Cole's Haunting Melody (The Gods' Executioner Series)

BOOK: Cole's Haunting Melody (The Gods' Executioner Series)
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Cole’s Haunting Melody

Book 4 of The Gods’ Executioner Series

 

Cole
’s Haunting Melody

By
A.L. Bridges

Copyright 2013
A.L. Bridges

Kindle
Edition v.2

 

 

 

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be sold or given away to others. If you would like to share this eBook, please purchase another copy for each person. If you are reading this eBook and did not purchase it, please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this and other indie authors.

 

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means; whether it is electronic, mechanical, or otherwise; without prior written consent from the author.

 

This novel is a work of fiction. All likenesses of people, organizations, or events are purely coincidental. All characters, organizations, events, and places are used in a fictitious manner.

 

 

 

Other Books by A.L. Bridges

The Gods’ Executioner Series:

1.
       
That Which is Unexpected

2.
      
Mania and the Executioner

3.
      
Feros and the Underworld Prince

4.
     
Cole’s Haunting Melody

5.
      
An Imperceptible Ruse Indeed

 

Visit
albridges.blogspot.com
for links to the other books and updates on the latest releases.

 

 

 

Chapter 1: Some Questions Answered

[October 14th]

“Cole, are you alright?” Cheza asks as we stand in the garden at my aunt’s house.

“What? Yeah, I’m fine!” I defend as I look directly into her now suspicious eyes.

She should be turning fourteen in May, not twenty. I should tell her… after all, she has the right to know. However, it will bring up the modifications that force her to love me, and in that regard, I’m terrified.

I’m terrified of her reaction
.

I’m terrified that she’ll despise me
.

I’m terrified that she’ll leave.

“Cole… please don’t lie to me…” Cheza softly replies.

I feel myself caving…
I step closer to Cheza and caress her cheek with my right hand; my fingertips brushing against the jaggedness of her recently cut hair that still has an inexplicably sexy appeal.

“I—” I start to say.

“Nephew.” Saraswati says behind me with her noticeable Indian accent; I turn towards her, alert. “Do not fret; I’m here on behalf of Parvati.”

“What does my mother want?” I question; after basically telling her and my father to go fuck themselves

“Well now this monster is telling you both to go fuck yourselves.”

Never mind, there is no basically about it; I specifically told them to go fuck themselves. After slighting two of the most powerful gods in the universe in such a fashion, I doubt my mother has anything nice to say to me.

“Parvati wanted me to tell you that she’ll handle your father and that you can take as much time as you need. We still don’t even have any information on Loki’s whereabouts so there is no reason for you to not take some time off.” Saraswati informs me.

Well, that is certainly not what I was expecting.

“Based on your expression, I take it that you are confused. Come; perhaps I can clear up some misconceptions that you are currently experiencing.” Saraswati says and walks further into the garden.

I follow after her with Cheza close behind me. The foliage becomes
denser until we round a corner and the path opens into a furnished vermillion pagoda, not unlike the one that acts as a gate on Mount Kailash. I walk up the steps into the pagoda and take a seat across from Saraswati on a large silk cushioned couch. Cheza sits down next to me on the couch.

“Would you like a drink?” Saraswati asks and snaps her fingers. Two glasses appear on the glass table in front of me. I pick it up and take a drink, finding that it’s mango lemonade.

“Thanks. How does that work here? As far as I’ve seen, being able to conjure things into existence only works on godly planes and I’m not even sure how it works there.” I say.

“While my house is technically on earth, it and the surrounding property are
part of my domain. As for how it works, these things aren’t actually brought into existence; they are simply taken from other places. Haven’t you ever had something mysteriously disappear on you?” Saraswati questions.

Does this mean that the gods have a highly vested interest in singular socks?

“However, certain things are created directly from the Aether, or the Void.” Saraswati adds.

“What is the Void?” I ask.

“It’s the fifth element, so to speak; it’s the basis of all things. It is where all gods come from, where we get our power, and what we return to if we die, or so I theorize. We don’t know for certain. My brother has five ‘faces,’ as it were; the fifth, Isana, looks to the north-east and is directly affiliated with Akasha, or the Void. Because of this, Shiva has a deeper connection with Void than any other god.” Saraswait answers.

So my Drive was able to use the Void because my Drive was really an incarnation of Shiva so it knew about my godly origins…
wait a second, Airi had said that Bhairava, who was my Drive, was disconnected from my mind when I died. If that’s true, then who had been taking over my body to use the Void before I was able to? Airi is the only one possibly capable of doing something like that…


Now, I believe we should move on to you.” Saraswati says.

“Me?
” I reply.

“Yes, you.
You seem to be under the misconception that you are an ayonija, an artificial child. This is incorrect. While you have been altered, you were born of your mother’s womb and are very much her son.” Saraswati explains.

“If I was born from a god and a goddess, then why am I not a god?”
I inquire.

“The incarnation that your mother is currently using is mortal, or at least it was at the time of your birth.” Saraswati answers.

“But wouldn’t that make me a demigod?” I ask.

“This is where things get confusing. The original plan was to
have you born as a demigod while making alterations to you using blueprints from the blood warriors, along with a few other alterations that would allow you to fight against gods. However, you came out with the aura of a god-made sentient being like the jinn. What’s even stranger is that we were able to bring you back to life upon your death by rebuilding your body. This shouldn’t have been possible because of the nature of other sentient beings. Upon their deaths, beings with silver auras rejoin the Void; there is no Underworld for them.” Saraswati explains. And since Addie and Cheza are similar beings, they too don’t have an Underworld…

“So why did you bother making a new
body for me if you thought I wouldn’t be able to return?” I inquire.

“Because your
aura was still in play, so to speak. Thus, Shiva created a new body for you while Parvati gathered your aura and spent nine months joining the two. Upon finishing, Parvati discovered that your mind was still disconnected so she enlisted the help of Pinga and Hel to put you in a situation where you could recover your memories without the threat of your enemies finding you.” Saraswati informs me.

“Why didn’t you just send me back to Cheza?” I question.

“We were concerned that a shock like that might cause you to become permanently disconnected from your memories.” Saraswati replies.

“Okay, I guess that sort of makes sense. So why go through all this trouble when surely there are other gods that can defeat Loki?” I ask.

“Because you’re the only one that can do this.” Saraswati says, but my ‘bullshit’ meter goes into the red.

“No, really.”
I reply.

“*Sigh*…
Can’t you just accept that answer? Fine, the truth is that Parvati wanted to have another kid. She told my brother, my brother responded by porting in a bunch of baby goats, telling her that she could take her pick, resulting in Shiva sleeping on the couch for a year.” Saraswati responds.


Haha! Totally worth it!” I exclaim.

“My brother thou
ght so too. He eventually caved at around the time that Loki took over the Norse pantheon, and decided that he could intervene while giving Parvati what she wanted. He did something similar with your brother, Murugan, when Tarakasur was a problem.” Saraswati says.

I remember Murugan being a god of war and victory that was specifically born to fight a demon in a Hindu legend
, but not much else.

“Alright, that seems realistically plausible to me. So why did they make it so I have a Caucasian bone structure?” I inquire.

“Parvati thought life in America would be easier if you were white.” Saraswati explains.

“Then why am I so tan?” I ask.

“That was a compromise between Shiva and your mother.” Saraswati answers. I have a few more questions, but…


Well those are the only questions I had.” That I can ask with Cheza here, anyway.

“Oh? Well
, I’ll be here if you ever need to talk.” Saraswati replies with a knowing gaze.

“Thanks
, Saraswati.” I tell her, grab Cheza’s hand, and touch the Haglaz rune on my right shoulder.

 

 

 

Chapter 2: Destination Decisions

Cheza and I appear in Jason’s room in
Niflheim. I immediately strip off my jacket, pouch, and boots before a swirl of black mist announces Jason’s arrival.

“Hey CT, glad to see that you’re both safe.”
Jason says.

“Hey bro
, I’m really tired so let’s talk tomorrow.” I tell him.

“That cool;
you and Rei can just crash here. I’ll see you guys tomorrow!” Jason replies and leaves the room.

I
pull off my jeans while Cheza strips out of her leather suit. We climb into bed and Cheza snuggles into my right side.

“Sorry if my hair still smells burnt…” Cheza whispers.

“Don’t worry, it doesn’t; it smells like frozen oranges, just like always.” I think to her.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Cheza thinks
after a few moments.

“Maybe…
I think a vacation will help. Now we just have to decide where we are going.” I reply.

“How about Australia?”
Cheza suggests.

“No.” I
respond after thinking about it for all of a tenth of a second.

“What? Why?” Cheza asks.

“Three words: Poison, poison, poison. All of the poison. My gods, there is so much fucking poison. Even the cute-looking beaver-duck hybrid things are poisonous, and they’re mammals.” I reply.

“But you’re pretty much immune to poison!” Cheza points out.

“That doesn’t change the fact that everything on that continent is actively trying to kill you. They have saltwater crocodiles, tons of sharks, rockfish, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopi; even their fucking snails are poisonous!” I tell her.

“Okay, so we
’ll just stay out of the ocean!” Cheza suggests.

“Dingo
es, more crocodiles, cassowary i.e. giant birds with six-inch dagger claws that kill people for fun, and emu i.e. giant birds that I believe are immune to bullets after the Australian Army was sent in with .50 caliber machine guns to kill 20,000 emu that were devastating local farms and only managed to kill a thousand of them after shooting 10,000 rounds over the course of a week. The bullets they were using punch fist-sized holes through people and the army still only managed to kill a thousand of them! Plus there’s the magpie i.e. a non-giant bird that takes joy in swooping down and attacking people’s eyes!” I exclaim.

“Cole?” Cheza asks.

“Their ticks can fucking paralyze you! And don’t even get me started on their spiders! The redback spider males have to copulate with the females, which happen to be ten times their size, while the female eats them! Then there’s the Sydney Funnel spider, whose bite can kill you in forty minutes, is frequently known to charge at people, and it can even fucking swim! Then there are their tarantulas; how can a giant hairy spider get more terrifying? When it eats fucking birds, that’s how!” I exclaim.

“Cole.” Cheza says
in a somewhat exasperated fashion.


Then there’s the cute and cuddly Koala, which I’m naming ‘the murder bear’ in an act of foresight for when they learn how to use guns. Finally there’s the kangaroo, which haven’t killed anyone that I know of, but that didn’t stop one from trying to kill a ninety year old lady, her two grandsons, and two police officers! And my only defense against them is that I know that they can’t hop backwards thanks to Daniel Tosh and his love of Snapple facts!” I exclaim.

“COLE!” Cheza screams and smacks me. “I GET IT! WE DON’T HAVE TO GO TO AUSTRALIA!”

“Now, let’s go to bed; we can discuss where to go on vacation later.” Cheza says and snuggles back into my side. I take her suggestion and close my eyes.

****

“DADDY! DADDY! Look what I found!” Addie squeals as she runs up the beach towards me, her bushy silver tail swishing back and forth through the hole in her bathing suit.

“Isn’t it pretty!?” Addie squeals as she shows me what’s in her hand: a
tiny peach colored octopus with vibrant blue circles all over its body. I feel my heart stop when I see it.

“Daddy?
I don’t feel so good.” Addie says with a pale face.

I grab the octopus from her with my left hand and hurl it into the ocean. The toxin starts to set in as Addie collapses into the sand.

“Addie! Hang in there!” I panic as I pick her up and cradle her body, feeling her clammy skin.

Addie’s
lips turn blue as I put my left hand over her mouth, thinking that I can use my blood to neutralize the toxin. As my left hand makes contact with her face, the wind picks up. Addie turns into black smoke and is blown away, leaving me kneeling on the sandy beach—alone, as tears stream down my face.

“Cole.”

****

[October 15th]

“Cole.” Cheza says soothingly while gently shaking me.

I open my eyes only to find that everything is blurry. I
sit up, quickly turn away, wipe my eyes, and sniffle once. Cheza hugs me from behind, draping her arms over my shoulders.

“Okay, I see your point…
fuck Australia’s animals.” Cheza whispers into my right ear.


Haha, exactly.” I reply and give her a quick kiss before standing up.

I head into the bathroom, step into the shower, turn
it on, and shut my eyes. I’m aware of the water berating my body, but I can’t feel its temperature; I’m completely numb.

Addie…

“Cole…” Cheza says from behind me. She presses herself up against my back and the feeling returns to my body.

“We need to decide where we are going.”
Cheza adds.

(Why don’t you take Cheza to the cabin?)

“Why would I do that!?”

(She will discover the truth eventually; this isn’t something you can run from)

“Even so, won’t there most likely be people living in it now?”

(
Inti actually purchased the property and paid for maintenance in advance. He had been planning on telling you about it so you could take Cheza there, but he died before he could)

“Airi, how do you know this?”

(I have access to all of Inti’s memories)

“How
?”

(Because of where he ultimately ended up)

“And where is that?”

(Take Cheza to the cabin, Master)

“We going to Lake Baikal.” I reluctantly tell Cheza.

“Okay?” Cheza says uncertainly.

“It’s important for us to go there.” I inform her.


Alright.” Cheza consents.

We finish our shower, get dressed
, and I reattach the rest of my holster to my pouch; returning the two Diamond swords to their position on my back, which I had removed for the ‘scouting’ mission to Duniya al Jinn. We exit the room and head down the hall, finding Jason and Reyna in the kitchen.


Good Morning.” Reyna greets from her position on a bar stool.

“Morning
. Where is everyone?” I inquire as Cheza and I take the seats across the bar from Reyna.

“Well
, after meeting her mother, Naia was brought back here. With the case finished, Natasha had to go make her report so Pinga brought her to Arizona. Naia went with Natasha so she could go see her boyfriend.” Jason replies from the kitchen, where he appears to be making crepes.

“Well that makes things easier. I suppose we should head back to
Fogquartz and pack.” I say to Cheza.

“Oh…
this is something I forgot to mention, but you were expelled.” Cheza informs me.

“What?” I reply.

“Yeah, almost immediately. Sara and Tia already gathered your things and said they were moving back to Arizona, which they probably already have.” Cheza adds.

“Where are you guys going?” Reyna asks.

“On a vacation to some lake.” Cheza replies.

“That sounds nice. We should take a vacation too, Reyna.” Jason says.

“Can you even leave the Underworld?” I ask.

“According to my mom, I have just over two weeks of surface time saved up, but I was actually
thinking about taking Manannan mac Lir up on his offer to visit Mag Mell. That way, I won’t use any of that time because Mag Mell is an Underworld plane.” Jason replies.


Well, it is a nice plane and their beer is really good; I say go for it. Alright, let’s get going, Cheza.” I say.

“Can’t we at least stay for crepes?” Cheza asks.

“Fine, crepes first; then we head home.” I reply.

“Here you go!” Jason says, setting a platter of crepes on the bar. He brings over four plates, strawberries, and whip cream. I dish myself out a crepe, fill it with strawberries and whip cream, and roll it up.

“I have to hand it to you, man; you are damn good at making breakfast!” I say as I finish my crepe.

“Dude, you have whip cream all over the side of your face; Here” Jason says and reaches across the bar
. He wipes a globule of whip cream from my left cheek and then licks his finger.

“Thanks bro.” I reply.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Reyna and Cheza propping their heads up with a hand against their chins, staring at me and Jason.

“Do you ever feel threatened by their relationship?” Reyna asks Cheza
from across the bar.

“Once
, when I caught them cuddling in Cole’s bed when they were seventeen, but I’m used to it now. Plus it gives me an excuse to claim my property by doing something like this.” Cheza says. She grabs my head, pulls me closer, and licks the left side of my face.

“Ouch…
you need to shave, Cole.” Cheza says while scrunching up her face.


Haha, yes Mistress.” I reply.

“Why were they cuddling in bed?”
Reyna questions.

“Oh, who remembers? It was proba
bly something to do with ‘drunk and passed out.’” Cheza replies.

“Alright, well thanks for the crepes. We’ll see you guys soon.” I say as I stand up.

“Yep, see you, CT. Have fun on your vacation!” Jason exclaims.

“Yeah…” I reply.

The place we are going most likely will not end in a good time… Cheza grabs my hand and I port us to the front yard of the house in Arizona.

“We’re home!” Cheza announces as we walk in the front door.

“DADDY!”
Addie screams while running towards me from the couch. I clearly see her tail swishing back and forth through her skirt. When Addie gets within five feet of me, the illusion of her dissolves mid-stride and leaves me feeling hollow.

“Cole…”
Cheza says with a pitying look.

“Welcome home you two!” Tia says while walking in from the kitchen.

“Rei, what did you do to your hair?” Sara asks as she rounds the corner.

“That’s a pretty long story.” Cheza says. I move into the living room and sit down on the couch while Cheza recants
.


…So I was engulfed in flames for a split second before Parvati ported me out of there and onto Mount Kailash, where we proceeded to cut my hair and chat while waiting for Cole.” Cheza explains.


Parvati, Hindu goddess of power and wife of Shiva?” Tia clarifies.

“Yeah, she’s Cole’s mother. And since Saraswati is Cole’s aunt, that means that Sara is actually Cole’s cousin. So, Cole thought I was dead and proceeded to…” Cheza continues
, but her voice gets tuned out.

Addie climbs onto the couch and settles into her favorite spot: my lap. She
leans backward, looks up at me, and smiles before turning into black smoke as she fades away.

I know that it’s just my imagination, but that doesn’
t make it any less painful. I stand from the couch and trudge into my bedroom while Cheza finishes her story. I pull a duffle bag out of my closet and start throwing clothes into it. Siberia is probably cold this time of year, so I should probably pack warm clothing… is this really a good idea? Cheza deserves to know that she was really born only thirteen years ago and that she’s been mind-fucked into loving me, but losing her isn’t an option to me and it’s looking like a real possibility.

“No, I’m doing it. I’m taking Cheza there. That’s final.”
I say to myself and finish packing.

(There is something you
need before you leave, like the key to the cabin. Go into Inti’s office)

I do as Airi says and go down the hall to
Inti’s office. It’s been nearly eighteen months since I last entered his office, when Tia took Cheza and I to the meeting where I first learned about the gods, but nothing has changed. The book cases on the left and right walls remain, as do the Victorian desk and chair; the only noticeable difference is the light layer of dust on everything.

(Second drawer down on the left, taped to the bottom of the drawer)

BOOK: Cole's Haunting Melody (The Gods' Executioner Series)
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