I knew I probably looked like something out of a horror movie, so I did what anyone with my kind of power would do: abuse the hell out of it. And by that, I used it to undo all of the damage Hell had done to me. Ugh—too bad psychological damage can only be healed by therapy.
I went deep into the forest before starting my cleanup. It’d be idiotic to risk Conus or any of his goons spotting me out in the open, screaming, “Look! Target right here.” I had declared myself a god-slayer for fuck’s sake. That’s simply more treason added onto prison break, among the list of other things.
My full power was still locked —I’d have to figure out how to undo Conus’s spell later. Another stain to my shitload of problems. Whoop-de-fucking doo. Well, at least I won’t accidentally blast the damn planet to pieces. Bright side, people, bright side.
I focused a tiny drop of leaked power into my hand, then manifested a small mirror to look at myself. Thanks to the healing, my skin was a dark tan, and lifelike. I had a light build, not too thin but still muscular. Black hair, blue eyes. I was actually pretty handsome.
Thanks to the books I busted into Hell, I didn’t have to deal with the worries of being eight years out of time. Well, for the most part. I could hardly wait to get my hands on this smartphone I had read about. Video games and consoles, computers, and electronics—humans made some cool shit while I was away on my painful journey of time and space.
I manifested a dentist-grade toothbrush and the world’s best toothpaste, along with clean water. Damn, I love the human world. Hell’s jacked-up laws negated most of my abilities. Here, I could manifest almost anything. I couldn’t overdo it, though—the last thing I wanted was to attract unwanted attention. Not with my full power locked like this.
When I finished cleaning myself up, which involved manifesting and dissipating things such as heated water, clean clothes, shoes, soap, deodorant, and so on and then using power to clean what human products couldn’t do, I took a stroll to the town ahead. There weren’t many people out, even though the late afternoon sky prevailed. Not that I was on a human hunt or anything but even for a small town like this, shopping and socializing should be a thing. Right?
That’s when I saw the problem, standing twenty yards ahead, whispering god knows what to each person he passed. They couldn’t see him but his powers influenced them. Someone was going to make a bad choice, go corrupt as the business head or manager.
Well, it’s not like I cared. Humans were the reason I got thrown into Hell in the first place. The last thing I wanted to do was help them. In fact, I felt more obligated to destroy them instead.
Lucifer didn’t seem to care whether I existed as I walked passed him. At least I thought he didn’t until I heard him utter, “Impressive for a demigod.”
I stopped and turned around to look at him, but he was no longer there. No point in shouting “fuck off,” else it’d make me look crazy. He could only be present on earth for a limited time before his embedded angelic curse spiraled his happy ass back to Hell. It’d take him hours, maybe days to assemble the right power to get back to this realm. He was no threat to me.
I explored the dank town for at least another hour. With “Satan” gone, people reappeared and those “silenced” turned back to normal. Unfortunately, anyone that already had his schemes or suggestions deeply implanted in their minds would eventually execute them unless cured by some angelic force or something.
Nowadays, I was pretty sure that angels had no time for babysitting humans. They’d probably leave some of their special force in approved churches or something. Lazy fuckers. Not that I blamed them. Humans don’t deserve anything more than misery. They don’t even deserve my vengeance.
I saw a bar ahead and nodded to myself. Always wanted to try alcoholic beverages, you know, to see what the fuss was about. Especially this product called beer.
I opened the door and as I made my way to the bartender, some bald guy blocked my path. He was a huge fucker, so fat, I could’ve sworn he had three chins. And…. a unibrow. He smelled of sweat…from standing there? It was cold in this bar!
“Let me get some ID, kid,” he said.
Shit. One thing I had read is that humans always seemed to keep proof of who they are in their pockets. The earth was full of frauds and not even good ones. I manifested a wallet inside of my pocket equipped with a fake driver’s license, fake credit card, and fake cash. I assumed I was in America—the fat guy, the bar, and the language gave the clues. Fat-ass inspected the ID then nodded, letting me pass, the unibrow seeming to swerve with the rolls on his forehead.
“Dickbag,” I muttered as I treaded straight for the bartender. He looked at me, sharpness in his old eyes.
“What’d you like, boss?”
Hoh-oh, I like this guy already. “Let me get seven beers.”
The old guy stared at me for a bit. I flashed him the cash. Sure, it was fake but real enough—cloned perfectly.
“You sure this is the place for you?” he said, setting seven glass mugs in front of me.
The old man’s eyes widened and then a smile curled from the beard. “Interesting for someone of your statures.”
“Statures? Don’t give someone like me that kind of credit,” I said.
The old bartender poured a golden liquid that looked like piss into my glasses. I grabbed one, gave it a quick whiff to be sure, and took the first swallow of the beer.
An odd bitterness hugged my tongue, but I craved more. It tasted so much better than anything I had in Hell, not that I had much to begin with. I mean, I fought the urge to eat the toothpaste I used to restore my mouth. Even that didn’t taste that great once I infused it with power, to dramatically accelerate the toothpaste’s effects and gain that commercial smile.
The old bartender nodded. “I hope to see you around more. You’re welcome here anytime.”
I chuckled. “As long as you keep the beer coming, I’ll be more than happy to stop by and keep you company, old man.”
About twelve beers later, I was fumbling and tumbling my way out of the bar, with no real goal or purpose, just trashed. Note to self: if I have a something important to do, try not to go overboard on the beers…. or maybe I should. It’s not like I had anything to lose. Eight years lost in pure torture—yeah, I think I deserve this break.
I drunkenly walked, limped, and tumbled my way toward the outskirts of this town on a nice and starry evening. Man, I killed some serious hours in the bar —could’ve sworn that I entered in the middle of the afternoon. If that was the case, I probably lost the count of the beers I devoured.
Anyway, it was nice and cool, maybe about seventy degrees or so with a faint breeze kissing my face every second or so. I could not get enough of this realm, even drunk like this. People were either headed home, driving around, entering bars, or wrapping up their shopping. Peaceful. And nobody gave a shit whether I existed or not. They also didn’t try to kill me, which is a plus in my book. There’s no fun waking up with a nasty little dagger in my throat. I think love this place!
Just then, I heard a feminine voice, up ahead.
“Just look at you…look what you’ve done to yourself.”
A bright light surrounded a girl with long blonde hair that draped down to her thighs. She was dressed in casual human clothing, pinkish flower shirt and blue jeans. Her arms were folded across her chest, glare locked on me.
“And you are?” I said, testing the matter, in case she was talking to someone else.
“Don’t act like you’re too drunk to recognize me, Epex,” she said, walking toward me, a supermodel-like prep in her step.
I gazed at her for real this time, barely snapping out of my sloppiness, realizing who was tearing me a new one. If she found me already then that meant my location was compromised. But how? Maybe the ascending left an obvious mark of power-use as it faded. Maybe the girl was nearby and detected my arrival.
How could I be so careless? Well to be fair, even my five C’s didn’t predict an ascension.
“Eight years and you can’t even explain yourself to your fiancée?” I burped in response, the nice and long beer belch. “Ew. Let me fix this.” She snapped her fingers causing heavenly-light to briefly surround me. All of my drunkenness faded, leaving me fully aware, alert, and oh shit this is bad. Amelia, my pre-determined “love” of destiny had come for me.
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Bio: Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all. Don't be shy. Give him a wave. A read. And maybe whisper, "waffles," because the man loves his waffles. It's a miracle his keyboard doesn't have maple syrup all over it. Best of all, Alvin Atwater can be found all over the net. Read some seriously funny things from Webnovel, Wattpad, Penana, Scriggler, StoryStar. Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. https://www.patreon.com/syr456/ (Advanced Chapters) Newly-made discord channel: https://discord.gg/t2qVaAR