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| Category: || General Fiction |
Posted:|| October 17, 2020 Views: 26|
Chapter 19 of the book DIFFERENCES (final draft)
"Chapter nineteen (final draft)"
Sweat ran down Jake's face and into his eyes but, although they stung, he couldn't wipe them away as he saw a shadow in his peripheral view. He crouched on the gravel path, ready to spring. A raindrop fell on his head, why is it always raining in England. The scent of lilies tickled the hairs in his sensitive nose, and he sneezed. Something jumped on his back. Concentrate. Jake threw the creature over his shoulder and it hit a tree trunk with a loud splat. The fist hit him in the stomach, full force. He bent double and fell on his back. Jake felt rather than saw the sword blade aim for his head. He rolled over, with the sword in hand; the diamond incrusted sword handle felt rough against his skin and fought off the attack. Sword hit sword, the two 'Pires circled one another. Jake forgot about the werewolf on the ground until he felt the half-animal half-human on his back and a sharp-pointed object at his throat.
A short, pointed ears man with a white beard and a Tefal suit jumped down from a tree nearby. "No, no, no," he boomed. "How many more times. You've got an acute sense of awareness, so use it. Never take your eyes off either of your opponents unless you are sure one of them is dead." The little man shook his head. "It's not your fault. You should have learnt this at a young age but that won't be any consolation for the general when you're dead and who do you think will get the blame, eh—" he poked Jake in the chest—"me, that's who. Not the humans that bought you up, oh no, but Mr Goat; that's who. Your trainer. The dwarf who trained you. They will say I didn't do my job. That I got you late won't come into it."
"I'm trying, Sir but it's hard and why do we have to learn on gravel. They—" he waved his arms in the vicinity of his components—"can hear me when I attack."
Mr goat scowled. "So, when in battle, you are going to ask your opponents to fight on grass so as they can't hear you?" He threw his arms in the air. "You think they'll comply?" He lifted his stick and tapped Jake on the head.
Jake sighed and gazed around the forty acres of woodland and grass space the 'Pires used as their training ground. He could hear the swoosh of the ravine as the water ran over the pebbles in the distance. His gaze wandered to the left of him and the wooden huts where the soldiers slept. The huts looked like kennels bar two, the one in the middle which looked more like a mansion with its big oak door and curtains drawn and the big white tent which acted as the canteen and recreation area. Jake turned his head and spotted two capless soldiers' approach. They wore brown jackets and trousers, a grey wolf badge embossed on the sleeve. Must be vampire killers otherwise, they would be wearing a brown wolf.
Mr Goat hit Jake in the shoulder with his stick. "Are you listening to me, young Adoifo?"
Jake rubbed his shoulder. "Yes, Sir." Where did he get the stick? I'm sure he didn't have it before. I wonder where Callore is. Fool that I am. I thought after killing the old general and everything the general might give me time with her but, no. He wanted me to train straight away. Besides, what does this little man expect? I've only been training a week, even he said others like me have trained all their life.
Someone touched Jake's arm. "Have you finished training today?"
Mr Goat scowled and turned. "No, he has—" he stopped and smiled. "Why, if it isn't my favourite and best pupil. How is life treating you, Callore?"
Callore grinned. "Fine, Sir." She jerked her head in Jake's direction. "How about him? Any good."
The dwarf shrugged. "Not bad but he will drop his guard and he fight and thinks like a human."
Callore threw her head back and laughed.
"I'm still here, you know," Jake muttered.
The two ignored him.
"Can I take him? I need to teach him to hunt."
Mr Goat waved his left hand. "Go ahead. We've finished for the day anyway." He nodded in Jake's direction. "See you tomorrow, Adoifo."
Callore linked arms with Jake and dragged him away.
"Why does he call me that? He knows I don't like it. Even the general call me Jake."
"Because he doesn't respect you, yet, but he will."
Callore screwed up her face and put on Mr Goat's thick harsh voice. "Become the best assassin you can be, boy, and I will call you whatever you want me to call you."
Jake chuckled. "You do him very well, but don't let him catch you, otherwise he might hit you with his stick."
The pair giggled.
Jake stopped first. "Isn't that Adrian? I wonder where he's going in such a hurry.
"There you are. The general wants to see you at once," Adrian called as he approached the couple. He glared at Callore, "I would have thought Number
Two would have informed you of that fact straight away."
"What's up?" Jake muttered. "Are we under attack or something?"
Adrian avoided eye contact and gazed at the ground "I think the General will have to tell you that. Hurry up please, he's waiting." With a furrowed brow and a squared jawline, Adrian turned and marched towards The General's barracks.
Why does the general want to see me so urgently? Jake glanced at Callore, clicked his heels together in a comic fashion and followed Adrian as the manservant marched across the field.
The manservant stopped at the general's brick hut and knocked on his big oak door.
"Enter," The General shouted.
Adrian moved to one side to allow them access.
Jake sighed and pushed the door, it spun open. It always amazed him, his father's quarters, with its big double bed made from straw and shaped like a coffin one side of the room and a big comfy chair with a table situated in the middle. A big oak desk with a massive swivel chair stood to the left of the door.
The general glanced up from his desk. "Jake, my boy, come in."
The young 'pire smiled, gave The General a curt nod, and entered his father's quarters. He spotted his mother out of the corner of his eye as she glided towards him.
"Hello, mother," he whispered as she touched his face with her hand. Mother, odd, it feels so natural. The rescue seemed like yesterday where Hassorev,
The General and Jake ventured into Vampire territory and saved her from her fathers, the vampire kings, wrath.
"My boy," she cried; tears streamed down her cheeks.
He wiped them away. "Don't cry, Mum. Are you feeling better?"
She nodded and flung her arms around him. "I thought I'd never see you again. I never wanted to give you to them, you know, but…"
Jake smiled. "I know, Dad explained."
The general cleared his throat. "I hate to break up this happy reunion, my sweet, but we have important things to discuss."
Jakes mother turned towards her husband and nodded. She gave Jake a final squeeze and turned away. A fresh set of tears ran down her face as she perched on the edge of a chair.
Jake frowned, why's mum looked worried and scared.
The general sat on a chair by his desk and indicated that Jake do the same. "We have received disturbing news."
Jake leaned forward in his chair, his body tensed, and his hands shook as he leaned over the desk in anticipation.
"Hassorev has disappeared," his mum blurted out.
The general sighed. "Please, Eva, let me explain."
Eva nodded and sat back in her chair. She stared at her hands and turned them over every so often.
"Hassorev has indeed disappeared, but that's not the startling news. I found out yesterday from an informant he is back with his grandfather."
"But doesn't he despise his grandfather. I mean he was locked up and kept from his parents."
The general put his hands in the air. "So, everyone thought, but it turns out, he was only acting. He was, in fact, a spy for the general, sent to infiltrate our army and find out as much as he could by befriending you. Your grandfather wanted him to recruit you and other 'Pires to his cause."
Jake scratched his head. "But I thought he hated hybrids?"
The general glanced at his wife and she nodded.
"He does, but your grandfather is a monster. He's developed a drug to cure you, as he puts it, of your infliction. This drug is dangerous and painful, but if it works, my informant said, it could kill off the non-vampire genes and make you a full-bred vampire."
Jake stared at his father- open-mouthed. "But who would… I mean, why…"
The older man shrugged. "Who knows, but some do, your cousin being one."
Jake jumped out of his chair and marched to the door. "We must stop him."
"Yes yes, all in good time, but we have more important things to think of at the moment."
Jake paused, his hand on the door handle. "Like what?"
"Like stopping your cousin from reaching your grandfather with important information."
The General lowered his head. "It is my fault, but I trusted him." He wrung his hands. "He has plans for our safe house."
Jake raised his eyebrows. "Safehouse?"
The General nodded. "When T—" he stopped and turned his headway. "I mean, err, when we find a 'Pire in another country we keep them in a kind of halfway house until we can ship them here. The place is top secret, but I talked about the location in front of Hassorev last week as we had an influx and they needed picking up."
Jake turned towards his father, a cold shiver ran down his back and his heartbeat faster. All those innocent creatures. If the vampire king gets to them first... I must stop him.
"Your next mission is to stop Hassorev completing his."
Jake frowned. "What if I fail. All those lives in my hand. Am I ready?"
"Mr Goat agrees, but he has consented to give his seal of approval as long as Callore accompanies you on this mission. I don't usually disagree with him but, in this case, with Callore by your side the experience will do you good."
"What's it got to do with him," Jake growled.
The General smiled. "Mr Goat is your trainer and well respected in our community. I follow his advice when it comes to training and my men, usually."
Jake pouted "Do you want us to assassinate him?"
The general shrugged. "I leave that up to you, but whether you do or don't, he mustn't reach the vampires with the information at all costs."
Jake stood up straight, looked his father in the eye and saluted. "Yes sir, I understand." He stopped; his hand poised on the doorknob. "What will happen if he does?"
The General turned away and walked to the window by his desk with his hands behind his back. "We will have to move the safehouse. It will be hard but not impossible."
"This will kill his parents!" Jake heard his mum cry as he left the room and went in search of Callore.
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