Chapter 16

Aisha stared at Harvey’s body in the tub.  She was getting so dizzy.  Everything in the bathroom went out of focus; Harvey’s body, the tub and the walls all blurring together in a running mess of distorted reality. 

“What’s happening?” she said out loud.

Her voice already slight altered by the acoustics of the small room sounded higher and further away.  Aisha’s head felt full of cotton, and the light faded from the room.  Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she slumped gently against the corner where the cool tiles of the wall and porcelain tub met.

Algharoob let out a half moan half growl it penetrated the perimeter of light.  The pain was intense; the light directly attacking the essence of its being, but it was not intense enough for it to let go.  Its prize was in there hiding like a sheep, a sheep for the slaughter.

“We are so close, so close,” it growled, “Come out, come out little one.  We must end this.”

Its hand had clenched a collar and gave an experimental tug.  It could hear Baybars breathing hard as he pulled.  At first he wouldn’t budge, but then he began to lift; however, it was not easy like last time.

“What is happening?” the monster asked as it squinted into the light.

Algharoob, muscles tight under its loose clothing, pulled harder, and the light began to change.  It began to glow brighter and the pain increased ten fold in Algharoob’s limbs.  They were singing with pain, but the light and pain began to fade in proportion to each other.

“Yes, good.  Evil always overcomes good.  Always,” it grinned and the creature gave a mighty heave.

Something unexpected happened.  Algharoob fell as if he had pulled the rug out from under himself.  In essence he did.  The light flew up into the air like a sheet being lifted quickly from a bed from the force of the creature’s pull while dulling and coalescing into a figure.  The light revealed Baybars laying flat on the ground.  Algharoob had never even had a grip on his collar.  It had been grabbing someone else’s.  Someone else’s who now stood over it as it lay stunned on the ground.

The tall figure stood over Algharoob and in between the monster and Baybars.  It stood there revealing nothing, sleek body poised and alert.  Full lips, strong chin, delicate nose, and intense blue eyes graced the new creature’s pale face.  Its hair matched Algharoob’s in length, but it was white.  The grey spandex like clothing revealed an androgynous body, both muscular and shapely.  Its most striking feature was that of its skin.  Various parts of it were clear revealing intricate machinery in a softly glowing fluid.  Its left foot, up the leg, and across the belly glowed mutely even through the spandex.   The other part of the body that glowed was around the right shoulder and most strikingly, on the lower left part of its face.  Its glow went further than the circle of light had ever penetrated before.

Epluri stared in wonder enraptured at this new creature and thought, “Who or what is it?”

Only a second had passed feeling like an eternity to Epluri, and already Algharoob was up and scooting back like a cockroach.

“What Seodd?!  Now you appear?  You couldn’t wait to catch us in the switching between two humans and disrupt our plans?”

“It’s scared,” thought Baybars staring at the shaking monster.

“Do you think we are scared?  This is our element.  It is you who are out of place.  When you were fashioned I’m pretty sure you were told not to come here.  My domain.  Now the hunter becomes the hunted,” Algharoob said, voice rattling ferociously.

Epluri now thought the monster was angry, and then he realized that it wasn’t either.  This was just a show.  It was stalling for time while doing something with its belt.

“Hey!  Watch out!” yelled Epluri.

Before he could say anything else, his world went deaf as Algharoob faded from the penetrating glow of the being.  The last thing Epluri saw was the rustle of Algharoob’s niqab before everything.  He lay limp on the ground.

Just be.

The silent glowing creature turned and looked at Epluri slightly illuminated by its own glow.

Just be.

A slow laugh started somewhere from the darkness, distance and direction nulled by the blackness.

I can’t do it.

Yes you can.  Baybars did by adopting his new identity as Epluri.  Save Jason.

Jason’s dead.

No.  He is here in that one.  There somewhere small.  Just be.

The creature exhaled, and its body settled and relaxed.   That is when Algharoob leapt from the darkness swinging its belt which crawled and writhed in its hand.  Algharoob’s stalling unintentionally gave Seodd, the vampire hunter, time to acclimate.  The forcible and unwilling pull to the in-between had awakened the other part of Aisha’s being allowing Seodd to guide Aisha to full awareness of what had been present since her birth.  It dodged the cloth which had transformed to letters and words curling around themselves in a tight whip like coil.  The attacking monster snarled fading again into the darkness.

Begin.

I don’t know how.

Begin.  You know how.  You always have.  It is your self.  Help him in order to realize yourself.

Seodd opened its mouth, and the two consciousnesses, Aisha and Seodd, melted into one finally fusing into its necessary role as the vampire hunter which had been built to keep Algharoob in check.  It was a mix of machine and organic material only partly alive.  Unlike Epluri and Baybars and Bisunum and Jason, which existed as one being just needing to be awakened, Seodd was partially alive with its own limited sentience.  It was necessary to fuse with a host in order to fully realize its powers.

It opened its mouth and began to sing, singing the same tune that had come unwanted into Aisha’s head during the house fire, the same tune that Aisha sang for Baybars in the study of her father’s house.  Only this time the tune came with words.  They flowed out of Seodd, literally flowing out of it, tangible and visible to the naked eye.  Algharoob emerged from the dark like a wraith, its expression hidden by its niqab with a limp whip in its hand. 

“Time to end it.  We will send whatever soul you have to the corners of this place, if it had an end,” it laughed.

Seodd did not reply and merely kept singing the lilting tune almost an Irish dirge as the words flowed from its mouth to its hands.  They had coiled into a pulsing glowing ball of constantly changing and flowing script.  Algharoob frowned as it did not recognize the song.

“A new trick eh?  Something you are unable to do in the human world?  You are so limited.  We hold true power here and in your human world,” Algharoob sneered raising its hand.

They stared at each other for a second like gunfighters just before the draw, Algharoob tense with its whip ready and Seodd holding its sphere chest level.  An inhalation by Seodd and a twitch of Algharoob’s hand sent them both spinning into motion.  The demon cracked its whip twice, the first snapping just to the left of Seodd’s face, the second landing a hit and burrowing itself in the chest of the hunter.  Seodd’s ball flew with the puff of breath from its lungs straight at Algharoob’s face.  It screamed as the ball collided with its face and ate away ate the niqab, but it did not let go of the whip.

“Ahh, you burned part of us away!  Part of us!” it screamed revealing its exposed long black fangs glinting in the glow of Seodd’s subcutaneous machinery. 

It used the whip to pull the now silent Seodd to it.  They held each other in a stiff embrace, empty black eyes staring into intense blue ones.

The battle now truly began.

They pushed each other away Seodd pulling free from the whip a little bit of fluid leaking from its chest wound, and they began dueling: one singing, one chanting.  Seodd’s new lilting song clashed with the toneless satanic chanting from Algharoob.  This was the first time they had encountered each other in the spirit world, a drastic step up in their confrontation where decisions once made could not be unmade.  Armies appeared out of the darkness manipulated out of the essence of the in-between.  Strange devil creatures with flaming red eye, gaping mouths, and sharp claws fought against equally strange half robot half beast machines glowing a muted white.  Just under the surface of their bodies, letters and words in a strange script slithered chaotically.  If beaten or hacked to pieces the creatures would disintegrate smoking in puffs of unholy literature.  Algharoob and Seodd were now also armed with weapons and shields.  Seodd held a long sword with ruby red pommel and gold hilt, and Algharoob gripped a fearsome demon inscribed battle axe.  The weapons also swarmed with frantic movement of the words and letters.

The two supernatural authors fought each other and the other’s minions of creation.  Seodd cut through swaths of ghouls with it blade while Algharoob danced a mad jig of death delivering blows.  When their paths crossed amidst the chaos, the ongoing singing and chanting swelled in crescendo in their tireless battle and then would soften when they separated.  As the battle progressed, the dirge became more prominent, slowly drowning out Algharoob’s words.

Baybars lay motionless throughout the clash protected by a watchful circle of Seodd’s creatures.

The cacophony began to fade, as Algharoob outplayed and out-sung, slowly lost its army.  The last of the loudest sounds ever heard in the in-between disappeared into nothingness swallowed up by the dark.  Seodd’s remaining compositions melted into a band of glowing light now guided by a whisper of a song and encased the monster.  Epluri then stirred and stood up.  He stared at the glowing light of Seodd and Algharoob’s temporary prison. 

“Yes,” Epluri said, “Kill it.  Kill it!  It murdered Jason.  Part of me!”

Epluri shut up as when Seodd turned to face him.

The confining light began to tremble and the two watched Algharoob silently scream.  The cage started shrinking and Algharoob’s thrashings increased.  Epluri noticed that he calmed and stopped screaming as he was squeezed out of the in-between.  He shivered as the monster started a silent insane laugh.  The last recognizable thing to disappear were its teeth the, glow given to them by the prison creating a freakish Cheshire cat after image.

Epluri said, “Its dead, isn’t it?”

The figure ignored him and placed a hand on his shoulder.  He felt a flash of light and pain.  Then nothing but the forsaken were left in the in between as quiet as it had always been.

Baybars sat up in the uncomfortable hotel bed speechless, the Sunday morning dawn just trickling into the room.  His brain felt wasted, his resilience stripped to the barest slivers, as he tried to process the last few weeks, days, hours, and minutes.  Baybars groaned and looked around seeing the wreckage for the first time.  He robotically categorized the two dead bodies, the sunlight from outside, and the demolished chair and table.  His attention came to the door of the bathroom and the chair against the door.  Baybars pushed himself out of bed, stumbled over, and opened the door to find Aisha staring glassy eyed at the entrance.

“Aisha,” he cried rushing to her, “Wake up!  Please don’t be dead.”

She blinked and stirred at his embrace, “I’m here.”

He signed staring over her small shoulders at Harvey’s cold body, “It’s finally over.”

“No it’s not,” she said with a firmness pushing him back and looking into his eyes, “It’s not over.  It will never be over.”

Baybars did not like the tinge of blue he saw in her eyes.

“But its dead.  We watched it die.”

She shook here head, “No.  Imprisoned.  I cannot kill it.  If I had done so in the ether, it would truly be gone.”

“What?” he said pulling her to her feet, “That’s good right?  Isn’t that what we wanted?”

“It is not my job or my place.  I know what I must do.” she said steel in her voice sprinkled with the barest of a lilt.

“And what must I do?  Keep running?  What if it gets out?” he asked as they walked to Harvey’s car waiting in the empty parking lot and getting in.

She sat in the passenger seat staring into the window of the wrecked motel, “I’m not sure.  I know my part because we all have a part in the game.  My guess is to survive.  Find your other half.”

“But he’s dead.”

“There is still part of him in there,” she said gesturing with her chin in Baybars general direction, “waiting to be discovered.  Not something mushy like a piece of his heart, but you two shared part of a consciousness, at least for a short while.  He is still here somewhere or will be soon.   That is who I helped.”

“How do you know all this?” he asked breaking his glance out the windshield.

She replied not directly answering his question, “Remember how I told you about my dream where Bisunum asked me to help him so that I could help myself and realize my identity.  I have.  I’m me.”

They left without another word as no other explanation was needed.

The two arrived on Lazarus’s front door seven hours later.  Aisha remembered him in three roles, friend of her father, worried husband with a wife under her father’s knife, and detective.  A shocked Lazarus stood before them in his Sunday best: jeans and a stained blue t-shirt.

“Who are you and what-,” he demanded looking at Baybars, “Aisha!”

“Hi,” she said quietly.

“What in the hell are you doing here?  We assumed you were kidnapped or dead, kept it out of the papers because it looked gang related.”

“I’m Baybars,” interrupted the quiet but firm Egyptian.

“Yes, I know.  I am glad you are safe too,” and then to both, “Come in, come in.”

Lazarus’s place was a mess, not with trash and cobwebs, but it was chaotic and disorderly feeling.  The room reflected the personality of its owner, the dark and troubled aging man in front of Aisha and Baybars.  The two glanced around the living room.  The easy boy recliner in front of the television looked too well worn; the liquor cabinet held an assortment of more than half empty hefty brand names, and the curtains were drawn keeping out most light.

“Are you both safe?  Tell me everything.  I need the puzzle pieces.”

They told him only what he would believe which was truth, just not all of it: everything from the pursuit by the two men in New York while trying to protect Jason to the chaos left in the hotel room.  The two thought it prudent to leave out any mention of their new identities, murderous demons, or places where things didn’t play by this Earth’s rules.

Sitting in the stuffy claustrophobic living room in the middle of Baltimore city with everything said and done Baybars asked, “What happens now?”

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5 Comments

  1. […] by timtheyounger on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 The last chapter is up. https://sunsetvampirenovel.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/chapter-16/  But it ain’t over.  An epilogue will follow on […]

  2. wow

  3. a truly spectacular ending! well worth the read

  4. I read your story, and for the most part is was creative different, but sometimes confusing. I do not know much about Egyptian folklore history, so that also made it hard. But I love vampires novels and always putting your own twist on something makes it interesting. Thanks for the reading.

  5. marisol-thanks for the comment and i am glad you enjoyed it. i am working on another novel and trying not to make it as confusing. there really wasn’t too much egyptian folklore in the novel, just that some of it took place in egypt. i guess the one thing that pertains to the folklore is that the pharaohs were buired expecting to live on in eternal life, which is why the one pharaoh was suffering at the hands of algharoob.


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