(Quite honestly, I haven't got the slightest fucking idea what Davey's up to. The little fucker's losing his shit, I believe. As always, enjoy!)


Me and the Sheik, we’ve got guns and grenades, clips full greasy 9mm bullets tucked into our belts. We’ve got three-foot long combat knives, matte black, serrated, sharp enough castrate gnats. We’ve got body armor that’ll shrug off howitzer shells, helmets with built-in infrared, ultraviolet and echolocation. We’ve got portable fire, plastic ball bearings filled with napalm & plastique. We’ve got atv’s with .50 machine guns mounted on the fenders and engines that’ll drive us to 120 mph in the dirt.

Me and the Sheik, we’ve got manic grins on our faces, white teeth flashing in the dark. We’ve got twitchy fingers on hair triggers. The Sheik’s got his shades and I’ve got an eyelid that just won’t stop twitching. We’ve both got that crazy eyeball music. We’ve got flexed muscles, compressed tendons, adrenal glands stuck wide open. I’m sweating pure cold. The Sheik is jumping ten feet in the air, firing rounds into the clouds. We mount up, twist our throttles, bounce off into the dunes, smashing cacti flat and slamming the skidplates against half-buried rocks.

The demons are playing tonight. Torturing lost souls. They’ve got catapults and trebuchets and giant air cannons and they’re stuffing screaming old grandmas and cursing heroin addicts and priests hollering out The Lord’s Prayer into the breeches and the slings. Giggling, the demons throw levers and pull the pins on counterweights and those poor bastard souls go screeching across the night, flailing, screaming, their arms flapping like they think they can just take off, perfect arcs of absolute fear and misery and pain that end with a flat thud against a cliff face a thousand feet high that’s stained black with the impacted blood and bone and skin of a million miserable wretches.

Me and the Sheik, we pull up on a butte behind them, action movie shit, tumbling off the atv’s before they’ve stopped, unship our rifles, flick the safeties, take our aim. The Sheik hits the first, an incendiary shell catching a weeping girl in her stomach. A plume of smoke, a gout of flame and she becomes a comet, nothing left to hit the cliff but a crumbling ball of ash and boiling fat. I’m right behind him, an old man, paunchy & white & hairy, get him in the chest with an RPG and he explodes into a thousand bits of gristle and bone ten stories over the desert.

The demons keep going, loading up, firing off, talons stifling the screams and the prayers and the curses, laughing like kids at Disneyland. They dump oil on the sand and light bonfires and dance in the flick of shadows and orange smoke. The damned souls struggle on their traplines, stuck fast with spider silk and ancient curses, gnawing at their hands and feet trying to get free. They never make it. Teeth breaks on bones, open wounds flowing, the demons sliding all over them, licking, biting, tearing loose chunks of dirty flesh, ripping open stomachs and sucking down intestines and the screams, man, the screams are getting to me. It’s too, too fucking much and I drop my sights and flick over to the particle beam and center in on a pair of demon jaws wrapped around the liver of some puking kid and I squeeze and that sinewy red head explodes like pumpkin loaded with an M-80 and, shit, every demon head is suddenly pointed our way.

“Jeez, Davey.” The Sheik swings his grin at me. “You’re really itching for it tonight, aren’t you?”

And there’s this swell of oily red skin careening across the desert, arrowing in on us like heatseeking missiles. The Sheik tosses his rifle over his shoulder, gets out a pistol the size of a hair dryer, pulls out his knife and they’re on us. Like being at the bottom of the pigpile when you’re playing Kill the Carrier. I’m flat on my back, nothing but black through my faceplate, demons punching me with all their might, demons trying to slide their talons between the plates of my armor, demons hissing and spitting acid and ripping each other to shreds trying to get to me.

But the armor, it’s strong, makes me strong. I’m punching and kicking, my boots are sinking into their bodies, my fists are going right through them. I lash out, my fingers sinking into skulls, burrowing into chests. The demons, they scream like animals, scream like pigs getting hung up to be bled. They scream and claw and hiss and I break open the napalm and they blaze alight, their oily skin catching fire like seasoned hardwood. And they’re still trying to get to me, but they’re dying as they screech at me, legs burned off, arms melted to stumps, eyes boiled away. Nothing but torsos with teeth coming at me and I’m back on my feet, whipping my knife through throats, plunging it into hearts. The demons are collapsing as fast as I can get to them, faster, the fire spreading through them, a stumbling, screaming mobile funeral pyre, they die as they try to leap through the flames at me. I kneel and clean my knife on the sand as the last of them crawl towards me, melting, screaming, jaws wide, rows and rows of fangs cracking and shattering as flames run over their bodies.

And that’s it. The ones touched by flame are dead, the rest running across the desert, as fast as water down the drain, screaming and kicking up sand and heading back to the hideyholes in the caverns outside of town. The bodies of the left behind are dwindling to nothing but smears of grease and the occasional bit of stolen jewelry. I get my knife as clean as I can on the sand and get to my feet and the Sheik’s standing there, grinning. I sheath my knife.

“Fucking beautiful, man.” He walks over and claps me on the back. “Killing demons with fire? That’s just fucking awesome. The irony is just…fuck, I dunno. That’s total Oscar, man.”

I flip my helmet open and unbuckle the straps and toss it to the ground. The air smells like rotten eggs and burned meat. I fuck with the buckle on my holsters and get it off, my guns thumping into the sand. I start flipping the catches on my armor. I’m nothing but one big itch. I want to get naked and throw myself into a tub of icewater. Sweat’s dripping from the stubble on my head. I don’t want to puke, don’t want to cry or scream or punch the Sheik in his smile. I’m dried out inside. Husked and empty and dead behind the eyes.

The Sheik’s got his arm around my shoulder, he’s laughing and talking and pulling me along the sand. There’s a tent on the desert now, something the Sheik put together for me, a portable party, and I can hear heavy metal and the pop of corks and clinking beer bottles. A couple of titty girls are striding towards us, all long legs and microscopic bikinis, holding bottles of Dom Perignon.

The Sheik’s whispering in my ear, “Party time, man. That was just fucking AWESOME…” and I’m shaking him off, walking away, can picture him behind me, just standing there as the titty girls descend on him with wet kisses and cold champagne and I’m flinging pieces of my armor off, dropping them in the sand. My atv’s where it rolled to a stop, the engine idling. I mount up, swing around, twist up the throttle and hang on, straight across the desert, heading for Mags.


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