Tales from the Crypt - Demon Knight

Tales from the Crypt - Demon Knight by Randall Boyll

Book: Tales from the Crypt - Demon Knight by Randall Boyll Read Free Book Online
Authors: Randall Boyll
traveling to exotic places when she was off parole.
    He went out and closed the door. Number Six had to belong to that little Wally guy, Brayker assumed. In the ghostly light, he could see that the walls were hung with post office memorabilia: a poster of the official USPS eagle printed on slick paper, more posters showing various collector’s stamps now available, and at the foot of the bed, samples of variously sized mailing bags and boxes stapled to the walls along with official tags of their prices. Brayker gave a mental shrug—to each his own, eh?—and sealed the window.
    Room Five was the one Irene had assigned to him, though he knew now that he would never sleep in it. He tarried at the window for a bit, looking out at the sodden world. There were roads out there that would take a man anyplace he chose to go; there were jobs to be gotten, apartments to be rented, ten thousand different places to hide for a while. But only a while. In time the Salesman would burst back into his life and send him hightailing it down the road again, Brayker the eternal stranger in another strange town.
    He moved on. Cordelia’s room was in shambles; Brayker decided that Roach was into a lot of romp-and-stomp lovemaking. The smell of sweat was still strong here: Roach was a hard worker, too. Brayker sealed the window, trying to remember the last time he had been with a woman in the same bed. Years? Decades? Never?
    Such things were trivial, anyway. He never stayed in one place long enough to make friends of any kind, and even if he did, the Salesman would make sure that everyone he cared for died in some new and inventive fashion. Life on the run was a lonely life, but the only life he knew.
    As he was sealing each separate doorway, he heard shouting going on outside the house. With an internal sigh he hurried down the stairs, taking them three at a time. At the landing he could see that the front door was open, that the noise was just beyond it. He had the key still in his hand; a quick check showed that there was still enough blood inside the orb to do quite a bit of damage.
    At the open door he looked outside. Roach was involved in a wrestling match with one of the Salesman’s uglier associates, this one lumped and warty with a face full of tendrils like a catfish. Cordelia still had her rolling pin and was attempting to clobber the thing into the ground while Irene, a few steps away in the parking area, pounded the windows of Roach’s VW bug with her fists. Apparently Roach had locked it up when he got here, which he inconveniently forgot. Of the three men from the second team, not one was around. Killed and dragged away? Very likely.
    “Get him offa me!” Roach shrieked. “Cordy! Hit him in the eyes!”
    Cordelia shifted, and swung the rolling pin like a bat, her face shiny in the rain, her hair drooping in miscolored strings. This swing sent the rolling pin’s unused handle across the demon’s right eye, tearing it open. White stuff belched out; Cordelia skittered backwards to avoid it.
    The distraction gave Roach enough time to twist away from the creature’s grip. He stumbled directly into Cordelia’s arms. “Keep it away from me!” he shouted, panting like an overworked jogger as he turned her in a half-circle and dropped to his knees behind her. “Cordy, save me!”
    She bent, took his head in her hands, and pressed her lips to his. The demon, now short one eyeball, shambled over and spread its arms, ready to capture them both.
    “Behind you!” Brayker shouted.
    Roach shot to his feet. His eyes were huge, his lips twisted in a leer of terror. As Brayker watched, he shoved Cordelia against the demon and scurried away, slipping and skating on the short stretch of grass between the parking lot and the Mission Inn’s front steps.
    “Give me the gun!” Brayker barked at him.
    Roach staggered past him. “In the grass someplace. Someplace in the grass. Someplace. Someplace . . .”
    He vanished inside. Now Cordelia

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