My name is Brook. It was the name my parents gave me. It was the name I had gone by for all my mundane years before I knew monsters were real. It is not the name the hunters, the fiends, and the monsters of this world will know me as. I may not have the black eyes anymore, but any who saw my face will see only the demon Ruby.
I had a rather unremarkable life before Ruby. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming. I went to church, and I went to school. I didn’t even escape the state for college and headed only as far away as Cheyenne. For a small town girl like myself I it was a sprawling metropolis. I had the big city fear, but I found no real danger there. The danger or more accurately the darkness found me when I went back home.
I came home for the weekend. Visiting with my parents, siblings, and many friends that didn’t escape the dreary town left me drained. First chance I got I slipped out to the back patio. I sat there with a cold beer looking out at the stars like I did countless times as a kid. At first the heavens looked so beautiful, and for a brief moment I felt at ease. That ease evaporated when the sky turned black.
I am not talking about the darkness of night but demon black. At first I saw it only as a dark wave, and I thought it must be in my head. I looked at it with tired eyes hazed with alcohol, but on an instinctive level I knew it wasn’t right. I stood up when I could make out the tendrils. It wasn’t a wave but a swarm of countless black missiles streaking through the sky. Fear gripped me even before I saw a single tendril break away and shoot down. I couldn’t see through the darkness coming at me and with it came pain.
A real haze followed. I never completely went away, but I wasn’t alone nor was I at all in control. Ruby was there with me. She controlled my body. She talked with my voice. At times, I found blissful sleep but at others I had a clear perception of all that was happening. I could see everything she saw, and feel all she felt. Occasionally I could even sense her thoughts. I always felt the pain. When she fought with the hunters or other demons, I always felt the pain they inflicted. I felt every slash, stab, and tear in my body. I felt my bones cracking and breaking. It never affected Ruby. She was a demon, and I was just a meat suit.
It all gave me a sense of the creature controlling me. I knew what a monster she was and what a monster she made me. I felt the moment Ruby left me, but before I could claim even the smallest freedom an even more foul, and vicious creature entered me. My time with this demon lasted only minutes, but the darkness I felt in that brief time haunt me more so than all those months with Ruby.
With the departure of Lilith I died, and I should have stayed dead. I would have if something else didn’t find me. I awoke in an empty lot. I felt stiff and sore all over. My innards felt knotted, and my head scrambled.
I tried to gain my bearing and focus some sense of what happened. That is when I realized that I was alone and in control. Ruby remained gone, and no other demon took her place. I forced myself up to my knees. It still hurt when I moved, but it was something I did by my own free will.
I cherished that moment only briefly for I heard footsteps coming my way. I looked up and saw a trio of men approaching. I looked their way only for a moment for my attention fell on a glint of silver on the dark pavement in front of me.
I briefly forgot about the potential danger moving my way when I laid eyes on the long triple blade dagger forged of silver laying before me. Without thought, I picked the blade up.
That is when my focus fell back to the trio. I could sense their intrigue at my presence. However, I came to be there they had nothing to do with it. As they came my way, their scent hit me. I smelt it in their blood, and as I looked straight at them, I saw a black nimbus pulsing from them. I knew well what caused such darkness.
Now I sensed their hesitation. Their excitement at finding a possible plaything turned to caution. They stood side by side, and the center demon looked to me with clear confusion. “Ruby? No, it can’t be. You’re her meat suit, but you are dead?” His eyes widened as his thoughts aligned. “This can’t be. Rudy is dead! How do you live?” His eyes turned black with the question, and he took a single step forward.
Those eyes were all I needed to see. I already held the silver dagger. I tightened my grip on it and sprang up. I landed solidly on my feet and rushed forward. The demon lunged to meet me. He swung out with a closed fist that should have leveled me with ease, but I ducked under it. I continued to dodge to the side as I struck upward with the blade. The demons overextended stance forced him into a forward slump giving the blade open access to his open chest. It pierced through entering his heart. I felt the heat and vibration from his pulsing body. I saw the fiery red spark flash around the blade and shine from his mouth. I saw the spark’s reflection in his eyes as the demon died with his meat suit.
The other two demons came at me at once. The one on my right came down going for my legs. The other rammed forward banging into the side of my shoulder just as his fellow demon tackled me. My legs came out from under me, and I crashed down. I hit the pavement with considerable force. The powerful assault of both demons should have broken me. I felt the intense pain from the blow, and the back of my head stung from hitting the pavement. Still I struggled. I twisted and moved as the demon climbed over me. His tackle wasn’t enough to force the blade from my hand, and I stabbed it right into his side spliting through his ribs. I pushed the blade right to the hilt, and this time I felt the heat from the death spark of the demon’s open mouth right on my face.
I pushed the dead demon off of me just as the other stomped down with a heavy boot aimed for my head. I quickly rolled to the side, and wildly swung back with the blade. It slashed across his abdomen. The demon screamed, and his open wound flared a pulsing red. The blade didn’t do any vital damage, but it hurt him. I quickly got back up to my feet. He stepped back while striking out connecting his right fist with the left side of my face. The blow dazed me, and I swayed to keep balance. The fearful demon didn’t push his advantage. He feared this living meat suit and the blade I held. He turned away retreating back the way he came, but I wouldn’t let him get away.
Rage, and adrenaline all fueled me as did some unknown power. He had made it only a few yards before I nipped at his heels, and the blade entered his back. He tumbled forward, and I crouched over him. I stabbed him again and again, and even after I saw the spark of his death I jabbed the blade back into him one more time.
I couldn’t further relish the kills for my clearly enhanced senses detected another presence behind me. I twirled around swinging the blade, but the figure side stepped with ease. I looked at the figure. He stood at six feet with a medium build, and he wore a dark duster. He had short dirty blond hair and an unshaven chin. He looked to me with stoic gray eyes. I didn’t smell the demon stench in his blood or see the throbbing blackness over him. He wasn’t a demon, but I could only perceive him as a threat.
I came at him swinging once more with the blade. Again he ducked and sidestepped my attacks with minimal movement. I jabbed forward aiming for his exposed heart. His hand shot out catching my wrist and holding it in a locked vise. I swung with my free hand, and he caught that wrist as well. He held me there firm, and I couldn’t hope to break free.
“Who are you? What are you?” I yelled with mounting fear.
“I am Kohel,” he responded in a cold, monotone voice. “I am an angel of the Lord.” It took some time for the shock of his words to settle.
It wasn’t until a few hours later as we drove south to some unknown location that I learned what happened to me and what I become. He explained it all with unenthused ease. The angel came to me shortly after my death. The demons fled from my body leaving what should have been a dead meat suit. If left alone I would have died completely. He reached within stirring the cells that were yet to die. It was enough of a spark, and slowly life spread back through me. He kept me under for months allowing my body to heal fully and strengthen. Strengthen it did. As my body regenerated, it did so with all the muscle memory of the demons that possessed it. Her telekinetic powers were gone and thankfully her black eyes but all of Ruby’s strength, stamina, and speed remained.
“Who were the demons back there?” I asked him as he drove.
“Remnants of Lilith’s forces, forces that now rally to Lucifer,” he answered. “I needed to know that you were ready, and strong enough to fight.”
“Is Ruby dead? That is what the demon said to me.”
“Ruby is dead as is Lilith,” he answered. “They are at least as dead as such things can be. No energy completely dies. Demons are, but energy like the soul and as such something always remains and winds up somewhere else. They are not important. Not now, and they may never be again. Lucifer walks the Earth, and he is but one trial to come. My brothers and sisters are positioning themselves, but only a few among them understand all that is to come. The apocalypse will come in waves. Man, monsters, and angels alike will look to the long ago fall of one angel and think he alone will bring forth the end. They don’t realize his was, but the first of many falls and in a sense all my kind are still falling.”
“What does this have to do with me? Why did you bring me back?” I practically yelled at him.
He never looked away from the road as he answered. “You still have a part to play. The hunters will travel their road, and they will face a great many obstacles, but their road is not the only one. The wars ahead will be long and brutal. We need soldiers positioned on all fronts.”
I looked ahead at the unending empty road not understanding where it would lead but fully grasping the importance of it as he laid down these last words.
“This apocalypse is just the beginning of the many ends to come.”