Dan'l tells me the next three Roy stories, #4, #5, and #6–"Balance of Power,""Alliance," and "Under the Rose," respectively, will be up on the FS& site real soon. I'm working on #7 even as we speak, and the sneak preview is below ...
Paved With Gold
The spear shot past, missing Roy’s left ear by maybe two inches, leaving a glowing trail of phosphorescent yellow as the missile lanced through the air. Had a pretty good arm, whichever one of the seraphs threw it–it whistled as it blew by. Smelled like gingerspice, too. Only in Heaven–
Motherfucker! Who would have thought the seraphim were so quick to hurl a spear first and then ask questions later?
Roy jinked to his right, and cranked up the speed. Here of late, he had done more running than in the last ten thousand years before, and if it kept up, he might find himself getting into shape. How depressing was that thought?
That is, if he didn’t wind up skewered by angelic spears and used as a fucking pin cushion–
“Hold, demon!” one of the four ball-less wonders chasing him yelled.
‘Hold?’ ‘Hold?’ Yeah, I got your ‘Hold’ right here, asshole!
Could be worse, he thought, as he rounded the corner and hauled ass toward another of those ubiquitous marble monuments. Thicker than fleas on a Norway rat, those monuments. At least they hadn’t dragged out the Flaming Sword. And the gold paving on the street and sidewalk gave Roy’s taloned feet a much better grip than he would have thought. Who knew?
Another spear flashed by, this one a good two feet away and low. A demon who missed a throw at that range would be ashamed to show his horns in public.
Unless of course they were missing on purpose and just trying to herd him in a direction?
In theory, Roy had diplomatic immunity. In theory, the angels dogging his heels weren’t supposed to be able to lay a finger on him. In theory.
Roy had been a demon for four million years, and while demons didn’t die permanently, getting killed violently hurt like, well, like Hell, and who knew what kind of vile tortures the seraphim sat around thinking up in lieu of smoking, drinking, or fucking, none of which they were allowed to, or in the last case, could physically, do? No innies, no outies, as smooth as billiard balls down there. It boggled the mind. Plus it took away half the dirty fighting Roy knew.
Angels didn’t have much going for them for fun. Humans who wound up here could apply for a license to have sex, as long as they were married, liked missionary position, and limited it to once a week in a dark room. And they could eat manna, which contrary to the old joke, didn’t taste just like chicken, but like the best filet mignon, lobster in butter, and Haagen Dazs Black Walnut all rolled into one, and different with each and every bite. And not a fucking calorie in a carload, either, how fair was that? If he could get a case of that back to Hell? He’d be able to name his price–
“He’s going for the Library! Get in the air! Head him off!” one of the angels yelled. He sounded really excited about it.
Fat lot of good that would do. An angel in flight couldn’t catch a broke-dick three-legged turtle. Their wings were pretty, but they flew like leaky dirigibles. Lousy aerodynamics.
Was that Martin hollering? Or Lewis? He never could keep them straight. Martin was the On High MMA champ and Lewis the weightlifter? Or was the other way around?
Well, it didn’t matter if they caught him, they were both back there, and which one was stronger and which a bad-ass fighter wouldn’t concern him all that much if they were trying to stomp him into road pizza, would it?
There would be angels and people in the Library, and that was Roy’s best bet. Safety in numbers, though seeing a seven-and-a-half-foot-tall demon slewing into the place and breathing like a steam engine would probably raise a few eyebrows–you wouldn’t see that here every day.
Fuck it, it wasn’t as if he had a whole lot of options.
Roy put on a final sprint toward the golden doors–they truly loved gold in this place, half the fucking place was made out of the stuff–when a short, crew-cut human wearing a Jesus Christ Superstar T-shirt and bermuda shorts and sandals stepped out of nowhere into his path.
Roy skidded to a halt just short of running the guy over.
Jay the Cee himself.
The seraphs thundered up behind Roy, but stopped cold when Jay held up his hand palm toward them. Like they had smacked into a stone wall, bam!
“Roy,” Jay said. “How’s it going?”
“Well, it was going pretty good until the four stooges back there decided to use me for target practice.”
Jay looked past Roy at the four seraphs, all of whom were bigger than Roy, even with their wings tucked in out-of-sight. “Jerry?”
“We caught him snooping around the Ark,” the angel said.
“I wasn’t snooping,” Roy said. “I was standing there looking at it, minding my own fucking–uh, minding my own business when these clowns commenced to running around like chickens with their heads cut off, waving spears and acting like extras in a bad gladiator movie.”
“Redundant, that part about the movie,” Jay said, smiling. Give him that, he had a sense of humor. To the seraphs, he said, “Roy is with Hell’s Embassy, didn’t you know that?”
“–and as such, enjoys diplomatic immunity, just as our ambassadors do Down Below. If he spits on the sidewalk or writes graffiti on a wall, we overlook such things.”
The big angel sighed. “Yes, sir.”
Roy grinned, and he turned away from Jay so the man couldn’t see his hand, and gave Jerry the finger.
You could practically see the seraph’s blood pressure threaten to blow out his eyes.
Of course, Jerry and Deano and the other two seraphs probably didn’t know that Roy was spying for Jay. Just as Jay didn’t know that Roy was a double-agent also working for Lucifer and his favorite son Larry, with the collusion The Chief’s favorite wife, Lilith, with whom Roy was having a torrid affair–with her husband’s knowledge from the start, if you could believe the Prince of Lies ...
And to think he had given up a nice, quiet job as a gatekeeper for this. Made him wonder about his sanity, it did.