Ghost Boy Blues 19

Nineteen

Stella, the self proclaimed ghost whisperer, doesn’t seem to stay in one spot for long. I notice how she moves about the room, never standing still for more than thirty seconds. To some this may seem like the behavior of someone who is loaded with nervous energy, but I believe it’s for protection. She keeps watching me out of the corner of her eye as I’m going to lunge at her or heave a paperweight off of Deaner’s desk. I guess she’s not very popular with spirits. She doesn’t seem all that popular with her niece, either. It’s not that Anne doesn’t like her. I just think she embarrasses her. The assistant Principal and Guidance Counselor appear uncomfortable too, as they watch her saunter around the office, picking up things, touching this or that, as if she can pick up psychic vibrations or something.

“I thought of being a teacher once,” she says, though it’s not clear who she is really talking to, them or me. “But I wouldn’t be able to tell the live students from the dead ones.”

“Stella!” Anne shouts in irritation.

Her Aunt laughs. “Oh, relax Annie. I’m just playing. You know I love a good reaction.”

The other adults laugh with her, but it’s strained and nervous.

“Can we go now?” Anne protests.

The woman sighs. “Okay, okay. Let’s go see what Jeremy did to your mother this time.” She turns to Deaner. “Do I need to sign her out or something?”

“At the front office. Yes.”

“Well, it’s been a pleasure meeting you,” she says to them, then glances my way. At first, I think she is going to say something rude, but she just gives me a quick, condescending look, before saying to Anne, “Let’s go, chickie.”

Anne slings her backpack over her shoulder and breezes past her aunt. She doesn’t even speak to the other adults. Deaner tries to flash an encouraging smile in her direction and says, “Take whatever time you need. Hope your mother is going to be okay.”

Part of me wonders if the school staff would be half as nice to Anne if she wasn’t an honor student. Probably not. People like me, live ones that is, always get lost in the shuffle. We are too insignificant. No wonder the adult world holds so many distinct social classes. They train us to frown on others when we’re young.

Passing through the walls and emerging out in the main hallway, I see both Anne and her aunt Stella. They haven’t wasted any time and are moving down the corridor at a hurried pace. Stella is speaking to Anne in hushed tones but I am too far away to hear. I pick up the pace to catch up as they round a corner towards the main office. I manage to hear Stella say, “Your mother loves you Anne. It’s just she has always loved the men more.” Then they are in the office.

I don’t follow them in this time. I know they won’t be long. While I wait in the hall, I look over at the trophy case against the wall across from the office. I never have noticed it before. Never put much thought into such things as achievement. Inside the glass case, there are award plaques, trophy statuettes with names engraved on their bases, and other notable displays of the school’s best students. Of course, Anne is in there among them. A plaque for school spelling bee champion, a trophy for gymnastics regional champion, and a photo of her in costume as Galinda in the student production of Wicked. From this, one can determine that Anne Taynor is amazing. She is more than adept at spelling, sports, and singing. I beam with pride, though I don’t know why. She never gave a damn about me in life. She never even knew I existed, and even if she had, she wouldn’t have been interested in an underachiever like me. Girls like her don’t date the class loser. None of those things matter now of course. All I care about is that she’s happy, and when she and her aunt emerge from the office, I am determined to follow them out and make sure Anne is going to be okay.

I follow them down the hall as they head for the front doors. I see the afternoon sunshine coming through the glass. I wonder if when we get outside if I’ll be able to feel the warmth on my face. Or is that another thing that is completely lost on ghosts? I am pondering this when Stella turns around and looks at me. Her glare says she is irritated.

“Stop following us,” she says in a firm voice. “I know there’s something else you could be doing.”

For a moment I do stop, as if she has some kind of power over me. But then I realize, Hey, I’m dead. I don’t have to listen to her. I don’t have to listen to anyone.

 

“Ghost Boy Blues” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Ghost Boy Blues 18

Eighteen

When you’re dead, thoughts come out of nowhere. They aren’t always linear, or even clear, but when they come, they seem to dominate everything else. Looking at Anne, she looks like a deer caught in headlights. I catch a quick vision of an oncoming car, a distraught Anne, an emptying of her soul. And then it is gone. Not only do thoughts come out of nowhere, they sometimes disappear before you can analyze them.

Before I can try to grasp the thought again, there is a light tap on the door, prompting Assistant Principal Deaner to say, “Come in.”

The school secretary, a white haired woman whom some say has been here just as long as the building has, poked her head inside. “Pardon the intrusion, but Miss Taynor’s Aunt is here.”

I breathe a soft sigh. Despite being spirit and without form, a room can still get stuffy and claustrophobic. Deaner’s office might be simple and quaint, but I feel like I might be having the beginning of a panic attack for ghosts. I don’t know why but suddenly the room doesn’t seem so pleasant anymore. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of impending doom. This heavy weight is descending, dimming the room before my very eyes. I wonder if I’m having some kind of waking bad dream. Or perhaps this is the way nightmares are for ghosts. Maybe we can’t determine between awake and sleep. That it all runs together with no differentiating between the two.

A tall woman walks into the room. She almost looks like she stepped out of 1969 and the hippie culture of that time. She’s wearing a long flowing dress of psychedelic design, topped with a leather vest. It looks like there are runes burned into the leather. I think I recognize a few from my dad’s favorite Led Zeppelin album, the one with the guy carrying the bundle of sticks on his back. The woman’s hair is long, blond, and intricately braided. She has a couple necklaces she’s wearing. One has a pentagram charm, the other an Egyptian ankh. As she steps further into the room, I notice she is wearing open toed sandals. Her toenails are painted black with the eye of Horus on them.

“ Anne,” she says in a thick southern drawl. “Poor child. Come give Aunt Stella a hug.”

At first, I don’t think Anne is going to do anything, and I don’t blame her. Her aunt is so freaking weird. But then she gets up and allows the woman to envelop her in her arms. The woman is much taller than Anne and it reminds me of a polar bear hugging a penguin. It’s easy to see the teenager is embarrassed.

Unfazed, her aunt turns to the other adults in the room. “Hi, I’m Stella Taynor. Nice to meet you,” she says to them, extending a hand, though it’s clear she’s addressing the sole living male in the room.

He shakes her hand. “Assistant Principal Deaner.”

She smiles, though she has a curious look on her face. “Did I have you once?”

He is taken aback. “Um….excuse me?”

“I went to school here. About fifteen years ago. Were you a teacher then?”

He breathes a sigh of relief. I guess he thought she was trying to hit on him. “Oh yes. Yes of course. I was. But not here. I transferred about eight years ago.”

She seems to look him plane down and replies, “shame.”

“I’m Miss Watkins,” our guidance counselor interjects, trying to dislodge this conversation, wherever in the hell it’s heading.

Again, Stella the weird is unfazed. Or maybe she’s just oblivious, I’m not sure. She smiles at Miss Watkins. “And what are you?”

“I’m Anne’s guidance counselor.”

“Ah…of course you are.” She doesn’t shake the woman’s outstretched hand. Instead, she turns to me. “And you are?” She asks.

I am startled half out of my wits. Did she just speak to me?

“Uh….w…what?” I stammer. “Excuse me? You can see me?”

She turns back to the others. They all have looks on their faces that belie the fact she might be half crazy. “Just kidding,” she says. Then she reaches in her purse, which looks more like a potato sack, and pulls something out. “But if I wasn’t, here’s my card.” She hands it to Deaner. “I’m something of a ghost whisperer,” she says in a hushed, secretive tone. I notice she gives him a wink as well, which appears to fluster the poor man.

He’s not the only one flustered however. I’m thinking, Oh crap. I’m really in trouble now. Anne’s aunt, if she is indeed a whisperer, might have the ability to get rid of me, to send me on to wherever she thinks I’m supposed to go. But I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m just trying to find my place in all this. To discover where I belong. There has to be more than just being sent to the light or whatever.

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 19

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

19: About The Scars

Haru pointed at the falling star, his finger following the faint trail it left in its wake.

“Hey, there you go. You can always wish on that star that people won’t lie to you anymore. “

“No, I wouldn’t wish that,“ I replied.

He turned his head to look at me. “Oh. What would you wish then?”

“If I tell you I won’t get it.”

He sighed and returned his gaze to the stars.

“I don’t know why I can’t trust people,” I said.

“Scars.”

“Huh?”

“Scars. Sometimes hurt can heal, but there is always a scar left over.”

I thought of my legs. All the scars from the cutting I had done. They weren’t super horrible, but if I wore a skirt too far up the leg I’m sure people would stare. Personally, I thought I looked ugly in dresses, and the cutting scars didn’t help.

For a moment, I thought Haru had read my exact thoughts because he continued on with, “until someone comes along and takes them away.”

“Takes what away?” I asked, already knowing what he meant.

“Scars.”

I looked down. “Some scars can’t be removed. Either they have been there too long or the wound keeps scabbing over.”

He nodded and pursed his lips. “Pretty smart for someone who has had only sixteen summers to think about it.” He paused for a moment and flipped a blond lock off his forehead. I didn’t say anything but just admired the gracefulness of the action. Then he turned to me and repeated it by brushing one of my dark locks away from my eye. “Here is where you’re special,“ he said. “I trust you.”

I didn’t know what he was getting at. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. When he opened them, he was looking right at me as if he wanted to climb inside my soul. “I’ve had every summer since 1281 to think about the scars we leave.”

My mouth must have dropped so low it scraped ground. “1281?” I nearly screamed. “Holy shit! You’re kidding, right? This is another one of your just kidding moments.”

He shook his head and I knew he was telling the truth. No wonder his eyes looked like he understood everything around him. He was nearly a thousand years old. “Oh my god, this can’t be happening,” I cried. “No, no, no.”

I stood up and ran my fingers nervously through my hair. I was turning in circles, just looking for a place I could run to. After all, he was a lot older than I had been thinking. And I mean a lot. This was beyond creepy; it was downright disturbing. Hot Asian boy moves in next door. Not only is he gorgeous, but he’s also a vampire. And to top it all off he’s old enough to be my great great great something or another.

“I can’t deal with this,“ I said, panic written all over my face. Hell, he’d probably been married two dozen times at the very least. It was at this moment I decided to cry. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it was just something that happened. Overwhelmed with everything, my world crumbled around me. If he had broken down in front of me earlier, then I had come apart at the seams. And he was the only one who could hold me together.

The moment the tears hit my cheek his arms were around me. Despite him being the reason for all this, I collapsed into his embrace and sobbed against his chest. He didn’t attempt to do anything more than hold me. His arms were gentle and comforting and I thought I heard him sniffing my hair, but to be honest, it was probably the sound of my own sobs.

We stood there like that for a long time; me caught in the safety of his affectionate grasp, he standing stark still, a sentinel to guard me and my fragile heart. “I’m sorry,“ he whispered. In that moment, I think he knew that no matter what, I was lost to him, and he a forbidden thing for me to want and desire. As my tears started afresh, my thought was that Romeo and Juliet had it easy.

Walking across the yard and heading home, I thought to myself, sometimes I didn’t get Haru. Part of me had wanted to, but what he had told me tonight was a definite game changer. Sure, he was the best piece of eye candy that Chelsea Valley had ever seen, and there were things about him that were endearing; things that most girls wish their boyfriends were. But was that enough to overcome the obstacles that lay before our friendship? There were some strange, mysterious things at work with Haru, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about them.

As I moved among the trees away from his house, I knew he was still on the porch, standing by the deck chairs, watching me walk away. He had let me go easy enough when my body language told him my cry-fest was over. When I said I had to go because it was a school night, he didn’t protest; he just backed off and said that he hoped to see me tomorrow. I didn’t commit to that, but something within me said I’d like to see him too. Still, I tried to tell myself it wasn’t like I wanted to see him every waking moment. He wasn’t my boyfriend, and I hadn’t fallen so crazy for him I would do anything to be by his side. That was stupid. Oh, is that why you went jumping through the trees to get to him tonight, my little inner voice teased.

Maybe Haru knew something I didn’t. Certainly he had to know he was irresistible to a girl. Would he use that to his advantage? No, I don’t think so. When he was holding me, comforting me, there was nothing like it. It was pure, real, and honest. It wasn’t using or lying. I could feel it in the shudders that went through me. At first, I thought it was a reaction to my sobs, but it wasn’t. It was me wanting him to hold me forever.

Suddenly, something came out from behind a tree and blocked my path. I stopped short. I would have jumped clear out of my skin and screamed, but it wasn’t a scary figure at all. It was another beautiful vampire boy…

To be continued……..

 

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Ghost Boy Blues 17

Seventeen

Assistant Principal Deaner is behind his desk. His office is sparse, much lighter than I imagined. There’s only a few pictures on the wall, mostly of his family. There are no awards certificates, no educational recognitions, not even a diploma. The place screams humility.

It is my first time in this office. In my life I never had to get summoned here, which is pretty good, I suppose. You only come to Deaner’s office if you are in trouble or something bad has happened. One look at his face and the way in which he eyes Anne tells me today it is the latter. Before he opens his mouth, I know this visit isn’t to go over her academic record, no matter how promising it looks.

“Miss Taynor, please have a seat,” he says, offering her a chair in front of his desk. She does as he says, carefully folding her skirt under her. She glances at Miss Watkins, who sits down in a chair next to her. The guidance counselor reaches over and pats Anne’s hand in a gesture of reassurance. I find myself getting nervous about what is to come.

Deaner sits in his own chair behind the desk and folds his hands in his lap. “I have some unfortunate news,” he says. “There has been an accident.”

Anne pushes a lock of hair away from her face. “What kind of accident?”

He clears his throat. He seems to be a little uncomfortable with this. “It’s your mother. She’s…”

“Is she dead?”

Her response surprises them. Assistant Principal and Guidance Counselor look at each other, neither one quite sure how to answer.

After some hesitation, Deaner manages to reply. “Um, no. But she is hospitalized.”

“Not life threatening,” Miss Watkins adds. “Your aunt is on the way to pick you up.”

I’m looking at Anne now. Her eyes are tearing up, but she doesn’t seem ready to let them fall in front of the adults. I want to go to her. Wrap my arms around her and convince her she can cry on my shoulder if she needs to. But I know that’s impossible, unless I take over one of these adults and then try to console her. I think that will be just a little too creepy for her though.

“Why isn’t Jeremy picking me up?”

If the question throws me off, it seems to throw off the adults even more. They look at each other and the distress I see on both their faces tells me the answer before they speak it.

“He’s being detained by police,” Deaner answers. “They are questioning him about the incident.”

I notice they don’t give any detail about what has happened, but Anne doesn’t appear bothered by the omission. It almost seems that whatever happened, it was expected. And though I’ve never heard of this Jeremy person before, I can take a guess. Dad. Stepdad. Her mom’s boyfriend. I know it’s not a sibling, because she’s an only child. You learn these kind of things when you are obsessed with someone.

“The incident,” Anne says flatly. “What exactly happened?”

“Um, they’re not sure yet, “ replies Deaner. “We can’t really say…”

“Is there anything you wish to tell us?” Miss Watkins interjected. “It can be confidential if you wish.”

“No, not really. I mean, I knew one day he’d hurt her. That’s what he did, right?”

“We don’t know. All we’ve been told is she has some facial injuries. She apparently called police and then told them that she walked into a door during their argument.”

Anne scowls. “Of course she did.”

The Assistant Principal rifles through some papers on his desk. I know he isn’t looking for anything. He’s just nervous. “Well, take all the time off you need, Anne. If you need a couple of days, or even more….”

“No, I’ll be in school tomorrow. They aren’t going to ruin my education too.”

I’m seeing a new side of my dream girl I have never seen before. Angry and determined. Anne has always been a good student. Exemplary I’d say. She gets good grades, treats teachers and other students with respect. I can see her being valedictorian or prom queen easily. But here in the office, she is letting her guard down and showing a side of herself no one else gets to see. And though it throws the adults off, it adheres me to her more.

“You know, she’s not the first person he’s hurt,” she says, and for a moment I wonder if she is saying this for Deaner and Watkins’ benefit, or her own. “If they don’t do something, she won’t be the last either.”

“I’m sure the investigators will do their best to get to the bottom of things.”

Anne just nods her head. I know she doesn’t believe that. Things have apparently been bad at home a long time. She wears one face at school, and it’s not the same as the one her family sees. All this time I have thought her a charmed girl, leading this perfect little life of joy and happiness. Until now, I’d never even seen a frown on her face, much less anger or resentment. But here it is. Behind Anne’s walls, the rest of her world is crumbling. I wish I could have seen this side of the wall sooner. I know it wouldn’t change things. I’d still be unnoticed, an unknown and unseen admirer, but maybe in life, I could have done something for her. I don’t know what, but something to let her know that on this side of her wall she was not alone. Her problem is a lot like mine used to be. Except mine didn’t run me over; hers did.

Now where in the hell did that come from?

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“Ghost Boy Blues” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 18

Vampire Boys Of Summer main page

18: About The Stars

Haru sat in the deck chair. He slid it next to mine and we both tilted our heads back, looking up at the stars. The night was clear and the whole sky seemed to be filled with those tiny points of light.

“You know what I like about the stars?” he asked.

I turned my head to look at him. “No. What?”

“They seem fixed. In place. Unchanging. But the truth is, they are moving. Never standing still. Sometimes they die out. Sometimes they collide with other stars.” He looked at me and smiled. “Sometimes they fall. And other times, they shine so bright they illuminate everything around them.” He returned his gaze heavenward. “In essence, I suppose they are a lot like us. Sometimes when I look at them, I think of other people in the world looking at them too. People who are filled with happiness, or suffering without hope; people falling in love, or falling out of it. I sometimes want to put myself in their place just to experience what they do.“ He paused, as if thinking that over. “And yet, all I really want is to know that somewhere, someday, we’ll all be together like this huge cluster of stars in the sky, shining for someone else’s amusement and joy.”

“That’s pretty deep stuff, “ I said, not really knowing how to respond.

His face had a wistful smile. “Yeah, I guess it is.”

“You must have been watching the stars a long time.”

“About thirty minutes before you came out, “ he replied.

“No, I mean, being a vampire, you must have watched the stars for years.” I couldn’t believe I called him a vampire to his face. It sounded weird coming out my mouth.

“Is that your way of trying to get my age out of me?” he asked.

“Perhaps.”

He sighed. “Every year for me has been the same as the last. I have seen countless summers come and go. I forget the time.”

“You don’t want to tell me?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

He looked at me and the smile he was able to muster was sad. “You will find it difficult to be my friend. I am too old.”

I put my hand lightly on his arm. “Look, when I realized what you were, I was bothered by the fact you were probably a lot older than me. It is kind of creepy when you think about it, but when I see you with my eyes, I see what’s on the outside, and your outside says you’re forever seventeen. So it doesn’t bother me.”

“After a while it will.”

“Perhaps. But right now it doesn’t.” To prove my point, I got brave and leaned towards him. I rested my head on his shoulder. “I don’t care how old you are. All I know is I feel special when I’m with you.”

“You are special.”

“How do you know?”

“What?”

“How do you know I’m special?”

This has always been my trick question, the one that would trip all the boys up. It usually stopped them in their tracks, and in their hesitation to answer they would lose heart. It really wasn’t a trick; it was more of a challenge. I had always hated when boys used the “you’re special” card, thinking that’s all girls wanted to hear. Their answers always fell short. Haru’s was a little unexpected.

“I know you’re special because you’re changing me.”

“Changing you?”

“Yes. It has been a long time since I’ve had a real friend.”

“But we just met last night.”

“And I’ve changed a lot since then.”

“How?”

“Well…I…You…do you treat every guy this way?”

I was taken aback. “Excuse me?”

“When a guy tries to be nice to you, or pays you a compliment, or just tries to tell you that you’re a beautiful person…do you always question it?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Why? Don’t you trust them, or is it true that you just don’t like boys?”

I was stunned. It wasn’t the fact he said what he did; it was the fact he’d been here maybe a day or two and already the rumor had reached him. “You don’t have to be my friend,” I said and got up to walk away. He got up, too.

“I do want to be your friend. That’s the whole point. But you don’t trust me enough for that. You question everything there is about me.”

I looked at him. “You’re a vampire.”

“So? You’re a sixteen year old white girl from the suburbs. What’s that got to do with it?”

“I don’t kill people for their blood or turn them into other vampires.”

“Ouch, that stings. But it’s also ignorant, because I don’t do either of those.”

I looked at him, surprised. “You don’t drink blood?”

“You didn’t say that. You said I kill people for their blood. I don’t take human life. And I don’t turn anyone into vampires either.”

I didn’t know what to say. How could I respond to that? All I could do was make light of what he was. “You don’t sound much like vampires I’ve heard of.”

“Good. I don’t want to be.”

A silence hung between us for a moment. I was at a loss for words. Finally he spoke. “Until today, I had nothing to look forward to. Even moving to a new town didn’t bring me any kind of hope or anticipation. Then the other night I saw you in your window watching me. And last night, I found myself hoping you would watch me again. But you didn’t. Instead you came over. It may not have went that well, but this morning I found myself desiring to see you again. So I came to your school because I didn’t want to wait for tonight. And after tonight, I know I will find myself looking forward to seeing you the next time. That’s how you are special. You have a spell over me and it took you only two days.”

I was nearly breathless. “Wow. Well, I don’t know what to say.”

“Say what you feel.”

“I don’t know how I feel. I mean, maybe vampires get attached this quickly, but humans don’t.” It was a lie, but I was hoping he couldn’t tell that. “I mean, I like you and all, and I did look forward to seeing you tonight, but…”

He cocked his head. “But…?”

“Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re trying to say, but this is moving too fast for me.”

He nodded his head. He didn’t seem disappointed. In fact, he looked like a guy who had heard that excuse many times over. “I’m sorry. Like I said, each day is like the one before it for me. Time just isn’t the same for us. You say it’s been a day or two, but for me I feel like I’ve known you for…for a very long time.” He bowed his head in much the same way in the Asian movies when the character is either bestowing honor or asking forgiveness. “Forgive me if I act too familiar or overstep my bounds. I don’t mean to make you uneasy or uncomfortable.”

“It’s okay. I know I have a problem with trusting people and believing what they say. It’s just that I’ve been lied to so many times.”

“I understand. I won’t lie to you.”

“That could be a lie itself.”

He sighed, almost in exasperation. “Interesting point of view.” Looking skyward, he seemed to be seeking the next line in our conversation within the stars themselves. I looked up with him just in time to see a star streak across the horizon and fall behind the mountains.

Continue to Ep. 19

 

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 17

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

17: Nora Falling

I don’t think he saw me at first, so intent his gazing heavenward was, but then he looked over my way. On instinct, I moved away from the window, but when I saw it was Haru I smiled. He motioned me to come over, and I began to turn when he waved at me again, signaling me to come over in the same manner I had speculated the night before: by climbing out the window and jumping to the tree limbs outside my room. I wondered if he’d somehow read my thoughts the night before and I shook my head no. I could see he found this humorous and he made a motion with his arms that said I was chicken. I thought to myself maybe he and Angela should get together and dare each other to death, but I soon found myself opening the window and jumping to the nearest branch.

I couldn’t believe I was even doing this. This wasn’t safe. I could fall from the tree and break my neck, or at least that’s what my mom would say if she’d seen me. I climbed onto a thicker branch and began to make my way to the center of the tree. I could see Haru watching me with interest, his arms gripping the railing as if he would jump over it any minute to save me, if I should fall.

I clutched the main trunk of the tree allowing me a moment to catch my breath and call myself an idiot. I’d never been one to try and impress boys. I had always considered it a form of manipulation on their part and I refused to reduce myself to that kind of thing. So, how did I find myself two stories off the ground, jumping out windows and climbing across tree limbs to get to a boy in the next house? I must be nuts or he the master of complete mind control. I couldn’t be that crazy to be around him, could I? It had to be his vampiric persuasion that was making me risk life and limb, no pun intended.

I struck out on to another limb, edging my way to the widow’s walk where Haru waited. It wasn’t that far now. Soon I’d be at the end of the tree branches and I would have to jump the rest of the way. I felt the limb under my feet creak and I stopped, wondering if it was going to break. After a moment, I began to edge my way again. I tried not to look down, and instead looked at Haru. His eyes were focused on me as he flipped his long blond bangs out of his face. I had this odd vision of brushing his hair. Only a girl would think of things like that while perched on a tree branch outside a guy’s bedroom window. Can you say stalker?

The branch began to bend and it brought me out of my reverie. I was going to have to jump to the balcony now before the limb snapped. I hesitated only a second. The branch broke as I pushed away from it, but my ankle twisted in the process and it affected my leap. I wasn’t going to make it. I reached for the railing but I knew I was going to come up short. I looked at Haru in horror and then glanced down. The ground was rising to meet me and I closed my eyes, bringing my arms up to protect my face from the impact. I hit with a soft thud, much softer than I imagined it would be, and when I opened my eyes I realized I hadn’t even hit the earth. Haru had.

He stood, legs braced apart, holding me in his outstretched arms. How he had gotten down to ground level so fast was amazing, and the fact he had caught me before impact was nothing short of miraculous. I looked up into his perfect beautiful face. His eyes were looking at me with a warmth that seemed to spread across his whole face. His lips were upturned in a one corner smile.

“I’ll never let anything happen to you,“ he said, and set my feet softly down. I did the only thing a girl could do after having been caught falling from a great height by a beautiful boy, who had face, eyes, and lips to die for. I passed out.

I must not have been out long because when I came to, he hadn’t moved and was still holding me up, though my feet were on solid ground. “What happened? Did I black out?”

“For a moment,“ he replied, his voice soft and lilting like music.

I straightened up and he let me go. My feet were still unsteady and I wobbled a little. He placed a hand on my back to make sure I’d be alright.

“That was a good catch,“ I said, trying to save myself a little embarrassment over the feat I had been trying to accomplish.

“It wasn’t too bad, I guess. Hopefully we won’t have to repeat it.”

“We wouldn’t have had to do it this time if you hadn’t called me chicken.”

He smiled with a mischievous grin. “Is that what I called you? Wow, the things you learn from American television.”

“Ha-ha. But thank you for catching me. That would have hurt pretty bad.”

“Yes, it would have. But I’ll always be there for you, so no worries.”

I smiled. “Will you be there for me in summer school? That’s where I’ll really need help.”

“Perhaps,“ he teased. “Come on, let’s sit on the patio. I’ll get us something to drink.”

I allowed him to lead me to the patio and he sat me down in a deck chair. He held the back of the chair to steady it just in case. This won him a few more points on my scorecard.

“Do you like having melons?” he asked.

“What?” I answered, feeling offended. I couldn’t believe his sexist question. One minute he was the king of chivalry, the next super pervert junior.

He shook his head. “Forget it,“ he said, and went inside. He came back out in a few minutes with two clear bottles with green labels on them. I could see on the bottle it said “Ramune” and under it in smaller letters, “melon.”

I was so freaking embarrassed over my mistake, if there had been a sandbox nearby I would have buried myself in it. “I..I’m sorry…I thought you meant…”

He smirked. “I didn’t know what you meant, just that you were offended somehow.” He sat down in a chair next to me. “I don’t know if you have had this before or not; it’s a carbonated soda from Japan. Have a try.”

He popped both the caps off with the ease, and handed one of them to me. He tipped the other to his mouth and took a sip. I followed suit and noticed something brushing against my mouth as I drank.

“What the? It’s got a marble inside. What’s that about?”

“The drink is sealed with the marble. The bottle has a special cap that presses the marble down and releases the pressure. It may seem difficult at first to drink with the marble rolling around, but if you use your tongue just right you can get the marble out of the way.”

I took another sip, but I didn’t use my tongue to push anything out of the way. There was no way I was going to embarrass myself further. I could just see my tongue getting stuck in the bottle and him having a good laugh about it.

He finished his drink and set it down beside him. Scooting down in his chair a little, he turned his head skyward to admire the stars. “I love this time of night,” he said.

A dog barked a couple houses down the street. Followed by another. He took a deep breath and then let it out.

“Ah, children of the night. What beautiful noise they make.”

I turned to look at him. “You have got to be kidding me,“ I said, recognizing the famous line from Dracula.

He grinned. “I am. Great movie though.”

I made a mental note to myself that when I got home to write in my diary, it should read: “I believe my neighbor’s an idiot.”

Continue to Ep. 18

 

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 16

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)Main Page

16: Calling Angela

After mom left, I sat down at my desk. I opened the top drawer. It was filled with half-finished drawings, pens, paper, and a homemade false bottom. I pulled the false bottom up and pulled out my diary. I hadn’t written in it awhile, but that was because I never had much to say. No secrets to keep. But now I had one, and it was huge. I opened up the book and stared at a blank page. I debated on what to write or whether even to write in it at all. I mean, what if it was found? The secret would be out and Haru’s life would be in danger. I put pen to paper and wrote the first sentence my diary would record about the vampire boy next door: “Dear Diary, I ain’t telling you shit.”

Closing the book, I pulled my cell out of my back pocket, wondering if Haru carried one. I’d had only a couple boys’ numbers in my address book, but I’d never called them and they had never called me. I could picture myself lying up in bed at night talking to or texting Haru for hours. I smiled at the thought because it was such a normal one, but I decided to call Angela back instead. I couldn’t keep putting her off.

“Hey girl, what’s up?”

“Oh my God, Nora! I’ve been going crazy. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Got in a fight with mom an hour ago, but other than that I’m okay.”

“Oh, that sucks.”

“Yeah, well…”

“So, what’s he like? Come on, tell me. What did you guys talk about? Did you hold hands?”

“No, we didn’t hold hands, but he’s nice.”

I heard her sigh on the other end. “Just nice?”

“Yeah. He’s nice. He’s very kind and sweet. He came over to cheer me up after mom and I fought.”

“How did he cheer you up? Did he take his shirt off?”

I frowned, though she couldn’t see it. “No, Angela. He just let me know he understood and if I wanted to talk I could.”

“Damn girl, I hate you.” She laughed. “Does he have a brother?”

“I don’t know. I’ll ask.”

“So, what else did you talk about?”

“Not much really. Stuff like where he lived before, his parents and family. Just normal stuff.”

“Did he hit on you?”

I could hear the smile in her question. “No, I don’t think so. I couldn’t really tell.”

“How can you not tell?”

“Well…he’s not like guys at our school. It’s hard to figure him out or what he’s thinking. He’s not like our transparent American boys. “

“Ah, Asian mystery date.”

I laughed again, but thinking about it, I felt that was one of the draws for me. He was mysterious. I didn’t know what he was thinking. I knew very little about him, and every time something new was revealed it made it more exciting. When or if he flirted with me, I didn’t know if I’d realize it or not.

“Is he going to Chelsea Valley High next year?”

“I don’t….oh crap.”

“What?” she nearly shouted into her cell.

“I forgot to tell mom about summer school. She’s not going to be happy with me again.”

“Sucks for you,“ Angela replied. “Hope she doesn’t blow a gasket.”

“Yeah, me too. Look, I’ll see you in the morning, ok?”

“Alright, girlfriend. Say hi to Haru for me.”

The way she said his name was in a teasing manner, and I giggled like a little seventh grader gushing over a ninth grade boy. “Okay, I will,“ I lied. I disconnected the call and walked over to the window. Looking over to his yard, Haru was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t out watching the stars. Not yet anyway.

I think Mom was so relieved over us having made up that the summer school news didn’t affect her too badly. Sure, she was upset that my grades had suffered, but I think she was also a little bothered by the fact she had been oblivious to it. Perhaps she blamed herself a little for not paying attention to my report cards. Either way, she approved of me attending summer school as she didn’t want me to be held back a year.

Back in my room, I turned off all the lights and flipped on the TV. I put it on a local cable channel that showed old black and white movies. It’s not that I liked the movies themselves; I just liked how the black and white from the television infused my room with this eerie lighting. However, tonight they were playing a good one. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. As a little girl it had scared the crap out of me. The noise the birds made was this cacophony of terrifying sound that sent me flying to my father’s lap. He’d shield my eyes from the sight of the birds chasing the school kids on the playground and then hurling themselves against windows.

I really needed to go see him. I’d been only twice since he’d been locked up. It wasn’t a very pleasant place to go, and the patients tended to freak me out. Some wandered around like zombies in that World War Z movie. The Walking Dead invade the hospital. This one lady made guttural noises in her throat that reminded me of the Jigsaw Man next door. This reminded me to go see if Haru was outside.

I got up and went to my window. Because the light was somewhat subdued in my room, I could see easier. In his backyard nothing moved. The patio porch also seemed empty. A few lights were on in the house and I could see cars in the driveway, but no movement behind curtains or in the dark outside. Disappointed, I began to turn away from the window when I saw something shifting in the shadows outside the room across from mine. There was a figure out on the widow’s walk leaning against the railing and looking up at the stars.

Continue to Ep. 17

 

 

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.