Fire and Brimstone
rating: +10+x

The Lock was opened and with it the World Enders awoke, each bringing their own Armageddon with them. Some desired to cleanse the world in fire, a few with ice, others in darkness, but all endings would result in the enslavement or destruction of humanity as they know it. They all arose bringing death and destruction with them. These divine entities arose when called by the lock, but their demons continued to slumber.


As Patrick scrambled over the fence and started his walk towards the town in the distance, he could hear his friends goading him on from the fence. He was a timid and quiet child, and as he strolled down the solitary road he just couldn't understand why he accepted the dare.

He followed along on adventures and got into mischief with the rest of his friends, but he was never the leader; or even the one to act out on his own. They were just all supposed to be staying over at Kyle's house, then Brenden had to make a call out Patrick on never doing anything brave. Daring him to do this as a way to prove his bravery was stupid, but accepting it was even more stupid.

Walking along the road, he looked over to the fields on both sides of the road. Even from where he was, he could see that holes perforated the grass. Each one spewed noxious clouds of gas, while colorless, when combined with the heat made the surrounding air shimmer.


The natural state of reality is chaos and disorder. Entropy is the proof of that. Every action puts the universe a step closer to eventual death. No matter how much mortals try to reverse it, chaos will always end up winning. All they can try to do is make order within it. Its almost poetic.


After a few minutes of walking, Patrick almost reaches the edge of town. The road he's walking down acts as a sort of main street with the buildings standing on either side. The road runs between the buildings and up to the top of a hill centered in the middle of the town.

Looking around, Patrick sees that the buildings are in much worse shape than what was initially observed. Each structure is crumbling slowly, with some having completely collapsed. The temperature is slowly rising too, causing a layer of sweat to soak through Patrick's clothes.

Feeling light-headed all of a sudden, he assumes from the gas, he takes a towel that was carrying with him and wets it with the water bottle he had in one of his cargo pants' pockets. He places it over his mouth and nose and then ties it around the back of his head. The cool cloth gives him a moments respite from his dizziness and he continues to soldier onward further into town.


Beings of the occult do not exist inside reality however; but instead they are a part of it. They are woven directly into the fabric of the nature itself. Because of this, they aren't ruled by chaos and order but instead by balance. Good and evil, Yin and Yang, light and darkness; for every one, there must be its opposite.


After he accepted the dare, Patrick asked what was so dangerous about the town? All he was told is that there was a bunch of noxious gas being spewed that smelled pretty bad. Chuck decided that would be a good time to make a fart joke. Everyone burst out laughing leaving the question hanging in the air unanswered.

He regrets not having that answered now. Passing the police station, Patrick starts to notice how much more his head is pounding. Approaching the hill in the center of town, he can feel his reactions slowing down. He starts to crest the hill anyway hoping that being up high would help him escape the fumes.


This is why heroes and Gods of myth and stories must have an Antithesis. The good Hero has to have a Serpent to slay, armies must have corrupt emperors to overthrow, and even Gods must have their Demons to conquer. But what happens when a being who was meant to provide their salvation, turns instead to damnation?


Chuck watches Patrick start to march up the tall hill. He is quite mad at Brenden for making Patrick go through with the dare. Why would he make Patrick do this? Patrick wasn't a bad kid, just quiet. Brenden always made him the butt of his jokes and even though all of us felt bad, we laughed anyway. Its okay though because when he gets back from this, no one will treat him like that ever again. Especially not Brenden.

Chuck grabs on to the fence harder, and along with the rest of the guys there, continues to yell encouragement towards Patrick. Amazed that he's actually doing it, all the guys are lined up along the fence keeping a close eye on him.

As the group is yelling their support however, the ground begins to shake. Chuck can see from his standpoint that the holes in the field have began to open up even more, and suddenly a large fissure splits the field into two. The ground continues to shake more and more, and with each jolt the fissure grows. Most of the guys turn to hop on their bikes and peddle away as fast as they can. A few of the more scared ones even leave their bikes. The only people left there now are Chuck, who is frozen staring open-mouthed at the scene unfolding in front of him, and Brenden, who had fallen underneath his bike and had his pant leg caught in the gears.

Chuck can't understand why Patrick doesn't notice this shaking though. Wide-eyed he watches the breach quickly reach and engulf the buildings at the very edge of the town. Brenden begs Chuck for help getting him untangled so he can get away. Chuck ignores him as best he can, even as Brenden starts to cry. Instead he takes a deep breath and as loud as he can he yells a single word.

Run.


I was made to represent the punishment of what would happen when mortals were to drift from the path to salvation. I was painted as the torturer, the tormentor, the scourge of purgatory. But instead of hell being a place where those who had strayed from his path were to go, in actuality it was simply a jail cell for me. A solitary prison of one. Buried deep into the earth that we had created together. I was forced to fall to be a manifestation of this fear though; the path of the damned and the sinners. I became a symbol of something to fear and stray away from.


Making it to the top of the hill, Patrick surveys the rest of the town in front of him. Being a relatively small downtown, made of only one single main street, from his perch he can can see the rest of the buildings. He could even see the entrance to the mine about half a mile further inland.

Patrick slowly notices yelling coming from the fence and turns to wave back, thinking it's the guys still cheering. Smiling underneath the towel covering his mouth he slowly notices through his hazy mind that the crowd at the fence is no longer there.


I wasn't something to stray from though. I was the one who gave them true life: love, anger, sadness, passion. I was the one who gave them true knowledge: curiosity, individualism, organization. I was the one who gave them their future. They are as much my flock as they are His. How could he turn his back on them.


Although his mind is foggy from inhaling the vapors, he slowly begins to hear his natural instincts crying out to him that something is amiss. He starts to slowly walk down the hill instinctively placing his hand over his eyes to shield them from the nonexistent sun. All of a sudden his toe hit something and he stumbled a bit down the hill. Barely catching himself, Patrick looks down and stares. The ground had split and started to sink directly beneath him and his foot had barely just kicked the edge of the quickly widening crack.


Opening the lock gave power to the gods, and by the laws of the universe gave power back to their demons. Strength flowed into my physical being, and for the first time in many a millennia I opened my eyes. Flexing my body, I broke free from the first layer of my prison and quickly fell to my knees. Looking up from my position, I spread my wings as far as they could into the cavern that was quickly forming. The rapid gust of wind whipped the flames of the burning cavern into a whirling inferno around me.


A massive tremor, the biggest yet, came and knocked the already unsteady Patrick onto his back, hitting his head. Sitting up on his hands, Patrick's headache was even worse than before, partially due to the new bruise. He didn't really have time to worry about it though because the gap he had just tripped over had suddenly collapsed into the ground.

Trying to crawl frantically back from the pit, the edge continues to encroach on him, nipping at the edges of his heels. The rising temperature heating up the ground was burning the palms of his hands, and Patrick could feel the skin blistering off the tips of his fingers.

He was scared, so scared. This wasn't just regular fear, this was the fear that arises when your life is no longer in your control. The world was falling apart around him and all he could do was to wait for his death to finally arrive. Giving up on even moving backwards, Patrick curled into a ball and started to cry.


Shifting my arms I reached out and called to me my weapons. With a blinding flash, my sword appeared in one hand and in the other was my fiery whip. Gathering more and more of my essence into this physical existence, I called out to the earth to move aside and release me from my shackles. Having rejected my authority for thousands of years, it refused to budge. I smiled. The fangs of my teeth sparkling in a brilliant white from each corner of my mouth. Fine. If creation chooses not to release me, then I shall break free instead.


Chuck could see that the breach was more than just a group of small holes now, but had become a massive cavern, ravaging the small town with every shake. It had expanded so much that almost the entire town had been swallowed into the pit as it glowed with fire. It was so large that even portions of the fence further down had dropped away into the ground. All that was left untouched was the large hill in the center of town, and even that was slowly spilling away.

Massive bonfires were launching out of various areas all around the growing pit. The temperature had risen so much that the fence became so hot that it burned to hold. Chuck didn't care though. He was staring transfixed at Patrick trying to escape the hole, and summarily giving up. Brenden was still stuck under his bike, screaming for Chuck's attention. No longer even noticing him, Chuck wanted to cry out to Patrick to keep moving and not stop, but his voice was caught in his throat. The only thing that came out was his own sobbing.


Spreading my wings as far as they could reach, I rolled all my weight onto my heels. Keeping my balance under me, I pitched my wings down as hard as I could. The breakneck speed of the force from my wings launched myself upwards. Swinging my sword above my head as I burst upwards, I cleaved the earth in two. As the gravel, mud, and sand collapsed around me, I looked up. And for the first time since the dawn of the world, I saw the gentle twinkle of the night-time sky and the light of the heavens shining down upon me.

I called the fire and wind to flow underneath my wings, and with a smooth shake of my wings I flew forth from the hole. Hovering over the land, I surveyed the ground below me. The destruction I wrought obtaining my freedom came at a price. I could see a small human child cowering on the ground below me.


Patrick stayed curled up in a ball even as the tremors slowed down and finally stopped. Glancing at the ground around him revealed that the ground had stopped falling away, and the fires had subsided. Suddenly feeling a sharp wind start brushing across his face, he wiped away his tears and looked up from his knees. Above him, a colossal monster hovered in the air suspended by two massive beating wings. From its head spouted two curling horns coupled with the forked tail dangling down to the two legs ending in cloven hooves. Its eyes glowed a dark red, and they were staring right down at him.

It swung its sword through the air, and as it did the ground at Patrick's feet solidified. The point of the sword traveled from Patrick all the way to the fence line. Where it pointed the ground rose and formed a bridge across any gap between him and the fenced-in perimeter where Chuck was waiting.

Looking back up at up at the monster, a voice appeared in Patrick's head. "You'll be okay" it said in a dark guttural growl. "Please return to your friend and head home to safety. I must apologize for scaring you."

Patrick stumbled up to his feet and quickly started walking down the makeshift path. Not stopping until he reached the fence, he climbed over a section that had collapsed and rejoined Chuck and Brenden. All 3 turned and looked at the hovering monster as it turned to face them. It bared its fangs at them in what may have seemed like a half smile, but instead frightened the boys so much they ran away screaming.


Mankind has never had a true guardian, always being forced to bend the knee to one deity or another. They were considered nothing more than servants and sacrificial lambs led to the slaughter. Those days ended long ago, and I will not allow them to return.

I know that Man will never accept me as their savior. But His plan; to cleanse the world in fire, abandoning humanity in the process, is far too cruel to be allowed. For so long, man has put their faith in their God and that's what gave him His power. Instead I will place my faith in humanity, and thereby give them my power.

No single entity could defeat both God and his army of angels, but even The Devil has his allies. The time has come for the army of the damned to march against the host of heaven.

Mankind will not go back to hiding in fear.


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