Ilya Crossviel lay chained in the basement room of a large
mansion, blindfolded, away from the world above. It had been 2
years since she last saw the sunlight or the moonlight. Dark brick
walls sprinkled with fungi surrounded her. Her sense of smell was
like the wolves of the land. She could sense any person entering
the mansion’s gates. Today was Meal Day. She had been fed last
week on the same day. But today she could smell something
different coming from the chimneys of the kitchen.
“Heyyyy!! Here is your meal for the day you ugly Beast! I should get rid of
you soon!!” said Martha Crossviel
“Aha!” “Adrian Jones would be visiting us today.” “Let me see if I
can make a deal with him” “Your father…would never know.” Martha
smirked looking at her diamond ring.
With that Martha threw the piece of meat at Ilya through the iron
bars that separated the basement from the staircase to Martha’s
Ilya sat on her knees, crouched slightly forward on the floor. She
could smell it. It smelt salty and distasteful. She knew it was
from a human. She didn’t touch it.
Visitor in the Night
The door bell rang at 10 pm.
“Master Adrian?!” said Martha opening the giant mahogany door with
a coy smile.
Adrian Jones looked intimidating in his long dark coat and a hat.
He carried a bunch of … flowers as a gift for Martha and
“Thank You!” “They smell…great.” said Martha receiving the gift.
“They are the finest of their kind and belong to an exotic breed
harvested on a full-moon.” “You’re welcome.” said Adrian raising
his hat with a slight bow.
“Rozie dear?” called Martha for the maid of the mansion
“Dinner is servied Master Adrian.” said Martha taking Adrian to
the far end of the hallway. “Expecting you to join us at quarter
past ten.” Adrian thanked Martha again and retrieted into the room
closing the door behind him.
Dinner at the Table
“Mam, do you have a dog?” asked Adrian to Martha and Volurian at
the table. Adrian had caught the scent of a beast within the
mansion but could not find the origin of it.
Martha looked up at Adrian with a mouthful of smoked pork and
gravy. And then at Volurian who seemed oblivious to everything
around him, including Adrian’s presence. He wiped his mouth and
left the table with a sombre “GoodNight”.
“Please excuse my husband’s behaviour.” said Martha swallowing the
contents of her mouth with a gulp.
Martha wiped her mouth and said,”No.””Beasts are contageous.”
Adrian smiled at Martha unconvincingly but Martha took the
opportunity of her husbands absence and got up from her seat and
walked towards Adrian.
“I know you well Adrian. You don’t have to be so formal with me.
Come to my chamber tonight. There is a lot you haven’t seen.”
Martha’s lips were just inches apart from Adrian’s ears. Adrian
could smell her scent. Her fingers were on his collar-bone. Adrian
knew her well too but he pretended not to and played along.
“I saw her.” said Adrian bluntly. Adrian rested his hand on
Marthas’ as he talked. Martha stopped herself and became stiff.
Adrian looked into Marthas’ eyes turning his face towards her.
Martha clearly looked uncomfortable. Before Martha could pull back
from him, Adrian tightened his grip around her hand.
“The cat. She was beautiful. You do have a beast. Why would you
deny its existence in this mansion?” said Adrian. Martha looked
more relaxed now and smiled looking away from Adrian pulling out a
flower from the vase on the table and bringing it to her nose.
“I saw her sitting in the corner of the high windows of the
mansion. Isn’t she yours?” asked Adrian.
“You have good taste Master Adrian” said Martha swirling around
and sitting on Adrian’s lap. Her face was just inches apart from
his. “And very good eyes…very delectable aren’t you
Master…Adrian.” Martha said in a whisper. “She’s just a
She cupped Adrian’s face with her hands.
Adrian took the moment Martha closed her eyes to withdraw the
needle from his coat pocket. A short pointed metallic silver
object. Martha sensed it and slowly moved her hand over her head
to grab her hairpin that was made from the deadly thorns of the
The moment Adrian threw the needle at the form standing behind the
curtains (enclosing the tall windows), Martha released her harpin
into a scepter and held it against Adrian’s neck.
“What do you think you are doing?” Martha hissed in a venomous
tone into Adrian’s ears. Right then, a form fell from behind the
curtains face down on the floor with a thud making both Adrian and
Martha turn and look at it.
A pause. Then Martha said horrified,
“You just killed the cat.”
“Adrian” mumbled Ilya laying on her back resting on her elbows
with her legs bent, foot flat on the ground.
A giant spider crawled near her mouth and made its way into her
open mouth. Ilya clenched her teeth around the spider’s neck. The
spider wriggled for a while and then stopped. Blood trickled down
the sides of her mouth and her neck. She spat the dead spider out
of her mouth and murmured, “Rest in Peace my friend.”
Footsteps above the basements’ ceiling made Ilya sit upright. She
listened intently. Her instincts were always right. Her nose could
pick up the scent of people miles away.
“Marthaaa…and Adriann,……Cat!” whispered Ilya to herself.
Many strangers had visited the mansion in the past. Most of them
had been men that Martha had taken an interest in. And most never
left the mansion alive once they entered the chambers above the
Ilya’s meal lay putrifying on the floor of the basement.
“Rozie.” “I don’t need it.” Ilya said licking the back of her
palm. A raven sitting inside a dent in the wall opened its eyes
and flew towards the decaying meat and swallowed chunks of pork
silently. Rozie looked at Ilya with guilt and regret after
finishing. “It’s okay” Ilya said sensing Rozie looking at her.
The raven flew between the iron bars out of the basement into the
staircase leading to the closet above.
Chamber of Death
“She’s not dead” said Adrian placing the girl on the feather bed.
“She should be awake soon. Your ‘cat’ is fine.”
“Her name is Maya. She ‘is’ a cat.” said Martha looking at Adrian
Adrian leaned forward and forced open Maya’s left eye with his
fingers examining them with his pocket torch light. Without any
indication, Maya opened her right eye. She pushed the torch away
and then kicked Adrian’s chest making him fall on his back on the
“Who are you?” Maya asked Adrian kneeling on top of him with her
hand on his throat.
“A doctor” Adrian said unflinching.
“Maya!” Martha cut off Maya mid way. “Get off him! He’s with us!”
Maya withdrew herself and stood up without taking her eyes off
“That hurt” said Adrian getting back on his feet. “I am Adrian.
Martha’s nephew.” said Adrian bowing mockingly at Maya and smiling
genuinly. “Nice to——“
“What business do you have in the mansion?” asked Martha to Maya
abruptly cutting off Adrian.
“I will be back when we can be alone.” said Maya shrinking herself
into a black cat and disappearing behind the rich pastel curtains
hanging from the windows.
Adrian walked hastily towards the window curious to know where
Maya had gone. The window was at a height of 10 foot from the
ground. Maya was nowhere to be seen. The moon, Adrian saw, looked
brighter than the day before. He turned back to Martha who stood
pouring wine into two glass cups.
Adrian also noticed that Martha’s clothes had changed. “Hmm, that
was fast” said Adrian looking at Martha. Martha had changed into a
sheer gown that accentuated her curves and made her look charming.
But Adrian didn’t make a move. He knew this chamber well, even
before Martha had become the Lady of the mansion. He studied
Martha intently while she filled the cups. He knew she was hiding
‘the other girl’.
“What are you looking at?” Martha asked coyly without lifting her
eyes from the cups.
“Arn’t you just one of a kind, Lady Martha.” Adrian said walking
towards her. “Love that you think of me that way.” said Martha
handing the glass of wine to Adrian.
Martha made her way towards the bed and slipped out of her clothes
until she was completely bare. Adrian gulped down the wine and
looked away pretending not to notice her. He could see her
silhouette reflecting on the wall. She was sitting on the edge of
the bed, legs crossed, sipping from the glass.
Adrian was leaning forward on the table facing the wall when he
said, “Martha, I—–” A loud shriek made Adrian stop mid-way and
turn around. The sound had come from the closet.
Martha quickly slipped into her night robes and opened the closet
door. A mutilated body fell out of the closet almost on Martha but
she stepped away, the body narrowly missing Martha fell face down
on the floor.
Adrian had just discovered what he had come for. The secret
chamber. The chamber of Death.
Martha looked at Ilya with animosity through the iron barriers.
“You killed her.” said Ilya flatly laying on the floor facing the
wall opposite to the opening.
“You knew. You little imbecile.” said Martha tightening her grip
on the whip she had come with to punish Ilya. I will see to it
that you are gone, dead before the next sunlight.
Ilya laughed. Almost as if unfazed by Martha’s words. “Rozie was a
good bird.” Ilya laughed again almost as if everything was a joke
“You dare to mock me?” said Martha with a deep voice. “Oh you are
going to regret you ever lived this long wishing this day had
“Rozie” said Ilya “is not dead.”
“Wh-What do you mean? The meat poisoned her to the bones. She is
dead. Mutilated. The poison was meant for you to take. Don’t fool
me. Your tricks don’t work on me. You know that.” said Martha with
an air of superiority.
“She stands right behind you.” said Ilya looking sideways at
“What?” said Martha turning around horrified. On the top corner of
the stairway a raven stood staring at Martha with its red oval
eyes. Martha called out, “Rozie dear, you-you’re a-alive!”
The raven spread its wings and flew towards Martha. Martha stood
without making any moves. The raven looked at her with contempt
and flew right through her body into the basement and diappeared
into the far end of the wall.
“You can’t touch her anymore. She has evolved. She is more
powerful than you now.” said Ilya sounding authoritative. Martha
didn’t let that get to her or the many raven eyes that stared at
her through the walls all around Ilya.
“I see. You have made many friends. Let’s see if they had made the
right choice sticking to you. I will be back. I know the person
who could tame you well. Who knows? You might be worth a million
shillings, alive….or dead.” said Martha looking at her diamond
ring given to her by Volurian.
“Adrian” said Ilya to herself. The ravens disappeared at the
mention of his name.
“The ‘Poison’ doctor is coming for you. It will be the last face
you ever see in this life” said Martha and turned away feeling
victorious and fantasizing about the many treasures that were
about to become hers.
Hearts of Adrian
“I buried her. In the backyard.” said Adrian. “Very sorry for your
“I can’t take this anymore.” said Martha fainting on the couch in
the living room. Adrian could see Martha’s pretentiousness yet he
played along with her till he found the right moment to confront
her schemes and spells.
“Martha dear, let me bring you something to make you feel better.”
Martha gave a sigh as if she bore a lot of pain in her heart.
Just then the door bell rang. Martha instantly got up from the
couch and sat upright. “Please I will get it for you.” said Adrian
signalling her to sit where she was.
“It must be Volurian.” Martha said sounding displeased.
“Good day sir.” Adrian said opening the door. “You are all soaked.
What have you been doing out in the lashing rains for so long?”
Adrian asked looking at the sky which was dark with rain clouds.
The winds seemed to be picking up. Adrian motioned Volurian to
come in quickly. Volurian stood where he was motionless.
“Quick sir. A storm is brewing up.”
Then Adrian realized. He could see that Volurian’s eyes were
hollow. Something swung at him from the side. He averted the
object hitting him but nearly tripped backwards. Volurian was
carrying a scythe and had just swung the tool at him.
Volurian started walking towards him with a frown.
“Adrian? Who is it?” shouted Martha from the living room. “My
Lady, its your reverent husband!” Just then Volurian took another
swing at Adrian with the scythe which missed him but hit an exotic
pot that shattered on impact. Adrian was quick to take the needle
from his pocket and inject Volurian’s thigh. Volurian swayed
dizzily as the contents of the needle mixed with his blood.
Dropping the scythe he fell forward.
“What on earth is going on..?” said Martha walking towards Adrian
“It is alright, Martha.” said Adrian holding Volurian awkwardly.
“Your husband is …quite unwell.”
“Just lay him on the couch. He should be fine after a couple of
hours. Fetch me some water, will you Master Adrian.” Martha said
to Adrian holding her head.
While Adrian went into the kitchen, Martha went over to the couch
where her husband lay, motionless, almost in a deep sleep. “You
should have stayed out longer. What a pity! I’ll make sure you
sleep for good this time until I let you to wake up!” Martha drew
a little blood from her neck with her nails until it trickled down
her collar bone. Whispering something she undid the buttons of
Maya, in her cat form watched Martha from behind the railings of
the staircase. “I know you are watching” said Martha keeping her
eyes fixed on what she was doing. “You cannot sneak into the
mansion without me knowing.”
Martha had drawn a mark on Volurian’s bare chest using her blood
as ink. She chanted a spell twice and the mark dissolved into his
chest and disappeared. Volurian opened his eyes which now were of
a crimson color. “I love you honey” Martha gave a peck on his
cheek after which he walked towards the entrance and out into the
“Now where is my water? I feel quite worked up.”
Maya gave a short laugh. “I wonder where…….meow.” Maya was now
perched on top of the railings in her human form smoothing her
Suddenly Martha realized what Maya meant. “No!” She shrieked and
hurried to her room “The chamber!”.
Saya played the flute hanging herself upside down from the
branches of an old Banyan tree. The music from the flute made the
flowers nearby sway gently harmoniously.
“Arn’t you going to help him?” Maru asked Saya looking up at her
from the ground. Saya opened her eyes but didn’t stop playing the
“I hope that he’ll be ok”. Maru changed back into a sparrow from
his human boy form and flew to the top of the tree from where he
could see the mansion.
“Finally..” said Ilya “We meet.” Ilya lay on her back with hands
under her head chewing the butt of a grass.
“Your mother was a good woman” said Adrian leaning on the iron
bars, his back facing Ilya. “I loved your mother.” Ilya continued
nibbling the grass.”I know what you are thinknig and what you have
been thinking for the past 2 years. But I swear it wasn’t me. I
didn’t kill your mother.”
The grass was now completely inside Ilya’s mouth and she was
chewing it violently.
Adrian turned around to face Ilya. “I have come to get you out of
here.” Adrian said with a genuine concern in his voice.
“Well, that can wait.” Adrian swung around drawing his knife and
looked up at the voice. Martha stood watching him from the landing
on the top of the stairway with the black cat by her side.
Adrian stood without showing any signs of remorse looking at
Martha looking back at him. The iron chains that bound his hands
were impossible to escape from. Martha had stripped him bare
leaving only his pants on. Adrian had nothing with him that could
get him out of the situation. But he had come prepared. There was
still hope for him….and for Ilya.
Symphony of Truth and Lies
“Oh, Don’t look at me like that. It only makes me want you more.”
Martha opened the jewelled door that covered the entrance to the
Crimson Velvet Chamber that was Martha’s little room filled with
all the luxury one could ever imagine.
“Do you like this room” asked Martha looking around with pleasure
“Adrian?” Martha was now looking straight into Adria’s blue-green
eyes. Adrian looked straight back at her without a hint of any
expression in his face. “Aww, you must be unhappy because of the
chains. Let me undo them for you.” said Martha in a sympathetic
Martha leaned on Adrian from behind and let her hands extend
outwards horizontally until hers were parallel to Adrians.
“But….Lets play a game before I decide to free you” Martha
smiled at Adrian resting her head on his shoulders from the back.
“A game of truth…and lies.”
“For every lie you tell me, I would draw the Death spell on you
with my red ink. You know what that spell does. It lets me have
you..forever” Martha gave out an evil laughter and stopped
abruptly saying, “Tell the truth and I will let you see Ilya one
more time.” “Lie to me and your soul will be eternally trapped in
one of those lovely jars.” Martha pointed to the hundreds of
transparent little jars placed on the high shelves all around the
room. When looked closely, one could see hands knocking on the
wall of the jar from the inside.
“Shall we begin?”
“No–, wait!” said Adrian “Let Ilya go and you can have me all you
“I didn’t expect that from you.” Martha smiled at Adrian and
contemplated for a second. “Ok” Martha said, “I agree.”
“Lily dear” A raven flew from one of the shelves downwards towards
Martha and landed on a velvet chair nearby. “And…Maya stop
hiding. I can see you.” Maya, in her cat form appeared from behind
the silk curtains and perched on top of the chair looking straight
at Martha with her glassy green eyes.
“Bring Ilya to me.” Martha commanded. “We are going to have so
much fun.” said Martha running her fingers over Adrian’s chest
playfully. “And kill the visitors who just arrived..”
Scene 10–(Symphony of Truth and Lies Part 2)
Saya and Maru had managed to sneak into Martha’s chamber. But it
was too late.
“Looking for someone?” Maya asked sarcastically jumping down from
the ceiling fan and simultaneously changing into her human form.
“Yes” Saya said her hands moving slowly to her sides, eyes on
“You!” Saya drew out her flute which changed into a sword
simultaneously clashing against Maya’s knives which she held in
both her hands defending herself from Saya’s sword.
“Poor girl.” said Martha looking up at Ilya. Lily had transformed
herself into a raven like wall mount holding Ilya tight against
the wall with her sharp claws. “She is more weaker than the last
time I saw her.”
“Let her go. You agreed to let her go.” said Adrian raising his
“My my. You have a temper. Charming.”
“Yes.” Martha poured herself a cup of wine and raised it against
Ilya swirling around towards Adrian saying, “Let us all witness
the day Ilya becomes a free ‘wolf’!”
Adrian watched as Martha walked towards a gold jar which was
intricately designed with rare pearls and gemstones. Marth aopened
the jar and looked inside.
“I have a gift for you Adrian. Let’s get rid of her soon and we
will have a nice little time together.” Martha twinged at the
thought giggling to herself as if she had just imagined something
wonderful. She closed the jar and turned towards Ilya.
Just then Martha sensed something extremely powerful enter the
gates of the mansion. The curtains of the window shifted a little
in the wind. Slowly the intensity of the wind increased making the
curtains fly and the glass chandelier swing.
Martha had to hurry.
Martha walked quickly towards Ilya splashing the wine all over
Ilya’s chest. The liquid dissolved Ilya’s clothing until her chest
“Martha! Stop! What do you think you are doing??!!!! Adrian tried
to wriggle out of his bonds but could not do anything.
Slowly blue-black hairs started sprouting out of Ilya’s body. They
were 6 inches long. Ilya gave a loud shrill cry and her body
changed into a wolf. The iron blindfolds cracked and shattered
after which Ilyas face changed into the head of a wolf with sharp
teeth protruding out of her jaws.
Martha dipped her hand into a boiling black gum like substance and
instantly forced the palm of her hand into Ilya’s chest and pulled
out her heart. Blood dripped, crimson red mixed with the black ink
from Martha’s hands soiled the carpet on the floor. “May your
soul be free and rest in peace…”
Adrian stood motionless overcome with guilt and shock for having
let all of this happen. He shuddered on his knees.
“……as you give life to another.”
Martha opened the jewelled jar and dropped the heart inside. A
form in the shape of a man appeared from out of the jar. “Rufus!”
Martha shouted in joy tears in her eyes. She hugged the
translucent figure of Rufus close to her. The body of Rufus
started to fade away as soon as it touched Martha’s.
“We don’t have much time. Hurry!” Martha dragged Rufus out from
the jar and ran towards Adrian. She drew blood from her thumb by
biting on it and drew the symbol of love and strength on Adrian’s
chest without looking up at him.
“Here is my gift to you.” Martha looked up at Adrian placing her
left hand on the symabol she had drawn “And you” Martha said to
Rufus turning away from Adrian and placing her right hand on
Rufu’s chest. “‘Rise from the dead, soul in the dark, free from
thy grave, life to thy heart.” She whispered the spell three
times. The lights had gone out and the curtains flew violently
almost ripping apart.
Just then the sihouette of a women appeared. Adrian could see from
the corner of his eyes. But the pain was too intense for him to
respond. He knew who she was. The past flashed before him as if
they were memories of yesterday.
The spell was complete. Martha sensed the old familiar scent
filling the room. She gave out a sigh and grinned smugly.
“Hello Hannah Crossviel” Martha said wrapping her hands around
Adrian who had now changed into Rufus with sharp and evil
features. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“You were not dead after all. But too bad your family does not
live here anymore. They’re all….dead!” Martha said looking at
Ilya lying on the floor in the corner and then at Rufus and then
back to Hannah.
“Hmm. I suppose so.” replied Hannah still standing in the dark.
“Too bad you didn’t get to see the party.” Martha said gleefully
holding onto Rufus and smiling coyly at him, caressing his bare
“No. The party’s just begun. And I have a ‘gift’ ….for you.”
said Hannah coming out from the dark.
(To be Cont..)
If you are looking at this, thanks for reading! 😀