No Redemption for the Fallen (A Chuck Wendig Challenge)

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Fiction
Tags: , , , , ,

This week’s challenge: write about rebellion. Fury (and Crowe) are old friends I’m looking to pick back up again, probably a similar serial as what I’m doing with No Honor Among Thieves and The Serpent’s Map. Consider this a small taste.

Fury sat in Nightshades, lounging casual in a booth. Smoke surrounded his head like a halo, the bass from the speakers reverberating through his bones. He signaled to the waitress, held up his empty glass and gave an ophidian smile when he caught her eye.

Crowe slipped into the booth across from him, the smoked lenses of his glasses hiding the fires where his eyes should be, mark of a pact long made, a physical reminder of his compromised soul. Crowe slides a bit of paper across to Fury.

“Not playing tonight?” Fury yelled over the noise of the club.

Crowe shook his head. “Got the night off,” he yelled back. “Well, mostly.” He gestured at the paper still sitting between them.

“Yeah.” Fury tapped his finger on top of the paper, tentative, as if it would transform itself into a scorpion. “What’s this then?”

Crowe shrugged. A cigarette appeared in his fingers, the end glowing cherry red. Fury never did see a lighter. One of these days he’ll get around to asking Crowe about that particular trick. “Don’t know.”

“Don’t know or don’t care?”

Crowe smiled at Fury and gave a shrug. “Some questions I’m better off not knowing the answer to.”

“Yeah, yeah. What are you doing the rest of the night?”

The waitress arrived back at the table, places a bourbon in front of Fury and a bottle of beer in front of Crowe. Something cheap and domestic. Fury never could grasp how Crowe could drink that stuff. Crowe raised the bottle to his lips and gave a wink  before getting up from the table and slicing through the crowd to the bar.

Fury frowned at the piece of paper like it might burst into flame there on the table. He stared at it for five minutes daring it to do something, anything. To his dismay, it remained an unremarkable scrap of pulped tree matter. He downed the bourbon, flipped the paper open, careful not to tear it. The script on it had been pressed heavily into the paper, and it was heavy bonded paper, the good stuff smart people used for resumes before email and electronic submissions. The script wasn’t in any language Fury had seen for a long, long time, an angelic scrawl that danced on the page, meaning conveyed not simply in the placement of symbols but how they interacted with each other, circling and orbiting around each other. The language of Creation, or at least a close enough approximation.

Fury hissed and flipped it over. He doubted Crowe knew what it was or would even remember who handed it to him. Fury shuddered. It was a death warrant and subpoena all rolled into one beneficent package. He muttered a quick incantation, something he picked up ages ago when he was still human, back before the Creator had taken issue with all the other deities and decided to take drastic measures.

Fury finished his bourbon, stumbled out of the club. He nodded to Will, waved him off when the big bouncer asked if he was all right. He made his way into the night, hands buried in the pockets his leather jacket.

A brilliant flash of light illuminated the night street, and Fury stopped short. He looked up, blinking, an angelic figure staring down from where it was perched on the street light.

“Michael?” Fury asked, shielding his eyes with his hand.

The angel snorted, a most unangelic sound. “You think the Sword of God would bother himself with refuse like you?”

Fury shrugged. “No idea. I figured he’d send someone a bit higher up on the food chain than you. Let me guess, you gave that little love note to Crowe to give to me.”

“The warlock? Yes, that was me.” The angel descended from the street light, landed lightly on its feet in front of Fury. It took the form of a young woman, little more than a teenager. “You can still repent you know.”

“Hmm?”

“Ask forgiveness. You’ll still be killed,of course. We can’t let your kind run around on earth.”

“My kind?” Fury felt the cold fire of anger ignite in his chest. He narrowed his eyes, forced a smile on his face.

“Abomination. Neither devil nor angel. Neither damned soul nor fully mortal. You shouldn’t be.”

Fury forced his smile a little wider, dug his hands deeper into his pockets. “And all I have to do is ask for forgiveness.” Fury all but spat the words.

The angel nodded, a beatific smile illuminating its face. “Exactly. Otherwise I’ll be forced to take drastic-”

Fury spat the spell from his lips, felt the world lurch and reality give a whimper of pain as he forced the spell out between cracked lips. The angel shrieked in pain, consumed by the small fragment of hellfire Fury called forth, quickly reduced to a black smudge on the asphalt.

Fury stepped over to it and shook his head. “You want me?” he shouted at the sky. “Here I am. But next time don’t send a damn amateur.” He turned and walked toward his apartment, his stride a bit surer, his back straighter. Yeah, the Heavenly Host might come for him, but they wouldn’t find him head bowed and meek. Not by a long shot.

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Comments
  1. I really like this one. I look forward to more of it =)

  2. Lovely rich imagery in this story. I don’t know anything about the world it’s set in… but I feel like I know it well. The characters are fascinating in both their descriptions and their interactions. Good show!

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