Hello all. It's been a while since I've been on here... Anyway, I have more junk to upload.
This is just a short piece I've been working on off and on. I have a lot more planned, but it's highly unlikely that that lot more will ever get written. Curse AP classes; they kill inspiration (never again).
Anyways, enjoy, and review please!
*These guys swear a lot.
A boy sat in the passenger seat of an aged Bentley, fingers strumming against the doorframe in time with the music that blasted from far newer speakers. He gazed at the passing scenery with eyes concealed by sunglasses, face devoid of any emotion aside from faint boredom. His hair was dark, somewhere between ebony and mahogany, and made the face it framed look all the more pale.
Every once and a while, the boy would look down at a piece of paper he held in his hand, flip it over idly, and then resume staring out the window. Upon closer inspection, one might have noticed that he was not as relaxed as he appeared, that his shoulders tensed up every time he glanced at that slip of paper, the address scrawled across it in black ink.
Felix was on edge.
The Bentley's driver, a tall man with long, blonde hair, glanced at his companion with mild interest. Felix was rarely nervous, and the man knew him well enough to know that when he was, there was always a reason for it. He had tried to turn the music down a while ago so that he could talk to him, but the other had immediately batted his hand away from the dial and cranked it up even louder than before. The man had raised an eyebrow—he hadn't known the other to be a heavy metal fan.
After a while of driving with only the screaming breaking the silence though, he had finally cleared his throat. "Felix." He turned the music off as soon as he spoke, keeping his finger over the button.
The boy turned his head only the slightest bit and glanced at him sideways. The mask of faint boredom had been replaced with genuine irritation. "What?" he muttered, eyeing the control panel, trying to decide if battling the other over the music was worth the effort.
He soon decided against it.
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
Felix's brow knit together, darkening. His eyes flickered away from the other, back out the window. "Nothing," he said, voice low, "I've just got a bad feeling about… something."
A second of silence and realization passed. The blonde man blinked, face contorting slightly, and focused on the road again. He swallowed. "About this job?" he ventured finally, apprehensively.
Felix shrugged. "Maybe. I can't tell." He shook his head then, eyes shifting down to one of his hands, its white palm. The corners of his lips turned further downwards, slight disgust passing over his features. "It's this body," he muttered, "This place…"
The other man's eyes narrowed. He pressed his lips into a thin line. "You get used to it," he said shortly.
Felix just snorted, disbelievingly.
"This is it, Wolf."
The Bentley pulled up to the dilapidated building, tires kicking up dust as they rolled over packed dirt and gravel. The sun was setting, collapsing into the edge of the Earth, and already, the sky was taking on a darker tone.
The blonde man—Wolf—got out and slammed the car door behind him. He shoved both hands into the pockets of his leather coat and gazed up at the abandoned farmhouse analytically, skeptically. "… Doesn't look like much," he muttered after a moment, lips twisting into disappointment.
This better not end up being another one of those calls…
Felix had gone around to the back of the car, and was opening the trunk when Wolf turned back to face him. He casually pulled out a pair of .44 Magnum Colt pistols.
"Let's just get this over with…"
Inside, the shadows were crazed in the twilight. The house appeared to be empty, save for the odd piece of dust-covered furniture. Wolf had to hold a lighter in front of his face to see, as flicking the light-switch had yielded nothing but a sharp click. He walked with the flame extended in one hand, the other back in the pocket of his coat—the image of nonchalance, despite the heavy, black blade slung across his back.
Felix was tenser, both pistols out, though he kept his fingers off the triggers. His eyes were wide, but alert, rather than frightened, and he listened intently for any sign of activity. The only sounds he could make out were the scuffs of their boots across the pale wooden floor.
"Remind me why we're here again, Felix," Wolf murmured, not looking over his shoulder at the other. They had cleared the first floor, and were now heading up the stairs. The wood let out protesting creaks under their weight.
The boy frowned, glaring at the other. "Because we're broke and will take any job we can get," he said flatly.
Wolf rolled his eyes, shouldering the door at the top of the stairs open. He stepped out into the hallway without even looking around the corner, totally at ease. "Right," he said, "I meant give me the job description."
Felix followed him, taking a few steps backwards, aiming down the shadowy hallway. He shrugged. "The lady said she heard singing."
"Singing?" Wolf raised an eyebrow. "And that was cause for alarm… why?"
"She also said she heard screaming."
"Ah." The larger man nodded. That sounded more like their typical job. "I assume she called the police first." The statement had the intonation of a question, though he knew what the answer was going to be. They were always the second stop, the back-up plan.
Felix nodded, though he wasn't facing the other. "They didn't find anything. After a few more calls, they started ignoring her."
"Alright." The two of them reached the end of the hallway. There was a closed door on their left, and Felix turned so that he was facing the other. "So we're looking for something that sings and screams…" Wolf wrapped his hand around the doorknob, glancing at Felix with a crooked grin on his lips. "Or maybe it sings to lure in its prey, which then screams as it's eaten alive." He threw the suggestion out there casually, almost jovially.
Felix blinked. "There were no bodies," he muttered, eyeing Wolf's hand around the bit of metal, the door and the possibilities behind it.
The other laughed faintly. "You've still got a lot to learn, kid…"
The door opened with a drawn-out shriek, revealing black eyes, a round face, white teeth flashing in a too-wide grin. For an instant, time froze, the very air standing still around the two of them and that thing. It was right there, right in front of them, leaning against the window frame… Wolf stiffened, eyes snapping wide as he reached for his sword…
But he stopped short of unsheathing the blade.
Felix, on the other hand, shot the thing in the forehead.
Its skull snapped back on its wooden neck, cracking against the wall, and its entire body shook with the impact, joints clattering against one another. For a long moment, the two men were still, watching the thing dance, until, finally, realization dawned on Felix. He straightened, lowering his gun, lips parting as his brow knitted in confusion. "What the fuck…?"
Wolf had his lips pressed together, trying not to laugh. It wasn't working very well.
Felix shot the larger man a glare, eyes flickering between him and the thing across the room. He put a hand on his hip. "Seriously?" His voice was high with adrenaline and annoyance. He squinted through the twilight at the dark, vaguely humanoid form. "… What is it?"
A snicker escaped Wolf's lips before he could stop it. "A marionette…"
"Why the fuck would someone put it here?" Felix strode across the room and tilted the puppet's head up with the barrel of his gun. The wood had splintered around the bullet hole, cracks extending across the smiling face.
Wolf straightened, inhaling, a grin still playing on his lips. "Probably to scare pansies like you," he laughed, following the younger man over to the window. He leaned against the wall, casually pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, and let his eyes roam over the room. "My guess is this is the hangout place for some gang of kids. Maybe they use it for some type of sick hazing ceremony. Smoke?"
Felix waved the offered cigarette away, taking a step back from the broken marionette. He ran a hand through his hair exasperatedly. "Wouldn't the police have found something?"
"Not anything that was actually cause for alarm." Wolf lit his cigarette, and then slipped the pack and lighter back into his coat pocket, letting the twilight fall over the two of them. He inhaled deeply, and then blew the smoke up, towards the ceiling. It curled lazily around the rafters. "The screaming was probably just a bunch of kids scaring the shit out of each other." His tone was disappointed, but heavy with acceptance. He had been in this line of work long enough to know that at least half the time, the calls were false alarms.
Felix, however, was still getting used to it. "God damn it!" There was an audible clatter as he kicked the puppet in the shin. "So there's nothing here? Again? What about the singing?"
Wolf shrugged. "Haven't figured that part out yet," he said, "But… yeah, I doubt there are actually any demons around here. I mean, it's definitely enough of a shithole, but…" He reached a hand out to rap a knuckle against the marionette's skull. "… This thing's just some kid's idea of a prank."
Felix groaned, bringing a gun-holding hand up to his head. "I'm never going to get back up there at this rate…"
At his words, his tone, Wolf's face darkened for the first time. He frowned, eyes narrowing, and for an instant, Felix almost thought he looked menacing. "Tough luck, kid," he muttered mordantly, "But don't you dare bitch about it to me. I didn't ask for an assistant." He took another long drag from his cigarette, gaze sliding over to the window.
For a long moment, Felix was silent. His anger at the situation was still seething beneath his skin, but, seeing the look on Wolf's face, he forced himself to calm down. It's not his fault I'm stuck down here… he told himself, and on the trail of that thought came the realization that the older man had been dealing with this for much, much longer a deep breath, he straightened, shoving both pistols into the holsters on his hips. "Right," he mumbled, still bitter, but trying his best to keep it out of his voice, "Whatever. Let's just get out of here…" He shoved his hands into his back pockets, heading towards the door.
And at that moment, they heard it.
"I call to you, a hand outstretched,
"And with this hand, I lay to rest..."
The voice was clear, like bells on an icy afternoon. Felix and Wolf both froze at the sound of it, eyes snapping wide, searching for the source of the singing that was so nearby. Wolf took a step forward but staggered, a wave of dizziness passing over him. He swore, catching himself on one knee, blinking at the wood beneath him. I've felt this before…
"I listen to your cry of sin,
"And offer you sweet redemption..."
Felix was pressed against the wall, half using it for support, his guns already drawn again. "Wolf," he called across the room, voice cutting through the song, "What the hell is going on?"
"Just bear it," Wolf hissed, "It should pass…" He had managed to get back on his feet, a hand wrapped around the hilt of his sword, and despite himself, despite the dizziness that was still washing over him, he could feel a grin pulling at the corners of his lips.
Finally, some action…
The door exploded inwards then, wood splintering, chips littering the floor, and Felix had to raise an arm to shield his face. He felt the shards cut through skin and swore, more out of irritation than pain, but there was no time to assess the injury. The creature that had broken into the room was already spinning, already leaping towards him…
Felix raised both guns and fired. Three shots rang out, deafening in the close quarters. All of the bullets hit their target, embedding themselves in flesh, drawing black blood, and the demon fell in mid-jump, tumbling onto the wooden floor. It drew a wheezing breath, still alive, still struggling.
Felix's eyes were hard, grim satisfaction on his face. He pointed a gun at the dog-like creature's skull…
"Wait!" Wolf placed a hand over the pistol, suddenly dark and looming at Felix's side. His cigarette was glowing on the floor, forgotten, and he fixed the boy with an icy stare.
For a long moment, Felix just stared at the other, silent, eyes wide. He hardly looked like himself, black blood splattered across one cheek, all hesitation, all emotion, wiped from his face. The tension was suffocating, bearing down on both of them, and time was standing still…
Then, Felix blinked. He lowered his weapon, expression returning to his face in faint irritation. "Fine," he muttered, holstering his guns and glancing away, "Your kill."
You need it more than me…
There you go. The only other thing I have for this is an epilogue-ish thing that's quite different, stylistically.
Thanks for reading. Reviews are love.