The Deal: Soul Protection Part 1

Thursday, 14 January 2016

I sat alone in the darkness of the bedroom, sipping on a shot of whiskey while my mind wandered to a different time and place. I could see my wife Lisa in all her vibrant beauty, walking towards me. Her smile as radiant as I always remembered it.
   She was almost at our beat up old car, the wind kicking up a dervish of dust from the road which brushed against her hard enough so that she would try and protect her eyes but not enough to make that wonderful smile falter.
   Then came the sound which signalled the end. The sound of a flatbed truck honking its horn just before it impacted with her body and stealing her from me for good.
   I could feel the cold glass slip from my fingers and tumble to the floor where it landed with a soft thud, as fresh tears welled in my eyes once again.
   It had been over five years since Lisa was taken from me. During that time I had managed to get by. I had slipped back into my old ways as a hired gun which had left me feeling emotionally dead as far as caring for, or about, anyone in this world.
   Unfortunately this had brought me face to face with my new and current employer. The most evil being known to the human race: The devil. As I wiped away the fresh tears I thought it strange that I had once considered being a hitman as doing the devils work, and here I was now on call 24/7 for the dark lord himself.
   The thought of him made me reach for the small gold ring I now wore on my index finger. A replacement wedding ring of sorts, except this one used to be a bullet. A bullet that was not for me to keep, but I had somehow managed to hide it from my all-knowing master.
   Frustration had been building inside during the days after my fateful meeting with Satan. I now had the pleasure of being Immortal and equipped with my now magical ring, I had the power to go toe to toe with some of the most dangerous humans and demons my employer can think to send my way.
   My frustration grew from the fact that despite these so called gifts I wasn’t strong enough to take on the one being that could free the love of my life from her prison in Hell. However, what stopped me from lashing out and doing something that would ultimately lead to my own stay in purgatory was the fact that I felt I was getting closer to Lisa. I may be in Hell but I could sense that things where changing.
   Satan, despite all his power, must have weaknesses just like everyone else. If a magical bullet, which was now my new wedding ring, could hammer a demon into the oblivion then there must be something either on Earth or in Hell that could give me the upper hand if I ever have to clash heads with his royal darkness.
   I knew I would need some serious fire power before I could ever consider challenging him, but someday I was going to have to stand up to him if I wanted to get the answers I was looking for, where Lisa was concerned.
   Glancing down at the spilled whiskey, I realised that my tears had all but gone, leaving in their wake a set of dry streaks down my flushed cheeks.
   A voice in my head politely told me I should make some effort to clean up my mess, but the bedroom and the apartment did not belong to me and I had no inclination to give a shit.
   As if to re-enforce that thought, a low groan emanated from the bed on which I was sitting. I turned to look at the bloody mess that was once a man. In-fact he was a young man who had made the mistake of trying to steal from the local church which apparently Satan had a serious problem with.
   I tried to ask why he should care less but I was not so politely told that I wouldn't possibly understand and should just do as I was told.
   Doing as I was told involved following the young thief back to this bare and depressing apartment. Once I was sure he was sleeping I let myself in and found him out cold on the bed.
   Personally I thought the thief’s punishment should have been a good smacking around, and a reminder that stealing wouldn't be good for his future health but my new boss had more, much more blood thirsty things in mind.
   ‘Gut him!’ His vicious and yet softly spoken words were like a whisper in my ear and as much as I would have loved to ignore them I knew I simply couldn't. Not if I wanted to remain free at least.
   With my orders firmly lodged in my head I took a detour into my victim’s kitchen. It took a surprisingly short amount of time before I located a sharp enough knife and then I was heading back to the bedroom.
   The gun was my preferred weapon of choice when it came to such nefarious activities such as murder. Knifes still felt way to cruel of a way to take anyone's life.
   But his Royal darkness wanted the man, a thief, who I could only guess must have sold his loot on because I could find no holy item of any value on or near him, to be butchered and that was what I was going to have to give him.
   I took a few seconds to ready myself as I stood over the sleeping man. Then without thinking anymore about it I brought the sharp end of the blade down hard on his gullet.
   His eye lids flew open in both surprise and horror as the blade pierced his skin and sank three quarters of the way in.
  I stared only for a brief moment at his cold blue eyes before I started to rip him open from top to bottom using the knife like a saw because it wasn't quite as sharp as I had first thought.
   The thief made only a few gurgling sounds as the cold blade sliced its way through his stomach and a few seconds later I removed the knife as I watched his rib cage flop open like a woman's handbag. His internal organs had been damaged beyond repair and his convulsing body was simply going through the last motions of life.
   So it was with surprise that I turned to see his eyes where still open and looking at me from the other side of the bed. I wasn't exactly a pro when it came to knifes but I had felt pretty certain he wouldn't survive the sheer amount of pain I had inflicted on him only minutes ago.
   ‘You should finish him off. Our master grows inpatient.’ The voice was deep yet hollow. Like there was no emotion behind it at all.
    I spun around on the bed to see the tall monk standing, or possibly floating, in the corner near the door. He wore a long black hooded robe with an ornate gold design embroidered around the cuffs and the rim of the hood. I had no idea what the strange symbols meant but I was pretty sure if he worked for the devil then they probably meant something badass like I fart exploding bullets or something to that effect.
   ‘Our master has no patience at all.’ I said glumly, my voice a little coarse.
   ‘Be careful how you speak about our Lord. He has a propensity to know when a soul is not completely on his side.’ The monk’s voice seemed to echo from the darkness of his hood. There was no face that I could see, only an unending darkness which probably mirrored the colour of his soul.
   I stood up, feeling a little pissed that my quality time with the gurgling, blood soaked mess, laying on top of the bed had been so rudely disturbed.
   Although most of my anger came bubbling up from the fact that it was just too easy for Satan and his cronies to walk into my life at any time they so pleased.
   Yet there was also a part of me that was kind of grateful for a different face to talk to even if there didn't seem to be one under that heavy robe.
   ‘I made the deal and I have done everything he has asked of me. But he can't expect me to like it.’ I said, standing over the gutted thief and slamming the knife down on to his still beating heart.
   Silence enveloped the room and although I couldn't see his eyes I could feel the monks gaze follow me as I moved to stand in front of him.
   ‘There ya’ go. Job done.’ I said through gritted teeth. As angry as I may have felt there seemed no point in even attempting to vent it out on the monk. There was an aura around him that made me want to keep my distance.
   The monk turned to look at my fresh new victim laying there on the bed with innards exposed to the world. He seemed to soak in every detail of the massacre before turning his attention back to me.
    ‘Our master will be most pleased with your work.’ There was a hesitation in the monks voice, an –apprehensive silence like he had more to say.
   ‘Well that's my dirty deed done for the day now if you don't mind I would like to go and get some sleep before our good friend Satan sets me up with another murderous task.’
   I moved to step past him but before I could even put my foot down he shot out an arm, a black gloved palm stopping me in my tracks.
   ‘I understand that your deal encompasses demands only made by our master. However I would like to request your help with a matter that would keep me and my brothers in his good graces.’ I couldn't be sure, but for a moment I was certain I could detect a note of fear in the monks’ voice. Which of course was odd in its own way considering he was born into the darkness instead of dragged into it like us earth bound souls.
   ‘Sorry but the less I have to deal with all the shit Hell has to throw at me the better I feel.’ His palm was still extended outwards and I made no move to try and get past him despite the fact that by refusing him I could very well end up in some seriously deep shit.
   ‘I can't make the kind of deals our master can, but if you are willing to help us we can give you something that will help you break the bond between you and or master.’
   Suddenly I felt very interested in what this rather frightening being had to say.
   ‘The only way to break the deal is accept an eternity in Hell. I'm not willing to go that far until I can get my wife out of there.’ I kept my words guarded. There was no reason not to think the monks offer could be one of Satan’s little tricks.
   ‘Oh there is a way to break the deal Samuel and still keep the gifts bestowed upon you by our dark saviour. However, you must help me and my brothers before I am willing to tell you more.’ I'm pretty certain at that point there was grotesque, twisted smile growing on his face. ‘I assure you, there is no trickery involved.’
   I could feel the craving for a cigarette suddenly take hold and after a moment of searching I finally found my pack and lighter and lit one up. The intoxicating smoke was like a brief burst of heaven for my body.
   ‘Okay.’ I said. Exhaling a cloud of smoke with a gust of air. ‘What do you want from me?’
   ‘I and my brothers are guardians of a very special scroll which dictates the bond between demon and Hell. It has magical properties which prevent some of our lords more important demon lords from travelling through on to the earthly plane…’
   I could already tell where this was going and decided to complete the story for him.
   ‘Let me guess. One such Demon Lord has stolen this sacred scroll and used it to drag his slimy ass in to this world and you want me to get rid of him and get your scroll back.’
    The monk seemed to shift a little uncomfortably at the mention of the scroll. This was obviously a sore spot for him.

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