I sat alone in a dingy bar in the middle of nowhere. The scent of stale alcohol assaulted my nostrils. Most of the people surrounding me were common drunks, the kind that spent every waking moment consuming the demon drink. Taking a sip of straight whiskey I exhaled noisily, last night had been a complete nightmare, and that meant a lot coming from me. “Ya 'right sweetheart?” The bartender, an overweight old man, covered in scars, looked at me with a hint of concern.
“Another shot of whiskey and I will be old man,” I half joked. Nodding his head he went to retrieve the bottle. That was when I caught my reflection in a grimy mirror positioned behind the bar, and man did I look like hell; no pun intended. My dark brown, almost black eyes, clearly revealed the trauma I had experienced the previous night. The tone of my skin was no longer olive, but instead ivory, covered in a thin film of red dust. And my hair, it was a complete shambles, caramel blond strands sticking out at odd angels.
“So, what happened to you?” The bartender glanced up at me as he poured the amber liquid into my empty glass.
I smirked in response. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
The previous night.
The night was young as I walked alongside him, hand intertwined with his. Stars glittered brightly overhead, seeming to approve of our union. His name was Joe; we’d met the year before, entirely by chance, and had been dating ever since. He didn’t care what I was, he never judged me. The perfect man and he was mine. When I was with him, I didn’t care about the war, or filling my quota. He was all I cared about. However, me being what I am, it was impossible to feel for him what he felt for me. I tried, oh, I tried, but there was always an inner darkness restraining me. Some days I feared what I would be capable of doing to him, though obviously never voiced my worries.
“It’s cold out tonight, do you need to borrow my coat?” I gave him a quizzical look, eyes reflecting the light like a nocturnal animal.
He slapped the side of his head, usual goofy grin on his face. “Right, right, I’m sorry I keep forgetting. Shit like temperature doesn’t affect you.” I forced a smile, trying to push the annoyance I felt back down. “Do you need, my, coat?” He shook his head with a chuckle.
“Nah, I’ll be fine. Say, Jezebel, you seem off tonight, you ok babe?” Joe was right; I wasn’t acting like my usual self. Although I was renowned for being deathly serious, as well as a little pessimistic, tonight was different. It was as if a nerve had been exposed, the things I would usually be able to tolerate were driving me insane.
“I’m fine,” I lied, why did I lie? Maybe if I had told him what I was feeling he would still be alive. But, lying is easy for me; it’s what I do best.
“You know you can tell me anything and I won’t judge.” He had to keep going, had to continuously probe me for information I didn’t want to divulge. Gritting my teeth I ignored him, focusing on reaching our destination. “Bel? Babe, please, just talk to me” He stopped me, putting his hands on my shoulders.
As I looked up at him I could feel the darkness clawing at its cage. It squeezed its little hands between the bars, bony fingers prying at the rusting lock. “I’ve told you everything about myself Joe.” Staring at him coldly I waited for the subject to be dropped.
“You’ve told me that you’re a soldier of Lucifer, and that you are capable of taking out a whole city. Jezebel, I might know what you are, but I don’t know who you are.” I laughed humorlessly as the darkness continued to probe at the lock.
“You want to know who I am?” He nodded, goofy grin back on his face. Oh, how I wanted to tear it off. “I am the embodiment of everything evil in humans. I enjoy watching people suffer, watching them scramble around like dying rats as I break every bone in their feeble bodies. At first I tried to stop, for you. But now I know it’s impossible to.” He removed his hands from my shoulders, obviously disturbed. I continued. “I am incapable of feeling love the way that humans do. You love me, and yes, I feel an attachment to you but that is all. Love was removed from me when I fell.” He laughed nervously, finally seeing me, for the first time. “Well…” I cupped his cheek with my hand, savoring the prickly sensation of his stubble. “Well?”
“We can work on it. Jezebel, I already knew you did bad things, and like any addict you can be cured.” A brisk breeze blew in from the west, ruffling my hair and causing Joe to shiver. Looking up at the sky I noticed the clouds beginning to obscure the bright stars. They were turning away from us. The stars, my former siblings, must have sensed what was about to happen.
Joe mimicked my action, looking up at the heavens. “You were once one of them weren’t you? What happened?”
“I saw through their lies.” Putting an arm around my shoulders he smiled. “And what would angels lie about?” I shook him off; the feeling of him touching me somehow repulsed me. After all he was naught but a filthy rat, and a stupid one at that.
I replied heatedly, “Everything, Joe, they lie about fucking everything.”
“So do demons.” I laughed grimly.
“Exactly, we’re both the same, just two opposing sides. England and Germany.”
We entered our hotel room, a shabby little thing with a sagging double bed placed in the far corner. The tension in the room was thick as Joe tried to comprehend all I had told him. All that time, the darkness had been gnawing and clawing at the lock. Joe took a seat on the edge of the bed, springs squeaking in protest. “Jezebel, why haven’t you killed me?” I leant against the wall diagonally from him, arms crossed. “Why haven’t you tried to sneak away from me?”
“I asked first.” I smiled, as the darkness rattled the cage door. “I wanted to be accepted, the way angels are accepted here.”
“A demon who wants to be loved?” he scoffed. “I’ve been such an idiot.”
I felt a slight pang in my chest, the kind teenage humans complained about so often. But that would be impossible. “Yes, you have, but I think you’ve helped me. I used to be worse then I am now.”
Joe glowered at me. “Worse? Is that even possible?” Standing he moved towards his bags. “I don’t think I can do this any more.” The darkness continued to shake the cage, the bars beginning to warp.
“What? I’ve pulled myself in, controlled my hate.”
“Have you?” He chucked a shirt into his duffle bag. “All I see in those eyes of yours is anger, hate and darkness.” With one last solid push the darkness that I had kept locked away for so long was freed.
My body felt cold as I began to laugh maliciously. Every bit of humanity Joe had ensued in me was gone. I had been restored to my usual self. “Don’t think I’ll just let you leave Joe.” My voice was devoid of any emotion. Near the end of packing his bags he turned around, pulling a silver knife from his belt.
“Just let me leave Bel, I don’t want to hurt you.” I retorted with a smile. “And yet, there you are pointing a knife at me.” With feline-like grace I approached him. There he stood, in the corner of the room like a frightened little mouse, tightly clutching the small knife.
“Joe, the ironic thing is that, I’ve been nothing but truthful to you. And I know you lie to me regularly.” I was mere inches from him now.
“I-I never did, Bel, we can sort this out,” he whined like a small child wanting candy. “Babe I love you, I promise you I do.”
I forged a smile. “Really, you do?”
“O-of course.” I closed the small distance between us, kissing him passionately. Our tongues wrestled for dominance as I wrapped my arms around his neck. As he pulled away for breath I grinned nefariously, tightening my grip around his collar.
“Fuck you Joe, and all of your lies. You don’t love me.” His eyes widened and he stabbed the knife into my back. The pain was truly delicious as crimson drops trickled onto the dirty carpet. Joe clawed at my hands as his face reddened, though to no prevail. “You wanted to know who I really am Joe? Well, surprise.” I slammed his head against the wall twice, with a force the exceeded a human's limitations. A smile graced my lips as the cracked wall was coated in red.
He continued to fight for his life, though why I can not discern. Surely he realized he had absolutely no hope. I lessened my grip on his neck, letting him fall to the ground. “I hope you don’t think it’s over.” With one swift motion I extracted the knife from my back. My tongue slid over the cold blade, savoring the strong flavor of blood. A tang I had greatly missed. Dropping it to the ground I looked down at the half-dead man by my feet. I felt a sorrow I hadn’t felt since I had fallen, over three thousand years ago. This man had been everything I’d ever wanted or needed. And here I was about to torture him. With a sigh I knelt down, I wanted to kill him, but I’d do him a favor and make it quick. I lightly placed a hand on his brow, feeling a light current pass through me and into him. At first the convulsions were slight, but they gradually increased as blood spurted out of his mouth, nose, ears and eyes. An easy death, more painless then what I had originally planned for him. The best gift I could give a man that had been nothing but accepting of me.
After that I just walked, and just continued walking without stopping. Until I got to the dingy little bar in the derelict little town. And now I sit on an old and worn bar stool, watching disgusting men and women waste their lives. Correction, they have wasted their lives. I stand, as the night draws to a close, I think it’s around four am. I make my way towards a small group of men playing on a pool table with little felt. I will start with them, and then make my way through this entire town. Doctors will put their deaths down to a strange disease. But the stars will know the truth. The stars will tell tales of me, Jezebel, the demon who almost made it back home.