Laughter rang through the air. It was nothing but a high spirited environment, even if it was a bit intoxicated and slightly out of control. Bottles of various sizes and colors were scattered across the kitchen table, living room sofa and chair, and the coffee table was barely visible beneath the dirty plates and card games. Party time.
He glanced over at his friend Liz, a goofy and toothy grin smeared across her face it almost looked fake. For the first time in many, many years, he was happy. No, it wasn't thanks to the five or six or however many bottles of Smirnoff Ice he'd downed. It was freedom. Not just any freedom from things such as parental guardians, tests or quizzes from schools, or even the stressful environment of working.
It was all over, everything. The Apocalypse, the Dark and the Light. Angels and Demons, Faeries and Shapeshifters. The whole realm beyond the Glamour. There wasn't a need for it. Sure, it all still existed, but it didn't matter. No longer was he tasked with the responsibilities he was created to fulfill so long ago. He was finally human.
"Yo Trey! Come 'ere and shoot some Pong with me!" called out his roommate, Jory, from across the kitchen, "Francisco is tossing his cookies in your bathroom because he can’t hang with King J!"
He rolled his eyes. Francisco never could hold his own when it came to alcohol, no matter how hard he tried to prove he was just as good as the other guys. Never did he seem he'd accept the fact that he was a lightweight, and if that were to change it'd take some time and a lot of partying. So far he'd been able to hold up to three cheap beers and a couple rounds of wine coolers.
"Gimme a sec to check up on him and I'll be right out, cool?" he called back to Jory before heading for his room.
Passing by his roommate's room he peeked in out of curiosity. Sure enough, Amie and Matt were the only ones in there. Under the covers, to be specific. How did he know it was them when all he could see were two moving figures? Well, even as a human he'd had a good sense of intuition. With a smirk on his lips he shut the door quietly, trying to make sure his presence wasn't known. It didn't take a genius to know what was going on in there. Life seemed so...normal now.
After he walked into his room he grabbed a towel that had already been tossed onto his bed, folding it over his arm as he headed towards the closed bathroom door. Sounds of vomiting erupted behind the thin wood. It had to be Francisco, only he could hurl his guts that loud.
"Hey Frannie, you okay?" he called out, using Francisco’s hated name as he knocked on the door. After no response he turned the handle.
It was locked. But...how? There wasn't a lock to his bathroom. Yet the handle wouldn't turn, not even budge. His eyebrows furrowed in frustration, wrenching his hands around the handle in a desperate attempt to unlock the non-locking door. How on earth?
Cursing inwardly he began to ram his body against the door. If it wasn't going to be opened the normal way, it would be opened by force. He wasn’t sure if either the handle was “locked” at this point, or maybe the door was jammed shut. Either way, panic began to shoot through his veins and fight with the alcohol. With each hit the door creaked and cracked against his weight. Though he was quite lanky and slender, he knew how to use his body just right to become the classy "I may be skinny but I can pack a punch" reputation. It took only three attempts until it flew open, the handle ripping out of its socket and splinters of wood falling to the tile floor of the bathroom.
No. Not here. It was supposed to be all over, everything.
Francisco was kneeling on the ground and hunched over the toilet, but he wasn't moving. What was worse, he wasn't complete. Blood was splattered everywhere; walls, toilet, sink, floor, everything had red, sticky liquid on it. An elongated hole gaped across his back, his entire spine was ripped completely from his body. His long, curly black hair was pulled up and away from his neck, exposing where his cerebellum once was. Small chunks of brain matter dripped from the lips of the gaping hole and onto the cold laminate of the bathroom floor.
Hovered over his body was a hooded figure. Only its mouth was exposed from beneath the tattered cowl, dripping with precious human life and spackled with small curds of greyish blobs, grinning a jagged toothy smile as it looked up at him. It brought up Francisco’s hand to wipe away the mess, only to smear it across its sunken cheeks.
"You've got one tasty friend here, Atrineas," it spoke, its voice flowed with putrid stench that made the hair on Trey’s neck stand straight up, "Seems like they have more flavor when drunk and disoriented..."
"No..." Trey’s words escaped his lips in utter dismay as he frantically reached behind himself in search for the threshold for support, his legs becoming weak with shock at the sight before him, "You... you shouldn't be here... I banished you..."
Slowly the cloaked wraith-like figure, a demon king known as Dariux, stood up. His beaded necklaces adorned with jewels and handcrafted archaic baubles clanked against each other lightly as he continued, "You think you can just Will everything away, Atrineas? You think it can all just go back to normal? Think again. Basically all you did was reverse everything you've done since you were Created as a Hybrid. And I’m sure even the term everything is just an understatement. The can be the only thing to explain how I’m back, along with so many others...and you...are just a simple human!"
Atrineas fell to the ground, unable to hold his body up any longer. His vision became blurred, blobs of colors and light raced across his eyes. The shadowy figure of Dariux swam along with the chaos.
"This is going to be only the beginning," the demon king's voice echoed and gargled as he spoke, "All because you wanted to be human..."
Trey shot up in his bed. He glanced at the clock, only 12:08 in the morning. His room was dark, completely lifeless and deadly quiet. It...it was just a dream. It was just a figment of his imagination. Sweat dripped down his forehead, slipping into his eye and stinging it shut. Wincing with irritation, he threw off the covers and tossed his feet across the side to touch the cold hardwood floor.
Running his fingers through his medium-length, thick brown hair he tried to clear his mind and calm his nerves. Frustration and confusion raced through his thoughts as he slowly deciphered fiction from reality. A soft buzzing broke his chaotic concentration.
His attention turned towards his nightstand, where his phone was happily vibrating its way towards the edge. His hand shot out to catch it just as it was falling, utilizing inhuman speed to save his phone from certain death. The screen flashed a bright red.
"Ugh...really?" he groaned, rubbing his face with frustration, "This early in the morning? On a Saturday?"
The screen flashed a couple more times before displaying white words against the red background, :: Time doesn't matter, Atrineas. You've got a job to do. Get yourself together, you're going to the Underworld. ::