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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 83

Vampire Boys Of Summer

83: If You Want Blood, You Got It

Haru yelled, “No!”

Before he could even step forward to snatch me back, Colin’s teeth sunk into my neck. There was this sudden rush and I felt as if something was surging through me. Something electric. Something ecstatic. Yet I was feeling Colin, not myself. It was his exhilaration that made my eyes roll up in my head and unconsciousness swim around me like sharks. He lifted his head from my neck and I felt my own blood dripping from his fangs onto my skin.

“Finally,” he yelled in triumph. “I get the girl!”

“You already had a girl, asshole,” someone said and through my glossed over eyes I saw Chi’s fist connect to the side of Colin’s face. His head reeled to one side and he went down, dragging me with. We hit the ground with a resounding thud, and then there was screaming as the humans we were leading to freedom realized vampires were in our midst. And it wasn’t just Chi, Colin, and Haru. No, I could hear bad vamps snarling, coming up the corridor in an attempt to catch up to us.

Chi brought her boot down on Colin’s ankle. I heard a crack and he screamed, releasing me. I rolled off and away from him, scrambling to escape. Haru snatched me up and pulled me as far from Colin as he could get. Chi leaned down into Colin’s face. “You could have had it all,” she said. “All you had to do was wait.”

“You left me in the woods,” he snarled. “You said you’d come back and you didn’t. I waited..and waited..and then the master showed up and promised me everything. All you promised me was one night…”

For a moment it seemed Chi’s face fell. A look of deep regret was in her eyes. “I’m…I’m sorry, Colin…I came back for you, but you were gone…I am truly sorry..I never should have…”

“You’re right, you shouldn’t have,” he replied in a soft voice, reaching his hand up towards her face. I caught a glimpse of something in his hand. A glint of silver. His fingers were wrapped around it so I couldn’t see what it was. Before I could say anything, he jabbed it into Chi’s throat. With a stifled cry of alarm, she reached for it, stumbling back from Colin. It was then I saw what it was. An ornate letter opener of the brightest silver. He must have been carrying it with him the whole time.

Chi was making a gurgling sound in her throat. It looked like smoke was coming out from where he’d stabbed her, and I wondered how this was possible. I didn’t think Anti-vampire weapons of the west worked on my Asian friends. I’d been told garlic, crosses, holy water, and even sunlight to some extent, had no effect. So why silver?

“No!” Something whipped past Haru and I. It was Luhan, running down the tunnel to aid the fallen Chi. He reached her as she fell to her knees, struggling to pull the letter opener out. For some reason she couldn’t hold on to it for more than a few seconds. She was trying to speak, but couldn’t. Whatever warning she wished to convey was lost.

Luhan wrapped his fingers around the hilt of the opener. There was a horrid sizzling sound like that of flesh burning. I could smell the smoldering skin of his hands as they tried to catch fire, but he did not let go. Even as I wondered what kind of weapon this was, and Haru frantically tried to staunch my bleeding neck, Luhan was determined. He pulled on the weapon again and again despite the pain until it began to withdraw from Chi’s neck. She screamed as it came all the way out, and I saw what appeared to be green Japanese writing etched on the blade part of the letter opener. No, not green, I thought. Jade. And then it occurred to me. It wasn’t the silver that was causing such damage to my friends. It was Jade. A thing of beauty used in art and other creative ways to us in the west, but to the Asian vampire, it was burning death.

Luhan dropped the offending weapon and laid his palm against Chi’s throat wound. She was no longer gurgling from within, and the blistering of her flesh and Luhan’s had slowed down to a quiet sizzle. After a few attempts she found her voice and said, “master.” Luhan removed his hand from her throat. For the most part it appeared to be healing, though the wound was stained with blood and scarred by the charred flesh. “Sister,” Luhan said, unaware that Colin was not just standing idly by. In fact, Colin was coming right for him.

I jerked away from Haru. He had been applying pressure to my neck wound, but all that could wait. The way I saw it, Ryo had let Colin go and he ended up attacking Chi. Chi felt mercy for him and he had tried to kill her. I wasn’t about to let him go unchecked a second longer. I grabbed up the jade letter opener and intercepted him before he could reach Luhan. “If you want blood!” I yelled. “You got it!” I jabbed the silver into his own throat. At first he was surprised, then came shock, and eventually laughter.

He pulled the letter opener out of his throat, and blood poured from the wound. It seemed not to faze him and he handed the weapon back to me. “Try again, Nora,” he laughed. “Only real silver works on vampires. This one is fake.” He threw his head back. “So go ahead take your best shot.” I jabbed it at him again, and he stumbled back in mock fear. “Whoa, you can do better than that.”

I didn’t know what to do. There’s no way I could beat him like this with a piece of fake silver. I wished I still had some holy water. His face bore the mark of where it had burned him earlier. At least one of the common vampire fighting weapons worked on him. And then I realized I was going about this all wrong. It wasn’t about the silver, fake or real.

Colin was prancing around me like a leprechaun who was sure no one could find his pot of gold. He bared his chest to me, puffing it out as if he were invincible. He wasn’t. I swiped the letter opener across his chest. It may have been fake, but it had been sharpened enough to cut through his skin, making a horizontal cut across his chest. A near perfect line of blood trickled down his flesh. He chuckled. “It’s no use, little girl,” he said. “I can lose blood all day.” He made a gesture toward his neck, indicating that I was still bleeding and probably wouldn’t hold up much longer. He spun around in a circle, finishing it up with a silly ballet type flourish. “You might be good, but you can’t match me.”

I smiled. “Yes I can,” I replied, spinning around in a circle that was near identical to his, except for one difference. At the end of my silly ballet spin, I brought the letter opener across his chest again, this time in a vertical line that cut deep. He retreated again, spreading his arms in feigned surrender. Upon his face, a wicked smile that said he was enjoying this too much. And then he stopped. His smile was gone, replaced by a disbelieving look. He looked down at his chest and now it was my turn to smile. “It may not be real silver,” I said. “But it is a cross.” Across his chest, the two swipes I’d made glistened red in the form of a crucifix.

“You…you bitch,” he mumbled, before his chest burst into flames. He screamed in misspent rage and threw his arms in the air. The fire spread out from his chest and the flames engulfed him, surging up his raised arms, down his legs, burning as red as the blood the proud vampire had craved. He collapsed and hit the ground as the fire swarmed over his head, muffling his screams forevermore. And that, thank heavens, was the end of Colin Deeds. Once a nuisance, then an enemy, now nothing but ash.

To Be Continued…..

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

And just for kicks…..

 

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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.

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 81

Vampire Boys Of Summer

81: Revolt Of The Humans

I’ve heard it said before that true happiness, like true love, is short lived. I don’t believe that assumption. But I do know this. Neither can be achieved without hard work. Nothing comes easy. Nothing is handed to you. With that said, our idyllic moment had to be interrupted. It came in the form of a scratching sound. Like claws on wood. Separating myself from Haru, I saw what it was. The vampires, having grown tired of tearing into each other, had realized there was human blood still in the cavern. While most of that blood was in the dazed, would-be victims lining the walls awaiting their turn, there were two bodies much closer to them: myself and Angela.

The remnants of the vampire army clambered onto the stage, some of them pulling themselves up by their ragged fingernails. Haru put me behind him. “Ryo, we got company.”

Ryo lifted his head from where he lay his cheek against Angela’s, trying to bring a little more warmth back to her. Just moments ago, we believed her to be dead, but somehow Ryo called her back. It had been a beautiful moment just to hear her say his name and to see him answer her with a kiss. But now, there were other kisses we needed to avoid. Haru and Ryo didn’t need to worry about it, but my bestie and I were vulnerable without their protection. To guarantee her safety, Ryo also put himself between Ang and the cavern vampires. We waited for the first ones to reach us. I was hoping this would not be our last stand. Regardless, I was both proud and honored to stand with my vampire boys.

The first attacker came at us head on. Haru put him down, unconscious but without lasting injury. Another came in the same fashion at Ryo, thinking he would fare better than the first. Wrong assumption. Ryo was still angry. He put his attacker down in the same fashion that Haru had, though this one would probably suffer from some lasting effects when he awoke. Ryo wasn’t as good at holding back as Haru.

But now as my two vampire boys had been tested, multiple attackers came forth. They had gotten smart and instead of one on one, they came in groups of four towards us. This wasn’t good. With these kind of angry groupings they would eventually overwhelm us. Ryo looked over at Haru guarding me. He had a grim, but determined look. Something in his eyes told me he would fight to the death to protect us all. He took a step forward to meet the army head on with his head held high.

And then something came through the crowd. It began at one side, parting the hungry vampires as if they were paper dolls. I saw a swirl of long black hair. Vampires thrown, kicked, beaten down. Chi was making a path for us. Haru grabbed my hand and looked to Ryo. They both nodded, and then Haru swung me up on his back. The next thing I knew we were running to the edge of the stage heading for Chi and her frenzied attack on the army. I looked back to see Ryo pick up Angela in his arms and say something to her. I didn’t hear what it was but she responded with a weak smile.

We were getting ready to jump off the stage and into the open way Chi had made for us. In her hands she wielded what must have been a broom handle once, spinning it and twirling it around her head and body, striking everyone she could in order to hold the path open. But Haru hesitated making the jump. He was scanning the room as if looking for something or someone.

I spoke into his ear, as if I too was a mind reader. “Where’s your dad?”

“He won’t face us,” he replied.

“Why?”

“Because he can’t beat us when we’re all together like this.” He turned his head to look at me. “That’s why he has tried to take out Ryo…Me…and Luhan…Wait a minute…” His head shot back around to focus on Luhan. The Asian clan leader was trying to defend the hypnotized humans that lined the cave wall. They had been placed there by Colin to await their turn at becoming vampires. Dazed out of their heads, they were just standing there as if in the midst of a deep sleep and dreaming. Luhan suddenly stopped what he was doing and looked to the stage at Haru. Whatever thought had interrupted Haru from explaining his dad to me must have occurred to Luhan as well. They shared this look and then Luhan nodded and raised his arms over his head. He closed his eyes and stretched out his fingers as if trying to touch filaments in the air. I could see his mouth moving, but I was too far away to hear what he was saying. Still I could follow the rhythm of his lips and tell he was chanting out a cadence or something. I thought to myself, this is a hell of a time to meditate.

I looked over at Ryo and Angela. They had also stopped, hesitating to jump into the crowd. Ryo was smiling as if someone had just told him the most wonderful secret. But for me, I was confused as hell. “What’s going on? What’s Luhan doing?”

Haru didn’t reply. One look at the humans along the wall provided the answer. Some were shaking their heads, others were rapidly blinking their eyes as one does sometimes when waking. Confused looks and furrowed brows. Their dazed, addled minds were becoming their own again and they looked out on the multitude of vampires with terror. But then something else crossed their faces and they paused to listen as if new commands were coming through. The human servants who were fighting alongside the enemy vamps also began to have an awakening, and turned away from their supernatural companions to run back to where the labyrinth stood. They attacked the wooden structure, tearing off boards, watching them splinter into useable weapons, and then charged back into the crowd.

“Did he just….” I started to ask. “How the hell is Luhan freeing them?”

Haru smiled back at me. “Because…he is the master of their master. My father was once part of our group, but he left because his vision of our role in the world was different than ours. And though he took off and started a clan of his own here…well, you just can’t escape your master. Luhan may not be able to control him, but he has power over some of the things he has done.”

“So the people your father took under his power..?”

“Luhan can free them.”

“What of the vampires he created?”

“That he can’t undo. Just as he can’t bring anyone back from death.”

I looked out on the vampire army. They were so crazed and delirious in their blood hunger that they couldn’t regroup as a cohesive fighting unit. The human spirit however wasn’t chained to such desires. Once awakened, most of them instantly realized their need for survival. While some screamed and ran away, others chose to fight the vile army with their makeshift stakes ripped from the labyrinth’s construction. A few didn’t even bother with splintering the wood into stakes. They just grabbed up entire boards, waded into the crowd, and began to pummel the vampires with them.

The revolt of the humans was giving us a chance for another day.

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 80

Vampire Boys Of Summer

80: Ryo & Angela

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angela convulsed in his arms and coughed out a breath.

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued….

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer 79

Vampire Boys Of Summer

79: The Pitiful Fate of Miss Thomas

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

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

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

“If necessary. Seven….”

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

“Six….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 78

Vampire Boys Of Summer

78: Into The Fray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Fifteen…fourteen…”

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

“Thirteen…twelve…”

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

“Eleven….Ten…”

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued…

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 77

Vampire Boys Of Summer

77: Kill The Master!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued…..

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