Day Three - Pets, Part 3

Eldred heard the car pull up outside and then voices drifted his way. He grabbed the Felcan and putting his finger upright to his mouth he pulled her into the crypt and pulled the lid closed. They sat silently in the dark, he petting her, both with their senses on full alert, listening intently to events outside their hiding place.

“Quite some evidence of people moving about here sir” Christine said pointing to the flattened grass around the mission. “No definite footprints, but some of the broken stalks seem to still be seeping, looks recent to me sir.”

Bentley walked around the building, looking at the shuttered windows, the chains through loops of the door handles of the front door, the damaged boarding around the side door taking his attention. He went back to the lane and looked intently at the verge and then walked up and down the lane scouring the surrounds.

“Where exactly was the body found?” he called to Christine.

“It was in that field to the side, there was extensive predation, foxes, but the actual area should still be marked. I’ll scout around.”

“No. Let’s look inside first, that side door has been forced.”

Christine, being nearest was first inside, it was gloomy and dank. There were small shafts of light penetrating a dusty air, giving an impression of flies dancing.

“Looks like the local knocking shop” Bentley said pointing at a dress laying on the floor.

“I can’t see any signs of druggies Sir, no foil or needles.”

“No. Come on, I can’t see anything of interest here. Just an old empty dilapidated useless wreck of a building. Some city bloke’ll buy it for fuck all, do it up and flog it for a million.”

The séance was coming to an end. Once per week Mavis Williams held a séance for a small number of regulars and occasional others, where she contacted the dead and spoke of their nearest, dearest and recently departed. She spoke through a number of controls and intermediaries, and always in a deeply scented incense smoke filled room. Mavis Williams was not her real name, that was Monacella Morgana in old Cymric, but she knew that mostly no one would take Monacella Morgana seriously, and if anyone did, then she would be in deep trouble.

“Thank you dear,” she said in a light lilt as if from the Welsh, “there is a plate in the hall for your donation.”

After the last of her visitors filled from the room and the house she locked the front door and let out a huge sigh. “That was bloody hard work tonight” she said aloud, “where have all the spirits gone? What scared them away? I had to make a few up, most unusual.” She took the burning incense sticks and dropped them all into a metal box which she sealed shut tight. She knew they would continue to smoulder for a while, but lack of air mean they would soon go out. No point in using new sticks each week, every penny saved was a penny more towards a bottle of her favourite Bombay gin.

She knew that a few regulars believed in her powers, but that many were sceptical, and she worked hard at maintaining that scepticism. It would not bode well for her if people understood fully her true powers. Monacella was a Wytch, a very old Wytch, and every ten years she moved to a new village, renting a little cottage under a new name and giving no true detail of her ancient welsh heritage or where she really came from, or just how old she actually was. She was just mad old Bessy, or Daphne, or Avril, or Frau Schmidt or whatever name seemed right for the area, and she did ‘readings’. She never did spells or helped at birthings, or gave young hopefuls love potions, not any more, too fraught with risk. Sometimes she would smile as she slipped into her past and remembered that young boy Merlyn and how he took to Wisardry. Now was not a time for smiling. The spirit world was disturbed and she wanted to know why.

The door locked and the little cottage secure, Monacella ground some herbs in a pestle, intoned some ancient words and threw the herbs upon the fire. There was a brief flare of flame and Monacella sat entranced, her eyes open yet not seeing, her mouth opening and closing yet saying nothing, and then she took a large breath and clapped her hands.

“Oh dear,” she said, “Oh very dear. Trouble is upon us. An Ancient is abroad once more.”

The voices stopped, the car had driven away and there had been silence for a while, Eldred was confident that the mission was empty. He slid back the slab and the Felcan leapt out in a single bound, Eldred was not far behind. “Let us walk my beauty, there is someone I would like you to meet.”

Eldred led the way up the lane, Amanda running on all fours beside him, easily maintaining his fast pace, her tail high in the air, kinked slightly at the tip as she ran.

As they ran Amanda could sense another of a similar scent to Eldred, a younger scent, mixed with human, but still this new scent that she found so interesting. They arrived at a house and without having to knock the door opened.

Vanessa sensed his approach and opened the door. She had not expected him to be accompanied by a sleek black panther. The cat bound past her and curled up on her settee and began licking and preening herself.

“You didn’t tell me everything.” Vanessa said to Eldred.

“Now where would be the fun if I were to do that?” He stepped past her and went into join the Felcan leaving Vanessa to secure the door.

“I had dreams last night,” Vanessa said.

“Only they weren’t dreams,” he replied.

“No. You feed from men and boys too?”

“As you will from women. I suspect that you will find pure blood rare to find, from your memories I know that so many taint their blood with drugs and alcohol, it is such a shame, it adds an unpleasant edge.”

“What can kill you?”

“What an interesting question, now why would you ask that?”

“Well if I am to join you, obviously I need to know what to fear. A wooden stake through the heart I assume?”

Eldred laughed causing Amanda to stop her preen and look at him for a few moments. “No my dear, goodness me no. Oh the strange stories that you have built up. I only know of one way that I can be killed for all time, and obviously, if you look deep enough into your memories, my memories, you will know it too.”

“Why am I getting your memories? You told me that would happen when I fed from you, and I haven’t done that.”

“No my dear, but I did give you a little of my blood, and my blood is so potent and powerful, a drop is all it took. The process has started my dear. Soon you will be my true daughter.”

“I am hungry but cannot stomach food in this house.”

“Oh but food has arrived my dear.” Eldred bared his teeth and with a pointed fang he slashed into the crook of his elbow, blood began to flow. “Come my dear, don’t waste a drop.”

Vanessa moved faster than she had ever moved before and had her mouth around his elbow before the first drop had began to fall. The room and everything else dimmed and she knew only the sweet taste of his blood as the endorphins surged and a feeling like an intense sexual release exploded in her as she took her first true feed. After a few minutes Eldred pulled her away and held her at arms length as his arm healed before her eyes and the blood lust left her.

“How do you feel?” He asked, a smile on his lips.

“Powerful, invincible,” she said.

“Yes, but a word of warning, you are not yet invincible, nor as powerful as you think. You will be faster and heal quicker, but the transformation is still young in you. You are not ready yet. You will begin to understand my memories and who you are becoming.”

Vanessa stood and looked at him and then the cat. “What is She?

“Just watch my dear, but first, tell me what you think she is? What do you detect? Look close and beyond what you see.”

Vanessa looked, at first she saw a panther, a black panther. She sniffed, but she did not know if the scent she detected was right or wrong. She tried to look beyond what she could see with her eyes and use her senses, but they were new and she could not understand the interpretation. One minute she was sensing human, the next feline. She stamped her feet in exasperation, and that caused Amanda to look up at Vanessa, eyes fixed, unblinking.

Eldred walked over and stroked Amanda under her chin and spoke quietly, “Come my dear, it is time to show your new friend Vanessa your secret.”

As the fur shrank and disappeared and the feline shape softened and became humaniform, Vanessa simply stood and stared. She felt her mind was doing summersaults in her brain, too many incredible things had occurred in too short a time, Vampyres and now Were-Cats? She began to seriously doubt her sanity, and two sets of memories swirling in her brain did not help, especially as his memories seemed such an unconnected jumble, she had no way of deciphering them yet. There were just so many, so many years, aeons.

Where a moment ago a sleek black panther was, now a young dark haired girl with a scarred arm lay nude on her settee. “Hello,” she said, “I’m Amanda. Have you got a dress I can borrow? I left mine in the old Mission Hall.”

“Were-cat?” she said looking at Eldred, “I am fucking losing it.”

“No dear, a Felcan, much rarer.”

Vanessa shook her head and went upstairs and rummaged in the wardrobe in her spare room, looking through her old clothes, until she found a dress she knew was a bit small on her, trying, and failing, to find references to Felcans in her new memories.

“Here you are Amanda, It will be a bit big on you, but it is the smallest I have.”

“Thank you Vanessa,” Amanda said as she slipped into the dress, “I only need it as I run up and get my own dress back, I don’t mind being nude, but other people seem to get upset,” and she laughed. “My mother says I am rude and flaunting myself.

“I just have so many questions,” Vanessa said and then she felt as if express trains were racing through her veins, her head felt as if it were swelling to explode, she doubled up in great pain and collapsed unconscious on the floor.

“Help me lay her out,” Eldred said to Amanda, “My blood is working on her system, she will probably thrash about a bit as she transforms, let’s put her on her bed, she is less likely to damage something there.”