Unlucky to be Lucky

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Trap

16. Trap

“So hey can you turn into a bat? Or like, could you change your teeth and nails anytime you want? Oh and...”

Slam! The book Monsuta was reading went flying against the wall as he defeatedly sighed and got up to stretch. All morning he had been pestered by Cashew, bombarded with question after question upon him being a vampire and how everything works. The news between them had been out for a few days by now and both of them had begun to accept reality, one more comfortably than the other..!

“Yes, yes, already! I can turn into a bat, rat, wolf or mist at any time I please but-“

“Then why don’t you?” Cashew excitedly interrupted, “and why mist? That’s a very random answer, don’t you think?”

“BUT it takes a lot of effort to transform and ever since I have become a sort of vegetarian I don’t have any urge to become any of that stuff. Mist because it allows vampires to slither through cracks under the door or through the window frame.” Another exasperated sigh and Monsuta made his way downstairs. “Why does it feel like we’ve switched personality recently...”

Cashew came bounding up behind him, ever the more hyper, asking over and over “where are we going today?” or “show me what a wolf reading a book looks like!” until Monsuta called for his two cats and asked them to get his newly fixed carriage.

“Actually, today is the day you go back to town.”

“What? But why so sudden? Didn’t you say that was tomorrow?”

“No, my senses give me a feeling that doom is approaching quicker than we anticipated, and secondly your annoying scent is rising up faster than I had hoped.” A murderous gleam came about Monsuta’s face momentarily before breaking up into laughter at Cashews unease.

“I know you only do that to make fun of me. How dare you!”

“Oh please! Any other vampire and you would have been dead long ago. Anyway, as it is the last day, pack your things and think of something you wish from me as a parting gift.”

The two jet-black horses came bounding up to the front of the gates with a magnificent black carriage attached behind them. It was spotless and sleek, yet identical to Monsuta’s old carriage - eerie-looking on the outside and incredibly comfortable inside. It arrived long before Cashew was ready with his satchel in his hand which was just as full as it was when he had last came back from town.

“My wish for today is that you are truthful with me so, tell me Monsuta, why does this feel like I’m being fired for good?” Cashew tried to give a small smile as he asked.

“An answer is what you wish for, huh.” Monsuta suddenly turned and met his icy, fully-white eyes with Cashew’s pale-green ones. “You know for sure that I am a vampire - a monster who was designed to drink human blood. I remind you everyday that the mere smell of blood can send us out of control, and I have also fully confessed that it was I who murdered your entire family. It is to your knowledge that I have not drunken any blood for the past 20 years, meaning that I am most certainly in my weakest form (an advantage to you). I know for a fact that you have a bag full of ropes and whatnot which you brought with the sole purpose of taking revenge upon your parents, yet you have not even looked at them since we have come back from our last trip to town.” His words became more aggressive and were spat out only more forcefully the longer he continued. “My brother is out on the loose and I have spent the past 20 years cooped up in this mansion - cosy and away from all my problems. So, dear friend, to answer your last question - if you don’t kill me, no one will. I will leave you at my most unstable point, right before the blood moon, and will find my brother. I will take care of both myself and my brother before any more harm is done and will end the vampire lineage in this land forever. If I can barely hold back on causing destruction and bloodshed upon humanity then I can say for certain that my brother didn’t even try to hold back and it is not worth thinking about how many lives he has taken in the past few years. That is as good a reason as any for me to leave you and disappear. My purpose is to take down the world of blood-thirsty monsters with my last breath.”

Cashew stared in amazement at the blonde.

“You called me dear friend!”

Spinning around aggressively, Monsuta yelled with scorn, “that’s the part your going to focus on?! Did you not hear the sarcasm which was dripping out of those words? Which friends try to kill each other?”

“Well... for one thing, I’m no longer trying to kill you, and as you said, you’ve held back for the past 20 years, so my life is in no danger. It must have been difficult for you and I believe possessing such an extremely strong will means that you are no monster.” Monsuta’s face took up an expression of genuine surprise. Cashew, satisfied with the transformation, continued calmly, “I think it’s safe to say that we are friends and it is only because I trust you that I will leave today. I know that having a human around will only cause you more pain in this fight with the other vampires, but in return, you must stay alive and re-hire me in a week’s time!”

“I’m... your friend? No one has ever...” Monsuta could only stare as Cashew laughed and mounted a horse. He eventually came to his senses and, with his old smile upon his face, climbed onto his own horse and the two started for town. As per usual, Cashew looked over to find a sleeping blonde mysteriously still hanging onto his galloping horse through all sorts of terrain. He was actually imagining how next time he will be bringing an assortment of decorative gardening and house supplies instead of ‘killing’ equipment from Shirley’s place. Suddenly, a horse screech made him twist around and nearly fall of his own horse as he saw that Monsuta was sitting as upright as a pole with eyes clearly open, wide awake.

“He’s here...” the blonde whispered barely loud enough for Cashew to hear. In less than a second after, Monsuta declared the command “Turn back!”

Both horses did just as he wanted without even the slightest tug to the reins, forcing Cashew to slip harshly to the side and only be able to stay onto of his saddle only through his leg getting stuck underneath. With heavy breaths and extreme effort, he eventually got back up.

“Hey! Wait! Monsuta, what is the meaning of this?”

“The brother that you so dearly described was still alive and is in town at this exact moment. The fact that I’ve sensed him might mean that we are already too late, since he is a lot more powerful than I am at the moment, and he will catch up to us in no time if he knew I was here.”

“You mean, he’s in the village now?”

“Yes, and we’d be lucky to escape his sense... hopefully I’m too weak and insignificant for him to notice me!”

“So... that must mean that he is the monster that kept terrorising the villagers and made them the traumatised and scared people we saw in our last visit!”

“Yes.” Monsuta murmured with a grimace on his face, making Cashew’s skin crawl with goosebumps, “he is capable of that.” The trees and rivers blurred past the two of them, faster than Cashew could ever remember before. The view he was looking at moments before was suddenly changed into an image he felt he might not ever see again. Finally, the mansion emerged into sight, and before the two horses skidded to a stop, Cashew noticed Monsuta quickly look back and his body tense.

“It seems we are too late, he’s already waiting for us, or at least me. Your unique scent might be to our advantage yet! Ok here’s what we are going to do...”

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Cashew had quietly climbed through the window to the kitchen whilst Monsuta walked right in through the main entrance. He had made sure to keep any noise in time with the blonde in order to make sure he wasn’t noticed. As Cashew proceeded on taking out the supplies from his satchel, he could hear the chilling conversation the two vampires were having in the next room.

“Ahh, hello little brother! Oh, how I’ve missed seeing your cute, little face!” Monsuta exclaimed in mock joy.

“Quit the jokes.” A curt, sinister voice, dripping with poison and hate replied. This short sentence alone had the power to stop Cashew in his tracks momentarily, frozen with fear. (Well, at least my scent is hidden this way) Cashew forced himself to think and return to carefully unwinding and preparing the rope he held in his hands.

“Why the coldness? Haven’t you missed me in all these years?” Monsuta cried out as he pretended to be hurt. He was certainly succeeding in stalling for time, but Cashew had no doubt that he could given his annoying personality. “Twenty whole years have passed and I only just found out that you were still alive!” The blonde continued.

Suddenly a loud crash could be heard which sent the whole building to shake with tremors. Astonished, Cashew quickly stole a glance from behind the door and had to hold in an exclamation as he found the magnificent chandelier which once hung above the living room now shattered upon the floor. He could see Monsuta standing only mere inches away from the impacted area, and for the first time, Cashew also saw his brother. Their anatomical features were very much identical, except Monsuta was slightly shorter and thinner. The brother also had slightly wavy, jet-black hair which was in length to his shoulders, and neatly tied up tightly in a short ponytail behind. His eyes were as white as Monsuta’s, but they possessed a deep, alien hollowness, void of any feeling or life. His skin was also more inhuman than Monsuta - as white as a sheet of paper. The greyish-yellow tail coat with a white berry pattern finally made something click in his head. (This is the same man I bumped into on my first trip to London!) Cashew mentally exclaimed. The brother was now standing effortlessly on top of the chandeliers spike which had previously attached to the roof.

“Twenty years is just enough time for my hate to grow,” replied Monsuta’s brother, “ever since you proclaimed yourself a disgusting vegetarian, and even abandoned us all to die I have hated every fibre of your body.”

“Well the feeling is mutual then.” Monsuta spat back, “the mere thought of you bloodsucker’s all make my stomach turn!”

A slow, hollow laugh echoed from the raven-haired man.

“Do you think living peacefully along the livestock and pretending to be a good little human will change the fact that you are a demonic vampire yourself? The endless centuries of blood and lives that you took are part of who you are, there’s no point in escaping it.”

Cashew then saw a pure rage, unlike anything he had seen before, come over Monsuta at his brother’s last words. “You think I don’t know that!?” He bellowed, “I’d like to let you know, that I have had not a single peaceful night in these past 20 years!”

“And that is because you don’t accept who you really are!”

The two were taking a dangerous step closer with every word they spoke. Finally, Monsuta lost it and lunged at the other, with inhuman speed and long, outstretched, sharp nails. But the other was faster. With a simple dodge, Monsuta’s brother swerved round so fast that Cashew couldn’t even see the moment his hand, shaped like a knife, penetrated through Monsuta’s side and emerged through his body with Monsuta’s blood dripping from its tip. Both the blonde and Cashew were shocked and couldn’t move a muscle for several excruciating moments. The brother simply loomed above with glassy, white eyes and watched each drop of blood carefully. Finally, Monsuta collapsed and coughed out an immense amount of blood onto the floor. This brought Cashew to his senses and the man closed his, took in a deep breath and calmly walked out into full view.

“Hey parasite! I killed most of your family, come get me!” Cashew shouted as loud as he could. Never before had he felt so much fear from looking at a face as it slowly turned to face him. Nevertheless, he pushed down his terror and magnificently managed to calm completely down. In order for this to work, Cashew knew he had to trust Monsuta, no matter what shape he was in, and let out the sweet scent of his blood. The effect of this could be immediately seen upon the brother’s face, as, like Monsuta, his eyes sharpened, his fangs grew, and his breathing increased.

“So you’ve not only disgraced the title of vampires with your antics, but you’ve disgraced our family name by living with the very human who murdered our parents? Our sister!?” The raven-haired man manically hollered. With one final flick of his wrist which sent Monsuta flying up against a wall, he dashed straight for Cashew.

“Now!” Monsuta managed to yell through the blood in his mouth. Cashew pulled as hard as he could on the rope in his hand, which tightened a rope of the floor and brought down multiple walls of sellotape and wires from the ceiling in from of him. Unable to slow down in time, the brother howled as his legs got caught up in the rope and he tumbled into the barriers of wires and glue. Without a moment’s hesitation, Cashew kicked a switch by his feet which sent an immense surge of power to travel through the wires and fry the man stuck within them. Such indescribable screams had never before reached Cashew’s ears, but he knew he was not done yet. During the few heartbeats after the electric shock, Cashew whipped out his old, rusty dagger and stabbed Monsuta’s brother through the head. The latter’s body gave out a last few, harsh spasms before it hung limply in the net of wires and tape.

Cashew stood, breathless in front of the corpse with complete disbelief of what just occurred. Then, the sound of gargled coughing made him spin around and give out a yelp at the sight of Monsuta dying in a pool of his own blood. Cashew stumbled despairingly towards his friend and fell onto his knees before him.

“Monsuta, hey, speak to me! Come on, you’ve been so annoyingly lucky against all of my attempts to kill you but now you dare die by one attempt from someone else?! What should I do?” Helplessness surged up faster than the blood from Monsuta’s wounds as Cashew could only stare at his friend. “I thought vampires could re generate and live for ever?”

“Yes... that’s true... in most cases...” Monsuta spluttered out, “but I haven’t had blood... can’t... heal myself”

“What? Then surely I can help? Here, all I have to do is pour my-“

“It’s no use...” Monsuta painfully pushed himself into a sitting position with the last of his strength, “I will stay to... my virtues... refuse to drink blood.”

“No! I insist!! Monsuta, I allow you to drink my blood. I insist you break your promise to yourself for just this one time so that you can survive!”

“You’re so cruel... to let my effort simply... waste away.” Monsuta weakly chuckled, “ill only do it if you beg me again.”

Cashew’s soul filled with determination as he leaned foreword and pulled down his shirt’s collar to expose his neck.

“I, Cashew Revanche, beg you, my friend, to drink my blood this instant!”

What happened next made cashew’s heart freeze. Monsuta’s head swooped down, letting his hair cover his face. Steady clapping emanated from behind Cashew, and he could hear a twisted laugh echo through the living room.

“How I’ve waited for this moment...” Cashew’s eyes widened as he saw a malicious smile stretch psychotically from Monsuta’s face. “I’ll give you some credit though, you were one of my most difficult and most entertaining victims yet. You took the longest to gain trust from, but I enjoyed playing as a human, sleeping, eating your disgusting food, and pretending to care about your feelings... I should take up being an actor! Thank you so very much dear friend!”

Cashew jumped back and scrambled frantically on the floor, unable to get up with his shaking limbs, as he watched Monsuta slowly look up with calm, gleaming, red eyes. Cashew only managed to get back a few feet when he suddenly hit something behind him. Looking up, the last of Cashew’s strength ebbed away as he saw Monsuta’s brother stare down at him with the same red pair of eyes.

“Give me what I want and he’s all yours.” The brother coolly called out.

“Ah, so cold,” Monsuta sighed, then taking out a ring from his pocket he threw it over to his brother, who caught it nimbly and turned around, leaving the mansion with total indifference to the events that just happened.

“Wasn’t that the ring I had in my-“ Cashew reached down into his pocket and to his surprise that it indeed had disappeared.

“He left so quickly. I guess my brother never really had much personality or love for games anyway.” Monsuta pushed himself up and off the floor and nonchalantly neatened his clothes. “Yes, that ring is quite special as it was passed down from the head of our family for generations. It gives the owner a surge of strength when a person touches it, but due to my... disease... I can’t really use it. Well Cashew, I guess this is goodbye!”

“Wa- wait!” Cashew stammered as the blonde made his approach, “what are you doing? Has the blood moon made you completely insane?”

“Oh that thing? It was just a clever lie I made up for my eyes flashing red... actually, they flash red when they sense that I am about to feast soon!”

“What on earth are you talking about? You mean, your going to eat me? Suck my blood out? Just like that...?” Cashew couldn’t believe it. He looked desperately into Monsuta’s eyes for a sign, any sign that this was just one of his tricks so that Cashew’s “sweet scent” wouldn’t leak out, but he suddenly realised, that the look in the blonde’s eyes was just as indifferent, just as hungry and just as void of emotion as they had been the whole time they had been together, only Cashew had never understood what that look was before. In fact, they were so unemotional that Cashew had actually filled in the sparks of feeling he thought the other possessed. With a yelp Cashew clutched at his chest as he felt something snap inside his heart. This was complete and utter betrayal, merely to satisfy his selfish hunger.

“I...” Cashew tried to speak. He tried to say anything, but he became wordless at that moment, unable to express the immense emotion which was sizzling and boiling him from the inside. Monsuta looked at his pitiful companion and smiled, his long fangs protruding and his eyes as red and deadly as if flying too close to the scorching sun.

“Well, since I didn’t really answer to your wish truthfully before, and we’ve spent so much time together you do deserve a little bit of context. The summary is that I was once the most feared vampire this land has ever seen. I was to be the successor of my father not only as the eldest son, but also through the reputation of being the most bloodthirsty vampire in all of history. But his reign was taking too long and both me and my brother wanted control faster. We were going to help each other and rule together, but around the planning stage, about a century or two ago from today, a twisted witch fell in love with me. She angered me in a way that her blood smelt incredibly delicious when she wasn’t afraid, but she could also use her magic to stop me from killing her. Yes she was like you. Actually, over the years I have encountered quite a few people with the same blood as you - without a scent during fear, giving off the sweetest aura when calm, and certainly tasting better than any normal blood... and I’ve noticed that each person with this blood has a different special ability and set of magic. Yours is that you can become invisible and extremely quick to those who don’t know you, whilst that witch had the ability to create curses. Anyway, since I couldn’t kill her, I instead killed every single loved one she had. Of course, she became angry and placed a curse on me which was that I could never drink blood from another person ever again. However, the stupid love she held for me lingered and made her bring an exception to this curse so that I could not die. She said that only if the victim begs me to suck their blood will I be able to feast upon it. As time passes, I try to befriend the people with special blood, like you, initially for revenge, but now it has become a sort of fun challenge for me. It was only chance that you were the murderer of my family too, an added bonus for the game.”

Monsuta suddenly took out a dark-scarlet chrysanthemum, once white and now saturated with blood, from inside his blouse and placed it beside Cashew who was too terrified to even flinch. “I actually do feel a little sentimental now that the Autumn is killing off your garden, but then I saw the beautiful chrysanthemums which selfishly bloom above the rest I just couldn’t resist and plucked it out of its nest! By far you, Cashew, are the longest one I’ve had to study and put effort in to eat, and yet, through all this time of knowing you, I still believe that chrysanthemums suit you best. But then even I have my limits when the game goes on for too long, so I had to get some help from my dear little brother. After all, I can no longer rule the land with my pitiful curse, but my skill in hunting remains. So, I helped him murder our parents which in return he owes me. Were actually both quite similar, my brother and I, for were both are obsessed with death. That night, 20 years ago, I have to admit, killing them was a piece of cake once I could command your scentless body and use your rage and speed! Anyway, all in all, thank you for being such a good little prey, and I promise you that I will savour every drop you have to offer me... To have ended your life with me is indeed very lucky.”

The last thing Cashew saw was blonde hair, two sharp fangs, and a pair of glowing red eyes. “I wish, things could have been different...” he murmured as the vision blurred through his tears, and then the world turned black.

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