|art by wörm|
Melanie rose her head and saw two figures standing in front of her. She couldn't believe her eyes; it was Xrir who was holding a sharp looking knife at strange man's crotch. Surprisingly man was smiling... lustfully.
Alley was dark, filthy and undeniably unwelcoming. The ominous markings carved on the worn stone walls made the place look demonic.
Xrir turned and stared this familiar intruder for a while but then decided to greet her quickly.
"Umm, hello, Melanie. Or should I call you Mel after all we've been through" Xrir said with rather malicious way then turning back to man she had cornered.
"Melanie." Man glanced over Melanie and then let out a sound that sounded something between exhale and orgasm. "I like that."
"Shut up, you disgusting..." Xrir hissed through her teeth and pushed knife deeper into his crotch without making even a slightest cut to his dirty clothes. "I will not go easy on you."
Man shrugged his shoulders and smirked as the silence descended.
"What's happening?" Melanie said finally breaking the silence. "Xrir, I thought..."
"I am alive but not well. Partly thanks to this guy. He's gonna pay for that!"
Man snorted for an answer and fixed his pose arrogantly like the whole situation would be just a waste of time.
"I am warlock that is what we do. Am I proud of it? Well, no, but our moral bends depending on situation." Man explained.
"You're toxic human deserving to be punished!" Xrir threatened.
Melanie started to make her way towards Xrir who kept glancing over her frightened for her life. The ground was sticky from unidentified liquids that traveled slowly towards drain hatch. It wasn't blood that was for sure.
"He mutilated me... for being rude. To him! I was just..." Xrir said.
"Gambling." Man interrupted and women stared him, speechless. "A simple spell that required the female essence. Yeah, so what? Who you think would give that freely? Don't be stupid." He continued with blank voice. Without remorse. Emotionless like a rock.
Tears rose to her eyes. Not for sadness. Not for trauma, no, she had done her share of crying. These were tears of pure hatred. Melanie reached Xrir lowering hand on her shoulder. It was comforting to these two woesome spirits that had been separated for a brief moment but reunited in this broken turn of events.
"People like these don't choose their victims. Your rudeness was just an excuse and if you ask me. He don't need an excuse."
Xrir took the knife off mans crotch.
"Would you kill him? Slicing him would make him feel better. He's a warlock after all. They feed on self destruction." Melanie said.
"Yeah. I guess you're right. I don't feel like killing him." Xrir replied glancing once again to Melanie. "Do you?"
Melanie shook her head for the response.
"We don't have to leave him unpunished though. Don't we?" Xrir asked and man sighed loudly. "Shut up!" Xrir said hitting man hard below the belt.
"Melanie!" Sudden voice carried over to alley, just before Elijah appeared from around the corner. "I am sorry. Ab wouldn't tell where you went."
Elijah raised his eyes noticing the warlock, instantly recognizing him. Warlock's face suddenly became something odd. He looked scared. Terrified regardless how much he tried to hide it.
"Well then, what we have here. Good old Mr. Filth. It has been a long time." Elijah whispered unsheathing his sword.
Elijah's sword was named the Bane of Dread by the unfortunate victims of his. It was long sword with a purple enhancement created by Southern witchdoctor from Ab's village. Spell exhausted victims spell power thus preventing them from escaping nor using magical spells. This enchanting was created to make world a better place but Elijah way of forgiveness is elusive.
"I am not scared of you." Warlock, man called Mr. Filth said.
"He defiled my friend over here." Melanie nodded towards Xrir and then continued. "He's my groom."
Xrir waved imperceptibly. She felt very confused about all of this new information.
"Okay. Well, you want the honors then? I am more than welcome to oblige." Elijah said stopping in front of Mr. Filth.
"How is this fair?! Three ladies against one man." Mr. Filth said mocking.
"'Lady' you say?" Elijah smiled and raised Bane of Dread towards the warlock who couldn't keep his calm anymore. "Your soulstash doesn't save you this time. For this I am renewed."
"Wait. Please, Sir. I handle this my way but appreciate the gesture." Xrir said interrupting Elijah.
He nodded and Mr. Filth exhaled out in a way that which one could only interpret to signal of relief.
"Fine. I am big wife listener." Elijah said without lowering his sword.
"I am not your wife yet." Melanie replied.
Xrir searched her pockets founding what she was looking for; Blood amulet. She squeezed amulet hard as she could eyes intensely in Mr. Filth who looked vulnerable for the first time, more humane than ever before.
"What a waste. Scum of Earth you're but. I can't live with torturer's consciousness." Xrir said between her teeth then relieving her grasp from amulet. "Good bye. I want to mend my spirit which you're unable to do. I think it's enough of a victory for me."
Xrir turned and headed towards the street that bathed on sunlight leaving the darkness of alley behind her. At this very moment blood amulet in her pocket radiated and delicately morphing from red to the green, like the leaves in Spring. Lively and vibrant. It wasn't a spell but amulet's reaction to this odd turn of events.
"Xrir!" Melanie said and ran after her. "Are you okay? Talk to me?"
"No but I will. I feel like I became something... more... back there." Xrir smiled.
Melanie turned and saw two men still standing in the darkness of sinister stone walls. Xrir in the other hand just raised her head proudly and stepped back to the street. She didn't care anymore.
"Come, El. Leave him. I trust you to come." Melanie said smiling.
Elijah didn't respond but then said smiling.
"Go ahead. Ill be right there."
Melanie nodded but looked down sadly.
"It's just that morals bend in the hands of the unjust." Elijah said as Melanie disappeared after Xrir behind the corner into the vast mass of people.
One could hear only sharp slicing sound that echoed up from the walls into the recently cleared Autumn sky.
To be continued...