The Man in the Black Suit is an ongoing story from Deadman. If you missed out on the first chapter, check it out here before jumping into part two!
“In the Balance”
What felt like steel wrapped in dried and cracked leather were wrapped tightly around Jon’s neck. Rotten breath cascaded over his shoulder as the wraith held tightly to his trachea as it kept speaking, “You think your God will welcome you with open arms or with damnation and fire?” The raspy voice laughed. Jon’s nervousness peaked when he felt that skin of the fingers begin to crack, then he could hold back no more, “Very funny, Sah-Jan, now let go before you get skin flakes all over my suit again! You know how hard it is to get that stuff out? Impossibly hard.” Again the raspy voice laughed and the fingers released, the seat next to him pulled aside and the Wraith named Sah-Jan sat down, a grey suit with a black shirt and red tie were draped over his thin and very bony frame, darkened skin and sunken eyes complimented lips that had dried up and had been pulled back to reveal stained and yellowed teeth. It was a sight to see, horrifying in almost every way, but still a sight. The Wraith laughed a bit more as it settled in and it finally addressed Ricky, the vampiric bartender, “Skin flakes! Right! Ricky get me some bile.”
The thin man behind the bar got to work as Jon picked up his drink and inspected his suit for those pesky skin flakes he’d been nervous about getting on his suit. A cup of bile and a cup of sacramental wine were lifted and both sipped out of. Sah-jans wide eyes stared without blinking and thin hair swayed when he moved, neither his fault, being dead takes its toll on people. “I suppose you heard the news, eh, preacher? Some dumb schmuck has gotten their hands on the spear of Tristen.” Jon nodded and watched the wraith carefully as he spoke, “Yeah. Quite the little dilemma we got going on here. I doubt they know how to properly use it, though. All those proper texts are in such in an archaic language that these youngins don’t have a real chance to get into all the real problem causing stuff.”
Another sip of the bile was taken before the dead man spoke again, “You know google does this marvelous thing called uh….translate.” The smile was impossible for him to do due to his skin being dried and tighter than a tourniquet on those bleached bones, but it was implied. Jon simply smiled back at the Wraith and sat his cup down to respond, “You know what google doesn’t do? It doesn’t give you Nordic or Hebrew ancestry or the correct correlation of runes and such to get the proper rituals done for anything big.” Ricky was finally feeling the tension between his two patrons and decided to step in, “Hey Jon, don’t you have somewhere to be? And Sah-Jan, isn’t there somewhere else you can haunt with your poor prophetic crap?” Jon nodded and downed the rest of what was in the goblet and proceeded to pay his tab, the Wraith deciding to stick around and consume more bile. “Email me the rest of the details of what you know, Ricky. It’s been good seeing you.” Jon stopped by weekly at the little tavern to check on things and rumors from the underworld. This little piece of information regarding the spear of Tristen was just too juicy and dangerous to pass up.
Afternoon tried to shine through the still overcast skies, but failed to penetrate the thick layer of clouds that hovered above the city, keeping the two o’clock hour nice and chilly, the slight breeze that wafted between the thick concrete buildings that hid away the skyline of the world. Jon’s pace was quick and direct, knowing where he needed to go and how to get there the quickest route. Nameless faces streaked by as his pace was steady and unfaltering, buildings with their names proudly displayed on the front were merely veneers between him and his destination. As he walked he tried to imagine all the horrible things that could come from having such a powerful and dangerous object thrown into the hands of bumbling idiots who probably didn’t understand the first thing of the paranormal or its consequences. He said a small prayer in his head, hoping to God that he wasn’t too late. Options played before his eyes, most he didn’t like, but a few he could live with. Suddenly, and as if on purpose, his cell phone chimed to tell him he had an email.
Guided by repetition his hand quickly found the phone, clicked on the screen, opened the program, and then selected the new email to read. Information got read quick and precisely, as to not make any mistakes, and then memorized with daft precision. The name of a satanic church, a man responsible for the item not being in quarantine, an address for both, and a warning to be careful. Apparently their goal is to raise a small squad of Gollum. Rock monsters that love to squish human skulls for fun. Luckily he was already on the path to the church, originally to seek some counsel, but now to give it. Jon liked walking and could get places in moderate time, not that he really cared about time or how late he got there usually, but this time it was a bit pressing. Blocks went by and by, none making their names known, just the general direction as his expensive shoes clopped on the sidewalk. It was easy for him to get lost in these streets, not because he didn’t know his way, but because he liked discovering new shops and such, however today he didn’t have the time.
In his inner coat pocket there was a tiny copy of the bible. One he always kept. In the other pocket was a single vile of holy water that could be used as a weapon in the right circumstances. And worse come to worse it could be a bomb strong enough to level a building. Soon the church was before him. Or the abandoned warehouse that these cretins called a church. The door was open and so he let himself in, Jon the preacher in a satanic church, this will be one for the books. The dark halls and low ceilings were easy to navigate as he searched for the proper hallway and room combination, graffiti covering the stone walls with satanic labels and pictures and such. It was idiotic, he thought, but to these morons it was a place of worship. Soon chanting came wafting down the halls like a breeze that carried the smell of rotted flesh and cigarettes with stale beer, all unpleasant to the human kind. He sighed deeply as some of the words rang true and so did the smell of burning candles. This was bad and he was about to step into it knee deep and fast.
In the center of the large room there sat a girl with long black hair, pale skin, and no clothing on an altar, six men around her in black robes with hoods, candles lighting the whole situation, and one tall and skinny male leading the chants with the spear of Tristen in hand. A virgin sacrifice. The skinny leader raised the spear as he continued chanting and reading from the black leather bound book he had in the other. With each passing verse the spear raised higher above his robed head, the girl on the altar before him seeming to be awaiting the fall of the blade. They hadn’t noticed him yet so Jon decided to make his presence known. He cleared his throat hard and loud. The chanting stopped and all the heads that were not his turned to regard the man in the black suit that was invading their sacred ritual. Jon stood tall and smiled the best charming smile he could as he stepped forward. “Hi. My name’s Jon. I’m here to confiscate that little butter knife you got in your hands, there, junior, in the name of the Church and God, himself. So if you’ll kindly hand it over I’ll be on my way and you guys can continue to…drink your sacred kool-aid.”
Again he smiled and took another three steps forward.
The one holding the spear was still staring at Jon like he had three heads and all three were speaking greek. Jon let the awkward moment pass and still waited when suddenly the one in charge pointed the spear at Jon like a teaching rod and declared in a loud and high pitched voice that bordered prepubescent, “Defiler! Remove him!” Jon chuckled a little and stepped forward. “I’m not a defiler. Just like…a repo man.” The six men all stood at the same time and faced Jon, their robes coming off in the same unison as they stood, revealing the true nature of what was beneath them: Six very large demons. Built like body builders with horns protruding every here and there to accentuate their already disturbing and intimidating manner. “Huh.” It was all Jon could manage as the six beings snorted their discontent at him being there and began to close the distance between them and him. The tall man behind the altar that held the spear watched as the demons proceeded towards Jon the preacher, their ritual disrupted for now.
Jon took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he prepared for the fight that was coming his way. Large demons, a closed space, a virgin sacrifice, and the spear of Tristen sitting at the end of this soon to be blood rainbow. The first demon was within its arms reach of Jon and raised its monstrously huge hand decorated with equally large talons and targeted the man in the black suit.
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