Return

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ba'alzamon returns to Hell after his time on Earth, only to find that things are very different.

Submitted: November 16, 2016

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Submitted: October 12, 2016

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RETURN

 

The match flickered as he held in front in front of his face, a slight breeze blowing across the field. The puppet had caused his family enough pain, his wife, his sister-in-law, his sister, his niece, curse it. He heard the story about how Amy found it in the market. How it brought such happiness to her, the cute name she gave it, Nobert. Nothing bad should come out of a name like that. Curse it and it’s ten fingers. He was going to burn it, burn it and let it go back down to Hell, where it belonged. He also had a jerry can half full with petrol, the other half soaking the puppet. After saying a quick, silent prayer for the loved ones he lost, he tossed the match at the puppet, igniting the gasoline.

 

Heat. That was the sensation he could feel. Heat. Something was burning. It was him. His body was burning. The Flesh Oracle had predicted this, that he would return home by flame when his mission was complete. This body had been his prison for too long. Bound to a puppet two centuries ago, he had manipulated, tugged, pulled and pushed. He hated it. The lack of control. Only when he was brought into a family with little ones was he allowed freedom. Freedom to pick them off and induce fear. Pain and grief. He fed off these. He kept a count of families destroyed by growing fingers on originally blank hands. It was also his way home. Only when he had fixed his hands could he return to his place in the court of Uux Ardoch. The master would be pleased with his work. That angel-spawn Seibor will be powerless to stop his ascension in the ranks of the Oasuezohn. He could feel the puppet body falling apart. He was coming free. This human had freed him. The demon’s name was Ba’alzamon and he was going home.

 

He stood and watched the puppet burn, it’s grin turning black then disappearing altogether. The smoke was rising from the body of the puppet and a small part of the grass around had ignited as well. As he went to stamp out the stray flames, he caught a glance of what looked like a sinister grin in the smoke. Part of the smoke seemed to be seeping towards the ground.

 

Free. He was free. The easy part was done. Getting back would be another story. He had been stuck in that fabric prison for so long, he had nearly forgotten how to exist in spirit form. Through the layers of dirt and rock he went, following the cryptic trail left behind by others, down to the abyss. Two centuries for a powerful demon as himself was not long but the helpless sensation of being trapped, held hostage almost, made it seem excruciatingly long. The wisps of smoke followed him down, down, deeper into the earth and a scream could be heard, getting louder and louder.

 

The man walked back to his car, happy that the ordeal was over. He started the engine and drove away, far away from the field, vowing never to return.

 

The scream wasn’t any regular scream, it was the sound of an Ignis, a flying guardian of the gates. The Ignis would recognize him and let him past. In his smoky spirit form, he grinned. He was close, soon he would see the gates. Sure enough, the gates came into view. Constructed when the master first fell down from the cursed realm above, the gates had stood for eons. With each eon, attacks came from above, angels wanting to exterminate the forces of Hell once and for all. In turn, demons had attacked Heaven but those battles had come to nothing.

 

The smoky form drifted towards the gates, as if it wanted the gates to open by themselves. Unseen guards of the gates surely saw him approach and would allow him to enter into his true home. Slowly, ever so slowly, the gates creaked open. Massive doors made of Hell-forged metal swung and revealed, what was to the form, a glorious sight. Souls bound here for eternity screaming, writhing in agony, cries for help. All of these, the form and others like it fed off,and used them to increase their power. Once inside the form began to solidify, horns grew, legs sprouted, claws appeared out of smoky limbs. After a few seconds, the smoke cleared revealing a demon terrifying beyond comprehension. The unseen guards cowered in fear, the Emissary had returned.

 

Through the countryside the man drove, away from the faint smoke column drifting from the place of the burned puppet. He could not help feeling that in destroying the puppet, he had done something worse than the puppet ever could.

 

The demon stomped down the bridge, over the Agony Pits, towards the palatial monstrosity, a twisted collected of metal spikes and other deformed features. He had been waiting for this for too long. On his journey through the realm of hate, he had seen many familiar sights, many horrific beyond human realisation. Souls, millions and millions of them, bound here for eternity, tortured endlessly. He took delight in that thought, the more pain they inflicted, the stronger they became. He reached the doors of the monstrous building and slammed a gigantic clawed fist against twice. On cue, the doors opened and he stepped inside. A great hall stretched out in front of him, pillars towering up to support the twisted ceiling, doors leading off to other halls and corridors. He was interested in only one of these doors, the one right at the end of the hallway. He strode up to it and could hear conversation behind it. Demons had 3 main languages but this was mainstream Inferic. One voice stood out from the others though, Seibor. Damn him to heaven, what was he doing here? Without further hesitation, he thrust open the doors with a mighty shove and strode inside.

 

The doors swung open and Seibor’s face was not the only one shocked to see him stride in. Seibor was standing next the throne of the high Uux Ardoch, leader of the court by the same name. Upon the throne was Furnox, which was mildly surprising. Furnox was only a lowly acolyte of the court when he last saw him. The fact that he had surpassed Seibor to the throne despite his lower rank in the space of two centuries was intriguing at least, but now he had other things to deal with.

“Y..You...You!” Seibor stammered. “You can’t be here! You were banished, never to return! The master, when he finds you back, he will defin...urk!” The words were cut short from Seibor’s mouth as Ba’alzamon’s giant hand grabbed his neck and started squeezing.

“Enough!” came the cry from the throne. Furnox was on his hoof-like feet. “You may settle your differences later! Ba’alzamon, release him!” The giant hand opened and Seibor fell to the ground, gasping for what passed for air down here. Furnox made his way down from the dais towards Ba’alzamon.

“Brother, welcome back. I had hoped you would be back sooner.”

“Cut the angel-crap, Furnox.” Ba’alzamon replied, glancing at Seibor who was getting to his feet.

“I did not know that you were corresponding with low-level scum, Furnox. Especially now you sit as High of the Uux Ardoch” Seibor had now gotten to what passed as his feet, staring daggers at Ba’alzamon.

“Now I know you two have a history but Seibor has become quite useful to me in the past. Being in a place of power can be draining but he has almost made it...easier.” Furnox replied.

“I think manipulation is the word for it. His tongue spits out lies worse than the serpent in Eden. I need to see the master.” Ba’alzamon spat. Furnox seemed taken aback at his request but regained control of himself quickly.

“Why do you need to see him? Surely he already knows you have returned, for he was the one that bound you to that puppet. You, Ba’alzamon, should know that he always knows.” Furnox seems to be insecure, almost as if he had planned this day.

“I already told you to cut the crap. I need to see him. And I don’t feel the need to indulge you in the reasons why.” Ba’alzamon growled. When he said this, Seibor’s face lit up. Seibor seemed to think that with Ba’alzamon going to see the master, maybe Ba’alzamon would be banished again or worse. Furnox contemplated this for a second and then replied:

“Very well, you shall have your meeting with him. Just know that I will not be held responsible for what happens in there. You know what happens if you displease him.” Furnox steeled himself after saying this, expecting another snappy reply from Ba’alzamon. If there were observers in the hall, it would be obvious that Ba’alzamon was the strongest in the room. Furnox gestured towards his throne atop the dais and on cue, the throne began sink. Down into the stone it went, and in its place rose a ginormous portcullis.This singular door was different, smoke belched from beneath it, through the tiny cracks. If you had walked behind it, you would see nothing, the door wasn’t visible at that angle.

“I would thank you but I would sound like an angel.” Ba’alzamon grunted. The door began to lift, allowing more smoke to billow through. The sound of it lifting would have been unbearable to regular ears, it was a door to Hell opening, literally, a door to Hell within Hell.

 

Ba’alzamon strode through the portcullis but almost immediately halted in his tracks. On other occasions when he had visited him, the first thing he noticed where the eyes. Three, red, glowing eyes glowering out from a massive thick cloud of black smoke, with the occasional flash of massive claws. But there was no smoke. For the first time in his memory, Ba’alzamon could see the throne. Huge, red and twisted. He wasn’t there. A cackling laugh drifted through the portcullis, Seibor clearly enjoying the comedic value of the situation. That value escaped Ba’alzamon, this defied belief. Furnox now stepped through the gate and drifted his gaze towards the massive throne.

“We were going to tell you.” he began. “But we decided you wouldn’t believe us. He has been gone for a while now, to the lowest part of the Agony Pits. He has no power now, only the new Master does.” Ba’alzamon believed him for some reason. His only question was who? Who was the new Master? Surely not a regular demon, nor angel. The archangel Gabriel himself was not capable of this. Seibor had recovered from his laughing fit and joined the two of them in front of the throne.

“Wonderful, isn’t it?” Seibor asked. “Out with the old, in with the new, as the humans say.” Ba’alzamon opened his fanged mouth to respond but a cry from above cut him off. Strange, he thought, that sounded similar to that of an Ignis. They are known for hating indoor environments, why would one be here? Furnox turned his gaze upwards and smiled.

“He approaches. Time to meet the new Master, Ba’alzamon.” Furnox said, with a touch of joy in his voice. Thoughts flew around in Ba’alzamon’s mind. An Ignis, he thought, they aren’t intelligent enough. Unless...no, it’s not possible. There is only one capable of this.

 

The Ingis flew through the gate behind them, dripping acidic saliva from its maw, ascending over the three demons and beginning to circle the throne. Ba’alzamon grew more suspicious while Seibor looked more and more excited. The Ignis began to drop in altitude while shifting in shape, its wings shrinking, horns growing. It reached the seat of the throne just as it’s transformation was complete, revealing a monstrous demon, easily dwarfing the three standing before him. His eyes glowed green, a defining feature of the demon Ba’alzamon had grown to hate most. His father.

“Welcome back, Ba’alzamon. Or should I say, son?” said Kuxibach, now seated on the throne. “Lucifer is gone, I am the new Master, King of Hell.”

 
 
 
 
 

Glossary

 

Demons (in order of appearance)

 

Ba’alzamon:

A very ambitious young demon, before the events of Return, Ba’alzamon angered a demon of higher status and as a consequence, was bound to the puppet, named Nobert by Amy in Finger. He was tasked with the destruction of ten families and only when he was in the dwelling of one of these families was he allowed free movement. At all other times he was unable to move or leave the fabric body of the puppet. The destruction of these families took him two hundred years to accomplish, allowing events back in Hell to unfold. The last family he destroyed was Amy’s. He loathes humans, giving reason for him to be sent to the earthly realm.

 

Seibor:

A lesser, weaker demon than Ba’alzamon, Seibor is suspected to have played a major role in Ba’alzamon’s temporary exile. Currently an advisor to the Highness of the Uux Ardoch, Furnox. He relies on lies and manipulation to get what he wants, infuriating everyone he meets in demonic diplomacy (or lack thereof).

 

Furnox:

Current High of the Uux Ardoch, main court to the Master. Furnox rose through the ranks of the demonic, mainly due to some suspicious banishings and murders. Ignoring warnings from others, he raised Seibor to be his advisor, the impact of which is yet to be seen. His power stretches over most of the realm of Hell, second only to the Master but other lesser courts have challenged his power in recent times.

 

Kuxibach:

A very powerful demon with the unique power of shapeshifting into any beast dwelling within the realm of Hell. Rumored to be one of the first demons created by Lucifer after the Fall From Heaven, demons use this to explain his unique power. Father to many demons, he feels a special connection to Ba’alzamon, something he does not experience with any other of his spawn.

 

(Quick note: Demons reproduce asexually but because they are not bound to the laws of nature, they are able to retain sexes, although females are outnumbered 15 to 1 amongst the demon population.)

 

General Terms:

 

Agony Pits:

Nearly infinitely deep pits where souls are bound for eternity and subject to every form of torture imaginable and unimaginable. Used as an extreme punishment for traitorous demons.

 

Emissary:

A term used for a demon sent to the earthly realms as punishment. An Emissary always returns stronger, having fed off the pain they create. Feared by most in the demonic realm, Emissaries, more often than not, rise up to positions of power within the demonic hierarchy after their return.

 

Fall From Heaven:

An event from a time before humanity, the Angel who was known as Lucifer was cast out of Heaven after challenging God’s authority. The fallen angel would travel to a new

 
 

Flesh Oracle:

A female demon with the power to see the future but only explains her visions in cryptic messages. Before Emissaries are sent to Earth, they consult the Oracle to understand their mission and prerequisites for returning. Her true name is known only to the Master.

 

Ignis:

Flying guardians of the Gates of Hell. They possess four bat-like wings and a mouth that drips acidic saliva that they are somehow immune to the effects of said saliva. All of their senses are beyond anything in the earthly realm.

 

Inferic:

Main demonic language of Hell. Two other forms of it had been developed over time, these being Parsel Inferic and Fernal Inferic. Parsel Inferic is mainly used by lower level demons while Fernal is the form most often used by torture demons in the lower levels of the Agony Pits.

 

Oasuezohn:

Not much is known about this small coven, although it is rumored that they plan to overthrow the Uux Ardoch.

 

Uux Ardoch:

The main court and advisors to the Master, headed by a demon called the High. The most powerful of the courts, their position in the court hierarchy is greatly envied by all. Made up of a council of up to 501 demons with lesser committees to make smaller decisions. The High has final say over all rulings and is the only one who can challange his judgements.


© Copyright 2017 Lachlan Smith. All rights reserved.

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