Justin lived alone, never leaving the false safety of his house. Both of his parents had been taken from him as sacrifices to the great Lord Satan. Since that day, Justin had torn himself from the grip of that dark, twisted religion that housed Satan. He instead practiced an ancient religion called Christianity. Christianity, it seemed, was opposite of Satanism. Justin worshipped an all-powerful man who called himself God.
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The night, which was only separated from day by a darker shade of red in the sky, a plasma storm hit Justin's area. Plasma storms were characterized by quick, sudden streams of a gooey lava-like substance pouring from the sky and then halting hastily, the lava disappearing. The storms did not bother Justin much. His house had seen much damage from storms and attacks by Satanists. They would come on occasion and threaten an eternal damnation to Heaven if he did not convert.
Suddenly, the electrically illuminated room in which Justin sat became dark, lit only by the red sky creeping in through the slits in the blinds and the holes in the ceiling. Justin had dealt with this problem before, so he ran to the basement to reset the breakers. Feeling his way around, he eventually caught a feel of the familiar switches. Oddly, not one or two, but the entire row of breaker switches had shut off. Using his forearm, he activated them all at the same time. It was only after the lights came back on that he noticed a foreign object jutting out of the concrete floor. Getting closer, Justin could see that it was a sword! The blade of the sword was completely white, a pillar of ivory. The hilt of the blade bore stitched fabric that glinted in the light of the florescent bulbs. Doing what any other person would do in this situation, Justin wrapped his fingers around the gleaming fabric and pulled the sword from the concrete ground. Upon being released, it blasted a beam of concentrated light up through the ceiling, the living room, and the attic deep into the sky. On impact with the sky, the area that the light touched turned from red to blue. The plasma clouds above the house cleared, and the grass within a seven foot radius turned green once more and grew thick.
Justin withdrew the sword to his side. The light beam, as if commanded by Justin's thoughts, ceased. "Whoa," Justin wheezed, although there was nobody around.
Justin noticed, finally, that he was in a circle of light coming from the sky. The light penetrated the holes in the house and touched the dry, cracked concrete around his feet. "Justin," a voice boomed out, as if it were all around him.
"Who’s there?" Justin responded, his heart pounding.
"You are the possessor of the light edge," the voice responded, now it clearly came from above Justin.
"This?" Justin asked the voice, his heartbeat now hurting his chest.
"That is the holy sword, the light edge. It shall guide you to the High Priest of Satanism. You shall vanquish him,"
Justin's heart was now sending sharp pain throughout his entire body. Each time it pumped blood, he could feel himself being stabbed in the chest. "Is this God?" he struggled to ask.
"Follow the light edge," the voice quaked back.
"God?" Justin asked once more.
The light around Justin's feet began to fade until he was left standing alone in his dark basement, clutching a sword that was now glowing dimly. He stood in silence for quite some time, both in shock and contemplation of how he was to kill the High Priest.
Five hundred miles away from where the light edge had dropped, a man of religion named Illick sat on a throne of solidified flames and mortar. His black hair was slicked back, his goatee slithered down his lips and formed a sharp point in the center of his chin. Illick wore a dark red coat over a black suit and black pants. Around his neck resided a necklace with the mark of Satan on it, a star inside of a circle. This man, confident and intimidating, was the High Priest of Satanism. In Illick's possession was the bane of his rise to power, the dark edge.
Wielding the dark edge, Illick rose from his hellish throne and waved it in the air. Flames burst from the ground and the image of Satan appeared in them, skewed as if it were in a restless pool of water. "What is thy bidding, Lord Satan?" asked the High Priest.
"He has been chosen," Satan responded in a gurgling voice.
"Yes, Lord Satan," Illick responded, "he shall not enter the Main Root."
"Be sure of it," Satan had little confidence in his underling's ability.
The flame portal disappeared. Illick, not fully taking Satan's warning into consideration, slumped back down in his throne. The legions of Satanists, who had been sitting in the benches throughout Illick's gaze, continued to sit in silence, awaiting their High Priest's sermon.
Justin walked down the street toward the old hospital building. The road, for some unnatural reason, was split in an imperfect zigzag pattern down the middle. Justin had wrapped himself up in a dark grey sweater and a white scarf. The wind was always dull, yet the slightest breeze sent a bone-chilling tingle throughout his body. He turned back to look at his house. He could always pick it out from the rest of the block because it was still standing, but now his house was distinguished further by a ring of green grass around it and a circle of blue sky above. The plant matter, besides his grass, had died long ago. Despite this it continued to grow, not knowing its own fate. Brown foliage trademarked the entire town, perhaps the entire world, and the bare sidewalks and streets paid homage to the local Root of Satan. Justin clutched the light edge even tighter.
Finally arriving at the hospital, Justin could sense the old man who resided within. Mally was a gentle man who also studied Christianity. What separated his knowledge from Justin's, however, was his heritage. Mally’s family was one of few that never fell in to Satanism. His descendants took it upon themselves to keep the word of God known for generations to come. He was a wise and dedicated man who knew every aspect of Christianity's holy book, The Bible.
Justin walked in. He noted the familiar trash in the hallways, and the thick layer of dust that had collected over the rusted surgical equipment. Reaching the break room, he knocked twice. "Come in," a withered voice from within the room whispered.
Justin entered slowly, letting his free hand slip in first. Before the light edge had even passed the end of the door, Mally questioned him, “What have you got there, boy?”
"I was hoping you could tell me," Justin started, pulling the blade into the room, "it's a sword."
As soon as the sword came into view, Mally drew back quite quickly for an old man. "Where did you get that?" he asked, his voice becoming quick and loud.
"I found it in my basement," Justin answered, with a slight smile on his face.
"That," Mally began, collecting himself, "would be the light edge. There is a story behind it, you know."
"Let's hear," Justin said, beginning to get excited.
"Okay, but this may be a long one," Mally cleared his throat, "As you well know, God resides over Heaven among angels. And as you also know, Satan dwells in Hell, torturing sinful souls for all of eternity. Now one day, Satan decided that he was tired of ruling over Hell alone, and thirsted for more dominion. On that day, Satan rose from the ground and grew gigantic, reaching into Heaven and challenging God to a duel. Seeing the threat, God gathered the hopes and dreams of his followers and concentrated them into one weapon. He thrust the holy sword into the heart of Satan and forever sealed him in Hell."
"And I bet this is that very sword?" Justin asked, excitedly.
"Yes indeed, my son," Mally quipped, "However, Satan used his experience against God to forge his own blade. Gathering the souls of all those he tortured, he focused them into a sword that could rival God’s."
“So that’s how Satanism somehow came to triumph?” Justin asked.
“You’re very fast, child,” Mally answered, “you must go now. God has sent you this blade to vanquish its brother sword. I will see you when you return.”
Mally, never being a false prophet, had told Justin the entire truth. Justin, now energized with the history of the light edge and the rise of Satan, rushed out of the crumbling hospital and set out to destroy the High Priest. With the light edge leading the way, he began to walk south toward the capitol of Satanism.
The people who worshipped Satan never left the Main Root. Illick sat still in his throne, seemingly entranced by some unknown source. On his end, however, he was sleeping. Illick had trained himself to sleep with his eyes open. The Satanists slept for exactly twenty-four hours on Sundays and were awake for the rest of the week. Their sleep schedule had never appealed to Illick. A piercing ring woke him, a sound that filled the grand hall of the root. Illick quickly put and end to it. "Lord Satan, what is thy bidding?" Illick asked hurriedly as he drew the dark edge.
"The chosen one is here! I told you to keep him away! Send him to me." Satan responded. In the hellfire, Illick could see a teenager in a sweater and a scarf approaching the Main Root.
"You want me to kill that dumb kid?" Illick asked, with a dash of disappointment in his voice.
"Yes!" Satan boomed, anger growing in his voice, "He possesses the light edge that banished me to my own Hell. Do not let him enter!"
Illick pulled the dark edge to his body quickly and began marching toward the cathedral door at the back of the hall. Not one of the Satanists in the benches moved to look at his action.
Justin had been walking for two weeks. His legs were worn and his heart pumped quickly. Against all logic, he had reached his destination. The Main Root of Satan loomed high above him. The one-chambered building that housed the High Priest of Satanism and the most devote of all Satanists threatened Justin's very existence. Knowing that his task would not be an easy one, Justin decided to rest his weary muscles in one of the blown out houses surrounding the Main Root. Before he could act on the thought, the behemoth doors of the twisted cathedral burst open, and the man that Justin was sent to kill stood in their wake.
"Chosen," Illick yelled in a deep, confident voice, "we have expected you!"
Justin could not answer the man who stood before him. He was panting and out of breath. "Are you okay?" the man asked Justin in a sincerely concerned voice, "Are you going to put up a fight?"
Justin remained still. He was in a bent over pose, the light edge in one hand and a fist in the other. "Illick," he let out.
"Aha! That’s right, Christ-puppet!" Illick smiled, secretly enjoying the only excitement he had received in years, "I’m glad you know the name of the man who killed you!"
Justin stood up immediately, but was not fast enough. Before he noticed, Illick was behind him with an evil blade in his hand. He swung the sword at Justin's neck, but Justin ducked quickly. He tried to defend himself with the light edge, but Illick was too fast for him, and he was far too worn from his trip.
Turning to face Illick, Justin saw only the black tip of the dark edge before he was stabbed in the throat. Without his knowledge, Justin died. Illick twisted the dark edge and pulled it out to the side, decapitating Justin completely. A frown took form on his face. The boredom returned. His job complete, Illick searched the ground for the light edge, but all he saw was the blood-soaked dirt surrounding Justin's body. With his sermon scheduled to begin on the Satanists’ strict time, he reluctantly retreated into the Main Root.
Justin laid on the ground outside the Main Root. His head was lying feet away from his neck. The light edge appeared by his still body, making the sound of the wind as it reformed. The holy blade began to glow with the intensity of the light that had penetrated Justin's house weeks ago, and his body rose to its feet. The head, still on the ground, was quickly reunited with the body through levitation, and secured by the power of the light edge. Fully rejuvenated, Justin began to stomp angrily toward the door of the Main Root.
Within the lavish hall, Illick prepared to sacrifice a newly wed couple to Satan. These sacrifices would keep Satan powerful, for their dedication to his will would allow them to enter the dark edge and strengthen his grip on the planet. With the man and the woman face-down on a bloody stone altar, Illick began to chant in a monotone voice. His words, incomprehensible, echoed throughout the hall. The hymn was interrupted when the doors of the Main Root flung open, filling the dark room with the scarlet light that encompassed the sky.
The sudden light entering the chamber prompted each Satanist to turn his or her head towards it. As a single unit, they immediately turned back toward Illick, who had stopped chanting and began staring in awe and excitement at the opening in the wall. In the doorway, face covered in shadows, stood Justin. He had a firm grip on the light edge, which glowed white and lifted itself to point directly at Illick.
Illick suddenly yelled out, in a horribly theatrical voice, "Great Lord Satan! I have found you a more suitable sacrifice to the altar!"
He grabbed his sacrifice by the collar and threw him back into his faceless crowd of followers. The woman remained in her place until Illick did the same to her. "Illick," Justin roared, "nobody’s gonna be sacrificed today!"
Justin began down the aisle toward Illick. The Satanists tried to reach out from their seats to grab him, but would never get up. He was out of their reach. As he arrived at Illick's position, Justin slowed down and raised his sword above his head. He jumped up in the air above Illick and sliced downward. Illick blocked the attack with the dark edge and kicked Justin in the stomach, bringing him to the ground. Illick grabbed Justin by the throat and slammed him against the blood-stained altar. Without energy left to fight, Justin's fingers remained with an iron grip around the hilt of the light edge.
"Lord Satan, day moan ex ous," Illick began the chant that he started earlier, "he no gamia flor de Satan!"
Illick brought the tip of the dark edge to Justin's chest and began to slowly sink the blade into his heart. Justin screamed out in terror and agony, it was the same pain he felt when he had spoken to God. His heart pumped tainted blood through his body. The dark edge infested his very soul with blackness and shadow. Still clutching the light edge, he found the energy within himself to raise it high in the air. As he did so, he could feel the pain leaving his body, the dark edge retreating from his organs. He formed a fist in his free hand and found Illick's face with it. Standing up, Justin felt his blood return to normal. His soul, however, changed drastically. Going from shadow to light, the spirit within him gazed upon the face of God. He could feel his back begin to ache, and two holes tore themselves into his skin. Justin lurched forward as two long, curved bones stretched out from his shoulder blades. The moment they did so, he heard a loud puff and more pain enveloped him. He vomited profusely all over his sweater. He rowed his shoulders back and forth on instinct and began to float as he heard gusts of wind from behind him. Justin’s pants became silk, and his sweater became a flowing white robe.
Illick watched the metamorphosis in shock. He now stared into the face of an angel, sent by God for one purpose: the end of Satan. In a flurry of confusion and desperation, Illick lifted the dark edge high above his head and pleaded to Satan. “A challenge at last, sent by God for our undoing! Satan, um,” Illick had never asked Satan for power before, and was confused as of what to do, “give me devil powers!”
The dark edge fluxuated in the air, as if it were made of gelatin. A circle of flames appeared around Illick as he sprouted a pair of demonic bat-like wings and grew fangs the size of daggers. “Justin,” Illick growled, his voice coming from far below himself, “you know what? This is great! You shall be slain!”
Illick flew toward Justin, raising the dark edge above his head with both hands. He swung down hard at Justin’s head, mocking Justin’s own previous attack. The action could not be seen by the Satanists in the crowd, for feathers covered the angel’s fate. In their wake, it was clear that Justin had disarmed Illick with ease and now pointed the light edge at the base of his neck while its rival blade stuck in the floorboards. Before he could drive his sword into Illick, a pillar of flames rose from the ground and separated the two. Illick dove toward the dark edge and pulled it from the floor. Seeing Justin’s charge, Illick blasted his wings and flew up into the rafters of the hall. Justin burst upward with great motivation, slicing at the dark trail Illick had left in his path. As Justin caught up with him, Illick used his powers to burn the roof off of the Main Root and fly through it, escaping into the sky. Justin followed him outside. As he exited the root, Justin pointed his sword to the sky. The sky above the Main Root turned from red to blue just as it had done at Justin’s house. Illick shrieked and roared out in pain as light from the blue sky beamed down on his back. The demon began to sink in the air as his wings grew holes and became useless. Illick hit the ground hard. The Main Root began to crumble in the light that Justin created.
Justin landed on the ground in front of Illick’s drained demon body. He pointed his blade downward and raised it above Illick’s heart. With his final breath, Illick let out an astonished, “Oh shit!”
As Illick’s blood spilled out onto the ground, the dark edge turned to liquid and bubbled until it became nothing more than a mere memory. Illick’s blood, pooled on the ground, burned into nothing as his body sank into the soil. Within seconds of Illick’s body disappearing completely, the Main Root silently crumbled to the ground, crushing the Satanists within.
The trail leading away from the Main Root was another cracked highway. Hope followed Justin. With each step he took, the pavement came back together and the grass returned to its natural green state. With each breath he exhaled, the air was purified and splotches of the sky turned blue once more. The task ahead would not be easy, but he still had to save the world. Justin walked slowly into the future as a black-clad man watched in admiration and content from below.