Amelia’s words still buzzed in my head like the annoying fly that’s determined to ruin someone’s nap. What did I want to do? A better question is, what can I do? I didn’t have a future. I stood up from the park bench and peered beyond. Humans moved about their day, going to work, school, usual stuff. I had none of that. No purpose other than to survive. Obviously. But even that drew toward a limit. No matter what Amelia said, we couldn’t stand against them all. They’d eventually find me. Maybe that’s it. A goddamn future in Hell.
I sighed. I was poor at both giving myself a little hope and being a god-slayer. Not that I wanted to be one—that declaration…that stupid, goddamn declaration should’ve been more of a kick to Conus’s balls, but instead became a smash to mine. I wanted to live a normal life but honestly didn’t plan for it. That deity-trapper was supposed to kill both Conus and me.
I walked past the park, watching the world, admiring what it had to offer. There seemed to be many choices, freedoms, but also restrictions. Some of the restrictions were needed, while others were unnecessary. Humans called that culture, which I thought as both intriguing and bullshit.
Just then, an axe flew past my face, missing me, and hit a nearby tree.
“What the fuck?” I said as I spun. The presence I felt approaching me was neither holy or human. Then I saw him, frown on face, a second axe in hand. A demon with red hair, all-black eyes, wearing a simple t-shirt and jeans, stopped five feet before me. “Hey dickhead, what the fuck is your problem?”
He looked taken aback, probably at my language. “Get the hell out of my territory, demigod. Your presence is preventing my soul traps from working.”
I shook my head at the thought of soul traps. They were nasty little Venus flytrap-like plants used to snatch wandering souls, holding them in place to be either consumed by its demonic master or by itself.
“Go fuck yourself,” I said, manifesting a sword. It would do until I finished charging my ‘secret’ weapon. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“One last chance. Out of my territory!”
Demons giving chances? That could only mean he was stricken with fear. Maybe some of those rumors made me look good. I hoped so. “You’re the one who started throwing axes. You think I’m going to turn a blind eye just so you can axe me in the back? Are all demons idiots?”
The demon blushed. “That was a warning.”
“I never liked demons,” I said. “Assholes here and in Hell.”
“Wait…don’t tell me you really are hi—”
I didn’t give the fucker a chance to finish that sentence—my blade was already upon his neck. The demon dodged by just a fraction of a second. He swung the axe, missing as I sidestepped and I kicked him in the face. I felt his nose break. Still, he held his stance, grabbing my leg, and dropping his axe. I tried to pull free but it was no use. The demon slammed me to the ground, following up with a payback kick to my face.
I ignored the pain as I got back up, nose bloody. He landed one punch to my face. I dodged his other two and nailed him in the gut as hard as I could. He wheezed, but the look of determination in his eyes meant that this demon wouldn’t go down so easily. I charged force, but too late.
The demon himself used force, bashing me to the ground. I was surprised he could do such a thing. But his power had to be limited—and if he ran out, his chain to Hell would yank him back in an instant. Still, I guessed at this moment, it didn’t matter. There was no telling how much demonic power this guy had at his disposal.
I tried to get up but was met with three more force-bashes before the pain yelled at me to stay down.
“I warned you, foolish demigod,” the demon laughed. I could hear him scrape up his axe. I used that opportunity to surprise him with my own force bash. The bumbling idiot didn’t expect it, eyes wide as his own axe fell upon his neck the moment he hit the ground back-first. Black blood exploded everywhere.
I loomed over him as he died. “Enjoy the depths.” His body briefly burst into flames, leaving behind a small pile of ashes. Someone clapped from behind.
I spun to see Sin and his pet witch smiling. “What do you want? Can’t you see I’m gloating here.”
“At a dead demon?” Sin said. “I doubt that.”
I shot him a blank look.
“We were impressed,” the witch said. There was an accent, maybe British or something. “It was...a relief that you weren’t so weak that we’d have to step in and help you.”
I rolled my eyes. “I try not to underestimate the fuckers. I’m the one with a seal not them. Weaklings like this are poor at intimidation though.”
Sin nodded. The witch said, “I see.”
“If you would excuse me, I’m going to go find something to do,” I said.
“Are you looking for a job?” Sin said.
“Then you’re in luck. If you’re serious, meet me at this park tomorrow.”
The demi-devil and his witch turned to walk away.
“Need to keep that thing on a leash,” I muttered.
She looked at me, smiled, and winked before turning around again.
Just when I thought I could relax, my holy senses raged harder than the boner I had had this morning. Even Sin and his pet stopped walking to turn to look at the dozen misthangers running toward us. Can’t I rest for just one freaking moment?
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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.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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