The Deal: Soul Protection Part 2

Thursday, 14 January 2016

‘You are right about the scroll being stolen, however to break its spell you have to burn it in Argol’s Fire. Once the holder of the scroll does that a permanent portal will open allowing passage between both worlds. Hermetia is a very powerful demon capable of great death and carnage. He has no care for the human race and would simply come here to destroy it.’
   This was starting to sound more complicated as the conversation went on and I could actually feel the monk squirming under his robe.
   I got the sense that time was of the essence and I figured he could fill in the rest of the details as we went.
   ‘Well we best get to business. I get the feeling you need the scroll back in your possession as quickly as possible?’
   ‘Yes. We should get moving now. It won't take long before Hermetia figures out what he must do to create the portal.’
   I wasn't quite sure what to expect next. My previous journey to Hell had been via a car crash and I wasn't looking to re-create the experience.
    This time I was pleased to discover all it would take is a swipe of the monks’ gloved hand.

I watched, admittedly a little awe struck like a child watching an illusionist, as my new friend the monk waved his hand and the air around us began to twist and rotate violently until a swirling mass of clouds appeared before us.
   I opened my mouth, intending to ask him how he did such a magic trick, and got the surprise of my life when he firmly gripped my hand and dragged me towards the violent swirling mass.
   If I had the time to scream I probably would have, but as it turns out a trip to Hell is actually extremely quick. Before I could utter a word I found myself standing in a long narrow corridor lined with burning torches.
   The monk turned to face me and I stared directly back at the void where his face should have been. The air felt one hundred times more oppressive than it had been just moments ago in the thief’s apartment, and although I may never know exactly what it was he stole, it paled in comparison to this sacred scroll business.
   ‘There are some things you must keep in mind while you are here, Samuel.’ He said, his voice full of doom.
   ‘Oh really? I’m guessing this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Not like it ever is when it comes to working for the horny one and his Hell spawn.’ My not so gentle sense of humour was lost on the holy man of Purgatory.
   ‘The place you are about to enter is the lower region of Hell. This is the place where all souls are first entered into and processed on to their final destinations. There is a very good chance you may recognise people you have known on the earthly plane.’
   If I was not mistaken it sounded like the hooded demon was trying to protect me. Although in the back of my mind I was chronically aware that I was just as expendable as all the other poor souls who entered into this nightmarish place.
   I plodded along behind him, silently wondering if I was being led to my own private Hell, as he continued to speak.
   ‘Henetia takes great pleasure in watching the continued torturing of souls. As a servant of our master, me and my brothers cannot be harmed by anything other than the lord himself, so as long as you stay near me nothing bad can happen to you while you’re here…’
   ‘But?’ I said, expecting that there would be a pretty big catch in his statement somewhere, and I wasn’t wrong.
   ‘Argo’s fire is located in the great hall where no one except Henetia is allowed to go. Any attempt by anyone to enter that building while he is there will result in immediate banishment to the outer regions.’ I could tell the big monk was trying to explain to me in the best way possible that basically once I was on the mission I was on my own.
   ‘Will you lead me to this great hall?’ I was curious to see just how far this holy man of Hell was willing to go to help me.
   ‘Yes, but I can’t follow you inside and I will not be able to stop them from seeing you once you are in.’
   ‘Okay, that’s fair enough. I wasn’t expecting it to be all that easy. But if I somehow manage to get my hands on this scroll what do I do with it? Who do I take it to?’
   There was no hesitation this time.
   ‘You bring it back to the monastery where I will meet you….’
    I was surprised as he stopped suddenly and turned to look at me. He pointed a long, languid finger in my direction. His voice seemed deeper and much more menacing than it had done up until this point.
   ‘I promise you Samuel. If you bring the scroll back to my monastery I will help you break the deal you made with my master.’
   ‘I certainly hope so big guy.’ I said and followed after him through a non-descript wooden doorway into a place that I just wasn’t prepared for.

Initially it was the smell that hit me before any of my other senses would tune into the world presented before me. It was the scent of meat that had been left to rot in the heat for days at a time. Although in this case it was probably safe to assume that in this case the meat had been rotting for decades.
   The room we stepped into was, at first glance once my eyes focused, a massive barn. The only problem was that there was no horses here. No friendly looking farm hands working out their day caring for the animals. Instead the wall directly facing us was lined from the floor to the ceiling with small cages. They were just big enough to house a different kind of animal.
   I could feel my jaw slowly drop as I stared at the massive collection of naked flesh laid out before me. Men and woman of all ages and sizes, bruised, bleeding and whimpering with fear, stared back out at us, their eye’s begging for mercy, which sadly wasn’t going to come. At least not while I was there.
   My gaze landed on a bearded man squatting within his cage which was just a few feet up of the floor. As he squirmed around I noticed a thick red trickle of blood continually pour from a gaping wound where his groin should be.
   I turned my attention to the cage next to him where a young red haired woman stared out. Despite being dirty and matted with bruises it was obvious that when she was alive she had been a good looking woman and I wasn’t ashamed to feel a slight rush of excitement as I watched her ample breasts move with her body.
   Turning my attention away from her just in case I created a sword that I couldn’t get rid of in time, I tried to ignore the sea of desperation and take in the rest of the room, which is something that I began to regret almost instantly.
   In the centre of the room was what I thought to be a solid wooden table until I noticed that it had wooden limbs making it look like a large wooden sculpture rather than just a normal table. Apart from the leather restraints on the end of each limb I noticed that the wood was soaked with blood and some of it was still so fresh it was dripping to the floor.
   ‘Try and keep your focus Samuel.’ Came the calming words from the monk, who must have been sensing my fear was beginning to rise.
   I couldn’t help but recognise the irony in it all. Here I was a professional killer, with a free pass to come and go from Hell, the one place known to man that actually put the fear of god into me. And yet I could not bring myself to look any longer at the tortured souls staring out at us with terrified eyes.
   ‘We should get moving, time is not on our side.’ Said the Monk, his voice a little above a whisper.
   I was about to follow after him when he stopped suddenly. The sound of two, deep, scratching voices, came from outside the buildings wooden doors and without warning one of them bust open. Two Demons, their skin a slimy mottled grey and their wings the same colour, staggered into the room. Their wings flapping lazily behind them like they had been attached as more of an afterthought than for any actual purpose.
   The monk was frozen. His gaze remained firmly on the two grotesque creatures who were examining the contents of the lower cages as if they were picking their next meal. Which, as it just occurred to me, could possibly be the case.
   I decided to follow the monks lead and keep my breathing as shallow as possible. I wasn’t sure what it would take to get those creatures attention, and despite possessing something that was capable of literally knocking their heads clean off their bony bodies, I decided I wasn’t quite up for that kind of fight just yet.
   So we watched.
   One of the demons, slightly smaller than the other with hints of red near the tips of his wings, pointed to the good looking woman who tried to push herself as far back into the cage as she possibly could. Unfortunately, for both me and her, she was still easy enough for the other gargoyle-like creature to reach in and grab her by her arm.
   The terror and realization of what was to come suddenly hit the woman like a bullet to the head and she started screaming. She tried with all her might to dig her heels into the concrete floor.
   It still wasn’t enough though. The demons let out a loud, gurgling sound that could easily have passed as laughter, as they dragged the distraught soul to the large wooden table in the centre of the room. It was then that I noticed it had been positioned perfectly so that every set of eye’s in the room could get a good view of what was about to happen.
   What was going to happen to her? I wanted to ask the monk, but he wasn’t moving and certainly wasn’t talking. I knew either way they weren’t about to sit down and have a naked drinking session with her.
    The blood from their last victim, that still continued to soak in to the wood, was a perfect example of why I thought that was the last thing that was going to happen.
   Sure enough, the young woman, still screaming, was forced to lay down on the table. Her captors working quickly to secure her arms and legs with the restraints built into the solid wood.
   I wanted to turn away before I bore witness to her torture. No matter how high the bounty was, I had never accepted any contract that involved the torture or killing of a woman. I can’t really explain why, but it was just something that I found deeply wrong.
   Regardless of my moral inclinations, the horror show in front of me was just getting started. The taller of the two demons stood at the top of the wooden torture device, its long bony fingers clasped together over the woman’s forehead like a living vice but probably three times stronger than any humans grip.
   Meanwhile his partner had positioned himself between the victims’ legs. I became almost mesmerized by the scene as it unfolded. I watched as her chest rose and fell rapidly due to her heart beat growing faster and faster. The pain was coming, it was just a matter of time.
   The red tipped demon performed a half squat so its head was pretty much level with the woman’s vagina. Then it did something that I wasn’t quite expecting. A long, thin tongue shot out from between its bony jaws and buried itself inside her body.
   A few seconds later and its tongue, which looked like a long piece of red rubber, darted back into its mouth and it smacked its thin lips as if it was tasting her sex. Kind of like the way a person may take a sample of a meal they have never had before.

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