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Chapter 40
Nov 14, 2017
10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!sNyBGLAAfB49mnqvvvtlposted on PENANA

Dion15Please respect copyright.PENANA4h7CQk8otQ
July 24th, 201715Please respect copyright.PENANACUSF8MWMUw
11:38 PM
copyright protection11PENANA7oPUvBE3fK

Dion had called Apollo with no success, he had left a voice mail, texted, harassed the Priest who ended up harassing him back with questions. It wasn’t until four hours after the episode with Ophelia, four hours of walking and talking, of pointless wandering that he finally got a message back. An address. copyright protection11PENANAFHxdjeYTOe

He followed it. Uphill, it all led up, where he could see clearly the city for what it was. The rolls of hills, the waves of trees and of metal industrial chimneys that poked the sky. He could not tell what was cloud and what was soot. It was all gray, then black as he went higher up and the hour changed to nearly midnight. copyright protection11PENANAvSnRgOmMkQ

The streets were better, cleaner, the cars sleeker. The chain link turned to white fence, turned to the giant bars of steel and the giant hedges. Every house was a kind of island. He could see the lights of their million dollar homes from the small, topsy-turvy streets. They were like the small glowing orbs of schools of fireflies. They moved around and looked outside at the wandering man, suspicious of him. Of Dion. It was practically a different city. copyright protection11PENANA7reXmKy0NO

He stopped at the address and looked in front of him. There was no fence, at least. But the front yard was wide and upon it was a concrete fountain left to dry, there was a statue of a man holding a cornucopia but there was no water. It cracked and its cracks were filled with vine and grass. In that sense, it was different from the rest in how neglected it was. Past the statue, past an oak tree casting off its leaves, was a door. There was no stone path and Dion’s feet sank in the weak grass. The unruly nature of the house was made up by the fact that the lot was so large.copyright protection11PENANAKtwiHPwFJl

He opened the door, the locks were broken in already. There was no security system, the house was too old for it. The floorboards groaned and shrieked, the chandeliers shook from the rough shutting of the door. It seemed like a strong wind would have knocked the house down, the blow of a wolf maybe. And as Dion came to realize, the wolf had already done just that. In the kitchen he could hear the destruction of the house, the opening and removal of cupboards, that clunky cacophony as if the house was being reclaimed by scavengers. Apollo was turning over a drawer, spilling knives and forks all over. copyright protection11PENANAUedi6u6tgr

“I’m surprised you came back.” Apollo said. He turned the fridge over. “It’s undignified to crawl back after what you did.”copyright protection11PENANAjoSymeiVf6

“I stand by what I did. I’d do it again if I had the chance.” Dion’s eyes narrowed.copyright protection11PENANAJ0zfig5OWP

“You killed three people and left two to burn alive. You stand by that action?” Apollo looked underneath the table, went around, through a door underneath the stairs and peered inside the small safe room. copyright protection11PENANA9R4n9bSgE8

“You saw what they did. They killed a fucking girl.”copyright protection11PENANAHYxAwTPPP4

“Involved in the murder of a small girl, we don’t know if they did it or not and we never will.”copyright protection11PENANAWy4vOnMTcJ

“What do you mean?!” Dion slapped the wood. A piece of the stair guard fell on his head and landed on the floor beneath them. Apollo came out of the room, picked it up and looked at Dion. copyright protection11PENANAJmBNKKZC1D

“I don’t really disagree with your choice. I understand it, really, I do. Even after the fact that you knocked me the fuck out.”copyright protection11PENANALIBij8c8Y1

“I made sure you were safe.”copyright protection11PENANAcUAhqoEdiR

“Right.” Apollo said. He inspected the wood and the nice chipped end of which it came off of. It had been crushed.copyright protection11PENANAX1dyPXjOzk

“Did you tell the Priest?” Dion asked.copyright protection11PENANAsk34DmdQub

“No.” Apollo climbed slow and steady up the stairs. “I lied.”copyright protection11PENANARH5sZwQDJ9

“Why?” Dion climbed after him.copyright protection11PENANAvGbIf1FyQf

“Because what the Vatican would do to you would be much worse than any jail or any harassment that the Priest could ever give you.” Apollo said. “Death would be a very, very, merciful thing for you. If they caught you, of course.”copyright protection11PENANATiAWmdjA3O

Dion stood. His throat felt dry and no amount of swallowing spit lubricated it. A hot dryness as if he had swallowed a handful of sand and let it chafe his insides. copyright protection11PENANALVvRnvne97

“I’m sorry.” Dion said.copyright protection11PENANAoENzm3A2Br

“What’s the point of apologizing, to me of all people?” Apollo stood at the top of the stairs. “You’re much more tolerable when you actually commit to something. Even if it’s murder.”copyright protection11PENANAhuJRr64KG8

“I can’t call it murder.” Dion walked up past him. “I killed child killers, they weren’t people.” copyright protection11PENANAzs35jrAHGJ

It almost made Apollo chuckle. He went up, through the hall where the chandeliers fell close to their head, where it shook and spread their shadows out like and rotated them. Like a night lamp casting shadow puppets, thrown and left spinning on the floor. The light stopped and Apollo’s shadow fell upon a door, ivory oak. He put his hand to it. It would not move. Dion came to help but Apollo stopped him, instead, put his foot below the knob and pushed. It caved in. He took the hinges off with him. Dust flew back, wrapping around the falling door and hitting them with the antique smell of books and history.copyright protection11PENANAO4nCEJFfLg

“I can’t believe I’m just asking this, it makes me feel stupid, but why are we are?” Dion asked.copyright protection11PENANAG3LqUdxZXd

“It’s not just a feeling, Dion, but I’m glad you’re reflecting today.” Apollo said. Dion groaned. “We’re here to find the man who killed the little girl, Sophie. Or, the alleged murderer.”copyright protection11PENANA8xGbCZDcHk

Dion flared up again, eyes red.  Apollo shook his head.copyright protection11PENANAVvoi832NiN

“He’s not here, so relax. When I first came in I noticed a struggle and a missing car. The fight came from one of the lower bedrooms, into the garage, out the driveway. I thought I could find something of a clue in the kitchen. Nothing. Then you came.” He said. "Are you wearing gloves?"copyright protection11PENANA4ZRQpL3WL1

“No.” Dion said.copyright protection11PENANAaTyQ5aQJmx

Apollo handed him a handkerchief. copyright protection11PENANA3i3sAbvCZO

"Well, make sure to wipe your evidence off everything. Everything.” copyright protection11PENANAq4NhUd3YaO

Dion rubbed aimlessly, nervously, as Apollo inspected the room. He passed him glances now and then, looking where he searched. He knocked on the walls. Looked over the stacks of books, lines of them, some midway removed. Nothing. He looked over the tops of desks and of cabinets where the film of dust had been disturbed. There was a clean stain in the shape of a circle and they both only wondered. copyright protection11PENANAZkIybNJ2w6

Dion came in at last. He went over to one end of the room and looked down at a rug.copyright protection11PENANAzzoD2ZPxBP

“Don’t touch anything.” Apollo said. It was too late, with that wide mouth curiosity, Dion flipped over the skin of a bear and made it moan as he threw it off to the side with its body depressed. copyright protection11PENANAm2TakOnnMx

Apollo nodded his head and they both looked. The arcana symbol was on the floor, smudged a bit but there, visible, an imperfect circle. Apollo knelt to inspect it.copyright protection11PENANAcMSUl4I46f

“It’s amateurish.” He said.copyright protection11PENANAaFPyjRx8o9

“Well this amateur is giving us a lot of trouble.”copyright protection11PENANAXLcRVwFjUs

“You think he’s getting help?” Dion asked.copyright protection11PENANAQ6fJ1ANKET

“Astyanax.” Apollo said. “I looked him up. Son of Hector of Troy, he was stabbed in the belly by the Achaean’s and thrown over the wall of Troy. Or Ilium.”copyright protection11PENANAZOzOnTFV14

“What’s that?”copyright protection11PENANA4ZPgRKNx3H

“Ever read the Iliad?” Apollo tilted his head. “Have you ever read at all?”copyright protection11PENANA0UOfEPQszu

“No, it’s too boring.” Dion said. copyright protection11PENANAlyjVmHO2CQ

“Right.” Apollo sighed. “Well, I thought it was just fiction. But who knows, maybe who we’re talking about is someone else. Probably a new prince in the upper levels of Hell, perhaps.”copyright protection11PENANA6HQVYHGLfK

Apollo looked back to the symbol, the geometry that was sloppy and the letters in Latin and in Hebrew, misspelled and misplaced. Amon was written there, at the bottom. On top of it, more Hebrew.copyright protection11PENANAtfFhuk6kMG

“I only know Latin.” Dion said.copyright protection11PENANAP8f94BQSEt

“It says.” Apollo squinted. “Formless and Empty.”copyright protection11PENANAJKazG9hnVw

“Oh, oh. Bingo!” Dion yellowed. Apollo put his finger over his mouth to hush him. “Jeremiah four twenty-three, I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light.” His voice was booming, his chest pumped like a proper preacher at the holy edifice, above the crowd and above the bible stand. copyright protection11PENANA8oMNFg8LBU

“Right.” Apollo said. He shook his head and put his hand against the paint. He removed it. Electricity shot out. A loud bang that popped the glass and left them deaf. Apollo opened his eyes, his jaw was moving uncontrollably in muscle spasms. He was shaking his hand, blowing air against it. It had been burned, the nails completely burned off and the concussion leaving large bruises all around him like a brown Dalmatian.copyright protection11PENANArr2HA6jrZX

“Fuck.” Apollo couldn’t hear his own curse. His ears were still ringing, Dion hadn’t suffered much of anything and was clearing his face from smoke. He looked at Apollo’s wound, watched him try and blow away the pain. He was the first to look outside and nearby. No one cared, not the rich and their lighted houses. They were too far to care. He looked back to Apollo who picked himself up, then to the floor and missing glyphs. copyright protection11PENANAUJH5jofAMa

“Fucking fuck.” Apollo said. “Self-destructing piece of fucking shit.” He was nearly foaming in his anger. copyright protection11PENANA7UyTIdaQZM

He lugged his body around like a rag doll, holding his hand low to the ground. His mouth was scrunching hard against itself, Dion could hear the sound of grating. They both looked to the broken window, to a docile albino crow. It scurried away. Apollo looked up. His hand was getting better, he could walk now.copyright protection11PENANALrdO8OVrfU

“Let’s look elsewhere.” Apollo said. “Before something else annoys me.” copyright protection11PENANAoaD6gWvvxh

They wandered a bit. Apollo kissed his hand. It healed, mostly, and all that was left, mostly, were the twitches of damaged nerves. Those took longer to heal. The finer details always did. copyright protection11PENANAFFbeyUrJKq

They came up to an end and to nothing. The light switch at the side did not work, they looked back at the hall now dark. Apollo was holding his hand, Dion was looking around and putting his ear against the wood. copyright protection11PENANAvwRJk0xfrN

“Do you think the house can talk?” Apollo asked.copyright protection11PENANAaPXNWeKrJi

“Well, I saw you knocking. I thought I might hear something.”copyright protection11PENANAIpXUDwP5gz

Apollo nodded his head. He moved a bit in the darkness, then felt something over his head. A string perhaps. He raised his hands, the ceiling was too far from him. So he yanked the chord, Dion shuffled away. Stairs descended with what sounded like an annoyed croak of rusted metal. The sound of something wanting desperately to be ignored. And from what, both of them suspected, they would find out soon. It was immediate, almost.copyright protection11PENANAvL6nvqo2FP

The smell of death. Light came out from the small square in the ceiling where the smell came from.copyright protection11PENANAPPFNDB2o3L

“Are you sure you want to come up?” Apollo asked.copyright protection11PENANAHMbEHObwUs

Dion’s face went still. His eyes focused, weighted, like they were a burden on his face. Two giant balls of cold, black steel.copyright protection11PENANA6qecNJCcLi

“I’m used to it already, right?” He said. Apollo looked away then climbed. copyright protection11PENANA1B7HpLjr9m

Dion followed and he looked nearby at another beaded string. Dion pulled this one. They reeled back at the image. copyright protection11PENANAdQ9ovQdHm7

It smelled of rotted pig, left to disintegrate in the heat of a dumpster. It almost smelled sweet, that same pig, drawn out and on top of it, cheap sickly sweet perfume poured over. A carcass, both rotten and sweet. A body dressed in that disingenuous sweet smell. copyright protection11PENANA9txnFl6hxS

There was a corpse in front of them. There was a knife lodged in his back. Both of them could not tell who it was, for the body was too engorged and glossy red to tell. It seemed like a giant ball, ready to pop, foaming red where the bug-eaten holes were formed. copyright protection11PENANAzzuHgUszmC

“Just another victim. Ten days old, it seems.” Apollo said.copyright protection11PENANAWzt5YYVcGi

Dion’s eyes fell. copyright protection11PENANAkPLRdrdkJL

“I want to pretend that he was the first. But that would be a lie, wouldn’t it?” Dion asked.copyright protection11PENANAcjkH0BBtbX

“Probably.”copyright protection11PENANA67xzcvx8Id

They both went silent. There was no need to inspect, there was nothing that could tell them who it was. All they knew was that it was somebody, all the knew, was that it was one amongst the many, a pile, a wall, that grew and grew and grew. copyright protection11PENANAr23dUgE7An

And they felt for some reason, that this body was just another promise, the promise of more death.copyright protection11PENANASNGduHP6b0

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