Saturday, June 25, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
For over four hundred years, the vampire Jasmine tormented the mortal and supernatural world. She mercilessly killed at will. Nothing meant more to her than the taste of her victim’s blood, human or immortal. Until one night she came across a young mystic, named Angelica, being surrounded by a pack of lycanthropes. Surprisingly even to Jasmine, something about the mystic causes her to save Angelica, and create an everlasting bound between the two.
The Council of Immortals, a government of sorts for supernatural creatures, learns of Jasmine’s affection for Angelica. They send their soldiers, The League of Altors, to arrest the young mystic and use her as a way to capture Jasmine. Jasmine agrees to trade her life for that of Angelica.
After three years of torture, a very dangerous threat has returned to cause panic in the Council, causing them to turn to Jasmine. The ancient god Apollo has converted countless Immortals into his legion, and he is bent on destroying the world.
The Council offers Jasmine an opportunity to escape the fires awaiting her. If Jasmine refuses, the Council threatens to kill Angelica. Reluctantly, Jasmine agrees to hunt down the ancient god Apollo, with the help of three Altors: A vampire named Alexis, a lycanthrope named Raffaele and a mystic named Cayman.
Who best to take on a god, than a devil?
Darkness. Pain. The smells of piss and feces, and of course the gnawing sensation of the thirst. It all hit me simultaneously as I felt thick liquid being poured inside my dry mouth. I swallowed the foul fluid taking in a few large gulps, before I gagged and spit what was left onto the floor of the dungeon.
“You need to drink it all Jasmine.” I heard a familiar voice urge me. Once a month for the past three years, she’d feed me the disgusting blood the Council allowed me to consume. It had been part of her sentence, for aiding and abetting a fugitive.
The Council had hunted me for over a hundred years, after I’d unknowingly killed one of their Presidents at the time, a very powerful mystic named Norman. I’d, again unknowingly, slaughtered the last of his mortal bloodline, and he’d sought after me for vengeance. Norman got cocky during the attack, I got lucky, he ended up drained and joining his mortal family in oblivion, and I ended up number one on the Council’s most wanted list. I think they literally threw a parade the day I was captured.
“Tastes like piss.” My throat felt tight from the thirty days of starving. It hurt to even pull in the air needed to speak.
I felt her gentle hand along my cheek. She tried to comfort me. She always tried to comfort me. “Wouldn’t know what piss tasted like. But I’ve heard of people surviving on it when needed. They just pretended it was something else.”
Slowly, I opened my eyes. Her hair had been cut short, now brushing the tops of her shoulders, and dyed black. Her brown eyes appeared strained from stress. And her already thin frame had shrunk. She shouldn’t have been here. The bastards had no right to condemn her.
A little over twenty years ago I came across her being attacked by a group of lycanthropes. Normally I would have hidden in the shadows to watch the live entertainment.
The lycanthropes slowly circled her as they began to change. She mumbled a few protection spells, but obviously she was a young mystic, with only enough power to protect her from an advancing rat. The Weres wouldn’t even have slowed as they tore through her barrier, and then her.
Vampires and lycanthropes are turned into what we are. Our humanity was taken from us during different times of our mortal lives. Mystics, on the other hand are born. They age like mortals, but as their powers grow, so does their immortality. They even stop aging at a certain point. I could sense this mystic had recently come into her abilities.
I moved quickly towards the largest wolf, whose body had been covered in light gray fur. His head alone looked the size of a man’s torso, while streams of saliva dripped from his razor sharp teeth. I snapped the gray wolf’s neck as I glared at the others. My green eyes shimmered in the darkness as I exposed my fangs to them. “You know who I am. And you know what I will do to each of you. Leave.”
I snarled as the wolves stared at me, for a quick moment thinking I would have to fight them, until they looked from the limp body of what had been their leader, back to me a few times before slowly backing away into the darkness.
She ran up to me and wrapped her thin arms around my stiff frame. “My name is Angelica. The way those Weres backed away from you, must make you the infamous Jasmine. I think we’re going to be great friends.”
And for the next twenty years we were. Until the day the Council sent their foot soldiers, The Altors, to kidnap her and offer me a trade, her life for mine.
They will all pay for every second of agony she endured. But first I had to deal with my own predicament.
I hung from a thick chain, my wrists tightly bound, causing them to bleed as they held my naked body from the ground. The tips of my toes scrapping against the hard dungeon floor caused them to feel raw. The wall I’d been chained to had jagged edges that bit into my flesh. I bled from my aching wrists, I bled from my raw back, I bled from the flesh torn from my toes.
Every part of me hurt. Bruises that should have long healed covered my body. I needed blood. I needed a hell of a lot of blood. Real blood, not the shit they sent with her to feed me.
Angelica poured more of the thick liquid in my mouth. I swallowed it down like a child being forced 666 Cough Syrup. I spit a little of it out again. “Still taste like piss.”
“It’s cows blood I think. Or pigs. I can’t remember.” Angelica leaned closer towards me. I could smell the blood coursing through her body. If she’d been anyone else, I would have snapped at her nose. Obviously she didn’t trust my restraint. She made sure she was out of biting range. “Are you, you?”
“Who the hell else would I be?”
Angelica stared at me for a few more moments. She looked me up and down, taking in my bruised naked body. Slowly shaking her head in disgust as she returned her eyes to mine, “The madness had you the last few months. I’d come in, feed you, but you weren’t you.”
It wasn’t a shock to learn I’d lost my mind for a few months. Part of my sentence was to hang in a dungeon, only to be fed once a month, while being starved and beaten during the other twenty-nine or thirty days, depending on how long the month. This had gone on for the past three years. My sentence was two centuries of torture before being burned to death in front of the Council.
Angelica’s sentence had been a century imprisonment, no torture, and she would only have to do fifty years with good behavior. Knowing Angelica, she’d be out in thirty. As for me, there was nothing I could do to escape the fire.
Angelica pulled a napkin out of her front pants pocket. She wore torn blue jeans, a light blue wool sweater with a white t-shirt underneath it. The clothes hung from her body as if they were two sizes too big. She wiped the disgusting blood from around my mouth and face. She glared at the rest of my body. “I’ll ask Ben if I can bathe you. See if I can get you some better blood.”
A slight blush formed on Angelica’s thin face. “He runs the vampire prison. He pulled some strings so I could serve my time here, instead of at the mystic prison. He’s sweet.”
“Oh, that Ben, the sweet Ben in charge of torturing me. Make sure to tell him I said hello.” I gave Angelica a sarcastic smile.
She frowned at me. “It’s not Ben’s fault. He didn’t sentence you. His job is to make sure the Council’s orders are carried out.”
“And I’m sure he hates himself for my suffering. It’s tearing him up at night.” I finished just before the foul blood made it’s way back up my throat and out of my mouth. I vomited all over myself, staining my chest with chunks of red cows, or pigs, blood.
Angelica pulled off the wool sweater, revealing an odd gold bracelet around her wrist, and used the sweeter to clean the blood from off of my chest. I watched her as tears began to form in her brown eyes. I could see the pain encompassing her face as the horror of the moment entrapped her. She was in as much misery as me, maybe even more, since this hadn’t been my first time being tortured.
A quick flash of me hanging from a tree in Algeria, also naked, being slowly skinned by a group of pissed off gypsies. I’d killed a few of their family members, and left their mutilated bodies in the center of the camp to be found each day. By the time they caught up with me I’d killed one third of their group. They strung me up to a tree, with enough cover to keep the sun from burning me to death, but little strands of daylight would penetrate the leaves, scorching parts of my body. It didn’t matter, since the gypsies would return each night and take turns peeling off my skin with a double-edged knife. I stayed like that for weeks until a traveling Were came across me and cut me down. When I healed from the wounds, playtime was over. I slaughtered every member of the tribe before the sun rose.
“It just isn’t right.” Angelica said as she finished cleaning me up. “I know you’ve done some horrible things, but no one deserves this.”
“You obviously have no idea as to what all she’s done.” A male voice said from the front of the dungeon. I’d been so lost in my thoughts, I didn’t hear or sense them walk in. Five Altors, dressed from head to toe in black, and heavily armed. Two carried long swords, while the other three carried tasers. “She deserves worse.” The tall blond continued as he stared at me with lifeless dull blue eyes. “Four hundred years of death lay behind her. Not just mortals, oh no. That creature you pity has destroyed countless numbers of Children of Malevolence. Including many of my fellow Altors, and Council members. Trust me my little mystic, she deserves much worst.”
His beautiful porcelain face, along with his scent of death and decay, gave away what manner of beast stood before me. A vampire. And as for his beautiful face, its almost feminine design enthralled me. The loathing in his blue eyes caused my throbbing body to throb even more, but from desire instead of pain, I loved it when the beautiful ones hated me. Also, I could feel his eyes reluctantly scanning my naked body. I wondered if the disgust radiating from him had a little to do with him liking what he saw?
I couldn’t help myself from smiling at him, and giving him a playful wink. The wink did the trick. Blondie bared his fangs at me as he stalked forward.
Angelica stood between the pissed off vampire and me. “In her sentence, she was granted one day a month free from torture. You are violating the Council’s command by being here.” She sounded confident, almost with a hint of authority, even though she was a convicted prisoner herself. She must have really been in good with this Ben, because Blondie paused in front of her.
He continued to stare at me as he talked to Angelica. “All three Presidents of the Council are here. They have ordered me to bring them that thing.” He reluctantly turned from me and looked at one of the other Altors who stood behind him. The other Altor, another vampire with short black hair, and a scar across his left eye, tossed a thick blue towel looking thing towards Angelica.
Angelica caught the large blue towel. She stared at Blondie. “What am I supposed to do with this?”
The vampire cut his eyes towards me. “Cover it up.”
Angelica started to say something, but caught herself. She turned to me with fear in her eyes. It was obvious she was thinking the same thing I was, they had upped my date with the fire by one hundred and ninety-seven years. Angelica slowly walked towards me. She couldn’t look into my eyes as she stood in front of my naked body. “I won’t leave your side. I’ll be there with you the entire time Jasmine.”
I wasn’t afraid of being burned to death. I didn’t fear death. Immortal or not, death comes for us all. Being a vampire only meant an extension on your time to ride with the boat keeper. The whole living forever line is used to make losing your soul sound sexy. No creature lives forever, not even The Children of Malevolence. Still, I didn’t want Angelica to watch them burn me. She didn’t deserve to have to live with that sight. “Once they take me, go to your Ben. I don’t want you with me.”
Angelica gently wrapped the large blue towel around my body. She tied it in front, making sure it hid all my private parts from the Altors. The material felt odd on my flesh. No matter how gentle Angelica tried to be, it hurt to have the towel touching me. It felt as if I’d already been tossed into the fire. I wondered if the bastards knew the fabric would cause me pain. If so, I wouldn’t give them the pleasure of seeing me recoil from the agony radiating through out my body.
Blondie stepped beside Angelica, staring at me with disgust. He took out a key and unlocked my wrist from the chains. My knees buckled as soon as the weight of my body fell upon them. I dropped to the hard dungeon floor like a sack of bricks. More pain pulsated through my body. Before I could contain myself, I released a slight moan of agony. The bastards laughed after they heard it.
Angelica knelt to the ground beside me. She glared up at the blond vampire. “Enjoying yourself?”
“Yes,” he said as he reached down and wrapped his powerful hand around my hair. He snatched me to my feet, sending shivers of pain down my spine. I didn’t know if his cruelty came from who I am, or what he felt as he looked at me.
The pain had been so bad; it felt as if I would lose consciousness. I could hear Angelica yelling, but I couldn’t make out what she said. Nothing could penetrate the pain that encompassed my head. Finally, the pain was gone, and I felt cold shackles around my wrist. My legs, still weak and wobbling, left me unable to stand on my own. Angelica grunted a little as she held me up. As much as I wanted her away from the fate awaiting me, I wouldn’t be able to take two steps without her help.
Blondie gestured for us to move. Angelica helped me limp out of the dungeon into a corridor filled with doors. My left leg hurt the worst. I had to drag it along as Angelica used her strength to keep me from tumbling over.
The walls outside the dungeon were made of dark bricks. A few candles illuminated the corridor. Nothing else could be seen. Nothing except steel doors like the one attached to my cell.
As we followed Scarface, the vampire with the scar over his left eye, I could smell the suffering coming from the cells. I could even hear screams coming from a few of them. We were in the lowest depths of the vampire prison. The worst of the worst were kept here, the stench of torture and death stained the air as we moved down the corridor.
We made it to a very large staircase. I gazed up at the countless steps that looked as if they continued on to heaven. With my left leg useless, and the rest of me throbbing from pain, there was no way I could make it up those stairs.
Angelica understood it also. She turned to Blondie. “Someone is going to have to carry her.”
“None of my men will touch that thing. You will have to drag her up there if needed.” The vampire spat at Angelica.
Angelica smiled at the vampire. Again a type of self-assurance I didn’t remember covered her thin face. Three years of being a convict had worked wonders on her confidence. “You know I can’t do that. So either you help me carry her up the stairs or you go and tell the Presidents why she can’t make their meeting.”
I could see flames building in the vampire’s eyes. The other Altors standing behind their blonde leader stared at Angelica with murder in their posture. No matter my physical condensation, if they attacked her I would show them why so many of our kind feared me.
They never moved towards her. Instead Blondie violently snatched me from Angelica. He slung me over his strong shoulder before quickly making his way up the stairs. He purposely caused me to bounce on his shoulder with each step he took, sending more spasms of pain through out my body. Angelica followed behind protesting the Altor’s treatment of me, but he had no plans on making the trip painless.