Oct 16, 2011

The Conversion

By Afnan Imran

Standing in a dark alley, Antoine watched the proceedings outside an abandoned, grey building. He swallowed nervously, a long, purple reaching out to scratch his crooked nose. He bit his lip with his sharp teeth as he watched the purple figures in front of the building feast on human flesh and blood. He pressed his hand to his mouth to prevent the nausea roiling in his stomach from bursting forth. He could not believe that he had, once not long ago, been part of these gruesome acts.

He could still remember the day that had changed him forever. It had been a long and satisfying day for his kind, one where they had plundered the nearby human village.

"Lock up the prisoners, Antoine. We will feast on them after all has been settled with the elders." Jean Claude, his brother had instructed.

"What about their young?" Antoine inquired.

"Keep them for now. We'll set them free after a bit of fun." Jean Claude said with a hair-raising grin.

Shivers ran down Antoine's spine, but he shrugged off the sense of foreboding and did as he had been instructed.

He led the prisoners into the dark, foul-smelling chambers underneath their lair with the help of his fellow guards. The screamig and sobbing of the helpless humans excited him. He felt sorry for their young who would grow up without family. However, that was not his concern, he knew. This was a ritual as old as time itself. The Gorgons, Antoine's people could only survive on flesh and blood. Human flesh was just another delicacy that had become an integral part of their lives.

The humans were locked inside the chambers in groups of ten. This way it became easier for every Gorgon to eat his fill without fighting over a tastier piece of flesh. Fights were common over who would get a more appetizing meal and who would not. It was easier to just leave the quantity of the meal on chance.

Antoine ran a finger down the face of a whimpering woman. Such delicate skin it was! So soft! He wished that she would come in his portion. He licked his lips as he beheld the cowering woman in front of him. Her amber eyes were wide with fear and her teeth chattered as shivers of fear racked her spine. This was the beauty of France! Not only were the humans good to taste, but they also looked fresh and appetizing.

Suddenly, Antoine heard a commotion behind him. he turned around to see two Gorgons trying to restrain a deranged human. The man, it seemed, was keen to protect his child, a little girl, from their clutches.

Antoine was offended. They did not hurt children. He headed toward them, and caught sight of his own fang-like, yellow teeth bared in anger and his black eyes shooting sparks of fury in a mirror. He stopped. He realised what th humans must be thinking. After all, they did intend harm to humans. He looked back at the monster in the mirror with regret. He never thought of his deeds as cruel; it was just a way of life.

He was startled from his thoughts with a chillig scream that rang out as his brother, Jean Claude grabbed the child from its father. Without hesitation, he brought his teeth to its delicate throat and struck.

Time slowed down as Antoine cried out in disgust, watching the blood gush from the child's throat. Nausea attacked him as his brother proceeded to tear off the head and feat on the child.

Antoine had launched himself at his brother, knocking him down. He had then run out of the building, ignoring the astonished calls of his family.

Now, it seemed that they were no different than before as screams tore the silent night. Antoine glanced down at his fine clothes and polished boots. He thought of his house in Paris. He ached for his family and knew thatthey would never accept the gentle soul he had become. His vegan diet would be reprehensible for them.

His heart heavy, Antoine turned around and headed home. He knew he would return next year as had become his habit for the past five years after his conversion.


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