Some would call me a freak for sharing details with the human world about my first kill. This is something that one just doesn’t do in the natural world. I was merely a child sleeping in my bed when the boogeyman came out of my closet and insisted on attacking me. I had screamed knowing full well the old lady that looked after me was hard of hearing and most likely would not come running to my rescue. I did the only thing that I knew how and that was fight back. The creature was tall and dark with blood red eyes. His body was colored a deep blue, and his smile was filled with sharp white teeth that gnashed at me hungrily. He was everything that a child would fear.
I remember when my hands slid neatly inside his skin and secured themselves around his central core. He had bucked and bit and screeched, but I held on as his soul slowly crept up on arms and into my body. Before I knew it, that mean boogeyman was lying dead at my feet.
I had always had a problem eating regular human food. Sure I could still choke it down for the pure image of the whole mess. I even used the bathroom like a regular person. I always get hunger pains that an occasional snack of crackers will fix. The difference was when I was hungry it wasn’t for a piece of chicken and a warm roll. No, in fact, it was more of the essence found inside the beast’s body. Monsters have always been my food of choice. Now you might think that they were all like the boogeyman that came after me that night and you would be wrong. I classify a Monster as any creature that is meant to harm good people.
Vampires will tell you that nothing can kill them. That they are invincible to any attack. Those monsters have never met me in a dark alleyway when I was out for the hunt. Those in Europe seemed to be on the same path as myself when it came to the feed. Stay with the wicked and the pretty blonde with blood red eyes will not eat your soul. There are still those that roam the streets with no knowledge of who or what I am. I blame their creators for that. They should have been taught that evil actions will only get you killed.
Vampires were not the only ones that often fell victim in the beginning. I had my fair share of wereanimals, a few fairies, and even a demon or two. Still the most satisfying were the murderers and rapists that walked the red light districts after dark. Want to know what happened to Jack the Ripper? He made an excellent snack. Occasionally a malicious spirit would wander into my presence thus postponing an outdoor hunt. Why eat something out there when it so nicely came in to see me here?
I knew not to attack anything stronger or older. I knew the ancient laws and why they were put in place. I was aware that my kind was not the only kind on the earth before the birth of Christ. I am sufficiently knowledgeable in the different genealogies and where they led down the line. I understood the first spark was the mother of magic. The mimic, which is me, is the mother of shifters and weres alike. Now I’m not going to toot my own horn and say that I was the first mimic ever to be created. I have a pretty good feeling that I had parents before I was found in the forest.
I had managed to decrease my need for energy as I aged. As a child, I killed at least two times a night to maintain my metabolism. Always something supernatural and never traceable back to myself. Plus it helped that there was no body to leave in the street. I had slowed my usage by only reaching out to low-level spirits and not trudging into the likes of the high energy and magically inclined. To me, that was just stupid to get pulled into in the first place.
Now, look at me. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Two hunters and one supreme witch, who calls herself a Queen, all rolled into one. I began to wonder what being would have been strong enough to kill a woman such as Elizabeth Bradly. What had she done to cause another creature to end her life? How powerful was that being that slit her throat? It would have taken a woman with ten times the witches’ strength to pull off that move. I was still contemplating when she came walking through my front door in her astral image trailed by a young man who looked dumbstruck.
“Don’t ask questions just do what you need. The body will turn to dust the moment you finish.” Elizabeth gave me a stern look as I pulled myself up from my seat at the table.
“What has he done wrong to deserve his final death?” I asked her as I eyed the boy in front of me, inspecting his aura looking for a reason to plunge my hands into his spirt.
“What does it matter that he has done? I have provided you with the energy you need. Do not ask questions or I shall end you before you ever start.” Her voice was harsh, and I jumped at the sound of it. She had said she would bring me a monster, not a child.
I stepped towards the male and leaned in to sniff the whiskey that was on his breath. I could see the bloody cracks on his knuckles where his fingers had recently been smashing into something. I could feel the malice escaping his soul. He most definitely was a monster of human sorts. A wife beater, infidelity seeking, loss of religious belief monster!
Sometimes if the human’s emotions are strong enough, I can catch images of the deeds that they had done. There are even times that I see the act before I actually find the assailant. It all depends on how they project themselves to the public. Some are quiet and more laborious to locate, and others just scream with the rage and smell of a deadly sin. This one, he smelled of fear and dread mixed with malice and hatred. Maybe he wasn’t one to take his aggressions out on his wife often, but it was enough that the witch in front of me assumed him to be a needed energy source.
“Why him?” I asked as I circled him repeatedly looking for any reason not to suck him dry. “I try to avoid the bodies of humans.”
“He is no human Mimic! This man is Demon born. Abandoned one woman for another leaving behind his children. Finds joy in beating his wife after a few beers at the local pub. Makes deals with the local prostitutes for a little-added blood bonus during their meetings. Take him!” She was extremely irate for a spirit.
The cruelty of her voice sent me reeling backward. I had never had a spirit as demanding as this one in my home. I had to take her word for it, so I reached out towards the man.
I plunged my hands into his back gripping onto the slimy essence that was his soul. He writhed and grunted but did not move to fight back. His spirit was not as strong as I had liked. This must have meant he was a lower Demon than the ones that I usually hunted. I closed my eyes as the ecstasy of the kill crept up my arms and into my lungs. I was revitalized and energized ready to jump off the top of the tallest building and land on the ground below with a graceful tap.
The more I took in, the more powerful the essence became. The spirits were screaming for me to stop but I couldn’t. I wasn’t going to let something as magnificent as this escape. I shooed them away with my thoughts relishing in the glory that was feeding me. When the life force was drained, I pulled away breathing heavily. Looking down at the body on the floor I noticed something unusual.
Two single pinpricks were found on his neck scared over by years of life. His face was much younger than I had thought when he was standing before me. I felt guilt suddenly, and my eyes shot towards the apparition on the other side of the room. Her face was twisted her mouth contorted cruelly. She had given me a body that contained the soul of another.
“The possessed are hard to come by these days. I remember when they walked in groups down the boulevard singing songs and skipping.” Elizabeth dropped her dainty hands in front of her and reminisced about a time that I had already lived.
“Two souls in one?” I breathed clutching my hand to my chest. I had digested two souls. One of weaker power and one of stronger. Some wouldn’t think much of this accept let me explain.
When you are eating your meal, you don’t turn around and ask for a whole new dinner once you are done. If you do there are consequences. You become lethargic. In my case, I am overcharged. It’s like a kid with a sugar high. Too much power makes the Mimic run mad. What she had done was set me up to become her host yet again.
I should have known not to trust the witch. There was no reason for me to believe that she would actually do what I asked her to. Before I could move out of the way, she pressed towards me and entered my body. Internally I felt violated as she slowly pushed my essence to the back of my shell and took complete control of my humanoid form.
“Alright, there should be enough energy in you now that I can find my son. I need to speak with him before he does something stupid.” Elizabeth spoke softly as she waved her hands until my body morphed into hers.
She kept my clothing but had managed to change my face to where it matched her own. It was a mysterious use of my power. I am much older than this Witch Supreme. Only I knew my capabilities. How was it possible for someone that wasn’t me to change my body?
“I only need to tap into your full potential in order to use it.” She laughed as she grabbed my cloak from the wall and exited my little shop the human body lying on the floor behind us.
She walked the streets for some time before finally coming to a stop in front of an old inn. The door was wooden with alternative light escaping through the cracks. It placed an eerie glow on Elizabeth’s face. I continued to cower in the corner my shell trying my hardest not to touch her in fear of death.
She knocked several times on the door before it screeched open and another woman, who seemed familiar to me, appeared. She smiled at Elizabeth, and they shared a moment of excitement as they hugged and laughed.
“I thought you were dead.” The older woman said with excitement in her voice.
I cowered in the back of my own body as Elizabeth used me as a tool to show that she was very much alive.
“I was.” Elizabeth’s voice came out through my mouth as her, and the women embraced again.
“Have you seen Phillip? Is he alright?” The other woman asked as she pulled Elizabeth into the building and leading her through a packed crowd of creatures.
“Yes. I am here because of him.” She answered.
“Please have a seat. Do you need anything? A pint of ale? Some bread?” The woman busied herself around the room preparing whatever she could for her friend.
“Oh no Minerva. I am quite well fed at the moment.” She smiled at the woman and took a seat on a stool.
“So what happened to you?” Minerva demanded as she took a seat on an adjacent stool.
“Oh, you know.” Elizabeth let out a husky laugh. “Was murdered by one of Alexander’s assassins and wound up in Purgatory until I found an out. Thankfully this body that I am using is quite powerful.”
“Who did you manage to possess?” Minerva’s lack of concern over the previous part of the conversation confused me.
“A medium. I guess she’s some fortune teller on 2nd Street.” Elizabeth flailed my hands around. She was going to do her best not to speak my name.
“The only medium that I know down on 2nd Street is that old lady Houseman. Creepy old woman if you ask me.” Minerva smiled at Elizabeth, but her eyes were saying something else. If I could just press forward a little, I might be able to make out her secret.
“Oh no not Madame Houseman. This is her granddaughter.” Elizabeth’s aura pushed me back into the wall of my body with a warning.
“I had no idea she ever had children.” Minerva shrugged.
“I have a feeling that you don’t know much about her,” Elizabeth said flatly.
“So what can I do for you? You wouldn’t come here unless you needed something.” Minerva frowned. So she had already known that there was a reason for the visit.
“Do you still have my things? The bag that had all my spells and charms in it.” Elizabeth rubbed my hands on my skirt.
“Of course. Let me get it for you.” She stood up and left the room.
“I would quit trying to get a peek if I were you, Gretel. I do believe you would be quite upset if I were to kill her and leave here in your image.” Elizabeth warned me.
Moments passed, and the silence between my possessor and me was quite awkward. She kept thinking about Phillip and all the things that she wanted to do with Alexander. I admit the images that she was using my mind to create were quite graphic. It was going to take a lifetime to wash them away.
Minerva returned with a ladies carpet bag. She handed it to Elizabeth who promptly stood and embraced the woman again.
“Will I see you again?” Minerva asked as Elizabeth began to walk towards the door.
“I fear that you will be seeing me soon enough.” She let a smile linger on her lips. I watched as the blood in Minerva’s face drained. This was not a pleasant visit as I had hoped it was the moment we walked in the door.
“Be safe my Queen.” Minerva stuttered.
“I would say the same to you,” Elizabeth answered as she secured the door behind her and we were back in the alleyway.
“What do you plan on doing to her?” I asked as we began to walk towards the street again. Elizabeth was hugging her bag tightly to my chest.
“I do not think you are in any way privileged enough to know what is going to happen.” She answered softly as we turned right and began walking down the road towards the hospitality district.
Elizabeth closed off my mind so that I could not translate her thoughts. So the trip from the witches den to the hotel was quiet. I had sat in the back of my body cleaning the dirt from under my fingernails waiting for her to finally get to the location she was taking me to. After more silence, we were standing in front of yet another wooden door. I felt an odd pull as she left my body and I was able to regain control of my extremities.
“Where are we?” I asked looking to my right at the form of Elizabeth Bradly.
She smiled weakly and touched my arm.
“Thank you for this evening mimic. I didn’t want to drain you to the point of fatigue I just wanted to use the energy you were overpowered with to make a few house calls.” Her voice sounded sincere. I knew better than to believe it. She wasn’t one to share thank you with someone like me. To her, I was beneath her.
“Where are we?” I asked again.
“My son is in there.” She pointed at the door and touched her throat. “I want you to go in and see him. Please speak with him, find out what you can about what has happened. I need to know that my son is ok.” I knew she was still trying to bluff me. I pretended instead that I understood her fear of seeing him.
“What is in the bag?” I asked shaking it towards her. She frowned and reached out her hands to stop me for jostling the items inside
“Give it to my son. He will keep it for me.” She placed her arms at her side.
“Fine. I still don’t forgive you for overfeeding me.” I eyed her as her mouth curved up slightly.
“Knock.” She demanded.
I did as told and waited until Phillip answered the door. His white shirt was unbuttoned revealing the skin of his chest. I felt my heart stop beating for a moment as the blood rushed to my face. This would not be the first time I had seen a bare-chested man. I had lived lifetimes, married often, had children, watched my spouse die of old age, and then choose to change my identity and follow him to Heaven. The hardest part was leaving my children behind. None had shown the signs of having my mutated gene. They were all utterly human.
“Hello.” Phillip stumbled over his words as his eyes locked with mine. I knew he was not expecting me.
“I am so sorry to disturb you. Is this a bad time?” I asked wringing my hands together nervously.
“Not at all. Please come in. I was just about to lay down, but I can make time to chat.” He smiled at me as he opened the door wider and motioned for me to enter the room.
A double bed, wash basin and towel on the dresser, a couch facing a cozy fire, and the room smelled of cinnamon. I turned to look at him again as he swiftly began to button his shirt up again.
“Your mother and I talked more after you left the shop. She suggested that I find you and get to know more about her.” I tried to sound pleasant at the mention of his mother. I had figured out the man had a very skewed image of the woman that had birthed him.
“Oh. Well, that was quite nice of her. Did it have to be tonight?” He asked looking around the room. Even with his immense power, he wasn’t able to see the spirit of his mother standing near the double bed her eyes moving between her son and me.
“She pretty much insisted that it be. She plans on speaking with you tomorrow.” I fidgeted a bit.
“Please have a seat, Gretel.” He motioned to the couch where I chose to sit on the far right. I didn’t want him to feel crowded. Much to my surprise he sat down inches from me and stared at me with wide eyes.
“I…” I faltered in my own words. His close presence was making me uncomfortable but not in a bad way.
“You what?” He smiled as he reached out to brush a stray piece of blonde hair from my face. Never had I shown any man my true face. At least none that I chose to keep alive.
“She wanted you to have this.” I shoved the carpet bag into his arms and turned my head away fully aware that I was turning red again.
“She was carrying this the day she was murdered.” He spoke softly as he opened the bag and peered inside. His lips curled into a smile as he observed the items within the darkened hole.
“She said that you would know what to do with it,” I spoke rapidly. I felt uneasy being in a man’s hotel room. He seemed to pick up on my unease.
“Forgive my manners. Would you like some wine?” He asked standing up and walking towards the dresser where he pulled two glasses and a bottle of wine from the interior of one of the drawers.
“I try not to drink in the presence of customers.” I stuttered eyeballing the glass hungrily.
“Well don’t think of me as a customer. Think of me as a friend.” He smiled again as he began to pour wine into both glasses.
“We just met,” I whispered as he placed the glass in my hand.
“We may have just met, but I think we have met before. Under one of your other names.” He winked.
I took a sip of the wine and closed my eyes at the heavenly taste. When I opened them Phillip was staring at me far more intensely than I had initially wanted.
“Do I have something on my face?” I asked brushing my fingers against my pale skin.
“No. Sorry I was just marveling at your beauty.” He blushed and placed his untouched glass of wine on the nightstand next to the couch.
“Excuse me?” I asked laughing.
“No, please do not take it the wrong way. You have an amazing gift of transformation. You can become anyone that you imagine. Tell me is each woman you create based off of someone you knew in another life or do you make them up as you go?” He was curious about my heritage which was odd. It was bad enough that he was already aware that I was not human it was quite another that my mutation amused him.
“Maybe both. I don’t know. Usually, I gradually work the new identity into the olds one’s life. An aunt or sister, sometimes a friend. It all depends on how I want the story to end.” I took a large sip of the wine and tapped my foot on the floor.
“You know. My mother was able to glamour herself to appear as another. Of course, it wasn’t to the extent as yours. She could only put up wards that allowed the person on the outside to see what she wanted them to. You, on the other hand, you are able to create a new being from the skin to organs.” He touched my face.
“Well.” I stumbled to get to my feet. “I think I must be getting back to the shop. I have a busy day tomorrow. Should I expect you first thing in the morning?”
I felt my feet give way as I fell face first onto the hardwood floor. My foot had caught in a stray thread from the area rug in the room. Phillip rushed to help me to my feet but lingered close to my face far longer than I had wanted. His eyes narrowed, and he licked his lips. Anxiety washed over me as I bit my bottom lip to calm myself. I could hear Elizabeth laughing from across the room.
“I think you should lie down. I think the wine has gone to your head.” He teased as he began to lead me back towards the couch.
“I will be fine. Thank you for the hospitality. Please watch over the bag. I fear your mother will need it shortly.” I pulled away quickly and gave him a half smile before bolting for the door.
“You are a stubborn one aren’t you?” He teased as he stood in the doorway. I had thankfully made it out into the hall.
“Tomorrow Mr. Greene.” I breathed as I pulled up my skirt and began to walk down the hallway towards the street.
“First thing in the morning.” He called after me.