Interlude 8 – Nothing but a Hound Dog
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Leonard was busy. He was busy trying to build another bookcase from Ikea in a desperate attempt to organise his library. It had been a week since the fight with Khazmiel in the wolf. He had been about as useful as a condom vending machine in the Vatican, and it weighed on him. It was he who started the whole mess in the apartment complex. If he hadn’t tried to awaken his demonic heritage, nobody would have gotten transformed, Lily wouldn’t have become a target, and he wouldn’t have been roped into fixing everything.

Then again, without him, who knows whether Lily would have ever figured out she was a girl. Despite all the teasing he endured from her, he was glad to be friends, and to have helped her reach her true self, in a convoluted way. He finished putting together the bookcase and got to stacking the books on the shelves, when there was a knock on the door. He wasn’t used to getting knocks. If Lily needed something, she’d text him first, so he could just unlock the door for her to walk right through. Same with getting delivery from The Question.

A knock was unprecedented. He opened the door, and was surprised to see who stood there.

The man looked ragged. Blonde hair unkempt and down to his shoulder, visibly cut with a blade at an awkward angle. White skin covered in dark veins, like marble. Wearing shattered armor reminiscent of greek breastplates. Behind his head hovered a dimmed halo, but not a perfect circle one. It was as if it had horns on it, and something shaped like an eye, without the iris, vertically connected to the bottom. It hit him that it was like the outline of a wolf blob. And from the man’s back? Three white wings, splattered in dried blood, three stumps near them. The realisation of who this angel was hit Leonard faster than a bullet train. He remembered the ghostly version of that appearance when Khazmiel got exorcised from the wolf.

He tried to slam the door in Khazmiel’s face, but the angel was too fast for him. Too strong, even in his crazed looking state. He grabbed Leonard by the collar, and pushed him against the wall, closing the door. “Fascinating.” Khazmiel began, his voice ragged, rough, as if he smoked ten packs an hour, probably from yelling all the time. “I tried to get into her head one day, figured attempting to procreate would let me understand her mindset to better track her. I couldn’t see the appeal. The girl I had my way with submitted herself fully thanks to the church’s influence back then, but she didn’t seem to be enjoying herself either. I do not understand why humans build so much of their culture around it.” He sniffed, hard, breathing in the air. “I never expected my moment of weakness and foolishness would result in the birth of a Nephilim. Or that he or she would procreate further. All the way to you.” Khazmiel threw Leonard across the room as if he was a ragdoll, the books thankfully stopping his flight as he landed in a pile of paperbacks. “How dare you study infernal magic. How dare you help the Whore of Hell’s child.” Khazmiel walked over, picking Leonard up by the hair and ripping his tank top off. “How dare you throw away God’s gift to you, girl, to change yourself into something you’re not. Had I the power, I’d remove the foul enchantment placed upon you that cursed you with that body.” Khazmiel growled. “But you can redeem yourself still, granddaughter. You can call the whore and her child to me, so I may finish my mission at last and return to the Lord’s flock once more, to do more of his bidding. And as a reward, I will awaken your angelic heritage. With luck, it will remove the enchantment.” Khazmiel’s eyes were filled with so much rage, you could mistake him for Doomguy if you only saw those eyes.

Leonard, not thinking straight, not considering the consequences of his actions, as he usually did, spit in Khazmiel’s face. “Fuck you you transphobic pigeon. I’m a man, and I’m not going to take pity from someone who denies that while insulting my friend and her family.” Khazmiel was an idiot to not bind Leonard’s hands, for the second Leonard finished his defiant talk, he cast a spell he had been practicing ever since his early days as an apprentice. The first spell he ever learned.

Thoth’s Be Gone. You only needed one hand for it, and for the target to be touching you. It knocked back Khazmiel right out of the apartment, the door opening on the way. Leonard only had seconds to send Lily a text. So he kept it to ten letters.

‘Kaz Here. Run.’

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