Free Story Friday: Grime

His heavy combat boot crashed against the door with a resounding thud. Twelve pairs of eyes turned to the door and looked suitably intimidated. Grime was a fairly large man with a craggy, leathery face that would not win any modeling contracts. He wore hobnailed combat boots, the hobnails having a disconcerting amount of dried blood, and green fatigue pants that were tucked into the boot tops. The pants bulged outward with Kevlar inserts. He wore a t-shirt with the band logo for Suicide by Dragon emblazoned on the front over an extra thick Kevlar vest. At his hip was belted, in an Old West rendition gun belt, one of the biggest, meanest looking pistols known to man. The six-shot shooter looked like it could be used to hunt elephants. Over all this, Grime wore a black leather duster with silver thread runes along the hem and lapel and festooned with fetishes. With a cigar in his mouth and waving an FN P90 in the air, he grinned madly and said, “Knock, knock motherfuckers! Avon calling!”
He immediately followed with three angry bursts from the submachine gun. The three forward most gangbangers fell in a spray of blood. Everything froze for a moment. These were members of Tal Veraut, a new age demon/human gang that claimed the northeastern streets of Los Luce de la Muerte, almost a five-block piece of the Forgotten Maiden quarter. These particular gangbangers had holed up in an abandoned cathedral dedicated to Saint Anne. The church had definitely seen better days and better uses. Most of the pews had been reduced to piles of kindling and most decorations had either been taken or broken by looters and vagrants. The ground was littered with empty liquor bottles, spent needles, and other varied drug paraphernalia. This gang certainly liked to party. Grime noted with some relief that all the eyes currently on him were human but was disappointed that none of them was his target. That would have made things easier. “You assholes wanna make this easy and just give up?”
The moment collapsed into itself as time reasserted its claim on the universe. Gangbangers grabbed for guns and made for cover. Grime shook his head and dived for cover also. Bullets were just beginning to fly as he slipped behind the first column. “I’ll give you one more chance to just drop your guns and tell me what I want to know!” Grime said magnanimously.
Screw you, you dick-nosed cunt! You shot Shitbrix, Dogbuscuit, and Kevin!” one of the gangbangers screamed from behind a pile of broken pews.
Grime paused for a moment and stole a glance around the corner of the column he was hiding behind to glance at the three bodies of the men he’d shot. He puzzled briefly over which one could be Kevin. “One of these guys is actually just named Kevin?” he asked incredulously.
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” the man screamed hysterically, “Don’t fucking talk about Kevin. Kevin was good people, always had the good stuff when you needed a fix! He just wasn’t that creative with names. But reliable, Kevin was reli…” The gangbanger seemed to lose steam in the middle of his rant, looking around confused as he found himself out in the open having abandoned cover in the midst of his hysteria. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when he realized, which was the same moment that Grime popped around the corner and let a three-round burst loose in his face.
Before returning to cover, Grime gave the room a quick scan and was not pleased with what he saw. Most of the gang had taken up a defensive position behind meager cover. Three of them were huddled around an open box and were sticking ampoules in their arms. Grime swore under his breath and realized that time was now not on his side. He gripped one of the fetishes on his jacket, a turtle whose shell was made of diamond and muttered a few words under his breath. Suddenly, his skin took on a hard gritty appearance. The spell wouldn’t stop bullets but didn’t need to; it would work to stop him from bruising. Grime popped out of cover, gun leading the way and was greeted with “Die, motherfucker!” and a hail of lead.
Grime grunted as the bullets tore into his t-shirt. His body jerked spasmodically as six men unloaded their clips on him at close range. In moments, his t-shirt was shredded. The men’s frenzy reached a fever pitch as they watched bullet after bullet strike unerringly. The thing about bullets was they were very hard to defend against magically. Only the most powerful wards stopped bullets and these required so much power that the user could not do much else but maintain such a ward. So Grime didn’t try to stop the bullets. Instead, he charmed his Kevlar vest to attract metals and used another spell to make his skin denser, taking much of the bite from the force of the strike.
The six gangers were less than thrilled when they realized after unloading their clips into the man, he still stood looking little worse for wear. Most had stepped out from the meager cover they had sheltered behind in their excitement. He took a deep pull on his cigar, favored the men with a fierce grin and said, “Maybe you should have taken me up on my offer.”
The men barely had time to scream as Grime unloaded on them. Bullets flew from the FN P90 like angry wasps, spat out in three round bursts. As the last of the six fell, grabbing at his groin in agony, Grime turned his attention to the three that huddled around the open crate. What he saw was more than a little disheartening. The three were now more caricature than man. Eyes bugged out of sockets with more white showing than iris. Veins throbbed on muscles grown much too large to be contained by mere clothing. The tattered remnants of their clothing hung loosely from each of them. They had taken on an ebony hue, looking more akin to polished obsidian than human skin.
Fuck me, demon juicers…” Grime muttered under his breath. Certain parts of demons had different effects upon human physiology when ingested. Demons were beings of primordial power and tended to be infused with primal chaotic energies. This made the ingesting of such things powerful but not altogether healthy. Demon juicers were people whose bodies had grown accustomed to the use of designer demon “drugs”. The effects of these drugs tended to be more powerful and the changes more radical. This, of course, shortened their life expectancy substantially but these were people that didn’t want to live forever, just wanted to see everything around them burn.
He discarded his FN P90 in favor of his Ka-bar, as it would be useless against their toughened hides. Runes flickered to life along the blade with an eldritch glow. He got down in an alley fighter’s crouch. The first of the three stalked straight towards him, unheedful of the blade in his hand. Grime noted that its hands were becoming claw-like. He smiled. He really hadn’t mixed it up like this in a long time.
Just as it bore down on Grime, arm raised to slash, the hands now fully claws, he shot his left hand forward and barked a guttural word in an Infernal dialect. There was a whooshing sound as a ball of pure force erupted from his outstretched hand and hit the lead juicer in the chest with a blow equivalent to that of a wrecking ball. The man shot back with a startled oomph, bowling over his two friends and crashing with a sickening thump against the far wall.
Before the other two could even stand, Grime was on one of the prone figures. He drove the knife down, putting his full weight behind the blow. The knife met the resistance of the hardened dermis but it only lasted for a moment as Grime’s continued pressure and the magical enhancement of the blade parted it. The blow caught the juicer directly beneath his shoulder blade, finding his heart with a sick ease. The juicer jerked spasmodically once. Grime pulled the blade free and turned in time to find the other man getting warily up to his feet.
The man’s features had taken on a distinct ophidian cast, his eyes yellow and slitted. A forked tongue flicked between his lips, tasting the air before him. The juicers arms had become more sinuous and he moved with a hypnotic swaying. Grime smiled grimly at him and gave him a ‘come at me’ gesture with his free hand. The man let out an animalistic hiss and charged, surging forward in a deceptively fast weaving manner.
Grime set himself to take the charge head-on and was surprised when the juicer stopped in front of him, the snake-man's momentum broken abruptly. The juicer twisted to the right, his legs not moving but his upper torso swiveling and bending around Grime’s left side. Grime desperately threw himself to the right, narrowly avoiding the rake that would have taken him at his side but merely left tatters of his shirt and Kevlar. The snake man’s upper body followed Grime’s dodge, leaving him barely any time to recover from the surprising attack. Grime mounted a desperate defense with the Ka-bar, only just turning aside the follow-up attacks.
Grime grinned like a mad man when the juicer tried to chomp at him, fangs unfolding to their full-length, roughly the size of a man’s finger. Grime stabbed out with his empty left hand, two fingers extended to press into the crook between the man’s two eyes and nose. The juicer froze momentarily, his eyes turning awkwardly to the two fingers settled in between them. The slitted eyes flicked back at Grime in confusion and he smiled wickedly. He barked another word in Infernal and threw himself back off his feet, hitting the ground on the back of his shoulder, using his momentum to force himself into a roll.
The snake man made to follow but stopped in mid-motion. His eyes widened and he clutched at his head. The man’s face contorted in horror and fear twisting and turning in dazed aimless motion as, with sickening cracks, his skull bulged outward. He stopped his useless movement and turned to lock gazes with Grime, who had settled on one knee. The grim reality of his situation settled fully upon the man and he let loose with a howl of anger and fear. His cry was cut short when, a moment later, his head exploded.
Grime flinched back reflexively as he was showered with blood, bits of bone, and gray matter. He wiped the foul concoction from his mouth and eyes. Sparing a glance for his gore spattered clothing, he said, “Fuck. Why don’t I ever move far enough away?”
His inspection was interrupted by the distinct whine of an opening door from behind him. He whirled, standing up in a fluid motion with his turn. He transferred his knife to his left hand in a quick toss and pulled a Ruger Super Redhawk. The gun was battered and probably had seen better days but he didn’t carry it because of its looks. This was the type of gun you could beat someone senseless with and be assured that it would still fire with admirable accuracy. He scanned the back of the church but didn’t see anything immediately apparent.
Just when Grime resolved to stalk forward cautiously, he caught sight of movement from behind one of the few remaining support pillars. As the figure stomped around the pillar, Grime swore to himself, “Shit. Fuck. Screw my sideways with a baseball bat dipped in jagged glass and hot sauce.”
The thing coming around the corner was like a Lovecraftian fusion of the Predator and a young Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger on steroids. Its skin was a mottled, nauseating grey-green. Its huge head was home to a pinched face with a four-corner mouth that looked like a man’s nightmare version of a vagina. The demon’s eyes were set far back in its skull, beady and a glowingly, jaundice yellow. The demon’s muscles seemed to be almost restrained by its mottled hide, making it seem to be flexing all the time. It sported vicious looking claws like little knife blades. The thing was almost completely nude, only wearing a simple thong around its neck threaded with teeth, ears, eyes, and other body parts. Grime tried to avert his eyes from the spectacle happening below the demon’s waist. Bouncing from thigh to thigh, the biggest cock Grime had ever had the displeasure of seeing swung like a stunted third leg. It hung to just above the demon’s knees and was full of Rasputin wonderful adornments. Twisted and gnarled, it had spines that would fold down towards its base, each between ½ an inch to an inch. Grime had no doubt that the demon could bludgeon someone to death with that thing.
You couldn’t have covered up before coming out here, you puke colored dung heap?” Grime spat venomously.
The demon stopped for a moment and seemed to recognize its own nakedness for the first time. “Bad time you come,” it said in badly accented patchwork English. It grinned and Grime almost wretched when the nightmare vagina mouth and the monster cock conjured an image that would certainly haunt his dreams for days to come. Momentarily caught in the thrall of his imagination, Grime hardly registered the fact that the demon had picked up a discarded pew and was currently swinging it at him.
Grime barely had time to think how bad this was going to hurt before he was tumbling ass over head in the air, to hit the ground a few feet away and bounce a couple more times for good measure. Grime was surprised when he didn’t feel anything break and thanked his earlier spellwork for taking most of the damage from the blow and collision with the floor. He quickly regained his feet, barely sidestepping the pew as it came crashing down on the space where his prone form had previously occupied. He cursed as he realized that he had lost hold of his Ka-bar and took scant comfort in the weight of his Redhawk in his right hand. He raised it though and popped off some shots, hoping to at least distract the demon as he scanned the floor for his knife.
The bullets hit the demon with as much effect as throwing pebbles at a tank. It swung the pew at Grime again and rolled desperately underneath it. He kept firing until its six shot chamber was empty, hoping for a soft spot. He snapped his left hand forward, spitting another guttural infernal word. A powerful gale force wind shot from his outstretched palm that became a scintillating shower of sparks that barely sizzled on the demon’s grizzled hide. It had been a fleeting hope, Grime knew, demons being highly resistant to any and all magic. He jumped over the pew as it came swinging in to sweep him off his feet. His timing was off by a second, the pew catching him in his trailing leg with jarring force. The blow caused him to flip over in mid air, hitting the floor with an explosion of air from his lungs.
He was still trying to catch his breath when he heard the crash of the pew and felt the demon’s clawed hands on his shoulder. He was lifted from the floor like a rag doll, brought face to face with the demon, his feet dangling at least a foot from the ground. He gagged as the demon’s breath hit him full force in the face, smelling like a charnel house. His hands came up from his waist, grabbing at the demon’s shoulders, finding purchase on the necklace. Grime did the only thing he could think of at the moment, hammering down frantically at the monster’s dick. The demon roared in pain as his heel connected, released its grip with one hand and backhanded him into the air. Grime twisted desperately in the air and hit the ground in an awkward roll, clumsily getting to his feet.
The monster growled low in its throat, crouching down and spreading his arms in a gesture that was universal for ‘I’m gonna fuck your dead corpse’. Grime tried to smile but ended up grimacing in pain. He pointed at his finger, which was encircled by a pin and pointed at the demon. The demon’s head turned quizzically then the grenade Grime had hooked on his necklace detonated. Grime raised his hands to protect himself from debris.
When the smoke cleared, Grime saw that the demon stood looking down at the wound on his chest in shock. The wound leaking thick black blood and was possibly serious but by no means fatal. Grime threw his hands up in frustration and shouted, “You have got to be shitting me!?! What does it take to kill you?”
Grime’s eyes found his Ka-bar and he decided on one last perilous gambit. He screamed savagely and blitzed the demon. The demon was surprised for a moment but its surprise gave way to supreme unconcern. The demon’s brow furrowed in bemusement and it looked about for a few precious seconds before returning to look at the man charging him unconcernedly. Grime tore at his palm with his teeth, mentally dropping the spell on his skin. He spat a chunk of his flesh out of his mouth. The demon looked confused but was still completely unconcerned. Its expression didn’t change as the Ka-bar came flying into his uninjured right hand at his magical tug. The demon merely stood with a slightly bemused expression plastered on its face.
It barely responded as the Ka-bar shot down, plunging to its hilt into the wound that had been in the process of closing. Grime used the blade to wedge the wound into an open gape and shoved his opened palm onto the gash. Muttering over his hand in Akkadian, Grime screamed as his blood erupted from his wound and fountained into the demon. He quickly clamped down on his pain and closed down the flow of his blood before he depleted himself more than he could survive. Grime pulled the Ka-bar from the wound and it began to close rapidly, the healing rushing forward like water from a broken dam.
Grime stumbled away from the demon, barely keeping his feet. Waves upon wave of nausea gripped him and he slammed to his knees as the world tilted violently. The demon stared at the wound then at Grime and he saw hatred gleam unrestrained in the demon’s yellow gaze. It began to stalk ponderously towards his kneeling form having decided that it had let this mortal live long enough. His head swam, his vision blurred and full of so many black spots he briefly thought that the world had begun to darken of its own accord. Grime fought to focus, fighting against the rising tide of unconsciousness, until his world narrowed to the demon that was drawing perilously close. As the demon came within arm’s reach of Grime, he lifted his balled hand weakly in the air. Before the demon could do more than paw empty air above him, Grime unclenched his fist and muttered another word through gritted teeth.
The demon straightened in a great jerking motion, overbalancing and stumbling backwards. It roared in uncontainable pain as spikes of Grime’s blood pierced its skin from the inside out. It stumbled into one of the still intact support pillars, almost knocking it down with the force of its impact. Clenching his fist once more, the blood spikes retreated back beneath the demon’s skin. He focused once more until his world consisted of only the demon’s eyes, unclenched his fist once more and muttered the word once more. Blood spikes erupted from the demon once more, this time behind its eyes. They made a sickening popping sound as they were freed from their sockets to dangle like Dali clocks from the blood spikes.
As he clenched his fist once again, one of the eyes fell straight away to the floor with a wet plop. The other, still attached to the socket, slapped against its cheek, swinging disgustingly back and forth. Grime sneered, reflecting that at least now he barely noticed the demon’s swinging phallus. He blinked and felt everything go momentarily askew. When the world reoriented itself he found himself on his ass and knew he didn’t have long before he passed out. He had to end this soon and just hope that there weren’t any more surprises lying in wait for him. He wrapped himself in iron bands of will and raised his hand once more in the air, barely betraying a tremor. He pinpointed his concentration, narrowing it into a scalpel fine blade of determination and opened his hand one more time. He forced the word past his lips, the effort of speaking making him nearly swoon.
Grime flopped lifelessly to the ground as this last piece of magic left him beyond drained. The effect on the demon was instantaneous and gruesome. Blood spikes erupted from the dome of his head and chest simultaneously. Each bore pieces of gray and red clumps of tissue. The demon fell boneless to the ground about three feet from Grime. He looked at the demon, the world starting to become fuzzy, making him remember the time he had found the barely received porn channel, so distorted that it was more impressions of people fucking than people fucking. His mind was becoming so disconnected from the act of living that he was being assaulted by random thoughts.
Mustering himself, he tried to evaluate his situation. Demon dead? Check. Going to survive? Doubtful. Why? Through the haze of his misfiring mind, he realized it was because most of his blood was currently sticking out of the demon. He tried to rally himself to gather those stray pieces of himself that he had left there. His old CO was right, he thought dazedly, he was always leaving pieces of himself everywhere.
He stretched towards the demon’s corpse, desperately willing his blood to return to him. He delved deep within himself, trying to find untapped reserves of magics to call his blood back. It was no good; he had drained himself quite completely in the fight. He had used too much blood and too much magic to hold himself together to have any left. Even empty as he was, blood will call to blood, and the blood spikes slowly dissolved into a mass, flowing down from the demon to pool on the floor. It began a slow, inexorable path towards his outstretched hand.

The fierce grin faded from his face and he slumped as unconsciousness finally claimed him. The rivulets of blood stopped about a foot from his hand.

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