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

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9

 

"When I first met Yvonne, she had all the qualities I was looking for. She was strong-willed and weak- minded. Yes, I do say weak-minded, Carlton, much to your surprise. She tragically lost her parents during her adolescence, and lacked guidance and desperately sought after it. She looked for support from the people around her. She looked first to you, but Carlton let's face it, you are no man. Then she found me, or perhaps I found her, it really makes no difference. Her weak spot was her pursuit of the fantastic and the arcane, her constant search for divine wisdom and answers when there was nowhere else to turn. I was able to provide all of that for her and then some.
"At first I set out to help her. I studied her disease tenaciously. I knew her sickness inside and out. I learned more about it in a year than all the scientists in the world have learned in the last century. I became infatuated by it's eagerness to kill and it's willingness to do so indiscriminately. I began to love the beast, cancer, instead of despising it. I asked myself, why would I want to destroy what I had just come to know so intimately?"
O
ctavian's lips curled back in a smile. His eyes beamed, pulsated in the candle-light. Then Octavian spoke again, "I then thought to myself, what would cancer look like if it had a face? My face. Can you think of a better one, Carlton?"
That was a scary thought.
"The most important thing I learned about the cancerous cells is they only wanted one thing -- to grow. They attacked and dominated healthy cells, converting them, enslaving them. Their will to survive and multiply was so great that I only had to cultivate them, change their patterns a little, twist their DNA until they took over for me and finished the job. Then I supplied them with a host which Yvonne was perfect for and a subject they could adapt to, Yvonne's baby. My baby, Carlton. My son.
"You look confused. Here, let me show you." He took a candle from the table and began walking away from me. I thought about attacking him from behind, but Anton couldn't keep his eyes off of me. I reluctantly walked with Brett Octavian to the opposite corner of the room, more out of morbid curiosity and a lack of a better plan than anything else. He stood next to the altar that was shrouded in darkness and turned around to face me. Sweat began to drip off my brow. I swore to God in heaven, if Yvonne was sitting in that altar, dead or alive, I would kill Octavian.
"My son, Carlton, not cancer, it was my son." Every time he mentioned his son, he convinced me more and more how much of a lunatic he was. He stretched his arm out toward the altar and by the light of the candle in his hand, in a twisted slump I could see the face of Yvonne. My angel, love of my life, innocent, naive Yvonne. She took a wrong turn somewhere and fell into the hands of this madman, and I, unknowingly, was not there for her. And how could I know? My heart twisted into a tiny little knot in my chest. My whole world crumbled around me. The flesh of her breasts was bared for me to see, and her right breast had been torn open from the inside. I could see the back of her ribs through a gaping hole in her bosom and her face was contorted in a frozen look of excruciating agony that would silently scream until decay set in and nibbled her mouth away forever. I looked into Octavian's face that was now smiling as a teenager might smile after flushing a cherry bomb down a public toilet.
"She gave birth the day before you arrived. I wish you could have been here, Carlton. That was the original plan."

 

9

 
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