Hellhound on My Trail

Hellhound on My Trail by D. J. Butler

Book: Hellhound on My Trail by D. J. Butler Read Free Book Online
Authors: D. J. Butler
might have bristled a little. “Oh, no. No human being has been able to speak or understand the Primals for thousands of years. Not since the Tower of Babel. We’re not capable of it, not since we were cursed.”
    “Nor are we ,” Twitch added. “For entirely different reasons.”
    “We?” Mike fumbled. “Who’s we ?”
    “As for what this place is,” Eddie said, “this is the place we came looking for. This is Dudael.” He cleared his throat and spoke again in his recitative chanting voice. “And the Lord said to Raphael: bind Azazel hand and foot and throw him into the darkness! And he made a hole in the desert which was in Dudael and cast him there; he threw on top of him rugged and sharp rocks. And he covered his face in order that he may not see light; and in order that he may be sent into the fire on the great day of judgment.”
    “That in the Bible again?” Mike asked. He remembered Adrian had said that Azazel was Satan.
    “Nah,” Eddie said, “but it should be.”
    Mike looked up at the overhanging stone, so vast that the super-kiva was almost inside a cave. “That’s a rugged rock,” he agreed, “and I guess the sun hasn’t ever shone inside here.” Then he made another connection. “Raphael!”
    “A good sign,” the boy chirped. He wouldn’t meet Mike’s eyes and just stood there with his hands in his pockets. Well, no wonder, the poor kid was certainly having the worst day of his life, worse than anything he could ever have imagined.
    Like the day Chuy died had been, for Mike.
    Then another thought occurred to him and he jumped back from the brick building. “But—Satan! Azazel!”
    Eddie chuckled. “Don’t worry, His Lowness broke out of this particular hoosegow ages ago.”
    “So it’s safe?”
    “Oh, hell no. But you’re not going to meet Satan today.”
    From back inside the labyrinth, Mike heard the roar of the Hellhound and the bellow of the Baal Zavuv. They sounded closer than before.
    “Unless you die,” Adrian added. “You do, after all, have the Hand on you.”
    “Thanks,” Mike said, and shuddered. “That’s cheerful.”
    “That’s our Adrian,” Twitch grinned. “A little ray of sunshine. Et cetera.”
    Mike almost chuckled at Twitch’s jab. “Now what?” he asked.
    “Now,” Eddie told him, “you help us look for a bit of hoof.”
    “Like a horse’s hoof?” Mike looked at Twitch, without meaning to.
    “More like a goat’s,” Eddie said. “A really big goat.”
    Adrian looked up at the overhang, pressing the little glass lens to his eye. “No, there are plenty of wards on the stone here, but they’re all broken. We’re on a fool’s errand. If it was here, just lying in the sand, Satan would have found it long ago.”
    “Unless there’s some other reason Lucifer can’t see it.” Eddie ambled off, scanning the ground.
    “I don’t get it,” Mike said. He stumbled after Eddie, and the boy Rafael trailed in his wake. Eddie moved slowly around the base of the building, shining his light on the sand and scuffing at it with the toe of his boot. Behind the building, in Eddie’s light, Mike now saw that the water trickling down the back of the overhang gathered into a channel, lined with brick, and flowed into a hole in the wall of the kiva. Mike thought hard as he walked, trying to stitch the pieces together in his mind. “It can’t be a real goat’s hoof. Are you telling me that we’re here looking for a piece of Satan ?”
    “In fact, I don’t think I did tell you that,” Eddie said. “But it’s still true. I’m glad you’re paying attention. You’re much more likely to survive if you do.”
    “Huevos.”
    “Pretty much.”
    Rafi closed in behind Mike and grabbed his free hand. “But … how long has it been here?” Mike asked. “How … how do you know it’s here? How … how…?”
    Eddie continued moving and examining the ground. The super-kiva, Mike realized as he stood directly under it, was much bigger than he

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