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.


11. Chapter 9

"You won't believe the kind of shit that's left unattended at night. Nobody to bother you, or stop you from grabbing a free soda. Pure liberation, that's what it is." He leant against the steel railing by the escalators, overlooking this Art Deco-ish fountain. It was nice when it was turned on, but now the water was still.

"What about the cameras?" I asked, noticing that there were several dotted about.

"Most of them are dummies, and the real ones don't have any tapes. The company that owns this place is too cheap to buy real ones, and tapes for the real ones supplied. Nothing and nobody to stop us." He turned to the fountain, cupped his hands around his mouth, and shouted wordlessly.

"Freedom, don't you agree?" He asked, as the sound bounced around. It was pretty exciting, and pretty tempting.

"FUCK YOU MS RETCHFORD!" I shouted, as the words bounced around. It felt amazing, not worrying about people watching and judging you.

"So whaddya wanna do? The arcade is open plan, and everything works. I might actually beat you at something."

Yeah right. "I just wanna walk about the place. You know, sort some things out." I replied.

"Fine by me. If you need me, I'll be in the arcade. Stay away from Hollister though. They're the only ones with a working camera last time I checked." He left me this warning, before heading off to the arcade. I started down the paused escalator, just hoping to clear my head a bit.

So what do you plan to do after tonight?

I wasn't sure. First thing would be to sort out Dad's...remains. He deserved a funeral; burying him next to Mom seemed like the right thing. I could locate her grave; it can't be too far from our old home. Only I don't know where that is. Maybe she's buried in her original country? But how am I going to get Dad all the way to Nicaragua?

And what are you going to do after that? Remember, you're the amateur here.

I don't know. Dad had contacts, whom I could call. There was Mark Agne, whom I stayed with for a month in New York City, could swear in Latvian, and could shoot a thin flame off his middle finger when in the right mood. Or Raul-Pedro el Santos-Dinero from Chihuahua province who keeps the chupacabra population down. The goatsuckers are really bad down there. Raul-Pedro says it's the heat and the dodgy tacos. Plus many others.

There are very few people who know about the occult, and they keep it quiet. However, they always stick out like a sore thumb to me; never been able to say why. There was an elderly japanese woman down in Chattanooga, who gave me this cold creepy feel and had this greyish, rippling veil around her. It was only later that we realised she was an angelic informant. Gran told me about that veil of colour when I was little; she called it an "arra", but it was later that I realised she meant "aura". Her strong southern accent made most things sound different. That cloud of disturbance that civilians couldn't pick up, or the envelope of coloured light I could always see around those fuckers who associate with angels, was so obvious to me, that it was damn easy to pick out an informant.

I stared into the glass window outside Victoria's Secret, noticing my reflection, when I began noticing something that shouldn't be there, but was.

The crash and tinkle of glass breaking, combined with a strong smell of iron, ice and smoke. Outside air, but with smoke in the air?

Maybe someone's having a barbeque?

In January, when there's 2 feet of snow on the ground? There's something wrong here, and you know it.

Well get some cover then, dumbass.

I ducked behind a cart covered over for the night, judging by the smell it was a free sample for the cheese departments, and watched as a whitish-blue glow crept onto the far wall. The smell of smoke grew, and little wisps of it were snaking around the far corner.

Da fuck is that?

It padded into view, long, lean and designed to take down its prey. A mother of a huge, white polar bear. It turned its head towards me, scenting the air with a nose the size of a catcher's mitt.

What the fuck! I had no idea polar bears could get that big, or come down this far south.

It lifted one paw, with the long, blackened claws showing, and this deep, booming growl echoed through the mall corridor. There was a loud whoosh, likre someone dropping a lit match into a can full of petrol, and the strangest thing happened.

It ignited. Whitish-blue flames leapt up from underneath and danced on its huge body. A fucking polar bear, was covered in whitish-blue fire, in the same mall as me.

I was stupid, I shouldn't have gasped. But come on, you would gasp if you saw any animal set itself alight. It turned its burning head towards me, and started loping down the corridor.

Oh SHIT! Move it!

I turned and ran down the corridor, as the bear broke into a run behind me. The claws snicking against the polished linoleum floor were damn loud against my screams.

It's on fire! I thought, as I ran down the paused escalator. The bear thundered after me, as the military mindset Dad had drummed into me, told me to fucking move, I know it's on fire!

Holy shit, this thing was going to kill me if I let it get too close. I had to kill it, but I had a feeling that bullets would be useless against it. How the fuck am I gonna do it? If this was a videogame, I'd be racking up the points by now. Or throwing my controller at the screen. The fountain shone ahead of me, reflecting the burning bear's light.

The fountain! Brilliant! I ran towards it, fighting the lactic acid building up in my legs. I wasn't gonna make it at this rate, but I had to. After all, once it killed me, what's gonna stop it from going after Belial? he had no training whatsoever.

I thought I wasn't going to make it, but I had. The bastard-cold water soaked my jeans up to my knees, plastering them to my legs. The bottom of the fountain wasn't solid, but cheese-grater style metal, which let the water run through. I twisted my fingers in the gap, and pulled up a huge sheet of the cheese-grater steel, as the bear leapt towards me.


It collided with the metal, with the exact same sound as a chinese gong I'd seen on a game show. It knocked it out cold, as it tumbled down into the gap where the metal was. I'd pulled up enough metal for the whole thing to go under. Quickly, as I saw it stir slightly, I slotted the metal back over the hole, trapping it under the water. Polar bears can hold their breath for quite a while. Given the circumstances, I'd give it an hour or so before it had completely drowned.

The water was bubbling and painfully hot as it boiled. The bear's fire must be waterproof, as it was still going. I'd like to say that I gracefully leapt ballerina-esque onto the rim of the fountain, but in truth, I stumbled backwards and completely soaked myself, before perching unsteadily on the edge, shaking like a fucking leaf.

"Ho-Holy shit. Holy mother of fucking God." I stammered, getting my bearings. Instinctively, I dragged Dad's pistol out of my pocket (I'd stashed my bag, but kept the gun on me) and clicked the safety catch off.

"Rio, what the fuck happened?" Belial called. I spun around, and aimed straight at the target. Belial put his hands up in the classic "Don't Shoot" stance.

"Don't ask stupid questions." I replied, tracking it like Dad taught me. I slipped my finger inside the trigger guard, and pulled the trigger.

The angel lunged for me at the same time as I fired, knocking Belial out of the way. It had flew up behind him, and now it was going for me. She was a pretty one; bluey-green eyes, ice-white skin and blonde hair. An array of coloured streaks, all bright pink, twisted through the blonde, shoulder-length waterfall of hair.

"Bitch!" She hissed, as I'd got her in the hand. Her teeth had re-modified themselves in her jaw, so her canines were dramatically extended into Dracula fangs, both upper and lower. This was going to be a tricky one, as I'd left my rowan stake in my bag, and left that in Belial's hideaway.

"You know it." I replied, tracking her. Belial was lying dazed by the fountain, close to this angelic motherfucker. He was going to have one hell of a bruise after this. They're not superhumanly strong, but they're still capeable of throwing a 16 year-old kid about 6 feet. I shot out another round, catching her in the side of the gut.

"Now fuck off, and take your dead bear with you." I snarled, aiming straight for her heart. The bullet hole in her hand was already healing over. Angels heal quickly, but any lethal wound will kill them.

"Fine, but you won't see the last of me, bitch." She began stepping backwards, not taking her eyes off the gun. She was about half a foot from Belial, who was starting to come to. He shifted his head, groaned slightly, and attracted the angel's attention.

"Back off, and get the fuck out of here." I hissed, as she snarled deeply. Her lip curled up, exposing the vampiric teeth. It would be too easy to put some lead in her chest, but I want to have some fun.

"I think I'll leave you a little something to remember me by. Business cards are too mainstream though, don't you agree. He's pretty hot, you know. You should have snapped him up whilst you could. Too late now." She dragged him up by his hair, jerked his head back, and kissed him.

The angel's kiss is kinda like a werewolf bite. He had a good 24 hours before he started changing into one of those fuckers. It didn't even matter that he was a dude, as you can get male angels. They're really rare, but they exist. Mainly around Italy, Greece and Austria.

I pulled the trigger, aiming for her head. That mass of pink-streaked blonde hair was in the way though, but it didn't stop the bullet. She threw Belial down, and snarled at me with a face full of blood. I'd shot her in the jaw, and it was nearly hanging off. Once that healed, I'd give it 20 minutes, she'd be coming straight to polish me off. At the moment however, she was staggering around in pain, her screeches of pain covered by the blood bubbling up from her nearly-severed jaw.

Seizing my chance, I grabbed hold of Belial and dragged him off. I had him in a fireman's lift, with my one free hand clutching the gun. I got him about 30 feet away, before I turned and fired a "Bye, Motherfucker" shot at the bleeding angel. Judging by the bubbling screech of pain, I'd hit her. I had to sort Belial out though, before he changed.

Don't risk it, kid. Do what you should do. Dad's military training kicked in, urging me to put him down as a casualty. You don't fuck with angel kiss victims, pure and simple. Dad would have killed him, as he was a liability.

I just...couldn't though. Belial was the closest thing I had to a friend, plus he'd shown me his secret home. I get the feeling he doesn't do that a lot.

Sorry Dad, not this time.

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