Radiance and beauty surrounded Venus and Hyperion as they ascended into the realm of immortals on the back of a winged horse; a million winds tattered at her bodiless soul as she descended across the realms into the pure light of beyond. On the journey over, a herd of lost souls attacked Hyperion. Being the chosen one meant that Venus’s powers were greatly desired by the hellion god who promised to free them if they captured her. One of them stole Venus away from Hyperion as she fought to protect her. Another man with red eyes appeared and vanquished the soul before it could escape with her. She fell helplessly into the pit of light. Venus opened her eyes; her being floated in a translucent body of white matter. Her last memory was of Matrix’s loving eyes on her; but she could no longer see them now. In the distance, a hazy black figure watched her. She must be in the hospital, she assumed. Perhaps this figure watching her was a nurse. She stood and walked through the fluffy white clouds toward it. “Excuse me? Do you know where I can find my husband...?” The figure did not answer. “Oh well, then perhaps you can point me in the direction of a bathroom?” Once again the figure watched her, but would not answer. “I don’t understand…” As she approached the man, she perceived the face of her father. “…daddy?” She ran closer but it was like chasing the moon; no matter how closer she ran he remained the same distance from her. Closing in on him, she said “Father, wait!” He smiled, turned and vanished into the mist. She stopped running and her hopes dropped for she was alone again.
“Venus!” A man stood waving at her. She cried and ran for him again. Then he disappeared. Backing up, she felt the presence of someone behind her. She spun around and hugged him. He held her tighter than a fatherly embrace. “Well, aren’t we easily excited?” She looked up, but it was not her father. The red eyes of a fair skinned black haired man peered down at her. “I hate mushy moments.” A straw basket hat rested on his head; his straight hair pulled into a ponytail brushed along his back; a kimono matching his crimson eyes hung loosely from his shoulders parted open in the chest area.
“I’m sorry, I thought...” She said while pushing away from. He lifted her chin up with the tip of his katana to have a better look at her.
“Don’t worry about it, you will see him again.” The man said.
“How do you know who I was looking for?” Venus asked.
“Your father… You shouted for him loud enough for anyone here to hear.”
“Oh I see.” Venus looked away.
“Be careful here. Souls have been known to hallucinate, become delusional or even go crazy here.” He stepped closer to her.
“Here? Where is here?”
“Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough.” He laughed.
“You seem familiar for some reason.” Venus stared at his face as he approached her.
“My name is Jujitsu, but that’s all I will tell. It’s best you don’t know everything yet or you will feel that you have already started to lose your mind. Once you do start to lose it you will hopefully be able to tell you’re going crazy.” He said as he leaned close to her face.
“Right...” She shied away from him and started to walk away from him.
“Wait!” He said and warped in front of her.
“Ah!” She shouted then looked behind her. “How did you do that?”
“Sorry about that, I just can’t let you leave just yet.” He placed his hands on her shoulders. “It has taken me far too long to look for you and wait for you to gain consciousness here. It’s just a long and annoying process to gather souls caught in this space.”
“Oh I see now. I must have fallen into a deep sleep after what happened. Wasn’t Hyperion attacked? I hope she’s alright… but I guess it is just a dream. And you are one of those dream figures that makes no sense. Cool.” She started laughing and the man began laughing along with her.
“I’m afraid not.” He became serious all of a sudden. “This is no dream; this is very real, Venus.” He said taking up a piece of her hair and twiddled it between his fingers.
“Oh okay… then how did you know my name?” Venus asked him taking her hair from his hand.
“Because when you were lost in the fog Hyperion asked me to help look for you. She gave me an exact description of what you would look like.”
“She’s your mother?” He placed a hand to his chin and ran his eyes up and down over her. “Yes, I can see the family resemblance, somewhat… not really…”
“No, I take more after my father.” Venus said. She felt uncomfortable with him looking at her so she adjusted the heavenly robe she wore.
“Yes, is he here?” She said grabbing the collars of his robe in excitement. “I mean this place is pretty weird… but maybe my father really is here…”
“Oh he is, but not in these parts. He passed on, which is something I cannot do.”
“Move on where?”
“The realm where inherently good spirits have transcended their physical bond.”
“Heaven, in your terms.”
“Heaven…” She thought for a while. “Right heaven... And I’m guessing you can take me there?”
“No, I cannot. I just told you I am not allowed to leave limbo. Not bad enough for hell, but not good enough for heaven. I have to get you to Hyperion now. Just follow me with fewer questions, we’re already late. ”
“Late for what?” He didn’t answer her, but started strolling in a direction. Not wishing to remain alone in the silence of the white nothing, she hurriedly caught up behind him. The unbearable silence weighed on her mind like her companion told her it would. Thoughts flew through her head. Shaking her dizziness away, she tuned out her thoughts and focused her mind on the man in front of her. “So you say you are too good for heaven and too bad for hell?”
“Oh I get it now. So what are you exactly some kind of lost soul?”
“No, why would your mother ask one lost soul to lead another?”
“Good point… hey I’m not a lost soul…”
“Oh, I’m certain that you could lead yourself around limbo all by yourself because you’re a big girl.” He said sarcastically.
“Oh I understand now. I thought lost soul referred to wayward believers.”
“Hum… I suppose that’s what I was.”
“So you were one of those sinners that couldn’t get into heaven.”
“In a way, and I wasn’t acceptable for hell anymore. You see I’m a risen demon.”
“How is that possible?” Venus asked.
“Fallen angels fall from grace with The One; risen demons rise above temptation of the Devil.”
“Oh wow. You’re a demon?”
“Yes. I am one of few hellions.”
“Oh wow!” Venus laughed. She knew this had to be a dream now and that there was no way her friend could be real. “You look mortal to me. Is this your true form?”
“No. My true form is hideous, it would probably scare you. That’s why I chose this one; it’s much easier on the eyes, wouldn’t you say?” He grinned.
“I suppose, but it depends on what your other form looks like.” She joked.
“Right. Well, I’m actually a large praying mantis that can rip someone’s head off with one swoop of my bladed hand. You see these katana I carry are forged from the blades of my appendages.” Venus walked in silence thinking over what he said, so he continued to explain. “Hellions were once mortals but were filled with hatred during their lives and died in a horrific manner thus taking on this form after death. You can tell a hellion easily because we all have these red eyes here. For a while in the Dionne System, demons, who have never been mortal, could live among mortals and live a relatively normal life. That is, if they did not use their powers. Angels could do the same too. Souls that become a hellion or even an angel could choose which realm to dwell in or pass between the two. I’m not sure what happened, because even in my lifetime I could live among the mortals.”
“Really? How old are you?”
“Old enough to know St. Aurora personally… However, I chose to lose my immortality for this woman who bore me a daughter. If I can figure out a way to return, I would like to see her, but I guess she probably wouldn’t need me anymore.”
“A daughter. And you love her?”
“Yes, which is not something the typical hellion is capable of. We’re basically like mortals only we have certain emotions that are absent and certain traits that are more dominant. Like the desire to kill; this is a natural mortal instinct that is promoted by hellions. Angels are the opposite; they are taught to show good traits and taught to kill only those who threaten the balance…”
“Have you ever seen the portraits or read the poems about Tin the demon slayer?” He grinned back at her. She shook her head and looked away. The silence returned and they paced for what seemed like miles. Venus could gradually feel her mind shrinking and evading intellect. They finally landed in front of a large silver and gold gate. “Well, here we are Venus.” She ran her curious fingertips over the shimmering metal that covered the bars. On the other side, she could only see more white space. Her hopes sunk. After hours of torture in this place, she started to believe she would never wake up or see her beloved husband and children again. She touched her nose, but no air came forth because she was not breathing. Feeling her pulse, no blood pumped through her veins. Fear gripped her inner being; it all felt far too real to simply be a vivid dream. “You should see your mother here, in a while.” He turned to leave.
“Oh right…” She collapsed on the gate.
“What’s the matter?” He said and turned back to her.
“I don’t feel anything wrong… but that’s just the problem. If this were a dream, I could eventually wake myself out of it. I feel like I’m really here.”
“Ha, I told you, you are here. In limbo.”
“I just can’t be… I have so much more to do on Dionne.”
“It’s okay.” He ran his fingers through her hair. “Besides if your mother doesn’t come, you can always stay here with me.” She turned to him and he took her up in his arms. “Because you know, if you ever get tired of that skinny pretty boy you have in the Realm of Mortals, you can have me. You could even bear my next daughter.” He laughed, twisting his fingers through her hair. When he heard trotting of a horse approaching, he released her.
“What are you doing?!” Hyperion’s voice called out to him from the white mist. A beam of energy flew between them, breaking the two of them up.“Ha-ha, you missed you winged wench...” He said and vanished. Appearing behind Venus, he wrapped his arm around her stomach and took her hand up in his. Pressing her hand to his lips, he released her as he faded back into the fog. “Goodbye angel.” He whispered into her ear.