Monday, April 20, 2009

May 23, 1884

Sitting, listening to the rain on the windows worked on my nerves. I knew that I had to wait for David. He said he had the only weapon which could pierce that woman’s heart and for some reason, I needed to watch her die.

The mere thought of her living another night aggravated me, but what could I do, nothing because I was useless against the woman. Looking out the window, I saw a man hurrying through the street toward the alley where I ran into the woman. Before he ducked into the alley, I saw his face. It was David and I saw something glittering in his hand. He was going to do this alone.

Not thinking, but reacting to the anger which clouded my judgment, I opened the window and leapt from the third story balcony. Landing against the cobblestone, I felt my ankle bend to an odd angle. The fait pop of a joint as I stood up and shook the pain out, I jogged toward the alley.

Almost immediately at the entrance to the alley, I felt the energy from the woman. I stepped into the alley and thought I heard a scream. It didn’t sound human, but the sound echoed throughout the alley. I looked up, but the lights of the nearby buildings remained dark. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one who could hear it or what, but my thoughts were interrupted by the sight of David again.

He stood at the entrance of a hut. Ducking into the shadows, I watched him as he held up the dagger he held. The silver blade flickered in the firelight, giving it a red hue. I blinked and then David had vanished. The cloth covering the hut opening wasn’t moving, so I looked down the alley and saw only darkness.

Curious, I approached the hut, the woman’s power thrummed against my very bones, but I continued to walk. I remember not being sure of what I was doing, but the lure of the hut overcame any fears that I felt.

Stopping in front of the cloth, I saw inside. The woman sat on a simple wooden chair, her blue eyes watching me. A sly smile on her lips as she stared at me. “Come in.”

Not wanting to, I looked down either side of the alley and didn’t see anyone.

“I know you want to come in. Make yourself comfortable.” The woman said.

Fighting the urge, I forced my step back and saw her eyes flicker. Her smile faltered a bit and I saw the veins in her hand bulge as she clutched the arms of the chair. The small step backwards took a ton of energy, but I did it again, and watched as the woman’s mouth opened, a pair of fangs slipping over her bottom lip.

“Don’t make me mad again. You were lucky the first time, you won’t be again.” She hissed as she threw the chair behind her. It crashed into the wall, shattering into bits.

“Don’t do it!” David yelled.

I turned my eyes to David, he was behind the woman, his hands bound to his side. He would have looked at me if he still had eyes. In their place was bloody holes. Not a single drop of blood fell down his face, but had pooled around his eye socket like it was singed in place.

“Come in and help your blind friend.” The woman mocked. One pointy finger beckoning to me.

My anger raged inside, and for the first time, fear coated my skin. I couldn’t believe that a woman like this would scare me, but she did.

Looking down the length of David’s arm, I saw his arms were crisscrossed with blood. The dagger nowhere to be seen.

“If you don’t do it, I will have to torture this poor man. His screams will haunt this town forever.” The woman said and I noticed she had moved closer to me.

Tired of her games, I stepped into the hut and felt the cold night air vanish. Replaced by a heat which quickly coated my body in sweat. I looked at the woman as she smiled, revealing her fangs.

As she danced around me, her eyes never left mine. I heard her whisper, “I will have your soul to dine on tonight.”

I ran to David, and pried at his hands. He mumbled to himself and lowered his head. “What are you saying?”

“Take it.” He screamed and bent his wrist back. I saw a fine glint of steel imbedded into his wrist. Blood dripped to the floor and I reached into his flesh.

Feeling the metal against my fingers, I squeezed and felt the blade cut into my skin. No pain so I gripped tighter.

Looking over David’s shoulder, I saw the woman watching me with fascination. After a moment of silence, she said, “Remove the blade will kill him. Is my death worth more than your friends?”

I nodded and felt the knife come loose into my hand. A warm sticky substance followed with the blade and a quick glance down saw a fountain of blood running over my fingers. David didn’t say a word as his body went pale. The blood soon died down into a dribble and his head slumped forward.

I couldn’t worry about him as this was his fault for not returning to me like planned. I shoved his body forward and stood brandishing the blade. The woman grinned, but her eyes gave away her fear.
“That’s not a problem.” I said and started toward her.

“I expected a little compassion for your kind. Maybe you are truly more demented than I expected.” The woman said, her face already changing.

Not wanting to waste time with words, I lunged at her. Hoping to get to her before she changed worked as I plunged the knife into her chest. A loud hissing sound erupted from the wound and fire came from beneath the blade.

The room shook and the woman tumbled to the side. Flames overtook her flesh and I watched as the blade let out a white light. It vanished with a lone crack and the woman fell to the ground dead.

Noticing that the hut had vanished, I now stood in morning light with two dead bodies before me. Blood covering my hands and clothes. I saw the first officer making his way down the alley and before I had a chance to say anything, he saw the gruesome scene before me.

“Stop right there.” He raised his club toward me.

Not wanting to wait around, I darted through the growing crowd and heard the officer follow.

A woman’s scream from behind me, resonated against my ears as I hurried through the city streets. The officer’s whistle behind me was joined by two more and I continued to lead them on a chase. Their mere mortal bodies will eventually tire, so I kept running at a full sprint until they couldn’t keep up anymore. After another two blocks, I stopped, wiped my brow and decided it was best to leave New York.
Knowing that going back to Europe would be dangerous, I decided to head out West before things got anymore complicated. The first thing the police would do next was spread my face throughout the city with the hopes of a large reward.

Making my way through the streets, I left the city which I called home for a couple years. Not sure where I would end up next, anything was better than to locked up in their prison’s and discovered for who I truly was.

Monday, April 6, 2009

May 22, 1884

I had to wait until he woke up before I could get the answers to my questions. He remained unconscious for the duration of the stressful night. On numerous occasions, I felt the feeling again, but it never got as strong as it did in the pub.

A couple of times the young man stirred, but never woke up. Afraid to leave him during the night, I kept a watchful eye on him. If I lost him, I would be back to square one and knew that couldn’t be allowed to happen. If this man hand any answers, I needed to wait.

Knowing that the beast was still out there was horrible enough, but without anyway to fight her I was truly helpless for the first time. It was a horrible feeling. I had been in many battles and survived many wounds, yet this one person actually caused me to fear for my life.

Looking out my window, I heard the young man mumble something in his sleep. Turning, I saw him sitting up, but his eyes were still shut. He turned toward me and his mouth opened a little bit and a voice seemed to spew out from him. “To fight the demon, you need to find the weapon of her master.” 

The man collapsed back onto the bed and started to snore again. I chuckled despite the fear which had caused me to shiver. The feeling stuck with me until morning. I wasn’t sure what the man meant, and watched him sleep. The sinking feeling of being doomed continued to loom over me and I never liked the feeling.

The first rays of the morning sunlight streaked across the room and right into my eyes. My eyes watered, but I refused to look away for fear the young man might do something else. He didn’t but after another two hours he woke up.

Sitting up, he looked at me and yawned. An impulse to wring his neck washed over me, but I clenched my fists and lowered my head. “You feeling better?”

He cocked his head to the side. “Yeah, but who are you?”

“I’m the one who brought you here.”

“You are the one who faced the woman huh?”

We were getting somewhere, and I grinned. “Yes, now what is this about the weapon of her master?”

His eyes shot open and he looked at me. His bottom lip quivered and I watched as he looked toward the door. He wouldn’t be able to escape before I broke his neck. He must have noticed my killer instinct as he didn’t move again.

“It’s a dagger. It’s made out of one of her scales. Crafted by ancient monks.”

“Where do I find it?”

He smiled and looked at me with a long, distant stare. “You can’t.”

“What do you mean?” Confusion washed over me as the more I learned the more I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. Maybe I should have left town instead of trying to fight her.

“I mean you can’t do it. I can though.” He said.

“What do you mean?”

“You need my help. So I guess we are partners.” He said and kicked his feet off the bed.

“I work alone, but I can’t stop you from risking your own life if you want to.” I said. Did he actually know the risk, I’ll never know, but I was up for some companionship after traveling alone for so long.

“Fine, so it’s settled, I’m coming.” He said.

“Yes you are. You might as well tell me your name.” I said and stood up. Running my hand through my hair, I looked down at him.

“David.” He said and stood up.

He seemed taller than before and I reached my hand out. He shook it. It would be a partnership which didn’t last longer than I needed him. He didn’t know it, but he was only a tool to reach my goal of killing that hell beast.

“We’ll head off tomorrow.” He said. “Meet me here tomorrow night.”

“Why at night?”

“Because she only attacks at night, and the location of the dagger can only be seen through moonlight.” He said.

“Fine, tomorrow night we’ll get started.” I said.

He released my hand and left. Honestly, I wasn’t sure whether or not he would be back, but figured I didn’t have a chance. Besides if he didn’t show up, I would leave this miserable city to her wrath. I didn’t really care about anyone else except for myself.

The rest of the day I spent my day catching up on my sleep. If I had to face her again, I needed to be sure I would be ready.

Friday, April 3, 2009

May 21, 1884

It had been a day since I saw the beast, which was able to harm me. The wound had healed so much that if the sight of her talon through my flesh wasn’t burned to my memory, I wouldn’t know it was there.

After the attack, I wandered the streets for a few hours and found my way to a small pub.
The smell as I entered filled my nose to the delight of my stomach. Feeling the weight of my pouch, I knew I had enough money to buy a few pints and a bite to eat. When I sat at a small round table in the corner, I stared at the small morning crowd mulling among the tables. Most of them looked like they were fresh off the late shift at the docks. Except for one young man who seemed well kept.

His hair seemed to shine in the candlelight and he had an air of confidence to him that the other schmucks contained. When the barmaid dropped off my pitcher and hamburger, the young man seemed to smile. I looked away from him, but he came over anyway. Without a word, he sat down and grabbed a French fry off my plate. The urge to smack him passed when he looked at me.

“You want something?” I asked.

He smiled without saying anything and poured himself a glass of my ale, drinking it without a word.

Despite my anger, his joyful attitude to stealing my food had me curious. Once he finished with one glass, he went for another, and I stopped him. With his smile still on his face, I asked again,
“Want something?”

He shook his head and tugged against my grip.

“Then get lost. Or lose the hand.”

His grin faltered and he released my pitcher. Feeling his hand quiver within mine made me smile. The first smile I’ve had this morning and it helped quench my anger.
Looking around the pub, I noticed that the crowd had settled in and not a single person seemed to look my way.

“How was she?” The young man said. His green eyes locked on me. The similar type of green the girl’s eyes had. A flash of fear shot though me and my chest clenched at the thought of this being another trap.

“Relax, I’m not like her, not anymore.” The young man said.

Despite his reassurance, I couldn’t keep my fear from flooding my thoughts. The girl seemed so nice before as well, so I promised myself to remain cautious. While taking a bite of my hamburger, I studied the young man.

Being out of the shadows, I noticed that his hair lost some of its sheen and his young face showed signs of dirt around the ears. I smiled despite my nerves, “What do you know about her?”

“That she’s killed close to four hundred people in the U S of A since she came here.” The young man’s smile returned. He seemed to be more comfortable talking about hundreds of deaths instead of anything else.

After finishing my hamburger, I finished my pitcher, without the young man saying anything else to me. Trying to mull over the enormity of what he presented, I came to the conclusion that I would trust him with a short leash. Once something seemed odd, I would kill him, or make a run for it.

“What kind of thing is she?” I said, watching him closely. I expected to see some sort of reaction, but he only turned down to his hands, but his smile remained plastered on his face.

“She’s a demon. Some soulless creature which preys on the scared.” He folded his hands and I caught the attention of the near barmaid.

“Something to drink for my friend.” I said and she nodded as I tossed her a couple dollars.
In the silence while we waited for the beer, I tried to think of a way to questions this man about what he knows. He found me, so he knows more than he has said so far. I would get it out of him, but violence wouldn’t be the way to do that. I’ve seen too much violence to know that it never solves the problem.

The barmaid brought back the beer and slid it in front of the young man. I smiled at her, and she grinned back. She would get a good tip from me today.
The man grabbed the beer and took a sip.

“How do you know this?” I asked after the young man had finished half of his beer.

Turning to me, I noticed the fear had sucked the color from his face. “It’s not safe here. She’s close.”

Taking a quick look around, I didn’t see the girl, but with the thick crowd that had filled the place, it would be hard to tell her apart from the many faces. Even though I couldn’t see her, the man was right. I could feel her presence as well. Maybe the alcohol had something to do with it, but the more I focused on how I felt, the more I could tell she had to be close.

“Come with me.” I grabbed the man’s hand and pulled him out of the chair he sat. Shoving my way through the crowd, I felt a strong desire to get to the door. I needed something, anything to separate the feeling of her, the sickening feeling which grabbed my stomach and wouldn’t let go.
Flying through the door, I tugged the young man after me and into the street. I got a few dirty looks from some men who were trying to enter the pub. I didn’t care and pulled the young man after me.

After putting some distance between me and the pub, I released the young man’s hand. He came stumbling up to me and I slammed him against the nearby wall. Tired of the fear and confusion, I pinned him in front of me. “No more games. Tell me everything I need to know. She must be stopped.”

His eyes rolled inside his head and he slumped to the ground. Picking him up, I threw him against the wall again. My anger had taken over and it clouded my judgment as I stared at the man. “Don’t back out now. Tell me what you know!”

His body went limp in my hands and I had to calm myself before I did something I would regret, like killing him. Looking around, I saw a small crowd had started to gather and I knew if anyone else came, it would be the police. Not wanting another beating, I hoisted the young man on my shoulders and looked at the crowd. “My friend just had too much to drink. Forgive him.”
The nearby old lady smiled and I grinned back as I carried the man to a safe place. My room at the inn.