Chapter 1:

Cold night

Lights Off

It was a sweet spring afternoon, I was lying under the shade of a tree next to a beautiful woman, her blond hair down to her knee and her dress was white as the clouds, her face was beautiful and her voice gentle

I had no idea who she was but I didn't care either, I just wanted to be there with her. We stayed there for a while until she leans towards me to kiss me, I got up to make the work easier and when our lips would meet the cold came

I woke up startled in the middle of an endless darkness with a chill that hurt to the bone. "Am I blind?" I asked myself "what the fuck is this cold?" I was really confused so I got up and sneaked into my room until I found my wardrobe

I wore the first thing I felt in my fingers, I was in a t-shirt and shorts so anything would fit, as soon as I managed to warm up with some clothes I had a moment of peace to think that was when I saw a little light source go out my window

I went to it grateful that I wasn't blind and then I opened the curtain and saw the snow-white streets but what impressed me most was the sky. The sky was as dark as night but that was impossible, I always had the habit of sleeping late so now it should be morning

I was really distracted, to the point that I didn't notice a creature flying straight through my window breaking the glass and knocking me down with it

It was a humanoid creature with bat wings like a small demon or a gargoyle but I didn't really care because at that moment I had to defend myself

It managed to rip part of my clothes with claws from below while I held her paws from above preventing it from scratching or biting me

In a moment it scratched me and I could feel his nails cutting shallowly across my chest but that was enough for me to feel pain and throw him away

The creature, however strong it was, was light as a child so it flew with everything towards my bedroom door, I could hear the wood cracking but that thing stood up like it was nothing

I was already tired while the creature didn't even seem to be sweating, it looked at me and emitted a high-pitched scream, I had made it furious, I don't know how it came to my mind a video about strangulation techniques I saw a while ago

I had nothing to lose, other than being tired I had an injury, if I wanted to survive I would have to get it over with quickly

I opened my arms to get attention and then yelled "come get me!" and it went with everything, I dodged his onslaught and caught it from behind spending all my energy to hold its neck over my arms while I prevented the movement of its  legs using mine

It thrashed like a rodeo bull harder and harder scratching my arm until it finally gave in, I kept squeezing for a while, I couldn't open any gaps for him to get up and attack me from behind

With fright I hadn't noticed the creature's color but it had taken on a pale red hue which was noticeable even with the poor lighting in the room, at that point I was no longer able to feel its heartbeat so I concluded he was dead

"What the fuck was that?" I wondered as I was sweating and breathing heavily, for a moment I had forgotten how awfully cold it was. I put the demon's body aside and got up in search of my cell phone

My room at this point was all messed up but it was easy to find my cell phone. The first thing I looked at was the time, I was hoping it wasn't too early but when I saw that the clock said 9:28 AM I was impressed

I used my cell phone to take some pictures of the devil "they need to see this, maybe I'm not the only one"

While I was waiting for answers I went to the bathroom to take a look at my wounds, I couldn't take it after all I didn't know how many were still to come. I took the opportunity and went to see the room temperature and it was -10c

I put ointment on the wounds and bandaged it and then I went back to the room thinking what I would do with the creature and then the messages arrived

9:30 AM Annie: Are you okay?

9:30 AM Joseph: Dude what the fuck is this? Get out of there now

9:30 AM Me: I'm fine. did this also happen to you?

9:31: Joseph: When the noises started people here at home thought it was some kind of protest but then we heard the noises and we're hiding in the basement

9:32 AM Annie: It was expected that you would hide like a coward

9:32 AM Joseph: Fuck you witch

9:33 AM Annie: Wow what a foul mouth :D

9:33 AM Annie: If your dad sees you talk like that to women he will punish you :p

9:34 AM Me: Guys, you're not helping

9:34 AM Me: Does anyone have any idea what this is?

9:35 AM Joseph: How am I supposed to know? We are lucky to be alive

9:36 AM Annie: This is a lesser demon commonly used at the front for terrain recon because it's easily replaceable.

9:36 AM Me: How did you identify it so quickly? You weren't supposed to look it up in your books or something?

9:37 AM Annie: Usually yes but I got a new little friend just now

And then Annie sends a photo with a demon. She was a sheep but her 4 feet were like a reptile and she had 2 horns like a goat

9:38 AM Annie: Isn't she cute?

9:38 AM Joseph: Are you crazy? Look at this thing

9:39 AM Me: This time I have to agree with Joseph, you shouldn't be so close to these things

9:39 AM Annie: Oh come on! You are very cowards, she is a sweetheart, I called her Carmen

9:40 AM Joseph: Don't give her a name, this is a monster

9:41 AM Me: We've wasted a lot of time here, what should we do?

9:42 AM Annie: Let's meet at Joseph's house

9:42 AM Me: Right

9:42 AM Joseph: Why does it have to be at my house?

9:42 AM Joseph: Annie you're not bringing this thing over here are you?

9:43 AM Annie: But of course I will!

I left the 2 talking while I changed clothes, I put some thick clothes in a backpack I had, and then I went to the kitchen to get some knives and something to eat on the trip.

9:46 AM Annie: Elai Carmen told you to take what you get from the demon you killed

9:46 AM Me: Why?

9:46 AM Annie: She said "Your human friend is weak, without using the devil on her behalf he won't last long"

I decided to follow the "advice" and went back to my room and there he was the same way and then I cut him like butcher meat in pieces and put it in a plastic bag inside the backpack

Coincidentally as soon as I finished I heard gunshot sounds downstairs, my building was small and I lived on the second floor so I would have to use the stairs to check.

"Those gunshot sounds must have been from Officer Luke's house, was he hiding like Joseph?" I had some hypotheses in mind but anyway if I wanted to help him I would have to act now

I was lowered past my apartment until I reached the door and then I opened it slightly to see if there were more monsters on the floor, the darkness made it difficult to see but I didn't identify anyone nearby

I walked through the second floor corridors as I was doing in my apartment, when I got close to the stairs I peeked downstairs and what I saw was a considerable amount of red eyes, they must have been 5 or 6 and they were moving by jumping on one leg, I was unable to tell from there if they had any distinctive features other than the eyes that were visible in the dark

I waited for the jumps to decrease the volume and then I slowly descended the stairs, I thanked the owner of the building for taking the old wooden stairs and having one built with cement otherwise the wood would moan for my every move.

As soon as I got to the first floor, I checked the surroundings before leaning against one of the walls, I knew where the policeman lived so what I had to do was go into his house and hope he was alive.

I synchronized my steps with the creatures' heels until I reached Luke's door and it was open, there were no signs of demons around so I decided to enter

"I hope he doesn't think I'm a creature and shoot me" was all I thought, I couldn't just scream "Officer Luke I came to help you". Entering the room I heard heavy footsteps getting closer and closer down the hall and then I looked for a place to hide

That one was taller than the others, he looked like a typical demon of those you see in games, he had a goat face, human torso but his legs were also goats. He seemed to be looking for something or someone, maybe it was Luke

The apartment was silent except for the beast wandering aimlessly around the place, so the idea came to me to fit my steps together with his and go to the back of the apartment because if Luke was still alive he would have to be there

It was then that I noticed that one of the demon's eyes was bleeding but I didn't have time to look because the apartment doors were open and I went to search them looking for Luke

As all the apartments had the same geography I knew that the door closest to me led to the bathroom, I took a quick peek but without success, there remained the service area and the bedroom

I looked around the service area and heard a shallow breathing in the back of it and then I got closer until I saw Officer Luke huddled in a corner of the wall.

"Officer Luke?" I whispered low for him to hear

"W-who's there?" he replied in a weak whisper

"I'm Elai, I live on the second floor, I heard the shots and I thought I could help you"

"Thanks for the good will boy but I think you're a little late"

"What do you mean ?"

"I don't know how you got through that thing, but I shot her more than 5 times and none of it had any effect, it was more furious and with a slap it threw me over the door. it is over for me... even though by a miracle it went although I doubt that an ambulance or anything will come for me"

As soon as he finished speaking he showed me the wound in his belly that was making him bleed, I only knew the basics of first aid, I wouldn't be enough to defend him and me, I could just stand there quietly

“Boy take this, it may not be much but it's better than nothing” he gave me his 9mm revolver

"If by some miracle you are able to enter my room unnoticed, there are 2 more 6-bullet clips in the second drawer..."

These were his last words, without any impactful speech or sentence, he was already leaving but gathered his last strength to give me instructions in order not to allow my effort to get there to have been in vain

I left that service area and went straight to his room and the clips were there where he said, I had no reason to stay there so I looked for the belt to put the revolver on, as soon as I found it I heard the heels again but this time entering through the apartment door

"Really ? It even seems synchronized” I thought to myself, it felt like a game, as soon as you get an important item enemies appear to bother you

The hallway was narrow, I would eventually have to fight them, so the idea came to me to test something

Carmen said I should use the demons to my advantage so I opened my backpack and grabbed one of the claws I had saved. With a knife in one hand and a claw in the other I walked down the hall until the 2 of us faced each other.

Its eyes were red as an LED, its nose was like a potato and its face was furry. I didn't let it have time to react and so I dug my claw into his forehead and to my surprise it came in incredibly fast

It was impressive as I had a hard time cutting the other demon using my kitchen knife. The creature jumped out knocking things in the room while it had a claw hanging from its forehead

"Shit" I screamed without meaning to, I was doing everything to be silent and in 1 second everything was spoiled

I jumped towards it with the intention of opening the claw wound further, as soon as the knife entered he turned his head and the knife twisted and broke in my hand

Once again I would have to resort to hand-to-hand combat, but I had the advantage, the demon was half my height and was wounded, I took advantage of the gap and kicked him straight in the head, but unlike the first one, this one was more heavy so it just backed up a little bit

Seconds later I heard a kind of roar and footsteps of something heavy approaching

"You got to be kidding me!" the devil with the goat's head arrived destroying everything, I only had time to jump to my left side before he passed me and destroyed the wall opening a huge hole outside the building.

The lesser demon had no luck, it was on the ground as if a truck had gone over it, as for the goat's head, it flipped over on the small ladder and stopped in the middle of the street

He must have been about 10 to 15 meters from me, it got up from the ground and as soon as it saw me it started hitting its hoof on the ground as if it were challenging me.

I picked up the gun and tried to aim for its other eye as it moved forward, I had never fired a real gun in my life so the regret for not taking ear plugs was high but I couldn't get distracted by the noise or the gun recoil

I fired 5 shots, only the last one hit close to the eye but it was enough to bleed and block its  vision

Staying inside would be a disadvantage, it was safer for me to get away from that place as quickly as possible, so I took advantage of the goat's head onslaught to leave

I was so distracted by getting away from there that I completely forgot that there could be more creatures on the street and it wasn't long before I ran into some sort of reaper dragging his scythe across the ground.

I didn't have time until it saw me but luckily the goat's head had damaged the interior structure of the building so it started to collapse in that spot distracting the reaper with the sound and dust that was rising.

I took advantage of the gap and walked away from the reaper and then positioned myself in a place where I could rest and look around.

I've never been an athlete or anything like that, those minutes really tired me. While I was resting, 3 more reapers were approaching the place and then coming out of the rubble the goat's head appeared once more

"Damn it! Don't you die?!?” I was already tired of that thing chasing me, I wanted to finish him off but how was I going to do that?

It looked weaker than before, after taking so many shots and having one of its eyes unused it looked vulnerable. It then walked while seemed to be sniffing something

The reapers walked towards the demon, it slowly hit them all until one managed to stick his scythe in his back.

“Aah! So it hurts you” I had a plan, I needed to get one of those scythes

I sneaked close to the fight, the goat head was winning as expected, I went to a reaper who was getting up crookedly and kicked its head with all the strength I had.

It was like kicking a big rock but it seemed to have some effect on it and so I took his scythe

Its handle was long almost reaching my height with curves to better fit the body, its blade was thick, long and thinned to the tip like a razor

"How much does it weigh?" I was impressed with the weight that scythe had, it looked like stone, no wonder those reapers were slow. I lifted the scythe by the tip and rested it on my 2 shoulders, I looked like a scarecrow

The goat head at that time had just killed the last reaper with the exception of the one I kicked

I barely had the strength to lift it, hitting it efficiently wouldn't be easy, so I started to spin with the intention of gaining strength while the goat head noticed me and then it made its charge

It was all or nothing, I had no more options there, I it him or I died, I waited for it to get closer and then I changed my grip to hit like a baseball player uses his bat

I expected the scythe to hit, what I didn't expect is that it would go through its body so easily

The blade looked worn out, full of scratches and irregularities but it went through it making a clean cut and where the blade passed there was a kind of fire trail

I had put a lot of strength into that blow so holding the scythe at that point was impossible so I just let go and let it slide to the ground

"Finally it's over" I breathed with relief, that demon had given me a lot of work but now I was on the floor divided in 2. My attack hit from the side in a way that left it with 1 horn in the head and the column cutted

My backpack was already half full so I decided to take only the horn that I cut and took the scythe from the ground and put it on my back

I still had a long way to go to Joseph's house, I wasted a lot of time dealing with the goat's head

He lived about 30 minutes walk from where I was, I usually took a taxi or hitchhiked when I needed to but I very much doubt anyone would drive by on my street.

"Well... I'll have to walk if I want to get to Joseph's house today" I was discouraged with the walk until I realized I had an unread message

It was a video of Annie, she was riding like an Amazon on Carmen

“Yeeeeah! Guys, you have to try this out!” she was holding tight to the sheep's wool with one hand as she showed the scenery around her.

It was endless screaming, fire everywhere, people fighting demons, and she didn't seem to care a bit

"At this speed I should get to Joseph's house in 30 minutes" as soon as she finished speaking some demons started running after her

"Guys, looks like I have company, see you guys later" ironically when she was about to finish the video a loud neigh could be heard and a kind of horse with flames in place of the head appeared on the screen, I swear I could hear her start to scream "shit"

There was no way I could help her, Joseph was the only one of us who had a car so what I needed to do was get to his house as quickly as possible and hope he has the courage to leave the house and is willing to go after Annie

Annie Walker's point of view

Wow, Carmem runs very fast but I don't think she will last long at this pace with this horse behind us

Carmen: Master, I accept any suggestion you have

Annie: What do you know about this horse?

Carmem: I remember stories from a place called Brazil about women who had intimate relationships with priests, they became horses with flames in place of their heads

Annie: So we have one more heretic among us

Annie: Fast Carmen turn right

Carmen: Right master

I knew there was a fire station near where we were, maybe if I used a fire extinguisher I could weaken it

"You seem to have a plan" Carmen said confidently

"Yes, we're going to try extinguish her flame, but first we need to get there" I pointed towards the barracks

We arrived at the gate that was closed and so I ordered Carmen to distract the horse while I entered.

I went into reception looking for a fire extinguisher, there it was messed up and there were demons in the back trying to get in through the garage, they weren't my problem so I took the first fire extinguisher I saw and went back outside

Leaving there I saw Carmem dueling with the horse that should have been about 2 meters long while Carmem was short like me

"Carmem get out of the way" I yelled as I ran the fire extinguisher towards the two of them, Carmen pulled away immediately and I fired the foam.

The horse acted like I was giving poison to it and jumped back, so I ordered Carmen to bite its hind leg

As soon as the horse lost the strength of its paw I advanced with the fire extinguisher and I was extinguishing it until the torch that was in the place of its head was the size of a candle

Carmem: Am I allowed to absorb master?

Annie: Go ahead

I didn't know what she meant but I agreed because she was curious

She then opened her mouth like a snake and began to suck the horse that was turning into a kind of orange energy while Carmen inflated.

As soon as she finished she blew smoke through her nose and belched

From her mouth came an orange stone the size of a thumb.

"What is it?" I was curious about the pebble that Carmen expelled

"It's a gift" she replied in a shy voice

"A gift ? Ah, how cute! You are the best friend I could have"

"Let's go! I have to throw in Joseph and Elai's face that they don't have a friend like you"

Joseph Taylor's point of view

It's been over 20 minutes since I last spoke to Elai and Annie, my parents and I started praying together in the basement, I realized I had received a new notification but I didn't have time to look.

Our prayer kept the demons away from the basement but not from our house, you could hear them upstairs going through everything.

That's how we went, with faith that nothing would happen to us until strange sounds were happening as if a beast was attacking the others

"Is it Annie?" I thought distractedly for a moment, she insulted me and spoke openly that she didn't like me but she was out there with her weird sheep killing the demons

"Don't get distracted" my dad said in a dry tone and then continued to pray

"I'm sorry" I had been wrong to divert my attention until Annie started calling

“Joseph!! Show yourself!" she yelled that she was there but her tone also made it sound like she wanted to attack me

"Don't answer" my mom said instantly

"But she is..." I tried to say something

"No "but" I said not to answer" my mother raised her voice

Elai Rivers point of view

I kept walking for a while being careful not to find any bigger demon on the way, the scythe I had taken was too heavy to use for anything so I opted to use the horn I had as a dagger in case I found a smaller demon

I spent more time than I wanted to avoid confrontations until I saw from afar a black silhouette with a giant sheep in front of a house

Is it Annie? This means that she survived the encounter with the horse, I got closer and saw that they were both relaxed while Annie hummed

Annie: Elai! Are you alive !

Elai: I was supposed to be saying this! What was that thing behind you?

Annie: Carmen said she was a woman who had intimate relations with a priest and then turned that horse

Elai: Oh sure... By the way I should thank Carmen for the tip, I probably wouldn't be alive if I didn't use it

At that moment Carmen gave a kind of indistinguishable grunt, I kept looking at her finding her action strange

Elai: Hmmm Annie is she alright?

Annie: She said she liked that you appreciate her knowledge

Elai: Can you understand these grunts?

Annie: Grunts? What do you mean by that ?

Carmen then grunted again

Annie: Ah that means I can understand you because of our bond

Elai: Leaving your private chat aside, where's Joseph?

Annie: We called him for a long time but he didn't answer us

Elai: The door is open, why didn't you come in?

Annie: Carmen said that in there it stank of sanctity, she wouldn't go in there, so I decided to wait either you show up or they get hungry

Elai: Okay, let me figure it out, look at me

I left my scythe leaning near the door and walked into the house wielding the horn

“Joseph! It's me Elai!" the door was broken open, what I could see was lit by the outside light so I looked for the lights in the house that were incredibly unbroken.

"If you won't answer I'll look for you" I said as I turned on the lights

“Ah! I forgot Joseph said he was in the basement” I thought to myself, this saved me from having to search the house

I tried to open the basement door but it was locked so I decided to knock and call for Joseph

“Joseph I know you are there! Open the door"

I only had silence as an answer... I knew it was because of his parents, so I decided to play dirty

"Mr. Carlos, you better let Joseph talk to us or I'll tell your wife what you do after she sleeps"

"He wouldn't dare!" I bet that's what you thought, I'll count to 3 and I'll scream so loud that even the neighbors will know your secret"

"1....2..." And then Joseph quickly opens the door

"Oh it worked" was the first thing I said when he opened the door

"Elai you can't go around saying these things, my father has a reputation in the neighborhood" Joseph was visibly annoyed

"I have no idea what you were talking about" I looked at him sarcastically but actually I had no idea what Mr Carlos do in secret

Elai: Anyway, Annie is out there, it's safe to leave

Joseph: I'm not going outside with all this darkness, besides that thing is there too

Elai: Carmen? If you disregard the bizarre appearance she is like a normal animal

Joseph: I was talking about Annie

You could hear Annie cursing Joseph at the door

Elai: Come on! Let's go outside for a bit, when was the last time you left home to see friends?

"Speak for yourself" Annie yelled from afar as Joseph looked away

Joseph: Right! just a quick exit

As soon as we walked out the door Carmen stepped in front of Annie and started to growl

Annie: Calm down girl, I know he's ugly but he's our friend

Joseph: Shut up!

Annie: Elai this scythe of yours it's cool, how did you get it?

I told them what happened before I got there

Elai: I hope Carmen doesn't mind that I killed a relative of hers

Carmen then grunted low

Annie: She said that the 2 were not of the same species and that demons don't have this family thing like us, she also said that their fidelity is circumstantial unless it's about their masters

Elai: Annie, how did you handle the horse?

Annie then told the story of how they defeated the fire horse

Annie: And then Carmen absorbed the horse and gave me this rock

Elai: What does she do?

Annie: I don't know but she's cute

Joseph: Hmmm Annie

Annie: What is it?

Joseph: After defeating the horse you went to help the firefighters, right?

Annie looked deep into Joseph's eyes without saying anything.

Joseph: You went to help the fire department.... Right?

Before Joseph could say anything more he got a message notification and his expression changed in an instant and then he came home

Joseph: Stay there until I get back

It took a few minutes before Annie and I started to hear an argument coming from the basement, until everything quieted down and then Joseph walked out the door again.

Joseph: Elai please come in, my parents want to talk to you

Lights Off