IT'S A MIRACLE.
i think i overdid this chapter a bit.
i was up until 5:00 a.m writing this.
ehhh.... five hours overdue.
oh well, enjoy it anyway.
btw i put this in a spoiler just because... it contains more explicit details than the other chapters? bahahaha. ohme.
chapter nine; someone new
I THINK I WENT A LITTLE OVERBOARD WITH THE WHOLE CHRIS AND TAYLOR SCENE AHAHAHA...
wow i just can't... i feel like one of those girls that like pair every male character from their favorite show or whatever and make a fanfiction out of it with the two being the main couple and having sex. ugggh.
at least it wasn't graphic.
and at least i won't go into that even more later on LOL. this is as explicit as it will get hopefully.
who knows i may go overboard again.
curse thine girl writing tendencies.
*wallows in embarrassment*
chris: oh bloody 'ell, it's another chapter of "the devil's gift" it is, it is! i hope you enjoy it just as much as i enjoy my mum's scones (and shagging my boyfriend)! bollocks!
ok fail impersonation of my character what.
anyway enjoy this wall of a chapter while i die from slaving so hard over this thing.
chapter ten; home
“Chris? Wh… What are you doing?” Chris’s father stumbled over his words as he stared at the two naked teenage boys before him.
“Um…” Chris mumbled, “It’s… It’s not what you think. Taylor is just a friend of mine…” Chris stammered, casting wary glances at the delirious Taylor beside him.
Chris’s father’s hand combed through his black, graying hair as he sighed heavily, “Chris, you and Taylor get dressed and we’ll have a little talk in the living room.”
Chris made a tiny nod and nudged Taylor from his dazed state. His parents and sister left the room to wait in the kitchen for them.
Once the two were done getting dressed, Taylor looked at Chris, “I’m sorry…” He apologized and Chris drew back in surprise.
“It wasn’t your fault,” He corrected, “I made you do it, and you followed along; even if I lied, saying that my parents were OK with it.”
“Oh… I thought you were telling the truth at first. Maybe I should have noticed it at least.” Taylor replied and Chris gave an apologetic look that read, “sorry for being untruthful to you” and the two walked with dread to the kitchen.
At first, when Chris and Taylor sat down in the two plush chairs across from the leather couch in the living room, they expected a heated argument to arise and maybe them getting kicked out of the house in the process.
It wasn’t as bad as they first thought, though, and when Chris’s dad questioned his son’s sexual identity, he proudly replied that he did love Taylor and that he was, in fact, gay.
Chris’s dad was the more understanding of Chris’s parents and he told Chris and Taylor that they had a right to be whoever they wanted. He cautioned them about the possibilities of being bullied if they ever told anyone at school and warned them that they better keep their relationship a secret. Chris gave a blush at this and said that they already made gestures towards each other at school that they were going out. His dad said that was OK and he should be prepared to defend himself if necessary.
Chris’s mom was not the quickest to side with her husband’s decisions, however, and tried to persuade Chris that this was probably a “phase” he was going through and would get over it. She told Taylor that it wouldn’t work out and that’s when the controlled chat turned into a cat-and-dog fight. Taylor argued with what Chris’s dad had said, saying that he and Chris had a right to be together and no one could tell them who they should and should not date. Chris said himself that this was definitely not a “phase” and he had felt “different” for a long time, but never had the guts to tell his parents about it.
Chris’s mom defended herself immediately and yelled at the two of them that it would never last. Elsa, Chris’s sister, got tired of all the shouting and ran back to her room. Chris’s dad then said that they should all calm down and think about what they were going to say. It was then when he took his wife to the side and told her that Chris’s sexual identity would not change him as a person and he was still the kind child that they had raised from birth.
When Chris’s father said this, Taylor couldn’t help but feel a little envious about how much Chris’s parents loved him and cared for him. When he had asked Deborah who his parents were and how they were like, she never answered and always said, “I’ll tell you when you’re older. Now is not the time.” That was several years ago, and Taylor was itching to ask her again now that he was fifteen years old.
After Chris’s parents discussed the situation with each other, Chris’s father turned to Taylor, “You need to go home. Your family has probably noticed your absence and is worried about you.”
Taylor made a snort that could have been mistaken for a sarcastic laugh; “home” and “family”. In Taylor’s life, there was no such thing; it was just the orphanage that counted as neither.
“I’ll spend the rest of the night here and in the morning I’ll call them and say I slept over at a friend’s house. When I get back I’ll tell them that I’m…” He didn’t know whether to call himself gay or still straight. He was in a relationship with a guy, that was true, but did that automatically make him gay?
“Bi-sexual,” Chris suddenly finished and Taylor looked at him with puzzlement, “I mean, you’re still attracted to girls, but you also like guys. It would make sense to call you that for now. Eventually you’ll realize if you’re totally gay or not, but it’s best to label yourself as bi-sexual right now.”
Taylor nodded in understanding and Chris’s dad allowed him to stay for the rest of the night as long as they sleep and don’t “get rowdy”.
The two made soft chuckles at this and headed back into Chris’s bedroom where the two went to sleep in their day clothes and didn’t wake up until one in the afternoon the next day.
When Taylor turned on his phone that he had placed on Chris’s bed-side table, he saw at least ten missed calls all from the orphanage and immediately called them back. He apologized to Deborah for his sudden disappearance and reassured her that he was safe and sound at a friend’s house and decided to sleep over there. He told her he was coming straight back and afterwards, he woke up Chris and said his good-byes before crawling out of bed and walking out of his bedroom.
Chris stopped him however with a warm hug and told him he wanted to go along with Taylor to talk about their relationship with the rest of the orphanage.
“I’ll be fine; Deborah and the rest of the people there are very understanding. They wouldn’t dare kick me out.” Taylor replied.
“I know but… I still want to be with you just in case they give you a hard time.” Chris mumbled. Taylor sighed and agreed to allow Chris to tag along with him.
They both walked out into the kitchen and Chris’s mom looked up from her work on making a new batch of scones for the rest of the family.
“You missed breakfast! We had omelets; they’re your favorite, Chris. I’m surprised the smell didn’t wake you up at first.” She commented with a twinkle of laughter in her chocolate brown eyes.
Chris smiled and said that he would have loved to eat breakfast with the rest of them, but was tired from the previous night.
“Hey, can I go with Taylor to his place today? I just want to be there with him when he tells the rest of the faculty about us.”
“I live in an orphanage.” Taylor piped up from behind Chris.
“Oh, you’re an orphan…” Chris’s mom mumbled with a pitied face that Taylor got slightly annoyed with.
“Yeah, and I don't expect my careowner to kick me out because of this, but Chris wants to go 'just in case'.” Taylor explained.
“Well, Chris, you can go. Text or call us when they're done talking, OK?”
Chris nodded and the two put on their shoes (well, Chris did, as Taylor left his shoes in Chris's bedroom and put them on before he left). Then they headed off into the April air and walked towards the orphanage, talking to each other about places to go on their dates over the next few days. It sparked a question in Taylor's mind; a question he had never asked when he and Natalie were together.
How long would this last?
Approaching Deborah about Taylor's sexuality was about as hard as when he had told her about his powers. They discussed his relationship with Chris in an empty interview room and here Taylor told Deborah everything; how Chris was more than “just a friend” and how they had been caught sleeping together the other night at his house (Deborah made a frown at this). He also told her about the whole “date-a-week” thing and after it was all done, Deborah only replied back with a few words.
“Taylor, you do know how understanding we are here at the orphanage. I would never throw you out over something like this. I care a lot about you, Taylor. Chris is always welcome here and I won't ever interfere between the two of you.”
Taylor blinked and gave a sigh of relief, “Thank you... You were almost as easy as Chris's dad.” He smiled and looked at Chris who was about to run out the door screaming a shout of “hallelujah!”
Taylor thanked Deborah once more and he followed Chris out the door. Chris said good-bye and told him he may come back tonight for a date or maybe take Taylor to his house for dinner. They hugged and kissed and Taylor watched as Chris walked down the steps of the orphanage and walked out of sight.
Coming back in, Taylor was greeted by Deborah again, “Oh, Taylor, I also have to talk to you about something.”
He looked up in surprise, “Alright, what is it?”
“I got a call from a woman today and... She was asking about you.”
“Really? What did she say?” Taylor was intrigued. Maybe it was a lady that wanted to adopt him?
“Taylor, that woman was your mother.” Deborah said, and as Taylor widened his eyes in shock she said, “I was surprised as well.”
“What... What does she want?” Taylor stammered.
“She wants to talk to you. She gave me her address and number.”
“Are you sure it wasn't somebody who was faking it? I mean... Why should my mother come hunting back to me if...”
Deborah sighed, “Taylor, I don't know if I should believe the woman or not. But, she seemed like a very nice and sincere person that I believe was telling the truth. I want you to go see her and talk to her.”
Deborah then passed Taylor a piece of paper with directions to his mother's house scribbled on it.
Taylor looked up at Deborah as she continued on, “Taylor, if anything seems out of the ordinary when you get there... Like, if they're kidnappers, I'm telling you to defend yourself. Use your powers if necessary, but only as a last resort, please.”
Taylor nodded and Deborah hugged him. It was strange; Deborah hugged him and talked to him as if Taylor was leaving for good. Did his mother say something to make Deborah think something like that? He got out of her embrace and left the orphanage, looking at the directions on the piece of paper and heading off towards where it led him.
Taylor found himself in the back streets of a main road. Abandoned houses and slums dwelt in this area and Taylor found himself on the edge of suspicion. Maybe the person on the phone was just someone playing a prank on him.
He started looking for the house number and found himself at a very small brick condominium and he walked up the steps, hesitantly knocking on the door and ringing the rusty doorbell on the side of the plain painted white, and peeling, door.
A few minutes of silence went by and Taylor was about to knock again when someone unlocked the chain lock above the doorknob and peeked their head out.
It was a man with very messy and shaggy blond hair. His eyes were a deep shade of brown, almost black. A lit cigarette was nestled in the corner of his mouth and it was noticeable that the wrinkles on his face were stress wrinkles and not wrinkles of old age. Besides this, he looked about in his late twenties and Taylor began to think that he had gotten the wrong house.
“Um... Excuse me...” He started and the man narrowed his eyes as he continued, “Does... Does a woman named Mary Duncan live here?” Taylor read the name off of the paper, still stuttering slightly.
The man cleared his throat before answering, “Yes, she's my wife. Why do you need her?” His voice was scratchy and deep, mimicking his smoking habit.
“Well... She called for me...” Taylor's heart was pounding. This man must be his father if his wife was his mother, and he was talking to him face-to-face for the first time.
“Spit it out.” His father hissed rather rudely and looked like he was about to close the door on Taylor's face.
“She wants to talk to me.” Taylor said, hoping his father wouldn't ask anymore questions.
Sadly, he did, “And why does she want to talk to you?”
Taylor balled up his fists and said bravely, “I'm her son, Taylor Duncan.”
At first his father seemed baffled, but then his mouth slowly turned up into a smirk and he began to laugh loudly with his mouth wide open and Taylor was able to smell the alcohol on his breath. He managed to get control of himself and he spit out his cigarette, crushing it on the ground with his shoe.
“I have no son. He is dead, and you just want to get into my house. Leave before I call the police.” Suddenly in hysterics, his father was now serious.
Taylor was taken aback and just watched as his father attempted to close the door on him, but suddenly a voice was heard from behind his broad shoulders.
“Wait a minute! Joseph, stop!” The voice belonged to a woman's, and suddenly his father was bushed aside and a lady about Joseph's age attacked Taylor with a tight embrace.
“Taylor! I knew you'd come!” She mumbled in Taylor's shoulder, half sobbing from emotion.
She looked into his eyes and Taylor found green eyes locking on his; it was the same color. They were vibrant and held excitement even though tears were leaking from the corners.
Some extremely wavy black hair fell into her face as she stared at Taylor, and she immediately brushed it away with a delicate and small hand, “Taylor... You've grown so much.” She breathed.
Taylor's mother stepped back a little and he saw how beautiful she was. She was rather tall and skinny; her face narrowed down into a soft point and her long hair was draped over her back, tucked neatly behind her right ear.
In this moment Taylor started to swell with happiness. This was his mother, the person who gave birth to him. This was the person that he should have been with all his life. Choking from so much emotion, he found himself walking towards her, wanting to hug her again.
“Mommy...” He found himself mumbling with tears of joy and reunion streaming down his face.
He nestled into the crook of his mother's neck and she threw her arms around him, weeping along with him.
His father, Joseph, just stood there in returned astonishment, “Mary... That boy is really...?”
Mary looked up and turned towards her husband, a couple tears still falling down her face, “Yes. He is our son and I called him to meet us. I should have told you beforehand but...”
Joseph frowned. It was a deep frown, full of anger and disappointment, “You told me... He was dead...”
Mary sighed and Taylor began to think. Why did his mom tell his dad that he was dead? And more importantly, what had happened to make him appear at the orphanage? He always thought his parents were dead or had been dying and they had to give him away.
His mother seemed to read Taylor's mind and she turned towards him, “I'll tell you the whole story inside... You need to hear it.”
Taylor's heart made a slight leap of thrill. He would finally get to know about his parents and his deep past.
Before they could get into the house, however, Joseph slammed a large hand across the doorway, blocking the entrance.
“Um, Joseph? Anything wrong?” Mary asked him, tilting her head in puzzlement.
“The house is dirty. I don't think our... Guest would like the atmosphere.” Joseph replied at once, keeping his hand between the entranceway.
“I don't care what it looks like inside, I just want to know the story.” Taylor piped up, staring down his father whom he had begun to dislike.
Joseph didn't budge an inch and did not remove his hand to allow Mary and Taylor aside, “I insist that you leave for a little bit and come back later when it's clean.”
“Joseph, just let us through. He needs to know this.” Mary said, also staring down her husband.
Joseph looked at Mary and was about to open his mouth and say something before he closed it again and gave it a second thought, “Alright, fine...” He mumbled and dropped his hand back to his side and Mary pushed through, Taylor trailing after her.
But before he could enter, his father grabbed his arm and made Taylor spin around and face him. He leaned in close and threatened Taylor with a whisper that was unheard to Mary.
“I'm warning you now, boy... One wrong move in my house and I will make sure you'll be exterminated.” Joseph released his tight grip on Taylor and he hurriedly walked after his mother, scared about what his father would do to him if he made a mistake.
The minute Taylor entered, he found himself in between the living room and the kitchen. When he looked to his left, he saw the untidy kitchen with cooking utensils strewn across the fake granite counter tops. Pantry cabinets on the walls with white paint were left ajar and one even had it's hinges broken off, revealing opened boxes of cereal on their shelves. The refrigerator in the corner made a strange humming noise which started and stopped on occasion.
Looking to his right, Taylor saw a trashed cloth couch with holes and rips all across it's worn surface. Two recliner chairs sat on either side of it in a diagonal direction, with one plush chair on the other side facing the couch in a three-quarter turn. It was an antique chair made with clawed legs and it's red color slightly faded to a pinkish hue. A fireplace sat across from the couch and was filled not with firewood, but with ash and debris. It looked like it hadn't been used for years and needed a good cleaning.
The only modern thing in the entire space was the small flat screen TV that hung slightly crooked above the fireplace opening. Mary and Joseph walked over to the couch and sat down and Taylor joined them in the plush chair which was uncomfortable and hard.
He looked at them and Mary began to speak but was interrupted by her husband who had opened a blue cooler beside the couch and was digging through mountains of ice and eventually dug out a bottle of beer. He cracked the cap open and drank half the bottle in one gulp, setting it down on the glass coffee table in front of the couch. He reached into his pocket and took out a pack of cigarettes, placing one in his mouth and lighting it with his lighter that he had also brought out. He stuffed everything back into his pocket and motioned for Mary to speak.
“As I was about to say... I guess I should start at the beginning when your father and I met... We were both thirteen at the time and it was love at first sight.”
“Good times...” Joseph mumbled, combing through his rat's nest of hair with his fingers who's nails were unclean and clad in dirt.
Mary glanced at him before continuing, “My mother and father were rich and Joseph's family was very poor. As such, he never had proper education and stopped going to school at that age. I had bumped into him on the street once and we had begun to see each other since. When we fell in love, my parents didn't approve of our relationship and neither did Joseph's parents. Joseph was willing to do anything to be with me and he suggested that we run away and... We did.”
“We had to live on the street for a while and we stayed in hotels and motels with the little money we managed to scrounge up. When I was fourteen I got pregnant with you and Joseph was distraught. He wanted me to get an abortion, but how? We were just two kids on the street with no money and couldn't afford any medical care. I had to have you.”
“It was a very difficult birth. When it happened, it was the middle of winter and we didn't have a place to stay. I had you in an unused shed near an abandoned house. I nearly died that night, but Joseph nursed me back to health and kept telling me to get rid of you. I knew I had to, not because you would drag us down, but because of our extreme poverty and the fact that you probably wouldn't survive the rest of winter. You were a hungry baby and we couldn't find food for ourselves even. Joseph told me to just leave you wherever and let you die, but it was too cruel of a thing for me to do, so, I found an orphanage nearby and left you on their doorstep hoping they'd take you in and care for you. I told Joseph I had gone out to find food and on my way there, you died from the cold. I didn't want him to know that I had turned you in because I knew he would go looking for you.”
“Joseph managed to find a job despite his lack of education and we got a place to stay, food, water, new clothes, and electricity. We've lived here ever since that incident fifteen years ago and... I realized now how much I wanted to see you again and make sure you were OK, or even alive. You've grown so much Taylor...” In the remembrance of the past, Mary had become overwhelmed with tears and she dug her head in her hands. If it weren't for his father still sitting there, Taylor would have gone over and hugged his mother.
Taylor looked over at his father and narrowed his eyes. Joseph was sitting there, his cigarette still smoking, staring at the empty bottle of beer in his hands. He shuddered and wondered why his father would want to dispose of him so bad. Was he that much of a burden? Or, did he want to kill Taylor because he was afraid of him growing up with the horrors of poverty around him?
Mary's sobs gradually decreased, even if Joseph hadn't made a move to comfort her. If he loved her so much, shouldn't he have made a motion towards her?
“But... Taylor... Now that I know you're alive and well, and that Joseph and I are getting by fairly well... I wanted you to move in with us and we'll raise you until it's time for you to go.”
Taylor's heart nearly stopped. Move in with his biological parents, and live a life he had always wanted? The word family echoed in Taylor's mind over and over again. Despite the removal of him from the orphanage, and the fact that he would have to say good-bye to Deborah for good, he was going to say yes without any hesitation.
That's when his father stood up rather abruptly, dropping his beer bottle on the floor. It rolled across the hardwood floor and came to rest beside Taylor's feet.
“No.” Joseph said sternly and stood there. He took out his cigarette and squished it in the ash tray on the coffee table.
“What do you mean by no?” Mary asked, startled by her husband's movements.
Joseph looked at her, then at Taylor, “I mean I don't want him in my house. I don't want him anywhere near this house. I want him out and away; better yet, dead.” He spat every word at Taylor with fury in his dark eyes. He then pointed one of his fingers at the door.
“Get out.” He demanded, “I want you out of my fucking house right now; I don't want to see your goddamn face again. Go. Now.”
Taylor didn't move. He didn't want to go; he didn't want to leave his mother with his bastard father. If he loved her, he would have accepted her decision to allow Taylor to move in. More importantly, if they were out of poverty range, why should Joseph still want to get rid of him?
Every minute that Taylor stayed put, it made his father get angrier and angrier. Behind the looming shape of Joseph, Taylor could see his mother mouthing the words “Please, go.”
Taylor ignored this plea and continued to remain seated. Finally, his father snapped and lunged for him, grabbing his arms and trying to drag him off the seat and eventually out of the house.
“I said get out!” He yelled, yanking on Taylor's arms and causing him to stumble on his feet. It was in this moment that Mary stood up and grabbed her husband's powerful shoulders, trying to pry him off her son.
“Fuck off, you bitch!” Joseph screamed and elbowed Mary in the chin, causing her to fall back on the couch in pain.
In an instant, Taylor's eyes flashed and he was overcome with the urge to protect his mother, the human being that had given birth to him and tried to care for him even though she had to give him up in the end. The man in front of him was an enemy, and in instinct, his wings ripped out of the back of his shirt and he launched a punch square in his father's nose.
He was sent flying back and he fell over the back of the couch, landing hard on the floor. Taylor was breathing heavily and his knuckles were bunched together so tight that they were turning white. He went over to his mother who's eyes were closed and had been ridding her sight of the fight in front of her while her chin was heavily bruised and bleeding.
“Are you alright?” He asked her and she opened her own green eyes and saw Taylor, but mostly, she focused her attention on his wings. Awestruck, she gazed at them and looked like she was about to faint.
“Taylor...” She mumbled, sitting up, but Taylor eased her back down.
“Stay down, I'll explain later.” He whispered to her and he crept around the couch to find his father trying to stand on wobbly legs. His face was brutally mauled and broken, and it was twisted in pain. He fell back down again at his pitiful effort to stand and Taylor came over to him.
Instead of dealing anymore damage, Taylor offered his father a hand up and despite the fact that his son had recently attacked him, he took the hand and Taylor helped him up on two feet.
However, as he got up, he gave Taylor a look of immense hatred and at that moment when he stared into his father's eyes, Taylor saw how much Joseph's face looked like his. He realized then that how could his own father want to get rid of his kin? He helped create Taylor with his mother; it wasn't right.
“Just what are you playing at?” Joseph hissed, eying Taylor's wings.
“I was going to tell you guys this after Mom explained what happened, but that fight started... Anyway, is there a mirror around here?”
“There's one near the stairs...” Mary piped up and she got off the couch, glancing looks of terror towards her husband who still had Taylor's gaze locked with his.
Taylor walked towards the stairway that was at the end of the narrow strip of hallway between the kitchen and living room. He walked in front of it, and in the reflection he showed his parents his true form.
He smiled. The monster smiled back, rather devilish, and Taylor began to explain, “I was given my demonic powers by the devil himself. Now you have a right to hate me or put up with it.”
“Taylor... Taylor I don't care what you are, you are my son and I love you.” Mary said and she grabbed Taylor's hand. Taylor looked at her with such sincerity and emotion, that Mary looked like she didn't want to glance away.
Taylor hugged her and he turned to Joseph who gave Taylor a flabbergasted look and he seemed to not believe Taylor at first. Seeing the two hug was enough to set his father in a rage.
“I don't want him here at all. I don't want him to move in with us; it's too much trouble. Besides, I wouldn't want to raise a demon child.”
“Dad... I'm moving in no matter what you say. I want to live here. I want to know what it's like to live in a family, I mean, I've lived in an orphanage all my life.”
His father continued to look at him for what seemed like an hour, until he finally spoke up, “Fine, you can move in... But I'm warning you, don't get in my way and stay out of my business.” With that, his father lit another cigarette from his pocket and marched upstairs, leaving Taylor to wonder how Deborah would react to him moving out.
When Taylor came back to the orphanage, he approached Deborah immediately and spoke with her about what had happened. He told her everything; the fight with his father, the story, and his mother's desire for him to move in with her.
“I want to move out, Deborah. I want to be with her, even if my father is a pathetic bastard I want to be there to protect her... I've seen how he's treated her and I can't stand a minute away from the house; I want to know that she's safe and away from harm.” Taylor explained, as he finished the reminiscence of the incident.
Deborah looked close to tears. Fifteen years ago she had found a baby on the doorstep in the middle of winter and took him in. Taylor knew how hard it was to let him go, and he hugged Deborah in sympathy.
“Taylor... Whatever your heart desires, go towards it. I believe that you will discover things you never knew when you're in your family. Know that I have always cared about you and love you as my own son. Don't forget that.” Deborah mumbled as her face was squished against the crook of Taylor's neck.
Now Taylor felt guilty of suddenly leaving Deborah. He realized, he didn't want to let go of her and leave her here, but, his heart screamed for his mother and his desire to protect her. He had to follow it like Deborah had said.
In three days, Taylor was packed and ready to go. His mother came by in her minivan to pick him up and all the orphanage staff said their final good-byes.
When it came to Deborah's turn, she hugged him tighter than any of the other people had and she whispered a few words to Taylor, “These long fifteen years of you in my life has changed me as a person... These long years have proven to me how much of an amazing person you are, Taylor. Don't ever give up on your dreams, and live your life how you want to. I love you and I'll miss you. I will always be with you. Always.”
Taylor felt something warm began to pile up on the right shoulder of his t-shirt. He held on to Deborah tighter and replied, “Deborah... It's OK to cry... Because...” Taylor got choked up and felt liquid trickling down his cheeks, “... I'm crying too.”
In all honesty, Taylor didn't want to let go of Deborah, the woman that took every time off to be with him and care for him. The only woman that did care, and urged Taylor on. Taylor never knew what he would have done without her and for a moment, he was happy his mother had left him on the orphanage's doorstep.
There was a call from the doorway and Taylor's mom ushered him to get going. Taylor let go of Deborah, and said, “I'll visit you sometime.”
Deborah nodded and wiped the tears from her eyes, “Oh, please do, Taylor. You're always welcome here.”
Taylor said good-bye and walked out of the door, Deborah following him out to the minivan parked outside. He got in the passenger seat and his mom started the ignition.
As they drove off, Taylor looked towards Deborah and waved and she waved back. He was still crying a little bit and it was noticeable that Deborah still was as well, and even as the van moved away from the orphanage, Taylor kept waving until he could see Deborah's face no longer.
He dropped his hand back to his lap and turned around to face the front, his new life with his parents beginning to unfold before him.
The first few days spent with his parents went along fairly well. Taylor stayed out of his father's way, and in return, his father stayed out of Taylor's way. They ate together and dinner and talked sometimes, and Taylor also got a room to himself. What once was the guest room, it now belonged to him. He had a futon and a small pull out love-seat that guests would use if they ever came. He had a small TV all to himself and it was placed on top of the dresser in front of his bed.
The real problem was the fact that he hadn't told his parents about Chris. Sure, he went over to Chris's house everyday, but he always told them that Chris was one of his best friends and they liked to study together.
“What do you do with him everyday?” Taylor's father asked one night as they sat down for dinner, “I mean, you're never here on the weekend because you're always hanging out with him somewhere and sleeping over at his place.”
Taylor grabbed a piece of chicken from the plate in the middle of the dining table and placed it on his plate, not looking at his father as he replied, “We just... Hang out and talk, really. We do what teenagers would usually do.”
“Hmm... Hang out and talk, eh? Heh, alright, I was just wondering...” His father mumbled and gave a slight smirk.
Taylor didn't even want to imagine how Joseph would react to his son's sexual identity.
After dinner, Taylor managed to talk to his mother. He knew Mary would understand his relationship with Chris as she was like Deborah who was very understanding and level-headed.
“Don't tell Dad... Please.” Taylor willed once he was done talking to his mother about being bi-sexual and liking Chris.
She smiled back and said, “I wasn't going to tell him anyway... He's a bit... Homophobic.”
Taylor's heart sank a little at this. Keeping a secret from his father was like waiting for a hungry lion to wake from his slumber and you're the only one in the cage with it.
He thanked his mother anyway and hugged her and that was that.
The next day was a Friday and Taylor and Chris were walking towards Chris's house at the end of school. They were going to hang out again that day and as they walked into Chris's home, Chris's parents barged into them.
“Oh, Chris! I forget to call you about this, but, your mum and I are going to go out for a little while and your sister is at a friend's house and I don't feel comfortable leaving you two alone. Is there a chance you can hang out at Taylor's house or maybe he can come over tomorrow instead?” Chris's dad said, placing a hand on his son's shoulder.
Taylor could feel himself swaying slightly but usually when he came home, his dad was passed out on the floor from drinking too much beer. Joseph was a heavy alcoholic and drank at least ten beers a day, if not more. If his father was asleep, Taylor may have the chance to secretly let Chris in and they'd “do stuff” in his room.
“That's fine with me, I don't think my parents have a problem with it.” Taylor replied and Chris gave a startled look towards him.
“Well, alright then, we'll be off.” Chris's dad said and they walked in the opposite direction that Taylor and Chris would walk.
As they trotted along the sidewalk, Chris began to question Taylor's decision.
“You told me that your father was homophobic and you only told your mum about your sexuality. Did you tell your father and he allowed it?”
“No, but I have a good feeling my dad won't get in the way of things while we're there...”
As quietly as Taylor could, he pried the front door open and breathing a sigh of relief, he saw his father sprawled out on the couch on his stomach, snoring, and drool dripping from the corner of his mouth. Beer cans and bottles were scattered all around the couch, and in Joseph's hand, he still lightly grasped the neck of a half-empty bottle.
When Chris slipped in behind Taylor, he mumbled a surprised, “Bloody hell...” At the sight of Taylor's wasted dad.
“This is your father? I expected a little better.” Chris said.
Taylor sighed, “Sadly, it is. He's a heavy drinker and can't go a day without a sip of alcohol.”
“Quite pathetic...” Chris breathed with narrow blue eyes and Taylor tip-toed towards a note on the kitchen counter. It was a note from his mom saying that she had gone on some errands and wouldn't be back until later that evening.
“Come on, my mom is away, and my Dad probably won't wake up until she gets home. Hopefully you'll be be back by then or something.” Taylor said quickly and grabbed Chris's hand, leading him upstairs to his room.
There, Taylor and Chris did their homework that they had over the weekend and yes, they did have sex afterwards. Two hours had passed since they came in and Joseph was still fast asleep on the couch.
At least, until he heard his son's voice carry down into the living room.
He woke up and was immediately hit with a massive headache. He endured the pain however and tried to listen to what Taylor was saying.
“I can't let him see you. He'll kill you.”
Another voice joined in, a British accented voice that seemed to belong to another boy possibly about Taylor's age, “He'll kill you too! It doesn't matter anyway; if he abuses you, you can report him to the police.”
“That's not what I'm worried about... What if he kicks me out?”
Joseph stood up on slightly unstable legs and decided to walk up the stairs to Taylor's room. He wanted to know exactly who and what they were talking about.
“You can always go back to the orphanage, or stay at my place.” Chris said and Taylor continued to look doubtful as he stared at his boyfriend sideways on the futon they laid in.
“I know... I'm just scared...” He mumbled, cuddling closer to Chris.
At that moment, his bedroom door swung open and there stood his father in the doorway, recovering from his hangover, and staring at his son in the bed with a boy he did not recognize.
At least we're covered... Taylor thought with a gulp and continued to look at his father who stared right back.
“Oh my God. Why does this always happen to us?” Chris mumbled as he noticed Joseph standing there with his mouth open.
Taylor couldn't help but agree.
Taylor and Chris found themselves in an intense argument between themselves and Taylor's father. Mary had come home to her husband shouting accusations of “You filthy faggots!” in Taylor and Chris's face.
She managed to break up the fight between them and Taylor demanded that his father at least deal with the fact that Chris and him were together.
This of course dove into another fight and Taylor found himself protecting Chris and his mother from harm by standing in front of them as a shield just in case Joseph decided to go the next level.
Eventually, Taylor and Chris won the argument and Joseph finally said he was OK with Chris and Taylor's sexuality and went to his bedroom in retreat.
Chris left and told Taylor they'd go out somewhere tomorrow and the next morning, Joseph had told Taylor to only bring Chris when he was away, otherwise, he wanted him out of his house. Taylor could only agree to his father's wishes and it ended up working out in the long run.
A month went by of living with Taylor's parents, and summer break for him was steadily approaching. As the days grew longer and the nights grew shorter, the bond between his mother and him tightened, as well as the bond with Chris. He still remained quite cold around his father, and Joseph returned the chilly emotion; at least he went out of Taylor's way.
All in all, Taylor was glad about living with a family again. Even if it was mostly his mother that cared for him, it was all Taylor needed to get the grasp of family life and he was enjoying it immensely. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, he would hear his parents fighting with each other in the kitchen, generally over financial issues or Joseph's drinking and smoking habit. Taylor did admit he wanted his father to quit his bad habits, but Joseph was a stubborn fellow and continued with his addictions.
Taylor never did end up winning his father's respect, and he knew that he never would, but he tried nevertheless and wanted to keep Joseph just as happy as his mother, or Chris.
The years passed by fast. Taylor was growing older and moving upwards in school. He stayed with Chris in his high school years and even stayed with him in college. After four years of college life, Taylor and Chris dropped out and Taylor became an editor for a local magazine. Chris became a business manager and, in the end, Taylor and him moved in together to start a new life on their own. Their relationship was still going strong and Taylor was ready to “pop the question” at some points, but decided to wait a while longer.
In these years, for Satan, he felt absolutely not confident that he would ever get Taylor fully back. Again and again, plans were swapped, but none seemed to be good enough to put into full swing. Still, Satan did not give up and he waited until just the right moment before he would go ahead and take risks.
On a pretty spring morning, two young men walked along a sidewalk towards a park that was very familiar to them. They talked and laughed together; their stories proving how long they had known each other.
They came to rest on a park bench that faced the road and the smooth, black-haired man turned towards the other who's hair sprung up in tiny spikes.
“Chris... Do you remember this bench?” The man said, lightly holding the other's hand in his.
“Oh yes, Taylor... This was the day you confessed your love to me. I remember it clearly.” Replied Chris, his voice mostly American accented, but did have an English twang mixed in.
Taylor smiled and leaned in, kissing Chris on the lips.
“Chris, I really love you. That day on the bench I never imagined I would be sitting with you right now. I want to be together with you forever, and I'm willing to take one more step to make our love even riper than it was before.” Taylor mumbled, his face right beside Chris's.
He drew back and dug something small out of his pocket, “Chris...” He got down on his knees and in the palm of his left hand, he presented a box which held a ring inside. The ring was plain with small emeralds placed neatly in a row on the top.
“... Will you marry me?”
“Oh, Taylor...” Chris breathed, bringing up his hands to his mouth before attacking Taylor with a hug.
“Yes! Of course I will!” He shouted and buried his face in Taylor's shoulder, crying out of happiness.
That day was the best day of Taylor's life. The person he loved with all his heart was his forever. In that moment, he never wanted to let go of Chris and they hugged for an eternity, sharing each other's warmth.
It was the worst day, however, for a Lord of Hell who was watching the whole ordeal through telepathy. The scene was available for Cassius, Brutus, and Judas to all see and Satan was alerted from his demonic and raging thoughts as a sob escaped Judas's mouth and then Cassius's.
“It's so beautiful!” Judas cried and nearly fainted on the hard floor of Satan's den.
Satan ended the little movie in his head and swung his head around slowly to look at Judas who was crying his eyes out.
A swing of his skeletal paw was all it took to rip Judas's head clean off.
“That's it. No more mister nice devil for me... I'm going to end it...”
“How?” Judas whimpered, as his head became reconnected with his body.
Satan looked at him, bloodlust lighting his gaze. He smiled widely, the grin almost as scary as the Cheshire's Cat.
“It's time... For them.”
MYSTERIOUS ENDING TIME DUN DUN DUN.
wow what a huge leap in time there uhhh.
it's time to wrap this story up. only a few more chapters and i'll probably be finished, so the "ending at april" schedule is going quite well.
mary is taylor's mom.
joseph is taylor's dad.
taylor was born in winter.
c whut i did thar? lolololol.
ohey guys, here's chapter eleven.
it's kind of retarded and stupid at some points lol. i'm such a dumbass when it comes to facts and shit.
chapter eleven; the first rite
Disease is something that all humans encounter in their lifetime. Some diseases, like the common flu are easy to get rid of and aren’t deadly. That is, if you treat them properly and immediately. Others can kill, though, and can’t be treated easily, if not at all. Disease is something I desire and I want. It will kill the person I despise the most in the most horrific way possible. I send disease in hopes that it will gag and rot away my enemy for good. This is the First Death Rite.
“Satan, you can’t!” Cassius cried in protest.
Satan turned towards Cassius, fury burning in his eyes, “I can and I will! How dare you defy me; your Lord and protector!”
“But… But… The boy… He’s innocent!” Cassius retorted, angering Satan further.
“There is no innocence with me!” He shouted back, seemingly growing in height above Cassius.
“At least give him mercy!”
“I can’t grant anyone mercy! Surely you dumbasses would know that by now!”
Satan continued to glare at Cassius, and Cassius whimpered and skittered back to Judas and Brutus who were also scared of their enraged master.
“It’s already been done anyway. There is nothing you poor, pathetic fools can do to stop it. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens now…” Satan spat and turned his back towards the Three Betrayers.
Taylor and Chris drove back to their apartment; one of their hands in the others. Taylor began to dawn on his new life with Chris and how much he looked forward to it, despite how hard it would be married to another man. Same-sex marriage did not have the same privileges as heterosexual marriage did, unfortunately.
Once Taylor had dropped out of college, he and Chris found an apartment in a little town called Monroe in New York. It was about a few hours away from Manhattan and was a suburban and quiet town. They lived in the village area which contained small tourist shops and the city’s town hall. Both Chris and Taylor really liked it here and Taylor secretly hoped to start a nice family here.
Chris opened the door to their apartment room and they took off their light coats for spring and put them on the hanger near the door. They plopped down onto the small brown couch and cuddled next to each other, closing their eyes and enjoying the warmth they shared.
Taylor didn’t ever want this love to end. It wouldn’t end, he knew it. The universe had set this in stone and it was his fate. He loved this boy, no, this man; this amazing British man that had moved to America and had become apart of his life; his friend, his lover, his entire life.
“Will you be with me forever?” Taylor asked innocently, staring into Chris’s royal blue eyes that reflected his own sincere face.
Chris blinked once and smiled. The smile sent sparks all throughout Taylor’s body and he felt his lover’s happiness course through his veins.
“Of course I will. I will live and die with you, I promise. I won’t ever leave your side and I will remain loyal to you and to you only, for it is only you that I love and cherish with all my heart. You make me feel so alive and I hope that it is the same for you.” Chris’s voice sounded so real, but yet so fairy-tale like. His voice was dreamy and his breath caressed Taylor’s face gently as he spoke in his Americanized tongue.
“Chris…” Taylor mumbled, star struck from his love’s beautiful poetic words and gentleness. He passed a hand over Chris’s clean-shaven face and kissed him once, twice, three times.
Of all the things going on in Taylor’s mind, they seemed to melt away and only one thought mattered: his desire to protect Chris with his life and keep that promise alive by never straying from him and being with him always and forever.
The countdown was reaching its end. What was the start of a new year for Chris and Taylor; it was also the start of something for Satan.
In a few months, it would be spring again, and that’s when Taylor and Chris would come together and vow for eternal love after a year of the proposal and being engaged. And that was when Taylor’s thoughts would swirl more around love and the possibility of making a family.
Satan was against his wishes, but did not speak up about it. He still needed Taylor’s guidance as his own kind. That influence needed to go.
There was a sudden change in the fallen angel’s emotions as the countdown drew to a close and the new year was beginning to unfold. The numbers swam into his brain and he whispered quietly.
“Three… Two… One…” It was done.
The reaction inside erupted and the rite came to the Lord of Hell’s previously spoken words. From his mouth it was released to the enemy; the one that needed to go. The influence, the start of the Messenger’s falling away from his duties; he was going to be no more, and Satan enjoyed this quiet revelation and found himself laughing maniacally, the Three Betrayers cowering before their winning master. No one could stop him that was true; at least, no one except the Messenger.
But it’s too late for even you to interfere, my fact-giving friend… He will be no more, and you will crumble too before me. No more mercy… You are mine.
Empty bottles of champagne littered the kitchen floor and made a trail along with crumbs of potato chips and other junk food to the bedroom in Chris and Taylor’s airy apartment.
A light flicked on from inside the bedroom and out wobbled a still slightly drunken Chris, who had his sky blue robe tied loosely around his body.
“Chris, where are you going?” A slurred voice echoed from behind the young man, who turned around and faced Taylor with bloodshot eyes.
“Bathroom… I don’t feel too good…” He mumbled and continued to shuffle towards the room in the middle of the hallway.
Flicking on the light above the sink in the bathroom, Chris collapsed on the tile floor near the toilet, grabbing the bathtub behind him for support, and he leaned his left cheek on the cold, porcelain rim.
Bile bubbled inside him and he could feel it rising into his throat. He took a couple deep breaths, but was still shaken by the alcohol and the large amounts of salt and sugar that he had combined with the champagne.
He gave up and dipped his face into the toilet bowl, retching up the contents in his stomach. One look and then he flushed, getting up to wash the taste of vomit from his mouth.
As he stood, a sharp, gnawing pain nipped his side and he made a slight wince, grabbing the part where it had hurt. As soon as it started, it was over with, and Chris wondered if it was just a side-effect from the vomiting he had done.
I really do hope I don’t get food poisoning from all this… Chris thought to himself and went back to the bedroom, climbing underneath the covers beside Taylor who had already fallen back asleep.
Jeez, he really does have a strong stomach… I’m surprised he hasn’t gone up and done the same thing I did.
Still feeling woozy, Chris nestled beside his fiancé and drifted off into an uneasy sleep that was full of headaches and stomach pains.
Taylor awoke to the disturbance beside him and flashed a look beside him to see Chris sitting straight up and clutching the side of his abdomen. His face was twisted into a small grimace but then it relaxed and his fingers slipped from their place and he fell back onto the pillow.
He looked at Taylor, “Oh, I didn’t mean to disturb you.” His voice croaked like a frog, pained and weary.
“It’s alright; it’s morning anyway so I’ll go ahead and make breakfast.”
Chris just made a moan that sounded like a half-agreement. He pulled the covers over his head while complaining quietly of a migraine.
It was weird; Taylor felt absolutely fine. He had felt a tad hung over the other night, but it went away while he was sleeping. He expected it was his demonic sense of healing quicker than most humans.
He took the covers off of Chris’s head and gave him a soft peck on his forehead before covering him up again. He then left to go make breakfast.
Scrounging up the last of the eggs in the fridge, Taylor began to set up for making scrambled eggs on the kitchen counter. Suddenly, the door to the bedroom swung open and Chris ran out, heading off to the bathroom. A few seconds later, Taylor heard the familiar sounds of vomiting and he made a slight grimace. He then began to wonder if he should just make eggs for himself, after all, Chris still might be too sick from the alcohol to keep food down.
Still, when Chris walked out looking woozier than he had before, Taylor asked him if he wanted any eggs. Chris made a tiny nod and just said one egg was fine. He then headed back into the bedroom.
Taylor sighed and began to feel bad for Chris before cracking the last of the eggs into a bowl and adding a couple ingredients.
After ten minutes, the eggs were done cooking and Taylor put Chris’s eggs on a tray to bring to him in the bedroom.
Chris was still curled up in bed, barely awake if not at all. He looked up as Taylor entered and tenderly sat up. He kept a straight face despite the fact he was probably about to throw up again. He took the eggs out of Taylor’s hand and ate them slowly.
Taylor sat on the bed with him and ate as well, stroking Chris’s head like he was a pet dog as he did so.
“Sorry about last night; I didn’t know you would be this bad.” Taylor apologized, still petting his fiancé.
“It’s fine… Sometimes I don’t know my own limits with alcohol.” Chris mumbled back, his voice still cracked with pain.
Taylor nodded and curled up closer to Chris as he finished his last bite. Chris had barely nibbled on anything before he placed his unfinished bowl on Taylor’s. Taylor gave him another peck, this time on the cheek, and walked back out, placing the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
I wonder how long he’ll remain like this. Taylor wondered, worried for Chris’s help. Hopefully he didn’t food poison Chris.
After a few hours Chris walked out, rubbing his stomach with his right hand.
“Do you still feel sick?” Taylor asked as Chris joined him on the couch. Taylor was reading the headlines from the Sunday paper that wished everybody a Happy New Years.
“It’s just my stomach… It’s been hurting. Not like a persistent pain, but it’s on and off. And it’s always in the same place…”
“What does it feel like?”
“It’s like a burning pain that lasts for a couple of minutes but then wears off.”
“Weird… I guess it’s some side affect from the alcohol.”
Chris nodded and still continued to hold his stomach. Slowly, his grip loosened and he put his hands in his lap.
Taylor leaned into Chris who leaned back on him, “Have any New Years resolutions?” Chris suddenly asked and Taylor smiled.
“Two… One is to remain with you…”
“Oh, you know you don’t have to make a resolution about that.” Chris interrupted, giving a slight laugh.
Taylor smiled, “I know. The second one is to start a family.”
Chris looked up at him, “A family? You mean you want kids already?”
“Well, maybe a few months after we’re married…” Taylor said, slightly pleading with Chris. He did want kids, adopt one at least.
Chris nodded, looking thoughtful, “Well maybe we’ll drive back to your orphanage and look for one?”
“I like that idea. I’d love to see Deborah again.” Taylor hadn’t spoken with Deborah since he went off to college nearly five years ago. It was about time he should meet the kind and understanding woman that cared for him again.
Abruptly, Chris sat up and hurried off to the bathroom. Retching sounds echoed after hi footsteps and Taylor gave yet another grimace.
Chris walked back out, coughing slightly, and he then sat down beside Taylor again.
“Sorry…” He apologized and Taylor kissed him on the cheek.
“It’s OK; I know you still feel bad,” He said, “but still… If this continues on for more than three days we may have to get you to a doctor. It could be food poisoning.”
Chris seemed to fidget after Taylor said this and he gave a slight groan of displeasure, “I do not need a doctor…” He hissed under his breath, loud enough for Taylor to hear.
Taylor sighed. The one thing that Chris really despised was doctor’s visits. He always complained that they’d misdiagnose him and either give him a diagnosis that was more severe than what he had, or they’d say he was fine and he’d get worse.
“It won’t be that bad; I’m just worried about you, OK?” Taylor replied.
Chris still grumbled, looking angry and Taylor couldn’t help but ignore him this time.
Satan kneaded the hard ground of his lair impatiently, his black skeletal claws continuously flexing and scraping the Earth.
Eyes darting around at Brutus, Cassius, and Judas, who just stood in wait for the rite to unfold, also stared at Satan.
“What do you bastards want? I’m just waiting for that moment… That moment when he will be no more…”
“Chris, seriously, we need to get you to a doctor.”
Pushing away Taylor’s hand, he made a low grumble of remorse and got away from Taylor’s reach.
Taylor looked like he was about to cry. Chris had been sick for three days and his condition was gradually getting worse. He at least had to have had some sort of food poisoning or a stomach virus. Chris was constantly making runs to the bathroom to throw up whatever he managed to eat.
Speaking of eating, his appetite had decreased dramatically. He didn’t want to eat anything out of fear of throwing it back up. Chris wasn’t necessarily a fan of vomiting, nobody was. Thus, his displeasure of eating turned into weight loss. Taylor was concerned about his nutrition, as Chris was dehydrated and malnourished. No matter how much Taylor begged, Chris wouldn’t eat anything.
“Chris… You’re not going to get any better like this…” Taylor pleaded as Chris walked away.
He ignored him however and the bedroom door slammed shut, leaving Taylor alone on the couch in the living room. Feeling defeated, he laid down and heaved a big sigh.
The next day, Taylor awoke to retching and, oddly enough, harsh coughing from the bathroom. A few minutes later Chris opened the door, his eyes wide and scared. By the look of his face, Taylor knew something wasn’t right.
“Taylor…” Chris whimpered and Taylor shot straight out of bed. Chris never spoke in that way.
He hugged him in comfort, “What’s wrong?”
“I… I’m vomiting blood.”
That wasn’t a good thing. Throwing up blood meant internal bleeding or irritation, or worse. Taylor didn’t want to think about these worse things and forced himself to remain calm.
He cleared his throat to hold back a gulp, “Just now?”
“Yes… And my stomach’s been hurting even more… I don’t know what’s wrong.” Suddenly Chris leaned into Taylor and began to cry.
Taylor felt like a mother calming Chris after a bad nightmare. He patted his back and kissed his cheek, still holding him tightly in his arms.
“Let’s get you dressed. We’re going to the hospital; this is far more serious than I thought.”
Much like the times before when Taylor told Chris they were going to the doctor, he tensed up and opened his mouth to protest, but before he could he was racked with hoarse coughs and Taylor had to let go of him and sit him back on the edge of the bed.
Chris managed to get control of himself and took in a deep and shaky breath before covering up his hand to his mouth and vomiting a little inside his palm.
Taylor could clearly see blood running down the cracks in his fingers and his heart began to race with desperation. This was bad.
Once Chris was finished he started sobbing again, a trickle of blood leaking from the corner of his mouth.
Taylor got some clean clothes and put them on Chris. He then changed himself and supported Chris as they both walked out of their apartment, Chris sobbing the whole way to the parking lot outside the first floor entrance.
Gently, Taylor placed Chris in the passenger seat of their small sedan and they drove off towards the hospital.
Chris had his hand cupped over his mouth the whole time, just in case he started throwing up again. Taylor wondered if he should have brought a small trash can or bag, but, Chris never threw up again as they drove along.
But, Chris was in pain. A few minutes from when they left the parking lot, he was grabbing the side of his abdomen, grimacing in pain. He looked like he was about to cry out, but was holding it in.
“Shit... That was more painful than the last...” Chris mumbled as the pain dulled and subsided. It would be back again, though, there was no telling.
Taylor could feel his own stomach churning out of anxiety. What if Chris had something like stomach cancer? The odds were low, but Taylor couldn't help but feeling that whatever this was, was deadly. Even if it was only present for three days, the severity grew fast, which was the most frightening part.
Finally, Taylor got to the hospital and carried Chris into the emergency room. There they were taken to an examination room by a nurse and Taylor stayed by Chris's side until the doctor walked in.
“So...” He said, looking down on his clipboard, “Which one of you is Chris Jardine?”
Taylor looked at Chris who raised his head. He was slumped over, curling his arms around his stomach. He mumbled “That's me...” under his breath and the doctor walked over.
Taylor scooted off the the cot that Chris was sitting on and sat in a chair that was facing Chris.
“What seems to be the problem? The form that you filled out here says that you've been experiencing on and off stomach pain, that is always in the same place... Can you point to where it hurts?”
Chris blinked and tenderly unlaced his arms and pointed his right finger at the side where it hurt in his abdomen.
The doctor nodded in understanding and scribbled something on another piece of paper on his clipboard.
“You've also been vomiting blood...” The doctor made a cluck with his tongue and his face began to deepen in concern, “Did it just start today or has this been going on for some time?”
“Just started today...” Chris muttered, crossing his arms across his stomach again.
“And how many times do you vomit daily?”
“I have no idea... At least more than ten times.”
“And your appetite? Has it dwindled?”
This time Taylor spoke up. He knew Chris would lie about this, “He hasn't been eating at all since the pain started; he's just been drinking water.”
The doctor looked at him, “And the pain started three days ago, correct?”
Taylor nodded and the doctor frowned, “You should have brought him in the minute the symptoms started. What he is experiencing is definitely not normal.”
Taylor's heart thumped, and he hoped the doctor couldn't hear how fast it was beating, “Do you know what he has?”
The doctor made a slight nod, “I have a hunch; but we'll need to examine him further to make sure. He'll need to be admitted here for a couple of nights while we take tests.”
He walked out of the room, saying that a nurse would come by and take Chris to a room to stay in. Taylor sat next to Chris and hugged him.
“See, that wasn't too bad.” Taylor reassured, “They'll help you here.”
Chris said nothing and just leaned into Taylor, trying to gather up his warmth.
Taylor walked beside the nurse that was guiding him towards Chris's room. It was a day after he had been admitted and they had already done a blood test the other day.
The nurse led him to a room on the third floor and Taylor walked in. Chris was lying on the hospital bed, staring at the ceiling in a bored manner.
“Hey Taylor.” Chris greeted as Taylor walked in. The nurse closed the door behind them to leave them alone and Taylor went over to Chris's bed and sat down on the edge, looking at Chris.
“So, have they told you what's going on?”
Chris sighed, “Not yet. Every time I ask Dr. Sanchez, the doctor, he says he may know what I have, but is still not sure. The tests for whatever they drew my blood for came back negative and now they're going to have my chest and abdomen x-rayed.”
Taylor nodded. The blood test may have ruled out something bad, so there was hope that whatever Chris had wasn't too serious.
“My stomach's still been flaring up, though.”
“Have they given you anything to numb the pain or something?”
Chris shook his head, “Whatever I have, Dr. Sanchez told the nurses to keep me off of pain medication because it would supposedly 'make it worse'”
What could that it be, though? Taylor wondered. He had never taken a medical course in college as he didn't want to go that way in life. Chris hadn't taken one either, and in all of Taylor's high school classes with human health and biology, nothing seemed to ring a bell.
Anxiety yet again coursed through Taylor and he found himself clutching his own stomach like Chris was doing. What was going on with his fiancé? Should he be really worried?
The nurse popped her head in again, “Chris, it's time for your x-ray. Taylor you'll need to wait in the waiting room until he's done, alright? I'll come out and tell you when you can come back in.”
Taylor looked at Chris and gave him a good-bye kiss, “I hope you feel better soon.” He mumbled and Chris seemed to look uncertain.
And he had a right to be.
Satan gave a hiss that echoed throughout the cavern, sounding like a thousand threatened snakes. His eyes darted around at his companions who stood in wait. They watched Satan closely like an owl preying on a mouse, not making a move and slightly scared for what was to come.
“He will not be helped...” Satan murmured, staring at nothing ahead of him, but it was a plain picture in his mind.
His frown was soon forgotten though, and his teeth gleamed in the darkness of his den as his lips curled into a devious smile.
“I will make sure of that... You're just a ticking time bomb, enemy of mine...”
Chris was getting worse, even from the care that the hospital gave him.
Slowly, Chris's abdominal pain started to worsen and was increasing in frequency. Whenever Taylor visited him, his face was always twisted in agony and the nurse said Dr. Sanchez had ordered for no pain medication.
Taylor couldn't see the harm in it, but then again, he wasn't a doctor.
After three days, the results from the x-ray came back. Taylor was sitting in the waiting room, waiting for the nurse to allow him back in Chris's room.
But the nurse didn't come back. Instead, it was Dr. Sanchez. He called for Taylor and he walked up to the doctor who didn't look too happy.
“The x-ray has shown that Chris has a peptic ulcer, which is curable but...” Dr. Sanchez trailed off and that's when Taylor got scared.
“But what? What's wrong with him?”
Dr. Sanchez sighed, “It's perforated, meaning he has a hole in the wall of his stomach. He's going into emergency surgery right now. It won't be an easy procedure and there is a possibility that the surgery will fail. You must be prepared for the worst.”
“What if it fails?”
“He'll die, most likely.”
Taylor felt lightheaded. Emergency surgery? Possibility of failure? Death? He was about to faint right there on the hospital floor.
“OK... Do the best you can and if you can't help him... Tell me.”
Dr. Sanchez nodded, “We will do everything we can to cure him. Just sit tight and pray for the best.” He then walked out of the waiting room and Taylor found his seat again, sagging down low into the chair.
All he could think about was Chris and how at least a week ago they were watching the New Years' fireworks together, hugging and kissing. Chris was so full of life then, but now he was in a near-death experience.
Taylor tried to reach Satan for some kind of comfort, but it was like he was trying to reach someone on a busy line. He could never connect with Satan and whenever he felt like there was a connection, it was like Satan had pushed him out of his mind and he was left with only his thoughts.
He sighed and drew his legs to his chest and hugged them. His heart felt like it was about to leap out of his chest from it's constant fast-paced beating. An air of defeat surrounded Taylor, and he willed himself to remain hopeful about the situation, but one can only hope so much before they realize that they are getting their hopes up for nothing. Taylor found this out, and he buried his head in his hands and quietly cried.
While sitting there, Taylor prayed. He prayed so hard for some miracle. Chris was on his mind the whole time, his face, his voice, his smell, his quirks. Taylor had cried so much that soon he couldn't cry anymore, and he was left with a red and puffy face.
A few hours passed, which turned into a few more and all the while, Taylor's anxiety grew and grew. There was no sliver of hope left. He didn't pray anymore, as he knew that this was it. He would never see Chris again. Never hear his bright and cheery laugh, his sweet voice and the warmth of his body as he slept beside Taylor.
I didn't even get to say good-bye... Taylor thought to himself.
His head popped up though as Dr. Sanchez walked through the door again after hours of waiting and sobbing.
Taylor stood up immediately as he was called and walked over to him. Dr. Sanchez had no readable expression on his face, and Taylor was bursting with a mixture of curiosity, optimism, and fear.
“How is Chris?” Was the first thing that came out of Taylor's mouth. His voice was hoarse from crying so much and Dr. Sanchez seemed to notice this.
“He's resting now. We managed to repair the tear and get rid of the ulcer. However, we're still uncertain about how he got it. He doesn't have the infection that causes most ulcers and his stomach acid levels weren't high. Is he under any kind of stress?”
Taylor blinked, “Not that I know of... Should I be concerned if you don't know what caused it.”
“Not necessarily, but I was curious... It's strange that it just suddenly popped up and got worse over a short amount of time. If it ever returns though, then you should be concerned.”
Taylor nodded and slightly shivered from fear. He hoped it wouldn't return... He didn't want this to start all over again.
“Can I visit him?” Taylor asked.
“Sure. Just be quiet so you won't wake him up. He needs to recover; it was a tough procedure.”
Taylor nodded and Dr. Sanchez led him to the room he stayed in. When he opened the door, he saw Chris sleeping soundly on the bed. Serenity seemed to surround him as he slept there so peacefully. Taylor could have mistaken him for being dead if it weren't for the constant up and down movements of his chest and the persistent beeping of the machines that were hooked up to him.
Taylor walked over and Dr. Sanchez closed the door, whispering to Taylor to tell him if he needed anything that he should just ask him.
He sat on the edge of Chris's bed and looked at his nonchalant face. A single strand of black hair drooped and fell over on Chris's forehead and Taylor took a delicate hand and quickly brushed it away, placing his already moved hand on Chris's cheek.
A simple movement caused so much emotion to flare up in Taylor. Chris could have died, but by some miracle, he survived. He was still with Taylor. The warmth of his cheek that spread to Taylor's palm was like a cigarette; calming and an addiction. He never felt so happy over this tiny spark of affection that he could still pull off on Chris.
Chris was alive. Chris's soul still resided in it's body, and it loved Taylor, and Taylor loved him back.
A tear of joy rolled down Taylor's cheek, some of it trickling into Taylor's half-open mouth. It was salty on his tongue, and Taylor had never been so happy to cry in all his life.
Resistance was futile. Taylor leaned in and kissed Chris on his perfect, full of life lips. The kiss never felt better, and his heart beat faster out of passion, not fear.
Chris's eyes fluttered open, and his oceanic eyes looked around confusedly, but calmed as they met the face that belong to Taylor. A smile formed on Chris's face and he looked lovingly up at the face that was the definition of love.
“I was so scared...” Taylor whispered suddenly, as he looked at Chris. More tears of happiness spilled from his green eyes as they locked with the gaze of Chris's.
“Shh...” Chris's hand slipped onto Taylor's, and his other hand did the same. He cradled Taylor's head as if it was a newborn baby. As gentle as a soft breeze, Chris's thumb wiped away a falling crystal tear and Taylor closed his eyes, breathing in Chris's sent as he sat his head up and kissed Taylor.
“You don't have to worry anymore... Because I'm here... I will always be here.”
That voice. The words Chris whispered tickled Taylor's ear as he heard them in, and he continued to drink in Chris's sweet scent. He loved him so much that he tried to make a word stronger than love, but nothing came up and he had to leave it at “so much”.
“I love you, Chris... You are my everything. Stay with me... Stay with me forever.” Taylor mumbled back, too choked on his own tears to say anything more.
Chris calmed him once again with a gentle hush, and his head rested back down on the pillow as he tired out from holding it up.
“Go back to sleep... You need your rest.” Taylor said quietly, as Chris's eyes flickered open and shut. He nodded sleepily and before he could close his eyes for the await of dreams, he grabbed Taylor's hand which had fallen back to his side.
“Don't go... Stay with me...” Chris mumbled as he slowly began to drift back into unconsciousness.
Taylor leaned in and kissed Chris one more time on the lips, “I will be with you until you wake again.”
“I promise; I will stay.”
And stay he did.
He was not happy. Not at all. The happy ending once again was enough to put him on edge. His companions cowered as he howled and spat at the ground, cursing and screaming at The Messenger.
But, he found an out, and the plan that began to conjure in his brain made his screaming cease, and his maniacal laugh begin.
He turned back to where the mental image in his mind was located, and the smile on his vile face grew larger.
“But what if...” He mumbled quietly.
“I wonder what would happen if one of you were to turn your back on the other...?”
OHHH WHO'S THE MESSENGER. WHO IS HEEEE. WHOOOOOO.
idk you'll find out in the later chapters.
GUESS WHO'S DONE WITH CHAPTER TWELVE? :D
THAT'S RIGHT, I AM.
please enjoy this crappy chapter that i wrote up in haste so i can get some rest from the busy week, pff :'D
chapter twelve; the second rite
People can be happy or people can be sad. They can be happy with the one’s they trust and adore, or they can be sad. Sometimes the sadness and anger can tear them apart, and even worse, kill one of them. I ask for betrayal and anger to rip apart the relationship between the enemy, and the one I need. May the one I need lash out in the most violent way possible and kill the enemy. This is the Second Death Rite.
When Chris was discharged from the hospital, Taylor had carried him to the car and to the apartment when they arrived. He set Chris down on their bed and laid beside him while he dozed off. He was still weak from the surgery and it would take a few days for him to fully recover. Taylor had called himself and Chris off from their work during this time because he wanted to be beside Chris just in case anything else happened.
Taylor smiled as he watched Chris smile in his sleep. He leaned forward and kissed Chris’s forehead. Chris made a tiny jerk of his head as he slightly woke from his slumber, but he quickly fell back into his dreams and Taylor mumbled sweet dreams to him.
And there they both lay until dreams eventually overcame Taylor’s mind.
Sunlight streaming through the white cloth curtains made Taylor’s sleepy eyelids flicker open and shut rapidly. He looked over and saw Chris was already out of the bed. He wiped the sleep away from his eyes and yawned, slowly getting out of bed.
He wrapped his plaid robe around himself and walked out, seeing Chris was busy making breakfast scones for the both of them.
It had been a month since Chris had been cured of his peptic ulcer. February had arrived and Taylor hadn’t a clue as to what the date was. He just knew it was a regular February Sunday.
But, when Taylor approached and hugged Chris from behind, Chris looked at him and pecked him on the lips.
“Good morning, sleepyhead.” He mumbled and Taylor made a tiny smile.
Chris continued, “Happy Valentines’ Day.”
He blinked. Taylor didn’t realize it was Valentines’ Day!
Chris seemed to notice his surprised expression and made a slight laugh, “You forgot, didn’t you?” He kissed Taylor again and Taylor left him alone to continue baking his scones.
He sat on the couch and turned on the TV, listening to the morning news and the hum of Chris as he worked. He was humming an old Beatles song and Taylor couldn’t help but sway a little to the beat as he remembered what song it was.
“So, what do you want to do today?” Taylor asked and Chris stopped humming.
“I dunno. Maybe we can take a walk down the street and shop a little bit in the village area. Go out to dinner and come back home to do… Something ‘special’”
Taylor made a slight snicker as he imagined Chris putting air quotes around the word ‘special’. Of course they’d do that.
Chris came over with two freshly baked scones and gave one to Taylor while he kept the other for himself.
“I do hope you know what I mean by special.” Chris winked and Taylor made a mocking expression of curiosity.
“Maybe…” He mumbled and Chris kissed him on the cheek.
He climbed over the top of the couch and landed next to Taylor, who was no longer paying attention to the television screen.
“I’ll buy the flowers.” Taylor said.
“And I’ll buy the chocolates.” Chris replied and they both smiled. It was a tradition for them to buy flowers and chocolates respectively on Valentines’ Day.
The two cuddled together, warmth spreading through both of them like they were a big coat to wear. The television continued to snow softly as they sat on the couch and huddled close together.
Taylor couldn’t ever imagine betraying Chris; nor could he imagine ever getting mad at him. They did have a scuffle every now and then, but it was rare and it never lasted long.
Ever since the stomach incident, Taylor had gotten really close and over-protective of Chris. Like an anxious single mother caring for her only child, Taylor would always stay by Chris’s side. When they walked across the street, he held Chris’s hand. He would never shop by himself; always with Chris near him. During the working hours, he called Chris hourly to check up on him and make sure everything was fine. Sometimes Chris got annoyed and told him there was nothing he should be worried about, but Taylor disagreed; there was always a reason to be scared for the one you love.
They nibbled on their scones, but they barely ate anything as they were too busy gazing at each other lovingly. Taylor sometimes thought their love was a little mushy, but, he enjoyed it at least.
The afternoon rolled along and Chris and Taylor walked side by side and hand in hand as they headed downtown. They shopped at a couple of stores along the way, but they didn’t buy anything; they just looked around. Taylor would probably secretly buy something for Chris as a present, but he could never get around to it as Chris kept following him around. Chris had gotten used to the whole over-protective deal and expected that Taylor would want him by his side.
When they got to the grocery store, Chris and Taylor finally separated to buy their Valentines’ Day presents of flowers and chocolate.
Before heading off to the floral department, however, Chris had stopped Taylor and asked him if he was OK with Chris going off on his own to shop in the grocery store. Taylor said it was alright, and that they would meet at the first check-out counter once they were done shopping.
At the floral department, Taylor got a traditional bouquet of red roses for Chris and headed off towards the check-out counter. In all honesty, he was slightly afraid of if Chris was alright and if he got to the counter just fine. He expected for people to freak out of somebody randomly tried to kidnap or murder Chris. Besides, the grocery store was packed. It would be too obvious and Chris wasn’t even a target to anybody. Nobody at his workplace hated him and he wasn’t too popular among the townsfolk.
As expected, Chris was right there waiting for Taylor with his chocolates in a red heart-shaped box. Chris bought his stuff first, and then Taylor went next.
They headed outside, showing each other their gifts. They continued to look around town at the shops and when the evening rolled around; they found a nice family restaurant to eat at and headed on home.
Chris placed the roses in a vase on the coffee table that sat on the end of the couch. He kissed Taylor and told him they were beautiful and Taylor could only kiss back as a “thank you” gesture.
The two watched romantic and sappy movies in the living room, and Chris ended up falling asleep on Taylor’s shoulder as the clock struck midnight. He carried Chris to the bedroom and got out of his day clothes, changing into something more comfortable before laying beside the snoring Chris and curling up next to him.
This movement awoke Chris from his slumber and he made a final, startled snort before opening his eyes and seeing Taylor lying there beside him.
“Well hey…” He mumbled and leaned over, kissing Taylor on the nose.
Taylor returned the kiss with his own peck on the lips and moved closer towards Chris. Chris placed his arm around Taylor’s broad shoulders and rested his head in the crook of his neck. Taylor stroked his hair like a pet dog and closed his eyes, listening to the heavy breathing of Chris as he dozed and also, his heartbeat, which drummed rhythmically against Taylor’s chest.
“I love you, Chris.” Taylor whispered in his ear as he drifted off into a comfortable sleep.
Satan paced around his cavern, impatient and flustered. Judas, Brutus, and Cassius had all fallen asleep at the corner and Satan growled in his companion’s laziness, but then again, sloth was a sin and he couldn’t argue against them.
His lips curled up in a disgusted snarl as he saw The Messenger cuddle with the enemy; his Messenger, not anyone else’s. He belonged to Satan and not anyone else.
He should know that… I should have told him from the start.
His frown turned upside-down as he remembered the devilish words he had spoken not too long ago, but then again… It won’t be long before I’ll have him all to myself.
A slam of a door, and an angry shout from Taylor was all it took to explain that a fight had gone on between him and Chris. It was a heated fight that had had first started out with how Chris was complaining to Taylor about him always following him around. Taylor had gotten very offended and began to shout at Chris that he was protecting him from harm. He said he didn’t want the same thing that happened to Chris the month before. Chris had said that couldn’t have been avoided, and that he was safe on his own and didn’t need a guard always surrounding him. That’s when things started to get a little hairy and they fought about other things rather than just Taylor’s guarding scenario. In the end, Chris had gotten fed up and resorted to retreating to the bedroom with Taylor shouting out swears to him.
“You know it’s really fucking stupid how you think that I’m going to embarrass you by protecting you!” Taylor yelled.
Silence from the bedroom. Taylor tried again.
“I love you and all, so I want to protect you!”
This time there was a reply, “Well by the way you’re shouting at me, I guess you don’t!”
Ouch. That hurt. Taylor winced a little bit at Chris’s stinging reply and realized how much he had gotten worked over for something minor like this. Feeling bad about his put downs towards the one he loved, Taylor walked to the bedroom and tried opening the door, but it was locked.
“Chris open the door… I’m sorry, OK?” Taylor called, but Chris didn’t get up and unlock the door, nor did he say anything else.
“Chris…?” Taylor queried, half worried that he had really hurt his feelings.
Still no reply and Taylor leaned his ear on the door to listen for Chris’s footsteps, but he heard something else; sobbing. He made Chris cry.
He sighed and sat down on the floor, listening to Chris's pitiful cries. He didn't mean to hurt Chris so bad like that. He was surprised, but also began to hate himself for doing that.
With an angry growl, he got up and punched the wall near the bedroom door, making a gigantic hole in the plaster. The crash alerted Chris who at once demanded, “What was that?”
“Nothing...” Taylor hissed in reply and the door to Chris's bedroom swung open.
“Taylor!” Chris yelled when he saw the gigantic hole in the wall.
He went over and grabbed Taylor's hand, “Look at what you just did! How am I supposed to fix this!?” Chris then sighed and shook his head, letting go of Taylor.
“What am I going to do with you... Honestly, I feel like taking a vacation from here.”
A flash of rage burst into Taylor's mind. He didn't understand why he was acting like this, he was just angry.
“Well if you're so fed up with me, then go ahead and pack your bags and get the fuck out of here! Go! Just fucking go and leave me alone!”
Chris was taken aback. His eyes were so wide in surprise and he actually stumbled in spite of himself, “Taylor I didn't mean...”
Taylor, however, did not let Chris finish his sentence and instead retreated into the bedroom like Chris had before. He slammed the door behind him, but did not lock it, and sat at the end of his bed.
In all honesty, he hadn't meant what he said. He had been taken by the sudden urge to say it, like some invisible trickster was provoking his mouth to spit out the words. He wanted to go back out and apologize for his behavior but he was too afraid of yelling at Chris again.
Instead, Chris came into the bedroom and hugged Taylor from behind.
“Taylor I do not want to move out... I don't want to leave your side I'm just... Frustrated. Sometimes when you guard me like a guard dog, I lose my sense of freedom. I know you worry about me, and I know you just want to know that I'm OK, but I promise you... If anything happens to me, I'll tell you, and I'll never leave you.” Chris whispered in Taylor's ear.
He turned to look at Chris and his beautiful face, “I'm sorry myself... I... Really don't know where that outburst came from.”
Chris kissed him, “It's alright. You're probably frustrated too.”
Maybe that's what it was; frustration and stress. From what, though? Work wasn't giving him a hard time; and neither was home life. Why did he feel so angry and annoyed?
Would these fights continue? Taylor willed himself to not believe in such things but... What was with him?
It was a normal day as Chris and Taylor walked back from their previous shopping trip. They hadn't found anything at the stores downtown and decided to just go back to the apartment. No fights had broken out after the little skirmish they had in the house. Chris got the wall fixed, and Taylor was aware to punch something else the next time he got angry.
However, even though Chris was gentle and gave Taylor more affection, Taylor ignored them. He was troubled in his own mind; about his emotions and why the irritableness was attacking his brain like army soldiers. His mind was a mess of battlefields and warfare. He hated it. More importantly, he hated himself for acting so cold and distant towards Chris.
Chris had begun to start worrying for Taylor as he noticed the tension that was crackling around them like lightning in a summer storm. He asked Taylor all the time if he was depressed or stressed out, but Taylor kept telling him he was fine, just a little confused about himself.
Looking at him, Taylor realized how much Chris was staring at him. Finally, Chris's mouth opened and he stopped walking.
“Taylor really... What's bothering you? You've been so... I don't know... Uncaring? Ignorant? You barely look at me anymore. Seriously, what is up with you?”
Tensing up as he went on, Chris asked, “Are you tired of me?”
Taylor's eyes widened at Chris's question. Why would he say such a thing? Didn't he see that Taylor was just angry with himself and the way his mind was reacting to Chris's affections?
“No... No, I would never be tired of you.”
“OK...” Chris breathed, his voice sounding like a sigh of relief.
“It's just... A lot of stuff has been going on in my head... I just haven't been feeling like myself lately. Like, I've been feeling angry, all the time, for no apparent reason. And I guess I need to take it out on somebody and that has to be you...” Taylor explained, hoping Chris would understand.
Chris came over and hugged Taylor, “Alright... I understand. Look, if you need me to call a therapist or somebody to help you if this persists then just tell me. And I'm always here, so talk to me about your problems too.” He kissed Taylor on the lips and ushered him to continue on walking down the street towards their apartment.
Taylor however, stayed behind as Chris walked forward. There it was again; the irritableness. He clenched his teeth and tried to swallow down a roar of anger, but it turned into something else.
Pain. He made a choking sound as a searing flash of agony piled up in his heart. He grabbed at his chest and doubled over, still making gagging sounds as he tried to gain control. Was it a heart attack? No... It felt nothing like one.
“Taylor?” He heard Chris up ahead call and looked behind him to see Taylor crouched on the ground, making weird noises in the back of his throat.
He ran towards him and crouched beside him, “Are you alright? Taylor?” His hand grabbed Taylor's shoulder and Taylor shuddered as he could feel the irritation grow into a rage. This rage was apparently the cause of his chest pain and, because he was beginning to lose control, his wings ripped out of his back.
“Taylor, calm down! What if somebody sees you?” Chris said frantically. He already knew about Taylor's demonic powers, as Taylor had told him years ago when they had first gotten together.
Chris didn't know that Taylor was beyond control. He was slipping from his human sanity, to his demonic insanity. He tried to grab onto some form of his real self, but it was overpowered by the feelings in his mind and eventually he felt himself slipping away.
His fiancé hugged him tightly, in a desperate move to save Taylor from himself, but he was beyond saving now. In response, Taylor pushed Chris away with a pained shout of “No!”
Looking at the one he loved with pained eyes that were slowly growing yellow, he croaked in agony, “Leave... Hide somewhere... I'll be alright...”
Chris shook his head and Taylor felt like crying right before the haze shrouded his mind and he became a monster. Like in his reflection in the mirror, red ram horns grew and curled tightly beside his head, a black, spaded demon tail appeared behind him, and his fingernails on his fingers and toes grew and blackened into sharp and deadly talons that could rip flesh easily. His teeth grew pointed like a canine creature's, and finally, the green color in his eyes faded to a speckled yellow and his pupils slitted like a cat's when they were out in sunlight.
Taylor stood up from his crouch and looked at Chris. He gave a devilish smile, and slowly walked towards Chris. He no longer belonged to himself; his body was possessed by his emotions. A voice spoke in his brain, controlling him. Taylor could not speak out against the voice; in fact, he felt mute against the monster.
Chris backed up as Taylor moved closer. He kept repeating his name in hopes to drive back the sense in him, but nothing worked. Taylor was beyond saving now, and there was a small sliver of a chance that he could get back his body.
In a flash, Taylor finally snapped to the command that the voice had whispered. Kill him. Now, he charged and had Chris's throat in his hands, black claws closing in and piercing the soft flesh on Chris's neck.
Chris couldn't fight against Taylor's grip. Not only was it tight, but he didn't want to hurt Taylor himself, either. He was trying to persuade Taylor to stop without violence.
The grip tightened, and as Chris struggled in vain, it was audible that Taylor was laughing. He was laughing quite evilly, his now pointed demon tongue lolling out of his mouth like a panting dog.
He threw Chris on the ground, obviously not pleased with the reactions that he made towards being choked. Chris had been holding any sign of pain in, as he didn't want to show weakness. Taylor's demon side would have taken pleasure in that.
Instead of backing up and finding a weaker opponent, Taylor was stubborn and wanted to hurt Chris as much as possible. The voice had asked this. No backing down, not even if he pleads for mercy.
Fire. Taylor had the ability to cause and control it. Flames sprouted around his feet and licked at his legs, but they did not hurt him.
Taylor was able to tell the fire what to do, and that was to try incinerating Chris. They obeyed his orders and launched themselves at Chris.
Chris ran, and the flames pursued. They chased him around in circles and finally surrounded him. He looked around desperately, and stared at Taylor's face, trying to show him that he didn't want to make him back off with force. He wanted Taylor to come back to his body; step down and laugh like this was some kind of joke.
It was not that simple, however, and Taylor dismissed the pitied glance and prepared to make the fire consume Chris.
The voice did not let him, as it was against Taylor's wishes of burning Chris to cinders.
Kill him with your own hands.
The flames vanished suddenly and Chris thought Taylor had finally gained some control, but he was far from it. He ran at Chris and sent a devastating punch at his face. Chris was flown like a careless toy across the hard pavement of the road. Luckily, there were no cars on this road as it was a quiet and not well known. Chris wasn't ran over, nor did he hit one himself as he was flung. He landed hard on the other side of the road, and didn't move for a couple of seconds, before trying to hoist himself up. He was bruised and bleeding, and he knew that he had broken a couple of ribs. His jeans and shirt were ripped up, and he had scars all over his face. His nose was bleeding profusely, as well as his mouth. He hacked up a good amount of blood before managing to stand with difficulty.
Taylor made a screech that didn't sound quite human. It was in defiance and rage. He had to follow the voice's wishes, and that was to kill Chris.
Wait a minute... Taylor found himself thinking, I need to kill Chris? Why... I... I love him... In that instant, a side of him had snapped back to it's original self. It fought with his demonic side and he tried to calm down and suppress his powers.
The voice did not like this, nor did it expect Taylor to gain control of himself. It screamed in his ear, trying to make him surrender to his demon side. His human side was defiant, though, and it fought back.
What Chris saw as Taylor fought with himself, was his fiancé grabbing his head in his hands and screaming at nothing. He walked over, cautiously, hoping it wasn't a trick the demon side was playing.
When he got close enough, Taylor looked up at him, and he realized, his eyes were no longer yellow and creature-like. They were green and bright, and had a sense of mercy and desperation trapped in them.
“Please...” Taylor whispered in his own voice, “... Help me.” He crouched down on the ground, and held out one of his hands for Chris to hold. It didn't have claws, and was human. The other hand was demonic however, and was clenching the other side of his face.
Before Chris could grab Taylor's hand, the demonic hand had slipped down to Taylor's pocket. In the pocket was a regular .22 pistol. He always carried one around for self-defense. In fact, he had gotten it after Chris was released from the hospital for his ulcer. This was one of the causes of their fight a week or so back. Chris didn't like Taylor carrying around a gun in his pocket. He was more afraid of it going off on it's own and accidentally killing somebody. Taylor was cautious enough in using it, and would resort to his demonic powers if necessary before using the gun.
It had slipped it out without Chris or Taylor realizing it. Chris continued to reach for Taylor's hand and everything seemed to move in slow motion before it happened.
A shot rang out in the air. Taylor's eyes widened and he looked down to see his demonic hand holding the gun, and it already had pulled the trigger.
His eyes slipped to Chris who's eyes grew round in shock as they gazed down at the large bullet wound in his stomach. Scarlet was blossoming on his white shirt, and it spread throughout the fabric, some red liquid dribbling down onto his jeans and the asphalt.
Chris looked back at Taylor for a second before his eyes rolled back up into his head and he fell down on the ground, not moving at all.
The voice screamed victory, but Taylor screamed defeat. He opened his mouth and out came a guttural and blood-curdling cry of agony. Taylor killed Chris with his own hands.
His hands shook and after he screamed, he looked back at Chris. A sparkle of hope surged through him as he saw Chris's flank moving up and down, his breath coming in short and ragged gasps as he tried to suck in air.
The voice still did not surrender, and Taylor's demonic hand pointed the barrel of the gun at Chris.
What are you waiting for? Finish him!
“I... Can't do it...”
What? What are you talking about!? You don't deserve him and he doesn't deserve you!
“That's not true...” Taylor whispered at the voice, “He loves me and I love him back... I... I can't...”
The voice roared in Taylor's ears and he flinched and screamed back.
Kill him! The voice kept on demanding, and Taylor's finger tightened around the trigger, Just fucking kill him!
“No!” Taylor's human hand grabbed the other and he forced the gun to the side of his head, “If you want to shoot, then you'll kill me instead!”
The voice laughed. A loud and cruel laugh that mocked Taylor.
You think killing yourself will solve all your problems? What a little fool you are! What about your precious Chris? What would he think if you went ahead and kicked the bucket?
“I'm going to do whatever it takes to protect him! Even if that involves my death, I know he'll understand!”
The voice growled back in disagreement. It was about to force the gun back down, but Chris had gained back some consciousness, and as he hacked up large amounts of blood, he watched as Taylor argued with himself and had the gun pointed to his head. Chris did not allow this; he would not watch his love kill himself right in front of him.
“Taylor!” Chris screamed weakly, his voice cracking from pain. He stood up on wobbly legs and dismissed the dizziness and agony he was in. His arms wrapped around Taylor's body and that's when the voice felt the feelings that emanated from Chris's body. It screamed in pain and gave up, allowing Taylor's human side to take full control, and his demonic appearance vanished as he became himself.
Taylor's eyes widened in surprise, and he too returned the hug with tight and secure arms.
“Don't... Whatever you do, don't ever kill yourself... I wouldn't be able to go on without you...” Chris mumbled, tears streaming down his bloody face from Taylor's devastating demon punch.
Taylor was at a loss of words and only comforted Chris with pats on his back. He could feel Chris's strength slipping as his legs gave way.
Before he could fall back down on the ground, Chris whispered, “Don't ever leave me... I will stay with you... Forever...”
Chris's legs gave way and he came tumbling to the ground. Taylor looked upon his body and crouched down beside him, arms curling over him in protection. Hastily, he picked him up and rushed off to look for help somewhere.
Taylor had taken Chris to the hospital. Well, he had tried to, but the hospital was all the way across town and he had to call an ambulance to come get him. He made up a lie to the police that they were shot at by an unknown man. Taylor said he never got the chance to see his face or what he looked like because as soon as he came, he went.
At the hospital, Taylor waited for a couple hours as Chris had gone into emergency surgery to get the bullet out of his abdomen and stop the blood that flowed continuously. He would have died of blood loss if Taylor ran the whole way to the hospital.
When Chris got out of surgery, Taylor had visited him in his room. Like before, when Chris's stomach ulcer was cured, his face was calm and pleased. Taylor stayed by his side, stroking his hair and watching Chris smile in his dreams. Good dreams.
When Chris awoke, blinking the sunlight that came through the curtains in his room away, he looked at Taylor. Immediately, Taylor began to feel bad for him. He had shot at and almost killed Chris. It was nearly a month away from their wedding as well, and Taylor didn't want to know how Chris felt now about it.
“I'm so sorry... I should have been more careful or stronger...” Taylor apologized with a soft usher of words.
“No, no... It was not your fault.” Chris whispered back, placing a hand on Taylor's cheek.
“How is it not my fault? I nearly killed you... I shot at you...” Taylor argued.
“It is not your fault because you didn't see it coming. You didn't know your demon side would take control then... You didn't know what your emotions meant and you thought you were just frustrated at something.”
“I could have at least noticed the signs.”
“But, this has never happened to you before. How could you be so sure that you were about to lose control?”
Taylor nodded, Chris did have a point. He looked at Chris and Chris looked back at him with a smile. Taylor leaned in and kissed him on the lips. He closed his eyes and nuzzled Chris after the kiss with his face, holding it beside Chris's.
“I would never be angry at you over something like this. Accidents happen all the time, and you will learn from your mistakes.”
“I won't let it happen again, I promise... I love you so much and I don't want to let you go... I don't ever want to see you leave.” Taylor mumbled as tears of joy and sincerity trickled down his face.
Chris smiled wider, “Don't worry Taylor, I will always be with you. Always.”
Taylor believed him as he always did and smiled back, feeling and taking in the love that Chris always showed.
He was beyond angry. He was furious. In fact, he was beyond furious. There were no words to describe how much rage was building up and spilling out of his evil being.
He roared, and his companions trembled before him, watching as he got so angry, tears of blood started leaking out of his eyes. His eyes glowed brighter out of fury and he attacked anything in his way, which were his companions mostly.
He ripped them all up to shreds, but their immortal bodies came back together again and they ran away from their master, watching from a distance as he tore up the hard ground below him. Suddenly, chains came out of nowhere and grabbed his skeletal paws, forcing him to calm down and regain his sanity.
His companions crawled back out from their shelter and came up to him.
“What do we do now...?” They whispered in unison.
He faced them, eyes still filled with bloody tears. His voice boomed all around the cavern as he answered their question, “If his own powers won't kill him... Then I have to kill him myself...”
meeeeh. i kind of crafted taylor's own anxiety for chris after my anxiety for my own girlfriend :U. i suffer from anxiety disorders, so if i don't get a reply from a text i sent her in like five minutes i start freaking out and demand if she's alright lol. oh me...
ANYWAY THE NEXT CHAPTER WILL. MAKE. YOU. CRY.
prepare your bodies. ohyes.
I DIDN'T POST THIS ON A SATURDAY FOR ONCE.
i just spent the last hour crying over the ending. not kidding. GOD I'M NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN.
chapter thirteen; the last rite
Just die already.
Taylor carried Chris up all the way to their apartment. When Taylor unlocked the door and got into the apartment, he deposited Chris on the couch. Like what had happened before, after the ulcer incident, Chris was extremely tired and worn out. His eyelids flickered open and shut as he lay sideways on the couch, staring at the blank screen of the TV.
Taylor sat down beside his head, stroking his hair and looking at him longingly. Now, he felt even more protective of Chris.
However, he was concerned about the fact that so much bad luck had happened to Chris this year. He expected it was just some silly little twist of fate but he couldn’t help but think that some all-powerful being was doing this on purpose.
Taylor didn’t even know why he was thinking about this, but still he was suspicious for the most ridiculous things.
Chris managed to sit up in his sleepy state and give Taylor a soft kiss on the cheek. He curled close and his warmth was comforting to both him and Taylor.
Taylor closed his eyes and silently vowed to keep Chris safe, I’ll be there for you through it all, even if I risk my life in the process.
Later that night, Taylor turned on the radio as Chris ate his dinner in the living room. He changed the radio station and as he turned the dial searching for a good one, a waltz came on one station and he quickly changed it.
Chris however asked Taylor to stop and turn it back. Curiosity filled Taylor’s face as he turned back to the classical music.
Chris placed his plate on the coffee table in front of him and stood up, walking over to Taylor who stood there by the radio on the kitchen counter, giving Chris a puzzled stare.
Suddenly, Chris grabbed Taylor’s hand and pulled him towards his body. He grabbed Taylor’s shoulders and started to slow dance to the music.
“I didn’t know you danced.” Taylor said, quite surprised.
Chris gave a slight laugh, “No, this isn’t that spectacular. Anyone can do it.”
Taylor smiled and rested his head on Chris’s shoulder as the two moved around the hardwood floor, turning in circles and swaying to the song. As it ended, Taylor sat his head back up and looked at Chris.
The two gazed in each other’s eyes for the longest time, green meeting blue with a gentle stare of adoration. They both leaned in and kissed each other. It was short but romantic and Taylor savored the feeling of Chris’s lips on his.
Chris then broke free and Taylor turned off the radio. They cleaned up their dirty dishes from dinner and headed off to bed, ready for the long month ahead of them before their marriage ceremony took place.
It was a day before the marriage of Chris and Taylor, and the two were busily finishing their last duties to make the big wedding a success for the both of them.
They called all the people they invited to make sure they were coming and remind them that it was tomorrow. Taylor had invited everyone from the orphanage as well as his mother and father and a few friends he had made during his last high school and college years. Chris called his whole family; some even flying in from his hometown of London to see the big event.
They also finished up their preparations with the church and making sure everything was in order for tomorrow.
As the frantic and overwhelming day drew to a close, Taylor and Chris swapped honeymoon ideas with each other at dinner and decided to go to sleep early as they had to wake up in the early hours of the morning and head off on their own to help decorate the church and send out the last reminders to the people they invited.
When they were washing the dishes after dinner, the doorbell rang and someone knocked on the door to their apartment. Taylor let Chris finish up and headed off to the door to see who it was.
He looked through the peephole and discovered a familiar and surprising face he thought he would never see again.
Taylor opened the door, and there stood Natalie. She was taller than he had last seen her in high school and her hair was still cut in a short and slightly voluminous hairstyle. Her violet eyes sparkled with question and greeting, and in the dimming dusk light, Taylor had to admit she still looked beautiful.
But she doesn’t mean a thing to me… Taylor thought, his eyes narrowed.
“Natalie, is that you?” Taylor queried and Natalie gave a petite smile on her pink lips.
“Yes, it’s me Taylor.” Her voice sounded a tad deeper and more fast-paced. Still, she kept a voice of a songbird and it sounded sweet and well flowing.
“How did you find me?”
“I found your new town on your Facebook as well as your job. I came here to Monroe and went to your work place and asked a couple of your coworkers for your address. And well, I managed to find you here!”
Taylor blinked. He suddenly felt like he was being stalked. Moreover, he was being stalked by his ex-girlfriend from high school.
“So, what’s going on? I heard you have a wedding tomorrow with somebody. Who’s the lucky gal, huh?” Natalie asked, rather innocently.
“Who are you calling gal?” Chris shouted out. He had apparently been eavesdropping on their conversation in the doorway.
And then he appeared beside Taylor in the doorway, eyeing Natalie before realizing she was an old friend from high school.
“Well if it isn’t Natalie… I haven’t seen you since senior year.”
“Chris? You’re marrying Chris? I’m not against it or anything, but it’s just so surprising that you’d marry him.” Suddenly, Natalie covered her mouth and began to laugh. She laughed so hard; tiny tears appeared in the corners of her eyes.
“I don’t see how it’s funny at all. I can love anybody I want to, and if that happens to be old friends from high school, then so be it.”
“I know; like I said I don’t have a problem with that, it’s just surprising!” Finally, she had stopped giggling and congratulated both of the young men before asking for an invitation.
Once they gave her one, she waved good-bye and left, shouting a final congratulation before heading off.
“That was nice of her to visit all the way from Manhattan. I never expected to see her face again.” Chris said as the two headed back inside.
“Yeah, I kind of feel like she was stalking me though; I wonder what drove her to come by?” Taylor replied.
Chris shrugged, “Beats me. She may have just been taken by the sudden urge to say hello to you after years of silence.”
Taylor nodded and the two finished cleaning up before heading off to bed, ready for the big day ahead of them.
The wedding was a success. Everybody managed to arrive on time and give gifts to the newly-weds. Taylor saw Deborah and his parents again and was glad his father came (although when he talked with his mother for a bit, she said she had to force him to tag along with her).
In Taylor’s opinion, the most enjoyable part was the kiss, but he expected that to be. He also expected that to be the most enjoyable part to anyone’s wedding and not just his own.
During the cutting of the cake, Chris had smashed Taylor’s face into the top of it as a joke and he had spent thirty minutes in the restroom washing off his face and part of his suit. He still laughed about it anyway.
The wedding had begun at eight in the morning and ended at six in the evening. It was a day of festivities and fun, and Taylor had never felt better. Even though Chris stayed by his side as he always had, he felt different about Chris. He knew now that an even tighter bond was formed between them and at that moment it seemed that it was unbreakable.
Finally, as the day winded down, Chris and Taylor announced that they would be heading back home and everyone crowded around the church entrance, watching the newlyweds walk down the steps, hand in hand. Some people threw flowers, and someone even threw bread crumbs as the two headed to their car conveniently parked in front of the steps.
Taylor waved and waved at all the familiar faces in the crowd as the two slowly drove away, hearing the last shouts of congratulations before it was drowned out by the motor in the car.
And so, as Taylor faced forward in his car seat, he glanced at Chris who glanced back and smiled at him, seemingly thinking the same thing. A whole new life to live; and a whole new role to play; it had never felt better.
A plan. Finally. Satan had come up with a way to get rid of the enemy indefinitely. His eyes flashed, cold and cruel as the idea melted into his brain.
He looked at his companions and happily explained the plan. They were scared, but willed themselves to say it was a brilliant idea and they supported him. In truth, they didn't like Satan this way, but they knew that somehow this would contribute to the big thing that they wanted.
“Now... I'll attempt it... It will be slightly difficult, but I know I can pull it off...” Satan's malicious laugh echoed around the cavern at the slight thought of the outcome.
“The mountains?” Chris sounded puzzled, obviously surprised about Taylor's decision for a honeymoon.
Taylor nodded, “You heard me right. I want to go to North Carolina and visit the mountains there.”
“But... Why North Carolina? I was thinking something like a resort.”
“That's boring, though! And it's too cliché. I want somewhere that's peaceful and beautiful. The mountains fit, don't they? No one to bother us... We'd be all secluded to ourselves.”
Chris looked thoughtful, “Alright, I guess we can go. I'm not driving there though, I prefer airplane flights. You think we could get some cheap tickets to Asheville?”
“I'll look for some online.” Taylor said.
Chris nodded and got up from the dining table where he was sitting at. The night before they had also suggested moving into an actual house instead of staying in the apartment. Taylor kind of wanted to stay here for a couple more months, but he did admit Chris had a point. They were getting older, and Taylor had said he wanted to start a family so it was probably for the best to start looking for a house to live in.
Taylor got up as well and headed off into the bedroom to get his laptop and start browsing online for tickets.
Their flight was today and they were late in coming to the airport. Chris and Taylor barged past the massive crowd of people in the New York City airport, making sure they kept together and didn't lose themselves in the throng of tightly packed bodies.
Finally, they got to the docking station and sighed in relief as they saw they had five more minutes until they would call for the people to board the plane.
As they sat down, Chris told Taylor he had a surprise for him.
“What is it?” Taylor asked, a slight tilt adding on to his puzzled face.
“You'll see...” Chris mumbled as he dug into his pocket and pulled out two folded pieces of paper.
He gave one to Taylor and he unfolded it to read what it had said. It was a ticket; but not the plane tickets Taylor had bought. They were concert tickets.
“Oh my God...” Taylor breathed as he read the band and the location on the ticket.
“You... Got me... Fucking Coldplay tickets...” He could barely keep in his excitement at what was in his hands. Coldplay was one of Taylor's favorite bands, and he couldn't believe Chris had managed to get two tickets to their show in Asheville three days from now.
He made a tiny fan scream and flung his arms around Chris and thanked him about a million times. His voice made other people turn and stare at the two hugging on the couch and Taylor almost crying in happiness. He always wanted to see Coldplay live.
At that moment, the flight attendant called for people to board, and allowed the first-class group to go first, and then the third-class group last.
As Chris and Taylor found some seats, they sat down and buckled their seat belts, talking about the concert and where it was and what they'd do in Asheville the days before. Chris also talked about the cabin he rented for the both of them and what it looked like.
The plane took off and climbed into the sky. Taylor looked out the window at the disappearing airport below them. In a few minutes, he began to get sleepy, as the quiet whir of the jet engines lulled him.
Chris was reading a book as Taylor drifted off. Seeing his husband's eyes drooping, Chris reached out a hand and curled his fingers around Taylor's. He then leaned over on his shoulder and also closed his eyes, forgetting about his book in his lap.
Taylor was still conscious of Chris resting his head on his shoulder, and he smiled, thinking about all the times they'd do this over again in their lifetime.
The first night at the cabin was spent mostly in bed as the two were tired from their trip here. They looked around for restaurant's in the car they had rented in the town and found a couple. One to eat at that night, and maybe the others to eat at during the remaining week if they didn't feel like making anything.
The two-story cabin they had rented was nestled in a quiet and secluded spot in the mountains nearby the city. It had a gorgeous view from it's front porch and Taylor and Chris had stayed before going out to watch the sunset.
After getting home, they headed up the stairs to the master bedroom and crawled into bed. Taylor was so tired, he just stripped off all his clothes and went to bed naked. He was sure Chris didn't mind because he did the same thing.
Immediately after Chris had plopped his head down on the pillow and said goodnight, his light snores signaled he had already gone to sleep.
Taylor smiled as he watched Chris sleep peacefully beside him, making slight mumbles as he dreamed of things Taylor didn't even know what.
He moved closer to Chris and put an arm around his body, making sure he didn't wake him up in the process. Taylor leaned his face in and kissed Chris lightly on the lips, murmuring a hushed goodnight and a “I love you.”
Chris didn't stir at all and instead nuzzled into the curve of Taylor's body. Taylor closed his eyes and breathed in his scent, stroking the bare skin on his back and neck.
Taylor never loved someone as much as Chris. He didn't love Natalie as much as this, and he wondered why he ever went out with her when the real deal was standing right in front of him the whole time. Realizing it now, when Chris first arrived in his first period class many years ago in his freshman years of high school, the young Taylor would have never known that the British immigrant at the front of his class would be his husband after college.
And now, Chris was all his for life. Years would unfold before them, where they would walk hand in hand wherever destiny took them.
“No, it's this turn!”
“If you turn that way, you'll fall off the side of the mountain!”
Frantically, Chris swerved from the exit he was about to get on and went down the one Taylor's smart phone's GPS said to go on.
“We've got ten minutes until the concert starts. We're almost there.” Taylor reassured and Chris nodded. They had turned onto the road that would take them to the music venue and Taylor's heart pounded in his chest. He would finally see the band of his dreams.
At the venue, it was packed. Fans screamed and hollered in the mosh pit by the stage. It was five minutes before the band would be out on-stage, performing for the whole crowd.
Chris and Taylor sat a couple rows up from the mosh pit. They got a clear view of the stage and despite some people's heads blocking their view, they were in a perfect spot.
As the five minutes passed, the stage lights began to dim and everyone cheered louder. Seats were filled up all the way and there Coldplay was out on stage, bowing and introducing themselves. People clapped as they began to kick the night off with the song Yellow, a hit song from their first album.
Taylor sang along even though his voice was terrible and off-key. Chris also sang along, as he knew some Coldplay songs and liked the band along with Taylor. The crowd jumped from their seats and sang and danced in place.
This is the best night ever! Taylor thought to himself, looking at Chris who seemed to be thinking the same thing as he winked at Taylor.
“... And you know I love you so...” Taylor sang, and Chris smiled, kissing Taylor on the cheek as the two continued to sing along with the band.
“That was the best thing ever!” Taylor exclaimed as they hopped back into the car. It was nearly midnight by the time they had left and Coldplay had finished with 'Til Kingdom Come; a song from their third album. It had actually made Taylor cry because it was his all-time favorite song by them.
“The best thing ever?” Chris asked with a twinkle in his eye.
Taylor laughed, “Not as good as you.”
Chris smiled and when he got into the driver's seat, Taylor leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
“We better get back to the cabin; we're leaving early tomorrow.” Chris said as he started the ignition.
Taylor nodded and made a yearning sigh. He wanted to stay here forever and go to Coldplay concerts every night. Maybe they could move here? No, their jobs rooted them to Monroe. Still, Taylor couldn't help but want to start up a conversation about starting a family here.
The apartment was as clean as they had left it before leaving for Asheville. Dusk was settling into it's dark corners of the sky as Taylor and Chris walked in, dragging their suitcases behind them. They unpacked their clothes and Chris put them in the washing machine before the two settled back into their home.
Taylor sighed; a tired sigh, “Thank God it's the weekend tomorrow...” He mumbled, pushing his fingers through his hair as he sat down on the sofa.
Chris walked over and sat down beside him, “That means two extra days of being lazy and just adoring each other the whole twenty-four hours.” He held Taylor's hand in his and kissed his cheek multiple times before Taylor turned his face and they kissed on the lips.
Taylor's hands curled around Chris's waist as Chris's own arms wrapped around his chest. They continued to kiss and hold each other until Taylor had begun to feel tired and said it was time for bed.
But even as they nestled beside each other in a tight embrace, their breath mingling and gazing with adoring eyes at each other. They kissed and mumbled their love you's over and over and Taylor never wanted to stop. He didn't want to fall asleep and face the new day. He wanted to stay like this forever in Chris's arms.
“Chris...?” Taylor asked as they broke apart from another kiss.
“I want to stay like this forever.”
Chris chuckled, ruffling the stands of black hair on Taylor's forehead with his breath, “You know there's a whole world to discover, but I can say that I won't ever leave your side.”
“Will you stay with me?”
“Always and forever.”
Taylor slipped his hand down to Chris's chest and place a palm over his heart, “Cross your heart?” He asked naively.
Chris softly laughed even more, but he knew Taylor was being sincere, “Cross my heart.”
Taylor stared out the window of the car and watched as scenery of trees flashes by him; green blurs that never seemed to end.
Chris switched lanes and moved towards the middle lane, carefully looking behind him for oncoming cars. Taylor watched him and had to admit that Chris was better at driving than him. If it were Taylor, he wouldn't even look and would just wait for the honk of a horn to tell him to get back on his lane and wait until it passed.
The two were heading off to the park where they first said they loved each other. It wasn't their anniversary, but they still wanted to just hang out around there and spend the lazy day just sharing each other's love and emotions.
Something strange happened then. A shape that looked like a rabid dog burst out of the shrubbery on the side of the high way. It suddenly ran to the interstate and onto the oncoming storm of automobiles. The SUV beside them slammed on it's breaks, causing the cars behind it to honk and switch lanes to avoid hitting it. The SUV then swerved sharply to the right, into the lain where Chris and Taylor were.
But the SUV didn't see their small sedan, and it swerved without any kind of warning. Taylor knew what was going to go down before it happened. In that small, fraction of a second before impact, images of his life flashed before his eyes, and he thought of everyone he knew, including Chris.
An urge to protect and save the love of his life overcame him and he turned around, unbuckling his seat belt and grabbing Chris who was attempting to switch over to the left lane, even if it was too late for that.
Because he was frightened, Taylor's wings burst open and he used them as a second shield.
Then the car hit.
The sound of scraping metal and bending plastic erupted in Taylor's ears. The window cracked and shards of glittering glass showered down on the two. Pain shot up Taylor's spine as the door caved in and began to grind against his back.
The impact was so great, that the tiny sedan they were in moved into the other lane. Finally, the tires tripped over the median and it flipped over on it's side, making Taylor and Chris tumble helplessly along with it.
Taylor's grasp was flung like a rag doll from Chris and he hit something hard before blacking out.
Everything was foggy as Taylor wrenched open his eyes tentatively. He closed them back again with a wince. Pain; it had washed over him immediately after he regained consciousness. He tried to scream, but nothing came out. He lost his voice. Instead of a scream, he choked out a pitiful gasp and gagged, coughing a little as he did so. Coughing made the pain in his chest tighten and he figured out he may have broken some ribs.
Taylor tried to open his eyes again, and this time succeeded as he made a small squint to see out of his left eye. He saw his hand on a sea of glass, bloody and containing some stray pieces of gravel and small slivers of crystal-clear glass embedded in it's skin. He was on his stomach, on the back door's left window. The car had flipped over, he remembered that but what did he hit? He knew he remembered something hard but he didn't know what it was. Taylor slowly lifted his shaking and gory hand and felt around his head. It was pounding, his heartbeat reverberating in his brain as if his heart was shoved up there.
Feeling around, he began to understand that he possibly had a concussion and a stream of blood was falling down his forehead.
Opening the other eye, he saw more and began to assess the damage better. Trying to sit up was difficult and too agonizing to even try.
He tested his legs now, as none of his arms were broken, just badly beat up and bloodied. A response of searing pain told him that his right leg's bone's had snapped and he tried to make another pitiful wail of anguish, but, again, he could only breathe out a half-moan, half-gasp.
Gritting his teeth, he tested his other leg but was relieved to find that he could wiggle his toes and move his leg.
Still, he knew something else was wrong with him. He found that the other twinge he felt was from his wings which were splayed out beside him. He tenderly prodded his left wing and found that the Humerus bone of his wing felt twisted and broken. He made another groan and then realized he didn't hear Chris.
Was he alright? Taylor knew hew had kept his seat belt on, but still... Was he alive?
As slowly as he could, Taylor gingerly crawled over the fallen glass to the driver's seat, his broken leg trailing uselessly beside him. As he bumped against the driver's seat, trying to climb over it and find Chris, his leg gave an excruciating spasm of pain and he had to stop to wait until it passed and start climbing again.
Thankfully, his leg cooperated and did not give him trouble again. He scaled the seat and saw that Chris was on his side, his seat-belt still holding him in place. Taylor went ahead and unbuckled it, slipping it carefully off of Chris before crawling over beside him and checking him over.
He was still breathing, but his breaths came fast and shallow. The cause of this was from the large shards of glass sticking out of his chest, oozing blood onto the ground below him where a pool of the scarlet liquid had already begun to grow.
“Chris...?” Taylor whispered, his voice hoarse and croaking. He coughed again and moved closer. He decided to not try and wake him from his unconsciousness, as he would be in far more pain than Taylor. He stayed by his side, though, as Chris was always by Taylor's side through thick and thin, and he knew that. Chris was a friend, a person who cared for Taylor for years ever since their high school days.
A familiar and rather annoying sound struck Taylor's ears as memories swam through his brain. He never felt so happy to hear the sound of an ambulance siren and breathed a sigh of relief as help came towards them. They were going to be okay.
“It's okay now... They're coming... We'll be fine...” Taylor wheezed and his eyesight began to get fuzzy before eventually blackness overtook him again.
But a thought remained in Taylor's semi-conscious mind; of if help didn't come or didn't, well, help. He didn't want to know what would happen if Chris left his world for good.
The lights were blinding, and Taylor rapidly blinked them away, drawing a hand up to his face to block the bright rays of light coming from a window in the corner.
He was laying down on a soft, comfortable cot in a lightly painted blue room. It was a welcoming and calm color, but it certainly did not stop the pangs of anxiety that came crashing down on Taylor's stomach.
Taylor looked at himself, seeing that the wounds on his hands and arms were bandaged up. He felt his head and noticed that was bandaged too. He had a cast on his broken leg and it was propped up nicely on some fluffy white pillows. His wings were gone; they probably disappeared when he lost consciousness again in the wrecked car.
He sat up, surprisingly not falling back again from pain. His demon senses had kicked in and were suppressing it for a while. Either that, or the doctors had shot him with some painkillers.
However, he couldn't get far, or get out of the bed for that matter, because he was hooked up to a machine that monitored his heart-rate and breathing as well as an IV.
Feeling disappointed, Taylor laid back down again, staring at the ceiling. It wasn't long before he remembered the broken body he had fainted by in the crash. Was Chris alright?
At that moment, the door to his room opened and a doctor who was wearing a white scrub came in. He had a clipboard in hand and looked at Taylor and smiled.
“It seems you're awake.” He said and Taylor just frowned back.
“Where is he?” He demanded at once as the doctor walked on over to his cot.
“Where is who?”
“Chris. I want to know now and I want to see him with my own eyes.”
The doctor thought for a moment, “Oh yes, the man that was also in the car with you. Ah, he's doing alright, but I can't bring you to him right now as you need to recover. That was a very serious crash you were in and you were lucky to have survived it. Both of you were.”
Taylor sighed, partly in exasperation, and partly in anger. He wanted to see Chris right now; he wanted to know for certain that he was okay.
The doctor checked him over and then began to inspect the machines, making sure everything was in working order.
“Although...” He mumbled as he fiddled with Taylor's IV.
“I guess we can get you in a wheelchair and wheel you on over there.”
Taylor's face brightened, “You could do that? I mean, can you do that?”
The doctor stopped messing with the IV and smiled at him, “Of course we can. I can call a nurse right now to come get you if you want.”
For once, Taylor smiled back, “That would be great.”
The smile faded from the doctor's lips however as he replied, “I'm warning you though; what you will see when you enter the room may come as a bit of a shock to you. He's fine, but, he's not in as good of shape as you are.”
He then left and closed the door behind him, saying a nurse would come by and pick him up soon.
Taylor shuddered a littler and wondered how bad Chris really was.
The wheels on the wheelchair creaked a little as Taylor was rolled down the hallway, passing by nurses, doctors, and visitors of patients in their rooms.
Finally, they stopped at one of the rooms and the nurse opened the door, pushing Taylor inside.
The doctor was right about the sight of Chris being a shock. Taylor blinked in astonishment as he saw his beloved lying on his cot, wrapped up in bandages and breathing from a ventilator.
His face was pained; twisted up into a cringe that reflected his wounds. Cautiously, Taylor pushed towards him, coming to a stop by his bed.
Chris's eyes opened slowly and he saw Taylor hovered over him like a hovercraft, looking at him with bright eyes that would hopefully take his pain away.
It didn't work however as Chris's face scrunched up into a tighter wince and he groaned a little bit.
“Where am I...?” He croaked, drawing in a ragged breath of air that was helped into his lungs with the ventilator.
“At the hospital. We got into a car crash.”
“Car crash...” Chris made another moan as he remembered the impact, “You... Protected me... Are you okay...?”
Taylor nodded, “I'm fine. I'm worried about you though. I convinced the doctor to let me come see you.”
“Go back... Rest...” Chris's words were slurred and tumbled uselessly out of his mouth. His eyelids drooped again as he slid back into unconsciousness.
Taylor sighed and reached out a hand, stroking Chris's head. Poor Chris; he was obviously worse than Taylor and would take longer to get well again.
“I love you, Chris.” Taylor mumbled and kissed Chris on his lips.
He rested his head on Chris's chest for a while and listened to his heartbeat that struggled to keep going. He closed his eyes and whispered, “Just keep on going, Chris... Stay with me...”
Chris's eyes opened again, and yet again all he could see were blurs of lights and colors on the wall. Finally, they focused into his surroundings and he saw movement as a nurse walked in and checked him over. She sighed as she finished, looking worried.
He didn't seem to be scared by her expression. He knew why she was scared, and he wasn't afraid of it. He knew it was coming and he had to embrace it.
The time was now.
With a feeble attempt at lifting his head, he called to the nurse in his cracked voice, “Can you get Taylor for me...? Please...”
The nurse looked at him with a confused glance, and with one look on Chris's desperate face, she understood why he wanted him here in his room.
“Of course, Mr. Chris. He'll be here in a few minutes.” She walked out the door, going towards Taylor's room to come get him.
Chris lay in wait for his husband to come through the door, wanting to touch his face for the first time of the day and the last time for forever.
Taylor flicked through the magazine's the nurse had brought him. He was bored and needed something to keep him entertained. Unfortunately, there wasn't a TV in his room and the nurse had nothing else for him except the magazine's in the waiting room.
Suddenly, another nurse walked in, “Taylor, Chris wants you.”
Taylor took the covers off of himself and placed his magazine's on his bedside table. The nurse helped him unhook the machines from him and lift him off of his cot and into the wheelchair beside him.
And then he was off into the hallway again, coming up to Chris's room. The nurse opened the door and yet again he was pushed into the room.
He saw and recognized the face of Chris as he lay on his bed. It wasn't twisted in pain though. This time it was a half-smile, half-frown. It was melancholy, but happy at the same time.
Instantly, Taylor wondered if he was getting better. He wheeled over to Chris as the nurse closed the door and left them alone.
“Hey. You called me, didn't you?” He said and began to stroke Chris's hair with his hand.
Chris nodded, “Yes... I... I need to talk to you...” His voice sounded shaky and a tad scared, but he held onto his half-smile.
That's when the smile disappeared. Chris's face drooped into a frown and he furrowed his brow. He took a couple long breaths before finally speaking again, “Taylor... I'm leaving...”
Taylor's heart raced at his answer, “What do you mean? You're not... Divorcing me, are you?”
“No... No, I would never do that... I... I can't stay... Here... I can't...” He trailed off, looking away, not wanting to see Taylor's startled face at all of his words.
“I'm going to die...”
Die. The word echoed in Taylor's ears. Did he hear Chris right?
“No... No, you're going to be fine! The doctor's... The doctor's here will take good care of you. They'll help you!”
In dismay, Taylor watched as Chris shook his head again and again, “No... No one can help me... The time is now... I must go.”
“You can't!” Tears were now streaming down Taylor's face as he leaned forward and grabbed Chris's head in his hands.
They locked gazes and as Taylor's desperate watery green eyes gazed into the eyes of Chris, he saw how pained they were. The light from them was fading; he didn't have much longer. He had to go. It was his time.
He remembered when he was a child, Deborah used to say that there was a time clock and it would calculate the days until a person died. It started since they were born and they would die at the appropriate time.
Taylor realized then that no one could cheat death. This was Chris's destiny and he couldn't rip it apart and rearrange it, like it was some messed up puzzle he had to fix.
“Taylor...” Chris mumbled, placing his weak and shaky hands on Taylor's neck, pushing him forward and kissing him for a long time.
Taylor crouched there after the kiss, his salty tears filling his mouth, “Don't go... Please... I need you... I need you and I love you so fucking much... Stay with me, goddammit!”
He buried his head in Chris's hospital gown, his screams of defiance muffled by the fabric.
“Taylor... Shhh... It's okay, baby... It's okay...” Chris mumbled, cradling Taylor's head in his arms. Taylor sat up again and was released from his loose grip.
“No... It's not okay... It's not fucking okay! I can't go on... I can't... I'll kill myself! I swear to God, I will fucking go home and hang myself! I can't do it without you! Why... Why don't you understand... Stay with me... You always said forever... I believed you...” Taylor's words were shouted and mumbled as he stood there, shaking his head and crying waterfalls.
Chris sighed, “You really are a dumbass, you know that.”
“I mean to say... You don't understand the meaning of the word forever... Taylor...” He passed his hand over Taylor's chest and placed it there, “Remember this.”
Taylor looked down in confusion, “What the fuck are you talking about?”
Chris made a short breath that sounded like a pitiful attempt at a laugh, “I'm saying that not only am I here physically, I am here mentally. I'm in your heart, Taylor. I always was and I always will be. Don't forget that...”
“Oh...” Taylor breathed. He held onto Chris's hand and the two remained in that position before it slipped from Taylor's chest and dangled over the side of the cot.
Taylor leaned in again, kissing Chris over and over again, “Just stay with me... For a few more minutes...” He whispered.
Chris smiled and suddenly said, “Taylor... May I sing...?”
Taylor blinked, looking at him. He smiled and kissed him again, propping up Chris's head in his hands and nuzzling the side of his face.
“... Still my heart...” He paused, as if waiting for Taylor to sing along. He recognized the song and nearly cried out in despair as it was his favorite song by Coldplay; the last one they had sang at the concert they went to.
“... And hold my tongue.” Taylor finished.
“I feel my time... My time has come...”
“Let me in, unlock the door.”
“... I've never felt this way before...”
“And the wheels just keep on turning.”
“The drummer begins to drum...”
“I don't know which way I'm going.”
“... I don't know what I've become.” It had seemed Chris had skipped over most of the song to get to the end.
“For you I'd wait, 'til kingdom come.” Taylor's voice began to crack and he started to cry more, knowing that when the song ended, then Chris ended too.
“Until my day... My day is done...”
“Just say you'll come, and set me free.” His voice withered a bit and his heart screamed for mercy when Chris went on and finished the song.
“Just say you'll wait... You'll wait for me...”
Taylor began to nod, and the tears spilled out from his eyes. He couldn't take it any longer; he wanted to feel Chris. Feel him physically, not mentally. Though he was in his heart, he needed to feel him. Know that when he smiled, he could see it. Know that when he smiled... He was there and he felt it.
The hardest part is letting go... Taylor thought over and over to himself.
“... Just say... You'll wait... You'll wait for me...” Chris repeated, his voice weaker this time. His eyes drooped and Taylor silently willed for him to stay awake for a couple more minutes... He needed to say good-bye; say he loved him.
“Just... Say... You'll... Wait...” Chris wheezed out every word with difficulty and his eyes were just a small sliver of blue, and they were clouding over fast.
Taylor wanted to keep that blue. Contain it; know that it's there. But it was fading and it would be gone forever. The love of his life was leaving him for good, and there was no turning back time.
“You'll... Wait... For me...” Chris finished.
“I'll wait for you... I promise, I'll wait for you forever... I'll never forget you... Chris you are the love of my life. I love you so much... So, so much... Good-bye, my love. Good-bye...”
Chris heaved a big sigh and his eyes closed. He was done. Gone. Taylor remained silent until he heard the beat of a heart no more and when it was all gone, he screamed. Low and long, and loud enough where the doctor's rushed in and saw that there was nothing they could do anymore.
Chris was dead.
I'M FINALLY DONE WITH THIS DSAFDADSAFSDFSFFSGDS
chapter fourteen; the messenger
Of all the years that Taylor had lived, this year had by far been the worst.
The doctors were amazed at Taylor’s quick healing of his broken leg. His demon powers had activated quickly and made his bone mend in a few days. Doctors asked him many questions and gave him many tests, but Taylor acted as baffled as them and didn’t explain the secret to the sudden usable leg. He didn’t even need physical therapy. His wing had also healed just as fast and he could fly with ease again.
After being discharged from the hospital and driving home alone, he never felt so insecure. Without Chris’s sleeping figure balled up in the passenger seat beside him, it felt so empty.
Once he got home and opened the door, he almost shouted a “I’m home!” and expected to see Chris’s face peep out of the bedroom and smile in welcoming before going up and hugging him and kissing him.
There was no Chris, however, just empty space and Taylor sighed. He knew it would take a long time to get used to loneliness.
Loneliness. That was the word that struck fear into Taylor’s heart. He didn’t like being alone; because then he would be back to his state that he was in years ago as a freshman in high school.
That’s when Taylor remembered someone. Someone he had lost contact with ever since he fell in love with Chris.
“Satan,” He breathed, “I’ll talk to Satan.”
Sitting down on the couch, he reached into Satan’s mind and called. A couple minutes of silence passed and Taylor was beginning to get scared and willed Satan to answer his messages. Where was he? Did Satan leave him because he felt abandoned after Taylor paid more attention to Chris?
Even more time stretched between the two and Taylor began to shout his name desperately. He felt embarrassed yelling for the Lord of Hell who probably thought it was pathetic of him to do such a thing.
Then again… Taylor thought, if Satan had really abandoned me, I wouldn’t have my powers anymore, right?
Finally, Taylor gave up and stopped yelling Satan’s name in his head. Maybe he would pop back in later on.
Feeling defeated, Taylor left Satan a message, “Satan I need your help. I just have no one else to talk to…”
He then got up and retreated to the bedroom. In the instant he opened the door; he wished he’d have never set foot in here.
Memories swam through his brain as he looked around. Pictures of their wedding, honeymoon and older pictures of when they were together were pinned up on the navy blue walls.
Some of Chris’s dirty clothes were scattered on the floor, never making their way to the laundry bin. Urges overcame Taylor; the urge to just run out the door and cry for Chris. He wanted him back; he needed him here.
It was too late, though. Taylor had asked for his body to be cremated and the hospital had already shipped it off.
It off; no, they had shipped Chris off. Taylor’s spouse; his whole life. He was going to be turned into ashes and put in a box where Taylor would bury it in a cemetery. A funeral had already been planned, and Taylor wanted nothing more than to turn back time and somehow save Chris from the car wreck.
Taylor couldn’t however and now the only thing he could do was walk towards the clothes, gather them up in his arms, and bury his face in them. He inhaled deeply; drawing in Chris’s scent and savoring it, feeling his nose tingle in response.
He sat down on the bed, face still hidden inside the lump of clothes. Finally, he drew back his face and held the clothes close to his heart, like it was Chris himself in his arms.
Falling down sideways on the bed, he stared at the wall and just thought of Chris’s touch; his embrace, his comfort, his cuddle as he curled up beside Taylor in bed. He wanted it back; all of it. He wanted everything that Chris had.
Taylor couldn’t bear it any longer; he surrendered to the memories and began to sob deeply, his shoulders racking as they echoed his weeps. He became a living waterfall as the tears fell endlessly from his eyes, and he didn’t dare wipe them on the clothes for fear of soiling the scent.
Speaking of which, he was just rubbing his own scent on Chris’s clothes, and he dropped them back on the floor. He would save them for later.
Taylor then realized that he was on Chris’s side of the bed. He quickly scooted over to his side and let his face rest on Chris’s pillow. He was enveloped by the lingering aroma and it calmed him down for a few minutes before longing settled in and he had to plop his head back down on his pillow. From there he continued to cry, mumbling Chris’s name and hoping for an answer. He expected Chris to hear his calls and come running into the room; comforting him and holding him and whispering the words, “Don’t worry, I’m here. Everything will be okay now.”
You’re not here, though… Taylor thought to himself and cried even more.
“Chris…” He whispered again, “… Why did you have to die…? Why…” He continued to repeat “why” over and over; sobbing on top of his words.
Gaining a bit more of control, he stopped, and continued on, “What did I ever do to deserve this…?”
Taylor’s voice echoed in Satan’s head, but he ignored every word that he spoke. In time; the words ceased and the message lingered, but eventually faded away like the others.
He watched Taylor lie broken in his bed; probably wishing to be dead like his spouse. He sighed and nearly rolled his eyes, but refrained himself from doing so. He didn’t want his companions to see; they watched his every move with hawk eyes. They never left the sight of their master.
He got what he deserved. Satan thought.
“Well? What now? Now that the enemy is gone, should we tell him-“ Cassius was interrupted.
“No,” Satan said, “We will wait until his heart is beginning to mend; otherwise he will disagree with our wishes. We must be patient.”
Satan narrowed his eyes and finished in his mind, Even if waiting will take an eternity.
Taylor heard the final chime of the church bells as he placed a bouquet of differently colored roses on Chris’s grave. He had kept some of the ashes himself and they were safely tucked away in a closed urn back at the apartment. He would probably scatter them somewhere later on. Maybe at the park where they had confessed their love; there was a small pond there where he could scatter them in.
Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the clouds began to darken as a storm grew closer. Taylor just stared at the name engraved on the gravestone. He then placed a hand on Chris’s full name and closed his eyes, hoping to get some connection from his dead spouse. He then wondered what it had felt like to die; he imagined Chris’s death was peaceful as he didn’t seem to show any pain on his face when he passed. Taylor hoped his death would be just as peaceful, only, he had hoped Chris would have been there on his own deathbed. Now that this happened, Taylor proposed he would die alone.
Alone, lonely, loneliness; these were the words that Taylor was most afraid of. He never liked to hear them because memories of being taunted by kids at school and spending time alone by himself at the orphanage, staring out his dorm window and trying to entertain himself. It wasn’t until Satan gave him power that he began to draw attention and gained the little friends he had.
Speaking of Satan, he still had not replied to Taylor’s calls even after a few days of waiting. Taylor felt even more alone now and more certain that Satan had truly abandoned him.
Another crackle of thunder startled Taylor from his thoughts, and he slipped his hand back down to his side as he kneeled on the ground.
“Taylor?” A familiar voice asked from behind him. He turned around and saw his mother walking up to him. She was dressed in all black as a sign of mourning and had been invited, along with Taylor’s father, to the funeral.
“Hey…” He mumbled, disheartened.
His mother crouched down beside him and placed a hand on his shoulder, “I know it’s hard to let him go.”
Taylor didn’t reply.
She sighed, “Chris was a good man and I know how much you loved and cared for him, but you can’t keep lingering on the past, okay?”
Still, Taylor remained silent, his eyes dark as they stared at the ground.
Mary continued, “What I’m saying is… The only way you can move forward is to let go. I just don’t want to see you like this; staying on one horrible memory of the past and not going anywhere. I had to deal with it when I gave you up, but I eventually learned to move on from the past. Still, though, I found you again and raised you for the rest of your high school years until you moved on.”
Finally, Taylor looked up at his mother, his face dull and his eyes cloudy with emotion, “I can’t just forget about him. He was the love of my life. Do you expect me to just suddenly stop thinking about his death and give him no respect for the love he gave me?”
Mary shook her head, “No, Taylor. I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that you don’t have to forget, you just have to accept the fact that Chris is dead. But also remember that he’s probably better off where he is now than he was here.”
“Oh… Okay.” Taylor breathed and his mother hugged him before standing up.
“You should probably get going; it’s about to rain, I think.”
Taylor nodded and that’s when his mother turned around and left and he was alone again. Okay, so he wasn’t fully alone, but he lived alone. He had no friends around his town and he wasn’t too popular at the place he worked at. It would be hard getting another boyfriend or girlfriend (Taylor still considered himself bi-sexual), but Taylor hoped he could manage it.
Then rain came. At first it was a tiny drizzle but it then turned into a downpour. Taylor didn’t get up to move from his crouch, though. Instead he stayed there and placed his head on his hands and cried. His tears weren’t seen by anyone through the rain and it was then that he realized he couldn’t let go of Chris. It wasn’t going to be easy, and seemed next to impossible. He couldn’t bear the thought of going out with someone else when he had sworn his life to Chris already. It was painful to think about and Taylor just remained sitting there, not wanting to be bothered by anyone for fear of letting go of the memories he and Chris shared.
Taylor laid on his bed, hugging Chris’s clothes and hoping that the scent would never fade. Unfortunately, it had faded mostly and Taylor tried to use it less and less in order to save the scent forever. He couldn’t allow the only comforting presence of Chris to go away.
The door bell rang and Taylor dropped the clothes on the floor. He wiped away the tears that he had shed while remembering Chris and walked towards the door, straightening up and trying to act strong.
He opened it and there he saw Natalie standing alone in the doorway.
“Oh… Hi Natalie.” Taylor said, disappointed that he had to talk to somebody when his nose was still stuffed and his throat was sore from crying.
“Hey, Taylor. I’m really sorry about your loss… I miss Chris too, he was a good friend.” Natalie said in sympathy.
Taylor sighed, “Is that all you came here for? To mention Chris’s name, make me feel bad, and then act like you care with meaningless words?”
Natalie flinched, but still remained put and talked more, “Um… Anyway… I don’t know if this is too soon, but you see, I’m single and my boyfriend just broke up with me… I was thinking… Do… Do you want to start over again?”
Taylor blinked, and then realized what Natalie was asking, “... Excuse me?” He gasped in disbelief.
“I mean... Like... Get back together. I just... Want to try it out again even if we dated years ago in high school... I just wanted to see if things could work out now.”
Taylor didn't reply, he just looked down and began to think. How could he get together with somebody so soon after the death of Chris?
It's worth a shot though. Maybe if I do this, I can get my mind off of him for a while and his memories won't hurt me any longer.
“So...? Date or no?” Natalie asked.
Taylor looked back up at her, and nodded, “Alright.”
It was weird, sitting in a booth in a restaurant across from Natalie who had been a traitor all along. Taylor hoped she had changed her ways and would be more loyal this time.
“So... How's life for you been?” Taylor asked, twirling his straw around in his chocolate milkshake he had bought.
Natalie shrugged, “Oh, it's been good I guess... I live alone now back in Manhattan... If this works out, I decided...” She trailed off.
Taylor sucked in a bit of his milkshake from the red and white striped straw and motioned for Natalie to continue.
“I decided to move in with you.”
A choking sound; Natalie's decision was so surprising, Taylor had gagged on the milkshake he was drinking. He began to cough and splutter and when a waiter came over asking if he was alright, he said he was fine and needed a glass of water.
When the waiter walked away, Taylor looked at Natalie dead in the eye, “Are you crazy? I can't let you live in my apartment.”
Natalie tilted her head in a quizzical look, “Why not?”
“Because-” Taylor stopped. He was about to say something about Chris's presence still being around Taylor's living quarters; what with the clothes he hadn't yet boxed up, the photographs, the notes he left behind, and his ashes still sitting on top of the kitchen windowsill beside a small vase of roses.
Taylor bit his lip as he tried to come up with another excuse, but he ended up mumbling, “... I don't know.”
Just then, the waiter returned with a glass of water and Taylor thanked him, drinking a few sips from the clear glass cup. He placed it back on the table and watched the ice settle for a moment before looking at Natalie again.
“So, I can move into your apartment then?”
Aggravation swelled up in Taylor and he banged his fist on the table, “No!” He said firmly, tensing up.
Natalie blinked, a little shocked, and Taylor relaxed his shoulders again.
What are you doing, Taylor? Don't you want this girl? He argued with himself. Still, the mourning side disagreed with him and told him he wasn't worthy of another lover. Not yet, anyway.
“... I'm sorry, Natalie.” He apologized and she raised an eyebrow.
“It's just... I'm still not in my right mind... I don't think I'm ready for someone new, I'm sorry.” Taylor bowed his head, hoping Natalie wouldn't freak out.
She didn't, however, and actually smiled in spite of herself, “I understand. I feel so silly for wasting your time; I should have known you were still hurting.”
Taylor looked back up at her and shook his head, “Oh, no! No... I really had a nice time, but I was swamped with the thoughts of Chris the whole time... I just can't seem to shake his memory off yet.”
Natalie nodded, “I see... Taylor, don't ever shake his memory off, okay? I know you want to get out of the past and move on, but just don't forget about him. You loved him very much, I know, he was worth as much to you as I was.” She laughed as she continued, “I remember being jealous of you two when I first saw you were together in high school. You two seemed happier together than you and I. I know I'm not the right person for you; in all honesty, Chris was meant for you.”
Feeling sympathetic, she reached her hand over, her fingernails coated in a red shade of nail polish, and placed it on Taylor's.
“I know you'll find someone like him, Taylor. You just have to be patient. Love will come, I promise you.”
Taylor couldn't help but tear up at Natalie's words. He forgot how much of a good person she was and immediately felt bad for doubting her loyalty at first. She was a good friend, no doubt.
“Thanks, Natalie.” He said.
Suddenly, the tears threatened even more as memories swam into his brain. He used to hold hands with Chris like this.
“Excuse me...” He mumbled, and drew his hand away, “... I need a moment.”
Right before the tears fell, he placed his hands on his face and sobbed into his palms, his elbows resting on the table. Natalie actually got up from her booth and sat down on his, patting his shoulder and offering him silent comfort.
This continued on for several minutes, the milkshake and water left melted and forgotten in front of the two.
An uninvited guest had arrived in Satan's little corner of Hell. Cassius had alerted him of his entrance and there stood one of Satan's most despised enemies. He had the shimmer of starlight around him, and a glow of an aura shrouded him.
He was one of the Holy Kingdom's knights; an angel. This particular angel was one Satan would always remember and hate.
“Chris...” He hissed under his breath as the man encased in white walked towards him, his newly christened wings unfolded and shimmering behind him, lighting even the darkest of spaces in the Devil's den.
“Satan...” Chris answered back and the two glared at each other for a long time before Satan sparked up a question.
“So, Chris, what brings you down to my lovely lair, eh? Is everything going good in that happy land in the sky?”
Chris chuckled, and narrowed his stormy blue ocean eyes, that glowed along with his body and wings, “Everything is just fine, Satan, however... I was ordered to come here.”
Satan did not smile, but frowned, rather deeply and growled, “Why?” His gaze flicked towards Cassius, Brutus, and Judas, who stalked forward. They bared their canine teeth at Chris as they surrounded him.
Still, Chris remained calm despite the possible danger he was in, “I have come to persuade you that what you want to do with Taylor is wrong. He is not the one you should have chosen.”
At first, Satan looked a little taken aback, but then, he started to laugh. His evil howls echoed throughout the walls of the cavern until he finally set his glowing red eyes on Chris, “You fool. Taylor is The Messenger; he is the one. No one else could have been chosen but him... It was destiny the minute he was born. You can't tell me that the one fate choose was wrong. Fate is irreversible, and unfortunately, even my brother's spawn of warriors can't change it.”
“Please,” Chris persuaded, “Grant him mercy. I want nothing more but Taylor to be saved.”
Satan laughed yet again; he seemed to be getting a kick out of Chris's pleas, “Really now? Do you expect me to just sit back and let Taylor continue on with his pathetic life? I don't think so. You do know that it was me who granted him power, and thus landed him in your arms. Would you really want me to take that away?”
Chris started to say something, but stopped and looked down, gritting his teeth.
Satan made a “hmph” and began to circle around Chris, “That's what I thought.”
“Satan I do hope you remember that it was you who-”
“Ah, ah, ah...” Satan interrupted, “Keep your secrets to yourself because Taylor may be listening in right now. I don't want to spoil anything, do I?”
After circling about three times, he faced Chris again, “Just because you may love your precious little fallen angel, it doesn't mean that I can grant him salvation because of your wishes. What I want to do with him is in my control and mine only. Now go before I send my crew of hungry demons on you.”
Chris looked around at the three snarling and drooling betrayers who crouched in wait of their master's command. Chris looked back at Satan and gave a dark frown, “One more question... Just what are you planning with him?”
Satan smiled wide, his grin sadistic and cruel, “Oh you'll see... You'll all see...” His eyes then flicked towards Cassius who gave a slight nod and as if on silent command, Cassius, Brutus, and Judas jumped towards Chris and attacked him.
They bit at his wings, legs, and stomach. Once Cassius bit down on his abdomen, silver liquid spurted out and pooled up on the ground. The same thing happened with other open wounds. As the gray colored blood fell to the ground, it singed the hard earth beneath it. Chris writhed and screeched at the attacking demons and finally, the light around him glowed stronger and all three were flung off with a powerful blast of blinding light that made their black pelts set on fire with white and blue flame.
They whimpered and howled in pain as the flames burned through their fur and licked at their skin. Finally, it vanished and they were left to lick their burn marks.
Satan snarled, “Pathetic bastards...” He faced Chris again, trying to keep a calm and collected smirk on his face, “Tell your comrades that they will not have their precious Taylor back. He is beyond salvation and is being kept safely under my wing. No amount of begging or pleading will work with me; he is all mine.”
Chris gave him a returned scowl and vanished with a flash of light, leaving Satan alone again with his companions.
He gave a couple of sly snickers as Chris returned to his home.
“I will soon have everything all to myself... No one will stop me... No one.”
Taylor walked into the door, smiling as he did so, “I'm ho-” He stopped abruptly remembering that Chris was a bunch of buried ashes now. He sighed; this always happened whenever he came back into the apartment.
“Home...” He mumbled to himself and placed his coat on the coat hanger, which hung alone. He just came back from a walk, and beforehand he was packing up Chris's things and planning to put them in the closet. Once he got an actual house, he would put them in the attic there.
A house. Why did he need one again? Initially it was for him and Chris to start a family, but now it was for space. It seemed so silly to him.
He shook his head and walked into the bedroom, closing the door and drawing the curtains to a close. He wanted to just sit down in the dark and think, and that's exactly what he did; he laid down on the bed, his memories drifting off to Chris.
A movement. He could have sworn he felt Chris's hands pass over his shirt. It may have been his, he didn't know, but he called out his name anyway.
“Chris...?” He mumbled, half-asleep.
No answer, just the touch of someone he thought was Chris. He forced himself to believe it was him and he smiled, silently hoping Chris would stay and feel him more.
He did, and his hands caressed Taylor's skin under his shirt, feeling around the hills and valleys of Taylor's body, like he was a new land to discover.
“Chris...” Taylor breathed, trying to reach out and see if he was really there, but the hands stopped him as they explored undiscovered places on Taylor.
Taylor closed his eyes, savoring the touch. Pleasure swam over and into him and he grinned wider, repeating Chris's name, egging him on. He missed him so much, and this was what he needed. He needed everything of Chris.
“I miss you... So much...” Taylor said in a hushed tone after he repeated Chris's name once more. He tried to say something else but it came out as a moan.
The hands stopped and Taylor snuggled up into his pillow, allowing the pleasant feeling to wash over his brain and leave him calm and composed.
However, where was Chris now?
He called out his name in anticipation, expecting an answer, a kiss, a hug from behind, more touching. Anything to let him know that Chris was there.
Silence was there, and he thought Chris was playing a joke on him, so he flipped around to Chris's side of the bed and opened his eyes.
An aching feeling of loneliness replaced the serenity and nonchalance as he saw the empty sheets before him. He realized then that the hands did not belong to Chris, and that he was gone for good.
A tear fell from one of his eyes, then another, and another. He squeezed them shut and stopped himself from breaking down. He couldn't afford it right now; it was time to let go.
So, with great difficulty and guilt, he left behind Chris's touch and focused on getting some sleep.
“Taylor.” A voice whispered from somewhere out of Taylor's dream and he opened his eyes, maybe hoping it was Chris who was talking to him.
When he opened them, he saw nothing in his room and blinked before trying to fall back asleep again. It was three in the morning when he glanced over at the clock.
The voice stopped him, “Taylor, it's me.”
“Satan?” Taylor called, recognizing the voice. So he didn't leave him behind after all.
“Ah, Taylor, sorry to disturb your sleep but I wanted to talk to you for a minute.”
Taylor raised an eyebrow, “What's wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong, I just need to explain something to you.”
“Alright.” Taylor said, and before he knew it he was whisked underground to Satan's lair.
Freezing cold blasted him and he found himself in pitch blackness. He had worn his day clothes to bed the other night, but he still wished he had his coat. He crossed his arms and called Satan's name in the blackness. In that instant, movement appeared before his eyes and as his eyes adjusted to the dark, he saw Satan and the Three Betrayers watching closely from a few feet away.
Satan had his back facing Taylor. When he heard his name being called, he turned his head, red eye glaring at him, almost seemingly threatening.
“Oh there you are, Taylor. I was wondering when we'd speak again. It's been a while hasn't it... Almost ten years on my count!”
“I did try to reach you before but for some reason you didn't answer.”
Satan nodded and turned his back on Taylor again before speaking up, “Yes... I had an uninvited guest visit...” Taylor heard the grinding sound of his claws as they scraped the ground in irritation.
“Oh, I see.” Taylor said.
An awkward silence passed between the two and Taylor felt a sudden fear. He didn't know where it came from, but, all of a sudden he felt like he shouldn't be here, that he should run. Satan still didn't tell him what he was going to say though, and Taylor wondered if what he was about to say was bad.
“So, what did you want to ask me?”
Satan flicked his skeleton demon tail, which made a clatter against the floor.
“Well... I have some things to explain...” His voice got deeper and lower, and the fear Taylor had managed to hold off returned.
“I can smell it on you. You're scared.” Satan mumbled and Taylor held his breath. He was beginning to sweat, even if it was frigid in the cavern.
Satan smiled his evil and cruel devil smile, “You know, when I first met you, I thought you'd be smart enough to figure out. I guess I was wrong...”
Taylor could feel himself tense up. Satan turned around and slowly began to walk towards him.
“Did you ever wonder that what Chris was going through before he married you, and a week after that something fishy was going on...? It seemed death was after him, right?”
He circled around Taylor once, talking as he did so, “And that your demon powers gained control over your body... Hmmm... Suspicious.”
Taylor blinked, “Are you saying you know what caused his death?”
Satan stopped walking and began to laugh, rather hysterically, “Know what caused it? I knew more than that, much more.”
Taylor was really getting scared now. He didn't like how Satan was acting; all mysterious and... Not in his right mind.
“Or maybe... Who that person was in the alleyway with Natalie? Why they wanted her specifically and why I, of all people, stopped you from going after him? Hmm? Did you ever wonder that? Not even once?”
“Well...” Taylor stammered. Satan was facing him from the front now, glowing eyes haunting and making him shiver. He did not like this; he didn't like this at all. Satan started to circle him again.
“Do you still not have a clue? Let me give you a hint then... Who was one of your first friends; or one that ever seemed to care?”
“That's a lot of people... Deborah?”
Satan made a frown, “No, not her... Think more clearly, now...”
“I don't know of anyone else...”
“Who granted you the power that you enjoy now?”
“You-” Taylor stopped. Realization struck him like lightning and he turned around to face Satan, shocked.
Satan smiled back at him sadistically, his drool dripping from his lips to the floor, “Have you found your answer yet?”
“No... It can't be...! I trust-” Taylor gasped, and then Satan interrupted him.
“You trusted me, correct... That's exactly what I needed; someone to gain my trust. What more of a fool could do that than you? You were so alone in this world, you begged for anyone, and so that's when I came. You took it, knowing that what you would get was a friend; and power to make others accept you for who you are.”
“But nothing. Let me make this clear to you; something that I've been holding off for nearly ten years in the making...” Satan stalked forward as he continued, and Taylor took one step back.
“The boy that stole Natalie a kiss in the alleyway, thus making you think she betrayed you, was in fact Chris, but he wasn't in his right mind. I sent Cassius to possess the boy and make him steal Natalie away from you. Once he was out of possession, he had no clue as to what he had done. I thought that making Natalie get out of your life was enough to let my plans focus on you and tell you what I wanted to do with you, but oh no, Chris had to say something. And so, you two fell in love. I was outraged, I needed Chris to get rid of you. I had hoped that the incident with his parents and your dad would tear you guys apart but no, I had to make other plans.”
Taylor's stomach dropped and he felt like he was about to throw up. He didn't want to know what Satan had to say next; he had gone too far already. He continued to back up as Satan moved closer, until he bumped up against a wall of the den. He was cornered.
He looked around and saw that the Three Betrayers were circling around him as well, making his chance of escaping slim.
“Well, I couldn't just possess someone and do the same thing that I had done with Natalie; the bond you two had was way too tight. You wouldn't dare leave him for something silly like that. I had to eliminate Chris completely. So, what did I do? I used Death Rites. Only I can use them and at first I sent the Rite of Sickness on Chris. When that didn't work, I sent the Rite of Murder. This caused you to get possessed by your inner demon and lose control. I had hoped it would cause you to kill Chris in the process, but he had to intervene and make your demon powers lose over the love you two shared. Finally, I was pissed beyond belief and decided to just kill him myself.”
“No...” Taylor mumbled and Satan made a hissing sound.
“Yes... Did you see that dog that ran on the road before the car hit? I possessed it and made it go through the rows of speeding cars in hopes that one of them would slam on it's breaks and get you two caught in a wreck. I was right. You got into an accident, but you protected Chris, thus making his injuries less severe than I had hoped. He would have lived, you know, but I still had to do my duty... So I did it. Death arrived then, and I was happy.”
Taylor wanted to scream. This couldn't be happening... He trusted Satan with all his life, but now...
“That's right...” Satan said as he saw the expression of horror on Taylor's face, “I killed Chris.” He began to laugh insanely, slobber from his mouth spitting everywhere.
“No... No...” Taylor whispered, his once known friend before him claiming he was a murderer, “No!”
His exclamation made Satan stop howling with laughter and he looked at Taylor, still making that sly smirk.
Taylor didn't like the creature before him anymore. It was an enemy; he had killed the one he put his life on. He killed the one he protected and loved with all his heart. Was Satan even a friend to begin with?
“Traitor!” He screamed and launched an attack at Satan, his wings flared out. Cassius, Brutus, and Judas tried to attack him, but they were too slow and Taylor had already sent Satan flying back from a scratch to the chest.
He didn't move far though, and he simply skidded his claws against the ground, still standing upright.
Taylor felt a pain in his back as one of the Betrayers bit onto his spine. Blood dripped down his body and onto the ground and he made a hissing sound before twisting himself around, wrenching the demon's jaws away from him.
The other two joined in though. Judas bit his shoulder, forcing him to kneel on the ground from his weight and Brutus bit down on his flank, his slobber becoming bloody foam as he munched on Taylor's flesh.
Taylor made a screech and grabbed at both of them with his now elongated demon claws. Black demon blood spilled the ground below him and they made slight whimpers, but held on tight. Taylor managed to shake them off as he writhed and squirmed from their grasp.
When they were flung off, Satan had already started walking towards Taylor, his eyes alight with anger.
He came right up to Taylor's face, and growled in it. Taylor could smell the death, sulfur, and blood on his tongue and could only growl back.
“Don't you ever...” He snarled, “Touch me again...”
“What is it that you want from me?” Taylor dared to ask. In all honesty, he was curious about what Satan had planned for him and why he wanted to get rid of the ones he loved so much. What was it that he wanted Taylor to focus on?
Satan stepped back and smiled, “You are The Messenger. The one who gave me all the information; the one who will open the Gates of Hell and release my fury at the ones who betrayed me... Who let me fall... You may or may not fight along my side, but after that is over, I'm afraid I won't need you anymore so you will be thrown away like the trash you are.”
Taylor could feel his heart sink at Satan's words. Was that really what he thought of him? Just a toy to use for escaping his corner of Hell?
Satan continued, “There is a key to open the gate. All I need to know is that you'll take it and open the gate for me.”
Taylor growled. He wouldn't do it. He did not want to let Satan throw him away, because he wasn't garbage. He was going to get away from Satan; try to get rid of his powers and leave this demonic life behind. He didn't care for what he was losing; a chance of acceptance and power, he wanted to actually be himself and not what someone crafted him to be.
“I won't do it.” He said, rather bluntly and backed away.
“You can take away my powers, I don't care. I will not do this stupid, fiendish thing just to meet your desires. I'm out; I can't take it anymore. Good-bye.”
Taylor turned his back on Satan and attempted to get himself out of Hell, but, Satan appeared in front of him in a flash and knocked him to the ground with a swing of his skeleton paws.
“Oh no, Taylor, it's not that easy to just get up and leave. I can't just let you get away with things when it's you that I need. You're my vessel; my bitch in every sense of the word. Trying to let me out is like holding up a ten ton elephant; it's impossible.”
Taylor scrambled to his feet, his cheeks now glistening red with opened claw marks that bled his blood.
“Oh yeah? Watch me!” He retorted and managed to whisk himself out of the dark and dank cavern.
Like Satan said, however, it wasn't easy to just get up and leave him behind. As he sat back down on his bed, he could feel Satan entering his mind. Satan started to speak; he spoke rather loudly, he was screaming actually, and he kept yelling at Taylor about things, saying he was in his head and wouldn't be able to get out, no matter what he did.
Nearly going insane from the amount of yelling and screaming Satan was doing, Taylor got up from his bed and purposefully began to run into walls and bang his head as he blindly stumbled around the apartment with his eyes squeezed shut. He concentrated on something else, anything to get the thought of Satan out of his mind, but his voice was agonizing and called him back every time.
Suddenly, he felt himself losing control of some of the parts of his body. As he walked into the kitchen, his left hand, which had been previously grasping his head, went to the knife on the counter.
He didn't notice it and first and tried to drag his hand back up to his head, but Satan was forcing it down, making him walk to the bathroom.
Taylor saw the knife and tried to drop it, wondering if Satan had the intention to kill him, but he had something else up his sleeve. The knife came up, blade shining in the bathroom's bright light. Taylor's other hand was forced up to rest right below the blade. It then came crashing down on the visible blue vein on his skin.
He screamed in agony, as it punctured through his skin as easily as if it was paper. It dug deeper and deeper into his flesh until he could feel the blade touch his bone. Blood was spurting out like a volcano, spewing scarlet liquid everywhere. This part wasn't the worse, though, because then the knife carved a bloody line through his flesh and stopped about halfway to his elbow.
Taylor yelled even louder, and finally the knife was lifted from his arm, bloody all the way to it's handle.
It wasn't over yet, because Satan made him slice through the line with another deep slash, it's place of crossing located down on Taylor's wrist.
Satan began to howl with maniacal laughter as he continued his graffiti on Taylor who screeched and writhed and tried his hardest to get rid of the knife that was carving three symbols that were the same above the horizontal line. Slowly, the cackles consumed Taylor's voice and he felt pressurized by it. It was all around him and he knew he couldn't escape the grasp that the Lord of Hell had made on him.
This continued for nearly an hour before the work was done, and Taylor was caked in his own blood. The knife dropped from his hand finally and he began to sway from the dizziness blood loss granted him. He collapsed on the floor, his bare feet slipping on the wet and bloody floor. His arm felt like it was on fire and with blurry vision, he gazed at the marking Satan had made in his skin. It was a different kind of marking; one his demon powers couldn't even heal. It was permanent, and showed his loyalty towards his master, Satan. From his angle, he couldn't see what it really was but he turned his arm a little and saw that it was of an upside-down cross, marked with three sixes in a row above the horizontal line.
The dizziness overwhelmed him as Taylor tried to sit up and call for help. Anything to get him away from this terrible scene; to cure him of the madness Satan had created.
Again, that terrible voice Taylor had started to become afraid of. It whispered quietly in his ear like a taunt, “So weak...” And then it faded away as soon as it had come.
A tear; a single one that fell from his face and into the puddles of blood on the cool tile. The dizziness was overwhelming now and he could only give way underneath it.
Taylor tripped and stumbled towards the bed. He had awoken again at least an hour after Satan had made The Mark. He didn't know if anyone had heard his screams while it happened; still, if they had, one of his neighbors may have decided to investigate, or at least called somebody.
He flopped down on his bed. His demon senses would soon kick in and gain back the strength that the blood loss had drained from him.
All of a sudden, he felt insecure. He realized no one was on his side anymore. Everyone was against him. Again, the world had given him a turn of trust. He didn't know what to do anymore and felt like everything was his enemy.
Where were his friends when he needed them most? Everything was crashing down in piles of rubble before him and he felt lost. If Chris hadn't died, none of this wouldn't have happened. Hell, if he never met Satan, all of this wouldn't have happened.
It was then when he began to wonder what his life might have been like if he had never been granted his demonic powers. Would he have met Natalie, or Chris? They didn't seem to care about his powers; they loved him for him.
Fate worked in a strange way for him, it seemed. He wished it didn't though, and he wished that none of this was real and it was just a bad dream he had to pinch himself out of.
“All I want now... Is Chris... Or someone... Someone who loves and cares about me for who I am. I... I'm so alone...” He mumbled these words out loud, like someone would even bother to listen. He then curled his arms around himself and began to cry non-stop. He couldn't do anything right now except grieve. Grieve for everything he had lost in this whirlwind of hurt and pain. Somewhere he could hear Satan calling for him to get the key and do his duty.
He couldn't. Not yet.
Suddenly, he felt someone, or something, brush his hair gently; it's touch was like the tickle of a feather. The scent he breathed in was agonizingly familiar and he knew he had come.
“Chris... Chris, ever since you left everything... Everything is falling apart...” Silence answered his words, but the petting did not stop.
“Satan... Satan wants me to open... Open the Gates of Hell... I can't do it, I can't... I need your strength, Chris... Help me...”
A caress of a gentle breath that felt so light it wouldn't move a grain of sand blew onto Taylor's forehead. A voice that he wanted to hear for so long echoed in his ears and he tried to grab the words being formed but they were just waves of sound that he couldn't touch.
“Taylor you do not need my help. You know what to do. If you believe what he wishes is wrong, then don't do it. Don't be afraid; as long as you remember the love your friends and family gave you, he cannot touch you.”
“Chris...” Taylor tried to let him stay, but his presence was already gone and Taylor began to wonder if he had just made it up to calm himself down.
“He is wrong, Taylor.” A voice rang in his head, and he almost cupped his hands over his ears to stop it somehow, but something forced him to listen.
“Love can either make you or break you, and so far... Well, it's broken you.” Slight laughter followed Satan's words.
“Take the key. I will show you the way to the Gate.”
And suddenly, right before him vaporized an antique, black key. It was slightly rusty, and oddly shaped. He stared at it for a long time, Satan's words echoing in his mind, along with Chris's.
It has broken me... I can't turn back time... He thought.
“I'm sorry, Chris.” Taylor took the key and suddenly, his limbs moved on their own as Satan controlled him, making him walk outside, towards his car, in his clothes that were still drenched in scarlet stains.
Taylor had parked the car a couple blocks away and he was now walking down a road that seemed vaguely familiar. He was back in lower Manhattan, his movements controlled by Satan as he searched for the Gate of Hell.
Finally he was stopped at the entranceway to an alley. Key in hand, he walked inside and memories rushed through him. This was where he met Satan; where he had appeared and granted him power.
At the end was a large downwards facing pentagram that was made with blood. As Taylor walked closer, stepping over old trash bags and other garbage, he noticed that there was a small hole in the brick wall that would fit the key perfectly.
He stopped in front of it, and looked down at the key. He took a deep breath and with great hesitation, inserted the key and turned it until it couldn't turn anymore.
An unlocking sound echoed from deep within. The wind began to pick up from a steady breeze to an oncoming gale. Through the howling sounds of the wind, he could have sworn he heard evil laughter from somewhere inside.
Three shadows suddenly burst from the key and ran past Taylor, into the world where they didn't belong. Their malicious snarling bounced off the walls of the alleyway as they bounded away into the street, ready to wreak havoc among the living.
Taylor was still waiting for the one he feared. It was too late to close it back up; the damage had already been done. What had been locked away for tens of thousands of years was about to show it's face and give the world a taste of what it had felt when it was banished.
A force of darkness so powerful that it flung Taylor off his feet on flat on his back burst from the keyhole and was sent into the air. A mighty roar escaped the shadowy creature that flew with crow's wings above Taylor. In an instant, everything around it burst into flames so hot it could melt anything. Buildings were sent tumbling down into piles of smoking ash. Luckily, no one was in the apartments that burned down as they were in the abandoned part of the city.
Satan knew this and with his comrades yipping and howling in freedom behind him, he flew towards the heart of the city, ready to start the Apocalypse he had dreamed of for centuries.
And Taylor? He stared at the aftermath and wished he had burned up just as easily as the apartments did. This was the end; there was nothing left for him to do.
and the plot thickens. oooo.
i kind of made taylor kinda emo in this one lol oops. don't mind his b'aaawww drama. he'll get rid of it soon.
also, i forgot to mention!
the devil's gift now has a new manual up to use and guide you as you read! it contains character bios, information on history, and landmarks/important places in the story!
lol, yeah, i know i was bored sue me, pff. :'D
ohgod guys sorry for the extremely long wait on this one. it isn't even that long anyway D: i had some family issues pop up and i had to go somewhere. sorry! i'll make up for it this week since it's spring break so i'll have free days to write an entire chapter and post it on here. chapter sixteen is next and it's the one i've been anticipating to write for a while! you'll be pleased, i promise. at least i hope you will. :U
chapter fifteen; armageddon
The heart was the place he needed to attack; and so he did. As he flew, everything around him burst into flame, people screamed, his comrades howled with laughter and attacked the startled civilians.
Firefighters, police, and ambulances rushed to the scenes, trying to put out the flames and helping the wounded that Satan left behind as he moved on. Police cars followed the path Satan and his crew were leading, but when they got close, they were hit by an array of fireballs Satan conjured up.
And then he arrived at the busiest part and consumed the heart with panic and destruction. Some buildings burned to cinders at his presence and some people burst into flames if they got too close to the mysterious shadow in the middle of the street.
Pretty soon the humans learned to not approach this creature and many asked who he was, scared and confused. They thought it was a hoax, at first, and it was probably some mass murderer or terrorist on the loose.
He explained who he was though, that he was the devil and the Gates of Hell had been opened up by his Messenger, who was a half human, half demon that walked among them for several years; gathering information for Satan about the human race and the key to get the Gates opened for the first in tens of thousands of years.
Satan demanded that they bow down to him; the new lord. He was going to take over and make his own kingdom built on power, ambition, hate, and greed; he would demolish anyone that would stand in his way.
Obviously, there were some protests; some people shouted that it was a fake and someone was manipulating this hallucination of a demonic creature to scare everyone, others kneeled down on the ground and prayed right on the spot. Some even tried to step forward and make Satan go away, but he clearly was not about to leave so soon as they combusted and burned to ashes with only a glance of his glowing red eyes.
At that, people began to get scared. Some called the police, and pretty soon the FBI and military were on the case as Satan flew up into the air and sent fireballs raining from the dark sky. He shouted that there was nothing the civilians could do; they had to accept Satan as their lord, and gather other followers or they too would face destruction. He planned to go to every city in the world with his new followers, saying there was no way they could possibly be saved. The true Lord had abandoned them for good; and he was going to reign over.
There was a problem though; of if Taylor would run or fight. Satan expected him to run, being the coward he is, but he wasn’t so sure. He didn’t want to pick a fight but if he did… He could kill him easily by taking his powers away. Still, Satan wanted a show and the only way to do that was to keep Taylor’s powers and somehow lure him to the scene if he was afraid.
He knew in his mind, though, that Taylor would come eventually; he just had to give him time.
Time wasn’t something Taylor wanted right now, though; and neither did he want to fight anything at all. He still lay flat on his back from the blast of power Satan had created when he was released from Cocytus.
He didn’t want to move at all, nor feel, and while Satan was away destroying the whole city, he was feeling numb from lying on the rough concrete for so long.
He decided it was time to get up and move. Move where, though? Should he just go back to his apartment and pretend that this never happened? That was foolish, and he knew he was no coward.
Why do I feel so helpless, though? Taylor thought to himself. Besides, if he went back, he would most likely face accusations by Chris’s ghost, telling him to go fight Satan when that’s what he didn’t want to do.
Taylor slowly got onto his feet and began to walk to nowhere. He passed his car and many ravaged buildings; some still burning and soon-to-be collapsing. He suggested maybe stopping by Chris’s home when he lived here, but that would be bring back memories; who knows, Chris’s ghost may also be haunting that place as well and Taylor didn’t want to face his ex-spouse so soon.
So, the only way to go was nowhere and that happened to be to the heart of the city, where the real action was taking place. Maybe he’d watch from the sidelines helplessly; feeling empathy for all the screaming and murdered people of his town.
He casually walked past scenes of destruction, police cars, firefighters, and paramedics working busily with the injured. Most were either dead or dying; the weak and brutally injured screaming out in pain from their deep burns that disfigured their faces and the rest of their body. Some were crying for their fallen loved ones, others slowly melting away into nothingness as their eyes glazed over and they breathed their last breath. It was a gut-wrenching sight to see and Taylor had to look away and ignore the shouts of agony. Some policeman came up to him, asking if he was alright. He said he was fine and when they asked where he was going he shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
Apparently he had caused a bit of suspicion among the officials, but they left him alone to go wherever he was going and do whatever he was going to do when he got there.
On and on he passed the same things; police car lights flashing, people yelling and crying, dead and burned up bodies on the streets being covered in cloth by paramedics. It was like the final day had come; and in turn, it really was beginning. Satan wanted to create some sort of doomsday, or Apocalypse; he had planned this for centuries. Why, though? Was it for revenge, or just the fact that he was a sadistic and cruel devil? Taylor couldn’t find out the reasons why someone was created of such hate for everyone in the world; including those in the world he used to reign over.
Some things still didn’t make a lot of sense to Taylor, and these were one of these things. He expected Satan was just doing it because he was an asshole, but Taylor couldn’t shake off the feeling that something caused this to happen. Something made him rebel and be banished from Heaven. Taylor couldn’t just come up and ask him, though. He probably couldn’t do it even before he realized Satan’s treachery. It was probably a very touchy subject for the fallen angel, and Taylor didn’t want him to delve into the past. Moreover, he didn’t know what Satan would do if he asked in the first place.
He dismissed this thought out of his head and focused on getting to higher ground to witness the destruction Satan was doing to the city. The sounds of screaming and yelling were growing nearer, and Taylor knew that was the location of the havoc; Satan had picked a good spot because it was right at the heart.
Taylor slinked off to an alleyway, away from watchful eyes and allowed his wings to appear behind him. He flew up into the air with a great flap of jet-black feathers and found a burned out apartment, that hadn’t collapsed yet, but was just badly burned. He landed on the roof and looked towards the scene of destruction before him.
Satan was in the air, laughing maniacally as a cloud of smoke from the blazing fires surrounded him. Fire balls rained from the sky onto the hysterical civilians below who tried to escape the flames that already surrounded them on the ground. Through the smoke, Taylor could see the Three Betrayers slashing and biting everybody that came in their path. Despite being insanely stupid, Brutus was brutally mauling anybody and everybody. Taylor watched him as he ripped out the intestines of a man with one bite to the stomach.
Cassius and Judas fought in a team, each enjoying their share of oncoming humans and turning them into mincemeat as they ripped them all the shreds with their elongated demon claws.
Taylor wanted to help, but didn’t want to get involved in anything; it was suicidal just jumping in and rescuing people. Satan would see him and would take his powers away in a snap and then he would be just as vulnerable as anyone else.
What was the point anyway? Even if Satan didn’t take away his powers, he was no match for the Lord of Hell, or his comrades. They were all a powerful team of demons who wouldn’t beg for any kind of mercy, and not tolerate it either. Taylor was as good as dead in this situation. If Satan was going to throw him away once he was through, there was no point in anything.
Taylor sighed, disheartened, and walked away towards the roof top building that was probably for storage, or possibly an extra maid’s closet where they kept all the cleaning supplies.
Once he got in he was greeted by flickering lights from the nearly burned out light bulb on the ceiling and graffiti all over the white walls. A bathroom mirror sat in the corner, cracked and some shards of the reflective glass littered around it.
There was also a foldable metal chair that was sitting near the mirror. Taylor walked over, careful not to step on any glass. He sat in the chair, sighed again, and buried his head in his hands.
In the tiny room there was only the sound of the buzzing, and blinking light bulb who's electricity was slowly waning away, but, another noise joined in. The sound of sobbing filled the room and increased every second.
Was Taylor truly trash, as Satan had said he was? Was he just born to die? He wondered if there was anyone like him out there; with no life left to live. Maybe they lived their whole life on the street. Was there just some poor souls out there who were born, lived a terrible life, and died. He expected that every once in a while, people find an out and experience life in a whole new way; Taylor had experienced that but then... The blackness that he had been in before had pulled him under again.
He had to do something. Something to break the ties of loyalty between him and Satan. He was the cause of this; maybe he would have made friends with Natalie and Chris if he hadn't gained his powers. Why had he been so easily manipulated? He was so desperate for somebody at that time. The devil may have seen like a last resort, but Taylor had to admit he enjoyed his company for the first few weeks of him sharing his mind.
He withdrew his hands from his face and looked down on his arms, looking at the red and scabbed over wound on his arm. He knew it was permanent, and that meant permanent loyalty towards his master. Taylor didn't want a master, nor did he want to be loyal to him. He had to get rid of it, or conceal it somehow. He wanted to vanquish his powers and walk away but it wasn't that easy.
Realization struck him and his eyes widened; maybe he couldn't do this by himself. He had to kill, or at least banish Satan back to Hell. If he overpowered him, then Satan would have to let go, flee, and give up.
The only way to make him turn tail and run was to fight him, which was something that Taylor did not want to get into. He was not strong; Satan would kill him in a heartbeat.
Or would he? It was possible that the power Satan had matched Taylor's. He remembered how he could wield and control fire when he had gone insane that one time with Chris. Satan could do the same thing; and his strength matched his. He had nearly flung Satan off his feet when he scratched him, so it was possible that if he added a little bit more, he would weaken him just as much. It wasn't entirely impossible to do, he knew that.
His knuckles curled into fists at the thought of Satan killing off Chris just to make Taylor open the gates for him. He regretted his decision and he decided he needed to make it up for Chris. He would avenge his death once and for all.
Taylor couldn't remain a coward for long; he had to stand up and fight. And he did. He stood up from the chair and walked out, overlooking the destruction and chaos that crossed the once bustling heart of the city.
From there he watched Satan's movements as he flew in circles around the ring of fire he had created on the ground, his minions spraying blood from their claws and jaws as they bit and scratched madly. Cracks had erupted from the ground and some people had fallen to their depths in the fissures. Chains reached out of the crevices and grabbed the ankles of people trying to flee, dragging them to the ground and wrapping around their bodies making them immobile. Taylor knew Satan wouldn't stop until people finally agreed to his wishes of joining his demonic rendition of the world.
There had been some people that had accepted his ways and were huddled in a tiny corner away from the blazing inferno that consumed and engulfed everybody and anybody in it's path.
Taylor kept himself hidden by ducking behind the wall that bordered the edge of the apartment's roof. He looked at Satan and made sure he didn't spot him, and he also made sure his comrades didn't see him either, but they were on the ground so it was unlikely. He still kept a watchful eye on them though.
As he peeked over the rim, he caught the glimpse of glowing red eyes and immediately ducked again. After a few minutes Satan's voice rang out and Taylor knew Satan had caught him red-handed.
“I can smell you... Where are you hiding?” His voice boomed around and some people stopped to look at him in confusion before being ripped to shreds by one of the Three Betrayers.
Taylor didn't say a word, nor appear at all. He kept his breathing low and remained quiet. He wanted to ambush Satan but it was clear that might not happen. He tried to devise a plan B but nothing came up and Satan began to talk again, demanding for him to appear.
“Come out! Come out and play with me, my Messenger! Watch my glorious new world come to life and know that there is nothing you can do about it!” He cackled after his words and formed some more fireballs to throw everywhere.
Still, Taylor did not appear from his hiding place. He kept low and hidden and didn't look up. Satan had other plans to lure him outside though, and he was clever in coming up with an idea.
“I do have someone precious to you in hostage right now. You may remember her or you may not, but I'm sure she remembers you... I would come out and rescue her before she... Passes.” He howled with laughter and his comrades joined in. Taylor was forced to cautiously peak his eyes over the edge of the wall to see who it was.
There, down on the ground, being guarded by Cassius, was a familiar girl that was at first hardly noticeable because of all the blood and burns that covered her body. Taylor was surprised she was still conscious. She was bound head to toe in chains and was screaming in pain, calling out his name and begging him to come save her and the rest of the people here.
“Natalie.” Taylor breathed as he saw the glimpse of violet irises under heavy eyelids that were squinted in pain.
Memories flashed by in the blink of an eye. He saw the caring friend, she was known for and felt the betrayal as he remembered seeing her kissing the possessed Chris in the alleyway. He also felt the touch of her hand as she held his in comfort when he cried in remembrance of Chris in the restaurant. The love he had between her was beautiful, and he felt that too. It wasn't as memorable as he and Chris, but it still had it's good moments and seeing the raggedy woman rid of her beauty in front of him was enough to put him in a rage. No one would dare touch one of his best friend's. He couldn't let another one die in front of him. He could save her; he knew it.
His wings spread out and he knew what he had to do. It was risky, but it was worth a shot. With Satan being distracted by Natalie, Taylor had a chance of ambushing on him.
Secretly, he slunk off to the far side of the apartment and took a charge to the other edge of the roof, making sure he was aimed right at Satan who was flapping his wings in place, overlooking the damage done.
His wings spread out on either side and he jumped onto the top of the wall and pushed off as hard as he could with his legs, springing out into the air. His already unfolded wings caught the wind and he was held aloft, rocketing straight towards Satan who barely had time to turn around and block his attack before Taylor slugged a punch right towards his canine jaw.
The punch sent Satan shooting down into the ground, making an impact in the already molten asphalt that exploded as if he was a bomb being shot from the sky.
Taylor had allowed his true form to be revealed and he stared at the people down on the ground through his glittering yellow eyes. He knew he wasn't only saving Natalie, but these innocent humans as well. He would be saving lives.
As the smoke cleared from the explosion and Cassius, Brutus, and Judas had investigated the impact, growling at the cowering people as they passed, it was shown that Satan lay unmoving in the crater he had created. He had been stunned.
Cassius took one look at his wounded master and turned around, looking up at Taylor who was hovering in the air, staring back down at him.
“You.” He hissed and growled. He couldn't come up and fight Taylor because he had no wings. Although, he had a way to get Taylor down.
With a sinister smile, Cassius walked over towards Natalie who was still on the ground, barely conscious and glancing up at Taylor, her face pleading with him. When Cassius approached her, she tried to shy away but it was too late and he had knocked her to the ground with a powerful scratch and pounced on top of her, attempting to bite away at the already burned skin.
Taylor was faster though and in an instant he had landed, grabbed Cassius and with brute force, ripped off his head, scattering the black as ink blood everywhere, and threw it like a ball across the scored ground. It fell into one of the cracks on the ground and Taylor threw the rest of his body in there as well. He knew he couldn't kill Cassius either, but hopefully that had sent him back to the final level of Hell.
He looked around and saw Brutus and Judas coming up on him and they too attacked him, dragging him to the ground. He squirmed under their grasp and eventually threw them both off. He lunged at the nearest demon, which happened to be Brutus, and lashed out his demon talons which pierced his chest and went all the way through to the end. Taylor felt no heart, or any other organs. Just bone and blood. Brutus was already dead so he didn't need those things to survive. Taylor quickly threw Brutus after his brethren and into the crack and all that remained was Judas.
The two glared at each other before Judas launched an attack and managed to bite his shoulder. He made a screech and began to scour large claw marks in Judas's flesh with his talons, ripping through his skin and allowing the black blood to spill and drip down to the ground. Judas finally let go and before he could run away Taylor had grabbed his shoulders and he threw him also into the crevice. His head banged against the side as he fell and he screamed as he did so, his voice echoing as he fell down, down, down. Pretty soon, Taylor could hear it no more.
When Judas was gone, the people cautiously came up to him, unsure of what he was and what he intended to do. Taylor pushed past the crowd towards Satan. Before he could approach the impact site, he hissed in his low, raspy demon voice for people to stay back, or run while they could. Some listened, but others were still frozen in shock and wanted to stay and watch Taylor possibly vanquish the devil back to Hell.
Satan had begun to gain control of his limbs and he staggered out of the whole, growling low. He took one look at Taylor and nearly flew into a blind rage, but he forced himself to stay calm.
“Well, well, well... Looks like the little Devil Jr. has decided to show his face. You really want to kill yourself, don't you? Because right now, I can grant that wish of yours.”
Taylor made a hiss back, “Just go. This is useless; I am not asking for a fight or anything, but I would wish if you left in peace. Innocent lives have already been lost and I do not wish for more to join them.”
Satan made a laugh that made Taylor flinch, “Go away in peace? Look at you, acting all big! Do you really think I'd go without a fight? Just leave like that; poof, gone? You are an idiot. I'm staying right here and I'm going to get what was rightfully mine. You can't stop me because you are far weaker.”
Taylor gritted his teeth, “I can try, and I will win. If you want to fight, then it's a fight you shall get. I'm not going to go easy, and you'll find I'm probably stronger than you think. I've already defeated your little demon friends.”
It was clear Satan looked a tad distraught at this and he quickly glanced around to see his buddies were definitely not there, but he faced Taylor again with a wicked sneer, “You may have defeated my comrades easily, but I am not like them. You will find you wish you had stayed hidden, my friend.”
As quick as a lightning strike, Satan launched himself at Taylor and one swing of his skeletal paw sent Taylor flying back. He hit the ground hard and was dazed for a minute before seeing Satan advance on him again, he launched himself into the air.
Pain lashed at his feet and he looked down, seeing Satan have his ankle in his teeth, crunching down on the limb and restricting Taylor from climbing any higher. He screamed at Satan and started to spin around, eventually throwing Satan off his leg. He sped into the air again and the flap of wings behind him told him that Satan was following.
Taylor skimmed the clouds, his ears popping as he gained altitude. A noise alerted him and he looked beside him and Satan slammed into him instantly, pushing him down a little. Taylor responded with a screech of defiance and a slash of his talons. He ripped open Satan's neck and sent a kick with both of his legs to his stomach, fending him off a little. Still, Satan popped right back in and clawed at Taylor with every opportunity. Eventually Taylor was more on the defensive side than offensive and had to back off a little.
He formed a little bit of a strategy as every time Satan lunged for him, he'd lash out his talons and rip open a bit of flesh and skin. He had to keep striking because Satan's wounds healed up faster than a normal demon's would have; he healed up even faster than Taylor which was one of the many advantages the Lord of Hell had on him.
Satan eventually caught on to Taylor's battle plans and began to fake his moves. He would act like he was going to strike, but really didn't and he then struck when Taylor least expected it. This caused him to have more damage dealt to him and thus made him weaker. Eventually he was striking in desperation and Satan could sense the fear on him as Taylor struck every which way, trying to at least land a strike on him somewhere. This made Taylor's moves clumsy and Satan easily dodged them.
Finally, Satan had had enough of the aerial dueling and launched a massive attack with his skeletal hooves on his back feet. Taylor was sent plummeting to the ground at top speed, the wind whistling through his ears. He tried to flap his wings and slow himself down but the blood loss had drained a lot of energy from him and he could only fall helplessly to the ground.
He braced himself for impact, and he then slammed smack down on the earth, throwing up a cloud of dust and debris from the impact. The people that had been watching tried to go over and help Taylor somehow, but Satan landed near the place he had hit the ground and they backed up again, not wanting to be alight in his flame and burn to death.
Satan slowly approached the clearing cloud of dust and a gasp from someone in the crowd of onlookers went up as they saw a hand sticking out of the crater that had been created from his impact. Satan took one look inside and then walked over to the crowd of people. He ignored them and sharply turned to the right of them, looking over at the bloody and still conscious Natalie. People had tried to help get the chains off of her while Satan and Taylor were fighting, but they were bound tight and could not be removed.
She whimpered slightly as she gazed into Satan's glowing red eyes. Tears streamed down her face, making rivulets on her dirty and bloody cheeks.
“Don't... Don't hurt him anymore... Please...” She pleaded in a barely audible whisper.
Satan opened his mouth, but instead of talking, he leaned over and bit into her neck. She made a gasp which turned into a gag before she slumped to the ground, unmoving.
Taylor saw it all as he regained his consciousness from the fall. He saw his best friend lie without movement on the ground and he remembered the listlessness of Chris's dead body as he stayed beside it, tugging at him and screaming and crying in despair, trying to wake him back up from the dead.
“No!” He screamed and got up on wobbly legs, running at Satan in full speed. He smiled and launched a powerful streak of fire straight towards him. He stopped and tried to block the fire with his arms crossed. Surprisingly, it worked and the fire was stopped in it's tracks. Still, it pushed back on him and with a roar, he managed to bring his arms apart and allow the fire to pass him on either sides, evading him.
Once Satan saw Taylor easily maneuver his fire attack he roared in displeasure and as Taylor ran up to him again, Satan made him catch on fire.
Oddly enough, Taylor didn't feel a thing. He looked at the fire as it danced across him; it was warm but it wasn't burning him. It kind of felt like he was beside a campfire or a lit fireplace. His shirt and pants however were beginning to burn away and being able to control fire, Taylor made the flames calm down and gradually disappear.
Satan realized afterwards that he could only hurt Taylor with physical attacks. Growling, he ran towards Taylor, but he was ready for him and slashed at his chest, driving him to the ground. Satan got up immediately and again tried to bite Taylor, but he was faster and clawed Satan's forehead, thus lowering his head.
This had been a bad move on Taylor's part because when Satan's head was forced downwards, he saw a vulnerable spot on Taylor's abdomen and reached forwards, biting down hard on it.
The pain was excruciating and Taylor screamed and clawed at Satan's back, trying to pry him off. In the end, he grabbed Satan's shoulders and began to shove him away which caused Satan to snap back and rip off a huge chunk of Taylor's flesh from his stomach.
Taylor staggered to his knees and vomited up handfuls of blood. Satan made a battle cry and when Taylor snapped his head back to him, Satan had already lunged for his next attack and had caught Taylor's neck in his jaws.
He choked and gagged as Satan bit down harder. Taylor choked out some more blood from his mouth and jerked his hands to try to grab Satan and get him off, but his strength had been drained from the wound Satan had inflicted beforehand. Slowly his feet were lifted off the ground as Satan pulled him upwards. He was probably trying to throw Taylor somewhere, but he never jerked his head and instead stared into Taylor's frightened eyes, biting down harder as he did so. Oxygen to his lungs was cut off completely from Satan's fangs and he struggled to find an out. Already, black clouds were creeping up on the corners of his eyes, slowly enveloping his sense of sight.
Taylor had never been afraid to die until now, actually, he had never thought about dying before now. What was going to happen to him? To the people here? To Natalie, if she was still alive? He didn't want to know the answer and wanted to save them because they mattered more to him than himself.
“Taylor, it is not your time yet.” A voice whispered in Taylor's ear and he recognized it instantly. It was Chris talking to him in his mind.
“You are more powerful than him; there are things you possess that he doesn't. You possess things that are the very opposite of him, and will destroy him. Think, Taylor. Don't let him win this time.”
Chris was right; he couldn't let this hideous monster win and get the world he always dreamed of creating and ruling.
Strength flowed back into him suddenly and before he could slip off, his arms reached up and his hands grabbed Satan's neck, talons piercing deep into his skin, making black liquid drip out and singe the ground below him. He ripped and teared at the skin and gradually Satan was overwhelmed in pain and had to let go, screeching and trying to shake Taylor's hands off.
Taylor had slumped back on his knees again and one hand accidentally let go of Satan's neck flesh, giving Satan room to move around.
Everything moved in slow motion as Satan turned on him again and lunged forward, attempting to make a killing bite to Taylor's exposed and wounded neck.
In this small amount of time with Taylor's heartbeat hammering away in fear and exhilaration, he thought back to what Chris had said about love before he had taken the key.
“As long as you remember the love your family and friends gave you, he cannot touch you.”
So that was when Taylor's life flashed before his eyes and he remembered the care Deborah had given him from when he was a crying and hungry baby in a cradle to when he was struggling along in his social life at high school. She had been there for him through it all. And then he thought of Natalie, the smart and beautiful girl that befriended him and was his first crush. He thought of the love he gave her, and the love she showed back. Even though it was crushed, her friendship still remained and she was there for Taylor while he grieved. And finally, he thought of Chris, his best friend, his partner and spouse and the love of his life. This man had brought so much joy to his life and so much loyalty had been shared between them. He remembered his touch, his soft and gentle words, and his sweet, distinguishable scent. He remembered Chris's beauty, intelligence, bravery, and wise words that he had spoken before he had died. He had never left Taylor's heart and probably wouldn't ever leave it anyway. He had never loved someone as much as Chris, and he knew this was what made his power really grow.
Then, as Satan's gaping mouth came crashing down, Taylor's arm with the scar shot up and was shoved between Satan and his body. A bright and blinding light appeared from out of nowhere and stopped Satan in his tracks like it was a shield.
His red eyes widened in surprise and fear and he realized what was happening to him as he was slowly being ripped apart by this strange light.
“No...! This can't be...!” Satan's last words were choked out before he gave a final scream that would echo in Taylor's mind forever and then he disintegrated into nothing and was no more.
Taylor knew then that he hadn't killed Satan, just exorcised him back to Hell. It would take time for the Lord of Hell to recover, but he knew he wouldn't come up with another plan to take over the world in a long time.
A veil of smoke had appeared, possibly whipped up by the powerful move Taylor had made. He looked at his hand and saw the scar was still there, and there was no more light. He also realized that a trickle of water had fallen from his eyes and he wiped it away before standing up and heading off into the crowd.
Eventually the dust cleared and he saw men and women who were injured and dirty, but still conscious, run up to him and cheer and Taylor waved them away. There was one person on his mind: Natalie. He couldn't get the image of her tightly bound body lying limp in the dirt. He had to find her and be by her side and help her if he could. Already he could see the flashing lights of ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks as they helped the injured and calmed the frantic down.
As Taylor walked out further, more people ran up to him and patted him on the back, thanking him a thousand times and saying he was a hero. Taylor had begun to feel lightheaded and he rushed onwards, seeing Natalie's body a few feet away. He could make it. He had to.
He began to stumble and some people offered him a hand or a shoulder to lean on, but he refused every offer people gave him. Others grabbed his hand and tried to let him lean on them for support, but he shrugged everyone off and continued to head for Natalie's body that was slowly seeming to get farther away as his vision blurred into a tunnel.
Taylor fell over and began to crawl on his hands and knees towards Natalie before the only thing that was dragging him along was his upper body that was gradually failing in strength as everything inside of him began to shut down and prepare for a long hibernation.
“I... Have to... Get there...” Taylor wheezed, his vocal chords barely working and choking out a sound.
In a last feeble effort, he threw out one of his arms and grabbed one of Natalie's cold hands before he finally gave way to a dizzy and never-ending blackness.
TAYLOR'S DEAD THE END. lol no. you'll have to find out what happens to him, natalie, and the rest of the people in chapter nineteen. i know, long wait, but i'm going to be making three filler chapters beforehand. i'll probably try to get them all done this week so we can continue on taylor's adventure next week.
thanks for reading, and remember, there's only five more chapters left until this ends! heartbreaking, i know D':
hey guys! i'm back with chapter sixteen. what a treat, you get four chapters this week! the next two will hopefully be put up tomorrow; i should finish them tonight because they're rather short.
anyway, this is the chapter that i was very excited to get to writing! it provides a little backstory on the history of how the earth was made and delves into satan's past a bit. just a filler i wanted to add while taylor is out cold somewhere lol.
chapter sixteen; two brothers
Once upon a time, when the universe was just beginning, there were seven brothers. The seven brothers all created light, the stars, and everything else in the universe.
After creating the Earth, moon, sun, and solar system, five of the seven brothers got into a quarrel over who should rule the new universe and in the end, they vanquished themselves from the cosmos and all that remained were two brothers: the seventh brother and the sixth brother.
The seventh brother was just, kind-hearted, and wise. He sought out peace and happiness for all; his name was Théos. The sixth brother was the exact opposite; he was cruel, cold-hearted, and vengeful. He promoted destruction and violence and imagined life as a scary, cruel place made for hurt and pain; his name was Lucifer.
Together, the two created life on Earth; they created the air you breathe, the clouds, the rocks and trees, the streams and oceans, and most importantly, organisms. When they looked upon their new and full of life world, they both agreed to rule it as partners and then they made their kingdom; the Holy Kingdom, which was a place that was elsewhere in space and no one could arrive unless granted permission by Théos's knights which were known as angels. They flew down to Earth and gave guidance to many of the humans first tribes and kingdoms. They also made sure that all was well and peaceful and nobody fought with one another.
For the next hundred years, life continued on peacefully and Théos was proud of the world he reigned over. He never boasted about this, however and on his throne he was humble and modest. He never tried to hurt anyone's feelings and gave guidance to those who sought it. Back on Earth, people prayed to him in their temples and thanked him for the beautiful world he had created.
However, after these years, there was one angel that did not enjoy Théos's way of living. Lucifer was envious of all the attention his younger brother was receiving and craved the same kind of treatment. On Earth, no one had known about him and were oblivious to the fact that he helped his brother create their world. Théos had taken all the credit and Lucifer was beginning to start questioning his brother's ways of ruling.
One day, he marched over to Théos's castle, his angel friends Judas, Brutus, and Cassius following behind him. When they climbed the long steps to his brother's front doors, one of the highest angel knights stopped him.
“Lucifer, what business do you have with Théos? Did he invite you or is it an emergency?” He said, his voice deep and echoed the power he held.
Lucifer made a sly smile, “Why Gabriel, you do know that he is my brother and I have a right to visit and talk to him any time I want, right?”
Gabriel blinked, “Of course, Lucifer, I was just doing my duty...” He then stood aside, allowing Lucifer and his friends to squeeze through to the doors.
Lucifer laughed, “Well then, Gabriel, I suggest you slack off a little.” He pushed through and as he did so, he patted Gabriel's broad shoulders in a friendly way. His comrades followed along silently, giving Gabriel glares with their yellow eyes as they passed.
The sound of Lucifer's footsteps echoed throughout the hallway of the long and narrow throne room that belonged to Théos. His brother sat on the large golden seat at the end, his white as ivory armor gleaming in the sunlight. He had a white dove perched on his right hand, and he whispered something to it as Lucifer entered, a command most likely, and it flew outside the open windows.
“What do you want, Lucifer?” He demanded and Lucifer smirked.
“Why, brother! Isn't it mannerly to at least say a proper greeting before asking a question like that? A 'hello' or a 'how are you' would suffice.”
Théos sighed and rubbed his temples. He seemed a tad stressed, “I hope you have a good reason for disturbing me at this time.”
“I do, actually. It's about the fact that our creations are praising you and not the both of us. I helped create the world, so they should pray to me too.”
Lucifer's brother made a groan, “Lucifer, we've been over this before. I did most of the decision making of a proper and peaceful world. Your ideas were horrific, and I wouldn't dare put them on Earth; it was my idea for more just rules and ways of living.”
“Still, I helped put your ideas on the planet! I should get credit for that, at least instead of you hogging it all to yourself and basking in the glory that the humans give you.”
Théos blinked his silver eyes, “I do not bask; nor do I enjoy the praise either. I believe people should be given equal treatment.”
“So, give me some if you're so keen on equality for all! I want to feel important too! When I pass by people in the town here, nobody gives me a second glance or comes up to me and tells me how important and brave I am. You get all of that, and I get none! You and I are both the most powerful warriors in the whole Holy Armada, and yet people look to you for battle commands and strategies, like you'd use them anyway since all you care about is peace on Earth; it's all about you. You, you, you!” Lucifer argued, his face twisted in a scowl.
His brother closed his eyes and sighed again, “Lucifer, it is not that easy. Knowing you, you'd boast about your power and flaunt it all over the place. You'd demand for people to praise you, while I accept others praising their own gods. You'd lie and cheat to get your own ways and then nobody would look up to you.”
“That's not true! I...” Lucifer trailed off and cursed under his breath as he realized what his brother was saying was right. He would do all those things to get his way.
“Still... I have something else I want to ask...” Lucifer began.
“What is it?”
“Why don't you... I don't know, make the human race stronger? I liked my idea of a powerful race of creatures.”
“And then that'd lead to destruction of mankind too. Your ways are pathetic, gruesome, and violent. I do not want that foul kind of thinking on my Earth.”
Lucifer growled, “You mean our Earth. See, maybe you aren't so caring and humble after all.”
Théos said nothing and raised a hand, as if to say that Lucifer was dismissed from his throne room, “Go.”
Lucifer hesitated at first, but nodded and whirled around, “Come!” He demanded to his comrades and they followed silently behind him back into the Holy Kingdom.
As the doors to Théos's castle slammed shut, he buried his head in his hands and sighed, “What am I going to do with him..."
For the next couple of days, Lucifer swapped plans with his buddies on how to impress his brother and gain his trust enough to where he could share with the humans how Lucifer had helped him create the world and that they should thank and worship him too.
Together, they created a way to vanquish a human from the Earth; in other words, get rid of the soul from the body, so that it would descend to the Holy Kingdom, and possibly become an angel and join ranks with the Holy Armada.
He called this new idea “death”, and beforehand humans had the power to live indefinitely, and they couldn't die from their wounds or disease. Lucifer thought it was a genius plan and he then began to test it out.
First, he made a human in a tribe suddenly come down with a sickness. Of course, the humans weren't too scared. They just gave him herbs and knew that eventually he would get better.
But Lucifer made it worse and worse each day and pretty soon his soul gave up and allowed his body to quit altogether, and so that was how death was entered into the world.
The soul eventually found itself at the gates of the Holy Kingdom, a hologram of it's former husk that it had resided in. It asked to be entered into the Kingdom, and when the guards had asked if it had been invited, it said no, and said it felt like it should be here after it's host's body had “died”.
They allowed it in and took it to Théos where it told it's story to him. Outraged, he apologized for the death of the soul's body, and it had not been intentional at all. He stormed through the Holy Town and to the meadows of Purgatory, where he found Lucifer, Cassius, Judas, and Brutus discussing their new idea.
“Lucifer!” Théos yelled, and panic filled Lucifer's gaze as he looked towards his brother, but it calmed a little as he replied back.
“So, Théos, how do you like my new concept, eh? Death sounds interesting doesn't it? I mean, it controls the population. If we kept infinite life, the world would be consumed by humans immediately. They would have to cut down all the trees in the world to make land for themselves. Honestly, I think it's for the best, don't you agree?”
Théos gritted his teeth. He admitted that his older brother had a point, but he was still furious that he had gone behind his back.
“Yes, I agree, that was a brilliant plan of controlling population, but you deliberately went behind my back after I always told you to tell me before you experiment with your plan.”
Lucifer sighed, “I knew you would disagree with me and then make it yourself and use it and I would get no credit again. So, I disobeyed you and went on with it. And besides, you're my little brother, shouldn't you at least give me an ounce of respect.”
Théos scowled and looked like he was about to rip Lucifer's head off with his bare hands, “I'm not going to grant you any respect if this is the way you're going to act all the time! You prideful, envious, rebellious... Thing! Your name means the bringer of light, so bring it!”
Whirling around, he stomped off towards his kingdom and left Lucifer to blink confusedly behind him.
“What was that all about?” Cassius muttered behind him and Lucifer shook his head.
“My brother just doesn't quite get it yet...”
Again and again, Lucifer tried to create something to please his brother. He created other emotions despite their intentions being deadly and to cause the humans to dislike one another. He called someone disliking the other “hate”; and it became part of the “seven deadly sins” as he called them.
“See, when a person commits these crimes, their souls don't get to come here!” Lucifer explained to his brother in his throne room.
“And did you not go over the drawbacks of these emotions you've created? Now people can hate and kill each other! It's terrible! I intentionally made the world to be peaceful, not cruel like you imagined it to be.”
Lucifer frowned, “You'll see someday that my creations were for the best...” He then whirled around and stalked off, his friends following and whispering things in his ear that Théos couldn't make out. He began to get suspicious about his older brother's motives and began to doubt his loyalty.
Théos narrowed his eyes, and decided maybe it was time to take action before Lucifer did anything else.
Still, the day after, Lucifer had planned something else. Commotion had started out in the big square in the Holy Town. Angels surrounded Lucifer who was demonstrating one of his new creations. Gabriel had called Théos to come see and as he pushed through the crowd of wings, he saw Lucifer standing by a freakish looking creature.
Finally, he pushed through the whole crowd and stopped Lucifer before he could begin his demonstration.
“What is this, Lucifer? Another one of your foul experiments?” He asked, eyes narrowed slits as he glared at his brother.
“Oh, Théos, just in time! Meet the new race of creatures.” He pat his pet on the head. It had the body of a black leopard, but it had ram horns, long claws, and a slender, spaded tail. It's upper canines were long and were visible even if the creature had it's mouth closed. It's back legs had ram hoofs instead of leopard paws and it made a weird half hiss, half purr in the back of it's throat as Lucifer stroked it.
“What can that... Thing do that would be better than the humans that inherit the world now?” Théos queried, still suspicious. He knew that this would probably go down badly.
“Watch and learn, my little brother!” Lucifer exclaimed and that's when his buddies came into view, dragging behind them a frightened human being they had somehow sneaked in. Théos opened his mouth to demand that Lucifer put the human back in the world of the living, but he remained quiet to see what he wanted to show.
“Now... I was back at my hideout, and I was thinking of a creature that would be powerful. More powerful and smarter than the humans we have now. I studied the humans, saw how many weaknesses they possessed and began to make a new, stronger race of creatures that would outlaw the humans and become the top of the food chain. So, I created a mixture of the animals that are alive now in hopes of creating a more offensive animal, that has strong defenses as well. Let me show you the outcome.”
He ushered for the civilians to stand back, and he drew his sword. The creature immediately swung it's head to look at Lucifer, eying the sword, it began to growl and spit, unsheathing it's massive talons from it's front paws. They circled around each other before Lucifer stepped in and swung his sword at the creature, who immediately got out of the way, and roared a battle cry.
“They're stealthy, and can dodge attacks easily!” Lucifer yelled as he yet again swung his sword at the creature. It dodged again and prowled behind him. As quick as lightning, it pounced on Lucifer's back and bit down on his shoulder, spurting his silver blood everywhere.
“Nice move...” Lucifer hissed, and flung it off easily. Before it could pounce on him he slashed his sword at it's chest and it screamed as it's black blood spilled on the ground, sizzling as it made contact with the earth.
The wound Lucifer had inflicted would have been fatal to a normal animal, but this creature was different. It stood up on wobbly legs and immediately the wound began to mend itself in the blink of an eye.
“It takes a lot more to kill these things.” Lucifer explained, and as the creature lunged for him again, he swung his his sword at it's neck and it's head was chopped off. Still, quite surprisingly, the head met up again with it's body, not a single scar left on it's neck.
“You see. This is what we need for as our race on Earth. It's far more powerful than the scum now. Just look!” He came up to the human, and a punch to it's windpipe was enough to make it snap and it fell to the ground, dead.
“If I punched this guy's windpipe, he would be able to withstand it way more than this puny human. I call these creatures demons.” Lucifer explained with a smug look.
Théos did not like Lucifer's attitude about his race, “Lucifer, I do hope you know we created the human race for a reason; they're in our image and were made weak for the sheer purpose of showing that we are more powerful than they are. These creatures could try to overpower us if they wanted to.”
“But we know it's weaknesses. You see, I made it to where they could only die if-” Lucifer was interrupted by a growl from the demon and it launched itself at Théos for no reason. It may have still been angry about Lucifer attacking it, or it just had a violent disposition.
It reared up on it's hind legs and attempted to swipe Théos with it's elongated claws, but Théos had already drawn it's sword and pierced through it's chest, spearing it's heart.
The demon made a gurgling sound in the back of it's throat and slipped off the blade. It lay dead on the ground before Lucifer's brother.
“The only way to kill it is to pierce it's heart...” Lucifer finished.
Théos looked at him and disgust laced his gaze. He kicked the demon's carcass over to Lucifer, sheathing his blade that was stained with black liquid.
“Don't ever create something like that again.” He then turned around, beckoning to Gabriel in the crowd as he did so. The two leaned in to each other as they walked away, whispering stuff in their ears.
The crowd of angels eventually dispersed and Lucifer was left alone. Not one single person had come up to congratulate him on his try. He growled as he watch Théos saunter off, happily enveloped in all the glory he was. Lucifer craved that. He craved acceptance and power, and he wanted his brother to like him and give him the respect he deserved.
“Fuck my brother... If that's the way he wants to play, then I can make it dirty for him.” Lucifer hissed under his breath. He gather Cassius, Brutus, and Judas together and the four discussed plans on how to take the throne from Théos.
The Rebellion was starting.
“Théos!” The door to the God's castle was flung open and a sweating and hysterical Gabriel ran inside, his chest heaving as he took in deep and shaky breaths, “Lucifer is attacking the Holy Kingdom!”
Théos sprang from his throne, “What!?” He shouted in disbelief and headed down to where Gabriel was.
“He's already burned down the meadows of Purgatory and has made his way through the gate! He may have already gotten past our defenses and is burning down the Holy Town. He's heading towards your cas-” He was interrupted by a deafening boom and fire erupted through the windows of Théos's throne room. It filled the room up with smoke and heat and Théos hurried out with Gabriel and into the town to see the destruction his brother was doing.
“Oh my...” He whispered as he saw all the chaos unfolding before him. Demons were pouncing on angels who flailed helplessly in their grasp. Fire consumed everything and eventually burned things down.
In the fray, Théos could make out Lucifer's three henchman; Cassius, Judas, and Brutus as they fought side by side, slashing with their swords. at any of the warriors from the Holy Armada as they came towards them. Where was Lucifer, though? He had to be controlling this rebellion somewhere; unless he was in hiding.
Suddenly a roar was heard overhead and Théos looked up into the night sky, seeing a demon-like creature swoop down on large, angel wings and hover above the fighting.
“Stop!” It commanded and immediately, the demons and Lucifer's henchmen came to a halt, and retreated deeper into the heart of the town, leaving the angels they were fighting alone.
The demon landed on the cobblestone ground and casually walked towards Théos and Gabriel. Théos drew his sword and kept his guard up, eying the demon carefully.
It had a canine body; probably originating from a wolf. It had red ram horns, long talons, ram hoofs for it's back legs, and a spaded tail. It was jet-black in color and had glowing, pupil-less red eyes.
Angels crept closer in curiosity and it swung it's head to look at them. They instantly combusted into flame at his glance and he looked back Théos, approaching closer to him.
Théos unsheathed his sword and pointed it at the demon. This was probably one of Lucifer's more powerful ones. Now was the chance to ask where his brother was.
“Where is he?” He demanded, sword still pointed straight at it's heart.
It cocked his head, “Where is who?”
Théos growled in annoyance, “You know who! Where is Lucifer?”
The demon seemed to be thinking for a moment before it smiled, rather evilly, it's long fangs glinting in the moonlight. Suddenly, it began to glow and morph and there stood Lucifer in it's place, only, he wasn't quite who he used to be. He kept the horns, tail, long fangs and claws, and glowing eyes as the demon had.
“I'm right here.” He hissed and smiled again.
Théos looked baffled, “You changed yourself... Into one of those?”
“Not entirely. I can transform into one, but it did permanently change my image. Ah, it's no matter. I like myself like this.”
“Brother... How could you do this? You just destroyed nearly all of the Holy Kingdom. Why...?” Théos stammered, slightly lowering his sword.
Lucifer growled, “I did this to destroy you; you and your pesky little minions and everybody that worships you. I'm sick of it! I want respect, I want... Acceptance! You never grant it to me, and instead keep it in! You wouldn't dare let me share some pride because, oh, I may go out a use it! Guess what? I may have not if you just gave it to me in the first place!”
“Lucifer, listen to me... Do you think I want this glory? No, I don't. I hate it, but I can't stop these people from giving their lives for the good of me. They do it because I was the true leader, you were just a helper. And it may sound cruel but it's the truth... Fate made it this way. I'm sorry; if I could change it, I would for you. Just stop... Accept it...”
“Accept what? That I was destined to be ignored? I may not be looking for power, but I damn well am looking for someone to at least listen to me!” Lucifer argued, his red eyes seemingly glowing brighter, “And don't call me Lucifer, for my new name is Satan, and I'm going to take over and finally gain the attention I crave! If you don't like it, then fight me!” He then drew his sword and pointed it at Théos who still did not raise his in defense.
There was a long silence that passed between the two. Lucifer, now the newly renamed Satan, stood his ground and waited for movement from his brother.
Théos sighed, and then, surprisingly, he threw his sword on the ground, “I will not fight my brother.” He announced.
Gabriel looked at him like he had grown a second head, “Théos! He'll destroy you!”
Théos looked back with an unreadable expression, “I know.”
Satan tensed up and looked surprised, but he got into a battle ready position again. With a yell, he charged at Théos, his sword held like a lance in both hands.
His brother did not move, instead he stood there, his expression still blank and far away. He was staring at Satan intently and when he got close enough, ready to pierce right through Théos's heart, he raised his hand which glowed with power.
He placed it right on Satan's heart, stopping him in his tracks. He dropped his sword and began to scream, not of pain but of fear. The ground opened up below him and chains grabbed his ankles and wrists, binding him, and they began to pull him down, fire lacing around his body as he seemingly melted into the ground. His comrades, Cassius, Judas, and Brutus would be joining him moments later.
As the ground closed back up and the last echoes of Satan's screams were rid from the Holy Kingdom, Gabriel came up to Théos.
“Where did you send him?”
The God looked up at him, “I sent him to Hell; a place of torture where he will reign. His demons will be there and they will torture sinners for all eternity. He got what he wanted in the long run.”
Then, Théos knelt to the ground, placing his hand where the hole once was and he began to talk softly, “Brother, I loved you, and I'm sorry... I hope you know that it was you I always looked up to... I just wanted the best for you, but I guess I wasn't good enough, and I guess I was just a little too late...”
Nearly tens of thousands of years later, Satan curled up into a ball, weak and rid of dignity in his lair. Cassius, Judas, and Brutus looked over him solemnly, and pitifully. After what Taylor had inflicted on him, he was a mess and it would take time for him to heal.
Still, he remembered his brother's words, and they echoed in his mind forever. He couldn't cry, but he wanted too. He had never felt so defeated since the Fall.
I'm sorry too, brother... Someday... Someday I hope that you and I will meet again and you can gain back the respect you kept hidden for me... I'm so sorry... I wish that had never happened.
He dug his face back in his paws and moped. The next time he decided to open the gates of Hell, it would be to escape to the Holy Kingdom and greet his brother once again and give him a formal apology.
All I wanted was acceptance... I got that, yes, but I got it from the wrong kind of people...
Maybe Satan wasn't so bad after all.
lol ok that was kind of short, but yeah :U i made my own version of how lucifer/satan fell.
and i kind of feel bad for satan. poor guy. :c
next two chapters shall come soon! :o
SMALL UPDATE TIME.
chapter seventeen; making mirrors
He was floating; drifting somewhere off into space. Dark and light circles danced all around him and when he tried to reach out to touch them, they floated away.
It reminded him of fireflies in a way, the way they bobbed and weaved through the nothingness.
He drifted down, or was he drifting up? He wasn't quite sure, but he drifted somewhere. There he saw a doorway and he opened it, and it opened to everything.
Every shred of light, every fragment of beings. He saw it all, or maybe, it was just a trick of the mind, but he could have sworn he could reach out and touch it.
Everything blurred; he was leaving soon. He looked around and only saw a mirror. Gazing into it, he saw a monster and knew it was him in his true self. He stroked his reflection like it was a pet he owned, but then he was sucked backwards.
He flailed helplessly against the vacuum. Eventually he came to a stop and another door opened in front of him. He grabbed the knob and pulled it open and he saw.
VERY SHORT CHAPTER IS SHORT.
told you it was a filler.
YOU HAVE TO WAIT NOW. DON'TWORRY I'M WRITING UP THE NEXT CHAPTER HOLD YOUR HORSES.
k i should be back in the next three hours even though it should only take me like thirty minutes to type up the next chapter lol.
AND WHEN I POST THIS IT WILL HOPEFULLY BE OFFICIALLY THREE HOURS AWAY FROM THE LAST POST :D
i'm smart at time aren't i. hurr hurr.
whatever, here's the last filler!
chapter eighteen; softly spoken wise words
At first, there was light, and then it all melted into a scene of a rainy day and a bus stop.
Taylor took one step, and nothing happened. The rain continued to pelt his shoulders as he walked to the bench to wait for the bus.
There sat on either side an old man and a young boy. The young boy had sandy blond hair and the same, bright green eyes as Taylor. The old man had balding white hair and was holding a cane between his legs. His eyes were shielded behind dark colored glasses.
The boy scooted over as Taylor approached and sat down between them. He had a feeling he should wait for the bus. He would explore this world more, but fog surrounded the right and left ends of the road in front of him. It was best to stay safe with these people who could possibly tell him where he was and when the bus would arrive and where it would take him.
“Hey um...” He started and they both glanced at him, “Where are we?”
The old man spoke up first, “You're in the in-between, son.”
“What's that?” Taylor asked.
This time, the little boy spoke, “It's in between the Holy Kingdom and Hell.”
Taylor seemed a little bit stunned. So, he was dead? How did that happen? He made a gulping sound and asked another question, “So... I'm dead?”
The little boy shrugged, “Beats me. I'm not sure if I am, but the bus that comes will take us to either the entrance to Hell or the gates of the Holy Kingdom.”
Taylor was quite curious as to what this “Holy Kingdom” was. He expected it was Heaven, as he it sounded something like that.
“Don't forget the meadows of Purgatory, and some people stay here. Head off into the mist and you'll find yourself in Limbo, the place of sorrow without torture.” The old man spoke, his voice gruff and cracked with age.
“The meadows of Purgatory? What's that?”
He chuckled at Taylor's question, “Oh certainly you'd know. It's the place you get to if you've escaped damnation. Here your sins are forgotten and melt into the grass. You have to head up the mountain to get to the gates, and sometimes, people don't make it.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“He means that sometimes people are fooled. They try to make it but before approaching the gates they are sucked into Hell.” The little boy piped up.
“Oh... Do you know where you guys are heading?” Taylor asked.
“No one knows where you head when you're in the in-between. Upon entering, some are compelled to enter the fog where they are greeted by the plain of Limbo. Some sit and wait; they usually find themselves in the right places.”
Taylor just nodded and looked ahead, wondering when the bus would arrive. So, he was possibly dead. Maybe... Maybe he'd get through Purgatory and see Chris again. That would be the best thing in the world to him.
“I wouldn't be so hopeful if I were you.” The old man suddenly said.
“What?” Taylor asked.
“You have a strange light about you. I don't really think it is your time yet. You must go back; you do not belong here.”
“So, I'm not really dead?”
The little boy nodded, “You may just be on the brink of death, but I think you will live. I agree with the old man, you should go back.”
“How do I get back?”
The old man smiled, “Think of the worst memory you've ever had; you'll get out eventually.” Taylor didn't know why the old man was smiling to this, but he began to think of his worst memory. Was it when he was left by his mother on the front steps of the orphanage? Was it him being beaten up and bullied by his peers in high school? Was it those moments in his dorm room where he cried and only wished for someone to at least see and pay attention to him? Was it when Chris died?
Or was it when Satan betrayed him and told him of all the crimes he had committed just to make Taylor his Messenger?
“I have too many to count...”
“Well, what's the one where you wake up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare of it?”
“I don't have nightmares...”
The old man leaned over and pat his shoulder, “Don't worry son, you'll find it. I know if you think deep down, you'll find it somewhere.”
An engine sounded deep from somewhere and a bus pulled up from a road away from the mist. It's headlights glowed in the darkness, and it's windshield wipers beat away the rain that fell on the windows. It's breaks squeaked as it halted in front of the bus stop, and it's doors opened.
Taylor couldn't see inside; it was dark and misty like the ways to Limbo. He looked over at the boy and the man and they got up and started walking towards the bus.
“Wait!” Taylor called and they both looked back at him.
“Who are you guys?”
They looked at each other for a moment and grinned, looking back at Taylor. In unison, they spoke, “We are you, and you are us.”
Taylor blinked, at first he was confused, but then he figured out what they were saying. The little boy was him when he was a child, and the old man was him when he would be older.
But they were dead; what did that mean?
He guessed the little boy was his childhood, and how it had passed. He had killed it off. But the old man? Did that mean he would die as an old man, or did it mean that he would die before he got old?
They then turned back around and the child boarded the bus, and then the old man. But, before he could get on, he stopped and turned back towards Taylor.
From there he he spoke, “Don't be so intent on leaving, Taylor, there is a life to live, you just have to figure it out.” It was softly spoken wise words, and they rang in Taylor's head for what seemed like a lifetime. Then, the old man said something else.
“And remember this, Taylor, it's all in your mind.”
He disappeared into the bus and it made a honk of it's horn before driving off to another road that veered away from the mist.
At once, Taylor's surroundings disappeared and he found himself in blackness. He remembered what the old man had said, and he began to think of the time when Satan betrayed him. At once, he was hit with the image of the devil laughing at him and saying he was nothing but trash. He saw Satan crouched over a dead Chris.
Fangs bared, he bit deep into his chest. Blood sprayed everywhere. It was exaggerated, but Taylor couldn't shake the feeling that this was real.
Despite Chris being dead, he could hear his screams of agony from somewhere and Taylor cupped his hands over his ears, trying to block them out, but they rang deep in his mind and he screamed back.
His eyes were glued to the scene before him, where Satan ripped out Chris's heart and began to eat it. That was it. Taylor couldn't take it anymore.
He also began to hear Satan's voice over the chorus of screams. He taunted that he killed Chris over and over again, and that he would throw Taylor away like the trash he was.
“Stop...” Taylor mumbled. He wanted to cry; wrench his sight away from the terrible picture the nightmare had already implanted in his brain.
“Stop! I want to wake up!” Taylor cried into the nothingness, his voice louder than Satan's and the yelling. Still, the scene did not go away and he was about to give up and just go back to the in-between. He wanted to be safe from the horrors his mind attacked him with.
He couldn't give up though, he wanted to live. The time to see Chris again would have to wait. He did have a life to live, and there was a possibility the friends he had were still around and they would help him.
Taylor gritted his teeth and tried again, this time more aggressively, “I don't want to be dead anymore!” He screamed at the top of his lungs; as loud as he could. He screamed until his vocal chords felt like they would snap in two.
Suddenly, everything vanished. Taylor could hear something besides the echoes of his screech. A heartbeat; it belonged to him. He frantically looked around, seeing the blackness dissolve into light, and colors. He ran towards where he thought the heartbeat was located; the lightest area in the disappearing darkness.
He stretched out his hand and caught it, and color blossomed around him. He breathed in the scent of life and, for once, was glad he was alive.
i may start on chapter nineteen too idk.
MAYBE I WILL POST CHAPTER NINETEEN AND CHAPTER TWENTY ON SATURDAY/SUNDAY :D.
nah that's probably not gonna happen.
i'll try to get off my lazy ass and work on them though.
hope you enjoyed the fillers!
This is really good. The story is amazing. And to think this is 100% original!! Nice job!
thanks, prodigy! <3
anyway, sorry for the super long wait for this one. this chapter's pretty long, and i was up until three a.m last night just writing half of it up. i finished it today and yeah :U. sorry about that. you may have to wait a little long for the next one too, because that one's probably going to be even more massive.
also, the next one is the last chapter, so cling to your seat because it's gonna get rocky o3o. i also suggest you bring tissues. lots and lots of tissues. i'm going to need them too... ;;
chapter nineteen; bronte.
Voices. They all chorused around Taylor's ears like a blurred out song. They were muffled and Taylor felt like he was underwater. Light had covered all the corners of his mind and eventually, there were colors and he could make out the noise surrounding him.
It was people talking; specifically, when Taylor finally opened his eyes, he could see it was a doctor calling his name.
“Aha! He's awake!” The doctor exclaimed and started clapping as if Taylor's awakening was a celebration of some sort.
Taylor could only choke out a couple of words as he woke from his unconscious slumber, “What... Going on...”
“You've been asleep for a long time, young man.” The doctor said.
“How long...?” Taylor mumbled, slowly regaining the ability to make his vocal chords work.
“Well let's see... At least a month. It'll take some time to adjust to the time change. I bet you think it's been only a day since you passed out, ha!” The doctor chuckled, as if he was making a joke when Taylor honestly couldn't see anything funny about him being in a coma for a month.
Still, what the doctor said was true. Taylor felt like it was just a few hours after the fight. He placed his hand on his head as a slight headache was felt from all the lights on and the talking.
The migraine only got worse as a girl in a nice business suit pushed past the doctor and looked at Taylor. She was chewing gum rather loudly, with her mouth open and Taylor could smell the powerful minty scent it gave off.
“Hi Taylor! My name is Casey and I'm a news reporter for the local news and the Sunday paper! I just want to ask you a few questions relating to how you literally became a hero and saved the world from an apocalypse, as well as your thoughts!” She spoke in a very mousy, obnoxious, and fast-paced voice. Casey shoved a microphone in Taylor's face and he had the sudden urge to smack it out of her hands.
“Um... Can I... Rest a little bit? I just woke up from being asleep for a month after a tragic event. Can I get some time to adjust?” Taylor politely asked. He was pretty annoyed actually; if he was stronger, he would have been wrestling with everybody to force them out of his room and let him be by himself for a while.
“Taylor's right.” The doctor suddenly spoke up, placing a shoulder on Casey's hand, “You can come back in a few days if you'd like, but now is not the time to ask him questions. Let him have some time to himself and recover more.”
Casey made a groan and stomped off, “Okay, fine; Jimmy, let's go.” She snapped her fingers and a man with a camera came up, snapped a picture of Taylor, and followed Casey out the door.
As Taylor blinked away the blinding flash that the camera made, the doctor explained what happened. After Taylor had passed out, they of course sent an ambulance and at first, the diagnosis was pretty bad; Taylor was expected to be in coma for at least a year, but had made a sudden improvement after the first few days of being in the hospital. His wounds weren't too bad, and they had healed long before Taylor woke up.
He then said a “get well soon” and walked out the door.
Taylor looked outside the open window. Afternoon daylight was streaming through the glass windows and he heard the soft chirping of songbirds outside. When he passed out, the month was April, so it was May now. Taylor realized he had skipped Chris and his' anniversary; not of when they married, but of when they first said they loved each other. Taylor sighed in longing and stared up at the ceiling.
He began to wonder whatever happened to Natalie, and if Deborah or his parents had come to visit him in the hospital while he was in his coma. Did they plan to visit again soon? Taylor hoped so; he wanted to see a familiar face right now.
It wasn't long before the silence in the room made him drift off to sleep again.
Three days had passed since Taylor's awakening. He was slowly getting better and got used to the fact that a whole month had passed and spring was slowly making it's way into summer. He got get well gifts from people he didn't even know; most were survivors of the epidemic that happened, or were family members of the survivors. They were grateful for his heroic deeds, and wished him luck with life. It was strange though; he never got a card from Natalie, Deborah, or his parents. He did get a card from Chris's parents, and Natalie's parents however.
At noon, he was alerted by a knock on the door. The doctor came in, with Casey and her cameraman, Jimmy.
“I was told you were better so I thought I'd give it a shot!” She rushed up to Taylor's side, grabbed a chair to sit in, and thrust a microphone in his face. She had a pen and paper ready in her lap, her right hand holding the pen and her hazel eyes staring at him unblinkingly.
“Um... Is the microphone really necessary? I'm right here, you know.” Taylor started.
“Oh, this?” Casey laughed, a very high pitched and loud laugh, “This is just for dramatization; it isn't even on!”
Taylor rolled his eyes and Casey placed it by her side, allowing Taylor to speak without it. Without even asking anything, Taylor began to pour everything out to her. He told her about the Devil's Gift; how Satan had met him and how he granted him his powers. He explained the friendships he had with Natalie and Chris, and how Chris and him eventually fell in love, lived together after college, and got married. He tried not to cry as he told her about the death of Chris, and she even gave him a box of tissues as she saw how watery his eyes got. Taylor ended it off with Satan's betrayal to him, and the opening of the Gates of Hell and how he decided to “kill” Satan after he saw him torturing Natalie, which was the girl he was trying to reach before he fainted.
Casey jotted down notes word by word, adding some of her own comments when necessary. She thanked Taylor when he was done, and Taylor shook her hand as a “you're welcome”. He didn't care about how he had basically told his life story to a complete stranger, albeit a stranger who was apart of the media; he had thought, What the hell, let them suck it up, I don't care.
After that, Jimmy snapped another picture of him, and before they left, Casey gave him a tape containing the clip of him defeating the Devil. He thanked her again and asked the doctor, Dr. Benson, to put it in the TV mounted on the wall for him. Fortunately, it had a tape player and he inserted it in, pressing the play button. Taylor sat up to see it better.
At first, all you could hear was screaming, and all you could see was fire and burned buildings. Then laughter; familiar laughter that pierced Taylor's ears. He tried to reach for the remote Dr. Benson had given him to lower the volume, or put it on mute, but something restrained him from doing so. He kept his eyes fixed on the cloud of dust that blocked most of the view. Whoever was holding the camera was shaking and screaming in fear too, and then suddenly, the smoke cleared and there Satan was; hovering in the sky, his head thrown back as he howled with maniacal cackling that Taylor would never forget. He presented himself like a king; the way he held his head high and watched people burn to smithereens before him. It was his new kingdom. It was a kingdom full of hatred and devastation that Taylor had managed to crush.
Satan's eyes glowed as it looked dead at the camera. He didn't know if he was staring at the person holding it, or something above him, but whoever had it was frozen in fear. Taylor stared back at the orbs, falling into their void like he was being hypnotized.
All of a sudden, his mind grew blank and all he could think about was the terror that had unfolded on that day; all the lives lost, and Natalie lying motionless on the ground. He could hear Satan's laughs, taunting and malignant, coursing right through Taylor's ear drums and penetrating his heart. Images flashed by of a dead Chris, a bloody Chris, his screams of agony, Satan eating his heart out, Satan's glowing, hypnotic eyes, Satan, Satan, Satan, Satan.
It started with a tremor that began in Taylor's toes. They twitched uncontrollably as he stared blankly at the television screen. His eyes lost their focus, and began to glaze over. A metallic taste filled his mouth, like he was sucking on a nail. His fingers started to shake.
“Taylor are you alright?” Dr. Benson, who had stayed in Taylor's room to watch the video with him, questioned. His voice didn't seem to snap Taylor out of his strange trance. Oddly enough, his voice sounded like someone had just put it through a voice synchronizer and had slowed it down, and then put it underwater.
Taylor tried to say something in response; a cry of help or anything really. All that came out was a breath of air and pretty soon the tremors took over him completely, and darkness surrounded him as he fell over on his side.
“Taylor? Taylor, can you hear me?” A bright light was shining right on Taylor's eyes and he blinked them open slowly, seeing Dr. Benson standing there with a mini-flashlight that doctor's carried around. He was flashing the beam in Taylor's eyes and turned it off as he began to blink rapidly.
“Thank God, I thought you had thrown yourself into another coma.” He breathed a sigh of relief and Taylor slowly began to sit up, trying to remember what happened before he blacked out.
“What happened...?” He asked drowsily.
“You had a seizure.” Taylor made a groan at this. A seizure; that was new.
“Have you ever had one before?”
“Not that I know of.” Taylor replied to Dr. Benson, rubbing his eyes.
“Hmmm...” Dr. Benson narrowed his eyes and put on a thinking face, “This doesn't seem like a good sign... That coma may have harmed your brain a little and probably triggered the seizure. Still, on the video there was a lot of fire and bright lights going on and shakiness from the camera. That may have been what caused it. We'll do a strobe light test just to make sure you don't have epilepsy or anything. There are a ton of reasons as to why you had the seizure, but we need to mark out the common diagnoses first before delving any deeper.” He pat Taylor's knee and got up from the bed.
“Also, I'll need your driver's license. State law, you know. Have to wait a year after you have a seizure to get it back.”
“You're kidding me!”
“I kid you not.” He shook his head and Taylor groaned. It wasn't like it was really serious. It may just have been random or part of him recovering.
Still, he had to give up his license because it was the law, and he couldn't fight that. He wished he lived in some state where the wait was only three months, or lower. A year was ridiculous in his opinion.
Dr. Benson left the room and Taylor laid back down, racking his brain and trying to come up with a solution as to why he would have something as strange as a seizure. He had never had one before; that was true, and he was sure his parents never had a history of them. He wished they were here right now so he could ask them. He also wished Deborah or Natalie were here to comfort him and give him gifts and give him his “get well” comments.
He didn't understand why they never came, or sent him cards, or even tell a nurse that they said hi. He was frustrated and confused and just wanted someone to talk to.
They did the strobe light test and Taylor got nothing more than a headache from the flashing. Dr. Benson gave him other tests; he went through multiple MRI's to see if he had any head trauma or tumors in his brain. It sounded serious, and Taylor was certain he didn't have anything of the sort, and he didn't.
Eventually, Dr. Benson said that Taylor shouldn't worry about it, and if he had any more than it was best to see him again.
Taylor was discharged a few days later and before he could head out and catch a bus to his apartment in Monroe, Casey the news reporter rushed up to him, Jimmy trailing behind her.
“Taylor!” He turned towards her, wondering what she wanted now. He had told her everything about the fight and his history, so why would she want him now?
“Well I heard about the whole video incident. Sorry about that, I shouldn't have given you it.” She said as she came up next to him.
“It's fine; you didn't know I would have a seizure.”
Casey nodded, “Well, I was wondering... If you have a chance, maybe you could see the aftermath of the battle with us? We'd love your opinion on the work the people have been doing and how much has been saved.”
“Oh.” Taylor breathed. It sounded like a good idea, but something was nagging him to not go that way and just go back home.
“Well, will you come? We'll take you in the news van.”
“Oh, thanks. I'll come.”
Taylor and the news crew walked towards their van that displayed it's logo and a satellite that sat atop it's roof. The driver was waiting in the car, and the cameraman sat in the passenger seat while Casey and Taylor took their seats in the back, surrounded by various news gathering equipment.
Taylor's anxiety grew as the headed closer towards the heart of the city which was the place of attack. He didn't want to know what memories he would find there.
Taylor hopped out of the van, and a cloud of dust fluffed up underneath his sneakers as he stepped down. He looked around, seeing that most of the remains were still rubble and dust. Rescue teams had basically cleaned up most of the damage, and some were still searching for missing persons, their service dogs sniffing the ground heavily and digging at mounds of debris.
“Firefighters say they should have this place fully cleaned up in another month or so. I have to admit, it looks better than what it was after you were taken away.” Casey said suddenly as she came up from behind Taylor.
Taylor was barely listening though, he was just staring around. He saw the impact craters, most of them being filled up. There were some furrows in the ground from the fissures that released tight chains to bound anything they touched.
Some families who had come to visit and remember and mourn the dreaded day noticed Taylor stalking the grounds, his eyes wary and vague as he passed beside images he remembered from then.
Most gave a friendly wave and smile towards him as he walked by, but others followed him so they could confront them themselves and say a thank you for his heroism.
Taylor had other plans though, and it was present on his face that he didn't like what he saw surrounding him. He didn't like the memories that it brought him, of the terrifying face that haunted his nightmares; the screams of his unworthiness and the fact that he was trash.
Someone placed a hand on Taylor's shoulder. It was a man who wanted to thank him for saving his family that lived here and witnessed the terrible event. Taylor did not snap out of remembrance, and instead, insisted that this man was not his friend and he whirled around, fury lacing his gaze.
The man looked taken aback and was about to apologize, but it was too late, Taylor had already launched a punch straight towards his mouth. He landed flat on his back, his face a bloody mess.
Still, Taylor did not snap out of this strange trance. He made an odd-sounding screech at the man and looked like he was about to flay him to bits. Some firefighters nearby noticed the commotion, and ran towards Taylor, grabbing him and trying to restrain him from continuing to beat up the poor guy.
Casey ran over with Jimmy at her heels. He took pictures of Taylor freaking out as he struggled against the grip of the firefighters.
Suddenly, a tremor started in his fingertips and toes and pretty soon he was consumed by these shivers and fell to the destroyed concrete, blacking out.
Taylor's eyes flickered open. He was back in the hospital, Dr. Benson looking at him as he craned his head over to examine him.
“Oh, you're awake. You had another seizure.”
“Another one?” Taylor mumbled as he placed his hand on his head.
Dr. Benson nodded, “You also have a visitor.”
Taylor's eyebrows rose in surprise. Maybe it was Deborah, his parents, or even Natalie visiting him. Disappointment made his eyes narrow as he saw a lady that was complete stranger to him walk up to him.
“Hello, Taylor!” Her voice was cheerful, and calm, “How are you doing today? My name is Tracey.”
Taylor said nothing, and continued to narrow his eyes. Tracey took no note of this and continued on talking.
“Dr. Benson and I have been talking about your seizures and we have come up with a conclusion as to why you are having them. It seems you have post-traumatic stress disorder, and one that can get pretty violent. Although your condition seems stable now, there's no telling when you'll burst into a seizure again. Everyone's talking about how you saved the world, and it isn't going to go away in a week or two. This is big, Taylor; you're a hero so naturally people are going to want to come up to you and tell you about it, which is bad because you'll start freaking out. No worries though, after much thought, I have decided to take you to the mental hospital here that I co-own and manage. There you'll be treated for your disorder in hopes that you'll calm down a little more and gain more control of it.” Tracey explained, still smiling and looking so carefree.
“Whoa, what? You want to take me to a mental hospital?” Taylor started to make awkward laughs. This had to be some kind of a joke, “You're kidding, right? I... I'm not crazy, I mean, it just happens. I can avoid it-”
“Taylor, you're world famous right now. Your face is pasted all over the Internet. Many people's lives were saved because of you, and people want to thank you for that. I bet people all over the globe are asking for your autograph.”
“Oh... I didn't know I was that popular... I was just...” He trailed off as he remembered seeing Natalie and shook his head. No, he had to look composed in front of these people.
“Well, the decision's already been made. You have been admitted and the bus that'll take you there is going to pick you up in two days. Trust me, you'll thank me later for this. If we let you go, you'd be in terrible condition.” Tracey said.
She then said she'd see him later and left him alone with Dr. Benson.
He looked at Taylor and gave him a friendly pat on his shoulder, and followed behind Tracey. Taylor just stared after them as they left and sighed. He couldn't believe his luck. He was going to some psycho house just because of something that wasn't too serious in his opinion.
Maybe it means more than I think it does... Taylor thought to himself. He sighed again, and flipped over on his side.
It was pouring rain when Taylor got out of the hospital. Standing under the balcony of the entrance, he stared out into the downpour and before he knew it, a van with the mental hospital’s logo on it arrived, its yellow headlights gleaming through the darkened light, creating a foggy glow on the road before it.
The doors opened and Taylor walked up, dashing through the rain to avoid getting really wet and climbed inside.
It was light and warm, and Taylor was all by himself except for Tracey who was smiling at him on the front seat of the bus.
“Hey, Taylor! Are you ready to go? We’re willing to drop you off by your apartment to get a couple of things, and then we’ll head on to the hospital.” She said, her voice as bright and cheery as it was a couple days ago.
“Okay.” Taylor answered back in a small voice and sat in the seat behind her, staring out the window.
After an hour or so, they arrived in Monroe and Taylor gave the bus-driver directions to his apartment. Nostalgia rushed over him as they parked outside the building. He climbed up the steps to his front door on the second floor of the building and dug for the keys in the plant outside the door. Once he found them, he unlocked the door and went in.
Nothing seemed to have changed since the fateful day when he ran out to do his duties as Satan’s Messenger. Chris’s ashes sat on the windowsill, the flowers in the vase looking brown and withered. Taylor made a mental note in his head that once he came back, he would replace the flowers. There was no time today, but an urge overtook him that said he should replace the flowers now to show respect to Chris. There was no telling how long he would be gone.
He went into the hall closet and dragged out his suitcase, rolling it into his bedroom where he packed up a bundle of clothes from his wardrobe. He looked around for trinkets to take along with him as a comfort. He took the photo from his bedside table that displayed he and Chris nicely dressed in their tuxedos on the wedding night. Taylor’s younger self beamed up at him, along with Chris who stood beside him, an arm over his shoulder.
There was a rush of movement and Taylor looked over at the shoulder where Chris’s arm would have been, but he saw nothing and sighed. He picked up the photo and placed it gently on the top of his clothes.
Then, he ventured into the bathroom to get his toothbrush and toothpaste (he expected they had some there, but he wasn’t sure) as well as a comb just in case.
The minute he walked in, he stepped on something. Looking down, he noticed the blade of a knife was underneath his shoe. He lifted up his leg and reached down, picking up the knife. That’s when he noticed the bloodstains splattered and dried all over the floor. In his rush after getting The Mark, he hadn’t cleaned up the mess of gore and the evidence of a struggle was still here all over the white tile.
Taylor gulped, trying not to think of the day when that happened. His wrist still burned from the deep wounds Satan had inflicted, and just to make sure it was still there, he studied his wrist. Everything was like it was the day he fled the apartment. It had scabbed over, but kept a permanent scarring that would forever signify that he was Satan’s Messenger, and he was loyal to his master.
Satan was gone though. Taylor never understood why Satan hadn’t taken away his powers when he had the chance, or that they had been vanquished once the Devil was weakened and put back in his place.
Arguing with himself about this was enough for him to remember the hellfire and the screaming and the bloody bodies of the fallen. He did not want to think about it, and he felt his hands shake as he did so.
No, he told himself, I will not be seen as a coward. I have to let this go and get better.
So, he took a deep breath, scrounged through the blood splattered drawers and found what he had initially come for. After that, he rushed out, placing everything in his open suitcase and zipping it up. He forgot one thing though, his jacket.
Taylor opened the closet doors and was greeted by boxes of Chris’s clothes and items that were neatly stacked and bundled up into a corner of the closet. Shaking off the memories of him, Taylor took his jacket off the hanger and closed the closet door.
Sighing, he put his jacket on, grabbed the suitcase and rolled it out the door. As he closed up his apartment, he hid his keys back in the plant outside and with a last reluctant glance at the door; he dug away his anxiety deep into his stomach and marched down the stairway with pride in his steps.
Still, even when he got into the bus, he looked behind him at the home he and Chris used to share and knew when he came back, it still wouldn’t be the same. He had a new life now, and he just had to suck it up and deal with it.
“And this is your room! You won't have a roommate just in case they spark up a conversation with you about the incident. You can go ahead and get cozy in here and they'll be calling for lunch in the cafeteria in a few minutes.”
Tracey closed the door on Taylor and he looked around the room. There was a single bed with a single small window above it. The walls were a boring gray color and there was a tiny bathroom with a shower and bathtub to the left of the bed.
He sighed and dropped his suitcase on the bed and began to unpack. Once he got to the picture of Chris and him, he made a wistful sigh and hugged the photo. He placed it underneath his pillow and kept his clothes in his suitcase.
Taylor sat down on the bed, the mattress sagging a little from his weight. He looked out the window and saw trees and blue sky peeking from the mass of gray clouds. He didn't understand why he was still here. It's not like they could erase his memory of what happened that day, and in reality, even forgetting it enough to the point where he couldn't worry about it anymore seemed impossible. It was a terrible incident, and he still didn't know if Natalie made it out alive, and why his parents and Deborah never visited him in the hospital. He wondered if they would even see him here.
Most importantly, he still missed Chris. He knew it would take a while to get over his death, but he was sure that he would never get together with anybody else with Chris's ghost still haunting his mind.
He fell sideways on his bed and stared at the wall for a long time. He didn't know what was wrong with him, and he wanted to just get better and move on. He wanted Chris to be here, because that was the only thing that could heal him.
Taylor had stayed in his bed for the first few days, curled up underneath the covers and thinking about Chris. He only ever got out of the room to eat at the cafeteria, and there he sat away from everybody else and avoided eye contact.
Still, he had looked around at the people and it was true he was in a mad house. There were some pretty screwed up people here, mostly those who had lost all sense of thought and were really loony. He felt like he was the only half-sane person here.
They gave him pills that he took every morning at breakfast. The pills were rather large and hard to swallow and Taylor hated taking them because he felt even worse afterwards. Maybe it would take a while for them to kick in, but he really didn't think they did anything.
And it was noticeable that he was getting worse. On the fourth day of being in the mental institute, Taylor was taking a shower. It was about ten o'clock and night and people were beginning to back into their rooms and fall asleep. When he got out and dried himself off, he went back to his bed to put on some clothes to sleep in. However, when he stepped out of the bathroom, something surprising and equally terrifying was sitting on his bed.
It was Satan, sitting there and staring at him with his haunting glowing red eyes.
At first Taylor did a double-take and fell on the floor in surprise. Satan smiled and he began to back up into a corner of the room.
“Go away.” He hissed and pressed himself closer into the corner, trying to get as far away from his enemy as possible.
Satan stayed put and put a smile upon his face. He got off the bed and began to slowly walk towards Taylor, ready to rip him into shreds of himself and leave him in a bloody mess like he had done with Chris.
Taylor screamed. He screamed rather loudly and looked around for something to throw at Satan, or something to drive him away. He kept repeating “go away” and shielding himself from an attack that never came.
A nurse outside had heard Taylor's voice and rushed in, shouting his name.
“Stay back! He's here!” Taylor cried, and his wings burst out behind him out of instinct.
Satan made a taunting laugh that echoed in Taylor's ears, causing a ringing from how loud it was. He made another screech and fire began to appear around Satan. It was coming for him, he was going to die.
The nurse shouted his name again and ran towards him. Taylor was beginning to lose control and started to shake madly. He felt the nurse grab him and calm him down, telling him he needed to rest and tried to help him into his bed, but he struggled against her grasp, eyes still fixed on Satan.
Something weird happened though. Satan cocked his head at Taylor and then suddenly vanished into thin air. The fire, the laughter, and Satan's presence was gone. Taylor blinked and stopped twitching.
“Mr. Duncan, calm down. It was just a hallucination, nobody's here. It's okay.” The nurse coaxed and helped Taylor to his bed. The bathrobe he was wearing was covered in cold sweat and eventually, his wings vanished as he took a few deep breaths. The nurse asked him if he needed anything, and he said he was fine.
Still, after the nurse left the shaking returned and he warily crawled underneath the covers, getting rid of his sweaty robe and throwing it on the floor. He closed his eyes and thought of Chris to help him relax and fall asleep, but the image of Satan sitting there still blotted out his mind and he tossed and turned in the bed sheets, close to tears and very afraid of Satan coming back.
He knew it was a hallucination, and tried to tell himself it was all in his mind, but it was so real. His hands still shook and he held them close to his chest, trying to stop the constant vibrations. He tried again to think of Chris and this time he calmed down a little. It was enough to put him at ease and sleep, but his sleep was disturbed by many images of Satan and of dead people he knew. He struggled to push them out of his head and think of something peaceful, but they ended up remaining where they were and Taylor awoke, drenched in cold sweats and close to hyperventilating. In the end, he gave up trying to fall asleep and stayed wide awake, staring at the ceiling and glancing around for movements in the shadows.
The next day, Taylor warily walked out of his room an hour after breakfast. He walked barefoot down the hallway and eventually found himself in the activity room. Tracey was working with a patient when she noticed him standing there, looking around. She asked a nurse to take care of the person while she went over to Taylor.
“It's good to see you out of your room for once! I see you've found our activity room. Would you like to join one?”
“Sure...” Taylor mumbled and Tracey smiled. She walked over to a round table where some people were clustered around. This was were she was talking to that patient before. The nurse who had took Tracey's place was gone and the patient seemed to go back to enjoying themselves.
“Today is Friday, and that means art day inside! It's been said that art is a good way to express how you feel and let go of your inner emotions.” Tracey explained and pulled up a seat for Taylor to sit down in.
“Guys, this is Taylor Duncan and he's going to be joining you today.”
At the mention of his very name, people turned around and stared at him, stopping what they were doing to gaze at him.
“I've heard about you.” One man with a bald head said. He had a slight tick going on where his fingers would twitch at times.
“You saved all those people.” An old woman spoke up and smiled at Taylor. He didn't smile back, but just made a small nod.
The others remained quiet and went back to their drawing. Taylor knew he would probably have no trouble with them.
“Have fun.” Tracey said and patted Taylor's back. He sat down in the chair and grabbed a piece of construction paper from the pile in the middle. A couple of pencils were scattered over the surface of the wooden table and he took one. He remembered in art class when he was in middle school that his art teacher had said drawing contour lines helped relieve stress.
So, he decided to give it a shot. He created a shape by drawing a continuous line, the tip of his pencil never leaving the surface of the paper.
“What's that you're creating?” The old woman asked, peering over Taylor's shoulder at his work.
“Something.” Taylor replied, not looking up from his drawing.
After a couple of minutes, he finished his drawing and looked back at it. To him it looked like a squiggle of lines that morphed into shapes. He was about to crumble it up and start a new one when the bald man noticed it.
“Hey, that's very good.”
The old woman looked up from her drawing of a tree and craned her head over to see Taylor's drawing, “That looks great! I like it.”
“Thanks...” Taylor mumbled. He really didn't think it was anything special.
“It kind of looks like a man with wings.” The old woman pointed out and Taylor looked closer at his drawing. She was right, it did kind of look like the top of a man with wings.
He checked out the drawing a little more. The man looked like he had spiky hair and he was smiling. His shoulders were wide and broad, and if he was real, he would be quite handsome.
“Hey, are there any coloring stuff around here?” He asked, looking around the table.
“There's some colored pencils.” The bald man said and Taylor reached out to where he was pointing and grabbed a couple of colors.
He used the tan pencil to color in the face and arms. He left the shirt white and then made the spiky hair black. There were two ovals on the face that Taylor recognized as eyes and he colored those with a dark, ocean blue color. He decided the shirt didn't look good white, so he made it a shade of gray. He left the wings alone and looked at his finished project.
Yes, it was a man, a man Taylor knew very well. He gazed at the picture longingly, and before he knew it, he needed to go back in his room and look at the picture of Chris; actually see him for real even though it was only a photo.
He scooted off of his chair and fast-walked towards his room. Tracey noticed him from afar and stopped him, grabbing him on the shoulder.
“Get off!” He demanded, and shrugged her hand away, walking faster to his room. He couldn't let anyone stop him from getting closer to Chris.
Nurses didn't make a jump for him as he rushed down the hall which he was grateful for. He didn't want to fight his way back, nor get thrown into the white-walled room which was where you went when you caused a fight. It was a type of solitary confinement.
Taylor opened the door and immediately closed it, hoping that no one would come in. There was no lock on the door for safety reasons so just to make sure no one would barge in, Taylor put a chair from a small table underneath the doorknob and sat on his bed, staring at the picture he drew before withdrawing the photo from underneath his pillow.
He placed a hand on Chris's image and kissed it, hoping that somehow, wherever he was now, he could feel it. Taylor sighed in longing, and fell over on his bed, watching his drawing flutter to the floor. He was holding the photograph close to his heart, and he began to cry; he cried deep shoulder-racking sobs where his stomach clenched and his throat felt like it was being twisted into a knot. He felt like throwing up. Still, he held what he had eaten for breakfast in his stomach and buried his face into the sheets. He needed to stop thinking about Chris, but it was so hard when everything he did revolved around him.
I can't do this... I just can't... Taylor thought, his eyes squeezed shut and tears flowing from his eyes. He wept about Chris and himself until he fell asleep, his pillow filled with his own tears.
“So, Mr. Taylor Duncan, you've been here for at least a week, so today we're going to do an evaluation of how it's been going so far. This is basically just to calculate where you're at in the mental state, and how long you'll be staying here.” The doctor smiled at me, like I was something to be smiled at. Nothing hurts more than someone smiling at you when you're dying inside.
I blinked and said nothing, which was probably what I was going to do the whole time he talked to me. Just say nothing and look like you get it and you'll do it, but then you don't.
“After the incident with the battle, you were sent here because of post-traumatic stress, right?”
I nodded slowly and eyed the doctor's name carved into a plaque on his large wooden desk. It read Dr. Song. I moved my eyes over to his and narrowed mine. I couldn't trust him, even if he was a doctor and he was here to help me.
“I see... Now from what I've heard around here, you've been mostly keeping to yourself in your room. Can you tell me why? There are tons of fun activities for you to do outside, and a chance to make new friends.”
For the first time, I spoke, “I don't want friends, neither do I need fun of any kind. I can't go back there. Nothing can cheer me up.”
Dr. Song blinked, surprised at first, “I see... And, when you did go out, you made art and drew something, but then walked back out. Tracey said you seemed close to tears. What happened?”
“I drew something that made me sad.” I talked rather coolly and flatly despite how broken up I was about everything. I wanted to act strong so I could get the hell out of here.
“And what did you draw?”
I was beginning to get aggravated with this man. I did not want to mention what made me sad out of fear of remembering it and feeling down. If I did that, he would see it, and they would keep me for another week, or month, or even a year.
Luckily, I kept it folded in my jeans pocket. I took it out and unfolded it, laying it on his desk for him to examine.
He took it up and looked at it for a bit before passing it back, “That looks good. What is it supposed to be?”
Does he really have to ask so many questions? I thought to myself.
“It's an angel.” I say. It's true, it was an angel, but it was my angel.
Dr. Song nodded, “And why did you cry about this?”
This time, I wanted to be specific to make him shut up, “Because it's my angel; it's my baby. But he's gone, and there's nothing I can do about it. So, I thought this, and went back to my room to cry. Is there anything else personal you need to ask?”
“Oh...” Dr. Song scribbled some things in the notebook he had in his hand, “I know this is a very touchy subject for you, but I want to know what happened to this angel of yours.”
I sighed, annoyed, “He wasn't an angel, but he is now. His name is Chris and he was everything. I cared about him more than I did myself. I thought I had him well protected, but I was wrong, and one day he stole Chris from me and now he's dead.”
“Who stole Chris, Taylor?”
“He did. The one who caused destruction.” I did not want to be specific. One word that scared me most was-
I flinched, and Dr. Song seemed to notice me recoil, “Don't say that name... Just don't...” I whispered, gritting my teeth. That name... It still echoed in my mind and it brought back terrible images of the screaming, and the horrifying scenes I witnessed trying to get out of the in-between. I did not want to have anything to do with him anymore; I wanted his very name banished off the face of the Earth so I would never have to think of him again.
“It was him though...” I finished and felt like getting out of my seat and walking out the door. I did not want to be here any longer, but he still had to give me the synopsis of how long I was going to stay here. From the way I acted, I'm expecting at least a year.
“Alright Taylor, just to let you know the questions I asked you were merely an exercise on how you can relate to things that traumatized you. From what I've heard from you, I'm going to assign you at least twenty more days here.”
Twenty. That wasn't so bad; it was not even a month. I nodded in understanding and he let me go. It was just twenty more days, I could do this, I was stronger than they thought. I would show them what I could do.
Still, walking to my room was enough to make me want to keel over and just start sobbing in the middle of the floor. When I went home, there would be nobody. There wouldn't be my beautiful angel waiting for me. He was gone, and I was alone forever. He was the only one that cared for me, and now there's nothing left except emptiness. I just wish my parents were here, or Natalie, and that they'd comfort me and tell me it's alright. More so, I want Chris to comfort me and tell me it's alright, but that's done and gone.
I opened the door to my room and slammed it shut, plopping onto my bed and letting the tears fall from my face. I don't remember the time when I wasn't crying. This week has just been a week of me moping around and sobbing and wishing for things to turn up. I know that if I go on like this, I'll die eventually. Right now, that's something I would never have wished better for. The old man lost, I have to meet Chris again. I just have to. I can only get better if I see him.
I dug my hands underneath my pillow and took out the picture of Chris. His royal blue eyes sparkled and his smile was divine. I stroked my thumb over his face and kissed it. I just want him so bad, and doing this just kills me even more.
I laid down and stared at the ceiling, the picture held close to my heart. I mumbled an “I love you” to Chris and hoped he could hear it from Heaven. There was no reply and I sighed wistfully, the tears still flowing from my eyes.
Just give me a sign that you're still with me, Chris... Anything... I need you so much. I echoed these words in my mind several times before deciding it was time to just take a rest. It was the evening and I wanted to go to bed early. I know that if I just stay in this room for twenty more days, I will be better. I can't go out and see the people or do anything or else I'll just choke myself up again.
I let myself slip away to dreams, but before my eyes flickered shut, I felt something comforting beside me. It wasn't warm, but it was a comfort. I smelled a familiar scent and I knew that he had heard me and had come for a little while. He had to leave soon but I would cherish his time while he still had it.
“Chris?” I called out and I was answered by a stroke of a hand moving my hair out of my face. I smiled and continued to breathe him in, and the touch of his lips was felt on my cheeks. I called his name again.
“Taylor, I am always here. I will always be by your side, and though my visits will be short, you will be sure to still find me here. I am not gone.” Chris reassured, still stroking my face with his soft to the touch hand.
“I love you so much... I will never let you go. I will never let my heart be taken by someone else. Just stay a little longer, I really need you here for all time...” I mumbled desperately.
“I will stay with you tonight, but I have to go back once daylight breaks. I will be back tomorrow night though. I will watch over you and guide you.”
“Thank you...” I mumbled. I didn't know what else to say, I had already said it. I let Chris nestle beside me and pet my hair and comfort me more than any drug would. I turned around as my back was facing him and opened my eyes, seeing his true self.
He looked the same as he always had. He looked whole in regular jeans and a t-shirt. His eyes glowed brighter than ever before and shimmering wings gleamed brilliantly behind him. I had forgotten how he had caught my eye, and this proved how beautiful he really was. I placed a hand on his face and was surprised that it didn't pass through. He was really an angel; not a ghost or a hallucination.
I could never feel better by realizing this. I could kiss him and touch him and make him mine. I kissed him lightly and was wreathed in his scent. He wrapped his arms around me and I did the same. I let myself be carried away into him and was overwhelmed with dreams. He was better than a lullaby, and I thanked him for his love to me and being able to stay with me for real.
I murmured a last I love you before I floated off and away to another place and time.
If it weren't for Chris's comfort throughout the next twenty days, I wouldn't be in the bus heading home right now. I got a little more controlled through Chris's help, and I didn't hallucinate or have any seizures during that time. I was getting better.
Still, the doctor I had been seeing during my time in there had given me medication and we'd be meeting at regular intervals throughout the year until he was sure I was alright to go off on my own.
I have to admit, they were scared at first of letting me off alone. They didn't know what I would do out there, and with no supervision, if I went crazy I was basically a ticking time bomb.
So Tracey devised a plan. She and a group of nurses would visit me daily to check up on me, and I would keep a tracking device on so just in case of an emergency, I could call for help and they'd be able to locate me.
They had joined me on the journey back home and would help me out with the tracking device and how to use it. They also asked me if I was fine with food, and I said I was okay. It's not like I couldn't get some more, I had money. During the days when I was in the hospital, I had learned that the government had given me a vast sum of money for saving all those people during the incident. I really wish they had kept it, it's not like I needed it when I had a well paying job already. Speaking of which, I had called my boss the day before I came to the mental institute and said I was unfit for working now. Eventually I will try to locate a new job again, but in the mean time I still need to heal, plus, I still couldn't drive because my driver's license was taken away for a year. I still wish it was only a month or so.
When we got to the apartment, I checked my refrigerator and pantry and cleaned them out. I had a couple long lasting things left, like soup and canned vegetables and fruit but other things like milk, cheese, yogurt, and bread had spoiled. I threw all the bad stuff away and made a list of all the things I needed. I would go out later tonight and get all the things I needed.
Tracey said she was willing to help me get the items, but I told her I was fine. Before she left, she explained how to put on and use the tracking device and I would call for help if I felt like I was going to have a seizure, or something else happened, like I had sprained my ankle or something. I kind of felt like I was being mothered. I mean, I'm a twenty-four year old; a grown man. I don't need babysitting. Then again, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.
So, when they left, I was alone again. Chris was gone for the day and would only appear at night. I sighed and decided to unpack the rest of my stuff from my suitcase and clean up the bloody mess I had left behind in the bathroom.
Cleaning it up had been harder than I thought. I expected I just needed a wet rag and some water to rinse it off, but the blood had long since dried and I was afraid it would remain on the tile permanently. I got a mop and decided to mop it all up, and I did wash some of it off. I got it all eventually through a lot of deep scrubbing. My hands were sore afterwards and I stretched them out a bit before putting the mop away into a cabinet beside the washing machine and dryer in the kitchen. Finally, I decided to tackle the groceries I needed and walked on over to the grocery store.
Jeez, how could I ever carry all the stuff I need? As I scanned the whole list of items, I expected I would need to take trips, either that or get a bus to take me home. It would have been easier with a car, and I probably should have accepted the extra help from Tracey. Should I call her and ask her to come back? No, she was busy with work. She didn't have time to see to my needs.
So, I just decided to take a deep breath and deal with it. I took a buggy and began to stock up. I tried to avoid getting anything extra, and just the stuff I needed on my list. I even crossed out some on my list that I came across as a waste of time. The list grew shorter as I went along and I had gotten all the things I really needed.
Once all my bags with the groceries were put in the buggy, I payed and wheeled it out to the parking lot to put back. There were six big plastic bags filled with merchandise I had bought and I took three in each hand. Actually, they felt lighter than air and I was easily able to haul them all off back to my apartment. That was a piece of cake.
When I got back I put everything away in their right spot and then I washed a load of laundry. I was glad I was able to get stuff done, I never realized how much there was I needed to do.
After placing the load in the washing machine and starting it up, I checked the clock. It was six p.m and it was getting late. I decided to go ahead and make dinner for myself, so I just heated up a quick frozen meal in the microwave and ate that while watching TV in the living area. When I was done, I had cleaned up and had caught a glance at Chris's ashes which still sat on the windowsill.
I then noticed the flowers.
I had completely forgotten to get new ones! Feeling terrible that I had left out such an important thing from my grocery list, I took the dead flowers out of the vase and thew them away. I then rushed back to the grocery store and bought a small bouquet of flowers to put in the vase and rushed back, filling the vase up with clean water and placing the flowers in there.
“Sorry about that, Chris. I was a little busy when I came home so I was forgetful.” I said to his ashes and I placed a hand on the urn for a minute before taking it off and checking the load of clothes I had washed. They were still being washed so I decided to watch some more TV until it was ten o'clock at night and I had begun to get tired. I put the washed clothes into the dryer and turned that on. They would dry overnight.
I then walked into my bedroom and put on some clothes to sleep in. I was worn out after today. So this is what being a housewife feels like, except, I'm not married and I'm not a woman. House... Widow, maybe? I don't know, really.
I crawled into bed and curled up in the sheets. At once I was greeted with the familiar presence of Chris as he appeared beside me in my bed. So he was still here at the apartment too. I was even more grateful.
He held me close and tight in his arms, and when I looked at his face, I noticed he seemed a little... What was it? Worried? Scared? Confused? I didn't know.
“What's wrong?” I asked, giving him a peck on his forehead.
He opened his blue eyes and looked at me, “Oh... I'm fine, don't worry about me.”
I narrowed my eyes, but said nothing. I cuddled closer to him and made sure he knew that I was there for him. After that, he seemed a little more calm and I could see him smile. I smiled just as wide and closed my eyes, falling into a comfortable sleep.
“Gabriel, I don't see why not. What's the problem with me seeing-” Chris was cut short as Gabriel whirled around on him.
“You are too attached to that boy! Meeting and being intimate with a living human being is never a good idea, end of story! Every time you meet him you come back and tell all of us about how your night went and don't do your duties because you're too busy thinking about him! What's worse is that he's-"
This time Chris interrupted Gabriel, “Satan's Messenger, I know. He's not dangerous, though.”
Gabriel made a mocking laugh, “Not dangerous, my ass. His powers can kill, and who knows what Satan put through his head.”
“He's scared of Satan, and has been traumatized by him. Are you really that ignorant?” Chris countered.
“For the love of Pete, Chris, you had sex with him once!”
“Once.” Chris hissed back.
“I really, really don't think this is a good idea. He's not one of us, he's the exact opposite, and I do believe it is time for you to let him go. Face it, you're already dead. Being with him just for the night is not going to change anything. He needs to learn to move on too.” Then, moving in real close, Gabriel whispered, “And I can take away your wings if you choose to let his nonsense continue.”
Chris sighed, “Alright... I'll tell him.”
It was night again. I had gotten a little bit done today, but most of the time I sat around watching TV or browsed the Internet on my laptop.
Tonight I decided to read a little before going to bed, and once I was done finishing a chapter of the book I was currently reading, I closed it, turned off the bedside lamp and snuggled up under the covers, waiting for Chris to come.
He did eventually, but he did not curl up beside me, instead he sat down on the edge of the bed at stared at his feet. I wriggled out of my cocoon of covers and scooted over next to him, grabbing his hand in mine, “What's wrong?” I asked.
Chris sighed and did not meet my gaze, “Taylor, this is wrong. I've got to stop doing this.”
My heart pounded at his answer. What was wrong? “Stop doing what?”
“I can't see you anymore. I've gotten in trouble for it in the Holy Kingdom. I have to stop or else they'll take away my wings.”
“Take away your wings?” I couldn't believe it; the only chance of me seeing Chris without killing myself was now going to be taken away from me. Why did it have to be this hard? Why didn't people understand that we couldn't let go of each other that easily?
“It means they'll cast me off and let me fall. In other words, I'll go straight to Hell.”
“What? Just for seeing me?” Now that was more unbelievable than the first part.
I hoped Chris would possibly tell me he'd do anything to stay with me, but disappointment welled up in me at what he said next.
“So... I have to leave you now, Taylor. I'm sorry, I really don't want to do it, but I have to.”
I tried to hold back a scream of defiance. This couldn't be happening, not now, “So... You're just giving up? You're just going to walk out on me and pretend this never even happened? Is that what you're going to do?”
Chris looked at me finally, and there was pain lacing his gaze, “Taylor, do you realize how heartbreaking this is for me, as well as how dangerous it can be? If they take away my wings and I go to Hell, then I can never come visit you again. I can visit you a few times, but not all the time like we've been doing. I love you, I love you so much, but... Duty calls, and I have to leave.”
I opened my mouth to argue but shut it. What was the point? I couldn't get rid of Chris's angel duties. He had things he needed to do, and unfortunately I wasn't apart of those duties.
“Okay... But, promise me one thing... Will you come to visit every now and then?” I asked, squeezing Chris's hand tighter.
“I will.” He replied and I leaned in, giving him a kiss on the lips. The last kiss in a life time, and then he'd go.
Once it was all over, he took his hand from from mine and gave me a last wistful glance. For the tiniest fraction of a second, I thought he was going to say he'd stay, but he said something else instead.
“Isn't it time you pushed yourself on someone else...?” And then, he vanished.
I laid back on my bed, stunned. I couldn't believe what he had said and tried to understand it a little better in my head, but it confused and scared me.
Chris really wanted nothing to do with me anymore.
I decided to do what Chris asked me. Well, not exactly as he probably planned, but hey I was desperate. If that was the way Chris wanted to play, then he could play that way. I'd show him that I could find someone else to love, but yet still care about him and never forget the love he gave me.
After my weekly visit to Dr. Song, I decided to take the bus a different route. I asked to be dropped off at a certain street. On this certain street, there was a gay bar. I had never been to one, in all honesty. I wondered if Chris had possibly sneaked a glance in one before, but, it was worth a shot. I could pick up a guy or two here, have some fun, maybe get his number and cha-ching! Relationship.
That is, if I could find somebody decent. From what I've heard about gay bars, they mostly hold forty through fifty year olds who are hoping for a shot at a free dick. A young one, to be specific. I proposed that if any pedophile came up to me and tried to make a move, I'd kick his ass and get the hell out of there.
In all honesty, I would have just gone to a regular strip club, but here's the thing; I really don't think I am attracted to girls anymore. Honestly, Natalie is probably the only girl I'd ever get into a serious relationship with. Other than that, I'm attracted to boys more.
I walked casually down the street until eventually I came to the parking lot to the gay bar. The closer I got to the front door, the more nervous I became. What if all that was in there were horny pedophiles? What if someone I knew was in there, or worse, people recognized me as the guy who “saved the world” right away? This I had to be careful about. I would not let anybody figure out my true identity unless I was sure they wouldn't ask questions.
I stepped up to the front door and took a deep breath, grabbing the handle of the door. I swung it open, preparing for the worst.
What came up was quite a relieving shock.
Men my age and older were sitting down at tables, or at the bar talking quietly to other men. I don't know if they were flirting, or just chatting, but it wasn't my goal to listen in on their conversations.
I shrugged and decided to sit at the bar. It seemed like how a normal bar would be, only nearly everybody in here was a guy. There were a couple lesbian women here and there, but it was mostly jam-packed with men. There were also a couple rooms in the back of the bar, as well as bathrooms.
The bartender came up. He was fairly cute, broad shoulders and a nice clean shaved face. Speaking of which, I haven't shaved in nearly a month, so I must look like a caveman to him. I took note of this, that after all this is done, I'm going to go home and shave.
“So, what do you want, sweetcheeks?”
Sweetcheeks? That was new. I ordered what I wanted and he winked as if to say he got it, and walked off.
God, I must be screwed in the head to think that things would be normal here.
He came back and gave me what I ordered. I just thanked him and he went to take some other guy's order. I wondered if they had girl bartenders here too for lesbians. Whatever, I was just thinking silly things to keep me occupied.
That's when I was startled by another man taking the seat next to me. He seemed a little tipsy, and I hoped he wasn't going to order anything else. I didn't want to be thrown up on by a drunk.
He wanted something else, however, and that happened to be me. At first I was oblivious to him putting a hand on my shoulder, but when I felt his cold fingers crawl to my neck I looked at him.
His eyes were clouded and he was hardly able to sit up straight. He gave me a crooked smile as his other hand grasped the counter firmly.
“Well hello...” His voice was slurred and I could hardly make out what he was really saying.
Before I knew it, he had both hands grabbing my shirt and he pulled closer. I stared into his baby blue eyes that were unfocused, and seemed to be elsewhere in the world. In the instance this happened, I had a bad feeling, and I wanted to just run out and start screaming and head home and wait for Chris to appear.
That was impossible, though, he was gone and I had to do this. Maybe this guy wasn't too bad; a possible desperate alcoholic, but at least he looked pretty cute. Hell, every guy in here looked cute. He even seemed like my age.
“Whoa!” I was shocked at first, because I could feel the bar stool leaning towards the ground from the angle the man put me in as I tried to avoid being bumped in the forehead.
“Mmm... What's your name?” He went straight to the point, and I gulped. What if he started asking questions if I said I was Taylor Duncan, the man who had “saved the world”? I didn't want to start seizing on the ground in front of him and all these people if he asked anything personal.
“Uh... Zach...” I lied.
“Now that's a nice name... My name is Joe. You seem vaguely familiar... Have you been here before?” Now he was getting a little too close.
“Uh... No, this is my first time.” Would he be turned off if I said this? I would have lied again and said yes, but that would probably lead to more questions. And his name, Joe, I could have sworn I've heard that name before.
He moved a little closer to me. This time I didn't back away, “You can drive, right?”
Holy shit, he was moving a little fast. I didn't complain though, and despite having my driver's license taken away, I was pretty sure I could get away with it pretty fast. I'd take him back to his house after I was done and I'd take the bus home. It wasn't that hard.
“Yes.” I replied and he seemed to get a little excited. In truth, I was getting pretty hyped up about it too. I hadn't had this in a long time, not until the second day that Chris visited me in the mental hospital. I have to admit, having sex with an angel is badass. I remember having to be really quiet, and cramming a chair underneath the doorknob so nobody would come in and see this shimmering dude on top of me. That would be awkward.
Ah, what am I talking about? That's the past and it's done. The real deal was with this dude in front of me. Maybe he'd be the new Chris? I wasn't sure. I felt a little bad just picking up this guy from a gay bar. It was like he was a hooker or something, and I was some man-slut. Okay, maybe not, but I felt like it.
So, I paid for my drink and walked out with him. He had to lean on me for support, but he could walk nevertheless. I hoped he wouldn't fall asleep in the car. That would be bad.
He gave me his keys and I put him in the passenger seat. I got into the driver's seat and drove out of the parking lot and onto the road. I hadn't driven in a long time, and I must admit I was glad to be behind the wheel again.
“Where do you want to go? My place, your place, somewhere else?” I asked. I didn't know how to do this, but I expected what I was doing was correct. Should I have read up on this? Yeah, sure, like there was a book that was titled “How To Pick Up Boys From Gay Bars.” I was kidding myself.
“We can just go wherever; somewhere quiet and not easily found.” Joe said. He curled up closer to me, grabbing my shoulder and putting his face right up to my cheek. From there he nestled into the crook of my neck and I was afraid I would get distracted and stop driving. This guy was clearly wanting it.
I drove up to the Brooklyn Bridge that separated Manhattan from Brooklyn. Instead of crossing it, I managed to drive down to the banks of the bay and stopped.
“Well. This was all I could think of.” I explained as Joe took a glance at where we were.
“It's perfect.” He smirked.
I looked at him. I couldn't resist myself, he was just too cute. I kissed him on the lips and he didn't seem to be in the least bit surprised. After I drew away he immediately kissed me back, a lot harder.
My God, he was a brilliant kisser. And I do mean brilliant. He made my lips tingle and I got into it a lot more. I grabbed his blond hair and pulled myself to him. He started to use tongue, and so did I. He began to grip my shoulders, then move to my neck, then back down my back to my waist where he pulled at my shirt and tugged it up and over me. It fell to the floorboards, and I also grasped his shirt and took it off.
He stopped kissing me and crawled into the back where I followed him. It was dark in the back, but I didn't care. I would manage.after
I got on top of him, but he pushed me back and instead saddled me. I didn't feel bad about this, I really didn't care. I just needed something.
That's when things started to get intense. I can't go into detail, but what I felt was something I had greatly missed. The thing with Chris, I mean, it was good and all, but having sex with someone who's dead isn't a really fun thing. They're well... Dead. It's cold, slightly uncomfortable, and they don't feel a thing, so you're kind of at a loss of the whole deal.
Anyway, after it was all done, I felt slightly embarrassed. Still, Joe seemed to have enjoyed what he gave me and what I received, so, I guess I should feel good about it.
The thing is, hooking up with somebody is not the same as actually being in a relationship, which is why I felt even more empty afterwards.
As I drove up to his house and he hopped out, I took him to the front door. He gave me his number, and when I put it in my contacts, I knew I would never talk to him again.
Funny thing was, before he closed the door and let me be, I stole a glance inside his house and up on the wall was a graduation certificate. He had graduated from the same high school I went to.
“See you later, Taylor.” He winked, not even knowing my real name.
I then realized who Joe was.
So, I was getting tired of not receiving any calls from Mom and Dad, or any calls from Natalie or Deborah. No visits to my apartment, no nothing. I was beginning to get a little pissed off about the subject.
One day, I asked Tracey if she knew anything about Natalie or my parents or the orphanage I used to live in.
Suspicion grew in me when she didn't answer, and instead shook her head, “I thought someone might have told you already.”
“Told me what? Nobody told me anything.” I retorted, my fingers beginning to clench up into fists, “What happened?”
Tracey looked over at the nurse that tagged along. He was helping to vacuum the floor, like I needed any help doing that.
“Taylor... After you defeated... Him, Natalie was mortally wounded. The doctor's tried everything they could, but she died shortly after she was escorted to the hospital. I'm sorry.”
I could feel my heart drop. This couldn't be happening, right? Was it April Fools Day? No, that day has long since passed. They weren't kidding, I could see the truth in their eyes.
“No... I refuse to believe that...” I mumbled. Why didn't Chris tell me? Did he not want to hurt me either?
I gulped to choke back the tears that threatened to fall, “And my parents, and Deborah? What about them? Are they alright?”
Tracey sighed, “Let's take a drive. I need to show you something.”
The feelings inside my stomach were indescribable. I was so scared and anxious. I just felt like throwing up all my insides. The death of Natalie had startled me, but I was probably going to be even more shocked at what lay in store ahead.
I noticed we were on the road that the orphanage was on. The nurse was driving in the mental hospital's van and Tracey stayed beside me like I was her son and I needed to be watched.
The van stopped and I hopped out. We were supposed to be at the entrance to the orphanage and I couldn't wait to burst in and hug Deborah and tell her much I was thankful for her, and how much I loved her like she was my mother.
I had gotten out on the side facing away from the orphanage. I didn't notice all the ashes scattered on the paved ground at first, and I ran around the van, barely holding in my excitement.
A sensation like being punched in the gut hit me harder than any baseball bat being swung at a ball. I had seen the orphanage, or what remained of it.
Everything was in cinders. The buildings surrounding it were barely scorched, like a perfectionist with fire had deliberately burned down the orphanage, and only the orphanage.
I wondered why someone would do this, and who did it. I sank to my knees and looked upon my old home. Memories swam through my mind, of me crying in my dorm room as a little kid because I was punched by Timmy, a bully in the play room downstairs. Deborah had come up and read a bedtime story to me, rustling my hair and wishing me sweet dreams when I dozed off. I remembered it all.
I hugged myself and began to rock a little bit. Tracey came up and knelt down beside me, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“Where are they?” I asked. I didn't need an answer though, because I pretty much knew it already.
“They're dead, Taylor. Everyone in here was burned to death by high temperature fires. It happened during the fight. People don't necessarily know why, but it may be linked to you and him.
He did this. He caused all this. He caused the death of a woman I loved very much and was with until my teen years. I would never forgive him, and revenge bubbled up inside of me, but I knew it wouldn't do anything. It had already happened, and I couldn't turn back time.
But if he had did this to the orphanage, what about my parents?
I rushed off away from the van, knowing my way through all the blocks and streets. Tracey and the nurse yelled after me, but I did not stop until I saw it. Until I knew all about it.
They followed me in their van, matching my pace, but not telling me to stop. They knew I was figuring it out on my own.
I got to the street where my parent's house was eventually and I fell over on the ground, my hands hitting the pavement to stop my face from reaching it. It wasn't because I was tired, it was because my parent's house was in the same state as the orphanage. It was all gone; all cinder and brick. I could hardly stand it anymore. Holding it back was too hard for me to do.
I let it out; I screamed so loud that I was pretty sure I had broken my own eardrums. I cried non-stop, and Tracey and the nurse watched from behind me as I broke apart as simple as glass hitting tile floor.
Everyone I knew, every single one was gone. I was as alone as I had been before I met Satan. Yeah, I said his name, I don't care. Let him haunt me for eternity, because there isn't going to be an eternity for me.
After all this, after everything he has taken away, I cannot bear to live through anything.
I'm going to kill myself.
DUN DUN DUN.
ok i think i overdid it with the post-traumatic stress disorder. idk if you can hallucinate or have seizures from it, but i'm just going to say "screw the rules, i can write" and keep it >:U
AND YEAH SXC YAOI TIME MMMM. eh whatever. i bet you guys hate me for mentioning it again xD.
also, what do you guys think about the point of view change? i decided since it's almost over, i'd let you guys venture into the thoughts of taylor so you can get a little bit closer to him and find out what's happening inside his mind and how he deals with it. if it annoys you, just tell me and i'll go back to third-person. :P but honestly i prefer first person.
here's just a little update i posted in my blog that you guys should check out. it's moderately important and is about the upcoming chapter.
keep sitting tight and don't start yelling at me to hurry up, please. Dx i'm trying the best i can.
thanks for your patience and i hope you enjoy the last of this story. i'm going to miss writing about all my characters in here and stuff. ;; this is the first time i've been really sad about ending a story lol.