Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Catching Up

I had no witty comeback for Azraal.  I just stared at him in horror, listening to the crescendo of sirens in the background.

"You're so happy to see me that you're actually speechless," he said, feigning shock and sentimentality.  "I knew we had something special, but I never realized how deep your affection for me really ran.  It's touching, honestly," he added, pretending to wipe a tear from his eye.  As he spoke, more demons teleported in around him.  Apparently someone was spreading the word that I'd been found.

"I'm beginning to become uncomfortable," Talamur murmured in my ear.  "There are a lot of them, even for us."

"I know," I said irritably.  I was scrambling to think of a clever idea to turn the situation to my advantage, but all I could come up with was to start killing demons.  I had a feeling that such an attack would only get both of us killed.  Then I'd wake up in Heaven, receive another angry lecture from Conrad, and, if I got lucky, get sent back to a fight I'd already lost.

The first of the fire trucks screeched into the parking lot.  Azraal lazily sent a fireball in its direction.  The resulting explosion sounded like it had probably killed everyone on board.

I needed to do something.  Fast.  More demons were still appearing. 

"Well, it was nice catching up," Azraal said with an air of finality.  "We'll have to do this again sometime."  He snapped his fingers and one of his cronies tossed him a weapon—the bony wrist blade from one of the Lucifer's Firstborn. 

In the absence of a brilliant strategy, I opted to taunt him back in the hopes of buying myself more time to formulate a brilliant strategy.  "What are you gonna do?" I scoffed.  "Even if you manage to kill me with that thing, I'll just come back and kick your ass again."

"A few of us have a theory," he explained with a menacing smirk.  "We think it takes a lot of juice to bring you back from the dead.   We think there's a limit to how many times you can pull it off."  He smiled with soured joviality.  "So we'll just keep killing you until you go away for good."  A half-second later, he was right in front of me, preparing to plunge his blade into my chest.

My taunt had not bought me sufficient time to come up with anything remotely resembling a useful plan.

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