Genre Challenge – An Angel among Devils – Part Two

A Year ago I wrote a short story for the Haunted Wordsmiths Genre Challenge called An Angel Among Devils, see the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/an-angel-among-devils-a-short-story/

I reposted this post this morning and so I thought I would share some more with you. So, here is part two.

 

Chapter Two:

After telling him to follow, the ugly brute walked towards what appeared to be a plain wall, decorated with the same muck the rest of the walls seemed to be coated in.

Inspector Tanner glanced back towards the main bar, no one was looking their way, but he knew that though everyone appeared ambivalent, it was deliberate. They were all looking towards where the smartly dressed guy had gone, running out the front door, they now pointedly ignored him and you could cut the atmosphere with a blunt vibroblade.

“Are you coming or what? If you want to stay and get yourself killed, that’s fine by me. I’ll deal with whoever they get to fill your shoes.”

The man with the snake tattoo looked back at him and where there had been plain, gut splattered wall before, there was now an open door.

Inspector Tanner stood up and followed the man through the door and into a dingy back alley.

The man then pressed something in his pocket and the door was replaced again by a solid wall.

“Look, who are you?” Inspector Tanner asked.

“We can’t talk now. That other guy, he’s gone to fetch his gang, we have to be as far away from here as possible. Follow me and keep your head down. I know a safe place.”

You didn’t get far in his line of work without developing an instinct to know who to trust, well he had to admit, his instinct had let him down by approaching the wrong guy earlier, but now he was sure, in order to get out here with his life, he had to follow this man, regardless of how he looked, but it still felt like he being rash.

After taking so many twists and turns along the dark back alleys of the most dangerous district in town, they finally came to a halt in front of another concrete wall.

Again, the man pressed something in his pocket and a blue light flashed down the side of the wall and it twisted to form an opening.

“Quick, in here,” he said.

Ducking through the doorway, Inspector Tanner found himself in a kitchen, pots and pans hang on hooks from a metal rack suspended from the ceiling and a delicious smell of cooking filled the air along with the steam.

Almost hidden, he noticed a woman standing in the corner stirring a large pot with a wooden spoon.

The big man sat down at a metal table and grinned, baring his mouth of gold fillings and missing teeth.

“Now we can talk. Sit” he said pointing to a chair opposite him.

As inspector Tanner took his seat, the woman walked over and ran a gentle hand against the ugly man’s face, a look of adoration in her eyes, made him gasp with surprise.

‘What could such a beautiful lady see in this brute?’ The inspector thought.

Instead, he asked the same question he had asked earlier, “Who are you?”

“I am the man you were supposed to meet, the one who has been passing information to you for the past two years.”

“You’re ‘Fallen Angel’? You can’t be, surely?” The inspector responded sceptically.

The man the unbuttoned the front of his denim shirt and displayed another tattoo painted over his bulging chest muscles of a figure, with horns coming out of a head bowed, and two wings spread either side of him. It was a contrast to the brightly coloured snake tattoo on his arm, this was painted in pale colours that seemed to shimmer in the dingy light of the steamy kitchen, strangely understated.

“This is the Fallen Angel,” He said grinning. “It is who some of us worship here in Hells Campus. Well, those of us who want a better life for ourselves and our people. The Fallen Angel is a symbol of redemption for us. That no matter how bad our crimes, we can put them in the past and work towards something better.”

The Lady brought over a bowl of soup and placed it on the table, again that look of deep love crossed her face. She had large brown eyes, set wide and slightly tilted, her dark chestnut hair covered the left side of her face and then nearly reached her slim waist. Her dress was plain and dark with a touch of black lace around the collar. Her lips were full and bright red but seemed at purse into a petulant scowl when she caught the Inspector looking at her.

The man calling himself Fallen Angel must have also seen him, because he said: “This is Marita, she is my wife.”

Changing the subject, Inspector Tanner asked about the other man, the smartly dressed one who he’d mistakenly thought was his informant.

“He is known as the Accountant. He likes to count things, a toe, an ear, that sort of thing, usually when he is cutting them off his victims. He is not a nice man. Even here, in a district where most people have had to do unpleasant things to survive, he stands out as evil.”

Marita pulled back the hair to expose a scar where her left ear should have been. It spoke far more than words would have done.

Inspector Tanner kept the shock he’d felt out of his voice and calmly asked, “And he works for the Armstrong Gang who’s been responsible for the recent murders?”

“The Armstrong gang are small fry, they are yesterday’s men. It’s true they used to run things down here, but that was before another group came along, bringing with them a new religion. I said some of us worshipped the Fallen Angel. Well, some believe that we have nothing left but to embrace the darkness. this new gang Diablo De La Muerte, they worship Santa Muerte, the lord of murder and death.”

“I did not realise that religion was to blame for all the recent killing,” Inspector Tanner said.

“Hasn’t religion been behind most of the killing in History?” The man responded. He had a look of a religious zealot himself. A look of Marvellous ecstasy in his eyes. This man was as much a fundamentalist as the people he opposed. However, he seemed like the lesser of two evils in this case.

“Tell me everything” Inspector Tanner said, pulling out his recording crystal.

 

***

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/April/2019 

 

This story also contains the following Word Prompts:

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/rdp-friday-rash/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/marvelous/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/your-daily-word-prompt-worship-april-26-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Lady

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/three-things-challenge-pl71/

Today’s prompt: accountant, toe, lace

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/understated/

FOWC with Fandango — Ambivalent

 

 

 

 

 

A Multiple Word Prompt Story – Bonfire Night

When I was growing up, we never really celebrated Halloween. We had another end of Autumn/beginning of Winter festival that we celebrated instead. It is still celebrated today, but not anywhere near as much as it used to be. It is called Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.

I should really be posting about this in November, because bonfire night is on the 5th of November and there is a little nursery rhyme that we are all taught so we don’t forget.

“Remember, Remember the 5th of November

With Gunpowder, treason and Plot.

I See no reason why gunpowder treason

should ever be forgot”.

 

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/remember_remember_the_5th_november.htm

 

Growing up, the Schedule of events would always been the same.

We would gather at one of my many uncles or aunties, I was part of a very large extended family, my mother was one of eleven children. I had many cousins ranging in age from adults (well Jane was only 19 but when you’re six, THAT’s OLD) down to 5 years old. I was one of the youngest, but my cousin Simon was six months younger and Danielle was the youngest at 5.

First we would all help build up the bonfire. Cardboard and old bits of wood were piled as high as we could make it.

Then the fire was lit.

I remember my Auntie Vickie would give us all a potato each, which she’d grown on her allotment, and we’d wrap it in Aluminium foil and bury it near the fire.

Next thing, we would set off the fireworks. We never had expensive fireworks then. They were mainly small ones, called pinwheels, that were nailed onto a wooden post and span round, like a Catherine wheel, but smaller.

I remember being told off for being too rash with my sparkler, waving it around rather carelessly. I loved the smell of the gunpowder. Even to this day, I go for a walk on Bonfire night just to smell the phosphorous in the air.

We would also have a ‘Guy’ which was a human effigy. I used to make mine out of a pair of my dad’s old overalls stuffed with newspaper. My mum would put sparklers in the arms so when we threw it on the fire, the sparklers would light and it would be really exciting, it would illuminate all the faces of my family standing round the fire.

When the fire burned down a bit, we would rescue the potatoes and eat them with lashing of butter. Other culinary delights would be toffee apples, usually made from apples that had gone a bit soft dunked in toffee (which is a bit like caramel but more buttery and it goes hard in the cold). Sometimes we would have Candifloss, which is known as Cotton Candy in the US.

I remember it was always cold on Bonfire night. We rarely had snow, but your breath would always steam up, even standing near the fire. We would drink hot cocoa or warm ribena, which the grown-ups had Tea, or Coffee, or sometimes Mulled Wine.

Finally, after all the excitement, we would play board games, like monopoly or snakes and ladders, which was a good way of calming down after the fireworks.

I remember so many happy times. Now days, I hate fireworks, the loud bangs, I feel shellshocked. Most of my family have gone now, I don’t see many of my cousins any more, but it’s nice to reminisce.

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/three-things-challenge-07-sept-2018/#like-2759

Today’s things are: cotton candy, Snakes & Ladders, pinwheel

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/rash/#like-403

FOWC with Fandango — Schedule

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/your-daily-word-prompt-illuminate-september-7th-2018/#like-581

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/friday-rdp-coffee/#like-806