Chapter 2: Samhain

I think in this chapter my most listened to songs were tracks, 2, 5, 10, 11, 12, and 14 – and probably a track not from the “soundtrack” – “Never Think” – by Rob Pattinson…

anyway, chapter 2 commence:

Chapter 2: Samhain

Connor.  What a pathetic human name.  I walked to my room, though I could have easily sprinted there in fractions of a second.  I turned on my stereo and lay on my bed.  Eternity was far too long to be alive.  If you could call what we are alive.  Existing.  The proper word choice is existing.  Wading around from day to day – going from hunt to hunt, mission to mission.  It was almost exhausting, if we could feel exhaustion.

“Connor?” I looked in the door way to see Medea smiling at me.

“What?”

“How was school?” she asked, entering my room without permission.

Medea was Menoch’s newest wife, every hundred years or so he got a new one and the old wife mysteriously disappears.  Medea could not have been more than twenty three or so when she became like us.  I often wondered if she was happy with this life, I never bothered to ask her though – it would be far too much trouble.

“Tedious.” I replied, answering her former question.

“Oh.  Yea.  I guess you’ve been through school a few times.” She seemed nervous around me still, despite the fact she had been Menoch’s newest prize for almost a decade.

Menoch, or Menoch The Terrible as he likes to call himself, is the great leader of our clan of vampires.  He has seen almost a thousand years, having been created by his previous master Aédán.  Aédán did not live for many more years after Menoch discovered just how powerful he was.  It was unfortunate that Aédán had to be slain at the hand of his own fledgling, but that is what happens when a vampire as ruthless as Menoch is born.

I came across Menoch when I was eighteen years old.  I was traveling in the woods, looking for firewood.  My mother was dying and my father had already died years before.  I came across Menoch feeding off one of the farm hands from the neighboring farm.  The girls face was so blissful; I had never seen such happiness.  I dropped the wood I was carrying and walked toward him…

“What are you day dreaming about?” Medea asked, breaking me out of my reverie.

“A world without you.” I answered snippily.

“You know I am your clan leader too!  Just because Menoch made me after you, doesn’t mean you have seniority over me or anything.” Medea’s speech tended to become less intelligent the more she spoke.  I chose to ignore this, so naturally she felt the need to continue speaking.

“Did you find the vampire huntress?”

“Yes.  I found her many days ago.”  Abrasiveness made no difference with Medea.

“Well…” Medea sat on my bed, as though this was a slumber party and she wanted to know the latest Teen Beat gossip.

“Well.  She is no threat.  She has practically no aura.  She doesn’t even have weaponry in her locker.  There is nothing to worry about.  Menoch has been uneasy for no reason.”

“Well, he wouldn’t have brought us here if he didn’t sense a threat.” Medea went on.

“I am through speaking with you.” I could only handle stupidity for small amounts of time.

“Well I’m not through with you!  You have to treat me with respect! Menoch said so!”

“I don’t care.”

“Well you need to care!”

Was this really what eternity had been reduced to? Arguing with an intellectually insignificant nitwit?

“Fine.  I care.  Go away.”

Medea exited, but not without an audible ‘humph’ and a few mumbled words relating to my insensitivity.   I turned up the stereo and closed my eyes.  Sleep was not really necessary for a vampire, but there was nothing better to do with eternity.  Explore the world; check.  Make lots of money; check.  Kill hundreds of humans and creatures; check.  Fall in love; well, who needed to do that anyway.

~

I opened my eyes what I presumed was many hours later, to realize it had in fact been no more than one single hour.  I released a heavy sigh with pointless breath.  Perhaps I would take a stroll over to the vampire huntress’s house and see if I couldn’t discern some more information about the mortal.

With inhuman speed I ran across the town.  The roads were busy with afternoon traffic.  Children playing with friends, coming home from school, exploring their surroundings, they were so happy.  So free.  I ran past them, barley ruffling the trees, the birds hardly even sensed my presence before I passed them by.  I stopped short outside of the small white house.  An old Ford truck was parked next to a blue Nissan Ultima, and I recognized the huntress’s Volvo as well; while a Dodge was parked on the side of the road.  And the window boxes were blooming with purple pansies… how quaint.

I could see flashes of light from the bay window, and looking every part the prowler I peered through the curtained glass.  The sight inside was one I did not expect.  The witches were actually training.  I had not been prepared for that news.

I watched in rapt fascination as it seemed that the crone was preparing the girl for her responsibilities as a covenant member.  I counted three witches; the warlock was no where in sight.  Perhaps he had gone out? I watched as the hunters threw spells and blocked them.  I was no as concerned as I could have been; the living room in which they were practicing was not even destroyed.  The flashes stopped and there were smiles all around.  My hearing picked up the sound of whistling and I ducked into a tree in time to see the warlock coming back with a small, fat dog.

“Daddy, you’re home!” the young huntress’s voice I was sure.

I did not consider them a threat quite yet, but still, Menoch would not be pleased.

~

I decided to keep the news about the huntress actually training to myself; Menoch had no reason to know until I could verify her strength.  At school I monitored her every move.  I tried to keep my spying on her unnoticeable but it seemed every time I was caught glaring at the huntress she had a despicable glance back for me.  I decided to pry into her mind instead (visual spying was so very elementary at any rate) only to realize that her mind was being blocked.

Has she already learnt how to block out unwanted mind taps? It seemed impossible, but there I was against a brick wall, unable to probe further.  During history class, the entirety of the hour and fifteen minute lecture I tried to work my way in to the mind of the huntress, to no avail.

Stop probing at my mind! The mental scream literally had me stumbling backward.  I had not been caught off guard in years I could not remember.  So it was not a natural block, but a mind control.  She really had been working and training to keep me out of her mind – and for an hour, without tiring.  Perhaps it was time to move in the troops, and tell Menoch what this troublesome pest was up to.  If the crone had been teaching her, and she was already this good (after one night) then our clan might have its work cut out for it after all.

~

“Menoch,” I commanded attention when I walked in a room, it was just my nature.

“He’s busy.” Medea stated matter-of-factly.

“Good for him.  I will speak with him now.”

“Um, no you won’t.  Hence busy.  Duh.” Nitwit.

“This is in regards to the huntress’s.  He’ll want to hear this.” I insisted, brushing past Medea as though she were part of the décor.

“Well, he’s still busy.”

“I still don’t care.”

I opened the door to his office, ignoring Medea’s gaping mouth and silent protest.  “Menoch.  I’ve been tracking the witch as per your request and you will be interested to know that she is progressing at an incredible rate.  Today in history –“

“Connor.” Menoch cut me short.

“Yes Sir?”

“Did I give you permission to speak?”

I hesitated briefly.  He had never given me this kind of attitude before.  “No Sir…”

“Then why are you still here.  I have more important things to worry about than that stupid little witch.  Get out.” I continued to hesitate.  “Now.”

I left the room.  Medea gave me a keen smirk as though to say “I told you so” without actually having to speak.  I moped to my room.  Menoch had never treated me so callously before.  It was… startling.  I had never quite felt this before, not in my human life (from what I could remember) and not in my vampiric existence.  Huh.  This was not pleasant.  Is this how unimportant people felt all the time? No wonder they were so miserable.  Menoch was always a bastard but he had never been one toward me.  Except once back in 1982.  I tried to reel out of memory lane, but once I was on that path it was hard to backtrack to reality.

The neighboring clan of vampires (under the leadership of Buckland, who inconspicuously was playing both parties as witch and vampire) had decided that we (those under the leadership of Menoch) could not be a bother any longer and must be eliminated.  Needless to say, I was on my usual spy duty, but someone outwitted me and infiltrated our camp.  Menoch had never yelled at me before, or since that day.  In the end however we did win.

“So, what did Menoch say to you?” Medea bounced in as though I had invited her, or cared to have her near.

“He said that I was doing an excellent job and to keep up the good work.  Then he gave me a cookie.” Okay, the cookie bit was going too far on the sarcasm.

“Really?  What kind?” she was utterly impossible.

“Chocolate Chip.”

“That sounds deli- hey, we can’t eat food!”

“Oh, the dim bulb finally lights up.”

She stood up from the bed with a heavy stomp, “You’re a jerk!”

“Yes I am.”
~
For the next two weeks I stalked the witch.  I would call it “observing”, or “taking a great interest in”, or even “watching” but what it came down to was Connor Octavious Stevens, stalker extraordinaire.   When the witch was not at home I went through her things: diaries, homework assignments, clothes (strictly for research). I followed her to school, to class, to the library, to friend’s houses.  I watched as she trained with spells in her basement.  As she learned defensive maneuvers from the father (who apparently had no supernatural abilities whatsoever but merely thought that his seventeen year old daughter ought to be able to defend herself in a fight).  I had never been so involved in a subject, I could not tell if it was her training, or her quick adaptability that intrigued me so much.  I just knew I had to keep watching.  So I did.

~

My obsession was unnecessary.  I rethought it many times and decided I would take a weekend to ignore the human.  Having given stalking a rest for the weekend (Menoch was out of town gathering more troops no doubt), I decided to bore myself some by sulking around town.  I padded slowly around the town, not bothering to have a direction.  There was nothing to do with eternity.  I had made this realization many times and yet it never changed.  Eternity was still forever, and I was still a vampire.  Whoopee.

Speaking of being a vampire, it was far past time for me to hunt.  It was only necessary to hunt once a day, maybe twice, but I had not hunted in a few days.  I was surprised with myself that I had resisted the bloodlust this long.  Typically if a vampire does not eat at least once a day they become, enraged, hostile, and thirsty; so thirsty in fact that they attack anything with a pulse.  I noticed a smell, the sweet smell of human.  My bloodlust began to kick in now that I was thinking about it.  I dodged a small child and her parents and headed for the woods.

After having eaten, and being satiated, I noticed that I did indeed feel slightly better.  I continued my trek around town. I saw the same small child with her parents a few yards away, but they did not allure me like they had before.  I watched as they threw food to the gulls and enjoyed being a family.  Something came over me then, and I cursed myself for being weak.  I turned away and stalked off in the other direction.

After some time of walking, I noticed my surroundings for the first time and saw that I was in a seedy section of the town; surrounded by shops that claimed to have homemade incense, spell books, etcetera.  I looked in one of the windows and noticed an average girl, with curly brown hair looking through the selection.  My heart (the undead organ that beats inside me) jolted as I realized it was not just an average girl but the average girl.  The one I had become a tad obsessed with following.  I thought it very ironic that the one day I had decided not to follow the witch I happen to run in to her anyway.  It was quite a twist in my story.

I walked in to the apothecary as though I had every right to be a vampire waltzing around in huntress territory.  I sauntered toward the huntress and leaned over to pick up the exact book she happened to be reaching for.

“You aren’t clever you know.” She said, in a tone that clearly stated she was bored with this situation already.

“Aren’t I?” I asked, stalling for something more useful to say.

“No.  I could sense you twenty minutes ago.  By the way, can I have my journal back? I’m rather attached to it.” She wasn’t afraid? Why wasn’t she blubbering, or running away? Had I lost my vampire evil?

“You can have your petty items when I am ready to relinquish them.” Truth be told (albeit not to her) I had read through the diaries… twice.  No evidence to help with anything.

“If they are so petty why do you want them so bad?” she began walking toward the candles.

Ignoring her remarks I continued with my own train of thought.

“I cannot believe you actually believe that different colored candles will achieve things for you.”

“I cannot believe you actually believe they can’t.” her tone mocked mine, but I found myself smiling at her.  I quickly covered this realization with a bored expression.

“There are some things in life magic cannot help you with witch, you would do well to remember that.” I had meant to come off menacing and controlling; I do not think I sounded that way.

“This coming from the cynical vampire stalker.  Thanks, I’ll take my chances with the candles.”  Which I had noted she already put four kinds of in her basket.  She picked up an amethyst necklace and turned it over in her hands, watching it sparkle from various angles.  She had such delicate hands, so fragile.  So human.

“So, are you almost through this stalking business? Or will I have to deal with my privacy being invaded much longer?”

“You could just kill me now.” She startled.  I smiled.  She thought she was being calm, cool, collected, as though she had all the power – well I could call her bluff.  I knew she was only teasing; she would never have the gall to kill me, or to kill anything.

“I don’t reckon I could.” She said, looking at me straight in the face for the first time. “You see, I haven’t been taught that part yet.  Is this-” she slammed her hand into my chest, “your heart? Or is that just the empty cavity where your heart used to be?  I haven’t quite learned those details yet.” She continued moving about the shop.

I followed her, keeping a pace that said I could easily leave if I wanted to, but that she should be concerned I was still nearby.

She hummed and whistled to herself.

I do not think she was intimidated.

“Oh look, wormwood is on sale.”

Not at all.

~~

With Samhain a week away I had much to do in the way of witch watching.  Despite the fact that Menoch had dozens of little minions (I do try to exclude myself in this lumping, hoping to be more of a freelance underling than a minion) he still sees it most fit that I should do the spying.  I have obviously proven I can handle it, what with the 1982 fiasco and all.

Samhain, according to the witches, is a time when the veil between the worlds is at its most thin.  Therefore, it is a great time of power for the witches.  A time when they could easily harness their powers to overtake an enemy; for example, a thousand year old clan led by one Menoch The Terrible.  I did not know what Menoch had planned (another oddity in that he did not usually keep me out of the loop – I was beginning to think Medea was a bad influence).

“Connor!” I rolled my eyes.

“Medea!” I tried for the same enthusiasm.  It never quite reached her combination of perky and obnoxious.

“Menoch is coming home tomorrow!” she bounded around as though this were joyous news.

Menoch was still off, gathering minions and plotting a take over the world ploy I am sure.  I had not really noticed his absence truthfully, after his cold attitude toward me I was in no rush to see him again – and I was too busy keeping an eye on the witch to notice much of anything else.

“He said it’s almost time.  That the uprising should being right around Samhain because that is when the witches are weakest!”

I paused.  Considered.  Spoke. “Samhain is when they are strongest.” I stated.

Medea considered this.  “Nu uh.” Her vocabulary is truly impressive.

“Yes, it is.”

“The link between worlds is opened.  That makes them vulnerable and weak.” She was giving me a “know-it-all” smirk.

“It is their holiday of power, when the transition of spirit goes from being focused on the Goddess to the God.  The veil is thinned and it gives them power.  They are at their most powerful.” I argued.

“No.  You’re not listening to logic –”

“Oh yes, Medea the Twit being logical.  Let me get the video camera, this will never happen again.”  Idiotic people achieved rising my anger levels.  Well, mostly just Medea.

“You are… inconceivable!” she was red in the face, and looked like she might cry.

“Whoa sweetheart, don’t hurt your self.”

“You suck!” she stormed off before I could retort with something witty and sarcastic.

As I lay in my room – avoiding the witch and the rest of the clan – I thought about what Medea had said.  She was completely deranged, and I was right.  She was wrong.  With Samhain approaching, and the clan useless as the vessels they inhabited, I had to come up with my own way to distract the witches from hunting.

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