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!
“Sword Fights Are For Romans”
He Waited a long time, the man in the black suit, longer than he thinks he should have. Another sunless day with grey clouds greeted him as he walked out his door, the seven automatic locks clicking shut behind him. With something as big as trying to merge the three kingdoms people behind this would be looking to do a few things and real estate was number one. Can’t raise an army of they have somewhere to stand.
Although he didn’t need to Jon enjoyed eating and drinking all the flavors of the world, so on such a big discovery and the possibilities of a lot of people dying he decided to spoil himself a little bit. On a crowded corner of his city there was a very special place for him: Jim’s Hot Dog Stand. “A special with everything on it, my good sir.” Jon’s smile made the very tall and skinny man smile in return, “Jon! Oh this must be a special day if your here. One special with everything coming right up.” Jon waited patiently, hoping for rain, for some reason. Jim handed the paper wrapped confection to his customer and refused the money Jon was trying to hand him.
Jon smiled and sighed, “Really?” Jim’s smile was almost child like in innocence. “Okay.” Jon thought for a minute then snapped his fingers, “Ah. Okay. There was no second gunner. Oswald acted alone.” Jim iclapped once and laughed out loud. “I knew it! Thanks, Jon!” The two men smiled and shook hands and parted ways.
The tasty treat was quickly devoured and he kept walking. He took out his phone and sent several emails and text messages, some purposefully sent to the wrong recipients to provoke the right reactions. As soon as the mobile device slipped back into his pocket it started chiming and sounding alerts of emails and text messages being received. Jons grey eyes sparkled with mischief and a sly smile crept across his face. Today would be eventful.
He had to buy time to let the pot stir so he stopped by a local coffee shop. As he stood in line to get his third favorite beverage of choice he checked the contents of his pockets to make sure that he had all he needed. Vial of holy water? Check. Rosary made of the bones of saints? Check. Pocket bible? Check. Gloves of the great alchemist Mikhael? Check. Double mocha coffee with extra espresso? Check. Time to see the messages he’s gotten.
Two denials, three ‘have no idea’, and five with fingers pointing to one name: Scud. Jon didn’t answer the messages, just to keep the pressure up. But. He had a destination and a name. He polished off his coffee and left a generous tip as he walked out. Luckily one of the messages had an address providing a door to knock on. Or kick down. Either way he’d be doing it with a smile. And depending on his reception an apology.
Outside in the cold air Jon stood still and let the wind wash over him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, letting the chill atmosphere of the city around him fill his lungs. He let it out slow and hailed a cab, enjoying it all. Inside the cab he gave the address and sat still for the 45 minute ride, his body still slightly chilled from the outside. Grey eyes watched the city change from behind the window of the back seat, the cabbie not wanting to make conversation and Jon more than fine with that.
The streets changed from the crowded and bustling city to that of warehouses and empty bays of half destroyed buildings. He tried hard not to let his mind wander to memories of his life, instead saying small prayers and going through all the ways to defend himself from demons and all the beasties that could be waiting for him.
47 minutes after he stepped into the cab it slowed to a stop at his destination. Jon handed the man his fare and again tipped heavily. His expensive shoes landed on a gravel road in front of that seemed to be an old garage. The large door and the skeletons of old cars around the premise giving reason to believe garage. The immortal took a moment to gather himself and steady his nerves then approached the door. The handle gave way and the door swung in.
Inside there stood a single counter with car parts scattered across it, the walls decorates with nails holding various belt loops and fans, and a single person behind the wooden barrier with car signs all over it. He was a tall man, taller than Jon, with a thin and bony frame, an almost shaved head and a prominent nose between two bright purple eyes. The man held up his hands in a surrendering pose and spoke first, “Look, man, I know who you are and I don’t want nothing to do with you!” Jon smiled suspiciously and closed the door behind him, walking towards the counter and letting the nervous man do all the talking.
The man with the name “Scud” sewn on his mechanics shirt backed up hurriedly and nearly tripped over a chair. “I’m serious man, I don’t know anything.” Jon let his grey eyes lock on the man and kept a stern look on his face. “Come on, man! I’m just a mechanic, here! I got nothing!” The immortal didn’t budge. “Alright! Alright! I’ll tell you what I know! Just don’t…melt me or anything.” Jon gestured for the man to sit down at the counter and the man obliged, albeit very nervously.
“Start singing, Scud.” And he did. “Okay. There’s some weird stuff going on in the underworld. Like, a lot of new faces trying to buy old relics. And a group of…demons, not like me, man, but real bad dudes, trying to buy up old graveyards.” As he spoke he dry-washed his grimy hands over and over, “My garage here is on top of this old….miners graveyard or something and they came here and tried to buy it. I couldn’t sell it cause it’s the only place my kind can live, and they got mean with me. They started threatening and smashing stuff and so I compromised with them.” Jon leaned in and put a bit of authority in his voice, “Compromised how?”
Scud was taken aback a little bit, nervousness pouring off him in waves, “I told them a list of old graveyards they could probably buy up. That’s it, man! I swear!” Jon nodded, seemingly half satisfied with the information, “Okay, Scud, because you’re going to write down that same list for me I won’t have to subject you to the old method of getting cooperation: A sword duel. And I must warn you. I’m an expert.” The mechanic nodded enthusiastically and brought a piece of paper around and started writing quickly. After he was done he handed the information over and quickly backed away from Jon’s hand reaching for it.
The list was folded up and Jon started walking towards the door, ready to exit when Scud’s voice came from behind, “Hey…were you really gonna hack me up in a sword fight or something?” Jon paused at the door and turned back, a big smile on his face, “Of course not. Sword fights are for Romans.” He stepped out and slammed the door behind himself, proud of not having to resort to violence. He retrieved his cell phone from his pocket and began answering all those messages he received, sending an ‘All clear’ to the recipients.
As he hit ‘Send’ on the last message and tucked the phone back into his pocket movement ahead of him caught his eye. He looked up just in time to receive a heavy fist to his left cheek so powerful it lifted him off his feet and sent him back a few feet. After Jon coughed out the white dirt from his lungs that the impact sent flying he tried to focus his vision and looked down his body at the owner of the big hand.
There stood a hooded demon, horns and a flat, pig face barely visible under the heavy robes. Pain radiated slowly from Jon’s now bruised cheek to other parts of his face and he struggled to listen to the words that came from the creature. “For my brother fallen under your hand I will eat your soul, immortal.” Jon’s face twisted with pain as he tried to recover himself, trying to focus his blurred vision on the method of the next attack.
Metal sung as the beast drew a scimitar from underneath the heavy robes and started closing the distance between itself and the immortal on the ground. Jon’s body was still swimming with pain when the demon lifted the heavy blade above its head.
You can find Deadman on Twitter.
Send us shmeckles on our Patreon.