She was very much aware of his presence, though her body had been sleeping.
He did not realize that there was nothing he could do to her that she did not allow, for as he smeared her blood across his fingertips and tasted her, a thread of his dead spirit filtered in through her, and initially corrupted, then enhanced her nature.
Enduring the sickness, she did not let him see her tremble, and through some miracle, managed to hold her gorge.
He was not merely old, but ancient, and smelled of the dust and bones of ancient catacombs long buried and forgotten.
She also felt the essence of his lust, a thin, light band of energy over the corruption; she saw the faces of women, lovely and in their physical prime, saw the bodies writhing beneath him, grinding over him, and what he did with them when it was over.
Multiple abattoirs dotted the landscape where he’d been at work.
She made a silent vow to avenge them all.
“Janyris,” said her father, “this dabbling in things mortal is not for you; it will come to no good end. You must be ready to ascend your station when your mother passes.”
For awhile, she complied, and played the dutiful daughter until her mother actually passed, not in the traditional sense; she merely went to the underworld and never returned.
Her father was suspect that she had gone voluntarily, to be with the gods that dwelt there, but he dared not go after her, for fear of finding out if that were true.
He’d been a good father, but as to husband, Janyris couldn’t say.
She left too, unannounced, unsuspected, and left her father to fend for himself, and find succor where he would.
She observed the mortals for awhile, creatures of habit, and routine, much like ants and migratory birds, scattering in panics when crisis came, then banding together to rally and rebuild, if they could.
They were boring, but she admired their tenacity to survive and keep their mundane species in existence.
In time, they came to amuse her, and she was content to meddle in minor ways, until one day, she saw something that piqued her interest, and went into a deeper world.
A small boy was sleeping, the moonlight soft on his innocent face, and she saw a shadow in his room detach itself, and come to stand by his bed.
Its eyes were open, and a pale violet shade.
She grew intrigued, and looked closer.
The shadow reeked of death and evil; she dared draw no closer, lest it sense her presence; indeed, it had already looked up at the ceiling twice, sensing something, and she wasn’t sure she’d hidden in time, but as it didn’t pursue her, she knew she wasn’t seen.
This was the sort of being that killed when discovered.
He took the boy’s hand, and pricked the skin of his index finger with a long nail of his own.
The child thrashed under his covers, then grew still, and the shadow retreated.
As the sun rose, the boy’s body simply dissipated, skin melting into bone melting into the dust motes in the light of the morning sun, and his body simply drifted apart, his soul taken and his flesh removed.
The parents were in agony, and did not last long together, and in their isolation, grew despondent, and died not long thereafter.
She wanted to go to them, but she dared not.
Then came the fateful night they met, and she made her vow in front of him.
He saw the glimmer of something in her, and showed his true face, and she knew in that moment she had him.
And now he was a part of her, and she of him.
It was going to be glorious fight.
Ah, my dear Rillion, you don’t know what you’ve done. Taking your soul will redeem my own, and the damnation that awaits you is beyond description.
© Alfred W. Smith Jr. 2015