I Refuse To Fall, When They Still Exist

Rio has been hunting for angels since she can remember; travelling from state to state since she was born. When a shadowey succubus nearly takes away her breath, she has to fight to survive. And fight off her desires for the mysterious emo kid that helped her out.

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4. Chapter 3

The door slammed shut behind me, as I dropped my bag in the hall. I'd beaten that Belial kid 26-2 at basketball (he was determined to score at least once) and then creamed him 31-1 at air hockey. That kid was absolutely crap at sports.

Dad was gone, unsurprisingly, after leaving a note. That was his way of doing things. Even if you tell someone you'll be out, leave them a note in case they forget. Typical Dad.

There's a fifty on the counter. Order pizza, and don't wait up. Remember, homework before TV, be in bed by 10:30, and do your training.

I shucked my coat, depositing it with my bag in the hall. My hoodie followed, as I hustled myself out into the garage. I hated doing my training, as I always ached like crazy for a good hour afterwards, but when it came to ramming a crystal stake through a tough-ass angel, my training was fucking legendary.

The garage was well-lit, and freezing cold. There was literally no insulation in there, so the concrete floor was like walking on ice. And that was before I took off my shoes. Barefoot training was going to be a bitch until we moved on.

Dad had set up a few things, including the weight bench he'd got when we were in Chattanooga, the mannequin thing he uses for solid-based kicks, and the punching bag that's taller than me. All of which were damn good for the both of us. Especially the weights.

I could only lift the 35 pound one, and not over my head. Dad kept pressuring me to get up to 70, but that's his way. He's karate-designed. Inches of pure muscle, with the speed needed to change moves in a flash. I'm built skinnily though, with long arms, so I don't have the force needed to deliver a good enough punch.

So for me, it's tai chi and what Dad calls The Basic Dirty Fightin' when he's sober, and Time To Bounce An Asshole when he's been at the Jack Daniel's. I'm well suited to tai chi, as the moves all flow into eachother. I've lasted for 8 minutes 48 seconds practising tai chi before, and 13 minutes on the dot when fighting dirty, so I'm pretty good.

Bridge over the water. Mountain on the earth. Turn the wheels for the ribbon-maker. Catch the swallow's tail. Nicely warmed up, I set the timer, and practised hard. Every step on the floor, threatened to freeze me to the spot. The air rapidly turned to razor blades, every time I breathed in. The last time I felt like this, was right before a poltergeist started throwing kitchen knives across the room hard enough for the handle to bury itself in the plywood wall, sounding exactly like the corny sound effects used in karate films.

That still wasn't half as bad as the Savannah incident. I won't be forgetting that in a hurry.

I gave up on my training, poured myself a glass of pepsi, spiked it with Dad's Jack Daniel's, then took it upstairs to my room. Dad would probably give me a lecture if he knew I drunk alcohol. Probably the one about Responsible Choices and Adulthood. Pur-lease, I've had to, and know how to, do things that would leave most adults hunched in the corner, begging for it to end.

I deposit my pepsi-and-whiskey on my bedside table, and break out my drawing pad and pencils. It's a good way of killing time, and it's one of the things that Mom taught me back Before.

I've sketched my crude breeze-block and plywood bookcase, and the pile of my clothes in the corner, before I realise there's nothing left to draw. I haven't bothered dragging up the boxes of my stuff, except for the essential things, as I'll have to box it all up again soon. This leaves a vastly empty room, besides my bed shoved against the wall, a bookcase, a bedside table, and a pile of clothes.

Welcome to the lap of luxury.

I lean back on my bed, so I'm staring at the ceiling. The spackle stuff they smear up there, casts interesting shadows. I can describe every place we've lived in, based on ceiling shadows. It's too quiet here, and pretty unnerving.

Me and Dad used to stay in flats, which was pretty cool. In flats, everyone's homey sounds were all merged into one. About 5 moves back, we stayed in this block of flats in downtown Atlanta, where the guy below us used to play the cello every night after the 6 o'clock news. That was pretty nice, even if the guy above us, beat his wife every month when the rent was due.

Houses however are different. There's no sound except you, if you're home alone. And the wind. The sound of the wind is loud when you're as far north as we are. The Canadian border can't be too far away. It can be comforting; reminding you that you're warm inside whilst it's freezing outside. It can also be eerie, like the wind has big glassy teeth and is sinking them into something young and helpless.

Tonight, it was the second kind. Usually when the wind was like that, bad shit happened.

I used to play music when Dad was out, until I realised that something shady could be creeping up on me, and I wouldn't hear it. It was worse when I was a kid though. One time, Dad came home and found me half-off the sofa, with a re-run of CSI on TV and a baseball bat hanging out of my hand. I'd eaten a TV dinner, and my hair had gotten in the tray.

After that, Dad made me go to bed and not stay up. I'd always sit up in bed worrying, instead of sitting on the sofa, still worrying. After all, a kid that's seen their Dad run up to an angel and ram a clear-quartz stake down it's throat, before it dissolves into a pile of stinking black ash and burnt feathers, is guaranteed to be scared of being alone. Especially when she's had to tie one of those "angelic" bastards down and cut it in half with a circular saw. Straight down the middle, so its face, chest, and wings were sliced cleanly in half.

Hey, nobody said that killing angels was going to be pretty. Sometimes, it's downright ugly.

I don't know how long after that it was, but I finally zonked out.

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