The Nephilim: Chapter 17

There was a man. Was he there? Michael thought he was. Maybe it was just his mind. The man was leaning down, but he wouldn’t come into focus.

“Michael.” Apollyon’s was gentle. Michael had never heard him speak that way.

“Father?” Michael wasn’t sure if he’d spoken out loud or not.

“You did well.” The words were comforting, like a coach talking to an injured player coming out of a coma.

“Is it over?” Michael still couldn’t tell if his lips were moving.

“No, it has only just begun. Michael…”

“Yes.” Michael sighed. He was not dead.

“You must keep your bargains, otherwise all is for not.” Apollyon’s voice was stern, but only enough to remind, not scold.

“I know.” Michael said nodding.

“Good boy.”

“Michael?” The voice had changed. It was a woman. Michael closed his eyes tightly. The world wouldn’t focus. He could see a shape with long brown hair. The shape moved closer and he could smell Tina. He was on his third fix. She stroked his face and he smiled and she came into focus.

“What happened, Michael?”

“I made a bargain.” Michael’s eyes rolled in their sockets, then focused on Tina.

“Oh, Michael, what have you done?” Her fingers dug into his arms. His arms felt soft with the drug.

“It was the only way.” Michael laughed with a sluggish humor. “You are pretty, my lover.” Michael smiled. “Did you know that? You are so very pretty.” Michael draped his impotent arms around Tina and closed his eyes. Tina brushed his cheek and for the first time, since she was a very small child, tears escaped her eyes.

*****

There was a sound. A door opening. Had there been a double knock. Yes there had been a double knock. There had to have been the double. There was pain, scratching on the nerves, the head… the head hurt. The body was hungry. Michael opened his eyes. Tina stood over him, where he lay in the corner of the room, wrapped in a blanket.

“You’re supposed to ring the bell.” Michael mouth was stuck together with spit paste. Strings of it stretched between his lips like cadaverous rubber bands.

“Michael, you look terrible.” Tina’s brows were pinched together with concern.

“Ring the bell.” Michael’s head was hanging off his neck. His eyes were rolled up so high, to look at Tina, the top half of his world was blocked by his brow. The rest was cut through with jagged stringy hair.

“Let me give you a bath first.” The site of Michael was causing physical ache in her chest.

“Ring the bell!” Michael rasped. He raised his head and curled his lips. His body shook and his head bounced around as if he suffered from palsy.

Tina nodded and rang the bell. Michael’s body responded immediately convulsed and bile spilled over his lips. He slammed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth. He could not believe the body could cause itself this much pain. He fought keep from screaming and forced his head to turn to where had seen John asleep on his bed. John’s reaction was at least as intense as his own. ‘Soon.’ Michael thought. ‘Not yet, but soon.’

John sat up, like a dog waiting for supper. He never spoke anymore. Michael realized that he didn’t speak much any more either. With an uncanny attention that still unnerved Michael, John turned and looked right at him.

“You can go first, John.” Michael’s voice crackled from disuse. John lost interest in his fellow junkie and stared in the direction of Tina’s perfume. The pain had stopped, his body had heard the torch spark, it wouldn’t be long. Michael yawned as if waking from a nap and looked around the apartment. His lids repeatedly hooded down and his vision had trails. Tina injected John. Michael licked his lips.

“Are you ready, Michael.”

Michael looked up and Tina. He hadn’t seen her moving across the room.

“Foot please.” Every word was an effort for him. Tina shuddered and poured alcohol onto a washcloth and cleaned both of Michael’s feet. She found a vein and shot him up between the toes.

“Thank you, dear.” Michael said, closing his eyes. She sat on the floor beside him and put her arms around him. She could not stop the silent tears from spilling over her cheeks.

“Can I give you a bath now?”

“Not yet. We must talk before… I drift off. It’s time to clean house. You have my bank information?”

“Yes.” Tina nodded.

“I want you to go get some money; fifty thousand should be enough. Go to our illustrious neighbors and offer them money to leave. Tell them you’re with a real estate firm that wants to buy the building, minus the tenants, and you’re willing to pay cash for early withdrawal.” Michael lowered his head and nodded of for a moment, then continued speaking as if he’d never stopped. “I don’t want to have any company when the screaming starts.

*******

Tina bought a Channel suit on her way back from the bank. She like to dress her parts. She had been amazed at how it had transformed her. She wouldn’t have recognized herself.

“I guess I’ll have to start drinking espresso and reading fucking Cosmo.” She’d said to the mirror.

“Excuse me?” Asked the sales lady that had not been especially helpful to the young lady wearing a flannel shirt and no bra. Tina chuckled to herself, she felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

“Nothing. Bag up my old clothes. I’ll wear it home. I’ll take the briefcase too.”

“And you’ll be paying with…

“Cash.” The tone of snobbery was not lost on Tina. She gave it no more than a side-wards glance. If she’d been on her period she would have knocked the bitch off her feet. She settled for pulling out a wad of cash from her fanny-pack and tossing on the counter.

“Take it out of that.” Tina slitted her eyes in on the woman. “And take a little extra for yourself, buy yourself a man, because you definitely need to get fucked.” Tina said sweetly, tilted her head and smiled.

She resisted laughing out loud until getting back in the car and was still smiling when she got out of the car and put on the stage glasses she’d bought. She went upstairs and knocked on the door to the apartment next to John. An elderly black man came to the door after a second rapping. There was a hint of recognition in his eyes, but it passed. Tina had her hair done and the transformation was too far for the man to recognize her as the nurse he might have passed once or twice in the hallway.

“Yes?” The man looked at her as if she was an exotic creature on the Discovery Channel.

“Hello.” Tina answered with a bright smile. “Mr. Ah…”

“Jones,” the man lied, not sure what to make of Tina. “My name is Jones.”

“Jones, of course, Mr. Jones.” Tina graced him with another shot of her pearly whites.

“What can I do for you?” Jones stood with his shoulder set to shut the door.

“Well, actually, Mr. Jones, I work for Whitewater Real Estate and I’ve been assigned with the acquisition of this building.”

“My rents not due for two weeks.”

“No, no, Mr. Jones, we don’t own the building yet. Actually we’d like to acquire the building without tenants. There are of course legal processes for this, but we’d like to speed things up a bit.”

“Speed things up?” Jones looked down the hall both ways to see if there were any lingering men in tight suits.

“Yes.” Tina smiled.

“When I got to leave?”

“You don’t have to do anything. I was hoping to persuade you to leave, say tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” He took a backwards step away from Tina.

“Yes. We’d be willing to compensate you of course. Lost rent, moving expenses… Say, two thousand dollars.” For the second time, that day, Tina had to keep from laughing at the expression she’d put upon another.

“Two thousand?”

“I guess we could make it twenty five hundred, but you would have to be out tomorrow.”

“When do I get the money?” The man was shifting back and forth on his feet as though he had to pee.

“Well…” Tina took a receipt book out of her briefcase. “If you’ll sign a receipt and promise to be out by tomorrow, I’ll give it to you now.”

The man didn’t hesitate any longer than it took for Tina to hand him the pen, before signing the receipt. He knew how these things worked, she was the smiling face of some gangster that wanted this property. They were nice the first day, not the second. Once they stop being nice they stopped handing out money. Tina counted out twenty five of the new hundreds she’d gotten from the bank. He tried to shut the door as soon as the cash was in hand, but Tina took a hold of his bicep, carefully placing her fingers over pressure points and applying pressure. The man winced.

“I just wanted to let you know, my employer has some moving men on staff.” She winked at him. “If you’re not gone tomorrow, they be by to help you move.” She flashed him her best Cosmo smile and his body clinched as if his spinal column had been dipped in ice.

“I’ll be gone.” He looked down at Tina’s grip. She smiled again and let him go.

“Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Jones.”

He nodded and shut the door. Tina took a deep breath. Hurting him had made her power surge and she clinched her thighs together. She would be glad when Michael was through with the junk. It’d been a while since he’d done any more than watch her take care of herself.

‘Back to the task at hand,’ Tina thought, and continued down the hall to the next tenant until she had cleared the twenty rooms in the welfare hotel that were still in good enough shape to rent. If anyone went looking for witnesses after this was over, they would be in short supply. Then Tina checked on the manager. He was in his usual place, drunk, and in front of the television with the sound up high enough to drown any cries for help that John might make. If he bothered them, Tina would just stick him in one of the empty rooms with a slit throat.

******

John felt the face of his clock, there was still a half hour to go. He wondered if it were day or night. He’d tried to tell by feeling the window the day before and found the plywood covers. He’d wondered about that too, but forgot to ask. He had a great deal of questions. They were always quickly forgotten, when it was time, only one thing consumed his mind.

John could hear the doctor breathing. It sounded as if he were still asleep. He struggled up and went into the kitchen, found a bottle of rose’ in the refrigerator, and opened it. The wine always made him feel better when time was close. He drank a lot of wine to help him make it through the last few minutes. His head began to sink and he nodded off again, going down in a bundle on the floor.

Tina opened the door quietly. She went to Michael and shook him awake. He looked at her a long time before he realized what was happening. When Tina began to speak he put his finger to his lips.

“Help me up.” He whispered. Tina helped him up. Michael picked up the bell, careful to hold the knocker with his thumb. He nodded his head toward the door and Tina put his arm around her shoulders and helped him to the door. When they were in the hall, Michael reached through the door and rang the bell, pulled the door shut, and locked it. Michael fell to his knees from his own response to the bell. Tina squatted and brushed the dirty, hanging hair, out of his face.

“Well, if it doesn’t work, at least I’ll be fucked up when I get to hell.” Michael managed a smile between spasms.

“Oh, Michael…” Tina had never suffered much from emotion and empathy, the last few weeks had torn her apart. She was ill prepared to deal with the sudden flood of emotions.

“Don’t sweat it, baby, just get me in one of these empty rooms and give me a fix.” Michael got to his feet with Tina’s help. They went into Mr. Jones’ apartment and Michael dropped onto the couch. Tina went to the table to make his fix.

“I hope you’re ready for a bath, because you’re getting one.”

“I’m ready. Hell, baby, I might even be up for more than that.” Michael pointed at Tina’s hips.

Tina glanced at him with grin. “I’ll believe that when I feel it.”

The sound of the bell brought John back from his trance. He only really heard it as if from a memory. He was hysterical until he touched his clock and realized it was six o’clock.

Smiling nervously he found the bottle of wine, lying on its side, and swallowed all that was left. He was shaking in anticipation of the medication. He got a second bottle from the refrigerator and returned to his bed. He opened the bottle and took deep swallows, feeling the face of his clock every thirty seconds. Five minutes passed and he began to panic.

‘Had Tina come in, seen him sleeping, and left?’ John thought, as his tension twisted up like a girl on a hunting trip with OJ. “How could I be so stupid?” John whispered, then he remembered he’d been asleep many times when Tina came in and he settled down a little.

“Doc? Doc? You awake?” John waited and thought the doctor must still be asleep.

When he finished the bottle of wine and Tina still hadn’t come through the door John started getting chills. He reached up and touched his forehead and felt the cold sweat running out from under his hairline. He reached down to check the clock it was half past six. He started searching the room for Berstien and couldn’t find him.

When his nose started to run, John wiped it away a few times with his sleeve. When his stomach began to grind, like it was caught in a Mac Trucks’ drive shaft, he no longer bothered to even try. He felt the sickening shots of pain fire through his body and strike the muscles of his anus. He fell, as he tried to stand up from the bed and pull down his pants at the same time. A hot stream of diarrhea shot down over his legs as he scrambled in an absurd attempt to get to his feet.

The relief of having the knot out of his ass felt so good he didn’t care. When it finally stopped he pulled himself free of his pants and crawled into the bathroom. Without bothering to take his shirt off he turned the cold water on in the shower and dragged himself under the shower head.

This gave him a few minutes of relief, before a cramp hit him in the abdomen. It was as though somebody used a tire iron to hit him right in the gut. John doubled over too quickly, and slammed his head against the tile. A large angry swell had already begun forming by the time he crumpled into a limp mass in the bath tub.

He lay like a child, folded over and crying, with the water running over his body. When the cramp finally subsided, John crawled over the top of the tub and fell onto the bathroom floor. The shock jolted him free of his withdrawals momentarily and he stood up pulling off the wet shirt.

John’s terry cloth bathrobe hung on the back of the door. He yanked it off the hook and put it on. Slowly, with his muscles aching and complaining all the way, he walked back to his chair. He slipped on the slop of his diarrhea and wobbled around like a Weeble until he grabbed a hold of his chair. He let himself pivot and flop down into it. His hands immediately sought out the clock. An hour and a half had past since six. ‘What was going on?’ He thought, too weak to voice his concern out loud.

John’s brow squinted down over his sightless eyes, while he searched the corners of his terrified mind for an answer. Then it came to him, “There must of been a power failure.” He spoke the words aloud to reassure himself. “Yes of course that’s it!” Feeling relieved, John forced himself back out of the chair and walked into the kitchen holding the robe tightly against his body to try and ward off the chills. He found a bottle of wine that had a screw top and twisted it off. Without hesitating he put the bottle to his lips and drank several gulps.

The fluid ran hot through his body and gave him strength. He wiped his feet on the kitchen carpet, picked up a second bottle and carried back to the chair.

Back in the chair he pulled the thick bathrobe snugly against his body. Chills were constantly drilling through his body. His only relief came with the hot flashes that almost caused him to vomit each time they hit.

He drank the wine as fast as his queasy stomach would allow him. When both bottles were empty he curled into a ball and tried without success to sleep. His body shook violently, occasionally he had to lean over his chair to vomit.

At nine o’clock he was snapped out of his delirious state when the door opened a crack. John’s mind focused on the sound at the door.He couldn’t see the hand reach in holding the bell, but he was sure he could smell Tina’s perfume.

It’s Tina, she’s come to help me.” Nothing happened and the pause was like being held down while nails scratched down a chalkboard. Then the bell shook furiously. A phantasmic pickax drove through John’s skull and he screamed. The bell became still. He rolled out of the chair and began to crawl for the door. The bell rang again and he snapped like a circuit breaker running a thousand amps over rating. He gouged his nails into his legs until his thighs bled. The bell halted its call to pain. John crawled toward the door.

“Please… Please help me.” John shoveled splinters under his nails as he scraped his way to the door. As he reached up for the door. The bell reverberated through his spine for a final curtain call and the door shut. John heard the dead-bolt latch, but tried the door anyway.

“No, please. Please. Please…” John’s arm dropped and he bawled like a child, who’d been tossed off his tricycle at high speed. He pulled himself another two feet and beat his fists against the door.

The pounding echoed through the empty halls finding no recorder to hear his plea. Michael heard him through the walls and tried to smile, but only the sides of his top lip moved and he looked like a rabid dog getting ready to bite. Tina, dressed in her more familiar grunge came in and sat next to him and he put his arm limply around her. He didn’t notice her closing her eyes against John’s screams.

The only other person in the building, the manager, was sleeping soundly from the spike Tina had slipped him, to insure he didn’t wake up from his morning drunk. Then she’d locked the front door and put up a closed for repairs sign.

John ran to the window, his senses gone berserk, and began to slam his fists wildly against the plywood. Anyone passing by wouldn’t have recognized the muffled sound as a cry for help. In the neighborhood that John lived in, had someone understood the nature of the sounds, it would have only quickened their pace. John sank to his knees exhausted and sobbing.

The minutes trickled by like a slow moving stream carrying John along as he fought desperately to stay afloat. Everything from his stomach had been thrown up and his body was racked with pain, as each new wave of dry heaves shook him violently. When the cramps became too much for John to bear, he used his bathrobe to tie himself to the old steam radiator in his room. He sat on the floor slumped over, beating his head against the wall, trying to drive out the spasms tearing him apart.

At Midnight the door opened again. John didn’t hear it. The bell only found a small corner of sanity left to effect and that piece of the puzzle immediately fell out of place. John was inside the bell, dodging the clacker. He was the hunchback locked in his own personal tower of hell. The bell stopped and withdrew leaving echos of spasms and pain. John sobbed, but was too fucked to know, or care.

Three hours later, Michael walked in with Tina. Michael wrinkling his nose from at the pungent odor. Tina vomited in her hand and had to rush to the sink. John sat on the floor in a shaking, sobbing, mass, crying out every few minutes. One side of his face was purple from being beaten against the wall. His eye had swollen shut.

“Hello John.” Michael spoke loud enough for the words to drive through John’s mind.

John’s head twisted in Michael’s direction. “Dr. Bernstein?” John’s voice was feeble and distorted through his swollen lips. “Where have you been?”

“I had to do something John.” Michael speech was frigid and completely devoid of sympathy. “It’s time to complete the test.”

“Give me a shot, please give me a shot.” John begged, as he untied himself and began to crawl to Michael.

“Not yet John, there’s one last thing. I told you that I needed to get what I wanted, for you to get what you wanted.”

“A shot, give me a shot!” Michael had to step to one side to avoid John grabbing his ankle.

“I’ll tell you what John, I’ll start preparing it while we talk, you just sit there.” Michael nodded to Tina and she set about her task while John sat with clenched teeth, banging his fists against his forehead, waiting for his relief.

“I’ve never really told you what kind of test I was making with this drug. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that it didn’t work to bring your vision back.” Michael’s words failed to register much meaning or consequence to John. All he could think about was the injection.

There was no need to check the charts for this dose, it was five times anything they had given John before. Upon completion of Tina’s work, Michael tied off John’s shaking arm and searched for a still usable vein. Tina handed him the syringe. Michael pressed the needle to the throbbing green line before he continued explaining what he wanted.

“I really wanted to see if this drug was so powerful that it could make someone forsake their God.” John suddenly heard what Michael had said. Alarms began to go off in his almost shattered mind. “Well John, answer my question. Will you forsake your God, and pledge your allegiance to Apollyon, master of all things dark, for this injection?”

Deep within the man, that was once John, a voice screamed to be heard and was. “No I will not. You’re crazy!” The volume of John’s words startled Michael shaking his smug self-confidence. He pulled the needle away and stood up.

“Then you won’t get any more medication from me.” Michael managed to maintain his outward air of command.

“You said you’d take care of me. You promised!” John was frightened, but he couldn’t do what the doctor had asked.

“I said if you give me what I want, I would give you what you’ve been praying for quickly and easily. You haven’t given me what I want John. As for taking care of you, I think you’ve done quite well, I’ve been both your benefactor and maid. I paid for a nurse to take care of your needs and feed you and I’ve supplied you with a very expensive drug. So I should say we’re even.”

“You can’t just stop…” John began to cry. “I need… I need a shot.”

“Can’t help you John. Why don’t you crawl down to the street and see if anyone wants to help a naked blind man get a fix.” Michael said contemptuously.

Tina had washed her face and stood silently watching Michael. His heartless voice made her shiver and squirm, but for once did not make her excited.

John waved his hands in the air trying to grab onto Michael, who easily avoided the wild attempts. “You must help me, you must!”

“John I’ll be glad to help you. All you have to do is forsake God and pledge allegiance to Apollyon. I don’t see where that would cause you any great problem. Excuse the pun, but what the hell did God ever do for you? Apollyon will actually answer your prayers.” Michael moved behind a table as he spoke and John hit his face against a chair when he followed the sound of Michael’s footsteps.

“Sit still before you hurt yourself more than you already have.” Michael scolded, tiring of being chased around the room. “I will sit here for one hour. At the end of that time I will get up and leave. You’ll never see me again. If at anytime during that hour you change your mind, I’ll give you your medication and promise to take care of you for the rest of your life. If I walk out that door you’re on you own. Do you understand John?” Michael finished with a note of absolution in his voice.

“I can not do what you ask.” was John’s timid reply.

“Suit yourself, you have one hour.” Michael voice was bored. He took a seat at the table.

John crawled across the room to his recliner, somehow finding the strength to climb into it. He reached over and picked up the clock, then snuggled up to it with his back to Michael.

Fidgeting with the instruments from his briefcase Michael kept a nervous watch on the time. He could see John shaking and couldn’t avoid hearing his cries, as cramps came and went, but he gave no indication of giving in.

Tina moved to come over to Michael. He held up his hand to stop her and held his index finger to his lips.

Fighting to keep some shred of sanity, John kept fingering the clock, praying for a miracle to set him free. He begged God to give him some sign he could cling to, some hope. Nothing came and his pain only grew with the passing of each second. In what seemed all too short a time, John heard Michael slide his chair back and stand up.

Michael swallowed deeply, he had to drag this out, if he gave in, John would always know that he had leverage. It had to work now. “Fifty nine minutes John, do I walk?” Michael tried sounding disinterested. “For me I just have to start again with someone new. For you… Well what you’re going to face, has just begun.” John kept his back to Michael and did nothing to acknowledge that he heard Michael at all.

“Okay.” Michael said, with a bored sigh. He began gathering up his things, making as much noise with the implements as possible. He made a point of shutting the case with a swat, and snapping the latches as he locked it.

Tina watched in silence. They had agreed that her presence would give John hope, not take it. She walked quietly to the door. She could feel sweat rolling down her sides from her moist arm pits. She couldn’t remember ever being this afraid.

Michael walked up beside John and stood staring down at him. John cowered inwardly feeling Michael’s close presence, and fought to maintain his resolve.

“What has your god done for you, other the leave you to a miserable life, without site, without hope, without a wife.” Michael spoke with compassion as if he had great concern for the way John had been cheated of life. “He wouldn’t even answer your prayer to end you empty existence. Turn away and join us. You will be reborn with all the things you were deprived of in this life.”

John tightened his fetal ball his body was clinched into.

“Oh well.” Michael sighed dragging his feet as he turned away. John felt his heart momentarily jump. Maybe he could withstand this challenge to his faith. Michael stopped at the door and stared at John. His heart beat frantically as he tried to find the knife that would cut the apron strings John had to his god.

Tina stood beside him, wringing her hands and darting her eyes from Michael to John.

“John…” He began fighting to maintain control of his voice. “You know it’s not going to kill you and the worst has yet come. In fact, it’s going to get much worse and you’ll never loose your craving. Every second of your life you’ll want one thing, the injection.” Michael paused to allow his words a chance to sink in. “Think about it. Is it so much to give up a God that’s made your life nothing but sorrow. A God who knowingly allowed this test to be played out on you.” John spun toward Michael with this statement. Michael smiled.

“Yes he is the partner in crime. He deliberately picked you. You were no random choice, the one who you pray to for relief, chose this test to answer your prayers. He has a funny way of showing his undying love, don’t you think?” Michael put his key into the dead-bolt and unlocked the door. Then with one last glance backward, he opened the door and stepped into the hall.

When John heard the familiar creak outside his door, something gave way and he panicked. He saw the truth in what the doctor had said. “Dr. Bernstein!” He cried urgently, as he struggled to he out of his chair. His robe was caught and he had to pull out of it to get free. He came stumbling towards the sound of Michael’s voice. “Dr. Bernstein?” His voice was weak.

Michael froze and held his breath. “Yes John?”

“I was chosen. This was all deliberately put on me?”John stood facing the doorway naked, and shivering, his face battered and his body bruised. “After everything I’ve been through… All my years of devotion… He chose me to go through this?”

“Yes, John.”

“You’re lying to me.” John begged more than said.

“No John. I admit I have not always been completely truthful, but this is absolutely true. No games, plain truth. I have rules I must follow and I’m telling you the truth.”

“It’s true.” John said aloud to himself, knowing that it was.

“Yes. This was not a random act. You were very specifically chosen by your own god to suffer this. The same God that refused all of your prayers.”

“You’ll give me what I pray for?” John sounded as though he were begging, rather than asking.

“Yes, John.” Michael’s eyes were closed. His knuckles had turned white from clutching the handle of his briefcase. “That and more. You will face no more suffering.”

“Then I will give you what you want.” John said, hanging his head in defeat.

Michael relaxed the muscles in his chest and took a breath of air. He went back into John’s room quickly and locked the door. Acting fast while things were on his side, he ushered John to the table and sat him down. Noticing a last bottle of wine on the kitchen counter he opened it and handed it to John.

“Here you are John. Take a drink, it’ll make you feel better.”

John attempted to do as Michael told him, but his shakes were too intense. All that he really wanted was to feel the drug pumping to his heart.

Michael stood beside John and tied off his arm, found a vein and checked it.

“John I want you to repeat after me.” Michael said in a whisper. “I renounce God and his son Jesus Christ and accept the Lord Apollyon as my Savior.” John sat rigid unable to speak. “John renounce your God or I’ll leave now and not come back this time.” Michael’s voice was still low, but more forceful.

“I renounce…” John mumbled, then stopped.

Michael became angry. “I renounce God and his son Jesus Christ and accept Lord Apollyon as my savior!”

“I renounce God and his son Jesus Christ…” John’s mind began to whirl, he couldn’t say the words.

“And accept Lord Apollyon as my only savior!”

“And accept Lord Apollyon as my only savior.” The last two words were barely audible, but they were spoken and Michael smiled.

“There that wasn’t so bad.” Michael said as he pressed down on the plunger of the syringe. “Now everything is going to be just fine.”

John sat up straight clenching his fists as the drug rushed to his heart answering the craving that had so abused him body and soul. His body shuddered, fell limp, and rolled to the floor.

John had received the answer to his prayers and The Beast had claimed his first prize.

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