Volume 1 – The Warning
Chad was drunk. The world spun lazy circles around him, dancing to a calypso beat that prompted a dull throbbing in the back of his brain. The subtle pain would later turn into a world-class hangover, but at the moment, that wasn’t Chad’s problem. Currently, he needed a bed to sleep off whatever he had spent the night drinking, a tally he had forgotten somewhere around the fourth bar. He had already vomited in a toilet that he assumed to be his, a fact he could not confirm, and was currently in a hallway with too many doors. “Which one of you has my bed?” The words spilled out like molasses, dripping to the floor and producing no response from any of the inanimate doors.
“Fine, we’ll do it your way,” he said, Angrily, and began to stumble through the hallway which felt so much longer than it had when he left that morning. The walls had an annoying habit of swaying in and out, making it impossible for him to keep his balance. Every few steps he had to stop to stay upright. “Trick walls, very clever Maurice. You got me,” he yelled to no one in particular. Maurice was a black cat that belonged to no one in particular, and while mystical, did not have any powers that affected doors.
After what felt like eons, Chad stepped up to a black door, with a series of blurry numbers nailed to it. He slapped his hand onto the doorknob and felt great relief as it turned. Inside, was a dark bedroom, with a single, unoccupied bed. “We did it,” he slurred, and walked toward it. The soft carpet tripped him, and he fell forward. Ah well, he thought as his face smacked into the soft carpet. Things could be worse.
Chad blacked out.
Chad awoke to the smell of charred flesh, and the heat of holy fire upon his backside. That can’t be good, he thought. With a great deal of effort, he rolled onto his back and winced in pain as a great, red light blinded him. “Oh, what the hell man?” With even greater effort, he picked up his phone and saw that the time read 2:15AM. “Dude, turn the damn lights off, it’s too early for this shit.” The dull throb that had been in the back of his head upon falling to the floor had since crept up to his temples and forehead. It now stabbed at his brain like an overzealous cherub with a pitchfork. The bright, red light that filled the room only made it that much worse.
“Oh, sorry, is the light a bit much?” said a tired voice. The red light faded to a low glow, and revealed a silhouetted figure sitting on a large horse.
“No horses in the house man,” said Chad, as if it were a frequent occurrence. “Landlord hates animals. I can’t get another violation or they’ll kick Maurice out.” He waved his hand in a shooing gesture. “Go horsie, get out.” He made a clicking sound with his tongue, “shoo now. Go eat the grass outside.” Chad fell back to the floor, and attempted to resume sleeping.
“The horse stays,” said the voice loudly.
Each word was like a cannonball, smacking Chad’s hangover like a worn drum. “Ok fine, but put it behind the bed.”
The horse whinnied.
“and tell him to be quiet ok?”
The figure looked around the room disdainfully. “We won’t be staying long.”
Chad was beginning to get annoyed. He pushed himself to a sitting position, ready to tell the man off. “Equestrian or not, I’m getting real sick—“ At the sound of the word ‘sick’, Chad felt a wave of nausea wash over him, and vomited orange bile onto the floor. He looked at it, questioningly. “That’s your fault,” he said to the horseman.
“This is going to be easier than I thought,” said the figure, and the horse snorted in agreement.
Chad flushed with anger once more, feeling his head clear in the way it only could after a good vomit. “You and that judgmental horse have about five seconds to get out of here, before I call the–“ Chad froze. With his vision clearing, he finally got a good look at what exactly was standing in the room before him.
At the foot of the bed, was a man, in a polo jersey, with a set of massive horns, sitting on a large black horse. A small circle of red flame swirled on the floor beneath him. “Jesus,” Chad said, unable to piece together exactly what he was seeing.
“I’m certainly not,” said the demon with a deep laugh.
“Oh god, they laced my drink,” said Chad, slapping a hand to his forehead, and immediately regretting it as pain lanced out in a spider web. “That explains why it was so hard to find my way back.”
The demon sighed. “No, no one laced your drink. You rekindled your old relationship with the good Dr. Cuervo, ended up at the wrong house, and passed out on the floor.” He snickered with this. “Really a pathetic specimen.”
“Hey man,” started Chad, but was cut off.
“I’m afraid we don’t have time for this,” said the horseman, lazily.
“I’ve got all the time in the world,” said Chad stifling a burp, and folding his hands across his chest.
“That’s not entirely true.” The horseman laughed again. “I’m here to tell you about the end of days.”