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Charlotte Bond clutching her heart show through in her voice. ‘I am here to ensure you never grow up into the hunter from my future,’ said Demetrius. His voice was calm, unequivocal. ‘Why you in particular?’ Alana asked, trying to keep the conversation going. She scanned the darkened room for a means of escape. ‘Because I was the only one who could insinuate myself into the party, the only one who could blend in until the moment was right to find you alone in your room. Many of my brethren are…’ he paused, chewing over possible phrases in his mind ‘not as eloquent as me,’ he concluded. ‘You’re right’ snapped Alana, fear breeding unexpected anger. ‘Your kind are no better than the beasts in the fields, or rather, those beasts that your kind deign to leave behind when you ravage the land.’ Demetrius gave out a low growl which seemed to crawl across Alana's skin and set her nerves on edge. ‘You’re sadly mistaken, little one, if you think our minds are bestial just because our bodies assume that form,’ spat Demetrius, all his respect swallowed by hate. ‘You do nothing more than hunt and main and kill,’ Alana snarled. ‘That’s all you’ve ever done and all you’ll ever do. I saw you kill my own brother, and eat him, leaving nothing but bones and guts for us to find.’ Demetrius leaned forward, a hard glint in his eye. Alana wanted to back away, but she stood her ground, knowing any weakness now would be fatal. ‘You saw all this did you?’ he asked in a low voice. Alana hesitated, uncertain. ‘I saw my brother crying,’ she said. ‘I heard your kind crashing through the trees and I saw a circle of fur as Father carried me away. He was weeping as he ran, crying that he could only save one. Then I heard my brother’s wailing end with a scream.’ Tears pricked at Alana’s eyes but she refused to cry. ‘Father said he went back and found nothing but bones and intestines.’ ‘We don’t always devour all we encounter,’ Demetrius said in a low voice. There was that hidden sparkle of knowledge within his eyes again which made Alana pause. ‘Some of them we turn into our own.’ ‘Father would have brought him back if you’d done that.’ She could hear the edge of uncertainty in her own voice. She suddenly thought of the creature in the panopticon and of the look of determined hatred on her father’s face as its howls had echoed around the dome and around her head. ‘Are you sure about that?’ The question hung in the air. Alana bit her -8-

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

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