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Where are you, Father?
My eyes squeezed shut as the strident sound of steel tearing disrupted the dinner. A pang hit me as I opened my eyes suddenly smelling the pungent scent in the air. My nose wrinkled in disgust. What was that smell? I uncovered my ears to hear the sound of bedlam breaking out in the hall. The incessant shrieks erupted from the back where most people ran from. Instead of running from the scene, I ran to the back, trying to see what had happened. Well, you know what they say. Curiosity killed the cat, and that’s exactly what my name is. Cat.
The curtains where torn, so I brushed them aside. Peeking over the debris, I saw what had been the cause of the chaos. Bodies, one after another, scattered this section of the hall. In their midst, I spotted a haggard looking boy with bloodshot eyes, who turned to fix his glare on me.
I was momentarily stunned. His sharp gaze had been so menacing; his hands were covered with blood.
“No!” said an unfamiliar voice.
And that was when I blacked out.
Screaming, I awoke from my comatose state. A low chuckle caressed my face. I blinked a few times, regaining my focus.
“Excuse me,” he said, still chuckling. “But I believe we haven’t met.”
His voice had a heavy accent, something I couldn’t place. A light tan covered his skin, and he was clad in dark clothes. It took me a while to realize he had stretched out his hand. I hesitantly took it, but instead of shaking it, he bent over and kissed it, all the while his eyes were on me. I felt a flush creep up on my face, and I looked away from his light eyes. They held mine with such vehemence, it made me tremble.
“Where are we?” I blurted, finding my voice. He arched a brow. Jealousy flared through me; I always wanted to do that.
“Maybe the antidote was a tad too strong…” he said dismissively, almost to himself. Then louder he said, “It alleviated the symptoms though. Except for the three day coma, I’m glad.” Something I couldn’t name flashed across his face, and his gaze held mine once more.
“Antidote?” I shut my eyes, trying to remember.
“Yes, antidote,” his tone softened. Stroking my eyelids, he said, “In case you don’t remember, I had to cajole you a bit to take it.” He chuckled again, but it seemed harder.
I glanced around the room. My God, this place is simply immaculate. An ornately designed bottle caught my eye. It must have been the antidote. I rued going to the dinner in the first place.
“Ummm… I know this is late… but why did I need an antidote in the first place? For what?” I opened my eyes as I bit my lip. He blinked, taken aback.
“You really don’t remember?” he mused, his eyes heavenward.
“No.” I continued to chew my lip.
“Well, this”—he took the bottle in his hands—“is the antidote. Let’s just say it cost nowhere near a pittance.”
“Oh.” I knew desperation colored my tone, because he grinned at me.
“No it’s okay,” he said. “It’s what I do.” He went to the couch and sprawled on it.
“What do you do, hmm?” I had to ask.
“Indulge in you…care to your every whim…whatever.” At first I thought he was being sarcastic, but there was an undercurrent to his words. “Do you know who I am?” He leaned forward, staring intently.
“No.” I blinked. He let out a long sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. There was an awkward silence, and then he stood up and stretched out his hand.
“Come on, get up,” he said. I took his hand and climbed out of the bed. From the drawer, he withdrew his car keys.
“Where are we going?”
“You ask an awful lot of questions, don’t you?” he scoffed.
“Still didn’t answer it,” I teased. I had an odd urge to be friendly with this man.
“We’re going to pick up some stuff, and the going to your dad’s place.”
“My dad?!” I nearly shouted. It wasn’t possible. He died before I was born! No…
“Yes,” as if he heard my thoughts. He looked at me and I hesitated.
“Who are you?” I asked coyly as he went to the driver’s seat. I sat next to him at the same time he sat down. The man sent me a lopsided grin. Something gleamed in his eye.
“I,” he drawled, “am his apprentice.”