When the Darkness Falls

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"What do you think we'll find out," Jess said excitedly. It's been two days since I crossed paths with Raiden for the second time this week and since he told me and Jess about a website called DemonicSpawns. We would've checked it out the minute we got home that day but Jess' parents had called and told her to start packing for their trip, so we made sure as soon as she can come over that we'll check the site out together before she leaves.

"Probably just information we already know."

"So you don't think we'll find some top secret shit we weren't suppose to know about and have the feds start hunting us down with tracking devices and we'll be forced to live on the run?"

"Why would you want that?" She shrugged as I typed the website in the url.

When the website fully loaded, the homepage displayed a bunch of pictures of demon monsters and a synopsis of them. The tabs we were able to click on the website included "Myths and Legends", "Origins", "Stories and Encounters", and a "About the Author"'s tab.

"Well this is already pretty futile," I said after reading the synopsis about demon monsters.

"C'mon, you didn't even click on any of the other tabs," Jess complained while pointing to "Stories and Encounters". I clicked on it and started to read one of the encounters.

" 'One day I was walking my dog when a small poodle-sized demonic monster viciously attacked it. It probably would've killed him if I didn't pepper spray it fast enough. My dog is now recovering but let this be a lesson, never leave home without a can of pepper spray.' Wow, okay then," I said in my best clueless girl accent, almost speechless from what I just read.

"I don't know whether I should feel bad or laugh at how fake this sounds," said Jess as I to clicked on another tab.

"There isn't anything on this site that's worthwhile, Jess," I said losing hope.

"Man what a huge letdown. I guess I can't stay for long anyways," Jess said as she got up to grab her stuff.

"You probably should've been home finishing packing up your stuff for Orlando then here reading a bunch of useless stories, don't you have to be at the airport by twelve?" I said as I hugged her before she left.

"Yeah and considering that I haven't even started packing yet, I definitely need to get going. See you when I come back." Walking back inside after walking Jess out, I turned to look at my computer before sighing and shutting it.

A couple of hours had passed since me and Jess took a look at the site Raiden told us about. And during those passing hours, I've been seriously debating whether I should take another look at it or to just move on. But even if I really wanted to "move on", something was telling me there might be more than meets the eye if I look hard enough, and I'm sure it wasn't just the boredom talking. With that in mind, I grabbed my laptop and pulled up the website again.

"Alright, now what are you actually hiding..." I said as I typed the website into the url again.

Searching every inch of the site and re-reading every painstakingly ignorant story over and over again just to find something that peaks my interest not only crippled my sanity, but also proved that the last 30 minutes of my life was once again squandered. I guess I didn't check the author's tab, but I doubt it'll contain anything useful.

With a sigh and a lot less hope left, I finally clicked on the "About the Author" tab and scrolled through the endless paragraphs of information that was slowly but surely killing my curiosity. But once I finally made it to the end of the page, I saw the words "Click Here for More" was highlighted in blue. Alright now we might be getting somewhere.

I clicked on the link and it took me to a blank page with nothing but an address in the corner and the words "Print me out and show me to the bouncers" under it. Not exactly sure of what I was looking at and what that meant, but I copied and pasted the link into the search bar anyways and pictures of a small building called The Proxy popped up. After researching a little more, it turned out to be a venue for housing local bands and it seemed that a band called The Everlasters were about to go on at two. I went back to the page with the address and the message to print it out, folded it up for later, and went straight to my mom's room to let her know I'm about to leave.

"Mom!" I yelled as I knocked on her door a couple of times and waited, but there was no answer. I knocked again hoping that she was just sleeping but she still didn't respond.

"She isn't home," Lukas said as he walked out of his room.

"Where'd she go?"

"She said she was going to run some errands."

"Well then can I use your car? There's this place called The Proxy and one of my favorite bands are playing there. Jess said she got tickets and to just meet her there."

"Uh huh? I thought she was leaving to Orlando," he said probably not believing me.

"Um we were going to go before she left," I said hoping he didn't know what time she's actually suppose to leave. Luckily he paid no mind and just went back into his room.

"Here," he said tossing the keys to me.

"Thanks." As I walked out to his car, I looked up The Proxy and set my phone to tell me how to get there.

The line leading into the building wasn't as long as I initially thought and the building looked much older than the picture I saw online. Instead of being polished and more pristine, the place now was riddled with graffiti and cracks that never got filled.

"This place is reserved for a concert, you need a ticket to get in," the bouncer said for probably the millionth time before I got to the front. I reached into my back pocket and grabbed the folded up piece of paper and handed it to him. Upon inspection of the paper, he glared at me before leaning in close to my ear.

"The host'll show you where to go," he said in a husky voice as he pushed the paper to my chest and gestured me inside.

Appearing much bigger on the outside, dimmed lights filled the entire room as the band that was playing practically shook the building as everyone jumped and danced to their song. I tapped on shoulders and tried getting answers as to where the host was, but people either genuinely didn't know or probably just said that so I could stop bothering them.

"I see you're looking for the host. Mind I ask why?" a girl with black slicked-back hair and a buttoned down shirt walked up to me and casually asked.

"Yeah I was told by the bouncer outside to look for them. He said that they'll 'show me where to go' but I haven't found them yet."

"Hmm, interesting," the girl said as she looked me up and down. "You don't look like a regular here, but I'm sure you have a reason if you made it this far."

"Um, excuse me?"

"Follow me," she said with an amused smirk. She started to make her way through the crowd as I followed her to a door in the very back of the building. By now I kind of figured that this girl was the host after all and she's now taking me to the place the bouncer said she would.

"Have fun," she said as she unlocked the door and stepped aside for me to go through. I looked at her puzzled before walking inside.

Inside the room was lit with purple and blue lights while people with drinks filled the area. I surveyed the people inside before realizing that I don't actually have a clue as to why I'm here in the first place and why I ever thought this place would hold any significance, so far The Proxy just seems like a normal venue with a VIP room in the back.

With that thought feeling more true than ever, I turned back around and tried to exit through where I came, but the the two guards besides the door stood in front of me and blocked it.

"Exit through the back or wait until regular hours are up and everyone outside leaves," the guy on the left said with his hand up. I'm not sure when "regular hours" will be over, but I'm not trying to stay long enough to find out. After being told to, I started to shuffle through people to get to the back while apologizing to anyone I accidentally bumped into.

"Excuse me," I said waiting for the next guy to move out the way. But instead of simply doing so, he turned around to look at me and I honestly don't know whether I should be surprised or not at who I was looking at.

"Oh come on!" The guy who turned out to be Raiden said in dismay. "Why are you following me?"

"What you think it's on purpose?"

"Three times is never a coincidence. This is becoming the most I've ever met up with someone without actually knowing their name."

"Cacey Adler by the way," I said a little annoyed.

"Okay, Adler, why are you here?" he asked

"Um I think I should ask you the same question." I retorted.

"Well I'm suppose to be here. You, however, shouldn't," he said as he started pushing me towards the exit. If Raiden's suppose to be here, then this place could possibly hold more significance then just being a VIP room.

"Wait wait hold on a second. What the hell is this place and who are these people? Also, why do you need to be here?"

"Oh my god you and these damn questions.

Listen and look around you," he said as he put his hands on my shoulders and turned me around to face everyone. "Everyone here, these people, aren't just people alright. Everybody in this room is a demon besides me and you. And if anyone finds out you're not a demon, they won't hesitate to kill you. And I can tell you from experience that you don't hide the fact that you're a Regular very well."

"Why would demons just be hanging out in the Mortal Realm? God and to think I was just about to shrug this place off." I tried to walk around and see if I can find out why these demons are here, but Raiden quickly grabbed my arm before I could go anywhere else.

"Not to be rude but you're stupid if you think you can just walk around with all these demon roaming free, small room or not. You're coming with me." With my arm in his hand, we made our way through the crowd and out the backdoor.

"You're stupid if you think I'm going anywhere with you," I said as I tried to break free from his grasp. Raiden reached into his pocket and grabbed a glowing green cube out before throwing it onto the floor which opened up a portal.

"You act like you have a choice," he said before practically throwing me into it. I fell to the ground on the other side of the portal right in front of a black car. When I got up, everything around me felt familiar but looked very alien and strange in a way. It wasn't long before I realized that we were now in the Shadow Realm, home of Immortals.

"Get in the car," Raiden said grabbing the cube and putting it back into his pocket.

"I think you know what I'm about to ask," I said as he opened the front door, but glared at me in annoyance before actually getting inside. Without asking the obvious, I got into the car and we started to drive off to somewhere.

Every so often I would glance over at Raiden wondering if he was going to say something, but his still focused glare made it harder for me to keep glancing for the fear that he'll stare back.

"I don't know how long you've been following me or what you gathered in doing so, so I brought you here," he said breaking the silence.

"Well in that case you can take me back home because I wasn't following you," I said stressing the "wasn't following you" part. "Just knowing a small part of what you do is enough for me to stay away. Plus I only knew about that place because you told me about that stupid DemonicSpawns website."

"Yeah but not with the intention of you showing up to my next mission. Coincidence or not, Imma make sure this doesn't happen again," he said pulling up to a huge institution-like-building. Once parked, Raiden got out of the car and headed towards the building without waiting for me to get out as well.

"What is this place exactly?" I asked catching up to him.

"You're looking at the Immortal Bounty Hunter Organization. With you being a Regular, I'm sure you've heard of them before," he said opening the doors which revealed a bunch of Immortals walking around, doing their jobs and going throughout their lives.

"I guess I'm going to keep the questions rolling by asking why'd you take me here?"

"I'm going to talk to someone real quick, hopefully clear everything up, and if everything goes well, you can go back home and we'll be going our seperate ways for the third and final time. In the meantime, you are going to stay in this area, no upstairs or downstairs and no talking to anyone, alright?"

"There shouldn't be anything to clear up because I was not following you!" I yelled back as he continued to walk away from me.

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