Such noise.. The loud bellowing of men, arguing like squabbling children. How was an old woman to enjoy her life happily when such nonsense was going on. Their bellowing grows, steps short and quick. They were in a hurry, what brought them to such a choice in steps? It was clearer the closer they crept to the manor. “How is she still alive?” One quickly spoke, his voice that of one to young to be on this adventure. “She is a witch, when I was a child she looked JUST as she does now. Not a new wrinkle on her face.” The first was answered by a second man, one with the voice of thundering drums. Clearly an older man with some unknown grudge burned into him. How many? By the sound of their steps, three. The youngest held rather light weightless steps. The older man held heavy steps, like a boar. Another set were heavy as well, yet their steps lighter than the boar but heavier than the youngest. They would be upon the door with time.
A heavy sigh was given as her slender fingers closed the book she had been enjoying. Her lithe frame raised from it’s place, such a motion was effortless.. silent. Her robe pulled tight around her, as crystal blue hues peered curiously out the window she had been lounging in front of. The suns rays were just kissing her pale skin, a waste having to get up for such foolery as this. She could see them within her walk way, the youngest peering down as the perfectly placed stones guided their way. River stones, meant to be different shapes and sizes to bring a little beauty to her home. A rather extravagant home built with the money she had obtain through her many years living.
The youngest peered into the flowerbeds, where dried leaves had been sprinkled within. He was no older than twenty perhaps. His hair sandy, which went very well with those ocean eyes of his. A sharp whistle had brought the young man from his wondering. Swiftly he jointed the two older men, one matching his own appearance but with a leather aged face from the years working in the sun and a stern look to match. The larger man was indeed an interesting individual. His hair a rust color, matching the thick beard that covered his own well leather worn face. He wore leather armor, that of the village guards, it worked well enough for animals and minor protection from basic or dulled weapons. Raising a gloved fist the largest man began to pound on the door. “Eloise Baeumont!” He bellowed.. So loud, it wasn’t needed. She could see them from her window.. Not that it hurried her any.
She turned on her heels, feet padding softly as she walked away from the window. Her stride was elegant, one that twisted her hips as a lady often did. White robes were tightened around her body, making herself more presentable than she had been before. The robe flowed with each step, parting just enough to allow proper steps. Without a quick response the men were getting impatient.. and so more banging on the door began. The echo rang up and down the halls as the man bellowed even louder, “LADY BAEUMONT!!” The more impatient the man was growing, the slower her steps began to get. One must learn patients in order to achieve what they desire…
Finally her fingers slipped around the doorknob, twisting and pulling it so she could peer up at the men, a bright smile forming on her lips painted in a soft red. “Oh, Darlings. I didn’t mean to make you wait so long. I was all the way upstairs unable to get down right away. Stairs are hard on my old bones you know.” She spoke in the most lovely of voices, kind and gentle as she always was. It was best to be polite, flattering, and above all capable of holding such a tone without giving away your lies.
The largest man seemed to have that rust hair of his stain his face, the depth of this mans anger and impatience painted on his furious expression. He looked ready to strike but calmed himself well enough to speak through gritted teeth. “Seems rumors have climbed in the village. You’ve lived on this land far longer than most expected you to live for. Not to mention your missing husbands..” He sneered. Such daggers he threw with his eyes, emeralds that shone out with his features. Oh dear… seems he was in quite a mood now wasn’t he? He wasn’t the only one. It seemed his partner, the third member of their little crowd, was also biting his words. The iron smell of the crimson life that flowed through him wasn’t hard to smell, with how he had to bite his own cheek and refrain from speaking.
Reaching slender fingers up she ran them through her silver locks, pushing the short hair from her face. “Oh? Rumors is it? I believe within your records you have my mother who had lived here before me, and her mother as well. Surely you couldn’t possibly believe I have lived as long as you claim. With this old body of mine I scarcely leave my home, the most I am capable of doing is yard work here and there. My garden is my most prized possession.. as for my husbands, records of their death had been filed accordingly. Just because I chose to have a private burial is no reason to believe such nonsense children make up.”
“It is not children who whisper such words.” He could no longer bite his tongue. The third had finally spoke up with anger in his voice.
Raising herself into a straightened stand she spoke with slightly narrowed as. “As I said.. Children… Those who decide to whisper in the dark are nothing but children afraid to be caught by those they wish to confront but are to afraid to confront themselves.” She relaxed and stance and gave that soft smile she had before, “Of course, an old woman living alone in a large manor does tend to spread little stories now doesn’t it?” She asked, but didn’t really expect a response and continued her words. “So now I ask you, why are you really here?” She asked curiously at the three men.. though clearly the youngest was just an extra body. Neither did the elder two seem to desire to hide their emotions, both of their anger flowed from their glands. Neither had spoke words, but those eyes spoke all they wished to show.. They were out for blood. “So, in the end you came to my home to accuse me of things you have no proof of. How… Quaint… I do suppose having the company isn’t terrible though. I got to see three handsome men.” A hand reached up to touch her cheek, her smile broadened. “If you have some time you are welcome inside… Otherwise I must ask you to leave, I have some gardening to tend to.”
The larger of the men tensed ready to strike it seemed, but his arm was stopped by the third member. This wasn’t the time, “We will take our leave.” His voice sharp as he motioned for the group to start off, “… We are onto you Lady Baeumont… we know what you are and what you have done. You will be dealt with..” He turned on his heels to fallow the others. The eyes of the youngest glanced back at her. That sweet smile still etched to her face, hand still resting on her cheek. How delightful.. they thought they knew what she was? It brought a chuckle to her.. That door would close.. causing her to return to her daily life without interruptions… that is.. until nightfall.
She had known they hadn’t taken many paces into the forestry that flowed just beyond her back steps. Distance enough they believed they were hidden until the sun lowered and the sky was devoured by the night. Their eyes had to adjust before making their movements. Their steps were heard over the beautiful song of the crickets. Most of the light had been extinguished, all but the one inside her bedroom. Each man made their way to the door, testing the lock before the youngest knelt before the door. Hands grasped his tools so the lock could be picked. It took two tries, but he managed to get that wonderful click. His eyes peered to his father, lips pressing together unsure of what they were doing. There was no time to contemplate, the largest man was already opening the door to enter it.
A boar in the end.. who couldn’t keep himself quiet. His steps, though softer, were still loud like a rampaging beast, especially to her ears. They were on their way, rustling and moving at a steady pace to the stairs. Not a single one searched through material belongings, not that it mattered to her. They were just.. things. Shinny and beautiful things, but things none the less. There were few that hold sentimental value, and those resided in a strong safe hidden in a room behind walls with only two openings, an exit and entrance. Both doors were hidden from view, with triggers allowing her to easily access them. Oh how interesting it was listening to them climbing up the stairs. It allowed them just a brief moment of hiding until they touched the next floor.
Only two, the young bloods steps had stopped at the stairs. He was to go no farther it seemed, and the pair at the top of the stairs were once again heard. They grew closer to the room. As they walked they peered into the rooms along the hallways, scanning as if afraid she would jump out at them at any moment.. but it never happened. Each room was different than the next, a room built for herbalism and alchemy for potions and herbal medicines. There was another with nothing but stuffed beasts, forever preserved in elegant poses to show off their natural graces. An office, filled with paper, quills, and ink. Records sat on the desk revealing what companies she was profiting from and who owed her a great sum of money. At the end of the hall was her room, and it swiftly became their focus.
The door was already ajar, opened enough it wouldn’t squeak or creak as a large hand would press it open. A single candle was lit on the bedside, a book beneath the candle’s lights light waiting to be read. The light danced from the book to a figure sleeping within the bed. The largest man held his hand up, motioning for the other to stop. They waited for just a moment, to be sure the body within the bed was sleeping. Indeed it appeared that way. Once confirming a hand gesture was given and both moved. They were swift, blades drawn as quietly as possible and driven right into the body. One thrust wasn’t enough, both men removed the blade only to swiftly delve them once more into the blankets in an attempt to kill what ever lay within the blankets. Their motions only stopped when their arms ached of the act. Removing their blades they both took a step back to catch their breath, which had become labored during the fierce act. The pride the largest man showed splayed over his face with a half smile that turned into a grin. Such a sadistic act should never bring a smile to ones face, even his partner in the act had not worn a smile. His lips simply pressed hard at what they had just done. “… we did it..” The larger man said as he grinned.
Victory was bittersweet however… The moment his words spoke out they could hear the strike of a match fallowed by the illumination of a newly birthed flame. Their features twisted gradually to dread as they turned towards the light. The flames light danced along slender fingers and gradually along an arm. Just before the flames illuminated her face, a pair of eyes could be seen like some nocturnal beast. Once in view narrowed crystal eye were fixed on them, they lacked the warmth they had when they first met her.
No words had time to leave parted lips. The larger man was swift to move, blade drawn and ready. There was no time to stop him, but a shout was released only to fall on deaf ears. The blade was mid swing towards the old woman.. but the blade wouldn’t bite flesh. The only thing it connected to, was the curtains. As the fabric fell in half, the moons eerie light washed over the room. The light bathed them in view, not that she needed it. Though now they could see her body clearly. No robes adored her body, revealing how much more it lacked in age than her face, fit as an elder warrior. Those eyes of hers illuminated, the eyes of a predator hunting with the moonlight.
Her body began to change, bones popped and snapped lengthening fingers and toes. Her body contorting and twisting as she twisted as muscle grew with the twisting bone until it came together into a monstrous shape. The hair on her body swiftly grew into a thick coat of fur. Her once humanoid face twisted more bestial, yet it didn’t go past a still recognizably human face. A half beast form, she didn’t need to transform farther.. this was enough.. A flick of her sprouted tail and she was on the move. Her speed was not expected and caused the larger man to swing his blade like some novice. Claws easily sank into the man’s face. Now of equal height.. her reach was much longer and a blade wielded poorly can easily be dodged.
The man’s scream had started, but swiftly silenced as those claws swiped down removing eyes and lower jaw from his body with one quick motion. Clearly he was still alive, thrashing, gargling, and sputtering blood to the wooden floor. Claws sank deep into the man’s chest, grasping ribs and gave a powerful pull. Bone cracked then snapped as she pulled the rib free. Only more gargles and sputtering of blood came with thrashing arms in an attempt to stop the agonizing pain. Fingers grasped around her throat, but was unable to do much more as she reached back in to crush the quickly beating heart from his chest. Large arms fell, body twitching for only a few seconds. That was one… Her head snapped back to the man left.. He had yet to even move.. His face lost all of it’s color.. Stomach churning. The woman they intended to kill… stood there before him coated in his companions crimson life.. Realization dawned on him, and he turned to run. His frame almost falling out the door, but pushing off with his knee allowed him to stand once more.
Her body slowly stood fully upright.. eyes staring in the direction the man had sprinted. A grin spread over her twisted face. Her body tensed, muscles and body contorted and twisted once more. Her face elongating, into that of a large wolf ears flicking at the sounds of frantic running. If it was to be a chase…. she would politely oblige. Fur thickened as she properly took her shape. Her slender frame still elegant with silver fur slicked and smooth even after the full change. Dropping to all fours she rushed out the door. Dropping to all fours allowed for swifter speed. The man’s steps were loud, but her steps were a thunder after him. Her lips coiled to bare her white teeth. Snarls and growls echoed down the hall.
Sliding the man grasped the banister, “RUN!” Was all he managed to say to his son bellow before the man was lifted from the ground as the blur of silver fur and crimson life connected. Fangs tore through flesh as if he was nothing more than butter for a blade. Screams twisted and pain filled echoed through the hall. Bone crunched, flesh tore, muscle separated as a limb wetly struck the ground. The young man stood, eyes wide at the mangle of fur and body of his father was thrashed about like some rag-doll. His fathers words to run echoed in his mind.. begging him to lift his feet from the base of the stairs. Run! What was going on? What was this monster of fur and teeth?! RUN! Why couldn’t he move? The color drained from his young face. It wasn’t until silence filled the room that he finally took a step back. Twisting her body around, she faced him. Her body far larger than it had once been, and within her jaws the young man’s father, eyes wide, mouth gaped open dying in a feared state. Jaws parted to drop the man’s upper body with a wet smack. A growl thundered in her chest, jaws parting as her body raised to stand upright. A deep breath was taken, then a mighty howl was given as she threw her head back. Her silver fur now painted in both crimson lives.
The howl forced the young man to finally run out of the manor and to the forest, unlucky for him… she too fallowed his steps into that forest. None would know the truth of this night, but that meant none who witnessed could be left to tell stories…