In the Garden of Good and Evil



Scene Title In the Garden of Good And Evil
Synopsis Kaylee must take up arms to protect her son before he is even born.
Date December 19, 2011

In Dreams

The cottage safehouse known colloquially by the Ferrymen as the Garden is greener than Kaylee Thatcher ever remembers it being. Tendrils of flowering ivy bloom violet in the early dusk and are filled with small, drabber-coloured songbirds that have built nests in the gaps in the building’s old brickwork. Smoke curls fatly from the chimney and fills the air with the smell of burning firewood and embers floating on a fragrant spring breeze.

Through the streets, the reflection of the setting sun glitters on the water beyond, illuminating dandelion seedheads and dewdrops suspended in new spiderwebs strung between the tree branches in the woods that surround the property.

She feels at peace.

It’s the perfect evening for a sunset picnic. A blanket spread open in the wild, daisy-sprinkled yard will be her table. Two porcelain plates sit on either side of the arrangement, each with its own set of polished silver utensils and haphazardly folded cloth napkins. The long neck of a bottle of wine — a sauvignon blanc, she thinks, and a late harvest — sticks out from under the lip of a wicker basket at the edge of the blanket.

Joseph will join her soon. He’s inside, tending to the baby in his cradle, a large, gentle hand to rocking him into the land of dreams.

It does not occur to Kaylee that this is already where she is. Not yet.

Toes curl and uncurl, savoring the feel of the fabric under bare feet, her pale yellow flats left to sit next to the blanket. They match the cream colored sundress, with it’s large print pale roses, she put on just for him today. Long fingers trap a loose length of blonde as it flutters in front of her face, tucking it behind her ear, again with the rest of her long hair, left in a long loose blanket of curls.

Knees are bent to allow her feet to set flat on the blanket, her arms curling under her legs, holding the dress modestly against her legs, her chin rests briefly on her knees as she gazes out the glittering water in the distance, her eyes drift shut and she takes a deep breath.

Only to sigh it out softly, Kaylee was wistfully happy, in the moment.

A smile plays on her lips, as she opens her blue-eyes again and glances towards the door, where her loved ones were tucked inside. The peace felt good after so much bad that had been in their lives in the past. Resting her cheek on her knee, Kaylee waits for Joseph to appear, hopefully, triumphant from his battle to get their son to sleep.

Joseph does not emerge from the ivy-draped doorway, although the door itself has yawned open on its hinges.

The interior of the cottage is looking very dark. So is the sky, now that Kaylee thinks about it; the motes of light winking in the dewy spider webs blink out one at a time as the sun slips below the horizon. The water flattens, transforming from a luminescent blue to black.

Where is the moon?

At some point during the last few minutes, the birds have gone quiet, tucked away in their nests, bodies sheltering their hidden fledglings with nestled wings and warm bellies. The flowers drooping from the ivy pinch closed.

Something familiar brushes against the edges of Kaylee’s psychic periphery. She might not know that she isn’t conscious, but she can still recognize the presence of another telepath nearby, hazy though it is.

Inside the cottage, her baby lets loose a throaty wail.

The smile on Kaylee’s lips slowly fades, her head lifting from here it rests on her legs. Her eyes unfocus briefly, before they comes sharply into focus. Cautious awareness, sends a wash of cold through her body, making her skin prickle with goosebumps. There are not a lot of people like her that she knows of, or has seen in some time.

Worry blossoms within her chest, twisting at her stomach, as she unfolds herself. Tipping onto her knees, she slowly rising to her feet. Where was Joseph?

Her instinct is to grab for her ability at the sensation against her mind, but the sudden sound of the baby inside, throws any other thought from her mind. “No…” Kaylee doesn’t think, she only rushes forward following the cries of her son.
Even as she passes through the door, her mind tries to rationalize… maybe it was nothing. Maybe… he was just restless and they would have to put things off for another day.

So why did it feel wrong?

Inside the cottage, candlelight washes the living room in a pallid yellow glow.

Joseph’s motionless body casts a long shadow from its sprawled position on the floor. Blood gathers in the space between wooden slats and soaks through the old oriental carpet by the hearth, which sputters and pops, growing dimmer and dimmer by the moment.
As Kaylee moves closer to the cradle, still swaying with a low, shuddering creak, she sees bloodied paw prints that lead from the front door into the living room, past Joseph’s blurred shape. His dead eyes stare flatly at the ceiling overhead.

Something growls at Kaylee in the dark; lips curl up over a long mouth full of teeth. The other presence presses against Kaylee’s, testing her psyche for weakness.

And she is weak. Just not weak enough.

The silhouette of a wolf advances on the cradle, its ears pricked forward. Its steps are slow, creeping, but purposeful — the tentative stalk of a wounded predator on the hunt.


That is the reaction that Kaylee has to the sight of Joseph laying there. She wants to scream, she wants to wail out her grief; but no sound makes it past her throat, only a strangled attempted lodging in her throat. Instead…. «No!» The word wails out another way.

Kaylee feels numb as the delicate control she has on part of herself… one she tries to lock away… starts to crumble away. The sight of the one person that inspired good in her…. dead. Her baby in danger, wailing in fear.

Something snaps deep within her, sending a darkness passing behind blue-eyes. Still blurry with tears, they lift slowly from the body to the wolf beyond. Brows furrow and lips part showing teeth. Ignoring, the feel of thick sticky blood on the bottom of her bare feet, Kaylee moves quickly to place herself between her son and the stalking beast.

<Yesssss.» A familiar masculine voice hisses softly from the depths of Kaylee’s mind, a diamond-shaped head as black as a moonless night, slips from between golden locks, blood red eyes focused on the wolf. One could almost think it is smiling. Coils of black scales settle around the telepath’s neck, heralding the arrival of something… dangerous. The viper’s head brushes against the telepath’s cheek, ruby tongue flicking out to taste the air, as if for the first time. «Hooow delightful… it wantssss to plaaay.»

The wolf, suddenly, isn’t the only predator in the room.

Kaylee gathers that her strength to block it from her mind; but also…. she returns the prodding, though she has no patience for delicacy of touch. «He is not for you.» Her voice mentally snaps sharp at the black beast, like a nip to its nose as if a warning not to fuck with her or her child.

The wolf is beyond the capacity for human speech, be it real or imagined. It argues in abstract thoughts and concepts instead, and there is a hint of apology in its flashing eyes as it stops at the infant’s bedside and licks Joseph’s blood from its maw.

The other telepath understands the warning but does not heed it. With Kaylee presenting an obstacle between itself and the child, there is only one thing left to do: Hindquarters tense, and before Kaylee can react, the wolf hurls itself at her, jaws snapping shut around her forearm like a vice — or a steel trap.

The wolf’s head jerks sideways and drags Kaylee to her knees. Pain erupts where the animal’s teeth have punctured her skin, much the same way they punctured Joseph’s throat and wrested his life from him.

The only difference is that its aim is to subdue, not to kill.

It needs Kaylee alive.

Pain is pain… and Kaylee is feeling it, the wolf will get the satisfaction of hearing her crying out, tears springing immediately in her eyes… cause it hurts! Bare knees strike sharp against the floor, she pulls against the hold it has on her arm, which has her hissing out in pain again. Fingers of her free hand, reach out to tangle into the wolfs fur, digging in, clawing at it; while she locks eyes on the wolf. She will not lose her baby, too.

She will fight to her last breath to protect him.

<Sssstop.» The single word is silky with her ability, echoed in the hiss and bite of the snake…. It is Kaylee’s desperate attempt to get who or whatever this is to stop. The fact, that it hasn’t given a killing blow to her is starting to register, even through the sharp and throbbing pain. «What the hell do you want?» Her ability pushes harder at the mental walls of her foe, reaching for the mental images, trying to understand them. «Don’t tell me… goddamn it… Sssshow me.»

Fear and panic flutter through the tenuous psychic connection Kaylee shares with her adversary. The wolf is desperate. In addition to the dull pain in her arm, she can also feel what the animal does, which is a quieter, more far-off sort of physical anguish.

It might be on top of her, shaking her ragged arm with renewed vigor, but it also dying. Rot wafts off the wolf’s breath, hot and sticky where its saliva mingles with Kaylee’s blood and runs like egg whites down the tips of her twitching fingers.

This is not an act of malice.

It’s one of desperation.

It needs Kaylee.

More importantly, it needs her baby to survive — at the expense of whatever consciousness has already been developing inside of her.

Eyes widen slightly at the wolf, Kaylee doesn’t understand what is going on; but she realizes what it is planning. “No…” Her skin pales a little at the idea of whatever this is taking the place of what her son could be. The anger replaces her surprised, it flashes in her eyes. The black snake around her neck rears up and weaves almost hypnotically. «NO!» She snarls out, pushing at the other entity with mind and body, feet swinging up to find a purchase on its stomach.

«He is not for you!» Kaylee repeats, pushing the bulk of the wolf off of her, ignoring how the teeth tear at her arm. Tears of pain, slide down her cheeks, mingling with blood and rancid white drool.

The tables turn slowly as she fights to pin it down, though she is probably lighter then it. Kaylee doesn’t remember how the knife ended up in her hand, but she could feel the weight of it – curled her fingers around it.

«Doooo iiiit.» The silken voice whispers in her head. «Protect what issss yoursss.» The snake, curls around her arm as if it will help somehow.

All emotion and expression falls away, as she looks down at the wolf; the darkness is there behind her eyes. Leaning down so that the wolf can see her, Kaylee whispers out her mental voice hollow of any emotions, «My son, will grow to be who he wants. Not what you would make of him.» With those final words, Kaylee draws the knife across the wolf’s throat, savoring the feel of it as it slices through meat and sinew.

The snake at Kaylee’s throat chuckles with a soft gleefulness.

The wolf bears down on Kaylee’s arm with enough pressure to begin splitting bone up until her knife flashes across its throat, and its grip loosens enough for the animal to let out a shrill yelp that’s stymied by the blade.

In an instant, she feels the psychic tether fray; perhaps, under different circumstances, the other telepath might have put up more of a fight, but Kaylee gets the distinct impression that something bigger is happening than the drama playing out in the darkened living room.

Something in the space beyond the cottage, beyond the fence line and its peeling white picket paint, beyond even the trees and stretch of water that reaches out into what feels like oblivion but isn’t actually.

She understands, now, that here isn’t a place at all.

The wolf peels at the edges like a piece of wood smoldering in the nearby hearth, flaking into a fine white ash. The pieces rise up, up, up, then wisp into non-existence until the other telepath’s presence has been snuffed out.

So, too, have the candles. What used to be the cottage interior is now an empty void with only Kaylee at its center.

Joseph is gone.

Her baby is gone.

She lets out a scream, and then—

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