Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chapter Six - The Feeding and The Dream

Don't forget to use the Book Chapter Directory on the right to read the Chapters in sequence. 
The following events are all true. Names and location have been changed.

Part One: Love in a Harsh Landscape
Chapter Six
1910 South Africa – The Feeding and The Dream

Jean-Michel was so angry.
There was a gushing sound in his ears and his vision was rushed and red tinted. His mother had her hand firmly clamped around his wrist, walking at a pace. Getting him away from there.
“Stop pulling me!” he snarled, ripping his arm from her grasp. He stopped short. Absolutely horrified that he had behaved that way and spoken in that way to his mother.
Marcelle observed him coolly. In reality, she was barely keeping her cool. It wasn’t time for him to know anything yet. He had a few months of innocence left and she sure as hell wasn’t going to take that from him.
“What is happening to me? Why did I behave in that way?” his eyes searched hers for an answer, and found none.
I will tell you all in good time Jean-Michel. I need you to trust me and be patient. You are not to see that girl. Not in the meantime. When you know the truth, you will know then that I am right in what I am requiring of you.” She had already distanced herself from him emotionally. He could see it in her eyes and in the way that she was speaking to him.
He sighed.
He would find no answers here.
Perhaps with his Father he might.

He saw his father’s car waiting just ahead of them, and they approached the vehicle together, to all the world appearing as if nothing were wrong. His mother linked arms with him, placing hers gently through the crook of his elbow. He felt the strength there, she tightened her fingers on his arm and he winced.
You will not speak of this to your Father, nor to any person here, do you understand?” She nodded at a couple walking passed, “You cannot understand the significance of what is happening to you, and until you do, you will be safer saying nothing. Talk to me if you must, but say nothing to anyone.

The sun was setting and Jean-Michel had retired to his room. The full moon was set to be a beauty that night. In the lounge room, Marcelle felt that old familiar stirring. She was restless, knew she would not rest at all. Henri made sure that the house was closed up for the night. Made sure that Jean-Michel was safe in his room, and made his way downstairs. Marcelle was standing near the window, her hands claw like, her body tense and rigid.
“I will be alright my love” he said, walking towards the passageway that led to her art room.
“How do you know it will? You always say it will. But it sometimes isn’t. What about last month?” Marcelle swallowed hard, her eyes closing as the scent of her husbands’ cologne reached her nose. Her heightened sense of smell made it harder to be near him at this time.
“Come. Let us go my love.” Henri walked down the passage way and unlocked the door.
Marcelle followed.

Jean-Michel was having a dream. In it, he walked down a rocky outcrop under the moonlit sky. He saw the ghostly shapes of the rocks, and hay bales. The eerie pale blue shapes that were sheep, dotted around the veld. His shoes slipped and he stumbled forward as small stones rolled and skittered across the ground below him. In the distance, he saw the shape of Winkelmaan Farm. A lighted window let him know that someone was awake. The window belonged to Elmarie Venter.
He stumbled towards the house, a dry longing in his throat and mind. He made it to the window and reached up to tap the glass panel. Elmarie’s sweet face appeared in the window, a look of concern followed by a look of joy. She pointed away, she would meet him at the back of the property, he knew where.
The dream changed, it took on a slanted, nightmare quality. The sounds of the bush were magnified, his breathing was louder than he had ever heard. His heartbeat was faltering, stopping altogether. Fighting panic he looked up as Elmarie approached. Instead of pulling her into his arms, he grabbed at her and pulled her roughly to him. Feeling a thirst and hunger so great that he could do nothing different: he broke her.

~

Henri locked the door behind them, and made his way deeper into the art room. He stood by the window and looked up at the moon. It was almost time.
Behind him in the shadows, Marcelle had taken on an almost predatory gait. She circled him slowly, watching his breath rise and fall, listening to the rush of blood in his veins. Feeling the heat of his skin from across the room. She felt the familiar pain in her jaw, the movement of her teeth, her vision became sharper, like an owl, or an eagle. Seeing everything. Hearing everything.
The room went silent. Henri shut his eyes and fought the small snakes of fear that threatened to slither from his belly to his mind. If he became afraid, things would end badly. He needed to remain in control, calm, assured of her. Of them. The silence was the worst part. Being hunted by the one that you loved.
The attack always shook him to the core. The speed of it, the strength of her. The ferocity of it all. So basic. So primal. The sadness afterwards, the regret and remorse. The healing.
There was a sudden rush. Searing pain in his arm, her mouth over his wrist. Feeling her fighting the urge to kill. He knew not to look into her eyes. If he did so, she would move to his throat and that would not be good at all. He did his best to remain aloof. To look ahead as if the pain was not so great, as if his heart was not breaking. The light headedness was hard to bear. But bear it he must. Any sign of weakness and her humanity would be lost in the moment. He swallowed as he forced himself to remain calm. He would not die this night.

Jean-Michel woke with a start. His body wet with perspiration, his chest heaving with sobs and gulps of air. What was happening? He could not get the image of Elmarie broken in his arms out of his mind… What was going on. He rose to have some water at his night stand and stood a while looking up at the moon. The light was off in his mother’s art room, the comforting yellow glow from her windows wasn’t washing the garden in it’s warm light. He frowned but climbed back into bed. Tomorrow would be another day.

The gentle tickle of her softly licking his wrists brought Henri back around. The sun was rising and he was tired and weak. Marcelle worked over his torn skin, each lick bringing about new skin regeneration, healing. Her tears and words of remorse broke his heart every time.

Jean-Michel rose and went to his wash stand, splashing cold water over his face, he looked into the mirror. His eyes were bleak, serious. He had so many questions unanswered.

He ran his fingers through his hair and tried to smile. The smile vanished as soon as it appeared. Leaving only a shocked and horrified face staring back. His teeth were different. But how? He opened his mouth to look but as he did so, the teeth moved and returned to normal. Try as he may, that morning while he had his breakfast and planned his day: he couldn’t shake the image of Elmarie’s lifeless body, and the hint of the sharpened eyetooth that he had seen in the mirror.