Devil devil, when you appear, All I see in them is fear...
The cold air rushes through her as she stands before him. Her eyes are fixed on his, her body is still. The sky is a blood red, the grass is black. Cold air rushes through her hair, moves the tree branches of the forest around her. Behind him stands the largest tree in the forest, it’s branches reaching out towards her, wanting to swallow her whole. A crow flies into the sky, but she can see nothing but him. He is a large, muscular creature with large goat horns and a blood red body. His hands are long, his claws are sharp, his eyes are dark. He towers over her, smirking in a cruel, cold way. He is amused.
“Lux Turner” he growls slowly “How nice to finally meet you”
“Why have you summoned me, dark lord?” Lux asks in a demanding voice.
The dark lord chuckles, leaning closer to her face. She does not step back, neither does she look away.
“I like your courage” he growls “You are definitely the most promising”
Lux feels his claws digging into her back, creating six scars running down to her waist, blood trickling out if them, much like a wolf’s scratch.
“I have a mission for you” the dark lord says “If you finish the job, you will be greatly rewarded”
That was her first encounter with him, and it would not be her last. And she was not allowed tell that a constant visitor in her dreams was the devil.
Lux wakes up covered in sweat. She bolts upwards and looks around her room. The door is closed, the vanities are empty, and the curtains are closed. It’s a spacious room, a Dracula themed area with red wallpaper and paintings of demons. Her hands start to shake as she slowly lifts up her white night shirt to reveal six bloody scars, just like a wolf’s scratch. Her red bedsheets are covered in blood and her back, clothes and legs have colored red. Slowly, she gets up and runs her hand through her dark hair. She then enters the bathroom, and takes a cold, waking shower with her clothes. She is still dripping wet when she switches of the tap and walks through the lavish bathroom to stare into an old, cracked mirror.
She calmly listens to the sound of water drops hit the bath and her slow breath as she sees a girl staring back at her. She is pale, with pale skin and red lips. Her nose is small, her jet black hair is messy and tangled. She could almost be pretty, if not for that ugly scar extending her mouth towards her right cheek and her dead, numb eyes. No, she is not pretty, she is terrifying. With that thought, her mouth turns into a wide smile and she exits the bathroom.
Most people believe there is no good or evil, that we all have both of these qualities to some extent and that they are inevitable. We treat these concepts as if they were the equivalent to cold and hot. They are not. Evil is not the absence of good, neither is good the absence of evil. The sooner we realize that the better. We are oblivious to the madness of our own world because we can not be at peace with these two concepts, because we are always fighting with our brains and our hearts, but that must stop. Because there are angels and demons living among us. Children of the light and children of the dark, gods creatures and the devils, the good and the evil. You may not realize it, but you have met them in elementary or middle school, at the park or the playground. They may have even been your greatest friend, one you brought to your house and showed everything to. But suddenly, as high school nears, they disappear from your life forever without a trace. You are never told what happened, you never meet their relatives anymore and their house is for sale, and once you ask anyone about them they will pretend not to remember. It’s like they never existed.
Don’t worry, it happened to me too. I used to have a very good friend named Lux Turner. She lived in the house next door. A mansion, really, a Dracula palace. We used to play there all the time, make up spooky tales about how the devil owns the place. Little did I know they weren’t jokes to Lux at all. Her parents were never around, only her creepy old butler whom I’ve come to love over the years. Sure, I found it weird that they had paintings hanging around the house of demons and such, or that they were obviously Satanists, but I never knew for a fact that other kids are not like this. See, I was an outcast. A boy whom everyone made fun of. And she was the scary tough kid on the street. They called her a vampire, they were afraid of her because their parents told them to stay away from her. But I am an orphan, so I didn’t know any better. She stood up for me once when I was getting picked on, I don’t know why, and since then we had been great friends. That is, until August 31st.
“Danny, I’m leaving” she says casually as we walk through the large rose garden of her mansion.
“What?” I ask, stopping “If this is a joke it’s not funny”
“It’s not a joke, dick face, it’s real, I’m leaving”
She said it with no emotion at all, as if it were no big deal. But it was a big deal to me. She is all I have, and now I was going to lose her. And the way she said it, in such a cold manner, it hurt me the most. Like our friendship was nothing to her.
“W-Where are you going then?” I ask as my voice cracks.
“I can’t tell you” Lux answers.
“What? What do you mean you can’t tell me?” I raise my voice “You can’t even tell me where you are leaving me to? Do I mean nothing to you? Do all these years mean nothing to you?”
“Danny, it’s not like that” Lux looks up at me “Look, I don’t want to lie to you, that’s why I am not saying anything. The only way I could ever tell you, is if you are dead”
She was leaving and she was not telling me where to. I was pissed, I was vulnerable, and I was stupid, so my next decision really just came from wrath and grief.
“THEN FUCKING KILL ME TURNER! DO IT BECAUSE YOU KNOW WITHOUT YOU MY LIFE WILL ME LIVING HELL!” I scream.
“DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE SAY THAT! YOU HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE” Lux screams back.
“I’M SICK OF THIS SATANIST BULLSHIT LUX, HELL DOESN’T EXIST!” I scream at the top of my lungs.
Everything is quiet for a moment. I can see the bold butler in the distance, half standing behind a bush. He didn’t give me the creeps for over 6 years, but now, with his smile, I was ready to shit my pants. His gold tooth shined right at me, and I froze in shock.
“Don’t talk about hell around here Danny” Lux whisper “Or mother and father will come back”
“What the hell are you talking about? They haven’t been back for the last 8 years. I’m starting to think they don’t exist!” I state.
“You’re wrong Danny” Lux answers quietly “They’ve been here before. They will be here tonight. Danny, I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you anything. Not unless you become a tamed ghost”
“Make me a fucking tamed ghost then” I spit.
But the look she gave me right then sent chills down my spine. That is when I knew she was not joking. Without a word she reached over to by throat and started squeezing. I remember tears streaming down my face as hers went red. That was the first time I saw her true form. Her lips parted, and just as my eyes started to blur I saw fangs, then two small horns at the top of her head, and then, a long, red tail with a pointy end. Yes, I thought she was the devil. The way she squeezed the life out of her friend like it was no big deal. No, in fact, I didn’t just think she was the devil. I knew she was. And I still do. No matter how many times she explains that she is simply a demon, I never saw her as one. The thing about a tamed ghost is that you can see anything your master sees. My master, the person who killed me, was Lux. And so, I saw her every encounter with the devil from then on. I also saw how she looked at him, with nothing but respect.
I woke up in the early morning in one of the mansions bedrooms, with Lux sitting at an armchair across from me. She then explained, that she is a demon, a child from the devil, gifted with the power of the fire breathing dragon (she controls fire) and that in an hour she would be leaving Bronc hill to attend a school for angels and demons. The God’s Academy. Then she explained that I am not her property, a ghost only she and those granted permission could see. Frankly, it suited me very well, seeing as I am almost always invisible either way. The only bad part about being a tamed ghost is that I would no longer be able to taste anything. Lux then took her suitcase and made her way downstairs. I followed, but found that I was much lighter on my feet. I didn’t just follow her, I flew. It wasn’t such a great feeling as I imagined it would be.
I had hoped to finally meet her parents as we walked down the spiral staircase, but it was just the old butler waiting for us. I was never told his name, only that Lux likes to call him Chernushka. But I could never pronounce that, so I just call him creepy. The weird part is that he doesn’t understand what I say, only what Lux tells him. We follow Creepy outside, into a large, black car with shaded windows. Silence follows as we wait for creepy to lock up the house. I sit a seat across from Lux, she is looking straight ahead with a sad expression.
“I haven’t told you everything, Danny” she says suddenly “But you have no choice but to trust me. See, there are things you may not understand at first in this world, but you’ll get used to them pretty soon”
All I do is nod as Creepy gets in the car and the engine starts. I watch as the familiar streets of Bronc hill pass by through my window, trying not to feel sad. No one said moving away from home would not be hard, but I had chosen this, it’s too early to regret it.
Bronc hill is a quite dead place. There are not many people living here, and those that do are usually too sketchy for the town nearby. There is not much green either, and no animals. The only reason my grandfather got a place here is because no one else wanted it. But grandpa likes to drink. And other than that, he is delusional. So he won’t miss me, he won’t ever realize I’m gone. Which is what makes this plan so perfect. I don’t know why Lux decided to bring me along with her, but I know that it is definitely not because she loves me so much. See, Lux has a way of making others feel special, of making friends and then using them. I thought that she really did like me as a friend at first, but as I spent more and more time with her, I had realized that she would never be able to love anyone but herself. There is no emotion behind her eyes, ever.
Suddenly, the view from the window changed. From a dead, empty Bronc hill street the outside turned into a very much alive forest. A very green forest. I could almost not see anything because of the multiple tree branches covering my view. Even though a forest is nothing cynical, I felt goosebumps all over my ‘body’.
“What’s going on?” I ask, alarmed “What happened to Bronc hill?”
“Space travel. Don’t worry about it, it’s a place no human would find” Lux answers.
It doesn’t take long for the forest to end, and soon we are riding through a road. The view becomes clearer, and as my head pokes through the window (literally through the glass) I loose my breath. Far ahead is a tall, green hill, and on top of it is a large castle made of red brick. It is the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life by far. God’s academy sure lives up to its expectations. I don’t pull my head back, but rather pretend that the wind is brushing my hair like it used to. I try to catch the smell of fresh grass, but in the end it is just my imagination.
“Lux, you have to look out the window! It’s beautiful!” I scream as I look back at her.
She doesn’t. She just looks at her palms with a cold expression.
“Don’t get attached, Danny” she says simply.
What does she mean? Suddenly I feel sick as I sit back down. I stare at her, but she ignores me as she looks out of the window. It’s obvious she isn’t planning on staying here, I know all her tricks. She ran away from school and home multiple times, but this place is different. Here she doesn’t have a creepy butler or scary parents, here she doesn’t have boring schoolwork or annoying classmates, so why would she be plotting to leave? Unless she isn’t. That’s when a chill runs up my spine.
“What are you going to do, Lux?” I ask in a shaky voice.
She doesn’t answer, and the rest of the car ride is silent. Soon the car makes it’s way up the hill, then through another small forest, and then I find myself staring at the entrance gates of the school. They are black, large, with the sign “God’s Academy” carved into it. I hear Lux take a big breath as we pass through the gates and park our car next to a bunch of others. I notice that they are all expensive cars, and each is either one of two colors: white or black.
“The white cars are for the children of the light” Lux clarifies, as if reading my mind “And the black cars are for the children of the dark”
She opens the door and gets out of the car. I slip through the door and look around. I see lots of kids around my age hugging their parents or waving bye to them. I look back at Lux, who got her duffel bag out of the trunk and is heading to the butler. I feel sorry for her. I mean, I am no better, but it must really hurt to know that your parents can’t even bother to say goodbye.
“Keep close” Lux mutters as she walks past me “It will hurt if you are too far”
At first I didn’t realize what she meant, but as she walked further and further I felt an invisible chain pulling me towards her, and soon, I saw a faint outline of a physical, black chain over my wrist, stretching towards Lux, landing right into her hand. People walk right through the chain that is so very real in my eyes. Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain shooting through my wrist. As I grit my teeth, I follow Lux through the field, over to the entrance of the school, where a large crowd has already formed. I stand (or rather float) next to Lux and watch as a strange woman walks out of the building and stands in front of the crowd. Everyone grows quiet around me as every eye watches the woman move. She is graceful, which is weird for an old lady. She has long, white hair and wrinkles, but a great posture and a strong aura about her. I suddenly feel Lux’s hand grab the edge of her bright red hoodie and form a fist. Her hand is shaking, and I start to feel it too.
“Welcome to God’s school, children” she says loudly “You are the next generation of peace keepers in this world, we have great expectations for you”
I feel Lux’s breath grow heavier, rapid, shorter. It’s a sure sign that she is angry.
“Here at this school we do not tolerate rebels. You are all soldiers here, you shall all belong to someone one day. We are simply preparing you for the tasks which will be provided for you in the near future. Take all what you can get here, because you won’t survive without it. Some of you might already know that we do not separate the lights and the darks at this school, we believe you must learn about your opponent in order to defeat them. You shall learn with the other kind, fight with the other kind, and live with the other kind. You will have to learn to control your anger, because violence is not tolerated here. My name is Linda Sagittarius, I am the vice principal here. Good luck” and with that the woman leads us into the castle.
To say the castle is large would be an understatement. The hall we entered as soon as the doors opened was bigger than the whole first floor of Lux’s mansion. The floor was decorated with multiple overlapping circles and satanic symbols while the ceiling was made of clear white marble. Painted on that marble is a large picture of God, but he doesn’t look like what I am used to. He is human, but half of his face is burnt to the point that his facial features are not there at all. His hands are extended to us, and under him hangs a large, white chandelier. The whole place looked like a cult or an edgier version of Hogwarts. I was so hypnotized by the view that I forgot to follow Lux. That is, until my chain started to gnaw on my wrist. The new students were marching across the hall like there was nothing new here at all, like this is a typical hall and they’ve seen it a million times. I follow them through another pair of large doors, even larger than the last ones. As we enter the room I realize that this one is even bigger. The students are lined up across the decorative floor facing a large stage with rich red curtains and dark chandeliers hanging down the top. I float towards Lux but she completely ignores me as other students start to pile in. They are older than Lux and the others, ages 17 and 18. They are all wearing black uniforms, but over them they either have white capes or black ones. I can only guess what that means. The hall is quiet for a moment as an old man steps onto the stage. He is around the age of 70, tall, with white hair and a white gown (or at least that’s what it looked like). The way everyone was looking at him, with respect, made me wonder why Lux’s hands were still shaking with anger.
“Welcome, my children, to another year in God’s academy” he announces in an unpleasant voice “I’m sure you’ve all heard of me, my name is Chester Gold, the founder of this school. I believe that good and evil can live together in peace and create balance in this world. I also believe that just because you belong to either God or the Dark Lord, does not mean you do not have freedom. You can be powerful and yet free, children, all you have to do is find the balance between those two things”
I can hear Lux’s rapid breathing. I look at her carefully, wondering if I should comfort her or not. But then I see her eyes turn red. A malicious, bright, scary red. I jerk my hand back and fly a little further into the line. What is going on with her?
“I hope you have a wonderful year at my school, and may your God always be proud!” the man exclaims.
Chester Gold steps off the stage, followed by Linda Sagittarius. Murmurs and whispers rise into loud talk and shouting as some of the older kids try to shout over the freshmen and try to get us to follow them. Slowly, but eventually Lux’s line moves towards the exit of the large hall and up some large stairs. There are two statues standing at the foot of the stairs. Two goblins, it seems, which makes me wonder if those are real too. But I know better than to ask. We walk through identical long halls until we reach an old elevator that has a sign over it: “Children of the dark”. The elevator is large, but does not fit everyone. Lux pushes her way into the first bunch that travels upwards while I float above her head. It still feels weird, but I have to say, being completely invisible has it’s perks. When the elevator doors open we are standing in a large hall lined with decorative doors and one large one at the end. From the ceiling chandeliers are hung, giving out a warm light. The floor and walls are a creamy color, the doors are clear white.
“These are your dorm rooms. To see which number is yours you have to check the papers hung in the common room. There are four people in each room. Girls are on the left, boys are on the right. No girls are allowed in boys dorm rooms and vice versa” an older boy announces “The common room at the end of the hall is open to all children of darkness, but if you break anything or disturb someone you will boy be welcome. I don’t think that this rule is even necessary to mention, but no light bloods are allowed in our territory”
After the boy is finished everyone piles into the common room to check where their dorm rooms are. Through the crowd I got a glimpse of what it is, and it basically looks like a living room. A very large living room with desks and books and laptops. There are many small sofas and a large chimney with actual fire inside. It looks very old fashioned. I see Lux exiting the common room and I follow her.
“What’s our room?” I ask as I see her nearing a large white door “Room number 65?”
But she sharply turns and opens another door.
“Oh. Room number 64?” I exclaim and chuckle “Why are you tricking me?”
She turns to me and looks around hurriedly.
“Listen, this is a girls dorm room. You can’t enter here. So go and… Haunt the place or something” she hisses and slams the door in my face.
Lost, I stand in front of the door looking around. How does one “haunt this place”? So I raise my hands in front of some guy and go “WoOoOoOoOoOo”. Unfortunately he does not respond, but walks right through me. That is when I loose it and fly through the door. Lux made me like this, so I shall embrace it and follow her everywhere. Even the damn shower. Okay maybe not there.
The dorm room is most likely the most luxurious dorm in the world. There are four large beds facing each other with white bedsheets. All the furniture is jet black, which contrasts nicely with the white walls and floor. There are large lamps set on bedside tables and four large wardrobes set against the wall. Three beds are piled up in bags and clothes, while the fourth has a single duffel bag lying on it’s side. It’s quiet as the other three girls sort out their clothes and Lux lies on her bed, checking her phone. Suddenly, her eyes shoot up and meet mine. I smile guilty, while she growls, annoyed she can’t say anything because of the other three girls.
I don’t know if it is a thing the sacred do, but these girls did not speak one word to each other. I kept nagging Lux to say something, but she just ignored me.
Just then a loud bell rings through the room, making the four girls shut their ears and cringe. I would shut my ears too, only, I don’t really feel anything anymore. Then through the speakers we hear a loud voice.
“DINNER” it screams.
Lux and the other girls run out of the room in a hurry and when I follow them, I realize that everyone had a bell in their room, and everyone had run out, cursing.
“What the fuck is up with the bell?” on shouts.
“Dumbasses” another one shouts.
“Switch it off you mother fuckers” another curses.
I always knew Lux had a good memory, but I am still shocked when she manages to lead us to the dining hall with no problem. I mean, she already memorized the whole 1st floor. The dining hall is a large, well lit area with two long tables placed vertically, facing a large table at the front where the teachers are already seated. The table on the right is already packed with light bloods in white cloaks, but when the dark bloods pile into the room, almost none are wearing their uniforms and all are talking. You can really tell who is who just by their attitude. When the dark bloods are all finally seated, Lux sits down and Chester Gold stands up from his table, speaking rather loudly.
“The first dinner of the year is always the most memorable” he states “I again welcome the freshmen of this year and hope they will fit in nicely into this school. I also hope that we can get through this year with no conflicts such as last year or the years before that. Remember, you are only enemies once your master has appointed you. As many of you remember, last year we had a few issues with the school’s safety. I assure you, this year you have nothing to worry about. Let us thank God and Satan for our meal, and may this year hold great memories”
There are loud cheers from the right table, and slow claps from the left as Cheater sits back down and the students continue their talking.
“Damn I fucking hate him” an older boy next to Lux says.
“Every year he says the school is safe and every year someone dies” a girl opposite him states “It’s sick how he lies to us”
“What happened last year?” Lux asks the boy.
“You don’t know?” another girl exclaims.
“Some dragon burned down west wing. Twenty people died” the boy answers “I’m Jacob, by the way”
“Lux” Lux introduces.
The rest of the dinner everyone spent talking and trying out some of the food on the table, but Lux’s mind was obviously somewhere else. I could tell she was thinking about what Jacob had said about last year, but I don’t know why it bothered her so much. There is something she is hiding from me, which is not fair, because I am technically a part of her now. After dinner the girls headed back to the room and got ready for sleep. But I don’t know what they were doing because I was forced to sit outside the room. I mean, I know it’s inappropriate for a boy to be at a girl’s pajama party, but I’m not even alive! It was the middle of the night when I woke up from a weird sensation. It was like I was worrying, but I did not know why. That was when I saw Lux leave the room in her black pajamas, and not even looking at me, make her way to the elevator.
“Hey, Lux!” I call as I float next to her “Where are we going?”
But she doesn’t answer, she just keeps walking until she is in the elevator.
“Lux?” I call out.
She keeps ignoring me. I am starting to get scared that she can’t see or hear me anymore. If that is the case, then I am completely alone and invisible. Then I really am dead, then I don’t exist. I am so deep in thought that I did not realize that instead of going down, me and Lux are moving upwards to the 4th floor. I didn’t even know was a 4th floor until we reached it. But when the elevator opens and the cold air hits us, I realize this is not a floor at all. This is the roof.
Lux walks out of the elevator calmly and walks to the edge of the castles roof. There are three towers behind us and endless forest in front of us. I hesitantly hover over her head as I look up at the starry night sky. What was she doing? Why would she get out here in the middle of the night. I mean, she always liked heights, but this is too much. Isn’t she tired after her first day at this academy?
That’s when I stop in my tracks. There is something sinister about this, something very creepy and wrong, but I can’t pin point it. I watch her as she walks to the very edge of the room, her feet on the very edge, and looks back at me. She smiles a strange, creepy smile and turns back. A large force of wind envelopes her as she raises her hands. The stars seem to flicker and the wind gets stronger, and then I hear it.
“Devil, Devil…” she whispers.