Last time with Viola: Changes
As Father Lee spoke his last word, a low growl erupted from the stretcher. Viola stood up in spasms, her body’s reaction to the new blood flowing through her. She reached for Henrietta. Henrietta stepped just beyond Viola’s arm span as the chains on Viola’s wrist restrained her. Viola jerked backwards violently, only to feel Father Lee wrap his arms around her. He snarled as she tore at the exposed flesh of his hand with her nails. Blood seeped from the wound. Viola caught its scent and, with a great heave of strength unaccustomed to her, she pounced, sucking hungrily, rendering him powerless.
The first taste of blood on her tongue sent her mind spiraling. Images flashed through her mind, hurrying from one face to the next, one scene to another- Cage, Orvella, Henrietta, faces of men she didn’t know. Cage again, on bended knee. Loneliness engulfed her as the scream reached her ears. She paused, confused. Henrietta slipped in, attaching a small swatch of black velvet to her wrist, and loosening Father Lee from Viola’s grasp.
“You should not mess with what you do not know,” Henrietta said, daring to look deeply into Father Lee’s eyes. “I should never have allowed this. This betrayal of my people will be my demise. Leave me and never return.”
Father Lee trembled as she released him. Sounds of wailing came from the walls, adding speed to his retreat. A small wisp of smoke devoured him from sight. Viola whimpered as her rage deserted her and Henrietta moved to her side. She placed a hand on each side of Viola’s face and looked into her eyes.
“Oh child, please forgive me. Your blood should be pure, from only the purest of vampyric souls, not laced with the evil that is Desmond Lee. My lords will punish me, and soon, so to you I leave this…” she paused long enough to show Viola the bracelet on her wrist, “…never remove this bracelet or you will unleash the beast that now lives within you.”
Horror filled Viola’s eyes. Her bottom lip trembled yet no tears fell. Henrietta sighed and gathered Viola in her arms. She felt the familiar tremors of hunger that afflicted all reborns. She hugged Viola tighter then released her.
“Your thirst will be great. Your new nature has made you a predator, but your soul will prevent you from the hunt. There are woods not far from here, to the east. Hide there. You will be protected and free to quench your thirst. When the fire inside you dies, it will be safe to return. I wish you well, child. Listen to your soul. Let no one sway you from what you know is true.”
Henrietta stepped backwards, not willing to turn her back on Viola, and disappeared.
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