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Halo

Prologue

 

Darkness was fast approaching. I looked out the window and gazed out at the approaching dusk. I had a few moments more, possibly just a couple of minutes before he returned. I would savour the peace and quiet, so I contentedly ignored the squeaky stillness in the house and concentrated on simply staring out that window at the darkening skies beyond it.  I kept my mind blank from all thoughts that would disturb this peace, this moment of stolen bliss. I looked down at the stub of narcotics in my hand and knew instinctively that this time… this time, I would be caught.

 

I lifted it to my lips, placing it just right before drawing in a sharp short breath. My concentration was complete on the bliss that would pour through me from that one short gesture. I was reluctant to exhale but I knew I had to and so I did, so slowly, gradually releasing the toxic smoke into a short puffs of air. Then I heaved great big gasps trying to draw in some air. It was difficult but I managed, coughing along as I did. Just as I managed to settle myself down gathering my scattered wits back I had a craving for yet another drought.

 

A hand came out of nowhere and slapped the cancer stick right out of my unsteady hand. I made a grasping reach for it but I was too slow, those damn things were more potent than I thought. I watched helplessly as the short stub fell to the floor to join its pair and then gasped in horror as a rough shod boot brutally stamped on it. Hammering the last of the sparks out as it stomped repeatedly on the stubs. Then that hand swung towards me, aiming a blow. I could not even duck down as I saw it coming.

 

My nose was broken I was sure. I clutched at it howling like a kid in pain. For that was what I was a twelve year old kid in pain. I lifted my hand away to check and sure enough it was red with blood. That had me howling even more. The bliss from the stub was forgotten as again that hand rammed into me this time knocking me to the floor. I clutched at my stomach with one hand and held my nose together with the other and howled in pain as furious tears poured out of my eyes.

 

"You f-ing arsehole you broke my nose!" I yelled out stupidly and earned myself several more kicks, one that broke a rib I was sure.

 

"Finish the job damn, you! Is it not enough you put my mother in her grave? Why stop with her when you can finish me off as well?" I yelled again stupidly and the kicks I received from that sent me off to join that darkness that shrouded the house.

 

 

Night had finally fallen.

Chapter 1

The splash of water woke me up with a jolt.

 

I looked up to see Father José leaning over me with a concerned but disappointed look. I gave him a wincing smirk.

 

"Am I dead already, father?" I shot the morbid but pragmatic question up at him. This would not be the first time I was in such predicament. It certainly wouldn't be the last.

 

"At this rate, son, I am sure death shouldn't be long in coming," Father José muttered mildly as he lent down a helping hand to haul me up and onto my feet.

 

I thought that a partial truth. In the past I would have agreed with him but now I wasn't so quick to fall back on that lie. For it was a lie. You see I was already dead. The walking dead. Only not in a literal sense. But I was as good as.

 

I turned with a sigh that said it all and stared down into the elixir that the good father placed into the palm of my hand. It was the curse of my life. The bane of my existence. But it was the source of my existing at all. I hated it but I couldn't live without it. I hated life but I couldn't die. At least not yet. Not till there was someone else to carry the torch. But this was not one baton I could pass on easily without a niggling guilty conscience.  I downed the bitter brew in one shot. Gulping it all cleanly down. The fire was instantaneous. Burning down my throat then spreading like a raging inferno through my veins. I felt it work its magic. Broken nose snapped back to perfect precision. Torn skin patched right back up. Bruises disappeared altogether. I was mended back to new. I felt along my broken jaw and there were no ridges nothing that would have indicated it had been anything but perfect unblemished skin.

 

I smirked a grimace at Father José. "So you going to tell me what brings you here this early in the morning?" I asked looking down at his plump and unassuming veneer. No one could guess looking at the Father that he was the sole man responsible for putting the devil in his place. But to all intents and purpose that was precisely what Father José did when he wasn't prettying himself up for the Sunday masses.

 

"Tsk tsk," Father José clucked his tongue at me. "When are you going to stand up to your stepfather? Your mother's been dead for six years now. Don't you think it’s time you told him in no uncertain terms to fuck off?"

 

I grinned down at the Father. Somehow hearing him swear always made me smile. It just did not go with his rollie polly pink cheeked image.

 

"If I did he would be dead. Then where would I be," I said mildly. It was true. I meted out death on a daily basis. It helped to vent my rage, fuelled by the hatred that boiled in my blood for my step-father, Senator Higgins, and onto those slightly more deserving, like the serfs of Satan.

 

I had taken an oath at the age of fifteen to serve god and good and vanquish the demons and its spawns from Earth. Unfortunately, that meant sparing my step-father from a much needed visit to an early grave. It was why I had to draw away the effects of the elixir each time Higgins chose to give me a bashing. It was the only way to avoid having to explain away why I was indestructible.

 

I looked on at Father José, and then seriously asked, "So what’s up?"

 

"The pelican is back," he said abruptly.

 

"Fuck!" I bit out furiously. The pelican were the reason I sniffed narcotics at all. They had been the worst. A cult of Satan worshippers that brutalised the young and innocent solely to gain the graces of the devil himself.

 

I shuddered inwardly at the thought of the horrors to come. I still vividly recalled the many grotesque encounters I have had with that cult in the past. But like a disease they never really go away.

 

 

I narrowed my eyes with a determined resolve that hardened my barely eighteen year old features to resemble that of an aged warrior who had seen and done it all. I have seen and done it all in the past three years of my life and then some.

Chapter 2

I slipped on the scabbard that would hold my double edged blade that could cleave through the worst of a demon spawn but hoped to god it would not come to that. Despite what I did… had to do, I hated violence with a vengeance that defied reason, especially since I had been trained in the art of war since birth. It was what happened when you pair a witch with a warlock and produced a similar breed of mage for a son.

 

I, Alaric Atari, was my mother's son and my father's legacy. I would uphold the Atari name in battle and send the blasted evil back to hell.

 

I strapped on my vial of spells and my shots of curses then matched it with blessed knives and blades. I was ready to do battle with a speed that was alarmingly quick. I had done this once too often. Grabbing my satchel filled with yet more potions and holy water I set out to the location Father José sent me.

 

"Hey Atari!"

 

I was unsurprised at being called by my surname instead of my first name. The name Atari had a lot of meaning in these parts and I may well be the last male of my line. I spun around to see who the caller was.

 

"Hey Don!"

 

Donny was our neighbour. Distant and only neighbour. For him to be up and about at this hour could only mean one thing.

 

"Hey... er... could you give me a lift to school. I assume that’s where you are heading?"

 

I sighed. This was one of the many problems with having a secret identity and more importantly secret activities to match that identity.

 

"Sure hop in. I was heading off on a little errand elsewhere but had planned on dropping by the school first anyhow," I lied simply catching the door lock between my thumb and forefinger before giving it a tug upward. The door to the driver side released to swing wide open. My trusty Ute was a well-oiled machine but my frequent encounters with the hellish kind was taking its toll on the poor thing. The inverted door knob mechanism worked only from the inside after having been hammered in by one demon too many in the past.

 

"You really aught to join that gym I've been telling you about. Hammering up your own car... man that's just crazy."

 

I looked up at Don in askance belatedly recalling the crap I told him in the past to explain why my car got dented all too often. I think I concocted up an issue of having hidden rage that I needed to release from time to time and that I saw no problems with doing this on my own Ute.  I admit that excuse hadn't been one of my better ones. But a lie is a lie. Once told you could do nothing but live it down. Now, I simply shrugged off my shoulders indifferently not bothering with a reply.

 

"You know my sister has been harping on my back to get you to ask her to the dance this Saturday," Don started hesitantly. I remained mute.

 

"But of course you would have already had a date lined up....at least that is what I told her. You know it would help if you brought your girlfriend around sometime. I would help to get her and most of the female population of this town off my back."

 

Again, I only shrugged indifferently and pressed my foot down a little harder on the gas paddle. The ute shot forward gradually picking up speed. I took care to avoid going over the speed limit.

 

The fields of hay passed by swiftly. I turned off from the dirt roads onto the M3 and was shooting down the highway to the little town. I drove up and pulled over by the main entrance to the school. It was deserted. At this hour it naturally would be.

 

"You alright to being here? I could drop you off at the cafe?" I offered even though pressed for time.

 

"Nah man I'll walk up. Stretch these limbs and maybe some biceps at the Matthews."

 

The Matthews lived close to the school and were blessed with not one or two but eight daughters. They had a parade of boys and men frequenting past their front door on a daily basis.

 

I nodded my head in understanding and set the Ute in motion towards my destination. With each mile my Ute ate up the distance to my target bringing me that much closer to certain death. You would think I would have gotten used to it by now. That I would have lost the fear of dying but I hadn't and to say the least my fear of living was as great. Each option was as always a choice between a raging inferno and being stoned alive.  At least that is what my glimpses of hell offered me and we all know what kind of hell living is in itself.

 

I slammed my foot down on the accelerator letting my fear for me work to surge me forwards at a greater speed. I would get over this sooner rather than later. The crawling feeling in the pit of my stomach didn't let up and I grew tenser as I swerved off the road onto a beaten track that led me straight to the pelican cult’s headquarters.

 

 

Chapter 3

The eerie glow that cast a pall over the landscape told a tale of its own. I was already too late. The dial has been cast. I shot my foot down hurling the Ute over the rough terrain slamming over bumps and protrusions that seemed to appear before my vehicle even as I approached. The hindrance spell was in works. The cult’s darkness was working against me. I felt a snarl break free as frustrations grew. I knew what this clearly meant. The innocents were being slaughtered. An offering was being made.

 

A sharp ledge was forming just before me but I pressed on and slammed over its edge to land with a resounding impact and with a quick manoeuvre that sent my tires squealing over the loose gravel sending a spray of dirt every which way till I managed to pull the vehicle to a halt just before an otherwise ordinary looking shack. But that was how the darkness worked. It concealed, displaying only the merest flicker of reality that only a trained eye such as mine could pick out.

 

I threw the car into park and shut the engine. The sudden silence was deafening. Without removing my eyes from the shack in front. I swung my hand behind my seat to tug on my pack. Then I climbed out of my Ute with slow cautious steps. Anything could pop out at me here. The sky was the limit and then some. The ground was considerably worse.

 

I started to move forward hesitantly. Pocketing my keys along the way and swing my pack onto my back. I approached the seemingly harmless shack bare fisted with only a hum of a chant in my mind that I knew could and would blow the shack to smithereens. But only if it was first found empty of innocents.

 

Although it was well past the break of dawn, the surrounding of the shack was all dense gloom. I looked up to the dark clouds over hanging and wondered if it would merely rain hail stones this time instead of the usual bout of plague.

 

Taking a final deep breath that I instantly regretted assailed by the foul smell of putrid faeces. I coughed and pinched the bridge of my nose at the fetid smell that skunked up my nostrils. Then I just pushed opened the damned door…and all hell broke loose. Literally.

 

Years of training and honed skills kicked into reflex and I hurled myself forward through the minuscule gape between two swiping blades. The cult dressed in dark hooded robes came forward to greet me. Having dived forward I threw up my own blades to fend off the onslaught of on comers waging war against me twisting and turning to meet and return each and every strike. But there were too many and my movements started to slow allowing for nicks and slashes to penetrate my and leave behind bleeding flesh wounds. Still I warred on keeping a look out for the innocents I had come to protect. A leaping assailent crashed onto my back sending us both sprawling forwards onto the hard ground. I hit the ground rolling then back flipped up before managing a simultaneous spin kick that sent my assailants at the back sprawling onto their asses. Then, I dove forward again somersaulting over the fallen assailants to trust my blades through yet more of the same. But the landscape was shifting even as I moved forward. My actions were weakening the collective. The power rush sourced from the very bowls of hell was being disrupted. No longer was I in the rustic looking shack but I found myself coming to an abrupt halt as I stood at the precipice of the flaming pit of hell.

 

I cried out my lesser chants and trust my blades back into their holds only to tug out the double barrelled cannon shot loaded with spelled pellets that would send these pelicans to a frosty hell. I aimed and fired then clicked the reload and ran through my pellets slugs with unerring precision and marked speed. It wasn’t long before I ran out of ammunition but I hadn’t long to go. My chants were working the pit before me was closing. It was not really an illusion but was in fact a doorway to hell. One I would have shut all the way through once I was done here. I leaped forward. My mage blood and the power of the elixir doing their bit to launch me across the gaping distance. I cleared the fiery pit only to crash into yet more cults members and then there were the pelicans themselves. A double horned beasts, the hellbound hounds.

 

I ran for it pulling out my bullock-bouncer, a whip like cord, which I used to slash and muscle my way through the beasts that approached from all sides. Then I saw him. The head chief. The cult leader. The source through which the power of the darkness ran. I threw out incantation after incantations and bloodied my way over moving  closer towards him when I caught sight of the slaughtered innocents to his right. I was too late. The feeling of helplessness and rage was all consuming. Letting loose a blood curling yell, I threw a blade dead centre for the power-rush a mural drawn across the pelican stone drenched in the blood of the innocents. The shriek that rose was bone chilling but I was by now dead to such reactions. I moved and function on autopilot. I used the temporary distractions to run forward and step leap off a ledge that shot me arrowing forward onto the cult leader.

 

He burned. Scalding my flesh as I gripped him but I stayed my hold and tossed up my knee into his belly. Watching as he doubled over on impact I moved instantly to slide my blade through his back piercing his heart. Then I moved back and let momentum carry him forward and watched as he fell clean of my venomous blade.

 

Then I turned to leave. Knowing there would be no one else to stop me. Having fought off a pelican cult before I now knew what to expect but this had seemed all too easy. I glanced about uncertainly waiting for another attack. For something else to happen but there was nothing… only silence. Then I heard it, the slightest sounds but a quick survey showed nothing.

 

I wiped clean the blood off my blade over the edge of a flapping black robe. A call for help suddenly alerted me. It was a feeble call. It sound whisper thin but my enhanced hearing picked it up well enough. I glanced about spotting no exit routes other than the way I came in and I saw no innocents who were still alive. I went over to make sure but the strewn shorned-off heads of the innocents needed no further investigations. Still I closed the distance noticing and recognising the faces of the victims. As always they were young virgin women. I avoided looking at their mutilated bodies. There were no possible survivors. Shaking my head I was sure I was beginning to hear things. But I heard it again. The whisper was faint but unmistakeable.

 

“Help!”

 

 

Chapter 4

I called out, “I can hear you but where are you?”

 

“Down here!”

 

I looked down at the torn skin and shredded flesh and saw only blood and gore before me.

 

“Where?” I questioned weakly as reaction was starting to set in.

 

Then I saw it …the slightest ruffle of a blood drenched hair and around it came a miniature…woman?

 

I stared at the palm sized female wading through the pool of blood on the ground and bent over to pick her up.

 

“Ouch!” She called out angrily.

 

I shifted her onto my open palm, “Sorry, but you looked like you were about to drown in all that blood there. I’d have offered you a hand but…”  I fell silent then having realised that I had already done that she was to all intents and purpose perched on the palm of my hand.

 

“What are you?” I questioned in wonderment.

 

“I am a Matthews. Lisa Matthews. The third Matthews sister…,” she started to say before she fell to sobbing.

 

This was awkward. I didn’t do tears and from a half-foot long miniature… well, never before. I shifted uneasily.

 

“We need to get out of here,” I said turning to leave.

 

“Wait!” Lisa called out. “We can’t just leave here. I need to get back to size. I can’t go home like this.”

 

“How did this happen?”

 

“I told a lie. I was not a virgin,” she wailed out pitifully. Was this the effect of a backfired spell that the cult member incidentally released? It explained why my kills were so easy. The pelicans were not at full strength. They were short of the fifth purity.

 

I shook my head in bewilderment. This was a first for me.

 

“Father Jose’ will know what to do,” I said urgently needing her to stop her caterwauling. The tears dried up like magic and little… if I recollect correctly, eighteen year old Lisa turned up her tiny baby blues on me with such hope that had me shifting on my feet uncomfortably, again.

 

It felt odd carrying her on my palm so I shifted her onto my shoulders and told her to hang on. She caught hold of my shorn locks and held tight. Then I moved with my usual swiftness clearing the tear in the fabric of time and space to heal the fracture in earth that bled straight into hell. I drew on the pentagrams and ritual symbols and continuing with my chants I poured the elixir over the pelican stone ridding the world of its link into hell.

 

Then I walked out of the now ordinary looking but blood splattered little shack pausing only to mutter that one chant that blew it and everyone dead in it, all to smithereens. I had to head home first to wash off the muck I was covered in and to drop off a delicate baggage, one Lisa Matthews. I would need to get ready for school but I couldn’t be carting her off to school with me. The sooner Father Jose’ attended to this matter the better.

 

Buckling myself into my seat I put in a call to Father Jose’ then thrust the gear into drive and soon I was hurtling over the now even landscape only to careen wildly off the beaten path onto the highway as I raised my voice in ire and explicits to Father Jose’ obtuse comprehension of the problem I was now bringing to him.

 

 

Chapter 5

"I don't believe it."

 

Father Jose stared out in stupification at the tiny woman I held in the palm of my hand.

 

"And you say she's a Matthews?"

 

"Yes," I replied staring down at the grumpy girl sitting on my palm. She was not happy with Father Jose talking over her as if she were mute. But to all intents and purposes, she may as well be, for no one but I could hear her. My enhanced hearing was nothing more than a curse at this moment. Her tiny pitches of complaints were grating on my nerves.

 

"Which Matthews?"

 

"Does it matter? Look just take her off my hands and fix her," I stated forcefully. This was not what I signed up for... if I signed up for anything at all.

 

"I don't really feel right holding her. You might want to place her on the table."

 

I stared at him in disbelief but I was glad rid myself of her presence. I so it was with some relief that I washed my hands off her and turned to go.

 

"Wait! Where are you going? You're the only one who can hear her. I need you to communicate with her. I have some questions," Father José muttered as he set about pulling books from the shelf of his study and stacking them on his desk. I could see this had all the beginnings of a long and time consuming research . Time I didn't have to spare.

 

"I have to get to school. You're going  have to figure out another way of communicating with her," I said on my way out. "Oh, and you might want to be careful with where you toss those books... you wouldn't want to squelch her."

 

I ignored Father José cry of distress and little Lisa Matthews' frantic cry, and headed out the door. I have to head home and clean up before I go to school. Today was a  biology test I couldn't miss.

 

 

Chapter 6

"Alaric!" Called out a deliberately husky voice that could only belong to Stephanie Jenkins. I ignored it.

 

"Alaric Atari!"

 

I strolled on unaffected. It was not her first attempt in trying to get my attention and it wouldn't be the last. Jenkins was a snob just as her rich father was. Alfred Jenkins was good friends with my step-father. Any friends of his could never be friends of mine.

 

"Psst! Psst! Over here," called out the only other friend I did have. Rachel Matthews.

 

"Hi," I muttered softly as I slowly ambled over to her.

 

"Have you heard? My sister is missing.."

 

"She's with me," I was quick to interrupt her flow of words. Rachel was a talkative sort. The only reason I paid her any heed was that she cared. There were a scant few who cared at all if shit happened to me so I wasn't about to fuss over the peculiarities of those who did.

 

"She's with you? What do you mean she's with you," she gasped out chokingly.

 

I caught Rachel's suspicious glare and knew she immediately assumed the worst.

 

"Just what I said, Lisa is with me," I said simply.

 

"I don't understand.."

 

"I'll take you to see her after school," I promised before heading away from her. I never lingered for a casual chat. I couldn't. The restless energy within me  didn't permit me to. So I moved on ignoring her calls but class was about to start soon and I knew she couldn't chase after me.

 

I suppose I shouldn't have mentioned Lisa at all. Afterall, Father José would work his magic and Lisa would be back to normal in no time at all. But I needed Rachel to be there when I headed back for Lisa. I hate the thought of what a full blown Lisa would be like. The miniature version of her was already more than I could handle.

 

I shook my head at my own thoughts then took my seat for the first lesson. Mrs Roberts would be taking the first class on modern history. I hated history. But not more than I hated Mrs Roberts.

 

I slumped back into my seat my thoughts instantly drifting off to ponder over the morning I just had. All in all it had been a disaster of the first order. Not only on my part for being too late but also from the Pelican's point of view. They offering had been nothing more than a sham. I felt there was more to it then I was seeing.  It just didn't seem logical that they could overlook the very basic check of ensuring their sacrifices were indeed virgins. To go through all that effort and not achieve what they set out for simply because of a superfluous slight was unthinkable. Yet that was just what happened.. or what appeared to happen.

 

"Alaric Atari!"

 

I jerked my attention back to the present.  The cougar was calling me. I stared at her briefly but her hot eyes made me want to shudder in revulsion. Mrs Roberts was not unattractive. She was fine looking in face and form. But just the idea of her thinking of me that way made me want to puke. But the fault was not hers. It this damn face I had that inspired lust in just about all female of our species.

 

All excepting the two Matthews whom I knew.

 

Interesting.

 

 

Chapter 7

I revved my engine and waited impatiently. I wasn't exactly eager to get back but I was eager to get this over with. The sooner I returned Lisa Matthews to the bossoms of her family, I could get back to all that was normal in my life. I sighed heavily and alot unhappily.

 

Happiness was an overused mass advocated sentiment of what is believed to be the ideal state of mind. But like all the beliefs I knew, this one was false. As false as santa and on some particularly hard days even as false as God.

 

I tapped my thumbs on the steering wheel to the beat of the music blaring in the background. Closing my eyes I let the brilliant play of the saxophone wash its magic over me. Stake me was my all time favourite.

 

The door to the car opened and I wiped away all traced of enjoyment from my face. Pulling my ray ban out of the dashboard I was able to successfully hide my expression as I watched Donny clamber in. I guess I would be giving him a ride back too.

 

"Let's go," Donny said latching on his seat belt and then settling back in his seat. Just as if I had been waiting all this while twiddling my thumbs ...for him. I glared at him. Then realised that was ineffective  from behind my raybans but then Rachel Matthews, who I had been waiting for, clambered into the back seat. So I kept mum and waited for her to buckle up before I turned the four wheel drive around and ambled off to join the queue of vehicles leaving the school.

 

The track singles repeated. I was only a partway out of the school compound before Don burst out, "Must we listen to this all the way? Don't you have any other songs?"

 

I didn't. This was the only song that made any sense to me. It was as if the writer wrote it just for me. Well me and all the vampires in existence. Not that I would go about staking the lot of them.. I have friends who are vampires. Although I really wouldn't mind going on a staking rampage on all the vamps who weren't my friends. But my friends wouldn't like that either so here I was just listening to the song about my deepest but not necessarily darkest fantasises.

 

I pulled off at the turning to Father José. I saw no reason in having Don tag along to collect Rachel's sister. I took a quick look at Don and noted he was oblivious to our change in direction

 

He was focused in looking out the side mirror... which he had annoyingly commendeered for his own voyeuristic intentions of ogling at Rachel who was surprisingly silent in the back seat.

 

I hid the smirk I felt tugging at the corner of my lips. I didn't as a rule smile. But on occasions like this, I sometimes let the smirk get the better of me.

 

I pulled into Father José's drive and slammed my vehicle into park ignoring Don's groan of disgruntlement over my treatment of my vehicle. Rachel leaped out in my wake hot on my heels bent on retrieving her missing sister.

 

Take her. Take her and go.

 

I was silently just as eager for parting with Lisa, permanently.

 

"Alaric,  what is...."

 

But whatever Father José was about to say was lost in the midst of Rachel's screech," Where is she?"

 

My God! It must run in their family. I winced at the piercing sound. I begun to appreciate Tiny Lisa's version of it. To think I thought Rachel was the quiet one of the lot.

 

But she had a point.

 

" Where is she?" I asked looking about for signs of her ... big or small.

 

Father José tugged me aside and whispered furiously in my ear," What are they doing here?"

 

"Rachel is here to collect her sister. Don is," I shrugged indifferently," just here for the ride."

 

"Well she is still tiny," whispered Father José pointedly.

 

"What do you mean she's still tiny? Haven't you reversed the spell yet?" I glared at him.

 

"Its not working. Nothing is working. Its as if she is immune to magic," Father José muttered  disgruntledly.

 

"Well she can't be immune if she's already been resized by it," I spat out angrily. This was what I didn't need.

 

"Well she was not as tiny as before. She has grown a little bigger,"  admitted Father José grudgingly.

 

"How much bigger?" I asked but then faltered to a halt at the vision that appeared before me.

 

Wrapped in a handkerchief styled as a toga was a barbie sized Lisa Matthews.. who emerged clutching her hands to her ears as if in pain. No doubt she was in pain, if her sister's screeching was giving me headaches, she must be suffering with a full blown migrane.

 

I moved swiftly to intersect but I was too late.

 

All eyes had fallen on her.

 

There was a minute of silence then a loud thump. Donny Webber had fallen to the ground in dead faint.

 

 

Chapter 8

"What the hell?"

 

Hearing Father José curse would have been shockingly hysterical in any other circumstances save this one. I stared down at Donny's prone figure and hoped he hadn't damaged anything vital. Then again if he had, maybe I would only be to an advantage.

 

"Great" I sighed then turned to gauge Rachel's reaction. She had dropped her ass onto the chair at the table. She was now eye to eye with her sister, Lisa Matthews.

 

I shook my head at the shell shocked look on her face. This just kept getting better and better. I certainly knew how to dig myself a hole. I threw Father José an apologetic look. This was afterall a result of poor miscalculation on my part.

 

I should have known the solution was not that easy.

 

"So ....," I said trying to break the loud silence. Then a high pitched tiny voice let loose a string of curses that would have blistered any grown mans ears. I turned to see the faces of both Rachel and Father José. Nada. Zilch. Not a sign of them having heard any of it at all. Seemed I was the only one still cursed in being able to hear the chit.

 

"Look you do mind cutting down on the cursing?" I leaned over close to say under my breath. She blinked her blue eyes at me before uttering a snarl. An outright snarl of all things. Seriously?

 

I drew back in shock. I mean I could understand all this might be a little much to take but I was one of the good guys.

 

I shook my head disapprovingly at her.

 

"Do something," I said through my teeth.

 

"Who me?" said Father José.

 

"Yes, you. Make this all go away," I said thinking seriously that the baddies may have won this round afterall, If they managed to saddle me with this... with this..

 

"I don't like it when you talk over me as if I am not here," Lisa gritted out angrily.

 

"Wha...what is she saying?" Rachel asked in growing awe. I was glad her shock had worn off. It had been starting to irk.

 

"Shall I? Shall I tell your sister what you have just been saying?" I asked Lisa. She glanced at me stubbornly first before sighing. She shook her head mutely.

 

"I didn't think so," I muttered softly.

 

I merely shrugged my shoulders.

 

"Why ..why is she that size?" Rachel asked calmly. Too calmly. I shot her a worried look. A calm like that usually preceeded a storm. An outright thunder and lightning downpour.

 

"I think Father José is best placed to answer that," I was quick to say. There was no way I would be the one divulging anything.

 

"Are you sure this is wise?" Father José muttered mildly as if what he had to disclose was not monumental to the very fabric of space time continuum.

 

And it wasn't. Not really. Not if we continued to battle on and maintain the peace. I didn't really know how much longer that will be. The devil is as you know in the details and there has been plenty of that going around lately.

 

I tilted my head to the side to ponder. There has never been any real reason for secrecy. Only that it hex always been difficult to explain and then there was the paranoid who would just turn it all back against us. I contemplated this situation and every instinct was telling me to let them in. The needed to know. Not just Rachel or Lisa, but the Matthews. The whole lot of them. There was something about them that was relevant to this. I didn't place great stock in fate but,  if I did, I was sure fate was out to tell me something. Something about the Matthews.

 

I took a deep look at Rachel then nodded my head and said to Father José , "Just tell her."

 

Father Jose sighed again this time starting to shake his head no doubt in disagreement. I just knew he was going to find an excuse not to but I was not having it. Not this time. There was an urgency within me that said the Matthews needed to be told and told now.

 

"You're right," I said interrupting Father José just as he opened his mouth to sprout his excuses. "We can't tell them yet. We should only say it once. Best to do it once all of the Matthews are here."

 

I moved around towards the vase of flowers on the table ignoring Father José' s flabbergasted look. Father José had many a fetish and one of them was fresh flowers. I grabbed the vase and pulled out the stalks to empty the watery contents on the prone Donny.

 

"I suggest you take my car and drive to your home then bring your family back here. I would have you all hear this. But only this once," I said simply, staring earnestly at Rachel.

 

She held my gaze questioningly before finally nodding.

 

"And take Donny here with you," I said just as Donny started to stir.

 

I watched as Father José took over then ushering them out the door telling them to hurry.

 

I turned back to Lisa then and said succinctly," You and I, we have to talk."

 

I had a feeling she knew more than she was letting on. My gut has never been wrong before so I was going to have her spill it out. Afterall, there was no way she could not. Not when I had her exactly where I wanted her. In the palm of my hands.

 

 

Chapter 9

I took Lisa to Father José's room. Placing her on the bed I moved to kay down beside her feeling more than a little tired over recent events.

 

He cry of dismay was tiny but shrill. I winced then turned my head to catch the sight of her bouncing high in the air from the impact of my hitting the mattress. She bounced a few times more emitting littlw cries of distress before she settled on the now steady mattress. She turned to face me then giving what was probably her version of the death glare.

 

I merely quirked a brow at her. This interrogation was going to prove easier than I thought.  I almost couldn't wait to get started.

 

I grinned almost evilly at her and she flinched in agitation.

 

" So are you going to give me the pleasure of the truth and nothing but the whole truth so help you god?" I whispered with a glint of determination in my eyes.

 

" You.... you bounced on purpose! " Exclaimed the ever irrepressible Lisa Matthews. I had to grudgingly allow that she had more spunk in her diminutive package then anyone else I know.

 

I leaned in closer inadvertently causing her to bounce again.

 

"I'll bounce you till you bloody flip over unless you tell me the gods truth over what really happened.  I want the whole of it. Right from the very beginning.  Don't leave anything out," I said under my breath, with a steely undertone.

 

She stared back at me for a moment.  Her eyes unflinching as she took me at my word.

 

" My name is Lisa Matthews.  I am a female.  I was born on...."

 

My eyes widened in amazed annoyance. She was literally starting at the very beginning.  At her very beginning.

 

I bit back a groan and flounced back on the mattress ignoring her high pitched scream as she no doubt bounded up into the air in what I hoped was a bloody flip.