Sunday, 25 April 2010

Children of the Curse: Prelude - Chapter 1

The night was dark, and the street lights cast and orange gloom. As Klarissa walked down the street she kicked a pebble; it flew a hundred metres, and the kick was only a light one. Sighing to herself she felt despondent because things like that always happened.

She was heading to Night Crawlers, a nightclub in town, following a lead on a possible half-being. That's what they called them, half-beings; not fully human, vampire, fairy, were-animal or any other type of being. They were a mix of a few, or all.

The Elite-Chaos did experiments on human and elemental babies and the results were half-beings. Klarissa would know, after all she was one of them.

For the last ten years, her mission had been to look for other half-beings. Luckily, they were few and far between, but she found one she offered sanctuary, knowledge and acceptance.

Some took what she offered, others didn't. Some were good, some were bad. Every single one of them had elements of both of both.

The lead she was following was that of a humanoid-dragon-were-mouse, or supposedly it was. Lately she had found that many of the leads tended to come to nothing, dead-ends or false leads.

“Hey Rissa, how ya doing?” said a young man who was hanging out on the street. He appeared to be in his early thirties and he may have been waiting for her, or he may just have been waiting. He was wearing a lightweight short-sleeved cotton shirt with the first few buttons undone.

“Hey Evan, aren't you cold hanging out here?” Klarissa asked as they slapped hands together in greeting.

“Na man, don't feel the cold that much,” Evan grinned, flashing a perfect set of teeth.

“Yeah, there's a bit of that going on,” Klarissa muttered as she went to move past him. She was surprised when he fell in beside her.

“Who’re ya looking for tonight?” Evan asked with a smirk. Being annoying was the only way to get her to pay him any attention.

“Does it matter? It's probably just another prank. What's it to you anyway?” Klarissa sighed; Evan was a full-being as far as she could tell. He didn't understand what it was like to only be half of something.

“Oh, aren't we testy tonight?” Evan grinned, liking her attitude.

Klarissa just shrugged and moved to wait in line. She wasn't really in the mood to deal with him tonight. “More like I'm just not in the mood for bull,” she muttered, giving the bouncer a smile as she breezed past him.

“Lenny, my man, long time no see,” she said to a man who was standing at one of the bar tables close to the entrance.

“Rissa, wow, you're here. What a surprise!” Lenny’s voice was weak; he was not at all happy to see her.

 “A pleasant one I hope?” Klarissa said with a sharp smile, showing one of her elongated incisors.

“Yeah, you could say that!” his voice was no stronger. Lenny was a cross between a were-rat, a wood nymph, and of course human. The rat part of him dominated, giving him rat like characteristics.

“Never fear Lenny, I won't be bothering you after tonight,” Rissa's voice was grim, her words taking Evan by surprise.

“What? What do you mean you won't be bothering him after tonight? Are you going somewhere?” Evan almost couldn't breathe. She couldn't be leaving; he had only just started to get to know her.

“Hmm, ah, there he is. Catch you gentlemen later.” Through the press of bodies Klarissa had found the essence she had been tracking; the half-being was here after all.

“Did she mean she was going somewhere?” Evan asked Lenny, astonished; he hadn't been expecting that. He really hoped that he had misheard her. He really didn’t want her to leave just so soon.

“That's what it sounded like,” Lenny replied wide-eyed.

Evan took off through the packed crowd after Klarissa. The smoke from the dry ice machine billowed out, almost covering the different essences of the varied people.

Klarissa had just reached her lead when she felt a ripple in the air, and looking over to her left saw a group of Elite-Chaos flash into the club. “Run!” she said to the half-being; quickly giving him a card that had directions to sanctuary if he wanted it.

“What's going on?” Evan wanted to know as he came up to her, putting his hand gently on her shoulder.

“Crap, what are you doing?” she growled as she grabbed his hand and flashed them both out of the club.

“What the?” Evan spluttered as they appeared in his apartment.

“Sorry, had to get out of there, and you’d followed me. One of Father’s spies would have reported that, so I had to get you to safety. Mind if I put a shield around your flat?” she asked as she put a shield up anyway. Once she was sure that no one could get in, she turned back to Evan. “Why did you follow me?”

“Because you said you were leaving town, or at least you implied that!” Evan growled, frustrated, running her fingers through his short dark blond hair.

“What of it? I need to go so that father doesn't bring chaos to me and the rest of the half-beings in this realm. Crap, why am I even explaining to you?” she shoved her fingers through her hair pulling at it in an attempt to gather her thoughts. “Darn it!”

“Now why would your father do that?” Evan asked in confusion; it didn’t make sense to him.

“Because of him, I am what I am,” Klarissa exploded before she could stop herself.

Now that she had made sure that Evan was going to be safe, she flashed herself to the address she had given the half-being. She sensed him and was relieved that he was waiting for her. “Hello, my name is Klarissa,“ she called, just loud enough that he could hear her.

“Why did you do that for me?” a gritty voice called from the shadows.

“Because everyone deserves the chance to be good, to make their own choices and most of all to live freely, within the boundaries of the Immortal Law,” her voice was clear and even.

“This place is safe for a little while. It is equipped to meet your needs. If you need anything else call the number on the card. There is a pre-paid phone loaded with credit waiting for you in the kitchen. Choose wisely.” With these last words she flashed to her place and grabbed her bag that was always packed with essentials.

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