Saturday 4 – Saturday 18 December 2010
He was taken aback by Ciara’s reply. She wasn’t as hard a task as he’d been told she would be. Entering further into the kitchen, he took his eyes off Claire for just a second, and focussed on Ciara. She was the one who now held all the power. The older woman was frail and weak, and would be no match for him. It was long enough for Claire to have sidled over to the bench and remove the large kitchen knife from the block. He never noticed her sleight of hand.
As he approached Ciara, Claire slowly positioned herself behind him. He didn’t feel the knife as it cut through the back of his neck, severing his spinal chord. His legs collapsed beneath him, his arms useless beside his body. Stepping over his body, Claire leaned down and slit his throat from ear to ear. The blood of the second Watcher ran along the vaguely sloping kitchen floor and joined with the blood and brain material of the first.
* * * * *
By dawn, the house was shrouded in silence. Nothing moved. Bodies were strewn throughout the building; piled up at the bottom of the stairs, blocking the doorway to the kitchen, haphazardly in the foyer. Every room a picture of the violent slaughter that had ensued the previous night.
At the top of the stairs lay Aunt Claire, battered, bruised, and bleeding. Her left arm, severed from her body, lay on its own two stairs below. Her face, contorted in agony, and the portion of her skull, just behind her left ear, hanging on by a thin sliver of skin, were indications that she had died a terrible death.
The front door banged against an ankle of a long deceased Watcher, as the wind buffeted it back and forth.
Covered in blood, some of it her own, Ciara shuffled down the street in the direction she had arrived from the previous day. Clutched to her chest was a leather bound book. She had rescued it from the attic before setting fire to the back of the house, and escaping into the street. Any minute now, the flames would take hold and engulf the little bed and breakfast that had been in her family for generations. She hoped the fire would burn hot enough to destroy the bodies and any evidence of what had really happened.
Catching sight of herself in a shop window, Ciara realised that she needed to get cleaned up, or she would draw all sorts of attention to herself. Disappearing behind a row of shops, she found the back door to a women’s clothing store. Hoping that in a small town like this the owner wouldn’t have any need of an alarm, Ciara kicked at the door until it gave way, and allowed her access to the store.
She quickly found the small kitchenette, and placing the book on the nearby table, she quickly filled the sink with warm water. Discarding her clothes, as if on autopilot, Ciara used a washcloth to clean the blood from her skin. She had to empty and refill the sink dozens of times before she was clean.
Cautiously making her way into the store-proper, Ciara rifled through the racks and shelves of clothing, to find anything she could in her size. Settling on a pair of black jeans, a white t-shirt, a light blue sweater, and a pair of knee high riding boots, Ciara took a large tote bag, put her book inside, and headed back out onto the street. Glancing behind her, she saw the flames engulfing her aunt’s home. In the distance, she heard the sirens of the approaching fire trucks.
Turning her back on the house and her aunt for the last time, Ciara continued down the street. She could no longer hear the voices of the Watchers, but intuitively felt that there were more out there. Somewhere. Waiting for her. In the mean time, she would learn all there was to know about her family and her ancestors. If Aunt Claire had been telling the truth, the book that was safely posited in the tote bag she had stolen, would tell her everything she needed. At this point, she had no reason to doubt Claire. She had been right about the Watchers.
Until the day that she came across either more like her, or more of the Watchers, she would wander from town to town, city to city, country to country. Constant moving and anonymity would keep her safe, she hoped. And when she made it to the next city, she would find a parlour and have a permanent reminder of her aunt, inked into her skin: Not all who wander are lost.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” – Jude 1:6, King James Bible
. . . The end . . .