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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30. Chapter 29

Dion
July 20th, 2017
12:28 AM

 


Dion found Apollo winding around the corner. He hung by the dumpster and raced to the door.

“I always find you in the trash. I’m beginning to think you have a fetish for it.” Dion said. Apollo fixed himself and checked his cuffs for blood.

“That’s new.” Dion pointed to the red polka-dot tie Apollo wore. Apollo was grabbing his scalp. When he grew tired of scratching himself, he slapped at Dion's hand. Then the dashboard. It felt like a carnival game and Dion would have laughed if Apollo's face wasn't so terrified. He must have hit it five times and activated the air conditioner three before he calmed down.

“You alright?” Dion asked.

“Just shut up.” Apollo said. He was rubbed his face on his sleeve and dropped the knife hiding under his coat onto the floor. It slid and stabbed through the carpet rug, it sounded like the tearing of a leaf or flower pedal. 

“What’s that?” Dion started the car, he was growing antsier and shook his head across the window to search for the police he expected to be close by.

“Two men killed themselves.” Apollo said. “Worshipers, they made it clear.”

“The cultists?”

“Yeah, something like that. They mentioned someone, Astyanax or some shit.”

“What does that mean? I thought they’d be you know, Satanists or something.” 

“Me too. I guess they have someone else in particular that they’ve staked their desires on. They seem pretty convinced of him too.” Apollo said.

“I’d think so, they killed themselves, right?” Dion rolled to a corner of the street and began to push the tires into stress. The floor cried out with each sharp turn.

“Where do we go? What do we do?” Dion asked. He was driving into a frenzy. “We should get fingerprints right? Or something, blood samples?”

“Does it look like I have a  forensic lab in my back pocket.” Dion said. “Slow down before you add two more to the body count.” 

Dion stopped. There was a red above him, he felt his neck shake forward and hit the wheel. Drivers around them were sticking their middle fingers at them.

“You act too irrationally, just relax. We won't be catching them until they’re ready to be caught.” Apollo said.

“What does that mean, you’re talking like a damn monk. Just say it straight.” Dion said. He honked the horn at an old woman in front of him who was lazily taking a left. 

“I mean to say. There’s nothing we can do to find them, so we have to wait. And I don’t think we’ll be waiting long.” Apollo said.

“That means we’re giving them a chance to hurt someone. Or worse.” Dion bit his lip.

“Yeah. And that’s all we can do.” Apollo let his shoulder fall and nestled his hands to the side of the seat. He sunk inside, his body looked like black ooze dripping to the floor. 

“We can’t just wait.”

“Well, I am. I need to look up this Astyanax guy, I need to redraw some maps. Re-evaluate some sources.” Apollo let his head tilt.

“Well, I’m not. I’ll go out, I’ll investigate.” Dion pulled over. Apollo stepped out onto the noiseless street, a trail of smoke was warping the air and filling his lungs with the taste of tire. 

“If you find something, I know I can’t trust you to not rush in,” Apollo said. “But can you at least give me a call before you do. Can you do that?”

“Alright,” Dion said. “Are you sure you don’t know anywhere they could be?”

“Somewhere with as few people as possible. Abandoned places. Which considering the state of this ghost town, might be very hard to miss.” Apollo said. “I don’t expect much from you, but be careful.”

“You’re not very optimistic,” Dion said. “Have a little faith, wouldn’t you?” 

 


He went off. They shared the brief moment of a hand wave, the cut carpet floundered on the floor and reminded Dion every few minutes of a certain dread. The day kept growing worse. And nightfall came, and he was empty and he bit his nails and shed off the fear from his quivering hands. It was like that for a while in the silence of his car. Until he felt the feeling on his arm. Something brief, a flicker of heat like a lighter gently fanned across his fore arm. He shifted to gear and dodged three red lights. His arm felt boiling, his face grew worse and when he felt the most unbearable pain he knew he had made it.  

It wasn’t a factory, it wasn’t an apartment complex. It had the rotten words of wood at the front of the two halved door, Cosmic Sun News. He looked inside and broke into a stressed stance. A pipe fell ill with patina. The rusted color leeched into the water and the cats that hung around stared high-shouldered to the Vicar coming in. Dion was holding his arm that could barely make it to his pocket. The pipe was still rolling, still spreading until it died in the murmur of its echo. 

The shadow of moonlight cast out on the front desk. There was an old printing press, for show, adjacent to the empty secretaries desk. The knocked over typed writers looked small next to the giant machinery and its elongated metal hands, like puppeteer hands and string. He looked down to the shadow cast, to the long stretched lines like harp strings, they played to the orchestra of this sad song. 

The cats hissed. They ran.

“Angel of God, my guardian dear.” Dion stepped over glass. It cracked like a pained chuckle. “To whom God’s love commits me here.” 

He took out his phone and typed out the number. 

“ever this day be at my side to light and guard.” The phone rung. “To rule and guide.”

A rat walked under his feet, pale and dull. It looked up with a squeak and shook its nose to Dion. It watched him, stared and did not change its intense gaze. 

“Amen.” Dion said. He felt his hips and felt his guns for this lonely home felt of burial grounds, and smelled of death.

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