Dreams and Broken Promises
Chapter 1: The Promise of a Good Day.
I awoke to the promise of a good day. A new form had presented itself on the material plane; a puppet of flesh and bone ready to be the instrument of my will. It lacked a human conscience, and had such potential. As much potential as a human instrument, perhaps, even more.
My eyes fluttered open, as I felt a smirk cross my face. Very little light cascaded through the wooden framed windows. My vision still held the blur of sleep. In spite of the appearance of a bedroom, it brought to mind an alchemist laboratory. Formaldehyde and alcohol momentarily overwhelmed my senses.
A man, whose face spoke youth, with a mane of silver stood above me. His cold, bespectacled eyes studied me as if I were a specimen to be dissected. Perhaps to him I was. It was obvious he knew not what horror he had unleashed upon the world. My eyes probed into his reaching for anything, showing me nothing but a name.
"Dr. Jizabel Disreali…" My voice cracked from disuse.
Cruelty resounded in his voice. "Of course those are your first words." A shudder ran down my spine. This man's cruelty was on par with my own father's. This man, however, was just a man.
My eyes narrowed as I sat up, grabbing his tie. Something was off, pain. I whimpered and winced though I managed to sit up all the same. I pushed the thought of pain away as I growled into his ear. "Impertinent Brat!"
I could feel metallic fangs brushing the inside of my lower lip. At least I knew I brought something of home with me. I could sense his surprise as I manipulated his form like a ragdoll. I knew that I would not easily repeat this performance, but it was necessary for him to learn his place. "The more you struggle, the more it'll hurt, and the more likely you will die." I closed my eyes as I sank my teeth into his pale flesh.
I gave him no pleasure as I stole a portion of his life. After speaking to me in that manner, he deserved no such luxury. After taking enough to sustain me until I could properly feed, I licked his wound healing it completely. "In the morning this will be nothing more than a bad dream."
Stretching, I could feel every joint crack in protest. I felt as stiff as a corpse, though the stiffness was passing. I was ready to use the knowledge that I had learned from the barely conscious man on the floor. I could not afford to kill him. I had to avoid notice, but it was easy to see how much fun could be had.
I delighted in my discoveries. Through just a snack, I found that I was in London, England and the year was 1890. I wandered to the armoire, looking for something far more suitable to wear than this nightdress. The wardrobe was bountiful, full of gowns befitting a lady such as myself, as well as a few less proper. However, dressing properly would require help.
Soft on my feet I padded gently into the hallway, speaking softly. "Excuse me, may I have some help?" After but a moment, two maids entered and I pointed at a lovely black and red day dress. They were wonderful as they helped me dress. As I moved from behind the dressing screen the doctor appeared to be just recovering.
Shock could be read on his features. I smiled gently. "I suppose I should introduce myself, Doctor. My name is Lady Anrhea De Leon; you may address me as Lady Darkness. This puts us on more even terms."
"May I inquire as to what you are, or from whence you came? I have formed many dolls but none as nimble or strong." I could see wisdom brought his words this time.
I took out my fan and fluttered it before my face. "Many call me an angel; others call me a demon, while others call me death herself. Though, that title belongs firmly to my father." I paused. "I think I should like to meet the Master of the house."
He smiled. "Of course, though I feel it may be a bit early."
I spoke softly but with authority. "I believe that as a guest in his home, I should see the Master of the house straightaway. One should not delay these things." A curt smile rested on my countenance.
A cruel smile brightened his eyes. "Yes perhaps you're right." By this expression I should have foreseen that he planned upon failure. He left his steps quick and full of anger.
He returned half an hour later. "He has invited you to tea out in the garden." He moved to take a hat from the closet. "A lady should always wear a hat when outside."
"That one doesn't match." I moved to take a black mini top-hat with red roses and a red band. "This one is perfect." I said as I tied it on. I moved through the house, using the memories I had gained though feeding to walk out to the garden.
Upon reaching the table I curtsied. "Good day, M'lord. It is quite a lovely day for tea, wouldn't you agree?" My mother had taught me much in the way of manners amongst nobility (Even when they were your lesser).
"My, what a lovely young lady, you are." His smile, though fake, spoke volumes of this man's cruelty and his sadness. "What is your name?"
I reached tenderly for the teapot, showing only a hint of my wrist as my mother, Mariko, had taught. "My name is the same as the night. Many have called me 'Darkness.'"
He stopped me as I began to pour. "The butler is to serve the tea."
I frowned slightly. "My apologies, M'Lord; where I am from, a lady is always expected to serve the tea." In the silver of the tea pot I could tell that I did not have anything of my true appearance save my raven black hair and gray eyes.
"And where are you from?"
"My mother is Japanese, and my father is a French-man." I smiled. "Though, I am from neither. I am from a place that is not a place, and a time outside of time."
He had a mild look of confusion. "I am a being classified as a Malkaari, neither angel, nor demon; neither human, nor vampire, but all of these. We are similar to what you would call 'Gods.'"
I was glad to see that he at least partially understood. "I wanted to thank you for having this lovely body constructed for me. It is a nearly perfect vessel."
"You're quite welcome." He seemed to brighten at my statement. His coldness was slightly melting though the cruelty was still there in his eyes.
"I do believe, though, that we are on uneven terms. You know what I am called and I know not your name."
"My name is Alexis Hargreaves, the Card master."
"And the men and women here are all just cards in your game?"
"To a degree, yes." He was pleased with how astute I was. "I will require a fee for the body that was made, for you."
"If my guess is correct, I will need to complete a service for you. I am used to such arrangements though they are usually with the humans who allow me to use them." I smiled. "Though the arrangement must be within reason, else you should be forced to pay a penalty."
"You will be required to go with the cards on missions."
I poured myself some tea. The butler was taking far too long. "What kind of missions?"
"Information gathering, assassination, and anything else I may require."
I laughed slightly. "Information gathering I am quite happy with. However, assassination is something altogether different. I am here because I refused to complete an assassination."I paused a moment, "I thought better of killing my intended on our wedding night."
He chuckled. "Perhaps you will find these men more worthy of death."
"Perhaps," I moved to sip my tea.
The rest of our tea was quite enjoyable; simply talk about the weather and the current state of affairs. It wasn't long before we finished tea and I went in to dine. I needed another dose of blood. But even more so, I needed a kill. I didn't know where I might find acceptable prey. I was shaking slightly. Slowly my sight went dark and I felt as if I was falling away from the world.
Warm… metal… liquid… I could smell it before it even reached my tongue. I could feel her warm body pressed against mine on the cold slab. A girl was to be my meal. Sympathy guided me as I drank greedily from her wrist. Death was not to be feared, death was release. At least that was what Father always said. She had suffered so much for one so young; her parents were dead, and the abuse she had suffered by her caretakers. She deserved none of it. I could feel my body warm, even as her body grew colder. The first life I took was hers. The first soul I liberated was hers.
I opened my eyes, taking in my surroundings. This was where my puppet was made. I saw a young man of perhaps thirteen in the room. He seemed pleased as he looked at the doctor. "You chose my meal?" I stood and attended to my garment as he nodded. "I shall choose next time." I stretched. It had clearly been several hours since tea. "I think I shall adjourn to my quarters. My thanks to both of you for this sweet child; no more tears shall be shed."
I left pondering the promise this day shattered.