Creepypasta Wiki

Tinder fate by dourdan-dcmg914

Luciano 'Luke' Vargas sat on the sofa in his studio apartment with a bottle of vodka in one hand, and his iPhone in the other. The man was only twenty-six, wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, he looked like a man in mourning.

Luke had his late mother's Italian skin, her elegance, her artistry. She was the reason he was a writer and an artist. But he had his Dominican father's hands; the hands of a factory worker who slaved away at a dead-end job until his body gave out. Perhaps that was why Luke was so upset at what Stacy had done.

Luke glanced at his phone screen. His background was him and his now ex-girlfriend. With her pale skin and dark hair, Stacy looked like Snow White; the fairest princess in all the land. She exercised her right to an abortion, her body her choice, but her reason was what broke his heart. "I don't see a future with you," he repeated her words as he went to the app store. He loved her, he would have married her- but no, she didn't see a future where she woke up by his side. She didn't see them growing old together. "Well fuck you, Stacy!" Luke said as he started the download.

He had heard of Tinder but up until now had no reason to use the famous hook-up app. "I need a photo." He ran his fingers through his hair and took a quick selfie in time the app was downloaded. Luke filled in his age and location with no other information. All he wanted was a hookup, someone to make the pain go away.

He sat down and started to swipe right on everything on screen. After all someone else had to swipe on him if they wanted to talk. Just his luck every girl had black hair and ivory skin, like some kind of sick cosmic joke. "This is such bullshit..."

'Bing!' He had a match.

"Crying or smoking?" asked the text.

"?" Luke replied.

"In your pic. Your eyes r red. u crying or high?"

"Does it matter?"

"Just wondering: R U looking 2 party or 4 a rebound girl?"

"Rebound- bad breakup."

"Wow, sorry. DTF?"

Luke knew DTF meant 'down to fuck.' Somehow he lucked out and was playing the Tinder game on easy mode. But was this really what he wanted? "I don't even know you," he said out loud.


"I know you," the text replied. "Look at my picture. We've met on multiple occasions."

How the-? He assumed the phone had activated a voice to text feature. He did as she said and looked at the profile: Shannon, age twenty-eight, originally from San Jose, California, but somehow currently in New Jersey less than a mile away from his current location. Her face did not look familiar, and there was no occupation listed. "I'm sorry I don't remember you."


"I work at the clinic where you take your dad for his chemo treatments."

"Oh, ok." That explained why he didn't remember her. His father had been fighting stomach cancer for a decade, but in the past year, it had metastasized to his heart, lungs, and brain. He had been transferred to hospice care. So needless to say, among all the drama, Luke tended to not notice the faces of the clinic staff.


"The last time I saw you, you were holding your father's hand while he slept."

That had to be at least a week ago. "He decided to end treatment."


"O, I'm so sorry. Can I come over? We can just talk."

"Sure." Luke sent her his address since she was pretty close already. He barely sat back down when he heard the buzzer. "Hello?"

"It's Shannon."

He jumped back in shock. "Um, come on up." How close had she been? Was she stalking him? Worst case scenario, he was about to get robbed and murdered.

Best case: she looked just like her photo. "Hey," said the girl with the long black hair and sky-blue eyes.

"Hey..." Luke was frozen with nerves. There was nothing remarkable about the girl, in fact, she didn't even resemble Stacy (at least that's what he kept telling himself.)

Shannon gave an awkward half smile. "Can I come in?"

"Yeah, of course, sorry, would you like something to drink?" He took a few steps towards his fridge. "Soda, beer, vodka?"

"Do you have Redbull?"

"I think so," Luke said as he tossed her a can from the fridge. Luke was partial to Redbull with vodka and lime. But Shannon appeared to prefer drinking the foul-tasting beverage straight from the can.

"What?" she asked, her blue eyes seemed to shimmer when she smiled.

"That stuff is nasty," Luke said with a smirk.

"It's an acquired taste," Shannon replied with a shrug. "I mean it has to be," she leaned in close to Luke, pressing her lips to his ear, "Redbull gives you wings."

Luke chucked nervously. "Yeah, I've heard that. It's why I usually mix in vodka: helps me to stay grounded."

"You're so funny!" Drink in hand, Shannon took a seat on the sofa. "So what do you want to do? Netflix and chill?" She kicked her long legs up on the coffee table.

The girl wasn’t tall, maybe five-four, but her denim shorts made her legs look irresistible. Luke sat down and immediately felt an awkward erection. "Oh F-."

Shannon only smiled. "Sit back and relax," she said, motioning to his phone. "You pull up a movie, and I'll work on the 'chill.'"

Luke nervously covered the awkward bulge with his hand.

"You shy or something? I swiped right, I already know I want you."

"You might change your mind. I mean, I don't know how this works." Luke glanced at the floor. "I mean you can leave whenever you want."

"O-M-G," she said with a laugh. "Do you have a micropenis or something?"

"No. Micropenis is anything less than two inches, right?"

"Let me see." Shannon straddled his lap. With one quick motion, she opened his jeans and reached in her hand. "You're perfect, just the right size."

Luke chuckled nervously. He already knew he was four inches, maybe four-and-a-half when fully erect. "The first time we had sex, my ex-"

Shannon playfully stroked her index finger down the bridge of Luke’s nose. "What did the little meanie do?"

"She told me I'm lucky to have such a comfortable sized penis because the last guy she dated really hurt.'"

Shannon covered her mouth to hide her laughter. "Who says something like that?"

"My ex, apparently."

Shannon put her arms around Luke’s shoulders. "Tell me about her."

"Like what?"

"Did she have big tits? Or a nice tight pussy? I mean, since she was so quick to point out the comfortable nature of your body." Shannon took off her shirt to reveal her breasts.

They were small enough to warrant walking around without a bra but tempting enough for him to lean in for a kiss. "She was fine, I-I guess." Luke kissed her collarbone. He wasn't sure how far he could go or, how far she wanted him to go.

Shannon sat up tall aligning her pink nipple to his lips. "I've had people tell me I'm a perfect mouthful."

Luke felt his heart pounding. The way her soft skin glided across his tongue, the way her body leaned into his touch: he wanted her so bad. "I can see that."

"My turn." Shannon elegantly slipped off her shorts, to reveal her lacy white panties. "Let me show you how I like to worship a man." She stroked her fingers under Luke’s t-shirt, coaxing it off his slender body. "Nice."

Luke had soft, peach-fuzz, hair on his arms, legs and chest, with a thick dark trail from his navel, leading down to his pubic hair. He was already hard, and his jeans were already open, so he attempted to relax. He felt Shannon take him in her mouth, her lips opening and closing around his tip. Luke then noticed a strange sensation; a hard, cold bead stroking him down the length of his shaft. "Do you have a pierced tongue?"

"Yup," Shannon said as she smacked her glossy lips. "You're going to love this."

Luke felt like he was going to slip off the seat. That was when her fingers went straight up a place he did not expect. "Oh, God!"

Her fingers were massaging inside while her mouth locked on to his cock, moving her piercing over the tip. Luke felt like he was about to burst when she stopped.

"Now," she took a seat on the sofa, facing away from him. "I want you to f-k me."

Luke chuckled. He assumed she said 'fuck' but the words" came out as 'F-K' with two distinct syllables. "I'm not really that great at doggy style."

Shannon responded by pulling his arms around her, so he was holding her chest. "But I like it when boys hold my tits while they blow their load. Will you give it a try?" she asked as she kicked off her panties and lifted her butt into position, "for me?"

Luke was so hard, and the only thing more embarrassing than failing at sexual penetration would be drenching himself in cum before he could even start. Carefully moving into position behind her, he stroked his tip against her wetness.

When he felt ready Luke thrust into her, his hips moved rhythmically as he felt himself going deeper than he thought possible. Her body seemed to clench tighter and tighter, pulling him in closer.

"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about," Shannon moaned, as she moved her hips with increased speed. "Pound me like you mean it! F-k all your problems away!"

He gripped her chest hard, holding her like a stress ball. The way she was screaming like a porn star, at first it was a turn on, but quickly became annoying. What was she, an escort? Was he going to be presented with a bill at the end of the night? Was this all some cruel prank?

"You doing alright?" Shannon asked in a moan.

"I'm fine." Luke’s mind drifted to the moment Stacy left him. He could picture all of his unsold books and paintings, his inbox filled with rejection letters from agents and galleries. Then to the moment when he left his dying father alone in the hospice care. "Fuck the world, fuck this life!" Muscles trembling, Luke laid back on the sofa, too overcome with emotion to even speak. There were tears in his eyes but worse, Luke was still hard: he hadn't even finished.

"Lay back, close your eyes," Shannon said, her voice soft and soothing.

Luke did as she asked. He closed his eyes and allowed her to take control. He felt her hands then her lips. Luke laid his head back, trying to relax but soon he could feel the suction of her throat, like a pressure point massage. The deep, soothing sensation coaxed out one glorious orgasm. "I'm sorry, this is so humiliating."

Shannon only giggled. "Don't worry. Nice guys always finish last."

Luke couldn't help but laugh. He kept his eyes closed. If she chose to leave he didn't want to have to watch her go.

"It's ok, just let me hold you," Shannon said, wrapping him in a blanket. Or at least it felt like a blanket. Luke did not remember keeping such a warm, soft down comforter on his sofa.

He awoke the next morning alone. "Of course," he said as he looked to the empty vodka bottle. "It was all a fucking dream." Then he saw her.

Shannon stood before him, her body nude, with every curve as perfect as he remembered. Except for one detail- on her back was a pair of massive white wings. "I have to get to work."

"What?" Luke sat up and went straight for his pants. "What is this? What are you?"

"I want you to stay by your father's side tonight," she said as she closed her wings over her body. "I'm sorry." In a flash of light she was gone.

Luke quickly got dressed and splashed some water on his face before making his way to the hospice clinic. It was only around noon, but if this were truly his father's last day on earth, he wanted to be there.

"Hi Dad," Luke said as he entered the darkroom. "You asleep?"

"I have no reason to sleep," the dying man muttered, facing the window.

Luke walked over to open the blinds, letting in the bright light of the mid-day sun. "Much better. You may be dying but you're still a human being, you deserve more than four blank walls."

"For the time being. Although a coffin typically has more then four sides, if I'm not mistaken." Luke’s father moved his trembling hand to the bed controls. "No matter, the oven in the crematorium certainly has four sides."

"Funny," Luke sighed. His father was six-foot-two, and prior to his illness, he had the strength and physique of an athlete. He had even competed in kickboxing and other martial arts. But the man that lay in the bed was a sickly shadow of his former self. But something looked off. Luke lifted the blankets to reveal a bandage on his father's stomach. "Where's your feeding tube?"

"I was going to tell you."

Luke’s hands were trembling. "I was supposed to be notified of any changes to your medical care."

"Only if I am not of sound mind," he said as he sat up, looking his son in the eyes. "Unfortunately my mind seemed to be holding strong, more so then my other organs." His father blinked away tears. "Part of me hopes it's because the brain is where the soul resides. Although I know you don't believe in such things."

"For the last time, I am not an atheist," Luke groaned, now recalling why he limited his visits to once a week. "I just don't support organized religion." Luke could sense his father's blatant disbelief. After all, the last time Luke set foot in a church was his mother's funeral. "I saw an angel."

"You saw an angel?" his father asked, with noticeable sarcasm.

"Yeah, she told me I needed to be here."

"Your mother?"

Luke shuddered. The idea had not occurred to him, but not it was all he could think of. "She said her name was Shannon, but she was a little like mom..." His mother's name was Gabby, she had black hair, brown eyes, and a honey-tan complexion, but personality wise the similarity was downright creepy.

"Luca..." Luke’s father's was facing the now blindingly bright window. "Luca, estoy muy orgulloso del hombre en el que te has convertido." He swallowed hard, struggling to continue, "y el hombre en el que te convertirás." He then laid back, eyes closed.

"What?" the word choked in Luke’s throat. He spoke little to no Spanish. The idea that he would not be able to understand his father's last words- the cosmic cruelty was unimaginable. Luke stood up and walked to the door. He punched the metal, hard. "Ow!" He could hear Shannon's laughter.

"He said...Luca, I am very proud of the man you have become, and the man you will become. Your Dad calls you Luca?"

"Yeah, he did. He said Luke sounded too plain, too American. My mother wanted me to have an Italian name. He called me Luca because it made her smile. Then when she was gone, he called me Luca in her memory." Luke turned to his father's body. He was dead, cold, but next to Shannon stood his father as a young man. The sight brought tears to Luke’s eyes. "So that's it? You're taking him, and then what? You're just going to leave?"

"Did you want me to stay?" Shannon asked in a whisper, as if such an idea was rare for her kind.

"I don't know. I mean if you want to, if you can."

"Let me finish up here first," she said as she waved her hand, summoning a portal of white light. Shannon then turned Luke’s father's spirit towards the heavenly pathway. "Come on now, your Gabriela has been waiting for you."

"I'm going to see my wife?" his voice was trembling with emotion.

"On earth, she was your wife, but in heaven, she will be what she was always meant to be; your other half. When you are reunited, your spirit will finally be whole again. Together you will decide to live forever in God's kingdom or cross over into the next life."

Luke’s father gave one last nod, and finally departed into the light.

"Are you the angel of death?" Luke asked in a meek voice.

"No," Shannon replied with a laugh. "That's like assuming the flight attendant owns the airline. I am a guide, I sheppard all good souls to the light."

"An angel of mercy?"

"I kinda like that name, it has a nice ring to it."


"Luke, do you want me to stay?" Her voice was nervous, strangely anxious.

Luke sensed this was his one and only chance to speak from the heart. "Yes, I want you to stay!"

"Because you're afraid of being alone?"

"I'm not afraid," the words fell from his lips before he could take them back. His only family was dead, and he was talking to an angel. Luke was, in fact, very afraid.

"Then what?" she asked. "And don't say something stupid like 'I love you.' We've been on one date, if you could even call it that."

But he did. Maybe that was his problem; he had so much love to give but no one to receive it. "I could. I-I could love you, take care of you." Luke pursed his lips as he realized he was essentially begging a supernatural being. "I don't know what you are or what you've been through, but..." Luke suddenly chuckled softly to himself.

"What's so funny?"

Luke paused to wipe tears from his eyes. "I just remembered a joke my dad told me during his last chemo session."

"When he was declared untreatable?"

"Yeah, he looked at me and said, "A guy sits down with his doctor to get his test results, the doctor says, 'The good news is you don't have lung cancer, it's all in your head.' The guy is all, 'That's great news!' But then the doctor says, 'No, brain cancer is much worse.'"

Shannon covered her mouth as she giggled. "That was a good one. Your dad is going to fit in just fine up there."

Luke swallowed hard as tears continued to flow. "What I remember most about that moment was his smile. It was a real, true smile. He was in so much pain, but he found the strength, the courage to smile. That's the kind of courage I want to have, to just smile through the pain. And maybe once I learn how to do that, I can guide others; teach people how to survive, how to love. That's the dream."

Shannon had gone silent. She cupped her hands over her face as if trying to hide her emotions. "I won't be returning in this form. I might be ugly, like a pigeon or a stray cat with one eye."

"I'd still love you."

"Ok," she said with a nervous smile. "I'll see you soon." With that, Shannon vanished.

Luke shook his head as he wiped the tears from his face. "Yeah, sure. I'll be on the lookout for a stray cat with your blue eyes."

Tinder Fate 2: Resurrection[]

Flower idea by dourdan-dcpqxbh

Over the next week, he settled his father's estate and arranged for the body to be cremated. But along the way, Luke also started a collection of black cats with sky-blue eyes

There would be no funeral or memorial. Luke’s mother's ashes had been scattered in Tuscany where his parents had first met as college students. His mother had been in college, his father had been backpacking across Europe using the remains of the inheritance from his parents.

Luke’s father used to tell stories about how he lied to the beautiful Italian girl. He claimed to be an art history major when in reality he was just a waiter who wrote poetry and short stories for fun. He just wanted to experience someplace beautiful.

Luke wrote an obituary for the paper, then on a sunny Friday morning, he set about scattering his father's ashes into the Atlantic Ocean. "Goodbye, Dad." Walking home, he saw people on their way to work. Blue-collar people like his father, going off to restaurants, factories, and hotels. Feeling a little depressed, Luke took a seat on a nearby bench. He closed his eyes for just a moment of rest but awoke to rain. "Shit." Luke sat up and quickly made his way to an alley, to escape the downpour. Well, it wasn't a complete escape since there was no overhang, but the fire escape provided a small amount of relief from the storm. Thunder crashed through the sky, followed by a baby's cry.

Was there a baby somewhere? "Hello?" Luke followed the sound down the alleyway, past the dumpsters, to a dark corner.

A woman with long black hair was sitting with her legs pulled to her chest. In her arms was a baby wrapped in an old sweatshirt. "It's so cold." The voice, it was Shannon's. She looked up at him with her blue eyes. Her face was thin, with bruises on her mouth and cheek.

"Do you need a place to stay?"

"Sure," she replied. "Thank you."

"I'm Luke," he said, reaching out his hand. "My place is just a few blocks from here."

"I'm Kelsey."

"Kelsey," he repeated. "That's a pretty name. Here, take my jacket, follow me."

Kelsey followed Luke back to his apartment, where she was bombarded by a flurry of black cats running in all directions. "You have a lot of cats for such a small place."

"Actually I only have one, she's just really fast."

"Yeah, sure," Kelsey giggled as she motioned at the four separate food bowls. "Monday?" she read aloud.

As she said the name, the first cat appeared from behind the sofa. The creature stood tall and proud, like an Egyptian queen.

"Monday was the first cat I found. I was feeling a little down, so I named her Monday because things can only get better from there- right?"

"And Tuesday, was she your second cat?"

"Tuesday was actually my fourth cat."

"Then why?"

"You'll see." They watched as the other cat bowed down to Monday then proceeded to follow her to the food bowl.

"Tuesday always follows Monday."

Next, a larger cat emerged. This cat was the reason why Luke’s joke would never have worked. "I call her Garfield." The fluffy cat curled up on Jame's lap and hissed at the other two. "She hates Monday."

"Cute, and um.. does that last one say, 'Iced Coffee?'" Her words caused a black cat to poke its head from a kitchen cupboard.

"Icee- cup!" Luke said happily. The cat leaped into a nearby plastic cup, fitting perfectly as if made of liquid. "I wanted to name her Pepsi, but she only answers to Icee."

"And she looks like an iced coffee," Kelsey said with a smile. She wiped tears from her eyes. "I'm sorry. It's been a while since I had a reason to laugh."

"That's a shame."


"You look really pretty when you smile."

Luke noticed the baby had stopped crying and was beginning to fall asleep. "I can hold the baby while you take a shower, just to warm up a little. You can help yourself to any dry clothes."

"That sounds nice."

While Kelsey took a shower, Luke made a make-shift crib for the baby out of a laundry basket and some towels. But as soon as he put the baby down it started to cry. That was when he realized he had never asked the baby's name or even gender.

He picked up the baby, rocking it gently in his arms. "Hey, little guy. You're safe now."

Kelsey emerged from the shower wrapped in only a towel. "Oh," she said with a panicked look. "Do you know of a place to buy diapers around here?"

"There's a grocery store down the block, but," he went to the kitchen and pulled out some bag clips. "Use one of the clean towels to make a temporary diaper."

That caused Kelsey to laugh. "You only own, like, three towels."

"But your baby has been soaking wet for hours. I can buy more towels." It was still raining as Luke went outside. He didn't think twice about buying baby supplies but, on his way home, he wondered what he’d be coming home to. 

Luke opened the door to find Kelsey wearing a white t-shirt that was much too big for her slender frame. She was holding her sleeping baby in her arms as they both lay on the sofa. 

The baby opened its eyes and looked up at Luke. 

"What's your name little one?" he asked.

"Shannon," Kelsey said with a yawn. "Her name is Shannon. I named her after my mother."

"Your mother?"

"Yeah, she died when I was nine."

"I'm sorry."

"Me too. I mean who dies of breast cancer at the age of twenty-eight?"

Luke froze, his eyes went wide. "Her name was Shannon, and she died at twenty-eight?"

"That's not the strangest thing. I was only nine, but you know what her last words were to me? Someday you'll find a nice guy. Who says that to a kid?"

"The kind of person who comes back as a DTF angel with a pierced tongue," Luke muttered. He felt a little awkward knowing what he knew about 'Shannon,' but technically the baby he held in his arms was a different person than the one he had swiped right for.

"Huh?" Kelsey asked with a sleepy blink.

"Sorry I was talking to myself." Luke looked at the innocent little baby. Would she grow up to be a wild angel with a heart of gold? Maybe she would be a rebel or an artist. But no matter what, he would watch over her. He would fight for her happiness.

Kelsey smiled as she stroked the baby's cheek. "Maybe someday this little one will find a nice guy."

"What about her father? Is he still around?"

"You mean did I fuck a total bastard, who cheated on me when I was eight months pregnant?"

"Sorry, I didn't mean..."

"He was not a nice guy," she said with a sigh. "He told me he never wanted to be a father."

Luke looked into the baby's eyes and smiled. "That's his loss." Luke stood up and went to the kitchen. "So tell me about your mom, unless you're too tired. I was going to make some coffee and work on a few projects."

"Coffee sounds nice." Kelsey pulled her legs to her chest, under the borrowed t-shirt. "It's been a while. I was one of those eat-healthy, no smoking, no alcohol, no caffeine moms."

"You say it like that's unusual."

"I know. I'm not a special snowflake or Wonder Woman but F-K did I miss caffeine."


"Something my mother used to say. My grandparents would try to get me to say "fudge" or something that wouldn't get me sent home from school, but my mom..." Kelsey smiled, as if a happy memory was filling her mind. "She told me F-K is just enough of a swear word to let people know you're serious while still looking like a cutie pie."

"For my mom, it would have been 'dannazione.' She was born and raised in Italy."

"That's cool. Is she still around?"

"No," Luke said with a sigh as he loaded and coffee maker, adding a full pot of water. "She passed away when I was fourteen; car accident, died on the scene."

"Oh, wow. I can't even imagine. Well I mean I can imagine losing a parent, but I was always grateful for the chance to say goodbye."

"For the longest time I wondered, what would be better or worse; losing someone quickly without the chance to say goodbye or watching someone die a slow and painful death- but at least you get to be by their side. Little did I know, while most kids were taking first-year finals in college I would be watching my father get an MRI."

"He died of illness?"

"Yeah." Luke gripped the counter for strength. He didn't want to cry, but one fact always pissed him off. "He was originally diagnosed with a repetitive motion injury; a bad back." It was then he realized he was still holding baby Shannon. She looked at him with eyes filled with nothing but love and compassion. "After two years of physical therapy he was only getting worse, so the insurance authorized an MRI, that's when they found the cancer. But that's not how I want to remember him." Luke walked to a nearby bookshelf and took down a sketchbook.

"What's that?"

"This was my Dad's journal. He was a traveler, a philosopher and funny as F-K." Luke put the book down on the table in front of Kelsey as he went back to the coffee maker.

"Tell me a joke.

As he poured two cups of coffee, Luke told her the same 'brain cancer' joke he had told Shannon.

Kelsey's reaction was a similar over the top laugh. "My Mom would have loved that, she always had a thing for dad jokes."

It was then Luke realized Kelsey never mentioned having a Dad. "Really?"

"I guess it was because she had to play both roles, it was just her and me- and my grandparents. I come from a long line of girls who make bad relationship choices, I guess." Kelsey pursed her lips, sadness radiating in her eyes.

Luke knew he needed to lighten the mood. "What was your mom's favorite joke?"

Kelsey pursed her lips for a moment. "What should you do if you break your arm in three places?"

"I think I know this one."

"Don't go back to those places," Kelsey said, her mouth morphing into a smile. "I always loved that joke; places vs places, a play on words. But it's really such a terrible message."

"Oh?" Luke walked over her coffee before going back for his own, since the baby was sleeping comfortably on his shoulder.

"Yeah, I mean what if you broke your arm parasailing or river rafting or even skydiving. Would it be worth it to never feel that rush, that energy- all to avoid ever getting hurt?"

The way her eyes sparkled as she took a sip of her coffee had Luke mesmerized. "I know what you mean." He opened his laptop to a stomach-churning sight; with all of the stress and drama of his father's passing he had never gotten around to changing his background. There on his desktop was him and Stacy kissing in Times Square.

"Is she dead too?" Kelsey asked. Her chin was pressed against Luke’s shoulder.

"No," Luke muttered as he quickly right clicked and changed the background to one of the default Windows backgrounds. "She just didn't see a future with me."

"Wow, that's messed up, but at least you didn't get her knocked up-" she paused before saying something she truly could not take back. "Oh, God, I'm so sorry."

"I have work to do," Luke said with a sigh. "You can read or watch tv..." 

"She doesn't let you see your kid?" Kelsey asked as she picked up the sketchbook.

"Do I look like I have a kid?" Luke shouted a little louder then he would have liked. That was when the baby woke up. Luke rocked her, holding her little body close to his. "Shh, sorry I didn't mean to yell." He turned to Kelsey. "My ex got rid of it and broke up with me when I confronted her about the charge on our shared credit card. She actually thought I would support her. I mean I'm not against abortion but the way she talked about it, was like she made a batch of cookies and threw them in the trash; not a big deal, just a mistake."

"Nothing about you is a mistake," Kelsey said with a true kindness in her voice.

Luke turned to look at her. She had the sketchbook open to a page with photos of his parents, and a pencil sketch of his father's smiling face. "My mom drew that."

"I could tell. The way she captures all the little details." She traced her finger along the outline of the portrait. "You look so much like him; your eyes, your hair, your smile- it's like you were meant to live on in his honor." Kelsey paused an closed the book. "I don't know what I'm saying. That's just something my grandparents used to tell me; I look so much like my mother, maybe I was meant to live on in her honor. Not that I have any photos around to prove it."

"To prove that you're the spitting image of your mother?" Luke asked rhetorically since he had already experienced all the prof he would ever need. He closed his laptop, resting it on the floor. "I'm actually kinda tired. We haven't really discussed sleeping arrangements."

"I could sleep on the floor next to the hamper-crib," she offered.

"Or we could sleep head to feet on the pull out bed. Stand up." Luke quickly and effortlessly opened the sofa bed using only his free arm.

"You've been sleeping on this thing for way too long." Just as the words left her lips, all four cats took their place on the left side of the bed forming a wall.

Little Shannon was reaching for her mother.

"Let me take her for a while." Kelsey laid herself down on the bed with his enough room between herself and the cats for Luke to sleep in the middle. Luke watched as she moved the baby under the shirt, allowing her to breastfeed. It was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. "I'll cuddle my baby while you cuddle with your fur babies."

"Yeah, sure," he said with an awkward laugh. This was actually the first time his cats had attempted such a display. Usually they slept in their own chosen areas of the apartment. Luke retrieved a blanket from a nearby closet, and gently placed the fleece covering over Kelsey and little Shannon.

"Oh," Kelsey said with a moan. "That feels so nice."

Luke understood. After all he had found her in an alleyway, the feeling of a bed and a blanket had to be a vast improvement. But her voice, it was driving him to sinful thoughts. "I'm going to take a shower and change into some sweatpants."

"We'll be waiting," Kelsey said in a playful sing-song voice as if to imply she was speaking for everyone in the bed.

Luke turned on the shower to it's coldest setting. He took a deep breath and proceeded to violently jerk off while standing under the freezing cold water until he could barely feel his legs. Kelsey was beautiful, kind, but most importantly she was so fragile. The last thing he wanted as to come off as just another predator.

After his body was cleaned and his sex-drive thoroughly extinguished, Luke put on a pair of sweatpants and maneuvered himself into bed, sleeping back to back with Kelsey.

He locked eyes with Monday, who was soon joined by the faces of the other cats, staring at him with their glowing jewel-like eyes. "She needs you." The voice was female, ghostly, and apparently coming from the combined mental power of his cats.

"I don't know," Luke said in a whisper. He felt as hand, but it wasn't Kelsey. The hand touching his wrist was large, rough and callused. It was his father's hand. The ghostly apparition guided Luke to Kelsey's shoulder. She was trembling. Luke tried to pull back his hand, but that was when he heard her crying. "You ok?"

"I've lived in the streets for six months. I gave birth in a New York alleyway, then hitchhiked my way to New Jersey because that was where the trucker who picked me up was headed. He forced me to pay him with sex while my baby watched." Kelsey's sobs intensified. "Through all the pain, the humiliation, I cried for my mother. I begged her to help me, but she never did. I'm only twenty-one, but I feel so broken inside like I'm not worthy of ever being fixed. I'm going to live and die as a screwed up sex toy. And then my daughter..." Her sobs intensified. "My daughter doesn't deserve my life.

Luke held her hand. "Kelsey?" 

"Yeah?" she turned her head to face him, wiping her tears on the blanket.

"Will you go skydiving with me?"

Kelsey smiled, then laughed. "I would love to."

Tinder Fate 3: Cargo[]

Ocean at night

Luke Vargas awoke to darkness. There was tape over his eyes nose and mouth. The twenty-eight year-old had no idea where he was or what was happening, or if he would live to see thirty.

This was no time to panic, Luke knew he needed to focus. He had his hearing, and just enough of a gap near his nose to silently breathe. His hands and feet were also bound, And judging by the cold air hitting his skin he had been stripped down to his boxers.

Large hands grabbed him by his shoulders, then his torso, hurling him over a thick metal railing. 'Splash,' His body hit the water with unnatural force and speed.

'Crash,' Luke sank into the cold water, the waves tossing him in every direction while a weight pulled his legs. Deeper and deeper, whatever was attached to his legs aimed to sink him into a watery grave.

He continued to struggle against the bonds of the tape. The material felt like duct tape, but cheaper: breakable. Luke struggled against the bonds of the tape, forcing air pockets to form. The more of the tape he managed to loosen the weaker the adhesive became until he was able to free his hands. He quickly freed his legs and feet just enough to float back to the surface as his body gave into exhaustion.

"Don’t give up," a voice echoed within the waves. It was as if someone was telepathically screaming into Luke's head. “You have to find them," the voice was changing; male, female, a chorus of sound, "you have to save them.”

“I can’t,” Luke answered, in his mind. His heart was breaking and with it his resolve.

"You have to," The voice was his late father; the voice of a kind man who lived a noble life before losing his battle with stomach cancer. "You're all they have.”

The sound was enough to calm Luke's mind as he felt himself start to lose consciousness. I would not die here, he would not give up on his family.

When Luke opened his eyes he was laying on a freezing cold beach looking up at a foggy sky. Luke rolled over, freeing himself of the tape. He managed to force his weight onto his pain-stricken arms. But as he took a breath he was exposed to a horrific realization. "Oh God," the sound was less than a whisper, as blood spilled from his lips. With every panicked breath, he could feel the open wound where his tongue used to be. His body froze, he needed to get to a hospital. But even then what could be done?

“Please get up,” the ghostly voice was now a female.


Now you see me...

Luke blinked his eyes and forced himself to look up. Standing over him was a little girl in a red dress. She had long black hair and blue eyes, like his step-daughter, but she wasn't Shannon. His little girl had just turned one.  This girl was at least five if not older.

"Hi, who are you?"

The little girl tilted her head like an owl. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"That was a good question. Luke stared down at his hands. A wedding ring? A wedding? he had married Kelsey in Portland, Oregon. They had no other family, his parents were dead and her family was as well. All except for Shannon's biological father. Nick? Nate... Nevin Tyler Brooks.

"You married my mother, you tried to give us a new life." The little girl's voice sounded like an echo.

But now the memory was clear as day. He saw Kelsey in a fifty dollar dress she bought at Target. They were married in city hall, exchanging vows, and he gave her his mother's ring. Then there were gun shots. The courthouse was held up by a gang of armed individuals wearing clown masks. There were at least six maybe even ten. But there was a team of three, the only ones not firing their weapons. They were the three who grabbed Kelsey and little Shannon.

Kelsey was screaming, crying. "Nevin, please no." One man hit her in the face while the two grabbed Luke.

A henchman with a taser, shot Luke in the stomach, causing the groom to fall to his knees in pain. The last thing he remembered before blacking out was seeing one of the attackers holding a taser to little Shannon's neck. "They stole us," said the girl in the red dress, "the bad people tried to hurt you."

"Tried?" The word came out as a cough as Luke started to laugh. Nevin hadn't just tried, Nevin won. Luke was so screwed he couldn't even speak.

But just as he felt like crying she touched his face. He could feel her? "I can hear you, I will guide you to them." The little girl raised her hand, motioning towards a rocky cover. "And so will they."

Luke glanced at the rocks. He had brought his four cats from New Jersey to Portland and somehow here they were. Monday, Tuesday, Garfield, and Icee.  The four black cats, all rescued strays they stood tall on the rocks like little jaguars.

With a meow that sounded like a shrill roar, each animal summoned a small team of cats. One by one they brought forth items; clothing, packaged food, even money. The last team of three brought him an old, decaying map.

Luke picked it up. "Welcome to San Francisco?" The air was thick with cold fog.

He looked at the little girl. She started to become transparent, further solidifying the idea that she was a hallucination, or a ghost. As she turned away, a gust of wind blew her long hair revealing massive holes in her dress; some looked like cigarette burns, others like stab wounds.

When she turned to face him again. her little cheeks were covered in bruises and there was a gash on both her eye and her lip.

Luke now knew what she was. This girl was Shannon if he failed.

"What do I need to do?" Luke asked in a whisper. He was expecting an answer from the little girl but she was now fading from existence.

The cats crowed around him as he got dressed, their feline sounds, morphing into human voices. "You know that saying, 'The devil you know beats the devil you don't?'"

"How would you know that saying?"

"We know of many things; devils, angels, mermaids, fairies, gods and demons...." A small black cat with blue eyes held a piece of paper in its mouth.

Luke picked it up: it was a card, more specifically a BART ticket- he needed to go to the underground metro system?

"The devil you know is Nevin Brooks, but the devil we know is someone much more powerful." The kitten's voice was hypnotic.

"Tell me more."

The army of cats spoke up one by one. "She is a queen."

"A demon." "A witch." A small white cat crawled on Luke's shoulder. "She was told to abandon the source of her power and live as a human. All to repent for her sins."

"Her sins?" Luke started to walk towards the street, the army of cats leading the way.

"You need not concern yourself with her sins, only what she can do for you." The cats started to disperse as they walked along the crowded Geary st following the bus line. In the early morning hours people were on their way to work or school.

No, not school. He looked up at the decorated light posts. It was December; holiday break.

Closer to downtown he and the cats blended into the crowd of shoppers and homeless people. But Luke kept a close eye on his four cats. They seemed to be walking over the crowds.

"This way," said Monday, as she leaped from the platform.

She appeared to be jumping on to the tracks, but as a train came forward Luke caught a glimpse of her through a window. She and all of the cats were crossing through a portal in one of the billboards. It was an ad for 'Butterfly Mortuary, guiding you through the next stage of life.'

Luke couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of a funeral home ad in a subway tunnel. 'For those who need a little encouragement,' he said to himself. But then he realized that was exactly what he needed; he needed to cross the tracks himself, to follow the cats.

Since he had nothing to lose but his life, he did just that.

In the shadow of the departing train, Luke ducked onto the tracks. He could still feel the radiant heat on the metal as he quickly climbed to the billboard and fell through. 'Ow!'

He landed hard on his shoulder. Looking up he saw a cave system lit up with Christmas lights. "Hello?" He stood up and looked around. On the far wall he saw a logo that looked like blue bio-luminescent paint. "What is that, a bug?"

"Actually," replied a youthful female voice. "It's a caterpillar."

Luke looked around. The voice sounded so sweet and kind. "I'm Luke."

A woman with long black hair and a red gown stepped out from the shadows. "You can call me Azzy." Except it wasn't a gown made of cloth, but rather blood human parts. "Do you like it? I made it myself with the corpses of my enemies."

Luke's cats cuddled at her feet all purring comfortably. "All hail our queen."

Luke took a knee, because it felt like the appropriate thing to do. "Can you help me?"

"Yes, I can. The men who took your family are one of many clans trying to dethrone me. Do you trust me?"

That was the big question.

Tinder Fate 4: The Crossover[]


Queen Azzy at the alt reality BART station

Azzy, the beautiful black-haired girl wearing the dress made of bloody flesh looked at Luke with eyes filled with kindness. "Allow me to prove the value of our alliance."

Luke sucked on the wound where his tongue used to be. He had already followed his cats through a portal into what appeared to be hell, at least he seemed to have made a friend. What did he have to lose by trusting her? Luke nodded. 'Sure, go ahead.'

Azzy tore a chunk of bloody meat from the skirt of her dress. The piece looked like a typical cut of raw beef, slightly larger than her palm. But it was squirming, like a goldfish that had been taken out of a tank and was being held in the air. "Open wide."

Luke felt a sudden nausea in the pit of his stomach.

"Look, I know the people who took your family also cut out your tongue. The only reason I can even understand you is because of my telepathy. Trust me, this will work."

'Ok, I trust you.' Luke took a step towards her and closed his eyes while opening his lips. He fully expected her to force the thing into his mouth, but instead he was greeted with a long passionate kiss complete with the girl cupping his face. When she was finished he gasped for air.

"Well?" she asked. "Did it work?"

Luke opened his mouth. He now had a tongue. It was sure as hell not his tongue; it felt hot like he was in a constant state of post-spicy Indian food pain. But when he bit down there was a strange numbing sensation. All of that meant nothing if he couldn't speak. "I...I can ta-lk."

Azzy smiled sweetly. "Yes! I'm so glad."

When she opened her arms for a hug Luke took a step back. "I'm married. I mean, you know that."

"Yeah," she replied with a shrug. "The demon worshiping gang lead by your girl's deadbeat ex, kidnapped her and her kid."

"My wife and my kid."

"I just want to help you." As she touched Luke's cheek a single tear fell from her eye. "You remind me of someone I used to know, someone I used to love."

"Oh," Luke replied, wanting to swallow his new tongue. He knew the pain of losing someone. Perhaps her friendly demeanor was only meant to hide her fragile emotional state. "I'm so sorry."

"I know where to find him, but our relationship hasn't been the same."

"Uh what? You know where to find him?"

"Yes," she replied calmly. "My husband is dead but he was a good soul, all he ever wanted was to be a doctor; to bring hope to people in their darkest hours. So now he works as an angel, assigned to (or rather 'trapped in') a hospital in Wisconsin."

"Oh, ok," Luke said with a nod, trying to be as nonchalant. "Where do we begin our new team up adventure?"

"The source of my power, my caterpillar."

"Your caterpillar?"

The cats call lined up next to Azzy. "This way," echoed their hypnotic voices. The cats and Azzy lead Luke down a series of stairs and corridors each darker than the last.

Luke's eyes were adjusting the light. But he wished he didn't. The caterpillar was a giant mass of human parts. Everything was writhing, squirming, and somehow screaming. First, it sounded like a million undead souls. And then the massive creature opened its mouth. The hole was a pit of darkness, like a metro tunnel in itself.

Azzy and the cats stepped towards the entrance. "Come on."

"Wait! We're going inside it?"

"Once you learn the truth of my story you will know that you can trust me."

Luke followed behind her but was soon lost in the darkness. "Azzy?" He could feel hands grabbing him, pulling him into a chair of body parts. Terrified he dared not resist. He closed his eyes, becoming one with the darkness. A sense of calm and peace washed over him, followed by an odd feeling of sadness. When Luke opened his eyes he was in his father's hospital room.

He stood up from the white plastic chair to look around. This was not the hospice room where his father died, no- this was the radiology clinic where he received (or rather endured) chemo for over two years. "Dad?"

"He can't hear you." Azzy suddenly appeared out of nowhere. "This is the past: a wormhole with a window- if you want to think of it like that." She moved closer, passing her hand through his father's chest like a ghost. "Carlos Roberto Vargas; he was so strong, so kind, a truly good soul." She glanced at Luke. "I read the obituary you crafted for him, truly a masterful piece of writing."

"Thanks, he was a great person," the words choked in his throat. "I really do miss him."

"He's your inspiration, why you want to find your family," Azzy said as she walked towards Luke. "Your father gave up his dreams to work in a factory, so your mother could live the life of an artist. And when she died young, he continued to work there to assure you a future; healthcare, college fund- all at the cost of his health. But I'm certain he would do it all over again because that's the kind of man he was."

"Yeah," Luke replied with tears in his eyes. "He lived and died for his family, I can only hope to be that brave, courageous, loving, kind- I just..."

"I already know that to be true. What to know how? Take my hand." In the blink of an eye, they were now in a different hospital room. The patient in the bed, reviving chemo through an IV, was a man in his late twenties to early thirties. He was Hispanic, or Italian- maybe he was bi-racial, like Luke himself. The man's facial features were so similar to Luke they could have been brothers.

"Who is he?" Luke asked in a whisper.

"My husband, he wanted to be a doctor-" Azzy paused, her expression slipping into one of happiness as a little boy came in the door.

"Papa?" The little boy had Azzy's black hair, round cheeks, and big blue eyes. He appeared to be around five; old enough to be independent but still small enough to be a cutie-pie.

He was followed by a man with a long ponytail and hipster facial hair. "Your Papa is very sick, he might be too tired today."

Azzy stroked the little boy's cheek. "This is my son, Lucas."

"Your son's name is Lucas?" Luke chuckled. His own birth certificate said 'Luciano', not 'Lucas' but the coincidence was too adorable.

"Do you want to know who the Hipster-Jesus is?" she asked while pacing around the strange man.

"Your brother?"

"Remy Desilva: my childhood best friend and Lucas's biological father."

"But I just heard him call your husband 'Papa.'"

"My husband knowingly raised a baby that was not even his. He loved Lucas with every fiber of his being. That's just the kind of person he was."

"The kind of person I still am," said a new voice. The scene became static, like an old television as an angel appeared. It was the man from the bed but now he was strong and displayed large white wings.

"Hi, Johnny," Azzy said sweetly.

"Azzy, what are you doing in a time rift?" asked the visibly frustrated angel.

"Just getting to know my new friend; Johnny this is Luke, Luke this is my husband Johnny."

"Hi," Luke said with an outstretched hand.

Johnny shook his hand. "Can I speak to my wife privately?"

"I honestly don't know," Luke replied, looking around nervously. "The last thing I remember is entering a giant tunnel made of human body parts. I honestly don't even know where I am right now."

Johnny turned to Azzy. "Seriously, Azzy? I can't believe you're doing this." He turned back to Luke. "Do you even know the full story?"

"Full story? Um, no, we just met today."

"Well let me fill you in on my wife's situation: my wife is a very powerful demon queen who pissed off some even more powerful forces."

"To save your life!" Azzy cried. "I went against the forces of God and heaven for you, because I love you. And look where it got me?"

"You're on probation! The forces of heaven are watching your every move."

"When I rule the heavens there will be no injustice or pain. Only the wicked will suffer- the riotous and pure of heart will live on for eternity!"

Luke had stepped back into a corner. He had no idea WTF was happening and wasn't sure if he wanted to know.

Johnny grabbed Azzy's arm. "You are supposed to be running a hospital in Wisconsin, living a normal life, to avoid getting sent straight to hell."

Azzy looked him straight in the face, her eyes filling with tears. "I'm not abandoning my work or my family."

"No, you're just choosing your demon-caterpillar power over our relationship."

Luke knew he needed to speak up. "My family was taken by a gang of demon worshiping meth heads!" The blurted out the words before properly forming the thought in his head. "She's not after power she just wants to help me. And I-I need help. I'm just a freelance writer from New Jersey." Apparently in the presence of a demon and an angel.

Johnny sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. "She's trying to help you? Azzy, is that true?"

"Yes," Azzy replied with a nod. "Full truth: I know for a fact that Luke's family was taken by followers of a young demon with even more royal blood then myself. This individual is someone trying to take my power, and if they were to succeed Hell would reign down upon both earth and heaven."

The angel paused for a moment as if to take in the new information. "I want you to keep me in the loop. I'll do what I can to help you from Wisconsin."

"You trust me?"

Johnny put his arms around her, pulling her close. "Because I love you." He kissed her forehead as he started to vanish from the scene.

Azzy wiped tears from her eyes. "Goodbye, my love."

The scene faded to black and suddenly Azzy and Luke were back in the caterpillar. She grabbed his hand with a blast of energy they were forced out, back into the cave.

Luke dusted himself off and got to his feet. "Did that thing just vomit us out?"

"Time to suit up," Azzy muttered. "We're going on a recon mission."

"Suit up?" Luke was still wearing the clothes from when he washed up on the beach.

"Yeah, now that you've been inside the source of my power, you will be able to draw from it."

"Um, what?"

"Watch me and do what I do." Azzy stroked her hands down her torso, transforming her dress into a plain black t-shirt and jeans.

Luke took a breath and attempted to do the same. But his clothes would only turn light blue, like hospital scrubs. "Um, now what?"

He expected Azzy to have a plan; make him some clothes using her powers, or maybe at least laugh at the fact that he was not as magical as she was.

But Azzy stood frozen with an expression of terror.

"What?" Luke asked.

"Nothing," Azzy replied with a forced smile. "It's nothing. Y-You look fine." She tapped her leg, calling the black cats to her side. "Let's ride."

The cats formed a circle, a portal to a parking garage. Azzy waved her hand like a saleswoman seemingly offering Luke his choice of vehicles.

"What are you taking?" he asked. "I mean, I can ride a motorcycle, but I'll only take one if that's what you're going with."

Azzy nodded with a smile, "I don't know what's going on- if this is some kind of test but holy f--k you look so much like him."

"Like your husband?"

"Now let's see if you can ride like him."

Tinder Fate 5: Battle of Blood[]


If Azzy, the all-powerful queen was going to select a motorcycle (from her massive vehicle collection) Luke knew better then to try to keep up with her in a normal car. Luke had learned to ride from his father, who had actually biked across Europe as a teen. During the few years of his life when Luke owned a bike, he had seen some very aggressive riders and dangerous situations, which inspired him to switch to public transportation.

Azzy flew out of the underground parking garage on her neon blue Suzuki. Luke matched her style and speed, working under the assumption that Azzy had some kind of supernatural trick up her sleeve that would prevent them from getting pulled over.

The pair rode deep into wine country, past the vineyards and Indian casinos. They swerved around cars, through off-road tunnels and pathways, until they reached an unusual field. Pulling up, it appeared to be a cornfield. But as they passed the gate, the corn opened into a field of wheat, and then hay (with bales appearing out of nowhere.)

"We're here," Azzy said as she pulled up behind a massive bale of hay. "Park your bike next to mine, we can hide them in the hay."

"Where is here?" Luke asked as he did what she asked, allowing his borrowed bike to be engulfed by the bale.

"This is one of many places where the leylines intersect to create a portal to hell itself. Basically, it's like a specially made table for ritual sacrifice. My dad used to bring me here all the time."

"Really?" Luke asked as he stretched his back. He looked at his watch- they had been riding for nearly four hours.

"Yeah, I imagine he was a little disappointed that I took after my mom. And when I cut his heart out."

"You seem really proud of that," Luke muttered.

"Sorry," Azzy replied as she searched the bale, pulling out a backpack. "Military Food rations- score!"

"I'm not hungry."

Azzy shook her head as she took a seat by his side. "Look, I'm sorry I offended you. I know you watched your father die of cancer but that was totally different- my father was not a good person, he was literally a demon king. I mean, he brought me here to witness his followers offering him blood sacrifices."

"But he loved you." Luke stared at her with his dark eyes filled with truth and compassion. "Your father could have killed you at any time but he loved you enough to keep you safe."

Azzy bit her lip in visible confusion. "I-I've never thought of it that way. I always thought it was because he wanted me to rule the world as his 2nd in command- but yeah, that would require some level of parental love." She started to dig through the food, coming up with a package of crackers. "Please, you have to eat something."

"Fine," Luke said, opening the package to be polite. The crackers looked like faded cardboard but tasted like typical cheap butter cookies.

"So, what was the last thing your father said to you?" Azzy asked a little too casually.

"He said he was proud of the person I was and the person I would become. You?"

"My dad as he was bleeding out said, with a smile, 'I couldn't have asked for a better daughter.'"


"It was all a sick joke to him. My dad wanted to use his last words to cement the fact that everything; my rebellion, his death- it was all part of his plan to make me just like him. "

"But you're not like him?"

"Why was that a question?"

Luke stuffed his mouth full of crackers and turned away with a shrug.

Azzy took a handful of hay and hurled it at his back. "Get some sleep. I'll wake you when the party starts."

There would be no need. At around midnight the caravan of trucks, vans, and trailers started to arrive, and they weren't exactly subtle. Luke awoke right away to the sounds of car horns, screams, and dub-step music. "What now, Azzy?" A battle was coming, that much was certain.

"We wait for the psycho-sheep to line up and present their offerings."


"You don't want to know," she muttered. A sword appeared in Azzy's hand and she quickly made a second one for Luke. "It will be the first, and probably the only time when we can get a view of everyone out in the open."

Luke scanned the crowd, there were a few people emerging; punks, skinheads, and even a few people in suits. They appeared to be contributing wood, metal and other scrap material towards the creation of a stage-like alter.

"Let's roll," Azzy said as she sheathed her sword.

Out of the corner of his eye, Luke saw something sparkly in the bed of a dark blue truck. "Yeah, copy that, right behind you." Luke made his way to the truck, as Azzy disappeared in the opposite direction. As he got closer he could see a figure in the moonlight; a long-haired woman with his wife's wedding ring. But it wasn't Kelsey. This woman was abnormally thin like a heroin addict and a blonde. "Who are you, where is my wife?"

The woman turned her head like a mannequin. "Nevin's ex? She'll be dealt with soon enough." Her lips cracked into a disturbing smile. "But you can take this thing." The woman threw what appeared to be a trash bag.

Luke knew to catch it. Whatever was inside was trembling, whimpering. He tore open the bag to find little Shannon. The toddler's face was bruised and bloody but her sparkly blue eyes looked at him with innocence and hope. "Hi Shannon, it's me," Luke's voice was already breaking, "everything is going to be ok. We're going to find Mommy and we're going to go home."

Up until then, Luke had kept his composure but when Shannon opened her mouth to speak and only a gasp came out- something broke in him. By the light of the moon, he could see the bruises on her neck. Someone had tried to strangle her. Tears filled Luke's eyes, blurring his vision. His mind had no idea what to do, but his body seemed to have a plan of its own.

First blink-
He was standing over the blonde woman's dismembered corpse, his new sword dripping with blood. He could feel Shannon gripping his back. Somehow he had crafted a carrier out of the trash bag.

Second blink-
Luke was forcing his way through the crowd while carrying the blonde woman's severed head. He could hear Azzy screaming for him to stop but he couldn't even if he wanted to.
His wife, Kelsey, was naked on the altar, her body beaten and bloody. It was clear she had been raped repeatedly and was about to be sexually assaulted again by a man wearing an abnormally realistic bull mask. Yeah, whoever that was had beheaded a live bull: the blood was still dripping down his neck and chest.

Third blink-
Luke was stabbing the man in the neck. Somehow Azzy had rescued Kelsey and was carrying her body in her arms while still screaming at Luke to stop. But his blade had already torn through the man's back. He twisted the sword with a smile as he tore out his back (while ripping off the man's mask- it was Nevin Brooks.)

Fire-coated zombie hands reached up from the alter, pinning Nevin's body to the 'stage.'

Azzy raised her hand, opening a portal back to the location of the bikes. "Luke, we need to run- NOW!"

Luke took a step back as more burning hands emerged, pulling down the followers one by one as hellish treats for their demon lord.

"Get on your bike and follow me before-" it was too late.

Nevin's body sat up with a maniacal laughter. He cracked his neck, and then his shoulder. "Hello, princess." That wasn't Nevin's voice.

Luke had only met Nevin a few times but this voice was strange; oddly deep with a distinct accent.

Azzy stood with a death glare. "Hello, Dad."

Luke made a dash for the bikes, fully expecting a barrage of fireballs. 

But no- Azzy's father was just standing there, laughing. "Don't worry, my princess, I will allow you to escape, tend to your wounded."

"How kind of you," Azzy muttered. "I see your years in hell have made you a better person." 

The demon chuckled. "The next time we meet I will have my grandson at my side."

"You leave my child out this."

"This? His bloodline- His destiny?"

"I killed you once I can do it again."

"I have no doubt. As I said all those years ago, 'I couldn't have asked for a better daughter.'" The demon silently clapped his hands, opening a portal of his own.

Luke caught a quick glimpse of where the demon was going before he vanished. 'Walmart?' He looked at Azzy to see if she had noticed the same thing. 

Her hands were shaking. "This is all your fault."

"My fault?"

"Yes, this was a recon mission- but you had to go full 'Michael Myers'; hacking people into pieces- you allowed my father to escape from hell!"

"So you weren't expecting to see your father?"

"No I was not," Azzy said as she opened a portal to a hospital parking lot. "I had heard rumors of a powerful demon making an attempt at the mortal realm. I'm sure my father had heard the same and when YOUR little stunt opened the gates of hell he took the opportunity to lock on to my location."

"I'm really sorry." Luke held his daughter close as he hopped on his bike and quickly followed Azzy. 

She pulled into a parking space. "We're here."

Under the light of the moon she carried Kelsey into the emergency room. It was clear where they were: the hospital Azzy ran as administrator. Also the place where her husband resided as an angel. "Luke, you stay with your family. My medical staff will take care of everything."

"Ok," Luke replied as a nurse took little Shannon from him, to bring her to an exam room. "Where are you going?"

Azzy was already walking away, towards the main elevators. "I need to talk to my husband about protecting my son."

Tinder Fate 6: The Devil You Know[]

0-iuIOwN 3ImJ3KLEK


Luke stayed with his wife and daughter grateful they were safe. But there was still the matter of Azzy's father. Whenever he closed his eyes he could see the demon's face. "Vega?"

"That's my name," said the long-haired man with the surfer's voice and ice blue eyes.

Luke blinked. He had been resting his head on his sleeping wife's chest, to hear her heart. But now he clearly heard a voice coming from inside the room. "Hello?"

There was a mirror in the room and looking at him was the tall blonde man with a ghostly, vacant stare. "Are you scared?" 

Luke actually was not. This wasn't his fight: Vega was here for Azzy and possibly Azzy's little boy. "Your daughter has your eyes."

This caused Vega to smile. "Can I come in?"

"Are you a vampire?"

That caused Vega to double over in laughter. "No, I don't require permission to cross into this realm, but it would be nice to know if I had an ally- a fellow father."

I looked to little Shannon asleep in a nearby bed. I loved my daughter, but then again she wasn't my biological daughter- she had a father who was pure evil; a man whose death may have accidentally caused Vega's resurrection. 

"How about a friend of a friend?" asked a different voice. 

I looked around to find a lizard crawling at my feet. It was transparent, like a shadow, until it stepped into Vega's line of sight. The magical 'light' from the mirror caused the details of the lizard to appear; it was a pink axolotl with rainbow gills and strange neon green wings. 

"W-T-F?" Vega was laughing so loud I was surprised that both my wife and daughter remained asleep. "Do I know you?"

"Free me from this form and you will," the axolotl's voice was adorable, like something from the show, 'SpongeBob SquarePants.'

"Who gave you this form?" Vega asked. 

"The ruler of heaven, he claimed it was so I could live as a guardian to Azzy's son, Lucas."

Vega stopped laughing at stood straight. "You mean your son." A blast of light engulfed the lizard. When the light faded a familiar dark-haired man knelt before Vega. "Remy Desilva, it's been ages." Vega looked at me to explain. "I knew this a--hole when he and Azzy were just kids, they would pickpocket tourists on the beaches of Hawaii while his old man and I partied with hookers."

"I know who he is," Luke said with a sense of anger. "Azzy said you were her childhood best friend who also happens to be the father of her kid! And now here you are trying to make a deal with Azzy's father? What the hell are you? Why should any of us trust you?"

"Because Azzy can't be trusted. The grief over his husband's death has driven her to madness."

"But doesn't her husband live here- in this hospital as an angel?" Luke glanced around for any evidence of that fact. This was Azzy's hospital, she was somewhere in the building while they were practically planning her assassination. 

"Her husband also cannot be trusted. His powers are limited."

Vega was smiling a big, evil grin. He moved his hands to widen the portal and easily stepped through, into the room. "Remy, to prove where your loyalties lie, I will need you to bring me my grandson."

"No!" Luke felt a sharp pain in his chest. He had made the wrong decision. "This isn't right. If either of you truly cared about Azzy you wouldn't be trying to take the only family she has left."

"And what would you suggest we do?" Vega asked with a chuckle. 

"Talk to her like a father, prove to her why you deserve to have a relationship with your grandson."

Vega laughed a typical villain laugh. "How about- if you try to get in my way I will send you and your family straight to hell?"

The lights flickered. "That's not happening," echoed a new voice. The shadows started to move, forming the silhouette of a male angel; Johnny, Azzy's husband. "My son is staying with my sister and we will fight to protect his soul."

"Protect him from his blood lineage?" Vega asked with a roar. "His true purpose!"

"We are more than the sum of our parts," Johnny said in a calm tone. 

"Fight me, angel! Let us see who's the man worthy of deciding my grandson's fate."

Remy suddenly transformed back into his axolotl form. He was heading towards the window. 

Luke knew if Remy got to the little boy first, Lucas would have every reason to trust him. Remy had cared for the child when Johnny was dying and now, as an axolotl, he lived as his guardian angel- a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Luke lunged at the lizard, grabbing it by the tail but as he did, the room went black. He was alone, with the girl from his near death experience standing before him. 

"Go home," she said in a whisper. 


The little girl became overlay-ed by a new image; a tall female angel with a golden arm. "Go home," the woman repeated.

Luke blinked his eyes and he was back home in Portland, Oregon. This was the apartment he and Kelsey had picked out for their new life before the tragic events of the wedding. "Kelsey?"

Kelsey rolled in, in a wheelchair. Her legs were in braces and her face was still noticeably bruised but through it all, she smiled. "Hi, baby."

Luke straddled her lap, careful of her injured legs. "Hey," his voice was breaking with emotion. "How are you?"

"Better," she said as she cupped his face. "I'm glad to be home- our home."

The kiss was their first since the wedding. Luke almost expected her to be pulled from his arms again by some evil force. but no- she was his. "You look great."

"For a month, I mean, I'm not paralyzed so with therapy I want to get back to being 100%."

That answered one question; somehow he had time traveled one month into the future. (Or somehow lost one month of his life- however one wanted to look at the situation.) "So, where's Shannon?"

"With that little boy."

"Little boy?"

"He's been a godsend. You like having him here, right?"

"Uh, yeah. I'm just going to go check on Shannon." Luke walked to the bedroom that he had decorated for his toddler daughter. "Shannon, sweetie?"

The little girl was laughing. As Luke opened the door he could see why. 

Shannon was with Azzy's son, Lucas. and between them was a certain rainbow, winged axolotl. 

Luke was frozen with fear. The creature looked at him with its chubby cheeks and little eyes. "Hi," Luke said awkwardly. 

Shannon giggled. "You're silly, Daddy."

"Yeah," added Lucas. Azzy's son had her blue eyes, dark hair and kind smile. He was small enough to look innocently adorable. "Rainbow can't talk."

"The lizard's name is Rainbow?"

Shannon petted the creature's head. "Rainbow is an ax-o-lot-l."

Luke nodded and walked backward away from the room. "Kelsey?" He called to his wife int he kitchen. "I think I've been a little tired, a little stressed- so my mind is drawing a blank- remind me why do we have a little boy living with us?"

"As a favor to your friend." Kelsey paused and bit her lip in deep thought. "What was her name?"

"Azzy?" Luke replied. Did Azzy do this- Send him home with her son? If so, why was 'Rainbow/Remy' here?

"No not Azzy- she was at a meeting or something like that. It was her assistant."

"This assistant- did she have a golden arm?"

"Maybe, I mean I wasn't really looking. We were getting discharged and given tickets for a flight back to Portland. And then she just mentioned how Azzy might be a little overwhelmed for the foreseeable future and we should take her little boy."

"And the lizard?"

"Lizard? You mean that thing Lucas keeps talking about? I swear, that little boy has such a vivid imagination."

"You can't see it?" Luke asked out loud.  

Kelsey only laughed. "You can see it?" She pulled a tray of chicken nuggets out of the oven. "Lucas! Shannon! Come eat dinner!"

Luke chuckled awkwardly as he turned back to the room. the moment the children left, 'Rainbow' transformed back into Remy. Luke glared. "Am I the only one who can see you?"

"You may be able to see me, but you won't be able to stop me."

Tinder Fate 7: Treachery and Axolotls[]


Luke had no idea what to do. He had to get to work, he had to support his family. The freelance writer had moved his family from New Jersey to Portland, Oregon. And now he was in possession of a little boy who just happened to be a demon prince.

If it was up to him he would leave the boy with child-protective services. This wasn't his fight. But his wife, Kelsey, was the one at home. She was still recovering from the brutal attack that left her wheelchair-bound.

Although he had no memory of the last month of their life he soon discovered the layout of their living situation. Apparently Luke worked for the local community college as a tech writer, working on blocks of texts for advertisements and course catalogs. This allowed him to work from home and for Kelsey to take online classes.

So they were both at home when a strange man knocked on their door. "Are you serious?" Luke asked. He knew the tall, long-haired man who stood before him- Remy Desilva. "You're just going to show up on my doorstep? I thought you would have some kind of trick up your sleeve."

Remy was the son of demonic royalty and the little boy's biological father. "I don't need tricks to take what has always been mine," he said in his calm, Cajun-Hawaiian accent. "Lucas!"

The little boy came running. "Remy!"

Lucas looked so happy, it broke Luke's heart to pull him away. "Lucas, buddy," he said in his best attempt at a fatherly voice, "You can't go with Remy, you have to trust me he's a bad person."

The little boy's blue eyes filled with tears. "B-But Remy's my friend. When Papa was sick and Mommy was working, he took me on an adventure."

Remy took a knee and stroked Lucas's cheek. "Do you remember where we went?"

Lucas nodded. "Chicago," his little voice was trembling. "Ohio, and the water park in Wisconsin Dells. Everywhere we went your paintings made people so happy."

"I wonder where Remy's been for the past few months?" Luke asked out loud. His little daughter Shannon toddled to his side, looking up at him. He needed to take control of the situation in the calmest way possible.

Remy's focus was on Lucas. "Rainbow sent for me, he said you were lonely and you missed spending time with me." His voice was trembling with emotion. He sounded every bit like the loving, long lost, biological father.

Lucas wiped tears from his eyes. "You know Rainbow?"

Remy cupped the little boy's round cheeks. "I sent Rainbow to watch over you."

Luke was gritting his teeth. 'You ARE Rainbow! You should have stayed in your axolotl form, you damn creep!' He needed a plan.


The sound came from behind him. Luke turned to see Kelsey, in her wheelchair, holding a gun. But not just any gun. The small pistol was covered in gold script.

"I know who you are," Kelsey said her voice trembling with rage. "Olivia warned me about you- Remy DeSilva."

Lucas turned to Kelsey. "Auntie Livy?"

"Yes, your Auntie Livy asked me to keep you safe until your Mommy and Daddy could come to get you."

"B-But Rainbow sent Remy to come to get me."

Remy stood up and attempted to grab Lucas.

Kelsey did not hesitate to fire three rounds directly into Remy's chest.

Luke took the opportunity to slam the door shut, even as he held the sobbing Lucas in his arms.

"You hurt Remy!" the little boy cried.

Luke rocked the boy in his arms, ignoring the fact that Shannon was crying as well. "Remy is a bad man."

"No, he's not! I want Mommy! I want to go home!"

"If you go with Remy, you might never see your mommy ever again," was the wrong thing for Luke to say.

Lucas kicked him harder then any five-year-old should have been able to, and ran for the door.

Remy was gone. 'Of course, he was,' Luke thought to himself. 'The shape-shifting con-artist needed a new plan.'

For the next few days, Lucas was inconsolable. In addition to Remy, Rainbow (the silent axolotl) was also missing.

Then one morning Luke was watching the news with his family over breakfast and they saw a piece about the local science museum. They was going to be a traveling exhibit showcasing the very cute but very endangered axolotl.

It was a little too ironic for Luke's taste but Lucas seemed excited by the idea of seeing real live axolotls. And logically there was no way Remy could have taken over an entire museum- right?

That Saturday Luke and Kelsey took both Lucas and little Shannon to the museum. He Didn't think this would be a problem- after all how popular could axolotls be?

The place was a mad house; children and adults were in awe of the hundreds of specimens. All of the volunteers wore pink.

A girl with long brown hair and a kind smile approached. "Hello there! Aren't you two just adorable!" she was only addressing the children. "Do you want to see the touch tank?"

Lucas and Shannon shrieked with delight.

"Mommy and Daddy can go get a coffee if they'd like. We have plenty of volunteers at the exhibit," the girl was still talking only to the kids.

Lucas looked up at Luke. "Can we see the touch tank?"

"Sure." Luke was about to follow but the girl took off with the children so quickly he lost them in the crowd. In his new-found panic Luke recalled one disturbing thing: when the girl leaned down to talk to the kids he was able to see her cleavage- she had three scars in the exact place where Kelsey had shot Remy. "Oh F--k."

Luke turned around, with the goal of locating Kelsey, but he suddenly felt something wet on his leg. It was a pink axolotl the size of a kitten. Then two then three- before he knew it there was an army of pink, smiling faces just looking at him. He took a step back, tripping over his own feet.

In a blink of an eye, the axolotls were gone and he was collapsed on to Kelsey's wheelchair. "Luke, where are the kids?"

Luke pulled himself to his feet. "I think Remy took the kids." He had no reason to sugarcoat the situation.

Kelsey took out her phone. She also took out the strange gun, removing a single piece that seemed to connect to the phone like an external hard-drive. "We'll see about that." She appeared to have a tracking device app.

"You shot him with a tracking device?"

"Essentially," she said calmly. "Olivia told me that if I encounter Remy- shoot to kill. I would most likely not be able to kill him, but the power of the golden gun's bullets would remain in his bloodstream."

On the screen was a map with a glowing yellow dot. If the dot was Remy, he was heading south at an astounding speed. "Is he heading back to California?"

"Looks like it," Kelsey said, already turning to the exit.

"So what do we do?"

"You're kidding right?" Kelsey sounded legitimately upset. "We go after him!"

Luke ran after her. Kelsey was too injured to drive, but managed to get out of her wheelchair, into the passenger seat. Luke picked up her chair and placed it in the trunk. "Ok, we are going to California. But please tell me you have a way of calling for back up." By that, he meant Azzy and possibly Azzy's super-powered angel husband.

"We won't need backup," Kelsey muttered.

Luke pursed his lips and nodded. "Um.. ok...I guess... tell me where to go."

Tinder Fate 8: Reno[]

Luke drove for hours, across the southern Oregon border, back into California where his nightmare had begun. Kelsey was by his side using the mysterious phone app given to her by an angel. she read off where to turn, exit, etc- but Sacramento was the first time they even caught sight of the vehicle Remy was driving.

The shape-shifting demon was back in his normal form; a 6'2" male with facial hair and a man-bun. As opposed to the small, slender teenage girl who lured away Lucas and Shannon.

Fallen angel

Lucas was nearly five, maybe he wanted to go with the man who was his biological father. But Remy had no right to take Luke's toddler daughter as insurance. the more he thought about it, Luke might have even been inclined to allow Remy to take Lucas- but no, the selfish surfer demon he had to go and make things personal.

Luke pulled into a hotel parking lot and watched as Remy exited out of a blue Toyota minivan. His first instinct was to call the police. There was no way Remy legally owned that car. But the license plate was odd: with every blink of the eye, the letters, colors and even state changed. "What the?" Luke grumbled as he retrieved Kelsey's wheelchair.

Kelsey exited the car on her own, standing on her leg braces. "Move my chair in front of me, like a walker."

"Are you sure?"

"I've been doing well in physical therapy. I'll be fine."

Luke did as she asked and gave her the chair to use as a walker.

Kelsey made her way to the van, shining her phone light over the license plate. The letters were still changing but the state seemed to settle on Nevada.

"Is he headed to Nevada?" Luke asked.

"Only one way to find out- go get us a room."

"Sure." Luke walked in the lobby slowly and quietly. He was just in time to spot Remy and the kids. They looked like a happy family, laughing smiling, with promises of pool time after a trip to McDonald's.

When Remy was out of sight Luke approached the counter to pay for a room. "Whatever you have available is fine. My wife and I just need a room for the night."

The teenage clerk took his credit card and ID, just as Kelsey appeared. "I'm sorry, could we get a room on the first floor?" Kelsey asked, motioning at her wheelchair.

"Of course."

He handed Kelsey keys to room 102. She took them and walked quickly towards the room.

Even with her injured legs, she was moving abnormally fast. Luke had to sprint to catch up to her before she shut the door in his face. "Hey! What's up?"

"Shh!" Kelsey pressed her phone against the wall and turned on the app. She placed a finger to her lip driving the point home, before activating speaker mode.

"Is this why you wanted a room on the first floor?" Luke asked in a whisper. "How did you know Remy had a room on this floor?"

"What part of 'Shh' do you not understand?" she muttered. "I knew he would have a first-floor room because any sane desk clerk would know to put two young children on the first floor; for safety and for noise control. Now shut up and listen!"

Through the phone's speaker, Luke could hear children laughing as they ate crunch snacks and watched loud cartoons. He tried to focus on Shannon's voice, he needed to badly to know she was safe and unharmed. 

"Where's Mommy and Daddy?" the little girl asked. 

"Don't worry," Lucas replied happily. "Remy will take care of us." 

"Are Remy and Rainbow the same?" Shannon asked. It was a smart question for someone so small. What reason did she have to trust Remy?

"I don't know," the boy replied. "I mean, I think so. Or maybe Remy works for Rainbow which is how he got all the axolotls to listen to him."

Luke gasped. It hadn't been a hallucination: back at the museum, the axolotls did attack!

"Either way, Remy is really cool." Lucas shoved more food in his mouth. "Remember, he promised to take us swimming!"

"Ok," Shannon said meekly. 

Suddenly there was the sound of a toilet flush, followed by a door opening. "The swimming will have to wait until Reno," Remy said. 

This was met with groans from both children.

"You guys don't even have swimsuits here," Remy added. 

This statement caused Shannon to cry. "M-My swimmy-suit is at home with Mommy and Daddy."

"Oh, it's ok sweetie. Let me hold you." 

Luke assumed Remy picked the little girl up, since her cries seemed to calm.  

"We're going to see Lucas' grandpa," Remy said, enthusiastically. "He'll take good care of you."

Luke and Kelsey exchanged looks of concern: what could Remy mean by that? Kelsey took a pair of earbuds from her pocket. "Get some sleep, I'll take first watch."  

"Shouldn't I take first watch, since I'm driving?"

"Sure, ok," Kelsey said, handing him the phone and earbuds. She laid on the bed and appeared to fall asleep. 

Luke, with the earbuds in, made himself comfortable against the wall. The next few moments were just television noises. He assumed Remy was being quiet so the kids could finish watching their programs in peace. 

But the next words out of Remy's mouth would chill the young father to the bone. "Lucas' grandpa is a very kind man. He loved his little girl very much-"

"Lucas' Mommy?" Shannon asked. 

"Yes, we're going to see Lucas' mommy's daddy."

"Lucas told me his grandma and grandpa were in heaven."

"Heaven is just a place, like Ohio or Canada."

"Lucas told me they were in heaven, because I told him my grandma and grandpa, from Mommy and Daddy, were in heaven too."

"Maybe you'll get to meet them."

Luke's mind was racing. He tore off the earbuds and went for Kelsey's purse to grab her gun. 

"Luke?" Kelsey asked in a groggy voice. 

But he paid her no mind; he was going to get Shannon back or die trying. Gun in hand, Luke banged on the door of the room next door, the room he assumed Remy was in (even though he had not actually seen Remy enter.)

A heavily tattooed blonde man opened the door, holding a little girl in his arms. 

In his rage, Luke assumed this to be just one of Remy's tricks. "Give me my daughter!" he cried, pointing the gun at the man's chest. 

"What the f--k, man?" the father said in a thick southern accent. The little girl buried her face in her daddy's shoulder, sobbing. This was clearly not Shannon and Remy. 

This mistake was cemented when Luke heard the unmistakable sound of a minivan speeding out of the parking lot. He stood frozen in panic and fear as Kelsey limped to his side. 

"Please forgive my husband, he has PTSD," she said calmly. "This isn't even a real gun." Her voice trailed off as she grabbed Luke's arm, pulling him away from the door. 

"I'm so sorry, Kelsey. I screwed up so bad."

"Yes, you did. Next time- I take first watch. But for now, we need to get to the car!" Kelsey waved the keys in his face before hobbling off.

By the time Luke made it to the car, she had already started up the tracking app. 

"Make a left," she grumbled. "Remy's already about twenty miles ahead of us."

Luke did not see how that was possible, but knew better than to speak at that moment. He started down the road, following the signs and Kelsey's directions. 

Until his wife fell asleep, dropping the phone.

"Ok..." Luke took a breath to calm himself. He could easily follow the signs to Reno. 

"I know what Remy plans on doing," said a female voice next to him. 

Luke calmly pulled to the side of the road before turning his head. "Do I call you Shannon senior? or Shannon the first?"

Kelsey's dead mother was sitting between Luke and her sleeping daughter. Having died at the age of twenty-eight she looked young and radiant as ever. But Luke knew first hand that in the kingdom of heaven everyone looked the way they were always meant to. "I've been watching over you."

"I'm glad," Luke said with a sigh. "So what do you know?"

"It's worse then you think."

"That didn't answer my question."

"Well, put on your critical thinking cap," she said in a condescending tone. "What was Azzy's father doing the last time you saw him?"

"Fighting her angel husband?"

"Correct- so if he's now in Reno..."

"Did he destroy Azzy's husband?"

"Not likely: for a demon angel blood is like heroin, crack and ecstasy all rolled into one. So Vega is probably keeping Johnny nearby. Which will be good for you, since you will need all the help you can get."

"Yeah," Luke said with a yawn.

"Get some sleep," Kelsey's mother Shannon said, as she kicked her feet up on the dashboard. "I'll watch over both of I always have."

Tinder Fate 9: Circus Circus[]


With the ghost of Kelsey’s mother in the passenger seat, Luke felt calm, perhaps even a bit brave, as he drove into Reno.

The sexy brunette had on a faded yellow cowboy hat, pink sunglasses, and was sucking on a lollipop. “Pull into the parking garage of Circus Circus.”

Luke couldn’t help but smile. “You look so much like her.”

“I look like my daughter? Yeah, I’d hope so.” Her transparent image seemed to be overlaying Kelsey. His wife was beautiful but at that moment, within the drama of chasing down their daughter’s kidnapper, she looked dreary and older than her actual years.

Luke entered the parking garage, as expected there were no spaces. “So what now?”

“You need to find space number 666 and 2/3.”

“What is this- Harry Potter?” he asked jokingly.

“You mean the book series written by the immortal undercover witch, about her nephew’s daughter’s son?” She chuckled as she faded into Kelsey, their bodies merging into one until all that remained was Kelsey wearing the hat and sunglasses. “What the?-” She took off the sunglasses, handing them to Luke. “Look!”

Luke looked through the glasses. The lyrics of ‘Palisades Park’ by Counting Crows seemed to be written across the walls of the parking garage.

“At a crosswalk in Reno, Nevada, Wearing nothing but air and a pair of grey paper wings Andy thinks, “Man, I have got nothing to wear…”

Luke followed the words and as expected they ended at a space between 666 and 667. He turned back to look at Kelsey. “Maybe you should stay here.”

“No.” Kelsey stood up on her now healed legs. “We’re going to find my daughter.”

Luke had seen the Harry Potter movies- and at that moment he was picturing the scene when Harry and Ron missed the train and therefore missed the ‘secret wall entrance.’ Luke was not about to charge headfirst at a wall that may or may not be a portal.

But Kelsey was.

The two fell through, landing face first on the floor of what appeared to be a casino. The place was an assault on the senses; bright lights in every direction, music and slot machine sounds rang through at a deafening volume. With his eyes closed, Luke focused on a single sense; he could smell …salt water? There was a pool or an ocean or maybe even an aquarium- and he needed to find it. “This way. Remy said he was going to take the kids swimming. That’s what we need to find.”

“A pool? An ocean?” Kelsey took his hand and walked with him.

They had been walking for only five minutes but the ambient sound seemed to be oddly calmer.

“Wow,” Kelsey said.

Her happy, hopeful, tone caused Luke to open his eyes. “Wow.” They were walking through a boardwalk amusement park, under a calm night sky.

A roller coaster roared, children laughed and screamed, this place seemed perfect- almost like heaven. The further they walked the more of the scene appeared to render; shops, rides, snack booths, until the couple made it to the beach.

Under the starry night sky, Luke could see Lucas and Shannon playing in the shallow water.

Remy was watching over them, holding the little girl in his arms, as Lucas splashed them. The trio looked like a happy family, but they were not alone. The scene was full of transparent figures; men, women, and children. Some looked happy, others looked lost, depressed, a few even appeared angry.

“The souls of the damned,” Vega said from behind.

Luke turned to see Azzy’s father, the demon king looking like a typical surfer with his long blonde hair, youthful face and muscular physique. “Hi, you look well.”

Vega chuckled. He stroked his arm along the body of an invisible figure. “I am, especially now that I have Leanna.”

A woman appeared on his arm, she was bi-racial or maybe a Pacific Islander. But she seemed to only be able to smile- like a mannequin or a really detailed doll.

“This is my word, my happiness,” Vega explained.

“Is this really all you want?” Luke asked. “A family, a kingdom-”

“And your daughter.”

“Um, why? You could literally summon anyone,” Luke remained calm. Vega was acting rational, so there was no reason to be combative.

“But Shannon…” Vega waved his hand to freeze the scene. He walked to Remy and Shannon. With a smile, Vega reached down to touch the little girl’s cheek. “Shannon is a lure.”

“A lure?”

“Observe,” Vega’s voice was filled with happiness and light. He smiled at the little girl.

Shannon smiled back with a precious giggle. “Papa.”

The word made Luke sick to his stomach. There was something so happy about her voice.

Shannon looked up at the moon (or what appeared to be the moon in this reality.) Her smile alone seemed to draw in a heavenly light. And this light seemed to act as a magnet or bug-zapper for the dozens of angels who were pulled through the light, falling into the water, where they were quickly devoured by the horde of spirits.

Luke glanced at Kelsey who was clearly as horrified as he was. But strangely Lucas, Shannon, and even Remy did not seem to be aware of the massacre that was happening right in front of them.

With a snap of Vega’s fingers, the sky returned to its former sparkle. “Good job, baby. Good job.”

Shannon laughed some more.

Kelsey took a step closer. “Shannon? It’s me, Mommy.”

Shannon turned her head, first to the side, then all the way around, like an owl. “Le-le is Mommy.” She reached are arms out to be held by Leanna.

Leanna opened her mouth to speak but got out only a breath before Vega shushed her. “Take our baby to join the feast.”

Leanna bowed her head as if to apologize. She then walked back to Remy who appeared to be frozen in time. She glided her nail across his neck, deep enough to draw blood.

Remy leaned into her touch, seemingly moaning with pleasure as she tore out a chunk of flesh from his neck. She licked her fingers then offered the bloody flesh to Shannon.

She looked at Leanna’s hand with confusion for also curiosity. “Yummy?”

Kelsey shrieked aloud, inhuman, shriek and charged at Leanna. With Luke lost sight of Shannon as his wife wrestled the other woman to the ground.

Luke knew he needed to do something. But he was afraid of what Vega’s next move would be. There was no way he could take on Vega. Or was there?

Johnny and Azzy were someplace, he just needed a way to find them. He needed to escape and there seemed to be only one way out- the ocean. Luke didn’t want to abandon his family, so int he split second he reached for a and grabbed one single item; the hat- the yellow-gold cowboy hat.

The hat that somehow found its way from Kelsey’s mother’s ghost’s head to Kelsey’s. He clutched the hat to his chest and dove into the water, hoping there would be some kind of light; a tunnel, a sign- anything to show what his next move should be.

“You are such an idiot,” said a voice in the darkness. “You took my hat?”

Luke brushed himself off. He appeared to have landed in a cave system.  But looking up he could see- water. “Where am I?”

“I saved your sorry butt.”

“What?” his head was pounding as he looked up to see who was speaking.

Kelsey’s mother held Shannon in her arms. But they were covered in blood.

Luke was confused until he took a look around. The room was full of body parts; arms, legs, a few torsos, and many MANY wings.  “Is this the garbage pit?”

“You could say that.” The angel fidgeted with the toddler in her arms.

Shannon was trying to taste the gore. “Yummy!” she cried.

Luke immediately vomited, despite the fact, there was nothing in his stomach but water. “What do we do?”

“Find Azzy and Johnny, without letting the demons get a hold of my granddaughter.”

But to Luke, it appeared too late. She wanted to play in the blood of angels.

“It’s never too late,” said a male voice.

Luke turned to see a portal. “Johnny?”

Azzy’s husband had never left Wisconsin. Thanks to his power he was able to offer them a way out of Reno. “You’ll be safe here.”

Luke took a step through the portal, into the Wisconsin hospital.  “I thought you were dead.”

“Technically I’m already dead,” Johnny said, extending his wings.

“I take it we can’t kill Vega?” Luke asked.

“If we could, trust me I would have,” Johnny said as he reached for little Shannon. He stroked the little girl’s cheek. “Only the living have souls. When we die we are given the choice- to relinquish our souls and ascend into heaven as the perfect beings that God always meant for us to become.”

Shannon’s skin glowed with a heavenly light.

Johnny smiled with a tear in his eye. “Or to stay here on Earth and become like Vega.”

“Or like you,” the words fell from Luke’s lips. “You’re almost as powerful as he is.”

Johnny simply chuckled. “You’d better hope so.”

Tinder Fate 10: The End[]


How does an angel send a demon back to hell? That was the question of the day, and Luke had a feeling he was not going to like the answer.

Johnny, the angel of Wisconsin was the only hope for salvation against the demon king, Vega.  He was a kind man; a husband and father, but to defeat a demon- "You're going to take his place," Luke said with a trembling voice as he held his toddler stepdaughter, Shannon, in his arms.

"I can take his power without becoming him."

"I'll have to take your word for it." Luke had very little choice in the matter. "So where's Azzy, your wife?"

"Someplace safe," Johnny replied, touching his hand to his chest. He had been wearing blue hospital scrubs but in the light of the moon-lit window, Luke spotted a metal rosary necklace on Johnny's neck.

At least he assumed it was metal. "So, how do we find Vega?"

"He'll find us," Johnny said as he started to walk away. "We just need to meet him halfway."

Luke hurried after him, struggling to keep his hold on Shannon. She was fidgety but he was not about to let her walk on her own. He looked around for help but realized he was alone. "Where did Kelsey's mother go?"

"You heavenly mother-in-law?" Johnny asked with a smirk. "You are one lucky man to have a literal angel watching over you. I mean, as opposed to what most people call their mother-in-law." He laughed so hard at his own joke that he actually had to stop to catch his breath. "Don't worry, I imagine she will meet us at the battleground."

"Which is where?" Luke asked. "Are we headed to the roof?"

"This version of reality is a time-pocket," Johnny explained. "You probably guessed that."

Looking around at the empty ward, with wall and ceilings covered with dust and cobwebs- he knew what Johnny meant. This was a time in the future, a reality that would one day exist and since Johnny was the guardian of the hospital he would likely be around to see it. "And the roof?"

"The roof is the backdoor, secret entrance into the casino. Well, what became of the casino in this timeline."

When they reached the roof the moon appeared to be flashing red, yellow, orange and white. It was definitely the entrance to a casino. Little Shannon was mesmerized by the lights, trying harder than ever to get free of Luke's grasp.

"Keep a strong hold on your daughter. She tasted the blood of the innocent, it won't take much for her to fall under Vega's control."

"What about my wife?"

"Vega has her? If she looks anything like her mother she should be easy to find." With a wave of his hand Johnny, Luke and Shannon were pulled through the portal with a magnetic-like force.

"Well, well well - what have we here?" Vega sat upon a golden throne with Leanna and a clearly hypnotized Kelsey by his side. "A pair of heroic fathers- one let me escape and the other ran off with his tail between his legs. Why don't you make this easy and hand over the child? After all, every little girl needs a mother." Vega motioned to his scantily clad women.

Johnny chuckled. "That was a mistake." He tore off the rosary.

Luke gripped Shannon tightly as the room filled with a blinding white light. When the light faded he saw an entire room full of female warrior angels, including Kelsey's mother.

And the cross pendant from the necklace fell to the floor last, bouncing a few times before revealing its contents- the demon warrior queen Azzy. "Hi, Dad."

Vega stood up and simply smiled his wide, cat-like, smile. "All I ever wanted was to meet my grandchild."

"So did Remy's father," Azzy said, motioning to a dark corner of the room.

Remy stepped forward, his wrists in chains. But as he blinked his eyes they were red, glowing. He opened his mouth to speak but only a primal, catlike, roar emerged.

"Hello, Papa Jean-Luc," Azzy said as she kissed his cheek. "I always liked you."

Luke could hear the man screaming silently, his cries of pain felt like ripples of electricity. With every blast, the demons in the room were frozen in place. It was as if she was controlling a human-sized taser.

Vega stood up easily. "Remy said you were crazy."

"I am." Azzy stood strong but Lucas could see she was scanning the room, looking for her little son. Where was Lucas?

Luke felt a soft tug on his pant leg.

It was little Lucas, he was crying. "I wanna go home."

"Home?" Luke had no idea what to do. Azzy was in a battle with Vega using Remy as an attack dog all while Johnny seemed to be content to watch.

What home could Luke possibly send the innocent little boy to? He needed help, he needed a sign.
Followed by a mechanical grinding noise.

The noise became a roar. Luke assumed this must be what dogs heard when a household vacuum passes by.

He held Shannon close, covering her ears as he rocked her against his chest. He started to focus on his breath, the sound of the blood pumping in his head. Little by little the sounds started to fade, giving way to a moment of pure peace and tranquility.

Suddenly Luke gasped for air as dread filled his mind; he had left Lucas unprotected. He forced his eyes open, desperate to find the little boy but all he saw was a bright light.

"Here she is, the next president of the united states, Eliza 'Azzy' Villanueva."

The sound was echoing all around him, clearly coming from a speaker. As vision started to focus he could see it was a television- a massive, big screen, television. He was no longer in a casino, but rather a penthouse. Through a window, he could see Mt Rainier. Was this Seattle? Portland?

He turned back to the television for Azzy's speech. "I couldn't have gotten to where I am without the love and support of my followers, my fans, but most importantly- my family."

Remy and little Lucas stepped forward. Remy wore a suit, with his long hair pulled back in a ponytail. He looked respectable, like a father.

"Remy Desilva," Azzy turned to her friend. "You have been the greatest assistant, partner, and friend I could ask for. And I know you will continue to care for my son- our son- throughout my reign."

Luke walked closer to the screen as if that would offer a better perspective on what he just heard. Did Azzy just admit, on camera, that Lucas was Remy's son?

But Azzy had more to say. "Remy, it's because of you, my husband and I..."

Johnny arose from his seat. His hair was shorter, and like Remy, he also wore a suit. But as he stood up to stand at his wife's side, his wings expanded revealing their full impressive span.

"We will be able to devote our time," Azzy paused to smile, "our lives, to making this world a better place."

Little Lucas reached his arms out to his mother.

Azzy noticed and picked him up.

Looking straight into the camera Lucas mouthed, 'Thank you.'

Luke was so mesmerized he almost tripped over his daughter.

Shannon toddled to the screen, giggling with delight. "Look, Daddy, it's Lucas!"

"Yeah, it is."

Kelsey walked in carrying a book bag. "Aww, they look so happy."

Luke turned off the tv, to gaze upon his beautiful wife. "Yeah, it's pretty amazing."

"She ran one hell of a campaign. I mean, getting the minimum presidential age lowered to twenty-five was a miracle in itself. But Azzy took the ball and ran with it, she's truly an inspiration." Kelsey picked up Shannon. "I'm going to get dinner started."

Luke nodded as his wife and daughter left the room. "All's well that ends well."

The television turned back on, to a channel of blue static. Vega's face appeared in shadow form, fading in and out as he laughed. "You'd better hope so."


Written by Dourdan
Content is available under CC BY-SA

Taken from here.