Big doings today. Really big!
THE MISTS OF PAPOOSE POND
Chapter Thirty Six
My sword is ripped from my hands and steel meets steel as it deflects what was to be the finishing touch administered by Satan on my worthless carcass. Through the electrically charged air, I see Louise standing defiantly before the Dark One, holding the gilded sword high in the air, with no sign of fear on her face.
“What’s the matter, you evil bastard?!” she shouts. “Can your powers not stop the advances of a mere woman? C’mon, you pussy! Pony up to the bar!”
Enraged, Satan lunges at her, but Louise is faster than Him and darts off to the side before his blade can reach her, knowing his every move ahead of time by using her new gift. I stumble around like a drunkard, trying to get my balance back, knowing no matter how strong Louise is now that the Devil is a huge force to be reckoned with.
Shit! How am I to join in on the attack with no weapon? Louise has the only sword.
Tom and the others come over to the battle zone, my webbed buddies and me playing our mind games with the evil entity, and the others using machetes and bare hands to attack the behemoth. Blood pours like a river towards the beaches, much of it from Satan, but is held back from the Pond itself by a mysterious force unknown to me. Moving back up the hill from the edge of the sand, the red ooze forces its way into the Dark Angel’s mouth, causing Him to choke in the midst of his utter bewilderment.
I know, but I don’t know; I see, but I don’t see; and I am surprised, but I’m not surprised when a sword appears in my hands, much like the one Louise is wielding at the moment, but seemingly even more special, more powerful. Something unworldly is present in this place, and even though Satan should not be the beneficiary of the power residing here, he heals at amazing speed. To win against him, we need to push the evil one out of here and do battle in a less rejuvenating place, but we are unable to push Him back.
Flicking away at him as much as we can, we don’t lose any ground, but we don’t gain any either. We have reached a stalemate.
But not for long . . .
Untold thousands of His flying henchmen arrive, the Dark Angels attacking us from the air while we battle their enraged leader on the ground. Shit, we are doomed now! There is no conceivable way we can overcome these huge legions of demons.
But they come: the snake Angels, the smaller ones at first, but then their father arrives. And he is fuming. I will get to see the grand battle after all!
Satan and His former friend and ally go at it tooth and nail, the ground around us shaking from the intensity of the battle. Brute strength against brute strength, seemingly the two of them evenly matched, but, then again, God had created Satan to be the most powerful of his Angels. The Devil most certainly has the edge there, but the serpentine Angel has fury greater than anything I’ve seen coming from Lucifer, and believe me, I have seen Him at his worst.
Louise, Tom, and I change our battle focus and attack the incoming Dark Angels. Feathers fly everywhere as my webbed friends grab them from the sky and toss them to the ground, allowing us to use our weapons against them easier. Yes, it is certainly a momentary stoppage of their fighting prowess since immortality demands they can not be destroyed, but it helps to stem the tide for the moment.
Once more it appears things are swinging to our advantage, but Louise and I look at each other, knowing the truth of what is to be.
“Damn it, Ed! She shouts. “It never ends; it never ends.”
“I know, sweetie,” I say, but that’s the way it will always be from now on. You know that.”
She nods, resigning herself to the fact that the inevitable will remain a given. There are no constants: only changes and surprises at every turn.
An immense wall of Zombies approach. Tide reversal once more.
Just as quickly, George and Howard bring their forces with them. Knowing what to do, I point for them to herd the Zombies towards the area that was once the swimming beach, but which now is a tall reeded area, a huge marsh, waist high on me, cut off from the pond itself by towering sand bars.
All of us are soon waging battle in the slippery muck of this primordial ooze. Zombies, guts, blood, splatter, and so much more are scattered about. My webbed friends are much more adept at doing battle in this place, being equipped as they are with the proper limbs. The rest of us slip and slide, but we get the job done.
Zombies start tumbling down, seemingly on their own, but it soon becomes evident from their wild splashing that something more is at work. Giant leeches, larger than the ones before it seems, are all over them, their immense size and weight giving the undead no chance to fight back. This time the leeches leave the rest of us alone. They are on our side this go around.
Tom looks at me with bewilderment, trying to figure out the turnabout in the creatures’ point of attack. “Why, Ed? What’s going on?”
“End times, Tom. All rules are changed,” I say.
We battle on, and soon it appears the swamp is filled to capacity with the good and the evil combatants. The leeches crawl up on the huge sand bars, and my forces follow suit. Something big is getting ready to happen.
“George! Howard! Get everyone out of the water. Now!” I shout.
As fast as possible, they scramble to dry ground, unaware of why it’s necessary, but knowing they must. Once the wet playing field only contains Satan’s troops, a huge geyser shoves a plume of super-heated water high into the sky. Howls of pain tear through the air, so loud my ears feel as if they will fall apart.
A cleansing hot spring, sent from God, and aimed to separate the good from the evil, has worked a magic purification of the advancing forces deployed by Satan. Yes, still they come, their numbers seemingly endless.
Just as I am worried how we can contain all of them, God’s Zombies pour in behind them, pushing them towards the swamp. Their focus is sharp. They will not be deterred.
“Damn, Tom!” I shout. “Our Zombie forces are going to fight this battle to the max. They won’t stop at anything!”
Zombie upon Zombie, good on bad, the battle ensues. Forced into the swamp by my loyal army, there is no escape for them. Those faithful to the Almighty stay with their evil counterparts, enduring the same pain, the same certain destruction.
“Holy shit!” Tom shouts. “The ultimate sacrifice!”
“Yes,” I say. “They gave their all.”
The souls of the Zombies, good and evil, rise into the air upon their deaths and inevitable disintegration. Even though the undead are without substance now, their battle is not over. Before long, new recruits come to our side as the armada of righteous souls convinces most of the evil ones to change their allegiance.
Many of the ghost Zombies are able to convince approaching undead forces advancing against us that they should switch to the side of God. Even in the state the Zombies are in, the mental dilemma confronting them is real. Right versus wrong, and an eternity in Heaven versus one in Hell, are major factors influencing their minds. They flock to our side by the thousands, and I admonish our warriors to let the Zombie battalions figure out their paths of loyalty. Let the Zombies battle each other. My non-Zombie element can be there to battle the overflow who are obviously attacking us, and of course, we have the bastard children and forces of flying demons on Satan’s side to contend with.
This gives me the chance to join in on the fun against my little buddy. Let the good times roll!
I rush in to help the Snake Angel and his children, slashing away with my sword, flitting in and out, dodging Lucifer’s thrusts and lunges. There are too many antagonists going after Him for the bastard to concentrate on just one of us, but he still puts up a battle, and His never stopping source of fresh recruits from the sky are relentless with their assaults.
Tom joins in, using one of the swords dropped by one of the smitten snake Angels, but he is not accustomed to the weapon, and not having the advantage of knowing where and when the thrusts will be delivered like Louise and me, he becomes target practice for the Dark angel, and no matter what Louise and I do to stop Lucifer from His onslaught on him, it is to no avail. As Satan’s Angel hordes swoop in on us, getting in our way to removing Tom from the battle, the bastard unleashes a huge thrust, His sword going completely through tom’s chest.
“No, Dad!” Louise shouts. “No, no!”
Tom stumbles around miraculously, refusing to accept his fate, but the inevitable happens, and my friend stumbles to the ground, blood pouring from his mouth. He tries to speak but chokes on his words; he is moments away from death. His eyes focus on Louise and she rushes to him, cradling him in her arms, kissing him all over and over again, her tears falling down so hard I’m afraid she will not be able to see through their cascading.
“Attack me, will you?!” Satan roars, laughing afterwards. “You puny fucking humans can’t get the best of me. One down and many to go. You will all lie at my feet, evidence of my power and glory.”
I can not accept this cruel attack on my friend, and I fight even harder against the Dark One, not caring what happens to me. He must be stopped.
Shoving the great snake Angel to the side, I accept the challenge of the Devil issued to me through His thoughts. He and I will wage a solitary battle against each other.
Angel to man, we battle, trading blows, with both of us feeling the others sword. But He is immortal, and I am not, and while He heals and rejuvenates, I do not. Blood pours from me, not to be replenished. The battle is going to Him. Yes, this was a foolish move on my part, but even with the outcome of the fray becoming more evident to me as the conflict progresses, I would not have changed a thing. I did the best I could all along, and I am still doing what I can to my utmost ability.
Lightning flashes before me once more, and Satan’s jeering face peers at me before He delivers his final blow as I stumble around, unable to see anything after that because of the blood pouring into my eyes, being forced to fight on the basis of my other senses.
I feel the wind from the blow of His approaching sword and try to move out of the way of His strike and perhaps catch His sword on mine. One more time, I am able to hold Him back, but the effort in my defense has taken a lot out of me and I know I can not repel another blow like that one.
Wiping the blood from my eyes so I can see, the lightning against His sword shines in the evening sky once more. I ready myself, not ready to roll over and die.
His sword starts to swing down on me from high above and a bit behind Him. But it is an action not completed.
There is an enormous eruption coming up from the very center of the Pond. The black sky of night becomes as bright as the noon sun. Up, up, and up some more the water rises in the Pond surrounding the phenomenon. All eyes are on what is happening.
Satan trembles at what He sees. All of us can not believe our eyes. The beginning of the end is occurring as we watch.
Partly from the shock of my battle against Satan, my loss of blood, and sheer exhaustion, I fall to my knees. I can not get up, no matter how hard I try.
The planet has never seen the likes of what is happening before us. Never!