Wilp – Bonus Chapters – Introducing ME!

Follow the light.


Sean stepped onto the next step. He used his foot to push the thick webbing on the step to one side. Whatever this stuff was, it had come from the top of the tower. The more steps they took, the thicker it became. It was like sandy padding on the steps now, and Sean was grateful the tower had no windows. He took a breath and yet another step. “Okay?” Samantha enquired.

 “Fine,” was all Sean said in reply as he trudged onwards and upwards. Every step was a milestone for him, and every milestone presented another target. Eventually, they’d reached the top step and found a door. “Oh, for God’s sake,” Sean said. He used the broom to brush the webbed weeding from the door. It seemed to have grown from the wood itself, pushing through each microscopic crack and break in the frame. “Just smash the thing open,” Samantha said.

“Okay, stand back,”

Not needing to be told twice, he turned to the side and pointed his left shoulder toward the door. The steps made it easier as he could get lower down. He looked at the lock next to the handle, braced for impact, and slammed forward. He rammed forwards, and the door opened just as he was about to hit it. He went flying through the empty door frame and into the bulb room, spilling into the room like a drunk falling from a bar. A spark of light flew at speed down the staircase in the opposite direction.

            Samantha moved and backed herself to the wall; the red dusting that broke away fell into her hair. She dodged the light and ran into the bulb room as it passed her. “You okay?” she asked Sean as she ran through the doorway.

            “I’m fine,” Sean said, as he picked himself up. The weedy webbing was thickest in the room, and Sean had driven himself right through it. The dusting of red on his jacket was complemented by the red dust in his hair. Samantha looked at the room. The bulb had been completely blown out, presumably, by whatever had happened. Red weeding was suspended like tights or blown party poppers from wiring overhead. It hung and swayed in a wind that didn’t seem to exist. It must be the draft from up the staircase, Samantha thought. The mirrored rear of the housing for the bulb had cracked, and on it, words were written. “Yeah, could have done with that another time,” Samantha said sarcastically.

“Huh?” Sean asked, and turned to look at the mirrored surface. He read the words written there, “I guess this isn’t going to be so simple,” he said.

The words, ‘Go to the oldest being you know’, were written on the mirrored chrome surface. It was written in what looked like red chalk.

They left the lighthouse just in time to see the spark heading into the distance. “It’s heading for the beach,” Sean said as he gave chase. He may have been a smoker and drinker, but immortality had its advantages. Samantha, who wasn’t unfit herself, struggled to keep pace with him. They chased down through the cul-de-sac. Sean seemed to have luck – or wilp? – on his side as he ran down the narrow pathway at the end of the road. He looked at the end of the path to the left and right and turned right, toward the beach. “I saw a glint up ahead,” he called back. Samantha, keeping a steady pace, turned the same corner and jumped over a pile of dog shit someone had helpfully left in the way. She zigzagged through the metal bars designed to stop motorbikes, and the path widened.

The stone pathway turned to sand, and the sand turned to small dunes. The first few weren’t a problem, the soft sand fell away as their feet stamped into it. The final slope burnt the back of Samantha’s legs as she slipped on the sand and had to put effort in. She reached the top and saw Sean just ahead of her on the beach with his arms by his side, panting. “Where did it go?” she asked breathlessly as she reached him. “Into the other lighthouse,” Sean replied as he caught his breath.

As they looked at the lighthouse, its small wooden door opened, and a short naked man with bright red hair stepped out. He couldn’t have been looking where he was going because he instantly fell to the ground, the steps having long been removed. He stood, dusted dry sand from his body, and walked over to them.

Yes, it’s me!


“I was sure there were steps there,” he said as he approached. He held his right hand in greeting; neither Sean nor Samantha took it. “That was you? The light thing?” Sean asked.

“Yes, yes. That was me. It used to be my name once upon a time. Still, that’s all in the past,” the man rambled. “Which one is which?” he said and pointed at the pair. “Come on, chip chop. I know one of you is called Sean and the other’s Samantha.” He slumped forwards and slapped his hands on the top of his naked legs whilst groaning like an overdramatic toddler. “Ouch,” he lifted back up, pulled two tufts of red hair upwards on his head and then said. “I’m only joking. I know who you are. Do you think I’d have travelled all this way without knowing? Ha, the very thought. I just like to see who plays the pronoun game.” Sean opened his mouth and was about to speak when the strange man started talking again. He seemed to be the type who liked the sound of his own voice. “Oh, travelling, yes. Ignore the hell-spawn back there. Someone closed my usual door, so I had to burrow my way through. The spawn is just an after-effect. It should clear by itself. If it doesn’t, just burn the place down.”

Sean was about to cut in once again as the man stopped for a breath, hoping to get a word in, during the brief moment. Samantha, instead, stopped him this time by speaking. Thankfully she asked the question Sean wanted to ask, “Who the hell are you?” The strange man looked at them both and gave a look of disappointment. “Who am I? Who am I?” he shrieked. “My dears. I’m the Devil.”

Sean instantly darted in front of Samantha. Was this the moment, he thought? Was this the prophecy? Samantha moved to one side and looked at the Devil, “I thought you’d be more, well, devilish, I suppose,” she said. The Devil stood and looked at her. He then pointed to his red hair and to his groin. “One. Same top and below. The mantle matches the fireplace. Second…” He pointed at the tufts of hair, “See horns! It’s obvious.”

“I just thought you’d be… bigger,” Samantha said.

“Bigger?” the Devil said. “I’ll have you know that it’s freezing. You should also know that size doesn’t matter.” The Devil tutted loudly at her like one would a badly behaved child. “Oh,” the Devil exclaimed, “did you mean bigger like…” He held his arms out by his side and stomped on the floor. “Did you mean like that? I suppose I could’ve done, but I’m in disguise.” Sean hadn’t moved a muscle during this exchange. He stood just in front and to the side of Samantha. Samantha wasn’t used to having someone watching out for her. She was grateful, but didn’t feel the need for protection. She stepped forward to be Sean’s equal beside him. “What the hell are you doing here?” Sean asked before realising the pun.

“I was getting to that,” the Devil said, “but you two didn’t shut up.” He took a step forward and placed a cold hand on each of their shoulders. “My friends, we are going to save the worlds together,” he said. And then, as he clasped their shoulders, the three of them vanished, leaving only a tiny dusting of sand blowing where they had stood.

Francesca Brown was a nosey woman. Sometimes you have to state the facts of the matter. You can’t gloss over everything. She had to know if someone in the town was doing anything remotely dodgy. And know, she would. She’d move from place to place and often person to person, picking up little titbits and nick-nacks of information to complete a curiosity-built picture. By doing this, she often painted a canvas quite unlike the actual scene. Ms Brown knew this, but she didn’t care. Why should she? She just wanted the hot goss. Who’d it hurt? She cared not one jot. It led to her not being trusted by anyone. She was the type of person who, if she were to say it was raining, would cause a person to look outside to check for themselves. She peered in through the window of a tailor’s shop and watched Smithson getting ready to open up. What had attracted her attention? Why was boring old Smithson of such interest? Well, his wife had gone missing.

“She’s run off with another man”, one woman had said.

“I heard it was another woman,” another added.

“Maybe he killed her?” another had speculated as they drank their morning coffees. Ms Brown had sat idly listening to all this, and the moment they’d finished their drinks, she’d headed to the store. It may not have been a problem at any other time, place, or world but then the Devil, Sean, and Samantha popped up in front of her on the other side of the window. One second she looked through the glass, and the next, they appeared like mannequins from out of nowhere. Sean placed his hand outwards and grabbed the wall, “What the heck was that?” he asked.

 “It was quicker than walking,” the Devil replied.

He spun around and looked at Ms Brown through the window. He smiled the smile of a madman and lifted his lips so his complete set of pearly whites was on show. “Ms Brown,” he said, “she left because he’s gay. There’s no scandal here. It was all very amicable. So will you please… piss off!” The Devil’s tone had changed slightly. It had been fun and joking, but when he spoke to Ms Brown, it was harsher. “Something she said?” Sean asked.

“I just don’t like busybodies,” the Devil groaned. He turned back and looked at the shop. “I’m on the boring side, aren’t I?” he said. He then started to rant to himself. “Of all the fucking things, of all the damn places, I get the boring side. Why fucking me? It’s never easy!” he shouted to the store. Smithson, who’d blinked not once, not twice, but three times, finally spoke. “Excuse me, sir,” he said in his most polite shopkeeper-like manner. The Devil turned and looked at him, “I know you,” he said. He banged the heel of his hand up against his forehead, “Smithson, wait!” he exclaimed. “You’re the one who killed his wife! Don’t worry, your secret’s safe. I told her you were gay.”

Sean started to remove his jacket to offer it to the Devil, “Why would I want that?” he asked.

“You’re naked,” Sean said seriously.

“So? Everyone’s seen someone naked before,” the Devil said. He then started to jump up and down. He held his arms in the air, and both Samantha and Sean could see his bright red armpit hair. As he jumped, his penis slapped against his belly and pubic area, “Look, slap, slap,” he said. Sean pushed the jacket towards the Devil, “I never want to see that again,” he said.

“Prude,” the Devil replied as he slipped the jacket over his shoulders. “Smithson, I’ll see you in a few years. Sorry for disturbing you,” he said, and walked to the door. “Why are we following you?” Samantha asked. The Devil stopped and looked her in the eye, “Samantha, do you want the world to end?” he asked.

“How do we know you can be trusted?” she replied.

“Why wouldn’t you trust me?” the Devil asked as he opened the door.

“You’re the Devil,” Sean said. Smithson fainted at this point and hit his head on the counter as he collapsed. “Maybe I’ll see him sooner,” the Devil said, as he walked out into the morning sun. Ms Brown had intended to tell all her friends about what had happened. The naked man who’d looked at her after appearing from nowhere. The story of Smithson’s wife. The problem, she’d discover, was that some stories are just too fantastical. Nobody would believe her.

“This is Burnham, right? Shit pier, crap jetty, and that round church thing?” the Devil enquired. “How are we supposed to trust the Devil?” Sean asked his question again. The Devil turned, “Sean, do you blame the prison warden for the inmates?” he asked, and before giving Sean a chance to reply, “you shouldn’t believe everything you read in that hippy biography.”

“You’re not evil?” Samantha asked.

“No, I’m evil. I just pick and choose when to be so,” the Devil replied. “I spoke to my siblings, and they were all like,” the Devil mimicked a whining voice, “we don’t get involved in human affairs these days.” He returned to his normal voice, “So, you’re stuck with me. Good enough?” Sean grumbled something that nobody else could hear. The Devil heard but chose to ignore it. He looked at Sean and said with a wry smile, “You, of all people, should know that there are shades of grey. Being what you are and all.”

“You know what I am?” Sean asked suddenly and seriously.

“Exactly? No. When this is over, I’ll tell you what I know,” the Devil said. Samantha smiled. She smiled the smile of someone who’d just opened the greatest gift ever. “Where are we going?” she asked.

“Did the round church burn down here?” the Devil asked.

“Yes,” Sean said without any emotion carried in his voice. He still didn’t trust the Devil; why should he? But he wanted answers, and if he could get them, he’d go along with the ride. “Can’t you just zap us there?” Samantha asked.

“It’s tiring,” the Devil said, “and I’ve a feeling that I’ll need to be at full strength.”

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