A/N: This is a sequel to Curiosity Killed the Cat, but you don't have to read that to understand this. This story takes place during the forth season of SV (shortly after Curiosity Killed the Cat). Also, I've kind of established a writing style with Curiosity Killed the Cat, and I'm continuing that in this story. It's pretty fun. I hope you like it too! (I'm still using the Buffy-verse's version of magic) CAUTION: There is some horror in this chapter (although it might not be good horror). Also Lex is a little OOC in this chapter, though who wouldn't be in his situation!
Disclaimer: I don't own SV.
I must admit there have been quite a few times that magic has gotten me into a bit of trouble (i.e. the time when I was turned into a cat and the odd predicament with the frog), but there have been a few times when magic has been a blessing. For example…well, okay, maybe I haven't been practicing magic long enough to have any memorable good experiences with it. No wait, there was that thing that happened a couple weeks ago. I have to say, magic was very beneficial then.
Chapter 1: A Little Dose of Horror Never Hurt Anyone
Two Weeks Earlier
(The entire chapter is in Lex's POV)
I opened my eyes slowly. I was still dead tired from a hard day at work and I had no idea why I had woken up. There wasn't a loud noise, no bright lights, wait a second…I opened my eyes completely and looked around my room. I had been sure that I had fallen asleep in my room, but it was quite possible that in my tired state I had accidentally fallen asleep in a room I had never been in. In a house such as mine, that was always a possibility. I sat up in bed and examined my surroundings. The comforter covering me was a black velvet duvet. Concealed inside was a thick and warm down blanket. The black bed curtains on the large four-post ebony bed were drawn, revealing the room in which I was situated. A wooden floor was covered with a large black and red oriental rug. An enormous window let in a shaft of moonlight. I noted that the curtains, though drawn, were black as well. Other than the ornate bed and rug, the room was basically bare. That is except for the imposing grandfather clock set right before the bed I was in. The clock was made of ebony with carvings of ivy surrounding an intricately carved raven.
"Okay, definitely need to have this room redecorated," I said to the empty room. My voice echoed against the stone walls, reverberating back to my ears as a warped rendition of my once normal voice. I decided at once that it was time to leave, so I quickly stood and crossed to the door. I flung the door open with probably more enthusiasm than was needed and walked into the corridor. As soon as I did that, I immediately regretted it. The hallway was completely dark except for the thin shaft of light thrown onto the floor by a slightly open door not to far down the hall. If I remembered correctly, the room I was just in had been lit by bright moonlight, but there was no moonlight in this corridor. All of the hallways in this castle had at least one window, but this hallway had none. My heart began to pound, threatening to break through my ribs and escape from this morbid place. I turned around quickly, intending on returning to room I had awoken in, but behind me was only darkness, no open doorway at all. I then began to panic, and I'm a Luthor! Luthor's never panic, but my thorough examination of what was happening at that moment revealed to me that there was only one thing I could do: Panic! I started down the hallway toward the lighted room.
As I walked swiftly down the corridor, the floorboards beneath me creaked as though they were in a condemned house, not a Luthor mansion. I picked up my pace, not wanting to fall through any rotten floorboards. As I neared the room, a faint banging came to my ears. I kept walking and the banging grew louder. When I was in front of the room, the noise had become a loud clanking and thudding. It was obvious that the noise was coming from inside the room. I hesitated before placing my hand on the doorknob and pushing the door open.
Inside the room was a single candle which gave off a dim flickering light, though sufficient enough to see the room. The room was simple. Old wooden floors and old wooden walls. In the center of the room, though, there was a large crate, about the size of a refrigerator box standing on end. The crate, or whatever was in the crate, was the source of the noise. As I watched, the crate would shake, as if whatever was inside was thrashing around. Curiosity overtook my fear and I began to walk toward the crate. When I was within a few feet of the wooden prison, the noises and shaking stopped, and the front of the crate swung open a few inches like a door. Although my heart was pounding and my head was telling my to get the hell out of there, I was infected with what I lovingly call the Chloe Syndrome. Curiosity had taken over my senses and any thought of self preservation had taken a back seat. I reached out for the door to the crate and pulled it open. Inside stood a little girl clothed in a long white nightgown. Her hair was dark and matted. The nightgown she wore was more off-white than white, as if the color had faded with time. Her head was down so that her tangled hair half covered her tiny face.
"Are you okay?" I asked, though after I did I knew it was a mistake. She lifted her head and I was able to see her eyes, or lack of eyes. They were gone leaving only bloody chasms of darkness. The blood ran down the girl's face and she smiled revealing short bloody blades in place of teeth. Blood began to pour from her eyes, her mouth, everywhere, soaking her nightgown so that it was stained crimson. I screamed. I screamed like hell. I turned and ran out of that room as fast as I could. Once I was out in the hall, I was consumed by darkness, so I just sat with my legs pulled against my body attempting to assure myself that it was just a dream. I closed my eyes tightly to block out the darkness around me.
I sat like that for a moment before I felt someone shaking me. "Mr. Luthor! Mr. Luthor!" she shrieked. I opened my eyes to see the plump face of my live-in maid in front of me. She looked disheveled and very afraid. The hallway behind her was the hallway outside my bedroom, and it was completely normal.
"Maria?" I managed to squeak out. My throat was sore from screaming.
Maria looked worried. "Mr. Luthor, are you alright?" she asked.
"I must have been sleepwalking," I said, more to reassure myself than her. She nodded, obviously accepting my explanation.
"Will you be needing anything, Mr. Luthor?" Maria asked as she stood.
I let her help me get to my feet as I replied, "No. I'm sorry I woke you, Maria. Go back to bed."
"Yes, Mr. Luthor," she said before tottling off to bed. I smiled slightly. Maria acted like my nanny sometimes, and though I would never tell anyone, I kind of liked it.
Instead of heading back to my room, I went to my study. I knew I would never be able to sleep so I decided to reread one of the classics. I found my copy of one of my favorite classic novels, sat in my comfy chair, and read until I fell asleep.
I awoke to two yellow eyes staring at me intently. It was Salem, my cat. One of my staff started calling her Salem shortly after she joined the household. Apparently the guy just loved the show Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and his reasoning was that the cat was black and Chloe, who had given her to me, was a witch who had been turned into a cat for a period of time. I guess he didn't notice the gender difference between my cat and the robot cat on the show. Anyway, the name Salem stuck, and I must admit, the name suits her.
Salem continued to stare at me. I glanced at the clock. It was eight a.m. I usually awoke around six-thirty, but without my alarm clock, I slept in. I wasn't complaining though. After the nightmare from the night before, I welcomed the extra peaceful sleep. Salem obviously did not. Her bright yellow eyes bore into me, silently asking the question, "What are you doing asleep so late?" It appeared that I had disrupted her delicate internal clock, for she usually followed me around everywhere in the morning.
I yawned and stretched, flexing my muscles which were sore from sleeping on the couch. I stood, lifted Salem into my arms, and went off to do my normal morning routine.
The day had been going great: the plant was running efficiently, no meteor freaks had terrorized the town, Clark had not come crying to me about Lana problems, and best of all: I had completely forgotten about my dream the night before. Until sunset that is.
I stood at the tall windows in my study, watching the sun disappear past endless fields of corn. The sky faded from brilliant reds and oranges to deep blues and purples, and I went in search of Salem to give her dinner. I was on my way to the kitchen, Salem's usual hang-out, when I noticed something amiss in the dining room. The coppery tang of blood reached my nose, causing my stomach to turn. I peered inside the room and almost lost my lunch. The dining room was completely covered with blood. The table was broken in half, the chairs were overturned and broken, and a body was lying in the center of the chaos. Images of my nightmare from the night before flitted through my head as I tentatively stepped into the room. I walked over to the body, steering clear of the blood and broken pieces. As I approached the body, the putrid smell of death and decomposition filled my nostrils. I had to stifle another urge to vomit when I saw the body. It was my head of security, David. His chest was a mess of blood and stab wounds, and his eyes were glazed and unseeing. I clamped a hand over my mouth and turned around to see something that probably took ten years off my life. Standing in the doorway, a look of shock upon his face, stood my head of security, David.
"D-David?" I stammered.
"What happened here, Mr. Luthor?" he asked, fear invading his voice. When I didn't answer, only stared at him blankly, he walked over to me and glanced at the body. His eyes grew wider than I thought was possible. "I-Is that m-m-me?" he asked.
"You can see it, too?" I asked, happy that I wasn't going crazy.
"Is this some kind of joke?" he asked suspiciously. After David said those words, our attention was caught by a loud moaning coming from the floor. We both turned to the body and saw it begin to twitch. Its mouth opened and blood poured out as it moaned again. Its hands moved and gripped the broken piece of table next to it as leverage to pull itself up. I was sure that the thing could hear my pounding heart.
I immediately found my voice. As I grabbed David and pulled him out of the room, I said, "If this is a joke, I'm certainly not laughing!"
David and I had the doors to the dining room shut just as the thing was trying to stand on its shaky legs. We leaned against the door, attempting to calm our shallow, hurried breathing. After a moment, another smell, not the olfactory presence from the dining room, but something more like rotten eggs wafted toward my senses. "Do you smell that?" I asked.
David sniffed the air and then immediately covered his nose with his hand. "Sulfur?"
I nodded and then added quietly, "Brimstone." The lights in the hall immediately dimmed. The corridor was now lit only by an eerie red light that came from an unknown source. I glanced at David and he glanced at me.
"I have a bad feeling about this," he commented. Something began beating on the door we were holding shut, moaning with an unearthly voice. A screech echoed down the corridor, and a large black flying creature with bright crimson eyes came soaring into the red light. Its wings spread the length of the wide hallway and beak was full of razor-sharp teeth. I screeched again, sending chills through my body.
Maria came from the other end of the hallway. "Mr. Luthor, what was th-" She wasn't able to finish her sentence as that was the moment she saw the large creature. She stood with her eyes wide and her mouth agape until David and I grabbed her arms and turned her around.
"Run!" I yelled, pulling her down the hallway. The flying beast followed us and the zombie-David burst through the doors we had just moved away from.
Maria was screaming by the time we reached the front doors. David, Maria, and I ran into the outside. I let them catch their breath before taking command. "David, Maria, help me get everyone out of the house. Then I'm going for help."
"Who are you going to get?"
A/N: Don't worry, Chloe will be in the next chapter. That's the end of the horror, for now. Ha, ha, ha cough, cough sorry. Anyway, tell me what you think!