Readers Gazette Short Stories


Short Story Gunner: Dominion of the Worms

Gunner: Dominion of the Worms by John Pirillo Fantasy short story

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“A To Hell and Back Story”

It is said that for every child that is born, at least six more go to heaven. I don't know if that's true or not. Guess it depends on which person, culture or community you're living in. What they believe to be true.


Truth is like silly putty; it can be molded pretty much anyway we want it to go. Maybe that's how politicians justify squirming out of the truth so often. Just a little twist here, a little pull there and it's still the truth, but not as recognizable, and maybe even more palatable to the masses they intend to deceive.


He sighed to himself as he polished his AT-gun. It was the newest model. Straight from headquarters. Which means he had built it himself. His name was Gunner. He could be one mean sonuva you know what when action called for it, but he preferred being out in the fields, laying in the meadows of daisies and peonies as they blossomed in spring. But then it wasn't always spring, and when it wasn't he was in his sub basement.


Yeah. Right. A basement for his friends and neighbors and the government, and a sub basement for him and his fellow warriors. Their job: Kill demons. Their life: Kill demons.


Least that seems like what it was these days.


He sighed again. He hadn't had much time of late to socialize with the neighbors next door. Their daughter Elena was a knockout with a mind that could put one of his AT-guns together with her eyes shut. Not that he would ever give her one to play with. He was more interested in seeing how she could manipulate his puckered lips, than his killing machines.


He sighed yet once more. Good thing no one was watching, or they might have thought him a pansy or a loser because of the melancholy he was going through at that moment. Not the kind that leads to suicidal thoughts. Never that. He loved life. That's why he had made it his job to kill demons. They hated life and everything about it, because they could never, ever really be a part of it. The Creator had not made them that way, they had chosen that dark path and a million others so they wouldn't have to be responsible for their actions.


Demons weren't monsters. They were people who had died and instead of going to heaven, chose to stay on earth and make it miserable for those who still had a real, living, breathing body. No, they weren't demons in the classical sense, though over time because of their darker natures, they started to resemble the very things that would have frightened them to death when they were alive.


They were just lost souls who had chosen to use the energy of Creation to bend to their selfish ways and over time had become further and further corrupted. You might ask yourself, he had many times, why God allowed them. Because He hoped that one day they would turn back to the path of Creation and not destruction.


Meanwhile, Gunner and his commandoes put to right the wrongs those misguided souls created and set them back on their merry way to God. Usually screaming and cursing, because it meant they had to finally face what they had done and been doing with their lives. It wasn't a pretty picture watching them go. But it was a job that had to be done.


Oh, and in case you're wondering. There is a hell. Earth. And about another infinite versions of it, made up by the lost souls who demonized their lives.


He and his fellow commandoes journeyed to those hells in search of victims of these perverted creatures to save them, to give them another chance at life.


It had all started when their boss had lost his daughter to a Head Honcho Demon, then branched out into a more general service of righting demon work everywhere. There was so much of it. It appeared endless sometimes, but then it would, since so many people who crossed over, refused to go into the Light and into the true Creation and thus remained earthbound and eventually hell bound because of their dark motives.


Gunner didn't have any problem working with the souls who were just plain confused and lost. Those souls could usually be nudged back onto the path with a little patience and guidance. No, it was the mean ones. The nasty ones. The hateful ones who didn't like humans even when they were alive: the terrorists, the crazy gangbangers, the serial killers, the crooked politicians, the deceitful maniacs who perverted wealth and power to control and manipulate others. Those were the ones who opted out to become demons.


Yeah. Sometimes they just sighed up; straight and front. I want to be a demon they realized as they crossed over and saw the faces of past friends who had chosen to go t hat way, even though their friends no longer had the bodies of normal humans any longer.


Gunner stood up and stretched. He gazed at his arsenal a moment, taking in the double bladed knife he usually sheathed on his right hip, the slim gun with rapid firing magnesium pellets that could melt an ice demon, the looper, which cast thin wire that rapidly garroted any creature luckless enough to catch it around its neck or necks.


Mostly, they didn't use exotic weapons. It was his job to come up with them, because there were special circumstances, special demons that only one kind of weapon or another could send them off the planet and back in the direction where they should be.


He never asked where the dead demons went, but his silent comrade, the gorgeous one, whose name was so gentle, you'd never believe she killed demons for a living; she had said that they ended up on another planet, like ours, but where they had to learn their lessons. She called it a prison planet of sorts, but then he had joked and said, “And ours isn't?”


She hadn't laughed. Nor had she replied. He had remembered that to this day. Was his own planet also a prison of sorts? Maybe just at a higher pay grade?


As he was musing over the philosophy of his thoughts, the door to his sub-basement burst open and a Charly...demons over ten feet tall...burst into the basement, brandishing hands with fingers shaped like knife blades.


He didn't bother to ask it to knock next time, he calmly raised his Sponge and fired it. The Charly was caught in a net of gooey energies. Sort of like Nano particles, but mixed with a kind of binary burgundy that kept it always moving in its narrow orbital shape, so that nothing could slip through it or break it, not even a ghost.


The Charly tumbled to the floor, its roar of triumph turning to a whine of self pity.


He stepped over to it and hefted his Sky Kicker. “I hear you get all the free food you can eat where you're going!”
Then he fired.


The Charly snarled and screamed as it was enveloped in a thick, piercing energy of white light, then it vanished, leaving only a slight brown stain on his beautiful tiled floor.


“Aw!” He swore as he looked at the stain and headed for his mop and bucket. “And I just cleaned it up this morning.”

Then he began cleaning up the remains of the demon. Smearing it and the memory of it from his life and that of the planet.

.

To see more of John Pirillo's work, click the link to his website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details Visit John Pirillo's Website.

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It is said that for every child that is born, at least six more go to heaven. I don\'t know if that\'s true or not. Guess it depends on which person, culture or community you\'re living in. What they believe to be true. ...

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