Fire and Brimstone
rating: +32+x

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


As Patrick scrambles over the fence and starts his walk towards the town in the distance, he can hear his friends goading him on from the fence. He is timid and quiet, yet as he strolls down the solitary road he just can’t understand why he accepted the dare.

He follows along on adventures and gets into mischief with the rest of his friends, but he is 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 call out Patrick on never doing anything brave. Daring him to do this to prove his bravery was stupid, but accepting it was somehow even more stupid.

Walking along the road, he looks over the fields on either side of him. Even from where he is, he can see that small holes perforate the grass. Each one spews noxious clouds of gas. Colorless but hot, they make 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 towards its eventual death. No matter how much mortals try to reverse it, chaos will always end up winning. They can only try to make order within it. The attempt is almost poetic.


After a few minutes of walking, Patrick has almost reached the edge of town. The road continues on as a sort of main street with the buildings standing on either side. Looking around, he sees the dilapidated state of each structure. They are all crumbling slowly, with some having completely collapsed into piles of rubble. The temperature has risen too. A layer of sweat starts to soak through Patrick's clothes.

Feeling light-headed, he assumes from the gas, he takes a towel from his backpack and wets it with the water bottle he always carries on him. He ties it around his head, covering his nose and mouth. The cool cloth gives him a moments respite from his dizziness and he continues soldiering onward further into town.


Beings of the occult do not exist inside reality. Woven directly into the fabric of the nature itself, they exist as a part of it. Because of this, they are not ruled by chaos and order but instead by balance. Good and evil, Yin and Yang, light and darkness; for every one, an opposite must exist.


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 badly. 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 should’ve asked again. Passing the police station, the pounding in his head has increased tenfold. Approaching the hill in the center of town, his balance is thrown off by the torn up road. He reaches his arms out to help him balance, yet as he looks at his hands they seem to leave a trailing picture through the air. He starts to crest the hill anyway hoping that being higher up will 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 fight. 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 furious at Brenden for making Patrick go through with the dare. Why would he make Patrick do this? Patrick isn’t a bad kid, just quiet. Brenden always made him the butt of his jokes and even though they all felt bad, they laugh anyway. Its okay though because when he gets back from this, no one will treat him like that ever again. Especially not Brenden.

Chuck squeezes the fence chain 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 kids are lined up along the fence keeping a close eye as he marches further and further into town.

The ground begins to shake suddenly. Slowly at first, it starts picking up into a cascading effect that makes the trees sway back and forth behind them. Chuck watches as the holes in the field begin to open up even more. The shakes continue to increase, and with a loud crack 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 pedal away as fast as they can. A few of the more scared ones even leave their bikes, running away screaming. The only people left there now are Chuck, frozen in place staring open-mouthed at the scene unfolding in front of him, and Brenden, who has fallen underneath his bike with 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 swallow 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, it was simply a jail cell for one…me. Buried deep into the earth that we had created together, it was a solitary prison for a single soul. I was forced to fall to be a manifestation of this fear; labelling the path of the damned and the sinners. I became a symbol of something you became when you strayed away from Him.


Making it to the top of the hill, Patrick surveys the rest of the town in front of him. Being a relatively small town, made of only one single main street, from his perch he can see the rest of the buildings. He can even see the entrance to the old abandoned mine about half a mile further down. His steps fall more and more uncertainly, and his balance starts to vanish quickly. He has already come close to falling multiple times mid-step.

Patrick slowly notices yelling coming from the fence and turns to wave back, thinking it's the guys still cheering. Smiling underneath the towel his mind takes a minute to realize 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, his instincts are 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. His foot lands weirdly and he nearly stumbles down the hill. Barely catching himself, Patrick looks down and stares. The ground has split and started to sink directly beneath him and his foot has 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 flows into my physical being, and for the first time in many a millennium I open my eyes. Flexing, I break free from the first layer of my prison, the pieces of rock and soil fall to the ground around me and I quickly fell to my knees. My body, used to centuries of paralysis, aches and cracks. Looking up from my position, I stretch my wings as far as they can spread into the cavern that had formed around me. The rapid gust of wind whips the flames of the burning embers into a whirling inferno around me.


A massive tremor, the biggest yet, comes and knocks the already unsteady Patrick onto his back, slamming his head into the ground. Sitting up on his hands, Patrick's headache was even worse than before and he can feel a slight trickle running down the back of his head. He didn't really have time to worry about it though because the gap he had just tripped over has now started to collapse into the ground.

Trying to crawl frantically back from the pit, the opening 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 can feel the skin blistering off the tips of his fingers.

He is scared, so so scared. This isn’t just regular fear, this was the fear that arises when your life is no longer under your control. The world was falling apart around him and all he could do was to wait for death to finally arrive. Giving into his fear, Patrick curls into a ball and starts to cry.


Shifting my arms I reach out and call to me my weapons. With a blinding flash, my sword appears in one hand dripping fire and lave, and in the other was my uncoiled whip, flames and heat flowing along the length of it. Gathering more and more of my essence into this physical presence, I call out to the earth to move aside and release me from my shackles. Having rejected my authority for thousands upon thousands of years, it refuses to budge. I smile. The fangs of my teeth sparkling a brilliant white from each corner of my mouth. So be it. If His creation chooses not to release me, then I shall break free of my own will 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. It was so large that even portions of the fence ringing the area had dropped away into the ground. All that was left untouched is the large hill in the center of town, and even that was slowly spilling away.

Massive bonfires are launching out of various areas all around the growing pit. The temperature has risen so much that the fence became nearly to hot to hold. Chuck didn't care though. He is staring transfixed at Patrick trying to escape the hole, and summarily giving up. Brenden is 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 caught in his throat. The only thing that comes out is his own sobbing.


Spreading my wings as far as they can reach, I roll all my weight onto my heels. Keeping my balance under me, I slam my wings down as hard as I can. The breakneck speed of the force launches me upwards. Swinging my sword above my head, I cleave the earth in two. The gravel, mud, and sand collapse around me. And for the first time since the dawn of the world, I see the gentle twinkle of the night-time sky and the light of the heavens shining down upon me.

I call the fire and wind to flow beneath my wings, and with a smooth shake I fly forth from the hole. Hovering over the land, I relish the cool air blowing over my body. My prison below has suffered though. The destruction I wrought obtaining my freedom came at a price. I can see a small human child cowering on the ground below me.


Patrick stayed curled up in a ball even as the tremors slowed and stopped. He lifts his head slowly to see that the ground had stopped falling away, and the fires had begun to subside. A sharp wind brushes across his face, wiping away his tears. Shaking, he looks up. Above him, a colossal monster hovers in the air suspended by two massive beating wings. From its head spouts two curling horns coupled with a forked tail dangling down to two legs ending in cloven hooves. Its eyes glow a dark red, looking right at him.

The ground by Patrick's feet solidifies as the creature swings a sword in its hand through the air. The sweeping motion flows from Patrick all the way to the fence line. Where it pointed the ground rose and forms a bridge across any gap between him and the fenced-in perimeter where Chuck waits.

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

Patrick stumbles up to his feet and quickly starts walking down the makeshift path. Not stopping until he reaches the fence, he climbs over a section that has collapsed and rejoins Chuck and Brenden. All 3 turn and look at the hovering monster as it turns to face them. It bares its fangs at them in what may have been a smile. The boys are so frightened from the sight they turn and run 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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