(Originally posted as part of David Wellington’s Fear Project)

Chad and Thad stepped out of the smoldering husk of Brighton View Mall, their sweatervests singed and bloody. Their tired eyes were blinded by flashbulbs as camera crews swarmed them. It was a grim reminder of a few hours ago when a different type of carrion-eater surrounded them.

“What happened in there?”

“What was the explosion?!”

“Why did the sky turn purple?”

“People are reporting a demon’s laughter ringing through the night. Comment?”

“Which one of you is Chad and which one of you is Thad?”

“Okay, fine! We’ll make a statement!“ Chad announced grumpily, “but you all have to back the hell off and let us breathe!”

The twins told their whole story, starting with their private tarot card readings where the mystic’s clues unveiled the coven in the basement. They explained that, by the time they were at the froyo stand, half the mall had turned because of the summoning. They detailed their holing up in a sporting good store and their final confrontation with Dumah, the thousand-eyed fallen angel.

“I almost forgot.” Chad said, slapping his forehead.

He pulled out a 9mm pistol from his waistband and shot Thad in the ear. Grey matter splattered on the local NBC affiliate as Thad’s skin turned to ash and he gurgled a stygian curse. Thad disappeared in a flash of sickening green light, but before the reporters had time to take a breath, Chad answered the unspoken question.

“The mystic told me only one of us would survive.”

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