Kyle Sullivan: “That is my desk,” she snapped at him, marching towards him, jerking the photo from the desk and opening a drawer before dropping it into it. “And no, I haven’t done the autopsy, yet. Your DB isn’t the only one on my list today, I will send the results when I’m finished.”
“Do you mind if I take a look at the body? Right now?” Kyle asked pointing a finger at the door as he casually walked around Jenny towards the door that led to the autopsy rooms and the morgue.
“Yes, I mind, what is so damned important that you look right now?” Jenny demanded following Kyle as he walked past Henry, who somewhat beamed at him with hero worship.
“I want to check something. Humor me,” Kyle said and Jenny gave a huff but scurried in front of him to beat him to the refrigerated lockers that held the corpses.
“Fine, then you tell me what it’s all about,” Jenny acquiesced and Kyle bowed his head in agreement to her. Jenny checked one of the files in her hands then opened a door, to Kyle seemed at random, and pulled out the drawer that should’ve contained the burned woman from the alley, except… The drawer was empty, no body, not even a toe tag.
“Where is she?” Kyle asked the flabbergasted and angrily staring Jenny. As if her gaze alone could make a charred corpse reappear in the drawer.
“I-I,” Jenny stammered, checked the file again, checked the drawer number again, looked apologetically at Kyle. “Maybe she got put in another drawer by accident.”
“Did you lose a corpse, Dr. Craig?” Jenny looked up at Kyle with red hot anger all over her face.
“Oh no. This doesn’t happen on my watch,” she said bitterly. Kyle smiled inwardly, glad the angel escaped, but the problem was now he had a rogue Fallen out there.
At the precinct, Kyle was greeted by his partner who sat across from him. Jerry was not as tall as Kyle, definitely wider and older. Jerry was close to retirement. He sat in his blue suit, the trench coat having been hung up. Jerry looked to be working on the endless pile of reports and paperwork that came with being a police officer regardless of your department.
“You got a dozen messages from a Father Francis,” Jerry said first as Kyle removed his own coat. He was dressed much more casual than Jerry’s three piece, in jeans, boots, and a blue oxford. Jerry wore his gun on his hip, Kyle wore twin Glocks under his arms. Jerry offered the stack of the small pink papers to Kyle who flipped through them.
“I take it he didn’t go into detail about what he wanted?” Kyle asked seeing none of the messages said more than just to return Father Francis call as soon as possible.
“No, but he seemed rather nervous. Is that the old priest you were talking to earlier today?” Kyle nodded and pulled out his cell phone. He dialed the number to left on the messages.
“What did you say to him?” Jerry asked.
“I went to confession, Jerry. That is between me, him and God.”
“Hello?” Came the shaky voice of Father Francis. “Mr. Sullivan?”
“Has something happened?” Kyle asked watching Jerry. Jerry pretended to do paperwork but was obviously eavesdropping on Kyle’s half of the conversation.
“When you asked for sanctuary, did you mean for yourself or someone else?” The old priest asked.
“For myself, is someone there?” Kyle’s voice was low.
“A woman, naked, badly burned but she’s… it is a miracle, she’s healing right before my eyes.”
“I’ll try to get there as soon as I can and I’ll explain,” Kyle hung up and stood up only to have the precinct’s captain walk up.
“You got another DB, this time in Maplewood,” Captain Marsha Givens, a fortyish brunette in a stylish pant suit of steel gray and a burgundy blouse. She held the piece of paper out to Jerry.
“We’ve already got one, this morning.” Jerry reminded her.
“Similar circs, which is why you’re getting it too,” she stated and left them as quickly as she had appeared. Kyle normally had enjoyed watching Captain Givens walk away, but Farren as Kyle currently wasn’t interested in the “fairer sex” or sex at all for that matter.
Maplewood, or often called Maplehood was where highbrow met gangs. Million dollar homes across the street from crack houses. Gated communities separated from slums by an alleyway. One street, Big Bend, was fashionable, expensive stores and classy restaurants, and you can buy anything from cocaine to hookers in the parking lots.
It was the parking lot of a dry cleaning company, cordoned off from the lookie-loos, that Kyle and Jerry found themselves, along with Jenny, who, like before, clipboard in hand, tucked a blonde curl behind an ear.
“Jenny,” Kyle greeted.
“Don’t even ask, you thought the other one was weird,” Jenny began, “I can’t even begin to explain this.” She stepped aside and it looked like a naked wax statue of a man trying to crawl from quicksand. Except it was a dead body, and he was chest deep in the asphalt of the parking lot like he was trying to crawl out of the ground. It wasn’t fresh asphalt.
Kyle crossed his arms over his chest and looked down. He’d heard of demons crawling out of hell, but he’d never actually seen it in all his millennia as a reaper, but he doubted the crawling part was this literal. Unlike the angel, who would survive her fall from Heaven, this demon had died in his ascent from Hell.
Kyle knelt next to the body, or upper torso and arms that protruded from the parking lot, pulled rubber glove from his jacket pocket, slid it on, and touched the rippled asphalt around the demon. It was solid. Kyle looked at the expression on the demon’s face. It was one of true horror, the hair had gone white, the mouth gaped open in a silent scream.
“I don’t envy you, Jenny,” commented Jerry. “You’re the one who has to cut him out of the ground.”
“Cute, Jerry. I have assistants for that. I get paid the big bucks to supervise them,” she replied. “You have any thoughts, Kyle?”
“I think something is beginning,” Kyle stated and stood up.
“Stop here,” the smooth voice came from the back seat of the black Cadillac. It wasn’t a stretched limo, but Gideon Bishop sat very comfortably in the back seat with Thomas Rogers, his right hand. Well left hand. Left handedness used to be considers a sign of the devil. Oh how Gideon missed the old superstitions.
Gideon, or Mr. G to the street gangs, or Mr. Bishop to everyone else, looked through the tinted glass of the car window at the police tape and the cars that crowded the dry cleaner’s parking lot. He cracked the window slightly and sniffed.
Oh yes, a Reaper.
He examined the faces, squinting to see past the flesh to see the soul inside. Humans were absolutely bloody beacons of brilliant white power, but there almost hidden by two human souls was a third, a creature who looked human but instead of features being obscured by the brilliance of the human soul, he was cloaked more in black, as if a shadow of black robes and bone wings were upon him.
Gideon blinked, and looked through the world with the eyes of his human suit. Reapers didn’t usually wear human suits, but this one was. He’d heard some rumors that a reaper had gone human. It was a rare thing, unlike angels and demons that had emotions and sometimes those emotions weren’t so different, reapers were void of it. They lived outside of time, outside of sensation, they really were boring pitiful creatures who single-mindedly carried out their order and could kill with a touch.
So what made this reaper throw down his sword at Azrael’s feet?
“Mr. Rogers, see that man, with the dark hair and the black coat, I wish to speak with him. Arrange something.” Gideon ordered and Thomas Rogers nodded, pulling out a cell phone. “Show him full hospitality. I don’t want him injured.”
“Let’s go,” Gideon ordered the driver and they pulled away from the curb.
“We’re supposed to pick up a new recruit, Boss,” Rogers reminded.
“He’s dead, that is why all this is here.” Gideon indicated with a finger to all the hullabaloo of the police. “Find out what went wrong.”
They’d left Jenny to supervise the digging of the demon out of the asphalt and like the fallen angel, no one saw or heard anything. This wasn’t like the angel, where people were afraid, Maplewood was just full of people who were too self-absorbed to notice anything.
Kyle now pulled up in his personal car in front of the Cathedral Basilica, and stepped out. The car he supposed was fitting. The mint condition 1971 Dodge Charger that Kyle drove was white.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
Kyle entered the church, dipping his fingers in the basin of holy water and crossed himself. He asked a passing altar boy for Father Francis and was told to wait. Kyle sat down in a pew, once again crossing himself before entering. Kyle had been such a good catholic and Farren, who was wearing Kyle, liked to think that Kyle had gone to Heaven, but Farren hadn’t watched which direction Kyle had gone when Farren killed him.
“Mr. Sullivan,” Father Francis greeted him looking afraid and worried before sitting next to Kyle in the pew.
“She’s an angel, fallen from Heaven,” Kyle said quietly knowing what was on the old priest’s mind. “They often seek churches for refuge while they heal.”
“Why would an angel fall?”
“Fell in love?” Kyle gave a shrug.
“Is that what happened to you?” Father Francis asked. “You said you quit because of a woman.”
“I did, but it wasn’t love, Father.”
Kyle sighed when Father Francis urged him with his hands to continue.
“Here? Now?” Kyle asked and the old priest nodded. “Very well. It was my last job.”