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Bad Guy



 
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Averly Amoret


Bad Guy

New Orleans

The smell of carrion filled her nose, drowning her in its repulsive scent. Sticky, iron rich blood coated her finger tips, her tongue; and every visible part of her body. The sheets she had slept on stuck to her as she writhed in agony, a scream caught in her throat. A dark aura radiating from the corner of her room threatened to pounce on her as she squirmed in her bed, its harsh glare piercing through the blood coated on her. Averly gagged, fought to scream, to make any noise at all. 

Just as she thought she couldn’t go on anymore, the creature lunged at her. 

Startled, she forced herself upright in the bed. Shaking, alone, afraid. Averly fought to keep her hands still as she wiped away stray strands of hair from her face. To no avail, the wisps of hair stuck to the sweat coating her brow. It took tremendous effort to keep her breathing steady enough to fight the bile that crept up her throat. Her joints were still stiff from sleep paralysis, but her mind was a steady stream of thoughts that circled around in her mind until she was dizzy. 

Night terrors had plagued Averly since she had returned from her most recent assignment. That night had resulted in her continuously forcing up whatever was left in her stomach, until she was lulled into sleep by the cool touch of porcelain from the toilet seat. Each night since, she would tell herself upon waking up that she needed to get in and have her medication upped to a higher dosage. 

However, like most things. Averly would neglect these issues for the sake of not wanting to communicate with anyone. Her interactions with the outside world were few and far between now that she was back home. Had Tyche still been around, she might have helped her sort through these dreams. She had no doubt that the werewolf, once a witch, would suggest it was a premonition of some sort. Personally, Ave paid no mind to superstitions. Though a witch, there was little magic she believed in. Seeing is believing, after all, and all the young witch had seen in her short life was death. 

Averly’s stomach churned at the thought that she was now as sharp as the blade of doom that once butched her lover. Still fighting back a wave of nausea that came with her thoughts, she chewed on her lip as she flung herself out of bed to rummage through her nightstand for her medication. Her anxiety had gotten worse, detering her from accepting any new assignments. As much as she enjoyed succumbing to her bloodlust, she wasn’t ready for Feyre’s gentle face to haunt her. 

Feyre hadn’t been her first kill. She had been far from it. However, she was the first innocent life she had taken. Despite Author’s insinuation that their victim had not been blameless, all Averly had seen was a heart full of love, and eyes as wide as saucers peering into her very soul. The image still haunted her, and it was Feyre’s screams that usually woke her. 

Averly’s anxiety had no doubt worsened. The very career she had chosen, the one that had thrilled her and made her feel alive again, quickly starting to turn on her. She worried about what was next. Would her next assignment be one that would result in killing another innocent life? More than once she had considered changing professions, getting out of the game, but the money was just the beginning of a long list of incentives that kept her from withdrawing completely. 

One thing was clear in her messy life. One thing reigns true in her confusion. Averly was the bad guy
June 18, 2019 05:16 pm

Author

The demon Author had spent the human equivalent of 13 days in Hell, having been summoned there upon the successful completion of the mission in which he had used Averly.  They had extracted information from an angel named Feyre and then murdered it.  He now had been given a new mission, which was to complete the corruption of Averly's soul and find ways of bringing evil to the earth upon her initiatives.  He disliked how important the creatures made of dirt seemed to be in the cosmic struggle, but alas humans were the only uncommitted, the rules of the game were set up to place them at the very center of the battle between good and evil.  These thoughts moved through his head as he watched Averly thrash around in bed.  He had broken into her abode quite easily.  Locks were for honest people, and the crackerjack lock on the front door required only a credit card to defeat.  The chain also holding the door he clipped with bolt cutters.

Silent as the grave, Author had gone unnoticed as Averly woke in the darkness and rummaged for medication in her nightstand.  He shifted the package he was carrying to the crook of his arm and  struck a match, enjoying the smell of sulphur; he put it to a cigarette and extinguished the match with a wave.  The fire illuminated his face for half a second and then all that was visible was the orange glow of the cigarette.  He now had Averly's undivided attention.

"Good evening friend," he said cheerily without a hint of malice.  "My superiors send their compliments on a job well done.  I fear I was not seeing the big picture when we extracted the confession, it was indeed vital to pre-empt the mission she was given to spread her lies and propaganda to the gullible citizens of ... America."  He had almost said earth which would have given too much away, Averly had not really grasped his identity in their first mission and it was standard procedure to keep it that way unless the mark was entirely committed to the cause of good or evil.   "But I see that you are not happy, my dear.  I also see that you have not had the vision to use the resources you have earned to give yourself a better life.  Home security for starters, as you grow more infamous it will surely dawn on you that that is imperative.  And there's this," he held up his package, "it will take work to clear that ridiculous vestige of conscience you have there, but in the meantime you need your rest."  He spoke this last sentence with the smooth delivery of a doctor filled with concern for a patient.

 

June 23, 2019 07:25 am

Averly Amoret


The lighting of a match, a familiar aura, and the smell of burning tobacco invaded her senses and pulled her from her thoughts. Averly was used to the disassociation that came with her panic disorder, but to be pulled from herself by her former client intruding into her home, set her over the edge. An all too familiar burning sensation coursed through her body, lighting the fire beneath her skin until her face was red hot and she felt as if steam were blowing through her ears. 

Clutching the sweat soaked bed sheets, she held them to her chest to cover the body beneath the silk of her night gown. Author’s intrusion was both an invasion of privacy, and unwarranted. He had worked with her, nothing more. Who was this man to judge her and her lifestyle? Averly had done many cruel things, tortured, murdered; all under the guise of a gentle heart. The snarl that trembled her lips as he told her what she needed was involuntary, along with how one hand inched closer to her nightstand where she kept a fully loaded handgun. 

“Listen, I mean no offense. You paid well, but you can tell your superiors I’ll see them in hell.” Thrusting her hand inside the drawer of the nightstand, Averly’s finger tips wrapped around the handle of the 9mm and she pointed it towards him. Pulling the trigger, she was surprised to find that it did not fire. She cut him a look that was meant to say ‘Was this you?’ as she grumbled and threw herself out of bed. 

“You don’t know me, Author. The things I’ve done. Although I appreciate everyone supposedly having my best interest in mind, I prefer to work alone.” 
June 24, 2019 09:20 pm

Author

"You can tell your superiors I'll see them in hell."  Author found this terribly funny and he laughed out loud.  When she pointed the handgun and attempted to fire he lay his head back and laughed uproariously.  He wasn't able to recover from the gales of laughter until she'd spoken again so he addressed everything at once.

"Guns don't kill people, Averly," he said beginning the sanctimonious chant, then after a dramatic pause he added, "its the bullets you've really got to watch out for."  He put the cigarette in his mouth and then  took the bullets he'd thoughtfully extracted from her gun while she slept and dropped them from one hand to the other.  One hit the side of his hand and rolled under the bed.  He laughed again and then took a deep breath to clear the hilarity.  He considered it a good sign that she had tried to kill him without hesitation, particularly because it wasn't necessary.  She was tortured by conscience, but being unconcerned about life, any life, was a sign of soul death. He put out his cigarette. Everything was going to plan so far.

He turned back towards her  and reacted as if the thought had suddenly struck him, "You don't think I have your best interest at heart?"  He opened his mouth wide in shock and clapped his hands to the side of his face.  "You wound me friend, deeply." As he did this the package under his arm dropped to the ground.  He stooped to pick it up then continued.  "There is no one who puts anyone's interests before their own, unless they do so because they are terribly deceived about the nature of reality. I do not fall into that category and neither should you.  There are also those who convince themselves that they act in the best interest of others, and those people are really dangerous, you’d be right to decline their aid. Love does not exist, and it never did, its just a sick attachment and a complicated social contract with embedded punishments we describe as conscience.  Its time to move past all that, discover yourself and all you can be.  I offer you that because it amuses me to do so, not because I care what happens to you. It also MIGHT further my purposes and those of my superiors. Alliances based on mutual interests, now those exist."  He took a step towards her

"Honestly though, I don't care what you've done and I don't judge anyone, I'd have to believe in right and wrong for that to make any sense."  He thrust the package towards her. "But please at least accept this gift, its from an exclusive boutique in Dubai.  Bed sheets and pillowcases... 100% Egyptian cotton, 600 thread count, Ill have you know that KIng Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sleeps soundly on sheets such as these, though of course in his case they would have to be king sized.  He makes you look like an amateur with all his torture, murder and oppression, but I digress. The best part is that the pillow cases are infused with a renewable sleep potion."  He opened the snap on the plastic and the smell of lavender filled the room, it was the strongest of a complex blend of relaxants.  He drew a deep breath and smiled. "Its just so nice to see you again."

June 24, 2019 10:47 pm

Averly Amoret


Not caring that her silk slip of a night gown was sticking to her still sweat soaked skin from the nightmare, Averly snarled as Author laughed in her face. She had once believed him to be a no-nonsense kind of man, but his intentionally riling her up had her believing otherwise. Whatever his aim was, she wasn’t a fan, though she knew she was falling for the bait.

“So, not only do you break into my home, but you disarm my only firearm while I’m sleeping? Afraid my aim will hit my intended target? I used to be a lousy shot, but I’ve been practicing. I’d happily use you as target practice.” Averly grimaced, crossing her arms over her chest as she took him in. He truly found this hilarious, and her annoyance was at an all time high. If she could only get him towards her kitchen, where an array of knives was waiting for her, she would slit his throat so he couldn’t laugh at her anymore. 

His feigned hurt at her words annoyed her further, but she hid her emotions by turning towards her bedroom door and leaning on the frame. Averly watched from afar as the package he had brought slipped from under his arm and landed with a ‘thud’ on the floor. His self-righteous act was getting old, and she came to the realization that he must think himself as a highly intelligent man. Had he been a victim instead of a client, she may have been able to beat that trait out of him. Alas, she had greatly appreciated being commissioned with such high pay, and would need to try not to run him off just yet. Should she want to get back to work, she would need the cash to keep paying her rent. 

Having picked up the package he let drop, he thrust it at her and she caught it with ease. Opening the strings tying the top together, she pinched the material inside between her fingers. The material was indeed soft, no doubt expensive as they were luxurious. Despite this act of generosity, she began to wonder how long he had been casing her home. Sneaking into her home while she was asleep and observing her fitful nights of failed attempts at sleeping. His help releasing the plastic encasing the pillow cases had the lavender aroma overwhelming her senses, and she was grateful for the doorframe at her side to lean against. The intoxicating scent had always done its job well, and she was surprised she hadn’t thought of it on her own. 

“Thank you, for your kind gift. I’m still confused on your intentions with coming here. What do you want from me?”
June 27, 2019 10:49 am

Author

"Thank you, for your kind gift. I'm still confused on your intentions with coming here.  What do you want from me?"

This was the tricky part. Hell's fortunes had not been especially positive.  The brass always put out propaganda to make it seem like victory was just around the corner; Author had heard it for thousands of years and things never did turn around.  There were some who were beginning to believe that no matter what happened, the dictatorial Creator would win and the darkness would be final.  Author did not believe that. The battle was won and lost here on earth, with people like Averly making choices that would affect not only her own destiny, but that of many, many others as well. Every decision made the world a little more like hell (or a little more like heaven), until finally, at least in Author's thinking all talk of the Creator would cease and He would lose His power. The demon's superiors had determined that she was ready and that as a tempter, it was up to him to get her to cast off the ambivalence and commit to being notovaturient, a bad guy.

"Well, Averly, its like this..." his hands flowed as he tried to draw her a mental picture while he spoke, "a caterpillar is a disgusting little worm that no one cares about, not even other caterpillars.  They're food, they're pests, and they don't matter at all... EXCEPT... that certain ones spin a cocoon and then turn into butterflies.  You could be a butterfly! Well, a carnivorous butterfly... that enjoys tearing the flesh off of caterpillars... It's not a perfect metaphor." His words trailed off at the end and he appeared to have lost his train of thought.  He knew she would wait.  Author always clowned for a deadly purpose.

He raised a finger indicating he remembered his point.  "Turning into a butterfly is actually a disgusting process, the caterpillar digests most of itself and then rebuilds from a plan written into certain parts of it. And no one can help, at least not from the outside, if someone interrupts the process the creature will die, if you don't allow the newly formed butterfly to fight its way out of the cocoon, it will never be strong enough to fly.  But it is possible to create the best possible environment, so that the butterfly can exercise its free will and claim its destiny."

He began pacing now as he cast his vision.  "You are in the chrysalis stage, its too late to be a caterpillar again.  You've thought things, seen things, and done things that make it impossible to go back to the simple, unimaginitive stupidity of the wriggling mass of humankind.  But your transformation is not certain.  Its very painful, there's no way to avoid that.  And you will have to fight.  You'll have to fight people in your way, but you're remarkable, you will win those battles.  But the really dangerous opponent, is the one that knows as many tricks as you do, knows as many ways to survive against the odds as you do."

He couldn't tell from her facial expression whether she was following or not.  "A man conjured a demon and demanded that the demon grant him a million dollars.  The demon agreed, but said, 'when I do that, I will also give your worst enemy two million dollars.  Do you still want it?' 'Sure,' the guy says, ' why the heck wouldn't I want three millon dollars?"

"You need some rest and I've taken up to much of your time.  But know this, the rules that bind caterpillars to each other for their miserable lives are completely inappropriate for you.  You must let go of these notions of good and evil and embrace your destiny.  If you don't you will destroy yourself.  I know you want to know why this is my bloody business, and I'll simply tell you, I assist these transformations, I'm the best there is at it.  So, I'll be at the 24 hour diner around the corner, i hear good things about their blueberry pancakes.  After you've rested and thought about this, come find me there.  Don't hurry, I have all the time in the world and its free refills on coffee."

June 27, 2019 04:10 pm

Averly Amoret


Averly balked at the gruesome mental picture he had painted for her. He must have been certifiably insane. More so than she, and she enjoyed coating herself in blood during her torture sessions. Despite this disgusting analogy, Averly began to grasp at what Author was grabbing at. Despite having started their relationship as employeer, and employee, Author’s sudden interest in both her and her abilities hit home. She began to wonder just how long he had been watching her, if he had been able to glean she was slowly leaning away from the lifestyle she had chosen. 

Michale Norris had been a disgusting, pathetic excuse for a man. Averly had thoroughly enjoyed castrating him. Though this wasn’t in their previously agreed upon plan, she had a distinct feeling his wife hadn’t minded their removal. After all, he had already done his job on impregnating her with twins. Along with a few others. Surely he didn’t need them anymore, lest he not heed her warning and go off and pursue another woman again. 

In fact, Averly still had Michael’s removed parts in a ziploc baggie in the freezer. A sort of trophy, she told herself. From a job well done, her first in the business. Many creepy crawlies in the Realm kept trophies, stored dead bodies, and drank their blood. Just because she was a witch didn’t mean she deserved to miss out on the fun, right? A deadly, carnivorous butterfly was she. 

“I’ve always been my own worst enemy, Author. That much has always been true.” Averly slid her blue eyes up his body, and examined his expression before continuing. “The only one in the way of who I am, and who I was meant to be, is me.” 

You must let go of these notions of good and evil...you will destroy yourself. 

Author’s words cut deep into her, and she was forced to glare at the ground as he announced his intended departure. If other was meant to assist in her transformation, what awaited her at the otherside? What would she need to do to let go of all this hatred for herself, and all of the gulit she felt from assisting in Feyre’s murder? Despite the sour taste left in her mouth for the man before her, she realized what she would have to do. 

“Wait there, or here. I don’t care. I’m going to get some proper clothes on. I look forward to hearing more about this job you have.” 
June 29, 2019 08:43 am

Author

author's plan had been to help Averly get a good night's sleep before their talk, but he would have to abandon that now.  She was showing some initiative in the whole matter for the first time and he needed, like any salesman, to start a positive flow of yes answers that would lead to closing the deal.  Still, her coming to the meeting sleep deprived might put her in a bad mood.  But, as he thought about it, perhaps her getting a good night's sleep after their discussion would confirm in her mind that now her conscience was clear.  People always said that a clear conscience is the softest pillow; people say lots of stupid things, though this one  was not entirely false.  The mind body connection worked equally well both ways. A good night's sleep made you feel at peace just as well as being at peace gave you a good night's sleep. Being sleep deprived might make her more susceptible to suggestion, and to a point that would be helpful, but things absolutely had to be her decision - no demon or angel could violate a human's free will.

He would instead rely on comfort food to put her in a good mood and also if he could do something about her dehydration and off-kilter electrolytes.  From where she was at, feeling normal would be blissful by comparison.  

"I'll meet you down there then.  Look for me on the wrong side of the diner." What he meant by this was that half the diner had the lights out when he passed by earlier since there were so few customers this time of night. He would pass out a fifty dollar bill to each staff member to get them some privacy and prompt service.

He put his hat on and turned to go then looked back, "I'll be happy to answer any question you have; I'm sure this will be very enlightening for both of us."  He tipped his hat and then left for the diner.

Things went to plan with the staff.  They were happy to open the closed side and grant a booth in the back.  There was already a glass of ice water and a large orange juice at Averly's place for when she arrived. He dissolved some Zofran in the juice.  Author had coffee, small orange juice and water.  He had informed the staff of his meal but told them not to make it until Averly ordered.  

June 29, 2019 12:18 pm

Averly Amoret


Having waited for Author to make his exit, Averly paced the room back and forth. In her mind, she must have paced the room a thousand f-cking times before she finally dressed. Discarding the silk nightgown, she replaced it with a comfortable dry pair of jeans a sweatshirt. Had she had notice of his arrival and their rendezvous at the diner, she would have showered before hand to rid herself of the slick feel of her skin from the sweat she had produced in her sleep. 

Time was not on her side, and she had the distinct feeling Author wouldn’t quite care. He was after her for whatever abilities he thought she possessed. Had she been in the right mind frame, she might have been flattered by his interest in her specific skill set. However, the guilt that had been eating at her had eaten away at her pride as well. Their plan had gone perfectly, and a being she believed to innocent had died as a result of their gruesome tactics. 

If only her mother could see her now, see the earth crumbling beneath her feet. 

Scraping her damp locks off of her skin, she tied it in a knot atop her head and escaped the comfortable hole of a home she had locked herself in a way. Or, as Author so eloquently put it, her cocoon. Her limbs felt like the jelly he had inadvertently used in his analogy. If she was a flesh eating caterpillar waiting to turn into a butterfly of death, she was in the middle of her chrysalis stage. Maybe this was just the part where her old body, and old psyche died, and at the end of the road she would emerge from her cocoon stronger than before. Maybe. 

She arrived at the diner in no time, and indeed saw him sitting on the wrong side of it. His face was shadowed both by his hat, and the dim lighting as she approached. It seemed he took the liberty of ordering for them both. Averly slid in the booth across from him and sipped at the juice placed before her dinner mat, it tasted off. But then again, it had been years since she had any kind of juice. She thrived off a strict diet of carbs, water, and liquor. More of the latter than anything else, really. 

“All bullsh-t aside, what is it exactly that you’re wanting from me Author? If it’s another assignment, I’m sorry to inform that I’m on a bit of a hiatus at the moment. Think of it as a well earned vacation.” 
July 20, 2019 11:33 pm

Author

"I don't have another assignment for you, though I dare say you'd be the first one I'd turn to in your specialty.  And someone in your specialty should always have enough work, especially now that your name is in the right places.  And as for a vacation, have you ever truly had one?  I mean, you have enough money to go to a tropical island, or a sinful city of delights, get massages every day, get pleasantly drunk every night.  You badly need the rest, and to get rehydrated I took the liberty of ordering you orange juice and water, I didn't order food, but I am told the blueberry pancakes are top notch."

Author finished his coffee and waited for her to respond, but she did not immediately do so other than to make a facial expression that made it clear he had not answered her question.

"What do I want?  My business often requires talents such as you have,  I want someone I can turn to who is not an idiot and not rude. It also strikes me that you'd be very good at infiltration." He let that sink in a moment before leaning forwards and speaking more softly, "But I can tell there's a barrier, something in your brain that doesn't belong.  I don't know if your parents or a teacher put it there, but it is preventing you from committing fully to what you are good at, something you might possibly be the best in the world at.  I'm not sure what precipitated the problem, but its manifesting as guilt and causing you to hate yourself.  Get past that and the sky's the limit with your talent."

He leaned back now and glanced over as the waitress came over and refilled Author's coffee.  She put down two creamers, but Author waved him them off saying that he always drank coffee black.

"What can I get you hun?" she asked taking a pen from ear and a pad from her apron and turning her attention to Averly.

July 21, 2019 03:51 pm
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