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Zombie Drift 4: Blake

Four: Blake

Communications Officer Blake Travers had been bothered by the messages. They were coming in at regular intervals, static and garbled voices begging him to decipher. Every now and then, he picked up a word or two thanks to the noise cancelling headphones. Infect. Virus. Brain. They were just a few he could pick out but the truth started to seep through. On land, there was some kind of contagion. A virus infecting the brain. He had to know more.

He decided to go to Morse Code. There could be no mistaking those kind of messages. As long as the receiver tapped out the right letters the message would reach you accurately. So he sat down at the Morse Code desk and began tapping out his question. ‘Is it safe to dock?’

It took a few minutes. He ran his finger through his yellow blond hair as he waited. This was a nervous habit from childhood and though he’d shaken it in recent years, stress always seemed to bring it back.

He looked at his watch, starting to wonder if anyone would answer. He knew Morse Code was a bit outdated, and the only ones who were taught it nowadays was sailors he was hoping someone at the docks still knew how to use it.

Then it came. In a short burst. Two words over the archaic system. ‘Turn Back.’

Blake quickly tapped out his next question. ‘Why?’

There was no immediate answer, He waited a few moments and tapped again. ‘Need to dock. Have passengers.’

This time the answer was almost instant. ‘Don’t.’

Again he asked. ‘Why not?’

‘Contagion.’

‘Virus?’

A slight hesitation. ‘No.’ Then, ‘Nuclear.’

Blake was taken aback. A deadly virus was one thing to contend with, but something nuclear? ‘Terrorists?’

‘No. Accident.’

‘Radiation leak?’

The reply, when it came, was shocking. ‘Warhead.’

Despite his alarm, he felt he had to ask the next question, so he tapped it out quickly. ‘Intended for whom?’

There was a long silence. The military man Blake had once been was now on high alert. And then a new message was tapped out from the docks. ‘Who is this?’

Blake hesitated. He didn’t know why, but he could almost hear his old naval instructor telling him, Never reveal yourself to the enemy. He’d spent a tour of duty on a submarine, where stealth and silence was normal engagement. Perhaps that applied here as well.

A new message came through. ‘Is this the approaching cruise ship?’

Blake didn’t respond, but the Morse Code persisted. ‘Is this the St. Fitzgerald?’

Despite his better judgement, he tapped out a quick answer. ‘Yes.’

‘Come on in. You are cleared for docking.’

Blake froze. Hadn’t the first message been to turn back? Hadn’t the Morse operator said Don’t when he said he had passengers and needed to dock? So, why all of a sudden was he now messaging us to come in? Because it’s two different people, he answered himself. The first guy isn’t there anymore. This is somebody new. And with this thought came another one. If there was a contagion, chemical derived or nuclear, the military would be there. They silenced him. The first guy. They replaced him with their man. And now they want us to come in. But why.

This can’t be happening, Blake thought. There is absolutely no way this is real. Maybe it’s a training exercise. Some kind of war game with the marines and the navy to better prepare the country for things like this. But his mind screamed at him in his father’s stern voice, “This is things like this! It’s happening now!

He got up from the desk, picking up the sheet he had been jotting the code messages on. He crammed it in his pocket and headed for the door. He had to get to the bridge and show this to the officer on watch. He could bypass him and go straight to the Captain, but that wasn’t normal ship procedure. He knew the Captain was on inspections so locating him could prove difficult. All he knew was they couldn’t go into port without finding out what was really happening onshore.

Outside, he started heading in the direction of the bridge, but something caught his eye. On the open deck, an Indian girl being accosted by two men. He wasn’t sure that was entirely true, but one of the men was holding the girl by her shoulders and was leaning down in her face. The other guy, a boy really, seemed to be looking the girl up and down.

He headed toward them, but waited until he was nearly on top of them before alerting them to his presence. The man had let the girl go and the boy had a cell phone out. “Everything okay here, Miss?” Blake asked.

The man, who had been looking at the cell phone too, suddenly looked up. “Oh, Officer. I think we need to see the Captain.”

This was something Blake heard time and time again. On most occasions they didn’t need the Commanding Officer of the ship and Blake had gotten pretty good at deflecting them.

“The captain is a busy man. Anything I can help you with?”

“Yeah,” the boy shouted. “You can take….”

“Who are you and what’s your rank?” the older man interrupted.

This threw him off a second. “I…I’m Blake Travers, Communications Officer. “

The man smiled and held out his hand. “Ethan. This is Peter. And…” He looked to the Indian girl.

“I’m Prisha,“ she replied.

Blake took the man’s hand and briefly shook it.

“Since you’re in Communications, maybe you should look at this communication,” Ethan said.

Peter handed the cell phone to Blake so he could see. Looking at what was on the screen, he instantly wished he’d left these people alone and continued to the bridge.

“What…what is this?”

“It’s my Instagram,” Prisha said. “A friend sent that to me. She’s waiting for me in Charleston.”

Blake started thinking of the coded messages and how it applied to this. Contagion, the guy had said.

“I’m worried about Cherise,” the girl continued, bringing him out of his thoughts. “I haven’t heard from her since she posted this.”

Blake didn’t know how to respond. Normally, he would be trying to reassure passengers whenever there was a situation. But despite his training, he wasn’t quite prepared for something like this. Whatever this was.

“As the radio guy, you can call ashore, right?” Ethan asked. “Call her friend for her? Make sure she’s okay.”

“Yes,” Blake replied, distracted within his own flurry of thoughts. “Um, I mean no. No, I can’t. I have to get to the bridge. We’ll keep you informed..”

He handed the cell phone back to whomever would take it. Prisha took it from him, a dumbfounded look on her face that begged the question, why won’t you help us?

There was no answer forthcoming. The Communications Officer had stopped communicating and was now moving away from them so rapidly you’d think they were the ones with contagion.

From the direction of shore, the breeze softly blew…

TO BE CONTINUED

Zombie Drift. 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved

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Zombie Drift 3: Prisha

Three: Prisha

Prisha stared at the luggage by the door. Packed and ready, she was dying to get off the ship. Despite the nice weather and exquisite food, the voyage had been terrible for her. Nothing had gone as planned and all she wanted to do was go home. She glanced at herself in the mirror. Her green and gold sari while exquisite was not what she was used to. She preferred jeans and a short sleeve top, a kurtis with leggings when cooler, but she knew her parents were waiting at the port, so something more traditional was required. They disliked how westernized she’d become, and had often threatened to return the family to Punjab, but for Prisha that would be even more alien than America sometimes seemed. They’d moved to the US when she was just nine. Now eleven years later, despite any pleasant memories of childhood with her cousins, America was home.

The cruise had been a disaster fifteen minutes after she boarded the ship. There had been some serious misunderstandings between herself and the guy she had planned to meet. After several years of Instagram, messaging, and e-mails, she had decided to finally meet the guy of her dreams, her online beau. They had planned to take the same cruise as a way of getting to know each other. That way they could have different cabins, yet still spend time dining and doing different activities the cruise offered. It wasn’t the way many of her friends would have arranged the first in person meeting, but as her parents had long alleged, Prisha was her own woman and quite headstrong when she wanted to be.

Desmond, the twenty-five year old Medical school graduate she was supposed to meet, and hopefully spend the rest of her life with, turned out to be a forty year old insurance salesman from Ohio. While age differences between couples didn’t really matter to her, the fact he’d been lying about it for years did. She’d been in university for two years studying medicine herself, and her hope had been to get married, move to New York, and join her new husband in his family practice. Now the only real thing about that was her studies, so once she disembarked she was going to throw herself into her work so much she wouldn’t even have time to think of men. Especially ones who expected you to come stay in their cabin five minutes after boarding the ship.

Prisha smiled in the mirror. She had to put on a happy face, the one that would tell her parents everything had went nice. Though she’d told her few friends, and older sister, the real purpose of the trip, to her parents she hadn’t been quite forthcoming. She told them she was going to meet some girlfriends from the internet on the cruise. She felt guilty for not telling them the truth, especially after she’d been lied to herself by Desmond. She was both ashamed and embarrassed over the whole thing. Maybe one day she’d confess to her mom and dad, but not today. They would be too disappointed.

She pinned her long dark hair away from her face and took a deep breath. She wanted off the ship but she dreaded to even leave her cabin. Desmond was still on board and out there. Since their argument over honesty within relationships and “no, I’m not going to stay in your room,” he’d approached her several times attempting to apologize, but she wasn’t having it. For one, in person he didn’t seem half as sincere as he did online. For another, there was something of a lecherous leer to his gaze that made her uncomfortable. She wasn’t about to….

Her cell went off. A notification. ‘Please, don’t be him,’ she said. She checked her phone. Instagram. She sighed in relief. It was a post from her friend Cherise at the College. It was a somewhat blurry picture. Prisha squinted her eyes, trying to determine just what she was looking at. Didn’t she know how to use the tools to make the image better? It appeared to be of a man on top of another man. None of her friends sent such things over the internet before and she was almost embarrassed to look at it, this image of a bulky man laying flat on top of a younger man. Never mind they were clothed, it was just that it didn’t look right or appropriate to her sensibilities. But then she saw what the guy on top was doing. He was eating the other man.

Prisha let out a scream and threw the phone down. Oh my god, he was really eating him! This wasn’t a photoshopped picture, nor a screenshot of a horror movie. This guy had pieces of the other man’s face in his freaking mouth! She looked down at the phone, Instagram still up and showing the gruesome image. She hesitated to even pick up the phone out of fear the man would come out of the cell and attack her too.

Bing! Another notification. She snatched up the phone and clicked on it. It was Cherise again. Another image. This time it scared her so bad she closed Instagram and made the mental note to uninstall the program as soon as she could think clearly. The image had been a close-up of a face. A woman. Maybe slightly older than Prisha herself. Her eyes had been blood red. Her nose twisted at an odd angle. Foam or something had been on her lips, which had been curled up in a canine like snarl. Her teeth had blood and what appeared to be human tissue on them. That’s what had prompted her to shut down the app so quickly. Most people feared common things like clowns, or spiders, or elevators, but hers was different. She feared zombies. Suddenly, the companionship of a jerk like Desmond didn’t seem so bad.

She shoved her phone in her purse, threw back the bolt on her door, and fled out into the hall. She had to show someone this. She needed someone to tell her that what she’d seen on Instagram wasn’t real. That she had been mistaken. Perhaps they would gently shake her awake and say they were at port and ready to leave the ship. Or that what she was looking at was a makeup screen test for a new movie they were filming. But there was no one in the hall. This was First Class. You usually had people coming and going from their rooms to onboard activities or dinner. That’s it, she thought. Everyone is at breakfast.

Or, her mind told her, everyone IS breakfast.

She raced down the hall and pushed a door open. She had to get outside. Get some air. She was starting to hyper ventilate. Coming out onto the open deck, the morning sun blinded her for a moment and she collided with someone. All she saw was a quick flash of palm trees and parrots as the person caught her from falling. Her eyes came into focus. The trees and birds were on a Hawaiian shirt and an older man with deep blue eyes was looking at her.

“Whoa,” he said. “You alright, miss?”

She tried to speak but was having trouble breathing.

“Maybe she needs the Heimlich,” somebody else said. She turned to the voice and saw a guy who appeared several years younger than she smiling at her. He had short ginger hair and was in a white polo shirt with colorful neon swim trucks so bright it made her wish she’d live long enough to enjoy Holi again.

The man who’d caught her was holding her by her shoulders at arm lengths away from him. He had his head slightly bent to one side in an attempt to look her straight in the face. “Hey, just try to relax. Breathe in slow, then exhale. Breathe in…breathe out. Are you okay? How many fingers am I holding up?” He put his hand in front of her face and held up a finger, then another, then four, followed by three, then all five in rapid fashion.

“You’re going too fast,” she protested, finally catching her breath.

The man smiled and let her go. “Good. You’re okay.” He straightened up his shirt and reached for his collar as if he were more used to suit and tie.

“I apologize, sir. I didn’t mean to…”

Before she could finish, the younger one laughed. “ Hell, we just want to know where the party is at. You was running like your butt is on fire!”

For a moment, she thought the guy was going to follow up his statement by staring at her backside, but thankfully he didn’t. She gave him a “you better not” look anyway.

“Forgive him,” the older man said. “He was born yesterday and has never seen a lady until a few minutes ago.”

Prisha wasn’t sure what to make of these guys. Were they trying to flirt with her or just being nice? Was the young guy checking her out? Was the older man trying to win her over with flattery? Desmond had really messed her up for the rest of the male population, she thought. And then she reached in her purse and pulled her phone out. She thrust it at the younger guy.

He took a step back and asked, “What? You want me to put my number in your contacts?”

“No, I don’t want your number. Pull up my Instagram.”

He had a disappointed look, but did as he was told. He stared at the screen for just a second before he looked at his companion. “Oh no Ethan…”

“What is it?”

“I don’t think that was a movie we saw.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Zombie Drift. 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Drafting Zombie Drift

Okay, so I have been quiet here the past couple months, but I have been working behind the scenes to create new material. For one, I spent time bashing out the second draft for “Time Of Our Death”, my entry from NaNoWriMo 2016. That year I successfully completed the first draft. I was so proud of the achievement as it was my first time doing National Novel Writing Month. I also posted it here as it was being written, which was a lot of fun and cemented my love for Serial novels.

Speaking of which, another thing I’ve been working on is something called Zombie Drift. I’ve been spending some time in the Mirakee writing community, sharing my previously written serials for all the awesome writers and readers there. It has been very helpful to my writing and a great encouragement, and as a result of the international feel of the group, I have begun drafting a new Serial with an international cast of characters. It had been suggested to me to write a zombie story. Another reader added it should be at sea. And so the idea quickly formed in my head of a group of passengers on a cruise ship during a zombie apocalypse.

I have been posting chapters over on Mirakee first, and now it seems to be getting solid enough to start sharing them here as well. So stay tuned if you like zombies, or just follow my work in general, and I’ll start the process of bringing this tale in the making to my blog here.

By the way, just a little plug on where else to find me and my work. In addition to the Mirakee community (you can download the app at the google play store. Sorry not available for Apple), I am also on Wattpad and Twitter. My Wattpad ID is @PaulDAronson. Over at Twitter, I am Paul Writes and my ID is @pauldaronson. I would love to have you follow me. I follow back and try to support other writers, poets, and readers.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 84

Vampire Boys Of Summer

84: While I Was Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Next time?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You wiped their memory?”

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

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

“His name is Kaito,” Haru said.

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

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

I purposely sent a thought his way.

“Oh….really?”

I smiled. “Really.”

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

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

Continue toEp. 85 (last chapter!)

Vampire Boys Of Summer Main Page

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

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.

Continue to Ep. 84

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

And just for kicks…..

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer 79

Vampire Boys Of Summer

79: The Pitiful Fate of Miss Thomas

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

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

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

“If necessary. Seven….”

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

“Six….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue to Ep. 80

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 78

Vampire Boys Of Summer

78: Into The Fray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Fifteen…fourteen…”

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

“Thirteen…twelve…”

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

“Eleven….Ten…”

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

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

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

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

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

Continue to Ep. 79

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