that boy is a monster

POSTED: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:16 pm

+5 - This is backdated to June 8th, early afternoon.

The bandage on his arm hid the wound, but Ezekiel could only ignore it for so long. His face, as dark and unsettled as the storm-clouds above him, crinkled the closer he got to the south. Wind whipped the scents of the sea and the city at him, but Ezekiel rode by Halifax without stopping. He had no desire to tarry.

Above him the sky darkened to an ugly gray-purple, the air alive with rising electricity. Viggo, sensing this as well, snorted and began to prance nervously. Ezekiel tried to reassure him, but the stallion had a fear of storms that no amount of reasoning could change. Like it or not, Ezekiel was forced to find shelter. They were lucky—the Chebucto Peninsula offered a still-standing picnic shelter that had since become overgrown. It was covered in moss and vines and the concrete floor was all but grass, but this served the pair of animals well. Ezekiel hunched at the edge of the roof and sulked while Viggo continued his erratic behavior. The coyote had held his head together until now, but trapped, the thoughts he had done his best to outrun caught up to him.

Anguish and anger boiled through his blood, forcing lead into his belly and choking his senses with regret. The young man began to shiver against the wind until a single sound escaped him; that choking thing let lose a torrent of body-wracking sobs. The noises were terrible and unstoppable. Even the rain and thunder could not hide them. Despite his own terror, Viggo approached cautiously, velvety nose seeking his owner in an attempt to discern what was wrong. Ezekiel clung to his large head and wept, thankful for the presence of another living thing. The world had become so very cold.

Finally, exhausted, Ezekiel settled. He released the horse with a mumbled word of thanks, and was answered by the stallion lowering himself to lie next to the coyote. Grateful, the Aquila curled up into the animal’s massive frame and was asleep within minutes.

The morning was clear and warm, and Ezekiel rode in silence. He had steeled himself for what lay ahead and his face and body had warped into a solid steel construct. Like a golem he came with death behind him, and like a soldier he faced it with forced indifference. It did not matter that he had killed. His hand had been forced then, as it was being forced now.

Slowing the horse at the edge of the borders the Aquila stared ahead in silence. This would be the end of it; after today he would never be able to face her again, never be able to see the children that belonged to his father and shared his blood. Hatred for his sister muddled through his blood but it did not show on his face. Amber eyes sharpened and a wall formed within them. He called for her for what would be the last time, and the iron in his voice echoed this fact.

POSTED: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:42 am

Word Count → 5+ :: table © sie

Days wore on endlessly, but life for Alaine Winters had become surprisingly peaceful.

Perhaps monotony had worn away her last dregs of resentment for the life she now led, but there was little to be said for the strange serenity. Jobs came and went - Various wounds and petty illnesses, nothing severe or frequent. Her stock were replenished with fresh summer growth, warm vines and crushed bulbous roots that were powdered and stored in opaque bottles in her kitchen.

The children grew rapidly, swelling and stretching till each morning they appeared a little larger. Elvira had become suspiciously mild in her antics, but her independence left Alaine with little interaction with her daughter, who seemingly already had quite the hunting instinct. Apart from providing regular meals and fake love, the mother seemed unnecessary to the golden girl with heathen's eyes.

Elijah, however, gave her life real purpose. For many months now, she had become adjusted to his wrongness. Unlike his wicked sibling, Elijah possessed a remarkably kind nature, and he had fast become the light of his adoring mother's gaze. The boy grew extremely fast, and soon his puppy-fat had been gradually shed, and replaced with a strangely otherworldly beauty. The Winters boy had his mother's angelic features, a desirably elegance and beauty, but increasingly, his father's size. Even now, she knew he had much to grow - The boy's paws and ears dwarfed those of his mother, giving his otherwise refined appearance a somewhat gangly impression of everlasting youth.

Only his mind remained in its state of perpetual wrongness, and Alaine had long since become accustomed to the permanence of her son's disposition. He still frolicked like a child in the long summer grasses, humoring fat Nana with his impersonations of her breed. On such a warm day she watched the pair now, feeling surprisingly unsettled in light of the habitual afternoon rite that the trio had developed.

Always, the woman thought herself as connected to the spirits - Dea sometimes came to the colliewoman, as to all Her promised people, and brought these feelings of unease. Leaning absently on the porch, the cream and ivory maiden ran cool fingers through her auburn ringlets, emerald eyes absently observing the antics of horse and boy below.

The call came from the North, arching high into the clear, warm sky. She knew instantly of it's owner, as did the deep mauve and black bird that sat calmly on her shoulder. Zola's intelligent eyes gleamed once, his glossy feathers ruffling in what the woman recognized as excitement. She had become fond of the bird, and he of her, and although she knew little of his avian language, they communicated well enough. At times, it seemed Elijah new the lowspeech far better than his mother, and he was able to communicate with the clever bird just as well as he was able with Nana. Knowing that the bird wished to see his previous companion, but still weighted with that strange and sullen feeling of anxiety, Alaine shook her head briskly. "Please, stay with my son. If all is well, I will call you to us," Her accented tone requested. Although the raven showed his disappointment with a harsh cry, he did as she asked, rising into the air and circling the galloping boy, drawing his attention from the grazing mare.

Alaine moved swiftly. Nana sensed her mistress' strange excitement, her large head lifting from the grasses and long tail swishing in agitation. Mounting the broodmare with a fluid leap, the woman gathered fistfuls of her shaggy mane, and guided her with her heels. She had adapted to riding, and was now capable of faring bareback well enough.

Eager to see her pupil, she allowed the mare to settle into a heavy canter, dinner-plate hooves pounding across the dry, warm earth. They drew near to the border, and Alaine lifted her sweet tones in a series of greeting barks, allowing the coyote man to find her. Nana returned to a lazy walk, her small ears swiveling and nostrils flaring as they caught scent of her unruly son.

POSTED: Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:23 am

The minutes stretched on for an eternity, and Ezekiel’s fingers worked their way through Viggo’s rust-colored mane. He was nervous and frightened for what might come, but his body and eyes remained still and terrible at that. Only subtle signs were given, things that the horse sensed but did not doubt. Ezekiel had never given him reason to fear the coyote, and the stallion did not. Still, his step was jerky and uneven as they turned towards the sound of the collie-witch’s barks. Trepidation built with each step the Clydesdale took.

He stood on the edge of a cliff and closed his eyes. The cliff was, of course, metaphorical. Yet the height felt real and he could feel his stomach twist. It was not with fear—he had been afraid before, when his sister’s eyes had stabbed him in the heart, and he had been afraid again when he could taste his own blood on his tongue. But not now. He wasn’t afraid anymore. More than anything he was numb. A dull sort of anger pulsed against his chest but it felt weak. Ezekiel wished there was more. He wished he could hate her son, but there was nothing.

Both eyes opened, metallic and hawkish, and found his approaching doom in the shape of a fair pagan-witch atop a rotund mare. Ezekiel watched her approach with a strange sense of detachment and realized it was all he could do to survive. He breathed in the salty air, her scent, and found under this all he could still smell copper.

He wished he did not need to lie. “Hello Alaine,” he began, voice odd and cold. “I can’t stay long.”

POSTED: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:16 am

Word Count → ?+ :: table © sie

She knew, with the power of premonition, that something was wrong the second she set eyes on Ezekiel.

Perhaps it was something in his posture - Stiff, tense, as if poised for something. Maybe it was the grim line of his maw, the strange absence of the smile she had so come to adore. Or rather, maybe it was the way that Nana tossed her head in an agitated manner and rolled her lovely brown eyes, side-stepping skittishly until Alaine settled her with a squeeze of the thighs.

Excitement drained from her limbs, replaced by that hateful feeling of anxiety. Something was wrong.

After a heartbeat, he spoke. The feeling of wrongness increased as she listened to the tone of his voice - deadpan and mechanical. Floppy ears flicked back and forth uncertainly. Her pupil's arm was bandaged, but he didn't seem to be particularly suffering of anything else - Gabriel. The tense knot of worry within her tightened. "Ezekiel," She guided Nana forward to close the space between them, and dismounted neatly. "Are you hurt? Gabe- What is wrong?" She should have known, when it had taken so long for him to return to her; There must have been a disaster, a horrible problem. Oh, Gabriel...

POSTED: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:10 pm

Why had he come here?

It was a simple, terrible reason. He loved his sister more than he loved Alaine. He loved most people less than he loved his twin, his blood-red shadow that was his own reflection. They should have been born with other coats, he reflected, knowing that his only hid the shadows and depth of the monster within. At least his hands betrayed him; at least his hands were red and spoke of what terrible things he had done. Yet the sun too, was hard and cruel. The sun, like God, took without mercy.

The horse, with her deep eyes and her instincts, she knew. Ezekiel could not bear to look at the animal. Stillness broken by subtle motions, subtle warnings that even he did not control. When the mare refused to close the distance as she might have months ago, the Aquila knew in his heart that the bond between them—by extension, the bond between he and Alaine—was broken.

“Nothing is wrong,” he lied. How natural it sounded. He hated the tone of his voice. “My father has stepped down as Aquila. I lead in his place.” Along with harpies who sought to destroy one another. Harpies restrained only by protocol, only by the more terrible feelings of guilt and doubt. “I can’t be your apprentice anymore. I’m sorry.” Flat. Sorrow clung to his tone, true sorrow for what he had done, but to speak of it was to speak of his own death. Better to choose this; better to sever a wounded hand before the infection spread.

POSTED: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:09 pm

Word Count → ?+ :: table © sie

Anxiety bubbled within her, uncontrollable, festering. All these weeks of mild serendipity was a lie - Her life would never succumb to peacefullness. Always, Lugh waited around the corner, ready to snatch the veil of fake happiness away and reveal to her strangely beautiful eyes the harsh lines of darkness. Now, as she watched the man she had adopted into her heart and into her small but precious family, she felt the wicked god's presence and trembled within.

After her dismount, Nana began to fidget, tossing her large head and pawing at the ground in a strange mixture of fear and aggression. Startled by the broodmare's unexpected behavior, Alaine grabbed a fistful of her mane and held tightly. From atop his throne on the back of the beast Viggo, Ezekiel gazed down at her - But his eyes were hollow, and she felt with a dreadful certainty that he could not really see her at all.

He spoke, but she knew her pupil, and his voice was brittle and fake. Too often had she seen his plastic smiles not to notice deception now. Words rung with a dull echo through her ears, and she nodded without comprehending, eyes seeking to see behind the wall he had built to keep her out. But while her senses explored, they found nothing but the nervous energy of the horse - Ezekiel was cold, a dead thing, shut off to her. The rejection felt like a nightmare she had had once, but this time, there was not the heavy and expectant weight of sleep.

She was nodding still, she realized. Head moving up and down. But then the movement changed, and she was shaking her head, and the words he spoke were jumbled and no longer made sense. "I don't understand." The pagan witch's voice was calm, very calm, and she forced her head to still so that ever-bright eyes could latch on to him, pleading and hurt at the same time. "You are lying to me, Ezekiel. You are lying to me, and I know it. I can see it." Hurt in her voice now, hurt and irritation that he would play such a game with her. There was an echo of pain within her chest, an old wound tearing open at the edges.

Something was left unsaid, and she realized that she had come to love this man - Her son had come to love him. He had been for Elijah what Gabriel had not, and for Alaine what Caillen could never again be. Anger thrummed in her chest, but it alone could not conquer the hurt and betrayal that flickered in emerald eyes. "Why are you doing this? Why are you leaving me?" The demands were voiced calmly, again, but her hands were shaking, and Nana's eyes rolled to show the white. Gabriel had left, and she knew that she had loved him, too much too say - Now Ezekiel, too, would leave the Winter's woman to her empty existence?

POSTED: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:53 pm

She knew.

He stared at her with dead eyes, hating that he felt so little, hating that she saw through him and would always be able to do such a thing. Ezekiel rolled his tongue across the back of this teeth and stared at her too-bright eyes. Part of him wished he could have hated her. Part of him wished he could choose another path. All he was capable of doing was putting one foot in front of the other.

Alaine’s tone stabbed him in the heart like the antler-weapon her son had died on might have done. He finally reacted; he closed his eyes and began to shake his head, taking a tentative step away from her. “I have to, Alaine,” he admitted. Desperation laced every word, and he wished dearly he could have changed things. Then his eyes opened, terrible and hawkish, and he looked to her with deep anger (against himself, against his sister) and spoke lowly. “I’ll destroy you. I won’t let it happen.” This was as much a threat as it was a promise. He had killed her son; that betrayal might kill her in time.

POSTED: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:35 am

Word Count → ?+ :: dude, she is totally going to put a 'curse' on him in my next post >:D angree 'laine is witchy indeed!

Her question hovered between them, silent in the air it beat with dark wings. Why? She saw flickers of emotion linger within the deadened eyes of her pupil, the man through which she had allowed her love for Gabriel to seep, to spread and hold roots long after the flowers had died. The tree within her was rotting now, and with each heartbeat felt in pain, the branches withered away.

There was a deep and terrible pain within him, and instability that she felt rather than saw - A single note sung off-key in the harmony of the handsome man's existence. It glittered as desperation in his pained, hollow eyes, and she felt that same cold desperation clutch at her breast. Shallow breaths fluttered in the woman's ribcage, as her heart beat unsteadily, jarringly. He was retreating, the great golden beast he rode stamping and backtracking. Nana was quivering at her side, and had Alaine not been leaning on the mare for support, she surely would have turned and fled. Ezekiel was no longer the beloved - He was the Warrior, not the Healer. He would never be the Healer, and she had been wrong, so wrong, to believe that she could change him and save him from his father's fate.

His words shivered over her skin, and there was an intense pain within her chest - Ivory fingers rose to grasp at the soft skin over her heart, clutching there as if a physical blow had been made. The feeling of foreboding was so intense that it almost stole her breath away. "Don't tread this path, Badb," Her voice was a hoarse whisper, and from deep within emerald eyes stirred that otherworldly knowing, the keen authority of the pagan witch. The hand not grasping her breast reached blindly for him, fingers trembling in mid air. "Pain waits for you - Beidh do chroí a ghlacadh Lugh. Don't tread this path, the path of the Doomed," The words flowed from her in that faintly accented voice, and her pupils shivered. The hand that reached for him dropped, fell listlessly to her side, and suddenly she was simply Alaine again.

For a moment, confusion glittered through the thin veneer of hurt that flushed her pretty features. She had been abandoned by his blood before, but this would be the last time. Anger was summoned, desperately hot to cover the bleeding wound within. Clean ivory teeth flashed at him in a snarl, and although her eyes echoed with the hurt, the helpless aggression made her firm.

POSTED: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:28 am

Oh how it looked like he had wounded her; how she fell from him like a deer, wide-eyed and wounded. It was not in him to be like her. Dark wings carried him on, and he would forever be destined to destroy her bloodline. This was fate. Something more ancient forced his hand.

A voice so much unlike her own made his eyes narrow, sharpen. It was instinct alone that he fell to. Instinct that fell when she bared her teeth at him, turning her savage. Ezekiel’s lips pulled back and revealed larger, wolfish fangs. Perhaps he was no better than his father—but they were different yet. Gabriel was not half this cruel. God would save him. Ezekiel’s faith knew God as a stranger, as his Father.

He knew demons far better.

“You’re a fool,” he spat, snarling. “Do not make an enemy of me.”

POSTED: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:55 pm

Word Count → ?+ :: BUAHAHA

Her teeth were met with a flicker of his own - Much larger incisors, things that tore hot muscle from cold bone. Something snapped within her mortality at the sight of these fangs - A livid fear that always lingered within the woman's frail flesh, simmering like incurable fever within her very marrow.

She became something older than herself, older than the beautiful but broken body she inhabited. She became Shea, a creature with eyes taken from all the forests of the world, a beautiful and tragic green that knew life as well as it knew death. His threat hung in the air, venomous words that fell short from the woman crowned with tumbles of auburn.

A look of terrible anger crossed her face, not in the form of a snarl or a scowl, but as shadows that seeped to cover grace and kindness. Her face became the mask of the Goddess, and Dea rose her hand again, this time to point it at the golden man with the blackened soul. The fidgeting mare beside her became still, but calm, her rolling brown eyes settling doe-like once more. The terrible anger would not hurt the simple animal, and she no longer feared that which she had once loved, the killer cloaked as a hero.

Alaine-that-was-not-Alaine took a single step forward. "You have wronged me for the last time, Inferni-man," The woman's accented voice was strong, swirling with a power that had never filled its hollows before, "Traitor to Macha, betrayer of the hearts of Her people," Another step forward, closer to the snarling man. "Bí do chuid fola tainted ag cáineadh na agat," Her tone was filled with weight, and at last she stopped her approach still some distance from the horse - Her hand pointed to his heart. "Never may you forget them, Prince of Inferni, those that you have hurt. May you and your kin forever know regret for your sins sa domhan seo agus an chéad cheann eile.".

The hand lingered a moment more, before dropping back to her side.

POSTED: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:11 pm

+3

She was wrong.

This was not the last time he would wrong her. He lied through his teeth to her now, hiding the fact that her son lay rotting in forests behind his home. In the months to come she would learn, for the scarlet siren of Inferni would bring the news to her with hatred in her heart. How easy it was, he reflected on bitterly, to tear asunder that which could have been love. It was as easy and murder.

Alaine’s voice filled him with fear, and the stallion sensed this. Great hooves took nervous steps back, nostrils flaring, eyes wide. Ezekiel could not break his gaze with her—with those wickedly peculiar eyes—and felt like a bird transfixed by a spell. Was this what Marlowe’s kin had felt when the wildcats came? Had they stared into the eyes of death and known it before those murderous beasts fell upon them?

Every bit of hair rose along his spine, turning his tail brush-bottle. Ezekiel was not a man of God like his father, but he recognized there was power within this witch. A demon had struck him once before and turned him into a monster. Now from a hand he knew only as that of a healer came strange words that frightened him and turned him into a child.

But it was not Ezekiel that moved next, for if it had his traitor hands might have tried to strike the witch down. Viggo, his body quivering, reared up and let out a defiant whinny before turning and fleeing away from the once-familiar wood. The horse knew instinctively, just as the coyote did, that they could never return. The pair galloped away from the borders and thundered westward, leaving the witch-woman, mare, and the blue-eyed child far behind.

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