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The Devil's Dance



 
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Jasper

The Cathedral was stuffy.

Jasper looked around with a cynic’s gaze, stormy eyes taking in anything and everything. The stained glass windows seemed ominous, not really giving off the grace and beauty that Heaven was supposed to exude. All around the sanctuary hung crosses depicting the son of God dying a horrible death. Seemed like the short end of the stick for someone who was supposed to be the offspring of the most benevolent and merciful being in the Universe. Then again, he also claimed Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were one and the same. It was just a coward’s way of saying he was the one who took the fall for humanity. Right.

Even the altars were covered in solid gold relics. And yet they still had the nerve to pass around a collection plate, demanding that everyone put in, what was it, ten percent of their income? What a load of sh-t.

Kneeling in the pews were people who were down on their luck, seeking guidance, or in need of comfort. They prayed to a god who would leave their prayers unanswered in the shadow of some grander plan, yet pray they did. Rosaries dangled from their hands, and Jasper wondered how many people were there of their own accord or to exact the punishment they’d just received from confessional. Prayer used as punishment; it seemed contradictory to him, but then again, he’s just a demon.

More and more people filed in, filling the pews practically to the brim. Being in the last of them, on the left, he was joined only by a few late arrivals, after the homily had already begun. There are prayers, hymns, a speech on how to think and feel about the Bible, and more prayers. He decided to skip the Eucharist, managing to garner quite a bit of attention in doing so. Twice - f-cking twice - the collection plate is passed around. As if the church couldn’t fund their own convoluted practices. Unable to suppress the urge to roll his eyes, when it came to him, he took it with a smile from the man who sat, somewhat uncomfortably, to his left. There was no one to his right, and about four feet of pew left, so instead of letting the man come gather the plate from him, he stood and crossed the distance in a few steps.

A grin split his face, and the man attempted to return it with a frightened gaze. Before he relinquished the plate, Jasper’s hand closed around a large sum of the contents and without further ado, he made his way out of the congregation amidst dumbfounded shouts and the sound of creaking pews as everyone turned to see the cause of the commotion. He disappeared into the shadows given off by the various statues and cases, shifting expertly with the different shapes. It was only when he was outside that he felt the trouble at his back, but he still molded into the New York streets so as not to draw any attention.

Jasper was given nothing but the clothes on his back when he was returned to the mortal realm. With cash in hand, he was clear to start over.
September 01, 2017 06:55 pm

Jasper

Just for a night.

He’s spent the past few days sleeping on park benches and underneath the cover of trees. For a single night, he just wanted a peaceful sleep in a comfortable bed. The leftover money from what he’d stolen from the church could afford him a pretty nice room. He was trying to be a good sport, but damn it, he’s tired. Everyone else could wait for him to get a single good night of sleep.

Once the room was purchased, he settled in for what would hopefully be a dreamless night. As you can imagine, no such luck…

The astral plane…

“Aw, come on… Not tonight. Really?”

“Stop b-tching, Jasper. You haven’t slept well since I sent you back. This was my first opportunity.”

Jasper was surrounded by a dismal scene. Ghostly fog crawled across the floor, hands reaching up out of it, grasping at him and trying to pull him under. He didn’t flinch, just watched them with a straight face. It was almost laughable, at that point, as if his own mind was trying to scare him. “Damn, even your subconscious is pathetic.” The disembodied voice floated around him until the man walked into view. Blond hair, beard, eyes of steel, looking as sharp as ever.

Cesiel pulled out a cigarette and lit up. Jasper couldn’t help but roll his eyes, which earned him a flick on the forehead. He always hated when he did that; it didn’t hurt, it was just shocking and demeaning, and it forced him to stop doing whatever he was doing. Which, obviously, was the goal.

“What have you accomplished?”

“Uh, nothing? I don’t even have a place to stay…”

“What did I tell you about whining?”

Gritted teeth; goddamn, this man really knew how to get under his skin. “I’m not whining, I’m simply stating facts. You sent me here with nothing, not even a f-cking memory to fall back on.”

Cesiel took a drag, blew it out, and took another before responding. “Your memories would have only hindered you. I did you a favor.” As cryptic as the man undoubtedly was, Jasper respected him more than most. So, when he outwardly stated that he found it unnecessary and even counter-productive, he believed him. “I did, however, grant you one. Find her yourself. She can help you. She helped you before. You can still learn a lot from her.”

“Well, who the f-ck is she, Cesiel? Tell me that’s not all you’re giving me.” He was met with that stern look, and he saw the wheels turning in his mentor’s head. He’d jumped the gun, as he was wont to do, and now Cesiel was considering making it harder for him. Always prodding, always pressing his buttons, Jasper often earned the short end of the stick simply by getting on his nerves. Nudging him, he attempted his most pitiful look yet. “I mean, please?”

“Mackenzie. She’ll be your strongest asset, in one way or another. Remember, though, Jasper... you’ve been away awhile, and people change in the mortal realm. Hell, we all change.”

“Now look who’s being pathetic….” Another flick. He could recognize that he deserved it this time.

“Get the f-ck away from me, Jasper. I get so damn tired of you…


His eyes fluttered open, taking in the dark ceiling. “Please, please, please,” he whispered to himself before looking over at the clock. “F-ck.” Its loud face spelled ten thirty, and check out time was eleven. “Thanks, Cesiel, you always knew how to ruin my nights…” Rising from the bed, he gathered his belongings and set out to find the one person who could potentially help him.
September 05, 2017 03:09 pm
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