Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 15 Part 2

Chaos POV

I needed to find the Sephira. So I set my intention to do just that when I pressed my palms to the travel-thingie and, well, traveled.

I reappeared inside somewhere dark. Real descriptive, right? But it took me a minute for my eyes to adjust. So I just stood there, in this hazy darkness with light spewing down from some (tiny!) grimy windows, illuminating emptiness around me. A floor, definitely. Cobble-stoned floor, to be exact. But what else?

My eyes adjusted slowly, allowing me to see in bits and glimmers here and there. Then, in a snap, I sort of realized where I was. I was in a church! There, behind me, was the entrance doors and a sort of holy water receptacle. There were some flimsy wooden pews and kneeling boards, and up front – a giant statue of Mother Mary, front and center.

Huh, I thought. Me thinks that’s a bit odd for a church, no?

Turning on myself, I made a final check-around to make sure there was no one about to jump out and attack me. But there was no one- and so I made my way to the altar and statues.

I stopped right before the giant Mother Mary. Cleared my throat. “Hi,” I said, awkwardly. “I’m looking for the Sephira. Do you know where I could find them?”

To my disappointment, there was no immediate answer. I cleared my throat and tried again. “So, it’s kind of important so, if you could help me out it’d be great.”

Still, no answer. I inhaled deeply to calm myself. It didn’t work.

“You fuckhead!” I yelled. “Where’s the Sephira?”

“Goodness!” someone squeaked from not far enough away.

I yelped most bravely and spun, glaring at a nun in humble black robes. Nun who – happened to look exactly like me.

She gasped, lifting a rosary to before her. “Demon! Demon!”

“Wait, I-”

“VADE RETRO!” she yelled, pushing the rosary before herself and doing the sign of the cross with it.

It was like a punch to the gut. I doubled over as energy slammed into me, winding me completely. Tottering, I reached out a hand to the base of the statue to regain balance.

Sizzle! My hand burned as I touched the statue’s foot.

Yelling, I jumped back and bumped into a pew. Thankfully that didn’t burn me. “Listen!” I yelped, trying to make sense of this whole mess.

The nun, now shrieking Latin verses at me, kept on waving her rosary and rushing at me. It was like energetic punches coming from nowhere, invisible, and completely painful. I deflected one, got whacked by two others, and fell over onto my back. It was completely unfair.

I blinked, and the statue of Mary seemed to be laughing at me as it and the world spun above me. The terrified nun’s head appeared above me, then vanished.

Oh good, I thought. She’s running away. Smart woman. Wouldn’t want to cross me in an actual fight –

There was a scraping sound. Some tingly sense of doom told me to get up. I did, grabbing hold of the pews to get up onto my legs.

Oh shit.

“VADE RETRO!” the nun screamed, carrying the holy water bowl and chucking it at me. Splash!

Oh, sweet Jesus on a stick. It burnt like disinfectant on a cut. But all over. All. Over.

I screamed, collapsing and sizzling like, well, someone who’d gotten on the ‘bad side’ and who’d been doused with holy water. Imagine that.

“Oh god! OH GOD!” was all I could manage, in between wordless screams as I sizzled and stung and writhed on the floor.

The nun, however, ran behind the statue and picked up a metal cross and came running back with it.

“STOP!” I shrieked, not wanting to know how much that would hurt. “It’s good! We’re done! I’m pure! I-I-” I drew out my own rosary and brandished it at her. “You’ve cleansed me! Okay?”

The nun hesitated. I wiped at my face with a drenched sleeve. Big mistake. I got holy water in my eyes, and apparently they weren’t pure enough. Ouch, ouch.

Trying not to curse, I managed to get up off the floor and stand (still holding my rosary out before me like a shield). “Listen,” I gasped and looked around for someone sane. There was three nuns who had appeared at the back entrance of the church, mouths agape. My evil nun look-alike glanced quickly from me to them.

“Fetch the mother superior!” she shouted. “There is a demon here!”

Oh god, I thought, sweet baby Jesus help me, they’re going to burn me alive!

/////////

Kuryo’s POV

There was a stark silence after evil me had spoken. The people (who were not human) just stood there and gaped. Evil me stood and waited. I looked to Aaliyah. “We can’t let him do that!”

But then again, had I spoken too fast? An idea clicked in my head.

“Think we can let him rewind us just a bit?” I asked. “Like,” I looked her over. “Until before you died?”

Aaliyah looked from me to the scene. A small smirk curled her lips. “Maybe,” she said slowly.

Then the being who was standing before the throne shuddered and spoke. “You will not be returned the baby. It is ours-”

“I’m going to count to five for you to change your mind,” snapped evil me, cocking his guns at the versions of us on the floor. “Five.”

The councellors exchanged panicked glances.

“Four,” he said.

Oh shit, he was counting fast! Uh-

“Three,”

The councelor who was being the unwilling spokesperson was tossed out of the way. The weirdo with the hair of doom stood up angrily.

Evil me didn’t even say ‘two’. He just fired as the weirdo brandished the scepter.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! I flinched for every shot. You could feel it in the air, rippling out and shaking the world, stronger and harder with every shot-

I was seized and yanked forward, jerked towards the weirdo with the hair.

Bang! The final shot and I heard evil me collapsed to the floor just before I was yanked into the weirdo.

Into? Yes, into.

I was suddenly in this person’s mind, just as Suzy had once been in mine. It was uncomfortable and icky, squishy and dirty feeling.

“Kuryo? Kuryo? Where are you?” I could hear Aaliyah as if through a tunnel, through ears that weren’t my own.

Crushed up tight, I tried to throw around my senses, trying to reach out of this body in some way. In a distant way, I saw the bodies on the floor, saw the spirits stepping out of them and wondering what to do with themselves. Suzy was among them, looking around like a lost child. Poor Suzy.

With a kick and a shove that made my host double over, I took control of the body. If people were going to die, at least they deserved a good afterlife, I figured.

So I reached out for them, stretching my arms out and welcoming them.

With a groan the spirits gave up and gave in, slipping into me and vanishing into another world. All except two. One was Suzy, in tears.

“Am I dying?” she cried out.

“Bastard!” cried out the other, very angry, spirit. We can all take a wild guess as to who it was, right? “Why aren’t you dead?”

“Just come-” but my host wrenched, fighting for power back. I struggled, reaching out one final time. “Come here-”

“Fuck you!” and evil me grabbed a hold of Suzy. And then I blacked out, losing control of the body and shunted away.

 

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 15 part 1

Kuryo POV

I had lost the alternate evil version of myself. I was now in the back end of some slum or other, and had crawled and scratched my way up the side of a house and was now perched on the roof in crow form. Several friendly crows had come to sit with me, offering silent solidarity. I just took the moment to breathe. Hey, I’d never been the most in-shape person. I was not Chaos.

“He’s coming for you,” said Aaliyah at my side.

I looked at her. She was in dragon form, majestic and reddish golden. I didn’t want to acknowledge what her presence meant for me. For our little nest.

“He’s only a few streets away,” she said, her head swiveling. “He’s tracking you.”

Of course mister evil-guts also knew how to track and hunt. Why were villains always overpowered? I groaned and put my head under my wing and rubbed at my head. Then, popping my head out, I peered at Aaliyah. She gave me a solemn look.

“If you can’t fly, he’s going to catch up to you,” she said flatly. “I can’t stop him.”

“Unless I kill him,” I suggested. Honestly, it was an option. The guy was a creeper and had killed Aaliyah and Jade. I could just end him. Send him into another galaxy.

Aaliyah tilted her head meaningfully, dark eyes peering into me. “Are you ready for that?”

I shrugged. “I can.” The truth was, I never quite stopped and thought endlessly about the people I’d killed. I just let it be. I refused to make a big hoopla about it. The less I thought of it, the less of a moral dilemma it was.

Aaliyah made a deep snorting noise. I took that as a sign of consent to the killing, and closed my eyes. Drawing on my powers I scoped out the field of energy that lay before me. Aaliyah had been right. He was just at the end of the street now, and approaching quickly.

Well, if he thought I was going to be be all honorable and get down into the street and give him a speech first, fuck that. I just reached out straight aways and plucked at him.

For a split moment, I had his body and soul in my grasp. With a flick his spirit was sliding out of his body and propelling towards me.

Then, fast like a snap, my power flickered. Something, or rather someone, was interfering.

“Suzy?” I shrieked, confused as I felt another mind blot into my headspace. Suddenly my thoughts were all filled with ‘how does that work?’ and ‘how do you do that?’.

I fumbled the ball, so to speak. A ball which got straight back up on its feet and aimed a gun at me.

Oh shi-

Bang!

Hey, I tried. But I blame Suzy, I really do.

I didn’t even have time to see black. It was just lights out.

//////

Chaos’ POV

I wanted to stay in Lucifer’s arms for ever. I was warm, snuggled, and safe. Sleep was on the tip of my mind and I didn’t want to move. But, finally, Lucifer shifted.

“You have to go,” he said gently.

I scowled into his sleeve, but I got up. I wanted another kiss but I stopped myself from asking. I wasn’t about to start asking for kisses. That just – I wasn’t there yet.

So I stood and glared at him as he rose before me. There was a smirk on his lips. He caressed my hair. “You’re going to do great,” he said softly.

My stomach churned. I didn’t believe him for one bit. I was a screw-up. But hey, I didn’t say that. He probably knew it already. But I did say something else.

“So, do I get that collar?” I asked cockily, crossing my arms and lifting my chin.

He chuckled, raising his eyebrows in surprise. “No.”

My jaw fell.

“When you come back,” he said playfully, tickling my cheek. “Now off you go, kitten.”

I scowled, for real. He was trying to make me come back, wasn’t he? Well, we’d see.

So I took up the black box, pressed my palms to it, and thought of where I had to go.

First stop: the Sephira.

////

Kuryo POV

“Kuryo! Kuryo!” Suzy shook me awake, from the inside. I tried to wake up, I really did, but something was barring me. So she threw me outside of my body.

Whoah! That woke me up. It was like falling out of bed. No cozy body all snuggle snuggle. Nope, I was freezing out here – where was here?

I looked around. We were in a box of sorts. A big box. I took a look at my body, and saw myself all curled up and tied tight with my knees up to my head and my arms behind my back. It looked so so painful. How come I wasn’t waking up? Peering closer, I poked around at the edges of my body. I was wrapped in a net, a weird substance that was electric and – strange? I didn’t know what it was, but blamed it for me being asleep.

Suzy was wailing, something about us being trapped (Gee, thanks, didn’t notice that there) but I ignored her. Instead I took a step back and stepped out of the box.

Whoah! I zoomed out, falling out of the box which was suddenly super tiny and the rest of the world so big. It was like falling out of a kaleidoscope – and then everything zoomed back into focus.

I was in a room, evil me standing there with several small brown boxes hanging around his neck. Presumably, those were what I had been in? Why was there so many of them? What was in the others?

Beside him stood Aaliyah with a nasty look on her face. And across the room from them, sat the weirdo.

Said weirdo still had their weird head-gear on and was still robed in skulls and black. Their lips were curved in the slightest of smiles.

“Hey!” Aaliyah waved me over. I stepped to her side, crossing before my evil self, who didn’t notice me at all. I was tempted to punch him in the gut.

“What’s going on?” I whispered to Aaliyah.

“It’s a good thing you woke up,” she hissed. “I’ve been trying to get that weird spirit piggy-backing on you to wake you up for hours!”

I looked around. Guards were posted by the door and several members of the council stood around the walls, whispering and ogling evil me. “What’s going on?” I hissed.

The weirdo sneered.

“We just got in here,” hissed Aaliyah. “There was this whole – he broke into a bunch of places and,” she shook her head. “It’s a mess.”

The weirdo on the throne moved their scepter from before them to the side, as if opening the conversation.

Evil me took a deep breath. He drew one necklace from around his neck and tossed it onto the floor. I felt my body bang around within. Ouch!

“I’m bringing you the world weaver,” he snapped. “Now give me back my wife.”

There was a cold moment where no one moved. Then, as if they’d silently been told they could move, the council embers jumped forward all at once. They crowded around the tiny box, and, with a pop, somehow got the thing open. Gasps and small cries were heard. They scuttled back, dispersing while staring at my body, lying there all tied up like a very unfortunate gift.

The weirdo tilted their head so very slightly in a nod.

“Now give me back my wife,” he snapped angrily.

The council members put their heads together, whispering. Out of nowhere, one of them half collapsed, eyes rolling back in their head. Body wobbling as if they hardly knew how to walk (looking a bit like a zombie), that member tottered forward to stand before the throne. They turned to face evil me.

“Your wife will be returned to you once the child is born. Until then, you will have to wait.” the person droned, eyes half closed and head tilted strangely back.

Evil me pressed his lips together angrily. His shoulders heaved in a deep breath. “I want my wife,” he demanded, eyes flashing. “You promised – and you will give her back with the baby!”

“You’re not the father, you have no rights to it,” drawled the bizarre council person who was standing before the throne.

Evil me took another angry breath. He just looked so mad. “I’m the parent,” he snapped. “And you will give them back to me.”

He drew the other necklaces from around his neck and tossed them to the floor. Then he drew a pair of handguns from his sides. He pointed them both at the boxes on the floor.

“Go ahead,” he hissed to the council members (who looked like a flock of terrified chickens). “Look at who I’ve got.”

They scuttled forward. Pop! Pop! Pop! The other boxes snapped open. The councillors yelped and squealed in dismay. Then, as if shoved aside by an invisible force, they were pushed away from the boxes and crushed up on the walls.

There, all bound up like my own body, was the other version of me who had kidnapped me, a version of me with a large spike through his head (seemingly still alive?!) and another who I didn’t recognize.

The councilors whispered, terrified.

“You know what happens if I kill us all, I hope?” he snapped. “It undoes the fate they’ve woven. That means that you, your stupid people, everything gets undone to when we were born. That means your stupid civilization will go back to pre-discovering how to travel dimensions – and before you fought the gods. Think you can win against them on a second round? Think your people will still come out as the powerhouse of the worlds on a second try?”

Oh, crap.

Anxiety tips for COVID 19, Spiritually Speaking

flowers on opened book
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What with the sudden influx of people checking out my mental illness posts, I took a wild guess that people were reaching out for help. So, behold! I’ve decided to put together some self-help tips that try and take into consideration our limitations due to the pandemic. I mainly focused upon anxiety and worry, as it seems that’s what most people are dealing with in these trying times.

  • smudge/burn incense that is purifying and banishing of all negative energy. I am particularly prone to burning cinnamon (yes, the spice). Just pile it into a little pyramid (no bigger than an inch tall or wide, otherwise it might be too much heat for your holder), and light with a match.
  • Do a guided meditation (like this one) where you visualize yourself giving up all your worries to your favorite spirit.
    • Sit down comfortably. Close your eyes and relax. Or cry a little bit, that’s okay too. But whatever you do, relax and let your emotions come bubbling up to the surface. Feel them, hold them. Place your hands on your chest and try and, stretching your hands forward, visualize yourself taking these worries as tangible objects out of your chest and holding them out. Now, pray to a healing deity (my thoughts go to Bast or Sekhmet for this one). Ask them to take your worries away, to heal them and guide you through this pandemic safely.
      • The prayer can go something lie “I pray to you, O Great Sekhmet. Here are my worries, my inner plague. Please erase them from me, leaving me wiser and calmer. Let me, by your guiding grace, pass through this pandemic unharmed.”
    • After this, clap your hands and dust them off away from yourself. They are now empty and your worries are symbolically gone. Rest, focusing on feelings of rejuvenation and calmness.
  • Paint a Dagaz rune on your scarf/mask to help keep the virus out. You can use consecrated water to trace it invisibly as well.
  • Meditate on ice, Isa rune, to calm down and help you reach stillness. Visualize the rune in your chest, wherever you feel your worry the most. Breathe it in and feel it filling you, swelling and cooling down your worry. Exhale and feel it absorbing your worries and transforming them into cold calm.
  • Write down on a piece of paper a list of all things that are worrying you about this pandemic. Light a candle to Sekhmet or your favorite deity (simply say “I devote this candle to ___, to function as a channel of true speech between us” as you light it, or use your favorite invocation), and light the paper with the candle. Allow it to burn as you pray for her powers to destroy not only your worries but all harm that may come to you through this pandemic.
    • Prayer could go something like this. “O Great Sekhmet, here is a list of all that worries me, all that I fear. Please, with your burning powers, O Great Eye of Ra, destroy my worries and all harm that may come to me. Keep me and mine safe from this pandemic, this virus that engulfs the world.”
  • Offer up a prayer for all affected by the disease, such as This Brilliant One

 

I hope this was useful ❤  If you are suffering from something particular and want a prayer or ideas on how to cope with it spiritually, feel free to message me (I can send it to you privately) @ mdaoust245@gmail.com

flowers on opened book
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“Just More Chaos”; Chapter Fourteen

“So, what were you thinking?” Bella laughed as she stood before me.

I was sitting in the living room, curled on myself. Kuryo sat beside me, a hand on my shoulder. He’d brought me crackers and hot soup, but I had been puking bile and couldn’t keep anything down.

It hadn’t been god who had been speaking to me. It must have been someone from inside the hive, which explained how they could speak to me without a spirit being around. Had it been Bella? A demon spirit? Someone who just wanted the fight to break out?

Bella was spattered with blood, but seemingly fine. Her vampire horde had prevailed over the weakened forces, evidently. Without the Trinity, half the rebellions’ army had just lost its godhead. They were weakened and their power would have been draining away. Some might have even died with the Trinity.

I buried my head in my arms and squeezed my eyes shut. Bella laughed. “Good job, Chaos,” and she tousled my hair before marching away.

Snippet by snippet, news came to me. Vampires and even demon overlords came by and found it important to tell me what had happened. They seemed to think it had all been part of Bella’s plan, and they were honoring me for my… bravery? One demon even bowed to me. I could barely look up from my arms. I seemed to have lost the ability to move.

They had won. Bella was now the undisputed overlord of the sky and earth. And with that power…

“We will have our third portal tomorrow,” Bella cackled as she sat down in her comfy chair, mug in hand and cookie in the other. She propped her feet up on her pouf. “Your father will be there to open it for me.”

I looked blankly at Bella. She opened her eyes wide, making a shockingly amused face. “Tomorrow we are invading the Pure Lands.”

I buried my face in my arms. Kuryo kept massaging my arm and shoulder, but the day faded from me.

Somehow I got moved upstairs, walking dimly through the house with Kuryo guiding me. I showered, then curled up in a ball in Bella’s bed. She was busy celebrating with her buddies and vampires. I closed my eyes and wished I was dead. Tomorrow I’d even have to face my father. He’d see what a failure I’d become.

I couldn’t even find it in me to cry anymore. I was wrecked. I’d killed, again. I was such a pawn. So useless. So pointless.

I wallowed in my despair all day. I slept fitfully that night, not even noticing Bella come to bed. I did notice her waking me the next day however.

“Wake up wake up!” she cheered, bouncing over me and dragging the pillow out from under me. Then she smacked me with the pillow playfully. “Today is the day!”

I startled (understandably) but by the time I was sitting up she was already bounding away, laughing giddily into the bathroom.

Still confused, I looked around. My eyes met Kuryo’s, which were dark and grudging. I wondered why I felt so terrible. Like – and then it all came crashing back to me.

“No, no,” Kuryo said, probably seeing it in my face as I remembered everything. In a flash he was by my side, holding me up to keep me from curling into a tiny ball. “You’ve got to get up,” he hissed.

I looked tearfully up at him. I didn’t feel ready to do anything! I felt like such a wreck…

“Bella,” Kuryo glanced at the bathroom door, then back at me with warning lights in his eyes. “Wants you back on your feet.”

Bella began to sing (off-key). I looked pleadingly at Kuryo. “I can’t do this,” I whispered. “My father’s going to be there. I-”

Kuryo rattled me gently. “Come on,” he whispered. “Get up. You’ve got to.”

What did Bella say she’d do to me to get Kuryo like this? I sniffled but shook myself. I huddled myself. Then I swung my legs off the bed and got up.

Everything ached. My reflection was hunched, my eyes were puffy, and I looked like a train wreck, complete with smeared eyeliner.

A short stint in the bathroom fixed the eyeliner problem, but no amount of cold water on my face unhunched me or fixed my broken expression. I just was over.

Bella, however, was twirling and singing as she made her way through the house. Kuryo held my elbow and directed me around in her wake. Down the stairs, to the living room to a chair. Breakfast was offered to me – I ate a cracker or two and swallowed my tears – and then Bella was up on her feet. “Let’s go!” she cheered, clapping her hands and twirling on the spot like an overexcited child. I wanted to smack her. So did Kuryo, by the look on her face.

“Try another cracker,” he muttered at me.

“We don’t have time!” Bella snapped. “I want to go! Now!”

Kuryo stashed the cracker in his pocket and swallowed a comment. Again, he took me by the elbow and hefted me to my feet. Then towards the door –

“She can stand on her own,” snarled Bella as she put her coat on. “Don’t baby her!”

Kuryo wanted to stab her. Repeatedly. With something jagged and sharp. He let go of my elbow, nodding me towards my coat. I shuffled forward and got it myself.

It was okay. I could do this. I just wanted to curl up into a little ball and was fighting back tears but I could do this. Just – one step at a time. I just had to get my coat on.

I managed, though my hands were shaking and I felt like barfing all over the place. Tears swelled in my eyes, and then I thought of my father. What he’d be thinking of me.

Kuryo took me by the elbow again. Bella had turned her back and sauntered out of the house. “Come on,” he murmured.

Together, we followed in her wake.

Outside, the air was biting cold. It made my skin hurt. But it was nothing like the sickenign sight before me.

There was Bella, and there was a crowd of vampires and werewolves and even some humans, all cheering and clapping. There was even some motivational cardboard posters being waved by the humans in the lines of “go get ’em”. Everyone was ecstatic. Bella was grinning, soaking it all up. And oh yeah, there was this massive portal.

But the portal wasn’t here to send us anywhere, at least not yet. It was a portal from the underworld, and minions from it were arriving, with Lucifer at their head. Smug, celebratory, they too were all applauding Bella.

I felt really, truly, sick. Disgusted down into my bones at the adoration in everyone’s eyes. Worse, Bella was just so childishly gleeful at it all.

A portal to the sky realm was set up (with lots of magical bla bla) on the opposite side of the street. As soon as it crackled to life, minions from the demons of the sky realm began arriving, with various deities and godheads at their helm.

Armies stretched on. I mean, of course they couldn’t fit the whole two armies on this street. There was probably just the leaders and stuff. But the street was filled, the vampires were squished up together, and hey, the air stunk of the mihs-mash of various realms clashing.

Then, the scents faded. Ashes swirled on the wind. A particular scent fluttered in, faded, wistful, and impossible to grasp. Death.

He materialized somewhere, and strode in from down the street, mother at his side. They were solemn, but looking their very truest to their nature. Mother was sprouting white rays, beaming with budding leaves and with a smear of fresh, vibrant blood on her hands up to her elbows, like a midwife. Death was wearing his charred robes, ashes smeared across his bones and scythe in hand, only dried and still blood to be seen upon him.

Hand in hand, they approached. The crowd parted for them. My stomach flipped. Kuryo held my hand tighter. I didn’t realize until then that he had taken my hand, but I was grateful for it.

Bella stood her ground, head held high and arms crossed across her chest. I stood behind her and to her left side, just wanting to hide. Lucifer was to her right. Minions spread behind us.

The moment Death and Life reached us, Bella snapped “I want my portal.”

Death and Life inclined their heads respectfully. Bella did no such thing. She remained straight-backed and arrogant as my parents rose from their incline.

They didn’t say a word. Neither Life nor Death showed a shred of emotion. Instead, they faced each other solemnly and stretched out their hands. Between them, precious and sparkling, formed a third portal.

Bella giggled. My stomach was doing somersaults as I realized my parents hadn’t yet looked at me. Was that a good thing? A bad thing? Now I just wanted them to look at me. See how much I regret it? I’m not awful, I promise…

But the portal grew and grew until it was the size to fit one person. Then, Death and Life drew back. They inclined once more, and turned their backs on us all to walk away.

My heart shattered somewhere beneath my feet. I felt like this, truly, was the fated punishment of ‘hell’.

I was so striken, watching my parents walk away, that I almost didn’t notice Bella march head-first into the portal. Kuryo tugged on my hand and, like two bodyguards, we went after her in the portal.

Ahh, the Pure Lands. I was instantly soothed as we stepped into it. The softness, the purity, the gentle truth of it all. My heart felt light and it felt like all my burdens were lifted away.

Bella was there, and before her was some sort of goddess with nondescript features wearing a simple red kimono (or maybe it was a chinese hanfu? I had a hard time telling them apart, to be honest).

“Guan yin,” Bella snorted. “You’re who they sent to guard the gates?”

Guan yin didn’t move. Instead she looked us over with a patient smile.

Lucifer stepped to Bella’s side. Somehow, probably through the hive, I knew that the others were to wait outside until further orders were given. Bella wanted this moment alone, to herself. But with her bodyguards there to keep her safe of course, and Lucifer there to applaud her on.

Do it now, Yhwh’s voice echoed in my head.

I startled, turning on myself. But he was nowhere to be seen. There was just us and the stretching fields and valleys. Yet the voice continued.

Bella is at her weakest in the Pure Lands. Her army is far away. Run her through.

I gawked, my insides turning to ice. Kuryo was tugging on my arm but that felt a whole world away. I was shutting down inside myself.

Do it! This is your only chance! The voice commanded.

I can’t I can’t, I thought, pressing my palms to the side of my head. I just can’t – not her, I can’t-

Lucifer was stepping to my side. Kuryo had my shoulders but Lucifer brushed him aside. Bella was ignoring it all and sneering something to Guan Yin.

“Hey,” Lucifer pulled me to stand behind Bella. As if that would shelter me from anything. He took my hands from the side of my head and shook them out. My swords snapped out accidentally, narrowly missing his hips.

“Sorry,” I babbled as he took my wrist – and stabbed my sword right through Bella.

For good measure, he put my second through her stomach.

I gasped. There was a gurgling sound. Lucifer smiled at me. He ruffled my hair. “That’s how it’s done,” he said in Yhwh’s voice, deep and somber. Then he strutted to Bella’s side.

He bowed to Guan Yin respectfully, his voice switching back to it’s usual drag queen falsetto. “I hope you will accept this soul’s offering as a peace token. I have no intention of striking a war against your realm, and I hope this will, ah, make up for any undue stress we may have caused you.”

Guan Yin inclined her head, like one does when they are not totally sure what to make of a situation.

Lucifer turned to Bella. “Nama-stay here you bitch,” he whispered sweetly, tapping her on the nose. “You,” he pointed to Kuryo “Fuck off to your realm. I don’t want to see any of you around here. Get lost. Now. You-,” he turned to me. With a sigh he shook his head. “Do I have to do everything?”

In two strides he was at my side. Yank! He pulled my swords out of Bella. With a splutter she crashed down.

Lucifer patted me on the cheek. “Don’t worry! She’s in heaven. Her hell, but hey! They’ll purify the shit out of her. Now come along, this way baby,” and he turned me back to face the portal.

A hand seized my shoulder, yanking me out of Lucifer’s grasp. I stumbled back, swords slipping back into my wrists. Kuryo had his arm around me. “You’re not taking her,” he said sharply. “You’re going to blame Bella’s death on her.”

Lucifer chuckled. “You’re not as stupid as you look.”

Kuryo drew me back, stepping slowly away from Lucifer. “I’m taking her,” he said sharply. “And I’m taking Jade and Aaliyah as well. And Charr. We’re all leaving, and you get this realm to yourself. Deal?”

Lucifer grinned, obviously thinking some other plan. He looked far too pleased for this to be right.

But he shrugged nonchalantly. “Do what you want. I’m not stopping you.”

Kuryo hesitated. Then, the world swerved around us and darkness enclosed me.

I felt the brush of blackish blue feathers. Heard their rustle and felt the cosmos rushing around us. I may have also blacked out.

The fact was, I came to sitting on a couch with water being scrubbed on my face with a damp cloth. I spluttered, startling awake.

“Shhh,” Kuryo said. He was crouching before me. My jacket was gone and my hands were washed. A blanket was wrapped around me. “You stay here,” he said gently. “You’re safe, okay?”

I looked around. This was his apartment. His home. It was so quiet, but my mind was racing, my heart was hammering, and I could feel my mouth pasty and dry and my stomach roiling-

“I’ll be right back,” he said, squeezing my hands. “I’m just going to get everyone.”

I just stared at him. Don’t go!, my mind shrieked. Something bad is going to happen to you! Something terrible!

But he squeezed my hands and stood. “I’ll be right back,” he repeated. Then he vanished.

It felt like an eternity that he was gone. But I didn’t move. I couldn’t. I could barely think, even though my mind was rushing full of disasters – half of which had already happened. I was numb, it felt like I was dead in some way, but the icy river inside of me churned on and on.

There was a stumble and a thud who knows how long later, and Aaliyah, Jade, and Kuryo appeared all together in the hallway. Aaliyah and Jade crashed to the floor, Kuryo doing his best to let them fall gently, but not quite managing.

“Found them!” he announced with a sort of grin. Was that supposed to make me feel better?

Aaliyah moaned, not moving. Jade rolled onto her back, gasping as if she’d just died and come back to life. Then she giggled. “The ceiling!” and she burst into another fit of giggles.

“They’re drugged,” Kuryo announced. He rolled Aaliyah over and hauled her to her feet. “To the bed with you,” he said.

I just sat there, staring. This was good, I was telling myself. Things were good.

But still my mind was telling me that this was disastrous, that we were all about to die – or worse. So much so that I was shaking when Kuryo reappeared to haul Jade into the bedroom as well. That done with, he came back to me. Crouched back down, taking my hands in his as if he was pleading with me.

“I’m leaving again,” he said softly. “I’m going to find Charr.” He reached and cupped my cheek with his hand. “You just stay here, okay?”

I started to sob. I didn’t want him to go. Something so bad was about to happen.

I curled on myself, pressing my face into my knees and clutching the blanket around myself. The couch creaked and arms passed around me. Kuryo shushed me gently over and over, whispering that everything was okay.

Hiccups were ripping through me, and he was rocking me back and forth. The world turned dark, and stayed that way.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Eighteen, Part Two

Hmm, I’m really not sure what to think of this scene. I hate writing abusive scenes (this definitely takes a trigger warning for abuse!), so maybe that’s why it bothers me? The real question is: does it seem consistent with Bella’s growing power over Chaos? Does the magic in it make sense? I’d love to hear comments on this!

////

“Lucifer is up to something,” I said to Bella the moment we were alone. That meant that we had just stepped out of the portal and slipped inside the house. Now, we were in Bella’s private room, pulling off our boots.

She raised her eyebrows at me as if amused. Like I was a cute puppy that was excitably licking her hand. I gritted my teeth.

“I know Lucifer,” at least a bit. “He never does something for nothing. He’s lazy, you know.”

“He does do things for no reason sometimes, though,” said Bella, quoting the liar of liars. “And besides,” she thunked down into her large chair, fingering the leash between us. “What point is there in saying no to him?”

“The point,” I said testily, “Is not to let him into the hive.” It felt weird calling Bella’s group, or goop of minds, a hive. Were we really all connected to her after ‘ascension’? Or was Lucifer wrong? It wasn’t beyond him, or any gods besides, to be wrong. But Bella wasn’t correcting me.

“A hive is a collection of minds, sometimes led by a singular mind,” she said, having probably just read mine. She shrugged. “I see no harm in having him added to it. It could even be a plus.” And she pulled a pillow from her side and plunked it down to the floor. She nodded at it, and I knew she wanted me to sit. At her feet.

I did, pressing my lips together and swallowing down more of my pride. I secretly hoped it would endear her to me, would make her listen to my point more. “Bella,” I folded my hands on her knee and propped my chin over them so my chin wouldn’t dig into her leg. “Lucifer isn’t someone to play games with. He’s a trickster god.” Not mean, but not easy to understand. “And he’s definitely up to something.”

Bella tutted. “Chaos, listen to yourself. Do you think I can’t keep Lucifer in line?”

I hesitated, not knowing how to say that yes, she couldn’t. Definitely not.

Maybe I thought too loud. A flash of anger made her eye flare with anger – and I didn’t see it coming.

Crack! The slap struck me hard across the face.

“How dare you!” Bella shrieked, hand still raised. With a jump she was now on her feet and towering over me. “I can so keep him in line! Who do you think I am?”

Clutching my cheek I shrunk back, propped on my other hand. Fear flashed through me. Fear of what I wasn’t sure – what could I logically be afraid of? – but for an instant I was terrified.

But then Bella lowered her hand. She breathed deeply and I thought it was over. “I will keep Lucifer in line,” she said coldly. “I can do that, and easily.” She smiled darkly at me, wickedly. When she spoke, the words were silent.

A gaping dread filled me. This wasn’t the ecstasy of union or the joy of being around Bella. It was seperation, a yawning gap between us that was cold like the wind. It hurt in that unspeakable way that depression or anxiety gnaws at the mind.

I was suddenly feeling near tears. My arms were wrapped protectively over my stomach. “Bella,” I protested, pleading. This felt awful. I had lost something precious and now every cell in my body was mourning.

She reached down and I pawed at her pathetically, trying to unify through touch, to drag her closer. But all she did was unclip the leash. “Stay here and rot a bit,” she snapped as she wrapped the leash back around her wrist. “Think on what you’ve said.”

“B-” I wanted to protest and cry out her name all at once, but she was walking away, her back already turned to me. The door slammed shut behind her.

I wrapped my arms around my knees, heart feeling like it was ripping open in my chest.

It took me about an hour to get off the floor and to stop sobbing like a baby. I couldn’t control it. No matter how much I told myself that it was just seperation from Bella and that I was physically fine, I couldn’t stop the pain.

The worst part was that I knew what she had done. I knew it was a spell of some sort, or whatever it was her word-power was. It was merely those words! But it hurt like a knife through me. My thoughts kept slipping away into blinding pain, and I kept forgetting that this wasn’t ‘real’. That this was just a spell. I found myself sobbing like I’d just lost a limb, and wishing that I hadn’t been so foolish.

Then I remembered that I hadn’t even said anything against Bella. I’d merely thought it. That fact flew me into a rage. How dared she do this to me! It was me who defeated the Sky God for HER! I was her best, her favourite, and she had no right!

I struggled to my feet, wiping my tears on the back of my hands. There! No more crying! Bella, you ungrateful bitch-

Just as I thought that, I remembered (or was I told through the hive in some way?) that Bella could hear me. That, and there was footsteps running towards the door.

I braced myself for whatever was to come. Was someone come to beat me for thinking so much? Well, bring it!

The door swung open, and it was Bella.

“Really?” she hissed, shutting the door behind herself.

I staggered. Every part of me was screaming out for her. I wanted her in the worst way. The idea of being on my knees for her flashed through my mind as such a beautiful idea, so soothing, so wholesome and completing.

No, no! I was angry and it was her fault – but that idea was slippery, gliding out of my mind the moment I didn’t focus just on it.

I blinked, and Bella was before me. My mind was skipping through black windows. I hadn’t seen her walk over, didn’t see her move, but now her hand was in my hair. Another black window, and my mind was blank. What was I angry about anymore? It felt stupid, and I knew that whatever it was, it was my fault.

That knowledge sure in my mind, I felt myself collapse, exhausted and wanting nothing more than comfort. My knees slammed into the floor and I hugged at her legs, but was dragged back by my hair.

“Shhh, there now,” Bella said soothingly, combing my hair from my face with one hand while holding me in a death-grip with the other. “Are you sorry now?”

I choked on a sob, nodding as I blinked through tears.

“You won’t do it again, will you?” Bella asked, just her voice being not enough. It soothed, but it was like a trickle in a desert and I needed more. I was burning for her, to be reunited with her. It felt like I couldn’t exist without her. Desperate, I nodded.

Her hands caressed my shoulders. She had crouched down and was hugging me to her chest. “You’re so disobedient, you’ve been so bad,” she crooned, holding me tight. “You’re a bad slave, Chaos.”

I whimpered, clutching at her.

“I love you anyways,” she whispered into my ear. “You know that, don’t you? I love you like no one else ever will.”

A sob tore through me – and then she spoke the words. It was sheer relief. Like a light through the mind. Like a cold compress on burning heat. There really is no words to express it. It made me gasp, and my entire body relaxed, sagging against her.

Bella shushed me, cuddling me against her. But, for a flicker, I wanted to draw away. I felt like I had a head again, like I could think. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts to digest what had happened.

But then, like a bite, there was sharp ecstasy. The pleasure of being with Bella. The euphoria. It was not too strong, more like the scent of a spring breeze. But it was enough to send me into a fit of giggles against her.

My head was pulled back and I was looking into Bella’s eyes. “Well?” she said softly. “Better now?” To which I nodded, gulping back tears that seemed pointless now. “Good,” she murmured, wiping my tears away with her gloved fingers. “Don’t ever do that again.” and she kissed me passionately, claiming me. I gave way eagerly, wanting nothing more than to be hers, to receive more of the ecstasy. But she didn’t give me any more. I was lifted up to my feet a moment later and instructed to rest in bed for the remainder of the day. I protested at first, wanting to spend it with her, but the moment I lay down I realized that, indeed, I was exhausted. Too much emotions, I thought before I drifted off to sleep.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Seventeen, Part Two

For a moment it was all just silence. The crowd, the wind, nothing moved. I was just standing there, glaring at the Sky Lord. My mind’s buzzing ceased.

Then, with a flick of the wrist, I summoned my weapons.

I’d never seen someone who presented as so old move so fast. That staff whipped around and I jumped back just in time to not be cracked clear across the head.

A flurry of attacks rained on me next, but these carried the power of buffeting wind and enough magic to nearly knock me straight off my feet. My swords crashed up and against them, and I skidded back. My own magic was pitifully small compared to his. In a flash I knew that I was fighting the self declared god over all – and I was doomed.

Fucking doomed.

Let’s break down god-power here. There is a certain amount that comes with age, a certain amount that is innate, and certain amount that is drawn from worshipers. Ye ‘god of all’ has nearly all the worshipers. That makes him, definitely, the god with the just-about-most-power out there.

As the staff crashed against my swords again, my mind was spinning. What the hell was I going to do? How could I win this? Was I supposed to lose? Was I supposed to stall?

Did Bella seriously expect me to win?!

That option was terrifying. I’d given her my word, my heart and soul, and now I was about to fail her. And somehow, I knew deep down that Bella wasn’t going to be merciful in her punishment of my failure.

But I was thinking too much. The staff crashed again and lightning – Frickin’ lightning! – came bolting down. It struck me, full on.

I screamed as the blinding light surrounded me and the pain – so much pain- jolted through me. The world careened and I landed on my knees.

Fuck. The Sky God was brandishing his staff, readying for another strike. He was taking his time though, showing off.

It gave me a split second to think. How had Kemosh defeated this doofus before? Before he became all-powerful, before he became the ‘god of all’?

Human sacrifice. In the story, Kemosh’s people, his devotees, had sacrificed a prince in order to stave off the Sky Lord’s army. And it had worked.

A gear clicked into place in my head. That’s why Bella had put me forward into this fight! It was useless to fight for oneself, one had to sacrifice for someone else in order to defeat him!

I staggered to my feet. The Sky Lord gave me a look. “Surrender,” he intoned. “I’m being merciful.”

“Yeah, right,” I sneered as I held out an arm and slashed my wrist open beneath the bracelets. Then the other.

The Sky Lord paled. I took a deep breath. The sparking pain was okay, the feel of blood trickling down my hands was magical. I felt a renewed sense of energy, and power. Of devotion.

I was doing this for Bella. My sacrifice to her, of me.

I darted forward, blood magic pouring over my swords.

Another pointer for those who don’t know: blood magic is very powerful, the power growing in levels of pain and the willingness given.

My attack sliced through a defending wind, crashed into the Sky Lord’s staff – and cut through. Half the staff went flying, and I, now seeing red and unable to think, hacked on.

Wind buffeted at me. Lightning flashed but missed me. In a haze I recognized another part of the staff as flying away – then sliced through flesh.

Again. Again.

There was a yell, and the god crumbled down.

My blades hovered over him, but it was over. The old man was lying still in a pool of his own blood, chest quivering and eyes wide as he stared up at me.

“Healer! Healer!” the referee was shouting as they rushed over.

The red in my vision misted away. I heard the cheering of the crowd, and a hysterical laugh. Bella. Bella was pleased, Bella was happy.

In a rush I felt the reward, that sense of euphoria from her words. It was ecstatic, bursting through me like a warm glow.

I staggered. Someone was checking my wrists, someone else feeling my pulse at my throat. I wanted to shake them off to go see Bella, but I felt weak now. Just how much blood had I lost?

“Sit down!” the healing deity was ordering, but I just fell. My magic had run out.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Seventeen, Part One

I waited until Bella and I were alone in her bedroom to defy her.

“You can’t do that,” I pleaded with her, conscious that I was treading delicate ground in challenging her.

“What?” she asked, glancing over her shoulder at me. She had her back to me and was busy with something on her nighttable. I laid my jacket on the bed, making sure to choose my words carefully. I didn’t want her to be angry with me.

“Challenge the sky god. It’s like challenging Lucifer,” Except worse, because the sky god was the one who won in that battle of the gods, remember? “You can’t do that. You’ll get hurt.”

Bella turned around with a smirk, placing something behind her back. Her blue eye twinkled. “Don’t worry about me Chaos,” she said sweetly. “We have something else to discuss.”

I worried at my bottom lip. “But-”

Bella gave me a scowl, and that silenced me. As my jaw shut, her good mood returned. She drew her hands out from behind her back. “Come here,” she ordered.

Jaw slightly agape, I stepped forward. For in her hands, hse had a beautiful black collar. At least, to my eyes it was beautiful. There was studs along the side, and a vial was set at the front instead of a gem. A vial of what looked like blood.

“On your knees,” she murmured as I reached before her.

Entranced, I didn’t think twice. I sunk to my knees. My eyes were riveted on the collar, then up to her face where she was smirking contently.

“You’re my best,” she crooned. “And,” she drew my hair aside with one hand. The smooth texture of the collar met the skin of my neck and goosebumps raised along my arms. I just knew that it was her blood in that little vial. “You’re mine,” she whispered as she buckled it around my neck.

My heart was doing somersaults. I was going to explode from happiness, from pure joy.

“You’re my perfect slave,” she crooned, stooping before me. In her other hand now, unwrapping from around her wrist, was a slim leash. She clipped it to a buckle beneath the vial. I couldn’t have been happier.

“I love you,” she whispered so close to my lips, but I didn’t dare reach for her, knowing perfectly well that that was her call to make.

Then, with a sharp tug at my neck that was more of a yank, she dragged me to the bed.

That night was a piece of fantasy. I was not undressed one bit, and yet I was brought to sheer ecstasy via Bella’s sweetly magical words and the works of her hands. I was tied in knots, bound and barely able to breathe around a gag that was stuffed into me. It was euphoric. Worse, I sensed something in me change as she commanded and I obeyed. Something in me shifted or gave way. It just seemed so natural to obey, so proper for my place to be at her feet that I would have licked her boots clean without second thought that night. It was blindingly satisfying. It just felt so good.

The next morning I was subdued, gleeful, and still euphoric. I woke to find Bella already awake, lying at my side with a bright smile on.

“Good morning,” she whispered. The leash was still wrapped around her hand, tethering us together. She tugged on it harshly. “Come here.”

I obeyed gleefully. Anything she wanted, anything for her. I straddled her as she patted her hips, nuzzled her neck, and kissed her carefully. Her fingers wound in my hair, pulling painfully then massaging in turns. My heart fluttered at the attention. When she lifted my chin away from hers I was giddy. Butterflies were filling me and I wanted nothing more than to be commanded.

But Bella’s mind seemed to be elsewhere as she stroked my cheeks. “Today is going to be a big day Chaos,” she whispered soberly. “I need you to be perfect today. You must do exactly what I say. Obey me without question.” She paused, a gleam in her eyes. Her usual smile flickered back to life. “Will you do that for me?”

“Of course,” I gushed, because really, anything. She could ask for anything.

Her fingers gripped my hair tightly. The leash drew taught in the other direction, holding me painfully suspended between the two. “Good,” she murmured, dragging my head back to kiss my neck. The leash loosened and her other hand caressed my side – then dug its nails into my ribs. I whimpered at the pain, relishing in it because it was from Bella.

A messenger was sent ahead, a vampire who was to bear the challenge to the Sky Lord. The lord of lords. The thought of Bella fighting him made me anxious. She did know what she was getting into, right? She must have, I said to comfort myself, because look at her. She’s smiling.

But then again, Bella always smiled.

I gnawed at my nails and told myself that certainly, even if she lost, she wouldn’t be harmed. She would … be put in jail? Probably. But I could help her escape from there if worse came.

It was afternoon on earth when we finally took the portal. It was Bella, her hench-crew of vampire sidekicks, and me. I stayed by Bella’s side.

The portal brought us straight to the arena where the fight was going to go down.

It was like the Colosseum – or rather the Colosseum was like it. It was huge, circular, with walls that rose seemingly into the sky. So maybe it was Colosseum meets tower of babel? Anyways, there was plenty of room for everyone to watch the humiliation of whoever was defeated.

The stands were filled with angels and even demons and deities of all kinds. Lucifer was standing in the middle of the arena, talking to the Sky Lord. At our appearance Lucifer waved us over.

“Dar-ling! What a surprise you’ve brought us!” cooed Lucifer, sauntering over to meet us halfway. He was glittering in black with silver stars all over and the highest heels anyone could manage. He tossed his hair dramatically over his shoulder and it slapped the approaching Sky lord in the face.

The Sky Lord was, well, awkward. You could get as much from a guy that lived off a mountain, alone, and never wanted anything to do with other deities. He stood stiff, wore ancient clothing, and wore a beard as if he was the most ancient of all (he wasn’t).

But running in from the sidelines, like goalies rushing to a fight? My mom and dad. I glanced away, but boom! They apparated over in a puff of smoke.

“Chaos!” they said together, both sounding near tears.

Bella lay a hand on my shoulder. There was a moment of silence. I looked from the Sky Lord to Lucifer to – yeah they were pissed. Back to Lucifer it was.

“Chaos is my champion,” said Bella sweetly. “He’s going to be fighting for me today.”

The words went in one ear and out the other. It was the collective gasps that alerted me to the importance of what had been said. That, and the laughter of Lucifer.

“Pre-cious!” he cheered with a flip of the hand, like he was announcing the winner of some fashion competition.

“But!” Mother looked to Father and looked ready to wring someone’s neck off their head. Someone being Bella. “You can’t! Our family has been neutral for aeons! We do not mingle in the fights of gods!”

I didn’t know what to say. She was right. But my head was buzzing, my limbs felt numb. I – I was fighting the Sky God? For Bella? Why hadn’t she told me this before?

“Chaos has already agreed,” said Bella sweetly.

“No!” shouted Mother. “Chaos?!”

“It’s alright,” I said, suddenly coming to terms with everything all at once. This must have been what Bella had been talking about when she said to obey her today. And I would. I wouldn’t go back on my word, especially not to humiliate her publicly. So I squared my shoulders and glared the Sky Lord down. “I’m doing this.”

Bella squeezed my shoulder tightly, painfully so, then patted me. “See?” she said. There was a note of gloating there, of pride. It made me smile. She was proud of me!

“Well,” Lucifer clapped his hands. “Good luck!” Then he turned to the Sky Lord. “To both, of course.”

The Sky Lord scowled at his age-old enemy, knowing full well that Lucifer wanted nothing more than to see him beaten into the dust.

Mother groaned. Father was shaking his head. The Sky Lord turned to me. “You and I are going to have a serious talk after this,” he said most patronizingly.

I sneered. Bella patted me on the shoulder. “I’ll take your jacket,” she murmured.

I gave her my checkered jacket then walked past my parents to the center of the stadium. I knew the rules for duels, and had even watched a few. There were pitifully little rules, anything was allowed, and the main thing was that you weren’t exactly supposed to kill each other. But humiliation? A-okay. It was even expected, along with dramatics. A deity was supposed to show off their best moves and impress everyone.

So it really was too bad that the Sky Lord had avoided these duels most famously since his defeat by Kemosh. But that was, literally, ancient history. You’d suppose he’d have upgraded his moves since then.

“You’re making a grave mistake, kid,” the Sky Lord said as he stepped up before me, staff in hand. I scowled at him.

Did I really expect to win?I wasn’t sure. In my mind, I was half-hoping that Bella had some sort of plan to intervene and help me. Was the necklace going to give me extra powers?

“And now!” a ringmaster was bellowing for all to hear, voice magically amplified. “Let the fight begin!”

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Fifteen, Part One

I made it two steps out into the world between worlds before I thought I was an idiot. A goof. A slug who was throwing their life away.

The fact that, any moment now, I could just turn around and get help, it was a nagging ache. Worse, every second that I ignored the ache cemented that I was never going back. I had made my choice and, deep within, it was holding fast.

I liked to contemplate that I would change my mind. I kept telling myself that, at the next crossroads, or after the portal, or when I saw Bella’s body, I’d rethink things, all while knowing that I would do no such thing.

To get to earth, I needed a portal. Like many spirits, I had no means to make one myself, hardly being that powerful, and indeed, not having permission to do so myself. But, like anything, it could be found in hell for a price. You just had to know where to look. And I, being me, just so happened to know that the very best place to look was where it wasn’t supposed to be.

“Hey,” I said as I approached Lucifer’s throne. Because, yeah, the guy who was supposed to keep this place in line was also the one who sold everything to keep it out of line.

chaos lucifer.jpeg
Lucifer on his throne

Lucifer, at least this representation/part of him (who knew if it was just a part of himself while the rest of his soul went off doing something stupid?), was draped across his throne. In hues of black and silver, he shimmered like starlight, his silver hair hanging around him like curtains. His face was decorated with a veil-like array of fine chains that dangled from piercings. Bright blue eyes shone out, tokens of his once angel-hood.

He tutted at me. “Darling, I’ve heard you weren’t well. Come here and tell me all about it.” And he reached out a lanky arm. I knew better than to say no. Lucifer was huggy, if anything just to give people the creeps by touching them constantly. It was especially hard to navigate someone who wanted to hug you persistently.

So I sat beside his throne, the usual place a supplicant found themselves, and his arm draped around my shoulders. Instantly it was like a hissing cat roused within me.

“Mine,” I clearly heard within my head as an itching sort of anger swept over me.

“Uh,” I jumped up, swiping Lucifer’s arm from me as fast as I could.

“Oh?” Lucifer asked casually. I froze. Was there some sort of punishment for spiting Lucifer? There was a certain glimmer to his eyes – was he angry now?

“Aww, I see,” Lucifer crooned. With a stretch he took a grip on my shoulder and dragged me to stand before him. Distracted by his glittering eyes, I didn’t see his leg sweep out as he straightened. My feet were kicked out from beneath me and I landed on the stone floor on my knees.

Yeah, ouch.

“Well hello,” Lucifer said, propping a foot up on my shoulder. I winced as his heel dug in, but then he added the weight of his other leg to it.

“I’m sorry,” I croaked.

“You should be!” he said happily. “Lying to angels like that. Tut-tut, Chaos. You know they’re looking all over for your little girlfriend?”

Inside, I felt a strange coolness. Bella was furious, but calm. She knew how to play this game it would seem.

But me? I wanted to protect her. So I opened my mouth, about to spout something about not knowing what he was talking about.

“Oh no, spare me that,” said Lucifer, holding up a hand dramatically. “I don’t want to talk with you. Summon your mistress, little slave.”

My jaw clamped shut. Humiliation spread over me and I gritted my teeth angrily. How dared he talk to me like that? He wasn’t the boss of me! “You-”

But I was cut off from within. Suddenly I felt myself callously shunted aside, crashing into a corner of myself. My limbs were moving but I had no control over them.

My hands shoved Lucifer’s feet from my shoulder. “Good morning,” Bella’s voice said coldly.

“Oh hey, doll!” Lucifer grinned, crossing one leg over the other knee. “I hope you don’t mind, I was using your footstool.”

Footstool? I wanted to squawk in horror. Bella didn’t seem to care. She was on her (mine?) feet now and dusting herself off. “I need a portal,” she was saying through me. “My slave is going to fetch my body on earth.”

Lucifer tutted. “Darling, everyone’s been looking for you. You know, I could make a lot of money if I told them where you are.”

Bella snorted. “As if you will. Give me a portal.”

“You know, I want a personal slave too,” Lucifer whined. He held up a hand, pretending to investigate his manicured fingernails.

“Lucifer!” Bella barked. Then, as he raised his eyebrows, she checked herself. “Lucifer,” she said politely. “I really need a portal.”

Lucifer waved his fingers at himself, making his rings glimmer. Bella continued. “I can pay you,” she said sweetly. I could feel her smile on my face.

“Of course you’re going to pay me,” drawled Lucifer. “But in what?”

Bella hesitated. “I can bring you some souls?” she offered.

Lucifer dropped his hand into his lap. “I like it when payment benefits everyone. Darling, you want to rule the three realms? Isn’t that it?”

“I want Nirvana,” Bella said cautiously. “Only one of the realms.”

“Only the strongest,” drawled Lucifer with a drag Queen-esque flip of the hand. “Now listen to me, chickling. I’ll give you a portal, and you will go get your body back, but you have to challenge God to a duel afterwards. It’s time someone dethrones the old fart.”

Bella hesitated.

“A duel, that’s all,” said Lucifer. “and as the prize, you’ll wager the rulership of the sky realm. Don’t you think it’ll be a lot easier to get into Nirvana if you can wage war against it with the power of the hordes of angels and demons, instead of your little piddly vampire-army? Hmm, girl?”

Bella hesitated again. I knew why. Lucifer was one to give gifts – at a price. “What do you want in return?” she asked cautiously.

“Oh, you know, I really just want to see that old deity crushed under someone’s heel,” he said viciously, bringing his fingers to his lip. “But, ah, for payment – hmmm we shall see.”

“We shall see?” Bella asked sharply. “I don’t think so.”

Lucifer flipped out a hand. In his palm, a miniature portal hovered, glowing a dark purple. “You don’t want a portal, darling?”

Bella gulped. Lucifer’s fingers waved around the portal. “I’ll make sure the angels look away as your slave travels,” he cooed.

Don’t do it! I thought as loudly as I could.

Bella hesitated.

Lucifer pouted. “Of course, if you don’t want it, I’ll have to respect my agreements to the ruling heavens and bla bla bla, you know how divine paperwork is, and,” he shrugged “I’ll have to turn you and your slave in to the angels.”

Bella grimaced.

Lucifer tilted his head. “As a great leader once said,” and he paused for dramatic effect, making a pitiable face “’Sad’.”

Bella scowled. “Fine!” she reached forward. “Give me the portal!”

“Ecx-el-lent!” Lucifer cheered, dropping the portal into my palm. It was heavy but Bella’s strength allowed me to hold it. “There you go darling. Use it well!” Now grinning most viciously, he kicked his legs up onto his armrest and returned to draping across his throne.

Bella smiled nastily in return. I felt her sarcasm, but at the same time her glee. With Lucifer officially on her side, she was one step closer to Nirvana.