Irish wolfhounds, that's what they were. The breed was either meant to protect the old yobbish peoples from wolves and were bred so that their jaws were powerful enough to crush a lupine neck, or someone lied to me. Either way these black behemoths were my very own ancient archfiends.
The pound is, in the first place, a milieu whose very ambiance, its soul, could rear a potentially ruthless creature, even without the intent. This was not a shelter that I found them in. Oh non. Yobs did not face then what they do now; the guilt for mistreatment of a devoted dog. This creature clink, this specific concrete fortress of execution, was not a routine stop for me either. It was sheer consequence that I'd wound up there and what drew me to the sinister superstructure I'm sure to never understand. I avoid such foreboding framework at all costs, even those that house family familiar felonious in nature. To me such visits could only call upon misfortune. Perhaps such was a day when my fault found me again, and I subsequently wanted a taste of what atonement might be like.
I must say that the face of forfeiture is an unpleasant and pockmarked one, with a lazy eye to boot.
How noble creatures with legacies back into the B.C. ended up in such squalor is not only puzzling karma-wise, but appalling. Wars were once started over the mere insult of such a specimen, and here they were now; throw-away curs unloved by the drunkest yob to walk by. Forfeiture had yet to cross their myth-worthy minds. Hulking hounds, jet black in color, with gnashing fangs and bristling back fur in a paramount loathing of the kind of world which could see warriors fall so far. Being man's best friend, they discovered, was not a two way deal and did not even include the courtesy of a net should an unexpected fall from grace occur. The honorable knights of canus were here separated from the cadgers on what could only be deciphered to be murderer's row.
The narrator you have come to lovingly know as a true dog person crouched down before a wire door whose hinges had required fixing more than once, and which was held closed by the desperation of three thick chains, each wrapped multiple times. Even they could not support the weight of a hooligan hell hound who'd bashed his own crown against an ethereal egress every time a yob boogied by. With myself crouched before them, the magnificent melanoid sons of Padfoot stayed their anger. Coal yet coaxed to diamonds, they braced themselves to simply snarl the insistence of their Lah given innocence. Their fur was unkept and their whole coat was as burnt leaves of a tall nettle. Black curls that made them all up, and a handsome shag that came off their muzzles, as if a stubble grown from their time out of civilization.
"What are they in for?"
The brutes were once used for fights, which had required they be starved. One night they had ripped free of both their confines and ingrained loyalty to wrench off and devour the leg of he who would be called their caretaker while he slept. Apparently they now suffered from serious aggression issues and could certainly never be adopted out again.
"They ran through the streets, unruly, for a good while," I was informed, "They've mauled children, even full grown men."
"Aww," I cooed to their sympathy.
"Two of the most aggressive dogs I have ever come across. Certainly not the gentle giants of their nature."
"Of course," I mused, lifting my finger tips up to press lightly on the wire of their pen door with a soft smile playing mischievous games of devious thought device on my thin lips, "Once a canine has tasted yo...man's blood then no man can trust them again."
I had felt it in every inch and fiber of my twisted and withered black pity pump. The warmth and glow of paternity snuck up on me when, as my black claws slid out to hook the cold mesh, sad monsters stepped forward and lay pleading tongues play on their new papa's talons.
Standing I spun to face their watcher. Demanding swiftly and simply, "I want them."
So they were to come into my possession, since I had decided they would, but alright, time to be fair to those in the world who would say that I don't have in me the capacity to care for any other living thing, even these Poe puppies. It didn't not cross my mind, that if they were bred to crush a wolf's neck, just imagine what they could do to a yob's. These dogs that were easily much bigger than most men and had vendetta against them touched my heart as well, and this is true. I felt for these boy's, I really did.
One was, I assumed by his smaller stature, younger than the other. The younger was the more aggressive between the two and though his brother often tried to make the younger cow down in acknowledgment of his own youth, the little one countered often by lashing out. At the time I hadn't been studying the history of yobs for a particularly long amount of time at that point, but I'd decided on just the names for them. Atilla, the youngest, and Bleda. It was after Atilla the Hun, whose older brother had inherited the throne. As successful as Bleda was and had the prospect of being in the future, Atilla could not settle for a lack of power and killed Bleda in cold blood. A history lesson for you, my dear readers.
By the time I got out of jail, both Atilla and Bleda had apparently succumb to a brutal illness of the inside-bits. My boys died of loneliness without their daddy. They were true to me. My black angels.
Even back in those days all it took was a bon concealer to cover a bruise. A light layer of pastey pale and no one need even suspect the purple and blue that lay underneath. Much like being a lycan, if you just put a layer of near normality overtop the people of Paris needn't know the 'hideousness' beneath the veil. Hide the black-eyes and the bruises, even the cuts.
Now for something completely different around roughly the same time period, when I was around the ages of eight through to ten. Now I was born in 1973 so that made it...1981 to maybe 1983? It seems like so very long ago.
Gaspard's was a butcher shop only a few blocks from the throw-way home, which I'd found my way back to but all droogies had gone, and I had come to find the street outside that elderly edifice of light gold tone wooden planks that practically grew the slender little snow hairs of the man who ran it. I had given up on work for now, but still would not go to school. The haunting misery of a family lost and a pair of dungeon masters gained had begun robbing me of what little sleep I did get in the evenings, and so I had to search out a safe heaven. Here it was, the rustic old shack that jutted up like a warm cottage in the ominous and dark forest of Paris' dregs. I'd long tired of withered faces and vicious smells, but this place was a comfort to me. The fresh cut reek of a newly sliced slab which some poor patron would purchase for his ribblet childkins with money he'd just begged off the nearest money lender. It was no less sad then anywhere else I'd yet been in my life at that point and yet the calming waft of a slaughtered lamb had become the greatest comfort I ever could have hoped for. A warm smell that sunk deep into the gutty-wutts with every lustful breath, that came up into the air and was still sweet and nearly dragged dribble along with it. I stole when I could, but wondered on getting caught now that the droogies were not there to offer confidence. I would have hated to be chased away from that paterfamilias of a place, and so I kept up what is, to date, my best behavior.
A noise rose up on the glimmering silver feathers which rimmed the wings of the birf of paraide. Sounding at first like weeping, or perhaps it is a rising wail. The cry of a cat at first, then became what was perhaps a baby. It rose so steadily and yet was so much softer and gentler than any of these nonsensical, shattering noises, but carried the same note. As quickly as it rose it dropped again and then took a different note with the cottony bound of a lab. Sawing gently away and then returning to lift and delight in sweet honey mockery. This torrid ride and fall, rise and fall was a melody dripping with sweetness that could only come from an instrument held in the hands of a saint. A minister of light descended from heaven to blow dust off of Paris and breath life into her heart again with the wailing rise and twinkling fall of only a song. A violin and nothing more. Held in the callus and grimy fists of a bum in the street across from me. The violin as worn as the soul which held it and yet in the low swing of the long sordid shawl of a coat that lay slumped over his sagging world weary shoulders. His bag-hanging optics closed and he swayed slowly to his own intoxicating rhythm. Panhandling with his violin case in front of him, not a thing lay glimmer inside. Now if it had been it venom or nectar that drips into the ears off its victims via his notes, it was as sweet a sound as could never be imagined to set a mind a flutter.
I sat with my own closed oculations and let that haunting instrument sigh out it's sinful delight directly into my gray matter, robbing me of what wit I'd managed to collect in my life at the time. Arms folded and chin tilted up to savor the sounds of disgrace. How dare the ghosts of glorious mornings and beautiful emotions enter here. Even the dread slowness was uplifting, and a slow rising into the nimbus that could carry a soul far from such a dismal place as here. It held long notes and pauses as it lulled lowly and it bayed before rising again, returning hope all in the same simple bar. This was the Puck of all persons, and it has caused me to believe for only a few moments that flowers could bloom in Paris. This was not as drawling as any terribly classy thing I would have had to sneak into before nor so upbeat as to be cornily out of place among the swinish multitude, nor as somber and depressing as the world it occurred in. The low hum of some midnight bug on a sultry and tempting night, the sweet cry of a lark in love, the notes strung together in spur of the moment passion were milk and caramel over the breeze. It caressed like cashmere and touched on my lips to catch my breath in their own just so that I would not miss the next sinning call to be seduced.
Then I heard the earth shaking, heart breaking truth descend as a red and orange war sky blotched with bleak black cirrus. "Better he should show prowess with a book than a bow," and with that doves died in this sky and fell like rain, no songs were left for them.
Was it true? Was this man who produced such beautiful music destined undeniably for the ever esteemed ranks of those noble trash spelunkers I lovingly called my yobbos? It couldn't be. Such beautiful music and such a marvelous soul belonged in every theater that could hold capacity enough to honor him. This Main Street maestro did not deserve to stand and offer his gifts for not even the change a person had in their pockets, living off the leftovers of the hollow homeowners to die alone in a gutter clutching his fabulous fiddle to his bosom and not even baring the world ill will on his last boozy breath. It was then I understood that this was the fiddlers disease. That anyone born with the gift of art who embraced it was destined to die helpless and charmless, while soulless creatures like Marcel Malone enjoyed the strokes of power and wealth.
All I loved in the world amounted to a man with only a fiddle and a soul.
Self-fulfilling prophesy, that's what it was to be called. There were two paths laid before me and I could see a good stretch down both. Should I give to my heart and embrace my disease, I would stay here. I would settle to the chains that bound young, furry wrists to the sand beneath them. My knees would finally give way and all for the simple love of music and theater. For the wholesome warm feeling it gave and the angels that offered these sensations to me. The selfish path, I called it. The other path I had looked upon, I saw Duke already headed down. He hadn't had the same choice of paths as I now faced but he knew where he walked. This path was the path to be leader of the lycans, and it was narrow enough as to only permit one body. It was the rope of saving dropped into the hole in which Marcel had tried to bury me, but I'd have to overtake my loyal droog and push him off to get it.
A blue moon makes the alpha wolf. It's when Lah gives birth to her favorite sons and sends them to bring order to the rest of her fuzzy childkin so as they don't all go perfectly mad. On the night that I had been bit another alpha had been made as well, and that alpha was Duke. Older, stronger and perhaps just as capable a leader as I. Not as brilliant, clearly, but he could have done is part to keep the wolves safe and I would have been his second in command. A wolf like me was never going to settle for second, Lah must have known that. I could not be second best and certainly not to Duke; not to my own droog could I answer with a click of the heels, a back of the hand to my forehead and a 'vive Monsieur Duke. 'Tis all for the will of the Duke.' Oh, but Duke my precious, 'vive Geoff' just rolls right off the tongue. Long live the flame that keeps body his name ' 'Tis all for the will of the Geoff.'
I had to abandon my true loves in order to go down that path, and that would be my pennants for doing what I did to loyal Sammy. You heard how he was in the fight to save Rengat, I would have been eternally dwarfed by such strength of body. I'd have better luck with history having stayed in the grasps of pier work. I had to push him out of the way, I had to. He was too slow and he could not go as far as I. I, if you'll recall, had promised that I would bring him with me, not that I would bring the others with him and so it had to be done. I had to push past him on that path for the garcon and all the other lycans I could help. Only a state of power addiction would prove the cure my fiddler's disease, I thought.
What to do with such a power of which I was now determined to take hold? Why corruption of course. Debauchery of the finest variety, of course. What else was to be done? Surely you can't expect me to have taken my Lah given powers and use them to fight crime, or some such nonsense. I, the puppy, was no hero. To be a hero is a master vice and I am one who has seen the undoing of several such souls in my life time; sometimes I'm even the cause. I neither, however, deluded myself into notions of mafia immortality. But we do have more fun than our continence bound counter parts before that silver bullet train pulls in with The Grim.
Oh, the fun we have.