I'm being followed. She finds me. Talks to me. Threatens me. She wants me to do something for her. Something big. Something important. Something horribly wrong. She's everywhere - in my dreams, in the streets...she finds me no matter where I go. If I don't do as she says, she will do something bad to me. Very bad. Unimaginable. There's no place safe. Where do I hide? What do I do?


10. Chapter 9

The sky outside the windows was darkening steadily, even though it was only two in the afternoon. There was an odd sort of chill in the air that definitely wasn't supposed to be there, especially in the month of July. As I watched these curious changes from the waiting room in the hospital, fear and inexplicable restlessness gripped my heart. These changes, all of them...they were not right. While other people wondered aloud what was causing them, I was the only one who knew. 

Irastiyoth's demon army had already waged war.

"We are getting very odd reports from all over the country," the nervous-looking news reporter was speaking. "A group of youngsters have bombed many houses at random in Bradford and there have been mass killings in Gloucester as well. Meanwhile, in Manchester, the streets are packed with suicide-bombers and people - from children to adults - carrying rifles and guns..."

She went on and on about the happenings around the country and a clipping of the wreckage in Manchester was being played repeatedly as she spoke. It was happening mainly in the big cities, I noted. Irastiyoth's demons had spread across the country, creating havoc and killing innocent people.

I watched Mum and Dad stare at the television, looking disconcerted. "What is all this? What's happening in this country."

How I wished she could tell them. But no. I couldn't. I would have to keep the truth from them, for their own safety. Irastiyoth's words rang in my ears again - "Nothing will harm your family, girl. They will be safe as long as you agree to do my job."

"But what about Ben?"  I had asked.

"He will be safe, once you finish my job."

"Who..who is it that I have to kill?"


I did not know who this Araible was, or why Irastiyoth wanted so badly to kill him. More than that, I had no idea why she wanted me to do the job. She could have easily ordered any one of her demons to do it and they would have happily done it. Why me? Even with my head heavy with such questions, I knew that I would do whatever it took to keep my family safe. Nothing was worth risking their lives. Even if it meant I would have to become a murderer for it...

The bronze dagger Irastiyoth had given me that day was strapped to my jeans, sheathed and concealed. I stared determinedly out of the window, unable to meet my parents' eyes. What would they say if they found out what I was going to do? No. No, I would never tell them. I would have to kill Araible. Only then would Irastiyoth spare my family...

"How am I to find this Araible?"

"Oh, you won't have to, silly girl. He will come finding you."

And that was all I knew. That was all she had said to me before transporting me back to the hospital with my family. He would come looking for me? Why? Why on earth would he come looking for someone who wants to kill him?


I turned to look at the owner of this unfamiliar voice. At once, the scene changed. The hospital room dissolved in a second and I was standing somewhere else. For a moment, I expected to see Irastiyoth's eerie throne room around me, but instead, I was in a beautiful orchard. Sunlight was pouring in and the air was pleasantly cool. All my worries and troubles vanished and a feeling of hopefulness and warmth spread through my body. 

Standing in front of me, wearing robes of sparkling white, was a tall man - taller than anyone I had ever seen, even taller than Irastiyoth. He had an air of power and authority, but not like Irastiyoth. This man had a friendlier and much kinder face, and he was smiling warmly. It was an aged face, slightly wrinkled, but his sea blue eyes had a twinkle in them and there was a sort of fatherly affection in the way he spoke my name. 

"Hello Ava," he said, and I immediately decided he was nice. There just wasn't a way anyone would not like him. "We have not met, but I presume you have heard of me already. I am Araible, the King of Angels."

Instinctively, my hand tightened around the sheathed dagger on my waistband. My heart thudded wildly. Araible? The man I was supposed to kill was the King of Angels?

He gazed at me almost wistfully, as though he was remembering something particularly sad. He studied my face and then said brightly, "You have my eyes."

Huh? What a stupid thing to say? Coming from the King of Angels, this sounded extremely weird. Yes, I did have the same sea blue eyes like him...a lot of people do...

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