(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Desmond was written by Brianna Leaver.)
The old sunken warship from the 1800’s sat on the ocean floor, just off the coast of Peru. Not many remembered it, and even fewer remembered that it was once called the San Francisco. It was dark, cold, and (of course) very wet. Covered in algae and surrounded by plenty of kelp and other anemones, it was rather pretty if you appreciated history this far below the surface. There were many rooms below the deck of the ship, but only one was used most frequently, and that was the captain’s quarters.
It was here that Desmond and his two trusted associates liked to hideout when they needed a break from the other demons from the Western Trench. The room was lightly decorated, and in a shambles from when it had wrecked. Desmond hadn’t really bothered to fix much, except for the desk, and the old chair behind it. Seth and Luke had brought in different things from other rooms to make it more comfortable, but Desmond only liked the Captain’s chair. He found it most comfortable if he were sitting upside down in the chair, his legs hanging over the back of it, instead of having his feet touch the floor. He did his best thinking this way, and as long as his eyes were closed, he was not to be disturbed; unless it was an emergency or a meeting of some kind.
Right now, Desmond was in this exact position, and yet he kept slightly alert, waiting for Luke to tell him their guest had arrived. A new recruit for his class, most likely. Not that he actually taught lessons. Although he had the degree of a Demon Professor, he didn’t teach anything from the curriculum.
Desmond’s twelve foot long eel came slithering into the room and brushed against him. Large and grey, it answered only to Desmond.
“Orion, no!” Desmond slapped the eel away from him. “I’m trying to concentrate, go be useless somewhere else!” With that, the eel hissed and coiled itself around one of the pillars nearby.
“Pardon the interruption, Desmond. Our guest has arrived.” Luke’s voice was clear as he appeared in the doorway.
Desmond opened his eyes to look at his friend from his upside down position. “Yeah, I figured it was about time. Send her in.”
Kelly stepped through the doorway, nodded her thanks at Luke. They were underwater. This was one of those unique times when Kelly’s non-solid form helped her from getting killed. That was why she could breathe underwater. She took a look at Desmond. Some reason the first thing that came to mind about him was ‘arrogant’, but she always gave people a chance to show their true colors. She greeted him with a smile. “Hello Desmond. Thank you for meeting with me. I’ve heard your name float about here and there, so it’s nice to finally put a face to the name. I must say, quite a unique place for a hideout.” She glimpsed around at the sunken ship. “How did you come across it?”
Desmond watched the girl from his upside down perch, and when she asked him about the ship, he sighed and flipped himself so that he was sitting on the chair properly, with his feet on the desk. “You didn’t tell me your name.” Desmond replied lazily, running a hand through his hair. “As for this ship, I watched it sink. So when it finally came to rest, I decided to explore it. Me and Luke took it as out hideout and when Seth fell from Tigris, he started coming here with us.” The demon shrugged.
She didn’t realize he didn’t know her name, so she set that right. “I’m Kelly—sorry about that. So…Tigris…where exactly is that? I’ve spoken with many demons and angels of different realms, and they always have different names for the heaven and hell. I’d like to understand yours.” As she asked this, she meandered around, inspecting the ship ruins as it was in water. It was quite an interesting experience for sure.
“The angels of our realm reside in the Four Skies. Each of the four is an archipelago. There’s Tigris, Euphrates, Gihon and Pishon. Legend has it they’ve been named after the four rivers of Eden, I think it was. I hated history but that much I do know. Seth described Tigris to be a lot like the savannahs of Africa. I’ve never been there so I can’t confirm.”
“I see.” Kelly nodded. “So, I understand you stand against your brother Ricky. Why?” She stopped at a chair, placing her hands on the back of it, and leaned forward toward Desmond. “What has he done to you?”
Desmond’s jaw dropped. “How in the heck do you know about him?”
Kelly laughed out loud then smirked at him “It’s my business to know. But if it makes you feel any better, I don’t know a lot. Just know you despise him and are fighting against him. I just want to know why.” She shrugged.
Desmond rolled his eyes, “Yeah, that good for nothing little squid? He’s…” Desmond had no idea how to describe his brother. He tried to think about it as little as possible. “He’s a goody good, you know? Always got the good grades, wanted to be better than everyone? Top of his class and everything. Then when dad got banished, he started telling everyone he didn’t want to be a demon anymore. We all thought he had lost his mind. But then he went and got his wings so…now he’s one of them.”
“So a demon can become an angel?” Kelly furrowed her brows. This was quite interesting. Usually it worked the other way around. “How does that happen?”
Desmond laughed, “It doesn’t happen. You’re right. But he was redeemed when he helped win the battle I started. It’s a long story, but at least I’m rid of him now anyway.”
“Guess that’s one way to look at it.” Kelly shrugged as she went about meandering around the room. “But of course now that means he stands completely against you and is out of any control you may have had over him in some way–although I’m not sure how it works here.” She paused as some fish swam through the room, and it made her smile, but then Kelly turned back to Desmond. “Why did your father get banished?”
“Because he was on the council and wanted more power. changed laws. formed loopholes. Got caught and now he’s a mortal.” Desmond said, sounding bored.
“So that’s what happens when a demon is banished. Interesting.” Kelly could tell he was getting bored, and she couldn’t really help that. All she could do was continue asking questions. “Were you in agreement with his plans?”
“Of course. That’s why when he got banished, I took over. I wanted to make him proud, even if he couldn’t see me. But of course, it didn’t quite work out. I got banished too. Lucky for me, I found a way back. Nobody knows i’m back except for Seth and Luke.”
“And explain to me who they are. I know they’re your friends, but still…are you said, no one knows you’re back except for them. Why do they have such loyalty for you?” Kelly raised her brows.
“Luke and Seth?” Desmond raised an eyebrow. He took his feet off the desk and looked up to where his eel was still coiled around a pillar. He reached out and the eel swam down to be nearer to him. Petting the eel, Des looked back at Kelly, “Luke and I have been best friends forever. Literally. We were neighbors as kids, we went to school together, skipped classes together, everything. When Seth fell a while back, he was supposed to be one of my students. What he didn’t know, was that I didn’t plan on teaching him anything. He stuck to me like glue, so I let him follow me around until he got comfortable. When I realized how much I liked the kid, I made him one of us. He’s not like the others. They keep me company.”
“What others?” Kelly lifted her brows. “I mean, I’m assuming you’ve got yourself a good-sized army if you intend to takeover the demon domain, but who are the others?”
“I mean the other fallen ones. Usually I only take in true blood demons for my crew. Seth was different. As for taking over the demon domain?” Desmond laughed, “I’m done with that now. I’ve got other endeavors. More interesting ones anyway.”
“Like what? Storming the heavens…literally?” Kelly asked as she found a chair and took a seat and met Desmond’s gaze
“That’s how we lost the last battle.” Desmond said darkly. “I’m not stupid enough to try that again. No, I mean that I, a professor, am becoming a student again. Adjusting to the mortal world isn’t easy once you’ve been banished, so I found someone to teach me. I don’t come here very often anymore. This place,” Desmond waved a hand, gesturing at the ship, “is no longer a place I call home,”
“So you’re in the mortal world? What do you think of mortals?” Kelly doubted he thought highly of them at all, but it was a question worth asking.
Thinking about this for awhile, Desmond stroked the eel absently, as it hissed softly in its lazy state. “Mortals. Strange creatures, most of them. All those different languages and cultures.” Giving his head a shake, he gave a laugh, “I’ve learned a lot already, but it’s my professors who are the most interesting.”
Kelly tilted her head when she heard this. “Why are they ‘most interesting’?”
Desmond glared, wondering how much this woman already knew. She had known about Ricky. What else was not hidden? “Oh, just uh,” he stammered, “You know. The things they teach me. I’ve learned to read and write in English, and uh, we travel and stuff. Sometimes the lessons are theory, others are practical lessons. Depends on the day I guess.”
Kelly just looked at him. “C’mon, anyone can teach that stuff. For instance, I teach English, but I’m certain I’m not as interesting as those professors of yours. Why do you have your eye so keen on them? What purpose could they possibly serve you?”
Desmond seemed to be at a loss for words. He didn’t want her knowing all about the things he did with these professors. He had to say something. “Yeah, they teach me good things. Day to day stuff. Things i didn’t know about mortals. Dance, for example. Or you know…taking a job. That sort of thing.”
Kelly paused for a second then tilted her head. “So…” She leaned forward, “Has any mortal ever caught your eye?”
Desmond looked completely taken aback. He barely knew this strange woman, and here she was asking if he liked any mortals. Not sure how exactly to answer, he decided to keep it short and simple. “Yeah, sure.”
Kelly smiled. “Does one happen to be one of your professors?”
“What do you know?!” Desmond said sharply in an accusing tone.
“Well, according to your vague answers and dodging of questions as well as your defensive attitude, I’d say you’re interested in one of your professors.” Kelly had to smile but then told him calmly. “I read people well, and there are some things that are universal. So…” She leaned forward, setting her chin in the palm of her hand. “Who is this person?”
“I met them at a library when I ended up in the wrong place one time. They realized I was new and decided to, uh, show me around.”
“They?” Kelly lifted her brows at the use of plural form. “What are their names?”
“Well. At first I met Sylvan, But Avalon is the girl I… She’s the one. I mean, I like her. She’s my dance instructor.” Desmond pushed the eel off of himself as he shifted uncomfortably
“Desmond.” Kelly waited until he locked eyes with her, and she offered him a kind smile. “Listen, after today, you won’t see or hear from me again. I won’t breathe a word of anything of this to anyone, so you can trust me. You can be open with me as you normally can’t be, so please…tell me. Why does she catch your eye? What makes her so special?”
Desmond swallowed hard. “She’s pretty. I like her eyes. Her hair, it’s so…” Des trailed off, thinking of the girl who taught him to dance. “She’s just so great in more ways than one.”
She smiled softly when she heard this. “Tell me the first time you lay eyes on her.”
“I was with Sylvan, at his house when she came home. I don’t know how to explain the feeling.”
“But is it odd? Having feelings for a human? Does she know who or what you really are?” Kelly raised her brows.
“Oh,” Des smiled, “Yeah they know. It’s cool.”
“I bet that was an interesting conversation.” Kelly chuckled. “So you have many great ambitions, but is there anything you worry might happen?”
Des tilted his head, unsure what Kelly meant. “Sorry, can you rephrase the question? I don’t understand.”
“What do you fear the most?” Kelly asked bluntly.
Des considered this for a moment. “I don’t know fear. At least, I haven’t found anything yet? Maybe those big metal birds??” he shrugged uncertainly
“What would you do if something happened to Avalon—something beyond control and out of your reach?” Kelly observed him.
“I can protect them. I…” Des eyes Kelly carefully, “I use magic, see?” And to give an example, he conjured fire and held it in his hand as if it were an ordinary ball. I can do anything.”
“But there are things still beyond your power. I mean, after all, you did lose battle against the angels, did you not? You may be powerful, Desmond, but you are not all-powerful.” Kelly regarded him for a moment and gave him the chance to reply if he’d like.
“I wasn’t so powerful at that battle. I couldn’t do magic properly then. I learned it after. And” he pointed out, “So what if i’m never all powerful. That was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I have accepted this and I can be happy both here as I am or up there, with Sylvan and Avalon. That’s a whole different thing.”
“So what? You’re just going to accept a normal life living among humans?” Kelly doubted this was the case, but she’d let him speak.
Desmond shrugged, “Quite possibly. I made friends there. Luke and Seth are here, and I visit them often, but they can visit me too. What’s so bad about that?”
“Nothing at all.” Then Kelly leaned forward, locking eyes with him. “But you don’t seem like the kind of person who’d just let things go that easily. You have an agenda. Otherwise you wouldn’t have met me here. If you were just fine being normal and living among humans, we’d be up there, in a coffee shop, chatting. Instead, we’re on the ocean floor, and I believe that’s because you thought I was going to be someone else–perhaps someone you could use. You have a plan.”
“I’m training Luke to take over my post as professor, ok? He needs students, and I’m helping him recruit Fallen Ones and Rookies. Is that what you want to know?” Des snapped harshly.
Maybe she didn’t fully understand the ways of the demons. “Explain to me the culture of the demons because you mention students and such, and most demons I know don’t need to train. How does it work for you?”
Desmond took a deep breath, trying to keep his patience. This girl knew little of his world. “It’s strange, yes since we’re immortal. Young bloods, or recruits, start out when they reach a certain age. I cant remember exactly. Anyway, there are rank levels, from recruit to rookie, and then you have junior, senior, expert, legendary, junior legendary and there’s senior legendary. The only thing greater than that is the Almighty. There is only one Almighty.” Desmond rattled off. “We train in many different classes such as Human behavior studies, Beasts and Friendlies, History, Elementals, and things like that. Those born with magic get trained in how to control and use it properly.”
“Interesting.” Kelly nodded as she rose to her feet to resume meandering about. “Now, you said you’ve been banished, but yet you also said that you’re still a professor and are having Luke take over your position of professor…how does that work if you’ve been banished? You yourself said that only you and those two know you’ve returned. I’m a bit puzzled.” She cast him a curious glance.
“I learned to teleport. Sylvan taught me. Only angels are supposed to have the gift. But with my magic,” Des extinguished the ball of fire he’d been playing with, and continued, “I returned. I don’t have any family left, so I hang out here when I want to see the boys. Sometimes it is nice to be here, to get away from the mortals.”
“I’m sure we mortals can pester you at times…like I am currently.” Kelly grinned and continued her walk. “But other than dance, what is one thing you’ve learned from mortals?”
“Hmm. I’d have to say interactions. I didn’t really know how to be around the mortals without threatening them.”
“Well, that’s interesting.” Kelly had to pause as she considered this though. It didn’t make much sense because surely he could interact with fellow demons with no problem, but humans…she shrugged. Likely because he considered them beneath him. “So, what’s happened to your father with all this? You said he was banished, but did you ever find him?”
“Yeah, I did. He’s a, what do you call it…lawyer.” Desmond smiled as he found the right word. “I tried working for him, but it didn’t work out. So I left. Found Sylvan soon after.”
“I see.” She nodded slowly, but then a thought crossed her mind. “Okay, random question, but you have a father and a brother, but do you have a mother? Or is that not how it works with demons and such? Whatever happened to her?”
“Haven’t seen her in centuries. she found another demon and had kids with him I think. Who cares. I don’t need her.” Des said casually.
“Uhhum.” Kelly nodded, but then she sighed because she could tell Desmond’s patience with her had just about worn out, but good thing too because her time was about finished as well. She smiled at him. “Well, our time’s about up. I appreciate your time, and thank you for allowing me to pester you with all these questions. I should take my leave now.”
“It wasn’t so bad, really. You’re nice. I should like to talk to you again sometime.” Des said sheepishly. “It was good to meet you.” he reached out to shake her hand politely.
She took his hand to shake as well, smiling at him. “We could talk again. Maybe up on the surface. I’ll bake my famous chocolate chip cookies.” She grinned at him. “Anyway, I need to go. You take care!” With one final nod to him, she headed out.
Des laughed as she left and resumed his seat behind the desk.
Brianna Leaver’s book ‘Beyond the Blue’ is available on Amazon! Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook as well: