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Jace, Basilissa

Running With A Devil

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I was sitting at the bar of an Applebees when he first showed up. Maybe it was the inherent air of loneliness and self-loathing that always permeates such places, or perhaps the smell of the backed up toilets which masked the nauseating stabs of abdominal pain that usually accompanied the creature’s approach.

    “Why the frown, uplander?” Bannon asked as his sinister bulk settled fluidly onto the stool to my left.


    I tried to keep my heart from beating out of my chest when I carefully looked towards those malicious eyes.


    “Nothing worth bothering you.” The tone could have been steadier, but at least I was maintaining some composure.


    The beast’s lips parted into a horrifying mockery of a smile. I quickly shifted my focus to the whites of his eyes as he leaned closer, long years of agony had taught me to beware the unyielding suffering that lay in the black depths of those pupils.


    Taking a sip of my Phyllis Schlafly granted an excuse to look away and as the bitter drink clawed at my tonsils I begged myself not to remember the grinding wheels of eternity I knew could be glimpsed in those awful pale windows into what was a tortured and gratuitous soul.


    “Oh, but I have something worth bothering you over.” It leered at me.


    “Not interested.”


    From the corner of my vision the Luetchetian wrinkled its nose. “Why on this earth would you not jump at the tale that could be us working a case again?”


    Memories came rising to the fore of my mind like a surfacing Russian submarine.


    “Why, what better way to right a few wrongs?” It whispered.


    I hadn’t noticed the change, not for the first time I sternly reminded myself that it enjoyed being subtle on occasion.


    Having left the ill-fitting humanoid form behind, TchUranghraLous filled the building with its spoiled presence. Not even the unfortunate remains of three lunching ironworkers in the men’s room could dampen the suffocating coils of despair no mortal mind was ever meant to endure.


    “Won’t you dance with me again?” It asked in a soft and innocent voice that reminded me of nice china and polite conversation. “Won’t you come back to my world of pleasures and pains?”


    “I need you.” The delivery was more insistent now, no longer quite as pleasant. “Where? Where else would I find someone as perfect as you? We need each other. Don’t we?” The words started to fall harshly on my exposed psyche. “There is a price, Yes? You would still pay the price!” Its demands lashed at my soul, laying bare my ambitions.


    “You cheated me.” I choked past the intoxicating hate.


    “A bargain was kept!” It’s shriek sent tendrils of hate searing up my spine. The rotten air escaped my seared lungs in a horrific croak. I was not afraid of it, not even this eldritchian horror could inflict its malignant seedlings upon my flesh without seeing a last display of my revenge. Energy began to gather, what would be my last mortal strength was radiating power for a final act of revenge.


    “But don’t you want to get even?” A whisper, caressing the moral wounds it had inflicted both now and then.


    It was with an indescribable effort that I focused my failing gaze on the densest concentration of malevolence in the room. “Even Steven.”


    The fallen one’s laugh froze the power in my veins. “Every path to immortality has its costs. Even KellyAnne Conway’s.” The words whipped the last of my resistance away as the dark creature took me back into its service.

Edited by Pony Queen Jace

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I'm not quite sure what I just read, but I am amazed by it.

Also, while Mr. Zuckerberg stands before Congress I notice an ad for First Reader by Phyllis Schlafly on the left side of my screen.  You did this to me, Jace.

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Ch.1 Hell is for Children


The creature I knew as Ban’non took us immediately to its lair. It was a dark place, folded deep into the fabric of perpetuity. That was where it had been born, I knew. Something in Universe’s early days had gone awry, the awesome power of evolution had given birth to the monstrous entity I walked beside once again.


In a touching concern for my primitive senses it had returned to its ‘human’ skin and the beast turned quickly to business. “We will need an army, yes?”


Muttering counter-curses and warding spells I was able to slowly take stock of my surroundings. We stood upon the crest of a hill surrounded by fire. In those flames, kindled by the damned, the reflections of eternity could be read. There was no sky, rather an incomprehensible lattice of horrors. Innumerable jagged spikes thrust from the heavens, stabbing angrily towards the raging flames below. Upon these were nailed only the few victims Ban’non had reserved for later torment. They crossed each other in complex grids, stretching away to the false horizons in the distance on all sides.


Keeping close to the thing I observed a throne I knew to be constructed from the bones of its mutant children rise from the scorched stones about our feet. It was a twisted and hideous thing, composed by fusing the latest of the stillborn monsters into the back rest. I did not deign to linger on the tortured faces and sickly knotted limbs, but rather faced the entity who sat himself upon it.


“I assume you have some in mind?” I crossed my arms. “I’ve been out of the game for a bit.”


It smiled happily at me. “Why yes, there is a certain commander you will be needing if we are to be telling our story!” The high pitched squeal that played in my ears whenever it spoke would need to be accounted for once I had a chance to take stock of this new adventure.


“Anyone I might know?”


It bounced in its seat, clapping gleefully in an awful mimicry of a child. “No, no, no! I hope not, Kelley-Anne! I hope not even you have been seeing our good Marshall!” It waved what I perceived as a ‘hand’ in a sweeping gesture that produced an infernial gateway a few feet away.


I could not see what new subhellacious realm The Marshall came from, shrouded in the swirling neoplasms that choked the air in their riot of oranges, but I saw him.


He stepped through the portal in a single unnatural bound. It was not a man, it was the grotesque and exaggerated shape of a man that haunts children as they lay huddled in bed. The action figure given unthinkable proportions by a passing shadow made flesh.


It possessed a head that was not meant to convey humanity. Long and flat, the non-existent forehead and chin merged seamlessly into an upsetting crust of brown fiber that appeared as hair.


Legs and arms both were too long, stretching half again as far as any normal man’s. And where hands might have been were shapeless paddles that dragged some distance behind him as he walked.


He lumbered to a stop at the foot of Ban’non, sweeping into a kneeling position that left his flopping nightmare hands in a vaguely supplicating gesture.


His master smiled madly at me from his throne of dead offspring. “Kelley-Anne, meet Marshall Richard von Spencer.”

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