Monday, 27 December 2010

Undercover Cop

From the moment I walked through the door, I knew there was something special about this one.  Music pumped through the haze of the warm room, others were feasting on hapless humans and the overpowering aroma of blood was pounding through the air; but all I saw was him.  He sat at the bar staring into his drink trying to ignore the orgy of bloodlust around him in the darkened room; but in the background, I could hear his buddies laughing from the doorway behind me.  Each of them saying it was a great joke; seeing none of them had ever been in here, yet they told him they had.
I walked over, sat next to him and waited for him to notice me.  He did slowly and looked at me with his hesitant brown eyes.  He wasn’t drunk; he was terrified, “Hi.”
“Hello.” I smiled, “How did you end up in here unwillingly?”
He groaned, “It’s my birthday; and the boys from the station thought it would be funny to bring me here.”
I grinned, “Into this room?”
He nodded, “Yeah.” He glanced over his shoulder, shuddered and turned back to his drink, “I really don’t like it here.”
Touching his arm, I leaned in close, whispering, “Have you been in here before?”
“Do you know what we do here?”
“From what I’m seeing, everyone is being bitten.” He winced, “It’s disgusting.”
“Hey.  How do you know if you’ve never had it done to you?”
He looked at me and jerked back knocking over his drink as he caught a glimpse of my teeth and eyes, “No.  You’re not one, are you?” I stayed silent so he could put the pieces together in his mind, “What’s it like?”
I took his arm and turned it over so the tender fleshy part was showing, “Well, one of us bites you and you get a high from it; we get a feed.” I looked up at him as I ran my fingertips gently over his inner wrist and ulna, “Would you like me to do that to you?  Or did they just pay for me to talk to you?”
“They paid for a bite.” He whispered.
I looked around for a chair, “Well, seeing it’s your first time, I will insist you are in a comfortable chair and I’m sitting on your lap.” I led him to a vacant Eas-e-Boy chair and eased him into it, “Don’t want you passing out and hurting yourself now.” Climbing onto his lap, I sat sideways with my legs hanging over the arm and his left arm resting in my lap, “You’re right-handed… have I got that correct?”
He nodded looking at me, “Yes.”
“Good.” I whispered, “Now, let’s get to it.” I inspected his arm as my canines slid down from my upper jaw further and I could feel the hunger gnawing at me.  His pulse was racing; typical of a first-timer here, “I’ll be as gentle as I can, okay?” Leaning down, I let my hair fall over my shoulder as I bit into the tender flesh and a steady stream of his blood flowed into my mouth.  I counted four beats of his heart; five, six… and seven, before I pulled out.  It was pretty quick.  Licking my lips, I looked over at him to see he had the look on his face of a stoned human.  Smiling I signaled over a nurse who walked to us and tended to his wound immediately as I got off his lap.  Damn, he was a good feed. 
As I turned to leave, he grabbed my hand and muttered, “Do that again.”
Kneeling, I touched his hair, “I can’t.  Not until your sugar and blood pressure is back to normal.”
Dreamily, he smiled, “Shit, woman, that was great.  I want more.”
“I’m a curator at an art gallery in the Valley.  We can talk privately there if you want.” I gave him my business card and walked away into the gloom of the room.  His buddies jostled past me and asked him how it all went; but I didn’t hear his reply.

Three days had passed since my feed at ‘Wicked’ and I was fixing up some lighting for the next exhibition.  The gallery was closed and I was on my own for a good part of the day when I heard the doors open and close and somebody walked into the gallery I was in.
“We’re closed, people, go home.” I called from the top of my ladder as I angled the light just right onto a painting.
“Hi, you and I met three nights ago in a dim room at ‘Wicked’.” His voice reached my ears and I turned, “I was wondering if you’d like to talk now or later.”
“You really wanted to talk to me?” I climbed down the ladder quickly as it wobbled and shook.  He ran over to steady it but I had reached the floor already, “I have great balance.”
“You really should have somebody spot you.”
“Don’t you remember what I am?” I took up a clipboard and wrote down that the light that needed fixing was done, “Oh, that’s right, you usually don’t.”
He fingered the bandage on his arm, “I was given the week off because I wasn’t strong enough to do a workout yesterday.”
Putting down what I had in my hands, I smiled at him, “You wanted me to bite you again.”
He frowned as he took a step back, “Bite?”
I walked toward him and he moved back until he was against the wall between two paintings and I was very close to him, “Yeah, bite.”
It was then, the penny dropped and he realised what I was; what we all were, “Oh, shit.  You’re a…” he didn’t want to let the word escape his mouth; couldn’t let it out.  It stuck in his throat as he turned and walked away from me and down the gallery a few metres, “..oh, shit.”
“Are you okay?”
He turned and looked at me, “You didn’t – like – make me one of you?  Did you?”
I smiled walking to his side, “No.  That’s against the rules; unless you really want to be one of us.  Then, I’d have to train you because I’ll be your Sire; and that’s a lot of work.”
“You never got my name, did you?”
I shook my head, “No, but I still know what you smell like.  I could follow you around the city for the next three days.”
“Shit!” he shook his head trying to get his mind around what I was; that I wasn’t trying to attack him or seduce him or… “Are all vamps the same?”
Turning, I walked back to the white cart where the supplies were to maintain the gallery, “No.  Not all of us are controlled enough to know the difference between right and wrong; and it’s a pity when we come across vampires that are Sired wrongly or not at all that it’s us good ones who have to destroy them.”
“Why not the humans?”
I looked at him, “Do you really think you’d have the skills or the strength to take on a rogue vampire?” at that question, he hesitated.  When he didn’t answer me and looked at his arm again, I raised my eyebrows, “Didn’t think so.”
“I’m Ryan.”
“Evelyn.” I smiled, “Now we know each other’s names, would you like to go out for a bite?”
He hesitated with wide doe-like eyes, “Um…”
“I mean you eat and I watch.”
“Oh, okay.”
“Or we could make something at my place.  I do have human friends; they just have to be careful around me.” I pushed the cart down the gallery and through the large door of where the paintings are stored awaiting other exhibitions.  Once the cart was safely put away, the lights were switched off and the alarm was switched on, I locked up the front doors of the place and turned to him, “I’m ready to go, are you?”

Ryan was a complete gentleman.  Instead of going to restaurant, we made them come to us.  We found a good place to eat at, got them to make the food to go and came back to my place.  He found my place was all decked out like a human’s house and I set the table for him and he dished up the meal for himself and sat down while I poured myself a wine glass of blood from the morgue (the guy there and I are good friends and he’s got better prices than the butcher).
“You’re drinking wine?” he asked.
“No.” I smiled a little, “But I won’t offer you any either.”
Ryan turned his eyes to his plate again and reluctantly went back to eating, “I’m sorry I asked.”
“Don’t be.  You were curious.” I took a sip and watched him carefully for a moment, “But now, I’m curious about you.”
His eyes rose from the plate to my glass, to my face as he swallowed, “Yeah?  What about?”
I leaned my elbows on the table and began swirling the glass around by the edges of the base of the wine glass so the liquid left a red stain on the inside of it, “I want to know why you came to me and not Roxanne.  I don’t own the pub; she does.”
He finished what was in his mouth and put his knife and fork together on the plate; he had half-finished his meal.  Sitting back, he sighed, “I’m a cop.”
“I know.  You mentioned the station the other night.”
“Why me?”
“You’re clientele.” He said, “You’re her closest friend and she trusts you.”
I downed the rest of my blood and stood, “Take off your shirt.”
Looking at him, I put the glass down on the table in front of his half-eaten meal, “Shirt.  Off.  Now.” Looking him up and down, I noticed he didn’t move, “Unless you’re wearing a wire.”
Ryan’s face fell, “Crap.”
“Get rid of it.” I took up his plate and the glass and walked into the kitchen to dump the food and wash off the plate.  By the time I returned, he had dumped the whole contraption on the table. These things were getting smaller!  This thing looked no bigger than a usb memory stick!  I took it up, inspected it, dumped it on the floor and stood on it.  From his ear, I heard what I had done was destroy the bug, “Get rid of the ear wig too.” At this, he pulled it out immediately and crushed it in front of me, “Good.  Now, we can have a private conversation without anyone interrupting.”
Pulling off his bandage, he showed me the two holes I had left.  They looked dainty really, “Do it again.”
“You’re healing really well.” I smiled, “But it’s more fun if there’s sex involved.”
He stood and took my hand, “I want you to do it.”
“Do it?”
“I’d be the ideal undercover cop if I was one of you.” He whispered.
“It doesn’t work that way.  It would get to a point nobody will work with you because you don’t age; cops hate that.” I stood as he began to look me up and down, “Ryan, you’re doing this for the wrong reasons.”
“No, there’s another.”
“Unless you’re dying from some incurable disease I can’t – and won’t – turn you.” I said.
He pulled from his pants pocket a letter from the doctor, “Here.  It arrived yesterday.”
I read the letter about his brain tumor and how bad it had gotten and that seeing he had only just graduated from the academy he’d be able to get the pension, “I gotta make sure this is right.” I called the number on the letter and the oncologist’s office answered telling me almost word for word what the letter had said.  They had found it during a physical and he had better tell his Captain before too long.  I thanked them and hung up slowly putting the cordless phone down and turned to him, “Shit, Ryan.”
“I don’t want to fight it.  It’s so far gone that I’ll be dead in a year.” He said, “Please, you’re my only chance to be a great cop.”
I handed the letter back as I held him close.  His heartbeat was steady and fast as we stood holding each other; him depressed, me thinking about what he had asked me to do.  It was against all my usual ethics; but he needed this.  He had gotten his letter two days after his birthday – of all days!  Standing back, I took his shoulders, “Okay, do you have a wife, girlfriend or anyone in your life right now?”
“They’re preparing for my funeral.”
“On the force.”
I made sure he was looking at me, “You will have to turn your back on everyone you know who is human if you go through with this.”
He nodded, “I know.”
“Do you?”
“I’ll be on my own by the end anyway.”
Sighing, I wondered what I was getting myself into, “I’ll do it.”
A smile spread across his face slowly as tears glittered in his eyes, “Thank you.”
“But you must let me train you properly; and you can’t tell anyone you’ve done this.”
“I will allow your training and won’t tell anyone.” He nodded.
“Come here.” I put my hand out and Ryan pulled me close and kissed me.  His sudden wont and love was strong as his hands pulled out the three pins that held my hair in place and it fell in a mass of curls through his fingers.  Ryan inhaled my scent and reacted in an animalistic way; wanting more of me as he pulled at my clothes, just what I expected as I began undressing him.
We found our way to the bedroom – pealing off each other’s clothes as we did – and eventually found the bed (even though it was in the middle of the room) and he stopped suddenly.  He just looked at me as though he was scared – terrified – that I was going to hurt him.
“It’s okay to leave if you want.” I whispered.
His fingers traced the contours of my left cheek as a smile touched his mouth, “No.  I wish to stay here with you.”
From there, everything went in slow motion.  The love-making wasn’t frenzied like I’ve always experienced; this man was a different kind of man who knew how to please a woman (no matter how old they were).  I got so close to climaxing so many times and he’d tease me and tease me that I nearly lost it, letting the demon take over.  I had to put a leash on it and keep it from showing too much; which was hard.  But he kept watching my face for my eyes to change colour.
“What are you waiting for?” he whispered in my ear.
“I’m trying not to bite you.”
Looking into my face, he grinned, “I want you to.  You have been keeping a lid on that demon for the past hour.  Let it out.  I want to see it.” Ryan then began pleasuring me again.  How this guy didn’t have a chick in his life was way beyond me!  And so as I came close to climaxing again, I grabbed him hard, turned his head gently and inhaled the beautiful elixir that ran through his veins.  His arteries throbbed in time with his racing heart and as I came to my sexual climax, I bit in hard.  The gush of hot blood rushed into my mouth and down my throat as I drank deeply through the adrenaline of the climax.  As I drank fully, Ryan began to panic and tried to pull away, but I held fast as he weakened quickly and died in my arms.  Then, quickly, I rolled him onto the other side of the bed, sliced my arm and let it drip into his mouth.  Soon, it was a splattering onto his lips and he was licking it up and swallowing, then he grabbed my arm and suckled; biting in as his new teeth bored through his gums and he took in his first meal as an immortal.
I pulled away quickly and wrapped my arm with a nearby towel, “That’s enough for now.”
“I’m hungry.” He said, “Ravenous.”
“I know.” I smiled, “And the night is young.”
I now had a new vampire to train.  The first thing he had to do was disappear for a while and create a new identity for himself; this was something I could do with Roxanne’s husband’s help.  But after Ryan’s turning, I saw a real promising future for him in police work; he became more dedicated in it.  And I was right, nobody wanted to work with him.  His friends turned away from him, his family hated what I had done to him. 
Ryan felt so lonely he almost lost his job as a cop; until he terrified the truth out of a suspect one afternoon.  It was lucky I showed up when I did to pick him up.  He had the guy against the wall and had shown him what he was for a few seconds; thus getting the full address in five minutes of what everyone else couldn’t in three days.  I had watched my man suddenly turn from a sedate person into an animalistic creature that was ready to feast on the crim in the interrogation room.  It was fortunate that there was only one camera (facing the suspect) and the two-way mirror was behind Ryan.  He could still see himself, but after this night, he wouldn’t.
When I showed up, they were just peeling him off the poor breeder and rescuing the man they were going to charge.  I rushed in saying that he had been stressed out due to a family problem.
“Really?  Well, get his fuckin’ arse outa here and help him clean up is act before he kills somebody who is bloody innocent!” his Captain shouted as I rushed him out the door.
We had sat in a café I knew of for vamps where I knew he’d feel comfortable; as ‘Wicked’ wasn’t open as yet.  He sat there in his uniform looking like a fish out of water and feeling about the same too.
I touched his hand, “It’s always awkward when you first start out.”
Squeezing my hand, he glanced around, “They’re all staring at me.”
I looked around too, “Yeah, well, you are a cop and you’re still in uniform.”
“I nearly fed on him… I could smell the blood,” he looked at me, “and it smelt delicious, Evelyn.”
“I know.”
“How do you stop yourself from attacking the ones who don’t deserve it?”
Smiling I leaned across the table and touched his face, “You learn how to do that through your Sire.”
“I have to stay away from my workmates and work until I can control this.” He sighed, “First, though, you have to teach me to make my first kill; otherwise, I’ll end up hurting somebody I love.”
“I know.” I stood, “Come on, first lesson’s today after you get out of uniform because blood is just shitty to get out of anything.”
He and I walked out of the café when the owner stopped me, “What are you doin’ bringing a cop in here?”
“He’s been turned.” I said, “He’s just fresh from the academy, been diagnosed with a tumor and didn’t want to die next year.  I confirmed it and made sure it’s what he wanted.  But there’s some teething problems at work; nobody likes working with him.”
“So, you’re going to teach him restraint?”
“They teach them that at the academy; but they don’t teach vampires how to restrain themselves.” He said, “And make sure he’s out of uniform next time; I don’t want people walking out of here again.”
“Sorry, Manny.  I didn’t mean to; but ‘Wicked’ wasn’t open yet.” I said.
He nodded smiling as he looked at Ryan, “Be out of uniform next time man.”
“Sure.” He nodded as he tried to keep from following a few breeders down the street.
“Jeez, you’re starvin’.” I shook my head, “Come on, we’ll begin with tracking.  First, though, I gotta get that uniform off you.  You’ll look weird.”
Back at his place, I noticed that it was all closed up and smelt very musty.  I opened the windows and pulled back the curtains that he had made for the place.  This was something he hadn’t expected from this new life.  The food in the fridge had dwindled to almost nothing and he had to build in a new fridge tucked behind the mirror of the bar where he kept his blood; yet he hadn’t touched it yet.
I opened the door and looked at the date of the bags, “You have to drink some of this.”
He looked at them sitting on the counter in front of me as he unbuttoned his cuffs and pulled down his tie, “I know.  I just hate the taste of it when it’s cold.”
Looking at him, I smiled, “It’s fresh stuff you want.”
“I gotta have a shower, I smell horrible.” He muttered.
“You know, only you can smell that; and me, and other vamps.” I smiled as I put the blood back into the secret fridge, “The humans can’t smell it.”
“No, really, somebody puked on me.” He turned from me and headed to his bathroom as he pulled his tie from around his neck and bunched it up in his hands.
He was depressed that his new life wasn’t all the glitz that Hollywood had put across.  I had made a promise to him that I’d help him; and that’s exactly what I would do. 
I followed him down the hall to the bathroom and saw him staring into his bedroom, “You okay?”
“I have mirrors everywhere.” He said, then looked at me, “What do I do with them all?”
“Keep them.  They’ll be good for you human friend when they realise you’re going to be okay.” I looked at one and it didn’t show my reflection to me, but it did look gorgeous, “They are lovely.”
He looked into it and saw just him looking back, “How do you get over the fact you’ll never see yourself in a mirror again?”
“I’ve been like this for over a hundred years.  I kinda forget about it until I see a mirror; then remember it.” I smiled and touched his shoulder, “But you chose this life whereas I had it forced upon me.”
“Will you stay here with me tonight?” he whispered, “I don’t think I trust myself with anyone right now.”
“You have to feed.” I smiled, “And the bagged blood acquires a taste, so I’ll take you out to ‘Wicked’ and we’ll see who’s a criminal there and be referred by Roxanne’s boyfriend.”
“Shower first.” He nodded.
“I’ll join you.”

The vamp pub was thumping by the time we arrived.  Ryan had dressed in a new set of clothes he had bought for himself a few days ago and I loved.  He looked like he had money; and so we had to drop by my place so I looked the part with him.  We showed up and Roxanne and her man both looked us up and down as we approached the Manager’s Table.
“I have a favour to ask.” I said to her.
“Involves Ryan?” she smiled.
“Yep, and I need the help of your man.”
She looked over at him and he nodded at her unasked question.  She turned back to me, “Sure, he’ll help with his first.  You gotta be there.”
“Of course, I’m his Sire.” I smiled.

A few hours later, we were walking down Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley.  The Elephant and Wheelbarrow was doing fantastic business and Chinatown celebrated another festival with firecrackers, drums and dragon dancing through the main mall.  It was loud and beautiful at the same time; but we weren’t there to see this spectacle.  We were there to find somebody for Ryan to kill.  And him being a cop would make it easier for him; well kind of.  We had to break him a little first.
During the fireworks, we heard our first screams of a mugging.  This was exactly what we needed; the perfect time for somebody to get grabbed was during this kind of festival.  Nobody would hear it but us and Ryan had to work fast to get the job done.  The three of us followed the screams down a side street and found the mugger wasn’t only grabbing her purse, but trying to get in on some action too.  And she couldn’t have been more than fifteen years old.  Her eyes begged us to help.
I looked at Ryan, “What do you want to do to him?  He’s raping her.” I pushed him in the attacker’s direction and Ryan transformed into the creature I had turned him into.  He grabbed the mugger and pulled him off the girl roughly.  The guy dropped her bag and that’s where I rushed in and picked up all her stuff, packed the bag again and helped the young teen stay out of the way.  I walked her to the nearest street with plenty of light, handed her bag back and told her that she was on her way to hospital because she had just been attacked.  Numbly, she rose and walked off in the direction of Brunswick Street to get a taxi.
I was around the corner again as Roxanne’s man supervised the killing.  Ryan was going really well as he pinned the guy down from behind, pulled his head back on an angle and then bit in and drank it all down.  All three of us could feel the fear in the air here still as the limp body was disposed of by me and Roxanne’s man in a dumpster and the lid was closed.
Ryan leaned against a nearby building catching his breath as his teeth shone in the dim light of the alley, “I can’t believe I did that.” His voice grated, “I… killed somebody.”
I walked to him slowly, “He was attacking a young teen. He deserved to die.”
He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped his mouth and ran his tongue over his teeth as he looked at me and Roxanne’s man, “Any blood left?”
We shook our heads as he answered, “Well, you were on the ground, it pretty much spilled there.”
He nodded, “Okay, what’s next.”
“Restraint.” I smiled, “We’re about to go out in public again and you have to remember they are not all meals.”
“Right.” He nodded.
Roxanne’s man punched Ryan’s shoulder gently, “You’ll get it.  It just takes time.”
“Time is what we all have right now.” I smiled as all walked out into the Chinatown Mall again and watched Ryan.  He grabbed my hand and I found he was having a hard time with restraining himself, “Just breathe you way through it.”
“How do you two do this?” he muttered, “They all look so… so…” he shook his head as he looked to his feet.
“It takes a lot of practice and time.” Roxanne’s boyfriend said as we walked him up the Mall away from the dragon dancing, fireworks and people.  Ryan had a lot to learn from us; and there was no better time to teach than now.
However, as we were about to turn the corner near the Peace Bell, I caught a scent on the night breeze; in amongst the smoke of the fire crackers.  It was a familiar smell; as I had scented it a few days before.  I raised my nose a little into the air to see if I could smell it again, but the breeze had died down taking the scent with it.
Ryan looked at me with blood-hunger tinting his eyes red, “What is it?”
I glanced at him as I pushed sunglasses onto his face, “Nothing, I thought I had sensed somebody following us.  Guess I was wrong.” But I couldn’t shake the feeling we were still being followed; and the person following us wasn’t friendly.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Carnival

It was just on sun set when the lights of the carnival lit up the sky; and could be seen from all around.  Throughout the day, the people had worked quickly and quietly to be ready for the first evening – the opening night.  The side-show was full of toys and prizes for anyone to win, the Dodgem Cars were working.  The mirror maze was a shining attraction to children and adults alike… all of it was sitting ready for the first people to wander through and spend their money. It was ready for my friends and me too when we decided to leave the van park and have some fun.  But fun wasn’t exactly what I would have called it.  

As the sun dropped behind the hills and the music of the carnival fill the air, the three of us walked through the gates.  I hadn’t noticed anything out of place.  This place was your average, run-of-the-mill traveling carnival.  It even had a reasonably sized Ferris Wheel glittering with lights and a portable Bingo Hall.   This year, there was a dance program and people were already surrounding the large, dark floor when I arrived.  For a while, I sat on the sidelines and watched as the couples moved around the floor to a familiar Glen Miller tune.  The men looked like they had just stepped off a movie set in their tails and shoes with their hair slicked back; and the women looked just a beautiful in ballroom gowns that must have cost a fortune to keep clean. There was one man in particular who I watched.  His form and stance was fantastic.  He noticed me looking at him from the sidelines and by the time he and his partner came around the floor again to my side, they stepped away from each other gracefully and she walked off the floor to take up another dancer.  
He walked straight for me, put out his right hand and asked:  “Would you care to dance?” Without hesitation, I placed my left hand in his right and allowed myself to be led out onto the floor.  Kissing my hand, he didn’t take his eyes from mine as he bowed and I curtseyed, then he pulled me close up against him in the beginning stance of a dance.  I had never danced before, however, my feet moved in time with his and so did my body.  It was really weird; as though he hypnotised me to follow his orders yet not a word had passed between us. “You are very beautiful.” He said as we spun around the floor. 
“Thank you.” I blushed.
“You don’t hear that very often?”
I tried to look away from his eyes and failed, “No.”
“Pity. You have such potential to be more.” He smiled and his eyes lit up as the music slowed to an end and he led me to a low dip and held me there for a few beats; until the audience finished applauding, then he helped me to my feet, “I could make you more than what you are now.”
I frowned a little, “What do you mean?”
Another man approached us and tapped him on the shoulder, “You’re up for a break Fritz.” He nodded smiling then turned back to me as he led me off the dance floor and more music filled the air. Fritz’s fill-in showed up with his partner and they took to the floor, filling in the space as though they had never left, “You are a natural dancer.” 
“Nah.” Shaking my head, I began walking toward the pub where I had promised to meet my friends.  When he didn’t follow, I stopped and turned to look at him, “Coming?”
He glanced at the building across the street and shook his head, “No thank you.  I wish to talk to you personally; without interruptions.”
I walked to him and smiled, “What about your partner?”
He turned, glanced at her and looked back at me, “We’re not together in that manner.  We just dance together and that’s it.”
I looked over to see his partner making out with the man she had danced with and smiled, “Okay, let’s go for a walk.” 
The Surf Bridge was the safest distance I felt from the carnival.  I didn’t want to go too far from anywhere with this guy I barely knew and end up going missing in such a small town.  We leaned against the old white railing and looked at the South Arm as the tide came in.
“So, what do you do?” he asked as he turned his back to it and leaned his back against it; propping his elbows on the top, “You don’t seem to be the type who is spoilt for money.”
I smiled, “No.  I don’t have that much.”
“But you are very beautiful.”
“You keep saying that.”
His eyes wandered up and down my body for a split-second and then back to my face before he leaned in close, “I’d like to …”

“To what?” I leaned closer. He brushed his lips on mine and I found I couldn’t stop myself.  There was an animal need that arose in me that I wanted this man; and yet I didn’t know anything about him… okay, he was a hot dancer and was a babe in an old-fashioned tux, but really, who was he?  His hands ran around my waist and up my back as his tongue explored my mouth and his teeth nipped my lips; the pain was exquisite. He moved to my cheek and neck and nuzzled me there.  His warm breath made me tingle as he gently moved my hair out of the way and held me close against his body; so close I could feel his hardness through his dress pants and I began to rub against it slowly.
Then, he did the most unusual thing:  he looked at me, stopping what he was doing altogether, “I have to tell you something.”
“What?” I smiled as I tried to undo his shirt buttons. 

“It’s horrible.” He took my hands gently and stopped me, “I need to tell you something about me.”
“We getting it on in public and you stop to tell me something.”
“I’m going to feed off you.” He whispered looking down, “You’re too good-a person to keep this from.”
He kept his eyes on our hands as he nodded, “Yes.  I need to.” I took a step back and he pulled me toward him, “We’re on a road-bridge; be careful.  I don’t want you dead.” It was then he looked at me and I found his golden eyes staring back at me with the town’s lights reflecting off the iris. I forced myself to take a deep breath and I stepped back again, “Oh, shit!”
“Hey.” Fritz took my arm again and pulled me toward him, “Road-bridge, remember?” 

“You’re a…a… vampire.”
He nodded, “Yeah, Valerie, I am.”
“How did you know my name?”
Fritz smiled, “I nicked your lips and tasted your blood to see who you were.  Everything you are is in your blood; right down to your name.”

“Yeah, creepy, hey?” he smiled and it was then he forgot he had let his canines slip down. For me, the whole world slowed down.  I stepped back again; but I didn’t see the Mustang coming.  They were speeding across the bridge and hadn’t even given way (as you were supposed to).  And Fritz wasn’t fast enough to grab me this time.  By the time the driver had blasted the horn, the left fender had hit me – breaking my pelvis and smacking my head against the bonnet – and they ran over my left arm with the rear tyre.  He raced forward as I looked at him and he looked up to watch them drive off without so much as a pause to see if I was okay.  It was then he made the hardest decision of his life and picked me up carefully.

  My eyes opened and I was in a room that was clearly not mine.  Fritz was sitting by my side.  I was sure I had been hit by a car; but it didn’t make sense that I was supposed to be alive.
“Hey.” He said, “I made either a very stupid decision or the right one.”
I looked at my arm, “I was hit by a car, right?”
“Yeah.” He muttered, “About that… they didn’t stop.  I picked you up and you were close to death.” Tears – red tears – brimmed his eyes as he sniffed, “I had no choice.  You were under my protection last night.”
“You sired me?”
He nodded, “You’re alive in some way.”
“Can I go out into the daylight?”
“For a short amount of time.”
“Okay.” The man who had approached Fritz on the dance floor walked into the room and smiled at me, “And so, Valerie, how are you feeling?”
I looked at him for a moment and realised I was absolutely starving, “I’m hungry.”

He gave me a tight smile, “Good.  You need to perform your first kill soon.” He checked his clipboard that seemed to be glued to his hand, “We don’t want a sick vamp on our hands.” He turned and walked out of the room signaling Fritz to follow him to the door.  They talked for a minute then he walked out leaving him standing there looking ashamed.
When he approached the bed again, he pulled back the covers and helped me up in silence, “Are you okay?”
His eyes flicked to me then away again, “Yeah.  Fine.” 

“He grilled you, didn’t he?” 
Fritz stopped what he was doing and nodded, “More than a bit.  We weren’t looking to recruit anymore new ones.”
I nodded, “I see.”
“I was supposed to feed off you and then take you home.  But that car was something that was unexpected.”
“I’m supposed to dead.”
Taking my hand, he looked straight at me, “Let’s not talk of that.  We have a party to go to; and you have a kill to perform.”  

The sunset was pretty as the sky turned a burnt orange and the carnival started up again.  My clothes had been cleaned from the night before and I was beginning to smell like a dead body; so I wore stronger perfume than usual; truthfully, I don’t think anyone really noticed the smell but me.  Looking around the fairgrounds from the long metal caravan, I watched at the rest of the vamps opened up their stalls and began working and wondered how they did it all without feeding off their customers.
“Not all our carni-folk are immortal.” Fritz said at my shoulder, “Some are just travelers who work around Australia with us for a time, then leave.  We don’t hold anyone to their jobs.”
“But the dancers?”
He smiled, “Yep.  We’re all vamps; that’s how we know how to do the ballroom steps so well.”
I looked at his pale face in the colourful lights of the Dodgem Cars while people lined up to have a drive, “So, how old are you?” 

He looked at me, “I’ll tell you when we’re closer to the party.”
He took my hand and smiled as he inhaled the scent of any human that came within a few feet of us.  I did a few times and found that if he hadn’t been holding my hand, I would have wandered off.  The scent was mouth-watering and delicious and something I could follow to the ends of the Earth if given a choice. It didn’t take long to get to the house just outside the town center where the party was thumping.  Cars parked a good two blocks away to get to it and we walked up to the place and nobody seemed to care if we were there or not; nobody stopped us. 

Fritz took me off to one side where we could peruse the whole room in one go and he smiled at me, “Okay, there are three different types of humans.  The extraverts, introverts and the ones nobody wants.”
“And we go for the last one.” I smiled. 

“Sometimes.  It depends on who they are.”He said, “In a place like this, the third one could be the bottom of the barrel kind of people.  Druggies and prostitutes.  You don’t want them in your system.” He looked around the room as I did, “That’s when you go for the introverts; the shy.  Those people have an extrovert screaming to get out inside them.”
I looked at him and smiled, “Sounds like my kinda person to pick.” He kissed me on the forehead as he squeezed my butt and let me take a walk around the house.  I wandered around the place and it wasn’t very big; but there were two stories to it and so I went upstairs too.  It was mainly bedrooms, showers and a balcony or two; nothing too exciting. 
As I was heading back to the hall, a guy exited a room and he looked at me as he carried his shoes. “She told me to leave… she’s not who I thought she was.” He muttered.
“Shy, right?” I smiled.
He nodded, “Yeah.” he rushed down the stairs without another word as I looked at the door and – without hesitation – opened it.
“I told you, I didn’t want to…” a young blond began, “Who are you?”
“Are you okay?” I asked, “The guy who left is going to paint a bad picture of you all because you’re too shy for your own good.”
She sat on the end of the bed and burst into tears as I locked the door, “I want to – really I do – but I don’t know why I stop when a guy gets close.”
I sat next to her touching her shoulder, “It’s okay.  You’ll do it when you’re ready.”
“I’m only sixteen.”
I smiled, then laughed, “Don’t worry, you’ve got your life ahead of you to do that.”
She looked at me as she wiped the tears away, “I haven’t even kissed a girl.”
“Does that matter so much?” I moved a loch of her hair from her face to see her better.
“Well, most of my friends have.”
“How do you know?  Do they have photos?”
She considered this and shook her head, “No.”
I rubbed her back gently, “I wouldn’t worry about what other people are doing and worry about what you want to do with yourself.”
Looking at me, she smiled, “You’re nice.”

“But that guy is going to badmouth me isn’t he?”
I nodded, “Unless you do something completely outrageous to make his jaw drop.” 

I touched her face with the back of my fingers, “Well, we’ll think of something.  But first I need you to tell me something.”
“What kind of car does he own?”
“A blue Mustang.” She said, “He was gloating about how he had run over some street kid last night and just left them on the Surf Bridge.”
“Thanks.” I smiled, “Oh, and that thing you want to do?  Wait until you’re ready and in love.” 
“What about kissing a girl?” I looked at her and thought who could it hurt.  But as I leaned in close, I caught a whiff of marijuana and sat back, “Have you smoked some pot?”
“I’m not into that.  Sorry, I can’t tonight.” I stood and left the room quickly remembering what Fritz had told me.  For now, I had to find the guy who had left her alone for being shy; I had to have words with him. As I headed downstairs, I spotted the guy standing with his buddies near the front door.  Glancing at Fritz, he saw that I had a target in mind for my first kill and understood immediately what I was going to do.

I trotted down the stairs, pushed through his circle of friends and looked straight at him, “I want you.”
He looked me up and down for a moment, “Really?”
“What about my buddies?”
“What about them?  Can’t they get a chick of their own?”
He pulled his keys from his pocket and – as expected – I saw the key fob for Mustang hanging off it, “Come on, then.” He took my hand and led me out the door; much to his five other friends’ disappointment, “Hey, guys, she’s right.  There’s something wrong if you can’t get dates of your own.”
Fritz followed us out and passed us, handing me a mobile phone, ‘Leave it switched on.’
I looked at him, ‘Of course.’
The guy led me to the Mustang and opened the right hand door, “Ladies first.” 

“Thank you.” I smiled as I slid in, “Oh… American-style!”
He jumped into the driver’s side and started the car, “Where would you like to go?” 

“The beach.”
“Which one?”
“Surprise me.  I like seeing the stars… no light.”
“Mmmm, I know just the place.” He put the car in gear and we drove away; leaving the small town behind us as we found our way to the highway. 

He turned off the lights once he killed the engine and the darkness of the night surrounded us.  We were about twenty minutes outside of Byron Bay in between Brunswick Heads where surfies usually hung out; but tonight, it was very quiet. “Come on, I’ve got a blanket in the boot and we can look at the stars while hiding in the dunes.” He smiled getting out. I got out of the car and cold night air hit my skin, yet I didn’t feel it.  It tingled making me feel more alive than anything else.   He soon joined me by the front of the car and led me onto the beach and the sand dunes; and we were out of the wind.  It was quite warm there.
“Well, the stars really are out tonight.” He smiled, “You were right.”
I laid there as I looked at him knowing it was time to kill him, “I heard you hit a street kid last night.”
“Yeah, they dented my fender and the police never found a body.” He said. 

“Did you stop to see if they were okay?”
He looked at me, “Yeah, of course.”
Liar… damn you! “Oh, that’s good.”
He sat up and the wind ruffled his hair, “Do you think I didn’t?  You weren’t there.”
“I was just askin’.”
Nodding he muttered, “I know… sorry.”  He was starting to come apart.  His nerves were still raw from the accident; and he knew that at any point he’d get caught.
“Come here.” I put my arms out and he smiled as he leaned down and held me close.  He smelt of cigarettes and a slight odour of booze; bourbon, “Mmmm, feel better now?”
“Yeah.” He had a smile in his voice.
“Good.” My first kill was about to be performed as I felt the canines slide down from my upper jaw.  It was time before he pulled back to look at me with lusty looks and promises of calling me tomorrow after we fuck; and the beach isn’t exactly the best place for it.  I began to nuzzle his neck and make out that I’m going to leave a hikkie there… moving his hair.  He sat up and I lowered my eyes as he muttered about making this easier for me as I straddled him; face to face.  But still, I made no eye contact – I’m still concentrating on that big throbbing artery in his neck.  It looked too good to be true!  Licking my lips, I feel the razor sharp teeth in my mouth as I wrapped my legs around him; locking my ankles around his lower back (so he couldn’t get me off him no matter how much he tried).   The best thing happened!  He put his head back and closed his eyes.  I had his complete trust.  What a wonderful thing!  Moving closer, I kissed his neck, nuzzled and heard him chuckle muttering how much it tickled.  Then, it’s time to attack!  Digging my fingernails in his shoulderblades and grabbing a handful of hair, I bit straight into the pumping artery; piercing it beautifully!  The blood came fast and hot from his body to mine!  The rush of nourishing food was amazing!  I couldn’t believe how good this felt. He struggled feebly to get away from me and failed miserably.  His drum beat of fists on my back weakened quickly as I drained him completely of all he had, wiped my mouth and caught my breath.  Thank God he brought a blanket.  I moved his carcass to the middle of the blanket and wrapped him up like a mummy; but not before grabbing his car keys and leather jacket off him.  Mine was covered in his blood.

I drove to Byron Bay and found a car dealership where they paid top money for the Mustang and sold me a Monaro which was just as lovely; and I drove that one back to the carnival.
Fritz saw me emerge from it and smiled, “I see you didn’t need our help.” 
“Nope.” I grinned as he held me close, “And he won’t be found for a few days.” 
“Where’s the Mustang?” the guy with the clipboard asked, “You better have gotten rid of it.”
“Very legally.  I sold it for top money and got this.” I ran my hand over the bonnet of the Monaro.
“Good.” He smiled, “That’s the way.  I’m proud of you for not bringing it back.”
“Where to next, boss?” I asked.
“Well, seeing you’re so good at hiding things, we need you to talk to his buddies.  They need to know where he vanished to.”
Fritz smiled, “I’ll help.”
The boss smiled as he walked away, “Do what you want to do with them… just don’t get caught.”

Friday, 7 May 2010

It's All In The Family

My brother’s a vampire; in fact my entire family is.  Well, they were turned into vampires.  And before you say The Prince of Darkness is a myth, well, I’m here to tell you that you’re talking through your butt.  I’m Jessica and I’ve been in Brisbane for a little under a year; and all I’ve seen is some really weird stuff goin’ on.  It’s a little wonder nobody’s noticed it before!  So, I’m tellin’ you all now.

We moved from Sydney to New Farm here in Brisbane last year, 2009.  It was just after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve, so we were going to call in the New Year in another state.  My older brother was stoked that he was going to a University that wasn’t far from the city centre and I was just as stoked that my high school was actually in the city centre.  Brisbane had a tropical feel to it too with its horrible heat and dreadful storms.  But the house we were going to stay in was what they called a Queenslander.  It was big, had a wrap-around verandah and looked like it was baking hot with the tin roof reflecting the sun off it.  But surprisingly, the place was lovely and cool inside.  Once all the doors and windows were opened and screens were locked down, the place got a nice feel to it; and nobody wanted to leave.  We didn’t find an air-conditioner anywhere; but then, we didn’t think we’d needed it.
About an hour after we arrived, the removal van did and all our stuff was delivered to the right rooms.  My room overlooked the back of the land which seemed to keep going for a long way.  Massive oaks, willows and towering Ghost Gums grew along the boundary of our land; making it appear bigger than it really was.  We had a vegetable garden, a large shed and separate garage and lots of land around us; why I didn’t know. 
“Hey, sis, what do you reckon?” Richard asked from my door.
I turned from the French doors that were my windows now, “It’s all so big for such a small city.”
Wiping a damp washcloth over his face and hair, he smiled, “Yeah, I know.  In a few days, I’m going to go exploring around this place.”
“Why is this house on such a big piece of land?” I asked.
He shrugged, “It might be Heritage Listed and they can’t touch it.”
I nodded, “Or the company owns it and they won’t sell it.”
My brother smiled, “Too true.  I’m gettin’ somethin’ to eat, coming?”
Glancing back out into the midday heat again, I nodded before leaving my room, “Yeah.”

Our school holidays passed slowly and we explored as Richard said we were going to.  It didn’t take much to do this.  And yet, we spent hours climbing the trees around the boundary and we found a dam that was on the property which was sheltered by some of the Oaks, Willows and another tree I didn’t know the name of.  I took dozens of photos of the place and had begun a blog for my friends in Sydney (much to their relief).  Then, I was taken shopping for school stuff and Richard went to orientation at the University of Queensland at St Lucia
Within the week, we were ready to go back to school and uni, and Mum and Dad had gotten their work plans back in order.  And the best thing was that we were also going to a next door neighbour’s house for a New Year’s Eve party.  Kind of like a ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ Party really, but they said it would be fun to meet us.

This would be the last time I’d see Richard for a long time.

The party was really cool.  There was music, food and drink and I tried to make a good impression on the girls I was going to go to school with.  But they were from the Bad Girl Groups; so I just played it cool and decided right there that I’d find other friends once I arrived at the school grounds a few weeks later.  Besides, I left the party a little after midnight and walked home on my own.  We were next door, so I thought to go to bed and let Mum and Dad have their fun.

The next afternoon came around and Mum popped her head in the room, “Jess, have you see your brother?”
I looked up from reading my latest find at a charity store, “Nope.  Not since early last night.”
She nodded, “Okay.  I’m just looking for him.”
“I could ask next door.” I slotted a bookmark into my place in the book and sat up, “He could have stayed there or around the place by accident.”
“Nah, he wouldn’t do that.”  She shook her head, “I’ll find him.”
“Mum, we don’t know anyone around here.” I walked to the front door, “I’ll go and ask them.”
My walk to the neighbour’s house seemed longer in the day time than it did in the night.  It must have been the dreadful heat.  But as I made it to the front door, I had the feeling the house was empty; and I don’t mean, they’ve just gone out for a while, I mean vacant.  I walked around the verandah and looked through the window to find that all the furnishings were gone.  Everything single thing that made a house a home had been stripped of this place.  I walked to the garage and peered through the window and the cars were gone as well as all the gardening tools, ride-on lawnmower and anything else that made that garage an everyday man’s tool-shed delight! 
I pulled out my phone and called home, “Mum.  I’m next door and they’re gone.”
“Well go back later on and ask about Richard.”
“No, you don’t understand.  Everything they own is gone.  The furnishings, wall-hangings, cars, tools… everything is gone.” I said as I looked around the empty property and realised that the garden statues were also picked up too, “Even the garden has been stripped of its statues.”
“Oh my god.  Well, where’s Richard?”
“Have you tried his phone?” I asked.
“Hang up and I will.”
I did and walked around the place a bit more.  And the more I looked, the more of the items and what I’d usually see around a place had disappeared overnight.  These people’s house had been so well-established that I couldn’t believe they would up and leave without so much as a goodbye.  They had thrown a wicked party last night with around fifty people there… I began retracing my night here… then after midnight, I went home.  I had been tired from that day; it had been so hot.  My phone rang again.
“Mum?  Did you find him?”
Her voice sounded like she had been crying, “No.  His phone rang the first few times, then it went to message bank.”
“Call the police.  Tell them what’s happened.” I said, “I’ll be home really soon; this place is giving me the creeps.”

By the time I got home, a police car was pulling into the driveway.  I thought of running, but it was such a hot day it wasn’t an option.  Once I got inside, they were sitting down with Mum and she was trying to remember what had happened the night before, but found it was ‘all a blur’.
I sat with her, “You don’t remember?”
She looked at me, “Do you?”
“Sure.” I looked at the police, “We were invited to neighbourhood party, we went.  It was full of around fifty people with music, food and whole thing.  Some girls I was going to go to school with tried to get me to do something horrible; but I wasn’t into it.  At midnight, I came home.” I looked at Mum, “You, Dad and Richard were still there.  But when I woke this morning, you were all home; except Richard.”
The police wrote down what I said and looked at me, “And now the house next door is empty?”
“Yeah.  There’s nothing left.  No furnishings, no cars, no statues in the garden.  Nothing.” I said, “I could feel it was vacant, not just people gone for a while, but vacant.”
The constable sighed, “We’ve had a spate of these lately; and we don’t know what to do with them.  But you do have a recent photo of Richard?”
I dug out my camera, “Yeah, I took one the other day.” I plugged it into the laptop after finding it for the cop, he uploaded it into a new folder he had created.  We were another case for him to figure out.  As the photo came up on the screen, I noticed a white light by Richard’s shoulder, “What’s that?  That wasn’t in the shot when I took it.”
The constable rubbed an open hand down his face as he groaned, “Not again.”
“What do you mean?” Mum asked.
“We’ve seen these before and they’re not good.” He muttered.  Then, he turned to me, “If you see your brother, run.”
“Just do it.”

I never understood why he told me to do that.  Not when it involved my own brother.  But the advice was more or less forgotten when I went to school a week later.  It was different being there, but it was good to be away from the house where everything reminded me of Richard.  Here in an all-girls school, I had no reminders just a life of trying to fit in and learning.  The strange thing was:  I never saw the girls from the party here at Brisbane Girls Grammar.  It was as though they never existed, but I made it into a group who were wickedly cool and really out there, but not overly popular.  But I missed my brother to talk to at night.  Mum and Dad were very quiet at the dinner table and I started to wish we had never moved in the first place; this made me blog more to my friends.

Six months passed and my grades were going okay.  The stress of thinking about my brother a lot was somehow not affecting them too much; and Brisbane’s Winter was a brief cold snap for about a fortnight, which I loved.
One afternoon, I had a free class at the end of the day and came home early.  The bus dropped me off down the road a bit and I walked along to the house.  Our next door neighbours’ house was still eerily vacant and I hated looking at it; as I felt there was something really wrong with it now.  But as I arrived at our house, I saw somebody sitting on the glider on the verandah.  Opening the gate, I watched them stand up.
“Oh, shit.  Richard.” I whispered as I let the gate slam close I began to run towards the house.  It wasn’t until he took a few tentative steps forward that I skidded to a stop along the gravel walk and remembered what the cop had told me.
‘If you see your brother, run.’
“Jess!” he called, “Come here!”
I couldn’t help myself as tears welled in my eyes and I began to cry.  My brother was home!  I began to run toward him again, up the steps and jumped at him, hugging him as I knocked him over.
“Hey, take it easy!” He pealed off my school port and pushed it to one side as he heard me crying and sat us both up.
Sniffing, I sat back, “You smell different.  Why do you smell different?  And you’re dressed exactly the same as you were when you disappeared.”
Richard sat cross-legged, “You hesitated.”
“I was advised to run from you.”
He shot me a scared look, “You were?”
I nodded, “Yeah.  The cop didn’t tell us why.  He looked like he had dealt with something horrible before and didn’t want to again.”
He nodded, “Yep.  Well, I vanished for a reason.”
“Are you back for good?”
“I need you to go home.” He said.
“I am home.”
He shook his head, “No.  I mean Sydney.  And stay there.”
“I don’t understand.”
Looking to his hands, my brother began to cry, “I’ve done some horrible things, Jessica… dreadful, horrible things.  Things you’d hate me for.”
I touched his shoulder, “Richard…”
Suddenly he slapped my hand away, growling at me as he looked up.  His features had changed completely.  Yellow, hungry eyes regarded me as hellishly long canines slid down from his upper jaw.  Tears of blood stained his cheeks.  He quickly covered his face but it was too late, I couldn’t erase what I had seen from my memory.
“What happened to you?  I mean you disappeared on New Years Eve and suddenly show up now?  What’s occurred between then and now?” I asked.
Richard looked at me again and I cringed, but his face was back to normal, “I went to the neighbour’s party for about an hour or so.  Then, I took off to a university party.  Dad let me so I could have a good social life and make friends before beginning uni.” He stared out at the sunny Winter day, “I’ll never go out in the sun again because of that uni party.”
“You were sired?”
He regarded me and smiled, “That’s right, you’re a vampire fan.  You know the terminology.  That means, you know how to get me out of this.”
“Kill the head vampire… that is if you know who they are.”
My brother’s smile vanished as fast as it had appeared, “I don’t.  But it’s dangerous for you to be here in Brisbane.”
“The Bad Girl Group who approached you on New Years Eve; you remember them?”
“Yeah.” My gut turned cold as I answered, “They were vamps?”
He nodded, “They were testing us out as a brother and sister duo.  You didn’t pass the test, but I did.”
“So, what now?  You kill me and it all goes the way they want?” I frowned.
He looked at me, “That’s what they want.  But I’m going to make my own rules.” He looked around a bit and realised he was going to be stuck here for the next few hours, “Can I come in?”
“Well… initially, if you do, you can come and go as you please then.” I said, “It renders me and our parents powerless against you.”
“Not even garlic affects me?”
“No.  You can eat that.”
“Oh… wasn’t told this little loophole.” He smiled.  Then, suddenly, he stared straight into my eyes as he moved closer so his face was all I saw. 
The next thing I knew I had opened the front door and said “Come in, Richard.” I stopped, frowned and muttered, “Oh, shit.”
He turned from the hall grinning, “Thanks sis.”
I gave him a filthy look as he smiled, “Why?”
His grin fell from his face as he approached me, “Because I want to show you how easy it was for me to do that.  I’m hungry and I need to feed.”
“On me?”
“Do you have any meat in the fridge?” he asked.
I closed the front door, dumped my school port by my bedroom door and walked into the kitchen.  As I opened the fridge, I felt my hair being moved gently, as he smelt my neck, “Richard, get off me. I’m your sister.”
“And we’re the same blood type.”
Staring at him, I realised I really was in a lot of danger.  But it wasn’t the type I thought it was.  I was in danger of being sired by my brother… like eeeew!  I looked in and found the meat he most probably could’ve scented from a mile away and grabbed the plate, “There’s your meal – blood and all – touch me and I’ll stake ya.”
“Stakes only…”
“Paralyse; but if I don’t take it out, it can kill you.” I slammed the fridge door and walked away, “And you never know, I may leave it in if you ever touch me that way again!”
“You better be.” I grabbed my port and went to my room to start up the internet and grabbed down a few books I had collected about vampires.
A knock at the door sounded and he stood there looking humble, “I put out more meat for Mum and Dad from the freezer.  It ought to be defrosted by tonight.  It’s in the fridge.”
“Okay.  Hey I found a few little things you can do to make it easier on yourself.” I waved my hand to him and even though he lifted his foot to enter the room, it seemed that he ran into an invisible sheet of glass, “Oh, you need to be invited in here to?  I suppose so, come in.”
He sighed, “I’m sorry I did that.  I really did need to feed.”
“Not off me.” I replied firmly as I spun the book around to face him, “There.”
He read quickly and smiled, “Thank you, sis.”
“Are you back for good?” I asked.
He looked up from the book, “Let’s keep me a secret for a while until I get myself figured out, okay?”
“Okay.  But you know what I’m like with secrets.  With those two in the house, it’s hard to keep them.” I sighed.
He touched my hand and smiled, “I know.” Richard looked at the tender inner flesh of my arm and swallowed thickly before looking away and letting my hand go, “This is going to be very hard.”
“Feed before you get here next time.”

It wasn’t long after that Richard made his appearance known to Mum and Dad as well.  Actually, it was purely by accident.  We thought we were alone in the house; as Mum and Dad had delved themselves into work at the office; and I was often alone until around 9pm.  Not only that, but Mum was looking terribly tired every day; Dad wasn’t doing so hot either.  But they kept on working harder than ever to keep themselves sane.  This included longer and longer hours.  So, I often ate alone; this was the time Richard would show up to keep me company.  And he did find that feeding before he arrived worked; he found me less tempting.  But he never vamped out on me again, well he tried not to.  Anyway, I was starting to find it was cool having my own immortal bodyguard around the house.  It made me feel more secure even if he could snap my neck like a toothpick and drink my blood like wine.
The night when our folks came home early was like any other.  I had made some baked beans on toast and pulled out a couple of good horror movies from the DVD collection that Richard had.  He had been hiding in bathroom for a while as I ate.  But after I finished and washed up, I knocked on the door and he came out.  He and I were sitting there taking in ‘Dracula 2000’ when the front door opened and Mum stood there with her mouth propped opened.
“Oh, shit.” He muttered as we both prised ourselves from the bloodthirsty screen of gore.
I looked down covering my face, “Crap!”
“Richard.” Dad muttered.
“Jess, run.” Mum ordered, “Remember what the cop said.  Run.”
I got up and walked to her, “He’s not here to hurt us.”
“He’s dangerous.” She pointed her briefcase at her son.
“Do you know what he actually is?  Did the cop tell you? If he did, well, he didn’t tell me.”
She stood there looking at Richard as he rose from the lounge slowly and walked over to stand behind me; knowing if he got any closer Mum would freak out and begin screaming her head off.
“No. He didn’t tell me, but you know don’t you?” she said.
“Yes.” I nodded.  Then, I looked at Dad who was smiling at Richard yet not saying a word, “And Dad knows too.”
Dad slowly regarded me, “I know what?”
“By that look on your face, you know what Richard is; but I’m not going to say it, you are.”
Dad looked over at Richard as he shook his head, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“And you’re a lousy liar Dad.” Richard said, “We’re the same blood type.”
I spun, “You sired him?”
Richard blushed, “You didn’t want to be.”
“That’s because it’s… eeeww!” I shuddered.
“Would you rather another vamp did it?” Dad asked, “We can organise one.”
Mum sidled around to stand next to me as her eyes widened, “You mean to say that I’ve been sleeping next a half-dead guy?”
I nodded, “Pretty much.”
She looked at me and sighed, “So, the mornings I’ve been feeling drained is because…”
“He’s been feeding off you all night; you just don’t remember it.” I said, “And you wanted me to be friends with those Gothic girls at the party; who are also vamps.”
Mum dropped her briefcase and sunk into a nearby chair at the dining table, “Is that why there’s so many people at work who have night shift on a permanent basis?”
Dad nodded, “Yes.  They’re all blood-suckers.”
“But why did Richard go missing for six months?”
Richard smiled, “I was what they called a snack.  I enjoyed the thrill of being bitten; yet it was something taken too far on New Years Eve by a greedy Brisbane Vamp.” He blushed, “They are little more violent up here and a little more self-centered.”
“Up here?” Mum asked.
I turned and looked at my brother, “What do you mean?  You told me to get my butt to Sydney.  You told me I’d be safe.  Now, there’s different legions of vampires in each capital city?”
Richard looked down, ashamed he hadn’t told me the whole truth, “I’m sorry, Jessica.” He looked at me again, “I really didn’t mean to lie or not tell you everything.  I’m your brother and I should have.”
I walked over to him as Mum tried to grab me, “You must remember that you used to be a human.  The real you is still in there somewhere.  Stop ignoring it.”
“So, how did you sire your father?” Mum sounded tired as she rubbed her forehead with her fingertips, “I’d like to know.”
Richard sat on the redwood coffee table and looked to the floor, “Dad was hunted down and brought to me.  He was supposed to be my first kill.”
“You’re what?” Dad glared at him.
Richard gave him a helpless look, “But I didn’t.  I couldn’t.  So, I sired you instead.  They just think I killed you.  I asked for privacy, untied him and took him somewhere else to sire him.  Dad was okay until he came back home and you had to cook his meat bloody each time.”
Mum looked over at the two men and shook her head, “You do realise that we can’t live under the same roof anymore.” She looked at me, “Not with her in the house.”
I looked at her wondering where she was going with this, “What are talking about Mum?”
She rose from her chair and smiled, “Your stupid father did the dumbest thing.  He got greedy.”
Richard moved toward me as I edged toward him, “Jess.”
“Richard, what do I do?”
I looked at him briefly, “You’re nuts, right?  I can’t.  You all have it over me… super strength, brilliant speed and by the way you can see in the dark.”
“Shit.” He muttered as he grabbed my arm gently, “And they haven’t fed yet.”
“Now you tell me.” I whispered.
“I need you to move fast.” He said.
“I’m only gonna go at human pace… not yours.”
“Go!” he pushed me toward the lounge where I vaulted over it, climbed up the chair Mum had been sitting at, over the kitchen table and jumped, landing in a squat.  Springing towards my room, I heard them fighting to get to me.  Once in my room, I slammed the door and hung the garlic necklace over the doorknob in the vain effort that would keep them away.  The first things I grabbed were the laptop, charger and usb memory sticks and my camera.  I shoved all of that into my travel backpack I usually take on buses with me.  Then, I grabbed my phone, all my cards I’d use and house keys from Sydney (nope didn’t hand any of them back to my friends.  They told me I was welcome back any time).  Two empty journals were next along with my pencil case and my two pairs of reading glasses.  I took a few photos of my bedroom and grabbed my wand, Book of Shadows and pentagrams and shoved them into the side pocket.  The last thing was money.  I pulled the nose of my New Zealand money box pig out and pulled out as much of the folding money as I could from it and shoved it into my large money pouch; along with some gold coins.  Then, I was set.  As soon as I zipped it up, the door was kicked and I nearly crapped myself.  Suddenly, the bathroom door opened and my brother stood there with his hand out.  Without thinking, I took it and as my bedroom door was kicked in, we made tracks through his room and out of his French doors and into the darkness of the yard.

I woke at the university.  Another person was watching me instead of my brother; and by the smell of him, it was another vamp.  I was beginning to hate them.  He sat in a chair across the room from me looking at my face with an expression of hatred on his.
“Oh, you’re awake.” He muttered, “So, you’re Richard’s mortal sister.”
“Yeah.” I sat up and yawned feeling sore from performing the lounge room gymnastics the night before, “I really should stretch more.  Last night wasn’t good for me.”
He snorted, “You’re only a human.  Why can’t we sire you?”
“I’m also a witch.  The two don’t mix if my research is correct.”
The vamp rose, turned into a blur and suddenly was in my face transformed into the creature he had become.  This was beginning to not scare me as I had seen Richard transform into the demon so often I was used to it, “You are.”
“If your little trick is supposed to scare me, it doesn’t.” I said, “What does scare me is that Brisbane Vamps are a lot ruder than Sydney ones.  You have yet to introduce yourself.”
He turned away from me and paced the room like a caged lion, “I am Andrew.”
“Jessica.” I looked around the room and found there wasn’t a mirror to be seen anywhere, “I guess I’ll be doing my hair by feel.”
“You’re a smartarse bitch.” He said.
“You’re rude a hell.” I said, “Where’s Richard?”
“At class.” He said, “We still study around this place.  But he wants you to stay here until he comes back.  I’m just guarding you.”
“Okay.” I muttered.
I nodded.
“There’s stuff in the fridge.” Andrew sat down in the chair again.
Opening the bar fridge, I found bags of blood piled up on the shelves. Just the sight of them made me feel like throwing up.  Suddenly, I wasn’t so hungry anymore.  I was angry and I turned on Andrew.  He sat in the easy-chair grinning at my distaste. 
“Can I leave?”
“Thought so.” Slamming the door, I sat on the bed with my back against the wall knowing I was now a prisoner.

Not long after, Richard came back.  I was trying to write about this experience and failing; so he saw my journal on the bed with my pencil case next to it and sighed.  He looked at Andrew and gestured toward the door.
“At fuckin’ last.” He grunted, “She’s hungry too.”
“Why didn’t you get her some food?  I gave you money.” Richard said.
“I guarded her.  I’m not going to feed her.” he muttered.
Richard raced from the room and came back within what seemed like seconds with a packet of chips and a freshly made sandwich, “I always keep some food around so people don’t get sus about me.”
I grabbed the sandwich and bit in, “Great, thank you.”
“Stash the chips; they’ll keep.” He smiled as he watched me eat every scrap of the sandwich.  Then, he closed and locked the door and looked away from me for a long moment.  When he looked back, the demon had shown itself; this was something I was used to seeing until he sat next to me, “I have to do something you’ll hate.  But I’ll only do it the once because I need to get you away from here.”
Tears welled in my eyes, “Richard no, please.”
“And seeing I took anything sharp off you while you slept, you can’t stake me.” He said softly.  But the words washed over me as all I could see were those horrible, sharp teeth playing hide’n’seek behind his lips, “And you’re looking at my teeth and nothing else.”
I looked down, “You’re scaring me.  I’m your sister, Richard.  This is how it happened to you.”
His eyes dropped from my face to his shoes for a moment then he looked back at me, “I know.  I remember.  I won’t make the same mistake that stupid vamp did.” He put out his hand, “Give me your arm.”
I tried to stop my limb from moving.  Really I did.  I commanded it to stay put, but it seemed to move by its own accord; and I hated my mind for being so easily swayed.  I covered my eyes with my other hand as I burst into tears and Richard closed his eyes to take in the scent of my blood, “Jesus fuckin’ Christ.”
“Don’t struggle, Jess.  It’s best if you don’t fight; it’ll hurt less.” His whisper reached my ears as I felt him quickly bite into an artery and drink.  My heart rate pounded rapidly in my ears and I smacked my head against the wall.  Taking deep breaths I pleaded for him to stop.  And he did.  As he looked at me, my brother realised he couldn’t do this to me, “I gotta get you outa here.  I’m a danger to you.”

The train station was crowded as we stood on the platform.  We had gone back to the house and collected as much of my stuff as we could before coming here.  Richard had bought me a one way ticket back to Sydney and told me to stay with friends until he comes to me and we’d start fresh.  With my one large suitcase and backpack, I didn’t need to put it in the luggage hold.
“I’ll e-mail you.” I said.
“No.  Send a postcard.”  He smiled, “Then, Mum and Dad can’t track you.”
He handed over my ticket and I pocketed it, “I’m gonna miss you, Jess.”
“And you too, bro.”
He put his arms out to hug me and I held him close.  But as I went to pull away, I felt his embrace tighten and he bit into my neck hard, drinking all I had.  Richard guzzled and fed until there was nothing else left and I blacked out.

I awoke in familiar surroundings.  The train.  Richard sat across from me smiling… the bastard.  I hated him for doing this. 
“How did you feed me blood?”
“I waited until we were on here.  I told the security guys you were overwhelmed by the excitement bought another ticket to come with you.” He laughed, “After all, I have to train you.”
“Hate you.”
“Aaaw, sis… I love you too.” He leaned over and patted my arm, “And could you do me one thing when we arrive?”
“Make sure you’re invited into all of your friends’ homes so you can sire some of them too?  We need to keep this in the family.” He grinned.
“Speaking of which, where is Mum and Dad?”
“Dead.” He just couldn’t wipe that grin off his face could he?

Once we arrived in Sydney and I showed up at one of my friends’ places, I got invited in, but I don’t ever want them to know what I turned into.  I wanted them safe. 
But I didn’t stay. 
I returned to Brisbane to find the head vampire.  I want my old life back; even if it’s for a little while.  So, I’m here searching for the one who has turned half of this city into the undead and brought it to its knees.  I want to stop this holiday destination from becoming a missing persons destination. 
I have advised my friends that if they ever come to Brisbane to look me up; so I can keep them safe, not so I can feed off them.  And here’s my problem with my friends: they all think I’m nuts.  When I was staying with them, they didn’t see me eat anything.

Until now.