|Surprise the World
Author: Maddy77 PM
Godric and Eric visit Munich during World War II.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Godric & Eric N. - Words: 2,794 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 2 - Published: 09-24-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5398726
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The chill Munich wind whispered past the two men, sitting on a bench in front of the Glokenspiel. Neither man spoke; neither did they seem to notice the cold, though they were dressed in light clothes for such bitter weather.
The taller of the two looked out at the empty streets with uninterested blue eyes. His mouth was downturned in a sneer. His companion, smaller, dark-haired, pale, with the face of a boy, seemed to gaze at everything and nothing with equanimity. He tilted his face up to his unhappy friend and smiled slightly. "Munich displeases you."
"Yes," the taller man growled. "These pitiful creatures pretending to supremacy. Disgusting."
The boy continued his smile that was little more than a tweak of his lips. "It has ever been thus, Eric," he said, his tone slightly admonishing. "You know that." Eric grunted, which did not seem to bother his companion. "Do you remember when this city was built?"
"I do," Eric replied, the irritation fading out of his eyes a touch. "I was still young, then."
"I was not," the boy said quietly. "So little has changed."
Eric studied his companion in silence for a moment. "Godric, shall we hunt? You have not eaten recently."
"I require little sustenance anymore," Godric said evenly. "But if you are hungry, or if it will please you, I will join you."
Eric gave this no reply, but began to walk away from the Glokenspiel. Godric followed as silently as Eric led, and together the two of them passed through the streets of Munich like shadows, undetected by the humans who they passed. Once or twice Eric moved as though to take one of the humans, but was dissuaded by Godric's light touch on his arm. Not yet, a shake of Godric's head would tell him. Not that one. Patience.
Munich was miles behind them and three hours remained til dawn when Godric stopped. Eric instantly stopped with him, looking around for some clue as to why they were there. He did not ask his maker any questions, and soon understood Godric's motivation as his eyes lit upon a huge complex of barracks and buildings in the distance. "Here?" he asked quietly.
"No," Godric replied, his expression impossible to read, even for his child. "In a moment."
Eric did not argue or question further. He simply waited with Godric, who faced away from the complex, his hands folded before him, patient as only one who has seen two millennia can be.
Soon their patience was rewarded by the dim headlights of a van. Eric stole a look at Godric, onto whose face a small smile had slipped. This was the object of their waiting. Eric smiled more broadly than his maker, and his fangs slipped out from their hiding places, ready to serve their purpose. Unlike before, Godric said and did nothing to restrain his child.
When the van got closer, Godric stepped into the road, simply standing there. All in white with his pale skin and dark hair, he must have looked like a ghost to the driver of the van, for the brakes squealed and the van almost ran off of the road. It stopped right in front of Godric, who did not move or even flinch. Eric knew that had the van connected, it would have suffered the damage, not his maker. His toothy grin grew wider with pride.
Two men stumbled out of the cab of the van, and another two from the rear. "What the hell do you think you are doing?" the driver, a massive blond man in the uniform of the country's military, demanded. "I could have killed you!"
Godric said nothing.
"What in God's name is that?" one of the men from the back of the van asked, his voice trembling slightly. No one had noticed Eric yet, as he slipped around back to surround the men.
"It's just a boy," the other man from the back, a slender young man with small glasses, said peevishly. But Eric could smell the fear on him. He could smell the fear on all of them.
"Boy, you are in the way," the driver shouted. "You must move!"
Godric moved, but only his head as he looked back toward Eric and nodded once, smiling. Then he returned his gaze to the driver as his fangs extended and he attacked.
Eric sprang upon the two men nearest him at the same instant, and it was not long before they were both down. Godric did not bother to attack the second man from the cab, but rather commanded him to be still while he fed from the driver. The man stood, frozen and petrified, as he watched the boy's white clothing become stained with the blood of his companion. Stifled sobs escaped from his throat, but Godric did not look up from the driver's neck as he fed almost tenderly. Eric, who was already working on the second of the two men he had taken, shook his head slightly. The thrill of the hunt and the bloodlust always seemed to be lost on Godric, for whom feeding seemed like some sort of sacred ritual. Perhaps it was a symptom of his time, so long past.
What seemed like only moments to Eric passed--though he knew it must have been years for the remaining human--and Eric stood up from his victims. He wiped his chin on the back of his hand and approached Godric. "Will you take the last one, or shall I?" he asked, loud enough for the man to hear him. The human turned horror-stricken eyes to the blond vampire, then to Godric.
Godric rocked back on his heels, the driver's head cradled in his hand, and appeared thoughtful for a moment as he studied the surviving man. Then he gestured for the man to approach him, but the man remained in place, terrified. "You will approach," Godric said calmly, his eyes boring into the man's. The man did as he said, his motions stiff from the command. "Kneel by me, human."
The man knelt, his breath jerky and uneven at his proximity to Godric. He said nothing. "What you are doing is evil," Godric said softly. "And yet I and my child will spare you this night. You must do something for this," he continued over Eric's barely-audible protestations. "You must return to your fellows and tell them of this. Tell them that Death and his child await those who perform these acts. Give me your word that you will do this, and my child and I will let you live."
The man's mouth worked uselessly for a few seconds, and in those moments Eric grew more and more frustrated, looking to his maker for permission to strike. Godric shook his head almost imperceptibly, forbidding him from doing so. "I promise," the man whispered brokenly.
"Yes," Godric said, pleased. He raised his free hand, stained red by the blood of the driver, and stroked the man's cheek with the back of his fingers. They left streaks of crimson on the man's panic-white face, but he did not dare to flinch away. "I know you do. You will wait a moment while my child and I finish here. Do not call attention to us now or our deal is broken. When we are gone, you will finish your journey to the camp there and deliver your message. Do you understand?"
"I do," the man breathed. Godric smiled magnanimously, and, finished with the man, returned to feeding.
Eric and the man both watched Godric for a moment. Eric turned his face to the human and said in a voice that betrayed his disgust, "You needn't watch, human. Turn and wait. If you run I will catch you. Your survival is my maker's idea, not mine." The man quickly did as Eric said.
Finally Godric stood, closing the driver's eyes gently with his thumbs. He whispered something in his native tongue, a language lost to the annals of time but for Godric's own memory. Then he looked at Eric, smiled, and walked around the van. Eric followed him without hesitation.
Godric grasped the handle of the back door the van and pulled, hard enough to dislodge the door from its hinges. Eric smelled the heady scent of panic and pain from the instant the door was opened, and inhaled sharply. Godric glanced at him and held up a restraining hand. "Not these," he said quietly. "Are you not sated, my child?"
"I am," Eric said, unable to keep the tinge of disappointment out of his voice. He walked closer to Godric to look inside the van.
The haunted eyes of men, women, and children stared out at him, waiting for a cue to know what to expect. Eric knew what a strange sight he and his maker must present: the Viking and the white-clad boy, drenched in blood, staring back at them, saying nothing. Long moments passed as Eric waited for Godric to make the first move. It did not happen. The silence stretched on so that Eric's flesh crawled.
Finally a small boy stood up and walked from the far side of the van up to Godric. An older girl reached out to try to stop him, but failed. He approached the ancient vampire and stood before him with somber eyes. "Are you an angel?" he asked in Hebrew.
Godric smiled and shook his head. He reached his arms out to the boy, who returned the gesture, and Godric lifted him from the car effortlessly and set him down on the ground. "Come with me," Godric said to the rest of the van. "I will bring you to safety."
For a moment no one moved, and Eric stepped forward to command them, but Godric again raised a hand to stop him. Godric waited again by the entrance to the van, meeting the eyes of all of those seated and standing, crammed in, seeing their confusion and fear. He nodded, his smile still present on his face. "Very well," he said, and reached his hand out for the small boy to take. The boy did so, and Godric began to walk away with him. Eric followed.
"Wait, wait!" a voice cried, and the vampires and the boy turned. It was the girl who had tried to stop the child from approaching Godric. Surely his sister. She lifted her skirts and jumped out of the van. "If you take David take me as well."
"Very well," Godric said again. He looked into the van again, and stepped closer. "I have dispatched your captors. If you do not wish to follow me please at least leave. You will have a while to run. If you come with me you will not be harmed, but you are free to go. Please leave the van."
Slowly, one by one, all of the humans exited the van and gathered around Godric, Eric, and the children. Eventually only one was left in the van, a young man. Godric turned to him. "I must insist," the vampire said, a touch of a chill entering his voice, his smile gone.
The young man shook his head. "I cannot," he said. "My legs. I cannot walk well. I will slow you down. You must go without me. I believe it will be quick for me."
Godric tilted his head slightly, contemplating, then turned to Eric. He lifted the hand that still grasped the hand of the little boy, and placed the boy's hand in Eric's. The size difference was almost laughable. "You will lead us back to the house I secured," Godric said. "I will carry the human."
"Godric, you cannot," Eric said, horrified. "It is beneath you. He is only one human."
"Eric, it pleases me to do this," Godric replied quietly. "Indulge your maker. What risk does it hold for us?"
Eric set his mouth in a thin line and nodded stiffly. He watched his maker, a creature more ancient and powerful than any of these humans could possibly fathom, as he approached the broken human and lifted him easily into his arms. Murmurs spread through the group; the young man was not large, but he was bigger than Godric, and yet the vampire lifted him as though he weighed nothing.
"Follow me," Eric growled as he and the boy whose hand he held walked to the front of the group and began their trek back towards Munich.
An hour had passed in silence and they were approaching the house that Godric had bought from his vast fortune, accumulated over many centuries. Eric could not wait to arrive, to get away for just a moment from the oppressive stench of humanity that surrounded him. He was lost enough in his thoughts to take a fraction of a second before realizing that the boy whose hand he held was trying to get his attention. "Yes?"
"Are you an angel?" the boy asked quietly.
The question took Eric aback. While he understood how Godric, small and soft and ethereally beautiful, could be mistaken for an angel, how could he be? The erstwhile Viking warrior stared at the boy for a moment, then shook his head. "Not an angel, no."
"And is your friend not either? Really?" The boy seemed disappointed.
"He is closer to one than I, these days," Eric said.
No more was said.
The house loomed close, as one hour remained to dawn. Godric walked ahead of the rest and opened the door. Murmurs again ran through the group: Godric's taste in houses had more to do with how easily the windows could be sealed and the door fortified, and less to do with how homey or comfortable the house was. The result was dark, uninviting, Gothic house on the outskirts of Munich, sealed away from the world, its boarded windows staring out into the world dully. "Please enter," Godric said pleasantly. "And please hurry."
Mothers herded their children in, and more than one fearful glance was directed at Godric as the house filled with refugees. Eric and the child entered last, and Eric stopped by his maker. They watched each other for a moment, communicating silently as they had learned to do over the past millennium. Eric turned and ushered the child into the house, and Godric followed with the young man in his arms, closing the door behind them.
The electric lights sputtered to life, revealing a ragged bunch of humans, huddling together for warmth and for safety. Godric set his burden down gently on a chair, and returned to the front of the group. "You are safe here," he said. "I will stay awake with you through the day. Tomorrow night I will send you on your way. You will be taken care of."
He turned away from them and beckoned Eric into another room. He quietly shut the door behind them, and turned, smiling, to his child. "You can sleep," he said. "As with food, I need little sleep these days either."
"Why do you bother with these creatures?" Eric asked, unable to restrain himself. "If they wish to destroy each other, let them. What concern is it of ours?"
Godric said nothing for a moment, gazing at Eric until the younger vampire had to lower his eyes. His maker then walked across the room, touching the wall, thoughtful. Eric dropped to one knee after an agonizingly long time. "Godric, I should not have questioned you; it is not my--"
"Time goes by and so little changes," Godric said suddenly. Eric looked up, but his maker was not looking at him, but rather staring off into space. "I have seen so many years here, Eric. So many wars. So much pain and suffering. You are still young enough to be surprised. But I am not."
Eric remained silent as Godric paused, touching his forehead delicately as though he had a headache--which was, of course, impossible. He turned to Eric with a rueful smile. "You see, my child, when the world can no longer surprise you--sometimes you have to surprise the world."
His words seemed to echo in the small wooden room. Eric still knelt, trying to absorb what his maker had just told him. Godric went to the door, stopping and crouching by Eric. "Sleep now, my child. I will wake you in the evening. Then we will leave this place, go somewhere you have not seen." He put his forehead against Eric's, and then stood and left, leaving Eric kneeling in the room.
The door clicked shut.