This is a work in progress.
The last thing I felt was the chunk of cold iron ramming into my chest. I’d say it hurt like Hell, but as the next few minutes proved there is very little truth to that hyperbole. Nothing could have prepared me for the sheer agony that the next couple of minutes provided me with.
You see things in ancient literature involving hot coals, impalement through various orifices, being boiled in a variety of fluids. Not even close. I lack the words to describe what it feels like for your soul to be pierced with a million needles. Why… how can a soul even FEEL pain?
Some people would take this experience and use it for fuel to be a better person. Not me. I plan on spending the next few millennium if necessary to find the fucker that created Hell. Then we’ll see how he likes the receiving end.
The first thing I heard upon returning to the mortal world was John Fogerty and the first thing I smelled was burning ditch weed. The idiot that summoned me had done me a favor, but it would have been nice to make my entrance with a decent incense and some Vivaldi.
He looked as surprised as I was. I had anticipated spending a lot more time with my attendant demons, say at least a few millennia, but the innate sense of time I had been created with told me that it was only a few seconds past midnight on the birth of the year 2012. When I crushed his larynx with the side of my hand, the look of surprise dimmed rapidly and my own satisfaction increased.
I knew that I’d only have the remaining hours between now and sunrise to ensure that I stayed on this plane. If I didn’t secure a few needful things I’d be writhing in the clutches of a rather perturbed jailer. They didn’t get my kind in Hell often enough and losing one would cost someone dearly.
I stepped over the cooling corpse, thankful both for his poorly made summoning circle and for the book that he had found allowing him to summon me. I looked around for it, thinking perhaps it would help me in binding my essence here, but was pissed to find just one page. A quick scan of the ritual revealed that probably didn’t have a clue what he had. What person in their right mind would open a portal to Hell in order to rescue the soul of a Sidhe?
Looking down at the corpse and around at his apartment I could tell that was probably a stupid question. Aluminum foil covered the windows and clippings from newspapers spelled out what the man probably hoped would provide him with a more arcane variety of protection. It might actually work. I could feel the thrum of a ley line under my feet. That was likely the only thing that made my being here make sense.
I used it to cast a glamour and clothe myself appropriately. The skinny jeans and a black tee shirt that screamed “FUCK YOU VERY MUCH!” in Comic Sans was apparently what the gods thought I should be wearing. I didn’t object.
I took the bowie knife from the dead man’s hand and really looked at him for the first time. Humans all looked pretty much the same to me, pitiful and unimaginative. The creator didn’t do nearly enough with them when it was molding them. Dead, they struck me as little more than the lumps of clay they started out as. This one was different though. Even in death there was a spark of divine madness that spoke more of my people.
I sheathed the blade he had bloodied himself with, unnecessarily I might add, and clipped the weapon to my belt. I had been brought here by a halfling and that made me even more curious. The clock was ticking though and if I didn’t use my time wisely the why wouldn’t be any more material than I would once the sun came up.
I left the drab little living space behind and walked out into the balmy night.
When I hit street level I knew where I was, much as I knew when I was. This was New Orleans. The last time I had been here things were different. It was certainly no cleaner. Humans were such filthy creatures. It was slightly less civilised, dare I say madder. Given the hedonism they were capable of in the early 1800s that was saying something. It wasn’t just the very debauchery in the air so much as it was the desperation.
I breathed it in, like nectar. This was one of the reasons we were drawn to this plane. We couldn’t experience this level of frenzy, given our life span. The different drew us in.
I didn’t have much time to really appreciate it before a voice snapped me out of the appreciative frame of mind. “You in the wrong place cracker.”
I turned to see the group of dark skinned men. One of them leered at me. “You know what negro, I coudn’t agree more.”
He pulled out something that my brain recognized as a gun. It had been so long since I had seen one and this one was angular and more vicious looking than its ancestors. “What’d you call me, bitch?”
“Negro. Isn’t that what your people are called?”
The gun shot assaulted my ears. The bullet passed harmlessly through me, my flesh no more than a wisp of smoke to it. Only silver or cold iron could harm one of us. I drew the knife and flicked it lazily. The blade buried itself up to its hilt in his stomach. I closed the distance and pulled it free with a twist, nimbly side stepping the spilled intestines.
The other men with him ran without making a sound. I cleaned the blade on his coloful jacket and resheathed it. Apparently the label had fallen out of fashion. I knelt beside him and whispered softly. “Speak to me creature of clay. I would know more of your time.” The words where in my native language, more sung than spoken.
The man’s lips moved and my head filled with knowledge. It wasn’t much. This one was ignorant, even for a man, but he was schooled in the ways of the street and that would serve me. He also passed on the name of a local voodoo priest. The primitive religion’s practitioners had often been helpful on my last visit.
Now I knew a little about the laws of this world and the ways I would need to move in it so that I wouln’t waste time. The clock was ticking and the feeling was odd for one not a slave to it.
I pulled on his knowledge of these streets and sped towards the priest’s house. Sunrise was only a few hours away and I would be back in hell if the person I went to see couldn’t help me.