Thursday, February 20, 2020

CRIMSON LIES: Prompt-based short story.

Soooooooo, I did it again! Another prompt-based short story. And yes, these two will have a book someday 😛 I hope you enjoy!





CRIMSON LIES


Just a bit more, just hold on a bit more, she told herself.
A violent shiver shook Aella and she wrapped her left arm tighter around her chest. The wary dark eyes of the cab driver were fixed on her through the rearview mirror. She ignored him, wiping stubborn tears quickly, hating herself for her weakness.
She was supposed to be a warrior for the light, a hero, all gargoyles were.
And now, after what she’d witnessed, after having her world torn to pieces in front of her eyes, she didn’t know who she was anymore. 
The tearful gaze of the child would forever be burned in her mind. The small girl with long dark braids and large silver eyes had asked for her help, and she’d failed.
Her pain was nothing compared to that. The bleeding wound in her stomach and the ache of her electrocuted limbs could not match the gaping hole inside her chest. It burned like acid with betrayal and guilt. 
“Miss, we’re here,” the driver announced, giving her a stern look.
She forced herself to focus. Her fingers trembled as she reached for her back pocket and took out a few bills. “Keep the change.”
Aella opened the door and mustered all her strength to stand and close the door; teeth clenched and right hand firmly pressed onto the wound right beside her navel. She hoped the black clothes covered the blood well enough.
“Wait, miss, there’s blood in these bills, are you ok?” the driver asked.
“I’m fine, please go,” she said, in her most stern voice. 
A rumble of thunder echoed in the night, illuminating the tall iron gates of the mansion and bathing her in a white flash. The wind whipped her wet, copper hair; the freezing rain pelting her with fat drops that made the chills worse.
“Miss, should I call the police?” The driver insisted. 
Aella turned to him again and mustered all her strength to show him a flash of red eyes that was accented by yet another burst of lighting. “Go,” she commanded, her voice turning unearthly. 
The driver didn’t need to be asked twice, he screeched away in a matter of seconds. 
Aella took a step closer to the iron gates, there was an intercom mounted in one of the 8-foot-tall stone pillars holding the massive things. A violent shiver ran through her body again, her left leg wasn’t responding properly, but fear was holding her back now.
Aella remembered with painful clarity all the horrible things she’d spat at the owner of the mansion a few days before. She could smell his flesh burning as she sliced at him with her blessed silver dagger, hear the half-cry that had escaped him. 
She'd played the bait in a raid to lure him into a trap. Pureblood vampires weren't all that common, royals were even rarer. He happened to be both. The operation had failed, and Aella had ended up face to face with Zeydan, with no backup. She'd fought him with everything she had, tried to stake him; despite being weakened by several wounds he'd defeated her easily.
Aella sighed, leaning her head on the cold pillar. The vampire royal had let her live. He’d called her an ignorant child and she’d hated him for it. Only to discover in the worst way possible that he was right.
The war between gargoyles and vampires had been going on for millennia. Humans had been at the mercy of monsters until the angels created the gargoyles, to protect mankind from enemies they had no chance of destroying on their own. 
Aella wondered when had gargoyles lost their way. When had they become just as ruthless if not worse than vampires, the demons?
Alleged demons, she thought bitterly.
Truth is, she’d never seen anything more demonic than the sheer satisfaction in her fiancé’s face as he hacked down a defenseless 7-year-old girl with his gleaming, silver sword. All the love she'd ever felt for the gargoyle warrior had turned into rancid despise after that. It didn't matter that the girl was a vampire, killing her was a vile act. Worse than running that same sword through her when she’d tried to stop him, Aella decided. 
But, what if she’d come all the way here only to have the job her fiancé started finished by the vampire royal?
What other option do I have?
Her sight blurred and she held onto the pillar, pressing the intercom button.
“Zeydan,” Aella murmured. “Zeydan.”
A gust of chilly wind hit her, accompanied by the electrical sensation that ran down her spine, warning her of vampire presence.
She turned, Zeydan was standing right beside her. Towering almost a foot above her 5-foot-11 and dressed all in black; ink-dark hair fell to his shoulders in soft waves, his bewildered jade eyes managed to look bright even in the gloom. 
“I-I didn’t know where else to go,” Aella admitted, her voice barely above a whisper. 
She felt her body tilt sideways and saw the dark ground approach, but firm hands were holding her shoulders before she could crash.
“Aella?” Zeydan asked, brow furrowed. “What happened?”
A whimper escaped her, where to start? 
Zeydan sniffed and then cursed. His eyes falling to her stomach, she knew he could see perfectly in the dark and wondered how bad she was.
Aella looked at him, taking in his unearthly perfect features contorted with concern, for her, —one of his greatest enemies— and felt her beliefs crack and collapse on themselves. A strangled sound left her throat, frustration, anger, and pain stealing her breath.
Zeydan lifted her off the ground, cradling her gently in his arms.
“Aella, tell me what happened,” he demanded. 
She felt a gust of wind and knew they were moving. Her strength leaked away completely, his face becoming blurry.
She swallowed hard and forced her heavy tongue to work.
“They’re coming, Zeydan,” Aella nearly whispered just before darkness claimed her.


©Selene Kallan 2020

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

TEMPTED: Demon/Cleric Short Story

So, I got obsessed with this writing prompt and now I have a short story! Morrigan help me, now I want to write a book 😂 



TEMPTED


"Wake up."
Ethan groaned and hugged the pillow tighter, keeping his eyes firmly shut. He'd been having a pleasant dream, one of those where you can see a memory from another perspective. 
A hard poke with a sharp nail on his ribs made him flinch.
"Ow, was that necessary?" reluctantly, he opened one eye. Purple cat-like eyes were the first thing he saw. Even after months of looking at those unearthly eyes he felt a small swoop on his stomach; not fear precisely, but the recognition that he was in the presence of someone with vast power.
That someone lifted a brow in an unimpressed gesture. "You will be late for work, again."
Ethan smiled. That accent, it had been his doom since day one. 
"And as you've been saying, your boss is already displeased with you," Zath'tarith drawled in his most bored tone.
Ethan snorted and rolled to lie on his back. His boss, Bishop Rossi, had never hidden his deep suspicion and dislike for him. 
If he only knew half of it, Ethan mused.
Rossi was a traditionalist, the recent tolerance towards demons was something he despised. Ethan was certain the old man would happily start another crusade if he could. But tides had changed, decades ago humans had been terrified of demons and the Church had happily hunted them down; that was until humans began to befriend and even fall in love with demons. Not all demonic races were the same after all, while some enjoyed causing havoc and pain, others simply wanted a life outside of the dark dimension they'd been trapped in for millennia. Zath was one of the latter of course.
"Maybe I should perform an exorcism or banish a demon to get on his good graces, my post is in the balance," Ethan mused. "Any of your buddies fancies making a show?"
Zath pinned Ethan with a look that blended exasperation and affection. "I'll ask, now get your pale ass in the shower."
Ethan chuckled and sat, running a hand through the thick strands of brown hair that stuck up in all angles. He lived in a small apartment just a block away from the church where he worked as a Cleric. He could've had small quarters within the church, but the wards would not allow his half-blood and demon friends through and that would be a tragedy. 
He barely had time to register the movement before finding himself firmly pinned down by Zath. The high-class demon's pupils were blown, his eyes almost black. Ethan licked his lips nervously feeling the tremendous contained strength on the hands that held his wrists; he flushed bright pink when Zath's eyes traveled down his body. He'd always seen himself as average at best, lean and athletic but miles away from the Greek god looks of his boyfriend. 
"Weren't you the one telling me to get out of bed?" Ethan asked on a tremulous voice as Zath leaned down to kiss a torturous path from his shoulder to his neck. The demon grinned, ink-black hair half-shielding his eyes.
"Maybe you can be 15 minutes late," Zath said, capturing Ethan's mouth in a kiss before he could respond.

****

15 minutes turned into half an hour. Ethan was fumbling with his robes as he entered the office on the back of the church, dreading the telling off he was going to get. Still, a stupid smile adorned his face.
To his surprise, Rossi wasn't there yet. A sour-looking nun was waiting for him though. She was new, he wasn't sure of her name.
"Bishop Rossi is indisposed, you will lead the mass in 15 minutes," she all but barked handing him a sheet with a sermon.
Ethan blinked, trying to hold back the panic before it could begin to build. Speaking in public wasn't his thing. And giving sermons about purity and guarding oneself against evil demons didn't help. If the Church ever found out he was more than just acceptant of half-bloods, that he was, in fact, a very gay and definitely not chaste cleric they'd sack him. And he needed to remain inside to warn his friends of the unauthorized attacks the Church launched against demons. 
Cursing under his breath, he rushed towards the altar. He decided to tune out his own words as he led the congregation in prayer and began with the depressing sermon. 
Rossi has outdone himself, Ethan thought wrily. 
The candles began to flicker as the temperature in the room dropped. Ethan blinked to focus, the congregation began to whisper and look around searching for the source of what was an unmistakeable supernatural presence.
A vortex of black and purple light formed right in the middle of the aisle. A 6-foot-5 male stepped right out of the portal, black hair falling straight to his shoulders. The demon idly flicked his fringe back in place as a collective gasp erupted from the congregation; no one dared to move.
Ethan stared in disbelief at his boyfriend, standing right there and reminding every single faithful that high-ranking demons were capable of breaking the wards set by the Priests.
'This is not a good time,' Ethan thought, aiming his mental strength to Zath.
The demon took a few steps closer to the altar, fixing the cuffs of his black shirt. 'I can see that.'
Ethan could hear his drawl, he fought back a smile. 'Is there something you need?' 
'No, it is you who needed something from me, remember?' Zath asked.
'Oh! Right, yeah.'
Ethan bit his lip thinking about how to begin with the impromptu show, but his mind was still on swooning mode and not cooperating.
'Fuck's sake, Ethan, at least pretend to banish me,' Zath said, a malevolent grin spreading on his face. 
It should scare Ethan, it really should. Normal people feared 600-year-old demons. But Ethan had never been normal; his pulse was racing for an entirely different reason. 
"Shoo, naughty one!" as soon as the words were out, Ethan cringed.
Zath's incredulous snort wasn't helping either. 
"You aren't making me feel very welcomed, cleric," Zath said aloud, his deep voice carried the timbre he used when he wanted to terrorize humans. One swift glance at the still shock-paralyzed congregation told Ethan how effective it was.
"You aren't welcome in these holy walls," Ethan said with faux sternness, Zath's arched brow told him he wasn't doing a good job. "Not unless you repent for your sins."
Zath chuckled, purple eyes brimming with mischief. "But sinning is so delicious, cleric."
A shiver ran down Ethan's spine. Don't I know it, he thought.
Ethan took the bible from the pulpit, holding it as a shield. "Then I shall have to banish you. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, ego eieci te!"
Zath took a step back and hissed, anger shining in his eyes. "We shall meet again, cleric," he warned and then disappeared in a burst of purple energy. 
Ethan schooled his expression into grim resolution and triumph, trying not to laugh. Zath was by far a better actor than he was. 
The congregation remained silent for a few heartbeats and then erupted in cheers and began to thank Ethan profusely. He plastered a reassuring, beatific smile on his face as he blessed them all and promised no demon would ever enter the church as long as he or Bishop Rossi were there to stop it.
His position in one of the last openly traditionalist churches had been secured with the assistance of his demon boyfriend. Ethan was sure his friends would thoroughly enjoy the irony, he sure did.

©Selene Kallan 2020
________________

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