Somehow standing here on this mountain top hovering in the snow and wearing nothing but a sheet makes me think of Troy. Not so much that I wish he were here or anything, but that suddenly abandoned feeling after thinking I had some sort of grip on what was happening around me… That feeling and knowing that I have searched everywhere and not found so much as a mirror really makes me feel as alone as I did that day that he left me and told me he had filed for divorce.
I’m hovering here watching the snowflakes as they drift one by one landing softly on my eyelids and catching them on the tip of my tongue feeling sorry for myself again. Was Belen a dream? Had I actually found someone who made the act of living worth while? Sure, I guess. I wouldn’t be a vampire who could hover and be here in the snow right now if that was not true right?
It’s a shock though. That feeling of being so forlorn that anything good in my life seems unreal. There is no way I’m here all by myself. I tried futilely to enjoy the idea of how easily I defeated that demon monk and those skeletons all by myself without needing to let Grenhelda take over. But, I feel it. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I think I’ve gone as far as I can all by myself and will have to let her get us to the next step.
I’m sulking inwardly because I really want to stand on my own two feet and not need someone else to come and rescue me. Then maybe I can truly be free of that underlying longing for Troy. Because as much as I despise the time I spent with him now, he made me feel safe in a way I have not felt since. Even so, the last time I felt safe was the day before he left me staring at signed divorce papers on the kitchen table.
I feel that inadequacy that has been eating away at me ever since. Like I’m not good enough. Troy left because I’m not good enough. And even though I can defeat demons and float like I’m an angel I’m still not good enough now because I need someone to help me.
In my flustered defeat, I decided to make or break it today. I’m not letting Grenhelda out and if this becomes a worse mess later then I’ll take whatever comes. Even if I mess it all up. Even if I’m so unworthy that Primus made a mistake by choosing me more so than he already did by mistaking me for Elle.
When tomorrow comes, it will be the first day that I will lift my head up high enough to say that I am too good enough. Even if I fail. There is nothing wrong with me.
So I picked the main building and let a small fireball grow to a rather large one in the palms of my hands, practicing what I had learned about chi flow in kung fu movies. The blast shook the mountain and although I had blown the building sky high the rush of snow from the mountain behind it quickly smothered the flames.
I shed my silken kimono and set myself aflame determined to melt a path through the snow to the tunnel I had seen beneath the building before the avalanche.
* * *
I woke up groggy to the sound of dripping water somewhere. That doesn’t sound right because we’re underground. I tried to remember what happened. I knew it wasn’t as easy as waking up to find out nothing had gone wrong.
I had spoken to Anna. I made her mad about Genevieve, then…what?
Looking around and trying to wake myself up I swung my legs over the side of the bed and immediately looked behind me expecting her to be there crouched and waiting to kill me. Or worse, still wearing that dress. But, there was no one there.
The warm rug was offset by the cold water soaking it which sort of shocked me awake when I put my feet down. I decided to scoot further back on the bed and get a handle on the situation… take inventory and such.
I was in bed, wearing my birthday suit and a blanket. Damn.
I had led Genevieve straight to Anna’s whereabouts because if nothing else she can trace her phone number down to the area code and be one step closer to killing my best friend. Good going Linus.
I looked up at the cavernous ceiling and felt the cold chill of fear run down my spine. Where was that yesterday when I needed it?
There she was, Genevieve was crouched and waiting to attack me while upside down, demonized, and on the ceiling. And I was going to fight her with what? My bare hands?
“Sleep well?” she asked.
“I feel sick.” I told her.
“She missed you.” Genevieve hissed. “I gave in because she overpowered me temporarily.”
“Whatever you say darling. You’re a demon and probably just trying to convince yourself.” I said grimacing from the cold as I calmly tried to make my way to my clothes.
She watched patiently as I slipped into my jeans and put a white T-shirt on. I even managed to throw on a pair of socks and my boots. Better ready to fight and run out into the snow then to only have a blanket for cover.
“What happened to the rest of my men?” I asked annoyed.
“Nothing… yet. I came for you and you alone.” she said.
“I’ve given you everything that I care to at this point.” I snapped at her and continued to grab this and that so I could make my way to the armory down the hall. The monks had some lovely spears I’d like to decorate Genevieve’s torso and legs with.
She did a mid air cartwheel and once she reached the floor decided to revert back to her pretty face.
“I can’t let you leave without knowing where Anna is.” Genevieve said playfully as though she could stop me.
“I’m not asking for your permission.” I told her as I remembered that I had a little vile of Holy water in my jean pocket. “On second thought, I’d like to remember this time. Come here.”
I grabbed the vile and charged at Genevieve until we landed on the bed with me on top of her. I began to undress both her and myself. I pretended to have a crisis of conscience so I could flick the top off and run my hand over my mouth dumping the water in without her noticing.
She continued to caress me and help me undress until I pinned her down and kissed her, forcing her to open her mouth, then spit the Holy water in there.
Genevieve screamed and immediately became demonized and angry throwing me off of the bed. I hit the wall so hard that I blacked out.
When I finally came to I was laying in an inch of ice water still pouring into the room feeling like hypothermia had set in farther than I’d have liked. I looked around and saw Genevieve, still demonized and laying on the floor.
She laid there motionless, no sound, no pulse. I turned her over expecting to be attacked once she was facing me and her entire body fell apart like a rag doll that had only been temporarily sown together. It began to dawn on me that she herself had been dismembered and was in a coma because of it. If she was cut in this many pieces she could be asleep for another 80 years or so. In which case, Primus said to himself “waste not want not” and had a demon use her body in the meantime.
The cell phone I had used to call Anna was sitting in a puddle of water and not working. Good. At least no one could get her number now and if Genevieve really had been staying in the room with me undisturbed then she didn’t have a chance to give it to anyone else either.
I walked out. Frigid, freezing, and sad. I had my first love in my hands and this is what had become of her. I hurt my best friend over this woman again and she’s probably still careening from the emotional tailspin I’d put her in. And where is the damn leak that’s filling the otherwise warm cavern with freezing water?
I kept walking until I saw the reception hall turned into a swimming pool and a fiery red head swimming around in it.
“Hey!” I shouted. Crazy witch. Why is she swimming in ice water?
She stood up not wearing a stitch and walked towards me with the tips of her fingers aflame.
“I kissed her with Holy water in my mouth. She’s toast.” I told her. “Keep coming near me and I’ll bless this little pool you made and do the same or worse to you.”
“I hardly think you’re that good at kissing.” the girl said.
“What the hell are you doing here anyway?” I asked.
“The water’s fine. You should come in.” she said pouting.
The room was warm and I could see what she meant. She was swimming around on fire so the water would be warm. Well, I do have hypothermia.
“Maybe I will take that hug now.” I said teasingly as I waded into the water. “Who are you?”
“My name is Annibelle, and I am Grace’s replacement. I have a demon like Genevieve did implanted to help Primus stop Paul and we were sent here to start looking for Anna.” Annibelle explained.
“Why would you tell me all of that?” I asked perplexed.
“Because I want you to help me get rid of Grenhelda, even if it means putting her in someone else. The longer I was out in the cold the more I realized that Belen is lovely, but this isn’t the love I lost and I want to be human again. But, I need to not have to be limited because of a demon or because I was turned into a vampire.” Annibelle said. “And it’s just Belle by the way.”
“Well, what makes you think I will help you?” I asked.
“What makes you think I won’t find Anna sooner or later if you don’t?” she retorted and continued to swim.
She does have a point, and I don’t plan on leaving this little pool of steaming hot water until I can feel my toes again. Might as well see where this goes.
“I’m Linus.” I told her. She lifted a hand to splash at me in acknowledgment of my introduction.
I thought about Anna, wishing I could call her now. I want to tell her that Genevieve is dead and that I defeated her. But, I know she’ll get pissed off about how the Holy water got where it needed to go. Maybe less details next phone call….
(Photo courtesy of: http://cristinaice.deviantart.com)
Music for this episode: Hysteria by Muse
BLOOD RED GAMES…to be continued next week.