The big yellow gremlin came bounding up to me, “Drex be a good boy, Polly. I help.”
Gremlins, while sweet and easy going, are rather mischievous by nature. A tad like imps or lokis but thankfully not as annoying as will o’ the wisps and their constantly flashing lights.
“How did you help, buddy?” I found talking to the gremlins as if they were young children helped.
“I fix your shower. Hot water and cold water now.” He beamed at me proudly all fangs and green tongue flitting in and out.
I winced internally and mentally called maintenance to have someone go and fix it.
“Thanks, Drex, that was awful sweet of you.”
“I like Polly.”
“I like you too, bud.”
“Yup. Why don’t you get back down to the habitat and I’ll bring a few clocks by later?”
“A toaster too.” He held his yellow chin firm and his forked tongue snaked through his pointy teeth to lick his elongated nose.
“A toaster too. You sure drive a hard bargain there, pal.”
“Drex smart, Polly.”
“You sure are, buddy.” I patted his head and he ran off, his tail occasionally catching on the planters that lined the corridors.
The gremlins were personal favorites of mine. They were chimpanzee-like in both their understanding of the world and their uncanny ability for great devilry.
They were also similar in that they had immense physical power and could tear a sheet of plywood apart as easily as a Kleenex. For those reasons, and a few others, I did my best to make sure that the gremlins were happy.
I designed a habitat built solely for them. It will be full of their favorite electronic and mechanical devices. Better yet, they will each have their own room, work room, and bathroom. We were even making a new chore chart. See, anything they want can be gained either by asking politely or accomplishing a simple task, like cleaning their room.
It was a good system and it worked, until they broke out. It seemed they inevitably cracked the new security and disappeared into the mortal realm to cause chaos. This sort of thing has happened several times in the past and I wasn’t fool enough to think it wouldn’t ever happen again. Gremlins were so much smarter than anyone gives them credit for.
I walked down to Lucifer’s office to see if I had anything pressing I needed to do today. As I approached the tall, and beautifully carved, wooden doors I could hear voices from inside the office.
I decided to come back later and turned to leave when I heard Lucifer say, “Apollyon, come in here, please.”
“Yes?” I decided to keep it short.
“I need the djinn habitat swept. I have it on a good source that they are bringing in contraband.”
A source so good that she didn’t want me to see them so she teleported them out of here. I didn’t like it.
I couldn’t tell Lucifer that so instead I smiled and said, “Right away. Anything else?”
“Yeah, make sure you scour every inch of the place. There was mention of angelite.”
“Oh, Christ.” Angelite was serious shit.
We could be looking for something like an atomic bomb for demons.
“My words exactly. Polly, don’t fail me in this.”
“I promise I will do all I can to clean this mess up.” This was not good.
Not good at all.
Lucifer dismissed me with a gesture and I left the office and headed back to my room in the staff wing.
I had no idea how much worse everything was going to get. More gremlins escaped that night. They took off to Ohio and blacked out most of the Eastern seaboard and part of the Midwest. It took me four long weeks to track them all down and bring every single one of them back.
Drex usually called them for me so I went back to see him.
“Wow, you bring clocks quick.” Drex sniffed me and said, “Hey, you have no clocks.”
“No, Drex, I’m afraid I don’t. Some of your friends broke out and I was hoping you would call the rest of them home. Please, Gremlin King?”
I never used Drex’s full title, it embarrassed him slightly. That said, he was also very proud of his title. I hoped by showing some respect for him as the leader of his kind he would do as I asked and put the mental call out for them to come back.
“Drex can’t, Polly. Gremlins need fun and we get no here.”
“Are you really trying to tell me you don’t have fun?”
“No, here no fun. Here prison.” A frown lined his face and he looked up at me sadly.
“That hurts, Drex. You know we are working to build you a new home with all kinds of toys for you guys.”
“Maybe, but Drex no help. Drex let kids have fun.”
“Bummer. I guess I will have to go track them all down myself. It’ll probably be gone awhile.”
“Be safe.” Drex turned and bounded away to his room.
His long yellow tail knocked over a planter along the way and he turned back and hollered out, “Drex sorry!”
Like I said, it took me four weeks to track every single gremlin down. That was when I realized that they would need more than the usual toys. I had the damned souls building the new habitat install computers and all sorts of small appliances for the little fellows to play with. Here’s hoping it will keep them so busy they don’t break out again.
As for the angelite, I swept the djinn dorms and came up with absolutely nothing. I think Lucifer’s source was probably just yanking her chain. If it was an angel, as I suspect, those feathered bastards often screwed with us by giving us crummy intel.
Everything is coming up roses for me. Speaking of, I have to run, see you later.
Cast in Fire
Series: Book Two
Genre: Paranormal horror
Publisher: Devil Dog Press
Date of Publication: November 1, 2015
Number of pages: 400
Word Count: Around 75,000 words
Chaos has taken over, wreaking havoc not only across the globe but also throughout Heaven and Hell. The next apocalyptic seals have been breached, and the leaders of the ethereal realms are paying the price. With tensions high and defenses at an all-time low, Polly, Lenny, and Drew continue to hunt down the evil behind it all. Millennia-old secrets rise to the surface, testing friendships and pushing loyalties to their breaking points.
With the clock ticking and uncertainty in the air, will enough time remain to unravel a curse that the darkest of forces have Cast in Fire?
About Jaime Johnesee
Jaime Johnesee lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. She spent fourteen years as a zookeeper before shifting her focus to writing full time. Widely known for her bestselling horror comedy series, Bob the Zombie, she is currently coauthoring the paranormal horror series, Revelations, for Devil Dog Press as well as working on her Shifters series.
You can find out more about Jaime Johnesee at her website
About Lisa Lane
Lisa Lane has been writing dark speculative fiction for over twenty years. She has ten published novels and dozens of published short stories written under genre-specific pseudonyms. She is married to editor Thomas B. Lane, Jr. and currently resides in the outskirts of Sin City.
About Christine Sutton
Christine Sutton is the author of more than fifteen short stories, novellas and novels. While she tends to cross genres within horror, she is always passionate about scaring the hell out of you.
Her passion would have to be serial killer fiction, but she also loves ghosts, ghouls, demons and monsters of all types. Christine's work ranges from modern day fairy tales to demonic soul eaters to ghostly children that just want to play. Her writing has been called passionate, realistic, gritty, fun, enthralling and tons of other cool adjectives.
You too can pick up some of Christine's work and come up with some cool adjectives of your own. It won't be hard. I promise.