Gwen was gone in a puff of cloud that settled to the ground and dispersed quietly. We didn’t say a word. We looked around for signs of life and in fact, stayed as still as we could. The marching got louder outside of our door. It seemed like the angels were either stomping their feet or the sound was reverberating to make us all nearly dizzy.
I held onto Ryan’s hand tightly. He was still covered in sand, but at least the blue glow in his eyes receded and he looked normal. Pale, exhausted, barely hanging on… but normal. I was angry that Mars had used him. Anyone else would have been okay. But, my husband? My barely rescued from hell husband that I haven’t had a month to enjoy yet? No. That was uncalled for.
I mindlessly walked out of the room. The marching dizzying and possibly trying to subdue me so that the inhabitants of the Jade Gates stay out of this fight, but I cannot resist the urge to go out there and slap him.
Mars, you’ve gone too far. I don’t have your blasted prophecy. It’s hidden. It’s been hidden since shortly after Noah’s Ark. Within a thousand years of the ark, the prophecy disappeared and you send me to find some probably crumbled piece of etched rock in the middle of a mountain range and possess my husband when I don’t find it? That’s crap.
YOU go find it then.
I walked into a crowd of, I kid you not, nothing. We heard the marching. We saw the angels descend. The marching is still there. But, either they’ve moved on and their footsteps are extremely loud, or they are now completely invisible.
Weird. I feel like I should be afraid at least a little bit. But, I’m just so angry. I kept walking. I felt a hand on mine tugging behind me and half hoped to find Ryan there. But, no.
I don’t know how. I don’t know why, but there he was.
Mars stood seven feet tall, with smoldering bronze skin, six arms, red glowing eyes, and the smile of a serpent. One of the hands on his extra arms had taken mine into his, and as he smiled in delight, the tongue of a snake seemed to hiss at me.
Oh well. What have I really got to lose at this point?
I hit him square across his jaw as hard as I could and proceeded to jump on top of him once he hit the ground choking the life out of him as I did. Two arms fell off and disintegrated into sand. Two tried to pull me off and two tried to choke me back. I pinned the two trying to choke me with my feet and stood up over him, continuing to choke him.
“Go back to hell, go back to hell, GO BACK TO HELL!” I screamed at him as tears streamed down my face, an arm disintegrated beneath my left foot and he seemed to be nearly unconscious.
The last extra arm deflated under my right foot and I looked into what was consciously left of his glowing red eyes. They burned into my skull. I had flashes of what Ryan would have suffered, what I would have suffered, if Mars had gotten his way. And here he was coming to finish Ryan off? No way.
I bit into his neck, and tore, and bit until his limp body shrank into a pile of sand and his severed head sprouted two octopus like legs that started crawling towards the door. I grabbed his head by the hair and the two legs grabbed onto me, stinging into my skin.
“I’ll send you back there myself.” I said as I tore at the legs leaving bloody nubs that tried to regenerate.
Feeling satiated with my prey, I sauntered out to the gate wanting to properly dispose of his remains outside where the angels would repel him. But, the question still remains. How did he get inside the city in the first place?
Walking outside, I could see where everyone else had gone. They made way for me as I walked through the lot of them. I did not notice why they seemed to recoil from me at first. Was it the severed head I was carrying? That would disarm anyone. No, their eyes seemed to bore into me. Like walking though a room and knowing that the people in it were talking about you.
I took inventory. His blood was dripping from my mouth and razor sharp outgrown fangs, down my chin, and onto my shirt. Here I am, in all my glory… a vampire who just killed her prey.
Then it dawned on me. They must have heard that Ryan was possessed, and too very few of them probably knew what Mars looked like. I wonder if they think I just killed my husband, or used this attack as an occasion to give in to my bloodthirsty nature. The looks I was getting said it all, “Once a vampire always a vampire.”
I felt strangely unsafe. Here I was outnumbered, with blood all over me and an unexplained severed head. Maybe I should have announced that I had beaten him. Not killed him but, incapacitated him at least. His whole body must be destroyed, dipped in Holy water to expel him into hell. I have what’s left of it. Now, if I could only get to the ravine and bless it. The river below ought to do the trick.
Raphael stood ahead of me peering into the ravine below. I hadn’t realized how far I’d walked so quickly. I was a half mile away from the gates trying to avoid being converged upon by the Nephilim, unsure of their resolve not to tear me apart leaving me in the same comatose state that Belle is in right now.
“I know what you are wondering.” Raphael said to me. “And yes, I let him in. To give Gwen time to hide her daughter. But, even though I bestowed the gift of wisdom upon you, I knew not to underestimate the power of an angry wife looking out for her husband. With that in mind, he never stood a chance.”
“How did you know for sure he wouldn’t get past me and kill the rest of my friends?” I asked as I snapped a regenerated leg off of Mars’ head.
“Young lady, I have heard from Gabriel how determined your love is. And God above has seen in your heart that you honor your vows to love, honor, and cherish that man. There was never a question of whether he would get past you. Only a question of how many pieces he would wind up in. I myself said three, but it seems I was wrong.” Raphael said smiling at me.
“Are they going to kick us out now? Because I gave in to my… nature?” I timidly asked. I’d find a safe place for us. I’m spent nearly two hundred years getting extremely good at hiding.
The eyes began to blink, and the mouth open and close as though he was trying to chant something. Mars was no longer as unconscious as I had hoped. Walking over to Raphael I could see what had captured his attention, the ravine was nearly engulfed by a whirlpool made of snow, and darkness.
“Should I throw his head in there?” I asked him.
“No. Danieltee wrestled with the oracle and threw her down there. Now she is a swirling portal. It’s a fifty fifty chance when throwing something down there. It could mean heaven or hell for that object because he left part of himself with her. He is not permitted to go into heaven. But, hell would just spit him back out if that’s where he wound up.” Raphael explained.
“He’s going to return to his full bodied self in a while.” I told him.
“You, need to step away right now. Leave his head here with me.” Raphael said softly peering into the ravine.
This made me mad for some reason. I was the one who caught and dismembered him. If you could have done that, why send him in to me? And another thing, step away? Are you kidding me? Step away from…
Raphael grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the ravine. It was so sudden I dropped Mars’ head on the ground. A car sized version of the octopus legs whipped over the edge of the ravine’s cliff hitting the ground still warm from my feet because I was yanked away just in time.
Mars’ head opened and a red scaly hand emerged from it, an elongated arm, the foul stench of sulfur.
“Run.” Raphael said as he gently released my arm.
I did and as I took my first steps back towards the Jade Gates, I saw the red hand find Raphael’s leg. He stood there looking at me, speaking with his eyes it seemed. He was not angry, rather he seemed proud of me. The arm wrapped around his leg and in that instant, the whirlpool collapsed sucking Raphael, Mars and his octpus legs, red hand, and head over the side of the ravine.
He didn’t even scream. Raphael went over the side of a cliff in my place because I was so busy being angry and self righteous to just listen.
Guilt and shame are not strong enough words right now.
The Nephilim placed their right hands over their hearts and sang one note. It hummed and streamed through the crowd as I walked further and further away frustrated and full of self loathing. But the ground beneath me seemed to glow with a soft white light. And I knew, this was their way of saying it wasn’t over.
Not by a long shot.
1. We liked the poetic beauty of “somewhere beyond neverland” as well as the stunning butterflies. Thank you for such a great page secret keeper!
2. This picture is so cool. Thank you for posting this! Everyone, check this out!
3. We liked the reminder of how even in our own world of wonders, when someone disappears it leaves an emptiness and a search. Thank you for supporting his artwork 🙂
4. We liked how multitalented you are and that you have worked in many fields that you have a passion for.
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Music for this episode – Techno Syndrome (Mortal Kombat) by The Immortals