“Are demons supposed to be so good looking?”
The demon’s smirk grew bigger, accentuating the visual effect of his white eyes. It was scary, especially when two blue irises formed right in front of Zoe.
She was dumbstruck. It just so happened that after the dark fairy informed her of new demons appearing, one actually did. Besides, the new demon was really different from Mehrdir and all the images she pictured in her head.
“Eneizar, vanity demon at you discretion.”
He leaned really close to her and touched her nose with his. She gulped while staring at him, inspecting his face. Eneizar was the opposite of Mehrdir in many ways. Firstly, he was blond and had blue eyes, which was a change from the dark looks of the latter. He had sharp features and his skin was pale; he had a face that could attract modelling agencies from miles away if he would smile. Eneizar was dressed in expensive clothes that seemed to fit him perfectly and his pose was the one of an experienced dancer.
“Level A, if you’re wondering.”
She gulped and stared into his eyes; they were vicious. Contrary to his overall aspect, he was a deadly demon.
“Why are you my new babysitter?”
Ever since Eneizar had appeared in her house, she had started to feel watched and it’s only been two days. It actually made her realize that Mehrdir was either more subtle or wasn’t really watching her in the first place. Besides, Zoe was scared to get out of the house and she was sure it was all because of the blond demon.
“Mehrdir has other things to do right now. He won’t be around for a while.” He started nonchalantly. “Just think about it as a break,” he said as he started to walk around the living room. There were things that confused him, like the box under the TV. He was sure he hadn’t seen one of those before.
“And why did you come in his place?”
Eneizar raised an eyebrow and stopped moving aimlessly through her room. He had to think carefully about how to explain it without telling her the truth.
“He asked me to. Let’s say he did something for me and this is me doing a favour for him.”
Zoe was far from believing that, but she didn’t have a choice.
Mehrdir was a greed demon and he was annoying; he got her in a lot of trouble in the last two years and almost killed her a few times;he wasn’t reliable and would disappear when she needed him—now that she started to think about it, there was nothing he did that made her feel safe or help her in any way. Actually, she was really curious what kind of demon was Eneizar.
“How did you die?” Zoe asked further, growing brave. “Did you commit suicide or have you been murdered?”
“If I had killed myself, I wouldn’t be this.” He explained, pointing at his body. “I wouldn’t want to keep people wondering just how perfection really looks like.”
He was joking, must have been, yet his whole behavior and expression didn’t sign falseness. He was very much proud of his existence as a demon.
“You see Zoe, something that people don’t understand is that perfection is only found in death.” Eneizar added, walking towards her before he turned her laptop so he could write something down.
She peeked over his arm and saw that he has written one word-no, a name and a wide picture appeared on her desktop.
“He’s the perfect one. The star that shines brighter than any, the angel whose beauty sends a shiver down your spine.”
“You do realize you’re saying that people are searching for the Devil,” Zoe mumbled not liking where Eneizar’s theory was going.
“Exactly.” He said, his eyes widening slightly in amusement. “A long chat only to make you understand that.”
“I liked Mehrdir better.” She muttered after the blond demon walked out into the living room. She spun her chair back into its place in front of the desk and turned to the name that Eneizar had imprinted on her desktop. “Definitely liked Mehrdir better.” She repeated, deleting the dreadful image.
“If you have more questions, you can ask away,” Eneizar’s loud voice resonated through the whole apartment, “I’m one of the few demons that cannot lie.” He added, drawing Zoe’s attention immediately.
The brunette artist got up and walked into the living room with newfound curiosity.
“Why can’t you lie? Demons lie all the time.”
“I don’t.” He said nonchalantly, sitting on her white couch with a sly smile, “I’m special.” He said with a pleased expression, leaning back as he stretched his legs.
“Then what’s the meaning of the words on the wall?”
“Words on the wall?” The blond demon asked, raising his head quickly. He seemed genuinely curious.
It was past midnight when Zoe led the pride demon to the wall. The street lamps weren’t working in the alley, so the only light was coming from the apartment building and the moon.
“A kid wrote it,” she started. “A kid from Hell,” she corrected herself. “What does it mean?”
“Exactly what is written. No hidden message, no riddle, nothing.” Eneizar replied, plunging his hands into his black pants’ front pockets.
The blond turned to look at her and in that moment, he really didn’t look evil at all but rather humane. If anyone else could see him, he’d be considered a professor with a very good clothing style.
“So it’s not a warning?” she asked, dumbfounded.
Eneizar blinked and tilted his head to the side. He stared at her for a few minutes before he sighed loudly and rubbed the back of his head.
“He didn’t tell you anything, did he?” He sounded somewhat disappointed as he walked closer to her and bent to her eye level.
Zoe narrowed her eyes at him, searching for unspoken answers but Eneizar’s blue eyes were empty.
“I’m not the one who should tell you,” he whispered with a cocky expression on his face.
“Then who is?”
He glanced to the side and noticed someone moving in the shadows.
“Him.” He pointed to his right and disappeared. Zoe turned her head and sighed heavily at the bundle of brown hair that moved around the corner of the building.
Ezekiel wanted to speak to Zoe once again but he did have second thoughts about how that would go. She didn’t seem like the kind of person who would let him in easily so he prepared himself to break in her apartment once he found out where she lived. Better take the hard way earlier and try the nice way later.
However, while on his way to take a last glance at the wall of mysteries, he saw her in the alley talking to herself. Ezekiel frowned and hid behind a trash can, listening to her talking about the wall and what was written there. The human was taken aback when her head turned to him suddenly. He gasped and jumped back quickly.
“She didn’t see me.” He sighed in relief and chuckled to himself. That was quite an adventure.
“Yes she did.”
His eyes widened and he glanced at her over his shoulder. There was Zoe, leaning against the wall with a judging attitude.
“Well? You don’t have anything to say in your defence?” she pestered him. Ezekiel shrugged, his eyes wide and innocent.
Zoe rolled her eyes and walked back towards her apartment. Ezekiel only stuck his head around the corner to see what she was doing, not prepared for what followed.
“Are you coming or not?” She yelled over her shoulder.
Ezekiel blinked for a few long minutes before he ran after the woman. From an outside point of view, such as Eneizar’s, the brown haired boy resembled a puppy following his master to their new home.
“I thought I let you here to observe, not to act.” Mehrdir mumbled grumpily, literally walking out of a nearby wall.
“I’m observing,” the vanity demon responded with a grin. “I couldn’t help but notice that she doesn’t know much about our current situation.”
“Our current situation doesn’t involve her.” Mehrdir stated firmly, narrowing his black eyes at the blond.
Eneizar raised an eyebrow and turned to face the greed demon, taking a step closer so they were uncomfortably close to each other’s faces.
“My master has given me strict instructions and I plan to obey them. Just because you’re not afraid to go against Beelzebub’s word does not mean I will defy Lucifer.”
“I thought you were here only as a favour,” the fearless demon taunted, knowing Eneizar won’t reciprocate. “Didn’t expect you to follow my example and become interested in a human, Eneizar.”
“I’m not. I’m only here to kill some time.” The blond answered to his defense, turning around and walking towards Zoe’s apartment building.
While Ezekiel was getting acquainted to her living room, Zoe went into the kitchen to prepare coffee. She wanted to ask him a few questions about that friend of his and also needed some caffeine if she wanted to draw. Something fell in her room, quite loudly since she could hear it in the kitchen. She didn’t want to know what was happening in there as long as whatever there was, was keeping a distance from her laptop.
“So,” she placed the cups on the table in the living and stared at Ezekiel with her big green eyes. “What did you hear?” She went straight to the core of the whole issue.
“Nothing much. You were far from me but I could see you talking to yourself. That’s fine. Everyone does that sometimes.”
She took a sip from her coffee and looked straight into his eyes.
“I wasn’t talking to myself.”
Ezekiel raised an eyebrow and leaned closer to her. He inspected her thoroughly in his own way and smiled widely.
“I knew it!” The boy exclaimed pointing at her repeatedly, “You know a lot but only keep it to yourself, don’t you? I checked out that web series of yours and I knew it!”
Zoe could not understand what that had to do with anything.
“Anyway, the story you told me, about the man and his apocalyptic message, it can’t be found in fairy tale books.”Zoe changed the subject completely.
“I’m pretty sure it was a fairy tale book. I saw it and touched it. It was really old and barely standing, but it was a normal fairy tale book from the 16th century.”
She rubbed her neck and pondered on the possibility that it might have only been some old story.
“Your friend seems to have a very strange hobby.”
Zoe was only trying her chance but Ezekiel seemed pretty open-minded and talkative. She didn’t have to pry too deep in order to get the answers she was searching for.
“He does. He lives with his uncle and has all these weird and dark things. He even uses salt and inscriptions.”
As if having an over excited boy with strange interests in her house, Eneizar appeared behind Ezekiel. The demon smirked and pointed at the human.
Ask him more.
That was what the demon mouthed but Zoe ignored him altogether. The blond rolled his eyes and disappeared right before the doorbell rang. It was late and no one would pay her a visit at night, not that it would happen during the day either. The idea that someone would visit her without calling or messaging was only adding paranoia so Zoe quickly answered the door.
“Zoe, my good friend! It’s been such a long time! How are you these days, living well and healthy?” Eneizar asked loudly, entering the living room with heavy steps.
“What?” Zoe was confused.
“Hello!” Eneizar’s smile widened at the sight of the human boy, “I’m Eneizar, an old friend of Zoe’s. Who might you be?”
“Ezekiel. I-I didn’t know you’ll have guests tonight.” The young man mumbled, his eyes shifting between Zoe and the handsome blond.
But there was one detail that Zoe didn’t foresee: a demon could make himself be seen by humans if he wanted to.
Surprisingly, and not so, Eneizar played the good guy and talked to Ezekiel for a while. Zoe was standing there, watching the two interact with suspicion. It was so weird to know that she had a demon in her house and someone else could see him. Ezekiel seemed to really like Eneizar, too. They were talking about dark stuff and about school. The demon didn’t have much to say since he had never been in one, but the human was talking for both.
“What about you, Zoe? How was school for you?”
She blinked quickly and realized that she was Zoe and had to answer.
She didn’t know what to say. Her school days weren’t honey and rainbows, instead she had to act as if nothing was going on in the shadows.
“It was fine. Nothing happened.” She smiled nervously and responded quickly.
“Oh, by the way. I came here with a purpose and I almost forgot.”
Ezekiel grabbed his backpack and searched for something through it. Both Zoe and Eneizar felt a sudden wave of energy run through their bodies when the human got out a little book. It looked like a petite pocket dictionary only the spine was white and the cover was a wiping green. It didn't have a title but it was rather obvious what was its purpose.
“Is this the fairy tale book?” Zoe asked curiously.
“No.” Ezekiel looked up but noticed the blond was gone. He glanced around but couldn't see any sign that Eneizar was even still in the apartment, “Where’s—”
“Bathroom.” That was the best she could think of seeing how Eneizar was forced to leave. “If this is not that book, what is it?” she continued. While Ezekiel could easily move the book around, she couldn’t even touch it.
“While I did some research regarding your web series, my friend found this. It’s a book written in some sort of language. From what his uncle said, it's like a mix of Hebrew and Latin. It’s quite cool, isn’t it?” He asked excitedly.
Zoe was curious and would have liked to touch it but she was scared that if she were to open it and read it, she wouldn’t like what was written there.
“You have weird hobbies. Why don’t you go and play like a nice healthy young boy? You seem more interested in old stories than girls and technology.”
She really wanted to know what triggered his interest towards dark stuff.
“I saw a ghost.” His eyes became wide and bright. That was probably the best story he had. “I was coming home from a party and it was past midnight. I remember I was ready to cross the street but this girl pulled me back. I was drunk so I didn’t think much about it but the next day at school, I saw her again. She was waiting for me. It was really weird. She told me something.” Zoe raised an eyebrow and waited for the continuation. “She told me to look for a colleague of mine, that death was everywhere. So I went to look for him. Coincidentally, that was the day—”
Andy appeared suddenly behind Zoe and made her jolt and gasp.
“And that’s not all. I swear I saw the girl going to him and pulling him up.”
“Maybe she was an angel, sent to rise his soul to Heaven.” Zoe wanted to keep him on the brighter side of the supernatural even if the tone she used was more ironic than genuine.
Ezekiel shook his head quickly, dismissing that idea.
“No, no. She didn’t take him away. She actually kept him here. That’s how I became interested in spirits and the underworld.” Ezekiel explained.
She glanced at Andy and saw him doubt his own death.
“Was it like that?” She didn’t care anymore for Ezekiel since he was looking for trouble anyway. Besides, he had material that she could use so might as well keep him around for a while.
“It seems so. I think I was ready to pass on when she told me to stay.”
Ezekiel noticed the changes in her expressions. He turned to the place she was staring at and saw nothing except furniture.
“Who are you talking to?”
“Your classmate, Andrew.” She answered as if that was obvious.
Ezekiel gasped and stared intensely at the empty spot. He couldn't see or hear anything which was very disappointing, to be sincere.
“What did she tell you?” Zoe questioned the ghost.
“She told me to find you and stay by your side no matter what. That’s how I found you. She told me exactly where to go and whom to look after.”
Zoe didn’t expect that. She didn’t expect it at all and that dark fairy’s scolding made sense now. She was the reason why Andy was still on Earth.
Ezekiel saw her change from curiousness and confusion to maximum tension and eventually her eyes set on one point. He jumped to his feet and poked her a little, but it didn’t have any effect. In the end, he shook her lightly, finally seeing her eyes focus again.
“Hey, what did he tell you? Well? Tell me!”
She looked at her hands and remembered Mehrdir’s advice; she had to make friends in high places so they could help her in the future. The dark, muscular fairy said that demons were going to appear around her more often. Something dangerous was lurking in the dark and she had the feeling that it was coming after her or someone she knew.
“Ezekiel, can I meet your odd friend?”
The boy frowned before his features relaxed and he grinned.
“He'll be delighted to meet you, believe me.”