The Purple Daisy

*First short story I've written in a while so bare with me! It's a rather dark topic so if anyone thinks I've done the rating wrong please say!*
For the Reincarnation competition. Occasional strong language.
Demons are parasites, latching onto souls throughout the centuries. Angels are here to rid the world of these demons, but at a price for humanity.

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1. Chapter 1

 

“Who are you?”

Anyone would think I’m mad to be running along the cold streets in my night clothes with a man I’ve never met in the four a.m. moonlight.

I think I’m mad to be running along the cold streets in my night clothes with a man I’ve never met in the four a.m. moonlight.

But madder things have happened recently.

“I told you… there’s… no time…” He spits out through his panting.

I am mad.

But jumping out the window with a man outstretching his hand to me sounded like a better option than meeting whatever bashed my door down just before. At least the stranger at the window asked permission to take me. I doubt the stomps downstairs would’ve.

Mad.

I hadn’t left the house in days. Ashamed to say it’d been a while since I showered too, or even left my bed, but I wasn’t expecting any more visitors. The funeral had been and gone earlier in the week and everyone had forgotten their need to be concerned for me and became wrapped up in their own lives again. I’m eighteen. I can look after myself.

I catch my foot on a rock and curse far too loudly for someone on the run from . Slippers really weren’t made for running.

The street lamps are set further and further apart and I almost lose sight of my leader in between the spotlights. We take a sharp right off of the road and a forest envelops us. Even with my glasses on, I can barely see in front of me.

Clumsily, the hand I had taken through the window grabs mine again. The grasp is a bit sweatier this time.

We keep running until I can't hear any cars from the road. I can't see any light from the street lamps.

All of a sudden, the hand lets go of mine. We stop in a small clearing, big enough for one group of picnickers. I’d been in these woods so many times, but I’d only stick to the paths.

The trees' branches are so thick up above us that they block out the stars. Few dying blades of grass push themselves up between the dry dirt at my feet, but some deep purple daisies are sprouted in a circle around the edge of the space.

I don’t know how far we’ve come. I don't know if we’ve come far enough.

He’s bent over, hands on his knees, gulping down breath like someone just yelled that the taxi was here at pres and you didn’t want to waste your drink.

Oh, it was Katy’s birthday party tonight. They’d probably still be out now. Maybe I should've gone to avoid all this. They wouldn't have wanted me there anyway since they understood almost too well why I didn’t fancy being all “peoplely” at the moment.  

“Did he give you... insane endurance?” His voice brings my mind back from wandering. My thoughts did that a lot recently, especially in situations when they shouldn’t.

I raise an eyebrow at the man. “My parents were athletically-inclined as they described it, if that’s what you mean. But I run a lot anyway. Clears my head.”

I steal a glance over my shoulder. Silence, except for the rustling leaves in the wind. The cold whips up my dressing gown sleeves.

Something small rushes past my feet. I try to hide my jumping, biting my teeth shut to make sure I don’t squeal.

Just a mouse or rat or something. You’re in a wood for Goodness sake.

I shiver.

“Are we even far enough away from whatever broke into my house? Why did people break into my house? And why didn't we just call the police instead of running?”

The man shakes his head. His wheezing is slowing, but not soon enough.

I cross my arms,. “You’ve just pulled me out of my house in the middle of the night. I had the choice between you or whoever broke down my door, so why should I have chosen you? My life’s pretty messed up at the moment so most people talk things through slowly to me like I'm a child, and it would be nice if you could too.”

He raises his index finger at me.

I spit out a frustrated sigh. I didn’t have time to give him a moment.

“Just tell me who the fuck you are or I’ll…”

I went to say call the police, but as I fumble around in my pockets I realise my phone isn’t there, but lying on my bedside table back home.

“We have to wait five minutes before they let us in... I can’t go to my boss in this state.”

“Are you going to tell me about your boss before I meet them or what?”

“It’ll be the “or what” I’m afraid Alyssa.”

I swerve round to face the deep voice coming from behind me.

A tall man, decked in medieval ruby robes, steps out from the shadows. He's followed by three more long, thin figures. His skin is dark. His eyes are so black you can’t make out the pupil. His nails are long like claws. A gold chain of interlocking loops dangles down his front, a small cross pendant at the end.

“What the…” My words disappear before they can even leave my mouth.

“We are your saviour. We are here to protect you from the angels.”

 

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