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View Full Version : Children of Flesh and Blood: Purgatory (Mature Audiences Only)



SouthernRiver4
February 21st, 2013, 04:17 PM
Copying over from Microsoft Word, so the formatting looks a little off. But, enjoy nonetheless! (:

WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN THEMES TO FOLLOW. (Please note that I am a devout Catholic, but in order to write a novel of this magnitude, I had to write on the dark side a bit when Lucifer comes in. So, if you are easily offended, turn back.)

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CHAPTER 1: THE FIRST ASCENTION

For weeks now, Deacon Klocke has had the same nightmare: Being chased by Hell-hounds who wished to drag him to Hell to pay for some crime he has committed in his life. Most would say that these dreams are forged from guilt of a crime actually committed, but the fact is Deacon has never committed a crime, at least, not one that he has ever been caught for.
And certainly not one that was for anything less than survival purposes. Though, most who think they know something about him would bet money that he is guilty as sin.
Deacon has been on his own since he was seventeen. When he was younger, he watched as his father beat his mother. It usually never escalated past a beating except for one night when his father became so enraged over a bad day at the office that after Mommy was lying bloody on the floor, Daddy grabbed a knife and began to butcher her as if she was a pig. His older brother Jax, who was far braver than Deacon, shot their father in the leg with his handgun. A neighbor heard the commotion and immediately called the police who arrived on-scene to arrest the father and bag the mother. The whole time, a police officer sat with Deacon and tried to convince him that it wasn't his fault, but Deacon was so far gone after what he had seen, he didn't even realize he was being spoken to.
After everything, the now hardened Jax Klocke became the sole guardian over his little brother, despite a piece of paper that claimed that their mother's cousin and his wife were now the boy’s legal guardians over Deacon. Deacon idolized his older brother, who would steal and kill to protect him. Under Jax's care, Deacon always got the warmer blanket and the heavier meal. If a kid were to ever pick on Deacon, as they so loved to as he was homeless, Jax would have him face down on the ground telling him that he was Jax's bitch.
Deacon never felt that his brother lacked anything but compassion. As he got older, he began to ask Jax questions about that night. Deacon tried to process everything, but the whole night seemed like a bad dream that only left bits and pieces in Deacon's head. He tried desperately to make sense of the situation on his own, but being as young as he was, he simply needed help. But the one time Deacon tried to force Jax to sit down and talk to him about the whole situation, Jax became angry and released a rage that he had been bottling for thirteen years, beat Deacon within an inch of his life, and left him for dead on a roadside. An older couple came upon him not long after, though it seemed like forever, and took him to the hospital. Despite what Jax had done to him, Deacon still loved his older brother and didn't want him to get in trouble. So, when asked by police who had brutalized him so, Deacon simply said he couldn't remember. The doctor agreed that he may have some memory-loss from the head injury, and he may or may not ever remember who beat him.
Deacon is now twenty-six and he hasn't seen or spoken to his brother since that day, and for that matter, he hasn't seen or spoken to his father since the day he was taken to the hospital by ambulance for his mild injury. He has never been able to completely process the disturbing childhood he had, so Deacon spends most of his time at the bar down the street from his childhood home where he now resides with the once blood-stained kitchen floor now tiled over. While he sits at the bar the only person who talks to him is the bartender, to ask him if he needs another glass of Scotch. Often he doesn't move at all until closing time, and then he drags his drunken-self home on foot and sleeps until it is time to repeat the cycle.
Some would say that Deacon is just a shell of the man he once was, but in reality, he was never truly a man. He was a boy who was raised by another boy; He went through an experience so traumatic that he hasn't spoken a word in the past two years. Ever since the bartender has started having his drink ready for him before he even gets there, he hasn't had a reason to speak a single word to anyone for any reason. He is far from a shell of what he never actually was; he is just a guy who is caught in an endless cycle of constant drunkenness and a state far worse than depression. Confident that he will never be worth anything to anyone, that is the only thing he is confident about. His life has truly hit rock-bottom, and has been there since he turned five, he is pretty sure that the glass of Scotch he is having at two fifty-three in the morning will be his last and that this will be his last time in this bar. He is ready to end his life. Things have truly gotten so bad for this lost soul, that there is no coming back. So he won't.
***
Last night, Deacon was too drunk to commit suicide. He got halfway to his bed when he vomited on the floor and passed out. When he woke up it was still early in the morning, which was odd for him as he never woke up before one in the afternoon. The time was nine-thirty and he was still lying on the floor next to his vomit. Which seemed to have lost its pungent odor since the window was open. He lifted his head and stood slowly, dizzy from the hangover. He approached the window and leaned against it for support. It wasn't too often that he got to feel the cool morning breeze brush gently across his face. In a sense, as much as it could for Deacon, it rejuvenated him a bit. He slowly gained his balance and sat down on his bed, placing his face in his hands. He felt his beard and realized how long it was. He rarely worried about hygiene, because he rarely worried about trying to impress anyone. It had been months since he looked in the mirror, and he was sure that if he did it would shatter, but he went for it anyway.
Deacon carried himself slowly to the bathroom and what stared back at him made him feel as bad as he did the night before. He hated everything about himself inside and out and looking in the mirror, seeing sunken eyes and a filthy beard stare back at him, caused him to have his first real emotion in a long time--anger. He punched the mirror as hard as he could, shattering the pieces all over the sink, causing his hand to drip blood. The strange thing for him, though, was how good it felt to finally release that anger, though it was only a small amount.
Deacon wrapped his hand in a towel and left the bathroom. He collapsed on his bed and stared at the ceiling.
“My damn life,” he groaned.
The sound of his own voice was so odd since he rarely talked. He had almost forgotten what it sounded like. He got up and got a towel to wipe up the vomit, which had pretty much hardened on the ground.

***
Before he could finish, the doorbell rang. Normally, he wouldn't go to the door because really the only people who came to his house were trying to solicit something. Either money he didn't have for cookies or his time that he didn’t care to waste for the good news. But he actually went to the door this time, and little to his surprise, it was a Girl Scout looking to sell him a box of Thin Mints.
“Hello, sir!” she began in the same annoying tone that all little “sales-bitches” (as Deacon called them) used. “My name is Alice and I'm trying to sell enough cookies to win a bicycle! Not for myself, of course. I want to win it so I can give it to charity. To someone who has never had a bike. So will you please help?”
Deacon stared at her for a minute and then finally spoke. “Bullshit.”
The little girl's eyes grew wide.
“You aren't going to give that bike to charity; you just want a good story so people will buy your terrible cookies. I guarantee that if you win that bike, I'm gonna see you riding up and down these streets giving the metaphorical middle finger to all the little charity kids. Am I going too fast for you, sweetheart?”
The little girl's face changed from shock to a cold, calculating look.
“Well aren't you just a son-of-a-bitch? I was hoping to ease you into this process, you ass. But since you insist on being the aforementioned ass, then I'm not gonna spare your feelings for even a second.”
Now it was Deacon's turn to be utterly dumbfounded. The girl shoved past him into the house and looked around.
“My God, Deacon. This house is disgusting. It smells like booze, vomit, and shame. Kind of like a weekend high school party. Or prom.”
Deacon rubbed his eyes, hoping that he was just hallucinating from the hangover. How did this girl know his name? Deacon didn't know anyone--certainly not some thirteen-year-old girl.
“Who in the Hell are you?” Deacon said, slowly walking his way to the fireplace utensils so that he had a weapon to use if he needed it.
“I already told you, my name is Alice. Who is this girl?” Alice ran her fingers through her hair and looked down her body. “Some little sales-bitch named Marie I found walking around way too late.”
She folded her arms.
“I needed to use her body to come talk to you. A mess has been made down under and now; we are in for an all-out blood-bath.”
“Down under? You mean like Australia?” Deacon realized he should talk more. It was almost satisfying being an asshole.
“No, jerk-off. Hell. There is a problem in Hell and we are this close to seeing a full-on apocalypse or worse.” He just stared at Alice.
“And what’s worse than a bloody end to mankind?” Alice took a deep breath, trying to calm herself.
“Earth, Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell; colliding in an all-out war that will destroy everything in their paths.”
She sat down, trying to calm her nerves and stop shaking. Deacon was laughing hysterically.
“You’ve gotta quit watching TV, little girl. And I guess you gotta quit reading the Bible too, because all of this that you're talking about, is nuts. Granted, it's pretty impressive that a little kid has been able to come up with something so elaborate, but still, you're off your damn rocker.”
Alice's face grew absolutely cold. “What makes you think this is a joke? I will drag your sorry ass to Hell myself and show you what is going on.” She stood up and acting as if she was about to pounce.
“Oh, go ahead. I'd love to see this.” Deacon laughed and threw his arms to either side in a challenging gesture.
Almost instantly, Alice shot across the room and ran right through him. Next thing Deacon knew, he was suddenly very cold, and then he wasn't. He wasn't warm, but he wasn't cold. He was absolutely nothing. It was as if cold and heat were no longer a part of his world. He turned around and saw Alice standing over his body.
“I wouldn't get used to giving the middle finger to hot and cold, pal. There will be plenty of heat where we're going.”
Deacon clenched his fists, walked across the room and stood over to his own body. “What in the Hell did you do to me, you bitch?”
Alice walked behind him and pulled out a piece of what seemed to be black chalk and began drawing a symbol on the wall.
“I forced your body into a sort of astral projection, more commonly known as an 'out-of-body experience'. You're not dead, per-say, your body and soul are separated as if you were dead, but the difference is that you can return to your body. And you will return when I am finished with you.”
Alice finished the symbol. It looked ancient, but more than that, it just looked like the bad art project of an epileptic seven-year-old.
“What is that?” said Deacon, approaching Alice and the symbol with caution.
“It's a symbol I found in a book a long time ago. It's as ancient as Adam and Eve. Before Lucifer tempted Eve with the apple, he put dreams of this symbol into her head. After a while, she began to obsess on the symbol, and when she was cast out of Eden, she began to draw it on everything. The only thing she could draw with, of course, was blood. When she and Adam had their first children, she would draw this symbol on their foreheads as a “birth-right”. Little did she know, Lucifer put this in her head for a reason. It's a sacrificial symbol and any who come in physical contact with it, flesh to blood, get damned to Hell. Eve damned her children and all who touched this symbol to Hell.”
Alice turned to Deacon and saw the fear in his eyes, though his face was as straight as a line.
“Why did you draw that? I'm not touching it.” Deacon backed away slowly and Alice put the chalk away.
“Why? I thought you didn't believe in Heaven or Hell.” Alice smirked softly.
“Shut up.” Deacon's voice was cold.
“Relax. We're not touching it. Over the millenniums, the symbol took on a life of its own and became a gateway to Hell, rather than damnation. Some say angels took the symbol and re-wired it so they could pass easily between Heaven and Hell, and now you can touch it without harm. I don't know if that's true; about the angels, anyway. But you can actually touch it and you won't be damned to Hell. Well, most people can. I mean, you're already going to Hell, so it doesn't really matter anyway. It will just send whoever touches it into Hell.”
Deacon's face was covered with the grimmest of expressions. “That's not funny, you bitch.” Alice looked over at him and made a face as serious as his.
“I'm not joking.”
With that, Alice grabbed Deacon by the shirt and threw both of them at the symbol.
Everything went white momentarily, and Deacon began to feel hot. Excruciatingly hot. It was almost as if he could feel his skin being scorched. And the despair he felt was enough to make even the happiest of people off themselves. Deacon opened his eyes, and what he saw shook him to his very core.

SouthernRiver4
February 21st, 2013, 04:19 PM
CHAPTER 2: NO LOVE FOR THE WICKED

Never before had Deacon imagined a place of such agonizing horror. “Do you believe me now, Deacon?” said Alice as she stood and extended a hand to him.
“My God.” Deacon's jaw dropped.
“No, there’s no one by that name around here.” Alice looked around with Deacon to see all of the horror before them.
High up in the distance, chains were strung across the walls of the corridor. Bound up in the chains were men and women screaming for their lives. Soon, several dehumanized creatures, feral in nature, began to climb the chains and devour the flesh of the men and women. Deacon couldn't move; all he could do was watch in horror as the last of the people in the chains stopped screaming and died. In an instant, the flesh was returned to their bodies and they awoke gasping for air, only to have the cycle repeat.
“Alice, what is this? This can't be real. You have to tell me that this is just a really bad dream and I'm gonna wake up next to a bottle of Scotch and a Playboy.” Deacon nearly had tears in his eyes as he gripped Alice's shoulders tightly.
“Deacon, the things we are going to see, you can't even imagine in your worst nightmare.” Alice shoved his hands away and began to walk down the corridor.
“What are you doing? You're gonna just walk out in plain sight where those things can see you and rip your face off?” Deacon reached out for her and tried to pull her back.
“Calm down. We're not here because it's our time. They can't see us. The only one who can see us is Lucifer and he's not around, clearly. So let's go.” Alice yanked herself away from him and began to walk.
Deacon caught up alongside her and they soon found themselves outside in an open field. Above them, the sky was yellow-black-swirling and the air so thin enough that Deacon found it hard to breathe.
“How long are we going to be here? This place sucks.” Deacon jammed his fists into his pockets.
“Time works differently here, Deacon.” Alice stopped and surveyed the field.
“What? Like we're in a different time zone?” Deacon started to walk his way through the thick weeds.
“Yeah, that's exactly how it works. There's central time, pacific time, and damnation time.”
Deacon turned around and put his finger in Alice's face. “Watch it. I'm not in the mood to deal with your bitchiness. I'm dealing with one Hell right now. We don't need to add PMS to the list of things that are making this day suck.” Deacon put his hand down and stared at her.
“Just so you know, D, we may only have been here for few minutes, but up there, we've been gone for a couple weeks now.”
Deacon's eyes grew wide. “Are you kidding me? Alice, that's not time working differently. That's time screwing us up the ass.”
Alice shoved past him and made her way through the weeds as well.
They came across a man standing in the middle of the field and they stood still, waiting to see what would happen.
“Don't move. Even if they can't see us, you don't want to get caught in whatever form of torture they are enduring.” Alice crouched in the weeds and pulled Deacon down beside her.
The man heard them and turned around. His eyes were white and his face had cuts all over it. He began to charge at Deacon and Alice but he was tripped by a weed. The weed shot out of the ground and drove itself into the man's eye-sockets. Vines began to grow out of the cuts on his face and his mouth. The vines pulled the man head first into the ground as he screamed.
Deacon threw up where he knelt.
“For the love of God, Deacon, be a man.”
Deacon turned to her and though he meant to say something sarcastic, all he could muster up was “How in the Hell did it see us? You said it wouldn't.”
Alice stood up now that the area was clear.
“They didn't see us. They saw me.”
Deacon stood up next to her, grabbed her by the hand and took off for the other end of the field, out of the weeds. Since the air was short, by the time they got out of the field, they were both winded and laying on the ground.
Deacon caught his breath and spoke “What are you t-talking a-about? Why are th-they after you?”
Deacon gasped for air and finally was able to take a deep breath and so was Alice.
“I escaped Hell a long time ago. And don't ask me what sent me here in the first place. I'm not even really sure how I escaped to be honest, it was so long ago. When I escaped, though, I was sent to Purgatory. I spent almost a hundred Earth-years in Purgatory, which is like a thousand or more years in Purgatory-years. Somehow, I crawled my way out of there, too. I honestly can't figure out what happened. But when I woke up, I was in this little girl's body and I knew where to find you. I suddenly knew all this information about Heaven and Hell and you and I knew it was my job to find out where you were and get you involved. Like I said, though, any reasoning behind why I escaped or why you're supposed to be involved is beyond me. I'm just the delivery man. Or woman.”
He looked at Alice with a hard expression of complete disbelief. “Well, the cosmos must have some pretty weird fetishes to stick your ass inside a little girl. Do we need to have the sex talk?” Deacon gave a half-assed grin.
“No thanks. I prefer my lessons from someone who has actually been with a woman and not just read about being with one.” Alice stood up and dusted her shirt off.
“Hey, I look at those magazines for the articles and nothing else.”
Alice raised an eyebrow. “Is that before or after you throw away the Kleenex?”
Deacon blushed and grew silent. He slowly turned around and began walking forward towards the woods.
As they pressed onward, Deacon began to get a severe headache. “I don't suppose you brought any Aspirin on the fieldtrip, did you?” He put his hand on his neck and popped it gently.
“You're fine. Most people get headaches here for a while. It's going to get pretty bad, though.”
Alice at this point was not looking at Deacon. It was as if she was trying to hide her shame. But what, Deacon wondered, was she ashamed of?
“Okay, stop. What are we even doing here? I know that Hell is real. Isn't that what this is all about; is it about me believing? I know it’s real. Now can we get the Hell out of here?” Deacon was fed up with everything he was seeing and his head was in agony.
“No, we can't. We aren't leaving until we find out where Lucifer is.” Alice looked out in the distance, as if she were entranced.
“What is your hang-up with the guy? You act like he's your long-lost lover or something.”
Deacon's eyes grew wide and disgust fell over his face.
“Dear Lord. You weren't bumping uglies with Satan were you? That's disgusting.”
Alice turned around and shot Deacon a death-glare.
“Of course I never slept with Lucifer, you sick bastard. We need to find him so we can see what he's up to. Y'know, because of the war?”
Alice was nearly on the verge of slapping him, when a creature came down from the sky and landed in front of them. The creature stood nearly ten feet tall; He had a snout and horns that curved. His body was black, but his skin looked like armor. His eyes were white and he was staring directly at the two of them.
“He's not here, Alice. He's gone.” Alice approached him slowly.
“Abigar, it has been so long. How are you?” She smiled at him gently and Deacon sat on the ground, awestruck.
“I'm far better than you will be if the Master's guards find you. They heard you've returned and you know their whole policy on escapees. Five-thousand years of torture, then probation.”
Alice gave a grim expression.
“You have to return to Earth. I'll open a gateway for you.” The demon extended a hand and a ring of fire began to burn the ground a few feet away.
“But, Abigar, where is Lucifer?” Alice asked as she grabbed Deacon by the hand and pulled him up.
“He walks the Earth. He is raising an army of man. Other than that, I cannot tell you where he is.”
Abigar grabbed Deacon and Alice and shoved them into the fire. Deacon closed his eyes and braced himself for the impact, but when he opened his eyes, he was standing next to Alice back in his house.

***
Deacon gasped for air and fell backwards into his chair. Alice looked at him nervously, waiting to see what he would say.
“Alice. So many questions I have for you.”
Alice looked around for a second. “First, get me some water. Just a glass.”
Deacon looked at her sideways for a second and got up. He went to the kitchen and filled a glass. He leaned over the sink and looked out the window, wishing that what he had just seen wasn't real, despite the fact that he knew it was. He took the glass out and handed it to Alice who proceeded to splash it on the symbol she had drawn.
“We have to completely get rid of this symbol. If we don't, demons can get through. If we close it on our end, it doesn't lead anywhere on theirs.”
Deacon sat back down. “And just who the Hell is Abigar, Alice? Another demon you got it on with?”
Alice turned around and threw the cup at him. “Are you calling me some kind of demon-whore?”
Deacon got up in her face. “If the knee-high boots and fish-nets fit.”
Alice punched Deacon in the face as hard as she could and felt her anger drift away as she watched him flip backwards over the chair.
Deacon got up slowly
“Damn.” He said as he wiped the blood from his lip.
Alice extended her arm and pulled him up. “Yeah, well...you don't crawl out of Hell and Purgatory without knowing how to beat some ass.”
Deacon laughed gently and sat on the arm of the chair.
“And for the record, D, Abigar is one of Lucifer's guards. Albeit he's a pretty rogue guard. He and I used to play the game where you would stab between your fingers as fast as you could, and if I won, he would let me out of my torture for the day.”
Deacon glared at her momentarily. “Fraternizing with an inmate. Sounds like he's the kind of guy your parents warned you about.”
Alice sat down across from Deacon.
“Well, in my day, a guy your parents warned you about was any guy who wore their petticoat open in public. I've been alive a very long time.”
Deacon let himself fall backwards and he closed his eyes. His head was racing and he and he couldn't lock into one thought. He opened his eyes and Alice was gone, along with any trace of her.
“Dear God. It was a dream. She wasn't real.”
He sat up slowly and looked around, smiling. He began to figure that he had actually woken up this morning, broken the mirror, walked out into the living room and passed out on the chair. He felt so relieved. He pulled on his coat and headed out the door to his normal bar.
***
Deacon entered the bar and Tony was working it instead of Missy, which was odd because Tony only worked when Missy couldn't-and that was never.
“Well son-of-a-bitch! If it isn't Deacon Klocke; haven’t seen your ass dragging in here in a couple months. How've you been, buddy?”
Tony was filling a beer pitcher and walked it over to a table where one of the regulars, Kevin, said “Don't bother talking to Deacon. Guy hasn't said a word in years.”
Deacon sat down and spun the bar-stool around. “Well, Kevin, maybe I'd be more inclined to talk if you'd buy my first beer.”
Deacon smiled and the Kevin's jaw dropped.
“I'll be damned. Gone for two, three weeks and now you're a regular Chatty Cathy.”
Deacon choked on his beer and shot himself back around. “How long?”
Kevin gave him an odd smile, stood up and walked over to the stool next to Deacon.
“Deacon, you strolled out of here one night about two weeks ago and nobody has heard from you since.”
Deacon stared into his mug.
“We all thought it was weird that you weren't dragging your drunk and disorderly in here every day, but at the same time, we knew that you didn't wanna be found if you were gone.” Kevin patted his shoulder.
Deacon quickly chugged the remaining three-fourths of his beer and stood up. “I gotta go.” He pulled on his coat and raced for the door.
Kevin sat at the bar and looked at Tony.
“That was weird.” Kevin said, looking at his empty glass. He looked up to Tony who looked just as puzzled as him. Kevin turned his attention from the door back onto Tony
“Appletini, please.”
Deacon ran from the bar, though he wasn’t sure why he was running. He wanted so badly to believe that everything that had happened and everything he had seen was just the price of being drunk through most of his young-adult life. But nonetheless, he knew that he had to know for sure, so he would race home and try to find Alice.
***
He ran in the front door and threw his coat to the ground. “Alice. Where are you?”
The room was silent. He must be nuts, right? It’s not like if Alice were real; she would just appear behind him, beer in hand, asking him why he had to shout so loudly.
Suddenly, Alice appeared behind him, beer in hand.
“Why do you have to shout so loudly, jackass?”
Deacon turned around. “Well, I was right up until the jackass part.”
Alice shot him a sideways look. “What?”
She ran her fingers through her hair while Deacon hung up his coat
“Nothing; so, it’s real, then? It wasn’t some dream, it was you finding me and taking me to Hell to see some pretty messed up things?”
Alice slouched back in the recliner and finished off her beer, which she promptly threw to the corner of Deacon’s kitchen and shattered.
“Yeah, it’s real; and sorry about the whole “emotionally scarring” you thing. Hell can get pretty raunchy.”
Deacon paced the floor, rubbing his neck as he often did when he was stressed out.
“Why, though? Why did I need to see this stuff? Why did you need to find me?” The last question surprised him, because up until that point he hadn’t questioned it.
“Why am I involved in all this? I’m not religious. I didn’t even believe in Hell, or Heaven for that matter, until a day ago, or a week ago, or however long I’ve been gone. So what do I have to do with any of this?”
Deacon’s face was turning red.
“I don’t know, Deacon. That’s why I went looking for Lucifer. I’m pretty sure that my orders to find you came from him, and that’s why we have to look for him.”
Deacon’s eyes grew wide.
“What? Are you insane? You want hunt down the devil to have a little chat with him? Are you suicidal? Because I’m sure as Hell not.” Deacon threw himself onto the couch and rubbed his eyes.
Alice stood up and began pacing, herself.
“Listen! If Lucifer thought you were a threat for some reason, he would have been having demons try to kill you your whole life. Abigar would’ve taken you to collect a bounty while we were in Hell. But that’s not the case and he clearly just wants to talk to you, so why don’t you just quit being a little bitch and help me track him down?”
Deacon studied her deeply. “Okay, I’ll bite. How do we track him down?”
Alice ran to the kitchen and found a knife.
“And what exactly are we doing with that?” Deacon sat up and began to get slightly defensive.
Alice twisted the knife in her hand, enjoying the scare it was giving Deacon.
“We need some blood; your blood. If Lucifer gets a whiff of it, he’ll come running like a fat kid to cake.”
Deacon thought for a second. “Fat kids don’t run, Alice.” He smirked gently.
Alice grabbed his hand and dragged the blade across it, leaving in its path a trail of maroon. Blood from his hand gently fell to the ground drop by drop. His hand burned immensely; far more than one would expect even for this type of injury.
“What the Hell, Alice? Why does my hand feel like it is being attacked by hornets?” Deacon cupped the bloody hand in his uninjured hand.
“This is a special knife. It’s used to intensify the aroma of blood to demons, it makes the blood smell stronger, taste sweeter, and it makes the pain even more painful. Enjoy.”
“You have this frankness about everything, Alice. You act like you don’t give a damn about anything. What gives?” Deacon began bandaging his hand.
“I’m a warrior, D. I crawled out and came back to Earth. Do you honest think that I can just not learn how to defend myself? Up until I had to babysit you, the only person I had to look after was me. And at that point in time, the only thing that mattered was staying alive and I didn’t care who I had to trample all over to do it.”
Alice sat down in front of Deacon’s blood and began to trace out another symbol on the floor.
“You people have completely mutilated perfectly good rituals over the years, y’know? Back in the old days, before movies, when people would act out stories of the great wars between Heaven and Hell, or Lucifer’s fall to grace, or even their personal encounters with demons, nobody ever thought to doctor the lore or symbols so that they didn’t work quite right. So many people died because in the process of telling their stories, they would summon something that would completely rip them to shreds.”
Deacon stood up and walked to the kitchen for another bandage. “Well on behalf of all mankind, we’re sorry for upsetting the delicate balance.”
He wrapped his gauze further.
“Eventually, people began to wise up and stopped performing the rituals correctly so nothing would be summoned. When Hollywood started picking up on movies about demons, they would change the Latin words, or they would make minor changes to the symbols and then the most horrific thing that would happen were the post-production reviews about how awful the special effects were. Honestly, have you seen some of those movies? I would much rather have seen the actors be ripped to shreds. But then again, I’m a cynic.”
“So what’s the deal with that symbol?” Deacon knelt down beside her and studied it.
The symbol consisted of an upside-down pentagram with the sun in the bottom point, and two moons in the side points.
“The upside-down pentagram is a symbol of materialistic things over God and is often thought of as Devil worship. It’s sort of like if Lucifer had his own crucifix, it would be this. The sun represents him, The Morning Star, and the waxing and waning crescent moons are beneath the sun because the light triumphs over the darkness. The symbol as a whole allows for Lucifer to find us easier. Now, one last thing.”
Alice grabbed the knife and dragged it across her hand. She ran her other index finger through the blood and began drawing a circle around the symbol.
“It is sealed, now. So, if the symbol is broken at any point, Lucifer will be sent back to Hell which will allow us time to leave if necessary.”
Deacon shot her an annoyed look.
“But, it won’t be necessary, right? Lucifer isn’t going to kill us.”
Alice reached in her pocket and pulled out a very old piece of parchment.
“I don’t know. I won’t be where he can find me. If he does find me, he’ll have me taken back to Hell to be ripped apart.”
Deacon shoved her shoulder so she was facing him. “What the Hell, Alice? You’re gonna just bail on me and leave me face-to-face with Lucifer? You’re such a bitch, you know that?”
Alice pushed him back onto the couch. “You’re fine, Deacon. He isn’t going to kill you. And I will be watching. Calm down.”
“I’m going to summon him now.”
Deacon watched as Alice closed her eyes and breathed slowly. She traced a symbol in the air above the symbol, though he wasn’t sure what it was. She began to chant slowly.
“Lucifer venire ad me, sto humiliter vestrum. Lucifer venire ad me, sto humiliter vestrum. Lucifer venire ad me, sto humiliter vestrum.”
She finished chanting and the blood on the ground began to boil, but the seal never broke.
“He’s coming, Deacon. He’s already caught the scent. Good luck.”
With that, Alice disappeared before his eyes and he was left alone. The blood set and dried instantly. Though he fought against it, Deacon was shaking. He would never admit it but he was scared—this was some very heavy stuff he was dealing in. Any minute now, he would be face-to-face with the angel who took his fall from Heaven, and has damned souls ever since.
“Dammit. This is not okay.” Suddenly, Deacon heard footsteps behind him and he turned swiftly. What stood before him was a tall man of nearly six feet, slicked-back silver hair, a white suit, silver eyes, and an aura of complete beauty.
“Hello Deacon, my child. You have finally sought me out. And here I thought I would never see you again.”

SouthernRiver4
February 21st, 2013, 04:19 PM
CHAPTER THREE: LUCIFER’S QUANDARY

“I’ve waited for this day for so long, Deacon.” Lucifer approached Deacon and gently stroked his cheek.
“Hey, hey, hands off the merchandise, pal.”
Lucifer took a step back and observed everything about Deacon.
“I heard you spent a little time in Hell. How was that?”
Deacon was blindsided by the question and found it difficult to muster up an answer.
“I take it you had some help, yes?” Lucifer smiled wickedly as he watched the terror creep up on Deacon. “Where is Alice, Deacon?”
Deacon looked to the ground and thought for a moment. He couldn’t sell out Alice now, could he? She may be a huge pain in the ass, but Deacon trusted her and he couldn’t flip on her.
“I don’t know who you’re talking about, you smarmy son-of-a-bitch. Now, you’re gonna answer my questions.” Deacon braced himself.
“My, my, aren’t we feisty today?” Lucifer sat in the recliner while retaining perfect posture.
Deacon looked him dead in the eye and fired off his first question. “Why is there a war going on between Heaven and Hell?”
Lucifer calmly spoke “Deacon, haven’t you read the Bible? There has been a war between Heaven and Hell from the second I was cast out.”
Deacon began to pace. “Alright, but what is your goal? Why are you trying so hard to bring down Heaven?”
Lucifer stood up and looked offended. “Bring down Heaven? Deacon, you are beyond confused. Your mind has been poisoned by everything you’ve been told. I do not wish to bring down Heaven. I wish to save it from an unjust rule.”
Deacon turned to him sharply, eyes blazing.
“Don’t you give me that crap, dammit. There is nothing unjust going on upstairs. You’re a power-hungry, ego-maniac who wants nothing more than to monopolize the cosmos.”
Lucifer walked up to Deacon and gripped his throat tightly, slowly pushing him to his knees. “You will watch your tone when you speak to your king.”
Deacon began to turn a reddish-purple color and gasped for air gently.
“God and his angels don’t love you, Deacon. They don’t love anyone. They see you and every worthless human like you as pawns that they can use to make examples out of the wicked. You are nothing but a tool to them. They will use you to suit their agendas how they see fit. But that is not how I operate, it never has been. I care about each and every person who is wise enough to turn their back on an unjust rule and follow me into everlasting glory. Through me, there is no apocalypse, there is no judgment day; there is no war, plague, death, or famine. There is only glory.”
Lucifer released the throat of the barely conscious Deacon.
“Is that why I had to watch people be torn apart down there?” Deacon rubbed his throat gently. “Because you’re so gracious?”
Lucifer grabbed Deacon by the arm of his shirt and pulled him up.
“There are those, my child, who not only turn their backs on God, but turn their backs on me. They choose not to rise up with me, and in doing so, they effectively choose eternal damnation with no hope of retribution.”
Lucifer adjusted some of the shelved figurines throughout the living room as he passed them.
“Okay. So where do I fit in to this whole mess?” Deacon rubbed his neck gently, almost wishing he hadn’t asked, sure that he didn’t want to know.
“You are meant for more than you could have ever imagined, Deacon. You are the most powerful weapon that Heaven or Hell has against the other. You have a quality that nobody in the history of all the world has ever had. And this makes you my greatest asset and my biggest threat.”
Deacon shot him a very sharp glare. “What are you talking about? What quality? I’m the town drunk who has never contributed to society in the slightest. I haven’t even paid my bar tab in years.”
Lucifer snapped his fingers.
“There. Now you have. You have officially contributed to this town’s economics. Congratulations, your bar debt is paid.”
Deacon rolled his eyes. “Oh thanks, man. Now I’m just itching to join your side in this epic pissing contest.”
“Listen to me. In due time, you will understand why you are so powerful. But first, you need to make a decision on whose side it is you’re going to play for. The choice is all yours and nobody can stop you from choosing the other side. However, and God will tell you the same thing too, if you choose the opposing side, you will become the other’s enemy.” Lucifer straightened his tie. “I of course cannot tell you which side to choose.”
Deacon sat down slowly, trying to take in all of this information. “Well how am I supposed to make an educated decision, here?”
Lucifer approached the front door. “I don’t know, Deacon. Read the Bible or something, attend mass, and attend satanic rituals for all I care. Bottom line, you have one year to make a decision on which side you’re planning to take. Do whatever you have to do to prepare yourself.”
Lucifer walked to Deacon and stood over him. He leaned down and kissed his head softly. “And remember, I’m always here when you need me.”
In the next instant, Deacon looked up and Lucifer was gone.
Alice reappeared across the room. “So, how did it go, D?”
Deacon looked at her with a disturbed expression. “I think I was just molested by the devil.”
Alice sat down next to him and put her hand on his shoulder. “It happens to the best of them, buddy. Don’t take it too personally.”
Deacon brushed her hand off. “You tell me. Is gluing my asshole shut so I can sleep at night taking it too personally?”
Alice’s head cocked slightly to the left. “Now that response warrants a beer.” Alice reached in her bag and pulled out two bottles.
“No thanks, I’ve got my own juice.” Deacon reached in his coat pocket and pulled out a silver flask. He laid back and closed his eyes. Alice did the same, while still sipping from her beer. Deacon opened one eye and looked at Alice.
“Silences in alcohol; this is just like dinner with my family back then. It was a more innocent time, you know?”
Alice remained silent for a moment, as if she were analyzing what Deacon had just said. “Deacon, shut up.” She finished off her beer and disappeared.
“Great, alone again; now it’s exactly like dinner with my family.”
Deacon got up, set his flask back in his jacket and walked back to his bedroom. Hopefully, tomorrow would be better, but even he knew that was a load of crap.

SouthernRiver4
February 21st, 2013, 04:20 PM
CHAPTER FOUR: DEACON GOT RUN OVER BY A HELLHOUND.

Deacon saw him through the aisles of the grocery store. But at the same time, he didn’t. All he could see were the quick flashes of a white suit out of his peripheral, but when he would turn around, it wouldn’t be anywhere he could see.
He could feel himself panic as he looked at the different shoppers. They were all staring directly at him. He could feel their hate searing his flesh. Without really knowing what to do, or thinking at all for that matter, Deacon ran to the bathroom as quickly as he could and shut the door behind him. He ran up to the mirror and saw his own reflection, breathless and sweaty. He looked ill, and while he was panicking and losing his mind, the mirrors began to close in around him and spin rapidly. His reflection smiled and laughed at him.
“Make a choice, Deacon.” One would say with a wicked laugh to follow.
“You must choose God, little one.” Another spoke.
Deacon gripped his head tightly and screamed. “Go to Hell, all of you!”
The mirrors stopped spinning and merged into one.
Deacon’s reflection came to life and stepped out of the mirror, standing nose-to-nose with the real Deacon.
“Go to Hell? You’re already there.”
All around him, the scene changed to the field Alice and Deacon stood in during their time in Hell. The weeds came to life and began chasing after him. Deacon couldn’t outrun them, and they grabbed him by his ankles. The vines pushed their way under his fingernails and into his nostrils and began filling up his body. They pulled him towards a small hole in the ground that only a mouse could squeeze through, and began pulling him downwards, breaking every bone in his body. The pain was excruciating up until he felt his neck break, then nothing hurt anymore. He was finally dead.
Deacon woke up in the middle of a dark alleyway, next to a trashcan. He stood up slowly and gently ran his hands over his body, making sure he was in one piece.
“Thank God. That was the worst dream I’ve ever had.” He rubbed his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair. “When I get home, I’m getting rid of all my alcohol.”
He began to walk towards the street at the end of the alleyway.
“After I finish what’s in the flask.”
At the end of the alley, he stepped a foot out onto the sidewalk. The moment he did, he heard a snarling in the distance, but still fairly close. He pulled his foot back and surveyed his surroundings. There was nothing to be seen, so he shook off his anxiety and stepped completely out into the street. With every step he took, the snarling seemed to grow louder and fiercer. He was sure he was losing it, so he tried to pay as little mind to it as possible.
When he finally got to the end of the street to turn the corner, from behind the different buildings and out of the alleyways came seven black dogs with completely white eyes, no pupils, and their fur and skin was torn and bloody. They snarled louder and approached Deacon slowly. He became overwhelmed by terror and ran in the opposite direction as fast as he could.
He made it back to the alley he started in and he was cornered. The dogs began to slowly creep up on him. They pounced and began to tear at his flesh. Suddenly, time stopped and the dogs froze. A figured began walking down the alley.
“Well, Deacon. Do you have any question that any of this is reality?”
Deacon, still pinned by the dogs, now immovable, jerked quickly trying to get free.
“What game are you playing at, Lucifer? You said you wouldn’t influence my decision. Last time I checked, torture is pretty much a persuasive technique.”
The figured stopped just shy of the dim light above the door, his face still shrouded in shadows.
“Stupid, child; I’m not Lucifer. I am the true king of Hell.” The clone of Deacon, clad in a white suit, stepped forward into the light.
“What? Who are you?” Deacon tried desperately to move the dogs.
The evil Deacon leaned forward on a knee next to Deacon’s face. “You will say yes. Or being torn apart by hellhounds will be your fate. You will say yes.”
The evil Deacon grabbed the good one by the face and slammed his head into the concrete, killing him.
***
Deacon woke up in a pool of sweat, gasping for air. He put his hand on the back of his head and checked for blood. His eyes focused at someone standing in the doorway of his room, but it was too dark to make out their face, though he knew who it was.
“What the Hell, Alice?”
Alice stepped forward and spoke coldly. “We have to go.”

SouthernRiver4
February 22nd, 2013, 02:32 AM
CHAPTER 5: DEMONS ARE SUCH HORDES

Deacon sat up in bed, dazed from the dream from which he had just woke. Even now that he was awake he felt as though he was still dreaming. Alice walked over to him hurriedly and shook him, trying to snap him into reality.
“Deacon—Deacon, come on. We don’t have time to screw around.” She began giving him gentle slaps on the cheek.
He was still out of it, barely conscious and found it difficult to make even one coherent sentence—he felt as though he had just run a marathon. He physically could not wake up entirely. Alice grabbed him and pulled him up; she had to hold on to him and lean him against her shoulder for support. He became too heavy for her to hold and they both fell over, him on top of her. He woke up, face in her breasts.
“It’s not my birthday, Alice. But these are nice anyway.” He looked at her and stood up quickly, noticing that she was no longer in the body of the Girl Scout, but in the body of a very attractive, dark-haired, large-breasted woman, roughly twenty-three years of age.
Alice stood up and grabbed him by the shoulders, focusing her now green eyes onto his silver ones. “Deacon, we have to go. There’s demons coming and you’re not ready to fight them.”
He gave Alice a sideways look. “What in the Hell are you talking about—demons coming around here? Why?”
Alice began rushing around his room trying to find an over-night bag. Once she did, she began to half-assedly pack it with t-shirts, jeans, and his black boots. She tossed him his leather jacket and since it was dark, he struggled to pull it on.
“Well, they’re after me. Lucifer knows I’ve been hanging around here and now he has a bounty out for me. And since you wouldn’t know which way was up in this war without me, you and I have to get the Hell out of here so that I can keep you from getting in too deep.”
The reality of the situation began to sink in with Deacon. There was no longer a question in his mind that he had been thrown into the mix of something far bigger than himself, and as such, he would have to do whatever it took to save everyone. He pulled on his coat and fixed the collar turned-up the way he liked it. He ran across the room to a canister of Folgers coffee mix, and reached inside. He pulled out a wad of cash rolled and bound with a rubber band.
“Alright, Alice—let’s get out of here.”
Alice pulled a set of keys out of the pocket of the black vest she was wearing against the white V-neck that presented her cleavage in an erotic way—nearly showing.
Deacon grabbed his bag and pulled it over his shoulder. They began walking out of his bedroom and towards the front door when Deacon remembered something.
“Here. Take this to the car; I’ll be there in a second.” He shoved his bag into her arms and she walked out the door.
Deacon turned himself around and ran to a gun rack in the back room. He pulled out a shotgun and a box of shells. He wasn’t sure what he was up against, but he felt safer with the gun anyway. He ran back to the living room and he stopped short of the door. He looked behind him—remembering all the horrible memories that this house held. Maybe that’s why his heart has been so heavy all these years. The event was traumatic, but the real problem was the house itself—never quite being able to escape it.
He turned back to the door and walked outside, leaving the old place behind; he had a feeling that he would be leaving it for good. He looked over to the car and he saw Alice motioning to him. Deacon ran to the car and got in, setting the shotgun behind the middle console.
“Really; a shotgun to protect us from demons? Are you out of your freakin’ mind?” Alice gave him a nasty glare while she threw the car in reverse and peeled out, speeding down the street.
“Hey, I didn’t know. I’ve never been on the run from demons before, Alice. This whole thing is a little screwed up, don’t you think?” Now it was his turn to shoot her a painfully stern look.
“No talking for a while.” Alice’s eyes were fixed on the road.
“What? Why? And where the hell are we going?” Deacon started to feel really uneasy. He trusted Alice, but to what extent? How did he know that she wasn’t going to get them both killed?
“We’re going to the casino a few towns over. That’s where I found this girl and she was with a guy. Something was off about him. I can sense certain things about people, and every instinct tells me that he was a warlock or something. We need his help.” Alice kept her eyes on the road, speaking coldly and never once looking at Deacon.
“So, this guy that you don’t know, and you aren’t even sure what he is, is going to be the one to save us from some kind of demon horde?” Deacon rubbed his neck again, feeling the stress rising.
“If he’s a warlock, then you’re damn right he can help us. There was something powerful about him, and I’m gonna bet that if he is this powerful warlock, then he can probably lend a hand with some demon protection. Now shut up. I need some time to think.” She shot Deacon a quick glance that let him know that if he talked again, she would end his existence.
They sat silently in the car while Alice sped down the road. Deacon was simply trying to process all of this, but he was finding it increasingly difficult. He had so many questions festering in his brain, but he didn’t know where to start. And of course, asking Alice was out of the question, so all he could really do was just sit there in silence and watch as the rain gently fell on the windshield of the car.

***
The drive to the casino seemed to take forever, despite Alice’s blatant disregard for the speed limit. Finally, they arrived in front of a grand green and white casino-The Emerald Casino. They parked in the parking lot, quite a distance from the entrance. Made their way inside and looked around.
There were old men in suits with beautiful, young women on their arms and older ladies in glittering dresses and fur scarves. The whole place smelled like a smoker’s lounge and gentle undertones of alcohol; cheap alcohol, at that.
“Are you sure we aren’t back in Hell, Alice?” She and Deacon proceeded past the slot machines towards the back of the casino.
“Keep your mouth shut, Deacon. We don’t need this whole thing going to Hell because you can’t keep your smartass comments to yourself; that’s kind of what we’re here to avoid.”
In the distance, across the casino, they saw him--the man they had come to meet. He stood a little over six-feet-tall, jet-black hair with little slivers of gray, a black button-up shirt with the top two buttons undone and a black sports-coat to match. His whole looked was pulled together with a strong jaw, stubble, and bright blue eyes. As they approached him, they noticed that he was surrounded by many beautiful women.
“You see, Ireland is a beautiful country, ladies. Full of lush green fields and the wonderful smell of…rain. You see, it’s all about perspective. One might take a journey to Ireland for the red-heads and the booze, and some will go to admire the landscape. Then there are those like myself who travel there, and come back here to appreciate beauty in everything. Ireland can truly help one get his spirit back.”
The girls swarmed closer with various oohs and aahs as he spoke. So gently and soft was his tone that even Deacon slightly found himself enthralled.
“Is this guy for real?” Alice glared at him.
“What?” Deacon snapped back to reality and realized where he was. “Oh, yeah; d-damn him and his…charm.” Deacon wondered if Alice was buying it.
Alice, who wasn’t buying it, grabbed Deacon by the arm and pushed him up next to a table and spoke under her breath in his ear so no one else would hear.
“You stay behind a way, and I’ll motion you a signal when I want you to follow behind me. Behind me.” She took off away from Deacon and approached the man.
“Sweetie.” Alice got his attention and the man nervously rose from his seat and fumbled through the sea of women.
“Katherine, sweetheart, I was just coming to find you.” He took her hand and kissed it softly.
“Well, thank goodness you were. I’m getting quite tired, and if we’re going to—talk—before bed, then we should probably hurry up to our suite.
The man interlocked fingers with Alice and they strolled off towards a long hallway, which had an elevator at the end. Deacon stared after her, waiting for the signal. Suddenly, not to Deacon’s surprise, she held her middle finger up to Deacon behind her back. Deacon rolled his eyes and followed slowly behind her, so it wouldn’t look like he was following slowly behind her.
***
Alice and the man made their way out of the elevator once upstairs, and approached a room. Deacon, who took the elevator behind them, was still impersonating his best James Bond, and trying to sneak his way behind corners to remain inconspicuous.
Right outside the room, the man began to devour Alice’s neck with his tongue, while he fumbled to find the keycard slide. This allowed Deacon enough time to get close enough to them to enter the room before the man shut the door.
Inside the room, the lights were off and the man was wasting no time getting his shirt off. Deacon stood in the doorway and waited to flip the light on. Alice and the man had made their way onto the bed, and Deacon could hardly keep from being nauseated.
“For the love of God, enough.” Deacon flipped the switch.
Alice and the man sat straight up. The man’s shirt was nearly unbuttoned, and Alice, who was breathing heavily and had lipstick smeared nearly to her cheek, was adjusting her bra.
“What the Hell, man? This is a private party.” The man picked up the bed-side-table box of Kleenex and threw it at Deacon who dodged to the left and missed it.
Alice stood up and stood next to Deacon. “We need to talk.”
The man stumbled to his feet and adjusted his hair. “Katherine, what is this? Who is this guy?”
Alice walked up to him and shoved him back onto the bed. “I’m gonna keep this brief, handsome. I’m not Katherine, and you’re going to answer a few questions for me.”
Deacon, unsure what to do with himself, sat back in a chair and watched Alice verbally bitch-slap the guy.
“What do you mean you’re not Katherine? What in God’s name is going on here?” The man flipped himself to the other side of the bed and pulled a knife from under the pillow which he pointed at Alice, hand shaking.
“That’s cute, hun. Does it come in a big-boy size?” Alice rolled herself across the bed, and used the force of the spin to kick the man in the chest and knock the wind out of him. He fell back against the wall, dropped the knife, and passed out.
Deacon stood up, mouth agape. “Good Lord, Alice. Did you kill him?” Deacon ran over to his and checked his pulse.
“Hardly; he’s just knocked out. We’re going to tie him to that chair and when he wakes up, we’ll have our answers.” Alice walked over to the chair and pulled it over to the wall next to the man.
“It’s almost like you had this all planned.” Deacon stood up, and grabbed the guy by the arm to hoist him into the chair.
“Well, in a job like this, you have to be prepared for anything.” Alice reached in her purse and pulled out a rope that was neatly bound up. She unraveled it, and began to wrap it around the man.
***
An hour passed and he finally woke up, arms and torso bound to the chair. He was groggy, but he managed to speak.
“What is going on, y-you psycho bitch?” He had a hard time holding his head up, so he just kept it down.
“You got your ass handed to you by a girl, chief. That would’ve been embarrassing if you were a guy.” Deacon was laying back on the bed, casually leafing through a magazine which he put down when it came time to torment the man.
The man lifted his head. “You guys want my money? Take it. My wallet is in my back pocket.” He looked Alice dead in the face.
“Already did, Silas.” Alice picked up and waved the wallet in the air. “Yeah, Silas Kelly; twenty dollars in your wallet, which is now in my purse… and this.” Alice dropped the wallet and picked up a necklace.
The necklace was an upside-down pentagram with a seal around it. It had the sun and moon in it, just like the symbol Alice drew. It was the same symbol, in fact. Deacon hadn’t noticed when Alice pulled it out, and she didn’t say anything to him.
“Where’d you get this, Mr. Kelly?” Alice approached him and swung it in front of his face.
Silas glared at her. “It was my grandfather’s. When he died, I saw it and thought it looked nice. When I realized what a pentagram actually was, I quit wearing it. But since it was his, I decided to keep it with me.”
“Decided to keep it with you or couldn’t sell it because it wasn’t actually made of gold? Just painted.” Alice jammed the necklace into her pocket and gripped his wrists on either arm of the chair.
Silas smiled a cocky smile. “Can’t blame me, can you, sweetheart? A man’s gotta eat.” He looked down and laughed gently.
“Yeah, what you like to eat can’t be found in any grocery store.” Alice jerked away and went back to the table.
“Actually, it can--if there aren’t any kids around.” Silas looked up and smiled devilishly.
Deacon put down his magazine and stood up. “Alright, well, that’s about enough of that. So, how about you tell us what we want to know and Alice here doesn’t have to show you whose boss, anymore. Whattya say?” Deacon matched Silas’s devilish smile.
“I like you.” Silas turned his attention from Deacon to Alice. “I like him. He’s got spunk.” Silas turned back to Deacon and gave him a reassuring nod.
“In America, we actually call it syphilis.” Alice didn’t look at either of them as she was busy re-counting the one’s from Silas’s wallet.
Deacon and Silas both simultaneously said “Shut up, you bitch.” They both looked back at each other and gave the other a reassuring nod.
“Fine, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.” Silas threw his head to the side sharply and popped his neck.
Alice jumped up quickly and ran over to Silas. “You’re a warlock. And you’re going to help Deacon and I protect ourselves from a bunch of demons that are after us.”
Silas cocked his head to the side. “See, now, that’s not actually a question—that’s a demand. And at any rate, no, I’m not a warlock. If I could do magic, I’d be called a mage anyway; sounds so much cooler.” He adjusted his head back the right way. “And did you say that you had demons after you? Like demon-demons? Like, Fresh Prince of Hell-Air demons?”
Deacon couldn’t help but smile.
“Why yes, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. Now how do we fight off these demons?” Alice got her face close to Silas’s.
Silas slowly rose to his feet, his hands free from the binds, though neither Alice nor Deacon saw him undo the rope. Alice slowly stepped back as Silas towered over her. He placed his hands on Alice’s shoulders and slowly pushed her to the side.
“Look, kids. I’m sympathetic to your cause. Being chased down by demons sucks, but, there is nothing I can do about it. Not only is far beyond the scope of any magic I can do, it’s too risky and if it isn’t done right, then we could just end up summoning more demons. But, good luck to you both.”
With that, Silas opened the door and left. Alice ran out after him, but little to her surprise, he was gone. She walked back in the room and sat at the table. She placed her face in her hands and let out a deep sigh. Deacon, who was still unsure of himself approached her and placed his hand on her shoulder.
“Look, Alice. It’s not the end of the world. Yet. We’ll find a way to beat the Hell out of these demons. We’ll be fine.” He actually felt a little pride, because he knew he had just turned it around for her.
“How can you say that, D?” She fixed her tear-soaked eyes on him “You barely trust me. How do I know that you aren’t going to just bail on me?” She looked away sharply.
“You don’t.” Deacon looked out the window. “But I won’t. It’s not just any woman I’d let pull me out of bed in the middle of the night and take me to a casino under the threat of a demon attack.”
She looked back at him and smiled softly. “You’re so sweet, Deacon.”
“I know. I am. It’s true.” Deacon walked into the bathroom and closed the door.
He turned on the water for a shower and Alice walked over to the second bed. She laid herself out on it and before she knew it, she was asleep.
***
Nearly an hour passed, and Deacon finally came out of the bathroom, clean shaven and hair styled—bangs upward. He approached Alice, who was still asleep, and looked beautiful, stood over her, smiling softly. He went to his bag and pulled out the clothes to get dressed.
He whispered softly to her to wake her up “Alice, wake up.”
She turned over to him, eyes hazy, and smiled gently at him. “Deacon?” She sat up and looked him over. “Wow, D. You clean up really well.”
Deacon looked down and smiled. “Thanks.” He looked over at the clock. “So what are we gonna do, Alice?”
Alice laid her head back and looked at the ceiling. “I don’t know. I honestly thought Silas could help.”
Deacon gave her a bit of a sideways look “Well, in all fairness Alice, you kind of went at him with some unnecessary roughness. I think the whole tying him up thing was a bit much, don’t you think?”
As soon as he finished speaking, there was a knock on the door and a voice rang out “Housekeeping.” Deacon looked at Alice a bit cross.
“Uh, no thanks, the room is occupied.” Deacon looked over at the door, and there was silence. He waited a moment, and still there was silence.
He was about to speak again, when the voice rang out a second time. “Housekeeping.”
Deacon stood up and went to the door and opened it. “Look, lady. We don’t need any damn houseke-” The woman at the door wore a maid’s uniform; her face was slightly rotting away, revealing bone, and her eyes were white.
“Mother of God!” Deacon slammed the door in her face and looked at Alice. “What was that?”
Alice jumped up and began gathering the over-night bag. “It’sademonwegottago.”
“Go where? We’re on the sixth floor of casino-hotel and our only exit is being guarded by a living, breathing corpse. Are we gonna jump out the window?” By now, the woman was slamming herself against the door, and Deacon was struggling to keep it closed.
Another voice, a man’s voice, rang out from the hallway. “Get out here, Alice. We know you’re in there.” There was a loud pounding on the door.
Slowly, more and more demons began to gather outside the door until the hallway was completely impassable. Alice ran over and grabbed the chair by the table and wedged it up under the door handle.
“Come on!” Alice grabbed Deacon by the wrist, picked up the bag and headed for the window. “Don’t worry, Deacon. There’s a fire escape, let’s go.”
Deacon opened the window and the two of them climbed out onto the fire escape. They quickly ran down to the alley below where they were confronted by a whole group of demons, all taking on the appearance of humans with the exception of rotting flesh and completely white eyes. One of them, an old man in a blue sports-coat approached them.
“Come along now, Alice. The Master needs to see you.” The man reached a hand out for her.
“You can tell the Master to shove it up his ass.” Deacon had to hold an increasingly feisty Alice back from charging the man who was big enough to eat her as a side-dish—and not in the good way.
Suddenly, a voice came from behind them. “You know, old man, with all the other fine pieces of ass crawling around this piss-poor excuse for a casino, you really shouldn’t be so picky with this one, little lady.”
It was Silas, who stood behind them with a sword in-hand.
Deacon was dumbfounded. “Silas? What are you doing here?”
Silas approached the middle ground between Alice, Deacon, and the demons. He got himself in a battle-stance and readied his blade. “Well, I guess I was just overly-sympathetic to your position, and I’m not used to leaving such a beauty behind. And I figured I had to save Alice, too.”
Deacon was oddly okay with the compliment.
“Now, am I going to be shredding you one-by-one or do you prefer the overly dramatic horde move where you all charge me and I emerge victorious through a pile of your bodies?”
The old one in the front charged Silas first. Silas swung his blade and decapitated him. After him, a few more came up to be slaughtered. Silas spent nearly four minutes hacking away at the group of demons; stabbing them in the chest or stomach and decapitating them. Soon, he had finished off the last demon, and was standing in a pool of their blood.
“Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?” Silas cleaned his blade one of the few shirts without blood spattered all over it. “So, you want to know how to kill demons?”
Alice spoke nervously “Or just protect ourselves from them.”
He sheathed his blade over his shoulder. “No, no. Catch a fish for a man, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’s ready to kick some demon ass anytime he needs to.” Silas stepped between Alice and Deacon. “Kids, you’re gonna learn how to kill a demon.”
Deacon shot Alice a nervous look.
Silas began walking towards the street. “Should be fun; come along now.” He turned the corner. Deacon and Alice broke up their mutual stare and ran after him, afraid of running into more demons.
They caught up with him a few buildings down. He stopped, turned to Alice and with a smile he said “And I’ll want my necklace back, thanks.” Alice reached in her pocket, pulled it out, and turned it over to him. They walked a few more blocks in silence until they reached a run-down bar.
“Okay, so I lied. This won’t be fun. This will be a nightmare.” Silas opened the door, and the three of them filed in.

SouthernRiver4
February 23rd, 2013, 05:08 PM
CHAPTER SIX: THE CURIOUS CASE OF SILAS AND THE MENTOR

The bar was disgusting; the floors were old, dirty, and rotting—the smell of cheap alcohol, vomit, and nachos was enough to make you want to turn right around and leave without ever looking back.
“Home sweet home, boys and girls” Silas ushered Alice and Deacon towards the back of the bar by a door. “In ‘ere is where they keep me.”
He opened the door and inside was a fairly nice room with a bed, a couch, a television, and a bathroom. All along the walls were pictures of naked women in seductive poses. Most of the posters involved two or more girls posing together. There were a few women actually wearing clothing, but they were straddling cars. There was a Beatles poster, a Led Zeppelin poster, an Aerosmith poster, and a Spice Girls poster. Across the room, the other wall was filled with pages from books where the text was written on parchment. They were all written in Latin and were covered in pentagrams both upside-down and right-side up.
Alice walked across the room and surveyed everything critically. “So, you are in-fact a warlock, or a mage, or whatever?” She turned sharply to stare at Silas.
“I dabble.” Silas said casually, leafing through a book from his shelf. “I mean, I can do very basic spells. Binding spells that bind two people to each other’s lives forever; transparency spells to make myself invisible. Basic stuff, really.” He flipped the book to a page towards the end and set it on the table.
“So, can you help us ward off the demons?” Deacon sat on Silas’s bed and looked at all of the pictures and posters.
“No. I told you before—the kind of spells necessary to ward off something as powerful as a demon is beyond the scope of my ability. We’ll have to talk to the Mentor.” Silas grabbed a small box off of his shelf and sifted through its contents which seemed to be mostly consistent of chicken bones.
“And who is the mentor?” Alice was becoming very impatient. She was nervous, and it was beginning to show.
“The Mentor is the guy who trained me as a mage. Or, I suppose I should say that he is still training me. That’s why I get to stay here—he owns this bar.” Silas closed the box and pushed it back onto the shelf. He walked over to the book and mumbled a few of its lines under his breath.
Alice ran across the room and grabbed Silas by the shoulders, causing him to drop his book. “Take us to the mentor—now.” Alice was really starting to unravel.
Deacon could see how upset and how scared Alice was. Part of him wanted so desperately to take the fear away from her. He wasn’t sure what was going on, and he was fairly confident that what he was feeling was based on nothing more than Alice being the only girl to interact with him for so long, but he felt like he was starting to like her. But he knew that having any emotional attachment to her, or rather, romantic attachment to her was just like mixing business with pleasure—surely catastrophic.
“The Mentor doesn’t like to be interrupted. I will, however, see if he is willing to meet with you. But you must kindly take your damn hands off of me.” Silas grabbed her arms and threw her hands back to her sides.
Silas exited the room, slamming the door behind him.
“I don’t like his attitude, Deacon.” She gently pounded her fist on his table.
“Well Alice, if he knows how to kill some demons, then we really don’t have a choice but to stick with him whether we like him or not. I really don’t think he’s that bad, though.” Deacon laid himself back on the pillow and looked at the REO Speedwagon poster above Silas’s bed. “I will say—he decorates like a damn seventeen-year-old.”
Alice sat down in the chair at the table and leafed through the book that Silas had dropped. It was full of different rituals and hexes; charms and potion mixes. “This guy is a regular Harry Potter. Just, without the gay glasses. And his accent isn’t nearly as annoying.”
***
Some time later, Silas re-entered the room with a smile that could light up a city. “I am absolutely a genius, my friends.” He grabbed Deacon by the arm and pulled him up. “The Mentor will see you, no problem.”
Alice stood up next to Deacon and glared intensely at Silas while he was busy not acknowledging her.
Silas opened the door and ushered them out. “Right this way, now--step lively.” He closed the door behind them. He stepped in front of Deacon and led them upstairs.
The upstairs loft overlooked the rest of the bar, and at the far end, on the other side, was a door with a gold plate on it that said nothing at all—it was blank. Silas reached out and opened it, and inside was a tall, black man in a white, button-up shirt and black pants. He looked nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not someone who practices witchcraft. He gave them a smile and ushered them in.
“Hello, my friends. How are we doing this evening?” His voice and his manner were so charming; Alice and Deacon both nearly fell for him.
“We’re doing fine, sir.” Deacon took one of the chairs in front of the Mentor. “But we need to know how to kill a demon.”
“How to kill a demon?” The Mentor adjusted himself in his chair. “That’s awfully ambitious of you, don’t you think?”
“Not when my life is at stake.” Alice threw herself into the chair next to Deacon and gave The Mentor the most screwed-up look. “We need to kill these sons-of-bitches, or we need a spell to protect ourselves—something.”
Silas stepped up and placed a hand on her shoulder. “I told you that you would be learning how to kill them, not let us do it for you.”
Alice looked at his hand angrily and looked up towards his face. Quickly getting the message, Silas returned his hand to his side.
Deacon leaned over across the desk separating him from The Mentor. “Okay, so, how do you kill a demon?”
The Mentor’s face became serious and the whole room went silent—you couldn’t hear anyone breathing, because nobody was. Everybody just waited for an answer.
The Mentor stood up and looked out his window to the tattered streets below, dimly lit by the streetlamps. “Demons can only be killed by the Enochian Sanctus Gladiis or Enochian Holy Swords. There are seven of them.”
Deacon sat back in his chair. “What are they?”
The Mentor turned back to them and spoke softly. “When God cast Lucifer into Hell, he knew that Lucifer would raise an army to destroy Heaven. Lucifer, being the most brilliant of all the angels, knew that in order to take down God and Heaven, he would have to do away with the archangels—Heaven’s most deadly weapons.”
The Mentor pulled a flask from his desk and sipped from it slowly.
“The moment God cast Lucifer out, he took a feather from each of the seven archangels’ wings and forged seven blades which he scattered across the Earth. Lucifer, who had no means of entering Heaven, tried desperately to draw the archangels out and attack them with demons, but it didn’t work. Lucifer’s army was no match for even one of the blades, thus no match for the archangels, themselves.”
“Alright, so-” Alice began, but was cut off.
“You must let me finish.” The Mentor returned his flask to his desk and finished his story. “While these blades are the most powerful weapon against the demons, each blade can kill the archangel it is named after. Unfortunately, Lucifer found five of them; therefore five of the angels are dead.”
Silas seemed genuinely shocked from this news. “You never told me that, Mentor; which five?”
“Well, there are the seven archangels: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Zerachiel, Gabriel, and Remiel; only Michael and Gabriel have survived.” The Mentor put his face in his hands and rubbed out his stress.
Deacon turned himself around and looked at Silas. “Wait—you killed demons; with a sword. You have one the Holy Blades.”
Silas looked back at Deacon, and thought for a moment on whether or not he should acknowledge it. Finally, he unsheathed his blade and held it in front of Deacon. Across the blade was engraved the name Gabriel.
“So, this is Gabriel’s blade.” Deacon reached out to grab it, but when he tried to get close; his hand was repelled like a magnet.
Silas pulled the blade back and put it away. “When a human takes hold of one of the blades, it is so powerful that the sword binds itself to that person. No one else can wield it or even touch it until the previous owner dies.”
The Mentor leaned over the table and spoke quietly. “From what I know, the Michael blade is hidden somewhere in the world, still untouched.”
Alice had held her tongue long enough; she jumped up and slammed her hands on The Mentor’s desk. “The blade is somewhere in the world? That’s all you’ve got? It is somewhere in the world. You don’t have the slightest clue? You don’t know any one that we can talk to about it?” She began to get closer and closer to The Mentor’s face.
“The only thing I know, Alice, is that the blade is so important now that the angels are dropping like flies, that it has to be guarded at all times.” The Mentor stood up and towered over Alice.
Deacon stood up and pushed Alice back into her chair. “Okay, so who’s protecting the blade?”
The Mentor returned to his seat and sat silently for a moment.
“The Sisters of Fate.” He finally spoke.
Deacon’s eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped open. “The Sisters of Fate? Like, Greek Mythology?”
The Mentor gave a casual nod. “Yes, the Sisters were trusted to guard the life-span of every human being since the dawn of man, and God found them more than capable of handling the blade.”
“I can’t believe the freakin’ Sisters of Fate are real. What a load of crap.” Deacon slumped back into his chair and rubbed his neck.
“You hunt demons now, kid.” Silas stood behind Deacon’s chair. “Anything is possible. Hell, even Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster are real.”
Deacon shot him a sideways look. “Seriously?”
Silas smiled. “No, but now that you’re hunting demons, you best start believing in the unimaginable, until you find out for yourself that it doesn’t exist.” Silas turned around and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.
“Well, where are we supposed to start looking, Mentor?” Deacon was beginning to get a migraine.
“I have not the slightest clue where they are. I wish I could help you, but I have no clue.” The Mentor leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. “But I wish you luck in finding the Sisters. Now get the Hell out of my office.”
Suddenly, the door flew open and Alice and Deacon felt compelled to leave. So, they picked themselves up and left—the door slammed behind them.
***
They returned to Silas’s room and he wasn’t there.
“Dammit. What are we going to do, D?” Alice sat back in the chair by the table.
“We’re going to rest up, Alice. These last couple of weeks have really sucked, and we need a little break—I need a little break, or I am going to lose my mind.” Deacon laid himself back onto Silas’s pillow and began to drift off. Alice laid her head on the table and did the same.
Neither of them realized how massive this whole thing was, nor that all they were doing right now was trying to wrap their heads around the small stuff.

SouthernRiver4
February 23rd, 2013, 05:09 PM
CHAPTER SEVEN: DREAM SEQUENCE II

The room was pitch-black. The only light was a bar stool in the center that a light shone down on. Reluctantly, Deacon crossed the room and sat down on it. Violently, the stool began to spin and images of three girls appeared around him. They were nearly identical, and all wore cheerleading outfits that said St. John’s High School.
A voice echoed from somewhere in the dark. “Here we are again, Deacon.” There were footsteps all around.
“Who’s there?” Deacon tried to move from the stool, but simply couldn’t—he was bound to it.
From the darkness came Deacon’s evil doppelganger, still wearing his white suit. “You haven’t forgotten about me, have you?”
Deacon struggled slightly in his chair and locked eyes with his counterpart. “You know, this whole hiding in the shadows and coming out for a dramatic entrance thing is already old. Find something new.”
“Oh, Deacon; always the stoic one. Never let the bad stuff get to you. Never let the fears consume you—it’s admirable, really.” Before Deacon’s eyes, a simple throne appeared in the light. His evil twin sat down and crossed one leg over the other.
“So what the Hell is this? You’re me in the future and I’m a giant dick?” Deacon stared deeply and angrily at himself.
“Oh please, Deacon. I’m so much more than you ever wore. I’m so far gone from the binds of what I used to be that I adopted a new name with my rise to power. I am Adrian—the king of Hell.” Adrian fixed his tie and sat forward. “So, you’re looking for Michael’s Holy Blade.”
“I’m not telling you jack, you pretentious douche.” Deacon turned his head away, but suddenly, as if he had no control, he was forced to look at Adrian, who was clearly manipulating him.
“The Holy Blade is being guarded by the Sisters of Fate. They’ve taken on the form of three cheerleaders at St. John’s high school, Emmetsburg, Iowa. You will find the blade and bring it to me.” Adrian stood up and paced around the throne and the stool.
“Like Hell. I’m not doing anything for you.” Deacon spat in Adrian’s direction.
“You have no choice, you brat. You will become bound to that sword and when you come to be me, the sword will be mine.” Adrian was beginning to lose his cool, and the veins in his neck were bulging.
“To Hell with you, Adrian. I’m not doing a damn thing.”
“Yes you will. Because you’re afraid,” Adrian approached Deacon, leaned forward and whispered in his ear “Afraid that you will die the worthless maggot you’ve been all your life, without ever knowing what it was like to be respected.” He adjusted the lapels of his suit jacket.
“Shut up, you bitch.” Deacon fought back against his tears.
“I know these things, Deacon—because I’m you.” Adrian gave a wicked smile, and his eyes began to melt out of their sockets.
***
Deacon shot up from bed and yelled out. Alice, who had still be asleep at the table woke up and quickly turned around.
“Deacon, what’s wrong?” She ran over to him and grabbed his shoulder.
Deacon gasped for air and wiped the sweat from his face. “Alice, the Sisters are in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
Alice stared at him for a moment, calculating something in her head. Suddenly, the door opened and Silas walked in. “Hey, kiddies. What did I miss?” He pulled his scabbard off his shoulder and placed it by the door.
“Silas, where have you been?” Alice glared at him.
“Little lady, do you not realize that slaying demons is a full-time job even with spells? The freaks come out at night.” He walked over to his bookshelf and pulled off a book and looked it over thoroughly.
Deacon stood up, rubbed his eyes, and spoke sternly “We’re leaving. We’re going to Iowa.”

moderan
February 23rd, 2013, 07:07 PM
The writing itself is excellent. The problem I have with this is that of theme. The vagaries of the Judeo-Christian mythology have been shoved down everyone's throats ad infinitum. There isn't anything terribly new here, nothing that William Peter Blatty or David Selznick didn't do in the mid-70s or James Blish didn't do 15 years before that. It's kinda Charmed with some of the Traveller in Black and Constantine rolled into it.
The demonology is fairly well-researched. That part is good. The characterization works, everything is reasonably well-developed. But I'm a-religion, a-theist, and it all just goes blah for me.
To someone else, who doesn't have my prior distaste for the mythology, this could be a good sell. I notice that Eli Roth is just now putting out a new movie, so the public's taste for work of this nature may not be exorcised.

SouthernRiver4
February 23rd, 2013, 07:11 PM
The writing itself is excellent. The problem I have with this is that of theme. The vagaries of the Judeo-Christian mythology have been shoved down everyone's throats ad infinitum. There isn't anything terribly new here, nothing that William Peter Blatty or David Selznick didn't do in the mid-70s or James Blish didn't do 15 years before that. It's kinda Charmed with some of the Traveller in Black and Constantine rolled into it.
The demonology is fairly well-researched. That part is good. The characterization works, everything is reasonably well-developed. But I'm a-religion, a-theist, and it all just goes blah for me.
To someone else, who doesn't have my prior distaste for the mythology, this could be a good sell. I notice that Eli Roth is just now putting out a new movie, so the public's taste for work of this nature may not be exorcised.

My argument here will not be anything that anyone defending their work wouldn't say: I absolutely respect your stand-point based on your background, but on the contrary to your position, I think even though the plot starts out fairly generic, there are going to be enough new ideas throughout that will easily make this story one-of-a-kind.

Thank you so much for you review, and I hope regardless that you'll continue to check in on the chapters as I post. (:

moderan
February 23rd, 2013, 07:18 PM
I will. Good luck with it, and should I spot anything I haven't seen before, I will point it out.

SouthernRiver4
March 24th, 2013, 03:01 AM
CHAPTER EIGHT: COME TO IOWA AND FIND YOUR SISTER


The car ride from St. Petersburg, Florida to Emmetsburg, Iowa was a grueling twenty-four-and-a-half hours. Nobody spoke, Alice drove, and Silas and Deacon slept in the passenger and back seat.

Finally, they arrived at a crummy motel about half a mile from the school, and all three of them were exhausted. No matter how much you sleep in a car on a road trip, you are still tired when you get out of the car.

They walked into the motel and paid for a room with two beds. They went up to their room, dropped their stuff and collapsed on their beds. Alice got her own—Deacon and Silas would either have to share or someone would be sleeping on the floor.

***

“Will you two just figure it out and shut up?” Alice pulled the covers up higher and pulled the pillow over her head tighter.

“Tell this twit that I’m not sleeping on the damn floor.” Silas pointed furiously at the floor, and his face was turning red.

“And tell this dillhole that I’m sleeping on the bed. And also remind him that he can piss off.” Deacon, like Alice, bundled up tighter and ignored the dumbfounded Silas.

***

When morning came, Deacon and Alice rose from their beds, rested and ready for the day. Silas, who slept in the tub and used the shower curtain as a blanket, was not nearly as rested and was quite grouchy. The three of them each got showers and came out to the main room to make a plan. Silas was the last out of the shower.

He sat down next to Deacon and smacked him in the back of the head. “Hope you slept well, princess--because if we have to stay here another night, and you take my bed again, I’ll be kicking your ass from morning ‘til morning.”

“Alright, now-”

“That’s like, a full twenty-four hours of ass-kicking.” Silas had his gaze fixed on Deacon who was trying to ignore him.

“Silas, enough,” Alice was so strict as of late, and Deacon was concerned. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do? How are we going to get close to the Sisters? We aren’t school faculty and we’re too old.”
“Well,” began Deacon “I know what they look like—we could always just take the car by the school and wait for them to come out. Once they are off the property, we talk to them.”

Everyone agreed and the plan was set. They loaded their things into the car and headed for the school.

***

The hours passed. The three of them sat in the car, occasionally changing the radio station to find that nothing decent was playing.

“How is it that we can be on a twenty-four hour non-stop car ride and yet I still find these last eight hours to be beyond monotonous?” Silas unfastened his seatbelt and slumped over on his side, preparing to take a nap.

“There they are.” Deacon had spotted three blond cheerleaders clad in blue outfits that had St. John’s High School stitched into the chest.

Silas shot up abruptly and stared longingly at the girls. The three of them got out of the car and began to tail the cheerleaders. They followed far behind the girls for a couple blocks so they could make sure that no one else was around. Finally, they had their opportunity. The girls had stopped in the middle of an empty sidewalk with no one else around. They stood huddled in a group and began chanting something softly. Deacon, Alice, and Silas made their approach at last.

“Hello, ladies. Those outfits are very becoming of you.” Silas stepped forward. The girls turned around and gave a disgusted look. They looked past Silas and saw Deacon. Terror covered their faces and they began to shake.

“It’s Adrian!” The tallest of the three yelped.

Alice looked questioningly at Deacon. “Who’s Adrian?”

Deacon glared at them and then looked to Alice. “I don’t know.” Deacon pushed past Silas and stepped forward. “Who is Adrian?”

The shortest of the three girls stepped forward now. “This is Deacon. Not Adrian.” She walked up to Deacon and stared into his eyes. “He has coming looking for St. Michael’s Holy Blade.”

Silas was busy staring at their backsides and Alice was busy shooting dirty looks at all three of the Sisters. “What in the Hell is going on?” Alice clenched her fists.

The middle Sister stepped forward. “My name is Carli,” She pointed to the tallest “That is Kaela,” then she pointed to the shortest “And that is Alexia.” The three of them stood together and spoke in unison “We are the Sisters of Fate—guardians of the Michael blade—and the defenders of destiny.”

“And not to mention, you’re incredibly delicious.” Silas couldn’t help himself.

“Silas, shut up.” Deacon glared at him. Carli stepped forward and looked at Silas deep in the eyes.

“Yes, yes this makes sense. Hello, Silas--guardian of the Gabriel blade.” Carli stepped back and examined him.

“Alright, look, we need the Michael blade. There is a whole mess of demons after us and we have no way to defend ourselves. So help us out. Where is the blade?” Deacon looked the three of them over.

Alexia stepped forward. “If you seek the blade, then you must come with us.”

The three Sisters held hands and suddenly, Deacon was in a place of complete darkness. The only light shone down on him and the Sisters. Silas and Alice were gone.

***

“Where are we?” Deacon looked all around and in the distance; he thought he saw a blue light.

Kaela stepped forward. “You are in the Crossing Vortex. It is where souls go when they are in-between Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.” She raised her hand to the distance and the lights went up.

All around them, souls were traveling up and down. The ones that went up just evaporated in the sky and the ones that went down crashed to the ground—then there were those that simply stayed stationary. “This is our home. We also guard the gates of Purgatory; those whom you see not moving, are those who are awaiting entry.” Carli looked all around at the souls.

“And what exactly is Purgatory?” Deacon couldn’t help but be drawn to a few faces that he found attractive. The souls were actually still the image of their human form.

“Purgatory is the half-way point. If you end up here, you cannot go to Hell. But on The Harvest, your actions in life will be evaluated—if you have done enough good deeds in your time on Earth, then you will be sent to Heaven. However, if you haven’t, then you will be stranded here until the next Harvest. Of course, you will be here eternally—once you die, you cannot change what you did in life. You will never burn in Hell here, but you will never rejoice with God.” The Sisters remained side-by-side.

“Why am I here?” Deacon began to get nervous.

“You are seeking the blade. We must test you to find out if you are worthy.” Alexia spoke softly.

Deacon raised an eyebrow at her. “How do you do that? Do you jus-” Suddenly, Carli approached him and placed her palm on his forehead.

Deacon had the most intense headache of his life—his head burned and pounded in unimaginable ways. Suddenly, memories began to come back to him. Namely of the night his mother was killed.

***

“Samantha, is dinner ready?” Darren walked into the house and hung his hat on the rack.

“Not yet. I’m making the st-stuffing and it will be.” Samantha began to shake when she heard her husband’s voice. And she was now even more terrified that dinner was not ready.

“Aren’t you going to ask me about my day?” Darren sat at the kitchen table with a beer and opened his paper.

Samantha jumped. “H-How was your day, sweeth-heart?” She was shaking even more. She was such a stupid woman. How could she forget to ask her own husband about his day? She would surely deserve what she got tonight.

“Stupid bitch—always have to be told what to do.” He opened his paper. “Mr. Kenn totally screwed me today. I have to do all of Bob’s paperwork and all of mine because Bob’s slut of a wife went in to labor last night. Jesus. They should’ve just gotten rid of the damn thing.”

Deacon walked into the kitchen to ask his mom for a drink. He unintentionally locked eyes with his father—not something he would ever willingly do.

“What the Hell do you want? Get out, you disgusting waste of air.” Darren pointed towards the living-room. This would only be the thousandth or so time Deacon’s father had said nearly that same line to him. Deacon didn’t cry about it anymore, but he still went ahead and left. He didn’t want his father to have a reason to hurt his mother tonight.

Darren walked up behind Samantha at the stove and put his hands on her hips and kissed her neck softly. “Sammy—I think tonight, we’re gonna pretend it’s my birthday.” He chuckled softly in her ear.

“D-Darren, I can’t. It’s my time this month.” She stood very still, waiting to see what would happen.

Darren just looked at the back of her head for a second, and then he flipped her around and shoved her against the stove. “What did you just say to me, you slut? I’m pretty damn sure that if I tell you to screw me, you better be damn grateful for the opportunity!” He slapped her across the face.

She was shaking and began to cry. “What? Are you afraid of me?” He slapped her again. “Do I scare you, bitch?” He hit her again. “I’ll give you a reason to be afraid.” He pushed her on the ground.

“D-Darren, please! I’m sorry. It’s not my fault.” She began to sob heavily.

“Stop crying, bitch.” He punched her in the forehead. She began to feel very sick. She reached up on the counter and accidently knocked a pan with a knife in it on Darren’s head.

“Are you trying to kill me, you little slut?” His eyes were burning with rage. He didn’t know that at this point, Deacon was standing in the doorway of the kitchen watching. He always liked to watch because if it ever got too out of hand, he felt like he could go in and help his mother somehow.

“No, no. Darren, sweetie! I love you, I would never!” She couldn’t stop crying.

“Bullshit! You tried to kill me. I’ve had it with you!” Darren’s face was purple and his veins were sticking out.

Deacon got scared—he covered his eyes and waited for his mom to be slapped again. But what he heard wasn’t a slap in the face—it was the sound of gurgling and slinging steel.

“Try to kill me, will you?” Darren plunged the knife into Samantha’s stomach again and dragged it upwards. He stabbed her a couple more times in the chest.

Deacon opened his eyes and saw what had happened. It took every part of him to muster up the courage to scream. “J-Jax-Jaxon!” He screamed to the top of his lungs.

Jax came out into the kitchen and saw what had happened. “Dad; what did you do?”

Darren wouldn’t lift his head. “Go away, boy.” The knife handle pointed upwards while the rest of the blade was imbedded into their mother’s throat. Blood began to run out across the floor.

“Daddy,” Deacon spoke with a trembling voice. “Is mommy dead?” Darren lifted his face, which was covered in the blood of their mother with a smile on his face.

“Oh yeah. Way dead.” He jumped up, knife in hand and raced for Deacon. Jax split past him and ran for the gun cabinet. He pulled out his father’s handgun and fired just as Darren was reaching out to stab Deacon. The bullet hit him behind the knee and he fell down.

“You son-of-a-bitch! I’ll kill you!” Darren rolled on the ground and held his knee.

***

Deacon fell to his knees, exhausted, and Carli stepped back. He was sweating and he looked up at her with tired, blood-shot eyes. She turned to the rest of the Sisters. “He is the one.”

“The one; the one that you just made relive the most traumatic experience ever? What the Hell? Why would you do that?” Deacon rubbed his eyes.

“We had to make sure your mind was strong enough. We brought back those memories for you to identify with as an adult. You can understand it better now and we needed to make sure you wouldn’t crack under the pressure.” Alexia extended a hand to help him up.

Deacon took it and came to a standing position. “I guess I passed then?” He felt dizzy.

Carli stepped forward. “You’d be dead if you didn’t.”

“Oh, well. That’s comforting.” The effects of the memory were wearing off.

“You are ready for Michael’s Holy Blade, Deacon.” Kaela stepped forward. “But there are still many things you need to know before we can give it to you.”

“Of course there is. Nothing about any of this is easy.” Deacon dropped to a knee and punched the ground. “Why? What do I have to do with any of this? Why does Lucifer think I’m so special? I’m nothing. I’m human.” He looked up at the Sisters.

“Deacon, you are the most special human being in the whole world. You have what no man in the history of the cosmos has ever had.” Kaela spoke softly.

“Yeah, yeah; I know. I’m Heaven and Hell’s greatest and most deadly weapon. Lucifer already gave me this whole spiel. What is it, huh? What makes me so great?” Deacon popped back up to a standing position.

“Free will” They spoke in unison.

“I beg your pardon? Free will? Well, I do live in America. How does that set me apart?” Deacon rubbed his neck gently.

“You have the ultimate free will. You are not chained by the limitations of man. Your destiny is not laid out by us or God. You make all the decisions in your life.” Carli gently caressed his back while she circled him.

“I don’t understand.” Deacon stared at the other two Sisters intensely. “I’m not chained?”

“Neither us nor God know what your destiny holds. You may save the cosmos, or you may destroy it. No one can say for sure, because it’s entirely up to you.”

“What about Adrian? Is this why I become him? Because I had all of this free will and used it to go bad?” Deacon ran his fingers through his hair.

“We don’t know what causes you to become Adrian. All we know is that you call the shots in your life and whatever you choose will either lead you to him or it won’t. We can’t even say what might happen if you don’t become him.”

Suddenly, everything around them began to quake and shake. Deacon looked around, puzzled, and watched as divides began to grow in the columns of twisting souls. “Uh, girls,” He looked around and shot the Sisters a stern look “What’s going on?”

Carli stepped forward. “Deacon, we must leave this place. The vortex senses you as a foreign object and it is starting to collapse. It’s so fragile that if it senses the slightest disturbance, everything could shatter.”

She extended a hand, which Deacon tried to take, but was unable to. He simply stood there, staring at it. “What the Hell? I can’t move.”

The Sisters looked at each other nervously. They weren’t sure what was happening or how to fix it. “If we touch him,” Alexia began “The whole vortex might collapse instantly.”

Carli took another step closer to Deacon. “So we leave him here to die?”

“Screw the vortex,” Deacon was scared and it showed in the crack of his voice “Get me the Hell out of here. I can’t freakin’ move.”

“We have no choice.” Kaela stepped next to Carli. “We must force him back to the real world.” Kaela grabbed the hands of her sisters and put them on Deacon—she did as well. They chanted something softly under their breath, and suddenly, they were whisked back into the real world.

Alice and Silas stood there, dumbfounded that Deacon and the sisters had just reappeared out of thin air. Suddenly, Deacon collapsed, and didn’t move. Alice and Silas knelt down beside him and tried to wake him up.

“Deacon—Deacon, come on. You gotta wake up.” Alice was gently slapping his cheek. Silas continued to shake his arms and try to wake him.

Silas touched Deacon’s throat “He’s still got a pulse. He’s alive.” Silas stood up and looked over to the Sisters. “What in God’s name happened to him?”

Alexia approached Silas and Alice and grabbed them both by the collars of their shirts. “I know you; both of you. Do not hurt Deacon. I will unleash a fury upon both of you that will have you wishing for a nice, cozy spot in Hell.” She let them go, approached her sisters and the three of them disappeared.
Silas looked nervously at Alice, trying to muster up something to say. Alice quickly fixed her shirt and her hair.

“They don’t know anything. They won’t stop us.” Alice looked down towards Deacon. “As long as we have him, Si—we have the key to whatever we want.”

Silas shoved his hands into his pockets and stood over him. “We need to get him back to the hotel. Help me load him up. I’ll drive.”

They loaded Deacon into the backseat and propped him up so that he wouldn’t look as dead. They drove silently back to the hotel, carefully walked Deacon into the room, and sat him in a chair. They both turned around at the same time and saw it—the Michael blade sitting on Deacon’s bed.

Silas pulled off his shirt and wrapped it around the handle so that he wouldn’t make flesh-to-blade contact with it. He walked over to Deacon and unraveled the sword into Deacon’s palm. There was a gentle glowing light, an orange color, and then it gently faded out.

Silas refused to look at Alice but he spoke “We all have our parts to play in this, Alice. We have our orders. So why is it such a pain in the arse?”

Alice stood next to Silas and placed her head on his shoulder. “Don’t get too close to him, Silas. He’s not like us, after all. He’s just…human.”

SouthernRiver4
April 6th, 2013, 05:17 AM
CHAPTER NINE: A FRIEND IN NEED IS ONE WHO IS COMATOSE


“Dammit, Alice—don’t act like I don’t know what’s at stake,” Silas screamed into the phone “For God sakes, I taught you what’s at stake.” He was approaching a stoplight and he pulled into the right-turn lane.

“It’s been two weeks, Silas. Do you know how many baths I have given this man?” Alice sounded exhausted.

“Obviously not enough,” He turned right and headed down a dirt road “Maybe you should climb in with him. Get out some of those nerves.”

A shuffling could be heard over the phone. “Very funny,” She sighed deeply “It’s been two weeks since you started trying to find the ingredients. We have to cure him.”

The road began to twist a bit. “I know, Alice. I’m trying. I can’t find the Mentor anywhere, and every time I think I have a lead on him, he’s gone before I even get half-way there.” Neither of them spoke—there was just silence. “By the way, did you ever find out anything about Adrian?”

“Nope; there isn’t much to go on. We don’t know who he is, how the Sisters knew him, or why they thought that Deacon was him. The only thing I have been able to find, which wasn’t much help anyway, was the fact that the name means ‘dark one’”.

“Keep looking. I’m here, I’ll call you when I leave and let you know how it goes.” Silas hung up his cellphone and parked in front of an old house. There were broken car parts and tires all over the yard. The porch had holes in it and every window had spider webs on them. He approached the front door slowly and cautiously.

The door flung open and an arm reached out to pull Silas inside. Inside the house, which was dark, except for a dimly lit room in the back, a tall, skinny man stood with a mustard-stained wife-beater and shorts that were too small for him. He had a shaggy beard and hair to match, and as for his house, it was twice as disgusting as he was.

Silas tried desperately not to show how much the smell of vomit, salami, and booze bothered him. “My name is Silas.” The man put his hand over Silas’s face.

“I know who you are, Silas. The Mentor told me that you would be seeking me out. It’s about your friend Deacon—he’s in a coma and you need to bring him out of it. So, you figured you would show up at my house unannounced and have me help you find the ingredients to a healing spell powerful enough to bring him out. Am I correct so far?” He removed his hand from Silas’s face and shoved both of his hands into his pockets.

“Well, looks like I’m the only one the Mentor isn’t checking in with. I haven’t heard from his since we saw him in the bar a couple weeks ago.” Silas sat back in a chair.

The man, who moved quickly like a snake, bounced over to his bookshelf and began leafing through books. “He doesn’t want to be found, Silas. He is busy doing something revolutionary and he hasn’t let anyone know where he is. Even I don’t know where he’s at.” He pulled a book off the shelf and opened it to a point about three-fourths of the way in. “Ah yes, here we go.”

Silas sat forward. “What is it? Did you find the ingredients?” He stood up, eager.

He closed the book quickly and looked at Silas as though Silas had offended him. “Stupid child—this is not something you can simply just heal. This is not your normal affliction, pal. This requires some very strong magic; the kind of magic that only two powerful mages such as ourselves can conjure up.” The man pulled his shirt off and sat on the floor.

Silas gave a slightly disturbed look. “I don’t really swing that way, man.”

“Shut up.” The man gestured for Silas to sit across from him. “Comatose is one of the most complex afflictions a person can have because it is the only one that must be tackled on two fronts. First, there is the medical side—unresponsive, no brain activity, and etcetera,” Silas slowly approached the man and sat on the floor opposite him. “Then, there is the spiritual side. No one can explain how or why someone comes out of a coma, but it’s not like their brain shuts down and then randomly kicks back to life.”

“Okay, then how does it happen?” Silas sat forward on his hand.

“When someone falls into a coma, their soul detaches from their body and becomes trapped inside their own head. Sometimes they find their way out, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes someone has to lead them to the exit of their mind so their soul can rejoin with their body.” The man closed his eyes and grabbed Silas’s hand. “Silas, we’re going to free Deacon’s soul from his mind.”

Suddenly, without warning, they were both inside a room. The room was small and had concrete walls; it was dimly lit by a flickering light overhead. One the other side of the room was a battered door, steel, and closed. Silas looked over to the man and fought to speak.

“His soul lies beyond the door. Once you find him, you must bring him back here.” The man turned away from Silas and the door and raised a hand to the air.

“Wait! So that’s it? You’ve brought me to what I assume to be Deacon’s head, and now you expect me to traverse the damn thing and find him?” Silas threw his arms to the side and was overcome with a nervous feeling.

“Deacon’s mind rejects anything that is foreign to him. It’s not like we are information that he is learning. It would take a great power for me to convince his mind to let me wander it. You on the other hand are someone he knows and trusts to an extent—you are the only one of the two of us who can make it through that door. Once you find him, you will bring him back here.” The man put his other hand to the air and disappeared before Silas’s eyes.

“Come back! How am I supposed to get out here?” Silas put his arms down and turned towards the door. He was still nervous, but he took a deep breath and approached the door, unsure what he would find on the other side.

He placed his hand on the door and it glowed slightly, as if he had just been granted access to a government facility. He turned the knob and opened it slowly. His eyes grew wide and he gasped. “My God.”

SouthernRiver4
April 6th, 2013, 05:18 AM
CHAPTER TEN: DREAM SEQUENCE III


Silas opened the door slowly and much to his surprise, on the other side was a long hallway with nearly fifty hallways along the side. “My God,” he spoke softly “That son of bitch left me in a maze. How in God’s name am I ever gonna find the boy?”

He stepped beyond the door which quickly slammed shut as if it were a defense mechanism. He walked slowly and cautiously down the hall to the first turn-off hallway. Down that one was rows of doors, each labeled with things like “First Steps”, “Storytime”, and “Breakfast with Mom”. Towards the end of the hallway, which Silas was slowly walking down and surveying, he saw a door that was covered in moss and vines. The door was tattered, as was the label across it which could barely be made out, but Silas was certain that it said “Jaxon Klocke.” With his curiosity peaked, Silas reached out for the doorknob which shocked his hand and forced him to jump back.

“Well, I guess you don’t want me seeing what’s behind door number one, huh?” Silas’s phone began to ring, which surprised him. He pulled it out of his pocket and it was Alice. “Hello?”

The connection wasn’t great, but he could hear her. “Silas? Hello? What did you find out? Did you get the ingredients?”

“Well, Alice, not exactly.” He turned around and began walking towards the main hallway.

“What do you mean? Silas, so help me God if you are screwing aroun-”

“Calm down, you psychopath. I’m not dicking around. I’m-I’m inside Deacon’s mind.”

“You’re what?” Her voice was cold and seemingly annoyed.

“It’s a long story, but basically, Deacon is in a coma because something went haywire when he disappeared with the Sisters and now I have to yank his soul out of his brain and bring it back to his body.” He began walking down the hallway to a door like the first steel one.

“Well that seems perfectly legitimate.” The exhausted tone to her voice was becoming more and more apparent.

“Well, speaking of things being legitimate, I’m a little concerned that I’m talking on the phone inside of a man’s head. I figured I’d be slightly out of the calling area. The roaming charges are going to be ridiculous.” Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, a black shadow sped quickly past him on the wall and flew down a hallway. “What the Hell?”

“What? What is it?”
“Something’s in here with me. I don’t know how—the old mage said that only something familiar or powerful could be inside his mind. And I don’t know how many shadows Deacon is friends with. Alice, I have to go.”

“No, no, wai-” Alice began to scream before Silas ended the call. He gripped his sword and unsheathed it. He ran down the same hallway to catch up with the shadow which was sitting at the corner. When Silas got close, it moved again. It wanted Silas to follow it.

Silas traversed several corners and sprinted the length of several hallways when he heard it--he heard Deacon screaming in the distance. The shadow seemed to be getting agitated and sped down another hallway. Silas continued to follow it until he was in front of a large pair of golden doors. The shadow bounced all around the hallway, and Silas new that Deacon was behind the doors. He gripped tightly on the handles and pulled them open just in time to see Deacon be thrown against a table by himself. The shadow wasted no time bursting into the room and bouncing around the Deacon wearing white--Adrian.

Deacon looked at the door, his nose bloody and his face bruised. “Silas? What are you doing here, man?”

Silas turned to Adrian. “You’re Adrian. That’s why the Sisters thought Deacon was you. But who in the Hell are you?”

Adrian, too, had a Holy Blade which he unsheathed and pointed towards Silas. “I am your king, you disgusting piece of filth.”

Silas stepped forward, gripping his blade tightly. “Watch it pal, I’ve killed for less.”

Adrian laughed. “Yes you have, Silas. You’ve killed for being looked at wrong, you’ve killed because I’ve told you too, and Hell, you’ve killed just to kill someone—for fun.”

“What are you talking about?” Silas stopped in his tracks.

Adrian stopped as well. “Oh, I see. We haven’t quite gotten to that part of the film yet, have we?” He gave a wicked grin “The part where you lose your humanity and pledge your allegiance to me. Don’t worry—it’s coming.”

Silas’s mouth opened slightly, and the shadow remained still.

Deacon rose to his feet and wiped the blood from his nose. “Shut up. Silas wouldn’t do that. No one in their right freakin’ mind would ever follow you.”

Adrian turned to him. “You don’t think so? Perhaps we’ll see what happens in the next seven months.” He turned back to Silas. “Yes, it won’t be long now. Soon you’ll be as ruthless and as inhumane as a man who murders innocent children. Or rather, you will be a man who murders innocent children.”

Silas got chills and he was trying desperately to not let Adrian psyche him out. “I don’t care what you think is going to happen, I’m going to end you right now.” Silas charged at him, blade held high. As he approached, Adrian swung his blade—they met. One after another, the blades met side-to-side. Silas was impressed that he was as good with a sword as he was. Adrian spun around to impale Silas in the side, however Silas quickly rolled out of the way. Silas bounced back up and proceeded to attempt striking Adrian but Adrian was quick to grab his hand, stopping the attack in its tracks, and decked Silas in the mouth. Adrian backed up and Silas dropped to a knee, feeling his lips pulsing.

“Dammit.” Silas was now aware what he had gotten himself into, and unaware if he would make it out alive.

Adrian gently caught his breath. “Care to try again, or should I just run you through now?”

“Bite me.” Silas gasped heavily. He sprung up and tried to strike Adrian in the mid-section, but he spun around once more and cut clean through Silas’s wrist, detaching his hand from the rest of his body—the sword slid across the room. He knelt to the ground in agony as blood poured from his arm.

Adrian smirked gently. “Never bite the hand that feeds you, Silas. You might up losing your hand altogether.” He approached Silas and held is blade above him to impale him in the back.

“No!” Screamed Deacon from a distance as he bolted across the room and tackled Adrian to the ground, trying to avoid being stabbed. Deacon knocked the blade from his hand and repeatedly punched him in the face.

The shadow, which up until this point had remained on the wall, jumped across the room and into Silas’s body. Silas stood up, no longer in pain, and extended his arm. Both Deacon and Adrian looked at him with eyes wide open. Suddenly, a gentle glow appeared where Silas’s hand once was and a new hand was grown. Adrian pushed Deacon off him and stood up, running towards Silas.

“Get out of here, this is my fight!” Adrian ran up to Silas and stopped, his eyes fixed on Silas’s which were entirely white.

Silas reached a hand out and placed it on Adrian’s head. Both of their eyes began to glow and Adrian exploded into dust. Deacon was dumbfounded and couldn’t quite comprehend what had just happened, but he turned his attention to Silas.

“He’s not gone, Deacon. He will be back. I merely removed him from your mind. It is time for you wake up.”

Before Deacon could say anything, he woke up back in the hotel room next to Alice, and Silas woke up on the floor at the foot of Deacon’s bed. They both sat up quickly and startled Alice.

“What the Hell?” Alice jumped off the bed and backed up.

Silas and Deacon both jumped up and hugged each other. “Silas, are you okay? What happened?”

“I-I don’t know. I was inside your head trying to find a way to wake you up from the coma and suddenly you were fighting with Adrian, and then I got possessed. I felt like I was in a dream.” Silas looked to the ground and turned to Alice.

“Adrian? You found out who he was?” Alice stepped forward.

“He’s Deacon.” Silas turned back to Deacon with a confused look. “Yeah, what the Hell was all that about, Deacon?”

Deacon stepped back. “Guys, it’s kind of complicated.” He quickly looked from one face to another.

Silas stepped forward and grabbed his shoulders. “Well, you had better break it down into the simplest terms for me. Because all I know is that some pissed off guy that looks exactly like you is telling me that I’m going to be serving him in seven months.”

Deacon pulled his hands off and shoved him back a bit. “His name is Adrian and he’s me.” Nobody spoke. “He is the king of Hell. He keeps showing up in my dreams telling me that I’m weak and that someday he will have this untold amount of power—he’ll be so ashamed of who he used to be, which is me, that he will change his name and take his place on the throne of Hell. Or at least, that’s the gist of it.”

“How long exactly have you been having these dreams, Deacon?” Alice was angry and you could tell that she was ready to strike.

“I don’t know, a while. Since the day I met you, Alice, he’s shown up three times.” Deacon sat back on the bed.

“Deacon, buddy, you should’ve told us. I fought the guy, I know he’s powerful. You can’t just be letting something like that run around your brain—you can’t handle it.” Silas spoke calmly.

Deacon jumped up quickly and got in Silas’s face. “Screw you, Silas! You don’t know what I can handle! You can freakin’ go to Hell!” Deacon’s face was becoming red.

Silas shoved him backwards. “Screw me? Buddy, you wouldn’t even be alive right now if it weren’t for me, you ungrateful prick! I got my hand chopped off saving your ass and I brought you out of your coma. So why don’t you show a little respect?”

Deacon once again got in his face. “I don’t respect people who bend over for the king of Hell!” At that second, Deacon and Silas stopped, eyes wide, and became very quiet. Alice, like the rest, couldn’t think of anything to say.

Silas walked across the room towards the door. “The Michael Blade is in the chair. Have fun killing demons, Deacon, because you’re going to be doing it without me from now on. I’m out.”

Before Deacon could speak, Silas was out the door. He fixed the sheathe on his back and began walking down the road, hurt and angry at Deacon for what he had said. He honestly had no intention of returning to Deacon, but he did hope that Deacon remained safe. He wasn’t sure why he cared about this human, but he did, and that hurt him worst of all.