Only In The Dark

A boy with his eye on two worlds and a disappearing family, Oliver Shawl is put to the test to finish his father's work and save man kind from the monsters and demons that walk among us in the dark.
This was my Nano write that I, unfortunately, was late to sign up for due to technical difficulties.

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24. Help From a "Friend"

He tried to sit up, the room spun around him. Jennifer was struggling in the air as she choked for breath she spoke, “Have you… no heart?” The beast’s smile seemed to alter and she was dropped to the floor and, again, the monster vanished. Jennifer was on the floor gasping for air, the area around her neck was more grey than black and she held it gently. Oliver began to recover and looked around to see his friends were gone and he was still in the same room.

He endeavored through the pain and fought his aching muscles till he stood. He stumbled against the corner of the wall that separated the two rooms from each other and gawked over the empty room. Blood trickled down the side of his head from the impact of the rigid table top. His mother also battled her urges to lay down and stood up to goggle. Oliver let out a heavy breath, his chest ached and he wanted to be home but he couldn’t get there. “What happened? Where are they?”

“They must have been teleported… you were too far away from it so it didn’t suck you in.” Jennifer looked at him as he leaned against the wall with his forehead on his arm and banged against it. She covered his arm with hers to get him to stop and he pulled away.

“I can’t believe this… Where’s the device? I’m never getting home!” She ran her hand to his back and rubbed it in a circle.

“We’ll find a different way Oli.”

“No we won’t! I’m never getting home! I’m never gonna see Mama again!” He slammed his fist against the wall as hard as he could which broke a hole and his knuckles to bruise. He bit the the inside of his cheek to hide the pain and Jennifer snatched up his hand to looked at it, turning him to her.

“Knock it off! Your father and I didn’t die to let you hurt yourself over your impatience and demotivated selfishness.” She took in a deep breath and pinched the skin above her nose between her eyes. “Okay, first we need to think of somewhere or someone else who may have a portal… maybe make another one… no no.” Oliver pulled away from her and paced up and down the dirt covered floor to hold in his anger.

“Why does that thing have it out for us? Why does he follow me?”

“Because you’re valuable to business. Every monster is looking for you.”

“Why me though?”

“Because you’re the key to their world and yours. They want you, dead or alive, to get what they want.” Oliver groaned loudly and rested his back against the wall then slid down onto his butt. “I know where to go.” He felt his mother’s cool hand take is and he was pulled onto his feet again. “There’s a… man in town that could know the way out. But you’ll have to keep an open mind.”

“Why? I thought there were no humans here?” Everything passed in a blur and they were outside of a hotel. He grabbed his head to stop the spinning and closed his eyes. “Jesus! Could you at least warn me before we go jumping through time please?” She was already ahead of him and heading towards the door. Once everything was done spending all of her view of the building cleared. It was a tall brick and cement  Hotel named the Cortez. Dirty fogged-up windows  lined up and down the length of the building. All down the road was empty and Oliver could hear his own footsteps, not even human shadows walked around.

It caused him to feel weary of the hotel.  Something about it changed as he got closer, it actually wanted me to forget and walk away, warning me to leave and never come back. Jennifer had to go back just to pull him along. “Can you stop acting like a child? You're so stubborn.”

“Why are we going in here? I have a bad feeling about this.” He complained.

“You're supposed to feel like that.” She pushed him through the door and he stumbled inside. Spider webs covered the entire interior of the building. It was dark and gloomy. He almost thought he could hear someone screaming.

“Did you hear that?” He shot up and ran ran after her to stand beside her. “What is it?”

“Have you always asked this many questions? Just be quiet.” She walked up the steps and turned right, following the hall to the elevator at the end. “Don't touch the web, it's like acid.” Oliver got chills and shivered.

“There better not be spiders cause I can't take this.” Of course she didn't reply as they entered the faded gold elevator and Jennifer pressed the top floor. It shuttered to life, causing Oliver to stumble and grab hold of the solid bar. The walls paint was basically melted down and spots in the wall were completely gone. Carcasses were hidden or lying in plane sight on the floor around them. Nests were sat roasting in the corners of the walls and under the stairs.

The past the first and second floor and Oliver was terrified by the scene. Blood covered almost everything. The wooden, white painted doors, were dyed pink by the thick red liquid. Carpets were torn up and he saw a human body. still decomposing, wrapped up in a thick string into a tight burrito. Through the third floor Jennifer reached over quickly and covered his eyes. He jumped from the sudden movement but didn't fight her hands, figuring she did it for an important reason.

She then pulled her hands away and they were on the eighth floor heading into the top floor. It let out a ding as the door creaked open and he followed Jennifer down the hall to the last room. It was already cracked open and they walked to it and pushed it oven more. Immediately a sticky string shot at them, Jennifer was just in time to stick her arm in front of Oliver before it could touch his face. He fell back with a startled scream. Jennifer jerked from the grab of the web. It burned at her arm, but she couldn't feel it besides for a few pinches. It melted through her arm. She grinned, irritated and stomped into the room. “Come here you little-”

“Now now. There's a child nearby, I smell it.” A deep Italian accent boomed through the large room. It looked the same as the rest of the hotel; blood and webs. He moved closer to Jennifer, completely terrified of the amount of webs.

“Is that anyway to treat an old friend?” Jennifer inquired and shook off her arm in annoyance.

“Friend? Friend! You serious?” There was a scoff and Oliver could hear the webs around him ringing from whatever moved on it. The sound of a bunch of tiny legs running along the rope. He shut his eyes tightly and prayed for it not to be a spider. “Oh god what is he doing? You think he'll hear you? Ha!” The sound of the legs movements abruptly stopped. He opened his eyes to see a large spider, the size of his body rolled into a ball. Three different heads were on it's body: a human head that blood dripped from the openings, a frog head was the same, and a cat head.

Oliver’s face was twisted in disgust and terror. He shivered and grabbed Jennifer’s arm, she let him and smirked. “Well we need a favor. Do you know where a portal is? The one that connects to the human world.”

“Don't you think if I had one I'd be using it? And why would I even gratify you to hand it over? You know where the only portal is and I obviously can't just hand it over to you.”

“Well I thought it was destroyed?”

“There's not just one. You think we were that dumb to let some mechanic and his friends enter the laboratory unguarded? Ha! You're mistaken.” It hissed and was sitting on a throne of web.

“Why are you still here if you have one?”

“Because Lucifer is being greedy and is only letting certain things through. Unfortunately we've only tested with non living objects… Why am I telling you this? Go away.”

“I need to get my son home before he gets into any trouble. Please, can you help us get to that portal?”

“I don't know what makes you think I'd help you! After what your husband did? After everything that has happened! Do you even understand how miserable it is in this world? It's absolutely despicable how I live in this damned hotel while Lucifer’s henchmen work in a mansion on the other side of town! Hogging the teleportation device! That greedy bas-”

“Let’s make a deal! Anything you want! As long as I can get my son home safely, you can have whatever you want. We can do you a favor!” Jennifer persisted, squeezing Oliver's arm a little too tight. He winced but didn't move. The spider's legs twitched and on tapped on the floor rhythmically.

“What could you possibly do to benefit me?” He pondered a moment. “Alright a favor then.”

“Anything.”

“Anything? Alright. Destroy all eight of Lucifer’s henchmen. Clear the mansion and leave it to me, after your son uses the portal it'll be mine.”

Jennifer was quiet for a moment and Oliver finally spoke, “Don't do it. Who knows what he'll do with the portal.”

“If I don't make the deal, any other demon would and you won't get home. It's our only chance.” She whispered to him over her shoulder. She then looked back at the spider. “It's a deal.”

“Wonderful! Wait just one moment, I have to get something you'll need.” Oliver watched, goosebumps running up and down his arms, as the spider crawled on its web over their heads down the hall.

“Oh my god that's creepy.” He mumbled to himself. His mother slapped his arm and he gave her that sarcastic look a child gets when they are blamed. A few minutes later it crawled back with a chest dragging behind it. The web that it was connected to snapped in half and sat in front of them.

Jennifer walked over and kneeled in front of it. She tried to pull it open but it was sealed shut. “It won't open?”

“Oh. Yes I should tell you that only human hands can open the box along with use the weapon.” A snicker. Jennifer looked to Oliver who stood and examined the box from a distance. It was covered in webs and he thought  he could see spider legs. Jennifer stood and turned to the spider.

“Weapon? Are we talking about…” Her voice trailed off.

“Yes. The Crucifier.” There was a moment of silence. Oliver walked over to the box and knelt in front of it.

“How is that possible? That sword is just a myth!” Jennifer watched the spider as she exclaimed.

“What is the Crucifier?” He asked as he pushed open the chest slowly. Glancing into the pitch black box. He could feel the carvings under his palms and fingertips.

“It's a sword with black magic almost welded into the metal that could trap demons in it if they come in contact with the blade.” The spider explained and Oliver pushed the box open all the way. A cloud of dust blew out of the box and Oliver coughed while waving it away. His eyes met the sword, it glinted in the dull light.

“I don't even know how to use a sword! How will I use it when I have no idea how to wield it?” Jennifer stared at it in disbelief as Oliver stood.

“How did you come by this?” Jennifer asked. They ignored his question.

“I bought it from that idiot Orobas. I don't know how he came upon it unless he stole it from Lucifer.”

“Who's Orobas?” Oliver asked, irritated.

“Did you not teach him anything Jen? He's the prince of hell and he's a thief. He'll do anything for power and money.”

“Shocker… Now how do I use the sword?” His voice was raised to get their attention.

“It’s a magical sword Oli. It'll give you the knowledge you need to use it. I'll explain more on the way.” Jennifer said and the spider let out a loud roaring laugh.

“I don't think so.” His voice was deep and reassuring.

“What?” She turned to him, her hair starting to whip around.

“You can't just leave with that. I don't know if you'll come back with what I want! You'll be staying and he'll be going.”

“No! He could die out there by himself! I can't just leave him to do it by himself!”

The spider chuckled. “He's a man. He'll figure it out.”

“I'm not letting him go alone.”

Oliver glance between them then at the sword. “I'll go alone.”

Jennifer turned to him. “What?”

“It's fine. I can do it myself. It shouldn't be too hard to stab something.” The spider's laughter sounded again and they both looked to him.

“Easy? Easy! Ha! It's not that easy kid. But I like the confidence, you'll need it.”

Jennifer watched Oliver concerned. She then met Oliver halfway to a hug and they held each other for a long while.

She then whispered against his cheek, “I'm sorry.” Oliver had no reply and just continued to hug her. This may be the last time he sees her if he fails. He breathes in her perfume that always lingered on her, shared her body warmth like she was still alive, the mother’s touch. They pulled away after a while and the spider spoke again.

“Gross… now I’ll transport you there but when you’re done you need to call on me in order to come back.” It crawled over on its eight legs and Oliver had to keep himself from running. The frog’s head twitched and its jaw dropped, a long purple tongue popped out and along with it a medallion. It was the size of his palm and had an upside down star in the middle of a circle. Oliver picked it up and wiped it off on his shirt. “When you’re ready, say my name and hold this medallion in both hands.”

“What is your name…”

The spider was silent for a moment before replying, “Bael.” Jennifer gave him another worried look and then they were gone in a flash. Everything spun around him until he hit the ground and he was on his butt with his eyes rolling.

“Jesus…” He muttered before opening his eyes and looking around him. He was outside of a large mansion in front of a steel barred gate. The gate was rusted and a long chain was wrapped around the two bars in the middle then held shut by a large metal lock. He stood up slowly and looked back at the long winding road that was covered with trees. He turned back to look at the sealed in mansion that was taller than any building he’d ever seen. “Well how am I supposed to get in there?”

Something caught his attention on the ground, the sword. It glimmered in the dull light that the fog barely let through. He took in a deep breath then knelt down next to it. He could see carvings all along the blade and the thickness of the metal. It looked as sharp as a razor, maybe even more. In the middle of the blade, a long, glowing, dark purple line went all the way down to the tip. The handle was covered in a dark blue cloth that looked older than time and markings were  drawn into it. He went to grab it, but paused. What would this do to him? What if it was a trick? Maybe it would trap his soul in that blade…

So many questions. Such little time.

He finally reached for the sword again and grasped the handle. He then lifted hit and almost instantly images began to flash through his head. It wasn’t moves, not power or strength. But images of the beasts that had been slain with the sword. Their pain and the demon’s victims. Everyone's pain was transferring straight to him. He fell to his knees on the gravel and let out a terrible cry of pain. The suffering that those people went through before the sword had saved them. Everything was flashing before his eyes and his body felt like it was being torn apart. Screams of pain escaped his throat and his head felt like it was exploding. The sword was torturing him, he thought he would die there and his bones were breaking.

Oliver ended up passing out from the pain and almost minutes later two beasts came upon him on their daily guarding ground check. The two beasts were of different species. One of them was thin and was taller than 9 feet, it’s hair was long and hung down past it’s chest, it’s mouth was big and had no lips, it’s pupils were white with black irises, it had long black wings, and a crown on it’s head. The other was also as tall but less skinny and more muscle, it had a hatchet by it’s side, it had shorter hair that puffed out around his ears and bald on the top of his head, it’s face resembled a horse's face but wrinkled and more human like, it’s ribs were out of shape, a feather stuck out on each foot that connected to a sandal, and it had a cloth that covered the area between it’s legs.

“Astaroth, who do you think will win tonight?” The one with the clothing asked. It’s voice was deep and scratchy like it had a dry throat.

“Demon Guard.” Astaroth said in a clear but nasally voice.

“Not a chance. It’s going to be Demogorgon.” They slowed to a stop in front of the gate, their eyes peering at the human body sprawled on the ground in front of them; a sword lying next to the human. They looked at each other, a big grin growing on both of their faces as they each snatched up a leg and held it in the air to look at it. “A human. How did it get here?” The clothed one poked at it but it didn’t wake up.

“Who cares! Let’s eat it!” Astaroth said and went to bite it’s head off before the other pulled it from the other’s grasp.“Alostar!”

“You fool! We could get good reward for a present like this to Lilith.” He studied the humans limp body in the air.

“Reward? I don’t care about the reward! I’m hungry.” He tried to grab him from Alostar but he threw up his fist and hit Astaroth straight in the jaw. They both heard a crack and Alostar laughed in victory.

“Next time be a little smarter.” He walked to the fence, removing his key from his pocket and unlocking the gate. The chains and lock fell to the ground and the gate creaked open. Astaroth mumbled to himself angrily and picked up the sword from the ground with ease and followed Alostar to the mansion. Oliver, although asleep, was going through the worst pain he’d ever feel in his human life.

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