Heathens

Apollo and Dion, a dysfunctional rag-tag pair of demon hunters have been sent to investigate the city of Havenbrook and its inhabitants.

The mission is simple: to find the cultists responsible for a recent string of murders and to bring them to justice. Even if it takes killing dozens of demons on the way there.

But things are never that simple when you deal with the dark arts. Cultists, demon pacts, sacrificial murders all stand in the demon hunters' way as they search for the truth. A truth that will force them to question their own identities, a truth about the absolute evil lurking beyond heaven and earth. The question is, if they find the truth, will they be strong enough to handle it?

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32. Chapter 31

Apollo
July 20th, 2017
12:56 AM

It was the good, old call of the fight. He found it rumbling in his pants, the bold letters that read ‘Last Call: Dion, 12:45 AM’. He never picked it up, though he knew what it meant and looking at his desk he knew it would happen again, tonight. Another sacrifice perhaps, someone's death though he did not know whose. His mask was already laid out before him, his notes had been put to the side, the ceremonial dagger laid on the kitchen counter, sneering at him. His own sword, massive as it was, spilled quietly, chipped pieces of steel. He did not know how to fix it, the edge looked like an uneven set of toddler's teeth. Apollo nodded, it would do. He hid it in his coat, like a rabbit in the hat and strapped the mask to his face. 

Hopefully, we’ll catch him today. 

He thought. His mouth salivated, his heartbeat. He tried swallowing his spit but he felt his throat stop like he had been punched in the neck. 

I don’t think we will, though.

He galloped along the buildings, his neck was bent over to the bottom as he looked at the street signs that read the small street. When he stopped reading signs, when the streetlights no longer existed and the road seemed like some shambled thing, he realized he was not safe. They were all empty, the homes and the apartment and the warehouses with their giant pipes that rotted and collapsed onto themselves. He could hear the rats scurry inside the small holes. He dropped down the side of the building and ripped through fence link before he was at the spot. The sprawling, worn News Paper press. 

“Where are you?” He was talking to his phone. 

“I’m almost onto the third floor.” Dion said.

“Wait there,” Apollo said.

He went through the building and went over the small things laying about. The plastic pots of died trees laid on their side, the dirt was blended so well with the floor it was hard to see where it had spilled. But the flowers were there, their heads low and limp. Apollo stepped to the overgrown stairs laying on one side. There was cement collapsed into it, the stairs were blocked. He went the opposite end, looked at the machinery and was almost tempted to stick his hand and fiddle with it out of a curiosity. But there were worse things about, he went up a floor and met Dion half way who was running back, his guns drawn. 

“What have you found?” Apollo said.

“Shh.” Dion had his finger to his lips and pressed down on Apollo’s shoulders. They looked around. There was nothing but wind and the sound of rusted doors creasing and shutting. It was a high pitched sound. Apollo went forward, he looked around to the corner, nothing. There was raunchy graffiti, beer cans, and bottles. There was a condom lying in a pool of a mysterious liquid. It looked like a tapeworm growing out of the floor. A bottle dropped. 

Dion put his guns forward. 

“Fuck.” Apollo said. He knocked the bottle away. It went out the window and collapsed onto the floor.

They heard it then. The loud voice out of speaker phones they thought didn’t work. It was a threat, it was a warning. 

“The hunters are here.” It said. Their eyes illuminated red. 

“Should we call the cops?” Dion asked.

“Why? So they can cover this all up.” Apollo said.

“Citizens arrest it is.” Dion put his back against the wall.

“I don’t think either of us is capable of that. We’ll just beat the shit out of them, that’s good enough.” Apollo looked at the foggy windows and put his ear to the wall, he was looking for sounds. 

“Should we split up? I can climb the side of the wall. I figure there are six floors, I can come from the top and rout them down to you.” Dion said.

“No. They know we’re here and they don’t sound scared, that means they have an idea of something to kill us with.” Apollo started walking to the stairs. “Stick close and we won’t die.” 

Dion followed him up. Covered the flank which they exposed themselves to many a times. They were on the third floor now and they were just coming to realize how thin and small everything really was. There were small cubicles with their plastic and wooden walls all around them, they were high and blocked the view. Apollo could see the tops of small hooded heads on the other end and saw them disappear into the maze-like alleys. Dion ran. Apollo grabbed his shoulder.

“Together.” Apollo said. They walked carefully through the cubicles. Apollo stopped. His foot stepped over something. It was a plastic bag, white and it seemed to bulge out, underneath a desk. He could tell what it was by the smell and his mouth dried up. The blood was dried and it stained the bag, the corpse seemed light. It was a bony hand he had stepped over. 

“Don’t fuck around, Dion.” He dragged his hand past the body. Dion got a good glimpse of it and narrowed his eyes. “We’ll deal with it later. They come first.” 

They had made it to the other end of the room and where the walls closed in on themselves.

“The Mad Hatter must have designed this shit hole.” Apollo said. They had their backs to each other and were especially careful at turning each corner. The ceiling was falling, the floor sank and bulged at their light footsteps. They went past a few doors and swore they closed in. They went into an intersection and spun around like a dancing couple, the doors were closing all around them. Those anonymous rooms that held anonymous laughter. It sickened Apollo. He put his foot underneath a doorknob and pushed in. He looked inside and caught glimpse of a black hood and dress, the ends of it as it left and jumped away. Tiny dancers in the night. 

He didn’t even bother running after the image.

“They’re fucking with us.” Apollo said. 

“They’re just people, who cares.” Dion grunted. His fingers were undisciplined, hard on the trigger and ready to fire. 

The noises were coming stronger, the doors were shutting and closing all around them like an evil drum line. It sounded like heavy rain, it crashed like thunder. They retreated back to the intersection. Their eyes looked down four different halls and their faces turned to try and keep up with their racing heads. Something was drawing closer, it was a sound that was like bass at first, like a heavy chord against the clatter of the opening and closing doors. It droned though, a growl. It was a mad dog’s growl, drooling, sniffing into the cold air. 

“Dogs?” Dion asked. Apollo couldn’t answer. He took out his blade, it was too large to manage in the closed space but he thrust out anyways. He swung it, Dion ducked at the coming arc. It collapsed against a wall and broke the door and the brick in half, a small demolisher. The schizophrenic doors finally stopped. The light footsteps of people faded out, then came back above them, from the fourth floor.

All that remained was the growl and the hot jaws of death that Apollo could feel making its way around the corner. 

It smelled like shit, it felt like steam around his neck. A noose.

“Get ready to shoot.” Apollo said. 

 

Author's Note: Almost 3000 views, thanks! I'll also be releasing a collection of short stories regarding this book's world. That's how Tolkien and Martin started their worlds, I figure it'd be a great way to build the lore of the franchise. Now if only I knew where to start...

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