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HALLOWEEN STORY PART TWO                              Take me home, delicious heart.




         Vitus gripped the fighting crow a moment longer, as the dark shapes surrounded him. He released it, and it too transmogrified into a human-- a livid woman.
      “I'm sorry!” Vitus said, holding his hands up to show his sincerity, “honestly, I just want to talk!”
      “A circle boy just wants to talk!? You wanna scrap, fucker?!” the former crow curled her lip as she snarled, her curled hair listing to the side, revealing a bald scalp beneath. “Lotta fucking nerve you got!”
      “No!” Vitus held up his hands in a pleading gesture, “I'm sorry. I know what the Circle does is wrong! I agree... I think, I...” He backed away from an aggressively approaching man, who curled his black claws in a threatening gesture.
      “Wait,” the thin moustachioed man held a hand in front of his brother, “let's hear what the lad has to say. Could be good for a laugh at least.”
His fellows stared in complete indignation.
      “Cassius Trower.” the man continued, gesturing to himself, ignoring the bug eyes of his partners. “Who are you, and why should we listen?”


     “Vitus Whitestone. I'm.. I'm nobody. I'm just a 'Circle boy' like you say, but... I see what happens and I think it's wrong. There's no reason for us to do these things to Crowboys. “      The bald figures shared a strange look but seemed to relax their tense postures.
     “I feel like there must be a way for the two of our groups to get along somehow.” he continued, wishing he could more quickly call upon his readings of early Harlan diplomacy. The woman laughed loudly, but Trower shook his head at her and looked back for Vitus to continue.
     “I know I'm not important in the Circle, but maybe I could convince the others. I'd need your cooperation though. Do you think there's any chance we could form a truce?”      Trower looked thoughtful, again ignoring the dubious faces of his friends.
     “You are an interesting character Mr. Whitestone. I like your idea, I could see about setting up a meeting with our leader. What would you think of that?” Vitus was stunned and confused. The other Crows stared at Trower like he was insane.
     “Your... leader? I thought...”
     “Yes the leader of the Crowboys. A big mystery isn't it? Well, you could be the first to know! Wouldn't that be exciting?” Trower had a tiny smile beneath his neat moustache.      “Um, why... yes it would.” Vitus looked at the Crows sideways. He'd never guessed they'd be this receptive, but perhaps no one had even tried this much before. Trower gave a knowing look to the other man, who seemed to realize something.
     “Yes,” the smaller man said in a youthful voice, “I think we could do that.”
Vitus was silently concerned.
     “Don't be nervous,” Trower said, “let's meet on the roof of the Schrub hotel in an hour. You can leave if you don't like how things are going.”
Vitus nodded slowly. As he watched the crows return to wing and flap off, he really wished he could fly.




     It was a hard hour of taxi cabs and scaling buildings. They kept building them taller and taller these days; he wasn't used to it. He clambered up onto the roof of the large hotel. The world was a whirring carnival of strange contraptions, ventilation chimneys puffing away and pipes buzzing and groaning. He smelled the crows somewhere among these strange shapes.  



     “Hello?” he called. His voice seemed to be picked up on a breeze and dissipated like chaff on the wind. A large pipe clanged and groaned as he began following the scent. He began to feel very nervous, perhaps he should have told Demetri. Just in case, to have someone to back him up.

No... what if they found out? That would destroy any trust they had in me. I've got to show them that I mean what I say.

Vitus walked near some spinning top of a contraption. The shadows in this area were dense and black like thick, vertical oil spills covering the metallic surfaces. The smell of the crowboys was very strong here, like they were in his presence, and yet he saw nothing.

What kind of trick is this? They're hiding? No... my eyes can spot that simple of a ruse.

Suddenly, from the complex surfaces of the machinery, the trio were there, eyes aglow. As if they'd been there the whole time and he'd been unable to see them.


  Vitus must have looked stunned, because Trower softly chuckled.
   “We've got better tricks than your simple shadow cover, lad.”
Vitus tried to look amiable. "Ah yes, haha... well then, how shall we proceed?"
The smaller man had a wild look, "You think you're really going to meet the head honcho this easily?"
Vitus cast about nervously. The small man stepped forward, his shoulders hunched up and his hands hidden in his sweater sleeves. "You pals with Demetri?"
   "Hmm? Well... I don't know. That's not really what--"
   "I knew it!" the woman breathed out huskily, "what did I say?" her hands were hidden behind her back.
Vitus shook his head vigorously, "No, really that has nothing to--"
   "Doesn't it?" Trower smiled eerily, "it would be rather convenient for Mr. Ionavic to send some unknown to set up a silly 'truce' just to roust us all the more effectively."    "No! Honestly it's not--"
   "You fucking pretty little faggots..." the small man lurched forward again, his hands squirming in his sleeves, "you think you're so much better than us? We deserve to die, do we? Rip our guts out and have your fun?"
   "No! I don't know what--"


   It turned to melee in an instant. Vitus was halfway monstrous by the shock of it. Black feathers sprouting from his head matched the growths on his attackers.
   The woman laughed "We ain't gonna believe yer one of us that easy pritty!" Trower was vicious and strong; Vitus could hardly stay on his feet. He dashed about, trying to avoid their attacks. The woman and the smaller man wielded thick axes that they swung with unnatural precision. Vitus' shirt sleeves were torn to shreds in seconds. He had to do something. He focused all of his strength into a single attack.



The man's head splattered in a powerful stream, his bones fragmented, flying like shrapnel.
   "You sick fuck!"
   "Murderers! Bloody murderers!"
His attackers were now more incensed than ever.



   Vitus bounded around the rooftop, ducking from the spinning axes, and hardly succeeding. As he leaped over a groaning vent, he spotted something bizarre rushing between two pipes like an organic freight-train. In his distraction he turned a corner too slowly, and received a heavy blow from an axe in the small of the back.



   He was lifted straight off the ground with the axe imbedded in his back, until the wood handle snapped with a loud crack. The laughter of his attackers echoed around the strange environment, swirling around in the stagnant air.



   His assailants beat him and stabbed him until they were bored, and had a good idea that he was finished off anyhow. It was pretty hard to kill a vampire that way, and they weren't in the mood for a decapitation.
   "You going to die now, boy." the woman said, "the sun's coming up soon, the birds can finish ya off."

   The crows chuckled to themselves, a Circle member was quite a mark to bump off, even a feeble youth. They took to wing and flapped away, leaving the gory scene behind. Vitus leaned back, and rested his head on the sticky asphalt. He had no more energy, no more life. He couldn't do this any longer. It was over.









The Boss stretched out of the pipe. It really was rude for people to talk about you when you were right there. His children didn't know though, they didn't even know his name, even though they pretended that they did. Funny that they knew his trick though, but he was better at it than they were.

What a scene. Kids. What are you gonna do with 'em?




Poor lad.

He reminded the Boss of someone he'd known in life. Helpful little busybodies. Like that old song about the bees on the honeycomb, how did that go again? Well anyway...

What was that those kids were saying? A truce? Seemed like a fine idea. He hated to intervene in nearly anything, but this one warmed his black heart like a fiery coal. Would be awful convenient too. The less fighting and carrying on between his kids and the Circle, the less work he'd have to do in the future.

This lad seems like the sort who wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth or what have you-- the kind to appreciate a friendly favor. You scratch my back, I scratch yours and so forth.


Hey pal, have one on me.



Actually, have two! I'm in a generous mood.


  The bodies dropped on Vitus, waking him from his death-sleep. Instinct took over.  


This is what happens... this is what happens when you try to be nice...




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