Have you ever wondered how the world will end? Will it be quick, slow, hot, cold, a sigh of relief, ecstasy, or a cry of pain, anger? But most of all... Where will it start?
For the Entity- a select group of families descended from the Norse Gods- the end begins in Bermondsey...

Prologue: Ryan

            “Ha-ha!” I laugh as I casually toss aside the frayed rope and tug on my utility belt.  “Now let’s see those idiots try to get me!” I look up and stare at the deep dusk sky and see, to my delight, that there's a full moon and it's glowing through a wispy purple cloud as though it was a light behind a thin veil. I giggle softly, the sound carried away by the soft breeze, as I make my way to the centre of the roof where the sky-windows are.

I kneel down by the nearest one pulling my trusted crowbar out of my belt. I really should use it to pull the window out of the frame, but I can’t be bothered with that, so instead I stand, bringing the crow bar up above my head and take careful aim. I then bring it crashing down onto the glass. The glass shatters, but doesn't fall immediately - it just hangs there, in the frame, like a gossamer spider web, before plummeting fifty metres to the laminate ground below. I wait tensely for a moment, then a full minute. Nobody comes to check the cause of the sound, so I unhitch the coiled-rope from my belt, and loop one end of it around a piece of metal sticking out of the ceiling, creating a slipknot. I give it a hard tug and, satisfied when it doesn't come undone, decide it’s tight enough. I throw the remainder of the rope into the now glass-free window and climb down like a spider spinning its web, hoping to find a treat or two.

* * *

When I reach the bottom, my feet softly touch the ground making not a sound. I make sure I’m careful not to disturb the glass - that’s one of the first, of many, things I was taught: try not to disturb anything broken, make it harder for them to suspect it was a person...

* * *

I creep along, my back against the walls, carefully until I come to the information desk - there’s no one there amongst the piles of files and paper, phones and keys, so I take my chance and dart over to the desk in the centre of the room. I rummage through the many draws and papers quickly, searching desperately to find the guest list.

I actually find it under a pile of coffee-stained tissues - it’s a smart, red, leather-bound A4 book, with gold letters in Bold/Italic announcing ‘Guest Book’ in Vivaldi font.

I open it up and scan through the filled pages, finally coming to stop on the most recently used page and look for the latest entry.

            Room 666, I cackle inside my head, they probably went mental when they found out that was their room!

I leave the book as it is on the desk and proceed over to the lift on the other side of the room. I tap the button and wait for the doors to slide open. When they do, I jump inside and hit the button for the sixth floor. The lift is quiet and quick – probably a new addition to the place. After a few minutes listening to that stupid, homicidal-friendly music the doors of the metal box slide open, revealing the sixth floor.

I step out of the lift cautiously and flit down the hallway, looking for room number 666.  Ironically enough I find it next to a fountain of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

They had to have a Satanic room, I grin to myself inwardly, but ironically, it was placed next to a fountain of Jesus' mum!

I shrug off those thoughts, instead turning my thoughts to the door. I smile darkly and fish a key out of one of my many pockets - my skeleton key. It opens absolutely any door in the world, without exception – unless there's no keyhole on the door! I place it gently into the keyhole and turn, feeling quite satisfied when I hear the tell-tale clicking of a now unlocked door. I remove the key from the keyhole and slip it back into my pocket as I turn the door-knob and silently push the door open. I check to see if the coast is clear before sliding into the room closing the door quietly behind me. I then wander about the room; taking in all of the details – the flowing burgundy curtains on the windows, the three cream sofas, the black marble fireplace - who knew that three snobby mainstream musicians would be able to get a room of such high quality?!

I continue to look around noticing that there are three stained-mahogany doors, each with a name written on in gold letters. I snap on a pair of rubber gloves as I edge slowly towards the door marked ‘Rick’ and push it open. I look inside and see a teenage boy of around sixteen with honey-coloured curls and fair skin. I watch him for a moment, silent, as he sleeps peacefully among the red satin sheets. I'd say that it was almost sweet, had it not been for the fact that this boy was my enemy. I make my way over to his bedside on the balls of my feet, reducing the amount of sound I make and quickly clamp one of my hands over his mouth and nose. The boy wakes immediately – must have been a light sleeper. I think that if I hadn't have had my hand over his mouth he probably would have screamed for help, but since he can't exactly scream for help it doesn't stop him from groaning and trying it anyway.

I slide my other hand along my belt in search of my preferred tool, “Rrrick! Dakota...” I whisper roughly into his ear, my hand over his mouth squeezing tighter getting a muffled whimper from him, “Your days are now at end Rrrick!”

I suddenly wrap my preferred tool around his slender neck and pull it tight, removing my hand from over his mouth in favour of pulling my tool tighter. I want to laugh as he starts to thrash about and gurgles but I know I can't, if I laugh I could fail... I don't like to fail.

After a few seconds longer his body goes completely limp and I unwind my tool from around his neck, feeling pleased when his body slumps onto the now dishevelled sheets and his blood begins to seep into the fabric; turning the already red sheets to a dark red, almost like black. I stand up straight and look about the room searching for something to take with me... an heirloom or whatever you want to call it.

My eyes settle on photograph of the boy when he was about five or six. He looks like an angel in it, I like it so I take it. Slipping it into the inside pocket of my black overcoat I then leave the room, shutting the door quietly behind me and then I vacate the apartment altogether, heading back to my original entrance.

* * *

I’m back on the roof, wrapping my rope up and placing it back on my belt when I hear a strange noise above me – it's kind of like the sort of sound you'd expect an owl to make. I don't bother paying much attention to it as I descend the steel ladder back down to the alley and walk out onto the dimly lit street. I then walk away from the building without glancing back. I'm unnoticed by anyone who happens to walk by at such a late time. I turn the corner and glimpse the moon staring down at me, smiling. It's almost as if she's proud of me. I continue on and disappear into the night.

My work is done... for now...


The End

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