Challenge: Writer’s Table Monthly Drabble – April 2019
Fandom: Hellblazer, Justice League Dark
Word Count: 442
John Constantine stood on the train platform, the ever-present cigarette hanging from his mouth. He looked out at the rain coming down against the unnatural violet skies. Closing his eyes he thought of the last few days and all of the things he was running from.
The house had looked almost normal to anyone else, but as he approached, with Zatanna and Deadman next to him. They had been called out by Question, who thought this was their kind of case. They had not considered the dark energy that permeated the symbols that were drawn all over the house.
“I have a very bad feeling about this.” John let out a string of expletives that would make a sailor blush.
“Well, we won’t know unless we go in.” Zatanna moved forward as John started a spell to break the enchantment. As they moved closer a voice whispered in his ear.
‘Help me, John.’
That voice brought John to his knees.
“No. No, not her. You bastards!” John yelled and let the magic inside of him build until he was screaming.
Opening his eyes he stood and ran to the house, breaking the wards with ease. There in the center was his own personal nightmare. Astra.
The girl who became a sacrifice over his own hubris. The girl that haunted his nightmares. He didn’t think, he ran straight for her, Zatanna shouting at him and Deadman trying to stop him by possessing him. John fought them both off and stepped into the circle with Astra. He would sacrifice himself to make this right. As soon as he stepped in and wrapped himself around the girl the trap enveloped him and he and the girl disappeared.
The beach was deserted, but John had a feeling he knew where they were, limbo. He had been there before, don’t ask it’s a long story he would say. “John? Where are we?” Astra asked in a small scared voice.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart. I know exactly where we are.” John just smiled softly and let his hand run through Astra’s hair, giving some semblance of comfort.
In the end, he made a deal. He was good at that, making deals. He would stay as long as Nergal made good on his promise to let Astra go. That was how he found himself in what looked to be an old train station on a foggy rainy night. Nergal had a sadistic sense of humor. John was a tragic character in his own noir story, He knew he was trapped and this was just the beginning of Nergal’s games. He would endure because he finally made good on his promise to save Astra.