Knowledge and Troubles
Once Zoe gave Ezekiel an answer, he gave up on prying into her life. She got up and ready to leave since it was pretty late.
“I’m going to stay for a bit longer. I’ll probably help my friend close up.” Ezekiel told her but it didn’t look like he had any intentions to move from his seat.
She didn’t want him, as young as he was, to get involved in the message so she gave him a little advice before she left.
“Hey, don’t think about it too much. That’s the whole point of it. As long as you ponder the possibility that it may mean something, it’s going to play with your mind.”
Ezekiel was disappointed that nothing really leveled up to his expectations. It wasn’t the words or the meaning as much as the back story.
“Because once it catches you, you won’t be able to see the world with the same eyes as before.” She answered, knowing well just how sudden the change can be.
“You didn’t tell him anything worth knowing.”
It was already very late at night and the alleys around her neighborhood were very dimly lit. But she wasn’t going to venture into any of them as long as she had so many things to think over carefully. It just happened that Mehrdir appeared and begun walking by her side.
“Knowing means getting him into unnecessary trouble,” she responded firmly, making Mehrdir roll his eyes.
“Knowing means power. Don’t you watch any movies?”
Zoe just ignored him and walked towards the park. It’s a wonder how a place that welcomes children by day can hide a serial killer at night. There’s always two sides to anything, it seems.
“It’s been silent these past few days, except him of course.”
“Are you complaining? I thought that’s what you want, a peaceful life.” Mehrdir answered, glancing at his feet before looking up at her, “Or did you change your mind? I guess there’s no work if you have nothing to draw and without your story, what are you?”
“A normal living and breathing person, that’s what I am. What about you? What are you when you’re not babysitting me?”
Mehrdir scoffed before he stopped near a bench; he didn’t sit, only stared ahead expressionless.
“Firstly, I am a respected demon with responsibilities that you cannot even imagine. Secondly, I am not your babysitter.” Mehrdir stated firmly.
“Then what are you?” Zoe asked, enjoying the puzzled look on his face.
“It’s—” He didn’t really know what to say because he was kind of babysitting her in a way. But at the same time, it wasn’t like he signed up for the job. “It’s taking care of my interests. Yes. I’m investing right now.” He nodded and seemed pretty content with his response.
“Sure you are.” She chuckled and rubbed her hands together, feeling a bit chilly.
The greed demon noticed her rubbing her hands together and swaying from one foot to the other. He really didn’t want to act nice when he had just told her that she was an investment, but he could hear some mean whispers in the dark telling him to behave. Mehrdir sighed and covered her hands with his.
“Open your hands.” Maybe it wasn’t meant to be an order but it definitely sounded like one.
Zoe complied and slowly uncovered a little flame burning in each hand. Instead of burning her skin, it made her feel warm. She smiled softly but avoided looking into his eyes.
“Yes, babysitter Mehrdir.”
She couldn’t see his face because he suddenly disappeared, but she could imagine what kind of expression he made.
On the way back home she couldn’t shake off the little sparkle of happiness in her heart. Zoe was laughing by herself and it was all thanks to the greed demon.
“Ah, I should draw this and introduce it in Fallen.” She giggled childishly to herself.
Zoe had to pass the wall again, but didn’t want to look at it because it held too much pressure and mystery. But the curiosity was too much. She walked closer and read the sentence, just in case something changed. It didn’t change at all.
“Who can this master be? Is it Lucifer or is it some other demon?” She hummed and leaned closer.
A sudden light blinded her for a moment and she felt something being pushed into her mind. She backed off quickly and fell on her back.
When she got home, Zoe felt the urge to draw. She grabbed a few pieces of A4 paper and started to work.
Next morning, she was woken by the doorbell. Zoe groaned and rolled a few times in her bed before she actually got up. Her living room was decorated in beige and white so the mess was very visible.
“What are you doing here so early in the morning?” She asked as she let her editor enter.
“The rest. We want to put it up on the web tonight.”
Zoe sighed and went in her room, already thinking of a way to explain why she didn’t finish it.
“You can go make tea if you want! I have to do a few changes!” She yelled at her editor, knowing he’s been over for so many times that he could manage entertaining himself for a while.
But as she was trying to draw something quickly, she forgot about her new sketches, lying all over in the living room.
Alec was walking around when he saw the sketches. He grabbed one and analysed it. The woman drawn on the paper was the opposite of the angel in Fallen; it had a strange allure and Alec was sure he could use those to their advantage. That was the main reason he barged into her room and pointed at the sketch he was holding.
“This is awesome! So creative! Why didn’t you show this to me?! What’s her name?” He pushed the paper in her face. She furrowed her eyebrows together and tried to realize what he was talking about.
“She’s the commander. I don’t know her name.” She pushed his hand away and pushed the send button on her laptop. “I sent you everything I have. It should be enough.”
“Great! We’ll use this unnamed woman too! She’s going to be a badass character!” He waved and left quickly, slamming the front door behind him.
“Wonderful.” She rubbed her stomach and yawned again. “Wait—” She ran in the living room and looked at her work. It was all very confusing but Alec was right; it did have a lot of potential.
“Where did you come from? Have I dreamed you?”
A few hours later, she was rambling by herself, looking at her sketches while laying lazily on the couch. She couldn’t even think clearly because she had an annoying headache.
“Is this everything you’ve been doing today?” Andrew appeared in front of her with a look of disbelief. “You drew something, big deal. It won’t change the world, you know.”
Zoe raised an eyebrow and looked up at the ghost, her face contorting slowly into a scowl.In the end, she got up and moved slowly towards him.
“For a peaceful ghost, you have a temper. What happened yesterday? Are you having difficulties managing your anger, Andrew?”
Andy didn’t look apologetic at all, he looked like he did the world a favor.
“I had motive, therefore I didn’t just choose to create havoc for the sake of it. It wasn’t even that big, I only flicked my finger and his cup slipped.” Something about the nonchalance in his behavior was curious.
“You should control yourself, no matter the reason. He was talking to me, not you thus anything he said was my problem not yours. I hope you understand that Andrew; just because I let you haunt me, doesn’t mean we’re friends.”
Those words were true but also spoken during an argument so Zoe wasn’t aware how much they stung the ghost. She didn’t seem to realize the damage and Andrew didn’t show how much it disturbed him.
“I never said we are. After all, when I asked for your help, you turned your back to me. I’ll never befriend someone like you.” He replied coldly, his eyes narrowing at her form.
“Then maybe you should go haunt someone else.” She said, those words coming out even if she didn’t really mean them.
Andy glared at her and left through the front door, opening and slamming the door shut behind him, like a real person. Zoe sighed and turned towards the only window in the room, rubbing her cheeks in order to calm herself down.
“I can’t believe I witnessed a dispute about nothing.”
The new voice was enough to take Zoe’s mind off the ghost. She turned around and faced a man, twice taller than her with black eyes and black hair. He was quite imposing, if not terrifying if the surroundings were dark alleys or bad neighborhoods but with the light shining through the window, she couldn’t help but notice the purple tattoos around his eyes, going down to the collarbone.
“Did Satan cut your tongue out?” The big guy chuckled and stretched, his joke sounding like a threat especially because his voice was very low and husky.
“I believe they say ‘cat got your tongue’ in this situation, not Satan.” Zoe answered, staring shamelessly at his tattoos.
“Not where I come from, they don’t.” The imposing man said, smiling at her so widely that she hoped he was being sarcastic not genuine, “I have been informed that fairies have been avoiding you, am I right?”
“You mean the dark fairies?” she repeated so she could understand. “Why are they avoiding me? Not that I’m complaining about it.”
“Listen to me, Zoe. You should ponder on the possibility that what you have is an opportunity that doesn’t just come to anyone. You like this silence but you dislike the idea that it comes without the little troublemakers. Then, is it silence that you really want, Zoe? Or is it just a desire you came to want but do not need?”
One bulky man was talking to her in ways that made her remember why she left her family household. Those words were ringing through one ear while the other could only hear her mother’s voice, Don’t disturb the peace in the family, Zoe. If you have one of your episodes, take a pill and it will make everything better. It’s better if you come and tell me everything too, so we can take care of this problem of yours together. But taking care of the problem was not one of her mother’s qualities and neither was accepting that her daughter was different from other children.
“I need you to leave.” She finally said, her eyes focusing once again on what was happening in the room not in her head.
“And I need you to understand that just because you have this extraordinary power, does not mean you can behave like a bitch. Dark fairies are like the supernatural CIA. They keep mankind safe from demons and other maleficent entities by doing specific chores. You are a chore not a person they became fond of.” The man continued, leaning in so he could look into her eyes better.
“And what is the result of this banter?” She asked, annoyed that a supernatural entity just barged in and started to lecture her about morality.
“Mehrdir won’t be around you forever. He has other places to go to, chores that he has to do and responsibilities. New demons will appear around you and not all of them are trustworthy.”
She raised an eyebrow and walked into the kitchen. He followed her silently, almost hitting his head on the door frame.
“Is that why you’re here? You’re one of the new demons?”
“No. I’m not a demon, I’m a dark fairy.” He said proudly.
Zoe looked at him over her shoulder, scanning every part of his body that she could see. From the bottom to the top, he was quite well built and let’s not forget how tall he was.
The man shrunk suddenly, his waist bending as if he was made of plastic. It looked like his bones liquefied and everything inside his body disappeared in order to make him so small. Zoe was in awe when the fairy flew closer to her. Now, the transformation from a little flying thing to a tall man was quite interesting. He was morphing from practically nothing into a human, starting with legs and ending with a dark messy bundle of hair.
“I am a very important dark fairy, Zoe. I’m the head of the information branch. I bring and give information to different demons and to the Princes and from today onward, to you.”
She sat at the table with a cup of tea and looked at him skeptically.
“Then, are you here to gather or give information?”
He sat across her and linked his arms together on the table, looking very business-like compared to how crouched he was standing.
“I’m here because I wanted to meet you. Fairies have been speaking about you and your temper, about how you are unlike any human they’ve ever met. You don’t want to help anyone but yourself and you do that by using ignorance.” The dark fairy informant scolded her but also established what most of the dark creatures believed her to be.
“Ignorance is a bliss.”
“Not for long, it isn’t. The chance for a ghost or a demon to get fond of a human is less than 1%. Don’t drive them away when you should treasure them just as much as they treasure you.”
“So this is because of Andrew?” She asked, feeling herself grow annoyed, “You’re here because the CIA of the Underworld got mad for seeing me fight with him?”
“Andrew chose to stay with you. He’s done more sacrifices than you imagine, for your good not his. More demons will come and you’ll see what evil really feels like. When those times will come, you should know who to trust and who to kill.”
Yeah, because that was a perfect way of making her feel guilty at the same time as worried and foolish. He changed into a fairy and flew out through the window.
“Very helpful, what can I say.” She mumbled, walking back into her room.
Later that night, Zoe could be found in her room, working. She got new inspiration for a new chapter and it was better to sketch it before Alec called. After she finished, she started to surf the Internet.
“Let’s see if we can find something about that hole Mehrdir has been talking about.”
The answers she received were a lot. The Internet was full of things about demons. She found a forum with people who believed that the Anarchy of Angels wasn’t going to protect humanity against the Legions of Hell.
“Too much imagination, people.”
She scrolled down until she read a comment that intrigued her. There was even a link towards a YouTube video of the hole.
Throughout the video, she couldn’t really hear anything weird. People were right and there were voices coming from the hole in the ground but it didn’t seem logical at all. Why was the hole in America? And why was it in the ground? There were so many possibilities. And why wasn’t it sealed by the Vatican? So many questions and theories and there were none that sounded remotely true.
After that video, she tried not to get intimidated by all those scary illusions that humans go through. It was dark in her apartment and it was deadly silent. Besides, she had already met demons and she could see ghosts. There was nothing she had to be afraid of.
Of course, that didn’t mean a thing when she heard the door in the kitchen open slowly. She wasn’t scared, but she didn’t feel like getting out of her room either. Zoe gulped and returned her attention to the screen, kind of expecting some face to pop up but it didn’t. That was worse. Her heart was beating gradually faster but she was definitely not scared.
Zoe heard the sound of someone walking, getting closer to her room. She heard the door open with a scary cracking sound. She’d heard that as long as she didn’t look at it, nothing was going to happen. Of course, those were stories.
She felt a cold breeze and next, her chair got turned around. She was expecting something monstrous with big fangs and stinky breath and definitely didn’t expect a handsome young man with a flirty smirk.
“Say hello to your new babysitter.”