“OK, what was this morning in the hallway?”
“Ah yeah that. It was umm bad Fung shui, well not bad Fung shui it was demonic fung shui. Don’t look at me like that. You know when you walk around on the first and second floors it makes you feel kind of off.”
“Not off, sometimes it makes me feel sick.”
“Yeah it’s supposed to when we get back look at how everything is set up nothing is in a straight line the pictures are all slightly off and of strange geometric shapes there are metals and woods used in the different pieces of furniture that don’t seem right. The whole point is that energy can’t flow smoothly its like if you take umm like a stream and throw in a lot of pollution and then set fish lose some will move slowly some will get sick and others will just eventually die.”
“So you set up the first floor of your home to kill you?”
“No not kill me but kill things that might come after me.”
“What things would that be?”
“You are jumping around too much. Let me start.”
“I am the Warlock.”
“I knew this wasn’t going to go all cool like it does in the movies. You know what a demon is right?”
“Yeah I’ve seen movies I know what a demon is.”
“Well you’ve seen movies and you kinda know what a demon is.”
“You asked a question I answered, get on with it please.”
“You remember the night that I was in the stairwell and you broke my arm? Well when I was at the top of the stairs coming down from the break room. When the power went out I saw a pair of yellow eyes glowing up at me from a few feet above the ground that and the power outage is what sent me down the stairs. When I was in the hospital that night I met Algae and Volnam. Volnam is the yellow eyes from a few feet above the ground. He is an Imp a lesser demon from the Abyss.”
Danny was leaning forward in his chair talking much more quietly Lily had to lean forward to hear him. The waitress that approached the table must have thought they were in a relationship and whispering sweet nothings to each other. When she came she had a complementary glass of wine for each of them. She asked them what the special occasion was Lily looked surprised and then a little embarrassed. Danny smiled and said it was a first date of old friends excepted the wine and asked to have privacy until their meal was ready. The waitress smiled and actually winked at them as she headed off to handle her other tables.
“You know this is going to be hard to swallow until I can see proof.”
“If you had the chance to see something like an actual demon would you actually want to?”
“... Has it already seen me?”
“Yes, yes he has, he was there when I went and got you, and he was the one that lead me to you when you were in your apartment unconscious.”
Danny’s face started to redden as he thought about what he remembered seeing when he made it into the apartment. He brushed it aside, it had been dealt with there was no reason in focusing on it anymore.
“Should I see him to thank him? I mean if he led you to me and everything was going to go as badly as the doctors said it was then he saved my life didn’t he?”
“No never think of them as noble it will only set you up, let them to take advantage of you. They only act in their own self-interest. Volnam wanted to be there because they feed on the negative emotions we have. Anger and pain are like a burger and fries for them. Volnam wanted to get there cause he was feasting on when was being done to you. I started to get a feeling for it from him and it set me off to go stop it.”
“How did you know? Does a warlock feed on it too?”
She sounded half mocking she wasn’t believing him at least not completely she had no way of knowing how he managed to be at that place and that time and that was what was giving her a small shred of faith that he was telling the truth. He could feel it all in her mind he could also feel the pain from the memories of blow after blow until she was unconscious.
“No but a Warlock does have telepathy well supposedly most humans have some small talent for it but it’s supposed to be very strong in our line.”
“Oh so along with hanging out with demons you also are a mind reader?” She was really starting to poke fun at him now. It was mean spirited fun too her comment didn’t have the same feeling behind it that it would if she were making fun of an old friend or a family member. Danny was already on the verge of getting mad it seemed really easy for him today the car dealership, thinking about the day he picked up Lily, and who was she to make fun of her? After what he had done for her, given her a job a really nice place to live excluding demons and pervert ghosts, hell he had saved her life as far as everyone knew.
“OK fine talk time is over, you don’t believe me. This is the watered down version and you know that I'm not making this up not this part anyways.”
As fast as a striking viper he had both of his hands clasping her left hand and wrist. As soon as he had her hands he didn’t speak in her mind or send her feelings he showed her exactly what happened as he saw it the day that he came to her apartment. The fight the explosion in the floor the distortions in the air that he was always aware of now when Volnam was nearby and in hiding. She saw through his eyes as he reached down and picked her up and she watched as her bastard of an ex-boyfriend threw himself out of the front window and then down the stairs. Danny stopped the visions just before he got to the point where he told the prick to go throw himself in front of the firetruck. He wasn’t sure why he choose that point to stop he wasn’t ashamed of it he didn’t think he cared what her reaction would be he just stopped.
“Am I still entertaining you?”
He sneered at her as he let go of her hand and began to lean back in his seat. If Danny was fast like a viper when he grabbed her hand, Lily was fast like a mongoose when she slapped him as he was leaning back. She got up from the table picked up her handbag and headed for the door. There was nothing held back in that smack and everyone nearby in the restaurant stopped and was looking at Danny as she was leaving. He was beside himself for a second and then he got it together and headed after her. Lily was covering ground quickly and Danny had to almost jog to make up the distance their waitress was heading towards him and he waved her back.
“Small argument, we will be right back.”
He tried to smile but his cheek which felt like it must have been glowing in the dark by this point, she frowned but shook her head that she understood and didn’t try and stop him. They were in the little entry way that most nice places to eat have where the outside doors open into before going through the inside doors to try and stop all the outside air from messing up all the nice climate controlled air when he finally caught up to her and got her to stop.
“OK OK sorry I shouldn’t have done it like that. I deserved that. You’re not fired.”
she stopped and spun on her heal to stare at him.
“I'm not fired? you mean you haven't had the thought cross your mind that when I slapped you that it wasn’t a sign that I quit?”
“You quit? really?”
“Yes, really. wouldn't you? That was way beyond harassment don’t you think.”
She wasn’t screaming but she was spitting with rage. Her face was not even a bright red it was almost a deep purple. As he looked at her he saw something was wrong something other than the fact that she was almost ready to kill him. He tried to slip into her mind but it was too erratic it was moving back and forth between emotions and memories too rapidly it was like she was having a psychotic episode or something.
“Volnam something is wrong I think i broke her how do I fix this?” There was no reply and he was getting nervous.
“Volnam I’m not kidding. I need some help here.”
“If she breaks you will be embarrassed in public and you will end up with a shell to practice making a Shiagge with. Just let her finish. You need the Humility and the training tool.”
Danny could tell that Volnam really wasn’t going to help him with this.
“Little bastard.” He growled to himself.
“What did you call me?!” Lily shrieked at him as she threw herself at him she didn’t have a plan for what she was going to do to him once she had him but she didn’t have three thoughts at a time that made any sense in the first place.
Danny caught her hands as she reached for either his face or throat he couldn’t tell she was driving into him and they hit one of the massive windows of the entry area. Danny was aware of all the eyes that were locked onto them but he wasn’t paying them much attention at the moment. He did hear someone say that they were going to call the cops. Great. He hooked his left leg behind her right and shifted his weight to throw her off balance and put himself away from the window. As he did he was glad that they were thick safety glass going through one of them would have sucked. He got his feet solidly beneath him and held onto her wrists. She was cussing and cursing him and her Ex and god only knew what else she was practically frothing at the mouth. Danny finally decided on what he was going to do and began to focus on her eyes. He locked onto her now bloodshot eyes and stayed that way they enlarged the pupils those small black dots became the size of doorways they were doorways to the infinite and when they were all that he could see he just watched for all the random chaos that was flying around behind those eyes. When he saw Rage he tried to calm it when he saw pain he tried to sooth it. Where there was confusion he tried to bring reason. It was damn hard. After what felt like hours he gave up on feeling after feeling it didn’t feel like it was working he decided to go at it a different way he was not happy with the decision that he made but he really couldn’t come up with anything else.
“I’m so sorry.” He whispered to her.
The command was solid and he sent it deep into her mind he had to force it to push it past everything else that she had flying back and forth. She had effectively built up a wall of rage that had stopped everything else. She almost instantly went limp he wasn’t ready for it and she fell flat onto the ground. Her head gave a savage thud sound when it bounced off of the stone floor. He looked at the scene around him all the servers and the hostess watching him, all of the people eating on the front half of the restaurant were watching and everyone on the back half were wondering what they were missing except for the ones who were actually standing up to see.
Damn it damn it damn it was all that Danny could think to himself. He glanced around again and then picked Lily up off the ground cradling her like a sleeping child. They went back into the restaurant and he moved to the Hostess.
“I’m sorry that you had to witness this, she has a condition and we were going to get her prescription refilled after lunch it’s never come on so fast before. Could I get our check I need to get her out of here ASAP, I’m taking her to an emergency room she hit her head when she passed out.”
“Sir I think you need to wait here, nine one one has been called and I’m sure that someone who can look at her head will be here shortly.” She was very firm in her tone and her brown eyes were locked onto him. He could tell that she was picking out details that she could give to the cops if he were to take off.
“Look lady I’ve never stolen a meal in my life give me my damn check I need to get her to a doctor. Can the paramedic give her her meds here? Did you just see what happens without them? Or do you want a repeat performance when she wakes up only this time with cops and tazers for the crazy sick girl that you kept here instead of letting her go get real help?”
He had not been pushing her before he was only talking but now he was attacking her mind it didn’t take much once he was looking for it he could see that she was torn on wither to try and keep them or not.
“You’re right I’m sorry. Just go I will take care of the bill.”
With that he smiled thanked her and took off out the door he wished he could say that he didn’t hit lily’s head on the door on the way out of the restaurant but he couldn’t. The driver was leaning on the back of the car waiting for them to finish and when he saw Danny carrying Lily instead of Danny walking with her he rushed to get the door open and help get her inside. They did manage to get her past the car doors with no further thumps to the head. Danny had just finished adjusting Lily’s head in the car seat as the driver was jumping into the car.
“You know where my place is?”
“Yes sir I’ve taken Mister -“
The driver didn’t say another word he turned on the car and headed towards their destination.
“You were told that telling her would be a bad thing. Did you listen to me? No of course you did not. You never listen to me anymore. You know so much more than Volnam now. Why do you not try waking her now and setting her mind right since you are the all-knowing warlock.”
Danny didn’t even take most of a second to picture the correct sigils in his mind and utter the command to send Volnam back to the abyss. The Imp was banished before he knew what was going on.
“You are really on your own now.”
The Imp was cackling at him until Danny threw up the ward that would seal the building from outside telepathic interference. As he was sealing the Imp out mentally he threw out a happy image of Volnam having his wings plucked off by something much larger and more powerful than himself. Danny had just managed to crawl from the front door of the first floor to the hallway and had the driver carry Lily for him. Once the elevator had been called he Gave the
Driver a hundred dollar tip and sent him on his way. Danny watched the driver stop and look back and forth over his shoulder about a handful of times as he walked back towards the exit. He gathered Lily up and headed into the elevator when it arrived and took her to her room. He had her laid down when his brother walk/floated in from her bathroom. Danny looked at him and rolled his eyes. Remi shrugged his shoulders the generic sign for “WHAT?”
“Really you were waiting for her in her bathroom?”
“Yeah I was thinking about it, I bet with some practice I could like write messages for her in steam on her mirror. I was thinking the first one should be something really romantic like. Nice rack. Or something like that what do you think?”
Danny looked up at the ceiling and silently asked why he had such a perve for a brother.
“Well she probably won’t ever read it if you did do it. I think I broke her brain.”
He sat on the foot of her bed and stared at her. Remi stood next to him doing the same thing.
“She looks like she is just sleeping to me.”
“Yeah that was what I told her to do when she was trying to kill me in the restaurant.”
“Wow that sounds like a hell of a first date.”
“Yeah, go ahead and get lost for a while I’m going to try and un-break her brain.” Danny got up from the foot of her bead and moved to sit cross legged on the floor beside her head. Remi might have had a reply but Danny wasn’t paying attention anymore he was closing himself off to everything else and setting his mind up for the task at hand.
“I’m so quitting.”
Her voice was small like the voice of someone who had just slept for a very long time. . Lily picked her head up off of her pillow and looked around the room Danny was laying on his back with his legs crossed apparently asleep. She tried to get up but as she did a wave of nausea put her back on the pillow. She felt the back of her head and found a massive welt as her hand made its way to the side of her head she found another one only much smaller. She felt a cold draft and looked to see if her window was open it wasn’t but there was a see through man standing there.
She stared at him for a second and then decided she was seeing things due to a concussion and went back to sleep something she was sure that you weren’t supposed to do with a concussion but didn’t care. Danny sat up at some point late in the evening, he could tell due to the lack of sunlight coming in through the window. He felt rested which was good. After climbing to his feet he found that there was one thing that he hadn’t noticed until he was up. Apparently when you sleep for extended periods of time with your legs crossed when you wake up they don’t. With the increased blood flow and the sudden standing the resulting light headedness and pins and needles almost sent him falling onto Lily’s bed. He caught himself and dropped himself back down onto the floor. After waiting awhile with his legs extended out straight things returned to normal and he got up and headed to his workshop.
After a few hours of working on Incantations that he would need to have more access to the
Abyss Danny felt a cold chill run down his spine and opened his mind to his brother who was getting better at starting the conversations if the person he was trying to talk to was open to him.
“So car shopping didn’t go great huh?”
“It’s OK I think I might have just fallen through it or something.”
“So with Lily earlier while you were napping on her floor she woke up.” As he spoke he drifted around beside his obviously grumpy brother and began to lean against the work bench that was being used. When he mentioned that Lily had woken up Remi noticed his brothers eyebrows perk up ahh so there were something’s he did want to hear about he thought to himself.
“Yeah she picked her head up off of her pillow and looked around the room. then she laid back down and passed back out. you know the really odd thing is that she looked right at me and not through me. I would have sworn that she had seen me before going back to sleep.”
Danny worked through the verse he had been working on and then looked up at his brother.
“I guess it’s possible there are a few reasons that she might have seen you. If she is still nuts that might be it. The insane can sometimes see parts of the spirit world as I understand it. But she almost died too and that can open the mind to the spirit world I think that is a better bet than the insanity bit.”
“She didn’t look nuts she looked totally normal for the few seconds that she was up and looking around.”
“well if she can see you now I guess there won’t be as many sneaky show peeks anymore will there?”
“heh I will just have to work harder and not being seen. so when are you going to have Volnam back? hes going to be pissed with he returns.”
As he spoke about the Imp he looked around the room like banished Imp might be spying on them from one of the corners.
“He needs to be knocked down a peg or two I will leave him there for a few days remind him who is what in our deal.”
“What exactly is your deal with him anyways? I know he is like your super ugly magic Yoda and really bad personal decorator but aside from that what is he to us? is he just the means to get me back in the flesh again?”
“No no getting you back into the flesh is like a thesis paper for me in the education I am getting right now. It just shows the level of mastery I have gained before I move onto more complicated things.”
Danny was starting to look over his notes again.
“So there is more complicated than bringing someone back from the dead?”
Remi was not trying to hide the skepticism in his voice at all.
“Yeah much more complicated. Working with the dead is supposed to be a cheap trick compared to the things that I will be able to do with demons.” Danny stopped with the notes and leaned back on his stool a little bit. “See demons hate us they hate where we live and they only want to get here to do as much bad to us as they possibly can. The thing that makes me mad is how unfair it is, see we done really have anyway to deal with it as a race. They have all these awesome powers and live forever hell its almost impossible to kill some of them. Aside from a shield that keeps them from being able to come here there is nothing that we have that can really do anything to them.”
“Soo shotgun doesn't beat magical fireball?”
Remi was sighting down a make believe shotgun while made the comment.
“I don't know yet. One of the things I will need to do is test a lot of stuff out when I have the control I need to try it. See the last book that was written by humans that dealt with demons was written so long ago that the list of weapons that were listed as useful didn’t include anything that had to do with gunpowder yet. Shotgun may be great, nuke might not do anything to them at all. I don't have any way to know yet.”
“Well you could put that little rat demon in the microwave if he pops then we know that microwave radiation works.”
“So you are fine the way that you are? Or you want me to go ahead and undue the binding and let you go where ever the greater powers of the universe decide that you need to go? Without Volnam this is as far as you go.”