Chapter 1: Prologue/Chapter 1
"Sir, he's a little busy right now." said the nervous little imp. The shadowy figure loomed over Noshkin, depicting a perilous discontent, even though you could not see his face.
"But, uh, I can see if he will see you, oh great sir!" Noshkin said quickly, trying to please this Supreme Being. My job is so difficult, the imp thought to himself. The poor undersized thing had died too many times to count. This time he would make absolutely sure to take care so he would not become a fatality again. He stumbled and bumbled down the corridors of descending stairs, until he reached a long dark hall. A shriek made him jump behind one of the many pillars and cower until he realized that he heard howls and screams of agony every day. Noshkin continued his journey, embarrassed by his own cowardice and uneasy from the muddled sounds that echoed around the corridor. Tip toeing a bit faster, Noshkin shivered as he took a look in the direction of his destination. The frame was cemented bones of many kinds stained by grime and blood, decorated with silver as if it had been splashed on. An uncomfortably close scream made Noshkin yip in fright.
"Noshkin." The deep rumble of an extremely low voice sounded right next to the short creature's ear. Noskin screamed like a little mouse and ran to the wall. The source of the terror looked upon his fear with an abnormally wide repungent grin of unruly placed fangs. Noshkin realized what had frightened him and quickly straightened his posture.
"There is-" Noshkin began with fake poise.
"Is someone at the door? To see wicked old me? Send him in." the dark shaded specter grinned even wider showing more of those devious teeth. He was sporting a rather jolly mood from dripping acid in the eyes of a sorcerer who would not yield his vision glass easily.
"Yes, your highness." And with that Noshkin scurried away.
How entertaining, the king thought, that I should receive a live visitor this day. For it has not been so in centuries…
The visitor walked in the ominous meeting room wearing a dark blue cloak, his face covered. Curious of any who would dare be so bold as to just drop by his realm, the spirit being drew closer to the cloaked guest.
"So, who comes to visit me on such a dreary evening?" the voice of the specter whispered, letting its spectral tendrils float about the room.
"It is I; your brother of the skies." said the cloaked one, removing his hood to expose his shimmering white blond hair and radiant skin.
"…it figures. I do not rejoice for your irksome presence. What are you doing here? You and your bloody glowing things…can you please have the decency to at least dim the lighting?" the spirit hissed.
"Oh." said the cloaked one, a little embarrassed at himself for not remembering that his dear brother got severely bad-tempered in the presence of pure light. He suppressed the glow the best he could and continued. "We, brother, have a slight problem in the skies and on the earth. Not here, I suppose; you and your kind are already dead-"
"Dead indeed, as you promptly saw to that little issue millennia ago." The wispy creature said in cynical tone. "But all is done and in the past, as you once said. Now, where were we; on the topic of disastrous trouble right?" he knew exactly why his brother was there, in his lair. The demonic creature just wanted to rub the fact that his brother was at his complete mercy in his face. The fact was that the gods were always at his mercy, afraid that he had discovered a way to kill them. It was the very reason they made him seem so despicable.
"Hades, uh, we actually are in need of your assistance. We need to fix a problem you see…"
The king of death grinned "You need me to 'clean up' a little mess of yours, Ceilo?"
Ceilo grimaced "Don't be so creepy about it brother. It needs to be done at any rate."
"I'll tell you what. If I save your hands of blood shed; I expect blood in return." Hades alleged smoothly. Ceilo jerked his head upwards in panic.
"What do you mean?" Ceilo inquired with note of dismay. Hades finally laid out his trump card…
"I know what you fear my dear brother and it is a perfectly rational fear. In return for my services, I will kill one of the gods. Only one though, so you can sleep with ease; lest it be you." a wide smirk moved across the spectral face. All the blood drained from Ceilo's face from the sheer magnitude of the request. He was at total loss for words.
Hades smiled with his ghostly lips puckered out to mock Ceilo "Oh, don't be so grim about it, being dead isn't so bad! You get to spend eternity with me!"
At this point, Ceilo almost vomited. He doesn't really like his brother as you can tell from previous dialogue. Hades decided to give the broken man one glimmer of hope.
"Relax, oh mighty one." Hades mentioned sarcastically "You can still sleep with ease. I can kill most deities, but you and our other siblings are too complex."
Then Hades added "Don't try to use that information against my offer or I will kill ten." and with that, the god vanished.
Ceilo sighed with some relief and then stooped with sadness at the thought of losing one of his own forever. The sacrifice was worth getting rid of his 'little problem' though….
It is at this point, in the abyss of desperation that we begin our tale…
Once open a time there was a beautiful girl. That girl's name was Jager. And she was (is) very late for class. It was a glorious fall morning and all seemed to be up and ready for the new day.
Jager was racing down the sidewalk trying to get her (very) tardy butt to class. People stared as she raced by not only for her hostile strides, but also the vibrant hues of her clothing. Jager really couldn't make time for proper wardrobe acknowledgment on account of waking late. A regrettable issue since she's kind of a shy girl….
Anyway Jager noticed the pedestrian signal showing her that it was alright to cross the street. She hurried onto the street trying her best not to be too late for class.
"I'm late! Late. Late-ee, late-ee, la-" She was whispering to herself when a flash of metal screeched into her view.
"Hey, ya dumb lil bitch! Watch where you're putting yer fat ass!'" the driver hollered, not bothering to notice that he almost hit her while trying to run a red light.
Jager stood confused. I thought I had the right of way, she reflected, nibbling her sleeve. A honk yanked her head out of the clouds.
Jager, failing to notice that she was almost injured, finished her path across the street. She had better hurry in case there are any other drivers that considered a red light to mean 'go whenever you felt like it'.
The young man in the offending car was named Corneille, though he shunned this name and chose be called Neil. Neil decided to follow this beautiful girl to see where she was going. After all, he was on break. He could afford to waste this time, he thought.
Huffing and puffing, Jager continued the race to her high school, her flaming red hair thrashing in the wind in attempt to keep up. Upon approaching her high school building she tried to slow down but ended up crash landing into the entrance doors. She managed to get through the door, but her pant leg got caught in the doorframe, ripping the leg of her pants and knocking over an innocent cart of books. The incident left the library worker angry and Jager dizzy from the impact, but she still managed to get to her class in one piece.
"Mr. Tegavis…so sorry….late…almost hit… a car…" Jager panted.
Mr. Tegavis, being a man of little patience knitted his brow in frustration.
"Jager, sit down. I will deal with you after class, but for now you are disrupting this class. As you know I take lateness of this length personally. You will be penalized." Mr. Tegavis declared coldly.
Jager slumped in her seat, feeling stupid. The other girls in her class snickered and stretched their lips in spiteful satisfaction. Boys jeered quietly snatching looks at her frazzled hair and torn jeans as the teacher lectured on. Jager was too timid to do much about it. Many of the young men in her school were mesmerized by her looks, but it was clear that she was an awkward girl. Girls were malicious towards her, but she really didn't see what for. Jager didn't want to fight with anyone, really. The girl didn't expect much out of life, merely lived it.
Growing bored with the lecture, Jager's mind wandered off to the color of the car that almost hit her. Out of the blue, a face popped out of the bushes outside window she sat next to and made a face at Jager. Was her mind pulling her into another fantasy? No, this was real all right. A little grayish man, with a top hat looked at her from the bushes. A crazy man had followed her to her classroom! Was she being stalked and not notice? Frozen, Jager continued to gape at the window, even when the visitor had sunk back into the shrubbery. A whack on her wooden desk broke her unyielding gaze. She was almost afraid to look up.
"Jager is there a reason as to why you're attempting to open that window?" the teacher demanded.
To her own surprise, her fingers were in the process of doing just that. She was going to be in so much trouble, she didn't know what to do. She didn't even notice she had tried to open the window. Jager was late for class, in trouble with her teacher, embarrassed by her classmates and apparently insane, because she was saying "But, I saw a little grey man outside the window-"
Mr. Tegavis was about to scold her, then thought better of it. "Maybe you should go to the nurse's station." He said while helping the flustered girl out the door.
Jager tried to block from her mind the laughter flooding out of the room, nipping at her heels as she walked to the nurse's station. The girl thought to herself that she might be sick and in need of rest. Squeaking around the corner of the hallway Jager tiptoed into the nurse's office, trying not to be noticed. Nurse Gwena snapped her head up from her book sensing a life form entering the doorway.
"Hello there, hun! So you're not feelin' okay? Here, have a seat. Do you need anything? Tea, coffee, band aids? A hot water bottle or stitching?" The nurse held out a thin needle and some surgical scissors, sodden with concern as she closed in on the poor young girl.
"N-no, that's okay, I just need to go home and lie down. Could you inform the office?" Jager yelped, quickly backing away from the blades. The nurse looked disappointed.
"Oh, okay. Well take care, Hun! If you your need anything else just ask me." Gwena said with a note of remorse. Jager nodded her thanks politely and then ran out the door to find the exit. The girl had never really encountered the nurse, who had been there for years. Now that she had, Jager decided not to visit in the near future.
Jager padded down the sidewalk leisurely in the noon sun, squinting at its luster. Upon looking at the street and familiar shops, Jager decided to visit her friends at a café she spotted. It was near lunchtime anyway, the time they all hung out. She was glad to not be in a rush this time. All of the sudden, she felt herself step on something soft. Jager lifted her shoe, surprised. A rose bud. A beautiful black rose bud veined with silver. She daintily picked up the young flower regretting stepping on such a fine-looking rose. TO her relief, it appeared undamaged.
A little note was attached to the flower, saying: when the rose blooms, he will visit the one who received it. The red ink was written in neat gothic calligraphy on thin paper.
Sheesh. Jager thought, That's more spooky than romantic. Still, the rose had obviously been lost or rejected because it was on the ground. Something made her want to keep it. Maybe it was the glamour of the flower, but she held on to it as she entered to café.
Tallion sat bunched up next to Diego, Jona sucked on a thin unlit cigar. Jager drug her feet over to their table and plunked into the booth next to Jona. Jona smiled a huge cigar smile.
"Hey, wazap woman? You're early today. They kick you out?"
"The teacher was worried I was sick." Jager replied distantly, her mind on the rose bud, not wanting to go back to the gray dwarf man topic. Diego leaned on the table looking at the object in her lap.
"Hey Niña, what's that you picked up over there, uh?" Diego asked, not bothering to hide his curiosity.
Jager lifted the rose to the table and said "It was on the ground outside. I'm surprised no one saw it. I picked it up on my way here."
Diego shrugged "Un tipo torpe o mujer enojada, probablemente lo dejó caer. Mira, que tiene una nota! Dar aquí, niña." Diego said casually with a shake of his outstretched palm.
"Not all of us speak Spanish, retard." Jona said with a roll of her eyes
Jager handed the letter to Diego but Tallion snatched it like a hidden predator and read it aloud.
"When the rose blooms, he will visit the one who received it." Tallion said to the table. She blinked and added "Well considering the vagueness it could be any body. Could be a creepy clown stalking the café." Tallion playfully tried to make Jona scared.
Jager nodded at the possibility while Jona scanned the view behind her. Diego grinned "Aw you know how paranoid Wona gets. Why do you think she smoke cigars and not the cigarette? Clown trauma." Diego snickered dodging a blow, knowing that Jona's name was pronounced Jona and that she just held the cigar's in her mouth.
Jona continued playfully smacking Diego as she said "I think it was just a rejected love gift- wait, a minute! It's written in blood!" they all bumped heads trying to lean over the table to get a good look.
Jager got up and bit the sleeve of her sweater nervously. "Do you think somebody's…dead? Like, this might be a revenge note?"
Jona considered the situation "But the rose hasn't bloomed yet." Everyone froze. Jager dropped the rose on the table like it was infected.
A worker passed the scene and got a little worried, so he said to them " Um, are you guys all right over here?"
Nary a one even dared move a muscle.
Teens these days, the worker thought, maybe I better go and check the gas pipe for leakage.
It was Tallion that finally came to her senses and picked up the mysterious thing.
"You know what? I think we should put it in a vase and call the CIA and when it does bloom they'll set the murderer up with trackers so they can capture him and take his ass to jail!" Tallion said excitedly. Diego raised a brow, Jager stared and raised both brows, and Jona let out a sigh.
"You do realize this is not an action film?" Diego said gradually so Tallion could contemplate his words.
Meanwhile, in a layer far away, in the depths of despair lived-
"IIII-EEeEeEeeEE! Oh, don't do that! You know how I hate it! I have a phobia. I can't even look at them!" a startled shriek rang throughout the cavern.
In a place so evil-
"Hate what, you puss? The site of my feet?" said an impious voice.
You know what? Forget it.
This scene takes place in hell, where we meet an arch-demon named Tempo and an arch demon named Neil. Neil continues by rolling his eyes, knowing full well that he took off his shoes to startle Tempo upon turning around. Now don't get me wrong, Tempo's a level headed character most times, it's just- well, who wouldn't have a phobia to Neil's feet?
"Get over it. I like walking barefoot." Neil smirked.
"Oh, for the love of mercy, go put some socks on, you vile creature. Those things are hideous." Tempo said looking away after gaining his composure.
"So, stick boy, where's the boss at? Skilly dropped files in the acid again. " Neil said ignoring Tempo, rubbing his mutilated feet.
"Again? I thought she had gotten used to having no fingers. Well I guess can't expect much of her as far as 'helping hands' go. Anyways, Hades said he had important business up there-"
"You mean on earth? I was just up there and saw this chick that jumped in front of my car," on this note he admired his reflection the grayish-green acid "No surprise there, I was in my awesome human form. But Noshkin was up there too. I drove by her building and fer some odd shit, Imp man was there to, lookin fer somthin."
Tempo rolled his eyes at the demon's useless vanity. He was not ugly, but he wasn't what you would call handsome either. His nose had it in for him. It ruined the fact that he probably would have been handsome if it wasn't so beak like. It was peculiar though, that Noshkin would be outside. Hades was also missing, but he did not mention whether he was in the upper world or the middle world.
A sly look seeped onto Neil's face. "I think we should go up there and check out what he's doin'. Plus, that chick wasn't bad at all as far as looks go."
Tempo tapped his slender foot, hands on hips "Neil, Hades would flame broil us if we did that. I don't know about you but-" Nei yanked Tempo towards the acid where Ereni stood in his boat with a row.
"You two getting into trouble?" the ferryman said in a scratchy, impassive, and monotone voice.
Tempo blushed and hurriedly added "No, w-we were just checking on the master to see if he's safe."
It was worrisome to the two arch-demons that Ereni spoke. He usually NEVER uttered a sound. To their doubled shock the boat man spoke again as he started to row.
"It is very unsafe for you two. It can feel it. Be careful"
Tempo bit his nails in frustration. Oh why, oh why couldn't he have just stayed home and just told Neil no? His jelly spine would be the death of him.
You're probably thinking 'If they were already dead, why on earth would they be afraid?' There is death for the dead. To be drawn or tossed into the sea of souls and erased from existence was their trauma.
Even Neil twitched once or twice in fear and he made them go. Ereni the ferryman could tell them what disturbed him, but hey; he had been generous with what he had already said. They all appeared consumed by thought as they slowly made their journey to the middle world.
And with that, the story begins!