Synopsis: When sixteen year old Kate and her family get stationed in the middle of the desert at Fort Irwin, California it couldn’t get any worse. Not only does she have to deal with the loss of her friends, but she begins to see demons. At her new High School, she meets a group of teens who can see the demons as well. They call themselves the Immaculate. When her friends see the birthmark Kate has tried to hide all her life, they are convinced she is the one an old angelic text spoke of as the one that would slay the demons. When Kate’s little sister Luka is kidnapped by the demons for a ritual, Kate and her friends must find Luka and kill the demons before it’s too late.
The old man rocked back and forth for hours each night on his half-rotted front porch, waiting for his heart to stop. Some of the boards had bowed with age and his foot tripped over them from time to time, threatening to take out a hip. Every night he did the same thing, thought the same thoughts, asked God to hurry up and take him. For thirty years, he had been waiting on death, with nothing left to live for since his family had perished in a car crash back in 1982.
The one memory that plagued him repeatedly was the memory of the last time he had seen his family. The last booze-fueled hate-filled curse words he had spit at them as they pulled away from him and his 45 revolver. He had been drunk for three days, screaming at little Nathan for making the slightest noise, slapping Samantha across her cheek when she tried to protect him, and giving his wife another of countless black eyes.
A wrenching sob from deep within escaped his lips into the dark desert night to meet the sound of the lonely cicadas singing for a mate that never arrived. The old man brought a gnarled hand to his mouth and covered it to hold the sobs in, after all, he deserved the agony, he deserved more than thirty years of punishment, and he deserved to go straight to hell. But he wouldn’t. He knew he would not get what he deserved when his heart finally failed.
Some years after the deaths of his family, the old man had put down the bottle and started attending the local fire and brimstone Baptist church down the way. At first, he didn’t believe a word of it. “Nonsense!” He would say every Sunday after preaching. The next Sunday, he was right back in the back pew listening to every word the preacher had to say. Sometime over the next few years, something got down in his bones, something he didn’t know quite what it was, but it got in there and caused him to start believing. That thing that got right down inside his heart told him he was going to heaven when he died, whether he deserved it or not.
The old man went back to college, got a degree and began teaching down at the local high school where he would go five days a week, trying to break up the monotony of a lifeless existence, kept alive only by the grace and mercy of God. He was caught reading his Bible one day at lunchtime by a group of young Christians claiming they could see demons in the desert caves. Before he knew it, he was leading a vigilante group about the desert killing demons and protecting the area from the evil plans of demonic forces. Those young men and women grew up, had families of their own. The children born to the first generation of protectors were grandfathered in, so to speak, and automatically became the heirs of a legacy that had grown deep within the old man’s heart.
They had become family. But not really. They were not his children, not his wife. However much he cared for them, no one would ever take the pain that he had grown to be his only comfort. Considered a grandfather by ten fine young men and women, fighting for what is holy in a world that knew no holiness, his soul slowly swallowed up by regret.
He swallowed the sobs and wiped his tears on the back of his sleeve. As he scooted to the front of the rocker, grabbed his cane and prepared to stand, he heard soft footfalls coming up the walk. The cicadas halted their song just as the dim porch bulb illuminated Salome Schechter’s face.
“Hello, Griffin.” She spoke softly as she walked up to the porch steps and paused, apparently waiting for an invitation that would not come.
“Hello, Salome.” He sat back once again in his chair and began to rock once more.
“I hear it’s almost your time.” She said, squinting her deep blue eyes to shield them from the light. She walked up onto the dilapidated porch and leaned against a column, crossing her arms. It was likely she didn’t want to sit on the old man’s furniture in her three thousand dollar suit, purchased with the money of her morbidly rich husband. She was as beautiful as she was evil, there wasn’t a man within three countries that could have turned her down, and she always picked the rich ones.
“One can only hope. I would imagine it is about your time as well, is it not?” He asked, knowing the demon that stood before him was over two thousand years old. A soft chuckle escaped her lips.
“Are you still pining away for dear old wifey and kiddies?” She laughed sarcastically, amused with herself.
“Dispense with the formalities and get to the point, what are you here for, demon?” He snapped.
“The girl is not pure.”
“That changes nothing; the girl is no longer suitable.”
“What am I supposed to do about it? It’s not my fault your minions aren’t smart enough to get the right girl.”
“My sources tell me that the girl’s sister is the one of yours. Is this true?” She spat the words at him, not caring if her true self was showing. He knew what kind of demon she was, no need for her to try to hide it.
“I want her. I am prepared to make you a deal you can’t refuse.” She shifted her weight and stepped closer to him. He continued to rock, undaunted.
“You can’t have her. There’s nothing you could ever offer me that would make me betray her.”
“Nothing at all?” Her hand shot out so fast he didn’t see it coming and rested on his throat, holding him tightly. He reached behind him for his cane, knocking over a plant, to find nothing but air.
“What about…this…” Salome leaned toward the old man’s face and placed her lips on his forehead. The touch of her lips shut every thought out of his mind, save for the thought she showed him, which was his last memory of his family. She allowed him to view the memory, no longer faded in his memory, but new and fresh like on a movie screen until she threw him back into his rocker and stepped back. He gasped for air.
“I can get them back for you. I can give you the thirty years back if you do this thing for me.”