September 28, 2014

Demons Ascension - Gods and Mortals

[Posted by Ted H]

Holy crap what a run. Hard to believe that that a year ago not a single word of this novel was written and now here we are at the [bitter?] end of it. But the idea had existed for longer than that.
The characters that would become James Blake and John Praque were created in 2005.
The idea of Croatoan and the general plot started back in 2006.
The universe that would host this crazy and tie things together, including some supporting characters, wouldn't kick off until 2008.
The decision to combine all this Captain Planet style wasn't until mid 2013.
November 1, 2013 was when word one was typed.
I'd love to do a definite end date for the final word being typed, but I keep catching myself tweaking here and there...especially the ending. That last conversation keeps changing, but I keep loving what I change it to each time. I'm sure one day Ill find the right dialogue that'll be too perfect to change...

News about NaNoWriMo 2014 will come soon.
James Blake isn't done here either. Prolly not doing another novel about him, but we haven't seen that last of him. We have seen the last of him as a rank amateur in the world of demons and magic though, rest assured.

Anyway, enjoy the finale.


[Demons Ascension - Gods and Mortals]

            James figured he'd wait for John to recover and check out of the hospital before he'd try to bum a ride back home to Syracuse. This meant he could only lay about and enjoy a few days and recover in John's apartment. James could use the rest too since he felt absolutely spent after all that had happened. He didn't sleep in John's bed, seeing how the one person left alive in his life deserved even a little respect. The couch was just beginning to be comfortable anyway.
            A couple days later, someone was banging on the front door, waking James from a particularly restful slumber. No one should have known he was here, but he rose up to check who it was as the knocking continued. He checked the peephole and saw Amy outside. "This outta be good," he mumbled as he opened the door.
            "Come with me," she said as he began walking down the hall.
            "Um...ok?" James said as he rubbed his eyes.
            "Leave the trench coat," Amy said.
            "No dice," James said as he reached for the coat before following "I keep my smokes there now."
            Amy led him to the elevator and they rode it up to the top floor, a floor James wasn't sure existed before despite riding this elevator numerous times before. Instead of another hallway, the doors opened to reveal a while hallway with no doors leading up to staircase heading up. A bright light radiated from above, preventing James from seeing where the stairs led.
            "This way," Amy said as she walked forward. James kept pace and followed her up the stairs, all the while feeling light headed and wondering if he were dreaming or hallucinating. "Where are we?" James asked and was surprised at how distant his voice sounded. "Woah," he said aloud, attempting to test his voice. "Echo!"
            "Stop it," Amy said as they reached the top of the stairs "We're here."
            "Where is here?" James wondered as he took in the scene. There were no walls or ceiling but he wasn't outside. All sides of the room extended forever into a soft white light. There was a warm and wonderful feeling in the air and James felt at ease in this place. Amy walked on undeterred by the surroundings and James followed while craning his neck about to see the room full of nothing. The staircase down was still there, sticking out as a hole in an otherwise untouched horizon of a cloudlike white.
            As they walked, a powerful light began to shine coming from an incline. Amy stopped and motioned James to continue up alone. James began to ascend and struggle to look towards the powerful light. He shielded his eyes and could swear there was a figure standing in the light. "Is that who I think it is?" James asked as he turned back to Amy "Could you tell him to turn down the bloom?"
            "It's not bright," Amy replied as she looked into the light without issue "You spend too much of your life in the darkness."
            "Hilarious," James said as he turned back to the light "Where's Stan? I want my favor to be sunglasses." The shining light momentarily seemed to shutter as a cold chill ran through the air.
            "This is not a time for jokes," Amy scolded "You are in the presence of the almighty, do not invoke otherwise."
            "I thought he doesn't do public appearances anymore?"
            "You clearly have proven yourself for an exception."
            James continued forward. The light was intense and almost blinding, but eventually it seemed to die down and he could clearly see the silhouette of a man. None of the features were clear, but he could at least determine it was a man. "Thank you you're a man," James said with a grin. The light quickly grew warmer for a second.
            "What did I say about the jokes?" Amy called. "I'm pretty sure God enjoyed that one!" James yelled back. He tried to make out anything about God, but it was all shadowed by the light shining behind him. Eventually, James gave up and finally asked "Alright, so, why am I here? You wanted to thank me in person?"
            "You have done a great service," Amy said "And the almighty would like to offer you the greatest gift possible."
            "And what would that be?"
            "I thought that's a given."
            "Your soul is destined for a dark place," Amy continued "But your selfless act has caught the attention of our father, and he is willing to pardon you of your mortal sins so you can earn entry into the kingdom when it is time."
            James looked at Amy, then back at God as he scratched his head. "This is all very convoluted," he said "So what do I do now? Drop to my knees?"
            "Not necessary," Amy said "All you need to do is ask for the forgiveness you deserve."
            "Is God a mute?" James wondered randomly "Why are you doing all the talking?"
            "Directly listening to the voice of God is something humans can never truly comprehend."
            "...Cuz that's not a copout excuse."
            "Read your bible. He never spoke directly, only through angels and objects."
            "I'm pretty sure that isn't true."
            "Because you've read the bible cover to cover?"
            James then turned back to God and got back on track. "Ok," he said as he rubbed his hands together "Just need to ask for forgiveness."
            "And it goes without saying that your little deal with the dark one should never come to fruition."
            "Whatever," James said without turning around "Your time for talking is over now. This is between me and God." Amy made a face and looked away.
            "Right..." James said "Forgiveness."
            James took a moment to stare at the figure in front of him, wrapped by light. He could feel that it was looking right back at him, probably judging. Always judging. He was being offered dispensation for his sins and all he had to do was ask for it, but he figured it couldn't hurt to word it the right way.
            "I knew I shouldn't have pulled that trigger," James started as he finally noticed how quiet it was "Yeah I had every justification for it. Suzan killed two people, shot me and was about to stab John. In the heat of the moment, shooting her in the head was the only option...But that wasn't why I did it. I wanted her dead. I felt such joy when her head exploded brain matter out and watching her collapse to the ground felt like it was the perfect ending. I could have stopped her another way. She thought I was dead. I could have tried grabbing her from behind, give John a chance to help me. The cops were only moments behind. So many viable options, but I wanted her dead. I didn't want to see another outcome. Just the gun on the ground and her back to me.
            "To do it all again, I'd try anything else. She ruined so many lives, I felt I had the right to end hers; to pass judgment with a gun. No one has that right. She could have been stopped without more blood. She could have had the chance to face her crimes. Yeah, there was no redeeming her, but I made the call I never should have had. Not a day goes by where I wish I did something different that day. You want me to ask for forgiveness? Forgive me for making the worst possible call that day."
            There was a silence again and James stood awkwardly for a moment before a warm feeling rushed through him. He exhaled as the feel of a weight on his shoulders began to lift away. He turned back to Amy with a smile to find she too was smiling for him. He looked back to God and thanked him before making his way back down.
            "Not quite finished," Amy said as she put her hand up.
            "What do you mean?" James asked "Am I not forgiven?"
            "Well, for that, yes," Amy said "But there was another life you unjustly took. The lord is willing to pardon you for that as well under the circumstances." James was at a loss for who until he outright asked. "Amanda," Amy said plainly "The woman you shot down not a week ago."
            "Are you serious?" James asked as he spun back to God to find him still standing in the light in wait. "If I didn't...I didn't WANT to shoot her!" James protested "How can you hold that against me? There was nothing else I could do! This world would belong to Croatoan if I didn't act!"
            "You took a life that was not your to take," Amy said "But it's ok. The lord is understanding of the plight you went through. He is willing to forgive you for the transgression. All you need to do is show remorse for it."
            "The hell I do!" James shouted as he marched back up towards God to address him. "You may not understand this, because you aren't from around here like I am, but all the same: I didn't want to hurt Amanda. I tried everything I could to prevent her dying, but ultimately there was nothing I could do. But when it came down to her and humanity, I'll take that shot again and again. You have no idea how bad I feel for killing Amanda, but if you think I'm going to stand here and ask forgiveness for saving the world, then you better not hold your breath."
            "This is no time for foolish pride, James!" Amy scolded "And you do NOT talk down like that to the lord."
            "I don't need your forgiveness in the matter just the same as I don't need Satan's approval," James said as the light behind God intensified and a powerful chill ran through the air "I saved earth, not for you or any other god, but for humanity's sake. The way I see it, all the problems happening between all you don't need to happen because you're messing around in a place you don't belong."
            James then turned and marched down and passed Amy. There was nothing more either he or God needed to communicate. He wasn't asking forgiveness and he doubt it was even being offered anymore. "Do NOT turn your back on the lord!" Amy shouted. James continued on as he pulled a cigarette out from his coat and lit up. "To hell with God," he said as he blew smoke and began down the staircase "To hell with all gods."

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