Deep Down Below

Ivan from Hell ep 8

©Samuel Mogbolu

 

22/03/2017

Ivan barely heard what the demon said. His mind was too pre-occupied with the horrible sight he’d just witnessed back at the cave.

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Halimar was lost. He could still hear her desperate pleas for help as the small dragon bathed her with its fire breath.

He’d been able to do nothing. All he’d done was watch.  Now she was all alone in that lost realm. She was powerless to move and powerless to heal. They had left her there marooned…forever.

 “Do you miss your companion?” The demon asked him.

Ivan said nothing. They had climbed up a lengthy flight of steps and come upon a flat pedestal that made Ivan think of an Island in the sky.

There was a way the clouds surrounded the pedestal and the platform led to nowhere. It just had edges which promised a long drop into oblivion.

The demon came up from behind Ivan and wrapped her arms around him. He was shocked when he recognised her scent.

“You remember this scent, don’t you? I took it from one of your memories.” She said.

Ivan frowned “to what end?” he asked.

See, the demon smelled exactly like Anna, the love of his human life.

“I want us to get along nicely.” The demon said.

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Ivan wished he could disentangle himself from her embrace but just then he saw her little dragon fly past into the clouds. After seeing it roast Halimar, Ivan was wary of the little monster.

“Well, you shall warm up to me in no time. Hang on now, we are about to take off.” The demon said.

Before Ivan could protest, she thrust them into the sky, with the sheer power of her wings.

Ivan felt like an arrow because at first they ascended, rising so high, he began to nurture hopes of seeing earth once more when of a sudden, her flight stopped.

And then they nose-dived, moving even faster than the prince’s goblin’s of before.

They just kept falling, passing through areas Ivan found familiar. They came upon vast plains teeming with wailing hellions and hovering goblins.

Ivan remembered jumping off one of such plains. There seemed to be several levels of plains like this, the lower they fell.

“Are you so clueless?” she said “hell has many depths. Each plain marks a depth. So far you’ve kept to the highest rungs. Now I shall take you deep down below.”

Ivan deflated moods sank even lower. She was taking him to Satan for sure.

The terrain soon changed from the dry rocky plains of before. As they fell now, he noticed the scarcity of goblins and hellions.

Grey long crystals seemed to rise up like trees towards them. These crystals covered the landscape and formed pathways.

She slowed down their descent and came to rest in the midst of these crystals upon a paved pathway.

The territory seemed quite ominous and full of gloom. Hawks cackled in the distance although he could sight none. And there were dark suffocative fumes that puffed out of the earth.

There was no going around these fumes for they gushed out right in the centre of the way. Ivan tried holding his breath but the fumes made his eyes water and sting. He soon began to cough.

The demon said nothing; she just walked in silence beside him. Silence was also the main ingredient in this general feeling of gloom that pervaded the area.

He loathed it so much; he wished the hawks would cackle continuously. But they seemed to pick their moments. Thus in desperation, he turned to her.

“Where are we headed?” he asked her.

“Shh….” She hushed him “there’s all sorts of lost creatures lurking in this shadowy mists. Some of them are as ancient as the dark prince.”

Ivan kept mum. If a demon felt the need to be cautious, what chance did he have? Just then they came upon a truly amazing spectacle.

Behold a glorious man lay by the roadside, very close to the base of one of the towering crystals.

He was glorious because he radiated with such a pleasant white light. And he was indeed comely; with a face that could make any being marvel.

One of his wings went across and covered the path. The other one was punctured, broken and twisted between the crystals. It would never function again.

The man…he could not be a man. He seemed more like an angel. His expression was that of one bewildered.

He appeared to be shocked by his surroundings and kept trying to disentangle his injured wing from betwixt the crystals.

Just then seven beings with wings and spiky tails swooped down around him. They began to poke him with sharp spears so that he wailed.

Ivan froze where he stood. These were actual devils. What would happen if they turned away from the fallen being and took notice of him?

Perhaps the demon discerned Ivan’s mood because she took hold of his hand and pulled him along so that they stepped right over the angel’s wing as if it was but a mere feathery carpet.

“That’s what I looked like when I fell too. I shined like the sun.” the demon said.

Ivan kept glancing back to look at the fallen angel.

“Would he ever fly again?”  Ivan asked slowly regaining his nerves.

“No, his wing is broken and we don’t have enough power to heal our divine bodies here. I was lucky; I fell in a lonely wilderness where no one could find me.” The demon said.

They emerged in a street that looked very much like the streets of yore, that is the streets of his human life.

But it was night and there was a lazy downpour, and the buildings (all of them were towers) were pale and ghostly and slanted like trees after a great storm. They all had torches high up on their window sills.

Ivan glanced back, wondering how the path had suddenly disappeared.

She held him by the waist and floated up over the roofs of the neighbourhood.

“It is always night here and the rain never stops.” She said alighting upon a roof top.

She withdrew a long key from within her shawl and opened a glass roof door. And then she pushed him.

Ivan fell on hard unsteady ground that sloped towards the windows. He was relieved to see that he did not sprain his ankles.

Taking his first look at the demon’s domicile, the whole place appeared dark and chilly. But he could see the walls.

They were fashioned of painted glass and looked misty by reason of the rain droplets that rolled down them.

 The demon floated to land beside him.

“Standing is a tricky business around here. It’s why I prefer to hover.” She said.

He glanced down at her feet. Indeed they never touched the floor for she floated.

Ivan took note of the lone piece of furniture in an otherwise bare hall. It looked like a grave, a grave made of stone.

Also there was a stair attached to its midsection, a golden stair. Her dragon floated out of the coffin and belched fire. It seemed to hiss when it saw of him.

 “Come let me show you to your chamber.” The demon said.

He had a chamber? He mused, following her as he tried to find his footing without gliding down the steep floor.

Why was the house slanted in such a manner? He wondered as the demon took him down a dark corridor.

As they walked, the lightning flashed for a second so that he saw a lone door at the end of the corridor. It seemed to be the only other room in this apartment.

She took that same key from her shawl and opened the door.

“Get in,” she said.

He shuffled his feet, feeling hesitant. The room was too dark and small and covered in cobwebs. He could not see even the shadow of a bed in the room.

Just then the lightning flashed again so that he saw a chain attached to the wall. He shook his head and glanced at her, suddenly realising his place.

“Must I stay here?” he asked.

“Yes, you are my ward now. I cannot have you roaming around untamed. Now come in.” she said and stepped inside the room.

Ivan meekly followed her. She placed her hand on his shoulder and with such careless strength, pressed him to his knees. She then placed the buckle around his neck and chained him to the wall.

“I shall return.” She said and locked the door, leaving him in darkness.

The rain pelted on the roof creating a roaring din. But the noise could not distract him from the creature slithering across his frame.

He grabbed at it and flung it afar off, howling in shock when he realized that it was a serpent.

Just then another crawled up his back, moving under his shirt. He could not grab it fast enough.

It pierced his skin with a vicious bite that made him wail out. But the sound of the heavy rain swallowed his voice.

To his dismay, the serpent burrowed its way into his flesh until he could feel it resting in his stomach.

Ivan trashed about, wailing and gnashing his teeth. The beast was eating him from the inside out. It fed on his insides, rising all the way to his neck. But it never touched his vital organs.

He wished it would eat his heart so that he would die for a while as he’d died back when Halimar ripped out his heart.

Soon the serpent went still. It had stopped eating. The fiery pain in his body slowly waned like the embers of a dying flame. His body was healing.

Ivan knelt carefully, not wanting to nudge the serpent. Perhaps it was asleep, he mused. He could not say how long he remained that way but the heavy rain eventually subsided to a steady splatter.

The room remained dark but he preferred it this way. What sights would he witness if there was light? Perhaps this chamber was crawling with serpents and the darkness spared him from such terror.

“Oh no,” Ivan moaned, the serpent began to move again.

It began to eat him once more. Ah, how to describe the torment of it? He dived up and stamped his feet like a lunatic but the beast did not stop.

It kept on taking large bites until Ivan tore at his stomach with his sharp claws. He poked his own hands into his belly and yanked about, searching for the beast.

It tried to squirm away but his desperate fingers found its ropey frame and pulled it out. Full of fury, he bit at its neck and tore its skin with his sharp teeth.

He soon found himself guzzling it down while he grunted and roared like a crazed beast.

Just then the door opened. The demon stood in the doorway with her hands akimbo.

“Ivan, what is all the commotion for?” she asked.

“I cannot stand this place, let me out of here.” Ivan said.

She stroked her hair “why? You’ve even got food. I am so hungry.”

“Get me out of here!” Ivan yelled at her.

She rolled her eyes “okay. You shall rest at my feet then. The floor is quite cold though, are you sure about this?”

Ivan looked around this accursed chamber.

“The floor is cold here too.” he said.

She sashayed into the chamber and unclasped the buckle from his neck. As soon as she did that, he sprung up and dashed out of the chamber, running down the corridor as he searched for the nearest door.

He soon emerged in the large hall where her grave stood in the middle. He could hear the slow lazy flutter of her wings.

His eyes searched for a way out but finding no door, he rushed with all his preternatural speed at one of the glass walls, hoping to smash it with his weight. But the glass turned out to be much stronger than it looked.

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“Is this how you will return my hospitality? Will you now betray me?” she said.

He turned slowly to see her hovering behind him. She was in flames and there was lightning in her eyes. He’d never seen a sight so compelling and frightening at the same time.

“There is no way out of here except the door on the roof,” she said, pointing up to the lofty roof.

Perhaps he could jump up to it, Ivan wondered. He knew he was capable of leaping to great heights.

“Look at me, hellion!” the demon bellowed.

When she roared like this, her flames exploded and filled the great hall so that the once dark hall blazed with the light of her fires.

She slowly stretched a flaming hand towards him so that he shifted backwards until there was no space left to shift to. She gripped him by the neck and lifted him up.

“Have you ever seen the firestorm?” she asked.

He nodded.

“I could provide you with such a fate. I could incinerate you until there is not a speck of you left.

Do you wish to roam through eternity without a form? Because that is what my fire could do to you. Your transition would be powerless to save you.” she said.

Ivan choked, her touch was melting the flesh off his throat and his head was already in flames. She flung him against the window and carelessly waved her right hand.

Just like that, all the fire went out and the hall returned to its previous state of gloomy darkness.

She turned away from him and went towards her grave.

“Why would you not let me go? What do you want from me?” Ivan asked her as he frantically pulled his shirt off to douse his flaming head.

She whirled and faced him.

“Is my company so obnoxious to you?” she asked.

“Not at all, the pleasure you bring me is rapturous.” Ivan said.

She seemed confused by this statement because she paused and came closer to him “are you always this gracious? If you find me so agreeable why then are you so desperate to leave me?”

Ivan felt like clawing his eyes out. Was she just being annoying or was she truly clueless.

A frown emerged on her forehead so that she backed away from him. You deceive me yet again. You don’t find me pleasurable. In fact, you hate me.” she spat out.

Ivan rose up from where she’d flung him “have you given me reason to not hate you? First you torment me and my companion and then you have your dragon burn her right before me.

But you don’t stop there; you take me captive, and drop me in a room for your serpents to feed on. And yet you wonder why I hate you?”

“I saved you from that liar. She is no good, she’s been lying to you, I can tell.” The demon said.

Ivan said nothing, he could see now that this creature was quite unstable. He dreaded what she would be capable of if she truly got upset.

But she was not done for after hovering around the hall and puffing out flames like her little dragon, she came back to him.

“I have never taken a ward to myself before. But I saw you and picked you from that lost realm. I have delivered you from an eternity of roaming the streets. Don’t you know that the real hell is on the streets?”

Was she serious now? Ivan mused. So she considered herself his messiah.

“If that is true then I have tasted both sides of hell and I think I prefer my own company.” Ivan said.

The demon hissed like a snake and stretched her neck towards him “you are so ignorant and ungrateful. Perhaps I should toss you out to the mercy of firestorms and goblins and evil beasts.”

“What do you want from me?” Ivan asked her “goblins once took me captive and that was because they needed me to stop their flaking. Are you flaking?”

She laughed. There was an unnatural way her eyes popped out and her nose shifted to the left just to show her disdain.  

 “I am a fallen one like the dark prince. I do not flake.” She said.

“Why then did you take me? Spare me the deceit; we both know this is no random act of kindness.”

She snorted like a pig and floated towards her grave. Ivan followed after her.

“Why did you take me?” Ivan asked again.

Her small dragon hovered above him and squealed at him.

“I don’t fear your fire. I have been through worse.” He said to the little beast.

She floated down to sit on the grave stair.

“Do you know why you have red eyes?” she asked him.

Ivan shook his head “I am sure you do.”

 Her thin fingers stretched from where she sat to cup his jaw.

“You are so comely, with this arrogant chin and those fiery eyes.” she said and pricked his skin with her sharp claws.

Her fingers shrunk back to normal size and she lapped on the trickle of blood that had spread down her claw.

Ivan wiped his jaw and clenched his teeth.

“Have you ever heard of the sorcerer?” the demon asked Ivan.

“Yes, I hear he is the only hellion that can perform magic.” Ivan said.

The demon clasped her palms together “indeed, indeed. He is Satan’s arch rival and chief rebel of hell.

No one knows his whereabouts or what he looks like. When he moves, he wraps himself in a firestorm and even I, an ancient demon, cannot survive the firestorm. It is the deadliest thing.”

“All this somehow has something to do with my red eyes, I suppose.” Ivan said.

“Don’t be in such a hurry. Don’t you like a good story? You’ve got to let it simmer” she said, licking her fingers again.

She laughed when Ivan just glared at her “alright, alright. But do you know how the sorcerer came by his powers? Don’t you think it is strange that a hellion would be capable of wielding magic in hell?”     

 

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I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.
 
 

 

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