The door banging against the wall startled Billy. He jumped forward, turning to face the door as he moved so he ended standing where the man he’d been trying to influence sat. A man with an athletic build, long black hair tied back in a ponytail; and a complexion that belonged on the cover of a magazine moved through the doorway. His jaw looked as though it had been sculpted by a master artisan out of marble covered with a tightly groomed goatee mustache and beard of coal-black hair. His ice blue eyes shone with anger as his gaze found the man sitting beneath Billy. The man moved into the room revealing a strange creature standing behind him.
There in the doorway stood a deformed being of about three feet tall with skin the color of grey stone, horns on its elbows, knees, and heels. It was also obviously male as it stood unashamedly naked. The ears on his head formed upward blending into jagged horns that cupped either side of the head and rose up like thick goat’s horns made of grey stone. The mouth of the creature appeared more like a wound in its face filled with jagged broken teeth, and no nose to speak of. The eyes on the creature were droopy and vacant under a brow permanently furrowed in a frown. The thing carried a long-handled axe with a blade on one side and a heavy looking hammer head on the other. The entire axe head crackled with deep red fire and he seemed to be looking right at Billy.
Billy jumped out of the man and noticed another one of the creatures standing on the other side of the chair next to the man Billy had been influencing. Something tickled the corner of his mind like a sound heard in the middle of the night that can’t quite be identified. Billy paused and tried to focus on the sensation. The mass of emotions from four men in the room sloshed around in a non-distinct pattern cluttering Billy’s mind, but every now and then something else came through. Billy focused on the sensation, waiting for it to sharpen again so he could seize it and maybe locate it. Suddenly, the emotional haze parted and Billy glimpsed a clear, alien presence radiating sharp anger toward Billy, Angela, and Brandt. The creature at the door still stared at Billy.
What the hell are those things? Angela asked.
I don’t know, Brandt responded.
Must be some sort of echo or emotional by product, a new voice said in Billy’s head. You can ignore it.
Brandt and Angela seemed satisfied with the explanation and refocused on the man at the door and in the chair.
Archangel snapped rapid commands in everyone’s mind. Cut the chatter and focus on that man with the detonator. Guardian three, continuous translation. One be prepared to follow the new guy.
Billy looked back to the man in the chair, but he wasn’t sitting anymore. Billy caught a glimpse of a simple cell phone in his hand. The man quickly stuffed the phone back into his pocket then took a step toward the man with the ice-blue eyes.
Angela composed herself, slowly rising until her wispy form floated about three feet above the floor. Brandt shifted his focus to the man with the ponytail and goatee. Billy kept looking from the creature at the door to the creature next to the man by the chair. Both creatures looked at Billy, then each other.
The man at the door stabbed a finger toward the man by the chair and he began speaking rapidly in that same language the others had been speaking. Billy wondered what he said. Both creatures seemed to have a smug expression on their faces looking from the man by the door to the man next to the chair.
Waves of terror washed over Billy from the men in the room, blotting out Angela’s translation of the angry man’s tirade. Billy reeled away from the three men pushed back by the force of their fear. He fought desperately to get his mental state above water, and felt his breath coming in short gasps as their fear threatened to drown him. He began to panic as his own fear suddenly cut through the smothering blanket of theirs.
Both creatures snapped their heads around locking Billy with their gaze and stepping toward him. A new, alien emotion pressed against Billy’s distress. Something black and dark oozed over and around his fear coming for his mind.
Billy spun in, full fight or flight mode, desperately wanting to dash through the open door, but he froze because the door was still occupied by the devilish little creature. His panic began to climb as he sought an alternate path out of the room but nothing presented itself.
Sir, Cherry Blossom is spiking, the new voice said.
Cherry, you’ve got to calm down. They can’t see you, Archangel said sternly.
Something is in here with us! It knows I’m here and it doesn’t like it! Billy shouted, backing toward the far corner as the two creatures came closer. The creature by the door paused, speaking softly to the man there before continuing toward Billy. The man snapped his head around violently looking for something, then dashed across the room and grabbed the man standing next to the chair Guys, something knows we’re here,!
Not possible, Cherry. These four are not sensitive, Brandt said, keeping his attention focused on the goateed man. Just step back and let the adults handle the situation.
Billy didn’t hear Brandt’s recrimination. His mind struggled to escape the cloak of dark emotion slinking closer, and closer just as the two creatures crept closer and closer to him in the room. One of the creatures hefted the wicked axe with the unearthly fire crackling all around it as it walked toward Billy. Billy’s feet froze in sheer terror.
The two creatures grinned evilly as they approached. Neither spoke a word. The one hefting the axe was just about to strike when four shots shattered the silence and Billy’s fear. The brick of the apartment complex’s exterior appeared in front of Billy’s vision. He looked around him and found he had unconsciously backed out of the apartment they were in and now stood on the sidewalk outside. He turned and ran.
Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm. For more information about this story please join us on our Facebook page community at www.facebook.com/firstchevalierbooks.