Two Angels Discussing the End of the World

Another excerpt of The Dark Hero, the sequel to Accursed Red. Before you read, I have some awesome news: Accursed Red is now available on the Barnes and Nobles website! Check it out here. Enjoy!

~

They had done it. The Second Dimension—aka the universe’s biggest mistake, aka one of billions of mistakes—was finally coming to an end. Guru’s angry little prophecy was the exact sort of the thing the Sinridders needed to rid them of the blood on their hands. (Even though they technically didn’t really kill anyone. They preferred the term “consensual relocation.”)

“Just got news from a Ridder the other night. They said the Second Dimension is really starting to unravel. Thank the Gods, this prison sentence is almost over. How long has it been, Lainco?”

The man smoothed back his thick, midnight-black hair. He closed his green eyes, put his hand on the back of his head, and flashed a blindingly white smile. “Too long, Nashadi. Far too long. It’s a shame Ammo and Eithendere won’t be able to join us back in Infinion.”

The female Sinridder—shorter, browner, blond hair ragged, chipped green nail polish on her fingers and toes—removed the cigarette from her mouth. She clicked her purple heels against the grass, tugging at her multi-colored skirt. “I heard that only a few realms exist now. Most of them already disappeared up to Infinity.”

Lainco ran his fingers through the dirt. He was laying on his back, the two of them in a field where dozens of families were playing and snapping pictures to post online. He glanced up at the blue, sunlit sky before returning his gaze to his fellow Sinridder.

“Do you think we’ll still enjoy it? Infinion?”

Nashadi tossed her cigarette into an anthill. “Who cares? When we get back home, I’ll have a sense of purpose again. I look like a damn crack addict right now.”

“I hardly understand why we were banished in the first place… were we not blessed with these abilities to rid this world of sin?”

“I dunno,” Nashadi said as she glared at a dog chasing a frisbee. “Doesn’t seem to matter much now.”

“How long has it been since we banished someone, anyway?”

“Centuries? A few days? How the hell should I know? I don’t keep tabs on the rest of you fools.”

Lainco inched a bit closer. “Okay, how long has it been since you banished someone?”

She shrugged. “I hate dogs. I think I sent five of them through like last week.”

“How about people?”

“Nope.” She made a popping sound when she said it. “Not since 1000 C.E.”

“Wow,” Lainco said with genuine awe. “You never did strike me as the restraint type.”

“Because I’m not an idiot. I actually want to go home.”

“I think we all do.”

“Sure, keep telling yourself that.” Nashadi pulled her artificially tanned knees to her chest. “It’s your fault we’re in this mess.”

“It was over a thousand years ago! I was young! Besides, we were already banned before then. If anything, my slip-up was the solution.”

She snorted and rolled onto her back like Lainco. “What were you thinking? Fooling around with a mortal?”

“Nashadi, I’m telling you: if you had seen her, you would have thought she was crafted from Infinity itself. Gorgeous, gorgeous woman. And that headache of a son, Gods above, was definitely worth creating. He’s gonna set us free.”

“Hopefully. I’m still not sure that the end of ‘Dark Earth’ means the end of our banishment.”

“Of course it will. Besides, we already sent a team of Ridders to ensure its extermination. It’s too late to go back on the plan. They’re putting their lives on the line for this, growing weaker every moment they spend in that place. They’ll end up as dead as—”

“Ammo and Eithendere, I know. Hey, since we’re definitely not the slackers of the group, do you think we could contribute elsewhere? Like at that new Mexican place just down the road? I really think our vital efforts are needed there, pronto.”

Lainco laughed, “I went to the other dimension once to help. I scared that little Serabi girl senseless, remember? And I’m not feeling Mexican right now. What about Greek?”

—————-

Gad prided himself on his ability to control a room so easily.

Like clockwork, he would stroll into whatever kingdom or office he was visiting, scare a few people with talks of attacks, flirt with whoever seemed least afraid, and walk out. He could convince an entire castle staff that he indeed was the official of whatever country he claimed, and they would eat the words out of his hands as if they knew he was divine.

Sinridders, just like Gad, were spread all around Dark Earth. They scared rulers into cutting off alliances, build up their armies, hired men and women to “take care” of certain people or places. Soon, the entire place would be in shambles. Once everything was eradicated, once only the demons or devils or whatever were left, and once Dark Earth was nothing more than a ghost town, the Sinridders would be able to return back to Infinion. Home at last, their lesson learned.

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