Asmodeus’ hand gripped Zafira’s throat, choking
her. “You’re next, as soon as I’m finished with
Cole fired his pistol’s remaining rounds to no
effect. He punched Asmodeus directly in the face
but it was like hitting a concrete wall. “Get off
her, you f—-r!” he yelled, breaking a dining room
chair over the demon’s head.
He saw the sword Ragnarok laying on the floor.
“Cole… Don’t!” Zafira’s broken voice stopped him
as he reached for it. From the look on her face,
he knew he would surely die if he touched it. And
if he died, so would she.
Cole panicked. What could he do? Everything he
tried had no effect. What good was he if he could
not protect anyone he loved?
Cole suddenly felt a strange disturbance in the
room. The sounds of Zafira’s cries and
Asmodeus’ yelling diminished from but a whisper
to dead silence. The dark blood oozing from
Zafira’s wound stopped flowing — the droplets
hovered in thin air. Dust motes froze in the mystic
light. Everything in the room was completely
motionless and silent.
“What the hell?”
Ragnarok, the cursed sword, sprang to life. It
hovered in front of Cole, then stabbed the floor at
A blinding flash illuminated the room. Cole blinked
and swung his dazzled eyes away.
When he turned back, the sword was gone.
Standing in its place was a young teenage girl in
a pink dress straight from an animated fairy tale.
Wings of an angel with bright ivory feathers
sprouted from her back. Horns of a demon,
curved forward to sharp points, rose from her
skull. Red glowing eyes stared up into Cole’s
“W-Who are you?” Cole asked.
“I am everything, and everything is me,” the girl
spoke, in an eerie ethereal voice that echoed
hollowly against the walls.
Cole took a step backward. “Are you a friend or
The little girl smiled. “I am neither.”
Frustrated with her riddles, Cole focused on trying
to move Asmodeus again. Even using all of his
strength, he could not budge the demon’s body
frozen in time.
“That won’t work,” the little girl said.
“Then what will?” Cole shouted at her.
The little girl walked over to Asmodeus. “My poor
Asmodeus. I remember the day I created you and
my other children. So young and full of promise.
But you lost sight of your purpose. Humanity was
never meant to be yours.”
“You… created him?”
The girl ignored Cole’s inquiry. “This creature,”
pointing at Zafira, “has had such a tragic
existence. Perhaps it is better to let her die, to
put her out of her misery.”
“No! She doesn’t deserve this!”
She turned to Cole. “What makes you think so?
She has ended thousands of lives, threatened to
upset the balance of the universe, and used you
to suit her needs. She is a demon, evil by her
“Maybe it was her intention to use me in the
beginning, but I know that isn’t how she feels
now. I have felt her love, and witnessed her pain.
She’d do anything for me, and I’d do anything for
The little girl walked to Cole, taking his hand in
hers. “This is why I came to you, mortal. It is
when you are at your most vulnerable that you
are also at your most powerful.”
Cole shook his head. “I don’t understand any of
To Be Continued