I have a surprise for you my dear
Aticus could barely stand the intoxicating aroma coming from all over the house now, invigorating yet scaring the hell out of him too. Sarah’s scent was all over the manor, but it was Alicia’s natural aroma as well, wasn’t it? Even with her helpers slowly dwindling he could still see with his one good eye how far she had come on fixing up the place.
Aticus braved Sarah’s termite rotten deck, his enormous hands resting on the half painted white wash rail. He had snuck in yet again when he knew that everybody had left for the night. He looked out at the moon in wonderment lost in thought. Just a sliver to go and the Moon would be full once again.
“Grandmamma!” Aticus howled.
“Yes, dear?” So-seti asked as she hobbled out of the night, crutches in hand.
“Is everything going to plan on your end?” Aticus questioned. He had a hard time tearing his eye away from the dazzling moon to look at his grandmother.
“Yes, yes my dear, one more month and the perigee full Moon combined with All Hallows Eve are going to be the perfect time to conjure up the Mighty Shade.” So-seti comforted Aticus.
“I hope you’re right. I hope you’re right and she will heal me,” he turned swiftly afraid she would see him as a tear began to form in his eye.
So-seti steadied herself on Aticus’ solid shoulder, “she is the most powerful of the shaman. A necromancer with the power over life and
death… she will be able to heal whatever ails us, my sweet.”
For the first time in his long weary life he began to feel hope.
She pressed a shaking hand against his forehead, “head hurts?”
Aticus didn’t say anything, only shook his head yes and looked at his grandmother’s stumps for legs. Even the mice who made their nest in the second floor deck scurried about on the hard wood floor over toward the shadowy corners of the deck as if frightened by Aticus’ mere ominous presence as he bent down to inspect the silver studs through her sheared off bones.
“Don’t worry, Aticus, in another month Aisos will rise!”
Everything was going to plan. Montezmu and Tomas, with the help of Maurice, now had a direct pipeline through the drug smuggling operations all over the South Western United States. This new and extremely potent recipe a tweaked out version of the all but forgotten old world formula thanks to the ex-God’s Light member, James, and the “street chemist”, Michael. They easily synthesized ingredients that once could only be found naturally in the brain then all that was needed was Aticus’ blood to complete the mixture. Once the inhaled dark red crystals invaded the brain and bloodstream it filled the users with euphoria they have never felt before. They have a transcendental experience feeling faster, stronger, and completely invincible. The parasites easily bypass the white blood cells, the body’s defense system, changing them physiologically and they remain blissfully unaware of changes to come until the next full moon approaches.
Aticus had ordered Viddarr’s Wolf’s Den Tavern to pick unsuspecting patrons deemed worthy for the chance to taste the elixir called Wolf’s Blood. Then he was to give out his flyers to those perspective candidates and the unsuspecting patrons alike for the Blood Moon Festival just over a month away. He smiled ear to ear but in doing so his head began to pound.
“Viddarr’s Tavern was a perfect front to pass out the flyers for the Blood Moon Festival, soon your developing pack will be solidified and those that don’t make the cut will be fodder for the young changelings.” So-seti said confidently.
His visions were increasing with every passing day and he began to get nervous, I have a surprise for you my dear, Alicia’s apparition softly whispered in his head. He could almost feel her embracing him. He looked around at the land where it all began. Where he lost his eye and he began suffering his ceaseless headaches which tested his sanity.
He peered out over the woods; now this is my den, my region, Aticus thought. The war is coming and he would rule the area with an iron fist. The era of pink fleshy, fragile human beings coming to an end… A lycanthropic rule will change all the human waste and excess which was not the lupine way. He would weed out the weak and infirm and would heal the planet, Aticus reasoned. Humans in their homes with their white washed fences will become just livestock for the wolves while they wait for the slaughter.
Back at the barn in the second floor rafters he could feel the minute heat coming from the fire and the smell of barbecue. He closed his eye and could see a dozen inflicted crowding around the fire. He could hear growling as the inflicted grew stronger, competed for scrap meat.
Finally back where it all began, Aticus on the brink of sanity and madness, sorrow and vengeance, then he saw Alicia. She gave him an expectation of love, acceptance and affection. Aticus told Alicia his most closely guarded secret, born of a Wolf mother he could transform at will… she did not run. For a moment all seemed right with the world, again for a moment Aticus thought that humanity as a whole is not cruel. That not all would try to capture and massacre what they didn’t understand. Healing and hopes for a new family, something that he was sorely lacking since he was a child. Until in one night everything changed all that. Left with a horribly scarred face and missing eye and in an instant he lost his love for his troubles. Except for the reincarnation of his love he vowed never to trust a human again.
He searched for her for some time when the mundane injuries of his body and mental scars had healed. He had come close to her about a century ago in the wilds of New York City, she had already given birth to fraternal twins, a boy and girl, but immediately after birth the boy had died. Death gives off a strong scent and he had tracked the dead boy to the family mausoleum. Although really weary with the speedy delivery her family’s deep pockets had persuaded The Catholic Church to bring nuns and take away the surviving child and put the baby into a foster home in Canada.
He had tracked Alicia at an open air fare in Lower Manhattan. More interested in Alicia than hiding from the crowds of people all around him he emerged from the shadows, he wore a hood on his head to conceal the twisted visage of his face to the masses. He was almost able to touch her when he caught his reflection in a full-length mirror for sale. Oblivious to his presence and just feet from his love he froze, horrified at his image in the mirror. He cautiously stroked his horribly scarred and permanently injured face. Staring into the mirror the cashier too busy tending to a couple to notice him, he looked first at the permanently lupine ear. The misshapen ear set back further on the skull, lower than a human ear inflicted by silver shards, cut in half from the silver half-Dollars and dotted by sporadically fine short fur. A malformed skull, part permanently lupine, part human, fused together. The scarred part of his forehead through the bridge of his nose enlarged and extended like a massive cancerous tumor. A missing eye and wide high socket seemed to quiver as if wanting to transform but could not. In his mind he would never again be worthy for such an angelic face. His cheeks reddened with humiliation, there would be no homecoming, embarrassment got in the way.
It was the last time he physically saw her. He made preparations to keep track of her and give her everything she needed through the lawyer Richard LeBeau, one of his kin, those sympathetic to the lycanthropes. They had encountered the Wolf’s blood but were somehow uninfected. He fell into a deep depression when he could not sense her aroma in the world anymore.
He longingly looked over at Alicia’s house. His lucid dreams saved him from certain death and instructed him to the whereabouts of another version of his lost love. The pounding in his brain lessened as excitement coursed through his veins as he thought about smelling her aroma again in the world. So close to the reincarnated version of his love he could taste it. Memories came flooding back to him, some good and some really, really sorrowful. His father, mother, and brother and sister died at the hands of her cruel ancestors but Alicia reminded him of his best friend and sister, Ayaa. Sarah, Sarah reminded him a reincarnated lost love, Alicia, and his long-lost bloodline Ayaa! He would be damned if any, any petty human stood in his way to claim her. He wiped the dripping ooze from his missing eye socket. This time he swore vengeance upon the human race so they couldn’t take away his family ever again. He hoped that Aisos could make him whole again then he could have confidence to look upon her beautiful face eye to eye.
“Don’t worry my dear,” So-seti abandoned her crutches and hugged Aticus partly for love and support, partly for stability, “I will be able to call her forth and she will be able to regenerate my legs and your eye, I swear to you.”
Aticus’ nerves threatened to get the better of him. After all it was more than 200 years since he felt her touch. He made his way up to her bedroom, running his hand along the wall, and out onto the balcony. He could look into those big doe-like innocent eyes that reminded him of his sister. It had been more than 200 years since he set foot on Raccourci Island. Now looking out from the second floor on acres and acres of land it dawned on him it was the first time ever he looked down from inside the house and it pleased him immensely.
He breathed in a deep breath with his head held high. He yelled out a lupine howl of excitement that could be heard from miles away.