From the author: When do characters have time to find parking spots or have bathroom breaks? In the parts a novel skips over, of course!
"If the ritual is completed then Azazel will be summoned at midnight," Linh read from the Book of the Serpents, the infamous book she and Jeremy used to help them battle evil. "If we don’t stop the cultists, the demon will devour millions."
The two friends stood stunned and scared in Jeremy’s apartment. At only 17-years old they never thought the fate of the world would rest on their shoulders.
"We know they’re at the Eastshore Cemetery," Linh said as she looked up from the cursed text. "If we hurry we might be able to stop them."
"We will stop them," Jeremy said. "We have to. Let’s go."
Unfortunately life couldn’t simply skip from the decision to leave to appearing at the fight.
Linh shut the book and hid it away. "Okay, that’s like a fifty minute drive from here. Do you have enough gas in the car?"
"Yeah. Well, probably." Jeremy looked around the room. "Do you think I should bring a jacket? I mean, it’s a summer night so it shouldn’t be too cold, but still."
"All I need is my weapon," Linh said as she held out her hand and magically materialized her Spear of Souls.
"Don’t do that indoors. You’re going to knock over a lamp. And why would you bring it out now anyways?"
"I was making a point."
"Nice pun, you should use that when you stab someone."
"I’ll add it to the list," Linh dematerialized her spear and headed towards the bathroom. "I’m going to pee before we go."
"Oh, the door still does that thing where it sticks and you have to jiggle the handle."
Jeremy went to the closet and stared his jackets. His puffy plastic-looking ones looked terrible on him, but were almost sinfully comfortable and warm. Normally he’d wear his faded leather jacket, but last fight the sleeve was ripped off and he hadn’t sewed it back yet. Decided, he took two puffy jackets, just in case Linh got cold too.
"Okay," Linh announced. "I’m ready."
They left the apartment and sprinted to Jeremy’s used Dodge Charger. Jeremy took the driver’s seat and Linh settled into the passenger seat.
"I feel like I should make a shotgun pun here," Linh said. "Something like, I claim shotgun, and not just the weapon."
"It would work better if it wasn’t just the two of us."
"It would also work better if I actually used a shotgun."
"Looks like I have enough gas," Jeremy said as he started the car and sped off. "Might not get us home, but we can deal with that then."
Linh synced her phone up to the car radio and blasted classic rock. The loud music filled them with adrenaline and hope. For about five minutes. By the fourth song they had both started zoning out and Linh realized they had a problem when neither of them even sang along to Aerosmith’s Walk This Way.
"I actually have a few audio books on here too," Linh said fiddling with her phone, "if you want to listen to something different."
"That doesn’t seem right."
Five more minutes passed as they listened to the loud music.
"What type of books?" Jeremy asked.
They pulled up to the Cemetery listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Linh scanned the street and didn’t see any empty parking spots. "Why is it so crowded here?"
"Maybe the cultists don’t like carpooling. Oh, there’s a spot."
It took Jeremy only three tries to successfully parallel park.
They turned off the car and faced each other, still seated.
"Want a jacket?" Jeremy asked.
"I’m good. All I need is my weapon."
"I swear, if you materialize that spear in my car…"
The sound of an explosion coming from the Cemetery rocked their parked car.
"Convenient timing," Linh hopped out and made her weapon appear. "If we don’t make it out of here alive I want you to know I..."
Jeremy interrupted, "Whatever you have to say you can tell me after we save the world."
They went and fought the cultists. They won.
And it was a warm enough night Jeremy didn’t actually use a jacket.
This story originally appeared in Grievous Angel.