Flashback [Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Azrayel begins a murder investigation - of which he is the sole suspect.

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 13th, 2015, 10:01 am

2nd of Fall, 504 AV
Zeltiva's Ancient Quarter
Early Morning

“You murdered Zachary Cole?!”

The young wizards voice filled his family study to the rafters. Azrayel hurriedly pressed a finger to his lips, hissing through his teeth.

“Ye Gods, Alastair. How about you put up fliers too, huh?”

A grin in response. He grabbed Azrayel’s by the chin, yanking his face around to get a better look at the dark blotches on his face. His lips twisted into a thin smirk.

“Wow, those must hurt, huh?”, he said.

Azrayel swatted his hand away. “No, they feel fantastic.”, he said dryly as his voice grew hoarse. “Seriously mate, I’m freaking out here.”

“Alright,” Alastair began, pressing the tips of his fingers together in front of him. “Slow it down this time. From the beginning.”

“Well, I had been out in the Sailor’s Quarter. Helping dad peddle to foreigners, you know. I slipped away as soon he got distracted.” Azrayel braced himself against his knees. With each word he spoke he could feel the cut on his lip threatening to rip open again. His chest felt heavy. “Honestly, it’s mostly all a blur now.” His voice softened, and waivered as he searched for the words. “I’d been running most of the day. That run I showed you last week, y’know?”

“Over near Marcel’s, right?”

Azrayel nodded. “Yeah. That’s the one.”

“So then what?”

“Well, it was getting dark, so I was headed home. I wanted to avoid those punks who hang around The Equinox, so I was hugging the waterfront.” As the memories came back, Azrayel’s words grew strained as they were forced through clenched teeth.“l Was through the Sailor’s Quarter when I bumped into them, harassing some younger kids. Something about throwing rocks at houses or something.” His hands reflexively balled into fists on his lap. “It was three versus two. They couldn’t have been any older than six, maybe seven. Skinnier than you or me.” He fell silent for a moment. “I tried to make them stop. First we argued, then they were hitting me...then they had ahold of me and…”

“And then, your tussle at the docks. Yeah, I think I understand.” He paused, then let out a whistle.“Really went and petched everything up now, didn’t you?”

“That’s not funny!” Azrayel stood and began to pace around the walls of books. His throat felt endlessly dry. He wanted to collapse; he wanted to simply flee until Zachary Cole’s bloodied face no longered glared at him every time he closed his eyes. Until he could no longer remember the feeling of satisfaction that came when he first hit him with the bottle. Or the heat in his veins as he had struck a second and third time.

“Wasn’t trying to be funny.” Alastair sighed.“I don’t know what you expect me to say. I’m studying to be a Wizard, not a lawyer.”

“Say anything! Or… Nothing. I don’t know!” He buried his hands in his face, letting out a sob. As he rubbed indignantly at the tears, he could see through the blurry smudge of his peripheral vision that Alastair had stood up and was approaching him. He turned his head, hiding away behind his arms.

A moment later, Azrayel felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up, still rubbing the wetness away from his face.

“Alright now. Enough of that.” Alastair sighed wistfully, his demeanor unusually soft.“Pull yourself together, mate.”

“What should I do?” His voice was coarse, like his throat was clamping down at the words as they came out.“What do I tell my parents?”

Alastair began to pace the room now, casually plucking a book from one of the shelves and idly shuffling through pages.“I guess a good place to start would be verifying the murder actually took place.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, you just hit him a couple times with a bottle, right?” He removed a layer of dust from the tomes cover with a short blow, before rubbing the rest away with his sleeve, deftly sliding it back onto the shelf.

“Erm,” Azrayel cleared his throat, shifting in his seat. “It was actually three. It broke the third time.”

Alastair gave Azrayel a glance, an eyebrow cocked. “That right? Well even so, depending on the type of bottle, they really aren’t that hard to break anyways. You say you saw blood, but you didn’t really get a good look at the guy, right?”

Azrayel nodded, “It was pretty dark, but I definitely had blood on me. I had to throw out the shirt I was wearing.”

“Well, I think you just cut him. Maybe gave him a mild concussion at worse. At any rate I certainly wouldn’t trust the diagnosis of his two pet morons.”

“So…what?” Azrayel furrowed his eyebrows. “Should I go look in the graveyard?”

Alastair groaned. “Azrayel, think. All this happened, what, ten bells ago, if that?”

Azrayel nodded slowly. “So...I guess we should check The Infirmary?”

“Not a bad place to start,” Alastair said. “Although the Cole house might be worth checking out too.”

“Wait, what?” Azrayel shook his head. “ You think we should break into the house of a Guardsmen? Specifically, the Guardsmen whose son I might have just killed?”

Alastair moved past Azrayel toward the door. “No. But I think you should. As fun as all this sounds, my tutor is gonna be here in a few chimes.” He opened the door to the study, locking eyes with Azrayel.“Don’t look at me like that. I wanna help you out, really, I do.” He gave Azrayel a dismissive pat on the shoulder. “But you know how my father gets when I start slacking in my studies.”

He escorted Azrayel into the main hall, and up to the front door, opening it for him. Azrayel winced as the sun slammed him in the face. It seemed such a foreign entity, sunlight. He had almost forgotten that he hadn’t slept last night. He paused a moment at the door frame, then turned to Alastair.

“What if… I did do it?”

Alastair’s face was invisible as he spoke from behind the shadow of the large oaken door. “Edmund Cole is known for being one of the most brutal of the Wave Guard. You’d probably vanish mysteriously before ever getting a trial.”

Azrayel nodded somberly. “Guess I’d have to leave town then.”

“Guess so.”

He headed down the steps from Alastair’s home, but stopped as he heard his friend's voice calling out to him.

“Don’t go doing anything stupid now, Azrayel.”

Azrayel let out the most convincing laugh he could muster, giving Alastair a wave. “I’m gonna be fine, really.”

No response. He still couldn’t see Alastair’s face, only the silhouette he cast in the doorway.

“Take care of yourself, mate.” Before Azrayel could reply, he shut the door.
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[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 13th, 2015, 10:18 am

He stared at the door a few more minutes. It occurred to him that this could be the last time he ever saw Alastair. He couldn’t remember the first time they had met. It was buried somewhere in the foggy hazes of adolescence; it sat just at the fringe of his consciousness, like a word reached for but just ever so excruciatingly out of reach. He wondered how long it would take this memory to become just the same.

Need to focus.

With his head down and his hands stuffed in his trouser pockets, he began to walk. He had been under the safe blanket of night when he had crept into Alastair’s pallatial home in the ancient quarter. Now he had only inconspicuousness to shield him from the eyes of the city. However, for an urchin from East Street, clothes dirty and hair tattered, no amount of nonchalance could keep him from sticking out in the Ancient Quarter. Right across the bay from the home he was born in, yet he was a foreigner, desperately hoping no one spoke with him, lest his accent give him away. Many eyes contemplated him as he walked past, some with bemusement, others with egregious contempt. As he turned a corner, two members of the Guard saw him, abruptly ending their conversation to stare at him. He walked quicker, stuffing his hands deeper into the pockets of his trousers.

He was relieved when the guard presence began to lessen, the familiar sights of the Old Quarter rising to meet him. The University poked its head out comfortingly from behind the nearby skyline. He slipped as quietly as he could between alleys, peering cautiously around corners before crossing them. Generally Zeltiva was a bright and lively city. But much like the ocean it constantly shifted from calm to tempestuous; at once a chaotic tempest of bustling sailors, merchants, and scholars, but just as quickly become hazy and listless. A host of clouds clogged the skies above, a gloomy palor creeping into the city, leeching the city of its color. The streets had become a gallery of monochromatic landscape paintings in which Azrayel was a but a mere blip; a background character meandering across the horizon of the frame.

At last he found himself across the street from the Cole residence. An unassuming little two bedroomed cottage, it was not unlike his own family home in terms of general size. Azrayel eyed it cautiously, his eyes darting between the windows and the door.

Wonder who’s home?

Waiting in the alley until the coast was clear, he hurried across the street, ducking into the small space between the Cole residence and their immediate neighbor’s house. He stayed low to the ground to avoid being seen through the windows of either home as he skimmed along the wall, looking for an open window. He looped all the way around the building, but no easy entryway presented itself.

Well, so much for that. Guess I do this the dumb way.

Azrayel glanced out into the street. The day was still moving at a sloth's pace, but a dangerous number of people were still in the street. Azrayel lamented not being able to wait for the cover of night to do this, but he could hear the clock ticking faster with each moment wasted. For lack of any better options, he walked up to the door and as nonchalantly as he could manage pushed it open. If he was going to be seen entering the house either way, better it look like he was a legitimate visitor than a burglar.

The door creaked despite the delicacy with which he coaxed it open, and he carefully slid around and inside, holding his breath as he gently guided it back to a closed position. He turned around, observing the room carefully. There was no one staring at him in confusion, and the only noises he could hear was the constant meandering murmur of the people right on the other side of the door.

Guess nobody's here.

Azrayel wandered about the room leisurely. It was an honest enough home, typically Zeltivan in most respects. A small bookcase stuffed with off-hand textbooks adorned the main room, along with a table, several chairs, and a fireplace, dusty with the recent summer’s neglect. Fishing gear sat in a neat pile near the front door. A small shrine to Laviku sat between the two bedroom doors.

He contemplated the shrine for a moment. It’s just like the one in my house. However, this shrine was adorned not with a painting, but a small marble carving of a shark instead. A stone bowl with charred offerings sat just in front of the statue, with several candles at varying stages of their lifespan arranged in a circle around it. As he approached, the familiar stench of burnt fish invaded his nostrils, sending his thoughts towards home. Home. He rested a hand on the statue, letting his fingertips trace over the cold smoothness of the marble. Mom and Dad still don’t even know what’s happening. They never even saw me come in last night or leave this morning. Probably freaking out. He grimaced. It occurred to him that if Zachary Cole was dead, he might never even see his mother’s shrine to Laviku again. The best ending to this story he could imagine was that he got to run away, starting a new life in a far away land.


He snapped back to the present when he heard trepid whine of door hinges. Azrayel’s throat tightened, and as quietly as he could manage he dropped to the floor, scrambling up to and around the bookshelf to hide his body from sight. He heard one of the bedroom door make contact with the wall, and the soft padding of bare feet against the cobblestone floor.

“Hello?” A voice broke the silence, adult female.

Gotta be Zach’s mom. She the only one home?

“Edmund? Zachary?” He could hear her footsteps draw nearer to him. It would be a trivial thing, if she crossed the whole room, to turn and see him curled up at the base of the bookshelf. He clasped his hands over his mouth, his own breathing hitting his ears like crashing cymbals.

He saw her back now, crossing toward the front door, though she hadn’t turned to see him yet. She was wearing a robe, and looked like she had just climbed out of bed, her hair an errant mess of auburn locks sprawled across her head. As quietly as he could, never taking his eyes off her, he crawled under the table. It was short, and that certainly helped, but there wasn’t much other than the table legs and a sparse few chair legs to block him from her sight.

Lets hope she’s not the observant type.

She opened the front door, peering out into the street in either direction for a moment. She let out a heavy sigh, and then closed the door and slid the bolt into place. As she turned to head back into her room, Azrayel’s eyes went wide. Her eyes were shrinkwrapped in tears, her face still glistening with salty residue. She might have been a pretty woman if Azrayel were a man and not a boy; her hair was lustrous and her skin fair for her age, marks of an educated woman who had not needed to use her body to earn a living. She let out a stifled sob, shuffling listlessly back into her room, and closing the door.
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[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 13th, 2015, 10:31 am

Azrayel sat in silence for a moment, listening to the gradual softening of his heartbeat. The air he breathed was heavy and he trembled with effort as he climbed out from under the table and up to his feet. He could still see Zachary, limp as a boned fish, with flecks of sanguine gleaming off of his face. But now he had another face lurking behind his eyes. A siren, wailing with agony and pounding on his chest, as if her agony could bring back to her what had been stolen.

How would my mom react if she saw me like that?

His face twisted into a grimace as he braced himself against the table.

Three times. I had hit him three times.

It was true that could’ve died, had he not fought back. Yet, he couldn’t escape the reality that he had just murdered someone. It didn’t matter if Zachary Cole had been a pompous little ass. They had grown up together, and he had killed him for no good reason. One hit would have been enough to give him a window to escape. Two hits would’ve been cathartic.

But you had to go and kill him.

He shook his head, banishing the thoughts like they were so much sleep. He didn’t have time to pity himself, and he hated his weaknesses. He had to keep going, until he knew for sure.
Cautiously, he crossed the room, staying close to the ground to make his footfalls as silent as possible. His target was the door the woman hadn't gone into, or as Azrayel assumed it to be, Zachary's bedroom.

If he’s been here since last night, I’m sure he went in there. Best have a look.

He nudged the door open with his fingertips, peering around as it presented a crack. He saw a bed, nicer than the cot in his room, with an actual proper mattress and pillows. He wormed around the door, and gently closed it behind him, giving the room a quick scan to make sure he was alone.

There was a practice sword on the wall. Azrayel inspected it as he passed by, noting the tarnishing on the wood surface. Guess it sees a lot of use. There was a punching bag strung up in the room as well as a combat dummy, both also worn with attention. Azrayel ran his hand along the dummies surface, feeling the chinks and cracks in its exterior. He didn’t really seem like it last night, but Zachary is dangerous. Azrayel could imagine him in here every day, the room echoing with flat, packing sounds as Zachary slammed his hands into the training dummy over and over again, sweat dripping down his face. It was more than likely that Edmund Cole’s violent tendencies were genetic, and as Azrayel remembered the hand on the back of his head, he could still feel the water closing in on him. He swallowed, and quickly moved away from the dummy, taking a step towards the door.

He gazed around the room one last time, something on the wall catching his attention. It had been out in the open since he had came in and he had looked right at it numerous times without really noticing it. It was a measly little crimson speck; a barely corporal phantom barely clinging to reality. Approaching the wall, it became clearer. It was trickling smear down from the window, angled towards the bed, and it looked conspicuously like blood.

Did he sneak into his room last night too?That would mean, of course, that he had came home on his own, something a dead kid can't generally accomplish. His mom could have seen him in the morning, which could account for her sordid appearance. That, or she saw his corpse.

He imagined Zachary Cole dragging himself home and sneaking into his room through his window, just as Azrayel himself had been doing the same thing. It was a strange thought to entertain, and it lended a strange mirrored quality to Zachary hadn't been present before. It wasn't enough their houses were similar. They also both seemed to have a knack for getting into trouble, and assuming Zach was still alive, a capacity to take one hell of a beating. He could even feel a twinge of admiration for him. Maybe he was a petch-head, but he if he had taken a bottle to the temple and still managed to sneak in through his bedroom window, he was made of steel.

Almost wish I got to fight him for real.

Despite the situation, Azrayel couldn't help but smirk, and he turned back toward the practice dummy. He made a fist and deftly pressed it against it's cold, varnished exterior. He had indeed felt a moment of satisfaction, taking that bottle to Zachary Cole's head. It didn't feel like a win, however. It didn't feel like vindication for years of verbal abuse, of watching Zachary Cole act like he was a member of the Guard, strutting around the city and pushing people smaller than him around. With a new found appreciation for just how tough Zachary was, Azrayel couldn't help but want to teach him an actual lesson.

“Wh-Who the hell are you?!”
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[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 13th, 2015, 11:04 am

Azrayel felt the blood in his veins freeze. Wrapped up in his thoughts, he hadn’t heard the door behind him open. He really hadn’t been focused on keeping quiet since he had slipped into the room, either. He turned around slowly. There she was again, Zachary’s mother, now in the doorway and brandishing a cutlass. She waved it in a threatening motion toward him, her hand shaking.

“I asked you a question! Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?” She spoke in a frantic jumble, the syllables impatiently trampling over each other as they stampeded from her throat.

His eyes caught the glint of the blade as she moved it around, reflecting light from the window behind him. She was blocking the door, and while he wasn’t sure on how versed she was in using that blade, he didn’t want to test his speed by trying to simply run past. She held it one hand, stretched out as far out from her body as she could, as if the steel were malodorous and painful to the touch. Her hand trembled, but whether it was from fear or the being unused to the weight of the weapon, Azrayel couldn’t say. He took a step forward, lifting his hands out submissively.

“H-hold it! Not one step closer, you hear me?” She punctuated the statement with a swipe of the blade.

“Miss, no offense…” Azrayel grinned sheepishly, staying where he was. “But you do realize you’re waving a sword around at a ten year old, right?”

She contemplated him a moment, before lowering the sword. “Maybe. But you still shouldn’t be in here. Did you take anything?” Her voice was less shaky now, and had taken on a stern note. “Don’t lie. I’ll know, and my husband is in the Guard.”

He walked towards her slowly, speaking as remorsefully as he could manage. “No, I hadn’t found anything small enough to take yet. I’m awful sorry.”

She shook her head at him as he approached her. “Well, we’re you’re gonna stay here until my husband gets back, so he can take you to go have a word with your parents.”

Yeah, no. Azrayel nodded at her.

She lead him to the table, a hand on his shoulder, and guided him into one of the seats. She took the one next to him, the cutlass resting idly on the floor, her hand on the hilt.

“So, was that your son’s room?”

“What?” She gave him a puzzled look. “I’ll ask the questions, young man. Now, what’s your name?”

If Zach was dead, she’d probably be a little upset I brought that up.

She stared at him intently. “Well?” Her eyes narrowed at him as she spoke. “What's your name? Where do you live?”

She’s not gonna give me anything. Not willingly at least. Well, so far at least, everything pointed towards Zach still being alive. Even so, he pondered, glancing toward the door, best to make sure. He looked up, studying the room. The table was between him and the door, and he would need a good few chimes head start in order to get the bolt open before she caught up to him.

“Young man? I’m talking to you. Where are your parents?”

Azrayel turned to look at her again. “Well… See, that’s just it. I don’t have any.” His voice was somber, and looked down at his feet, kicking absently as he spoke. “They passed away when I was real little. I look out for myself now.”

She went quiet, her expression softening. “Well, I’m…. I’m sorry.” She paused a moment. “How long have you been on your own?” Although he could still hear the irritation in her voice, it was cooler now. She was genuinely concerned for his well being, if only a little. He almost felt bad, but even still, it was all Azrayel could do to stop from smirking.

“Well, I….” He trailed off, and he covered his eyes with his hand, his voice growing strained as if his throat were lined with gravel. “I don’t like to talk about it, miss.”

Miss Cole leaned forward, a sympathetic hand resting on his shoulder.“Well, I can understand that.” Her voice was still vaguely stern, but more than anything sounded nurturing. Azrayel wondered if it was an instinct of all mothers, to be protective of evenother people's children so easily. The thought made the fangs of the world seem a whole lot less sharp. “That doesn’t mean that you can just go around stealing things. Don’t you have other relatives in Zeltiva?”

“I don’t know. None that I know of.” Need to get more out of her…

“Well, we need to figure something out. You’re too young to be stealing for a living.”

That’s a decent segway. Time to turn the charm on.
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[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 13th, 2015, 11:20 am

“Well, miss…” He swallowed loudly, timidly prodding at the ground with his foot. “M-maybe you could… if it wouldn’t be too much trouble.. let me stay with you and your husband, in your extra room?” He stared at her with the biggest eyes he could. He considered giving her a lip tremble too, but decided against it.

She frowned, squeezing his shoulder. Her voice sounded pained. “I’m sorry, but that’s my sons room. We really can't take you in. Haven't the space or money.”

“Oh.” He tried to sound disappointed. “Where is he?”

She immediately turned her head away from him, shielding her face behind her hands. “He’s… not well.” Looking back at him, she forced a smile, though it didn’t come within a mile of her eyes. “He’s at The Infirmary.”

It took all of the boys willpower not to immediately stand up at cheer. He did survive, that dog. He grimaced. Doesn’t mean he’s still alive now, though. Or that he’s going to stay that way.
“Wow… uhm, what happened to him, miss?”

She swatted a few tears away, pulling on her robe and sitting up straight. “Oh, well… he uhm…” She shook her head.”I’m sorry, you still haven’t told me your name.”

Uhhhhh... “... Hawk!”

She cocked an eyebrow. “Come again?”

For petch’s sake. “Erm… I don’t know the name my parents gave me, so, I made up my own.” Hawk, really. Why do I suck so much.

She nodded slowly, narrowing her eyes at him. “Is that right, Hawk? Well, my name is Mariah Cole.“ She set the cutlass down on the table, resting her elbows besides it as he continued. “To answer your question, my son was attacked by some East Street hooligan.”

Azrayel felt his jaw clench. Hooligan?

“Is he gonna be alright?”

She smiled dismally. “Well, my husband says with all the sailors getting into drunken brawls, he’s seen the wound dozens of times before, and that he should be okay.” She paused a moment, her eyes welling up and her voice trembling. “But seeing him like that… all bloodied and… the glass…” She took a deep breath, bracing his face against her hands.

Azrayel sprang to his feet, stepped onto the chair and jumped at the table, using his hands to help him cross it in one fluid motion. He landed with a stumble and sprinted to the front door, his hands trembling as he fumbled with the bolt. The woman stared for a moment, jaw agape.

“You little…! You’re awful!” She snapped to her senses, scrambling around the table after him. “Get back here!”

He fumbled a moment with the bolt before flinging the door open and sprinting out into the street. He could hear her calling out after him, a diminishing presence among the background noise of the city as he darted into nearest alley, pushing past several people in a mad dash. Many a passersby responded with indignation as he careened around them like they were an obstacle course. The Old Quarter flew past him until all he could hear was his own haggardly breathing, the thunderous hammering of his heart in his ears.

He found a secluded alley, and braced himself on the wall, nearly collapsing. Slowly, his breath came back around, and he carefully peered out from around the alley, wiping cold sweat from his brow. His ears scanned the constant, distant babble of the city, like a deer being stalked through the underbrush by a tiger. Nothing jumped out at him. No footsteps, or agitated voices calling for his capture. He slid down the wall, sitting down with a pained groan, the muscles in his legs throbbing with indignation. He rubbed at them, letting out a yawn which bounced back and forth between the walls.

He had not realized until now just how tired he was. Last night had gone past him in such a haze that he had just assumed he had slept at least a little. His eyes told a different story. They were expressionless, pale blue spheres, hazy with fatigue and encased in dark rings. He gently touched his cheek, wincing as he ran a finger along his swollen lip. His whole body still burned from his baptism the night prior. His eyelids were faltering. Maybe he had time for a quick nap. This whole ordeal hadn’t exactly been easy on him. Yes… Just a moment…I’ve earned it...

Yeah… Someone else's problem now… His eyes closed. He felt the motion that had been constant in his brain since yesterday grow pleasantly still. Just gonna rest my eyes a spell...
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[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 13th, 2015, 11:29 am

“Where is he?”

Azrayel looked up. He was laying face down in a cold, salty puddle. He coughed and grunted, but was unable to stand entirely - the water beneath him pulled and held fast to him as he tried to force himself to his feet. A woman sat nearby, tears streaming down her face.

“Where is he?!” Her voice pierced his ears like the wail of a banshee. It was Mariah Cole, sitting in a chair in her son’s bedroom. Azrayel reached out for her, trying to pull himself from the water.

“I’m sorry... “ His voice began to waiver. He felt tears stinging at his eyes. “I didn’t mean to. I really didn’t. I dunno what happened. Please…” He strained for her, but she was just out of reach, now matter how hard he pulled.

“You didn’t mean too?!” A hand grabbed Azrayel’s head and yanked it up.

“F-Father?!” Azrayel’s eyes widened and his jaw went slack as dad grabbed his hair and forced him to lock eyes.

“You just picked up a bottle and beat a kid to death with it by accident?” His voice thundered harshly in Azrayel’s ears. His eyes burned into Azrayel’s with unmitigated malice. “What kind of sociopath are you?!”

“Murderer.” Azrayel heard Mariah Cole’s hissing voice, and looked to see his own mother sitting in that chair, staring at him with blackened eyes.

“Murderer.” His father joined her, standing at her side, both of them staring at Azrayel with cold indifference.

“N-No… Not me… I’m not… “He squirmed even harder, but sunk quicker and quicker the harder he tried. The blackness of the water consumed him like shadowy jaws, and his parents vanished as he was pulled into depths. Down, down, down, as the light from above slowly faded until all was dark, and all was still.

“I didn’t! He’s still alive! I know he is! He has to be!” He screamed at the top of his lungs into the void. A sharp voice echoed back to him. “Listen to me! I didn’t want any of this to happen! Please, I just want everything to go back to normal!” The waters muffled his cries, and pushed against his back until he fell to his knees, sobbing. “I’m not a murderer… I’m not…”

“You think so?”

Azrayel turned towards the voice. Zachary Cole was standing directly behind him, his head split open - his face stained red and his flesh glittering with glass, haphazardly imbedded into his skin. He gripped tightly onto a broken bottle. Azrayel opened his mouth to scream, but no sound came out - water rushed into his lungs - and Zachary Cole grabbed him by the hair, and used the broken bottle to slit his throat.

He could feel the blood and the water mixing in his lungs as the world went totally black and silent...

Azrayel sat up with a start, gasping for breath. The clouds from earlier that morning had opened up on the city, and puddled had formed up around Azrayel’s face as he slept in the alley. Coughing, he slowly pushed himself off the ground, his hair and clothes sopping wet as the rain came down with no quarter. His felt as if the weight of Laviku’s domain still sat on his back, and he fell to the ground as he first tried to stand, letting out a grunt and catching himself on a knee.

Back on his feet, he wrapped himself in his arms and began to somberly walk, with no particular destination in mind. The streets were as empty as they ever could get in bustling Zeltiva. Azrayel sneezed, the force of it causing him to break stride a moment, pausing in an archway to gain cover from the deluge. His whole body trembled and he desperately rubbed at his arms, flexing each muscle in his body individually as he tried to will the cold from his bones. The nightmare still groggily clung to his brain, and his whole body was heavy and loose. He hadn’t eaten in over twenty-four hours, and the nap in the puddle hadn’t really done much for his sleep deprivation. He held a hand over his mouth to stifle a yawn. He imagined his arms around himself as his mother's, trying to imagine her heartbeat as he pressed his head against her chest.

Oh no. My parents.

He pushed himself back into the street. He needed a warm meal, fresh clothes, and a bed. Most importantly, however, he needed to get back home before his parents tracked him down. Because when they did, they would do things to him far more horrifying than Zachary Cole ever could. The prospect of whatever long conversation awaited him at the hands of his parents was of dubious appeal, but the need in his stomach edged him onward. He made no effort to hide himself as he moved through his city now, because nothing that could catch him on East Street was as terrifying was what awaited him at the end of this trip.

Into the lion’s den we go.
Credit for the CS Template goes to Fallon, at Fallon's Coffee Codes.
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Azrayel Kolasi
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[Zeltiva] Hidden Depths, Part II

Postby Keene Ward on December 16th, 2015, 9:05 pm

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