The stretching darkness consumed the sacred place.
The stars and moon were scarce, hidden behind large, torrents of swirling dark grey storm clouds that hung low in the sky. The only light came from the flash of occasional lightning that would fork ominously across the sky.
Not much could be heard at the moment in the dim yard, the sounds of a down pour and the muffled thunder made sure of that. However if you were listening carefully you would hear it. The sound of a shovel being forced deep into the muddy soil, the stones and dirt being removed from their mother earth and thrown to the side carelessly, and finally the heavy breathing of the young man who was digging so feverishly in this late hour.
The tall, young man was out of place in the muddy grass area, where rounded stone teeth pierced the earth and stood high and crooked. His hair was a shiny honey coloured blonde that made many burn with envy, and his skin was a sun-kissed golden tan. His blue eyes were akin to sapphire in colour and clarity, sparkling like fresh rain drops. He was clearly someone who was not used to the darkness, yet he was working in it with an almost manic passion.
Suddenly a clang rang out as the shovel hit something hard. The man leaned down, trying to see if he had found his prize. The light of an overhead bolt, which lit the entire yard and casted black shadows in between the stone, gave him the answers. His energised eyes seemed to glow from the flash of lightning as he gripped his shovel to his chest and stared down at the hole. His side swept fringe hanged wet and in clumps across his soaked forehead.
Across his face was a look of pure determination as he muttered to himself, "Matthew, I'm going to resurrect you now!"
Another bolt of lightning lit up the graveyard again and the pile of pale grey bones that laid in the shallow grave.
The boy sat alone at a desk.
His pale blonde hair hung in curls across his face, hiding his expression as he stared down at his translucent hands. The outcast sat in the farthest away corner from the rest of the buzzing students with an almost dark aura around him. He was quiet and unmoving, a deep contrast to the flittering, chattering pack of grinning school boys that gathered and bustled at the front of the room, near the door. The group were loud, boisterous as was fitting for a young group of male students.
What he didn't realise was that another boy who was amidst the other smiling students in the centre of the crowd, had spotted the silent loner. He was tall, tanned and blonde. His chest was wide and his broad shoulders spoke of untapped strength. His jaw was strong and square, smooth from being shaved almost daily. Puberty was fading from his figure and facial features, like many of the other boys in the class. Recently turning 16, he had already reached his epitome of handsomeness. And also, like a typical cliche depriving from the shallow concepts of beauty and a bright personality, one of if not the most popular man in the class. His blue eyes sparkled with surprise as he noticed how left out the other man was. The blonde couldn't ever remember seeing that quiet man before. Was he new? Did he always sit by himself at the back of the classroom? Wasn't he lonely? Didn't he want to hang out with him and the others? Who wouldn't want to hang with him?
He called out suddenly, "Hey, you there!", making the prominent cow lick on the side of his head bobbed slightly, bouncing in a silent but cheery rhythm.
The student who had been by himself looked up in surprise at the sound of someone actually calling to him. It was a rarity; a peculiar rara avis. The shy man watched in wonder as the energetic blonde headed towards him with a wide, white grin. It left the outcast confused baffled at how to react to this new action. Without a clue of how to proceed in this socialisation, he remained stock still and silent until the other boy was closer.
"How are you doing? Why are you sitting by yourself?" He asked when he was slightly nearer to the shy lad, who was hiding rather furtively behind his platinum blond curls.
In the background, the shyer one heard someone yell 'Hey, don't even bother with him!' but was ignored by the grinning man.
The outcast looked down and shrugged up his shoulders in defence, as if he was trying to protect himself by curling in on himself. It was a feeble and classic move that made him appear very anxious to be greeted by such a reputed man, who was practically a celebrity in the small all-boys school. He stared at the desk, flustered that he had to talk. To Alfred F. Jones of all the students in their school.
"Umm… I'm not good at talking to people…" He replied quietly murmuring under his breath so that Alfred had to strain to hear the anxious boy. Alfred felt a small twinge of pity for such a lonely, scared classmate, though he hid it perfectly behind a wide toothy smile. It was probably this pity that lead him to his next action.
"I'm Alfred, the class rep! Why don't we be friends, if it's alright with you?" Alfred held up his hand, grinning widely with shining bright white teeth and glowing cerulean eyes that matched the dark blue school uniform blazer.
The outcast looked up, his curly blonde hair falling slightly from his face, revealing one bright purple eye full of wonder and respect for this strangely happy man named Alfred. It was a lovely shade of lavender, highlighting the pale pool of blood forming on his high cheek bones. He looked down again, staring at his hands on his lap which contrasted with the black school trousers, making his hair hide his face again. It was a force of habit, really.
"Umm… But I…" His growing blush was only partially hidden by the long hair. "Really?" His voice was threaded with thin strands of hope and yearning. He truly wanted this; wanted to have a friend. He was oh so lonely...
"Yeah!" Alfred beamed happily, forcing all of his charming charisma into the reply, trying to coax the boy from his shy shell.
Suddenly Matthew looked up, all his pale blonde hair falling from his face to reveal a smiling cherub face and glistening purple eyes teared up with happiness. He had a round, oval face with high cheekbones and a strong nose. His eyes were soft, peppered with almost white eyelashes and shiny amethyst irises that sparkled in teary admiration. A soft pink blush danced lightly across his pale cheeks. One of his hands was lifted involuntarily to sweep at the corner of his eyes, to dash away the tears before they fell. Wide-eyed and curiously innocent looking; like a young child who was crying from happiness. Matthew looked adorable as he uttered in a purely joyful tone.
Alfred finished writing out the equation slowly so that everyone around him could see it. He lifted his pen when he was done, flicking it out in a silent 'taadaa'. He did enjoy being the centre of attention and did everything with a flourish and a buzz of energy.
"So, you do it like this, eh?" Around Alfred sat several other students who watched his jotter with fascination. The way that his pen twirled across the pages, magically solving the complex equations was a wonder to behold. Though Alfred seemed silly and laid back, it was times like this that revealed his true intelligence. His dorky foolishness and naivety were restricted from actual knowledge and class work, showing a surprising side to the ever celebrated boy.
"You're soooo smart!"
"Just what you'd expect from the class rep!"
They praised him with dimpled admiring smiles as he tutored them in maths. The mass of applauding boys crowded around the sun-kissed handsome student happily, echoing their constant approval of him and desperate to stay in his presence. Everyone wanted to be noticed by all around popular guy and king of the class, Al.
However, Alfred turned to the shadowy presence lurking at the edge of the group and beamed at the man, ignoring the rest.
"Are you okay, Matthew? Do you get it?" Matthew, who had taken to trying to keep his hair from his face, stared down ruffled and mystified at the working. His bottom lip wobbled slightly as if he was close to getting upset again.
"I… don't really understand it." Alfred waved his hand to gesture the boy closer, summoning his with a flick of his wrist, smiling in his typical reassurance.
"Well, come on over and I'll teach you!"
"Y-yes!" Matthew stood up and sat closer, shuffling the chair so it was right beside Alfred and forcing some of the other students to move away. The blonde started his lesson by pointing at the equation again. As Alfred began explaining the process of solving the equation again, Matthew's face lit up with understanding and his mouth made a tiny O shape in wonder.
The two leaned closer to each other, both smiling and laughing so freely, that they had missed the jealously and disdainful glances directed at their new blossoming friendship. The others who were being tutored glared as Matthew's and Alfred's heads leaned into each other as they problem solved together, envious that their cool respected leader was spending so much time with such a strange loner man.
The old school bell tolled loudly, echoing and resounding off the old and cracked walls of the all boys academy. There was a loud drone of talk as the entire mass of school boys prepared to go in the classroom. Many were already inside, leaning on each other's desks in small packs and gibbering to each other gleefully.
However the normal chatter of the students was silenced by the door opening.
Alfred stood at the classroom door, carelessly talking over his shoulder, perhaps too loudly, to Matthew who followed the blonde with a bashful, pleased smile. "And then…"
The peppy blue eyed man froze suddenly as he realised that the room he had entered was completely quiet, clashing with his booming, chirpy conversation with quiet Matthew. All the boys in the room stared at the two entering people with looks of annoyance gracing their square expressions. Alfred stood there frozen with his hand on the door, staring into the classroom confused.
'Hm?' The American thought, feeling like some strange undercurrent was rolling through the class and for once, he did not know what it was. Alfred was always the centre of attention, yelling and having fun yet still helpful for studying, and any rumour or gossip usually passed through his ears first, before everyone else. To have the feeling of being on the outside for a change… Alfred did not like this feeling at all….
He like being the hero… The centre of attention… All attention.
He broke into a friendly smile anyway, flashing pearly whites, as he approached one of the boys who he usually tutored and talked to after school. His exact name escaped the blonde at that moment but who cared? They were friends. And though Alfred wouldn't say that they were best friends, they hanged out regularly enough that this was okay. "Ah, why don't we all go home together?" He offered excitedly, determined to rejoin the flow of the class; to become the centre of attention again.
"Yeah sure!" was the instant reply with the usually beaming grin that all his friends had. Everyone always smiled happily at Al. Why wouldn't they? He was their hero.
Alfred, however, did not notice that just behind his back, the smaller, gloomy Canadian frowned with a look of unhappiness. The strangely depressing aura he admitted had a subtle blood-curdling creepiness to it that Alfred's other friend saw. In that stifling depressing atmosphere, for a moment, the student even swore that the Canadian's pupils were slit like a bug eyed demon's.
Suddenly a look of uncertainty crossed his face. He felt nervous at spending time near Matthew. The boy would undoubtedly be with Alfred later as well but he didn't want to be around Matthew. He was too shy and quiet; like he was keeping some sort of secret. It was creepy and none of the other students wanted anything to do with it. None of them actually saw why Alfred wanted to hang out with that dull outcast either. Al was cool, funny, awesome and handsome; and Matthew was…
"Uh…" The student moved away and turned to leave, still looking anxious and fidgety. "Ah… Actually, I'd better pass!" The boy ran off, hurriedly joining another group. The farther from that loser Matthew, the better.
Alfred ended up just tilting his head in worry as he watched his friend leave without him. In his mind, he saw nothing that was wrong. He couldn't understand why his friends were starting to distant themselves from him. Wasn't he the hero?
"What's up… with him?"
In the bathroom, two school boys were washing their hands under the lukewarm water of the communal sink. They were just preparing to go home.
Mould and mildew grew in the cracks of the tiled ground and the mirror was covered with a thick layer of grime. The taps were large copper ones with a thin layer of limescale around the base and on the knob. Luckily, the water appeared clear and clean.
One of the males was the one had had refused to walk home with Alfred earlier.
"Isn't Matthew kinda scary?" He asked, not bothering to mutter, whisper or lower his voice in the safe confines of the toilets. "I mean, he's really gloomy~ And doesn't talk to anyone but Alfred." He complained as he flicked the tap off, with a scowl.
He dried his hands on his black school trousers, as the two headed to the door.
"And speaking of Alfred…!"
He laughed, unaware that in one of the cubicles Alfred was standing. His hand was against the door, frozen in place from when he had first heard the boys mention his name. The blonde was under some sort of spell as he heard his friends gossip about him behind his back.
"It's so creepy how he clings to him!"
"Isn't it?" The other man agreed with a chuckle as they exited the bathroom together.
Alfred's fist tightened slightly. He had been about to leave the stall when he froze in shock at hearing bad things being said about him from people he trusted. So that's what was wrong… It was all Matthew's fault. He had just wanted to befriend the shy blonde, have another friend to share, spread a smile. Be a hero to another person.
His expression fell as he looked sorrowful, contrasting with his sunny appearance and usual cheerful attitude.
What was he meant to do now?…
After school, Matthew and Alfred were walking home like what they would normally do everyday. It had become a somewhat tradition since they had first talked. Matthew apparently lived quite close and since he usually just followed Al everywhere, the blonde saw no trouble in talking to Mattie while he walked. It was an easy-going custom that both students enjoyed.
However, Alfred was keeping about 5 paces ahead of the shy blond who tailed him so endlessly with elementary joy; simply glad to be near his only friend. Alfred's face was oddly serious as if he was deep in thought and he looked conflicted as if facing a difficult dilemma. Suddenly he spoke, his young voice sounding darker and rougher than normal.
"Hey Matthew~" The Canadian smiled and sped up so he was only a step or two behind the American.
"Yes?" He enquired gaily. He had noticed the American's dim mood and was ready and happy to do anything at all to fix it. Alfred was his one and only friend after all.
Alfred glared ahead with an irritated look before complaining bitterly. It was clear he was thinking ominous deep thoughts.
"Won't you make any other friends beside me?" Matthew smiled brightly with a light blush, not noticing his friend's weird attitude change was directed at him.
"I'm fine if I can just be with Alfred!" He replied merrily as if that was all that mattered.
"It's really… oppressive." was the muttered reply as he came to a stop. That word seemed appropriate the blonde decided. Matthew was oppressing him, following him everything, doing everything with him, involving himself in every aspect of Alfred's life. Even his walk home was stolen and shared with Matthew!
Matthew stopped as well with a confused look on his face, still behind Alfred. Where was this coming from? What did he do? What should he do? He just wants to be with Al. This was all too peculiar. Matthew didn't understand.
"I'm saying that the way you cling to me is creepy." The blonde muttered annoyed, still not facing Matthew. He can't face Matthew. If he turned and looked at his friend… If he turned and faced him, he would not be able to say this… He had to say this though. He had to be the hero. Matthew was stopping him! It was his fault! This was all Matthew's fault!
"Wh-Why would you say that?" The blonde cried out in surprise, hurt obvious in his voice. He looked flustered and upset, trying to figure out why Alfred would suddenly say things like this to him. Was he really that clingy?
The American whipped his entire body around and yelled angrily. "BECAUSE I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH OTHER PEOPLE ONCE IN AWHILE!" He looked furious as his blue eyes blazed in annoyance. He just wanted his friends back! Why couldn't Matthew see that! Why couldn't Matthew understand! Why couldn't Matthew notice that he is driving all of his friends away from him! It's all Matthew's fault!
Alfred suddenly turned and ran away, not wishing to see the pain that would now be shown on Matthew's face. He couldn't stay here. He knew he was being cruel and callous. He knew he was being a jerk. And worse of all, he knew he was being unheroic. He just wanted to be popular again and the centre of attention.
As Alfred fled, running away shamelessly and afraid to see his friend's face, he yelled, "If you understand, then stop following me around."
Matthew was left there, standing on his own on the street. He was baffled by what had just happened! Did he just lose his friend? Why? He clutched his school bag's strap tightly, turning his knuckles white, bewildered at what had happened to make Alfred say that. He mumbled out in a distress whisper, fretful and full of sorrow by the twisted and cruel turn of events.
The notebook had been discarded carelessly onto the desk after being crumbled badly. The first two pages had been torn out viciously. The page that was now shown had horrible German insults scrawled angrily in thick black pen strokes.
'Scheissding' meaning bugger…
'Scheitern' for failure…
'Würfet' meaning throw away…
There were many others but they were broken and hard to read and understand. German was taught in class so it wasn't strange that most could read and understand the basics.
Huge scissored gashes cut parts of words and paper, slashing throughout the entire book, utterly destroying every page. Cooling tea was beginning to soak into a corner of the paper from a thermos flask that had been yanked open and tipped upside down so it's contents had spilt out over the desk messily. The light brown liquid stained the white pages a rotten brown, soaking though the book like veins of moss. The flask had then been dropped on the desk, unwanted.
Two tight balls of scrunched up paper, which had probably also had violent, insulting German phrases written on them, were abandoned as well.
A pencil case sat beside the mess, with thick scores and scratches messily carved into the wooden, probably from scissors, ruining the container.
A humiliated boy stood still, staring at the scene. His light blonde wavy hair covered part of his pale face. His shown lavender coloured eye was wide in shock and horror, as he stared at the terrible mess. His pale pink lips were parted in a upset frown, quivering ever so slightly. He just continued staring at his desk as he stood unmoving, no idea what to do now. It was a horrible and spiteful act of violent vandalism.
Matthew didn't bother, or couldn't seem to, lift his head and look at the rest of the students in the class. They were all smirking and grinning cruelly, not trying to stifle their mocking laughter as they watched the outcast struggle with how to react, what to say, what to do. He was entirely lost again.
Matthew eventually looked up with a pained expression, ignoring the mocking bird men who watched him darkly with wide grins, and gazed to Alfred.
Their eyes met. A clash of pained purple and rueful blue.
Matthew tried to plead with wide violet eyes, looking so panicked, so afraid to be alone again.
However, the class rep just turned his head away and stared forward, guilt and regret clearly written on his face, as he avoided Matthew's stare and ignored the blonde.
'Alone, Matthew was an easy target and so he was isolated.'
Freezing water rush down all around him. Followed by the clang of a metal bucket as it hit the pavement beside him. He was lucky not to get hit. It soaked through his uniform icily, chilling him, and pooled around him. He kept his head dipped, using his straggly, wet hair that was normal in loose curls to hide his face. The frail blonde stood by himself in the icy water, clutching his new pencil case in silent misery.
'My friends came back…'
He sat on his own in the corner as the room, head purposely turned from the laughing group of students. He seemed shadowed by his loneliness. A void of life; completely unsocial though not by choice. Across the classroom, at the centre of the loose crowd was Alfred who was grinning widely at his dozens friends and classmates. He was the epicentre of attention again and the epitome of popularity. Everyone was his friend, apart from one. Alfred suddenly told a joke and the entire group all burst into laughter; chuckling and chortling merrily as the mass enjoyed themselves. Everyone ignored the shy blonde in the corner who was cloaked in gloom; not when they were all bathed in light. Alfred's light. His pale curly blonde hair hid his expression and the out cast remained still and separated from Alfred and his friends.
'And I thought everything was good!'
The boy sat on his knees, trying to gather the scattered pieces of paper. He had been walking to his seat when a boy stuck out his foot, purposely tripping the blonde. He had crashed forward, hitting the ground hard and hurting his knees and ankle. However, he kept his emotions and pain hidden behind hair. It was his only barrier to the cruel taunts that his classmates tossed his way carelessly. His knees were streaked with crimson, bruising badly, as he reached for the spread of papers, assumedly embarrassed. Behind him, some of the school boys smirked down at the frail figure, grinning in amusement of watching him crawl after his work like a dog.
'Until… Matthew died!'
It was still as it floated in the air. It dangled by a single length of brown rope tied onto one of the artificial lights, surrounded by the grimy, cracked tiles of the classroom ceiling. That was the only light source that was on in the dark room. The angle of the lamp cast strange shadows on it. The most prominent one being cast across its face, hiding any expression that it had had.
Below it, stood the terrified figure of a young man with golden blonde hair. His bright flaxen hair and tanned skin was highlighted keenly in the brightness of the overhead light. His features were brought into sharp relief, making his normally boyish face appear made of pointed angles and razored lines; like broken glass. His azure eyes were impossibly wide and shimmered as an toiling ocean would in the light that shone down.
He was staring up in distress, nauseated at the dangling figure whose limbs drooped lifeless. It appeared that the hanged being was looking directly down at the shocked blonde, as if accusing him for its death. Perhaps crying in sorrow or glaring in accusation or grinning in mock sneer at the so-called Hero. It resembled a twisted version of a marietta doll; though its strings would be tangled as this dolls could clearly no longer dance on its lone rope. It was pale, colour with a light blue-ish tinge to the skin that was surely cold. It was still dressed in a crisp school uniform of a white shirt, dark blue blazer and black trousers. It's light blonde hair was shadowed and coated in darkness like its face, hiding its lavender eyes.
It was Matthew.
Alfred's face was distorted in pained shock. His sapphire eyes were stretched painfully wide, not sure what he was staring at. He had thick lines and heavy mauve bags under them, looking close to if not in shock.
When he had arrived at school early to complete some class rep duties before class - as heroes do, despite having difficulty waking up and getting out of bed so early. The room was dark as the curtains were still drawn and only a single overhead light was on. From it, Matthew's stiff body was hanged. Alfred was the one who had found the corpse, still strung up like a puppet.
He was staring at Matthew, frozen and scared, unsure if this was reality or not. Matthew can't be dead. He can't be. He was here yesterday. How can he not be here today? He was too young to die. They all were. What sort of hero was he if someone so young could just… die? He must be alive.
Suddenly a cold hand gripped his shoulder painfully hard and blunt nails digging in under his collar bone. It was a brutal snap from his delirious reverie about Matthew still breathing (He has to be alive! How can Matthew be dead?) that forced him back into the reality where the Canadian was dead. A chilly voice whispered right into his ear, harassing him to focus on the truth. Matthew was dead and he had killed himself.
"You know… Alfred was his best friend." The brittle voice crooned, preening in pleasure at Alfred's pain. It was one of his school friends. He was smiling a sickly wide smile.
"Eh?" Another school boy asked in surprise, grinning mockingly at Alfred.
"Isn't it like Alfred killed him?" Another supplied in faux cheer.
They all gussied themselves up to torture the newest outcast. Every flock needed a black sheep - Alfred was the easiest, now that he has toppled his own crown in his mourning of Matthew. Poor Al, unpopular Al, bad Al.
Alfred stood in the middle of class, surround by everyone who was grinning sadistically at him, despite the fact a boy had died here so recently. His body had been removed by now, since lessons had began, but he had still died here. Did no one care? Matthew was dead! Why did no one care?! He felt rage bubble up in his mind, burning at the edges of his vision and tinting it red.
The students accused him with that same bullying smile they had used on poor Matthew before he had killed himself.
"Whaa, and how is that? You were the ones who ganged up and bullied him!" The American cried out in protest, eager to pass on the blame, the guilt. His fury was fuelled on. It wasn't his fault!
"But you watched, didn't you?" It was thrown back instantly at the American, stalling his anger.
Yes, he did but it still wasn't his fau… Alfred gulped, having difficulty swallowing his own lie. He was meant to be a hero. He was meant to stand up for the defenceless and the weak. But he hadn't. He let Matthew get bullied. He let this happen.
He thought of when he saw Matthew crying giant sobbing tears into his hands as he wept loudly but he had just ignored the shy tortured Canadian at the time. Alfred's fists tighten and clenched in a mixture of rage, guilt, sadness and doubt. He sniffled as he stared at the ground. He felt that it was actually him that surrounded by darkness and buried 6ft under. The pressure of all that guilt, it constricted his throat with its weight. A nameless beast with talons clawed and ripped at his sanity, as he had an epiphany.
'In fact I don't have any friends…' He realised. All his popularity was shallow. Based on good looks and the fact he helped everyone with their homework. No one actually like Alfred for Alfred…
An image of Matthew smiling happily at him appeared.
"I'm sorry!" He mumbled in defeat as the guilt and sadness won over the anger.
'That's right…' He remembered him and Matthew walking so close to each other, both with genuine smiles of joys. There were no secrets or hidden insults between the two; true friends.
'You were the only one who didn't stab me in the back.'
The dark gray tombstone loomed ominously into the sky. A cross adorned the top of it.
Black, metal railing ran right by the grave as it was on the edge of the grave yard. The large spikes on the railing pointed to the heavens, spears aimed at God.
A shiny new plaque sat in from of the gravestone, with the carved cursive writing of a short story about young man who went to school and hanged himself in his prime.
The stone was highlight by sharp contrasts of reds and oranges as the sun set, casting long, thin shadows. The blazing yellow orb was quickly vanishing and darkness started to loom over head.
The gentle sound of crying came from a kneeling figure of a school boy, only 16. The sunset sparkled off of his golden hair and that one odd cowlick. His face was hidden by a pair of hands as he slumped forward, though water still dripped through the cracks between his fingers. The tears splattered randomly across the plague, making it glisten quite beautifully in the dying light.
The student sobbed out, "I'm sorry… Matthew! I'm sorry!"
Alfred knew it was pointless to apologise to the dead. He wished deeply for his friend to come back so he could say sorry and relieve himself of this suffocating guilt. They were true friends after all. If only he could just say sorry… Then Matthew would forgive him. It wouldn't be his fault, and he could get rid of this guilt. Everything would be better again.
After he had finished crying, he sat silently in front of the grave. He looked despondent and stuck in a shallow depression as he stared listless at the stone with Matthew's name. His thousand yard stare was restricted by the stone two feet in front of him. His gaze was distant and endless anyway. It was clear that he was unfocused on his actual surroundings, ignoring the grave and himself.
Suddenly he heard a gentle woman's voice, which drew his eyes and attention up.
"Can a dead person truly be resurrected?"
Alfred's head shot up from its lulled position. Behind him, walking along the street on the other side of the spiked fence, two women walked, gossiping with each other far too loudly to be ignored.
"If you bring the bones of the deceased… to a person on Slum Street who calls himself Necromancer, he can do it. But that's just a rumour isn't it?" Alfred listened intently to the ladies, his ears straining as he realised that this could be the answer to his wish. He turned his head slightly and shyly, to see the women pass by, shuffling daintily on high heels with their noses raise up high.
"But isn't Slum Street an infamous hive for scum and villains?" One questioned.
"Yes. You shouldn't wander near that place." The other one replied ominously, though she smiled. The women disappeared down the road, still chattering about their gossip and drivel.
Alfred, remained slumped on his knees, thinking of what the passing women had said.
"…If I go there… Matthew will come back…" He muttered slowly to his self. His brain was slow, racked with sorrow and guilt. His grades had plummeted recently, adding salt to the mental wound.
Suddenly his face lit up in pure confidence and determination. Alfred was always quick to bounce back onto his feet. Especially when he had a crazy plan or idea to fix something. He needed that now - that raring confidence to follow through with his cockamamy intent. "Hold on Matthew!"
And so that night, in the middle of a rain storm, Alfred dug up Matthew's bones…
Alfred's hair was dripping water which ran down a tired face and pass exhausted eyes. His uniform was soaking wet from the earlier rain. The downpour had stopped but the sky was still pitch black from the obsidian clouds that still cloaked the moon and stars. Luckily, most of the street lamps that weren't broken were lit, flickering with their candle light inside grimy glass jars. Shadows criss-crossed in the pale yellow light, making patterns into the already complex maze of stone and cracks. Alfred shivered from the frigidness and the hauntingly scary atmosphere of the street. Murderers and kidnappers were common here. Only fools would not be terrified. (Or even wander in, but Alfred was often accused of spouting foolish nonsense.)
He was walking down a twisting empty street, puddles splashing whenever he stepped in one by accident. It was night and he appeared alone. That alone was even more terrorising to Al, who was infamous for his unusual fear of ghosts and ghouls. He persevered though, with selfish thoughts of being Matthew's hero helping him move forward.
The street itself emitted a horrible aura. Though the school Alfred attended was quite old, a little dirty and run down, it paled in comparison to this infamous part of town. This place was a literal dump.
All the buildings were made of broken, crumbling or cracked dark brown bricks. The road was mainly rough muddy ground instead of smoothed paved stone like the rest of the town. Many of the few shop signs were vandalised and wooden boards covered most if not all of windows. There was a strong, reeking odour that was a mixture of rotting garbage, mould, urine and many illegal drugs that are commonly smoked. The whole place was a stewing pit of poverty, corruption, drug dealers and gangs.
And it was aptly named…
"So, this is the Slum Street."
The young student stood out here, in a clean pressed uniform and un-tattered clothing (though it did drip heavily with excess water). After all, there was no school in this area or money for children to go to it if it existed.
The only thing that was in place with the disgustingly disturbing surroundings was what he held. In the blonde's muddy hands was a tattered blanket coated in a layer of thick dirt, wrapped around something loosely, covering it completely. The thing in the blanket seemed like human in shape, being carried like a large limp baby, cradled to the man's chest protectively. If someone saw him though, they would just look away. People disappearing and mafias fighting was the 'norm' and 'casualties' were to be expected. This was a very easy place to hide them.
A wind blew through and a hanging sign reading 'Slum Street 53' squeaked loudly as it moved in the breeze over head.
Alfred jumped at the sound, squeaking embarrassingly for a teenager of his age. He glanced around as the poor, unkempt building suddenly seemed to stretch up and loom over him menacingly. The streets were closing in, making it darker and darker. Fear lead his imagination astray and left it to run wild. Imaginary shadows and figures crept around him, though he knew he was truly alone.
"Uhm…" The teen mumbled, terrified.
It was not unnatural to be scared here. This was a home for criminals and murderers, the worse of the worse and scum of humanity. Vengeful ghost and poltergeists would be considered quite nice here if they existed. But Alfred's mind still played cruel tricks on him.
However he was not put off his initial goal as he pushed forward to complete his task. Matthew was counting on him.
Alfred turned down the alley where the rumoured necromancer lived. His shadow was casted down the short alleyway from the street lamps on the main road. It was fairly small, maybe a couple of meters in length, and completely empty except from the normal filth and rotting mould that everywhere else had. Maybe it was a little cleaner, no dustbins cluttering the space like most other alleyways, but nothing was special about that. A slum child might have stolen the bins to use as a shelter tonight or as a food supply. Maybe even to burn things in to make a source of heat. The air was icy and many people here did not have heating or a home. Children were naturally the worse affected.
"I-I heard it was around here somewhere but…" The boy walked forward slowly, mumbling to him in encouragement. "Where could he be…"
As Alfred walk forward, he wasn't paying attention as a strange symbol made of ovals and lines, like an eye, formed around his feet, and the once lit alley began to fade away into blackness. The walls disappeared, the ground was drenched in black and Alfred was more alone than before.
Before the blonde could register the change and be startled by reality fading away, the symbol suddenly glowed brightly, piercing the shade. Alfred tried to look down at it but was blinded by the heavenly white light.
When it finally subsided, Alfred looked around in absolute shock, flabbergasted by the recent event that had shook his reality to the core.
The ally was gone and he was now inside a circular room.
Magic was real.
Large royal purple curtains hanged against the windowless circular walls, which were painted a dull black. The floor was a smooth black marble with small specks of mud dotted about and a chalk circle with multiple intersecting lines around his feet. Two tall candle holders were on either side of Alfred, booth holding fat lit candles which flickered eerily, casting shadowy half light everywhere.
The place had the faint smell of incense and tobacco smoke permeating the air in a gauze of thin smoke.
"We have a guest, Alba!"
Alfred suddenly noticed a large, red velvet chair framed with dark mahogany, too big to be a single seat but too small to be a double seat. On it sat a man, with his long skinny legs thrown carelessly across the seat as he leant on the arm rest with an elbow. His head rest on his hand. His other arm was draped across his stomach. The crooks of his knees hanged on the other arm rest.
"Hoo-hoo!" A black bird, an owl with large eyes and big pointed ears, sat on the man's shoulder, seeming to be the one that had spoken earlier as impossible as that was. It wore a large piece of jewellery with a weird design; it was made of gold, rimmed and shaped like a choker that reached down and covered part of its chest and back. It looked heavy. Could the bird fly with such a strange trinket on? And why would an owl wear such an expensive golden thing?
The man was smirking at his blonde guest, his crimson hair illuminated by a single large candle in a glass lantern, sitting on a tall tiny gold table by his chair. Purple curtains with golden tassels draped around the wall behind him and scarlet roses grew up wildly from behind the chair. The entire place reeked of expense and money. Total odds with the outside of the doorless room.
The red head wore a long blue coat with large cuffs and collar. The bottom of the bright trench coat was ripped and torn. His skinny trousers were shiny black leather that hugged closely to his endless legs and he wore dark large boots that used two large bulbous silver buttons instead of laces. His dark red turtle neck jumper had a chunky zip, pushed up to the top and he wore a large brass belt around his narrow hips, with hanged in a loose crooked manner. He seemed very tall, even when sitting down. His bright green eyes sparkled intently as he stared at Alfred. He screamed mystery, trouble, creepy and didn't look at all very trustworthy with that dark smirk gracing his thin lips.
On the black floor in the middle of the circular, the drawn, assumedly pagan, circle sat ominously.
The man spoke now in a deep, Scottish accent. "Please, come in."
"A-Are are you the necromancer?" Alfred asked, looking at the man with a mild glare, unsure whether to trust this strange looking man or now. He didn't dare take a step forward until he was sure. Being murdered by a psychopath was not apart of his scheme.
"Fufu… Do you see anyone else here giving off such a strange aura?" He placed his fingers loosely over his mouth when he laughed at the younger boy. He removed them again to speak.
"Certainly." He confirmed. "I am known as Alba the Necromancer. And I am what it appears to be."
Alfred looked almost surprised by this, Alba seemed young, almost his age. He would estimate the man to be a year or two older - maybe 17 or 18.
Alba's silver earrings glinted dully in his ear. They glowed weakly in the orange candle light. Alba's eyes lit up slightly as he examined the wrapped package. "Are those bones, you’re holding in your arms?"
"Y-Yes." Alfred replied nervously, pulling the thick brown cloth back from the top of the skeleton, revealing the rib cage, skull and spine, still maintaining the shape of a human torso. Matthew's dull white bones leaned against Alfred's chest. Alfred looked up at Alba, with a troubled look on his face.
"Is it true that if you have their bones you can bring back the dead?" The red head chuckled again, reaching out his hand for a metal rectangular pole.
"Fufu… You may find it hard to believe, but it is true." His smile darken slightly as he lifted the pole from its resting place on the side of the chair. He swung it around suddenly, standing up and towering over the American now.
The rod was basically a long flat rectangle, with a 90 degree angle side rod near the top and a third rod connecting that rod to the top, making a metal triangle at one end. A thick steel chain started at the bottom and was wrapped around the pole, spread out, then wrapped a couple of times around the triangle.
At the end of the chain was a large pale yellow crystal which dangled about 1/2 meter away from the rod. The pale crystal glowed brightly and had a studded metal ring around the middle. He held it near the triangle tightly and nearly the other end loosely. When Alba swung the rod and pointed it at Alfred, the crystal was whipped around, the links clanging together noisily. A large shadow was casted over the half of the Scottish man, and the black owl still sat on the shoulder turned away from Alfred and the ominously, growing crystal.
"As the Devil's Contract demands… I will be takin' your soul!"
"I don't care what happens to me! Please, just hurry and bring back Matthew!" Alfred shouted carelessly, with great impatience. He just wanted to leave this crooked place and mysterious man. Slum street was not a place for such a shiny hero.
"Fufu… You dinnae care what happens… Eh?" The Scottish man looked amused by what the blonde was saying. The American just stared back, confused and a little creeped out, as the man continued slowly. "… Is that so? It might turn out somewhat different from what you hoped…" He warned with an excited grin.
The dark owl took flight with shadowy wings and a strangely long hanging tail for his species as Alba released the hand holding the top of the rod, letting the front of it dip, while sweeping his arm forward indicating to the circle's centre.
"But, I'll accept yer request, laddie."
After the bones had been placed in the centre of the room and chalk circle, it began.
The red head held his tool with one hand near the triangle and swept it in a wide arc over the circle, the pale yellow crystal swinging around after it. As the crystal passed where Alfred stood, a glowing white smokey substance rose out of his chest sinking into the crystal, making it shine brighter and brighter.
"Ugh…" It had felt unpleasant for the young blonde, constricting his lungs and making his heart stop for a single terrifying moment. What was that? What was happening? Alfred had watched the last thin trails of whatever had left him being sucking into the beautifully hypnotic stone.
He heard a chant and looked up to see the necromancer, smiling at him.
"Shem Ha Mephorsh." Alfred recognised the words from the classroom. When they were learning about the Magdala Church.
They were Hebrew, meaning 'The explicit name' - the name of God which must never be spoken directly.
The redhead was now illuminated with the same intensity of the stone, lighting up the entire circle like a huge shining bonfire. It was blinding to watch the man, his expression hidden by the intense light. Alba walked into the chalk circle, towards the bones which lay there on their back. He began the chant again.
The light rushed to the bones, clinging to the remains and solidifying.
Alfred watched in gobsmacked amazement, shock, horror and wonder as the internal organs were visibility made within the calcium structure. The lungs, the stomach, the heart and the intestines were all clearly on display as they were rapidly formed from the light.
He cried out, "No way!" as he continued watching the impossible scene before him.
The chant continued as the muscle and skin grew over the bones and organs. The body was beginning to sit up in a kneeling position, the legs still forming on the naked body of the young boy.
When he was fully formed, the magic of the circle rushed to how chest, concentrating and swirling into a symbol etched just below the neck. A black circle that had two points attached on the left and right and two more detached points above and below. Within the strange circle were three rings, the middle ring being coloured in completely. Like a tattoo.
'…returning to life!'
The boy looked up slightly as the magic whipped up, flinging his wavy pale blonde hair up from his face, before settling down again into the circle.
The being that was left behind in the circle was Matthew.
He looked dazed and completely disorientated, his bright purple eyes framed by long blonde eyelashes were clearly seen, as he mumbled. "Hu… uh…?"
The first man he saw had strange red hair.
"Why… Am I…"
"That laddie had you resurrected, in exchange for his own soul." Alba spoke, not bothering to wait for the full question. He was used to such common things.
Matthew turned to see Alfred, wide-eyed and pink cheeked. He looked unsure and stunned to see his American friend again.
"Are you… really Matthew?" The man looked exactly the same as Matthew down to every single detail. But was he Matthew? Was this really Matthew alive again?
"Alfred…" Matthew looked up at him, sounding nervous and just like that shy boy he was before. Just like the old times.
Alfred rushed forward and pulled the Canadian into his chest suddenly, hugging him tightly. He didn't seem to mind or notice that the latter was naked. All he knew was that Matthew was alive and it wasn't his fault. He wasn't guilty. Everything was okay now.
"I just realised…! You are the most precious person to me Matthew!" Alfred sounded distress, forcing and stumbling over words as he rushed his speech. It was almost as if he was afraid of Matthew disappearing again. "But I…"
Matthew lifted one hand up, testing the limb and resting it on Alfred's shoulder in reassurance. "Don't worry about it. I'm not angry!" The blonde smiled, trying to comfort his friend. Just like Matthew.
"Matthew, I love you!" The American muttered, burrowing his head into the pale neck as he clung to the boy, still desperate. It was a brotherly love he felt for the Canadian, but a strong one. In his mind, everything was fixed again. Any warnings were forgotten, all guilt was forgotten and he was simply and naively basking in the uplifting joy he had.
Alfred did not see the dark, sinister smile that Matthew bore sadistically into his shoulder. His purple eyes were shadowed by a evil, distant gaze that stared up, unfocused. His face was crooked and very creepy with the strange wide grin as he hugged back possessively. A villainous face.
"I love you too, Alfred!" He proclaimed back with equally intense passion.
Alba watched the blonde's scary expression with a tilted head that held a cruel smirk on a pale face that was half cloaked in shade. He seemed expectant, and unsurprised by Matthew's twisted expression. His bird seemed to stare with the same mean eyes, blood red and ominous, as well.
It was hard to tell out of the three who seemed the more wicked at the moment.
"Thank you so much!" Alfred was beaming happily. The three were now back in the grubby alley way, though it was now morning. Matthew was wearing a school uniform now, one of Alfred's spare ones, and smiled gently, just standing a little behind the blond. "Oh… About the money."
"I would never think of taking money from a bairne. I only charge what the customer can pay." He watched them leave for school with a smirk, his bird clinging to his shoulder.
"Well, for now, sweet dreams."
"M-Matthew…?" The boys in the class were flustered as they watched the pale blonde enter the classroom in the morning. Their mouths were dropped in shock and fear. The boy they had driven to suicide was back, and the idea that they could be blamed or punished by Matthew was scary though doubtful. Lil Mattie would be too shy to be mean back but the hanging threat was real enough to make it a shocking but frightening concept.
"You! You were dead…" Someone at the back accused.
"Hehe What are you talking about?" A wide, slightly creepy smile briefly passed over his face as he watched the bewilderment and panic spread amongst his classmates.
"But, there was a funeral!" They cried out in protest and disbelief. Only Alfred believe in ghosts, but now many were starting to join his view as this maybe vengeful 'spectre' joined them.
However, a sweet, innocent smile suddenly appeared.
Matthew looked endearing as a light blush flushed crossed his cheeks. His milky skin seemed to shine brightly, as though it had never been hidden beneath the mud. "That was, just a prank on everyone!" He gave a small cute giggle as if it was the most embarrassingly funny thing ever.
"Is… Is that so?" Murmurs of unsureness rippled through the tides of students, though eventually it turned to belief.
"Yes!" He replied cheerfully. The students looked slightly ashamed and embarrassed. They had honestly thought he was dead. Worse, they had barely reacted. And now that 'dead' person was back and they regretted their lack of mourning. It's not very often that a person come back, shaming those who had not grieved. It made the entire class shamefaced.
"Umm… I'm really sorry!" They apologised profusely. Matthew just beamed happily at them with a wide smile, unlike his old self.
"Don't worry about it!" He insisted. "Forget that - let's hang out!" The normally shy blonde suggested brightly, contradicting his normal reaction of murmuring and hiding his face. The 'prank' seemed to have brightened up his personality and give him some confidence. He spoke openly to the large group of men without cringing away.
"S-Sure!" The other students replied instantly, unable to stop the grins on their lower face. Mattie's smile was very contagious and they liked this new, friendlier Matthew. He was much better than that quiet outcast that skirted the group and only spoke to Alfred.
Alfred watched Matthew talk to the other students, not realising that he was on the outside of the social circle of chattering boys. They were praising Matthew for his brilliant trick that had fooled the whole school. The American had a gentle smile on his face and his eyes looked at the blood fondly with a loving softness, seeing nothing wrong or different with Matthew.
'Now we can be together like before.'
At the same time…
Two bird feet stretched out to a perch and landed softly, the talons only lightly scratching against it. The dark bird that they belonged to sat on the knee of the crimson haired Alba.
Alba was spread lazily over the chair again, one foot on the armrest so his knee was raised up while the other one still stretched out lazily. He watched the resting bird.
The owl spoke to him clearly and in perfect english, unlike a parrot. "That boy mistook the emotions flowing from his guilty conscience as friendship." He stated simply, still thinking about the students who had been here less than half an hour ago.
The man didn't reply, taking out a tin box of tobacco from inside his jacket.
"By the way Alba, you didn't tell him the most basic thing…"
"Fufu… You mean the 'special characteristic'…" He said with a sly smile as he rolled up a pinch of tobacco in a small square of paper expertly. He placed the cigarette in-between his lips and lit it with a match before replacing the box back in his coat. "A soul restored using necromancy, has a much stronger heart than in their past life, which strengthen their desires."
"Love becomes more passionate, and hatred turns brutal!"
The Scotsman took in a deep suck of the hand rolled cigarette and released a heavy haze of white smoke that drifted and swirled around his neck.
"Aye… And his would be…"
Matthew and Alfred turned around in surprise to see another student rush over to the Canadian. The man held a maths text book open and looked worried. An exam was coming up soon so this was a regular sight now.
"Could you teach me how to solve this problem?" He asked desperately, pleading to the boy he had once bullied.
Matthew smiled, nodding in acceptance and seeming happy to help. "Ah, it's like this." The blonde explained pointing and explaining different parts of the mathematical equation and how to solve it.
"Amazing, just what you would expect from Matthew!" The Canadian blushed lightly in return and smiled back slightly embarrassed.
"It's nothing!" He waved off humbly. "I learned it from Alfred!" Matthew smiled at Alfred pleasantly, gesturing to his friend with a casual wave of his hand.
The American on the other hand felt a little annoyed he wasn't asked first. He was always the one to tutor people because he was the class rep. He was their hero.
'Since then, Matthew had quickly fit in with the rest of the class.'
Alfred walked by some boys in his class, by himself for once, holding a book close to his chest and hearing them praise his friend.
"You know at first… I thought Matthew was gloomy, but when you talk to him he's really outgoing."
"And he's so smart and helpful too!"
"He's like a leader the class can rely on!"
Alfred scowled at the last bit. He was meant to be class rep, not Matthew! He was the hero. He was Matthew's friend. No one talked to Matthew in the beginning, only Alfred did! Alfred was the one to resurrect him as well! He was the hero, he was meant to be class rep.
Now that his guilt was gone, he was feeling very jealous instead. His friendship with Matthew seemed less rose tinted and more annoying. For once he was being overshadowed by someone. Even worse, it was Matthew. He hated being second best. He hated not being noticed first. He hated being in Matthew's shadow. The boy had changed since dying and Alfred wasn't sure if he like the new eager, confident Mattie over his older, shy clingy friend...
He complained to himself bitterly as he stormed down the corridor, working himself up. He had been boiling over his anger for a good while now. "Why? Everyone is going on about Matthew this and Matthew that…"
"What's wrong? Is there something you don't understand that I could help you with?" Alfred had hopped up to the other student, hoping to be helpful and heroic. However instead, at that time, the man had just turned him turn with a smile. "That's okay, Matthew promised to help me with it."
"I hear about Matthew everywhere!"
The blonde was not used to being unhelpful or not needed. He needed to be liked by people! He needed to help people, it was in his nature. Popularity was very vital to him. But it was becoming harder and harder now that everyone was turning to Matthew instead of him like before. It was like Matthew had hanged himself all over again!
Alfred arrived in class, just in time to hear an announcement called out. "The ballots have been counted and… the class representative for this semester is… Matthew!"
The Canadian's mouth opened with a small gasp of shock. He was slightly flustered as everyone gathered around him, celebrating and congratulating him. He smiled sweetly at the group around him, at his new friends.
"Good for you Matthew!"
Alfred on the other hand felt waves of endless envy!
He glared at his friend who didn't even seem to notice his presence.
He was meant to be Class Rep! He was the popular and cool one! He was the one who helped everyone! Not Matthew who should be dead! How dare they ignore him?! How dare Matthew ignore him!
In a fit of jealous rage, Alfred instantaneously, without thought or regard for consequences, reacted on his emotions. Aggressively.
A red haze blinded him.
"KYAAA!" Matthew's frailer body hit the ground, along with his sturdy old books and fluttering paperwork. Alfred stood over him scarily with a glare, clearly not able to control his own actions. "…Alfred?"
"I brought you back to life didn't I?" He hissed out angrily, unable to handle this blinding jealous feeling anymore than he could handle his previous crushing guilt. "You've gotten pretty cheeky haven't you, Matthew…"
"Alfred stop!" Matthew cried out in fear, a bruise forming on his cheek and worry crossing his pretty face. His pale blonde eyelashes fluttered.
"If you weren't here…" The blonde muttered, rashly picking up a craft knife that was lying on the closest desk.
"ALFRED!" The man suddenly screamed.
The world fell silent before a nasty whisper echoed around the classroom.
Alfred flinched as he heard a voice of another classmate, suddenly regaining his sense of reasoning. He looked down to his shaking hand that gripped the cheerfully bright yellow plastic handle of the craft knife. It quivered in his hand dangerously as his adrenaline started to fade. The crimson crowding his vision dispersed and his sanity returned.
His eyes widened in shock at the realisation of what he had just done. He looked at his surrounding classmates to see cruel dark smiles. They were smirking and laughing at the American. At his foolish actions.
"He's the worst!" They used biting words, the same ones as before. Blaming Alfred like before. Pushing him and pushing him, waiting for him to break. Backing away, leaving him stranded in the centre of the room. A hero fallen.
Alfred panicked. He didn't mean to snap like that! He didn't want to be hated! He needed friends! He needed to be the hero!
"Hold on? Everybody?" Alfred tried to explain quickly, putting the knife back down now that his head had cleared. However it was too late.
A student held out a hand for Matthew, helping the knocked down blonde to his feet. The group quickly left together, now that the entertainment of bullying Alfred was over with. They would only come back tomorrow to laugh at him but as of now, Alfred was now the dreaded out cast. A taboo to talk to, a man to avoid unless to taunt and the scapegoat for the class. They had all left Al alone again. Just like when Matthew had died.
Alfred stood there, wide eye and in a state of shock, by himself. He suddenly felt all the strength in his legs leave his body and his legs collapsed on themselves, crumpling at the knees forcefully so his body dropped down like a rock. He slumped to the ground, leaning over slightly as his world crashed and burned around him. His fragile mind shattering as not only his popularity crown vanished but his status as a human in the eyes of his 'friends' as well.
"No way…" How did this all happen? How did it spiral this far out of control? What was he going to do now? His face became shadowed and he was genuinely terrified of being alone. He didn't know how to cope with this! He couldn't cope with this!
"Aah… Poor Alfred…" He heard footsteps approach him and recognised Matthew's soft voice but he felt frozen to the spot with the fear of loneliness. He had never faced this option before; that people might hate him, might shun him. No one shuns a hero. What was he then?
Matthew cupped his face, twisting it around to face him, holding Alfred's head close to his.
"It's lonely by yourself isn't it?" He comforted in a gentle voice, laced with pseudo concern. Alfred stared at him with large blue eyes, consumed with fear now, rather than jealous or guilt. Matthew had done this to him. It was Matthew.
"… Matthew." Matthew suddenly smiled widely like the Cheshire Cat, the same smile he had worn at the necromancer's place; creepy and sinister. Like a demon's.
"But don't worry…" He continued, purring out the words quietly but determined, letting malice and covet sink into them. "Because, regardless of what others think of you, I'm still your friend!" He said possessively, holding the American closer, cradling his entire head selfishly.
Alfred's eyes went inhumanly wide as he swore he saw a pair of large pitch black spindly wings on Matthew's back wrapping around him. The man only tightened his grip controlling on Alfred's head though, dominating the weakened American.
Then his blue eyes went blank, losing their sapphire like sparkle, and turning into a dull colour. He sagged slightly, giving his will up. He let Matthew steal his will, submitting to his fate. Having one friend was better than having no friends. Alfred needed friends. Alfred needed Matthew. Matthew would stay… Matthew would never leave poor Al… Al was safe with Matthew… He did say that they would be together… forever...
"I will stay with you!" Matthew promised aggressively in a quiet voice, sounding even more possessive than before, as he smirked at Alfred's submission.
Down on Slum Street, where villains and the poor gathered, at the entrance of the ally under the hanging 'Slum Street 53' sign, a red haired man walked out. He had a strange owl on his shoulder, perched on sharp talons and preened. The alleyway was rumoured to be the home and shop of the infamous necromancer.
A young man's voice called out to him and the ginger looked in the sound's direction, slightly surprised to be openly address like this. He watched as Matthew ran towards him happily, giddy with energy.
"It's been a while!" He greeted politely and loudly, another student after him by the elbow. He was gently smiling with a light blush and a pleased expression. "Come on! You too Alfred!" Matthew encouraged his friend to follow and greet the redhead as well, nudging him to reply.
"Well, well…" The Scottish man said as the two approached, greeting the bubbly Canadian who was gleefully pulling Alfred closer to his body, pressing themselves together.
Alfred looked awful.
His once tanned skin was pale and tight with stress and lack of going outside. His cheeks were gaunt, probably from mild malnutrition and he had sagging bags under his eyes from exhaustion. He appeared weak and feeble. His corn coloured hair was slightly messy and greasy and his eyes were dead and down casted as he stared unfocused downward. He looked like he was having a terrible time at the moment. He looked sad as he muttered in a tired, strain voice.
Alba smirked as he watched the American.
'Ohh…' He seemed interested in how much the two had changed now. They were very different from before.
Matthew began to cheerful recite what had happened to them since the ritual. He clung onto Alfred's shoulder tightly in a seemingly very painful grip, his fingers and nails digging in deeply, not letting the American have the chance to leave or step away. As if he could. "We're always together! Right! Alfred?"
"Ye… Yeah." Matthew smiled brightly while Alfred murmured unhappily.
"When I am with Matthew, I am not alone!" He looked at at Alba with a forced smile that stretched the tight skin over the hollowed cheeks. The dried, tired skin looked pasty as he tried to appear happy and bright. "I… …am very happy!" His tired voice croaked out enthusiastically. It was a weak act.
"Is that so?" Alba replied, smiling. He had probably predicted this outcome. This co-dependent Alfred that relied so helplessly on the possessive Matthew who was treating him as an object to be hoarded away.
The two students continued back down the street. Matthew waved back cheerfully while the submissive Alfred looked down again. "See you!"
Alba smirked knowingly at their backs, the wind sweeping his crimson hair forward slightly, making it dance like fire.
'So this… is your wish!'
Matthew was clinging onto Alfred's shoulders again.
"You could say that he is an 'incubus' a demon, which attaches to humans and grants them bonnie dreams." Matthew glanced back to look at the red head, hugging Alfred close as if Alba might try and take him away. He had a possessive grin creepily spread over his dipped shadow face in mania. His expression screamed, mine mine mine!
"They will use any means to acquire the heart of their target." The smile became more twisted and sinister as it spread impossibly wide. The swirling lavender eyes were stretched maniacally and stared possessively back at the necromancer with a mad glee. He's mine! All mine!
"This laddie's amplified desire is… Monopolisation!"
The two students left hand in hand. Matthew's aura clearly screamed, 'I will never let you go again!', as their shadows stretched out behind them. Matthew's dark winged shadow cupped the head of Alfred's limp shadow, smirking possessively.
It was the monopolisation of a true incubus.