Somewhere in the country
Late at night, Dani drove his black sedan through the dark country roads of the secluded region, lined with trees at either side of the road; some Iron Maiden song was playing softly in the radio to which he was singing along.
‘That’d be a great song to cover’ he thought as he drove on into the night. He had been visiting Luna; Toni and Dani split up several months ago after four years of marriage (plus all the years they have been together before marriage) and Toni held custody of the girl. She was so vivacious and adorable; ‘damn, she’s more grown every time I see her’ he smiled at that thought.
Out of nowhere, a thin figure jumps into the road followed by the sound of shotguns and men yelling.
The frail figure looked like a deer caught in the headlights - shoulder length matted red hair, slender build (she screamed malnutrition), long legs, deathly pale, wearing light blue pajamas and a robe; and aqueous green eyes. Alarm bells went off in Dani’s head- he knew those eyes… ROWAN! This ghost of a person was once the woman who stole his breath away one day several years ago.
Apparently he wasn’t the only one who recognized someone…she was just as surprised as he was, but didn’t have the time to be; the men chasing after her were shooting at her and they had hounds with them.
‘What the fuck is going on here?!’ he asked himself, too loudly it seemed because she flung the car door open, jumped in and begged him
“Go go go go!” he did as she told him because getting shot at wasn’t an alternative.
To make matters weirder, there was a white wolf running along with the vehicle. Rowan lowered the window and “…wait, she’s talking to the wolf?” he muttered quite audibly; he heard her say
“Merrick, stay away from the guns and keep the hounds away. I’ll meet you at home.” She stuck her head back inside the car. Dani decided she owed him an explanation to whatever the hell was going on.
“Would you be so kind and tell me WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?!?!”
“Please, help me right now and I promise you I will explain later” she pleaded with him, her eyes no longer scary, but scared; he was flabbergasted – he had no idea what to do, but he wasn’t going to refuse her the help she was asking for. Something told him he shouldn’t.
He stopped the car behind some trees and for once since he found her, he had the chance to look at her properly – she still held that charm despite her current circumstances; her hair was still a gorgeous shade of red, her skin still looked soft, she still irradiated elegance and mystery. He snapped out of it when he heard her mutter
“Ich appelliere an die Macht von Mephisto, um die Tasse Rache auf meinen Feinden und meinen zu verschütten”
She traced a line across her wrist with her eyes closed, repeating those words; they were followed by a thin rivulet of blood pooling and flowing out of her wrist, right where she drew the line
“I offer my blood in exchange for more protection, Oh, Mephisto! Hear my chant!!” her words got louder this time and Dani felt a chill wrapping itself around them and he noticed her eyes had bled to a startling white.
‘What the fuck?’
He heard a heart-stopping scream pierce the night outside, nearby the car. He wasn’t prepared for what he saw next: one of the men was a walking torch; a roaring fire devoured the man who ran back and forth trying to save his life but failing miserably. There was another man running toward the car – around 6 feet tall, built like a bodyguard, anger clouding his menacing features; he was armed and ready to fire; he was coming for Rowan.
“Rowan! Get down!” he turned but saw the seat was empty and Rowan running towards the man, shouting
“By the power I have been given, I will take the lives of my enemies and offer them to my Lord!” she waved her hand and the man let out a yelp and threw his gun on the floor as if it had bitten him; then, she waved her other hand and the man clutched his throat, gagging. He seemed to be suffocating. He dropped to the floor trying to get his gun back, but she kicked it away. She stood hovering over him and pointed her finger at him saying: “Die, you son of a bitch, die!” the man screamed once more and ceased moving. The hounds were advancing toward her, ready to tear her to shreds when the white wolf and a pack of other wolves stepped in and engaged in battle with the hounds; the wolves were winning. The wolf that Rowan addressed as Merrick was fighting two hounds at once; he killed one and proceeded to do the same with the other one, but this hound was bigger and stronger than its mate. It latched on to Merrick’s neck, wounding him, but he swiped at it, hurling it across the road; it whimpered and moved no more. The rest of the hounds were either dead or near death. The wolves disappeared into the woods leaving Merrick with Rowan. Dani just watched all of it happen, but he was too shocked, too horrified to move. ‘What is this shit?! This has got to be a sodding joke. This cannot fucking be happening’. He watched Rowan kneel over Merrick and kiss softly along his wounded neck, murmuring sweet words over his reddened fur; she kissed his snout and he got up, renewed.
“Darling, go on home. I’ll meet you there” she said to him, he rubbed his head against her leg, and he was gone.
She walked back to the car where a shaken Dani sat, his face was whiter than usual; he looked sickly.
“I’m so sorry I got you into all of this. Thank you for helping me”
“But I didn’t do shit, I just watched you take out two armed men without touching them and kiss a mutt” he replied sarcastically
“I, I’m sorry...”she stuttered, but he interrupted her
“Who are you? You’re a witch, aren’t you...I know you are. Why’d you kill them?” he ranted
“I didn’t mean to, but they were trying to kill me. Yes, I am a witch, but this must stay between you and me. There will be no trace of tonight’s happenings; the wolves will take care of it. I truly am sorry. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
“But you still haven’t told me why they were chasing you. What happened?” Dani pressed in on the issue at hand.
“I will tell you some of it now, you the whole story once we get to a safe place. For now, we cannot stay here any longer. I’ll tell you where to go, you drive, okay?” she looked at Dani straight in the eye and stared at him for an instant that felt like an eternity. Then he lowered his eyes to her still bleeding wrist, she followed suit and said: “Go ahead, drink” this startled and disturbed Dani. ‘She can read thoughts too?!’
“I can read your thoughts, but I didn’t need to read that one. I can see in your eyes your desire for blood; you want it. It’s alright with me; it’s the least I can do after putting you through this ordeal”
“Which you still haven’t told me about” commented Dani, still eyeing her wrist, watching the crimson liquid trail down to the palm of her hand, the contrast of it on her skin; he imagined what her blood would feel like in his mouth, the taste of it...’that sweet, sweet blood, so red, so thick’ he sighed loudly; and that made Rowan shove her wrist in front of Dani’s face.
“You want it, don’t stop yourself” She said, devoid of all emotion; it sounded like an order. He followed it.
He took her wrist; he could smell that familiar coppery scent, the sensation was overwhelming when he touched the tip of his tongue to her bloody wrist; it was so thick and sweet that he had to have more. He clamped his mouth on her wrist, sucking and drawing more blood – it was like an elixir of immortality and power and he wanted it more than anything he had ever wanted. He was getting more aroused with every drop. He looked up without letting go of her wrist and he saw her face flushed, a small moan escaped her rosebud mouth; his mouth echoed hers. A sharp pain in his skull broke his hold on her. His breath was ragged, and so was hers. He leaned his head against the steering wheel to catch his breath. She opened up her eyes and she muttered something, re-traced the cut on her wrist and it started to close.
“Drive south until you find Route 37 going westbound” she said and tapped Dani’s shoulder
“Are you alright, Dani?”
“Yeah. Listen, I’m sorry for being such a cunt a while ago, I was confused and freaked out to be honest. I still am, but...”
“Shhh...It’s alright. We’ll worry about it later. I’ll explain on the way” she said understandingly. He felt much better now that he had apologized; he felt horrible for being an asshole even though he had the right to be one. He drove on until he saw route 37; just like she said, he took the westbound route. Nothing made sense, especially the fact that he was being nice and was apologizing for something that was not his fault. ‘Damn, I’m going soft’.
“Drive on for two miles and turn left at the first chance you get” she pointed at the road.
Dani silently complied. She began to tell him the story he wanted to hear: why the fuck she was being followed by armed men and hounds.
“I come from a family of witches – we have been witches since way before the inquisition; males used to be the ones to practice magic, but since my great great grandmother, women have assumed the men’s role; though this only applies to one part of the family. The other part of our family is a bunch of religious zealots who believe us to be murderous devil worshippers, which is kind of far from the truth. They have been trying to stop us from practicing our magic since the days of my great grandmother, and they’d do anything to achieve their goals. She died before they got her; my grandmother is still alive and exiled somewhere in Europe; my mother is still in the country, but hiding. I was unfortunate enough to fall into their trap” she paused, her breathing becoming labored. She inhaled deeply and continued her narrative.
“I managed to avoid them for a while, but they used my cousin to lure me in, then, they chucked me in an asylum”
Dani interrupted her, confused
“So those men following you were from the Loony Bin?”
“Yes, they were after me because I managed to escape…” she explained but Dani interrupted again
“But why did they chuck you into the loony bin in the first place?”
“Because I wouldn’t convert and renounce to my ‘aberrant and sinful’ life, so they paid a fortune to keep me locked up claiming I was insane. That was the only thing that could guarantee that I would no longer be able to practice magic and do ‘all the horrible things I was doing’”
“Quite ironic, in my opinion; those sods as definitely crazier than you could possibly be” Dani exclaimed as he drove. It was a hasty judgment and Dani knew it, but he said it anyway.
“I agree…anyway, I was locked up for almost five years until tonight. I had been planning this escape since the day I was committed, I carried it out but the outcome was rather unexpected – the asylum’s search party wound up dead, my wolf was hurt, I did what I promised to never do and I ran into none other than Dani Filth. Fate is one interesting lady”
“I didn’t know you believed in fate” was all that Dani said
“I am a witch, I have to.” was her answer.
“I never thought I’d see you again, Rowan.” Dani whispered, slowing the vehicle down
“I never thought nor imagined you’d remember me, Dani” a surprised Rowan replied to Dani’s comment. Truth was; Dani never did forget her; after all these years, he still remembered that day at Ozzfest when he met her. He thought about her often, but lately, since he broke up with Toni; he had thought about her more, along with why Tony split from him after being with him for so long.
“Who can forget that fiery red hair and those eyes?” he said, a smile curling upon his pierced lips.
Rowan smiled back, her smile softened her features tenfold. She glowed like a candle in the night.
“Turn left here” she pointed once again at the road. The concrete road turned into a dirt road.
“Where are we going?” asked a curious Dani. With the night’s happenings, it was better if he asked.
“We’re going to my mother’s house, but we’re taking a little detour in case we’re being followed” she said matter-of-factly.
“Good point” said Dani. He had to give it to her, she knew what she was doing – she obviously had planned this very carefully; she didn’t seem insane to Dani at all, au contraire, she seemed cleverer than the average sane person.
“Mind if I change while you drive?” she asked him
“Not really, it’s not like I’m going to look at you…I mean, someone’s gotta watch the road, you know…” he answered, sounding rude
“I’ll take that as a no, then” she said softly
“No, I mean…go ahead, I won’t look. Sorry” he apologized to her before it was too late.
“Okay” was all she said and proceeded to change.
She slipped the robe off her shoulders, rolled it in a bundle; and laughed
“Piss off, Oak Havens Manor!” her laughter was like silver bells, so sonorous and pure; it was music to Dani’s ears.
She lowered the window, stuck her hand out with the bundle in her hand and chanted
“I call on the power of the fires of hell to burn this wretched symbol of my unfair imprisonment!” she threw the bundle up into the night air, pointed her finger at it; and it caught fire. The bundle flew through the air like a fireball, falling to the floor to be consumed by the flames.
‘Can this get any weirder?’ Dani wondered, afraid to find out. He was willing to wager large sums of money that this wasn’t the end of the Weird parade. Strangely enough, she didn’t intimidate him nor scared him anymore; only thing bothering him was that she could read thoughts, which could be a problem in the future.
“If you want, which I’m sure you do; I can teach you how to block your mind to thought-reading.” She offered, with her shirt half-off, breasts rising and falling calmly and gleaming in the moonlight. They got Dani’s attention, but then he remembered he was driving and that she had read his thoughts once again. He looked away even though he was enjoying that sight.
“I wish you’d stop reading my thoughts, please…it’s kind of unnerving. It’s great that you can do that, but I’m really not used to someone telling me what I’m thinking” he said, trying not to sound rude in case she decided to set him on fire too.
“I’m sorry. I’ll try not to do it until I teach you how to block it” she whispered
He hadn’t noticed she had brought a bag with her and she had fully changed into jeans, a black t-shirt that framed her buxom torso and black pumps. She was running her fingers through her hair, which was painfully short. The bastards had cut her hair. He didn’t need to know her too much to know she wouldn’t voluntarily cut her hair. It pained him, because her hair was spectacular, the color, the length…even now, it was still beautiful. He could see she missed her long hair as much as he missed it. There was a glint of sadness in her eyes. Those assholes had robbed her of five years, of everything she held dear. It angered him, because something told him she didn’t deserve any of this. ‘Those Christ-cock-sucking bastards are going to burn in fucking hell for doing what they did to her’ he told himself.
“Turn right, Dani. Drive on about half a mile, then turn left, then left again and then right. We’ll find my mum’s place at the end of the road.” She informed him. He did as he was told which was humorous because he never followed orders.
He turned everywhere she had said and were nearing the end of that road; at the very end, he could see a cabin. He surmised that was her mother’s house and hiding place.
“That it at the end of the road?” inquired Dani
They reached the cabin several minutes later. She got out of the car, shut the door and ran to the house. Dani followed her, relieved that they had finally reached a safe place where he would find the answers to the shitload of questions that were swimming around in his mind.
He entered the place, to find a heartwarming sight – mother and daughter hugging and weeping with joy. He heard the mother’s voice
“Ma Cherrie, je suis très contente de t’avoir avec moi! Je t’aime, ma petite!”
More alarm bells went off in Dani’s head – he knew that voice very well. He gasped, and both mother and daughter raised their heads to look at Dani.
Afraid of what he would see, he looked at them both; and he saw Suzanne’s face staring back at him. She spoke to him
“Hello, Daniel, Mon cher” she smiled at Dani who stood there in the threshold dumbfounded. The one place where he had hoped to find answers had spawned twice as many questions.