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Written By: Jordan Ray Little.
Edited and Formatted by: Angel Editing
Cover Art By: Andra Badea
Check out more of Andra Badeas work at
Dedicated to the loving memory of my uncle Bobby
The only sounds that could be heard in the bedroom were the sounds of the crackling fire eating away at the few shards of kindling that had been tossed inside the fireplace, so precariously. That fire was also the only light in the small room and it caused strange shadows to be cast across the stone floors and walls.
Laurel was the only one in that room, and she was standing in front of a large mirror looking herself over. Her father, who was the ruler of this place, had called her and her brothers into the back chambers for a meeting. This wasnt the first time Laurel had been called to a meeting, but she always liked to look her best when she saw her father especially when it concerned official business.
Laurel was a beautiful woman who stood exactly four feet tall. She had dark brown eyes, bright red hair with black streaks in it and pointed ears that hid behind the locks of hair. Small rounded shoulders and ample breasts made up the rest of her appearance. To most, she seemed to be a normal girl, excluding her ears, but to her brothers she was something much more.
Her fathers name was Sin, and he had created her himself. She didnt have a mother since he birthed her from the pits of the tower, which also went by a different name.
Most think of hell as a fiery pit, but in truth, it was a tower that never ended. The first thirty floors were for Laurel, her father and her brothers to live in. The next hundred or so were dedicated to the demons her father created. Those demons were created differently than Laurel and her brothers. These were created from the dark flames that resided deep within her fathers core.
And finally, the rest of the tower was for those lost souls that lived on earth or other worlds her father ruled under.
Because her father created Laurel and her brothers from the pits of hell it meant they had no actual mother, so each of them looked different. Laurel was the only natural redhead in her family, the black streaks were just hair dye, she was the only one with pointed ears, and she was the shortest out of all of them. The oldest of her brothers, Hayden, was the only one who stood six feet tall, and had silver hair. While her brother Lee, who amongst the boys was the shortest, standing only five feet tall, he also had a gut on him.
Laurel had just reached her five-hundredth birthday last week. Her father and all twelve of her brothers each gave her plenty of gifts, but she always wanted something more. Often her brothers traveled from the tower to the earths surface, but they always left her behind. It didnt seem to matter how much she begged and pleaded with them to take her along, they never did. She was the youngest in her family.
It wasnt like the gifts she had received werent good. Some of her brothers went to worlds where they had devices called cameras. They got her a few of those because they knew she loved taking photos. Once, one of her brothers, whose name was Al, brought back a camera from one of his visits to the surface. He let her have it to make up for not taking her with him. The first time she took pictures, she learned how to develop them. She fell in love with the whole process and often asked for more cameras, and more developing fluids. She had a room she used to develop film. Her favorite camera didnt use traditional film at all; instead she had to use something called a computer to retrieve the photos she took, and a printer in order to develop them.
The last of her gifts were more a guilty pleasure. They consisted of chains, and leather straps. She wasnt sure what it was about rendering someone helpless, but it seemed like such a beautiful thing to her.
Laurel looked at herself once more in the mirror and saw that she looked fine. She wore a black, short-sleeved t-shirt, with matching gloves and a skirt. Around her right wrist was a leather strap that had a few chains dangling from it. Turning to her four-poster bed she sat on its edge and slipped socks onto her bare feet, and then slid them into a pair of black leather boots.
Zipping them up, she waited impatiently for one of her brothers to arrive to escort her to the back chamber. It wasnt that she couldnt make it there herself, she just liked to be treated like a lady.
Crossing her legs, she watched the door as though she were waiting for it to move. Come on
she said, kicking her foot in the air. She waited a grand total of thirty seconds before jumping to her feet and heading to the door. Poking her head out into the hall, she looked left and right trying to see if any of her brothers had passed by, but the hall was empty of all life. Great
Laurel muttered. It was the first time she would go unescorted to a meeting.
Dragging her feet, Laurel headed left into the hallway after closing her door behind her. As she walked, she could hear the disenchanted wails of lost souls who found themselves in hell. The sound was disheartening, but Laurel had grown used to it at a young age. She had to in order to live in the tower.
Finally, the girl made it to the back chamber and saw that her brothers had already arrived. Sighing deeply she headed inside. The chamber was huge and had many support pillars that ran along the sides of the room. On the other side of the chamber was a giant throne where her father often conducted matters of business. Thankfully, the throne was empty meaning she wasnt late.
All her brothers were standing around talking amongst themselves. One of her brothers, Harry, was by himself though. He was one thousand, five hundred and twenty-six years old. He had long flowing, brunette hair, and dark brown eyes. He stood five feet, two inches tall.
Another of her brothers, James was one thousand, four hundred and seventy-two years old. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and was only a few inches short of being six feet tall.
Gene was one thousand and twenty-six years old; he was bald-headed, and looked like a wall of muscles. Casey was one thousand, one hundred and seventy years old, and had black hair, and dark brown eyes. Adam was one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-seven years old, he too was baldheaded, but was nowhere near as strong as Gene was.
Near the left side of the chamber was Sean who was one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight years old, he had blond hair, blue eyes and stood five feet, six inches tall. And King, who was one thousand, one hundred and fifteen years old. Even though there was a significant difference in Seans and Kings age, they were both twins.
Lee was sitting on the ground looking up at the ceiling. He was chubby and he had black hair that was cut short and dark brown eyes.
About time, said Jacob, who was one thousand and twenty-two years old. He had dark brown hair, dark eyes, and stood an entire foot taller than she did. He stood next to Laurels other brothers James, Gene, and Casey.
Laurel narrowed her eyes at him, Nobody came and got me, she complained. Besides, Im not late!
You have to learn to escort yourself here, came the voice of her brother King. He had blond hair, and bright blue eyes, and stood just under six feet tall.
No way! You guys should treat me better than this! Laurel said, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
Really? said her brother Al, who was the youngest of her brothers. He was one thousand and two years old. He had dark brown eyes, and long black hair that fell to his shoulders. He stood three inches taller than Laurel.
Laurel saw the glint of malice flash in her brothers eyes, which usually meant they were about to pull some terrible prank on her. Laurel often found herself the target of most of her brothers ruthless pranks. Al was the worse of them all. Laurel quickly scanned their faces and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her oldest brother, Hayden, leaning against a support pillar where a stone gargoyle was located high above his head. Hayden had never once pulled a prank on her, and often protected her from her other brothers. Laurel ran to him and wrapped her arms around his arm and dragged him away from the pillar.
Hey, he complained.
Beat them up! she ordered.
Hayden pulled his arm away. Ok guys, he said, looking from his baby sister to his brothers. Lets leave her alone. You know better than to pick on such a little thing. And with that, he patted her on top of the head.
Laurel shooed his hand away and grumbled as her brothers laughed. You should protect me better! she said, looking hard in his eyes.
What? Youre saying Im not doing a good job? he asked.
maybe you are, she said, kicking her feet.
Hayden patted her head again, but this time she allowed it. She knew her brothers werent really trying to be mean to her, but often she wished they would treat her like she belonged there. It wasnt easy being the only girl in a family of twelve boys, and being the youngest to boot.
Dont let it get to you, Hayden said, as though he could read her troubled mind. Ill tell you what, if theres ever a moment you dont think Im taking really good care of you, Ill let you punch me. Deal?
Laurel smiled, Deal!
Suddenly, the chamber shook and dust from the ceiling started raining down on the heads of everyone. The brothers made their way to the middle of the chamber leaving Laurel alone. From the right of the massive throne a giant appeared. The giant stood over thirty-feet tall. It was garbed in a black robe that seemed to morph into heavy iron armor. The armor, like the robe, was black as coal. The giant also wore a heavy helmet on his head that hid his face. Laurel knew this giant, it was her father.
Excuse me! Laurel said, as she pushed herself through the mob of brothers and made her way to the front. Just as she made it to the front, she felt hands clasp down on her shoulders. Looking up, she saw her brother Hayden smiling down at her.
Are we ready? said a booming voice. Laurel swallowed hard and looked up at her father. The giant was staring down at her.
Sorry, Daddy, Laurel said, kicking her feet.
Were ready, said Hayden. He squeezed Laurels shoulders.
Very well, said her father, he took a seat in his throne and looked down at his children. As we all know, this is a very special time. My daughter, your sister, recently reached her five-hundredth year of life. She has become a fine devil and we should all be proud.
Laurel blushed. As much as she liked being the focus of everyones attention, she couldnt help but feel a little embarrassed.
I know, often you wondered why your brothers left you behind when they traveled to earth. It was for your own protection. They traveled to earth on official business for me. Though Im sure some of them told you differently, he said, looking up at his sons. A few looked away, scratching the back of their heads nervously. Even though his face was hidden, everyone who stood in front of him couldnt help but feel his eyes underneath the helmet were starring at them. As her father was about to continue, he lifted his right hand to his head. Ugh
Daddy? Whats wrong? Laurel asked. She knew that her father was dying; he had said so a hundred years ago. They just didnt think it was going to happen so soon. When he lowered his head, he looked towards the entrance he had come through. A squat elf that stood only three feet tall appeared. He wore a dark gray robe, had pointed ears, and carried a long wooden staff in his hands.
Im fine Laurel, he said. Let him continue for me. And with that, he rested his head on the side of his throne and fell asleep. Laurel looked sad. She hated the fact that her father was in so much pain, and wondered what she could do to make him better.
Laurels mind was torn away when she heard someone yelp out in pain. Turning, she saw the elf had bopped her brother King on his forehead. King rubbed it painfully. What was that for? he asked.
I saw you werent paying attention to your father! Too busy talking about women you were! he shouted, and bopped him again with his staff, but this time the staff hit his hand. King shook it painfully, and scowled at the elf as he moved on to the next brother.
The elf was Sins advisor, and often did most of the research. He was normally a coward by himself, and would often run if caught alone in the hallway with any of her brothers, but not Laurel. The elf gathered all the courage he needed from Sin, even when his master was unconscious.
The elf continued down the rows of brothers and bopped each one on the head with his staff; sometimes he would bop them more than once. This was how he taught lessons, and often that lesson was received with foul language and rude gestures. Finally, the elf stood in front of Laurel, and Hayden, who still had his hands on the devil girls shoulders. Laurel backed up into her older brother looking frightful at the small elf and his wooden staff. Even though the elf was tiny, he had great power.
The elf lifted his staff over his head and brought it down sharply. Laurel closed her eyes waiting for the sting of the staff when she felt something touch her head. At first Laurel didnt know what it was. Opening her eyes in trepidation, she saw that Haydens hands were no longer on her shoulders. Instead, one of his hands was resting on top of her head. He had cushioned the blow.
How dare you! the elf shouted.
How dare I? Hayden said, as he moved Laurel out of the way and stood in front of the elf. His hands were clenched into fists. Why dont you try that on me? Hayden wasnt gambling either. Out of all her brothers, it was Hayden the elf feared greatly. Even though he had enough courage to confront Hayden, the elf still lacked enough courage to actually hit him. The elf turned towards Sin hoping he had awakened, but his head was still leaning against his throne.
The elf backed away a few meters before continuing. Anyway, I only have business with Laurel. The rest of you can go, the elf said. Hayden turned back to Laurel and smiled.
Dont worry, he said when he saw that his baby sister was afraid to be left alone with the elf. And with that, he and the rest of her brothers left the back chamber. Laurel was alone now with the elf, and her sleeping father.
What do you want with me? Laurel asked, looking hard at the elf.
What do you mean? the elf asked, grinning. He walked over to Laurel and before the devil girl could say anything, she was bopped on top of her head with the staff.
Ouch! she complained, tears welling up in her eyes. Why do you do that? she demanded. The elf didnt reply.
Follow me princess, he ordered, and he started to walk past Sins throne into the chamber he had just left. Laurel reluctantly followed. As your father was saying before. He kept your brothers from taking you to earth because you were too young. Now that you are five hundred years old, you are able to go there, the elf said, over his shoulder.
Really? Laurel said excitement creeping into her voice.
Dont get too excited princess, the elf said, he turned a little and laughed. Youre going there by yourself.