The war between Heaven and Hell spills out into the real world.
Raindrops fell like miniscule fists upon the city of New York, washing away the grime and filth that caked the streets and alleys. It was quiet on this late-spring day, with the hammering rain forcing people to stay inside. Even the roads were mostly quiet, while engorged with cars as usual. But while it was a quiet day, it was by no means a peaceful one.
Up at the very top of the Empire State Building, at the very tip of its spire, there was a low red flash in the grey sky. From this flash, a glowing orb came into existence, resembling a crimson light bulb. It was not bright or powerful enough to draw attention from the people below and it was completely masked by torrential rain. The raindrops that passed by this burning flash were turned into hissing steam from just the intense proximity and the unnatural heat being given off by coal-like sphere.
The orb did not fade after the initial flash; instead, it grew in intensity and size while becoming darker in shade. Initially the size of a human fist, it began to expand into a undulating vertical disk as large as a dinner table. There was a second flash and the disk became still, having completed its metamorphosis. It became solid like glass, with shifting hues of red swirling within.
Black mist instantly spewed out from the bottom of the disk, pouring out slowly and streaming down like thick tar. The mist washed over to the spire of the top of the building, causing the metal to rust and deteriorate as if exposed to acid. Echoing from this ominous curtain of red light was a choir of agonizing screams and cries of pain, pouring out from the depths of the blood-red light. Were the weather clear, the people down in the streets would instantly gaze up in horror at the source of this bone-chilling orchestra and cover their ears to try and protect their souls from its ravaging tone. The sound radiating from this dark apparition was one not meant for mortal ears, a sound that was never intended to be set loose upon the Earth. Only through the purifying drumming of the rain were the people of New York spared the mind-scarring chorus.
A ripple stretched out from the center of the disk and a shadow came into view from its depths, like a sea beast slowly rising to the surface of the ocean. Slowly, a figure stepped out onto the top of the spire, standing on the tip of the radio tower on one foot. The figure was a tall young man with a lean but muscular build, garbed in brown boots, grey baggy pants, a black sash, and a black hooded shirt with a vest. Wrapped around his wrists were two rosary bead cords and two metal shackles. The man had medium-length dark hair that was slicked back, a grayish complexion, piercing grey eyes that could almost glow in the dark, and hidden under his hood were two horns that protruded just past his hair line and reached back across his scalp almost aerodynamically.
As he fully stepped out of the fiery doorway, a burning halo came into view, hovering above his head, as well as four massive wings that grew out of his back. Each was more than twice the size of his body when fully unfolded and stretched, with the lower set of wings resembling bat wings but with scales instead of flesh, and the upper wings like the wings of an eagle, but were whiter than pearls. Protruding from the back of his pelvis was a long black tail with a rope-like length and flexibility and a bladed stinger on the end like a butcher knife, but with a tearing barb. His fingertips were armed with triangular claws that tapered down with razor-sharp edges.
His name was Baltoh, and his arrival was an omen in every sense of the world.
The crimson portal disappeared and Baltoh looked out over the city, standing on the tip of the radio tower and wrapped in his wings. His bright grey eyes scanned the city below, taking in the view. It hadn’t been very long since his last visit to the human world, as he traveled there frequently.
“I’ll find you, just you wait…” He muttered with a voice that was as clear and unwavering as it was deep. He then opened up his wings and elevated without a single flap, slowly rising higher into the sky. He then pushed off the air with the muscular sails and took off across the sky, invisible to everyone below.
Selene Kurland walked down the sidewalk with her eyes focused on the book of crossword puzzles in her hand. Even with her mind completely focused on figuring out a seven-letter word for “energy spreading”, she skirted through the crowds of daily commuters and the erratic flow of traffic.
Selene was a beautiful woman in her mid twenties with a chocolate/cinnamon-shade complexion, long black hair that was straight yet wavy, and bright green eyes. Matching her beauty was her hourglass figure, with d-cup breasts, a slender waist, an ass and pair of thighs that were toned with muscle, and hips that swung like a clock pendulum with each step. Her figure was a mixture of good genes and a nearly religious devotion to her gym. Not surprisingly, the results came together literally without a flaw.
She was wearing black high-healed shoes that gave a very sexy tap with each step, a black skirt that tightly held to her smooth thighs, and a tan business coat with her purse hanging from her shoulder. Secured in her purse and leaning against her shoulder was an umbrella, deflecting the torrential sheets of rain. Maybe she should have driven today…
Selene loved puzzles, but not because of a specific affinity for the mental exercise. She liked them because they posed a challenge, something that allowed her to push herself to her limits. She was always searching for a challenge, something to break the boring routine of life, it was why she moved to New York in the first place (where unfortunately the only job she could get was a soul-sucking one in a cubicle). In this case, her challenge for today was to get to work without putting down the crossword book or getting run over.
As she walked past the tent-city of Zuccotti Park, she raised her free hand and gave a thumbs-up.
“Occupy!” She called out without looking up from the puzzle.
“Occupy!” Several of the protesters cheered in return, glad for the small piece of support.
“Entropy!” She exclaimed with a smile as she finally caught the word she was looking for. Hearing her ringtone sounding off in her purse, she quickly scribbled in the word before pulling out her cell phone.
“Hey Molly, what’s up?” She asked as she waited at the street corner for the chance to cross.
“You had better get your ass over here, because if your desk is vacant when Mr. Reed passes by, you’ll really have to get on your knees and “beg” to keep your job.” Her coworker and good friend warned jokingly. Selene chuckled as she and the crowd of commuters walked across the street with the legion of cars humming just a few feet away.
“Don’t we have this same conversation every day?” She asked.
“If we didn’t, you would permanently got lost on the path of life.” Molly remarked. Selene laughed again.
“Ok, you’re right on that one. Relax, I’m just one block away, meaning that I’m about to get splashed with the dirtiest puddle any second now. I’ll be there in a minute. By the way, do you know a twelve-letter word for a high school math class?” She asked while walking past a group of protestors with republican candidate signs, shouting for people to vote out Obama, even with the elections months away.
A Gargoyle sat crouched on the observation deck of a skyscraper, staring down at the city with glowing red eyes. The creature was shorter than an adult human but much more muscular, with long powerful limbs, serrated talons protruding from its fingers and hook-like toes, bony wings with scaly flesh and thin membranes, twisted horns above it’s disfigured jackal face, a swishing whip-like tail, and jet-black skin that was covered in bloody scars. The tar-like saliva that dripped from its jagged teeth burned the stone with the sound of sizzling bacon.
The Gargoyle stood up, while maintaining a slouched-over posture, and opened its wings with an abnormally loud thump, like the beat of an ancient war drum. Leaping off the tower, it plunged towards the ground, completely invisible to all mortal eyes. Reaching the entrance of the building, it held open its wings to their full size and flapped them, catching the air whooshing past. The puddles and falling rain around the front doors almost exploded from the pulsing shockwave as it shot up into the air.
Soaring lazily over the city, the beast tried to control its excitement and thirst for blood. Only lucky handfuls of Gargoyles had ever existed in the world of the living in all of history, and here, there was more food than its deranged mind could comprehend. Looking down, creature spotted its first victim. On the roof of a nearby office building, a man had stepped outside for some much-needed fresh air.
Having just received a call from his wife that she had just had a miscarriage, the balding middle-aged man did not care that it was raining; he just needed to get out of the building. Landing behind him, the Gargoyle gave off a loud splashing sound. The man quickly turned around, having lost the feeling that he was alone. While the unholy beast was completely invisible, the man’s eyes widened with terror as he saw its silhouette in the rain, as each drop that splattered on its body showed its size and shape.
Lashing out, the Gargoyle slashed the man across the chest, ripping open his ribcage and torso cavity. The man released a garbled cry of pain as blood streamed from his mouth and his organs spilled out onto the floor. The man fell dead to the ground and the Gargoyle pounced, feasting on the man while the blood slowly spread across the rain-soaked roof like a spoonful of oil across the surface of a pond. The Gargoyle fed on the carcass with relish, tearing through the body with its claws and chewing on the bloody meat only briefly.
As it slurped up a line of intestines like a spaghetti strand, a bright flash of light flared beside it and the Gargoyle screeched in pain as its severed wing and arm fell to the floor with thick blood trickling from its veins. Baltoh stood behind the creature with a meter-long sword in his hand. The handle had no guard and was a half-foot long, while the single-edged blade had a very narrow shape until the halfway point with razor-sharp serrations. After the halfway point, the size suddenly swelled with an abrupt gut-hook to weigh down the end of the blade for enhanced hacking and slashing. The sword finally tapered off to a stabbing point, essentially making it so that anyone struck by the blade would either be ravaged by eighteen inches of straight-razor serrations, ripped open like a gutted fish by the hook-like edge, cleaved by the wide weighted twelve-inch end, or stabbed by the pointed tip.
“Where is he?” Baltoh demanded as the Gargoyle staggered back with blood sloppily pouring from the stumps if its severed arm and wing.
“You! How did you know we were here?!” The beast hissed.
“That is none of your concern. Where is Abaddon!?” Baltoh repeated. The Gargoyle began to laugh.
“You shall receive nothing from me, traitor. I was born of pain and malice, and there is nothing you can do to make me talk.” He cackled. Baltoh’s flaming halo flared up like burning oil and the white feathers of his upper wings stood on end.
“Whether it is stubbornness or loyalty to the Devil, your silence will accomplish nothing. I will find him and destroy you all.” He said coldly.
With a dark roar, the Gargoyle lunged forward with black smoke billowing from its claws like fire. With little effort, Baltoh caught the Gargoyle’s wrist before its talons could reach his face.
“You should know that your strength is nothing compared to mine, but it does not surprise me, after all, you are just a lowly Gargoyle.” He said coldly as he tightened his fingers, severing the beast’s hand with just his grip.
The creature staggered back in agony, and before it could retaliate, Baltoh aimed his palm at it.
“Angel Art: Holy Burn.” He cast, releasing a flash of light from his palm that was as bright of the sun. The light obliterated the hell-spawn creature with a metaphysical impact of holy fire, incinerating its body while shoving it back. While the flash was visible from below, anyone who saw it would merely mistake it for a particularly powerful bolt of lightning.
Baltoh then turned to the butchered remains of the slain man. He snapped his fingers and the ravaged body was incinerated in a surge of white flames, removing every trace and not even leaving ashes behind.
Abaddon stood in the bell tower of the Riverside Church, watching the rain pour ceaselessly. Behind him were several bowed Gargoyles, all with lowered eyes and swishing tails. Abaddon was not a Gargoyle, he was a Demon, and while they were similar in nature, comparing them would be like comparing house cats to lions.
Abaddon’s body was very similar to the Gargoyles’, with bat-like wings, jet-black scaly flesh, a long tail, long talons protruding from the ends of his fingers and toes, and curled horns on the top of his head. However, his body was far more humanoid, with longer limbs and bones, a much straighter posture, more malleable digits, a muscular yet leaner and less bulky physique, a humanoid face, and even spiky hair. Secured to his wrists were two metal shackles and he was wearing a skirt of armor plates around his waist, similar to a gladiator or knight.
The Demon growled as he looked out over the city.
“I can’t believe that bastard followed us here.” He muttered. He turned back to the Gargoyles.
“He already killed one of us, and our plan can’t work if we lose another. Not even I can face him in battle the way I am. All of you will lay low and remain hidden, but I need to feed so that I may become strong enough to fight him. If I feed on enough souls, I may be able to at least survive confrontation, but you are all to keep a low profile…” He ordered.
Selene walked down the street, still working on her book of crossword puzzles. The rain had finally stopped in in unison with the lost the light of the sun, and with the darkness of the city, it was likely that the vast puddles and blanket of water would not dry until the next day. The night was unusually dark. For even though the rain had stopped, the thick clouds remained and they refused to allow the moon to shine. With so much moisture in the city, a thick mist thickened the air, almost making if difficult to breath and wrapping around every lamppost and window like a straightjacket, locking in the light so that all else remained dark.
Selene walked this street twice a day to and from work, so she had no worries. Even in the darkness with no one around, she felt safe enough to walk home. Not to mention the fact that the can of mace she carried in her purse was strong enough to melt the eyes out of anyone who gave her a funny look.
In a stretch of time so small that she couldn’t even think of something to compare it to, Selene’s world was suddenly flipped upside-down as her senses were ripped away, save for the sound of a crackling rattle and the feeling of getting stabbed at every centimeter of flesh in her body with hot irons while battery acid flooded her veins.
Her legs buckled under the agony and she felt herself being snatched up by multiple arms with brutal force and dragged into the nearby alley.
“Damn, that Taser worked like a charm. The bitch isn’t even screaming.” A course voice laughed.
Selene’s eyes rolled randomly as she tried to identify whoever had attacked her, but whatever Taser they had used on her, she couldn’t imagine it being a regular model if the affects were this prominent. She couldn’t move or even make a sound; she was completely crippled by the pain of the excruciating shock.
Selene was slammed against a brick wall with one of her captors gripping her by the throat. The impact, while painful, offered some clarity, as she was now able to at least see her attackers. One was facing her, as mentioned before, with his hand around her throat, the second was standing beside the first, and the third was a few feet away, digging through her purse.
“Damn, she’s nice piece of ass. It looks like we’ll get a little more than some cash and credit cards.” The second one laughed. The words felt like an icy finger being dragged up Selene’s spine as she realized what they were about to do to her.
“No… please…” She gasped with her throat burning. Her plea got her a hard smack to the cheek.
“Unless you’re begging for my cock, you had better shut the fuck up…” The first growled as he drew a knife. Looking through the stars of the stinging smack, Selene’s eyes widened as she saw the faint light glinting off the blade.
“…If you know what’s good for you.” He said sadistically. Like his knife, the dim light was reflected off his teeth as he gave a cruel smile.
Holding the knife as if he were going to stab her, he slipped the tip of the blade into her collar. For the briefest second, the tip of the blade was touching her skin, and never before had she felt something so stingingly cold. To her relief, the knife was taken off of her skin, but before she could exhale, her attacker yanked the blade downwards, tearing through her coat, shirt, and bra. With tears streaming from her eyes, Selene cried out in pain as blood trickled down her belly from the deep cut left on her breast from the attacker’s malicious and clumsy removal of her clothes.
He then tore through her skirt and panties and the second attacker went to work yanking off the shredded remains. Selene shivered in terror and helplessness as the cool air fanned her bare thighs and firm breasts. Her nipples were now the size of finger joints from the cold air and the fear that filled every fiber of her being.
“Look at those sweet tits of hers, I wonder how much cum has been shot onto them. I imagine a little white would look great on that dark skin.” The third attacker joked as he approached, jamming a handful of cash into his pocket and throwing aside her purse.
They were really going to rape her, and that fact terrified Selene more than anything else in her life. She had to do something, anything that had the slightest chance of sparing her from this fate. Working up all the strength in her exhausted body, she screamed at the top of her lungs,
“SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME! HEL-” Her scream was cut short as the attacker’s blade was plunged into the side of her stomach, cutting through her without any effort. The pain that shot through her was so excruciating, she lost all control over her body and mind. The pain inflicted to her with the knife lodged in her flesh was even more horrible than the Taser, something that she thought was impossible. With blood slowly filling her mouth, her body became limp while her attackers just laughed.
‘Is this it? Am I going to die here? Will these monsters raping be the last thing I feel before I slip away? Is this really how it ends for me?’ She thought to herself desperately as blood trickled from her lower lip and dripped on the hand around her throat.
“Let her go.” A voice echoed through the alley. The deep voice was as clear as glass and the very sound of it shook Selene from her dying daze.
She and her three attackers looked to the entrance of the alley, where a lone figure stood, silhouetted against the light of the lampposts in the street.
‘Yes, thank you, someone heard me.’ Thought Selene.
“Who the fuck are you?!” The second attacker barked.
“Let her go, this is your final warning.” The man ordered with more authority and power in his voice than any living human could have. The first attacker pulled his knife out of Selene, making her scream in pain.
“Listen asshole, either walk away or I’ll carve off your face, he’ll kick your ass, and he’ll stomp on your nuts.” He warned while motioning to his cohorts. The silhouetted figure cricked his neck.
“You want to face me? Very well…” Baltoh began.
Before he continued, four large wings grew out of his back, with the feathers along the edge of the upper wings flanged like the quills of a porcupine and the lower bat-like wings honed to the sharp shape of a blade. With blood oozing down her chin, Selene gasped in disbelief and the three rapists staggered back, cursing in fear. The man with the knife dropped her and she slumped to the ground with blood pouring from her wound.
“But know this, your hatred is nothing compared to mine! Demon Art: Incineration Flood!” He roared, clapping his hands together.
An eruption of red and black flames surged from Baltoh, shaking the street and causing every puddle in the alley and every piece of trash to rise into the air. The dark flames surged down the alley, slamming into the three rapists like an undammed river and knocking them off their feet. Completely ignored by the blast, Selene watched in horror in amazement as the three suspended attackers were slowly disintegrated by waves of black and red flames washing over them.
Their clothes were burned away, their faces melted off their skulls, their flesh was pealed off their bodies, their muscles were shredded as if by a meat grinder, blood streamed from their carcasses as their veins were lacerated at every centimeter, their organs exploded like water balloons once exposed, and after only a few seconds, they were nothing but charred skeletons.
As the surge faded, so did Selene’s level on consciousness. Succumbing to blood loss and the pain of her injuries, Selene slumped over and passed out. Kicking aside the blackened skeletons of the rapists, Baltoh walked over to Selene and crouched down, holding his pale hand over her naked body.
“Angel Art: Laying On Of Hands.” He murmured.
Selene’s whole body began to glow as a plasma-like radiance wafted from Baltoh’s hand and settled on her skin. Her stab wound began to close, her scrapes and bruises disappeared, and her body stopped shaking as the affects of the stun gun were removed. In less than half a minute, she was fully healed. While he restored her health, Baltoh was surprised to find himself analyzing every inch of her naked beauty, moving his eyes slowly up her slim yet curved frame.
While he healed her wounds, Baltoh reached out with his tail and retrieved her purse, proceeding then to search for information. Pulling out a forgotten letter, Baltoh read her name and address, memorizing the location of the apartment building and the exact unit. Hooking the purse to his sash, he moved back over to Selene. With one arm against her back and the other under her knees, Baltoh picked her up, clutching her naked body while being careful not to scratch her with his claws.
Holding the woman in his arms, Baltoh lost all inertia and stood as still as a statue, staring at her face. It had been years since he laid eyes upon something so… beautiful, and never before had it stopped him in his tracks like this. Looking at her, he felt a very blissful sensation in his chest and a happy nervousness, something that he had never before experienced with his cold heart.
Realizing how much time had passed, Baltoh shook himself back to reality and spread his wings. With a single powerful flap, he was catapulted high into the sky. Holding Selene tightly, he stabilized himself in the air and began to fly, mentally repeating the address he had found on the letter as he soared over the city.
With her long lustrous hair brushing across her face, Selene was brought out of full unconsciousness, but her mind was still only half-awake. Her eyelids slowly rose, revealing the emerald gems through which she gazed at Baltoh’s face, unsure of if what she was seeing was real or a dream. What she did know was that he was very handsome and she was cold. She gave a soft sigh as she fell back to sleep, crossing her arms to keep warm.
With the chilly damp air kissing her bare skin, the sleeping Selene shivered in Baltoh’s arms. Looking at her, Baltoh felt an overwhelming sense of protectiveness for her, something that was completely foreign to him. For his entire existence, he had never felt anything like the emotions that holding this woman were bringing. Ever since he first came to be, his life had been nothing but anger and the desire to slay Gargoyles and Demons. His own life meant nothing, except that he would not be able to continue fighting if he died. But now… he found himself drawn to this woman.
Unable to understand why he was doing it, Baltoh tightened his embrace, holding her closer while he flew and keeping her warm with his own body heat. He even wrapped his lower wings around her to keep her protected from the cold wind. Clutching her tightly, he tried to fight his building erection, something that further confused him, as he had never felt sexual attraction for anyone or desire for anything.
Finally reaching Selene’s apartment building, he landed on the fire escape by her unit like an eagle reaching its nest. With Selene in his arms, he stepped forward and passed right through the wall as if it were a hologram, entering her bedroom. Stepping down onto the floor with unparalleled silence, he retracted his wings and gently laid Selene in her bed.
Standing up, Baltoh looked around the room for a reason that he did not know. There were no lights on, but he could see clearly in the darkness. The walls were blocked off by bookshelves or sprinkled with pictures of friends and family. With his hand moving against his will, Baltoh picked up a picture of Selene with a young man and stared at it intently. While they had the same complexion, he couldn’t not figure out if he were a boyfriend or brother.
‘Why am I so curious about this woman? Why am I so distracted?’ Baltoh thought to himself, shaking his head from side to side like a wet dog.
As he looked back at the picture, he saw the reflection of two eyes in the glass, right above his shoulder. Spinning around, Baltoh aimed his hand at the creature with his sword materializing in his grip. He came to a stop, sword in hand, staring into the eyes of a white and brown cat, perched on the top of one of the bookshelves. The creature’s eyes were fully dilated to take in all possible light, its tail was swishing from side to side anxiously, and its claws were slowly edging out of its soft paws. But the feline’s posture was relaxed, as if it were both at ease and alert. Staring at the Baltoh, the cat felt more confusion than ever before in its life, sensing a vast torrent of different energies in him, both light and dark.
Baltoh let go of his sword and the weapon disappeared as soon as contact was lost. Turning back to the window to leave, Baltoh was again brought to a statue-like pose, staring at Selene’s naked body. The city lights from outside were cast upon her unclothed beauty like a spider web, illuminating her womanly figure. Her dark skin caught the light beautifully, allowing Baltoh to see her in a way that he had not yet experienced. While her body was rich in voluptuous curves, her lean and well-toned figure was like that of a bronze goddess. Between her long smooth thighs, the lips of her pussy looked so delicate and soft, it was as if they were made of chocolate frosting and lacked even a single hair. Her full breasts gently trembled with each intake and release of air, and her nipples were erect from the softness and ticklish chill of each exhale. Her silky black hair was scattered across her pillow, while only a few strands were draped across her peaceful face. The lipstick on her lips glistened as she breathed, and her eyelashes fluttered with each sleeping tremor in the lids.
“Beautiful.” Baltoh finally gasped, completely mesmerized by her unparalleled visage.
Murmuring the word shook him from his daze, reminding him that he had to leave. He extended his wings and became intangible, about to pass through the wall as if it were made only of light. As he took a step forward, Selene’s eyes slowly opened and Baltoh was caught in the bright green hue.
“Wait.” She whispered. Baltoh stopped dead.
“At least answer me this: are you an Angel?” She asked, trying to stay awake. Baltoh looked away, unsure of how to answer.
“Sort of.” He finally replied, turning back to her. Once again, Selene was sound asleep, completely peaceful. Giving a sigh, Baltoh placed a blanket over her. Then, before departing, he plucked a marble-white feather from his wing and placed it on her bedside table, next to her purse.
Two sounds filled the abandoned subway tunnel; the dark laughs of Abaddon and the agonizing cries of his fourteen-year-old victim. Having spent the evening feeding on homeless people, the black-hearted Demon had now decided to move onto the main course. The young girl before him had long blond hair and pale skin, dirtied from years of living in the streets and sickly from malnourishment. She was completely naked and covered in long bloody cuts, inflicted by Abaddon’s razor-sharp talons or from whip-like slashes of his tail.
She was bent over awkwardly, leaning on the ramp alongside the tracks, crying and screaming in pain as the Demon forced his near-horse-sized cock into her tiny body with inhuman speed. Beneath her were the butchered remains of her parents, wet with her tears and the blood streaming from between her legs, caused by the bony ridges that encircled the shaft of Abaddon’s phallus.
For over an hour, the young girl had begged the Demon to have mercy and stop, or to at least kill her and end the pain. Even after everything she had saw and experienced in this brutal night, she couldn’t believe what was happening to her. The evil force raping her was not human, and while her sense of logic screamed that he had to be, the girl knew that it was no man using her in such a cruel way, no matter how impossible it seemed. Feeding on the agony and gaining strength from her teary cries, Abaddon was not going to show any kindness.
Finally, Abaddon released a lion-like roar as he finally came, squeezing his victim’s hips tightly. The young girl screamed in agony and humiliation as the Demon dug his claws into her flesh and felt his semen flood her body, taking the place of Abaddon’s cock as he yanked it out of her. She released a second and more tearful scream as an indescribable burning feeling coursed through her body. In her vagina, the dark-grey semen was eating away at her flesh, burning through her like acid.
Abaddon stood back and watched with an evil smile as the girl writhed in pain, desperate to stop the dark fluid that was melting her from the inside out. Finally, just before death, Abaddon unhinged his jaw like a hungry boa constrictor, leaned down, and crushed her skull between his teeth as he feasted upon her.
Wiping the blood from his chin, Abaddon stood up and began to chuckle.
“Finally, I am at fighting strength.” He growled with an evil smile.
Selene bolted awake to the sound of her alarm, reliving the scene from the alley as if were still happening. She looked around wildly, expecting to see her attackers, but only seeing her bedroom. The welcoming sight nearly caused her to collapse, as she almost wept with joy that she hadn’t been raped.
“It was just a dream… It was just a dream… It was just a dream…” She murmured to herself as she clutched her knees, completely shaken by the vividness of her memories.
A small scowl appeared on her face, something didn’t feel right. She looked at her hand, having felt something greasy on her leg. Her palm had a thin coating of grime, and looking over her body, she realized that her hand wasn’t the only thing that was dirty.
‘Did I sleepwalk and lie in a gutter?!’ She thought to herself, wondering how all the grime got on her body. She looked down at her stomach and even saw a large bloodstain.
She looked over to her clock to turn off the beeping alarm and the blood in her veins instantly became as cold as ice. She was looking at her purse on the bedside table, and the white feather set against it. The marble-like color was so vibrant that Selene knew that for it to come from a mere bird was impossible. Just the size alone made it being an eagle feather impossible. Selene quickly reached into her dirt-covered purse and found her wallet, empty of cash.
“It really happened. The alley, the muggers, the knife… the man.” She said to herself with her whole body shaking.
Mentally shaken, Selene called in sick to work, deciding that it would be best if she thought things out before doing anything. After taking a shower and washing away the dirt from the alley and the blood from her injuries, Selene sat in her living room with a cup of coffee, watching the morning news. Purring and meowing, her attention-hungry cat crawled into her lap.
As she petted the feline behind the ears, a new story came on the TV. Selene quickly turned up the volume as the anchorwoman began speaking.
“A brutal scene was discovered this morning by delivery trucks handing newspapers. Describing the smell of burning sulfur, they came across an alley that looked at if it had been the scene of an explosion. The walls of the neighboring buildings were melted and burned, the concrete ground was obliterated as if by earth-moving equipment, and the remains of three bodies were found.
We go to you live at the scene, where the police has allowed us to view the incredible destruction. I warn you, the following footage is quite graphic and viewer discretion is strongly advised…” She said. The screen went dark for a moment and then the view was returned. Selene spewed coffee across her cat as she saw the alley, sending the irritated feline scurrying away.
Selene starred at the TV with a look of horror. She knew without a shadow of a doubt that the alley they were showing was the alley she had been mugged in the night before. The camera zoomed in at several points, showing the damage of the explosion. It was a miracle that the buildings themselves weren’t obliterated!
Next the camera panned over to the victims, and Selene had to fight with all her strength not to throw up at the sight of the twisted black skeletons and the horrible expression of agony on their charred faces. The screen then returned to the anchorwoman, who too looked nauseous from the sight of the gruesome skeletons.
“Police are currently investigating the identities of the three victims and the cause of the explosion. They were willing to remark on the strangeness of the event, as there were no reports of any loud noises, something that would be unmistakable for whatever caused so much destruction. They also told us a very interesting fact; while the examination continues, no chemical residue has been found at the site. They can’t find any evidence of an actual bomb exploding or any traces of acid; all they have uncovered is a large amount of sulfur. “ She said.
With shaky hands, Selene turned off the TV and looked down at the feather in her lap. She gently picked it up and pressed it against her chest.
“Who are you?” She whispered.
Baltoh sat crouched on the corner of an office building with his head in his palm, mulling over the previous night. There was barely a cloud in the sky and the temperature was reaching into the high sixties. Baltoh had made himself invisible so that he didn’t even cast a shadow. He didn’t want any distractions as he pondered his next movie and his previous ones. His wings lay draped around him like blankets and his whip-like barbed tail lazily flicked as he scolded himself.
“What the hell are you doing? You’re on a mission; you have a job to do. You can’t afford to get involved with a human.” He cursed.
He then stood up and turned around, running his fingers through his hair. He thought back over and over again to the different sensations that filled him when he gazed at Selene in her bedroom. Never before in his entire existence had he felt anything like those emotions, he had never felt anything other than hatred and the desire to slay Demons and Gargoyles. But looking at Selene, holding her naked form tightly… it replaced the fires of anger in his heart with the fires of passion.
“Enough of this.” He finally growled, turning back to the city. He had been pondering something else since he arrived, ever since he had encountered that Gargoyle.
‘To be able to interact and even kill a human being, less than a day after arrival… Even a full-fledged Demon would require at least two weeks to amass enough power for physical interaction, and even then, a lethal wound would be impossible to inflict.’ He thought to himself. He looked up at the pale sun and began tapping his foot impatiently.
‘Something has changed. Either they’re getting more powerful or crossing over is having less affect. Whatever is going on, I need to put a stop to it before it’s too late.’ He established. He jerked his head as a small pop flared in the back of his mind. He could sense a surge in Demon energy and it was compressed in a single entity. Without a doubt it was Abaddon.
“Tch, perfect timing.” He hissed before taking to the air.
Baltoh slowly passed through level upon level upon level of abandoned railway tunnels and sewer lines, moving through solid stone and concrete without even touching it. He finally came to the lowest tunnel, residing deep below the city and having been completely untouched since it was abandoned. Only the eternally gnawing rats had inflicted damage to the concrete structures and formations.
Peeling the muscle off of the severed arm of dead child, Abaddon looked over as Baltoh appeared and quickly jumped to his feet.
“How the hell did you find me?!” He demanded.
“You may be able to hide yourself from the eyes of humans and the light of the sun, but you were careless in trying to hide your power or its toxic influence. All I needed to do was follow the smell of evil on your breath.” Baltoh calmly said. He then looked down at the dead bodies around Abaddon’s feet and the multiple teeth and claw marks.
“I’ve let you roam free in this world for too long, now you die.” Baltoh growled, forming his sword in his hand.
The Demon began to laugh and held out his hand. Bursting from the flesh of his palm, a line of bones resembling a spinal column reached out and locked together into a meter-long pole. A loud cracking sound echoed through the chamber as the spine began to warp, being crushed by an invisible force and compacted. All without shattering, the spine was compressed into a long sword of a single solid piece of bone, with the spinal ridges acting as huge serrations.
“Don’t underestimate me traitor. Ever since I got here, I’ve been feeding nonstop. The painful cries of these puny humans, they’re so beautiful, the sound of the flesh being torn from their bodies and their blood being splattered across the walls and floor, the sight of the poor girls’ teary faces as I rape them to death, and the taste of this glorious feast of agony… it’s indescribable!” He cackled, mad with power.
“I’ve been tormenting these weaklings since I got here, feasting on their excruciating pain and their bodies. And I must say, living humans taste so much more delectable than the spirits of the damned; they are so… unspoiled. Now I’ve become far stronger than I ever was in Hell, strong enough to even face you!” He roared. Baltoh maintained his cool demeanor and held up his hand in front of his face.
“We’ll see about that. Angel Art: Repairing Barrier.” He scoffed, closing his hand into a fist.
A bubble of light suddenly appeared around Baltoh’s fist, expanding twenty feet every second. The growing bubble of light consumed him and Abaddon and continued to expand, passing through the walls, floor, and ceiling of the tunnel as if they weren’t even there. After expanding a hundred meters in every direction, the bubble came to a stop and became still.
Baltoh turned to a nearby concrete pillar and flicked the air in its direction. The pillar instantly shattered into millions of pieces and crumbled to the ground, but before the dust could even begin to settle, the pillar was reformed, with every shard and pebble of concrete joining together into a giant single piece and repairing itself completely.
“I’m not very skilled in maintaining this barrier, let’s keep this small, shall we?” Baltoh sighed before being consumed by a roaring torrent of black and white energy. Darkness was streaming from his black bat-like wings and light was streaming from his pearly eagle-like wings. Abaddon gave a booming laugh and pointed his sword at Baltoh.
“Very well, but I wonder just how long you can last before you have to resort to unleashing your full power.” He cackled as black flames surged up from the ground around him.
The two enemies crouched down with their arms held back and pounced on each other. In midair, they both swung their swords and collided in deafening crash. Instantly, every piece of solid stone and concrete shattered like fragment grenade, filling the air with dust and shrapnel.