Today I met the man that Genevieve destroyed. He made me feel at ease and to remember what it is to have a best friend I could talk to. It was like a flashback of how Troy and I used to be, and a memory of what Belen and I try to enjoy these days. I think I care about Belen more than I give myself permission to because I am starting to feel desperate to rejoin the human race and I don’t think that he’d come with me.
Linus is in a lot of ways a good person, not that I can really tell for sure. But, in the span of a few good hours of talking and playing in the warm pool of water I made he seems like the kind of guy I’d want in my corner… In a big brotherly sort of way. There’s something about him that I long for and finally found just sitting here with him. Protection. He makes me feel safe and like even though I’m the demon implanted girl who came here with his first love, if another demon monk sprang at us from behind he would try to cover me anyway.
“I miss having a friend.” I finally admitted feeling slightly ashamed of myself for being so weak as to need this from him, conversation.
“I bet you do. That’s one hell of a thing to happen to you. It was bad enough to be divorced. I feel your pain. But, at least I still get to talk to mine. Hell, yours just up and left, then came back and killed you. And the devil got a hold of your brain. Then you got sent to stop the only guy trying to help you out of this mess. Pretty twisted girl. My hat’s off to you for staying sane so far. It’s more than I can say for Genevieve right now.” Linus said as he sort of swam laps with me slowly by dog paddling.
I think he can swim, but he’s absorbing more of my heat this way. I think he had frost bite or something.
“I’m glad you don’t think I’m crazy. Or like I’m less of a person because someone left me behind to become like this.” I told him grateful.
“I can’t take you to Anna, but I know some people who can help with your situation. Fair deal?” Linus said sighing.
“That works for me. What will happen to Grenhelda? Will she be able to rat me out to Primus afterwards?” I asked suddenly afraid.
“Nah, she’s going to be in a place she can’t get out of for a while. If anything Primus will have to figure it all out again.” Linus told me as we continued to swim.
Finally a ray of hope. I want to feel what it’s like to be okay again. To take a breath that’s not choking me because all I can feel is Troy leaving me, my death, and a hopeless existence where a demon has control of my body. Nobody deserves that. Even if I had been a terrible wife to Troy I wouldn’t have deserved that.
I think the overwhelming desire to just get out finally took over that self loathing and the pain and the shame then gave me the gumption to just let go of the fact that he’s out there right now seducing some poor woman only to leave her and make her feel like she wasn’t good enough and never would be. I feel bad that I can’t warn her. I feel bad that I can’t tell her that it will be okay and not to let him break her because that’s all he knows how to do. I want to tell her to remember that there are people in her life that really do love her and not to mistrust that love just because the person she loved the most betrayed her. I want to hug her and tell her she is not alone.
All of which I will never get to do.
“How much control do you have over letting Grenhelda out?” Linus asked. I must have drifted off in thought.
“All of it. She can’t come out unless I let her now.” I explained trying to convince him that I wasn’t loose cannon.
“What do you think she will do if she somehow gains control during all of this?” He pressed on, serious.
“Whatever she has to do to remain here and out of hell. She doesn’t care what master she’s serving.” I reassured him.
“Then I have an idea.” he said smiling.
I smiled to. It was only when he grimaced a little and looked like I had frightened him that I remembered what a vampire’s smile looks like to humans. I must have looked like a happy shark right then.
* * *
I murkily remember the last time I ate. I was starving and feasting on a well laid trap. It took months of preparation, but some blood bestows the dark gifts. I didn’t want to invite an actual demon into my body to get these gifts, so I just sort of hung around hell’s version of flatliners which are basically demon vampires and attempted to make friends.
The only problem is… they eat each other. Not so cannibalistic as it is absorbing another’s powers when they become too weak to defend themselves. I should have known better. I should have known then that I was not really protected and that I was going to be the meal sooner or later.
I never thought that Primus would sacrifice me outright and I don’t really think that’s what happened that day. I opened the mirror door and led the blood demons into the council room like Primus told me to. There were three new ones but they knew not to mess with him because Lu told them that Primus was working on a plan with him. Little did I know that the plan entailed going to Transylvania.
We went down into the depths of the Flatliner Sanctum. I think we were somewhere on the tenth under level and I had never been there. That was my first mistake. Never go with an enemy ally anywhere you don’t have the home court advantage so to speak. They were hungry. We were supposed to feed before we left to make sure we had adequate strength for the journey.
On the way to the blood cellar we came across a form of demon I had never heard of before. They had a strange sort of aura around them, in a way it was like they were made of a gray sort of light but once you got close enough they had opaque skin that had a silhouette of cloud cover and lightening underneath. Once they raised their arms they seemed to reverberate, but at the same time I felt like I was having a seizure.
The blood demons were unaffected. I had a nightmare that was an unending circle and once I figured out that I was asleep I could not move or willfully wake up. But, I felt like I was having a seizure. Night terrors? That’s what they must bring on.
When I finally fought hard enough for consciousness and managed to get one eye open I found that I was on the ground with blood demons literally taking bites of my arms and legs.
The pain immediately set in and as I began to scream one of them tore off my right arm. I was unconscious. Ever since then I have felt a distant voice telling me what is going on in the world. I think I wake up and walk around while she is sleeping, only I’m not quite awake myself.
But, even if it was all a dream I dreamt of Linus and remembered how much he loved me. I felt joy for the first time in a long time. Now there is nothing but the cold… and wet I think.
* * *
“Are you kidding? That’s brilliant!” I told Linus as we dried ourselves off and found dry clothing.
We walked through the hallways looking for the rest of his men. What we found was… unfortunate. They had each been tied to the posts of their beds and their entrails ripped out. Even more unfortunate is that as immortals they are unable to die and were left in agonizing pain like that.
I felt really guilty. We could have helped them so much sooner but instead we chose to swim for three hours and talk long enough to become new friends.
“This is the wondrous life of valor and glory we were promised by Neimus. Live or die trying.” Linus said sighing.
He went to the jacket of the first man we found and got out a small mayonnaise jar with a purple sort of goo inside. Then he gingerly took off the necklace the man was wearing which had a medium sized tuning fork instead of a charm on it.
“Can you scream like a banshee Annibelle? Sound waves are what activate this stuff.” Linus said as he smeared the purple goo onto the man’s injuries.
“You might want to cover your ears.” I said and screamed, on key, in a high pitched tone for about fifteen seconds or so.
The man took a deep breath. I was amazed at what I saw. The wound closed, the entrails that were hanging out of him shriveled up and fell off and underneath his skin his guts seemed to refill out of nowhere.
“What just happened?” I asked.
So this purple stuff is how immortals heal themselves?