The following flash fiction is included in "Short Tales of Secret Worlds" now available on Kindle.
“Make certain the tower is locked, and the priest still breathes. Then get out. The portal closes within the hour.” Gad retracted his battle-torn wings as he gave J’than his orders.
The soldier nodded and reached for his M16.
“Don’t bother.” Gad shook his head. “Your weapons cannot go through the portal. However, the Watcher’s sword rests atop the tower. The Nephilim left it there. For the priest I suppose.”
J’than frowned. He clenched his fists which wrapped his body armor around him from head to foot. Taking a breath, he stepped through the portal. But on the other side, hydrogen sulfide infiltrated his lungs. He coughed till he managed to activate his oxygen pack. This was the unfamiliar world. The one men tried not to believe in.
|The Glory of Reims|
He ignored the pleas. His job was to secure the tower. “Flight.” J’than’s voice-command equipped his body armor with wings: F22-Raptor particles. He fortified the tower, every lock he bolted, every crack and hole he sealed.
He found the sword. It was longer than he expected and heavier. With weapon in hand he walked into a cold cave. There he saw the priest. A pouch of coins dangled from his tattered belt. His pale blue hand clutched a bloody sword. Red veins lined his black eyes. And an open wound, unable to heal, scarred his neck. “Where is your sign? Let me see your forehead.”
J’than’s grip on his sword tightened. “No sign.”
“No sign! No pass!” Then, with unexpected velocity, the priest charged toward J’than.
They clashed midair. Sword upon sword, resonating through cavern walls.
“Who are you?” J’than hollered as iron ignited.
“You can’t kill me. I’m already dead. We could fight for eternity.”
“You wouldn’t last. Just tell me who you are and I might let you live.” J’than backed away, though his sword pointed at the priest’s face.
“I betrayed Him, you know. With a kiss no less.” Saliva trickled from the priest’s lips.
“This I knew,” J’than replied, “I just needed to hear you confess it.” The soldier slashed the pouch with his sword which scattered the silver coins. “Your reward!”
The priest scrambled to gather his coins but J’than grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and lifted him off the ground. “Scelestus. Traitor! You truly are lost.” He threw the priest’s body onto the parched ground. Thump! Bones rattled and broke.
The priest staggered to his feet. “Go then. Perdition waits. Why you travel here is none of my concern. You will not return.”
“I came to make sure you had not found a way out.”
The priest stroked the wound on his neck. “Did they kill Him?”
J’than walked toward the closing portal. “Yes, they did. But three days later he rose. I didn’t believe it myself until I saw you. I’m guessing it’s why they sent me.”
The portal closed. The soldier was gone. Pockets of lava seeped through the parched land. The gnashing of teeth grew louder. The ancient tree appeared and a noose slithered down. The priest hung himself … again. Three days later, breath returned to him. He sighed. Eternity … “This is Hell.”
(support the Gatekeeper with a simple click on any of the following)
King On A Cross
It's only hell when Heaven's in your view ... but you can't get there.
The Cross Is Still Divine