And here it finally is, the last ever chapter of Predator. Hopefully this one will answer all of your questions but if there are still any left, please ask now & I will post a FAQ. I also need some advice on two things, so I'd be awesomely grateful if you guys could help me out.
Thing one: I've been considering sending bits of Predator off to agents in a feeble attempt to get published but most agents don't want a full manuscript – they tend to ask for about three chapters. So I'd be grateful if you guys could just point out scenes and bits of the overall fic that really stood out to you as well written & memorable: your favourite bits, basically. And I'll probably see what the overall consensus is and pick those ones. Thank-you!
Thing two: Well, I feel quite old in that most of the (more like all of) writers who were on this site back in my day have kind of gone during my hiatus period, and I've considered completely leaving the site too. But then I decided that I might as well post a few more things before that, so it's up to you guys what I post. We have two options. Either I could entirely focus on Euphoria or post something new I've been working on and work on Euphoria alongside it. The new thing (thieves of samurett) is completely different to what I've done before as it's primarily fantasy but then it's fantasy in my own sense of the word... safe to say, it's completely unlike Cath & Predator and should have a lot more romance etc and less psychotic characters (less meaning less of them, hehe. There is still one...). Well, thanks for reading the note guys and I'd appreciate the input.
Hmm. These tend to annoy a lot of people because they're so long and there are so many of them. But psh. I love each and every one of you, and if you can bother to take out time to write me a review, I can bother to write you a decent response.
l'heautontimoroumenos: Only nearly? Well, hopefully the two chapter update will make up for it.
waterlilies52: And here it is!
Mistariapotter: Ack, well, I guess the way I wrote it was a bit of a brainteaser. Well basically Rayth shot himself and fell off the cliff at the start of the chapter. What you have to remember, though, is that it's all in Angela's point of view so when she's in the water, Scythe approaches her and she momentarily thinks it's Rayth but then realises that it's Scythe.
FreedomStar: Yeah, it's kind of one of those things that only makes real sense when you read it all together.
Laughingmoon: Yup, Rayth shot himself.
Grassong: Wow. Thankyouuu. I'm glad you liked the chapter and yeah, I have a weird empty feeling now, especially as it's all over. But then, I might still post new stuff so you never know.
Claes Winterspell: Lol, yeah. I feel like my style has changed a lot too. It's been a while I guess. And hmm, what didn't you understand – like, what exactly confused you? I don't mind explaining. And I hope this is a good New Years gift too.
D. L. Cross: yeah, that bit was confusing. Basically rayth died at the start of the chapter because he shot himself, but then later on in the chapter Scythe approaches Angela and she, being in a state of shock, fails to recognise him and thinks it's Rayth. And that sucks, the whole reality taking it's toll thing. I guess it's what happens when you get older. I remember finishing Catharsis in ten months back when I was fourteen. God, life was so much simpler back then.
Jaliy: Yeah, the beginning was kinda vague. Not sure if that was a good thing or not.
Death Princess: Thanks, man. Thanks.
Cocoartist: Wow, that really sucks... like, I did get into Oxford but I had a whole ton of family drama etc whilst I was doing my exams, so I missed out on a mark on my Maths grade so I lost my place. Bleh. But if I had gone, it would have been Corpus Christi for English, which is right next to Christ Church. That's really irritated me now. We could've easily met.
Rainstains tarte: Haha. A highly anticipated movie? That made me giggle all happily. & yeah, scythe dying is suckie, but it wouldn't have worked any other way really. Not after all that had happened and especially considering that he killed Tyson etc. And yeah, I felt quite funny once I'd finished this. It's weird to think that it's actually over. And hmm, I'm not really sure – like, the whole god thing is all up to personal interpretation I feel.
Ruby The Cat: heart was thumping? That's kinda awesome. And I'm glad you enjoyed it!
i-rite-gud: Thankyouuu. It really touches me to know that I managed to have that affect on someone, seriously. And yeah, he was referred to as Rayth because it's in Angela's POV so she confused both of them. It was actually just Scythe but she was all in shock and disorientated, so she mixed them up briefly. As for the little boy, there isn't really anything more on him than that which has already been given. I've purposely left him ambiguous just so that people can interpret him in whatever way they wish. Thankyou sooo much for all the compliments. Your review made me go all happy inside.
Dumbing Down of Love: thankyouuu. And lol. I haven't really attempted to get published. I think I'm just too lazy and too scared of the 100+ rejections that I'm going to get first time round. And no worries, I don't think I'll ever give up writing. As weird as it sounds, that would be kind of like giving up breathing. It's become too much of an integral part in my life. I'm quite sad that it's over too, but then I'm excited about my new stuff. Hehe. So yeah. I guess I was kind of sick of it by now.
The Latest Plague: wow. You shouldn't stay up so late! Tis bad for your health, my dear. And I heart the way you summarised Angela's character development. It makes it sound really, I dunno, deep and three dimensional. So yay for that.
And the Sentence Trails Off: thankyou. And it's a very big compliment to be told that this is different. It makes me feel all unique, which is always good. I hope you enjoy this one.
SyMph0Ny Of cOloRS: hopefully this chapter will do all your piecing for you. The actual solution is actually very simple, tbh.
Superficialowl: Cancer's role will definitely be explained in this chapter. He's integral to the overall plot. Thankyou for reading and I hope you enjoy it!
Ecology. an organism, as a plant, that is able to produce its own food from inorganic substances.
3. Ecology. an organism, usually an animal, that feeds on plants or other animals.
In a biological ecosystem, predators forcibly overcome prey defences to obtain food. Force and defenses evolve in an arms race, adding overhead to the predatory "transaction"; the lines representing force and defense are accordingly thick. Since attack may come from any direction, defenses are shown surrounding the prey.
Consumer-producer relationships can be contrasted to predator-prey relationships. Producers, unlike prey, will voluntarily seek out those who want to consume what they have, using advertising, distribution networks, and so forth. Consumers, less surprisingly, will seek out producers.
(from a website off the internet which fp won't let me reference here)
Waves, an ever-fading turquoise, shifted up the outcrop of sand, caught each little bit between their fingertips and dragged it back out to the sea. He watched shingle, little bits of rock and sea-shells that he once collected (and stored in his pockets but by the time he got them home they were broken) get caught by the lingering sheen of turquoise and faded grey. Faded, because twilight was upon him – a blue sky that was beginning to blot into patches of orange, spilt ink.
He turned his book over in his hands, let his fingers stray over the worn cover, then tipped his head back so that the edges of his eyes caught the deserted beach behind him. It was all so calm, un-agitated, the only sound the soft rush of water and pebbles that gently tumbled into an expanse of never-ending ultramarine, little bodies carried back out to heaven.
The sky was beginning to burn.
He checked the time. She would come. He knew she would.
"Show her to me first – and then I'll help you out."
"And how –" Scythe kicked his legs up onto the chair, folded his arms in his lap in what was meant to be a superior gesture. Instead it looked dramatic, childish. "Can I be sure that you'll be trustworthy?"
"Look," Cancer hesitated, unpeeled his banana. "Your family's done a lot for us, your mum especially, and you didn't have to. I'm aware of that. If it wasn't for you, my dad… I don't know where we would have turned, really. It's not really worth thinking about. The main point is that we're here and you've helped us out of a tough spot, so the least I can do is help you out, right?"
He grunted in response.
"What she did to you," Cancer carried on. "It was really harsh. What her and her mum did to you guys, that is. And you've been so good, just tolerated it like that all these years. She ruined your life and then she bothered for what, a year? And then she just expected you to get over it, just like that. I know I probably sound harsh and all but don't you think it's about time that you show her what it's like? Don't you think it's about time that you show her what it's like to have something bad happen to you – maybe, that way, she'll finally understand you? You can't understand someone's experiences until you've been through something similar yourself." Cancer shrugged and took a bite, spoke with his mouth half full. "At least, that's how I see it. But I can understand if you don't agree with me and you feel bad for her. I guess it's natural, kind of like your dad felt bad for her mum…"
"Tonight," Scythe abruptly cut him off, "there's a party at my house. I don't want you to come in, though. You can't let her know that we know each other."
"Just…" He gesticulated. "Hide in the bushes or something, okay? She'll probably climb onto the roof some time. She normally does when she gets bored."
Cancer got up to leave, hesitated, took the last few bites and let the skin linger in his hand, a shaft of swinging yellow caught between his index and forefinger. "Another thing."
"I need you to arrange a meeting between us, Angela and I."
"I told you. I don't want her to know that we know each other."
"Of course not," Cancer easily replied. "That would be detrimental to your plan, which means that you're going to have to figure out a way for us to meet without her knowing that you're involved."
Scythe gave him a confused look. "I don't understand."
He tossed Scythe the banana skin. Scythe wrinkled up his nose, dropped it, and Cancer smirked, amused. "In my spare time, I tend to hang out in the lighthouse," he offered, then added. "You're a smart kid. You'll figure something out."
"Hey." Two arms snaked around his waist. Her head rested on his shoulder, a wave of fire pushing against his back. Momentarily, he was caught off guard. Cancer relaxed.
She let go then, began to clamber onto the wetness of the rock, occasionally slipping with a splash back into the water below. A determined expression on her face, she'd start clambering again. Her vitality reminded him of that of a young child.
"Let me help you." He offered his hand.
Angela shook her head. "I can do it."
He shrugged and then shifted the second book out his bag, another tattered brown cover. Eleanor Hambridge's journal. Angela had given it to him only a few days before, feeling that it rightly belonged to him due to his ancestry. He put it beside his own journal, compared the two. Light barely touched them.
"Did you bring a lantern?"
"Oh." She slipped back into the water with another splash, worry splattered across her features. "Back on the beach. I left it there." Evidently panicked, she began to tug at her sleeve.
She gesticulated. "Way back." Another tug.
Her trousers were drenched now, water soaked straight through up to her calves. She shivered a little.
"I've got a torch in my pocket," he told her.
Uncertain relief swept her features, was stilled. "Then why did you ask for my lantern?"
"Just would have been easier. More light."
Her expression relaxed and she began to clamber up the rock again. When he'd bought the journal, he'd made sure that it was as much like the original as possible – a tribute of some sort to his ancestor.
You can't be the ones sinning. You have to be the ones making her sin. It's the only thing that matters to her. It's the only way you'll break her.
But where do we start?
Simple. He picked up a piece of chalk, scribbled the number one, then began to write:
Thou shalt not lie.
He opened up the first page, read the entry, then furrowed his brows. There was panting beside him – her breathing was raucous, exasperated, but she'd made it. There was relief in her voice.
"That was hard."
"You're still weak," he stated. "You shouldn't try doing stuff like that – it's not good for you."
Angela sighed and leaned her head onto his shoulder, looked up into the leaking night. White stars had begun to rip out the sky. She fumbled a little on the rock, then slipped a hand into his pocket and pulled out the torch. A few moments passed of her turning it over in her hands, feeling for the switch. She found it. A wave of white light cut across the blackened water. They both observed it and then she abruptly turned it over so that it shone straight in his face.
Cancer squinted, batting away the light, and she giggled.
"That hurts – switch it off!"
She carried on giggling and then, on a whim, shone it onto the open page before him. Before she could read it, he immediately pulled it away.
His voice was calm, yet bordered on some emotion that she'd never before encountered. "That's private. Don't you ever try to read it again."
The words chilled her. Angela pulled the torch away, and uncomfortably shone it back over the water.
Cancer pulled the lighter out his pocket. Flick. Fire broke through the air. He brought it closer to the paper so that he could read. She obediently kept her eyes to the trembling water.
"You punched me," Rayth stated.
"Why did you break the rules?"
He shrugged. "I was getting bored."
Cancer shot a glance his way – sharp, quick, yet scathing. "I told you that the plan would take time to work."
Rayth scoffed. "Do you think I really care about your plan? I'm here to look out for my brother, make sure that you don't make him do something he'll regret. He may listen to everything you say and do everything you say, but I won't. I'm not scared of you. And I'm not scared of breaking your rules."
"It's not my plan," he corrected him. "It's Scythe's plan, so the only rules you're breaking are your brother's rules." He was patronising now, accusing, no longer bordering on anger like before.
The sudden mood change caught Rayth off guard, triggered him: "Don't bullshit me. We both know who's actually in control here and I'm going to tell him. I'm going to tell Scythe about what you're doing and I don't understand why you're doing it, Leon, but I'm not as stupid as my brother. I'm not naïve enough to believe that there's nothing in it for you."
Cancer shrugged, ever casual. "Do what you want, Herb – all I'm trying to do is help your brother out. Whether you're grateful or not…well, that's your problem. I'm just trying to do what I think is best to help your brother."
"Go to hell."
"Hey –" Cancer put a hand on her shoulder. She was stiff, cold, beneath it. He switched off the lighter. Underneath his hand, she relaxed a little. He realised his mistake. She wasn't going to say it, she never did. "I'm sorry." He pulled her to him and closed the book. "About the shouting, and –"
"It's okay," the answer was abrupt, tinged with anger. It wasn't going to last.
"You're mad at me."
"No, I'm not."
"You're not relaxing." He nuzzled her hair.
She tried to stay stiff, her movements jerky and then, finally, she let herself loose and leaned fully into him. "I shouldn't have been so nosy," she admitted.
"And I shouldn't have spoken to you like that." He didn't mention the second half of the apology. They both understood and they weren't going to mention it. To mention it would result in awkwardness, defence, denial – all those things that she wasn't willing to, and probably would never be willing to, admit. To either of them. It suited him just fine. At least he had the pieces.
Rayth tossed him the bottle and Scythe caught it, fell back with the force.
"You didn't need to throw it," he bit out, irritated. "That could have seriously hurt me if I hadn't of caught it."
"We both knew you were going to catch it."
Rayth began to rummage through the cupboards, pulled out two wine glasses and then slid them across the table, his motions like that of a bar-tender.
Scythe smirked at him. "Ready for the party?"
"Pour it in."
Scythe gave him a look but did as told. He was agitated, unsure, that much was obvious. Scythe picked up Rayth's glass, half-full, and casually made his way toward him, handed it over. Rayth bought it to near his lips, didn't drink it.
"You want to talk about something." Scythe shoved his hands into his pockets, waited.
"Drink it –"
"-first of all," he said, "you're going to tell me. Then I'll drink it."
"I don't want to ruin our birthday party."
"You won't." Scythe leaned over the table, stretched out his arms and began to work at gently easing his glass toward him. After a considerable amount of effort he managed it and then brought it to his lips. "Now tell me, what's up?"
"I don't trust Leon," Rayth blurted out. The abruptness caught Scythe off guard. Rayth carried on. "We give his dad the job and then he suddenly shows up offering to fix all your problems because he's so grateful? It sounds kind of lame, if you ask me – and before I didn't think much of it. I didn't think that anything that he said would work but it is working and it's scaring me because I feel like – I feel like it's only going to work for us up until a point, and the rest is just for him. Do you get what I mean?"
"I know, but –"
"–you're right," Scythe cut him off. "You are ruining my mood before the party. We'll talk about this later, okay?" He just wanted him to leave.
Sensing that he'd said too much with too little tact, Rayth eased off a smile. He shouldn't have blurted it out like that. He should have said it in a different way, in a way that would make Scythe listen and understand. This way...but no matter. He would speak to him properly later, after the party. Now wasn't the time to fix things.
"You and Angela," he couldn't help but add. "You're both so easily manipulated. He's just manipulating you and you're both just listening to him –"
"After," said Scythe. "The party."
Rayth wavered, spoke again, "I'm going to go check on the decorations, okay?"
Scythe nodded. "I'm going to eat something and then I'll be right with you."
Rayth hesitated for a moment, about to say something else, then decided against it and left. Scythe stood alone in the kitchen: confused, agitated, unsure. Could Rayth be right? Could Leon have some other reason behind what he was doing? But then, Scythe was the one in control. It was Scythe's plan. Cancer had said it was his plan and it was all for him. The way Rayth said it, though – but there was progress. There had been more progress in all the time they'd started the plan than there had been in the last eight years without Leon.
"Aren't you going to drink that?"
Cancer slipped onto the stool previously occupied by Rayth, looked to his glass.
"No longer in the mood."
"Nothing. Just nervous about the party."
I'm not lying.
He said –
Fair enough. If you want to back out, then back out. Doesn't make a difference to me.
Who are you loyal to? Cancer abruptly asks. He takes a sip of the wine, puts it back onto the table, then continues speaking. He was never there for you – you told me yourself – and I am there for you. I'm helping you get redemption. You know how it works, don't you, Scythe? You know she won't burn in hell for what she did to you, to your family, unless you give her reason to burn in hell. And the only reason is if she sins. But Rayth doesn't understand that. He's always had a soft spot for her and he's trying to stop you from doing this because he wants to control you, don't you see? He's always tried to control you. Stop you from doing Bones. But when it comes down to it, he's just like her and if you follow him you'll never get your revenge. But thing is, you've already followed him. I can't trust you anymore.
How can I prove my loyalty?
The predator tossed him a box of matches.
"Burn it," he said. "Light a match, toss it, and send the whole goddamn thing blistering back into hell."
The consumer hesitated for a moment, considered, and then he complied.
Angela's gaze flicked to the water, then back up at his face, then back to the water. He could tell that she wanted to say something; only, the words just had not formulated yet – or, at least, they had formulated but not in the way that she wanted them to come out. She wanted to sound tactful, thoughtful, mature. She wanted her words to impress. The wait was irking him.
"What's bothering you?"
"Something is bothering you," he told her. "Or, at least, you want to say something. Just say it, Angel. You know that there's no need to sugar coat your words with me."
She didn't answer for a few moments, just considered, and then finally said, "I was wondering…I mean, I was wondering why –" She shook her head. "This beach, this water – none of it bothers me. Why is that? None of it means or reminds me of anything. It feels like something separate, something distant, as if it's nothing to do with anything that happened before. It feels like that beach was different and this beach is different."
"You seem worried about it."
"About what I just said?"
"It's a good thing. Anyway, we've already been over this…" He held her more tightly. "It doesn't exist. It didn't happen. It's the only way to make it better. To carry on reminding yourself about it, to make it real: you're just torturing yourself, my little Angel." He kissed her forehead. "Don't torture yourself."
She compliantly nodded. "I won't talk about it again."
"You won't think about it again," he corrected her. "Look at the sea." He gently took the torch from her hand, flashed it over the rippling water. "It's so long, so big, so never-ending. Just like life. Just like our lives. And if you carry on thinking about the past, about everything that happened, you'll just end up stuck in the middle. Our aim, though –" He flashed the torch higher up. "Is to get to the end."
"You just said it's never-ending."
Cancer kissed her forehead again. "Just think about it."
"You just made that up." She rubbed her head into his shoulder. "You have no idea as to what you're talking about."
"Do you want me to push you into the water?"
Angela sighed. "Not yet." She sniffed his shoulder. "'tis peaceful."
"Where is he?"
Cancer glanced up from his book, casually stretched out his shoulders, then put his pen back down onto the desk.
"Don't waste my time," hissed the producer. "If you tell me where my brother is, then I'll let you off. I won't inform the police."
"Inform the police," he tested the words in his mouth. "Inform the police about what?"
"I'm not the one who killed Tyson," Cancer informed him. "And I'm, sure as hell, not the one who killed Lynn. So why would you talking to the police make any difference to me?"
"The house," Rayth bit out. "What you did to the house."
Cancer smirked, patronising: a school-teacher talking to a stupid child. "I did nothing to your house. Scythe struck, lit and tossed the match. I only watched. And I'm hardly going to get into jail for that."
"I don't care." Rayth sighed, agitated, held his forehead in his hand and massaged it. "Just tell me where my brother is."
"And what if I don't?"
Rayth punched Cancer.
Cancer flew back in his chair and it smashed to the floor. His body lurched to the side, pushing against wood. The arm-rest rammed into his stomach, his head and upper body lolling awkwardly over it. His arms flailed slightly where he tried to roll himself off, the arm-rest acting as a barrier. When he finally managed to get himself onto the ground he sat up, instinctively brushed himself off, then creased his forehead slightly. A small scratch ran down from the side of his head, a mild line of red that starkly contrasted against the white-blond of his hair.
He clicked his tongue, brought a hand to his jaw where a similar red line broke out over his lip. "Ouch."
"Now where," Rayth repeated. "Is Scythe?"
Cancer smirked. "You honestly think that punching me is going to make me tell you?"
"I can do a hell of a lot more than punching."
Cancer laughed then, obviously amused. "This game – you think you can beat me, do you, Herbert?"
Cancer folded over his hand, stretched out his palm. "I have both her and your brother," he closed it. "In the palm of my hand." The knuckles clenched white. "And they don't listen to you anymore. You lost that respect when you didn't protect him. You lost that when you let her be the one to look after him."
He'd hit a cord. "I did it for the best. She always cheered him up a lot more than I ever could."
He scoffed. "He needed family, Rayth, not a therapist and a half witted nine (eight) year old. He needed his own flesh and blood. You did everything for him, let him have everything of yours, feed off all your success and for what? Respect. Sure you gained respect, but he doesn't believe you. He believes her and is more close to her than he'll ever be to you."
"But you've taken care of that too, haven't you? He doesn't believe her anymore either."
Cancer casually shrugged. "Whatever you decide to do," he informed him. "It's too late. The plan's in motion. Either she'll kill him, or he'll kill her. Either way he's screwed – it's a choice between dying or killing and he'll never get over it. Think about what happened to him when he was a child. Did he handle that then? This is more hands on; killing your best friend. He'll never get over it. He's already mentally gone enough as it is. You made sure of that when you didn't fix him. The glass was cracked in the first place. I was just the air that got through and separated the pieces."
"I know what you're up to," bit Rayth. "I know that you want revenge but I won't let you have it. I won't let you break him."
The smile was slow now, not a smirk but something different, something more chilling. "You still think you can beat me?"
"I don't think it, Leon." He kept his voice firm, didn't hesitate. "I know."
I need to get rid of her. It's the only way. This way, Scythe will get over it and he'll live – and I guess I'll be saving her too. He scoffed. When she kills him she'll definitely be going to hell.
Cancer watched her play with the torch.
She was moving it, side to side, watching each individual cut in the water – the fading ripples – and then trying to catch other things, little things: the occasional tumbling pebble, shells, shingle, sand carried in by the waves. He'd watched over the waves ever since he was a child, their broken edges, shattered, fragmented glass, just like his family.
Glass danced in the air like raindrops. White light broke through and he watched it topple to the ground, silver coins, falling money; topple, settle, then sink into a greedy earth, gaping bestial mouths. He thought of the degradation, the slamming door and the way his mother had left all because of the lack of money. All because of the money they had lost, the legacy that was meant to be his but instead was given to a useless drunkard and his overly dramatic wife. He thought about their children and the blood on her little white hands as she absentmindedly twisted the torch-light over water.
He looked down at the darkened journal, Eleanor Hambridge. It had been so many years but he had finally gotten revenge for both himself and his ancestors. Destroyed their family, just like they'd destroyed his. He opened the cover. Destroyed hers.
It was beginning to rain.
"It's getting cold."
"Yeah – " He paused, cut out his reverie.
She spoke before he could. "We should head back."
He nodded, even though she couldn't see it. "Yeah. Only –"
She brought the torch in between them, shone it up so that both their faces were showered in light.
"I have an idea."
Cancer shoved a hand into his pocket, pulled out the lighter, and brought it in between them. Flick. The fire danced. She winced, instinctively drew back a little, and the fire caught the edges of his smile. In moments he had the book before him, dangling in his other hand.
"You got a pen?"
She slowly nodded. He waited. She took it out her pocket, handed it to him, and, keeping the pages out her vision, he started to scribble something onto the last page.
Rayth, Scythe – thanks for the help. I guess I'll see you guys in hell.
Once done, he turned to the front cover for the last time, read his name to himself.
Angela gave him a funny look.
He grinned at her.
Cancer. He whispered. The Predator.
"Can we go now? It's really cold and it's raining."
He flicked off the lighter. On. Off. She avoided looking at the flame. On. Off. On. Then he set the book on fire. Angela gasped as hot red licked up the edge of crisp, white paper. She stumbled back, nearly falling off the rock and he held it away from her, the glow from the fire catching and dancing over the whiteness of his features. Ash began to crumble, swirl into the air, and rain grew steadily harder, began to plummet down into his hair and rip against the burning book. To no avail. He dropped it in the air and the remaining ashes were scattered by the growing wind. Water streamed down his face and she was shivering on the outcrop of rock, the torch trembling between her fingertips. He looked to her and she shone it between them, then he gave her his hand.
Angela nodded and took it, then they both slid off the rock and ran back through the rain, back to the lighthouse.
.end of predator