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Cradle to the Grave

Chapter Text

The night was darker than one would expect. Clouds had obscured any light coming from the moon or the stars. Even the streetlights couldn’t muster up the strength to fight against the blanket of darkness over the whole town. Not a soul stirred when a being of occult nature lurked around the suburbs. It was a restless lurk, twitchy. Hungry.

It stopped in front of one house and could feel the warm bodies fast asleep. It’s mouth watered at the soft sound of heartbeats and the rush of blood through every vein. The supernatural void that could be considered its stomach growled.

Locks were no barrier to it, and the door opened with simply a thought. It made its way inside to devour the family. With only a small sound, a man and a woman were whittled down to a few pieces of scattered bones. The meal was gratifying, certainly, but it wasn’t totally satisfied, not yet. They were just the appetiser.

When it made its way down to the child’s bedroom, ready for the main course, it found an empty crib and no child. To its dismay, the child wasn’t anywhere in the house. It should have gone according to plan, they were to be sacrificed for Hell that night.

But, like a night over eleven years earlier taught us, great plans and the forces of darkness could do nothing to counter humanity’s natural entropic force. The sound of the demon bumbling around the house had stirred the child from sleep, and it climbed out of its crib. Curiosity drew it to the front door, that had been carelessly left open. The golden-haired male baby was soon crawling out onto the street.

The demon quickly picked up the boy’s scent and followed down to the graveyard a block away. What functioned as its corporeal heart was pattering away as its hunting instinct began to take over, and it stopped focusing on anything but following the trail. It turned the corner and nearly spun into another occultly creature in dark sunglasses.

“Woah, there.” He said, “Moloch? Is that you?”

“Crawly. The traitor.” It snarled and tried to shove past him but Crowley got in its way, in a manner that he fancied as slick and nonchalant.

“I thought I sensed something Hell-y out here tonight.”

“You will not interfere with our Lord’s plans again.”

“As I recall, I was to be left alone. Now, I don’t know what you are doing in my neighborhood, but if you don’t leave, I will be forced to--”

It tensed up with a little bit of fear at the demon who it had witnessed bathing in holy water, splashing around like it was nothing, “I will take my leave.” And the thing’s corporeal form spontaneously combusted, returning the being back to where it came from.

Crowley felt intensely relieved the second it was gone. He had been bluffing, of course. Moloch was much more powerful than himself, practically Satan’s second-in-command, and a fight between them would not end well for Crowley in any capacity. But that was a good sign: Hell was still scared of him.

A baby’s cry interrupted his thoughts. He turned and saw a cold little toddler crawling around in the muck of the graveyard, grumpy at the state of its pajamas. Crowley nervously stepped over the fence. He bit his lip to stop himself from crying out at the pain that came from stepping on consecrated ground. He scooped up the child and got back out on the street as quickly as possible. The soles of his feet sizzled slightly as he rocked the toddler into a nice sleep. He wondered, whose kid was this? There was no one in the graveyard. No one in the street. This baby must have been what Moloch was after, Crowley decided. It was the demon of child sacrifice, after all; one of the demons who made even his skin crawl.

He had smelt a whiff of blood on Moloch which lingered even after it had left. Crowley held the baby close and walked down the street. Some kind of unnerving force drew him to the little brick house on the street where he found the open door, the empty nursery, and the remains of the parents. And it all came together.

“Oh no. Oh, you poor thing,” he whispered.

He raced back to his cottage, baby in his arms.