1:2 Hells Bells

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Chad awoke to the smell of charred flesh, and the heat of holy fire upon his backside. That can't be good, he thought. With a great deal of effort, he rolled onto his back and winced as a great, red light blinded him. "Oh, what the hell man?" With even greater effort, he picked up his phone and saw that the time read 2:15AM. "Dude, turn the damn lights off, it's too early for this shit."

What had been a dull throb in the back of his skull had crept forward to his temples. It was as if there were an overzealous cherub stabbing at the folds of his brain with a pitchfork and laughing far too loudly about it. The red light that had expanded to fill the room was only making it that much worse. Every time Chad opened his eyes, it was like tiny needles were pushed through them.

"Oh, sorry, is the light a bit much?" asked a tired voice. The red light faded to a low glow, and revealed a silhouetted figure sitting on a large horse.

"No horses in the house man," chastised Chad, as if it were a frequent occurrence. "Landlord hates animals. I don't like it, but thems the rules." Chad felt around beside him for a bottle of water, or a half-finished bottle of liquor. Usually his drunk self was at least smart enough to provide something to stem the tide of a hangover, but not tonight. God I'm an asshole, he thought, and then returned his attention to the horseman.

If the man had heard Chad the first time, he gave no indication of listening. Instead, he just sat there on his horse, still silhouetted by the oppressive red light, holding a rather smug posture.

"Look, I can't get another violation or they'll kick Maurice out." He waved his hand in a shooing gesture. "Go horsie, get out." He made a clicking sound with his tongue, "shoo now. Go eat the grass outside." The effort of it all was too much and Chad slumped back to the floor. "Nice carpet," he mumbled, mostly to himself, and then tried to resume sleeping.

"The horse stays," said the man, his voice growing deeper and more imposing than before.

Each word was like a cannonball, smacking Chad's hangover like a worn drum. "What, you got a voice changer now?" Chad propped himself up on his elbows. "Batman says the horse stays," he mocked in a gravelly deep voice.

The horseman's eyes glowed red.

Feeling the beginnings of fear for the first time, Chad relented. "Ok fine, but put it behind the bed."

The horse whinnied.

"And tell him to be quiet, ok?"

The figure looked around the room disdainfully. "I wouldn't worry too much about it. We won't be staying long."

Chad was getting annoyed. The hangover was almost in full force, and if he let it go for much longer, there was no chance of falling asleep. He pushed himself back to a sitting position, ready to tell the man off again. "Equestrian or not, I'm getting real sick—"

At the sound of the word 'sick', Chad felt a wave of nausea wash over him, and vomited orange bile onto the floor. He looked at it, questioningly. "That's your fault," he said to the horseman. "You don't happen to have pledge in a saddlebag or something, do you?"

"This is going to be easier than I thought," said the figure, and the horse snorted in agreement.

"Spot shot?" asked Chad, hopefully. "Bile isn't an easy stain to get out. Trust me, I—"

"Will you be quiet?!" roared the horseman, shaking the room with his voice and rattling Chad's brain around like a small bird in a large cage.

Chad flushed with anger once more, feeling his head clear in the way it always did after a good vomit. "You and that judgmental horse have about five seconds to get out of here, before I call the--" Chad froze. With his vision clearing, he finally got a good look at what exactly was standing in the room before him. He had seen that there was a horseman, yes, but looking a little closer, he realized something was wrong.

At the foot of the bed, was a man, in a polo jersey, with a set of massive horns, sitting on a large black horse. A small circle of red flame swirled on the floor beneath him. "Jesus," Chad said, unable to piece together exactly what he was seeing, but understanding it was likely biblical.

"I'm certainly not," said the demon with a deep laugh.

"Oh god, they laced my drink," said Chad, slapping a hand to his forehead, and immediately regretting it as pain lanced out in a spider web. "This explains everything, the trick doors, the clever door-"

The demon sighed and cut him off. "No, no one laced your drink. You rekindled your old relationship with the good Dr. Cuervo, ended up at the wrong house, and passed out on the floor." He snickered with this. "Really a pathetic specimen."

"Hey man," started Chad, but was cut off. He took a look around the room. "Ok, maybe this isn't my apartment, but don't call me a specimen!"

"I'm afraid we don't have time for this," said the horseman, lazily.

"I've got all the time in the world," said Chad stifling a burp, and folding his hands across his chest.

"That's not entirely true." The horseman laughed again. "I'm here to tell you about the end of days."

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