Taurus Moon: Magic and Mayhem - Chapter One

This is unedited so excuse the typos.


Chapter One

I sliced an uneven line across Darla’s neck with the silver blade from my wrist mound to let her father know I was serious about cutting her throat. A thin line of warm blood trickled down her gullet to the rest of her naked body. Grimes snarled, but hesitated, his long fingernails and fangs retracting to normalcy. His red eyes reverted to a lifeless gray. As the dark brown fur slowly faded back into his skin, his body shrank several feet returning to his natural height of six-four.

Grimes, naked and fully human, did not bother to hide his manhood, staring at me as if I was the one wrongly dressed for our confrontation. “You are bluffing, sir. You would not kill my daughter in cold blood,” he said not sounding entirely convinced of his words.

 Darla snarled like a wild animal and then said, “He’s weak, father! Kill him now!”

“Make one move, Grimes and I’ll take off her head. Trust me, I don’t bluff,” I said.

“That’s not exactly true. Since my association with you, you have indeed deceived your way out of at least five precarious situations,” Mosley said deadpan while in his Idris Elba form.

Grimes, Darla and I slowly turned our gazes to the hologram. “You’re not supposed to let the bad guys know you might be bluffing, Mosley. Sort of defeats the purpose, don’t you think?” I scolded him. He winced apologetically and then his image disappeared. When my stare returned to Grimes, he was smiling, his teeth elongating. “Despite what my blabbermouth friend said, I will cut her throat!”

Something in my expression or body language must have told him I was speaking the truth, because his teeth were normal again. “You dare call my daughter and me bad guys, when it was you and your friends that broke into my home in a pitiful attempt to rob me!”

Can you believe this guy? “You’re just going to skate over the fact that in the midst our pitiful attempt at robbery, that Gully and I saved the lives of a family you and your little girl were about to make a meal of. Here’s a tidbit for you, eating innocent folks definitely makes you and Darla the bad guys.”

Darla squirmed in my grip. I pressed the silver blade tighter against her neck to remind her to play nice. “We have to eat,” she said as if that justified everything.

“That’s why the world has meat sections in supermarkets, baby. You and I both know it’s not a prerequisite to feat on human flesh for your kind. Raw meat is all you need to survive.”

“We are predators. We hunt for our food,” Grimes huffed. “You have no right to be here and no right to take our prey!”

“You’re only half right, buddy,” I retorted. “I don’t have any legal right to invade your home. But I do have a moral one. I need something from you. Not to keep, only to borrow,” I said trying to get some control over the situation.

Grimes stood ramrod straight and folded his arms together. “You are joking, correct? My daughter is your prisoner and you expect me to let you borrow something from my house?”

“Kill him, father,” Darla yelled.

I slapped her across her left temple. “Will you shut the hell up? Grown folks are talking here.” Too late, I realized, I went too far with her.

Darla went into full animal state in an instant, growing two feet in height, hair covering her entire body, two inch fangs and long, fingernails as sharp and strong as the finest steel knives. She threw her head back, slamming it hard against mine, forcing me to release her. I reeled back several steps, my vision an explosion of colors. I swung my blade wide and wild to make sure they couldn’t get close while I tried to regain focus. I could have used Gully right then and there, but he was busy getting that family Grimes and Darla were planning to eat.

By the time my vision cleared, both father and daughter were full werewolves and drooling hungrily at me. Standing side-by-side, they looked at each other and then spoke in a series of grunts and growls, apparently debating who would get to bite the first chew out of my flesh. Grimes took a step back, letting Darla take the lead--it seemed that they made their choice. I glanced over my shoulder, weighing what my chances would be if I took off at a sprint down the corridor. There were no doors and no turns, at least not until I ran down a long stretch about thirty yards.

I would never make it. If I turned away to run, Darla would be on top of me before I made it three steps, biting and clawing into my back. My pistols were already emptied from our fighting earlier, though I had spare magazines, I’d never have time to reload. Planting my feet into a defensive posture, I was left with no other choice but to fight. The one thing in my favor was the fact the two decided to come at me one at a time.

Darla let out what I guessed was a laugh as she started toward me. She leapt to her left. Her paws pounded heavily against the wall and then she launched herself off to the wall on the opposite side. She bounded back and forth across the walls in a zigzag so fast that she was almost a blur, in an attempt to confuse me. I didn’t focus on her movements because it would have been impossible for me to track her that way. Instead I listened to the timing of her paws as they made contact to the hard surface.

In my head, I counted down, three-two-one. Dropping to one knee, I sliced my blade across the air above me. A dark shadow passed overhead at the same time. A gush of warm air and the smell of foil breath brushed against my face. An incredible weight fell on top of me. Darla and I went barrel rolling down the corridor. Her body stopped its momentum before mine. I continued another few feet on my back. Dizzy and aching, I lifted my head up and tried to get my bearings.

Darla was sprawled on the floor, holding her jaw together as blood and spit spilled out. My strike wasn’t a killing blow, but I nearly separate her head. Darla’s supernatural healing ability would eventually heal the problem. But for the meantime, she would be out of the fight for a while. An anguished howl refocused my attention to her father. Grimes was charging down the hallway, leaping over Darla, making a beeline for me. Working my way to my feet, I noticed my tumble had shortened the distant to the end of the corridor.

I turned and ran. Unlike Darla, her father wouldn’t be nearly as easy to subdue. He had thousand years of fighting in armies throughout history, wasn’t as headstrong as her and made a habit of never underestimating his enemies. I made it to the end of the hall and turn a sharp left. There were antique tables, vases and artwork adorning the walls. Retracting my blade, I shoved over anything I could get my hands on to create obstacles for him to avoid. It didn’t work out as I planned, rather than duck and weave through the mayhem I’d made; he barreled through them as if there were no obstructions at all.

I chanced retrieving a magazine from my pocket and inserted it into my pistol. All the rounds were silver. Stopping my run, I whirled around to shoot. There was nothing behind me but smashed furniture and artwork. The werewolf had disappeared. Cursing under my breath, I knew he could come out to attack from any direction. Grimes’ castle probably had a network of secret passages running from every room and corridor. No matter which way I went, I was bound to be running into an ambush.

The best maneuver would be to stay where I was and try to find a way around his little mouse trap. “Mosley, I need you,” I whispered, knowing that it was pointless. Grimes’ enhanced hearing in his wolf state could hear a pin drop from a mile away.

“Is that absolutely necessary, sir? I mean, can’t you do this alone?” Mosley answered.

“Do we really need to have this conversation you crazy computer. Of course it’s necessary, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking for you.”

He let out an exhaustive breath. “Very well, sir.” Mosley appeared beside me. “How may I be of service?”

“Give me an overlay of the castle’s interior and then point out any heat signatures other than my own.”

 Mosley’s form changed from Idris Elba to a three dimension map. Red blips indicated Grimes and his daughter. Darla remained where I had left her, but her father was quickly circling around to get ahead of me down the hallway. I was about to turn in the opposite direction, heading back toward Darla when more red blips appeared on the first level of the castle.

“Are they any cameras on that level you can tap into so I can have a visual?” I asked.

“Wait one moment, sir.” The overlay faded for several seconds and then was replaced with what the blips were on the first floor.

Entering the castle like they’d been invited to an all you can eat dinner were a dozen or so werewolves. They were headed up the front and rear stairways and taking all the elevators up. That howl earlier from Grimes wasn’t anguished over his injured daughter as I had thought. It was a call for help.

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