The two-way radio hummed with never-ending static as Comicality waited for a reply. A smug grin was stained across Orvus’s face as he gazed upon his rival’s defeated expression, and he stood up straight and laughed. “You see, Oh Dark One, even your son is against you.”

Comicality didn’t move. He just stared down at his feet in silence.

“If you leave now, I might let you live,” added Orvus as he fetched the canister of gasoline. “However, if you don’t leave, I’ll be more than happy to add you to the blaze.”


“Excuse me?” Orvus tipped the canister and poured the remaining accelerant atop the head of a stone gargoyle. “Perhaps you do not understand.” Crouching down in front of Comicality, Orvus retrieved the lighter from his pocket. “If you don’t leave, you will burn, and if you try to stop me your son will burn.” Orvus’s eyes widened with pleasure.

“What?!” blared the squeal of the radio, still secured to Orvus’s hip.

The moment the child’s voice was heard Comsie thrust himself forward against Orvus’s chest, his fists clenched tight against the mortal’s shirt with his feet pressing down at his thighs. And in less time than it took to blink, Orvus found himself pinned to the rooftop, staring up into the sinister gaze of Comicality.

“At this very moment, your heart is drowning in adrenaline. Your blood is pumping so fast that you feel dizzy, and your throat has swelled so rapidly that you couldn’t scream if your life depended on it.”

Orvus whimpered as he struggled to fill his lungs. All that he could see was the folds of purple fabric and the glow of baleful eyes from above. Beyond the static of the radio, all that could be heard was the shrill of air from beneath the ever-moving cloak that seemed to have a life of its own. And as the silence threatened to drive him mad, a sense of relief overcame him as the descending fangs brought promise of an end.

“Dad?” interrupted a voice of echoing static. “Dad, don’t,” begged the boy. “I love him.”

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