Thursday, 8 September 2011

Chapter 1: The visit

Butterflies leapt onto the narrow window ledge, just to test her balance. She stayed there for five minutes, quite comfortably, until a knocking at her door sent her jumping down. She straightened her black tunic and combed her white-streaked hair before answering.

“Hello?” she asked. Cleric Wreath stood outside, shadows wrapping around his cane. Behind him were three people: a tall, thin man, his hair brown and his eyes pale blue. He touched his collarbones and the face retracted to show a gleaming skull; a young woman, dark haired and dark eyed and a young man with impossibly spiky hair. “Cleric.” She greeted, ignoring her visitors.

Wreath nodded, satisfied with her conduct. “My top assassin,” he replied, using his term of endearment for her. “These are your visitors: Skulduggery Pleasant, Valkyrie Cain, Fletcher Renn and Marcus Cain.” At these words, a young boy emerged from behind Wreath. He had inherited Valkyrie’s thoughtful eyes and Fletcher’s blonde hair. “They want your help. I suppose you can give it generously.” With that, he bowed and tapped his cane. In a flurry of shadows, he disappeared.

Butterflies sighed and muttered, “That old show off,” then a broad smile, “What can I do for all of you?”

The boy’s eyes flickered to the huge array of swords, pistols, rifles, crossbows and arrows. His eyes, however, were intensely attracted by the humongous sword that hung just above the bed. It had a sharpened tip of black steel. Butterflies caught his gaze and glanced over her shoulder, smiling gently when she saw what he was looking at. She quietly padded over and lightly took the sword from its place with a faint scraping of metal. She turned and placed it across her broad shoulders confidently.

Marcus gawked.

Butterflies took it off her shoulders and with one hand, took hold of the blunt side of the sword. She swung the handle and it stopped, right in the middle of Marcus’ chest with pinpoint accuracy. “Want to carry it? Careful, it took me torn ligaments to be able to carry this monster.” Marcus grabbed the handle confidently. If someone with the strength of a fourteen year old could do it, then he, with the strength of a sixteen year old, could do it as well.

Of course, he left out the vampire factor.

At first, it was light to the touch. Then, he realized that Butterflies was holding it up for him. He nodded, and she slowly let go. His centre of gravity collapsed under its huge weight and the floor groaned with its heaviness. He tried to lift it up, but it wouldn’t budge. Butterflies raised an eyebrow and twitched her finger, using shadows to put the sword back in its place. “Her name is Brontosaurus.” She explained, looking at it lovingly.

Somebody cleared his throat and she turned to see the Skeleton Detective staring at her. She shrugged. “What can I do for all of you? I asked that question, but no one seems interested enough to answer.”

“I am,” Skulduggery said in his velvety smooth voice. “Butterflies, the only reason why we came to you is because you have the special ability to be able to change at will. There has been a murder in Anton Shudder’s hotel and we want you to help us with the blood analysis. Do you consent, or will your bestial nature take the better of you, I wonder?”

Much to Valkyrie’s surprise, Butterflies shrugged. “If it means I get a free snack, then yes, I will do it. You guys are just really, really lucky I’m around.”

Skulduggery seemed to inspect her for a moment before turning back to Fletcher with his impassive skull. “Let’s go, then.”

Marcus grabbed Butterflies’ right arm, and Fletcher took her left. Butterflies took one last look at the room around her, not knowing she won’t be back for a very long time.

In an eye blink, they were at the scene of the crime. The victim’s body was sprawled on the carpet, his limbs twisted in a position only Butterflies could manage without tearing any muscles. He was fat, and was wearing a mahogany shirt that did not look good. His head was twisted towards their shoes. Blood spilled all over the carpet, one patch here, one patch there. Butterflies pointed to seemingly similar blood splatters on the carpet. “That one’s from the criminal, that’s from the victim.”

She moved over to taste the blood but Valkyrie stopped her. She narrowed her eyes. “How can you be so sure?”

Butterflies shrugged and tapped Valkyrie’s nose, once. “I can smell the difference. The victim’s one smells like fat and the other one smells like socks, for a particular reason.” She shrugged again, and knelt by the blood, dipping a finger into it and put it in her mouth. After a while, she snapped her fingers. “Everybody, out. Out! If this investigation is going to be successful, all of you must go out.”

Fletcher muttered something about Butterflies being as bossy as his wife, then went out of the room. They lounged around outside for what seemed like five minutes before Butterflies poked her head out. She looked pale and sweaty. “I have identified the murderer.”

Skulduggery tilted his head. “Who is it then?”

Butterflies opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off, her head thrown back in the arms of an old enemy. His blade flashed to her throat, and he kissed it in a vampire bite style, once. “Hello, li’l darlin’,” he whispered, his voice coarse and rubbing on her face.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

This post is a poem

The day before I die

The day before I die

The clock strikes ten.
Clasp my hands and with upturned eyes,
How many times do I forsake these skies?
Look back down, see the summer frost,
Big bad sins come at such a cost.
The day before I die, I sit on the dirty ground,
Head turned thoughtfully and eyes cast down.
Why did I have to be so stupid?
Why did I have to kill him, small Cupid?
Because of rash and undecided actions,
I find myself here with my meager rations.
Find myself in a very dark, dank lair,
Where mice dart in and out of my hair.
Now my hands are shackled, they pull me out,
Their taunting words echoing about.
Poor girl, they sneer. Poor poor girl.
Most stupid murderer in all the world.
And the clock strikes eleven.
Shuffle to your cell, they say.
They push, and on the ground I lay.
Struggling to sit back upright now,
I feel as helpless as a pregnant mother sow.
The guards laugh and close the door,
Leaving me staring at the darkening floor.
Stare, girl, I say. Stare all you like.
In the next one hour your head’ll be on a spike.
Stupid, foolish, idiotic girl.
Most stupid murderer in all the world.
The day before I die, almost over,
And I pick up my last clover.
Help me, I pray. My only hope, help me.
My eyes, upturned to God for him to see.
And the clock strikes twelve.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Butterflies sighed and stared at her Baby-G watch, willing the second hand to move faster. She was in an unusually silent Geography class. Their teacher had gone on maternity leave and they were stuck with this boring relief teacher their lousy school had assigned to them. “Okay, class, now let’s draw a table on the problems and solutions to an ageing population,” the relief teacher said without strength or conviction, oblivious to the fact that almost half the class was asleep, and the others were soon on their way. Butterflies sighed again. It was then that she felt someone looking at her. It was as obvious as it was unsettling. Why would anyone stare at her?
She turned in the direction of the gaze and saw the class jock, Jefferson, staring at her. She met his lovestruck gaze with a withering glare which he impressively held for three whole seconds, before crumbling and looking back to his desk. Butterflies turned back to her desk, disgusted. And he already has a girlfriend. A typical Prom Queen: slim, an oval face, narrow shoulders and an even narrower waist, and blonde. If there was one thing Butterflies couldn’t understand about teenage boys, it was their obsessions with this kind of girls.
* * *
Jefferson’s feet crunched on the dead autumn leaves. He followed Butterflies everywhere she went, and she was beginning to think of luring him to a dark alley and killing him there, but she decided it would attract too much attention. She stopped, and said, “I can hear you.”

Jefferson looked down at his feet. She was right. He did make a lot of noise. She turned and she saw a maniac fire in his eyes that she only knew Bristol to have. He saw that pale face of hers, that dark hair with white streaks that fell perfectly beside her face. To just see that face was heaven for him. He said, “I… I love you.”

Butterflies shook her head. “No, you don’t.”

“I do. You don’t understand my feelings for you. You’re not alone in this world. I’m… here, for y—“

Butterflies smiled knowingly. “I’ll give you a couple of reasons why we shouldn’t be together. One, you already have a girlfriend.”

“I already ditche—“

“Two, I’m too old for you.”

He frowned at this. “But we’re in the same class.”

“And lastly, I already have a boyfriend. So shut up. You’re never going to get me.”

His face fell. “Anyone… I know?”

“He beat you at the soccer team tryouts.”

“It’s…. it’s not that goof with the spiky hair and that weird name, right?”

“His name’s not weird. And his hair is nice.”

“It’s him! I mean, I may have lost, but that’s only because I was sick that day! If I were the top in the tryouts, would you be with me?”

Butterflies laughed this time, shook her head again and said, “No.”

Then his face fell. Quite literally. Butterflies barely had time to avoid the big form coming for her, and she had barely heard the quiet crack of bone. She had hardly seen the big man behind Jefferson.

She turned on her heels to see a giant man, whose thick bones were obviously well-set in hard muscle. He was like a male model—all buffed up and ready for the girls to faint at the sight of him. The only thing unusual was that he wore a mask. A metal mask. Her eyes narrowed to red slits. “You’re Tesseract, the Russian.”

His breathing was heavy through the hole at his mouth. “Right the first time.”

“And you’ve been assigned to kill me, haven’t you?”

He nodded silently and lunged suddenly, reaching for her, but she already wasn’t there. She dived between his legs and turned on the spot, running up his back. He pivoted, but she had already grabbed his hood. Instinctively he threw his hands up in a desperate attempt to knock her off balance, but his sight was cut off by the pitch black hood that was quickly pulled over his face. He felt a push to his chest and he stumbled, tripping over a head stone and landing on anoher.

Butterflies blurred into the maze of tombstones that led directly to the Temple. She glanced behind and saw him stumble but he had already undone his hood. He looked up and saw her, quickly giving chase. Catching up via a less cluttered path to her left, Tesseract reached for her once more. This time he caught onto her left forearm. Butterflies twisted and turned, trying all ways and means that her in her vampirism have been taught, but it was no use. She struggled with inhuman strength, and finally he transmitted magic and her bone snapped. She tore away from him, her left arm hanging. Tears edged her eyes as the pain worked its way through her body.

Gritting her teeth, she pulled herself together and waved her hand. Her black bracelet buzzed as it took hold of the shadows which lurked in the graveyard—it was their playground. She brought it under his legs and turned around, their points sharp. A wall of shadow rose infront of Tesseract and he turned, expecting an attack. Instead, he came point to eye with the shadow, and the fight froze where it was.

Then, slowly, Butterflies walked into his vision. “If you don’t want to die,” she said, her sweet tones doing nothing to calm Tesseract’s nerves, “I suggest you and I part ways now.”

Tesseract said nothing, but nodded his head. The shadows went back to whence they came, and he went, a dog with its tail in between its legs at the failure of an assignment.

Target Acquired

Butterflies stood watching her target -- a short, curly-haired boy named Jonathan, the self-proclaimed king-of-the-club, swing a terrified blonde around him in a tight circle and abruptly released her. She staggered face first into the flopping belly of one of his goons. The poor girl dragged herself up, and at the merciful nod of Jonathan’s head, she staggered out the door and the trio laughed drunkenly. Jonathan propped his legs up on the table and rapped it with one knuckle. The waiter hurried over to take his order.

Butterflies rubbed the back of her neck thoughtfully, thinking what the best way was to get rid of him. An up close and personal method works. She preferred it anyway. She also got to eliminate the two goons. Which, in her opinion, would be a good riddance.
She heard Jonathan shout out, to the newbies in the club perhaps, “So anyone else wanna take me on?”
Butterflies made sure her jade knife and bow were at the ready, then she turned around, her long, dark hair that streaked white swishing behind her. She looked him straight in his green eyes, and said, “I’ll take you on.”

Jonathan sipped his vodka, raised a brown eyebrow and said, “Come on.”
Then she was in front of him. He was so startled that he tipped back over his chair and spilled his drink. The goons had tried to reach for her, but they ended catching thin air and slammed chin first into each other. They slumped to the ground, unconscious.
Jonathan fell to the floor and tumbled. All at once, Butterflies was at his side, helping him up with a vicious wrench to the arm. Then she backed off and Jonathan growled, looked for her. She was so damned fast, she didn’t feel human.

Then there was a whish of movement to his right. He turned and brought his fist upon nothing but an afterimage.
“Where are you looking?” A sweet, mellow voice asked from behind him, and he turned, only to slam his chin into a granite fist. Butterflies’ fists accelerated and she hit him repeatedly in the gut. All air left Jonathan and he could feel his ribs breaking. Before he had a chance to draw another breath, an elbow was whipped to his face, a knee to his stomach and a foot to the small of his back. He bounced back up and backed off, wincing in pain, gasping. He saw her and he smiled.

“How old are you anyway? You don’t even look a legal age to be here.” He asked with great difficulty.

She arched an eyebrow. “I may look this age, but I’m way older than it. I’m way older than you too.”

“Oh really. Let me guess. You’re…. 14.”

She smiled, her teeth sharp. “Wrong.”

“How can you be older than me? I’m 23.”

“I’ll tell you the truth. I’m 274 years old. I’m a necrotic vampire. I’ve been assigned to kill you. And now that you’ve heard this, I’m pretty sure you have to die.”

He gasped again as he was immediately hit from behind. “Can’t follow me now can you?” her sugary voice breathed into his ear. He whirled, but she somehow wasn’t there. He tried to remember what he had learned about vampires…. They change form…. They move really fast… He was hit again on the middle of his spine and he felt it pop. “What are you thinking of?” Her voice smiled, and he knew she was right behind him. “It’s dangerous to stall in a fight. That’s the first rule during a fight.” She caught his wrists and twisted them behind him with inhumane force. He dropped to his knees to ease the pain. “Now. My moment.” She withdrew a dark green knife from within her shimmering black coat. “Time to die.” She raised the knife up and plunged it. It went into his spine and separated the segments. She twisted it savagely and Jonathan’s vision turned black.

Friday, 22 July 2011

For Iris Blackflower

Butterflies stormed into the room just in time to see Will pushing Iris out of her chair. Iris hit the carpeted floor chinfirst and rolled over, groaning. Will sidled into the comfortable armchair and typed, "OMG she's really on here talking to total strangers". He had just sent it and looked up and saw the reflection of a girl behind him. Her long, dark hair was streaked with white, her glossy tan so attractive, her perfect body figure screamed for attention, her clear red eyes--

Wait. Will thought. Red eyes?

The girl spoke. "Don't you dare lay a finger on her."

Will couldn't say anything for a while. "Who are you?" he finally asked.

"Name's Butterflies, Blood Butterflies. BB for short." Will opened his mouth to reply, then he was quickly cut off by Butterflies. "I know your names Will. Yes, names. Two of them."

Iris gave another moan.

Will narrowed his eyes. "What other name? I only have one."

"Yeah, whatever, Will. I don't care. The fact is, the next time I hear you're up to this again, I swear on the length of Auron Tenebrae's neck, I will kill you."

She turned and stalked away. Will grinned, and, just for the sake of defiance, kicked Iris in the side. She gave a terrible shriek of pain.

"What did I say?" Butterflies turned around. In a split second, she was in front of Will. She was taller than him and she loomed over him. He continued to stare into Butterflies' eyes, mesmerized. Then, suddenly and without warning, her fist connected with his gut.

All breath left him as he flew backwards and he crashed into the computer. Its screen blacked out and sparks flew. She was on him again, fists blurring and crashing onto his chest. His breath turned sharp and painful, and he instinctively knew that a couple of ribs were broken. She hit him squarely on his jaw with a solid haymaker, then buried her shoulder in his belly. It flexed inwards and he flew backwards again. He hit the wall of the office cubicle and dropped to the ground, groaning.

Then she was on the ground beside him, pulling his carefully made hair to make him look into her eyes. "Tell me you're sorry." she said. When she got no response, she rotated her wrist, twisting his hair from it's roots. "Tell me you're sorry," she snarled again.

Panting to ease the pain, Will said through gritted teeth, "Sorry."

Standing up without letting go, she stood Will up. Then she kneed his belly and brought his head to meet her knee. He fell over backwards and didn't get up.

Butterflies walked over to Iris and helped her up. "You okay?"

Iris held her head. "Just a little woozy."

Butterflies dragged Will out of the cubicle and Iris raised an eyebrow. "You were here? I didn't see you."

Butterflies smiled. "There's a reason I'm classed as a Vampire."

"And you knocked Will out."

Butterflies' smile broadened and she winked. "There's a reason I'm classed as a hired assassin. You're right, he's not dead, but he is unconcious. That should save you your troubles for a while. And as for your personal slave matter...." Butterflies trailed off as she fished around in her pocket. She came up with a bundle of cash and threw it -bull's eye- in front of Iris. "Maybe you should eat out once in a while."

And then she was gone, leaving behind an unconscious boy and Iris staring at the money.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

That first mission

Butterflies slipped on the shadow black gauntlet, her bracelet and her protective clothing. Her body felt numb, and she couldn’t stop thinking that if this went wrong, she would never come back to the welcome embrace of the Temple gates.

She slipped through the enemy borders and smiled to herself. They’re so stupid, she thought. Their borders are so porous I can waltz right in without anyone noticing. Then she shook her head. She would have time to celebrate later. She crept through the tents, choosing the one right in the centre. Any sensible army would set their prince up in the centre where it was most guarded from surrounding attacks.

Undoubtedly, the tent held the prince she was to kill. She didn’t know his name and she didn’t care.

She approached the dark chamber without being seen. Or more like she killed every guard in the place without sounding the alarm. The door to the chamber opened smooth as silk and the shadows covered her silent intrusion. She softly pried off the sheets and saw his face.

It held no scars, no story to tell. His life was obviously luxurious and comfortable. How different it was from the life of a necromantic vampire.
She unsheathed her jade dagger. Just as her hand hit the hilt, a jolt was sent through her body and she couldn’t move. The prince opened his electric blue eyes and got up.

“Ah,” he said, gloating over her frozen form. “My beautiful princess. You’ve succumbed to my little trap.”

Butterflies tried to pull her knife out, but it was like moving her arm through honey – agonizingly slow. The prince snatched the knife away and danced behind her, taking her bow as well. He threw them onto his bed, effectively disarming her. Then he put his hands on her broad shoulders and pushed her up against the wall.

“Kill me,” she muttered through gritted teeth.

“No, my darling dear. I want…something. Something from you.” He eyed her all over, and Butterflies resisted the urge to squirm under his increasing grip.

“Kill me. I tried to kill you, for God’s s—“A light finger on Butterflies’ lips hushed her. Then she realized that the trap’s force had receded. She lashed out a kick into the prince’s stomach and he tumbled backwards. She pushed off the wall but he was faster. He held up his hands, freezing time around her. She stopped in running position, only able to move her eyes.

“So fun, so fun. Almost too much fun, darling.” Two fingers went under her chin to push her trapdoor mouth shut, then to push her head up to look at him. Butterflies strained, muscles showing beneath her jacket.

The prince laughed and ripped her jacket off. Her strong shoulders showed. The prince laid a hand on her shoulder and there was nothing she could do about it. “Oh…”the prince mused as if suddenly understanding something. “You’re a vampire. Why can you still use necromancy anyway?” A finger lay on her lips and suddenly she could open her mouth. “Tell me.”

“No.” She spat.

“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to use a lethal…well, maybe not so lethal.” His hand went to her forehead, extending his index finger slightly more than the rest. Butterflies tried to turn away, but her body wouldn’t move. It touched her and electricity and light danced through her, coursing through her veins. She screamed in agony and fell to the floor, her body smoking.

“Tell me. Or else,” the prince threatened.

Butterflies smiled sickly up at him, and said, “Never. If I tell you, I’d have to kill you.”

Electricity struck her again and she hollered and jerked. Light blinded her and she lay on the floor, her clothes burning. The shadows automatically put them out. With a blinding rush of air, her stomach dropped and she was off her side and had smacked into the wall. “I know you,” she muttered weakly. “I know all about you.”

“And I know all about you, my dear. I even know your previous eye colour. It was so, so pretty. What a waste,” he said, stepping into her vision. “Oh well.” He shrugged and picked her up. He threw her onto his bed. He bent down to stroke her cheek and she caught hyis hand. “Aw, so willing,” he said when she pulled. She only smiled, narrowing her eyes. “What’s so f--“the prince stopped short. Stupid, he thought. Stupid to trust a weak vampire.

“Too bad, prince.” Butterflies said. The dark green tip of her dagger sticking through his back. “Really, too bad.” The prince fell to the floor, eyes already glazed over and blank. She pulled out her dagger and licked the blood on the blade. “Mission accomplished.” And then she ran.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Best friends

"Go," Cleric Quiver said, unfeeling. "You are dismissed."

Butterflies bowed formally and swept out of the chamber, her Necromancer robes trailing after her. She struggled not to get lost on the first day of her training. It would be rather embarrassing.


She felt someone tap her shoulder and turned warily. She saw someone about her age, trying to smile, nervously tucking stray strands of hair behind her right ear. Her eyes turned from grey to hot pink as she realised that someone was actually bothering to answer her questions.

"Um," she repeated. "Do you know where the exit is?"

The girl didn't look like she was about to eat her, so Butterflies decided to be honest. She shook her head. "Nope."

"Neither do I." The girl grinned, and stuck out her hand. "Name's Olivia, Olivia Storm. What's yours?"

Butterflies slapped the hand with her palm. then hit it again with the back of her hand. "Name's Butterflies, Blood Butterflies. Pleased to meet you."

Running away

Butterflies woke with a jolt to the head. Her eyes snapped open and all she could think of was danger. She plunged her hand into her pants pocket and slipped the delicate black chain onto her pale wrist.

"WAKE UP!" her father roared. He had thrown a shard of something at her and it had hit home. Her forehead bleeding, she slowly pushed the covers off. She took deep, deep breaths to keep her temper and tears suppressed. Even so, her temper burned fiercer than Mevolent's fire, and her tears flowed down her face like twin streams.

"What....did this.....time?" she asked between shaky breaths. She suspected that her father was already drunk and intoxicated with drugs, but she still asked -- it was a ritual to her.

Her father's face went blank a moment. "You....I....You...."he stuttered. Then the rage returned. "Doesn't matter!" he yelled.

Crazily, she laughed.

"Oh, dad, oh, dad. You've done more damage to me than Billy-Ray Sanguine ever did."


She swung her legs off her slightly elevated, battered mattress and went straight to the cupboard with held her measly possessions. Sh e took out a box and started packing. Her dad did not move to stop her. "Did you ever love me?"

Her father, held in a trance, said, "Once. When you were born."

"What happened?" she asked gently, her voice permeating the suffocating silence after the storm. No answer. "Can't say, now can you?

"From this day on, I swear upon the shadows of the Temple, I am not, have never been, and never will be your daughter."

Her father stood there, captured by her bravery.

"From this moment on, I swear upon the fall of night everyday, I will never set foot in this house again. If I do, it will be to kill you. Both you and mom."

More packing.

"From this moment on, I swear upon the length of High Priest Tenebrae's neck, I will find my own keep."

She laughed again, feeling the joy and strength coursing through her as she said her chosen name again. She finished packing and walked to the door, her father's dull eyes trailing after her.

"And from the moment I step out of this house, I am not Marina. Not anymore. I will be known as Blood Butterflies."