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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. 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 (revamped) Ep. 42

Vampire Boys Of Summer

42: Fast Road Home

 

“Is it true?” I asked, after we’d driven a few minutes.

“Is what true?”

“Did your people come here to build a colony?”

“No, it’s not true.”

“Then, why are you here? Why did your family settle here of all places? There’s nothing here.”

He looked at me and smiled. “You’re here.”

“You didn’t come here for me.”

“When vampires hit the headlines, it hardly goes unnoticed. My uncles spotted a news article about your dad and his case. It mentioned the fact he attacked the clerk because he was a vampire. Of course, the news article made him seem crazy, but well, we were traveling, looking for someone we’d lost, and thought we might want to check it out. See if it was true.”

I turned my head and looked out the window. “So, you bringing me today wasn’t about you being sweet and nice to me, was it? You weren’t being a good boyfriend. You offered to drive because I could take you to my dad.”

I heard his soft sigh. “I wanted to help you. But yes, I wanted to see your dad for myself. To see if he was a danger to us.”

I turned to face him. Tears were threatening my eyes. “You tricked me, Haru.”

“It’s not like that, Nora.”

“Then tell me what it’s like. All this time you have been nice to me. All the sweet things you say, us getting close, me falling for you…it’s all been make believe for you. You have been using me.”

We stopped at a red light and he turned to look at me. “There is no make believe. I haven’t been using you or tricking you. Everything I feel for you is real, Nora.”

I didn’t know if I could believe that or not. I was beginning to feel like a pawn on a chessboard. Vampires just don’t show up in your hometown for no reason. All the things I thought were just coincidence or random, blind luck or faith, now appeared to have been planned. Had Haru’s uncles compelled him to become friends with me in order to find my dad and talk to him? Was Ryo the backup in case I didn’t go for Haru? And what about Chi and Luhan? Were they further assurance the vampires got what they wanted?

“What is it you want from me, Haru? I thought it was me.”

He pulled the car off to the side of the road and threw the gear in park. He turned to me. His eyes were red and tired. His face pale and sweating. “It is you, Nora. We aren’t concerned with your dad. After we got here, we figured out no one believed him. There was no danger to us. But there wasn’t any sense in moving in one day and moving out the next.”

“So what, you decided to put the make on a local girl to kill some time, then? A girl nobody else liked or gave a damn about? Am I that easy to you?” There was no stopping the tears now. I felt them running down my cheek.

He reached up and let them run onto his finger. “No, you’re not that easy, nor am I just killing time. From the moment I saw you watching me from your window, I wanted to know you. Even from the distance of our two yards I saw the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen, and yet her eyes were more haunted than my own. I wanted to know you. I wanted to know everything about you. Me getting close to you has nothing to do with your dad, vampires, or anything. I just thought maybe, this was it, I’d found the someone to …to be with after all these years.” He took me into his arms and held me. My tears fell onto his shoulder. He cut the car off, and even though the sun was coming out brighter, I felt like he was enduring the discomfort for me. I could feel the heat coming through the window, and I knew he must feel it worse.

“I’m sorry, Haru. I didn’t mean…I just need to know if this is real or not. All my life I have been picked on, bullied, made fun of, and I don’t want to be taken for a fool anymore.”

I could feel his smile as his face pressed against my cheek. “The only fool is me,” he said. Before I could wonder what he meant, he tensed, and I caught a scent of something burning. I pulled away from him and saw that the skin on one of his hands seemed to be wilting. It wasn’t like in the movies where the vampire’s skin smolders and catches fire; it was more like a flower wilting before your eyes.

“Oh, my god,” I whispered. I had this horrible vision of centuries of aging catching up to him all at once. “Haru, we have to get you out of the sun. Why didn’t you tell me it was this bad? Do you have a blanket or anything?”

“In the trunk,” he said.

I grabbed the keys from the ignition and jumped out of the car. I ran around to the trunk and popped it open. There wasn’t much in there. A spare tire iron, bottles of oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid. And the blankets. I snatched them up and ran around to the drivers aside.

“Move over,” I commanded. With his help, I managed to maneuver him over the gear shift and into the passenger side seat. I got in behind the wheel and laid the blankets over Haru. He was starting to slump down in the seat. He lay his head over in my lap as I restarted the car and put it into gear.

I’d had plenty of simulations and driving instruction in school, so it wasn’t like driving was an alien concept, but trying to drive while a boy’s head is in your lap is not the easiest thing to do. It’s even worse when that said boy just might be dying before your very eyes.

Haru’s body was wracked by shivering as we sped down the road. I held my own with the driving. I knew I was going over the speed limit. But I was focused. Intent on getting us home safely, I prayed the whole way. I believe in God, and though I wasn’t sure where vampires stood in the spiritual scheme of things, I was hoping that heaven would allow me to save Haru.

“Hold on, baby,” I heard myself say, and took a curve much faster than I should. The back tires slid a little and squealed, but I righted the car and drove on. We passed a sign for Chelsea Valley and I smiled a little. We were going to make it. “Almost there,” I said to reassure him and myself both.

The ‘almost there’ was a little further than I thought, and I put my hand on Haru’s head, stroking his hair with my fingers in gentle motions. The road twisted and turned, winding and curving its way to home, and we drove the rest of the way in silence. The only sound was my steady heartbeat and Haru’s ragged breathing. By the time we reached the town limits, I was almost to the point where I would offer myself to him and risk death rather than lose him. But the burning smell had dissipated and it seemed the blankets were helping to protect him. He was still shivering and cold, though. He would shudder, and his head in my lap would shake from side to side as if cold chills were wracking his very brain.

I did my best to soothe him, but I was at a loss at what to do once we got home. Did I drag him inside his house? Get Ryo from across the street to help? Or do I take him to my bedroom and try to nurse him back with my own blood? I knew, no matter his condition, he wouldn’t allow the latter to happen. So it was either his house, hoping someone was there to save him, or Ryo. I chose Ryo.

Ep. 43

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 26

Vampire Boys Of Summer

26: Colin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So, did you just snap or something?”

“Excuse me?”

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

“I didn’t do it.”

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

“It was a girl named Chi.”

“Chi? Never heard of her.”

“She’s new.”

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

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

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

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

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

Colin got off at the first stop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah.”

“What did he say?”

“Not a whole lot really.”

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

“Well, you’re a vampire,“ I reasoned.

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

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

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

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

Continue to Ep. 27

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

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

Ghost Boy Blues 21

Twenty-one

The Volkswagen drives off. Nothing so much as a wave goodbye. But from where the car had been parked, I see something else. It’s a figure sitting in the grass, their back against a tree. This is the spot where a lot of the students sit waiting for their rides. Today only one person is there, sitting and staring off into space, their face empty of emotion. Even from here however, I know they have been crying at some point, for I can see the streaks of dried tears. I’m a good distance away, but I can see these things clearly. I can also see it’s Donald Pluth.

My heart feels for him. Having fled the bullies and school itself, he’s now just sitting there as if waiting for the grass and weeds to grow up over top of him. I wish I could leave the school building and go over to him and tell him it wouldn’t always be like this. One day he’d free of bullies, but I’m not so sure of that. We are picked on mercilessly as kids, and I’m uncertain if we ever escape that. Perhaps we just trade in school bullies for those in the workplace as adults. Teasing at the water cooler. Harassment at the annual office party. A supervisor bullies you into quitting so he can hire his wife’s brother’s cousin. Perhaps bullying is a vicious whirlpool, and once we get caught in its current, it never stops until we drown in it.

Looking at Pluth, I wonder what he’ll be like when he grows up. Probably a timid shell of a man, scared of relationships and people in general. I hope that isn’t the case, but it’s still better than being me. Better than being bullied to death. Wait a second. Is that what happened to me? I don’t remember the details of my passing. Could fate be using Donald Pluth to tell me this is how I died? Is he the one to lead me to the light, to find my closure and die the way people are supposed to, peacefully and going on to Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, or whatever?

I wish I could remember. This really sucks being a ghost and not even knowing the details of your death. But maybe someone else does. Perhaps if I keep taking over bodies, inhabiting other skins, I’ll eventually find someone with that memory. Then I can relive it myself through someone else’s experience.

I turn away from the door. Anne won’t be back until at least tomorrow. Until then I can look for someone who knows why I’m like this. But before I can think about it too much, the bell rings signaling the end of another class. Doors open and students pour out into the hall. For the next ten minutes I know it will be chaos, as kids rush to lockers, then to the next class. With all the confusion, it is the perfect time to become someone else again. I’d done it twice before, and each instance had been somewhat bizarre, if not eye opening. So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, hope for a better experience. And take a leap.

I brace myself for the impact of colliding with another’s emotions, but the cacophony of thoughts are not emotional this time. There are no big secrets bubbling to the surface, no fear and anguish about bullies. Instead it’s a jumble of numbers and equations, a passage from “The Red Badge Of Courage”, the path of a maze in “Legend Of Zelda.” I don’t even have to open my eyes to know I’ve leaped inside Charles Bruner.

Bruner is the kid every parent wishes their kid was. He gets excellent grades, never misses a day or assignment. He is attentive in class and doesn’t participate in many extra curricular social activities. He’s one of the few kids who doesn’t have his own cell, but he does carry a pocket calculator that can translate up to seven different languages, so there. He’s clean cut, great hygiene, and most of all, never, ever gets into any kind of trouble. And though it seems he is ripe for bullying, the bad kids don’t mess with him. It’s like he is existing in a universe all his own. No one steps inside of it, and he certainly doesn’t step out of it.

But now I’ve stepped inside. I am Charles Bruner. And for a moment, he is me. There is nothing remarkable in my spectral head, so he manages to push my thoughts aside for his own. It throws him off for just a second and then he is back in control, the dominant mind between us. Now I’m just an observer, unable to make him do anything. It’s like I’ve taken a taxi that goes where it wants, no matter where you tell the driver to take you. And right now he is taking me towards his locker to switch out books for his next class.

We move down the hall, sliding past other students who pay him no mind. And he is so focused he isn’t paying them no mind either. In fact, he is thinking of an upcoming trip with his dad to the science museum. Lost in thought, he is on automatic, turning a corner, going up a staircase, around another corner and stopping at his locker. He works the numbers of the combination lock as if it were a Rubik’s Cube and opens the door. Before I can catch a glimpse of what’s inside, I see goth girl out of the corner of my eye. It’s easy to spot her. She stands out like a sore thumb with her Ghost BC shirt in a sea of students who don’t even know who that band is. Just more Satan stuff for a creepy girl.

But for me I’m excited to see her. She stands out to me in a good way, possibly the ticket to learning what happened to me. I still don’t know her name but I find myself yelling, “Hey!” Except it’s not me yelling. It’s Charles Bruner. And he doesn’t know why he yelled. I’m surprised by it too. He must have let his mind wander for a second, and then mine took over, if only for that brief moment.

Goth girl has stopped and turned. A look of surprise or annoyance on her face, I’m not sure which. “What!?” She declares to a confused Bruner.

He stammers, and for a second I think he’s scared of her. “Um…nothing,” he replies, now back in control of his mind. “Uh, sorry…I don’t know what…”

She doesn’t wait for him to finish. She turns away and resumes her way down the hall. I force his head to follow her. It’s not that I want to see where she is heading so I can catch up later. Not really. No, I’m watching her and wondering to myself why I never noticed her much before. Most of my peers, if they had been watching her walk away at this moment would have been thinking, there goes a freak. But I, and even Charles Bruner against his will, is thinking , there goes a girl on her way to being a woman. An old song my dad used to listen to, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon” pops into my head, or I should say Bruner’s. He doesn’t seem to like it as much and gives me my eviction notice.

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 25

Vampire Boys Of Summer

25: Luhan

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah, I got it.”

“But hey, I’m Luhan. Luhan Kai.”

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

“So what were you doing outside my locker?”

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

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

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

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

He looked at me and sniffled. “Chinatsu.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Killed my first this morning,“ he joked.

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

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

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

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

Continue to Ep. 26

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 19

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

19: About The Scars

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

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

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

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

“If I tell you I won’t get it.”

He sighed and returned his gaze to the stars.

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

“Scars.”

“Huh?”

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

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

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

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

“Scars.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue to Ep. 20

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