Another Friday, another chapter. Please feel free to give feedback on what you think of it!
CHAPTER FIVE- OF MASQUES AND MARTYRS
When Koios made it make to his home, he found that the sun was near rising. If he had been out even ten minutes more, he never would have made it back in time to reach the safety of his room before passing out. As it was though, he barely managed to tumble into his bed before he lost consciousness when the sun broke over the horizon. His dreams that morning were unlike those that he had been having for the past ten years. He did not dream of Bridgett and of that night. Nor did he dream that he was at the carnival and seeing the freak show again.
In this dream, he was surrounded by light and warmth and clouds. He had an idea of what he was dreaming of, naturally. When he saw a pair of golden gates in the distance though, he knew for sure that his dreams had taken him to Heaven. Almost under their own violation, he felt himself begin to walk towards the gates, where there was a figure waiting for him. It ended up being Anahita.
“Hello, angel,” he told her.
“Hello vampire,” came her reply.
“Might I come in?”
“Here? No. But I can come out to you.” And she proceeded to do just that. There was peace in Koios for a moment as he watched her come towards him. However, as soon as Anahita had walked past the gates, the scene transformed and the two of them were in the alleyway that the killings had occurred in. Anahita transformed to Diu before his eyes and leered at him. He seemed to be taller than Koios remembered him being and was defiantly darker looking. Clouds rolled over the full moon above them as Diu looked down at him. With a snarl, he turned away, disappearing in the night as he became one with it.
“Where are you going?” Koios called after him.
“To hunt. To kill. To turn.” The reply seemed to come from the dark that was threatening to close in on him. Just as the darkness reached his body and was beginning to enter into him, the scene shifted again and he was standing in the graveyard that he had talked with Anahita in. He walked through it, not really thinking of anything. At one point, he passed by a highly polished tombstone and caught sight of something that troubled him to no end: his reflection.
There was the hint of the creature that the strong man in the carnival had possessed completely. It was closer to being a true part of him, unlike the demon that he had seen in Emaline. He bit his lip and turned away; this was not something that he wanted to see. No matter where he turned though, he found himself looking at his visage in the tombstones again. As he moved onward though, eyes straight ahead, he found that the images he saw from the corner of his eye were changing. No longer did they show a man and a demon melded together. Instead, they showed what looked like a human body that was rotting away before him. Koios stopped before one of them to looked closer at it and felt his body seize up. It was his body.
He awoke with a start as the sun went down. He had forgotten that he had no need of breath and was currently breathing heavily like he had done when human after a nightmare. At least the nightmare had been helpful, he found himself thinking with a wry smile. He had been banned from entering Heaven and Anahita had disappeared to be replaced with Diu. It was obvious what was being told to him: there was no way he could be with an angel, even if she did look like Brigett. Diu was his creator and it was Diu who he would stay with.
It was time to tell Diu what was happening to him.
Koios rose late that night, long after the other members of the court had departed for their hunts. He felt that Diu was still at home though, which helped him to finally come out of his room. “Diu?” he called out softly. He knew that the older vampire would be able to hear his voice with no problem. It was all down to whether or not he cared to answer Koios that night.
“Yes?” The response came almost instantly as Diu seemed to appear out of the shadows that were behind Koios. “What’s wrong?”
“I have something to tell you.”
There was silence after Koios had finished his story of what had happened to him in the past few nights. “An angel, you say?” Diu finally asked him. There was a nod from the younger vampire. Diu sighed, looking more human than he ever had in the past. He rose from his place on the couch and began to pace back and forth as he talked. “I have not needed to deal with things such as this in the past. You are a strange one, Koios. You are sure that you have not imagined this entire thing?”
“Yes. It’s hard to say how I know, but I just…”
“You know. I understand perfectly. It’s how I knew that you were going to be in the alley ten years ago.” There was a pause. “No, eleven years ago tonight. Damn, has it really been that long…” There was silence once again as Diu stopped to think. He shook his head after a moment and resumed pacing. “I think that perhaps the best thing to do is to bring you out on a hunt with me. Reclaim your title as a creature of the night and forget about this angel. Heaven is a place of purity, yes? If you are covered in blood once again, the blood that you need to survive, then this angel should leave you be.”
“A hunt? With you?”
Diu smiled at him. “Why not. The night is still young enough.”
Koios nodded and stood. “Let’s go hunt then.” He didn’t bother to voice his next thought, of how perhaps hunting with his sire would finally let him be rid of this love that was holding him to earth, allowing him to decay, after all these years without it.
The two vampires left the building with hardly any noise. The moon was almost dark, but the sliver that was left was more than enough for them to see by where the street lights had gone out or where there weren’t any. Their search for the perfect prey that night hardly took any time at all. Not even five minutes after they left did Diu hold out his hand and point to a couple. “It’s time you learn how to make your own childe, Koios.”
“That’s your job. This is your Court.”
“You’re strong enough now to form a Court of your own.” Diu looked around and then smiled. “I’ll provide the distraction to get them parted from one another. Who do you want?”
“The girl,” Koios said at once.
The elder vampire nodded and then was gone in a flutter of wings and duster. Koios stood and watched from his place in the shadow of the building he was next to for the right moment to come and strike. He glanced up a moment as he waited and saw the stars above once again. Was Anahita up there watching him now? No, best not to dwell on such ideas. With a start, he came back to himself and focused on the hunt once more.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a street person appeared before the couple. A human would not have been able to hear the words that were being exchanged, and Koios barely could. There were some words and sentences here and there that stuck him, though he couldn’t place his finger on it. It was only when he saw the street person pull a gun and the man shout out “Run!” that Koios froze.
This was how his own death would have played out had he been an observer in it.
“Are you planning on going after her at any point in the future?” asked a voice from behind him. Koios spun around, seeing Diu standing there. “She’s getting away.”
“What the hell did you do.”
“A thrall on a person that dead inside isn’t that hard to pull off. I simply suggested to him that he might go and see if those two had any money on them.”
“You bastard. They’re both going to end up dead.”
“I didn’t hear you complaining before,” Diu spat at him.
“That was before I knew that you were the one responsible for killing me and Brigett.” Koios’ eyes were ice cold as the bore into Diu’s.
“Ah yes. Your precious Brigett. You know Koios, most vampires give up on their human lives and forget about them after a year. Those that don’t are considered weak and are taken to Greet the Mane. I kept you safe from the Elders of the vampires because you amused me. It was interesting to see how long a vampire could hold onto his humanity. Your times of amusement have come to an end, however.” Diu reached into the pocket of his duster and pulled out a piece of carved wood. It was ornate, the end whittled to look like a fang and the handle of it carved with different pictures that, on a closer look, showed human bodies twined around the vampires, either dead in their arms or just about dead. “It’s time for you to meet with death one last time. And I will not save you this time.”
Diu brought up the stake and started it on its downward descent in lightening fast speed. Koios somehow responded with speed that was near equal to Diu’s and dodged out of the way. The stake still came into contact with his body, but it was no where near his heart and was more of a graze that anything. Blood oozed out of the wound a bit, slow as the pressure was nowhere near what it would have been had he fed that night. “I would not ask you to,” he told his sire. Before the stake could come up and threaten his life again, he took off down the streets.
With a bit of the energy he had swimming around in him, he formed wings and rapidly took to air, flying until he was back near the cemetery that he had meet Anahita at last night. Landing, he fell to earth, energy depleted. He could barely walk, let alone attempt to go feed.
“Bridgett,” he called out. “Anahita, whoever you are…I need you. I believe you.”
He passed out soon afterwards, not knowing if his plea for help had been heard nor if he would be Greeting the Mane in a few hours time.
TRIVIA: It was this chapter here that I realized I had a rather awesome villain in Diu, and I really began to enjoy writing his scenes. Diu nearly killing Koios here was not something I had originally planned for, but the more I read it, the more it fits and drives the story in a way the original scene I had planned never would.