The underworld is overcrowded and Luc is struggling to keep control. Something has got to be done. So he does what any normal Devil would do… He hires a party planner!
This book is in the planning for next year this prelude is an introduction to two of the main characters, enjoy, and look out for a juicy giveaway before it’s released.
Midworld Drive, Prelude
Luc sipped his beer and gazed at the pub scene behind him through the mirror above the bar. The building was filled to capacity with revellers all dressed up for Halloween. He probably stood out like a sore thumb in his jeans and black shirt but he didn’t care. He didn’t go for all this dressing up thing. His only interest in Halloween was that for one day a year he could relax.
As leader of the Underworld, he could take a break because this was one of the few days when the dead could return to the middle plain and most did. Though, very few agreed to stay, which was why he was sat here in this bar, drinking a warm beer, and getting shoved in the back by some idiot trying to dance.
His eyes caught a flash of white and he gave a sigh of relief that the person he was waiting for had finally arrived. His brother weaved his way through the pub, greeting strangers and exchanging high fives with people who complimented his costume. Little did they know, this was what he always wore. The toga that hung to his ankles, sandals on his feet, and crown of gold laurels resting on his blonde hair were his status symbol. As God’s right-hand man, he liked to stand out in a crowd.
Luc rolled his eyes at the image. He was in his element, the centre of attention, just as he liked to be. It was a good few moments before B finally sat on a stool beside him.
“Nice to see you’re still good at time keeping, B-”
“Don’t say it,” his brother interrupted.
Luc chuckled. “It’s only a name.”
“I’ll remember that next time someone calls you Lucy.”
Luc scowled. “Don’t even go there.”
“Exactly.” B slapped him on the back and signalled the bartender. “Now, Relax, Luc, It’s a night to party.”
“For you maybe, this is the only time you mix with the common folk.”
The bartender placed a pink cocktail with an umbrella in it in front of B. He took a sip of it before replying. “You’re not still complaining about the big man’s admittance rules are you.”
Luc jolted forward from another knock by the idiot behind him, sloshing his beer on the bar. Placing the glass down, he shot a glare over his shoulder before answering B. “Look, something’s got to change. We can’t go on as we are.”
“Of course we can,” B scoffed, sipping his pink concoction.
“No, we can’t,” Luc countered. “I need you to talk to him for me. The Underworld is getting overrun. It’s not just a place to torture thieves and criminals now. Ever since he started getting picky about who’s let into heaven everyone comes down to me.”
“Well, almost everyone. I’m getting overrun. It can’t continue. We need some kind of balance.”
B placed his glass on the tip of his finger and raised it a foot off the bar. “I have plenty of balance.”
Cheers went up around him as people saw the party trick. Luc huffed, an extra strong breath, sending the glass tipping but, in natural angel style, B caught the glass, barely spilling a drop and creating a round of applause.
Luc waited for the cheers to die down and people to disperse before he continued. “B, I’m serious, things have to change. I’m running out of room. He needs to let more people into heaven.”
B gave a brisk shake of his head. “No can do.”
“Why not? There are billions of religious people in the Midworld. Why are three-quarters of them ending up in the Underworld with me?”
B gave a long suffering sigh. “Luc, you know we can’t let just anyone into the Upperworld. Only the most faithful get there. Why, if we let one person in who isn’t up to standards we’d have to let another and another, and before we know it heaven will be overrun with people who don’t worship us!”
“You know worship isn’t-” Another shove to his back sent him into the bar, grunting as the hard wood, hit him in the stomach. “Watch it mate,” he snarled over his shoulder.
The large man, dressed as Frankenstein, who had been attempting to dance for the last half hour, faced him with a scowl. “Where’s you party spirit?”
Luc stood and faced the man who looked to be about six-foot to his six-foot-two. They were both broad but Luc was slightly larger in the shoulders. “I left it on your mother’s bedside table.”
B groaned as a hush developed in the crowd around them. Frankenstein’s face turned bright red under his green makeup. “Think you’re funny do you?”
B quickly placed himself between them, putting a hand on each of their chests. “Sorry, please excuse my brother; he’s not had his medication today.”
Frankenstein glanced between the two of them. “Fine, but keep him in line, Zeus.”
Luc flinched at the comment, knowing exactly where this was going.
B slowly lowered his hands and faced Frank fully. “What did you say?”
“I said keep your brother in line, Zeus.”
B stood to his full height which was about an inch taller than Luc. Luc quickly grabbed B’s shoulder. “Let it go, B.”
His brother shrugged him off. “I am not Zeus!”
Frank raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure? Because I’m pretty sure he dresses like a fairy too.”
Luc cringed as bone crunched when B’s fist connected with Franks jaw. Next thing he knew, his back was hitting the bar as B ducked and Frank punched him in the cheek. Luc blinked a few times and shook his head as he leant on the bar for support. B and Frank were now exchanging punches, one after the other. He watched them for a moment, well used to this kind of situation. Insulting B or commenting on his dress sense always got this kind of reaction, and since he chose to dress like someone out if Greek mythology, it happened a lot. Luckily, they were both well able to defend themselves.
He supposed he should feel a bit guilty since he caused this situation, but being the devil he didn’t let emotions like that bother him. He took a sip of his drink as they swapped blows, only deciding to get involved when he saw a friend of Franks, dressed like a vampire, creeping up behind B. Not one to leave his brother at an unfair disadvantage, he snuck up behind the man and pinned his arms to his chest. “Weren’t planning to get involved were you?”
The man struggled in his grasp, trying desperately to escape. When he flung his head back, hitting Luc in the nose, his grip loosened and the other man broke free. Spinning, his fist flew at Luc’s head. Luc ducked, just in time, and punched the vampire in the gut seconds before arms wrapped around his chest. He leant back on whoever was holding him and brought his feet up, kicking the vampire in the chest. His captor lost his balance and they fell back into a heap on the floor.
B appeared before him, holding out a hand to help him up. Getting to his feet, he looked around to see their little skirmish was turning into a full-scale brawl. “I think it’s time we left.”
B chuckled and together they began weaving their way to the door. When Luc got pushed off balance, B steadied him and punched the man who shoved him. When someone tried to grab B, Luc smashed him on the head with a nearby bottle. Together they watched each other backs until they finally breathed the clean air of the busy street outside.
They both looked through the doors behind them and chuckled, shaking their heads, as a young man came crashing backwards through them, only to run right back in again.
“Kids,” B said, slapping him on the back. “You okay, brother?”
“Yeah, I’m good,” Luc said, brushing dust off his jeans. “You?”
B glanced down at his toga and groaned at a beer stain on it. “Yeah, I’m good,” he replied with a sigh. “Wanna go somewhere else?”
Luc shook his head. “Nah lets walk and talk.”
Together they headed down the traffic-filled street, towards the portals to get home.
“So what are we going to do about this overpopulation problem?” Luc asked after a while.
B shrugged. “We don’t have an overpopulation problem.”
“No, but your causing mine.”
They came to a halt outside a church. B straightened his Laurel’s before grabbing Luc’s shoulder and staring him straight in the eye. “Look, brother. Everyone knows you’re a smart one. I’m sure you can think of something.”
Luc gave a sad shake of his head. “You’re not going to speak to the big guy about his policies are you?”
B teeth gleamed as he grinned back at him. “Nope, but I’m confident you will come up with a solution. And remember, God works in mysterious ways.”
Luc shook his head and sighed as he watched B enter the church. When he was out of sight he turned and headed to the nightclub across the street, where he would find his own portal home.
If he was honest, he’d known his brother wouldn’t be able to help. When God made a decision he stuck to it and as much as Luc hated to admit it, he usually had a good reason and things most often turned out for the best. There were the odd time’s things went wrong but everyone tried not to mention them.
It had still been nice to see his brother. They hardly ever met up any more, only exchanging the odd email and enjoying the occasional online chess game.
A little bit of him had hoped B would help but it seemed he would have to find another solution. He was serious when he said something had to be done. He was running out of space in the Underworld. With too many people there it was getting harder and harder to keep control. He needed to convince some to come back to Midworld, but how?
What solutions will Luc come up with? Will B help? Perhaps more importantly,What’s B’s name?