Hallow-Winged

Modjo’s Acknowledgement was playing softly in the background, as the penthouse Halloween party began in earnest.

Situated on the 59th floor, the penthouse was exquisitely designed, with the perfect amount of glass permeating and off-setting the dark metallic interior. Moonlight flooded the two storied apartment complex, shining through every glass window that overlooked a busy metropolis.

Nowhere was the light stronger than on the sheer glass balcony, that offered thrills in any direction. Left, right, up … down, there was a floating sensation that only those without vertigo could withstand for long periods of time.

Leaning on a skinny dark railing that seemed to blend with the night, with a glass of whiskey in his hand, Michael stared out at the view alone in his thoughts.

At an excessively tall 195cm, Michael had dark features that excited and terrified in equal measure. His piercing blue eyes glittered from under his swept back blonde hair, and his tanned skin only served to accentuate the strong, sharp jawline. His face was aquiline, with shallow cheeks, that showcased cheekbones that could cut through butter.

It was startlingly attractive, in a way that seemed too perfect. Like he was designed with an artisan’s eye for detail, crafted without any flaws. Nothing marred his skin, and absolutely naught could take away his breath-taking looks that were perfect at any angle.

As he raised the glass with long, slender manicured fingers, the music in the background changed to Blue Monday by HEALTH. The lights inside the penthouse changed to a neon blue and yellow scheme, as the DJ signalled the audio-visual jockey to time his flashes to the beat of the song.

The pulses and flushes of 65 people dancing rhythmically together, gave the party a strange zombie like feel. Every single person there, was slightly drunk, riding the depressive high of excellent quality agave tequila, their bodies clashing, shaking … before breaking apart and coming together again.

Confusing scenes were everywhere as the lights changed once more to accommodate the brutal sounds of Casey Edwards’ Bury the Light. Purple hues slashed through rays of electric blue. Heads began to bob, as the monsters at the party began to ramp up their throes of ecstasy.

Mike Myers was conjoined at the hip with Juliet Starling. It, the infamous clown, was now furiously grabbing at Harley Quinn. Elsewhere, Joker was staring balefully at the bizarre couple, before distracted by a sensational Freddy Krueger. Maleficent was desperately locking lips with a Fembot as two approving Grady twins nodded in conjunction to the beat of the music.

Everywhere, depravity ruled the swanky apartment, which only magnified the scenes, by reflecting every single guest’s actions, a million fold as they stared at their mirror selves echoing their motions.

Only Michael, remained mirror-less and costume-deprived. Indeed with his elegant dark blazer, white shirt and loafers, he cut a desolate figure of elitism amongst all the fun, cheaper costumes.

It was only until STONEFIST by HEALTH came on, and the lights poured in red, and dark that Michael turned around to face his twin, Samael, who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

The two stared at each other, before Samael smiled charmingly and went over to the small table in the corner. Gripping the alcoholic decanter, he poured himself three fingers of whiskey, before taking his place beside Michael.

If Michael was blindingly pure in his beauty, Samael boasted a much darker, intense attractiveness. Despite possessing the same bone structure, Samael’s jet-black hair and obsidian eyes with crimson irises warped the beauty into a much more intense seductiveness. He was made to induce reckless abandon, and wanton lust. Samael was irresistible.

Whilst Michael was serious, Samael was always perpetually smiling, his dark eyes piercing through people’s facades and armour with ease, encouraging them to indulge in their dark hidden desires.

Together, they watched, as the lift to the penthouse arrived, the solitary yellow “UP” light failing to pierce the crimson atmosphere inside.

The 66th guest had arrived.

Stepping out, he paused long enough for the vibe to change once more.

Kavinsky’s Odd Look blazed to life across the penthouse. Smoke began to issue from dry ice machines, the thick clouds pooling around ankles, then knees … then waists. Soon, the entire room was covered in smoke, with light strobes flashing brilliant, pure white, to stimulate lightning. Dark blue spotlights began to focus on random guests.

Imhotep appeared out of the gloom. Only to be replaced by a Hellboy over there. A werewolf snarled menacingly, before its fangs were replaced by a Dracula’s. The Invisible Man, unaware of the paradox, shone brightly under the spotlight, his startlingly white bandages soon juxtaposed with the pale skin of a Hellraiser.

But the blue and black eyes of Michael and Samael were transfixed on the latest guest.

He was monstrously big, taller than the twins that stood outside on the balcony. Like a boulder come to life, the 66th guest was muscular in the extreme that only added to his already towering height of 2.2 metres. His chest seemed to dwarf the tiny people dancing mindlessly beneath him, and the huge rifle he hefted in his hands seemed to weigh nothing at all.

Decked out in an iconic red/white varsity jacket that showcased a white singlet beneath, dark navy jeans, and thick cream boots, the costume was hardly horror inspired, beyond its high-school throwback vibes.

But it was the head that screamed at the world. Disturbingly white and blank, bar for crimson sabre-tooth tiger styled fangs that protruded out from the jawline of the mask, there was nothing to see. No eyes, no sign of a nose, nothing human could identify the giant beneath the mask.

The 66th guest’s head was entirely, glaringly, pure metallic white.

Standing absolutely still, the fanged blank giant waited until the first person looked at him.

It was an inadvertent touch. A Wolfman softly nudged a dazed zombified woman, who then swayed into the 66th guest.

Looking up, to apologise, she froze when she saw the black rifle and the terrifyingly vacant face that loomed over her.

Stumbling back, she began to whisper “No, no, no, no, not this party. Not tonight. Oh God, please no … not here, please, please, please …”

A bloodied Crusader Knight spun around in anger, as the zombified girl crashed into him, causing him to drop his drink.

“What the fu …” said the knight, as the curse word choked in his throat and died out before the visage of an armed lifeless statue. Soon, within minutes, the entire party was paralyzed before the feared serial killer, who had haunted the city for the past month.

VOID.

The giant’s name was uttered in complete fear. Massacres followed in his wake, merciless death haunted his presence and the screams of the dead and dying whispered unheard warnings to the living.

Every year, despite the warnings, Halloween parties were held, despite the grip of fear that VOID wielded over the populace. Without fail, they were punished for their insolence, always through the same means … by blood, bullet, blade and blunt trauma.

Michael and Samael looked on dispassionately, as VOID unslung the huge rifle from his broad shoulders and levelled it at the crowd of holiday celebrators.

The DJ was the first to receive a flurry of bullets, that dropped him on the stage of his set and set the final song for the evening.

Jeff Rona’s Crimson Cloud began its’ malevolent melody, the screams of Rachel Fannan soaring high above the chatter of gunfire, as the songstress’ wails merged with the genuine screams of the VOID’s victims.

Scores of costumed people fell in a heap, as the floor became slick with glass, blood and the sweat of the fearful. VOID never moved from his post, as he indiscriminately raked the crowd with more gunfire, pausing only to reload.

A foolish Jason Voorhees rushed the VOID, knife arms outstretched in desperation. The gunfire paused in respect, and the survivors looked on with hope. Perhaps this machete wielding killer could save them.

Letting the rifle hang loosely by his size, VOID allowed Jason in close, before his arm shot out at blinding speed and gripped the head of the hockey-killer, lifting him clean off the ground.

With minimal effort, VOID began to apply pressure, his immensely strong fingers causing the skull to crack and splinter apart, as the pained screeches of Voorhees tore to shreds, any vestige of hope the survivors had.

Bringing the struggling, writhing costumed killer closer to his blank face, VOID looked at dying Jason curiously, before lifting his head and in a violent downward thrust, buried both of his fangs into the skull of his victim.

All movement immediately ceased, and the hockey-masked corpse was unceremoniously let go, to crumple lifelessly onto the ground. Raising his rifle up once more, VOID fired into the immobile crowd, their lack of hope rendering them unable to move, struggle or resist any more.

Death was now just an inevitability. Acceptance was now rendered apart by bullets.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was only 6 minutes of carnage, VOID began to slowly walk around, inspecting victims. Any signs of life was promptly extinguished with a clubbing motion from the huge rifle, the butt of the weapon slowly becoming bloodier and grey with brain matter as savage blows were rendered without compassion into people’s heads.

His work completed, VOID looked out at the balcony and saw nobody there.

With a casual grace, VOID slung the rifle over his shoulder once more and walked back into the elevator where he disappeared as quickly as he had arrived.

Michael looked at his twin brother Samael.

How many are yours? he asked.

Samael, the eternal smile flitting across his lips, shrugged. 40 or thereabouts.

Michael nodded grimly. Out of mine, only 5 went straight up. The rest are in limbo.

I’ll probably be collecting them sooner or later. said Samael teasingly.

I wonder when you’ll be collecting him. replied Michael as he finished his whiskey.

Samael gave a nonchalant flick across his broad shoulders. You never question it, do you brother?

We’ve had this discussion before. replied Michael curtly.

Same old Michael, always steadfast in his belief in the Path. Forever loyal. mocked Samael as he stretched his broad shoulders, allowing the pure white wings to unfurl.

Michael, looking at his fallen brother, felt the familiar twinge of jealousy as he beheld the huge 7 metre wingspan of pure, dazzling white wings. Samael was always the one that their father had laboured the most on.

Be seeing you soon Michael. called out Samael, in sing-song, as he flicked his wings downwards and soared high into the sky. Don’t go blaming me for tonight … you chose to believe, I just dared to asked questions.

Michael scowled at the insolence of Lucifer, his brother’s new christened name and looked back at the room full of dead bodies.

Putting aside his reservations, Michael revealed his own wings, a dark obsidian colour that contrasted Lucifer’s pearls.

Floating high above the world, Michael heard his brother’s voice in his mind once more, the siren song of skepticism.

I’ve always spoken the truth … that’s why Father set me free.

Shaking Lucifer’s seductive logic out of his mind, Michael aimed himself downwards and flew to the next soul collection point. Clouds rustled his black wings, as he shot around the world, unable to do anything, except claim more people for a home that he had not seen in an eternity.

Perhaps he’s right, we’re all in our own Hell. Lucifer just chose to make it his own.

Author’s Note.

This one was meant for a Halloween release, but unfortunately work waylaid me. I actually struggled to create this one, as I originally meant for it to have an angel/devil be revealed as the monster. However, inspiration struck when I listened to the dark synth of Carpenter Brut and I tweaked the story so that the angels and demons were forced to watch a massacre, unable to do anything, except pick up the pieces at the end.

Only Lucifer take pride in this work, because to him, it has become fun to tease his more upright brother about the whole situation and only he sees the truth behind the actions they take.

As for VOID, I was originally inspired by the latest helmet design rocked by Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad (2021), which is a clear reference to the Xenomorph. However, I wanted to make it white, in homage to how a pure white room, creates too much noise and anxiety in people when stared at for too long.

White is actually a highly piercing colour, hence I made VOID’s mask/helmet design in honour of that sharp, disturbing quality. The fangs were an idea I had, just to contrast the mask and add an extra element to the brutal nature of the serial killer. I originally toyed with the idea of teeth and elongated jaw, just like Bloodsport, but I preferred an even more minimal approach to the mask. I really just wanted to strip away any recognisable human elements to the mask.

As for the music, I hope you enjoyed the links. It was a lot of fun re-creating a dark synth, Halloween playlist for this short story. I wanted to add more songs, but figured they didn’t mesh well with each other.

Until the next one!

~ Damocles.

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