Saturday, October 24, 2009

FailSafe - The Jail Cells (Part 6)

The Stranger stands up slowly from the bench she's been sitting on. I back away right into the demon. He gives me a push.

"Now, now, I know some of your cell mates are less than savory but we all have to try to get along," he says, then he laughs.

"That thing is going to kill us if you put us in there!" yells Nick. The Stranger turns towards him, buzzing.

"At least you'll already be here once you're dead. It will spare you the having to be processed first," the demon smiles, his teeth gleaming stained yellow.

"You can't put us in there. You don't understand, she'll..." Nick's demon ignores me and goes to the cell to open the gate. "Stop!" I yell, "You don't understand. She'll tear everything apart!"

He ignores me and then almost on cue, the Stranger grabs him with her emaciated hand and yanks him with inhuman force against the narrow opening of the cell bars. The demon is yelling and then screaming, the unholy sound filling the air and echoing through the vast prison. I realize what she's trying to do then the demon's arm breaks at the shoulder. She then grabs his head and slowly forces it through the narrow opening. She pulls and pulls. The sound of breaking bones and the rotten smell of the demon's body coming apart assaults our noses. Nick turns and retches. My demon is shouting now but still keeping his distance. The other demon's body is still being forced through the narrow opening and she twists and turns, breaking and pulling. He is wailing in pain, poor thing, since he can't die.

Her metallic wet smell and buzzing mixes with the poor demon and I get dizzy but still manage not to get sick. I glance up and see a security camera. The cell doors at the end of the hallway open and six demons are running down the hall towards us carrying weapons. The largest one, the officer who took our belongings, shouts when he sees the Stranger.

"That weren't the girl who was in here before! What happened to her and what in Hades is that thing?" The Stranger pulls the last of the unfortunate demon through the bars and throws him aside as a broken heap, his black blood pouring onto the concrete floor. She slams up against the bars, gripping them with her bony hands, and right at that moment April's face appears under her hood.

"Help me!!! HELP!!" she screams, her eyes wide with terror. She reaches her arm out from under the hood, extending it towards me. From her eyes I can tell she can't see any of us. I grab her hand, pulling. April's body pulls out from under the hood just to her shoulders and then the Stranger grabs my arm at the wrist. Something grabs April from behind pulling her back into the darkness of the Stranger's hood. I'm yelling and yelling but I don't know what I'm saying. The Stranger pulls my arm with tremendous force and I slam up against the bars.

Fear and anger like I've never felt drives me to a frenzy. I kick at her and try to pull my arm. She pulls and pulls, the buzzing is getting louder. I leverage my foot where her knee is and shove with all my might. She buckles but still does not let go. Now the force on my shoulder is unbearable. In a moment my tendons will tear and my bones will break. Nick is yelling at the demons to do something. One of them reaches through the bars and slices off her arm at the upper arm.

I fall backwards into the other demons, the Stranger's hand still holding my wrist. It's moving oddly. I try to pry the hand off, but the grip is iron. Nick drops to his knees and together we pry off the hand. He throws it down towards the cell and the Stranger grabs it.

I'm rubbing my shoulder and the other demons move in front of me. They are cocking their weapons and then the sounds of gunfire echo madly through the cells. The sound is deafening in that place of steel and concrete. I put my hands to my ears but it doesn't help. Bullet casings fly everywhere and they are shooting the Stranger who is now at the back wall of the cell and jerking and swaying as the bullets hit her over and over. The acrid smell of gunpowder makes my eyes water as I watch in horrified fascination.

Nick hauls me to my feet with my good arm and pulls me towards the entrance. The door is open and there are no more guards at the station. I slump down on one of the chairs as Nick breaks open the locker with our things. He throws me my backpack and takes his sword. We can't talk to each other because the gunfire is still going on. As he turns to open the door I reach up to the wall and grab a couple of bowie knives still in their holsters. We run through the doors as more demons are running towards the station. They ignore us.

We find the elevator and go up towards the Concierge's office. We don't talk. Instead, I lean against Nick and he puts his arm around me, my ears still hurting.

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