parsons had hoped to conceive after he cast the altered Babalon Working.  He had even seen the Moonchild in his dreams once.  He hadn’t told anyone, not even Candy; the vision of the girl was for him alone.

Her eyes were blue and wide-set; nose and cheeks softly rounded; hair golden, piled atop her head, and crowned with a silver tiara.  Her shoulders were bare, with prominent collarbones sloping inward and a beauty mark centered exactly between them.  She wore white.  What captivated and intrigued Jack most was her smile: it showed her teeth, perfect and bright, yet it held a quality of dire unhappiness.  He saw anguish there (and now he thought perhaps he had heard that anguish echoed in the false Babalon’s voice) and a plea.  As Crowley had written, the Moonchild was indeed proud and delicate, but she was also desperate, lonely, pleading behind the smile for someone to save her.

When he awoke from the dream, Jack had thought, I am the one.  I will give her life on this world, and then I will shield her from whatever has caused her suffering.  The Moonchild was to be his child, and he would act as a father should, as her protector and teacher and guide.

Except she was also to be Babalon’s child, and Babalon had not come.  The Working had not succeeded after all.  It had failed yet again—

No, Jack’s brain insisted—the rocket scientist part of his brain, calm and logical.  The Working succeeded, but Babalon did not come because there is no Babalon.  There is only She.  There is only Jowday.

If you are to conceive the Moonchild, you must conceive with Her.

Jack stared at Her eyeless countenance and Her elegant antennae, then dropped his eyes to Her body.  It was not beautiful, it was not feminine. . . but She was a woman.  When he thought back over what She had made him imagine, all the women he had known becoming Her, he began to feel the first stirrings of desire.  They horrified him; and yet it had been a long time since he had been intimate with Candy, or any other woman; and yet this was why he had cast the second Babalon Working; and yet. . . and yet, he wanted Her.  She was a monster, but She was still a woman, and he wanted Her.

Thelema, the religious philosophy Crowley developed and within which Babalon was a goddess, had one key precept: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.  Love is the law, love under will.

Do what you will, that was Thelema.  Love is the law, that was Thelema as well.  The Moonchild was to be the daughter of love, and Jack was to father her.  Jowday was to mother her, love under will.  His will.

Eyes fixed upon Her body, not the nightmare of Her faceless countenance, he advanced towards Her.

--

Jowday’s antennae twitched as She observed the man moving closer.  He came with feigned bravado, but She sensed his apprehension, his fear of Her.  She also sensed his lust, and it disgusted Her.  He was as repulsed by Her as She was by him, yet he wanted to—  Every fiber of the body which had constructed itself upon Her entrance into this physical universe recoiled at the thought.  Disgust was swept away by a tide of rage, and She began to tremble.

Time danced around Her.  Jack Parsons could see Her body jerk back and forth between the seconds that passed; Jowday could see the space he now occupied devoid of his noxious presence, a thousand years into the past and the future, if She tried.  But She concentrated Her attention on him, the brief instant of his existence and his will to rape Her, and time snapped into focus and froze for them both.

He had been staring at Her body, but now his wide eyes jerked back up to Her mouth.         

his Sacred Whore, She thought, he still thinks I am his whore. . . he still thinks I am his

He moved even closer and lifted his right arm.  He reached out for Her.  He touched Her, his fingers closing over Her narrow left wrist.  He leaned toward Her, dark eyes fixed on Her mouth as his own opened.

A shudder moved through Jowday’s whole body; then She darted Her head forward and ripped a hole out of the right side of his face using the mouth that had so fascinated him.  In the next second, Her body gave off a single pulse of electricity that loosened his grip and pushed him away from Her.  Parsons staggered backwards, eyes wide and a warbling moan of pain sounding in his throat, yet he seemed more stunned than hurt, as if he couldn’t quite believe that the thing he’d summoned had resisted his advances.  Blood streamed from the wound in his face, and blood splattered his clothes and the floor beneath their feet, but none had touched Jowday.  The electric pulse She emitted repelled it along with him.  She had skin and teeth and tongue; She could touch and taste if She wished, but She wanted no part of Jack Parsons.  She would take nothing of him with Her when She departed, and She would leave nothing of Herself behind.

Parsons tried to speak, but Jowday came at him before he could do more than make another harsh moan.  envision Her approaching thee, Jowday thought, remembering what he had written of Babalon, yes here is Jowday approaching thee—not your Sacred Whore, not Babalon the mother of your Moonchild

Jowday the Mother of Abominations

Her slender hands and fingers, which appeared so delicate, flailed at Parsons as he pivoted and half-raised his right arm again, trying to shield himself.  She flayed his sleeve from his skin then his skin from his flesh then his flesh from his bones.  When Jowday snapped his right arm off at the elbow, Parsons howled and stumbled back away from Her, only to bump into one of the work tables with no more room to withdraw.  She struck him across the face, leading from the left side, with enough force to knock him to his knees halfway across the room.  Parsons tried to catch part of his weight on his left arm, and it and both legs broke when he landed because of the strength of Her blow.  He wailed again with pain, yet even after that, he lifted his head to stare up at Her with that damnable expression of bewilderment.

She stood there, marble-white flesh unsullied by his blood, black hole of Her mouth gaping in a sneer of derision and disgust, and he gazed up at Her as if to ask, “How dare You refuse me, me who summoned You?  How dare You, a woman, refuse me, a man?”

She spat at him in a low mocking growl the final words of the chant that had called Her to him, “Fire walk with me,” and flames blossomed around them.  They touched Jowday’s skin without burning, but when the fire licked up the legs of the work tables, the chemicals Parsons had laid out ignited and rocked the house with an explosion that decimated most of the lower story.

In the few seconds that passed between the appearance of the flames and the ignition of the chemicals, Jowday vanished.

--

In the few seconds that passed between the appearance of the flames and the ignition of the chemicals, time stopped for Jack Parsons.

He was staring up at Her, Jowday, Babalon-Who-was-not-Babalon, while his mind glossed over the agonized signals his body was sending it.  His mind ignored the pain to focus instead on why, why had this happened?  Why had She turned on him?  Why had everything gone so wrong?

And then Jowday disappeared.  And then time stopped.

At first, Jack thought he was hallucinating from pain or shock when he saw the giant.  The man was bald with slightly stooped shoulders, and he wore a tuxedo perfectly tailored to his tall, spare form.  His gaunt face somehow looked serious, kind, care-worn, and alarmed all at once.

I’m dying, Jack thought, that’s what it is.  He’s a hallucination, or else a spirit, a spirit come to guide me to—

Before he could finish the thought, the giant lifted one long arm and pointed to Jack’s left.  His movements were slow, as were Jack’s when he turned his head to look.  He didn’t feel as if something were hindering his motion; instead, it felt like he moved through a different kind of time where everything happened more slowly.

When Jack had finally turned his head fully, he was looking directly into a wall of the flames Jowday had called up.  Yet as he looked, the fire in the center of the wall swirled into a whirlpool which deepened and sank, until Jack looked down into a tunnel that seemed to open into a room somewhere far away.

From Jack’s vantage point in the heart of the orange and yellow flames, the monochrome of the distant room was soothing.  Everything there was black, white, or grey except for one thing: a single point of light that glowed a pure amber-gold.  At first, Jack only basked in the peace of the few colors and of the faint music he could hear, tinny music like something being played on an old-fashioned phonograph.  He could just make out words sung in a woman’s tender voice: In Heaven, everything is fine. . . .

Then Jack’s eyes focused on what was there in that room so far away.  The point of light was actually an orb, a sphere like one of Crowley’s crystal balls which glowed with its own illumination.  A figure held the sphere, cupping it in both hands, and as Jack watched longer, he realized the figure was that of a woman.  As distant as the room was, Jack began to see details like he was right there; the woman was beautiful, wearing a sequined black gown and elegant jewelry.  She gazed down into the sphere in wonder, and as Jack watched, her full lips curved up into a smile.

And then Jack looked into the sphere too, and he saw the girl’s face: the wide-set eyes, the golden hair, the fragile smile.  His heart soaredThe beautiful woman brought the sphere up to her lips and kissed the Moonchild’s image; then she opened her hands and let the sphere go.  As it floated up into the air, the tunnel of flames began to close in on itself.  Jack kept his eyes fixed on the sphere for as long as he could see it, and he could still hear the phonograph music even after the fire obscured the vision, even after he looked back toward the giant and found that he had too disappeared.

Even when time began to move again, even as the chemicals caught fire and an explosion shook the house around him, Jack Parsons still heard a woman’s voice singing a sweet, old-fashioned song.

In Heaven, everything is fine.  You’ve got your good things, and I’ve got mine.

--

The lodgers found him when they came running after they heard the explosion.  He tried to talk to them, then tried to talk to the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital.  He wanted to tell them, wanted to tell somebody that everything would be all right.

“The Moonchild will live,” he would say to them.  “She has been blessed by the true Babalon, and she will live.”

But he could not speak because of what Jowday had done to his face.  He died at the Pasadena hospital with his mind fixed on his vision of the Moonchild.  The medical staff treating him were too preoccupied to notice that the gold signet ring he wore on his left hand vanished upon the instant of his death.

Candy found out Jack was dead when she returned from her shopping trip to a home swamped with reporters.  When Jack’s mother was told what had happened, she committed suicide.

The Pasadena Police Department concluded that Jack Parsons died of an accident which occurred when he accidentally dropped a can containing some of the chemicals he was mixing.  Some of his friends believed he committed suicide.  Others, Candy among them, swore Jack had been murdered; there was no shortage of suspects ranging from the FBI to anti-Zionists.  Still other friends believed Jack had made a mistake conducting one occult rite or another—constructing a homunculus or summoning a fire demon.

Jowday was not, precisely, a fire demon, but the latter guess was the closest anyone ever came to the truth.

Candy had Jack’s body cremated, scattered his ashes in the Mojave Desert, and burned nearly everything he had owned.  She did briefly travel to Mexico but returned to California, converted to Thelema, and came to believe that Babalon had, after all, been incarnated within her.  In December, 1952, she began trying to conceive multiple Moonchildren, without success.  She died of cancer in 1995 still following Thelema, and her ashes were scattered in the desert where Jack’s had been spread forty years before.

Jowday let her be.

At first, that was all Jowday wanted for Herself, after all—to be left alone.  If She could not leave that world and return to Her home beyond the reach of matter and time, She wanted to be left alone.

And Jowday did have Her peace for awhile. . . until the meddling of the Black Lodge and the Blue Rose.

--

The End

--

“She is flame of life, power of darkness, she destroys with a glance, she may take thy soul. She feeds upon the death of men. . . .  Display thyself to Our Lady; dedicate thy organs to Her, dedicate thy heart to Her, dedicate thy mind to Her, dedicate thy soul to Her, for She shall absorb thee, and thou shalt become living flame before She incarnates.”
--Jack Parsons, Liber 49, The Book of Babalon

“Once a magician stands between two worlds, he’s in danger of not belonging to either of them.  In the end, Jack danced too close to the flames and it cost him his life.  Whether he killed himself, was felled by an accident or died at the hand of another is beyond the point.  I believe Jack Parsons summoned a fire demon.”
--Robert A. Heinlein, The Secret History of Twin Peaks