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|The character Kyron kind of bounced around in my head for almost a year, but I could never think of a story to put him in. Eventually I got started on this. Comments and constructive criticism will be appreciated!||
The blonde-haired boy edged nervously into the room. Everything about his body language yelled that he didn’t want to be here; from his uneasy crystal-blue gaze to the way he constantly flicked his golden curls off his forehead, it was obvious that he would much rather be miles away. He stood out among the usual tavern patrons; he was far too young, hardly seventeen, and dressed too smartly in neatly pressed jeans and a pristine white blazer.
As soon as he spotted the other two teenagers sitting near the back of the room, relief lit up his beautiful face. He hurried across the room, then stopped short as he realised exactly who was sitting at the table.
“What did you invite him for?” he asked angrily, gesturing towards one of the youths.
The youth in question leaned forward, his red eyes gleaming and his teeth bared in a cheeky yet malicious grin.
“Shut up and sit down, Gabe,” he said.
He was obviously the rebel of the group. His legs were propped up on the table, displaying his ripped cameo pants and old army boots for all the world to see. His vest was fire-engine red and revealed biceps far too large for one of his years. Close-cut flame-red hair matched his eyes, and contrasted with his suntanned skin. The number ‘666’ was inked in black on his left shoulder.
“Ever polite I see, Vassago,” Gabriel, the blonde-haired boy, commented icily as he sat.
“Polite doesn’t come easily to those in my profession,” Vassago replied airily.
“Apparently. From what I’ve heard, neither does mercy or love.”
“Hate is stronger than love.”
“I beg to differ.”
“You would, wouldn’t you? Bloody angels, always convinced they’re better than the rest of us lowly creatures.”
“I don’t believe myself better than all creatures, Vassago. Just despicable demons. Like you.”
“Who’re you calling despicable, seraph?”
The third youth, who up until this moment had been silent, finally spoke from the shadows in which he sat.
“Shut up, both of you. You’re acting like kids.”
His unnatural voice silenced both of them immediately. It wasn’t the pitch or tone, but rather the inflection. It was sombre yet lively, depressed yet cheerful. It brought to mind images of babies and coffins, kittens and mourning candles. It sent shivers down the spine, and adrenaline through the mind. It was entirely unnatural, and creepy.
“I asked both of you here for a reason. But if you’re going to behave like brats, I can always find someone else.”
“Kyron, you know perfectly well that angels and demons don’t exactly get along,” Vassago snarled. “It’s kind of a built-in thing.”
“We are cosmically designed to disagree,” Gabriel added.
“Funny,” Kyon leaned forward, out of the shadow, ‘It sounds like you agree on that.”
Kyron was an enigma. He could pass easily among mortals as a normal teenager; his dead-straight black hair in its long, shaggy style, his bone-white skin and his casual black clothing were reminiscent of the ‘emo’ teens that skulked in streets the world over. However, it wasn’t only his unusual voice that gave him away. It was also his abnormal eyes.
Kyron’s irises were like clear-cut diamonds, both in colour and clarity. They gave off a multi-faceted shimmer, occasionally displaying tiny rainbows in bright sunlight. They glittered and sparkled, and could not be passed off for any other colour. He truly had a ‘crystal’ gaze.
“Well,” Gabriel looked discomfited at the idea of agreeing with a demon. “Well…we don’t agree as such…”
“You wouldn’t understand,” Vassago said dismissively.
Kyron smiled a dark smile and lifted his hands. One appeared normal; pale, with slender fingers. The other was hidden by a supple leather glove.
“I understand many things you would never even dream of, Vassago,” he said softly.
Vassago eyed the gloved hand nervously. He had known Kyron for years and he had never seen what was under the glove, but he had heard the rumours…
“Now boys, before we begin with business, would either of you like a drink?”
“Beer. Any brand,” Vassago replied carelessly.
“Water please,” Gabriel said politely. “I don’t believe in drinking alcohol.”
A few minutes later Kyron returned with the drinks, pleased to see that his companions had not attempted to kill each other in the short time he was gone. He knew how risky it was to put a demon and angel face-to-face, but in order for his plan to work he would have to take that risk. Handing them each their drinks, he settled back with his own glass of white wine.
“OK guys,” he said with a smile, “I invited you here – here in particular – because I wanted to put a proposition to you. Look around you.”
He indicated the room with a sweep of his arm.
“What do you see? Humans. And what are they doing?”
“Having a good time?” Vassago offered, grinning at a pair of scantily-clad girls on the dance floor.
“Swimming in sin?” Gabriel suggested, frowning disapprovingly at a group of students downing shots.
“Killing themselves,” Kyron said triumphantly. “Look at them. They poison themselves with alcohol, induce diseases through one-night stands, begin fights through inebriation.”
“So?” Vassago raised an eyebrow. “I thought you of all people wouldn’t mind that.”
“In case you’ve forgotten,” Kyron said stiffly, “I am usually neutral on the subject of humans. It’s difficult to take sides between life and death when you represent both. However, I can’t take this any longer.”
He glanced contemptuously around the room and dropped his voice.
“Earth obviously isn’t in good hands,” he said meaningfully.
“Blame Vassago’s master,” Gabriel frowned at the red-haired demon. “He’s the one who tempts humans into sin.”
“My master wasn’t the one who created those immoral beings in the first place, was he?” Vassago shot back. “I believe that was your master’s doing.”
“Don’t you dare insult the Creator!” Gabriel’s face was pink with righteous fury.
“For goodness’ sake, you two!” Kyron exploded. “Will you listen for five seconds?”
The other two immediately fell silent. Gabriel’s expression remained grumpy while Vassago looked triumphant.
“Both of your masters had a hand in creating this world,” Kyron continued, glaring at them both, “And in creating my parents and me. Then – or at least, I believe – they became too involved. Mankind relies far too heavily on the deities.”
“They don’t rely on the Creator,” Gabriel scoffed. “They worship and revere him.”
“And they don’t rely on the Prince of Darkness,” Vassago added, “They fear him.”
“But just think about it for a moment,” Kyron urged. “How often do humans say a prayer just to say thanks? Not very often, I can assure you. And how often do they blame devils for the bad things that happen in their lives? It’s never their own faults; it’s always ‘evil influences’. That Satan is tormenting them. Or even, sometimes, that the Creator should be looking out for them more diligently.”
“True,” Vassago admitted grudgingly.
Gabriel didn’t comment, a wounded look on his face. He didn’t agree with the idea of his beloved Creator being blamed for anything.
“So tell me,” Kyron glanced around the room to check that no-one was listening, then leaned forwards, “Do you really think the Earth is in good hands?”
“Yes!” Gabriel declared hotly.
“I never have,” Vassago grinned. “I reckon it would’ve been better if my master inherited the Earth.”
“As if that would ever happen,” Gabriel rolled his eyes.
“’The meek shall inherit the Earth’; isn’t that right?” Kyron suddenly smiled. “And who’s meeker than us? We’re servants to the greater powers…”
“Hang on,” Gabriel’s eyes were wide and horrified. “Are you suggesting that we…I mean, us three…”
“Think about it, Gabe,” Kyron’s eyes were bright, almost feverish. “Between us three, we have power most beings could only dream of. We have access to Heaven, to Hell; we have power over life and death!”
“We’re meek but we have power,” Vassago commented dryly. “Well, that makes sense.”
“Shut up. If we worked together, I really think we could do this.”
“Your dad would kill us…” Gabriel laughed nervously. “No pun intended.”
Kyron’s heritage was unusual, unique. He was an illegitimate child who had come into the world unwanted and with strange powers. He was not by any means unloved; his parent had adored him, while trying all the while to keep his identity a secret. But the truth always finds a way out, and most of the supernatural world knew Kyron’s ancestry.
Kyon was the bastard son of Death and Mother Nature.
“My dad wouldn’t dare,” he growled. “I have greater powers than he does. I control both life and death.”
“Surely death will always beat life though?” Vassago seemed curious.
“The last time life and death came face-to-face, I was conceived,” Kyron laughed. “It takes ‘opposites attract’ to a whole new level.”
The other two laughed as well, albeit uneasily, and Kyron got up to replenish their drinks. Once they were all seated again, he spoke.
“So what do you think, guys? Does world domination sound good to you?”
“Yeah, I’m in,” Vassago shrugged. “It’s not like I can be damned for it.”
Gabriel didn’t answer at first, his eyes darting quickly around the room. Sweat appeared on his forehead.
“I can’t,” he whispered. “It goes against everything I am.”
“Imagine it though. A world where everyone does your bidding. A world where you alone can rule. A world where you can abolish drinking, lying, adultery, murder…a world free of sin.”
“A world free of sin…” Gabriel seemed hypnotised by Kyron’s curious voice, staring dazedly into a perfect world only he could see.
Kyron waited silently, his sparkling eyes fixed on the angel’s thoughtful face. When Vassago opened his mouth to speak, Kyron held up his gloved hand and he fell silent again.
Gabriel seemed trapped in an agony of indecision. He opened his mouth, paused, closed it again, twisted his hands together, brushed agitatedly at his curls, rubbed his nose.
“OK,” he said at last. “If you can promise me right now that nothing can go wrong, then I’ll join you.”
“I promise,” Kyron intoned, his gaze steady, “That nothing can change my plan. Nothing.”
“OK then,” Gabriel shook his head wearily. “I must be mad but - I’m with you.”
* * *
Exactly ten years later, Gabriel found himself returning to the same bar. He hadn’t seen either of the other two since that night so long ago; Kyron had declared he needed time to plan, and arranged to meet again in a decade. As all three were immortal, this time was to them what a week is to a human. It passed far too quickly, and Gabriel reluctantly entered again.
In the time that had passed, he had only aged by five years. His face had lost its boyish plumpness and become finer and softer. His wings had grown to a magnificent size and his halo glowed brighter, both invisible to the human eye. His physique was slim and toned; his eyes were wiser and sadder from the human suffering he had witnessed. But he was still the same angel, and his mouth twisted in a slight grimace as he made his way towards Vassago sitting once more near the back of the room.
“Good evening,” he said politely. “Where’s Kyron?”
“Hey Gabe,” Vassago grinned. “He isn’t here yet.”
The years had changed Vassago too. His once impressive body had become even more toned, each muscle clearly defined under skin tanned from the fires of Hell. He still wore cameo pants and army boots, this time with a ripped white shirt. His hair had grown too and he had styled it into a flaming mohawk. His red eyes burned with manic intensity, a result of watching the torture inflicted on the damned.
“You look…well,” Gabriel said hesitantly, carefully removing his caramel suede jacket and hanging it over the back of his chair. His shirt was stainless and crease-free, practically glowing in its blinding whiteness.
“Haven’t changed a bit, have you?” Vassago shook his head in disbelief. “Still a pompous neat-freak.”
“And you’re still an impolite ruffian,” Gabriel answered coldly. “I must admit, I was quite hypnotised by the prospect of a sin-free world when Kyron first suggested it. But back then I was merely a child; I intend to tell Kyron I refuse to go through with this ludicrous scheme.”
“Will you now?”
The voice, directly behind Gabriel, caused him to jerk sharply and spin around in his seat. Then he looked up. And up.
Kyron had definitely grown. Over six feet tall, he towered over five foot two Gabriel. Unlike Vassago, he had not filled out nor become toned and slender like Gabriel. Instead he had become almost skeletal, his skin taut over his sharp cheekbones and his clothes hanging loosely on his meagre frame.
And what clothes! Sleek black pants, and a matching black leather coat were layered tastefully over a stylish black cashmere turtleneck jersey. These were complimented by a polished ebony cane and a funky black top hat that sat at a rakish angle on his designer-styled hair. It reminded Gabriel of a Victorian era gentleman, but far more fashionable.
“Not one for bright colours then, Kyron?” Vassago commented, but it was obvious that he was impressed.
“I apologise for being late, gentlemen,” Kyron removed his small oval sunglasses, revealing his glittering eyes. “I had minor business to attend to.”
Gabriel was astonished. The rebellious young teen he remembered speaking excitedly about world domination had somehow become this suave and sophisticated young man.
As they settled down, drinks in hand, Vassago suddenly laughed.
“We may have changed, but our tastes certainly haven’t,” he said, indicating their glasses.
Surprised, Gabriel glanced down at his own glass and realised that they were all drinking exactly the same drinks they had had that first night in the tavern.
“Interesting,” Kyron mused softly. “But I assure you Vassago, I’ve changed more than you realise.”
As he lifted his glass, Gabriel’s eyes were drawn to his hand. Sure enough, it was wrapped in a snug leather glove once again.
“Why do you wear the glove?” he asked curiously.
Kyron smiled a dark smile over the rim of his wine glass.
“To prevent any…accidents,” he said mysteriously. “Now to business, gentlemen. I have spent the last ten years observing the way this world works, and I believe I have come up with a foolproof scheme to allow us…”
“Kyron, we can’t do this,” Gabriel said urgently. “I should’ve said this years ago. You are insane if you believe that three mere servants like ourselves can take on the Greater Powers.”
“Servants?” Kyron frowned. “I can assure you Gabe, I am no servant nor will I ever be.”
“But Vassago and I are. We don’t have your powers or talents.”
“Speak for yourself,” Vassago grumbled. “I’m perfectly powerful, thank you very much.”
“I doubt your childish demon tricks are quite on par with your master’s,” Gabriel said scornfully. “And your master’s tricks are nowhere near as magnificent as my master’s.”
“Before we get involved in a ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ argument, perhaps I should show you boys exactly what I’m capable of,” Kyron interrupted coolly.
He stood and walked over to the bar, where he spoke quietly with the barman before disappearing outside.
“Are we supposed to follow him?” Gabriel asked, staring after him.
Sure enough he returned a few minutes later, carrying a small flower pot. A young shoot was growing in the dank soil.
“A flower?” Vassago sounded disdainful. “You’re going to prove your powers…with a flower?”
Ignoring him, Kyron placed the pot on the table and gently caressed the plant with his bare hand. To Gabriel’s surprise it began to grow, swelling under his touch. Buds appeared and within a few minutes a blood-red rose had grown from the tiny shoot.
“So you can make flowers grow. How’s that supposed to help us take over the world?” Vassago asked scornfully.
“One hand bestows the gift of life,” Kyron said softly, his strange voice lending an eerie quality to the words, “The other, the curse of death.”
He removed his glove.
Gabriel’s mouth dropped open in horror. Even Vassago recoiled in shock.
Kyron’s right hand had no flesh; it was nothing but bone, white and gleaming. He flexed his fingers and the bones clicked together with a sound strangely similar to billiard balls hitting each other.
“That’s just not right…” Gabriel whispered, unable to contain his disbelief.
Kyron smiled a humourless smile and pressed his fleshless index finger into the centre of the rose. It withered under his touch, the petals turning black and dry. After a few seconds they crumbled into fine grey dust. The stem collapsed as well, leaving a small pile of ash.
“And you can do that to all living things?” Vassago whispered reverentially. “Even…humans?”
Kyron slipped his glove back on, apparently oblivious to the shock he had caused. Leaning back in his chair, he calmly sipped his white wine. His sparkling eyes flicked thoughtfully from Vassago to Gabriel and back again. The tension in the air could have been cut with a knife.
“Excuse me…” a pretty blonde girl, hardly older than sixteen, and her giggling dark-haired friend had appeared at the table. “We were wondering if you guys would like to dance?”
Her eyes were fixed on Vassago, who smirked back. To Gabriel’s surprise, the other girl was staring at him. Neither even glanced at Kyron, who had hurriedly put his glasses back on to hide his eyes.
“Ladies, I would be more than eager to join you,” Vassago languidly unfolded himself from the chair while the blonde stared openly at his muscular arms. The brunette smiled coquettishly at Gabriel.
“What about you?” she smiled shyly. “Are you coming too?”
“No thanks, I’d rather sit this one out,” Gabriel declined politely. He had no interest in gyrating across the dance floor to some weird techno music with an underage girl, as pretty as she was.
The girl’s face fell. She sighed softly and, trying to muster up a smile, turned to Kyron.
“And you?” she purred. “I’ve always liked unique guys.”
Kyron shook his head, clearly disinterested.
“Come on, sweetie,” Vassago beckoned to her, his arm already wound around her friend’s tiny waist. “There’s plenty of me for both of you.”
Giggling delightedly, she scuttled across the floor to join him. The three disappeared amidst the dancing crowd.
“Why didn’t you join them?” Gabriel asked curiously. “I mean, I’m an angel so I’m bound to keep myself pure, but you could’ve had some fun.”
“I’m not interested in dancing or sex,” Kyron shrugged, “And she clearly wanted both. Vassago can have her. Besides, I wanted to talk to you.”
“I get the feeling you’re not happy with my idea. Vassago, brainless muscled idiot that he is, is more than happy to come along with any scheme provided he can have girls, torture or alcohol. Preferably all three. Whereas you…”
Gabriel shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He was back in primary school, boys surrounding him and chanting ‘fag!” at the tops of their voices. Was it his fault he was an angel? Angels were supposed to be good and keep away from sin and depravity. That was exactly what he always tried to do, and it always seemed to bring him grief.
“It’s not really in my nature to go against my Master!” he snapped. “In case you’ve forgotten, only one angel’s done that and look where he ended up!”
“He ended up as your Master’s rival.”
“Ye…wait, that’s not the point. I don’t want to be a rival. I’m happy how I am.”
“Are you really, Gabe? Look around you. You can see what humanity is dong to itself.”
“And how exactly are you planning on making that any better?”
“I want to rule,” Kyron’s voice suddenly lost its usual calmness and became excited. “I want to show this world what I can do. My parents already rule more than either of your Master’s do – think about it. Humans spend their lives either living or dying. In a sense, they spend their entire lives as a part of me. I am life and death.”
“No,” Gabriel said stubbornly. “Your parents were created by my Master. When has the creation ever been more powerful than the creator?”
At this, Kyron laughed. It was chilling, creepy sound, happy and yet sad at the same time. With his unusual voice, Gabriel found it difficult to determine Kyron’s actually emotions.
“Every day humans are building creations that are more powerful than they are,” he grinned. “Computers, guns, bulldozers, atomic bombs. It’s not unusual.”
“But the humans can control their creations.”
“Not for long,” for the first time, Gabriel detected a hint of triumph in Kyron’s voice. “Once the creation realises its power, it can rise against the creator. Humans make their devices stupid, so they don’t understand their potential. Your Master made his devices intelligent.”
“But you are still just a device. He can remove you just as quickly as He created you.”
“Not any more He can’t. I am Life and Death in one, Gabe. Humans can’t live without Life, and they can’t die without Death. It defies the laws of Physics.”
“Angels, demons, souls, ghosts, Satan and God also defy the laws of Physics.”
“But humans don’t.”
“Now you’ve lost me,” Gabriel admitted. He had completely lost track of the conversation. Kyron seemed to be speaking in riddles, avoiding the penultimate question. So Gabriel asked it.
“How do you plan on taking over the world then?”
“All in good time, Gabe,” Kyron tapped the side of his nose, a mysterious smile on his gaunt face. “All in good time.”
|Lake of Tears||Angel of the Night (part 2)|
|Poker Nights||The Affair|