The Devil Wears Prada (Relash)

Titanium was rubbing his reddened palm, and letting a string of expletives fly, while Ed and I were sprawled on the floor metres from each other. I stared at the seemingly innocuous door that had just electrocuted Ty and emitted a blast of energy that had flung us across the dirt strewn alley just minutes ago.
I felt anger rise in me, not just at the nondescript black door, but mostly at the petulant angel beyond it, who was definitely behind its violent refusal of our entry. No doubt, he was in there cradling a gin and tonic and chuckling to himself at our expense. The last time he had sealed The Black Hermit against us was after his displeasure at the contents of Pandora’s box which Ed had gone to great lengths to recover for him.
“Let’s get out of here, you never know what strange creature might be craving a blood spiked martini at the moment,” Ed said, instinctively adjusting his hair.
“The old bastard, how could…”
Another wave of energy hit us, slamming me into the brick wall behind me for the second time. By the time I had shaken off the blackness and the world had come into focus again, I was already reciting basic facts about myself, just to check I hadn’t had a concussion or something.
The dusty bulb that was the only source of illumination in the alley was flickering, and the effect was making me feel dizzy. I raised my finger to my lips in precaution and concentrated at the space in front of me, beyond which normal people were hurrying home to late night television and microwaved dinners. The air rippled, and a portal opened. We stepped through it and emerged in our tourbus.

Ty was first to speak.
“What the fuck is wrong with him this time?”
Ed threw himself into a beanbag chair.
“I can’t tell, did any of you piss him off?”
“Well, as at when last we talked, he didn’t try to turn me into Bieber so I guess I didn’t do anything.” Ty replied.
“What then could it be?”
As if in reply, a deep male voice boomed from my phone.
“Toxic” by Britney Spears began playing as the phone began to vibrate.
I shook my head. These angel types and their propensity for ostentatious announcements.
As soon as I pressed the receive button, a burst of different colours flowed from the speakers and arranged themselves into an amazingly lifelike hologram of Foster in the centre of the room.
“Hi guys. Hologram’s cool, eh? Ever since they made one of that rapper whose name I can’t be bothered with, I decided it’d save me a whole lot of time communicating with you guys.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Anything the matter, Foster? Why’d you take time from general debauchery and licentiousness to come see us?”
“Yeah, Uchariel just called. Could barely hear him through the painfully loud Leona Lewis, but I did gather something about not wanting any of Melchiot’s foot soldiers near him.”
“Yeah, he just electrocuted Ty and set his door on us. Any reason why the winged child is angry?”
“Him and Dad just had some kind of fight. Dad isn’t too happy with him and his grandiose plans for the end of the world. This coming on the heels of his Blogosphora stunt, it’s a wonder they didn’t wipe out an entire dimension with their rage.”
“Well damn. So what’s going on up there? World still ending?”
“Uchariel and a bunch of The Fallen have banded together to shake things up for the guys Above. Each one of The Fallen is pretty menacing on their own, and if they’re agreeing on something… Well, let’s just say things aren’t looking too good.”
I glanced out of the windows at the teenagers who’ve blocked out the world with brightly coloured headphones, the men and women in suits darting to work with blank expressions, old ladies clutching
shopping bags. All blithely unaware of just how precarious the state of the world was at the moment. At any moment, the final war between Good and Evil could begin. The elephants were circling each other and we were the grass.
Foster continued.
“This brings me to why I’m talking to you now. In less than an hour, this bus will stop at the residence of a Dave Hildenstein. You’ll pick him up and then proceed to see old Cliff McGovern at an address I’ll send you immediately. I’ve called ahead, he’ll know what to do. Dave will fill you in on your way. I’ve got to go now. Try not to get killed, loyalty and talent are just too hard to find these days. See ya.”
The hologram faded to nothing before I could form any words.
Ed’s weary sigh broke the silence that Foster had left behind.
“Days off just aren’t possible, are they?”
On closer inspection, Ed did appear fatigued. His eyes were heavy, and there was a certain slump in his stance. I briefly wondered if Desire’s absence had anything to do with it, but only for a fleeting moment, before I began imagining her naked. Even confined by her lacy see-through bras, her breasts had always seemed so full and supple, I wondered if they felt as soft as they looked and just how much I’d like to…
“Relash, I can’t see you through the lust haze you’re in.” Ty said casually. I snapped out of it and Ed sighed again, leaving the room with the gait of a failed man, and reeking of dejection.

The bus stopped in the middle of a neighbourhood that could have been the soul of Suburbia. Perfectly trimmed lawns were sprawled in front of pristine houses that brought Wisteria Lane to mind. The house we were waiting outside was no different, with a mini garden out front. A tall guy emerged from it, and came towards in long, proud strides. He had dirty blonde hair with blue eyes, and I somehow found myself springing from my position at the window to open the door for him. He cast a look over his shoulder and for a minute, I thought he was tearing up but it was as gone as soon as it came. He gave us all an appraising look in turn and swept the entire bus interior with his eyes before saying anything.
“I’m Dave. And you must be my new bodyguards.”
“Huh?” asked Ty. “Foster never mentioned that!”
“Oh yeah, Foster. He says you guys would be able to protect me.”
It was only typical of Foster to send us to protect one kid out of millions in the city when we had more pressing tasks to complete.
“And what are we protecting you from?”
“Demons. Some of the worst kind. Someone’s been sending them after me.”
“Er, okay. Any idea why?”
“Yeah. A few of the folks down in Sheol have been keeping me in the loop about recent proceedings…”
He had just facetiously claimed he was in communication with demons. There was obviously something about the guy that he wasn’t telling.
“…Apparently, there’s some division of forces down below. Many demons are joining The Fallen and their ambitious plans. Now, The Fallen want me as some sort of bargaining chip.”
“You must be pretty important if The Fallen have singled you out for capture. So you going to tell us who you are, or leave us to guess?”
Dave rose to full height and his presence seemed to fill the room.
“My name is Dave Hildenstein and I am The Antichrist.”


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