My entry for the Terrible Minds Random Word Writing Challenge this week.
My first entry to one of these. The two characters are from a novel I am working on, and this was a nice chance to play with them.
And, so they don’t distract too much, I put the words after the story not before. I managed to sneak in five rather than just four.
The hallway continued on forever. The same stained motel carpeting disappeared in either direction. John kept telling Warren he had no idea which way they were going, approaching infinity or approaching zero. Wasn’t really much of a joke, especially since Warren was not in calc. But John would still try to explain it every time.
Prophecy 734: Don’t trust the chef, poisoned food spells your doom.
There were doors lining one side, on the other windows looking upon a cemetery. The doors were identical. The cemetery always looked the same, no signs of funerals or flowers.
Prophecy 227: Your enemies are close, but your doom is closer. Fear betrayal.
They had spent most of the summer out here opening doors. A few spells from John and a few stories, and their parents didn’t even miss them.
Prophecy 38: Beware demonic creatures, a four-legged mongrel from the lost dimension will kill you.
They had packed up their gear, including a staff for John, and swords for Warren. Armor was a combination of new and old, they started with an old motorcycle jacket and a welding jacket. Studs were placed to add protection, they had tested them out and they would stop a sword or an arrow, most of the time.
Prophecy 656: Fear the other sex, a woman will kill you.
At each door, John would check the door, wearing one remaining pair of gloves that the clockwork spiders had not burned with their laser venom. Then he would look at Warren, “Ready?”
Warren would say, “Ready.”
Prophecy 999: Never fear a crowd, you will die alone.
John would throw the door open and if nothing flew out, Warren would barrel into the room and John would cover him from the door. The last room had a bookcase, filled with small leather volumes, containing numbered prophecies. Thousands of prophecies, maybe millions.
Prophecy 834: You will die in violence.
John approached the next door, “Bah, we should just skip this one, try the next door.”
Warren looked at John and then smiled. Warren said, “No, we have to do this one, now.”
John sighed and made an exasperated face, “Really, why?”
“All summer we have been opening doors. Hundreds of doors. Doors, doors, doors. More doors. And other than the joke about approaching infinity, you never once, until this door, have said anything other than ‘Ready’.”
“I finally get bored, and you think it is important?”
“Yes,” Warren said. “Open the fucking door.”
Prophecy 111: Trust in completeness, if not you will die outside an unbroken circle.
John threw the door open. And when nothing came out, Warren burst into the room.
There were two devils inside the room. They had red skin, tails, little horns, though the devils had been inside so long they were now faded to the color of skin under a band-aid. The larger one was at the center of the room starting directly at the wall. Surrounding it was a series of mystic circles on the ground.
The smaller devil leapt up and said, “About time!”
Prophecy 5: Fear the flames, you will burn to cinders.
“My master will not acknowledge you, he is a slave to prophecy,” the smaller devil said.
“Our coming was prophesied?” John asked.
“No, no. All of the prophecies he collected were about himself, how he would die,” the small devil said. “Over one million prophecies. So many that he is paralyzed following them.”
“More than one prophecy about how he is going to die? How? You only die once,” Warren said.
“One prophecy can be avoided, and another could be true,” the devil said. “He accumulated more and more prophecies, my master, and now he is their prisoner. Unable to take action without tempting fate.”
Prophecy 42: Mathematics will get you in the end.
John stuck his head into the room to see what the larger devil was looking at, tripped, and then stumbled over his staff, launching himself forward. His staff spun one way landing with a clatter in one corner. Windmilling both arms as he stumbled, he managed to drag an arm or a leg through every circle on the floor, causing sparks of magic and color shooting into the air as he did. John slammed head first into the devil.
The large devil tensed as soon as John touched him.
It was incensed, it bellowed and then it made a screech, like a bird of prey. Numbers started spilling out of the devil, it seemed to be mad, or maybe it was listing the prophecies that had just been violated. John stared it right in the eyes.
John waited, assuming it was all over.
Instead, warm, gooey, wetness drenched John, it covered him everywhere. At first he did not know where it came from, but after he got the blood out of his eyes he could see his staff stuck almost halfway through the devil. The smaller devil was holding the staff and letting out something between a screech and an orgasm.
The smaller devil stopped screeching, and pulled John’s staff from the other devil’s chest. The large dead devil dropped to the ground.
“One-second, and I will have the payment for you,” the smaller devil said.
Prophecy . . .it doesn’t matter any more.
“What the fuck?” John said.
Warren shrugged. “Just play along,” he said.
The small devil walked back in dragging a chest. He slid it to Warren, “Make sure your master gets this. You can tell him I kept some of the gold, took you fools so long to get out here.”
“Why did you need us if you could kill him yourself?” John asked.
“I wanted him to have the chance to forget about the prophecies. I needed something outside his prophecies, and when he did not re-act at all to you. Well, he deserved no more chances. Once he was the greatest devil, but then he became obsessed with his prophecies, in the end he could not see beyond them.”
And my five words: