I had to wake up at 8 in the morning the next day. Yay, I only got two hours of sleep but by now I was used to running on no sleep. That was a sacrifice we had to make and boy did I regret it sometimes. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open this time. Hannah, my best friend and coworker, had to pick me up and suggest we go get coffee before starting our day. We went to the same church and she knew what kind of life I lived. She knew the secrets and gifts my family was blessed and some believed cursed with.
“Tough night?” She pitied me.
I lazily got out of the car and followed her into the cafe. There was something about a coffee’s aroma that just tingled my senses.
“I got tossed into a wall...twice,” I exaggerated with my fingers. “Like a freakin flapjack.” At least the second time I didn’t dislocate my shoulder. My family, we’re quick healers too. We had to be to survive as long as we have in our line of work. The perks of being royally blessed.
“I’m glad you’re still alive.” Her innocent hazel eyes had no idea the things I went through.
It was hard for her to relate. No one but my family had to actually fight them, physically and sometimes emotionally. Our fellow church goers knew of the evil creatures and spirits that haunt this earth like a plague but they were not called for this specific divine purpose. Everyone in the world was called by God for some sort of purpose; this was ours. I wasn’t sure how my family got stuck with this duty. Maybe we were stronger, maybe it was in our blood. I didn’t know. But I did know that most people who do try don’t make it back in one piece. I know of a few others who attempted to fight back but ended up losing a part of their souls. They were never the same.
I was thankful that my family always comes back…mentally.
“Anything cool happen?” Hannah was intrigued with this kind of stuff and constantly bombarded me with question.
“Not really. Getting thrown around like a chew toy was the highlight of my night.”
We ordered our drinks and sat at a table near the window. The small coffee shop was our to go to place. People came and went constantly. Sometimes I liked to sit and just stare as they walked in. Every person was different but with similar problems. It was rare to find a face with a smile nowadays. People get stressed, hate what they do, complain about other people, or want too much out of life. We strive for greatness but hate when we don’t reach it.
“I’m gonna go get our drinks.” Hannah stood up.
I nodded in agreement. My legs were worn out. The door to the shop opened again and my curious eyes zoomed to see. My breath painfully and embarrassingly froze in my throat once the massively, delicious man specimen waltzed in. My eyes sinfully devoured the buff, out of place, beautiful creature like dessert. His large yet slick and toned muscled chest was hardly concealed underneath that navy blue tight v neck shirt and torn leather vest.
I knew plenty of girls who would kill to be that shirt right now, including myself. It hugged his every inch of perfection. I could even distinguish the outlines of his 6 pack. Heck, it might even be an eight pack. This dude was hot; like painfully, scoldingly, put your hand over a stove, kind of hot. Thick black swirls and marks covered portions of his bulging muscular arms. They weren’t the nasty kind of tattoos that people got while drunk and regretted the next day. Oh, no. His unique markings were mesmerizing and somewhat enchanting. The dude was definitely the bad boy girls gave their virginities to.
And I haven’t even gotten to admire his face yet. His impressive broad shoulders were a small distraction from his slightly cleft chin. His smooth tan toned skin looked flawless against the sun’s rays. Was I dreaming? Was this guy an angel? Did I die last night or something? My eyes drifted to his strongly angled jawbone that I swear could cut through blocks of stone. His pronounced cheekbones and straight nose were the epitome of that of a Greek statue and supermodel put together. Man I hope I wasn’t drooling.
Those large enticing eyes were globes of curiosity but also lighting strikes of fear. They were a haunting and terrifying ice blue color that was so close to white it scared me. They were unreal and unnatural; it made me question if he really was human. They were the kind of eyes that paralyzed people if you stared too long. They definitely left you with an impression but also made you question your own existence. My gaze dropped to his full pink mouth and almost melted when I saw his pierced bottom lip. I don’t know what it was about lip piercings but I felt a shrill of lush wash over me.
Dang, I had to look away. How long was I sitting there just creeping on him? You could tell it had been awhile since I had seen eye candy this good. My self-control combusted and my eyes once again landed on the walking Greek statue. He combed his fingers through his jet black hair and suddenly locked his gaze to mine. I froze. Those penetrating eyes were moving closer and closer to me. They looked straight out of a vampire movie. Maybe he was a demon or something. At the moment I didn’t care because he was coming straight towards me.
He sat down in front of me and I about died. What the heck was wrong with me? I was never this crazy about boys.
He placed his arms on top of the table and leaned in. My heart skipped a beat from anxiety. His snake eyes were dangerously pulling me in like I had no control over my body anymore. I could practically taste his spiced mint breath and it was twisting my stomach to knots.
“Malum non habet, tot facies,” his deep silky voice made my insides crumble. I honestly didn’t even care he was speaking a different language.
I stayed quiet and narrowed in on him. What was I supposed to say?
His twisted grin looked wicked beyond belief. Oh yeah, he was a heartbreaker for sure. That was the kind of grin that would send a girl through a heart attack.
“Malum non habet, tot facies,” he repeated. His snake eyes were playing with me like he was enjoying my confusion. The beautiful exotic angel, demon whatever he was leaned in even closer. His lips briefly brushed against my ear. “Evil has many faces.” He pulled away to look into my eyes. “The devil was an angel once.”
I had no time to function or react to his statement because I felt a sharp painful pressure pierce through my chest. He had plunged a dagger inside of me, close to my heart. I was right, heartbreaker. Blood gushed out and for a second I went numb, blocking the pain. I was dying yet everything went in slow motion as I searched the man’s eyes. Why?
“Laken! Wake up!”
I jerked up and subconsciously placed my hands over where the dagger should have been but nothing was there. My chest had no hole or blood spilling out. I sighed for dear life. It was just a dream; a stupid traumatizing dream. I knew that guy was too good looking to be truth. And what the heck was with him stabbing me?
“Laken are you okay? I was gone for two seconds and you were passed out on the table.”
I honestly didn’t know. It’s not every day you dream about your death. “I just need coffee in my system. I’ll be fine. Thank you.”
Hannah nodded but I could tell she was still worried. All well. The day must go on. If my life revolved around bad dreams or the worries of my friends I’d probably just lock myself in a room for the rest of my life.
Work was a better distraction. It wasn’t my dream job but it paid the bills. My hopes and pathetic dreams were nothing in the master plan God had set out for me. I wanted things but he knew exactly what I needed. Who was I to complain? I got to save people from demons and the creepy crawlies that haunted human kind. Yeah I wasn’t exactly a doctor who gets all the credit but if the world really knew I would probably be elected president or something. If only they really knew.
Hannah and I worked as respiratory therapists for outpatients. I guess that was the only exciting part. I got to drive around blasting my music to meet up with patients. I really didn’t mind. Most of my patients were old folks who always loved telling me stories of their youth.
Hearing about their glory days was a lot more enjoyable then I anticipated.
“Alright Mrs. Lawrence, breath in and out.” I used my equipment to check her heartbeats.
Mrs. Lawrence was a sweet little wrinkly woman who lived on her own and surprisingly doing well for herself at 75 years of age. She exhaled and I patted her back.
“That’s good. You’re doing exceptionally well.”
She lay back in her chair and pressed her lips together in a fine line. I guess the pain of arthritis was really taking its toll on her.
“Well I feel like I’m dying.” She was a spunky old gal as well.
“Not today you’re not.” I struggled folding her vital papers back in their file.
“But you are,” a faint whisper came from her lips.
Did I hear her correctly? I turned and narrowed my eyes but she didn’t even notice my heated gaze. “Did you say something?” I could have sworn she said something.
She rocked her head from side to side. “Oh no dear. I was quieter than my husband’s corpse.”
What was with all the death analogies? Was this all in my head? I was probably just being really stupid and paranoid.
“Right okay. I think I’m done here. I’ll see you next week.” I gathered my things.
“If you’re still alive,” she battered.
Ok I could not have made that up. She was really saying these things. She had to be because I wasn’t insane. I wasn’t sixth sense insane. This old lady had to be screwing with me.
“I’m sorry what did you say?”
She scrunched her face like she was annoyed with me. Really? Scrunch your face all you want old lady but I was going to get it out of you one way or the other.
“Dear you must be hearing things.”
I shook my head and refused to believe it. I wasn’t crazy and I wasn’t hearing things. Was I? I mean what could she possibly do or want anyway. She could barely stand without her cane. Now I sounded ridiculous.
Mrs. Lawrence started to laugh. It was a jolly laugh that made me guess she was thinking of a good joke or memory. Then she raised her green wise orbs in my direction. “Have I ever told you how I met my husband?”
I sighed. “No you haven’t.”
She easily dove into the memory. “Charles was a wilderness man that valued his knife collection like it was his baby. One day as I was walking into town, he thought he could impress me with them.”
Her slight pause caused me to lean in closer.
“Charles was an expert knife thrower and stopped a poisonous snake from crawling up my leg. I was forever indebted to him to say the least.” She glowed from the memory.
“He saved your life.” I whispered.
She looked away. “Yes, yes I guess he did. Those knives brought great joy to him and I guess there wouldn’t be any other way for him to go then by his own knives.”
What? What was she talking about? This was extremely freaky.
“His knives were ultimately the death of him.” She finally raised her crazed gaze toward me.
Okay this was not the sweet old lady I remembered. Her wide smile was extremely creepy and unexpected.
“I enjoyed every second of his suffering.” Her terrorizing laugh gave me chills. “I watched him die and now I’m going to watch you die.”
Oh yeah. This was definitely not that sweet old lady I knew. She was not herself. Something and I wasn’t exactly sure what, was taking over her body. In one swift movement she got up and smacked me across the room. I crashed against some furniture. Dang could she pack a punch.
I got up as quickly as I could. “Leave her alone. Whatever you are, I will kill you.”
Mrs. Lawrence laughed and miraculously moved towards me without her cane. Whatever was taking over her body was strong and was feeding off her weakness. Most demons or negative energies thrived on the weak and helpless.
“But I was sent out to kill you.” The disgusting creature mocked.
I could never get used to old people being possessed. It was weird and who would dare hit a person that looked like your granny?
I guess I would if they were trying to kill me. “Who sent you?”
Her eyes clouded over. “Who do you think? Every creature is out to get you.”
That made sense I was killing off his kind one by one. “So do you want to beg for mercy first or just cut to your obliteration?” The choice was his.
Mrs. Lawrence smirked and charged at me. I guess I’ll choose. I blocked a few easy blows but that was only to distract me from having it stab a knife into my side. Really? Maybe my dream was a warning. Maybe that beautiful angel looking man was giving me a heads up. For whatever reason I wasn’t going to let this leech live. I pulled the knife out of my side and the pressure was gone. Being stabbed was a lot less painful after the first fifty times it happens to you.
I whipped out my own spare blade I always kept attached to my ankle and dug the sharp edge against its neck. The sick creature weaved and laughed.
“You’re just going to have to kill her.”
I bit my tongue. He didn’t think I’d do it. I sliced a small part of Mrs. Lawrence’s skin and watched it squirm beneath me. That got its attention.
“He’s coming for you.”
What? “Who?” That thing made it sound like a specific someone was after me.
But my question was unanswered when the creature tried to escape. A dark cloud of its energy that only I could see formed over my head. He was strong enough to find another host but I wasn’t going to let him go. I stretched out my necklace and captured his essence. My ancient necklace was passed down to me and worked as a prison for harmful energies. It sucked up their forms and enslaved them forever.
It was my only assurance that they couldn’t harm another human being.
The real Mrs. Lawrence began to pant uncontrollably but I knew there was nothing I could do. Her body was too fragile to survive a dark energy possession. Seconds later she drew her last breath. This was not how I thought my day would turn out to be.