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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 74

Vampire Boys Of Summer

74: Masters Revealed

As we ran across the top of the labyrinth, I couldn’t help but wonder what its purpose had been. Was it designed to test us? To imprison us in its maze forever? Or seeing how exhausted I was, perhaps it was just meant to tire us out and wear us down, so that when we reached the place where Angela was being held we wouldn’t be able to rescue anybody, even ourselves.

My vampire friends seemed tireless. Haru, Chi, and Luhan ran without much effort, but I slowed them all down. I was the weak link in this rescue operation. I should have stayed home and left this up to them. But I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing while my best friend, and indeed the entire town of Chelsea Valley, was in danger of being…well, I didn’t know what the Vampire Master of this labyrinth wanted. All I knew was I was wanted as a bride of some sort, and for what purpose I couldn’t discern. Why would a vampire leader want me? He could have anyone. Any girl out there was his for the taking. But Nora Williams was what he wanted. It didn’t make sense. I was a nobody. But maybe, and if the master was Ryo, it was all because Haru had me. Someone didn’t want Haru to be happy…ever. With that way of thinking, it had to be Ryo. But hadn’t Ryo been there when the vampire king called? Wait, the caller never said he was the vampire master. I asked him if he was, but he had answered that he would be my master. This doesn’t necessarily make him the Vampire master. So with that in mind, who could it be, and do I even know them? It was apparent my friends had suspicions of who it was, and they had been looking for him awhile when they came to Chelsea Valley, but what had Haru done that it warranted losing me, the whole town, or even his life?

Lost in my thought I didn’t realize when the roof stopped. Haru had to stop me from running right out onto open air. The structure of the labyrinth hadn’t come to an end though. It was just the roof that had stopped, as if the builders ran out of materials. There was no way across to the other side now, except back down into the labyrinth which was now deathly quiet. Where had the newly created vampire army gone?

We stood there a moment wondering what to do. We could see the way down into the labyrinth now, the twists and turns that the maze made on its way to an exit. But we couldn’t see the exit. If we dropped down there again we would be like lab rats in a researcher’s experiment, having to work our way through the passages in search of a way out.

Haru looked to Chi and Luhan for answers. “What do you want to do,” he asked.

“If we were all alphas…” Chi replied, but Luhan interrupted her.

“…We’re not,” he said, looking at Haru, who we all knew was a Beta. “No more if’s. We have to get to the end of this labyrinth. The hour is growing late, and deeper into the night it gets, the more powerful these western vampires will get.”

“Are you saying,” I asked, “ these guys get stronger than they are now?”

Haru looked at me. “Vampires of the western world were created differently than those of the Far East. We were created for a different purpose, and as such have different strengths and weaknesses. The Christian cross has no effect on us. We do not need to sleep in coffins or graves. Garlic is useless. The main common denominator is a stake through the heart, of course.”

“Enough prattle, “ Luhan said. “We can go into vampire history later. Let’s move.”

And with that he jumped down into the labyrinth. Chi looked at us, and with a shrug of her shoulders, followed him.

Haru looked at me, concern on his face. “I’m sorry. I should never have brought you here. I fear….”

I jumped down into the labyrinth.I hit the hard floor in a roll, in an attempt to break the harshness of my landing. It helped, and thankfully I didn’t break anything, but I felt my leg give a little. When I stood up and went to join the waiting Chi and Luhan, I did so with a new painful limp.

Haru was the last one down, and when he saw me limping, he frowned. “Baby, why did you do that? I can carry you.”

“I can’t expect you to baby me all the time, Haru. I’m tired of being the weakest link. I will earn my place.”

“You don’t need to earn anything, love. It is all freely given to…”

“This is no place, nor time for a lovebird squabble, “ Luhan said, examining the section of maze we were in. One section was closed off with a massive gate, so you could not go back the way we had originally came. The way ahead was open but we didn’t know how far. “Come on,” he added, heading that way.

There wasn’t much choice, so we all moved forward into the maze like Dorothy and her companions on the way to see Oz, the Great and Powerful. At first, the walk was uneventful. My ankle was killing me and I assumed I had sprained it on the jump. I could understand Haru being upset at me, but he hadn’t been mortal for almost a thousand years. He didn’t have to worry too much about human weakness. I felt like I needed to prove myself. If not to my vampire friends, then to myself.

We turned a corridor and were confronted with three separate branches of tunnels. I guess this was what Miss Thomas meant by puzzles to solve. We stood there at this crossroads for a moment. Then that moment grew longer as each of us offered our suggestions of the path to take. Luhan was the last to state his opinion and it surprised me.

“They are all the same. Each one leads to the exit. This is not a puzzle. It is a mere distraction. Holding us up and buying them more time to prepare for us.” He looked back the way we’d come, and then heavenward. There was no roof over the labyrinth now, but the cavern ceiling could be discerned high above us. He sighed. “This is a trap, after all.”

“A trap?!”

Luhan looked at me and nodded. A grim look was upon his face. Worry resided in his eyes. “Yes. Up until this moment, we have done exactly as they wanted us to. This has been meticulously planned. For what purpose I do not know. But it is a trap nonetheless. They have been testing our strengths and weaknesses. Lucky for us, we haven’t shown much strength to them, so we have that to our advantage.”

“But if it’s Ryo, he already knows that.”

“It’s not Ryo,” Haru replied.

This was both a relief and surprise to hear. My suspicions about him being the master were just the workings of my own confused human mind, trying to see the worst of everyone. I had had all these signs that I thought was evidence of his duplicity in evil. And still, his deviousness and bad boy attitude screamed out to me that there was more to him than met the eye. None of that mattered now however, he was gone.

“Then who is it?”

He hung his head and I could tell he didn’t want to say. He’d been avoiding telling me, not because he didn’t want me to know. He just didn’t want it to be true. The longer he kept his silence, the longer he could avoid the confrontation that was coming. He looked up at me, tears brimming in his eyes.

“I can’t do this. I never wanted this. I just couldn’t follow him. It wasn’t right what he wanted us to do.”

He turned away from me and looked at Luhan. My young friend had an equally anguished look on his face, but without the tears. He was trying to be strong for Haru.

Haru fell to his knees before Luhan, bowing his head so low it was nearly touching the cold cavern floor. “I am so sorry….Master.”

Master? What the hell? Luhan was the master of their clan? Is that why the fake cops tried to take him? To make the rest of my Asian friends powerless? My mind ran backwards in memory at all the little things that pointed to this as the truth. How Ryo had been in fear of his wrath that night in my room, how he had been the one to dispense orders and advice. How he always seemed to be just hanging back and watching.

“Get up, Haru,” Luhan said. “This is not your fault. He made his choice. One thing that was not taken from us when we were changed. Free will. He chose evil deeds over good intentions. After our eventual purpose was served, and we chose rest and contemplation, he chose to become his own God. Now get to your feet, we need you. I need you .” He looked at me. “She needs you.”

Haru looked up first at Luhan, then at me. “I never wanted this day to come,” he said.

I was confused. I had no idea what they were talking about. Some thing from the past, I guessed. Maybe I wasn’t ready for this either. It was a big enough revelation that little Luhan was the master of the Japanese vampire clan that had taken up residence next door. I’d at first thought it was Tomoko, Haru’s so called Uncle. And here lately I was thinking of Chi because of her take charge attitude, but Luhan? He looked like he was twelve and stuck in middle school forever. Nothing at all like I imagined a vampire master to be. And with that being the case, who was the master of the vampire army we were going up against?

Haru looked at me as if he had heard the question spoke aloud. “It’s my dad.”

To Be Continued…

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

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 68

Vampire Boys Of Summer

68: In Pursuit

I heard Haru’s voice in my head. “Get down. Don’t look,” it commanded, and I couldn’t help but obey. I lay on the floorboard and covered my head with my hands.

I heard a snarl, followed by a scream. A loud growling sound, born of rage and enough to chill me to the bone, followed by more screams. A tearing sound, ripping, cracking…even more screaming. Something big hit the back of the car and I dared to look up. There was a thudding sound on the roof and a splatter of blood cascaded across the passenger’s side window. The car rocked again as one of the jock’s bodies came slamming down on the trunk, with Haru attached to his neck. I turned my head and buried my face in the floorboard again. I didn’t want to see what my Haru had become. This was why he didn’t want me to come on a hunt with him. It wasn’t pretty, nor was it the Haru I wanted to know. Still, I loved Haru more than anything, and if I were going to be his girl I would need to accept who and what he was. After all, he wasn’t being brutal and destroying our attackers for no reason. He was doing exactly what he said he would always do: protect me.

Someone yanked open the driver’s front door and got in. They plopped down hard in the seat and began to repeatedly beat the steering wheel. “Shit, shit, shit,” they cried and I realized it was Chi. I heard her tearing up something in the front of the car and I dared to sit up. She was fumbling with wires under the steering column, touching some loose ones together. The car jump started to life, the engine revving under her heavy foot.Chi looked at me in the rear view mirror with fear in her eyes. Her face was streaked with tears. “They got Luhan,” she babbled. “Damn it, we should have known!”

“Should have known what?”

The front passenger door was flung open and Haru got in.

“What the hell happened?” He asked Chi.

“They took Luhan!”

“Drive! We got to get him back!”

Haru looked back at me. His face was covered in blood, but I knew it was not his own.

“What about Ryo?” I asked.

“We can’t help him now. Luhan is more important.”

Chi put the car in gear And we took off after the police car that had taken Luhan. I looked back. Ryo was nowhere to be seen. We may not have always got along but I feared for him. Did the jocks beat him to death? Was he still laying in the grass back there?

Haru looked at me as if he understood my thoughts. “I’m sorry, Nora. There’s no time.” He climbed over the seat to join me in the back. “Listen, I know you think we are being cold to Ryo, but he can handle himself.”

“But…”

“Yeah, I didn’t see him either. But listen, when his time comes he’s not going out under a pile of kids or from a couple aspiring football players. Whatever has happened to him, he’ll rejoin us. But he would want us to get our priorities straight. And right now, the thing to do , the most important thing to do, is get Luhan back.”

Chi took a sharp turn. The wheels screeched on the pavement and Haru slid into me. He put his hands lovingly on my face. I loved the feeling of his palms gentle against my cheeks. Any other time and I would be throwing myself upon his beautiful lips. Again, he sensed my thoughts and kissed me.

“I know you have seen some things today that are hard to take. I never wanted you to see me as anything other than your devoted boyfriend. I don’t want to be a monster to you.”

The image of him, teeth sunk int the neck of the footballer, blood spraying across the window, made me shudder inside, but I tried not to show it. “You’re not a monster, Haru. Never.”

“When the rage overcomes me the bloodlust rises. And when the bloodlust rises, I become something else entirely. Chinatsu has more control, but mine is…crazy.”

An uneasy look must have been on my face because he kissed me again, soft and tender as if to say, there’s no monsters here. “Don’t worry. I’ll never hurt you. Or turn on you in a blind rage. I don’t get that crazy. I will always protect you, Nora. Even from myself, if need be. That I promise you.”

“We should have been protecting Luhan,” Chi said from the driver’s seat.

Haru sighed. “We can’t blame ourselves, Chi. We got distracted, split up and divided. We’ll get Lu back.”

“I can’t believe we got beat by high school football and little kids.”

“We were too confident. It won’t happen again.”

I looked at my Haru. He had a determined look on his face, but beneath that was worry. Perhaps we’d all been bolstered by Ryo’s cocky attitude of revenge and everyone let their guard down. But I knew that was a mistake that wouldn’t be made twice.

“There they are,” Chi said, taking another crazy turn, pouring on the gas so much the back end of the car slid for just a moment. I grabbed the door handle to hold on. Up ahead I could see the police cruiser. It was pouring on the gas too, doing its best to keep a good gap between us.

Haru patted my knee and looked straight ahead. “It’s going to be alright,” he said, but I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or trying to convince himself.

“What if they kill him…?”

“They aren’t going to kill him, Chi,” Haru replied. “They need him alive just as much as we do.”

She nodded and tried to urge the car to go faster. The cruiser still had a lead on us, but it seemed we were closing in.

“I want to know where the hell they got the cops from,” Chi mumbled.

“I don’t know. I just hope they don’t have more than that.”

We took a curve, then another. The hills rolled out before us. “Damn it, they are surging ahead again. We’ll never catch them like this.”

The cruiser went over a small hill. When we topped the rise there were at another hill and going over. Our car left the road, airborne over top of the hill. We landed with a bump and screech of tires and kept going. But they were still gaining ground away from us. They went up another rise.

“Push it,” Haru yelled, and Chi pushed the gas pedal all the way to the floor. We climbed the rise so fast my stomach lurched. Then came the crash. There was the sound of tearing metal, car parts breaking away and scattering across pavement. The tumbling of a vehicle turning end over end on the other side of the hill. The police cruiser was under attack.

We came over the rise and the wreckage lay before us. Though we had just heard the sounds mere seconds ago, it appeared to be all over with in devastating ways. The cruiser was in pieces, debris of metal and fiberglass scattered everywhere.

Chi slammed on the brakes. Haru and I both braced for impact, but our car went into slide and avoided the crash. The vehicle came to a stop right in front of the blue suited officers. He was lying in the road. Arms and legs were twisted in uncomfortable directions, probably broken. His neck was a mass of exposed sinew and blood.

We all jumped out of the car. Haru and Chi ran to the police cruiser, but I hung back. I didn’t know what had happened, but whatever had destroyed their car I didn’t want to mess with. It looked like they had run into an invisible brick wall, for their was nothing else in the road they could have hit.

I watched as both Chi and Haru hurriedly sifted through the wreckage in search of our kidnapped friend. Chi flung a door out of her way. There was a body underneath. It wasn’t our companion. It was the other officer and he seemed to have suffered similar injuries as the first guy. Even from where I stood, I could see his throat also appeared be nothing but a horrible mass of ripped tissue and blood. I put my hand to my mouth to keep from getting sick.

“What’s going on,” asked a voice from beside me. It startled me and I jumped as I turned towards the sound. The figure standing right beside me was also covered in blood. It was on his face, dripping down his shirt, splattered on his pants, and even across his cute purple painted nails. Luhan looked up at me. “Looks like someone made a boo-boo.”

To Be Continued….

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 67

Vampire Boys Of Summer

67: Officers In Blue

The first one came forward. Ryo held his hands up in mock surrender. “Hey big guy, we were just leaving like we were told to. We leave, you return the girl. That’s the deal.”

The guy looked confused at first. It reminded me of someone who is getting instructions through an earpiece. It is was easy to see he wasn’t a vampire. None of these jock guys were. They were human slugs under someone else’s control.

“The deal has changed,” the guy finally said. “You leave. We keep the girl. You don’t die.”

Ryo lowered his hands. “Wow, I’m impressed. You actually strung some words together to make a complete sentence.” He began to applaud.

I wasn’t sure what to do. Haru squeezed my hand as if to say, brace yourself.

I heard the whir of the spinning nunchuck before I saw it. One of the other hulking guys had begun to show off his expertise with the weapon, though he held back to see what Ryo was going to do to their spokesperson.

“You know,” Ryo sighed. “You guys should have brought throwing stars instead.”

Before anyone could even respond, his arm shot out and his open palm connected with the jock’s chest. The force was so hard it nearly knocked the wind out of the guy. It wasn’t designed to harm the boy however. It was merely intended to shove him backwards a few feet, just enough to make him stumble into the path of his friend’s twirling nunchuck. The weapon, essentially two pieces of hard wood connected by a chain, slammed into the guy’s head, which stopped the momentum of everyone.

Ryo ducked and spun around the guy’s now falling body and popped up in front of Mr. Nunchuck. Again, his open palm was Ryo’s weapon of choice and it slammed up and across the bridge of the second assailant’s nose. There was a brief spray of blood, but Ryo ignored and it and charged the third footballer. This guy had the brass knuckles and was a more prepared than his friends had been. He managed to land a blow across Ryo’s cheek. There was a cracking noise and I gasped, thinking the guy had managed to break some bones in Ryo’s face. But the cracking hadn’t come from that. It had come from the fact Ryo had grabbed the guy’s wrist just as his fist had landed the blow. In one swift motion, he snapped the bone. The guy screamed in pain, and Ryo swept his legs out from under him with his foot. All three of the attackers were now on the ground in various degrees of pain.

Ryo stood over them , looking down as they writhed on the ground, moaning from their injuries. “Now, you tell your master….”

The kids dropped from the trees. There were more than we initially thought, and they were all landing either on Ryo or around him. Before he could even react he was buried breath a pile of rabid, foaming at the mouth children.

Chi broke off from our group and charged into the fray. She started pulling the kids off Ryo. I could tell she was trying not to harm them, but it’s hard to avoid injuring others when you are flinging them through the air. I couldn’t believe all this was happening. Just what was the purpose of this whole confrontation. They had to know this wouldn’t stop my friends. Why were they trying to delay us?

Luhan was getting agitated by all this as well, and looked to be ready to join Ryo and Chi, but Haru put a hand on his shoulder. “They can handle this one,” he said. “Let’s get to the car.”

“You’re going to leave them?’ I asked.

“They’ll catch up. We have to keep moving.”

I looked at the melee under the trees. Ryo and Chi were pushing kids away from them the best they could, but once you got three off of you, three more took their place. It was like trying to swat pesky flies at a barbecue.

We moved around them, Haru, Luhan, and I. We ran across the yard, aiming for Haru’s car. It had miraculously survived my driving skills from where we had raced home from the hospital. Hopefully, I t would get us up to the lake before night fully descended.

As we reached the car and Haru threw the rear doors open, I looked back. Ryo and Chi were still under assault, but now they had bigger worries. The football jocks were getting back up and they didn’t look happy.

“Haru?…”

I turned to look at my love, but he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at the two police officers coming across the yard towards us. They wore blue uniforms and walked with a determined gait. They both had a pair of handcuffs in their hands. One also had what looked like a taser. But what really bothered me were the fact that they were police at all. You see, Chelsea Valley didn’t have a police force. We had sheriffs, and they dressed in tan, not blue.

“Nora, Luhan,” Haru said quietly. “Get in the car.”

I dared another look back at Ryo and Chi. I noticed Ryo had lost his advantage and the three hulks had drove him to the ground and were kicking him in the ribs. Chi was running across the grass towards her. She was screaming something. I thought it sounded like “Trap!”

“Nora Williams,” one of the officers in blue intoned. His voice was menacing and deep.

Luhan came around the car to confront them. It looked almost silly, these two tall policemen being confronted by a guy who looked all of twelve on a good day.

“You can’t take her,” Luhan said.

Both officers smiled and it was scary. They didn’t have fangs or anything, but their mouths looked dingy and dirty, as if they had been napping in a dirt grave for forty years.

“We didn’t come for her,” one of them said, pointing a taser at Luhan. He fired. The electric charge surged through Luhan like a bolt of lightning. The little guy’s body spasmed and he fell to the ground, flopping around on the grass, as the massive amount of electricity passed through him.

I heard a scream and at first thought it was me. But it wasn’t. It was Chinatsu. And she was leaping through the air. She touched down in front of the guy with the taser, smacking it right out of his hands. She grabbed him by the throat and squeezed. He brought a hand up in an attempt to do the same to her, but she was too fast. She caught his wrist before he made contact. For a second she seemed frozen in time, one hand around his throat, the other clenching his wrist, and then her hands moved in opposite directions so fast I barely saw it. But I heard it. The cracking of his wrist bone. The snapping of his neck. He didn’t even have time to scream. He crumbled in a heap at her feet.

The other guy had grabbed the unconscious Luhan, whose body was still twitching through the after effects of the electric shock. He hauled him up and over his shoulder and was breaking into a run for the police cruiser.

Chi snatched up the taser, angrily crushing it in her hand, and then went after him. Haru looked at me as if he were going to leave my side and give chase as well, but then he grabbed me shoving me in the back seat of the car.

“Keep your head down, “ he shouted, shutting the door once I was all the way in. Before doing as he said, I glanced out the window and saw all three of the footballers running towards us. I couldn’t see what had happened to Ryo, but the fact they were now coming after us didn’t bade very well.

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 59

Vampire Boys Of Summer

59: The Odd Miss Thomas

Miss Thomas regained her composure and began to take charge, telling the students to go on to their classes, now that the excitement was over. Then she approached us, her eyes taking in Chi in a suspicious manner.

“Thank you, young lady,” she said. “That was some quick thinking and a very brave thing to do. I don’t believe we have been properly introduced. What’s your name?”

This threw me off a bit. Hadn’t she met Chi in her office the other day when the Japanese girl had broken Amanda Trump’s nose? Had she forgotten that quickly? Chi herself didn’t register any surprise, as if this was normal behavior among adults she had met. Instead, she put on her most gracious smile. “I just started last week. I’m Chinatsu, but my friends call me Chi. You can call me Chi, too.”

I didn’t know if she used some kind of vampiric hypnosis, but her response and tone seemed to take the suspicion right out of the guidance counselor.

“Oh well, thank you for your assistance in handling….” She looked at the unconscious Mr. Sharp, who was now being lifted from the ground by the two teachers.

“No problem,” Chi replied. “It’s surprising what you pick up after eight hundred years of high school.”

I didn’t know if she was making a crack at the middle aged Miss Thomas or poking fun at her own experience as one of the undead, but either way, everyone couldn’t help but laugh. It was especially good for me having feared for my life just minutes ago.

If I thought the rest of the school day would be without event, I was mistaken. After the bizarre attack from the math teacher, Chinatsu wandered off down the hall, and Mrs Thomas went back to her office, leaving Angela and I alone. We watched the other students eye us warily and go to their classes.

“That was a good kick,” I told Angela.

She grinned. “I don’t know what came over me. Good thing I’m not in his class.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

“I don’t know what’s weirder, him eating a rat or trying to attack you. What’s he have against you anyway?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. I didn’t say as much, but I felt it was connected to last night’s assault. That’s not what puzzled me though. It was the few words he said to me. Ick-uh-rus. This wasn’t the first occasion I’d heard it, but this time It had sounded almost derogatory. Was he calling me a name, or was it a code word, a clue to the vampire master’s identity? What did Ick-uh-rus even mean anyway? And why did he say soon it would be my turn? My turn for what? The slave and master thing didn’t sound too promising either. After all, I didn’t think he was talking about Fifty Shades Of Grey.

“Things are definitely getting strange in Chelsea Valley,” Angela said, as we headed to our classes. Her Spanish Class was on the second floor so we climbed the stairs, neither of us very anxious to get there.

“What do you mean, strange?” I asked.

“Just people. Acting all funky and weird and shit. Guys hanging outside my house.”

I stopped. “What?”

She shook her head. “Yeah. Last night there were like three guys sitting on the low wall across the street. Just chilling. They kept looking up at my house like Lana Del Rey lived there or something. I looked out the window one time and they even waved at me. I shot them the finger and they all laughed.”

“Do you know who they were?”

“No, never seen them before. They were older, like college guys or something. Normally, I’d find that inviting, but last night it was creepy. The last time I looked out they had come off the wall and were in the middle of the street. Then this other guy came walking down the street and they took off. I guess they didn’t want anyone but me to notice them. Bunch of freaks.”

“Yeah, that’s freaky.” I wanted to tell her what had happened to me but I couldn’t. I felt like I would regret it later, but I had to keep my silence.

“But hey, my night was nowhere as bad as yours,” Ang added.

“What do you mean?”

“You know, your dad.”

I hung my head. “Yeah, it doesn’t get much worse than that.”

But actually it does. A worse notion is an invasion of evil vampires taking over the school and all of Chelsea Valley. I was hoping that Haru and Ryo were having some luck today finding Bram.

While Angela was stuck in Spanish Class, I had to endure Art. Normally it was one of my favorite classes, but I couldn’t quite concentrate on the assignment. The class was halfway over when Miss Thomas came looking for me and asked that I accompany her to her office.

Once there, we sat for a few moments in silence, her at her desk, me in the sofa chair across from it. Finally, she sighed.

“I am so sorry about your father, Nora. You and your mother have my deepest sympathies.”

“Thank you.”

“If there’s anything I can do…”

“No, I think we’re okay,” I said , trying to head her off from the typical spate of condolences that come at time likes this.

She nodded her head and seemed to be contemplating saying anything further. She picked up a pen and nervously twirled it between her fingers. After a moment, she set it down and said what was really on her mind.

“Mr. Sharp has been taken into police custody. He will be taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Detectives will want to question you eventually, I imagine. Are you okay with that? “

“Yeah, no problem.”

“The school will have to notify your mother as to what happened. But before we do, is there anything you’d like to tell me? Something the school should know?”

“No.”

“You don’t know why Mr. Sharp attacked you?”

“No. He’s not even one of my teachers. I’ve never spoken to him or acknowledged him in any way before. I mean, I know who he is. He’s a popular teacher, but I wasn’t aware he knew me.”

“So what exactly happened?”

“Angela and I were walking down the hall. We saw some people outside the classroom and when we got there and looked in, he was at his desk foaming at the mouth. Then he got up and attacked me.”

She nodded, picked up her pen and jotted something down on a notepad in front of her.

“Did he say anything to you ?”

“No, mam,” I lied . I didn’t think she’d understand any of his words to me. There was no point in divulging them to anyone except my Asian vampire friends.

She made another note. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

She sighed as if she knew I was lying. “Anything else unusual about him?”

“No.”

“Eating a rat isn’t unusual?”

I didn’t look at her. Instead I tried focusing my attention at the window, wishing I could will myself out of the room.

“Look, Nora. You can talk to me. It’s okay. You can trust me.”

I wasn’t so sure about that. I mean, could I really trust her enough to say there were vampires in Chelsea Valley? No, I didn’t think so. It was best that the less she knew, the better off she would be. Ignorance is bliss.

“I know the things you go through as a teenager,” she continued. “I was there myself once. I know that the culture may be different than when I grew up, but the feelings are the same. I will understand anything you tell me and try my best to help you through it.”

I doubted very seriously she’d understand anything I was going through, but I decided to go out on a limb.

“What does Ick-uh-rus mean?” I asked .

This threw her off big time. “Excuse me?”

“The words, Ick-Uh-Rus. What does it mean?”

She still seemed thrown off, as if she couldn’t understand what my question had to do with anything, let alone teen insecurities or problems.

“Well…um….Icarus I believe, if this is what you are referring to…he was a figure in Greek Mythology. He flew too close to the sun. Um, I never was much into mythology myself. Perhaps you should ask your history teacher about it. I believe they may….”

“Okay, thank you,” I replied, heading her off from rambling even further. I didn’t think she’d be much help, but she had asked for me to talk, so there you go.

I got up from my chair. “Is that all? Can I go back to class now?”

“Yes, that’s it for now. I’ll talk to your mom about the incident soon.”

I didn’t know if she meant it as a threat, but it didn’t scare me half as much as the thought of evil vampires running up and down the halls.

“Okay, I’ll tell her,” I replied, and headed for the door.

“Uh, Nora?”

I stopped, but only half turned to her. “Yes?”

“See you in summer school.”

“Yeah, great.”

I didn’t know it, but it would be the last time we’d have a somewhat friendly conversation.

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 58

Vampire Boys Of Summer

58: Rabid Teacher Day

I did make it for the last day of school, but I was a little late. Time may stand still sometimes, but it speeds to catch up eventually. Because of that, I missed the bus. I could have gotten mom to take me, but Haru offered to give me a ride. I don’t think he was worried I would run into trouble on the way. I think he just thought it was the gentleman’s thing to do. He may have embraced a modern attitude about some things, but he still had this old world way of thought. I really liked that about him. It was a quality that no one else had, not even Ryo.

Haru kissed me when we pulled up in front of school and told me I didn’t really have to be there if I didn’t want to. We could just as easily go back home. He seemed to understand the dilemma of going to classes the morning after a parent has died.

“No,” I told him. “I need to do this. Dad wouldn’t want me to be sitting around and moping. He’d want to me to be preparing for the invasion he was talking about. We need to know if anything else happened last night and if any of the others involved in the attack show up for school.”

He smiled and nodded. “You always impress me, Nora. Your resilience and strength is to be commended.”

“I wouldn’t be strong without you,” I replied, getting out of the car. I walked around to the driver’s side and leaned inside his window. “A kiss for luck, please.”

He obliged me, his lips full upon my own. With Haru’s kisses I felt like I could face anything. But it made me wonder what he was going to face.

“What are you going to do today?” I asked.

“Ryo and I are going grocery shopping.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Grocery shopping?”

“Yes. It’s time to find that Bram guy your dad was talking about. It all started with that confrontation. If we can find him, maybe we can find the one behind your father’s killing and the attack on you.”

“Please be careful.”

“I will. Say hello to Angela for me.”

Angela. In all the madness of last night, I had forgotten about her. Last time we had spoke it hadn’t ended on good terms. I hadn’t wanted her to go see Ryo, but she had misunderstood my reasons. I had to admit now I thought my reasons had been stupid. I just wanted to protect her, but I should have stayed out of her attempts at a love life. Maybe I was jealous in a way. Maybe for once I had wanted to be the one to have a boyfriend, and for her to be the loner. I needed to stop being selfish and let her do as she wanted. She’d find out Ryo was a vampire soon enough. How she handled that when the time comes would be up to her.

I smiled at Haru. “I’ll tell her hi, but I don’t know if she’ll show up today. She’s notorious for skipping.”

“I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.” He turned his head towards the school and nodded.

I followed his gaze and saw Angela come out the front doors to stand at the top of the stairs, as if she had been waiting for me to arrive. I gave Haru a quick kiss and walked around the car to start up the walk towards her. She came down the steps, a sympathetic look on her face. At first there were no words, just a hug followed by tears. I cried in her long blond hair, and she in turn wet the side of my cheek.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “Mom saw it on the news this morning.”

I didn’t know what to say. “Thank you,” was all I could come up with.

“I should have been there for you,” she continued.

I pulled away from her. “I should have been there for you, too,” I replied, wiping my tears with the back of my hand. “I was a jerk to you the other day. I’m sorry.”

“I was a bigger jerk,” she replied. “Forgive me?”

“Forgive me first.”

“No, you forgive me first,” she insisted.

“Uh-uh, you first.”

She grinned. “No way, bitch. Forgive me first.”

We both laughed at our playful argument and knew there was no forgiveness necessary. We’d always be besties. Nothing was going to change that, not even boys.

Entering school together, we both noticed something was off. I mean we knew it was the last day of school, and some of our peers and classmates would be trying to start summer break early, but there was now a large number of students that were absent. I felt I knew the reason for this, but I couldn’t confide in Angela about it, bestie or not. I had promised Haru I’d keep their secrets.

The first ones we noticed missing were the football team. Of course, I knew that at least some of them had been part of last night’s attack on Haru’s house, but today the whole team was absent, including the coach and his assistant.

“That’s weird,” Angela said, and at first I thought she was talking about the jocks, but she pointed down the hall to Mr. Sharp’s math class. A bunch of students were standing out in the hall talking in curious, worried tones, strange bewildered looks on their faces. A few of them, girls mostly, looked like they would hurl up their breakfast any moment. We hurried down the hall to see what was happening.

Maneuvering through the crowd in the doorway, I managed to get a look inside the room. Mr. Sharp sat behind his desk. On your average day he was a well dressed, perfectly groomed kind of man. Suit, tie, clean shaven, not a hair out of place. Young and good looking, he was popular with the female students. Today however, he was different. He looked rough. Clothes disheveled, hair a mess as if he had pulled clumps of it out, unshaven beard with what looked to be bits of food clumped in it. But perhaps it wasn’t food in the normal sense, for he sat there with a half eaten rat hanging out of his mouth, gnawing on it like a ravenous, rabies infested dog.

“Oh My God,” Angela whispered under her breath, coming up alongside me. “What the hell is wrong with him?”

“I don’t know,” I muttered in reply, but all I could think of was Renfield in Dracula. Had Mr. Sharp been turned into a vampire’s servant? Or was this the ugly process of turning into a bloodsucker? First rats, then humans?

As if he knew my thoughts, the math teacher looked up and made eye contact. His pupils clouded over and a slow grin began to spread across his face. “Nora,” he garbled, his voice sounding like he was drowning in water.

“Uh oh,” I said and backed out of the doorway, just as he leaped on top of his desk. With a big gulp, he swallowed the rest of the rat and jumped off the desktop, heading for me. Students screamed and bolted in every direction. He came out into the hallway, snarling and foaming at the mouth. Angela shoved me out of the way and snarled back at him, like you would a dog that had run out of its yard to chase you on your bike. He was distracted long enough for me to get my back pack off and swing it at him. Laden with books, it connected with his head. The force was enough to knock him off his feet. He nearly did a somersault on his way to the floor. Angela took several steps towards him, her short black skirt swirling about her legs. She put a well placed kick right in his groin, and while it may have slowed him down, he soon recovered and was getting to his feet again.

“Ick-uh-rus,” he growled in a tone of contempt, pushing her to the side and launching himself towards me again. This time however, he was taken down by two teachers who had come running up the hallway. They tackled him and pinned him to the floor. He writhed and squirmed in their grasp, snapping his teeth at them. I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was up again and coming for me. The teachers were strong, but there was no holding a madman. He needed a sedative and I didn’t think the school nurse had anything like that. Still, she came running, along with our guidance counselor, Miss Thomas.

“What is going on here?!”

I turned to answer Miss Thomas, and the rabid math teacher broke free. Flinging the other teachers from him as if they were fifty pound weaklings, he was at me before I even knew it. He grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me. “Soon it will be your turn,” he snarled in a low voice only I could hear. “You will be the slave, groveling at the feet of my master.”

“Your master is a coward,” a voice said from behind him. Before anybody knew what was happening, the speaker wrapped their arms around Sharp’s head and squeezed. His eyes started to roll up in his head and he let me go. Chi tightened her grip, enfolding him within her arms so much you could barely see his face. You could almost hear the air escaping his body in a gasp for breath. Within seconds his body went limp and he collapsed in her arms. She eased him to the ground where he lay still and unconscious. Chi wiped her hands on her skin tight leather pants and with a toss of her long shimmering tresses said, “You’re getting to be high maintenance, Nora.”

Everyone in the hallway was stunned. Rendered mute, they all just stared at Chinatsu, until finally she shrugged and explained with a playful smirk, “I watch wrestling on the weekends.”

To Be Continued….

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 41

Vampire Boys Of Summer

41: Dad & Haru

My father let out a heavy sigh, looked at me, then at Haru. He waited for the orderly to walk away and give us our last minutes. “Haru, I don’t know you son, but you’re friends with Nora, so I trust you. Please get out of Chelsea Valley. They are going to take it over. They’ll start with the children first because they believe. Please get my daughter out of there.”

Haru lowered his voice. “Who was the guy in the grocery? Do you know his name? The one you had the altercation with.”

“The courtroom is all a haze. I was medicated. But I remember in the store his name tag read, Bram.”

“Bram? As in Stoker? The Dracula author?”

“Yes. I think he thought of it as a joke.”

“But you don’t remember his real name.” He turned to me. “Were you in court, Nora? Did you catch his name?”

I shook my head. “Mom wouldn’t let me go.”

Dad reached out and grabbed Haru’s wrist. For a moment, they both froze. Then Dad jerked his hand back. “Damn son, you’re freezing.”

Haru put his hand in his lap. “Yes, it’s a little cold in here, I think.” He looked at me. “We should get going.”

My father was still looking at his hand, as if it were infected with frostbite. He looked at my friend with a suspicious cock of the head. “I’m counting on you to protect, Nora,” he said. “Are you capable of that? It means putting your life on the line with the most vile, despicable creatures.”

The comment didn’t seem to bother Haru. “You have my word.”

“Shake on it.”

I wasn’t stupid. I knew my dad. He was trying to find a way to touch Haru again, to see if the cold, clamminess of his skin was his imagination or not. He’d been warm to me the other day, but now I was fearing that perhaps in his hunger, Haru was losing his warmth. I hadn’t noticed anything when he’d held my hand minutes ago, so I reached for him and touched the hand in his lap. While moments ago it had been comforting and warm, now it was like picking up a chunk of ice. Startled, I looked to him for reassurance.

Haru wasn’t looking at me, however. He was eyeing my father like he knew what he was up to. He reached across the table and shook his hand. “She has nothing to fear when she’s with me, sir.”

Dad realized something was off. You could see it in his face. He knew Haru was different. It wasn’t just the growing clamminess of his skin; it was something about the eyes, too. I noticed it a little too late, but the color was starting to change. The deep, darkness of his iris was turning a rich shade of crimson, as if his eyes were filling up with blood from within. I didn’t know what was happening, but I had to get Haru out of there.

Dad attempted to withdraw his hand, but couldn’t. Haru was gripping it tighter.

“The vampire army will not be built,“ he said in a firm voice. “We’ll take care of that.”

“We’ll? What do you mean by that?”

I interrupted their exchange before it got worse. “He means Haru and I will warn others.”

Haru gave me a look before returning his attention to dad. He let his hand go. “No, it means I won’t allow this. I’ll get Nora out of Chelsea Valley.”

It was too late. Dad wasn’t buying it. He rubbed his hand. “You’re not leaving the valley. I know who you are now. I know what you are. If I had my crucifix….”

“Wouldn’t do any good,” Haru interjected. “It may work with Western vampires, but it doesn’t work with..”

I slid my chair out and jumped up. “Haru, stop it! Dad, stop it! What’s gotten into you both? Turn the testosterone down, damn it!”

My father looked up at me. His face was sad. “Your new boyfriend is a vampire, Nora. He’s here to silence me.”

“Dad, please stop it.”

The orderly must have noticed the disturbance on our side of the room. “Visitation is now over, “ he said, as he came up alongside dad’s chair.

Still looking at me, I saw my father’s eyes were welling with tears. “Nora, I hope you know what you’re doing. You can’t trust….” He looked up at the orderly, and knew he couldn’t say what he wanted to in front of him. “boys.”

“He’s not like that, Dad. Haru is one of the good guys.” When I said it, I found myself hoping I was right in that.

The orderly stepped back as Dad slid his chair out and got to his feet, looking a bit defeated. Haru stood as well.

“I’m not here to silence you, sir,” he said. “There is bad in every group of people, but I’m not one of those. I have Nora’s best interests at heart and I will protect her. The things you speak of will not come to pass, I promise.”

Dad was being ushered away, and we walked with them. “Dad, I love you. And I miss you.”

“I love you too, baby girl. I miss you very much. And I do miss your mom. We just can’t be like we once were. We both are changed, please try to understand.”

“But if you could just come home…”

“I can’t.”

We reached the doors, and soon my father would be separated from me again. “Dad, please…”

He turned his eyes from me and looked at Haru. “You really are, aren’t you? I mean, I’m not that crazy, right?”

Haru nodded. “Yes I am,” and then Dad was through the doors.

Back at the car, Haru looked at me, a worried look on his face. He opened my door and let me climb in. “I’m sorry, Nora.”

“Sorry for what?”

“How things went with your dad. I know it’s not what either of us expected.”

He walked around to the drivers side and got in. Leaning across, he buckled me in, and like before, it was sexy as hell, the way his hands pulled the strap across my chest and snapped the buckle in place. His fingers brushed my lap and I felt butterflies invade my stomach again.

“I’ll try to drive us, but you may have to take over. I should have fed last night.”

“I don’t have my license yet,” I said. “I don’t get it until next month. Normally I would have it already, but there was a mix up with my birthday, so I still have my learners.”

“I’ll try my best to get us home, then.” He pulled down the visor to block the sun from his eyes. Lucky for him, the day was overcast, and the clouds prevented much of the sunshine from reaching us. He was getting weaker, and I didn’t know what that would mean for him if he was out in the daylight too long without feeding.

“I just wanted to be with you as long as I could last night. Watching you sleep is..beautiful.” He smiled. “All this is my own fault, and I’m afraid it made me a little testy with your Dad, too. I’m sorry. When he started about the crucifix, I got a little snippy. I guess I knew he was figuring me out and it made me a little confrontational. I don’t always get along with adults.”

Part of me wanted to laugh at that. I mean, come on, he’s nearly a thousand years old, and yet still thinking like a teenager. I touched his leg. “It’s okay, Haru. There was no harm done. I just didn’t want you guys to argue too much. It was drawing attention.”

“Yeah, I know. Again, I’m sorry.” He started the car and we pulled off, leaving the sanitarium behind. I looked back, hoping I would see my father looking out the window and waving goodbye. All I saw was a dark, lonely building.

Continue to Ep. 42

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 40

(Author’s Note. Greetings everyone! I wanted you to know if you have been following this series, or are just joining , that we are now at the halfway point of the novel. I know we have a lot of episodes here, but bear with me and I think you’ll enjoy the payoff. Lots of action, adventure, romance, and even some naughtiness, on the way. Thanks for reading, and hope you’re enjoying the tale. )

Vampire Boys Of Summer

40: DayRoom Of Doom

The day room was spacious, a large open space where the less dangerous ones could spend away the hours watching television, playing checkers or cards, or just stare out the window at whatever memory had made them a prisoner. The nurse invited us to have a seat at a small table by one of these windows. Glancing outside, I saw the view was pleasant enough; a wide, grassy field decorated with shrubs and flowers. A small group of patients were attending the flowers as if gardening were the only thing that existed in their small confined world.

I looked at Haru, as he watched all the haunted people, both outside and in the day room. He glanced around the room as if sizing them up, and I had to wonder if he was thinking of his hunger and how not many of these patients would be missed by their families. If I wasn’t here, or if I turned my back for long, would the thirst overtake him, or was he more in command of it than I’d seen in the movies? As if he knew what I was thinking, he leaned over and whispered, “Stop worrying. I’ll be alright.”

I told myself he was right and looked around the room. My eyes focused on a set of double doors close to us. There was a window in each door, but I couldn’t help notice they were covered by wire grates, preventing anyone from smashing their way out or in. I was pondering this fact when the doors opened and in walked a tall, beefy orderly with screaming red hair. I would have mistaken him for another patient, if not for the white hospital uniform and the fact he was escorting dad into the room.

I hadn’t seen my father in so long, he almost appeared a stranger. Still, his balding blond head and odd, crooked smile gave him away. It was a smile both bright and sad at the same time, like someone who has to smile on the outside, hiding the torture going on within. “Nora, “ he spoke in a small voice. “What a surprise. I wasn’t expecting a visit from you today.”

He went to hug me and the orderly stopped him. “Sorry, no hugging ,” he said.

Dad shrugged. “I got in trouble,” he explained. “Wasn’t my fault. They tried to take some blood. Not on my watch.”

“Dad, you look nice.”

“I don’t blame you. I’d change the subject, too. Must be embarrassing at school and with boyfriends.” He glanced over at Haru.

“Dad, you’re not an embarrassment. This is my friend, Haru.”

He cocked his head to one side. “Haru? Is that…”

“Japanese,” Haru answered. He’d probably heard the question so many times. I almost laughed because you only heard that asked of non-Caucasian ethnic groups. Nobody ever looked at me and said, ‘Nora, Are you white?’ It’s sad, really.

“I was in Japan once,” Dad said, though he didn’t seem to be telling Haru this; he was too busy staring at a spot past us, and I turned around to see what his eyes were fixed upon. I didn’t see anything except white paneled ceiling and a large square wall clock in black and white.

“So was I,” Haru answered, a mischievous, playful smile crossing his face.

Dad laughed. “I imagine so.” Then he looked at me. “So, Nora, how are you?”

“I’m doing okay. How about you?”

“Well, I’d rather be home, but I guess I won’t be seeing that again.”

“Don’t say that. They’ll let you come home soon.” I wasn’t sure that was true, but he looked like he could use some encouragement. After you’ve been in a place like this, even for a short time, hope just seems to drain from you.

“Perhaps. But it won’t be the same place. How’s your mom?”

“She’s okay. You know, she’s typical mom. But she’s getting better, I guess.”

He nodded. “Just give her time, Nora. She’s new at having to raise you.”

“I don’t need raising anymore. I’m grown up.”

“Yeah, I thought the same thing at your age. Hell, I thought the same thing at my age, but you see where that got me. Stay a kid, baby girl. It’s much safer that way.”

“It doesn’t feel very safe.”

“I know.” He flashed me an encouraging smile. “Hang in there.”

That was the extent of his parental encouragement now. Once upon a time, he had nearly raised me alone. Mom being intoxicated and indifferent wasn’t anything new. Her drinking might have escalated after Dad’s incarceration, but for as long as I could remember, she loved indulging in her spirits. Maybe once, long ago, she had been a sober woman. But those days were over. And yes, she might be getting better and surprising me with thoughtful Mom moments, but I felt the alcoholic demons would always be lurking, waiting for their chance to take over again.

“I’ll try,” I said. “Are you and mom getting a divorce ?”

I could tell I caught him off guard, because he looked away. I reached for Haru’s hand under the table. I knew I was going to need him if the answer was yes.

“Nora, your mother and I. Well, things weren’t going so well before. And they have really gone sour since I’ve been in here.” He cleared his throat. “It’s not fair for me to keep holding on to her when she still has so much life ahead of her.”

“What are you talking about ? You have as much life as she does.”

“No, sugar. I don’t. They’ll be coming for me soon. In fact, they may already be here.” He leaned forward and looked at Haru. “Just how did you meet Nora?,” he asked.

“Dad! He’s our new next door neighbor. Now, who’s coming for you?”

I knew the answer before he said it. “The vampires.”

Still, I froze. Whether madness or truth it didn’t matter. He was talking vampires, and I had brought one with me. Noticing my discomfort, Haru squeezed my hand in reassurance. “Dad…,” I started to say, but he held up his hand to silence my protest, just like he used to when I complained about school at the dinner table.

“No, listen. I know everyone thinks I’m crazy, maybe you do too, but I exposed them, don’t you see? They came to Chelsea Valley to start a colony.”

I glanced at Haru, who drew his eyebrows down, waiting for my Dad’s next revelation.

“They’re going to wipe us all out. You and your mother need to get out before it’s too late. You too, Haru.” He wrung his hands together in apparent agitation. “I exposed their plan when I attacked that vampire clerk. I overheard them talking in the market. They’re building an army.”

“Who’s building an army?” Haru asked.

“I don’t know his name. I only saw the clerk. The other one was a tall shadow on the other side of the freezers. When he was gone, I confronted the clerk. The courts and the doctors say he doesn’t exist. That I’m crazy and snapped on that boy for no reason…” He stopped and looked at Haru with narrow eyes. “But you don’t think I’m crazy, do you?”

“No sir, I don’t.”

“And why not? Everyone else does.”

“Because…Well, I …I’m a..”

“He’s taking a course at the college,” I interrupted. “European folklore. Vampires and stuff.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Oh really?”

“Yes sir, “ Haru played along. “It’s very interesting, all the diverse cultural deviations of vampire lore.”

Dad smiled. He appeared relieved, and almost placated. “Yes it is. I studied a little bit of it myself. By the way, did you know in Asia, even Japan, there are no vampire legends that are indigenous. It’s all borrowed from western culture.”

Haru grinned a little. “Well, that’s not entirely true, sir. There is one deeply buried in our history. It’s not really equated with vampires by the west, but some think it’s where Japanese vampires derived from. The Kamikaze.”

“The suicidal fighter pilots?” Dad asked. This threw me off a bit, too. We had read about them in history class when we were studying World War Two last year. Japanese pilots who flew their own planes into the enemy, killing both themselves and their target. They had considered it an honor to die in defense of their homeland.

Haru nodded. “They took their name from a little known Japanese legend. In folklore, the Kamikaze were swirling demons called forth to enact vengeance on invaders. But, what they really were..”

“Visitation is almost up. You only have a few minutes left.” The orderly had approached our table unseen. How long he’d been standing there I don’t know, but it was clear he couldn’t wait to put Dad back in his room and see us on our way.

Continue To Ep. 41

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