"The Voice in the Fire": Outside Sedona, Arizona, a woman and her friend Priscilla have come across a cabin in the desert. When Priscilla investigates the interior, she is surprised to see that it appears exactly as her home did when she was a teenager on the inside
- Something showed me the magic. It told me what to do. And how it would make me a great wizard. It didn't tell me there would be a sacrifice...
Appearing in "The Voice in the Fire"
- Lenna (As a spirit)
Synopsis for "The Voice in the Fire"
Outside Sedona, Arizona, a woman and her friend Priscilla have come across a cabin in the desert. When Priscilla investigates the interior, she is surprised to see that it appears exactly as her home did when she was a teenager on the inside. What's weirdest about that is that he burned that house down. Suddenly, she hears her father's voice saying her name, and the cabin bursts into flames, burning Priscilla to death inside it.
Four hours later, John Constantine is stopped in the middle of the road by the surviving woman, begging for help. He already knows about the cabin, and has her hop in the passenger seat. They drive to where the cabin was, but there's no trace of it. He explains that it was there, but it moved. What she had seen was a sort of trap that he's been tracking for two weeks as yet. It has been calling to him, and when it couldn't get him, it chose someone else to kill. With her friend dead, the woman insists on coming with John to find the cabin.
As they drive on, John supposes that Priscilla had committed arson at some point in her life. The woman admits that Priscilla had spent fifteen years in Perryville for killing her father in a fire. Soon, they spot the cabin on the side of the road, and John approaches it, despite the danger of being killed as well. He reminds that someone else would have to take his place if he didn't go inside.
Even though he's expecting it, John is taken aback by the realism of the recreation. It is his childhood home; Liverpool on the 80s. Hearing his mother's voice, John resists looking to the sound, and casts a spell to eliminate the illusions. When he musters the strength to look up at last, he finds himself on a bed of corpses, under a thatched wooden frame. He warns the woman not to come to him - something is in there with him.
Meanwhile, at the Temple of the Cold Flame, Sargon the Sorceress and Tannarak discuss ways they might be able to take advantage of the fact that nearly every magician in the world was trapped within the machines of the Thaumaton Project. Tannarak has also just sealed a deal with Papa Midnite that would see the Cult of the Cold Flame staying out of Manhattan, but give the Cult the key to defeating John Constantine. Sargon is unconcerned, but Tannarak warns her against underestimating Constantine.
He explains that the wounds of the Thaumaton Project sent a great tremor through the supernatural realms, sending every occult creature wild in a feeding frenzy upon those with magical talent. A war is on the horizon, and now is the time for the Cult to position itself for its final plan. If they are to succeed though, they will need John Constantine's participation - and they will need an easy way to get rid of him once they've used him. Sargon comments that perhaps she shouldn't have sent John to face the Spellbinder, who would surely have corrupted him. Tannarak agrees that if John isn't corrupted by now, they are fortunate.
John is attacked by the spirit of an angry Native American warrior, who requires vengeance for his own death and that of his lover, both of whom were killed with fire. He believes that by killing enough arsonists, he will be granted the chance to see his love again. Annoyed, John pins the spirit to the ground, and rolls away from its grasp. However, that grasp finds him anyway, and the spirit demands to know who John killed with flames. Against his will, John responds that he killed his parents - but it wasn't his fault. He hadn't known that the magic he was shown as a boy would require a sacrifice. The entity that had shown him the magic hadn't told him.
Desperately trying to escape the spirit's vengeful flame, John explains that the spirit's lost love stands just behind him. Incredulously, he turns, and sees the woman who had come with John to find the cabin. John explains that she is the spirit of his lost love Lenna, doomed to orbit her lover while he is doomed to kill again and again. She was always too terrified to see who was inside the cabin. Unable to move, the spirit calls to her, and she runs to him, falling into his embrace and his flames. John is expelled from the fire, and by the time he gets back onto his feet, the spirits and the fire are gone.
From the blade John used to pin the spirit, John hears the voice of Mister E mocking him. He comments that he knows who planted the magic in John's mind as a boy - and he will tell John who it was, if he'll let him free. John comments that that won't happen, so Mister E tells him for free. Inside a certain hotel in Hong Kong, there resides a witch by the name of Graceful Moon, and she can tell John everything he wishes to know - if he survives asking.
- This book was first published on May 14, 2014.
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