Drammelech lurked in the afternoon shadows of the great oaks. They were as much a comfort as something could be to a monster like himself. His “Jersey Devil” title undeniable in his current form; wings and tail unable to hide beneath the convention of clothing. He remembered his father wearing a cloak in the old days to conceal what exposed his otherness, but why hide his power? Why cower before the humans?
Distaste coated his split tongue like a bitter film. Humans. Not good for anything. Although, their endless willingness to barter their souls gave him something to do while he waited.
A voice in the back of his mind begged him to fly off to search for the missing key; the key that would grant him rule over the Overworld, Underworld, and this abomination humans called ‘Earth.’
But the couple tangled in the front seat of the car parked on the otherwise deserted road piqued his interest much more. He cocked his head to the side and considered what they would be willing to sacrifice to save their lives. Hmm. Maybe he’d only offer a deal to one of them.
A rare smile slipped across his face and the feathers on his wings prickled to attention. Before he could contain it, laughter erupted from deep within his chest and alerted the amorous couple to his presence.
There were worse ways to make an entrance.
“Oh-my-God,” gushed the red-haired woman as she pointed at him, lipstick smeared across her face.
“Silly girl. I’m the farthest thing from your God.” It’d been a long time since he’d had this kind of fun for the sake of pure entertainment.
“Dude. Get outta here. Can’t you see we’re busy?”
Drammelech considered the man pinned to the seat beneath the woman’s thighs. The human seemed unconcerned by both his nakedness and demon appearance.
“Oh, I sssssssee you.” He raised an eyebrow. “But you’ve seen me. There’s not much I can do to ssssave you now.”
The woman froze. Terror lit her eyes and the corners sparkled with the threat of tears. Her lover swore and attempted to lift her off his lap. The steering wheel pinned her in place under Drammelech’s quiet command.
“Who wants to die today?” His benign nonchalance contradicted the malevolent question. “I only need one more soul to make my quota this month, and any extra would be seen as showing off at my ‘Devils Anonymous’ meeting.”
The silence in the woods surrounding the Merrill Creek Reservoir was perfect for this. In the distance, water drummed against a graveyard of dead trees in time with the hum of mosquitos not far from where he stood. He studied the people and weighed his options. The woman would spark a greater sense of urgency in his targets. Although, from the bundle of exposed muscle in the man’s arms, maybe he’d be a better tool. He stepped closer to the vehicle.
“Take him,” the woman cried. “I’m not ready to die.” A hiccup erupted and her voice broke.
“What the fuck, Christine?”
“I can’t die. I’m too young. I have too much life left in me.” Her words dissolved into hysterics.
“Looks like you’ve made it easy for me.” Drammelech spread his wings to their full breadth. His tail flicked back and forth. His forked tongue savored the flavor of their fear in the air. Each purposeful pace forward was perfection.
Such a simple thing.
Stalk. Enslave. Kill. Rinse. Repeat.
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