“Okay, it’s morning. Get up and get out.”
Zehnder’s harsh voice broke the peaceful silence of the morning; waking Owe, who looked around in confusion. Vex remained asleep, peacefully ignoring the irritable slender in the doorway.
Owe sat up and yawned, looking out the window to see that it was, in fact, morning. Zehnder noticed that Vex had not awoken and quickly walked over to him.
“Hey! I said get the fuck up!” He snarled at Vex, who remained asleep. Annoyed, Zehnder reached down and grabbed the sheets of the bed. “Rise and shine, motherfucker!” He then pulled them upwards, abruptly rolling--practically throwing--Vex off of the bed and onto the floor.
“Son of a-!” Vex rolled on his side but immediately shut up when he saw Zehnder glaring at him.
“Now, get out.” Zehnder turned and walked out of the room without another word.
“Dude,” Vex looked over at Owe after he was sure Zehnder was gone, “That guy scares me.”
“Yeah, well, he wants us out; we should probably go then.” Owe stood up and stretched and then walked over to Vex to help him up. “You alright?” He held out a hand to him.
“Still hurts, but I’ll be fine I guess.” Vex took his brother’s hand and got to his feet. He stumbled slightly, but steadied and then walked towards the door. Owe followed him, ready to help him if he stumbled or fell.
They made their way down the stairs and then to the front door. Owe was looking around to see if Zehnder or Esther were around but didn’t see anyone. With the size of the building, it seemed empty. Owe looked at the numerous doors, thinking to himself.
“What’cha lookin’ at?” Vex noticed him looked around.
“Oh, nothing, nothing.” Owe walked quickly towards the front door and opened it; Vex walked outside and Owe followed.
Outside, the sky was still slightly dark; it was very early. There was a small jingling noise, and around the corner of the house, Max trotted towards them. His tail was wagging happily, and he held in his mouth the bone that Zehnder had given him, which was now lined with small indents from the dog’s teeth.
Max walked up to the front door and whimpered, looking at Owe. He scratched at the door twice with one paw and then sat down. Owe turned and opened the door for the canine, who wagged his tail and then padded into the building.
Owe closed the door behind Max and then turned back towards the dense trees. He spotted an unkempt trail going through them and began walking towards it.
“Not even gonna say goodbye?” Vex asked, following him.
“I’m sure we’ll see each other again sometime,” Owe commented, “Besides, I’ve been thinking . . .”
“Huh?” Vex quickened his pace, now parallel to his brother. “What?”
“Nah, don’t worry about it.” Owe continued onward without looking at him.
“Whaaaat?” Vex insisted, speeding up and walking in front of Owe. He turned around and walked backwards, staring at his brother.
“It’s nothing,” Owe said blatantly.
“Tell meeeeeee!” Vex crossed his arms and glared at him.
“Fine,” Owe sighed.
“What is it?” Vex eagerly listened.
“Tree,” Owe deadpanned.
“Wha-?” Vex crashed backwards into a tree, standing there stunned for a moment.
Owe laughed and continued onward without waiting for him.
“Hey! Not funny!” Vex regained his balance and ran after his brother. They talked more, walking along at a brisk pace. Soon, they reached the shore of the lake and saw that they weren’t alone.
Zehnder stood at the edge of the water, smoking again and looking towards the forest on the other side of the lake. Vex slowed his pace, hiding slightly behind Owe. Owe, on the other hand, sped up and approached Zehnder.
Before Owe had the chance to say anything, Zehnder spoke up.
“You two are leaving now, yes?” Zehnder inquired without turning towards him.
“Yeah, well, I was thinking about something . . .” Owe paused for a moment, seemingly nervous.
Zehnder turned slightly, waiting for him to continue.
“Vex and I are looking for a place to stay, and you’ve got a big house so . . .” Owe looked up at him.
Zehnder turned his head and stared at him, growling slightly, but not replying.
“Can we stay here . . ?” Owe asked, hope rising.
“Fuck no,” Zehnder growled, “You two are going back to wherever the hell you were before.”
“Well . . . At least I tried” Owe sighed, looking back towards Vex. “Oh, and, uh, Zehnder?”
“What,” Zehnder hissed.
“We can’t leave; the lake is too far for us to cross,” Owe stated blatantly.
“Fine,” Zehnder growled and turned towards them. He walked towards the forest, and two of his tendrils emerged from his back and grabbed Vex and Owe. He walked into the shadows and exited them on the edge of the forest facing the park. Vex and Owe both stumbled, due to the abrupt change of scenery, and fell when Zehnder let go of them.
Without another word, Zehnder began to walk away, towards the city. Vex grabbed a low tree branch and got to his feet, and then he helped Owe up.
“Well then . . . Now what?” Vex brushed himself off and looked at Owe.
“Huh, well, come on, let’s follow him,” Owe responded quietly, not quite knowing what else to do. They silently walked after Zehnder. After getting close enough, they slipped on their masks and lifted slightly into the air, staying after Zehnder with the same pace as him.
Zehnder had spotted a human in the distance and was currently following them. Passing by only one or two other humans, the city was quiet in this area. Vex and Owe were both silent; Zehnder didn’t know they were there.
As Zehnder drew closer to the human, Owe grew worried and couldn’t help but say something.
‘Be careful. That guy has a gun,’ Owe told him telepathically.
Zehnder stopped briefly, surprised that they were there. He turned his head slightly and saw them, who were now visible to him because he knew they were there.
“Shut up. I don’t care about guns,” Zehnder replied nearly inaudibly. He continued on in silence.
’If you quicken your pace then he’ll notice you,’ Owe told him.
’But if you wait too long then you’ll lose him,’ Vex added.
Zehnder hissed and then reached back with both arms. He grabbed both of their masks and flipped them so they only covered half of their faces, causing both of them to lose their specter-like state and fall to the ground.
From the noise that had caused, the human they were following turned and saw Zehnder and the two demons. Zehnder growled and quickly walked into the shadows and reappeared behind the human.
He reached out and grabbed the human’s arm, twisting it and pulling it off; then he quickly reached out with another arm and ripped the human’s jaw off so they couldn’t scream properly. Two large tendrils emerged from his back, and they picked up the human and slammed them into the side of the building, killing them.
Zehnder watched in satisfaction as blood dripped down the side of the wall; then he walked into the shadows and reappeared next to Vex and Owe. The two demons stared at him, silently terrified.
“How’d you do that?” Zehnder demanded, shaking his hand slightly and letting blood spray off of it.
“Well, we can talk to people telepathically and see the future, like I said yesterday,” Owe replied quietly.
“We can go find another guy for you to kill,” Vex informed; then he got to his feet and began walking away without waiting for an answer. Owe followed him, but Zehnder stayed behind and watched them go.
“Why’re you so eager to go find someone else to die?” Owe asked him, surprised.
“Maybe if I watch him kill enough times, and get over all the blood and stuff, I can see his techniques and be strong too,” Vex replied, looking around for humans.
“Heh, yeah, good luck with that.” Owe laughed slightly.
“What’s that supposed to mean!?” Vex glared at his brother.
Zehnder watched as they turned the corner and went out of sight. He leaned against the wall and took out another cigarette, but it wasn’t long until he heard approaching footsteps. Zehnder looked towards the corner where Vex and Owe had disappeared.
A human walked around the corner. He seemed to be middle aged; also slightly confused. Two voices in his head had told him to walk this way, so he obliged. Zehnder could see Vex and Owe following the man; they were floating in the air about shoulder height and were transparent like apparitions.
Zehnder was still, and the man didn’t notice until it was too late. Tendrils suddenly emerged from Zehnder’s back and reached out and seized the man. Vex and Owe immediately took off their masks, went to the ground, and then backed away from the swaying tendrils.
Using only his tendrils, Zehnder lifted the human into the air and then slammed him into the ground several times. Blood spattered and bones snapped. Zehnder kept doing this even after the man was obviously dead. Satisfied with the bloody pulp that was once a living human, Zehnder dropped the mangled body to the ground.
Zehnder was silent and used one of his tendrils to roll up his bandana slightly. He removed the cigarette from his mouth and tossed it at the body; then he took out another and thought to himself for a moment. Vex and Owe watched him in silence, not quite sure what to do next.
“I think I’ll take you up on your previous suggestion,” Zehnder stated suddenly.
“What? You mean we can stay with you?” Owe asked happily, his hopes rising.
“But,” Zehnder looked towards them, “You two work for me now, got it?”
“Wha-!?” Vex blurted out in shock, but was silenced when Owe hit him in the arm.
“Okay!” Owe exclaimed and looked happily towards Vex, who didn’t reply. He wasn’t sure if he was okay with this or not; he didn’t like the idea of staying in the same house as someone who freaked him out, no matter how big that house may be.
Zehnder turned and began walking down the sidewalk.
“Come on, I’m not done for the day.” Zehnder rolled his bandana back down and resumed his quick stride.
Owe put on his mask eagerly and followed after Zehnder, floating slightly behind him at shoulder height. Vex stared for a few seconds, but then he set his mask on his face and followed his brother and new boss.