|Here Comes the Sun
Author: Cloverfield PM
One is not born evil, one merely learns... Evangeline Athanasia Kitty McDowell. Vampire. Mage. Villian. And once, very long ago, a little girl like any other. Featuring Young!Eva, various dolls and puppets, and any number of murdered peasants.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror - Words: 4,004 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 6 - Published: 06-24-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4347933
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DISCLAIMER: Negima is not mine, in any of its incarnations, nor is Evangeline, and neither are the songs mentioned by title within this piece. I no own, you no sue. Capice?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: this came from a table of song-titles; after glancing over the songs listed therein, a few leapt up and caught my eye.
Hence, this- this strange pseudo-drabble, one-shot, piece of writing, call it what you will, dedicated to one of my favourite Negima! characters- Evangeline.
Inspired in part by volume 12 of the manga, and the revelations of Eva's past. Set before she comes to Japan, and before she meets Nagi. The snippets are chronological, but there is no set time period between them.
Written to give me a breather before I begin the next arc of Egg Belly; as such, it has nothing to do with Konoka or Setsuna.
Unbeta'd, and edited as best I can. Written and posted in one day. Possibly AU. All dialogue in italics. Please disregard random moments of OOC; I have attempted to weed them out, but since no one really knows what young!Eva is like, I have had to make do...
Here Comes the Sun
(As I Lay Me Down to Sleep...)
She is too old and too bitter for prayers, for all that she is ten years old.
The small chapel down the hall, lit by stubby, waxy candles in dark, stony sconces sputters with light that smells of hog-fat, and the reeds crunch beneath her small feet, slipper-clad, as she paces about the floors before the altar.
Lord Jesus and the Saints look down on her from moth-eaten tapestry; their eyes wide and blank in thread and cloth hanging limp down stone walls. The old fabric is stained near the bottom by splatters of half-molten candle wax, and the tassels are raggedly thread-loose. Before her child's eyes, the saints look old and tired, and Lord Christ himself no better.
She kneels, and her night-gown sweeps the rushes with a susurrant sound, too loud in this empty room.
She whispers prayers, big words in Latin that her little girl's tongue trips over. She does not believe what she says; she never has.
Her candle holder rattles a little in trembling hands as she works her way down cold passage-ways, shadows creeping along the walls beside her, lapping at her slippers, and she walks a little faster for all that she says she is not afraid.
The master, lord of the castle, comes back from the hunt tomorrow.
She is not sure which scares her most; the all-but empty castle, or the man to whom it belongs.
She wakes to thirst rising with the moon, and her small feet take her down the stairs to the kitchen.
Her candle gutters and glows blue as she drops the silver dish- she startles the cook, who sweeps her into the warm, fire-lit room with a chuckle and a sigh.
You scared me, Dear Eva; I did not know it was you. In the shadows, I saw a ghost...
She does not understand, and says nothing, not Evangeline, but a creature of dark inclinations and bloody, dripping desires.
She is only ten, and a small girl for her age, but her mouth is not her own as it closes about the woman's throat, and tears out a chunk of flesh with slippery-sharp teeth.
The cook drops the girl and shrieks in red spurts across the kitchen; droplets patter down over the rough wood bench, and hiss into the fire pit.
The woman, grey-haired, chubby, stained with soot, sinks to her knees.
The blonde, hair stained ruddy with spilt scarlet, clamps lips about the gaping tear in a dying woman's neck, pumping life into a mouth starving for it.
The woman whimpers quietly, and slumps to the floor with barely a sigh.
The girl, eyes clear and awake for the first time since the night before, touches fingers to bloody lips, and stares in horror.
The stone floor is slick with death, and the man's shadow in the doorway seems disapproving.
I should have known your first would have been her. After all, of all the servants here, she was your favourite.
A stern chuckle, and a dark, clawed hand reaching for her across the kitchen, boots splashing into the gory puddles between them with a nary a thought for the corpse crumpled and bloodied by the table. Behind him, blowing through the door to the courtyard, snow falls. Icy flakes float in wet pools, melting into still-steaming red.
Come now, my girl; do not be frightened. You have a very long time to work out how you will repay me for my gift-
She leaps for the window.
Glass scatters over snow.
(All Things Must Pass)
It has been four years since she died, and the face that she feels beneath numb fingers is no different from the one that once stared at her from a polished, silver-backed mirror.
A present from a dead mother.
She peers into still water, frosting in the winter air, and sees nothing to peer at, even by dim, paling moonlight.
She wipes her wet hands against her skirt, and frown when they come back filthier.
Her night-gown is tattered and dirty. She does not remember how many people have died to darken her frayed hem with blood so thick and crusted.
She walks back to the cave, and within moments, her footprints are swiped clean by the falling snow.
She does not light a fire, for fire heats her dead flesh far too well- her first shrieks of pain, something she had thought forgotten with her childhood prayers, were echoes of scorching, devouring flame, snatching at her cold fingers as she sought to warm them over a sputtering, dying torch dropped in a puddle of melting snow.
She sits in a snow drift, and watches a leaf scrape across the cave mouth, scattered there by the absent wind. Briefly, it floats in twisting streams of frosty air, a leafy phantom aloft and spinning, set against the ripening dawn as it spills into the cave.
As the sun comes up, so does her blood slow, sinking down into dust in the pit of her belly.
She tips back and spills into the snow, skeins of tangle hair spilling into the slurry.
Her eyes are closed, and she does not breathe; the faint heartbeat, slow enough she could count each individual pulse in her ears, stops.
Her body waits for nightfall.
(Don't Turn Around...)
Don't you turn around now, little one.
Best you do not see.
Your dreams will run with red in due time, my little love-
For now, go back to sleep...
The child is very young, and very small, and she does not make a sound as a shadow slips through her window.
Evangeline knows she is awake; can hear her speeding heart, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, some small drum echoing in a narrow corner.
She could turn around, right now, and the sleeping couple in the oaken bed would never know. She does not have to kill them tonight, and if she left, right now, they would no doubt pass through the dark shadows of the rising moon with no harm done to them. The morning would come, and they would rise to find their trembling daughter, whose night terrors would be easily dismissed as just that, mere phantoms of something unseen and therefore unreal-
White legs dangle over the window sill, and small toes do not brush against the stone floor as she swings them back and forth. The crib by the far wall rests beneath a tapestry, depicting some scene of once noble, now threadbare, chivalry.
At least they remembered to keep her out of the reach of pixies. Never safe to put a child's crib below an open window at night...
Fortunately for them she has no interest in the girl.
A child's blood is far too sweet for her bitter palate.
Her feet slip to the floor; the rest of her follows, blonde hair like silk in the night breeze. The gossamer curtains do not billow, there is no swollen moon high in the sky, and the movement of her teeth across bare throat is not poetic.
No one will consider vampirism romantic for at least a few hundred years more.
Red drips off the edge of the blanket.
Plink, plink, plink.
The gauzy curtains snap out as she jumps from the window; in the dark, she sees a swell of white cloth fan from the narrow stone opening in the tower. She does not stay long enough to see them smooth down.
Morning finds her far from the castle.
It is not a stake this time. Oddly enough, she finds herself curious about this new form of execution. In a hundred years, only their new and improved ways of killing one another have changed enough to be interesting to her.
She wonders what crowds it will draw. In the past, a small child burning for unimaginable sins of sorcery and witchcraft –accompanied and deplored by a priest of an appropriately frothing vehemence- attracted a magnitude of watchers, whether it was mothers who watched her slender form consumed by flame with a sick gladness that it was not their child bound and gagged, or fathers with an uncomfortable thankfulness that tonight she was the scapegoat for their enthusiastic pastors.
One knew where she stood with a good, old-fashioned pole, faggots of wood bundled at her feet and doused in stinking, greasy oil- at least the flames burnt fast and hot, and it was all over before morning.
(Though her ashes would take a few days to rise from the pile of charred sticks and soot, and three nights hence from the day she burned, she would leave- but not before streaking the town with scarlet, oh no, never before then. The priest who pressed the touch to the sticks about her small, bare feet would be the first to die, oh yes, certainly the first.)
However, this loop of hemp and straw does not have the same nobility of purpose as a stake.
She despairs of drawing a jeering crowd at all, this lazy Sabbath-day evening; only a few, disinterested gazes flit across her as they pass through the deserted square, barely enough weight behind them to press on her skin.
The man with the dark hood lowers the rope. It is too short to reach her; a crate is fetched, and she stands atop it in a nightshift to thin to stop the night cool as the fool adjusts and re-adjusts the loop to fit.
Not too loose now? Not too tight now? Don't you worry darlin', they don't call me One-Drop-Deakin for nothin'.
It'll all be over soon, darlin'...
He jerks the lever. The trapdoor opens.
The crate drops, smashes, and her small feet kick against the air, a thrashing protest against the dark circle closing in tight behind her eyes.
She feels the air squeeze out of her lungs; for a moment, she is hopeful. Perhaps, this time, they did it right...
Her throat burns and all she sees is red, then white, then black.
But morning still finds her broke-neck corpse, dropped into the pit behind the prison-hall; by the time nightfall rolls around again, she is gone.
(Another One Bites the Dust)
She kills the first mage she meets, before she even knows he is a mage, clothed as he is like every other noble in this age of ignorance and suspicion.
If she had known what he was before she trapped him in an empty inn the night before the solstice, perhaps she would have spared him.
But as her teeth sink in, magic slips into her mouth along with his blood, and the taste sparkles across her tongue in the way nothing has for two centuries now.
Power fills her, spiralling in a hot rush down her throat; some spark brushes against the dormant power inside, and it catches, setting her aflame from inside out.
She drops him, watches his body roll across the floor with disinterest as seething light boils and roils beneath her skin, charring her insides with sweet, coruscating enchantment. Her fingers trail glittering, pulsing sparks against the smoky, stinking air of the deserted barroom, and she sees her reflection in a spilt puddle of ale for the first time since death.
She frowns at a child's blood-smeared face, and traces fingers over thin, pinched cheeks- it only takes her a moment to work the glamour, and when she is done, a noble woman, hair like gold thread piled upon her head and robed in a dress of velvet, sneers back.
She glances over at the corpse. Her fingers snap, and ice frosts along blue-tinged skin.
The power comes easy to her, and with a rush of cool dry air from an open window, she is gone.
(Three nights of misused and much-abused magic pass her by much too quickly, and she feels the dip and swell of power inside ebb low, but by then she knows how to spot mages, witches, summoners- and the dead sorcerer in the forgotten tavern is not her last.
Her master, the man whose blood she has hungered for, is the next to die alone in his stone castle, and though his blood is ashes in her mouth, she drinks it up with relish, and does not spill a drop.)
(Live Like You Were Dyin')
It is four hundred and twenty seven years since she died when she learns how to use the strings, and she uses them well, making her opponents jump and jerk like puppets across blood-soaked battle fields.
Her first incursion into the magic world ends in blood shed, as expected, and her army of dolls march through gore-streaked fields to meet ranks of mages, hacking through magic armour with knives of bone and steel.
Her puppets dance, and her enemies burn, magic scorching the sky as it slides off her skin like water. Ice falls from the sky in smoking, violet knives, slashing through robes of magic cloth like paper; the air grows chill and blue as she shrieks spells and incantations of night and cold from her hill, and watches the ruddy grass below sink into melting pools of blood.
Her foes scream in terror, and she laughs to see them fall.
The Magus Nosferatu drops her glamour, and the ranks of men and women before her tremble to see a child sear the sky scarlet with dark magic, scattering those that dare to oppose her like wheat before the thrashing blade.
She is victorious tonight, but it is a short-lived victory for all her violence- though she does not care as armoured golems of fired clay –impervious to magic, and unharmed by her cold fire that spills over them, lashes them in bolts of power- march her through the gates and throw her back, broken dolls and all, into the real world.
It does not matter to her, and she sits in a stone ring abandoned in the hills of Wales and watches the stars.
As long as the night still falls, and the sun still sets, she has all the time in the world to plan revenge.
(Crash and Burn)
She has forgotten what it feels like to squeeze the life from a human being. Oh, she still knows the taste of blood -occasionally a maiden will disappear from her bed to reappear the next morning in the village square, dazed but otherwise unharmed, lying on the cool stone by the fountain, and though the villages suspect something, they do little more than bolt their windows at night- but the feel of death fluttering in the pulse red and rich beneath her lips is alien to her.
(It has been so long since her last kill, and she feels melancholic remembering the way her talons would drip rubies in the moonlight.)
In time, feeding on the people who live in the village becomes a nuisance, a habit that is barely remembered, and oft forgotten- in time, the red thirst quiets and she stops altogether, immortal and alone through the years that pass her by faster than before.
She sleeps, for the most past- whiles away the long months of summer in a crypt below the crumbling keep, forgotten by the village that grows around her. The magic still hums in her blood, but quieter now, and those few winter nights she does emerge from her resting place she paces along the village, peering into shop fronts frosted with ice on a cool, winter's eve, dressed in the guise of a child, her favourite doll held tight in mitten-wrapped hands.
(She admits she likes the new fashions these humans have come up with, and pretty dresses with lace and ribbons soon replace the gold pieces from an old, discarded chest in the basement where she sleeps.)
She likes the toymaker best; watches him work his craft with fascinated, round eyes and grows fond of the benevolent smile he gives to the blonde sweetheart who loves his dolls so much.
For the first time in almost five hundred years, she feels like a child again.
She forgets caution, lulled by the peace of this sleepy village, and by the round-cheeked smiles of the old man who carves her a wooden horse to play with at home, Dear Eva, and be sure to bid your mother good evening for me.
She forgets distance, and grows fond of the old man and his toys, and soon spends most nights in his workshop, watching him carve beauty from lumps of wood in delicate, grainy curls that spill onto the tiled floor.
Perhaps he knows what she is, perhaps he does not; he stops asking about her parents, and she takes a simple joy in his work she has never felt before. She remembers what it is to care.
When the toymaker dies of a bungled burglary, corpse scattered over his workbench like so much rubbish, blood sinking into half-carved puppets whose wooden eyes glint with gory tears, the red thirst rises again, fuelled by black anger. She raids bar and tavern in night after night of burning, shrieking rage to find the lout who killed him.
The villages mourn those who die in nights of bloody revenge; innocents fall to her hand, and she slaughters all who stand before her, without regard for guilt or crime.
When she finds the man, the village in burning ruins, he dies slow, skin peeled in long, wet strips to splash redly into the fountain, suspended by threads and attached to the town clock.
Terrified, the villagers -humble and God-fearing folk all- search for a murderer worse than the one who died; for a brief moment, she forgets who she is, and does not understand why they come to her crypt with pitchforks and torches- surely they understood why the thief had to die?
Fire burns along cold stone in puddles of hot oil; villagers die in bloody streaks across a dark dungeon filled with the toys and entrapments of a childhood lost. Gold coins cast ruddy reflections of the flame as they lie in spilt gore. Weakened by a grief she has not felt since her own death so long ago, she is taken by surprise and almost meets her end by pitchfork in the ruins of a crumbling keep, pinned to stone in a open-roofed ruin of a room. She screams curses in a broken voice, and the village men flee, leaving her along and trapped.
She wails in despair, but can do nothing, so slumps back against the stone and watches the sun rise, sick with pain, as her weak and forgotten magic struggles and fails to come to her aid.
She waits for true death with a sense of tired, mournful finality, and closes her eyes against the coming dawn.
Sunlight touches her skin for the first time in centuries, surprisingly gentle. Her eyes open.
She had forgotten the warm caress of morning sun, and stares in green-eyed wonder as soft, rosy light slides across her skin, bereft of the burning, searing fire she has come to expect-
Morning comes to the wide, green hills of England, and casts a golden glow across the world.
She forgets the smouldering village before her, forgets the pitch-fork buried in her lungs and the thin blood trickling down her chin-
Just watches the warm rays touch the world with gilded fingers, and knows hope.
(Early Morning Blues and Greens)
The villagers creep to the top of the hill three hours later, guarded by a bible-bearing priest and the hot sun; no monsters come out in daylight, you see, and for all that she was a little girl, she was still a monster.
The pitchfork lies buried in the rich loam that coats the ruins of the keep, damp and mossy stones covered in dark earth and grassy patches.
The ground is smeared with dried blood, a dark, crusty red splashed against grey stone. The pitchfork, upright, drips water as the morning dew steams away in the warming air. A bluebird alights on the wooden handle, and greets the morning with a cheerful twitter.
The monster –vampire, says the priest, that soulless child was a vampire- is gone.
The villagers check the crypt, hesitant and brandishing torches, and find nothing but the corpses of their fellow men.
Prayers are said, and the bodies are taken away from that dark place, to be buried in the church graveyard by a kind priest and mourning family.
The last man to leave drops the torch in the drying grass; the fire catches and burns high as they walk down the hillside, to the village below.
Of the monster, no thought is given.
Vanquished by almighty God, my sons- and let this be a lesson to us all. Never must we stray from our true path, or such punishment will come to bear on us again-
The blacksmith, a patient man, nods wearily.
Yes, Father Peterson. We will be careful, Father Peterson.
As you should be, young man, as you should be, intones the priest, bible aloft as a trembling crowd of women and children meets the brave men with cheers and whistles, and tears for those lost.
In the hills, Evangeline makes her way to the sea, eyes wide as she drinks in the sun-soaked world.
The red thirst is back; to use magic after so long without feeding has made her tired and hungry, but for now she feels the urge to start over, somewhere fresh and new where she can bathe in the sunlight.
She had seen the puppets in the old man's store; silk-clad toys that had come from over the sea, half a world away, and had been quietly fascinated by their exotic charm.
She wanted to begin a new life, and The Land of the Rising Sun seemed as good a place as any to start...
END NOTE: perhaps that was a little odd, but I was in a strange frame of mind when I wrote this. I have had too much free time on my hands of late...
Evangeline fascinates me. Her character is so deep, I doubt anyone could ever plumb those dark and bloody depths.
I haven't forgotten Egg Belly, and I will start on the next part soon, for those of you who read it- but this was an enjoyable breather.
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