Title: Inferno

summary: "Listen to it; Chaos has such a pretty sound, don't you think."

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Ring around the rosy...

Dressed in black, Jude stands with the others in the crowd, head down, eyes closed and back board-stiff. He's glad that it's not an open casket. He isn't sure if he would have been able to handle it. Because another one is dead. Another loved one is dead just like the rest—

(brotherfathermothersisterfri end)—

Dead.

And he knew that it would happen, he knew when it would happen. He had been warned. Jude had been warned—

and he still did nothing.

All their deaths are his fault. But he thought (and hoped and prayed and prayed but where is your God now?) that he had more time to prevent it. She told him he had seven days. Seven days until the world would burn. But it is the fifth day and another (Fiona, who loved life and was life mad of beauty and glitter and stardust) is dead. It's all his fault too.

.

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A pocket full of posies...

He walks home from the bar the same day of the funeral when he hears it—the faint sound of wind chimes and tinkling bells that make up her laughter. There is a sharp intake of breath and the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

It's her.

"Ju-ude," she sings his name and he turns around to face her. Crimson red eyes gleam with mischief, her black hair is a wild mess around her face and she's all black leather and silver studs, smiling like danger. She looks like Death incarnate (she might have been for all he knew, he wasn't really sure what she was just that she wasn't human) and maybe some other time he would have been scared but the cold is numbing and he's just a little bit tipsy.

"Jude she's dead. She's dead you know and it's your fault. What happened to you saving the world?" she mocks him and he tries to ignore her (but she has a way of getting into his head and under his skin—parasite, worm, demon). "What will you do then?" she continues on, "What will you do when it all finally starts, I wonder, and all the innocent mothers and sisters and children are dying? Are you going to help them or will you listen to their helpless screams and watch them burn along with this world—"

"ENOUGH! STOP IT STOP IT STOP! SHUT UP NYX, SHUT UP!" he yells with his hands over his ears to block out her words because he's had enough of her and he's only one person he can't save them all.

Nyx smiles with her teeth (razor sharp smiles that cut into your skin and make you bleed she'll laugh when you die you know) and he swears he hates her so much but she probably already knows that and just doesn't care.

She taps her wrist twice."Tick-tock Superman. Time's almost up," she says and then she's gone just like that.

He sinks to his knees and screams his rage to the sky.

.

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Ashes, ashes we all fall down...

People are screaming and bleeding and the entire world is on fire. Orange flames bite and tear at the blank inky sky trying to reach up to the heavens (but Hell and Heaven don't mix, everyone knows that). Jude watches it all from the rooftops, horrified and helpless and tries not to hear the cries of the people down below but it's hard, especially, to ignore the screams of children. It rings in his ears and ingrains itself in his brain.

"You said seven days," he says to the dark haired woman-demon-Fallen-Angel of Death, "You told me seven days." She smirks. "I did, didn't I?" Nyx says, "But you know, the world was built in six days so on the sixth day it will be destroyed." Jude stares at her, wide-eyed and terrified. "But don't worry, the new world that's gonna be created after—it's gonna be so much better than this one." A pause. "The New World will be wonderful," she assures him.

Down below there are more terrified shrieks of fear and everything is still in crimson-scarlet-yellow-orange-black-black and the whole thing is just so catastrophic. Nyx smiles once more, insane and pretty, and breathes in the fear and panic.

"Listen," she whispers softly and leans in close (he feels rooted to the spot, he can't move even if he wanted to), "Listen to it. Chaos has such a pretty sound, don't you think?"

Jude looks down again, unable to tear his gaze away from it all because—

the world is burning and he can only watch.

Nyx spreads her wings, big and black, and it covers the burning world.