Rise and Conquer
Zoe was still walking around the park when her phone rang. She answered but didn’t check the caller ID.
“Where the heck are you?! I rang and knocked like a psychopath and no one responded!”
She completely forgot about her editor.
“I was around.”
Her editor was fuming. She could already see him breathing fire.
“Where are you now?” It became deadly silent.
“Police station. Your neighbours called them, thinking I was trying to break in.”
It took her entire control not to laugh. Her editor was really handsome and girls were often attracted to his good looks but that was all he had. He wasn’t very smart and he wasn’t thinking at all before acting.
“What are you waiting for? Come and get me out!”
“Thank God you’re here! These guys wouldn’t let me go because they didn’t believe we know each other!”
He was referring to Mark and Luke who were there as well. They didn’t seem to like Alec either and the editor was making it hard for anyone to believe him.
“You said it yourself. You knocked and rang like a psychopath, what did you expect?”
He scowled and raised his chained hands. She watched him push his hand forward in order to be released; just like a puppy. Zoe couldn’t help but feel good about it. Alec was such an insufferable editor and never once did he show kindness to her; if anything, he had worked her to the core.
“You actually look really good with those. It matches your wild personality.” She had a poker face but her voice sounded suspiciously innocent. It made him fume even more.
“GET. ME. OUT.”
She chuckled and nodded at the officer. He got up and went to unlock the handcuffs. Afterwards, she turned to the roommates.
“I’m really sorry about Alec. He’s my editor and we were supposed to have a meeting today.”
“I thought you drew as a hobby?” Mark asked her, a bit taken aback by everything.
“I do but-”
Alec walked towards them while rubbing his wrists and interrupted.
“She’s Zoe Lestrade. I’m sure you heard about her web series, Fallen.”
The two boys looked genuinely surprised.
“The one about a fallen angel and his adventures on Earth?”
Zoe threw her editor a mean look from the corner of her eye.
“Thanks for not keeping it a secret like the contract says,” she mumbled, though no one was listening.
Alec remembered something important and grabbed her by the shoulders. He shook her a little before he pulled her really close to his face.
“Where is the manuscript?” His face was paler now that she got a closer look at him. Besides, he looked really tired and angry.
“At home. But I only have half of the next chapter. I’ve got some more important stuff to work on.”
“I doubt that,” he scoffed. She stared at him for a moment before she punched him in the arm.
“I wouldn’t have expected a girl to be behind Fallen.” Luke’s statement grabbed her immediate attention. They were going home, Alec included. “I mean, who would have thought someone who’s so small could write those action scenes?”
Mark noticed her annoyed expression and pinched his roommate but Luke didn’t seem to get it.
“And the main character is a man. The details in that web series are impre-ow!” Luke scoffed when Mark pinched him hard before he turned and smiled at Zoe.
“You’re right.” Alec was too sincere, “I didn’t expect someone like her to get so popular. I thought she was going to draw some girly series about cats and romance. I already had a plan to discourage her when we first met.” He smiled at the memory.
“Wow. I’m overwhelmed with love.” She was ironic, but the men didn’t even listen to her.
To get to their apartment building they had to walk through the alley between a small convenience store and a night club, so Zoe had to walk past that wall again. Out of curiosity, she glanced at it to see if they covered the writing. Her eyes widened when she saw the writing still there yet people were passing by with no real understanding of the message behind it.
The meeting with the editor went well. Alec was happy with the outcome of her dark story. The hero was growing up thanks to his adventures on Earth. Actually, the names she was using were very weird but at the same time, very creative. Alec was curious how she came up with them.
“I just used books for reference.” She lied.
Alec nodded in appreciation. Unlike what most would think of her, Zoe did know how to use words well; she should after she graduated Psychology. She was doing a good job at hiding her past.
After Alec left, she grabbed her jacket and went to check out the wall. While she was reading the sentences over and over again, she unconsciously started to move back to see the bigger picture. It was written in demon language, which was practically a mess of other dead languages mixed so that not even Hebrew or Latin speakers could understand it. Humans could read it if it was written on Earth however, the words would change according to what would interest the reader. That wasn’t applying to Zoe whose eyes were different.
“What does it say? I can’t really understand.” Andy startled her.
Maybe it would’ve been better if she was normal. The meaning behind that sentence was giving her goose bumps. Andy tilted his head to the side and watched with interest. He couldn’t read it even if he was dead because he wasn’t a demon; he could only see words that didn’t make sense.
“That’s because you have no darkness in your soul. You should have gone to Heaven,” she responded.
Zoe rubbed her forehead and turned her back to the wall.
“What does it say?” Andy asked after he gave up on making the words connect to something; it was impossible since he could only read Death.
“They’re making an army,” she mumbled.
Andy’s eyes glanced between the wall and her face. It was so strange because whatever she was seeing was completely different from what he could see.
“Then why are they telling you about it?”
“I'm not sure it's for me in particular. It's a warning,” she whispered, feeling the hair on her arms rise in fear.
She sighed heavily and closed her eyes. After what she read, she couldn’t just go back home and work. She sat on the ground and stared at the wall.
“I’ve always been by myself when talking about demons and darkness. Everything I know is from old books and documentaries.”
“What about Mehrdir? Or a dark fairy?”
“I haven’t seen many dark fairies around me lately.” She frowned and leaned back on her hands. “Ah, this is getting complicated!” She turned her head in order to ask Andy something. Instead of a pair of wide owlish eyes, she was blinded by a flash.
The guy who had just photographed her smiled nervously. He placed the camera in his bag and waved at her. Zoe blinked in confusion and reached out to touch him, just to make sure he was real. It became awkward when she figured out he was very much real and was watching her with wide puppy eyes.
“Who are you?” she asked while tilting her head to the side.
From what she could remark, he was another student about Andrew’s age. However, unlike the ghost, this guy was taller and had a certain innocence about him. His messy brown hair and confused face were only adding to the image of a puppy. By that childish wave of his from the beginning, she was sure he was a troublemaker.
“I could ask you the same thing,” he responded, leaning in.
He was a smartass. That just gave him more black points in her point of view. He noticed how guarded she was by just looking at her back. Her muscles were tense even when she was standing by herself, like she was always ready to defend herself. She seemed like an uptight person.
Instead of leaving like a nice kid, he laid down next to her.
“What are we looking at?” He followed her vision and noticed the words. “I don’t understand who could come up with riddles like that one. I took a picture of it and showed it to my friend but he said it's complicated.” He hummed and scratched his cheek.
Zoe raised an eyebrow and glanced at him from the corner of her eye. He looked suspiciously innocent yet had something strange circling around him. Above his head she swore she saw a glimpse of something, but it vanished quickly.
“What did he say?” she asked as her eyes moved back to his face. The guy chuckled.
“So now you’re interested.” He teased but didn’t get any reaction from her. “Well, I was sure it was a riddle: Corruption of the soul/ Corruption of the heart/ First you fall and then you rise,/But still a blind you are. But my friend said it’s actually a code. Of course, we don’t know what the answer is.”
“But you did search for it, didn’t you?”
A wide boyish grin spread on his face and he nodded enthusiastically.
“We got curious and looked for something remotely similar. We found something in an old fairy tale book. It says that: There was once a man among many men;/ Was it in the Middle Age or was it long before,/ When he appeared before the priest, bleeding from his eyes/ And on his hands were written words of doom."
"And what are these words of doom exactly?" She asked, narrowing her eyes slightly at the young man.
"I don't know. He was burnt at the stake by the villagers because they believed the Devil took hold of him. That might have been true but it let us with a lot of questions and no real answers." He explained, feeling a shiver go down his spine.
Irritated yet worried, Zoe’s mind was swirling with thoughts and memories from her childhood. Her heart beats intensified to the point she felt her chest tighten and couldn't breathe normally. There was literally no cell in her body that wasn't trembling and she started to sweat. Her pupils dilated and she felt like someone had just plunged a dagger in her heart. Looking up at the wall, she felt dizzy, her legs losing balance forcing her to fall on her knees. Zoe was having her second panic attack of that intensity and the reason was more or less the same as before.
The Master is forming an army. When Earth falls into darkness, he shall rise and conquer.