Sin High © 2016 Nicole Tillman
Two men stood alone in a field.
Back to back, they bathed in moonlight and filled their lungs with fresh air for the first time in centuries.
“A solar eclipse,” one snarled. “How many of those have you seen? How many have been painted by your own hand?”
On a deep sigh, the opposing man answered, “Not nearly enough.”
Shadowed eyes narrowed, honing in on a predator at the treeline, stalking through the darkness as it tracked its prey. “Go back to your throne, old man.”
“A total solar eclipse.” The whispered words traveled on the breeze as one pale finger pointed to the sky, ignoring his dark counterpart. “Coinciding with planetary alignment. Beautiful… When was the last time that happened?”
A huff. A roll of the eyes.
“Is that meant to be a rhetorical question? Because I’m sure you know the answer.”
Lips curled up in a smile.
Turning, the taller of the two men leaned in close, his rancid breath spilling from his lips. “It’s not even a true planetary alignment,” he said, teeth bared. “Thirty degrees. Thirty degrees from perfection, you amateur.”
Blue eyes flashed angrily under the light of the moon and a million stars twinkled as they trembled before their maker.
With clenched fists, the man who rose from the flesh of the earth flung his arms open wide.
“No? I’m not leaving this place. Not without a fight.”
Sad blue eyes closed with the shake of a head.
“Of course you’re not.”
Bracing himself for the expulsion he knew was inevitable, the green-eyed man rolled his shoulders back and planted his feet.
“What will it take for you to give me a chance? To prove that I’m not nearly as evil as you think I am?”
He knew he couldn’t stay. He had no right to bear witness to the rare phenomenon. No right at all.
“But you are. You’re as evil as all the legends warn,” his nemesis said, lifting his chin in arrogant omnipotence. “But I am merciful. And forgiving.”
Dark, tousled hair ruffled in the breeze as a beat of silence played out between their bodies.
After a deep breath and a stern smile, playful blue eyes glimmered with mischief.
“I propose a bet,” the man’s deep voice bellowed with pride. “Pick your players. Pick your game. Winner gets this.” Strong arms stretched out, showcasing the empty cotton field where they stood; a place that vibrated with mystical energy that called to them both. “No rules. Best man wins.”
Cold, green eyes narrowed suspiciously.
“Are you mocking me, Father?”
His creator took a step back, until their vessels were a safe distance apart. Both bodies in the prime of their lives. Both owners now dead inside, never to breathe on their own again.
“No, son. I am not mocking you.”
His father presented his hand, but Lucifer eyed it with disdain.
The slap of their hands echoed throughout the field as lightning struck above their heads and the soil beneath their feet quivered with fear. The wind whipped around their bodies, carrying them away to their respective kingdoms, and when the din settled down, the field stood empty once again.
The next morning, when the sun broke powerfully through the horizon, it reached out with its rays, sealing the fate of that one small town, along with the fate of one young, unsuspecting girl.
The world’s new savior.