Greed’s Charity – Excerpt

Chapter One

 

“Greed!” The voice dripped with rage, smothering all who heard in a blanket of terror. It ripped through the darkness, making lower demons cower in fear for their continued existence. When the Lord of the Underworld roared your name, you hid or welcomed oblivion.

Seven flames wavered in the darkness, sparking and flickering in the black. Not a single one created light around it, yet each blazed with a blinding, horrifying glory. A low rumble began in the chamber; a flame of azure blue transformed into the shape of a man. His breathing was deep and fast, sweat covering his muscled chest, his eyes mirrored the blue of the fire now sinking into his flesh. He turned that gaze on a flame of emerald green. The roar that left him contained pure rage and unending fury. He tackled the sparkling green flame, ripping from it another male form.

“Greed, you bastard! You pissed him off. Again!” Satanus, Sin of Wrath began to beat the male to the floor, fists delivering one crushing blow after another. His rage made the very air around him shimmer with pulsing heat.

Behind him, three other flames of blood red, flickering silver, and glowing orange coalesced into human form. Eyes glowing, matching the fire that slowly seethed and retreated under their flesh. One flame of undulating gold expanded into a glowing mist and hovered in the corner. They all watched the Sins of Wrath and Greed fighting on the chamber floor.

Greed let out a feral growl. Tired of being pummeled he rolled, pinning Satanus below him, delivering harsh blows of his own. Two pairs of arms grabbed him, pulling him off, another moving to stand between the two raging demons.

“Lucifer! Unless you want to be my next target, get the fuck out of my way!” Waves of fury beat against flesh as Satanus stood, locking his murderous gaze upon his brother, Mammon, the Sin of Greed.

Lucifer, Sin of Pride turned his blood-red eyes on Satanus, turning to fully face him. His long, white-blond hair laid pin straight over his shoulders, perfectly pristine, as the two squared off.

“Father has summoned us. More to the point, he has summoned Mammon. So, shall we continue to fight like beasts, or shall we answer his call?” As the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, he spoke with utter confidence in every word that flowed from his mouth.

Satanus glared at his leader. Behind him, Mammon gave a half smile and a wave, emerald eyes mocking him. Roaring, Satanus charged towards him. Lucifer lifted his fist and struck with pinpoint accuracy, crushing his brother’s windpipe in a strike so fast, no mortal would have seen. Blue eyes went wide with pain and Satanus fell to his knees coughing, covering his throat as he tried, unsuccessfully, to take in air.

“Mammon, do you want to be next?” Lucifer slowly turned his red gaze to Mammon. The look he gave his youngest sibling said he was going to get a fist to the throat as well in a second.

Mammon knew better than to cross Lucifer and dropped his eyes to the floor. At his side, Beelzebub, Sin of Envy, and Belphegor, Sin of Gluttony, released his arms and took a step back. One flame remained flickering in the room. Sloth snorted in dismissal of his leader’s words. Red eyes turned on the remaining flicker of writhing black.

“Abbadon, get your ass out here, or I will inform Father why you are absent.”

The dark flame audibly sighed and began to form, arms and legs wreathed in liquid darkness. His eyes, gray like pounded steel, glowed with inner annoyance. His skin was as black as shadow and appeared to be cut from obsidian.

“Of course you would, Lucifer, such a good little pet. Let’s all do what Daddy says. Maybe he will give you a pat on the head for being such a dutiful son.” Abbadon leaned against the wall watching the blood-red flames flickering in Lucifer’s eyes. He crossed his arms, observing his leader’s attempt to control his temper.

Mammon let out a bark of laughter at the whole scene. As the youngest, he was more inclined to push the boundaries. His laugh earned him a smack to the back of the head. Rubbing the spot, he scowled at Beelzebub, whose silver eyes were almost haunting to behold. They swirled and moved like molten metal. It was exceedingly eerie at times.

“Don’t push it, Mammon. You have already pissed off Father. So, let us go and see if we can save your ass from one hundred years in the Pit.”

“Geez Ze,” Mammon glared at him.

Ze glared right back before he turned and walked from the chamber. He was built hard and lean, like a swimmer, nothing but pure muscle. With a thought, clothing wrapped around his form—clearly he wasn’t going to attract the ire of their father for being late or naked.

Satanus snarled at Mammon as he scrambled to his feet. Rubbing his sore but rapidly-healing throat, he left the chamber, followed by Belphegor. Lucifer turned his ruby gaze back to Abbadon and Mammon. His eyes settled on the shimmering, iridescent golden mist undulating in the corner.

Asmodeus, the Sin of Lust, was a formless entity. He sighed and began to coalesce, becoming a solid figure forming from the swirling mist. The sparkling golden haze sank under the new skin of a male who did not look much different from Lucifer. Well, Asmodeus did need someone to imprint from if he was going to take on a human form. Lucifer growled and shook his head at his brother’s mimicry. Asmodeus just grinned and ran his newly formed hand through his own slightly darker blond hair, daring his leader to say something.

“You three will be the death of me. Move.” Lucifer’s voice was tight with exasperation. If Mammon didn’t know any better, he would have mistaken Lucifer’s tone for concern. He hung back and watched Lucifer exit the chamber, a sudden fear biting at him. He pushed it away quickly; showing fear to Hades was a death sentence. Abbadon pushed off the wall, smacking Mammon upside the head.

“Your antics will get us all thrown in the Pit, Bro.” Mammon flinched and rubbed his head again. Abbadon moved towards the door, an unfamiliar feeling of worry for the others hit him square in the chest. Abbadon was the only one close in age to himself. He would like to have said the rest could go to hell, but they were already in hell.

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