Some people think that if a person hears voices in the dark, sees things that aren't really there, or have multiple personalities should check into the nearest asylum for treatment. And some of them should. But some of them, as demon slayers Davis, Harper and Alice know all too well, need only to have their tormenters sent back to where they came.
A black SUV barreled down a dirt road, the windows down because the twenty-year-old and two teenage passengers couldn't afford to have the air conditioner fixed.
"God, " the rear passenger groaned. She was fanning her face with her hand, a mostly wasted effort. "Could it be any hotter? I think my hair is melting."
The man in the passenger seat turned to fix her with an intense glare.
"Lighten up Harper, " Davis, the driver, spoke. "I want to crawl out of my own skin. If you let her get under yours you'll only get hotter."
With an aggravated noise he turned to look out his window, letting the dry wind fan his shoulder length brown hair out behind him. It was silent for a moment before Harper spoke. "So, how much farther is this old hag?"
"We should be able to see her by now" Davis said, his tone flipping from dry humor to seriousness.
"Please tell me that isn't it" Harper asked as he pointed out the windshield. In the distance a run down, wooden house stood on the blindingly bright desert horizon. "That's the one" Davis confirmed, only to have Alice groan in the back.
An elderly woman ran as fast as her old bones could carry her, gray hair wild in the light breeze and her hideous sun dress looked possessed, flailing around as much as it was.
Harper wiped his hand over his face in exasperation. "Crap."
They pulled in what may have at one point passed for a driveway, but had been little more then semi-smooth dirt for the past decade. The engine hadn't even cut off when she threw herself at the side of the car. "Thank you, thank you!" she sobbed wildly at the occupants.
"I was so worried, you weren't coming, and, and that demon was going to, to kill me!" she wailed on, tears unashamedly flowing down her face. Harper and Davis turned a quick, knowing glance at each other, and discretely played rock paper scissors.
"Damn," Harper muttered under his breathe. He opened the passenger side door as Davis and Alice emerged.
While they went to get their equipment out of the back of the truck, Harper was stuck with the woman sobbing a wet circle into his chest. "Ma'am, Ma'am!" he practically yelled, a touch of a southern accent breaking through, and yet she clung to him and let the tears fall.
"Lets be quick so we can leave the two love birds alone, " Davis said from the back of the truck. Alice turned to look at him, silent for only a moment.
"Think it'll be anything to worry about?" she asked, concern clear on her face.
"Nah, the thing didn't even kill the old lady. And if that little old lady made it, we might not even need this." He flashed a grin, grabbing one of the three swords in the back, unsheathed it, and twirled it around a few times before sliding it back in.
The sheath itself was impressive, intricate ruby-red swirling designs and jagged-edged runes adorning the whole thing, though no matter how much polish he used he couldn't get them to shine as bright as the identical pair on the blade itself.
Davis shrugged his shoulders, and Alice was half tempted to bring the trunk door down on his head. She grabbed her sword, which had light turquoise blue emblazed into it in a much smoother pattern. She securred it around her back with the handle peeking over her shoulder as Davis tied his sheath on his hip.
They started off toward the house, sparring a quick glance at Harper. "Think he'd rather be fighting a demon then talking to that old woman?" Alice asked with a smirk.
"He'd rather fight a hundred demons by himself then stand in the heat doing nothing. Let alone with her." She laughed softly, trying not to attract attention, and Davis' heart soared. She had such a beautiful laugh. Mind on the job, Davis. Demon in the house. Kill it, get paid, go home, take a cold shower.
They entered straight into what appeared to be a combination living room and junkyard. A staircase ascended to the right, while an ajar door in front of them looked to lead to a basement.
"So, up or down?" he asked.
"I'll go down, you go up."
"Fine with me."
They went their separate ways, as much as he hated to do it. But he'd seen her fight before. If she was the one to find that demon, she could certainly take care of herself. Besides, being that it was a relatively weak demon, he really didn't have anything to worry about. But try as he might, he still wished he could have gone with her.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts, continuing to look for the demon. He opened doors, turned on the lights that were off, and off the ones that were on, as some times they'd only appear in one or the other. Nothing. He was about to go downstairs when Alice nearly ran into him.
"Nothing in the basement?" he asked.
"No, didn't you find him?"
"Nothing. Not even any demonic signs. I think the lady's just crazy. Lets get our money and go home."
Davis took a step, and then suddenly the entire house seemed to shake and explode. He dove down, taking Alice underneath him as debris piled on his back.