Your brother is seriously cat-fishing Ted and Brad by pretending to be an angel? Arden said, still having a hard time wrapping their head around it. Benny wanted to shake their head, but held back.
Being in that cage made him more desperate than I thought, he replied quietly.
“You’re not saving an angel, you idiot,” Arden said, “You’re summoning a demon. What kind of angel would request ritual sacrifices to free them?”
“He only requested the worst of the worst, the ones that the world could do without,” Ted said, “If Hitler were still alive, I would have sacrificed him, but I can make do with some shitty delinquents that no one will miss.”
“Angels are all about protecting humanity, not killing it,” Benny pointed out, “Sacrifices and pentagrams are demonic. Don’t you think I’d know that?”
“I think you’re trying to make us doubt our cause,” Brad snapped, jamming his gun into Arden’s chest. They flinched, but managed to keep them from backing away from Brad.
“You should doubt your cause! You’re trying to unleash hell on earth, and you think that it’s a good thing!” Father Gabriel snapped back. His chest was heaving and his fists were clenched, shaking at his sides. Arden had never known that the priest could get so angry.
“Look Father, just because this angel’s wishes are a little more Old Testament than you might have expected, it doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong thing to do,” Ted replied. Arden shook their head. There was no way Father Gabriel was going to convince Ted that what he was doing was wrong. It was impossible to reason with fanatics.
They glanced towards Brad, who was looking at Father Gabriel with a furrowed brow. He looked like he was confused that the priest wasn’t more excited about their murder plot.
“I thought you’d approve of this, Gabriel,” Brad admitted, “You always talk about Judgement Day and how the good shall inherit the Earth.”
“What you’re doing here, Bradley, is not good. You’re murdering innocent people,” Gabriel said. His tone was softer when speaking to Officer Brad. Maybe he was thinking what Arden was thinking – if Brad started to doubt his cause, and maybe he could be helpful to getting them out of there.
“Innocent?!” Ted echoed, “That Bruce kid murdered three people. Misty burned down a man’s house while he was still inside! And Arden hospitalized an entire football team. They’re all going to hell just for that! I don’t care what you say about God, he won’t forgive those horrible sins!”
“I’ve literally killed less people than you have,” Arden retorted.
Same here, Benny said, I just took souls, I never killed them.
“Do you think that you’re a better person than me? I did what I had to do to save an Archangel! You’re possessed by a demon. I’ve been chosen by an angel,” Ted crowed, clearly proud of himself for being fooled by an imprisoned demon.
Speaking of being fooled by a demon … do you think we’ve held back long enough? Arden asked quietly. They felt the energy of Benny’s telekinesis crackle under their skin.
Hell yes, Benny said enthusiastically. Arden retreated into the back of their head, watching as Benny took hold of their body. He cracked their neck, making Gabriel flinch. He did the sign of the cross and stepped back from Arden. He knew what was coming.
The first thing Benny did was rip the gun from Brad’s hand. It flew across the room into his hand. If Benny had been at his full strength, Arden knew he would have crushed the gun in his hand like it was made of newspaper. But ripping it out of an unsuspecting man’s hand without even touching it was satisfying enough.
Benny wordlessly passed the gun to the priest, who fumbled with it in a way that made Arden very nervous before Gabriel managed to get a good grip on it. He aimed the barrel of the gun at Brad, who immediately put his hands up. Benny turned towards Ted. His self-righteous moment was long gone, and now he looked like he was going to pee his pants. He started backing away from Benny, stepping into the pentagram where Misty was still tied up. He bumped into the chair before scrambling behind her, trying to put some kind of barrier between himself and the furious demon.
“Hey Ted – it’s cool if I call you Ted, right?” Benny said, dropping Arden’s voice and speaking in his deep demonic tone. Arden was felt practically giddy at the panic on Ted’s face, “Did you know you have some paint on your face? I know you were having a moment back there, so I didn’t want to interrupt, but it’s been really distracting.”
Ted patted his face with a shaking hand, his jaw flapping open. Benny grinned, making the candles all around them float up into the air, making the shadows on the walls dance around like horrifying shadow puppets.
“That’s right. We can see you,” Arden and Benny chorused, making the scene even more unsettling. “Let Misty go and we’ll let you live.”
Tears were dripping down Misty’s face, mixing with the blood that was dripping from the gag in her mouth. Benny tried to give her a look of reassurance. They were so close to getting her out of there. Ted’s terror was quickly replaced with rage. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a wicked looking knife. The handle was stained red, and unlike the stains on Ted’s shirt, it wasn’t paint.
“I will raise the angel!” he bellowed. He raised the knife over his head, about to bring it down so he could stab Misty in the back. Misty screamed.
The gunshot echoed loudly in the small room, making Benny drop the floating candles.
“God forgive me,” Gabriel said quietly. Benny turned and stared at the priest, the smoking gun held in his shaking hand. Father Gabriel’s eyes were wide as saucers. Arden expected him to drop the gun, the way he was shaking. But instead he aimed the gun back at Brad, whose hands immediately went up into the air, surrendering.
Red blood seeped out of the gunshot wound in Ted’s chest. Almost in disbelief, Ted touched the blood with his fingers. His eyes were wide in shock, his face turning pale as a ghost as he stumbled backwards. He collapsed against the wall, sliding down to the floor. He took one final breath before he stopped moving, blood dripping off his fingertips and onto the floor.
Benny raced over to Misty’s side, undoing the leather straps. While he unbuckled, he gripped the blood soaked gag with his mind and pulled it from Misty’s mouth, sending it flying across the room, making it splat loudly against the wall. Misty spluttered and coughed, spitting the demon’s blood out of her mouth.
“Fuck you, Ted!” she yelled, glaring at Ted’s dead body.
“Are you alright?” Arden and Benny asked, helping Misty stand up. She wrapped her arms around them tightly, her whole body shaking.
“I thought I was going to die,” she whispered, burying her face into Arden’s chest. They rubbed her back, trying to comfort her.
“It’s alright. Let’s get back upstairs,” Arden replied, feeling relieved to get out of the creepy basement, “Alright, Benny, you can turn off the sight. Our head’s going to hurt like hell tomorrow.”
The edges of Arden’s vision started to blur, and they could feel Benny finally starting to relax. A chill ran up Arden’s spine and Benny made them freeze. Their vision returned, the suddenness of it making Arden cry out in pain. Before they could ask what happened, Benny turned their head towards Ted’s body. Blood was pooling out onto the floor, covering the sacrifice symbol that Ted had painted. The red paint was glowing a fiery orange, and the candles around them suddenly blew out by an ice cold breeze.
“It’s Crantraeth,” Benny whispered, horrified, “He’s coming.”