Chapter 35: Okay, tomorrow
Morgan was one of the last remaining members of the Siegfried Mage line, a family of powerful runemasters who could use the very language of magic to bend the forces of nature to their will. He’d inherited a legacy he himself couldn’t appreciate the weight of. However, magic is a chaotic force when suppressed. It becomes unstable and wild and requires an exit.
Morgan’s arm burned, as elemental magic burned through his veins. Suddenly, a strange energy broke through his skin, and blood spurted from the wounds. Morgan screamed out in pain. Morgan bit his lip, and dragged himself towards the bathroom. He bellowed once, falling to his knees from the effort it took to brace the pain, but he gritted his teeth and got back to his feet. Morgan opened the shower, and let cold water pour onto his burning forearm.
The bathroom became clouded with water vapour as the stream evaporated before it touched his hand, crystallising his blood. The crystals grew in size, and then coated his forearm. Finally, the burning sensation stopped. Morgan looked at the gauntlet on his hand.
It was breathtaking.
His blood turned into a rosy coloured crystal, humming with life. It pulse with his heartbeat, creating a symphony of sorts, if you pressed your ear against it.
Morgan tried prying the gauntlet off with his fingers, but it wouldn’t budge. He bit into his normal hand, drawing blood, and drew destructive magical runes on the rosy surface, but they sparked and fizzled. The couldn’t be ripped off, or broken. But he could at least cover it, he figured. Morgan looked around his room. There was a bandage somewhere in his sock drawer. He tenderly wrapped his forearm.
When he was finished, Morgan slowly dropped to the floor. He felt exhausted. Perhaps it was the sudden release of magic, perhaps because it was just late. Morgan remembered when it started happening to his sister. She’d left before he was ten, and the two of them hadn’t seen each other since. He was scared he’d have to leave too.
A loud crack echoed from the lawn, and Morgan whipped upright.
He leaned against his window pane. A silhouette darted across his lawn through the darkness, and then glowing red eyes stared back at him from below. Morgan closed his curtain quickly.
Morgan felt sweat drip down his cheek. More crashes. There was a metallic swish and a loud grunt, followed by the sound of someone screaming in pain. Then came grunts, and a soft thump against the window pane. Morgan inched the curtain open.
Owen was outside his window.
“How did you even get out there?” Morgan looked at Owen closely. Owen mouthed open the window. Morgan reluctantly did so.
“I was bored waiting for Daveigh to call me back. She never did, and I mean, some guy just showed up there today and everyone started acting strange. But yeah. Your arm looks pretty banged up. What happened?”
“I don’t know. Owen… This is the second floor with no balcony.”
“I don’t know how to tell you this. You know that one Brad Pitt film?”
“Could you not communicate through film plots right now?”
“Okay. Well. Uhm. I’m a vampire.”
“Owen, what the actual fuck? Are you serious?! What happened.”
“I went to Alyssa’s place. I thought I could save her.”
“Well you obviously fucking thought wrong! You shouldn’t… You… Owen… What if you died?”
“Morgan, I did die.”
“You’re so fucking selfish. If only Lisa could see you now! I always knew you were eager to join her… But…”
“I’m not going to apologise for trying to save a friend. But I shouldn’t have left you out of it.”
“Owen… Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“I don’t even know. I tried being a hero. Guess I’m just no good at it”
Morgan hugged Owen. Owen suddenly felt hungry and pushed Morgan back. His face changed and he tasted blood and there was a sharp pain in his gums. Morgan took a step back. Owen’s eyes became red and demonic, and the sclera blackened. Owen turned around.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said what I did back outside the warehouse, and I shouldn’t have been a dick about Evangeline.” Morgan said quietly.
“It’s okay.” Owen said. “I am so hungry all the time. It’s been a will since I last fed.” He said.
“I understand. So what now?”
“I tagged Drake. I know I’m not a human anymore and I don’t even have the most rudimentary understanding of how magic works but that does mean we can find him, right?”
“Yeah, I just have to be a little more careful with the symbols. But that’s something positive. I just don’t know how we are going to beat him. What’s our plan? We can’t go in without one.”
“I honestly have no idea, Morgan. He told me if I survived then he’d explain himself.”
“That sounds like a trap.”
“I think so too. I walked into the last one. I’m not eager to get stabbed again. But at the same time… It’s so blatantly obvious. Like if he wanted me dead, he’d already have done it.”
“You did die.”
“But he called Daveigh. She turned me.”
“That is odd. Okay, maybe he’s genuine. But I don’t want to make assumptions.”
“Me neither. Will the suit still work with me?”
“Not really. It worked because as a human, you had excess mana that you couldn’t access, and I could siphon off that. As a vampire, most of that mana is channelled into keeping you alive.”
“Damn. I need both you and Daveigh for this.”
“Oh, and Eva called me. She said she’s okay, but she’s not coming home.”
“That’s good… I think.”
“She’s okay, that’s all that matters. I think I can put the search for Eva on hold for a while.”
“But, tomorrow… Morgan, as soon as possible… She might be dead already. But if there’s a chance that we could save her…”
“I know. You’re willing to die for it.”
Morgan stuck out his hand to shake Owen’s. Owen shook it but the bones in his hands started cracking and Morgan felt his arm react. Owen stared at it in shock…
“I can’t get it off and it’s not anything I’ve seen done with rune magic.”
“I wouldn’t know bud… Maybe try not to use your right hand for anything ever again.”