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|this story is a companion to Succubus, also in my library. it really doesn't matter what order you read them in, they just complement each other. i'm just not sure about the length of it. i know the tabs on the dialogue are off, but i suck and i don't really want to go back and fix them...10.10.01~i decided that i didn't suck anymore, so i went through and edited a bit, and hopefully fixed those damn tabs that torment my soul...||
Watching the twinkling lights in the town below, a sigh escaped the depths of the creature perched on the bell tower.
He awakened just as the sun hid behind the horizon, and he watched the faded glory of the sunset he was doomed forever to miss. His stone claws clicked against the granite beneath him. He stretched his wings behind him and yawned. His rest had not been easy that day, and a sense of dread followed him into his nightly watch. It was going to be a long, dark night. A thick blanket of clouds threatened to advance from the horizon. There was going to be no moon or starts shining tonight. He sniffed the air. It was not going to be an easy night.
Lucius spread his wings and jumped into empty air. He dove nearly the entire 30 feet of the bell tower before sharply pulling forward and jetting down the hill where he resided. The leftover colors of the sunset deepened until the pinks and oranges and purples all melded into the dark blue of the night sky. The place where the moon rose every night was already shrouded in cloudy darkness. And it was advancing. Lucius continued his flight toward the town and the clouds. They were creeping over the cemetery that resided atop the hill on the other side of the town. With nothing to cast a shadow from above, Lucius flew low over the town, watching shadows and sniffing the air. The night was warm and pleasant, the heat from the scorching day cooled down enough to allowing movement outside bearable. Windows and doors in homes still stood open, letting the cooler night air to flow through stuffy homes. Lucius could hear people stirring and talking as the town folk prepared for bed. One house in particular caught his attention, and he perched silently atop its roof. He could hear a man quietly sobbing as he stood next his window, and the comforting murmuring behind him. There were many people in this house, and the atmosphere was of mourning and loss. Remembering the reason why his rest had been difficult this day, Lucius crawled closer to one of the open windows to confirm his fears. "George?" a frail female voice lifted in the still light through the open window.
There was a pause, then a male voice responded.
"Yeah?" came the sorrow-laden response. The tears could be heard in his voice.
"I made you some tea. You will need to rest tonight, and this will help you sleep. It's been a difficult day, and a vigil will do nothing to bring her back. Drink this and rest, dear."
"Thank you, mom. I just don't know how I'm going to on without her. It's all so unfair!" His voice cracked and he couldn't go on. There
was no verbal response from George's mother. It was obvious that pain bore down heavily on both. Lucius moved cautiously back up to the peak of the roof, and silently sat on his haunches. His fears had been confirmed. He now understood the reason why he had not slept well today, at his home on the bell tower. A funeral procession had passed by, the bells in the bell tower tolling a dirge, marking the passing away of some citizen of his town. Lucius waited a moment longer before launching into the dark sky, flying directly toward the clouds, now overhead, then heading to the East Side of the town. His powerful wings brought him closer and closer to the cemetery across town.
The headstones and grave markers glowed in the night as if by their own accord. The white marble reflected every ray of light available, multiplying its glow until each tombstone seemed to radiate. Lucius reached the graveyard, and he landed on a tree outside the tall wrought iron fence. The graveyard was not big, though it was growing as the town grew older. At the very top of the hill, in the center of the necropolis, stood a tall marble statue, also seemingly radiating with its own light. The angle's face was tranquil as she overlooked the sleeping, her wings outstretched as if to cover her wards from the uneasy rest of some in the graveyard. Lucius stared at the angel for a long time, trying to draw some of the tranquility from the angel's face to his own troubled soul. He often visited his fellow watcher, sat with her through the lonely, dark, silent nights of sentry over the town they were created to protect.
Lucius moved over the fence of the cemetery, wanting to sit next to his angel friend again. His anxiety was rising; he did not want to face what he came to do, but he knew he must. As he flew over the fence, he cast a glance at the graves below him. Reaching the statue, he hovered near her face before landing next to her. He kissed her cheek, then landed near her pedestal. Lucius nearly reached the angel eye to eye on her pedestal. His head reached her shoulder, his wings reached above her head. His color was that of slate, grey blue. His eyes were of the same color. His hands were huge, with no distinction between where his fingers ended and where claws began. His feet were the same, and there was an extra join in his legs, so that he looked as though he was standing on the balls of his feet. His humanoid physique was muscular, and his lion's mane flowed halfway down his back and chest. His mane was also the color of slate. His jaw was a pronounced square jaw that imparted a feeling of unending strength. His fangs were hidden when he closed his mouth, but they were sharp and deadly nonetheless. His features were perfect, chiseled out of stone. Emotion was not easily readable on his stoic face, except in his eyes. He stood next to the statue, the silence of the night slowly enveloping him until he could hear the slightest rustle of the trees and the night creatures going about their business. It would be time, soon.
The cemetery was located on the East Side of the town, where, normally, at this time of the month, the full moon would rise. Tonight the sky remained dark over the graveyard, and over the town. After what seemed like ages, the familiar sounds that Lucius had been waiting for appeared in the dark cemetery. Behind him, to his left, he heard the soft moving of fresh earth, followed by a deep growl that emanated from the secondly dug grave. He did not turn around to look at the newborn creature right away. He knew what he was about to face, and it was not fear that kept him rooted facing east. It was a simple dread of what was about to ensue. Before the newly formed creature could, he launched into the air and flew high over the cemetery. He flew toward the town a way, waiting for the succubus. They never fought on land.
He felt deep sadness, knowing he was about to destroy a creature that was now shadow of what he was created to protect, and that was enough to tear him apart. But his duty was more important than any base sentiment he had been created with, and when he was on the three-mile stretch of flat land that separated the graveyard from the town, he turned and faced his now approaching adversary. She flew quickly toward the town, not taking notice of the dark shape that blended easily with the now thick cover of clouds. Her dark red figure was becoming clearer as she came closer, and he could now appreciate the armless, red-winged, graceful, fascinatingly horrible daemon flying directly into his path.
Graced with sight greater than that of men, Lucius could see an essence of what she had been before being transformed into what she was now. She was a petite woman, who now looked lost and confused, driven to her lost lover by her terrible new form and its instincts that now possessed her. Flying higher into the sky, Lucius then began his attack by flying down, feet first, so that his claws smashed into her back, between her wings. The succubus looked up with surprise in her blood red eyes as she emitted a shrill cry of pain and shock. She was stunned but barely hurt. His claws had torn the skin on her back open, but her wings were intact and she was otherwise unharmed. She sped ahead to turn and wage her own attack. She swooped on her back to face him again, flying upside down, drawing her knees up to her stomach to protect it as she flew under him in an attempt to tear his own belly open. He saw her coming with great speed, and he pulled himself up higher in the air, preparing to fend off the impending attack. A succubus is a formidableopponent, with extraordinary power in her legs and wings, and an acute sense of balance that one would not expect from a creature without any arms. She soared directly underneath him, and as she did, she pushed her clawed feet directly at him. Still flying higher into the sky as she did, Lucius was able to avoid a direct hit, though the sharp clawed feet of the succubus scraped his skin open, leaving bleeding gashes on his calves and forearms. With no time wasted, Lucius dove directly into the succubus, flying headlong into her chest. Her wings slacked as the breath was knocked out of her, and she began her rapid descent into the ground below her. He continued to push her beneath him, bearing all his weight down on his opponent. The succubus gasped and moved her wings weakly, trying to get air both in her lungs and under her wings. As they approached the ground, Lucius pulled back, and waited in the air to see if the succubus would crash headlong into the ground. Her speed was increasing, and she was too disoriented to gain her balance in time. The tall, dark red creature smashed into a plowed field beneath her.
Flying down, Lucius landed next to his defeated foe. He folded his wings and waited for movement from the creature of darkness. A whimper escaped her lips, and he ripped her throat open with his talon. The whimper ended in a gurgle as her last breath escaped through her throat. The succubus sagged as life left her.
Lucius picked up the limp body of the once blushing bride, of a woman in love who died too young, one whose love was now expressed in this frustrated and mad being in an attempt to return to her lover. He took her in his arms and headed toward the cemetery. He was no more that a cloud's shadow as he flew overhead, en route to bury the dead for the second time that day. He flew over his angel friend, flew to the edge of the cemetery, where one freshly covered grave stood out, even in the darkness. He could feel a presence pulling him closer. He deposited the succubus on top of the recently turned dirt, and watched as it dissolved into blood. Soon the blood would dry into the earth, and there would be no difference from when the plot was covered the first time. After standing in deep thought over Sarah's grave for a long time, he finally departed.
Lucius flew, exhausted, toward his home. He would stand watch wearily and warily, for the rest of the night, and until his death, warding off the evil that attacked and assailed his town.