The Gift That Keeps On Grieving
December 6th, fifth full day at Aluminum Pigeon Penitentiary, 3:00 AM…
Jojo sighed deeply as she removed her glasses from her pale face.
“Marisa Christmas,” she muttered, cleaning her lenses with the bottom of her camisole. “I sure hope that girl knows what she’s getting herself into.”
The girl walked over to the toy horse that was positioned on her nightstand and caressed it with her left hand.
“So that girl must be in league with the other succubus that Troy warned us about…”
Chapter 10: Felon of Troy
3:33 AM, the courtyard. This is where Jojo said that CJ and Troy would be located. This was also the place where Merry first met Anesidora. Although it was less than a week since that fateful meeting that turned Merry into a succubus, it felt like an entire year had passed. But that wasn’t important now. If Merry killed Troy, then Anesidora would turn her back into a human. This waking nightmare would finally be over, and she could wait out the rest of her twenty-year sentence as an ordinary human girl. Although she should’ve been overjoyed at the prospect of getting her life back on track, Merry couldn’t shake the feeling that something felt… off, somehow.
She’s clearly manipulating me, the prisoner thought to herself. If Anesidora is willing to turn me back into a human, then why didn’t she do it sooner? I made it clear that I don’t want to be a succubus. Doesn’t she care about my feelings at all?
“…No, that can’t be true,” Merry sighed. “There’s probably a logical explanation. Anesidora wouldn’t have even given me this power in the first place if she didn’t care about me… right?”
“Hey, who’s there?” a voice called out.
Crap! Guess stealth is out of the picture.
Turning around, Merry was greeted by a familiar blond-haired man, his blue eyes staring curiously at her.
“Ah, so you already know who I am,” the man smiled. “Whatever, it’d still be rude for me not to introduce myself. The name’s Calvin-James Evans, but everyone just calls me ‘CJ’.”
“Marisa,” Merry replied. Regardless of if the man was working with a genocidal succubus or not, she saw no reason to be impolite. “Marisa Christmas, but you can call me ‘Merry’.”
“Y’know, Merry, prisoners aren’t supposed to be out of their cells at this time of day,” CJ chuckled. “What brings a lovely lady like yourself here at 3 in the morning?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” Merry replied bluntly. “I saw your little stunt in the canteen when you saved Jojo from those thugs. You didn’t have to kill them, you know?”
“Ahahaha,” he bellowed. “I knew I recognized you from somewhere. You come here to hire me as a bodyguard or something? Or maybe you wanted to ask me out on a date?” he smirked, winking. “I just finished dispatching of s’more criminal scum, so I’ve got some free time to kill.”
“N-no! Nothing of the sort,” Merry stammered, trying to regain her composure. “Look, I just came here to ask you about your tail. It was a gift from a succubus named Troy, wasn’t it?”
CJ’s face froze, the air around the two jailbirds getting colder. Any façade of friendliness had quickly dissipated in the wind.
“And I take it that you were sent after me by Anesidora?” CJ inquired. “Troy warned us that she’d try something like this…”
“Us?” Merry asked.
“Look, if you’re searching for Troy, then I’m afraid he isn’t here right now. You can go back to your master and tell her you failed.”
As CJ turned away, Merry quickly reached out and grabbed his right arm.
“Wait, CJ! I don’t know why you’re here at Aluminum Pigeon, and I don’t know why you’re working with Troy, but you seem like a decent person! I’m not sure what Troy’s told you, but you don’t have to work with him! When I kill Troy, Anesidora promised that she’d turn me back into a human! I’m sure she could turn you back too! So, if you help me--”
“What are you blabbering about?” CJ interrupted. “If you don’t want me to kill you, I suggest that you let go of my arm now.”
“B-but…” Merry complied, releasing her grip and watching as CJ began to walk back inside the prison. “I’m trying to give you a chance. I don’t want to take another human life.”
“I’m not a human,” CJ said. “If you wish to kill me, meet me here again next week. Same time, same place. I’ll bring Troy.”
“And that’s what happened.”
“Merry, Merry, Merry,” Anesidora groaned, planting her face between her furry palms. “Troy’s minion was in front of you and you let him go‽”
“He said that Troy wasn’t with him,” Merry protested.
“And you believed him? Humans are so gullible, I swear…”
“R-relax, ’Dora. Next week--”
“Freaking Hell, Merry. You think Troy’s actually going to wait for a week‽” the catgirl snapped. “He already knew that I was after him, and now he knows what my assassin looks like! …Guess I need to find another human to gift with my succubus powers?”
“No,” Merry said. “You’re not burdening another human with this curse! CJ seems trustworthy. If he says that he and Troy will meet me next week, then I believe him.”
“Fine, whatever,” the leather-clad demon grumbled, rubbing her scalp in frustration. “But if you’re wrong, then I won’t turn you back into a human… Is that clear, Merry?”
“Crystal,” Merry nodded hesitantly.
“Well then, you better get some sleep! You’ve got a big week ahead of you…”
“I’m back,” CJ sighed, arriving at his cell. “I dispatched of two more bullies in the courtyard.”
“CJ,” Jojo scolded. “How many times does Troy have to tell you not to kill people with your succubus powers‽ You know what’ll happen when you kill ten people…”
“Relax, I just used my fists. No succubus powers involved,” he grinned. “Speaking of Troy, where is he? I’ve got some news to report about the mission…”
“You met Anesidora’s pawn?” Jojo asked, adjusting her glasses. “He’s already aware, she stopped by here an hour ago… So, are you going to kill her?”
“Nah, not yet” the boy shrugged, flumping onto his bed. “I told her that I’d introduce her to Troy in the courtyard next week. If she’s serious about her mission, she’ll show up. If not, then I see no reason to kill her.”
“Excellent work,” a voice boomed across the cell. “But don’t get too cocky, Calvin. This Marisa girl is a succubus too, so she could pose a threat.”
“You worry too much, Troy. I don’t know how she wound up in a prison for violent criminals, because it seems she’s adverse to taking lives. This’ll be a piece of piss…”