Blogophila 19.10 – Daniel Part 2
It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their blog. This week’s prompts are:
And now we continue the Daniel story from last week. Kateesha and Daniel are investigating a rogue vampire who has murdered a whole family. Rather than following the killer, Kateesha talks Daniel into staying behind to partake of the left over blood.
Thunder rolled as Daniel stepped outside into the rain to cleanse away the last of the family’s blood. Water beaded on his naked skin, like the thousand sins he’d committed in his lifetime. The drops grew bloated, heavy, then ran down him in pink rivulets.
He felt her arms slide around him from behind, the press of her heavy breasts against his naked back. “Your thoughts turn toward the melancholy, even after such pleasure.”
He looked up to the heavy clouds and felt the raindrops kiss his face. “It’s the kind of night for it, I suppose.”
“No, my pet, it is the kind of night for passion and thunder, for lightning and wild pleasure. The storm doesn’t fill me with loneliness, but rather brings my blood to life!” She nipped playfully at his shoulder, then laughed as she stepped away. “You are not much younger than I am. You should have let go of your loneliness long ago.”
He watched as she stepped back to spin in a circle, arms held wide, rain pelting her naked body and wetting the hair that tumbled around her shoulders. She stopped with a smirk. “Admiring what you see? There is no shame in it, I’m worth admiring. Perhaps even worshiping.” She walked towards him, hips swaying. “Will you drink at my altar, or have you tasted the goddess enough for one night?”
He felt the familiar desire rising, but turned away from it. “We need to dress and leave this place. The sun will rise in an hour.”
“In that case, leaving is the last thing we should do. There is no shelter nearby, save what is here. If the death inside disturbs you, we can sleep in the barn.”
“It doesn’t disturb me, not in that way, but to try to rest with the smell…”
Kateesha laughed again, though this time there was more mirth in it. “How right you are. How can one sleep when tempted with desire? Come. We will dress and make bed in the barn.”
He let her tug him back to the house where they used the family’s bedding to dry themselves. Daniel dressed in the dark clothing and hung the black cloak over his shoulders. Black pants, black vest, always black, to blend in with the shadows, to hide them from the eyes of the world, as if there were many eyes in the darkness.
The rain had stopped by the time they made their way to the barn. Daniel turned the horse out so it could eat, then made a place for him and Kateesha to sleep in the corner of an unused stall. She curled her body over his and he carefully heaped clean straw over them, until only his eye peered out. He felt Kateesha’s breathing slow and then stop as the habits left over from mortality fell away into immortal dreams. He could feel the sun rising, see a slender beam shining on a board above his head as he watched the fading shadows on the wall, until sleep also took him.
Evening bugs chirped when he woke again, to find himself alone. Kateesha had risen before him, and was already gone, no doubt to feed.
He brushed straw from his cloak as he wandered outside into the purple haze of evening. He caught a quick sight of his partner’s curvy figure before she disappeared into the trees. He sniffed the sweet summer air and caught the scent of her prey; a deer.
He moved past the house, heavy with the stench of day old death despite the wild lilacs that grew around it, and into the woods. Kateesha was not far ahead, a deer held motionless at her feet by her sheer will power. It was not unlike his own puppet master ability, except she could do so much more besides just paralyze a creature. As a dream stealer she could crawl inside their thoughts, and as a whisperer she could make them think anything she pleased. They were skills with unequaled usefulness.
With a smile, Kateesha let Daniel share her meal, and then agreed that they should go after the perpetrator, “If only to appease father.”
They stopped at the house long enough to loot it – no point in letting fine things go to waste, as Kateesha always said. He took a pocket watch and knife, while Kateesha lifted a petticoat, a prayer book and a handkerchief embroidered with colorful hibiscus.
Though she didn’t need it, Daniel bade her to take a rest as he set fire to the house. Small flames licked the wood, and he turned to her with a questioning look. “The book is an odd choice. It seems…sentimental.”
Kateesha brandished the worn tome with a laugh. “Does it? I assure you I feel no sentimentality, only an affection for the neatness of the printed word.” She sobered for a moment, and her usual mask slipped away to reveal something else – someone else. “It was Malick that taught me to read. The skill was not necessary in my former life, and never offered. There is a magic in it; in seeing the symbols on a page and being able to discern a meaning from them, whether that meaning is something you believe in or not.” She stashed the book in her saddle bag and the seriousness disappeared. “The evidence will burn itself away. Come.”
They untied their horses, and mounted. Daniel let Kateesha lead down the lane made of packed dirt. He watched her sway in the saddle and wondered what her former life had been. It wasn’t something she spoke of often. That Malick was her master, and Jorick her brother in blood, he knew. That they had both been made immortal across the sea, and had come to the wild new continent under orders of the Kugsankal in Germany he also understood, but past that…Past that he knew nothing. He’d asked her more than once, it seemed only fair since she knew his own story, but had been rewarded only with her musical mirth.
Not that her laugh isn’t beautiful.
Still, he hoped someday for something more than her laugh. He wanted to see her, the secret garden at her core, to discover her soul and all its thousand intricacies. Maybe, with enough years, she’d let him. Though, if he was honest with himself, he doubted it. She might give him her body and her blood, but her heart – and her soul – belonged to Jorick, the leader of the Executioners and her raven haired god of vampiredom.
The thought twisted a bitter expression across his face, so he pushed it away. He needed to concentrate on his surroundings. A vampire – or vampires – had killed a family last night, and it was hard to say how far they’d gotten. They could be anywhere, waiting to ambush them.
Despite his worry, they made it out of the trees and into open countryside with no problems. The moon shone heavy and bright above them, and stars played hide and seek with tattered clouds. All ye, all ye come in free, as his daughters had called to one another. Unlike the girls, the stars didn’t come because he called. And they wouldn’t anymore. They’re probably dead now.
That was right. It had been seventy-five years since he’d become this. The girls were dead now; Rose with her curls, Charlotte with her crooked tooth, and Regina with her silly smile. They’d have married, had daughters of their own, and gone on to the grave, believing their father dead in the colonies. Better that than the truth, he supposed.
The melancholy thoughts were as distracting as bitter ones, so he turned them away as well. Why did his mind always seem to twist round dark alleys when he needed it to focus on the here and now?
With a sigh he turned to watching the silent emptiness slip by; trees, plants, an occasional dark house. With no more death or destruction, he wasn’t even sure they were on the right track. He stared at Kateesha’s back, willing her to say something of her thoughts, but she stayed silent. Despite her presence, he moved in solitude. In such conditions, how could he expect anything but dark thoughts?
As dawn neared, they found an abandoned house, not far from a settlement. Daniel could smell the life in the distance; human and animal, but what was left there was emptiness and dust. The remnants of an English garden – a tiny piece of home on foreign soil – reminded him that someone had once cared for the place, but where they’d gone remained a mystery.
“Probably dead of sickness,” Kateesha said as she stopped in the garden, eyes on a homemade trellis.
He moved past her to peer inside the house. “Then they’ve been dead for some time, and their neighbors stripped their belongings.”
“Why shouldn’t they?” Kateesha plucked a heavy flower and brought it to her nose. “Why leave it to be wasted?” She inhaled deeply, eyes closed, and Daniel thought he saw her mask slip again, saw into the real her. The moment was fleeting, and she quickly discarded the bloom. “Come. We must make preparations for the day. Tomorrow, we shall head back to Father and tell him that we were unsuccessful.”
The terror of that future was enough to give Daniel nightmares.
Part 3 next week it looks like.
And now for guesses!
Bonus: Colleen and Irene
- wild Lilacs 2. stop and smell the flowers 3. time for a stroll 4. down the lane 5. memory lane 6. in the garden 7. secret garden 8. trellis 9. lilac arches 10. purple haze 11. hanging garden 12. take a rest 13. sweet summer 14. tunnel of love 15. english garden 16. have a seat 17. solitude 18. sentimental (Bold are included in the blog)