Zira paced around outside in the courtyard, her steps light and barely audible she paced back and forth around the statue that she saw through the window. The wind blew the scent of the rose canopy to her nostrils, she breathed deeply and stopped to look at the statue she was walking in front of. Why did it seem familiar? She thought to herself as she reached her hand towards its face, she touched the marble surface and lightly caressed the snout of the animal, and traced its features to its back. Its skull was very square and seemed to seamlessly flow down into its elongated neck where there were two incisions. One was just a mere nub while the other incision was microscopic and held the most magnificent wing she had ever seen. She slid her fingers to its wing and felt the edges. She grasped and prodded as if she were a blind woman trying to remember its features. She suddenly felt a blast of cold air hit her skin sending a shiver down her spine and goosebumps to rise up along her skin.
“Do you remember me?” She heard a faint and soft voice whisper through the wind. She drew her hand back quickly and looked around, to her confusion there was no one there. She touched the statue again and heard the voice again, she took a deep breath and shut her eyes. She was hearing things, there was no one there. I’m not crazy, I’m just hearing things, I’m not crazy. She thought to herself repeatedly.
“Please remember me Vera, I need you to remember so we can continue our legacy.”
“How can I help you, when I can’t even help myself?” She shouted opening her eyes stepping away from the sculpture, her head was beginning to pound as she stared at the statue angrily.
“Figure it out Vera-“
“My name ISN’T VERA!” She screamed covering her ears. Was she truly going crazy?
“I know your name isn’t Vera, but do you have to scream that fact at me?” She heard a familiar deep voice say from behind her, she released the hold on her ears and looked behind her to see Dante had changed into something more comfortable. He had a tight, white work out shirt that hugged every muscle he had and some black sweats with a white stripe running along the length of his leg to his hip; the sweats hung a little lower than they should have revealing some of his prominent pelvic bone. She turned her eyes away from his body to his light green eyes, she smiled and got lost in his eyes before she realized that he overheard her.
“I’m sorry, I was um- how much did you hear?” She asked shyly looking away from his eyes and to the side of the courtyard.
“Just the part that you screamed, who is Vera?” He asked handing her a glass cup filled with water, she accepted it willingly and drank it slowly. She stopped after a few sips and pulled the cup away from her lips.
“I don’t know who she is, but I intend to find out, one way or another.” She said ominously, an evil glimmer flicking across her green eyes. Dante smiled and walked towards her, he gently touched her cheek. Zira felt a wave of butterflies turn in her stomach as she looked up at him. Why was she so comfortable around him, where did she know him from? His eyes suddenly flashed to a confused one, he glided his thumb under her eye wiping a water droplet that slipped out. Tears?
“Why are you crying my love?” He asked, looking over her facial features, she blinked a few times and wrapped her arms around his waist tightly. It was like her body was no longer her own, she couldn’t control herself, what was happening. She felt Dante’s warm strong arms envelope her in a tight hug as he pressed his lips on top of her head.
“I missed you” He whispered softly, she pulled away quickly.
“What’s going on, who are you??? What is happening to me?” She asked hurriedly stepping back from him, he looked as confused as she did.
“I am sorry. . . I have no idea what that was. It was like I was-“
“Possessed” They both said, she looked at him carefully trying to see if any details looked familiar. . . something was familiar she has seen him before in her dreams. She always chalked it up to the dream guy she always wanted. Maybe her dreams were visions of her prior self. Maybe Namine was right. She thought to herself as she caught herself staring at him, she turned on her heel and began walking away when the smell of sulfur rushed by her. She looked up and scanned the area, there were trees that lined the cobblestone pathway to the garden, the trees bright green leaves rustled against the breeze making a perfect tunnel of nature. She continued surveying the yard; the dragon fountain was still standing on her right. Where was this smell coming from?
Someone whispered, she quickly turned around to see the dark red eyes again, the same ones she saw before Dante saved her. She was paralyzed, but not in fear, she felt the need to embrace it.
“Vera” the silhouette hissed, she simply stared unwavering, no movement. She felt like her feet were cemented to the ground.
“What are you?” She asked looking at its red eyes, it suddenly grabbed her arm tightly, an inhuman heat wrapped around her arm. No, it was not heat; fire. She screamed out in pain finally able to move and ripped her arm back her flesh searing as if it was a pan that came off of a hot stove.
“Now. . .now don’t run away from daddy.” It said in a deep and hissing voice, no, it couldn’t be.
“Josephino.” She stated, turning and running down the cobblestone pathway that led to the garden.
“Zira! Wait!” She heard Dante shout at her, she couldn’t stop, she had to get away. She wouldn’t let him defile her again. NEVER AGAIN. She thought to herself running quickly when she felt a sharp pain pound into her back; she gasped and collapsed to the ground.
“You won’t get away you stupid bitch.” She breathed heavily and tried to get up, searing pain shot all through her body as she felt an unbearable weight press into her.
“NO” She shouted turning around kicking her leg into his chest, black smoke began to wrap around her leg as he laughed manically. She looked around her and saw a loose stone, she smirked and swung when:
“Zira, calm down, it’s just me!”
“Dante?” She asked the stone less than an inch from his temple; she took shallow breaths and looked around nervously.
“Where is he?” She asked still looking around for Josephino still clutching the stone in her hands. Dante pulled her up to her feet and placed his left hand over hers, he used his free hand to turn her head to look at him.
“Listen to me Zira, there was no one here; you suddenly just took off and started screaming and fell. I tried to catch you but you were too far away. What happened sweetheart?” He asked keeping his hand under her chin; she let out a shaky breath and looked up into his eyes.
“My step father: Josephino, but I killed him. . . I know I did.” She whispered looking away from his eyes and down at the floor. Dante was taken aback by her confession but still felt the need to comfort her any way possible. He sighed and pulled her into his chest rubbing her back gently.
“I need to show you something” Dante stated pulling her back a few inches, she blinked a few times and nodded in agreement. He held his hand out asking for her to grab it, she smiled softly and grabbed his hand when a rush of heat ran up her arm, Dante yanked his hand back and looked at her.
“Did you feel that?” He asked, she nodded and reached for his hand again, this time nothing happened. He let a breath of relief and led her across the yard her high heels clicking lightly against the pathway. She watched him lead her down the path to a small building it was like a mini house a casita. He stopped at the front door and looked around, he let go of Zira’s hand and smashed his elbow through the glass pane that was on the door. He smirked and twisted his arm through the space and unlocked the door. Zira knew what this was she used to do it all the time when her sister needed shelter.
“Who’s house are we at Dante?”
“Shhh, renegade will hear you, if she finds out that this isn’t my house. She will do soME voodoo witch craft bullshit on me.”
“Then where are the owners?” She asked between her hushed giggles, he smiled when the door unlocked and walked in.
“I heard they were on some vacation in Cancun, they won’t mind if we stay here and watch the house.” He said looking around at all of the books that covered the room like wallpaper. Zira’s eyes scanned the area quickly taking in everything when something caught her eye. Dante walked over to the spot she was looking and grabbed the book. Its worn leather binding was all but a folder for the parchments that were in it.
“I wanted to show you this because when I was in the house, Renegade said she saw a book about the history of the Medon Pavmire family, I remember my brother dragged me to a fortune teller and she said I would fall in love with a Medon Pavmire. But I don’t really believe in that shit, however Renegade mentioned that in this book it will give me insight on what she will look like and how she acts. I thought maybe you could review it with me.” He said opening the book carefully; Zira looked at him confused, if this is the first time he’s been in this room how did Renegade know about the book? She thought to herself looking at the unusual off-white, cream parchment paper.
“Dante, how did Renegade know about the book, if this is the first time you both been here in this house?” She asked curiously walking closer to the book, her fingers gliding across the rough pages clearly worn with age.
“Renegade isn’t just a witch doctor, she is a witch that studies voodoo, she can sense these sort of . . . items.”
“I thought you said you didn’t believe in this sort of thing?” She asked him seeing that the pages were littered with words scribbled with a calligraphy pen.
“I’ve known her since I was a kid, and have seen her abilities. It’s hard not to believe in your own friend who’s like your family.” He said quietly getting a distant look in his eyes; she didn’t know what it felt like . . . to have friends. She just knew family is the only thing that is worth keeping, no, worth fighting for.
“Hey look at this, this painting, it looks like you.” He said placing the book down on the shelf to his right, when suddenly loud sirens were heard screeching down the street. He shot his head up from the book and looked out of the room we were in. The cops were turning on their street, they had to get out, and someone was onto them.
“Go you need to leave.” Zira said taking the book in her arms and shoving him out of the door.
“I’m not leaving you-“
“Go I’ll be fine, I’ll distract them while you get Renegade.” She said smiling softly before running across the yard and to the front of the house. She crouched down beneath the bushes to see 4 chargers unmarked but flashing red and blue lights brightly. She looked down to see a sharp stone in the shape of an arrowhead; she smirked and dragged the rough and sharp point across her skin, mainly her legs, neck and face. The sting of her flesh ripping open was mild; she knew what she had to do, she wiped the blood off of the rock onto herself and hid it in the shrubs. She grabbed the collar of her shirt and ripped it up in various spots, she took a deep breath and quietly ran and placed the book on the driver’s side of the car parked in the driveway, which she assumed was Dante’s Hellcat. She took another deep breath and looked at the cop cars. Let’s hope those acting classes back in middle school will be of some use.
“Please someone help me!” She screamed, her scream echoing down the streets, her ear piercing shrill got the attention of the police, she screamed again stumbling across the middle of the street, tears welled up in her eyes as she took quick shallow breaths.
“Vera, what are you doing, you are making an ass out of yourself.” She heard someone whisper behind her, she turned around in tears seeing a shadowy figure. She stared at the figure and started laughing through her tears.
“WHO ARE YOU!” She screamed as she heard the cops cock their guns back, the figure laughed and grabbed her by her throat, her feet leaving the ground. She coughed and tried to pry the shadow off of her, what was happening to her?
“WHO AM I??? YOU SHOULD RECGONIZE YOUR LITTLE SISTER!”The shadow yelled slamming her into the pavement, she coughed in pain and looked up.
“My sister is human, not you-“
“BULL FUCKING SHIT! Ha, come on Vera don’t play stupid, it’s because of you that this happened to me. You did this to me! You Killed KAI!”
“ I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT!” Zira yelled kicking her legs quickly pulling herself up to her feet, her lips were now soaked in blood.
“Come on sweetie, you are safe now.” She heard a soft voice say from behind her, she heard the police whisper “code 5150” police jargon for insane person. However, she refused to turn around. She continued to look at the figure that claimed to be her sister; she smiled and licked the blood off of her lips.
“Alright, if you’re my sister than prove it.” She said hearing the crunch of someone’s shoes crunching into the pavement next to her.
“My Pleasure sis” She heard the figure say sarcastically as she ran at her. Zira stood her ground when everything went dark.
“Welcome home.” She heard the figure say as she stood in a grass field, she looked around at the spot she was at. There were beautiful trees unlike anything she’s ever seen; the flowers were as white as snow, and smelt strongly of cinnamon. The bark on the trees was a dark grey almost black. She took a deep breath and continued to take in her surroundings, there were no big buildings or anything industrial it was like she was transported into some fantasy land, she smiled softly and felt the cold breeze hit her dirt and blood ridden skin. She saw a dark red path that led down a green hill and disappeared into the horizon.
“Why is the path dark red?” She asked out loud walking towards it, she looked at the path closely; the red was swirled in certain spots, like a mini pool of blood. She crouched down and touched the hard stone, her fingers scraping against the floor.
“Help me, please! Please let the Gods hear my pleas!” A woman shouted covered in blood, her cream colored cotton dress splattered with black and red liquid. She continued to scream as smoke filled the once orange and purple sky due to the sun setting. Xaviera rode her black horse against the grass leading to her castle when she heard the wench’s squeals. She sighed exasperated and kicked lightly into her horse’s side galloping up to the woman.
“What are you squealing about?” She asked rudely looking at the curly mop that gathered in a tangle on the side of her head.
“Please my Lady, my village it’s being overrun by- filthy demons. Please your majesty my family has already been killed.” She stammered between sobs, her tears were cleaning her skin of the ash that was raining from the sky. Xaviera raised a quizzical eyebrow and jumped off of her horse.
“What land are you truly from my dear?” She asked touching the young woman’s face wiping the tears away; her piercing green eyes staring into the woman’s dark brown ones.
“Kalviyre” She whispered, an evil glimmer crossed Vera’s eyes as she looked down at her hip, there rested her dagger, her pride and joy besides the love of her life.
“NO! Leila! Get away from her!” Xaviera heard a gruff voice shout from behind her, she smirked and grabbed the woman’s hair bringing her body towards her, her chest digging into the back of her hostage’s body. She held the dagger at the one known as Leila. Her blade pressing into the woman’s flesh making the wench wiggle around in her grasp only making the blade sink deeper into her throat.
“You BOY! Let this be known, anyone that associates with a Kalviyre will make this path red with the blood of their own kin!” She shouted sliding the dagger across her hostage’s neck, severing her head, the blood spilling onto her face. She smiled wickedly and threw the pathetic head at the boy.
“Here this is yours, don’t forget my message.” She said hopping onto her horse and galloping away.
Zira snapped her hand away from the path and looked up to see the shadowy figure there again.
“I know what you truly are Vera, and I will kill you for all of the crimes you have committed against me and MY people.” She spat her true form being revealed-