Madeleine and Dee
She had only lingered for water a moment when she noticed the boy with the dusty blonde hair staring at her. His freckled face was imbued with awe as he looked up at her. Of course she knew that it wasn't just her that he was looking at. The majority of Dee's afternoon had consisted of leading her horse around the park. Anywhere a horse was taken in the middle of the city he attracted unnecessary attention.
She approached the boy wiping her mouth off with the back of her hand as she did. Her lips widened into a smile and she knelt down and started to rummage through her bag, "You wanna feed him?" Her slender pale arm made circles down in the satchel at her side and finally she produced a bright red apple, "He loves these."
The little boy's honey colored eyes were locked on her, but he said nothing. His arms hung down at his side and his face void of any expression except astonishment. So much astonishment he was unable to take the fruit.
"Go ahead, he won't bite," Dee smiled as she rose up from her squatting position to meet the boy face to face, "And neither do I." She rubbed the top of his head lightly, "His name is Apples."
Right then Dee thought of how she must have appeared to a little kid. She wasn't exactly what one would call normal looking. The lip ring, the small jewel stud in the side of her nose and the countless crosses she wore around her neck couldn't have been all that easy for the kid to take in. Add into the equation the loads of makeup she wore.
Madeleine waited in impatient silence behind the horse this whole time. She'd been Dee's friend for some time. It had always been kind of apparent to her that Dee had a knack for getting horribly side tracked when there was something important to do. But she knew she couldn't tell Dee that.
She'd tried, on more than one occasion, to advice Dee about perhaps dressing more conservatively. There wasn't exactly a dress code for their line of work, but they were just supposed to blend in. However there wasn't an incentive for Dee to listen.
The little boy accept the apple. He offered it up to the horse and the horse ate it carefully. The kid giggled at the horse's mouth touching his hands. Dee shot Madeleine a quick glance to see if she was smiling about this whole ordeal. Of course she was not. As far as she was concerned Dee was wasting time.
From off across the park a woman called out, "Nick!" the boy looked up and his laughter ceased. The sound of his mother's voice had pulled his attention away from the horse. Almost instantly he jolted across the path and over the grass off towards the hillside in the distance where she waited.
Madeleine sauntered around the horse, "Why did you bring him out?"
"He needs some exercise," Dee rubbed the horse so vigorously her big dark mop of curls shook, "Cooped up in the Ethereal stables all day—he must get lonely."
"I don't think he's allowed," Madeleine concluded, "I don't see many horses in the Herman Park."
Dee ran her hand across the top of the horses head softer this time, "But he's having a great time out here," Dee said with an induced squeaky tone, "He's not going to ever want to go back, isn't that right boy?"
That baby-talk-tone that Dee took was enough to make Madeleine want to vomit; instead she just rolled her eyes. "Do you have to talk to him like that?"
"Aww you're just jealous that he loves his momma!" Dee continued and exaggerated the voice now.
With her arms folded Madeleine sighed, "Your belittling him, he's a grown horse!"
"You're the one being rude," Dee quipped, "I mean he has a name you know!"
"I'm not going to call the Pale Horse Apples!" Madeleine yelled.
"Well that's what he likes to eat!" Dee threw her arms to her sides and stomped off from the horse, "Besides I don't think he's ever had a name," she said, "Everything deserves a name."
"You don't see Pestilence and War running around with their horses sporting gay names…"
"War's a tramp and Pestilence is a dick," Dee said. "And don't call Apples gay, slut."
"Bitch…" Madeleine returned fire, "look we're supposed to be doing a job."
"Ladies, ladies, ladies; now there's no reason for us to quarrel," a man in a white suit made his way towards him. He was combing his hair through his long white blonde tendrils as he moved. Smoke rose off his shoulders and the top of his head yet it was so light that it was barely visible.
Apples reared up slightly and Dee touched the side of his head gently to calm him, "I thought that I smelled sulfur."
Madeleine stepped against him holding her body close to his. The heat he gave off warmed right through her clothes, she could feel the sweat starting to form. It was akin to being near a fire. She pressed her pistol into his stomach hard.
"Can't say I expected such a warm welcome from the likes of you," he said. He tucked his head over her shoulder and his tongue extended out as he talked. It wasn't a human's tongue though. It was slimy and long with a split end; like that of a snake, "Put that away, I assure I won't bite."
In a flash he was gone, vanished without warning. She blinked as if she expected him to reappear. She felt something warm and wet on the back of her neck and in an instant she knew. She gasped as the wet warmth spread down the side of her neck as if it were wrapping around, "Oh God, he's got his tongue on my neck."
Dee stepped in behind him, brandishing her scythe now. She pulled the bladed edge in-between Madeleine and her target, "Make one more move and pop your head off like a cork."
For an instant his steely blue eyes went wide. A smile spread across his pale lips, "It's been a long time since I had the pleasure of meeting up with Death personified..."
"It's been a while since there's been one," Madeleine stepped forward and turned to face him as she put her gun away. She checked around the park to make sure no one had noticed the trouble.
As Madeleine got out of his range he pushed Dee's scythe up over his head, he turned and put his face close to Dee's, "A female Death?" He smiled wryly, "Been even longer since we had one of those." He edged around the side of her now with his arms but keeping his face as close to hers as he could. "How about a little kiss." His forked tongue flicked out at her.
Dee pushed him back and dropped her scythe. Before the weapon could hit the ground it vanished in brilliant flash of light. "That's a Hell of an offer," Dee said, "But I think its better we keep this relationship strictly professional."
Madeleine's eyes welled up with tears, "I wish I could do that, he wrapped his tongue around my neck." She was rubbing her hand down the side of her neck where the slimy appendage had touched.
The man in white went over to Apples rubbing him on the side of the head, the horse tensed up and backed away slowly. "You brought the Pale Horse off the Ethereal Plain?"
Dee rushed over and threw her arms around the horse, "Keep your fucking hands off him!"
"Honey," he started, "I knew this horse back before you or this hunk of rock you call a planet were even part of His divine plan."
Madeleine seemed to have gathered herself now, "So the rumors are true, you're stalking the Earth these days, Lucifer?" Madeleine's brown knee high boots crunched the grass under her feet slightly as she started to circle.
"I don't remember ever seeing you back when I was fighting the good fight, you're Nephilim then?" Satan asked.
"I sense an aura of intense energy around you," Satan started. "It's disgusting that he'd let two half-breeds have such power, the Angel of Death and an Archangel."
"Can the commentary and tell us why you sent us that message?" Madeleine said.
Satan's face went blank, his blue eyes now serious, "This is a warning…consider it an omen if you must—the war is coming."
"We've been at war with you since—well the beginning of time," Dee said.
"This war will make that one look like a school yard fight," Satan said, "It's ramifications will spill through Heaven, Earth, Purgatory and have already began in Hell."
"There's fighting in Hell?" Madeleine asked.
"Someone's marched on two of the cities and taken them both, there's demons joining their ranks by the thousands…the Lake of Fire at Gehenna is under attack as we speak," he said.
Dee shook her head, "Any idea who's leading this force?"
"I have one, but you're not going to believe it."
"Go ahead," Madeleine said.
"The Great Old Gods…" Satan replied.
Dee and Madeleine glared at each other confused. Finally Madeleine smoothed her hands down her deep brown dress and asked, "What are these 'Gods'?"
He sighed, "Do you two read anything in the Angelic Libraries?" there was a short pause. "They're what predated Humans, God's original 'grand creation', hidden away from the world in sacred objects…they lie dormant in both Hell and Earth."
"How can a dormant life form lead an army?" asked Dee.
"They're more Immortal than Human, someone has been releasing them or using their power to help build a force," Satan concluded.
"How do you know all of this?" asked Madeleine.
"Because Michael and I led the charge to imprison them," he started, "Most we placed carefully inside of sacred objects but one, who surrendered, we imprisoned in bone and flesh…the first Female—I think you actually know her."
"I think we would know if we knew someone with that kind of power," Dee said.
"She was called Lilith once, but these days she prefers the name Amandah—," Satan paused to let them take it in.
"The Trickster?" asked Dee.
Satan nodded, "But a pendant and a glove that we trapped two of them in are missing from Hell—I've dispatched my Elite Guard to find the other objects."
Dee turned to Apples, "Never a dull moment, eh Apples?"
"I've got to head back to my fight," Satan said, "But I would advise you girls to talk to that Immortal, see if she knows anything."
"Last I checked you didn't run anything, Lucifer…" Madeleine said.
"If I, through all my pride have enlisted the help of Angels—you better believe this is something you should be worried about. If Hell falls Purgatory will easily and then Earth after that—then what, you make your stand in Heaven?"
"A drop of blood must never fall inside the Golden Gates!" Dee protested.
"Then I suggest you do as I say."