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Lawyers in Hell snippet, June 1 2011

June 1, 2011

Erra’s wings bore him straight and strong, with his vengeful weapons beside him, until they reached Lost Angeles, swathed in its pall of vainglorious excess that turned the air stinking and yellow.

There they alighted on black-paved ground, between buildings high and long and gleaming with glass and sinners festooned with every sort of bauble: painted and perfumed and covered in silk and furs: men and women, clutching at each other lewdly, entwining and kissing and sucking on each other’s bodies, copulating in the middle of the street. Erra waved his own mighty hand and the paint on each face puckered into running sores; silk turned wormy; furs came alive and sank toothy jaws into their wearers, tearing out throats and hearts before scampering up the blazing sky to heaven. Men ejaculated scorpions and spiders who ate their screaming partners from the inside out. Women selling sex sold torture now, and ground the members of their partners in gnashing teeth amid in their nether parts.

Down Hellywood Boulevard did Erra and Seven drive their judgment: pointing here, and there, and everywhere; bringing first fire and ice and lightning, then pestilence and tempest and quake and disease. Erra raged on, with his terrifying weapons, carving up the very belly of this Satanic beast, Lost Angeles.

Whimpering sinners stumbled and ran. The Seven cut down soul after soul, broiled them, boiled them, shattered them where they ran, and opened the ground to receive the detritus. Meanwhile, behind them on either side, buildings tottered and toppled, showering glass and mortar and stone upon the fleeing hordes.

Then Erra heard sounds he’d never heard before: deep roaring; booming in the sky so that the vault above seemed to shake; deafening thunder from the middle of the air: the sound of Satan’s forces, come to meet him in battle at last.

The seventh and the second of the Seven looked up and raised their arms. Huge metal darts swooped at them: some with souls inside, some not. Erra’s two Sibitti spat lightning and incandescent plumes, and caught the flying machines and piloted contraptions hurtling down and dragged them from the air. These crashed amid the tenements and high-rising buildings with an awful banging noise.

Then the third of the seven looks at Erra and smiles his icy smile. Erra nods, and freezing cold quenches the fires where the metal birds and darts have crashed, and all the mechanisms of modern man’s destruction fall away to glittering powder.

Satan, where art thou? Come face me.

But Satan does not come. Instead, a deep growl wells up: the tramp of marching men; the thrum of great wheels turning. Now come the tanks and the soldiers of the new dead, a vast army marching down the wide roads of Lost Angeles, crushing trees and people underfoot.

“Enough,” Erra says aloud.

This one word frees the rest of his Seven, weapons beyond mortal comprehension: the fifth of the Seven spins himself into a whirlwind of bladed retribution, and goes among Satan’s troops and death machines. Beside Erra, the first of the Seven opens chasms to the deepest underworld in the path of Satan’s warriors and their tanks. The front ranks tumble into the abyss, victims of the unstoppable momentum of their own forces coming on behind them.

The fourth of the Seven blows his hurricane winds and deflects every projectile, every missile, every weapon aimed their way.

The sixth brings his torrents, to clean the streets; the third freezes armies in their tracks. Now the fourth calls forth a plague upon all the soldiers and all Hellywood’s onlookers, voyeurs of death who hide among the rubble: those who could have run, but didn’t, will learn their lessons too this day.

The torrents clean the streets of corpses; the chasms suck down all the wreckage and accoutrements of war, and the city is silent: ravaged, ruined. No building stands. Sobbing and moaning and groaning fill the air with deserved songs.

From ‘Erra and the Seven’ by Chris Morris, in Lawyers in Hell ((c) Janet Morris 2011, all rights reserved.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. janet morris permalink
    June 3, 2011 10:54 pm

    Erra and teh Seven are among my favorite characters from the forthcoming Lawyers in Hell: Chris Morris at his best.

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