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Four.

Dagan.

The travel back to London was quick and easy, which was a pleasant change for Dagan Howler. He was relieved, to say the least, to be home. He could now attempt to put the past behind him and continue to endure in much of the same way he always had; there was no other way he knew to cope with his past. He·d left most of the more dramatic sounds and images on the motorway, but he knew that the rest would always haunt him. Dagan knew he lost control, he didn·t intend to cause so much destruction. But it was over now, that quick, but very memorable paragraph of his life was past, but that horrific chapter was still far from over. He parked his motorbike in the garage, locked the door behind him, and then he walked up the narrow path and into his house. The second the front door was shut, he knew something wasn·t right ² his house was not empty. Paranoid thoughts immediately turned to those who lived coming for revenge ² then the more rational part of his mind kicked in; they couldn·t beat him home even if they did possess the courage to look at him. The cold air on his skin sent a shiver down his spine, but when he grazed his knuckles on the boiling radiator he realised that the heati ng was actually on. He silently stepped into his living room, and immediately noticed the dark haired man sitting on one of the navy leather chairs. He had his back to Dagan, but he knew who it was. ´You kept me waiting, Dagan. Where have you been?µ He ignored the question, and instead of greeting the man, he asked a question of his own, ´What are you doing here?µ ´Just checking up on you, mate. Isn·t that what friends do?µ he turned to look at Dagan, but didn·t show that he was either disturbed or surpr ised by what he saw. ´You look like crap.µ ´It is what friends do; but we aren·t friends. So, what do you want from me?µ he crossed the room and sank into the second chair, exhausted. ´Must you always assume that I want something when I come here?µ he started, ´Is it so wrong for me just to drop in for a chat?µ ´You never just ¶drop in for a chat·.µ ´You never answered my question.µ ´And you never answered mine.µ He replied coolly. ´Don·t mess with me. Where were you last night?µ ´Out.µ ´You know, it·s like I·m a mind reader or something. I mean, I gathered you were out when you weren·t here. Where did you go?µ ´I went to get some milk.µ ´And that took«µ he glanced at his watch, ´Twenty-three hours?µ ´I wanted some bread too.µ Dagan was having trouble concealing a wide grin, he was slightly tempted to let it slip ² it would be one sure way to annoy Seth. ´Wait, let me get this straight; you went all the way up to a remote village ² a good five hours drive away ² to get bread and milk, when there is a shop just around the corner?µ ´Yeah. I fancied a change.µ Dagan wasn·t surprised that Seth knew ² it wasn·t exactly uncharacteristic for him to ask questions that he already knew the answer to. Seth never liked surprises. He glared at Dagan, ´Well, after a few of the men followed you on screen for about two hours, then waited as you stopped at a supermarket loading bay, down south, they finally realised that it couldn·t have been you. Then I was called, and it wasn·t exactly hard to guess where you·d gone.µ 1.

´What I do has nothing to do with you.µ He replied. ´I·m not one of Bill·s toy boys, so I don·t have to answer to either of you.µ ´You need us ² Bill is the only family you have. Your dad would have wanted you to be with us ² to help us to finish what he started.µ ´I have my aunt. And there·s no way in hell that my father would want me to play with his murders ² even if he was doing that before he was killed.µ ´Your uncle wasn·t even in the country the night your parent·s were attacked. You know that as well as anyone.µ ´We both know that he sent a few of his hookers around ² he didn·t even need to be on the same planet to make that phone call.µ ´Bill looked up to your dad ² he idolised him. Then when you came around, he wanted nothing more to make both you and your mother happy too.µ ´Oh yeah actually, He did grant my wishes. I mean, come to think about it, I do remember wishing that the second I blew out my birthday cake candles that a smoke bomb would be thrown through the window so the murders could have the element of surprise. I guess that this is my entire fault ² be careful what you wish for and all that.µ ´That was nothing to do with him ² you need to let this go. Your uncle has done everything he could for you since your parents· deaths.µ ´Yeah, because putting a couple of grand in my bank account every month really will make me feel ecstatic.µ ´Then what do you want?µ ´For my first wish, I want him to crawl up and die ² but you know, it would still be cool if he got hit by a train. You know, whatever is easiest.µ ´We both know you don·t mean that ² you need us, and you need him. You·re a danger to yourself as well as everyone around you.µ ´I can control myself.µ Even as Dagan said this through gritted teeth, he knew that it wasn·t exactly true. Recently, he was on edge all the time. The tiniest of things made him flip ² he couldn·t cope anymore; he had to finish this, once and for all. ´Your actions last night somewhat disagree. What were you thinking? Did you even stop to think that wiping out a whole village wouldn·t be noticed? Do you want to rot in prison?µ ´I·m not going to jail.µ ´Really? And how·d you work that out?µ ´No survivors. No evidence and no case.µ He stated simply. Except for those three« The girl« Dagan didn·t know why he didn·t kill them; when he came to think about it, he could have easily killed the other two without giving it a second thought« But her? Seth groaned, ´When will you wake up and stop acting like a child? You know perfectly well that a girl survived. Frank Wylde·s daughter ² I can·t remember her name. She·s been walking around there. If you·re going to kill one person, there is no need to try and take the entire village off the map.µ ´Then go tell your boyfriend that ickle Dagan is now a fully fledged psychopath.µ He said sarcastically, but the thoughts of her stayed at the back of his head. He didn·t know what they·d do. He·d probably have to go back ² soon. ´Fine, you say you don·t need us, so we won·t come running to you when god-onlyknows who knocks on your door. You better start thinking about how you·re going to clear this mess up ² Wylde·s daughter will go to the police, and you will be hunted.µ Seth hauled himself out of the seat and looked at Dagan, ´If you do come to your senses, call me on this.µ He handed him a black piece of card from the inside of his leather coat, before sticking his hands into the pockets of his jeans and walked out the door. Just before the front door clicked shut, he called back to Dagan, ´Don·t do anything I wouldn·t.µ 2.

Dagan stood and watched Seth leave the street, then he properly relaxed. He took the sword from the sheath around his waist and began to polish it; the images of yesterday·s activities danced across the crimson stained blade. He took extra care with the detail on the side, making sure he had every bit of gore out of the gold glyph. He finished and, with his mind a lot calmer, he placed the sword gently, as if it were made of finest crystal, onto its decorative place on the wall above the fire. With that done, things were starting to return to the only sort of normality he·d known for the last few years. He slowly climbed the stairs, subconsciously remembering to lift his left that little bit higher on the fifth step ² for some odd reason, it had been built slightly higher than the rest, so people tended to trip if they weren·t forewarned. Not that he had many visitors of course. He·d only lived there for a year and a half, after moving from his aunt·s house in order to give her the space that she needed for her artwork. The only people who·d been inside were himself, his aunt and Seth ² he kept a low profile« Just in case. He crossed the landing and walked into the bathroom before looking into the mirror. Then he stared. This isn·t me. He thought. This isn·t my reflection« This is« A monster. His dark, almost black hair was untidy and matted with blood and who knows what else. His normally grey-blue eyes were a very pale grey colour. The long, thin scar that started in the middle of his forehead and continued over the lid of his bloodshot left eye and on to his cheek had slightly torn open, with blood slowly seeping from it. He hadn·t felt it before, but upon seeing the open wound, he could feel the throbbing sting. It was clear to him that yesterday·s events had taken their toll on him, both mentally and physically. Dagan Howler hadn·t always looked like this. He had had his scar for close to nine years, the aftermath of yet another day that would burn into his soul whilst haunting his memories for the rest of his life. Like all newborns, when he was a baby, his eyes were that bright blue colour that mothers fall in love with. Then, as he grew older, they darkened, but since that day, they turned the grey-blue colour that he·d now grown accustomed to. On bad days, however, they turned completely pale. He hadn·t always acted like this either, but death changes everyone, and everyone had to find their own way to deal with it. Well, this was the only way he could cope ² he had to suppress all of his feelings. He slowly ran his hands through his hair, wincing slightly as he pulled the knotted strand apart with his fingers. He turned the shower on, turning the knob all the way around so the water would be scalding when he got in. Dagan pulled off his shirt and noticed three long nail scratches that ran down his arm. It seemed that he·d never be able to forget, but a long sleeved shirt could hide these, at least for a while. He stepped into the shower, letting the hot streams of water rush over him, removing the dried blood from his skin and hair before it made its way down the drain. A hot shower could wash everything away ² everything but the memories that would be sure to follow him until he corrected all that he·d done wrong.

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