Archive for the ‘Baobhan Sith’ Category

Stockbridge Siren

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

I knew I was being followed as I walked down Lothian Road. The walk was supposed to focus my mind on strategy and absorb the energy from the presences in the November night air while I was about it. I got to the block where the old Woolworths had been and felt it again: that sense that eyes were boring into the back of my head. I looked back and got a quick flash of something small and scaled diving into a doorway.

Acting on impulse I jumped onto a number 11 bus intending to get off somewhere along Princes Street. The town was quite crowded for this time on a Wednesday night especially since it was arctic and had started to snow, little flurries soon becoming big, fat, fan dances.

The bus was packed and full of wet, steaming people, some of them in all senses of the word making me want a drink myself. Instead I contented myself with going over what I knew about the Baobhan Sith, or common or garden vampire’s that haunted Stockbridge.

They tended to live in clusters with a dominant vampire calling the shots. They were like insect colonies operating on what seemed to be a form of weird shit telepathy although no one had gotten close enough to know for sure and lived to tell the tale.

Holy water and stakes were a joke and one soul who’d tried them ended up impaled on the pointy end of his own stake driven by slow, incremental degrees through his rectum. It had taken him a long, long time to die so I’d heard. Like Luke she could withstand daylight and although she did not sleep in a coffin, she kept some for her own amusement, once memorably to bury one of her human hangers-on alive.

How she had ever managed to attract any human followers given her meat-eating proclivities was a question for the shrinks frankly.

But then fools and their lives were easily parted in my experience.

The Office

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Inside it was dark and smelled of ozone. I took my glasses off and flicked the little torch on. I was in a huge open plan office with broken furniture throwing shadows on the windowless walls. I ran the torch around the ceiling and found it was a long way up and that the unit had a mezzanine floor. Scarlet and burnt orange mingled sickeningly telling their own tale of what had taken up residence in this godforsaken part of the city. Where the hell were twins?

“Ruby. Rufus,” I called. Whatever was here knew of my presence so it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d crept in or marched up and down with a brass band. I motioned to the vampires to follow me over the threshold but they would not obey. All three had returned to there natural form, stubby wings beating hard on bony bodies like heavy fists on flesh. They were on all fours, massive hind quarters and strong forelimbs giving me an inkling that they were built for more than speed. I was betting they could run like dogs although a hell of lot faster. One of them started a growling sound at the back of its throat and the other two took up the refrain. It rose in pitch as though warning of imminent attack and the hackles on the back of my neck rose.

“Come with me,” I said again.

They fell silent and glared at me with slitted red eyes. The sudden silence was shocking after the little siren song I’d just been treated to.

“Stick then,” I said moving back outside and to fasten the collars around each throat. I secured them to a metal grille next to the door and locked them with the key as though they were mere mutts and not the carnivorous monsters that they were. “But if you misbehave I’ll kill you myself.”

It was pathetic move more for the symbolism of sit stay than anything else and I was under no illusions that they could not escape with contemptuous ease but I was running on empty so it would have to do. They’d either go along with me for whatever twisted fucked up reasoning such creatures used, or they wouldn’t.

One of the monsters was trying to say something around all those teeth. I didn’t catch it at first but eventually I made it out each gasping word:

“You. Will. Die. They. Burn. Down. There. They. All. Burn.”

I snorted in disgust and went back inside to whatever waited and the unpleasant smell of sulphur. The spectral colours I saw without my glasses, the residue of unhappiness, violence and pain were familiar to me, but the concentration was not. It was as though someone had thrown luminous paint in those shades over the walls, the floor, the fabric of the building. Whatever haunted this place, it was not a simple thing and it would not go easily. I was also getting the distinct impression that it not just one presence, but legion.

The Dead-Lights raced ahead, lighting the way in more ways than one. They raced along the ceiling, along the walls, into corners and crevices, swept the building and the ground underneath. And that was when the first ball of fire streaked down from the mezzanine and exploded into the wall inches from me. It burned hot and bright but it was no ordinary fire.

I was beginning to understand why the vampires had not wanted to enter the place. Why three flesh eating freaks had the luxury of a choice denied to me was something I’d deal with later. If I survived….

Bilious Gods and the Vampire Next Door

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Edinburgh’s birth and the land upon which it was built was nothing more than a volcanic plug spewed out of the belly of a bilious god; destined to become a precarious high point where people felt safe from invasion, but unfortunately were not. They built a wall, a stone girdle as though that would protect them from what was within. And when the girdle became too tight, they built up and up giving the world its first plague ridden high rises. But that of course was so Old Town darling, and the New was supposed to be the antidote to all that nasty disease and poverty. And maybe it was, but it was also sterile, without the bloated, infarcted beauty of the old where most of the supernaturals made their home.

But there was a newer, tougher breed of supernatural that had no need of such sentimental aesthetics and I was going to its lair. As I turned left into Dean Terrace past the carefully preserved des res from another era, I tried to focus on the non-existent plan which so far amounted to rooting around in the monster’s lair while it was absent hoping to find The Mask which of course would just be lying at the end of a trial of arrows along with some clues about the identity of two murderers who may or may not have known its owner twenty very odd years ago.

Finally onto Ann Street and I would have loved to have known how a flying lizard centuries old had managed to infest one of its mansions. Number 28 was next, the lights were not on but that did not mean no one was home. I walked up the short rubbish strewn, weed filled path and rang the bell which I could hear clanging around the house.

No one came. Not one to take no answer for an answer, I pushed at the door and it opened. It wasn’t really that surprising that she didn’t think to lock the door, it wasn’t as though she needed to be security conscious and if random council workers or posties went missing more plausible explanations could be found, palms greased, influence exercised. The beauty of this type of predator was that it lay in wait amongst its prey perfectly camouflaged until it was too late.

People didn’t tend to suspect their neighbours of being vicious, vampiric killing machines. Or at least not for long…

Burns Night

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Back at my thankfully Rufus-free flat I sat in the living room eating toasted cheese washed down with a large crystal tumbler of Talisker and listening to Rod Stewart warbling The First Cut is the Deepest in grim tribute to a grim day. My trusty home stitches kit had been required to patch up the saw wounds and the effort had drained me. The Sith had been banished to their room like sulky teenagers and I tried again to call Ravi with no luck. Where the hell was he? He always had his mobile on him that much I knew.

I was going to have to abandon my flat for a while as doubtless Crowe knew where I lived. Even coming back now was very risky but I had shit I had to attend to not to mention take with me so I had no choice. The plan was to go to a different hotel every night to make it harder to track me. Crowe could find me if he really wanted but I was going to make it has hard for him as I possibly could. Magic, even the kind Crowe practised took time and sacrifice and I intended to take full advantage.

Turning the television on to the BBC 24 channel, I was treated to Edinburgh in flames, reminding me of the vision the Guardian had shown me on Arthur Seat.

The fire had not stopped at Gorgie.

There were now separate blazes starting, apparently spontaneously, and no one could figure out why. A map plotting their progress showed clearly that the city was indeed surrounded by its very own burning ring of fire.

My phone rang giving the first few bars of Snapper’s Dumping You displaying Ravi’s number. But it wasn’t Ravi on the other end…

The Vampire’s Prayer

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

We circle the house

each one of us the eyes and ears of the others.

Where there were three

there is now

one unholy trinity.

We slide like water over brick and mortar, seeking a way in.

Seek and we shall find, wherever the meat tries to hide.

Fi, fo, fi, fum, we smell his blood and it has begun.

Somewhere inside this concrete nest

trapped blood races through untapped veins.

The flesh overcoat inside these insecure walls has no idea he is about to be worn.

Let us in
Let us in
Let us in

Unholy Wedlock

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

I led the three vampires into the living room and ordered them to stand in front of a small table containing a crystal decanter foolish enough to have its top off.

“You must now bind yourselves to me by blood,” I told them. Another tip from Ravi although I don’t think he had expected me to be foolish enough to use it.

I motioned to them to come forward, extending my two index finger-blades. They hissed, features distorted to display a little of what lay beneath. I’d have to teach them the error of their ways and hope that I wasn’t turning into a ghoulish version of Henry Higgins in the process. If I was very unlucky they’d develop cod-cockney accents and the horror would be complete.

Sullenly they extended their wrists and I slashed each in turn, quick slicing motions that brought brackish blood smelling faintly of the sea welling up from pale skins. Like an old hand I caught it in the decanter before slashing my own wrist, taking care to do it horizontally. The wrist was probably not the best place but I only needed a few drops and the symbolism was worth it. The delicate patter as my blood joined theirs: a metallic tang, a brief spot of crimson in the darkness of the viscous fluid marked the most dangerous point of our brief acquaintance. Morgan’s cheeks visibly hollowed and Marjorie choked, drool running down her perfect chin onto her t-shirt.

They were, I realised, starving. For the first time I felt like the idiot in the tigers’ cage who had volunteered just to impress but now wished he hadn’t as they picked his limbs off like boys with flies’ wings. A brief hiatus, pregnant with the import of what I’d just done hung heavy in the room. To my knowledge no one had messed about with this particular little ménage a quatre and there was usually a good reason for that.

“To blood of thine add blood of mine, together ere we die. So mote it be,” I whispered. The spell was cast and, much like the act of flinging yourself under the wheels of a bus, there was no undoing it. No going back.

With their gaze boring into the back of my head I locked the decanter in a small cupboard by the window, noticing absently that snow was falling thick and fast obscuring the world as though some old god had wished it away. Even Fife, usually all too visible from this window, was a distant nightmare that I couldn’t see anymore. I needed to get going or I’d suffer the same fate. I threaded the key onto a chain and put it around my neck where it hung glistening dully in the meagre light. No sound disturbed the gravid silence apart from the tick-tock of the clock and the faint rumble of traffic muffled by the snow.

A marriage made in Hell, indeed. But who was going to wear the trousers?

Carnivore Carnage

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

The three vampires materialised out of the gloom luminous against the night sky gravid with snow.

“We found nothing mistress,” said Morgan in her best imitation of polite. I wasn’t fooled though, being able to see into her bloody little fantasies with me as head scream queen. Of the three she was adapting the fastest to simulating humanity. Was it so wrong to improve the already considerable skills of a ravening predator?

Her prey of choice was, after all, only human.

“There’s nothing here,” said Margaret in her fluting, girlish voice. Marjorie said nothing, curling her lip to reveal sharp, white teeth.

“Where are the…brother and sister?” asked Morgan.

“I was hoping you’d be able to tell me,” I said.

Marjorie lifted a slender hand.

“Something comes.”

A milky, tainted light appeared from our left, coming from the city. But it wasn’t anything to do with the fire. A multitude of corpse-candles, will o’ the wisps, fizzed past my face and I involuntarily stepped back to avoid them. Their touch bewitched the mind into seeing what it wanted to see: loved ones long dead; treasure beyond counting; the list limited only by the imagination of the willing victim. I wasn’t ready to know the shape of my heart’s desire.

Not yet.

A chill wind blew my hair across a frozen face obliterating momentarily the piles of rubble and hulking machinery dotted around like a dinosaur’s graveyard. I was bone weary and sore from my assorted wounds. The playful scratch by Morgan throbbed and I suspected it was infected.

But I hadn’t been paying proper attention because the tainted light had not passed with the corpse candles. A low sepia cloud descended with the suddenness of a tsunami. It roiled in on itself briefly before covering the ground, enveloping everything in its path. I could see odd elongated shapes within it, like the distorted shadows of human beings thrown out by a fire. One shape raised a six fingered hand the fingers of which looked as though they had more joints than any mere human possessed.

Mistress

The Sith were afraid. My beautiful bold carnivores were finally afraid. A thrill of satisfaction gave me the strength to go for the knives hanging at my belt. Whatever it was would have to pry these steel babies from my cold dead hands.

Ring of Roses

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

A heavy sleet was being vomited from above when I got out the taxi a couple of streets from Crowe’s house. I walked towards it, a Victorian stone villa set in grounds too big to be called a mere garden, ploughing my way through drifts of freshly fallen snow. The gate was open as though someone had recently passed through and not bothered to close it behind them. But I knew that it had been left that way by the Baobhan Sith as an ironic invitation to me, as though I was the vampire. I decided to accept and trod the path, unsullied by human footprints.

The front garden faced the main road but the back was secluded, protected as it was by a thickly planted line of mature trees, skeletal sentinels whose branches pierced a bruised sky. A blur of movement exploded to my right, brief but unmistakable. I hurried to the huge beech hedge where it had been, certain I’d find the perpetrator, but found nothing and no one.

Then, from a ground floor window the pale oval of a face appeared.

I retreated to the summerhouse and the face tracked my progress, or at least it did until something far more interesting caught its attention. I followed the trajectory of its gaze and there, as though appearing out of nowhere, were the three Baobhan Sith, naked and dancing sinuously in the snow to music only they could hear.

But I knew something the voyeur did not, that this was no cheap peep show, but the prelude to a far meatier entertainment. One of the Sith tossed an armful of blond hair over her right shoulder raising her breast in the process as though inviting the watcher behind glass to come play. In reality it was a signal to her blood sisters and I knew the real games were about to commence.

Something Old, Something New

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Edinburgh’s birth and the land upon which it was built was nothing more than a volcanic plug spewed out of the belly of a bilious god; destined to become a precarious high point where people felt safe from invasion, but unfortunately were not. They built a wall, a stone girdle as though that would protect them from what was within. And when the girdle became too tight, they built up and up giving the world its first plague ridden high rises. But that of course was so Old Town darling, and the New was supposed to be the antidote to all that nasty disease and poverty. And maybe it was, but it was also sterile, without the bloated, infarcted beauty of the old where most of the supernaturals made their home.

But there was a newer, tougher breed of supernatural that had no need of such sentimental aesthetics and I was going to its lair. As I turned left into Dean Terrace past the carefully preserved des res from another era, I tried to focus on the non-existent plan which appeared to be: rooting around in the monster’s lair while it was absent hoping to find The Mask which of course would just be lying at the end of a trial of arrows along with some clues about the identity of two murderers who may or may not have known its owner twenty odd years ago.

Walking along Ann Street I wondered how a flying lizard centuries old had managed to infest one of its mansions. Number 28 was next, the lights were not on but that did not mean no one was home. I walked up the short rubbish strewn, weed filled path and rang the bell which I could hear clanging around the house. No one came. On impulse I pushed at the door and it opened. It wasn’t really that surprising that she didn’t think to lock the door, it wasn’t as though she needed to be security conscious and if random council workers or posties went missing more plausible explanations could be found, palms greased, influence exercised. The beauty of this type of predator was that it lay in wait amongst its prey perfectly camouflaged until it was too late. In the more exclusive areas of the city where ‘neighbour’ was a dirty word, they were practically invisible.

And even if you saw past the beguiling disguise, if you dared to try telling the police that the little old lady next door was a vampire, you’d be buying your own personal one-way ticket to the nut-house…

All You Can Eat

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

A morning mist hung low over frost slimed grass. A weak, diffused light fought to prise the grip of night from the landscape, resulting in a grey gloom from which the twisted trunks of trees reared like petrified beasts long dead.

The Meadows, slap bang in the middle of the city, felt torn from it as though committed to forming a little world of its own for some slight real or imagined. And in a way that was true enough, because the red-eyed creature I was hunting had padded this way on taloned feet stirring up some of the old presences that haunted this sacred grove.

In the bad old days the Meadows had been submerged under a body of water that stretched from Hope Park Terrace to Brougham Street. Nameless ancient things had lurked in its depths and even when the loch had been drained, they’d refused to take the hint and hung around just for the sheer hell of it.

Unfortunately for me it looked like some of that hell had decided to drag me down with it.

I nearly walked into the vast trunk of an old elm and cursed my clumsiness aloud. A bad move as it turned out because it drew the attention of another predator out on the prowl this fine Sunday morning. A low, throaty laugh, a caress of light breath on the back of my neck and I knew I had much more to worry about than the minor demon I’d been trying to trap.

“Well,” it said stepping out in front of me. “looks like breakfast is served.”