I’ve been playing with this idea for a while and this was just put down on “paper” so it’s definitely rough. Whether anyone like it or not is immaterial since I enjoyed writing it. I’m going to continue this story/idea more this weekend. I like where it’s taking me.
Settle down, Cap’s on deck,” said Sergeant Marcella Stork. Stork tapped her pen impatiently on her podium. Tap-tap-tappity-tap-tap. Espinoza kept making the pen do it’s dance even as the morning song of roll call conversations and whispers came to an end.
“First order of business, we’ve had some minor tagging in the Boyle Heights area, no surprise there considering the past, but the brass wants an extra eye on that to keep our presence known. The area has come a long way and no one past our pay grades wants to see that ruined. Secondly, there have been a string of church break-ins in Boyle Heights. Nothing taken, but there’s been property damage and not to mention two assaults within the premises. Goes without saying, keep your eyes open. Community leaders hate people of faith getting beaten more than gentries hate having gang graffiti show up outside their door.”
Stork droned on as Officer Penelope Penn rubbed her right temple while she took notes. Penn’s head was thrumming with a headache, and she wasn’t sure how much more of the noise around her she could take. As an Asmodeus she should have been oblivious to normal discomforts. This was something unheard of for her.
She shut her eyes and to block the pain and was successful up until the time her partner, Roy Valdez, nudged her back into pained awareness.
“We got our assignment, Penn. Time to shine.”
Valdez was standing, staring at her for a moment in confusion. “Penn? You okay? You look like you’re hurting.”
She opened her eyes and for a moment she could see the demon he was, and not the human he pretended to be. For two seconds the sight of him frightened and angered her. Her nostrils flared and her nails bit into the fake wood of the table.
“Yeah,” she said, regaining her composure. “I’m good. Let’s get our shit together and get out there.”
“Right. I’ll get our long guns and meet you at the black and white.” Valdez hesitated long enough to give her a doubtful look.
Penn stood, collected her notebook and pens and turned to leave when Sergeant Stork called for her.
Penn joined Stork at the podium, and Stork gave her a look meant to silence her as the room cleared of the last two officers to leave.
“Good job on handling that homeless homicide the other night.”
“It wasn’t that good of a job. I had the assholes-”
“You’re goddamned right it wasn’t that good of a job. What the Hell were you doing, engaging three angels like that? Are you trying to start a Holy War or something? Valdez told me he had to back you up because you were letting a little fire show to get your point across. You know they have free reign to take who they want. If they help a lostie to their end, what’s it to us? Nothing, that’s what. You keep your mind on regular human LEO matters and not this shit. You suspect something dirty with the Hosts and their bullshit you report it to me and then leave the aforementioned Hosts’ bullshit up to Semyaza and Aolas. Copy that?”
“You copy this, Halpas,” answered Penn, dropping human pretense and using her demonic rank. “That was murder of a human being. It wasn’t his time. It was three spoiled kids kicking a puppy to death. We’re cops, right? Or at least we pretend to be to keep up appearances. I get cruelty, I like it, but this was something different. I’m telling you it wasn’t his time, and they…”
Penn trailed off. Her vision dimmed for a minute and the sight of Stork in her true form appeared before her. Once she found the bloodied bird like head with its barbed hooked beak, twisted horns and pointed ears amusing, except now it angered her. She still gripped the pen in her hand and it splintered oozing the black ink onto the podium.
“Are you sick? Can’t be. We don’t get sick, not from human bugs anyway. What’s your damage, Penn? You on your monthly?”
“Fuck you. Go lay an egg or suck one. I’m fine, and it wasn’t his time.” She was never good with comebacks, and it felt like her worst one yet.
A malicious chuckle cleared Stork’s mouth. “Who says it wasn’t his time? You? Neither you nor I get a say in that. Only the dicks above and below get to make that determination. Go meet your partner. We’re done here.”
Penn scowled at Stork and then at the shattered pen still in her grasp. She let the remains fall and walked out of the briefing room, forcing herself to remain calm.
She walked into the hall and found Valdez waiting for her, leaning on the opposite wall.
“What was that all about? It sounded like you had her shitting all over you.”
“No one heard any of that, right?”
Nope. Not that anyone would understand either of you. You were both speaking Aramaic of all things. Why in the High Heaven would you even think that’s okay, by the way?”
“I didn’t even realize it. Let’s get to the car. We’ve got to talk something out.”
“Yeah, well…” said Valdez, straightening up. “Here’s your Bushmaster and mags.”
Penn grunted, and took the rifle.
They pulled out onto 1st Street in silence. Penn waited thirty minutes before addressing Valdez and what Stork had told her.
“Look, I never said I had to save your ass from the Lordship and her dogs. I told her I backed you up, and that was it.”
“Stork left me with the impression that you had to pull my ass out of the fire.” Penn popped a dozen Tylenol into her mouth as stared out the window at the passing neighborhood. She chewed them feverishly and gulped down water to cleanse her mouth.
“That stuff will kill your liver,” joked Valdez, trying to lighten the mood.
“The sight of you in your true form will do that faster. What the Hell were you even thinking.”
Valdez glanced at her disbelievingly. “What are you talking about? My true form? Pen Penn I haven’t changed but once in the past 24 hours and that was in the flame baths to get the human stench off me. True form. Huh, you’re either coming down from a high, or you’re sick. And that’s two things I know are impossible.”
“Goddamn it. I’ve got a headache. That shit happens to us from time to time. For fuck’s sake why is everyone bringing this up? It’s just an aftereffect from touching the Lordship. For Christ’s sake.”
Penn drained her water bottle as the cruiser slowed for the red light.
“Wow. Enochian, German, and Russian all jumbled together. I get the Russian and the German. They’re good for limericks and tongue twisters, but the Enochian? No one speaks that dialect anymore, thank you very fucking much, Baal. Something is literally eating you.”
What had once been a 16th century attempt to make a human’s soul wither as a practical joke had led to the near annihilation of a common dialect of demonic speech. Baal had been demoted in the hierarchy due to the stunt.
This is copyrighted 2018 by Jason McKinney. Enough said.