My hands grappled the bars that the monsters had locked me behind, and I tried not to throw up when my foot went straight through the skull of some poor creature they’d probably tortured then fed on. “Leave the boy alone! He didn’t do anything to you!” I cried as I watched the little demon creature jump up and down on my unconscious brother’s abdomen.
Bloody tears washed my face as I watched the little monster play with my brother’s limp body. They were starting to make a puddle on the stone floor at my feet as I watched the freak pry open my brother’s eyelids to see if he was awake yet or not. I wanted him to stay asleep. He was okay if he was asleep. He could see the monsters. As long as he kept his eyes closed, he wouldn’t freak out. He’d be alright.
The larger demon leaned against the bars and stated, “You didn’t do anything to us, and we still locked you up.” A smug grin swept across his face, and I tried not to flinch at the sight of his large fangs. They were wicked, serrated like a shark’s teeth. I wanted to be the one unconscious as he kept smiling at me, looking over my body like he was undressing me mentally.
Ignoring his vainglorious statement, I looked back to my brother with the demon sitting on his chest. Oh, what I’d give to have him back up at the house instead of here. I belonged here not him. This was my world now. It wasn’t his. This world could kill him, but Durand made me strong enough to at least attempt to fight these freakish abnormal monsters with horns twining their heads and tails swaying at their ass ends.
“Get off of him!” I screamed. My fists bashed at the bars without avail. They just kept on ignoring my attempts to break the iron bars. “I’ll do anything if you just let my brother go,” I pleaded, sinking to the bottom of my cage.
With the bones, blood, and body parts decorating the place where my body sat, I could only feel useless until the large demon turned to grin at me. He said, “Anything? Hey, Iah, get off the kid. I want to hear this.” The creep settled to my level and reached through the bars to lift my chin up.
“W-what do you want me to do?” I stammered. I needed anything to get my brother out of here. I wanted him safe, sound, and secure. This all needed to be some bad nightmare for him. It didn’t have to be reality. As long as he stayed unconscious, it didn’t have to be that way for him.
The monster turned to his younger friend and grinned. Both of their mouths seemed to stretch in a wicked grin from ear to ear, Cheshire style but with fangs.
My brother’s body moved, and I flinched. He couldn’t be waking up. No, no, no! Don’t wake up, but no matter how much I prayed, he still opened his eyes to scream at the sight of the skeletons and limbs scattered around him. He screamed like he had when he’d snapped his leg the day that I’d saved him from being smashed under the car. He screamed like he had when he’d had nightmares and claimed monsters were under the bed and in the closet.
The demons smashed their hands over their pointed ears, and the bigger one hissed, “Shut him up!”
With my hand stretched out, I snagged a hold on the little one’s tail. After a good tug, I’d wrenched him so hard that I snapped the little demon’s tail right off. His scream joined the heart shattering one of my brother’s, but I didn’t hold back when I reached to snap his neck.
“You kill my brother!” the large one howled as he charged towards Aspen. “Let me see how you like it when I kill your brother!” In one single sweeping motion he lifted my brother right up from the ground.
In horror I watched as the monster put his claws into Aspen’s neck and blood poured from the gashes. My heart shattered like broken glass, and shards of it stabbed into my gut when I heard the popping sounds of his skin tearing even further.
My brother’s legs flailed and flailed uselessly as the demon began popping his head off his shoulders. He screamed directly into the freak’s ear without any usefulness. His body grew limper with each and every slow tug that the monster made.
“Stop it! Stop it! You’re killing him!” I screamed in vain. Nothing could save my brother now. Nothing. He was as good as dead.
My blood soaked eyes slammed shut. I couldn’t watch this. I wouldn’t watch my brother being killed by that monster. What was left of my heart vanished when I heard a body fall limp to the floor, but I had to look.
When I did look, I could only stare in astonishment when another demon joined the large one, but this one was even bigger and even more frightening. He held my limp brother’s body up from the ground by his arm and shouted, “You come back into my house, stain my dungeon with your useless blood, and attempt to behead a mortal child all without my approval! Get the hell out of here before I decide to do the same thing to you in your home! You served your purpose now get the hell out, bastard!”
The demon scampered like a sewer rat and cursed me as he lunged into a dark spot in the wall.
The demon lifted my brother, looked at him carefully, and opened my cage to gently lay him down on the only clean spot in the dungeon. Astounded at his kindness, I could only stare. As he tended to my brother’s wounds by applying some thick slime to his throat, the monster greeted, “I am Alvah of the Thanatos demons. Welcome to my dungeon, Queen Radegond.” He leaned back on his haunches and put his clawed hands behind him.
Amazingly, this monster wasn’t as ugly as the other two had been. He was oddly attractive and kind of ghostly. His horns swept back with his hair, and he only had two of them. His hair was as black as his horns. It made me wonder if his skeleton was black.
Pushing the thoughts aside, I quickly moved to prod at the already sealed wounds on my brother’s neck. “What was that gunk you put on him?” I asked in amazement. If only human medicines worked so well then he wouldn’t have had to limp for two months.
“Trust me, queenie, if you knew you’d barf up your lover’s blood. You okay? I can’t believe those two─” He coughed. “─that one bastard locked you up. You gave Iah a good run for his money.” The demon’s left hand reached over to flick at the remains of the four year old sized demon.
I couldn’t help but feel charmed by this oddly attractive creep watching my hug my brother. He saved my brother from dying by a monster’s hand and from dying by blood loss. I owed my own life to him. “Yeah, I’m fine now that I know my brother’s going to be okay,” I said in a daze while dragging Aspen’s body onto my lap.
He cracked a grin. “Human memories still reside in your immortal body.” The demon put his large hands behind his head and watched me pet my brother’s blonde head. “You love your brother quite a lot. It’s cute.” Hearing that small word come from such a big man, I couldn’t stop my grin from easing up my face. “Smile as you will, queenie, but I call it as I see it no matter how degrading it may make me seem.”
“Thank you for saving him, Alvah.” I brushed Aspen’s hair out of his face and planted a kiss on his forehead that bore the scar he’d earned from my hand accidentally hitting him with a flatiron. He’d gotten a little teardrop shaped scar from that day and hadn’t lost it since although it’d faded over the years. Aspen was always falling into the wrong situations because of me. He was my accidental soldier, the guy that wandered into my nightmares and saved me when I needed it.
The demon brushed my words off like they were a gnat in the air. “Chill. It’s the least I could do since you’re going to be trapped here until Durand saves you. Make it look like I’ve been torturing you when he does come. Okay?” He closed his eyes and looked as if he was about to doze off when I smacked him in his steel chest. “What? You didn’t expect a get out of here for free card. Did you?”
“Uh. Yeah! I don’t want Durand to come save me. I want to take Aspen and my happy ass right back up to wherever we were before your pets kidnapped us. I was trying to get away from Durand. Can’t you get that?”
The demon stroked his chin, something I thought only people with facial hair did. “Huh… So, let me get this straight. You’re running from your mate, the dude that lets you drink directly from him, spoils you with clothes and money, and has this awesome mansion on the hills, concealed from all enemies.” He gave me a look like I was an idiot. “Earth to Queen Radegond. Get your happy ass and your little brother back up to Durand before the big bad wolf huffs, puffs, and blows your life away. There are all sorts of freakish monsters that hate Durand, things that would make me look like Reule’s Acrylic. Heck. I loved Durand and his guys. Those guys are great. I didn’t even have to worry about dirtying my hands anymore when I was allied with them.”
I rolled my eyes. “If they’re so amazing then why’d you leave them and kidnap me?”
He shrugged. “Felix owns me. I do what he says, take the blame, and get the punishment. I owe it to him. I’d be dead without that dude.” He pulled a stick of something out of his pocket and lit it to take a long drag then blow the smoke up into the air. “Want a hit?” he wondered, nodding towards the slender thing.
As I watched this guy, the only thing that I found I could compare him to was a stoner, no worries, no cares, just flow. He was a real piece of work. “Uh,” I mumbled, “no thanks. My party days are over.”
That made him smile then he said something that made my eyes widen. “Damn. I remember you. You were hot. I used to toss drugs in your drink to see how crazed you could get.”
“That was you!” I cried, a bit too loudly since Aspen’s eyelashes fluttered.
He leaned closer to me and nudged my shoulder. “Don’t you remember me, Naomi? Oh. You would probably remember Ryan better.” His form changed briefly, and I covered my free hand with my mouth.
Pulling me out of my shock was Aspen asking, “Omi, where are we, and why is one of your stoner friends here?”
Alvah kept his façade up and smiled with flat, human teeth towards Aspen who just stared at him like he was a freak. Could my life get any weirder?