Caelum Sky Chapter 6
"Putting a little more song and dance into this routine, eh?" The demon mocked me, the two of us bristling. It gurgled around on disjointed hands, lurching forward without a lot of grace. I'd been waiting for this, for a real fight; practicing on being as fluid as possible, as graceful as a chunk-headed demon like I could be. The best I had scared away in my time guarding here was some unwanted solicitors, and the occasional moral lacking teen who though it'd be fun to throw rocks at the house next to the cemetery. By comparison, a large, black lumbering mass of half-exorcised demon was a whole different challenge. I didn't circle because I was looking for an open opportunity; I circled because I wasn't sure what to do. Could two demons even kill one another? Weren't we supposed to be on the same team?
Was I even really a demon, then?
The monster surged at me again in a charge, grabbing hold of my tail and dragging me backwards like a prize. I gripped into the ground best I could, tearing up a streak of grass as it pranced towards the cemetery.
"Yeah, yeah, you're quite the fighter alright" it laughed as I dangled from its mouth. "Time to go back now; cut this ride short before it gets out of hand." I flipped onto my back, grabbing hold of it's front legs and the two of us locked in place; I bit down on what I assumed was a leg-bone to show I meant business.
"Why do you have to make this all difficult, my queen?" The demon groaned, swinging me around and flicking me back towards the house. My jaws snapped shut on nothing, the liquid mass of black energy shifting around my grip as I landed in the grass once again. With little delay I was back on my feet, head bent low and feet splayed far apart from one another.
"What do you want from me? Can't I just live up here in peace?" I growled out to it as it shuffled closer to me and ultimately, closer to the house.
"Please. You're not happy up here, and you know it. Don't you consider this fight just the tiniest bit of fun?" It laughed, coming to a stop.
"I consider it a huge waste of energy. My duty is to protect those people inside." I gripped the ground just a little tighter, tensing up. Anger, pure, unfiltered anger was bubbling beneath my skin.
"Well, we've knocked out one wall, and you immediately called for help from an angel. How do you think you're doing with that whole 'protecting those people' vow right now?" It laughed, its whole body shaking with hilarious circumstances. I gritted my teeth harder, lunging straight for the demon's throat before considering other options. I felt guilty, knowing it was right. This fight was already more physical fun that I had in the last three years here.
The demon snatched me out of the air, grabbing me around the ribcage with its massive hands. It kept my arch of attack and slammed me into the ground, pushing down. Ribs snapping, I gurgled out a cry of pain before it picked me back from the ground, hurtling me far towards the woods. Half in and out of reality I sailed through the air, ankles snapping taut as my house chain stopped me mid-flight, knocking me to the ground on the very edge of my ghostly limits.
I coughed, gagged on air and grass as I shakily rose to my feet once more. There was no sign of the demon anywhere, no black mass in any part of this backyard. I could feel my ribs re-joining, healing themselves and slowly taking the pain back to a numb existence as I searched for where it ran off to.
There was a scream, a woman's scream from inside the house, I immediately bolted back towards it. Almost inside, I heard something slam in a rush from near the driveway, my attention drawn back to the inside of the house as dishes, glasses, and kitchen chairs all floated about the room. They attacked Sabina, Katherine and Amber as they huddled together in the corner.
"Hey! I'm you're target, not them!" I shouted to the ceiling, the faintest trace of the demon's shadow vanishing. The dishes all dropped from where they hovered, crashing to the ground in great display as the worst possible thing happened. The priest and his angel buddy came through the basement door as I stood among a mass of broken dishes and terrified people. Slowly, serenely, I looked back at them, mouth frothing with anger, bits of grass still in my teeth.
And I thought the phone call was bad.
"Hey, wait a second, I-"
"You son of a bitch!" The angel punched me clear in the side of the head, flipping me over and sending me into the next room. I could feel the eyes rolling in my head as he followed me through, holding that curvy pike over my heart. "I should've done this the first time!" He yelled out, driving the weapon down at me. With little thought I clocked him in the side of the head, knocking off his balance to where he stabbed the ground next to my face. Half jumbled over one another, I used both back feet to kick him through the wall behind me, yanking myself from the floor as I braced for another attack. He too, had been practicing.
"Amber, is everyone alright?" I called back to them, not getting an answer. I turned my head to see them all talking with the priest, who was nodding his head solemnly. Thank god, they'd be clearing my name, which maybe the priest could get off his duff and call the angel off of me. There was a tiny 'ploof" like sound as the angel flew straight back into the spot I kicked him out of, his weapon pointing straight in front of him in a full on charge. I jumped to the side, the pike slicing into the wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. He pulled back and tried again, grazing my face. It was a horrible pain, a very lividly real pain that caught me off guard. The angel reared back with his pike to strike again.
"Hey, leave her alone!" Amber shouted at the angel, leaning away from her mom.
"Her?" the angel cocked an eyebrow at me, squinting like there was a tiny 'female!' symbol on the side of my face. With an annoyed growl, I knocked away his pike, biting onto the wooden handle with serious grip. He grabbed the two sides not in my mouth, pulling back without much luck.
"That's a pretty stupid move, demon" the angel laughed, taking a much harder grip on his weapon. He began to mutter at the instrument, before his tone escalating to a final, "Ignis!"
The pike lit on fire, from blade to end, burning upwards in a blue flame. He took a step away from me, waiting for it to drop out of my mouth, but I held on tight, amused. When the flames started to die down, I snuffed out the remainder of them with a snort, feeling pretty happy with myself. The angel, on the other hand, was not feeling as joyful as I was.
"Give it baaack" he held out a hand, like I was going to faithfully drop it at his feet and wait for it to be thrown again. I growled in response, tightening my lock on it. "Give it back, or I'll be forced to expel you from this house again."
"Keerhh, und gew did suck a goot job un ih the irst tine too!" I snorted again in his direction, taking a step forward as he took one back.
"You piece of filth! You think you can threaten me with my own weapon?" he sounded undignified, outraged, with an underlying tone of confusion. I sneered at him, biting down as hard as I could until the weapon snapped into three; the blade with a tiny bit of handle to it, the wooden handle in my mouth, and the remainder of it on the other side. The angel's eyes flared wide, hands grasping at nothing as he leaned over to pick up the weapon at my feet. "You
how dare you!" he glared at me, giving me just enough opportunity to give him a powerful head butt square to the face. The angel went down, knocked senseless, the bits of weapon at his feet.
With a growl, I spit out the rest of the weapon that came to rest next to his head. Feeling like a prized fighter, I turned back to my family, finding Katherine and Sabina aghast at the damage done to the house. They picked at the dishes from the floor, carefully, removing the largest bits that were still together. I looked to Amber, who stayed next to the priest, her eyes wary of everything around her. The walls began to heave, heavy with the black entity as it again, laughed at me.
"Oh yeah, this is fun to watch" The head popped from the corner again, unbeknown to anyone but me and Amber. "This is what you wanted, right? How's that going for you?" it disappeared from that corner, resurfacing in the one closest to me.
"I'm telling you, you'll be saving a lot of time if you just come with me." It mocked, resting it's head on one arm that appeared from the middle of the wall. "if not, then it's going to be this long, drawn out thing that'll ultimately cause you more pain then it's worth"
"Why do you keep talking like you know what's going to happen!?" I growled at it, the entity only replying with a laugh. There was a sharp, blinding pain in my thigh; the angel was breathing heavy against me, the end of pike plunged deep into my leg. He grinned like he had finally killed the grand monster as I shadowed him, looming over and pulling the end of the pike out myself. With it in my hand, I thought on it, and smacked the angel on the head with his own weapon, before pointing to the corner with the black entity lounging nonchalantly. The angel's face twisted about, before dropping the façade for just a second.
"Oh" He said softly, before snatching the pike from my hand and stabbing me with it again. I growled, giving him a swift kick in the side, sending him back outside like I had the first time. Pulling the pike from my leg a second time, the demon laughed yet again.
"He doesn't understand you, you know." It had both arms sticking through the wall now, resting almost comfortably.
"I don't expect sympathy from him" I cringed as my leg wound began to heal itself, tossing the pike head to the ground.
"He is a simple idiot, that's for sure. But no, I mean, you two can't physically communicate with one another. He's an angel. Their religious intolerance for any hellspawn and mumbo jumbo like that keep demons and angels separate." The demon dropped to the ground, emerging from the wall. "Nothing you say will ever sound like a language to him."
I struggled for words to say, to try and fight back against that notion when the angel came busting back into the scene, beaten up, ready to fight. He saw the larger demon and myself next to one another chatting and lunged for the other, the demon grabbing his upper body and holding it there while the angel writhed and began to grunt in pain.
"See, I can say ' If you stop moving, I'll put you down' all I want to his face, but all he hears is something that sounds like an old Latin verse," the demon pulled him closer to it's face, narrowing an eye, "Best I can tell, at least."
"Stop!" I rammed the larger demon, getting it to let go of the angel. If this all was one big misunderstanding, then it wasn't right for the two of us to fight, even if this blowhard was a big pain in my upper leg.
"Ah, you're right. I say we get the real fun started!" The demon suddenly latched onto Amber, rushing from the house in a whirl of black smoke. It dragged the poor girl, screaming and kicking into the field with its front arms, tail bubbling with new activity; a whole new set of legs came sprouting forth and hit the ground with great force. The second set of arms began to elongate and spread wider and wider, the massive black demon growing its own set of disjointed wings. It turned around and faced both of us, bringing the screaming child from the ground in its remaining front arms, hoisting it closer to its face. Amber screamed, petrified.
"Amber!" Katherine shouted, darting from the house.
"No!" I felt glued to the floor, my body shaking as I watched her being lifted, higher and higher, out of my reach.
"Was this your big plan, demon?" The angel stood next to me, arms folded, "The two of you working together to go dismember some poor innocent child? You things make me sick." He grinned as he said it, holding the pike head in his hands. Something in me just snapped, just lost it. I bared my teeth at him, pushing him backwards with little trouble.
"You're useless!" I snapped at him, stopping in my tracks. With little care for what he did or didn't do, I bolted from the gaping hole in the house into the field, the sun shining brightly overhead. The demon wings grew massive, casting a great shadow onto most of the field; spines disconnected from the body itself, they grew to take up most of the demon's full size. I sprinted full out, trying to catch up with its tail as it still lapped at the ground, swinging back and forth to gain momentum and height. Amber's voice grew farther and farther away.
"Nerrriiiii!" She wailed as I stopped just below them, waiting for the tail to reach close to the ground. There was a rush of footsteps behind me, the angel racing desperately to catch up.
"Put her down!" he yelled at the back of my head as I did my best to ignore the annoying threat of authority in his tone. Keeping my eyes to the demon, I looked for the right opportunity when the angel kicked me in the leg, shoving me to get my attention. I gave him a slow, deadpan stare as he jumped back, almost shocked. "Don't look at me like that, you can talk to it, you tell it to let her go!"
"Oh well, gee, I hadn't thought of that!" I sarcastically grumbled, craning my neck to the skies, "Hey! Let her go!" I said flatly. The demon looked just as sarcastically down at me, grinning.
"No!" it said once, gaining more height. I gave another glare to the angel, crouching down to wait for the tail to just swing low enough for me to snag it. The angel began to throw a fit, muttering under his breath as the tail arched high, ready to give its last pass before they'd be out of range.
"Useless!" The angel yelled at me as I jumped for it, launching myself from the ground like an attacking crocodile. The words barely registered as being just what I had told him earlier, like he was answering back. The massive black tail in front of me now, I bit down hard on the churning, shadowy blob, locking onto a bone of some sort, yanking the demon back down thirty feet towards the ground. With all four limbs planted firmly again I held it there, the demon flapping and struggling to get free as I remained unmovable. It roared in anguish, jerking and twisting to get away. My one eye wandered to the angel with supreme gusto. I was looking for surprise, for confusion, but he stood there, hand on his chin, contemplating; with a snort, I began to pull back on the demon, readjusting my grip another foot up, and another foot after that. The demon whipped around and laughed at the two of us, yelling out in an earth-shaking, booming voice.
"Trying to bridge the great angelic divide, are we my queen?" It cackled at me, switching its tone to one still understandable, but thick under some kind of Middle Eastern accent, "Together we will become the darkness that makes the blood of children scream!" It stopped struggling, giving me more slack, but flapping there proudly as I cocked an eye at it. The angel practically jumped out of his skin, eyes bulging from his head as he gave me a stare that could set me on fire.
"So that's what you're doing?!" It yelled at me, picking up the pike head once again as I tried to register what the hell was going on, shaking my head so quickly that I was afraid it would fall off.
"Impressed with my linguistic skills, eh?" the demon laughed, tone back to normal. I kept staring at the angel bewildered, grip remaining on the demons tail. It
that thing was able to talk to him, wasn't it? That heavier accent, that was the only thing the angel was allowed to understand. It was just screwing around with his head, now, dragging me under the bus with it.
"I'll kill both of you!" the angel tore straight at me before the black tail knocked him away easily. It continued around, swirling about my head until it snapped tight, a death grip of black smoke contracting like a noose. I hung from the end of the tail, scrabbling to try and get the vice like grip off of me; but anywhere I dug my claws into wafted away like smoke, the only bit of pressure was that just around my neck. The line cinched tighter, choking me so I could no longer speak.
"Real shame, you know" The demon soared higher into the sky, easily picking up distance. "The angels always see us as the bad spirits, but it's really the other way around. Conspiracy!" It pulled me close to its face, now massively oversized and far more terrifying.
"There is no black and white, only grey!" It babbled on its own power trip, swinging me around for emphasis as it rambled on further, "Why should we be the ones that haunt nightmares, when you've got a perfectly good killer waiting for you at the pearly gates? Why should the demons feel the wrath of a god that favors the stupid?" It craned its head back, laughing in a twisted, demented way. I gagged, struggling to keep a focus on this petty rant, looking back at the house to see it start to shrivel up, to fade away.
"Welcome to this world of unfair advantages, my fair queen!" The demon shook me closer to Amber, "Why bother bridging the great angelic divide when we can dominate the living instead? Why waste your time with this pointless mission of rediscovery?"
There was a whirring sound, the sound of chains jutting though the air as my restraints finally snapped tight. The demon nearly lost its grip on me and began to flap in circles, keeping the tension on the chain tight. I could feel my spine being pulled apart, my legs tethered to earth while the demon pulled mercilessly- I screamed out loud in pain, the locks on my ankles ripping flesh , bleeding profusely. The blood coursed down the chain; the demon turned my head to see, just at the very bottom, the angel standing at the very base of my tether, weapon in his hand. He shouted something in our direction, too far away to hear what ignorant thing it was, as he readied himself. The demon spoke quietly.
"This is my favorite part" it hissed in a laugh, keeping the chain taut. The angel held the pike over his head, quickly burning that blue fire before he brought it down on the bottommost link. In that instant, it felt like my insides evaporated from me, my heart, lungs, my brain even, just erased themselves out of memory, disappeared as I shot from the demon's grip upwards into the sky. It snatched my limp body with one free hand, giving it a quick swing back towards the house as I drifted, barely aware on my own. My body began to fall faster, faster, blazing back to the ground. I began to recognize people, flashes of faces as they rose to meet me, closing one tired eye as I collided with the graveyard I once emerged from.