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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35. Chapter 34

Dion
July 20th, 2017
1:16 AM

Dion heard his gun drop before he felt the bite on his shoulder like a bear trap had been clapped on the bone hinges of his arms and left there, to bleed him and to drain him and to leave him weak on one side. A bullet shot off as the gun landed on the floor. It made a hole through three walls, through pipe and concrete that spilled dirty water all over the floor. Dion pointed his other gun towards himself. He screamed, he aimed it at his shoulder and felt the beast fly off. Chunks of his body went with it. It did not die. It shook its wide, misshapen head, like a giant fan those Egyptian kings and queens used to satisfy themselves in heat. 

Dion could feel the air it blew, the smell of its rotten skin and then heard it growl. His arm was teetering. He could not move it. 

He shot at air, the smoke and the sound filled his ears with buzzing and made his nose stuffy. He turned his head to see where the creature ran as it dodged. It bounced around, it blended in with the darkness of the room and when he finally got a sight. He pulled. Click. Nothing, his gun was empty. From a distance, he could see the creature growling, four yellow eyes facing back. It looked like a piece of the darkness, a cancer that grew out from the corner of the room it hid in. It was facing him, he could see it and the intense expression on its face like Lucifer’s wrath. 

It did not let go of its gaze. It kept its lock on him. Dion looked down, he searched for the other gun that had slid away a while back and now he was searching the floor for nothing. A piece of wood. Dion’s face tightened. His legs locked, his knees were bent. He could feel cold from his legs to his thighs as if he had been submerged in the ice-topped waters of the arctics. And the mass had broken. He was sinking. His body felt colder. 

The dog lunged. The air whistled as its sharp face headed towards Dion. A torpedo, a giant nuclear warhead dedicated to Dion’s complete annihilation. Slobber, hunger all over the dusty air. Dust shot out, it painted the windows brown. 

“Ass. Down.” Apollo shouted.

Dion ducked. It was easy, his broken shoulder was already weighing him down. His whole body fell ragdoll like a puppet cut from its strings, he just laid there. He saw the giant sword in the air, spinning, like helicopter blades. He saw it hit the dog and go further out. Go through one wall, two, before landing in a hall, have submerged into the asbestos and the cheap wood. It exploded. A torrent of fire ran out. 

Dion could see it, go through the ceiling and the pipes. It looked like an engine exhaust, the way the flames flew out from the holes like clarinets filled with glycerin and brimstone. They made no beautiful music though, Dion covered his ears. It was nothing but crashing and violence and the explosion of metal and the ricochet of that metal. The shock wave made him deaf. 

When his eyes woke up he looked to where the blade had been shot. Apollo was coming up. Both his arms were in rags, of skin and of suit. He was going through the holes and now shot out smoke. He disappeared in that darkness, his outline becoming a deeper shadow in the pillars of smog. The fires were just beginning to grow. And from one of the mighty torrents, from one of the waves and licks of the fire wisps, Dion saw a philosophers stone thrown out. It broke off and Dion eyed it. He ate and when all limps and weapons were accounted for, he ran through the fire. It felt like a carnival game, the burning ring. He wished it was just a ring. But every inch of the second floor seemed about to be swallowed. Glass broke from a distance, the floor was holed up and he walked on thin planks. It felt like an ocean vessel, tipping and cradling a wound that had destined it to sink. 

"Where's the other dog?" Dion's eyes skidded. His posture became low, again.

"Who knows. We really can't go back now" Apollo said. "This place is going to collapse."

“Then let it, we're demon hunters, not construction workers. Let's go hunt.” Dion said. He ran to the stairs where the fire had not reached.

"Take it easy. I'm sure he'll be up there, with his master. They'll all get theirs. Trust me." Apollo said. Dion eased. He coughed a bit.

"The Priest won't like any of this." He said.

“Fuck the Priest. We’re not here for him.” Apollo said.

“You’re right. You're right...” Dion's eyes came up to the third floor, small clouds of black smoke were finding their way through the broken windows of this particular floor.

“I want them, to let the people sleep easy for one night. If I can at least do that, everything would be worth it.” Dion said.

“I just want to get the fuck out of here already. The sooner the better.” Apollo said. 

They surveyed the land. They pressed their ears against the walls, they could hear the fire eating away at everything. But Dion heard something else. Coughs, choking. And he smiled.

“They’re like bees.” Dion said. “A whole lot of fuss until you smoke them out.”

Apollo scoffed. They put their wrists to their mouths and walked. 

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