A unpleasant Surprise
Aticus smashed through the locked entrance with ease as if Sarah forgot to lock the door behind her. The doorframe splintering as he stepped inside the living room then gingerly sealed the damaged door the best he could. He quickly rummaged through his leather pouch to obtain the stolen runic pendant mystically scribed, as Viddarr told him, from the trollborn Rune caster. The incantation had been expressly purposed to enlighten the reincarnated soulmate of Viddarr’s first and only love.
Aticus drew in a deep breath as he slid out his now antique flintlock double-barreled pistol and blunderbuss from his belt. Not Gerome’s blunderbuss made in France that wounded him but an almost exact duplicate intricately inscribed made in Germany and a fist full of silver coins stuffed in the barrel to remind him of the horrible night. He had lost his love and he had lost his eye. He laid the weapons down on a chaise lounge as he surveyed the living room. Mesmerized by the oil painting on the wall his heart quickened and skipped a beat as he saw Alicia staring at him from across the room. He looked up to see Gerome
Malstros, ancestor to the eradicators of his family, and once a God’s Light member himself, in all his glory and hideousness staring at him also as his blood pressure began rising as anger overtaking him talons formed in his hands instantly like he had pressed the button of multiple switchblades swiping the face of the head of the household, Gerome’s features were no longer recognizable. He grew a fully functional muzzle two lupine ears and two canine eyes longing to be a mammoth true wolf again pouncing on all four paws but he had to suppress a complete transformation, he had to find Alicia.
Aticus clutched the railing leading upstairs howling out longingly her name, softly murmuring “Alicia…”
Sarah didn’t know why she hid inside the house instead of running but now she kneeled down trying to be as small as possible looking out the French doors to the porch outside, the curtains pulled back far enough that she could peer outside. The three figures, two nude lunatics and a salt-and-pepper haired older man with a grungy lab coat wrestled on the ground in a life or death struggle.
The low rough but gentle voice startling her coming from inside the house she was caught by surprise, eyes locked at the outside, she muttered to herself “No one by that name lives here now...”
Aticus cringed with every sound that he made trying to be silent but the hallway creaked as he tiptoed ever closer to her room. Weary not to spook her he opened the door ever so slowly and crept into the room. He looked into the mirror mesmerized by his new look. Two Emerald eyes were staring back at him.
“Alicia, I have a gift for you,” He grinned.
Sarah started to protest.
Sarah stood still like a deer in headlights petrified by the stranger standing in the doorway. She looked for a way out, but the French doors to the outside porch had been blocked for safety while AJ replaced some of the termite ridden boards and across the room her way was blocked by the enormous stranger. For all of Alicia’s descriptions Sarah felt as if she knew the tall gentleman standing before her. His long thin face had healed and black hair framed a quite regal nose and brilliant green eyes, as if he had been ripped out of the pages of the diary, Alicia’s long lost love, Aticus.
Aticus stopped for a moment to look at his reflection in the intricately carved and gilded vanity’s mirror. His features had become whole now where before he had been utterly defaced and ashamed. The moment he longed for so long in his dreams had come true as his breathing quickened, heart rate quickened and his cheeks warmed.
Aticus couldn’t help but eye Alicia’s diary, his fingers couldn’t resist touching some of Alicia’s precious written pages. Mesmerized by his eyes her delicate hands shook as impulsively she dropped the book into his grasp. Aticus thumbed through several pages until coming to an interesting section then read the page out loud.
“Out in the forest just shy of my poppa’s house we stopped to rest at a clearing in the woods, trees encircling us he took a knife to a particularly hard oak inscribing our names then stepped back so I could see the heart around these letters. He had stepped behind me, but so agonizingly close to me still. Suddenly he wrapped a beautiful necklace around my neck and he spoke…”
Sarah tried to slip past the imposing figure to pass by the vanity and the bed but Aticus grabbed her twirling her around to face the mirror his huge protective arm around her hips. Catching his breath and steadying his nerves he quietly quoted directly out of the diary pages, “I have a gift for you.”
“No, don’t!” Sarah protested.
Aticus ignored her pleas. He unclasped her family heirloom which Aticus himself had given to Alicia many years ago and slid it safely in his bag. Sarah’s protests quieted as he clasped the Onyx amulet round her neck then stood back to look at her reflection, “oh Alicia, I have missed you so…”
Sarah looked at her reflection as well. She looked at the magic necklace that had been clasped to her delicate neck. She imagined that Aticus had given her the Onyx heirloom instead of her reflection; however Alicia’s visage stared back at her. In her mind the green eyes and black hair had merged with blue eyes and silky golden hair as she looked at her reflection.
She looked into the mirror with Aticus standing behind her, “Do you remember?”
Silence, the walls melted away and she saw a circling of Cyprus trees. There standing tall in the middle of the clearing a Weeping Willow tree. In her mind she saw the scratches that had been made on the Willow tree.
Remembering long ago events she clutched the amulet as she tenderly whispered, “I have a gift for you, my sweet Alicia.”
“Do you remember now, Alicia?”
“Yes,” Sarah spun the pendant hitting the candlelight and shining, “I remember Aticus... How could you just leave me?”
Looking at her reflection in the mirror he remembered his sister, “Oh Ayaa...”
He tried to choke back tears starting in his eyes, “My Alicia…” For the first time in centuries tears flowed down both cheeks.
An explosion rocked the upstairs windows. The reincarnated face with Alicia’s features softened within a look of horror as she stared out the window at a fire spreading like water to several of the dense tree trunks, a pile of bones and So-seti’s charred, smoldering body on the ground. Lastly she saw Devon bloody and down on his knees just before the curtain of trees.
Aticus grabbed the diary before heading downstairs Alicia watching from the window upstairs. Without looking Aticus reached for his trusty flintlock and the blunderbuss and smashed through the already broken front door.
Fearful to move into the downpour and puddles that spread the fire Alicia stood at the bottom of the steps, “Devon!”
Devon! Aticus ran out on the slick porch and out into the rain clutching at her diary. Devon! He quickly read the paragraphs to himself the pages quickly getting soaked in the rain. “I met a stranger that told me the secrets of what I have become but he could not fill the loneliness in my heart… Now that I know what I am becoming, I am horrified, I need a place to be on my own and think so I left the helpful stranger… Though Pregnant again…”
“It can’t be!” Shaking his head in disbelief he had to read more.
“I dreamt that I howled at the top of my lungs an aria owed to the night sky and what was lost and never found… I should be used to this now, every month awakening in Louisiana in my childhood home… An old woman now”
“This is going to be my last entry I am so tired physically and mentally. The loss of my love, Aticus, hurts me so and missing memories every three days, once a month… no more. Even the tryst with the gorgeous, wild, and mysterious young man with fiery red sigils tattooed on the whole of his face, Devon, who had been a thoughtful and caring individual, cannot fill the hole in my heart that my sweet Aticus has left behind.”
Devon knelt in the wet grass. The onslaught of crimson rain mixed with the red sigils on his face. His own blood oozed out from his white hair. However, as he closed his eyes and smiled tuning out the world around him, he was assured his lineage will go on after his death.
His head awash, Aticus reeled from all the missed opportunities, betrayal and regret. He envisioned Devon and Alicia his love in a passionate embrace. Although his silver sickness had been cured by the mighty shade he felt a splitting headache coming on again. His headache worsening until his vision blurred. Even his daily throbs when he still had 100 silver shards embedded into his brain did not compare to this moment, like a pounding jackhammer in his skull. Without thinking he found himself reaching toward his antique dual flintlock which he quickly aimed and fired, though he aimed for Devon’s head, the softness of the silver made the silver stray off the mark two slugs finding their way into his chest.
The prone Doctor was still struggling to stave off the nude fiends and managed to throw two phosphorous grenades at the gathering crowd that emerged from the invisible barn. A flickering brilliant warm orange lit the ominous gloomy clouds that hung in the air and the ferocity of the fire would not be quenched by the strong gale and torrent. Dr. Jacobs howled out as his blood began to boil mucus streaming down his thickening snout as his jaws began to ache new teeth began to emerge and grow. The Doc began to frantically grind his teeth until they were filed down to manageable fangs. As the spine began to crack and expand to accommodate a lupine form he managed to get the upper hand on one of the lunatics twirling him around and pinning him down in the mud. The nude fiend caked in mud yelped in pain as swollen jaws crushed his clavicle in an audible crunch.
A strange odor permeated the air and he now knew the aroma. Out of the dark canopy of trees and into the bright light of the fires there appeared the ancestor of Alicia and Devon’s forbidden coupling, James. A hybrid wolf still weak from his scrap with Devon his head still dizzy but on all four limbs firmly planted on the ground. He had fully functional human arms with coarse Brown fur and hands, though, his palms had thickened like the starting of pads and extremely elongated feet. Aticus somehow knew from James’ pungent odor there was something odd, something just not quite right with him. His hatred for James had been justified.
Although his silver sickness had been cured by the mighty shade the splitting headache would now not subside, so without a second thought he found James’ hybrid Wolf by smell, zeroed in on his form and pulled the trigger… nothing… He had spent both of the shots in the gun.
Howls of pain echoed through the night as the Doc proceeded to chew through the lunatic’s ribcage until his arm had almost severed from his body. However, the other lunatic sliced through the lab coat with his claws grabbing onto Jacobs’ shoulders and forcing his jaws back, freeing the now mangled cavernous chest. Warm blood spewed out like a fountain in his face while powerful human teeth latched onto the Doc’s exposed neck.
His frustration heightened, Aticus reached for his antique blunderbuss, the replica of the gun that started his decline into psychosis, and fired blindly. The Doc managed to get a grasp on the last phosphorus grenade, removed the pin and closed his eyes. At least he could take two of them out before he died, the Doc thought, this way instead of a monster he would be a martyr, surely a fast-track into Heaven. The thought comforted Doc as he dropped to the ground between the two lunatics, one of which lies dying. Through the darkness he heard the sickening sounds of crunching and felt a pressure on his back, but he felt no pain at all as his extremities went limp, lastly he heard the explosion.
James yelped hitting the ground hard, Aticus smiled marching over to Devon and whispered, “I’m sorry my friend but you violated my love, Alicia, and you won’t stop my dreams!”
Aticus grabbed a fist full of Devon’s hair and forced Devon to look him in the eyes, cold hardened merciless and vengeful emerald eyes. Aticus looked smug and confident and Devon couldn’t stand his toothy smile.
“You killed my mentor, my friend, Stefan! You deserve to die!” Devon hoarsely said foaming up blood from his mouth.
Devon’s face and broken body began undulating like waves in the sea trying to fix the damage the shade had done. Somehow he summoned the energy to manifest claws and swiped at Aticus’ healed face. Surprised he faltered feeling white hot pain and warm blood spill out.
“Fuck you, you sneaking whore!” Aticus roared a pounding in his brain back like a knife stabbing him in the head over and over again, a dizzying pressure in his head now at a feverish pitch.
Once again horribly disfigured and blinded by blood running down his eye he grasped for Devon’s bloody white hair flipped open the silver garrote on his flintlock and buried the blade deep into his exposed neck. Aticus blacked out his body on autopilot with a twisting motion and a hard yank he tore off Devon’s head and dropped it, it bounced like a basketball coming to rest against Aticus’ well-worn boots.
Aticus dropped both empty guns and hastily kneeled down. The sound of bones cracking as Aticus plunged both hands into Devon’s body and decapitated head. He emerged with glands in one hand and Devon’s heart in the other. He chewed Devon’s heart and glands vigorously until Devon’s organs were the consistency of Mash. The Pulp easily made its way down Aticus’ gullet and the pounding migraine instantly went away.
“Aticus!” He heard the unmistakable voice of his lost love, the reincarnated form of Alicia.
She had heard the shot, a familiar sound flashing a lost memory of a horrible night spurred her out of her house and running up just in time to see her ancestor, James, lying prone and still just outside the forest and then she saw Aticus. She hesitated, looking back and forth between James and Aticus, the agony of her decision so heavy upon her face.
“Oh, Aticus!” Alicia almost floated to Aticus’ side and gingerly touched his injured face.
An embarrassed and skittish Aticus jumped back but Alicia insisted putting in a gentle palm on his mangled cheek, “oh, love, let me care for you.”
Instead of running away in fear and shame like he did so long ago he stood his ground and let Alicia’s gentle hands caress his face. He began to tear up in his one good functional eye as he wrapped his hands around hers, trembling at her touch.
The bright Inferno of light was obstructing James view he didn’t even know what hit him. Aticus had targeted the hybrid wolf and in profile and on all four limbs trying to hit his head but the silver strayed from the mark. Several silver coins hit the wolf in the upper hip and thigh. The coins spread out in a circle in the body in the legs slicing into the wolf’s body lodging into his bones. For the second time James had passed out from the excruciating pain, but now he had stirred.
Aticus clung onto Alicia for dear life as if he accidentally let go again she would be lost forever. Peering around at the fires to see James’ Wolf form stagger up on his broad hands and elongated feet. Though he had been filled with silver coins in his hip the Wolf instantly transformed and stood on two feet.
“That’s impossible!” Aticus shook his head in disbelief. Though still bleeding profusely Aticus looked upon James’ human legs with confusion and jealousy.
“Oh Aticus, he is hurt,” the piteousness of her voice and her doe like eyes melted the vengeance in his cold heart.
With malice and bile in his voice he begrudgingly barked, “Go, and care for him, quickly.”