Discordant Melody

A Kurda Smahlt Story

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Conclusion

Cadence

Novocain For the Soul

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For the days that followed the execution of Kurda Smahlt, I was in a daze. I would wander through the Mountain, sitting in the main hall while others ate, but never eating myself – to the Hall of Sports, yet never fighting – to any Hall at all, whether it was crowded with other vampires or not – yet not talking to any of them. Even when Vanez, my only remaining friend after the deaths of Puck, Granz, Cyrus and Arra, tried talking to me, I could not hear him. I did not even notice that his other eye had been gouged out, leaving the burly gamesmaster completely blind. He would talk, but I would not listen. I would not hear.

All I could hear were the screams that had wrenched through my heart and buried themselves into my soul on that horrible day.

It was as if there was a great yawning darkness, a type of emptiness, that gripped me from within, held in place by the shards that were his screams. The emptiness, the screams, neither of them would let me go, no matter what approach I took to try and get rid of it. Struggling didn't work; nor did crying or 'going with the flow', as Puck would have said. It stayed, buried deep within me, its pain growing more intense with each passing day.

Everywhere I walked, vampires would stop and watch me suspiciously, as if I were going to pull a vampaneze out of my ass or something – they all knew of my relationship with Kurda, and those who didn't soon found out. But no one did anything about it. There was no proof, and anyway, most 'believed' that Kurda was not my sire, therefore I had had no obligations to follow him. Or so their train of thought would have probably gone.

Then, one day, through the heavy fog that shrouded me, I noticed that something was up. There was activity. Vampires were making their way somewhere in large groups. Having been too caught up in my grief to keep up with any news, I didn't realise that it was someone else's trial today. Someone I would have gladly seen put to death, no matter how many screams of pain left this one's throat.

Slightly curious, I silently followed the crowd as they made their way up, up, up through the Mountain. When I finally realised where we were going, we were already there, and I was in the middle of the dome, looking up at the platform set in the middle.

Standing in front of the Stone of Blood, bleeding fingertips pressed against bleeding fingertips, were two of the Princes and one who I hadn't seen since that day. One who I had imagined killing in every possible way, and even in every impossible way – I would dream at night, dream during the day, of the boy's death at my own hands, from a classic wringing of the neck to something outlandish like making him drink two gallons of gasoline and hanging him on a rope over the top of a crater of a live volcano. Probably in Hawaii.

Needless to say, Darren Shan was not on my Most Favourite Person list.

As I stood in the crowd, my fists clenched, clutching at the material of my pants. There he was. Taking Kurda's place. Where he should have been killed, dishonoured, as Kurda was, he was rewarded for killing the man that I loved.

My hate for the boy – the boy prince, now – was greater than it had ever been before. From my spot between cheering, whooping vampires, I glared up at him, my deadened green eyes like two beacons of pure hatred.

Darren was looking around the dome, his face alight with wonder. And then his eyes rested on mine. The wonder disappeared as our eyes locked. Something in his eyes changed, an emotion I couldn't quite comprehend.

Then it clicked. Triumph roared within me.

He knew. He knew my hatred for him.

And he was afraid.

As quickly as he saw me, he tore his wide eyes away, as if he couldn't bear to look at me any longer. But my eyes never left his face. If only I had laser vision – I would have been able to drill holes into the side of his head, piercing straight through the soft grey matter of his brain. His body would have probably continued working for several moments, until it would finally collapse, its control centre having been completely turned into mush.

Underneath that simple façade of pure hatred that covered me, fury raged and roared unchecked, a wild bushfire steadily growing out of control. I could have probably spontaneously combusted any moment the fire inside me was so intense – that is, if inner fires were literal, not figurative.

I could feel my fists shaking as my nails drew blood from the palms of my hands. Unconsciously, I had also begun to breathe faster, harder, as if I were having an asthma attack.

I knew that if I didn't control myself soon, I would have killed Darren then and there. Already, I was having trouble keeping my breathing normal. It was only a matter of time before I completely lost it, forfeited my life, jumped over the heads of the idiotic, barbaric vampires around me and slew the child in front of their very eyes, right at his moment of triumph. They would kill me as soon as I did it – but what did that matter? I had nothing more on this Earth, nothing else to look forward to.

And yet… and yet…

It was not the right time. It was not the time to kill him yet. I could feel in my heart that there would be other times, other chances, both in the near future and the distant. It was all just a matter of choosing correctly.

Slowly, my breath evened out. My fists loosened, allowing blood to drip slowly onto the ground. I bowed my head, and turned around, intent on walking away from it all – only to walk headfirst into Harkat Mulds.

His strong arms shot out and steadied me before I had a chance to fall. His grip was strong, yet gentle at the same time, and like his hug from That Day, it was vaguely familiar. Mutely, Harkat looked up at me, his green eyes going wider than their already widened shape.

"Elf…?" I heard him say, his voice muffled by his mask and the sounds around us. My eyes also widened, and I wrenched myself out of him grip. Then, shaking me head, I ran passed him, pushing my way through the crowd, through the hall, through the tunnels, until I was out.

Behind me, I could just hear Harkat calling after me, still using that nickname. The nickname that everyone called me. The nickname that I only allowed Kurda to call me.

I needed some air.

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By the time I reached the outer edge of the Mountain, the sun had just begun to set, lighting the bottoms of the dark clouds in the sky in brilliant colours. But for some reason, the sunset didn't look anywhere near as brilliant as it had in my youth. There was something different about it, like something was gone. Something was missing.

Hugging my clothes closer to my body, one hand wrapped around my staff, I squinted to watch the sun going down, my mind devoid of thought. Out here, in the cold, fresh mountain air, nothing pushed against me; nothing dug into me and tried to tear at me.

Here, I was at peace, while barely five hundred metres away, in the stuffy, hot, smelly tunnels of Vampire Mountain, I was bombarded with memories and thoughts, all of them as painful as the one before.

However, that peace was not to last. Soon, the face of my enemy came to my mind, taunting me with his childish good-looks and cheerful eyes.

With a growl, I whirled around, my staff thudding heavily against a boulder.

I wanted to kill him so bad that it ruined my English to say it. No amount of foul sailor language from my dock worker days even came close to the things I was saying about him in my mind.

Then a voice floated in my head, soft, almost pleading.

"Swear that you will never spill blood unnecessarily," he had said. I had sworn that day. But later, I couldn't. What had he said later? "Promise me that you won't seek revenge."

I did not promise him that I would not seek revenge. I couldn't promise him, because I knew that even if I did, I would have broken that promise.

And spilling blood unnecessarily?

This was necessary.

Another face came to view this time, one almost unfamiliar to me. Immaturely platinum-haired, red eyes, purple skin, sharp, stern face –

Of course.

I knew now.

I knew what I was meant to do.

I had lived as a vampire for thirty years. I knew Vampire Mountain as well as Kurda did – and there was no one else who even came close to his knowledge of the ins and outs of the Mountain.

I also knew the way things worked. I could get in to places easier, I could listen in on things without anybody listening or suspecting. Heck, I could even start training to become a General, just to make myself inconspicuous.

The plan slowly wove itself in my mind, until it became something solid, a woven tapestry telling me of my future. I smiled for the first time in what seemed like centuries, the last rays of the sun dipping below the white horizon.

I would spy for the vampaneze. I would do their dirty work. There was a war coming, and I knew that whatever little bit of damage I could do to the vampires would be enough.

Eventually, I would even be able to kill Darren Shan.

But first, I had to wait.

First, I had to find Marcus van Kütriht.

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"Harkat…?"

I looked up from my hammock, to where Darren was lying in his hammock, one hand stretched out in front of him to view the newly healed scars on his fingertips while the other was tucked behind his head for support. He shifted his weight ever so slightly so that he could see me.

"You know that Daegan guy, right?"

"I've… met him… once or twice…" I said softly, nodding. Darren sighed, dropping his hand and looking off, his scarred face thoughtful.

"I think… I think he hates me."

"Of course… he does…"

"Oh, that's nice!" Darren cried, then pulled a face at me. "What do you mean?"

"Well… you were the cause… of his lover's… death…"

"His lover…? You mean he and Kurda were-?" Darren pulled another face, this one of childish disgust. It was almost an innocent sort of look, the look of someone ignorant and immature. Someone who was still too young to know the ways of the world. I smiled beneath my mask, nodding.

"Remember… there are hardly… any female… vampires… so it must get… awfully lonely…"

Darren sat up, deftly balancing on the piece of material he lay on, his hands in his lap. His face was still contorted in that look of disgust.

"But that's so… unnatural."

"It's… unnatural… to drink blood… and for a ghost… to come back… to life… is it not?" I retorted. Darren blinked, then scowled.

"That's beside the point…!"

I shook my head sadly.

"No… it's the… same thing… one more… unnatural act… doesn't make it anymore… different from… anything else…"

Darren continued to scowl at me.

"Since when were you so… smart?! And why are you getting… what's the word again? Oh, yeah - defensive?"

I paused, blinking and looking up at the ceiling. I myself didn't know why I was being so defensive about this issue. I mean, I wasn't like that myself, or so I believed. I had no recollections of what I was like before given a second chance by Mr. Tiny, so I could have been the type who were interested in other men. If I was a man.

And yet… and yet…

"I… feel like I… knew him… I knew… Daegan…"

Thoughtfully, I rolled over on to my side, blocking Darren from my view.

"'My little elf'… that was his nickname…"

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A.N Hurrah! I'm done! YAY! That has got to be the longest story I've ever written in such a short space of time. WOW. I started this story on Thursday the 2nd, and now, ten days later, I be FINISHED! MWUAHAHAHA!

Thankyou to S-A for being my first and most loyal reviewer! And yes, I hate Darren too – can't you tell? Hehehehe. DIE DARREN DIE YOU EVIL LITTLE BOY!

I can now safely say that there are at least four people who hate him – Steve, R.V, Annie and now, Daegan/Elwyn. MWUAHAHAHAHA! Stupid child. .

Thankyou also to Scarlet Black and Die Kikyo Die – stankoo for reviewing!

And lastly, I'd like to thank my mum, my dad, my friends, and of course, God, if it weren't for them, none of this would have ever happened… -gets shot-

Now, to the song titles I stole and why:

'Novocain For the Soul' and 'Goddamn Right, It's a Beautiful Day' are by The Eels. Just because they're cool and self-explanatory respectively.

'It's Too Late' is by Evermore (packing bags, leaving, memories…)

'The Bitter End' is by Placebo (summer days… o.O)

'Behind Blue Eyes' is by Limp Bizkit (well, the version I like is by them, in any case… and it was chosen because of obvious reasons… and the fact that the lyrics kind of suit Kurda…)

'Emotion Sickness' is by Silverchair (well, it didn't really relate to the story, but I love the song, and I worked the title in, so :P)

'I Hate Today' is by Godhead. Go find the lyrics and/or download. Now. –cracks whip-

Thankyou and goodnight!

(I think I'll have another story posted tonight… it'll only be a one off, a parody/satire/sarcastic/humourous/MS-bashing sort of story… mwuahaha…)

((Yay, my plane is tomorrow morning! And yes, I'm allowed to say 'tomorrow', because it is technically today, being 3:20am on Sunday. Hehehehe.))

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Coming Soon:

Attack of the Fangirls

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There was a knock on the front door.

"Helloooooo? Anybody home?"

Inside the small suburban house that could only belong to a bachelor, a man - young, rosy cheeked and a little on the chubby side - looked up blearily from his computer screen.

"Ehhhh?" He called.

Knock, knock, knock.

Grumbling, the young man stumbled to his feet, scratching his backside sleepily as he padded towards the source of the knocking. Not remembering that he was only in his boxers, he opened the door.

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