I Am Not A Monster: The Dream Sequence (part one)

The Golden Horned God-Queen

Kalispher’s Vision

 

“I held a feather to the flame, 

I felt my breath burn just the same.

When the embers float away,

I heard a voice unto me say,

Your life is forfeit, no matter what you pray.”

 

“I’ve been here before.” Her voice forlorn as she stood on the edge of the roof.

A little boy, no more than seven, stood back in the shadows listening to the strange woman with paper white skin, royal purple hair, and golden ram horns. He was back in the shadows, still uneasy from what had just happened.

The woman turned, her white blue eyes glowing through darkness. A few street lamps flickered a pale pinkish light down below. The sounds of a sleepy bay-side city continued in the background. The horrors of what had transpired not long ago had yet to be discovered by the general public. The only two living souls who knew stood on the roof of the dilapidated apartment building.

The woman turned, her blood stained tribal clothing swayed gently, reddened gold coins made a soft melodic sound as they moved and hit each other. She slowly walked towards the boy, knelt down and held a closed fist before his face. Her disarming, gentle smile set the young boy at ease despite what he had just witnessed.

“What is your name my child?” She asked while a light glowed lowly in her closed fist. Her voice, at first holding a tune of sorrow changed to one of curiosity.

The young boy studied the woman. He had never seen such a being. Her physical features were a strange mix of monster and angel. At first, just moments ago, he saw from her the fury of a great beast. Claws and teeth bared and slashing, two razor tipped tails whipping about, wings, great dragon like wings helped to carry her slightly up and around quickly while her strong legs kicked about, and those white blue eyes pierced the very soul of the men who sought to do harm to the boy. Once it was over her very aura changed. A strange colorful light surrounded her like the glow of an angel. She picked up the broken body of the young boy, lifting him with her as those powerful crimson wings took them both to the top of the building.

He knew he had been killed. Somehow, he knew. He heard a great authoritative voice tell him ‘Not yet, you still have something to do…’ and he felt the woman lift him up. He knew he was dead before her fury reigned down upon his murderers. He thought it strange then, how did he see what she had done if he was already dead?

“Don’t be afraid of me my child, please, don’t fear or hate me. I understand though if you do, especially after this.” That painful sorrow was beginning to creep back into her voice. She turned her piercing gaze away.

The boy shook his head, cupped his hands around the woman’s face and turned it back to look at him. “Terrance. Terrance Clarkson. That’s my name ma’am. Who are you?”

She smiled and opened her hand to reveal a lions head amulet. Gold and molded in a roar, the amulet had one ruby eye and one of jade. She lifted the gold chain it was on around the boys head and pressed it against his heart with her hand. “Terrance Clarkson, the lion heart. You stood up to those men, you protected your sister from them valiantly and without fear for yourself. She’s safe. Your mother is still at work, so she is waiting for you now. You have a gift, you are the legacy of my Father, the one who gave me my power…now you have this same power my child. You have my greatest respect, and my deepest apology.” Her face, once smiling, turned to a sorrowful frown. “If I could spare you the pain you are about to feel first hand, I would give my life to protect you. Never change your spirit, be the spark that ignites the fire. Where I have failed, please…” She broke down into tears and brought her hands to grip Terrance’s shoulders as she cried, “Please be the light to guide this darkened world.” Her voice took a slight higher pitch and she pulled him into a warm embrace.

Terrance woke up to the sound of his mother calling to himself and his sister to wake up and get ready for school. He felt a strange weight on his neck and looked down at the lion head amulet on his chest. He didn’t know where it came from, and hid it under his shirt. After fully dressing and pulling his pack together he slowly dragged himself to the kitchen to eat breakfast.

As his tired mother got his younger sister ready Terrance caught a brief news clip ‘Five mutilated in suspected gang rivalry…’

 

“WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!” His words rang out and his chest heaved as he tried to catch his breath. Kalispher shot up out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. He splashed himself with cold water then looked in the mirror. “Impossible…it’s impossible! She’s not yet matured…th-there can’t possibly be two at once! It can’t even be a male anyway! That power can only be wielded by a female. What in the hell did I just witness?!” He hissed as he tried to understand the vision he just saw. “Jezirine…why is it all different this time around?”

 

(Hey readers! Once again I am so sorry about my lack of consistency. Though, I have some excuse…I legitimately almost died. No really, I’ve been in and out of the ICU, dropped down to 84lbs, and am slowly recovering. I hope you enjoy this new installment. I am still working on a chapter that probably fits better in timeline and won’t be as out there and confusing as this latest installment, however there will be more dream sequences. This one happens to be one from our favorite Nephilim spirit, Kalispher. Let me know what you think! email me rote_engelchen@yahoo.com or jezrobin@mail.com, or find me on SnapChat ZirenNytemaire [just lemme know you’re a reader of IAmNotAMonster] Yours in Angsty Gore!

Nyte!)

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I Am Not A Monster Part Two, Chapter Three

“Psychics, Spies, and Pineapple Pies”

She watched him flee, a smile on her neon green lips and a giggle escaping her throat.

The warmth of the new dawn caused the man with the wild red hair to stir slightly. His eyes opened ever so slightly; greeted by the sight of messy black hair and heavy black horns gently moving up and down in synchronicity to his breathing. A smile curled the ends of his lips as he caressed the black and white skin of the woman still asleep on his chest. The two had fallen asleep under the stars and on top of the soft sand of the beach. Far from prying eyes he led her that night, knowing that at any moment she could slip away from him.

Jester didn’t see Nixi as a monster, he had been privy to a deeper look into the core of her mind. She was a beautiful, deadly contradiction of a woman. She was both monster and victim, at peace and at war with everything around her. He knew in his own heart that he couldn’t do as the twins wanted him to do. He couldn’t let them have her. He couldn’t let the devil Kalispher have her either.

She stirred slightly, drawing Jesters attention to her slumbering form once more.

“More marshmallows…” she softly cooed, her claws gripping a bit tighter into Jester’s Mad hatter vest. He couldn’t help but chuckle, causing his chest to jostle Nixi a bit more.

She slowly rose her head and yawned, “Huh..? She groggily sat up and rubbed her eyes. Jester straightened up more against the dune he had rested against all night. “Good morn’n missus.” He said in a soft voice and watched Nixi while sporting a goofy looking grin.

Nixi blinked as things started to make more sense. “Morn-ing?” She slowly said, realization dawning on her. She looked side to side and gripped her horns. Jester chuckled as he watched. “We fell asleep out here? We were out here like…all night?” She asked.

Jester nodded. She wanted a night of normalcy, not one that would reveal her as what she really was. Her breathing increased as the mere thought of the scolding Lou would give her came to mind, not to mention the god awful excuse she was bound to come up with to get away from this crazy haired texan. She felt she was about to have a panic attack when everything stopped. Jester wrapped her up in a tight hug, “Don’t freak out Nixi, I dun’ wanna hurt a pretty little thing like you.” His voice was so soothing, it instantly disarmed Nixi. She felt her face flush to a bright purple.

Lou lay in the sand, trying to blend in as best as he could, watching Jester and Nixi with a heated rage. “That daft lassie!” He grumbled and listed off a few swears in Gaelic. It wasn’t quiet that he was upset with her though. He couldn’t blame her for wanting a bit of freedom from the constant running away, and hiding from the world. It was more that he was outraged with himself for letting Jester get to her. Who knew what lies that red haired man was filling her head with? Lou had no idea, he did know that he would have to separate the two, and soon. With Jester here the Bythesea’s could be anywhere. Lou felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. Out of habit he looked around quickly, his eyes stopping on the peer not too far off. It looked as if there was someone watching Nixi and Jester from behind a post. Lou tried to focus but couldn’t make out a definite form.

As Jester held Nixi he felt a strange sensation and took in the scene. Nothing seemed too out of place, though it looked like there was someone at the peer, behind the post farthest from the water. Something about it didn’t feel right so he stood up, lifting Nixi into a standing position with him. “Let’s get some breakfast shall we? I know of a nice cafe just in town.” He said as he took her hand in his and started.

There was a slight tug and Nixi pulled her hand away, not moving from where she stood. “T-town? Uh, I don’t think that’s the best idea.” She said, looking down at her feet, once more as if they were the most interesting things in the world. She fidgeted with her hands clasped together.

Jester had a half grin on his face and shook his head, “Women…” He muttered under his breath. “You look fine, I reckon the best looking lady here. Or do you just not wanna be seen with my ugly mug?” He jokingly said as he struck a pose, chin in hand and gaze looking towards were water met land.

Nixi, looking almost horrified she may have insulted the man, shook her head and hands quickly, “No no no!” She spoke, “It’s not that, its…well…” She had one hand on her horn and bit the tip of a finger on the other as she tried to think of something to say that would properly convey her trepidations, while at the same time not revealing her as a freak of nature. “I-I” she stammered and felt the heat in her face more.

Jester took the hand that held a horn in his own, “I understand, you’re not really a people person huh? It’s okay. We can pick something up and eat on the peer.”

That plan sounded good. Nixi wouldn’t have to explain anything, and still have a meal with Jester. She figured after that they would part ways and use the excuse ‘gotta get washed up and normal’ and she’d never see him again. That last bit was bitter sweet, but at least she would have had one last night of normalcy that ended in a perfectly somewhat normal breakfast. She smiled at Jester and with a nod followed his lead.

Above the beach, standing on the peer looking on as two people headed to town, and one more stayed hidden in the dunes to spy on them, stood a man of dark aura and even darker eyes. He wore a freshly pressed Armani suit and matching sun glasses. He tightened the crimson tie around his neck and ran an hand through his slicked back blond hair. He wasn’t too fond of blond but, it was natural and he really didn’t feel a desire to artificially color it. His gaze shifted between Nixi and Lou. The red haired man was no one of note to him, just another Texas hick he thought. Kalispher, in his new body, turned to follow Nixi when he felt the hair on the back of his neck straighten. He chuckled, “Andonia.” He looked down and saw a woman in black step out, shielding herself from the early morning sun with a parasol made of black lace. She looked up at Kalispher, her eyes a shade of green so light they could have been mistaken for white. “Do I know you?” She asked, a slight pout on her neon green lips.

Kalispher shook his head at her question and lept down to stand beside the woman, “No, not really. I know you though witch. You fancy yourself a practitioner of chaos black magic. Or whatever, you witches all serve the same master.” He spoke with a voice dripping of confidence and grotesque pride. It made Andonia quite uncomfortable, and angered.

“Such arrogance.-“ She began but was cut off by Kalispher as he linked his arm in hers and began to lead her toward the town.

“Which one are you trailing? I assume you’re following one of them? Such a nightmare really…”

She looked at him, a face so accustomed to hiding all emotions. Such a mask though was easily seen through by a devil of Kalispher’s calibre. He laughed at her hidden puzzlement.

“My dear witch, I am called Kalispher, an original. You are following either my mark, or her protector. Which one?” He asked again.

Mistaking Jester as the one Kalispher called Nixi’s protector, Andonia answered, “Niether. I am after another.”

“The son, or the father?” Kalispher asked.

Again Andonia was confused, but also getting aggravated with the devil who was walking at her side, and holding her tightly. She made up her mind then, she didn’t like this creature. Yes creature, to call him a man would be an insult to the human race she thought.

As if he had been reading her thoughts, “More like an insult to all demonkin.” His grip warmed ever so slightly as he drew her closer, moving from linked arms, to an arm around her waist. Andonia felt powerless to resist his hold on her.

“You called yourself an ‘original’ earlier. Original what?” She asked. She didn’t know how to answer his question, and at the same time silence in this mans presents was far more unbearable than his voice.

“Are you familiar with Christianity?”

Her parents were Catholic, and he knew it. She detected that he would already know that answer but she nodded anyway. “Yes.”

“How familiar?”

“Decently..?” her answer sounding more like a question itself, this was the first time in a while her voice wavered.

Kalispher laughed lightly, “I would suppose so then. Are you familiar with the fallings? Satan and Apollyon?”

Andonia’s mind went back to old teachings of a garden, two naked people, an apple, something like that. Her memories were soiled when Kalispher continued. “And the sons of God saw the daughters of men and saw that they were indeed beautiful.” He looked into those pale green eyes and continued, “The daughters of men gave birth then to the Nephilem. I am one such creature…well, the soul is immortal anyway. I am an original in that sense. There are others, offspring of the Nephilem.”

Whatever this creature was getting at, Andonia had no idea. She was growing even more uncomfortable around this man. “Can you get to the point?” She asked through gritted teeth, her voice with an edge of impatience.

This only served to amuse Kalispher, “I, my dear, am the offspring of one of those fallen. A Nephilem. Of course, my original body is long buried in the dust of this world so as a devil I must find new bodies every so often.” He sounded most proud of what he was. Andonia still didn’t quite get it, but she did understand devil and demonic possessions. So that was basically what this creature was, a demonically possessed man. ‘Oh what a delight.’ She thought to herself. In the mean time, she lost track of where Lou had gone. ‘Damnit.’

“He’s probably following the other two and if my recollection is correct they were both giving off that vibe of being hungry.” Kalispher said as if once more he was reading Andonia’s thoughts.

The two continued walking along, and the longer she was in his grip, the more irritated Andonia was getting. “So what is the point of you getting in my way then?” She snapped.

Kalispher chuckled, “Oh my dear, am I upsetting you?” He mocked.

“What, do you want to team up or something? No thanks if thats what you’re thinking. I’d rather walk the fires of hell.” Already she knew that this man’s mere existence was a torture.

“That can be arranged if you’d like. However no, don’t flatter yourself my dear. I’m just here to check in on you, dear little witch.” With a sneering grin he snapped his fingers and was gone.

Andonia sighed in relief. Finally the devil was gone and she could pursue her ‘target’ in peace. Though, that last bit of checking in on her struck a nerve. She knew it wouldn’t be the last time she saw Kalispher. He was powerful, she knew, so running into him again was not going to be pleasant, and who knew what he would do. Those in the dark forces were unpredictable for her, usually. Was he playfully malicious, or intelligently sinister? She hoped not to find out but knew eventually that she would, and probably not under the best of circumstances.

Jester looked like a proud newly wed as he walked arm in arm with Nixi. He had a joyful glow, and felt so at ease and comfortable with Nixi, as if this was meant to be. Nixi too felt at peace and comfortable around Jester, which was a little unnerving and awkward too. She knew she would have to leave him, it would be for the best. She didn’t want to leave him though. She felt safe, like with Lou but slightly different. There was a strange sinking feeling in her gut but it was almost a good feeling if not alien to her. If only halloween was everyday, then she could be ‘in costume’ and it would be socially acceptable.

The two arrived at a small bakery. Jester opened the door and still holding her hand, he lead Nixi inside where the two were greeted by a wave of fresh baked goods. Immediately Nixi was drawn to a pineapple pie. She gazed at it intently, practically drooling at it. This caused Jester to laugh as he told the young man behind the counter that he would pay for the whole pie, and a few other baked goodies along with two tuna sandwiches.

Foods in hand, and Nixi happily munching on a slice of their pineapple pie, the two headed back to the pier to enjoy a meal together. Nixi kept it in the back of her mind it would be the first and last meal with this man, however Jester knew it was only the beginning. He would have to protect her from the Bythesea’s, and Kalispher. His only worry, how would he be able to protect her without any help?

(Okay so I’m not the most consistent, I apologize again. So here I have the new chapter, and I am working on chapter four. I hope I haven’t lost my readers…and that ya’ll like this. Please let me know.

Yours in Angsty Gore!

Nytemair)

I Am Not A Monster Part two, Chapter two

‘The Heart Beats On’

“Fearless doesn’t mean being without any fear. It means knowing how to handle that fear.”

It had been a week. No one came near the concrete building that housed Lou and Nixi. She was able to be herself, occupying her time with reading books that Lou managed to find, walk along the ocean shore at night, even learn boxing from a video series made in the eighties. She stayed up long hours of the night, as this gave her a chance to walk around the town after everything had closed and all the people were, mostly, asleep. Lou was up during the morning hours, working part time on construction work and planning out were to go from there. He had to be sure that in the meantime they weren’t found out. For now, the two could breathe. This was all going to change though as a group of property investors decided to look in on the old cement building down the shore in Galveston.

Nixi was resting up in the scaffolding, as she had found that to be most comfortable, when she heard foot steps echoing and muffled voices. She jumped up and leapt around to stay hidden, but also get a better idea of what was going on.

“…the place has great views. We’d just need to demolish this building.” A male’s voice.

“I like that. We’d need to get rid of the squatters though, don’t want anyone getting hurt…”

Nixi watched them leave the building. She dropped down and quietly went to the door and watched the men get into their car. Her whole illusion of normalcy came crashing down around her. Day light be damned, she couldn’t stay in the building, not after it was violated by those men who planned to tear it down. She ran out to the shore.

There was a chilly wind blowing, and the waters were choppy. Nixi sunk to the ground and hit the sandy shore with balled fists. She growled and roared in anger. Tears welled up in her eyes as the thought of going back on the road again came into mind. She didn’t want to do that again, to potentially kill again. She didn’t want to see even more nameless faces ripped to shreds in her mind again. She didn’t want to hear more voices added to the chorus of screams she fell asleep to every morning. She didn’t need anymore guilt, not when she already felt like she was going to break.

“Killer costume!” The voice surprised her. She slowly sat up and turned her head to see the man behind her. He was tall and slender with wild red hair and two different colored eyes looking right at her.

“H-huh?” She muttered and blinked.

The man laughed, he was wearing a Mad Hatter type costume himself, “You’re gonna be there right? The costume party. Jack’s Ice House on main. Everyone’s gonna be there. Third annual Jack’s Halloween bash.” He held out a hand for Nixi to take, which she did.

A halloween bash, costume party, this would be safe enough for her right? She forgot that Halloween was coming up. Of course she didn’t want to see any news papers because of the ‘string of brutal murders’ lately. So she didn’t really have a good idea of what the date was.

“Uh, yeah, yeah I totally ruined the dress I was going to wear and came out to vent and get some fresh air. I got the make-up right but, that damn dress.” She said.

The man laughed and shook his head while muttering under his breath, “Women…” He looked over in the direction of the ice house then back to Nixi, “I think ‘yer outfit looks fine, just a little more fake blood stains and some rips here and there, you’ll make a great Jersey She-Devil.”

A Jersey She-Devil? Nixi had never thought of something like that. It was perfect, and she didn’t even have to put any effort into it. Nixi’s cheeks took a purplish tint and she looked away from the man, as if suddenly her feet were the most interesting thing in the world, “I, uh, don’t have any more fake blood.” It was real blood stains that didn’t wash out.

“No problem then, those horns and that make-up job, stun’n! Professional grade I would say. Oh, name’s Jester by the way, and you’re?”

“Nixi. My name’s Nixi, it’s nice to meet you Jester. I like the Mad-hatter get-up you’ve got going on.”

Jester linked an arm with Nixi and headed to the Ice House. Nixi didn’t put up any resistance. She was happy to be doing something fun, something totally normal. Hopefully Lou wouldn’t freak out.

Before reaching the area, Nixi could hear the sounds of a large, loud crowd permeating through the air. It put a large grin on her face to hear it all, a party, a real party. She felt more alive than she had in a long time and here she was doing something normal without anyone looking at her like some kind of freak. She hugged herself a little closer to Jester, he was the reason she was feeling rather euphoric after all. The two headed into the party without so much as a glance from the security. “Wow, no ID check? This an all ages event?” She asked.

Jester shrugged and continued onward.

Lou came back to the stronghold where he and Nixi had been staying. With a heavy sigh he dropped his satchel and hard hat then plopped onto the floor of the bedding area. It had been a rather busy day for him an he was happy it was over. Perhaps, he thought hopefully, Nixi had gone into the Gulf and retrieved a few fish. She had done it a couple times as she found she could hold her breath for a longer time than most olympic swimmers. She was working herself up to twenty minuets, at least that was her goal now that she discovered it was getting easier to do so while swimming at full strength.

Normally Nixi was there waiting with some sort of half baked something anyway. Either ramen made on the bunsen burner, or something out of a can, to that rare fresh catch. Though, Lou didn’t hear even the slightest peep from her. Perhaps sleeping? No, he didn’t hear her soft snoozing sounds. Normally she would coo like a mourning dove every other breath when asleep, something only he knew she did. He didn’t hear that familiar coo. Where had that girl gone off too?

“Lass! Lassie! Oi lass where ye be?” He breathlessly called as he was still sore and tired from laying concrete all day. No reply but a light breeze through the open space. On the breeze though was the scent of alcohol, and the sound of a party. There was something else on that breeze, a scent that sent a shiver down his spine, a musky lavender and pine smell. “It can’t be…” Lou shot up and looked around wide eyed. “No, no it can’t be!” He said a little louder. Adrenalin now coursed through his veins, he was awake and with a new strength.

Lou rushed out the stronghold and down the beach. As he got closer he could see. It was the Ice House. A few of his work buddies mentioned they were going to the costume party there tonight. They invited Lou to join but he said he was far too tired. He didn’t want to go and leave Nixi alone after all. As he neared, he feared that Nixi had gone there without even letting him know. ‘That daft woman!’ Lou thought as he caught sight of her horns through the crowd. She was standing alone by a music player. She looked so much more alive than she had since they set out. It was a little heart warming to see her like that. Smiling and in public around people in a jovial atmosphere. Maybe it would be good for her, maybe it wasn’t so bad.

His blood stilled and his heart dropped though as he saw the man with the wild red hair step up beside her and hand her an unopened coke can though. “No…no it’s too early. Too soon! How is he there…” Lou dropped to his knees. How did they get here so soon? They shouldn’t have been there until December. It was too soon, far too soon. This could ruin everything.

Lou caught the trace scents of a few other unwanted company. “Bythesea…” He mumbled as he began to sneak around and search for the siblings.

There was a slight shift in the air. Everything in the present seemed to take a backseat as the world around muted out and Lou could feel the presents of someone trying to pry into his mind.

“Ye’r little soldier is in there, of course ye’d be within range. Lady Bythesea.”

In this strange realm of only spirit and mind a woman’s voice echoed in Lou’s mind in response to his words. “You shouldn’t exist but you do, you know me but I don’t know you.”

“Aye, I shouldn’t be here but, I am. Here fer ‘ah reason, ye ‘an yer kin are not s’posed ta be here. Not yet anyway. Why ye here now?”

“Jester.”

Lou shivered at that name. Not really the name but the person to whom it belonged. Lou was familiar with PIOA, he knew well that of all of them, Jester’s latent abilities were the ones to be feared. He could easily negate anything Nixi could possibly throw his way. The man was dangerous, but right now, the Bythesea siblings were far more dangerous. They knew the extent of their power. They knew the tools they had at their disposal as well.

“Don’t bother prying around, ye won’t get far in me mind. Don’t bother looking for us either, she put up a barrier herself.” Lou was growing tired of this older woman trying to learn more about him.

He felt a few of the probing tendrils from her mind leave his as he made his own mind a hostile environment. “We may be on the same side. I can sense that love of the light in you. Why do you remain with ‘IT’?”

Lou didn’t like how she said ‘IT’, the voice was leering, and degrading in tone. He pulled himself back some to the physical world, if only to see with carnal eyes if the woman was nearby. Her strength would allow for her to be farther away than his gaze but, it was worth a shot. With no sight he put back his full attention to the psychic, spiritual minds cape he had been in, “If you use that name, and that tone again I will show ye just what I can do to ye here, it won’t be pleasant out there either.” With that stated he left fully to be back in the here and now. Time seemed to return it’s pace, the sounds of the night progressing flooded back to him. It felt like a thump in his chest every time he left that place. When he looked inside the Ice House, Nixi and Jester were gone. “Aw fuck!”

The Ice House was getting a little crowded and noisy. Even though people seemed to adore Nixi for her highly realistic costume, she was getting a little self conscious about the place. Jester immediately picked up on it and took her gently by the arm to lead her out. She didn’t put up a fight at all. There was something oddly captivating about this guy, and Nixi hoped to keep in contact with him to get to know him better. She knew though that it probably wouldn’t happen, at all. She had no means to keep in contact, no home address and no phone. She didn’t want him to know that she wasn’t normal either. How would he feel about her then? How did he feel about her now? Nixi suddenly felt completely self conscience.

“Those stars are amaze’n huh?”

The sound of his heavily accented voice snapped Nixi’s attention back to focus, “Stars?” She quietly asked as her cheeks took on a faint purple blush.

Jester chuckled lightly and pointed upwards to the sky. The black night was illuminated by stars all across the expanse. The Ice House was reasonably distant from the main city, so city lights didn’t obscure the nocturnal view. Though the moon was brightly reflecting off the ocean, the stars still shown their twinkling lights.

Nixi’s eyes light up as she stared and really saw the stars. It was a magnificent scene before her, the stars so bright. It brought her back to her past. Camping under the big sky were she once lived, laying on the ground holding her parents’ hands in each of hers. She felt safe there between them. The low rumbly voice of her father as he explained the constellations to both she and her mother, the crickets chiming in, the smell of fresh air wafting to her from lands far away. It was a memory buried deep within, just itching for a time like this to come back and provide comfort for her. There was something else though, something off about the memory. Nixi couldn’t pin-point it but she knew that the memory was being violated in some way. There was something…something that simply didn’t belong in her mind.

To see, that’s one thing. Making a judgement based upon the appearance is something everyone does. It’s that first impression, how humans present themselves. To see with carnal eyes of the physical body is the first impression, and often the lasting impression. Despite appearances though, there is the true and inner person. It often takes many years to see this person, and in that time that person changes. The only constant in life, besides the eventuality of death, is change. All humans change one way or another. For Jester, he could see Nixi’s entire life, up to that point in an instant. He could easily walk among her thoughts and memories just as easily as he could breathe air. She had completely no guard against him because she had no way of knowing how no matter what Lou had done to prepare her. At this moment Jester found himself remembering a time when a young girl lay between her mother and father, looking towards the heavens and basking in the light millions of stars. He had been trying to find a reason to do what the Bytheseas’ wanted him to do. He was told all this time that Nixi was a monster, though once she was a human, she was now a tool for apocalyptic destruction. What he was ‘seeing’ now was not a monster. Even after her change she was still just a young lady trying to find her place in the world, trying to be just and kind. This was, by every right, still a human in spirit. Still a sentient soul in control of her destiny and not being used as a tool by malicious forces.

As he continued through to gauge her now in her more recent times, things began to feel chilly. He saw shadows. Many shadows within a room fighting and snarling and battling each other. He saw carnage and death, destruction in it’s purest form. Greed, lust, hatred. This was what he had expected to encounter first. Soon he felt himself being swept up in a sea of pain. As if this was what had been trapped within pandoras box prior to being opened. For the first time in his life, Jester was completely powerless and at the mercy of this… insanity. One voice boomed over the rest. As a single battle cry it drowned out the cacophony of all the others. A form began to take shape, a great beast that resembled Nixi, only it was entirely void of color except the eyes. Those eyes were a soulless burning red that caused Jester to shrink back every time it looked his way. Behind the monstrous form he saw something else. It looked like another version of Nixi, also a devoid of color version but not black void. Like a strange version of Yin and Yang, this one didn’t have open eyes, instead, she seemed to stand with palms open while the other stood arms crossed. The two moved until they stood back to back. “Duality…” Jester thought. Nixi was in a limbo he couldn’t imagine.

As he stepped closer to either form he began to see images projected by either persona. When she was called a monster the dark one took over. Jester quickly looked away as he couldn’t handle seeing what this beast did. He moved to the other, when remorse began to take hold, she was so gentle, and comforting. To do as the Bythesea siblings wanted, Jester would simply destroy the dark one. In theory. As he went to do his work a vine wrapped around the two forms standing back to back. Thorns tore into the light one, while white roses, stained red, blossomed around the dark one. This was a bond that even Jester wouldn’t risk breaking. To kill one would damn them both.

He pulled away. Coming back to the physical world after being witness to that left Jester feeling sick for so many reasons. Nixi had the potential for incredible evil, as well as incredible heroism. Duality was always a difficult one for him, he had been able to strike a balance that didn’t incur catastrophic consequences, however Nixi was a whole different thing. He let himself feel an empathetic connection. He was kicking himself for not going to the recent changes first. Before, she was just ‘IT’ a beast of sorts to be used as a sacrifice. Then he had a glimpse, her soul, her human soul was still there. It was there yet bound in blood to the monster within.

Nixi didn’t feel any more strange probing, in fact she was still recalling the memories elicited by the stars here and now. She had no idea of just how much of a dual personality she had. Ignorance truly can be bliss. “Hey, are you okay?” She asked when she noticed Jester was cradling his head with one hand. He looked up from his hand and flashed Nixi a smile, “Yes ma’am, I am just fine.”

In turn Nixi’s grin grew and she spoke, “Good! because the tide is out and it looks like there’s some movement on the beach.” When she finished speaking she headed out closer to where the tide had come up. A spring in her step and a gently sway to her gait.

The young woman in the tight black and neon green raver attire shrunk back as a young man ran from the window of the Ice House. She watched him flee, a smile on her neon green lips and a giggle escaping her throat. Her off white blue gaze didn’t leave his form until it was indiscernible in the darkness. She pulled a joint from her pocket and lit it up, taking a few puffs before stepping it out and slowly walking in the direction Lou had run. ‘There you are, the stars led me true as always. By the gods and goddesses of my blood kin, you will be mine.’

(Hey everyone! Sorry for the wait. All…two of my readers? Haha, well I do apologize. Life has decided that I leveled up and shit got rough. So I will be doing my best to write more. Hope you like where this is going because I have a new character to introduce…I kinda put her in the end…I need a name for her though. DX Stay tuned for more! Yours in Angsty Gore!

Nytemaire )

I am NOT a Monster Part Two , Chapter one

‘Fearless, Fear Less’

Ooohh, oh oh oh, Lord…

You know I love that old religion,

Oh preacher man,

Where you gone? Where you gone?

Oh preacher man,

Where you gone?

You know I love that old religion,

Yes I do, Yes I do,

Oh you know I love that old religion.

Oh preacher man,

Where you gone? Where you gone?

Oh preacher man,

Where you gone?

There’s a devil in the deep blue,

Yes there is, yes there is,

There’s a devil in the deep blue,

Yes there is.

He’s a calling out for me,

Yes he is, yes he is.

The devil in the deep blue he calls for me.

Ooohh, oh oh oh, Lord…

You know I love that old religion yes I do,

Oh preacher man,

Where you gone, where you gone?

You’re just a joke to the gods and goddesses of flesh,

They use you like the tools that you are.

You’re not to bright, you let them suck you dry,

They laugh at you and push you down,

You can’t get up no matter how hard you try.

The kicker is, baby, you made them,

You built them up,

You worshiped them,

You turned them into all that they are.

They can’t exist without your love,

They can’t exist without your praise,

They made you think though that they’re in control.

Like a fool you gave them power,

Power you could never handle on your own.

You’re just a joke to the gods and goddesses of flesh…

Steady, steady he held the gun and set the sights on the man in the Armani suit. He watched the scene closely. There where three down there. A man with blazing red hair, a woman goat girl thing with black striped white skin, and the one he was sent to kill. He narrowed the sight and pulled the trigger.

“Oh fuck, not another one.” Black vapor surrounded the two as a shot rang out and the human body hit the floor, cold and dead.

It had been a week since Kalispher disappeared. Nixi didn’t question Lou, to be honest, he scared her that night he found her in the warehouse. She didn’t want to go back to the apartment with her mom. Not after all she saw and heard. She made sure her mother knew that she would not be coming home for a while, if at all. Lou told her she probably shouldn’t go back to the doctor. Something about him didn’t seem right. Nixi came to trust Lou, to an extent. He was still hiding something from her, and she had a feeling it was one hell of a bombshell. So far he was keeping her safe, he was the only friend she had. The two of them left the small town and had been traveling by night in order to keep questions down and stares away.  Right now they were in a rundown motel somewhere outside of Dallas.

“I look like a fucked up death metal raver.” Nixi said in a pout as she looked herself over in the mirror. She gripped a horn in each hand and sighed. It was strange for her. She felt amazing, lighter, stronger, and more energetic. She was slowly coming to terms with how she looked, and was beginning to discover more things about herself. Fire really didn’t burn her at all, though it sped up her already quick healing significantly. The bioluminescence that seemed to pulse through the black markings on her skin only happened when she was exceedingly scared, or exceedingly angry. Mayo made her puke. That last thing was a surprise as she didn’t like grilled cheese unless it had tomato soup on the side, and mayo.

Lou cast a glance over at Nixi, “Yeah, ye’ve the body tha envy o’ all da death metal raver chicks. Horns, black and white skin, sharp teeth, claws. Damn, ye’re the whole package.”

Nixi grumped and made her way to the bed. She plopped down beside Lou and looked over at him, “My turn on the bed.”

“Nay! Mine. Ye got tha bed last town.” Lou protested.

Nixi wasn’t going to budge, “My bed.”

“Lass, ye get ye’r arse outta this bed-“

“Mine!” She put her tail to Lou’s mouth and then pushed him to the edge.

Lou relented and rolled off the bed, pulling the comforter with him. “Fine, but I get tha big blanket.”

Nixi giggled and got settled into the bed. The night seemed to be getting warmer as it went on, Nixi had already thrown off all her blankets. Lou was sound asleep on the floor beside the bed, and this made Nixi just a little jealous. She got out of the bed and decided to go outside, maybe the void of darkness would help to cool her off.

She pulled on a hooded zip up with sleeves cut off, a pair of flip flops, and her long, loose pants. She felt like a beach bum in this get-up but it was cool, and she didn’t stand out so much. With the beach bum outfit on, she grabbed a key and stepped out.

The air outside was cooler, of course there was also a slight breeze. Nixi leaned against the railing of the second floor, just outside the room door. The sounds of the night immediately assaulted her ears. Her hearing was ‘improving’. She had to focus in order to not hear, or at least to order it. As she strained herself to compartmentalize the sounds she focused on what they were and if they were at all important. She heard a mother and child saying good night, a little boy excited about showing his grandparents the ‘A’ on his science report. A couple arguing a few blocks away, a frat party at a bar, or bachelor party, she couldn’t differentiate. Nixi paused, she heard whimpering. It wasn’t far off. It sounded like someone was being pursued.

Nixi didn’t think twice. She jumped the railing and followed the sound. Soon she came upon a scene of three gang bangers, cornering a younger guy and his sister? Nixi couldn’t tell, but she did understand the whimpering. They were scared, and these guys had guns and knives.

“Hey!” She yelled at the three, “How about we even the odds?” The three gang bangers looked back, all they saw was the silhouette of a young woman wearing a hoodie. What they didn’t see was the whip like tail, the toothy grin, or the horns pointed neatly and ready to puncture skin. A few chuckles and one of the guys turned to give her his attention while the other two continued towards the cowering couple. “Really?” Nixi huffed, “Only one? Well, lets make it quick.” as the man advanced towards her, Nixi’s tail whipped around from behind and caused the man to lose his knife. Thanks to the initial shock Nixi was able to rush the man and tackle him with a force he was not expecting. Ramming the wind out of him was just the beginning. She clawed his eyes out and punched his throat in, causing him an inability to make any noise other than a gurgling sound as he tried to get some air. Another slashing with her claws and his jugular was ripped. The man bled out. Nixi picked up the eyes she gouged and threw them at the other two gang bangers. Once they realized what they were the two turned to see their comrade on the ground, bleeding out, and a horned young woman, claws and fangs bared.

“M-M-MONSTER!” One of them stammered. This only served to enrage Nixi. Memories of Kalispher, and her mother’s betrayal flashed in her memory, and the black markings on her skin lit up.

“I am not a monster…” She said quietly. The cowering couple didn’t move, they were far too transfixed on the scene. “I am not a monster…” Her voice was a little louder, and the white pupils of her eyes elongated and narrowed. “I am not a monster…” She growled, her voice getting a little louder again and taking on a menacing edge. The two gang bangers still alive were quaking in their shoes but male bravado and misplaced pride were keeping them grounded, either that or they were just too frightened to move. One of them snapped out of it, lifted his gun, and shot at Nixi.

Everything stopped. Sound stopped, light stopped, everything stopped, everything except the young woman with the horns. As soon as the bullet left the chamber she jumped into action. The bullet hit her right horn, breaking it in half. This didn’t stop Nixi, she jumped a trash heap and landed a kick into the gut of the one who shot her. The gang banger slammed against the wall right next to his would be victims. “I AM NOT A MONSTER!” Nixi raged, a fury of claws and whipping tail slicing and slashing the other. It was just like her fight with Kalispher, the man before her was turning into a standing hamburger statue. Gore went everywhere. When the head fell off though Nixi turned her attention to the last gang banger, still stunned against the wall. She thrust one hand, sharp claws first, into the mans chest. The sound of his ribs snapping and sternum breaking was dwarfed by his screams of panic. He knew he was going to die. What scared him the most was the sounds he heard in those last moments. Not the sounds of his body breaking, the blood rushing out, or the muscles and sinew ripping and shredding, it wasn’t even the sounds of his own screams, it was the sounds of fire, of pain, of death, of silence. The silence was deafening and eternal, it welcomed him.

Nixi stopped, her whole body covered in blood and gore. She looked over at the couple, now scared out of their wits, and spoke quietly, “I am not a monster.”

The couple smiled out of fear and nodded as they slowly inched to the side, away from the bloody pulps and the frightening creature that created them out of once living people. Nixi stood and looked at the two, “I’m not. I am not a monster.” Her voice was almost childlike and sad. She turned away and went to pick up the broken horn. She felt the side, the jagged edge and the exposed bone. She heard the couple make a run for it, the woman screaming in fear and the young man trying to comfort her. She walked back to the hotel room. Once in she went right for the shower. Her clothing was a mess, and the tub soon ran red as the remains and mess washed off her. She sobbed in the shower, sliding down the wall and taking a fetal position as the water ran down her exposed body.

Lou woke up from the sound of the pipes. He slowly got up and saw light under the bathroom door, and drops of blood on the carpet. “Aw shit.” He murmured as he quickly went about packing everything. They didn’t have a whole lot so it didn’t take him long. The bloody clothing Nixi discarded outside the bathroom were placed in a plastic bag and secured in the bottom of Nixi’s pack. The sounds of Nixi’s soft sobbing weren’t lost among the water and pipes. Lou gently knocked on the door. “Lassie?” He said in a gentle voice. He grabbed a towel from the rack outside the bathroom door and opened the door, releasing some of the steam that built up. He hesitantly pulled the curtain away. He wasn’t looking, and he held the towel up. “Best be get’n out soon Lass.” He said in a sympathetic voice. There was a bit of a tug on the towel and Lou let it go and turned his back to Nixi. He heard the water shut off and felt a moist, warm hug from behind.

“Three.” She said in a quiet voice, “There were three.” She clung to Lou, tearing up.

Lou felt helpless at the moment. He knew what she had done, but he also knew it wasn’t really her. That word had become a trigger. It set her off into a fury. So far she hadn’t yet killed anyone unless they were about to attack or had malicious intent towards someone else. He had a feeling though, that unless Nixi could control herself, she may end up hurting someone innocent. “Lass, I told ye I’m ‘ere fer ye. We’ll get through ta’gether.” He patted her hands and slowly led her out of the bathroom.

Before long the two were leaving the motel. In the distance sirens could be heard. They were heading in the direction where Nixi left the bodies. The two continued under the cover of the night. The artificial lights casting an amber glow on everything. They past through the grungier part of town, keeping away from the public, a place where not many meet your gaze.

“So, where are we going?” Nixi asked as she stayed close to Lou.

Lou kept a watchful eye on their surroundings, “Some place at’ll be safe fer a while. Where ye can be yer’self again.” He had been telling her about it for quiet a while. Down near Galveston Texas, along the shore. It was a large building in the off season where they could be safe. Within reason of course. Nixi had never been this far south in her life. Of course she had never really left her little town either. She had asked him to describe it to her as, despite the difficulty she had in understanding him, he had a poetic way of describing things. Nixi enjoyed it.

“A place were the sun sets the ocean on fire and the stars sparkle above and below?” She asked, it was a way to get her mind off the memories of watching, no, killing three people. She was struggling to keep the noises from playing over and over. The first time, her first kill on her own, was Kalispher. At the time she was more than happy to slaughter him. She wanted him to hurt, she wanted to destroy him, she didn’t want anything left of him. Since then there were three others who became unfortunate victims. Now three more would be added to that tally. It started with a would be thief in Arizona, some nameless town they were just passing through. It was during the day time, not many people around. He held the two at gun point and forced them into an abandoned diner, once he saw Nixi’s horns he called her ‘some kind of monster’. Thats when she snapped. Lou couldn’t stop her. He tried to pull her off but only got slashed down his back. Nixi didn’t know about it, and he never told her. Next was in Arizona again, near the New Mexico boarder. It was a drunk man who was harassing a group of young women. Nixi heard it as she and Lou were getting lunch. Lou wasn’t around, he had gone to get the lunch which was an order out. Nixi managed to get the man pulled away from the girl and reduced him to human pulp in an alley way after he knocked her hood off and called her a monster because of her horns and strange appearance. She stumbled into the motel room bloody, and with a few bruises. Apparently drunk men were just as erratic as her own movements and he landed a few good blows. The third was an angry homeless man. The two had just exited a taxi and were heading to a new motel when an angry homeless person came out of no where, mobbing the two for money. One more, like the others before, the word ‘Monster’ was thrown towards Nixi, and she lost it. Now, three more to add to the tally. She sunk her head into Lou’s side and murmured, “I’m becoming a serial murderer.” Quietly, every quietly.

Lou patted her on the head, “Ye’ve done ye best ta keep out a’ trouble. We’ll be in better a’ place ta make a plan. We’ll find a’ safe place. Ye’ll be happy.” He reassured her as he continued leading her down the walkway. It was going to take them another couple days to get to Galveston on foot. Nixi would be happy to be settling somewhere. She didn’t much like all this travel.

It was just beginning to light up in the sky when the two stopped somewhere near Corsicana. They decided to spend the morning hours under an overpass.

The next trek went smoothly, no incidents to speak of, they moved under the cover of dark again and Nixi waited outside in alley ways while Lou grabbed food for the two. It was a strange way to go about things, and it made Nixi feel dirty, like she had something to hide, like a criminal. Regardless the fact all that was true, she did have something to hide, and she was the cause of a string of six murders, she didn’t like the feeling. Lou did his best to console her in those few moments when she started to break down. She really wanted to know what he was hiding, but she still wasn’t going to press it.

The moon was bright in the sky as the two ate in the alley. By now they had made it to Houston. Nixi was exhausted, she had never done a trek like this in her life. Playing around in mountains was one thing, the cities and highways were an entirely different beast to tackle. It wasn’t so much physical exhaustion as it was mental and emotional. She left her whole life behind, in favor of traveling with someone she hadn’t known longer than a few days. Some would call that madness, but then it was extraordinary circumstances.

Lou looked around after finishing his meal. Nixi was slowly working on hers. She didn’t eat fast while on the road, subconsciously she wanted to slow down. There was no going slow with Lou though. He kept pushing Nixi on, forward to the goal, forward to ‘Galveston stronghold’ as he called it. There were times when Nixi swore they were being followed, thus she didn’t harp on him so much when he was pushing her along.

“How the fuck do we lose a demon? He was here, the contact was here.” The PIOA team leader slammed his coffee mug on the counter of the small town diner in frustration. He ran a thick hand through his greasy ash brown hair and grunted his obvious displeasure.

The present three other members looked over at their leader. None had a real answer, and they were waiting on their last teammate to show up. Hopefully the ever late or altogether absent Jester Monroe would have some answers. He was good at finding answers were all the others only dug up more questions. That was one reason the Paranormal Investigators of America added him to their team. The other reason, he was kicked out of a NASA program when he was younger. It wasn’t just that he was kicked out, it was why he was kicked out. He would rant and rave about time anomalies. Cracks and tears in time and space. It got to the point he was threatened with being ruled insane and sent to an asylum to get psychological help. That’s when he met Miss Bythesea, the team’s medium and a well noted Psychologist. She knew there was something special about him, that he was destined for something great. Her brother, Thomas Bythesea, was the team leader. The other two were twins. They worked the ghost hunting equipment. Often nick named Twidele Dee and Twidele Don’t, the brother sister duo joined right out of high school. Neither one having money for college, they only took the job to get some cash to help them get to the state community. As they worked with the team they had a blast, and seemed to do exceedingly well, they decided to choose career in the Paranormal Investigating over college. Twidele Dee, or Jessica Donahue, worked the cameras while her brother Jezek, also known as Twidele Don’t because of his habit of getting into trouble of all sorts, worked the sound systems and recording equipment. Then they had Mr. Monroe. His actual position in the group was still to be determined. He was smart, good with hauling the equipment, great with setting up and clean up, and one hell of a sharpshooter. He had a way of rationalizing anything, and even explaining things that made it easier to understand. This made the clientele happy to hire the team, they could understand what was going on.

As breakfast was being set down on the table in front of them, the last member of PIOA came through the door, red hair in a mess and blocky glasses hanging off an ear. Jester was wild-eyed and excited about something. He found a seat next to the twins and sat down, quickly downing Jezek’s coffee and then straightening his glasses while catching his breath. He was of slightly smaller than average build, but also slightly taller than average. It gave him a slender appearance, and somehow an ability to fit into any space.

“Ya’ll ain’t gonna believe this.” He said with a grin.

Everyone leaned in waiting for the continuation. Jester took a deep breath and continued, “So I went ‘round look’n fer answers like I always do, and I hit the mother load!” He paused and looked at the table. Once again they ordered without him but that didn’t much matter after all as he was going to rush them out. “Damnit ya’ll didn’t even get me toast? Well hurry up, we ain’t got a moment a’lose. Hurry!”

Everyone groaned. They knew that with Jester in this mood, they would have to eat on the go again. He had a way of pushing people along.

Jester led the group to a warehouse out of the way and in an area people didn’t seem to go around. He kept talking about something, no one was really listening as they were too hungry. However, as they got out, or rather as Jester hauled them out, pushing them to the warehouse innards, they lost their appetite.

“There’s yer’ demon!” He said excitedly as they started at the decomposing mess of what was once a body. “I was digg’n ‘round trying to find out anything strange. Well I met the contact, poor kid deteriorated back to his o’rigonal mentality since the demon presents is gone. He was somewhat coherent and from what he told me I was able to piece things ta’gether. I met a woman who’s house burned down, apparently she has a daughter, or had a daughter who worked at the local grocery store. That girl ‘died’ after pass’n out. I went to the hospital where she was sent to and met a PhD. Bolfruss. A couple illegal moves later I picked up this!” He showed them a progression of pictures. The first was a young woman, normal looking. She had light auburn hair, hazel eyes, fair skin. Normal. The next picture had a young woman, similar facial structure but stark white skin and she was bald. The picture next showed the same girl, a black lining around her eyes, black striping like filigree along the eyes to the jaw bone and along her neck, jet black hair covering her ears, and what looked like sharp teeth poking through black lips. The last picture featured the same girl, it looked like boney masses growing out either side of her head, the whites of the eyes looked like they were becoming black, the teeth were sharper and more defined, even the black markings seemed more defined on her. None of the pictures showed anything below her neck, but the group got a pretty good ID from those pictures. They were all of the same young woman.

Thomas and his sister stared at the pictures. “What do you make of it Cas?” Thomas asked.

“Just like grandpa’s demon. Of course he would awaken another beast.” The two quietly spoke to each other.

“That ain’t all!” Jester said excitedly.

The group looked over at him.

“Oh god, please don’t tell me you met IT.” Jessica groaned.

Jester didn’t pay attention to her, “There’s a slew of bodies just like this one! The latest was found last night in Texas! Home sweet home.” No wonder the man was so excited. Texas was his home. He was born and raised in Houston on a ranch. Attended HCC and later Texas A&M. He practically bled Texas. Since joining the team though he hadn’t seen his home in five years. The demon they had been contracted to exorcise from the land of the living seemed to be leading them to Texas.

“I think the Armani suit man tried to possess the girl but botched it up and is revealing his true appearance.” Jester added.

Thomas shook his head, “No, this is worse.” The group looked to their leader hoping he would explain what he meant by ‘worse’.

“Our grandfather was trailing a demon like the Armani suit man. The demon had a contact, and found a vessel near death. He used that vessel to awaken what is known as ‘The Beast’. A monster who, once fully awakened, is used as a willing sacrifice to bring about an apocalypse. Not the apocalypse, but one.” He added.

“Just one strange thing though,” Miss Bythesea pipped up as she examined the decomposing pulp, “This is the host body of the demon, it was destroyed by the Beast vessel in a way only an awakened beast could do.” She looked over at her brother, confusion apparent on her expression, “She is awakened, but her human soul is completely intact.”

“What’s that mean?” Jezek asked.

Thomas looked at his sister, then to the gore, and then the rest of his team, “It means Armani messed up and chose a warrior when he wanted a peon.”

The twins still looked confused.

“He gave unimaginable power to someone who’s soul couldn’t be consumed by the dark. Someone fearless.” Jester had a habit of posing a question as a statement. However his statement was correct. “Hi-ho Texas!” He added as he happily headed to the PIOA mini-bus.

The first thing Nixi did when Lou led her into the concrete building was fall against a wall and cry. It wasn’t that she was really upset, she was happy to be in a place where Lou assured her, she would be safe. Most of the shops had closed for the season, and the sandy coast of the gulf were just outside. She could hear the waves slapping against the dirty sandy shoreline. It was perfect. Lou set up a couple cots and set the bags down. He walked over to Nixi and smiled down at her, “We’re here.” He said as he slid to a seated position next to her.

Nixi leaned over on him and sighed in relief. “I’m scared Lou. How can I be fearless like you?” She asked.

“Fearless doesn’t mean being without any fear. It means knowing how to handle that fear.” Lou put an arm around Nixi’s shoulders and held her protectively, “Lass, ye are one of tha most fearless I’ve ever known.”

Hey everyone! Part two here, hope you all enjoy. Yours in angsty gore, J. Nyte

Part one, Chapter four (Part one conclusion)

‘Trust Me’

“How touching too, the dear son came to rescue the little monster.”

The sun rose lazily in the sky, and Nixi felt like she had been hit by a truck. She groaned loudly as she picked herself up from where she had been sleeping. It took her a little time before her eyes adjusted to the alien territory she was in. It looked like a frat house. Trash everywhere, mostly pizza boxes, soup cans, beer cans, and was that wine boxes in the corner? It was awful. There were stains of undeterminable origin on the walls and concrete flooring. She didn’t want to look at the couch she was on in fear that it was as moshed in color due to stains as a few spots on the floor. She looked around for anything that was recognizable. She had never been their before, despite the awful condition, it felt comfortable.

“Ah lassie! Ye’r up. I got breakfast ready ‘fer ye!” Lou appeared around a corner with a tray holding a large plate of bacon and toast and coffee. He set it down next to Nixi and made himself a make-shift seat with a trash can. “Ye feelin’ better lass?” He asked, not as much gusto in his voice as when he noticed she was awake. Nixi nodded and took a sip of the coffee. It tasted like filtered dirt.

“I’m good, thanks. A little sore. Was I here all night?” She asked as she rubbed her throbbing head.

“Ya, I was casing a neighborhood for a squatter as a few people are out on vacation in that neighborhood, and I ‘eard a skirmish go’n down.” he snagged a piece of bacon and munched on it, “‘Ope ye don’ mind beef bacon. I like it.”

“Beef bacon?”

“Ya, an don’ go say’n ‘Ah yer one ah those anti-pork laddies eh?’ I eat what I like, ‘an I like beef bacon.”

“Tastes like soy.” Nixi took a few nibbles from the strip of bacon and looked at Lou.

“Blasphemous lassie, no bacon for you.” He removed the pieces of bacon, leaving Nixi with just the toast. This didn’t upset her as she didn’t like the bacon at all. The toast was good enough for her. She decided it would be best to have something on her stomach before addressing the elephant in the room. There was, in that respect, no rush to finish the dirt coffee, or the reasonably decent toast. Lou seemed to catch on and didn’t rush. Besides, he seemed to be enjoying that awful beef bacon.

“So,” Lou began as he picked up the tray and set it on the ground. “I do work as a night watch for ah’ couple ah neighborhoods. Some outsource company er something. I won’ bore ye with details. Bottom line, ye’r lucky I was on watch.”

Nixi had a sinking feeling in her gut, the same kind she got when she was a child and was sent to principles office, or had to face punishment for doing something wrong like throwing a ball into a window. She nodded in understanding that yeah, it was probably time to talk. “Yeah, about last night, is she okay?”

“Mrs. Crowley? She’s skipped town. Yer wounds are defensive. Any doctor c’n see it. If they don’t heal a’fore a check out.” He pointed out that Nixi’s arm lacerations looked little more than strange bruises. “Ye don’ gotta worry about it though. Mrs. Crowley couldn’t see a way outta it and took off. By her own will.”

“How does she, er, how did she look?”

“Like a lose’n fighter from UFC! Ah, ye whipped ‘er up good with dat tail ah’ yers!” He seemed genuinely excited for just a moment before calming down, “She looked like shit.” He said in a more somber tone.

Nixi nodded, “Tail, yeah…I have a tail now huh?” She could feel the emotion rising in her and did her best to cool down. Yet another strange something going on that she’d get to report to her doctor. Though, if frantic memory served correctly, didn’t the tail get sliced off? Or at least shortened? Her tail flicked out from under the blanket that only covered her lap. It looked fine, like a complete tail. It reminded her of a white rat tail. This didn’t help her emotional turmoil. Lou picked up on the situation and placed a hand comfortingly on Nixi’s. He smiled lightly and spoke again, “Don’ worry lass, yer fine. Yer a mess right now, but I’m sure things’ll work out fer ye.” He added a wink.

Nixi nodded, “Thank you. So, she’s not gonna press charges? How can you be sure?”

“Ah trust me, she’s gone from yer life ferver.” He stood and took the tray back to the kitchen, “Ye need ta call yer mum by the way. Lady lit up yer phone until the battery gon’ dead.”

At that revelation Nixi looked down at her phone to see it was indeed dead and laying next to the couch. Her mother was probably freaking out and about to call the cops or something. Her attention was brought back to Lou as he held a phone in front of her, “‘Ere lass, use mine.” She took the phone and dialed the number to the new apartment, almost messing up and about to dial her old home phone. There was a couple rings and her mom answered, “Hello?” Came the voice. She sounded raspy as she did when she was up all night.

“Hey mom, it’s me. I-I hope you’re not too worried. I sorta blacked out at the park and woke up…just now. Borrowing a phone from a person.” She said, unsure of her own explanation.

There was a burst of joy and relief on the other end as her mother started to sob, happy that her daughter was still alive.

“I’ll be home shortly mom.”

Nixi headed out the door, followed by Lou who insisted to escort her back as it was on the way to his next job.

“Hey Lou,” Nixi began, garnering a rather goofy grin from Lou, “Your accent, it’s pretty…unique. What is your ethnicity?”

Lou chuckled, “Me dad’s a cowboy from Texas, he an me mum raised me in Ireland, Drogheda near the Irish sea. So I went to school with a lot o’ lads ’n lassies who spoke Irish, a very prodigious school, then I went home to a dad who had ah Texas accent so thick me own mum had trouble understand’n ‘em.” He sounded like he was hiding something, but then how many people poured out their whole life story to someone they met just a day before? Not many people unless they were unhappy with their life.

The explanation sounded good, she picked up a few southern hints along with some other hints from across the sea. It was unique, and slightly annoying. “So, is your mom Irish?”

“Nah, mum’s from the states. West side, small town.” Lou replied. He had a distant smile on his face. That smile was infectious. Nixi found that smile rather attractive, and soon she felt herself feel comfortable and carefree, smiling again. This made the walk in company well worth it. She felt genuinely happy, and she hadn’t felt that way in a long time.

Lou and Nixi took their separate ways a few blocks from Nixi’s apartment complex. She headed into the place with a smile.

Once inside her mother greeted her with a tight hug, “I was so worried Nixi, with all thats going on and…and…” She was lost in a sweep of emotion and stress. Nixi held her mom for some time, still smiling, still with the lasting essence of joy and not willing to let that go.

Nixi spent the day with her mother, just talking and hanging out together. A time of healing and clearing the air as it was. Nixi hoped that everyday from here on out would be better than the last, though she had a sinking suspicion that it was only going to get worse before it really would get better permanently.

“Good morning Nixi, wake up, you have company.” Mrs. Drestien cooed as she stroked Nixi’s cheek.

Nixi slowly opened her eyes and looked at her mom. “Company?” Nixi was hoping that it was Lou, dreading it was Kalispher, and confused actually as to who it really was. She stood and tried to pull a hoodie over her head. “uhhg! Why isn’t this working?!” she grunted as her mom tried to help. It was in vane, and she tore it off and felt her head. Those horns had taken more shape again, grown out to six inches and very obvious. “Great, I’m goat girl.” She said in a grunt. Her hands followed the curve of the horns, from the base at her skull, to the tips, six inches from her chin. The black horns almost looked like a bad hair style, with her hair messy and slightly tangled around them.

“Maybe we can get them sawed off?” Her mom was trying to be a bit of a comfort. It wasn’t helping and the two knew it.

Rolling her eyes in defeat, Nixi pulled a hooded zip up from her closet and pulled the draw strings so only her face was showing. “I look like a balloon head, don’t I?” Her mother nodded. Nixi sighed and put on the best brave face she could muster.

Mrs. Drestien and Nixi went to greet the guest that had come to visit. It was Aaron and his sister. Nixi really didn’t want to entertain Aaron, not after that last time they spoke, his words still sent a chill down her spine. However she didn’t want to appear rude either. The two of them went to the room Nixi was using while Mrs. Drestien and Aaron’s sister had coffee in the kitchenette.

“I hope I didn’t upset you.” Aaron broke the uneasy silence. Even if Aaron didn’t notice the tension, Nixi felt that it could easily be cut with a knife.

“You did sorta shake me up there. Who told you I was fire proof?” She asked as she hopped onto her bed, leaving the old swivel chair for Aaron to take.

“What? What do you mean?”

“The last time we spoke, when you left you said ‘That man in the Armani suit said you were fire proof’, who is that man in the Armani suit?”

Aaron looked at Nixi, confused as if he had never heard of such words before. Aaron had an amazing recall ability. His memory was easily accessible to him whether it was one hour ago, or ten years ago. He could recite monologues verbatim that he had only seen once. A simple phrase as that would be something he could recall, and that look he gave Nixi now was sending even more chills down her spine. She knew she didn’t hallucinate it, or dream it. She knew it had happened, and it was Aaron who spoke it. She shifted in her seat uncomfortably, “Does the name Kalispher mean anything to you?” There it was. Nixi saw a change in Aaron’s eyes. It was slight anyone not paying attention would have missed it, but Aaron’s eyes became a shade lighter. He nodded though, he did know that name. He knew that person. He knew that devil.

“How long has he had an influence on you?” She pressed.

Aaron was quiet for a bit and then spoke, “I’ve always known him. He keeps things from my memory, but his name acts as a trigger. Sometimes he lets me remember, only to have it blocked later on. I-I” His eyes welled up with tears. This was unusual for Aaron to show this much emotion in anything, “I think I’m the reason you’re like this. I’m so sorry Nixi. I’m so sorry!” He said as he looked at the floor, refusing to bring his head up in fear he might catch her gaze.

This was an interesting turn of events. Kalispher had said that Aaron was a beacon, but, why would Aaron think that he was responsible for what Nixi had become? Did he directly tell Kalispher to change her? No, he couldn’t have. Aaron was afraid of anything with horns, even some reptiles. He wouldn’t have wanted any of this to happen to Nixi. “Hey,” She said to him, “Don’t be like that, I know you didn’t have anything to do with this. We’re just part of something unfortunate. We got cursed by a devil, we need to stick together, fend him off. Don’t be upset Aaron, you didn’t do this to me.” Her voice was the best comforting tone she could get to. It wasn’t the most convincing. but it must have done something as Aaron looked up, red rimmed eyes and a messy nose. Nixi chuckled and grabbed a tissue off the window sill, handing it to Aaron to wipe himself off, and stretching her legs. So this Kalispher did have influence over Aaron. It broke Nixi’s heart to know this. She had been avoiding Aaron under the pretense that he was in league with Kalispher, only to find out now that he was a victim like she was. All this time she could have been learning more about Aaron’s involvement and working on a way to rid themselves of the devil Kalispher, instead she had been keeping her distance.

“We’ll get through this. We’ll find a way to get that beast out of our lives.” She said as she watched Aaron wipe himself off and toss the tissue away. He nodded, sniffling a bit but soon recomposing himself.

The two grinned, as if things were getting back to normal. “So, besides big hair, anything new Nixi?” Aaron asked.

Big hair? Nixi’s nose wrinkled in confusion and she brought her hands to either side of her head and laughed. “Hair? No, this is something else, I’d better not take the hood off though, don’t wanna freak you out.” She chuckled again and thought about it, “Well, yeah, there is something. I made a new friend. His name is Lou, he said he’s new in town and came to help his mother out. He’s nice, different, sorta emo looking with that perfect black hair and skinny ripped jeans but, he’s okay. Can’t understand him too well with that crazy Irish-Texan accent.”

Aaron nodded. He hadn’t seen or heard anyone fitting that description, but then he didn’t get out a whole lot. Aaron liked his schedule, he liked things the same every day. He didn’t like to change his routine, not unless it was absolutely necessary, or if it was to visit a close friend like Nixi, whom he hadn’t seen or heard from in a while.

“Lou? Who is his mother? Maybe she shops at Sailor’s?” Aaron said.

Nixi thought about it. It never occurred to her to ask who Lou’s mother was. She knew almost everyone in town so she probably did know Lou’s mother. However she didn’t know of anyone with an Irish accent, or anyone with as strong a southern draw. She made a mental note that she’d ask him who his mother was next time she saw Lou. For now though, she was with Aaron, and the two had some chatting to do.

It was nice to entertain company. Though it was back to just Nixi and her mother. They cleaned up and headed to bed. It was a nice clear night, and the two felt better about going to bed after the day they had. Life was beginning to come back in a positive way, it was good for Mrs. Drestien, and that made Nixi happy. With the new day she would be contacting the doctor, and informing him on the newest addition to her strange condition. Oh how she didn’t look forward to that conversation with him.

Nixi woke up to a loud crash outside her window. She jolted up and opened the window. Looking out she saw nothing, then looked down and saw Lou, with a few branches and twigs around him. “Aw fuck!” he said as he slowly picked himself up and rubbed his back. This made Nixi giggle. “Wait there.” She said in sort of a whispered shout. Nixi jumped out of bed and donned her jacket and the jeans she had from the day before. Soon she was out the door, locked it behind her, and headed down to meet up with Lou. In the limited light of the moon she found it fairly easy to see. Lou though had a mag light which could easily double as a billy club, and a back pack with who knew what inside. He shook some twigs from his hair and smiled when he saw Nixi in her gray zip up, hood covering the horns and strands of black locks shining through. He pressed a finger to his lips in a shush motion as he noticed that Nixi was about to say something. She nodded her understanding and watched Lou for instruction. He took her hand and headed out of the apartment complex. Nixi didn’t know what he was up to, but she felt at ease with Lou, she trusted him completely. Soon the two were heading to the outskirts of the town, up the main hiking area. Lou finally stopped when the two were at the top of a hill that over looked the town. It was strange. Normally a walk and hike like that would have taken a long time, however it seemed like just a few steps with Lou. The two sat down and Lou unpacked what looked like a camping version of a chemistry class bunsen burner, two cans of soup, and a six pack of cola. “Hungry?” He asked. as he set the burner up and put a can of soup on.

Nixi shook her head, “No thanks, though I’d love a coke if you don’t mind.” He tossed her a can and opened one up for himself. “So, why are we here?” She asked and took a drink of her cola.

Lou sighed and leaned back, propping himself up on his left arm, “Me mum told me ‘bout this place. Ye c’n see ferver when ye look out. There ain’t ah herizon out there it seems. A trick o’ the eyes they say.” He looked outwards. It did look like there was no horizon, like a big thing of water surrounding them. Or the night sky just didn’t end. Whatever it was, the scene was beautiful. Nixi used to come here when she was younger, just to get away from things when life felt like it was cornering her. How did it not occur to her to come here lately? This place helped her to clear her mind. It cleared up so much for her, just being there. “Thank you.” She said as she stared out.  She leaned back and stared out. Things seemed to be falling into place. After finishing off her coke she let herself slide down to a laying position, just staring up at the clear sky. She smiled wider as she smelled tomato soup heated up. Tomato was her favorite, apparently Lou liked it too.

With every breath she felt herself come to terms with herself, and what she was becoming. “How the hell do you do it?” She asked, breaking the silence. “How is it that I feel so comfortable with you? I’m able to break down, to heal, to be myself with you. How do you do it?”

Lou finished off his soup and tossed the can into the darkness. He laid himself down near Nixi and looked up at the same starry night sky. “No fear.” He replied, “I honestly don’t fear da unknown. Darkness don’t scare me, death don’t scare me, I don’t have fears dat make no sense. What I fear is los’n me ability ta love.” He turned to look at Nixi, who was still staring up into the void of space, speckled with little white, blue, red, and orange lights twinkling about. “It sets me apart, it’s da one thin’ good I got from me dad.”

Nixi smiled, “Thats cool. Sounds like a smart guy. How do you know you’re fearless?”

Lou shrugged, “I c’nt esplain it. Its somth’n ye goat feel fer yerself.” With that he rolled up and started to pac his stuff up. Nixi remained were she was at, “Leaving so soon?” There was a hint of sadness in her voice as she asked.

Lou sighed and ran a hand through his hair, “Aye,” he replied.

“You need to get back to your mom?”

Lou didn’t say anything, only let out another sigh, a little more exacerbated. “Best be on me way. Find me at da park by tha’ library ta’merrow.” With that he headed away, leaving Nixi there, alone.

“She’s getting a little too close eh sonny-boy?” A voice, dripping with confidence and grotesque pride. A man in a dark suit leaning against a large tree near the base of the hill, light colored eyes nearly glowing in the night, stared at Lou as he came into view.

Lou looked at the man, his own eyes flaring in a darkened rage, “Ye good fer nuthin’ bastard. Stay away from ‘er.”

Kalispher only chuckled, “She’s a stunning creature that one. Progressed faster than I had expected. I guess Aaron’s stunt with the fire worked.”

Lou grabbed Kalispher by the collar and slammed him harder against the tree he was leaning against. “Bastard! Bastaird fan amach*!” (*Bastard! Stay away!) He hissed.

Kalispher only grinned, “Child, you should watch that tongue of yours. Wouldn’t want to upset dear ol’ mum now would we? Run along home sonny-boy.”

Lou’s hands released their grip and he took a staggered step backward. He couldn’t make a noise, an invisible force pushing him away. The last thing he saw as he turned by force to head home was Kalispher walking up the hill like a king would walk through his throne chambers.

Nixi heard footsteps approaching on the path. Her eyes where closed and she smiled, “Decided to come back and keep me company a bit longer?”

Kalispher stood over her and looked down, “Come back? I’ve never left you.”

Nixi’s eyes shot open and she looked up. When she saw the man standing over her, and those bright glowing eyes, she quickly got to her feet and glared. “You ass, what are you doing here? Where’s Lou?!”

“Lou? Oh the kid that just left? He’s fine, just going back home. Now, there’s a lot of animosity between us, I really don’t want this…this…” He thought for a moment, “Let me start over, clear this bad air between us.” As he spoke he moved closer to Nixi. Soon, before she knew it, he had her around the waist, holding her close. “My dear Nyx-Irene,” he began, which surprised Nixi, only her parents knew her name was Nyx-Irene. The shock was short lived as she was reminded, he was a demon creature. Of course he’d know her name. “Kalispher,” She began but was cut-off, “Ah you finally said my name out loud, see? We’re making progress.”

Nixi pushed his head away, “Kalispher, I find you detestable. You’re an asshole, a bastard freak of nature whose only fitting place is the innermost circles of hell being tortured by the god of lies himself. You’re evil, you’re not to be trusted, and I’d rather watch myself eaten alive by flies than be near you.”

Kalispher laughed, “You certainly have a vivd imagination. Tell me, why do you hate me so?”

“You turned me into a freak!”

“There had to be a condition in order for you to return to the world of flesh, one dominated by my boss.”

“You burned my house and you’ve been using Aaron by blocking his memory and making him do things he’s not aware of.”

“I didn’t burn your house, a human did. I’ve never used Aaron against his will, he can access his memory any time he wants. Perhaps you’ve been lied to?”

“You sent me to kill Mrs. Crowley.”

“I did not. She just happen to be a hunter. I was, in a sense, showing you that there are people out there who judge by appearance. See, you’re not a creature of evil, I know this. You’re not normal, and that scares others. It’s that normal person you need to be wary of. Besides, she’s out of the picture and you’re not hurt.”

Nixi groaned, this guy was going to just turn everything around. Why should she argue? It was proving to be pointless. He was good for nothing, and she knew it, she just had to find a way to get away from him.

“Truth is,” Kalispher began again, “There are probably only two people around now who do’t want to destroy you entirely. One of them is holding a lot of important information from you, the other is me.”

“What are you talking about?”

Kalispher sported a malicious grin, “Come with me.” He took a step away from Nixi but held out a hand to her, “You want to know who your enemies are? Take my hand, trust me.”

For once, he sounded genuine, and not in a haughty way, but like he really ad her best interest in mind. Despite her gut telling her ‘NO’ she took his hand and felt the world melt away. In the distance she thought she heard someone yell ‘Mom!’

The area was dark, not a normal dark. It was a darkness she could feel pressing in from everywhere. If she didn’t have Kalispher’s hand in hers she would have felt completely lost. There was a glow in the distance and soon she could see Kalispher take form, leading her along through the darkness step by step. She slowed in pace when she realized where they were going, and what that glow was. It was her old house. She looked at Kalispher, confusion apparent on her face. Kalispher looked back, a blank expression on his face, eyes covered once more by sunglasses. She wondered briefly how they suddenly appeared but then, here he was leading her to a house that burned down.

“While you were in the hospital,” He began, “Aaron and his sister were watching the house. Your mother called them, let’s listen in shall we?” Without a decent transition, both Kalispher and Nixi were inside the house. It made Nixi a little on the nauseous.

“Yeah, the house is fine. Aaron’s wanting to know how Nixi’s doing.” It was Aaron’s sister. The two were in the kitchen with Nixi’s mom on speaker phone.

There was a pause, a sob, and the sound of Nixi’s mom trying hard not to cry as she spoke, “It’s not her. I don’t know what it is but it’s not my Nyx. It’s not her, my baby girl died, she died! Whatever it is, whatever is there, it’s some kind of monster. Oh god, it shouldn’t be here. It should be dead.”

The words cut Nixi unlike anything ever could, or ever would. It was her mother, her own mother calling her a monster. She felt tears stinging her eyes but she refused to cry, not in front of Kalispher.

“Aaron never told you about this phone call. There’s another few things he’s not telling you.”

There was another sickening transition, or lack there of, and the two were standing in a music classroom. Also inside the classroom was Mrs. Crowley, and Aaron.

“What?” Nixi was completely confused.

Aaron was pushing an broom around while Mrs. Crowley was doing paperwork at a desk. “So she’s been killed by the same demon that you’ve been talking to? The one who you thought was helping you?” Mrs. Crowley’s voice was calm and sweet with a razor edge to it.

Aaron nodded, “Y-yes Miss Crowley. Her own mother said she was a monster.”

“She has the gene…” Mrs. Crowley quietly murmured. She stood and walked up to Aaron, setting her hands gently on his shoulders. “She was chosen, we need to be sure she is exterminated and there can never be any like her again. It’s what I’ve told you about, she’s the one for this generation.” She turned Aaron around and held him at arms length, “Can I trust you to do what needs to be done?” At her question Aaron nodded.

Another sickening transition and the two, Nixi and Kalispher, were back at her house. It was night, and someone was sneaking around the back. It smelled like kerosene, and gasoline was all around. A match was lit and the light silhouetted Aaron. Nixi’s stomach dropped. “No…” She whispered and watched at the match was dropped and the whole area lit up. It wasn’t over though. Aaron pulled a phone from his pocket, “It’s been lit, I’m sure it will kill them. You’re sure it won’t come back to me? Thank you Miss Crowley.”

Nixi’s hands covered her mouth. She stifled a scream. Aaron started the fire, he was working with Mrs. Crowley. Her mother thought of her as a monster.

Another place, in the kitchenette of where Nixi and her mother were staying. It was Nixi’s mother and Aaron’s older sister talking.

“I just don’t know what to do. My husbands gone, I don’t have a real daughter anymore. I’m living with a demon.” It was her mother.

“It can’t be that bad.” Aaron’s sister cooed.

Mrs. Drestien set her cup down, “She has horns.” She managed out, “She has horns like a beast. I don’t know what to do. It’s harder and harder to be around her with each passing day. I’ve tried to accept it, I’ve tried so hard but I can’t. I just can’t do it. Just last night I-“ She couldn’t finish what she wanted to say.

The two where now in a dark room, a circle of candles in the middle served as the only light. Kalispher led Nixi to the circle, holding her hands in his own. “You see, you are sorely lacking in friends and allies.” He let her go as she stood in the middle of the circle. He walked around behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer.

“I only have your best interest…” As he spoke she felt the burn again, this time though, it didn’t hurt like it had before. This time it felt like a comfort. “I want to see you succeed.” He said again, and this time she heard a screaming. The screaming of death, thousands of voices so deafening it was a wonder she still heard Kalispher’s voice. “Do you trust me?” He asked, his voice taking on a malicious note.

Nixi closed her eyes as tight as she could. Her arms wrapped around herself and her tail curled around her waist, avoiding Kalispher’s grip. She held her breath, “I trust you.” She said, a shakiness in her voice as her whole body was visibly trembling despite her attempts to show no fear.

“You have no choice. Not any more.” The man replied in a voice dripping with confidence, and grotesque pride.

Her eyes opened wide, revealing the change was complete, she was complete. “I trust you, to go to hell.” She quickly turned in the circle to face Kalispher, black eyes with a single slit of white narrowing on his own eyes, despite vein hidden behind shades. Their eyes complete opposites of each other.

Nixi’s claws lashed out in a fury she didn’t recognize. She wasn’t playing defense this time as she had with Mrs. Crowley. No, this time she was hurting, and she wanted to use that pain to destroy Kalispher. Full of hurt and rage she sent out a barrage of blind strikes, hoping they would land and cause pain. She hissed, and slashed, and threw punches here and there. Kalispher was able to dodge some, but not all, not at the speed she was sending them. His human body wasn’t as lithe as he had hoped despite the years of conditioning. Of course, he was also surprised at the ferocity of the attacks. Yes her physical change was complete, but it would take so much more for her to channel the darkness. At least, it should have taken longer for her to tap into this much anyway. Neither though could escape the circle of candles. Kalispher didn’t have the time to work his black magic, and Nixi was in a trance of pure hate and pain to even concentrate on it. Fire began to dance around Nixi, a bioluminescent glow seems to pulse through the black marking all over her body. She wasn’t stopping, and all Kalispher could do was dodge. She was too erratic in movements for him to predict anything. The saying was true, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Left and right, and the tail too, she was slowly turning Kalispher into bloody hamburger. Enraged himself Kalispher shouted “Enough!” It was enough to throw Nixi back and stun her for a moment, and that was all the demon needed to make free himself from the fleshy bond that was the human body. A black fog misted away, as Nixi, still in a frenzy, tore the human form apart limb from limb. Bones cracked, sinew snapped away, muscle and gore were strewn everywhere. Nixi kept repeating ‘I am not a monster! I am not a monster!’ as she crushed, and tore, and ripped the body to pieces.

She collapsed in exhaustion, a mixture of maniacal laughter and sobs escaped her as she seemed to roll in the gore. The light of the candles went out. A dark shadow lurked from above, staring down with seething rage. “I rather fancied that body…” It disappeared into the night.

The sound of metal on metal grinding and squealing echoed through the room. A small light found it’s way onto Nixi, it opened into a large column of artificial light mixed with starlight. Hurried footsteps took up the echoes as the metallic screeching died down. A slide, and a thump as someone hit the ground slipping on the gore caused Nixi’s eyes to flutter slightly. She turned her head to see Lou.

“Oh me gawd, Nyx, Nyx stay with me!” He started wiping gore from Nixi’s cheek, “What did that bastard do to you? Heaven uilechumhachtach, ná lig di bás!” (Heaven almighty don’t let her die)

“I’m not injured.” She grunted, “Just tired.” She looked up at Lou, the white slits in her eyes expanding and rounding out. “What are you not telling me?”

Lou looked at her quizzically.

“He may be a fucking rat bastard, but Kalispher hasn’t lied yet, nor hid anything when I asked. What are you not telling me?”

With a sigh, Lou picked Nixi up and held her bridal style, “I can’t tell ye.”

“Why not?”

“Ye told me not to.”

Part one, Chapter three

‘Apple cider and Friendship’

“I guess he was right then? You were fireproof, and your skin choked the fire…”

Another month had passed. Nixi didn’t feel like having any visitors since that last good bye with Aaron. She knew she had seen someone with Kalispher when the house burned down, she just knew it. She just couldn’t see how it would be possible that it would have been Aaron. Sure the one beside Kalispher had light hair but it looked more reddish. Maybe that was the fire? It was too hard to tell. That didn’t stop her from having terrible nightmares about it though. The worst yet was the marionette dream. She was tied to strings, all being controlled by Kalispher, and in the audience a faceless young man with vibrant red hair. It was driving her to sleepless nights.

On the bright side, her mother was doing much better. She was beginning to wake up now. Her body wasn’t badly burned, but her lungs were in terrible condition still. She inhaled a lot of smoke during the fire. Insurance people came around, lawyers and the like. It was like word got out that the widow was waking up. It took quiet a bit of effort from mother, daughter, and medical staff, to get through the rigamarole of insurance, media, and lawyers. They needed to get things in order, yes, but it seemed no one besides the medical staff and Nixi wanted to give Mrs. Drestien time to mourn the loss of her husband. It was rough, It would be just the two of them, and Nixi still had no idea what was going on with her own body. It was one thing to be going through a metamorphosis of sorts, but an entirely new monster going through it while going through the loss of someone so close in one’s life. She and her mom had each other to comfort and console. It was going to take a lot of work, understanding, and long-suffering to get through it all.

Soon after getting a lot of the legal affairs in order, Nixi and her mother moved into an apartment. The homeowners insurance would clear for another house to be built on their family property, Mrs. Drestien didn’t want to move from the property since it had been in her late husband’s family for over two hundred years. They had been among some of the first settlers to arrive to the land. Who was she to take that inheritance from Nixi, or her future grandchildren? The two Drestien ladies would be living in a small apartment until everything was set back up. As for the funeral of Mr. Drestien, that would be held within the week. Most of the time was spent either sobbing, or reminiscing.

There wasn’t many left on the Drestien side of the family. Mr. Drestien was the youngest and last remaining male of his family. His parents had passed on years ago, along with his older two brothers, and one of their wives. The other had remarried, neither of the older brothers had a male heir, just a daughter each. Nixi’s cousins were too busy with their own life and couldn’t make it, however her aunt managed to come. On Nixi’s mother’s side, her grandfather came down from Canada to support his daughter in her loss, as did her younger brother and his young family. Of course Nixi’s uncle was only two towns away. They had planned on getting down sooner but they had their own issues to deal with.

The funeral came and went, as did the relatives. It was still all surreal to Nixi and her mom. She was just waiting to wake up and find it was all just a terrible dream. She’d be in her cozy bed down in the basement apartment and everything would be alright. She would get dressed and then head to work. It would be the same, uneventful, boring life she had always known. No weird body changes, no burnt house, no missing father. Everything would be the dull normality she was used to. This of course was no dream. This was her new reality.

Nixi didn’t go back to work, and her mother spent most of the time inside the apartment trying to move on. She still had some paperwork to do, and the details with the new house being built. This gave Nixi the job of being the one to keep the apartment stocked with food and other necessities. She also took this time to go to the park, or the library. She’d go anywhere to get out of her own head and try to focus on where she was going to go from there. The boney masses on the side of her head were beginning to take a cone like shape now, and so she wore a hoodie to cover it. Her eyes too seemed to be getting a black ring on the outside of the whites, so she donned a pair of sunglasses so no one would comment on it. A few more black stripes appeared following her ribs from her spine, and little spirals and curved lines seemed to decorate like a filigree from these main black stripes. It was enough to keep Nixi from ever wanting to look in a mirror. She would keep in contact with the doctor, web chats, weekly visits, and phone calls. She had just finished up a web session with PhD. Bolfruss when she headed out to the park now. She found her usual spot at a lunch table under a large birch tree and pulled out a book to read.

Lazily laying up in the tree was a young man who, for the past several days, had been watching Nixi when she showed up. It was like clock work. She would show up, and he would begin to eat from an apple while listening to something through his earbuds and trying to drown out a voice dripping with grotesque pride, a voice that tried to influence the young man to do its bidding. For now he looked down and saw Nixi, right on time. From his coat pocket he pulled out a red delicious and started munching. Then his phone decided to cut out on the music. He went to pulled it out of his pocket to fix it but only managed to have it slip from his hands. A few fumbles later and he fell from the tree completely, right onto the table in front of Nixi.

“Aw fuck!” He said as he rolled over to his side then off the table. Nixi stood and leaned over from where she had been sitting and watched the young man slowly rise up. He rubbed the top of his head and his lower back. With a quick shake to dust himself off he looked at Nixi. Emerald green eyes staring at sunglass covered pale eyes for a moment. “Well lass, what ahr ye look’n at eh?” he asked, a slight cynicism in his tone.

“Huh?” Nixi let slip slightly confused but then snapping back to reality, “Me? What the hell are you doing up in a birch tree? Wait, wait, are you alright? How far did you fall?” She asked, quickly admiring his shiny black hair for some odd reason. It looked almost too perfect to be real.

Those emerald eyes looked at the ground for a moment then around the area, scanning for where the phone was. “I come out ‘ere a lot. Nature. Right at da moment though, I lost me phone.” He grumbled, still searching the area.

Nixi looked up in the tree. She saw where he probably had been resting, the lowest branch large enough to maintain human weight. It was still a ways up there, and there were a few snapped twigs and branches in the line from which he had fallen. There nestled in the crevice between a couple twigs and a small branch was what looked like a phone with ear buds attached. “Up there.” She said pointing.

The young man looked up to where Nixi was pointed and grinned slightly, “Aye, good lass.” He said as he gingerly got on the table, reached up, and grabbed the phone. “So, ye’ve coming out ‘ere a lot lately eh lass?” He posed the observation in the form of a question.

“Yeah, I have.” Nixi replied.

The young man nodded, “Ya, been seeing a lot o’ ye ‘round this part.”

Nixi didn’t recognize him. She pretty much knew everyone in this town, and barely anyone had as thick an accent as this guy. “Who are you?” She asked.

He looked at her with a perplexed look. It was just for a moment, as if he was surprised she didn’t know him, then a look of ‘oh yeah’ washed over him, “Sorry lass, I’m not from ‘round ‘ere yes. Ye can call me L-“ He paused for a millisecond and continued as if nothing happened, “Lou, ye can call me Lou.” He smiled and held out a hand to Nixi.

“Lou huh?” She took his hand and shook it, “Nixi. I don’t mean to sound rude but, what are you doing here?” She asked Lou, who by now was sitting at the table.

“I’m visiting me dear ol’ mum. Pop’s never really been ‘round, an’ me mum is gonna need me here soon. Lot’s go’n on in ‘er life. I don’t want ta see ‘er get hurt.” He replied and rummaged under the table to grab his apple. Much to Nixi’s disgust, he proceeded to eat it. “That’s…sweet, of you. Helping your mom out. Sorry to hear about your dad.” Nixi said as she shifted to get more comfortable in her seat. She placed the book mark in her book and went about putting it away. Something told her she wouldn’t be getting much reading done.

Lou stood and fished something out of his pocket. “‘Ere ye go lass. Yer go’n need it.” He winked, “Trust me.” With that he handed Nixi a paper clip. After that he scampered off. Nixi looked at the paper clip and figured that he was giving it to her as a book mark of sorts. She slipped it into her pocket and began to think about how strange the whole incident was.

“So strange indeed. As if people have families outside this tiny town.” A voice, dripping with confidence and grotesque pride.

Nixi’s stomach sank. “What are you doing here you son of bitch?” She hissed.

Kalispher clicked his tongue and shook his head. “You up and die, I find a way to bring you back and all I’m met with is hostility.” He went to put an arm around Nixi’s waist, but she slipped away and stood to face him. A look of anger was on her face. How dare he come in and act a saint. After all he had done to her, and he was even in the house, the burning house that consumed what little of a life she had left of her old self, including her father. “You were there.” She growled out, “Did you set the house on fire?”

The man in the suit shook his head, “No, I didn’t. The cause was a wiring malfunction of sorts, or maybe the boiler? I don’t know, I’ve never been one for technical things. My business is dealing with people, not the items they make.”

“You were there.” Nixi repeated.

Kalispher nodded, “Yes, I wanted to make sure my investment didn’t die before completion.”

Nixi looked away. Aaron’s voice went through her mind. What he had said that last time they spoke. She looked at Kalispher pointedly, a dark gaze in her eyes hidden behind the shades, “How long have you known Aaron? Was he with you in the fire?”

A slight chuckle, and the man placed a hand on Nixi’s shoulder, “So full of questions. I’ve known Aaron for a while, he’s what you’d call a beacon. He was originally the reason I came here. However you were far more intriguing. After all, you were about to die. Such a pretty thing, so miserable, yet wanting to live. I couldn’t resist but change my agent.” He managed to pull her closer, his arm around her waist as he easily turned her to face the same way he was and started to walk away. “No, Aaron wasn’t with me in your house. Lucifer was.” A few people walking by checked the couple out. Kalispher, looking like a pressed million bucks, while Nixi was in jeans, hoodie drawn, and sunglasses on looked more like a child.

“Lucifer?” She asked, incredulously, “The prince of darkness? God of flesh?”

“No, no. no.” Kalispher said with a chuckle, “You and I both know that’s not his real name. That’s just the German title of Light Bearer. Not the king of this world. No, Lucifer, I’m sure you’ll meet him someday.”  There was that smirk that set Nixi’s anger a blaze. She continued walking with him though, a million questions going through her mind. She began to play with the paper clip in her pocket. Opening it from it’s paper clip form, it began to poke through the fabric. The two walked together, Kalispher holding on to Nixi firmly, until reaching the library building downtown. Instead of going in the building though Kalispher led Nixi to the side wall in the shadows. He pressed himself against her, pinning her to the wall.

“What do you want asshole?”

“Check your progress.” He took the glasses off her face and examined her eyes, a grin on his face. “Nice, you’re progressing a little faster than I expected. You wear your stress well.” He pulled away only slightly to put the glasses back on her, though he stayed close to keep her pinned. “I have a little job for you. You’ll want to do this for me.”

“What?” She spat out.

“There’s a meeting of sorts at town hall tonight,”

“The school board annual union meeting.” Nixi quickly interjected.

Kalispher grinned, “Yes, I want you to sit in and wait until everyone leaves. Follow the last person to leave the meeting, I’m sure you’ll get done what needs to be done.”

“I’m not going to be some contract killer for you.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Nixi my dear, who said anything about killing? There’s much worse things in life than to be killed. Just follow. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do besides follow.” By now he was propped up against the wall on one hand. The other hand ran a finger along the side of Nixi’s face, ending to a hold on her chin. “Just follow.” He said again and pushed off the wall.

“Why would I want to do this?” Another hiss like growl.

Kalispher pushed his glasses down the bridge of his nose to reveal eyes of the iciest, almost white, in color with elongated black pupils,  “Trust me.” He said and pushed the glasses back into place. He turned and headed away from Nixi.

She lingered there, leaned against the wall breathing slowly. Those eyes, it felt to her like they peered into her soul. It was a horrible feeling, as if she was completely naked before him. She didn’t like this feeling, it was violating. She wrapped her arms around herself and choked back tears. She didn’t want to trust the bastard that claimed to be responsible for turning her into whatever she was turning into. However she had a sinking feeling that if she didn’t do what he wanted her to do, the subsequent consequences would be worse than just her house burning down. She felt trapped, trapped in the hell that now became her life. She was going to have to do it. Whatever it really was he wanted her to do.

The time had come. Nixi hung back in the town hall. She listened in on all that was going on, planning from pre-K to fourth year high school. It seemed to go on, and on. She had no idea what they were talking about most of the time. A few things stuck to like; lunch, budget, sports. She pretty much stayed out of sight and played games on her phone. Finally the meeting was coming to a close, and people began to file out. One person though was still there, the last person. Mrs. Crowley, a woman in her mid thirties who was still fairly new to teaching. It would be her second year. Nixi knew her from when she was interning, and now she was the music teacher for the high school. Well loved by her students, Mrs. Crowley was a fun figure in authority that a lot of the younger people looked up to. Now, why did Kalispher want Nixi to follow her? The only way to find out was to follow the woman.

Nixi crept along in the dark, slinking about in the shadows and following Mrs. Crowley around. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Just packing up some papers into her briefcase, locking the area up, and getting her car ready. Nixi slipped into the back of Mrs. Crowleys car as she ran back inside to grab something.

The drive started clunky, there was definitely something wrong with the engine, Nixi could tell by the lurch and the whining of the engine. Genius of music, but didn’t know how to take care of her vehicle. Nixi was getting sick by the driving.

Mrs. Crowley slowly stopped just before the turn to her street. “You must be uncomfortable like that.” She said in her soothing voice.

This surprised Nixi, she didn’t move, even so far as holding her breath.

“I know you’re there. You’ve been following me since the meeting, heaven knows why.” She looked back and smiled, the pale moon lit up her silhouette immaculately. “Why don’t you sit up like a proper young lady, hmm?”

Slowly Nixi sat up and got into the seat. She didn’t say anything, just went along for the ride. Mrs. Crowley got to her house and headed in, insisting that Nixi go with her.

Nixi sat in Mrs. Crowley’s kitchen, sipping on a glass of water given to her by the woman. “I must say, I didn’t expect you to come to me.” Mrs. Crowley said as she took her blond hair out of it’s bun. “Though, it makes things much easier.” She mused quietly.

At that statement Nixi’s eyes shoot the other a look of confusion. “Makes what things easier?” Her voice was uneasy.

Mrs. Crowley softly giggled. She stood on the opposite side of Nixi and took a drink from her own glass. “Nixi, we can both agree that you’ve had a rough time lately.” She spoke matter of factly and watched the younger woman drink her water, “You’re going through some rather interesting changes.” she brushed a stray lock of blond back behind her ear and smiled a soft smile. “You see, you’re no longer human.”

Those words struck Nixi to her core. How did this woman know anything about her? “I-I don’t know what you mean.” Nixi stammered.

This only elicited a gentle laugh from Mrs. Crowley. She circled around and leaned against the counter right next to Nixi, “Sweetie, lets not play coy here.” She quickly pulled Nixi’s hood off, “Your horns are already growing a sheath, not yet fully grown themselves.” She gently caressed the boney masses on either side of Nixi’s head. The masses were now beginning to resemble horns. Nixi’s breath caught up in her throat. Her whole body went rigid. She was scared. She didn’t know what was really going on here. Was Mrs. Crowley in league with Kalispher? Why did that ass send her to follow this woman anyway? How did Mrs Crowley fit into all this?

“What are you going to do to me?” Nixi asked.

There was that laugh again, and Mrs. Crowley slipped back to the opposite side of the counter, “My dear Nixi, I’ve already done it.” She let her eyes fall to the glass Nixi had already half emptied.

Nixi looked at her glass. Poison. She was poisoned. “Monsters like you need to be slain before they become a problem.” Mrs. Crowley hissed. Her whole demeanor changed. Nixi knocked the glass down and stepped back. “W-why? What are you talking ab-“ Mrs. Crowley cut her off sharply, “Silence you monster! Do yourself a favor and die with some dignity with what little humanity you have left.”

What was she talking about? Monster? Nixi was not a monster, but this woman, Mrs. Crowley, she was. “No.” Nixi hissed out, “I am not a monster.” Her gaze narrowed in on Mrs. Crowley, that look she had when she choked PhD. Bolfruss, “I am not a monster.” She repeated. Mrs. Crowley’s lips curled into a smirk, “There it is, the demons work. You are a monster child, and I won’t let you live.” She grabbed a knife off the counter and slashed at Nixi.

“I am not a monster!” Nixi screamed and blocked the blade with her forearm. Something from behind Nixi whipped around and slashed at Mrs. Crowley. Lean, and whip like indeed, a quick slash from something white. A tail. Nixi had a tail that wildly slashed about around her. Mrs. Crowley pulled the knife, slicing through Nixi’s forearm in favor of slashing at the sharp ended tail. “I am not a monster!” Nixi continued to scream in a rage filled fury. She was losing herself. Her body, still undergoing a drastic change, wasn’t used to this. The sudden burst of adrenaline was clouding her higher functioning mind and allowing her primal instincts to take over. It was fight or flight, and the inhuman part of her chose fight. The kitchen was becoming a bloody mess, a whip here, a slash there. Nixi had thus far kept her arms up to defend against the knife wielded expertly by Mrs. Crowley, who had by now picked up another blade in order to fend off the tail that was whipping about without rhyme or reason. Eventually there was chunks of Nixi’s newly grown tail strewn about in a bloody mess. Both women were covered in blood and cuts, hair matted with flesh, sweat and blood. Both were getting exhausted having been fighting and neither gaining any ground. Nixi wasn’t used to this, her adrenaline was at it’s limits, her body was beginning to shut down, but she didn’t want to die. She slipped in the mess and gore, exhaustion starting to take over, her muscles didn’t want to listen any more. Mrs. Crowley stood over her, “I guess I didn’t put enough toxin in your drink. Oh well, this works too.” She was laboring for breath herself as she spoke but held up both knives, ready to plunge them into Nixi. Her vision was beginning to blur, noise became fuzzy, and finally everything went black.

“Lass, eh? Lassie, lassie, lassie, lassie, eh, Nixi lady, wake up.” The voice was familiar. Recent, like she knew it, and she knew it very recently but she couldn’t recall. Like a new acquaintance whom one is still trying to remember the name of. Nixi’s eyes slowly blinked awake and she looked at the origin of the voice.

“Ah, y’er alive. Good. Have a cider, it’ll help ya feel better.” Lou handed Nixi a pink sized mug of hot apple cider. “You look ah might awful. Nah, you look a lot awful.” He said as he took a gulp from his own mug and wiped the froth from his lips.

Nixi looked at the mug, and then to her arms covered in blood but, not too terribly cut up any more. She sat up and felt with her other hand the boney mass on one side of her head. Sure enough her hood was down and the mass felt more like it was taking the form of a horn. Her white cheeks took on a pink hue as she looked up at Lou, a fear in her eyes followed by tears. She choked down a few sobs as she just stared at Lou.

“Eh, no cry’n lass.” Lou said as he reached a hand over and ruffled the sticky mess of hair and gore on Nixi’s head, “Ye do’n got ah worry ‘bout me. Ye need a friend, an’ I’ll be damned if’n a pretty thing like you goes ‘bot this crazy world alone.” He finished off his own glass and looked at Nixi’s, “Eh, you go’n drink that? If no there’s no use of-“ He didn’t get a chance to finish as Nixi wrapped her arms around him and buried her head in his chest, sobbing like a child. It was the first time in a long time that she felt comfortable enough to simply explode with all the pent up emotions. Either that or she just couldn’t hold it in any more. She was terribly vulnerable, still lost in a sea of confusion, and she felt safe with Lou. He didn’t even seem to mind that she had dumped the cider all over his back when wrapping her arms around him. Instead he held her in a protective way, slightly rocking her and cooing to her that everything would be okay.

“I’m ‘ere fer ye.” He said as he rubbed her back gently. “It’s a fucked up world, ye’ve got me lass, ye’ve got me.” Nixi had  no idea why she felt so close to Lou, having only just met him hours ago, she wasn’t going to question it. She had a friend, she needed a friend.

The soft echo of leather shoes bounced gently off the walls covered in blood and pieces of flesh as the man in the pressed suit walked around to observe the massacre. He smiled as he looked into the lifeless eyes of Mrs. Crowley. He knelt down to get a closer look, “Lucky for me, music speaks to so many. The youth, so easily twisted to the will of darkness.” He stood and continued looking around. “How touching too, the dear son came to rescue the little monster.”

Hope you are enjoying the read. Yours in angsty gore, J Nyte

Part one, Chapter two

‘Choking Fire’ 

“One might say it was full of…body?”

Had she really just eaten her skin?

It had been a week since her dinner with Kalispher, and she decided it was time to go back to work, she still needed the money after all. Nothing of note had happened to her yet. At least, nothing to upset her slowly returning normality. If you could call it normality. Nixi had to convince herself that it had been a dream. The whole dinner, it had to have been a dream. She couldn’t fathome having eaten her own old skin mixed in with a chocolate cake. She couldn’t even look at chocolate the same. The answers though, where had they come from? And that name, Kalispher? She knew where the whole demons angels and nephilim thing had come from. Her father studied the Torah and how it applied in the history of mythology. He would get into a passionate monologue about it all. The whole, ‘what happened when she died’ thing though was a bit too far. Right? If she was supposed to die then why would she have denied going to paradise, escorted by the Son of God himself? If she had denied death and eternity in paradise, then in what favor? To return to a complacent hell on earth? It was as if her ‘one chance’ to gain answers only left her with a million more questions. It was driving her mad and she felt she needed her old job as a distraction.

Though it had been little over a month or so, she was still welcomed at her job. Though, her obvious change in appearance left some a little uneasy. There were many at work who had questions of their own. The rumors had spread like crazy. What was well set in stone as fact was this: They knew she had died on the way to the city, but somehow defied the odds and came back to life, they knew that she had undergone a strange change and it was thought to have been some rare genetic disorder dormant in her family until her. Those were the so called facts, but it didn’t stop everyone from cautiously asking questions and staring or even avoiding her altogether out of fear. She was after all completely unknown now. Well, in the sense of what had happened. A few of the local papers, and even the cheap gossiper sheets from the city had came on a whisper of the strange girl with an unknown, rare condition. Everyone wanted the scoop in case the story were to catch the eye of the big paper titles.

The whole thing left Nixi a little perturbed. All she wanted was to get to work and get back to normal. Like that was going to happen. She was half way through her shift, hiding out in the employee break room and quietly nibbling on whatever was in her lunch bag when she heard a couple of the front end girls come in. They where newish, from the class behind her in high school. One had gone to an out of state university and only ever came back in town for three months at a time, the other was a bit of a drop out and the town slut so to speak. “Oh my gawd, did you see her? She looks like a fucking ghost. Such white skin. I totally believe she had died. I can’t believe she came back like that. Ew!” The university girl said as she came in.

“I know right? That hair is doing nothing for her, why the hell would she have gone black anyway? Is she trying to get attention or something? I mean, okay, so you were sick, whatever. Get up and move on. I had mono for three weeks and you don’t see me changing my whole look to gain sympathy and attention.” The other replied.

Nixi stayed back on the other side of the corner where the other two couldn’t see her. Her eyes reddened and she felt a knot in her throat. Was this what they thought of her? Really? That she just wanted attention? She held her mouth to keep the sob from crawling out of her throat, but also her mouth really began to hurt. The two left after picking up their coats and Nixi slid down against the wall, fighting back the tears. So much was going on, maybe it wasn’t a good idea to come back to work.

Unknown to her was the blonde boy in the corner facing her. He had been there the whole time, blending in with the wall like he normally did, quietly eating and writing down god knew what in his journal. This was Aaron. He was a quiet boy, borderline savant, higher functioning autism. He could take care of himself but there were a few things that would send him off edge. Not many of the others would pay much attention to him, but Nixi would sometimes share her lunch with him. They had been neighbors until Jr. High, when his parents couldn’t keep their ranch property due to the medical bills his mother had racked up when she was diagnosed with cancer. Nixi was still his friend though, from kindergarten until she graduated.

Aaron sat in his corner watching until Nixi stopped hiding her sobs and took in a quick, sharp breath. He stood and sat next to her, offering her a cracker. “You’re losing your teeth.” He said. Aaron had a strangeness about him, not just the near savant way he was, but he knew things. Before his mother was diagnosed with cancer he had told her, “There’s something wrong with your pancreas. Something very wrong mommy.” a month later she was rushed to the hospital. So when he told Nixi she was going to lose her teeth she looked at him incredulously. “My…teeth?” She asked. He only nodded and smiled at her, a special smile he had for her only. She was his friend, she wasn’t scared away by his strange outbursts. She told him he was pretty much like everyone else, just more interesting, smarter, and funner to be around.

“You’re losing your teeth, and your nails are thickening to claws. How nice. Also, I think there’s something growing on your head. Yep, slowly. There’s a ring here,” he said as he touched one side of her head, “And here.” he touched the opposite side. Nixi waited until his hands were out of the way before she put her hands on the same places Aaron had his. She had been feeling a strange pressure there but nothing more. He said she was growing claws, going to lose her teeth, and something was growing on the sides of her head. “W-“ she was going to say something when Aaron stood and shook off the dirt from his knees “Time to go back to work. You too, ignore those girls Nixi, like you say, they are jealous.” He smiled and went back to the back room of the store to work on the computer. He was great with numbers. Aaron would budget and do the ordering as well as anything else involving numbers and bookkeeping.

Nixi blinked for a bit and smiled. Though he was a genius in somethings, he was still a pure hearted boy. She sighed an stood, dusting herself off and heading back out to the front end. She stopped and felt something hard in her mouth. Like a piece of food dislodged from a tooth. She spat it out in the trashcan, not noticing that she had just spat out a molar.

Her first day back wasn’t as bad as she had thought it would be. Despite the questions and the odd stares from some of the customers, she felt a little better. Aaron had made her day better with his encouragement. She was happy that throughout it all, at least he hadn’t changed in the slightest. He didn’t look at her any different, instead he still enjoyed her for who she was, his one and only friend. It was nice to have a friend like him. Nixi thought about what he had said though and looked at her nails. The nail beds were completely black now, she’d call the doctor in the morning about it. They didn’t hurt or anything, and she really didn’t want to rush to the city after just getting back to work. Instead she went to get ready for bed. A cold shower tonight, ever since her skin came off cold showers were soothing , followed by brushing her teeth. This was when she noticed it, during brushing she saw what looked like a new tooth, back where a molar had been. She stared at it, mouth agape, as it seemed to be growing quickly. Pushing through the dark hole where her molar had been. It was like when she lost her baby teeth. She quickly checked her other teeth, sure enough quite a few were lose. Was this what Aaron meant when he said she was losing her teeth? A new set was coming in? She hung her head in defeat. All this change, whatever the hell was wrong with her, it was borderline comical. She began to laugh. What could she do? She was going through some fucked up transformation, no one knew how to help her, there was no other documented cases of this ever happening. She was going to have to call the doctor.

Nixi opened the door of the bathroom, only to be greeted by a wave of thick, black smoke. She immediately went into survival mode and covered her mouth. By instinct she found her way to the stairs and as she neared the only exit to her parents level of the house she heard the roaring of flames and crackling of heat stressed wood, glass, and stone. “Mom! Dad!” She yelled over the flames as she did something she remembered wasn’t the smartest thing to do in a fire, she gripped the door knob and opened the door. This time she wasn’t greeted by smoke, she was greeted by flames. Instinctively she flinched back, but then she noticed that she didn’t feel anything. The flames licked up her legs but died quickly leaving no burn at all. In awe and shock she stood there watching the flames flick against her, but dying, as if her new white skin was choking out the oxygen. Finally her attention was snapped away when she heard a beating against the front door. How long she had been standing there was a mystery as she was sure the house wasn’t as badly burned when she had entered the level, as it was now that a couple fire fighters were rushing in to find occupants. One of them took a hold of her hand and led her to safety. Once out she was taken to an ambulance, and oxygen mask was put on her and a blanket wrapped around her as the EMS’s checked her vitals. She didn’t hear a word they were saying though as she looked on at the house, fully engulfed in flames. As the front door was still open she could have sworn she saw Kalispher in the house, someone was beside him…

As the fire raged on Nixi fell into a strange trance, later into sleep. She woke up in the hospital. ‘Great’ she grumbled mentally. Though she rose quickly in panic. Where were her parents? A nurse came in, Nixi looked at the nurse, “Where are my parents?” she asked quickly. The nurse shook his head, “I don’t know that miss. Let me get the doctor for you.” He was lying. She knew he was lying, it was something in his voice. She wouldn’t press him though as he left quickly to fetch the doctor.

“Good morning Ms. Drestien.” The doctor said in a somber tone as he came in the room. He bit his lip quickly as he did have some unpleasant news for her. “I-“

“Are they dead?” She cut him off, a sob in her voice. She was trying to choke it down.

He looked away for a moment, “It seems your father used himself as a shield for your mother. He didn’t make it, and your mother is in critical condition.” He replied, a note of sympathy in his voice. He himself had lost a daughter and wife years ago to a fire, his daughter was just a few years younger than Nixi was when she had died.

Nixi bit her lip and curled herself up into an upright seated fetal position in the bed. “He saved her…” She mumbled through the sobs. Her father had saved her mother. At least her mother was still alive, barely, but the woman was a fighter. She had her mother, and her father was now in paradise. She knew he had to be. Burnt to death though, how horrible had it been? She wept uncontrollably. It was understandable, she had just been told she lost her father. Her world, already shaken up, would never be the same again. How was her mother going to manage? They had been together for years, grown up together and got married while attending college together. They knew each other all their lives, her mother would be devastated. Nixi swallowed hard and looked back up at the doctors, there was a ring of red all around her eyes. She was still visibly upset. “How bad did the house burn down?” She was trying to stay strong, trying to calm herself down.

The doctor shook his head, “I don’t know.” Was his reply. Nixi nodded, of course he wouldn’t know. He was just the doctor put in charge of she and her mother. Actually, he looked familiar. He had a strange mark on his neck as if someone had tried to choke him.

“Were you one of my doctors before?” she asked him.

She watched as he put a hand to his neck unconsciously. Had she done that? “Yes, I requested to handle your unique case. When I heard you had been rushed in from the scene of a burning house I took over, for you and your mother.” He replied, “I’m PhD. Bolfruss. My specialty is internal medicine but I’m also studying genetics, pathopysiology, and human evolution. I’ve been studying this for around seventeen years.”

“I must be your unicorn huh?” Nixi said in a slight joke, an attempt to lighten her own mood.

PhD. Bolfruss nodded slightly, “You are certainly an intriguing case.”

“Well doc B, before the house burned down I was going to call. My nails are black and my teeth are falling out.” She wanted to distract herself from her loss. At least for now. The doctor recognized this. “Alright,” He said in complete understanding, “Lets take a look.” He said as he took up one of her hands. He knew that there was some differences about her. After all, she hadn’t seen herself in a mirror, so she didn’t see the black rings around her eyes, or the lines the lead from the outer corners of her eyes down and into a slight curve on her cheeks, or the black stripe from the back of her neck, to a near touching, but ending at her throat. “Looks like the skin from the wrist to just at the base of the fingers is darkening too. I’d like to get some blood samples and X-rays.” He said to her as he turned her hand over in his.

“Lets do it. Get it done as soon as we can.” She said.

For the next several days Nixi practically lived at the hospital. She knew she didn’t have any money coming in, and quite frankly, she really didn’t want to go back to work. Not after all this had happened. She stayed in the room where her mother was hooked up to various machines and monitors, she knew the staff by name, and she would spend quite a lot of time documenting her life so far and all the new changes to herself with PhD. Bolfruss. Her palms and the back of her hands had become black, she even had a black stripe leading from the distal side of her arm up her shoulder and connecting to a black stripe that ran down her spine. By now her nails resembled claws, the X-rays showed that her teeth were being replaced with a slightly sharper new set, and there was  strange boney masses growing on either side of her head.

Aaron and his older sister stopped by one day. It was a pleasant visit to have a friendly face around from a time when life was boring and normal. Even though he had trouble with changes, he seemed to not notice how much Nixi had changed. Just before he left he had said something to Nixi that made her heart sink, “I guess he was right then? That man in the Armani suit said you were fire proof, and your skin choked the fire.”

Stay tuned for chapter three! Yours in angsty gore, J. Nyte