Page 29 of Death Trap

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I turn back to the other demon to see if he is still alive. Shockingly he is on both feet and his stab wound is healing.

“They’re in here,” Thea calls, rushing through a door on the other side of the room. By the time I follow her and secure the door, she’s already talking to the group of twenty or so souls. Their energy is strong here, buzzing along my skin and I practically drink it in as relief wells up within me.

The demons have them shackled, bright red runes etched into the metal binding them together. The cocky creatures had even left the keys inside, the runes strong enough they can’t free themselves. But she can.

“Thea, once they’re free, get them in a line.” I direct her. She nods in understanding without stopping her words of reassurance.

While she works I stack the remaining broken furniture in front of the door, hoping between that and the lock it’ll buy us the time we need. Though from the stirring beyond the door I know it’s dwindling quickly.

It takes a lot more time than we really have, but she manages to get them lined up for me. I form my scythe and thanks to the extra energy of the souls, it works this time. I hold it sideways, praying that this is enough to fucking work.

“We’re going to take you to a better place than this. Everyone hurry, hands on the handle and don’t let go. If you do, we can’t save you.” My words are blunt and the souls panic, but with a few sweet words from Thea they all comply.

“Are they all on?” I ask her. The chain is lighting up so bright I can barely tell but it wraps easily around their wrists. She checks them over for me before nodding.

“Yes, go!” she screeches as something slams into the door, splinters of wood scattering over us.

The sudden noise has the souls panicking, the sound loud enough to gather every demon in the vicinity. Thea has to start her soothing talk again. Once it looks like we can reach them all, I decide to go for it, arcing my scythe through the air and collecting them all in one fell swoop.

So much power is flowing through my weapon and body that I feel like I may pass out. I use all of my mental strength to hold on tightly. As soon as I feel Thea’s arm wrap around me I call forth a portal. This time it works without hesitation.

There’s no time for niceties and I yank the souls into the portal with us. We all tumble out onto the raised platform in front of the gatekeepers. The souls are in a heap and struggling to stand while Thea and I glance at the men in cloaks who look both horrified and disgusted at our appearance.

The disturbed looks are surely because of Thea and I being covered in blood and bits of unidentifiable demon pieces. I kind of want to take a bath in bleach at this point so I can't really blame them.

My teeth clench as the overwhelming power thrums against the scythe and into me all over again. Even staying on my feet is starting to become difficult and I let out a shrill scream as light flares from my body, expelling the extra energy I can't contain and dropping me to the ground. Still the energy pushes at my body, coursing through me so intensely my veins feel like they’re ready to pop.

My screams fill the night, voice breaking as the anguish overwhelms me. Mason’s face is in front of mine before my vision wavers again. He picks me up without hesitation and leads us away. I can’t stop screaming long enough to beg them to take the souls, that I can’t hold them.

Sam yells something I can’t make out and with a bright flash of yellow the chain lets go and my scythe disappears. Searing agony burns across my arms, legs, and chest as I get a mark for each soul I brought through the portal. My body is spent and I couldn’t stop the darkness from creeping in if I tried. This time I welcome it with open arms.



This trip into the void is filled with chaos. Screams and shrieks fill the foggy air to the point they pulse against my eardrums. Through the noise I can also pick out the familiar voices of my Master Reapers and Thea. It’s almost as if I’m floating back and forth between the veils this time, instead of being stuck completely in the void.

The veil isn’t a place I want to be for long so I focus on Thea and use her as my tether to pull myself out of it. I quickly realize it’s not just the void that is full of chaos, but here as well. Reapers and gatekeepers are yelling around me, and Thea is being her spunky self, refusing to let them intimidate her.

“Little girl, you need to explain what happened,” a voice I can’t pinpoint yells at her in frustration.

“Are you deaf, old man? I told you I will tell everyone all at once, andonlywhen Luz wakes up. Give her a second, that was twenty reaper marks at once, so don’t be an arse!” She yells defiantly. Her Texas accent only comes out this strong when she’s really angry or excited.

“You cause all kinds of trouble here, don’t you, baby?” Sam’s face moves into my line of vision and I realize he’s holding me now. I look over and see Mason is trying to hold Thea back from doing something stupid.

“It’s what I do,” I reply in a hoarse whisper. The pain, magic, and awful screams took their toll on my body. “Thea.” I manage to call loud enough on the second try for her to hear. She immediately stops fighting against Mason and turns around. The relief on both of their faces is heartwarming.

The gatekeepers all start talking at once, trying to get us to explain. I want to answer them, but I’m already losing my fight with sleep. The overuse of my powers drained me. At least this time it doesn’t feel like darkness, only glorious sleep.

“Luz needs rest. Council meeting in one hour. You gatekeepers can speak to the elders if you wish to join, otherwise it’s not our problem,” Liam says from the side in a firm tone. Mason and Sam voice their agreement and Sam starts walking with me in his arms.

“Thanks, Liam,” I mutter as my eyes start to flutter closed, safe in the arms of my Master Reaper.

“Anytime, gorgeous. You scared me,” he replies. Just as he can’t hide his usual excitement, the fear shakes his voice and my heart clenches, hating that they all had to see this.

“Let’s take her to our apartment,” Mason says to the others, but I doubt Sam cares what anyone else has to say. His grip around me is tight but reassuring, and I doubt he would leave me alone right now, even for the council.

The swaying motion of being carried in Sam’s warm arms does me in. I’m asleep before we even walk out of earshot of the chaos.

Tags: Jarica James Paranormal