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Literature / None Too Holy

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None Too Holy is a supernatural short story by Lightysnake, a novella that functions as a semi-prequel to Girls on Film, and Nights In Lonesome Arkham and an entry in The Kindness of Devils. It can be read here.

In the 1960s, the immortal Hardestadt Delac is living in New York when he receives word that a priest friend of his has been horribly killed in Maryland. Traveling to an orphanage his friend managed, Hardestadt begins investigating the murder and the supernatural monster behind it.

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The work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: The idea of a supernatural predator being near (or inside) an orphanage full of vulnerable children. Never mind the idea of someone walking in on their own spouse raping their child.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: A twist on it. Pijavica are always evil as only pure evil people can actually become a Pijavica.
  • The Atoner: Hardestadt references himself as making up for something in his past at one point.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Aleksandar would die to protect his fellow orphan Hope who he treats as a little sister.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The creature at one point screams 'tako gladan' when trying to feed, which translates to 'so hungry,' and freely uses 'Majka' to refer to itself. Meaning 'mother.' Augustyn's final letter also contains the Polish farewell 'do widzenia.'
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  • Cool Old Lady: Sister Francis initially seems strict and severe, but she turns out to be a very nice, flexible person who realizes soon Hardestadt absolutely knows what he's doing and to trust his lead.]]
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Father Collins, real name Augustyn Kowalski, is torn apart savagely by the monster, his corpse only identified by the ring on his finger.
  • Double Entendre: A non-sexual, possibly unintentional one from Hardestadt when Jerry tells him his father fought in the war:
    Hardestadt: My father fought in the war as well.
  • Dumb Struck: Aleksandar, the eldest of the orphans, was rendered mute after he witnessed his father murder his mother. The truth is... more complicated.
  • Friend to All Children: Hardestadt loves children, even reading to the kids in the orphanage with great enthusiasm from 'The Little Prince.'
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  • Kill and Replace: What the Pijavica did with the real Sister Viola.
  • Kill It with Fire: Pijavica slaying 101? "Fire just works really, really well."
  • Nun Too Holy: The allusion in the title aside, this is subverted with the nuns themselves, except for the monstrous vampire taking the place of one of them to get closer to her victim.
  • Older Than They Look: Hardestadt as ever. He even notes he's reaching the point where he can't really claim he's a World War 2 veteran anymore with the Vietnam War in swing and him still looking in his 20s.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: As usual, Hardestadt has no issues dealing brutal fates to deserving villains.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Aleksandar is going to grow up and remember you only in his nightmares." From Hardestadt to the Pijavica.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sister Francis seems to be a severe, harsh nun but turns out to be quite reasonable and practical.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The monster has burning red eyes.
  • Red Herring: Rumor from the townsfolk led Hardestadt to initially draw the conclusion that Anthony's murder was at the hands of a shtriga or a witch. It's actually a Pijavica, something far more intelligent and brutal.
  • The Reveal: The monster is a Pijavica, a sort of eastern European vampire.
  • Shrinking Violet: Aleksandar is a shy, mute child who keeps to himself and doesn't seem to share the same enthusiasm for Hardestadt's stories as the other kids. Considering his past, one can hardly blame him.
  • Straight Gay: Father Augustyn's final letter reveals he was in love with Hardestadt.
  • Villainous Incest: The creature terrorizing the orphanage? Is Aleksandar's mother, who had been subjecting Aleksandar to her depraved attentions before his father tried to intervene.
  • Wicked Witch: The children and the townspeople tell stories of a witch named "Ol' Lottie" who lives in the woods, and she's one of Hardestadt's prime suspects as to who murdered Father Collins. Turns out she's a completely peaceful woman named Charlotte who just happens to be a witch, and even helped Collins ward off the true murderer.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The monster here? would absolutely hurt a child. Many children in fact.
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