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?


48. Chapter 47


August 5th, 2017

6:58 PM


“How long have you been up here, Batman?” Dion asked. He looked down to the streets where the crooked lampposts flickered into seizures of yellow lights. It was not dark out, only just beginning.

“It’s the best place to get a view.” Apollo held a pair of binoculars to his eyes, he was sitting on his hams and to the side of his boot lay a book, ‘The Corrux: The Fools Guide to Demonology and Vicar Culture First Edition, Vol. 1’, half opened and bent on its spine. His eyes were set like a sentry, hovering across the horizon and scanning with those cold red eyes. 

“Have you found anything?” Dion walked up. He used his hand to slant against a giant poster board where a car insurance firm had been painted over with penises and breasts, by children, both of them presumed. 

“Or are you just spying on people?” Dion’s voice was muffled and distorted behind the mask.

“No, I stopped doing that when you finally broke up with that girl. Ophelia, was it?” Apollo looked down.

Dion’s mouth was open but could not say anything. He coughed and choked on words, anger and shame and surprise.

“It’s not right to spy on people, you’re breaching our trust.”

“I don’t trust anyone.” Apollo said apathetically. His neck was outstretched as he checked the corners and the small alleys. 

“A woman had her purse stolen, there” He pointed to what looked like a small crack in the map of the city, there was a trash on the very entrance of the alley, it was pushed over and spilling into the gutter. “Another man was mugged some miles off, right in front of his job as he was about to get into his car. There was also a fight in front of the police office up in Central Street. One of them cheated on the other's girlfriend, some such other. Both of them lost when the tasers flew.” 

“And you didn’t help, I’m guessing?”

“No one died. Nothing of value was really lost. You have to treat the streets like the Amazon, with abject curiosity. Don’t touch anything and let nature take its course. They weren’t our targets after all. They’re not the pathogen, the disease we’re chasing after.”

“I think you should have been hugged more when you were a child. Want one, buddy?”

“No, you’re too loose with love. A bit of a manwhore, if you ask me.”

Dion exhaled in quit intervals and stood upright.

“Whatever, jerk. What about the cultists?”

The sky was setting maroon across the rows of clouds. The sun bled out and washed over them like the cut veins of a wrist. The light drizzled down, warm red. But it was not hot, not to the touch, at least. Dion pulled up his suit close to his neck. 

“I haven’t spotted anything. They’ve been quiet.” Apollo said. He turned his gaze to Dion and put down the binoculars. “But they’re still here. I can taste the iron in the air. It’s like my mouth is rusting over.”

“I know what you mean, I can feel it too.” Dion said. Apollo looked at his partners mask and how he could not keep that straight gaze, how Dion turned and looked around and fidgeted with his hair. How his arm twitched, how he flicked his ears and scratched himself red on his crocodile-skin elbows.

“Have you considered what I said? About letting them live?” Apollo stood, he could feel the trapped air in between his knees pop. He picked up his book and set it behind his belt. “I can pull some strings with the Vatican. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to send more capable people to arrest these disease people. FBI, probably. More capable people, at least.”

“Do you think a fifty by fifty concrete jail cell could hold any of these guys? Arcana, demonic possession. We don’t know what we’re dealing with.” Dion said.

“It could hold most of them. Alestor, we’ll put him in a strapping chair. Maybe cut off his fingers, dress him in holy charms. Douse with so much holy water he’d wish he was in Guantanamo bay.”

“Good. Serves him right. No one should enjoy the pleasures of life, he who acts in selfish desire and ruthless ambition.” Dion crossed his arms and laid back on an exhaustion pipe. Steam was coming out, they could smell Dim Sum and Chinese five spice. But they couldn’t hear guests, or any noise from the streets. Only a mild rustle.

“All desire is selfish, Dion.” Apollo rubbed his chin. “Don’t be so vengeful. It’s easy to throw the stone, it’s much harder to imagine yourself as the man being thrown at.” 

“Some people don’t deserve empathy.” 

The red circles of Apollo’s eyes narrowed as if laser scanners, going up and down and searching for Dion. Apollo closed them at last, seemingly having found an answer or evidence that he’d never have an answer to Dion’s aggression. He stretched his neck and could feel more pressure points pop and crack across his body. Four hours had done this to him, had cemented his joints and left him still and aching. He was only just beginning to feel the blood through his limbs and it felt like sand coming down his legs and to his toes and filling him, a giant hourglass of a person waiting and sitting for danger that never came but felt like it was always here. 

Apollo faced down, by the edge, where the threads of white mist were beginning to fret and leave, a giant drainage that went eastward. He did not know what it meant, but would.

“You know, the offer is still on the table, you’re free to leave if — ”

They both felt it on their wrists, they moved their sleeves and felt with their fingers the constant shuffling of their threads. The burning glow of yellow, the way the string tugged and suffocated their left arms. It was reacting to something, something in the air and in the direction where the mist had funneled towards, out in the forest and the lake that he could barely see and only knew because of the flicker and glimmer of blood red light. It was coming, something. 

“Let’s go.” Apollo said. They both got ready, put their feet on the building cornices, felt the concrete crack behind the power of their kick. And suddenly, they stopped.

“What the hell.” Dion looked out. 

“What are you waiting for?” Apollo asked. And for a while he did not get an answer, no, he had to look to where Dion looked. Eastward. There was a fire, a pillar of smoke that wrapped up and contaminated the air like an inverse whirlpool, spitting out darkness, death, and anarchy. It was an explosion in the direction of the police office. And the paramedics? The firefighters? Who ought have been racing across the lanes? Gone or confused. Scared, maybe, as they scattered. There was more fire. More smog. It was ten miles off but they could hear the chaos, it finally crashed on their ears. A loud bang like an invisible hard barrier had been working itself towards them and upon hitting them, had ran off, bearing the message to all willing to hear; death has come. 

It was the sound of screams. Of glass and of concrete blown and destroyed, a demolition. Soon it smelled of it too, gunpowder, gasoline.

“What do we do?” Dion asked. Apollo gulped and look at both ways, he looked at Dion’s quivering hands and how they shook and unconsciously moved to his waist and his coat. The cowboy, reading up. And he thought, immediately, which terror would design more violence. The lake house from where the thread of life quaked and quivered or the burning bodies, the scared townspeople evacuating from the fire-licked streets, where he could hear the civilians, the police, and the help all screaming in a union; spare us. Spare us, please.

“Go to the fire. I’ll handle myself.” Apollo said.

“Are you sure? I can fight.” 

“You can also help.” Apollo jumped to the second rooftop, granite flew. “Helping isn’t my nature, anyway. Go on, Superman. Do your job.” 

Dion nodded and left opposite. Both unaware, ignorant, that in their adrenaline, in the reckless planning, they had never predicted the third attack. 

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