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Chapter 26: THE KEY

There was nothing Joseph could do to control himself. He was a newborn and thirsty for food!

He needed to feed and he needed food ASAP.

He mourned the death of his siblings, never knowing they were secret lovers under their parents’ noses.

When he realized I was still in his living room I hissed at him and vanished into thin air before he could get to me.

He cried for days, he cried when he hunted. I forgot about him all together.

Their deaths and his transformation took a backseat to a gazillion other things and murders that occupied my time.

So Joseph has schemed and made deals with the devil leading to this moment, when I came face to face with his parents, two people I transformed as well, to keep him contained and controlled after I created him, but obviously that failed.

A dysfunctional union they have become.

They seek vengeance, and nothing more.

I was on my feet, rubbing my stomach, calming my children. It took a moment to do. I forgot about death and the possibility of dying; I put James and his wife and their son from my head. It was all about my babies right now, they needed their mother. They needed that reassurance.

They finally fell asleep in the Belly of the Beast. I knew it because I felt it. Their heart rates dropped dramatically to little thumps that melted my heart in the midst of misery.

I had to protect them.

I knew my ace of spade would do the trick.

With me dead they will never know the story of my half human ability, or the man behind it, the man with the key and had it all along: their son: Joseph!

They desire to be human just as passionately as me, so that presents a problem and I had to play my cards right.

Just because ye had an Ace of spade didn’t mean ye couldn’t lose it if ye play thy hand wrong, and if ye don’t play with thy hand close to thy chest. Don’t let the right hand know what the left hand is doing because prying eyes to the left and right of ye, playing their hands close to their chests, bid their books based off the cards they see in thy hand, smiling in thy face and not hinting at a thing, talking smack with a poker face.

At all costs I must survive. It’s all I thought about right now. I didn’t care who my children’s father was, or who it wasn’t, and who it might not be, or who it could possibly be.

I was going to be a mother and a damn good one, the best one in the entire world. They will teach me how to love and they will love me by default.

The mustard seed of faith has been activated inside of me and, yes, I thirst for blood, but I went through an incredible change.

I was thinking logically. I totally forgive everyone and anyone who has wronged me or hurt me; I forgive myself for my transgressions and will seek forgiveness from those I hurt. If they forgive me, that will be a blessing. If they don’t they have to take that up with God.

I totally forgive the animals for turning on me, and I appreciate the fowls and the seals and the buffaloes and all the animals that showed up at the Amphitheater my Ghost turned into a battle field.

I was glad the treaty never was, and that it was destroyed. My pregnancy destroyed it. Maybe my pregnancy was a blessing in disguise, only time will tell.

I still had to stop an imposing war with the Lions and the Wolves, getting them to understand my children weren’t a threat.

I thought I found the entrance to the Lion Kingdom, how wrong I was. It was a hologram only, used to fool those that seek their entrance. Bummer!

The Lions and the Wolves hated each other. They were only in alliance because of me being the protector of animals, pregnant with an abomination in their eyes.

I am their protector no more.

Over the years, while I killed and slaughtered and butchered those that harmed animals of all kinds, even if one pulled a tail from a lizard I killed them on the spot, I hadn’t realized that the animals attacked and killed themselves just as much as humans harmed one another, for whatever reason. So the treaty was a lie from the beginning, and from its foundation.

I was the olive branch; I was the staples bounding the treaty together, when it was in effect, when I thought it did exist. When Doneshius [Joseph] impregnated me, one of the devil’s ghouls relayed a message to both tribes that my Soul carried an abomination, a child mixed with vampire, human, lion and wolf and that went against their rules and regulations.

How could the Lions and Wolves believe hearsay without finding out all the facts? Why did tribe Leaders send out scouts to kill me on the spot? I wasn’t encoded with their DNA and neither were my babies.

The treaty is demolished!

It’s officially over, and thank God. That’s one less thing I have to worry about, quite honestly.

I thought of my ghost, and the baby she conceived. I wondered where my child was and if I’ll ever know what became of him.

I know I’ll wind up on top! I’ve come too far to give up now.

Something greater than this moment must be awaiting me on the other side, and I had the desire to find out what that was.

And then I faltered. I remembered, bitterly, that I couldn’t kill any vampire that was transformed against their will, and both of them fit the description.

Marguerite. Since I bought some time I might as well make the most of it, and use it to my advantage. There was no doubt in my mind that they were there to kill me and I wasn’t about to make it easy for them. I saw a conflict of emotion in Joseph’s eyes, like his heart wasn’t in this or what his parents were trying to do, but because they art his parents he felt his loyalty lies with them.

Honestly, I could understand that, and even respect that. He was being who he was and not apologizing for it. He had a life before he stormed into mine, and in that goes the mighty fine line. He hurt me, put me through a horrid identity crisis at one particular point in my life, and I didn’t appreciate that or have closure, and I must have it before going on to the next level of consciousness.

We were not married so we weren’t One in holy matrimony, but his children and their well-being should have trumped all of the above.

And he chose not to do it, he snubbed it all together. He probably never thought about it, and the thought never crossed the crevices of his mind, the bright individual that he was.

He also, unfortunately, another strike against him, and yes I was keeping score, mentally, led them here to kill me. They resided in his physical body, and Doneshius’s Ghost lured me here, the place I was going to die, die protecting my unborn seeds.

What kind of man abandons his unborn children, even if he did hate their mother? Or as he puts it, “I am in love with ye.” What a crock!

I inhaled deeply, remembering when I transformed her, when I tormented her and startled her and scared her clad in silk garments loosely fitting her voluptuous body. Her scent, radiating superbly from her radiant skin, even in the kiss of death and the lips surrounding its parameters, surfed my mental Rolodex. I never forget a face. No, I don’t. And I never forget a scent.

But how could I not sense Joseph’s blood inside Airick, Doneshius if ye will.

Maybe he reincarnated himself. Yes, that’s exactly what he did to survive and live for this long, for this many centuries. He lived inside a slave of the 20s or the 30’s, its very vague in that aspect of her truth, the images her scent have granted me. It was all fascinating if ye asked me.

Now Marguerite and Joseph’s biological father, James, both vampiric ghouls snubbed their promise to keep her alive, their vengeance beaming too bright, blinding them every second they stood by their host and let her breathe.

Kill, kill, kill her!

Marguerite spun towards me. Her luxurious hair morphed into chains and spikes. A few of the spikes slammed into my upper thigh, causing me to cringe and before my porcelain hands fell into the soil of the earth, I grabbed a few of those sterling silver chains and wrapped them around my hand. The chains and spikes turned back into her luxurious hair.

I saw blood all over me, pouring out. The smell of my own blood, and the blood I’ve tasted over the centuries old legend I’ve become, caused me to pass out for a brief second.

James caught me in his arms just as Doneshius realized what was transpiring and he raised my frail body in the air, growling and laughing.

“Ye will never talk to the Wolf Tribe, and the War must take place in order for our grandchildren to be born into this realm of darkness and power!”

Doneshius, Joseph, screamed from fear. If he lost Kleopha he’d slit his wrists and his neck and die on her tombstone crying, sobbing and pleading for her forgiveness.

What was he thinking? Why did he bring his parents to the woman he loved to eradicate her; to eradicate means they were going to take her from him and he wasn’t prepared to deal or cope with that type of loss, of that startling magnitude?

Just as he brought my body down towards his knee, the middle of my back slammed into it and a great pain caused me to shout with pain and the temperature of my breath provided a special barrier around my children before impact. They didn’t feel a thing, the nerves surrounding the pouch of the womb, where my children twist and turn to their heart’s content, I purposely numbed, and will remain numb until the outcome of the onslaught against my life, and the attack of two very pissed vampires. They acted on emotion instead of common sense.

Joseph snatched his father by his hair and James’s head snapped back, nearly breaking in three different places, but his muscles were stern and stubborn.

Marguerite punched Joseph in the side of his face, and Joseph fell to his knees in grave pain, taking a moment to gather himself.

Marguerite was at her son’s side, pressing her hand on the side of his face, where the pain was.

She licked his ear, grossing him out. “Art ye whipped? Ye make love to the mother of the prostitutes, Kleopha, in the colors of the rainbow and promise to make her an evangelist after ye got her pregnant, going against the deal ye made with the devil, and now ye come to her aid?

“Such treason! Thy lies turned out to be truth and she’s actually becoming human again! I don’t want to be human, Kleopha! And neither does James!

“So why keep a promise to our son we never intended to keep. All we did was buy some more time to kill ye. Who wants to lose all the wealth we have and the private dinners around the world and the secret orgies for the life of a mortal.

She thought to herself for a moment. “Being a mortal isn’t worth it. Who wants to exist, instead of live? I don’t care to go back to a mortal life of paying bills, bills, bills and more bills, dealing with creditors, worrying about high blood pressure and bellowing over curable and incurable diseases, adhering to what the government wants; becoming a sitting duck in the making; authorities illegally beat civilians because they thirst for power and control.

“They require society to carry around I.D.’s so they know who ye art at all times. Drug dealers and pushers cried over relatives that unfairly perish, and coming to terms with it all was nonexistent…

“Not I, Kleopha! Ye lay there in pain and thy phony savior, Joseph has failed to save ye. He isn’t aware of this but he is going to die as well. James and I art going to kill ye and thy unborn first and make him watch, helplessly, and there is nothing…”

I spun up to my feet with the energy I had left, I was exhausted, mentally and physically, and pushed her backward. James swung at me and I zapped around his body like a curved laser and ran after her, her feet dancing backward, her extended arms reaching for me.

I hadn’t known I could push that hard.

Joseph ran past her and I jumped up in the air, a full split I executed when I pulled a sword from the depths of my throat and tossed it to Joseph.

His face changed ten times in a second, his scowl and howl of protection giving him a boost of adrenaline, and he swung the glittering sword towards his mother, the blade piercing her neck, her head flying south, rolling by a huge branch extending from the earth.

James wiled with anger, his body rising ten feet, a sixteen foot humpback vampire hissing venomously, her eyes glowing green with revenge and vengeance.

He wailed again, the sound of his voice booming in every direction. I could hear his heartbeat, and it thumped with loss and sadness. His eyes enlarged, he appeared almost manic.

I turned around the bend of trees and ran along branches high above the earth, back and forth I flip-flopped between up and down, throwing him off course, making him weary and dizzy.

Imagine a sixteen foot humpback ghoul chasing ye with death in his eyes, bouncing from the thickest of branches of the Redwoods with ye on his radar, swinging its claws at thy backside, thy feet blistered and aching.

Joseph jumped from a higher branch and unto the hump on his father’s back. He begin to tear ferociously into his father’s flesh, and James lost his footing and slipped from a thick branch three hundred feet up, and he fell to the ground with a dust cloud to blind and choke him.

Joseph landed by his father, holding his mother’s head by her luxurious hair, luxurious, still even in death.

Joseph tossed matted hair from his handsome face. “It ends here, James. I love Kleopha Achieng! And I will not let ye harm her, or our unborn children. I’ve made the choice. I choose for Kleopha and my children to live!”

James was betrayed, his heart breaking in two. “Noooo, Joseph, think as Doneshius, the part of ye that doesn’t care about emotion! Ye art making a grave mistake! She must be put to death! She must not stop the imposing war!”

Joseph looked into my eyes, a flash of a soul sparkling, momentarily, throwing me for a loop. What was that a flash of? I hadn’t ever noticed that type of soul deep within him. Now that his parents were out of his body and have been debriefed, another soul should not have been inside him.

I know the soul very well, but I hadn’t had the chance to look at it or study it long enough to figure out whose soul it was, but I did know that another soul was inside him.

Sigh. Ah, yes. His soul was back in its body.

He looked down at his father and spat on him with hate. “I’ve made my decision. Kleopha lives!”

Joseph raised Kleopha’s sword, sparkling sterling steel with rubies along the handle, and stabbed his father in the heart.

“Stabbing ye in the back ye have done to me for far too long, I like swords better. Make’s the heart grow fonder, no pun intended.”

He lowered himself to his knees and kissed his father’s lips, a wave of emotion sweeping over him, just as I figured it would, and he began to grieve, and to mourn and sob over his father’s body, wishing it could have been different.

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