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A Dead Deal, A Last Kiss
Hidden behind every wall, corner, and building, is something unknown, something so completely terrifying, that one may suffer a sudden chill by just walking past. Grayson Creek has never been this kind of place, at least not to me. I’ve always seen it as a small town, with a small town kind of heart and soul. However, the more time I spend in this quaint, tiny place, the more I start to wonder what I have gotten myself into.
I, Leon Prince, have always found the English town of Grayson to be quite charming. On every hill stands a beautiful, awe inspiring, stone house, like those that manifest in every English painting. One house, however, remains a mystery to the town, my house, a dwelling equivalent to a castle. With, high, frigid walls and ceilings, one can almost get lost inside, trapped by the contradicting pathways and connecting rooms. I for one, have yet to explore the vast entity that has become my home. Well, my home as of less than a week ago.
As I said, I never once brought myself up to the suspicions of people in the town. No home in Grayson is haunted, or afflicted by anything but the occasional mouse. So, I convinced myself that my house, my residence, was unlike anything the townspeople claimed it to be. Well, like I mentioned, that’s what I led myself to believe.
Wind ferociously hissed at my door, almost knocking to get in. I, in my study, heard everything, every moan, groan, and creak that the habitation could possibly create. The tempest had killed the power throughout the entire town, leaving me to my studies by dull, insufficient candlelight.
I watched the blaze as it danced, sending off shimmers of hope into the darkened room, licking swiftly at the pages of my book, leaving me just enough to read. I brought a cup of coffee to my lips, savoring the taste as I lifted myself to my feet, and proceeded to the window to watch this hurricane unfold. I wasn’t standing for but a few simple seconds when the rain ceased, leaving the night to itself, peaceful, calm. A noise caught my attention, my head snapping back to the window. It sounded like hoof beats, like horses pulling a carriage. But, there was nothing, just gloom, and darkness.
Sighing, I turned back again, jumping in alarm as a crack of lightning shot across the sky, followed by a deep, throaty boom of thunder, one that shook the walls, and vibrated through the concrete floor. The lightning most definitely hit, what it was, I wasn’t sure, but the minute it touched ground, the snarl of furious connection hanging in the air. As if in reaction, the door to my study slammed shut, blowing out the candle on my desk.
I could see absolutely nothing, just the ebony abyss that floated before me. My breath quickened, and a moment of panic rushed through me. In a matter of seconds, a streak of brilliant, harsh white light streamed through the windows, covering every crevice of the room, blinding me instantly. Screaming out in agony, my hands flung to my eyes. A deafening, wrathful bang accompanied the light, followed by the screeching of what sounded like twisted metal, and the furious crumble of rock.
In pure seconds it was over, my body limp on the floor, convulsing with fright, and struggling under a pile of rubble. I could taste blood, irony and warm, but I managed to soothe myself long enough to free my legs from the disaster. As I shakily stood, my house in a tremendous heap around me, I realized, with a giant pit in my stomach, that it was gone. Grayson Creek was gone.
The hoof beats returned again, stronger now, as though they were running, galloping. They stopped quite suddenly, abruptly, causing my mind to whirl with possibilities. It did sound as though they had halted directly in front of me, though I could not be sure, the new pounding in my head reminding me so. My stomach twisted harshly, a frantic feeling jittering through my veins. I knew now what those hoof beats were, I’d heard them before, ten years ago, in this very same spot.
I had visited Grayson quite often throughout my college years, and I often found myself in these crossroads, a sharp, direct ‘X’ in the center of the town. I was weak then, extraordinary weak, and I caved. Those hoof beats belonged to her, belonged to death.
Then, there was a soft struggle through the rubble, and I recognized it to be footsteps, quickly approaching. I snapped my head in that direction, but there was nothing, nothing at all.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Mr. Prince, climbing out of the rubble again,” a voice hissed.
I turned, breathless for a moment, opposite the footsteps I thought I’d heard. Such a mistake, demons didn’t walk. I knew that voice; it was her, Lilith Enyo. They said she was the spawn of the Greek goddess, known for her destruction, and the famous demon-wife of Adam, hence her name.
“We don’t talk now?” She crooned, raising an eyebrow. If one didn’t know better, they would guess she was your ordinary, seductive girl, because she was that beautiful.
I eyed her, and then dropped my gaze to the ground beneath her feet, the epicenter of the crossroads. “We don’t. There’s no talking, Lilith, not when you destroyed the entire town,” I shot back.
“I did not destroy anything. You, on the other hand, certainly did.” A small snicker slipped from her perfect lips.
“I held up my part of the deal.”
“Hardly, darling. You saved your brother. It was a trade, remember? You, in exchange for him.” She twirled her dark, chocolate locks about her finger, inching closer to him. “It’s been five years, honey, you’re lucky I didn’t send the hounds. You got me instead.” She smiled that crooked, gorgeous little smile, small, innocent dimples adorning her cheeks.
Her voice was melodic, almost pulling me in again, like it had the first time. Still, shivers coursed up my spine. “How about another deal?”
She laughed, a soft, harmonious laugh. For once, it sounded like she had a soul. “If you want to kiss me again, Leon, all you have to do is ask,” she whispered, rolling her eyes playfully.
“Don’t be difficult, there’s no deals for getting out of deals.”
She was right on top of me now, her fingers tracing along my jaw line. I watched her eyes flash a deep garnet, mocking me. “How is hell anyway?” I asked, my hand slipping to my back pocket undetected, searching for my letter opener, anything to get her away from me. In one fluid movement I thrust my hand, and the small knife toward her, penetrating her abdomen.
She shuddered, another grin widening on her lips. She easily pulled the object from her body, tossing it aside. “Don’t you wish. Like I said, a deal’s a deal.”
My ears caught the sound of howling in the distance, and I anxiously looked back to her. She shrugged her shoulders, appearing indifferent. The growling grew closer, and within moments I was toppled on the ground by some invisible force, the hellhounds, most likely, who began tearing at me mercilessly. The pain was like nothing I had ever felt before, or anything that anyone ever should feel. They were ripping me apart, carefully, inflicting as much pain as possible.
She lifted her hands, and they were silent. My view was clouded with blood, but I attempted to climb to my feet, my first instinct to fight back. She came after me then, her hands securing around my shoulders.
“I can’t let them have all the fun, now can I?”
In an instant, the hoof beats returned, my death clearly looming over me. Time seemed to stand still, so slow from my vision, that everything lasted an eternity. Her eyes flashed that deep crimson again, and in one easy movement, she sunk her teeth in my neck. The pain lasted a second, but seemed a lifetime to me, like she was eating me from the inside out.
I woke on a crucifix, the atmosphere dark, so black that even the bright light that killed Grayson Creek would make no such difference. The pain was excruciating, and would last for eternity.
I had made a deal with the devil, and sealed it with a kiss. That was why I was here, I knew that much, but I always thought it was a myth. I never believed the hoax that Grayson’s crossroads were the site of so many deaths, so many deals. Mine, I knew, would not be the last. Grayson would built itself up like it had so many times before, and some lone wanderer, looking for guidance, would step into the street, into that epicenter. They would not hear of me, Lilith made sure of that with the extent of her destruction. They would only see this delightful woman, and fall for her charisma, her words. Then, they would seal the deal with a kiss, and in five years, lay in utter agony beside me.