《Ramblings of the Mad Woman - Book One》Chapter Nine Run or Fight


Chapter Nine

Run or Fight


Black Kill, 673, After Midnight, the 28th of October

Rowing up the river Lola looked for another dock, yet did not want to travel on foot it made them too vulnerable. Now she saw a kill and told Todd, “Row for that stream, it looks deep enough to hold us afloat, do you know where it goes?” Todd frowned as they went up the creek taking them east, he slowly replied, “Thomas did ya hit yer head? Yer not acting like yer self. Tis not that dark, ya should know this is Black Kill, we fish in it all the time!”

She nodded Thomas’ head and said, “I must have ate something not quite right. Where does Black Kill go?” Todd said with suspicion, “It winds behind the village, and goes into the forest. I am not sure after that, no one goes in the forest if they can help it, not even by this stream. We do not need to go that far do we?” Lola shook Thomas’s head.


Donatello felt he would have preferred to just been paranoid, as he asked, “When did Kolo compel you to follow me?” The human responded, “Last night.” Then he questioned, “How many of the guards are under his command.” The human replied, “All of the day guards, with the exception of Captain Heg.” Donatello said, “I out rank you and your master. Your shift is over, I command you to go to bed, and never follow me again.”

Releasing the man it seemed to work as the guard turned and left, and he felt he had won either due to Kolo being dead, or because Kolo was only a ten to twenty year old vampire. That would also explain him failing to get to Sidonia first. Donatello made certain he was alone, before misting into Grekan’s room. Grekan woke and sat up gasping, “What are you doing in here? You could have scared me to death!”


The silence wore on Todd he asked, “Was the turnip underdone?” Lola realized his meaning and said, “That must be it, I got a belly ache now.” Todd nodded, “Good thing I did not have some.” They rowed north behind the village. Then west towards the Black Forest, as they neared the trees, Todd looked ready to jump, “Ya said we were not going in the forest.” Just then, Lola saw Samala’s old cottage ahead, “We stop here.”

Lola commanded Todd, “Pull over to the bank on the south side.” Todd said with discomfort, “Where the Hell are you leading me?” Lola ignored his question, as she got out of the rowboat and only said, “Help me pull the skiff up into the grass.” They got out and then drug the rowboat out of the kill deeper into the tall weeds.

Huffing with the effort Lola ordered Todd, “Grab him; we are carrying him over to that cottage.” Todd took Kolo under his arms, “It feels we are wasting our time, I am sort of thinking he is dead.” Still he lifted Kolo as Lola grabbed his feet, replying with, “It is only fifty yards to his home.” Halfway there Jillian their nosy neighbor yelled at them, “I see he is drunk again! Lazy no good has the shabbiest house in the village.”

Taking one hand away from Kolo’s body so his leg was dragging, Lola caused Thomas to make an unkind gesture of two fingers up, and the rest fisted, then gave a thrust at Jillian. Insulted, the woman gasped, “Well, I never.” Getting out of her rocker, Jillian marched towards her door cursing them she went in and then slammed her door behind her. Todd chuckled nervously, “Thomas. I never saw ya respond like that before, and to a lady? Something bad has gotten into ya!”



Donatello was too tired to laugh at Grekan’s serious tone. He asked the scribe, “I need to report to the captain, can you watch the princess.” Grekan stood up putting on his robe, “I can. Do you think the fiend will try again?” Donatello told him what happened, “I do not think he can attempt it until tomorrow night. Do you have your key?” Grekan reached in his robe pocket and brought it out to Donatello’s surprise.

He said, “Keep it on you, and lock both of you in.” He walked Grekan to her door. Once he saw that she was inside, and heard Grekan lock it, he left. Grekan turned to find Sidonia in a deep sleep. He went to the window and sat on the bench, looking out over the garden contemplating his reasons for coming here. Looking back at the princess, he smiled knowing he would not change a thing.


Once at Samala’s cottage, Lola got the key from Kolo’s pocket and opened the door. Now she instructed Todd as they carried Kolo inside, “Keep going to that back room.” Inside Todd looked about, surprised he had never paid much attention to this old home at the edge of the woods. It certainly did not seem like something, this odd man would own, he expected it was an elderly woman’s place.

In the back room, he saw it had boarded up windows, heavy drapes about an old bed and a coffin. He gasped, “Thomas, what the Hell is that doing in here?” Lola laughed coldly as she dropped Kolo’s feet and opened the casket then ordered Todd, “Put him in here.” Todd freaked, “Tis evil doins ya are getting me into. If yer that certain he is dead, why’d we bring him here? We could have just buried him. Hey, why have you got at coffin waiting for him?”

Todd begrudgingly laid the dead man in the waiting casket. Then he started to back away grumbling, “I am getting a creepy feeling about all of this. Do we dig a grave now?” Lola forced Thomas’ body into a charge as she shoved Todd, struggling not to fall Todd grabbed hold of Thomas as he went down hard causing Thomas to land on top as they hit the floor. Todd whined, “What are ye doing Thomas? Get off me!”

She grinned down into his eyes, “You talk too much.” Lola took hold of Todd’s head, and bashed it into the floor hard enough to knock him out. Angrily Lola drug Todd’s body over to the casket leaning his head in, she took Todd’s knife from its sheath and slit his throat, hissing, “Do you see what you have made me do brother? I am wearing a fucking stinky sweaty man, just so I can save your ass!”

Lola opened Kolo’s mouth, trying to get him to drink, even though his eyes were open he was still dead. Lola let the blood pool about him as she cut apart his clothes, to check for burns and was relieved to see it was only his face and hands. Yet as she took off his boots, she found the bottoms of his feet were also charred. Now she searched the cottage finding barren cupboards Lola scoffed, “Figures you get yourself killed here.”

She lit a lamp as she cursed him, “If we were near home, I would have everything I need to speed your healing.” She bitched, going for the door, “Since you knew you were doing something dangerous spending too much time here, you would think you would have supplies incase things go badly.” Walking slowly into the forest she fumed, “Instead, I am stuck here with nothing to revive a dead vampire. You better hope I remember.”


Lola only found a few plants, digging some up, with Todd’s knife, and hissed all the way back, “No book, no list, no tools, not even your crystal staff.” Once inside she groaned, “I have no time to dry these and nothing to grind with.” Then smiling she made a fire, hanging the plants from the mantel near the flame. After locking the door, Lola came out of the guard then was startled by a loud thud. She groaned rolling her eyes.

Turning Lola saw he was dead and cursed, “Oh damn I forgot I kicked his soul out, and I might have needed him again!” She went back in him quickly and tried to move his limbs, it was too late. Lola came out of Thomas. She groaned and swore at Kolo, “This is your fucking fault. I hate being a man and it caused me to forget he was soulless. Well, I had no choice Thomas was fighting me.” Lola tried dragging him.

She struggled with his weight and finally managed to put his head over Kolo, she slit his throat, letting his blood drain into the coffin, chuckling, “Might as well be good for something.” Then she stood looking at the guards realizing she had two dead bodies and no way to get rid of them. She went back in the parlor and watched the plants dry as she huffed and grumbled at her predicament.

It angered her until she remembered Jillian the nosy neighbor. Lola did a skip and a twirl, whistling Kolo’s creepy tune. Then rushed off to Jillian’s home, and knocked on her door. Standing back in the dark, Lola attempted to make herself as solid as possible. Lola grinned as she heard the footsteps coming towards the door.


Donatello sat with a cup of blood mix, knowing he still had to report Sidonia’s incident to his captain. He sighed with reluctance, having a few more cups and when he could think of no way around it, he looked for Captain Tik. Hoping to find him alone, so they would not have an audience, regrettably he was at the front gate. Now Donatello explained all that happened, watching the disapproval on the other guards’ faces.

Tik scoffed, “That is what the silly girl gets for her illicit affair with one not of our House.” Donatello said nothing, even as annoyed as he got with Sidonia, he did think she was the innocent victim in all of this. Tik then mocked him, “I might think you were indulging in the hard liquor, because your ghost story is not believable and you are not to repeat it to anyone!” The other guards snickered at this reprimand.

Donatello only nodded, “As you command.” He had come to feel that this captain’s opinion was not worth the shit under his boots, and would not even help plants grow. Tik was an imbecile and he wondered how he had gotten such an important post. Anyway, once Anthony returned Donatello was asking for a transfer. Captain Tik scoffed, “At least it is over.”

Shaking his head, Donatello replied without feeling, “His hands and one side of his face was all that was burnt. It is possible he will be fine in as short as a few hours.” Tik said nothing yet Donatello sensed a strange agitation to him. On his way back to Anthony’s private apartments, he picked up more spies, humans again.

They were more aggressive, as one grabbed his arm. Becoming mist Donatello slipped right through their hands, and then lost them before entering the private rooms. Once inside, he bolted the outer door.


Jillian came opening the door just a crack so she could peer out she demanded, “Who is out there?” Lola said in a helpless tone, “It is your neighbor, dear. I just wanted to apologize for my brother’s condition and the crudeness of those guards. I was hoping to get your opinion on how I might convince my brother to stop drinking so much. That is if you would not mind giving me some of your advice. Were you turning in to bed?”

The old woman opened the door wider and Lola saw her untidy grey hair was falling out of her bun as she replied, “It is a bit late at night, yet where I am up, I suppose I can help you.” She turned walking away and Lola followed hitting into the barrier, she swore. Lola used her best helpless tone as she called into Jillian, “I worry I am imposing.”

Hearing no reply Lola desperately tried again louder, “Perhaps I should leave. It is just that I got into quite a quarrel with my brother at his drunkenness and stormed out of the house, I felt I needed to walk off my anger. Then I saw it is too dark for a safe stroll, it is so hard to reason with him when I am so angry that I cannot form a proper argument.”

Jillian now replied, “Do not leave I have already poured your drink.” Lola stepped forward and was still unable to enter Jillian’s home. As the woman came back into view, Lola had a handkerchief at her eyes as if she were rapidly dabbing at tears. The woman stopped with her tray in her hands. First annoyed, then Lola made a sobbing sound, and Jillian softened, “Oh, you poor dear.”

The neighbor had been slow to realize Lola was wiping her eyes, as Jillian had poor sight in good lighting. The elderly woman’s expression changed and Lola gave her an apologetic tone, “Forgive me; I could not hear your reply good neighbor.” Lola added in a tearful voice, “I must have been sobbing too loudly.” Jillian gasped, “Do not keep me standing with a full tray; come in we will sit in the parlor.” Lola got an evil smile.

Jillian turned to go set down the tray, missing the telltale grin. Lola now stepped in, and slammed the door behind her; it was shortly followed by a blood curdling scream. Then there was a welcome silence.


Now Donatello went to Anthony’s private office and sat in the dark at the High Lord’s desk. He wrote a quick report for Anthony, about all he had learned of Kolo and Lola. Even though he only stated the facts, he was surprised how many pages it was. As he was signing his name, a voice startled him, “What are you doing sitting in Father’s chair?”


Lola was about to leave when she saw the tray. Now she sat down to eat yet kept grimacing each time she moved the old lady’s arm, as it brought a whiff of Jillian’s body odor, ruining her enjoyment of the flavor of food as well as her mood. Not able to stand it she went had found clean clothes, and heated water, filling the tub she took a lovely bath.

Now Jillian started screaming in her head, as she soaked. Lola seethed, “If you do not let me enjoy myself, I will kick your soul out, and you shall be dead. So think about it, are you certain you wish to die, or are you willing to let me use you for the night?” Jillian scoffed, “I guess the princess sent you, to get back at me. I knew she was like her mother.”

Lola mocked, “Oh yes, we regularly have tea and discuss you. Oh that is right Samala was your neighbor. Well now I am curious, why would you think the princess is behind my needs?” Jillian admitted, “I just thought she was taking revenge for my bad behavior the other night.” Lola chuckled darkly, “Well do tell, just what are you guilty of?”

Jillian huffed, “Well she and that little man startled me, and I might have made a gesture. Her mother always acted too good for my company. I was just trying to protect myself and ward off any evil sendings she might toss my way.” Lola snorted, “It sounds like you are getting your comeuppance.” Jillian humbly remained quiet. Lola relaxed sipping wine and as the water cooled, she finally felt clean.

Lola dressed Jillian, and then finished the food and drink. Enjoying the feeling of eating and the pleasure of getting a bit tipsy, finally she wandered through the house. Checking all the cupboards, she filled a basket with the items, even a bowl and pestle that she needed to speed Kolo’s recovery, and then looked at them with suspicion.

Now Lola commented, “It appears you dabble in the dark arts, as your supplies are just what I needed.” Jillian felt ashamed, “It is just a little shady pastime, nothing evil. I pretend to put hexes on all who anger me; I learned it from my Nan.” Lola was thankful that she knew enough to have these items, yet so little that she believed her. Anyone with Witch blood cannot be forced out of their own body, by any spirit.

Most knew how to keep spirits from entering them and their homes. Lola had learned these things the hard way, in her attempt to take over a Witch’s body. Lola chuckled darkly as she found a crystal sensing its power. While it was not strong enough to be a Sorceress’ Stone, it would boost her spell. Jillian remained silent, looking at what Lola had taken, as she tried to guess why she needed her things and body.

Once Lola was pleasantly free of the woman’s pains, and had all she needed, Lola left Jillian’s cottage. The old woman became fearful, of how far Lola was planning to take her and how she would make it back. Lola hummed the eerie tune from childhood, as she lightly tried to make the old woman’s body skip and gave up when she nearly fell. Now Lola hissed, “Why am I having trouble feeling your clumsy feet?”

Jillian hissed back, “Apparently I am the first elderly person you have possessed, as it is a common ailment for us old people.” Lola groaned, “Eww. Well that is one plus for dying young that I had not thought of.” Now Jillian wished she could kill her again.


Viktor said accusingly, “You are not my pa. He is bigger.” Donatello looked up to see the prince, and now the boy laughed, “Oh, I know you, you are Donatello. I was a bit concerned before I realized who you were.” Donatello gave him a sad smile saying, “I am writing a note to your father.” Now he sealed it with wax and pressed his ring into it.

Coming closer Viktor asked, “Why are you here? Father might not like it; he does not let the guards into our private area.” Donatello explained, “I seemed to have kicked the wrong bee’s nest, and they Day Guards are now trying to grab me. Prince Viktor frowned, “It is not smart to kick a bee’s nest.” Donatello chuckled, “And I thought I was being very smart. Now I see you are right. I need a place to hide this letter.”

Viktor glared, “Why?” He replied in a serious tone, “So the spies will not get it. I also need someone I trust to give it to your father if I am unable to. Do you know of anywhere I can hide it?” The prince nodded as he offered, “I know lots of good places, and I can give it to father when I see him.” Smiling Donatello handed the note to the young prince. Then he patted Viktor’s shoulder, “I have a feeling I am unable to give it to him.”

The prince asked, “Why not.” Donatello thought on it, “I am trying to keep your sister safe. I think I am about to fail and if I do, I wish to defend my honor. Captain Tik has promised to claim it is my fault, and if your father believes him, he will look no further for the one who is trying to take Sidonia.” Viktor nodded, “I do not like Tik either. If you are dead does it matter that your honor is called into question?”

Donatello sighed, “Perhaps it should not be important. However, your father put his faith in me and gave me a second chance, and a place to call home, here at his House of Strigois. If my reputation is ruined, I feel your father will regret giving me this opportunity and I hope this letter will help your father think more kindly on me and not believe their lies. Most of all he needs to know whom is behind it, in order to catch them and stop this madness!”

Viktor’s face became serious as he assured Donatello, “My father is really good at knowing who is lying and who is telling the truth. I learned that after my first nanny left. I think Father is getting really tired of hiring new ones. So now I am stuck with the meanest one yet!” Donatello gave him a sad smile, surprised how much he understood.


Lola sprinkled the other items over Kolo, and then placed the liquor and food in Samala’s empty pantry. Now Lola drug the first guard into the woods as far as she dared go, as the old woman’s strength was giving out. Stumbling with exhaustion, Lola returned for the second guard, yet had to sit down first and have a drink.

Once Jillian’s breath was back, Lola began dragging the second guard out. This time rather than taking him by the shoulders, she pulled dead Thomas out by his legs, and she laughed as his head bounced off every stair. Lola barely got him into the trees when she heard howling and gasped, “Fucking wolves!” She immediately dropped the guard’s legs and ran from the forest. Gasping Lola bolted herself inside the cottage.

After mopping the floor and washing up, Lola brought some cheese, ham, bread, and wine into the side table, and tossed another log on the fire. Finally, she got her senses numb enough to forget her fears of wolves, and Anthony coming for them, as well as dulling the woman’s aches. Lola took the plants down from the mantel and toddled off to Kolo’s room. Crumbling them over her brother, she peered down at him.

There was the same amount of scorching to the right side of his face, where it had been against the copper fence. Curious if he was responding to treatment, she picked up Kolo’s nearest hand. Lola gasped, “Ewww.” It was still bright red with black scorches and felt soggy; when she dropped it, he left her fingers gooey. Lola looked at Jillian’s hand, “Gross! So typical that you would be this ungrateful, you slimed me!”

Grimacing at the muck that had gotten on the old lady she went and washed Jillian’s hands. Coming back to the only bed, she climbed in. Laying there Lola cursed Kolo some more, “You bloody better come back to life… just so I can have the pleasure of killing you myself! All my agony, just so you can misbehave. As usual, only I get the dark consequences. You owe me for this you swine!”

Lola felt the pain of the old woman’s body and rolled over causing the blanket to bring up odors. She sniffed, “Oh! What is that smell? Augh, it is bloody awful! See this is what I am talking about, just because you refuse to listen to me, I have had to dawn an old fucking biddy, who is not only uglier than your ass, she also stinks worse than your rotting corpse!”

Jillian cursed, “It is called sweat from hauling two fucking bodies into the forest. Clearly you are not use to honest work. I hope your death was bloody painful.” Lola giggled, “I forgot you were here. Luckily for you, I am too tired to expel you from your body. We will see how lucky you remain when I wake up.”

Huffing Jillian replied, “If I am lucky I will die in my sleep, taking you with me when the death reaper comes.” Lola got a wicked grin enjoying the banter, then yawned and fell asleep quickly leaving her cares and worries behind.


Donatello explained to Viktor, “If I fail tonight, I will need you to give it to your father. It has important information about the Evil Two, who have compelled the Human Guards into spying on me. Hide the letter, and then give it to your father when he is here alone with you, so no one else sees nor knows of it. Lie if anyone else asks about me, or what I might have told you.”

Viktor nodded, “I have figured out how to reply without lying, and without telling them what I do not want them to know. I heard Father do it many times and he says that you never tell others what you are thinking. To do so means they can harm you with your weaknesses. I can keep the spies from knowing I have it. I am good at hiding.”

Donatello chuckled, “I wish I had grown up with a father like yours, maybe I would not be in this mess.” Then he warned Viktor, “This might be dangerous.” Viktor assured him, “Father trained me on what to do if I am in danger. He says I am brave.” Donatello replied, “Yes you are, very brave.” He hated getting any kid involved, yet he was here so he was in danger, and it seemed wise to warn him.


Jillian woke in a panic as fingers tightened about her neck. She brought her own hands to them trying to stop him, and felt the goo from his skin under her nails, as she gasped, “No!” He swore at her, “What the fuck are you doing in my bed!” Her eyes darted about the dark room, which was unfamiliar to her, until she remembered it and the feeling of his slime, she gasped, “Lola made me come here!” Kolo released her and demanded, “Why?”

The old woman quickly explained, “Lola possessed me and threatened to kick my soul out, if I did not let her use me. Lola then stole items from my pantry and tossed them over you. Next, she made me help her as she drug two guards’ bodies into the woods. I was nearly attacked by wolves!” Kolo looked down and sniffed, realizing what Lola had done to save him and now only said, “Oh. Well, I see it was needed.”

The old woman looked down at her clothes and got out of his bed looking for her shoes. Kolo barked at her, “Where is Lola now?” She answered him, as she slid her feet into her ankle high boots, “I do not know. She was here… now she is not. Does she sleep?” Kolo growled, “How the fuck should I know?” Jillian went fleeing for the door, as Kolo screamed, “Lola! Get your misty green ass back here, right now!”


Donatello added, “Be aware, the Evil Two are the ones who have compelled the Human Guards; and have them spying on me. I am trying to guard your sister, it is just that Captain Tik will not give me more men, and has told the night guards not to help me.” The prince asked, “Who are the Evil Two?” Donatello chuckled, “Kolo and his sister Lola. Sidonia mistakenly became involved with Kolo or the Evil One as she calls him.”

Viktor nodded looking frightened and Donatello groaned, remembering what Sidonia had said. He looked at the young boy and said, “I must be tired, I made a mistake. I was not supposed to tell you about him nor say his name. She calls him the Evil One, because he claims to have the power to know when others say his name. His sister Lola is a ghost, and I call them the Evil Two.”


Kolo’s angry yell, woke Lola up and caused Jillian to halt, dropping the old lady to her knees as Lola took control, and stood her up. Now she turned, chuckled darkly at her brother’s bloody form as she walked briskly over and slapped his face, “That is for dying on me!” Then she wiped his goo back on the inside of his shirt. She crossed her arms, and sneered, “Well, you look like death warmed over.”

He stalked towards her and Lola slapped him again, as she hissed into his face, “I saved your ungrateful ass! Do not get moody with me or I will not be there next time you need it! You do realize I had to possess a guard to get your body away from that vampire?” Kolo excused it, “I am in pain, and might have over reacted.”

Lola wiped her hand on his back and said, “That is it? No ‘forgive me, you are right’. You are a fucking ingrate!” Kolo groaned, “It is hard to apologize to that face.” Lola huffed, “That barrier tossed me out of you, into the water where I reverted to a child and suffered death echoes! I helplessly drowned floating down stream!”

She came closer making Jillian hiss into his face, “Did I run off, leaving you to your fate, because I needed a Holiday just to get over it? I could not even animate you that is how dead you were! I had to climb into the first stinky man and he fought me. I had to remove his soul, just so I could save you. I did all of that without you reminding me of your peril!”

Nodding Kolo said, “I did not realize how much danger we were in.” Lola hissed, “Had I lingered or hesitated even a bit, the way you always do, that vampire guard would have your fucking head on his mantel!” He was at that gate threatening to come out and take you from me. I had to be vicious enough to keep him behind the bloody gate!”

Kolo seethed, “Fine. I am fucking sorry I died, and you were inconvenienced by it. I sincerely apologize! It was thoughtless of me to not heed your warnings, because I endangered you as well. Thank you for having more balls than any man and being the biggest scariest bitch that can keep even a vampire guard from taking my fucking head off!”

He reached for his bedroom door latch and swore as his scorched hands were still paining him from trying to strangle Jillian. He still opened it and waved a hand through it as he asked, “Are you coming with me?” Lola huffed, “Do I still need this nasty old biddy?” Kolo looked the old woman up and down then slyly said, “Perhaps.”

Lola hissed, “Then it depends on where you are going and what your plan is.” Kolo seethed, “I plan to get fucking revenge!” She grinned, “Good, because I promised to kill Donatello and hang his body up, for all to see!” Her brother sneered, “Well, I cannot have you giving him an empty promise, now can I?”


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