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The Threat of Legion
They stood in a small circle chanting words that were known best to them. There was suddenly a flash of white fire in the middle of the circle and a boom that shook the room, made books fall off shelves, and caused some of the men to fall to the ground, dead. In fear, some ran to the door. “Stop. It must be finished,” one yelled over the din.
“How are we going to continue? Johnson is out cold, maybe dead,” another replied.
“We will manage,” the first man answered indignantly. As if on cue, a dark shape flew threw a wall and seemed to seep into the man named Johnson. He rose up and stood in his place in the circle. As the men continued to chant, there was a rumbling that replaced the booms. A large crack opened up in the middle of the circle.
“We have succeeded,” the eldest of the men said as a huge dark shape dragged itself out of the crack.
“What have we done?” One of the men whispered. He looked over at Johnston to see his reaction to this new horror that they had dragged out of hell itself only to see Johnson staring strait at him. To his horror, he saw that Johnston was no longer there. Staring back at him was something not right, not human.
“Sorry. Johnston isn’t here now,” it hissed as it stared at him with cold, dark, completely black eyes.
The School of Ugh
Hi. My name is Tristan Shildernight. Somehow, I got myself into a bit of a pickle. I don’t mean that I actually got into a pickle, I mean a problem, predicament, you know what I mean. Here’s my tale of woe, my story, you know what I mean.
I/Tristan Shildernight was leaning to one side of his desk, eyes closed, head lolling, obviously asleep. I had fallen asleep during a boring lecture in American history class by my least favorite teacher, Mrs. Harman. He had just been having an odd dream about a group of people chanting words that I couldn’t quite string together. I felt that if I could just get closer, that I could understand them. I leaned forward to hear what they were saying better when I heard something that I could only compare to a battle cry. My head jerked up as he awoke with a start.
“I’m under attack!” I yelled in astonishment and surprise. The sound of laughter made me wish that I hadn’t waken up in the fist place. As this thought reached my mind, I looked around for the source of the war whoop that had woken me. I found the culprit almost instantly. A small speaker sat on my desk, volume at top sound, blaring about the revolutionary war.
“Well Mr. Shildernight, I’m sure that next time you’ll think twice before falling asleep in class again,” my teacher Mrs. Harman said.
“Ugh. Yes maam.” I moaned tiredly.
“Hey Patrick.” I said as I walked into science class.
“Hey Tristan. How’s you’re girlfriend?” Patrick asked with a sneer. Patrick had a joke about me having a friend that I liked but didn’t want to ask out. Not because I was scared, but because I was afraid to be denied again. Just a year ago, I had asked a pretty girl to the dance, only to find out that the dance was for the sixth grade. Not the seventh.
“For the last time, Sandra isn’t my girlfriend. Yet.” I said in an ashamed sort of way. “I know that she likes me, I just can’t pull up the courage to ask her.”
“You’d better ask her soon or someone else will.” Patrick said knowingly.
The day continued, every class had its own disappointment followed by an “ugh,” and I was almost ready to hit someone by the time the end of the day came around.
When I got home, I saw that all was quiet.
“Mom’s not home yet,” I said out loud.
“Hi, little brother. You know, you really need to stop talking to yourself. It’s not good for your brain,” My sister Shannon said, barely hiding a laugh.”
“Thanks, Shannon.” I said sarcastically. “I’m going out.”
“Where?” She asked.
“How should I know?” I said coldly.
“Why?” Shannon questioned.
“None of your business,” I said in anger. With that, I stormed out.
The sky began to grow dark and before I knew it, it was 9:30.
“9:30. Perfect. Now I’m going to get the riot act read to me by mom and dad,” I said bitterly. As this thought went through my head, I heard a low growl. My head automatically turned to look down the alley at the noise. His eyes fell on an old man and a stray dog standing in the middle of alley. Or, was it just a dog and a man. When he looked again, the dog seemed to have grown to unnatural size.
“What’s wrong kid?” the old man asked. There was something wrong with his voice. It was low and gravely, as if it wasn’t his real voice. I looked into the mans eyes and screamed. My face seemed to be masked by a smoky face. The face was horrible and monstrous.
“Y-your face,” I said barely hiding the fear in my voice.
“What about it?” The old man asked as a flicker on worry appeared on his mask face.
I began to back away when the old man yelled, “Get him.” At this, I decided to run.
I hadn’t gotten far however when something slammed into my back, knocking me to the ground.
I lay there, waiting for his death by the hand of the monster dog when I heard a whoosh of wind and the yelp of a dog in pain. Instantly, the weight of the monster left me.
I looked around to see a knight in gleaming armor that seemed to emit an odd, incandescence that warmed my body despite the chill that accompanied the monsters in the alley.
The knight looked back at me, and nodded. One thing that jumped out at me was his eyes. They seemed to pop out in a blue fiery haze. He then turned his head back and glared at the now frightened looking man at the end of the alley.
“No. It’s not possible,” the man hissed.
“Back to hell with you,” the knight said in an odd accent that I couldn’t quite trace.
I wonder why he would save me. What strange clothes. As the thought flitted across my mind, my vision clouded, and I fell into unconsciousness.
Just a Dream, Right?
I woke up in a jolt of panic, thinking that I was at least a prisoner in a cave somewhere only to find myself sitting in my own bead. I looked myself up and down to see if his encounter with whatever that thing was had left a mark. Not a scratch.
“Just a dream,” I muttered to myself. “Right?”
For the rest of the day, I was twitchy and jumped and unexpected noises out of a fear of the doglike monster that I’d seen in my “dream.”
When he finally made it home, his mother was out again and his sister was just out. He closed the door and sat on the couch, welcoming the stupidity of TV.
He had only sat down when there came a knock at the door which made him jump about a foot in the air.
“When will it end?” he yelled as he walked to the door and opened it. “What do you….?” he began to ask but his voice trailed off as he saw the startling blue, fiery eyes.
“Do…do I know you?” Tristan asked, remembering his “dream.”
“We need to talk Tristan,” the man said in a flat, unfeeling voice.
“How do you know my name?” Tristan was feeling a bit worried now.
“All shall be explained,” the man said. He waved his hand and the house began to shimmer and it all disappeared.
“Look at me,” the man said. Tristan looked over and looked strait into his eyes and seemed to sink into the empty whiteness of his eyes.
I thought that his eyes were blue. Tristan said as he fell into a hard, fitful sleep.
When Tristan woke up, he was sitting around a fire in a dimly lit clearing. Night had fallen, the moon was high and off in the distance, he heard a wolf howl to the moon. He looked around and saw the man that had talked to him back at his home.
“I see that you have awakened” the man said in a hollow tone. On closer inspection, Tristan saw that they were sitting around a fire.
“Where am I?” Tristan asked in a slightly angry and frightened voice.
“Do not be afraid. I am an angel of the lord.” He said.
“Yeah, and I’m the Easter Bunny and this is my friend Santa Clause!” He said a little hysterically, pointing to a rock. “Needless to say, I don’t believe you! Prove it!” He yelled as he spoke every word.
“Deuteronomy 6:16 “Do not put the lord your god to the test.” He said quietly. “There is one way for you to find out for yourself of what I am.”
“How am I supposed to do that oh mystical angel?” Tristan asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Look at me.” He said.
“I am.” He said.
“Look into my eyes and see the gift that I am to you.” Castile said.
“How will me staring at you prove that you are an angel?”
“If you want your proof, you will do as I say.” With these words, he snapped his fingers, and Tristan felt a whoosh of air and when he looked around, he saw that Castile was not two feet away from his face. As he looked into his eyes, he seemed to fall through them into a white void. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something. He turned and saw what Castile wanted him to see, and he believed him.
He came out of his trance and his head snapped back with a loud, “CRACK.”
“I…I didn’t understand.” Tristan said numbly.
“Everyone has trouble understanding at first.” Castile said.
“So… what’s going on?” Tristan said, more calmly than he had been five minutes ago.
“This may take some time. Make yourself comfortable.” Castile said.
A long time ago, there was a demon called Legion. He led an army that was meant to take over first the world, and then the kingdom of heaven. His plan was to compact all of his army into one man and then take all of the power that they possessed to make himself stronger, but when he tried to take over the body that they were sharing, the host lost it. As they all fought with each other for power, the man lost his mind. Jesus cast out the demons in the man and sent them into pigs. The man was so grateful that he pledged his life to helping the kingdom of heaven. Jesus made him promise the third generation in his male line.
“Your great grandfather was the last Shildernight that was sworn to aid the kingdom of heaven. And that means…”
“That means that I’m the next in line.” Tristan finished.
“Exactly.” Castile said plainly. “Your’ great grandfather was the last Shildernight in the line of protectors. He knew nothing of his destiny of course, but his blood runs in your veins.
“Why didn’t he ever know about it?” Tristan asked.
“We angels never needed to call on him.” Castile answered.
“Wait. If I know about it, than… No.”
“Finally got there at last have you?” Castile answered with the shadow of a smile.
“What could possibly be so hard that you need a fourteen year old boy?” Tristan asked incredulously.
“Legion has escaped.” Castile said darkly.
Tristan sat in dumb silence.
“But…but, you beat him before didn’t you?”
“Technically, I did not. Nor did any of my brothers.” Castile said deeply. “Last time he was defeated, Jesus Christ was on our side.”
“Wait. You’re an angel. If an angel can’t defeat a demon, how can a fifteen year old possibly do it?” Tristan asked.
“I will teach you how to fight and equip you with certain… appliances, to aid you.”
“Like…spoons and forks?” Tristan asked dimly.
“Not kitchen appliances. I mean weapons to battle your’ enemies with.”
“Oh my go….shhhhhh.” Tristan said awkwardly.
“It’s okay. Nobody has been struck down in two, three centuries.”
I didn’t know if this was some kind of angel joke or if he was serious.
“You can bring one ally who can help you in your time of need. You can also say goodbye to some of your friends. But only if they can be trusted.”
The only people that I wanted to tell were Patrick and Sandra. I stopped by Sandra’s house first.
I knocked on the door and her dad answered.
“Hello Mr. Dostalick. Is Sandra home?” I asked.
“Yes. She’s in her room. Do you want me to get her?” He had been awkward towards me ever since he had seen the idea of me and Sandra dating.
“No thank you, I know the way.” I probably shouldn’t have added that last part because he glared at me and didn’t say another word, but followed me all the way to Sandra’s room.
I met Sandra at a church night game when her friend Kelsey brought her to hook her up with me. Contradictory to popular belief, it worked. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
I reached the door to her room and contemplated what I would do to explain what I needed from her. A voice in my head said, “Pray,” and I wondered to myself something that had been bothering me since my discussion with Castile, a while ago, I would have ignored the voice in my head, but now I thought about it. I was a protector of heaven. Maybe this might work.
“Um, God, It’s Tristan. Could you give me some courage?” I muttered awkwardly.
I don’t know how to explain it, but I knew that even if I told her the truth, she would believe me. And a voice in my head seemed to say, “More than you know.” I might have stood there pondering that when the door opened. She seemed to emit a faint glow. Jus like… like,
“I am so sorry. If I had just kept a closer eye on you, you may not have ever been dragged into this.” She yelled as she flung her arms around my neck seeming close to tears.
“Into what exactly.” I said exasperatedly. I could not handle another surprise.
“The whole war with Legion thing.” She said just a little guilty.
“How do you know that!?” I asked angrily.
“I’m not who you think I am.”
“Don’t tell me. You are the devil himself, right?”
“No. I’m Abda, the servant of god.”
“Ok. And exactly how do you fit into this shindig?”
“I am the protector of your bloodline, of the Shildernight name.” A million thoughts raced through my head. One thing that actually came to mind was, “If Patrick turns out to be the angle fricking Gabriel, I’m gonna kill someone.”
“But if you were the protector of my family, wouldn’t you be like a billion years old?”
“Give or take a century or two.” She said sheepishly. “Think about it. If you were a female Christian saint who had anther chance, wouldn’t you want to be young again?”
“Wait. If you really are as old as you say, than…,” a thought flashed through my mind. “Ewwww. I had a crush on, on, on,”
“You better be thinking the word “Angel” in that tiny brain of yours.” She said folding her arms.
“Now that’s the Sandra that I know.” I said bitterly.
Patrick Joins My Quest
My next stop was Patrick’s house. My tension was high. I had had so many surprising moments today, I didn’t know what to expect. As I walked up to his door, an odd feeling of paranoia flashed over me. I felt like someone was watching me. I shuddered as the thought went through my head. I knocked on the door and listened as footsteps drew closer.
“Hey Tristan. How’s it going?”
“Good…you?” I said awkwardly.
“Good. Hey…I just got a new game. Want to break it in?”
“Umm, maybe another time. I need to tell you something.”
“Ok. Let’s walk and talk.”
“Whatever.” I sighed. He had won this round.
We walked into the forest near our house and walked into the woods. Just as I was about to mention that we were getting away when I smelled something that made my nose curl. Rotten eggs or something... something else. A tingling at the back of my mind made me nervous and I turned to Patrick to ask if he smelled it too. His hand was around my throat in seconds. It was only then that I took into account that he was a year older and built like a football player.
“Dude! What the f…” I didn’t finish my sentence because he drew back one hand and punched me in the face. I spat blood onto the grass.
“Ah, Ah, ah. Wouldn’t want our little ‘Guardian’ running a foul mouth now would we?” He taunted.
“S***. Of course… (I received another blow to the face)
“What did I just say about that mouth of yours? Tut, tut, tut. Looks like we may be here a while teaching you about cursing.”
“You know,” I said a little dryly. My vision getting blurry. “Sandra, err, Abda, wasn’t this mean. She gave me a hug.” That got me another smack in the face.
“I don’t think that you have gotten this through your tiny brain yet.” He said with a sneer.
“Hey! Who are you calling stupid. You couldn’t keep a secret for five minutes and you misspelled stomach.” Smack.
“Patrick isn’t in here. You could say he’s on… hold. Call waiting if you will.” He said, snickering to himself.
“Since when do you talk like that old show… what was it...Twilight Zone.” Smack. “What now. I didn’t even curse that time?”
“I know that. You interrupted me. Anyway, I am not the friend that you have known for these many years. I have temporarily taken control of his body. And now my master has told me that I must kill you. Nothing personal you understand.” With that, he drew out a long deadly looking knife.
Suddenly out of nowhere, there was a flash of light, a sound like lightning, the hand on my throat let go and I fell to the ground. I sat up, ready to punch and kick to get out, and I saw someone standing in front of me, offering me a hand.
“Sandra?” I asked, wondering if I had taken a few to many to the head.
“Yeah I...” She didn’t finish her sentence. A hand shot out from nowhere and punched her so hard in the stomach that she went flying into a tree, breaking it in half.
There was another flash of light and out of the trees came Castile.
“Leave her alone!” He yelled. In less than a second, he was wrestling Patrick to the ground. Meanwhile, Sandra was getting to her feet, mumbling something about fragile human bodies.
Patrick got up and ran at me, throwing Castile from him.
“Time to die, hero!” He yelled. Before he could reach me, he froze. A look of astonishment came across his face. He fell slowly. Sinking to his knees. As he fell, a dark cloud detached itself. The body still held Patrick’s shape, but the face was horrible and reminded me of the mans face that I had seen in the alley when I was attacked. There were some differences though; this monster had smaller fangs, and a lighter shade of red. It was writhing in the place where it stood. Castile looked at it with a disgusted expression. He reached into his coat pocket and drew out bronze knuckles. He put them on, drew his hand back, and punched the monster in the face. As the knuckles met the smoky face, it exploded. The explosion knocked me down and knocked some trees over.
“Why didn’t you do that in the first place?” I yelled
“Now is not the time Tristan. We have to get out of here. Sandra, grab the boy and follow me.” Castile said distractedly.
“Where are we taking them?” She asked him. He turned to her and smiled.
“To the arena.” He said.