Monday, December 31, 2012

Suspect Two


The fire alarm had this weak, metallic rattle to it.  It sounded kind of tired.

It was loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to make everyone jump up and panic.  So as I reentered the main room, I saw a bunch of people looking around in confusion, unsure of whether or not they were actually supposed to evacuate the building. 

My parents had just stood up when another orange Low-Order Demon appeared on the far side of the room.  He was holding what appeared to be a cigarette lighter and a can of bug spray.  He ran toward the closest group of people and, before anybody realized what he was doing, he'd flipped the lighter on and shot bug spray at the flame.  A little stream of fire erupted...right into Quinn Madsen's face.  It was a beautiful thing.  He'd beaten me to death with a hoe, so I thought I had the right to enjoy his screams of agony for a few moments. 

But the demon was moving fast, dodging between people and wreaking as much havoc as possible.  In between people, he set the carpet and the curtains on fire.  If I let him continue much longer, he might actually succeed in burning the whole building down and killing my parents.   I stopped listening so intently to Quinn's howls of anguish and darted across the room, heading directly for the source of the chaos. 

He saw me coming.  What he didn't see coming was the folding chair that I plucked from the ground as I ran, swung over my head, and brought down on his face.  He collapsed instantly, dropping both the lighter and the bug spray.  Dazed, he stared up at me. 

Triumphantly, I allowed myself a snarky remark before I dispatched the little bastard.  I frowned down at him disapprovingly.  "A demon using fire?" I chided.  "How unoriginal."

And I swung the chair down into the top of his skull.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Interrogation


I charged at a flat-out run...or as close as I could get to a flat-out run with all those people in the way.  I pushed my next-door neighbor aside a little too roughly, hopped a row of chairs, narrowly avoided colliding with my aunt, and darted around the corner where I'd seen the demonic head. 

Sure enough, a few feet away was a short Low Order Demon with orange skin.  He'd apparently managed to find himself some clothes.   This may have made his appearance more family friendly, but I think it made it weirder too.  He was a demon.  Wearing a plaid flannel shirt and a pair of khaki cargo pants.  And the rest of him was orange.

He immediately recognized me and took off down the hall.  He'd just barely made it to the exit when I tackled him.  His head hit the door's push bar and we tumbled outside, down a small flight of concrete steps, and into a mostly empty parking lot behind the funeral home.

I grabbed him by the collar of his weird flannel and pressed him against the side of the building, letting his feet dangle a few inches off the ground.  It was a cool thing badasses did in movies, and until recently it was something I wouldn't have even dared to attempt.  I guess being the Devil had some unexpected perks.

"Where's your friend?" I growled.

The demon squirmed uncomfortably.  Even though he was hellspawn and innately evil, I couldn't help but think how much he looked like a toddler who was about to wet his pants.

"Where the fuck is he?" I shouted.  I readjusted my grip so that my hand was now around his neck...and squeezing.

"I don't know," he wheezed.

"Bullshit," I barked.  "You two came here to murder my family.  Tell me where he is and how he's going to do it."

The ugly little demon actually smiled.  "I don't know," he repeated.  "He said he was going to improvise.  My job was just to be the bait...to distract you."

I clenched my fist in anger, essentially ripping the bastard's throat out.  Then, just in case he didn't need to breathe to live, I teleported both of us back to the Department of Enforcement.  Then I immediately teleported back to the parking lot. 

I was pissed, and I didn't much care at that moment whether he lived or died, but I needed to make sure that if he did live, he wasn't getting back to the land of the living. 

One down, one to go.  I walked back up the steps into the funeral home and pulled the first fire alarm I could find.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Scanning the Crowd


Quinn was walking into the home with his parents and what appeared to be his older sister.  He looked uncomfortable and...what's the word...not under arrest.

Did he get away with murder?  Did Mike and Jessie get away with it too?  Was nobody going to jail for beating me to death with an assortment of gardening tools?

I reminded myself to stay focused.  If I didn't find those Low Order Demons soon, everybody in here could die.  If Quinn died, well, that would just be too bad.  But the vast majority of the people attending my funeral did not deserve to be slaughtered by hellspawn.

I began to feel like I'd come here very unequipped information-wise.  What was I looking for?  It seemed like a Low Order Demon would stick out around here, so maybe I should be watching for some kind of disguise.  Could demons possess people?  Did that mean that anybody could be the culprit?  Were there any kind of limitations on my powers since I wasn't in Hell anymore?  How would I be able to stop the demons if I found them?  I could still teleport.  Did that mean I could do everything else, too?

The funeral was about to start.  I was about to panic.  And then, on the opposite side of the room, I saw a head poke around a corner, take a quick look at the scene, and then disappear.  The head appeared to be covered in orange skin.

I caused a bit of a commotion by suddenly taking off at full speed across the room.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hollis Funeral Home


I used my dad's computer to Google the location of the Hollis Funeral Home.  I'd never been there before, but it was about three blocks away from the piano teacher my mom made me go to for a few months when I was ten.  So I teleported to my old piano teacher's house and took off on foot for the funeral home.

It felt good to run.  Until recently, I'd had an awkward adolescent body.  But now, I had a fully-grown adult body, and a large one at that.  All my muscles seemed to know exactly what I required of them and they performed accordingly.  Plus I had that whole telekinetic power boost thing, so when I sprinted down the street, I felt like a fucking force of nature.  I'd felt this way in Hell, too, but the feeling was intensified because my surroundings were semi-familiar and decidedly not supernatural.

I burst into the Hollis Funeral Home in a very loud and disrespectful manner--but it was my funeral, so I wasn't offended by my irreverence.  I was a few minutes early, and I used the time I had to dodge people's judgmental glares and scan the small gathering for people--or demons, really--that didn't belong.

My parents were here, of course, looking understandably devastated.  I considered saying something to them to reassure them that I was okay, but I couldn't come up with a way to make it not freaky-sounding.  "Hi, I know you don't recognize me, but I'm your son, and I'm okay.  I'm the King of Hell now, and I'm here to protect you from some demons that are trying to kill everyone."

Yeah.  I decided that maybe I'd just let my parents grieve and focus my efforts on keeping them alive.

Soft sounds from near the door indicated that a few more people were entering the home.  I turned to look.  And I saw him.

Him.

Quinn Madsen.

One of my murderers.