Little house on the Bayou.

Savannah Cross has been diagnosed with a terminal blood disease, all her options are exhausted when out of the blue her clairvoyant aunt has a vision that deep in the dark, Louisiana Bayou there is a vampire who may become Savannah's last hope. She sets out to gain her immortality, but what happens when he doesn't want to give it?

She is running out of time, and the only way she can convince him is to find out what he is hiding and use it to manipulate him to turn her. All the while dealing with the fact the Bayou is a new environment for her, it's an ancient, dark place, and Savannah becomes a threat to more than just the vampires secrets.


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7. Chapter 7 ~~ Spy skills

 

 

 

I'd just got to my feet, and brushed myself down ready to go when there was loud rap on the door.

" Who the hell could that be?" I thought, a deep line forming between my eye's.

I whipped the door open dramatically, my legs parted and my hands firmly planted on my hips.

A delivery guy stood there looking bored, although his eyebrow shot up a little as he appraised me standing there. In his hand, a carry case for my beloved familiar Silus, and at his feet a pile of packages that were in effect Silus's luggage.

I was unable to bring him with me when I travelled to Louisiana, and he had to fly separately with his tank, and accoutrements, and no he wasn't happy about it. A fact enforced by the evil look he was giving me through the holes in his carry case.

Silus is a Meller's chameleon, and he just happens to also be my familiar.

Yes I know what you're thinking, a witch with a lizard as a familiar? What can I say, this is the form the demon chose, and he chose me. Being a little 'quirky' myself, I wasn't overly surprised. What? You were expecting a cat? Whatever...back to the delivery guy.

" I have a delivery for a miss Savannah Cross?" He checked his clipboard as he spoke.

" Yeah that's me, where do I sign?" I asked, hand extended impatiently.

" Just here please?" He held out the sheet, and I scribbled my signature before snatching Silus's case and lugging in his belongings.

The delivery guy gave me another quick up and down look, and before he could articulate his thoughts into asking me out, I slammed the door with a grin.

" What the hell am I doing in this prison? Get me out you evil witch, I was half hoping you might have been eaten in the swamp before I got here, as punishment for sending me separately to this hell hole." Silus's voice floated into my head, and his large, already bulbous eye's popped out at me in his version of 'stink eye'.

I rolled my eye's at him, knowing he hates that, and set about freeing him.

"Where the hell have you landed us? Ugh look at this place....I hope you're waiting on a moving day to somewhere with air conditioning. I know you can afford it, I've seen you're bank balance." Silus continued to rant at me, as I pulled him free and set him on my shoulder.

" Well then you will be pleased to know, we're on our way out to scope out the vampire's house. We've got to go now . So we'll unpack your stuff later. " I told him, and is indignation was clear.

" I've just got off the damn plane woman. Not even the offer of a drink, and you're stuffing me in a bag...not even a Chanel one at that..." His voice trailed off as I stuffed him in my backpack, and swung it on my shoulder.

Time to get our ride.

***************

The intense heat of the day hits the scummy water of the swamp, causing steam to swirl off the waters surface eerily. George cuts the motor, and the small boat sputters into silence amongst the reeds.

I rattle off instructions for the water taxi driver to pick me up, and turn to get off the boat. A strong hand snatches my wrist and whirls me around.

" Miss Savannah..." George starts. A pained expression pinches his features, as though a war were raging in his mind, and his terracotta eye's burn into me. My gaze dropped to his clutching hand pointedly. His lips part in surprise, and he releases me with a gasp.

" What is it George?" I ask warily.

He snatches the ratty brown hat from his head, and wrings it in his ebony fingers.

" There are things..." He swallows with a noisy gulp and my eye's flit over his large Adam's apple bobbing in his throat. His throat? See I'm already obsessed with people's necks, I was born to be a vampire...ha! I think to myself inappropriately.

" Things that....will use you're magic against you, in the swamp." He enunciates every word slowly as though it caused him physical pain to speak them. My mouth falls open in an unattractive gape.

" Use it wisely." He finishes, and whips around to start the boat motor, drowning out the million questions I wished to ask in response. Before I could gather my wits and ask any of them, I was staring after the churning green water as he sped away.

********************

It took a while longer than it should have done to get to Acheron's house. I picked my way through the swamp, sending out sensing spells, and having to identify every beast, and animal that lurked along my path, and making damn sure I didn't get nailed by anything this time. I was being 'oh so careful' , but I also had to make sure 'he' wasn't in the vicinity. If he caught me there before I activated the cloaking spell, then it was all over and my mission was wasted, and me possibly dead. After all he has no reason not to snap my neck the moment he sets eye's on me, although this time I'd like to see him try!

The shadows deepen as I get closer to where the vampire lives, I can see why he chose this part of the swamp. The Azure sky above me, is becoming smaller as the tangled mass of gnarled trees stretch up and close in on me either side, blocking out the light. the long damp limps reaching toward each other overhead like elongated fingers reaching to clasp together and never meeting.

Mold and damp is thick and cloying in the back of my throat, as the vegetation rots around me. The varying stages of decay turning everything that should be a vibrant green into a spectrum of muddy browns and sickly yellow. The algae Green Swamp water darkened to a near black as it stretches out before me. This was certainly not meant as a access route that's for sure, I grumble to myself, as I crawl over slimy fallen branches, and unbending reeds.

I stop abruptly, sending out another sensing spell in search of a lurking vampire. There's nothing, although there is a rather large mass of alligator I will need to get by unnoticed. I mumble the first line of the cloaking spell.

" Invisique / phasmatos radium calaraa, phasmato..."

It's all I need as a witch of my standing, and I stretch my hand up, and pull it down again slowly, activating the spell as I do so.

" Ok Silus are you ready for this?" I whisper to my sulking familiar.

An exaggerated snoring noise fills my head, and I tut loudly. " Tssk! C'mon man, what would you have me do, they wouldn't let you come in my hand luggage. I hiss at him. No response so I head deeper into Acheron territory.

The house looms into view, dark, and menacing. Water laps gently against the quaint wooden jetty, where the gas lamp from aunt Pru's vision still burns, illuminating the exterior, and making the windows ominously dark, and uninviting. Every now and again, I look up, just to remind myself it's still daytime, a very fitting home for a creature of the night. A patch of swampland, enclosed in shadows.

I cast several sensing spells, checking over and over that Acheron was out snacking on alligators, or whatever the hell he does out in the Bayou?

"Ye-p! I whisper, again popping the 'P'. Mr expert smouldering look, is not at home!"

I circle the large house, taking in that the big hard vampire, is pretty paranoid, and has all the doors and windows magically protected. Talismans and grave dirt are subtly protecting every entrance, or indeed....exits! I think to myself, Goosebumps rising across my flesh.

" Why would he need protecting from magic?" I muse, tracing the Sirius talisman etched into the wood above the front door, with a fingertip.

" Did you ever think, he might be protecting himself from you?" A vice pipes up inside my head snappily.

" Silus these carvings in the wood are centuries old.....I met him a day ago!" I reply, just as snappily.

" No matter, my magic is easily stronger than the magic in these talismans, I guess he was dealing with amateurs before, huh?" I say, smugly, the corner of my mouth twitching in a smirk.

"Phasmatos siprum, emnis abortum, fasila quisa Exilum san."

The front door clicks open underneath my hand, and creaks open. The entrance hall stretches out before me, and I swallow nervously. I feel the cool air from inside the house on my face , and am relieved to get out of the hot, sticky , muggy, heat of the swamp. I whirl around at a sound behind me, and cast another sensing spell, just in case something had gone wrong with the ones I'd already set. Nope....it's just something rustling in the undergrowth.

Well here goes nothing.

***********

I step inside onto the dark varnished wood floor, and remind myself why I'm doing this....

I need some background on my vampire, see if I can find a weakness, a way to manipulate him? Something.

" If I can find some juicy blackmail material, all the better right?" I whisper at Silas, as I gaze around the shadowy hallway.

" Let me out of here, I'll probably spot something you wouldn't realize is useful." Silus hissed back at me.

" Oh....right, sorry." I wince, and lower down my bag to let him crawl out and up onto my shoulder. He lies around my neck, his tail wrapping around under my throat, and the familiar sensation comforts me.

" Ok here goes nothing." I heft my bag back onto my shoulders, and turn to the first door to the left of the stairs. A talisman is etched into the doorknob. If I'm right, my powers far proceeds the talismans protection, and the door knob turns, the door creaking open. The room opens up before me, brighter than the gloomy hallway. Tall windows let in shaft's of sunlight that filtered in through the tall tree branches, that stand like sentinels on either side of the house. The room smells musty, and unused, but my eye's widen in surprise, as I take in the modern and classic, eclectic mix of furniture that filled it.

The floor, like the hallway, is dark stained wood, probably oak. I let out a low whistle of appreciation. This guy has some cash! Black leather setee's and armchairs, dot around the room, centred around a enormous, flat screen , L.C.D television hung on the stone coloured walls. A heavy, oak coffee table sat in the centre of the room. A long abandoned empty coffee cup, sat neatly on a black leather coaster. In the centre of the table, an ornate wooden bowl, holding three, thick white church candles, of varying lengths.

Behind the sitting area, an old fashioned, but still somehow bang on trend ( although somehow I doubt this was a reproduction piece) sat a roll top wooden desk, the type with those cute little pigeon holes in. Bingo! I think, and head straight over to it, and I run my fingers over the smooth, polished wood in awe.

" Stop admiring, and imagining yourself lady of the Manor Mc creepy, and find something useful that will get us the hell outta here!" Silus hissed at me, flicking his tail into my face for good measure.

" Ow! Jesus ....I was absolutely not, imagining any such thing. I don't even like the guy, he's an arrogant asswipe." I mutter back to him, my bottom lip pushed firmly out in response, as I begin to flick through piles of boring paperwork. Inside the desk, a small, locked drawer catches my attention. I don't waste time searching for the key, and unlock it with a spell.

Inside a pile of aged looking note paper, with neat, cursive handwriting. I pull one out from the middle of the pile, and Scan the writing . I read Acheron's name, and then another....Delilah. The letter was to Acheron from Delilah. I skim through a few others, they are all from her? Interesting! A particularly loud creak of an old floorboard from somewhere deep in the house sends me whirling around in panic. I feel Silus dig his sharp claws into the soft skin of my shoulder as he tries to hold on, and I wince.

" What was that?" Another sensing spell tells me nothing new has entered the house, and I slowly let out the breath I'd been holding. It does remind me that I don't know how much time I have, so I carefully peel away a couple of the letters, and stuff them in my bag, putting everything back as I'd found it.

I walk quickly out of the room, and stare up to the top floor from the bottom of the sweeping staircase. I glance nervously at the front door.

" Fuck it." I run up the stairs.

At the top floor landing, I stare down the hallway to rows of closed doors. Dust motes spinning in the shafts of light from the windows. I try the door nearest to me. It's locked, A quick glance at the talisman on the door knob, has my forehead creasing in worry.

"This is a strong magic protection amulet Silus, I don't think I can bypass this?"

" Try..." He says, deadpan.

I murmur the spell......nothing happens. The door is absolutely inaccessible to me. I hit it with the a few more spells. Magic removal, a stronger unlock spell, still nothing. My eyebrows rise in surprise, and I head to the next door, then the next, and the next. Each and every one of them was barred to my magic.

Flooded with disappointment, I turn on my heel, and thump down the stairs again. As I reach the bottom, a new sound whispers in the air, A dry rasp from somewhere toward the back of the house. Like....like a throaty laugh? I head to the door the sound is closer too, and to my relief the door is unguarded enough for me to open. To my surprise, a high end kitchen is revealed, and I marvel at the expensive granite worktops. Before I could get too distracted, and explore, a metallic clang from under the house.

Something trying to get my attention? What is that....it sounded like something being kicked over? Before I could voice my thoughts, a soft clicking noise broke the silence.

" Where is that coming from? It sounds like...like....someone tapping their nails on something?" Silus voices my own thoughts.

My eye's dart around, and I spot a door. A basement door.

" Here, it's coming from down here!" I whisper, flying toward the door.

I press my ear against it and squeeze my eye's shut in concentration. I almost convinced myself I could hear soft, shallow breaths, when Silus rudely interrupts.

" Are you going to try the damn door, or keep practicing you're X~ray skills?" He says sarcastically.

I huff my white, blonde hair out of my eye's in frustration, and study the doorknob, checking out the engraving before turning the knob. A symbol, I have never encountered before, is etched into it. unlike every other door handle, this one is bronze, not wood. What type of talisman requires bronze? I whisper to Silus.

I get no reply , only the flicking of his tongue in my peripheral vision as he tries to catch a plump, swollen black housefly that buzzed around us lazily. I try the handle anyway, casting as I did so. As my fingers turned the doorknob, a spark resonates, and a shock seizes my hand, sending me reeling halfway across the room.

" Holy shit!" I squeal, as I scramble to my feet, shaking my hand wildy.

The scary thing is , I actually felt some of my magic seep out of me as the spark lit through my fingers. I say nothing to Silus, who is scuttling toward me, after being thrown from my shoulders when the shock went off. Before he could say anything, and begin blaming me, a wheezing, raspy laugh floated up from the cellar. It was clear this time, definitely a laugh. I shuffled back a step or two, distancing myself even more from the door. Silus's eye's bugged out more than usual, mirroring my own widened eye's.

" What. The. Fuck, Was. That?" My voice rises an octave with growing hysteria.

" I don't know, but let's get the fuck out of here." Silus replies, burrowing into my bag, after I've hefted him back to my shoulders.

Before I could turn on my heel, a low rumbling growl, vibrates under my feet from behind us.

I freeze. My sensing spell failed? My brain whirs as I try and find an answer, and it clicks. Whatever drained my magic with the door, turned off any chance of me being notified of something approaching. A magical tripwire if you will. I check, and the cloaking spell is still active. Whatever's behind us is smelling us, not seeing us.

The growl ramps up a notch, and footsteps, thud quickly across the floor toward the kitchen. I whip around and come face to face with a large, bristling, black hellhound, with glowing red eye's, and far too many sharp white fangs, as his muzzle wrinkled back to expose them.

I move quietly backwards, and as far left toward the door as I could manage, when Acheron inadvertently fills my escape route.

" What is it Fang?" His eye's narrow, as he scans the room, eye's flying right over me.

The hound continues to growl, stalking the space around me. When suddenly a fiendish grin, breaks across Acheron's face, and his perfect eyebrow's lift in surprise. The expression is fleeting, and his plump lips disappear in a thin line of annoyance, his eye's narrowing again.

" Where are you witch? I might not be able to see you, but I can smell you...you stupid bitch!"

 

 

*********Author's note : I know this was a little long this time, but I hope you enjoyed it? If so please consider by supporting the story by giving me a vote, and/or comment? I love to read what you think. Uh-oh Savannah's for it now? How should she go about calming Acheron down? What the hell is in the cellar? ********************

 

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