September 23, 2022

The Awakening of Naram-Sin

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[image description: how I imagine Naram-Sin might look post make over]

After many years he heard her voice and only her voice. “I want to see you in one month, perhaps you’ll remember how to be a man. Not at home, you’ll know the place.” Then the silence he’d known for so long settled back around his shoulders, he wanted to ignore the call, look on it as yet another of the demands of his progeny but, he knew he couldn’t. In the ages since he had done more than watch the earthly realm, he had in fact forgotten how to be a man, he reached for the vial he kept around his neck and snapped it in his fingers. He felt the blood magic do what it had been created to do and the call for the leech went out he stepped out of the darkness of the Abyss and back onto the grounds of the House. 

Elsewhere the leech tilted her head, she felt the call and gestured for her man. The huge lycanthrope she traveled with appeared at her elbow and bent down, “yes lady?” He listened to her quiet rasp and nodded. “Yes, at once madam. I will make the preparations.” After he left, she sat in the suite looking out the window, she absently ran her fingertips across the feather she’d had braided into her thick black hair for longer than she understood. She couldn’t remember who it belonged to nor how long she’d had it, but she knew where to go and as she stood to pack her bag, she looked out at the Atlanta skyline and sighed, another city she found nothing in. 

The drive out of New Orleans felt familiar enough she left her companion at the hotel in spite of his protestations, she hoped for something, her own demise maybe but as she pulled up to the big, beautiful manse, no joy. What she found was an enormous man standing in the driveway waiting for her, when she stepped out, he looked down at her and understood she was different immediately. “You called for me?” He didn’t like how she said it, “yes. Do you remember me leech?” She tilted her head and took a few steps closer, her brows knit, and she reached for the feather and rubbed it against her cheek, then she had to clear her throat. “No.”  

He stepped aside to let her go into the house, as she got into the light, he had to hide shock. There was a thick dark scar that ran from just under her chin, down the front of her throat and down her chest, it disappeared into the v of her top and he frowned. “What do you call yourself now?” He felt something like sadness when she spoke, her voice was a broken heavily accented whisper, not the smooth contra alto he’d remembered. He watched her think about the question then she shrugged a little, “my maker called me Minna, faithful guard.” She snorted and stepped past him inside. 

“I have a room, this way Minna.” She let him take her arm, he felt the power in her, but she guarded her presence tightly, had he not known her in her previous life he might not have thought she was the same creature. He opened the door to the room he’d taken, and she stepped inside and sat on the bed looking up at him expectantly. He paced a bit before he spoke, “I am going to see one of my kin in one month. I have to be a man.” She tilted her head then nodded. “Of course, first what may I call you?” 

She stood up and walked to the closet, she poked around in it and shook her head taking out her phone to make notes. “I remember little of recent years old friend. I was terribly injured and only a few years ago woke. I apologize I do not remember your name Alal. When I look at you, I think of the Akkadians. Were you an Akkadian?” He sat and watched her move around the room, “I don’t know.” She stepped into the bathroom then came out. 

“You remind me of a man I knew once, may I call you Naram-Sin?” He thought about it and nodded, “she will like that.” She gestured at the room, “this won’t do. Come with me. Bring any things you need. I will meet you at the car, something about this place-” she trailed off and walked out. He had nothing with him and followed. “You’re not afraid?” Having someone there talking loosened his vocal cords and he felt if not at ease at least prepared to do what he had to do. She opened his door and shrugged, “most men want to kill me eventually, I’m sure if you were in the mood to have my death I would be screaming no?” He chuckled and got into her car, automatically groping to figure out how to move the seat back. She pressed a button and his seat slid back all the way and he nodded his thanks.  

“I have a house. Tomorrow afternoon my tailor will come to dress you. I will do something about your appearance Naram-Sin.” The man frowned at the side of her face while she started the car and lit a cigarette, “what is wrong with my appearance?” She glanced at him; one eyebrow lifted. “Really? You look like you’ve been wandering the back alleys of Marrakesh for a month. I assume you are going to see the girl? Lostrus?” He shifted in his seat and pulled his seatbelt on, “yes. She asked to see me and said to remember I was a man.” She pulled out onto the main road and smiled, “of course. She has exquisite taste in men. But you must be special to her, most males I have seen her speak to she calls boy. Or food.” 

“You remember her then?” She shook her head, “non. We ran into each other in Brazil. You smell similarly. She moves like you.” She turned the radio on and fiddled with her phone until the car was full of slow deep bass music, she looked at him as he stared out the window, believing he was preparing to have to destroy the most unique of his family, she left him to his thoughts as she drove. He leaned over after a long while and turned the music down, “what happened to you?” 

She lit another cigarette and didn’t look at him. “Apparently my sire tried to create some ridiculous blood empire, and, in his attempt, something happened to me. He said when he found me I was cut from there,” she gestured to just under her chin down to her belly, “he had to put me to sleep to try and fix it. When he woke me, we had a disagreement. Unfortunately for him, he did not leave me where I was.” He nodded, that was not her history. He’d known her for what, twenty years by that time? But he could sense she wasn’t trying to deceive him, so he let it be, figuring her marriage had perhaps dissolved again. 

Naram-Sin looked out the window again, “and the others in his empire?” He could hear the pleasure in her voice, “I killed every creature on this planet who shared blood, bond or loyalty to him. And now, I do as I please.” Ahead the road was closed off, flashing lights and ambulances littered the roadway in both directions. She cursed under her breath and pulled over, she turned the car off, scooted her seat back and turned with her back against the door. “This is how you looked when you were a man?” He realized he’d made the right decision on who to call, maybe more so with her in that state. 

He looked in the side mirror, rubbed his beard lightly and found himself smiling. “Yes, more or less. She never saw me like this. It feels-” he paused, frowning trying to remember how to allow this. “I don’t like it.” The woman laughed, “none of us do non? When one has spent so long avoiding being or knowing humanity, to return is shit.” He finally turned to look at her, he looked at her not as a leech he was, what? Fond of? Familiar with? He had to think about it beyond the hatred he’d known for everyone and everything for so long. 

She waited for him, she seemed to understand it without him having to try to explain. He reached out to touch her face then the ends of her hair, “you cut your hair.” She chuckled, “yes. Often. What is on your mind? You may speak freely with me; I understand it is not a simple thing.” She allowed the touch, he understood that much. His brows knit together, “you are still a beautiful creature. Thank you for this. I believe this was the correct course.” 

As they talked it got easier for him to speak normally, like a man. The rage and pain that kept him unable to think of or do anything else, he even managed to laugh when she joked about having been set on fire and subsequently burning down another of her sire’s houses. Once the accident cleared, she pulled back into traffic, “the house I am renting is a short way away. I am not sure I can stay for more than a few days. My tailor will come to you, I will leave you a phone and some cash. If your reunion goes poorly, please don’t destroy my house.” 

When they pulled up her companion opened the door for them, he bowed and offered her a mug as she stepped inside. “Thank you. Kenyon. This is my friend Naram-Sin. Naram, this is my companion Kenyon. If you gentlemen will excuse me for a moment. Calls.” She walked away; Kenyon smiled. “Good evening, sir. May I offer you something to drink? Eat?” He thought about it, “grapefruit juice if you have it, please.” The wolf nodded and walked out to get it; Naram-Sin sat to wait. 

Kenyon and Minna made him comfortable in a guest room, Kenyon and he were nearly the same size and rather than wait for a tailor Naram-Sin was given clothing to wear. Minna, no he wouldn’t call her that it was not her name, the next morning was up and waiting for him when he walked out of the shower to find her sitting on the bed waiting. He had a towel around his hips and tried to find a shirt, she waved him off. “We will be leaving this evening. Come, let me make you the man you should be.” 

He sat on the chair she nodded to, he thought he should be uncomfortable, but he wasn’t. She draped a sheet around his shoulders and moved around him to look at him, lips pursed. “You are lovely, I will only make you look like the man of this time she wants to see. Relax, I will do my worst.” He did as he was told, after sleeping in that body, in a bed, he felt like a man. That being what it was, he watched her move with a new gaze.  

She came out of the bathroom with a basket full of items, clippers, scissors, little bottles of things. She got to work on him and he felt his eyes close. No one had touched him so freely in more time than he could imagine. Her hands were warm, she ignored when he twitched or tensed. “Do you mind if I reshape your beard?” He shook his head and tried to smile but it was a little weak around the edges, “do whatever you want.” Only a second later he realized how that might’ve sounded to her, given that she was standing in front of him and of course his eyes were a little all over her. 

She chuckled and got back to work. Once she finished with him she used a little brush to clean off his head and face, she rubbed nice smelling oil into his hair then his beard. She bent in front of him and used little scissors to trim his eyebrows. He felt his body relax and relax again, he felt pliable, if she’d told him that she intended to drown him like a cur pup he would have happily agreed. “What did you do to me? Fucking-” 

Before he finished that she chuckled in his ear and her damaged raspy whisper and hot breath sent chills up and down his body, “I am a fucking witch. You’re just calm, you’ll be fine. Now go look and if you like we are finished with that part. I had Kenyon bring some suits he bought for himself that he never has worn but I think will look fine on you. She waits.” She didn’t know how she knew that but she knew. Before he got up she moved around him to stand between his knees.  

When he looked up he wanted to reach out and touch her, he wanted to remember what a warm willing body felt like but that was a liberty too far. She waited for his urge to pass, “now I must leave you Naram-Sin. Perhaps we will see each other another time and-” she stopped, smiled and kissed him lingeringly and tenderly. As she straightened and walked out of the room he just sat there trying to calm down. Instead, he got back into the bed for a nap. 

Hours later the little cellular phone he left on the bedside table rang and lit up, he almost threw it out the window but instead pressed the green button to speak, “hello?” The voice on the other end sounded amused, “hi. Are you ready, man?” He was quiet for a moment before answering, “yes.” He could hear her smiling but, he couldn’t feel her. “Good. Tonight then. I’ll text you the address.” 

While he waited, he dressed and went back into the bathroom to look at himself. She had cut his hair and trimmed his beard, had he looked like that? After dressing he went downstairs to find a note from the vampire, she’d left him the car if he wanted it and a stack of cash. “Enjoy yourself Naram-Sin.” He took the keys and headed for the car, it took some adjustments and false starts before he figured out what to do. He’d been watching the world so long he knew more of how it worked than he thought and once he was on the road, he settled in. 

Naram-Sin drove around New Orleans, stopped at a gas station to buy anything really. Inside the woman behind the counter smiled up at him, “well ain’t we big and pretty. What can I do for you darlin’?” The pretty Black woman gave him a gap-toothed smile, her posture reflecting interest rather than fear, he leaned on the counter and smiled back. “I need some gas and directions if you please ma’am.” He allowed himself inflection, she rewarded him with her body leaning towards him, cleavage first. 

“Is there any and I do mean anything else you want baby?” He shook his head sadly, “me no. I have an appointment. Maybe I’ll swing by again sometime.” He gave her money and purchased mints, a pack of sweet-smelling little cigars and a bottle of juice. As he left, he heard her whistle and say to herself, “god damn he fine.” Back in the car the phone was blinking he was ready. 

The restaurant was empty save for one table in the middle, as the man lead him in he slowed to look at her back. She wore braids and as she turned, he saw she had changed. Her glamour no longer resembled him and her image of the mother she wanted, no. She was something else and as she smiled at him, he felt a warning in his gut but ignored it. When he got close, he took her hand and kissed it. “Hello Lostrus.”  

Lostrus stood up and when he let her hand go she ran her hands over his arms, picked his hands back up to look at them, then she put her fingers in his beard and smiled. “Did the bloodsucker give you a name?” He had to clear his throat, “Naram-Sin.” She nodded and put her arms around him to pull him into a tight embrace, “good news Naram-Sin. You, are not the father.” 

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