|North of Hell
Author: Jealous Rage PM
A collection of short stories that ties into my story 'South of Heaven'.Rated: Fiction M - English - Supernatural/Fantasy - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,592 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-15-12 - id: 3042089
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The following was originally posted on Tumblr. It was written for the Musedays Week 28 prompt.
This piece crosses over with another story of mine, 'A Declaration'.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
"Well, this is just fucking great." Adrianna glared at the elevator doors and shook her head. "Why didn't I just take the stairs?"
The only other occupant of the elevator, a man, didn't answer. Adrianna felt his eyes on her as she reached into her pocket and withdrew her phone, but he remained silent. When she opened it and dialed a number, he finally spoke.
"Maintenance will be here soon. These elevators break down all the time."
"That's great. Fuck!" She pulled the phone away from her ear. "Busy! Stupid jackass is never on his phone and now that I need him, he is!" She quickly typed up and sent a text instead.
"Who are you calling?" Despite the question, there was no real curiosity in his voice. It was like he was just asking for conversation's sake.
"A friend of mine. I've got stuff I need to do, so I don't need to spend my whole afternoon stuck in here."
Again, the man's voice was flat, free of any emotion. "I told you maintenance wouldn't take long to get here. We'll be out of here in under an hour. They are very good."
Adrianna slipped her phone back into her pocket and turned a skeptical eye on her companion. "Really? Then why do the elevator's break down all the time?" He inclined his head slightly, conceding the point. "And my friend is quicker." She rolled her eyes. "If he checks his messages, that is. Sometimes, I don't even know why he bothers with the damn phone."
The man nodded, but didn't say anything. As Adrianna looked on, he lowered himself into a seated position on the opposite side of the small elevator and leaned back against the wall. Taking the cue from him, she did the same.
As the silence dragged on for several moments, Adrianna started to get bored. There was nothing in the elevator to hold her attention; there wasn't even an emergency phone. The usual soft music had disappeared when the elevator stalled. All she could do was sit there and stare at the light, and that wasn't fun at all. So she turned her attention to the man.
"I'm Adrianna," she said, focusing her gaze on his face. He stared back at her, unblinking. "What's your name?"
The question drew no visual reaction from him, and for a moment, she thought he was going to remain silent. Then, "I don't have a name."
She smirked at that. "Fair enough. What do your friends call you?"
"I don't have any friends," he replied, his voice flat.
"Really? With a personality like yours? That's a shock."
This time, the corner of his mouth twitched and a small smirk appeared on his face. "Didn't anyone ever teach you provoking strange men is a bad idea? Especially when you're trapped in a small space with them."
Adrianna shrugged. "I have a knack for getting under people's skin. And yet here I sit, not a scratch on me. I must be doing something right."
Silence fell once again, but this time, Adrianna didn't let it last longer than a minute. "Well, Fred—I'm going to call you Fred—tell me something about yourself. Entertain me."
The man was silent for another moment, staring at her contemplatively. Then he shrugged. "Not much to say. I grew up, came here, got stuck in this elevator. The end."
"Good story," Adrianna said, grinning widely. "Could use a little bloodshed." She paused for a second. "You're not human; why haven't you just gone through the roof or pried open the doors yet? You could be out of here right now. Shit, you could have been gone ten minutes ago."
He didn't even flinch at her assessment. "I'm not in any hurry. And I could ask the same of you."
"I'm human," she said. "Have some… special abilities, sure. But I am human. I could start messing around with the elevator if I wanted to, but I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't accidently cause it to plummet. And I wouldn't survive a fall from this height. Would you?"
"Yes. I would take a lot more than that to kill me."
Adrianna chuckled at that and the man shot her a questioning look. "It's nothing. You just sounded a lot like my friend when you said that." She squared her shoulder and deepened her voice to a comical level. "'Don't worry, Adrianna. I'm invincible. Nothing can hurt me.'" She snorted and shook her head. "Then a shadow demon cuts his face in half. Dumbass. Do you have any stupid frie—oh, that's right; you don't have any friends."
"Well, tell me something about yourself. There has to be a reason you're here, in this city, in this building, right?"
The man sighed. "I used to live here, in this building. I'm here today to retrieve the last of my things."
"Oh. Why did you move?"
"I didn't." He paused, and Adrianna thought she saw a pained expression flash briefly across his face. "I lived here with my partner. She died, and I couldn't stay here anymore."
Adrianna's face fell. "I'm sorry. I know how much it hurts to lose somebody." She paused, hesitated. "What happened, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Cancer." He was silent for a moment. Then, "Ironic, isn't it?"
"What do you mean?"
"I'm powerful, very powerful. And yet I could do nothing to help her. Diseases, viruses, infections are things no magic can cure. So mundane, yet so deadly." Fred sighed. "It was a good plan. He knew I wouldn't be able to stop it."
Adrianna was confused by his words. "He? What are you talking about?"
"God," Fred stated. "This was his way of striking at me."
"What?" Adrianna cocked an eyebrow. "Why would he do that? Does God have a problem with you?"
The man smiled at that. It was a humourless expression, showing far more teeth than was necessary. Teeth that were, Adrianna realized, far sharper than most. "God has a big problem with me. He's hated me for a long time, and when he saw his chance to hurt me, he took it. But his plan backfired, you see." Now that he'd started talking, Fred was much more animated. He was leaning forward slightly, eyes wide and face twisted into a wrathful expression. "He wanted to make me weak, but he just made me angry. And now he's going to pay! There's a war coming his way, and one way or another, I'll get my vengeance."
"Oh! You're that guy!" He cocked an eyebrow, questioning. "The guy who declared war on God. My friend told me about you. Said you were burning down churches and stuff like that." She looked him over, like she was appraising him. "I thought you'd be taller, to be honest."
"You don't seem all that shocked about a vendetta against God. Most people who find out are a little more… disturbed."
"Yeah, well, I've met God. He's a dick. It surprised me more people don't want to kick his ass," she stated.
"Yes, I agree with you there. I suppose the whole idea of 'God' is pretty intimidating for most," Fred said. "But not you. Because you've met him. Not many humans can say that."
Adrianna shrugged. "It wasn't that great of an experience. He kidnapped me when I was sleeping and tricked me into agreeing to one his of stupid bargains. But it actually helped me and my friends save the world in the end, so it was worth it. I—" She cut off as a loud thump sounded on the roof of the elevator. "Oh, finally."
As the two looked up, the small trap door on the ceiling was wrenched open. There was a brief pause, then Adrianna spotted a familiar face staring down at her through the hole. "Jesus, Adrianna. I leave you alone for two hours and you get your ass stuck in an elevator? What the fuck?"
"Fuck you, Kane. This wasn't my fault." She rose to her feet and glared up at him. "And you're late. I texted you like fifteen minutes ago. What were you doing?"
"I was in line at KFC. So guess what; you owe me dinner now."
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Just get me out of here."
"Step back." She did so, and he dropped down beside her. By that time, Fred has stood as well, and Kane turned to look at him. "Who are you?" he asked.
"Ah, I see." Kane eyed him for a second. "I think we've met before. China, late sixth century. That little revolution." He scratched his chin, then nodded. "Yeah, that was you. I punched you in the face."
"Yes, you did. And I broke your vampire's arm," Fred said. "He still around?"
"Yeah, he's around." Kane nodded and stared at Fred for a moment. Then, "Well, this had been fun. Adrianna, I think it's time to go. Come on, I'll give you a boost." He wrapped his hands around her waist and lifted her up to the ceiling. She grabbed onto the side and pulled herself through, then stepped to the side to give Kane some room. But he didn't follow her right away.
Back down inside the elevator, Kane returned his attention to Fred. "I know what you're doing."
"Oh? And are you going to try to stop me?"
Kane grinned, revealing his razor-sharp fangs. "Try? If I was going to stop you, you'd be dead before you hit the ground. But no, I'm not going to stop you. You wage your war on God; that's not my concern. Personally, I think the self-righteous ass-hat deserves a good beating. But," he said, putting strong emphasis on the word, "if your war should get out of hand and threaten this world… I'd have no choice but to get involved. You understand?"
The two locked eyes and stared at each other for several moments. Fred was the first to look away.
"I'll be seeing you," Kane said. Then he disappeared up through the open trap door. He wrapped a hand around Adrianna's waist and jumped straight up, leaving Fred alone to await the arrival of the maintenance workers.