This fic is a little different from any au we have done before.  In other words, this story is creepy (very creepy), scary (pretty dang scary), gory (HELLA gory), a little disturbing (”little” is putting it a bit lightly), and character death (LOTS of character death).  This story is rated very very explicit, very much a rated R film category and above.  So, you have been warned, READ AT OWN RISK.

This story will be in 6 parts, from now until midnight~

Until Dawn, part three~

Ectober Week, Day 31, BAD END


Jazz didn’t know how long she stayed there, but soon her tears ran dry, and all she could do was sit there and shake in her fear and exhaustion.

Then…

“Mary Mary…”

Jazz gasped silently, head popping up at the sweet, unnatural voice that reached her ears.  She wiped at the tear trails on her cheeks as she tried to see past the dark dust motes of the attic.

“Quite contrary…”

There was a soft light coming from the other side of the room.  Was that a window?

“How does your garden grow…?”

Slowly, Jazz climbed back up to her feet, eyes wide and enchanted by the beautiful voice.  She carefully made her way around boxes and antiques, almost entranced, to reach the window and the source of warm light.  And the singing…

“With silver bells…”

The light was getting brighter, a soft blue like sunlight over ice.  It gleamed against the glass of the large window, shining brighter than even the light of the full moon.

“And cockle shells…”

Jazz came to a stop, unable to move or breathe as the singer with the lovely voice like an angel, finally appeared before her.  

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It was a creature with skin as pale as moonstone, and raven hair that floated around its head, as if it were submerged in water.  The creature seemed to be floating where it stood, but still seemed to be half a head smaller than Jazz herself.  It looked like the being was covered in some sort of silken cape, a light pink in color like a newborn pink pearl.  There was a single hand placed on the glass, fingers long and elegant, unearthly…

This creature… it was so beautiful, like nothing Jazz had ever seen or imagined before.

“And pretty maids all in a row…”

Jazz startled and took a step back as the being slowly turned to face her.  Underneath those flowing locks was a heart shaped face, plump, kissable lips, and the largest, brightest blue eyes she had ever seen.  They glowed with unlimited knowledge at her, big and round and strangely… strangely not unlike an insect’s eyes… nor a spider’s…

“Hello, Jasmine~”  it breathed, smiling softly at her like she was a favored child.  “Are you well?  They didn’t hurt you, did they?”

She shook her head slowly, unconsciously coming forward when it held out a long fingered hand to her, beckoning.  “I’m so glad…”

“Who…”  she faltered, swallowing past the lump in her throat.  “Who are you?”

“I am D’Any’Domhnulla, prince of the fair folk.”

Jazz blinked, star struck.  “P-prince?”

“Yes,”  he explained, leading her closer to the window.  “I am here, because four of the most vile and gruesome of fae have escaped my prison, and have found their way here.  It is All Hallow’s Eve, and that is the night the veil between our worlds is at its weakest.  They came here to feed and cause chaos…”

“So you… you’re here to stop them?  Right?”  Jazz all but pleaded, clinging to the hand that still held hers.  It was cold…

The prince turned to smiled at her, long lashes brushing his soft cheeks as he blinked.  “Of course I am.  I have a duty to my kind, after all.  It is my responsibility.  But…”

His smiled turned sad as he cupped her cheek, bright eyes swirling with remorse and… something else.

“I will need your help…”

The redheaded girl took a step back, shaking her head wildly.  “N-no, not me!  I’m only human, I can’t possibly help you!  Did you SEE those things?!  They rip humans apart like tissue paper!!  I c-can’t–!”

“You’re just scared.  Which is understandable, given the situation…” the fae prince sighed, shaking his head.  “But it can’t be helped.  You are a maiden of pure heart and intentions, only you can help me gather what I need to banish these creatures back to the pits!”

“P-pure of heart?”  Jazz whispered, flattered by the creature’s words.  “I… I can really help you?”

“Yes!  And by doing so, save the other humans!  But we must hurry.”

Long fingers pointed out the window to the dark sky.  “We only have until dawn…”

The girl bit her lip, still unsure and afraid.  But this beautiful, amazing being… this prince of the fairies and fae, he said he needed HER help, of all people!  If she could help him, help him save her parents and the others…

She had to try, right?  She was the only one who could!

“I’ll do it…”  she stuttered, before clearing her throat and saying it again with a stronger tone.  “I’ll do it, Prince Dea… Deea… Um… I’m sorry, your name…”

The prince laughed, voice like tinkling bells.  “Call me Danny, child~”

“Danny?”  she questioned, frowning.  “That’s a very… human name…”

“A little boy, many many years ago, gave me that name when I found him lost in the woods not far from these parts.  I find it… fitting~”

Jazz didn’t question it, assuming it to be something to do with the queerness of fae.  “Very well, Prince Danny… what must I do?”

Danny smiled at her, pleased with her eagerness.  “First, you must help me gather the elements from which these beasts sprung up.  They entered your world through the closest thing they could tie to themselves.  There are four.  I will take you outside to gather the first two.”

“O-o-outside?!”

“Don’t worry,”  he cooed, squeezing her hand gently as he lead her back towards the attic stairs.  “I will be with you the whole way, nothing will harm you…”

She swallowed thickly, unsure, but slowly opened the trap door with his encouragement.  He smiled as she slowly climbed down, the creature not far behind.

“Nothing will harm you, not while I’m here~”

~*~

Damon suddenly paused, turning back to look down the hall they had just vacated.  “Did you hear that?”

The others stopped, turning back to look at him curiously.  But then Maddie frowned, looking troubled as once again, an echoing sound reached their ears from down the twisting hallways.  “Screaming…”

“Something must have happened,”  Vlad guessed, brows furrowed in concern.  “We should go back!”

The others quickly agreed, turning around once more to go back the way they came.  But before they could get any further, the doors leading back into the main halls suddenly slammed shut in their faces.  

Jack reeled back, having been struck in the face by the large, oak doors.  “OW!  The hell…?”

He placed a large hand on the doors and pushed, trying to twist the nob with the other.  “It’s jammed!”

Damon joined him, both large men trying to force the doors back open.  But it was like pushing against concrete walls… they would not budge…

“We have no choice then,” Damon sighed, finally stepping back.  “We have to keep going…”

With reluctance, the four adults turned their backs, and proceeded down the hallway.

Meanwhile, Maddie gripped her new shotgun like her life depended on it – bringing up the rear behind Vlad and Jack.  She couldn’t stop thinking about it; the tension between the two men.  And if she had said it wasn’t her fault, then she would have been lying to herself.

In truth… she had always had a crush on Vlad Masters.  Even before he was rich, when they went to college together; he was brilliant, and resourceful, and a leader.  He inspired others and when he spoke, people listened.  But girls were always on his arm in college – even though he hadn’t been so handsome back then, he made up for it with his charm and brilliance, and apparently prowess in bed, if those girls had been telling the truth – unlike Jack, who had definitely been a looker, with barely enough electricity moving through his brain to power a lightbulb.  Still, she had dated him, trying to get Vlad to see that she was smart, that she was on his level!  That she deserved more than just a cute idiot in life!  She deserved better!  She deserved someone worthy of her genius, her love, her fury.  And that someone was Vlad!

But, she strung Jack along for far too long.  When Vlad had begun to move onto bigger and better things, he strayed away – to Europe, Russia, all over the world – making money and spinning that incredible genius into gold for himself and the women that came in and out of his life, and Maddie had panicked.  She was stuck in a run-down apartment in Amity Park, Illinois, repairing Jack’s horrifying attempts at inventions and fixing microwaves for spare cash!  She was twenty-two and pregnant, on the way to being a middle-class homemaker with a dumb boyfriend that wouldn’t commit!  That wasn’t what she wanted!  She wanted…!

She had wanted more…

So, Maddie had made a drastic decision.  She gave Jack an ultimatum; either marry her or break up.  Of course, Jack agreed to the former, hugged her, and sent out the wedding invitations.  Maddie triple-checked that Vlad was on the list… and nearly cried with relief when he happily RSVPed.

Then, the big day came.  

Maddie could still remember it like it was yesterday.  She had been pacing back and forth in her wedding dress – baby bump visible with the little life that would become her daughter – as she waited.  Finally, Vlad was pulled back there by Harriet Chin, one of the rather unenthusiastic bridesmaids.  Of course, like the wonderful man he was, he praised her beauty and for the first time in years, Maddie felt herself light up like a firefly for him.  She just wanted to rush to him, kiss him, beg him to take her away from this mediocre town and dull, average, stereotypical existence…

Still, she had held herself.  She glowed, accepting his compliments, and spun around for him.  She had joined him on the couch – basking in his warmth and the sound of his voice – as they talked.

“I was there when the Packers just slammed through the defense!  Oh, it was amazing!  I jumped so high I fell off my seat and it made the front papers!  Hahaha–!”

Until she couldn’t take it anymore.

“Vlad.”

The young millionaire blinked at her tone.  “…Yes, Maddie?  What’s wrong?”

“I-I…”

And it had all come out.  She had poured her heart out to him, there in her wedding dress, all that was on her mind – the way Jack irritated her, the way she missed Vlad when he was gone, how she wished she could have been one of those women on his arm.  How she wished this child in her womb could have been his.  Vlad watched her the whole time, his eyes growing wider and wider.

At the end of it, Maddie was almost in tears.  “I-I’m sorry…” she whispered.  “You were just getting so far away from me… you’re going to be something amazing, Vlad, and I don’t want to be left behind!  Please…!”

She leaned forward – fingers tangling in his suit jacket – and kissed him.

He had gone still.  He hadn’t moved, for a long time, as she took his hands and placed them on her waist.  In that moment, Maddie had almost hoped that he would agree.  They would run out of this place together, and Jack’s baby could be told a happy story about how she had a much better, more attentive, brilliant father than Jack could have ever been.

Suddenly, Vlad had pulled away.  “Maddie…”

The young woman bit her kiss-swollen lips, wide violet eyes staring at him in fright…

Then, after a moment of hesitation, Vlad had reached forward, gripped the back of her neck, and kissed her in a way that made her toes curl and her panties go damp.  She had moaned his name none too quietly, fingers fumbling at his pants – when he moved them away, but placed his own hands on her hips; Maddie panted, eyes glazed with desire.  She leaned back, allowing him to slide his fingers up her skirt… and begin to rub…

The rest of her wedding had been a blur of post-orgasmic pleasure.  They hadn’t even undressed, so she could only wonder what the real thing would have been like.  The glances Vlad gave her throughout the reception asked for patience, for goodwill.  She would have to take responsibility for her actions, but perhaps one day, they could find a way to work things out.  And oh, even though she was married, Maddie’s heart and body both hungered for more… even if she had to wait ten, twenty, thirty years.  She could put up with this idiot husband, fixing microwaving and making mac-and-cheese, anything.  As long as she had hope.

So of course THIS would happen!  Of course, when they finally met again, in the splendor that Vlad had created, it would be stained with blood, and tension from that moron Jack!

Maddie scowled at the carpet, brows furrowed.

Suddenly, at the same moment, all three of them felt a buzz in their skulls.  It was getting louder… and louder!  The men groaned, clutching at their heads as Maddie switched off the safety of her shotgun.  “IT’S HERE!” she yelled, pulled it up to her shoulder.

The zombie-like giant from the greenhouse smashed through a wall.  CRASH!

Tiny black eyes zeroed in on the barrel of the shotgun.  A flash of fright, then fury crossed them, but Maddie didn’t give it enough time to unleash its sonic attack.

She squeezed the trigger.

BAM!

~*~

“Dad…”

“C’mon, Sam, we have to k-keep m-moving…!”

“Dad.”

Jeremy collapsed to the floor, twitching and waving the stump of his arm in the air.  His daughter, smeared with his blood, watched emotionlessly as he gasped and struggled.  “Y-You… are th-the o-only thing I-I have left, y-you are going to LIVE… m-missy!!” he whispered, trembling.

Sam’s voice was dead.  “No.  No, I’m not…” she said.

She blinked emptily – and walked past her father, wandering aimlessly into the unknown.  “None of us are…”

“M-Missy!  SAM!  S-SAMAN…ANTHA Y-YOU G-G-GET B-B-B–!”

Reduced to nothing but stammering in his state of shock, Jeremy tried to drag himself after his daughter, even as she turned a corner and left him behind.  He didn’t realize that she was doing this because she couldn’t take it, couldn’t take the concept of watching him die, and left to try and preserve the memories of her friends and loved ones.  He didn’t realize any of it.  He just saw his daughter walking away from him… letting him bleed out all alone in a strange house, with monsters in the walls.  

“PleaaAAAAAAAAAAH!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

Sam kept walking, zombie-like, as Jeremy’s pleas dissolved into a shapeless screech behind her.  Oblivious to the fact that he was still trying to drag himself after her.  She just kept going, not knowing… or caring… where she was going.

Before long, Jeremy lost track of her in the maze of halls and rooms.  His screams and sobs echoed back to him, sounding empty.

He was alone.

The man bit his lip in determination, even as tears of pain slipped down his cheeks.  He gripped his bleeding stump and – with titanic effort – dragged himself to his feet, and trekked on, trying to follow the path he felt Sam had taken.  He had passed her route many turns back, and was now far from reaching her… but he didn’t know that.  He paused in another set of halls, the ceilings high and creaky, old wooden pillars lined the way.

A strange, cool breeze suddenly passed him, ruffling his hair.  For a moment, he thought he saw a light…

“Hmm hm hm hmmm hmm hm…”

Jeremy froze, eyes widening in fright as a hushed, breathless voice reached his ears.  It was soft, likely feminine…

It was very pretty…

With a curious frown, the apprehension and fear slowly leaving him in unnatural ways, Jeremy began to follow the voice.  He stumbled as he walked, tripping over rugs and his own feet, but he pushed forward.  Even the pain felt like it was fading away.  The voice led him down hall after hall, past room after room.  Always humming…

“Hmm hm hm hmmm hmm hm…”

Oh, he knew that tune!  One of the maids used to sing it when Samantha was very little.  Ring Around the Rosie…

But… who was humming it now?  Here?  Where were they?  It was so beautiful…

He had to find them…

“Hm hmmmmm…”

The blond man stumbled even more as he picked up the pace, eyes blind to everything around him and the pain of his body far from his mind.  He just wanted to find that voice.  He HAD to find that voice.

The hall he turned down was a dead end, leading to a single door.  Yes… yes, it had to be coming from there!

“Hm hmmmmm…”

He rushed forward, slipping on something on the hardwood floor before he righted himself, gripping the handle tight.  He pushed the door open…

“Hm hm hmm hmmmm…”

The room was dark and smelled strangely of mold and mildew.  The only light in the room was from the large, open window, moonlight spilling in past the silhouette of the broken fountain.  He took a step in; deaf to the way the boards creaked under his feet, like they were old and rotten from rain.  He didn’t hear or see the water dripping off of every surface, dark and murky like swamp water.  He didn’t smell the dankness, the foul odor of water soiled fabric.  He didn’t notice any of it.

All he cared to notice, was the beautiful woman sitting alone on the velvet duvet, her face turned away from him toward the open window – gazing at the distant, broken fountain bubbling in the distance.  She was dressed in a simple white grecian gown, soaked sheer from the water she dripped with, showing off her voluptuous feminine curves to anyone around.  Inky black hair spilled down her back and pooled on the floor, seeming to blend in with the darkness there.

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Surely… surely the voice was here!  Yes, she must have been singing to him, luring him away from the monsters.  She must be an angel!

Jeremy clumsily came forward, slipping on what he thought was nothing, never once noticing the dark, blackish sludge that trailed across the room…

“E-Excuse me?”

She didn’t respond.  Jeremy came closer, standing nearly right behind her.  He reached out a hand to place on her shoulder.  “E-E-Excuse me?  Who–?”

His voice left him.  Her skin was cold under his touch… clammy…

Slimy…

Her head turned.  Teeth just as large and sharp as a shark’s met him in a wide, frightening grin.  Solid black eyes gleamed up at him, reflecting his own horrified expression back at him like two dark mirrors.  Her face twisted as she laughed, a husky, heaving, wet sound that echoed in his ears like the wails of a drowning animal.  The human tried to step back away from her, only to trip over the train of her long white gown.  

“AHH!”

He hit the floor with a bang, body exploding with agony as he had landed on his severed arm.  He scrambled to try and get up, but his feet slipped in the sludge and water underneath him, halting his escape–!

WHUMP.

Jeremy cried out as a hand closed around his ankle, talon-like nails clawing at his flesh as the creature crawled after him.  He attempted to call out for help, but he was suddenly grabbed and forced onto his back, causing the air to push out of his lungs in a wheeze.  That crooning, wet, husky laugh met his ears once more as he tried to shuffle backwards, tried to pull himself out from under her.

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But she was so fast.

Two sets of claws punched into his shoulders, making him bite his tongue and wail.  The force of his scream sent flecks of blood flying towards the ceiling, as she used the grip to drag herself up onto his body…

Two arms, low swinging breasts hidden by nothing, a skeletal chest and wide, bony hips…

There was nothing below that…

Jeremy blinked wide, horrified eyes up at this demon as she hissed, undulating on his body like a fish out of water.  Slick, grotesque sludge spilled over his hips and legs, drenching his lower half.  He didn’t want to think about what it could have possibly been, even if his mind had been clear enough to think.

Her mouth opened wide, blackish sludge dripping from her stretched lips, and revealing rows upon rows of teeth–!

“H-HELP ME!!”  Jeremy screamed, thrashing underneath her strong hold.  “SOMEBODY PLEASE, HELP ME–MMMGGGHHH!!”

Her mouth descended onto his, teeth punching into flesh and tearing away at his lower face like holiday ham.  His screams turned into gurgling, wet wails as she continued to devour him in the most horrifying of kisses.  Her tongue was like the skin off a shark, ripping into his mouth and slicing away at the sensitive skin inside.  A twist of her long tongue, and his own was torn free, blood slipping down his throat as he choked on it and the pain.  The beast cooed in pleasure as she took his tongue from his mouth, chewing on it like it was a treat.

“MMMGHHhhh!! Mgghhh…!”

His lips were gone, along with most of his lower face when her lips and teeth returned, digging into his skin and all the way down to the very bone.  There was a loud, foreboding crunch, followed by a muffled wail, before the only sounds in the room were that of dying gurgles and wet, juicy smacks.

Jeremy’s death was slow and very painful, body unable to move as the venom in her claws made him immobile.  He could only lay there and take her assault, drowning on his own blood and the black sludge she continued to pour down his throat.  It was vile and thick, like mud and swamp water and sulfur.  Blood pooled around them in an almost perfect ring, staining the water puddles red and even the sludge that dripped from her own body was beginning to change to a more vibrant, life bringing color…

She was sucking him dry, purifying her own body, sucking his very soul from his body with her lips and tongue and teeth…

SHLURP…

The last thing Jeremy thought about before he died, was his daughter.  Where was she?  Was she safe?  Please god, don’t let it end for her this way.

Don’t let it end for ME this way…

CRUNCH…

The last thing Jeremy saw before he died, were unforgiving, hungry, soulless black eyes…

~*~

Valerie covered her own mouth, stifling a gasp.  “Did you hear that…?” she whispered.

Mr. Foley shivered, shakily looking up at the young girl; Tucker was still unconscious, limp in his father’s lap.  The trio had taken shelter in an abandoned music room of some kind, hiding behind a grand piano.  Cold black ashes were the closest thing to life in the stone fireplace.  “It was probably the wind… or something…” Maurice whispered, hugging his son close.  Tears leaked down his face and disappeared into his moustache.  “Oh god, Angela… Angela…!”

Valerie grabbed at him.  “Mister Foley, c’mon–!”

“‘Come on’ for WHAT, Miss Gray?!” the man suddenly snapped.  Valerie recoiled, blinking in surprise as he dropped his son like a sack of bricks and stood up, waving his arms.  “Do you not understand?!  MY WIFE IS DEAD!  Ripped to PIECES by a… a MONSTER!  A monster that used her bisected corpse like a SHOWER SPONGE!  I-I can’t DO it, I can’t–!!”

He collapsed in on himself like a broken slinky and lay down next to his son, shivering.  “We’re all going to die here–!”

“We’re all going to die here…” came a dead voice.

The door swung open with a slow creak, and none other than Sam wandered into the music room.  Her lifeless purple eyes scanned the piano, the cold hearth – and didn’t even blink when Valerie straightened up.  “Sam!  Omigod, are you okay?!” she gasped.

The brown-skinned girl rushed to her and grabbed her hand.  “I heard sounds… like, gurgling– oh god, your skin is freezing!  Come on, hide with us!”

Sam yanked her hand out of Valerie’s grip.  “No,” she replied flatly.  “I’ll go see what that noise was…”

“W-What?!  But–!”

“Stop talking nonsense!”

The two girls looked at Mr. Foley, who kissed his son on the forehead, sniffed, and stood up, wiping his nose.  “I-I’ll go…” he told them, still trembling.  “You two are young.  If it is something, well… I’d rather it be me…”

He looked at Valerie.  “I-I’m sorry for snapping at you, Miss Gray, I just…”

The man was cut off as she threw her arms around him, hugging him tight.  “I’m so… SO sorry about Angela…” Valerie whispered, holding back tears of her own as she hugged Tucker’s dad.  His chest was far too slender – but she tried to picture that she was hugging her own father.  It gave her just an iota of reassurance.  But it was enough.  “We’ll make sure nothing happens to Tuck.  Be careful, okay?”

Maurice hugged her back with skinny arms.  “I will.”

He sniffed again and let her go with a small smile.  “You two better be here when I get back.  And you!”

He pointed sternly at Sam, who stared emptily back at him.  “You hide.  Don’t start getting these crazy ideas.”

No response.  

Maurice took a deep breath, exhaled, and looked back at his unconscious son.  His lips curved up at the sight of his face.  

Finally, he smiled, turned around, and left the room, his chest puffed out like a soldier off to battle.  “Well, here I go!  Look after Tucker, now!”

Valerie nodded uncertainly – but he was already gone.

She grabbed Sam again and yanked her behind the piano; this time, the goth let her.  And there, they waited.

~*~

Jazz rubbed her arms harshly, more a sign of fear and unease then the fact she was cold.  She was hidden among a cluster of willow trees where Danny had left her, telling her she would be safe here.

That had been a few minutes ago now…

She bit her lip, looking around nervously.  What was she even DOING out here?  How could she, a mere human, help a freaking prince of the fae stop these… these MONSTERS!  What could she possibly do?

“There you are~!”

Jazz jumped, almost screaming before a cool hand cupped her cheek and blue eyes filled her vision.  She instantly relaxed, scowling up at Danny unhappily.  “W-where have you been?!”

“Easy dear, you are safe.  I had to check in on the others in the manor, as well as get these.”

Danny held out a small velvet pouch.  The redhead took it after a moment of hesitation, peeking inside.  Four small crystal vials clinked against each other within, glittering under the moonlight.  She looked back up at Danny, brows furrowed.  “What do I do with them?”

“You will gather pieces of the birthplace of each fae, the place they emerged into this world, and store them in these vials.  Come…”

The prince turned and floated away from her, towards a cluster of young willows near the side of the manor.  “We will collect the bark of Spectra, first…”

“S-Spectra?”

“Spectra the Ravenous.”  Danny exclaimed calmly.  “She is considered to be both a beautiful and wise fae in our realm…”  the fae laughed, winking at Jazz.  “Her cleverness is what makes her so dangerous.  More so than her ruthlessness, I should say!”

The prince turned back around, humming to himself.  “She is a creature of earth, one of the oldest of our race!  And she is always hungry.  Hungry for youth, beauty… and blood.”

Jazz stumbled over a fallen tree branch, suddenly very pale and nauseous.  “The… the creature that was… eating the bodies… Misses Foley…”

“Her appetite is insatiable.  Ah, here we are~”

Jazz looked up to find that Danny had stopped before the largest tree, far older than the others around it.  It was tall, almost leaning against the marble of the manor with its enormous weight.  And also unlike the other trees, it looked like it had been struck by lightning, the middle split right in two.

No… no that wasn’t right.  It looked more like something had burst out from INSIDE the tree, breaking its way out into the garden…

And through the open window leading inside the manor on the second floor…

“This is where she came from, her birthplace into this world.  You need to break away a piece of the bark from the inside, and place it in a vial.”

“R-right…”

Jazz carefully set down the pouch and pulled out one of the vials, carefully making her way to the large, dead tree.  It was only as she grew closer, that she smelled the rotten and foul air around the dark trunk.  Blood…

The tree was bleeding…

“It is only the residue left behind by her arrival,”  the fae prince informed her, resting a calming hand on her back.  “Go on, it’s safe.”

Face twisted in disgust and determination, Jazz did as instructed and reached into the gaping wound in the trunk of the great willow.  The bark within was soft and moist, like wet moss.  She gagged as a piece came away so easily in her hand, stumbling back away from the tree and putting the stuff in the vial without even looking at it.  She wiped her sticky hand along the back of her skirt, turning away from the tree entirely.

“That… was most unpleasant.”

“You did VERY well, Jasmine.”

She looked up from where she had put the vial once more back in the pouch, startled.  “I… I did?”

Danny smiled, nodding as he lead her away from the tree.  “Yes, very, very well~  I could not have done this without you!  Now come, you must collect water from the fountain next.”

“The fountain,”  Jazz murmured, quick to follow with much surer steps then before.  “Who um.. who came from the fountain?”

“Desiree the Lustful,”  he replied, voice almost somber as they drew closer to the fountain of broken marble and blood.  “She preys on the men of this world, blaming them for the loss of her legs.”

“Her… her legs?”

“Yes,” his voice dropped as he spoke, almost somber.  “She was once a beautiful fae in our realm, and she danced for not only the royalty of our kind, but those of the mortal realm as well.  Long ago, so long ago there is no real date or time to give you, child, a queen grew jealous of Desiree’s magic and dancing and ease of bespelling men… only, when the royal guards came, they came at the wrong time.  The beautiful girl was eating her suitor~  

“So, she had her legs cut off with an iron sword.  Not a soul stopped her, not even any of Desiree’s most favored male mortals.  She crawled back to our realm, swearing she would devour all of mankind…”

For the briefest moment, Jazz thought she heard Danny’s voice change, to something thick and heavy… dark…

“Desiree, is not the forgiving sort…”

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