She knew there was something wrong as soon as she entered the house. The dim light; the smell; the damp dilapidation born of decades of neglect. Once, a century or so ago, it must have been a warm, a welcoming, Edwardian family home, detached from its similar neighbours by its own gardens in that street of a seaside town, and built of stone quarried locally with stained leaded glass around the front door and fireplaces in every room and a wooden staircase winding its way to the two upper stories where perhaps several generations of children had slept, dreamed, and happily played.
But now: now, she shivered as he, that man of some thirty years and beginning to bald, led her toward and into a rear room whose large grimy window showed a small overgrown town garden and a Cherry tree whose dying leaves seemed reluctant to fall even though a cold November wind swayed them violently to and fro. And looking, seeing, feeling, how those leaves seemed to so tenaciously still cling to life she, then so young, sensed something that made her recoil from that window. For, although she did not yet know that every room in that house concealed a body – each in various stages of decomposition or mummification – she felt in that moment their torment (their death, decay) singing, reaching, out to her.
She should have been next, for her room – upstairs – was ready with sheets and shroud freshly starched; but she had in her listening to their soft lamenting voices turned that few seconds required to see him lunging toward her, a long hunting knife in his hand. Then, somehow, in some way, he was gasping; awed – as his face and eyes showed – by her sudden movement, with the blood of his life spraying out from his chest. For in her turning and in her life-affirming strength she had caught and deflected his arm sufficient for the blade to be pointed inward upon himself. She stood back, then, to watch his falling and the life draining from him. And when, not long after, he was dead with that now bloodied knife sticking out of his chest she felt she heard some ghostly chorus singing of their thanks.
She left him there, as seemed only fitting, quietly closing the front door as she walked slowly away out in the last fading sunlight of that November day knowing what it was that she must do and where she must now live.
A year later that same English seaside town found her, returned from her worldwide travels. Still young in appearance – although not in her eyes – she might have gone unnoticed as she athletically ran along the promenade that, for over a mile, skirted the bay then at that hour on that day home to a calmful sea of a late October high tide. Might have gone unnoticed, were it not for the fact that her pink running attire, her apparent effortless running style, her lithe body, and her dark hair (gathered by a band and swaying side to side from her slender neck as she ran), garnished a particular type of attention from some men, and from the occasional woman. She did not mind this attention – even enjoyed it, given her new persona – and she was nearing the end of that morning run, slowing down as passed through the nearby park that led to her house, when she saw the attack.
A young man, taking advantage of the deserted park, was grasping the handbag of an elderly woman who refused to let it go. He punched that elderly lady, then kicked her as she fell to the ground.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Ceridwyn said to him.
Startled – for he had not seen nor heard her approach – he stopped, then arrogantly smiled. But she calmly, softly, touched him on his shoulder, the merest touch, and he stooped as if tired, exhausted, before – with his his eyes downturned – he shambled awkwardly away while she, after helping the woman to her feet, continued up that slight slope through the trees that led past the wrought-iron Victorian park gate to her welcoming Edwardian-built home.
Soon the Cherry tree in that small tidy town garden – fructified last December by fresh, and old, compost – might once again be reluctant to give up its leaves, and she would sit, by the window and a warming fire, dreaming of, and planning, new sinister adventures. And she would that evening smile, in her O9A house, thinking of that mugger and the nightmares that would now haunt his dreams for years and years to come. Or maybe, just maybe, she would take him and soon for her third opfer.
Source: Sinister Vignettes From The Order of Nine Angles (scheduled for publication Fall 2014 ev)