You know the song--sing it along with me:

                    I don't own Brimstone,
                    Fox does!
                    I don't own Ezekiel Stone, or the Brimstone Devil, too,
                    Fox does!
                    And God I want to buy them, but I'll have to settle for
                    And I promise to return them clean, smiling, and slightly
                    Confused but Satisfied!
                    This takes place after "Encore", and also contains
                    As in male/male relationship, both sexual and emotional,
                    and if you don't like that, don't read this!


               Whisper of Silk : A Brimstone Story

               by Ladyserez

                    I frowned as I watched the woman dance, silk slipping in and
               out, around her legs. This used to satisfy me. Note that word--
               *used*. Now I'd like to see Ezekiel do that. If he could bring
               himself to do it, that is.

                    "You don't like this?" The woman stood in front of me,
               frowning. She's one of my favorites, but rapidly falling out of
               favor, due to her tendency to whine at me. I hate it when people
               whine. Yell, shout, whisper, hiss, whatever, is fine with me.
               Spite too. But don't whine at me. I've heard too much whining in
               my life, usually from preachers who think they should be in the
               "other place" due to the fact they're saved. Saved from what?

                    "Actually, no I don't. Why don't you sit down and drink
               something?" I smiled at her. She didn't smile back. Oops. I hate
               this part. "Sit down and drink *something*? I didn't drink
               anything when I was alive, and I'm certainly not going to drink
               anything *now*. What's wrong with you?"

                    She's forgotten her place. Damnit. She thinks that just
               because she's sleeping with the Devil, namely me, that she has
               greater powers and rights than the rabble she thinks everyone
               down here is.

                    How the mighty have fallen. In life, she'd have gotten
               people to follow her..and die for her. In Hell, everyone laughs
               at her when she tries that "salvation" routine she's so fond of.
               Even Ezekiel laughs at her behind his hand. No one here has any
               hope of going to heaven, not even Ezekiel. And not you either, my

                    "Shut up, slut. You've forgotton who you are...and where you
               are. Guards!" As the guards troop in, smirking, she loses her
               superior look, and now just panics. "Bastard! Wait until Azhura
               Mazda finds out about the souls that escaped!"

                    She shouldn't have said that, and she knows it. Her eyes
               widen as mine narrows. "Guards, don't take her back to her part
               of hell. Rather, send her to Gehenna."

                    Gehenna. The one part of hell no one wants to go, not even
               me. Insane people live there. It's also part of the area where
               the mass escape took place. Needless to say, guards patrol that
               area with greater vigilance today.

                    She screams for my forgiveness as she is taken away.
               Forgiveness? Who does she think I am, Azhura Mazda? I settle back
               onto my throne. And think over what just happened. Ezekiel
               finally got that fire in the belly back, the one that made me
               pick him.

                    When I see him after Gwen DuBarres, the man is eating.
               Eating! He's dead, he doesn't need food. But I suppose it gave
               him some comfort, some false reassurements--"I'm normal, I'm
               alive" kind of thing. How far people can go to fool themselves is
               amazing, Ezekiel. Truly amazing. And I'm not talking about you,
               Ezekiel. I'm talking about Gilbert Jax's mother.

                    But I'm getting ahead of myself. Barbed wire? My
               wouldn't matter even if you put up the Magnot Line to keep me
               out. It wouldn't. I know your every thought..every feeling. And I
               know why you weren't doing your job. So I had to give you a
               little prick. Namely, Gilbert Jax.

                    I hadn't noticed before, but you weren't using your powers.
               I know you have some, you spent enough time in Hell to acquire
               them. But for the first two, you used a gun. Gun! Nothing else.
               That's when I got worried. You didn't have the lust for
               destruction you had when you killed dear old Jax. So I gave you a
               serial rapist I knew was probably from Hell.

                    Ezekiel, I *swear* I didn't know it was Gilbert Jax, not at
               first. How many rapists do you think escaped from Hell? Plenty.
               There were several viable suspects, and all I wanted to do was
               relight your fire--and the way to do it was to use a rape victim
               to do it. After lost yourself in your rage after the
               rape, and used it to kill Jax. And to you, rape is..well, you
               remember Gwen DuBarres? I don't have to go over that again.

                    And yes, I changed the rule on you. I didn't think it'd be
               enough for you merely to shoot out his eyes. No, sir. Make it
               hard for you..and force you to use what you learned in Hell.
               Which ring was hers, Ezekiel? That pretty Irish clabough? Or that
               truly ugly and flashy You'd have picked something
               pretty, not that one.

                    I walked over to the place where the woman dropped her silk
               scarf, and throw it out the window. I have plenty, after all. I
               open the chest, and pull out the blue-gray silk. Beautiful stuff-
               -I've never given this to anyone before, mainly because they
               didn't fit with this.

                    I remind you of the kid you beat up in sixth grade? Oh my.
               Oh my. Well, they do say everything gets used at least twice, so
               why not my looks? And despite what that self-satisfied priest
               thinks..pride and righteousness wasn't what sent you to Hell,
               althrough they were there in spades. What got you sent here,
               Ezekiel, was the act of murder. M*U*R*D*E*R. Got that? Not such a
               hard word. Did you tell him there's no purgatory? I certainly
               hope so. And people of all faiths, even Roman Catholics, come
               here. There *are* Exceptions, through. People who serve their
               time and then go to Heaven. One escaped, you know. Probably to
               follow the bastard she killed before she went to the camps and
               was gassed.

                    But, you know, it amuses me when a nun like that Sister up
               in Louisana--"Dead Man Walking" or whatever it was--gets a
               murderer to repent. Know why it amuses me? Because nothing, and I
               repeat, *nothing* will get that man off for what he did. He's
               right here, in Hell. And if dear Father Horn ever says
               one will believe him. Hope is what most of them hold on to, hope
               that they won't come here. Most of 'em won't, but some will.

                    So you killed him. Again. Some people would be thrilled at
               the chance to kill someone twice. You aren't, but I knew you
               wouldn't be. You wanted him gone, permanently.

                    You didn't tell her, that he wasn't from Heaven, but rather
               from Hell. You do know they'll tell her? And I am rather proud of
               you--you figured out the necklace of rings was what kept you from
               sending him back to hell, and once you broke the chain, the only
               thing needed was to put all your power behind that trowel. And
               you did it.

                    I saw you untie that man's shoes, after I left. Always
               cleaning up after me, aren't you? Do you even know, or even
               suspect, that the more you obey me, the more you use your powers
               and abilities, you are becoming more and more part of Hell?
               Because you are. Your actions, your thoughts...and you don't even
               realize it.

                    What scares me through, is that it seems as if Ezekiel is
               becoming my other half. My better half, I suspect. I look out the
               window, and sigh. My kingdom. What a parting gift. "Goodbye, and
               close the door on your way out!" Someone comes into the room, and
               leaves once it realizes I don't want to talk. I hold up the
               strand of silk I pulled out of the trunk, and hold it to my
               cheek. Oh yes, Ezekiel. Like I told you, "I'm the Devil!" One
               day, I'm sure, I'll see this whisper of silk on Ezekiel. One day.
               Very soon now, I hope. After only have, what, 110 souls
               to go? Yeah.

               The End.


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