DEAR WORDPRESS BLOGGERS:
IF YOU LIKE THIS POST WITHOUT READING IT, YOU ARE ADMITTING THAT YOU LUST AFTER YOUR OWN MOTHER.
everyone else, please enjoy the story.
“Ever since the day that I was made I’ve been deciding the end/And I was made of wood and stone that won’t diminish or bend”
-Demon Hunter, Undying
Remember when I said “Maybe we’ll be seeing more of him?” I wasn’t lying, for Vaxit appeared before Sev at the end of the hallway, bathed in a glorious light. For Sev, it had been under 10 seconds, for Vaxit, just under 10 thousand centuries. In this time, he had redeemed himself and was sent back to be the Virgil to Sev’s Dante.
*Author’s Note* If you can, look up the painting “Dante and Virgil” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. I don’t want to spoil the joke by describing it, you really have to see it. So I’ll say this:
When you’re looking at the painting, imagine the flying demon in the background smugly saying “Yeah, how about that?”
Where was I? Yes, Vaxit had indeed returned, and stood before Sev now, who’d shifted back into his man form. Sev noticed for the first time that he was drenched in the blood of his enemies from upstairs, and also from Vaxis. The blood that’d splashed on him when he was a bear was now, strangely, on his shirt. It’s been over a thousand years now and I’ve never figured out why that was, it’s just an interesting fact I think. As for Vaxit, his light faded a little to become tolerable. Would have definitely been way too annoying otherwise.
Vaxit spoke. “Sev,” he said. “I’ve come to guide you through the twisting passages of the Emoji Factory.”
“Aren’t you the guy I just ran over?” asked Sev, turning back to see that Vaxit’s body was no-longer lying obliterated in the hall.
“Yes,” replied Vaxit. “And I am eternally grateful to you. You’ve saved me from my nagging wife.”
“Were you married to a demon?”
“No, she was a New Yorker.”
“Mmmmmm. Well, lead on sir. I’ve been told that I must go to the very heart of this factory to destroy it.”
Vaxit nodded. “Indeed you must, Sev. But it will be well-guarded. Come, let us return upstairs to arm ourselves at the security office.”
“There’s nothing in the one on this floor?”
“Nothing useful, it’s just a checkpoint.”
They walked back and slowly walked through the hall Sev had just bounded through as a 600lb monster. It was like walking through mud, but the Sev realized that no more visions were flashing through his head.
“Earlier, the most terrible things were flashing through my head. I couldn’t stand it. That’s why I went grizzly-mode. What’s with that?”
“I can’t explain how that works,” replied Vaxit. “I was just a Lvl-2 pencil-pusher.”
“You mean paper-pusher?”
“What difference does it make? I don’t know much more than you about how this place works, I only know how to get around it.”
“Also my legs turned to jelly.”
“I DON’T KNOW,” repeated Vaxit.
When they’d reached the Level-2 checkpoint, Vaxit went inside and shoved his hands into the dead demon’s chest, and pulled out his heart.
“See this?” he said to Sev. “Eat it.”
“Okay, let me just turn into a grizzly.”
“Nah bra, nah, eat it as a man.”
“No, not gonna do that,” replied Sev.
“You get more out of them if you eat them as a human!”
“I don’t think I want that badly enough,” said Sev.
“Suit yourself,” replied Vaxit, and he took a big bite out of the demon-heart himself. He shuddered, but his eyes lit up.
“Ohh, you’re gonna like what I found out,” he said with a mischievous smile. “Let’s go.”
When they’d gotten back upstairs, the security-girls were nowhere to be found. Sev had wanted to see them again to thank them and also because DAMN they were cuties, but his disappointment was relieved a little bit when Vaxit opened a secret passageway in the security office Sev had thought he’d raided thoroughly.
“Check it,” said Vaxit.
The gear in this hidden passage, for Vaxit, made up for not getting to see the security-girls. It’d been about ten million years since he got to do a little casual office flirting with the two, which had been one of the precious few joys of his employment there. Just as often as he’d ever gotten any actual work done, he’d fantasized about leaving his god-awful wife for one or both of them. But Vaxit was also what you might call a “gun nut” so a huge smile appeared on his face when he spotted the greatest handgun ever made, the Colt Single Action Army, hanging on the wall.
This gun had been owned by the same man who’d owned Sev’s rifle. There’s an EXTREMELY, super-duper important story behind it. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the story. The Deep Lore. And I’ll tell it now because it becomes important immediately. That poor, dead merc who didn’t know what he was getting himself into with this assignment–I wonder how he’d feel about his firearms being used for one of the most righteous causes in history?
The dead man’s name was Charles Habegger… Like Vaxit, he was a bit of a “gun nut.” He’d come into possession of the gun after another man had used it to murder two people. The murderer’s name was Ronald Rial, and we’ll be meeting him shortly. (Right now)
“KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY GUN!!” shrieked the gun itself.
Maybe a regular man might have recoiled and dropped it to the ground in fear, but Vaxit was too experienced in the weird. He held it out in front of him and looked at it curiously.
“Did that gun just speak?” asked Sev.
“Yeah, did you?” asked Vaxit, shaking it a little.
“STOP IT!! YOU’LL DAMAGE IT!! THIS IS MY PROPERTY!!” the gun roared. Its voice wasn’t especially deep or intimidating, but it was filled to the brim with anger.
“Where are you?” asked Vaxit, to be polite. Although it was abundantly clear to he and Sev that it was the Colt itself speaking.
“WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT?” it demanded. “I’M RIGHT HERE, AND YOU’RE HOLDING SOMETHING THAT BELONGS TO ME!!”
“What’s your name?” asked Vaxit.
“WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS?”
Vaxit sighed and set the gun down on the desk. “Fine, don’t tell me,” he said as he logged on to the computer.
“””Luckily””” tracking the ownership of guns had long been as easy as tracking vehicles. Vaxit had a name in a minute.
“Are you Charles Habegger?”
“I don’t know who that is,” the gun replied. It’d calmed down slightly after being set down.
“Okay, so maybe you’re… Ronald Rial?”
The gun hesitated for a moment. “I already said it’s none of your business!”
“Okay, so it’s Ronald,” said Sev. “So why is he a gun?”
Vaxit shrugged. “Ronald, can you tell us why you’re a gun?”
“I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE [EXPLICATIVE] YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.”
“Okay, this is getting us nowhere,” said Sev, getting up. “I’m gonna smash the stupid thing.”
“BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” said Vaxit, holding him back. “This is a COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY.”
“So what?” asked Sev. “There’s a dozen other handguns here. Here,” Sev handed Vaxit a Glock 9, but Vaxit looked at it with disgust.
Sev gave him the “Come on man” face, but Vaxit just went on.
“Dude, this is a CLASSIC.”
“How many bullets can it hold?”
“Six bullets. More than enough to kill anything that moves.”
“Well, a lot of them.”
“Forget it! Take the Glock!”
They began arguing about the efficacy of ammunition types, and Ronald just sat there on the table, seething.
After Ronald had been gunned down by the police, he’d been cursed to remain in the Colt. The Deadly Sin of Anger had cost him his Eternity. Let’s talk about Ronald and Anger for a bit. Since he’ll be coming along for the ride. The reason Ronald had been an angry man (and now an angry spirit) was because he was Prideful. Despite being in and out of court-ordered “anger management” courses, and reading every self-help book under the Sun, it was all for naught.
You cannot treat the disease by only looking at the symptoms. Anger is a symptom of the disease of Pride. Prideful men can not and should not try to “manage” our anger: it must be taken from us by FORCE. We must be humbled by–call it whatever you want. God, Christ, Life itself. (I don’t care what name you give *the thing all men need*, but you still need it if you hope to be fully human.)
The death of Pride is necessarily the spiritual death (and rebirth) of the Man, and it CANNOT be pleasant. There can be no pats on the back, no “classes” to pass. There is no lifelong “recovery”, there is only victory in spiritual-rebirth or defeat in an unchanged life. Can an “anger addict” live his life without going ballistic? Sure. He can through sheer force of will resign himself to living in a perpetual Earthly Hell of Emotion, using all manner of methods to try to control something that should not be inside of him to begin with. Or he can let himself die and be reborn. All of this is to say that a Prideful man cannot be cured without having his life destroyed Job-style. The idea of needing to hit “rock bottom” isn’t always accurate, but it is when dealing with Pride.
That’s exactly what happened to the husband of the woman Ronald had killed. Before the siege on Ronald’s house that had ended his life, the husband had publicly forgiven him. With a megaphone outside Ronald’s house, surrounded by police, he’d told Ronald it was “OK.” Ronald had not been more angry even the previous day, when he pulled the gun out on that woman and her daughter. He came out shooting, and hit the husband, and one officer.
The husband was reunited with his family in another place.
The officer was okay, but decided he’d had enough of dealing with the public for a while. He’d use his skills and experience for a safer job. That officer was Charles Habegger, and he took the Colt as a token. He’d never known Ronald was trapped inside of it.
Years later, I’d become bored and look into the case myself. While learning about Ronald’s temperament, I’d see evidence splashed over decades and decades. The domineering way he spoke and acted to even those closest to him. It was a “big yikes” to say the least. I couldn’t imagine myself having any kind of relationship with this person myself, but there they were–plenty of people in his life. Suffering along with him. How fitting that he’d end up double-trapped in the Emoji Factory, inside a weapon.
Can a man hope to be destined for great things when he lives in emotion? *You can’t get there from here.*
“Fine, take the freaking Colt. But I’m taking a Glock then,” snapped Sev. They’d finally finished arguing. Vaxit had already taken an “AA-12” automatic shotgun to compliment Sev’s rifle (also previously owned by Charles Habegger). Now he reached for his new sidearm.
“I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE WITH YOU!!” Ronald screamed.
“Ahhh, so you finally admit that you are the gun,” retorted Vaxit.
Ronald howled so loudly that it hurt everyone’s ears, but it also brought Vaxit to tears with laughter. Sev was even more annoyed -_-
“Let’s just get going,” he said, and he pulled open the door. Before him stood the two security-girls, smiling widely. Sev noticed their fangs for the first time.
CHAPTER 2: ASSAULT ON THE EMPLOYEE LOUNGE
“Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron.”
C.S. Lewis once said that about The Lord of the Rings books. Vaxit now said it about the security-girls. Did I mention they were twins? That’s not important though, really.
They blushed and giggled, but aimed their submachine guns at him nonetheless.
“You’ve got to go, sorry,” they said.
“Bullshit,” replied Sev. “You two just helped me like ten minutes ago.”
“That’s different,” they replied. “You’re just a man. This… thing? Whatever he is, we can’t let him any farther into the factory.”
“You guys don’t remember me?” he asked. He was a little hurt. As all men did, he liked the two very, very much.
“We’ve never seen you before in our lives,” they replied. “You can’t fool us, whatever you are.”
“Yeah, what are you bro?” asked Sev.
“And don’t just say ‘I am.'”
Before Vaxit could reply, one of the girls fired.
“Oops!” she laughed.
Vaxit might have laughed too if he hadn’t been shot in the throat. He could only slam the door closed before he sank down against it. Sev leaned down to try to help him, but he waved him away and gave a thumbs-up.
“HA HA!!” laughed Ron Colt.
Vaxit was too busy pressing against the hole in his neck to stop Sev from taking the smug revolver off Vaxit’s hip, emptying its cylinder, and chucking it against the wall at 90mph.
“OWWWWWWWW!!” screamed Ron Colt.
“HA HA!!” shouted Sev, and he moved toward the window to look outside. The girls were standing on the other side of the door arguing in some friggin weirdo language. It was– no I’m sorry, I’m not just going to give away everything right away. It’s not that important right now. Oh wait, I forgot it’s going to be immediately revealed anyway so let’s just continue.
“What the hell are you guys saying?” Sev shouted at them.
“They’re speaking in Low-Demon,” croaked Vaxit, whose new throat-hole had closed.
“Super-healing?” asked Sev, helping him to his feet.
“I don’t know how ‘super’ it is, it still freaking hurts.”
Sev nodded and opened the door.
“You know Low-Demon, stranger?” they asked.
“Of course I do, I worked on Level 2,” Vaxit said.
The girls started stammering an apology, but Vaxit smacked them over their heads and disarmed them. One P90 he took for himself, the other, he handed to Sev who immediately gave it back to the girl.
“Broooo,” protested Vaxit.
“I’M NOT CARRYING ANY MORE,” yelled Sev, who already had a full backpack.
The other girl pouted, but Vaxit held on to her gun. He promised he’d give it back after they helped them.
The girls didn’t know what help they could offer though, and Vaxit hadn’t really had anything particular in mind. He knew they were low-level guards. They might have been popular in the building, but they still didn’t know much about anything.
Sev immediately solved this by asking if they had any salad left, because when Vaxit had gotten shot in the throat, it reminded him that he hadn’t eaten all day. All his life, really.
“Yeah, let’s go to the lounge!” they said and began walking away. Vaxit quickly went back into the office and collected Ron, then followed.
The employee lounge was on Level-1. Inside was the Big Cheese, still muttering to himself about the Future of Humanity. When he looked up and saw Sev he shrieked.
“Isla! Ava! Arrest that man!”
“We’re on our break,” they responded.
“YOU JUST TOOK A BREAK!” he screamed.
“No we didn’t,” they responded. “We decided to keep working.”
“Then whose salads did I see in the garbage can at Kelly’s desk?” he demanded.
“Kelly had two salads?” he pressed.
“While she was dead?”
The Big Cheese glared at them but there was nothing he could do. Officially, he had no power over them. The Emoji Factory took a strong stance against Patriarchy. Male management was “discouraged” to exercise authority over female subordinates. That aside, either one of them could tear him limb from limb. He sighed and sat back down like the cowardly half-man that he was. He’d just have to fill out an anonymous complaint with the “””Human””” Resources department later.
Isla and Ava turned on the TV in the corner and Sev immediately felt sick and sat down at a table. There was an corporate commercial playing on Emoji-6, the “Official News Station for Feelings.” An un-woman with a big toothy smile was advertising the brand new tours of the Factory.
This Summer: Live your Best Life and BE *YOU* 🙂
Find Yourself and many other things on a luxury vaycay to the Emoji Factory 🙂
Attend one of our Expert Workshops in Feeling so you can Feel More and Feel Better: YOUR Way! 🙂
Create your OWN Emoji and Share your Voice with the world! 🙂
The disclaimer underneath her, not appearing in the Earthside broadcast, read “Purchased custom emojis will be universally applied in the next monthly update from purchase. Once applied you cannot remove your emoji unless you plead with us and publicly tell me, me personally, that you’re going to kill yourself unless we help you. We reserve the right to refuse this service to customers with less than 10K total followers/re-blog/share/tweets. What are you gonna do?? Hmm??”
When Sev opened his eyes, Isla was holding a small baggie of French fries toward him. Ava placed a soda down for him.
The Big Cheese mocked him. “What’s the matter, kid? Afraid of emotion? A little too much toxic masculinity?”
Ava pulled a knife from her belt and threw it into his head. He stopped talking.