A Slaughter of Angels

1 September 2022

Even with the blood of an angel, I don't have a prayer!

Chapter One

Rian MacCaren here, owner and PI at the Midnight Agency. Most of the cases I took required the graveyard shift, but who needed sleep anyway? Living the angel life wasn’t easy, and being half-angel wasn’t any easier. I would like to think there would be more ups, but these days, my chosen vocation had proven that more downs were in order.

Sometimes life would throw me a curveball, leaving me wondering what the fuck just happened. Those days ended up with me either getting shot at, stabbed, or both. If it was a good day, I would use my mastery of kung fu to fend off the bad guys. By kung fu, I mean kicking and punching like my life depended on it—no skill—hoping I connected.

Then there were days where I had to see a client. They didn’t always come to me; apparently, going to a private investigator’s office late at night was creepy. Driving down the highway to a strip club was normally my idea of a good time—unless it was for work. There was something about the thought of doing business in a strip club that ruined the hypnotic effect of the dancers who gyrated for crumpled-up dollar bills. It was business I should just ignore, but I needed the money. And you couldn’t run a private investigation agency without a client to bring in the money. It was a vicious cycle, and it seemed all I did was travel in circles. A broke, poor-ass excuse for an investigator. Off to the club. That’s somewhere in my circle, right?

“This shit had better pay.” I drove while talking to myself. “Why can’t people meet me at a diner or somewhere with food? I should’ve eaten dinner. Oh, that’s right, I’m broke. If it came down to a free lap dance or food, that stripper better bring me a cheeseburger.”

The Bible called me a Nephilim, born of a human mother with an angel for a father. Sounds exciting, but it came with more problems than anything else. You couldn’t tell except for the odd sigils I bore on my wrists, which burned almost like Spidey-sense whenever I was in real trouble.

To most people, they looked like tattoos, so I could easily explain them away. But now and then I came across someone who recognized them. The Catholic Church branded me an abomination to humanity. There was once a Pentecostal minister that called me by my true name. Of course, he pointed and started speaking in tongues, which riled up the whole congregation into speaking in tongues.

Why I went to church was beyond me at times. It was a love-hate relationship: I love to go, honestly, but I’d hate myself for the guilt I’d feel while I was there. Good old Catholic guilt. I would stick with going to mass on occasion just to annoy the church and let them know I was there. I don’t do communion, though. That would prove to be too much for the congregation and me. Let’s just say it was complicated.

“I have a feeling this case is going to cause me a lot of problems. Just what I need, more complications in my life. I need a drink.” I know no one would hear me, but I’d heard talking to oneself was a sign of genius. If so, then I was truly gifted.

Baby J’s was a dark and trendy nightclub on the north side of town, catering to the forgotten or ignored part of society. The kind that goes bump in the night along with those that bump back. Anyone or anything not one hundred percent human has frequented the joint.

On occasion, even a few humans have stumbled in, and they always got more than they bargained for. The club’s owner took care of all the needs of her clients, even those that were human. Everyone was equal under her roof. She enforced it regularly to the point that most played nice. For those that didn’t, there were a few bouncers big enough to take care of the problem. If the owner came down to take care of it? That would be one less problem—or a missing person case that would forever be unsolved.

“This looks like the kind of place that would require a cross, holy water, and an STD test upon leaving. Just what this world needs, were-herpes. They only come out on the night of a full moon.” I laughed to myself.

On the outside, Baby J’s looked like an abandoned warehouse next to an unused car wash. The only indication was the flashing pink neon sign that proudly proclaimed Baby J’s in all its ambient glory. The sign stuck out like a bloodstain on a white sheet as I pulled my beaten-down Dodge Charger into the parking lot.

My spare tire—that I had yet to get replaced—bounced heavily over the ludicrous number of holes in the lot. The sound of eighties hair band music played from my car in sharp contrast to the DJ’s beats pouring out of the door. Its pounding rhythm resonated hard and fast as I pictured half-naked women sliding around a greased pole to an audience of old perverted men wearing pants stuffed with Kleenex and their hands.

A small line of people—men and women alike—waited alongside a velvet rope in hopes of gaining entrance to this very particular strip club. I could almost smell the desperation and loneliness that radiated from them. It felt like I was staring at the end product of a bad cologne commercial.

Sometimes, it was best just to go home and not go out. After seeing these people in line, I would stay home. Most of the men and women waiting to get inside were human. A few might have something else running through their veins, but I doubt they knew what it was. The bouncer at the door stared them down and flexed enough muscle to get a gig promoting steroids and shrinking testicles while he made them wait.

“Can this get any more pathetic?” I turned the car off.

This better be interesting. I could be home, watching a Netflix marathon. Getting out of the Charger, I tucked my stainless-steel Sig Sauer .45 pistol into the back of my pants, grabbed my ID, and walked straight toward the bouncer. My black button-up shirt hung loosely over my otherwise semi-tight jeans. My shirt had a large cross sewn into the back with a thread of pure silver.

Something had to watch my six; sometimes, the baddies didn’t give you a chance to defend yourself. And they don’t always warn you that they’re coming, either. I rolled my sleeves up and gave a rock a kick with my black steel-toed boots.

Proper footgear was perfect for my profession because a full forced kick to the face sometimes delayed the bad guy from doing anything (sometimes, it pissed them off). An iron cross hung as a belt buckle, and behind it, a small vial of holy water. I didn’t plan on running into vampires, but you never knew when someone would need a blessing.

Be prepared—at least the Boy Scouts taught me something besides how to start fires. The cross around my neck grew warm against my upper chest. Hopefully, it wouldn’t get too hot. I couldn’t afford the embarrassment of it catching my chest hair on fire. Plus, I had enough hair gel in my faux hawk to ignite and burn it to ashes within seconds.

I should cut down on the self-pampering, but I was feeling frisky and looking damn good, too. Even a bar fight sounded good. Of course, I was a cowboy hat away from looking like I just walked out of a Depeche Mode video.

“Let’s see how much of a charming personality I have,” I muttered to myself and forced a smile.

I hated it, but I doubted a resting bitch face was going to enamor me to the bouncer and let me in. “Yay, fun times. Someone kill me.”

Smirking, I approached the bouncer and flashed my ID. He tensed up, almost like he knew the thoughts going through my head. Of course, fighting the guy would be an exercise in pleasure and pain: his pleasure in beating my ass to a pulp, and my pain in taking it like a little bitch. But my client told me to behave; they were specific about that. After the bouncer snatched the ID from my hand, it hit me that the guy was even bigger than I realized. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the veins in his arm were bigger than my wrist. I had a random visual of the bouncer in a suit and tie at two a.m. on an infomercial promoting Stero-Life: Enhance the Muscle. Enhance the Rage. With a little blip by an announcer saying, “May cause rage-inducing hormones due to the shrinking of your manhood. Not sold in stores.”

He handed my ID back to me. Either he couldn’t read it, or he could and decided he didn’t like me. I was going with both. Oh well, so much for Friends Forever. Guess we wouldn’t be throwing each other bachelor parties anytime soon.

Unhooking the velvet rope, I slid past him with the sounds of angry and whiny complaints from the people in line in my ears. I raised my left hand with the middle finger extended. Eat me, bitches. Everyone wished they could be Rian tonight, but being Rian belonged to me and only me. My life was too much for others to handle. It was even too much for me at times. I opened the door to the club. “Let’s get this party started.”

Thanks for reading Chapter One of A Slaughter of Angels. If you want to read the whole story, follow the link and get taken directly to Amazon to download it. Available on Kindle Unlimited!

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