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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
When an angry man grieves for the loss of his son, an ancient evil returns, offering him the chance to have incredible power and show what a wise man can do with it.

Submitted: December 14, 2018

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Submitted: December 13, 2018





WHEN HIS ALARM WENT OFF Darwin Hicks got up and went in the bathroom, and for some reason he could not pin point, he looked at his belly ahead of anything.  There it was, almost big enough to mount headlights and turn signals.  He looked at himself in the mirror and shook his head.  Years ago he had been in top condition and done some serious business in the ring in a little known sport in which two opponents faced each other with wooden padded rods in a match, and he had been good at it.  He made up his mind he was heading for the gym, looking at this mess hanging from his belt was too depressing.

"Hurry up Darwin, we've got enough time to get to the graduation ceremony, but not much to spare."  His wife said.

"Do I look fat to you?"  He asked.

"You look like a middle aged attorney should look.  You aren't supposed to be athletic or have the body of a demigod."

"I don't look like a demidemon do I?"

Darwin's wife Cassy looked at him, paused then looked away as she got dressed.  "Okay, so you are having an affair, or you think you can make it as a Hollywood hot shot, which is it?"

"I just put a beanie baby on my dash and don't want to look ugly in front of it.  I just don't like bellies.  I see what I look like and they don't have suits in the tent department I like."

Cassy muttered and walked away.


Darwin turned on the television while he got freshened up and he paused once to look at it as he check for unwanted hairs.  He listened to the announcer, and shook his head.

"The Ali Jheed terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting of thirty five people in Singhai this last weekend, which comes on the heels of the United States authorities finding the set of bombs placed in the Dallas fort worth area and intercepting an attempt to bring the city to a stand still."

"Thirty five people."  Darwin said.  "A bombing planned."  He put on his shirt and walked to the closet to get a tie, passing a picture of Jesus his wife had on the wall.  She was showering and as Darwin passed it he looked at the picture.  "And what are YOU doing?  Hanging on people's walls looking pretty offering false hope and self hypnotism?"  He said.

Darwin shook his head.  He thought Cassie was the greatest person in the world except for her devotion to that religious nuttery.  Every weekend she would put on nice clothes and totter off to church, singing, praying and going through the normal routine they all did.  Now and then he joined her, and he would look at each of the people and wonder, what little secrets these folks had, what really went on in their houses.  The guy in the nice blue suit with his large nose, smiling.  What do you do?  Look at porn?  Have a secret drug habit?  A girlfriend, maybe not even of age?

Darwin looked at the pastor.  He wondered what that man had going on that he didn't want the world to know.

They had been doing it for generations, promising a second coming of Jesus to clean up the filth that was this world, and yet the filth remained.  Darwin had once gone to church, but he got tired of it, tired of the empty promises, tired of the false hopes, and one day he said this was his life, and he would take care of it.  He never went again.

Cassy loved her church so Darwin supported her, went occasionally, then returned to business...the business of walking into court rooms and dealing with monsters, always with excuses.  Daddy abused them, mommy didn't buy a toy, I was bullied for being a Goth, you name it.  Darwin had looked into the face of pure evil.  The man who had been caught kidnapping, torturing and murdering countless women, burying them in a field, then the law was called because developers found the remains, and the murderer shrugged and dismissed it when they gave him the death penalty.  As he lay ready to die, he looked t them and simply said "bye bye bitches."  Darwin had seen them many times but he could not understand them.

  They arrived at the graduation and found their daughter Zoie, hanging around with their son Seth and his friends.  They were dressed and ready to go, and twenty minutes later Darwin felt the gears in his life change as he watched his son graduate and Zoie take pictures.  Jeez he felt old, he felt as if he'd aged five years watching.  He stood in pictures with Seth and shook a few hands.  Soon after, they all went to dinner and shared toasts, jokes and a stream of pictures that seemed to last forever.  After it was done, Darwin was leaving when Seth came out and smiled.

"Dad I've decided to start my own meth lab in the garage.  The money is good and we could also put professional ladies in the bedroom upstairs.  I need your permission."

"I get sixty percent."

"Sixty?  That's robbery!"

"No, that was what we did last month.  Sixty percent or no deal."

"Never mind I can rent a motel room and do better than that."

They both started laughing and Seth said "No seriously, I'm going to get a motor home this week." 

"For the whorehouse?"

"No, because at Mercury the assignments last between three to six months and I can go from one job to the next that way."

"Well it sounds efficient enough, but motor homes are still a costly way to go."

"It's okay, within a year of going through the entry part it will be easily worth it."

"Well, it's your jump off the cliff, so fly high."

"Going to.  Are you joining us for drinks?"

"No, I've had enough partying for now so me and your mother are going home."

They hugged and Darwin got in the car.  His belly rubbed the steering wheel and he said "augh, you again."

Cassy looked at him.  "That's not nice!"

"My belly, Cass, not you."

Darwin drove back to the house and noticed how dark clouds billowed over head, thunder rumbled, and lightning flickered, but no rain came down.  He waited outside the car for a moment, and watched the clouds.  He liked storms, but there was something different about this one.  It reminded him of the ones they had in horror movies. 




Darwin was checking e mails and Cassy was casually discussing something he would never recall when the phone rang.  He answered and within seconds he felt as if he had slammed face first into a stone wall.

"Darwin Hicks, this is Officer Morgan with the Ashford police.  I am sorry to have to tell you this sir but your son Seth and daughter Zoie have been in a serious traffic accident.  She is bad off but it doesn't look good for him."

The computer was still sitting with e mail open and Darwin had his tie loose as the car sped to the hospital.  Darwin was driving somewhat recklessly and Cassy was biting her knuckles.  He slammed into the parking lot and they went into the hospital.  It seemed like an eternity to get an update from a short little doctor who looked a bit like a mad scientist.

"A blonde girl who had just finished partying after graduation was way over the legal limit and she passed through a red light at high speed.  She caught Seth's door directly and in the impact, Zoie's back was snapped.  She has head injuries and he is hemmoraging.  His chances are slim.  If she pulls through, she will sustain brain damage and be in a wheel chair.  I am so sorry Mr. and Mrs.  Hicks but there is no cushy way to present this."

Cassy melted into tears and Darwin helped her into the hospital room.  Zoie was in one bed and Seth in another.  Darwin was overcome and could not stop bursting into sobs.  Only an hour ago Seth was ready to buy a motor home, travel and work in the film industry and enjoy amazing adventures.Now he faced death.

Zoie's head was in bandages, and when he touched her and she just looked at him.  She didn't know who he was.

Cassy sat down and began sobbing.  Darwin left the room, went to the bathroom and threw up violently.  He then sat down on the toilet.What he would give if that fat blubber belly was his worst problem.

Darwin returned to the room and sat down.  He saw Cassy's face, a red mass of tears and pain.  She looked at him.  "I know how you feel about my church people Darwin, but I am going to have them pray over Seth.  If you can't deal with it just leave for a while."

"I don't hate them, they can do their thing.  I just won't be joining them." Cassy nodded.  "Okay."

Darwin stared at the kids for a while and just shook his head.  Finally Pastor Mike showed up with three others, friends of Cassy's, Vallerie and Dan.  They exchanged hugs and hand shakes, then Pastor Mike began to pray over the kids.  Normally Darwin just ignored him, but this time he felt surges of anger.  His hands began to shake and he felt himself starting to sweat.  When they were done he choked back the urge to be impolite, and he got up as they sat with Cassy began to encourage her.  Darwin walked down the hallway of the hospital, faster and faster he walked and almost slammed out the door.  As he moved, he passed a little boy in a wheel chair, bald, a cancer patient, and it only fueled his rage.

Darwin was near a run down the road when he came to Oakwood Park and he huffed through the front gateway and into the back recesses where he could be alone.  He almost ripped his suit jacket off and threw it against a light pole.  He let out a growl of rage and looked at the skies.

"So what are you going to do, God?  Nothing?  Again?"  He waited for a moment then took his jacket and threw it up toward the sky.  "Every day I am alive I see poor people, sick people, criminals, terrorists, and I hear the empty promises of religion, doing nothing but taking in tithes and offerings and giving flowery promises in return."

Darwin was half sobbing as he raged, kicking his jacket till it began to rip.

"I got an idea for ya God, give me all those big powers you have  for one day and let me show you how it's done!  In one day I can clean up this planet and do a better job than you, I betcha, but then, YOU CAN'T HEAR ME ANYHOW, CAN YOU?"

Suddenly Darwin froze as he heard a calm, sarcastic voice behind him and he turned to see a man in a suit, with dark glasses.

"Blah, blah blah, blappity blah, listen to Darwin the big bad atheist challenge God to give him some super powers for a day.  Wow!  NEATO!"

The man jumped up and grabbed a light pole, spinning back to the ground like a dancer.


Suddenly Darwin jumped back as the man was in his face.  "I thoughtcha didn't believe in hell, Darwin babeh?"

"How do you know my name?"

The man began to laugh.  "Ah, Darwin Hicks, the poster child for atheism, so convinced you know all the answers in the universe.  Tell ah me ah something deary..."  he mocked.  "How many videos of Richie Dawkins have you watched?"

"Who the hell are you, I asked, and how do you know me you mocking bastard!?"

"Oh where are my manners...why, I am the sonofabitch who can make your wildest dream come true!  I can help you with your request!"  He got on his knees and sang "OH BABE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAAAAAAAY!" He then stood in front of Darwin again. "But my given name in your language is Asroth."

Darwin calmed down, and glared at Asroth.  "You are a demon or the devil himself according to you."

"Wrong-ah-wrong wrong Darwin.  I am neither the duh-ville, nor a demon, I could not have your soul if I wanted it, but what I am is something you cannot comprehend, an immortal banished to your shitty little world who was once hailed as a God and ruled nations."

Asroth then put an arm around Darwin and continued to mock.  "Buuuuuuuuut, lets get to the good part...and skip the long diatribe, shall we?  I can give you that power you desire to show the world what a mighteh, mighteh man is Darwin  Hicks, for a short period, and you work wonders great.  You simply make a gentleman's agreement with me, and..." he got into Darwin's face and removed his glasses revealing what appeared to be the eyes of a vampire, yellowish with a slight glow, ..."thy will be done in  Earth, Darwin."

Asroth flipped into a hand stand.  Darwin smirked.  "And what, I go to hell?"

"Nope ums."  Asroth suddenly was over Darwin's shoulder.  "Hell is an invention of churches to scare people, Darwin, when you die, you won't boin for all e-toi-nitty. But you will wear my mark, as those who hailed me a god and you will answer to me when your power fades because you can't have it permanently.

Asroth appeared in front of Darwin and offered his hand.  "So, do you want to correct all the evil in this world and bring back your son, Darrrrrrrrwin, cause you not believing means this is all a parlor trick, riiiiiiight?"

Darwin looked at Asroth, glared at him, and grabbed his hand.  "Superpowers, huh, you theatrical meddling ass.  Get out of my face."  Asroth smiled.  "See you soon, don't write or call, I will"  Asroth suddenly was gone, and in the distance Darwin saw the figure of a man in a long coat with long hair, looking at him and shaking his head.  There was a slight rumble of thunder and he was gone.

Darwin stood for a moment then turned mockingly to the light pole.  "Okay, I'm now the most powerful man on Earth.  Lamp, glow bright red."

The lamp suddenly glowed bright red and Darwin felt a jolt of shock in his stomach.  He ran to his car and approached the trunk.  "I command ten million dollars to be in my car trunk, all mine, free and clear."  Darwin popped his trunk and saw a cube of hundred dollar bills neatly in the middle of his trunk.

"Shit kittens."  Darwin said.  "What the hell did I just do?"  He then looked in the mirror of his car and saw his eyes, glowing yellow.  "Asroth's mark."  He said. "Nice work Darwin.  That little clown was for real."






Making his way back toward the hospital Darwin was fortunate to have a set of dark sunglasses that made him look a bit less vampiristic, and he walked along trying to comprehend what had just happened.  He saw a fountain on the corner and willed that it should be Mountain Dew, and it turned yellowish green.  He took some in his hands, and it was even fizzy.  He changed it back, and as he walked it hit him, he had cut a deal with some being he had no clue who or what that being was.  Darwin returned to the hospital and while his first compulsion was to put his children back at home in good health, Darwin was overcome by a feeling of dread and he took out his phone and punched in Asroth.  He found several asroths, one of them a demon, one a band, and at length he found the one he had met.  Asroth's eyes identified him, yellow, like those of a vampire, set in a face that was reddish, hair spiked up like a rock star, and a body, like an average man with boots and body armor, but with wings and standing on a hill of fire.

"Who are you?" Darwin asked, then read:

"Asroth, also known as Demetrius, and Thetus, ancient immortal being from the realm of Cretius, brother of Protos, who had his dwelling in the universe as a roamer among worlds, a being who assisted mortal life forms and had power over wind, fire, rain, earth and elements.

"Asroth joined Lumaris in an attempt to dethrone Cretius and was banished to Earth where he manifested himself as a God and ruled nations before Cretius ended global violent by destroying the nations of the time, who were led in war by Asroth and Cirque."

Darwin stared into space.  "Oh holy crap, I had to meet one of the bad guys."  He said.  Darwin smelled a burger with onions and avocado.  "I want one of those, I'm way hungry right now."  He looked down and a burger sat on his lap. "oh boy, i better watch it.  I'm dangerous as hell now."

Darwin got up and began to walk and he aw nurses escorting a gurney with an old man under a sheet who had just died.  Darwin stopped and quietly said "okay, time for business.  I command that the boozy broad who hit my kids is sober, home doing what she does, and my son and daughter are home and healthy, and none of this shit happened.I also command that the little boy has no cancer, is home with hair and a healthy body."

Darwin suddenly found himself staring at his e mail.  He started to smile, then turned to see Cassy standing behind him.  she stared for a moment, then approached him cautiously.  Her face filled with alarm, and Darwin held up his hands in wonder.  "What's wrong?

Cassy gasped.  "Two seconds ago we were in the hospital and now we're home...your eyes, Darwin, what happened to your eyes?

Darwin felt his head empty, he had no idea how to respond.  "Um, I uh...shit kittens."  He stammered.  Cassy got close to him and looked extremely  suspicious.   "Darwin Hicks, did you do something you want to tell me about?"

 Darwin stared at her for a moment.  "Well the honest answer is no."

Cassy took out her phone and dialed the hospital.  she asked for the room number of Zoie and Seth and she hung up the phone.  she came over to where Darwin was sitting.

"I know for a fact we were in the hospital looking at our children in hospital beds after a drunk driver plowed them.  Now I am standing in my house, and the hospital has no record of them.  Now I could attribute this to a miracle from God, but I don't think he works that way, but then I look at you and recall my mythology class in school, and the story of how certain immortals marked their hosts.  Something here looks scary Darwin.  Should I be scared?"

Darwin chuckled.  "I'm a bit scared,, the bad news is I might have met one of those guys, the good news is our kids are fine and we have alot of money....oh yeh, I might have a sports car too."

Cassy looked angry.  "Define "those guys."  She said pointedly.

"Some guy calling himself Asroth..."  he said.  Cassy looked shocked and horrified.  "ASROTH?!  YOU MADE SOME SORT OF DEAL WITH ASROTH?!"

"Well he said he wasn't the devil, that really sounds lame, doesn't it?"

"Oh my GOD Darwin, he might as well be!"  Cassy walked around the house waving her arms and yelling.  Darwin sat and shook his head.  "Well at least my sports car is free and clear."

"For crap's sake Darwin, Asroth is an ancient being who rebelled.  In religious terms he's similar to a fallen angel.  Cutting a deal with have to be a stinking ATHEIST, who doesn't believe in ANYTHING except the mail of course, of COURSE you were fair game...ohhhhhhh myyyyyyyyy GOD!"

Cassy came back and slammed down in a chair close to Darwin's desk.  "The deal you made with him Darwin, what is it?"

"Okay, well I was pretty upset at the kids having an accident, for shit's sake give me room for that..." Cassy nodded anxiously "yes Darwin, yes I get that."Darwin continued.  "Well Asroth showed up and simply told me to shake his hand and he would give me the power to change things I thought were wrong.  I mean, look at the world we live in!  He said I could fix anything. Seems to work pretty good."

Cassy looked angry and worried.  "You don't get it Darwin, these immortals are not always your friend.  Asroth only did that to have some fun with you!  He didn't do it to benefit you!  What did he want in return?"

"He just said the power is temporary, like a day or so, and I could prove I could do as good as...."

"AS good as who?"


Cassy stared open mouthed.  "So you said you thought you could do a better job than God, and Asroth showed up and gave you power to prove it and since then you've been having some fun?!"

"Uh not quite.  Do you think God would be mad?  I mean I was angry, I really meant no disrespect."

Cassy slapped her forehead.  "And the very fact that this idiot shows up didn't tell you it might not be smart to test the situation.."

"Well Cassy when he showed up I thought he was some idiot....well I guess all that jumping around and knowing my name was kind of..."

"Kind of dangerous?  So he did weird things and a total stranger knew your name.  AAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHHHH!!  Dammit Darwin I am going to talk to Pastor Mike and see what we have to do."

"You think I'm going to hell?"

"Darwin, I think you made a mistake and there will be a price to pay.  YOU DON'T MESS WITH STRANGE PEOPLE LIKE THAT, MR. HICKS, THE HIGHLY EDUCATED (Cassy coughed mockingly) ATTORNEY!  I'm going to Pastor Mike's NOW.  You sit there, answer e mails and if a man with horns and a tail shows up do what two year olds are taught to do and DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS!

The door opened and Zoie and Seth walked in.  Darwin suddenly got in his desk drawer and put on his designer sun glasses he used on business trips to hide his eyes."Hey mom and dad, just us for a night or two more!"  Seth said pleasantly.  Zoie frowned.  "Mom you look like you saw a ghost!"

Cassy shook her head.  "No that would be your dad, Mr. Idiotmoves."

Seth went to his room talking over his shoulder.  "Hey dad, can you drive me to Milton's tomorrow to check out motor homes?  There's a project started filming a script by that funny looking woman, Genny Mikel, and I want to try and get a production utility spot on it."

"Sure thing Seth.  Well my kids are home...and I'm glad."

"Well Dear, that's fine, and I'm going to see if we can avoid having you pay too much for gladness.  I'll be back."

Zoie looked puzzled.  "Everything okay mom?"

"Just fine, little girl.  Go ahead and take out that barbecue for later.  I'm going to Pastor Mike's to take care of business."  Cassy left and Zoie shrugged.

Darwin nodded.  "Okay, well nothing is going to change any time soon."  He got up and left.






Darwin got in his new sports car and drove down the road.  He went through the city and went to a beautiful park area he had visited many times and looked down over a rocky ledge with a water fountain at the city.  He stood and smiled, and began to speak.

"I command that the Ali Jheed terrorist organization will no longer commit acts of terrorism bombing and shooting people.  I command that all the sick people be made well, that war and crime stop right now."  Darwin smiled.  "And as a sign my will has been done, I command all the trees in this park to have colorful flowering blossoms that smell like whatever perfume the visitors like."

Suddenly Darwin smelled a perfume his wife wore regularly and blossoms were everywhere.  He smiled and nodded.  "That's how you do it.  Use that power!"

Darwin was startled when a voice spoke behind him and he turned to see the man he had seen in the park, tall, hair down to his waist a slight mustache, and a long ornate jacket.  He radiated history and mythology.

"So you think it's that simple, do you Mr. Hicks?"

"Who are YOU?"  Darwin asked.

"My name is Protos.  I am kin to the fellow who gave you those amazing powers you love so much."

"Well Protos, I'm truly sorry if you feel I offended God, that was not my intention, but for pete's sake look at this world!  If God is so powerful and all knowing, please explain to me why we have evil!"

"Darwin, it really isn't that hard to figure out.  Human beings love the power of choice and are willing to lay down their lives for freedom to choose to live the way they wish.  But everything they want is not good to have.  Tell me about crime Darwin."

"I deal with men and women who break the law."

"Name one and tell me what they did."

"Jerry Wilkerson, possession with intent to distribute.  Had a meth lab in his house."

"Where is he now?"

"Well I just commanded crime to stop, so I really don't know."

"Okay, how was he funded?"

"By junkies and whores who love drugs."

"Now Darwin what do you think they will do?"

"Quit using dr..."

"No they won't.  They will simply go out and find another supplier."

"I just got rid of them."

"No you didn't you got rid of the ones of that moment.  In hours new ones will take over."

"So what the hell are you saying?"

"I'm saying you can't cure the disease without curing the cause, and when a man wants something he will get it."

"Well God made man with the power to choose knowing full well he could make wrong decisions then, and that makes it his fault, Protos, tell me I'm wrong!"

"You had a son, Seth.  What guarantee did you have that he would grow up to be a young man who wanted to make films as opposed to a criminal?"

"I raised him better than that!"

"But you knew when he grew up he could do as he pleased, yet you took that chance, gave him an education and hoped for the best, right?"

Darwin was getting mad.  "Ok, so what, if he had decided to really open a whore house, should I kill him?  Isn't that what god supposedly did in the big flood?"

"Keep in mind, Darwin, that A God owes no moral explanation to his creation if it offends him.  How would you feel if your daughter called another man Dad and mocked you to your face?"

"I wouldn't kill her!"

"Of course not, Darwin, you are a man."

"Make excuses if you want to Mr. Protos.  I have this power and I'm going to use it for good.  Period."

"We'll see, won't we?"

"So what are you here for, to take me to hell?"

"No."  Protos replied.  "I'm here to keep your mistake from going too far while you learn a lesson.  No amount of me talking will help you, you are too hard headed and convinced of your won intelligence."

"What the hell ever.  so who is Asroth?"

Protos extended his hand.  "Come and see."

Darwin took Protos's hand and suddenly he was transported to a time when Asroth stood in a massive thunder head over a huge country side filled with ancient castles and houses.  Asroth was blazing red, his wings outstretched, his eyes blazing, and beside him stood an evil looking vampire-like woman, long grayish hair laying down over a horrid looking black cloakish fabric.  Asroth spoke in a thundering voice.

"Look at them!"  Asroth roared.  "Vermin and insects, so far beneath our dignity.  We shall be hailed as their gods and we shall rule them!  We shall raise up nations and armies, multiply their power, and then make these vile creatures war amongst themselves and destroy their own, down to the last man.  Let them worship us and bow to us as we bide our time.  We shall rule the world till we destroy them in our time.  Cirque, you shall be a goddess among them."

As he stood, Darwin Saw Protos approach through the bubbling clouds, his eyes blazing with radiance.  "This day I curse your offspring Asroth, that any who follow you will be tormented through the time of man's reign, hunted like animals and fleeing the light.  They will live as cursed beasts, and they will bear your mark as long as they enjoy your power which will be a burden to them."

Suddenly there was a gust of wind and Darwin found himself in the park again.

"So am I cursed?"  He asked Protos.

"Only by stupidity.  But I am going to let you grow wise.  Have a good ay Mr. Hicks, and know I am watching you."

Protos was gone then, and Darwin looked out over the city.  "Ok, so by taking the power to clean this shit up I made a mistake.  Boy, there is no winning this situation.  I wonder what Cassy is up to."




In an old building that had once been a warehouse, then a slave auction site, then had turned into a dance club, a band dressed in leather and gothic/bondage clothing went on stage and began playing.  Before them on the dance floor were three thousand party goers.  Atop the overhead floor looking down on them was Asroth, in a burgundy suit with designs on it and his hair greased back, his eyes blazing as he watched the party goers.  He stood for a moment, then he ordered a drink and went to a table and sat down.  The drink blazed with fire then Asroth drank it, and suddenly found Protos sitting across the table.

"Dear brother, you came to party with me!"  Asroth said.  Protos did not smile.

"So tell me who brought you forth."

"My host? She is a lovely little girl who thinks she wants to dabble in ancient religion.  She actually had no problem with any of it.  Have you met Darwin Hicks yet?  I'm sure you have."

Protos sat back.  "I met the fool, and he is doing what the others did, running around giving commands to make the world that wonderful heavenly place he thinks everyone wants."

Asroth laughed.  "They never learn, do they my brother, that debauchery, filth, perversion, addiction, it IS their heaven!"

Asroth suddenly appeared in the bench next to Protos.  "Can you imagine, dearest brother, what would happen if a Christ like figure came to this planet and announced he was going to clean it up?  Ah, the chaos!  Christian pretenders suddenly crying because their falsehood would catch up to them, drug empires, despots ruling kingdoms of genocidal peoples, all of them arming themselves to the teeth to attack!  Would it not be epic?  You don't agree do you my dear brother?"

"Darwin is going to check in on his wife."

"Should I be surprised?  She wants to destroy me.  Oh me oh my, you did not come to have a drink and dance with a half naked Goth woman."

"I know you will go there, just remember, Asroth, how far you can go."

"Absolutely , my brother, why would I disappoint you?  Oh yes, there are forty three drug dealers who went out of commission here suddenly...they have already been replaced by their own lieutenants and several of them are already dead, executed when they failed to provide and their own new bosses killed them.  Isn't it fun how quickly  human beings kill each other?

Protos vanished.  Asroth drank his drink down.  "So you want to destroy me huh, Mrs. Hicks.  We should talk."

Darwin's car pulled up in front of the minister's house.  It was eight o'clock but the lights were on.  Darwin checked the news before he went up to the door. Nothing had changed, but it had not had time to change yet.  He was certain the world was a better place.  simply identify a problem and will it away.  Simple.

Darwin approached the house and Pastor Mike opened the door.

"Darwin, we have some things to talk about.  Come in."

"So you are angry at me and going to condemn me to hell, right?"

Pastor Mike brought him into the living room where his wife, Cassy and he had been talking and he got into the refrigerator and got him a drink.

"I'm not going to rant on you Darwin, but you have made a serious mistake and the consequences are going to be ugly.  So have you figured anything out yet?"

"I did what I said I wanted to do Mike.  I stopped war, stopped crime in it's tracks, and did some other things."  Darwin replied.  "Why would this piss you off?"

Mike sat down and looked at him.  "You think it's that simple Darwin?"

"Oh this again.  I met another angel named Protos and he gave me a talking to in the park when I stopped war."

Cassy looked at Darwin.  "Protos isn't an angel.  Asroth is not a demon.  You don't know anything about it."

Darwin took a drink.  "I don't care.  I stopped evil in this world, and thats that.  Are you mad I upstaged your religion?"

Mike replied.  "You didn't upstage anything, and in a few days we will see how this paradise ends up that you think you have created.  In the meantime we are going to try and close the portal and send Asroth back so he can't do damage."

Darwin was curious.  "Portal?"

Cassy intervened.  "Asroth started a genocidal war thousands of years ago, and he was bound away from humanity.  He can only come back if he is brought through a portal by someone who acts as his host.  Either kill the host or close the portal.  We have no idea who his host is."

Pastor Mike drew close to Cassy and they joined hands.  Mike looked at Darwin.  "Are you going to join us or just hope for the best?"

"Why should I help you?  I got my son and daughter back, and have not seen one single piece of evidence that Asroth has given me anything bad."

Cassy joined Mike and in a moment mike's wife came into the room with a bible in her hands.  "We have to bind Asroth away from us."  She said.  "And if you won't join us you have to leave.  He can still get to you and I don't want the danger to my family."

Suddenly there was a voice outside the house, and Asroth stood in the front yard.

"Ignore the idiot's Darwin.  Like you said, nothing bad has happened."

Mike got up and went to the door of the house.  He opened it, and saw Asroth.

"You are not welcome here rebellious one!"

Asroth laughed loudly and mocked in a sing song voice "Rebelllllious oonnnnnnneeee!"

"I rebuke you and demand as owner of this property that you leave, now!"

Darwin came to the door and he saw Asroth standing in the yard, and bolts of lightning and smoke began to appear around him.

"You miserable little coward."  Asroth scorned.  "Why don't you tell them the truth about Mikey the pastor!  About the cute little..."


"...girls you give, um..."spiritual advice to!"

Mike became angrier than Darwin or Cassy had seen him before.


Asroth began to smoke and he suddenly stood out of the yard on the street but his voice continued.

"Hey Cassie, did you ever wonder why your daughter had special projects where she worked with Mikey's daughter so she could spend....extra time at the house?"


Asroth vanished into the night and Cassy stood with Darwin staring at Pastor Mike.  He looked at them, and his wife stared, stunned, her face questioning.

"He is a lying monster.  Calm down."  Pastor Mike walked away and Cassy looked ashen.  She and Darwin excused themselves.

They drove down the road silently, and when they reached the house Cassy took Darwin's hand.  "You made a mistake, but I am sticking with you no matter what, okay?"

Darwin gave her a hug.  As she got out of the car Darwin stood in the night air and looked out at the trees.

"I command that if Pastor Mike has had illicit relations with any humanity beyond his wife that he will have an itch in his private areas, blisters and oozing pain and it cannot be cured as long as he lives.  If he touched my daughter I also command he has major pimples on his face for life and that his ding a ling will never ding again but remain itchy and limp for all his days on this Earth.  I condemn all crime, all war, all poverty out of existence."

Darwin went inside and began to check e mails.  At ten that night Seth came in and sat down.

"Dad, mom told us about the Asroth thing."

"Okay, wells o far nothing bad has happened except for one rinky dink pastor getting accused of being a naughty boy."

"Dad, you realize that when Asroth's power expires things will go back to how they were, right?  This is all temporary because Asroth is the author."

"What?"  Darwin stopped what he was doing.  "You mean you kids are only here for a few days and..."

"Yeah dad, Asroth can't give you power permanently.  He isn't a nice little fairy, he's actually...a total asshole who likes to have fun with human beings."

"He didn't tell me that."  Darwin said, suddenly very upset.  "Dammit to hell."

Zoie came in the room.  "You meant well dad, but...this is just how it is."

Darwin stared at them.  "Are you kids okay with this?  you want to die at the hands of a drunken bitch?"

Zoie looked at him.  "We don't want to be saved at the hands of Asroth."

"But what about everything else?"  Darwin asked.

"I don't think it's as good as you think."  Seth replied.

Darwin got up and went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror at his yellow eyes.  "So Asroth gave me these powers, and as long as he owns them, he owns me and my family.  Well.  Maybe he needs bought out."

Darwin had nearly completed his thought when he heard a voice outside his house.  It was Asroth.  He ran angrily to the door as Asroth spoke.

"So miss Cassy wants to try and send me back to the realm of darkness.  I don't think so you little weight watching Slim Fast addict be-atch..."

Darwin flung open his front door and marched out to face Asroth.

"Level with me, Asroth, is this all just a big game that you and me are playing that I lose in the end?"  Asroth got into Darwin's face nose to nose.


Asroth walked around him as he scorned and Cassy slowly came outside.

"HUMANITY MADE THIS WORLD DARWIN, THEY LIKE IT LIKE IT IS!  IDIOT!  Junkies promote your drug trade, crooked politicians run your governments, and if you try to take it all away, they will just reinvent it five minutes later.  People like you are ignorant fools Darwin.  Did you ever screw some girl just for fun in college?  DID YOU?"

"Yes."  Darwin said.

"Did you smoke some dope and use some cocaine and support the very people you commanded to disappear?"


"Of course you did, Darwin.  Your humanity loves the world they made, and you just make a joke of yourself trying to wish it all away.  Change the man, you change the problem.  Don't change the man, the problem remains, and I find it funny as hell how many Darwin Hicks's I have met."

"I'll change the man."

"You can't, fool, he has to WANT to change.  It's called free will, stupid."

Cassy looked at Asroth and he turned to her and hissed. 

"I am not afraid of you, monster, and as the lady of the property I command you to leave, now, and do not return."

Asroth spoke mockingly.  "Your husband is thinking nasty thoughts, and I shall do as the lady desires."

Asroth suddenly was in the street again, but this time he raised his hands and there was thunder, lightning and  a huge bolt of fire came down and landed in the middle of the house.  Darwin grabbed Cassy and Seth ran outside with Zoie.

"Rebuke me off your property will you, then I shall destroy your property."

Asroth said.   As flames shot skyward Darwin tried without success to command the lames to go away and they would not.  H looked at Cassy sobbing and said "this is all my fault, I'm so sorry, God I'm sooooo sorry!"  Asroth vanished into the night as Darwin stared after him his fists clenched in rage.





The United Sates government began to infiltrate and stop cells being formed by a new terrorist organization, The Triangle.  They had several targets picked out in the US to bomb when they were discovered.  

A new drug had been engineered, taking floor solvent and several other chemicals and cooking them as easily as in your kitchen, and were super addictive, and easy to make and traffic.  The new drug was smoked from a tiny bottle, and if you were lucky you could get three years to live and use it as your body began to decay and organs to shut down.  If you were not lucky, your bottle would be too pure and it would explode, blowing off your nose, eyes, jaw and flesh leaving you with no face.  At fifty dollars a bottle the drug dealers were getting filthy rich.

A wave of kidnappings and murders went through Billings and Darwin would have netted several cases, but he took time off, and gave himself, however temporarily, the body he had had in high school, stout and stocky, and able to use several bladed and rodded weapons in competition combat.  

After securing a new home for his family, who refused anything he gave them with his powers, Darwin took a drive down town, left his car in the park parking lot and stood in the grass, close tow here he had met Asroth.

"I command that Asroth meet me as a human man warrior on field of combat in the old Billings arena where I will meet him with my old weapons."

Suddenly  Darwin stood in the midst of an arena that had been abandoned for years, the ring dirty and surrounded by rusty metal cables with framing for cameras overhead.  Darwin was attired in metal armor, and he had a stand containing long rods and blades to his side.

There was a burst of flame in the middle of the ring and the armored, powerful looking figure of Asroth, his eyes blazing yellow, appeared.  He stepped out of the flames and regarded Darwin.

"Well you didn't expect me to just walk down the aisle with no crowd or lights, did you?  I am an immortal and used to be a god."

Darwin glared at him.  "I don't give a shit.  All I care about is my kids not being in the grave because of you, liar."

Asroth swished a sword into existence in his hands and got nose to nose with Darwin.

"I didn't lie to you, foolish man who thinks he has all the answers.  You mistakenly thought you could just swish away all of the worlds problems, totally unaware that this society you live in is what it is because mortal man WANTS it this way, fool.  All your humanity has to do to end crime, war and violence, drug abuse and a thousand ills is to cease doing them, but your kind thrive on it.  Truly pure hearted people don't need rules to kep them in line Darwin and nothing can stop the lawless man from being lawless when he so chooses to be."

Asroth swung his sword and engaged Darwin in a smashing, slashing duel that struck so hard Darwin groaned, cried out and felt the impact through his whole body.  

Asroth smashed Darwin's long rod, rendered his swords into shards of metal, and they exchanged devastating bolts of electricity, neither one of them harming the other.  Asroth laughed.  "Ah the days of the fighting warrior."

Darwin threw down his battle ax.


Electric cables ripped up from the floor and dropped from the ceiling, hissing and winding around Asroth, holding him down.  He struggled and curse Darwin.


A ball of flame shot up from the ground and Asroth wailed in pain as it swirled around him,, burning the metal ring cables to cinders and heating the overhead framing.


The glowing overhead beams swayed, then buckled and descended onto Asroth, who screamed and writhed as they fell, the cables twisting and flexing as they held him.  Asroth burned and his face turned to reddish mounds of slop that oozed down his chest.  He crumbled to the ground and the roof over his head fell down through the building and landed on him.

The roar of the explosion filled the building and echoed, and Darwin suddenly felt faint, fell to his knees and realized the power that Asroth had given was fading away.  

In his last seconds of power, Darwin said quietly "I finally command that the truth of God or no God, and the universe be mine to know."

The roar of the roof collapsing faded and the flames simply burned.  Darwin began to smile.  He had....

Suddenly the twisted metal rose and parted and Asroth, red, towering with his wings outstretched stood and regenerated.  Darwin cursed.

"Oh come no, counselor.  Did you really think you could use my own powers to destroy me?  You barely gave me a bruise."

Suddenly Asroth was in Darwin's face.

"But since you want to hurt me, I shall pay you back, you slimy little mortal tub of lard.  Oh yes, Your children are alive now, but I  will end them, and that pretty little broad you married with more pain and horror than..."

"You will do no such thing, Asroth."  Protos said, appearing behind him.

Asroth turned.  "Ah, dear brother, come to comfort the latest little imp from the planet stupid?"

Protos stepped forward.  "You've had enough fun with him, and he has learned plenty.  You are going to leave now.  You are not in charge here, trouble maker, I am.  Your fun is over."

Asroth turned to Darwin.   "Awe, and I was enjoying wallowing in the fact that without me, your kids are in caskets and wheel chairs.  Poor Darwin, and a fat little bastard you are..."

"GO!"  Protos commanded.

Asroth flew up into the ceiling opening and vanished.

Darwin shook his head.  "Where is that sonofabitch going?

Protos stood quietly and replied "he is here because a great battle is soon to happen.  He's done having fun with you.  I think you are alot wiser than you were.  Go home to your wife and you will find what you deserve."

Darwin watched Protos walk away.

"Please Mr. Protos!  My son, my house, my daughter....just kill me now for shit's sake!"  He sobbed as Protos vanished.  

Darwin began to sob.  "Oh my God....oh.  I tried to destroy that thing and every thing failed."

Darwin buried his head in his hands.

He suddenly heard a knock on a door.  

"Dad, I really need to get in there.  You okay?"

It was Zoie.  Darwin found himself back at his house in the bathroom.  He came out to find Seth on the computer, Cassy smiling at him and Zoie going into the bathroom in their old house.  

Darwin felt a flood of relief.  He went to sit in his chair in the bedroom.  It was as if it had all been a dream.  Suddenly Cassy's phone rang and she put it on speaker phone as she gathered laundry.  It was pastor Mike.

"Hey Cas, do you have Bill's new number?  I need him to fill in for me at Men's club."

"Sure Mike, I can text it to you."  Cassy replied.

"Yeah, I can't go, I'm heading to the doctor. My face and other parts of me are broke out into this awful rash...."

Suddenly Darwin burst out laughing unintentionally  and Cassy gave him a strange look and took the phone off speaker.












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