They tried to get in my house, and broke the only remaining window. Damnit that was a vintage window, and the bastard broke it. Guess I shouldn’t be mad.
They tried to get into the first floor rooms, broke down every door. I heard the splintering from up here. What did they think was in each and every room? Smart ones, I could assume.
One door proved too much for them. I heard them planning and playing. This was a lark, a dare, and they were young. My mouth watered.
Finally they got to my door, in the attic. I kept the floors clean up here and one of them pointed that out to the others. No one believed her. Called her a scaredy cat. I think I heard a can drop on the floor, my precious herringbone.
If they knocked, like the sign requested, I might show them mercy because of the girl, or I might not because of the beer. Maybe I’d just show the girl mercy.
The same voice said, “Signs says knock. Look” They laughed at her and tried to open it without success. All the other locks were mechanical, because the other door they couldn’t enter. My two doors were magically locked. Only my permission opened them. Drool slide out the side of my mouth as I imagined opening the door.
Some feet shuffled, and I heard a dainty knock, then laughter that covered up the slight creak in the door hinges as I opened the door from across the room.
“The knock worked, assholes,” the girl said. They laughed some more and rushed at the door. It burst wide, and I saw three young men, and two young ladies. One of the ladies had a wild, panicked look and the other exuded curiosity. She locked eyes on me first.
The other girl screamed and ran down the stairs. She didn’t stop running until she was off the property. The boys looked around the room, and finally spotted me. One gasped and took several steps back. He rallied his courage, and calmly walked away, down the stairs. The other two glanced at each other, their machismo invigorated by the other.
“It’s just a doll,” one of the boasted.
The young woman said, “If you watch it, it’s breathing. The arms move slightly with each breath, it’s eye sockets have intelligence.”
I would show her mercy.
“Naw, it’s trick-” the shorter boy moved into my home, my room, and made to grab at my head. In an instant, I climbed his outstretched arm and plucked out his eyes. I placed them in my eye sockets, and for once they were a match. The victim didn’t ever have time to react as my magics sucked the breath from him, and then his life ended.
“Ment?” the other guy called, unsure of himself, unwilling to process what he witnessed. “Ment buddy, get up. Jokes over.”
I glanced at the young woman, who nodded approval. She was already dark, what a delightful surprise.
“Uh, maybe we should beat a fast retreat, Jonie.” The guy took a couple of blind steps backward. Jonie blocked his way, then kicked the back of his knee, and forced him to kneel.
“What are you doing Jonie?!” Panic rose in him, and Jonie smiled.
“Remember all those time I begged for you to stop?”
“This isn’t fucking funny. Let me go,”
“You know you want it.” She moved away from him and nodded at me, encouraged me.
I moved up and ripped his tongue out before he could say anything, and sucked away his air. It was a fairly painless end for such a piece of meat, but Jonie was the most fascinating human I’d ever encountered.
The tongue, still warm, slipped into my mouth and my magic resized it and allowed me to form words understandable to humans. At least while it lasted.
“Human Jonie, I’m very pleased to meet you. My name is-”
“Gaius, and I’ve dreamt of you all my life.” Her voice carried the power I saw in her.
“You knew I was here?” Interesting, that change this mishap into an offering, maybe.
“I felt something, hoped it was you. As we got closer I knew, downstairs. They wanted to quit after that door we couldn’t open. Sorry they broke your doors. I wasn’t sure how to get them to come to the attic.” She felt the pull, and fumbled her way to the offering. It was beautiful.
“Jonie, I accept your offering, and if you wish it I-”
She didn’t hesitate. “I wish it.”
“You have been looking for students.”
This fumbling human gave me a shiver. “What led you to that conclusion?”
“My dreams.” Her smile told me it was true, and not true.
“Do you accept mentorship?” We must be official. Follow protocol. It will work out if I follow the checklist.
“I accept mentorship, Gaius. Maybe I pay tribute?” Her stare was too cunning. What had I gotten into?
“If you wish.”
She moved over to one of the corpses, and made quick work of carving out the heart, still dripping, she offered it to me.
How could she know? But my urge to accept a student, to avoid loneliness, to teach again overwhelmed me. I hadn’t feasted on a tribute in too long. I moved to her outreached hands, and then the smell hit me.
My new eyes focused on her, and the pupils took in all the light of the dim attic. She moved as only supernaturals do. She removed the human parts of me, crushed my skull, and then she pulled out the one thing feared among my kind. The Jar. It trapped us inside, and since were are immortal in the truest sense, we are tormented until someone was foolish enough lets us out again.
“I have hunted you for a long time Gaius. You fell so much easier than your brothers. You actually wanted to show my mercy, which was shocking. I will show you mercy in return, and you get your own Jar. Your brothers tear at each other, all shoved in the same jar. You can watch them, instead of being torn yourself.”
Her voice was quiet and hard as steel. Her hands moved with practiced precision. Her fangs just barely visible.
“I know nothing in this universe is ever lost, and you will be able to reform again if you ever escape. But I will make it harder.” She burned my remains, first with fire magic that didn’t harm the wood, then acid that left small pockmarks in my beautiful wood floor.
She pulled the cork on the Jar, and I slipped inside, unable to resist the pull on my bodiless spirit. She held up the Jar and tapped it. I swirled so she knew I heard it. The tapping engulfed my thoughts for a brief moment and I never wanted to hear it again.
The next time I hear the tap, she had travel a long time and I had basically shut down. I focused my consciousness to wish I could die. She held me aloft in her gallery. Hunters sometimes treasured their collection. There were hundreds of Jars marked with labels, along a huge wall unit specifically sized to hold them. She had another wall with other trophies, claws, ears, teeth, all magical or supernatural in origin.
In true Hunteress style, she kept her word and placed me right next to my brothers’ Jar. They never noticed me, but I spent eternity watching and hearing them tear each other apart.