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Realm of the Gods Part Three

“We cross over the Fire only when we come to it.  Not before,” Migaru said, repeating one of her father’s favorite sayings. “Come on.  You can have dinner with me tonight.”
“Eat in the mountain? With lord Inferno?  No one but a lord or lady can do that!”

“I’ve been doing it for years, and I’m still alive,” she told him dryly.  “You’ll be fine.  I’ll race you there.”

Migaru took off across the plains that lay at the base of the Fire Mountain range with Rifoe right behind her. Their laughter was loud and their race made several passing Fires jump back to avoid being crashed into.

Unseen by both, a hawk swooped down to the ground, picking up its meal for the night before returning to the forest.  It landed on the outstretched arm of a man in green. “I agree,” he told it.  “It is time.”

“My thanks to you, lord Inferno.  Dinner was delicious,” Rifoe told the leader of Fire.

“It was a pleasure to have you as well, Fireling.  Besides, how could I deny a request on my daughter’s Day of Power?”  He looked at Migaru, who was busy staring at her plate as though it was the most interesting thing in the world.

A knock on the door interrupted any further conversation as Fumilt poked his dark haired head into the room.  “Sorry to disturb you, milord, but there is a visitor to see you.”

“Can’t it wait for a bit? At least until I finish dessert?”

Fumilt shook his head.  “I’m afraid not.  He says it’s important.”

“Very well.  I’ll meet him in the main hall.” Fumilt nodded and closed the door on the three.  Inferno looked at the table still full of food and sighed.  “I’m sorry to have to do this to you.  If you would excuse me though.”  He rose and closed the door behind him as he left.

“I suppose I had better get going then too,” Rifoe began slowly.

“Right.  Yeah…Yeah,” Migaru said quickly.  She rose with him and walked over to the door leading to the mountain’s entrance.  “Thanks for coming?”

He grinned.  “Of course!  Like your dad said, how can I refuse a request on your Day of Power?”  He easily dodged her mock hit and smiled again.  “’sides, it was fun.  And it meant I didn’t need to compete with the rest of the family for food at the table.”

Rifoe’s huge family was forever a source of amusement and frustration to him.  While it was great to have so many people, it all the meals were a huge to do and generally a contest to see who could get at the food first.  “Good thing I had you come over then, huh?”

“You know it.” Then, before she could move away, he gave her a quick hug before darting out the door.  “Bye Mig!” he yelled to her.

“See you Rif!” Migaru called back to him.  She watched out of the door until he was out of sight. Turning, she went back inside and began to return to her room when Fumilt stopped her.

“Lady Ficis?  Lord Inferno requests your presence in the main hall.” Fumilt held out his hand.  “I was told to bring you there.”


It is Done!

I DID IT!!!!!

Started it while working two part time jobs, quit one, the other became full time, got a new job, packed up my belongings for a move on December 2nd AND managed to complete NaNo TWO DAYS before the 30th.

*faints from lack of sleep*

NaNoSprints on Twitter helped me through a lot of the tough times, as did Word Wars with friends who aren’t even in the same time zone as me.

I attended my first Write-In tonight as well, leaving me in a great position when it finished to power through the last 2,000 words to reach a final count of 50,028 words.

 

The sentence that pushed me to Winning: Through all their stories, none of them followed what we had learned in the trainings aside from “The Circle is Bad, don’t say their names” and the “Don’t be an idiot” rule.

 

Clearly, this is also good advice for life.

 

So for all those out there who have yet to reach your 50,000, I say this to you.  I’ll be waiting for you in the Winner’s Circle.  There’s a spot right next to me that needs to be filled by you.

 


Realm of the Gods Part Two

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday so far. I know I am. I just need to catch up to 18000 words on NaNo by tonight so I’m on track. Let’s see what I can do in three hours of free time!

“Thank you, father,” Migaru told him.

“I have a feast planned tonight for you, if you want it.”

She shook her head. “No thanks. I don’t want to be treated any different than the rest of Fire.”

He nodded slowly, understanding. “Very well. Will you at least dine with me in the mountain tonight?”

She smiled. “Of course. Don’t I always?”

“True,” he said. “I just thought you might have wanted to spend the night with that friend, Rifoe, of yours.” They left the room, doors closing behind them. “Do you remember the way back?” he asked, ignorant of her blush.

“I paid attention on the way here.”

Inferno ruffled her blonde hair a moment before stopping, remembering that she wasn’t as young as she once had been. “My little Fire. Always seeing everything. I could never hide anything from you.” He turned to meet her gaze. “I’ll see you tonight then? I need to head to the library and resume the meetings that I put off.” Inferno sighed with a shake of his head. “Apparently, someone’s field was gotten into by another’s Pferden and, well, I’m sure you can image where it went from there. And I seem to be the only one who can solve it.”

Of course,” she told him, seeing the dismissal for what it was. A quick smile to her dad, she walked past Inferno, retracing her steps until she reached the main hall again. From there, it was quite easy to find her way back out into the sun.

The blast of cooler air hit her like a hammer when she stepped outside. It was a welcome change from the temperatures inside the mountain. She remembered her promise to Rifoe and made her way through the houses to find him.

“Rif!” She shouted up to his room. “You there?”

His head poked out of the second story window. “Heyla! I’ll be right down!”

She moved out of the way. If Rifoe said he was going to be right down, there was only one way he would do that. He leapt out of the window a second later, using a blast of his Fire Aspect at the last possible second to slow his controlled fall to a stop. “You’re going to kill yourself doing that one of these days, Rif.”

“Afraid, lady Ficis?”

She punched him in the arm. “You wish. And don’t call me that. We’ve been friends since, what, we were born? I don’t need you calling me lady.”

“But you are one,” he pointed out. “And I’m still just a Fireling.”

“Only until next week. Don’t make me hit you again.”

“Fine. I’ll just keep calling you Mig then,” he said impishly.

“You do that, and you die.” There was a polite, yet evil smirk on her face. “Anyway, what did you need me for then?”

“Birthing day present. And it’s part Day of Power present too,” he told her. He reached into the pouch on his belt and pulled out something wrapped in a piece of red cloth. A moment of hesitation occurred before he nearly shoved it at her. “Uh, here.”

Migaru took it and carefully unwrapped it. Laying on the cloth was a silver ring with the two stones of Fire inset in it: ruby and obsidian. “It’s beautiful! Where did you get it?”

“My secret. Does it fit?”

She slipped it on her right hand and nodded. “Perfectly.”

“Great. Then my work here is done.”Migaru reached out and pulled Rifoe into a hug before he could leave.

“Necking in the woods?” came a scornful voice from behind them. She felt Rifoe stiffen within her arms and let go to see who had spoken.

“Oh, Fire’s tongue. Why did it have to be him…” Rifoe said quietly.

“Go away, Urien,” Migaru told him.

“Says the Air Child,” he said, voice full of hate.

“Take that back” Rifoe demanded. “That’s something that could get you killed around here!”

“Rif,” Migaru said warningly. She placed a hand on his shoulder and held him back from fighting the Fireling. The insult had hurt her too, but she wasn’t going to show that it had gotten to her. “Urien, I suggest you leave now.”

“Or what? You’ll throw embers at me? That’s all you could think about doing with your powers.”

Migaru closed her eyes and clenched her fists in an attempt to control her temper. “As lady Ficis, I order you to leave.”

“Revhia,” he spat at her, turning to go.

Rifoe leapt onto his back, bringing him down. He began to attack the other, little regard for his own self. “Take that back! You’re the Revhia here, not Mig!”

“Revhia doesn’t even look like us! Why, by Fire, should I treat her like she is? Besides, it’s not like I’m the only one who thinks it.”

“Because I am Fire,” Migaru declared. She pulled out her obsidian tube holding Living Flame and held it out. “I am lady Ficis of Fire. Lord
Inferno is my father and I am a keeper of Living Flame. I choose to make this known. Until such time when Rifoe is a lord, he is under my protection. If you or any harm him, you will answer to me.”

Urien glared at her, but fell silent. He stalked back into the village and when he was gone, Migaru and Rifoe looked at one another. “He’ll be back,” Rifoe said quietly.

She nodded. “I know. But by then, you’ll be a lord and he will still be a Fireling.”

“But only for a year. Then what?”


Realm of the Gods Part One

“Hey, Migaru!” shouted a teen.

A woman with blonde hair turned to see who was calling after her. She smiled when she saw him. “Heyla Rifoe!”

He shook the dark red hair out of his eyes and grinned at her. “Where you off to?”

“Inferno wants to see me,” she explained.

He made a face. “Have fun with that. When you’re done there, swing by my place? I have a birthing day gift for you.”

“Rif! You didn’t have to do that!”

“Migaru Ficis Inferno,” the teen said sternly, but with a smile, “You’re not a Fireling anymore after today! Twenty three years. If that’s not worthy of a gift, then I don’t know what is!”

She rolled her eyes. “Please. I may not be a Fireling, but I still can’t use fire as well as everyone else here can. Fire’s tongue! I don’t even look like the rest of you!”

“Your attitude fits in perfectly though,” Rifoe muttered darkly. Migaru tried not to laugh, intent on looking angry and stern, but her snort of laughter ruined the effect. “Go on. Get to Inferno before he fries you for being late.”

“And with that vote of confidence…” Migaru sighed out. Rifoe smiled as she turned away and continued her walk up to the start of the Fire Mountains and the main hall Inferno used for big events. There were two of Fire’s Elite Guard outside, but they were there more as decoration than actual use. There had been no need for the guards in Migaru’s lifetime and for several more before. She smiled at the two of them as they pulled the doors to the mountain hall open. They nodded solemnly, but there was a smile in their eyes. “Thanks Fumilt, Reigaf.”

“Our pleasure, lady Ficis.”

“I’m not a lady yet,” she spoke under her breath as she passed into the mountain. Rather than be cooler underground, it was noticeable hotter than outside. It was one of the quirks that the Fire Mountains had. Thankfully, the path to the main hall was short and there were windows inside that left some air into the room. Inferno was already there, sitting in a chair and reading a book from his great library. His red hair was sticking out at odd angles and looked like the flames of the element that he led. His clothes were simple and cool, the same that all of Fire wore. The only thing that set him apart from the rest of Fire were the bracers made from Living Flame. He had tamed the Flames when he became the leader of the element and wore them as a badge of office. “Greetings lord Inferno,” Migaru said, bowing low as protocol demanded.

Inferno smiled and set his book aside on a table of fire that he had called. He rose and the chair that he had been sitting in sunk back into the floor of the mountain as molten rock. “Heyla, Migaru,” he replied, his greeting as informal as possible.

She sighed in relief. She wasn’t going to be expected to maintain proper etiquette during the meeting. “What did you need? Is something wrong?” she asked.

“Can’t a father wish his daughter a Blessed Day of Power?” he asked, holding out his arms. She smiled back at him and hugged him, careful to avoid the bracers. He was careful not to touch them to her skin as well, barely engulfing her in his hug. When she had been smaller and thought herself to be a true Fireling, she had touched the Living Flame bracers as she had seen other Fires do. A healer from Water had been there with her for a month, nursing the huge burns she had received. “I have a gift for you,” he said, looking down at her.

“What?”

“Come, I’ll show you.”

Migaru stayed close to her adoptive father as they went deep into the mountain. She hadn’t ever gone this deep alone before, and had no wish to get lost. The room they came to was just as large as the main hall, but was circular instead of the normal angular room that the main hall was. A hole that led directly to the sky and the door they had come through were the only places not wreathed in flames. “This is the Hall of Living Flame. I gift to you a bit of it for you to do with as you please.”

She looked at Inferno in disbelief. “But…but dad! You know what happened last time I tried to touch this!”

He nodded. “But you were untrained. And though your fire powers are not as strong as mine, they are still there.” His mouth twitched in a smile. “To be fair, not many have powers as strong as mine though.” Inferno cleared his throat and moved from his place beside her and into the center of the Living Flame. The flames curled around him when he lifted a hand and created a sphere around him. He continued talking as he manipulated it, making it near translucent. “I have trained you in what other aspects of magic I know. But I am a Fire, after all. I am not suited to using the others. Lady Ficis, you are more than just Fire. You have all aspects within you, body and soul. I cannot train them all.”

“Why not?” she demanded to know.

The flames in the room flared with his anger. “Because I am unable to! Do not question me on such matters, girl.” Migaru shrank back from the heat as it, and Inferno, slowly cooled. “To…to not train all aspects is dangerous,” he said slowly. “But no matter what people say, you will always be Fire to me. And as such, you will need something to remind you of that.” He held out his hand and a tube from molten stone and fire slowly formed in it. Soon, he stepped out of the fire and handed it to her. It was made out of obsidian, one of the most revered and sought after jewels of Fire. It was dark, but when she looked close at it, she could see some of the Living Flames within. “This is my gift to you. Use it well.”

She bowed to lord Inferno, still gripping the obsidian. “Thank you, lord Inferno, ruler of Fire.”

“And so, Migaru, you pass from Fireling to a full Fire. Welcome to the mountain.”


Realm of the Gods Part One

In celebration of NaNoWriMo starting on Tuesday, the next Writing Serial for Fridays will be last year’s Winning NaNo.  It gives me an excuse to finally polish it up, and to read over it again before I start on the next book on November First.

So I give to you Realm of the Gods: Earth.

PROLOGUE

“Lord, Lady, I greet thee,” said the man.  Clothed in green, his shoulder length brown hair was tied up to be out of his face. It was the only thing that set him apart from the dark green of the Forest far below.

“And we greet you in return, lord Talesin,” They replied. They were in white, though Their black hair seemed to capture the starlight above and turn it into the radiance that surrounded them.  Though They had many names, they were best known as the
Lord and the Lady, or the God and Goddess.

“What willst thou have of me?” asked the lord of Music.

“You know of this world and of its people,” began the Lady. Talesin nodded.  “Then you know as well of those who would seek to destroy or enslave this place.”

“Of course.  Mages of times long past for one.”

“And those of today’s time as well,” added the Lord.

“I had heard of that, but was unaware that such rumors had a base to them.”

The two nodded in near unison.  “They are all too true.  Not long ago, one tried again.  He was struck down before he succeeded, however.”

“Blessed be the Lord and Lady,” he muttered, forgetting who he was standing before for a moment.

“Twas not our doing,” the Lady said with a smile and a shake of her head.  “Your thanks, lord of Music, go to a witch from Otherside.”

There was shock written on his face.  “From the mortal realm?”

“Yes.  But the mage she defeated was from Otherside as well.  And as much as We did not wish to do so, We have barred access to this world from Otherside.  Until those who seek to control us are gone or have forgotten our existence,” explained the Lord.

“But, that’s good,” Talesin protested.  “No more mages will attempt to control us and this world!”

“Perhaps.  But no access means those of power who would do good with it can also not reach us except for in deep meditation.  And even then, it would be but a bare shadow of this place.”

“How it must be, shall be.”

“Danger approaches, lord Talesin,” the Lady told him.  “Even now with access denied.  There is another who will attack.  The Fates have foreseen it.  And in their viewings, they have seen only one who might stop it.”

“Who, Lady?”

“One from Otherside.”

“But if the way is closed—“

“We know, Talesin,” the Lord stated sharply.

“She is already here,” She said softly, her voice in sharp contrast with that of Her consort.  “She is only a baby, but Inferno has agreed to raise her with the Fires.”

“The lord of the Fire Elementals? Begging pardon, but, Lord, Lady, I don’t really think that is the best of ideas.”

“He has promised to raise her as one of his own.  And We trust him”

Talesin looked doubtful, but allowed it to pass.   “Then we are back to the beginning.  I ask again, what willst thou have me do?” There was a large part of Talesin that rebelled against such formal speech, but he knew it was needed in situations such as these.

“When the time comes, We ask that you take the girl about the world. Take her to us here upon the Mountain so that we might meet with her.”

“How will I know, Lady, Lord?”

“You will know, Talesin.”

Talesin chewed on his lip for a moment, unsure that he would know as They said he would.  Still, if They said it, it would have to be true.  One way or another, it would happen, even if it came in the form of a letter from someone with the words “it is time” written in it.  He bowed to the God and Goddess.  “Very well.”

“Our Love go with thee, lord of Music.”

He smiled at them and bowed graciously once more before turning and exiting the room on the top of the Mountain that They called their home.  The journey down the Mountain, the highest in all of his world, was one of the easiest.  Especially when he had his Aspect of Spirit to aid him.  The Mountain was at the far end of the Fire Mountains, but the waterfall going down it belonged to Water, the clouds about its top were Air and the great oak trees at the base were maintained by Earth.  Every element owned a part of Spirit Mountain, just as everyone was a part of Spirit itself.

Talesin was one of the Gods who populated the world.  Unlike some of the others, he wandered about the world, giving help where needed and entertaining in other places.  He truly was the bard that his title, lord of Music, named him as.  Until the Lord and Lady had asked for his help, he had been quite happy spending his time in the Forest of Spirit in his small cottage by the river.  But now…Now he was going to need to move closer to Inferno’s territory: the Fire Mountains.  From there, he could keep an eye on the girl.

He didn’t trust Fire.  Their kind was so volatile, so quick to anger.  Water would have been a better choice for her.  But he knew why They hadn’t placed her there.  Water spent too much time in meditation and in dreams.  There was too great of a chance that she might go into a dream and be unable to find her way back here if she wandered into Otherside. And that wouldn’t do at all if she was supposed to be the one that was going to rescue them from Mage.

At the edge of the Forest, he found a tributary of the river that ran by his own home.  Talesin knelt down at the banks and scooped up a handful of the earth there.  Pebbles, water, sand and dirt ran through his fingers as he looked for a good place for his new home.  Finding one, he reached for his reed pipe on his side with his other hand, put it to his lips, and began playing.  He tossed the earth into the air and a lively jig echoed around him. The magic came easily and flowed in and around the stones.  Within moments, his home was before him once again.  A flourish at the end of his song anchored the cottage in place so that it would not move along with the tides of magic. There was a smile on his face as he ended the song, and he tucked the pipe back into his belt and walked inside.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Eight

Time for Chapter Eight.  Just Chapter nine and then the epilogue left of Lover’s Requiem until I start a new project for Fridays.  Hope you enjoy this one!

CHAPTER EIGHT –THE SHIP OF PILLS AND NEEDED THINGS

It took less than a minute for Koios and Anahita to find themselves surrounded by Diu and his court.  They were completely boxed in and only by the slashing of Anahita’s sword were they able to keep enough room around them that they were not completely overrun.

There were moments when Koios found himself face to face with those who he thought he knew as friends.  Some were dressed in normal clothes, jeans and shirts that he had seen them in time and time again.  Others were clothed for this particular night, wearing what one might expect out of a traditional vampire: cloaks, black, and high collars.  They were playing their part well in this dance of demons tonight.

One came at him with a long dagger, expertly wielding it, slashing away at Koios anytime he got too close to the other.  The press of opponents became stronger and began to force Anahita and himself to separate while making him travel closer and closer to the dagger wielder with every step.  He hissed out in pain when he felt it bite into his skin, drawing a line etched in red across his lower back to his hip. With a growl, he spun and began to recklessly attack the one who had injured him, fighting to both kill his opponent and to get back to Anahita.

From the moments that he could spare to look at her, she seemed to be holding her own against the horde. But Diu was still standing to the side, directing the fight with a small smile on his face.  There would be occasional advances towards him by the angel at Koios’ side, but the elder vampire seemed to always know just when they would be, and sent more of his court against her.  It did not take long before she was overwhelmed with attackers.

Time seemed to stop for Koios as he watched, as though he was outside of all of it, peering in through a small window in time on the current fight.  He saw her spinning around, sword flashing in the parking lot lights, dark blood covering the steel.

His attention was pulled to Diu, who was directing members of his Court, those he had named family, those who he created, be sent to their deaths.  The name Anahita had given him—The One Who Takes—suddenly made sense in such a glaring way that he was shocked with himself for not having seen it before.  Diu didn’t just take the lives of the living to create more of his—of their—kind, he also threw it all away when he felt like it.

As Koios saw his standing to the side, hands in pockets, wandering around like he was on a stroll through the city, he finally understood what it meant to see red.  Bastard didn’t fight his own fights, didn’t even care enough about those who he had said were family and he would protect.  With a shout, he rushed back to himself, to the fight, to Brigett.

Ten years ago, he had damned himself to save her, only to find that it had been in vain then.  But now, he was stronger, faster, and understood that he would do anything to save her, even if it once again meant death for him.  He had promised her that he would help to keep her safe.  Now he could finally keep that promise.

Grabbing the vampire closest to him, Koios pulled him close, using him as a human shield against knife and fists.  The bloody furrow across his back seemed to dull in pain until it was gone, though he could still feel it dripping down his back on occasion.  The enemy who had made the wound was near him again, and Koios flung himself at his hand, intent on wrenching the dagger from his hand so he might have a weapon in what seemed an endless onslaught.

Hands caught on hands, grasping at clothes and skin, pulling on hair and kicking to get away from one another as they grappled on the ground for control of the situation.  “I won’t let you take her from me again,” Koios growled out, letting the demon within him take control of his body.  In a moment of pure instinct, he lunged for the neck of the older vampire and began to drain him dry.  Others tried to pull him off, but he held fast until motion beneath him ceased and he rose with dagger in hand, already slashing at those who were near enough to reach.

With his new weapon, he was able to clear a path through the circle surrounding him for long enough to escape its confines.  Free to move once more, he turned and ran towards where he had last seen Anahita.  With demon instinct still in control, he was able to move once again at speeds mortal eyes would not have ever been able to see.  A leap, and he was next to Anahita, wings that he hadn’t remembered creating outstretched behind him, blocking her from more attacks while she recovered.

“Koios,” he heard her whisper behind him, voice weaker than he remembered. “What are you doing?”

“I don’t plan on leaving you again, Brigett.  Never.  I will never give you up again,” he told her, firm, unwavering assurance in his words that shocked even him.  “I will go to hell before I live a life without you,” he finished quietly.

“Touching,” Diu called out from across the parking lot turned battlefield.  “If hell is what you want, hell is what you’ll get, Koios.”  He began to walk towards them, his court stopping what little fighting remained once the two lovers had rejoined.  “Why do you insist on fighting me?  You’re smart.  I wouldn’t have turned you had that not been the case.  You know as well as I do that you can’t possibly win this fight.”

“It’s not about winning,” came Anahita’s response.  Rising with the help of her sword as a cane, she moved to stand beside Koios.  “It was never about winning a fight against you, Diu.”

“Oh?  What was it then, angel?  To try to redeem me?”  Diu let out a laugh that sounded harsh against the quiet midnight air around them.  “And if I repent now, will all be forgiven?” His smile was cruel, though the tone was deadly serious.  “What of my Court? Will they be forgiven of their sins as well if I say they are?  We are vampires, angel.  We do not care of forgiveness and there hereafter.  The here and now is our domain, making the world ripe and ready for change so it does not stagnate and falter.  Were it not for us, humanity would remain in the dark ages, content to spend their lives farming.  Instead, they were forced to find ways to light the night, to build more impressive buildings to keep us away so they might live. We are what they want to be.  Immortal, forever. “

“There are some that still care of the hereafter, Diu,” Koios told him, stepping forward to meet him.  “When I met you, when you said you would save me, I believed in it so strongly that I was willing to go with you in hopes that I might live long enough to see Brigett again.”

The two were mere feet away from one another when Diu raised his hand. Koios stopped in his tracks, watching, waiting.  “Even now, Koios, you obey me.  You long to be with Brigett again.  You still love.  Weaknesses in vampires, perhaps, but a strength in humans to not let go.  I understand. This strength of will is another trait I saw in you when I went to welcome you into the Court.”  Diu reached out to place a hand on his shoulder.  “Come back to me, Koios.  Was I ever unkind?  Did I not give you everything that you asked for?”  He motioned to the left with his next words, “Emaline misses you, Koios.  Would you take away the family she chose so soon after her own family died on her?”

Attention was drawn from Diu to where he pointed with his hand, where a small red-headed child was peering out from behind one of the cars that was parked overnight.  Her face was pale, though it was with fear and not from lack of sunlight.  “Koios!” she called out to him when she saw him looking.

“My name,” he said quietly, “is James.”

Diu shook his head sadly. “It is a pity to see Koios die then.  He was a remarkable vampire.  James is nothing more than a man, and easily killed.”

James never saw the stake that plunged through his heart as he died a second time.

°°°°

TRIVIA: This chapter was the hardest to write.  I had no idea what I wanted to happen in it aside from “giant fight”.  So, I put it off and put it off until a week became a month, a year, and then 4 years.  When August’s Camp NaNo came around, this was the first on my list of projects to complete.  Word Wars really helped me push through it, and it turned out even better than I had hoped.

Also, it’s this chapter when Diu really comes into his own as a character and I start to love him, even though he’s…well…a bastard.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Five

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.