Chapter Eight; Fate of A Promised Dead Man
July 16, 2017 – Timmins, Ontario
Nowhere is safe for you. Her words rang in the back of his head, and he felt panic arise from inside of him. Nowhere is safe for you nowhere is safe for you no where is safe for you…
“What do we do?” Jude asked, looking at the angel with fear.
“You run,” she told them.
“But we can’t just run… forever,” Jay whispered.
She looked over at him with soft eyes, but they weren’t comforting. “But if you don’t, they’ll catch up to you. You have to be two steps ahead of them.”
“So, you’re saying we drop everything and just leave?”
Shannon shook her head. “Continue solving cases, learn demon’s weaknesses and figure out when they’ll strike next.”
“But can’t you just tell us this?”
“No,” she sighed. “Heaven would prevent me. There are certain fates and certain consequences that if they were ever altered, it would be forbidden. I couldn’t breathe a word of the consequences… I can only direct you both the right direction.”
“That makes no sense,” Jude growled, taking a step closer to her, and she only eyed at him with dark, onyx eyes. “You’re completely useless.”
Shannon didn’t take the bait. Crossing her arms, the female said, “I don’t care if you consider me useless; I’m doing the best I can for you. Heaven will smite me if they learn that I gave you an extra loophole out of your fates.”
“An extra loophole?” Jay inquired, glancing over at his older brother.
“I gave you one too many,” she replied. “Now, listen to my words and run. Continue with your work of justice. You will bring the upbringing, Jay Mauser. You and your brother will do great things—but you can only do this if you listen to me now.”
A bang answered in reply. “We’re too late,” she whispered.
Jude whipped around and his body grew tense. “They found us,” Jude said and looked to his brother.
“Run,” he said and he ran around his car and hopped into the driver’s seat. Jay followed suit and quickly got into the passenger’s side.
The demons… they were so close.
Jay looked out the window, eying the row of ten men in black suits, and the one in the middle wore a black Stetson.
“We could get him now—“
“No,” Shannon snapped and suddenly appeared in the back seat. “Drive.”
Jude obliged and slammed on the gas, and the ’67 Mustang started with a whiplashing jolt before it went speeding down the road with a panicked purr of the engine.
His heart pounded with fear, and Jay shut his eyes, shaking his head. “We won’t die, we won’t die…”
Jude looked over at him, and the energy that came off of him was heavy. But it was sure—it was sure that death wouldn’t take their godforsaken lives today. Not yet.
What was the saying in Game of Thrones? What do you say to Death?
And today they wouldn’t die—he felt it deep inside that that fate was for another day, another time.
“We’ve been through worse,” Jude said to him beneath the pounding voices in his head. We won’t die we won’t die we won’t die.
He couldn’t say that he was afraid of Death. It was the way they would die; being slaughtered by a demon, Hell’s creation. It was a revolting way to think, and it made him queasy with each thought.
Not today, he repeated in his mind, crossing his fingers as his eyes squeezed shut as if there was a blinding light in his vision.
They had to continue with their promise; they would do these cases and then learn the location of the Gate. Jay Mauser knew that they couldn’t do this alone, and not a day in Hell would the brothers be able to learn the location on their own.
“The Gate,” Jay said to the angel, “is why we were doing this job. Is there, in any way you, that know the location?”
“You can’t tell us when we’re going to be attacked, but can’t you tell us where they’re being spawned?”
“It’s not that simple.” She eyed the two with a calming expression, but Jay still felt tense. What was the point of her if she couldn’t assist them? As if she heard his words, instantly she flared and growled, “I am not your slave. I may be your guardian, but I will never do what say with a leash around my neck.”
Jay held his hands up with defense and felt like he was curling into a small ball. “I didn’t mean—“
“I don’t care what you meant, ape,” she hissed with such disgust. The sound of ‘ape’ sent a shiver down his spine, and he knew he had crossed the line. “But I will never serve the likes of you.”
“I-I’m sorry for what I had thought…”
Shannon stared at him for a long moment, her breath heaving. “I already serve someone,” was all she said, and she then suddenly disappeared with the silent flap of a bird’s wings.
Jude glared at his brother and smacked him in the arm. “Great, now we lost the angel,” he growled at him.
Jay rubbed at his arm and his eyes slit. “You can’t just blame me for that!” he exclaimed. “You decided to not back me up there.”
“Oh, so now it’s my fault.”
Jay raised his brows, surprised by how Jude was suddenly acting. How was this his fault? He thought a few words and suddenly the angel lashed out and left. Why didn’t his brother defend him? Or have said something that would have changed the angel’s point of views?
“How is it mine?” Jay snapped. “You sat there speechless, letting me deal with that angel that is useless to us right now. We have a job to do, and she won’t help us with a damn thing.”
Jude just stared at him for a long time, waiting for his brother to calm down. “I see why she won’t help us now,” he said quietly.
Jay wasn’t sure where this… anger came from.
“You’re holding onto something dark inside of you, Jay,” Jude continued. “You need to learn to control whatever that is… But it better be soon, because the people closest to you won’t be able to help you—like me. When I was your age, I was angry. I was angry my entire life. But you know how I got over it?” Jay shook his head. “I remembered that I had you, and I didn’t want to lose you. So I pulled my shit together and became a better person. I’d just hope you see that, too.”
Then Jay finally noticed the bracelet on his brother’s left arm; the blue jewel that was for a woman, but it was the only thing he could afford as a kid.
It was Christmas Eve.
An angel sat atop of the cheap and fake Christmas tree. Multiple coloured lights flickered before Jay Mauser’s vision, and a smile spread across his lips with recognition of their Foster home. Presents sat beneath the artificial green, and red, blue and yellow collided with the green colour. A rush of excitement rang through him, and he looked over at his brother on the red couch before the fireplace.
“Can we please open one?” he begged his brother. “Just one?”
Jude let out a long sigh, looking at him with blue eyes full of amusement and annoyance. “It’s Christmas Eve. Everyone knows how the tradition works; we wait like little buffoons til’ Midnight and open up ’em presents.” He shrugged. “It’s 11:30. You can wait.”
Jay shook his head vigorously like a four-year-old. “No,” he said. “I want to open one now.”
“Fine.” Jay let out a squeal of excitement. “But,” Jude added, and Jay stopped moving and raised a brow, “you can’t tell anyone. This is gift that I got you, okay?”
Jay nodded, and he let Jude bring him a small Christmas bag to him. He grinned at the Dollarama bag and shook it slightly, but not a single sound could be heard. “What is it?” he asked.
“Open it and you’ll find out,” Jude told him.
He obliged and removed the paper from the top of the bag, a face crossing his features at the contents. He removed it from the bag, and he eyed a wooden solider. “A toy?” he inquired.
Jude nodded, grinning slightly. “I know you’re into those weird, depressing war movies,” Jude told him, “even though you’re, what, six?” A chuckle escaped his lips. “Melanie and Paul don’t know why you like those movies so much, but I decided to get this for you. It’s custom made, and it took, well, all the money I had saved.”
Jude punched his arm, and Jay let out a cry of excitement and pain. “Hey, that was forty bucks, you ungrateful Smurf!”
Jay then hugged his brother, and he collapsed in his arms, holding the wooden solider close to him. “Thank you,” he whispered. “It’s great.”
“No problem, you ass,” he said jokingly.
“Fake mom said to never say ass,” Jay muttered as he looked at his brother.
“You think I care?” he inquired.
Jay shook his head. “No,” he said with a smile. “No, I don’t think you care.”
Jude chuckled softly, and Jay added, “Now, open mine!”
“You got me something?” Jay nodded. “I told you I didn’t want anything; not from you. Where did you get the money?”
Jay held a finger to his mouth. “I took it from fake dad; don’t tell them.”
Jude snorted and took the small bag from Jay as he handed it to him. Removing the tissue paper, he removed a small bracelet with a blue jewel that looked like it was for a girl.
“A girl’s bracelet?” he inquired with a raised brow. “Do I look like a girl to you?”
He shook his head no. “It was all I could afford,” he told him, suddenly feeling that Jude didn’t like the gift—
“I love it,” Jude said and put it on his wrist. “We can pretend it’s for a man.”
“You could pass as a girl, anyways,” Jay added with a shrug.
Jude jumped at him and Jay let out a squeal. “Take that back,” he demanded.
“Uncle, uncle!” he screamed.
“Take it back,” he repeated. “Or else!”
Jay let out a cry of amusement and said, “I take it back, I take it back.”
“Good,” Jude said and leaned back, freeing his brother. “Now, where’s that fruitcake?”
Jay had to admit he felt guilty, but quickly looking away, he crossed his arms. Stepping out of the ’67 Mustang as they reached the motel, Jay didn’t look at his brother.
“I’m done arguing,” Jay said to his brother and started to walk up small path to the front office. “Let’s get a room and then get some sleep.”
Sure, they were just attacked at the wrong time, and he was surprised no one at the motel had noticed them, but ignoring it he continued to walk away.
“Stop walking so fast!” Jude called from behind him and ran to his side. “You’re like a cheetah when you’re pissed.”
“I’m not pissed,” Jay replied, rolling his blue eyes with his nose flaring.
“I know when you’re mad,” Jude pressed. “You’re nose flares, and you stop talking. Come on, you know you shouldn’t think so low of angels.”
“Just because they have wings doesn’t mean that they’re better than we are,” he sighed.
Jude shrugged. “I’d have to say that they’re better than us. They have less flaws, less conflicts…”
“That’s just an assumption; you don’t know that.”
“Hey, I’m sure they have sibling rivalry because there’s so many of them up in Heaven, but that doesn’t mean that you can say they’re just like us. They’re amazing, beautiful.”
Jay looked at him with raised eyebrows, and a smirk lifted at and dimples appeared. Ah, this is what this is all about. “You have a crush on Shannon.”
Jude instantaneously turned red, and quickly the male replied with:
“No. She’s an angel, I’m a… man. T-that could never work. It just couldn’t.”
Jay smirk only grew bigger with each second.
“I won’t deny that she’s hot… But no. She would never like me.”
Jay crossed his arms and stopped walking, turning to face him directly. “You don’t have to lie to me, Jude. You’re my brother.”
Jude sighed, and it was his turn to go silent this time.
Grumbling under his breath, Jay added to his brother, “I could help you out with her.”
“After today?” he scoffed, shaking his head. “Never.”
“Wow… I see how it is.”
Jude grinned at him. “Maybe.”
Jay raised a brow. “Really?”
A shrug. “I don’t know. I really don’t know if I want something serious, and if she’s going to hang around for a bit, I’d have to know first.”
“Then you better do some soul searching,” he said to his brother, “because you’re gonna have to figure out quick.” He winked at his brother.
Jude glared only slightly. “We only just met her, Jay.”
“But as you said, she might be sticking around for a bit.”
Beyond the motel was a forest that consisted of various different species of trees: pine, willow, maple and others. They stretched out towards them, and for a moment, it looked like the branches had eyes. Shivering to himself at what Uncle Ben had told them about the demons lurking in the forest, Jay Mauser decided to ignore the thought. They needed good rest, and thinking about monsters at this one moment, even though they were only just ambushed, wasn’t comforting.
Barking out a laugh, the males went to the office and rented a room for the night in number 16. Once they entered, knowing the demons had lost them; they both crashed onto the queen sized beds and let out sighs of utter relief.
The bed had blood-red sheets and blankets, and Jay Mauser couldn’t help but think that the colour was oddly peculiar.
“I didn’t think a motel bed could be so comfortable…”
Jay nodded in agreement at his brother’s remark. “I couldn’t agree more.”
“I’ll salt the door,” Jude said to his brother and reached into the duffel bag he had brought with him and shook the contain and lined it. A good method to keep the monsters away. Hopefully it would be successful.
“Don’t forget the sage,” Jay said to him with a sarcastic tone.
Jude threw the container back into the bag. “Oh, don’t get me started.”
The first time they decided to sage a room was seven years ago, but a dark spirit that haunted the house still had been lingering there—and he could have sworn it was angrier than it had been before.
Yawning to himself, the youngest brother rolled to his side facing the white wall closest to the bathroom and shut his eyes.
His is brother is a good man. He may be a stubborn dick at times and highly unpredictable… But he’s a man you can rely on, someone who you can trust. And there was a time when he was… better than he already was. But that was a long, long time ago—a time he’d nearly forgotten.
“You see, Jay,” Jude had said to him many years ago, “you never let ’em jerks kick your ass again.”
School. The worst and most frequent place to meet your enemies. And these kids that he went to school with? They were his archenemies. They had stolen his lunch money last Tuesday, and then punched him in the face for trying to steal it back. However, even as he tried to fight back, nothing seemed to happen. They were eighth graders while he was a fifth grader, after all.
“Punch me,” Jude instructed to him as he handed him punching gloves. “As hard as you can in my stomach.”
“I-I don’t want to hurt you,” Jay had objected, shaking his head. He held onto the punching gloves, but didn’t slip them on.
“Trust me,” Jude laughed. “You won’t.”
He let out a long sigh, and he slowly put on the glove, looking at his brother with squinted eyes. Jude nodded at him with reassurance, and he got into a fighting stance. “Punch me—“
Jay instantly punched him in the stomach with all his might and Jude went crashing into the ground, letting out a painful wheeze. His eyes widening, Jay ran to his side and exclaimed:
“I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”
Jude coughed, shaking his head. “I don’t think I’ll ever see the light of day again.” And slowly Jay had realized he was messing with him.
Punching him in the arm, Jay growled, “Don’t do that again! You scared the crap out of me.”
Jude burst out laughing and sat up, wiping away tears from his eyes from amusement. “Ah, that was so good,” he sighed, a grin rising on his lips.
Jay only glared at him. “You’re so mean.”
“Isn’t that what brothers are for?” he asked, standing up and helping his brother up.
Jay hesitantly took his hand and crossed his arms when he was on his feet. “No,” he said, shaking his head.
“Then I was wrong.” Jude shrugged and got into the fighting stance once again. “Now punch me—harder.”
Jay looked at him for a long moment, unsure. “You won’t pretend to be hurt again, right?”
Jude let out a laugh and shook his head. “No,” he said. “I won’t.”