Blood Binds Us
a piece of Horror-Fantasy Fiction written by Tyr Kieran
(created via a social media book project)
and titled by Elizabeth Hisaw
All Content Copyright © 2009-2010 Tyr Kieran
The beams flowing from Raven’s eyes start to waiver and weaken; signaling the memory orb’s final moments. And as the light sputters her mute scream finds a voice. Shrill, but short, her cry ends in the loud gasp of a long overdue breath. Raven drops to her knees panting and clutching her eyes. “Its’ dark… I can’t see.” The horde’s growl has now surged into a full on roar—they come to life as Kira fades. Gaining more motor control by the second, the werewolves begin to turn their heads and flex their bladed fingers. Raging beasts; confused and furious at their limitations. “Raven.” Kira rasps and slumps back down to her knees. The blind vampire crawls along the floor till she finds Kira’s trembling hand.
Kira mumbles as if talking in her sleep, “Raven… implant them… now.” Raven doesn’t waste time on a reply. Gripping Kira’s hand between hers, she releases a psychometric pulse. Green orbs of light shoot down the ethereal tendrils and disappear into the Lycans’ skulls. For a brief moment, as the pulse settles in their minds, their lupine eyes flash a greenish glow. And the incensed beasts start to calm and grow still; roars of confused fury ebb to soft rhythmic breathing. Kira closes her eyes and lays her right hand on top of the others. She begins mouthing a mantra in a whispered voice. That’s when another coughing fit hit and I didn’t notice the two Lycans standing over me until I splashed blood on their furred toes.
Walking my gaze up their massive, fur-matted frame, I keep my eyes shuttered in a preemptive flinch—expecting razor talons to rip through my face at any moment. The two Lycans simply stare down at me for an agonizing moment. Did Kira’s plan work? Was Raven even able to connect to all of them? My body twitches as I stifle another cough. The hot pressure knots in my throat, threatening to burst out the side of my craned neck. Then, one of the beasts moves. My muscles tense instantly—reigniting the fire in my wound. His arm creeps forward in a smooth motion and stops. The werewolf unrolls his fist and leans down to place the open hand before me.
Frozen in perplexity and mistrust, I can do nothing but stare at the enormous hand. It hovers there looking more like an offer than a threat. I fight the urge to rub my eyes like they do in those cartoon shows. The Lycans remain motionless; waiting. I just can’t wrap my brain around a Lycan standing still for more than a second, let alone two that aren’t showing the slightest sign of imminent attack. Stunned, my face feels like it’s made of putty—melting strictly by gravity, without heat or pain. Suddenly, a sound falls from the beast’s face. It was a mutilated bark of a sound, part growl, part… phonics? My eyes dart up to meet his gaze and he tried the noise again. “Hhellp uhp.”
“Wha…” I, I think I’m losing my grip on reality. It must be the blood loss—I have to be hallucinating. “Did you just…” Then the second werewolf chimes in with the same gritty, struggling speech. “Iyems, alleye. Friennd.” The only explanation could be… “They did it.” It came out in a whisper, a vocalized thought. Kira’s plan worked! We have a shot at survival! Reaching up, I carefully take the Lycanthrope’s hand and nod in agreement. “Aye. Ally.” The beasts help me to my feet and provide support as we start toward the others. I could hear similar reactions from Rell and Zune to their Lycan-offered assistance. I shake my head in amazement. Vampires and Werewolves working together. Unbelievable.
My steps falter. I would have collapsed several times over if not for the help of my new friends. We make it to a sitting area, off to one side on the main level; about ten yards away. There, three concrete benches rest in a semicircle, each backed by raised flowerbeds full of luscious ferns. I flop down on a bench and catch my breath—each one a wheezing inferno in my chest. Still, the moment of respite helps to calm my nerves. My battle blinders begin to fade and the full environment comes into focus. The atrium sits in solemn silence; a victim ravaged by war. Concrete debris lay strewn across the floor in shatter radii from crumbling pillars and fragmented walls. Thousands of glass shards glint in the moonlight as no pane withstood tonight’s audible assaults.
Yet, somehow this little slice of utopia survived the battle unscathed. Wish we could say the same. Rell and Zune arrive a moment later, hobbling between Lycan crutches. Both slow with the signs of extensive damage. They sit on either side of me, bleeding as I am; resting. We trade glances between heaving, cringing breaths—silently communicating our concern and camaraderie. The Werewolf horde files in, little by little, surrounding our sanctuary. And, eventually, Kira and Raven appear on the benches next to us. Large purring beasts set them down as if putting a sleeping baby back into the crib. Raven clutches her arm and looks absently at the floor. Kira, on the other hand, is lying on her back unconscious.
“Kira?” My pulse launches at the sight of her motionless body. Raven jumps as if she didn’t know we were there and my voice had startled her. The increased heart rate sends more blood to my wound; flowing through my punctured lung and instigating a flurry of coughs. “Iames!” Raven shouts over my hacking rasps. “She’ll be alright. But I can’t help her till my sight returns.” “Returns?” Zune bellows, causing her to start again. “Rell, please brother, help Paviella! Heal her!” Rell, who just finished sealing the skin over his newly healed injuries, lifts his head to look into Raven’s eyes. “Easy Northman.” He replies, stepping over to her. Holding Raven’s face in his hands, he bends for a closer inspection. Her burned eyes were a matted white blotched by spots of black char and red fissures.
“It might take years to heal those eyes.” Zune jolts, nearly jumping to his feet. “What!?” Raven and I both gasp, also playing into Rell’s jest. “Without my help that is.” Zune grumbles. “Loki’s minion! Get on with it!” Rell chuckles to himself and offers a warning before placing his thumbs against her corneas. “This will hurt, but only at first.” He rubs her eyes, healing through touch and friction. Raven’s eyelids flutter around his thumbs as she cries out. Blood trickles down like tears. Zune, unable to bare Raven’s pain, fidgets with a hint of his own crimson emotion threatening to flow free. Her outcry starts to fade as her eyes begin to heal, but not before Zune punches through the nearest concrete pillar.
“There we are. Now, blink and see anew.” Rell backs away with his arms outstretched as if unveiling the prestige of a magic trick. Raven blinks in big, exaggerated movements. Zune rushes over and wipes the bloody tear trails from her face. Holding her shoulders gently, he stares at her with aching anticipation, waiting for her eyes to focus on his. “Paviella?” She soon gains control of her sight and settles on her lover’s gaze. Tangles of ruddy hair hang in his face, intensifying the icy-blue vibrancy of his eyes. Raven sighs and places a comforting hand on Zune’s cheek. “A sight worth dying for.” Without pause Zune whispers back. “No, a love worth living for!”
“Rell.” I cough out the words, “Can you help Kira?” Rell frowns. “Sorry, Iames. I work with the flesh. Her wounds are in her psyche.” Raven pecks a kiss on Zune’s forehead and grabs her satchel. Rell takes an urgent step toward her, “Raven… your arm. Let me…” Riffling through the bag’s contents with one hand she glances up at Rell. “Later. Kira comes first!” She emerges with a small plastic, vial-like canister. Its white label, marked ‘Schizandra Berry’, stood out in contrast from the deep-red powder inside. Raven jumps forward and kneels in front of me. “Iames, I need blood for the catalytic agent. You’re the obvious first choice.” I smile, stifling a cough. “I should have some left.” Rell’s face drops into view over Raven’s shoulder. “As soon as the Nurse has completed her tests, the Doctor would like to see you.”
Raven hesitates. I meet her concerned glance and slake her questions with two words. “Do it!” Then I take the canister from her and hold it below the opening in my chest cavity. She nods over her shoulder at Rell, and goes to work. Grabbing the flesh around my wound with her able hand, Raven rips and rends—creating fresh blood flow. Pain electrifies my chest, sending hot bile up my throat. My head jerks back as my muscles knot in a massive grimace. But, I swallow the desire to pull away, the instincts to drop the vial, the need to cry out, and the sensation that threatens to consume my consciousness. It’s only pain. I won’t allow it to hinder the process. Nothing is more important right now than helping to bring Kira back!
My eyelids flutter. I struggle to remain conscious. Flashes of unnatural light—the spawn of moonlight and overpowering fluorescents—hit my brain like strobes in a pitch black room. I feel the warm caress of blood on my skin as the canister overflows. I roll my head forward to look at my hand, but before I could focus, Raven takes the vial for mixing, shaking it vigorously. She sends me another concerned look as she gets to her feet. “Iames?” The sensations ebb and I regain a little strength in their place. “Go. Kira first.” Raven pops the cap and pours the solution into Kira’s mouth. Rell grips my arm. “Rest, my friend. Raven is tending to her. It’s time we look at mending your wounds.”
I lay back on the bench. The smooth, cool concrete is soothing against my fevered flesh. I stare aimlessly into the night sky while Rell puts my vitals back in order. The stars, despite the clear night, are acting shy—their dim flicker signals that our time is growing short. Zune was sitting just out of view, but I sense his smiling eyes upon me. I could almost feel the ambient vibrations from Zune’s imminent laughter. “What it is Norseman?” Quiet chuckles, rich with bass, ripple through the air, just as predicted. “I didn’t realize a Scot could Love a Rus, just so!” He bursts into deep laughter, too loud for my head, in my current state. “What are you on about?” His flushed face moves into view, blocking the stars, as he replies through a massive grin. “I heard you call for me during battle, like a stricken wife.”
“Aye, but you have it wrong,” I said, pausing to cough. Rell’s fingers, working to repair my lung, created an odd sensation of tickling mixed with pain. “…It was a shout in cheer. I thought I was rid of your big mouth again.” A sudden shift from sharp pain to deep, hollow hurt tells of Rell moving on to mend my broken ribs. Zune chuckles to himself and I am grateful for this quiet expression. Though, it’s not simply a quieter choice of humor, it sounds as though he’s no longer smiling. I mean to question his dissonance when a female voice interrupts my attention. It was the soft moan of someone slowly waking to discomfort. I turn my head to look over at Kira. Raven was sitting at her side and holding her hand as she stirs.
Kira groans and rubs a hand across her forehead. Massaging her face in big, slow circles, she pauses to take a deep breath. With a flurry of blinks, Kira tries to keep her eyes open. Then, through shuttered lids, she peers up at Raven. “Did it work?” Her voice cracks from a throat not ready for speech. Raven nods. “It worked. They’ve taken the conditioning. But, how about you… are you alright?” Kira manages a partial smirk. “A bit burned out and under a nasty headache, but nothing a couple days rest won’t…” The humor vanishes from her face, forgotten in a rush of panic. “Iames! Is he…” Overhearing her distress, I sit up quickly, incurring Rell’s complaints and the sensations of a reopened wound. “I’m here, Davena.”
Rell shoves me back down against the bench. “He’ll be fine, Kira, as long as he stays still enough for me to close him up properly.” The jolt stirs up some unfinished coughing in my lungs. And Rell shoots me an ‘I told you so’ expression. Zune, keeping his attention on the Lycans, breaks his silent observation. “Conditioning.” He repeats Kira’s word in an indirect murmur, as if he had to hear it again for it to sink in. After a brief pause he expands on his thoughts, speaking to Kira now despite his diverted attention. “And you are certain this… brainwashing will hold?” That’s when I realize Zune hadn’t moved his hand from the hilt of his sword since we sat down.
He was watching the werewolves the whole time, even in our moments of jest. And despite knowing it was somewhat part of the plan, Zune was still wary of their new congenial behavior. Warrior instincts die hard. After we found this little sitting area, they started collecting around us—waiting, like bored dogs with eyes begging for some kind of instruction. Most curled up on the floor in groups, but some remained active, conversing in a sorrowful discussion of mewling tones and snorts. A few chosen Lycans labor to collect their dead kindred—carrying the corpses and laying them in neat rows like imaginary graves on the main concourse floor.
Zune finally shifts his attention away from the werewolves as Kira starts to move. She strains in sitting up, even with Raven’s help. “Their loyalty is infallible.” Kira’s voice was porous and quiet, but there was no mistaking her confidence. And it’s contagious! I may know a little more about her plan, simply because I was a part of it as it evolved, but my doubts fade more each time she speaks. Zune, on the other hand—a Viking bred for intelligence housed behind a thick, battle-ready skull—is slower to adopt her certainty. “They are moving their slaughtered brethren as we speak. Will this not invoke a remembrance, a burning desire for revenge, or at the very least questions that need immediate answers?”
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