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THE WITCH AND THE HOUND Novel, First Chapter – The Journey

Filed under: — Ernesto Oporto @ 7:56 PM, June 1, 2014

Book I – Premonitions


Chapter 1 – The Journey

The Drifter

John Sebastian, January 3, 11:59 PM, London, England

“Mister, can I borrow a cigar from you?”

Sebastian had been resisting the need to kill for weeks, it was like stones pressing on his shoulders, a pressure that could only be released when he killed.

He picked up the drifter up as a rag doll and slammed him against the stone wall, held him high by the neck, careful not to choke the man, he wanted him conscious so he could savor the hobo’s agony. The drifter had just asked for a cigar and he had finally snapped.

“Please, mister, I only asked for a cigar. Please let me go!” The old man started to kick Sebastian, but he didn’t pay attention to the blows, he was impervious to pain.

Sebastian was a big, muscular man, at six feet five he was tall, but he was also wide at the shoulder. And he was hard as a rock, from all the weight lifting that he had to do. He had an ordinary face, gray eyes, long black hair, big hands, a bland face that was quickly forgotten, and he liked it that way.

He plunged the knife into the old man’s left tight, careful not to cut a large artery, he wanted this one to last. His need to kill had been like a constant nagging headache, increasing his anxiety. He would feel better after this.

The tramp gave a howl of pain and tried desperately to wriggle out of the iron hand that was holding his neck. He tried to kick him again, but Sebastian did not feel the pain.

He had the rag doll of a man so high that he was able to hit him in the balls with a straight punch, to cause maximum damage and pain. The rag doll grunted, tried to contort into a ball of pain, but he forced him back against the wall.

He plunged the knife again into the tight, aiming just away from the first cut. The tramp gave a desperate shout of agony, but Sebastian was chocking him hard enough so only part of it came out. The old man put up his left hand to try to pry his large hand from his neck, so he sliced off his pinky finger.

He had spent hours putting a perfect edge on the blade and it cut cartilage as if it was butter. He smiled a twisted smile of hate and rabid glee and plunged the knife again into the side of the old man’s pelvis, twisting the knife to increase the white hot, blinding pain that the man was experiencing. The rag doll shouted his pain to the skies.

Tonight he wanted to create music of pain, gradual torture, so the old man would not die before he was finished with him.

The man’s pupils were dilated now with the raw, overcoming pain that he was feeling. He kept on moving, trying desperately to escape the grip that held him suspended.

He plunged the knife again, on the side, just above the belt, careful, careful not to hit anything vital, twisting the knife to maximize the pain. The old man was now crying wracking, loud sobs, snot coming out of his nose.

Suddenly he reached up, for the hobo’s head, and cut off the left ear in a single stroke of the finely honed knife; the man raised his hand to protect his face, so he sliced off another finger. The man howled like a wounded animal.

Sebastian lost count of how many times he plunged his knife into the rag doll that he kept suspended off the floor with his left hand. He had run out of non-vital places to plunge the knife so he plucked the eyes with the tip of the knife and this time a howl of extreme pain managed to escape from the old man’s lips.

He kept on cutting, turning the knife to increase the pain, cutting ear, nose and more.

When he came back from his ecstasy,  his music was finished, he held against the dirty wall a much smaller and lighter figure that he had started with.

He let the thing drop to the garbage strewn ground, cleaned his knife on the drifter’s frayed overcoat, and walked away without looking back. He was feeling better, like the killing had lifted an enormous weight from his shoulders.


The First Appearance

Alizabeth, January 6, 9:15 PM, London

Alizabeth Gray walked over to the telephone, picked the heavy earpiece of the  phone facing the receiver that was attached to a wooden box on the wall of her withdrawing room, “Hi Alizabeth, it’s Emily Dawson, how are you doing? I haven’t heard from you for over a week. I thought you were going to visit our friends the Ellison’s last Saturday, but I did not see you there.”

“Hi Emily, I am sorry I haven’t called, but I have been feeling out of sorts for days, moody and brooding, in a dark mood. I don’t know why I am feeling like this, maybe it is the snow and fog that seems to have taken over most of London.”

“Maybe we can go to the Adam’s Ball this weekend?”

“That would be nice, Emily. Maybe going out will lift my spirits, I think as something of importance is going to happen, and I am afraid that I am not going to like it. Going out will help. Call me Saturday morning?”

She stood by the window of her apartment, looking at the snow falling in the night. She had let the servants retire early, since she didn’t need them for the rest of the night.

Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her head. She dropped the cup; it rolled over the wood floor, spilling her tea on an oriental carpet. A pressure built in her head, she felt something akin to a door opening in her head. She sat down on the floor.

She thought vaguely that she was dreaming. The alternative was too much to bear. Insanity ran in her family. She felt an icy shiver going down her spine.

A presence manifested itself inside her head, “Please do not be alarmed, and no, you are not going insane.”

“You may call me the Hound,” said the voice. “My real name is impossible to translate into human sounds. So I go by the name of The Hound.”

Alizabeth felt fear building up in her, like some other women of her family, she was going mad. “Why are you in my head? What is happening to me? It hurts. Why are you hurting me?”

She was standing up now, her hands holding her aching head.

“I am talking to you because you have an affinity with the spiritual world, you are a Witch. Pain is a side effect that we both experience, as the price we pay in order to communicate.”

“You are driving me mad. Get out of my head and don’t come back. And I am not a Witch.”

“So you do accept that I am speaking to you inside your head?” The voice had a taste of smugness in it; she hated it.

She rebelled, hated the feeling of intrusion, wanted to feel normal again. She was standing up, rigid with panic and fury, her arms by her side, the hands closed into fists.

“I told you, whatever you are, I don’t want to hear your voice. Go away and do not come back.” She was talking aloud, if anybody saw her they would certainly think that she had gone crazy.

“And I do not want to speak in human heads, I do not want to feel the excruciating pain I feel right now.”

“Then why not get out and leave me alone? I don’t want you in my head. Leave me alone.”

“For my transgressions, our Elders, who have the power over me, have given me the penance to work with you. Did you think for a moment that a being as I would like to enter a human brain, suffering, pain and expending my life essence in the energy required to maintain a link with you?”

“Then why not flee, go far away from your elders and stop the pain?”

“There is no place to hide. These are powerful forces that have set you and me on a path that we have no choice, but follow. You will have a partner, who will help and protect you. You will be in danger, but you will be saving lives that would cease to exist otherwise.”

“Will I ever be able to be rid of you? Otherwise, I will go insane.”

She was overwhelmed, her shoulders drooping like a weight had suddenly settled on her.

“I will not be in your head more than necessary, the effort to maintain a connection is debilitating. I just wanted you to understand that you will be going on a journey.”

“Whether you or I want to or not is immaterial and is going to require all your abilities, all your willpower, all your essential goodness to survive the journey.”

She felt the Hound gone and the pressure and pain along with it. She had the feeling that dark days were ahead. Could she had fallen asleep for a moment and dream it all? Or was she going insane?

She sat down on the rug and cried.

She felt an impotent rage against the bad luck that had made the Hound choose her.



The Visit

Martha Walker, January 17, 10:10 PM, London

“My God, how did you get in? What are you doing in my house?” Said Martha Walker from her bed.

His face must have shown the beast under the surface.

“Get out, get out or I will scream.” She shouted.

She got out of the bed, grabbing for her purse where she kept a small knife, but he got there first and threw the purse into a corner.

She tried to get around him to get her purse, but he blocked her, she didn’t want him to get hold of her.

He was wearing a pair of thin red leather gloves, and just stood in front of her, smiling with a leering smile. “I’s time to play my Visit with you, Bitch.” He said.

He lunged for her, but she ran away from him, he kept advancing, slowly, he was enjoying stalking her like it was a game.

He lunged for her again, lazily, still playing.

She ran towards the kitchen barely missing his grasping hand. He followed her to the kitchen. She was holding a big butcher knife and held it in front of her.

“Stay away from me, or I will kill you, I swear I will. Get out. Get out.”

He tried to reach for the knife in her hand, was pulling her on the floor towards him, but she managed to make a slicing cut across the left hand. He pulled back fast, he felt incensed that this Bitch had been able to cut him. The leather gloves he was wearing were thin, no protection against a very sharp blade.

She ran towards the front door, but he lunged and got hold of her foot in the hallway. She tried to stab him as he pulled her towards him.

“Help me, help.” She was screaming at the top of her voice.

She lunged for the hand that was holding her and managed to stab him again. He let go of her foot. She jumped to her feet and made it to the front door, but he was able to catch up with her, and she turned knife hand outstretched.

“I will kill you if you try to touch me again. I will.”

“Take it easy, I just want to have fun with you. If you let me I will go away after that, otherwise…”

Then she was screaming at the top of her voice for help, her back was to the door, she was trying to open the locks to the door with her left hand.

She kept fumbling but could not open the locks. No luck, she could not do it.

She began to move away from the door and put the furniture between him and her. She ran for the hallway, but he cut her off, she retreated back behind the furniture.

He kicked the couch away as if it was a simple chair. He was feeling angrier. She got behind the sofa again, her knife hand ready. He started for her and tripped on the sofa.

She slipped away from him and ran quickly up the stairs to the bathroom, but he was now gaining on her on the stairs, lunged for her foot but she got out of his grasp and stood, shaking at the top of the stairs.

He came up barreling for her; going for the knife. She stabbed him again, this time on the back of the right hand. He pulled back, slipped on the steps and went rolling down the stairs, but he arrested his fall down the stairs, grabbing at the balustrade.

He began to run up the stairs after her.

She ran to the bathroom and closed the door just in time.

He crashed into the bathroom door and it bowed under his blow.

“Help, somebody help me! Call the Police, help me.” He could hear her shouting.

He smashed his body against the door.

The door was buckling. It was not going to keep him out.

He crashed into the door again and it broke into splinters; he was inside the bathroom.

He came straight at her. She tried to stab him in the chest, he moved to avoid the knife and tripped into the tub, getting tangled with the shower curtain.

She leaped out of the bathroom, took the stairs going down to the lower floor, and was going for the front door, but he was faster, jumped down the last few steps of the stairway and almost caught her against the door.

She barely had time to slip into the corridor, run for the back door and open it. She went into the dark of her backyard. She tried to hide behind some bushes, but it was winter and there were only branches to hide behind. Only the moonless night prevented him from seeing her.

He started to look for her,  trashing through the garden, stomping over plants, chanting “Bitch, Bitch, Bitch,” over and over. He began to shout,  “Come out, come out, wherever you are. Come out and play.” He had reached the far corner of the garden.

She made a run for the back door of the house, but he saw her and started running to catch her.



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