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Papoose

By Kelly Larsen All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Scifi

Blurb

Orchid Road. She appeared in front of the sign, underneath a street lamp that had long since burned out. With her arm wrapped tightly around her stomach she marched towards the stately home shrouded in willows, a type of tree that didn’t belong in this climate. With no moon to cast shadows she was shrouded in darkness allowing her to approach the house unseen. The knob turned until the lock broke, she didn’t bother closing the door behind her. The smell of tobacco permeated the air leading her to where she needed to be. She trembled with each step. She grew weaker, and with her wet hand she smeared blood on the door as she felt for the handle.

Prologue

Orchid Road.

Birds fled when she appeared in front of the sign, underneath a street lamp that had long since burned out. With her arm wrapped tightly around her stomach, she marched towards the stately home shrouded in oaks, and dripping with Spanish moss; a type of tree that didn’t belong in this climate. With no moon to cast shadows, she was shrouded in darkness and approached the house unseen. The knob turned until the lock broke. She didn’t bother closing the door behind her. The smell of tobacco clung to the wood paneling leading her to where she needed to be. She trembled with each step as she grew weaker, and with her wet hand she smeared blood on the door as she felt for the handle.

This room was softly lit by a fish tank, whose occupants eagerly crowded the glass expecting to be fed. She stumbled past them and leaned on the cedar desk where her wet hands slid as she tried to steady herself. Sweat beaded her forehead while she pulled the desk drawers open, she slammed a sheet of yellow parchment down on the desk. Her hands trembled as she scratched her name at the bottom, blood dripped from her fingers as she folded it and collapsed to the floor. She returned her hand to her side again, not much longer, she grimaced, The Knight will be here soon. A cool draft blew in as the front doors opened, the sound of steps reverberated off the walls until they stopped outside the office.

He was alone when he pushed the door open. He couldn’t see her where she fell behind the desk, but undoubtedly his eyes fell on the mess she’d made.

“Who’s there?” he was collected and almost sounded hopeful. He was tall enough to see over the desk from where he stood and almost pushed the desk out of the way to get to her. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Pilate,” She said. He stopped but didn’t turn back to her. “Do they have her?”

“Why won’t you let me help you?” he tried to pull her hand away.

She shook her head. “There isn’t enough time.” she started again when he cut in.

“Connor, I don’t even know where to begin with you.” He breathed, “Maybe we could start with why you chose that as a girl’s name?”

She could feel herself slipping through her fingers, “I need to know.”

“You haven’t aged a day,” he lowered his gaze as if to say something else.

“Odd, considering you can’t even bring yourself to look at me.” She mumbled.

He was deciding to get help or not, he was stalling.

“Pilate,” the name pierced him, “Do they-?”

He snapped.

“Yes!” he exclaimed. “Why else do you think I’m here?”

“You didn’t know I was here.” She glared at him, “You’ve grown comfortable in your old age, but you haven’t changed. This town, this Halcyon, it’s a farce, Pilate.”

“That’s. Not. My. Name.” he growled.

She reached out and took his hand, his expression softened.

“What’s changed? This is the first century I’ve seen you,” he held his breath.

“Me. I’ve changed,” he started to say something else when she reached up and took his whiskered cheek in her hand, “You know I can’t stay, you were the one-.”

“I know!” he breathed, “I know, but it’s different this time, I’m different.”

She shook her head, “No, Ty, you’re not, your true nature will come out,” he was beginning to shake his head, “Ty,” he found himself staring, waiting for her eyes to open, if only to memorize their color once more. “You have to let me,”

“No,” he started, “Stay, make me into a better man, stay and help,” he implored. She distracted him with a kiss, and lifted her dripping hand to reach into his coat. “What are you doing?” she pulled the watch out and unclipped the chain as she kissed him once more. “Connor, please,” he rested her forehead against hers. “Answer me next time?” he took her hand off of his cheek and slipped the ring into it.

The watch popped open.

“Give the letter to my brother,” she instructed.

“You mean?” she opened her eyes and he found himself mesmerized, “What about her? What if she doesn’t remember?”

Connor shook her head, “She will, in time.”

“I’ll be waiting for that answer.” He insisted.

She turned his hand and dropped the ring back into it.

“I already have.”

His heart shattered in realization as he watched her vanish before his eyes.

He breathed, “Cylee,” his hand fell from where he’d been holding hers, now empty, into the cooling puddle of blood.

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