|Author: Alruna Zelenia||Original Source: Re:Library|
~Chapter 12: The Mad & Possessed~
Haydn and Avery had finished eating at this cheap diner just down the street and across from St. La Vida for a while now. They were still waiting for Evelyn’s text about finishing her dinner. Avery could not imagine how or why Eve would be able to spend more than ten minutes with Cooper without wanting to strangle him. If anything, she should be begging to leave a long time ago. Something was not adding up and Avery had been having this stomach cramp since this morning. It was her gut telling her something was not right today and the cramping had just intensified, she gasped and her eyes slammed shut. She always had this uncanny ability of some sort of premonition, she saw a mere flash of Eve tied up and gagged in a dark place.
Once it had passed, she whipped out of her seat with her unnatural speed, uncaring that she might expose herself. Especially when she was using her more primal side, her skin would turn to its actual pale blue tint instead of the fake human colours she normally preserved. “We need to go!” And when Haydn’s eyes only widened in shock, she screamed at him, “NOW!”
Haydn got the message and shot out of his seat, Avery did not care as she just ran out of the diner but Haydn at least had it in his mind to drop a few notes on the table before he ran after her with his also unnatural speed. Once Haydn caught up to Avery, she was facing off against three snake shifters still in their human forms, two males and one female. Snake shifters were sly, slippery and quick, not a good opponent to have. Haydn also noticed Avery’s phone on the pavement and she was fighting barehanded.
Haydn used his magick to bring his quarterstaff into his hands and jumped in to block a powerful blow meant to hit the back of Avery’s head. Avery had been cornered so suddenly while she was panicking that she had not been able to draw her weapon yet, Haydn covered for her as she concentrated on summoning her sword into her hand.
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At the back of Haydn’s mind, he realized that there were terrified humans screaming and running until one of them shouted that it was just a show. He always knew that humans were dumb but he could not believe how dumb they really could get as the humans stopped panicking and started crowding them to watch the ‘show’ instead. They formed a wide circle around the supernatural beings so that they could watch the ‘performance’.
Once Avery managed to summon her greatsword, they stood back to back and faced their three opponents who were hissing at them. The female’s screech nearly deafened the non-shifter supernatural, yet soundless to the humans due to the sound being higher than the frequency range that humans could perceive. This signalled the males to begin their attacks, each one of them charged at their respective opponents.
The snake shifters had moved faster than Haydn had thought they could, although it could have also been attributed to the distraction provided by the female’s high-pitched screech. Luckily for the older Faerie who had more experience and skills, he was able to successfully block the red-haired male’s attack. However, the redhead zombie was not as fortunate, she received a deep cut right across her rib cage due to her inexperience in combat and her young age. She did not even flinch or scream at the supposedly painful laceration – her zombie heritage promised quick recovery and high pain tolerance. If this injury was compared to that of a human’s, this would be but a small scratch, barely skin deep. Her muscles and skin quickly kneaded themselves back together, sealing her wounds as if they had never been there, surprising their attackers.
The female performed a quick shift into her snake body right in front of the humans and immediately jumped in to assist her black-haired companion in fighting the zombie. All the snake shifters could see as clear as day that the redhead was younger and weaker than the blue-haired man. That was why they thought that it would be easier to take out the female before they get to him. What they did not know, however, was that since the female was a zombie, she’d be exponentially more difficult to deal with, despite her age and inexperience. No one would have guessed that Avery was a zombie unless they saw her reveal her true colours – the reason being that no zombie had ever resided outside of their birthplace. Thus, they had thought her a mere shifter.
The black-haired shifter brought his sword down on the zombie with all his strength, she reacted by blocking his attack with the flat of her great sword. During this short moment of distraction, while their swords were locked in a battle of strength, the female recoiled and struck with rapid precision, biting into the redhead’s ankle and injecting her venom into her bloodstream. The female snake cheered internally at her small victory, she thought for sure that the redhead would be down shortly. One could imagine her surprise when the venom leaked back out of the bite wound and sealed itself close.
Normally, Avery wouldn’t have sustained so much damage even if she was fighting against two shifters. While these injuries meant nothing to her in the long run, they could still manage to tire her down with the rate that she was recovering from her injuries. Her mind was just too preoccupied, trying to get to her best friend before anything bad could happen to her. After all, she had promised that she would always protect her, and for her species, a promise of protection was taken with the highest regard, it was basically the purpose of their lives. With that thought in mind, she roared out a war cry and slashed wildly with her greatsword and managed to wound her opponent’s arm, effectively disarming the man.
It was impressive how the humans had actually stayed around to watch for the past ten minutes even when blood had actually been spilt. Both sides had taken significant damage – mostly Avery who had easily healed herself and the two snake-men. Haydn had had about just enough, he cast a chilling spell on their opponents, freezing up their reptilian muscles and slowing them greatly.
The grey-eyed Faerie was about to go for a killing blow to sever the shifted female’s head when suddenly she hissed loudly in an ear-piercing noise. Haydn stopped in his tracks, trying to cover his now bleeding ears. Whereas, Avery hardly seemed to have noticed as she just rushed ahead of him, even with her bleeding ears. All the humans around them had also covered their ears, protecting their fragile human eardrums.
It was then the two unshifted males and the shifted female quickly made their retreat into the crowd. Watching them escape, Avery was of two minds – she wanted to chase them down and defeat them but the image of a bound Evelyn that had previously flashed through her mind reminded her that she was needed elsewhere. She skidded to a halt, picked up her phone and immediately ran back the other way, towards St. La Vida with her sword still held tightly in one hand and her recovered phone in the other, she would not allow herself to be caught off guard again.
The crowd applauded the amazing ‘performance’ that looked so real but also booed the retreat. Nevertheless, they made way for Avery as she left, no human in their right mind would actually want to be at the receiving end of that great sword even if it was fake. Haydn made haste to follow behind Avery as she ran.
Avery was muttering “no” repeatedly when she finally caught sight of the closed sign placed in front of the restaurant doors. As they got closer to the restaurant, Avery’s muttered “no” had turned into “please, please don’t. Please, no, let her be safe.” Her eyes were watery and her vision was blurred but she did not care for either, she needed to know that her best friend was safe. She never stopped for the locked door, she smashed right through the thick double wooden doors, triggering the alarm which she didn’t even seem to notice.
Haydn followed her through the human-sized hole in the door and found her looking around the premise with wild teary eyes. The restaurant appeared peaceful, there were no signs of blood or struggle but Evelyn was obviously missing too. With dying hope, Avery dropped her sword and dialled the familiar number of her best friend’s.
When it connected, both of them heard the buzzing in a corner of the room. They ran to it, they felt like they couldn’t get there soon enough. When they sighted the clutch purse on the table, they also noticed the spilt red wine on the floor. Avery grabbed hold of the clutch purse and searched through it for Eve’s new iPhone and found it vibrating with Avery’s unanswered call.
Avery felt like her world had just come crashing down, she could no longer hold back the tears or the sob that forced its way out of her throat. She gave out an anguished cry and fell onto her knees in the red puddle now mixed with her blood.
Haydn, on the other hand, was of a much more alert mind, he was not too devastated but he needed to make sure that the human was still alive. He opened up his senses to take in the scene. He could detect a hint of a drug in the red liquid on the floor but that wasn’t all––
He whispered, “Black magic…” However, Avery seemed to have lost sense of the world around her, her skin was no longer pale blue but a dark veiny blue, her eyes usually grass green was now glowing in a faint blue. She roared wildly into the thin air. “I will ꜰᴜᴄᴋɪɴɢ kill you, Lex!” She got up onto her feet and was about to march out of the place with only one mission in her mind.
Haydn held her back from behind with his arms hooked under her shoulders and locked her in place.
“ꜰᴜᴄᴋɪɴɢ let me go, or I will kill you too, Faerie!” She shouted and struggled in his arms.
“Calm down, zombie! You don’t want to kill him, we might still be able to get some information out of him. Evelyn might still be alive!” When she kept struggling, he repeated again in a yell. “Did you hear me, zombie?! She could still be alive!”
“Alive?” That seemed to be the only word that had stuck with her but it was enough to bring her back. She had stopped struggling and looked back at Haydn from the corner of her eyes. “You mean Eve could still be alive?”
“Yes, that’s what I just said. Now calm the ꜰᴜᴄᴋ down, zombie. We got things to do if we want to find her still in one piece.” Only when her skin slowly lost its blue colour and her eyes had stopped glowing did Haydn finally let her go.
“Okay, I’m calm. What should we do?” Avery asked, all of her energy seemed to have drained from her.
“First, we need to get out of this place before the police get here.” They could both hear the siren getting too close for comfort, they left in a hurry but not before Haydn muttered a spell at the cameras. Once they were on the run, Haydn went on to explain, “Whoever took her used a black teleportation magic, I need to gather a few items for a spell to track where it had taken them. You need to go find that ᴀꜱꜱʜᴏʟᴇ and see if he knew where they could have taken her.”
“Roger.” Avery nodded before she separated ways with Haydn, both to carry out their own missions.
Avery rang the bell until the intercom came on and she heard Cooper’s voice. “Avery? Come on in.” He sounded happy, excited even, and he was friendly like he had always been which had only made Avery want to sock him in the face. She had made sure to change before she came over here, it would not be wise to turn up with torn clothes.
Once she got to the door, Cooper swung the door wide open and received Avery with a giant bear hug. Avery pushed him away after only a second into the hug, she really did not feel like being friendly with him at the moment.
“We need to talk, Alexander.” She walked past him into the house and strode into the lounge room easily since she had been here a few times. Cooper knew he was in trouble when Avery called him by his full given name, he followed after her and sat close beside her, she moved away from him. Cooper stayed where he was and watched dejectedly as the woman of his dreams once again rejected him, no one talked for a long moment.
“Tell me where Eve is. Don’t you dare lie to me, Lex.” She glared heatedly at him.
“I don’t know. What makes you think I know where she is, Aves?” He answered as innocently as he could.
“She told me she had dinner with you tonight and now she’s not home. You were the last person with her. Don’t test me, Lex.” Her voice was full of warning and her eyes were serious. Now that Cooper focused on them, he could tell that she had been crying, her eyes were slightly red and puffy.
“Why is it always about her? What is it with her? What does she have that I don’t?” He jumped to his feet and snapped at her with his booming voice.
“She is my best friend, Alex. I will not let you take her away from me!” She shouted back at him, also getting to her feet, not wanting to be talked down to.
“I was your best friend for the last twenty years! We knew each other since you were in kindy and you just replaced me with her!” Cooper shouted with tears pooling in his eyes, he angrily wiped them away with the back of his hand.
“No! Do not put this over me again, Alex! Eve has nothing to do with this! You were the one who pushed us apart. You have always been like a big brother to me and I loved you for that and when you confessed that you were in love with me when I was in high school, I rejected you. I told you that I could not be more than what I already was to you and you reacted badly, you hit me, Lex, you hit me! You were the one who pushed me away, you stopped talking to me until you suddenly came back and offered me a job after I came out of college as your personal assistant. I had forgiven you ages ago for hitting me but you had never let me go! Lex, it had been almost ten years now. Get it in your head we were never meant to be!” Avery shouted at him, poking a finger into his broad chest and pushing him a few steps back.
“You never even gave me a chance! I can show you that I am the one for you!” Cooper shouted back defiantly and tried to stand his ground but failed, he kept moving backwards. “You just didn’t want to see me in that way!”
“You are right, I do not want to see you in that way. I had imagined it after you asked me but I could never imagine myself kissing you, it felt wrong, like incest. So, I won’t do it. You need to accept that we will never be lovers.” When the back of Cooper’s knees hit the couch, he grabbed Avery’s face and brought his lips harshly onto hers for a kiss. Avery was too shocked to do anything at first and when it finally registered that her brotherly figure had kissed her, her stomach revolted and she pushed him away. He landed in a heap on the couch, panting.
“I LOVE YOU, AVES! Why won’t you love me back?” He covered his face with his hands and sobbed hysterically. Avery felt bad for him for a moment before he quickly recovered like he did back in her high school years. He reverted to his angry mode and screamed at her.
“If I cannot get you, no one else can! Your ʙɪᴛᴄʜ of a ‘best friend’ is as good as dead!” He laughed maniacally. Avery detected a hint of an essence finally exuding from his core, it was dark, strong and familiar. The essence now clouding Cooper was black and blood red, it felt dangerous with a murderous intent. While the essence around Eve was dark and powerful too, it did not feel sinister, it only brought about a sense of serenity if only one took enough time to look past the darkness of the essence.
It took a moment for the zombie to finally register who that essence belonged to – He was another one of the first circle demons under the name of Asgaroth. He was older than the demoness who had claimed Eve but he possessed equal strength to Hers.
An essence was used to make claims, showing off your power and other little things. Other than that, they were unable to physically, mentally or metaphysically influence another person. However, as always, there were exceptions to these rules, really powerful beings such as the demons in the top three circles of Hell had massive amounts of essence that their essence could be used to hurt others physically. From the anger now present in Cooper’s eyes, Avery had a feeling she was about to feel a sting way more painful than the little beating Cooper had given her years ago.
The essence came at Avery and she tried to dodge it but the essence was usually everywhere and nowhere, caught her up in its tangible grip and threw her against the opposite wall, creating a huge dent in the wall. Before she could even get up, she felt herself repeatedly being bashed by the essence.
“Lex. Please. Calm. Down.” She gasped out each word in between painful hits, this was the first time she had actually been afraid of Cooper. She was a zombie, his mere human strength hardly even affected her but this was not human, this was the essence of a demon. Cooper must have had a deal with the demon to get rid of Eve, allowing himself to be possessed. She could not believe that Cooper would have stooped this low to try to have her. The beating kept up without pause but she felt the essence lift her head up to face Cooper. She could see no recognition in his eyes, he had gone mad with anger and power – a human was never meant to be able to take this much power into their body.
While zombies could hardly feel pain, they could still experience it when their senses get overwhelmed. And now, she was clearly overpowered so severely that she could feel the worst pains she had ever felt in her life. It felt like the essence knew just where her pain nerve endings were and brutally pounded into them. She screamed at the pain that she could feel seeping and vibrating into her bones.
“I love you so much, Aves. I was so devastated when you told me you were leaving and I was pulverized when that ʙɪᴛᴄʜ came to me too, I knew you two were leaving together. I cried, I drank, I hated myself. Until last night, a fire burned in my lounge room and told me that he could give me power – the power to remove all my rivals and all I had to do was to get her out alone at St. La Vida tonight. He told me that this power could grant me the ability to keep you forever. Since he is wrong and I still can’t have you now that she is dead, you might as well die too. I will join you soon after, Aves.” He gave her a gentle kiss on the lips before stepping away. Avery could no longer feel the pain of the bashing but it could just mean that she had lost the feeling in her body. She felt herself being held down and the dark black and red essence formed a sharp blade in front of her.
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She closed her eyes, a drop of tear flowed freely down her cheek. She thought, “At least if Eve was really dead, I will be joining her soon. See you on the other side, babe.”
When her impending doom never came, she opened her eyes to find that the essence holding her down was missing, a silver blade protruded from Cooper’s neck and blood spewed down his mouth and neck. The sword twisted slightly and severed his head from his body, blood rained down on her but she could now see a head of silver-blue hair behind Cooper’s headless body.
The now lifeless body fell forward onto Avery’s legs. She wasn’t sure how she should be feeling now – happy that she was saved, devastated that one of her oldest friends had tried to kill her and died instead, or something else. In the end, however, all she could do was cry from the overwhelming sensation of her warring emotions. Haydn looked at her sympathetically, the first genuine emotion that he had shown since he met the two women. He picked up her blood-soaked body in a princess carry and let her cry on his shoulders as he walked out and away from the house of the now dead and possessed man.