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 in!
“Nobody Gets It”
Jon’s gray eyes watched as the massive hand arched at him, the thick claws long as kitchen knives and thick as three fingers at the end of each digit, the grotesque and overgrown muscle on the arm that drove the entire thing at him, all of it, moved like it was in slow motion. Options ran through his mind, drawing out different conclusions and possibilities. Each option drew its own line of reasoning and consequences. None looked good for the preacher in the midst of half a dozen demons and a satanic priest with a really high pitched voice. Each conclusion saw itself finish and each time there was bad at the end of it, nothing complex to a being of his age at this point. It was like math to him, simple addition and as elementary as he made it he didn’t seem to like the outcomes. He was running out of time to devise a good one that he could use and live at the end of it. The beasts before him were almost a foot taller than him and near twice as thick as him, all muscle, piss and vinegar. Vinegar. A smile crept onto the face of the immortal in the three piece suit. He found it.
Near his face the arm of the demon before him stopped. Hard. Like it had struck concrete and stone. Suddenly as the stop a silent and invisible explosion sent the heavy, clawed hand spiraling into the darkness out of reach of the candle light, purple blood painting circles on the ceiling and floor as it flew through the air. The heavily muscled demon clutched at its bleeding stump where a hand used to be and howled in pain, dropping to its knees and staring at the man in the black suit with a small smile on his face. The five heavy feet behind the first pair stopped dead in their tracks, staring at the small and confusing incident, their eyes collectively going from the leader of their pack to the outsider. The thick blood dripping freely from the wound could be heard clearly, every being in the room silent as the grave. Jon’s gray eyes came down and met with the demons at his feet, he lifted his hand as if to brush away dust from a counter top, his left bicep the peak of the fore swing. The demon gasped as it finally realized what was about to happen. Jon swept his hand across the beast.
Purple blood and dark flesh were violently torn apart in a torment of violence, all of it sweeping in the same direction as the preacher had moved his hand. The powerful, muscular demon was no more but a stain and collective pieces of skin and internal organs lying to the right of the man in black. Jon looked back at the other five and the skinny guy holding the spear of Tristen and let venom and menace crawl into his voice as he spoke this time, the friendly, kidding nature gone and vanished, “I’ll give you one last chance to do this quietly and without further incident. Give me the spear and you all walk out of here.” Jon advanced forward on that bitter note of threat, his power demonstrated and one of them felled with a simple gesture took the fight out of them, reduced them from brooding beasts to cowed servants the master of the house is angry at. The sea of muscle parted and he stepped through them, untouched, unchallenged and at his own pace.
He reached the altar, the girl exposed from the waist up, the rest wrapped in white linen, and snatched the spear from the conductor of this ludicrous symphony. Jon stared the young man down until he, too, cowed away from the man in the suit, and then spoke in the same menacing voice, “Next time you get the idea to have monsters guard you whilst you play with toys that you don’t understand think about the consequences that are imposed upon others.” Jon motioned to the purple mess on the concrete floor that was a guard, and the young man could only nod his agreement. Jon considered leaving the girl behind, but instead took the book that was being read and wrapped the girl in his coat, carrying her past the guards, their flat, broad; pig-looking faces staring daggers at the preacher. The walk down to the street was longer than he remembered, his nice shoes clopping along at a nice pace until the thin girl with the small frame became too much the package. He went to his own knee and laid her on the floor gently, shaking her to wake her.
After a few minutes of trying to wake her his efforts paid off and she came to, her big brown eyes matched her hair that traveled down to the small of her back, her skin soft and lily white with freckles here and there, “Where am I?” Jon did his best not to frighten her and not to look creepy, “Well. You’re in an abandoned warehouse on the Southside and were about to become part of a very unsuccessful ritual that would have probably ended with you dead.” He did his best to smile to try and soften the impact of the blow. She looked at him for a moment and then looked around at her surroundings before responding, “Uh. Okay. Can I go?” Nothing prepared Jon for that shock and he nodded before taking his coat back. As she reached the exit, wrapping her top half with the linen that the rest of her was wrapped in Jon couldn’t help but ask, “You do get that you almost died up there right?” She looked back and answered as a cab stopped to pick her up, “Uh. No. But…bye.” She climbed in and the cab sped off.
Jon shook his head and put his coat on muttering under his breath, “They never get it.” The afternoon was here now, sun pounding through the clouds and infecting the rest of the earth with its rays. The world was alive and unaware that they dodged a huge bullet today, and because all of this happened in the shadows there will be no parade, no celebration, no names added to the list of heroes, no, this day will simply be another day in the week. With his new additions to the long growing list of stupid things that can do bad things in stupid hands he decided to take a cab home. An hour later his door swung in and he was welcomed by the musty and dusty smell of a thousand or so books, over head lights clicked on, the large studio apartment with one chair in the middle of it and a table next to it sat still and waited for its only resident to interact with either. A bookshelf was set aside for items collected and so the book the kid had and the spear of Tristen took up new residency for now. A single door sat in the back of the apartment and that was his closet, filled to the brim with suits and their matching ties and shoes.
The immortal sat down and sighed long and hard, remembering the simpler days of the church and its enemies. He let the day go, melting it away into the steno pool with all the others. As he relaxed he looked over at his new pieces and knew there was something bothering him about them, the spear of Tristen and a black bible. But that didn’t look like a black bible. Jon got up and walked over to the shelf that held the two newly collected items and flipped open the cover to the book. Blank first page. To be expected, it’s a book after all, he shrugged and then with a ginger finger flipped the next page. The words on the page flowed into his eyes, each letter leading to the next, building words that were as heavy as bricks, the paragraph a solid ton and the bold title at the top was the rope that was waiting to be cut to let it all come down. Jon closed the black leather cover and stepped back, running his hand from his chin up his face and through his hair, mussing it, his hand lading on the back of his neck and staying there, as if to contain the news he’d just come across.
Jon’s legs carried him numbly back to his leather chair and table that sat still and idle for him as he shakily came down into the seat. He took a deep breath and let it out again, trying to process the information more slowly, but it kept coming back the same. That book should not exist on this planet. It should only exist in hell. As God has the holy bible and other such scripture, so does the Devil. This was the Devils bible. The barrier between the three kingdoms has been breached.
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