Deacon and Daiyu- Pt 1

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The apartment smelled so good, it wasn't something I'd noticed in other places before. It wasn't the passing trail of the smell goodness or a woman on the street. I stood in the little living room just breathing it in to try and capture it in my memory. Dusky vanilla, fading roses, skin, cocoa butter, a few other essential woman things I couldn't identify. Under the sweet female smell, the air felt heavy and laden with something terrible.

I stopped at the end of a dim hallway, I didn't want to keep going. I knew what I was there for and pulled my knife. I stood waiting for something, a sound, a movement, a breath. When it came, it was slight. The rustle of flesh against fabric, led me down the hallway deeper into the heavy air and lack of nice woman smell.

"Deacon?"

I knew the little husky voice and sheathed my knife. I walked into a destroyed bedroom and at first didn't see her, she was squatting in the open window, hugging her knees, staring at anichorous black stain on the carpet.

"D you okay?"

I waited in the doorway, I loved her, but she was dangerous. I had zero desire to be reduced to another grease spot in the wrecked bedroom. She still held the knife in her hand, her white button up was torn and spattered with gore. She had tied her locs up and two had gotten loose to frame her stricken face. She was so beautiful in that moment with the lowering sunlight splaying itself across her face I wanted to take a photo but, I couldn't bring myself to.

"No, I'm not fucking okay. I killed her."

I approached slowly, the way you would approach a familiar bear.

"You know we gotta get out of here. You need a minute?"

She nodded and I squatted to do my job. I was her Boy Friday. I drove her to where she needed to go, I was her back up and anything else she needed. I pulled my little black bag out of my pocket and opened it, I felt around and pulled several oval stones from it. I placed them carefully around the biggest of the blood stains in the carpet.

"Ummum, negeltu. Ummum, negeltu. Ummum, negeltu."

I was never much of a chanter, I sang my spells. The way I'd heard them deep in the swamps back home. I felt her eyes on me, but didn't look up from my work. I moved my hand across the stain, slowly counter clockwise, waiting for the door to open.

"Ati me petababka, Ummum. Ati me petababka."

The blood re-liquefied and tumbled over itself lazily.

"Come on, fucker."

Daiyu chuckled from across the room.

"That's not very magical D. What language is that?"

I kept working, watching the pool sludge itself into vaguely human shapes while it thought about talking to me.

"Sumerian and French. Wait, there it go."

I moved my hand and a rough form of my own face stared up at me from the animated puddle of blood.

"Sarrat Irkalli. Thank you."

The image of me twisted its lips and spoke in a grave filtered voice.

"What do you want bad man?"

"I offer you anzillu. Will you accept it?"

The face shifted and smoothed itself, the mirror like surface bubbled and rolled over itself. I waited, I'd learned the hard way not to rush any underworld women, or any women in general ever. I felt Daiyu rise and pace around the perimeter of the room, usual for her. I kept my eyes on my work, if I looked away, I might find myself being pulled into a world I had no care to visit again.

"Bring the girl, show me her. Sinnis wardatu."

I looked up at Daiyu, watching her walk the perimeter one more time. She stopped mid-step and spoke to me without turning.

"Don't tell me anything bad is about to happen. I fuckin' can't."

"Uh no ma'am. They want to get eyes on you."

"They who?"

I knew her curiosity would out pace the doubt in her, I just had to wait. The muck slurped and I looked back down at it. The face there smirked at me, a strange mix of my own female nature and some dark other.

"Uh, Ummum, them, her. Come over here."

Daiyu approached cautiously, watching the blood pool turn itself to look up at her. It smiled.

"Ahatu."

Something between Daiyu and Ummum shifted, for the first time since I opened my eyes in this world I was gently but swiftly separated from the world from which I came. From the day I walked out of the swamp and into the bigger world, away from the confines of the scabrous embrace of my counterpart Renfeld I have walked as a creature secure and confident. I have never been a simple mortal man.

"D what are you doing?"

Daiyu couldn't hear me, I couldn't hear her. I watched her starting into the Abysmal plane and for the first time in many years, I felt the clutch of fear in my belly. The week before I met Daiyu, I spent an evening with Nanita St. Pierre and she read my palm at an outside table in a back roads juke.

"Deacon, Deacon dearest Deacon. I'd tell you to go home, back to your ghosts and monsters and the like but, you don't listen."

I loved looking at Nanita. She was so brown and luscious, she had the easy insouciance of a woman afraid of few things.

"Home, you know that place is gone. Now, if I buy you another drink, you gonna tell me what you read on my palm?"

Her slow smile made me smile back at her. She put her bare feet in my lap and reclined, waving a lit cigarette at me.

"Buy a bottle and I'll show you a whole new path."

I tugged on her long plump toes and looked down at her filthy feet.

"You got some big feet. I'll go get us a bottle. Gimme a little hint?"

Nanita's green eyes narrowed, she stared at me long enough to make me squirm a little bit.

"Fine. You gonna meet my Black Jade. And have an adventure. Now go get my damn booze."

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