What happens if -not good enough for heaven,but not bad enough for hell? The Repented.
"Hey Williams." The captain called out from his corner office. "I have a job that's right up your alley."
Nathan could hear a few snickers coming from the men around the squad room.
"Seen any good ghosts lately?' Piped up from somewhere along the back wall, which caused a fit of laughter.
He really didn't mind them laughing. If he did his job right, they'll never have to experience the horrors that he has seen. He closed the door to the office and sat down in the one chair that wasn't overflowing with criminology books.
"As you know Williams, I don't hold no stock in this paranormal crap, but the Mayor and the Commissioner does. So, the Mayor handed me this folder this morning over coffee and tells me to pass it on to you, that you would know what to do, so I'm passing it on."
The captain handed Nathan the manila folder. "It was a bloody mess and absolutely no clues, hints, fingerprints - no evidence what so ever. Just like the rest of them. I don't want to know what you do. I don't want to know how you do it. Just…, go do it."
Nathan walked out of the office and sat down at his desk. Taking a sip of coffee, he began reading. 30 minutes later, he flipped over the last grisly photo and closed the folder. He leaned back in his chair and pinched the bridge of his nose. Another one. That made it 9 groups now, of kids killed this year while dappling in black arts. The daughter of the Mayor and the Son of the Commissioner were in group number one. Yeah, the rest of the cops in the room could snicker all they wanted, but he would like to see the reaction of just one of them, coming face to face with one of these unnatural forces. He picked up the phone and called his partner. "Ash, we have another one."
"Mommy, Mommy! Come see!" Little Jake came running inside with a balloon on a string tailing behind him.
"Betty, I tell ya. It just ain't right. She has no business doing…"
"Mommy?" Jake pulled on the hem of his mother's shirt to get her attention.
"Hang on Betty." Sue brought the phone down to her shoulder and looked down at her son. "What is it honey?"
"John, Tommy, and Suzy are outside with a clown. Can I play with the clown too?"
"Sure Honey. Just make sure they bring you back home." Sue brought the phone back up to her ear. "Yeah Betty, my son's little friends brought a clown down the street. So where was I…?"
"Do you think it'll work?"
"Then why are we doing this?"
Nathan put down the sawed off shotgun and picked up the 38. "Because we have no choice." He continued checking the rounds.
"So what do we have to do to kill a myth?"
"I don't know."
"I'm packing it - just in case."
Nathan raised his eyebrows in question.
"If anything, it'll bless us before we die." Ash tucked the bottle into his jacket pocket.
Nathan let out a sigh and rolled his eyes. "Did you refill the consecrated salt containers?"
"Yeah. Got it right after we got back from the last one."
"Good." Nathan tossed the shotgun to his partner and reached in the weapons case and pulled out another sawed off for himself.
"Do you think we'll ever be able to stop?"
"I hope so, someday." Nathan slammed the case shut.
"Do you think it's still here?" They walked into the abandoned house.
Nathan looked around him. There were crudely drawn pentagrams on the walls and floor. There were words written in Theban - witches alphabet. "It never hurts to be prepared."
"Look here." Ash pointed to a group of symbols and began reading. "As we summon thee," He continued, "And you cometh." He walked over to another wall, "So it shall be." He released a breath. "Poor kids probably didn't even know what hit 'em."
Nathan pointed out the dark stains. They were smeared and splattered everywhere. "Looks like they were thrown around like rag dolls.
"Paper stated that it was a bloody masquerade and the only survivor was placed in a mental ward. She's in a catatonic state.
"This isn't a ghostly type presence Ash."
"God, I hate demons."
"Ring around the rosy…" a group of young voices sang out.
Nathan looked at Ash. "Did you hear that?"
"Yeah." Both men took off towards the back of the house.
"Pocket full of posies…"
"It's coming from the backyard area." Both men skidded to a halt at the back door. There in the yard was a ghostly clown and a group of very real children. The ghost looked up at the two men and shook his finger…
"Ollie, ollie, in-free, you can’t see me!" and with a pop, all of them were gone.
And little Jake giggled.
Kara checked her sword's edge. It was a find blade. One of the best that Heaven could come up with. She whipped the blade around in an arc, listening to the whistle of the wind as it sliced through the air. She sighed. How long has she been at it now? Way, way too long. She sheathed the sword and strapped it to her back.
There were two demons in the area. One, Philatanus, she knew about. The other one, Rizo, one of the Repented, told her about; Belial, Phil’s butt-buddy. One in the area was bad enough: but these two could bring a neighborhood to its knees with what they could and would do to any children they could get their hands on. Divide and concur. She prayed she didn't meet up with both at the same time. That would be a handful. She picked up her pump action-sawed off shotgun and jacked her arm, loading the chamber.
She looked back at the car she had parked behind and hoped she wasn’t walking into a bloody mess. She knew all too well what that could lead to. Dang mortals should leave it to the professionals. She remembered the kids from a week ago. She got there too late to save them, except one. Heaven should have a special place for that one, even though they were messing around with something they had no business messing around with. She had to get back to the girl to take her out of the trance, but she wanted to be sure these two were dead first.
Kara could hear voices coming from the rear of the house, but that wasn’t what drew her attention. The guy in the three-piece, custom-made suit standing at the back of the room did. “Phil, you always did like them fancy suits.”
Nathan put his finger up to his lips, signaling Ash to be quiet. He pointed to the front of the house, hearing voices coming from there.
Ash nodded his head in understanding, and both men crept forward.
In the living room were a man and woman. Demons or people? The man was impeccably dressed. The woman in blue jeans and toting a mean looking sawed off. Neither of them saw him and Ash.
“Ah Kara, we meet again.” The well dressed man cooed.
“Cut the crap. What are you doing back? I thought I sent you back for good.”
“Someone opened a gate, my love, and here I am. You know you can’t keep a good man down.”
Nathan watch the woman swing the gun in front of her.
“Not this time Karael.”
Ash gasped. “Karael?”
The demon took advantage of the interruption of the meddling humans and threw a mental punch at Kara.
Kara flew backwards in one direction and her gun flew in another.
Nathan had his answer, a myth and a demon. He swung his gun on the man and fired.
The demon screeched and fragmented into a million pieces.
Ash walked over to the woman and offered her a hand up.
Kara grasped the hand and stood up, brushing dust and dirt from her backside. "Meddling mortals." Her eyes flashed from one man to the other. "You have no idea what you just did."
"I just saved your life, lady." Nathan picked up her gun and handed it to her.
"For one, I don't have a life to save. For two, Philatanus is, as we speak, taking the skin of yet another helpless human. At least before, I know what he looked like and where he was. For three, don't you have some missing children you're looking for? Well, what you just did may have signed their death sentence. His little demon partner is not going to be pleased you blew away his master."
Nathan couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You mean there's two of them?"
"How long have you been doing this Nathan Williams?"
"You know me?"
"You'd be surprised at what I know, and you should know better. Philatanus always brings one of his lesser demons with him. This time it's Belial. Belial is the one collecting and torturing the children.
The three of them walked back to their vehicles.
"So there's no hope for the kids?" He didn't stop to think things through. All he saw was a beautiful woman in trouble.
Kara turned to Nathan, as if she read his mind and smiled sadly, "There's always hope Nathan."
"So now what do we do?"
"We, don't do anything. You go back to your nice little office and handle beings within your scope of your abilities."
Nathan watched her put away her weapons, his blood pressure raising by the minute. "The...scope..of my abilities! Woman, I'll have you know I've taken down higher demons than him." He watched her walk to her car door and open it.
"Opps, did I say that out loud. Sorry." She smirked, got in her car and drove off.
"The scope of my abilities! Unbelievable." Nathan threw his gun in the trunk and slammed it shut.
Ash opened the passenger door and leaned against it, "Punched your buttons, did she?"
Nathan opened the driver's side door and looked over the hood of the car, "Oh, shut up."
Kara rolled her shoulders and stretched to her left, then her right. She reached down with her left hand, straightened up and repeated the exercise using her right hand. She may be part immortal, but she was also part mortal, and that part protested at the end of a long day fighting the bad guys. She took care of her body like she took care of her weapons. Her very existence relied on both.
She checked with her network. Phil resurfaced. Evidently, the human prey here was more enticing than dealing with her. It never ceased to amaze her how incredibly stupid some of these demons could be. She restocked her weapons box. Different end of town, same story; more disappearances. So far, only two of the children have turned up dead. She didn't know if this was a good thing or not. She hated to think what the other children may be going through.
She packed up her Avalanche and headed out for the other side of town.
"Williams, Templeton! Get in here."
Now what? They lost two little girls yesterday. He had no illusions about it. He knew that this was the demon's payback. Nathan sighed as he waited for Ash to walk in and closed the Captain's door.
"We got three more missing over in Elderberry Estates. Please, catch this son-of-a-bitch." The Captain handed over a small stack of papers. "This is all the info that Uniforms were able to get. Please end this. Take Sanchez and Rogers with you."
Those two were regular detectives. They didn't know what was going on. Hell, they didn't believe what was going on. "But...,"
The captain held up his hand to stop whatever Nathan was going to say. "Fill 'em in on what they need to know on the way."
Nathan took the papers from the captain and nodded to Ash. Both men rose and quietly left the office. Sanchez and Rogers looked at each other and casted a quick glance around the squad room. Everyone was pretending to be doing paperwork.
"Well, come on you two." Nathan motioned to the two other detectives to join them. He waited for it. Someone had to snicker something and he wasn't disappointed. Someone piped up from the back of the room as the four men were leaving, "Two more lost to the ghost busting squad."
"And don't forget your spectral handcuffs." Someone else added.
"Oh God." Sanchez muttered.
"Don't worry, by the time we're done, you'll have a whole new definition for "oh God".
“So do you guys actually believe in all this demon crap? Fallen Angels and centuries old people that are half immortal, repenting for sins they committed while being human and alive?”
Nathan handed Ash his hotdog and napkin from the vendor and a napkin to the other two detectives. “What’s there not to believe?” He and Ash exchanged a look.
Ash shook his head. His partner liked to rag the guys back, when he could. Only this was no game, all too real and very deathly.
Part 2- continued
Kara bent over and picked up the child’s clothing. She didn’t need psychic ability to know this child was dead. It was now, just a matter of finding the body. A rustle in the bushes stopped her search and she withdrew into the shadows of the surrounding wooded area.
“I’m telling you Williams, there’s nothing here. You’re wasting our time.”
Ash brought up the rear. He came to accept his partner’s eerie ability to track unnatural things and over the past year, he’s learned a thing or two, himself: like they weren’t alone. He clicked to get Nathan’s attention and used sign language to alert his partner.
“Howdy boys.” Phil popped up in front of Rogers and slammed his hand deep inside Rogers’ chest.
“What the hell?” Sanchez swung around to help his partner.
Phil flicked his other hand, Sanchez flew across the clearing.
Kara appeared behind the demon. Dagger raised, she invoked:
“Ego iacio thee tonus, unde thee insum. Nunquan ut reverto.” And she drove the blade deep into the demon’s back. In a blinding flash, Phil was gone.
Now released, Rogers clawed at his chest as he collapsed to his knees.
“Just great! Just frigging great!” Nathan turned on Kara, “Now what are we suppose to do to find those kids.”
Sanchez ran over to his partner. “Will someone please tell me what happen here? And call the EMT’s.”
Ash released the breath he was holding. “Rogers will be fine.”
“Welcome to your first demon crap.” Nathan called out. “And this here,” he indicated Kara, “Is one of those walking legends: One of the Repented.”
“This is not real.” Sanchez took a step backwards.
Kara cocked her head to one side. “Did you not see the demon’s hand in your friend’s chest, squeezing his heart?”
She turned and looked at Nathan in disbelief. Shaking her head in disgust, she took a few steps backwards and raised her face and arms to the sky. The sun’s rays seem to part the very branches of the trees, illuminating and bathing Kara in cleansing light. Slowly, her appearance started to change. She was draped in flowing white robes belted at the waist with silver chains that held her sword and dagger. A sliver ornate headband adorned her forehead and disappeared into her auburn hair that was blowing in a non-existent breeze. As she lowered her arms and head, a pair of snow white wings unfolded from behind her. They reached the ground and stretched two feet beyond her very height and each white feather was lined with silver.
Kara laughed. “Not quite Nathan Williams.” She reached out and petted a doe and her fawn that was one of many animals that came from out from the surrounding woods to paid homage to one of God’s blessed.
“I thought the Repented weren’t angels.”
“They are not Ashland. They walk in both worlds and are the Almighty’s warriors against evil. They are here to help maintain the balance between good and evil, and they are only here until their penance is paid.”
“Then you’re an angel.”
Kara smiled. “No. Angels are so beautiful that all of the Almighty’s creatures fall to their knees and weep and the very trees tremble in their presence. I am one of a small handful that roams this plane of existence by our own choice. We willingly gave up our place in the afterlife to help right the wrongs people do here. We are not Angels but we are not humans either. If you must categorize us, we are part of the Repented, kind of like their boss.” She folded back her wings and the light dimmed. Kara, once again, stood there in her blue jeans and tee shirt. “I am blessed to be able to do this and not a day goes by that I don’t thank the Almighty for giving me this opportunity.”
“How long have you been doing this?” Rogers was back up on his feet, but still rubbing his chest.
“In your time; centuries.” She held up her hand to end all conversation, closed her eyes and stilled her body. Now was not the time for full enlightenment. Listening with her very being, she began to pick up sounds that normal humans could not perceive. The crying out from every living substance at the harm and death inflected on those children and the tears of the children themselves. “Please Stay.”Kara turned and disappeared into the woods.
The demonic magic in this realm dissipates with the death of the presence of the demon. Kara found the children huddled together in a small clearing. The mutilated body of one of the children lay off to one side. Her heart reached out to each of these children. She has seen, up close and personal, what this demon has does to the children he captures.
She knelt by the children as small animals slowly came out from the surrounding bushes to help Kara reassure the children. She opened her arms wide and smiled through her tears, “Come.”
The children seemed to drift as one, into her open arms. “Let’s get you out of here and home.”
“Is he – gone?” A small pensive voice asked.
“Yes.” Kara stood up. “Everyone hold hands.” She scooped up the dead child in her arms and as a group; they walked through the woods and back to where the detectives were.
She handed the child to Nathan.
Kara closed her eyes and sighed deeply. “Yes.”
Nathan looked down into the dead eyes of the child. You could see the terror mirrored in the lifeless eyes.
Kara passed her hand over the face of the small boy and chanted a simple pose’. The child’s face relaxed as the terror faded. “No need for his parents to see the trauma of his death.” She turned to go.
“Will we see you again?”
“For your sake, I hope not. I only battle demons and monsters far bigger that you can handle Nathan Williams.” Kara disappeared into the woods as the voices faded of the other officers calling for the EMTs.
Kara stretched out on her bed and rested her arm across her forehead. She didn’t want to think about him. However, he was there, popping into her head when she least expected it. She didn’t even know him, but there was his face. Nathan Williams. In the couple hundred years, she never got hung up on any one, especially a man. Yet here she was wondering about him. What was he doing? Where was he at? Her, for goodness sake! She, someone who was part angel, purely good.
Kara stretched out on her bed and rested her arm across her forehead. She didn’t want to think about him. However, he was there, popping into her head when she least expected it. She didn’t even know him, but there was his face. Nathan Williams. In the couple hundred years, she never got hung up on any one, especially a man. Yet here she was wondering about him. What was he doing? Where was he at? Her, for goodness sake! She, someone who was part angel, purely good. Was this a sign that she was finally growing weary of chasing evil. Probably, she rolled over, punched her pillow and closed her eyes to try to sleep.
Nathan punched his pillowed in disgust. He hated it when he couldn’t sleep.
Her eyes popped back open, she smiled and whispered, “Sleep Nathan. Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.” Sighing, she fell asleep.
He yawned and could have sworn he heard a voice. Naw, just his imagination. He smiled and fell asleep, and a vision of white wings and singing angles filled his head.
Mary Elle was ridiculed wherever she went. She hated it. She hated the town. She hated her mother, and she hated her life. All because her mother was the town whore. Noooo, she couldn’t take in laundry like Jerry’s mom did. Or cleaned houses like Sue’s mom did. But at least they had daddies. They were dead, but at least they had them. Well, she had a daddy too. But her mom, the whore didn’t know which man in town was her daddy, or even if it was someone from town. So they all treated her with contempt. She would sit in the back of the church, cause her mama would make her go, and she could feel it. They all thought she was unclean, not good enough to sit among them. Well, one of their up-standing husbands could be her dad, and they all knew it, and that just made it worse. God, she hated ‘em. The whole town and their make-believe righteousness could all go to hell. They’d pay. When she grew up, she would make them all pay.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“She collapsed, she just collapsed!”
“Is she breathing?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Is your location 2738 Whispering Lake Road?”
“Yes. Please, please hurry!”
“The EMTs are on their way to your location.”
“Is there any response from your grandmother?”
“No. I hear them! I hear the sirens, they’re here.”
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“My mother just passed out. She’s breathing, but I can’t get her to wake up….”
“911, What’s your emergency?”
“I live at 2119 Whispering Springs Road. My father just lost consciousness…”
“Williams, get in here!”
Nathan smiled to himself. No-one made fun of him anymore. They knew now that a real threat existed from the other side of known-the unknown. “What’s up Chief?”
“We may have something for you. The FBI passed it the Center of Disease Control, and they wrote it off and the government passed it to us. We have a town, well, almost half the town in a comatose state. There have also been reported cases here and there though out the U.S. The mayor over heard some talks and recommended you as some ESP guru. They want you to take a look at it.
The Chief pointed to three boxed filing cases. “There’s the files.”
Nathan called his partner over and together they carried the cases out to their office. Yes, they actually rated an office now. Of course, nothing as big as the demons have come up and Nathan was truly glad for that. Just some small things, like kids messing around with the paranormal and, as Kara would put it, messing up the order of things.
“What do you want me to check out?”
He snapped out of his head and the memories he carried, “The past. I have a hunch. Check to see if the others that are scattered have a connection to this town. Go back as far as you can.”
Ash threw a weird look at Nathan. “Don’t you think the FBI and CDC thought about that?”
“When it comes to the normal, yes, you have to approach it as you would a regular police investigation, but with this, a possible paranormal, we have to check out not only the families, now, but also the past. Their friends now, and then; the buildings, the grounds, even what trees were there and the seedlings of those trees. Anything, and I do mean, anything can set off a paranormal happening. And if this is indeed, what we are facing, then we have to check out everything.” Nathan sat down behind his desk and picked up his phone. “I am going to find any and all aerial photos of that time.”
Kara looked up as Kyle walked in the coffee shop and ordered a donut and coffee.
“Hmmm. One of the perks of staying on this plane of existence.” He lifted his cup and took a long drawn in breath. “Coffee.”
Kara smiled, the vices of the corporal body – like taste buds. “What’cha got?”
“We’ve had three minors disappear going after a witch.”
Minors being the younger repented. Kyle was also like her, only he was assigned to purgatory on earth for repentance and decided to stay when he completed his penance. He was never given the power she has, he never earned it in life, but he did earn a sort of, reward, if you want to call it that, for wanting to stay and help those of the living.
Okay, back to the witch, “Born or self-made.” There was a difference.
“Self-made.” Kyle sipped his coffee. “Ah, a small slice of heaven, here on earth.”
Kara smiled at his comment about the coffee, he really didn’t have a clue of heaven. “Crap. Self-made?”
They could be down-right nasty. “Three minors uh?”
“Yup.” He swallowed the bite of his donut he was chewing. “Poof! Gone.”
“I wonder why Michael didn’t come and get me?” Actually, she was musing aloud. Very rarely did the Reverend Holiness Archangel Michael make his presence known to the repented. Humans see him more than the lessers do.
Kyle looked around him to make sure no one was listening, “Actually,” he said in a very hushed voice, “His Mightiness came to me. You were busy with the children.”
“God love and protect the children, for they are the innocent.”
Kyle was clearly annoyed at being interrupted and that’s why he was one of the repented. You would think he would have learned, by now, the order of the way it is. “Kyle, that was something to remember and to take heed.”
That shut him up. He lowered his head in deference of the student to the teacher. Kara didn’t like showing off her place in the grand scheme of things. “Sorry.”
“He said that you should get back with that detective you worked with before. The human would have the information you would need.”
“Hm-m.” Now that was interesting, and miles away.
“You were right.” Ashland finished writing in his notebook. “All these people are either from the town themselves, or have come from families from the town.”
Nathan put down a black and white old, but surprisingly clear picture of a town picnic. “Do you have a time period when the families that lived out of this town, lived there?”
Nathan tossed the photo across his desk and onto Ash’s, “I think we have a pissed off witch.”
“Come again?” Ash picked up the picture, trying to make heads or tails from the photograph
“It makes sense. Look at history and fairy tales? Who is known to go after groups of people- years, centuries even, later, to right a wrong? A witch. And take a look at that picture with the magnifying glass.
Ash picked the magnifier.
“Look at the sultry woman with the two men draped all over her off in the corner of the picture.”
“Looks like the town prostitute.”
“Yup. Now look at the little girl sitting behind her to the right and the other two kids by her.”
“Are they throwing something at the girl?”
“I think we are looking for a woman who was persecuted as a child because of her mother’s chosen profession.”
“Ah man, what a rough row to hoe. You gotta feel for her.” Ash handed the picture back to Nathan.
“Yeah. To be the child of the town’s whore in the fifties: not a good thing.” I’ll fill the Chief in and see about us taking a road trip to Buckley, Wisconsin.
“Nathan, oh Nathan, wake up.”
“What, uh? Oh my God!” Nathan scooted to a sitting up position against the headboard of his bed, while grabbing the blankets around him to hide is nakedness all the while wondering how much she saw. “What, in the name of all that is holy,” He watched as that phase brought a smile to her face. “Are you doing sitting on my footboard. You ever hear of knocking? And it’s the middle of the night!”
“Well, I’m not really here.”
“Come again?” He realized that he was in bed, she was sitting on his bed…”Never mind, forget I said that. Ah, what do you mean, you’re not really here?”
He watched her shake her head. He couldn’t tell if she was laughing or mocking him.
“You know, the spirit thing…? And I was laughing.”
“I hate it when you do that. Get out of my head.”
“In all seriousness Nathan, when you get to the town, do not, and I repeat DO NOT, go after that witch until I get there. She took out three of ours.”
“How did you know where I was headed? Keeping tabs on me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I was told about it. And it was suggested that I get together with you and your partner on this matter.”
“She took out three of yours, uh?”
“Okay, We’ll…,” Nathan watched as she started to fade like a light on a dimmer switch.
“I know where you’ll be.”
He could feel himself roll his eyes. “Of course you will.” She was gone.
“You have a cute butt.”
Or so he thought! “Knock next time!” But there was no response.