For the second time in her life, Nancy was surprised again as she saw the familiar face of Julian at her doorstep. This time however, he came along with Randal.
"Should I start getting used to this?" She asked rhetorically, raising her eyebrow at the two men.
She moved aside and let them in. Her TV was switched on. It appeared she was watching the news.
"Sorry about the unexpected visit," Randal said as he sunk into a seat. "But we wouldn't have come on such short notice if it wasn't so important."
"I think that's what phones are for," Nancy replied. "You guys could have called or something. I mean what if I wasn't home?"
The two men stared at each other.
"You guys didn't think this through, did you?" Nancy shook her head. "This must really be a big emergency."
"Nancy, you can spare us the lectures till later, " Randal said. "We need your help."
"Okay, " She replied. "What's the matter?"
Julian who had been silently staring into space spoke up.
"I'm still seeing the tattoo on people of recent. It hasn't stopped."
"What?" Nancy raised her eyebrows, confused. "I don't get it. I thought the parapsychologist-"
"The parapsychologist did nothing," Julian said, and angry expression crossing his features. "She didn't solve it. If anything, it's even worse. I've seen it on two people in the last forty eight hours. There was a news yesterday morning about a road accident-"
"Yeah, I saw it," Nancy cut in. "But I didn't really pay attention to it."
"Well, the car involved in the accident was mine." Julian said.
"That was your car?!" Nancy nearly cried out in disbelief, her eyes widening behind her glasses.
"Yes," Julian replied. "And would you believe the person who was driving it, robbed me to get it?"
Nancy opened her mouth to reply but for the first time in a long time, no words could come out.
"And get this," Randal said. "I brought a priest to Julian's house yesterday to provide a solution-"
"Only for me to see the same tattoo on his neck as he was leaving my house." Julian finished.
He sat on the sofa near Randal, rubbing his forehead and closing his eyes.
"If you're quite familiar with my narration, you can guess what has happened to the priest by now." He sighed.
"Dead." The words reluctantly escaped Nancy's lips.
Julian opened his eyes as he felt a weight sink into the sofa he was sitting on. Nancy had sat down beside him. She took his left hand in hers and held it softly, staring at him. Julian's expression softened a bit as he saw the compassion in her eyes.
"Julian," She said. "I know everything has been upside down and messed up of recent. Sam, Cheryl and You. I've also had my share of sleepless nights as I'm still trying to process everything. But one thing is certain. We need to stick together in this and try and help each other. You'll be there for me and I'll be there for you. Okay?"
Julian stared at her hand over his. A warm feeling filled his heart at the moment.
"Okay." He nodded.
"Which means no more missed calls on your end." She wagged a finger at him, jokingly.
It took all of Julian's might to suppress a smile that was tugging at his lips.
"Agreed." He swore solemnly.
Randal stared at the two as they shared their moment. A feeling began to flow within him. He couldn't explain it but it wasn't good. He gritted his teeth and clenched his knuckles. He knew at that moment that he didn't want to be there right now. He abruptly stood up, startling the other two, and made his way to the door.
"Where are you going, Randal?" Nancy called out to him. "I thought we were in this together."
'No, You two are,' Randal thought. 'It has always been you two.'
Turning around, he spoke out loud.
"I just remembered there's something I need to attend to. It's very important.I'll get back to you guys as soon as I'm done."
Without waiting for a reply, he was out of the house.
"Well, that was anticlimactic." Nancy muttered dryly.
Julian opened his mouth to reply when a voice from the TV alerted their attention. The mayor was making a speech. He stood at a podium in front of a large crowd.
"Not this fat clown again." Nancy frowned.
"Don't ever say that again," Julian said. "That's an insult to clowns."
Nancy nearly fell off the sofa as she laughed uncontrollably. Clearly, the two shared the same view of the mayor. The obese man had made a lot of promises three years prior before getting into office. So far, not even one was fulfilled.
"Concerning the issue of the mart which was accidentally demolished last year," The deep voice of the mayor was heard from the TV. "I can guarantee that my team is taking care of it. I urge the citizens of this town to exercise some patience and be rest assured that by the end of this year, a bigger mart will be established."
The mayor paused and a wide smile creased his plump face as the crowd cheered.
"Who does he think he's fooling?" Nancy rolled her eyes at the screen.
Julian faced her and shrugged. Turning back to the screen, he jolted and let out a small gasp. His actions alerted Nancy and she faced him.
"Julian, what's wrong?" She asked. "Are you okay?"
Julian didn't answer as he stared at the screen, his facial expression reflecting terror. Nancy's heart skipped as she realised his expression meant one thing.
"You've seen the tattoo." She said.
Julian turned to face her. A solemn look appeared on her face.
"You're seeing it right now, aren't you?" Her eyes narrowed as she directed her eyes to the screen.
"Yes." Julian's voice was barely audible.
"On who?" She asked.
"The mayor." He replied.
The door to the office opened and the mayor stepped in with a massive grin adorning his face. The crowd had eaten his white lies like the gullible sheep they were. He chuckled lightly as he reflected on the looks of hope spreading through the crowd as he made his speech earlier. Build a bigger mart? Hell would freeze over before he would indulge in what he considered an abomination. There were better things he had in mind to use the town budget for. A vacation to the Bahamas. An expensive trip to Paris with his mistress who he was having an illicit affair behind his wife's back. Build a mansion in Columbia. Oh, there was so many choices. The town could go to blazes for all he cared.He had everything all planned out. When the year would eventually come to an end and the town made a request questioning him about his promise, he would make up an excuse and postpone the building of the mart.
He sighed in contentment as he stared at his richly furnished office. A large glass table stood near his table with all sort of assorted cigars and drunks. Surrounding the table were about four brown sofas for relaxation. A large refrigerator stood a few feet away from the relaxation spot and finally, his most cherished attraction, a large gold lion statue, stood beside his desk by the right. It stood on it's hind legs with it's mouth wide open in a roar. The mayor smiled proudly as he stared at the statue. The statue was a symbolic representation of himself. He was a lion. A lion who preyed on the gullibility of the people. His devouring of their hopes, resources and dreams strengthened his pocket. And he felt not an ounce of remorse.
The mayor sat by his office desk and opened the laptop which was on it. He connected the Wi-Fi and began to surf the internet. He smiled as he discovered a site. He was going to book a flight out of the country. Paris was the destination he had in mind. He picked up his phone and dialled a line.
"Hello, darling," He said as soon as he heard a voice at the other end. "How about you and me take a trip to the city of love."
He rolled his eyes as he heard her reply.
" Of course, I'm referring to Paris." He said. "So what do you say?"
He smiled this time as got her predicted reply. She was unsurprisingly interested.
After about few minutes, the mayor ended the call and placed his phone on his lips. He turned his attention back to the screen and resumed surfing the net.
Unbeknown to him, a thick dark smoke appeared in the air above him. Out of the smoke, the dark figure materialised. It's signature grin widened as it licked it's lips, staring down at the oblivious mayor who had all his attention on the screen. One word escaped it's lips in a harsh whisper as it swooped down towards it's fifth victim.
The news had spread quickly the next morning. The mayor was dead. The news came as a huge shock to the town. It was received with confusion as he had just given a speech the previous day and looked healthy. No one understood the cause of his death which was revealed to be severe burns. No one knew except two people.Julian sat at his desk that morning with anger brewing within him. The news came as no surprise to him earlier that morning before he left the house. After all he had been through, he had come to expect something like that. What made him furious was the fact that Randal never contacted him or Nancy after that day. Julian had called him on his cell multiple times but he didn't pick. Julian clenched his fists. The whole thing was putting a bit of strain on his mind and he needed a relief before he suffered a mental breakdown.A knock was heard on his door, bringing him back to reality."Come in." He said.The door opened and Nancy walked in. As sh
Julian followed Nancy into the kitchen where her laptop balanced on the table that evening. She sat in front of it and pulled a chair beside her, inviting Julian to sit. He obliged and she clicked on the mouse. A page was shown on the internet. It contained several diagrams, but the one that caught Julian's eye was the symbol. The very evil piece of art he had become acquainted with. However, there was no number with it."Julian, everything that you've experienced recently has it's roots connected in one place. " Nancy said, adjusting her glasses with her index finger.She pointed to an article beneath the diagram of the symbol."According to this article, this symbol is the alchemic symbol of death. This all started seven hundred years ago in Valencia, Spain. A dark and powerful priestess by the name of Malorca conducted a ritual in which seven hundred men were to be killed and sacrificed to open a kind of gateway for the demoness, Meriah." Nancy said, pausing
Saturday came on such short notice. Nancy blinked in discomfort as rays of the sun fluttered through her window and hit her eyes that morning. This was one of the moments that she wished she was wearing her glasses at the moment. She squinted her eyes at the window and turned her head at the other side. Her eyes immediately met Julian's. Memories of their activities the previous night flowed through her mind as she stared downwards at the sheet covering their naked bodies. A small smile appeared as she knew it was worth it. It was her first time after all and she wouldn't have thought it better than to give it to the man who captured her heart from a young age. Pride filled her heart as she compared the similarity between herself and the female protagonist of one of her romantic novels."What are you smiling at?" Julian's voice interrupted her thoughts.She wrapped her arm around his waist and rested her head on his bare chest. Julian ran his hand softly
Julian's grip tightened around the steering wheel as the car sped along the road. He had told Nancy that he was going home. But that was not the complete truth. He would go home eventually. But not at that moment. He had something else in mind. He was going to confront her. His nemesis. He knew who she really was and he knew she was on the hunt for her sixth victim. Then he would be the final sacrifice for that century. But he was not afraid. And he had to let her know that. He had to let her know he was prepared for battle. This was her game ; psychological warfare. He needed to play along and get into her mind. Startle her and disorient her a bit before he finally struck.On getting to the building, he walked past the secretary who was startled by his sudden appearance."Mr Fernandez," She said, jumping off her seat and following him. "This is an unexpected surprise. Miss Torres never told me-""I don't have time for this." Julian snapped, cutting her off.
Nancy put down her novel after closing the final page. She relaxed into her sofa, letting out a huge sigh. She thought of all the past events that had happened. Sam was dead, Cheryl was still in jail, The mayor was dead. It was all too much for her to think about. As much has she hated the mayor's guts, he didn't deserve that kind of death. She hoped Julian would return as soon as possible so they could deal with this threat once and for all. She also found it odd that she found herself playing a huge part in all of this. The more she thought about it, the more she realised she was a huge factor. She was the one who set up the meeting between Julian and Loretta. And right now, She was the same person who discovered the only way to destroy the latter."Maybe it's part of destiny." She sighed, a silly grin appearing on her face. "The lady helping her one true love, her knight, to destroy the dragon. Or serpent in this case. Usually its the white knight rescuing the princess
For the second time that day, Julian found himself speeding across the road. This time he was making a return to Nancy's home. He grounded his jaw as the car sped along the road. He couldn't believe he allowed Loretta get into his head again. How could he have been so stupid? All the time they were having that conversation, she was stalling him. But another thing confused him. She gave him some pointers. Why would she do that? Didn't she want him dead in the first place. Or was this another of her mind games? He hoped to heaven that she was bluffing and Nancy was okay. But there was something about the angry look Loretta gave him when she made mention of Nancy. He had never seen that kind of expression on her face. It looked like she was about to murder him at that instant.He pulled out his phone and dialled Nancy's number. There was no answer. He tried again for the second, third and fourth time. It yielded the same result."Please be alright, Nancy," He mutter