Chapter Thirteen; Coffee And Burgers
July 24, 2017 – On The Road
Maybe there was nothing to be afraid of—except, of course, the demons that wanted to eviscerate his entire existence because of a stupid deal his relative had made. However, with the thought of something being off with this entire thing… He wasn’t sure what to even believe anymore.
And here they were, travelling towards Nova Scotia that was days away, where they had parked at the Ontario’s provincial pit stop and decided to go there to eat. Tim Horton’s, Harvey’s and Starbucks were the only options, and Jude immediately dashed towards the one that obviously served burgers made with cheese and beef. Jay Mauser cringed at his delightful look as the smell of meat came towards them, and Jay held in his gag.
How could anyone eat that?
Departing from his older brother, the male took a left and stood in the line of the Tim Horton’s, thinking that Jude was appreciate two double double’s and a twenty pack of Timbits for the road.
After he ordered from the dirty-blonde female with a nasty wart beneath her eyelid, the male made his way back to Jude, and found him already consuming the likes of the cheeseburger. When Jude let out a satisfied moan, he looked at Jay and pointed at the bag.
“Burger,” he said and pushed it towards him as the younger brother sat down across from him.
Jay uneasily eyed the bag and looked around, only see the usual cafeteria interior with people eating silently to themselves. “A veggie burger?” he asked to make sure, and Jude nodded with another bite.
“Okay…” Jay said slowly and opened the packaging, and was relieved to find the burger with grilled corn, lentils and black beans as the patty instead of beef. “I’m proud of you,” Jay congratulated him with a grin as he took a content bite.
“You deserve a veggie burger,” Jude replied with a wink before wiping his hands off on his pants and suddenly held a burp. “Ahhh… excuse me,” he laughed and took the box of Timbits in his hand and plopped a chocolate one in his mouth.
He raised a brow. “You alright there?”
Where had Jude’s manners come from? Holding in that burp was very unlikely.
Jude’s gaze flicked away form Jay, and when he turned to follow his eyes, he then realized—hottie one o’clock.
Rolling his brilliant blue eyes, the male continued to eat, and suddenly Jude was talking, but not to him.
“I bet the universe cries when they see your starlight,” Jude began and the girl looked over at him with a blush.
“I have a boyfriend,” was all she said before walking away shyly.
Jude shrugged and plopped another Timbit in his mouth. “At least I tried,” he said with his mouth full. There he was—Jude was back. “She didn’t deserve my body anyways.”
He almost choked on his food. “Your body? You’d have better luck having sex with a bear rather than her, brother.”
In response, he threw a Timbit at his face, and Jay cringed, wiping away the sugar on his cheek. “Delightful.”
A snarky grin spread across Jude’s mouth. “That was a pleasurable sight,” he said, leaning back into the chair. “And you deserved it.”
Pointing a finger at his mouth that opened agape, Jay said: “Who, me?” Sarcastic shock was written all over his face. “Never. I didn’t say a word.”
Jude scavenged in the box of Timbits, and then ate the last of the pack. “Hmmm… keep telling yourself that, little bird.” Jude stood up and stretched out his hair-covered arms. “I better start working out, for apparently I ’have better luck having sex with a bear’.”
Jay smirked and took the empty box and threw it into the trashcan. “Maybe it’s a hot bear.”
“If a beast covered in fur is considered ‘sexy’, then sure. But I’d have a hard time looking for entry-way.”
He made a disgusted face. “You don’t have to go so far,” Jay responded and exited the building and made his way through the parking lot. Jay didn’t even notice the wink that Jude offered to the woman he tried to knock up.
Jude followed behind him and said, “But it’s true.” He stopped in front of Jay and gave him a grin. “Imagine meeting a woman who was butt-covered in pubic hairs, but her face was extravagant!” Jay rolled his eyes. “Listen, would you go for her, or would you try to see past the… unnatural stuff.”
“What’s your point?” Did he even want to ask?
“I’m just saying that if they’re beautiful, you go head first and knee deep. But you can’t smudge your judge.” He held his hand high, but Jay swept past him and quickly got into the passenger seat.
When Jude lowered his arm with a pathetic sigh, he joined his brother and got into the driver’s side. “You’re the most disgusting man that I have ever met,” Jay said and lowered the window to allow fresh air to enter the old vehicle.
“Nah… I couldn’t be the worst.”
“Oh, you could be—to many, many different people.”
Jude frowned, but without another word, he started the engine, and Paradise City automatically began to play through the speakers. God, Guns N’ Roses were amazing!
They never saw it coming.
As the pole went crashing through the windshield, the panicked cry of the youngest Mauser matched all the horrors of their devastating childhood.
Glass shattered, and he felt it pierce his skin like miniature blades as the windshield was destroyed by whatever caused the accident.
And the last thing he remembered before he woke up in the middle of the afternoon, covered with his own blood, was that a man that looked so familiar had dragged him out of the ’67 Mustang.
There was a burning sensation on his arm, and this time it was nearly excruciating. It was as if a knife made of fire dug into his skin without hesitation, and he held in his scream when he realized it truly was a blade.
“Hold still,” he heard someone say. It was a male’s voice.
Smack. Someone was hit in the face.
“You weak, selfish boy! Do as you’re told, or you’ll lose more than your dignity.”
“If you remove it, he’ll bleed out,” a younger voice than the one before said.
What was happening—?
The pain jolted up into his heart, and a scream escaped his lips once again. Oh dear lord, save my soul…
Everything smelt like blood, without that deep, crimson and metal fragrance. It was nearly sickening, and it was driving him mad.
And when his vision cleared from bloodstained tears, his eyed laid upon his older brother who held his arm down. He, too, was covered with blood, and his shirt was drenched with it.
“It’s going to be all right, brother,” Jude said calmly. “Just breathe.”
He looked over to the side with wide eyes, and he then saw Uncle Ben, who held a hot blade in his right hand.
“We have to remove it,” Uncle Ben said and moved the blade to Jay’s arm, and he tried to yank it away from his reach, but Jude held it down firmly.
“Trust us,” Jude said calmly, and Jay inhaled a long, sharp breath.
They were going to cut his arm.
What were they cutting? What were they removing?
“The mark,” Jude said as if in answer to his thoughts, “is going to kill us both. Uncle Ben said that if we remove this… this would save us.”
Jay shook his head in plea, and he only realized his mouth was gagged—perhaps to muffle his screams. So no one outside would hear this… torture.
Don’t do it don’t do it don’t do it.
Then the blade pierced his skin again, and he felt his stomach heave. It was almost as bad as third-degree burn—but he wished he could feel nothing at all. This pain was unfathomable, and he thought that this was the entrance to Death.
His arm was begging to be released, but every time he tried to rip his arm away, Jude would hold his arm down harder than before.
It was impossible.
He passed out.
The smell of sweet perfume filled his nostrils as he entered some sort of wonderland. It was the same smell as the day he had met the love of his life: Sarah.
And her laugh, as he heard it as if it were less than a kilometer away—it was so close.
More beautiful than the bird’s song in the early afternoon. She had returned for him, and he felt himself smile with joy. “My love,” Jay whispered, and it turned into an echo.
The world around him morphed into something all too familiar. The same party when he had met her. And there she was, knee-tight with that starlight dress made from the galaxy itself. His mouth went agape from the sight—as if it were the first time he had truly seen that righteous laugh that had spread across those pink, covered lips.
Too beautiful, he thought. I never deserved her. What was his right, anyways, to ever drag her into his shit-covered life? The horror, the death, the curse… If hadn’t even said hello to her that night, if he hadn’t run into her… She never would have died.
And that’s when he finally realized her death was his fault alone. Not Jude’s, not the Farm’s, not the demon’s… His. Only his.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured under his breath that had turned cold. The world in front of him turned into a frosted picture, and as he touched the barrier between him and the same scene as he met Sarah for the first time, his hand clenched into a fist.
“Come back to me… Come back…” She was walking away, and when he saw himself, their bodies collided.
Her death, this mess, this utter catastrophe of a life.
Jay couldn’t hear their conversation, but he remembered it perfectly. “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry,” Jay had exclaimed.
Wine was all over her dress, but she only offered him a kind smile of forgiveness. She didn’t care about the mess; she was star struck for him.
“Dammit,” Jay cursed, pressing his body against the frosted glass. “Don’t talk to her!”
But the conversation continued. She stuffed her face with cake, he laughed, and this had all led up to him asking her out.
And they fell in love.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid...” Jay felt tears burn in his eyes. “I should have never talked to you... I should have just...” He shook his head.
Fate was meant to be—you could never change it, no matter what.
Maybe this was a lesson. Maybe it was telling him that he couldn’t change his fate—he was going to die, no matter what he thought.
And if he never met Sarah, what of Jude never came back? None of this would have happened, and Jay would have died alone.
But that would have been so much better than Sarah dying because of this. His fist hen slammed against the glass, and he let out a panicked scream as everything shattered. He was surprised when he realized it disappeared into nothingness—and he was... safe?
Darkness dispersed around him, and not a single flicker of light could be seen. Was he dead? Asleep without dreams?
Was he finally in Hell?
And then something touched his shoulder with a thin claw, and quickly he jumped to the side, jabbing the being with his elbow square in the face.
Eying the man that stumbled backwards, he had the same black Stetson as the demon before. A satisfied grin spread across Jay’s mouth.
“That wasn’t so kind, was it?” The demon growled as his hands fell slack against his side. It was almost as if there was a spotlight directly on the demon.
“I don’t give a damn about kindness when I’m face to face with the demon that murdered my parents,” he replied. Why should anyone in his or her right mind care about a freaking murderer?
The demon clucked his tongue. “I saved them,” he said to Jay.
“Bullshit,” he growled.
The demon looked exactly how he had imagined; he was indefinitely Heroikai. His face was the most demonic thing he had ever seen, and he would bet money that the black Stetson was hiding goat horns. His face was rubbery with what looked like he was stuck in a fire for a few years—like the ghouls in the Fallout videogame. His hair poked slightly out of his hat with small strands of blonde hair, and his body was dressed up in a black tuxedo. He couldn’t even forget the blood red rose above his heart—if he had one.
He brought a finger up to his mouth, basically telling him to shut the hell up. “Listen.” The deep, evil voice that took over the demon’s voice sent a cold shiver down his spine that almost felt like a snake slithered down his spine. Perhaps one did; and Jay didn’t want to find out. “You’re just a boy with a bad past, and you have no idea the reasons of why we had to murder your parents.”
“Oh, I am well aware of the circumstances.”
The demon’s eyes flickered red. “Your great, great grandmother made a choice, boy.” Jay flinched at his aggressive tone. “It’s not my fault that it so happened to be your parents to die.”
Jay couldn’t hold his arm back as it flung into the demon’s face—but he didn’t even stumble back a step, he didn’t even clutch his burnt face… Oh, shit.
The demon met him in the face with an unspeakable force that sent him flying ten feet backwards. He let out a panicked cry as he hit the black abyss of flooring, and he inhaled a few sharp breaths that were each as equally painful. He couldn’t save himself as the demon grasped both of his ankles and he felt nails dig an inch deep. A scream escaped his mouth before he was sent flying once again, and when he hit the ground, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to get up.
“Don’t test me, Jay Mauser,” the demon with the black Stetson growled into his ear. Jay could hear the distaste of “Mauser” on his tongue, and he exhaled an exasperated breath.
“What do you want from me?” Did he even have to ask?
“Your life,” was all he said, and he felt a tongue slid up his cheek. He fought to hold in his vomit. “One day, Jay Mauser, I will take your life. But that day is not today. There are so many more things for you to… discover.”
Jay squeezed his eyes shut as the tongue reached beneath his eye, but it then removed itself—but he didn’t open his eyes. “What do you mean?” he dared to ask.
“There are more secrets that some aren’t willing to tell,” was all he said.
He jumped at him, a hand grasping his suit. Looking dead into those red, forsaken eyes, Jay Mauser whispered: “I am done with your bullshit. Give me a straight answer, now.”
The demon shook his head, and he then took a claw to remove Jay’s hand from his perfectly fitted suit. “Son, there will never be straight answers.”
It was almost like a puff of smoke smothered him as the demon disappeared into the black abyss. The world around him was gone, and when he stood back up onto his two feet, knowing that he was alone, a scream of agony was the last thing he could hear echoing into nothingness before he was sucked back into reality.