Chapter 4: Hellspeak pt 6+7

~ 6 ~

Dim was antsy. He paced in circles around me in the empty building Maggie’s husband was constructing. The construction workers had already gone home and the solitude was driving Dim crazy. In turn, he was driving me up the wall.

“What the fuck are we waiting here for again?” He growled.

I grabbed him by the elbow, stopped him in his tracks. “Cut it out,” I yelled at him. “Stay still. You’re worse than a four-year-old casing the cupboard for cookies.”

“What are we doin’ here?!” Dim’s voice echoed throughout the three-story brick and mortar.

There was movement in the dark room outlined by metal frames. I shushed Dim, listened some more. There were voices. More like whispers. But it was a language I didn’t recognize. Then I remembered Dim had said it was Hellspeak. A language used by demons and others from hell.

I looked to my right and saw a pair of eyes glowing red. I looked to my left. There were at least ten more pairs of red eyes. I felt a hand brush me. I jumped, pushed Dim away from me. He didn’t notice. He was busy sniffing the putrid air. A wry grin came upon his face.

Dim started to laugh. “I thought so,” He said.

“What are they?” My voice broke. A nervous hypertension took control of my body.

“Would you believe it?” Dim waved a hand at hundreds of red eyes that had surrounded us. “Souls,” He giggled and shook his head. “Chambers, they ain’t nothin’ but souls. Somebody is storing souls here!”

I gasped, felt my heart leap into my throat. Something about the dead being active with the living scares the shit out of me.

I smelled death. I heard buzzing at my ears. Dim and I locked eyes. Without saying a word, we both fell to the linoleum floor of the unfinished building and rolled left. We rolled right into a leg in blue trousers. I looked up and saw Hemlock standing in the doorway of the building. The short fat man was in an uptown blue suit cut especially for him. He was grinning at me, a cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth.

“How nice, Chambers,” Hemlock said.  “You’ve found a friend to play war with.”

I picked myself up slowly. The stench of death was staggering. I felt slightly dizzy. I propped myself up on a wall. It was getting harder to see Hemlock, or what was in front of me. My eyes started to water.

Dim offered me a handkerchief and I graciously accepted. “You really should change your perfume, Hemlock,” I told him. “It’s a bit overwhelming.”

“The company I keep seems to like it,” He laughed, blew cigar smoke in my direction. The Sicarious appeared beside him. All of the tiny black flies seemed to be stuck in slow motion, just swarming in the same area.

“You look like you have big plans,” I said, fumbling for the piece of paper Maggie had written the spell on.

‘You like my new house?” Hemlock extended a hand to show his pride and joy. “It’s taken lots of hard work.”

“Your planning on becoming the new Lucifer, I take it.”

“No!” hemlock spat at me. “The all-powerful Aldiss Hemlock, Chambers!” His face was red as a tomato. He actually reminded me of Yosemite Sam sputtering all over the place. “It is true I’m aiming for a new Hell. Yeah. But it’s going to be my ‘Hell’, Chambers.”

“Naw,” I shook my head. “You aren’t a little crazy. You’re fucking mega-crazy!”

“Hand it over, Chambers,” Hemlock insisted. He stepped forward. The Sicarious followed, the flies broke away slightly, awaiting Hemlock’s command.

“Hand what over?”

‘The cylinder. What the fuck do you think I mean?” His little fat feet did that dance again and I almost couldn’t contain myself.

“You want G’nal.” I said. “You really think you can micromanage Hell? Keep a demon as a subservient shift manager? I hate to break it to you, Hemlock. I don’t think Hell is ready for the corporate world.”

“It’s okay, Chambers. Don’t hand it over. I thought maybe I could talk you into taking a job for me gathering souls—”

“You thought wrong,” I cut him off.

“We might as well go with the first plan and take it.” He finished. He used Hellspeak to command the Sicarious.  The demon came towards me. The tiny flies rose and formed their own winged Armada. Three groups were poised to burrow into my body and turn me into a bloated corpse.

I took the paper from my pocket and read aloud the spell. It wasn’t my voice that came from my lips. It was Maggie’s voice that was so loud, the newly installed windows in the building shook. What language my ears recognized was Hellspeak.

A bright light appeared about ten feet from me. Then a barrel slowly emerged onto the scene. I could smell the gasoline. It was strong, overtaking the smell of death coming from Hemlock’s body. The little group of flies stopped in front of me, hovering. They turned quickly toward the spiraling light.  In an instant, the flies flew off to meet the light. Just for a moment, they regrouped as the silhouette of the Sicarious before diving into the barrel of gasoline. Immediately the barrel caught afire, rose to the ceiling, and burned bright.

Then it was gone. The fire. The barrel. The Sicarious. The swarm of flies.

Hemlock was left standing before Dim and I. Dim brushed past me, stopped in front of Hemlock, who was by now a blubbering fool on his knees groveling.

Dim handed me a gold locket on a golden chain. “Here, Chambers,” He said. I took it from him gingerly. “I’ll handle this from here on.”  A low growl from his lips turned into a pitch-perfect screech as he leaped on Hemlock in one bound.

Dim tore into Hemlock’s face with those awful black teeth, tearing flesh from his left cheek. Hemlock’s screams echoed loudly in that empty building.

I walked past the poor lost souls that Hemlock had been collecting. Those sad, red eyes were burned into my memories forever.

~ 7 ~

Maggie took me into her arms, enveloping me. She whispered that she loved me. She sat me on the couch in her living room. She kissed me, touched my chin with her hand.

“I’ll fix you a drink,”  Maggie said.

I watched her walk to the bar.  I took the peculiar gold locket from my pocket. “Hey, look at this—”

Connolly appeared behind Maggie, holding a straight razor in his hand. The tall gray-haired man was dressed in all white. Tie, shirt, jacket, and shoes. He grabbed his wife by the hair, pulled her toward him. He dragged the razor across the jugular of her throat. Blood spurted all over him, making his white suit into a Jackson Pollock painting.

“No!” I screamed, rushing him.

His eyes flashed red. Connolly laughed. Before I could reach him, his body broke into particles, dispersed into thin air.

I fell to my knees, clutching Maggie’s lifeless body to me. I wept. Screamed, cursed.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw Maggie standing over me.

“I told you,” She said. “I told you I would find a way for us to be together forever.”

Next Tuesday, Chapter 5: Deguello pt 1

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