By Alexia Tzortzis, TIWP Student
I stared at my brother. His black hair glossy in the white moonlight, leaking through the broken roof of the abandoned warehouse.
“Do you think the others are OK?” The question came out raspy, my throat dry and raw from the effort.
“Behemoth and Beherit are with them, not to mention the devil twins. They’ll be fine,” his voice was dark and heavy.
I looked at the cement floor at my feet. It was covered in black blood. Sighing, I walked over to one of the many bodies littering the floor. Giving the cold body a rough kick in the side, I flipped him off.
“You ripped my favorite shirt, asshole.”
Tiberus snorted behind me. “Then don’t wear your favorite shirt to a demon fight.”
I turned around and stuck my tongue out at him. “Let’s go find the others.”
He nodded and we slipped out of the dark building. Becoming shadows and darkness, we left the massacre we created and went to find the surviving family members in this hell hole of a world.
There was so much blood. I had watched from the shadows as the girl and the man cut through the legion of demons like they were corn stalks. Walking out of the shadows and into the middle of the blood, I looked around me. The best fighters in the keep could barely take down two of these beasts, let alone twenty. I kicked a black boot at the arm of the lifeless body of the man who had been possessed, then slaughtered. I wondered if he had a family, if he had a wife and kids who would be wondering where he was, and why he hadn’t come home. Shaking my head, I walked away. It did no good to think about those who had died. Leaving the blood stained warehouse, I went to go find the pair of skilled killers. As I left, I could have sworn I saw a pair of eyes looking at me from the dark.
“Behemoth!” my shout rang across the empty factory. “Come on Hem, it’s us.” Turning around in a circle, and looking at the shadows, I looked for my older sister. Glancing at Tib, I saw the same worry in my eyes reflected in his own. Behemoth was one of the best fighters in the family. Well, one of the ones still breathing, that is. That didn’t guarantee that the rest of the family was still alive. Looking back behind me to check again for the rest of my surviving family, I noticed a slight movement in the shadows.
“Chemosh, I told you not to move until the person had left. What if I was a shapeshifter?” The shadows wrapped around one of the demon twins loosened and slithered away. A beautifully pale girl stepped away from the shadows. Her long lean legs bare up to mid-thigh, where her blue veins were hidden in a short, black halter dress. Her arms were bare and her ears shone with the silver earrings hanging from them.
“My leg was cramping,” her voice was ethereal as it echoed over to me, and I walked slowly towards her, leaving Tib behind to deal with the stone twins. They jumped and crawled over him, and Beherit attempted to pull them off him while Behemoth walked over to me.
“No trouble?” I shook my head at the beautifully tan girl beside me. Her lean fingers reached out to my shirt and sighed at the big rip exposing my muscled abdomen.
“They ripped your favorite shirt? What assholes,” she snorted.
“That is exactly what I said, right Tib?” I told Behemoth absentmindedly, as I looked around the warehouse, my eyebrows drawing together in concern. “Where is Cimeries?”
“Right here.” I looked behind me to see Cimeries step through the barn doors of the abandoned factory. I smiled at the mirror image to Chemosh, except this exceptionally beautiful creature was wearing a short, tight black dress with long sleeves and no back.
“Sorry, I went for a walk, but I got something stuck to my shoe. I just couldn’t seem to get it off so I came back to y’all.”
My smile instantly disappeared. ‘Something is stuck to my shoe’ was our code word for ‘I’m being followed’. I looked to Behemoth who immediately went to help pull the stone twins off Tib while Beherit created a portal in the wall. It would take them to another place. I wouldn’t say somewhere safe, because we were never safe—but somewhere safer.
“Tib you should go, I’ll stay here with Cici and Chem.” I saw the gaze in his eyes and knew he would not leave. I looked at Chem who just walked over to him and with her exceptional strength, pushed him through the glowing silver puddle. It closed right after him, but I could practically hear him scream at me—with good reason, too. We had lost too many people by making them leave. I looked away from Cimeries curious gaze as silver lining covered my eyes my eyes. That was how we lost my twin, Dagon. I looked back at her a minute later.
“What?” she disappeared into the shadows a minute later, the louder of the two following her a second later. I sat down on one of the empty work tables and awaited the creature coming after us.
I had tracked the two Warriors to the train tracks at the edge of a small dirt road where I had lost them. They seemed to just disappear into thin air. I walked closely along the tracks until I saw a girl walking in between the cold iron rails. Her skin was as pale as the moon, her jet black hair glossy with the light of the white circle, shining like a halo behind her. The blue veins disappeared into a short black dress fitted to the slight curves of her waist. I watched her before she turned back to where she seemed to be coming from. I followed her down the dark tracks.
I waited for him—the man or thing that was following Cimeries. I was almost about to leave and go find my siblings when I heard him. His footsteps were feather light, but my enhanced hearing picked up the scrape of boots along the gravel of the driveway leading up to the dead factory. By the time he waked up to the door, I knew everything about him. I knew he was exactly eighteen years old and three days. His father had left him as a child and his mother died in a fire. He had a little sister who had an affinity for water, and he himself had one for fire. Most importantly, he had demon blood in him.
Walking up the gravel drive of the abandoned factory was a new feeling. Something was off, I normally felt calm, cool. I had been sent to hunt down other rogue death wielders before, so why was this one different? Besides it was only two, and they didn’t even know I was coming. I walked quietly up the path and cautiously opened the sliding barn doors.
“Hello Ash,” the silky midnight voice caressed the air around me. Standing in a defensive position, I looked towards the beautiful girl with midnight eyes and an adder’s smile.
“Hello Ash,” I said as the intruder walked right into the cold factory. If he was shocked that I knew his name, he didn’t show it. His face showed no sign of any feeling behind it.
“That’s a good mask you have, but it’s too late, I already know everything about you. I know your sister is ten years old. I know you are eighteen years old. I know your sister’s name is Damballa, and that you call her Alla. I know that your father left you when your mother was pregnant with sweet little Alla, and I know it hurt you, and I know it still does.” He stood stock still but didn’t show any emotion.
“And you?” his voice was deep, and tinted with rage. “What will you tell me about you?” I smiled cruelly,
“All you need to know is that my name is Astaroth, and that I don’t like being followed.”