The silence of the room was disrupted by the sound of a dart striking a board. The dark hit the left side of the board which was a crude drawing of Anya (the dart hit Anya’s chest where the heart was). This direct hit did nothing to satisfy Vasta’s hate of Anya or her distaste of humans.
Growling, Vasta idlly flicked the next dart, striking Anya’s nose. Thump, thump, thump. Vasta threw the last three darts simultaneously, each one hitting a different target. As each one hit the board, she thought, ‘I hate Anya. I hate Anya.’ Getting bored, Vasta got out of her chair and leaped out the window to go for a glide to clear her head.
The marketplace was filled with lit lanterns as the humans went about their business, whether it was exchanging money for goods, heading home, or closing up shop. Vasta glared at the bustling activity below her with disgust. So many humans. It was taking almost all her willpower not to swoop down and kill as many as possible without getting shot or injured. She was so occupied with the scene below and her own thoughts that she didn’t notice the figure in front of her until she collided with it.
Vasta frantically fought to maintain her flight and succeeded. Angry, she turned to face the one responsible for almost making her crash. Her anger turned to a mix of anger and fear. In front of her was a male gargoyle. But was it the new gargoyle that joined Anya’s clan or…her father?
Squinting slightly, she saw that it wasn’t Baroq. Yet, she was still wary of the male. It was at that moment that the stranger spoke.
“I’m sorry about that crash. You were looking down and I should have moved out of the way, but I found you so lovely.”
Vasta relaxed slightly. This male was not of Anya’s clan. Plus, his comment of her being lovely made her blush. “Um, thank you. I’m Vasta.”
“I’m Seiya. I’m very happy to meet you, Vasta.”
Now that she knew his name, Vasta examined Seiya closer. His hair was black, almost cocoa-colored, his skin was a blue-green color. He appeared to be her age and a couple of inches taller than her (that was her guess).
“Maybe you and I can go to your home and I can meet your clan.”
“I have no clan. I was banished.”
“Banished!? What did you do?”
Suddenly, Vasta felt ashamed of why she was banished, but she felt that she might be able to turn Seiya to her cause. Besides, she couldn’t bring herself to lie to such a charming companion-at least not completely lie.
“I was banished because I tried to overthrow the leader. I did it because she was weak. She cares more about humans than gargoyles. I had to try and take command to save her and the clan. Now, I live to destroy the humans and make the clan see that humans are evil and dangerous.”
Seiya didn’t bat an eye. “I see,” he said slowly. “I don’t know if I agree, but perhaps you can change my mind.”
“Excellent. Come. It is almost dawn and we’ll need our sleep.”
As Seiya followed Vasta, he slowly shook his head. Here was a sad, sick gargoyle. She believed humans were evil! ‘Please,’ he prayed. ‘don’t let her learn my secret unless there’s no other option.’ He hoped that Vasta never learned the truth: He was a gargoyle/human hybrid!
Sonya leaped out of bed, excited. It was summer vacation. No school! A whole year had passed since Anya’s human experience and nine months since Terrace found out about his gargoyle/human heritage. It felt good to have at least one their parents that knew about gargoyles.
But, there would be time to think about that later. She needed to meet her friends Charlie, Clara, Terrace, and their new friend, Seiya.
“Hi, everyone. Isn’t it a beautiful day?” Sonya asked as she met her friends. She felt lucky to have such great friends. Charlie, Clara, and Terrace she has know since childhood. Seiya, however, they’ve known for two weeks. Yet, they’ve never seen him after dark. One of them would ask him to go to the movies, but he would refuse, saying that he already had plans though he never said what those plans were.
“Seiya, is something wrong?” Clara asked. All day long, Seiya had been jumpy and nervous, not at all like him. He was usually so confident.
“No, nothing’s wrong. I met someone last night and she doesn’t seem very stable.”
“Do we know her?”
Terrace watched their friend. During the two weeks they’ve known Seiya, he felt that there was something different about Seiya. He never said anything because his friends might say he was crazy. But today, Terrace felt his hunch grow stronger than ever. Maybe he’ll follow him and probably find out why Seiya was being so mysterious.
Seiya sighed with relief. Meeting Vasta had made him nervous and his friends had noticed. All day, he was trying to figure out why Vasta hated humans and how to get back to her home before sunset. He was so deep in thought about Vasta’s hatred as he headed for Vasta’s home that he didn’t notice Terrace trailing him.
‘Where is Seiya going?’ Terrace wondered. He watched as Seiya disappeared inside a vacant house. Quickly, he followed his friend. Seiya went up the stairs and around the corner with Terrace stopping at the top of the stairs and peering around the corner. He gasped in surprise. He saw Vasta in stone sleep and Seiya was taking off his clothes to reveal a loincloth underneath them. Puzzled, he continued to watch as the sun went down.
As dark shadows encompassed the sky, Seiya began to changed as Vasta began to awaken. Before the female had fully awakened, Seiya had completely transformed into a gargoyle, roaring and stretching as Vasta did the same.
Heading back down to the second floor (Seiya and Vasta were on the third), Terrace changed forms and then glided to the clan’s home so he could tell everyone what he saw.
“Seiya’s a gargoyle and he’s in league with Vasta!” Sonya exclaimed.
“We don’t know for sure that he’s partners with Vasta,” Terrace protested.
“Come on Terrace. You saw it.”
“Somehow, I’m not convinced. If Seiya also hates humans, then why would he mingle with them? He doesn’t have to walk among them. He could just as well be an outsider, a recluse.”
“Terrace has a point,” Anya said. “Perhaps you should confront him tomorrow. Say you know his secret and ask why he’s with Vasta.”
“I like that idea, Anya. I’ll do it tomorrow. We’ll find out what Seiya’s hiding.”
“With your help Seiya, I will succeed in humanity’s destruction,” Vasta said gleefully.
“Why do you hate humans?”
“They fear gargoyles. Since they fear us, they’ll want to destroy us, so we must destroy them before they find us.”
“But, we’ll be killed before we end up killing a whole city.”
“Not if we’re careful. Come. I will show you how it’s done.”
With a sick feeling in his stomach, Seiya followed. Since he met Vasta and learned of her hatred of humans, he decided to help her see that not all humans are bad. In fact, he found a spellbook in a trash can on the way home. One of the spells included turning another lifeform into a human, followed by a counterspell. If he didn’t turn Vasta around tonight, then he would have to use the spell.
Slash. “Aaahhh!” Slash. Thud. Silence filled the alley after a brutal attack. Vasta stood over the human corpse, calmly wiping the blood off her claws, using the human’s clothes to do so. Turning around, she said, “That’s how you kill humans. In a deserted alley, one at a time, until you’re ready to kidnap several at a time and kill them at the same time.”
Seiya had to admit that Vasta did make sense. But, such violence. “Vasta, not all humans are evil. I was raised by humans because my clan had deserted me. They were kind to me.”
“Maybe not all humans are evil, but we mustn’t take a chance. The humans must die and we are the ones who can make that happen.” Vasta began to climb the wall. After a few seconds, Seiya followed, his decision about her made.
It was almost dawn when Vasta and Seiya returned home. Vasta sighed. “Five humans killed. It was heaven tonight.”
‘But soon your heaven will be a nightmare,’ Seiya thought. Quietly, he brought out the book and opened it to the marked page. Raising a hand, he moved it in a twirling motion as he chanted in a whisper before he released a ball of blue light that crossed the room and entered Vasta between her wings. She gave no indication that she had been enchanted.
Vasta struck a pose and waited for the sun to rise. After a few minutes, sunlight struck her eyes, causing her to jump away from the window and into the shadows. The sun was up, but she didn’t turn to stone! What was going on?
Movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. Whipping around, she saw a human male that was dressed like Seiya, yet she didn’t see Seiya anywhere. That meant that this human killed Seiya, despite the fact that there was no pile of stone lying around.
The human smiled. “You still look lovely, Vasta.”
She paused. He said her name. He knew her! Glancing about, she finally noticed the absence of a shattered gargoyle. Looking back at the male, she said in disbelief, “Seiya?” The male nodded.
Vasta folded her wings. Wait! Where were her wings? She rolled her shoulders, trying to feel her wings, but they weren’t there. They were gone! Looking down, she saw two human hands. She was human! Glaring at Seiya, she cried, “What did you do?”
“You hate humans so much that I decided to turn you into a human to prove that not all humans are evil. I’m one of them.”
“You mean one of your parents was human and the other-,”
“-was a gargoyle? Exactly. But, I was raised by humans and my father. Do you think I’m evil? Of course not. All because I’m also a gargoyle. Now,” Seiya had just finished getting dressed. “I’m going to meet some friends in the marketplace and you’re coming with me.” Grabbing Vasta by the hand, the hybrid led Vasta out of the house and onto the street.
“Hi, Seiya,” Charlie called. “We were wondering why- Oh, I see.” Charlie caught sight of Vasta and almost died. Here was humanity’s enemy right in front of them and she was human!
“Sorry, I’m late, but I decided to bring my new friend so you could meet her. This is Vasta. Vasta, these are-,”
“I know who they are. They’re friends of the clan. They’ve ruined my plans every time.”
“And we know about Vasta,” Terrace added. “But Seiya, I followed you yesterday and I saw you change. What are you hiding?”
“Well, you see. I’m a human/gargoyle hybrid. That’s why I never join you for nighttime activities. I met Vasta and I want to make her see that not all humans are bad.”
“Nothing will make Vasta stop hating humans,” Sonya protested.
“She will if she wants to be a gargoyle again.”
Vasta was speechless. Seiya was threatening her with permanent humanity if she didn’t change her attitude about humans? She was quiet as she followed Seiya and his friends through the marketplace. She was so quiet that Terrace and the others tried to engage her in conversation. However, she kept pushing their attempts away until Seiya encouraged her to talk. Even then, the conversation was tense.
Seiya began to wonder in the afternoon whether having Vasta with them was a good idea. If the morning’s meeting was any indication, the answer would be “no.” But, as the day wore on, the answer became a “yes.” Vasta appeared to have relaxed and was talking animatedly with Clara.
“So, did you enjoy yourself?” Seiya asked after he changed forms back at their home.
“Oh, yes. I’m seeing now what you saw all along. I know I showed a vicious hatred for humanity, but that was because I was lonely. Now, with you here, I’m not lonely anymore and I’ve changed my attitude about humans.”
Seiya looked at Vasta in surprise. Had one day really changed her so dramatically? Or maybe it eas the day and his companionship combined that changed her. After all, she had admitted that she had been lonely.
Smiling, he said, “I’m happy that I’ve broken down the barrier between you and humanity. So, I’ll get the book and cast the counterspell.” Seiya left the room and returned a minute later, the spellbook opened to the correct page. Moving his hand in the same twirling motion, he let the ball of light fly into Vasta, changing her back into a gargoyle.
Grinning a truly feral grin, Vasta leaped at Seiya and ripped the book from his hands. “You fool. I only pretended that I reformed so you would change me back. Now, I have a new spellbook and tool to destroy humanity. A pity you have to die with them.”
Narrowing his eyes, Seiya said in a low and sad tone, “I tried to turn you around and it seems I failed. I hope our time together will eventually have an effect on you.” Walking over to a window, he leaped out of it and glided away.
Chuckling, Vasta opened the book to the first page and began to look over the spells. She read through the entire book, skipping the transformation and counterspell. As she read the last page, she frowned. There was no destruction spell that could effectively destroy the humans. Frustrated, she turned back to the pages she skipped and idlly read the counterspell. Suddenly, her eyes focused on the spell and gave it a good read-over.
“Seiya, you trickster! I’ll get you for this!” Vasta screamed as the sun rose, turning her human. The counterspell was a day/human, night/gargoyle spell!
Gazing at Vasta’s house and wishing her a silent farewell, Seiya hoped that Vasta would soon become humanity’s friend instead of its enemy. Sighing, he turned and walked away, heading for the exit out of Algiers.
A New Beginning.
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