The Halo Breed…
THE HALO BREED
A WEEKEND STORY
Grace Klubi stood on the rooftops of the palace and gazed across the expanse of what had once been a lovely city.
The sun was setting, but she could not see its beauty because the red mist, as always, just turned everything into a tinge of red.
This had once been her favourite spot.
The roof was covered, and had a lovely C-shaped pool, and she had swum here several times in the past with her father. It had comfortable beds, and a mini dining-table where she had feasted countless times with her father.
But, always, there had been something missing!
Her life had been on the edge, and as she grew up she had stood countless times at this same spot gazing out, and knowing that something was waiting for her, that her destiny was just over the horizon.
And then, Lord Lastor and his horde of demons had arrived!
Grace had been ecstatic knowing that here, at last, was her destiny! Her young heart had beat with so much excitement, so much adrenaline, waiting for the future to unfold!
Even with death all around her, and with her father reduced to nothing but a grovelling, murderous monster, she had not been touched. She had still felt that it was all part of the bigger picture, all part of a great destiny that needed to become real.
But the euphoric expectations had lasted until she witnessed Lord Lastor tearing up Mrs. Araba Obeng to pieces like she was nothing but a dirty, stinking doll!
Grace had heard the plopping and squishy sounds the poor woman’s bones made when they were pulled out of their sockets. The sickening, shredding sound of skin being forcibly torn still haunted her ears… and then the geyser of blood!
Suddenly, even when they returned to the palace and the incident was dulled by the passage of time, its effect on her remained and seemed to grow heavier by the day.
That horrific incident seemed to have torn the veil that had blinded her. Now, standing on the roof of the palace, she could hear the screams that tore across the air, vocal indications that a Hazie, Hunter or Hadesian had struck again!
It meant one or more of the citizens of Densua had fallen prey, either eaten horribly or brought to the palace to be kept as food for Lord Lastor.
Now, she knew the people were trapped in the city, domed in by the impenetrable red mist, fighting a battle of horror that they could not win.
Grace’s heart had received another jolt when the Hadesians brought in a new hunter several days ago.
One look at the gangling, grimacing, growling hunter had made Grace Klubi flee to her room with horror!
That new hunter was female!
It was Dawn, her own sister, daughter of Sarai the Queen!
Grace knew she had used her powers to strike terror into Sarai’s heart, and that was why the woman had fled from the palace!
And that was why Dawn had not been in the palace to be protected by Grace, but had been out there alone with Sarai, and eventually she had been captured, bitten and changed into a hunter!
Grace knew it was all her fault! She had brought this in dawn!
What did it all mean?
Did it mean Sarai was dead, killed by the Hadesians that had turned Dawn?
But Dawn was a good girl with a clean heart! How then had she been turned into a Hunter? To the best of Grace’s knowledge, only wicked-hearted people could be turned to hunters! So what had happened to Dawn?
The following day, Grace had been on the roof of the palace when she had seen the horrible form of Dawn moving drunkenly into the meadows behind the palace walls.
Grace had gotten her horse and chased the girl.
She had located Dawn in an abandoned shed that had once been used to keep fresh horses captured from the wild. Dawn had been on the floor, making horrible retching noises and weeping in a wailing, horrible way!
She had growled at Grace, but when Grace fluttered her wings, something like recognition flashed across Dawn’s face, and she became less violent.
Grace had tried to speak to Dawn, to find out what had happened to Sarai, but the girl had been glum.
Suddenly, Dawn had rushed at bales of hay stacked in the corner, and had fed on it like the sweetest meal in the world.
And to make matters worse, she had drunk the tepid, dirty water that had been left in the throughs for several months… just like a wild animal!
Grace had tried to stop her but the girl had been filled with violence, and in the end she had allowed Dawn to have her way.
Fortunately, Dawn had remained inside the shed, and Grace had ordered some of the surviving servants in the palace to feed her three times a day with grilled fish and roasted meat, something all the Hunters seemed to tolerate.
And now, the beautiful city of Densua was painted with red!
Red mist, red blood, red agony!
Grace saw the terror of the people; they were weak, disorganized, terrified and absolutely in the power of these demons!
She had been sexually and emotionally drawn to Lord Lastor when he made his appearance down below the palace, but now she was terrified of him.
Watching his face transform as he tore Araba Obeng to pieces still haunted Grace, and watching him chewing off the heads of people daily and then drinking their blood was as horrible to her now as it was distasteful.
“Ah, my beauty, I knew I would find you here,” the deep bass voice of Lord Lastor said behind her, and Grace whirled around with a little gasp of suppressed fear.
She forced a smile but shuddered involuntarily when she saw the blood stains on his chin.
She could see dark splotches on his teeth, and red lines on his gum, and she shuddered again; he had just fed, no doubt.
Another person was lying dead; whoever it was had been Lord Lastor’s dinner!
For a moment Grace was so overwhelmed that she could barely speak, but she knew it would be disastrous to let him see how revulsed she was and how, gradually, she was beginning to detest him.
“I came for a little air, my love,” she murmured listlessly as he embraced her.
He held her tightly, and there was an unpleasant scent around him that wafted strongly into her nostrils, but she steeled herself to bear it and even wound her arms around him.
“He comes, my love,” Lord Lastor said in his deep voice over her shoulders. “Yes, he comes from the Underworld. He has passed all the tests on his Walk of Life.”
“The Breed of the Halo?” she asked softly.
“Him, yes,” Lord Lastor replied. “He walks through the Underworld and approaches the golden door, the last of the doors.”
“The Walk of Life… what is it?” Grace asked with furrowed brows.
“Nothing to worry your beautiful head over, my love,” Lord Lastor assured her. “Suffice to say it is to test his readiness for me! But, beyond the golden door, he will be alone… and that is where we can foil him, and if we’re lucky, stop him even before he gets here!”
Grace became rigid.
“We?” she whispered haltingly.
“Yes, you, my love, of the unblemished hymen, of the purest evil, you and me, together, can meet him beyond the golden door.”
“But how?” she asked as she stepped out of the circle of his arms. “Does it mean we are going to travel to meet him?”
He smiled patiently and raised a nasty forefinger to touch her forehead.
“Mind games, my dear, on a higher level!” he said, and once again she sensed the tight wickedness in him, the same tension she had felt in him just before he tore Araba Obeng to shreds. “This evening, you will step into my bedroom with me!”
Grace quailed inside as her knees shook suddenly, horrified by the very thoughts of this entity slaking his lust on her, but she forced herself to blank out her thoughts and forced out a happy look on her face.
“Ah, finally, my Lord will make a real woman out of me!” she whispered, sounding excited.
He was smiling, but his eyes were cold and dangerous as he looked at her, and she could feel a numbing pain in her head and she knew he was trying to get into her head and read her by uncovering her thoughts.
He was capable of that, she knew, and was happy that she could block him out of her head, although the process was very painful.
“No, my love, no sexual trysts yet,” he said as he stopped probing into her head. “We will just meet this Halowan beyond the golden door. Mayhap, we’ll succeed to vanquish his resolve, and reduce him to a grovelling idiot for the rest of his days in the Underworld! Come with me, darling! We must prepare!”
He offered her his arm, and Grace held it tentatively and followed him across the roof to the inner sanctum of the palace.
“Take dinner and have a bath, my love,” Lord Lastor said as they paused in front of Grace’s door. “Wear your white dress, and white underwear. It is really important.”
He smiled and glided on, leaving a confused Grace staring after him. eventually, she entered her room and, feeling dirty suddenly, she rushed into her bathroom and took a long, warm shower.
She later had a large dinner whilst he sat by her sipping a tumbler of blood, and when the darkness began to gather, Lord Lastor took her arm and led her to the extreme western wing which used to be a room where antiques were kept, and which Lord Lastor had converted into his room.
The huge double doors opened even before the Hadesian demon touched it, and then he stood aside, bowed slightly and motioned Grace Klubi through.
“After you, my fair princess,” he said in a charming voice, but again the smile failed to reach his eyes.
Still quivered with apprehension and entered through the doors, and came to a startled stop, her eyes opening wide with shock and absolute fear for a moment.
Whatever it was she had expected to see, it wasn’t what met her eyes!
Grace stared at the long stretch of short green grass that seemed to go on and on across the room!
Surely, this could not be a room!
There was a brownish footpath through the grass, and at the far end of the path was a golden door that had fire all around it, and beyond it was the angry sky filled with ominous blue and white-topped clouds.
Grace felt a sudden bout of terror and hesitated.
“This is not the time for fear!” Lord Lastor growled dangerously behind her and pushed her forward almost roughly. “Follow me, darling!”
He walked along the path, and Grace stared at his broad back.
“Is he… is the Breed of the Halo… and is he coming through here?” she asked in an unsteady voice.
“No,” he said without turning. “It is the final step of his Walk of Life, and he will pass through the Underworld Grass which is similar to this scenario! I’ve caused its illusion here so that we can be there in spirit, my love. Now, take this!”
He turned to face her, and suddenly his eyes were glowing like embers of fire as he handed her a short silver-handled sword.
“Wh-wh-what should I do with this?” she asked, unable to hide her fear.
“Eschew the fear!” he bellowed furiously, and fire emitted from his mouth, nostrils and ears. “There is nothing to fear!”
“Am I supposed to stab him?”
“No!” he said angrily and pointed to a point in the path. “You’re unblemished, a virgin of the witch, Grace Ellie Klubi of the Skits! Your aura will prevent him from making progress as you stand in his path, and yet he cannot harm you because you will not be there physically, only in spirit! This Sword of Hades will keep you safe from him, so do not drop it under any circumstance! Do not speak, and do not move! Just stand still here until I tell you it is over. Do you understand?”
He looked so fierce that Grace gripped the silver-handled sword tightly and nodded hard.
“Good!” Lord Lastor growled. “He comes now!”
He suddenly glided off his feet and went up high near the ceiling, and then his body turned face-down until he was hanging in the air above grace, and his fiery eyes looked down at her!
“Here he comes,” Lord Lastor said savagely. “Remember, do not move! Do not speak! Remain absolutely still in his path, Grace, my love!”
The flaming door in the distance opened slowly… and then he stepped through!
A man the likes of which Grace had never seen before!
He was a boy, but yet he was a man.
And his handsomeness was beyond any, and his fierce was like death as he stared at her from across the field.
The Breed of the Halos.
The Halo Breed.
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