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Chapter 6: Inquiring Minds (Jerry)

They took me to their place, a run down motel deep in the Bottoms. When I asked Uriel why they didn't pick a better neighborhood, he told me that they were more needed in places like this. By all reasonable accounts of logic I should be freaking out right now; jumping at the door and making my escape. But I'm not. I've been missing for almost sixteen hours now, my wife and everyone else on the force are probably going crazy wondering where the hell I am. That should bother me. I find myself more at peace than I've ever been before. Being around them does that to you. This must be what the faithful feel every Sunday in church.

We got to their rooms just before the sun rose. I had a shower and borrowed some of Michael's clothes and crashed until late in the evening. I stretched before going out on the patio to watch the sun set over the Columbus skyline. Gabriel joined me a few minutes later, carrying two beers.

“Hey, want one?” He asks, offering the one in his right hand.

“I didn't think you were allowed to drink.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Well, you're a creature of God aren't you?”

“Yeah, but so are you. And you guys are into all sorts of heinous shit.”

“Never thought of it like that.”

“The thing that you need to keep in mind, is that most of the rules the bible and modern churches follow were written by men, and we know how that usually turns out. Listen, you want to know what the real golden rules are? The best ways to get home?”

“It would make things a lot easier.”

“With the exception of taking his name in vain, Father doesn't really care about what language you use. They're just words. He also understands what it's like being in your bodies, he designed them after all, so he knows that you have urges and all that. Premarital sex doesn't bother him so much as long as there is love involved and you're not whoring yourself out for ham sandwiches. But the most important things to keep in mind are to love Him with all your heart and try to help more people than you fuck over.”

“That's it?”

“That's it.”

“Huh...So what about you guys then? You don't seem a whole lot different from us.”

“Well, I'm not. As far as personality is concerned. We were kind of like His practice dummies, his trial runs before He stopped with humans.”

“What do you mean?” I ask him as I take a swig.

“Uriel was the first being Father created, and was done so without a lot of major emotions,”

“I've noticed that.”

“He can feel love for our Father and, to a very small extent, every other creature. He was made this way so that he wouldn't get distracted from his devotion to Him. He was made just to serve. As more and more of us were created, Father became increasingly lax and we evolved as a result. I'm the second youngest. That's why I am the way that I am.”

“And who is the youngest.” This question makes him close his eyes and his face contorts with pain.

“The Morning Star.”

I change the subject. “So then what are you doing on Earth? Don't you belong in Heaven?”

“Technically, angels don't belong anywhere. We can go where we want. So can demons. There are hundreds of them on Earth getting into all sorts of shenanigans. That's where we come in.”

“So, you're like some divine police officer.”

He chuckles. “I like to think of us as a combination of Men in Black and Constantine, personally. We'll spend a few weeks in a town, patrolling every night, move on and start it all over again.”

“How long have you been doing this?”

“What's this, June?” He starts counting on his fingers. “1,700 years, 6 months, 14 weeks, and nine days. Wow...I need a fuckin vacation.”

“So, are you going to take me with you tonight when you guys go out?”

“No, it's too dangerous for you. Uriel is going to stay here tonight. But, listen...” He reaches behind him and pulls a dagger out of his boot. It's about 8 inches in length and there are funny stains on the silver blade. Everything else about it is unremarkable. “There is going to be a time when you're going to have to fight. It's inevitable now. This will give you a chance.”

“Thanks.” I just sit and stare at it, unable to shake a sudden ominous feeling.

“Ok, I have a question for you now.”

“Shoot.”

“Um...” He starts to blush, like he's too embarrassed to ask it. “What's sex like?”

Harbinger Ch. 5: "Winging" it

I feel dizzy, like I'm on the verge of throwing up. I'm sitting in the backseat of a car that I don't recognize with no idea how I got here. Ok, focus. You were almost off when you got a call, so you and Dalton...it's all coming back and I start to panic. There are voices coming from outside the car.

"Whoa whoa whoa. What do you mean we're taking him with us? Have you lost your mind?" One of them says, definitely pissed.

"Gabriel, calm down. I admit this situation has gotten out of hand, but we don't have a choice." The second one is much calmer. "He knows what we are." Everything goes quiet.

Suddenly, a kid with shaggy blonde hair is looking through the window at me. It's a few seconds before he breaks the awkward silence.

"Well, couldn't you have at least hosed him off first? I mean, look at him. He's covered in blood! And...and is that vomit? There's vomit all over my fucking interior! That's going to take forever to get out."

"We need to go, now." A third voice chimes in. "We're kinda exposed out here."

"I'm not getting in there with him. He's gotta smell terrible."

Ten minutes later, the four of us are driving in silence. My three companions look to be in their mid-twenties. The blonde one is driving, gripping the steering wheel tightly and just shaking his head. The one that I had met back in the room is sitting up front. The wings that I thought I had saw are now absent. I pray that they were just a hallucination. The one sitting next to me is hanging his head out of the window, smiling serenely. All of their features are perfect; not a blemish, birthmark, or scar on any of them. Just... flawless. They radiate a light that can't be seen, but you can feel that it's there. It's a hard thing to describe.

"I guess you're wondering who we are." The kid riding shotgun says to me. "My name is Uriel," he points to the driver, "this is Gabriel..."

"Charmed." Gabriel spits out through gritted teeth.

"and sitting beside you is Michael."

Michael doesn't respond, he's clearly in his own world.

“Yeah, hi.” I say dismissively. “I”m officer Jerry Delange. Do you have any idea what that means? You just kidnapped a cop. I should be arresting you right now.”

“Ha!” Gabriel mocks. “You can try!”

“I'm sorry, but it had to be done.” Uriel's tone never changes. There's never any inflection...it's all just a matter of fact with him. “Now, what do you remember about what happened inside that house?”

“My partner and I were on a routine call. When we got there we were too late to help the woman that lived there. This...thing killed her and then it got my partner.”

“His name was Belith. He's a very high ranking demon. You're actually very lucky to be alive right now.” Michael adds from outside the window.

Uriel swallows hard. “Do you remember what you asked me back in the room?” “I asked you if you were angel. I thought I saw wings. I was hysterical.”

“You weren't hysterical. Wait, you said that you “had” seen them. Does that mean you don't anymore?”

“No, should I?”

“Well, no. None of your kind should. That's the point.”

“What do you mean, “my kind”? You're?”

“Yes, Jerry. And you knowing that complicates things quite a bit.”

“Look, I don't care, ok? I just want to go home.” My voice was becoming panicked.

“We can't let you go now.”

“I want to see my wife.” I tried my best to sound forceful and intimidating.

“I told you earlier that you weren't dead, but that's only half true. The life that you once led is over. You're a loose end as far as Hell is concerned. Ours too, quite frankly. You've seen too much and they're going to be looking for you. With us, you're safe. If you were to go back home now, they'd follow you and slaughter anyone you care about right in front of your eyes. Then they would torture and finally kill you.”

“So...what, I just ride around with you until they eventually get to me?”

“Or until we can think of something better.” Michael laughs, trying to lighten the mood. "We're kinda making this up as we go along."

“Think of it this way, stinky,” Gabriel adds, “you just entered Heaven’s witness protection program.”

Happy Valentine's day!

I'm gonna drown my lonliness in alcohol!

Restless

Ugh...I'm out of ambien and can't sleep. It's kind of sad when you need a pill to make you do the things that should come naturally. Plus, there's too much on my mind.

I had the second meeting with my artist today and I've gotta say, the shit we're churning out is amazing. It's a weird feeling, to have something stew in your head for so long, then describe it to someone and then for them to put it on paper visually. The more into the project we get, the more and more epic it becomes. In all honesty it might take close to a decade to tell the whole story. (in comic book form) I promise you this, though, it will be worth it.

Every other facet of my life seems to be slowing down. Last year was such a mess, I'm still adjusting to how to deal with the calm. I used to thrive in chaos, it was where I was most comfortable, because it was all I had ever known. But now here I am, things aren't perfect, but they are the best they've ever been for me. It's kind of nice having something to work towards and a future worth looking forward to.

Chapter 4: The Sadist's Epistle (Halfway across the country)

It's 10 o'clock at night. He should have been home three hours ago, but his boss wouldn't let him out until he finished the Gillespie account. This meant that he missed his bus and now has to wait another hour for the next one. Last time he checked, public transportation was supposed to be a convenience, but in practice it just proves to be a giant pain in the ass.

His ride finally arrives and he pays the fare before sitting down. The bus is surprisingly full for this time of night. A couple of teenagers in the back are playing music from a boom box at an annoyingly high volume. The person two seats behind him is coughing her lungs up and it made him wonder what he's going to catch on the ride home. He looks at all the other passengers that occupy the bus with him. Their collected scents hang thick in the air and it makes him nauseous. He hates all of them.

Twenty minutes later, he is finally dropped off at his stop and he can enjoy the five minute walk to his house, alone. The night air cools him and it helps to cleanse his nostrils of the vermin's scent. Before he knows it, he's already at his front door. He looks back over his shoulder as he works the key in the lock and lets himself inside.

He sits his bag and keys down on the table by the door and then goes into the kitchen to grab a beer. He opens it, chugs it and grabs another before going to sit in the living room. He turns on the TV and begins to get comfortable. The long day had made him even more tired than he initially thought, because he falls asleep to the sounds of the local news in less than five minutes.………..

The sun shining through the living room window stings his eyes. He smacks his lips and tries his best to alleviate the cotton mouth he had acquired during his slumber. He stands up and winces, because his back aches from sleeping upright in the chair for the entire night. It's at this point that he notices that the TV set is turned off.

'That's odd,' He thinks to himself. 'I could've sworn I had left it on." He shrugs it off before going to the kitchen to cook himself some breakfast.

He opens the fridge and gets out a carton of eggs and orange juice. He shuts the door and glances at the kitchen table. His spine runs cold. Now sitting on it's polished, wooden surface is the head of a young woman. Resting in her mouth is an envelope. Someone had broken in and put it there while he was sleeping.

He slowly walks toward it, his hands shaking. When he gets about five feet away he breathes a sigh of relief. The head's fake. Whoever made it did a fantastic job, though. The woman actually looks just like them. He reaches into its mouth and pulls out the envelope. The letter inside reads:Mr. Cade,

We know who you are. Better than that, we know what you are and we know where you hide your bodies. We have a proposition for you.

One week from tonight, hundreds of those like you from around the world will congregate in a certain city for one evening. This will be where we hold our game. The object is simple; see who can get the most kills in a ten hour period. Do you think you've got what it takes to be the best? Then come and prove it. Not only do you get the title, but you'll also receive 100 million dollars in cash and a one way plane ticket to the destination of your choosing. Within the next twenty four hours, you will receive all the information that you need. We'll be in touch

Ps. If you don't participate, we are going to the police with all the evidence we have against you. Just something to keep in mind.


He read it three times before putting it down. He knew he should be furious, but this was just too intriguing. A whole night for serial killers to go wild? He smiled just thinking about the possibilities. He then looked at the severed head on the table. They even modeled it after the type of women he usually hunted for. Definitely a nice touch.

Chapter 3: Commination (Uriel)

Everything in the room is covered in blood. There are three bodies: one civilian and two cops. They didn't even have a chance. The woman was with child, but Belith had torn the baby from her womb. One officer is lying on his back, his throat gone. The other is curled in the fetal position. Wait a second...there's a whimper that's barely audible. He's still alive and, from the sound of it, bordering on hysteria. I rush over to his side to assess the damage.

"Officer, can you hear me?" He doesn't even acknowledge my presence.

"I need to know if you're ok." His eyes dart all over the room before they finally meet mine. His mouth gapes and his eyes now go wide.

"You're...you're an angel, aren't you?" He asks.

This just got interesting.

"What are you talking about?" I'm tying to do my best to hide the shock.

"You have wings. I can see them. They shine." His face contorts with sadness. "Does this mean I'm dead? Am I in heaven?"

"No, you're still alive. Just take it easy. You're safe, now."

He nods before he passes out again. This hasn't happened in over a thousand years and doesn't bode well with me. It's supposed to be the other way around, they're not supposed to see through us. This really isn't good, now we've gotta take him with us.

.......................

"I forgot how fast this guy was." Gabriel says to himself.

Belith is about fifty yards in front of him, but he's closing the gap more and more with each passing second. Michael is nowhere to be found. He hates to try and attack his opponent alone, but at the same time he can't let him get away. They've come too far to let him get away now.

Gabriel flaps his wings harder and harder as Belith leaps from trees to houses. He can here the demon's laughter and taunts, which only adds to his determination. 40 feet. 30. 20. 10. Almost there.

Gabe brings his sword over his head to lay the first strike. Without warning, Belith turns around in mid air and grabs him by the face. With his free hand he grabs the angel's right wing and snaps the bone, sending them both to the street below. Gabriel screams in pain as his opponent rolls them over and uses him to break their fall.

Still clutching his face, Belith slams his head over and over into the concrete. The cement starts to crack from the impacts and Gabriel comes dangerously close to passing out.

"Don't fade out on me yet, boy. I want you to stay awake while I bust your Goddamn head open!" Belith screams.

Gabe winces. Those words hurt more than the physical injuries. His skull cracks loudly and the demon's enthusiasm increases. His sinuses are starting to fill with blood.

It happened so fast he could barely register the movement. All he knew is that the demon was no longer on top of him. He looks to his left to see him lying on the ground with Michael walking towards him.

"Took you long enough!" He yells at his partner.

"You're the one that always runs into battle half-cocked. Now, am I gonna have to do this by myself? Get up and fight!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. My brain's just leaking out of my skull, but I'm fine, thanks for asking." Gabe says as he gets up, retrieves his sword and goes to stand next to Michael.

Belith is laughing as he stands up to face them. "Gabriel and Michael...been a long time." He tilts his head until his neck cracks. "How's the pops? Still sitting in his ivory tower with that self righteous stick up his ass?"

"Don't." Is all Michael can spit out.

"What? Strike a nerve?" The demon asks with a smile. He then claps his hands together. "Well, as fun as sitting here fighting you two sounds, I've should get going. There are big plans that I really must attend to." And then he's just gone.

"Huh...what do you think he met by that?" Gabriel asks his friend.

"Who the hell knows. Come on. We better go back." Michael says right before flying back in the direction they just came from.

"Yeah, I just hope Uriel is having a better night than we are."

Harbinger Ch 2: Smells like...trouble. (Uriel)

The trail ran cold three days ago. The traveling makes me weary and the lack of activity makes me itch. You'd be amazed at how quickly the hunt gets old. Tonight is just like last night, which is just like the week, month, years before it. I can't remember the last time I saw home and being away makes me ache. Once this job is done we'll just move on to the next. Nothing ever changes.

Michael is in the backseat hanging his head out of the window. He always says that he feels more at peace with the wind in his face. His quiet, gentle demeanor is a stark contrast to his hulking features. He's the biggest out of the three of us and is often the voice of reason. Just don't piss him off.

Gabriel is driving, paying more attention to flipping between radio stations than the actual road itself. We barely hear more than five seconds of any song before he cycles onto the next. It's giving me a headache. Finally, he comes to a stop on “Heart Shaped Box” by Nirvana.


“Oh, hell yeah!” He exclaims as he sits back in his seat.

“Can't we listen to something else?” Michael complains behind us. This is gonna get ugly.

“What did you just say?” Gabriel takes his music way too seriously.

“Change it, man. I hate this band.” I watch the exchange go back and forth like a tennis match.

“How dare you speak ill of Nirvana! Do you have any idea how much of an impact these guys have had? They're this generation's Beatles.”

“Oh, please. The Beatles had talent, stood the test of time and you can actually understand what they're saying. Nirvana was just another band lifted from obscurity by controversy.”

“Cobain was a lyrical genius.”

“No, Kurt was a martyr that all the little pissed off kids out there could pass off as their own voice. Now his image is nothing more than a T-shirt that's used as rebellion through conformity.”

“Fuck, that. He was a...”

“Watch yourself, Gabe. Isn't there a rule against holding false idols?” I ask him.

“Sorry, Uriel. You just have to keep in mind...” This is where I just stop listening.

He's close. I can sense him. So can the others, because they're not talking anymore. Gabe takes a left on Fulton, a small residential street. As soon as we do, my nose fills with the scent of blood. He's here and we're already to late.

We drive by a two story house just as window on the top floor explodes, sending glass and debris into the yard below. A silver mass flies out of it and disappears into the night. It's Berith. This is worse than I first thought.

Gabe slams on the breaks, grabs his sword from the backseat and climbs out of the car.

“Time to go to work.” Michael says before joining Gabe outside. I grab my sword and follow.

“You two go after him.” I order them. “I'm going to check the house for survivors.”

Gabe unsheathes his sword and spreads his brown wings. “For Kurt!” He screams as he flies off in pursuit.

“Make sure you look after him. You know how he can get.”

Michael nods and follows our partner into the darkness. They're going after a demon of the first hierarchy. As I watch them go I pray that I'll get to see them again.

Harbinger Ch. 1: Anything but Routine (Jerry)

Have you ever seen an angel? I’m not referring to the false idols from movie screens and music videos we’ve grown so fond of putting on pedestals. No, I'm talking about the sent from heaven, full wingspan type. You know, the genuine article. I'll never forget the first time I did. I was curled up into a ball on the floor of the dead woman's room soaked in blood and vomit. The blood was hers, the vomit mine. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, the type you wouldn’t look twice at on the street. Well, if he didn't have wings, anyway. The only other thing that really caught my attention was his face. He looked hardened, but at the same time vulnerable with a touch of innocence that should have been lost long since childhood. Oh, and he had this stare. It penetrated you to your core, as if he could see directly into your soul. It chilled me.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. Well, maybe funny's not the right word, let's go with odd. Sorry, you'll have to forgive my inability to focus. I've lost a lot of blood and I'm not sure how much longer I've got. In my last moments I keep finding my mind drifting back to that night. If another car answered that call, I wouldn't be here now and I'd still remain blissfully ignorant of the horrors just over the horizon. And to think, I was almost home...

........................

“...and she actually expects me to let her stay with us! I mean, can you imagine a whole week with her mother? I swear, I was actually hoping I'd get shot tonight so that I wouldn't have to deal with her.”

My partner's been bitching about his mother in law for the last three hours now. I don't think I've said more than three words the whole time. Luckily, our shift's almost over and we're less than halfway back to the station.

This job has been taking its toll on me and I've started getting burnt out. It's reached the point that I can't wait to take this badge off. But, 45 minutes from now, I'll be comfortable in my bed next to my wife and watching bad reality TV. That thought always makes even the worst days seem OK. I'm already feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

“Car 67, car 67. Pick up.” It was Alex, our dispatcher and my soon to be least favorite person on the planet.

“This is Dalton, go ahead.” My partner answers.

“We've just got a call for a possible domestic disturbance. A neighbor said she heard weird sounds coming from the house next door. It's close to your area, can you check it out?”

“Oh, yeah. Sure thing.” Apparently, my partner isn't in nearly as big a hurry to get home as I am.

She gives us the address and we arrive at the house in less than two minutes. We find ourselves parked in front of a modest two story home that sits on a quiet suburban street. The only light in the entire place is coming from a television set in one of the rooms on the top floor.

“Let's just get this over with.” I mutter as I climb out of the cruiser.

Dalton makes his way to the front door and I decide to check out the rest. The door to back gate is lying off its hinges and I begin to get a very bad feeling. I follow the stone path that leads to the backyard. It's a typical setup; it’s got the grill, doghouse and some lawn furniture. I take one more step forward and almost slip on something slick in the grass. I pull out my flashlight, turn it on and aim the beam towards my feet.

“Oh, shit.” That's a lot of blood.

I follow its trail with my flashlight until I find the source, a medium size dog. I can't tell which breed, because in order to do that I'd need to see the head. It's stomach was also ripped to shreds, the contents leaking out everywhere. The assailant, like the head, is nowhere to be found.

I aim the light back at the house and discover that the sliding glass door is shattered. Whoever did this was already inside. I unclip my holster and get my weapon at the ready.

“No one's answering the front door. Ready to...” Dalton starts to say as he enters the backyard.
His face grows white as he puts all the pieces together for himself.

I put a finger up to my mouth, signaling for him to stay quiet and he pulls his weapon out of its holster. Silently, we make our way to the back door with me taking point. We step through the broken glass and I see the dog's head lying on the floor six feet in front of me. There's movement in one of the rooms above us. Heavy footsteps. Then, a muffled cry. We have to move, now.

Abandoning all sense of reason I fly through the kitchen and find the stairs. My partner doesn't even reach the foot of them when I clear the top. The second door on my left has a faint light drifting underneath it, making it easier to see the growing stain on the carpet.

“What the fuck are you doing, tearing off like that? Jesus, Jerry, that's how you get yourself killed.” My partner scolds me in a whisper. Then his eyes find the stain I've been staring at.
I take the left side of the door, he takes the right. Dalton bangs on the door and yells to whoever's inside. “This is the police. We're coming in. If you have any weapons or hostages, it'd be really smart if you'd relinquish them now.”

Something inside the room is laughing and I've never heard anything like it. It's guttural...and wet. My partner and I look at each other and he nods. He moves in front of the door and kicks it. Once. Twice. Three times gives us entry and he steps inside. I follow quickly behind him and stop dead. I look around and my mind splinters.

The TV is showing only static. There's blood on the ceiling. The mattress. Walls. Everything. I didn't know the human body held that much. Resting on the bed is a woman and she's long since passed. Her face is covered in lacerations, her blouse ripped off and her stomach is hollowed out. Before this attack, she had been pregnant. My heart breaks. That's when my focus switches to...it.

It's covered in silver scales that reflect back the light from the TV. It's wearing a tapestry of human skin for clothing. The creature's eyes radiate a pale green light. The mouth opens and closes, revealing a set of teeth full of gore. Its fingertips don't reveal talons, meaning it used brute force to pull apart its victims. They also held the remains of a still born child. The creature took it up to its mouth and swallowed the rest whole.

“Mother of God.” I gasp.

“You can go ahead and save your prayers.” The creature says as it licks its lips. It then looks up and stares me dead in the eyes. “God’s not here.”

I didn't even see it move. In less than a blink, I'm knocked onto the floor and my partner is getting his throat ripped out. How can it be that fast? My partner is dead before he hits the floor and the monster's heading my way. Instinctively, I pull up my gun and empty the clip point blank into its chest and face, sending it backwards to the ground.

I can't control my breathing and I think my heart is about to burst. I start to cycle between crying and fits of vomiting. There's movement from the other side of the room. I look up and see the creature standing, the bullets didn't even penetrate the scales. What the hell is this thing?

“Well,” it says mockingly, “that was a lot of fun. We'll have to do it again sometime, soon.”

Suddenly, the window behind it shatters outward and the monster gets sucked through it, disappearing into the night. This is the last thing I remember before blacking out.

Please, I really need your help.

All I want in this world is to be a writer. I guess I already am in the loosest sense of the term, but I want to do it professionally. I've already written my first book and I'm trying to get it published. It's not easy. I need some way to make noise and I've come up with a few ideas.

This is where you come in. (Don't worry, I'm not asking for money. Not turning it down either, though) I've had coversations with you, Danni and Secret Blogger. You've both told me that this stuff has helped you out, however mildly. I want to be able to do that for as many people as I can, but that can never happen if no one knows how to find it. All I'm asking is that if you dig what you read here, just pass it on. Tell people about it. Scratch the web address (http://www.davlinisnotyourfriend.blogspot.com/) on bathroom walls. Write on the foreheads of hobos as they sleep. I don't care, just please help me get the word out. If I make enough noise, maybe something big will happen. I also don't forget those that help and support what I do.

I also wanted to let you know about something that's going to be taking place in this blog. I've been working on three projects, all of which I've put excerpts on here. (HSH, The Mark and Harbinger) The Mark is a book that I've been working on since I was seventeen, and the prologue is all that I'll put on here. I'm like a drug dealer, that first taste is all that's free. However, I will be releasing the prequel, Harbinger, episodically on this website. Look for the first chapter in the next day or so. The ultimate goal is to turn this into a graphic novel, but the story will be told here first. When the mark does get published I want to release a companion book with it. It will be a collection of stories set during the storm that takes place in the prologue. It will be a chance for unknown writers to make a name for themselves and it's something I'm excited about. There will still be the usual stuff you've come to expect from this blog, but there will also be much more.

Spread the word.