The Deal: Deal Breaker Part 2

Friday, 15 January 2016


I was certain the bookcase was going to fall over on me as the thud of its feet landed hard on the ancient stone floor and then suddenly stopped.
   I could feel panic begin to rise up along with the bile in my throat. It had sensed something. Most likely me.
   The huge creature sniffed at the air, as if it could smell my fear. I could hear its massive hands clenching into fists, pieces of rubble falling from its knuckles.
   ‘I smell something,’ it bellowed.
   From where I stood I could see the other guardian stop dead in its tracks and turn to face its partner. There was a moment’s hesitation before it started to stomp towards the area I was hiding in. Now the sense of urgency was far greater than I had ever experienced.
   As the other stone creature made its way towards its partner, I dashed to the end of the row and glanced at the numbers, praying that zero would be close by.
   My prayer was answered as my eyes fell on the golden zero, but my heart sank as I realized it was located further up, past the stone guard who was still sniffing at the air.
   The second guardian moved to stand next to its comrade and it too sniffed at the air, although his seemed to be more like deep breaths than sniffs.
   ‘Yes, I too smell something,’ said the second guardian.
   That was it. The game was over. In a few short seconds they would start to move in my direction and basically block me from my goal. At least, that’s what I thought was going to happen.
   Instead, to my surprise, they both turned and started walking in the direction I had come from, leaving the path clear for me to move.
   Which I did at almost breakneck speed.
   Heart pounding I ran to the row where bookcase number zero stood. I studied the scrolls, desperation rising up from my stomach as I failed to see anything that would separate Lisa’s scroll from the rest.
   If it hadn’t been for the sake of making a noise and bringing the guardians full attention down on me, I would have sat there and cried. All the fear, panic and frustration I had been feeling leading up to that moment had accumulated into a massive ball in my throat that I couldn’t seem to shift.
   Tears pricked at my eyes as I looked up at the scrolls and at first I thought I was seeing things. On the third shelve above me, I could see something glowing.
   I glanced over at the stone creatures stomping their way back to the main doors where I had entered. Once I was certain they couldn’t see me, I climbed on to the first shelve and reached for the glowing object.
   Once my fingers wrapped round it, I lowered myself back to the floor and studied what was in my hands. It was indeed a scroll, glowing in that same golden aura as the ring I wore.
   Unlike the rest though, this scroll had a purple ribbon tied round it to keep it in place. I stood there, trying to decide wether to open the scroll and check it while I was there, or just take it and get the hell out of the library first.
   I decided it was probably best to do the latter.
   The good thing, this time, was that I could cut through the rows that led me away from the gaze of the guardians who were now standing at the front doors, sniffing the air like a pair of concrete dogs.
   When I reached the first row I gripped the scroll in my hand as tight as I could and waited for the huge creatures to make their next move. I could only hope that by leaving my scent further back in the library that it would lead them away.
   Although, considering the volume of sweat that was dripping from my body I felt certain they would pick up my location much quicker.
   As it turned out, the guardians where not the brightest of Satan’s creatures. They both turned to face the interior of the library.
   ‘We have an intruder,’ said the one with the nose on his forehead.
   I watched, amazed, as they stormed off back into the direction I had come from. As soon as they were working their way between the rows again, hunting for me, I made my final run to the main doors and the safety of the shadows that surrounded them.
   Carefully, I eased one of the doors open and slipped outside.

Once I was back outside the library, confronted with the endless pathway of torches and the sea of skulls, I ducked to my left and hid between two massive pillars. I doubted it would be enough to keep me safe for any length of time, but hopefully enough for me get myself together again.
   I breathed hard as my heart tried its best to escape from my chest. Droplets of sweat escaped from my forehead and hit the floor with a silent splosh before quickly fizzing away under the heat.
   I looked at the neatly rolled piece of parchment I held in my shaking hands. I debated with myself for a few seconds on whether I should look at it or not. Eventually I guessed I had come all the way to hell to get it and destroy it, so the least I could do was make sure it was the correct one.
   I loosened off the ribbon, letting it float to the ground, before I carefully opened the scroll and studied the ancient and ornate lettering that graced it.
   Although I knew I shouldn’t have been surprised, I felt a little disheartened to see that it was written in Latin. I couldn’t understand a single word that was on the paper and therefore I had no idea if I was holding Lisa’s scroll or maybe some other poor bastards deal with the dark lord.
   ‘I see you found it,’ said Pertilius, making me jump as he appeared by my side.
   ‘I thought you couldn’t be here?’ I said, still trying to understand what was on the scroll.
   ‘I’m not supposed to be, but most of the kingdom heard the guardian’s alarm, so if I was you I would get out of here as fast as you can,’ he said, in his usual calm voice.
   ‘Is this Lisa’s deal?’ I asked, my hands still shaking from the adrenaline.
   ‘Yes, but there is no point in destroying it here. You have to be in front of her when you do it, so she knows that she is free,’ he said.
   I glanced towards the seemingly unending pathway lined with torches, and figured that must be the way I was going to have to leave. The only problem was, I could clearly see approaching objects. Very large objects with wings.
   ‘Touch the red letters at the bottom of the scroll,’ said the monk, his gaze following mine.
   With a trembling hand I reached out to touch the ornate red letters, a word in Latin I assumed, and as soon as my fingers touched the paper and the raised ink the world spun at an alarming pace.
   Torches became one with the black clouds and the library seemed to melt into a vast mixture of varying colours. I could feel myself getting dizzy, and at one point I wanted to vomit but was able to hold back the rising bile.
   As the world spun around me, I looked down at my hands and noticed I was still touching the sacred letters. Quickly, as if I had been given a shock, I pulled my fingers away and the world stopped its dizzying movement.
   The library, the torches and more importantly, the Grimoyle’s, had vanished. In their place was a small room, a bedroom of sorts. I could see a bed big enough for one at the far corner of the room. A night stand stood next to it, and a small chair next to that. There was no decorations or ornaments or anything that would make the room personal to the soul who slept in it.
   I was starting to feel confused when I heard the soft click of the door being opened. I could feel my eyes and my heart swell with joy as I watched Lisa shuffle inside and close the door behind her.
   ‘It’s been a long time babe,’ I said, trying to offer my best smile.
   Lisa snapped her head up and looked straight at me. At first there was hatred in her eyes, but once she recognized who was doing the talking, that smile I had dreamed of for the last five years crossed her lips once again.
   ‘Samuel, is that you?’ She asked, tears welling in her eyes as a delicate hand reached out to touch my face.
   I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of her fingers taking in every contour of my face. I kept them closed as her lips touched mine, gently, but it was enough to send sparks flying through my body.
   Then her touch stopped. When I opened my eyes I could see her take a step back from me and her smile changed to an expression of confusion.
   ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked, feeling worried that she was going to reject me after all this time apart.
   ‘You can’t be here. If Satan finds you he’ll destroy your soul,’ she said, her expression changing again to one of worry.
   ‘Well, he is going to try, but I think I could beat him,’ I said.
   Lisa moved towards me once again, her eyes tracing the intricate tattoos on my wrists and forehead.
   ‘I’ve seen those marking before. The monks have them on their robes,’ she said, sounding confused.
   ‘You’re right,’ I said, feeling my smile falter.
   ‘Samuel, what’s going on? How did you get here?’ She asked.
   I was unsure how much time we had left before Satan got wind of my little plan, but I inhaled a deep breath and explained everything as quickly as I could to Lisa, right up to the point where I had stolen the scroll from the Library.
   ‘You did all that just to free me?’ She asked, as her eyes fell on the scroll I was still holding.
   ‘I’ve spent the last five years thinking you were in heaven and instead I found out you were here in hell. There is no way I can let the woman I love spend her eternity here,’ I said, feeling tears prick at my eyes again.
   ‘You know he’s not going to let us leave just because you tear up that scroll,’ she said and I nodded in agreement even as she spoke.
   I had omitted telling her that the grand plan involved me becoming the next ruler of hell, again, as it would turn out. Instead I gave her the abridged version:
   ‘Once I tear up this scroll, you will be taken to the realm between here and earth. When that happens, Satan is going to come looking for me, and I will have to beat him in order to return you to your body,’ I explained, understanding just how awesomely insane it all sounded.



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