Carpe Noctem

Chapter Two: Leianna

“Are you certain?” In truth, this is all a wild guess and I am trying to live up to expectations. There is no guarantee, there never is when it comes to eavesdropping, there never is when you are trying to infiltrate an organisation that would happily destroy you if they only know the truth. But there are chances that must be taken.

“Yes” I respond trying to sound as steady, certain and in control as I could be.

“You are ready? This is the one shot, one chance, no do overs. One trip and they won’t tell the difference or care.” I know what I am risking, my life. But reminding me doesn’t help the suffocating pressure or wanting to snap back. But a risky shot means risky company. Instead I take a deep breath and a half smile I let the false face of relaxation fall to reveal a confident expression of warning and control.

“I know what I’m doing.” I feel the corner of my mouth twitch, no doubt right now, I won’t let it sink in. This is the moment I have waited for, the cold sweats in the night are coming to fruition.

“I hope you realise, this may be the beginning of your undoing, asking me to unleash them.” I see it now, his pallor under his tan, he doesn’t fear for me. Perhaps if this were a normal friendship. No, he fears them, letting them loose could be linked back to him, but that is only if the touched decide to find a cause, and if he gives me up… Well that won’t be pretty, there is too much at stake. An almost lifelong friendship won’t change what I have to do. Failure is not an option.

“I need you to trust me. Can you do that Henry?” I ask trying to soften my features enough to look concerned. I know he will trust me.

“Lei, have I ever failed you?” He tries to act nonchalant stirring the sauce into his milkshake.

“No… but that doesn’t mean you can start now.” I smile finally enjoying the cold sweetness of the blue ice cream. I don’t doubt that my lips have turned colour from the ice cream.

A few minutes of quiet passes by. “So once they are summoned you have a small head start before they start coming after you and them. You have to move quick and make sure you are in the right place.”

“How many?”

“For what you want, to make it look genuine, to make running the only option? You won’t like it, but it is better you don’t know.” I feel the dread rise, I hate these creatures at the best of times, but timing has to be perfect. We go through the plans another couple of times before we leave the café, I hop into Henry’s car he drops me a few feet from where I need to be. I make my way towards the graveyard and wait in a dingy little pub nearby. The angel statues feel as though they watch me at the further edges of the hallowed ground, cold stone eyes. I watch Trova, a mirror of myself in what appears to be every way stride inside the gates. I slip out of the back and into the carpark. A couple of minutes to walk around the block. I didn’t need the buzzing in my pocket to warn me, I could feel it, the cold, the sound of wet flesh and the smell of damp. The shadows are alive, right now, so am I. I remember what I have to do, I run to the corner of the road. I count it in my breath, five, four, three, two, one and their alarm would have gone off, we are close enough now, heading towards the grave yard. I hate running, I hate the way my body feels when I run, like I can feel my muscles jerk and bounce, and the weight I can’t seem to loose reminding me I should exercise more and eat less crap. But it doesn’t matter right now. Just keep moving.

One foot in front of the other, the wet slapping sound getting closer behind me, I fling myself through the gates of the graveyard, I pull a quartz blade from behind the nearest statue of an angel. A stolen blade, borrowed and placed before my two hour wait in the dingy pub waiting for the sunset to pass. One breath is agony, the second to catch it is cut short, the fight has begun. The first creature, demon lunges for me, I turn to meet it and feel the blade slice right through it like a sharp knife gliding through a bloody steak. I try to run a little further, a little higher ground. I can hear them catching up behind me, as I reach the crest. From the other side I can see Trova and her patrol running in my direction. I turn back to face the oncoming onslaught. A webbed hand reaches for my wrist but is caught by the blade slicing through the air, cutting clean through the bone, I ignore the small turn in my stomach. Lesser demons being destroyed by my blade; I wonder if they know or understand their purpose. It wouldn’t matter they don’t serve my will. I cut through another demon tripping clumsily on a fallen headstone I manage to dodge one blow and catch another square in the shoulder I fall back off balance. I regain it quick enough. I am tired, they are not I tell myself to concentrate. I slice a little clumsier now trying to push them back. Hold them at bay long enough, just long enough… I dodge another lunch and hear the crack of stone behind me. I turn to avoid its attack from a new angle, pushing me to change strategy. I can’t back away from this downhill without falling. I have to push forward and meet the front line, I can see the stragglers catching up, I can see the point of the arrow changing shape, they are changing tactic. The point flattens, from two thick to three slowly the line begins to curve. I am about to be closed in. I feel the burn and the ache in my muscles, I slice at another, and another, trying to dodge the tide flowing around me trying to trap me.

As convincing ins go, this is beginning to get a bit too murdery. A bit too close for comfort. A bit too risky. A bit too much of a possibility that they might kill me. I stop fighting to keep them at bay, stop slashing to keep their attacks to a minimum. I need to be less on the defence being this surrounded. I need to start fighting my way out of this, one after another, I start pushing forward. A deep breath taking control. The impossible tide. I feel the cold of the air around me, the wet slippery grasps trying to pull at me. The strange sensation the cold soullessness of their blood splashing against my skin, cooling the burning heat of my own sweat mingling with the stinging heat from the cuts that I am gaining with every new demon lunging for me. For all I can see, for all I can tell, each beast puts up a hell of a fight, cutting through them, cutting free of them is difficult. When one obliterates from this world, another appears in its place, just as blood thirsty, just as hungry, just as draining and exhausting.

All I want is to hurry up and get through this. For a sort moment I forget this is part of the plan, realistic impending death. Sounds so simple in a plan. Right now, I am not so happy with battling demons one after another, after another, after another. He didn’t lie when he said I won’t like how many. They should be weaker here but the number of them, it’s so overwhelming and I am so tired.

Every muscle hurts and burns and fights every movement. I can feel myself getting slower and clumsier in my movement. I can’t use myself to any advantage right now, it would make it difficult, raise too many suspicions. Chances are it might even make them stronger. I daren’t risk it. Not when I know Trova is running in this direction. Not when it feels like I have been running and fighting for hours, even though it has most likely been a few minutes. Ok a long few minutes. The ache is growing stronger in my shoulder, maybe that knock was harder than I thought.

Another demon strikes out at my face and misses. I change tactic and focus my attention to killing this one, it just got personal. Leave the face alone.

It is obliterated from this world and my attention turns to the one I had been battling, now they are all around me and my back now pushed against a statue.

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