Font size: - +
LINK 00: ZOLOMON’S REPORT
Blood. The metallic stench of blood hung heavily in the air. I flipped open my phone to check the time. My evac wouldn't arrive for another eighteen minutes. The smell of blood did not prove to be a good sign. I picked up the pace. My sneakers smacked the wooden floors of the aging penitentiary. It would soon be shut down for good. Too many unsightly horrors had occurred in its one hundred and twenty years. I'd bared witness to some of the possessions myself, and they were far from publicity stunts. Demons were real, and they weren't the only ones seeking out vengeance; angels did as well.
I rounded a corner, heading for the front security guard's desk. The smell of blood grew heavier. I cursed under my breath; of all the times to have been late for my shift. Fate had held me up, and I barely managed to give them the slip. Their presence grew in the small Midwestern county of Belmont. My husband and I feared the worst, and for a good reason. The Body of Fate were dead set to see the world burn in hellfire, and we and a handful of others were the only ones standing in their way. The balance of power all came down to tonight. He would be born at midnight exactly. We could see his fate no further for the baby boy would have no chain to follow. Once he left his mother's womb, he'd be off the radar forever.
We could not allow Fate to get their hands on him, and turn him loose upon the world.
As I made it to the security booth, I found my eyes widening in horror. The security guard sat slumped over in his seat, blood dripping from the gaping wound across his neck.
“Dammit all to hell,” I hissed under my breath.
Written in blood were the words, “You're too late, old woman.” and underneath that, only the word, “Fate.”
I slammed my fist on the security desk. The guard didn't have his key ring hanging from his belt. Of course, they'd taken it, and in this ancient prison, there were no electronic locks. Keys were the only way in or out.
Setting my jaw, I turned to the gate blocking my path to the western cellblocks. No barrier would be standing in my way tonight. I lifted my leg and kicked as hard as I could. The door easily flew off its hinges and crashed into the next door, taking it down as well. I winced, feeling the strain in my lower right side. Yes, I had a powered up prosthetic leg, but the rest of my body belonged to a fifty-six-year-old woman with arthritis.
I rushed forward, hopping over the fallen doors. I ran through the hallway bearing windows that overlooked half a mile drop into the valley below. Through the western cellblock I pushed and right into the courtyard. The spotlights were all out, which didn't bode well. They were newer additions, and a guard should've been stationed at each. Either they were in bed with Fate, or they were dead like my earlier unfortunate friend. Thunder boomed somewhere in the distance, and a hot, strong wind blew.
With every ounce of strength I had, I ran across the yard, and into the next building. I burst through the recreation room, leaping over tables. Finally, I made it to the branching hall, leading to the chapel, warden's office, and the med ward. I spun around the corner to the med ward, and that's when I heard the scream.
I raced up to the first door on my right. Without hesitation, I kicked it off its hinges and rush inside.
Before me stood an even grizzlier scene. Dr. Barnard Ring, an associate of mine, hovered over Susanna Ashe, a pregnant prisoner. In his hands, he held her heart. She lay with her head to the side, eyes dead and wide with fear; a scream forever froze on her once beautiful face. Two figures stood in the corner, cowering. The prison’s Priest Benedict, and Nurse Bowkawitz.
I ignored them and drew my forty-four magnum.
Dr. Ring regarded me with a grin, then crushed Susanna's heart in his bare hand.
“You're too late, Zolomon,” he said. “The child is dead. It has been ordered by the Ruling of Seven.”
He referred to the rulers of Heaven, which meant he wasn't with Fate; they were more demon friendly.
I stared at Susanna Ashe's swollen, torn, belly. It bore multiple stab wounds. Could the baby have survived such an attack? I didn't give the bastard another chance to speak. One trigger pull later, Dr. Ring hit the wall, and slid to the floor, dead. Possessed or not, I didn't have the tools, nor the time. Fate would arrive soon. I could already sense their dark miasma in the air. They wanted the boy in their clutches.
I rushed to Susanna's body and reached into the bloody mess. As I found the baby, I carefully withdrew him and wiped the blood from his face. A deep cut ran over his right eye. Just as I’d feared he hadn't made it, and that the world's death sentence had been cast. But the baby stirred. It cried, and I realized I’d never heard such a beautiful noise.
A buzzing came to my ear. “Sandra? Do you read me?”
“Yes,” I said. “I have the package.”