“We’ll go through the graveyard, it’s quicker.”
“You’re joking right? It’s almost midnight Mary.”
“Oh, is poor Jim scared of little ghosties?”
“Don’t be daft, I just… well… um…”
“Okay, but if anything happens, it’s your fault.”
Mary laughed and walked through the ornate archway and onto the path through the graveyard. Reluctantly, Jim followed, casting his eyes left and right, though the path leading upwards to the church was just surrounded by more recent neat graves. They didn’t worry him much, but what did, was what he knew surrounded the path behind the church, leading back to a street-lit road. He’d once gone that way in the daylight, and it scared him them. He had never gone in there after, until now. Now dark, nearly midnight, and crowned by the fact it was Friday the thirteenth.
“Get a move on Jim, this won’t be a shortcut if you don’t shift yer ass.”
Jim decided that was a good idea, and rapidly caught up with Mary, and passed her. He didn’t want to hang around here now.
“Hey, it’s not a race. What’s up with you?”
“Okay, I am scared. Can we get through this place as quick as possible please.” Mary muttered something that Jim didn’t catch as he was now ten paces ahead. Jim reached the church first, and moved into the doorway, as if the proximity afforded some protection.
“Look.” Mary had caught up and had now joined Jim. “When was the last time you ever read about creepy ghouls dismembering or eating people? Eh?”
Jim wasn’t really in a mood for talking, though he did reply “Never.”
“Never. Exactly. Never, ever, ever. So what’s the big deal?”
“Reptilian brain.” Jim and Mary both burst out laughing at the same time.
“C’mon,” said Mary, and grabbed him by the hand, pulling him into the ancient, overgrown part of the graveyard.
Basking in the white glare of a full moon, giant angels towered over the heads, entwined with twisted climbing plants, bases covered in dense undergrowth. As they rounded a bend in the path, they stopped in their tracks. Ahead, around the next bend, they could see an eerie blue light.
“Oh shit!” Exclaimed Jim, as they stood there.
“It’s probably just someone walking their dog with a torch, come on, let’s look.”
“I’m going back, now.” But as Jim turned around, the path had vanished, blocked by a giant tomb. He felt the warmth run down his legs and the world started spinning.
Mary pulled him hard by his still clasped hand. “Follow me,” and she half dragged him toward the next bend. As they rounded it, they found the light was coming from an orange shaped ball in the middle of the path. “How odd,” said Mary. Jim just stood, frozen and silent. “Stay here, I’ll look.” But Jim was going nowhere anyway.
Mary walked the few paces to the ball and picked it up. Blue light began to run up her arm. “Fuck!” The ball shattered as she dropped it and ran back to Jim.
And there, bathed in the full moon, now stood – a demon, skin as back as coal and glowing embers for eyes.
“Thank you for freeing me, it has been a great many years trapped in that prison.” It’s voice has harsh, raspy. “Do you have a drink? My throat hurts.”
Mary fished a bottle of Cola out of her back and threw it to him, noticing the long claws as it’s outstretched arm and hand caught it. He drowned down the bottle until it was empty.
The demon let out a huge burp. “Thank you, that was… interesting.” He didn’t sound as hoarse now, just kinda, well… deep and demonic. “It is good to see both of you, I presume you have come to join my battle.”
“What battle is that?”, said Mary.
“Why, Good vs. Evil of course.”
“And you are evil.”
The Demon boomed with great laughter. “Me, evil?” He laughed again. “Excuse me, I do not wish to demean your obvious concern, but it appears in my absence that perhaps the forces of evil have turned what is evil and what is good backwards. Or do you now live in a time of great goodness on this planet?”
Mary was fully aware that the world was a mess and evil did seem to be running rampant. “Um, no, I would say the world is a full of much evil.”
“Hmm… and I wonder how that could have come about, with myself and my powers encased, useless, in that accursed crystal ball?”
Had everything Mary ever been taught, mostly by religions – religions that spent billions on trying to kill each other – had it all been lies?
Had her own disillusionment with life brought her here?
Had fate led her here?
Jim had vanished.
“I’m in,” said Mary.