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Dear Lord, Buffy was Right



 
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Asher Crown

The worst, or potentially the best (Asher really was torn by a nearly existential level of ambivalence on this point) part of the entire thing was the mall.  Drenched concrete and bright shop fronts beckoned, skimpy summer clothing finally giving way, despite an early autumn hot streak, to longer skirts, leggings and a plethora of dark crepe fabrics and lace.  The constant sound of young people, mostly women, rose to his ears, a dull music of background noise bled to cadences without meaning.  Asher spoke nine languages but wasn't in the mood to try to filter out and suss what was being said a short distance away.

In his defense, the cracked asphalt in front of him, broken jutted teeth of metal pipe embedded in it and corroded away as if disintegrated, was howling.  The hole was roughly two meters in diameter and nearly circular, give or take some warp in the surface of the asphalt.  It wanted to be termed a sinkhole, very possibly, but Asher was certain that sinkholes had, a it were, bottoms, and this absolutely defied the notion that bottoms were a thing that existed at all.

His brain, unhelpfully, supplied the term 'oubliette' and then provided him a burst of nauseating vertigo that caused him to sway close to the edge of the shrieking black maw of never-ending darkness before he took three firm steps backward and pressed the heel of his hand hard under his nose.

"Alright," he said flatly down to the ring on his finger, which had been practically glowing an hour earlier and now was an innocent, flat bit of onyx in gold, "I understand when you set me after thieves, or even ghosts, but what precisely am I meant to do about this?  I don't have a bloody road crew of angels with fiery swords that I can dial up on a whim!"

October 24, 2018 04:26 pm

Summer

A career change meant a wardrobe update. Not that Summer needed an excuse to go shopping. She enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. Looking for that one key piece on a bargain, it was quite satisfying. Plus, this new figure she was sporting- she needed to update her fall and winter wardrobe to fit it. It was still so weird, that she’d woken up one morning looking different, all at the hands of…

Stopping as she exited a large department store, Summer felt a sort of tingling. Like her wings were begging to be ‘out’. Furrowing her brow, she took tentative steps forward, as if trying this whole walking thing out for size. Usually, the tingling sensation occurred when her emotions got too high or intense, threatening a loss of control. As exciting as getting four pairs of jeans for 40% off was, it certainly wasn’t enough to make her go wild. Let alone lose control enough to have her wings out in public. Yes, it was true that some angels were ‘out and proud’ with their physical attributes, wearing their wings like birds. Summer wasn’t one of them. She kept those puppies tucked away nice and tight. It was also worth mentioning that her glowing aura also was stifled. That was more impactful in public. Hell, when left to its own devices, things would burn in her wake. So, in the celestial closet she remained.

It was that reason precisely why Summer found herself perplexed at the tingling. Giving her shoulders a shake, she started to walk toward the bus station to head home. Summer didn’t drive. Not ever. Sure, she could have called a Lyft, but in taking the bus, she had to limit the amount of shopping she did. Still, the tingling continued. A compulsion very nearly pulled her in one specific direction, away from the bus stop. What in the hell? Hell. Dammit! Scowling deeply, Summer looked around for the devil himself, figuring that is why her senses were all out of whack. Or rather, why it felt like they were playing ‘hot and cold’ with her. Squinting in the sunlight, she saw a lone man backing quickly away from a dark circle of warped, cracked asphalt. Hurrying her pace, her shopping bags hit the outside of her thighs as she trotted closer, the tingling sensation now a searing pain down her spine. Her wings were coming out, it was only a matter of moments. Summer hissed out a curse, then bit it off as she heard the man speak to...his hand? You know what? Not the weirdest thing she’d seen. But definitely up there.

Things seemed to rush together and slow at the same time. She heard his exclamation to his hand about not having a line to any angels just as she glanced down at the sinkhole. Except it was not a sinkhole. Her hands loosened, letting her shopping bags drop to the asphalt haphazardly. Letting out a strained yelp that was more from frustration rather than pain, Summer bent at the waist slightly, hands balled into fists on her thighs. Out sprung two medium sized white wings, complete with pink tips. “F-ck!” She yelled out in irritation before standing upright.

Letting out a sigh, she held her arms out in a ‘Ta-da!’ fashion, beaming a showman’s smile. “You called? I mean, I’m not an army, but...this is as good as it gets around here.” Her arms dropped to her sides, expression falling to that of resignation as she peered into the pit of nothingness.
October 24, 2018 11:07 pm

Asher Crown


Asher jumped at the sound of several different sized items landing on the ground, and mentally cursed his inattention even as his head snapped up.  Then whatever half-formed excoriation he meant to give himself for letting some passerby sneak close while he was woolgathering, well... it died unformed as he witnessed massive white wings erupt from the back of a rather stunning young woman, who opened her arms in a gesture as if to draw audience attention to a magic trick.

 

The yawning hellish abyss in front of him was not the strangest thing he had seen.  It felt the worst, except for that manor which he had no intention of speaking of or even thinking about much again, but by and large it was a giant hole in the ground.  Not much to look at.  Previously, the strangest thing he had seen had probably been the wendigo zombie.  Or had it been a loup-garou zombie?  He couldn't remember the word his friend had used.  That pale, shambling montrosity with its elongated canine snout was nothing, though, compared to a woman with faintly glowing angel wings standing in the back lot of a shopping mall, indicating that in some way his cry for angelic aid had been answered.

 

In his experience, cries to Heaven never did much more than waste air.

 

Aware his jaw had tipped open and afraid his lips would part too and leave him gap-jawed like some fish just pulled from the water, Asher licked his lips and rubbed his palms against the edges of his slacks.

 

"Alright, I can honestly say I did not expect that.  Do you... I mean, know anything about this?"  He gestured absently at the yawning toothy void a few feet from where they stood.  "I mean, without getting near enough to risk falling in, I can say there is no visible bottom, it is screaming, and I believe it is screaming in a Semitic language I don't recognize.  I catch a few words here and there, but most of it is gibberish.  And it feels... wrong.  That... that's what I know."
October 29, 2018 01:21 am

Summer

His silence pulled her attention up from the gaping chasm. Seeing his mouth agape not unlike the earth next to them, one side of her mouth lifting in an amused smile. His first angel siting, she’d wager. Alright. Brows knitting together as she listened to him, her attention returned to the sinkhole. Eyes narrowing, she tried to hear what he heard. Shaking her head she looked back to him.

“I don’t know anything about this. I kinda...felt compelled to come over here. That’s the best way I can explain it. I don’t see a bottom either. Not that I really want to inch any closer.” Clearing her throat, she peered down once more. “I don’t hear anything though. Not in any language. But the sensation. It is most peculiar. And not in the good way.” She took a step back away from it as if to illustrate her point. Her gaze slowly returned to him. He recovered quickly from the initial shock of a celestial being at his side. Running her tongue along the edge of her top teeth, she regarded him. That lead her to the assumption that seeing strange creatures wasn’t that unusual for him. Interesting, if so.

Allowing herself another glance into the dark pit, she felt a shiver run down her spine. Even if it were cold out, temperature's didn’t bother her. This shiver was from the inside out, an unsettling sensation easing across her body like a prickly blanket. Gritting her teeth, she gave a terse nod. “Something is definitely not right. Did you find it like this or did you watch it happen?”
October 29, 2018 11:13 pm

Asher Crown

He most certainly would not have considered his recovery quick, but he was used to putting on a smooth, controlled facade in order to hide the questions that there was no time for, the pounding pulse that could provide nothing better than adrenaline and nothing worse than a sudden inopportune freeze-up.  Well, there wasn't any visible threat that could be... attacked or arrested.  Only the sound, which she claimed not to hear, and the immense feeling of wrongness that they could agree upon wholeheartedly.

"Oh, no, I found it."  Given that she had agreed to be in some way an army of heavenly angels and she sported those massive, beautiful wings, he supposed she wasn't likely to consider him insane for explaining the rest.  He lifted his hand, showing the chunky cut, garish signet ring with its ouroborous emblem on black stone.  "This is apparently a family emblem.  I was sent it in the mail, and since then, it seems to guide me to things... things like this, though not so far on such a scope."

He toed the sole of his shoe closer to the hole, though he didn't walk or even lean closer.  "I don't know.  Do you feel... do you feel that?"  A shudder went through him, and his eyes widened as they lifted to catch hers.  "It IS wrong.  You're right.  With the sounds, I would expect to be hearing things like 'help' but this is... it's more like anticipation.  Like something is coming."

November 06, 2018 06:33 pm

Summer

Even though her stance held her a few feet away, she could see the unusual detail of the ring. Gazed fixed on it with brows slightly furrowed, she commented, “Got it in the mail, huh? Strange.” She glanced back at the pit, just staring for a moment in thought. The fact that his ring lead him here wasn’t that weird. No more or less weird than anything else in this blighted land called the Realm, that was for sure. Still, it was curious. Even more so was this gaping maw, reeking of wrongness and making her skin crawl something fierce.

The sound he mentioned, she did find it strange she couldn’t hear anything. If this truly were not of natural occurrence, it seemed like she should be able to hear what he was talking about. Even if she wouldn’t understand it. Squatting down, she angled her head toward the opening in an effort to hear. It was as it was muffled, something blocking her ears...her expression flattened as she stood. Pointing a finger at his hand, she said in a tone milder than the situation called for, “I want to hear more about that ring. But first, I think I need to make myself a bit more comfortable to hear this.” Her pointed finger swung toward the pit.

Letting out a small resigned sigh, she took a few steps away from him, keeping along the circumference of the hole. Her eyes remained on him though. He looked so normal, like he would be freaked out by stuff like this. ‘This’ being a ring that communicates, a gaping hole to the bowels of the Realm and an angel turning up out of the blue. His ability to remain unruffled (as far as she could tell, anyway) made her decision to do this in such a public setting a little easier. Honestly, the wings were more remarkable than her aura. Mostly. Licking her lips, she let out another sigh, this one more audible. “I’m Summer, by the way. And umm, I have to...um. I am gonna…” She waved her hands out at her sides in a strange gesture. How does one explain they are about to let their aura unfurl? “These aren’t all there is.” She gave her wings a wiggle, a cheeky smile on her lips. Rolling her shoulders, she let it go. She let everything go.

A soft golden aura slowly wafted out from around her. It stayed within six inches or so from her person. A mild, soft yellow, the outside edge would flick out in sharp edges every now and then, indicating her nervousness. And just like that, she heard it. She took two steps back, physically recoiling in horror. A hand went to her lips as she looked at him, dark eyes filled with horror and worry. “I feel it. And now I hear it. I don’t know what it is saying, but I know what it means. And you are right. Something is coming.”

She wanted to turn heel and run for the hills, the whole damned thing giving her the creeps of the highest order. But, in for a penny, in for a pound as they say. She couldn’t very well pack up her wings and dip, leaving this guy to fend for himself. His ring may be cool and all but whatever that was clearly required more than a single person and a nifty family heirloom. Aura now flicking a little more intently, fear licking along her spine in a very obvious way. This was exactly why she kept that sh-t hidden. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve. She gave him a tense smile and admitted, “I don’t like this one bit.”
November 08, 2018 11:39 pm

Asher Crown

He appreciated that she tried to warn him.  He even appreciated the WAY she tried to warn him.  How casual it was.  How easy.  And then, the white wings, the subtle pressure that he could feel from her, the prickling sweet mayhem that was just being in her presence, wasn't it at all, wasn't what it was like to be around an angel.  She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and Asher was floating.

The air was cold, and smelled like apple blossoms, like champagne, like lavender and like baby powder.  It rose around him, whipped around him and the force of it almost drove him to the ground.  He stumbled, drew himself up to one knee, and then he saw the light radiate from Summer, pinions of brilliance pinning the world to a board, and it was...

Asher didn't remember too many moments of pure pleasure in his life.  Maybe a birthday or two, a conviction or two.  He hadn't wanted to be splintered by the light she set out, and he was sure that was why she apologized to him, but he had not, by any god he could imagine, felt that good in a decade.  Whatever poured out of her, whatever silvery bliss, whatever silvery light, made his muscles unclench.  Made his neck less tense.

And yet, this was hardly the time to untense.  Something was coming.  Something deadly.  And his stomach twisted as he realized, in one dark, ugly moment, that what was coming was a predator.  An abuser, like those he'd spent his life putting behind bars.  And what it liked, what it wanted, what it was hunting... was angels like Summer.  Was that beautiful energy.  That silvery bliss.

He wanted to blister it, crack it through crimson, burn it black.  He- or she- or it-- that was what it wanted.

That was why the chorus started shrieking at Asher when she came near.  And she was strong, and he didn't want to offend her by telling her to get the hell away but for god's sake, neither of them knew what to do, and **** **** ****....

He licked his lips.

"This... thing... whatever it is, is a sadist who wants to hurt you.  It wanted to hurt us, but wants to hurt you more.  It doesn't care about me at all.  What can we do?  Lure it in and kick it so hard in the balls that it never recovers?"

November 19, 2018 05:46 am
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