By Ben Van Dongen
Chad struggled to wake up. His dream, something about a hot Quebecois redhead with a Charles Bronson moustache, kept tugging him back to sleep. Yawning, his jaw cracked, and water slipped into his open mouth. The half of his face he wasn’t sleeping on was wet and cold. The sensation, along with a burning desire to take a piss, roused him.
Burning. The word repeated in his head. Burning. It was distasteful, making him frown and fidget. Burn. He smelled smoke, or char. Burner. The word made him sneer.
“Ah!” He jumped up, running in a circle, kicking up snow, screaming and clutching his bottom.
The grumbled, deep voice of the snoozing demon joined the yells. “Shut the fuck up Hard-On, I’m still fucking sleeping.” The words, accompanied by small fires, caught dry branches and grass in the patch on the ground, melted by the demons heat.
“My asshole is on fire! My asshole, it burns!”
“What did you expect to happen? Seduce a demon, get an ass full of demon seed.” A low chuckle grew to a roaring laugh, shaking God Burner, waking him fully and causing him to grow.
Chad found a pile of snow and dropped into it like a recliner. Steam surrounded him, but the pain lessened. “You did this to me!” He pointed at the demon.
“You asked for it lover boy.” GB caught a glimpse of Chad’s face and his laughing fit started all over again.
Rolling out of the puddle, Chad hopped and shimmied to another pile of snow. “You took advantage of me!”
“You look—” The demon wiped away molten tears through the laughing fit, flinging them at nearby woodland creatures. “You look like you got a full load in your diaper!”
“This isn’t funny. Think about what you did.”
GB shook off the laughter and shrunk down. “It really is. You should think about what you did champ. Think long,” he let out a snicker, “long and hard.”
Chad stood, a handful of dripping snow in his hand. He stuffed it down the back of his pants and trudged towards the highway.
Sasha reached to the back seat and grabbed another snickers. She ripped open the package with her teeth and consumed the chocolate bar in two bites, her cheeks puffed out with caramel and peanuts like a chipmunk before hibernation.
The cruise control was set to 150kph, her fuel gage showed she had less than a quarter tank of gas, and her supply of snickers was dangerously low.
The chocolate bar was the one capitalist vice she had acquired during her time undercover. Blue Jeans and cassette tapes didn’t register with her, but a real snickers bar, not the Russian Snickovia knockoff, made her weak in the knees. Every time she had to engage in carnal relations with her feeble, pathetic, disgusting cover husband, she would load up on the candy first, making her acting performance more realistic.
A distributer in Quebec had crates full, ready for her departure when her mission was complete. She had to fake permits, since Putin denied her request to bring them back with her, but the risk was worth it. Besides. She was going to be the agent who killed the Capitalist Pig Leader. She was owed the small indulgence.
Thinking about Chad made her skin crawl. Just having to be in the same room with him took all the mastery of her elite Soviet training. After dealing with him, she felt capable of handling any mission. Obama was going to be a cakewalk.
She grabbed another Snickers and crammed it into her mouth, barely taking the time to remove the wrapper. The smooth nougat and slightly salty peanuts relaxed her enough to use the diaper she was wearing, the third of the trip.
The fuel gage warning light came on at the same time, as if the bodily function was related. Passing a sign for a rest stop, she swerved, cutting off a transport truck and a mid sized sedan, and took the off ramp among a fanfare of angry horns.
Cardinal Molson was having a hard time keeping a low profile. He hid in a dressing room inside a small clothing shop, a pile of merchandise next to him on a bench and a clerk and customer pawing at the door.
He had made it to Quebec City without incident—other than the event at the airport with the demon imps and Mr. T and the commotion on the plane with the bomber. He was able to use the power of the Angel semen to make those problems go away though. The infatuation people felt for him made it easy to convince them to let the events slide. The problem was that everyone, no matter where he went, was clamouring to get close to him.
Husbands pushed wives aside to be near him. Children squirmed free from their parents to cling to him, the parents distracted with him in the first place. A fight broke out on a sidewalk when a police officer shoved a man out of the way to stand next to him. One poor man was so overcome he began fondling himself at the sight of the glowing Cardinal.
Molson cleared his throat as he tried on another pair of black pants. He would be lying if he didn’t admit he was flattered by the veneration, but he had a lot of souls to pray for when his task was over. Besides, why shouldn’t the people revere him? He was a high-ranking member of the Church, steadfast in his ideals and eloquent in speech. Too many sinful people had been led astray in the world.
Puffing out his chest, Molson looked at himself in the mirror. Perhaps it was his destiny to use his new power to change the minds of the non-believers. When his mission was over, he could simply take the remaining Angel semen. No one could stop him. There was enough there to ensure his Heavenly Blessing remain for years. He would be a good leader, a fair leader. That liberal young Pope was turning the institution to a mockery. Something had to be done.
But first he would have to take care of that pesky demon.
With a flex of his bicep, the power of the Angels collected in his hand, a visible light able to smite the wicked. God wanted him to do it. Destroy the demon and then take his place at the head of the Church. It was an easy task.
The pawing at the door had escalated to banging. The women on the other side wailed with agony at being so close to the Cardinal but forced to be separate.
Molson collected the clothing, pushed past them, and headed out the back door. Carnaval was starting and he had a demon to slay.
Emile eyed the group of young girls near the beaver tail stall. They were the exact type of target he looked for, maybe a little young, but he didn’t care. Getting’ some was gettin’ some.
He bounded over to them, the felt smile on the costume head mirroring the nasty grin he had snarled on his face. Waving, he stood in front of them and bounced back and forth in his best animated antics. Like lambs to the slaughter, they fell for it, posing around him for a selfie. He groped away, grabbing wherever he could and chuckled as they walked away, exclaiming to each other what had happened.
With his task complete he looked for a new group of girls to target. He had hours before his meet with the Prez, plenty of time to get his grope on. He wasn’t sure what it was he lifted from his buddy, but it was doing the trick. Except every once in a while he thought he was seeing things.
“I don’t want to talk about it!” Chad trudged through the snow with an awkward waddle, occasionally stuffing more down his pants. “I just want to get to Montreal and be done with you.”
GB walked a few steps behind, laughing and chewing on the bone of another forest critter he’d blown up. “Quebec.”
“Yeah, Montreal is in Quebec. That’s where they have the carnival.” Chad looked back, smiling with all the smugness he could muster.
“Carnaval is in Quebec City Hard On. Damn, no wonder Sasha didn’t respect you. You’re dumb as a stump.”
“Shut up. Her name is Sarah, and why do you keep using the past tense. She DOES respect me. I’m her husband.” Not looking where he was going, Chad tripped on a sapling and tumbled into the snow, the young tree smacking his ass on its back swing. “Fuck!”
The laughter became the roar that had taunted Chad for years. “Keep telling yourself that!”
Getting to his feet, Chad brushed snow off his coat. Through the trees, less than a kilometre away, he saw the brick wall of a building. “Finally.”
He ran, kicking up snow. GB grew and easily passed him, melting the snow so Chad had to splash through a stream, bits of flame catching on his coat.
GB was waiting for him in a smaller size when he finally got to the wall.
“What took you?” He grabbed his belly as he laughed.
Chad pushed past to the front of the building. They were at a rest stop with cars lined up at gas pumps and people lining up at a Tim’s.
Chad looked back at GB. “Great. Maybe we can get a ride here. Put on your cloak and stand back.”
He walked to the first car he saw, a baby blue Jaguar. It was the same kind of car his wife had. He loved the car, but was never allowed to drive it. More than once she made him sit in the back, just because. The memory, and knowledge that his walking curse could read his mind, made him angry. Waving, he said hello to the driver, who was watching the pump, her back to him.
“Leave me alone, I have no time for hand outs,” came in a thick Russian accent. She turned and dropped the handle, causing it to dislodge from the gas tank, pouring gasoline onto the ground.
Chad felt his bowels rumble. The charred deer was making a fast exit and he had to clench to prevent an accident. It was his wife, talking in an accent, filling her car somewhere near the border to Quebec.
She yelled and jumped into the car, Chad yelled and shit his pants. GB laughed, sending bits of flame to the pavement.
Sarah jumped out of the car, a machine gun pointed at Chad.
“I don’t know how you survived, but I’m going to enjoy finishing you in person!”
With his pants already full, Chad just stared at her.
Before his wife could pull the trigger, one of GB’s flames ignited the spilled gas, lighting the car, the pump, and Sarah on fire.
She screamed and Chad went to run to her, though in his head he didn’t know why, likely instinct, but two large, red arms grabbed hold of his shoulders and threw him into the bushes on the other side of the building.
The impact hurt, and liquid shit oozed out of his pants, but he was spared the explosion that sent fire, debris, and a shockwave of heat, over and around the building.
GB came around the corner, his cloak burning. “Your wife’s a cunt.”
The wheel wobbled and the windshield was shattered, but the car GB hotwired was moving at a good speed. They were close to Quebec City and Chad was eager to get out of his soiled clothes. The burned interior of the car smelled like a diaper fire and a spring was jabbing him in the back.
“Are you sure this car is safe?”
Gb was lying across the back seat, snoozing. “No. It’s a miracle we’ve made it this far, but then any time you drive is a gamble. Stop whining, we’re almost there.”
“First thing, I need a shower and a change of clothes.”
“No time, we have to get to frosty the snow-douche before sundown.”
Chad snapped his head back, trying to meet GB’s eyes, causing the car to swerve over the line. A horn honked and he corrected. “What? I didn’t know that.”
“What you don’t know dip shit. It has to do with demon things, you wouldn’t understand. Trust me buddy, I’m eager to end this relationship. Being stuck to your all this time is like hell, and I know. I need some fresh meat to torment. So just drive and shut your trap.”
The crowed seemed light to Emile. There weren’t as many easy targets as he was hoping, plus his high was wearing off. Walking around the sparsely attended festival, he dragged his plush feet. Though it was cold outside, he was sweating in the thin costume.
“Etienne, you cock. This shit you’re shooting is bad shit.” He cursed his friend, forming a tight smile thinking of the hell he was going through without his stash.
Ahead, past a maple taffy stand, a large crowd gathered. They shoved and jostled each other to get close to something.
Must be Obo Prez guy.
Cracking his back with a violent twist, Emile entered the cluster of people, eager to grab some tits as he pushed through to the American President he was supposed to meet.
Rather than part and make way for the Bonhomme as he was accustom to, he had to elbow his way into the outer edge of the crowd. Instead of grabbing at women, he resorted to punching, eye poking, and thrusting his knee into crotches.
“Fucking fuck heads! Move!”
He was never supposed to talk while in character, but to the people, he was just another challenger in the fight to get there. After twenty minutes of inflicting pain, he made it to the middle. “Why are you assholes so eager to meet Obama?”
Expecting to see secret service fending off the crowed, he stopped when he saw a man dressed in black standing on top of a car, preaching. Emile was oddly attracted to the man, but the comedown from his high was distracting.
The figure pointed to him, the tip of his finger glowing.
“Here we see another sinner people. A perfect example of those who poison humanity. A drug user and molester. An abuser and thief. He must be punished for his egregious sins!
Before the ball of light hit him, Emile saw the bodies of others, charred and half destroyed.
The car pulled up to the entrance of Carnival, the wobbling wheel sitting at an exaggerated angle.
Chad got out and scratched at his sore, dirty ass. “Where are all the people?”
GB joined him on the curb. “Shit, I think we’re in trouble.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I can feel it.”
The demon, growing to his full size, charged into the stall lined corridors, setting the ones closest to him on fire.
“Wait! What the heck is happening?”
GB bellowed back to him. “I can sense an Angel!”
Running as fast as he could, his stained pants sagging, Chad chased after GB, huffing, holding his side. In moments the big red figure was out of site.
Chad followed in the direction that he’d seen his demon head, hoping he would find him at the end of the charred trail, or run into the jerk in the snowman costume. For the first time in years, he was distinctly aware of the coin in his pocket. It felt heavy, dragging down his already drooping pants.
The Carnaval grounds were deserted, he slowed down and peeked around corners, expecting something bad to happen, or GB to jump out and scare him, a favourite torment of the demon.
A clamour alerted him to the crowd gathered near an exit. He could smell maple syrup and smoke and heard yelling and cheering, like the audience of a concert.
“Must be GB.”
A man ran up, nudging him. Chad grabbed his arm, stopping him. The man fidgeted and kept looking towards the people.
“Hey, do you know what’s going on?”
“Yes, yes. It’s glorious. The Cardinal is smiting sinners, I saw it on the news. He’s so amazing, I just want to be with him!” The man went to leave, but Chad still held his arm.
“Wait, a bird?”
“Let me go! He’s fighting a demon!” The man swung, hitting Chad awkwardly in the cheek.
It had the desired effect and Chad lost his grip. “Ow, fuck.” Holding his face, Chad ran after the man, passing him on the way to the mass of people. It was so tightly packed, he didn’t see a way in. While he stood at the parameter, the man he passed charged full speed into it, making it through the wall of people that closed up after him.
Chad jogged around the outside, looking for a way in. He saw the tops of polls and stalls above the people and climbed a fence to get to the first one.
Hanging above the commotion, he caught a glimpse of a man in black, flinging balls of light at GB who dodged them, and sent fire and burning pieces of wood back. GB’s attacks didn’t seem to be causing any damage.
The people were cheering the man on, yelling, and jeering the demon.
Chad did his best to move from the poll to the roof of a stall, then to the other object protruding from the crowd. He stumbled and stepped on people, but he made progress. He stood on a van near the large open circle in the center of the throng, spotting dead and mutilated bodies, including the snowman guy with a hole in his chest.
“GB! What’s going on?”
The demon and man stopped and looked over to him.
“My followers,” the man in black spread his arms to the people, “See the vile demon’s kin. The individual so wicked and sinful he has concourse with the spawn of hell and frolics with evil!”
“What?” Chad saw the faces of the mob turn to him, scornful words and trash flying his way.
“Now, watch as I use all my power to end the demon once and for all. Then I’ll allow you to deal with his companion yourself.” With a flourish, he created a huge ball of light as big as Chad, and launched it at God Burner.
Chad dove off of the van, flinging himself between the brilliant white light, that somehow blasted out of the old man’s hand, and his pain in the ass demon friend. He wasn’t sure why but he had definitely did it.
Time slowed to a crawl, like when he would be waiting for Sarah to stop nagging him so he could go back to playing Atari, the only video game system she let him keep. Strangely, he seemed to be watching the scene from somewhere else. He clearly saw the freaky old man, GB and his own body in the middle of the unnatural people, all moving through thick maple-syrup time, ever so slowly.
What the fuck am I doing? This may be the one good chance I have to get rid of that fucking asshole demon, and I jump in the way to save him?
Damn, I look fucking kick ass though. Eat shit Charles Bronson, there is a new Death Wish-er, guy, man, in town.
This is taking forever. Shouldn’t I be seeing my life flash before my eyes or something?
“And see what? You-with-your-face–glued-to-your-fucking-phone-wasting-my-time-sitting-on-your-ass-being-a-prick?”
Chad smelled the man before he saw him waddle up next to him. He was speckled with tiny droplets all over his body. Rather than run together and pool on the ground, like they normally did, they floated up to the sky.
Blinking, he heard a “wow” escape his lips. The sight was magical.
“Hey there Hard On.”
“I pity the fool who calls me Hard On.”
Rather than the usual outburst he knew the man to have, Mr T. Chuckled.
“I don’t get upset anymore kid. It’s good to see you, even though you got me killed.”
“I did what?” Chad turned to see how far his body had progressed. It was still a few feet from GB and it looked like it would actually block the ball thing from hitting the demon.
“That prick Cardinal Molson killed me. The Vatican picked me up because I was the only person they could find with any information about you and that waking piece of hell stuck to you.” Mr T. seemed to glow. Other than the smell, he radiated grace.
“The bird killed you?” Chad struck a palm with the bottom of his fist.
“The old prick who shot the Heavenly energy at your demon.” A harry, chubby finger pointed at Molson, who was standing ridged in the time slowdown. “That shit-dick killed me. Didn’t even say sorry.”
Chad studied the man. “I’m sorry?”
“Ah, don’t worry about it kid.” T picked his nose and flung the booger in the Cardinal’s direction. It glowed and stuck to his forehead.
Chad watched its trajectory and stared at the Cardinal, the source of his death. “Are you?”
“In heaven? Yeah.”
“How is it?”
“It’s not bad. Tapes are making a big comeback there.”
“I suppose I’m about to go to the other place.”
“Yeah. About that.” T put a chubby wet hand on his shoulder. “You weren’t a very good person, but what you’re doing here, saving the demon, that’s gone over pretty well upstairs. They’ve been following this whole saga, and they find it rather entertaining, if not a bit disturbing. This move of yours is the icing on the cake they were hoping for. They don’t really care for the demon, but Molson turned out to be a huge douche. They’d like him dealt with, so you lucked out.”
“Does that mean I get to go to heaven?”
Mr. T shook his head, dislodging more droplets that raced into the sky. “No, but you ain’t gonna die. You get to survive this one.”
Chad grimaced, then furrowed his brow. “That’s still alright.”
“You’re damn right it is. But it looks like you’re about to hit your big finish. This is gonna hurt kid.”
In a flash, Chad was in the arms of GB, he felt like he was hit by a truck, that was hit by a plane, that was hit by a meteor.
Molson’s face sunk. His hand was burned to the bone, all the power of the Angel semen gone.
The crowd was quiet and still.
GB put Chad down gently. “Hold on Hard On.”
With a bellow that forced the onlookers back, he hurled hell at Cardinal Molson, leaving his body in the same shape as his skeletal hand. “See you in hell, dip shit.”
Chad stirred, the pain from the blast waning. “Nice one.” He pulled out the coin, the marker of the demon, and held it in his hand. “No chance the snowman can still take this?”
GB shook his head. “I think you’re stuck with me forever Hard On.”
“I have to die eventually though right?”
“Sure, but since you’re tied to me, you’ll have to come back to hell.”
Most of the mob had turned and headed out into Carnaval. Chad couldn’t imagine what they were telling themselves. From the midst, a woman with severe burns charged at them.
Sasha hefted the damaged machine gun and yelled in her thick accent. “I’ll kill you, you pathetic shit stain. As Putin as my witness!”
Chad threw the only thing he had at her in a sad defense. “Ah!”
The coin sailed through the air. With deft skill, Sasha caught it.
A pit opened under her and she fell into hell, the huge, terrifying visage of God Burner, looking the way Chad had first seen him, flying above the fiery hole.
He plunged into it after her and it closed behind him.
Chad sat up and looked around. “What the fuck?”