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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 85 (last chapter!)

Vampire Boys Of Summer

85: Home Is Where The Haru Is

We rounded the corner in the neighborhood, and there was my house, right next door to the one Haru and his “uncles” had moved into, and Ryo’s across the street, Mrs Winston’s actually. It was a nice little arrangement. I could see that now, with my house protected in several directions from any enemy vampires that might try to take my life. Everything was peaceful now, but if what they said was true, this wasn’t over. Another attempt to build an army of vampires and take over Chelsea Valley was inevitable, but hopefully we’d have a respite. It still wasn’t clear why Haru’s dad, if he was in fact the master responsible for all this, wanted to make this little town headquarters for a vampire takeover, but all thoughts of that disappeared with the person sitting on my front porch.

I saw her right away, and though things had been pretty strained between us since I became a teenager, it was so wonderful to see Mom again. I was out of the car before it even stopped. My legs carried me swiftly across the yard, limping and all. Mother herself was jumping from the porch to run towards me. In the movies, you see this big reunion scene, where all is well, everything forgiven, and all parties involved are laughing, crying, and clutching each other like there’s no tomorrow. Well…that’s exactly the way it was. Mother wrapped her arms around me and I allowed myself not to be annoyed with it, but instead reveled in the fact that I was loved and missed by the one who had brought me into this world.

“I have so much to tell you,” she whispered in my ear. For a moment, I wondered if she was going to say there were vampires in Chelsea Valley or that dad had been right all along. But she didn’t. Instead she spoke softly against my cheek. “I love you so much.”

I smiled. This was not something I often heard from her. But I took it gladly into my heart. “I love you too, mom.”

We hugged a little longer, and then out of the blue, mom asked, “What’s wrong with Angela?”

I turned around to see Ryo standing in the yard holding Angela in his arms. She was still sleeping, her head lolled against his chest. “Um, she had a long night,” I said. “She’s just…you know, tired…”

She laughed. “Yeah, I’d say. And who’s the gorgeous boy?”

“Yeah, that’s Ryo. He lives across the street now.”

“With Mrs. Winston?”

“Nephew,” I replied.

“Ohhhh.”

To my relief, Haru had gotten out of the car and was now walking towards us. He smiled at Mother. “Mrs. Williams,” he said. “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.” He held out his hand.

She took it and nodded graciously. “Thank you. And please thank your uncles for me again, for their hospitality and generous spirit.”

Haru raised an eyebrow. I guess this didn’t sound like the uncles he knew.

“For offering to pay for Jefferson’s funeral expenses,” she explained.

“Oh yes, Of course,” Haru replied.

I myself was in shock. Not over the offer of help, but in the fact it was the first time in years I’d heard mom call dad by his given name. I realized that I too, for some strange reason, had delegated him to just dad over the years. This made me sad because he had been much more than that. He had been my friend. But Chelsea Valley was not only missing a man the town barely knew. There were others forever gone. We’d lost a teacher or two, a guidance counselor, Students I’d gone to school with. And all for what?

Haru grabbed my hand and squeezed it. “I need to head over to the house,” he said. “Check on Tomoko and Kaito. You want to come?”

“Mom?”

“Sure, you go ahead. Now that I know you’re home, I’m going to go get me a shower. I can rest easy now.”

I hugged her. “We’ll get through all this, Mom. We have each other. We’re together. That’s what matters.”

Mother smiled. “Sometimes Nora, You’re more adult than I am.”

“Oh, mom…”

Haru looked over at Ryo, who had joined us while I was hugging mom. “You taking her home?” He asked him.

Ryo looked down at Angela in his arms. “Not yet.”

“I’ll call her mom and tell her she’s with me,” I offered.

“Thanks.”

He nodded to us both and headed across the yard. As he stepped into the street, Angela woke up. From where we stood I could still hear her voice. “Ryo?”

“Yes?”

“Am I dreaming?”

He grinned. It was that teasing bad boy smirk of old. “No, Doll. I am.”

He kissed her forehead and she peered up at him with half opened eyes. “It was a dream,” she reasoned. “I…dreamt you saved me.”

“Wrong again, sweetheart. You saved me.”

And then he kissed her for real. Softly on the lips. She closed her eyes again. This time not to sleep, but in pleasure of his kiss.

“Come on, peeping tom,” Haru said and gently tugged me from the scene.

We walked over to the car. Luhan and Chi were still seated inside. Haru leaned down at the passenger window where Luhan now sat. “You guys alright?” Haru asked. Chi nodded wearily. I could tell she was exhausted.

“Yes, we are fine,” Luhan agreed.”But we will need to talk soon.” He sighed and looked past Haru to me. “Nora Williams, You are every bit worth the fight.” Then he winked and it was back to old Luhan again. “If Haru ever breaks your heart…”

“I won’t,” my boyfriend replied quickly.

“But if he should…” Luhan blew me a kiss.

“Luhan…” Chi said impatiently.

“Okay, okay…got to go,” he laughed. “See you kiddies around.”

We watched them drive away. I turned to Haru and looked at him with adoring eyes. Since his arrival things had changed so much. He had come sweeping into my life like a whirlwind. I’d lost so much in the past few days, but had gained the type of boy I’d always dreamed about. And while Luhan may be king of the flirts, and Ryo Mr. Competitive bad boy, I knew that come what may, I could handle anything, face down any evil, as long as I had the vampire boys of summer at my side.

“Remember the thought I sent you earlier,” I asked Haru.

“Um…yeah.”

I looked at him with a teasing grin. “Race you for it!”

I took off across the yard towards his house. I looked back just in time to hear Haru yell out, “Hey, no fair!” And playfully chase after me.

Yes, we were going to be just fine…

The End Of Season One

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

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

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 84

Vampire Boys Of Summer

84: While I Was Out

I dropped the letter opener and reached for my neck. I was hoping with the death of Colin that the place where he’d bitten me would be miraculously gone. But it wasn’t. It was still there. His mark. Did this mean after all I’d been through I was queen anyway? Was I going to become a vampire now? Or had he been a beta like Haru, and my wound would end up killing me the way Haru had accidentally killed his first love hundreds of years ago?

I looked at Haru with pain and horror in my eyes. My legs gave out and he caught me. I began to cry. Wouldn’t it be the cruelty of fate to defeat the one who had caused us so much pain, and then be defeated myself because of a bloody hickey?

He smiled. As always, my thoughts must have slipped into his because he said, “Hickey. That’s funny.” He kissed me softly on the lips, preventing me from asking what was so funny about it. In the end it didn’t matter. Before I passed out, I remembered thinking at least I’m here. At least I have this moment. I have my Haru.

When I came to, there was motion. At first I thought I was reliving the memory of Ryo carrying me down the street, then I thought I was in a boat bobbing serenely on the lake’s surface. The reality was I was in Haru’s car, bouncing down the dirt road with Chi behind the wheel. Well, Chi and Luhan actually, because when I managed to sit up from where my head lay in Haru’s lap in the backseat, I saw Luhan sitting on Chi’s lap behind the wheel. He was steering the car and she was working the petals. I realized he wasn’t tall enough to drive it by himself, but it made me wonder about the nature of their relationship. In the caverns when he had come to her rescue, she had called him ‘Master.’ Yet he had called her ‘sister.’ Did this mean he saw her as an equal, or had they been siblings in the ages before they became vampires? I looked over at Haru for answers. He just smiled and shrugged.

I returned my gaze to Chi. The wound in her throat was still there, but it now looked cauterized, as if someone had taken a hot flame to the skin and burned it shut. As beautiful as she was, I knew the imperfection would be a glaring reminder of her sacrifice for me. Someone was always paying the price because of Nora Williams, and this saddened me.

Haru reached over and grasped my hand, giving it a little squeeze, as if to tell me everything was going to be alright. I’m not sure I believed him. I looked next to us. Ryo and Angela also occupied the backseat. My bestie was sleeping or passed out, I couldn’t quite tell. Her head lay over on Ryo’s shoulder, and he had an arm around her protectively. His eyes were also closed, but from the rise and fall of his chest I could tell he was okay. I smiled, wondering what this would mean for them. I feared Angela wouldn’t be the same girl after her ordeal, and that we would never have our playfully snappy, yet Intelligent conversations again.

Ryo opened his eyes. Perhaps my thoughts had been too loud. He kissed Angela’s forehead and ran his fingers through her silver shorn hair. I couldn’t help but smile. But my happiness faded when I turned towards Haru. He also bore lasting scars of having to help me all the time. There was an angry red ring around his neck from where it had been in a noose for so long as he hung from the cavern’s ceiling at Colin’s sick whim. Colin. It pained me that I had to kill him. He had been okay and innocent once. A nerdy kid who didn’t do anything but aggravate the snot out of you, following you around like a lost puppy. But he had changed. Became something sadistic and evil. I had no choice. He had been responsible for my dad’s death. Or at least partly responsible. He may have been under orders, but he was still complicit in the deed. He had tortured Angela to the point of death, tried to kill all of us at one point or another. Hell, he’d even bit me in an effort to turn me into…

I reached up to my neck. I could feel the teeth marks he’d left in my skin. The gaping congealed wound. Mine hadn’t been cauterized like Chi’s. Perhaps they would get Ryo to heal mine, as he did once before when I was injured at the hands of the Trumps. So why not heal Chi’s too?

“Shhh, “ whispered Haru beside me. “You are thinking too much.” Then he smiled and took my face in both his hands. His kiss was warm and enticing and I couldn’t help thinking how I wanted to be with him now this very instant. “I know, “ he confessed. “Me too.”

I smiled and lay my head back down on his lap as we continued down the road. Chi reached over and turned on the radio. It was tuned to a rock station that began to play “If you want blood, you got it,” by AC-DC. “Nope, I don’t think so,” she said, and changed the station.

As we arrived back in town it was already mid day. I assumed we’d been in the cavern and labyrinth all night. I had been unconscious when Haru had put me in one of the boats and sailed us out through the hidden channel the vampire army had used to bring their captives in. When I began to wonder about the humans down there, Luhan informed me that because of my actions twenty-seven had made it out. I was pleased with this, but I wished there had been more. Twenty-seven meant there were still some down in the caverns with the remains of the vampire army. When I started to protest this, Ryo cut me off.

“We need to regroup and be more prepared next time,” he said.

“Next time?”

“My father will not take this so easily,” Haru answered. “…the damage we inflicted on his army. Unless all this has been a distraction for bigger things.”

“He will want retribution for the death of his lieutenant,” Ryo added.

“So it’s not over?” I asked, tears welling up in my eyes.

Haru hung his head. “No. We barely escaped.”

“We did accomplish what we set out to do,” Ryo chimed. It was odd that he’d be the one trying to bring in a ray of hope. “We rescued Angela.” He looked down at her as she slept peacefully against him.

“And your father’s death is avenged,” Chi threw out there. “We put a real hurting on the army that was being built. He’s going to need more recruits before he tries anything again.”

“What about the people we saved? Where are they now?”

“If I did my job right,” Luhan said, “they are confused as hell.”

“You wiped their memory?”

“Not all the way. But enough to keep them wondering if they just had a vivid dream. Of course, those still down in the caverns, I couldn’t do anything about them. I hate to say it, but they are either dead or vampires by now.”

I shook my head. Chelsea Valley would never be the same again. Despite this, the streets didn’t look any different. Shops were open. Kids were outside playing. Life went on oblivious to what happened the night before. There were an unusual number of people missing, yes, but no one seemed overly concerned. It was as if someone, Luhan maybe, had brought a fog over the whole town and it’s citizens. That made me wonder about mom. Had she been okay through this ordeal? How was she coping with the loss of dad? I knew she had been left in Tomoko’s care, and I trusted him with her life. He was a good man. I still hadn’t forgotten how he and the jigsaw man had saved my life when we….

“His name is Kaito,” Haru said.

“Haru! You need to stay out of my head.”

He gave me a teasing look. “Why? Is there something you don’t want me to know?”

I purposely sent a thought his way.

“Oh….really?”

I smiled. “Really.”

“Well then…good thing we are almost home.”

We both laughed at our secret little thoughts. Of course, when you are riding in a car with vampires, nothing is secret anyway. Ryo grinned. Chi smirked. Luhan giggled. And Angela slept on….

Continue toEp. 85 (last chapter!)

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 82

Vampire Boys Of Summer

82: Flight From The Cavern

The revolt of the humans had opened a window of opportunity for us. With the dwindling vampire army distracted, we climbed down off the stage and made our way to Chinatsu who was still fighting a small pocket of attackers. When they saw us coming, they hissed and ran away, fleeing into the melee between vampires and humans. I guess they thought their chances were better in the crowd.

Chi led us across the cavern floor and we rejoined Luhan, busy freeing the last of the mind controlled humans. A young girl went to run past Chi, and she grabbed her. “How were you brought here?”

The girl, confused and frightened, tried to pull away from her. “Let me go,” she pleaded, her eyes looking on us in abject fear. Perhaps she could see the fangs of my companions and she assumed they were part of the bad vampire clan.

“We’re not going to hurt you,” I said, trying to calm her down. Haru set me down and I touched the girl’s arm in what I hoped was a reassuring gesture. “We just want to know how you got here. How did everyone get in the cavern?”

I was taking Chi’s cue, because like her, I had figured it would have been near impossible to get all these people down the shaft we used. It would have taken forever for each person to be carried down the hole. I’m not even sure the new vampires could have made the jump into darkness successfully.

“By..by boat,” the girl stammered, nervously running her fingers through her long ginger hair. She was thin, almost to the point of Anorexia, and I wondered if perhaps vampires had used her as a vessel in the same manner as Angela. “I…I think…From the lake. A tunnel.”

“Where is it,” I asked.

“I can’t remember….i don’t know…please, please let me go.”

And then she pulled away and ran. I didn’t know where she thought she was running to, but she followed the wall around to the back of the stage and was gone.

Ryo watched her with a suspicious eye. “For someone who doesn’t know, it looks like she has a destination in mind.”

“She’s afraid of us. She thinks we are with her captors.”

“And now that she is free…” Chi pondered.

Luhan didn’t hesitate to finish the sentence. “…she is going back the way she came. Come on!”

We took off after the ginger girl, all six of us relatively intact. I was still limping from my bum ankle and Angela had to be carried by Ryo. She wasn’t talking much, aside from mumbling Ryo’s name. Luhan and Chi seemed in the best shape and they took up the charge ahead of us. We were just starting to go behind the stage when I stopped. We couldn’t just run away. Not like this. We couldn’t leave all the humans behind to be vampire food or hopelessly lost in this cavern. Once we took the boat or boats that the girl spoke of there would be no means of escape except straight up through a shaft that had no ladder or hand holds. I pulled away from Haru. “We’ve got to go back!”

Haru tried to grab my hand. “What? Wait, Nora…”

“No! We can’t just leave them! They are victims. They haven’t done anything. We chose to come down here. They didn’t.”

I waited for Haru to protest, to tell me we had this tiny opportunity of escape, and that if we didn’t find the boats we’d be down here forever, but he didn’t say a word. He just looked at the backs of our friends as they disappeared around the corner. Then he looked back at me and took my hand. “You’re right,” he said. “We’ll get as many as we can to come with and just hope…”

His voice dropped off and let the unfinished statement hang in the air. But I knew what he wanted to add. His hope that there would be enough boats to carry us all out.

It wasn’t easy convincing the awakened humans to follow us. Some of them believed us, while others thought Haru was among those who had lured them from their homes with the most pleasant of dreams and brought them here. It took some convincing on my part, including an embarrassing show of my teeth, before they would join us in our flight out of the cavern. First it was just a few, but then they managed to convince others, who in turn persuaded even more, until we had a number of about thirty or so refugees. I tried my best to get them to line up against the wall again, this time to head out for freedom. There were some who thought this was a trick, but what else could I do? I was just trying to save them and it brought me close to tears to see some of them rejecting a helping hand. On and on this went, we’d gain some, then lose a few, until finally I came to the realization I’d done all I could do. Maybe if they saw us leaving, they would follow us better that way.

Haru put a reassuring hand on my shoulder. “Nora, we have to go.”

“I know. I just hate to…”

“I know, baby,” he replied. “But we have to get to the boats or we are going to get left behind.”

As if to convince me further, Chi returned with the news they had found the boats, but there wasn’t an unlimited supply. “There were a few people on guard, but Luhan freed them. Ryo has taken those across.”

“Where’s Angela?”

She smiled at the worry in my voice. “She’s with Ryo. He wouldn’t leave her behind.”

And with that, I couldn’t leave the humans behind either. Following Chi, Haru and I led the thirty or so who would follow us. Along the wall we went, only leaving it to disappear behind the stage and follow the candle lit tunnel on our way to the boats. We walked a little ways in a hurried pace. I tried to encourage and usher our followers, and as they became further awake to their plight, they seemed more agreeable to the idea. Soon we were all running down the corridor, me limping along and noticing the candles in the tunnel wall were thinning out. We rounded a corner and straight into pitch darkness. No candles. There wasn’t a single sliver of light. I grabbed someone’s hand and urged everyone else to do the same. Lucky for us, vampires can see clearly in the dark. They aren’t hindered by human eyes any longer. Someone grabbed my other hand, and I could tell it was Haru by touch alone. I had held his hand so many times I knew the exact paths of his lifelines. He squeezed my hand and whispered my name, tugging me gently through the dark corridor.

As we eased our way through the pitch black, Haru periodically squeezed my hand for comfort, and I in turn squeezed the hand of the person behind me. I couldn’t see their face, but I hoped that it gave them some small measure of reassurance that things were going to be alright. They squeezed my hand back and I smiled to myself. It felt good to be leading others to safety.

Soon there was a small shaft of light ahead. I sighed in relief. I wasn’t too afraid in the dark with my hand in Haru’s, but I was still happy to see we were coming to journey’s end. “It’s going to be okay,” I whispered to the person behind, hoping they would pass the message down the line. Instead, they whispered back, “I know.”

I don’t know if I found their response strange, or perhaps it was the confident tone in their voice, but I turned to look at them. The shaft of light ahead had grown larger now, and for a brief moment it illuminated their face, just long enough for me to recognize them. My breath caught in my throat, and cold chills shot through my body. Before I could say a word, they had jerked me away from Haru’s grip, pulling me into their grasp. In an instant, they had pulled my head back and were going for my neck. I could feel their breath on my skin. “I told you you’d be my queen,” Colin hissed.

Continue to Ep. 83

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer 79

Vampire Boys Of Summer

79: The Pitiful Fate of Miss Thomas

Colin Deeds couldn’t stop laughing. The nerd boy turned vampire lieutenant was getting into the role a little too much. “You kill me,” he said. “I was told what a bad ass you were. Some of them were saying you were a vampire, others a demon. And the whole time you really are just another sap who got his head turned by some stupid, silly girl. How in the world you survived 800 years is beyond me!”

Ryo was not amused. “Nine…” he said, resuming his fifteen second countdown. “Eight….”

“You can’t take all of us! Are you willing to die for her?!”

“If necessary. Seven….”

Colin didn’t look worried at all. That was starting to bother me, and made me ponder the question, where was their vampire master? If he was Haru’s dad, then where was he? In the crowd somewhere? I began to scan the crowd, trying to pick him out hidden within the vampire army. I’d never seen him before, but assumed he’d have a hard time blending in.

“Six….”

“Don’t worry, Ang,” Colin said with a sneer. “They are all going to die today, but hey! I’m like that old Don Henley song.” He began to sing in a cracked, maniacal tone. “….My love for you will still be strong, long after the Vampire Boys Of Summer have gone….”

“Five…,” Ryo said, glancing at Chi and Luhan. He then fixed his eyes on Haru, and I began to wonder if they were vampire text messaging in each other’s head.

Colin was clearly pleased with his own jokes, but then his face fell, as if a text message had come through to his head as well. “Oh to hell with it,” he declared. “Wipe them off the face of the earth!!”

The vampire army reformed. No longer a protective barrier, not quite a wall, but a wave of rage and bloodlust that shot out from the stage in an effort to bury my friends.

I heard Ryo say, “one,” clearly ignoring four, three, and two. When he moved next, I didn’t see it, and I don’t think anyone else did either. One minute he was there beside Chi and Luhan, and then he wasn’t. In the blink of an eye he was atop the cavern where the hangman noose was attached. With a sweep of his long talon-like nails, he severed the rope and Haru fell free. Hitting the ground, my boyfriend rolled and sprang to his feet. He crossed the stage to me just as fast as Ryo had leapt from the crowd to the ceiling. In two swift motions Miss Thomas was disarmed and I was swept off my feet into my lover’s arms. In a desperate scramble, she launched herself at us, clawing at Haru like a cat trying to scratch a dog’s eyes out. With me in his arms, he spun and delivered a heel to her knee. There was a crack and she went down. We didn’t wait to see if she’d get back up. We ran.

Colin, caught by surprise, tried to give chase but he was too late. We were already at the other side of the stage, unhampered by he or any of his so called soldiers. Clenching his fists in a rage he turned to dispense his anger elsewhere. His eyes locked on Angela, barely struggling against the vampire girls charged with holding her up. Both girls, sensing the fun and games were over, were attempting to drain her of her lifeblood through her arms. Before Colin could reach her and gain hold of the situation, Ryo was there, flinging the girls away so hard they both made a sickening sound as they crumbled against the wall. Then he turned on Colin.

The vampire lieutenant may had been a harmless nerd boy once, but now he cast a fearsome visage. His face, burned in places from the holy water I’d doused him with, was a mask of rage and hatred. Looking about for a weapon, there was none to be had, so he launched himself at Ryo in a crazed moment of desperation. Standing in front of Angela to protect her, Ryo stopped Colin with one hand around his throat. He lifted him in the air, his fingernails digging into the flesh. Blood began to run down Colin’s neck.

“You killed Miss Lazenby,” Ryo snarled between clenched teeth.

“No, No,” Colin said with choked breath. “Wasn’t me. She did it.” He nodded towards Miss Thomas who was trying to get to her feet despite her dislocated knee. She half dragged herself up and began to shuffle away towards the front of the stage, so she could disappear into the fighting crowd and escape. She looked back in fear, knowing Ryo’s vengeance would be terrible over what she’d done. She threw herself into the throng, hoping to get away. But in their crazed “new vampires need a drink badly” state, they believed she was attacking them. Several of them turned on her. One grabbed her by the neck and bit down on her shoulder. Another, drawn by the actions of the first, sank their teeth into the opposite shoulder, making a loud sucking sound as they drew the blood to the surface and into their hungry maw. Others soon followed suit and latched themselves onto her. One had a leg. Another had an arm. Finally, a boy vampire of about seventeen, who had probably been in Miss Thomas’ office many times before, got the gist of what they were supposed to do. He sank his long fangs into her neck right at the jugular. The smell of her blood attracted all that were close enough to catch it and soon she was swallowed up in a sea of vampires.

Luhan and Chi were shocked. Though they fought on, and were more than capable of holding their own, the sight of the feeding frenzy was enough to make them think of plans for escape. They began to fight their way through the crowd on an obvious path towards the hapless, dazed human captives lined against the wall. At first I wondered what they were doing, but then it occurred to me. Not everyone came down the shaft we did. It would have been near impossible to bring them all down that way. There had to be an easier way in and out.

Haru still held me in his arms, but I could tell he was a little unsteady from having hung from Colin’s noose for so long. This made me angry and I wanted to confront Colin myself over what he’d done to my man. I told Haru to set me down and he did. But when I went to leave his side and go to where Ryo still held Colin suspended in mid-air, Haru grabbed my forearm.

“Don’t,” he said, and I stopped. I understood. This was Ryo’s moment. They’d killed Miss Lazenby, the woman he’d saved once with his vampirism. They’d attempted to kill him. They’d bled Angela so much she was like a dazed zombie. Colin would have to answer for that as lieutenant of the vampire army.

But Ryo, in a rare show of mercy, released him and he dropped to the ground. Colin scrambled to his feet and prepared to run. Ryo pounced on his back like a big cat and drove him face down on the stage. I guess Ryo didn’t have that much mercy in him after all.

Continue to Ep. 80

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 77

Vampire Boys Of Summer

77: Kill The Master!

“Colin, please! I’ll be your queen. Just let Haru down.”

I couldn’t help but turn my eyes to my lover, dangling from a noose and gagging in his throat. He kicked his legs to keep up the momentum of the swing and though Colin assured me it wouldn’t kill Haru, I hated to see my love suffer in this continual agony. For though it wasn’t a death blow, it was still torture without relief.

“You’ll never be the dutiful queen, Nora,” Colin said. “You and I both know that. Not as a human anyway.” He looked around the room. “There’s plenty of Alphas in this group. Perhaps we’ll just turn you. See how you comply then.”

I was tired of begging. This wasn’t doing me any good. Luhan wasn’t doing anything. Chi wasn’t doing anything. Haru was on an endless cycle of being hung. Ryo was somewhere at the bottom of the lake drowning over and over again. I was now alone. No one was going to save me. I was going to have to save myself. I punched Colin right in the face.

His head snapped back and his nose opened up with a spray of blood. I was going for punch number two when he blocked me with an open handed slap. The slap was so hard my head reeled to one side and I went down.

That’s when Chi finally launched her attack. She bounded across the stage and with a swift kick to his knee took Colin down. He didn’t make much noise, just a grunt, and then he was facing her. Rage was on his face, but he knew he couldn’t take her. She was too powerful for him to take alone. He had goons for that.

They bounded across the stage, half the high school football team. It was ironic, for they were known to have picked on him too in the past. Now they were doing his bidding. And doing it well. Each one grabbed a limb. Two of them had Chi’s legs, another two had her by her arms. They swung her back and forth several times and then let her go. She sailed off the stage and into the crowd of vampires, who started pummeling her with their fists. There were too many of them. She did her best to protect her face and ribs, and they started stomping and kicking at her.

There was a loud howl, and I thought it was coming from her, but it wasn’t. It was Luhan making his own attempt to end this mad game. He was airborne, pouncing on Chi’s attackers. At first, they didn’t seem worried, but as he began to go from person to person like a whirling dervish, breaking a wrist here, snapping a leg there, they tried to regroup to take him down. But he was too fast. His movements reminded me of Taz on the old Bugs Bunny Cartoon, a spinning devil kicking up dirt as he disabled everything in his path.

Colin hauled me to his feet. “You know what? I have changed my fickle mind again. I think I will make you my queen after all.” He leered at Haru, who had stopped struggling and was just hanging there from the rope. He was right about one thing. It wasn’t killing him. But it was sapping his strength and will. Colin looked back to me, a lecherous smile on his lips . “I think we’ll consummate our union first.”

I gritted my teeth. “You touch me and you’ll wish you hadn’t,” I promised.

“You and me, Nora. We both have found our fire. I love it!” He grabbed my face in his hands like he was going to kiss me. But instead he spun me around to face Haru. “Look at him. What makes him so special? You wouldn’t like him so much if he wasn’t a vampire. You didn’t like any other boys at school before he showed up. I think you just wanted a boy who was somebody. That everyone looked up to or worshipped. Well hey, I’m somebody now. Others look up to me. They will fear me by summer’s end when all of Chelsea Valley will bow before me.”

“They wont bow before you Colin. You are just a tool of your master. Nothing more. You are nothing. I wouldn’t waste one kiss on you.”

Something came across his face. Maybe he saw my words as a challenge, a dare. He looked out at the vampire crowd. Chi was down, under their weight. They had managed to grab Luhan, and though he kept taking some of them down, a few of them were getting their licks in too.

Colin smiled in triumph. “The master will be pleased. Whether you are my queen or not.” He shoved me away from him and I reached in my pocket for a weapon. I’d lost the stake in one of the dogs back in the labyrinth. But my fingers touched on the other item I’d brought from my dad’s kit. The vial of Holy Water.

Colin turned to Angela. The two vampire girls were still holding her up. Her legs were bent at the knees, and if they let her go, it was apparent she would collapse to the ground from weakness. He put his hand under her chin and lifted her head to look at him.

“Looks like it’s just you and me, Ang. You was my first choice anyway.” He turned to the crowd and bellowed. “Kill their master!”

It seemed like every vampire in the place converged on the spot where Luhan was. He disappeared under all the bodies.

I pulled the vial from my pocket. I fumbled with it a few moments before managing to unscrew the top. “Colin?”

He looked at me and I flung the contents into his face. Haru had told me these things didn’t have an effect on the vamps of the Far East, but for those in the Christian world, Crosses, bibles, and holy water still worked. He was right.

It splashed first across his neck, and then his face. Where the holy water landed on his skin, it sizzled and burnt the flesh to the bone. He screamed, trying to wipe it off with his hands, but where his hands touched, that burnt also, for the water had wet his fingers. He spun away, screaming, “Kill them, Kill them all! Master! Master!”

And then we heard it, like an answer to his call. It came from inside the labyrinth. The horrible beating of huge leathery wings, accompanied by the screech of a monster so terrible the labyrinth couldn’t contain it. A scraping sound like that of talons against the maze wall, grew in pitch and intensity until the screaming beast came bursting out the tunnel.

“Yes, Master! Master! Show us your glory…show us your majesty!”

The winged creature was a grotesque form of a bat. Huge and ugly, a furious beast with talons so long it slashed several vampires to shreds at it entered the cavern. It looked as if it were dripping wet embryonic fluid off its nearly hairless form, as it set down in the midst of the vampire army.

They all raised their hands in the air, trying to touch their master, to feel his power upon their own fingers. It must have freaked the beast out because it lashed out at them with claws and teeth. Hands went missing. Fingers were devoured. And for some, it clamped down with its fangs and took huge gulps of blood and tissue into its maw. The praise turned into bewildered screams as the huge bat started to use its wings to fling the army in all directions. Dust and dirt arose from the cavern floor as its long legs shuffled across it.

Legs, I thought. Long legs. Since when did Bats have long legs? So much dust was in the air I could no longer see the creature. Colin was cackling madly, yelling that his master give him his reward. I could only assume the worse. The reward would cost lives.

The dust began to clear. The sound of the huge beating wings had stopped. Had the army somehow killed the fearsome beast? As the dust settled, we all lay witness to the astonishing truth. A Man, naked as the day he was born, crouched in the dust on one knee. Muscles rippled across his back where the bat wings had been. Arms dripping wet with water and blood, he pushed himself to his feet and stretched to his full height. The talons of the beast were gone, but long sharp fingernails remained. And where the beast had had a chest of thin fur to protect its hide, this man had only bare skin and a tattoo of a moon with bloody vines that read, “Loveless.”

Continue to Ep. 78

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 76

Vampire Boys Of Summer

76: Angela, The Bleeder Feeder

As if on cue, the cavern erupted in a round of hearty applause. It didn’t seem to be a congratulatory gesture, but one of both disdain and triumph. They were gloating. They had achieved what they wished, herded us here so we could bear witness to whatever their plan was.

We stood there taking it all in. My companions showed no emotion, even at the sight of Angela, drained and exhausted from whatever they had put her through. I scanned the room, trying to pick out the master among the sea of vampires. None stood out more dominating than the rest. They were all like robots on remote control, behaving on cue as a dog begs for a biscuit.

After the mocking applause died down, Haru stepped forward. “We’ve come for the girl, “ he said in a commanding tone. There was dead silence. It hung in the air like we were in the eye of a hurricane. Calm, quiet, and then the storm. It was a hush at first, the sound of quiet laughter under another’s breath. Then it grew louder, more riotous, and a robed figure appeared behind my bestie. Angela’s body stiffened in fear, as the figure mocked us between laughs. “We’ve come for the girl,” it spoke in a high pitch whine that reminded me of a small child teasing another.

The figure’s hand reached out to touch Angela, and I noticed its long sharp fingernails. It looked a lot like Ryo’s had been when he’d sliced himself for Haru to feed. A fingernail scraped my bestie’s cheek. “You can’t have her,” he said, now resuming to a normal voice. “We aren’t done with her yet.”

An alarm went off in my head. I knew this voice. Not only had this been my phantom caller, dropping clues of Icarus, but I should have known it from elsewhere too. Still, my memory would not grasp where I had heard it before.

“You are done with her,” Luhan said, stepping forward to join Haru. He might have been short in stature, but in that moment he was ten feet tall to me.

“No, we are not,” the villain insisted. “What are you thinking? Your vampire Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me. I’m protected from such silly displays of power.”

“Then take one of us instead,” Chi demanded.

The figure studied her for a moment, cocked its head from side to side. “Mmmmm, I would certainly love to. But that would put you a little too close to me.” Then it laughed. “And you already had that chance, my dear.” It ran another sharp nailed finger across Angela’s forehead. A line of blood began to drip from the cut. “And anyway, we’re not ready to give up our favorite bleeder feeder just yet.”

I shuddered. Did that mean what I thought it did? That they’d been using her to feed on. Drinking her blood to sustain themselves until more suitable food sources could be found. No matter that she looked so ruined. Even if we rescued her, it might be impossible for her to come back from this, to be her old self again.

The hooded figure was enjoying this too much, and he looked to Chi for his continued amusement. “You know you really shouldn’t have left me out there. I could have been on your team.” A loud sigh. “Oh well. While I was waiting, a better offer came along. And the master was more generous than you were willing to be. You just wanted to relieve some sexual tension, he wanted a lieutenant. Snooze, you lose, bitch.”

In that moment, I knew who it was. What was it Chi had said? A nerd on the ground was worth more than football players in a locker room or something? No wonder he had disappeared from the scene for awhile. He was busy being turned into this.

“Please Colin,” I said. “Let her go.”

“Let me think on that…Nope! Remember how you both used to make fun of me? Insult me? Degrade me down to nothing? I told you one day you’d want a friend like me, Nora high-and-mighty Williams.”

He removed his hood and dropped his cloak. Colin Deeds had changed. No more mismatched clothes. No greasy uncombed hair, or teenage acne, or any of the things that just days ago made others avoid him like the plague. The nerd. The geek. Whatever you wanted to call the old Colin was gone. Now his hair was healthy and long. No blemishes on his face, except for the original mark of the vampire. His facial features hadn’t been altered, but there was something different about his skin. It was almost translucent. You could see the blood moving beneath the flesh, filling in the gaps where color was lacking.

“I’ve been made into a God, Nora.”

“You’re not a God, Colin. Sorry, but you are just the same as anyone else.”

He smiled and it sent a chill up my spine. “That’s where you are wrong. But I see now. Before you will be queen, I must prove my worth.”

“Your queen? But I thought…”

His laugh was so loud it echoed in the chamber. “You thought the master wanted you? Nora? Nora Williams? The cutter of Chelsea Valley High? Ha! He already has a queen. Why would he want someone who spilled her blood in wasteful displays of depression? He promised you to me. All I had to do was bring him your pretty vampire boys.” He thought for a moment. “Of course, one of them is actually a girl, and another is sadly no longer with us.”

“What did you do with Ryo?” Haru demanded.

“He was an arrogant prick. How in the world dear Angela could have liked him is beyond me. I heard it said you were rivals. Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. You’re welcome by the way.”

Haru started towards the stage. Several vampires stepped into his path to stop him, and as he crouched into a fighting stance, Colin laughed again. “Oh, let the young man through. He obviously wants to challenge me. Let him come.”

They parted and made a way for Haru to approach the stage. I turned to look at the others, wondering why Chi and Luhan weren’t launching an attack. They were gone. I panicked and started heading for the stage to join Haru. There was no way I staying out there alone in a sea of enemy vampires. As I neared the stage however, I saw them. Chi and Luhan. They were making their way to the right of the stage, moving easily among the throng. Perhaps they had done something, another mind trick, to make themselves hidden to enemy eyes. Either way, they were almost to the stage, and I was unsure what to do. Keep going to join Haru or turn back. There was no way I was going back. I had to join my lover. I couldn’t let him face the new and improved Colin alone. I wasn’t sure what the vampire master had done to him, what kind of power he had been given, but I really didn’t want to find out. I wanted to pull Angela out of his clutches and get the hell out of this cavern. I looked to the stage. Haru was mounting the steps, but something was wrong. Colin didn’t fear him. He was grinning, confident. Coming into the cavern from the labyrinth hadn’t been the trap. Getting Haru to the stage was.

“Haru!”

He’s turned to the sound of my voice, and that’s when the noose dropped from the makeshift lights overhead. Before Haru knew what was happening, it was around his neck and yanking him off the floor to suspend him in mid-air. He began to choke and kick his legs. His hands were free, so he managed to get his fingers between the rope and his neck, but whoever had the other end of the rope kept on tightening it.

I screamed in terror. They were killing him. They were taking my lover from me. I bolted the rest of the way to the stage and threw myself at Colin’s feet. “Please, please, let him go! Set him down!”

“Now that’s more like it,” Colin said calmly. “See, sometimes you just have to be nice to get results.”

He looked at Haru dangling from the rope and choking. He shook his head. “It is a disappointment. They said your face wouldn’t turn blue like other people. I guess we can let you down now.”

Then he turned his gaze on me and I saw that mischievous glint in his eyes. “Oh to hell with it, Keep him hanging.”

“No!!”

He reached out and grabbed my wrist. “Don’t worry, cutter. He can’t die that way. Any more than Ryo can die by being weighed down with rocks and thrown into the lake.”

I looked at him sharply. They drowned Ryo? “You did what?”

He threw his head back. “Aw man, this is so much fun! All the times you insulted me makes it worth it. Now if I could only get a reaction out of Ang that would be awesome.” He looked at Angela. She was staring blankly at us. She didn’t even look like she recognized me. She was in shock or something, going mad within her own head. It was then I realized that we, she and I, were going to die here, all because we had treated a school chum badly.

Continue to Ep. 77

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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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