**Author’s Note: Vincent’s Descent is a continuous story that began on April 1st, 2023, as part of the AtoZ Blog Challenge. Most chapters are not designed as stand-alone. I’ve done my best to keep each chapter a touch over 500 words each so they are not too dense to follow along, IMO. For the entire story, please start HERE. Comments are always welcome.
Chapter 26: Ziggurat Englobed
Faye shook her head.
“But, the bodies. All that blood. Vincent,” she was off the couch, “the bodies!”
“The Condor tore into her. Right out,” he paused, “right out of me. There was nothing I could do. It drove its beak into her midsection, clawed her.” Tears streamed. “Then it morphed into that old bastard, laughing at me, goading me.”
“Why did he-it-do that?” Maria gripped her arms.
“His father,” Faye offered, and Vincent nodded. He looked away from them to look out the living room window.
“Mom got me to focus on the ‘I wish’; it was a mantra to protect, bring changes, and do things. She’d sing that Disney song to me: “When you wish upon a Star,” but it was the snow globes for us. Maria, I was able to extend that wish to you, for a short while, in the heat of it all. I knew I would not have the opportunity. I have always trusted you.”
“Oh.” He nodded.
“My father hated that I had a way to safety, hated her for protecting me. Hated her enough so….”
We ran, and it found us.”
“I erupted that night. The feathers broke through my skin; my face lustered, and my mouth became a sharp beak. Full Grackle Prince.” He turned back, only to look away again. “Then I did what wasn’t expected. I dove at the human shell. I thought it was more. I am guilty of wanting it dead, Faye, but it only left a shell in this world. Real or not, Cat-grandpa was only a shell.
No matter. I fully transformed. That’s what it wanted. What the three of them wanted.”
“The Condor, my father, and Her Grace.” He stood, walking to the windows. “The birds had always harassed me when I ported, some more aggressive than others. I didn’t understand why, did not know how to protect myself. My mother did.”
“In the psych ward, it happened to the guard. The Condor reached through me, half in this realm sticking out of me. The guard was dead in an instant. I couldn’t take it. I tried to go elsewhere, but too many hands were on me. Too many.”
Faye put her drink down. She moved closer to him but refrained from touching him.
“It’s ok, Faye. You don’t have to be afraid of me, well, yeah, but…”
She reached around, hugging him.
“No more bird fucking, ok?” She whispered in his ear. He nodded.
“Thank you,” he said.
Maria joined them at the window.
“What now?” Maria asked, looking at the window reflection of the three of them. Faye lightly shook her head.
Vincent, though, had a serious dead face. She gasped, not being able to see his eyes in the reflection. Turning, she saw they were twilight black.
“I have to go.” He turned to Faye, then Maria. “For now.”
The world swirled as Vincent ported. Vincent grasped colors, rearranging them, mashing them together, piling one thick, the other etched thin, as he painted across the city. Which became a field of flowers. A range of hills, mounds of earth piled high, plateaus filled with lushness. The sky was white, grey, and streaked with maroon, all moving to shine light from above until everything burst into a multitude of blues and golden hues.
Vincent walked through it all, over and around bodies of water, through the clouds, until he walked through a window of a cobweb of his making.
In his father’s twilight office, Vincent became.
Tucking his wings tight against his body, The Grackle Lord stood before the snow globes. All the dots of fake snow were dancing. Each orb alit, changing shades, soft to dark, mixtures that changed the meanings of colors, yet there was harmony in the movement.
Except for the one to the far right. It was black, swirled black, minutely changing to every essence of black, and it was a frenzy in comparison.
Vincent-Inside reached out a claw and grabbed the blackness. He was ready to hurl it through the window when a claw shot out from the darkness, stopping him.
Jerked back, losing a few feathers, The Grackle Lord’s eyes widened, the black pupils deepening. It cawed in defiance, talons extending.
“Filius,” The Black Vulture croaked as it wormed into the room, blocking the snow globe. “Filius, avis nigra dominus,” it uttered. The misshapen head, long neck, ebon feathers, were less than The Grackle Lord. It knew it. The neck bowed an iota.
It began to change.
A knock at Faye’s door brought her running. Without looking, she flung the door open and dragged Vincent inside, slamming it shut. Faye grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him.
Maria, who had remained by the window, smiled. She went over once the kiss broke and circled her arms around them. It was tender, a much-needed calm, and each ached in their private ways.
Vincent led them back to the living room. He lowered the lighting before sitting on the floor on one side of the sofa table. Faye joined him while Maria took to the couch.
Vincent took the empty bottle of whiskey off the tabletop. After briefly looking at Faye, she picked up her tumbler, looked inside, and set it on the floor under the table. Then Vincent opened his wings.
Neither had seen the change to his arms. It was a momentary lapse of awareness but soon replaced by wide-eyed wonder.
Snow globes glittering the landscapes of Vincent’s worlds, ten sat on the table.
“Vincent,” Maria smiled.
“Yes,” he told them of his confrontation with his father, a standoff for The Grackle Lord held power. He said of the formed pact so that he could retrieve his & his mother’s snow globes. There were the worlds that he traveled, had traveled, would travel.
“Except for the black. That is for Her Lavender Grace and her Black Vulture.”
He looked at the two women in his life.
“Would you travel with me? I am a portal in want.”
They both nodded.
“I wish,” Vincent said.
They went to golden lands together.
So, here we are. April 2023 AtoZ Blog Challenge has come to an end.
I hope that you enjoyed “Vincent’s Descent” and are satisfied with this ending. Tomorrow you’ll find the Reflections on Vincent’s Descent post. It should answer some, if not all, of your questions.
If you want more, or you feel I left gaping holes, or whatever, Comments Are Always Welcome.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.