Chapter Five

Where is this coming from?

I felt myself going into a deep slumber. It was the easiest I've slept in years since I knew that I was protected. I could feel the warm from the Savior's now lightened heart and it lulled me into a deep sleep.

Even with the protection, however, I felt a pang of disturbance. Like something wasn't quite right. As though answering my quire, I could hear the most bone-chilling voice speak within my very mind.

"Ryan…"

It called to me. It had the quality of death with the roughness of sandpaper. I felt my heart pound as I thought it was from the outside. I tried to wake up, but to my horror I was forced violently back to sleep.

My once bright imagery turned into a blackened nightmare as all the life and color became drained out of my soul. Everything became a crude, animated drawing, including myself. I was now a parody of a cartoon.

I could hear laughter as I went down was felt like an elevator. I couldn't see or feel anything, but my body stopped at a floor. Before me the black abyss opened to reveal some of the most horrible things I've ever witness. Stop One: Two human beings struggling to consume each other within a boiling pot of blood and flesh. The woman tore the flesh off the man with glee as he ripped apart her bosom, both drinking the soup to down their unholy meal. Stop Two: An angel with its wings nailed down to the floor. She was looking down as angel dust glittered about her and a single light shone. I was tempted to leave my imaginary elevator. It seemed safe enough. But to my dismay, she looked up at me without any eyes. Just bloodied sunken holes where an innocent stare should've been. To make matters worse, she blinked her eyeless lids as she glared at me, her smile twisted into the most heinous frown. It looked like someone tore her mouth off and turned it around by force.

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly be put through anymore, the elevator opened to what felt like the last stop. It was a white corridor. That's it. Nothing more.

I cautiously took a step outside of the elevator. So far so good. Maybe at the end I can wake up?

Feeling a chance to get out of here, I began walking down the corridor with confidence. That feeling quickly got replaced by the one of being watched.

I looked around at the black walls. I didn't see anything at first. I just chalked it up to me being paranoid. But soon eyes and mouths began forming on the wall. Arms began climbing out of the vertical surface as legs crawled. I had to stop myself from gagging as the twisted bodies began walking towards me. The smell was putrid. They looked like the results of that soup at stop one. Arms were attached to heads that were attached to legs. Torsos were none existent. They looked like poorly made wax sculptures the way that they were melted together sloppily in an attempted to create a human being.

Something inside me told me to run. That if those beings touched me, I'd regret it for the rest of my life. To further convince me to get the hell out of there, the floor I just walked upon began falling behind me. It was either run or fall to an uncertain doom.

I turned and finally started running. Running, running, running as the creatures laughed behind me. There they are, dismembered and full of a false life, and they had the nerve to laugh at me.

"Phoenix dies and ashes fly"

This was a different voice than before. It sounded innocent and unsure of the meaning behind the words it spoke. It was accompanied by scrawling on the walls. It looked like it was written by a 4 year old on a chalk board as it took down everything it said.

"The protector is gone and bodies writhe"

I ran as fast as I could, my shoes clicking on the floor. It was the only sound available in this surreal hell. Not even the creatures made noise. In fact, I think they disappeared. It was just me and the occasional child-like voice.

"Phoenix lives and lives to save"

Up ahead I could see a single light. I squinted and realized that it was the same angle from before. Thankfully her head was down. Even though I was the one running, it looked like she was heading towards me. Maybe even growing bigger so she appeared closer?

Soon she was only a few feet ahead. I didn't know whether I should stop or keep going. I found myself ramming into an invisible wall right before her as she spoke the last line, her sockets on me now.

"AND BRINGS US TO AN EARLY GRAVE!"

Suddenly I was surrounded by the sound of nails on a chalkboard. I covered my ears as she began growing and shedding her skin, her flesh becoming a new red epidermis. She was at least 20 feet tall now as it congealed. Her entire being was now a red-skinned woman, her hue the color of tainted blood.

She was gorgeous, I had to admit. As she pulled off the angel head it revealed luxurious black hair over piercing golden eyes, sharp teeth, and a face that women would kill to have and guys would murder to admire.

She wore several golden necklaces over her black, skin tight suit. It resembled a swimsuit that was one size too small as it hugged every curve. And when I say curve, I mean curves. Her hips were matched only by her incredible bust, her waist almost non-existent. A pointed tail peeked from behind her as she stood on what had to be 10 inch black stilettos. At least if she were my height.

Just when I thought nothing else was going to happen, I heard the sound of bones cracking and skin tearing. A gigantic mirror appeared behind her revealing the arrival of her wings. They came out like birds from an egg. The blood soaked feathers were stuck together as they forced their way out. It didn't seem to hurt her at all as they made it the entire way through. I felt my own heart stop as that final, ear-splitting sound signified her complete transformation.

"Listen to me Ryan…" The voice hissed. This was the same voice as before. The one of death and sandpaper. Even with her standing right before me, it was hard to tell whether it was male or female, "Things are not all as they seem. This path you are treading is one of turmoil and regret."

"What?" I answered back. My voice held no shape. It just floated within the dark recesses of my mind.

"Gonwix ert naznag. Turmoil and regret."

"You…you speak demish." I said in a shaky voice.

"No shit." She laughed at me, "Isn't it clear who I am? Do I look like I belong above the clouds or within the flames of hell?"

"You can't be!" I fell on my ass trying to comprehend, "You're Lagna!"

She laughed so hard that I began to feel embarrassed, "Gfa Bfiaruh tual ert U qer xuka sinakan…"

To my shock, subtitles appeared beneath her. "The Phoenix dies and I can live forever." I read. I found that strange. The subtitles were in Demish. That's when I realized that everything I said had been translated into Demish on the walls. She can't speak English! We've been speaking in Demish this whole time without my knowing!

"Who is the Phoenix?" I asked.

"A phoenix must kill you to save you."

"What kind stupidity is that? Stop speaking in riddles! "

"I speak what I know. You are no good alive. No good at all."

I couldn't tell what she was trying to do here. Was she trying to help me, or sabotage me? She never quite said that she was Lagna, and yet she's obviously a demon.

"You can listen to me if you want or simply continue to the south pole. Either way I know where you are. I know what is best. I am all knowing. Forever."

"What is the point of all of this? Am I not good for humanity or only you as a living being? And how am I supposed to take this?"

"Don't ask me these questions. I don't answer questions. I only give answers. Forever."

"This is so pointless! Wake me up this instant!"

"I also don't take orders from a puny human."

I knew I had spoken out of turn as she grabbed me with her huge hand. She took my pathetic body and swung her tail around. The tip was extremely pointy. I could imagine how much it would hurt to be impaled.

As I was brought closer and closer to the point, I heard her clear her throat for the final message. The final thing she felt I must know before death.

"Yio ena gfa qertxa'l jel

Gnyurz gi xuka gi gfa wel

Nasolurz gi bey xuka'l gel

U gnuat gi faxb, yio jir'g naxel"