This is the sixth part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Read part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five.
Vote in the comments or on Twitter for a chance to win a copy of Steven Montano’s epic debut, Blood Skies!
You waste no time looking for the relic. You slip the hammer into your belt and place the reliquary fragment in the pocket with the 9mm clip, freeing your hands to search.
By now your eyes have adjusted to the dimness of the room but you still need more light to look around. You climb over a toppled dresser to get to the old, stained curtains hanging over the window. As you jerk down on the fabric, the screws grate against the drywall. The curtain rod clangs loudly as it hits the floor. The curtains fall in a heap and light floods the room.
You decide to skip the couch and the smaller debris because they’ve obviously been picked through. In the center of the room a torn mattress is resting at an angle against the couch. You flip the mattress over but see nothing resembling the reliquary fragment. You head to the wall where most of the furniture has been shoved. You perform a cursory, panicked inspection of a long bureau, four bookshelves, and a battered entertainment center. Nothing.
Opposite the window, an elaborate wooden credenza has been pushed against the wall. The doors are broken off and its shelves are empty. As you pull the unit away from the wall, one of the feet snaps off and the corner crashes to the floor. Amidst the noise, you hear a faint, metallic clink. You walk around the credenza again, inspecting it carefully, but see no metal parts. You drop to your hands and knees to look underneath the raised corner.
Your eye catches a metallic flash of gold and blue.
You lay flat on your stomach and stretch your arm toward it. Your fingers brush something cold and hard affixed to the wood. Two of your fingers catch a rough edge. You have the reliquary.
As you struggle to pull it loose, you notice the room is growing darker. A shadow slides over you and stretches until it covers the wall.
A hand clamps down on your ankle and jerks you back. You scream. Your fingers dig into the reliquary, straining to retain your grip. You feel the metal of the reliquary bend and the edge digs into your fingers, slicing your skin open. Your free hand flails for a better hold. A deep, inhuman scream fills the room. Your stomach wrenches.
A second jerk, harder. Every muscle in your body tenses, as if afraid your leg will be torn from its socket. The reliquary bends and you feel it come free. You scream as you slide backward.
You are brought to a stop and you twist around awkwardly, trying to see. You’re now holding the reliquary, a small blue and gold box with a jeweled cross set in the lid. There’s a hole in one side that resembles the fragment. The demon towers above you. Its extended wings fill up the room, blocking out the light. A long black robe drapes from its neck to the floor, the hem obscured by otherworldly mist. In the dark, the demon reaches for you.
You swing the reliquary. The metal slams against the demon’s arm and you hear a loud sizzle. The reliquary glows faintly upon contact. The demon screams and releases your leg. You try to scramble away backwards but slam your head on the credenza. You see stars. Panicked, you swing the reliquary blindly. Something rattles around inside the box.
The demon grabs the front of your jacket and hauls you to your feet in a single heave. You swing the reliquary and drag the metal across its chest. The robe burns and peels back, the edges of the leathery cloth sticking to gray, blistered skin. Heavy smoke wafts from the wound.
The demon lifts you off your feet, dangling you in the air, and violently shakes you. Your head bobs erratically on your shoulders. The demon’s hand swipes at you again. You feel razors slice into your side, shredding your armor and skin. You thrash and kick and shout incoherently. A fist slams into the side of your head, snapping it back. The scent of burnt flesh fills your nostrils and the smoke is now so thick that your eyes water. You can no longer see the demon’s face.
The demon starts to chant.
A pinpoint of yellowy-white light in the smoke catches your eye. The light trails in a circular pattern, drawing a symbol. The light comes a little closer to you and its canvas becomes clear. The symbol is on the demon’s palm. You don’t recognize it but it makes your skin crawl.
You don’t know what the demon is trying to do and you don’t care. You kick it in the gut. You grab the hammer with your free hand and swing both arms erratically. The claw of your hammer snags one of the grayed patches, ripping a deep gash in the demon’s torso.
It screams and drops you. You land hard on your back, nearly knocking the breath from your lungs. You swing the reliquary at the demon’s legs and smash the metal against a shin. It growls and takes a step to the side, but it doesn’t retreat. Its good leg swings hard at your chest. Its bare leathery foot smashes into your armor and sends you flying. You slam into the far wall, knocking the reliquary and the hammer from your hands. You watch the reliquary clatter away into the right corner. A small, yellowed bone slips from a hole in the metal.
A Class One relic. The physical remains of a martyred saint.
You attempt to get up but the room spins and you collapse back to the floor. Your nose is gushing blood. You feel broken ribs and your head is light. You know you’re not okay.
You roll onto your stomach and carefully climb to your hands and knees. As you do, a familiar object in the left corner of the room grabs your attention.
It’s a 9mm Beretta. The clip in your pocket would give you 15 shots.
The demon gets down on all fours as if attempting to protect its damaged, vulnerable areas. Smoke pours from its body and you can see black fluid dripping from its chest to the floor. If you don’t finish the demon off, it will finish you.
What do you do?
A: Go for the gun.
B: Go for the relic.
Vote in the comments or on Twitter. If voting via Twitter, be sure to add #therelic so I don’t miss it! Voting ends Tuesday night. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted every Friday.
Image courtesy of Dan Tantrum.
UPDATE: Voting is now closed. This Friday, you will reach for the relic and hope it saves you. Thanks to all who participated!
30 thoughts on “The Relic: Part Six (Vote Your Adventure)”
I know I personally would rather have the cold, comforting grip of a gun in my hand, but the only demons I face on a daily basis are the ones telling me to procrastinate (and on weekends, to have Just One More Drink). So, I’ll instead go for the thing that’ll give me a better shot at living. I vote B, the relic.
B. The title of the story isn’t “the Gun”.
Center mass, center mass! A. The demon already has a freshly opened relic-smear across its chest which is where our hero would be trained to aim anyway. If its wings were that dangerous it would have used them already, so if it gets close enough to actually do anything, it’ll have to get off all fours, exposing its chest. It’s just like the alamo! Don’t fire till you see the … smoke… of its chest smears…. Not the same poetic vibe.
The Relic we know already can hurt the demon so I should say B, but I am going to go with A, as I am familiar on how to use a gun.
B!!!! Grab that relic and shove it up that demon’s nether regions!!!!
(Then, if I’m still alive, I’ll grab the gun and empty it into the demon’s corpse. Naturally I’ll be holding the gun sideways, Gangsta style, and calling the demon “my bitch” the entire time.)
I have to go with B. This is a demon, will a handgun even hurt it?
A. I’d go for the relic in hopes that I could get to the gun, rub the relic on the clip, and create some crazy demon stopping relic bullet action.
Nice twist indeed…
A: I think I’m going to have to try for the gun. If the hammer can do damage to it then so can bullets.
B of course. Beat this thing with it. Slam it into its face over and over while it howls in pain. Then stomp on it. Squish its greyed up nasty flesh under your boot. You’ll never beat me you winged son of a bitch.
B, The Relic, of course. This CYOA story is called The Relic, after all; it’s therefore the choice that makes the most sense. (Besides, all the demons I’ve met just laugh at guns.)
B – The Relic. Supernatural beings can only be defeated with supernatural powers.
B – For sure the relic – you know that works but you don’t know that the gun will work
Definitely going for B: the relic. I know that can hurt the demon. I’m with the “shove it where the sun don’t shine” group. LOL
The hammer hurt the thing in the spot where the relic touched it. That’s what made it let go! 15 rounds into the burned patch, for the win, please.
I choose A.
B without a doubt. Sure the gun is great but you have to get to it, load it, aim it and fire…too much time. Have faith in the relic.
I voted on Twitter, as usual, but I wanted you to see that you’re in my blog: http://pawnyspen.blogspot.com/2011/06/wednesday-blog-visit-jen-kirchner.html
Oh, I’m going to lose this one….but I say – A – go for the gun, put 15 rounds into this @$$ and then grab the relic and destroy him. I know I mentioned both options – but my first reaction is to grab the gun. I vote A.
Have to go with B. Gun vs. Demon = Demon wins almost every time.
The gun is tempting, but the relic can definitely hurt that thing. Let’s go with B.
I’m Canadian: go for the relic.
Ahhh! I for sure was going to say B: the relic, but then people got me thinking! Thinking is clearly bad. Since the demon’s already got a vulnerable open wound a gun might hurt it more — BUT I don’t think that it would kill it. Okay, I’ve convinced myself again. I vote B!! The relic outside of the reliquary might be like super demonicide!
I vote B!
B!!!! Nothing more said.
B. Give him the finger!
Definitely A. We’ve already opened wounds with the relic and now we can blast through them with the gun. As we’ve seen with the hammer, we just need to open a gash first, then go for it.
B. As much as I would love to go for the gun, how can I pass up a Class One relic? And I think it could be argued that the hammer is doing so much damage because it has a symbol on it, unless the symbol fell off somewhere along the way. I really like Jesse’s idea of rubbing the relic on the bullets, so grab the relic, take a couple of swipes at the demon, then grab the gun.
Listen, this story is called The Relic and beating him in the face with it would be cool. But, as everyone knows, nothing is as satisfying in the climax of a movie than a pithy one-liner and some gunshot blasts. Its hurt, it’s vulnerable, it’s ready to die. Besides, the bone that slipped out of it was the important part, so now it would be useless. Forget it.
Grab the gun, yell “Hey, asshole! This is a non-smoking establishment,” and cap that fool!
A: FINISH HIM!
Voting on Part Six is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!