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Hammers & Nails

The Good Girls

Hell Breaks Loose



The Problem with Saints

Ten weeks after the war ended, the reinforcements arrived.

Though the war was officially undeclared, and most people hadn't noticed it as it was waged in their front yards, they still noticed when it ended. The sun seemed to penetrate deeper into the shadows and the night didn't seem quite so dark. There was a sense of hopefulness that was simply present one day without warning. Even people in No Man's Land were friendlier and more ready to smile.

For those who'd been aware of the war, they could pinpoint the exact moment the tonal atmosphere of the city changed. It happened the day Gail Finney, the champion for evil, plummeted to her death from an elevated train platform. Her mentor, a demon called Gremory, had also been destroyed. Marchosias, the demon who ruled over the blighted city, lost both his champion and his most trusted lieutenant in one fell swoop.

Detective Riley Parra, Gail Finney's counterpart on the side of the angels, chose to allow Marchosias to choose a new champion and continue the war. Following that decision was one of the most peculiar months in the city's history. People went about their lives, babies were born and old people died. But when pressed for details about what occurred during that period, people only gave vague and noncommittal answers.

Only a handful of people knew the truth. After Gail Finney's death, Riley ended the war between good and evil at a great personal cost. She gave up her partner, the love of her life, in exchange for peace. When the cost became too much to bear, Marchosias offered to shift reality. He rewrote a single moment, allowed Riley to say yes instead of no, and the entire world changed.

For the most part, things remained the same. People went about their lives under an unseen d├ętente rather than true peace. It wasn't a seismic shift, but it was enough to make people a little uneasy. Memories weren't to be trusted, and everything just seemed slightly off-center. One newspaper article compared it to "feeling like Monday when it's really Wednesday." Some younger people compared it to how they felt while playing hooky.

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