The Light in the Old World

This night I am walking the streets of Seattle. Valentino and I are separated again as he is off in Arizona pursuing a rumor of a group of vampires actually taking control of a small town. I am here looking into what we believe is more demonic activity. I have been wondering about this almost every night. The level of demonic activity is increasing at an alarming rate. I have been praying to God about this, but I have not received an answer. I trust that the answer will become known to me at the proper time.

The streets of Seattle are not unknown to me. I spent many nights as a mortal hunter on the streets of this city. The constant overcast here gives many supernatural creatures an added advantage. However, contrary to popular belief, a vampire still cannot venture out in the daytime even with a fully overcast sky. The light of God that comes from the Sun will destroy us even through the clouds. The overcast does give other supernatural creatures a slight edge as there are more shadows in the city.

I am walking the streets looking for the signs of demonic activity that I have been told about. I have not ventured into the sewer system of the city and I do not intend to. I pass by an alley and I notice a presence there watching me. I can’t see who or what it is, but I can sense that it is there. I do not sense evil off of whatever it is. This person is probably just curious about me; I am a stranger in town after all.

I continue through the streets of Seattle. I am walking through the back streets and not so nice sections of the city. These are the areas that would most likely have demonic activity. I seem to have picked up another shadow in addition to the one that normally follows me around. It is the same person that I sensed watching me earlier. This person seems to be following me.

I purposely head down an alley to lure my new shadow in. I sense curiosity from my new shadow nothing more. I walk down to the end of the alley and pull my crossbow from my back. I kneel down to make it look like I am examining something on the floor. I feel the presence of the person almost right behind me. I quickly turn, still kneeling, and point my crossbow towards where the person should be.

“Don’t move and drop whatever power you are using so that I may see you.” I command.

“I am just wondering why you are here in Seattle.” A woman appears, literally, right in front of where I am pointing my crossbow. She has long black hair and dark eyes and a very light complexion. She is wearing a full length black dress that is similar to the white one that I am now wearing except the style is much older.

“Who are you?” I ask still pointing the crossbow.

“I am Sonja.” She says.

“Well, Sonja, I am here checking on a rumor of demonic activity. Do you know anything about that?” I ask.

“Oh, is that why you are here. Well, you have your work cut out for you. There is always demonic activity going on here. Seattle is known to be a depressing city.” Sonja answers.

“I meant of those that have managed to come here physically.” I said. Sonja obviously knows about the spiritual aspect of demonic activity, and how they flock to places where negative emotions are high.

“That type of activity. There has been a lot of that around here as well, but you are in the wrong place to find the ones that are physically here.”

I was elated. I truly thought that I was here on a wild goose chase. I also thought that I would probably be here for a few weeks trying to find evidence of demonic activity, then probably another week or two trying to track them. Yet, on my first night here, I meet a strange person that can confirm the rumors, and can point me in the right direction.

“Sonja, would it be possible for you to show me where they are?” I ask as I lower my crossbow.

“Sure, planning on taking them down are you?” Sonja asks.

“Yes, I am.” I reply.

“OK. Follow me.” Sonja says.

We start heading towards what appears to be the well to do area of town. As we are walking, I notice that one of Sonja’s bags has smoke coming from it.

“Sonja, your bag is on fire.” I say.

When I say that, the bag opens up, and out pops the head of what looks to be a small dragon. It is a red color dragon that looks like a small statue come to life. The dragon is in the style of the western dragon myths and artwork. The dragon is looking around and is smoking a cigarette.

“Who are you, besides a vampire?” The dragon asks. I look at the dragon like I must have looked at Simon when I first met him. Here was this dragon figurine moving, talking and smoking. I looked at the dragon, then to Sonja and back again.

“That’s Razor.” Sonja says to me plainly. She looks at Razor, “Razor this is Ariel, she is here to do something about the demons taking over uptown.”

“Oh,” Razor says, “Are you taking her to the building?” He asks Sonja.

“Yes.” Sonja replies.

“I have information that I need to show you, Ariel. I can’t do it here, but we would have to go home so I can get on my computer.” Razor says to me.

“What kind of information, Razor?” I ask, still not believing that I am talking to a statue.

“I know what they are doing. You might take out the demons, but there is still what they are doing that might yet be a problem there.” Razor says.

We head towards the section of the city that houses mostly banks, investment firms and other financial institutions. Sonja leads me to a building that looks brand new. It is an imposing tower made that is gray colored with dark tinted windows. The place just looks oppressive. The sign above the door reads Froste and Associates. Froste, a name I know well. I have Lelio Froste to thank for the creature that I am.

“What is this place?” I ask.

Razor pops his head out of Sonja’s bag again and says, “It is a banking and investment firm, one that has become very powerful in a short time.”

“Razor, I could have told her that.” Sonja says.

“You’re too slow; your age is catching up to you.” Razor responds.

“Get back in your bag, before someone sees you.” Sonja commands.

Razor looks at me and says, “See what I have to put up with?”

Before I can respond, Sonja says to Razor, “Back in your bag or no Big Macs tonight.”

Razor then retreats into his bag grumbling the whole time. Shortly after I notice Sonja’s bag smoking again. I just shake my head. Razor mentioned something about Sonja’s age catching up to her. I am pondering this as Sonja leads me through the city; she doesn’t look a day over 20, if that. I can also tell that she is a living creature not a vampire so that remark struck me as odd.

“I see the look of confusion that you are trying to hide, Ariel.” Sonja breaks the silence. “My story is a long one, too long for telling at the moment, but I am much, much older than I look. I am probably older than many of the vampires that you know.”

I just shake my head in acknowledgment to Sonja. There is a story behind her, but I can tell that the story would only bring her pain. Her story might explain a few things, but it has no bearing on the person that she is now. I will do as my husband does and look at Sonja for the person that she is now. We reach her car, an old black Cadillac, and she bids me to enter. Sonja’s car might be an old model Cadillac, but it looks like she just drove it off the showroom floor. We exit the city to the suburbs.

We come to a fenced and gated property. The fence and gate are made of black iron. Trees surround the fence line so thick that you cannot see the house from the fence. Sonja reaches on her visor and pushes a button on a remote control and the gate opens. We head down a long driveway to the house. She pulls in front of a very old home. When I say old, I mean old. The age of the home must be measured in centuries. It is not made of wood, but of stone. The stone is gray in color. The term castle comes to mind though on a much smaller scale.

We get out of the car and head to the front door. Sonja unlocks the ancient looking door which looks to be very heavy. Surprisingly, Sonja opens it with ease and we enter what I assume is her home. The inside of the house is magnificent. I feel like I have been through a time warp when I entered the door. The entry hall looks the same as you see in castles from the medieval times. There are ornate tapestries hanging on the wall. An antique grandfather clock sits directly across from the door. I look at my watch after looking at the clock. The mechanisms of the clock are moving, but the time seems to be stuck at 11:59.

We go through the house and Sonja informs me that we are heading to Razor’s room. Every piece of furniture in this house is a priceless antique. Most of the tapestries and adornments in the home such as shades, curtains and rugs are either black or gray. It seems that Sonja’s entire world is black or gray, I feel for her since her home seems to be a mirror of her pain. Even the antique wood furniture is made from dark stained wood. The only light seems to come from antique chandeliers that have been modified to use electricity but probably held candles originally.

We enter Razor’s room. The word contrast does not begin to describe it. The rest of the house is antique; this room has every modern piece of technology that you can think of. There was a modern looking desk with a computer that looks like it would rival Valentino’s. There is a cell phone on the desk plugged into a charger. The lights, the walls everything about the room was modern. It was like we walked through the door into a different house. The colors here were more bright and vibrant. There were speakers hanging in various places around the room. Pictures were hanging on the walls, pictures not paintings like the rest of the house. All of the pictures were of Razor in various poses.

Razor pops out of his bag and flies over to the computer. He starts typing on the keyboard using his hands and feet. His tail is pressing the spacebar and shift keys. It literally looks like he is dancing on the keyboard. Now, I want you to keep in mind that Razor is a small dragon figurine that has come to life for all that I know. This little figurine has hacked into the computer system at Froste and Associates while I am watching him dance on the keyboard. I wonder what else Razor and Sonja are capable of doing. Razor then opens another tab on the screen which shows the public financial records of the firm.

“Now, Ariel, if you look at these financials side by side, you can see that Froste and Associates has much more money coming in than they are claiming.” Razor says, “They came out of nowhere a few years ago. The firm is buying up as many other financial institutions as they can. Many of the major banks and investment firms are actually subsidiaries of Froste and Associates. You can only find that out though if you actually trace all of the red tape back to the source. Most of the firm’s acquisitions are overseas. The firm is also pushing politicians all over the world to consolidate all currencies into a single world currency.”

“What?!!” I say a little louder than I intended. I figured the firm was up to no good with the name of the firm. I was not expecting that they were pushing a one world currency. The implications of that hit me like a train. I had to look closer at the things that were on the screen of Razor’s computer. It was all right there in black and white. The emails from various politicians and executives of Froste and Associates all supporting the idea were right in front of me. Hopefully, I can do more than just send a few demons back to where they came from. This firm needs to be taken down. Somehow, I must stop this firm from doing what it is doing. I wish that Valentino was here, or Simon, Geraldine, even Cacious. I need help with this, but all of them are too far away at the moment.

“Sonja, can you take me back into the city, please?” I ask.

“Sure.” Sonja answers.

We drive back into the city in silence. I am contemplating on what to do once I reach the building of Froste and Associates. I know that I will need to get into the building. I know that it will not be easy to get past the demons that would be guarding the place. I’ll have to immobilize them. There will be too many of them to banish since the ritual does take a little bit of time, and must not be interrupted. It is possible to destroy a demon that is physically on earth, that serves to send it back where it came from, but it is not easy.

I ask Sonja to drop me off a few blocks from Froste and Associates. I turn in my seat and put my hand out to Sonja. She takes my hand and I say, “Thank you for all of your help, Sonja.”

“You’re welcome, Ariel.” Sonja replies.

“Thank you too, Razor.” I say towards the back seat where the bag that houses Razor is.

Razor flies out of the bag and gives me a hug on my shoulder. “You’re welcome, Ariel.”

I pat Razor on his ceramic back and then get out of the car. I begin walking towards the demons’ building and turn to wave at Sonja and Razor. It appears that Sonja and Razor are in a deep discussion. Sonja returns my wave and continues her discussion with Razor. I continue on towards the building of Froste. I hope that Sonja and Razor leave the area soon, this area is about to become hazardous.

I circle around the building to the back. I am looking for the best possible way that I can get in without causing too much of an alarm. As I am staring at the back door of the building I hear a female voice behind me, “The front door is actually easier, they expect something to try and come through the back so there is a tighter security.”

I turn around quickly to see Sonja standing there with Razor on her shoulder. I was about to tell them to leave when Razor spoke, “We have been in there before, Ariel. We can get you in and show you where to go.”

“I have not lived as long as I have without powers of my own to protect myself.” Sonja says.

I nod my head in acceptance of their help. Razor flies off of Sonja’s shoulder and goes around the corner of the building. Sonja leads me to the door and stands there waiting. The door opens up a crack after a few minutes. I see razor on the door handle pumping his wings to open up the door. Sonja and I step inside the building and Razor flies ahead to take the lead. He leads us to the stairs and down to the basement. We approach the door and I notice a keypad on it. The door is locked with a code. Sonja walks up to the door and places her hand on the keypad. The light turns green and the door unlocks. That is an interesting power that Sonja possesses.

“No locked door is able to keep me out.” Sonja whispers to me, “I am able to get past any such obstacle.”

Razor leads us to a room that has another keypad on it. Sonja touches the keypad and unlocks this door as well. We go into a room that has a desk with a computer and file cabinets. Razor goes to the computer and begins dancing on the keyboard again. I look at what he is doing and it appears that he is cracking the passwords needed to get into the system.

“The computer here is not able to be accessed from the outside. It contains even more information that I think you need to see, Ariel.” Razor says, “Also, do not look in the filing cabinets. They are nothing but a trap and there is no valuable information in them anyway.”

I go to look at the files that Razor has pulled up on the computer. I am wondering the whole time if there is any information that is safe from Sonja and Razor. The information that I am looking at makes me forget about the powers of my two companions, however. The firm has an influence in just about everything. They have political ties in every nation. Froste and his buddies have influence on the economy of the whole world. In fact, they have directly caused most of the economic problems in the world for about one hundred years before the formation of Froste and associates.

It looks like that Froste is about to cause the world’s already shaky economy to plunge into a downward spiral. There are many countries and major corporations that have loans with either Froste and Associates or one of their subsidiaries. They are about to call in all of the loans. By calling in the loans, the firm will basically bankrupt most of the world’s nations and corporations. I can see that the firm also will bankrupt many of the world’s political leaders that have investments in many of the businesses that have loans with Froste. Many of the leaders that will be affected are ones that actually care for the people they represent. I use my phone to quickly send an email to Valentino. It is my hope that he can prevent some of the leaders from losing everything through his connections. I then use a disc from the desk drawer to copy this information for Val.

I know that I cannot just leave this place without doing something to at the least slow the firm down. I know that many things have already been set in motion and cannot be stopped from here, but I can stop them from doing any more damage.

“You’re not here just for information anymore, Ariel. You are planning on taking them down.” Razor says as he is looking intently at me.

“Yes.” I reply while still looking at the information on the computer screen.

“Then let’s go.” Sonja says. I decide not to argue with them and we go to try and take down some of the members of this organization. They have obviously been here before and know their way around the building.

“There is an office on each floor that holds one of the demons. Most of the employees are human, but there is a demon that is the manager on each floor.” Razor says, “They will be the only ones here at this time of night. There is one here, known as the librarian.”

“We shall start with him then.” I say.

“Her.” Sonja corrected.

Sonja leads us down the hall to another door. This one does not have a keypad on it. I can hear a female voice speaking in harsh whispers. I can hear the phone being slammed onto the receiver. I push the door in and she looks up at me from behind a desk.

“Who are you?” She asks.

“A messenger.” I respond.

“What is your message?” She asks.

“It is time for your evil to end.” I rely as I let loose a bolt from my crossbow. The bolt hits her in the shoulder as she was fast enough to move a little to the side. She jumps on the desk and was about to jump at me when Sonja literally appears right next to her and stabs her in the side with a small knife. She turns to backhand Sonja when razor flies over to her and bites her in the back of the neck. She growls in pain and turns to see what got her from behind when I let loose another bolt from my crossbow that imbeds itself into her thigh. She hisses at us and turns into smoke. The smoke moves and travels up and air vent.

We go back up to the ground floor. There are two people running down a hall heading for us. One of them stops and launches a fireball at us. I grab my cross and put up my shield of faith. The fireball hits the shield and dissipates. I launch a bolt at one as Razor flies to the other. Razor has amazing speed and is flying as fast as the bolt is from my crossbow. Razor latches on to the demon’s neck just as my bolt imbeds itself into the other’s chest.

Razor begins tearing at the demon with his teeth and claws. The one that received my crossbow bolt has burned up and turned to dust. Sonja pulls her small knife from her bag and stabs the other demon in the chest. It falls to the ground and burns up into dust as well. I must say that Razor and Sonja are definitely able to handle themselves. Sonja was not joking when she said that she was capable of defending herself.

We go to the stairs to head up to the second floor. We come out of the stairwell to the demon that is in charge here in his demonic form. I come out and fire my crossbow. The bolt hits it in the forehead and I let loose another one that hits its chest. This one falls down in a heap of ashes.

The next three floors in the building are not occupied. We find the managers’ offices, but they obviously had tonight off. It is easy to tell which offices belong to the managers which also mean that they are demons. Their offices have two computers in them. One computer is just like the one we found in the basement.

We go back into the stairwell to continue to the upper floors. We hear people darting down the stairs as we enter the stairwell. A voice thunders in the stairwell saying one word, “Cowards!”

We do not find anyone else until we get to the tenth floor. The door from the stairs leads to a small hallway and there is only one door on the floor. The plaque on the door has a name on it; Damion Froste, CEO. This is the person that we really need to take down.

“Don’t just stand outside my door, come on in.” We hear a strong male voice say. I open the door and step inside with Sonja right behind me.

“You must be the ones causing all of the trouble in my building.” He says.

“You would be right.” I respond. He looks at me closely.

“I know of you.” He says.

“I thought you might, Froste.” I respond.

“Ariel.” He says with a sneer. He looks around the room. That gesture of his made me smile since he is obviously looking for my husband.

He jumps on his desk, puts his hands in the air, and hollers, “Hellfire!”

I quickly grab the cross around my neck and call up my faith which becomes my shield. I pray this time for a shield large enough to also protect Sonja and Razor from whatever it is that Damion is doing.

The whole room fills with flames. The shield protects us, but we are still able to feel some of the heat from the flames that Damion just called up. The flames die down as fast as they appeared; unfortunately for Damion he has set the entire room on fire.

Damion is still standing on his desk looking at the three of us with confusion. Probably that confusion is due to the fact that we are unharmed by his attack. While he has his confused look on his face, I pull the trigger on my crossbow and send a bolt flying into his stomach. He jumps off of the desk with my bolt in his gut and reaches out to strangle me. Razor flies around my back, comes at him from the other side and bites him on the side of the neck.

Unlike the others, he remains focused on me. I duck under his hands and use the butt end of my crossbow to give him an uppercut to the jaw. He staggers back from the blow as Sonja waves her hand in a sweeping motion and sends a small spark of electricity into him. Razor flies in front of his face and slashes his cheek with his claws as he is falling.

He gets up and his face is showing worry. He raises his hands towards us and says a few words. I grab my cross and call my shield of faith as a wave of fire is unleashed by Damion. The fire is blocked by my shield, but we lose sight of Damion. I hear glass breaking as the flames die down. The window on the far wall is broken and I can see a winged Damion flying in the distance.

“I can chase him.” Razor says.

“No, Razor. Let him go for now. Sonja and I would not be able to follow, and I would not want you getting hurt.” I say. Yes, I have grown fond of Razor and Sonja.

“Ok, Ariel. If you think that is for the best.” Razor replies.

“We need to get out of here now.” I say as I see the flames of the room growing. We leave the room and go towards the stairs.

“Sonja, how fast can you run?” I ask.

“Nowhere near as fast as you can.” She answers.

“OK.” I say as I scoop her up onto my shoulder and run down the stairs using the speed of a vampire. Razor is flying ahead of me, which is another testament to his speed. I can smell smoke coming from the other floors as we run down the stairs. It would appear the Froste has set the whole building on fire.

We exit the building and I finally put Sonja down.

“Warn me next time before you do that.” She says.

I smile and we head to Sonja’s Cadillac. Sonja takes me to where I am staying. We can see the smoke and hear the sirens from where we are at.

“Thank you both for all of your help.” I say to Sonja and Razor.

“Glad we were able to help, Ariel.” Razor says with a big smile.

“Likewise,” Sonja says.

I pull out a card and write my cell number on it.

           “If you ever need my help, just call me.” I say as I hand the card to Sonja. I have a feeling that I will be hearing from them,but it will most likely be Razor that calls. I head home the next night and wait for Valentino to return from Arizona. I can’t wait to tell him about Sonja and especially about Razor. 

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Synopsis
A short story about Ariel that appears in Serendipity Volume II
A Word from the Writer
Serendipity is a project that bring unknown authors, artists, poets, and photographers together to release a book where all proceeds go to charity.
Published Date
6/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
Published In
Serendipity Volume 2
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