Matthias, p.25
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       Matthias, p.25

           Ariana Kenny

  Chapter 18 New Beginnings

  I busted through the door only to see Myria doing a victory dance in her pink tank top and black silk pajama pants. Viktor was standing behind me by now and mumbled something under his breath. As he turned, Violet was pulling a shirt over her head as she came down the hallway.

  "Spoiled brat! " he hissed highly displeased.

  "What happened?" Violet asked Viktor.

  "She finally lost her mind. I'll buy a rubber stamp with the word 'crazy' on it when I decide to get out of bed again." Without breaking stride, Viktor hoisted Violet over his shoulder and carried her back into their bedroom. She let out a delighted laugh, and the two disappeared.

  Myria ran up excitedly to me, flapping a papyrus scroll she had just extracted from a bunch of similar papers and documents she had taken out from under her bed. "Matt. I found it. I have been going through books, scanned documents, microfiche and God knows what else, but I finally found this." She waved the paper at me and I took it from her. It was very old, and in sub par condition.

  "Where did you find this?" I asked

  Cassie walked past me in the corridor and I could tell she wasn't impressed by the stride of her walk and the half glance she gave me.

  "It was right under my nose, I just didn't realize until now. I saw this pattern, but didn't know what it was." Myria replied. "Come have a look....there was a mystic, around two thousand years ago who made all these crazy inventions, had all these ideas about the binding forces of life and the universe. He used to be a consultant and oracle to the head king, or figurehead, but fell out of favour when he dabbled with resurrecting people. Or trying at least." She took a deep breath before continuing on excitedly.

  "So there is a map on the back, but it's hard to make out. I'll have to get some special chemicals to try and bring out the image better so I'm headed out now." Myria moved excitedly around gathering a jacket to throw over her shirt. She shimmied into a skirt and slipped out of her pyjama pants before she grabbed a backpack off the floor and slipped a pair of ballet flats on. She threw herself at me giving me a bear hug holding on to me as tight as I imagined she could.

  "I found it Matt. We're nearly there." she whispered in my ear. She almost pulled away from me but hovered next to my neck and looked up at me. I immediately put my hands on her shoulders and moved her away. She averted her eyes at the rejection, but moved on. "See you when I get back" she grinned, and skipped out. Then the whirlwind called Myria was gone.

  I knew Myria was headed out to the Candle & Book, the local herb, crystal and all round supply store for all things pagan or witchy. There was a man who worked out of there named Armada -though I doubted that was his real name- who used to be in art restoration, but had turned soothsayer some years back. He liked to wear a long purple velvet jacket and beads with matching rings. Myria had introduced me around five months ago, and we would often catch up to debate life and death issues. He didn't know what I was, but it was nice having a kind of an ordinary conversation. As ordinary as it could be with a guy who sold goofer dust and tarot cards as a main occupation. I wasn't about to cast stones though.

  I wandered into the lounge room where Cassie was curled up reading her latest find. A book on religious philosophy. I walked around the coffee tablet take a spot next to her.

  "You shouldn't entertain her Matt." Cassie said, not even looking up. But she did sharply snap the volume shut.

  "You aren't curious? If there is a way to get Camille back? Maybe restore your humanity?" she looked up at me, very seriously.

  "Cam, yes. Me, no. Where would I go, what would I do? I don't know anyone, never had a job. I can't imagine being human again. Clearly you've been giving it some thought though." I felt the tension in her voice. Since she changed me, Cassie had always had a pang of guilt any time the topic of being human came up.

  "Not really. I don't think there is any going back. Besides, I don't think I could ever be without you." I pushed away some of the hair hiding her face. She looked back up at me again and smiled. That made me relax. When she was happy, I was happy. "I just don't want to give up on the chance she might be on to something. Everyone misses her. You, Violet, Russell and Myria."

  "Doesn't really matter anyhow. It's just a myth. Even with everything I have seen over the years..... Cam's buried, she's gone, and as much as I miss her every single day, I can't play around with ideas of how she might be brought back. It's impossible."

  Violet waltzed in unannounced just then. "Never say impossible little sister."

  "I see Viktor let you out of his sights" I teased. Cassie giggled softly as Violet fell into the couch looking sated and pleased with herself.

  "I think I love him....” Violet declared. “I hate I said that, but I'm really getting attached to the guy. He kind of rubs off on you after a while. Like a stray that follows you home even though you didn't like it at first, but once you get used to the company.... You really miss it, and crave it more and more. Plus the sex is amazing."

  She gave a cheeky grin and turned her head towards the door behind her as Viktor walked through with two glass tumblers filled with warm blood. "Gee thanks, be still my heart...oh wait. It is." He taunted back before handing Violet the glass and easing into the spot beside her. "I have to agree with Cassie though" Viktor said leaning towards me. "You have to make sure Myria doesn't have any confusion about your relationship.... She's funny about you. I've seen it before and it never ends well."

  "I could not be clearer..." I sighed.

  "Try. Nothing worse than a pissed off witch with an obsession. I'd know." As soon as Viktor said the words he winced as though he wished he hadn't.

  "How would you know?" Violet asked

  “I've been around.”


  "I'll talk with her.” I said and left, kissing Cass on the forehead as I exited.

  I found Myria quickly, her face lighting when she saw me. Taking up her stride beside her, I tried my best to sound casual.

  "Myria, I need to talk with you."

  "Sounds serious. What did I do?" she joked, but I hoped she would take this seriously.

  "I just...I hoped that you understand, you know, that when you hug me, get close to me that it's a bit awkward. A bit close. Understand. I want to be your friend but I want to know you understand that that's it. Right?"

  Myria was quiet. She looked at her feet and I felt nervous, unsure of the response. "I know what I see, Matt. It's as clear as day, us being together. I don't know how it works with you being a Vampire and me not. But it will work" She sounded so determined it worried me more than anything she or Cassie had said before. I stopped in my tracks, and she mirrored my response, turning to face me.

  "Maybe when you saw us I was looking after you, not with know.? How Cassie, Russell and I have been living with you." I was trying to reason with her but her face failed to change.

  "No. I know you're with Cassie, and I put up with her, but sooner or later.... You'll see."

  "You put up with her?!" I exclaimed.

  Myria cocked her head and shrugged her shoulders.

  "No Myria." I demanded. "No more. Get it out of your head!"

  "Whatever" she responded sounding faintly irritated. "Don't worry about it" Myria chimed the last part as she backed away from me. I didn't follow, but I had an uncomfortable tightness in my chest, along with an impending sense of doom.

  On the long walk back home, I started to think more seriously about Cassie and I taking that break as soon as Violet and Viktor came back.

  Back at home, I met Violet at the door. She was holding a thick yellow envelope she had just retrieved from the step.

  "How did it go?" she asked me amused no doubt because she guessed the answer.

  "Brilliant!" I responded sarcastically.

  "Think you can manage while Viktor and I are away?"

  "We will make it work." I scrubbed my face with my hand. "What have you got there to distract me?" I enquired hope
fully of the envelope.

  "Not sure yet." Violet delicately slid her finger under the lip of the envelope and peered inside. A quizzical look crossed her face.

  "What is it?" I pressed.

  "Dirt" she responded, reaching inside to pull some out. She ran it through her fingers and I took the package off her.

  "No markings" I stated, curious. Reaching inside, I pulled out a chunk of dirt. Looking at it I showed it to her. "There is some kind of marking on it. I don't recognize it though."

  Violet's eyes widened. "I do. It's from the seal. The one that leads to where the OldOnes live, their domain."

  "From Belil's place." I tried to clarify. She nodded. She looked so far away, tracing the image with her fingertip.

  "Who would send you that Violet?" Violet answered by throwing the offending piece across the room. It smashed and she looked momentarily satisfied.

  "You alright?" I asked.

  "You love my sister?" Violet asked of me out of the blue.

  "Love doesn't cover it. I don't know what to call it." I answered earnestly.

  "All consuming passion....? That you would do anything to protect?" she ended her own question with a laugh."Lucky me. I have had it twice."


  "Ben, and now Viktor" Violet looked at her feet again. She never did that. Never looked down, or away like she was weak or awkward. Violet was one of the most powerful people I knew.

  I couldn't tame my curiosity. "What was Ben like?"

  "Amazing, perfect. I loved him more than myself. I love Viktor, don't get me wrong....but to lose Ben. My first great love.... To see them cut his throat like that." She took a pause I didn't even try to fill. "In spite of everything I saw when I was locked away, remembering the last I saw of him...That's the worst part of everything that happened. There being nothing I could do to save the one person I had ever truly known happiness with. That was worse than hell itself."

  I shifted the weight on my feet. "Violet. You call it hell but, other than the fact I know the OldOnes live there, but other than that, I don't really understand."

  Violet looked a million miles away. "I call it hell, because its hard to describe it as anything else. Burning hot, stench filled, full of pain and screams. It sometimes looked like a warehouse torture chamber. People strapped down pleading. Sometimes like a city, deserted, abandoned, until you would realise something was following you, playing with you...until...." I held my breath. "Until it found you, punished you” She gathered herself before changing her tone to be more harsh. “I don't know who sent that" she pointed at the envelope I still held, "...but I don't know, don't care. No one is ever going to make me feel weak like that again. Not ever." She looked at me pained.

  "At least you have Viktor now" I said trying to gain a positive.

  "Yes. Viktor has been my saving grace."

  I spied Viktor sneaking up on Violet, happily oblivious to our conversation a moment before. He might have strength, strategy and 1000 years on us, but he still couldn’t hear as well as I, and nowhere near as well as Cassie. I was glad for his sake, so he didn’t have to hear our last conversation.

  Happy to shift the subject to happier things I asked Violet when she and Viktor were leaving. Not giving her a chance to answer, he sprung on her, lifting her off the ground. I was going to miss their balance to having Myria the Moody in the house. I was going to miss their friendship when they left.

  Violet and Viktor set off on their round the world sabbatical the next month and left Russell, Cassandra and I to look after Myria. Living with Myria was interesting, but not as challenging the first year as I expected. It was little else than awkward at first. Russell was well aware of the tension between Myria and I, so he did his best to keep Myria's mood up and her focus off me. She was still trying to pin down the map’s details, with little luck. The restoration of the document had only been partially successful, so she had to research other sources instead.

  After the first year of Violet and Viktor being away, staying in the one place was becoming a strain, so Cassie, Russell and I began to seek out ways to distract ourselves. Russell and I were out revisiting the place that the old church he once lived in used to be before it burned down. While there, we had the ultimate of distractions presented to us. A for sale-sign staked in the ground. Russell leapt at the chance and bought up. Cassandra pushed us towards deciding to build a club there. It was close enough to the city that people were happy to come, far enough away we didn't draw negative attention from the neighbours. It seemed a perfect distraction. We all designed it and as a result three separate internal structures seemed to develop. A lounge bar area, mellow and very Russell, a dance floor that Cassie luxuriated in putting together with a purple and silver theme, and the castle-like back living area which consisted of two floors or dark marble, sleek and topped with two tower/turret style main bedrooms, each with a substantial balcony. Myria took an area downstairs and away from the main thoroughfare, while Russell actually set up a room at the back of the lounge as his base. That left Cassie and I with the run of the upstairs, which we used to our advantage. It was almost like living alone, Russell taking on the day-to-day running of the business, we hired a couple of staff, and Myria spent most of her time studying. She started attending university to study archeology, which she changed to philosophy, and then to ancient language studies within a six month period. Patience was not her strong point though, but as long as she was busy, she seemed happy. Which, she seemed -happy that is.

  By the time Violet and Viktor came back, full of tales, the club was fully functioning. It was attracting a good crowd, turning a profit, and allowing access to a good food source. Repeat business was not a problem.

  The first night Violet and Viktor returned, we spent the night all together, sharing stories, catching up on lost time. It was an excellent night and things felt perfectly on track in spite of the realisation that Cassie and I would have to share space again. Violet reveled in telling us about places they visited, cultural highlights and Cassie took it all in. I was looking forward to our trip together. Viktor couldn’t help but tell us his woes and experienced, one of which involved Elias of all people. Turned out Elias had invited himself along with Viktor and Violet across their Mediterranean islands experience, and Viktor had ended up throwing him overboard. On 'rescuing' him the crew of the ship had been busy paying their respects over his lifeless corpse when Elias had made a remarkable recovery from death. With screaming, scattering onlookers everywhere, Viktor had made an impulsive run for it by jumping over the side of the ferry they were on. Violet, being Violet, had simply convinced the cabin crew she was someone else entirely and sailed with grace back to the harbour, while a soggy Viktor had to swim back and find her, covered in sores from his extended period in the salt water. I was still chuckling over the story when I ducked back to my room to get my iPad to show Violet.

  I had just turned from reaching the device that lay on the bed when I realised I wasn't alone. Myria stood behind my door and had been waiting for me. She was in a see-through purple negligee, standing seductively. Waiting for me. Startled, I tried to avert my eyes.

  "Myria! What do you think you are doing?" were the first and only words I could find.

  "I know you still think of me being a kid, but I'm not. I needed to show you... I can be everything Cassie is and more." she started to walk towards me. I backed away in response.

  "You need to get out. Now! Get out before...." I lost my train of thought. All I could think was that if Cassie walked in, she was probably going to try and kill Myria for this.

  "Please" Myria pleaded. "I love you"

  "Myria. I am not interested….get out. Enough. No more childish games”. I didn't even care if she hurt now and forever. This had to stop.

  The picture frames on the walls cracked and smoked. The alarm clock started up with radio static, and the sizzle of electrical wiring overheating was heard. I held my ground while Myria looked blankly at me. She sobbed suddenl
y then rushed out of the doorway, past Cassie who was arriving to check on my whereabouts.

  Cass looked at me without judgment. I waited for the change in tone, the I told you so. Some kind of reaction from her.

  "Hey," she said calmly. "Came to see what was taking so long."

  "Nothing to worry about." like a half naked Myria running down the corridor crying?

  "It looks like you have it all under control" she opened her arm to grab me around the waist as we proceeded to walk down the corridor together.

  "That’s what you call it!" I retorted.

  "Did I ever tell you I have exceptional hearing." she replied.

  "Once or twice."

  "Well I do. It is so good I can hear whole conversations from outside if I know who and what to listen out for."

  "What a talent" I played along. I loved this girl. Smart, strong willed, she trusted me implicitly, was proud of me, and loved me as I loved her. Myria on the other hand I was sure was about to cop the wrath of Cassandra.

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