February 23rd, 2020 by Patrick Stark
Gods Among World Part II
Dae had never seen such a magical place in his life before. In fact, he never had seen magic at all, although, he’d always thought of taking his family to a show one day. But for a strange reason Dae knew that what he was witnessing now wasn’t quite what anyone would call magic. Something about the place was a little too clean to be magic. Then again, who was to say magic was ever dirty at all.
But as Dae slipped on the pair of gloves that the old man had given him, he would follow the old man up a winding stair way, with pictures hanging off the walls that looked like they’d come from a time period way beyond than what any history book could tell.
Within two minutes of walking Dae could already feel his cabs burning. His wife had always told him that he should go to the gym more often, but who would go into a gym, let alone have the time for it in their circumstances. They were out on the streets, they were starving, they needed money, shelter, more so, a safe shelter to stay. But if there was anyone that could help them, it would be the old man Dae assumed.
“Not too far now,” said the old man. “Just one more flight, but if you need to take a break let me know. I’ll understand.”
The old man smiled. And Dae… well, smiled back embarrassingly, for he couldn’t believe he had been showed up by a much older man. But to make himself feel better, Dae had told himself that the man was better fed, for Dae hadn’t eaten in 2 days from what he could remember. Plus, any food that he did find he’d given to his wife and daughter. No matter how much his wife had begged him not to.
Once they’d reach the last flight of stairs. The old man entered a room with no door. It was complete darkness but strangely enough the old man would have a lantern of all things to brighten its mood.
“Wow…” said Dae, surprised.
“What is it?” asked the old man, curiously.
“Oh, nothing…” said Dae. “I’ve just never seen anyone use a lantern before. Let alone, knew any that still existed.”
The old man smiled once more. But out of nowhere there would be a high-pitched scream, that would immediately wipe off the grin Dae had originally given in return. It was something almost demonic in a sense. Was the house haunted?
“What the hell was that?” asked Dae.
“What was what?” asked the old man, playing dumb.
“That scream… Sounded like a woman. Sounded like she was in danger,” said Dae
“Oh that…” paused the old man.
“I’m sorry but what is that?” asked Dae, holding the edge of his seat.
And it was in that moment Dae was prepared for anything. Even a fight to the death, that of which he hoped wouldn’t be the case. As much as he hated to admit it, undoubtedly, he’d lose to the old man.
The old man then walked around a long coffee table and sat himself down in what looked to be an old leather chair, or at least what Dae thought was leather. Maybe pleather, maybe plant-based leather, who knows. Either way, the old man didn’t look stable in it at all, for his body had slid forward on it ever so often.
Out from the old man’s pocket he would pull out a cigar, while the lantern sat by his side illuminating off his wrinkled face like a giant firefly. The old man had huffed and puffed on it, like the big bad wolf, and when the smoke had finally cleared, he would speak again.
“That, my dear friend is the very reason I brought you hear,” said the old man.
“Yes, sorry you should be. Sorry for this whole god forsaken life we claim to be a blessing, yet, every single day we take advantage of it. We take the things and people around us for granted. We become so damn selfish and desensitized with all this technology that one can’t even look the other in the eye during a conversation. Even if the conversation is bullshit. And all for what, purpose… Well, that’s just insanity because far as I can tell there is no purpose, except for the purpose to experience and love the life we have been given, all while sharing it with one another.”
Dae sat in his chair dumbfounded. Everything the old man had said hit right at home. Dae had thought about it for months on how the world had grew so much intellectually and technologically but had declined so much morally. What were we all chasing? Love, happiness… Were they not already attainable… But little did Dae know that the human mind was more complex than what he assumed.
“You see that woman you heard was one of my clients,” continued the old man. “She needed my help getting over her fears. And so, I placed her in that room over there where she would have no choice but to face them.”
“Face what?” asked Dae.
“I don’t know… Whatever she fears or is insecure about. Maybe things she hasn’t gotten over yet from her past,” said the old man. “To make a long story short, that is the very reason why I have brought you here. So that we can find a solution to your problem.”
“And what exactly is my problem?” asked Dae, concerned.
The old man said nothing else. Instead, he’d flicked over the remainder of his cigar over to the floor before Dae’s feet. And quickly before the entire place would burn to ash, Dae dug his tennis shoe into it. He’d only wish he had remembered the hole in his shoe before he’d done it, because at the same time of putting it out, he could feel a little burn come along with it.
“Jesus…. What are you doing? You’re going to burn us all up!” shouted Dae.
“Haven’t heard that name in a while…” said the old man.
“What name? Jesus…” said Dae.
“Never mind,” smiled the old man, sliding a manilla folder across the table. “Take a look at this and tell me what you think…”
Dae picked it up and opened it with aggravation. It looked to be scriptures, mere page’s ripped from the bible but what did any of it have to do with him, he wondered.
“What is this?” asked Dae.
“Read it,” said the old man, pulling out another cigar.
“I’ve read these passages before, a thousand times. I grew up in a catholic home,” said Dae. “So, none of it is really new to me…”
“And what do you make of it?” asked the old man, curiously.
Dae thought about it. Little did the man know that Dae’s faith had died long ago. Out of all Dae, had been through in his life and all that his family had experienced, the last thing he could think about was god or the universe for that matter.
“I see,” said the old man. “Can’t say I don’t blame ya. But…”
“But what?” asked Dae.
“But were they wrong, or were they, always right?” said the old man.
“Who are they?” asked Dae.
“Well, let me take that back. It’s not they but more so, he. The man who wrote it, or woman, could’ve been a woman who wrote it,” said the old man. “Some of the stuff does make sense ya know, it teaches one how to behave in a good manner and not act like animals towards one another. However, some of it can also be quite judgmental don’t you think. Sure, we’ve gotten past that a little over the years but what of our morals to these knew gods being created?”
Again, everything that the old man had said hit home, although, Dae had found himself thrown off by what last words had been said.
“I’m sorry,” said Dae. “New gods?”
“Yes… the ones that are of today. Our new everlasting mythology. Don’t you know… the old ones died long ago,” laughed the old man.
Dae looked around the room, and for whatever reason had felt a slight discomfort. The old man was mad. Although, Dae couldn’t help but feel that everything the old man was saying was right on the button, for he’d always felt the same. Only difference was that he’d never mentioned it to anyone.
Times had changed. And there were particular people trying to take over the world and rule with those changes, both good and bad. The light and dark sides were becoming tyrants. And yes, I said the light side to, for not even the light are always saints.
If one was not with the light, then you were an outcast, treated like a virus during an outbreak. Which as you may already know, never has a treatment.
Dae thought about all the celebrities that were essentially demigods, and the ones that paid them, whom of which were gods in their own way.
“And so…” asked Dae. “Still, what does any of this have to do with me?”
The old man smiled again, but this time had held a chuckle underneath his breath.
“I knew from the time I bumped into you that you were something special. You had a fire in your eyes, a determination. And so, I’d like to take that same fire you hold and burn every single one of these dreadful ass gods to the ground.”
“Like a rebellion?” asked Dae.
“Yes… something like that,” said the old man.
“But what the hell can I do? I mean, I have nothing and can barely take care of my family,” said Dae.
From underneath the table the old man then slid over a shiny black suitcase, with golden locks.
“Open it,” he said.
Without any hesitation at all Dae had opened it, and by his surprise green sparkled within his eyes. Immediately, he shut it, and then later reopen it again.
“I-is this all mine…” said Dae, puzzled.
“Yes,” said the old man. “Think of it as your payment for what you are about to do. Be sure to take good care of your family this time. Clean yourself up, find a job and come back to me once you’re all settled.”
A tear shed down Dae’s eyes. Deep down he didn’t think he’d ever be able to take care of his wife and daughter again, yet, what lied before his very eyes was something that would change all of that. Or at least what he hoped would change it. Afterall, from what he was always told by his drunken Uncle Vix, mo money meant mo problems, in his exact words.
Nevertheless, the old man then reached out his hand over the table.
“So, do we have a deal?” he asked.
Thinking of his wife and daughter deep in the sewer, without any hesitation at all Dae reached over and shook the old man’s hand. Most older folks that Dae had met had cold hands, but for the old man, it was warm to almost hot. Dae had thought that maybe that was why he wore gloves all the time. But the thought had passed.
“So, it’s settled then,” smiled the old man. “We have deal…”
“But what about my test?” asked Dae. “You said I’d be tested like the woman down the hall. That we’d find out you know…”
The old man shook his head, with disappointment.
“I really hope you don’t make me regret my decision of choosing you,” said the old man.
Dae swallowed, nervously.
“This is your test. The money, the getting your family back on their feet, finding a job and coming back to me. Once you passed it then the true mission will begin. And before we begin it, I’ll introduce you to the rest of the team once you’ve finished. And oh yeah, I’m giving you 3 months.”
“3 months?” choked Dae. “But the economy is doing horrible with jobs. I mean, there have been some people looking for a job for years now.”
“Yes, but you have a suitcase filled with money, they don’t. So, figure it out and if you will please, lock the door on your way out.”
Before Dae could even begin to think of what all happened, he’d be outside the door of the old man’s building. It then dawned on Dae that it was much smaller in the inside than out. But an hour later Dae would reach the sewer where he’d hidden his wife and daughter. He’d called out to them but not a word was spoken. Not even a, daddy, that his little girl could never hold back. Dae could feel his heart rate rise. And in the moment, he’d ironically think about the old Samsung smart watch he used to have to tell him just where his heart rate was at.
“They’re gone aren’t they,” said the old man, hiding in a shadow from behind.
“You!” shouted Dae, with rage in his eyes, grabbing the old man by the colar. “You did this! How did you even find me?”
Before Dae could even realize it, the old man had deteriorated in his arms, and would be behind him just in the blink of an eye. Dae felt stiff. To scared to move.
“W-what are you?” asked Dae.
“Well I guess the cats out of the bag isn’t it… Never really understood that term. I mean, wouldn’t the rabbit being out of the hat make more sense,” said the old man.
“Enough! I don’t have time for this bullshit! Who are you and where is my family?”
The old man then pressed his back up against the slimy sewer walls. And like a grizzly bear he’d rub up against it.
“Some call lucifer, some call me the devil, but my real name is Angeal. And let me just set the record and say that anything that you’ve heard of me thus far is all false. “
“So, you’re not an evil bastard?” asked Dae.
“Ugh, I’m insulted that you would even ask. I am of the good. No one ever said that doing evil to bad people was evil in its own. I call it justice. In fact, every person on this god green earth should be tongue kissing around and in between my crusted toes for the service I bring.”
Dae had found himself nauseous, but still, was brought back to tuition that he’d been speaking with a god the entire time.
“Why me? Have I not already lost enough,” cried Dae.
“Yes… But you still have so much to gain,” whispered the old man.
To be continued.