and water, and clothing when his became too ragged to wear. When his father died in 1904, Bartholomew’s mother fell into a deep state of depression. Bartholomew had her committed to the Bethlem Psychiatric Hospital for acute melancholy, while he moved back into his old home.
His first act was to convert his new basement into a ritual space for the rites he intended to carry out. The grimoire demanded an altar be erected, much like the one he found at St. Samuel’s. Before the altar, he needed to etch the markings of a pentagram using the blood of a goat mingled with the blood of a whore. It was easy enough to acquire the first from a butcher. The second would prove more challenging. Bartholomew had never had any interest in the opposite sex. He had been accosted and propositioned on many occasions in his adulthood, and never had he been tempted. The lure of flesh simply no hold over him. Finding a harlot would not be difficult, but he doubted he could purchase her blood.
He chose Whitechapel as his hunting ground for his prize. The Ripper murders had ended some years back and still nobody had been apprehended. Bartholomew was certain that one more death would not cause a stir. One more body would not lead back to him. Donning a long coat and a tall hat, and concealing both a knife and bottle in the coat, Bartholomew stalked the streets looking for the right woman and moment. He encountered both in an alleyway behind a bunkhouse frequented by the unwholesome workers of the night. She appeared to have just finished a transaction when Bartholomew crept up behind her, removed his knife and bottle, and slashed the woman’s throat, catching the gushing blood in the bottle as best he could. She had no time to scream out in terror or pain. He felt no distaste or illness as the blade pressed into her windpipe. The warm blood made his hands slippery, but he did not shake. He had now reached the point of no return in his quest. Up to now, he was still unsure if he could go through with all that he intended. This anointment in blood proved that he could.
That night back at his home, he mixed the two bloods together and traced the pentagram on the floor of his basement before the altar. Following the words of the text, he then encircled the pentagram with the blood. It also instructed to paint the image of the Cross with the letters JHS to denote the name of Jesus outside of the circle to prevent the demon from attacking the summoner. At each point of the pentagram a candle was placed and lit. Then standing in the centre of the symbol, Bartholomew recited the words of the book.
“Great and powerful Emperor Lucifer, I implore and entreat you, to send forth one of your servants from his dwelling, wherever that may be, to come and to respond in an intelligible voice to all that I may ask.
“I command you, Emperor Lucifer, to send forth a servant, for him to abandon his dwelling, declaring that if you do not, you and your kind will be smote to the bottom of the abyss by the power of the Father above, the Son and the Holy Spirit!"
Bartholomew was drenched in sweat as he finished the recitation. For a moment, all was still. He was ready to consult the book again and start anew on the chance that he missed something when the candles blew out. As soon as they were gone, they blazed in flames as high as Bartholomew stood. He could feel the heat pouring off the flames, enclosing him in the circle. The floor around the candles began to turn black, the wooden ceiling above threatening to erupt in fire. A fetid stench filled the room unlike anything Bartholomew had ever smelled before.
A voice boomed from all around Bartholomew. The sound was indescribable. Impossibly deep, yet high as a shriek, smooth as velvet yet rough as gravel. It was a voice of endless contradictions that Bartholomew’s mind could not fathom. “I am here, mortal. Why do you torment my peace? Speak quickly."
“I command you to tell me which of the demons I am speaking to." Bartholomew did not quiver as he spoke. He could not falter now.
“You address Astaroth. Speak your wishes to me."
Bartholomew was aware of Astaroth. In the book was a list of demons that he had long since committed to memory. Astaroth was one of the most powerful Dukes of Hell, having command over divination and knowledge.
“I want the power you possess. I want to have all that you do, great one. Knowledge of all things and power over all men. I want to be like you."
Smoke whirled around the room, taking form as Bartholomew finished his words. They started from the floor, forming two human legs and pelvis, then a muscular chest. The shoulders and arms were next to form from the