Her Black Wings (The Dark Amulet Series Book 1) (3 page)

BOOK: Her Black Wings (The Dark Amulet Series Book 1)
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CHAPTER FOUR

 

 

Abaddon

 

Abaddon, the Supreme Demon of Netherworld, gazed down at the limp female cradled in his arms. Finally. His Amalya. He’d watched her from his gazing pool, a crystal clear bottomless depth inside his realm. Her hair blew in the frigid breeze. This angered him. Fuck winter and its wind. He tried to shield her by curling his bulk of a body around her as he carried her to the portal of his realm he’d opened up. A soft moan passed through her lips. He paused when he realized his jarring movements caused her to stir. The hesitation he would later regret allowed for just enough time for Deus, the Creator of All Life, to show his face.

Deus sighed. “What exactly do you think you’re doing?”

“She has been bad. I must take her.”

“No, you
want
to have her. But you can’t. She has made good through her sacrifice.”

Aba grunted his disapproval.

“At the end is all that matters.”

The Demon grumbled. Amalya was his. One last good deed didn’t make up for a lifetime of spreading misery. Did it? Her relatively short life was filled with her misdeeds, lies, and betrayals. He couldn’t fight Deus, the Creator was too powerful and formidable an opponent, even for the impressive beast the ruler of demons was. Deus was of the same mind as well. Their last fight had caused the 1556 Shaanxi Earthquake. Even Aba shuddered at the death toll.

“You can’t have—”

“She’s mine!”
Boom!
Aba stomped his cloven-hoof, and the ground fissured beneath them.

Deus stepped clear of the cracking earth, shaking his wingtips free of pebbles. “I cannot simply let you have her.” He rubbed his chin. “Hmmm, I’ll tell you what, you may take her for a period of 120 Earth moon cycles, and then you must let her decide if she’d like to stay with you. It must be her choice. And
only hers
.”

The Creator began to glow, and soon disappeared in a flash of light. In his place and at a distance, a lone car traveled toward Aba. The unfortunate innocent witness would be saved.

Yay, for all mankind.

Amalya squirmed in Aba’s arms. He looked down and put the heel of his palm to her forehead. She went slack once again. Whisking her under his arm, he passed through the door into his realm.

Pealing squeals made him cringe. The mirror just inside Netherworld shook and banged against the cavern walls as Aba walked by with his burden.

“Oh, fuck off,” he said to the mirror.

It signaled its bitterness with a last thump.

“Humph…asshole.”

Another rattle.

The god of this world turned and found the asshole mirror unmoving. He glanced at himself then Amalya. Her beauty was as surprising as the first time he’d laid eyes on her. Where to put her…

The cathedral, which wasn’t actually a place to worship in Netherworld, stood at the end of a tiny peninsula surrounded by bubbling molten rock. The outside of the structure looked like a natural rock formation made of dripstones. Stalagmites shot up toward the high cavern ceiling and connected with stalactites reaching down and tapering to a thin point where they met. Inside was a different story with the wall-to-wall black marble, shined to a high gloss. As he walked, his hulking body shrank to its normal size of six foot six. With a thought he clothed himself in his usual attire; leather pants, boots, and a silk button-down shirt, all black.

He entered the “church” of Netherworld and laid Amalya down on a raised marble platform in the center of the great hall. Fire pits dotted the perimeter of the lofty dome-ceilinged room, and several tunnels snaked off the main area. Looking her over, he decided she needed to be more comfortable. Even though he could have just as easily changed her clothes with a thought, he wanted to take care of her. She’d lost a shoe in between worlds. He removed the remaining boot, tossing it upward behind his back where it on caught fire. Next her socks met the same demise. Then he unzipped the nauseating pink coat. Placing a hand behind her torso, he lifted her up and removed the Pepto parka. Aba deposed of the garment by throwing it directly into a fire pit. He rubbed his hands together, took a deep breath, and slid her t-shirt up to the bottom of her breasts.

“You dare disturb me?” Aba bit out without turning around.

“My Darkness—”

Aba whirled around so quickly the goat-legged demon didn’t have time to react, let alone track his master’s movements. The goat’s head rolled. Eyes still saucer-wide stared out from the skull as it spun like a top across the floor. The body dropped and the shocked nerves continued flailing the headless slave around for a few seconds.

Annoyed with everything, Aba finished re-clothing Amalya with his mind. The lesser demon’s carcass he burned. Stalking off, he sealed the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

 

Elliott

 

Bourbon. Elliott needed lots of it. The fifth was almost gone. He’d given up trying to pour the amber liquid into a lowball. Instead, he put the mouth up to his lips and took a swig, drinking directly from the bottle.

“Ahhh, so smooth,” he said then leaned his head back on the lumpy couch he was lounging on, again. His gossamer wings squashed beneath him, their color now the shade of dingy sweat socks, not vibrant white. And their ethereal glow was dimmed to the point of non-existence. Even though he’d not bathed in a week and a half, his long, stark white hair was still shiny. Dark eyebrows, the color matching his low stubble, framed gleaming onyx eyes.

“What in my name are you doing?”

“Fuck!” Elliott spat clutching his chest.

“I have a task for you,” Deus said, ignoring the curse. He was a patient deity.

“What if I don’t want one?” Elliott took another drink and swished the alcohol around his mouth before swallowing.

“Do you really think you have an option?”

The bottle flew from Elliott’s hand. “
Heeey!

Deus sighed heavily, glanced down at the bottle, and tossed it into the air. The angel waited with his eyes closed for a crash that never came. He popped one eye open. The divine being paced.

“I’ve grown tired of your self-pity. You can’t save all of them. What have I always told you?”

Elliott grumbled something incoherently only someone with acute senses could hear.

“I don’t think so. Choose your words wisely, angel.”

“You came here with a task. So spit it out.”

Deus stopped in front of a crucifix hung on the cheap paneled wall above Elliott. His eyes widened at the wood and plastic dollar store depiction. The longer he stared, the more his brow furrowed.

The angel smirked. The cross had been there when he’d moved in and he hadn’t bothered to remove the morbid atrocity. The crown of thorns and blood must be frightening to children. “Creator, how may I be of ser—?”

“Go to Hell.” Deus averted his eyes from the obscene cross.


What
?” Elliott recoiled. Yeah…he was totally sober now.

“There’s a woman there who should not be. Abaddon seized her. She deserves redemption. I want you to find her. Set her free.”

“I don’t understand why if she’s not supposed to be there then—”

“Silence!” The walls rattled. “Please,” Deus softened. “Aba will have her shackled by now.”

Elliott sympathized with the girl, but Netherworld? He blew out a breath. How in the world was he going to get in there? There was only one way as far as he knew. And his wings made him an easy mark for the legions of lesser demons. He shivered.

“Why me? I’m a drunk.”

“Exactly. Find her, find yourself.”

“What? What does that even mean?”

“Elliott the Redeemer, Angel of Redemption, I hereby command you to Netherworld!”

A bright beam shot out from the Almighty’s raised palm and penetrated Elliott’s chest over his heart. His back arched off the sofa. Veins on his neck and arms popped as he strained. Stabbing pain sliced down the center of his body. Sweat glistened on his brow. The angel’s heart stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER SIX

 

 

Abaddon

 

Aba needed something to cut with. Quick. The reality of what he was about to do didn’t make a whole lot of sense. After stashing Amalya away, he went on a mission to…
pretty
himself.

The beastly appearance of him morphed into a human looking man inside his realm, except for the two horns protruding out from his skull. On Earth, he was a hideous monster with these same spikes. What in the Netherworld could he use to lop the bitches off with? A machete? No, too much chopping involved. Tree trimmers? Where would he find any?

A brilliant idea popped into his brain. Chainsaw. There had to be one around. A favored goat-legged turd of his tortured the most despicable Damned souls with a Husqvarna. The power tool had one of those long blades too. Yep. That would work.

Aba put two fingers into his mouth and whistled. The summons caused a barrage of shrieking from outside his chambers, which were actually an elaborate set of rooms used for his various activities. The little demon he’d demanded appeared moments later, holding the chainsaw, dripping with blood. He must have been terrorizing a fresh soul when mustered. Aba’s underling’s victims healed almost as fast as he cut. Damned souls. The afterlife came with perks, not that his prey would agree. Aba eyed the blade. His slave would have to do the sawing; there were only a few things he couldn’t do himself. Removing his own horns and having them still grow back was number one on the list.

“What do you wish me to do?” the demon asked bowing his head.

“Remove my horns.”

The slave gaped at his master. “Huh…sorry?” Cloven hooves tapped on the marble floor as the fiend shifted from one hoof to the other. The prince of darkness charged him, grabbing him by the throat. His hooves dangled two feet above the ground. The tool fell away.

“I said you are to remove my horns!”

The lesser demon dropped to the floor. “R-right, r-right away, Your Darkness.” In man form, Aba wasn’t scary, but the sycophant knew the monster he could become and would, if pushed. “Let me clean it off first.”

“That won’t be necessary.” Aba leaned down to pick up the saw. The platelets in the blood were so frightened they slipped from the blade. He handed the tool to the goat-demon.

The slave ripped on the start cord. Once the thing was going he brought it up, but couldn’t reach the horns. “I’m sorry, Your Darkness, you’ll have to—”

Aba waved his hand dismissively, silencing him. He groaned, then dropped to his knees, grabbing the underling’s wrist on the way down. “I bleed, you’re nothing but dust.”

The slave cringed and started cutting. One horn fell to the floor and skidded away. The stub that remained glowed from the friction. The second horn, Aba caught in mid-air. He examined the ridges, running his finger over them. The sense of loss stung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

 

 

Amalya

 

Pain rushed to Amalya’s head when she sat up. She put a hand up and slicked her hair back, pushing down on her scalp, hoping that would ease the throbbing. It didn’t.

She glanced down at her body and what she saw surprised her. She was no longer wearing the clothes she’d had on. Now she was dressed in a deep red satin dress with keyhole sleeves which exposed her bare shoulders. She shivered even though the air felt about ninety degrees. Someone had changed her clothes without her knowledge. Was this Heaven? While Amalya hadn’t spent a lot of time considering what Utopia would be like, this place wasn’t what she’d pictured as a child during church Sunday school. The surroundings were…Eerie. That was it. And the smell reminded her of a salt mine—sulfur and earth.

Stone cathedrallike walls stood all around her. Grand arches were carved in what looked like terra cotta clay and several tunnels snaked off to someplace out of sight. She looked up to a domed ceiling. Light shone down through a round stained glass window with panes of red, orange and yellow. The illumination appeared to ebb and flow…

Shit.

It wasn’t sunlight, but flickering flames. An orange glow gleamed off a wall to her right, the source of the luminosity coming from somewhere unknown, down a hidden hallway, maybe. Other fire pits were placed against the walls at regular intervals, around the room.

No. No, no, no!
There was no way she’d gone to Hell. The kid. She’d saved him, at least she thought she had, and had also hoped that would have gotten her a ticket into Heaven. Not that she cared really…okay, maybe she cared a little.

She stood up from a marble platform and walked around. The smooth floor warmed the soles of her feet. An unusual foreign sounding wail, too shrill to be human, echoed throughout the huge chamber. Spinning around and around, she couldn’t locate its origin. Sweat flung from her brow. The hem of her dress twisted about her feet, tripping her up. She fell to her knees onto the unyielding floor. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her nose dripped.

A booming laughter ricocheted off the stone, joining the high-pitched screeching. She covered her ears. “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” she screamed and crumpled the rest of the way to the floor. The clamor overloaded her senses. Two thick black leather boots with silver buckles planted beside her, where she lay. The back of her neck tingled. Heat flooded her core. Weak with fear, she tried lifting her head and torso, but only managed to raise a mere few inches off the marble before face-planting again.

“Ohhh, God,” she moaned.

“You won’t find Deus
heeere
,” a voice taunted her.

Warm hands rolled her over onto her back. She blinked tears out of her eyes. A beautiful man stared down at her, dressed in all black leather. Long pointed fingernails adorned his hands. A crown of thorns sat on his head. The irony may have made her laugh under different circumstances. Not hidden well and underneath the barbed laurels, were two horns hacked down almost to his forehead. Tool marks marred the stumps.

She was whisked up by the armpits and held with her eyes at level with his. Ice blue eyes stared back at her. The silence between them gnawed at her until she spoke.

“Is this…am I in Hell?”

“That word is not permitted here!”

Amalya cringed and turned a cheek as he yelled directly into her face, pelting her with spit. The aura of this man…beast, reminded her of the monster she’d encountered right after her death.

This probably wasn’t a good thing; trapped inside the creature’s lair.

“What do you say to me?”

All she could do was blink at him. What was she supposed to say to him?

He shook her. “Amalya!”

“S-sorry,” she squeaked and braced for an onslaught of screaming.

BOOK: Her Black Wings (The Dark Amulet Series Book 1)
10.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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