“So what now?”
Galliden was leaning heavily on a rock near the cliff side, clouds swirled dark overhead lacing with black lightning. Galliden was not injured so much as exhausted. He couldn't move it was like his armor was a hundred pounds more all of a sudden. His opponent the warlock Asmodan leaned against a lightning blasted tree, he showed no signs of wariness he only leaned against the tree and stared at the downed holly warrior.
“Is it heavy?”
Asmodan got up off his tree feeling the charge of electricity build as another blast prepared to come down then he smiled and looked down at Galliden, and leaned back on the tree.
Galliden watched seeing the warlock stand and then lean back assuming him to be growing weaker. Then a blinding flash of light as a bolt of lightning struck the tree the evil mage was leaning against. The blast blinded and the thunder was deafening there was nothing he could do this was hopeless he thought to himself no not hopeless nothing was hopeless he always had that. Slowly his vision came back and his strength as well his ability to move becoming increasingly easier He reached for his shield just as his fingers brushed the edge he felt the bottom or a boot come down on his wrist. He looked up everything was still blurry many splotches of light and darkness. Constantly coming clearer the Warlock stood before him not injured or destroyed it was as if nothing had happened to him at all. He held his dark blade out level with Galliden’s throat just below his helmet the heat of the blade either from the lighting or some otherworldly power set to singe the beard the smell of burnt ozone and burning hair the deafness and the fuzziness of vision was almost too much for the paladin to bear. The cliff behind him his arm pinned beneath the boot the smells and now through the constant loud ringing in his head he could hear the laugh the light cackle he looked up his head clearing.
“So what now?” he asked he voice a soft whisper.
He looked into burning black depths of the Warlocks eyes. In those depths one could see real power not any one facet to it but real power the power to act to do what one wants and the will the dark will to use that power. Somewhere deep down there was something even more horrifying about those dark eyes something closer to home. As he felt that evil blade burn into his flesh, his own blood boiling down the side of his throat.
He was killing himself.
Danny sat up in a cold sweat. Had he been sleeping? He looked around, no one seemed to have noticed, another day mare he thought to himself. He was losing his mind and he knew it. He ran his hand through his hair and then began to massage his temples maybe I should see a doctor or something he thought to himself.
His phone rang “Credit union call center this is Danny Noir speaking how may I help you?” and thus it dragged on. Danny was a customer service representative for a credit union. His job as he saw it was to answer questions like, “why is my bank empty?” and “where my monies at?” he hated the people who called him most of them anyways, but not his coworkers he liked them on the average, but he had the day mares and the night terrors. He was pale and pasty skinned he worked nights and slept or at least tried to sleep days he ate junk food when and if he decided to eat. He tried to be friendly to people but it always felt like they were nice to him out of pity not any real feelings of friendship. His work shift continued on into the early morning where he caught the first bus out of the city to his house out in the country it was a nice house… once when someone cared to take care of it, now whatever nature did to it was left unchecked the yards were overgrown and the fence was missing slats. One of the windows was missing a screen another was missing the shutters all together. They weren't really missing though they were just laying where they fell in the yard. Danny never noticed he always walked into the house closed the door, walked into his room fell face down onto his bed and tried to sleep. Always something horrible would come to him then, demons, devils, atrocities against men and women. Children with their eyes sown shut. He tried to stop sleeping once that’s when the day mares started this last one was new, he laid on his bed and thought about it driving a sword through his own neck, now thinking back on it, was he the killed or the killer it wasn't clear anymore it was just frightening. He held his hands up in front of his face his bony knuckles and tight skin he was turning into a zombie and he knew it. He rolled over in his bed, which was too big for just one person. closing his eyes against a world he was pretty sure he hated and fell asleep into a world that hated him. There were dark things waiting for him there.
“Yes ma'am, just try to keep the balance in the account out of the negative and everything should be just fine… Yes ma’am you have a great night. Thank you for calling the call Center good bye.” He stood up from his desk and ran his hand through his hair again followed by the now ritualistic rubbing of the temples. As he did so he thought he saw something yellow under a desk almost a glowing yellow but as he turned to look at it directly it was gone he looked closely and noticed a yellow post it note on the floor not far from where he was looking. He also noticed a coworker with a skirt slightly shorter than the dress code called for, which wasn't all together bad as he thought about it but she had noticed that he noticed and now there were dirty looks being thrown his way. He shrugged and walked off she wasn't that good looking anyway he thought to himself. Scowling as he looked around he made his way to the stairwell. God these lights are bright tonight, great I'm probably getting another migraine I hate that once up the stairs he made his way to the break room there he maintained his stash he kept a small lunch box in the fridge filled with all his favorite junk foods and about five different pill bottles, each a cure to one ailment or another except for the bottle that he shouldn't have it did nothing for headache of sleep deprivation or even the occasional voice in the head it was just for fun these he found a way to get off the internet and they went legal by any means and it was these and the migraine pills he was after now. He pulled out enough to do what he wanted which at this point was to trick him into being happy for a few hours then went over to the vending machine for a soda to wash it all down. He heard a clicking sound like a dog with nails that were too long on the tile floor behind him he jumped and turned there was nothing but the Ice machine that had just dumped its current batch of ice. He smiled to himself, chided himself for being too jumpy, got his soda and headed back down to his desk. Several phone calls later and he was on his bus headed back to his run down house.
Danny was home at the regular time early in the morning wasn't really that tired he looked around his dark living room piles of dirty laundry some looked like mice might be living in them. He grinned to himself and muttered something to about having a few roommates maybe making them do the dishes. In answer he heard something fall and break in the kitchen he took a few steps towards the kitchen and saw a cat that had come in through the window screen and was licking something off of an old unwashed plate. He noted that it had knocked another dish down to the floor its broken pieces lay with the others. He didn't bother to tell himself he’d clean it up later he knew he would be lying. He ignored the cat and it ignored him. He moved back into the back room where he kept his computer. He could have checked his email but decided he didn't want to sort through all the porn advertisements, he sat down and started doing what he always did, looking for things he shouldn't It was one of the few things that made him happy for some reason Danny was drawn to things that would get him fired or thrown in prison for. He was one of the few people who had a printed copy of the anarchists cook book he knew he was on some government list somewhere as a possible terrorist he didn't care. This time he was interested in demons, demonology the deference’s in different types if they were real or not. He just sat there at his computer going back and forth through the net never even bothering to change out of his work clothes.
“No ma'am I can’t cash a check for you over the phone” Danny was almost smiling this time and the woman on the phone was adamant about it.
“Yes you can I know you can My cousin is with first civil bank and trust, that bank can cash a check over the phone so I know you can, you just won’t do it cause I'm a Black woman, Its prejudice. I wanna speak to your supervisor.” She was mean; her tone was of the wounded dumb animal that doesn't understand that biting at the leg will make things worse. Ma'am I can’t see you, we’re on the phone my decisions can’t be based on your color and my supervisor is also black but he won’t be able to cash…” he was cut off mid-sentence.
“I don't care, I wasn't asken I got nothing else to say to you can I just speak to your supervisor?” Danny frowned at his computer monitor. I hate this job he thought to himself.
“Ma’am can I put you on hold for a minute? I have to get him and let him know that I'm gonna transfer you to him.”
“Yeah whatever I'm gonna get my money tonight.” At this point she sounded so superior so she was making him feel so inferior he knew his job he knew what he could and couldn't do but if he told her off he’d lose his job, he hated his job but he needed it just as bad as he hated it. He put her on hold and got his supervisor explained the situation and transferred her over to him.
Tonight there was a storm raging outside and most places closed early. It was so bad that most of the city was closed down. streets were flooded some of the stores were flooding. Danny took a break and headed up to the break room he took the stairs as usual it was kind of dark it was always gloomy as he made it to the top step on the fourth floor there was a loud cracking sound and the power went out the lights cut off . Since he worked in a secure part of the bank Danny had a security card that he had to swipe to go anywhere else in the building it was simple the door has a red light you can’t go in. you swipe your card the light goes green and you go right in and everything is fine. But when the light goes out altogether you are stuck in a stair well on the fourth floor with nowhere to go and nothing to do. He stared at the door and began to laugh a little to himself and after spending too much time not in reality he pictured the door exploding off its hinges so he could go into the break room grab his pills and pretend he liked the world for a few hours until he got off work so he could go home and think of ways to hurt and punish people who wanted to cash checks over the damn phone!
“I mean what the hell, how do I give you the money for god’s sake!”
“Hehehe you get mad easy you’ll be powerful…”
It wasn't the voice that scared him at first it was the fact that just below where the red light should have been for the door there were two bright yellow lights staring up at him both shaped like small soft edged triangles and both with a deep red iris. And while staring at these bright evil little eyes they blinked and he freaked out. Danny screamed and moved backward standing at the top of the stairs, meant falling down them when panicking. Danny wasn't athletic by any means he didn't play football never wrestled never learned how to take a fall, he screamed as he fell rolling down concrete stairs until he hit the next landing. He landed hard on his right shoulder and forearm. He lay there crying as the power was just coming back on or the backup generators kicked in, whatever it was there was light and nothing at the top of the stairs he was in pain and he wouldn't move. One on the girls on his team must have herd the scream and came running to see what was going on. The door flew open and hit the already what must have been broken shoulder he screamed again and began cussing up a storm powerful enough to match the one outside. She knelt down to look at him he turned to look at her his face a mask of pain and anger. As he did he could have sworn he saw an ear something similar to a bat or a fox or something In between and one of those evil yellow eyes vanish behind her not so much move behind her and go away but just vanish into thin air kind of just fade away. He lay there the girl kept asking if he was OK he looked at her with a kind of lost confusion he had never been actually hurt before not physically never broken a finger never really stubbed a toe it was mind numbing horrible he hated it he hated he… as he thought it to himself how much he hated the work just stuck in his mind who he hated and how much he hated the look on his face must have changed from confusion because he noticed the girl what was her name? Lily yeah Lily her look of concern changed to a look of fear and she got up and left. She said something to him but he didn't hear her, he only sat there feeling his broken shoulder and what could be a broken wrist he was no doctor he only knew how much it hurt. How much he hated how it hurt. Somewhere along the way he must have passed out.