A melange of emotions swam through my heart before I put the phone to my ear. I didn’t say anything. My throat was so dry I couldn’t even master a ‘hello.’ I could hear deep breathing on the other end.
Rebecca, Joseph, Bernardo and T1 were all silently staring at me, wondering what was going on.
For about thirty seconds the person on the other end of the call didn’t say anything either. He just breathed in and out heavily like an asthmatic which made my stomach cramp with anxiety.
“Stanford?” a weak, soft and familiar voice finally spoke up. It was not the voice of Craig. It was a voice that I thought I would never hear again. It was the voice of Bathym.
I didn’t respond. My mind was still scrambling to find the words to reply when the demon spoke again.
“I know you are there, dear,” the demon coughed for a good minute before continuing, “I bet you have a lot of questions. How did I survive? Why did I possess Craig? Why did I kill your parents? Where am I now? I bet part of you still wants to know why I wanted to possess you in the first place. But none of that matters anymore, does it?” Again the demon coughed badly and I was convinced that it was not in its best health.
Bathym shouted out the next words with such ferocity I nearly dropped my phone. “YOU TRICKED ME! YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE SMART, HUH?! WELL LOOK WHERE THAT GOT YOU, YOUR PARENTS ARE DEAD, YOUR BEST FRIEND’S PARENTS ARE DEAD AND DEAR OLD CRAIG HERE, IS NOTHING BUT MY PUPPET NOW!”
Again more coughing.
“I know you are probably thinking of revenge but you will never find me. Your friend here is resisting me and that is killing him. Soon I will move on to someone else. I may try to get your buddy’s body healed up but if it fails and he finally kicks the bucket, it will be all because of you. IT’S YOUR DAMN FAULT!”
I finally got the strength to answer back and I said, “You maybe right. It is my fault. But you are wrong about one thing, I know where you are. I am coming to kill you and save my friend.” I hung up and resisted the urge to throw my phone to the floor. I couldn’t speak with the demon anymore.
Everyone in the room stared expectantly at me, hoping that I fill them in on what is going on. I told them Bathym had fully possessed Craig and he had called to taunt me. I told them we have to go after the demon right now.
Rebecca startled me by asking how I knew where the demon is. Joseph folded his arms and looked at me with a stare that said, “Let’s see how much you can b******t the girl who loves and cares about you.”
Again I had a chance to come clean but I didn’t. I dug my hole deeper. I told Rebecca of the bikers we met and of how they had special ways of tracking down demons.
Bernardo’s annoyance finally made him snap, “Now you look here! I know you all want to kill this demon but you have to remember that we have a mafia hit squad hunting us down! I don’t think it’s smart to go around town looking for this demon because it will make life easier for our pursuers.”
“Actually, Bathym is not here. He is in Mexico,” I announced.
There was confusion and surprise on all the faces in the room. Except for T1, I couldn’t read his facial expression because of his mask. But Joseph, Rebecca and Bernardo were definitely shocked.
But I hadn’t told them the real shocking news. Budsturga had shown me a clear vision of the exact place Bathym was but had also shown me who he was with. “In fact Bathym is with Hector. The mafia boss has witches who are using dark magic to try and heal the demon. Bathym is still weak from-“ I gagged a bit before continuing. “-the Pope’s sweat we used on him before. If we go after the demon now, we will also be able to get the man who is trying to kill you.”
Bernardo slowly walked up to me and looked me dead in the eyes. “You aren’t lying to us, are you?”
I shook my head.
“My agency has been looking for Hector for years now and we couldn’t find a trace of him and you just happen to know his exact location?”
Sweat gathered on my back and armpits as Bernardo stared fiercely at me, “…if you are lying just to get my niece to come with you-“
“I am not lying,” I cut him off.
We had an angry stare off for some seconds before Rebecca walked between us and asked me, “The bikers were able to get you all this information?” There was a strong hint of suspicion in her voice.
“Yes, but I can’t get into the specifics of how right now. We need to get a move on because that demon is killing Craig with every second we waste. You will just have to trust me, I know where they are. Are you all with me?”
Rebecca squeezed my hand and assured me once again that she is with me.
Joseph said, “Let me check my schedule.” He looked at his inside palm for a while and said, “Well, I am pretty busy.”
I felt my heart sink. I assumed he didn’t want to work with me anymore because I made a deal with Budsturga.
He then looked up at me and said, “But because of the roommate code, I have no choice but to stick with you. So I am in.”
I couldn’t help but smile.
“But wait, how are we going to Mexico with our guns and stuff? I don’t think I even have my passport,” Joseph said.
“I can take care of that,” Bernardo spoke up.
We all cramped into the car with an exterior blemished with bullet holes and smashed windows. T1 drove us to a clearing just outside of town where we boarded a private jet. That’s when I began to understand the power and wealth of Bernardo’s organization. I had never been in a private jet before and at one point I really thought I would die without boarding one.
During the flight, Bernardo sat next to me and asked, “So how exactly do you plan on killing this demon?”
I hadn’t really thought about that. I was mostly depending on our holy water and crucifixes to do the job. It was then I realized I was probably building castles in the air. I just stared blankly at Bernardo like I didn’t understand the question.
He shook his head and reached into his bag. He took out a golden rectangular case with numerous carvings on its sides. From inside the case he took out a golden dagger with a sharp long blade and a thick handle with several hieroglyphics drawn in dark green.
“After a mission in Egypt, the locals gave me this dagger as a gift. It’s a very rare artifact. In ancient Egypt they used to bury the Pharaohs with these daggers which they considered sacred. Magicians would cast a powerful spell on the dagger before it was placed in the Pharaoh’s tomb. The dagger was meant to guide the Pharaoh to a pleasant afterlife. Ancient Egyptians believed the Pharaoh would use the dagger to fight off demons and evil spirits as he journeyed to Paradise. It’s believed if the dagger makes the slightest contact with the body of a possessed person it can exorcise the demon back to hell. Here you go, take it.”
“But I can’t stab Craig, he would die,” I protested.
“You don’t have to stab him. All you have to do is make sure the dagger touches his skin. Even a small cut will remove the evil within him.”
I took the dagger and studied it. It looked glorious. I could see my reflection from the shiny blade. Rebecca’s frowning looks didn’t approve, but the trucker cap looked good on me.
“Thanks,” I said to Bernardo.
He stared intently at me and said, “I don’t want anything bad to end up happening to Rebecca. Do you understand me?”
I nodded and he mumbled something under his breath before he looked out the window for the rest of the journey. While the flight was luxurious it was also ridiculously fast. I told Bernardo of where exactly we needed to go and he communicated with the pilot. It took us just under an hour to get to the small town in Central Mexico.
Bernardo told us the jet is not landing so we would have to sky jump to the ground. He gave each of us a parachute and rapidly explained the ten steps to a safe landing. I was still in the middle of asking him to explain step one again when he pushed me out of the jet. As gravity violently pulled me down, I honestly thought I was going to die.
Rebecca flew into view from above and wrapped her legs around my waist. She pulled on her parachute and it was smooth sailing from then until we reached the ground. She apologized for her uncle’s behavior but I told her not to worry about it.
It was still the middle of the night when we arrived. We had all landed outside the town in an industrial area. Our destination was an old abandoned steel making building at the edge of the industrial sector. From where we landed, we had a ten minute walk ahead of us to get to the building. As we walked, we readied our weapons. Bernardo had supplied us with guns and real bullets for killing the clay troopers.
After my inglorious moment with a shot gun, I decided to take two Glock pistols as my armor, Bernardo seemed unimpressed. I still kept my revolver with rubber bullets and wooden crucifix for Bathym.
Rebecca and Joseph both had heavy artillery. As I said before, I am not a gun guy so I don’t really know the types of heavy duty arsenal they had.
T1 was also equipped with formidable armament. In both hands he had machine guns and a shotgun strapped on his back. Several bullets were fastened on a belt that haltered across his chest.
Bernardo also provided us with bullet proof vests and radios. Since he had established himself as the leader, he went over an intricate stealthy plan I can’t fully recall but I remember it involved us swinging down on ropes, using smoke grenades and ended with him tranquilizing and apprehending Hector and his crew.
I don’t think Bernardo communicated with his agency that he was going after Hector. I think he wanted the honors of catching the rogue mafia leader for himself, because shouldn’t he have gotten back up for a mission like this? Anyway this was none of my business.
Bernardo’s plan never came to being because as he finalized telling us about it, he was interrupted by a humming sound in a distance. We followed the humming noise which led exactly to our destination.
The building was identical to my vision. A brown bricked decaying edifice with three stories. It was wide enough to cover one hundred feet of land. The many single hung windows of the building were covered with dust and most were broken. The walls had been the target of countless graffiti and the crimson roof was heavily littered with bird droppings. The outside of the building was mostly dust with a few patches of tall brown grass. A couple of black vans were sporadically parked outside the building.
A few feet in front of the rusted iron door entrance is where the humming came from. Bernardo fervently signaled for us to get down and find cover. About ten or more clay troopers were standing around a bonfire. They were humming like a church choir, stumping their feet to the ground like sedated tap dancers and clapping their hands like a group of excited seals. Their scrutinized dance was immensely comical but given the seriousness of our mission, I dared not laugh.
Bernardo examined the building and the humming clay troopers through his binoculars and waved us to move forward. The clay troopers who appeared unarmed, continued with their humming, feet stumping and hand clapping. We furtively approached the group as the patches of tall brown grass gave us enough cover to not be easily detected.
Hum, stump and clap.
We were moving in pairs except for Bernardo.
Hum, stump and clap.
I was with Rebecca and Joseph was with T1.
Hum, stump and clap.
Bernardo was ahead of us moving rapidly as his eyes constantly shifted from the troopers around the bonfire to the passel of windows of the building.
Hum, stump and clap.
I think Bernardo sensed what I felt. Something seemed off about the whole situation. A nagging thought at the back of my head told me we were running into a trap.
Hum, stump and clap.
I don’t know how Bernardo did it, maybe he used invisible drones or walked around with a ghost sniper we couldn’t see but just as Rebecca’s message said, when he snapped his fingers, he shot his target. It was amazing to see.
When we were close enough to the entrance, I saw Bernardo raise his hand, snap his fingers and heard a loud bang. One of the troopers around the bonfire lost its head and fell the ground.
To my shock, the rest of the troopers appeared unfazed by this.
Hum, stump and clap.
Rebecca and I exchanged glances. Then I exchanged glances with Joseph while T1 looked at Bernardo. Then Bernardo and I looked at each other while Joseph and Rebecca exchanged glances. Then Rebecca looked at- you know what, the point is, we were all shocked. This definitely had to be a trap.
Bernardo snapped his fingers again and another clay trooper fell.
Hum, stump and clap.
In quick succession, Bernardo snapped his fingers and more troopers tumbled. When there were barely five clay troopers left around the bonfire, they stopped stumping their feet and clapping their hands. They stood motionless as they hummed.
A loud bang emitted from the building. Joseph cried out and fell to the ground. I gasped and stood up. I don’t why I did that because I heard another bang and the next thing I knew I was lying on my back with a harrowing pain on my chest.
Rebecca helped me sit up as my chest burned with agony.
“Snipers!” I heard Bernardo yell.
Gun fire erupted all around me.
“Are you okay?” Rebecca asked me.
“I am fine. Thanks to the vest,” I said as I tried to catch my breath.
“Or maybe it was your lucky cap,” she joked.
I forced out a smile and looked over to Joseph. He had also been shot on the bullet proof vest. T1 was firing wildly at the building so was Bernardo. After a while they stopped. The gun fire ceased.
“I think we got them all,” I heard Bernardo say.
I got to my feet and saw all the troopers around the bonfire were dead. I looked at the building and couldn’t see anything besides more broken windows. It was far too dark inside the building but I knew the snipers had met a fate similar to their comrades who were around the fire.
“Well, there goes our plan of going unnoticed,” I said.
Bernardo snorted at me. He moved towards the entrance in a crouched stance and we followed. Inside the building it was pitch-black. The air carried a heavy metallic smell. We used our flash lights to guide us. Rusting steel equipment, broken furniture, heaps of papers on the concrete floor and cobwebs on the high ceiling of the building met us when we got in.
“Who would live in this filth?” I heard Joseph ask.
“Follow me,” I said as I took lead of the group.
As I said, my vision was very clear. I knew exactly where to find Hector’s hide-out. If anyone else walked into the building they wouldn’t have been able to find anyone. That was because Hector and his team would be in the basement of the building. The only entrance to the basement was hard to find because it was on a sealed up wall. The wall could only be opened from the inside by the trooper managing who goes in and out of the hideout. Each time Hector or someone from his squad was coming in, they would communicate with the guiding trooper by a special knock on the wall. A knock, my vision had also showed me.
I led the group to the exact wall with the basement entrance. I knocked on the wall three times then stopped, two times then stopped and six times then stopped. I could see the awe in Joseph, Rebecca and Bernardo’s faces as the wall parted ways. I still had no idea if T1 was shocked or not because of his mask but I assume he was because this was pretty awesome.
Since I was the only one who knew there was a trooper on the other side of the wall, I was the quickest to shoot the head of the entrance guardian. Joseph took the troopers’ weapons and we went down a narrow corridor with concrete stairs which spiraled to the basement.
The basement was different from the execrable condition of the floor above. Marble floors, bright florescent lights, artistic wallpaper and top of the line paintings decorated the place. It had long corridors with doors on either side which I knew led to the private rooms of Hector’s remaining executive team.
Girls giggling or TV noises could be heard from behind different doors of the labyrinth of corridors of the basement. Bernardo wanted to take down all of Hector’s cartel so he argued that we should apprehend Hector’s subordinates first. But I just wanted to find Bathym. We must have wasted five to ten minutes arguing on what to do next until Bernardo decided to stay with T1 and bust Hector’s team while Rebecca, Joseph and I found the demon and Hector.
I didn’t like this plan. I didn’t want us to split up but Bernardo was unmovable even when I told him Hector was with Bathym and we could really use his help taking both of them down.
Anyway, I led Joseph and Rebecca to a red double door at the far end of the last corridor.
“This is it,” I said. “In this room we will find Hector and Bathym. Are you ready?”
“Yeah, I am. I got my lucky pants and cloth so I have got nothing to worry about,” Joseph said as he clicked his gun.
Rebecca nodded. I passionately kissed her on the lips just in case something happens to either one of us and this may be the last time we are together. I only stopped kissing her when Joseph began complaining that we should get a room.
I kicked open the door and we ran into the room. The four clay troopers in there were startled by our invasion and couldn’t react quickly enough. All three of us were already firing at their heads as they tried to reach for their weapons.
To our surprise, they didn’t go down. The bullets bounced off their ski masked heads like tennis balls off a wall. The troopers marched towards us in a manner that said we about to hurt you badly.
Rebecca pulled out a cross bow. She shot an arrow right at the neck of one of the troopers. The arrow nicked the troopers’ head right off. The remaining three troopers had taken out Glock pistols from inside their suits but before they could fire, Rebecca dispatched three more arrows with lightning speed. The arrows lacerated the trooper’s heads leaving their decapitated bodies to pratfall.
I then heard slow clapping coming from across the room. Seated on a blue sofa in a dark corner of the room was a man. He had long swayed back black hair. A thin black beard formed a square around his mouth. The top three b*****s of his silky golden shirt were undone showing his hairy chest. He wore tight black pants with brown cowboy boots. The two half naked girls on either side of him were cowering at the edges of the sofa.
“That was impressive, Rebecca. You have grown since I last saw you. You are now braver two. Those were some of my top troopers you killed,” he said as he gestured to the headless troopers lying on the blue and white carpet in front of us. “You also survived my little trap outside the building, I am very impressive. Tell me, who are your friends?”
“I am Joseph but you can call me Joey or Jojo.”
The man chuckled and turned his gaze to me, “And who is this serious looking hombre?”
“It doesn’t matter. It’s over, Hector! We have caught you. You are going to jail!” Rebecca yelled.
Hector looked at her with a great deal of annoyance. “Try and keep it down, will you? I have guests,” Hector said as he looked at a multi-color beaded curtain on the other side of the room.
I could hear soft chanting from beyond the curtain and I knew that was where Bathym was being treated.
“You really think you have caught me? You are just as naïve as your father. You think you are the first person to find me down here? I have a lot of enemies and people who are jealous of what I accomplished. A lot of these people have come through those doors hoping to kill or arrest me. All of them met a gruesome death and I know you will too, Rebecca.”
I raised both my pistols and pointed them at Hector, “How do you expect to do that? We have you out numbered.”
Hector sniggered as he got up and began pacing back and forth in front of his sofa. “I used to think like you. In fact that is how I built my empire, with numbers. Thousands and thousands of these troopers I created thinking that is real power. But I changed my line of thinking. It’s not always about numbers, hombre. It’s about size.”
Hector laughed as he slowly began unbuttoning the rest of his shirt.
“Tell me, how many clay troopers did you come across before you got here? Not a lot, huh?”
By this point he had unbuttoned all his b*****s and was still pacing back and forth. “It’s never about numbers, hombre. No no no, size is the true power. I stopped working on troopers a long time ago and began working on myself.”
I then realized something. Hector was getting bigger and taller. His height was slowly increasing and his weight was gradually expanding. The sleeves of his shirt were starting to rip as his arms grew to a bulky size. His tight pants had shredded to torn shorts due to his enlarging legs.
The girls who were on the sofa with him fled out the room.
“What the hell is going on?” I whispered to Joseph.
“I think Geppetto has Pinocchioed himself,” he replied with worry on his face.
“I don’t need these half-witted troopers to protect me when I can protect myself.”
Hector was now tall enough for his head to reach the ceiling. He had to bend over to avoid his temple from knocking on the roof. An orchestra of writhing and snapping bones filled the room as his arms grew longer than his whole body to the extent that his knuckles were reaching the floor. He still kept pacing left and right.
“I have been working on myself to make sure that when I run into your father I would tear him apart. But that joy was taken away from me. I didn’t worry too much about that because as long as he is dead, that’s good for me. Anyway I knew you were still alive, Rebecca. So I waited for us to meet again. I didn’t think you would be stupid enough to come to me on your own will. But I guess luck is on my side. I will enjoy removing your limbs one by one. Kind of like what your father did to my empire.”
My mouth was now ajar to the creature Hector had morphed in to. In a way he looked like a gorilla. He was even occasionally beating his chest like one. He was still pacing back and forth but moving with both his legs and long hands just like a gorilla. Everything about him resembled a gorilla except he lacked the excessive hair. He looked like a well shaven King Kong.
Even his whole torso had become inhumanely extensive. His firm chest bulged out from his body and an atypically large six pack covered his stomach. I assume Hector had played around with too much dark magic and clay for him to be able to transform into this creature that looked like the Hulk’s distant relative.
Without warning Hector flailed his gigantic arm and smacked Joseph across the room. While I was still shocked with what happened to Joseph, I felt a clout on the side of my head. It was like I had been hit by a bus. My body flew like a bullet and slugged into a wall hard enough to leave various cracks on it. My head ached and my ears were ringing.
The haze I was in was hard to shake off but through blurry eyes, I saw Rebecca’s body flying across the room. I then saw Hector trotting with his hands and legs towards her fallen body. He obviously wanted her more than the rest of us.
The pain my body felt was unbearable but I forced myself to get up. I couldn’t let this Shrek doppelganger kill Rebecca. But as I got to my feet, I heard a snap, then a bang and I heard Hector scream as he held his cheek.
Bernardo was now standing at the entrance door. He snapped his fingers twice and two bullets cannoned into Hector’s face. Blood spraying out from the mafia boss’ right cheek as he stumbled back but he didn’t go down. Instead he ran and picked up one of the ski masks of his beheaded troopers from the floor. Hector quickly put on the mask on his still normal sized head which hadn’t expanded with the rest of his body.
Bernardo snapped his fingers again but the bullet bounced off Hector’s head. The ski mask was bullet proof. Hector took two giant steps towards the finger snapping agent and his right palm enveloped around Bernardo’s waist. Hector lifted up Bernardo, grabbed his right arm and snapped it like a twig. I could hear the rift of Bernardo’s bones from where I stood.
Hector threw the agent into a wall and was about to stump on him when his left leg was whang with countless bullets. T1 had entered the room with his suit covered with blood and his machine gun firing savagely at Hector’s leg. The flesh on Hector’s leg began peeling off like a snake’s old skin.
Hector moved quickly to knock the gun off T1’s hands. He lifted up the first made clay trooper and brutishly threw him to the floor. He then ran his chubby knee into T1’s back. There was cracking sound from T1’s body that could only mean that his plastic and clay body was breaking.
“You traitor! You should have been the first to die!” Hector screamed.
He picked up T1’s body and placed the alpha troopers’ head into his left palm. T1’s head looked like a golf ball in Hector’s colossal hand. Hector then crushed T1’s head with his right fist. There was a squishing sound from in between Hector’s hands as blood and brain matter flew all over the room.
“No!” I heard Bernardo scream from where he was lying.
Hector threw away T1’s lifeless body like a piece of trash. A deluge of bullets instantly conked on Hector’s left leg again. Joseph had got up, recovered his gun and was attacking Hector through what seemed to be his weak point. Hector screamed as the bullets rend his leg by the knee. Hector’s skin kept peeling off until his leg came clean off and blood poured down from where his limb was severed. He squalled and fell down on the knee of his remaining good leg. He punched the floor with both his fists in a fit of rage and the ground quaked.
Hector crawled with his hands towards Joseph who was still depositing bullets in several parts of the mafia leaders’ body. Hector grabbed Joseph and tossed him into the air. Joseph hit the roof and as his body was falling back down, he was head butted by Hector. Joseph flew and crushed into a wall which he left dented.
Hector groaned as he got up to stand on one leg. He was still staring at the blood pouring out of his body and I took the opportunity to pick up my two pistols. I decided to use the same plan of action as Joseph and T1 and attacked Hector’s remaining leg with bullets.
I fired at Hector’s right leg with the hope of also chopping it off. He began hopping up and down like a disabled kangaroo in an attempt to avoid my bullets. Due to his abnormal height, his every leap made his head knock on the ceiling.
“Hey stop that!” he shouted at me as he skipped up and down.
Rebecca suddenly got up from where she had fallen. I screamed at her to shoot at Hector’s leg. She picked up a machine gun and let bullets fly towards the capering Hector. He kept pleading for us to stop as he backed away from us.
Since his head kept smashing against the roof as he hopped like a bunny, the ceiling eventually cracked and came down on him. Debris of metal and concrete continuously flew down on him until he was buried under piles of rubble.
Scraps of metal and slacks of bricks rained down from the ceiling as a crack snaked its way across the roof of the room. The two chandeliers in the room shattered to ground so did the paintings on the walls. I grabbed Rebecca and we coiled on the floor and prayed for the best.
“Are you okay?” I asked her after the metal and brick storm had ended.
Rebecca slowly got up but before she could reply we heard whispering. Our heads turned in unison towards the sound. Since the chandeliers had fallen, the only source of light left in the room was from a few Victorian lamps mounted on the walls. In the poor lighting I saw three people dressed in ragged long black cloaks standing in front of the beaded curtain. The heads of the people were completely covered with their robe hoods. A dark humanoid figure was standing behind them. It was whispering something to the three cloaked people. All of a sudden the trio in tattered robes began running towards us.
I reached for my revolver which was tucked in a holster strapped around my waist. Before I could shoot at our three assailants, Joseph came out from nowhere and he tackled them all to the ground. When I say tackled I don’t mean in an American football or rugby style. His tackle was more of something that is considered dangerous in the world of soccer. He was sliding on the floor with both his legs in the air. He walloped the knees of all three of the cloaked people and they fell to the ground.
Joseph got up and poured holy water on all of them. They shrieked as they retched out black slime. When they passed out, I then took a good look at the dark figure in front of the curtain
It was just about the same time I started smelling the stench of a dead skunk.
The figure’s skin was black. Black like burnt toast. Its body was inundated with red cracks. In place of its eyes was a red symbol. A symbol I knew all too well. A square with a circle inside it and a vertical line inside the circle. It was like the symbol was stamped in front of the figure’s eye sockets. Even in that opaque basement I could tell it was Craig, well it was his body. I could also tell the symbol on his eyes was that of Bathym.
“Now I am coming for you, handsome!” Joseph yelled as he sprinted towards Bathym.
The demon raised his hand and a red bolt of electricity danced in between his fingers. He released the electricity with a jerk of his hand and the current hit Joseph on the chest. Joseph flew like a dove to a pile of rubble ten feet from where we stood.
I aimed my revolver at Bathym and Rebecca did the same with her cross bow. We could barely get a shot at the demon before bolts of red electricity zapped us. Rebecca was thrown somewhere around where I had last seen Bernardo. I was chucked into the same wall I had hit earlier.
My body was stiff with agony and my chest was burning like I took an oversized shot of Vodka. For several seconds I twitched on the floor like I was having an epilepsy attack. When the pain began subsiding I noticed Bathym was smiling down at me.
“You really thought you could come in here and take me on? I am not your regular kind of demon, dear.” Cough Cough. “You have no idea how powerful I am. I can end you and your friends with a snap of my fingers. But I am not going to do that.” Cough Cough. “You interrupted my healing session and knocked out my healers so I am going to take my time beating the crap out of you,” Bathym said.
“Leave him alone,” I faintly said.
“Craig. Leave him alone. You are hurting him,” I said a bit louder.
Bathym let out a guffaw that was soon interrupted with more coughs.
“He is hurting himself, dear. If he stopped resisting me so much, I also wouldn’t look this bad.” Cough Cough.
As Bathym said this, he was forming an electric ball the size of a bowling ball with his hands.
“That was a very clever trick you pulled on me back at your parents’ house by the way. I am sure if I was any other demon you could have killed me. But as I said dear, I am not any other demon. You hurt me badly I’ll admit but that’s nothing compared to what I did to your parents or what I am going to do to you.”
Bathym lifted the electric ball over his head and assumed a stance of a baseball pitcher. He grinned showing me his blackened teeth as he prepared to toss the ball of electricity at me. My body was still weak and I couldn’t move for the life of me. I dreaded the experience of being struck with Bathym’s power again.
Just as he was about to throw it at me, he stopped.
“What are you doing? You can’t stop me,” Bathym said to himself. “You fool! I will end you! Do you know who I-“ before he could go on conversing with himself, he threw the electric ball to the floor and there was a loud explosion. The ground convulsed and I covered my eyes as dust and several air fragments wafted in the air. More debris fell from the ceiling and I was fortunate enough none of it landed on me.
The next thing I saw was Bathym lying on the floor. That’s when I realized something. Bathym wasn’t talking with himself. He was talking with Craig. My friend was still in there. And much like he did when we were growing up, he was protecting and helping me.
I noticed Bathym slowly lift his head. I knew this was my only chance. I finally mastered the strength to get up, take out the Egyptian knife and charge towards the hazed demon. I climbed on top of Bathym and delivered several blows to his face.
“It’s your fault,” Bathym said in between the punches he was receiving.
He began laughing and it became obvious to me that my punches were not hurting him as I expected. They were probably hurting Craig more than Bathym. I held the Egyptian dagger a few inches from his cheek. There was now a look of pure trepidation on Bathym’s face. I think he knew the dagger and what it can do.
“Wait! Don’t you want know why I possessed your friend or why I wanted to possess you so badly?” he asked.
“I don’t care,” I replied.
Before I could make the dagger touch his soot black skin, he screamed one word that made me pause.
I froze for a moment as I stared at the demon in its unnatural eyes. It was like the name it said had hit all of my pressure points. So many memories of my past flashed through my mind at that moment. So many emotions over whelmed my heart. I was so shocked, I wasn’t sure what to do.
I grabbed my revolver, used its b**t to pound on Bathym’s forehead and he passed out.
I looked around the room. Joseph was still knocked out cold and Bernardo was buried somewhere in the rubble. Rebecca was coming out of unconsciousness. She was slowly beginning to lift her head.
I had to move fast and I did. I lifted Bathym onto my shoulder and ran out of the room. I ignored Rebecca as she called out my name. I ran out of the basement and out of the building with the speed of a Jack rabbit.
I ran up to one of the black vans just outside the building. I threw Bathym in the back. I climbed up front and drove off into the sunrise.
I felt like crap for letting my friends down and worse of all for abandoning them. But I couldn’t worry too much about that, I had to find out what this demon knew about my brother.