Dark Soul

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Cain set the latch down slowly on the door leading to his basement pausing as he did so then listened for the moment John Williams saw Cain’s brethren around him before carrying on up the staircase that led to the main house; closing shut the door as the first screams reached his ears. Cain stood for a moment in front of the mirror that hung on the wall in his hallway next to the stained glass entrance door and slowly smoothed the lapels on his jacket; before casually running his fingers through his jet black hair. With his blood lust subsiding he smoothed his hands across his face and then smiled to see his perfectly white teeth beaming back which once more now appeared very human in appearance. Removing his coat from the ornate stand he slipped it on and once more smoothed the lapels but this time on his coat adjusting it over his jacket before finally buttoning it up. Reaching out he took hold of his hat from the stand and slowly placed it upon his head adjusting the angle until he was finally satisfied that he looked every inch the personification of a 1930’s Gentleman. Cain stood there for a moment admiring his reflection; his piercing blue eyes and jet black hair that despite his age remained without a single grey hair reflected back at him. Turning from his reflection he opened the main door of his house then stepped out into the night air; Cain felt at ease outside perhaps more so than being indoors as his keen sense of smell picked up scents that no mere human could. He let the door close slowly behind him but did not lock it; any burglar wishing to chance their hand at his house would soon lose that hand and more.

A weathered old business card that he had plucked from John Williams Wallet read

‘58 Rochester Row, Westminster. Professor Marcus Tremane’. Cain of course knew London very well indeed and it had been a happy hunting ground for many years with the exception of the period of his history he had encountered Tremane and Williams. It had been an error leaving them alive he knew now but faking his own death at the time seemed the best course of action to allow him to pursue his agenda uninterrupted. It was a mistake he intended to correct tonight once and for all which would allow his family to grow without fear of discovery. Walking a short distance to the end of his road Cain observed a cab with its light emblazoned on slowly patrolling the streets looking for business and flagged it down.

“Where to guv?” the cabbie asked as Cain settled himself into the back seat.

“Vincent Square please.” Cain instructed in an even tone. “You don’t want to be going there this time of night a gentleman like you in a dark park at night you never know what might get yer.” The cabbie conveyed with sincerity. Cain smiled to himself before replying “I assure you I will be quite safe my dear man please drive to my destination.” “Right you are guv” replied the cabbie. It was a short drive to Vincent square and it lay opposite Rochester Row. Stepping from the cab Cain disappeared into Vincent square walking slowly along the pathway heading towards the exit leading to Rochester Row on the other side of the park. Vincent square was in fact a large park with many large old oak trees obscuring it from the surrounding buildings. A place of leisure and beauty during the day but the perfect place for predators to hide at sun down and tonight there was a hunter’s moon hung full in the sky. Slipping the calling card back into his pocket Cain stood opposite Tremane’s town house at the edge of the park. His keen eyes studied the building and it appeared that the Professor was not yet home as all the lights within were off. In fact the entire street was almost in darkness as everyone was no doubt soundly asleep at this time of night. Cain slipped his gloves from his hands as he stepped from the shadows and approached Tremane’s house.

He needed a way inside but could not simply break the door down but breaking a window latch in a window up high would not be noticed by someone returning home. Cain concentrated and the tips of his fingers began to pulsate and elongate his hands growing wider and more powerful until finally being tipped off by razor sharp claws. Glancing around to ensure he was still being unobserved he crouched slightly before leaping up at the house gaining footing on it as he dug his claws into the wall outside the upper most window in the town house and slowly prised the window up until its brass latch strained and snapped under the pressure. The window slid up and with an almost cat like grace he slipped inside closing the window quietly behind him.

Marcus turned the key in his car and waved to Greg and Emma, who were parked a little ways down the street from him, as he pulled away. It was not a long drive from the chapel and his mind wandered to thoughts of what had happened those many long years ago.

Cain was dead he had shot him I was sure of that’ Marcus mused to himself as his car pulled to a gentle stop at a set of traffic lights. The one thought that kept coming back to him was silver; in every legend about shape shifters silver was a common theme. Marcus knew of course that silver had been used since ancient times and recalled a passage he had read from an old textbook on the subject.

’Even early civilizations knew the value of silver as a way to make utensils. But what they might not have realized is that silver is such a relatively safe metal that it actually has anti-septic properties.

The bottom line is that silver kills germs, bacteria, and fungi and even better, avoids killing us because its toxicity is not at the level of other heavy metals. Before the development of antibiotics, silver was often used as a disinfectant.’

Marcus turned his attention back to the road once more as the lights changed and he engaged his vehicle once more. As the road trailed off in front of him his thoughts came back to focus on silver.

’Could it be while having curative properties and low toxicity to humans it is quite the opposite for the other creatures spoken of in legend and the explosive force of the impact from a bullet would be enough to spread the toxicity through the creatures body and kill it.’

Marcus thumped his steering wheel at this possible conclusion and his heart sank and filled with dread with the sombre realization that what he shot Cain with all those years ago could never have stood a chance of killing him if it was indeed Cain he shot. Another set of lights and Marcus was once again roused from his thoughts. The bright flashing lights of an ambulance sped past and his thoughts turned to his old friend John who he was on his way to meet at his house on Rochester Row.

Not far now’ thought Marcus as he pulled away from the green lights. It was a short while later that Professor Tremane brought his vehicle to a stop opposite his home address near to the park entrance that Cain had been stood at earlier unbeknownst to Marcus. As he stepped from his car the wind picked up and Marcus glanced around to the park as the trees rustled in response to the wind flowing through their leaves. Lifting his collar up and peering into the darkness Marcus hesitated for a moment his hand on the driver’s side handle almost waiting for his assailant to leap from the shadows but the wind dropped and the trees fell silent and the darkness yielded nothing but silence. His hand slipped from the cars handle and glancing left and right Marcus crossed the quiet road and took the first step leading to his terraced town house. Pulling his hand free from his pocket Marcus held out his key and it fitted neatly into the lock and the door gave way at the Professors gentle push allowing Marcus to step inside his home. A long corridor led out in front of him and the stairs ran parallel to the corridor up the side of the house to the first floor. Removing his coat and hat he placed them on the stand next to the door before finally unravelling his scarf and letting it drape across them both; switching on the hall way light it slowly flickered into life and bathed the hallway in a luminescent light. Turning around Marcus made his way to the end of the hallway and into his kitchen. The light from the hallway lit the kitchen just enough to allow him to see the counter and sink where the kettle sat upon but the rest of the kitchen was shrouded in darkness and without feeling the need to turn the light on he hit the switch for his kettle before placing a cup next to it. Marcus paused as he heard a noise from behind him; it sounded like clattering metal on metal or something being scraped along metal. He couldn’t tell if it was in the house or outside as the quiet of the night amplified even noises outside so much so they could easily appear to be in his own home. Just then a shape caught his eye as it pressed itself up against the window from outside and Marcus almost leaped back in fright slamming the fridge door shut in the process and nearly dropping the bottle of milk he held. It became apparent that next doors cat had knocked off the old metal bin lid in his yard as it made its way up onto his window sill and sat there its green eyes like large pearlescent moons set in a sea of blackness starting at him through the window.

As Marcus poured the water for his tea and splashed on the required amount of milk the night time stalker watched on with its green eyes studying his every move. Marcus tapped on the window but the feline simply swished its tail and stared back nonchalantly. He made his way slowly upstairs to the landing off the second storey and onwards to his study at the end of the corridor all the while being careful not to spill a drop of tea from his mug. Reaching the top of the stairs, some of which groaned and creaked under his weight in complaint of their use, he flicked the switch in the hallway which dutifully lit his way along the corridor; leaving the downstairs light on purposefully in the process so John could see the exterior stairs when he approached the house. Marcus stopped and sipped his tea before walking the short distance to his study; without thinking he flipped the switch on the wall and placed his tea on his desk.

“Blast!” he muttered to himself as the light failed to come on. Marcus reached out for the chair arm that was behind his desk and slowly slid himself down into it before feeling forward towards the lamp on his desk but before he could reach it he heard soft words drift from the corner of the room.

“Good evening Professor I am so glad you could join me.” Cain slowly pushed the door shut and pulled the cord on the lamp next to him which bathed the room is soft light. Marcus slightly taken aback by the sudden appearance of Cain sat back in his chair and uttered the words softly to himself “Cain”

“Marcus. Marcus. Marcus.” Cain lent forward in his chair and let his arms rest on his legs; his face breaking out into a broad smile.

“I have waited so long to thank you for killing me that night on the bridge. It gave me the freedom from prying eyes that I needed to further my cause.”

Marcus reached out for his tea and slowly sipped it as he reclined in his chair his eyes studying Cain as he did so.

“Lost for words my dear professor or simply thirsty?” Cain’s eyes narrowed as he tried to pierce the professors calm exterior. This was not what he had expected at all especially as the professor must surely know the fate which awaited him; the same fate that befell his dear friend the Inspector. Cain’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted by the voice of Marcus

“So Ian, do you mind if I call you Ian?” Marcus said with a slight hint of sarcasm to his tone.

“Not at all my dear professor” interjected Cain as he pressed his fingers together and leaned forward from his chair a broad smile appearing upon his face.

“To what do I owe the honour of your company this evening? Or is this simply a social visit for old time’s sake?” Marcus kept his voice calm and even as he spoke.

Cain actually laughed at the final remark by Marcus and his face once more distorted in a sickly smile only made worse by the chilling laughter that filled the room.

“Well we have known each other for almost thirty years Marcus; can’t an old friend just drop by to catch up?” Cain’s voice dripped with sarcasm as he finished his sentence. “Indeed; and it would be rude if I didn’t ask the purpose of your visit.” Marcus brought his cup of tea to his lips to drink from it but stopped and carried on with his sentence

“How did such a thing as you come to be?” Marcus swallowed a mouthful of tea and set his mug to rest once more on his desk but this time on the opposite side he had originally placed it. Cain stood swiftly from his chair and took a step towards the professor his voice booming out

“How did such a thing as I?!” Cain’s eyes briefly waxed over with feral slits as he struggled to regain his composure. Letting out a long sigh he once more resumed his seat.

“I shall tell you my not so learned professor of my kind and what effect contact with your pathetic little species has had upon my once great and proud race!” Cain’s hands dug into the mahogany turned ends of the chair he sat in as he finished his sentence.

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