Ads 468x60px

Monday, March 24, 2014

Out of the Bayou

            Tisiphone looked up expectantly as Ixchel walked out to the living room of the small house that she’d been waiting in for the past few hours. The living room had a wide closet that connected via iron stairs to the system of disused sewer tunnels that functioned as the Ge-Rouge’s daytime travel network, and it was through this door that the fierce, tattooed revenant had emerged just as the last few rays of the sun had melted into the calm grey of dusk.

            Ixchel looked tired as she gestured for Tisiphone to follow her, and when they entered the kitchen area of the building, she noticed that two vampires, as well as their leader, stood around the kitchen table with bottles of what the uninitiated would have taken to be beer in their hands.

            Ixchel quickly nodded to Ol’ Papa, who waved Tisiphone to a chair, which she awkwardly perched on. The leader of the Ge-Rouge took a long look at her before gesturing to the unfamiliar man and woman beside him, “Tisiphone, this is Agwe and Erzulie.”

            Tisiphone recognized the names: these two vampires were ancient, almost as old as Ol’ Papa himself and were his most trusted councilors. Ixchel may have been his second in command, but their guidance always trumped all. They led mysterious lives, in that none of the other revenants could recall where they had come from, and once they left Ol’ Papa’s side they seemed to vanish altogether, not to be seen again until they remerged at their leader’s behest. Like most of the Ge-Rouge, Tisiphone had never met either of them in person, and the sight of them made her spine tingle.

            Agwe was a tall, stern-faced man whose military jacket and knee high boots put him somewhere between swashbuckling pirate and hardened mercenary, his green eyes and dark skin giving him a craggy, intense look. Tisiphone tried to ignore the fact that he held a thick green sponge to his neck that he occasionally ran under the tap to re-wet, the stain of the water on his jacket making him look like he’d been sweating up a storm.

            Erzulie was a curvaceous, gorgeous woman who wore a bright red dress that made her look like some sort of goddess. Her hair was a glimmering natural blonde, which was accented by the rich copper tones of her skin and the flashing brightness of her eyes. Gold bangles clacked on her wrists and the tattoo of a python curved up her arm to coil around her long, graceful throat. She stared at Tisiphone with a mixture of disgust and love, which was one of the most confusing expressions that the vampire had ever witnessed.

            Ixchel nodded to both of the councilors stiffly, and Tisiphone could see how much effort it took for the second in command to not growl at them both. Neither Erzulie nor Agwe paid her any attention.

            Ol’ Papafinally broke the silence, “Tisiphone, what do you think about Missouri?”

            The vampiress blinked, “I don’t, really. I’ve never been there.”

            “Well, you are going to a little town there,” Ol’ Papa’s face was impassive but his eyes seemed to hold a deep worry, “There has been some trouble there, and I would like for you to deal with it.”

            Tisiphone blinked. She had, at one time, been the chief assassin for the Ge-Rouge, until she had taken a hiatus in order to heal from the last battle she had fought and nearly lost. She nodded slowly, “Of course, Papa.”

            Agwe spoke, and his voice was deep and booming like seawater breaking on sharp rocks, “You will go to a town called ‘Liberty Cross,’ and there you will find a vampire who calls himself Zuriel.”

            Tisiphone froze and for a second she couldn’t bring herself to ask the question that rang inside of her head, “The leader of the…?”

            “Yes, the leader of the pack of vampires that took out those hospitals. If left unchecked, the Choir of Zuriel will not only overrun the revenant territories, but they will reveal our presence to the human world.” Agwe patted the back of his neck with the sponge.

            “What do they want?”

            Ixchel and Ol’ Papa exchanged meaningful glances, but it was Erzulie who replied, “They believe that they are the true children of god, and that, like Christ, they were also resurrected from death. They believe that they are the tools of God sent here to bring about the End of Days.”

            Tisiphone swallowed hard, “Oh.”

            Ol’ Papa smiled at her, and the glint in his eyes was not unkind, “You are going to kill Zuriel.” Tisiphone visibly balked and he continued, “You are going to find him and do what it is that you do best.”

            Ixchel half whispered to him, “I thought that you had worked something out with the White Collars?”

            “I have, however it never hurts to have a plot within a plot,” Ol’ Papa said without turning his eyes to her, “The situation in Liberty Cross has gotten to the point where it will take more than just an assassination to fix it. We provide the killing, they do the cleanup.”

            Tisiphone stood up awkwardly, “I will find him, Papa, and I will kill him.”

            Ol’ Papa grinned and handed her a bottle that had once been filled with stout and now was filled with human blood, “I knew I could count on you.”


            Dinah stood in the middle of the street, smiling vaguely up at the sky as the rain poured down onto her. The night was heavy with the scent of blood and terror, and even though she was awaiting further instructions from her master, Dinah couldn’t help but allow herself to be content with her belly full to bursting with fresh blood.

            A second member of Zuriel’s choir walked towards her in the feline, inhuman motions that only a vampire could pull off, his muscular jaw slack and his too-wide mouth lolling open like a panting dog’s.

He approached and Dinah smiled at him benevolently, “Are there any left alive, Mordecai?”

The vampire grinned, and his smile extended from ear to ear, the scars that severed the skin of his cheeks grinding together like the lips that they were not. A cross was branded into the skin of his forehead so that he resembled a parishioner on Ash Wednesday, especially if Ash Wednesday took place in hell.

“No,” he slurred around his misshapen lips, “There are none left alive. All have been converted, as Zuriel wishes,” his long fangs flashed in the light of the streetlamp as he spoke, stained though they were from his feeding.

“Good.” Dinah turned to smile at him as she hugged her bible closer to her chest to protect it from the rain, “They will be coming soon: first the humans and then our prey.”

“The master is certain that they will come?”

“Oh yes,” Dinah’s eyes lit up with their hideous zeal, “The eastern tribes will come. They will come to the river and they will cross it but it will take so much out of them that they will be as easy to kill as any human. They will think that they are clever, and they will band together to take us out, but that will only make our victory all the quicker.”

Mordecai laughed, “In His name, amen.”

No comments:

Post a Comment