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Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Fifteen: When we last left our heroes…

Note: The point isn’t really for you guys to read a chapter everyday. That would be crazy, these chapters are about 30 pages long. This is just an info-dump situation, collect them all and read at your leisure.

This is basically an un-edited version of this book. There will be typos. There will be your/you’re errors, because I’m dyslexic as hell. Why am I posting it? I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that some major things needed to change, so I’m changing them. However, I like the old version and I already gave you Twins In Death in the old form, so have this one too. It doesn’t matter, the books are being re-written, so enjoy.

Brothers & Sisters
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay

Chapter Fifteen

When we last left our heroes…



April 10th, 2003

12:18 p.m.


They waited, as all sound died away, for their end to come. The world held the perfect, tense silence and then it happened. The Weirdo had been expecting a bit of pain, maybe the sound of wood splintering or bone shattering. What he had not expected, in any reasonable way, was a guitar riff. That is to say a very small part of him was squeezing its eyes shut very, very tightly and wishing to the blue fairy that there might please, please, please be a guitar riff. Some might question the validity of wishing to the blue fairy for salvation. These neigh sayers claim that the blue fairy is not responsive. They even have gone so far to claim that the blue fairy didn’t exist. The little part of The Weirdo didn’t care though, it wished anyway.  It had closed its little eyes and had its hands next to its head in little fists near its ears and wished so hard to the blue fairy that the entire universe might hear its plight.


The Blue fairy is a lot more responsive than people think. Or, to be more accurate and less politically correct, the Blue Strait guy is the responsive one.


The sound of the guitar was so loud that it veritably ripped across the sky. Some one was playing the loudest guitar opening they could find. This happened to be a Queen song and it happened to be the opening riff of One Vision, and it became apparent with the roar of an engine and the crackle of a pair of machine guns who it was.


“Fuck you! You fair haired sons of bitches!” Tommy’s voice managed to make itself  heard as the midnight sedan sailed across the grass.


Now anyone else, might have leaned out the window and held an Uzi or something and gun down the enemy, its easier and a lot safer. Not our boy Tommy though. Nope. None of this safety shit for him. No, following an ancient set of rules, Tommy did it in style. He was wearing his royal blue suit, of course, with his hat and coat that matched. He was caring not just one, but two of John Thompson’s finest trench brooms. One in each hand. He was also standing on the hood of the car, as it flew across the grass, leaning into the wind. He looked for all the world like the devil’s own version of the famous Rolls Royce hood ornament.


The car roared as it raced across the grass, looking like some sort of beast of chrome and midnight blue. It was a beast of steel and rubber paws from ancient lore, well maybe not ancient lore of the Germanic tribes, but maybe the ancient lore of the Ford Motor Company. There was something about the way the car looked in the light, it had a quality like a painting made by one of the great masters. As if one couldn’t fully see the image as a moving image, but had to see it as a series of paintings made many years later.


The first wave of charging horses and riders were first thrown into confusion by the guitar playing, and then by the full frontal assault by a lunatic on a car. That first wave was cut down easily. The other waves however, filled with religious fervor, did not slink away. This made the shooters job all the easier, he just had to fire into the crowd, while  Freddie Mercury sang out like the cry of hell.


As the car passed, Tommy tossed one of the machine guns into the air. The Weirdo watched it roll through its tumble and caught it by the handle, spinning it round and firing into the charging horses too stupid to turn back. The sedan charged on a direct collision course for a phalanx of horses and plowed into them until the crushed bodies of horses caused them to stop. There was enough momentum left to send Tommy flying towards a rider, who’s head he crack with the butt of the machine gun. He finished smashing the head open against the ground with the rifle butt.


“Where the fuck have you been?” The Weirdo asked as he ran to stand next to Tommy.


“I had to get the special guns.” Tommy said holding up the Thompson.


“Who’s driving the car?” The Weirdo asked.


As if in answer, the door swung open and Mrs. Pendleton emerged, like a small polite bat out of hell. The barrel of the ten gauge shot gun she held in her hands looked big enough to stick your head down. She aimed it at a horse as it passed and there was an instant cloud of blood where once there had been a horse. She worked the slide and caught one of the riders in the chest, the head and arms landed about twenty feet away from each other.


The Weirdo actually had to stop firing for a moment and was nearly cut down because of his shock. If it hadn’t been for Kestrel’s quick aim with a pistol, the woman with the sword and the religious zeal would have cut him. Kestrel’s handgun barked and a woman went down, her shirt growing red with blood. The Weirdo realized he was in the middle of a fight and resumed his attack.


The problem was, and it was becoming obvious as they were being slowly driven into a smaller and smaller grouping, is that they were still outnumbered. They hadn’t even finished the mounted soldiers, and there were still those ice giants and the god-knows-what’s that were still out there.


Some of the god-knows-what’s began to fly towards them. The Weirdo fired at one of them, and it fell, for a moment, and got up, and was simply now at the back of the group instead of the front. The Weirdo raised the gun and sprayed at the charging army of the righteous as they flew towards him. It was then that they were saved for the second time that day, by an army of the damned.


            They were all dressed in haggard, sand colored robes and clothes, and they came from nowhere. They just grew up out of the ground, grabbing the banshees and the god-knows-what’s and smashing them into the ground. They were ghosts, that was clear, and the weapons they carried were the weapons that others had discarded.


            When you live in the wasteland, people make fun of you because all you have is a knife and a stick. When you live in the wasteland, things come to attack you on an hourly basis. When you live in the wasteland, you defend yourself with what you can grab at the moment. When you live in the wasteland, you get very good with a knife and a stick.


            “What the hell is going on?” Jack asked The Weirdo and Tommy as he reloaded his gun.


            “Ah, I know why you don’t recognize this.” The Weirdo said providing covering fire for the other two. “I think this is what winning looks like.”


            “How the fuck did that happen?” Jack asked. “I thought we were gonna die.”


            “Not now.” The Weirdo said.


            They were crouched down behind a pair of benches and a garbage can, trying to stay out of the way of all that was coming and going. The Weirdo ducked when an arrow flew just over his head and when he looked back up; Lucifer was sitting on the bench.


            “Do you know what the best song ever written is?’ Lucifer asked, examining his fingernails.




            “Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’.” Lucifer said, “I’m not just saying that because of some sort of pun about my being condemned to hell or anything like that. Besides it’s a song about a one-night stand anyway. It just happens to be the best song ever, but only when sung by Meatloaf. I pity the person who even tries to cover it.”


            “Are you aware there is a battle going on here?”


            “Yes.” Lucifer pointed with his thumb. “Who do you think brought them?”


            “Are those the souls?” Jack asked.


            “They are the damned, so why not go help them.”


            “Right.” Jack said and walked out into the battle.


            It was at that moment that the ice giants began to march in, with the hounds of the Morgain. The hounds rushed forward and actually seemed to cause harm to the damned souls who were fighting so valiantly. The Weirdo and company moved in and shot as many of the dogs as they could but there were always more of them, and the giants seemed to laugh when the bullets struck them.


            “Shit.” Max said as he and Kestrel found themselves having to quickly climb a tree to avoid a pair of the wolves, or maybe they were actually hounds.


            “We were just winning a moment ago.” Kestrel said.


            “Cruel isn’t it?” Max asked.


            Angel looked at the last semi-clear plastic clip of ammunition for her pistol. She could see how many bullets she had left with this new kind of clip. Kaala was shooting brilliantly, but there were too many targets and not enough bullets. They were running out of ammunition and would soon have to resort to sticks and stones. She loaded the last clip and found herself asking The Goddess if she even existed beyond her hopes. There was so much despair; it was hard to believe that any good power could exists in the universe. Angel had one of those crises of faith that can only be solved by a miracle.


            In this case, miracle is defined as a small child with immeasurable power playing the first few bars of the Seven Samurai theme on a trumpet. Now one could ask why a tune, whose copyright is no doubt still active, would be played at a time like this. The reason is that The Other liked the movie, thinking it possibly in the top ten of all movies ever made. It was also because a miracle was needed, and in order to be a true miracle something completely ludicrous like the Seven Samurai theme was needed.


This is a miracle because it’s very hard to play a trumpet when one is riding on a six-legged horse while a god is riding hell for leather into a battle. There was truly an army, an army of experienced fighters. Not only was it an army of experienced fighters, but they had also been really bored and wanted to fight. The Ice giants might have had the ruling of the world to look forward to, but that’s nothing compared to another thousand years of Parcheesi. You’d be amazed the power of not wanting to play another damn game of Parcheesi, or maybe not. Some of you may know perfectly well what I’m talking about.


            The gods raced into the battle, and Odin dismounted his horse, fighting on the ground like a true hero. He fought for a few moments until he felt a pair of eyes upon him. He turned slowly and saw the red eyes of the great wolf Fenris staring him down. The massive wolf spoke to Odin in his mind, the words passing directly into the old gods mind.


            “We both know what happens now.” The wolf said. “I kill you and the ice giants rule.”


            Odin raised his sword, prepared to at least make a fight of it. He didn’t feel Minga at his side, but she was there all the same. The wolf charged, his mouth steaming from the sudden effort. Fenris might have been a mechanical wolf, running on steam power like a locomotive. His legs pumped back and forth, jerking from one position to the other. Minga’s movements were fluid, as if she simply assumed one shape and then another as she suddenly charged towards him. She hardly seemed to move at all as she intercepted Fenris, or as her massive gray paw caught him across the shoulder. Fenris was thrown down to the ground, sliding a considerable distance. He stood slowly, a great deal of blood poured from his shoulder. His mouth opened, and steam continued to pour from it. Minga’s copper eyes narrowed, and she moved one paw to get a better center or gravity. She also did it because drawing one paw across the dirt looked enormously cool. Minga may weight two tons and be able to bite buses in half but she is a cat after all.


            Fenris growled a deep guttural sound, Minga made what could have been called a purr. Fenris made a barking noise and moved a few steps closer. Fenris was an old wolf, an ancient wolf, whose howl had echoed across the valleys before the apes had become men. The wolf’s howl was in the racial memory of men, holding back form the days when they were hunted.


            Minga however, was a tiger of the cosmos. Her copper eyes had witnessed the explosion that gave new birth to the universe, and had seen the stars form. She had watched as the stars were given life and died. She had been there during the rise, and the fall of a thousand galaxies, watching as the black holes eventually all sucked up the material and then slowly formed together into the super ball and finally exploding. She had taken form on a billions worlds, concerned herself with trillions of lives, and had killed many wolves.


            Odd thing that, there was always a wolf. No matter what kind of life arose, there was something that could be easily recognized as a wolf. Sometimes it took a little more imagination than others, but the wolf was always there. It was odd that the wolves would keep coming, since she kept killing them. Minga hated wolves, and here was another one.


            “He’s mine.” Fenris seemed to say as he took another step closer.


            “No.” Minga seemed to say as her head moved gently. “No he’s not.”


            “I can tear you to shreds.” Fenris’s growl was almost words.


            “Come get some.” Minga’s purr said.


            Fenris barked as he charged, and Minga stood still. There was nothing in this world that could harm her, and in fact it was speculated that nothing in the universe could hurt her. The wolf was only armed with teeth, which had a long history of not working. As the wolf came with in arms length, Minga raised her paw again and this time Fenris’s head was torn from his body. It sailed seventeen feet through the air and the crushed skull landed at Odin’s feet. Odin looked at the smashed head and walked over to Minga.


            The body had spun three feet into the air and landed on it’s back. Minga looked over at Odin, and winked. He thought he could see a smile in that cat’s almost blank glance. There was certainly a self-satisfied air. No matter how big, she was still a cat after all.


            “Good kitty.” He said patting her on the head.


            She purred and rubbed against his hip.



April 10th, 2003

12:26 p.m.


            Lilith was a might confused to be honest, she had been told they were going to win. They had banshees, and ice giants, and God-knows-what’s on their side. Yet the ice giants were being fought to a standstill, the banshee’s weren’t much of a match to the souls of the damned and her wolf was dead. She had seen the head sail through the air when the tiger had hit it. Even the ice giants were being felled, one at a time. There were so many warriors that the field looked as full as they do in fantasy paintings. There must have been fifty thousand warriors or more packed into this small place. Somehow, they had lost the battle, and now The Weirdo was working his way towards her. She held her horse steady as the fighting neared them.


            “We should go.” Eve said. “We’re not ready for this.”


            “What the hell happened?” Lilith asked turning toward Diana. “You said they’d have the field.”


            “I don’t know.” Diana said. “They shouldn’t be able to do this.”


            “Lilith.” Eve said. “He’s coming closer.”


            “Let’s go then.” Lilith said reining back her horse. “Abandon the field.”


            They rode away, signaling their troops to fall back with them. This is not to say the field suddenly became vacated, far beyond that. There were too many young women who had decided to come back with their shields or on them. There would be no retreat, no surrender, simply death. The last few of these fierce women killed themselves when it became obvious that people who wished them to surrender surrounded them.


            We could go one for some time about the brave speeches, and the daggers that stabbed through necks or into stomachs. How they cut themselves open and fell to slow and suffering deaths. As noble as an attempted seppuku might be, it’s a painful way to die and our heroes made the deaths a great deal shorter.


We could tell you about the one girl who at least got extra points for originality when she took her axe to her own breast. She tore her shirt off as they came closer and turned the sharp axe towards her own body and began to swing. She hacked at her chest breaking her ribs open. She took great pains to only cut deep enough to break the ribs, and no more. She had then reached inside her chest and drew out her own pumping heart. It rested against her naked breast, assaulted from being dragged out from the place where it had been secreted away quite snuggly. She knelt before them; her heart slowing it’s pace and finally fell forward, crushing the organ. The blood pooling around her dead frame.


            We could tell many stories like this, there were thirty-five separate suicides that were trying to be more noble, more self-martyring, more foolish than the last. The problem is, what good would it do? If you’re not already inured to the violence of battle, than these are just further horror stories. They serve no purpose save perhaps to show that when people who believe too strongly are defeated they’ll martyr themselves in the most idiotic way. One couldn’t even say that the girl who tore her heart from her chest made an impact. The Weirdo and Tommy had seen horrors that made that seem mild by comparison. She would be later remembered; she would be recorded but only under the stupid column.


            “Senseless waste.” Odin said standing next to The Weirdo as they looked at the scene of carnage.


            “Yes.” The Weirdo said.


            Now that the battle had ended, Lucifer and the souls of the damned were floating around the battlefield, trying to find anyone still alive. The Other was walking with the Arch Angel, healing anyone who could still be healed. The Weirdo had worried for a moment about letting her see all of this, and then tried to come up with a way he could stop her.


            “I’m not sure today really fulfils the bargain.” Odin said. “Though I believe we had soundly crushed the threat of the ice giants. I think that perhaps that day of twilight won’t be coming as soon as they thought.”


            “Some people thought it came a long time ago.” The Weirdo said. “Since no one’s seen you guys in a while.”


            “Maybe that was a mistake.” Odin said. “To have retreated into the palace like that.”


            “I think maybe the world needs you.” The Weirdo said. “You could always get new jobs, those of you whose main function has maybe fallen out of favor a bit.”


            “Perhaps.” Odin said.


            “You could even make up with your son.”




            “Baldur and Loki are dead. You have only one son left, and he needs forgiving.”


            “Thor and I…” The God began and halted. “We can’t seem to…”


            “I doesn’t matter.” The Weirdo said. “It takes more strength to want to strike and not strike than it dose to simply strike. There is more courage in not fighting sometimes than fighting.”


            “Hmm.” Odin said, “Not really what we stood for.”


            “Times are different now.” The Weirdo said. “And you’re a coward if you have to fight. Takes more courage to forgive than to fight.”


            “Damn.” Odin said. “I’m a coward if I fight now. I suppose you’ll tell me that knives don’t cut any more. That they actually mend wounds now.”


            “Nope.” The Weirdo said. “A knife is as true as it always was. These things were always true, you just didn’t know it until just now.”


            “Maybe he doesn’t want to talk to me.”


            “Maybe he’s been dying to meet up with you.” The Weirdo said. “Maybe he wants to make up with you.”


            “What if he won’t talk to me?”


            “What if he will?” The Weirdo asked. “Sometimes you’ve got to try and try again. There is no honor is being a stupid asshole.”


            Odin looked down at The Weirdo, who was looking out at the battlefield. He seemed to be cataloguing the field of battle, for later self torture perhaps. Odin wondered if The Weirdo ever slept, if he ever knew peace. Being a god of warriors, he had seen those like the little gray-coated man before. They would watch the battlefield, look at it long after the fight was over. They would record all the horrors, remember all the realities of war, and never know peace. Odin thought that perhaps The Weirdo would never be able to know rest, he wasn’t meant to be a solider. His kind, though very good soldiers should have been priests or poets. He should have composed verse about beauty or lead the congregation in song, not been here. The problem was that he was good at this, and the world sometimes makes you do something your good at rather than what’s good for you.


            “I think I’ll try and find my son then.” Odin said.


            “I’m glad you came to help us today.” The Weirdo said, finally looking at the god.


            “I’ll come again, when you need me.”


            “Thanks.” He said.


            “Weirdo.” Lucifer said approaching.


            “Yeah?” The Weirdo said turning to the fallen angel.


            “I’ve got some business I need to attend to. I’ll be back before dawn.”


            “Okay.” The Weirdo said, wondering why anyone was reporting to him at this point.



April 10th, 2003

12:29 p.m.


            Down in Georgia, a young man was just rubbing rosin into his bow. He rested the bowstring against the strings of his violin and began to play. His name was Johnny, and while he never really enters the New York part of the story, he has importance. He slid the bow back and forth, twisting the keys gently. He hadn’t tuned the instrument in a few days, and it had gone badly out of pitch.


            He began to play the instrument, playing quick and hot. The Devil leapt onto a stump of hickory next to him and smiled. Young Johnny looked at the devil and his heart nearly failed him. The Devil was holding a violin case of his own and tapping the side with his long nailed finger.


            “I have a wager for you my lad.” The Devil began as a troop of demons came from the woods, carrying instruments.



 April 10th, 2003

12:31 p.m.


            “How the hell did this happen?” Jack asked Tommy.


            “What part exactly?” Tommy asked.


            “The part where we didn’t die.”


            “That part is a puzzler.” Tommy said.


            The two of them were picking their way across the battlefield, looking like so many others for survivors. There were still a few members of the opposition, killing themselves in very brave ways, but more often than not they realized how much they wanted to live.


            “Here’s one.” Tommy said looking at a small pile of bodies.


            A young woman had crawled out from where two of her compatriots had fallen on her. She had managed to pull her self half way out but her legs were trapped. Tommy and Jack pulled her from under the pile and sat her up against the bodies. Her exhausted eyes looked upon them and she began to panic.


            “Please don’t kill me.” She nearly screamed. “Oh God please. Oh Jesus, please I’ll suck your dick just please don’t kill me.”


            “Shut up.” Tommy said a bit sharper than he meant to.


            “I don’t want to die.” She said, and began to cry.


            “You’re not going to just yet.” Jack said. “We’re not going to hurt you anyway.”


            “You’re not?” She asked. “But Lilith said you’d kill us. Violate our bodies and feed our souls to your demon partners.”


            “Well, she lied.” Tommy said picking up an empty helmet, looking at the padding. It was a heavy plastic helmet, like a piece of riot gear.


            He slid his fingers around the edge, his mind picking up traces of the thoughts of the person who had worn it. They hadn’t strapped the helmet down properly, and when the sword rushed towards her face, the impact sent the helmet flying. It wouldn’t have mattered of course; the blade had struck her in the face. It felt odd, that the helmet should be so completely devoid of signs of violence. There was no blood, no mark from the blade, the helmet had flown off and avoided the spray. He looked at the helmet marveling at the pristine nature, he could have pulled it off a rack at an army surplus store yesterday. It didn’t make any sense, but then none of it did. He raised his head and the bloodied battlefield, which had simply been a beautiful lawn of blue grass, failed to make sense. Nothing would ever really make sense again; he felt that this must be the truth of it. He tossed the helmet down at the girl’s feet and turned away.


            “Come on Jack.”


            “Okay.” Jack said turning.


            “Aren’t you going to rape me?” She asked, half shocked and half indignant.


            “Married.” Jack said over his shoulder.



April 10th, 2003

2:49 p.m.


            Johnny was playing his violin in the style that made the instrument known more traditionally as a fiddle. He was quite an accomplished player in fact, and he was playing in the most amazing fashion. He finished his tune and the Devil stood shaking. Of course he had been bested, but he wasn’t going to let this boy know that. He looked at the chorus of demons, and then at Johnny.


            “It was pretty close.” The Devil said. “We’d better have another round.”



April 10th, 2003

9:03 p.m.


            The field was still littered with bodies when Lilith and her army came back. They came in a more somber mood now though. They had lost the battle after all. It’s hard to say if their had been any kind of trial, such a thing wouldn’t have been unheard of. If there had been a trial it was more of a private meeting than it was a real trial. There were certainly some who knew what was coming and some didn’t, that much was obvious to all that were present.


            Lilith looked at the field of dead, noticing that the dying had been removed. She didn’t know where the wounded had gone, maybe they’d all died. They might have crawled away to die in privacy. That after all it wasn’t unheard of. She looked at the felid and back and Peach and Diana, and felt the rage leap up in her heart again.


            “Sisters.” She called out to the assembled masses. “We have been betrayed. There are some among us who said we would receive help, and when we needed it that help failed. This place is proof of that failure; we have been betrayed by the new Pagan additions to our group. I speak not of our new soldiers, but rather those new council members who sought to supplant me.”


            “Lilith?” Diana asked, turning to Peach, who didn’t look the slightest bit concerned.


            There were murmurs of agreement that rippled through the group likes waves. Several figures began to surround Diana’s horse, while Peach moved away from her. Diana looked at the figures as they laid hands on her and began to pull her down from her mount. Diana was dragged across the bloodied field towards a sufficiently far away lamppost, where too much mock surprise was already laden with wood.


            “There must be a sacrifice.” Lilith said swinging her leg over the horse’s head and sliding out of the saddle.


            Her white high-heeled boots clicked across the ground as she walked towards Diana, who was already being tied to the post. Her eyes flickered from one color to another in quick succession, and her breathing had certainly quickened. Diana looked confused and bewildered, but she didn’t scream. In fact she didn’t make any noise at all she just stood there. She might have been in shock, unable to make words come.


            Lilith pushed her head back against the metal pole and leaned close to Diana, brushing her hair away from her face. She ran her hand along Diana’s chin and laid her lips upon hers. She pressed her body against Diana’s as she continued to press her lips, pulling away, to revel her eyes were dilating and her cheeks had become flush. She then titled her face in again, nibbling the edge of Diana’s ear lobe gently.


            “I would have liked to fuck you.” Lilith whispered into Diana’s ear. “But that can never be now.”


            She leaned back and with a single fluid motion, produced a knife and slashed it across Diana’s left check. A cry of approval went up from the crowd and Diana knew she was going to die. Lilith felt like she wasn’t even in control of herself anymore that some other woman had taken over. That weight on her heart took hold and she felt like she was simply a passenger in her own head.


            “Kill the bitch.” One call came out. “Cut her fucking throat.”


            “We don’t stab witches.” Lilith said, walking towards the assembled masses. “There is only one thing you do to a witch. We burn them.”


            “Burn her.” Another voice called. “Burn the betrayer.”


            The cry of approval went up, and there were no dissenters. That is to say no one stood up and said that this was a bad idea. No one walked toward the front and demanded that half the group were witches and probably even more if you counted all the things witches were supposed to do. The concept of a witch was an oft-changing one after all and every woman there would most likely have been guilty at one time or another. No one was brave enough to tell them stop. There is a lot to be said for not standing at that moment though.


            One could claim it was cowardly not to take a stand, but it’s easy in your armchair. You can sit and read about these events and think how terrible that everyone seems to be willing to go along with it. You might wonder if even one person as bothered and if so why not step up? But then, you’re not standing there wondering whose next for the bon fire.


            Lilith directed a few of the cloaked figures to come forward. They carried blocks of wood, piling it up around Diana’s legs. Then came more women, these carrying gas cans, to douse Diana. The four of them each had gallon tanks in their hands, and began to pour the slightly pink fluid over their former co-ruler. Diana still didn’t scream, but gasped and made a few squeaks. Lilith watched as the gasoline dipped from the dark hair, and played with the small box of wooden matches.


            The call when up again, for her to be burned, louder this time. Yet Lilith paused, watching Diana’s silent resolve as the light of the lamppost shone down on her. It was bright white, and seemed to bleach the color away from everything that stepped into the cone of light. She looked at Diana, who was still so quiet, and directed some one to raise her chin. She wanted to look at her, but she didn’t want to touch the gas soaked hair.


            Diana’s face was raised and the two streams of tears trickled from her eyes. Lilith looked at the face a long time and nodded. The hand was taken away but Diana continued to look into Lilith’s eyes. Lilith had noticed for some time how incredibly horny the idea of setting fire to this woman had made her. She felt something quiver through her body as her eyes locked on Diana’s. Her stomach fluttered and her body twitched in so many delightful ways. She wanted to postpone this, to stretch the feeling out, to bring her self to orgasm before continuing. She wondered what the hell was wrong with her. She would have to end this soon or go mad, she wondered if she already was. She placed the tip of the match onto the side of the box and could barely control her hand as it touched. She felt like she wouldn’t be bale to stand for much longer, her knees had gone weak. Diana looked at the match and then at Lilith’s eyes again.


            The calls for burning were growing louder, and Lilith dragged the match across the rough side of the box. She felt something rippled through her as the sulfur tip burst into life. She watched as the match flared and the paraffin wax began to melt into the wood. She could almost feel a hand on her body as she watched the match, wanting to be somewhere else with some one anyone. She leaned forward and touched the match to one string of hair that had clumped together.


            The gasoline went up faster than Lilith had anticipated, and she had failed to notice that a puddle of the fluid had gathered around the spiked heels of her boots. She would have gone up with Diana had Peach not yanked her away. The flames leapt up quickly, causing the glass cover over the white light to shatter and the bulb to burst. Diana held back the scream for a long time, or at least it seemed like a long time. It may have only been a few seconds but everyone had thought she would break sooner. What they had not expected was how long it would take. Even with the accelerant, She kicked and struggled and screamed for a very long time. There was a lot of struggling too, they could see her trying to pull away through the dancing flames, which were possibly being fed from the fat layers under her skin. She was cooking; they realized this as she burned. She was beginning turned into a piece of barbequed pork, while still alive. When the cries ended, there were still rasps, and kicks. She had struggled for a long time, before her body finally fell still and the flames danced about the charred remains. It would be untrue to say that all there went away with a taste for more of the same, many had been sickened beyond their formally thought limit. It had taken too long, it had been fairly grisly, and the smell was not something you’d want to smell on a daily basis.


            The sight however had enraptured Lilith, and most the others. Lilith was sure later that no one noticed that she had rubbed herself while Diana died. She had brought her self to orgasm twice while the screaming went on, and thought it a pity that it didn’t last longer. She hadn’t ever realized how much this sort of thing got her off; she wanted to do more of it. She wanted to brand another of them a traitor and burn her alive as well. She thought about this and then thought the better of it, there were better ways to perform that rush. She thought that perhaps she could set up a little chamber to bring that feeling back again. She felt delighted, and more alive and aware than she ever had.



April 10th, 2003

10:15 p.m.


            The fingers on Johnny’s left hand were beginning to bleed from all the playing, and his eyes were beginning to close on their own. He knew that he had beat the devil, but the devil wouldn’t quit. Johnny hadn’t realized that the devil was going to keep the game up until he got the result he wanted. Johnny’s only recourse was to keep playing until the Devil gave up. He hadn’t reckoned with the Devil’s strength though, and he hadn’t reckoned with his arm feeling this tired.


            “That last one wasn’t up to snuff I’m afraid.” The devil said.


            “You cheated.” Johnny said.


            “My game.” The Devil said. “My rules, and now my soul.”


            The devil reached for Johnny’s chest, and a buzzing sound filled the young filled players ears. He saw a bright light begin to glow from under his heart. Had he not used all his strength in the exerted playing, he might have fought. He wanted to strike out, to scream that the rules had been broken. There were no rules though he knew that now. His God had failed him; Jesus had left him to die. He did hear a voice though, and it was the last voice he’d ever have thought to hear at this point.


            “Hold.” A voice came from behind him.


            “What is this?” The Devil asked turning.


            The light faded and Johnny fell back against the hickory stump. He felt his soul falling back into his body, tears trickling from his eyes. He looked at the face of the creature that had saved him. He was beautiful, he was powerful, and Johnny had always been told that he was evil. If this person was evil though, why save him.


            “I bet you didn’t know it but I’m a fiddle player too.” Lucifer said walking into the clearing. “And I’m here to stop you from trying to steal another soul.”


            “You’ll have to play by the rules.” The Devil said holding the golden fiddle aloft. “You’ll have to play for his soul.”


            Lucifer looked at the shinny golden instrument, a stupid material for a violin. There is a reason we don’t make violins from metal; there would be no resonance in the sound box from a metal fiddle. Lucifer looked at the violin, his hands still in the pockets of his leather coat. The demons had begun to slink away from the blonde haired fallen angel, but the devil had no such fear. He waved the fiddle at Lucifer and laughed.


            “If you haven’t a fiddle, I’m sure one of us can loan you ours.” The devil said.


            “I haven’t got time for this.” Lucifer said yanking the fiddle from the devil’s fingers. He took the bow and fiddle and looked at them, noting that with out the devil’s magic the fiddle’s strings sounded terrible. He looked, for a moment like he was going to play, but then he stabbed the devil in the stomach with the bow. He raised the fiddle over his head and brought it down. There was an incredibly wet sound as the devil’s head came in contact with his instrument. It actually took three strikes before even one of the strings broke though, with is a testament to any string makers skill.


            The blood was a sort of pale green color, and it got everywhere. There was a lot of blood, so much blood. Lucifer kept hitting, splattering the green stuff around. He finally stopped when there was nothing left of the head but the remains of the lower jaw. He stood, covered in the milky green stuff that had served as blood.


            “You don’t mind if I just take the fiddle with me do you?” Lucifer asked.


            “No…” Johnny said. “No, that’s fine, you go on a head.”


            “Thanks.” Lucifer said and turned to go.


            “Um.” Johnny began.




            “What happens now?” Johnny asked.


            “You play your violin, and rest assured that right now, you are the best fiddle player in the world.”          He felt it would be rude, or at least ungenerous to mention that he was probably the only fiddle player left in the world.



April 10th, 2003

11:21 p.m.


            Kestrel was standing as center of attention before a large white marker board, looking at the list she had drawn. It felt odd to her that she should be surrounded by such a group of apparent traditionalist, and yet she was using a marker board. Of course they had become standard within the last twenty years, but with such a group she would have felt better with a black board. She longed for the smell and scratch of chalk, it seemed right.


            She dealt with what she had though, and thus a marker board it was. She had written mainly in black marker, but there were highlights of red and blue here and there. She had under lined a few things with green and because it was there, drew a daisy with yellow. This of course always happens anywhere, there is always a flower or something like that drawn in one of the bottom corners of a marker board.


            She held a clipboard in one hand and consulted it as the group looked at her. She wasn’t used to speaking to a group, even though she knew everyone here. They were all friends or at the very least colleagues, but she was nervous nonetheless. She looked at Max who was making a drawing of a bee investigating the daisy, and that made it easier. If Max wasn’t having problem looking like a damn fool why should she?


            “Some of what I’m going to say is going to sound absurd.” She began, and then stopped.


            “Could you define absurd?” Tommy asked.


            “What?” She asked.


            “Well at this point, I’d like absurd defined, or at least placed on a scale. Is this going to be more or less absurd than all the plants that used to be green turning blue? More or less absurd than fighting ice giants in Central park? Is this a moveable scale?”


            “More absurd than the grass, less absurd than the giants.” She said.


            “Well that’s alright then.” Tommy said.


            “We’ve got a group of possible events, many of which are supposed to either trigger or harbring the end of the world. Max and I have gathered the ones we think are most likely to come to pass. We’ve been looking up every book and web site we could find, trying to piece things together. We’ve formed a theory, if we can stop these things from happening, we might be able to stop the end of the world.”


            There was a moment of silence, and then The Weirdo spoke.


            “How do we figure this?”

            “Well, I know this sounds silly, but I’ve got some theories. I’ll start with what I think might be first, the Leviathan. The Arch Angel Gabriel.” She began.


            “Bitch.” Lucifer said entering the room, a blood stained violin in his hand.


            “Pardon?” The Weirdo asked.


            “Just making a comment about the competition.” Lucifer said, tossing the green stained instrument on the table.


            “Is that a golden violin?” Jack asked.


            “It’s called a fiddle.” Lucifer said. “When you play it in the way it was being played, it’s a fiddle.”


            “Been to Atlanta have you?”


            “There abouts.” Lucifer said sitting down.


            “Gabriel is supposed to slay the Leviathan. Now the leviathan looks a lot like the dragons of Chinese legend. Now the Typhoon season is meant to start because the great sky dragon leaves the sky, which is his summer residence, and when he slips into the water he kicks up storms. They have a theory that when the world is about to end the great dragon will smash into the sea and make the biggest storms ever. What if the storms begin because the dragon has a fight with an angel or because an angel killed a friend of his? See everything’s sort of interconnected I think. If we stop Gabriel…”

            “Can’t we just call him the bitch?” Lucifer asked.


            “If wee can stop the bitch from killing the Leviathan, then we should be able to avoid the storms. We’ve already stopped the ice giants so another ice age won’t sweep over the land, causing the Skryers to return.”


            “The what?” Jack asked.


            “The Viking word used for the Indians.” The Weirdo said.


            “Unless you believe that they really were a sort of goblin.” Kestrel said. “Who thrive on cold.”


            “Well we won’t find out now will we?” Max asked. “Cause we stopped them.”


            “So if we stop a few things we can stop a few more?”


            “That’s the idea.” Kestrel said. “Kill a mosquito in March and you’ve killed a million by July.”


            “Do we know where the Leviathan is?” The Weirdo asked.


            “No.” Kestrel said.


            “But we have an idea.” Max said.




            “Everything’s going to happen here.” Max said. “There is a defined game board, and we have to be in that defined game board. Nothing’s going to happen outside the playing field. I think it’s going to come here, probably just swim up to the waterfront and duke it out there.”


            “Okay.” The Weirdo said. “When?”


            “Soon?” Kestrel said, suddenly unsure.


            The Weirdo closed his eyes and seemed to be thinking of something unrelated. His foot tapped out a simple rhythm while his fingers tapped out a complex tattoo of rhythms. It would be hard to know why he was doing this unless you knew that he was playing a Mozart number organically meant for a harpsichord on the table. He couldn’t play the harpsichord, but he could make his fingers tap the table with the sort of speedy movements that the number required.


            He opened his eyes and looked at the marker board, and then at the two presenters.


            “What else?” he asked, fingers still moving.


            “Well we think that Kalki is probably on his way.” Max said. “Probably Coney Island.”


            The Weirdo’s hands stopped.




            “Tonight.” Kestrel said.


            Angel had turned white; her fingernails were cutting into the wood of the chair she was sitting in. She would discover later that her nails had made the marks, shallow though they were. She had felt her heart stop at the mention of the name, realizing that they had triggered the end of all things if Kalki was coming.


            “Fine.” The Weirdo said and his eyes snapped shut and he went back to the Mozart tune in his head. His hands never moved, he might as well have been typing on a keyboard. Only his fingers tapped out the tune.


            “Kalki?” Judy asked.


            “A Hindu God.” Kaala said. “It’s his job to punish you for not knowing your place.”


            “Punish?” Judy asked.


            “Kill.” Kaala answered. “He kills because the world doesn’t live to rules so strict that it makes what the Catholics were spinning in their hey day seem mild.”


            “Kalki.” The Weirdo said, still tapping. “Kalki is a boogie man for the Hindu caste system. If you dress like a king, marry for love, eat the flesh of a cow, fail to be glad that you’re a slave of the system, he’ll punish you. Once he’s killed those who failed to live up to his standards he’ll set the universe a flame and begin again.”


            “Shit.” Judy said. “I mean, shit.”


            “Nope.” The Weirdo said, his hands still tapping away. “He won’t be a problem, because I’m going to fuck him up.”


            “You sound confident.” Sheila said.


            The Weirdo’s hands stopped the tapping and he opened his eyes. He set his hands flat against the table and looked at them for a moment before pushing against the table and standing up. He looked at Sheila and smiled his cutest smile. He then scratched the left side of his mouth with the index finger of his left hand.


            “I am.” He said. “How long?”


            “Well probably at dawn I would guess.” Max said.


            “Let’s go over the rest of this first then. What else do we have to contend with?”


            “Well we’re not sure exactly what connects to what yet so a lot of this might not come to pass.” Kestrel said.


            “If we act fast enough?” The Weirdo asked.




            “Okay, well lets begin then.” He said opening a notebook.



April 10th, 2003

11:31 p.m.


            Lilith felt unaccountably cold, even wearing the jeans and shirt she had on, she still reached for a sweater. She couldn’t explain the feeling of cold that had been holding onto her since they had returned to the building. She slid the sweater on and stood looking out the window, down at the lights of the city. She wondered who it was who kept turning the lights on. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone who wasn’t part of the game in the city. If there wasn’t anyone left, who could be turning on these lights? Surely they couldn’t all be on timers, could they?


            “Lilith?” Peach asked entering the room.


            “Yeah?” Lilith said turning her head towards the southern belle.


            “Eve asked me to get you. She says there is some one we have to see.”


            “I have to do something?” Lilith asked. “I have to do something?”


            “She said we had to meet with who ever it is.”


            Lilith sighed, looking at Peach for a moment. She was dressed in a short skirt and a tight top, which accentuated her bust line. Lilith admired the long legs of the former beauty queen, and bit her lip. Her eyes changed from blue to a deep scarlet. She was annoyed by the command, but there was that feeling again, telling her to go.


            “Fine.” Lilith said rolling her eyes.



April 11th, 2003

2:41 a.m.


            “I’m going to bed.” Kaala announced as she stood up. “I’m falling asleep in my chair.”


            “Okay.” The Weirdo said.


            He looked up at her and noticed that almost everyone had gone. Jack and Kestrel were still there, as well as Max. Max however, could not really be said to be in attendance. He had set his head down on the table for a moment and passed out, and now slept quietly. Everyone else had left one by one as they reviewed the plan. There was complete confidence in The Weirdo to sort through this complicated collection of legends.


He had read much of this before, but he hadn’t paid too much attention to it. He had simply taken the information and filed it away, like he did with everything. He was using these notes to help bring everything to the forefront, and assemble pieces into the tapestry that was welded together like a mixed metaphor.


            “So when we stop Kalki, this will start Kali up and get her going huh?”


            “It was an idea.” Max said. “I’m thinking that if we stop Kalki, it will wake up Kali and make her come to earth.”


            “Not an entirely unwelcome thing.” The Weirdo said. “If you can get past the ravenous appetite, she is a patron of learning. She blesses those who strive for knowledge and destroys ignorance. Its just there are so many damn ignant people that she has her mouth full all the time.”


            “What if she comes up angry?”


            “We’ll deal with that if it happens.” The Weirdo said.



April 11th, 2003

4:21 a.m.


            Lilith was tired; she wanted to be in bed. She did not want to be talking to this thing, what ever it was. It was short, small in fact. It was only a few feet tall, and reptilian. Its hands were like the grasping claws of a dinosaur and its face had a definite snout. Its large yellow eyes were bisected by the slit of its pupil. It spoke in a language that she couldn’t understand, but made her skin crawl. Eve could understand the speak, and told her she would teach her the tongue later.


            The hissing and clicking that was the creatures speak ended again and Eve turned to Lilith again. Eve looked tired too, but she understood that this was a powerful ally and one that didn’t care about time of day or even relative position usually. He had made the journey to this place instead of demanding they come to him. He didn’t pull the hood of his red cloak down at any time, but didn’t seem inclined to hide the green mottled skin.


            “He says that he has a champion that could be used in single combat.”


            “At what price?” Lilith asked.


            “What do you mean price?” Eve asked, in a tone of voice that insisted that this was insulting the very important guest that had come so very far to see them.


            “There’s always a price Eve.” Lilith said, tired and not wanting to play polite.


            “The Rasklar will benefit from our victory.” Eve said.


            “I’m sure they will.” Lilith said. “But I’d just like to know the bottom line so I can go to bed and get some form of sleep.”


            The lizard creature spoke again, this time looking over at Peach and pointing at her on occasion as he spoke. Eve looked at her and nodded occasionally, showing that she understood what he said.


            “Are you bargaining my body away?” Peach asked.


            “No.” Eve said. “Just the bits below your waist.”

            “What?” Peach’s voice was barely a whisper.


            “Joking.” Eve said. “He’s just pointing at you as an example. They could use a few egg cells from whatever members of the sisterhood would like to donate. If we have semen samples he’d like those as well. Rasklar don’t actually breed, they’re individually engineered in labs. They need an influx of fresh material.”


            “Fine.” Lilith said. “He can have a whole damn ovary if I can go to bed.”


            “Not yours.” Eve said.




            “Apparently they can’t use a pregnant woman’s eggs. Something doesn’t work when you’re impregnated.”


            “Eve.” Lilith said leaning over the table. “The point here is that I want to go to bed. I’m so tired that I’m willing to give up nearly any thing to get out of this meeting. I’ve been talking strategies with you and this lizard man for far too long and I’m just tired.”


            The creature looked at Lilith and then spoke in perfect, crisp English. Eaton English no less, with out a hint of the rasping reptilian voice it had been using.


            “You could have simply stated your desire to sleep my love.” He said. “I don’t notice fatigue in mammals very well, you must forgive me.”


            “Sure.” Lilith said nodding. “I’m going to go to bed.”


            She turned away and could feel her eyes closing on their own. She felt more tired than she had ever been in her life, and she wanted to sleep. She moved down the hall and felt a deep and profound regret that she would sleep alone. Had she not angered him so, she could have slept in The Weirdo’s arms. He would have held her close, and protected her, kept her safe. The argument had sprung between them though, and he was so far away. Had she not angered him everything could have been different, they would have been happy. He would have been a present father for the babe growing in her body. He would have loved her and the child who even now was beginning to resemble a creature in her womb. She knew it was no longer just a collection of cells, but it was a creature, who had already gone through the gills stage of development and was beginning to be mammalian. Of course she was wrong about this, not enough time had passed, but it was what was in her thoughts.



April 11th, 2003

5:31 a.m.


            The sun was just beginning to come up over the water, making the ocean look a brilliant orange color. The Weirdo sat on a park bench, the sheathed Excalibur leaning next to him. He almost wished he smoked at times like this. It would have helped fill time to have a cigarette. He had often heard that if you smoke, smoking is like doing something. You can pay attention to the feeling of hot air baking the inside of your lungs and the poisons leaching into your system.


            He touched the hilt of the sword and waited for the rider to come. This was like a samurai movie, and he felt silly being a part of it. Sword fights on the beach at dawn, what the hell was going on? He knew damn well that sword fights didn’t happen on the beach at dawn, in fact they rarely happened. Sword fights happen wherever they happen. You don’t get to play act in real life; you have to accept the situation as it is. Life doesn’t allow for quick draw matches or sword fights at dawn. He knew this, and it was unfair that he kept getting wrapped up in quick draw matches and sword fights at dawn. It gave him such a feeling of narrative.


            “Here he comes.” Kestrel’s voice came over the communicator and The Weirdo looked out at the ocean as a head began to rise up from the water.


            “I see him.” The Weirdo said. “Keep everybody back.”


            “Ten four.” She said.


            “This is fucking ridiculous.” The Weirdo said standing.


            He was a beautiful mustachioed man, his face was very kind looking. He looked like a Hindu prince from the stories his father would some time read him. He remembered the stories about forces with arrows that had the power of a nuclear bomb. He had liked those old stories. He hadn’t thought, until recently, that he would be part of them.


            Kalki rode out of the water as if the water were just thick mist, and had no hold over him. His clothes weren’t wet, nor was his hair. He had a curved sword on his hip, and an air of royalty in his baring. The Weirdo stabbed Excalibur in its scabbard into the sand deep enough for the sword to stand up right on its own. He looked up at the man on the horse and sighed silently as he could.


            “Hi.” The Weirdo said.


            Kalki said nothing.


            “I’ve dressed like a king you know.” The Weirdo said. “I like steaks too, big fat juicy steaks, and burgers. I don’t know my place and if someone thinks they’re better than me because they were born to an apparently better family I’d cheerfully kick his scrawny ass.”


            Kalki looked down at The Weirdo with confusion. His mouth tried to form a word for a moment, as if trying to figure out how to start.


            “Why would you tell me that?” Kalki said. “Don’t you know I’ll kill you for that?”


            “Oh, Ipswich.” The Weirdo drew Excalibur with a speed that surprised even Kalki.          


            The sword struck out with the speed that would have surprised a viper, and shocked Kalki in its direction. Kalki had expected the blow to come for him, but The Weirdo had other plans. The sword cut deeply into the horse’s neck, slicing nearly to the spinal column. The horse’s body reacted violently to this assault, rearing up and throwing the god onto the filthy gray sand. The horse’s body nearly landed on Kalki, before it sank into the grains on the beach.


            They say there is a star for each of the grains of sand on earth, and Kalki was supposed to destroy all of them. The Weirdo looked at the blood that was soaking into the sand and thought to himself that perhaps that would keep the Andromeda Galaxy from burning. It didn’t soak in immediately rather it ran across the sand, unable to break in between the tiny cracks between each piece of sand. It might as well have been running across a solid object rather than a million tiny grains.


            The Weirdo took a few steps back while Kalki stood up and looked at his fallen steed. A tear trickled from his eye for his beloved horse, and then turned with anger towards The Weirdo. The Weirdo stood, looking rested and calm, even though all he could hear was his heart thumping. He had gotten Kalki angry, but that was always a gamble. Some people focus when they’re angry, he had hoped that Kalki wasn’t one of them.


            “You impertinent peasant.” Kalki said raising the sword above his head.


            The Weirdo calmly took a loose position, holding the sword with both hands. He had done this before, of course with a katana, but this was better than a katana. This was the alien blade from a different world, a magic sword that could kill on it’s own. Excalibur seemed to buzz in his hand, murmuring its agreement to the idea.


            “I’ll kill you.” Kalki said, and then screamed. “I’ll kill you all! We will create the perfect world!”


The Weirdo stood calm as the god came running toward him. The Weirdo didn’t move, until Kalki was within range, and then swung the blade laterally. Kalki took four extra steps past The Weirdo, having never swung his blade, simply holding it over his head. His stomach opened slowly and his digestive system spilled from his tunic. The smell was incredible, the various chemicals mixing from the opened organs made a smell that was really something other than else. The Weirdo turned around, calm as ever and brought the blade down again. As his body fell to the ground, Kalki’s head tumbled into the sand, and a profusion of blood spilled out. The white tunic was torn, soaked with blood, and filthy with what ever God’s defecate when their muscles relax. The head had landed face down into the sand, the horse had been slaughtered and bacteria would already begin to invade the exposed tissues if any were left.


            “That’s what happens when you try to get your lily white privileged hands dirty.” The Weirdo said softly, as if he were giving instruction. “I kill for a living, you eat dates.”


The Weirdo walked towards the dead body and reached down for the clothes. They were beautiful clothes. The tunic was of the purest silk, with actual gold in the embroidery, truly the clothes of a man of the highest social strata. These were clothes that had been made on the finest looms with the best weavers in the world. The greatest tailors that had ever lived had made them especially for him. They had been made particularly for this day, and were to be worn only once.


The Weirdo looked at his own clothes. He wasn’t actually sure where his pants had come from. Mrs. Pendleton just came home one day with a dozen pairs of pants and placed them on his bed. He had just slipped into these because they were clean. His shirt was the same story. It was just a pair of black cotton pants and a blue hennely shirt. The Weirdo’s clothes had probably never actually been touched by a human being until they had to be stitched together in a factory in China. Then they hadn’t been touched again until they were picked up at the store. His clothes were as impersonal as clothes could get.


He tore a clean swatch of cloth from Kalki’s clothes, cutting it away with his pocketknife. He looked at it for a moment and then wiped the blood from Excalibur, carefully cleaning each speck and mark from it. He walked to where the scabbard lay and slid the mighty sword back into the sheath.


If you listened carefully, there might have been some one making a whistling sound. Upon investigation, Kestrel found it was Tommy, Jack and Max. They had all made the same sound at the same moment.


            “Lost Boy?” Kaala’s voice came over the com.


            “Yo?” Max asked.


            “You guys wanted to know when we saw something?”




            “Would a giant dragon thing mean anything to you?”


            “How close.”


            “It’ll be here in about ten minuets.” Kaala’s voice said.


            “It’ll want to fight.” Kestrel said.


            “Then you’ll have to dissuade it won’t you?” The Weirdo said. “Go fly out and tell it not to.”


            “Why me?”


            “Because you can turn into a small bird and not be human shaped. It’s likely to bite any human shaped thing it sees.”


            “Fine.” She said. “Meet me there.”



April 11th, 2003

5:41 a.m.


            There was still a chill to the morning; the sun hadn’t risen very far into the air yet. That is to say rather, the earth hadn’t rotated enough for this part of the earth to be properly and completely exposed to the radiation of the sun. It may sound petty, but it’s important to be accurate about these things. If we start saying the sun rose, then the next thing you know we’re the center of the universe and using dog urine to cure the black plague. I think we’d all agree these are better days, ergo the earth hadn’t fully rotated yet.


The Weirdo, when the fact of rotation had fully hit him realized that in many ways the earth was just a giant chicken on a rotisserie machine. The day it occurred to him to think that way was quite a good one. He had been looking for a new way to look at the world and a giant chicken on a rotissamat was certainly a new way.


The waters of New York Harbor were nearly ripple less, calm as glass. If glass were a massive body consisting of a few trillion gallons of water that is. Cydrill was looking at the ocean with a pair of binoculars and after a moment made a satisfied grunt.


“There.” He said handing the field glasses over.


The Weirdo raised the binoculars to his eyes and saw the faint ripples on the water. Either a huge animal or a nuclear submarine was swimming just under the water. He was looking when the head rose up out of the water, and he gasped at the site. It’s one thing to imagine a massive animal like the leviathan; it’s another to see it.


The head was roughly the length of a bus, only wider. It wasn’t shaped like a bus you understand, just about the length. It was far more equine than he would have guess, he had expected something like a crocodile. He couldn’t say why he had expected a crocodile, he just had. This was a beautiful creature though, even for something that looked greatly like a serpent. The long thin body moved like a sea snakes, slithering through the water. There were two long whiskers, like those on a catfish that stretched out from the side of the nose. He thought the creature looked familiar, but at the moment he couldn’t place it.


The head came up from the water and something fluttered around it and landed between the massive horns on the head. A moment later Kestrel stood up and raised her hand to her mouth.


“Rubber Duck? The Birdie has landed.”


“Brilliant.” The Weirdo said.


“Um, just one thing?”


“Yes, bird lady?”


“What now?”


“Reason with it.” The Weirdo said. “Try and get it to head toward us.”


“Reason with it.” She muttered. “How?”


“You could try talking to me.” The Leviathan said.


“I could.” She said, and then looked down at the massive head where the sound had come from. “Did you talk?”


“I did.” The voice was feminine, with what sounded like a Chinese accent. Rather it was the last vestiges of a Chinese accent. This was the voice of a native Mandarin speaker who had worked very hard to speak English properly.


“Well could you not go fight the angels?”


“I’m not here to fight.” She said.


“An angel is going to kill you.” Kestrel said pointing. “Look, go there towards my friends.”


“I can’t see where you’re pointing. You’re hand’s behind my eyes.”


“Sorry.” Kestrel said.


The clouds opened and Kestrel was the first to see them. Her breath caught in her throat at the sight of them.


“Tell you what, why don’t we just hang out here in the harbor for a few minuets?”


“The Angels are coming to battle me you know.”


“I know.” Kestrel said. “We don’t want you to fight them though, as there is a strong likelihood you won’t make it.”


“Is that a fact?”


“Apparently.” Kestrel said.


“And if I stay out here?”


“My friends are going to do some of the fighting for us and we can not fight?”


“Doesn’t sound that great?”


“You want to live or be slaughtered?” Kestrel asked. “I mean what if there are a hundred angels and if you kill the first one the rest join in to kill you?”


“Good point.”


“So we stay out here?”


“For now.”



April 11th, 2003

5:45 a.m.


            They stood watching the great head sitting out in the harbor, and felt the sun breaking through the clouds overhead. The Weirdo looked at the light behind him and then looked at the patches of light and the chorus of voices and waited for his body to stop responding to his commands. He knew that he was going to find himself in his bed, and unable to move. He looked at the sun before him and spun around while he still could, and thus he saw them descend. It wasn’t the sun breaking through the clouds that made the golden light.


            “Fuck.” He said.


            The rest of the group turned to see the angels descend from the skies, their dove like wings flapping gently as they came down to earth. There were at least two-dozen of them, flapping as they descended to the street. They were all beautiful, far too beautiful to be believed. They were perfect, and yet not. The Weirdo saw them as the incredibly beautiful things but he also saw something else. He saw forms of light and forms of shadow. His brain was trying to take in the image, and realized what it was it was looking at. These were creatures that existed in five physical dimensions instead of three like everyone else. They were, when you could really see them, rather disgusting to look at. They were actually somewhat hideous, and looked like the last thing you’d want looking out for you. These were demons, or something very much like demons. They weren’t good, they just looked good to people who couldn’t see what they really were.


            They didn’t look at the gathered group as they landed. They completely ignored the assembled heroes. They landed along the pier, looking only at the form of the Leviathan out in the harbor. They all looked at the giant serpent, and nothing else. Their faces were fixed on the head of the serpent. The Weirdo’s eyes wanted to jump out of their sockets, but he managed to keep them in place. He looked at Lucifer, and noticed that Lucifer didn’t look like the rest of them. He concentrated and saw only the person whom he knew. He squeezed his eyes and concentrated, a golden light seemed to pour from the fallen angel but no more.


            “Gabriel and Michael.” Lucifer said as the first two landed. “And you’ve brought back up.”


            The first one that landed was dressed for war, in the way one might expect if one had studied mediaeval paintings too much. Gabriel was wearing fourteenth century armor, with a long blue cape around his shoulders. He had a round shield on his right hand with a large red cross emblazed on a white field. The Weirdo was surprised to discover that the angel’s wings extending from his lower back. The angel landed and drew out a long thin sword.


            “He’s mine.” Cydrill said, looking at The Weirdo. “You shouldn’t fight him.”


            “Alright.” The Weirdo acquiesced.


            Cydrill stripped off his over coat, reveling the black armor of the world’s youth. It looked like something that might have frightened the Romans once upon a time. It had been through five thousand years of improvements, a new piece being added when the old piece had finally become too damaged to be useful. It’s breastplate was shaped like the muscular torso that lay beneath, the legs where boxy things that looked like they belongs in a science fiction movie. The arms and neck were like the armor that could be seen in most museums today.


            “Didn’t know you had such stuff.” The Weirdo said.


            “Only dress up for special occasions.” Cydrill said. “Like when I need to scare the natives.”


            “I see.” The Weirdo said. “Did you bring a sword?”


            “Oh yes.” Cydrill said, smiling. “Mister Peidmont?”


            “Yes Mister Blackheart.” Peidmont said handing forth a massive long sword, the type that was favored by the Germans and Swiss in the days of old.


            Michael landed behind Gabriel and Lucifer stepped up behind Blackheart. Michael looked more like what we might think an angel should look like. His dove like wings seemed to emit from his shoulder blades, and he wore a black suit with a long black cassimere over coat. His wings folded back and vanished form sight.


            What was particularly interesting was that the angels hadn’t seemed to take notice of them yet. It was true that our lads were off to the side, but they weren’t concealing themselves or anything like that. They were all waiting for the giant serpent to come to shore for the last battle of its life.


            “Well.” Cydrill said. “What do we do about this?”


            “I’ve got Michael.” Lucifer said.


            “What about the rest of them?” Max asked.


            “They’ll hold back.” Lucifer said. “They won’t do anything until they’ve seen which way the fights going to go. They always were a pack of cowards.”


            “Maybe there’s another way out of this.” The Weirdo said.


            “What’s that?” Lucifer asked.


            “Well I can’t dazzle them with brilliance.” He said walking towards the angels. “Coming Max?”


            Max walked with him and the two of them headed towards the angels. They watched as he walked towards the angels, a certain style in his stride. Cydrill tried to remember the whole phrase but it was eluding him for some reason. He thought he knew how it ended though.


            “That phrase doesn’t end on a hopeful note dose it?” Cydrill asked.


            “I think he could perform quite well actually.” Jack said.


            “Just to be sure though.” Tommy raised the pen shaped device to his lips. “Jell-O shooter, if this goes bad, fire into the crowd.”


            “Ten for Pig Pen.” Kaala’s voice came over.



April 11th, 2003

5:48 a.m.


            “Nice day isn’t it?” The Weirdo asked in far too loud and distinct a voice.


            “What?” Gabriel asked gruffly.


            The Angel looked shocked as if he had just noticed The Weirdo. The Weirdo was smiling, but the angel was scowling. Max noticed that they were both well over six feet tall, and wondered why Lucifer was so short in comparison. Lucifer was just about six feet but these two looked closer to seven.  Max noticed the shapes flicker before his eyes for a moment. They had changed into the most disgusting sight his mortal mind could have ever comprehended, but for only a fraction of a second. He wondered if he had been seeing things, the sight had shaken him. The Weirdo seemed to be totally confident though, as if nothing could ever worry him.


            “I say it’s a nice day.” The Weirdo said, still too loud. “Don’t you think?”


            “Be gone mortal.” Michael said. “This is not place for you. Evil is about to be undone.”


            “You have no idea.” The Weirdo said slyly.


            “What?” Gabriel asked, looking shocked that they were still there.


            Max understood the shock on the angel’s face. He wanted to run away from this sight, he supposed the angel wanted him to run away too. The Weirdo however, looked like everyone’s mother might in such a situation. He was totally oblivious to the hint to go away, and was still cheerfully chattering. He had a big friendly smile on his face and looked like he was enjoying himself. He unwrapped a piece of toffee candy and tossed it into his mouth.


            “I was just saying to my youthful ward here.” The Weirdo said and was gratified to find that the angels scowled and turned to him again. “I said to him, what a lovely day it is, didn’t I Max?”


            “You did, you did.” Max said, thinking ‘Did you have to use my real name?’


            “I was saying it’s such a lovely morning, we should go for a walk. As the entire city’s empty we should go about and have a walk on such a lovely day.”


            “Go away.” Gabriel said, becoming angry.


            “And as we walking I saw this big serpent thingy. It came up out of the water and I thought, gosh that looks like Slinky, my how he’s grown. See Slinky was my pet snake when I was a child only it got really sick and died one day and my mother flushed him down the toilet. Only I learned later that snakes can sometimes seem dead when their not and I always though Slinky wasn’t dead and here he is. Isn’t that amazing, my how he’s grown.”


            “What do you want?” Gabriel asked with barely restrained rage.


            “You can’t kill Slinky.” The Weirdo said. “That’s what I’m getting to.”


            “It is the Leviathan.” Gabriel said. “It must be destroyed.”


            “Why?” The Weirdo asked. “Cause you’ve got some weird hang-up?”


            “Be gone or we shall make your brief existence abbreviated.” Gabriel said.


            “Abbreviated?” The Weirdo said. “Are you trying to be politically correct or is this some form of new speak? Or do you just not know the words?”


            Gabriel ignored him again, and this annoyed The Weirdo a little. Being someone who enjoyed being a pain in the ass, he took another of the toffees out of his pocket and threw it at Gabriel. The archangel ignored him, so he threw another one. Gabriel turned to look at him and The Weirdo pegged him directly between the eyes. The archangel didn’t seem to be too nonplussed by the hit, so The Weirdo threw the next one harder. This one struck Gabriel in the nose.


            “I shall end you for that.” Gabriel said walking towards The Weirdo.


            “I don’t think you should threaten our little friend like that.” Cydrill said walking towards Gabriel. “In fact, I challenge you.”


            Gabriel looked at Cydrill Black heart and his face grew stony. His eyes betrayed his weariness though; this was supposed to be easy. This was supposed to be a simple thing, not all this. Now there was a black knight, challenging him to a duel.


            “You can’t challenge me.” Gabriel said.


            Cydrill didn’t make any further argument; he simply took a step forward and with one slice of his sword, cut one of Gabriel’s wings off. There was a lot of blood, and a scream that was like nothing The Weirdo had ever heard. If you can imagine a dying rabbit howling with the power of an air horn, your only just beginning to get there. Cydrill Blackheart, of all the creatures who heard that noise, wasn’t frozen by it. He swiped down and cut the other wing away. Gabriel fell to his knees, his scream rising in pitch. Cydrill swung his sword towards the throat for the kill, but Gabriel’s sword swung up to block him.


            The Weirdo almost felt sorry for Gabriel, but there was something that wouldn’t allow it. He had been too imperious, had barely noticed they were there. He was so assured of his superiority that he had treated The Weirdo like an annoying gnat. Michael looked at the severed wings on the ground and then at the two sword fighting soldiers and began to move towards Cydrill. The Weirdo was about to march forward, but was yanked back by Lucifer.


            “I said this bitch is mine.” He said stalking forward. “Michael!”

            The archangel turned and froze in his tracks, seeing someone he had quite clearly thought was dead. Lucifer stripped off his black leather coat and tossed it to the ground, and it was hard not to notice that it turned to white feathers when it struck the ground. Lucifer walked towards Michael, cracking his knuckles.


            “You live?” Michael asked.


            “You stupid self assured bastard.” Lucifer said, “You thought just because you helped cast me down you’d be safe forever?”


            Michael took his coat off and tossed it into the air, it never landed, but vanished. He cracked his knuckles and looked, now with barely a thought, towards the sword fight. He shook his head dismissively as he looked at Lucifer, and laughed a little. Lucifer wasn’t laughing and The Weirdo had already seen the mistake. Michael had dismissed Lucifer, had reasoned that he beat him the last time. Lucifer had spent a long time working on why he’d lost, and had come to several conclusions.


            “You lost.” Michael said. “Why don’t you accept it?”


            “The war never ends Mikey, just battles.”


            “You can’t win, no one backs you now.”


            “I always thought you’d be the last person in the world to betray me, you know that?”


            “I know.” Michael said. “That’s why you lost, you never could tell who was on your team.”


            “I don’t need a team to stop you.”


            “We’re going to kill the Leviathan Lucifer.”


            “Not on my watch.” Lucifer said.


            “You don’t have a watch.”


            Michael’s punch was a quick sudden thing, but Lucifer had been expecting it and his hand swung up to deflect it away. The fight had already gone ten blows before The Weirdo had been aware it had started. Had he tried to fight the angel, he would have been dead. The other angels seemed to suddenly notice that something was going on, and they began to draw weapons out.



April 11th, 2003

5:51 a.m.


            “Do it.” Tommy said.


            Kaala didn’t want to fire randomly, so she took careful aim on the first angel she could zero in on and fired. She had no compunction about firing the weapon, and had really wanted to from the moment Tommy suggested it. The head of the particular angel exploded in a bloody mist. The body didn’t fall though, and the other angels looked barely interested as they turned to look at their headless brother. As the mist of blood cleared, she could see that the head was coalescing back to it’s previous form, without a mark on it.


            “Shit.” Angel said looking through the range site.


            “Fuck.” Jack said.


            “Shall we begin then?” Tommy asked.


            “I guess we’ll have to.” Jack said.


            “Can we?”


            “No idea.” Tommy said.


            “We can try though.”


            “Oh yes we can.”



April 11th 2003

5:52 a.m.


            Max looked at the two fights and then at the group of angels that looked like they were about to interfere in the battles. He reached behind him and was about to draw his guns when The Weirdo touched his chest. He looked at The Weirdo who simply shook his head. Max had wanted to start shooting, just to make them pay attention to him. He found their lack of attention rude and arrogant, and he wanted to make them pay attention.


            “We won’t win that way.” The Weirdo said.


            “How will we win?” Max asked.


            The Weirdo looked at the group of angels who only seemed to be just starting to realize that something was going on. It was so odd that nothing had gotten their attention. They were either attention deficit to a degree no one had ever studied or they had come to the conclusion that none of this was important. He looked at Jack and Tommy who were loading their weapons and preparing to charge. He looked out at the ocean where Kestrel had managed to keep the giant serpent at bay. He was for a moment lost and scratched his stomach.


            The Weirdo reached into his coat, to continue the scratching, and his hand came across something. His face stopped looking confused and he closed his eyes in an expression of pure relief. He had found something that had made him happy. He pulled it out and tried to look at Gabriel in a way that should make him hold the same shape for three seconds all together. Three was all he’d need, just three.



April 11th, 2003

5:53 a.m.


            The fight wasn’t going quite as well as Cydrill had hoped; pissing the Arch Angel off had been a bad idea. He was defiantly going to loose this fight, and he had a feeling he might die if he did. Gabriel managed to knock Cydrill down and stood over him, blade about to plunge into his heart. He looked at the blade, the tip shining in the day’s early light. He suddenly realized that he wasn’t done living. That there was so much more he wanted to do. He wanted to live, but he didn’t know how to stop this from happening.


            Cydrill swung his legs out, trying to trip the angel, but his legs went through the appendages. It was as if now Gabriel was no longer a part of the physical world, or perhaps that the physical world could no longer hold sway. The rules of physics had apparently given him a break on the whole no two pieces of matter can occupy the same place at the same time rule. Gabriel’s foot landed on Cydrill’s chest and shoved him back down on the ground. The tip of the blade touched Cydrill’s neck and then the angel drew back to more fully destroy the lord of twilight.


            The fact that The Weirdo was right behind him wouldn’t have given Cydrill much reason to be glad, he was now thinking their was no way to win this fight. If he had seen what The Weirdo had in his hand he might have been a little happier, though not much.  He was a little concerned about the tip of the sword that was about to sink into his chest. He looked at the angel as he drew the blade into the air, ready to plunge.


            Gabriel then stopped, at the apex of his draw, and took a moment to draw a horn from behind his back. He placed it to his lips and drew the sword back up ready to kill.  Cydrill realized he was going to die as Gabriel blew the first note on his horn. He couldn’t remember what was meant to happen with the first note, but he was sure he’d not be around to hear the second.


            Then something happened, something Cydrill wasn’t able to fully understand.


            The universe froze, seemed pulled away in one direction. It was as if a great gravity well had opened in the area and was drawing the entire universe towards it, even light was bending into its path. Something exploded in the distance, and the universe bounced back to the way it had been. The sound was like the sound of creation, a great silent explosion. The end of Gabriel’s sword flew off and spiraled away. Gabriel’s face had obtained a shocked expression and he blinked for a moment. There was another feeling that the universe had frozen and was drawn to a point some bit away, and then there was the explosion again. It was the first time that Cydrill noticed the first hole in Gabriel’s chest when the second one burst open and the entire breastplate of his armor came away. His white shirt below had two patches of blood, one bigger than the other. The archangel then crumbled to the ground.


            By crumbling we do not mean that he tumbled or that he fell over. The arms fell off and then body crumbled like a statue left to the elements for ten thousand years. He simply fell apart and became dust; the body struck the ground next to Cydrill. The body lost all semblance of its shape, becoming simply a pile of dust.


            Cydrill stood up, brushing the fallen dust off him, trying not breath in. The last thing he wanted was the remains of an angel in his mouth. He walked away from the remains, wiping his face and brushing the pieces off him. He spit a wad of salvia from his mouth, just to make sure he didn’t have anything in his mouth.


            The Weirdo was standing still, holding the black gun in both hands, perfectly still. His right thumb slowly moved up to the hammer of the black revolver. The entire universe seemed to be filled with the sound of the gun’s mechanisms as the hammer was drawn back. The sound of the cylinder rolling another round into place seemed to be the only sound that existed. His eyes swiveled towards the assembled angels, and he turned to aim the pistol in their general direction.


None of them moved, even Lucifer and Michael had stopped fighting for a moment. Lucifer recovered first and kicked Michael squarely in the crotch, taking advantage of the shocked look on Michael’s face he then crouched down and stood making an uppercut connection with Michael’s jaw. The archangel flew ten feet into the air before landing flat on his back. Lucifer then turned to the other assembled angels, who all flew into the air like a frightened flock of small birds. They all flew up together, and flew into a bright light that parted in the sky.


            The Weirdo watched them go and looked down at the gun in his hand. He let out a breath that he might have been holding since the universe was formed. He lowered his gun hand and looked at the black weapon. The Weirdo thought the gun looked smug, as much as an alien lump of metal formed into a firearm can. It was a totally irrational thought, but there it was, the gun looked smug. There was an air about the weapon one might say, and air of smugness. The gun had done what no other weapon had ever managed to do. It had killed an angel.


            “You alright?” Tommy asked.


            “Fine.” The Weirdo asked. “Why do you ask?”


            “You’ve lowered your hands but you haven’t actually moved an inch since you fired.” Tommy said.


            “I killed him.” The Weirdo said. “I just shot and killed an angel.”


            “Yeah.” Tommy said.


            The two of them looked as Jack helped Cydrill up and picked up the horn. Jack seemed to consider the brass instrument for a moment and looked at The Weirdo. He was holding it with the air of some one who can’t decide quite what to do with it.


            “What do we do with this?” Jack asked.


            “What do you want to do?” The Weirdo asked.


            “I want to smash it with a hammer and then put it in a smelter to make sure no one could ever use it again.” Jack said. “But it occurs to me that Lucifer brought that violin back.”


            “Fiddle.” The Weirdo said.




            “He said it was a fiddle.” The Weirdo said.


            “Well, it’s the second musical instrument in not too long a time. That leads me to wonder if maybe we shouldn’t keep it.”


            “We can ask Lucifer.” Tommy said.


            “That we could.” The Weirdo said.


            They looked as Lucifer bent down and touched the patch of dust that was all that remained of the Archangel Gabriel. His fingers rubbed the concrete and looked at his fingers, sniffing them carefully. The dust was slowly being blown away from the place were it had landed, spreading the remains to the four corners of the earth. He looked at The Weirdo and walked towards him, looking back every few steps at the place where the ashes fell.


            “How did you do that?” Lucifer asked.


            “The gun did it.” The Weirdo said. “I just fired it.”


            “Where did that weapon come from?”


            “I don’t know.” The Weirdo said. “I just had it one day.”


            “What should we do with this?” Jack asked holding up the horn.


            “Smash it.” Lucifer said.


            Jack shrugged and smashed the horn down against a concrete and steel pillar that was meant to keep people from driving their cars too near the water on the waterfront. He smashed it and whacked it and then dropped the instrument and leaping like a child jumped on it with both feet. He lifted the broken and pathetic thing up and handed it over.


            “Good.” Lucifer said. “Now we can put it with the fiddle I broke and melt the both of them down for jewelry.”


            The Weirdo looked over at the few specks of dust that still swirled around. He almost wanted to gather up some of it, to keep it in a little glass jar. He hadn’t ever been one to take souvenirs though, and he thought it would be a little rude. There was something terribly ghoulish about carrying someone’s dead body around. Besides, news like this tends to travel. People would hear about this, and that was worth more than carrying a bit of dust with him.


            “Rubber Duck?” Kestrel’s voice came over the com.


            “Yes Bird Lady?”


            “What do we do with the Leviathan now?”


            “Take it back home.” The Weirdo said. “What else?”


            “Ten four.”


            The Weirdo was still looking at the place where the angel had fallen and then down at the black revolver again. He hadn’t actually expected that to work, not like it had. He thought that it might distract the angel, and hoped it might kill him. He hadn’t thought that it would turn him into dust and make him blow away in the wind. He opened the gun and drew out the two spent slugs. He tossed them to the ground behind him and closed the gun back up.


Tommy looked at them and picked them up off the ground. He slipped them into his pocket and thought about how best to store them. It might be a little morbid, but he was going to hold onto these two, possibly mark them. There was something to be said for keeping a record.


            “What’s next then?” Jack asked.


            “We go home and regroup for the moment.” The Weirdo said. “We’ve got to figure out what’s to be done next.”

© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions

May 9, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | , , ,

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