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Chapter Twelve

Pride

‘Pride!” A banshee seemed to call out. I turned to see my dearest, and I use that term loosely, follower. “How is it that a demon is beaten here by some “soulless” girl? Why is it that you take so fucking-”

I grabbed her by the hair as I walked into her alleyway. At first instinct I was sure that my rival in spirituality had lied to me. But then I looked more closely. What was before me was a simple apartment. It had to have had more floors than a skyscraper. I estimated forty.

“If Bruno lives here, then I will have one more follower, followed by hundreds.”

“You’re taking another soul?’ She asked. “What good will he do? He’s got nobody! You‘ll have to get people one-by-one in Cocaine. And you can‘t trust anybody.”

I smiled at how flustered she looked. The way she looked down when she became red. Why would she say such stupid things. The most powerful man in Cocaine would obviously have hundreds who’d follow him. Did I sense jealousy?

“You make little sense to me, wench. Everyone will follow me when I have recruited him.”

“And if he chooses immortality in the next life instead/?”

“Hell on earth or in hell is all the same. There is no afterlife for the unworthy. Just neverending death.” She started to throw more hypothetical questions at me. I merely opened the locked door (another demonic ability), with the turn of the handle, and headed for the front desk.

“Tony Bruno?”

The clerk raised her head from the desk she’d been sleeping at. She pulled out a stick of gum before speaking, and began chomping it up. “He ain’t heya, sugah. “Mistah. Bronoh ain’t nevah at home.”

“If he were here, then he’d be at…”.

The woman popped her gum. No more response.

I looked down, laughing just barely at an audible level. I then moved at lightning speed, pulling her over the desk by the collar of her shirt, and holding her as high as I could while meeting her eyes.

“His room!” I shouted demonically. My eyes glowed yellow and sinister.

“Try again sugah. Ya daughtah an’ you ain’t one bit scarriah than To-”.

She stopped. I don’t want to describe what I did to her. But never once did the woman scream. I was impressed at her noncompliance to the end. When she was on verge of death, and only then, did I stop to offer her life a purpose.

“You can live forever under my wing, but only if you offer me your soul.”

She smiled, showing what few teeth that were left had already become stained from blood. As she opened her mouth to speak, I snapped her neck. Hardly a fitting death. Quick, painless, and nothing of another sin’s preference. Nonetheless, I grew bored. She was required to pay for that.

“You sick fuck!”, Samantha called out. “You don’t even spare women like her?”

“Nor children like you.”, I completed. I could’ve stepped around the counter and searched through possibly protected passwords. Instead, I put both hands on the dead wench’s temples, her open eyes staring blankly into mine. My voice became hers for just a moment. Her dead corpse reanimated, as mine became petrified and motionless.

“This baystahd ain’t nevah gonna find out where mistah Broonoh’s livin’. Therteh foist floowa.

“That’s all this bitch has to say.”

Her body went limp again, and mine came to life once more. I could only imagine Sam’s innermost thoughts. The way she envied my greatness, but took pride in the fact that she was my most loyal follower.

…Barely.

“You’re sick in the head, Pride.”

“You still speaking, wench? I have no doubt in my mind that you are still jealous of what I am. You should take Pride in me, my dear.”

She spat. I fought the urge to hit her… almost. Couldn’t resist.

“We‘re heading to the stairs. That man will have nowhere to go once we‘ve cut the elevator.”

The girl sighed. I imagine she‘d have planted her feet were she not busy being dragged by the hair..


Submitted: April 03, 2010

© Copyright 2022 Jonathin Dreary. All rights reserved.

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