Ok, I finally gave in to temptation and decided to post a fic - enjoy!A hillside near Jerusalem
The year of our lord 50AD
It was an awe inspiring sight, but then, that was the point. Over two hundred and fifty giant crosses stood proud on the sandy hillside, just outside the city, and at the crux of each was a sinner, gruesomely nailed in place to remind the good people of the realm that this was not a good place to forego the law. Or the newly formed church. Or the favour of the proconsul. In fact, you’d probably be best advised to turn around and head back into the desert.
On a normal week, they would be human, but this week the slayer was in town. Jagantus Titus had liked the previous slayer, mainly because he never had cause to meet her, or even know that she, or that which she fought, existed; she had understood the job description and, well, slew. The current slayer, however, seemed to have come under the influence of the church, which in Jagantus’ opinion was never a good thing. She had developed this annoying tendency to just knock the things she fought unconscious and then bring them in for crucifixion, as that was the proper form of punishment for those who had sinned, whatever their species. At which point, they became his problem.
And a problem they were: first there were the vampires – as soon as you brought them anywhere near a cross they started wriggling around, and it was almost impossible to get them to hold still while you hammered the nails in place. Then they started singeing wherever their skin came into contact with the wood, filling the room with thick putrid smoke. Mind you, at least they were a problem that was over and done with come sunrise. Some of the other creatures she brought in were most unpleasant to dispose of, after the sun and starvation had done their work, and produced the most obnoxious smells and vile bodily fluids. Others had hides so thick that you couldn’t even get the nails through – there had been that, what did the funny little man that followed her around call it, ah yes, a Kaploghlym. After Jagantus had spent a futile five minutes attempting to penetrate its palms, she had taken the hammer from him and done it herself. It had cost him 40 shekels to replace that hammer.
Also, these monsters didn’t always seem to understand that, having been placed on the cross, you were supposed to then, in a prompt manner, expire, cease to be, become bereft of life, go to meet your maker (who or whatever that was) and become an “ex” demon. One of them had been up in the field for the last five months and politely greeted Jagantus as he made his rounds each morning – on the whole, he seemed to be enjoying the experience. That guy, if you could call something green, scaly and seven feet tall a “guy”, was really starting to annoy him. Then there were the Fyarls – on weeks such as this, you had to make sure you paid attention to where you were going as you walked between the crosses, lest a hail of paralysing snot fall from above, leaving you to bake in the hot desert sun.
Jagantus’ musings came to an end as he reached the front of the field, and he unrolled the scroll he carried, turning to face his audience. Not only was this the week the slayer was in town, it was also the week of the Emperor’s birthday, and therefore, he had to show clemency and release one of these things back into the city.
“On this, the thirty second anniversary of the birth of the Holy Roman Emperor, he bears will to, here in the sight of our lord, grant pardon to one of those who has sinned against him.”
“Is there anyone here named Legion?”
“I am Legion.”
“I am Legion.”
“I am Legion.”
... a minute or so later ...
“I am Legion.”
“I am Legion, and so is my wife.”
This was traditional, and happened every year, but as he surveyed the sixty-odd identical blue demons hanging in the morning light, this time Jagantus had the feeling that they might all be telling the truth! Well, apart from the bloke who made the wife comment.
It was going to be a very long day.
Slayer mythology & associated demons belong to Joss Whedon. Comedic crucifixions, allusions to deceased mythical Norwegian wild-fowl and most of the jokes belong to Monty Python, mostly the movie "The Life of Brian". I can’t remember where the monster “Legion” comes from and it’s really bugging me, but I’m fairly sure I didn’t make it up (edit: several reviewers have reported Legion, appropriately enough, comes from the bible, but the one I remember is definitely more sci-fi, though is probably an interpretation of the biblical character) . The crosses belong to E. Rectus and Sons, Timber Merchants, No.7 The Plaza, Nazareth. No supernatural creatures were harmed in the making of this story. Please remember to always look on the bright side of life. You may now commence whistling...