I’m late in posting last week’s latest photo for Picture it and Write! photo prompts at Ermilia Blog, but let me tell you it’s pretty lengthy. This is my second installment for the Silver Nights series. The ending was rushed a bit but, hey, I finished.
You could say that I froze in mid stride like a glass of lemonade in an Arctic gale. I just cannot flipping believe my eyes! The creature in front of me was so pale I can see the undead veins that lie beneath the hard skin, never to pulse again from its doomed heart. He was wearing his trademark faded red “Keep Calm and Carry On” t-shirt and a pair of well worn jeans with a rip on the left knee, and was more handsome than before. He looked like he walked out of a nightmare … one of mine but with a different monster. Not again.
Questions burned blazing trails in my brains. How? Why? Who? When? Most importantly, will he kill me? I just don’t understand. This would be the last thing that could have ever happened and this guy shouldn’t in any case be fine with it, being what he has become. If I’m right, he’s pissing mad. Oh, God.
Keep Calm, I can do that.
We stood there staring at each other, measuring. How fast can I grab the gun before he ripped me in half? Will I get a chance to scream? Will anyone hear me? Truth is, whether or not I reach it, the shotgun is useless against him, and he can snap my neck in a blink of an eye with minimal effort. My scream would go unheard, no sane body with an ounce of self preservation lurks around these parts at these hours. I’ll just be another victim, a casualty, to the mysteries of the night. I did what I would have normally done and played it cool. I smiled.
“Lovely night, Marcus. How’s it going?” I asked as I paced leisurely to the magazine rack, taking out the out dated tabloids replacing them with the latest absurd head lines, stacking the others into relative order. Pretending that my nerves weren’t live wires. Pretending that everything’s alright, running shouldn’t be the first option when there’s a newborn vampire in front of me, silently following my every move, probably wondering what my blood would taste like on his lips.
“The moon is divine,” he agreed, “and how, Lorelei, do you think it’s going?” he smiled back, reveling a pair of pointed twin fangs, as pleasant as you please.
Five minutes in and I’m still intact, un-bloodied and sill breathing. I might get lucky.
We locked eyes. His metallic blues met my brown ones. They used to be vivid green, bursting with secrets and mischief whenever he’d come around in the pink ice cream truck he drove. His face is more angular now, the only thing that remained of his old self was his jet black hair. If someone who didn’t know Marcus were to take a good look at him, they wouldn’t believe that he was really tan from the days he spent running on the sand, playing beach volleyball. That was before he died.
Marcus was – is – my friend, damn it, and I won’t let his being a vampire bother me. I’m better than that. He wouldn’t hurt me. Yeah, right. But still … Boy, am I messed up. I’m not normal too, to be honest, I can do some pretty strange things – nothing screwed up like a vamp, though. Friend or not he’s no longer human and I don’t know how he’ll react to me now, I don’t want to show fear before I encourage him to take advantage of me. So I went along with the “Keeping Calm” plan.
“Who bit you?” I asked bluntly.
“Who do you think!” he spat, rage now radiated from him, filling the room.
Okay, so I stink at subtlety, bite me. Basically, he hated vampires – got a good reason too – in general and there was one in particular he loathed with a passion. I wonder …
“She made me one of her,” he continued, his tone scornful, “A blood sucker! I thought I couldn’t have hated her more than I already did, I was wrong!” he roared, rooted on the spot. My blood dropped a couple degrees. I hoped to all things holy that he was keeping his distance from temptation.
I’ve a strong feeling who it might be. Something fell abruptly, clinking to the ground. It was a coke tin or what used to be a coke tin. It lay there pathetically, badly dented in shape of the contours of Marcus’ fingers. He took deep unnecessary breaths in an attempt to regain his composure. Does that help at all? Then he began to walk towards me with long, slow strides. Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me.
I reached for the useless Mossburg, resting my fingertips on the barrel, trembling slightly. Well, this was something, how did I get to the cashier so quickly? My movement didn’t go unnoticed. He stopped directly in front of me, our bodies were only separated be the counter, yet I could feel the harsh coldness radiating from him. I couldn’t feel his breath, he didn’t spare any now, breathing was no longer compulsory. His unnaturalness repulsed me, but like the fool I am, I stood there defying my instincts.
“Are you scared of me, Loren?” and just like that he was the coolest cucumber in the fridge, not a hint of the violence from seconds ago laced this voice, “If it’s any comfort, I’m full … at the moment -” ahhh! So that’s why I’m still alive “- though I wish I wasn’t still drawn to your pulse but I’ll try my best,” apologetically, a somber look on his alien face.
Very reassuring. Am I scared? A little, yes, but I’m getting better at not jumping at black cats because I’ve met scarier things, things with inch long fangs, things with claws. Things with rotting brains and equally revolting breath.
“You’re a freaking vampire! Of course I’m not scared,” calmly as I can. Where is my blade? Why did I forget it out of all nights? I could do more damage by myself but it’s always helpful. I folded my arms in front of me and leaned my hip against the counter.
“And I’m not picking that up,” I gestured to the compressed tin on the ground.
Marcus gave me a little smile, “Lo, sometimes I can’t tell through all that sarcasm, but knowing you as I do I know you’re bent on being reckless,” he held up a hand, in it was the can. I didn’t even see him pick it up, he didn’t move all this time … or so I think. Creep-tastic. Something flashed in his eyes them moment I heard what sounded like a trash can bang to the pavement, and the smile disappeared.
“You know very well that I’m no longer the guy I used to be. I can kill you! Wrap that around our brain, woman. You can’t, and shouldn’t, be at ease with me like before. Don’t try. I honestly don’t want to do anything I know I’ll regret.”
“Look Marc, I can take care of myself, better than I could before. You might be a vampire and yes you’re dangerous and terrifying,” I pleaded but he only shook his head, exasperated, “So … this means no more ice cream duty?” I tried to ease some tension.
“Yes,” he bit out, irritated, glancing out of the glass door for the umpteenth time. I relaxed and absorbed the vibrations on the ground. There was movement outside in the opposite direction of Marcus’ interest, soft padded footsteps. And then it was gone, most likely a cat.
“Loren, get away. Leave. Now!” he snapped suddenly, his eyes were glowing in an unearthly shade of blue.
Then there was a huge crash close by where the trashcan fell earlier.
“I have to go now. Stay out of trouble and don’t come out through the front door,” he hissed urgently staring hard at me, “I’d get you out but she’s here and up to no good,” and he disappeared in a blur, with the bell above the door ringing frantically.
Right. With the gun in hand I swung over the counter and paced slowly to the front. Cass’s van was still there parked in the parking lot about tow yards away from the dark ally with the fallen cans, that’s strange, she’s been gone for almost half an hour … I couldn’t see anyone in it. Something’s very wrong.
The road was deserted, Marcus was no where to be seen. Like before, without warning, my spidey senses tingled. I felt for the earth again, its warmth sneaking into me, I was feeling a lot of movement. My heart picked up the rhythm, beating faster and faster to each step. My breath quickened in response. Someone was running. Fast. Then golden blur flash passed making for the lot. I was out of the door by the time I saw it was a werewolf, nearly seven feet tall, 250 pounds in lean muscle. Cassy. A feral growl rumbled from her throat, hackles all on end, and she was pissed. She stood guard with her back to her van. Thant means … the girls are in there. Crap. She saw me and jerked her head towards the dark opening. We both looked. Waiting.
Just as the half moon revealed herself, she came gliding out of the filthy ally, like she frequents it every Saturday night, and stopped a short distance away from Cassy. Fiery tendrils of hair wafted in the cold night wind, her equally blood red lips puckered in delight of the hunt. She was as pale as Marcus and more beautiful than any woman I’ve ever seen. I snapped out of my moment of admiration for I was reminded she was a lethal monster as her white delicate looking fangs slipped between her lips in sharp contrast. Vivian. The Vampire Mistress of the local seethe.
“Give up, you mutt,” she snarled softly, “you’re dead as you stand.”
In the moon light I saw what I couldn’t before. Cass was covered in nasty bruises from jaw to feet. There were long rips along her stomach and arms, the blood was mostly dried, crusted on her fur and she’d begun to heal. She bared her rows of endless jagged teeth and revved like a hummer on parade. She couldn’t speak in her wolf form but her body and her growls did the job just fine. Stay the hell away from my babies, scum!
I can’t just stand there but I shouldn’t do anything stupid either. Wait for it.
“Oh come on now, I’m giving you a chance to die more … peacefully than you other wise would,” she said, now honey sweet with a hint of an accent. Poisoned honey. Vivian could, without any doubt, take out Cass in seconds. But no, not this sucker, like a cat batting around a mouse, I hear she likes to play with her food. She savors every second because she can afford it, because she knows she’d get what she wants. It must boost her ego something fierce.
Another growl tore from her throat but the werewolf never moved. Didn’t move an inch even as the vampire advanced with her wispy black cloak billowing around her. She stood there and she’ll remain there until the vampire made her move, she’d die protecting her children. But I’m not going to let that happen, no little girl should grow up without her mom, nor should any see her die before them. Where is Marcus? I lost my grip on the gun and it clacked to the pavement. Nice.
Vivian finally took notice of my existence, a quick darting of the eyes, can’t keep her sights off of the wolf, for now I was just a pathetic human.
“Seems like we have company … Don’t you worry, dog, I’ll take good care of your little ones. Better than you ever will,” the carmine lips curled into a wicked smile.
Those were the magic words. Cassy launched at her but was too slow for the nimble vamp who grabbed her wrists and swung her in a semi circle, releasing her only to smash into the hard edge of the brick building that housed a spare parts warehouse. I flinched at Cass’s shrill shriek of pain. The werewolf got up, her panting left crystal droplets hanging in the air. They went at it again. Cat and mouse. Circling each other. Slow work if you ask me but in a flash things changed. Cass was tired, too weak to carry on but kept going still but Vivian took advantage and wrapped her harms around the wolf from the back, locking her in place. The vamp’s poison laced teeth was inches away from her carotid … when I let my magic loose. Letting it soak into the earth, mine to command.
My fingers splayed, arms now lifted grasping at the mist, and curled into a fist. The Mistress’s eyes widened in shock as the paved road rose rapidly up to her calves, jerking her off balance causing her to drop the almost lifeless wolf. She landed hard on her behind. Not graceful now, are you?
Her face contorted in unbelievable anger, “How dare you!” she spat, eyes overflowing with hate.
“How about because I can? That I don’t take kind to watching my friends get killed?” did I just say that? I have a big mouth, yes, but I end up keeping it shut.
In a fluid movement, without using her hands, she straightened. “You’ll be fun,” she promised as she tried to shake the road off her feet.
I clenched my teeth, the layer of earth that held her was too thin, but willed it to hold on to her longer, until Cass could get out of here. But she was breaking free, I felt the ground cracking around her. Cass reached the van, and looked back at me, apologizing and thanking me at the same time. But she hesitated.
“No!” Vivian screamed in blistering rage.
I was sweating with the strain. The car started. The vampire broke loose. She ran into the devil himself. Marcus looked like a drowsy man regaining his senses. Vivian whirled around facing me, but he grabbed her arm and pulled her into what would seem like an intimate embrace. She squirmed in his arms her shiny black nails tore his shirt to tatters.
“Leave her. The human isn’t worth your time, Mistress. Let her go. Please,” he soothed. That must have taken good effort.
“Then why don’t you have her, Marco, since you are so fond of her?” she looked deeply into his eyes, rendering them unfocused. Now he was the one who fought for release as she gave him one of her cruel smiles. He released her, the struggle drained out of him. Marcus now looked to me. He wasn’t there anymore, just a remote controlled monster at his mistress’ beck and call. I’m surely going to die tonight, alone from anyone who cared for me. But Cassy and her daughters escaped and I’ll go knowing that I did something right, but dang it, I don’t intend on dying without a fight.
Over his shoulder, bathed pearly white in the moonshine, with her full bloody lips to his ear she said to him, “Take her, Marco. She’ll quench your thirst” all the while she stared at me straight in the face, her black eyes were an endless abyss filled with murder and unrestrained bloodlust.
“Marcus, Don’t listen to her. Remember! Remember what she did to you! How she ruined your life!” but my words bounced off of marble for all the good they did.
“Go, my love. Take her,” the vile creature urged on. He took his time coming to me, why hurry with another vampire to corner me? I couldn’t possibly get away, I wasn’t that powerful and I knew this but she doesn’t …
But I still tried, “So you’ll truly be like one of them? Sink to their level? Will you suck the life out of someone’s mother, brother or sister, and live with yourself forever?” it hit home. He flinched and his steps faltered.
“Go on!” Vivian grounded.
“Will you kill me and enjoy it? Will you have me die at your hands and forget me after all we’ve been through?” I pleaded, hoarse, with all I’ve got.
Marcus gave me a funny look … then I realized he was pulling through the haze she cast over him. His pace picked up suddenly and then he had his icy hands on my shoulders, his face close to mine but his eyes were clear. He gave my right shoulder a firm squeeze and I knew what to do. I sank more than half of my energy into it, and I watched as the bloody witch sank knee deep into the cement. The sound that came from her was so inhuman, so alien, so terrifying. I’d gotten her once again.
“It won’t hold her long, go!” he forced the words out, “I’m sorry.”
I ran. I ran as fast as my feet could take me, the one time I looked back I saw she’d already broken free but he held her back. I ran till I reached the the bustling city center, the lights were blurs that shone over the ignorant sheep.