A Day At The Wormhole Cafe

I knew what I was getting into the moment I walked into the coffee shop. After all, they didn’t call it Wormhole Café for nothing. Still, before crossing the threshold, I wondered about all the people who had stood here before me thinking the place was given a cool sci-fi name because the owner was a trekkie or something. Imagine their faces as they open the door and quickly became raptor food, or walked inside only to find themselves standing next to General Custer at Little Big Horn,or sitting in the car next to JFK as he rode through Dallas. Despite such horrible visions of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I decided I was going in anyway. What did I have to lose? Life was shit. 

I wasn’t prepared, and who really can be, by what fate had in store for me inside, because when I crossed the open doorway and into the wormhole itself, I came out the other side looking at a mirror image of myself sitting at a table in the corner drinking coffee and reading a book. Well, it wasn’t really a mirror image, for this other me was less 50 pounds or so, and minus a lot of years. Okay , so maybe he had a lot more hair than I do now too, but why taint a memory? From the doorway I could tell what book he was reading, and I knew what would happen within minutes if the clock on the café wall was correct.

You hear all the time from those in the science community that two versions of the same people cannot occupy the same space in time. When I saw myself there, I was hoping they just meant the exact same space, and not the time period or location in general. I decided to take the risk anyway, knowing what was coming, and the eventual outcome of personal history. I walked over to his table and pulled a chair out, sitting down across from him, or me, depending on how you look at it. In my typical fashion, his nose was buried in his book. I guess some things don’t change with time.

“Good book,” I said. “I read it myself when I was your age.”

Finally, he looked up. I don’t think he recognized me at first, because despite my own opinion of how I hadn’t changed over the years, I could tell in his eyes that maybe I had. “Excuse me, do I know you?” he asked.

“No not really,” I replied, and that was the truth. How could anyone tell how they were going to turn out years from now? It was just my fortune, or possibly torture, that allowed the wormhole to put me back, not into just any old history, but my own.

He looked at me with a curious eye, as if he was trying to figure out whether I was dangerous or not. I cast a glance around the room to see if there was anyone else from my youth I recognized. No, not yet, but it was coming.

“I was waiting for someone,” he said. “But I don’t think it was a stranger.”

I smiled. “You’d be surprised the number of strangers who are friends…and the number of friends who are strangers, for that matter.” I reached my open hand across the table. “I’m Chris,” I said.

 He managed to smile back, and as a courtesy, I guess he decided it would be good manners to shake my hand. “Wow, that’s me too,” he replied.

“More than you think,” I said, gripping his hand firmly, before letting it go. “You know, that book you’re reading prompted me to want to write books too.”

“Oh really? You an author?”

“Well, yeah, but I guess I’m not popular as Dan Brown or Nicholas Sparks.”

He looked at me strangely. “Who?”

“Oh yeah, sorry. I guess they won’t be popular for another twenty years or so.” To reinforce my point, someone put a quarter in the jukebox and suddenly the opening drums and synth of “Billie Jean” kicked in, reminding me that in this café nearly thirty years of my life hadn’t been lived yet.

He was really looking at me with a strange expression now. But that was nothing. I was getting ready to make it worse. “I won’t bother you long,” I told him. ”I know you’re meeting a girl.”

He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, that’s obvious.”

I grinned with a knowing smile. “Well young man, here’s something that isn’t. She will be wearing a white t-shirt that says ‘Frankie say War. Hide yourself.’ Boy sized jeans with three holes in them. One on each knee, another on the back of the left leg just below her ass. I don’t think she’s aware of that one.”

He laughed and shook his head. “You are one crazy old dude. She wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a Frankie Say t-shirt. “

I shrugged. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. But that’s the one you should be meeting, instead of the one you are wanting to impress today.”

“I guess you are going to tell me about her, too.”

“Sure why not? Any minute now she will walk in with two other girls, each one looking like they just came back from a Pat Benatar look alike contest. And she will have on a ridiculous ‘Whitesnake – Slide It In’ t-shirt, though at the time I guess it is cool to like them.”

He smiled “Yeah that’s more like her.”

“Well, guess what man? In two years Whitesnake will be super famous, and in ten you will be absolute zero to the hot girl who wore their shirt.”

He was offended. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means, relax don’t do it. Go for the girl in the Frankie shirt.”

Suddenly, it dawned on him who I was talking about. “Chelsea? Dude, I have known her forever, she’s like my best friend.”

The wheels were now turning in my head. The wormhole had presented a perfect opportunity for me. “To you,maybe,” I replied. “To her, perhaps you are more, and you’re just too blind to see it.”

“Wait a minute, how do you know Chelsea? How do you know me?”

“I just do. I also know that Janie, the girl you are meeting today, is on the rebound from her last boyfriend. You know the one, the jock…what’s his name? Martin? Something like that?”

“So?”

“So, she never gets over him. She goes back to him. And the girl who adores you madly walks out of this very room today, hurt and crying, never to speak to you again, because you kiss Miss Whitesnake with the bad Benatar haircut, immediately after you introduce her to Chelsea. Word to the wise, if you don’t want a life of misery…do not introduce Chelsea as ‘just a friend’. In fact, just tell Janie you’re not a replacement for Martin and plant a kiss on your best friend instead.”

He planted his hands on the table and rose in anger. I could tell he was angry, but when I stood up too, he seemed to change his mind on taking a swing at the old dude. After all, I was a lot bigger now.

“Don’t worry, I’m leaving,” I said. “I just wanted to give you some advice because I know how it plays out. How it will always play out, if you don’t change it.”

He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He knew. Deep down he knew. He had to. He was me.

“Look, where I come from The Chris’s of the world marry the Janie’s. The Janie’s become dissatisfied because the Chris’s aren’t the Martin’s. And then the Chris’s sit around bemoaning the fact that they should of picked the Chelsea’s. Don’t be that kind of Chris. See you around, big guy.”

I slid the chair under the table and turned to walk away.

“Wait,” he said. “Did you marry a Janie? Is that why you’re telling me this?”

“Yes I did. And I wish more than anything that I had a Chelsea today.”

“What happened to her? Your Chelsea?”

“I don’t know. I never saw her again. But I didn’t forget her, and neither should you.”

I left him standing there to ponder the stranger and his cryptic words. You would think after seeing “Back To The Future” he would make the connection, but I guess it was easier to think of me as a crazy old man. I pulled a quarter out my pocket and put it in the jukebox. I looked back at him, and pointed, my fingers forming the replica of a gun with me pulling the trigger. The song I had chosen began, with a single snap of the snare drum and the singer emoting a vibrant “Hey Hey Hey Hey!”

I walked back through the wormhole with “(Don’t you) forget about me” echoing in the past…

 

“A Day At The Wormhole Cafe” 2016 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

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Blood Red Passion: Do Vampires Dream?

“Do vampires dream?”

For hours I have watched you sleeping,

the quiet flickering of your eyelids

makes me wish I could be there,

behind those eyes within your dream,

walking through Gothic cathedrals,

waltzing through Parisian courtyards,

making love to you in the silence

of your favorite cemetery.

But I wonder what do vampires really dream?

Do they dream of rising suns

and walking through a summer glade?

or are their dreams just like ours,

to be loved and wanted above all others,

to find that one special person

that makes them feel alive as never before?

And I ponder this one thought,

do you love me or am I just a companion

to make you feel not so alone,

why won’t you turn me?

why won’t you make me as you?

and take me with you down through the ages,

a perfect couple for mortals to fear,

and for us to experience every pleasure

under the cover of the calling night.

For hours I watched you sleeping,

and I want nothing more than your kiss

on my neck, drinking me in,

and making me a mirror image of you;

such beauty and darkness,

wrapped up in cold flesh, warm blood,

and the uncompromising will

to love with fervor and intensity forever…

By Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 11 


Chapter 11: Locksmithing & Vampires 101

After school, I stood waiting for my bus. Angela had already boarded hers and was on her way out of the parking lot. I declined to ride home with her because I thought maybe Haru would show up to walk me home again. I don’t know why I thought this; he had only walked me once, and now here I was expecting it of him. But I was on my own. Ryo didn’t seem like the walking-the-girls-home type, Luhan couldn’t drive because he couldn’t reach the pedals, and I hadn’t seen Chi since lunchtime. My bus pulled up and I got on.

Our bus driver was an older man in his fifties called Mr. Ed. Someone had told us that Mr. Ed had been a talking horse on an old black and white television show, but our Mr. Ed was no horse, and he wasn’t much on making conversation. He talked to you if you were disrupting his driving, but other than that he just nodded or shook his head at you. I think everyone respected him because they didn’t know his deal. Was he a mild mannered bus driver ready to snap, or was he already plotting out ways to wreck the bus? With thoughts like these running through my head, no wonder I chose to walk home half the time.

I took a seat by the window right behind Mr Ed. To my relief, nobody seemed that concerned about me. There were no snickers or guarded whispers like I thought there would be. Maybe the talk of what kind of slaughter I could expect had died down. That’s the thing about school. News travels fast, but interest in it sometimes fades just as quick. Of course, the internet would probably be buzzing tonight with news about Amanda’s beating. Though I think she more than deserved it, I was hoping the damage wasn’t too severe. The more she got hurt, the more likely she’d try to hurt you back. After the post it note on my locker, I was going to have to be more vigilant in the days ahead.

“Hey Nora, heads up”, someone yelled, and on instinct I ducked. Instead of some projectile however, someone plopped down in the seat beside me. I looked over. It was Colin Deeds, he of the mismatched clothes and uncombed hair. He slung his book bag into his lap and for a moment I thought he’d injure himself it was so loaded with books.

“Missed my bus,“ he explained. “Can I sit with you?”

“Sure, go ahead,“ I mumbled. After the verbal abuse I’d given him the day before I was surprised he would even ask, but I guess he figured if he was with me no one would pick on him out of fear of my new friend Chi.

“Heard about Amanda,“ he said. “About time.”

“Don’t say that too loud. She still wins popularity points.”

He ducked down in his seat a little. “Oh yeah.”

The bus pulled away from the curb and we started the long way home. Since he rode the same bus as Angela, it was going to be a longer trip for him today.

“So, did you just snap or something?”

“Excuse me?”

“Way I heard it, you really kicked her butt.”

“I didn’t do it.”

He looked at me strange. “You didn’t? That’s not what everyone is saying.”

“It was a girl named Chi.”

“Chi? Never heard of her.”

“She’s new.”

“Oh.” He looked at his watch. “Well, you better watch out then. Trumps are liable to think you’re spreading stories that you did it.”

I turned to look at him and my mean streak came out. “Don’t you ever take a bath?”

That shut him up for a moment. He looked like I had hit him with a brick. His eyes welled up with tears. I felt bad that I had been so harsh, but he always brought out that side of me. Maybe it was because of his weakness and cowardly ways that made me talk down to him so much.

“You don’t have to be so mean,“ he said, getting up to move. “One day you’ll wish you had a friend like me.” He moved a couple rows away and sat down in an empty seat.

I inwardly beat myself up over how cruel I’d been. He had just been trying to help and I had insulted him; lashed out for no reason other than I thought I was better than him. I shook my head. I was just like Amanda Trump. I almost got up then and there and said I was sorry, but something, call it pride I suppose, wouldn’t let me.

Colin got off at the first stop.

Late afternoon. I sat on the front porch step. Dummy me had either forgotten or lost the front door key. Mom wouldn’t be home until later. I didn’t know what time she’d gone in to work, so who knew how long I’d have to wait. I guess I could have climbed the tree outside my window, but if I fell this time, there wouldn’t be a strong vampire boy there to catch me. I’d looked over at the house next door when I first got home, but Haru wasn’t out. Neither was the Jigsaw Man. Across the street at Mrs. Winston’s, the house itself looked asleep. I wondered what Ryo was doing over there. I hadn’t seen the old lady of the house since he’d arrived. For a moment, I caught an image in my head of the shirtless vampire sleeping in a coffin. I could see his heartbeat under his tattoo, as sweat glistened his body. A rivulet of moisture seemed to run from chest to abs, before disappearing under the band of his jeans.

Across the street, the front door swung open and it shocked me out of my nearly pornographic thought. Someone stepped out on the porch, and at first I thought it was Ryo come to answer my daydream , but it was somebody else. The person seemed hesitant to come out into the daylight, but they soon walked down the steps onto the front walk. It was a young guy, about my age, or maybe a year older. I didn’t recognize him as someone from my school, but to be honest, I didn’t know every single person there. The guy was sickly pale, as if he was suffering from a bad case of the flu.

“Hey, what’s up?” A voice said from beside me. I almost jumped out of my skin it had startled me so. I turned to the intruder of my private curiosity and saw that it was Haru. He was casually dressed in gray khakis and a white button up shirt. “What you doing sitting all alone?”

I looked up at him and gave him a weak smile. “I got locked out.”

He smirked. “So, you’d figure you’d spy on the house across the street.”

“I wasn’t spying,“ I replied. “I just saw this boy come out and…” I turned to point to the boy in question, except he was gone. Distracted by Haru, I had lost sight of what had been going on over there.

Haru looked at me like maybe I had a screw loose. Then he smiled. “Well, Ryo always does like the attention.”

I wanted to tell him it wasn’t Ryo I had seen, but some kid who looked like he just saw his name written on a death note.

Haru sat down beside me. “Saw him talking to you last night,“ he said.

“Yeah.”

“What did he say?”

“Not a whole lot really.”

Haru nodded. “It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. I can just about guess.” He stood up. “I’ll get the door for you.” He walked up to the front door and put his hand on the knob. He looked back at me. “Just a little advice, Nora. You can’t trust a vampire to always tell the truth. They’ve been living in lies and truth so much they aren’t sure which is which anymore.”

“Well, you’re a vampire,“ I reasoned.

He smiled, and for a brief moment I saw his teeth as his lips curled back. “Precisely.” He turned the knob and the door opened. “There you go.”

I wasn’t very surprised that the door opened for him like magic. I’d probably open up too if he touched me. I got up . “Thanks. I thought I was going to have to wait for mom.”

He shrugged. Somehow I thought I had lost his attention. Maybe it was the talk of Ryo that did it. Perhaps vampires were more competitive with each other than I thought. “See you around,“ he said, as he stepped off the porch.

“Yeah. See you,” I replied, wondering why I was getting the brush off so quickly.

My room was quiet. I had my music on low. I was streaming j-pop through my laptop. Currently playing was a song by Mr. Children called “Be Strong.” I don’t think that was the actual title, but they did say that in choice points throughout the tune. I’m sure it had some cool sounding Japanese name, but I didn’t have time to look it up. I was too busy researching vampire lore. I had so many questions about these vampire boys that I didn’t know where to turn. Websites on Japanese folklore and legends weren’t much help. I even tried looking up Japanese history sites to find out if anything significant had happened in 1281. I didn’t think I’d find anything about vampires. The only thing I saw was something about the Mongols invading Japan and getting repelled. It also seemed to be the age of Shoguns and samurai clans. But nobody sucking blood and sleeping in coffins.

The sun had long sunk behind the mountains, but it was still warm in my room. We didn’t have central air. We had AC downstairs and in mom’s room, but not in mine. I had a ceiling fan over my bed and a standing fan that oscillated back and forth set up in one corner, but all it gave you was a momentary breeze before moving on in its cycle. My palms were getting sweaty from typing on my laptop’s keypad. I was contemplating taking off my shirt to lounge around in my bra, when I heard a whoosh sound close to my window. I looked over and saw Ryo sitting in the windowsill.

“You know,“ he said, his voice a soft baritone, “you can’t always believe what you read on the net. A lot of false information if you’re looking up politics, religion, or vampires.”

“Don’t you ever come into a girl’s room the normal way?”

“This is normal for me,“ he answered, with a teasing grin. I noticed he too was sweating and his shirt was half unbuttoned. I could see the perspiration on his throat and collarbone, and it was starting to stir my imagination. I must have blushed a little, because he climbed out of the windowsill and sauntered towards me. It reminded me of a big cat stalking its prey.

“What do you want, Ryo?” I asked, getting nervous.

He stopped beside me and kneeled down beside the chair. “I want to help you.”

“Help me with what?”

“Vampires 101.”

I leaned back in my chair and relaxed a little. “You’ll answer my vampire questions?”

“If I can.”

I nodded and got my first question ready. The one that bugged me the most. “Okay, how is it you guys can walk around in the day, no problem?”

“Well, personally I hate daylight myself. It can’t hurt me unless I haven’t fed in a while though. Oh my, I just let out one of my great secrets. Now you know that if you starve me you can kill me with the sun. I guess I’m just going to have to trust you.” He put his hand on my leg. I didn’t move it away.

“But the others? Haru? Chinatsu? Luhan?”

“They love the sun a little too much I’m afraid.”

“But it doesn’t hurt them.”

“Their bodies have had a long time to adjust. You know, humans have evolved over time. If you look back, what maybe just seventy years, you’ll see the women had smaller feet, were shorter, and…” He looked me up and down, his eyes lingering a little longer on my chest area than I liked, “developed much slower.” He took his hand off my leg. “So, wouldn’t it seem likely vampires would change over time as well? We have been vampires for like over 800 years. That’s a long time to just stand still. The short answer to your question is we have learned to tolerate the sunlight. It is still very uncomfortable at times, but as long as you feed before spending a considerable amount out in the day, then you’ll be okay. I’ve only seen a few of us that have incinerated in the sun.”

“So, you do have to drink blood?”

“Yes of course. Evolution doesn’t cover that little fact.”

“How often?”

“It’s different for the individual. I have to drink every three to four days, but I like to do it more than that. It’s just hard to find willing participants.” He looked at me and raised an eyebrow. “You interested?”

“No,“ I quickly answered.

“Aww, too bad. Well, the night is still young. There are other ways I could indulge myself.”

“I bet,“ I said, trying not to watch where his eyes lingered. “But you haven’t answered all my questions.”

“I never said I would answer them all; I just said I would help.” He shrugged. “I guess I thought we could exchange information of sorts. Tit for tat, as they say.”

“What kind of information could I give you?”

He licked his bottom lip as he contemplated how to answer. He stood up and began to unbutton the rest of his shirt.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Don’t you think it’s getting warmer in here?” His shirt hit the floor, and I was graced with the sight of his sweaty, toned upper body. Across his chest, the tattoo that read ‘Loveless’ almost seemed to glisten. His muscles were taut; if I’d thrown a punch at his hard abs it would have broken my hand. But he was right; it was getting warmer in my room. Literally. It was feeling like someone had turned up the heat. I wondered if vampires had the power to control a room’s temperature. If so, and it got any warmer, I would soon be half naked myself. I tried to push that thought far back into my mind where it belonged.

“Do you sleep in a coffin?” I blurted out, trying to keep him from reading my mind or getting dangerous ideas.

“Nope,“ he said, moving over to my bed where he promptly sat down. “I sleep in a bed.” He lay back and stretched, his muscles pulled even tighter by the action. “Usually not my own.”

Subtlety wasn’t one of Ryo’s traits. He was like the guy who knows he’s hot so he prances around like an underwear model in a girl’s locker room. He just knows it’s a matter of time before someone reaches out in fascination. I, myself, tried not to look at him. I turned back to my laptop in an attempt to concentrate on something else.

“You know it’s rude, even for a human, to ignore animal attraction.”

“Sorry, I’m not attracted to animals,“ I said, though I think my voice cracked a little. I heard him laugh under his breath.

“But you’re attracted to me,“ he said. “I can smell it.”

“Smell what?” I asked, alarmed.

“Fear. Temptation. Curiosity. Desire. All these have distinctive scents to a vampire. How’s that for a little vampire 101?” He rolled over on his side and propped himself up on one elbow. “Don’t you feel it?”

I shook my head. “No. N..No I don’t.”

“I think you do.” He got up. “That’s the feeling of sin.” He stepped closer. “It’s already in your mind. Now, we only wait for your body to catch up.” He knelt by my chair again. “You’ve wanted me from the moment you first saw me.”

I had enough presence of mind left to know he had it wrong. It was he who had wanted me from the moment he’d seen me. And everything he had been doing up until now was to get to this moment. Typical guy, really. Except the vampire within him had some intense mental powers as well, giving him an irresistible sense of persuasion that was hard to fight.

The thing is I did want him. I wanted to touch him, kiss him, taste his skin, his blood, his mouth. These thoughts were overwhelming me so much that I felt like my very mind was being violated. I opened my desk drawer, as he placed his hand on my calf and began to slide it up my leg. I pulled out the razor blade I used for cutting. I knew cutting him wouldn’t break the spell. It probably wouldn’t faze him. But I didn’t need to. I needed to faze me. With one hand I flicked open the razor and dragged it across my leg just inches above where his hand was. This was one time when I wasn’t numb to the pain. It shot through my leg and up to the nerve center in my brain. I dropped the razor and shoved my chair back from the desk. The sudden movement and the breaking of his hypnotic chain made him jump to his feet and retreat. But only for a moment. Something came over his eyes and I swore it was death…

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Blood Red Passion: The Passion  Of The Vampire

​The morning sun arises

as she buries her face against my shoulder,

wrapping her frame around me

so I will not dissipate like smoke

or some hazy dream.

Last night she said she dreamed me,

And I wonder if I ever existed

until that moment she found me,

cold, shivering, and naked

out in the snow.

I still find it amazing,

an instance of absolute bravery,

that she would take me

and hold me to her breast,

allowing her scent to entice me.

I didn’t want to drink of the angel

but she offered herself willingly,

so as my fingers traced a favorite curve,

I bit… I sipped… I drank…

Tasting the very essence of her.

You of the mortal world will never understand

the passion of the vampire,

the overwhelming intensity of desire

that makes us the creatures we are,

walking the line between darkness and light

straight into the purity of

unyielding… undying… uncomparable love.

By Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved. 

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 10


Chapter 10: Lockers & Luhan

I sat in the guidance counselor’s office awaiting my turn. When we arrived, Chinatsu had marched right into the inner office and declared in a loud, cheery voice, “I did it,” which I’m sure threw Mrs. Grayson off her guidance game. I looked over at Angela, who raised both eyebrows and made a gesture that let me know she thought our new friend was crazy. When she emerged from the room, Chi was feigning sadness with a drawn down frown, but as she passed me she gave me a thumbs up and said, “I got summer school, too! Isn’t that killer?!”

At first I thought, who uses phrases like ‘killer’ these days? When was the last time Chi was in school anyway? I mean, come on, she was obviously Asian, and the fact that I just recently met two Asian guys, my mind was screaming she was of the same family. Did that mean she was a vampire, too? And how in the hell were they all walking around in the daytime like all they had to worry about was a light suntan?

“Cool,” I replied, as she passed by heading towards the hall. She threw her hand up in a wave and smiled so bright you‘d think she was advertising for a toothpaste commercial.

Mrs. Grayson poked her head out of her office and saw me. “Ah, Mrs. Williams, come on in.“ I got up while Angela fumbled with her cellphone . I knew she was probably watching YouTube videos, probably some new Korean boy band. “Have we made a decision?” Grayson asked, as I sat down in front of her desk.

“Yes, Ma’m. I’ll do the summer school.”

She clapped her hands together. “That’s great, Nora. I know you can pull your grades together with this. You are a smart girl.”

“Thank you.”

She opened her desk drawer and pulled out a folder. She rummaged through the papers it held, making sure everything was there, and then handed it over. “You’ll find everything you need to know right here. You won’t be alone. Several students will be attending this summer. Just concentrate on your work and we’ll see you pass this grade.”

I took the folder and got up to go.

“Question, Nora.”

I looked at her and waited for it.

“Do you know the young lady who was here before you? The tall Japanese girl?”

“Yes, I suppose so. Her name is Chinatsu.”

Mrs. Grayson paused a moment as if turning over information in her head. “Hmm, okay,“ she finally said. “Something about her seemed strange.”

“Like what, Mrs. Grayson?”

She shook her head. “Oh, I don’t know. She just seemed to be playing at this. Like she doesn’t really want to go to school, but has to.” She paused for a beat. “Oh well, since you know her, please tell her that study is important, and nothing goes further than a good education. “

“Yes, I will. Thank you.”

Angela was out in the hall getting impatient. We had first period together and it was getting late. We both ran down the hall to our class. If I thought the beating of Amanda Trump would be the only highlight of the day, I was mistaken, for something bizarre awaited us in our first class.

Odd enough, I have never done well in World History. Until a certain thousand year old vampire showed up, I didn’t even think much about it. It was just a class to try and breeze through the best I could. Angela didn’t do too bad in it. That’s one thing I could say about her: she may be boy crazy, but she got excellent grades in every class she was in. No summer school for her.

When we both strolled into history class, word had already spread about Amanda Trump. A lot of people were in awe of Chinatsu’s knockout punch, but there were still a lot of students who were concerned about the famous Trump retaliation. Many were saying Chi was going to have one messed up face when Amanda was done with her. Angela and I had our seats next to each other by the window. We tried to get there without anyone saying anything, but because Chi had come to my defense, it was assumed we were best friends. Everyone reasoned that the Trumps were going to ruin me so bad no one would ever associate with me again. I hadn’t thought of that, but now it was clear it may have been better for me to take an ass kicking from Amanda.

A couple girls we knew kept looking at us in the same way people looked at car accidents. It was a little awkward, but I had to keep a brave face about me. I wondered if people would have behaved this way if Chinatsu had this class. Other kids were snickering behind their hands in almost anticipation of the upcoming slaughter. But everything went silent when the door slammed and a feminine voice cleared its throat. “Front and center,“ it said.

Miss Lazenby, our teacher, stood at the front of the class facing us, her hands flat on the desk. Something wasn’t right about her this morning. On a normal day, she was all about posture; today she was slouching. Her makeup on most days was impeccable, making her appear much younger than her forty something years, but today her makeup was nearly nonexistent, and it made her look like she had missed out on sleep for about a month. Her outfit was different, too. Normally, she dressed in what I would call casual formal, a long dress with a sweater slung over her shoulders, something she could wrap about her to hide her figure. Today she didn’t care about her figure being hidden. She looked poured into her dress and the length of it was shorter than her normal attire. The boys enjoyed the new Miss Lazenby, but I found it plain weird.

“Today, class,” she intoned in a monosyllabic voice, “we are going to read in our books the chapter on Japanese expansion to the west after the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853.” She flipped open her own book so hard it nearly flipped off her desk. “Please read silently at your desk the remainder of this class.” She then opened her purse and emptied the contents on the desktop. She grabbed a pill bottle from the pile and popped a couple in her mouth. She didn’t have any water so she just tilted her head back and swallowed. Then she removed a pair of sunglasses from the pile and put them on.

I looked over at Angela. Her mouth was wide open, like most of us in class, looking on the unbelievable scene. Our teacher, in the space of a day, now acted like a drunk or drug addict who had run out of money and was just trying to make it without going to rehab. I don’t think anyone suspected what I did, though. In my mind all, I could wonder is which vampire had gotten to her last night.

“Well, that was like the strangest class ever,“ Angela said once we were out in the hall.

“Yeah.” I still wondered what had gotten into Miss Lazenby. She had all the earmarks of a vampire victim. Who had visited her, Haru or Ryo? I couldn’t see Chinatsu doing that, but if she too were a vampire, perhaps she had. Or maybe it was the creepy jigsaw man. I shuddered at that thought. He was downright terrifying, if you asked me.

“Maybe she went bar hopping and got lucky last night,” Angela joked. We both knew that Lazenby was about as prim and proper as they come. A club was about the last place you’d see her. Angela must have been thinking the same thing because she launched into an excitable newsflash about Spiros, our local teen club. “You won’t believe who’s going to be DJ there this Saturday!” Before I could even answer she blurted it out. “Jonny Faze!”

Jonny Faze was a popular DJ and mixer out of New York. He grew up here and was the closest thing that Chelsea Valley had for a celebrity. The fact he was in his early twenties and was also an underwear model made him Angela’s number one choice of eye candy. We both knew him; his little brother went to Chelsea Valley High and was loosely acquainted with us. We didn’t hang out or anything, but we sometimes spoke in the hall, or he’d see us at lunch and throw stuff at us. He hadn’t quite gotten out of the pick-on-all-the-girls stage, but once he did, I’m sure he’d be a real cutie like his DJ brother.

“That’s a bummer,“ I said, as we moved down the hall toward our lockers.

“A bummer? No way! You know, I heard he had this new thing where he takes the record off one turntable, twirls it on the end of his finger, and then lets it drop on the other one, before ripping his shirt off! It doesn’t get any better than that, girl!”

 That would be a sight to see, I suppose, though I couldn’t even picture it. Instead, I was picturing the vampire Ryo ripping off his shirt, his abs tight as a brick, and his chest emblazoned with a sweaty “Loveless” tattoo. Why I thought of him instead of Haru, I hadn’t a clue. Maybe it was because of what Ryo had said about his cousin. It’s hard to get dreamy about someone who may have killed another dreamy eyed girl just like me.

“I’m sorry Ang, you’ll have to go alone.”

“What? No way! This is going to be so wild! You can’t ditch me.”

“I’m going to go see my dad this weekend.”

Her face fell. “Oh.” She took a look around us to see if anyone had heard me. When she saw they hadn’t, she tried to give me a little reassuring smile. “Well, I hope he’s okay.”

“Yeah, me too.” There was an awkward silence between us for a moment. “Well, maybe if I get back in time I can come.”

“That would be great! You should go see your dad early. I’d hate for you to miss out on the party and have to see Jonny Faze on YouTube instead of in person. “

I smiled, but it was a little weak. I wasn’t thinking of Faze at all, but instead was wondering how vampires behaved on the dance floor.

My locker was at the end of the hall, close to the stairwell that led either up to the second floor or down to the boiler room. Angela’s wasn’t right next to mine, but was only a few lockers away. There was a post- it note stuck to the outside of mine. I pulled it off and read it. Written with a red sharpie, it spelled out two words: “Your Dead.” Never mind the grammar was wrong. The message was quite clear and I knew it was from the Trumps. I shook my head. Now it was on. I might as well have been on death row. I could almost hear the rest of the student body chanting, “Dead girl walking.”

Angela snatched the note out of my hand. “Oh crap,“ she said after seeing what it was. “Maybe you’ll get lucky and Amanda won’t be back until after school ends.”

“Damn it,“ I muttered. “I hope she doesn’t have to take summer school.”

I worked the combination on my lock and threw the door open. Angela squealed, and I jumped back in alarm. There was a boy inside my locker. At first, I thought it was a little kid. He was only about four foot tall, though he looked even shorter squeezed into my locker. His curly blond hair was half in his eyes, which were a bright baby blue, and he was so thin I thought even a strong breeze would bowl him over. He almost reminded me of a leprechaun when he jumped out of the locker and nearly danced around us.

“It’s about time you got here,“ he cried. “I thought I was going to suffocate in there.”

“Who are you?” I asked. “And what the heck are you doing in my locker?”

“Well, I was waiting outside of it, but I saw some ugly girls coming so I hid inside. I think they stuck something to the door.”

“Yeah, I got it.”

“But hey, I’m Luhan. Luhan Kai.”

He held out his hand. I must have looked at it funny. After all, who shook hands in greeting anymore? And in high school? The guy looked young enough to know this. He also looked too young for high school, but his eyes and attitude said he was old enough. And the fact he was Asian gave me enough pause to consider the fact that Chelsea Valley’s Asian community was growing in leaps and bounds.

“So what were you doing outside my locker?”

“My sister told me to wait here for her. Locker number SS501.”

Angela spoke up. “Well, that’s her locker, not your sisters, so why don’t you get lost?”

“I’m tired of being lost,“ he replied. “Oh, what am I going to do?”

The boy began to cry and I gave Angela a stern look. Then I looked back to the kid. “Hey, don’t cry. We’ll help you find your sister. What’s her name?”

He looked at me and sniffled as he said it. “Chinatsu.”

Angela and I led Luhan down the hall, each of us holding a hand so he wouldn’t get lost in the crowd. Because he was so young and short, we didn’t feel high school hallways was the proper place for him to be wandering. He was definitely a weird kid. His hair was so curly it looked like something you’d find on an old porcelain doll, skin so flawless he was either too young for acne or had the most perfect skin tone ever. And if that wasn’t enough, when I took hold of his hand, to which he looked up at me and smiled, I noticed his fingernails were painted a light violet.

Chinatsu wasn’t very hard to find. A girl like that can’t hide very well in the crowd; she tends to attract onlookers. Word had spread about her, so girls looked to her in awe, and the boys stood by with mouths hanging open as if transfixed by Venus herself. I found this kind of strange, because in my experience the super pretty girls were always bitches. Chi seemed to be likable, friendly, and didn’t carry herself like she was the Belle of the ball, to coin a phrase of my dad’s. We came across her outside the cafeteria where it seemed she was holding court with her new fans.

“Chi!“ I yelled, trying to be heard over the crowd. She had excellent hearing, for her head turned in my direction. She flashed a smile that if I had been a boy, or gay as the Facebook rumors suggested, you would have been trying to find smelling salts to revive me. She pushed her way past her admirers, which brought out more than several exclamations of disappointment.

“Nora,“ she happily called. “Angela! Luhan!” She stopped, looked at Luhan, and then at the both of us. “Forgive me for asking, but why are you girls holding hands with Luhan?”

“We didn’t want him to get lost,“ I explained. “This isn’t a place for little kids.”

She laughed. “Lost? You couldn’t lose Luhan if you tried. He’s like a heat seeking missile. Literally. Especially with girls.”

Angela and I looked at Luhan, and then back at each other.

“And also,“ Chi added with a mirthful grin, “Luhan isn’t exactly what I would call a little kid. He has five children of his own.”

We both jerked our hands away from him. “Gross!” Angela exclaimed, and for me the feeling was mutual. I gave Luhan a stern look, but he just shrugged with a mischievous smile.

“Sorry, one has to use his size and looks to his advantage with high school girls.”

Chi was still grinning over his ruse. “Don’t worry about him ladies; he’s harmless. Flirty as hell maybe, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“Killed my first this morning,“ he joked.

“Well, Luhan, you found your sister,“ I said. “But we have to get to class.”

“Aww, and I was going to try and entice you to skip classes with me..” He gave me a wink, and I thought, Oh my god , I’m being hit on by a fourth grader. The last week of school had gone mad…

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Bliss In The Blood : Blood Red Passion

This is the bliss,

the coursing of my blood

rising to your waiting lips,

the passion unbound

that comes with the union

of these two pale bodies

entwined divine.

This is the bliss,

the quickening of the breath

inhaling your sweet scent,

exhaling onto your skin,

while you writhe above me

in perfect abandonment

of desire and inhibition.

This is the bliss,

pulsing within my veins,

the trembling of my limbs

wrapped tightly around you,

clutching you, scratching you,

digging in my claws,

as you dig in your teeth

and take everything within me,

replacing it with everything beautiful

that is you…

By Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Blood Red Passion: Die For I

“I would die without you,” she said,

and I wanted to confess I already had,

But how do you tell someone you absolutely adore

the complete truth of you,

when you’re not even sure

who you are,

only who you once were.

“I would give you my soul,” she said,

if you would just take me

any way you want into your embrace,

and all I could think of in that instant

was not drifting souls,

or beating hearts,

but throbbing veins

and the rush of blood flowing through them.

“I would die so willingly for you,” she said,

And so she did just that,

leaving behind all that she was

and all that she would ever be

for a blood red passion

and an insatiable drowning of the soul,

for an eternity of love,

without limits

and without end.


By Paul D Aronson.