[Destiny] Chapter 12: Yellow-Eyed Devil

~~~

Grabbed the remote

flicked off Blake’s 7 and said

‘no more space shit’

and when I moved to grab it back

Amir morphed into purple mist, his legs, his arms, held the remote out on one of his tendrils

of bizarro smoke and

taunted me with what I was missing

Servalan dies in this one

Servalan dies in this one

which he couldn’t possibly know cos he’d never watched it properly

but somehow he did know

and each time I thought I’d outflanked him

he swirled to a different part of the bedroom, brushing an inch away from my dick as he swirled, but never close enough to affect anything

cos he’d got what he wanted and now

it was taunting time

without shame

and all I could do was stand there and

~~~

A giant remote in a bathrobe watched as Sila opened his eyes and looked around Veronika’s room.

Then he blinked and it turned into one of the bed posts.

‘I’ll give you that,’ he mumbled, half unconscious, surprised that there was actually floor when he pushed off the bed and planted his feet down.

Moving over to the balcony, he mentally prepped myself for Siberian style wilderness, but then he counter thought, even Siberia has towns and villages, Rasputin was born in one, and the counter thought filtered through to reality and suddenly he was hearing voices outside.

From the garden.

‘Wah…’

Ducking behind the curtain, Sila waited out a few seconds to see if anyone would shout, ‘hey, guy up there’ then  poked his head back out and peered down.

Fuck.

There were at least twelve people, some of them wiping the snow off plants, others sweeping the courtyard.

None of them the Count.

Fuck.

Possibly.

Or maybe not.

No Count meant no distractions. No more redemption fantasies followed by childish mood swings.

‘Fifteen minutes,’ shouted one of the workers below, his voice so loud it felt like it was coming down from a god in the sky.

Fifteen minutes…to what?

Opening time?

Fuck.

Opening time. Had to be.

Sila reeled backwards to the bed and pulled up different parts of the covers for his clothes.

Then he realised he was still wearing them.

Okay, think, he ordered himself.

You’re in a publicly-owned castle.

You look like you’re living here.

The clothes on you are not staff-issue uniform.

There’s probably another dozen people downstairs too.

Zipping his jacket all the way to the top, Sila pulled the door open an inch and peeked out.

As predicted, there were others.

Two men standing by the wall halfway down the spiral steps, one of them with one knee on the floor, seemingly fixing something.

It didn’t make much sense, but he had no choice but to adapt so he closed the door, walked over to the hidden panel and entered the passageway that would hopefully still lead him to Kurzsan’s room.

~~~

Unsurprisingly, the Count was absent from his bed.

Been absent all night by the look of things, thought Sila, moving briefly over to the bed and stroking the pillow.

But that made sense.

It was harder for him to show himself when the staff were around, or to drift through from his own dimension.

That’s what he’d said anyway.

Sila rubbed his eyes, more out of performance than need, and crept up to the door. Opening it an inch and half, he breathed out a held-in fuck when he saw the corridor was clear.

No idea where exactly he was

for about two minutes

but then he turned a corner and saw the room with the bath dug into the floor.

Ah, that thing, thank gods.

Quickly locating the stairs down to the ground floor, he jogged through the armour display room then the mixed art room, and managed a slurred guten morgen to a confused looking security guard standing next to the wolfman painting.

‘Tourist?’ he asked, checking the ceiling for some reason.

‘Guest,’ Sila replied, pointing at the wolfman.

~~~

The journey back to the hostel was over in a second.

Or that’s what it felt like to Sila, who looked at the first twenty or so human faces as if they were Reptilian aliens pining for a lifeboat back to Zeta Reticuli.

Had they all been somewhere else the last…how many days? Five? Or was he the one who’d been excised?

Whatever the truth, Innsbruck appeared and functioned the same as it had five days earlier, and the hostel woman at reception was completely nonplussed when he came in and asked if his room was still booked.

‘You are reserved for six more days,’ she told him, trying a different colour nail on her finger.

‘Six? I thought today was the last one.’

‘Your name is Kudesnic?’

‘Ja.’

‘Then it is six days.’

Sila leaned over the desk and tried to get a glimpse of the computer screen, but she saw him coming and shifted the screen an inch to the right.

Then she changed her mind and swung it left, giving him a full view. Wah, she was right. Six more days. That couldn’t be right.

The screen moved back, cutting him off.

What’s the date was the obvious next question, but he didn’t have the courage to ask it. If his phone wasn’t dead, he could’ve checked that, but it was very dead, out of power for the last two days.

Moving away from the reception desk, he sat down on the nearest beanbag and immediately laughed.

Next to him, on a slightly bigger beanbag, was the Chinese murderer, reading a book called Austrian Demonology. Or pretending to read it as the cover was practically in his face.

‘Didn’t see you last night,’ Joanna said, her eyes looking out over the top of the book.

‘What’s the date today?’

She checked her phone, without bafflement. ‘Twentieth.’

‘Not twenty-fourth?’

‘No.’

‘Four days,’ Sila muttered, just low enough not to be detected.

‘Where did you go last night?’ Joanna repeated, turning a page in her book.

‘Out.’

‘To the castle?’

‘No.’

‘Wandering the streets?’

He stared at the cover of her book, a demon with its arms raised in surrender, one leg fat and red, the other hairy.

‘I was just reading about Austrian demons,’ she said, following his line of sight. ‘Apparently, they have Krsnik here too. A different name, but…same monster.’

‘What are you still doing here?’ Sila asked, sinking into his beanbag.

‘Strange question.’

‘Following me?’

‘I told you, I’m reading about Austrian demons.’

‘Sure.’

‘What are you doing here?’

The hostel door opened and three Americans walked in, proclaiming instantly that the carpet was so cool, and then repeating it with genuine awe to the front desk woman.

‘It is the owner’s design.’

‘They did it themselves?’

‘No.’

‘It’s so cool, so decorative…’

‘So Austrian,’ added another.

The front desk woman clearly didn’t know how to respond, so she just opened up the guest register.

From his beanbag, unnoticed, Sila watched them go through the signing in procedure, his expression sceptical, his brain even more so; were they real people? Americans didn’t act like that, cool was an old word, no one cared about carpet design. Was this a drama he’d fallen into?

He shifted view scope to the other beanbag, his dogged yet utterly nonchalant stalker.

Would a real Chinese woman really still be hanging around, reading a book that appeared so esoteric in its design that he strongly suspected no other human eyes had ever gazed upon it?

Wasn’t this all a little bit counterfeit? Especially when he compared it to the drawn out dinner sessions with Kurzsan.

The sheer duration of time involved…

Startling himself with his own blinking, Sila refocused on the red leg demon and stood up, steering himself away from the hostel lobby scene and upstairs to his room.

The Korean was still there, clearly tugging himself off under the covers, but Sila ignored that and climbed up to the top bunk.

Plugging his phone into the charger [which was still laid out untouched on his pillow], he looked up Count Kurzsan and started reading through a litany of medieval hell.

Murdered his wife Veronika in the bath, after she refused to sleep in the dungeon.

Invited peasant boys into his castle, and into his bed, then flayed them when he grew tired of their quirks.

Defiantly libertarian, rose to power through soldiering and castle theft. Akin to a Japanese ashigaru.

Cut off the private parts of anyone who told him to get out more.

Built secret passageways that led nowhere.

Locked loyal advisors in wardrobes for months on end to improve their advice giving skills.

Fucked his mum.

Fingered his grandparents.

Never had children.

Sila clicked onto the Count’s picture, his dick almost shriveling in on itself as he saw a fairly accurate painting of the man he’d had inside him the night before.

This isn’t new knowledge, he told himself.

You knew he was like this.

Historically.

He dipped his hand inside his pants and started to stroke, reviving things a little.

Didn’t he deserve a chance to be sorry?

~~~

The idea of wandering around the daylight hour streets of Innsbruck wasn’t a pleasant one, but Sila did it anyway cos it was better than staying at the hostel, with the Chinese stalker and her weird demonology book glued to his back.

Every time he came out of his room, she’d been there.

Outside the toilets.

In the kitchen.

On the chill out balcony.

The only time she hadn’t popped up was when he went out for good, which was weird as previous behaviour would suggest that she’d be following him all day.

Yet, as far as he could tell, she wasn’t.

Maybe she’d finally got the hint? Realised what she’d done and pissed off back to Ljubljana?

Kurzsan’s words flashed into his head, telling him without tone or inflection that she probably had her reasons and, ja, she’d done him a favour actually.

Almost being killed by something deadlier…

Sila dug his hand into the snow, scooped up a ball and lobbed it into the river.

…steels you.

~~~

By the time it got dark, he was standing outside the gates of Castle Ambras, waiting for the staff to leave.

In his head, the calculation was simple.

Medieval Kurzsan was a devil.

Modern Kurzsan was trying.

So he’d just go in and talk to him, no fucking, ask him how he felt about his past and how he thought about coming with Sila to Romania.

~~~

Inside the castle, it was dark, as dark as the first night he’d come.

Fumbling around the armour display room, almost knocking over something pointy, he ended up by the wolfman painting again and was about to give up, when he saw a candle farther along.

Walking over to it, he saw another one light up a few metres away, and then another, and another, and soon he was standing by an open door leading down into total darkness.

He put a foot forward and discovered a step.

‘Kurzsan?’ he shouted.

An echo sounded back, telling him whatever room was down there, it was most likely cavernous.

The dungeon, he thought, gripping the side of the door.

An invitation or a threat.

Or a confession.

Psychologising was one of his strong points, or so he thought, but this had too much finality attached, the chance that even a confession from the Count could lead to himself strapped to a rack, saying, ‘ah, I thought so’ while having his dick stretched off.

He stepped back from the doorway, looking right.

There was another lit candle, leading down the same corridor he’d walked along that morning.

‘Kurzsan?’ he shouted again, following the flickering light.

~~~

After seven more candles, Sila arrived at the bathing room.

The door was open and the sound of running water was coming from inside.

Taking a breath, and trying to wipe everything he’d read earlier from his mind, Sila entered.

Fingered his grandparents was the sole survivor, and that quickly evaporated as the Count stood naked in the dug out hole, the water up to his thighs, a goblet tilted in his hand and his eyes hooked with fascination onto the wall opposite.

Sila turned and looked at what was so alluring, but there was nothing. Just stone and an inverted cross sticker.

Probably left by a tourist, Sila thought, moving over to the edge of the bath, or the edge of the hole dug into the floor, and waving his hand in front of Kurzsan’s eyes.

It had no effect, he was clearly in some kind of trance.

Somehow keeping hold of his goblet too.

Sila noticed a twin at the side of the bath, next to the tap still shooting out water, and a bottle of what looked like wine.

Picking it up and finding no label, he poured himself some anyway, then took off his jeans and dipped his calves in the bath.

This seemed to break the spell, the Count dropping his goblet and yelling something in old German. Sila wasn’t sure, but one of the words sounded like creepy.

‘You came back,’ said Kurzsan, a little guttural as he pushed through the water and fixed his hands onto Sila’s legs.

‘After a real day in my universe, ja.’

‘It is not deserved.’

‘Hmm. Maybe not.’ Sila drank some of the wine, trying to swat back murdered his wife Veronika in the bath. ‘What were you doing just now?’

‘Thinking.’

‘Not sailing through time?’

‘Adjusting my range.’

Kurzsan ran a hand up Sila’s thigh, forcing him to compensate with more wine. ‘You know, I went back to the hostel and it turns out only one day has passed. The whole time I was here, what I thought were five days…it was just one single day.’

‘Mundane.’

‘You don’t find it weird?

‘Time does not pass the way you think it does.’

‘No?’

‘Nein.’

‘How does it pass then?’

Kurzsan stared beyond Sila, at the little satanist sticker on the far wall, while his hands worked their way up to his chest. Pulled off his jacket and shirt.

Then went down again.

After running two fingers along the outline of an apparently forgiving dick, Kurzsan gripped the sides of his waist and pulled Sila into the water.

Killed his wife Veronika in a bath

Killed his wife in the bath

Bathed with wife in bath

Massaged and fucked wife Veronika in bath

Massaged and fucked intriguing Slovenian in bath

Things proceeded as they had the night before, only this time with more biting and, despite the magical green cream’s absence, an unnaturally intense sensation every time Kurzsan touched his skin.

‘The wine and the water,’ said the Count, pushing Sila’s head down towards his waist, stopping just short of forcing him under the surface. ‘Mixed together.’

‘Drug?’

‘Very powerful.’

Sila dipped under the surface scuba-style and put his mouth on the tip of Kurzsan’s dick, running halfway down the shaft before water seeped in and strongarmed him back up.

He coughed out most of it, laughing as he pushed the Count back to the side, then kissing him aggressively as he lifted him up on the ledge.

‘Easier now…’ he said upwards, as his mouth went back to work, going fierce for a full minute then pulling back and retreating to the middle of the bath.

‘Tired?’ Kurzsan asked, slipping back into the water.

‘Your turn.’

‘Ja.’

‘On me.’

‘Dynamic.’

It was an odd response, and then a forgotten one as Kurzsan grabbed Sila by the arms, shifted him round and pushed his face against the wall.

‘This is not feeling like my turn,’ said Sila, struggling for a second as the Count lined his dick up, then breaking free completely when he felt the tip starting to creep in.

‘… … … … … … …’

‘That was last night.’

‘… … … … … …’

‘I’m the Count this time, okay?’

Sila didn’t wait for an answer, he grabbed Kurzsan by the shoulders, then the arms, then pushed him through the running water and back towards the edge of the bath.

Hitting stone, they wrestled with each other, Kurzsan briefly getting the upper hand until Sila shifted his feet and managed to steer him round.

‘This fucking water…’ Sila said, the words coming out almost in a gasp.

‘You fuck me.’

‘Ja, it’s coming…’

Rubbing his dick against the underside of Kurzsan’s ass, he pushed upwards, feeling the initial surge of entry, then pulling back quickly when a dagger flashed through the air and clipped his shoulder.

‘The fuck…’ he shouted, falling back towards the middle of the bath, right arm raised in frenzied defence.

Kurzsan kept his back to Sila, the dagger gripped in his right hand, then slowly rotated to face him.

‘You tried to stab me.’

‘No right.’

‘Fucking lunatic…’

‘… … … … … … …’

Sila checked the cut on his shoulder, which was somehow bloodless, then circled round to the left hand side of the bath, plotting his way out.

It wasn’t easy. His dick was still hard as a fucking harpoon, the chemicals in the water making it tingle even when he wasn’t moving. And sapping his energy too. Or that’s what it felt like. Both his eyes and limbs, slowly being drained.

He edged forward, making sure not to put his eyes on the exit.

Kurzsan watched him, but didn’t move right to block him. Instead, he stayed by the side of the bath and raised the dagger to his own throat.

‘What are you doing?’

‘Trial.’

‘Put the knife down.’

‘Judgment.’

‘Put it down, and we can just fuck. Like normal.’

‘Punishment.’

‘Okay?’

Repeating trial, judgment, punishment in a softer tone, the Count tapped the handle of the dagger against his cheek then ran the blade slowly, methodically across the front of his neck, deep enough for the blood to ooze out.

‘Jezus…’

Sila closed his eyes, putting his palm flat on the wall to stop himself fainting.

It worked. Just about.

When he opened up again, the Count was still upright, the blood slowing to a dribble and already beginning to stain on his collarbone.

He didn’t seem to mind.

He didn’t seem to be anything.

His face was vacant, his entire skin like a suit, and

behind him was something else

an outline of hair and shoulders

weirdly ragged yellow eyes

a complete shadow figure that let the Kurzsan suit sink into the water and flawlessly took its place.

‘Are you human?’ was all Sila could manage, his eyelids barely holding themselves up.

‘… … … … Petr,’ the shadow whispered back.

‘Petr?’

The yellow eyes advanced, in a slalom-like motion, the rest of the shadow drifting sluggishly to match up.

Sila looked for the dagger, but it wasn’t there.

Probably on the bath floor

retrievable

if his legs weren’t buckling.

The wine, he thought, unable to keep his head steady enough to glare at the bottle. The fucker drugged me. In a bath. And then subbed in a fucking shadow that was

swirling above his head

fourteen of it

plus a hundred yellow eyes

magnetising against

Sila’s hand slipped from the wall, and his eyelids dropped.

Yellow eyes chased him in

imprinted

something something Petr

and the Kurzsan shadow swirled feverishly, slapping up waves, encircling a non-existent perimeter as Sila’s legs finally gave way, both the water and the black hole guiding him and his tingling dick down

without passion

into yet another fucking void.

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