Posted in Friends For Life, Stories

Chapter 26; Too Little Too Late

That evening, Angel stood in the damp, stone basement with crossed arms as Ash searched the shelves for the cleaning supplies. Angela watched from the door in worry for her daughter. Something was dreadfully not right with the teen, and the woman had a guess that it had something to do with the shots Ash gave her daily for weeks now.

Finally, the man smiled and re-approached the teen with a glowing bottle in his hand. “There are many ways to cleanse.” he explained, answering her unasked questions. “This bottle will cleanse you in the least painful way possible.”

“How painful can it get?” Angel asked, half wanting to know the answer, half too afraid to find out.

Ash looked down at her, meeting her golden brown eyes with his royal purple half opened slits in his face with a growing, conniving smile. “We could burn it all away.” he answered. The teen started looking nervous as the woman shifted uncomfortably at the thought of him burning her only child. “You see, we’d burn your body and trap the unclean part of your soul somewhere safe. That’s only for the…less willing. This potion will do the same, but again, in the least painful way possible.”

Just before he could give her the liquid…

“Wait!” Angela cried. “…Maybe we should…see if the demon will interfere.” she stalled desperately.

To this, Ash dropped his arms and sighed heavily. “…Angela,” he huffed, his black-gloved hands on his white-pantsed hips. “…are you backing out?” She froze at his question as he progressed to her. “You know this is inevitable. You are the one who wanted to specifically cleanse her. You are the one who wanted us to raise her with me as a purely angelic family.” When she didn’t answer, he proceeded to give Angel the bottle. “Drink this.” he instructed. “Once you drink it, you will no longer be a demon, but a purified angel, as cleansed as God’s fingers.”

The teen took the bottle in her hand and hesitantly popped the cork. As she neared the bottle to her lips, she whipped her head at a burst of flame that crashed through the window as Justine was eased down the stone wall on a spider web and Claude came down moments later.

Angel’s eyes widened in fear at the sight of the demon in black. Angela too widened her purple eyes, but more in shock than fear, while shifting behind shelves in shame. Claude looked around the room in disgust. One glimpse of his daughter, and he was infuriated, pointing a razor sharp glare to Ash as Justine ran up to her friend in relief. “Angel!” she called, hugging her close. “I thought that the angels might’ve hurt you, or worse! Are you alright?”

The cat shifted her eyes to the bottle in the dog’s hand. “…What’s going on? Why are you looking at your dad like that?”

“She is being cleansed.” Ash explained. “And don’t call that spider her father. I have now filled that role.”

The spider grit his teeth in pure rage. “What did you do to my daughter?!” he growled.

To that, the angel shrugged and continued his smile quite devilishly for a claimed being of light. “I only did as I promised.” he answered. “You went looking for her, helped those meddling kids find their parents, and I erased every good memory she has of you from existence.”

Angela widened her eyes at this, glancing to the demon with tears running down her face, shaking her head slightly as the spider widened his own golden eyes and began to hyperventilate. His worst nightmare had come to life. “…Claude, I…I swear, I had no idea…” she promised. “…I just want what’s best for Angel! I didn’t know about this, I swear!”

“Angel!” the father barked, steadily regaining his balance. “Listen to me. I know you’re in there somewhere. Don’t you DARE drink that! The angels can’t be trusted! Us, demons have to stick together! ‘You and me against the world’, remember?”

The teen shook her head in a daze. “…I’m no demon.”

The mother then turned to her daughter. “Angel, sweetie, you’re NOT a pure angel, but that’s not bad! You are half-demon, and I still love you!”

Claude stepped forward and spoke to her as calmly as he could. “Baby Girl, I don’t know what Ash told you, or gave you, or what, but it’s not true! And I’m sorry I never told you that Angela was you birth mother! I’m sorry I never told you that Sebastian trapped her and Ash for, what we all thought at the time would be, an eternity! I’m sorry I’m not the picture perfect father who Ash is promising to be! I’m sorry for all those times I’ve yelled at you, lost my temper at you, and misunderstood you! But Ash put a collar on you like you were a dog, and I doubt that collar would ever come off if you stay here! Just please forgive me, and let’s go back to the manner. Let’s go home.”

Angel looked at the extended hand questioningly as Justine and Angela could only watch tensely, anxiously. Taking a deep breath, the teen with white wings furrowed her brows. “…Too late…dad.” With that, she poured the liquid down her throat and shattered the empty glass bottle on the ground. As the glass shattered on the stone, Angel limply fell to the stone as well in a coma-like state.

“NO!” Claude screamed, burning his legs from the intensity of his run across the room. Once he got to her side, he skid to a stop, collapsed on his knees, and hugged her tight, using her shoulder to hide his tears.

“Angel? Angel!” Justine called, running up to her best friend in alarm and trying to pull her to her feet. Before she could touch her, she was dragged away in Pluto’s jaws. She whipped her head to the hound’s collar to see it glow a bright white-ish light blue. Infuriated, she jerked her head to the still smiling angel. “What did you do?!” she demanded. “What was in that bottle?!”

“Angel is still alive, if that’s what you’re wondering.” he answered nonchalantly. “She’s in the process of being cleansed. Right now, as we speak, Angel the Demon is being suppressed in this.” He then raised a small jar into view. Inside the glass appeared to be a small, transparent face that gradually became more solid. “Her angelic half is being left in her body. The process of cleansing is so painful, I suppose she couldn’t handle it and slipped into a coma. She’ll be fine.”

Angela was also confused by all this. “Ash! Why did you do any of this behind my back?” she screamed, giving his shoulder a typical angry-girl beating. “Angel didn’t need all those shots at all, didn’t she? You lied to me!”

“You didn’t want her cleansed!” Ash shot back. “You were happy with her just how she was! You’re the one who lied to me! If anything, you are just as clean as any demon!” With that, he turned to the hell hound. “Make sure they stay here and don’t try to go through that broken window.” he instructed before giving Angela a glare. “…all three of them.”

Shaking his head violently like any other dog, Pluto took Justine’s sweater from her shoulders, causing the 8” plush doll to fall and bounce on the ground. Ash smiled as he bent over and picked it up. “Thank you for bringing Sebastian here.” he stated. “I’ll keep him safe and sound.” With that, he tucked the black doll in his white suit and looked down at the sobbing spider.

Lifting his foot high, Ash placed the heal of his on Claude’s head and kicked him to the ground away from the unconscious teen. The spider only had enough time to pick himself up from the stone ground to see Ash towering over him with his daughter in the angel’s arms. With one more hard kick to the face, knocking his glasses off, Ash stood straight and continued his way out the door. “I warned you this would happen if you helped those children with their fools errand!” he called, looking back from the door, getting ready to close it and lock Angela, Justine, and Claude in the concrete and hard stone basement. “Remember that, you eight-legged insect. You cannot say I never warned you.”

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