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Mirakee

Several months back, another writer friend introduced me to the writer’s social media app, Mirakee. In India, i believe the word Mirakee may mean creativity. So as such I’ve tried to be a little creative by making some memes that are meant to be encouraging to writers. I’ll be sharing some of these in the days ahead. The one above is the latest one. Hope you enjoy. Feel free to spread it around 🙂

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 80

Vampire Boys Of Summer

80: Ryo & Angela

“Let’s get Angela,” Haru said. He led me by the hand towards my bestie as Ryo continued to hold Colin immobile against the stage floor. As we passed them, Ryo glanced up at me, nodded, and then leaned down close to his captive.

“You are the real Icarus here,” he told him. “You play too close to vampires and you suffer the same fate as most of us do.” He hauled him up enough so that Colin was on his knees. “I have had 800 years to grow accustomed to sunlight. You have been a vampire a few days. It should be interesting to see what happens when you have to look into the light of day. I doubt very seriously that the sun will kiss you as a lover.”

“No, Please. Wait, no…”Colin pleaded. “None of this was me. I was under orders of the master. I…”

“The beauty of humanity is free will. You chose to be a vampire. You welcomed it, reveled in it, took its power and used it against your friends and others. What you have done here is unacceptable. But especially to Angela. You professed to have liked her at one time and yet you chose to use her to feed this army of yours.”

Colin began to cry. “I’m sorry….So sorry….I was nobody, and then I was somebody….”

I almost felt sorry for him. After all, he was like most of us. He wanted people to look up to him. He wanted to be a part of something special. He didn’t want to be afraid of bullies. He wanted them to be afraid of him. He longed for popularity and leadership. The vampire life offered all of that. But I couldn’t bring myself to forgive him for what he’d put us all through, and especially Angela. I didn’t know if she’d ever be the same.

A stark reminder of this brought our attention to bear on her. From her throat was coming a horrible retching sound, as if she were throwing up but there was nothing on her stomach to be rid of. Her arms were still bleeding from where the vampire girls had been drinking from her.

Haru pulled his shirt off and began to tear it in strips. He handed me a strip, and we both began to bandage her tightly, trying to stop the blood flow. She coughed and began to gag. Then came worse convulsions as her body spasmed and twitched on the stage floor. Haru yelled for Ryo.

The once bad boy turned his head. When he saw what was going on, he pushed Colin away. “Run along to your master,” he snarled. “He’ll know what to do with you.”

To an outside observer, this may have seemed like a stupid thing to do, but I suppose Ryo no longer saw him as a serious threat. And well, I’d like to think he saw Angela as far more important. Either way, he left Colin and was at our side within seconds.

We had managed to cut off the bleeding, but Angela was still choking. Haru was attempting the Heimlich maneuver on her, trying to clear whatever it was that was making her lose her breath. His efforts didn’t seem to be working.

Ryo slid to his knees at her side and Haru let her go. Ryo got behind her, taking her up in his arms so her back was against his chest. He held her for a beat as if that’s what he was trying to feel or listen for. He put his open palm against her left breast. “It’s her heart,” he declared. “She’s having a heart attack.”

Angela was clearly in shock over her ordeal and her body was reacting violently. Her heart convulsed hard against Ryo’s hand as if it recognized it was him who was holding her. Then it stopped completely.

Seeing her slump over in Ryo’s arms, I cried out, “Oh no, no, no! Angela!”

Ryo spun her around so she was facing him. “Oh no you don’t,” he said. “You’re not leaving me. Not when I haven’t even kissed you yet.” He carefully laid her on her back on the floor. He pulled her shirt open, revealing bare skin and a black lace bra. He put both his hands flat on her and began to try and force her to breathe. He counted it out each time he pressed down. “One, one thousand. Two, two thousand. Three, three thousand….” He pulled her jaws open and put his mouth over hers, giving his own breath to her in five second intervals. “Don’t you dare do this to me. Act like you like me and then leave the building. I need you to chase me, damn it!” He pushed on her chest again, trying to get the heart moving, but it didn’t seem like it wanted to cooperate.

I was in tears, and Haru was trying his best to keep me calm, telling me it was going to be alright, but I was having trouble believing him. That’s what everyone said in hopeless situations.

To Ryo’s credit he really tried, but it wasn’t happening. Angela was gone. He laid his head on her chest and cried. “Come back,” he sobbed. “I dream of you, too. I dream of you, too.” After a moment, he pulled her over into his lap. He lay her cheek against his chest. “Listen to me. Hear that. It’s my heart beating. You make it come alive, now you come alive for me, ok?”

I buried my own face in Haru’s chest. I couldn’t take this. First I lost my father. Now Angela.

“I know you can hear me. Now listen to my heart. Let it lead you back. It’s the same as yours. It wants the same things. Hear it. Follow the sound back to me.”

Ryo lifted his head to the top of the cavern and screamed in anguish. Then he look back down into Angela’s face. “I have waited nearly 800 years to love again. Don’t wake my heart and then put it back to sleep! I love you, you silly boy-crazy girl…”

Angela convulsed in his arms and coughed out a breath.

Both Haru and I let out a cry of joy. Ryo sat Angela up and patted her on her back a few times to help her clear her lungs and throat. She coughed up a mixture of phlegm and blood, but he didn’t seem too worried. “That’s it,” he said. “There you go. It’s okay. Get it out of there.”

Angela’s eyes were still dazed and haunted. She was pale and sickly looking. Her badly cut, short cropped hair, turned silver by her ordeal, made her look much older than seventeen. But Ryo touched her hair as if it were the most wonderful thing ever. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered. “Please be you again. Be you for me.”

She looked up as if hearing his voice for the first time. Her eyes tried to focus on his face in the same way one tries to remember a fuzzy, fading dream. “Ryo?”

His mouth trembled and his lips answered her, pressed softly against her own.

I was so happy I kissed my own lover’s beautiful face. Haru took me in his arms, and for a moment, for this brief respite, we forgot all the madness going on around us.

Continue to Ep. 81

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 78

Vampire Boys Of Summer

78: Into The Fray

Ryo stood, dark and terrible. He looked down at his nakedness, then at a new vampire who lay injured and moaning at his feet. He reached down and grabbed the man, hauling him to his feet, lifting him by one hand so he was level to his eyes.

“Next time you wish to sink a man to the bottom of a lake, make sure he cannot chew through the chain.”

He dropped the man back down, and took a step forward. There were still some pockets of fighting through the cavern. Ryo’s arrival hadn’t disrupted everything. Chi was being held down by a group that were finding it hard to keep a hold on her. So they began breaking her fingers one by one. Luhan was having a hard time keeping his attackers at bay himself, and at least one of them had a stake in his hand. Ryo looked to the stage where Haru was swinging back and forth on his noose trying to break free of his bonds. Then his eyes lit on mine, and for a moment I thought something passed between Ryo and I. Call it an understanding, if you will. An understanding that said I would be Haru’s queen and none other. As if sharing that look with us, Colin resumed his mad screaming. “Kill them all!”

This was all the army needed to hear. Four of them grabbed the naked Ryo, pulling him as fast as they could into the shadows, snapping their hungry jaws at him. There was the sound of rending flesh and screams of terror from the darkness and then silence. When Ryo emerged from the shadows, he was wearing one of their pants and licking blood off his fingers.

He was surveying the room as six more came at him, three on either side. If they thought their numbers would overwhelm him, they were mistaken. Using one body as a shield, he worked his way through them one by one until the remaining five lay in the floor. Not one of them had a cut. He had simply rendered them immobile and unconscious. He discarded his vampire shield into the fray and headed to where Luhan was under siege.

While I was standing there watching, someone grabbed my arm. Members of the army had mounted the stage and now one of them had me in his grip. I grabbed him and spun, pushing him in Haru’s direction. Haru, in mid swing from his hangman’s rope, wrapped his legs around the man’s neck and twisted. There was a loud snap and the attacker went down. Another reached for me. I ducked under his arms and punched him as hard as I could in the ribs. I’ve never been a fighter, but desperate times are cause for unladylike behavior.

The air escaped my attacker, and I spun behind him, shoving him in Haru’s direction as well. Snap! He put another down with a twist of his legs. If I could keep shoving guys Haru’s way maybe we could hold them off awhile.

When the next attack came it was unexpected. A board left behind by the labyrinth builders hit me in the side of my head. It wasn’t me who spun this time, but the world. Darkness threatened to overcome me as I collapsed to the stage. Colin stood over me, that mad grin searing into my brain.

“Sometimes the Queen needs to know her place,” he cackled. Dancing around my prone form like Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he tossed his head back, singing at the top of his voice, “Ding Dong, you’re all going to die! All going to die! Going to die! To die!…ack!”

He had gotten too close to Haru. My lover’s legs wrapped around his neck and hauled him into the air. He couldn’t quite choke him as he’d done the others, but he held him place long enough for me to get to my feet. I picked up the board Colin had hit me with and moved towards them.

I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Ryo had made it to Luhan and was dispatching his attackers as fast they came. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be distracted, and it cost me the fight. Three girls grabbed me and pinned me to the ground, liberating me of my weapon. They didn’t attack me any further but just held me there so I couldn’t help anyone.

“Get off of me,” I screamed, as I saw two vampire boys run across the stage and pull Colin out of Haru’s clutches. Our fight was over. More and more of the vamp army were mounting the stage and forming a protective barrier. From my spot on the ground, I saw why. Luhan and Ryo had decimated all their attackers. They lay in heaps around them, as if the two were Samurai warriors of old who had just defended a village from a marauding band of bandits. Ryo, wearing the blood of others, bowed on one knee before Luhan. And though I couldn’t hear it said from that far away, I read his lips as they uttered solemnly, “Master.”

More and more of the vampire army abandoned their positions and took up new ones in front of the stage, creating a wall of bloodlust and hunger. I was yanked to my feet just in time to see Ryo and Luhan rescue Chi from those that had been torturing her. She looked like a mess and I noticed her fingers were all twisted at odd angles as if each one had been broken. Most of her attackers had fled the fury and onslaught of Luhan and Ryo, but a few brave ones decided to get some more action in. Chi shook her hands as if she were trying to fling dust off or shake them awake. She held her hands up so they could see. Her fingers now looked normal, unbroken. She balled her hands into fists and launched herself at them. They didn’t have a chance. Within seconds, and in a flurry of almost poetic movement, the ones who had opted to stay were now meeting the ground close and personal.

The three of them, Chi, Luhan, and Ryo, turned their attention to the stage and the regrouped army that protected it. This line of defense was larger than it seemed when it was spread out in the cavern. Now it looked to be fifty or more. Not all of them were vampires. Some were servants who were still human, but under mental control of either Colin or his as yet unseen master, I wasn’t sure.

Haru had stopped swinging on the end of his noose. No longer gagging from the tight rope around his neck, his body had now gotten used to the discomfort, but he still hung there helpless. No one got close to him. They knew better.

The girls who had pinned me to the ground had been relieved of that duty and were now posted at Colin’s side for added protection. But I didn’t stand alone. I was guarded and held at knifepoint by Miss Thomas, who wasn’t very pleased that her dogs had not returned from the labyrinth.

And Angela, poor Angela, was still under the watchful eyes of the two vampire girls who supported her between them. One of them had even begun to drink blood out of my friend’s arm. Angela showed no reaction. She was gone, lost somewhere in her own head.

Luhan, standing in front of the vampire wall, cleared his throat to be heard. “Let our friends go, “ he demanded, then looked to either side of the hall. “Let them go, too.” I had forgotten, but when we arrived from the labyrinth, there had been two lines of humans, apparently ready for turning, and awaiting their place along the wall.

Colin looked at our leader, an incredulous look on his face. “That’s a tall order for one so short.” He let out a laugh and his vampire minions joined in as if on cue.

“One shouldn’t laugh at their own jokes, young man,” Luhan replied.

Colin grew serious. “Okay, well how about this? No.” He took a tentative step forward. “You and your clan have lost. I have this fool of a vampire, Haru. I have his helpless yet achingly beautiful lover, Nora. I have this sweet tasty blood vessel called Angela. I have…”

“You have fifteen seconds to release her,” Ryo interrupted.

“Excuse me? I don’t think anyone was…”

“Fifteen…fourteen…”

“You have to be kidding me. Angela? You want her? Oh man, this is rich!”

“Thirteen…twelve…”

“I mean, I understand you and Haru are rivals, and Nora doesn’t like you much, but to choose this pitiful, pitiful excuse for a teenager…”

“Eleven….Ten…”

“Wait, wait,” Colin laughed, holding up his hands in mock surrender. “She’s ours now. Nobody wanted her. So we took her. I took her. She’s mine.”

Ryo quit counting. “Wrong. She’s mine.”

Colin looked at Angela, leaning in close as if inspecting her, and shook his head. “Nope, she’s not marked. There’s no claim on her. If you wanted her so bad, you certainly didn’t mark her so.”

“She marked me. In her secret thoughts, she lay claim to me.”

I looked over at Angela. For a moment, I thought saw something on her face. A teardrop joined by another. A trace of emotion in her eyes. Ryo had noticed her after all. She wasn’t a bothersome lovesick girl chasing a boy who would never want her. All this time, despite his previous actions and words, he had wanted her, too.

Continue to Ep. 79

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 69

Vampire Boys Of Summer

69: Looking For Ryo

After the initial shock, I was overjoyed to see Luhan. I scooped him up in my arms , hugging him close.

“Oh my God, we thought they had you!”

“So did they,” he replied in his true, smug fashion. “But you can keep hugging me. I don’t mind that at all.”

I thought I better set the lecherous little guy down before he pinched my butt. When I said as much he gave me a wink. I thought to myself he might just be the most dangerous vampire boy of all.

Haru and Chi abandoned their search in the wreckage and were beyond happy to see that their companion was okay. Well, except for all the blood, but apparently vampires don’t mind being covered in the stuff. They came over, hugged him, and then we all had a big group hug, relieved over Luhan’s safety. We must have looked strange, embracing among the carnage of the crash with two dead bodies laying in the road. If anyone would have come over the rise, it wouldn’t have been good.

I stood there as Haru and Chi fawned over the little guy some more. I couldn’t help think there was much more to Luhan than meets the eye. He wasn’t just this cute little flamboyant kid. He was dangerous. He apparently took out the two fake cops and caused the crash. He even walked away from it as if nothing had happened.

“We better get out of here,” Haru finally said, mirroring my own thoughts of being discovered.

Luhan looked around, spotted the car, and then frowned. “Where’s Ryo?”

Chi looked down at the dust of the road. “We left him.”

“They got the advantage of all of us, Luhan. We had to leave him. We couldn’t let them get too far away with you. We didn’t know you’d be able…”

“And I wouldn’t have been able to escape if Chi hadn’t smashed their taser. I heard them talking about it and knew they had no way to keep me subdued once the shock wore off.”

He looked at us all. “Thank you for coming after me. But now, we need to go back and get Ryo. We need everyone to take the labyrinth. The way my captors were talking they do have an army, and its growing in numbers day by day, both vampires and human servants.” He started to head for the car. “Right now on our side, there’s only three vampires and one free spirited girl. No offense, Nora.”

“None taken, “ I replied.

We all piled into the car.

“The good news is even in real life the villains don’t know when to shut up.”

“What do you mean?”

“We now know the exact location of the labyrinth. Idiots wouldn’t stop talking about it. They even put it into the Cruiser’s GPS. Longitude and latitude.”

Hearing this was a relief. I mean I had a vague idea where it was at. I’d been to the cove where all the kids swam in summer, and according to my dad it was close by, hidden against a rocky hillside by wooden boards and overgrown brush. Devil’s Hole. I’d always been too scared to go there. That was for adventurous boys and the foolish girls that followed them. Which is exactly how I felt now.

The drive back to my house, where we had first been attacked by the children in the trees, seemed longer this time. Perhaps that was because we weren’t chasing someone anymore. Still, Chi had a heavy driving foot and no one else seemed to be on the road. It was almost dark. We needed to find Ryo and get to Devil’s Hole while we still had light to see the hidden entrance.

Pulling up in the yard, Chi drove across the grass to where we’d last seen Ryo. Our cocky companion was nowhere to be seen, though evidence of the attack remained. Tiny shoes littered the yard, a child’s jacket hung from a tree branch, a World Cup Soccer shirt, extra small and torn in two, lay discarded in a patch of grass. It was all very ominous, and yet there were no bodies. No sign of the children who had leapt from the trees, foaming at the mouth and out for blood. No matter his fate, Ryo would have gotten a few of them and rendered them immobile at the least. But there was no one there. Even the football players, those three hulking thugs, were gone. I’d halfway witnessed their demise at Haru’s hands, and yet it was like a clean up crew had come along and scooped up all the bodies.

“I don’t see him, “ Chi said. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

“Maybe he took flight,” Haru suggested.

“I cant imagine Ryo running away,” I added.

Luhan walked around the yard, looking for clues like a Scotland Yard inspector investigating a scene of the crime. “Well, he gave them a fight, that’s for sure.” He pointed to a pair of child’s fangs lying in the grass. It looked like they had been pulled right out of the kid’s mouth. “That one learned a harsh lesson. You almost feel sorry for new vamps.”

“Were all the kids vampires?”

He looked at me, shaking his head. “No. I think a few had just been turned. The others appeared to be under control of a stronger vampire.”

“To control that many, you have to be pretty powerful,” Haru replied.

Luhan agreed. “Yeah, this wasn’t some second rate vamp who just got turned in the past year or so. Their master has been doing this a very long time. Possibly as long as us.” He looked at both Haru and Chi who nodded solemnly. “I have a feeling we are going to be faced with some hard choices.”

“I do, too,” said Haru.

I looked at my love. He had a lost, far away look in his eyes. For a moment I wondered if he was thinking of Chiyo, the girl he had accidentally killed all those years ago. Because of love, his whole life had changed to the point he hadn’t even recognized himself as he had once been. I feared that’s what was happening to us now. As a result of our love, bad things were happening. Someone else wanted me as their queen. Ryo was gone, either dead or missing. Angela was being held captive by an army of vampires who probably just wanted to drain her dry. My father was dead. My mother a mess. And the whole town seemed to be under the spell of evil. Was love worth this much? Can you put a price on loving someone, and if so, how high? What does it take before you to say to yourself, this is beautiful and all, but it’s just not worth it?

Continue to Ep. 70

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 28

Vampire Boys Of Summer

28: Steamed Ryo

Ryo was mad. No, scratch that. He was crazed. A shadow came over his eyes as if something was clouding up within him. His lips curled back and I was afforded a good long look at his fangs as he snarled. “What did you do that for?”

I didn’t know what his problem was. He acted like I cut him, when in fact it was me who was hurting. The blade had gone clean through my pants leg and taken a huge slice across my skin. The cut was deep and the blood was beginning to stain my clothes.

I guess Ryo was enraged that I had severed the mental connection he had worked hard to establish with me. Now I knew what it was like for the girls in all those vampire movies where they just fell into the vampire’s embrace and let him do whatever he wanted as if they were hypnotized.

I put the chair between us. Using the back of the chair, I held myself up, because my leg was on fire. He paced back and forth in front of the chair. I thought at any moment his hands would reach out and fling it away from between us.

“Do you think you are too good for me? Is that it?” he growled.

“No, that’s not it. I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready for your kind.”

His eyes grew wide as if he couldn’t believe what I just said. “My kind?!”

“I mean your kind of personality,“ I stammered.

He wasn’t buying it. “I was trying to be nice,“ he said. “But now I’m going to show you what my kind is capable of.”

All of a sudden there was a knock on the door. We both stopped. My mom wasn’t home, we both knew that.

Ryo half turned to the door.

“Who is it?” I asked.

There was no answer, but when the knock came again it was a little louder.

This distracted me, and Ryo knew it. The window of opportunity had opened up for him. He lunged forward just as the door was blown inward and knocked off its hinges. The door collided with his charging feral frame and it shattered against him, splinters shooting outwards. I ducked so as not to get hit. I turned to the doorway to see what the hell had just happened and saw Luhan standing there.

His short stature and youthful age made him look about as menacing as an elementary school crossing guard on a big wheel, which is why it weirded me out to see Ryo look up from his position on the floor and scoot backwards across the room, trying to put distance between himself and the kid. He stood up and held his hands out in surrender. “Luhan, I was just..,” he tried to explain with definite fear in his voice.

Luhan lounged against the busted door frame, his arms crossed, and shaking his head. “Ryo, you know this isn’t the way we do things,“ he said in his boyish voice. “You know better than this.”

“Yes,“ Ryo replied in a meek voice. I was in shock over how humbled he had become. And at the scolding from a little kid, no less.

Luhan looked at me and said, “Please forgive Ryo, and indeed all of us. We sometimes forget ourselves and succumb to our, let us say, baser natures. I’m sure he is sorry, aren’t you Ryo?”

Ryo looked at me, and though his eyes didn’t say it, his voice did. “I’m sorry, Nora.” He bowed his head and backed towards the window. His face was twitching as if he were fighting an urge to cry. Then he let out a remorseful wail and was gone out the window, as if he were a child trying to escape fierce punishment .

Luhan bowed before me. “Again, my apologies.” He looked at the splintered door. “I’ll see that you get a new door before your mother gets home. I hope you will refrain from explaining this incident to her.”

He turned around and was down the hallway before I could say a word. “Hey wait!” I yelled. “What the hell just happened here?”

There was no answer because he was gone already, leaving me with hundreds of questions about Ryo, vampires, and indeed himself.

I had just gotten out of the shower and managed to dress when I heard the doorbell ring downstairs. I slipped on my sandals and went down to answer it. I had no idea who it could be. No one ever came to visit me without a phone call first. I bounded across the front foyer and looked out the peephole in the door. It was Chinatsu. I breathed a sigh of relief and opened it to let her in. To my surprise, she wasn’t alone; she had the jigsaw puzzle man with her.

“Hey girlfriend,“ she said with a smile. “Heard you need a new door.”

I stepped aside to let them in, but I looked at her with a wary eye. Chi noticed my trepidation and put her hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry, girl,” she said. “We got this. He’s an excellent carpenter. Been building and repairing homes since Kubla Khan was a baby.”

I didn’t get the reference, but if he could fix the door, and as long as Chi was here with me, I was okay with that. “Mom may be home soon, I’m not sure.”

“Don’t you worry about that. My other handsome uncle is on his way to distract her as we speak. We have enough time.”

“Distract her?”

“Yes. You know vampire men have an irresistible charm. Don’t worry, he’s not like Ryo; he’ll behave himself like a gentleman. I think he may be kind of sweet on her anyway.”

I didn’t know if I liked that or not. “I already have a dad, so I hope he’s not getting any ideas.”

“No, girl, it’s not like that. He would consider it more like self-preservation than romance. I think most of us have problems in the romance department, but I think Ryo is the worst.“ She shook her head and laughed. “He tends to either break stuff or cause other people to break stuff. So hey, let’s get started. Where’s the offending door?”

“Upstairs. My bedroom. “

“Well of course it would be your bedroom,“ she said with a smirk. “Why he can’t be like Haru, I’ll never know.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, as we headed up the stairs, her speechless companion following behind.

“Ryo is a chaser, and a relentless one at that. He doesn’t like being pursued, but prefers at all times to be the one who takes charge of the relationship. But Haru, is the exact opposite. He waits for you to come to him in most cases. He doesn’t really chase anyone; hasn’t for as long as I’ve known him anyway. If a girl likes him she has to hit him with a brick just to get him to notice her as a woman.” She shook her head. “For years I have been enjoying the show with those two.”

We walked down the hall and into my room. The splintered door still lay where it had smashed against Ryo. “I don’t think it’s repairable,“ I offered.

“Ooh yeah. Looks like you might be right. What do you think, Unc?”

The jigsaw man stepped forward. The door itself looked like a scattered puzzle with a lot of missing pieces. He shook his head and opened his mouth to speak. The sound that came out sent chills up my spine. It sounded like speech on a movie reel that had been cut up and reassembled wrong, so that nothing was understood. But Chi seemed to.

“Yeah, I guess that could be the case,“ she answered him. “I’d go over and check it myself, but I’m liable to slap him for interrupting my date night. Nice young man named Colin.”

My jaw dropped. Could she mean Angela’s creeper, Colin? I guess nerd boys can have their appeal, but that was pushing it a little. She was gorgeous. She could have her pick of the boys, and perhaps the men too. But Colin?

The Jigsaw man nodded and left. I heard him clomping down the stairs and going out the front door.

“He’s going across the street. The Winston house, I believe. Most houses in these suburban neighborhoods are modeled the same. Floor plans, building materials, dimensions. As long as no one has broken this door previously we may be able to get an identical one from over there.”

“What about Mrs. Winston?” I asked, wondering what Ryo had done to the old woman.

“Oh, I doubt she’ll mind. Nothing much bothers her these days.”

“Why is that?”

“Well… Just nothing bothers her.”

It wasn’t much of an answer and didn’t reveal why I hadn’t seen her since the vampires came to the neighborhood, but I didn’t push it.

“He’ll be back soon,“ Chi said, and it took me a moment to realize she was talking about the jigsaw man. “You don’t have to be so afraid of him.”

“I’m not afraid.”

She smiled. “Yes, you are. I can smell the scent of your fear. Unless you’re afraid of me?”

“No, I’m not afraid of you, Chi. You saved my butt today. “

“Good. I really want us to be friends.” She cast a look at me that appeared to be one part flirtatious and two parts mischievous. “Girl hug!” she yelled and grabbed me by my shoulders, pulling me to her. She threw her arms around me and gave me a hug that nearly lifted me off my feet. I didn’t know how to react so I just hugged her back. Her long black hair brushed the side of my face and I caught the scent of honeysuckle and dirt. When she set me down, she seemed to realize I’d caught it. “I hope he hurries, I left Colin out in the woods,” she explained.

My face must have showed surprise because she giggled. “Don’t let the nerd boys fool you, girl. A Nerd on the ground is worth ten quarterbacks in a locker room shower.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at her analogy. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to picture Colin, president of the unbathed and weird club, as a guy any girl would want to be with. Before I could ponder it, thank god, the jigsaw man returned with the replacement door from Mrs. Winston’s. By the time he was done, it looked identical to the original. Mom would never know the difference, and as Luhan wished, I never said a word about it to her.

Continue to Ep. 29

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 18

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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. 12

 

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12: The Walk

I didn’t say anything else about the loveless tattoo and neither did he. He seemed to act like it was normal for me to know this tattoo as if it was just as common as the word “Mom” on a sailor’s arm. I didn’t feel comfortable pursuing it further because then I’d have to reveal a whole range of things about last night and I didn’t want to go there.

“So, what’s your tattoo then?”

“Mobile Suit Gundam beating up on Sailor Moon.”

“Are you serious?”

“No, I’m just kidding. I don’t have any tattoos.”

I frowned at him. “You need to work on all this kidding stuff. A girl likes to be told the truth.”

“Truth. Hmmm. Tell you what. You tell me the truth why you came over last night, and I’ll tell you any truth about me you want to know.”

I looked at him for a moment. This could be very tricky and could bring the hope of any type of friendship to a crashing halt. I mean come on, what was I supposed to say? I just came over to put a stake through your heart?

“I can’t do that,” I said. “Not yet.”

He stopped walking. He sighed, running his fingers through his long blond hair as if he was thinking or debating something within himself. “Fair enough,” he said. We walked on a couple more blocks before he spoke again. “So, you like tattoos?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Do you have any?”

I smiled. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“Um..yes I would.”

“Yeah, I have one. But don’t ask to see it. I won’t show it to you.”

He smirked. “Fair enough.”

The whole ‘fair enough’ thing was starting to irritate me. I was beginning to think he used the phrase whenever he didn’t like what you said.

“How long have you lived here, Nora?”

“All my life.”

“Exciting.”

“Not really. Where did you grow up?”

He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Lots of places. Japan, San Francisco, Queens. Now we’ve moved here.”

“It must seem dull here next to those big places.”

“It’s not dull. Just slower paced, which I guess is what my uncles wanted.”

“Your Uncles?”

“Yeah, I live with my uncles. They are making a show of raising me these days.”

“Where are your mom and dad?”

“Traveling. Always present, but always gone, if that make sense.”

I nodded. “Yes, I think it does. My dad’s gone too, but he’s not traveling.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

I laughed. “It’s not like that. He’s in the state hospital.”

“What’s his illness?”

“Sick in the head, I suppose.”

He gave me a little reassuring smile. “Sounds like we both have dysfunctional families.”

“Yeah.”

We rounded a corner and started down our street. Home was only a block away now. The time had gone by so fast.

“Maybe we should hang out and get dysfunctional together,“ he said.

From the lips of someone else it may have come out sounding flirty, dirty, or just outright insulting, but from Haru it sounded like sound advice and the offer of friendship. I couldn’t believe it but I was thinking it possible that I just might be able to like this guy without staking him.

“Yeah, I think that would cool,“ I replied. “You know where I live. Consider yourself invited over.”

He smiled so big I could see his perfect white teeth. It made me realize I had just invited a vampire to my home. What an idiot. But what puzzled me about that were two things: one, his walking in daylight without catching fire, and two, when he smiled I could see no fangs, not even an overbite. Perhaps I’d been wrong. Maybe I just have an obsessive compulsive “vampires are everywhere” disorder…

We stepped up on the sidewalk and crossed over into my yard. I hadn’t realized while we had been walking, but he was right up next to me only inches from my body. The only way we could be any closer is if we’d been holding hands. Why I thought of that analogy I don’t know. It would be pretty weird holding hands with a vampire. Aren’t they clammy and icy cold to the touch? Still, it seemed as if he had no concept of personal space. And I had no concept of not minding that fact.

It made me a little self-conscious, the lack of distance between us. A girl thinks of these things you know. All kinds of thoughts went through my head: Do I have anything stuck in my teeth? Can he see where I’ve tried to cover up my acne scars? Is my breath okay? Do I smell? If any of these things were noticed he never said, much to my happiness.

We stopped at my front porch. “Here we go,“ he said. “Safe and sound.” He edged closer and I backed up onto the step. I had kissed a boy before and I know what happens when you allow him to go all the way to the front door. He stepped up onto the step with me and began to lean close. I couldn’t believe this. I knew he was hot and all, but it’s worse if he knows it. I could only take this to mean he was making his move. I could feel my palms starting to sweat and my face felt flushed.

“Um…I don’t think you…Well , I…”

His face nearly grazed my cheek, his beautiful dark eyes making contact with my frightened doe look. His lips were at my ear and I could feel his warm breath against it. I closed my eyes and braced myself. It was either that or run, and to be honest, my legs were so weak I couldn’t have moved if I wanted to. I heard the sound of his tongue passing over his lips and then he whispered, “Someone’s watching us.”

 

Continue to Ep. 13

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