The Demon's Game - PrologueThe Demon's Game - Prologue by Mirrasae
"To be, or not to be, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?"
Snow fell like feathers from the broken sky, twirling to a song that haunted the recesses of Jenny's memory. She reached out a hand, catching a snowflake to watch it melt against the warmth of her palm. Letting out a breath, a cloud curled away into the winter twilight.
Softly she whispered, lip quivering, "To die, to sleep, to sleep: perchance to dream."
Swallowing, she looked down on the rushing water far below the bridge rail where she sat, feet dangling over the raging surge.
"Aye," she went on, "there's the rub, for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come."
She loosened her grip, a tear tracking her reddened cheek, freezing in the growing chill. Drawing breath, lungs burning, she pushed free, falling, falling, falling. She closed her eyes and plunged into the mad
The Demon's Game - Ch.01The Demon's Game - Ch.01 by Mirrasae
“I wish I could read your mind.”
The synthetic sunset streaked the domed sky shades of red and violet, painting artificial clouds pastel hues like watercolors on a canvas. A faint breeze tossed Jenny’s hair, then fell away, carrying off the scent of roses. She turned from the sky to regard the thorned blooms in their last stand against the coming autumn. They were well tended, free from weeds in their bed of soil.
She took a sip of cider, savoring the warmth. “You don’t want to read my mind, Jordan.”
“Sure I do. You read mine all the time.”
“I’m a good guesser.” Eyeing him from the corner of her eye, she saw him smile as he shook his blond head.
“Uh-huh.” He eyed her drink. “Pushing the season a little?”
Jenny fingered the Styrofoam cup.
The Demon's Game - Ch.02The Demon's Game - Ch.02 by Mirrasae
One hundred years before, Chicago disappeared.
In the wake of its annihilation, multi-billionaire Archibald White stepped forward and offered the materials to rebuild the fallen city above the graves of its citizens. Ten titanium levels rose into the sky, equipped with solar power, transport lifts and enclosed ramps running along the outside of the circular construction. It towered twenty-five thousand feet above Illinois ground, a symbol of rebirth. Contained and pressurized, each Level had a synthetic sky projected on titanium alloy which acted as the base for the next Level. Weather was simulated to reflect the elements outside, allowing the citizens a relatively natural environment. Oxygen was recycled.
Following the terrorist attack, nothing had been the same, but the few survivors of Old Chicago thrived in their new city and others flocked to partake of its fruit. Ground Level, where lay the graves of the fallen, became Chicago's final resting place for all its
The Demon's Game - Ch.03The Demon's Game - Ch.03 by Mirrasae
"I never took you for the impulsive sort, but lately I have been several times surprised."
Death turned to find his cousin Miyin standing in the corridor, hands on hips, shaking his head with a smile.
"I have been looking for you," Death said.
"And what, pray tell, could the man of the hour want with me?" The white-clad man smiled more broadly, silver eyes bright. "Are you not supposed to be busy catching someone?"
Death nodded. "The council has asked that I turn my other duties over to you for a time."
Miyin tapped his chin. "Death the second, eh? It could be fun." He held out his hand. "Might I borrow your scythe for the time being? I do so long to reap souls the way you do."
He hesitated. "I could lend you a spare."
"But of course, the oak- or ash-handled scythes will suffice. I don't expect your precious limbrel scythe."
Death summoned a portal, reached inside and caught hold of his oak scythe, drawing it forth. He offered it to Miyin, who reverently accepted it
The Demon's Game - Ch.04The Demon's Game - Ch.04 by Mirrasae
The synthetic sun rose over the skyscrapers of Chicago's Level Seven, draping warmth over the chill left from the night. Golden light filtered through glass and streaked over metal roofs, making the world sparkle. Jenny pulled the blanket closer and leaned against her balcony railing, breath appearing in puffs of cloud.
"Have you changed your mind?"
Her heart skipped a beat and she spun around to face Death. He stood in the open doorway to her flat, unhooded. The sunrise threw light across his pale skin and his black eyes caught fire.
"You came back."
"I said I would."
"Yes, you did." She recalled his question. "And no, I haven't changed my mind. I could hardly sleep thinking about what you said. I want to help, if I can."
"You want to help me chase down a demon. What of your family, your friends, your associates?"
She looked at the cement beneath her slippered feet. "You said you knew me better than I do. You know I have no real family."
"You have a fathe
The Demon's Game - Ch.05The Demon's Game - Ch.05 by Mirrasae
Life stood before an overgrown tombstone, hands behind his back, expression somber. Rain pounded the earth around him, chill with autumn's breath, but it didn't penetrate his skin. He knelt before the marker and stroked the weeds, coaxing them to pull back into the earth to reveal the stone's crumbling face. There was no name or birth date, only the engraving:
He fingered the indented letters. "But you haven't been resting in peace, have you?"
"That depends on how you look at it."
Life rose and turned to face a man standing beneath an umbrella. As he watched, the man folded the umbrella and tucked it under his arm, revealing a smile and pale green eyes that danced with madness.
The man's smile widened. "It's been a long, long time, Life. You've changed somewhat." He gestured broadly. "It's your hair, isn't it? You've cut it off. Didn't it used to be much longer?"
Life resisted the urge to finger the braid that fell just past