Poupée De la Chine
Disclaimer: I don't own any of characters. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
1: This is a follow up to my stories "New Moon" and "Queen See". You really should read them to know how I'm getting the characters into the Anitaverse.
2: I don't normally write in the Anita Blake world and the only exposure I have to it is from cross over fan fiction. I apologize if the characters are off or not canon, this is after all my take on the Anita Blake fan fiction verse. I will do my best to stay as close as possible to the characters as I’ve come to know them from reading other’s fan fiction and doing a little research on the web. I welcome any charcter suggestions, guidence and such
3: I’m placing this story in the Horror category for a reason.
“Poupée De la Chine”
Below the old warehouse that was the circus, below the basements that had been remodeled to look like dungeons, below the old city sewers long abandoned in favor of modern systems the three walked. They followed an old tunnel that had been hand dug over a century and half earlier. The original excavators could never have imagined the creatures that now made use of their work. The three walked in single file following the dim light of the bare yellow bulbs hanging from the frayed century old wire that marked their path. Their sensitive hearing picked up whimpering ahead but centuries of so many others’ whimpering dulled their concern.
The three looked out of place for the journey. All three men, as some would call them, were impeccably dressed in the style of a bygone age but one that fit them timelessly. Expensive black leather boots drummed almost silently along the stone, brick and dirt floor of the tunnel. All three wore black leather pants and the silk shirts from a long gone era of fashion. Their basic style of dress was where the three parted in appearance. Each wore a different color and style of shirt and had different styles and color of hair. The three were different yet very much the same.
The leader’s white shirt was the fanciest of the three with ruffles around both cuffs and down the front. His black, wavy collar length hair was also the shortest and least tame of the three. The next had shoulder length blond hair that somehow always seemed to obscure half of his face. His sharply pressed blue silk shirt had none of the ruffles his leader’s shirt had but the over lapping layers of material gave it a fine and expensive elegance. The third seemed to be in his natural place trailing the other two. His iron straight waist length red hair, which normally fell loosely around his body, was tied back in tight tail; the only obvious concession to the journey they were making. The third’s black silk shirt was the simplest but also, somehow the most elegant of the three.
They came to a steel door. Giant hinges and a massive lever made it look like it would be more at home in a bank vault or a secured government facility than in a tunnel dug for the Underground Railroad. The leader grabbed the lever and pulled against the giant spring keeping the latch in place. Slowly the spring gave way and allowed the latch to be moved up and out of place. Just as he was about to pull the door open, he heard a whimper from a small alcove dug out of the wall just before the door.
All three knew what was there yet they all turned at the sound anyway. A young oriental woman in her late teens or early twenties was hobbled by chains and laying on the floor. The remains of a bra and tee-shirt hung from her upper body while a tattered pair of blue jeans covered her legs. From behind a tangle of jet black hair hopeful eyes peered out at them. A dirty rag tied across her mouth stopped her from saying anything more than the occasional whimper.
The three turned back to the door as the leader pulled it open. Further down another steel barrier blocked the tunnel, only this one didn’t have a door. The first two stepped through but the third did not. He never did. Before closing the door, the red head reached into the alcove, grabbed the girl and passed her through to the blond. After pulling the door shut he waited. If he didn’t get the signal within an hour, he would open the valves, light the fuse and leave.
Half way to the next barrier the two men and the girl stopped next to a door in the wall. The door was similar to the first only this one had two latches. The blond release the chains, allowing the girl to drop to the ground. Ignoring the whimpering of the girl, the two each took hold of a lever and unlatched the door. Old yellow lights flickered as the blond pulled the door open allowing his leader to enter. He pushed the door closed but not tight enough to latch. A word or signal from his leader and he would push the door so it latched. He knew what was on the other side, he’d seen it, he’d met it, and he preferred to stay on this side.
The leader stepped into the room; the stench was fouler than normal but he would not react, he dared not react. A single covered industrial light was imbedded in the brick and concrete of the ceiling casting a never ending yellow flicking to light the room. An old debris covered heavy wooden plank table leaned crookedly against the far wall. Stain after viscous stain had soaked the table through the years making the thing look like it was always dripping something. Lying in a corner beyond the table was the broken and bleeding body of a young woman. An unnatural amount of hair covered her back and one of her legs appeared misshapen into the leg of an animal. Her back twitched as she labored to take a breath.
“Bonjour, Jean-Claude.” He turned to face the speaker. Sitting on a pallet amongst piles of debris, rotten clothes, bones and other clutter was a girl no more than ten years old. She had waist length brown hair with a blue bow tied in it, clouded blue eyes and a sweet, innocent smile. Her spotless red velvet dress was spread neatly over legs which were folded properly beneath. She held an exquisite china doll with a matching red velvet dress.
“We have been looking for this one.” Jean-Claude gestured toward the body on the floor.
“Why did you have to look?” The girl smiled. “She has been right here with me.”
“I must take her when I leave.”
“Oui, I knew you would want her back when you came with my dinner.” As she spoke she played with the doll, adjusting its dress and straightening its hair. “I did so enjoy when the wolf came, it was very pretty.”
“How did she get in here?” Jean-Claude frowned he didn’t like the idea that somebody had stumbled on this place.
“Oh, she was lost looking for some silly thing. I felt her near and called to her. Your pets are strong, but so very weak minded.”
Jean-Claude clamped down his emotions he had to show complete control, nothing less. He stepped toward the woman on the floor. Feeling a presence nearby he looked back to see the girl had moved and now stood next him. The red dress was now faded and tattered, her fine white skin now ashen and hollow and her hair was course and gray. Her clouded eyes washed out completely to a dull white. Her voice now gravelly, “An end is coming.”
“What?” Jean-Claude looked at the creature. This was one of the reasons he kept her, but sometimes it was difficult to know what she was talking about.
“The war is being re-kindled, new warriors are being recruited.”
“What war?” Jean-Claude knew he sounded dumb, but there wasn’t a war and there hadn’t been one that concerned him in a long time.
The girl was suddenly in front of him, floating so they were face to face. Her sunken, ashen skin was gone, replaced by wrinkled, dry skin. Her clouded eyes no longer blank from the vision. “The war between les enfants and les vermine.” She said in a rough voice. “We have not won yet but are close.”
“We’re legal. People can’t just kill us anymore. We’ve won.”
Jean-Claude felt himself grabbed and flung across the room. The high stone wall slammed into his back. An iron grip held him against the wall two meters above the floor. The face of the young girl was totally gone. Clouded eyes squinted at him through leather like lids. Skin dried tight as a mask over her skull pulled her lips back revealing two sets of fangs, upper and lower. The upper set curved out and back, nearly touching her chin while the lower set pointed straight up just missing either side of her nose. “Les Tueuse comes.” It hissed then pulled him out and slammed him against the wall again. “Understand me, les Tueuse comes.”
“What manner of creature is this tueuse?” She let him go and Jean-Claude fell elegantly to the floor, landing softly on his feet.
“It was made to kill us, les enfants.” She floated back down in front of him. “If it can find les Chemin and les Héros it will know its purpose.”
“How will I know it?” Jean-Claude knew the interview was about over, after so many years he knew when he was about to be dismissed.
“Les morts will die and la vie will not turn away.” It hissed. Suddenly the little girl was back. Her bright red velvet dress as beautiful as ever. Her face lit up as she said sweetly “I hunger.”
Jean-Claude grabbed the broken and barely breathing body of the female werewolf by one arm and dragged her to the door calling to Asher. “Abierto.” The door creaked open allowing Jean-Claude out dragging the barely living were with him.
At the sight of the beat and broken partially changed werewolf, the girl in chains started fighting her restraints and screaming around her gag. Asher grabbed her by the shoulders and stood her up facing Jean-Claude who quickly unlocked her chains and cut her gag. She immediately started trying to scream but her voice was raw and weak. “Please, family….better….life.” She pleaded.
Jean-Claude pulled the door open as Asher pushed the girl in. They immediately closed the door pushing it tight to set the latches. Jean-Claude leaned over and twisted the werewolf’s head, snapping her neck and ending her torture. He and Asher each grabbed an arm and dragged her back toward the entrance and the waiting Damian.
The woman stumbled into the room still pleading for her life until she saw the impeccably dressed little girl sitting in the corner. The two smiled at each other for a second. The girl said “Belle poupée de porcelaine.” Then she changed.
The three could hear the screaming as they latched the outer door and headed back up the tunnel.