By: Martin Linson
The entire tarp tent was suddenly ripped away from covering Jake and Kimmy, as Matt stood next to them, caught off guard at how quickly they became surrounded. As the tarp flew away, it revealed from what Jake and Matt could see was about fourteen all together including the ring leader. Both of the men would never admit it, but they were still somewhat paralyzed by the voice; the very sound of it seemed to grate against the each individual vertebra in their spines.
In the far distance, an impact could be faintly heard out of the normal sounds of the city. Kimmy stirred “wha…” cutting immediately into a whisper to Jake, “oh no, daddy… I told you, no one can keep me from him.” She curled up in Jake’s lap more, and a wave came over him. All the fear left him, even what was left over from Bahlreq’s voice. He stood up, setting her down and shielding her as he readied to fight.
Even Matt couldn’t believe it, as Bahlreq scoffed, his foul voice shaking every nerve of their beings with a fear either man had never felt. “Pah, I spit on your little stand mortal. You will not stand long between what is mine.” A louder impacting sound could be heard, closer this time.
Matt almost crippled to the floor with his words, but was able to pull it together and stay on his feet. Yet again to his surprise, Jake had stood his ground as well, however he saw the fear beading in his eyes. Turning to their leader “so what, you want this girl, for what? A sacrifice? To eat, or something else evil? Well not today fuck face! I might not last long, but that’s still longer she’s not in your hands fucker!” Another impact could be heard, this time close enough a slight vibration in the ground could be felt, as everyone paused a moment and glanced around in confusion.
Shaking his head as he stepped forward the spine scraping voice, “if you wish your pitiful life to be given for nothing so be it. You cannot stop what already is.” Grinning big and brightly piercing the darkness in the alley, his followers the other thirteen could be heard quietly humming a faint unfamiliar tune, all focus on them as Matt and Jake braced for a fight they both knew they couldn’t fight.
Bahlreq’s movement was faster than they could see, as in the blink of an eye he had Matt by the throat against the wall as he gazed down at Jake with piercing pure black eyes. Matt was unable to respond as his windpipe was completely closed by the impossibly strong grip. “Be ready to come home with daddy…” the horrible voice uttered down to Kimmy, as the sickening sound of Matt’s neck snapping filled the alley way with a sudden pop.
“YOU FUCK!!!” Jack snapped as he lunged at Bahlreq, who merely smiled as he let the limp body fall to the ground. A louder thud and seemingly impact vibrations followed seeming much closer this time.
Bahlreq turned to face Jake, confident in his stature when out of nowhere Ric landed between the two. Ric’s left hand up in the air catching Jake midflight and shoving him away.
“This is no fight for you Jake; Matt was shown mercy by this beast. A mercy I will not share when I destroy it.” Ric turned to face Bahlreq, an intense ferocity to him that had never been felt before.
Bahlreq almost seeming impressed, “I figured I’d wipe the floor with you once again First Born, but it seems you might have actually learned some things since our last encounter. However, this will be much the same.” His right brow arching, his voice enough to break Jake out of his fury after the jolt of Ric’s return, and backing away as asked.
Ric returned the brow arch, as he twisted and tilted his head towards each shoulder, cracking a couple pops on each side of his neck. “Yes I have, and perhaps more than you may have planned for…” vanishing before their eyes, and within the next couple seconds the thirteen other followers all lost their head as their necks seemed to explode in gouts of blood and gore. A blink of an eye later and Ric had returned to the exact position he was previously standing. His right hand in a martial arts knife hand strike form, bloodied from mid-forearm down to his fingertips that dripped blood to the ground.
The reaction could be seen in Bahlreq’s eyes as he was impressed and caught off guard for once. “Impressive First Born, this is what I would expect of your birth right.”
“I don’t give a shit what you expect. I’m sending you back to the Pit, Demlo, as I take your followers, I take your power,” Ric suddenly shoulder checked Bahlreq through the wall in the alley, leaving a hole and pile of bricks. Kimmy whimpered at the sight as Jake held her away shielding her from the scene. “Get her out of here now Jake,” he said keeping his eyes locked on Bahlreq.
Before Jake could turn and begin to run an unholy voice was heard emanating from Bahlreq, “Blood to blood, blood of blood, come now…”. At the end of his words he rose from the rubble appearing without a scratch even. The Demlo reached out a hand towards Kimmy as she flew out of Jake’s arms with an impossible force, which blew him back in the opposite direction. Kimmy seemed to float in the air with grace yet unearthly quickness into Bahlreq’s arms.
“You fuck! Get away from her!” Ric lunged after her as she shot past him in the air, even darting through his grasp regardless of his speed. Turning to face him, just as Bahlreq smiled back at him with rotting maggot infested teeth. His maw no longer appeared human, but the image of the Demlo possessing him as he launched into the air screeching like a dying banshee as he somehow just flew away with incredible speed.
Jake rose to his feet, a bit groggy from hitting his head on the wall behind him. Steadying himself on his seat as he took it, “w…w…what ttthe fuck Ric…?”
Ric stood in the middle of the alley looking at his empty hands, the rage apparent in his posture and face, as he fell to his knees screaming into the sky, a guttural unintelligible growl of some sort. Jake could feel it in his bones, perhaps even his soul.
Jake stood there, as if the wind had been knocked out of him, unable to even respond. He wanted to, he wished he could tell Ric to calm down, that girl needs him. Ric cut him off just as he was getting his words back to himself, “R…Ric…”
“He won’t kill her. Don’t worry about that Jake. He’s going to use her for bait however, and it is going to work.” Standing up he made his way back to his tarp area, ripping what was left away from his sleeping area. Kneeling down he flung things this way and that, a campfire stove over one shoulder, a ‘Best Grandpa’ ceramic mug over the other instantly shattering into a million pieces upon impact with the ground.
Jake stumbled in Ric’s direction as he was regaining control and feeling of his body. “Wait… what?! He won’t kill her? Are you hearing yourself?!”
Exhaling a large sigh as he shook his head before responding, “yes Jake, I know exactly what I’m saying. If I’m going to save her, I need something. He’s too solidified in his possession, unfortunately her father is lost, I can’t save him any longer but I think she’s always known that.”
Jake stood there, his mouth agape at Ric’s words still.
“You can come with me, or stay here Jake, it’s your choice, but I’m leaving now.” Ric revealed a lighter patch of concrete under his sleeping area as he punched a hole through it with his fist like it was a wall made of rice paper. Pulling his hand out, he had a key ring hanging from his forefinger with a single key on it, one looking rather old at least a few centuries.
Jake’s attention was caught by the old looking key, “well I’m not staying here, not after all this shit went down. Fuck the cops show up and I’m here… nope, unh uhn…”
Chuckling Ric smiled over at him, “that’s the first smart thing I think I’ve heard you say tonight man. Alright, let’s get over in this nook out of sight.” He made his way to the ten foot by eight foot nook in the alley.
Jake followed closely behind him, “so what I need to do?”
Ric nodded as he removed his several layers of jackets all together, being sewn all together into one big layer. Folding it over with the sleeve with blood rolled inside and handing it over to Jake, “yeah, can you hold that for me for now and stand out of sight of onlookers.”
Jake at first looking almost offended, but soon realizing that his clothes didn’t smell at all, almost as if Ric didn’t sweat or have any body odor somehow. Then he looked up at Ric, finally noticing his shirtless body in front of him. All he could do was stand there in shock as he saw from neck to waist almost every inch of his body was covered in scars. Gashes, cuts, bullet holes, all scarred over, it had to be age’s worth of scars. When he finally broke away from all the scars he finally noticed the odd homemade bracers on each forearm. There was a leather strap at each wrist and forearm, with some sort golden thread woven between each, and within the weave, on the top of his right forearm and under his left forearm was a rather odd and unfamiliar looking whiter than any white he’d ever seen feather. Then on the opposing side of each forearm was an almost identical feather except its color was the complete opposite, an almost blacker than black.
“Alright, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this, so give me a break here…” Ric began chanting in some completely unknown language as his hands started dancing around, fingertips seeming to trace runes in the air.
The very air began to vibrate around Jake as he continued to watch in sheer awe of what was happening before him unable to respond to Ric’s comment and thinking he hadn’t expected one with the impossible display taking place.
Ric’s fingers and hands continued to almost dance in the air in some unnatural way, as this was happening each white feather began to glow around its edges. As this glow seemed to grow, it appeared to be feeding the golden strands woven between the two leather straps from wrists to forearms. Once the feeding strands reached the black feathers, they filled with glowing white light, more and more, and once they reached appeared to fill each black feather with light there was an explosion of pure light. It was oddly not blinding in any normal sense, but only obscuring his sight as it happened, then faded however seemed to still be glowing everywhere. He looked over seeing a glowing oval in midair floating in front of Ric, like a portal from some science fiction movie or show.
“W…wwhat the hell…?” Jake couldn’t think of any other words, or none others were forming rather.
Chuckling Ric responded, “well no, not hell, and where Demlo come from is the Pit, which I guess you all call Hell, depending on who you ask. But no, this is a shortcut I’ve set up that only I can access for private storage you could say.”
“Private storage? Like… uh… in another dimension?” Jake was completely dumbfounded at this point as reality seemed to have taken an even further left turn than he’d already thought he was on.
Chuckling again, “well yes, exactly that. It’s a ‘space’ that only I can access. It is in the scientific sense another dimension. It’s a pocket in a way of saying that is my own… if you’re coming with me, it’s through here. And it’s easier to see it…” Ric lets out an exasperated sigh as he puts his hand out for Jake to take.
Jake fumbled a bit at first, still in shock with everything, and nothing was slowing down and it just seemed to be speeding up and turning in directions that he didn’t even imagine existed. He takes a big deep breath after finally gathering himself as he grasped Ric’s hand, and walked through the glowing floating oval.
To be continued…