|art by wörm|
Two women reached quiet park, a safe haven in the middle of town that has become more of a city larger it has grown. Park's general colour scheme was dark gray. Surprisingly, it was common to the trees and flora of Gununumrah since drinking water was polluted by the toxic factories and lousy sewer system. Even the river that ran through the whole town was thick, oily black even though original population claimed that it was just because of the muddy river floor. It was rumored that water was inhabited by a nightmarish creature but it was held as a crazy talk.
"Umm. I don't know how to start this but..." Melanie said awkwardly. "I mean, last thing I want to do is remind you about that incident."
"Yeah. No. Go ahead. I don't..." Xrir took a deep breath and then looked Melanie eye to eye. "I am over it. Now."
"Basically I don't know why it didn't follow me. After I jumped. Maybe haunt was actually scared of how courageous I was..." She was interrupted by Xrir who squinted her eyes significantly.
"We... You... Were. Besides I couldn't do it for him." Melanie caressed her belly smiling and then continued. "My child."
Women sat down on a white park bench, filled with Gothic ornamental engravings.
Xrir didn't feel like answering. She didn't know what to think or how to react to this. Melanie was not considered to be her friend and this kind of revelation made just things more awkward, hard to approach. Just like walking towards sleeping lion that could shred you in matter of minutes. Such a painful, gory death.
Lanky Shadow that cast over the ladies interrupted this silent moment.
"Ladies." Elijah nodded and grabbed his invisible hat like pretending to wear one.
"Why though?" Melanie started but shook her head quickly to get back to the topic. "Did we land on same place? Did you happen to see me Xrir? When you woke up?"
"Umm. No. I don't remember. No?" Xrir replied carefully.
"I might be able to answer that. My beautiful, upcoming wife was found unconscious at the gates by my rather dark assistant." Elijah started.
Elijah's humor was not for everyone to understand. Ab often scolded him for such rude, bad manners but this knight never listened.
Elijah made a gesture that suggested women make room for him between them. This made nothing more than a odd glance among two women. Elijah noticed this and then smiled a little. It was rarity considering what kind of man he was.
"Oh. Name is Elijah. I am monster hunter."
"I see. Nice to meet you but I am not sure do I even know your bride very well. Thanks anyways. I am Xrir. Traditionally pronounced with one r." Xrir replied.
"You can call him Elijah." Melanie continued staring Elijah. "He doesn't do surnames."
"No." Elijah answered her stare. "I do not."
"Could you like stop this power play? Because as I said: I don't know you. Could you just instead tell me what this thing is?" Xrir stated and pulled the amulet from her pocket.
She noticed how the amulet had changed its colour. The little snowflakes had started to transform into something different. Something less complicated but as beautiful. It was certain, one could feel it in their heart.
"Even though it must be said this was not green last I checked." Xrir continued as Elijah grabbed amulet then sitting between ladies.
"I don't know where you got it and how did you manage to trigger the metamorphosis but I know for sure it was once called flesh amulet, blood amulet. It was used for hunting by the..." Elijah stopped and glanced Melanie who hadn't stopped her intense gaze.
"Unnatural forms of life."
"Or different. Depending on viewer." Melanie said quickly with an emphasis at the end of the sentence.
"Whatever. The amulet is impossible to get rid of so I wonder how you managed to steal it."
"Well did you happen to consume living flesh in past? or give some sort of 'special assistance' at breeding monsters? If so. I am not one to reveal such information. Trust me."
"I feel little ill at the moment and I know how Xrir got the amulet so..." Melanie rose from the bench. "I take a nice strut in the park. If I may?"
She didn't stay for an answer and headed towards a pond in the middle of the park. Pond's water was clear but because of the oily surface even the wind didn't make a ripple.
"I worked as a maid in a vampire infested castle. Mostly as a Lord Galen's... Who you probably are familiar with... Personal servant" Xrir said and leaned towards Elijah who's shock level was rapidly increasing.
"I understand. Now. We must be quiet and continue this conversation elsewhere." Elijah lowered his rasp voice.
Elijah nodded towards Melanie who stood absolutely still looking down. Her reflection was blurred, it didn't fit all the serenity around her but only the discord within. That water didn't seem like water at all anymore. It looked like a gateway and at the end of it there was something else. Something monstrous wandering around. One that could hear you. Search you. Devour you.
To be continued...