Azriel: Black Wings And Burnt Hearts

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Chapter 3: An Anomaly, Its Purpose and An Uncertain Certainty

Soundtrack:

English: Hotel California - Eagles (https://open.spotify.com/track/40riOy7x9W7GXjyGp4pjAv?si=967863ef1c1d4295)

Weeaboo:R.I.P- coldrain (https://open.spotify.com/track/0dwbSolJJd0W82778dEo8I?si=dc227cd4c277469c)

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Another Year

Another Past

Inexorably Linked

The Henson Estate

June 19th, 2026

After a wonderful day of school, spending the hours chatting with my friends and getting a good sweat beating the stuffing out of the Mustangs at soccer, I flash a toothy smile at the security guard manning the front gate of my family’s estate. She smiles back, the quantity of sincerity unknown, and presses the comically large red button to open the front gate.

“Chef Willard made an excellent roast tonight Lilith, he brought me some after the rain let up. Get inside and enjoy.” the security lady whose name escapes me says, pretending to be kind in a desperate attempt to get a tip, I’m sure.

But I just smile at her, wave goodbye, and trot through the freshly cut and newly wettened lawn like I’m a newborn golden retriever. “She knew my name and I didn’t know hers. I should change that.” I whisper to myself, committing myself to being a better master.

One day, all of this will be mine. The acres of land smackdab in the middle of downtown, the three story mansion and all the servants that deal with its upkeep. My parents’ millions as well. But, thankfully, there’s one aspect of the family business I won’t inherit.

“Then again, she won’t last the week. Probably no point in knowing her name.” I say to myself and I wrap my slender fingers around the brass doorknob leading to the warmth of my home.

The turnover. I won’t inherit the turnover. Pops has a funny idea of how to treat his employees and mom drinks too much to care about anything that isn’t the well toned ass of our gardener.

I take a step inside and the warm air of a well tuned central heating system hits my face. For a day in June, the rain and overcast sky made for a rather chilly day. Which means tomorrow is obviously gonna be the day that our trash cans outside melt onto the pavement.

I would say something generic like ‘if ya don’t like the weather here, then ya can just wait an hour and it’ve changed!’ but climate change has made that joke much less humorous.

“Poor Florida.” I exclaim, turning on my heels to the practically perfect kitchen in which my dinner awaits.

“Three goals on the day sure does work up an appetite.” I humblebrag to nobody in particular.

SHINK

SHULK!

SHINKSHINKSHULKSHINK

Ol’Willy must be hard at work whipping up a second batch of roast for ya’ girl. It’s not like dad to polish off one by himself, but maybe he burned too many calories filling out pink slips.

Triumphant from my conquest of a rival school, I push open the silver double door leading to the kitchen, exclaiming “The breadwinner is now home. Please commence with the cheeri---” before slipping and falling on my heiney.

A cold shiver runs up my spine. One not caused by falling on my ass, but what my ass fell on.

The single glance at my two hands, feebly shaking at my sides, is all it takes for me to abandon all reason in lieu of terror.

EEEEKKKKKKMOOOOOM!!!!!” I screech into the void. But the kitchen light is on? How else could I see the blood coating my hands? What is this shadow in front of me?

There is no void. There is only death ahead.

The front door to the estate slams open and the nice security lady whose name I cannot recall in my panic busts through with her gun drawn. “Lilith, is everything ok? Talk to m---” she demands before the shadow dashes past me, grabs a firm grip on her blond-headed skull and smashes it into the mahogany door like she was a balloon animal.

Hehehehe. Ball must’ve hit me too hard. That’s the only way.

I stand and start jumping in the quite real feeling pool of blood covering the entirety of the floor of the grand kitchen.

“Hehehehehe. Lucid dreams are something else.” I whisper to myself. Little details like the bottoms of my sneakers getting damp with coagulated blood really sell the dream like it was really happening. I take as big a jump as I can and land back in the blood, a little drop lands in my mouth.

The shadow stops digging through the mangled corpse of what used to be my bodyguard, turns back around, and closes the distance between the two of us in an instant.

Hehehehehehehehe.

Hehehehheheheheheh.

Tteeeheeeetteeehheeee.

its giant yellow eyes stare at my smiling face. nothing matters here, because nothing is real here. Its foul breath is fake. the skin of the beast, blacker than any man and darker that theeeee darkestt night, is a figment of an addled mind.

“Ah”

I slip again and my face hits a cold pile of meat. My ankles begin throbbing in pain, from the strain of the constant jumping, not to mention the football game I just won earlier.

Pain.

Temperature.

The pained expression of my mothers corpse I am lifting my face out of.

None of these things can be experienced in a dream.

“ah.”

Quickly, I grip onto the center island of the kitchen and pull myself up. My right hand moves on instinct to the largest kitchen knife it can palm, and my arm, adrenaline pumping frantically, swings at the beast.

In what can barely qualify as a response, when my weapon stabs the massive chest of the beast, a vile black ooze squirts out of the wound and onto my hand, burning it like a motherfucker.

“FUCK! FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK!” I scream, backing up in a sad attempt at escape. But my footwear finally fails me and I slip again, into another pile of cold meat.

This one deserves it, at least.

On the way down, the back of my head cracks the marble counter of the sink area. I lay next to my father, tears flowing like the blood that surrounds me.

A warm, inviting light enters the room. Hope. A chance. I need it. What do I need to do? Tell me!

HELP ME!

A voice, from somewhere.

“Would you like to make a deal?”

“Would you like to defeat AZRIEL?”

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“Well Sir, I’m a Front Desk Booking Agent, not a Psychologist. So if you could kindly vacate the premises before I have to call the cops on your bum ass, that would be greatly appreciated.” she requests, the thin line of her professional facade wearing down by the second.

“But my bus…” I try to insert, before getting shut down.

“There is no bus sir. There may never be another bus. The fact that you aren’t aware of that means you need to lay off the Halcyon and join the rest of us here on earth. While you’re coming down from whatever disgraceful high you’re most certainly on currently, you should take a nice walk elsewhere. Far away. NOW.” she demands, a slight twitch forming under her right eye.

Not wanting any trouble, I don’t bother asking what the hell Halcyon is. My eyes fall to the ground as I limply exit the bus station.

So.

Where to start? I have claws, I guess?

Goosebumps form all over my body. Tension builds in my right hand.

Deep breath.

“HAAA!” I scream, pushing my right arm forward.

But nothing came. Other than confused looks from passersby on the other side of the street (along with more dirty looks, of course).

Ok. Next. I killed Beth. And Gerald. And all the rest.

“I guess there could be survivors.” A slight hope escapes from my mouth, because, as I learned when I was like 6 years old, the orphanage is connected to a local high school. Something about tax credits. And the school wasn’t just filled with little orphan annies like me, there wouldn’t be enough students to warrant an entire school. Local kids attended as well, like Gerald’s two lackeys.

The news story only mentioned the orphanage. So, maybe then, there were some poor traumatized high schoolers that were spared?

Is… is that supposed to make me feel better? ‘Oh good job not killing your P.E teacher Azriel, you deserve a pat on the back, right after I wipe the blood of your enemies off my hands!’ God that hipster book lady was right, I’m pathetic. Should I just turn myself in? We don’t have the death penalty here, so I’d be looking at life with no parole easy peasy.

Shaking the cobwebs from my head to right myself, a cold thought enters my brain as a cold front hits my back. I am much too attractive to be in prison. They’d eat me alive.

“Or I’d have to eat them, rather.” I whisper to myself with a chuckle.

I’m a murderer. Why should I get to chuckle. I’m a freak. Nothing else matters. There’s nothing I can do to repent. They’re all dead and it’s my fault. Oh god.

Oh god.

My legs take off forward, back where I came from. Passing the weird bookstore, turning the corner, running back to where I began, I stop at the alleyway.

THIS is what I deserve. A life of destitution. Sleeping in a cardboard box. Worrying about the cold. Seeing the haunting smile etched across her face as I skewer it with three perfect blades every time I close my eyes.

I will never leave again.

This is where I belong.

One step forward. Second step forward. Third step forward.

“Yo.” I stop. A familiar voice enters my earhole. Slowly turning my head, I see the bum who ‘borrowed’ my shoes and threatened to throw me in a fire barrel. He’s sitting against a brick wall, looking up at me. He’s the only guy in the entire alleyway now.

I want to say something is off, but it wouldn’t matter anyway. Nothing matters.

“Everybody else went to the shelter for some grub like I did this morning, if you were wondering. What’s up?” he asks.

“I’d like to freeze to death in this alleyway, if you excuse me.” I reply, cold as the nip in the air.

“And why’s that, sir? Something happen on your jaunt?” he asks jovially.

“I’m going to ignore your change in attitude, as I assume that you will ask me for something and then shank me in my sleep when you receive it. I would prefer to die slowly and painfully, as I deserve it.” I reply, my face showing nothing.

“How could somebody like you deserve it, Azriel? You’re… you!” he responds, confusingly.

“It’s because I’m me that I deserve what’s coming to me. Isn’t that obvious dude. Let me die.” I answer back.

“Come Az, I know I was being a jerk earlier but… I mean, I was the only one you told, supposedly.” he counters, again, causing more questions to form in my head.

Then a great shock overcomes his visage. “Oh my god, you don’t remember anything do you?”

“This has been established. Now, if I can leave.” I say, taking a couple steps forward.

“Look… Look!” he screams, pointing at the giant LCD TV board across the street, showing the same news channel that broke my mind earlier.

And wouldn’t ya know it, the news seems to very much dislike my equilibrium today.

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I soar. Into the clouds. Above them. Beyond. The greater the fall, the greater the damage right? Well, this fucking mutt is a tough bitch!

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH” I take the sword etched in my soul, point it at the ground miles below and bellow a warcry as I descend.

In mere seconds, the battle is decided. The blistering pure sword scalding my palms pierces the thick demonic skin of the three headed mutt heading towards Melas, slicing its back legs off and its spine in two, its viscera and blackened blood spewing onto me as I take a well deserved nap in its freshly minted corpse.

I am a hero.

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A sigh escapes my lips.

“Huh. How about that?”

I take a seat opposite him and stare into his weary eyes.

“No wonder I can’t catch a bus.”

The entire city is in lockdown. Armed troops surround the capital city of Nogero. Nobody in or out.

Because they’re trying to catch the hero who killed the mighty Cerberus.

“Is it too late to actually read the bible?”

CHAPTER 3 END: 2/18/22 2:40AM

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