Blood Red Passion: Nocturnal Lovers

The mist lay like a falling blanket across the fields 

As I walked out into the night’s first hour,

Though my world was in its turmoil, the air was so still,

And I felt that first rush of power;

For the moon was now my lover, the night was her kiss,

Her body wrapped like silk around me,

I never thought I would know such ecstatic bliss,

I never thought I would open my eyes to see,

Her pale skin beneath my black fingernails,

Her vein pulsing beneath my trembling lips,

Off in the distance I hear the tolling of bells,

As her blood ever so silently drips

Onto my tongue to give me sweet life,

Denied to me when I walked as a man,

And one day soon she’ll be my nocturnal wife,

A beloved vampire beneath my hands,

The mist lay like a falling blanket across the fields,

And we lay there on the cold frozen ground,

The heat of our bodies, the quake of our flesh

Will bring us by night back around.

By Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

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Blood Red Passion: More Than Mortal

​Often I have thought this,

should I await her to come to me

or just sit here in dread anticipation

of the morning sun? 
I foolishly believed that with this power

Would come the perfection of love,

but I will always be imperfect;

immortality changes nothing. 
I could give her the very world,

every joy, every pleasure, every dream,

and yet it still won’t change what I am –

a monster in her eyes.
I shouldn’t have told her how I felt

or of my dreams and nightmares,

never should have showed her the thirst

that even I cannot quench.
But still here I am in want,

desiring her so, needing her to want me,

not because I’m a vampire,

but because she loves me

more than mortal life itself.

By Paul D Aronson.

Blood Red Passion: For Liliana 

Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong here

In this great big emptiness of me,    

 And all I want to do is run to you,

To melt into your touch,

Where I am the safest

And most loved that I have ever been.
If I could wrap my body around you,
Sink into your youthful warmth,

I know the world would begin spinning

And we would clutch and cry,

And tremble and shake,

Holding on for dear life so we can’t be

Thrown from this maddening spin.
And it’s then I want to scream

In the penultimate expression of joy,

Your name, my name, to the heavens,

Not carved into a tree,

But into our whole realm of existence,

And we’ll be as stars glowing in the night sky,

The one star completely whole

That everyone wishes upon

When they pray for love.
When I’m with you we are deities,

Grander than vampires,

Everlasting, forever eternal,

Intimate with the night and with each other

Until the dawn comes.
And when we awake,

still we lucidly dream,

To bask in the sun,

Run through the day,

Lie in the tall grass

and make love,

with our clothes beneath us,

The trees above us,

And the truest of loves inside us 

forever.

By Paul D Aronson.

Blood Red Passion : Poetry & Verse For Vampires & Lovers (Foreword) 

​Note:

The following pages were passed on to me by a troubled gentleman, Peter Marsh, who had spent much of his life as the caretaker of Red Gate Cemetery, an old graveyard in the oldest corner of the city that served as the final resting place of notable local figures, most importantly, the poet Nikolai, and his beloved wife, The lady Liliana. Mr. Marsh was convinced in his feeble aging mind that the pair were once star-crossed lovers who were cursed by Gypsies to be vampires. The validity of such an outrageous claim is in question, despite the fact that when I checked their burial vault (which he had bought and paid for) in the old mausoleum I found nothing there, not even a coffin. When I confronted Peter with this he just smiled and handed me these pages, supposedly written by Nicolai, the poet vampire. To Peter this is proof of their existence. To others, it may just be proof he is lonely, mad and delusional. To me however, I think it means they are still out there somewhere, restless lovers seeking their peace and place in the world. I present these pages and the poetry and prose contained within to you as fact, but take from it what you will. Truth, after all is stranger than fiction…

Paul D. Aronson

April 13, 2016

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 8


Chapter 8: Stars & Scars

Haru sat in the deck chair. He had slid it over next to mine and we both had our heads tilted 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 bravely prove my point, I leaned towards him and 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 fifteen 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.

“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.”

“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 fifteen 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 the 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 ran my fingers nervously through my hair and turned in circles, just looking for a place I could run to. 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. I don’t know why, but 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 unknown to me, 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 finally 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…
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved. 

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 7

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Chapter 7: Angela Calling, Nora Falling

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 so, but I think she was also a little bothered by the fact she had been so oblivious to it. So, 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 either.
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 sounds 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. He was leaning against the railing and looking up at the stars.
I don’t think he saw me at first, so intent his gazing heavenward was, but then he looked over my way and I knew I had been spotted. 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 way I had speculated the night before: by climbing out the window and jumping to the tree limbs outside my room. I wondered if he had 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 basically 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 bravely 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 looked 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.”

 

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 6


Chapter 6: Dinner & A Visitor

Have you ever had one of those secrets you were just dying to tell someone? It was so awesome or amazing you just wanted to grab somebody and scream excitably in their face, “Hey, guess what?!!” It’s for that reason when Angela called me on my cell I let it go straight to voicemail. I didn’t trust myself to keep it quiet. Angela could pry nearly anything out of me, so instead I just listened to her message.

“Hey slut, what’s up? You got to give me the dirt. What happened? He is so freaking fine. OMG, you lucky bitch!” Click.

But I didn’t feel lucky. I felt under pressure. I was entrusted with a secret so great it was almost a burden. I was also scared. What did all this mean for me and Haru? We were no longer new neighbors just saying hello. Now every time I said Hi, it would be like saying, ‘I know your secret.’ I mean, I thought he was a vampire from the moment I saw him, but to have him actually admit it was frightening. In the movies, that’s when the vampire usually destroys the victim. Is that what I was? His little victim? He hadn’t bitten me or anything, but in a sense I felt like I was his, at least in some small secretive fashion. It was like we were each other’s protector now. Me protecting his secret; He protecting me from whatever was inside Mrs. Winston’s house, I suppose. When I was telling myself I had to kill him, I felt pretty sure what I had to do, but now I was confused. I didn’t know exactly what we were. I mean, I knew we weren’t lovers, or going together, or anything like that, but I think I felt like my teenage cousin Shelly did when she fell for a guy in his thirties. She didn’t know what the hell it meant, or how to act, or even what to say to the guy. I was at that same kind of loss.

Mom came home about eight. Angela had called two more times by then and I was feeling anxious all over. I felt like I was going to have a breakdown at any minute. It made it worse that mom wanted us to eat dinner together, which almost never happened.

“Are you all right, dear,“ she asked, as we sat at the table after the blessing.

This sounded strange coming from her, especially the ‘dear’ part. That was pretty well out of character and made me feel even more guarded. “Yes, Mom. I’m fine.”

“I just thought we could eat together tonight. We don’t get to do that much anymore since your father…” She let that hang in the air for a moment, and I could tell she was searching her addled mind for words. “And I thought maybe we could talk.”

“About what?” I asked, cutting a small piece of meatloaf and putting it in my mouth.

“You know. Girl type stuff. We haven’t had that talk, I don’t think.”

“Mom, we don’t have to have that talk. I’m good.”

“Oh I know you’re a good girl, sweetie. But even good girls can make mistakes that affect them their whole lifetime.”

It didn’t take a psychoanalyst to figure out she was referring to herself. I guess it was only natural that she would want to protect me from doing the same things, but hell, to hear her tell it, when she was fifteen she’d been around the block several times over, and most of those times without clothes.

“Mom, I can’t make mistakes if I’m not doing anything. I barely go out of the house.”

“Right now, yes. But as you’ll be sixteen in July and your body is going to be developing desires that are difficult to control. Already, you may be feeling something ….um, different. Or perhaps sensations…”

“Mom, please don’t. This is embarrassing. I had my first period just before my fourteenth birthday. Why didn’t you chat me up then? I had to go to Aunt Charlotte.”

She frowned. “I’m sure she told you everything and steered your curiosity away from your natural inclinations.”

“Natural inclinations? What the hell, mom?” I set my fork down. “Why don’t you tell me what’s really on your mind? Why do you have to play these dumb ass guessing games with me? I know you used to play ignorant with dad, but…”

“I saw the Facebook pictures,” she blurted quite matter as factly.

“I knew it. I knew this was what it was about. Let’s sit down to dinner dear so I can find out the name of your dyke girlfriend.”

“Don’t be so rude, Nora. Is it Angela?”

“Mom,“ I yelled loudly. “It’s not anyone. It’s a vicious ugly rumor that got started by some jealous evil bitch at school. They set me up and then plastered pictures all over the net. That girl may have been gay, but I’m not.” I reinforced this statement by shoving my chair away from the table and getting up.

She looked up at me with a stern look and said, “Sit down.”

I fidgeted for a moment and then did as she said.

“Look Nora, I had to ask. I have people I barely know coming up to me in Walmart and whipping out their cells to show me you and that girl kissing.”

“Well, if you had looked close enough, you would have seen it was her doing the kissing, not me.”

“Even so. I need to be able to count on you to be a normal fifteen year old.”

“Normal? What is that supposed to mean? If I were gay, would that be not normal? If I go hang out at a drug dealer’s house, would that be not normal? Or how about smoking a blunt with my pimp? Or how about doing like you did and doing a strip tease on the school bus after football practice…”

Whap! The slap nearly echoed in the room and my head reeled to one side so hard I thought it would give me whiplash.

“Don’t talk to your mother like that,“ she screamed.

I rubbed my reddened cheek with the back of my hand. It stung badly, but I refused to let her see tears. “Fine, I’ll just be normal and not talk to you at all.”

Before she could say anything, I stormed out the room and upstairs to the safety of my bedroom. I made sure to slam the door so hard it shook the house. I knew she’d be up before too long so I locked the door and silently dared her to knock.

I sat down on the edge of the bed and waited. When I didn’t hear her footsteps right away, I got even madder than I already was. I got up and grabbed the remote to my TV. I turned it on and pulled up Netflix. Scrolling through my list I couldn’t find anything good enough to irritate her with, so I went to the smart TV menu and pulled up YouTube. I had a playlist of Visual kei videos I loved to watch. She hated loud rock music. Pop was fine. Country was ideal, but angry guitars she couldn’t stand. Even worse, she loathed music she couldn’t understand the words to. So I hit play and the first one came on. Incubus by Acid Black Cherry. Ah, it was perfect. I turned the volume as loud as I could. Take that, I thought, not even sure exactly why I was mad at her anymore, just that I was.

It didn’t take long. The song was only about half way through, and I was dancing and jumping around the room screaming at the top of my lungs, “Incubus, break me! break everything, even this world!” It wasn’t a direct translation. I’d gotten it off the net somewhere, and it served good enough for now, because a knock came at my door, quiet and reserved. I turned the music up louder and ignored it. I even kicked over my desk chair and wastebasket so she’d think I was really breaking stuff.

The knock came louder next time, and when I saw the handle trying to turn, I really got furious. I wanted so bad to slap her now. I bounded across the room, unlocked the door and threw it open. “Leave me alone!” I screamed, my open hand already arcing towards her exposed face. Except it wasn’t her.

The figure caught my wrist before it made contact. “If you wish me to leave you alone I will, though I’m hoping that isn’t the case.”

“Oh my god, Haru. I’m sorry. I thought you were…”

“It’s okay.” He let go of my wrist. “You do have a pretty nasty swing.”

I blushed a little, embarrassed.

He raised one eyebrow. “I’m talking about your slapping hand, of course.”

I blushed even more. To think he may have noticed any other swing I might possess was enough for my whole face to turn cherry red.

“You invited me over, remember? I realize you may not have meant so soon but I wanted to apologize.”

“Do you open every greeting with an apology?”

He smiled. “It seems like it, doesn’t it?”

We stood there awkwardly for a minute, me in the doorway, and he still out there in the hall.

“You can wait in the living room downstairs,“ I finally said. “I’ll be down in a minute. Just let me…”

“I can’t come in your room?”

“Um, well…I’ve never had…I mean I’m not sure…”

“Thanks,“ he replied and before I knew it he had glided past me and into my bedroom. “Oh wow, this is so cool.” He looked around the room at all the J-Rock posters and manga pictures I had plastered on the walls. He picked up the remote and turned the TV volume down, at least enough so we could be heard. “Yasu is great,“ he said pointing to the Acid Black Cherry video. “Wish I had his clothes.”

For a fleeting moment I had a vision of myself dressing him in those clothes, but I forced it away, not sure if the image was from my own head or his.

“Did you draw all these?” He was standing at my desk and leaning towards the mirror where I had taped some hand drawn manga to its surface.

“Yes, I did,“ I replied a little warily. The picture I had drawn of him in class was among them. He noticed it. Though it wasn’t accurate, it did capture some of his features, mostly his cheeks and the shape of his nose. I had drawn it from the memory of seeing him look up at the stars so that’s about all I could make out of his face at the time. Still, he seemed to know it was him. I thought he was going to ask me about it, put me on the spot or something, but he just smiled and turned towards me.

“Well, as I said, I came over to say I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what?”

“Breaking down on you like that today. I’m afraid my first impression is that of a cry baby.”

Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth I said, “I like boys who cry.”

He gave me a curious look. “Oh, are you a masochist?”

“No,“ I giggled. “I just like boys who aren’t afraid to show their feelings.”

“Hm. Well, I have lots of feelings to show.” He looked at me, making direct eye contact. His dark eyes were so beautiful. I had never seen anything so deep and expressive. There was an intensity that screamed loneliness and in that moment I wanted nothing more than to take that from him. I backed away from him, a little frightened of my own feelings, which up until that moment I thought I had a handle on.

“If you want me to,“ he added quietly.

I must have been in a dreamy daze because I heard myself say, “If I want you to what?”

“To show my feelings more.”

“Oh.” I shook my head as if cobwebs had taken up residence inside it. “I’m sorry I was … um…daydreaming, I guess.”

“I wish I could have my own dreams. Maybe you could share me yours.”

“I..I don’t know what you mean, but…”

He laughed. “Forget it. I don’t know what I mean either. I’m just trying to..um..be your friend.”

I looked down at the floor so he wouldn’t see my smile. “I’d like that, “ I said.

He nodded. “Cool.” Then he smiled, and I froze. For just a moment I saw them. His fangs. He didn’t have this big kind of smile that made his whole mouth open, and when he laughed his lips barely parted, so I hadn’t noticed them before. But for just a moment I thought I saw them at either side of his jaw, sharp to the point and glistening white. Self-consciously, he closed his mouth.

“Sorry, “ I said. “I didn’t mean to stare or anything. I’ve just never seen…”

“It’s okay.” He nervously smiled, his cheeks almost trembling, as he showed me again. “Please don’t be afraid.”

“I’m trying,“ I admitted. “This is all so weird. Like I’m dreaming.”

“You can touch them if you want.” He opened his mouth wide so that I could touch the tips with my fingers, but that idea freaked me out just a little too much.

“No, that’s okay. I know they’re real.”

He closed his mouth. He looked hurt at first, as if I didn’t trust him. I don’t if that was the case. All I know is one doesn’t just put their hand inside a vampire’s mouth. No matter how flipping hot they are. And he was that. In fact, he wasn’t just hot; he was like a living drug. Just standing close to him was intoxicating. I don’t think he realized just how beautifully intense he was. He wasn’t trying to hit on me, I don’t think, or using some kind of supernatural power to influence my emotions. No, this was me, completely enamored by this boy whom I barely knew but wanted to know much more. My thoughts flashed to what my mom had said about good girls making mistakes and that seemed to break the spell he was unconsciously weaving.

“I better check on mom,“ I suddenly said. “We had a fight.”

“I know,“ he said. “I heard her talking to my uncle in the backyard. That’s how I knew you were alone, so I came over.”

“You wanted to be alone with me?” I asked.

“Yes.”

I thought I was going to cry. No boy had ever said that to me before. “Why?“ I asked.

“What do you mean, why?”

“Why do you want to be alone with me?”

“Be-cause I like you. Your’e bright, and fun, sweet…beautiful.”

Again, another first. A couple boys had said I was pretty before, but I’d never been beautiful. “You mean that?” I asked, dreading the possibility this was another of his just kidding moments.

He smiled. “Yes, I do.”

I wanted to tell him how beautiful I thought he was, but something inside was warning me no. This was going too fast. Way too fast. The first time we spoke was last night and here it was not even twenty four hours later and we were having a personal conversation in my bedroom that danced around flirty. This couldn’t be real. This had to be something else. If something felt too good to be true, that meant it usually was.

He seemed to detect my uneasiness; to know I was having a war within myself and so he did what I’d never seen a boy do…ever. He retreated to his corner with no questions asked. “Well, hey look,” he said. “I know your mom will be back soon and you’ll want to try and see what can be worked out. I hope everything goes all right. I’ll be around later if you want to talk about it. I’ll count the stars until you get there.” He gave me a little wink that was so endearing I wanted to implore him to stop being so damn cute. But I didn’t. Instead I just winked back and watched him leave. It was easy to remember this wasn’t going to be the usual kind of friendship when his way of leaving was right out the window. Literally. I guess he just didn’t want to run into mom, because moments later she was at my bedroom door with tears in her eyes. She didn’t say a word, and neither of us said we were sorry. Instead we just stood there looking at each other until she reached out to hug me. I let her because I knew it would make her feel better. It made me feel better, too.

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