Read Jeremy Chikalto and the Demon Trace (Book III of The Hazy Souls) Online

Authors: T.S. DeBrosse

Tags: #angels, #paranormal, #apocalypse, #demons

Jeremy Chikalto and the Demon Trace (Book III of The Hazy Souls)

BOOK: Jeremy Chikalto and the Demon Trace (Book III of The Hazy Souls)
13.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

Jeremy Chikalto and the
Demon Trace

 

 

by T.S. DeBrosse

Published by Viral Cat Press

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2014 Tiffany Slotwinski

 

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this ebook with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com
and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author. This ebook is also available in print at most
online retailers.

 

“Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to airy thinness beat.”

 

—John Donne, “A Valediction: Forbidding
Mourning”

 

Chapter 1

Endurance

 

 

In the green lands of Watico, a darkness
spread from the east. Between the vast falls of the River Elmer and
the dreary fenland beyond the mountains, a whisper was heard in the
shadows. It called for the young Cajjez. The shadows soon took
shape and these were called demons. Anyone who looked into their
faces fell back in horror and fled. Some were eaten on the spot,
inhaled whole and burned in fiery innards.

It was early afternoon and the sun was
hiding behind thin clouds. Wantoro ran along the runway on the roof
of the Watican Castle towards a massive spaceship, pushing
Raaychila's wheelchair forward at breakneck speed, Mateo snuffling
and clearing his throat as he jogged in the rear. Ronny, the royal
family's trusted Chief Security Guard, beckoned them from the ramp,
"Come on! Hurry up!" The wind and smoke beat them back, but they
pressed forward and up the ramp, into safety.

Mateo summoned the track-star days of his
youth, and long-jumped through the craft's boarding doors just
before they shut. The engines roared and the doors sealed shut as
an angry mob made its way to the roof deck. "Death to the Vor!"
they shouted.

Wantoro pressed his back into his seat.
"Veil this ship."

The spaceship shook slightly as a hologram
camouflaged its exterior.

 

A news broadcaster appeared in front of the
gate to the Watican Castle, the air around her flickering in the
heat of the flames; to her left, a fallen statue of Vordin
Chikalto, founder of the Farmoore Galaxy, lay toppled over:

 

~

 

"After an intelligence leak following the
emergence of demons on Watico, classified government reports of
demon sitings are now being disseminated by a group who call
themselves 'Leveled Ground.' The group claims that the royal family
has been aware of the presence of demons for some time. The demon
reports were initially ordered by Cajjez Jeremy Chikalto. We're
receiving word on the roof of the eastern side of the castle that
Vor Wantoro has fled the area in a spacecraft. Meanwhile in
Bilencia, what appears to be a mass assault by an unknown species
has struck the village of Hagden, taking with it forty-nine
civilians. Some witnesses have survived and video footage has been
confiscated. Missing persons reports are expected to rise
dramatically. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of
Cajjez Jeremy Chikalto or the royal family, you are urged to
contact your local military order or to call your county
representative.”

 

~

 

The spacecraft was now in the dark of space.
Wantoro nodded to Ronny and he turned off the news. "Jeremy and
Maren will go into hiding."

 

* * *

 

"Master Apollyon, we will serve thee."

Jeremy, Maren, Tina, and Lyrna were huddled
in a cavern in the center of the Earth, in a madhouse known as
Mantel's Maze, and now they were being rescued by demons. It was
dark and cold, and they were surrounded by gray stone walls on all
sides, except a little torchlight filtered in from a neighboring
room where the wall had been blasted open from battle.

As a child, Jeremy's servants brought out
the worst in him. In their cowering obedience, they were like so
many wounded dogs—and Jeremy loved dogs—but these dogs were
whining, always expecting the next blow, which was both an
invitation and a self-fulfilling prophesy.

And here, the demons were serving him. But
they had always been with him, lurking in the space between him and
his subjects, whispering terrible suggestions, shadows looming over
his sadism. Was he a puppet all those times? Was the lash he used
to inflict pain really a string moving his hand? Or no, were the
suggestions his alone, and the demons mere yes-men, flocking to his
darkness?

Red eyes glowed in the shadows, like stars
in Hell.

"If I'm your Master, then cower before me!"
yelled Jeremy, and the demons skittered back to the corners of the
room. Jeremy shivered in fear and excitement at his power.

Maren shook her head in disbelief and Tina
lay crumpled on the floor.

"Christ, I need to get out of here." Jeremy
panted and wiped his hand across his mouth, perspiring fiercely.
"I'm burning up. I have a fever," he whimpered. The debris and
blood from the battle cluttered the rock floor; a piece of Mantel's
cloak lay torn and burnt inches from Jeremy's foot.

 

"She's breathing." Maren nudged Jeremy
forward.

He bent down over Tina and placed his head
on her chest. "We'll give her some time to recover, and then
we'll...?"

Maren kept an eye on the
demons and leaned forward towards Jeremy. "We'll go,” she finished
his sentence. “It's good that they listen to you

"

"That's not good."

"For the sake of survival." Maren
straightened. "Just keep them away. Make sure they understand."

Jeremy nodded and stood up to face one of
his demons. "Rise up."

The demon wavered and hissed.

"Fly up, towards the ceiling!" Jeremy
gritted his teeth. "They aren't listening to me."

Maren grabbed his arm. "They speak Latin.
You don't know any Latin?"

"I'm sorry I wasn't such a fantastic Earth
Studies scholar," he said.

"Exsurge, surgo," said Maren. The demons
eyed her suspiciously. "You say it," she whispered.

"Exsurge. Surgo." Still
the demons didn't move. Jeremy cursed and began pacing the center
of the small stone room. "If I could just get them to rise
up

!"

Suddenly, the demons rose, some even
disappearing in the Haze. Jeremy spun around to Maren. "It worked!"
He smiled maniacally.

"What did you do differently?"

Jeremy paused. "I imagined
them doing it. The words

Latin, English, Vespian or
whatever

don't
command them. It's my will." He slumped back onto the floor,
suddenly exhausted. He hadn't slept in forty-eight
hours.

Maren held up Tina's hand to him. "We need
to get her home to New York."

Jeremy frowned and faced his demons, who
were hanging out near the ceiling of the cavern swishing forked
tails. "Right,” he said. “But then I'm taking you back to the
Farmoore Galaxy." Jeremy wrapped his arms around Maren and Tina and
brought them into the Haze. Lyrna followed. They raced forward
through purple clouds. Demons floated around Jeremy on every plane,
bowing low as he passed, and the spirit animals shrank back into
the purple depths.

 

New York. Jeremy knew it distinctly from
inside the Haze. He could feel the inside of Maren's apartment on
Park Avenue, and could feel Ms. Donegall's Estate, the bleary
nights of wine, perfume, and dancing. He pulled the party out of
the Haze and into the back lot of a convenience store, setting
Maren and Tina gently on the pavement. Jeremy had never been to
Tina's New York house, but guessed it was close to Maren's. The
night air was cool and wet, and it was “dark” in the city, with
pink smog illuminated by ambient lighting. Jeremy heard a
skittering behind him, and half expected Lyrna to hop on his
lap.

Instead, a dog-sized demon that was more or
less a cockroach scuttled up to Jeremy, and he shooed it away in
disgust. He willed it back into the Haze. Jeremy glanced around to
make sure no one saw it. There was a couple leaning on the side of
the convenience store, but they were too busy arguing to notice
demons. Jeremy frowned at Maren, who had gotten to her feet. “I
might slip up. I don't know if I can keep them back.”

“You're doing great,” said Maren.

"Where does Tina live?" he asked, trying not
to think about demons. He'd have to try harder.

"Fifth Avenue.” Maren stumbled forward and
caught herself on Jeremy's arm. “We have to keep moving. I'm just a
little dizzy. We have to get her back.”

Tina was laying motionless on the pavement
except for a slow breath. Jeremy picked Tina up in a fireman's
carry, and began to walk towards Fifth Avenue. She opened her eyes
for a spell and Jeremy smiled at her. She slipped back into an
uneasy sleep. Some type of festival was going on in Central Park. A
passerby gawked at Jeremy's shredded pink button down, the silk
fabric caked onto his body in sweat, blood, and ash. He looked like
a refugee carrying his friend out of the jungle. Tina's clothes
were mostly just soot and Maren fared only slightly better in a
torn green tunic.

Jeremy helped Tina to her feet when they
reached her front door. She was groggily coming to, and could
manage to slump upright against Jeremy's chest. Maren rang the
doorbell.

Jeremy leaned in to Tina. "We'll just drop
you off, I'm sure the police are looking for me. Not that that
matters anymore."

"We'll see you soon," whispered Maren as the
door creaked open.

Tina's father, a tall, strong man with a
military cut, fell on his daughter with a bear hug. "My little
girl!" Caught in the moment, he barely processed Maren and Jeremy.
They ducked out to a side alley, just as a light rain began to
patter on their heads. The alleyway was roomy and clean, with an
organized cluster of trash receptacles at the far side.

"What a well-kept alleyway,” said Jeremy,
crossing his arms. “She'll be okay. Janet and Greg?"

Maren shook her head. "Tina will tell them
I'm all right. Let's just go back home. It's been some trip."

Chapter 2

Stay Hidden

 

 

“Lyrna!” Jeremy pulled Maren through to the
Haze and she collapsed in his arms—a weightless passenger in his
freak jet. “I wish you could be here with me, Maren,” he said.
Jeremy glanced around at the undulating waves of purple clouds. The
dead passed through like rain drops to some other plane. A camel
marched solemnly past him, dragging an old woman along behind it.
Then they crossed into some other fold in space.

“Lyrna!” Jeremy slung Maren over his
shoulder and swam along. Lyrna was close.

“Mew! Follow.” She peeped out of a cloud and
twitched her nose at him. Just as he was getting ready to follow
her, he felt some demons close in on him from behind.

Soon row after row of demons faced Jeremy,
with more filtering in every second.

Jeremy strained not to think about the
demons, and raced after Lyrna.

 

With Lyrna's help, Jeremy
ferried Maren through the Haze, pulling out at select planets for
oxygen, until at last they arrived on Watico. He pulled Maren
through to his bedroom and lay her on his bed. They needed to rest.
His demons would remain in the Haze—he'd make sure of it. Jeremy
closed his eyes and massaged his temples.
Stay hidden
, he thought, and he set
his mind on forging a connection with the dark matter veiled behind
the air. Then he felt a snag, or was it a tug—he'd baited his
demons and they felt like a menacing vacuum—a soul drain. Jeremy
took a deep breath and concentrated on holding his line.
An electrical current zapped his brain, then
traveled down his spine and exited through his sternum. He could
feel that the demons were strong and that they meant to take him,
but he held fast and the energy surged through him like a closed
circuit.
He took a deep breath—and then
coughed and lost his connection.

Something was wrong. Jeremy could smell a
heavy timber smoldering somewhere—plastic and rubber, too. And
something more noxious. Gathering his senses, Jeremy raced forward
and reached for the door knob. It felt hot. He flung the door open
and smoke billowed in, filling his nostrils and making him cough
violently. He slammed the door closed. "Maren, there's a fire!" She
tossed and turned in bed, rubbing her eyes.

BOOK: Jeremy Chikalto and the Demon Trace (Book III of The Hazy Souls)
13.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Secret Heiress by Judith Gould
A Month at the Shore by Antoinette Stockenberg
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Deceitful Choices by C.A. Harms
Resisting the Alpha by Jessica Coulter Smith
Alight The Peril by K.C. Neal
Blood Money by Thomas Perry
By Blood by Ullman, Ellen