Tag: Breakdown

  • Shell Shocked – Part IV

    By the time Elizabeth turned off the shower taps, the crime scene had been sanitised. The bodies had all been moved to empty units. Each was posed in an identical manner, all in an effort to create the illusion that these were ritualistic killings.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    The floor turned out to be a snap to clean since ambrosia possessed several qualities, in addition to it being a powerful detergent. Given a limitless supply, Clara had no trouble scrubbing away all of that blood, including the footsteps she inadvertently left behind.

    Normally, Clara would have found that kind of work tedious, but given the situation, it was both rewarding and distracting. She was reminded of a simpler time, her childhood, when the true nature of this world was masked by innocence. For a moment, Clara was envious of that grey-eyed and button-nosed little girl.

    Unfortunately, ambrosia would not be able to repair the fridge door, the couch, or shattered lamp. It also did nothing to fix the hole burned through the middle of her bustier. What a shame, really. Despite the initial stench of wet dog, this attire suited her. Still, there was the coat, which concealed both the hole and her wings.

    The fridge door would be a challenge to explain away. Fortunately, the door could close well-enough to form a seal, or at least after a bit of coaxing on her part. Clara wondered if this was an apartment, and in turn, worried about the repercussions.

    By the time Elizabeth started up her hair dryer, Clara was back to normal. She took the time to slip back into her clothes and looked herself over in the mirror, loving the vibe it gave off.

    Done with the basics, Elizabeth opened the door cautiously, unsure of what she would find. Based on Clara’s earlier breakdown, she half-expected a grisly murder scene or a gateway that led to the seventh level of hell.

    “Coast is clear,” Clara said before smiling.

    Nevertheless Elizabeth’s eyes ran over the entire scene and found nothing of concern, with the exception of a missing lamp, and a hole burned through the couch. While she could not see the refrigerator, the rest of the place was cleaner than before and she wondered if this was part of Clara’s coping strategy.

    On the edge of the couch she saw the weapons that Clara had been carrying: two pistols, a knife, and a shotgun, the latter being illegal from the looks of it. Elizabeth’s heart sank the moment she saw them, but quickly realised that in a world this dangerous, some exceptions could be made for those with a vested interest in saving the lives of innocents.

    “Looks great,” Elizabeth said before retreating to her bedroom.

    Clara sat on the intact portion of the couch, leaned back, and closed her eyes. Even with the ambrosia, she found it difficult to keep going. She was dog tired, worn out, and would need something substantial in her stomach soon.

    “No wonder Hecate was hooked on the stuff,” Clara said lightly.

    “What was that?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Nothing!” Clara blurted. “Was just thinking that I’m a bit peckish.”

    Elizabeth walked out from her room. She wore a pair of jeans that hugged her hips, and a white blouse which flowed overtop her jeans. Still, despite being clothed, Clara had a great view of her bust.

    Clara looked at the young woman of Asian descent and imagined tearing those clothes off. What was it about this woman that left her so infatuated? Or was there something else at play? Would Clara still feel this way if she had not been isolated from humanity for the better part of ninety years?

    “You look great,” Clara said before biting the bottom of her lip.

    “Thank you,” Elizabeth said and found an excuse to turn away to hide the fact that she was blushing.

    Elizabeth used that time to brush out a few stubborn knots from her hair. It also granted her a few moments to ponder what had been said in the bathroom moments ago.

    After her cheeks cooled, Elizabeth turned to face Clara and said, “You’ve been through a lot.”

    “Yeah. I’ve been fighting for the forces of good all my life,” Clara said honestly. “I had my fill tonight, you know?”

    Elizabeth honestly did not know and suspected that most of her coworkers could not relate. She suspected that such trauma was more common to veterans of war, and first responders. That meant she would not be able to fall back on her training to help her deal with this.

    “Can you talk about it?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Honestly,” Clara said. “The less you know of the subject—the better.”

    “You know, I just saw you run someone over and bitch slap my ex… who turned out to be a fucking vampire!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “I have every right to know what’s going on.”

    Clara’s facial features never changed she just carried on smiling. It had taken an unbelievable amount of strain for her to lose any self-control. She had been taught to stay cool under fire, to never give into her baser instincts. Either way, now was the time to remain calm, cool, and collected.

    “Fair enough,” Clara said. “In short, a goddess known as Hecate, the one who brought about my death, followed a duplicate to your place, then proceeded to kill that copy in your kitchen.”

    Elizabeth had indeed opened a can of worms. After the initial cocking of her brow, she found it necessary to sit down.

    “She then waited for me to leave the bathroom before confronting me. Explained that a race of creatures known as Georgians shattered reality. In doing so, they caused alternate paths of history to exist concurrently with our own,” Clara said. “That’s when Sparky attacked.”

    “Sparky?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Sparky is one of this goddess’ personas. Hecate can choose to appear as a single individual, as one form rotating between the three, or as distinct individuals representing her three personalities,” Clara replied.

    “So you’re telling me that there were—” Elizabeth tried to confirm.

    “Yep! Six identical bodies! Well except for that one I turned to charcoal, but she was one helluva sour pill anyways,” Clara rambled on. “So after ingesting a lot of ambrosia, the bodies were moved, and I cleaned this place. Still, you might need to get a new fridge, lamp, and couch. Any questions?”

    Elizabeth did not know what to make of this. Less than twenty-four hours ago, the world had been plain, normal, and boring. Since then, she learned that vampires were real, followed by angels, and now, old gods?

    “What else… No wait! I’m not sure that I want an answer just yet,” Elizabeth said.

    “Bit much for the grey matter to take in?” Clara asked. “It takes time. Many of our acolytes didn’t make it past that aspect of our training.”

    “How did you?” Elizabeth queried.

    Clara sighed, and took a quick look at her wings. It appeared as though they were going to be visible from here on out.

    “I’ve known since I was little,” Clara said. “Father was a chew toy for a ghoul when I was little. Two years later, that thing came back for Mum, so I hid under the bed and stabbed it repeatedly until it ran away.”

    Elizabeth listened intently to those words, and wondered how Clara ever managed to hold things together this long. These events involved monsters, creatures that terrorised humanity for millennia. Perhaps the inhumanity of her prey, combined with faith, shielded Clara’s mind from all that trauma.

    “Of course, I knew nothing about those events. That’s part of a ghoul’s power, you see. They can make you forget. Still, there is always a part of you that remains aware,” Clara continued.

    “So how did you find out?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Simple answer—these insights came to me after death,” Clara said. Since she wanted to avoid delving further on that subject, she added, “I’m starving.”

    “Let me grab my coat,” Elizabeth said as she got up to head towards the coat closet.

    Clara happily evaded another round of queries. It was great to let it all out, but the recipient needed time to process it. When Elizabeth passed the kitchen island, she noticed the amphora sitting there.

    “Are you expecting company anytime soon?” Clara asked while packing away her weapons.

    Elizabeth found that an odd question but figured Clara was avoiding making a reference to her wife. In a way, she was thankful for the consideration, although Elizabeth would need to come to terms with her own failures as a spouse.

    “No.” Elizabeth answered. “Why?”

    “I don’t want you or anyone else going near that amphora. It contains ambrosia,” Clara said.

    “Ambrosia?” Elizabeth said while slipping on her long coat.

    Clara walked over, smiled, and ran the zipper up Elizabeth’s jacket, but she stopped when in proximity of those breasts. Their closeness felt right, but Clara was clearly in control of her faculties now.

    “Yes. Do not touch or drink the contents of that amphora,” Clara said. “Understood?”

    Elizabeth looked over at the object, and noted how its unearthly glow lit up the kitchen. Without lingering on the amphora, Elizabeth was distracted by Clara’s hands running along her cleavage while the zipper was run home.

    Happy that her little diversion worked, Clara neatly folded Elizabeth’s coat collar, then offered her arm. Elizabeth blushed lightly and accepted the offer.

    Once the door was locked, Clara said, “One drop of that stuff evoked a response more powerful than the most intense orgasm I’ve ever had.” She then leaned in a bit closer as they walked towards the elevator and added, “Just think. Flappers were renowned for their petting parties…”

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Shell Shocked – Part III

    Clara did not knock and entered the bathroom as though she owned it. It seemed appropriate considering that moments ago, relatively speaking, she received a first-hand demonstration on the use of modern razors.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    “Clara?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Who else?” Clara quipped.

    She walked over to the sink, and after a bit of experimentation, figured out how to make the faucet work. Behind her back, a cloud of steam rose out from the shower, followed by a yelp. That’s when the naked mass of a woman jumped out of the tub, all in an attempt to escape the searing heat.

    “Hot!” Elizabeth yelled.

    Clara wanted to laugh since this scene had all of the elements of a classic gag, but that would do little to prepare Elizabeth. A shame that she forgot to clean up before broaching the subject.

    Elizabeth’s skin was red on her back and side. Her hair was covered in conditioner, and she also managed to nick her leg. The wound was bleeding, although that would soon stop.

    “Sorry,” Clara said. “I figured they would have fixed that sort of nonsense by now.”

    The other was not paying attention, preoccupied with the cut and the application of toilet paper to slow the bleeding. Clara used this opportunity to wash her hands, clearing away the blood but not the memories.

    “What happened?” Elizabeth asked upon noticing the black feathered wings.

    Clara sighed and hoped that this reaction was muted by the running water. Clara grabbed the soap after a quick rinse, noticed there were streaks of blood everywhere.

    “What do you mean?” Clara asked in an attempt to stall.

    “Your wings,” Elizabeth said. “They are badass.”

    Clara contorted her body in such a way to get a partial view of her rear-end before saying, “I thought I had a great ass?”

    Elizabeth smirked. It appeared that this turn of phrase had not been in use during her time. How many ways could that be interpreted if one had no clue what the expression meant?

    “I meant to say your wings are cool… swell… the cat’s meow,” Elizabeth said while looking for signs of recognition on Clara’s face.

    “Now you decide to speak proper English?” Clara asked with a smirk. She then expanded her wings to their full size before adding, “They are the bees knees, aren’t they?”

    Meanwhile, Clara was busy wiping down every surface that had blood in an attempt to clean away the evidence. She only managed to dilute the mess. Still, it appeared more pink than crimson.

    “Yes…” Elizabeth began to say until she noticed the bloody footprints leading into the room. “What—”

    Before Elizabeth finished that statement, Clara folded her wings and moved to embrace the amazon. Given their difference in height, Clara had to do a quick hop to wrap her arms around Elizabeth’s neck and plant a kiss.

    Elizabeth was bewildered, but her sense of reason soon went down the drain. In response, she moulded her wet body into Clara’s and leaned into the kiss. The kiss was invigorating. Clara’s willing body and breasts radiated heat even through the leather. Clara willingly parted her lips, taking in Elizabeth’s tongue, and surrendered to the passion.

    Their embrace lasted for minutes. They danced using their tongues, since Elizabeth was hesitant to explore Clara’s exposed back. Every so often, they came up for air, and this separation only served to deepen their desire. So why was Clara crying?

    “What—,” Elizabeth tried to say.

    Lost in the moment, Clara wanted nothing more than those lips and was not about to tolerate any interruptions. For the first time, she was exposed, vulnerable, but unaware of it.

    “What—,” Elizabeth repeated.

    “Don’t,” Clara said and tried to place a lone finger over Elizabeth’s lips.

    “W—,” Elizabeth attempted to ask.

    “Please,” Clara pleaded.

    With the knowledge that this would go on as long as there was proximity, Elizabeth tore herself away. Despite her smaller stature, the perky brunette was the embodiment of strength. Not entirely unexpected, since Clara could wield a heavy truck door like a baseball bat.

    Clara fell to her knees and began to cry. All of the emotions that were bundled up and concealed over the years chose this moment to make an appearance. As judged by the severity of Clara’s reaction, they had done so with a vengeance.

    Elizabeth sensed that something life altering had taken place in the last five minutes. The change in her wings, the bloody footsteps, the need for an escape, and emotional breakdown were all indicators of trauma.

    For now, there was nothing to be done about her hair, so she grabbed a towel and approached Clara cautiously. She gingerly knelt beside Clara and placed a hand on her exposed shoulder.

    Clara’s reaction was immediate; she fell into Elizabeth’s arms. Tears streamed from her eyes, which would soon become puffy and red. Elizabeth held on tight and let this wave of emotion take its course. No matter how hardened an individual appeared to be, there were limits.

    “I— killed her—” Clara managed to say through all of that sobbing.

    “Who?” Elizabeth said in a calm and soothing voice.

    “Goddess—” Clara blurted out, showing frustration at her own loss of control.

    “Shhhhhh,” Elizabeth repeated. “It’s okay.”

    Clara went on crying for a good five or ten minutes. Elizabeth stayed with her the entire time, realising that a fresh towel would be needed after this.

    Eventually, Clara pulled away, took a deep breath, and smiled awkwardly. There was still much for her to deal with, but that moment of vulnerability had done a great deal of good for the soul. She had killed a lot of creatures in her years, many who pleaded for their lives. They were the worst, often looking so innocent before she performed the coup de grâce.

    Every kill, beginning with Jack, her first love, the one who tried to torture her for information, had been one more drop of water held back by a dam. Hecate had been one drop too many, and despite the shock, this incident had been a boon for Clara.

    “Thank you,” Clara said in a nasal voice, before she sniffled to breathe better.

    Elizabeth smiled but realised that her bathroom was now a sauna. Steam permeated the air while humidity clung to the walls, turning into droplets that ran down every surface. The floor was also soaked and succeeded in washing away any evidence of blood.

    “Oh shit!” Elizabeth said, when the cause dawned on her.

    She jumped to her feet, shut the sink’s tap, and returned to the tub to ensure the water could support human life. Once the temperature was just right, Elizabeth jumped right back in. Still, it was too late; her hair needed another wash.

    Clara’s weak smile turned into a smirk; the light humour helped her settle back into her normal state of mind. When Elizabeth stuck out her arm to drop her sopping wet towel, Clara burst out laughing.

    There was still that mess to deal with, but Clara was more centred now and better able to think. Once a plan formed in her mind, Clara adopted the cat-who-ate-the-canary smirk.

    “Are there any empty units in this block?” Clara asked.

    While Elizabeth’s voice was muffled by the water, the answer came clear enough, “Units in the opposing block are being renovated… Why do you ask?”

    Clara got to her feet and opened the curtain to get a better view of Elizabeth before replying, “The less you know, the better.”

    With that, Clara left the bathroom, looked out the window, and quickly refined her plan. She would have no trouble reaching the fire escape on the other side, even under a heavy load. No one would suspect the bodies had flown across an alley.

    Clara looked at the sky and guessed there was a solid hour before the alley was bathed in daylight. Still, she removed her leather pants and bustier. That way, if anyone called in a sighting, the police would dismiss the call. Who would trust a witness claiming they saw some naked chick with black wings leaping between buildings?

    That meant she would need to pick the fridge clean to get her energy levels up and with luck, would remain accelerated. Clara concentrated until she could hear individual drops fall in the shower.

    “Let’s eat,” Clara said, but an errant thought crossed her mind.

    Clara reached down on the floor and picked up the amphora. Despite Hecate being no more, the glowing liquid was still filled to the brim. Clara had also been fortunate that the amphora had righted itself rather than flood this floor in ambrosia.

    Clara did not dwell on that aspect. Instead, she poured three glasses and downed them all. It did not have the pep that Sparky’s bolt provided, but it was enough.

    “This should help,” Clara said while picking up the first body.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!