They’d only just found each other, and now they’ve been separated again…
Adelaide has been dragged deep inside her own mind to discover that she and Iaoel aren’t the only two inhabiting her body anymore. While two was company three is a crowd and Adelaide’s life hangs in the balance now more than ever. Meanwhile, Tab has been forced to leave her side and entrust her care to some unlikely guardians.
So much remains unresolved just as more tribulations are piled upon them. Battles are waged at the gates of Hell and new discoveries made.
The game is set, the pieces moving, but who are the real players behind them all?
“I have seen the future, and it is bleak for mankind,” she murmured.
“As far as I can tell, you can’t see the future. God is the only all-knowing; and honey, last time I checked you weren’t God.”
“This is true, my visions are of many different futures, mere glimpses of what could be – but Adelaide, they have never served me wrong, and I would hope that you would believe me when I say this same vision has played out time, and time again and it would mean hell upon earth for your kind. Lucifer isn’t what he seems and…”
I held up a hand and laughed, shaking my head, she stopped at the bitter laughter that came pouring out of my mouth and it took me a couple of minutes to reign it in enough to speak.
“No shit Lucifer isn’t what he seems! He’s a fucking lying liar face, or did you miss the part where they call him ‘The Prince of Lies?’ Jesus, Iaoel! He’s like The Joker to your Harley Quinn – he has you rickrolled six ways to Sunday and going along with whatever he says.”
“Adelaide, that isn’t precisely true,”
“The hell it isn’t!” I cried and stood up.
“Adelaide, please, I really didn’t bring you here to fight. I just want to talk, peacefully, you mustn’t let your anger get the best of you. It really is in your best interest to hear me out on this. You spent far too long in the fifth and being angry, to begin with… that does things to you, my dear. It is the whole point to Hell, to pervert and corrupt one absolutely, to keep them as far as possible from the grace of God.”
“Do you even hear yourself?” I asked incredulously, sinking back into my seat, “I mean really, do you?” Iaoel looked at me impassively and I rolled my eyes, “If it’s the role of Lucifer and Hell to corrupt things absolutely, don’t you for one minute think that’s what he’s trying to do to you?”
She looked saddened for a moment and sighed, taking up her cup and saucer again, “There is a chance for redemption for even the blackest of souls, should they but ask for forgiveness,” she uttered, before taking a sip.
I held up a hand, “Woah, seriously? You seriously think you can save Satan’s soul? Convince him that his giant ass ‘fuck you’ to God was a mistake?”
“As I said, even the blackest of souls have a chance, but we aren’t talking about Lucifer, right now I am trying to help you.”
I narrowed my eyes in suspicion, “I get it, but I don’t think for one minute you don’t have another end-game in mind.”
She smiled, a secret thing with an edge of sadness, “While it is true that we will likely never be friends, Addy, I would at least like to not be enemies.”
I snorted, “Think you blew that chance out of the water the second time you had Tab dragged down into Hell.”
She sighed, “Do you want to end up like them?” she asked softly, and I felt the first stirrings of dread, ticking down my spine. Her expression had gone wintery, with the flip of a switch, all pretense at niceness just gone.
“Like who,” I asked, but I knew what she meant.
“Like them, the ones in the fifth that you left behind, constantly assaulting the gates, angry, sullen, do you want to feel like that all of the time?” she demanded and she had me there.
I didn’t. It was exhausting, I felt weighted down, constantly mired in negativity, hurting for no reason; raw, which just made me angrier and I didn’t even get that. I frowned and she had a point, I needed t deal with it but I didn’t know how, the problem was, I didn’t know if I could trust if whatever her solution was was actually a solution or not. Could it be a trap? The only person I could talk these things out with; well, she’d done a bang up job of separating me from him, hadn’t she? That didn’t exactly win her any points in the trust department, now did it?
Text Copyright © 2016 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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