New flash fic challenge – Rapture

This is the latest flash fic challenge from Chuck Wendig. And here’s my story. Thanks to CDNWMN for the sentence.

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Rapture

Demons and angels are sometimes hard to differentiate, and they are even harder to kill. I know this the hard way.

I fired off the last round of silver buckshot before slamming the door. Salt and silver nitrate were fixed to the floor by glue, but that would be a minor inconvenience for the big boys. Even the sacred symbol made of iron nails hammered into the ceiling wouldn’t hold them back for long. This was it.

I retreated behind the overturned sofa, where I had piled up all my ammo. I broke open the shotgun as I sat down, and loaded the chambers with the hybrid shells I’d invented. They contained silver shavings, iron pellets, and rock salt, which should kill or at the very least fatally poison angels and demons alike. I’ve never used it on a big one, though, so I had no idea if it would work. But I was out of time.

I found myself thinking about my Bible thumping grandparents, and what their final thoughts had been. They were hardcore loonies, had honestly believed in the Rapture, but they were right, and so very wrong at the same time. The Rapture had nothing to do with raising the “good” to heaven. The Rapture was all about angels and demons returning to Earth to wipe out the scourge that was humanity.

In the end, the difference between God and the Devil was irrelevant, because they were the exact same thing. A mercurial, unhappy god, who never knew exactly what it wanted. Angels and demons both served its desires and whims, sometimes fighting over a single person because it amused it. H.P. Lovecraft, horrible racist semi-crazy guy that he was, got a bit of it right too. You could call it Cthulhu if you wanted, but I’m pretty sure this god doesn’t actually have a name, or at least not one humans could pronounce. To look upon it was to have your eyes melt out of your sockets like ice cream on a hot day, and for your mind to snap like an overstretched rubber band. You wanted to be gone before it showed, because it would be a slow, ugly death … if you were lucky. If you weren’t, you became what some called the “unclean”, which were kind of like zombies, only they weren’t dead, and couldn’t infect you. So not like zombies at all, except they seemed to like to eat fellow humans, tear them up and paint their bodies with gore. So like people on a really bad batch of bath salts.

I quickly loaded all my weapons with the specialized rounds as I heard the dull thumps of angels landing on the roof, and the fingernails on chalkboard screech of demons scratching at the windows. “Come in if you want me, fuckers,” I shouted, hoping to be heard over the angry howls of the wind outside. Had global warming been part of God’s plan to wipe us out? Iwondered, as the weather had turned super hot and violent since the angels and demons reappeared on Earth, and ate the souls of the righteous. Some used the empty bodies as meat puppets, and sometimes wore their skin as clothing. I was pretty sure she saw my grandfather’s head hanging off the belt of an angel.

“Kelsey Bloom,” a voice called. It sounded like a wind chime, a gentle tinkling of glass and bells, and washed over me like a warm breeze, making me break out in goosebumps. Angels sounded like that. Demons had more human voices, which is why I preferred dealing with them. Angels thought they were better than everyone. “It is over. Your potions and protections won’t help you now.”

“Come in and say that,” I shouted, cradling my shotgun.

The door exploded open, and Iraised up on my knees, resting the gun on the sofa as I sited down the barrel. An angel stood in the doorway, with sunlight for hair and flowing white robes now stained with blood, while shadow minion demons (lessers) lurked behind it, all jerky movements and ember bright eyes. I fired, opening up a big hole in the angel’s chest. Despite taking a jerking step backward on impact, it rallied and came forward into the house, sunlight bleeding from the gaping wound. Through the hole, I could see the lesser demons, and I fired through it, hitting them as well. They rent apart like broken shadows, then slowly reformed, a warped shape bending back to true.

The angel smiled, in a supposedly benevolent way that was just creepy. Wings of pure fire sprung up behind it, and almost filled the entire living room. The heat was radiant. “Time to be a good human and die,” it said.

Only the big ones had wings of fire. Who was this? Michael? Blindly, I reached for one of the grenades on the floor, and pulled the pin. “You first.” I counted to three in my mind before throwing it while simultaneously ducking behind the meager cover of the sofa.

The bomb of silver and salt exploded with a noise that shook dust from the rafters, and squeals from the demons caught in its wake. Even scrunched down behind the couch, I was pelted by broken wood and torn skin.

As soon as the ringing started fading from my ears, I peeked over the sofa. Sunlight and darkness alike were dripping from the walls and ceiling, and a huge black mark like a nuclear shadow stained the floor. Lesser demons still moved outside the cabin, and I heard a deep, low noise that rattled the remaining windows and my ribcage at the same painful frequency. Gabriel’s horn? Shit, the big guns really were coming for me now.

No matter. Even if I was the last human on Earth, I’m not going down without a fight.

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