Gone To Graveyards 4: Gone To Flowers
The impudite made its way to the shores of the Styx, then waited as
patiently as it could. Eventually a ferry arrived.
"Where to?" the djinn at the pole asked.
"Abaddon," the impudite answered.
"Tall order," the djinn replied, "Why aren't you going through a tether? Or
are you one of Saminga's lot, and afraid to see who's waiting for you on the
other side, hmmmm?"
"I have my reasons," was the impudite's sullen reply, "And I have something
that I think will prove ample compensation for the trip."
"Let me have it, and your name and I might be willing to take you there if
it's not too much trouble."
"I'll show it to you first. If you want it, I give it to you when we've
arrived, not before."
The djinn frowned, displeasure winning over its band's more usual apathy.
"Fine," it said at last.
"Ed Gein's index finger," the impudite said with a smile, producing a rotted
digit from the robes it wore. "Well, the first two joints, anyway. Most of
the flesh is gone, but the bones are still holding together. Your prince
would probably give you a pretty fat reward for that, don't you think?"
At this, the annoyance on the djinn's face gave way to naked greed.
"I'll do it," it finally said as it struggled to regain its composure.
"Climb aboard, and let's go."
The journey was long and unpleasant, but thankfully uneventful. The Styx
eventually reached the mouth of the Acheron, and from there it was just a
matter of remembering to take the eventual fork that was the Cocytus rather
than the Phlegtheon, and then passing beyond Tartarus without capturing the
notice of any of Vapula's riverborn press gangs. When the ferry had finally
come to ground on the shores of the wasteland that was Abaddon, the djinn
could contain his curiosity no longer.
"Who are you," it asked, "And how did we manage to get all this way
"Aufhebenile," the impudite answered, "And I think it's because of this." He
handed the decrepit finger over to the djinn as he stepped out of the boat.
"Its former owner managed to go undetected in human society for a long
while, so I think it's probably become a relic that shields the holder, or
something like that."
"Oh," the djinn said, trying not to be too obvious about how eagerly it was
concealing the finger, "Cool."
And with that, the impudite moved off to be lost in the endless winds.
The ferry was caught by one of Vapula's subs shortly after returning to the
boundaries of Tartarus, and its pilot taken away for experimentation.
Nothing prevents the telling of lies in Hell, after all.
"You've done WHAT?"
"Pretty neat, isn't it?" Eli had answered Dominic with a smile. "It took a
lot of study of demons who were either trying to redeem, or taken prisoner,
but I've finally managed to work out how to make a vessel for operations on
the celestial plane, just like the ones we make for the corporeal. They
don't last long enough when anybody other than me wears them to do us much
good yet, but I'm working on it."
"But what are you planning on using an Impudite vessel for?"
It was several minutes after Eli answered Dominic before the Archangel of
Judgment could do anything other than blink in mute shock.
Eli frowned with the effort of keeping his vessel intact.
"Should have tested this against storm conditions," he thought, as the
storms that constantly blew through Saminga's former realm nearly tore away
his disguise, "But I suppose that I can just think of this as a beta
Eventually, he reached the Chasm, and after studying the burbling mass of
mingled devastated souls that filled it concluded that perhaps the Prince of
Death had been sincere, after all.
"Saw what it showed me, and I decided I hadn't anymore place in Hell,"
Saminga had explained to Novalis, "Sent you the message because of that,
since you're the only one I could count on to actually try to redeem me
instead of killing me outright."
"You know that I can make no guarantees, don't you?" Novalis had asked in
reply, "I will try my hardest, but if you are not completely capable of
accepting the light of Heaven into your heart, it could hurt you. Or
"Care not," Saminga had answered with a shrug of the shoulders of his host.
"Want away from Hell. If kills me, it's one last act for my Word. Either
way, I'm free."
"Then let us begin," Novalis had said with a nod, and shed her vessel. She
fancied she could hear a popping noise as Saminga likewise left his host,
and spared a moment's pity for the poor man as he tried to understand where
he was and how he had gotten there.
Saminga had looked at her pleadingly, the only body parts visible upon its
gaseous murk a countless number of sorrowful eyes.
Novalis had enfolded Saminga within her wings, drawing him higher into the
When the light of Heaven first touched Saminga, its faint contact stung. But
Novalis sang her reassurance, for this was common for those who had never
known its touch before.
Then it began to singe, but still Novalis sang her love and acceptance, and
Saminga had accepted this as the cost of turning away from what it had been
for so long.
When Saminga felt its forces begin to burn away, however, panic drove away
all else. Blind with fear, Saminga lashed out, teeth, claws and vicious
horns extending from its shrinking form in all directions, piercing, tearing
and biting at Novalis' celestial form. She had tried invoking her seraph
attunement, but Saminga's desperation had given him a strength of will that
could not be beaten. Novalis then had tried to escape, but her wounds had
been too grievous.
"Do not fail me, Eli," had been her last thoughts before her celestial form
tore asunder. Moments later, the last shreds of Saminga's celestial form
gave way to the light of Heaven, leaving nothing behind but the colossal
disturbance of the death of two superiors.
"I think he may be telling me the truth," she had said to Eli as she handed
him the seed, "But just in case, I felt a need to form a contingency plan.
I've bound one of each of my forces into this. You know what to do if I
Eli merely nodded, the sadness that he allowed so few to see lining his
"I have to go now," the Archangel of Flowers had continued, "Because I'm
going to have to devote my full attention to Saminga. None of us have ever
redeemed a superior before, so wish me luck. And never forget - flowers may
die in the winter, but they always sprout again once spring comes..."
Eli gathered up his full strength, and threw the seed into the Chasm, the
winds of Abaddon cutting his impudite vessel to ribbons as he ceased paying
attention to its maintenance.
The seed sank below the surface of the mass of soul fragments.
The sound of millions of souls weeping rose above the winds, not the chorus
of grief that one would normally expect in Hell, but in relief.
The winds around the Chasm died as the light of Heaven broke through the
skies of Hell in a beam that pierced its center, and Novalis rose from its
She and Eli ascended from Hell before any of the Princes could gather their
wits enough to stop them. In their wake was left a calm in the storms of
Abbadon surrounding the Chasm, and a flower growing there for every mortal
soul that Novalis had drawn upon for the essence needed to restore her to
They say the flowers grow there still, but then they say many things about
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