Written By: Niki Tori
Debris blew passed the huffing man as he started to load up his revolver with its rounds. His fingers twitched off crusty blood as he struggled with the sixth slot. Muttered slang gurgled from his mouth as he finally stocked his handgun. Slowly he peaked pass the shot up cement wall. Two male assailants held each other back turning hastily with shotguns in hand. More curses left the man's shuddering lips as he quickly concealed himself, if only it were night time he would have escaped clean. Mice hopped all around him as the persons shot in his direction.
"Come out peacefully and we'll guarantee your family will be able to give you an open casket."
"Go to hell!"
Ranging vocal notes perfectly displayed the fear itching at his trigger finger. It was hopeless to try to fight, yet that's not the spirit that embodied him. He leaned his head up against the wall to scrutinize each variable. Time left quickly and the shadows of the men came closer to him. In a half a second he had his gun concealed behind his back. Both guards had their weapons pointed at a vital point on his body. Sid raised both his hands in the air and rose slowly to his feet. Hanging loosely from his pant pocket was a beautiful porcelain doll. Ruby hair dangled over her pale face to her emerald eyes.
"We finally captured you, you fast rabbit fuck." One of the guards sneered, while aiming his shotgun at the man's head.
"Ha what's your name rabbit?" The other inquired, while aiming his weapon at the guy's head.
"I am Sidney Vaughn Hawkins the second."
"Pretty name for a man, your father must've not had nuts at all."
"Sure he did. He busted them in your mother." Sidney spoke before he thought. Icy metal pressed against the pulsing vein in his skull.
"Don't forget who has the real power here, I could accidently kill you before your trial."
"Trial…I won't need a trial! Hector shoot'em now!" He shouted. Both the guards spun around to find no one behind them. Before they could correct the error two bullets went through each of their skulls. "Stupid idiots, a real guard never turns their back on a cornered person."
Sidney wiped the gritty blood from his face as he savaged the ammo and weapons from the deceased. Once he was freshly equipped the criminal darted down the hall. Armed men caught a blur of him running and moved swiftly after him. His heart pounded as he made it to the exit; bullets clashed all around him. As he swung open the door his eyes grew wide with trepidation. Kissing the skull of his head was a sawed off shot gun.
"No, God No Please don't shoot me I am—"
Echoes of the released ammunition rang in his ears. Oddly the pain from impact subsided quickly from his dying frame. Air bubbles escaped his numb mouth and nose. Crimson red fluid floated above him in the black waters that held him. Currents pushed him downward the sandy ocean floor.
"Where the hell am I? I was just at the state mansion and now I'm in some watery pool—"Sid paused his complaint as a distant array of light began to part the very waters where he laid. As the visual neared him he recognized the figure to be that of a naked, bony man. Two large black wings stretched out from his back. Tucked in his arm were thin wrappings and an elegant golden mirror. An aspirated greeting left the eyeless being's mouth as he came within a foot of Sidney.
"You look horrible man, this must be hell." Sid muttered as he pulled a cigarette from his inner coat pocket. Frantically he patted himself down for a lighter. It was then he noticed his smoke started to suck up water.
"That's coming from a living man with a bullet hole in his skull." The creature replied, while holding the mirror to the gentleman.
"Holy shit…that's right that fat skin head did shoot me huh?"
"Yes he did. For your information this is not heaven or hell."
"So where am I, an undersea water park?" Sidney inquired while cautiously stroking the wound on his head. "And who the hell are you?"
"I am Death and this place is place is Purgatory. That is why we must keep our distance for now, lest I send you off to a final resting place."
"You are as blunt as my father used to tease. Death he takes no kindly to no-body only takes them to heaven or hell."
"Yes, although you are different Sidney, I take kindly to you." Death smirked as he sat the mirror down. Rust quickly consumed the item and turned it to ash. "Even though you are scared now you retain composure until attacking. Like when you killed that little girl…do you remember?"
"Just tell me why you have brought me here!"
"Fine, I have a rare opportunity to give you. I was granted the power to help you live again Mr. Hawkins, although this isn't something that you should agree to lightly."
"I am listening."
"This is called the Coveter's Cloth. In wearing this cloth you will be reborn, but not as a human. Each day you wear this clothing the more your body will be infused with demonic features until you have completely been morphed into the perfect warrior. If you take it off you will suffer insatiable pains and yearnings until it is reunited with your flesh. The more you starve yourself from this cloth, the quicker it will change you. Once you put this on there is no dying, only a limbo of slaughter. Will you accept?"
"What if I don't?"
Death showed all of its pointy teeth with an impeccable smile, "This is where you will stay alone until you change your mind. Take your time on that if you want."
Sand lifted into the icy waters as the being stepped away from the human. In his mind Sidney examined the emptiness around him. Perhaps if there was another to share his company with here he'd stay, but everyone he loved hated him and were very much alive. Life or Death it was all the same to him, but at least alive he could see those he loved from a distance.
"Wait! I won't stay here!" Sidney shouted after the being. "Please give me the cloth!"
Waves carried the thin cloth across the watery space and into Sidney hands. Each article of clothing he wore turned to ash. Shame heated his entire scarred up physique as he attempted hide his body from the beast. Moments passed before he had every part that disgraced him wrapped; a living mummy. His light blue eyes shined out from wrapping as he found it harder to breathe there. Thrust of water rushed him and the doll upward away from Death.
Once he arose from those waters he found himself being consumed with fire. Screams pierced the silence of setting sun. Those men that haunted him like an animal were now roasting in front of him. They died crippled and crispy. Sidney crept over the large man that had shot him in the forehead; he had no skin left at all.
"What now?" He asked the doll clutched in his right hand.