Certain words evoke certain memories.

And in turn, these memories evoke thoughts and sensations long buried and forgotten.

But no matter how deep anyone buries their history it can always be excavated given the right circumstance. Bidden or unbidden.

Samir felt his foot connect with the thing in the darkness. It was like striking solid stone, yet he felt no pain at the blow.

In the instance of physical connection a torrent of images flashed through his mind in a whirling storm of colours and light. The moon risen high over an oil-dark sea and the cry of some distant creature. A cry of pain? Two mighty forms, like monolithic shadows, clashing against each other as a whole town burned behind them. Women and children huddled in fear and awe. Men with weapons rushing across an open expanse of grassland, their faces filled with hate. Something hiding in the heart of a dense forest, nursing its wounds and howling up into the canopy. No moon to be seen here. Is this the cry of pain he thought he had heard in his mind's eye? Two lovers cast in the warming glow of sunset, similar in many ways but different all the same.


Why did all this seem so close to his conscious grasp yet still just out of reach?

And that word . . . .


Samir came crashing back to the present with all the force of a thunder storm as the thing in the darkness slammed him into a wall. A roar of anger surged up from his throat and burst from his open mouth. Despite the almost visible aura of power that he felt dancing across his skin that blow had still knocked him hard, and pain was most definitely not a friend to have in a situation like this.

Suddenly the thing... Malandanti... was no longer there. It had pulled away with such force that it had torn strips of flesh from Samir's chest, where it's clawed hands had previously had him pinned.

The thing howled. The sound was like breaking glass. A mix of anger and frustration.

Had the moment of connection brought images to the Malandanti's mind too?

The urge to reach out and grab hold of its rough flesh was both sickening and irresistible to Samir. He had to know more but feared what he would discover.

How could it be?

What could it mean?

Two monsters. Two lovers. Two enemies.

Two races... one the original sin and one a hybrid?

Benandanti. The name was calling to him again.

The End

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