HalfBlood

Kanya - A name, a mix, an incarnation.

She was raised in a realm of flame and scale, living with the serpentine drakes she rides and controls, taming them to her hand. Yet a few days before her sixteenth equivalency, a visitor appears in her room, lusting for her strange blood. Everything changes for Kanya, in ways she cannot fathom. Who is her real family? Why couldn't they keep her? Why did that vampire try to kill her...and is literally everything she was raised to believe a lie?

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8. Chapter Eight

If Asriel hadn't plucked the dybbuk from mid-air and tried to smother it in his wings, I'd have just let it jump on me and rip me apart. I could smell the Light coming off him from here, and combined with the terrible shrieking and sizzling of the dybbuk as it burned from Asriel's blessed touch, it made a pretty powerful assault on the senses. The shrieking groan of air whistling through dead vocal chords with the hiss of Light burning demonic flesh, and the harsh reek of cat urine-like dybbuk scent mixing with the overly-sweet and good scent of Light.

"Kanya...the box!" Asriel exclaimed, struggling with the dybbuk as it struggled and slipped free, covering his bare chest in that black ick as it slithered free.

Huh...oh, the dybbuk box! "I'm on it!" I yelled back, getting up and scrabbling to the kitchen as Asriel seized the dybbuk by the bony wrist and flung it into the far wall with a sickening crunch. The dybbuk box...I had to destroy the contents, and revoke the greeting somehow. Fine time to wish I knew how to write Layla tov in Hebrew.

I could worry about that part later. First the components. Take back payment, protect the summoners, and remove power. Pennies, hair, ritual items. Simple really.

If I knew how the bloody hell to destroy two metal pennies. Simple fire wouldn't do it, so I had to find something else. The edge of the table impacted me hard in the stomach as I leaned over, reaching out and taking hold of the pennies and hair. I had to destroy these somehow...but how?

The hair would be simple. I could get rid of that quick, with just the box of cook's matches on the windowsill and a shot of olive oil. Taking hold of the bottle, I poured a quick shot of olive oil into one of the corners of the sink, dropped the hair and pennies in the slippery substance, and took out a match as a loud crash echoed from the other room. Either Asriel or the dybbuk had just been thrown into something, and I was praying it was the dybbuk. Angel or not, Asriel spared my life and was probably the only angel who wouldn't turn me into blessed and destroyed fragments just for having Dark blood. That sort of thing is rare.

Plus he was my friend, and I didn't want him getting hurt. With a loud scrape, I lit the match, and touched the small flame to the oil. I only had about half a second to move my hand out of the way before the flames leapt up and engulfed the locks of hair and pennies, narrowly missing the cuff of my steadily-greying blouse as I jerked my arm back.

Well that was one component done. The hair was spitting as it frazzled and and burned, and the pennies slowly blackened in the flames. There was enough oil in there to have it last a while, so hopefully it would be nothing but burned fragments and two chunks of black metal by the end.

Next...the ritual items had to be destroyed so they could never be used again. The candlestick and rosebud would be easiest, but the wine goblet...I dunno, get the metal meat tenderising hammer and bash it until the goblet part was completely flat? Shove it in the oven?

I can worry about that when I get to it. First, the rosebud. Over the crashing and that demonic snarl - like a really pissed off German Shepherd that's a few seconds away from deciding to pounce and maul - I took the rosebud and dropped it into the small fire in the sink, so it burned alongside the hair and pennies. It crackled and spat as it burned, blackening the corners of the pinkish-red petals as they curled in the flames. It sounded a lot like the dybbuk spitting with rage in the main room, as Asriel muttered what was clearly a religious chant judging by the metaphorical iron spike piercing my brain from his words, and the dybbuk's retaliation of putting him off with the lights flickering. Huh, unless Asriel was epileptic, which I doubt, it was wasting its time.

The wine goblet would be next. Hopefully it would work in time, as I don't know how long Asriel could fight off that thing. It barely fit into the palm of my hand it was so tiny, which made whacking it with the meat tenderiser out of the question. Taking down the cook's matches again, I wrenched open the oven door, turned the gas up to full, lit a match, and ignited it.

The blue gas flames certainly had the power to disfigure this thing and make it unusable, and it would work even better with the leftover oil in the tray at the bottom. I dropped the goblet in the oil-filled tray and slammed the door, keeping the heat in. That should do it. If it got hot enough it could soften the gold goblet, and plaster it in the burned remains of the oil, it definitely would be unusable by the end.

I had to deal with the candlestick now, and that should be simple. It was white ceramic, painted with olive vines and some sort of turquoise flowers, so I could easily make this unusable. The crashes and deep snarls coming from the main room were getting more and more vicious-sounding, so I'd hope the dybbuk was on its way out and giving one last push. Just in case it wasn't, I'd best not act like I had time to spare, and actually get on with it. I cast down the ceramic candlestick onto the wooden floor, breaking it into about four pieces. That wasn't enough though, as at that state it could still be fixed and reused. I found the top piece of the candlestick, where a long, slim candle not unlike the ones in my old dorm room would fit nicely, and I slammed my foot hard onto it with a loud crunch, turning the candlestick into pieces and plunging the kitchen into darkness.

Oh crap. That might have been a mistake. Even with predatory senses, I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Rendered blind, all I heard was the faint crunching of porcelain under my foot, and all I could smell was the ammonia-saturated cat urine scent of a dybbuk. The air felt heavy, like it was sitting on my shoulders and trying to push me down to my knees, and one single wrong move would... well, I don't want to think about what might happen.

I began picking my way quietly around the edge of the table, feeling my way in the dark. Every single footfall sounded like a brick being dropped, and every creak of the floorboards sounded like a tree falling to earth. Something must have happened to Asriel for this, as I doubt a Light creature would plunge the house in darkness, and earlier the dybbuk was interfering with the electricity.

Yeah, this was definitely very bad. Very, very bad. Every movement I made felt like it was a movement too much, and any second now I was probably going to walk into a corpse dripping this icky black stuff and wearing robes made of its own skin.

Not to mention what it had probably done to Asriel. I have heard rumours of angels being killed before, but never by anything as low as a dybbuk of the Lesser Undercroft. Despite being a creature of Light and a sworn enemy of half of my kind, Asriel was like a friend to me, and I didn't want him to get hurt.

First thing I needed to do was get to Asriel, and make sure he was alright. The whole 'Layla tov' thing could wait. Fixing up an injured angel couldn't. My hand was shaking as I took it off the table, reaching out in front of me as I steadily crept through to the main room. My hands were my eyes for this, as the entire house was bathed in black.

It stank of ammonia in here, and the rough feeling of claw marks tickled under my fingers as I took hold of the doorframe. Not even a faint glow pierced the darkness, as I steadily began inching my way forward. My hands outstretched in front of me, I brushed the top of the sofa with one finger, and gripped on tight. I had a rough idea of where in the main room I was now, even if it was pitch black, and probably trashed from Asriel's battle with the currently elusive dybbuk. Cautious, with each sound I made amplified, I used the sofa as a guide and felt along it as I inched around the the end of the sofa.

It reminded me of a horror movie, but one thing never shown in horror movies is how your eyes flick around in the pitch blackness, desperate to see something. When you eventually get into somewhere with light, your vision has tunneled out to a mere pinprick, meaning you don't see what you're trying to get away from until it's staring you right in the face. My eyes were definitely flicking around right now, looking around for something, anything, to focus on.

That was when I found the feather.

It didn't exactly burn me when I touched it, but it definitely felt uncomfortable under my fingers. Not unlike the itchy feeling from getting bleach on your hand, or wearing latex gloves when you don't know you're allergic yet. The unmistakeable burn of mild Light on a creature of the Dark. It could have only come from Asriel's wings... and angels don't moult.

I couldn't give a rotting scale about the dybbuk now, as Asriel was clearly injured. "Asriel..." I whispered, listening to my voice cut through the air like steel on ice. "Asriel?" I whispered again, before a faint glow of white light began to manifest in the far corner, along with a quiet groan of pain.

Now the faint glow of his wings bathed the corner of the room with him in, I could get a good look at Asriel. Scarlet blood flowed from his nose and dripped onto a large wound on his chest, and he was splattered with the dybbuk's black ick. His wings were spread out against the walls, and he'd clearly been thrown in the corner judging by the broken-looking angles of his wings. Several feathers, both white and gold, had been ripped out, exposing what looked like a skeleton wing beneath. His eyes slowly opened, and weakly managed to focus on me as he groaned in pain.

"Asriel," I began, before he cut me off by slowly raising one ick-splattered arm and pointed at me. His hand was shaking, and that was no way a healthy amount of blood to be dripping from his forearm, as he managed to weakly whisper one word to me.

"...run..."

I barely had time to register what he said, before a slimy mass that dripped black ick all over me leapt at me from behind, pinned me to its bony, hollow chest, and the other hand took hold of my throat and began squeezing.

If that dybbuk was trying to choke me, it had another thing coming. My elbow found its taut, thin gut, and pressed in hard as I bent over forwards and forced it over my shoulders, slamming it on the floor as its claws dug into me. They were pointed and hooked, like cat claws, and cut in painfully. The dybbuk was even more repulsive up close, with an upper row of pure fangs, nothing but, and absolutely nothing in its lower jaw. Its fangs were covered in black ick, and when it let out that dead groan, like a cow in terrible pain, I saw its black, forked tongue reach out to taste the air in front of me.

Ok, this was officially the most repulsive creature I had ever laid eyes on in a long time, and it was going to kill me if I let it. Out of options, I snatched up the feather that had probably been ripped from Asriel's wings, and shoved it down its throat.

I had to rip my arms away and back up from it, as it began choking and retching, spitting out black ick as it tried forcing the feather out. Tiny wisps of black smoke curled up from between its fangs as it spluttered from the burning effect of the Light on the angel feather, and it doubled over in pain as it rolled off the sofa.

That wasn't gonna be good enough though, as I'd only weakened it and pissed it off. I had to find some way of killing this dybbuk, and quick. Scrabbling slightly, my feet seemed to slip on what I'd previously been stable on as I tried to get to the kitchen. Could I get a kitchen knife and have that work? It was worth a shot, especially if I sliced it open enough so it couldn't move.

Yet I had made a fatal mistake. Though it was only for a second, I turned my back on the dybbuk, and gave it the chance to recover and dive on me, forcing me to the floor and knocking the wind out of me. I didn't even notice I'd shrieked from the takedown until I heard Asriel weakly call out my name, and until after I banged my chin hard on the wooden floor.

I was not letting the dybbuk get the better of me though, no matter what. I forced myself to turn over so I was on my back, as the dybbuk tried to rip off the back of my head but only got a handful of my hair in its ick-covered, skeletal fingers. My hands were covered in ick as I clawed at its shoulders to force it up off me, and I could feel something wet running down my forehead and into my hair. The dybbuk snarled down at me, licking all the way up the side of my face with its long, forked tongue.

I don't know if dybbuks - or even Lesser Undercroft demons as a whole - even have genitalia, but even if they don't a hard kick to the crotch would definitely put it in a lot of pain. My right foot shot up and hit right between the fork of its bony, skin-clad legs with a sickening crunch, as I forced it off me. Now free from being pinned down, I sprang up and carried on looking for a knife, hoping this would kill the dybbuk.

I never even got the chance to pull open the drawer with the knives in, before it grabbed me by my hair and pulled me backwards. I could see my arms flailing out in front of me, desperate to grab onto something as a bright light began slowly enveloping the room, consuming all darkness, forcing the dybbuk to cower back to the side of me.

I couldn't see much after that part though, as I smacked my head on the edge of the kitchen table, and had blacked out by the time I hit the floor.

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