Sin and Fear
I smiled, and walked down a back alley looking for more sinners, only to find a little boy crying. My smile died, yeah, I may be evil but I draw the line at kids. Well, the less annoying ones. As I turned to walk away, the kid caught sight of me. I smiled as politely as possible, and attempted to make myself not so intimidating. Let's face it, as the Devil it wasn't easy.
"Ma'am?" His shaky voice called out, almost like a dying bird. I sighed, glaring off at the brick wall. After all these years; I was going soft and trying to play baby sitter to a kid. I walked closer to the small boy, my elegant walking stick making a pleasant clicking on the ground followed by the silent whisper of my dark shoes.
"Hey kid. Why so sad?" I asked softly, crouching down, and tipping my black fedora back. The kid sniffed, and shook some trying to conceal his sobs. He couldn't have been older than five. He had dark hair, and tan skin and large eyes that overflowed with tears. There wasn't much I could do, besides give a few false sweet words that he'd be 'alright' or some shit like that.
"It, be da Boogeyman." He sniffed, wiping his nose on his sleeve. I straightened up, rubbing my temples and feeling the tug of irritation in my gut. There was a reason why I was the fucking Devil, and not a patron saint of children. I really didn't know how to deal with a kids; especially one being trailed by 'da boogeyman'. I had enough to deal with already.
"I'm sure your mom could help you, why don't you go and find her?" I suggested, not bothering to be so polite this time. I could smell the darkness collecting in the shadows of the alley and I knew Pitch was here. The boy sniffed and nodded, running into the light, when I noticed piercing yellow eyes peer out at me from the darkness.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing in my city?" I said, my voice coming out polite and controlled. I set my walking stick in front of me, laying both hands on it passive aggressively. The eyes disappeared, and his shadow appeared on the wall. I sighed; are we really going to be playing this game?
"And so we meet again; it's a wonder that The Guardians haven't extinguished the Devil as well. After all, your reputation does precede you." His cold voice retorted from the shadow's. I smiled charmingly, but even I felt the cruelness behind it.
"I assure you, what you've heard is probably all lies. I really am a good person." I said smoothly, and he walked out of the shadows ahead of me, smirking. I never really had much use for 'The Nightmare King' or more popularly known as 'The Boogeyman'. He had no concern at all for the balance of things. I mean, yeah, I was sin and I bought peoples souls, but I only really did it to evil people. The good people had other spirit's to take care of them, I only got the evil ones that called me. And I assure you; they did call me. They're dark souls screamed for me, raging in the cesspools around them. Who was I to deny them damnation?
"But, this idle small talk doesn't answer my question. Why. Are. You. In. My. City?" I said patiently, but my voice came out cruel and cold; somehow still keeping it's polite tone.
"I go anywhere there is fear," He explained, sniffing the air deeply. I frowned. This was the city of sin, not fear. Tourists here were too stupid to fear their surroundings, so why here? Well, there was that one little kid.
"You better keep your damn paw's off this city, as well as my others or I'll have Wrath hunt you down." I said, smiling and keeping my tone conversational even as my hands gripped my walking stick tightly.
"I find myself wondering why we haven't crossed paths more often. The Boogeyman and The Devil, they seem to go hand in hand. Fear, and Sin." The Boogeyman said in return, his voice a dark velvet sound; equal parts threat and persuasion. He walked around me, and I laughed harshly.
"Do you really? I'd think that the King of Nightmares had more to do than consider idle idea's that were best left to philosopher's. The Guardian's must really have you beat down, huh?" I said, and suddenly I felt his breath on the side of my neck. I saw some black forms moving in the shadow's and my eyes narrowed in anger. My jaw tightened and my eyes flashed. I could feel his form behind me in the darkness of the alley and the urge to injure him was strong.
"Now, I had intended to keep this a friendly conversation…" The forgotten King began, and I turned to face him, sneering.
"I'm not the Devil because I'm a bitch, King. Don't think that if you start a fight, that I won't drag you back here by your vocal cords. You're in New Orleans, one of MY cities, and, it's New Years eve; everyone's racking up the sin tonight. I've already bought seven souls and seen twice as many murders in this dark, worldly hell." I said, laughing heartily. Pitch drew closer, his eyes blazing with anger in an empty face. I stared back, unimpressed and waited for him to make the first move.
"My dear, I think you're forgetting about the fear those murders cause. They fear the small children of this place have when they see the black, and not the white; the fear of the damned." He said smoothly, and the darkness tightened around us. I sniffed and glanced away dismissively before I noticed the shadows slinking towards us.
I raised my walking stick, and pulled out the blade just as the shadows pounced. My blade slipped out, and I spun, blue flames spreading out from me in a circle. I slashed and stabbed at the vague shadows and at the King as he swung his hand at me. To say I was getting pissed as an understatement.
"ENOUGH!" I bellowed, my voice a low howl, becoming what it truly was; a high pitched growl that sounded hollow yet full. My black wild hair blew free of it's bun, my hat flying off, and blue flames exploded around me. The Nightmare King stood in front of me, as I tried to regain my composure. This was a pointless and useless fight; he wasn't even worth getting worked up about.
My sword was sheathed back inside the walking stick, and my hair rearranged itself back into it's bun, my fedora landing neatly back on it. I looked at him coldly.
"Don't think for one minute I will let this little indiscretion of yours, go unnoted Forgotten King." I said, my voice a low growl.
"You're all too predictable, aren't you? Always making deals, don't you want more than that? A life outside of that?" He said, and I tried not to let what he said phase me, but regret flashed on my face before I regained my cold mask. He grinned triumphantly.
"I know how badly you want it, a life different than the one given to you. All I want is to be believed in-!" He started, and his words dug in deep into my heart. It wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. Hell wasn't a place for the weak minded. I didn't let it show; smiling coldly instead.
"King, you can't sell to a salesmen. I suggest you take your business deal elsewhere," I said polite as ever. I raised my walking stick to leave, when his shadow's closed in again. My eyes widened, as black sand stabbed me through my stomach. I clutched the wound instantly, but a wave of my blood still hit the pavement with a splash. I felt the darkness inside my body, and I laughed manically.
"I don't think so." I said, and pulled out my sword stabbing myself in the exact same spot. Blue flame flared through my veins, burning away the new darkness. I pulled it out, and snarled looking for the Nightmare King. How dare he. As I lunged at him, he faded into the darkness around him, disappearing.
Calming myself, I smoothed my hair back replacing my hat. Pride was becoming a nuisance as of late. Of all the sins I held, Pride was the worst to contain, even though I had given it a human form so it could serve me. It also fed into the darker sins, like insanity. I hated when they overflowed, and started to spread to the things around me.
I hated to leave my city on such a night of gluttony and sin, but I had to alert the Guardians. I raised my waist high walking stick, and slammed it back down to the ground. Blue flame danced around me in a circle and the scene around me changed, becoming snowy. Everything around me was bright with light and I hastily shut my eyes.
Internally, I hated going to the North Pole. It was easy to see that no one but Nikolas even tolerated me. Nikolas though; he was sympathetic to me, and knew there was a difference between me and The Nightmare King. See, yes, I am evil. That's who I was in life and who I'll be in death if I have to be. I have to spread sin and buy souls to set an example for children; the point was that they were suppose to see how adults were acting and know that it was bad, so they could grow up and not make the same mistakes.
The other guardian's, on the other hand, hated me. They only saw the negative. Me; spreading sin, evil and buying souls and ruining lives. It's not my fault humans are evil, blood thirsty creatures. I give them a choice.
Hey! It's not like this is what I wanted my life, or afterlife, to be.
I stood in the snow, under the shadow of the pole, and patched up my dress shirt and vest that King ruined. That man had no sense of etiquette at all.
I was about 5'6, cloaked in near white skin and pale blue eyes. They were cruel eyes, but I'd become accustomed to them in life. My hair was black and wavy. To keep it out of my face I kept in a bun under my fedora. One group of people I absolutely loathe are office workers (little mindless drones) so most times, I get a kick out of dressing like one. This century I wear white dress shirt, black vest, and black dress pants with sharp black heels. You could say I was pretty with pale/grey skin a small nose and full lips. I probably looked like a mafia member from the '20's, but hey. I'd be letting Gluttony get a hold of me if I decided to change my style.
Suddenly, as I walked up to the Yeti at the front gate, I felt Depression stir, whispering to me. It was another irritating sin. Any time I gave it a carrier, they died. So, I get some sort of raw evil stuck in my head at all times.
When I first got this job, there were seven sins, but as humans multiplied so did the sins of the flesh. Pride, Anger, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth (Also known as Depression), Lust and Greed were the originals. Now, there is Sacrifice, Insanity, Murder, Desperation and Hate as well. It's kind of sad, I thought originally that I was going to be put out of a job because the sin's should have died out as humanity learned how dangerous they were. Apparently, they didn't.
If there was a little darkness left in me, it'd be out soon enough. It's what my soul was made of, but I couldn't see this 'new' stuff getting a good enough foothold to make any difference.
"Hi Phil." I said, smiling out of respect to the Yeti guarding the door. The Yeti towered over me. He made some gruff growling noises that basically said 'No, you're not welcome here.' I tapped my walking stick against the snow impatiently.
"Understand, this is a matter of upmost importance. I give you my word Phil." I said gravely but smooth. He looked at me for a moment, weighing his options. See, when I give my word it's quite different than when people do it. It means I am physically incapable of doing what I have sworn not to do.
Phil made more growling noises and let me in. I walked inside, I tapped my walking stick against the ground and appeared in Nikolas' office. Black sand made me stumble next to him, as it swirled around us, blanketing the intricate glowing globe like some kind of sandstorm.
The King of Nightmares laughed cruelly and suddenly all the darkness disappeared.
"Seems I'm a bit too late to warn you, huh?" I commented dryly as Nikolas turned around. I bowed mockingly, pulling off my hat.
"Je rends hommage au roi du Nord," I said, before standing back up. "As you can see, he's back, and he's got something up his sleeve. I'm sorry I got here too late." I finished, as Nikolas looked up at the moon. I followed his gaze before tipping my hat and looking away.
"Eh, that's okay. We have to gather the Guardians. Pitch is planning something bad, I feel it in my belly." His heavily accented voice said from under his white beard. I looked up at the seven and half foot man, and shook my head.
"I'll take my leave then, they wouldn't want me here…" I said, but through the huge window, the moon shined almost blindingly bright.
Nikolas smiled sadly. "Bah, they don't understand. Me, and Manny, we know. You help us, yes?" He said, grabbing me around the shoulders and crushing me to his side, smiling. I smiled back, but it came out strained.
"If you insist North, but I don't think they'll like that…While you gather them, I'll just go outside. You can have Phil come get me…" I said, pulling myself away from the huge man. He liked to be a friend to everyone, always understanding.
"No, I call them, and you wait here." He said, turning away to alert the Guardians. I sighed, and stared up at the man in the moon.
"Old guy, why'd you make me the Devil?" I whispered, and Manny shown a gentle light around me. I stepped back into the shadows of North's office.
Soon enough, Bunnymund, Tooth, Sandman were all here. They didn't see me, and I didn't acknowledge me. They talked amongst themselves, before they noticed the moon was putting forth light so blinding, it almost burned me. I glanced over, and the only one who seemed to notice was the Sandman, who, was mute. Fucking figures.
They kept talking, and ignoring the moon for a minute more before I stepped in.
Both my hands were on my walking stick, and I clenched them, raising it, before slamming it back down into the ground. Blue light and souls screaming erupted in the air.
"Save your petty squabbles for a different time fools; The Man in the Moon has something to say." I snapped, looking at them with a dark scowl.
A shadow appeared in the light. Pitches shadow; the others gasped and murmured, but I watched patiently.
"Manny, what must we do?" Nikolas asked.
Suddenly a crystal came up from the floor; the light particles swirled and twisted forming into a boy with stark white hair, frost blue eyes, in a blue hoodie.
"The Man obviously thinks you need help." I said, as Bunnymund kept complaining over and over.
"You're not even suppose to be here. Last time I checked, YOU were evil." The damn rat said his Australian accent working it's way under my skin. I smiled coolly, knowing that it would piss him off.
"Jack Frost." North said wondrously, with a shrug. Bunnymund swore, and the Tooth Fairy buzzed around irritatingly.
I tipped my hat to them all.
"Well, I have to say, it's been nice chatting with you all, but you have the answer's and I'm not needed." I said, turning to leave. Golden sand swirled around me as I tried to leave, turning me to see Sandy pointing once again at the moon.
Suddenly, the crystal fell away, and blue flames made of light swirled around to mirror me. I looked up at the moon, disbelieving. I couldn't believe that HE would want me to help, after all I was the evil one.
"As long as they help protect the children, right?" Tooth asked rhetorically.
"Maybe Jack Frost, but her! She doesn't care about the children! And all Jack does is freeze water parts and mess with my egg hunts!" Bunnymund said, his accented words carrying anger. He glared at me, then at the picture of Jack. I walked back, out of the moonlight, but He just shined brighter and I stopped.
"He's an irresponsible, selfish-!" The Rat continued.
"Guardian," North said, smiling and interrupting the bunny.
"What are we even suppose to do with her! She's the Devil, if anything, she'd join Pitch the second she could! She spreads more evil and sin than-!" He said louder, puffing his chest out threateningly and glaring at me. I stared calmly back.
"But, she has a purpose. She helps children in her own way, the Devil knows how to keep the balance, and she helps children." North said, smiling happily. I backed out of the moonlight, and reached up to lower the brim of my hat.
"Well, if you all are so divided on what your creator has decided, I'll run and get Jack, and you can all talk over how evil I am, and how irresponsible he is. I know when I'm not welcome, unlike the Rat Bastard." I said, walking towards the door. I tapped my walking stick against the door frame, and walked through.
My surroundings changed quickly, as always. I was standing in a back alley, and I quickly summoned Sacrifice and Insanity. They were wearing black and white hoodies that covered their faces.
It was dark, and I heard someone walk closer. Insanity grinned and pulled out a brown bag. Strangely enough, it was Insanity in the white jacket. I raise my eyebrow, and the smile widened. They both were very, very tall. Almost as tall as North himself.
"North told me toooo…" The shrieking inhuman voice of Insanity said. Suddenly the white haired boy turned the jumped into the alley we were standing in, and I stepped into the light.
"Hello, Jack Frost." I said, resting both hands on my walking stick. Jack looked at me apprehensively.
"Who are you?" He asked, and I smiled softly.
"I'm sure you've heard stories of me. Buying souls, contracts, hell, fire… Ringing any bells?" I said politely, the soft timbre of my voice becoming inhuman before calming again.
He gaped, and I stared calmly back.
"You're…The Easter Kangaroo's wife?!" He said, smiling big, and I laughed without humor. This guy was cheeky; and if he didn't watch it I was going to behead him.
"Like I would ever marry that overgrown Rat Bastard. We can exchange names later, perhaps. For now, we are on a schedule." I said, and Insanity and Sacrifice walked out from behind him, and shoved him in the sack. I tapped my walking stick on the ground, and soon enough we were back in the North Pole.
Insanity was looking around at everyone, it's face becoming hungry and it giggled; a horrible sound.
"Back to work." I snapped coldly, and they dropped the sack, and disappeared laughing. Everyone was here, and they all were in front of me, watching for Jack. I looked away, and went to stand in the moon light.
"Man in the Moon, why have you picked me? If anything, I should be locked away. Far, far away from these noble Guardians. Even if one is an Australian jackass." I asked silently.
I felt the light become brighter, and I knew he heard me, but he wouldn't answer.
I backed out of the light, looking at the golden floor. It was so beautiful; this Arctic Kingdom North had. So colorful and full of life; whereas hell was a Kingdom made out of Blackstone; darkness and hate.
"I hope the Sin's treated you well," Nikolas said, gesturing towards Jacks wrinkled blue hoodie.
"Oh well, yeah, I love being shove in a sack and dragged through a magic portal." He said sarcastically, smiling and swinging up his wooden staff onto his shoulder.
"Oh, good! That was my idea!" Nikolas said happily, he gestured to Bunnymund who was brooding in the shadows. "You know Bunny, obviously-"
"Blizzard of '68, an Easter Sunday?" The Rat growled back.
"The Tooth Fairy." North continued, and the feathered woman herself flew up to him, excitedly. Her technicolored eyes widened and twinkled as she fluttered around him.
"Hello Jack!" She said, and then began checking out his teeth, her little tooth thingy's checking them out with even more gusto. "Girls, pull yourself together, lets not disgrace the uniform." She scolded gently.
"Sandy," Santa went on, "Sandy, Sandy!" He yelled, waking up the little golden man.
"And last but not least, Sin. The Devil." He said, gesturing to me. Jack looked at me curiously through the shadow's and I stared back emotionlessly. He turned back to the Guardians.
"Anyone want to tell me why I'm here?" He asked, and Sandman started flashing images really fast over his head.
"You're here, for the same reason as them, Jack. The Boogeyman has come back, and the Man in the Moon has chosen you as a Guardian. Congratulations." I said smoothly and quietly from the shadows.
"Now you are Guardian!" North shouted, and I tipped my hat to him as chaos broke out in the form of tiny elves playing trumpets and Yeti's clapping and throwing confetti.
"Wait, wait, wait, hold on. Why am I a Guardian?" He asked, looking at me. I stared back, cold and smirked.
"Do I look like the right person to ask? The Devil isn't exactly the protector incarnate of children." I said sarcastically. Jack's brow furrowed.
"Then why-?" He started, but the Bunny/Rat cut in.
"Heh, yeah, that's exactly what I said!" He muttered, thumping his foot impatiently as he shot North a glare.
"Keep your mouth shut rat, and let the big man speak." I snapped.
"Each of us protects a child who believes." North said, gesturing to the lights on the globe. "But enough of this wishy washy, Pitch is out there doing god knows what-!" He continued, angrily.
"You mean, the Boogeyman?" Jack asked, chuckling. Nikolas whirled around, the globe looming beside him. I smirked; for them to be spooked by someone this much was almost amusing to someone like me.
"When he threatens us, he threatens them!" North exclaimed gravely, gesturing one large hand towards the globe.
"All the more reason to pick someone more qualified!" Jack argued, turning around. I walked into the light in front of him, raisng my walking stick to poke him gently.
"You think you're not qualified?! Get in line. IT doesn't matter, do you think they just randomly picked you?! You were chosen, by the Moon." I snarled pushing him back. Ingrate fuck head.
"What?" He asked, brows furrowing again.
"Last night Jack, he chose you." Tooth said gently.
"You see, you cannot say no." North agreed gently. I looked up at the moon again and turned away. I walked out the door, and felt a cool breeze against my back. Jack appeared in front of me.
"Where are you going?" He asked, and I looked at him, my expression cold.
"I'm going to go, and sleep. I'm tired." I said, pushing past him with my walking stick.
I stop, and turned back to glance at his downcast face. I sighed through my nose, and rubbed the bridge of my nose. Going soft I was.
"Nikolas will explain everything to you. You should go and talk to him. Phil?" I said, looking for a familiar Yeti in the amazing workshop. Beautiful couldn't even begin t cover it. Phil led me to a red and green room with a bed and no annoying little ankle biters-I mean elves.
I took off my hat, and sat, pulling my shoes off. I crawled under the warm blankets, and fell asleep.