“Have you heard this one? A vamp, werewolf and a witch walk into the berry fields.” Mercy stated to an uninterested Donavo.
“Stop it. I don’t need your tales.”
“Where’d your handsome friend with the fangs go?” Mercy asked Donavo who was seated next to her. Donavo had been meeting alone with Declan Mortis III, the current leader of the vamps. The Crescent village’s wet your tongue shop sold by the glass various flavors of berry juice, altered water, milk and blood for the vamps. It was the perfect meeting spot for mixed company to sit and discuss pertinent matters. Donavo’s physical form would change from werewolfy to human with little warning. To Mercy, Donavo appeared to be human except for his sharp teeth and the noticeable patches of fur on his hands. The server at the counter was explaining to Declan that he had consumed his share of blood for the day. Since the blood was extracted from dead humans the supply was low. “We need some more dead ones then, problem solved.” Declan laughed as he struck the counter with his fist. “We can escort you out of here,” the server warned him. Declan smiled. “I can walk through walls and vanish into mid-air. You’d never get a finger on me. Don’t embarrass your species. Another glass of blood, sir, now or I’ll just take it all!”
“Vamps, love to cause a scene. Need the attention. Think they rule the food chain.” Mercy let known her dislike of vamps.
The server tried to reason with him. “Just because this is the Crescent doesn’t mean that rules don’t exist. If we are to coexist we…”
Declan leaned over the counter. “How would you like to die today?”
Donavo rolled up his map of the eight villages and the Octo Trail. “Leave before he returns to the table.”
“Why?” Mercy asked. “You calling a truce with him? Wolves and vamps never get on well, Donavo. The human side of you is very unaware. Does Declan seem like a reasonable kind of vamp to you?”
“I don’t take suggestions from your kind.”
“My kind? You mean a witch?”
“You tried to burn down a whole village. You shouldn’t be welcome anywhere.”
“It was just Kobo, they deserved it. They hate all of us freaks.”
“My sister lives in Kobo and Nestor.”
Declan stared at Mercy as he sat down at the table. “My, my if it isn’t the little match that couldn’t. Leave us be!”
Mercy rolled her violet eyes. “Right, how clever of you. I’m not leaving until I’m good and ready, Declan. You can’t move me. Let’s go over the truths. Who is the most powerful being at this table? Any guesses? Donavo here is a half- human werewolf, who howls at the moon. You are a vamp who sucks human blood and what else do you do exactly? Fly around at night. Then there’s myself, a witch that can do just about anything that she pleases, like turn you into a rat, a big dead hairy one. Or I could turn you into a human for awhile you’d hate it. Then you might have a conscious.”
Donavo smirked. “We can just leave then.”
“I’d follow you,” Mercy emitted a hint of desperation. “I just need to be spoken to by someone. The other witches treat me like I’m an outcast. No one will talk to me but my sister. Though, I think she prefers talking to her spider.”
Declan abruptly slapped Mercy in the face without warning. “Enough with the feelings. You can stay. Perhaps you can be helpful to us. Since, you can do anything, right?”
She rubbed her left cheek. “That almost hurt, sucker. Why is the word Garlic written on your map in big letters?”
Donavo remained silent. He had no intentions of ever confiding in a witch for any reason. There were no good witches in the Crescent. Declan, a cocky fellow wanted to speak of his findings. “Those tree huggers in the Ash village have been trying to sell garlic for gold.”
“So what? Who uses garlic? Asher can’t beat the berry sales with garlic.”
“I have a vamp living inside of the Ash village.”
“What a waste. Those people are harmless. Why spy on them?”
“The Ashians are saying that the garlic can kill vamps, that’s the problem,” Declan explained.
“A shift in the power of fear. I see. Would the garlic hurt or kill you? Is this a truth as you know it?” Mercy asked.
“It could wipe out all of the vamps, if enough humans or anyone gets their hands on enough of it.”
“I could burn down the village.”
Donavo spoke up. “That’s your first thought? It wouldn’t change the fact that anyone here could have bought garlic already, pyro.”
“Pyro? Why exactly is wolfman helping you, Declan?”
Donavo answered instead, “I wasn’t born a freak, but I am one. If the humans can figure out how to get rid of the vamps, they will have hope of getting rid of the werewolves, the witches and the trolls.”
“They can’t kill witches. They can start and stop with the trolls. They are repulsive, buggers. They think that they own and control the bridges of the outer Crescent.”
Declan continued, “The werewolves can go near the garlic to destroy it. I can’t.”
“That makes sense. I think you are going to need my help after all. Did you speak to Asher about this?” Mercy caused the no black magic wall sign to disappear within seconds.
Declan spoke, “She pretends not to know about the garlic. A leader knows. Just like I know. If we can’t resolve this issue, we will have no choice but to go to war with the tree people.”
“Wait, I like the idea of wars,” Mercy declared to them.
“Wars are not good for anyone,” Donavo stated.
“It’s great, if we win. We could beat the humans or any traitors easily. We have supernatural gifts. Come on.”
Declan surprisingly disagreed. “No, there is a reason for the eight paths, eight villages and different species. We might not understand it now, but we don’t go messing with the grand design. If we did, I think this land would unleash something more powerful than us or the Punishere to punish us. The wolves and you will hunt down all of the garlic.”
“What if someone in Kobo, has bought this garlic? Kobo is close to Ash. Asher is Nestor’s old flame. I’m sure Nestor has visited the Ash village lately. He loves to experiment with his mouth. He would have some garlic.” Mercy assumed.
“You don’t know that. Anyway, he wouldn’t use garlic in that way. He loved vamps even before he was cursed.”
Declan tapped his fingers upon his face. “True but it wouldn’t hurt to be sure. If Nestor sold garlic and berries, Kobo could become richer than Ondello.”
Donavo stood up to leave. “Kobo is off limits, period! You know where to find me.” Donavo left a few pieces of gold on the table and left the establishment. He had always hated witches, even before he knew that they were real.
Mercy moved over to Donavo’s vacant seat. “Furry bottom makes for a warm seat.”
Declan frowned. “You are strange.”
“You can’t trust Donavo. His loyalty lies with his pack and obviously with Nestor, another half-human, Agnes his very human sister and the village of Kobo. If he won’t do whatever it takes to guarantee the survival of the freaks, we will go on with the plan without him.”