The Gates , Chapter 13

 

Innocent

I carve on the walls, “Magic.”

It’s not me who writes it.  It’s him.

 

-What is your name?-

 

– I am Legion.  What’s yours?-

 

-Innocent.-

 

-What kind of name of Innocent-

 

-What kind of name is Legion?”

=My name is Legion because we are many-

 

-You don’t sound like many.  You sound one-

 

-We are one.  One ocean made up of many droplets.-

 

-What do you want?-

 

-I want to wash you away with the tide-

-My name is Innocent, because I was dumb enough to let you-

 

I remember when he first came to me.  The demon.  That is when it possessed me.

What is possession?  Possession is like losing a fight.   Not just any fight.  It’s losing a fight against a demon.  You ever heard of a guardian angel?  Well hell has something similar.  The dominion of hell is much larger than we could imagine.  They have towers much bigger than humans can construct.  This is a kingdom dedicated to your corruption.  And it’s real.  All the stories.  All the scary tales that used to keep you up at night are real.  It’s a war with two sides.   Every time your father told you to be good, he was warning you.  I remember when my father warned me.  You’d be tempted.  He told me.  And he was right.  I was tempted.  Those voices in your ear that tell you to do something you know you shouldn’t do are intentional. That’s not your mind.  You control your mind.  There is an urge though.  You know what it is.  The dark desires.  The whispers.  The frightening voices that make you turn against your own nature.  They make you betray your mind.   And you fight.    And each one of us are assigned a demon to torture us and take us over.  And each day those demons whisper in our ears to tempt us and to sway us.  What is possession?  Possession is when you lose that right.

My name is Innocent and I am possessed.

 

I stopped fighting my inner demons a long time ago.  We are on the same side now.

 

“I was asleep,” I state to the person knocking on my door.

 

She walks in dark and terrible.  Her eyes heavy.  She wasn’t really pretty.  She’d never really learned how to walk as a human.  She was sloppy.  She was different.  I knew why.  She was never really given a name.  She was taken over as a child and became what she is now.  She is the Nameless.

“They say when you knock on the devil’s door long enough he’ll answer,” Nameless tells me, her voiced raggedy and wretched.  All demon was there no human.  She didn’t share a body like I did.  The devil had taken over.

“I’m not the devil,” I state.

“You serve him.  You seem out of it.”

“The body I inhabited…it…seems eager to want to return back to life.  It clings to it,” I explain to Nameless, “I don’t know how to break it.”

“I don’t know what you mean.  The body I possessed has no issues,” Nameless responds.

“That’s what happened when you possess a weak child.  Mines is…different…”

“How?”

“It’s resisting,” I explain.

I don’t know how else to say it.  I struggle.  Or he struggles.  Or we struggle.  I’m not sure anymore of those sort of things.  Pronouns haven’t meant much in such a long time.

 

“You don’t have time to resist.  Find the source of this…resistance.  Get rid of it.  HE wants to see you,” Nameless states.

 

I get off the bed.  I take one of the black robes.  They were sacred to him.  I cross to Nameless.  She gives me an eye.  I don’t know the name of the devil that has taken over this body.  We never discussed those sort of things.  I doubt she knew and if she did know she wouldn’t be able to tell me.  Demons took over the mind of the weak much easier.  There’s nothing much weaker than a newborn baby who hadn’t even been named.

 

She was older now.  She had become older without really experiencing life and loss.  She hadn’t experienced anything.

 

Speaking of lost as we approach the room we see him standing there and the first thing that he says to me is, “You lost—-”

 

I stand there and look at Lafayette.  Nameless had no names but Lafayette…he has many. He was the adversary, the devil, the destroyer, the dragon, the enemy, evil spirit,  the serpent and the spoiler.

His voice is a grumbling moan, trickling down.  He sits on a makeshift throne carved from black onyx and whicker.  Behind him were the many faces.  The dark faces that twist up braids weaving in and out of each other. They mock me.

 

To my left is Promise.  To my right is Nameless.

 

Neither of them say a word.

 

It’s me who speaks, “The angels came.”

 

Lafayette is unmoved, “I can’t hear you.  Come closer.”

I take a few steps.

“The angels…”

“Closer.”

“Yes sir.”

“Closer still.  Closer yes.  Come.  Take.  A step.  Closer.”

Too close.  My body is wrapped in his arms.  His lips are pressed against my cheek.  He licks at my neck and at my earlobe.  His tongue more serpent now than human.  The voices whispering behind his throne.  There are no metaphors here.  They whisper to him.  The legion.  The many.

To my left is Promise.  To my right is Nameless.

 

Neither of them say a word.

 

It’s me who speaks, “The angels came.”

Lafayette is unmoved, “Have you heard of Scaphism.  Or the “THE BOATS”?”

Promise and Nameless stand in the shadows. They look at me.  I can tell they don’t want to be involved in this.  For some reason it’s just me Lafayette is targeting with these questions.  He ignores Nameless and Promise as though they don’t exist or as though they weren’t out there on the battlefield with me when we lost

 

“For many years I lived with the Devil.  I dined with him.  I loved him.  I fucked him,” Lafayette explains, “There was only one thing in the world that ever shocked the devil.  There was only one thing that made the devil take a look and say, ‘wow…I have competition.’ It’s THE BOATS’. Ask me what they are.”

“What are they?”

“We saw it only once in history.  Only once.  It happened with the Greeks, the mortal enemies of the Persians. The victim would be trapped inside two boats, or hollowed out tree trunks, with just their head, hands and feet protruding. They would be force-fed milk and honey the point at which they developed horrendous diarrhea. At this point more milk and honey would be poured all over them, particularly the eyes, mouth and genitals, in order to attract insects.  The idea was that, as the boats filled with milk, honey and feces, biting and burrowing insects would colonise it, inflicting horrible torture on the victim. There is debate as to whether the insects would actually burrow into the skin, or simply drive the victim mad as they swarmed, but this combined with whatever injuries were inflicted would cause the body to become horrendously gangrenous.  The torture was dragged out for as long as possible, but death would eventually come as a result of dehydration, starvation, exhaustion and septic shock.  This was the terror of THE BOATS.  This is Scaphism.  It was the only time the devil looked away.  But I wasn’t shocked.  I was intrigued.  It was at that point I knew that I had to take over his role.  He could no longer do the job that was needed.  I knew all the details.  Would you like to know more, Innocent?”

“No…”

Lafayette stares me in the eyes.  He doesn’t look away.  He never looks away.

“Fail me again and I’ll show you the details…intimately.”

With that I’m excused.  I walk out of the room.  The threat is loud and clear.  I was not to fail him again.  Ever.  Promise and Nameless are shortly after me.  They stare at me looking at my expressions.

 

“What do we do?” Nameless asks with panic in her eyes, “We can’t fail him again.  He wants his wife.  We need to bring her to him.”

Lilith.   This was all about her to a point.  If it wasn’t for her being stolen by traitor Yas, nothing would have mattered.

“He’s punishing me for Yas,” I explain to them, “He thinks I have something to do with it.”

“I wonder how he would have gotten that idea,” Promise responds.

Promise offers me a smile.  A shady smile.  I never trusted him.  Promise had always been jealous.  Sure we were all generals but there were even ranks amongst the generals.  Promise was not as old as me when he was turned.  He didn’t have the experience dealing with others. The body his demon had taken over was powerful but it wasn’t mature.  There was a weakness there. A weakness that Lafayette didn’t trust.  So I was over Promise and he resented me the whole time.  I can see it in his face now.  This entire thing must have had to do with him.

 

I want to do something.  Anything.  I stare him down giving him a death stare that would make anyone uncomfortable.

Promise shakes it off though.

 

Nameless struggles to get an answer, “Innocent.  What are we going to do?”

My mind is telling me I need time to plan.  My mind is telling me I need time to focus on the next move.  But my demon is telling me now.  Now.  NOW!  It gets louder.  The voice echoes in my head.  It’s hungry for redemption.  It’s hungry to prove something to Lafayette.

-What do you want from me?  Why do you continue to possess me?  Why won’t you let me go-

 

-I want to bring in the tide-

 

I turn to Promise and the others.

 

“Now.”

~

 

Demons fall out on the battlefield.  The city ahead of us is sprawling with activity.

 

-There are people in there.  Innocent people-

 

The demon inside of me is unconvinced.

 

-Cities fall.  People die.  Get used to it-

 

I turn to Promise, “Begin the attack.”

Promise blows his trumpet. The demons attack.  I watch as they come.  They are more than I can count.  There are demons with revolving eyes.  There are demons with their lips rotted away revealing nothing but fangs so long they could tear apart a human in seconds.  He’s too ready for something like this to happen.  A devious smile is spread across his face the entire time.  The demon in him is enjoying every moment of this.  It’s enjoying as the field swarms with demons.  They swarm the city.  The gate we are attacking is being defended by werewolf creatures.  They come out raging.  Their eyes are bulging out of their heads.  They are all snarling and snarking.  They are biting at the wind as they attack.

 

I look over at Nameless and Promise.

“We can’t fail today.”

“You can’t fail today,” Promise corrects me, “We’ll be given a chance to take your place if you do.”

-Rip his head off.  Grab him by the back of the neck.-

 

“You should be working together,” I tell Promise.

 

“We are working together.  We are working on you failing and me succeeding you.  Teamwork.  I think I’ll leave flowers when the insects burrow themselves in your body.”  Promise states.

He laughs.  He’s not alone.  Nameless laughs with him.

 

-Why aren’t you killing him, Innocent?  It’s easy.  The right arm goes over the enemy’s right shoulder, and grips the back of the head. The left arm comes over his left shoulder, reaches across neck, and grabs own right forearm. With enough pressure applied, it can cause brain damage or death.  Just like that you rid yourself of Promise.  Just like that.  It’s that easy.-

 

I take a few steps towards Promise.

“What are you doing?” he asks me.

A few more steps.

 

“Guys look—” we are interrupted.

 

The three of us turn. We’re standing on a caravan.  The platform is being moved by demons strong enough to carry us.  We’re high above the soldiers.  They attack in waves.  It’s a tide.  That’s exactly what it is. A tide washing up against the walls of Eden over and over.  As soon as they repel, the tide turns and a new waves washes up.  It’s only so long that the resistance in Eden would be able to take it.  Or so I think.

 

Then I see something.  Something parts the waves.  Almost like Moses.  Something is parting right through them and moving it’s way over to us.

“What is that?” I ask.

“A spirit…I believe…or a demon…” Nameless states looking at me, “I can’t tell which.”

“It’s coming straight here,” Promise states.

“They aren’t stopping it.” Nameless responds.

Sure enough they were right!   My eyes stare out into the crowd.  I’m shocked by what is happening.  This thing breaks through the crowd.  It moves faster than I’d ever seen before.  Our beasts and demons ravage after it.

I’d never quite seen power like this.  It’s definitely some sort of spirit.  But which one.  Which demon had taken control of this body.

 

“Are those the demons that escaped hell when Lafayette usurped the throne?” Nameless asks, “Is it one of them?  Beelzebub, Abaddon, Mammon, Belphegor, Asmodeous?”

 

I shake my head.

“No.  No this is something else.”

I could feel it.

 

Closer.  This was not Berith, the fallen prince of the Cherubim who tempted men to commit homicide.  This was not Astaroth, the prince of thrones who tempted men to be lazy.  This was not Gressil, the third prince of thrones who tempted men with impurity.  This was someone else.  Who?  Someone old.  Someone ancient.

 

“It’s here.”

The demons were unable to stop it.  It’s standing on the platform with us.  He’s taken the body of a normal boy.  A handsome boy with a muscular, toned body.  His eyes aren’t human but something foreign. It’s werewolf eyes.

I can feel it.  Pure power.

 

“Who are you?”

“Someone who wants to kill you,” he states.

 

He looks over at me.  It’s very specific.  It’s very intentional.

“Why?”  I ask.

“You killed someone the host of this body loved.  Someone named Yuma.”

I stare in the darkness.  I knew the name now.  Not me perhaps but Legion knew the name of this person standing across from me.  Legion spoke the name.  He whispers it into my ear.

 

-Amarok.-

 

“You’re a wolf demon.  A carnal animal that’s been around since the beginning of time.  You should be fighting along with us.  Lafayette would welcome you,” I state to the spirit standing looking back at me.

 

“Don’t know a Lafayette. Not interested in a welcome.”

He takes a step closer.

 

I explain further, “Lafayette is the new king of hell.  He’s taken the throne from the Devil.”

“Not interested in Devils. Not interested in hell.”

“What do you want?  What can we give you?”

“Death.”

I laugh.  I had to admit this thing…whatever it was, definitely had motivation.  I couldn’t remember who I killed in this body.   There were countless people.  Countless boyfriends or husbands or brothers or friends.  What did they all matter?  They were all nothing in the grand plan.  Lafayette was going to take over the world.  He was going to take fulfill the ancient goal of the devil himself.  He was going to dethrone God.

 

“You can’t beat all three of us?”

“Three?” he asks, “I only see you.”

I turn at the moment.  Sure enough Nameless and Promise were gone.  I see them in the distance.  They are pulling the attack back.  I see Promise at the head of it.  He’s doing this on purpose.  He’s RETREATING without me!

I bite my lip.  I’m so angry.

Then I turn back to the Amarok.

 

“You don’t have to this,” I state, putting my hands up, “I’m not your enemy.”

I approach slowly with my hands up.  As I get closer he stands completely still.  Real still.  He doesn’t see it when it happens.  He doesn’t see me up my foot.  From my feet there springs a swarm of locusts.  It’s a small swarm but it’s enough to distract him.  The darkness engulfs him to the point that I think he doesn’t see me but it doesn’t matter to him.  He shoes the entire swarm away like an annoyed farmer before reaching through them and almost grabbing me.

I look deep inside myself.

I had magic in here.  I knew. Somewhere deep.  I could feel it.  I lift my hands to avoid him and summon something else from the magic.  The darkness surrounds me.  I summon it all around me to attack him.  I grow nails thicker than knives as I slash towards him.  My body is a weapon. Demon magic is different though.  It’s unstable.  It doesn’t last long.  For some reason he pushes me away.  Slapping me away.  It’s as though he was toying with me.

 

He grabs for me…again.

I summon dragons.  I summon gigantic spiders.  I summon plagues.  He gets through all of those things.  Promise has retreated with the demon army.  Somehow I find myself alone running in the forest.   Each time I fight him and make an escape he finds his way back to me. We battle back and forth.  I throw this magic at him and for some reason it’s just as though I don’t feel as powerful anymore.  My heart isn’t in it.

 

 

“He’s going to kill you, you know?” a voice states.

I think it’s Legion.  I think it’s the voice in my head, but it’s not.  When I turn I see a boy sitting on the edge of a rock.  He looks over at me.  He has a unique face.  It’s a face I know so well.

“Genesis.”

The baby Lilith isn’t with him.  I turn towards the darkness.  The Amarok has been stalking me through this forest for three hours now.  It isn’t giving up.  It isn’t stopping.  I can’t afford to fight Genesis as well.

 

 

“You’re out of your league,” he tells me, “Your still too young.  You still have so much to learn.”

“My magic is advanced,” I argue, “The Adversary has strengthened my magic with demon blood.”

“So why can’t you defeat the Amarok?” Genesis asks.

 

-Run up to him.  Choke him.  Kill him.  Show him how powerful you are.-

 

I disappear using magic.  I reappear and my hands are around his neck.  He doesn’t fight back when I squeeze his neck.  He doesn’t even struggle, not even when my grip gets tighter and tighter.  Not even when the veins pop out of his skull.

 

“You think you’re so clever.  The most clever thing you did was give birth to Lilith.”

“That’s our child…”

“The child belongs to him.”

“The child belongs to us,” Genesis argues back, “Don’t you remember?”

All of a sudden we are not in the forest anymore.  All of a sudden we are in the bedroom in a castle.  I drop Genesis.

“What is this?” I ask.

 

 

“Don’t you know magic anymore when you see it.  Real magic?” he asks.

 

The sounds of love making are everywhere.  I turn and see me….not just me.  I have Genesis straddled to the bed.  My dick slides inside of his asshole as he holds onto the sheets.  He moans deeply, thoroughly enjoying me as I enter in and out of him.  In and out.  In and out.

“Yes, give it to me,” Genesis is screaming on the bed.

The memory is so powerful.  It’s almost as though we are there right in that moment.  I’m reliving this memory in my mind.  I feel everything.

 

“Why are you showing me this?”

I’m close to orgasm now.  I see how I bite on his lip.  I kiss him hard.  My tongue swallows his tongue almost.  He breathes into my mouth.  I’m standing over the bed watching this and for some reason it’s like I’m there without really being there.  It’s just a vision.  It’s just a memory but it feels so real that I can almost smell the semen coming out of the tip of my dick and breeding him.

 

“It’s the night that she was conceived.  Lilith,” Genesis states, “I need you to remember…”

“Remember what?”

All of a sudden there is a sound outside.  It’s an interrupting sound.  Something was coming.   I can feel the presence all over again.  Even here.  Even in a memory, somehow I know that it’s coming after me again.

 

“The Amarok,” I state.

“How’d it find us?” he asks.

“It’s powerful. More powerful than you could imagine.  Love is driving it.  Love for someone you took away from him.  If you want to survive it you are going to have to remember.”

“Remember what?”

“Magic.”

I look over at Genesis, “I know magic.  You’ve seen.”

“That’s not magic.”

All of a sudden the window breaks.  The Amarok walks in.  It’s more beast than human now.  It doesn’t turn into a wolf like the other werewolves I’ve seen.  It has fur now and the head of a wolf but the body of a man.   It’s hands have long claws.  It’s terrifying now.  It’s gotten stronger somehow.  Somehow the chase is emboldening it.

“Now this is a chase,” the Amarok growls with a mouth spitting of saliva.

 

“Grab my hand,” Genesis states.

-Don’t run.  Stay.  Fight.  Don’t run.  I’ll protect you.  I’ll keep you safe-

-You haven’t kept me safe this far.  The Amarok will kill me.  It will kill us-

 

-Don’t run.-

 

I look back and Genesis.  The demon in my mind keeping me away from reaching out to Genesis.   The Amarok comes for me.  Snarling, spitting tearing through my memory as though it was nothing.  It was stalking me now through space and time.  Nothing mattered.  It wanted to get to me.  It wanted to reach out to me.

 

I grab Genesis!

All of a sudden I’m transported somewhere else in my mind.

 

 

“Where are we?”

“I brought you to your parents,” Genesis states.

I look at the two men sitting in a chair in a house on a hill.   It seems like a temporary house.  Maybe something like a hideout.   They walk around with this hard vice in between them.  They don’t talk.  They don’t know each other.   It’s as though they lose each other everyday.

I watch Micko as he chants back and forth.  He keeps chanting over and over but nothing is happening.  Nothing is working.  He looks over at my other father Mason.

“It won’t work.  Not anymore.  We shouldn’t have left.  This is our punishment,” Mason states to Micko.

 

“We had no choice,” Micko states.

“We had a choice.  We chose wrong.”

 

 

“You’re blaming me for this?”

“Our son is back there!”

“Our people were in danger.  What did you expect me to do?”

They are arguing back and forth.  Mason and Micko get heated in their debate.

 

“What’s wrong with them?”

 

 

“They are losing their magic,” Genesis states, “Our ancestors are disappointed that the witches fled out of Eden.  They’ve taken back their powers.  Mickson and I are the only two witch doctors left in the world…”

“I know magic,” I state.

“You know nothing,” he states, “If you did you would have stopped the Amarok by now.  But you don’t know how.”

-Don’t listen to him.  Fight him.  He’s trying to get in your head-

 

“Shut up,” I state.

“Excuse me?”

“Not you,” I state, “I want you to keep talking.”

Genesis gives me a weird look.  If only he knew the voice in my head.  If only he could hear it like I could hear it.

 

“The final battle is coming and we need the witches back,” Genesis states, “We need you back, Innocent.   I’ve discovered a way for you to get your magic back.  I’ve discovered a way for all the witches to get their magic back.”

“How?”

“Love.  Love and Sacrifice.  You must give up something you love.”

“What’s that?”

“Me.”

“NO!”

I don’t know what part of me screams out like that.  It’s a part of me deep inside.  It screams out bloody hell and then all of a sudden the whole house that we are in shakes.  It’s like a small earthquake or something.

 

Micko and Mason feel it.  They turn.  Their eyes look over at me.

“Innocent?”

“You can see me?” I ask.

 

My fathers look over at me.  Both of them are on edge.  They should be.  I was possessed.  The voice was in my head.

“What are you doing?” Mason asks me.

I’m confused on what he means until I look at my hand.  There is a knife in it.   Right below me there is Genesis.  He’s standing there.

 

 

“Where did the two of you come from?” Mason asks.

 

“Ignore them.  Do what I said,” Genesis states.

 

“How do you know killing you will work?”

“I was told,” Genesis states, “It came to someone during the act of love in the great garden.   Knowledge is everything.”

“You want him to kill you,” Mason asks, “Genesis don’t do this…”

Mason takes a few steps towards me but Genesis lifts his hand and it throws Mason back like a fucking missile.  He lands several feet away hitting the back of the house.   Micko takes a few steps towards us but with a look from Genesis he stops.  They must really not have their magic anymore.  They don’t even defend themselves.

Had the ancestors really punished them for abandoning their cause by taking away their magic?

There is a sound in the distance.

 

“It’s found us again,” I notice, “The Amarok is here…”

“It will kill you.  The only thing that will stop is if you relearn your magic.  If you take control of your life again.”

“Don’t do this, Innocent,” Micko states, “Son, please…if you’re in there.  You can fight the demon.  Please don’t.”

It’s not the demon telling me to do this.  It’s Genesis.

I look over at Genesis.

 

I don’t understand.  I don’t get any of it.  Why would killing him do anything for us?

“I can’t,” I tell Genesis.

 

I’m crying.

 

-Weak-

 

The demon mocks me but that doesn’t stop the tears.  The demons voice doesn’t sound as strong anymore.  Somehow it’s fading.  I’m having this connection.  It’s not just about Genesis.  It’s a reason he brought me here.  Seeing my parents watching me made this so much worse.  Seeing how they were afraid for me made this so much worse.  Genesis didn’t just want me to sacrifice him.  He wanted to add to that sacrifice.  He wanted my parents to watch me kill.

 

Lost of Innocent.  Paradise lost.

 

“Just tell me, tell me what magic is.  I can keep you alive.  I can defeat the Amarok,” I state.

 

“You’ll have to get that answer for yourself.  And you know how.  Take care of our daughter…” Genesis tells me.

My heart is beating.  It’s beating a million miles per minute. This couldn’t happen.  Not to Genesis.  This couldn’t be the end of him.  Not by my hand.

 

“Innocent put the knife down,” Micko tells me.

 

“Teach her magic,” Genesis states.

“I don’t even know magic.  No one does.  Not anymore.  They took away our magic….”

 

Nothing.  Nothing.

 

The Amarok was here.  I turn.  My heart is beating faster and faster.  I turn and see it approaching, snarling and growling.  Ready to tear my head clean off my shoulders.

 

That’s when I do it.

 

I stab Genesis.

I watch Mason screaming, crying.  Tears streaming down his eyes.  I watch Micko doing the same.  I thought expected this from Mason but I thought Micko hated Genesis.  Why the tears?  Why the crying.

 

 

“Now you know…” Genesis states.

Now I know.

 

 

What is magic?  I can show you.  Empty a space in your reality.  It could be any space.  Take out that reality from your world.  Even the smallest bit of reality will do.  Once you take that reality out of your world, magic will fill it.