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Shards - Chapter 6

Started by Bynw, May 12, 2022, 08:48:08 PM

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A little over three years ago I was approached by a very nefarious looking gentleman. I was immediately drawn to his eyes when we first met, at first glance they looked brown, but then I noticed as he approached me they had a flicker of red in them. Not like red contacts, just every stem there was a flash of a ruby to them, it was unsettling. He wore a black suit that had to have cost thousands of dollars. His tie was a crimson red color, Italian I think, with a matching handkerchief. His tie pin was in the shape of a pitchfork with a ring around it. He was about six foot six inches tall and maybe weighed about one hundred and seventy pounds. His build was strong and he looked like he could overpower anyone or anything, but he came across as a charmer. He was very clean, his black hair was slicked back and he had a small soul patch and a well-trimmed goatee under it. He walked toward me with the grace of royalty and when he came within my distance he reached out his hand, while a small smirk came across his face and then he spoke.

"Daj Hoyle, I presume. Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Lucifer Morningstar and I would like to ascertain your services for an assignment."

And that is how I first met the Devil.

He informed me that there was a cult that has taken refuge in a small town north of Boise, Idaho. Unaware of how they came across the magic they did, or why they were doing what they were but it was interfering with his domain and business. Since Lucifer is unable to actually interfere with mortal affairs personally, he can go about hiring people to handle them for him. As Mr. Morningstar was very happy to point out, a loophole is a loophole even for him.

It did not take me long in my investigation to find there were signs that the community was having their life force drained and not only causing power surges but the cult was actually messing with mother natural as well. The leader of the group, a psychopath I found out later named Mr. John Smith, was trying to summon what he thought was a God. He wanted to use the said God and bend it to his will. The truth is that he was actually raising was one of the most powerful demons from Hell and consecrating the bonds between both Earth and Hell. If he succeeded there would have been an open door between the two and no way to close it. Mr. Morningstar decided to hire me to find the culprit and put a stop to it. That's right I was hired by the Devil to keep demons locked in Hell, I couldn't believe it myself.

When I found the compound that these atrocities were taking place I could not contain my anger or my stomach. The parents of the community decided that instead of offering themselves up to these demons they could make a different sacrifice. Children were being fed to demons that they were rising and then the fed demons would then be sacrificed to raise more powerful demons, and then rinse, recycle, repeat. By the time I was able to prevent all Hell from breaking loose there was just one child that remained.

The poor little thing was as pale as a ghost, and as skinny as a rail. I mistook her for being dead when I first seen her. If it wasn't for her skin she could have mistakenly passed as a skeleton, and if it wasn't for her one cough to take a breath I would of overlooked her.

I accidently put my fingers in between her ribs and touched her innards as I lifted her off the cold hard slab that they had her chained down too. She was covered in various brusies and tattoos that they inflicted on her. Her left ankle was twisted and her right hand had a hole in the palm where they drove a nail through. She had a small black dress like cloth covering her and her long black hair, that went down to the small of her back, was drenched in blood and hid the lacerations that she received on her back.

I got her up to Franky and laid her in the bed of the truck and tended to her the best I could to keep her from passing on. Once all the sores where attended too, and I could get some fluids in her out of nowhere Lucifer appeared. He informed me that the girl has absorbed too much magic due to the ritual that was performed on her and she will become a walking nightmare unless something is done. There are only two options we can go with, either I put her out of her misery so she would not be a danger to herself or anyone else or she has to come with him to live. If she went with him, he could help train her and deal with the urges she is going to face over her time, and teach her how to use her abilities.

The girl's parents were a huge part of the cult and I didn't let them survive the ordeal. She was alone. I was not about to put an innocent child down just cause she was made a victim, however, I could not consciously let the girl be taken to Hell either. I know he says it was the best choice, but banishing a human to Hell for a crime she didn't commit was not going to work for me either. So I made a deal with him, he will give me the child for payment of the assignment. I will see that she will live on Earth, and he can visit and train her to learn her new powers as he seems fit too. I also made sure that he knew she will never be used as a weapon and from that day forward she will always be under my protection.

He became irate at the idea. We argued back and forth on the pros and cons of leaving the child on Earth, with that much power and no conduit to ground her to. In the end, he agreed to the terms. I knew I couldn't raise a child on my own, but I was not going to give up. I did know of a powerful person who had a wife and no child, so I ran with the idea.

I took her to Michael Dubois and explained the situation. She was still unaware of anything that was going on but she held on to me like a vice and I wouldn't of wanted it any other way. He got ahold of Beth Anne and she came as quickly as she could like a long time mother would have. She started caring for the young one, while me and Michael discussed how to handle the issue at hand. As we were coming to terms with this new part of our life Lucifer showed up. He stated how he wanted to handle it, and then once he met Beth Anne and her attitude toward anyone coming near her ward without consent, he decided to listen to terms. Michael agreed to adopt the young girl and take her under his wing and keep her safe. He and Beth Anne would be her immediate parents and Lucifer would be her biological father on paper, so he could see her whenever he wanted or as he put it needed to, and I was the godfather. They named the little one Ariel after Beth Anne's grandma and we all respected the decision. Mr. Dubois has been training her in everything he knows and she has been helping him with his spells and magic as well, Lucifer also has been checking in from time to time with her and showing her how to do this or that and he also loves Beth Anne's Angel food cake. The first time I heard that I could not stop laughing.

I haven't seen Ariel for about seven months since she moved to Louisiana to stay with her father and work out of Shreveport. She has gotten about four inches taller and a little paler since last I seen her. She has however gotten a lot stronger.

"Does your pa know you are in Arkansas young lady," I ask in a teasing tone.

"Nope," she quickly retorted, "he thinks I am in New Orleans on a field trip for school." She quickly bursts out laughing and runs over and gives me a strong hug. In which I return the gesture with glee.

"Well, let me look at you." I pull her back a bit and put my hand on the top of her head. "Wow, you wouldn't think your pa could stack crap that high."

"HEY!" She exclaimed with an elbow to my gut, which was still in pain from her puppet.

"So what ya doin kiddo, yer pa does know you is here right?"

"Of course he does, he knows where I am at all times, and if he doesn't Daddy L. does. Do you know how hard it is for a girl to try to sneak out of the house to go out with normal kids?"

With a smirk on my face I snapped back, "Oh my god do I? Oh wait, I guess no, I can't, I mean I was born a boy after all, so it is hard to know how hard it is for a girl to do anything."

She quickly rolled her eyes, "I missed you, Uncle."

"I missed you too, little one." Pointing to the law enforcement officer lying on the ground, I ask. "So what is up with Officer Barbrady over here? I shouldn't have to ask but I hope he was dead before he became your marionette?"

She instantly lit up with glee. "Yes he was smart-aleck. He was a friend of dad's and he said since he owed dad so much for the help, that he would offer his body for study. Well you know dad, if he can play with it, he will keep it."

We both let out a chuckle. "Your pa is kind of a pack rat, isn't he?"

"Which one, I think if it wasn't for ma, they both would have their houses full of junk."

"Well young lady, you are doing amazing. Not only did you have me beat down, but I was in some serious darn trouble. If you wanted to, that would have been the end of this Arbiter."

"Stop playing Uncle Daj, I know you let me win. But I do appreciate the compliment. It means all my hard work is paying off. Maybe my dad's will let me go with you on an assignment some time, just to watch of course."

No quicker did her statement come out that I quickly replied with, "Nope, it is not your dad's I am afraid of. If your mom ever caught you with me, we both know what would be the next meal on her menu. There is no way in Hell I would ever piss off yer ma."

After we joked back in forth for a while she showed me what all she can do with her puppet. It was kind of fun seeing him juggle his gun, night stick and his head all at the same time, while whistling that old tune from that movie, "If I only had a brain". She seems to be doing very well for herself. Michael has her running errands between Shreveport and Little Rock, and then she is excelling in her studies with both of her dad's. Beth Anne has her nose in the school books to make sure she is getting all her schooling, and letting her skip out to attend after school activities so she can live the life of a normal teen. One thing both her dad's will agree with, if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Before we part ways she gives me her new phone number so we can keep in touch more often, and I had to promise to come down and see her this summer. She also gave me a small leather bound sack with a upside down half crescent moon and a letter L burnt into the leather. She said Lucifer wanted me to have it, somehow he knew I would be on this road, and that is how Ariel knew I would be here. We gave each other another big hug and in a puff of smoke she was gone and so was her puppet.

I looked into the sack and there were four marble sized rocks of different colors and a little note.

You may not know it now, but you will need these sooner than you think. Stay safe my brother, trouble times will fall on you.

Up till now, I never knew what kind of relationship Lucifer and myself would consider each other. I never would of guess he considers me as a brother. I am glad to have more family in my life, even if it only relates to Ariel. Shoving the bag of marbles into my jacket pocket, and thinking of a stupid joke of hoping I don't lose all my marbles, I slump my body back into Franky and head on down the road.

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