Jeff Hill


“It sure is beautiful here,” he says, overlooking the thriving nightlife of the city that never sleeps.

“Not yet,” she interrupts, grabbing his hand and pulling him back to reality, her eyes glowing in the black light of the party awaiting them.  “But it will be.”

The man hadn’t been seeing the woman very long, but when he knew, he knew, and you know what?  He knew.  He loved her.  He felt alive around her.  Something he hadn’t felt in years.  Not since his ex left him.  No note.  No explanation.  Just a ghost from his past who left him with the chains that would hold him from his future.

Until he met her.  The new woman.  The one who didn’t drink but partied like she did.  Drinking in a crowded room full of strangers listening to live music while the woman you love dances around you is the very definition of being alive.  And that is how he knew.  Because he felt alive when he was with her.

“It’s almost time,” she screams into his ear, only slightly audible as the bass kicks in and the crowd looks younger and younger and he starts to get cold feet.

“Maybe we should,” he starts, but she’s not listening.  She has put in her air pods, listening to the song he wrote for her.  The party becomes a concert and the concert becomes a rave, but she is slow-dancing with the man who loves her and his fear is only outweighed by his need to belong.  His need to be alive.

She reaches into her back pocket and pulls out a highlighter, marking both of their foreheads with the symbols of her people.  Offering protection from a God long-forgotten and incomprehensibly angry.  She kisses him.  He tastes a mixture of bubblegum and blood.  Not hers.  Not his.  But now theirs.

The lights turn from black to yellow to red and then white and she covers his ears as the hundreds of rooftop dancers and late-night would-be lovers begin to bleed from every orifice, scream the screams of their past selves, and shed their earthly skins, growing wings and fangs and talons and flying off into the night that will know His name again.

All of this, for the man, occurs in silence.

Cars crash into one another.  The lights of the city all go out.  Fires spread and the prayers of all but the woman go unanswered.  He starts to wonder if he did the right thing, as she removes her air pods and walks over to the DJ’s equipment, turning the music off so they can hear the destruction of everyone who hurt her and her kind before she met the man on top of his rooftop after the breakup with the ex that almost did him in.

“It sure is beautiful here,” she says, overlooking the hell on earth that will become her Father’s kingdom.

And, looking at her, directly into her eyes, the man whispers, “It is now.” 

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