Chapter 9Mature

Chapter 9

Tears are words the mouth can’t say nor the heart can bare.

-Joshua Wisenbaker


We stood in silence, unsure of what we should do. Xzenox had returned to his normal form and was staring up at the sky. It had happened all so quickly. I never could have thought someone like Elza… It wasn’t like her. She had never once done something wrong. Never once. Xzenox’s hands were still bleeding. He retrieved his swords and approached me. “Let’s go.” He had lost his laughter; it had been replaced with a dead stare and a crooked mouth. “We can break into the church tonight. See if we can find any clues as to where she might be.” I nod.

“We have to be extra careful now. We can’t kill openly as we did before.” Xzenox remains monotone “The only bandit that is left worth killing in this world is God himself.” This is the first time I’ve seen Xzenox like this. He seemed to cold. Empty. It shouldn’t have to be like this. Why can’t the world accept us? Why can’t the world let us have more than just a moment’s length of happiness?

We began our hunt that night. Xzenox with his duel swords, me with my scythes. Talk was short as we ran into the forest and out to the village. The air was chill and frost came from our breath. Pausing on the hill as we had done before, we scanned the town from above, looking for any entrance points which would be easy to sneak our way through. Something seemed to have changed here. The villagers seemed on edge. Worried. New watchman had been stationed and were clad in armour and heavy blades. It seems Xzenox’s killing spree had spread more panic than we had anticipated.  We should have known better, we were in a town of the followers of God. It was only certain that they would have upped the security levels. All the villagers seemed to be outside the armoury, coming away with armfuls of weapons and all things made for the kill. I glance at Xzenox to see my thoughts reflected in his eyes. We both knew this was going to be a hard task. Breaking in would require pure concentration and wit. We would have to pass through the numerous guards who were well trained in their swordsmanship and the villagers who would scream at the mere sighting of us. It would be impossible to mask ourselves as something other than demon. With my horns and Xzenox’s tail it was not even a choice.  In silence we waited long into the night, finding the perfect time to start our search. The crescent moon rose to the centre of the sky, shining down its steady glow. We had to go now. If we waited any longer the night would pass us. Guards were still ever as plentiful, we had to be careful. A glance and a nod exchanged between the two of us and we sprung forth. The streets are cold and have an aura of worry. I wouldn’t blame them. We had killed many of their kind. I no longer saw these humans as equals worthy of my trust. No human was trustworthy. I know it is impossible for them now. Stopping at a dark alley and pressing ourselves against the wall, we wait for the guard to clutter past in his strong, iron armour. Edging closer to the lit street we dart across silently, the watchman unawares. There are posters on several of the walls. They read; WARNING! Demon attacks have become common in our streets. Villagers are urged to arm themselves and stay indoors by nightfall. All villagers have the permission to kill any demon on sight, but it would be preferred if the creature was handed over to the Church so they are able to be purified. The words send a shiver through us. If we didn’t find anything here, there was a good chance we would be caught and ‘purified’ as they liked to call it. Being purified was more like being tortured until blood bubbled in your mouth and your vision was a blurred mess. Your skin burned as if consumed by fire and the pain didn’t stop until you were long dead. There was clanking of metal and we stood still in our tracks. “This way.” Xzenox whispered. He climbed onto the roof of the building to our side. Once on its tiled roof we stared down at the procession of armour suits. We were lucky to still be moving at this point. “This is crazy, if the patrols keep up like this we’ll never make it.” I whisper to Xzenox. He stares ahead, looking at the rooves of the buildings. “What if we used your shadows to ride our way there? Could you carry the both of us?” I look at the gaps between the village roof tops. “I can try. But I can’t be certain.” Darkness wells around me and Xzenox, lifting us up and carrying us over to the next roof top. “Lucky its night or I wouldn’t be able to do this.” I grin. “Hold on now ok?” I use my shadows to form blackened wings for both myself and Xzenox. For a while he gets his insane grin back, almost laughing. It doesn’t take long before the church stands tall before us. I glare at its perfect features, the carefully chiselled carvings which scarred its marble walls. With a thud we landed behind the monstrosity, tense and wary. “What exactly are we looking for?” I murmur. Xzenox begins to walk around to the side of the church, both hands resting on the hilts of his swords. “There has to be some kind of clue right?” he says quietly. I sense movement close to me. Turning to the stained glass window I realise there are still people in the church. What the hell are they doing in there this late? Could they know about Zasha? I beckon Xzenox over to where I crouch. “Do you think we can find a spot where we can listen in?” Xzenox looks up, judging the distance. “Think you can get us up there?” he asks. I follow his gaze and see a ledge next to an open window. Using my shadows I create a platform which carries us up. We sit upon the ledge, listening for any good information. There is a young boy speaking “Will they come back?” he asks. “I am unsure child. The best thing you can do right now is prey for safety and for God to forgive our village. Soon the demons should leave us.” Replies an ancient sounding voice.

“What about that demon hunter? The Lord Talson? Can’t we get him to help us? I mean he caught that other demon. He will be able to catch others!” So people know about him. This could make things a little easier.

“He has already moved on from here child. We could try to send word, but I am afraid he may be too far off. Some are saying he is working with a demon to make his travel faster. It is best not to trust a man who works with the demon kind.” At this the child sighs. “Fear not young one, he is most likely far north of here and cannot bring his demons upon us.” The child smiles. “I will pray that he finds salvation.” The old man laughs “How kind of you child, you are most pure.” Xzenox shuffles next to me, causing a small piece of rubble to fall from the ledge and shatter onto the church grounds. The old man and the boy look up in fear. “The demons! They’re back! Quickly child, sound the alarm!” Church bells pierce the air, deafening. In the distance I can hear the rattle of armour and steel. “Come on! We have to go, now!”  I try to draw in the shadows around me but nothing happens. “What’s up? Did your shadow leave you?” Xzenox laughs. I stare at him coldly. “Oh…I see. Um… Run!” We jump from the building and onto the hard earth. Sprinting through the streets I huff “They must have put up a barrier. Darkness is of no use to us now.” As we turn into another street we are blocked by four armoured men. “Two are mine, two are yours?” Xzenox inquires. I grin a little, splitting my scythe into two razor sharp blades. “Sure.” I charge at the two men scythes at the ready. Like idiots they also charge towards me with their swords raised over head. They thrust down but at the last moment I duck and swing around behind them, driving my blades into their necks. The two of them fall simultaneously, their blood flowing through the cracks of the cobblestone, making a nice pattern. Next to me Xzenox is pulling his swords out of the other two men, twitching as he usually does after a kill. Revenge was sweet. These men may not have been directly responsible but humans these days have done so many bad things it’s about time they payed for it. We ran forth, getting closer and closer to escape. Just then gun shots filled the air. The bullets bounced off of the buildings to either side of us, one of them scraped against my cheek. That was close. Another bullet whistles amid the panic penetrating Xzenox’s hand. He drops his blade as the wounds of yesterday’s battle open once again. I run back to him, grabbing his sword. Before I can ask him if he’s ok, he nods and continues to run. The end of the village path lay before us, inviting as ever. I stretch a hand in front of Xzenox, he stops and stares at me curiously. “This isn’t right.” I growl looking up at the pulsating mass of the barrier. “This isn’t fair!” Plunging a fist into its unbreakable surface, it shatters and forms back upon me, leaving me with blood dripping from my fingertips. Xzenox frowns, turning behind us. I can tell there is no hope for us getting out. There is no hope of us living. The angry cries of villagers and watchmen smother my ears. I know Xzenox won’t stand down. He never backs away from a fight. I listen to his sword strikes and battle cries. Sighing I take hold of my scythe, connecting it back into one. It’s worth one last shot. We both stand side by side, fighting for our lives in the corrupt village of God’s creations. Strike after strike, punch after punch we fought, but nothing seemed to be happening. The watchmen moved closer and closer, pinning us against the throbbing barrier. The villagers shouting grew louder and louder. I felt my back being forced upon the obstruction, pain flowing through my body as the wall shattered yet again. Xzenox falls beside me, his swords resting still within his bruised hands. I take one last look at the people around me. What is it that defines a demon? Is it the blood that runs through their veins? Or is it the cruelty that lies inside their hearts? The final thing which I heard, was the nightmarish rattle of a thousand chains.

The End

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