The Deal: Sinners Heart Part 4

Friday, 15 January 2016

The strange and cryptic symbol seemed to demand my attention from the bottom of the drawer. If everything Pertilius had told me was even half true, then it seemed Lisa had been the victim Satan’s deal making process just like me.
   Suddenly feeling tired, I slammed the drawer closed and stuffed the photograph into the inside pocket of my jacket. I was certain that there was a detail in it I just wasn’t seeing, but until I got some rest and looked at it with a set of fresh eyes the odds where good that I wouldn’t be able to find it.
I felt nothing but exhausted by the time I made my way back out of the once busy school. I didn’t bother to look back as I exited the way I had went in. Something inside me told me it was best to just keep walking and put as much distance between myself and the building as possible.
   Just to add a sense of urgency to that sensation was the sound of distant sirens. Someone had found Slicks’ and made the call. I had no idea how long I had been inside the school, but it didn’t feel like it had been any longer than an hour, which was exceptionally quick for the body to be discovered.
   After walking another two blocks further north, I turned on to Eisenberg Avenue and hailed a passing cab. Normally after a hit I would take my own car so many blocks back home before parking up and then walking the rest of the distance. The idea being that the cops would have to work much harder to connect the car to my apartment since that wasn’t where it was registered to.
   In this case though my car was still parked in the alley near the bar where I had found Slick touting his stolen goods. I was going to have to go back for it at some point, but right now a taxi cab seemed like the quickest and safest way to get back home. I just needed to get some sleep.

The high pitched beeping of the alarm clock woke me with a start. I was drenched all over with sweat and the pounding in my temples and tightness in my jaw told me I had been grinding my teeth again.
   Slapping the top of the clock I swung my legs out of bed and sat on the edge. The red digits told me it was six in the morning and I had been asleep for the last three hours.
   Not much, but it was better than the occasional hour here and there I had managed to grab while working for my new boss. The taxi had dropped me off a block away from my apartment building just as I had instructed.
   The downside was that the short walk in the cold night air had actually made me feel a bit more awake and by the time I closed the door on the outside world my mind was already starting to rev up once again.
   I studied the photograph I had taken from the class room in St Helens. I remembered every smile, every rose coloured cheek and every set of blue eyes including Lisa’s. It was her I studied the most. My heart and my body ached for her presence. Her soft touch and the heavenly scent that emanated from her skin.
   Some or her story was starting to make a little bit more sense now as I had discovered thanks to Pertilius that she herself had made a deal with the devil.
   It explained why she was in purgatory without the daily fear of a Grimoyle ripping her innards out with its teeth, but it also left more that I needed to find out.
   Why did she make the deal in the first place? That was the big question on my mind.
   Was it possible that she was the one responsible for the deaths of six children and possibly a seventh? I found it incredibly hard to believe that such a caring and gentle soul would even dream of smacking a child never mind taking the life of six.
   Yet I knew in my heart that it actually made perfect sense if that was the reason why she made her deal with the eternal trickster. Although I couldn’t see she would have to offer Satan in return for getting away with murder.
   Maybe she agreed to be his wife? Chimed the voice in the back of my mind as I lit a cigarette and rubbed at my stinging eyes.
   The thought of her being touched by him in anyway left a stinging sensation deep in my heart that I had not felt since the day she was taken from me. What hurt the most was the simple truth that thought may not be completely wrong.
   Whatever he wanted from Lisa, I was certain that it had to be something personal. Something that gave him good enough reason to at least protect her from the more brutal aspects of life in hell.
   Before I could get a chance to stop them, tears were rolling down my cheeks. The whole situation seemed so frustratingly surreal, yet I knew first hand that it was anything but a projection of an overworked imagination.
   It was real and no matter how hard I tried to swallow the pain of my lose I had to deal with the fact that my beautiful wife could be the sexual plaything of the darkest of souls.
   Wiping my tears away using my forearm, I picked up the photograph once again. This time I wasn’t really looking for anything. I just needed something other than my bedroom floor to stare at.
   And that’s when it finally clicked.
   I had been looking for the obvious, like razor sharp fangs of a demon posing as a smiling child, or the hilt of a knife in Lisa’s clasped hands. What I had failed to notice was the symbolism.
   Pertilius had mentioned the creation of the seven levels of hell, and that particular number seemed to have great significance in the underworld. Almost as if it was a sacred number.
   I scanned the faces of each child in the picture once again. One of those kids shouldn’t be there, but they all looked so natural and as real as any photograph could possibly exert. Then I spotted something I could not believe I had missed. Standing to the right of Lisa was a black haired boy. He was smiling, but it wasn’t the smile of happiness, or a smile that said he was enjoying the moment for what it was. No behind it there was venom and hatred.
   It wasn’t the smile that made him stand out though. It was his eyes. They were deepest and clearest blue eyes I had ever seen on any child, and I had never seen anyone with black hair have those colour of eyes to start with. As far as I understood it was biologically impossible.
   Then I noticed something even worse. Far worse than I could have imagined, and this time I felt my heart sink all the way to the pit of my stomach and it would have kept going had there been room to continue.
   When I looked at the boys eyes I noticed that they were exactly the same colour and brightness as Lisa’s. In-fact I would have gone as far as to say that they were identical in every respect. And as I continued to look, it got a whole lot worse. The boy had a small smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose which spread outwards onto to his cheeks. The formation and pattern of the freckles was identical to Lisa’s.
   I sat in stunned silence for a moment. My cigarette smouldering between my lips as I absently puffed on it, trying to take in the realization of what I was looking at.
   She had a son. Came the voice in my head. She had his son!
   I shook my head, trying to bring back some sort of calmness to my mind, but it wasn’t working this time. The voice was right and it all made much more sense now.
   ‘This is insane.’ I said aloud to what I thought was an empty room.
   ‘I’m sorry Samuel.’ Came Pertilius’s voice from behind me.
   ‘Two visits in one day? What’s the special occasion?’ I sounded more sarcastic than I had intended to, but I was at a point now where I was ready for a fight.
   ‘My brothers suggested that I should pay you a visit.’ He said and I could detect no sarcasm in his voice.
   ‘You better watch out, or your lord will think you are trying to be my guardian angel.’ Tears came streaming back without warning.
   ‘I see you have found a piece of your puzzle.’
   ‘This isn’t a puzzle!’ I shouted throwing the photograph across the room where it floated to the floor beneth the window. ‘This is a fucking nightmare come true.’
   Silence befell the room as I sat there on the edge of the bed sobbing. The only problem is now I wasn’t sure what made me feel the worst. Not having Lisa or knowing that he had sunk his dirty slimy hooks into her.
   ‘Did you know he had a soon?’ I asked trying to get myself together.
   ‘It’s our lords’ sixth millennia at the throne. It is usually about this time when he would create an heir before ascending.’ The monk was calm and I knew he was picking his words carefully once again.
   Then a thought suddenly occurred to me. It seemed so brilliantly obvious.
   ‘You’re paying me these little visits to make sure I don’t get in the way of his son taking the throne aren’t you?’
   ‘Actually Samuel, me and my brothers are seeking the opposite. In essence we’re trying to help you to stop that from happening, but we have to do it in such a way that it doesn’t bring down the wrath of our lord. Our magic is very strong, but it’s not enough to stop him from punishing us.’
   The frustration welling up inside of me was becoming unbearable. Every question I found an answer to seemed to lead to more questions and more confusion.
   ‘You need to try and help me understand what the fuck is going on because none of this is making any sense!’
   I could feel Pertilius move closer. It was a strange sensation because I could feel his aura gently pushing against my back like it was shoving me out of the way, or perhaps making sure I was kept at a safe enough distance.
   ‘Our lord in his current incarnation has lost his way. Just like the evil souls he commands you to punish, he revels in the delights of the earthly plane. Over the last nine decades he has become more accustomed to the joys of human flesh and less interested in his duties as master of the underworld.’
   He gave me a moment to take that in before carrying on with his explanation.
   ‘The heir to the throne, his son, will share pretty much all of the characteristics of his creator so it’s to no one’s benefit that either one of them wield the power required to rule over the kingdom.’
   This was probably the first time that I actually paid attention to the big monk as he spoke, and I couldn’t help but notice that his fingers would move absently, like they were counting the amount of words he was speaking. I thought it strange that such a powerful being from the darkness of hell would have what was basically a nervous twitch.
   It was when his fingers stopped moving that I realized he was waiting for me to pose more questions. The simple truth was, though, that my mind was absolutely numb with it all.
   I had felt it bizarre enough that I had entered into what was basically an eternity of servitude to the dark lord himself, but now this mysterious monk who I had once rescued from the kitchen of the overlord Henetia, was basically telling me that the he and his fellow brethren where out to kill their master and his son.
   Of course it got far more bizarre, because from the gist of the previous conversation I got the very specific inclination that they wanted me to be the one that dealt with them both.


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