Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chapter 11 Addendum

Chapter 11 Addendum

Regan looked at the two hunters bound before her.  The man glared at her angrily while the woman continued her silent pleading.  They had heard every word Stacy had said, and with them the confirmation that they were to be subjects in some wicked ritual.  The fact that the petite vampire was not planning to stay only added to the tension.

Taking the vials, Regan looked at her “older sister”. The smaller vampire shook her head.  

“This is a mistake,” Stacy said.

Regan pressed her lips together as she let the vials roll over her palms.  “I need a clean balance sheet and this will get it for me.  Starting tonight I will be free of debt.  I went to that meeting for the Earl, and this blood will settle things with Jeramiah.  Tonight I can be my own woman again.”

She tried not to think about Harrison, or how long they had been together.  She blocked out the thoughts of every boyfriend and lover before him.  When was the last time she really had been her own woman?

It did not matter.  Tonight was her night.

“Tell Mr. Windsor that I accept his offer and wish to remain for the ritual.”

Stacy said nothing more, only reaching out to give Regan’s arm a squeeze before disppearing up the stairs and out of the cellar.  Regan watched her go before setting the glass tubes on a nearby wine keg.

There were collections to be made.

Our story continues into Chapter 12

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Regan woke up feeling a chill throughout her body.  Emma had picked her up and driven her home, using her spare key to let them in.  Regan had taken a shower to wash the blood from her face, and then slipped into a silk shirt to wear as pajamas.  It was part of a matched set she and Harrison shared.  He had always slept in just the silk pants, and she had worn the button down shirt.  It was big on her, falling mid-thigh.  When she had eased into the garment she could still smell him on it, that faint scent of his aftershave.  It felt comfortable.

Now she regretted her bare legs.  She rubbed them once as though the action would actually warm them again, and then settled for climbing the stairs from her basement to begin planning her night.  She wondered if the blood in her refrigerator would still be safe to drink, nearly a week later.  Did blood go bad?

She entered the kitchen and headed straight for the fridge, her mind still fuzzy with her usual just-woke-up haze.  She opened the door and reached for one of the blood bags still sitting next to the carton of soon-to-expire milk.  She really needed to clean that out before it started to smell.  She took another sniff.  She could smell roses, and a touch of sexual excitement. 

“Uh, hi, Miss Fairchild.”

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Pause to Remember

Jerry Nelson

He taught the world to count

For an article remembering Mr. Nelson please see The Washington Post

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chapter 10 Addendum

Chapter 10 Addendum

Regan watched the tail lights of Harrison’s car disappear down the road, and then round the corner.  She stood next to the road for a few more minutes before crossing the parking lot and sitting down on the curb.  The dull red light of the neon lights cast long shadows along the pavement.  Pulling her knees up to her chin she sat, her phone in hands, and cried.

It struck her, finally, that it was over with Harrison.  She knew, somewhere, this was a good thing, but the rest of her body was not prepared to reconcile that.  She had shared her life with him for almost ten years, and now that was done.  The blood continued to roll down her cheeks, like so many slow-motion tears.

She had no idea how long she sat there, alone in the night.  She did not even look at the time when she started to send out a text, asking for a ride home.  The phone attached her location to the message.  She considered, briefly, trying to fly or to run super fast, but even if either were possible to her, she had no energy to try them.  She simply wanted to get someplace safe, someplace dark, and sleep as long as she could.

Perhaps she would enter into one of those long sleeps that vampires awoke from, and she would open her eyes on the year 2062, with flying cars, and advanced cybernetics, and whatever else the science fiction of her youth had promised.  She mused on what the world would be like in fifty years until a car pulled up in the parking lot.

Today was not that future.  

And she had to learn to live, today.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chapter 10

Chapter 10

So far, being a vampire just plain sucked.

Regan looked around the abandoned Denny’s where she had been ordered to come and spy on a recruitment meeting for vampire hunters.  A dozen people glared back, most of them brandishing some kind of weapon, and all of them fully intent on killing her, again.  As her mind raced with options and choices she had to focus not to come back to that particular word, “Again.”  Being dead once was quite enough for her.

She licked her lips and let her mind go.

“Look, this is just a bad idea all around,” she started.  “Shooting me, even with normal bullets is a wretchedly bad investment option for you.”

Brother Sam continued to level his pistols at her, while the sisters had stood and slid their chairs back so as to have an clear path at Regan.  They each twisted their hands around a wooden stake.  According to Daryl, the thrall she had met when she first rose from the ground, a stake to the heart would not be fatal.  It would, however, leave her immobilized, not exactly a healthy alternative.

“You think that you can buy your way out of your fate, vampiress?”  Brother Sam seemed anxious to prove himself, his fingers sliding inside the trigger guards.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chapter 9 Addendum

Chapter 9 Addendum

Regan’s mind raced.  She was sure she had been in worse situations and managed to get out of them.  She started to think about the coffin and having had those same thoughts there.  Again, she was forced to conclude that no, she had not been in worse situations.  In fact being a newly minted member of the undead had pretty much been moving from one absolute worst situation to the next.

It was, to say the least, annoying.

“Now, I have to admit,” Brother Sam said, shifting his focus from one pistol to the other has he kept his aim.  “I have no first hand knowledge of what silver bullets do to a vampire.  I have shot them more than a few times, but I have never been close enough to see what happens when they get hit.  I wonder if they bleed more.”

Regan’s eyes darted around the room thinking about everything she had ever heard a vampire could do, about everything she had seen in a vampire movie.  There had to be some useful gems buried in her memory of the Queen Betsy novels she had plowed through in an attempt to understand her cubicle-mate.  Super speed?  Super strength?  Aura of serenity?

She closed her eyes and did the first thing that came naturally to her: she started talking.

“Look,” she said, slowly opening her eyes, “you don’t want to shoot me, and here’s why.  It’s not a cost effective use of your time.”

She had no idea, now, what she was doing, but she had started and she was going to finish it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Regan turned the car off the highway and onto the long slow loop to the surface street.  As she had come over the bridge she had seen the place for the recruitment meeting: an abandoned Denny’s twenty-four hour diner.  The original sign had been blown out, probably destroyed a year ago in a good windstorm and never replaced.  There was a tarp over, presumably, one of the many “For Lease” signs that had sprung up like so much crabgrass during the recession.   It may have been a chain restaurant but it still had owners with hopes and dreams.  Now it was just an eyesore, a relic of better times.  She wondered, as she drove past it, what the former owners were doing now.

She had an eternity to recover.  How long did they have?  

Her mind wandered to her current state.  She had been granted the gift of immortality, and how had she spent the first week of it?  The last six nights had been one random stumbling to the next, doing this for that vampire of note, and then running an errand for another.  She thought that working would help, but all it had done was make her feel even more disconnected from her mortal life.  She still had not called her parents.  What would she say?  “Hi, Mom!  I’m totally fine, just came down with a slight case of the death, that’s all.  Oh, and I’m not sure I can make brunch on Sunday.  How about a midnight wine tasting?”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chapter 8 Addendum

Stacy looked concerned.  “Do you want backup?  I mean, me or Daryl can go with you.”

Regan shook her head.  “I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to do this alone.”  She brushed her hair back and tried to focus.  “I mean, it’s just a look around, right?  He doesn’t expect me to kill anyone or anything.”

“Just remember to breathe,” Stacy offered.

“Yeah,” Regan forced a smile. “Just stay relaxed.”

Stacy’s eyes widened with a touch of concern.  “No, I mean literally.  You don’t breathe normally now, and they’re going to notice that.  And if they do notice it they’re probably going to stake you and leave you for the sunrise which, while pretty to see, is also pretty fatal to see.”

Regan felt her cheeks cooling as the blood drained from them.  “Oh.  Right.”

Our story continues into Chapter 9

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chapter 8

Chapter 8

She was standing in the church.  Her flowing white dress hid the worst of her curves and showed off the best.  It had taken weeks to find and she felt truly beautiful in it.   Harrison was there, his tuxedo pressed.  He looked so handsome.  She was so... content.  Things had just worked out so perfectly.  A gloriously drama-free period of dating had flowed easily into an equally pleasant and un-objectionable engagement.  All she had to do was say two simple words, three letters total, and she could continue in humble happiness for the rest of her life.

She opened her mouth, but there was no sound.  Harrison beamed at her, his eyebrows raised, waiting for her to make the great commitment to a life of non-conflict and simple joys.  She tried again, but nothing came forth.  Where was her voice?  She started to cry, silently.  She wanted to say it.  It was so easy to just fade into his happiness.  Why could she not say the words to complete this moment?  There was a cake, and a DJ, and a hall, and hundreds of friends, family, coworkers and people she only saw at funerals and family reunions.  She had to say it.

She fell forward, tears streaming down her cheeks.  Harrison wrapped his arms around her, holding her.  She could feel them tight to her chest.  He was warm.  He smelled of apples, and linen closets.  He was happiness-made-man, here for her.  She tried again to say the words but remained silent.  His arms tightened.  She gasped for air, feeling the boning of her dress cutting into her side.  She started to feel faint.  Harrison kissed the top of her head as he continued to hold her, the pressure increasing.  She tried to scream.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chapter 7 Addendum

Regan passed the phone from one hand to the other, staring at the list of contacts on the screen.  None of them felt a good option.  She looked at Daryl.  “Hey, is that invite at your friend’s still there?”

“Yeah, totally,” Daryl said, scratching at his perpetual five o’clock shadow.  “I’m sure you can crash at Stacy’s.”

Regan sat up a little.  “Stacy’s?”

“Yeah,” Daryl responded, leaning over to tap the glass between the main area and the cab of the ambulance.  “Hey, Gray, change of plans.  We’re headed over to Stacy’s.”

The vehicle picked up speed as the driver, presumably Gray, started back into traffic, what little there was at this hour.  There was silence in the van as Regan sat on the gurney with her arms around her legs, and Daryl watched the flash of the street lights in the windows.  

“You’re going to like Stacy.” Daryl said breaking the awkward silence.  He had never said that his vampire friend in the area was a woman.  “She’s cute as a button.  Real fun kid.”

Regan locked her vision on the rear window and the retreating road, now lit by the gentle hues of the pre-dawn light.  She rubbed her eyes and felt waves of fatigue starting to hit her, the exhaustion of the night, the stress of all that had happened.  She blinked a few times, seeing the world as a little darker than she thought it should be.  She stretched her arms over her head and pointed her toes, that familar feeling of sleepiness coming over her at a rate she had only felt once before.

“Hey, Daryl,” she said, stifling a yawn.  “I don’t know if I’m going to be aw--”

And she collapsed in a deep sleep.

Our story continues into Chapter 8.