Chapter 5

“They are the most gruesome murders in New York in recent times.  Four brutally murdered in a downtown apartment: a teacher at New York University, the couple next door, and an unidentified man who police would only describe as being in an advanced state of decay.  The worst news is that all of them except for the decayed man had been mostly or partially dismembered and what authorities speculate, consumed.”

Cassius Wovenstock’s head snapped up as the newscaster moved onto other unimportant matters.  He dropped both his lexicon of werewolves and copy of Frostbite and stared hard at the television screen.

“Decayed?” he muttered to himself, as no one else occupied his run down house in the back woods of West Virginia. 

Grabbing his sitting pillow, he hurriedly made his way up the stairs to his meditation chamber, his gaunt skinny frame reenergized for the first time in a long while.  His silver hair glowed from the rays shining through the stained glass window of the cross with flared ends in his stairwell.  Cassius passed by this window everyday, but today it meant much more than any other. 

Algharoob watched the newscast while in a bar in Hells Kitchen, playing with its new haircut: a buzzed head.  It viewed the killings in that building partly as necessity and partly as entertainment.  It always had hunger, especially after acquiring a new body which drained it of its energy.  Each time it ate, it grew stronger, and the longer a body lasted, the stronger it would get.  The catch was that bodies did not last. The younger the person and the more powerful the soul, the more durable the host body was.  Nour’s had been weakened by hunger and poverty, but Kelly’s had not been afflicted by desperation.

“If only we were capable of assuming our true form in this measly little reality as we once were.  Then our hunger would truly be sated.”

Algharoob felt the familiar anger, like an old and dear friend rising, so instead it played with its drink and watched the television. 

“And now on to Jimmy for a special criminal task force update: the man with no identity.  Jimmy.”

“Have you ever wished you would never leave tracks?  Well police recently discovered one man who could.  They don’t know his name, where he came from, and can’t even begin to guess.  He was found naked during a house fire in Baltimore and has no identifying papers or fingerprints.  Police have been working to figure out how he has no fingerprints as this could be a breakthrough criminals have been waiting for.  If you have any information about this man identity, please call…”

Algharoob’s attention drifted away from the words and focused on the picture plastered on the television. 

“This was it,” the monster thought to itself, “That is our mission.  Besides ourselves, there is only one person we know of who has no fingerprints which would be traipsing around in this when and where.”

It gulped down the remains of its drink, flashed a crazed grin at the bartender and left the building not noticing the man who followed it.  As it rounded the corner, the man who had followed what he thought was a woman grabbed at her body.  Algharoob spun, diverted his hands, and then hit him up against the wall hard enough for him to see stars.  Its vampire strength lifted him a foot off the ground.

“Who are you-you lady?”

“Who are you?” it hissed back.

“My name is Earl, I’m so sorry.”

“Too late,” it replied.

“Please don’t kill me,” Earl said his mustache quivering in fright.

Suddenly Algharoob got an idea,” Do you know anyone in Baltimore?”

“Sure,” he said the relief evident in his voice, “I’ve plenty of friends in the city, I moved from there about ten years ago.”

“Good,” it said and lowered him to the ground. 

Sensing that his chance for escape was nigh, Earl slowly reached his hand towards the knife in his back pocket.  Lighting fast, Algharoob grabbed his arm and used its elbow to pin his chest to the wall.  With the other, it clamped vice-like on his crotch and began to squeeze.  Earl squealed in pain as the pressure increased.

“You will take me there and introduce me.  If you think of even crossing me, I will kill you.  You will not die right away, but I will make it last for days, body part by body part until all that is left is your heart, which I will then eat.  And I will start here,” it said giving one final excruciating squeeze. 

It released its grip, and Earl sank to the ground.

“Good, let’s go,” and as it turned, it muttered a curse on Earl binding him to it.

The two arrived in Baltimore late the next day and immediately went to Fischer’s in the city.  This bar did not carry the name Fischer’s nor did it even have a sign; in fact it was not even a bar.  It was merely the basement of a run down building where the toughest, meanest, and cruelest would gather.  They were an eclectic mix of characters, mostly men from streets, gangsters or bikers, with an occasional odd businessman thrown into the mix.  The basement was not exactly clean either; someone, Algharoob later found out Earl, had bought the place and “decorated.”  There was a scuffy looking bar, beat up pool table, and some rickety card tables overlooked by an unfinished ceiling.  If anyone wanted to look in through the street level windows high up on the walls, they would have had to peer through layers of grime and yellowing glass.  Algharoob learned all this as Earl introduced it as “Kelly” to the gang.

The vampire could see that they didn’t take it seriously, so it went up the biggest meathead there, ironically a CEO from a bank in Baltimore, and breaking a pool stick in half jammed the two ends into his belly and swirled it around.  Immediately, the other members except Earl circled menacingly around Algharoob, as the man clutched his stomach, the stain from the blood seeping through his clothing.

“Don’t,” said Earl.

Earl had produced a very large pistol and was brandishing it with authority.  As a former leader of the band of criminals, he still had some respect.  Algharoob targeted the newest leader in order to make the coup easier and it was working.

“She told me everything that’s going to go down and what and who she is.  If you ain’t convinced by this, then I’ll shoot you.  She’ll give us power beyond what we could ever hope for.” 

“Who’s she?” asked Barry, a big black biker.

“She is the devil incarnate,” replied Earl, “and we’ll become more than just Fischer’s club.  We started this to cause trouble, now let’s cause some real chaos.”

Sensing that they agreed except for Barry, Algharoob pointed an accusing finger at Barry and said, “Kill him.” 

And Earl did just that, in the bang of the gun, just before the thunder died away, the vampire muttered two words which in the groups’ acquiescence allowed it to bind them in its service. 

“Tee’anee.”

With that, Algharoob recreated his acolytes of old.

Baybars woke up suddenly.  It was the middle of the day.

“Was it the door’s bang that woke me?” he asked himself as he dozed on the couch waiting for Keith to come home from university, “My dream ended with a bang.” 

His dream was quickly fading, and he could only remember the last bit of it which had been repeating all throughout his sleep.

Kana wah-da fil maadee
Inqata’ ‘ala yud arajel atabe’aee
Alann ashatheat fil tarb
Qull ismuhu liatithakar
Epluri, epluri, epluri

Keith walked into the room from the kitchen with a big sandwich in hand.  He was tall and good looking built like his broad shouldered father but quiet.  As the middle child, he had learned to exist in a state of in-between-ness in the family.  He wasn’t the oldest, having two older brothers, nor was he the youngest, having Aisha as a little sister.  The one area in life in which he excelled was school at University of Baltimore.

“Hey man, what’s happening?” asked Keith through a mouthful of food.

“Not much…dude,” Baybars scratched out, as he still did not have his voice yet.

Keith had been teaching him some American slang.  What Baybars didn’t realize was that he was relearning what Jason had taught him.

“What did you do today?”

“Nothing, except lay here. I am still too tired to do anything except watch soap operas, which I now really like, especially Days of our Lives.”

Keith choked on his sandwich bit in a snort of laughter.

“That’s for old women and housewives who don’t have anything else to do,” he replied.

“No, it’s okay.  I like watching the emotions people have.  It helps me see my emotions because I see how others are.”

“Okay, relax with the emotions stuff.  We’re guys.  We are supposed to be tough and not show emotions.”

“But I do,” replied Baybars, not realizing that in these past few days his personality and individuality was trickling back, “Why would you hide it?  It shows who you are by what you feel and can make others feel.”

“Yeah sure.”

“Why do you like me? I mean, I really don’t remember anything about me, so anything I do or say is new.  You’ve said I am a cool guy, so why?  What you tell me could help me remember me.”

Caught off guard by the question, Keith thought for second, “I think it is that I don’t fit in easily at school.  I have trouble making friends; I can be too impersonal.  Take you, for instance.  At first when we met, I approached you as a problem to be solved, but once we started hanging out, I saw how interesting you were as a blank slate waiting to be filled.  And after that, here we are.  Do you want to come out and walk with me to the next block where we can watch my brother play basketball?”

Sensing that he had made Keith uncomfortable, he went along with the change in subject even though he was not fully satisfied, “Do you play?”

“Nope, never will.  I’m no good.  But I’m glad I figured that out early, let’s go.”

Baybars had become very attached to Keith in the two days he had known him despite Keith’s impersonality and shyness filling a gulf that he didn’t know existed. 

“But why did epluri, epluri, epluri keep running through his head?” he asked himself as they walked out the door.

Algharoob hissed.  The pain was burning in its forehead as if a doctor was preparing to rummage around up top but was not using anesthesia to get inside.  It became impatient and frustrated through the red haze of pain.

“Why are we not killing this boy?!!  Why are we not acting?!!”

Slamming down the half consumed hobo’s leg which it had been eating by itself in the back room of Fischer’s that had been set up for its rituals, it suddenly realized it had been sent a message.

4 Comments

  1. Good stuff. Who is this Cassius Wovenstock? And where’s Jason?

  2. can there be dogs in the gang? ask earl because i want to join

  3. ok i’ll bite 🙂

    what does epluri, epluri, epluri mean?

    and how did Algharoob get hurt?

  4. perdita-dogs mabye, perdita is crazy not evil

    dada-algahroob got hurt through the message it received

    peter-Cassuis is important and Jason’s not dead


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