Chapter 10: Residents of Evil, Revelations

Chapter 10: Residents of Evil, Revelations

A Chapter by Cameron Lockhart

Mike Jr. and Josephine finally get the upper hand, as well as a chance to confront their mother, but her response is nothing they could have anticipated.


From where she stood, Katherine couldn't see much among the plumes of smoke. She heard various punches and kicks, occasionally catching a glimpse of the action, such as someone getting knocked into the air above the smoke cloud momentarily. But with her side winning, the activity died down a bit. With a maniacal smirk stretching her black and white lips, she held the tip of her staff up to her mouth like a microphone as she spread her message to the opposition.

"Once I've finally beaten every last drop of fighting spirit out of you lot, I shall imprison you and everyone who stands in my way, before helping Katherine take over this dinky little town and become-"

"Queen of the Dead! With her devilish husband and horrible children at her side…" Balthazar completed the tirade in his own voice, still under his boss' control.

"Y'know… every time Mom called us names and told us she hated us when we were little, I always assumed it was just one of those dark jokes that grown-ups love to crack. Nowadays I'm the toughest, most indestructible man to ever live, yet hearing that now kinda' hurts," Mike Jr. said.

"Sheesh, even when you're dismayed, your ego's the size of Texas." Josephine rolled her eyes, still in a horse stance.

"Pfft, yeah right… whatever the hell 'dismayed' means…"

"But more importantly, what should our next move be?"

"That's what we wanna know too." Ike stepped over to the twins. "On behalf of the Afterlife Task Force, I'm tempted to withdraw and just let your sociopath mother run rampant because this just seems impossible!"

"Aw man, but that would mean we're stuck zapping the vermin off of people's property again! It seems like we never get to fight any thugs or villains anymore!" Todd whined.

"Well do you have any bright ideas, then?" Eli asked.

"Why not just zap him while he's monologuing? He's literally just standing there!" Robyn suggested.

"My idea's not much, but we could try teamwork again?" Second shrugged.

"Actually yes, but let's try to be more strategic about it and try to juggle him. Only attack one at a time, but be more aggressive and defensive, and only use team moves sparingly," Josephine explained.

"Well it's worth a shot, but if this fails, then we're outta here," Ike warned.

With a collective war cry, the whole gang began to charge at Balthazar from all angles, before abruptly turning and scattering around him as they kept moving. Balthazar dropped to the ground and started to breakdance as blood-red flames coated his legs, hoping to round everyone up with the cyclone he was forming, but to his shock, he completely whiffed. Hopping back to his feet, he tried to keep his eyes on everyone as he looked about frantically but was unprepared when Second hopped onto his shoulders from behind, coiling his legs around his neck and performing a flip, slamming his opponent into the ground while landing in a handstand. He followed up with a couple of scorpion kicks as he tried to get up, forcing him to roll away in order to get back onto his feet.

Balthazar managed to teleport away before he could take a shoulder tackle from Robyn, but when he reappeared yards away, he was caught off guard by a leg sweep from Todd, knocking him onto his stomach. Robyn then landed hard on his back, punching the back of his head before he could fight back, and then rolled backwards to grab his feet. Standing back up, she swung him around by the ankles and smacked him repeatedly against the cobblestone streets for a spell, before getting jabbed away by a flaming boot to the face. After taking a second to reorient himself, he sped over toward Ike, who was ready to face him again. The two sparred for a few moments, looking evenly matched before Balthazar tried to warp behind him.

Like last time, Ike anticipated this and bum-rushed him with an uppercut to the gut, sending him stumbling backward until he tripped over Eli, who was on his hands and knees. Eli then yanked him up by his jacket and kneed him in the face a few times, before kicking him closer to the center of the plaza, where the twins stood in wait. Balthazar was barely on his feet, a little winded from the changing tides of the battle, and this gave Josephine the perfect opportunity to lunge. Using her signature move, she pounced on him and crawled all over his body in a rapid fashion in order to disorient him further, striking with a roundhouse kick to the face and making him bounce a little upon hitting the ground. Rushing behind him, she nailed him in the groin with a high kick, sending him reeling high into the air.

Finally, Mike Jr. leaped right after him and brought his fists together, before letting loose an epic grunt as he clocked Balthazar right on the head to send him plummeting towards the fountain in the center of the square. But being the egomaniac he was, he just couldn't stop there. Landing on the tip-top of the fountain, he twirled around and knocked his opponent back into the sky with an uppercut, before bounding after him again and immobilizing him with his brawny arms. Flipping upside down, he finally took out Balthazar with a devastating pile driver, dousing his demonic flames and destroying the fountain in the process.

Right away, everyone looked around to see things start to clear up. While the damage done to the town was largely intact, there wasn't a single flame to be seen, and a good chunk of the smoke in the air dissipated. All Balthazar could do was groan as he lay there stunned inside his wet, lightly steaming impact crater, barely able to spot Ike rushing over before he was beamed out of existence with his reincarnation device.

Watching the whole thing from a good distance away was Katherine, her face morphing between fury and shock as she saw her own children fighting alongside the enemy. She'd had her suspicions, seeing how she barely saw the twins earlier in the fight, but after seeing the both of them land the final blows on Balthazar, all of her doubt had dissipated. And seeing the two rejoice and exchange high-fives with the afterlife task force was not helping matters. All the malicious matriarch could do was tremble and twitch, a crooked, deranged grin splitting her face in two as she let out an awkward snicker. This quickly morphed into a sadistic laugh as she held her gut and doubled over backwards, kicking her fishnet-covered legs around in the air.

"Alrighty! Took us long enough," Robyn chirped, dusting off her shoulder.

"I'll say," Eli replied.

"But you seriously mean to tell me that all it took was some water to snuff out those demons?" Todd scratched his head through his spiky hair.

"That's because the fountain's filled with holy water. …we live in a very Christian neighborhood," Josephine deadpanned.

"Regardless, great work everybody!" Ike declared. "I trust you two can take it from here?"

"Yeah, we should be-" Mike Jr. cut himself off as everyone noticed his mother's crazed laughter. "…able to?"

By now, Katherine was barely able to stand up, resting a hand on the front steps' railing as she continued to cackle, stopping occasionally to cough and hack as her one good eye bulged and gushed with tears. The twins jogged over towards her, hurrying up the horseshoe-shaped driveway and seeing just what she had reduced herself to.

"Er, Mom? What's gotten into you?" Josephine asked, only to be tuned out. "Mom!"

But not even a backhanded slap to the face could snap her out of it, only making her stumble backward a few inches. Gently shoving his sister aside, Mike Jr. grabbed his mother by the front of her bustier and started punching her in the face, each impact cutting off her laughter for only a split second. But Katherine continued to cackle straight into his face.

"Alright, you asked for it…"

Mike Jr. then whipped around and grabbed his mother's waist, holding her close to his body as he hopped off the ground and suplexed her onto the doormat by the front door, finally managing to calm her down a bit.

"Goddamn, I've always wanted to do that!" he grinned to himself.

Katherine kept giggling like a maniac as she slowly got back onto her feet, flashing a demonic grin at her two children.

"Y-You two are so hilarious, you know that?" she cooed.

"Er… huh?" Mike Jr. scratched his head.

"Mind being a little less cryptic there, Mom?" Josephine folded her arms, already bored of her mother's theatrics.

"You seriously think you've won just because you took out all my minions. Did you really think I wouldn't anticipate that?" Katherine gloated. "You can't expect to become good villains if you let yourself get puppeteer'd so easily."

"Wh-What are you saying?" Mike Jr. slowly balled his fists.

"I'm saying, your insubordinate actions were all according to plan, meathead. Part of the big picture, really! See, you two thought the sight of you fighting with the enemy would catch me off guard, but it didn't. I knew all along that you two were plotting a scheme of your own! What with the lack of enthusiasm for villainy, the reluctance to follow orders, the fact that you two don't squabble amongst yourselves nearly as often as you used to, and the decrease in local crime rates as of late… I may have lost my depth perception upon my passing, but I'm far from blind."

"Okay, so before you keep kissing your own a*s, what is this super special plan of yours, and why should we care? Because even I'm having trouble piecing the whole thing together," Josephine remarked.

"My master plan was to bridge the gap between heaven and earth with the help of this voodoo staff. Now I could've just spent weeks studying all the different spells and figuring out how to do that on my own, but a much simpler solution would be to attach one of these!" Katherine held up the stolen reincarnation device.

At the same time, the task force remained at the bottom of the driveway, overhearing every word of the nearby exchange. Soon as Todd noticed the resurrection device in Katherine's hand, he frantically rummaged through his pockets, only to find that they were empty. In an instant, all the color drained from his face, though he shook it back to normal as he followed his partners towards the manor.

"And figuring that you two were betraying me, I thought I'd rearrange my plans so that they matched up perfectly with yours," Katherine finished with another unstable cackle. "There's just… one thing I couldn't quite put my finger on, though… why did you do it?"

"Fine, you want the truth?! The truth is, we're sick of this supervillain s**t!" Mike Jr. stamped his foot in rage. "Yeah, being rich and spoiled is fun and all, and it's nice to be able to run around without everyone breathing down our necks, but we never wanted to conquer the world or anything! …maybe the markets, but not the world!"

"And look at us now. We've just destroyed a huge chunk of the town, turned its people against us, sacrificed several human afterlives, and are now on the verge of messing with the space-time continuum… yet throughout all that, I haven't felt an ounce of satisfaction," Josephine added. "Don't even get me started on the fact that our own villainy led to us getting killed, with no chance of growing up or experiencing anything else that life has to offer…"

"Well for one thing, by trying to sabotage my operation instead of giving it to me straight, you're not really helping the whole 'we've reformed' case you're trying to push. Secondly, if you're that uninterested in the family business, then you're welcome to cross over and stay there. Nothing's stopping you." Katherine shrugged, putting her evil grin back on as she was about to mount the reincarnation device onto her staff.

"No, but we plan on stopping you!" Mike Jr. declared with a raised fist.

Right as he said that, the Afterlife Task Force arrived on the scene, just beyond the second wall of the moat. Katherine raised her staff, summoning a wall of mint green flames to block off each entrance to the driveway.

"Wait, these aren't seriously gonna hurt us, right?" Eli asked. "We are in the afterlife."

"No, but…" Robyn attempted to charge through the flames with her shoulder thrust in front of her, only to collide with an invisible forcefield, bouncing her back a few meters. "Yep, just as I thought."

© 2022 Cameron Lockhart

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Added on September 21, 2022
Last Updated on September 21, 2022
Tags: antihero, afterlife, action, humor, family, drama, comedy, redemption


Cameron Lockhart
Cameron Lockhart

Charleston, SC

I've loved writing ever since I could properly hold a pencil, and I currently strive to become a published author someday. In 2021, I earned a BA in Creative Writing; I primarily focused on prose and .. more..