Chapter Fourteen; Broken Wings
July 27, 2017 – On the road
Jude stared at his sleeping brother who looked somewhat peaceful. His head had been pounding with an inevitable pain that was a hundred times more excruciating than breaking his arm. Jude hadn’t seen his brother sleep like this; completely knocked out and looking in the middle of being serene and tense.
He had been meaning to apologize for crashing into the damned vehicle, but on the bright side, Uncle Ben ended up turning the corner and helped him out of the destroyed ’67 Mustang—however, the woman in the other car didn’t survive. The sound of the brakes slamming and the sliding of the wheels—and then suddenly… the flipping of a vehicle and a scream of a young woman in her twenties.
I’m so sorry, Jude had cried and tear lined his blue, broken eyes. I-I’m sorry… He hated to admit it, but his brother mattered more, and due to his unconsciousness, he had to save him.
Uncle Ben had brought him inside the shed that was on the side of the road, while Jude limped behind him. Shannon showed up out of nowhere, instantly touching his forehead so he would stop bleeding.
And Jude felt a thousand times better when Shannon told him the woman in the car was possessed by a demon.
Until then, he realized, that they were no longer safe, and the protection mark had worn off.
“Remove it,” Shannon demanded.
“What? Why?” Jude was shocked to hear those words. He couldn’t just… cut the mark off of his arm, could he?
“We don’t have a choice right now,” the angel growled.
Uncle ben placed a hand on his shoulder. “Listen to her.” He quickly ran out of the shed, supposedly grabbing supplies.
Jude returned his gaze to the angel. “He could bleed out,” he said to her.
There was almost amusement in her eyes. “I can heal him.” She moved to Uncle Ben as he returned, and she took a small dagger out of his duffle bag and held it to Jay’s arm. “The demons won’t be able to find him for at least a week until they can trace him again.”
Jude inhaled a sharp breath and stared at his brother. He couldn’t bare the thought of someone they hardly even knew to cut a scar off of his arm… His little, innocent brother…
The picture of him being a baby once again crossed his vision. He was so young when their parents died—both of them were.
That haunting picture of his own mother screaming, and he could just imagine the way she looked… petrified, broken. She had been utterly helpless to save herself. She never deserved to be targeted by the curse. Nor was his dad.
But he wasn’t a kid anymore—he was a grown man, and he was sure as Hell that Jay would want them to remove it.
Jude squeezed his brother’s hand, and placing another hand on his forehead, Jude whispered:
“It’s for the best.”
And then his eyes opened.
Jay awoke gasping for air. His right arm outstretched to a large, blinding light that illuminated in his blurry gaze. What is this? As his arm went out, it didn’t touch anything, there was only blank space. The light was almost beautiful with its radiating grace, and it was almost as beautiful as Sarah—as if it was Sarah. Crazy. It couldn’t be for it wasn’t even possible.
None of this was possible…
Monsters, ghosts and demons… it was all too insane.
But—it was true, wasn’t it? All of it? The stories, their experiences… It wasn’t going to let himself go insane because of all of this. Son, there will never be straight answers.
The Devil Himself… He visited him in his sleep, he was real.
He was the one that murdered his parents.
That bastard was going to pay—
A sudden, excruciating pain enveloped his entire arm, and he felt his back arch as he let out a scream. “Please stop. Stop!”
The sound of a slice met his ear, and as bile rose up to his throat, he felt himself slightly choke to the disgusting vomit. Just as it happened, two pairs of arms helped him roll to his said as he let all his sick out.
“He’s going to kill us for this,” a familiar voice said.
“No, he’ll thank us for this,” another familiar voice responded to the other.
Jay squirmed from their touch as he relieved himself, and let out a screech of pain as his arm felt as if it were on fire.
“Let me go,” Jay seethed, but he felt his body get crushed against a cold surface. “What are you doing to me?” His words slowly became a whimper.
“It’s okay…” a soothing voice said into his ear, and he felt a hand caress his cheek. The voice was feminine. “You’ll be okay. I’m here.”
He shut his eyes, and as he soaked in her words, he relaxed. Sarah… She was here with him, and he could have sworn he smelt fresh pomegranate. “You’re safe, I’m here,” Sarah said again, and he felt her lips press against his cheek.
Jay’s eyes fluttered at the sensation, and he looked over at her as his blue eyes set to normal. Tears lined his eyes as he realized that it wasn’t Sarah, but Shannon Louis. His stupid imagination of Sarah being alive… stupid, stupid, stupid…
Shannon took his hand and squeezed it as she offered him a reassuring smile. “They won’t find you.” What the hell does that mean?
Then Jude took her place and kneeled beside him, but his goofy grin wasn’t anywhere to be found on his face. “The mark was removed, Jay. Uncle Ben found us lying on the side of the road, but you were still unconscious. He helped us get rid of the mark so they don’t find us again.”
But… how? How the heck would have Uncle Ben found us?
“You remember the accident, don’t you?” Jude inquired with a concerned look.
Jay’s eyed flicked back and fourth from Uncle Ben and Jude. It was too strange.
“I’m just glad that you’re all right,” Uncle Ben said to Jay with a curt nod. Jay looked back at Jude.
“The demon that killed our parents visited me in my dreams,” Jay whispered to him.
Jude almost flinched at his words. “What did he say?” he asked him, looking at Uncle Ben before he reset his gaze back to his brother.
“Can we… talk privately?” Jay didn’t know what was going on, but something was definitely wrong with this entire situation. Uncle Ben automatically left the room without another word, followed by Shannon.
Jude helped Jay sit up, and when Jay looked at his arm, he saw a bandage covered with wet blood. Bile almost rose up his throat again. “He didn’t say much,” Jay then admitted. “Basically the same stuff we’ve heard before: the curse. But he said there’s thing that I don’t know—that I have to discover.”
“The hell does that mean?” Jude said, and Jay only shrugged.
“I don’t know, honestly. But someone’s hiding something… I can feel it in my bones.”
Jude rubbed at his chin and leaned against the wall as he stood up. “You think someone’s lying to us?”
“It could be anyone. Uncle Ben, Shannon… Or the demon’s just screwing with our heads.”
“I wouldn’t doubt that the demon’s screwing with us.”
“But why would he say that? To drive us all apart?” There were too many questions without spoken answers. It was draining.
“Well… why would Uncle Ben lie to us?” Jude looked towards the door they had exited. Jay couldn’t decipher where they ended up; it looked like they were in some abandoned cabin, and they were stranded in the woods. “We haven’t known Shannon for that long.”
Jay brought his legs towards his stomach and held them close to him. “It wouldn’t make sense if either of them were lying to us. I don’t see why Shannon would go through all of this just to betray us.”
“Unless that was her plan all along…”
He thought considerably, but shook his head. She betrayed Heaven and basically swore herself to them. She wouldn’t just abandon them in a moment of desperation. But Uncle Ben… they hadn’t seen him for years, and he was working for the Farm… The Headmaster was planning something with Gate, he knew, and he had a good feeling that they were going after them at some point for going against their deal. “It just doesn’t add up,” he responded.
“But you really think our own blood would be lying to us?” Jude inquired with a raised brow.
“You can’t trust anyone these days,” Jay sighed. It was true; you couldn’t trust a damn soul.
And from experience… there were things he wished had never happened—like being unable to trust his elder brother who had broken his trust more than once. But, it didn’t hurt to give him his tenth chance, does it?
That’s what family does.
“Uncle Ben hasn’t been working for the Farm for that long, but would it take a few years to brainwash someone?” Jay asked Jude.
“I mean he might not be brainwashed…”
“We’re looking at all the possibilities, Jude,” Jay muttered.
“Okay, fine. No, it wouldn’t take a few years; it can take minutes to hours for something like that to kick in.” Jude eyed the door as if he felt someone listening. “I don’t think our conversation is so private, Jay,” he said in a low whisper.
Jay followed his gaze, and his stomach suddenly dropped. “Why would he help you remove the mark from my wrist, then?”
“Because he’s still family,” Jude replied quietly. “He’d do anything for us.”
“Even betray us…”
“But you don’t know that,” Jude countered and looked at him. “You’re only making assumptions.”
Jay didn’t want to believe that it was real, but he would never even point a finger at his brother again. He fucked up many times before, and he was sure that he wasn’t going to go through that again.
Shannon risked her life for them—she would never turn her back on them, right?
But… Uncle Ben only told them a story that he wasn’t allowed to ever read.
He hadn’t even offered to take care of them when they had needed him the most.
Maybe he was crazy, and maybe he was just looking for someone to point a finger at. Jude was right. Uncle Ben wouldn’t turn his back on them, at least not right now. Uncle Ben just helped him, and he couldn’t just stab them in the back. That just wasn’t him.
“But what if—“
“Stop making excuses! You out of all people should know that what you just said was a load of bull crap.” Jay flinched at his brother’s change of tone. Jude let out a sigh and crossed his arms. “I’m sorry, but Uncle Ben wouldn’t hurt us like that.”
Would their own family, even without blood connection, betray them in such a way?
No. Uncle Ben wouldn’t do such a thing.
Jay sat back and looked at the bandage on his arm. He shouldn’t blame his own uncle for something they couldn’t prove—and for something he wouldn’t even do.
“You’re right,” Jay sighed to his brother. “I just… I just don’t know anything anymore.”
Jude placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it lightly. “You just need a better sleep. C’mon, we’ll grab some grub, hit the hay stack, and then go back on the road?”
After a while of looking at the bloodstained ground where he supposed he bled, Jay nodded to his older brother. “That sounds like a great idea,” he replied.
The drive was long as Uncle Ben towed the old Mustang on his red truck. It was beaten up, the paint was chipped, and the bumper had fallen off, but a mechanic would be able to fix her for only a few thousand bucks that they could steal from a credit card.
Jude looked through his brown, leather wallet that he’d had for about five years—what he had gotten from the last Christmas with Jay. His brother was a sleep in the back, resting on Shannon’s shoulder that didn’t seem to mind, while Jude sat beside Uncle Ben in the front.
Jay was crazy for thinking Uncle Ben would betray them—that’s just not who he is, even if his boss was a creep.
The sound of red truck’s engine was a loud purr, and there was a strange tang in the air conditioning that must have broken it. Perhaps a piece of metal? With a shrug, the male looked towards the horizon. The sun hit the clouds perfectly, and he eyed as rays of the sun reflected towards them, shining as brightly as they possibly could. It reminded him of the girl right behind him—beautiful, breathtaking… He felt his throat tighten at the thought, and looking over his shoulder, the angel looked right back at him with a smile. So bright, so warm.
He knew she wouldn’t like him back.
No one so amazing… so…
You’re so stupid for thinking such a way, Jude thought to himself, and he quickly looked away from the angel.
He couldn’t help but think she could hear his thoughts, but there was something inside him that said she didn’t care about a single, little-brained idea that went across his mind—she only listened to what Jay had to say.
Maybe they deserved each other, Jay and Shannon. Although their similar looks as brothers, Jay always had better luck with the ladies. Maybe he despised his brother for that, but he still loved his brother.
And even all the girls loved him, too.
Letting out a sigh of slight despair, Jude didn’t even realize he had began to wring his hands at the thought of Shannon even thinking about… him.
There was a deep pain inside of him as he thought about that angel. He had never been able to stay in a relationship for a long time with, well, anyone. And to think about even starting one with her? An angel?
And then he felt this energy tugging at him that forced him to turn around, and when he looked at the angel, her eyes read: I know. I know how you feel. Jude shook his head and looked back out the window. She had no idea.
Jude wasn’t planning on wanting to end up liking someone, to have intimate feelings towards someone who would never share them back. It just was unlikely and utterly impossible.
Jay could have her. He was already broken, and nothing could fix that without a little more light in his life.
His brother needed her more than he did.
Jude let out a long sigh, and finding a ten-dollar bill he’d snatched from an old man at a gas station, he also found two unused credit cards that had about five hundred credits on them. Mr. Issac Smith he had said on the phone to a lady when she asked for his name. And then two days later, Mr. Damon Simon for the next one. Unfortunately he had to say these were his first credit cards, and none offered more than five hundred.
They could get more for the car—they wouldn’t leave her behind.
Jude wished that jay could see how much he tried to do for him. Steal for him, protect him… he just didn’t see it, did he? Jude held back his tears, knowing that his father would have wanted him to remain strong. Don’t let anyone bring you down. Stay strong for your brother, will ya?
He couldn’t remember when he had said that, but what he did know was that it had been years ago…
Pulling out the GPS, they were just entering Quebec, and they had voluntarily avoided Ottawa. The only thing that was different in this part of Canada was the excessive amounts of French signs that had been much larger than the English ones.
Deciding to recite what he knew about French, Jude said a few of the basics: hello, goodbye, yes and no, and my name is Jude. And… that’s all he remembered. Damn French class taught him nothing—and he should have finished high school to remember it.
Jude let out a long sigh and thought of what his life would have been like if he had completed high school. He’d probably have a girlfriend, and he might have not left Jay so long ago—and he might even of had a job. Yeah, sure, they’ve hunted monsters their entire life after the one incident with the demon almost killing Jay in their sleep. Gosh, Jay had been, what, ten?
The wind was cold and refreshing that night.
You could hear a long and tired whistle of the wind and the creaking of the maple tree in front of their foster parent’s home. Jude had been making out with a girl with red, pulled back hair with black highlights. And to his memory, she had the best thighs: thick and smooth.
His tongue slid down into her warm mouth, tasting her cherry chap stick that was ultimately delicious. However, despite his desires for this beautiful teenager, he could hear whimpers from Jay’s bedroom, and his foster parents weren’t home to comfort him.
Pulling away from the red-head, he looked at her apologetically and said to her:
“I need to check on my brother.” She didn’t complain; she only looked slightly upset.
Striding over to his brother’s door, he knocked twice before he entered the room. “How’s it going, bud?” Jude asked him and sat on the edge of his bed.
Jay peaked out of his covers and looked at his brother. “I saw something out my window,” he whispered. “It had red, glowing eyes… I think it wants to eat me.”
Jude raised his eyebrows with amusement, but instead of making fun of his ten-year-old brother, he patted his back and said, “We’re all afraid of something, Jay, but trust me: no monster will eat you—at least not tonight.”
“But it looks at me and… and it licked it’s lips when it saw me.”
He shrugged. “I’m not sure anyone wants to eat a little boy that is the younger brother of me—the most badass, monster kicking ninja.”
“Ninja?” Jay said with hope. He actually believed that he was a ninja. Jude snorted.
“Yeah,” he replied. “I kick monsters in the butt on my free time.”
Jay smiled and fully removed the blankets from his face. “Cool!” he exclaimed. ’”And you—“
“Jude?” the redhead called from out of the room. “Check this out.”
Furrowing his dark brows, the male squeezed his brother’s hand before he left the room and returned to the girl. “So, are you calling me for more—“
She shook her head and pointed at the door. “It’s open.” Jude walked towards the door and kneeled in front of it, confused. They had shut it when they came inside, and he made sure he had… locked it. Strange. The door looked like it was kicked open from the damage at the lock, and the wooden planks on the floor were… scratched with claws marks?
“Stay with my brother,” Jude ordered to her. “I’m going to take a look around.”
She flinched at his words, but she obliged after a second of hesitation. Quickly, she made her way to Jay’s room and closed the door behind her. Jude inhaled a sharp breath as he made sure they were safe in there, and then he moved to the broom closet in the corner. A baseball bat lay firmly against the wall, and he took it with him for defense as he made his way up the stairs.
Maybe they didn’t lock the door… maybe they forget to close it?
But how? How would he have forgotten to do such a thing? He always locked the door! Always.
Enough questions, he thought to himself. There’s a man inside this house, and I have to stop him before he does something he regrets.
Jude remembered that his “father”—Paul—had kept a gun upstairs in his bedroom, locked with a secret combination. He bet that it was his favourite lottery numbers: 6185. Nodding to himself that he was sure that’s what it was, slowly he crept towards the room and opened it quietly enough that the trespasser wouldn’t hear him.
Gods, if anything happened to Jay… he wasn’t sure what he’d do—
Or what his foster parents would do.
No, don’t say that to yourself. Jay will be fine. That girl will be fine. Everything will be fine.
His breath was hitched when he heard the floorboard behind him creak, and looking over his shoulder, a shadow had moved for a split second before it disappeared in the bathroom.
Everything will be fine.
Jude wanted to believe it, but he wasn’t so sure.
Jay sat in his bedroom with the redheaded girl whose name was unsaid. She put a finger over her lips to tell him not to say a word, until she pointed at the window. “We can escape there,” she told Jay.
He looked at the window, and he moved towards it and unlocked the hatch. “What about Jude?” he asked her with concern for his older brother.
“He’ll be fine,” the redhead reassured him and opened the window for him. “You go, and I’ll find him. Okay?”
Jay gulped with difficulty before he curtly nodded his head. “The monster isn’t out there?” It was the window where the monster with red eyes had looked at him, dead in the eyes.
“No. There’s no monsters tonight,” she replied and helped him out the window. “Hide wherever you can—your brother will find you once we figure this out.” This girl wasn’t much older than he was; yet she acted so old, so wise and brave. Jay admired that about this girl.
The little boy fell out of the window and landed in a flower bush with an umph escaping his lips. Rubbing his head that had hit itself against something, he crawled his way across the garden and into the backyard. He could hide in the shed—no one would find him there.
Jude punched in the code for the case and cursed under his breath when 6185 hadn’t been the correct number. Scratching the back of his neck, he thought of different numbers that Paul would use. Their birthday, his anniversary with Melanie, or even the year the Toronto Maple Leafs had won the Stanley Cup. Yet none of them worked.
“Dammit,” Jude whispered to no one and shoved the case to the side. He knew nothing about Paul, and suddenly he wished he knew more.
If he hadn’t gotten kicked out, and if he went on those deer hunting trips with him, he would have been able to crack this code—
“That has to be it…” The year 1985, he had said, was the time he hadn’t gotten his first, real kill. The moose. Of course, he hadn’t been permitted to do such a thing, but he’d never been caught.
And thank the Lord that he had cracked the code, because the case popped opened with a satisfying click.
He almost yelped with excitement, but he kept his mouth shut when he removed the 92 A1 Beretta Pistol. A long whistle came from his lips as he eyed the gun. “Nice…” he murmured and lifted it up and squeezed one eye shut as he eyed it. The gun had never been used.
Attaching the slip into the gun, he pulled the slide back and left the baseball bat behind as he cautiously made his way down the hallway. He didn’t expect it when he was flung to the side and slammed into the wall at full force of what seemed nearly impossible. How can someone be that strong?
A cry escaped his mouth as he made impact to the fall, and he heard the gun go off. A scream cried from downstairs, and he lifted himself off the ground before a hand grasped his throat and squeezed.
Gaging, the male fought against the male with a black Stetson and red eyes. “Get… off… me…” he got out between a cough.
The red eyes flared and he saw the edge of his vision turn black. I’m going to die; I’m going to die…
Jude’s legs kicked in the air as his body got lifted up into the sky, but before everything turned black, he was released with the sound of a clunk behind the red eyed man.
“Stay away from him!” the redhead screamed and dropped a baseball bat that he had left in the bedroom on the ground. And then she lifted the gun up and pointed it at the man. “You’re just a stupid, fat bully,” she growled. “You deserve a place in Hell.”
The irony is that he was from Hell itself.
A low laugh sounded in his ear, and Jude held a hand to his throat as he gasped for air to return to his lungs.
The gun was flung to the wall, and he was then on top of the girl. She screamed beneath him, hitting him in the face with his clawed fingers. He could have sworn her eyes glowed a bright; burning blue before him body was thrown down the stairs.
“H-how…?” Jude whispered under his breath that hurt too much to raise any more volume.
She didn’t even look at him as she stood up and moved down the staircase and held her hand up high, and a fire emitted in her own, very hand. This is crazy, he thought. This isn’t possible.
“Don’t,” the red eyed man plead. “Please don’t do it.”
“Just like I said: you deserve a place in Hell.” And his body was consumed in fire that was the brightest thing he had ever seen.
His mouth must have been left agape when she turned to face him, and a soft smile spread across her pink lips. She kneeled in front of him and placed a hand on his knee, and he flinched away from her. “W-what are you?” he asked her with pure fear.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” she said.
“Try me,” Jude said eyed her cautiously. Could she do the same thing to him? And… would she?
She laughed. “I wouldn’t hurt you,” she said. She heard what he had said?
“Then what are you? Make me believe you.” She caressed his cheek slightly before she stood back up and held a hand out. Hesitantly, he took it.
And the thing was: she never told him her name. She went to a different school, and he met her at a party. They only came her to fuck—and then this happened.
“My name is Anielle, and I am an Angel of The Lord.”