(C)Copyright 1999 by Ronald Rand
All Rights Reserved.



"Octavian!" I screamed, recognizing him instantly. So he was the doctor?
"In the flesh." Octavian took a step to his left and from behind him the beast I met previously came forth from the shadows. Its features were grotesque and rubbery and wet. It left a trail of slimy dampness upon the low ceilings as it stepped into the candlelight. Its neck was long and hunched over, leaning forward as it looked directly into my eyes. It snorted again through pincer-baring jaws like a giant beetle. There was still a faint crimson glow behind its eyes.
ctavian took off his glasses and I noticed how attractive he was. I could see why Yvonne fell for him so easily. She'd always been a sucker for beautiful things. He had a storybook smile that probably broke many a woman's heart. The right side of his lip pulled back and his teeth were round and perfect like miniature marbles. Damn, he reminded me of Elvis. Not the fat Elvis that died on the toilet, but the skinny one, the one that women had fainted being in the presence of. His eyes were wild, but in them was a sparkle. A sense of intelligence was prominent about him. He could have been a doctor or a lawyer, but certainly not any murderer or psychopath I had ever seen, either on television or tacked to the post office walls.
"I just want to know, did you hurt Yvonne?" I asked boldly, trying to take control of a situation that was obviously not in my favor. "Because so help me if you did --" I was angry. Remembering the letter from Yvonne both saddened me and infuriated me. I felt afraid.
"You'll what?" Octavian looked down at his feet and then back up at me. He took another step forward.
"I'll do something," I stammered. "I don't know, but I'll kill you if you did."
"Let me tell you about Yvonne." He told me about Yvonne and how she came to him looking for a cure for her cancer. He told me that he found her to be a remarkable woman, something I'd grown to understand on my own. Yvonne had looked to him for help and instead found someone whose quick mind and broad intellect met her needs more completely than the uninteresting and dimwitted Carlton. But in the end her constant bickering and whining about her cancer became tiresome to him.
I wanted to plug my ears. I didn't want to hear anymore, but I needed to listen, as it might be my last chance to learn about Yvonne's last days.
"She came to me, Carlton, because you were absolutely useless to her. Did I tell you how she clung to me? She was a leech. She needed me for my powers and the command I have on the dark forces. She was sucking me dry of my energy, my intellect, --" he laughed at me, "and libido."
That was enough. I couldn't stand to listen anymore. I clapped my hands over my ears. "Stop it, just stop!"
"Did I tell you how I locked her in the cellar? How she cried and sobbed for me to let her out? She screamed, and she would dangle your name before me, taunting me. She said that Carlton loved her. Carlton Sanders. She called your name over and over in the darkness of the cellar. She would beat her fists upon the doors, begging me, that she wouldn't try anything, would tell no-one, if I let her out. I left her there for Anton to play with."
"Anton?" I asked. Another snort and saliva began to dribble down the beast's snapping pincers.
"As her hands bled, I laughed, Carlton. I am sure you know what that feels like. It made me feel powerful and omnipotent. Didn't it feel the same to you with Eliza?"
"No!" He had somehow been stalking me, or had been reading my mind, I wasn't sure. "I'm not like you at all, Octavian. You're twisted, sick."
He thought about that for a second. "Yes, I may be twisted. I supposed it had crossed my mind once or twice while Yvonne was screaming for her soul. But twisted or not, I enjoyed every moment of it."
I looked defiantly at Octavian. I had not wondered until now how Yvonne had died. I assumed it was by the cancer. Had Octavian killed her? I had to know.
"How did she die, Octavian? Was it by cancer or for the pleasure of your own sick mind?"
Octavian smirked. A similar smirk appeared to cross Anton's jaws too, if that was possible. Octavian laughed and muttered a single word, "Cancer."
"Do you find something funny about a disease that takes lives, Octavian? Yvonne was dying of cancer and she came to you seeking help."
"Dearest Carlton. I did help her. When she came to me she was suffering from terminal cancer. In the end, I finally rid her of it, but everything comes with a price."
I hated him. What did he mean by that?




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