Last Line(s): Akolxohez got up and swiftly threw a punch across Will’s face.
Audrey yelped and ran to the two men. “Stop!” Akolxohez shoved her away and held Will - who had a now bloody lip - by the collar.
“I need your wife’s sign on this god forsaken paper. My Ditch will be destroyed if she doesn’t. She has her artistic powers. I beg you.” he growled. There was nothing but anger dripping from his strong voice. Will was taken aback. Never in his life had he been punched this powerfully. “How much money do you need?” the devil asked.
Audrey was trying to wrestle Akolxohez away from her husband, but failed to do so. She was desperate. “Okay! Okay! I’ll sign the dumb thing, you -” her next word wasn’t the best. “Just leave Will alone!” she screamed.
Akolxohez let go of him and politely patted down Will’s shirt, smiling all the while. “Thank you.” he nodded curtly at him and directed Audrey to sign at the bottom of the green-colored contract. Audrey scribbled her signature shakily, and because Akolxohez said so, put her thumbprint beside it.
The devil snapped his fingers and two full bags appeared on the couch. Will’s head whirled in the direction of them. Audrey looked up at him, who was walking out of the living room. “Wait.” she called. He stopped. “Who are you?”
“Akolxohez, master of the Ditch of Demons and Devils.” he bowed slightly.
Audrey raised her eyebrow. She moved her hand leftward to reach for her husband’s comforting hand but it wasn’t there. She looked behind her. Will was peeking into the bags curiously - money was everywhere. She looked back at Akolxohez. He raised his eyebrows questioningly. Before he could leave, Audrey opened her mouth once again. “Where are you going?” she asked.
“Back to the Ditch.” he said in a ‘duh’ tone.
“Don’t talk to her like that.” Will growled from behind them.
“My apologies.” he replied soothingly, but it made the couple’s spine tingle.
“Wh-what were you saying about my…” Audrey trailed off. She wasn’t sure if she even heard right.
“You have a rare ability that can save any Realm.” Akolxohez replied simply. “Not only your drawing - your personality, your looks - they can win anyone over.”
Audrey sucked in a long breath. “Get out. You’re driving me nuts.” she ushered the devil out of the hallway and out into the cool breeze. He froze on the steps and turned around to look at her.
“One last thing.” he said, combing his pale hands through his hair. His abnormally large eyes shone. “Now that you’ve given one demon slash devil - the master of demon slash devils at that - access to your house, do not be surprised if you find any others lurking in or around this place.”
And with that, he smiled (Audrey thought she even saw his fangs glint under the rising sun) and walked down the street and around a corner.
“There’s six-hundred-thousand pounds.” Will said later in the evening after he had counted all the money. “We’ll give some for the rent. That leaves us with…” he squinted and looked out the window. “Um… a good amount of money.” he said at last. Will wasn’t the best when it came to math.
“Five-hundred-ninety-seven-thousand.” Audrey said, then took another sip from her coffee. “Don’t you wonder where that money came from?”
“No.” Will said, packing away the money and hiding them under the couch he was sitting on. “It’s money we need. You signed the contract. He gave us money. We’re done.”
“Why’d he want my sign?” Audrey wondered aloud.
“Look, the mental retard was talking about some ditch or realm he wanted to save.” Will sighed, laying down on his side across the length of the couch. “He probably escaped from an asylum.” he shrugged and turned on his back, folding his arms and staring up at the cracked ceiling.
“Akol is a devil.” Audrey set down her now empty cup and layed down as well. “He… he was right about my power. I always feel weird when someone compliments me or my drawing. If they compliment anything else about me, I don’t have that feeling.”
“You gave him a nickname.” Will said flatly, turning his head to look at her. His red hair fell into his eyes.
Audrey smirked. “You’re just jealous because he’s handsomer than you.”
Will turned away quickly, facing away from her. “I never said I was jealous.”
Audrey got up to put her cup into the kitchen. “I’ve known you for ten years. You’re hella jealous.” she bit the inside of her cheek. “But… I must admit… Akol’s hair…” As the words left her lips, Will got up, his face pink, and stormed out of the house.
Audrey giggled as she cleaned the last of the dishes.
Normally, if Audrey did anything of this sort, Will came back in a matter of minutes. Today was no different. Refreshed after thirty minutes of cool air and walking in the park, the young man walked back to the house. The sight before him when he entered through the front door left him frozen in shock.
The living room was a mess. The couches were tossed to the side as if they weighed nothing. Audrey’s easel had toppled over. There was paint on the walls. And all the canvases were strewn all over the floor. When Will looked closely, the painting depicted an image. An image of what? He did not know, but there were a lot of trees. His hands started feeling sweaty and he felt the hair on the back of his neck rise.
“Aud?” he shut the front door and quietly crossed the living and entered the kitchen. The kitchen was as messy as the living room. Dishes had been shattered and the cabinet doors were broken and splintered. Will’s heart started beating a mile a second. “Aud?” he called out, his voice cracking. There was a groan from somewhere on the left and his head snapped in that direction.
It was Audrey. She was gagged and her wrists and ankles were tied together with twisted rope. He ran towards her fallen body on the kitchen floor. She was squirming, and sweat was dripping from her forehead. “Who did this?” panickedly, he knelt before her to untie her limbs.
“I suggest you not do anything to the ties for it will only make them tighter.” said a familiar bold voice. “She gave me a fake sign.”
Audrey said something but it was muffled with the cloth in her mouth. She squirmed again and she looked pleadingly at Will. Untie me.
Will was taken aback at how clearly those words etched in his mind. Please. Confused and angry, he looked around for the source of the voice. “Who is it?” he asked loudly. With his hands, he brushed away Audrey’s blonde hair. She was still sweating. He moved his lap so her head would comfortably sit on it.
Akol came into view from a shadow. “She gave me a fake sign.” he repeated. Will’s eyes widened at the sight before him. The devil had completely changed. Two red horns had sprouted from his white-blonde hair, his eyes were all red now - no pupils, no irises - and his fingers were claws. The most noticeable sight was how disgustingly muscular he had become.
“I think you don’t understand the importance of the sign.” Akol said in a dangerously quiet voice. “Our Ditch is dying and I…” he faltered when he realised how much he was begging them for help. His eyes changed back to the normal ones Will and Audrey could see. Akol closed his eyes then shook his head. “We need your help.” he opened his eyes again and they had turned back to the completely red ones they had been seconds ago.
Will was still frozen in shock. Audrey squirmed again and Will felt her shake.
“You won’t understand the importance until you see for yourself, huh?” Akol smirked. “Then I’ll take you to the Ditch of Demons and Devils then.” Akol scowled. With a snap of his fingers, everything went black.