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The Progeny: Chapter 19

by MissGangamash

Evie woke at noon feeling like there was no need for an early start. It wasn’t as if she had anything to do with her life now. Except…try to find a life.

She changed into her newly ironed clothes but they felt stiff and dirty. Caius would be asleep. She could nip home and wash her clothes. Get more clothes. See Caius again…even just watching him sleep…

With that decided, she shoved all of her belongings into her backpack and left. The sun was high in the sky which made her wince, but the breeze was still in the air so it was acceptable for her to wear her bobble hat.

The front door was locked but she had taken her key so she slipped inside, no need to be quiet. It wasn’t as if Caius was going to hear her. If he was even still there… Suddenly, panic washed over her and she found herself leaping up the stairs taking two at a time.

After throwing open the bedroom door so hard it smacked into the wall, she relaxed against the framework with a sigh of relief at the sight of Caius curled up in the centre of the double bed with a thin white sheet coiled around him like shed skin. The light from the landing lit him up like a spotlight in the pitch black room.

She stepped forward and felt something crunch under her boot. Pulling back her foot, she noticed the crumbled up tissue crisp with old blood. She sucked in a gasp and flicked on the bedroom light to take in the rest of the room. The double bed was sat in the middle of a sea of old bloody tissues. Tears burned in the backs of her eyes and she stepped over them and sank down on the edge of the bed. Tissues also littered the bed and when Evie craned her neck, she noticed he still held one tightly in the fist that he was resting on. His hair covered his face but by the state of the room, she guessed red tear stains marred his perfect porcelain cheeks. Looking around the room and witnessing what she had done to him, it was clear. Evie had broken his heart.

She lay beside him and brushed back his hair that was thick with grease and noticed the heavy stubble surrounding his thin pink lips. His eyes seemed to have sunken into his skull and dark rings hung under them from exhaustion. She squeezed her eyes shut and pressed her forehead into his shoulder.

“I’m so sorry I’ve done this to you. I love you so much.” A sob escaped her and she choked on it. “Why do I have to love you so much?”

She wrapped her arm around his middle and pressed herself against his back. He could have been in hibernation for all she knew. Had he drank since she had left? Had he just lay in bed staring at the ceiling while his vision turned red? While she was out making friends and trying to discover herself, Caius was being dragged under by the unyielding claws of depression.

He had been depressed before. Living for just over a thousand years would do that to the most put-together person in the world. But Evie had been there for him. To hold his hand. To guide him. To pull him out of the pit. Without her…this is what would have happened.

But there was no use being guilty. She couldn’t stay. A vampire and a human could never work out. That’s why people saw them getting married as an abomination. Maybe they’re not being cynical. Maybe it was just a fact.

And with that in mind, she prised herself off of him and pushed herself to her feet. She had come to use the washing machine and grab some new clothes, not to wallow and torture herself.

She stripped out of her dirty clothes and changed into a fresh set before heading down the stairs, forcing herself to not look back.

But as she leaned against the counter top in the kitchen, her mind started to wander.

Maybe I should just become a vampire again. It would solve everything. Caius would go back to being my Maker. It would no longer be so terrible that I love him and things could go back to the way there were.

But the simple, undeniable truth was…she didn’t want that. Immortality was a curse. Nico had been right. Doors that had been bolted shut were now flying open. She couldn’t go back to being a vampire. She just couldn’t. Things might look like they were at a standstill now but she did want all those things she had said to Caius. She wanted to get married. She wanted kids. She wanted grandkids. She wanted to grow old. She wanted a career.

She wanted to be human.

She whipped up some beans on toast for herself and sat in front of the television. When she had done, the washing machine had also finished. She moved her clothes into the dryer then relaxed back onto the sofa, knowing that she had no priorities now. She could watch mindless telly all day.

It was half past four when a vibration in her pocket yanked her out of her dazed state and she sucked in a startled breath. Her soft bird song ringtone that came free with her phone soon accompanied the buzzing. She pulled out her phone and arched an eyebrow when she saw Joe’s name lit up on the screen. I hope I don’t regret giving him my number, she thought as she answered the call.

“Hey, Joe.”

“Hey, Evie, are you busy?”

Her eyes shifted to the advert on the screen selling mop heads.“Not really, why?”

She was pretty sure she heard him sigh. “Can you get down to the Golden Lion in like…fifteen minutes?”

She furrowed her brows. He sounded different but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Rushed, maybe? On edge? Tired? What was it?

“Erhh…yeah, I guess so. Okay.”

Another sigh. “Okay, great. I’ll see you soon.”


He hung up on her.

“Well that was odd…” she said to herself before slipping her phone back into her jeans pocket.

The pub was about a ten minute walk away so she figured she could go and meet up with Joe and find out what the hell is going on, and then be back in time to take her clothes out of the dryer and iron them.

She left her backpack upstairs but put on her hat and coat. Caius hadn’t moved. She ran her hand over the feather soft skin of his shoulder before leaving. Every touch was like torture but she couldn’t stop herself.

Joe was waiting for her at the bar, hunched up on a bar stool. He didn’t look back when she walked in but when she took the stool beside him, his eyes shifted to her and he seemed too pale.

“Joe, what’s going on? You sounded so weird on the phone,” she asked with a nervous laugh. Everything about him seemed…off. The way he was clutching his glass. The way his jaw was set. The way he was shifting uncomfortably on the stool. It was starting to make Evie uneasy.

He stared ahead but leaned into her a little, lowering his voice. “I need you to leave out of the back exit. Walk. Don’t run. Don’t look back. But once you’re out…get as far away from here as fast as you can.”

Her blood ran cold at the intensity of his whisper. She was about to look around the pub but Joe caught her. “Don’t look. Act normal. Leave.”

His deep brown eyes flashed up at her. The weight of his gaze made her shrink back a little. They shimmered with brewing tears. “I’m so sorry. This isn’t my fault. It had nothing do to with me, I promise.”

“What are you talking ab-”

“Just go.” He ducked his head to the bar.

She hopped off the stool and made her way towards the back door, trying her best not to look back but the urge was too great. Three men from the back tables had gotten to their feet. They were dressed in washed out denim and plaid but there was something about their faces…Their scrunched up, tight features that showed they meant business. Evie recognised that look. They were Nico’s men.

Fear sent her heart pounding. Her eyes flew to Joe who still had his head bent, his eyes clenched shut. She stumbled over her feet as she hurried to the door. The sound of scraping chairs and a wail of pain made Evie look back for a fraction of a second before she leapt out of the door. Joe had kicked out the stool beside him and one of the men had toppled over it, cursing.

She was out in the car park. Her mind was spinning. Her nerves were shot. Where was she? How did she get to the main road? Were those men still gaining on her?

The door flew open behind her and before she even had a chance to figure out the best way out, her legs were sending her fleeing across the car park and round the corner. Due to the horrible winter breeze that seemed to cut right through you, there weren’t many people out which terrified Evie even more. Her hat blew off, sending her red hair whipping across her face. She yanked the strands from her eyes, gulping up scratchy winter air as she veered down a driveway behind a Chinese takeaway.

She slammed her back against the back of the building but bed double, grabbing her knees to hold herself up as she coughed and gagged on the air. She was now in a small tarmac area which she guessed was for unloading deliveries.

Where they still chasing her? She didn’t know. She hadn’t heard footsteps clattering behind her, but that could have been because they had been drowned out by the wailing of the wind which had sent her ear unbearably numb.

“Thought you’d gotten away from us, darling?”

Evie jerked up and smacked her back against the wall. Her heart was in her throat. She was staring down the barrel of a gun. Four men swarmed around her. Different men to the ones in the pub. These men were dressed all in black, equipped with rifles and armoured with bullet proof vests. Definitely Nico’s men. She recognised the rifles from the ones that the guards had held.

There was no doubt about it now.

She held her shaking hands up as her wide eyes flickered from one gun to the other, all trained on her.

“Y-you’re going to shoot me? D-doesn’t Nico want me back? B-bit of a waste to j-just kill me.”

One of the men –the one who had spoken earlier- sneered at her. “Nine of our men died when you escaped with your little vampire friend. I should kill you right now.” He stepped forward and jabbed forward with his gun, making Evie gulp and shrink back. “But I won’t. These are tranquilisers. Dr. Bergan wants you back alive. So we can either do this the easy way, or the hard way.”

“W-what’s the easy way?” Evie asked, buying time although she wasn’t sure what for. They were blocking her only escape route.

“We lower our guns and you come with us.”

“A-and the hard way?”

The man grinned. “We sedate you and drag you ba-kah!”

The man’s eyes rolled back in his head. Blood poured out of his open mouth. Evie looked down and almost threw up at the sight of the mangled fist that had punched straight through his chest like it was drywall. The man’s heart was in its grasp, held out to Evie like an offering. The fist retracted with a wet sound and the man fell to the ground in a heap. The three remaining men started firing hysterically at the hunched up figure as it lurched, jumped and staggered around them like a dying fly. It swooped, becoming a black blur and then buckled and coughed, spraying the floor with blood, clutching its middle.

Everything was happening so fast that Evie’s eyes were rolling around in their sockets. The figure sank its teeth into one of the other men’s throats, its wild black hair hiding it’s bloody face as it tore at his neck until the man dropped dead. The figure then fell beside the body, curling up on itself as the sun overhead crisped its skin. It howled and shrieked and shook as bloody blisters covered its pale skin. But then bullets began firing again and it staggered doggedly to its feet to dodge them. It swooped and ripped one of the other men’s head clean off, spraying blood and entrails like a grotesque piñata.

The last man, now too terrified to even hold his gun, let it clatter to the ground and tried to make a run for it. The black figure threw the head aside and it rolled to Evie's feet. She fought back the urge to vomit as it stared sightlessly up at her. The distinct crack of bones made her head bounce up just in time to see the last man drop to his knees and keel over.

Evie was gasping for breath. The metallic smell of blood clogged her nostrils. The figure staggered into the shadows of the trees and fell to the ground, groaning and spewing blood.

Evie blinked in shock. She was gripping the bricks of the wall behind her so tightly that her fingers were burning. Bodies lay massacred around her but they were in the back of her mind. She squinted into the darkness, trying to get a good look at the figure shaking and crying like a wounded animal. She edged forwards to get into a position where the hanging branches were no longer obstructing her view.

Then she saw it for real. Saw him. The long matted hair draping over his face. The old threadbare grey tunic that hung down past his knees like a nightshirt. And the sobbing. Oh, the sobbing. The sound was like daggers to her heart.

She closed the distance between them, letting the shadows swallow her up, and dropped to her knees beside him. He winced and curled in on himself, his body shaking with agony. She carefully brushed his hair away from his face. Her heart plummeted at the state of him. His skin had torn from his cheeks, leaving bone behind. One eye had completely melted shut and there was nothing left of his lips to hide his bloody fangs.


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Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:41 pm
megsug wrote a review...

Gah. Poor little Caius. I'm glad he's still around, and I'm glad we've finally got some action again. I think that's important.

I mean... I think they're both unhealthily attached to each other, but how could you not devote yourself to someone as intense as Caius is? He's my favorite character, I'm pretty sure. He didn't ask for any of this, and it really sucks for him.

I thought it was a little weird that she just hung around his house. Even though he's practically unrousable (obviously he could wake up in an emergency), she's just watching tv and chilling? That's weird and creepy. That she's even washing clothes at his place is weird...

It would be one thing if she was deciding to stay, but she's not.

I'll be interested to see what Joe's roll in all of this is. I don't understand why he would tell her to come to the pub in the first place. Seems like that put her in even more danger.

This chapter was so boss. I don't even think I have much to complain about. I've been waiting for Nico to come back and was wondering if his men would ever make another appearance. I think that pacing actually played in your favor.

Jeez. Caius is so pathetic, but he's so fantastic. I'm just curious. Why didn't he use any of those men, even the last one to feed? Wouldn't that help him? I'm just curious.

*takes a breath to calm down and gather myself*

My main concern with the action scene is it's very confusing. With Caius attacking then howling then dodging, I think what you could afford to do is break up the paragraphs into smaller ones. Smaller paragraphs are indusive for action scenes because it takes less to unpack them.

I feel like you've ended a chapter with "Caius." more than once. Just be careful. You don't want to be too repetitive.


MissGangamash says...

Awh yay! I'm glad Caius is your fave. He's pretty great in my opinion haha.

It's not his house, it's their house. They place they've lived together in for years so for her to go back isn't weird. And she did say she'd come back for her things. And they didn't have a nasty break up, their relationship just became too difficult.

While Caius is saving Evie, he's also killing himself. He's in a lot of pain so to use his compulsion powers would be using strength he does not have at this point. So he just saves her the quickest way he can.

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Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:21 pm
ExOmelas wrote a review...

The pub was about a ten minute walk away so she figured she could go and meet up with Joe and find out what the hell was going on

he seemed too pale

to pale?

She slammed her back against the back of the building but bed double

I'm guessing that's meant to be bent

Were they still chasing her?

its wild black hair hiding its bloody face


I really liked this chapter. Its pace and setting were excellent. Its characterisation was a lot more subtle than the last chapter. It was a great twist and you gave just the right amount of information from Joe. I have no idea where this is going to go now, which is great.

Seriously struggling for a criticism on this one.

Maybe that the bit with Joe was a little rushed? It made the two halves of the chapter seem sort of jammed together.

Anyway, well done :D

MissGangamash says...

Thanks for pointing out the mistakes! I'm hoping at some point there will be none XD

I'm glad you liked it! This is the start of a big turning point in the novel so it's good to hear you don't know what's going to happen next :D

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Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:28 am
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Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:26 pm
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Sonder wrote a review...

Hey Gangamash! Wow, for once I'm the first reviewer. :)

I did catch some grammatical stuff and a few awkward sentences so I'll start with that.

She changed into her now ironed clothes

I thought this was a bit awkward, and it might work better if you changed "now" to "newly".

Living for just over a thousand years would do that to the most together person in the world.
I think you mean "put-together"? Even so, I think that a better adjective could have been used here, such as stable? It's the writer's choice, though.

That’s why people see them getting married as an abomination. Maybe they’re not being cynical. Maybe it was just a fact.
You changed tenses here. It was confusing whether this was Evie thinking or what, but you should fix that. The rest of the story is past tense, and then you switched to present here, then back again.

And with that in mind, she prised herself off him
I looked up the word "prised" and found that it is properly used here, so that's good. I would add an "of" after "off" so that it's more grammatically correct.

She whipped herself up some beans on toast and sat in front of the television.
I found the phrasing a bit odd here. I think it would be better to say, "She whipped up some beans on toast for herself/ her dinner" instead. The phrasing made it seem that she was whipping herself up. :P

The sentence immediately after that one is a run-on.
When she had done, the washing machine had also finished so she moved her clothes into the dryer then relaxed back onto the sofa, knowing that she had no priorities now.

his eyes shifted to her and he seemed to pale.
"To" -> "too"

Due to the horrible winter breeze that seemed to cut right through you, there weren’t many people out which terrified Evie even more.
Run-on. Split into another sentence or cut down on the description.

She hadn’t heard footsteps clattering behind her but that could have been because they had been drowned out by the wailing of the wind which had sent her ear unbearably numb.
Another run-on. The description is great but it's too much in one sentence.

“Y-you’re going to shoot me? D-doesn’t N-Nico want me b-back? B-bit of a waste to j-just kill me.”
Okay, so this stuttering thing is overdone in her talking with Nico's men. One or two little stutters are okay, I suppose, it just went overboard in this dialogue. However, I think it may have worked better for you to just say, "Her voice stutter/shook/quaked from the cold/exertion/whatever." Just my opinion though.

at the sight of the mangled fist that hand punched straight through his chest
I think you mean "hand" to be "had"? Great imagery.

the man fell to the floor in a heap.
This is a really stupid nitpick, but aren't they outside? Wouldn't he have fallen to the ground instead of a proper floor? Sorry, that is me being super picky. XD

The three remaining men started firing hysterically at the hunched up figure as it lurched, jumped and staggered around them like a dying fly. It swooped, becoming a black blur and then buckled and coughed, spraying the floor with blood, clutching its middle.
This is great description, but unfocused. I was confused by what the figure was actually doing, or if it was just moving around the men as it got shot at. I just think some clarity would be nice. Not sure if you should cut down on the description, but it may be clogging up that action. Which is a shame, because it's really great here.

In the killing of Nico's men, I got a wee bit confused with the numbers. After the first man died by fist thru chest, you said that three men were left. You then described one too many deaths, I thought. There was death by vampire suckage, death by broken neck, death by pinata. XD But then there was the last man left who ran away in fear? I counted four, after you said there were only three. Either there is confusion over who is dying in what ways, or you named the wrong number.

Finally, the last dialogue of "Caius" should be a separate line. :)

Plot Thoughts

Wow. This was an awesome chapter. The descriptions were great, the characters were well fleshed (although I did feel Joe could have had a bit more screen time), and man, were those deaths fabulous!
I loved Evie's nostalgia when she visited Caius, and the description of the tissues and Caius's depression broke my heart. That was great, and it made me genuinely feel something for him. Joe's mystery immediately made me know that something was wrong, and the action with Nico's men was greatly appreciated. I knew that they'd come back, and I'm thrilled to see what other action occurs. I'm also intrigued with Joe's involvement with Nico, and whether his vampire partner has anything to do with it.
And then there are the death scenes. Wowie. Even if the counting was a bit confusing, they were so well written! The gore was fabulous, especially the beheading and the fist-thru-chest deaths. I loved those.
I knew that the figure was Caius. But man, the description of his pathetic state made my heart twist. The injuries he suffered were amazingly written as well. How heroic of him, how he came into the daylight to save her, despite his own pain. Ah, my heart. That was a really interesting twist, and I'm so so excited to see where you go with this next. :)

Keep writing and being amazing!


MissGangamash says...

Thanks for pointing out the errors! I really do edit before I upload but I'm pretty hopeless XD

I think I got a bit excited with the killings, making me accidentally add another death haha. Sorted it out!

I'm glad you liked the chapter, it's one of my favourites ^_^ Caius to the rescue! Haha.

She really did a number on him when she left </3 Don't worry, it's not the end of Joe, he pops up later on.

Glad I'm tugging on your heartstrings! That's the reaction I want from this novel. A few tears are always good, too ;)

All the relationships in this are just, uhh, I can't explain. I just love these characters so much, they're like my babies. <3

Thanks so much for the review! :D

Sonder says...

Nah, those errors are nothing compared to some of the messes on here. o.o
The deaths were fabulous, I was just confused as to when an extra guy appeared to die. XD
I understand the love of one's characters! They become like a part of you.
No problem! :)

Despite everything, it's still you.
— TobyFox