Falling Beneath the Magnolia

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Lucifer v.s. magic, Bruce v.s. Breeze street

Chapter 21.

21A, Lucifer’s point of view.

He unlike like the humans did not shutter at the colder weather. Lucifer slips between the alleyways and uses the city cemeteries to cover ground. He had already performed an assassination on the orders of his boss tonight.

He thought back to Billy Buckner shaking in his boots…. They always frighten easily.

This area is reminiscent to when Lucifer led a score of men to Purdue street which stood eight blocks from here. Purdue Street, the site of Dellara’s victory over the punks who called that street home. A street gang backed by a Witch; it is a good thing they popped Jordan young. Speaking of squeezing off magical offspring, Billy Buckner is the son of New Orleans Warlock Tom, Tom McGill.

In addition to Witches. Lucifer also had his fair share of run ins with Warlocks, he similarly interacted with the latter mostly due to business. Witches tend to keep to themselves or operate from a position of a tribal elder. The, were usually the more charismatic people within a community. Warlocks were all slightly different. A few had aligned themselves with the guardians, the guardians answer to Temitope, the guardian of the earth. The guardians kept a number of humans with superior abilities on hand, they were tasked with keeping order and policing the demons and supernatural of the mortal world.

The humans were called Inspectors, they trained for years to be able to match up against demons like Lucifer. In his younger days Lucifer sought domination, he had killed several inspectors over the years, he had even killed a few angels assigned to the Inspectors for good measure.

When Dellara had used blood magic to extend Lucifer’s life, he returned twenty years of service to him. This war would make Lucifer’s debt to Dellara paid. It is only coincidence that he was going to approach the same one who brought Dellara and Lucifer together.

Marcello’s Warlock Tom, Tom had some beef with English settlers in East Africa. He needed some heavy weaponry sent to his allies...

Dellara had a bunch of Lewis guns he stole from a warehouse many decades before. The Warlock preformed two spells during his ritual, he merged one of the Lewis guns to an Albino child.

The fusion would allow the weapon untold accuracy and could penetrate any steel no matter how thick. The spare energy was used to heal Lucifer’s physical body, the Huntington’s was here to stay and would cut Lucifer’s life short by hundreds of years.

Since the night he had whacked Matthew Bonaguro, Lucifer had felt much sicker. His talisman had been cracked down the center. Right then and there he knew that he had a powerful curse placed on him.

There is one man loyal to Marcello who has the ability to curse him. Lucifer had to flay Tom, Tom’s son. He had sheared the boy’s arm to his veins before he coughed up his father’s ware bouts.

Once the canary sang his song, Lucifer began his solemn march towards the answers he desired. It had been a strange night; Bruce had gone missing from the safehouse. Sammy’s men searched the safehouse looking for where Bruce might have gone too. They found the college yearbook photo, with a grainy photograph of a bound girl.

Sammy on Dellara’s orders had men searching the city, Lucifer on Dellara’s orders was to continue on his war path with Marcello’s men. Gary and Mickey were out searching for Dellara’s star pupil, as was Vinny.

Lucifer being in the Seventh Ward is tempted to use his powers to search for him, using his powers in his condition would be costly. He would have to resign himself to rely on his physical attributes and his ability to instill terror. He still had a job to do tonight…

His destination is an old dry cleaners, the building would be three stories. He would be going in during ritual he could only speculate what he would walk into. Unlike Witches, Warlocks had their own set of rules, they were more or less fanatics who were full of hubris.

The building is scrunched between two other buildings, Lucifer stood at the front. He would have to circle the block to approach the rear. It being three stories any sentry posted at the window would see his approach. Standing in the shadows he allows his fog to build, at least that didn’t require energy. He sank into his mist as he approached the front of the house.

Choosing the quietest section of the house to enter through, he uses his hand to wrench up the window and climbs inside. No need to use a flashlight or a light he stalks around like a cat in the night inching closer to the center of the shop.

Opening the door quietly he sees that he has entered the workspace of the cleaners. Ironing boards and presses lay used, there is a switch near the wall to turn them on, Lucifer follows the electric cord run on the ceiling and sees there are two other terminals with light switches.

He doesn’t need them, he pears around the boxes stacked near the doorway. The shops main floor had been cleared, all equipment up to the back of the claim desk had been pushed against the wall.

Lucifer sees that candles at the center of the room are the only source of light, two men in brown hooded robes with purple silk ropes tied around their waist. Each hold was looks to be a pair of deformed infants by their ankles. Their throats had been slit, on closer inspection Lucifer sees they are no children at all... They are primates.

Baby Orangutans two of them, the hooded men shake the bodies of the primates shaking the blood on the chalk pentagram symbols.

The flames on the candles turn green. Lucifer flicks the switch turning on the dry-cleaning operation. The racks move and the steamers heat up on the presses. Lucifer builds up his fog and closes in, he catches one of the men by the back of his head and rips him down onto a press!

Ripping a belt that had clearly just been mended from the workbench, Lucifer ties the two ends of the press shut like a crocodile’s mouth.

The man screams in pain, Lucifer ducks behind the boxes as the disciple comes to look for his companion. Sticking his hand in his pocket he grips a piano wire; he pops around the corner and knees the unsuspecting man in the stomach knocking him to the floor. Lucifer lifts the man by the cord in his hands and hooks the wire onto a passing hook from the rack, the man kicks as the wire cuts into his neck as he moves with the coats.

Lucifer tries to sense Tom, Tom’s location. But then two hot irons come flying towards him!

Jumping back. he looks for the source only to be hit in the back kinetically by a coat rack! The hit knocks him to his knees, but he rips the heavy wooden object out of the casters tractor beam.

No, a moment to breathe a desk comes hurling at him from the corner followed by two heavy filing cabinets...

Using the three-prong base of the coat rack he runs towards the incoming desk and cracks the incoming furniture in its center and then drives it to the floor in an impressive feat of strength...

Not missing a beat, he does the same with the first filing cabinet.

Only striking the cabinet on its side, sending it crashing to the ground, it scrapes to a halt. His woes weren’t done yet… he had a third object coming towards him the filing cabinet spins from the velocity of the magic toss... Lucifer only has time to put the coat rack into the center of the object, and his defensive weapon snaps…

He steps to the side to barley avoid being knocked down, but he did it…

Tom, Tom stands at the office, out of objects, closing the gap, Lucifer’s has his hand around the Warlock’s throat. Lucifer had picks up the ritual knife from the ground and walks Tom, Tom to the preparation table.

He uses his free hand holding the knife to move the empty cages of the primates. Sight of magic angers Lucifer. Humans hated Lorrents because he entered the world by killing the soul of a fetus. He took the life of one, by comparison to the humans he is no different than a teenage girl or a democrat.

In his voice he loudly demands answers.

“You are going to tell me what is going on with your boss a lot seems to be in the works for starters, my seems illness to have sped up, the only person in this city powerful enough to get passed my talisman is the one who gave it me fifteen years ago!”

“How did you find me?” Asks Tom, Tom.

“You son isn’t made for torture, he gave you up and still lives, but that can change.” Hisses Lucifer.

Lucifer does not let him answer, he had been making Tom, Tom hold his hand flat, Lucifer suddenly drops the ritual knife onto first, his index finger, then his middle and followed by the other two smaller fingers. The sharp blade cuts through the fingers as easily as a carrot.

Then as he screams in pain Lucifer without empathy or remorse does the same to the other hand. He does not show joy or enjoyment. Simply apathy. It needed to be done in his eyes.

“Tell me what I want, or you son will feel this pain again!”

Tom, Tom gave in like any father to spare his son this treatment, he only regrets that he went through it once. To save his son he must tell, no should he hold back. The blue eyes of Lucifer bore into his, he had never seen death, but it looked welcoming, if it could spare him a second away from this glance.

“Once more and I walk back to your sons flat.”

“It was Danny McFarlan. He used Albino magic he wanted to weaken you but that object I gave you knocked some juice out of the curse. You will have Ten years at half power four years at full power, but you will die...” Lucifer looks at him and he shakes his head.

“I am not asking about that ginger. Although its, nice to warrant the best contract killer in the South? What is Marcello up too, why did I sense something, something spiritual by the docks I thought I made myself clear years ago.”

“You think your old law applies.”

“No creatures of any unnatural origin within 30 miles of the Quarter. Why was there a Soul Hound here!”

“McFarlane was thought how to tame them and then bind them to a bracelet.”

“Fools that creature could devour an entire city market if let loose.” Lucifer stood up.

He walks to the door leaving the man holding his bleeding hands to cry out.

“Wait, Wait, What About My Son!” Lucifer turns around.

“You have not given me anything about Marcello’s plans, I know he plans to kill McKean, that is nothing new. Bluffs Lucifer

“Wait, He, He, He, has his daughter?”

“Whose daughter”

“Dellara” Whimpers the now fear stricken Warlock.

“You better speak quickly.”

Lucifer listened to the man and his plan and he got much but all too soon Tom, Tom ran out of information. Lucifer by that time at dragged him to the back of the house to the courtyard. He tied him to a basketball net that Tom, Tom had rigged, even though he is a British native Tom, Tom enjoyed sports.

Recycling the belt from the press, it had its part in frying the long dead acolyte, Lucifer tightly pulls Tom, Tom tightly to the pole of the hoop. Using his second to last piano wire he binds his neck to the poll to prevent his movement, although it would be slow. Lucifer had highly flammable stain removers. The fumes are heavy in the air and Lucifer uses all of it to soak the Warlock.

“What, are you doing why don’t you just shoot me?”

“You’re a heretic you like killing animals and children in rituals. I am not opposed to killing either choices I have done both. But I am giving you what you want a heretics death you can go into hell used to the heat…”

The flame of the lighter sets upon the Warlocks chest only for a moment, then he is a blaze, Lucifer isn’t expecting the outcome, he struggles in pain at the flame but then Tom, Tom takes a step and the razor-sharp wire, and his momentum severs his head. And like that the most powerful warlock in New Orleans went to the afterlife maimed, crippled, burned and headless. All in all, a success.

Lucifer leaves the burning body; the head had drifted to the nearby fountain feature. Lucifer takes his head and looks for a bag, a warlocks head could have uses and value.

He needed to get to Purdue Street he sensed that is where everyone is, Just this once he uses his powers, but even that search makes him breathless.

Four years to live if he used his powers...

Now more than ever he would need to make his time count...

21B. Bruce Point of View.

He was loopy headed, his brain felt like mush. After the adrenalin of his fight with the soul hound, Bruce stopped secreting its hormone, his shoulder felt like he had been shot again! In response and after Farrah’s departure, Bruce had taken many painkillers, in fact he was down to five pills.

It felt like if he bit down as hard as he could he would snap his rubber teeth. Currently he felt the blood he drew from chewing on his tongue, it is liquid, he needed to sooth the cotton mouth from his over drug use. His own blood wet his whistle just enough to seek comfort.

Inching along the alleyway leading to Purdue Street, he currently stood three blocks from his destination.

Bruce had made sure he kept a round in the chamber, he wasn’t sure what the rest of the night would hold for him. He knew one thing as he leaned against the wall to marvel at the coloration of the bricks. He stood in the center of an alleyway, near a right corner turn. Originally he felt the tingle to piss, but that was just a trick of the opioids.

His trench coat lay open, he wanted the cool air of the New Orleans night to chill his body. His 1911 is no longer in his right shoulder rig. It was too cumbersome, no he wanted to make sure he could have quick access. He didn’t anticipate having to bend over so he inches down the alleyway with his pistol tucked into his waist band.

Bruce left his suppressor in the warehouse with Simon’s corpse. There is no use and carrying something else heavy around with him, most people didn’t realize that a suppressor can weigh up to two pounds. In any case being quiet didn’t matter anymore they all knew he was on the war path.

He trudged on in this mental fog, it’s funny, he could have formed an addiction to anything, drugs are what happens to be the most common. But nothing not even fear would have sent him running to the hills, didn’t matter, earlier the sight of the smallest blood spots from his stitches would have given him an upset stomach and would have probably spilled his lunch. The drugs for him are like a mask, or temporary armor the make his job harder but his circumstances easier to bare.

His state allows him to forget his surroundings, and just for a moment. He didn’t know how long that lapse in judgement lasted, but in the time span of his day dream, Bruce had noticed he had someone following him.

Uninjured his right-hand rests on the smooth pearl handle of his new switch. Even with a tail he finds himself feeling distracted by the smooth texture of his handle. He forgot how many Sumatran Rhinos it took to make this knife, but they got it right, he found himself fully lost in the smooth texture.

A man half a foot shorter than he charges him round the corner, Bruce has his hand on the button, it is only because he is fingering the button on the switchblade that he feels the need to press its button, the tearing of fabric occurs as his hand extends tearing the pocket of his coat!

The man is named Ken he’s a Breeze Street man!

Bruce’s blade finds his gut quick enough, at first Bruce thinks he has made a mistake, then he hears the thud of a fixed handle knife falling to the ground.

Suddenly the hairs on Bruce’s neck stand up and he slips into his battle lust.

There is a man behind him, he comes up quickly, Bruce is at the back of a diner and he slips into the back door. He lingers in the shadow of the kitchen, his follower passes, he is also a member of the Breeze Street Crew. What the fuck is going on?

Bruce holds his knife; he holds it blade facing up and waits!

The knife is held below his waist he needed the momentum, a man named Perry with a long nose, olive skin and a hairy face walks in the direction that Bruce should have walked too…

Perry catches the blade where his second row of abs would be only the blade carved apart Perry’s fat, this blade is unlike anything Bruce used before, its razor-sharp edge cuts through a man’s flesh so easily, from the angle he thrusted his blade it cuts Perry from the waist to the bone of his ribcage.

The blade only slid into the torso three inches, four inches of the gleaming steel knife remained unstained, in the same motion as the man’s stomach being cut open. Bruce feels the back of his hand coated in the hot blood of his kill.

Leaving him to bleed out, Bruce walks forward, the cooks from the restaurant shout at him, he hears a call for the police. He chuckles to himself even though he is covered in blood. With the war going on there wasn’t a cop bold enough to take them on. No, in the laws mind two groups of scumbags squeezing each other off is a good thing.

He walks into the main part of the restaurant it being the end of the night no one sits in the room; Bruce walks out to the street to feel a punch connect on his cheek. He falls to the ground but catches himself on the post office box.

His vision is blurry from the pills and his sucker punch. Bruce can hear the thump of quickly approaching footsteps on the concrete. He ducks as another punch is sent his way.

His is aggressor is lanky and sends a flurry of punches in his direction. Bruce can’t get a clear image of who’s attacking him, but the person seems familiar.

Bruce had placed his switch in his unsliced pocket of his coat, He tries to grab his pistol from his waistband, only to catch a foot in his gut, the pistol falls from his grasp. Bruce falls into the street gripping his gut with his only usable arm, the events of the night ware on him. He had been kicked into the golden glow of and overhead streetlight.

Stepping into the light and walking towards him is someone he had knew, better yet he is part of his detail.

“Stop struggling, I have orders to take you to Marcello”

“Vinny, I see we are hard pressed for help, you sent two green horns after me?”

Bruce is referring to Ken and Perry.

“They had orders to subdue you, nothing else where are they?”

Vinny notices the blood on Bruce’s hands and front. He looked a state, his trench coat lay ripped on open side, his left arm is tapped to his body. The white medical tape holding it in place has is stained in gore, but it appears to be old, but blood covering his sleeve is fresh and even wet.

Bruce didn’t answer, nor did Vinny press. Bruce had one advantage he knew he was wanted alive for the moment. His gun lays three feet behind Vinny. Before Bruce can think of a way out, his fuzzy head takes too long to make a decision.

Vinny lunches for him, Bruce slips out of his grasp and moves away. A back hand comes sailing towards him, Bruce ducks and gets his right fist passed Vinny’s guard, his punch is quick, but he hits Vinny in the stomach with the same force he knocked Callie Bee from conscious.

Vinny is driven back, and Bruce gets some distance, but his path is still blocked from getting the gun. He reaches across his body to feel around the remaining pocket of his coat. He feels the smooth pearl handle; he presses the button and the blade again joins the fight. Astonishingly the blood from the blade is gone.

Bruce hadn’t wiped or clean it with anything the blood should be staining the blade. Bruce does not pay attention he feels quicker with the blade in his hand.

Vinny had drawn knife too.

“You won’t go easy! Then I’ll send you to him without arms”

Moving out of the path of the blade, Bruce keeps up his endless dodging hoping for an opening.

“I know where he is keeping Dellara’s daughter, if you stop we can actually do something productive.”

Bruce had been so focused on dodging and trying to reason with Vinny that he only focused on Vinny’s knife, losing track of Vinny’s left hand proves costly. The hard fist connects into the side of his head with a painful thump.

Refusing to fall or lament to his opponents assault Bruce staggers back.

“Don’t you get it? You fucked us all golden boy, you could have given Albert a real cut instead you cheated him and caused all of this. As for rescuing his daughter, why? I deliver you, I am not only pardoned from the hangman’s request, but I will be rewarded. There is nothing binding us together anymore…”

With his head still throbbing Bruce gets off his knee and charges at Vinny, he avoids becoming impaled on Vinny’s blade and feels it nick his skin.

The knife seemed to move faster than Bruce had tried to thrust it, the blade found its mark. Bruce had only wanted to stab down at Vinny’s wrist to his knife hand away. Bruce harbored no wish to kill Vinny. The knife had plans of its own, Bruce arm thrusts with speed not used before…

Vinny stood three steps from Bruce when the perfectly placed blade enters the left side of his chest easily. He blinked twice, and then looks at his killer. Bruce’s eyes are open wide with shock, Vinny then scoffs and falls to the ground.

Bruce is still breathing heavy; he looks down at Vinny in disbelief. Vinny had been better than him, he should not have been able to move that fast. For a long moment he stared at the corpse of someone he looked to as a mentor. He felt sick; the man was going to turn him over to the enemy but still Bruce only had wanted to- to what?

He thought over and over, he hadn’t felt his usual pull or hesitation when it was his turn to take life.

Then he rubbed his thumb onto the smooth ivory of the switch, he looked down to the blade and to his astonishment, there is no sign of Vinny’s blood. Bruce saw his firearm near the post office box and leaves Vinny’s corpse in the street. He bends down to pick it up, he tucks this time under his right shoulder, with it secure in the holster he felt it would be better to deal with the heaviness of the weapon instead risking the easy access of his waistband.

His head hurt so fucking bad, Vinny might have knocked a few screws lose during their street fight. Two men stand in his path.

“Don’t tell me you’re here to stop me?”

Gary looks at him, the light from the moon reflects off his glasses.

“The boss has ordered for us to bring you in…”

“Fuck that, I am on my way to rescue his daughter.”

“How do you know where she is?”

Their posture towards him remains inquisitive and that is the only reason Bruce begins to speak. He unties the sack holding Giambi’s head and tosses at their feet. He gives them the short version, leaving Farrah out of the conversation. He told them while interrogating Giambi he told Bruce where to find the warehouse.

Thinking that he was rescuing Bee, he went alone. He found only Marie and Simon, killing them both in order to survive Bruce managed to find out where Dellara’s daughter is being held.

“She is at the Delmore shop, I am going, but I warn you both if you have no intention of going you best use your guns, I killed Vinny not a half hour ago. He wouldn’t help, so what is it going to be?”

Mickey smiled in his accent and with a wave he shrugs off Bruce’s threat.

“Relax Brucie, we weren’t planning on hauling you in.”

“Oh, how did you find me anyways?”

Gary Answered.

“We heard on scanner that two men matching Perry’s and Ken’s descriptions had been stabbed. We then figured you would either heading away from Breeze Street and would avoid the docks, so this is where we caught up to you.”

“What now?” Asks Bruce.

“I say we finally burn down Purdue Street.”

Bruce listened. To Mickey’s idea…

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