Kovašic in Darkness

Judi's Diary - 16th October/17th October

16th October

Dear Diary,

Well I'm sorry I didn't get to write this entry last night, or even the first thing this morning. I really needed a good breakfast and a couple of strong cups of coffee to get over last night. I am very thankful that my new companions seem to enjoy my company, I feel like I'm re-living my 20s, going to all these strange parties!

Kamil, Anton and I agreed to meet at Anton's shop yesterday – it's been a fortnight since that creature escaped from the Manors, and Kamil had gathered some odd reports. Apparently he (it?) has been killing cats around the arts district and the Manors, which I simply cannot tolerate! I do feel sorry for the monster, after what I saw the Deti Volonosti putting it through, but really… innocent animals?! There were reports of it killing a homeless man too, down at the Raj – must it insist on desecrating everything I love? I really don't know what to think. Perhaps tonight will help settle things – oh yes! Kamil had also received a terrible note from him (it has a name – Matej) asking for help, but written in blood! He knows Kamil's people are on to him. Anyway, we decided that the best thing to do is meet him. If there is some way we can help him, it would ease my conscience and perhaps we can stop him from inflicting any further cruelty on the city. 

Kamil and Anton told me there was going to be a party in the evening – hence the tardiness of this entry, but before that I decided to look into stories of strangeblooded monsters. I went back to my new favourite haunt – the occult shelves in the library – and read a little about Elizabeth Bathory from the 17th century. An evil Transylvanian lady who lived in a Slovakian castle and lured young women in then bathed in their warm blood. She was eventually caught and locked up by the King of Bohemia, but not before she had somehow transformed some of the poor victims into monsters too. Perhaps this Matej has been similarly transformed…

These are strange tales, but the events of last night almost upstage them! After meeting Anton and Kamil in the park (goodness knows what's happened to Estella – I suspect she is caught up in some important research), we found those awful Deti Volonisti people, claiming it was their party. Well it wasn't. Though they led us to the middle of the park where all the action was, it was nothing like their usual scene. Yes there were some vicious substances (courtesy of Kamil), but the dancing and music was not of the popular sort… not at all. It was entrancing drumming, and bonfires were lit all around. Several of the men wore strange masks, covering their whole face and there were many young girls in white dresses whirling around with them. 

Now I know that Kamil and Anton wanted to take the opportunity to find out more about Matej, but I was transported back to my acting days. There were a few parties like this before the Germans came, and I just wanted to re-live it. Is that a crime? I don't really know how the boys took it, because I swallowed a few ecstasy pills – oh yes, I knew they'd get me in the right mood. Rufus led me over to the dancing, right into the middle, where there was and even more strangely dressed (undressed?) man – wearing not a stitch, save for an extravagant fur headdress. Again I remembered those old parties and watched him. They way he moved was so strange, and Rufus began to dance along with him. 

That is when it happened – one moment I was watching the mystical man, and the next I was watching me, as if through his eyes. I could feel his muscles, his life, his vitality and virility. It was not a little perturbing, but also not completely strange – I remember the night I met Rufus – my last night on stage when I was playing that wonderful cat. I was out of the man as soon as I entered, but was not returned to my own body, but to Rufus'! We've always had a connection that goes beyond a lady and her puss-cat, but in that moment last night it all made sense and came together. I could feel everything Rufus felt – it was extraordinary and wonderful. He was still dancing with the man, and I could see myself watching on, gormless. My hearing, my smell, my sight, everything was amplified. I sunk myself into it, willing myself to feel more. 

I began to experiment, I tried to stop Rufus dancing. For a moment he pushed back, but then, well, it felt as if he welcomed me in. I was Rufus, and I was not. I knew everything he was thinking and I could tell he knew all my thoughts and desires. We danced together, we explored the party together, we ran as fast as we could across the grass. This was better than feeling young again – I've never felt like this in all my life. I never wanted it to end.

Hours passed and we both became tired. I returned to my own body, which felt a hundred times as old and slow as it had before. The naked dancing man said I had a gift, and that I should be trained by a lady – Matka. This is a very strange thing to happen to me at this time in my life, but I think I will explore it, this is truly magical.

Kind Kamil and Anton both waited for me and ensured I got home safely, I couldn't speak properly and was completely exhausted, so I can't have been wonderful company. I am so thankful to have them these days.

Anyway, I must get ready now! I want to get to the police station to see if they have any more information we could use, before we meet the monster. This really is the only way I can see us stopping the violence on the streets.

Love

Judi


17th October

Dear Diary,

I am hopeful. I feel that my actions today have helped make some proper progress in securing the safety of Kovasic. 

Shortly after I wrote here this morning, I went to visit the police. Kamil mentioned that they had launched an investigation into the missing cats – so I thought I'd offer to help by taking in some more of the animals on the streets. I know it's already crowded in this little house, but having a few more darlings to care for is a very small price to pay for my peace of mind. Perhaps I should look into renting a small place to accommodate them, there might be some charitable spirit among the locals following these reports, which might help me financially. I'll keep a look out in the property pages for a suitable refuge.

The police themselves don't seem to be channeling much energy into the investigation – I met with a worn-down officer, Rudolf Polak, who is apparently in charge of the operation. He was rather a heavy man, and seemed utterly dissatisfied with the assignment and the meagre resources being offered to him by the authorities. Even so he seemed amiable enough, well, helpful at least. I misjudged him at first, and almost went off to see to things myself, but he offered me a coffee and explained the situation a little further. 

His reports merely confirmed what we learned this evening though – that Matej is an escaped inmate from that awful Pevnost place, run by the Russians. He also revealed a map showing the location of each cat abduction. They seem to have a good idea of where he is, based on these reports. Hopefully they'll lose his tail now we've made our bargain.

That's right – we did make a bargain with him. It was all very dramatic, almost more dramatic than the opera. He approached us in the interval, his dress clothes a red mess of dried blood and that horrifying pale skin. It's a wonder that nobody seemed to notice him as he came through the hall. They all behaved as if he was there, but without really seeing him, moving aside but making no comments. I suppose he had made some effort with his hair, but really his appearance was not befitting of an opera house, unless he was supposed to be on the stage!

We rather interrogated him I'm afraid – and though his eyes seemed utterly empty, in the strangest way, I felt again that sympathy for him, despite his monstrous actions. It sounds as if he arrived here simply seeking work, and that the Russians lifted him straight off the streets. He says they've done something to him to make him the way he is, but that doesn't agree at all with the stories I found in my research – they only mention the strangeblooded being created by like creatures. Perhaps the Russians have found another way, or perhaps Matej isn't entirely trustworthy. For now we believe him. With all these incredible events, it seems we have no choice but to succumb to dumb belief in all things, for now. He also makes promises, to refrain from killing (especially cats, and people), also to be examined by Kamil, and to make contact with us each night on the old bridge. In return we have offered our aid in his revenge. He wants access to the Russian scientist at Pevnost, and also to the Deti Volonisti committee for their torture of him. I have no sympathy with either party. For one, it will be fun to see those insufferable Russians feel a little sting for once, and for another, Ondrej and his horrid friends deserve some comeuppance after what they inflicted on this man.

Of course we still act with caution. I have found that Rufus and I are able to join reliably, in the manner that we did last night, which seems to be useful. As Rufus, I followed Matej home to discover what lodgings he takes, and whether there is any clear reason to fear him, directly. For now it seems not, though I will perhaps continue this gentle surveillance in the coming days. 

I am suddenly a busy lady again, indeed I am living again, at the heart of important matters and discovering my self anew. Tomorrow I will make my plans: to keep these cats safe, if Matej is to ignore my wishes; to meet with this Matka character, in order that I might understand this bond with Rufus; to keep tabs on Matej, if possible, using Rufus at night, checking in with Inspector Rudolf by day; and if I have any time left at all, to continue my reading about Thule/Nibiru. 

Half of me wants this strange terror to end, the other half for it to continue. We may have some handle on this now, a conclusion is in sight, but for what good? For life to return to how it was?

Judi

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Judi

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