Guitar lesson in 3 1/2 hours. Woo hoo!
I managed to survive the first round of LAS, so I'm going to post my ficlet here (it's hard to call something 800 words long a drabble).
TITLE: Well with the World
RATING: R, for violence
PAIRING: Angelus & Drusilla
SETTING: Pre-series, circa 1860
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The theme for the round was obsessions. This wasn't my first choice to write, but I couldn't find the middle of the ficlet I really wanted to do, lol. So this ended up being my entry...
The stars watched the paths of the two figures streaking through the night. One stumbled and fell, only to rise again, while the other never altered his pace, the shadow chasing after its pale owner. Their courses wove in tandem through the narrow streets, around corners, past shuttered windows where innocence still lurked. Nobody stopped them. Nobody questioned. It was safer to pretend that all was well with the world.
He loved it when she ran, loved listening to her fragile heart beating against her ribs like a bird frenzied for escape, loved smelling the terror dripping from her pores. She did it rarely. Too often, she took refuge within walls he couldn’t breach, and he would see her through the life-tainted windows, turning her eyes to heaven or closing them in prayer. But that was all beginning to change. More and more, Drusilla sought the arms of her broken god to banish the monster that haunted the corners of her life. More and more, Angelus followed in perpetual pursuit.
There would be no need to pose as her confessor tonight. He knew long before she reached the church’s doors that that would be where she would seek shelter.
The door stood ajar as he climbed the narrow steps. Though Drusilla had entered only moments earlier, already he heard the desperate benedictions falling from her lips, falling so swiftly he feared he had taken too long to drive her here. Angelus crept over the stained threshold, melting with the murk of the interior as he chased her anguish, but when he felt the telltale pulses of two distinct heartbeats, he relaxed. Not too late. There was ample time to enjoy the fruits of all his well-laid plans.
Candles flickered on the sanctuary, the only illumination within the small church. It caught speckles of color from the windows, but those were wraiths compared to the tableau he’d created specially for Drusilla. Blood dripped from the priest’s open wounds, collecting in the offering cups Angelus had placed carefully beneath them, and his ragged breaths were shallow, an attempt not to jar the nails that held his hands and feet to the front of the altar. He looked like he was blessing his congregation, if one ignored his grimace of pain and his torn cassock.
“Drusilla…my child…” Each word gurgled with the blood filling the priest’s lungs. “Please…”
She was deaf to his pleas, rooted in silent horror as she continued to pray.
In the shadows, Angelus smiled.
“Drusilla…” the priest tried again. “Come…help me.”
A drop of blood splashed from his hand into the filling cup. She jerked away from the sound as if scalded, almost tripping over the pew behind her.
“He tests me,” she murmured. “He wishes for me to fail.”
“Oh, not God.” Her hands fluttered in front of her like butterflies caught on a spring breeze. “The other. The one who watches. The one who waits. I run and I hide and I hope the wind will carry him away, but it’s naughty and refuses to obey my wishes.” A hysterical giggle erupted from her throat. “Does that make me evil, Father? That I wish to command nature to do my bidding? I think I must be, else why would angels taunt me so?”
The priest’s heart skipped a beat, faltering with the slow drain of his body. Time was deserting all of them.
“These are your fantasies,” he implored. “They’re not real.”
Drusilla stopped where she’d been backing toward the door. “And yet, they’ve taken form. Carved your soul from your flesh and left you to bleed, and now not even God can save you.”
Angelus was tempted to stop her when she turned and fled, the door ringing out behind her. But the call of the priest’s heart was too seductive to resist, and he slithered around the shadows to step into the dancing light at the edge of the altar.
“She was wrong, you know,” he said, enjoying the vicious start of the man’s body at his unexpected approach. Crouching down, he picked up one of the chalices from the floor and brought it to his mouth, downing the affirming fluid in a long, sensuous gulp. He licked his lips when he was done, smiling around his descending fangs. “I’m not an angel.”
Minutes later, the stars watched Angelus abandon the church, his mouth blood-stained, his warmth a testimony to his theft. He did not take the path of Drusilla’s flight, and instead ambled in a different direction, humming as the night swallowed him with its gaping maw. There was no need to continue the game that eve. Tomorrow would find a new turn to be taken. Nobody stopped him. Nobody questioned.
All was well with the world.