Hellhound (1 - Fate)
I suppose this isn’t exactly the kind of OF you put in first-person perspective, but I find it much easier to write that way I feel rather strongly about this particular storyline, so I hope you guys enjoy it
“Are you nervous?”
“Hmhmhm, …not in the slightest.”
“Of course not. …Why so concerned?”
“…I’m just making sure that you’re alright.”
“Hmhm, …I’m just fine. …I’m here with you, after all.”
“…Oh, Justin, you’re such a sweet-talker.”
“Hehehehe, well, I do my best.”
I couldn’t remember how long we had been sitting out there on that bench, …but the time really held little importance to me. I could’ve sat on that bench forever, so long as she was in my arms. …The world often appeared as nothing more than an illusion during the times we were together like this. Unfortunately, the concert began in roughly fifteen minutes, so our time together would have to be cut short for, at least, the next hour or so. I checked my watch to confirm this.
“Baby, we’ve got about fifteen minutes before show time, so I gotta get going.”
I looked down into her eyes, only to see that they were closed. …Fortunately, though, I knew her better than anyone. She did this every single time I tried to end our little moments together…and, for some odd reason, it got more and more adorable each time.
“Angel. …Angelina. …Baby, come on. We gotta go.”
I would’ve shaken her to get some sense across, but I adored her too much for that, …so I slid my hand beneath her sandal and began rubbing the bottom of her foot…and that certainly got her attention.
“Hehe ha ha ha ha ha! Alright, alright, I’m up!”
“Oh please, you were never asleep!”
“Ha ha, okay, you got me. Well, now I’m waiting for you, slowpoke, so let’s go.”
“You…oh, you’re so gonna get it.”
From there, I chased her into the main building, though she barely made it into the back room before I grabbed her around the waist as she screamed to the others for help.
“Whoa, Justin! Just what are you two doin’, man?”
“Hehe, maybe she wants a kid.”
“Hahahahaha, well, I think there’s a bed in the back, but that’s reserved for groupies, man.”
The two of us quickly regained our self-control. …The band certainly was a rowdy bunch…and we all shared a great sense of humor, something I was very grateful for. Fortunately, our drummer was a woman who was more than eager to keep us all in check when we got too disorganized.
“Alright, alright, cut the stupid jokes, people! We got show time in about ten minutes!”
Any laughter that was still going on immediately came to a halt. Veronica was our oldest member, being in her mid-twenties, and was, by far, the most intimidating. …Of course, the fact that I was nineteen and was still the closest to her in age only reinforced that fact. After a few quick memorizations of our song lyrics, which was rather stupid in the fact that I wrote the songs, I took a look around to make sure everyone was set before turning back to Angelina.
“Ooooh, …so you gotta leave now?”
“It’s only five songs, baby. This shouldn’t take any more than forty minutes. …You can wait that long, can’t you?”
“I don’t know, …can I?”
“Hmhmhmhmhm, …I’m still not sure why God thought I ever deserved you.”
“Well, jeez, care to flatter me some more.”
“I can do this all night.”
“Hmmm, I’m sure you can.”
Aside from the quick-wittedness that showed in our one-on-one conservations, the other thing which I’m grateful we both shared in…was our strong faith, something that was mutual among the rest of the band, as well. The two of us have known each other since middle school years, though we only recently began dating in our junior year of high school. And apart from graduating together, purchasing and moving into our first home, sharing our very first kiss, …and our very first time, …another moment we share in common…was the day the both of us were saved. Looking back, I could very well argue that that was the best moment of my life…and I have a rather vivid memory. That day, we not only certified that we would remain together in this life, …but in the next, as well. …I truly loved this woman with all I had to offer and, had I known that this kiss was going to be our last, …I would have savored it all the more.
“Yo! Lovebirds! Show time, let’s go!”
And with that, our lips separated once again, though it seemed she wasn’t quite ready to let go of me.
“I heard you say forty minutes. …I consider that a promise.”
“Hmhm, I’ll make it happen, then. …I love you, baby.”
“Love you, too.”
We kissed one more time before she went outside, leaving me standing there in the center of the room…feeling around my mouth for something that was once there.
“…She took my gum.”
Everybody else immediately burst into laughter and I couldn’t help but join them.
“Yeah yeah, real funny, man.”
“Alright, guys, circle up. Prayer time.”
Following Veronica’s orders, the five of us grouped together in the middle of the room, placing our arms over each other’s shoulders and lowering our heads.
“Justin, you care to do the honors?”
“…Why don’t we keep it silent tonight? At least then, nobody disagrees with something I say.”
“Hmhm, sounds good to me.”
“…Alright. Lower your heads, guys.”
I can still remember what I asked for in that prayer. …A good show, …a safe ride home for everyone, …good health, …that Angeline and I would stay together forever, …and that nothing bad would happen that night. …Well, at least He delivered one of the five.
“Alright, guys! Let’s go give ‘em a show!”
In the next moment, the five of us were out on stage, each with our instruments in hand…or a microphone, in my case. I took a moment to look around for Angelina, who was supposed to be near the front of the crowd, but I was unable to spot her by the time the music began playing around me. The overtone was soft, a few chords from the guitar, followed shortly by small signs of life from the bass. …I closed my eyes, breathing deeply through my nose, letting the music seep in, …before I began taking in another long, deep breath. …For an instant, the music was barely audible, …but the instruments around me suddenly sprang to life as I unleashed a loud scream that echoed across the auditorium. …I suppose most people believe that metalcore isn’t the most formidable genre for a man of my faith to partake in, …though I respectfully disagree with that. I had been listening to these supposedly “Satanic” artists since I was fourteen and I can honestly say that the most beautiful songs I have ever heard are in this genre of music. …I suppose some would call my faith lukewarm in nature, but I have a personal relationship with Christ in my heart…and they can never denounce that.
The concert went almost better than I anticipated and I quickly introduced the main act for the night before running backstage with the rest of the band, who were just as psyched as I was.
“Ha ha HA!! THAT’S how you show a crowd a good time!”
“Damn right! Hey, Justin, how’re you holding up?”
“Feeling fine, man, …feeling fine. Hey, did any of you guys see Angel while you were out there?”
The rest of them quickly fell silent and began looking around at each other, Veronica being the first to answer.
“I guess not. Why, was she not out in front of the crowd?”
I shook my head rather suddenly, hinting to the others how worried I was.
“Hey, man, it’s cool. I’m sure she probably wanted air or something and went outside.”
“…Yeah. …Yeah, that’s probably it. I’ll be right back.”
“Well, hurry up, man. We’re about to paaaarrr-tay!”
I merely shook my head and smirked a little as I headed out the back door. At first glance, there was no one around. The bench we had been sitting on earlier was empty and the street was lined with empty cars. I was about to turn around and head back inside when I heard a few faint voices emerge from the nearby alleyway.
“God, …please don’t let it be her there.”
…She was. Angelina…and two men, each about twice my age, in black leather jackets, keeping her backed against the wall, …and prepared to do God-knows-what.
“Hehehe, c’mon, babe. What’s the big deal here? We said we just wanted you to-”
“Sir, please! I already told you I have AIDS. You don’t want to-”
“Oh, come on, girl. Do you really think we’re that stupid? We know damn well you’re just trying to pull a bluff on us here. …Hey, Paulie, doesn’t it say something in the bible about not telling a lie?”
“Hehe, I do believe it does.”
“You two freaks are the LAST people to-”
Before she could finish, the older of the two raised his hand and slapped her across the face, …sending me completely over the edge.
Before he could even turn completely around, my foot was lodged in his chest, sending him tumbling to the ground.
“Angel, go get the others! Quick!”
Once she ran off, I turned my attention to the second of the two men, who was absolutely infuriated.
“You little son of a-”
He never had the chance to finish his affront before my fist connected with the right side of his jaw.
“You’ve got a hell of a lot of nerve, you stupid prick!”
Any feelings of rage I had at that moment instantly turned to ones of fear…as the sound of a cocking gun filled my left ear. …It seemed these two were bigger cowards than I originally thought.
“You little bastard!”
I can’t exactly remember the last time I was afraid for my life, …but whatever streak I had been working on before this point had undoubtedly been broken. I was about to start running with everything I had…until I heard the clicking sound of an opening switchblade. Of course, I wasn’t about to stand there and accept my death, so I did the only thing I could think to do in that particular moment: …suppress these threats to the life God had granted me. …Taking heed of this task, I reached for the knife and, at this point, was attempting to wrestle it out of his hands.
“Rrrrgh, damn it, you little snot! Let go of my hand!”
“After threatening to kill me!? What kind of a dumbass are you!?”
“You little punk! Paulie, shoot this little bastard!”
“I can’t! You’re moving around too much! I might shoot you, too!”
To be honest, …at this point, that was something I was counting on happening. This struggle was not proving favorable for me and, had the man not been as big an imbecile as he was, …he might have killed then and there. Fortunately, though, I managed to use the strength he was building up in his arm to my own advantage, quickly releasing my grip on him as the momentum sent him plummeting to the ground, the knife dropping from his hand as he did. Only seconds after this occurred, this deadly fray had shifted in my favor, the knife now in my possession as I held it just below the man’s neck, all the while sitting on top of him to keep him pinned down. Knowing he wouldn’t dare attempt anything rash now, I turned to the other man to give my conditions.
“Alright, …you tried to rape my girlfriend AND kill me, so I really have no reason not to start digging into your boy’s throat with this little switchblade here. …Unlike you, though, I know that God’s watching us and he certainly wouldn’t approve of that. …So, here’s how it’s going to work. You’re going to take off now…and, once I feel comfortable doing so, I’ll let your buddy go, too. …But, first things first, you’re going to drop that gu-”
“Hey, man! Whoa, what the hell’s going on?”
Angel, …my band mates, …they finally arrived…and at the worst possible time.
“Guys, what took-”
The next sound I heard was not made by me…or them…or anyone in that alley, …though it did emerge from there. I remember it being loud, …very loud, …then everything else became almost silent. I could barely hear anything…other than a ringing in my ears. I wasn’t even able to turn my head back around to see where it had come from…before I fell backwards onto the ground, …blood now emerging from the hole in my chest.
I cannot remember the few seconds following the infliction of the gunshot. …I suppose I closed my eyes in the midst of the pain. But, when I opened them again, Angelina was holding my head in her lap. …My face was wet as I recall. …She must have been crying rather hard. I lifted my head ever so slightly in an attempt to look around, …though I’d later regret it. Lying no more than ten inches from me…in a puddle of his own blood…was the man I was holding at knifepoint no more than fifteen seconds ago, his partner having apparently ran off after he died. …The knife must have slipped through his neck as I fell off of his body.
“Oh my gosh. …Oh my gosh, I…I just…”
At that point in time, my thoughts were about as distorted as my vision. …Everything about me was shutting down.
She didn’t say a word, only making an attempt to smile as she took my hand into her own. …At the time, all the things my mind was focused on revolved around her, …how I would never wed with her, bear children with her, …die with her, as I said we would on occasion.
“…Never again. …Damn it all…God, I…return to you…my…”
Contrary to my original beliefs, my vision did not darken, as if I had merely closed my eyes, …but rather filled with light. Not like that given off by the sun. …No, …this was so much brighter. …By this time, my eyes must have lost all focus and any slight movements I was making had halted completely, …because the last thing I remember hearing were Angelina’s screams.
Everything became blank. …I couldn’t hear, nor smell, …nor feel anything around me. …The only thing I could see was the bright light before me, which, to my surprise, …was gradually becoming more and more brilliant. Before long, I could feel again. …It was as if I was being held in the air by some unseen force.
As the brilliance of this light reached its peak, a somewhat familiar shape appeared at its heart. …It was a gate…of pearlescent splendor. Once its presence was impossible to rebuff, it slowly began moving closer. …This feeling, …I could not place it into words, …though I suppose ‘amazing’ would suffice. …The gate was now directly in front of me. Even the golden city which rested behind it was nearly in view, …but alas, …I would never get to see it. The moment I motioned to place my hand out in front of me to touch the gate, …everything stopped, …the gate became distant and eventually vanished, …the light which enveloped me instantly became darkness, and my vision was engulfed in flame.
- The End -