The vampire slid into bed next to the girl. She smiled in half sleep and curled up against him. Despite the age difference of hundreds of years, it felt perfect to her, their bodies touching each other like this. She offered her neck to him. He didn’t drink. He cried.
Vampire Boys Of Summer
85: Home Is Where The Haru Is
We rounded the corner in the neighborhood, and there was my house, right next door to the one Haru and his “uncles” had moved into, and Ryo’s across the street, Mrs Winston’s actually. It was a nice little arrangement. I could see that now, with my house protected in several directions from any enemy vampires that might try to take my life. Everything was peaceful now, but if what they said was true, this wasn’t over. Another attempt to build an army of vampires and take over Chelsea Valley was inevitable, but hopefully we’d have a respite. It still wasn’t clear why Haru’s dad, if he was in fact the master responsible for all this, wanted to make this little town headquarters for a vampire takeover, but all thoughts of that disappeared with the person sitting on my front porch.
I saw her right away, and though things had been pretty strained between us since I became a teenager, it was so wonderful to see Mom again. I was out of the car before it even stopped. My legs carried me swiftly across the yard, limping and all. Mother herself was jumping from the porch to run towards me. In the movies, you see this big reunion scene, where all is well, everything forgiven, and all parties involved are laughing, crying, and clutching each other like there’s no tomorrow. Well…that’s exactly the way it was. Mother wrapped her arms around me and I allowed myself not to be annoyed with it, but instead reveled in the fact that I was loved and missed by the one who had brought me into this world.
“I have so much to tell you,” she whispered in my ear. For a moment, I wondered if she was going to say there were vampires in Chelsea Valley or that dad had been right all along. But she didn’t. Instead she spoke softly against my cheek. “I love you so much.”
I smiled. This was not something I often heard from her. But I took it gladly into my heart. “I love you too, mom.”
We hugged a little longer, and then out of the blue, mom asked, “What’s wrong with Angela?”
I turned around to see Ryo standing in the yard holding Angela in his arms. She was still sleeping, her head lolled against his chest. “Um, she had a long night,” I said. “She’s just…you know, tired…”
She laughed. “Yeah, I’d say. And who’s the gorgeous boy?”
“Yeah, that’s Ryo. He lives across the street now.”
“With Mrs. Winston?”
“Nephew,” I replied.
To my relief, Haru had gotten out of the car and was now walking towards us. He smiled at Mother. “Mrs. Williams,” he said. “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.” He held out his hand.
She took it and nodded graciously. “Thank you. And please thank your uncles for me again, for their hospitality and generous spirit.”
Haru raised an eyebrow. I guess this didn’t sound like the uncles he knew.
“For offering to pay for Jefferson’s funeral expenses,” she explained.
“Oh yes, Of course,” Haru replied.
I myself was in shock. Not over the offer of help, but in the fact it was the first time in years I’d heard mom call dad by his given name. I realized that I too, for some strange reason, had delegated him to just dad over the years. This made me sad because he had been much more than that. He had been my friend. But Chelsea Valley was not only missing a man the town barely knew. There were others forever gone. We’d lost a teacher or two, a guidance counselor, Students I’d gone to school with. And all for what?
Haru grabbed my hand and squeezed it. “I need to head over to the house,” he said. “Check on Tomoko and Kaito. You want to come?”
“Sure, you go ahead. Now that I know you’re home, I’m going to go get me a shower. I can rest easy now.”
I hugged her. “We’ll get through all this, Mom. We have each other. We’re together. That’s what matters.”
Mother smiled. “Sometimes Nora, You’re more adult than I am.”
Haru looked over at Ryo, who had joined us while I was hugging mom. “You taking her home?” He asked him.
Ryo looked down at Angela in his arms. “Not yet.”
“I’ll call her mom and tell her she’s with me,” I offered.
He nodded to us both and headed across the yard. As he stepped into the street, Angela woke up. From where we stood I could still hear her voice. “Ryo?”
“Am I dreaming?”
He grinned. It was that teasing bad boy smirk of old. “No, Doll. I am.”
He kissed her forehead and she peered up at him with half opened eyes. “It was a dream,” she reasoned. “I…dreamt you saved me.”
“Wrong again, sweetheart. You saved me.”
And then he kissed her for real. Softly on the lips. She closed her eyes again. This time not to sleep, but in pleasure of his kiss.
“Come on, peeping tom,” Haru said and gently tugged me from the scene.
We walked over to the car. Luhan and Chi were still seated inside. Haru leaned down at the passenger window where Luhan now sat. “You guys alright?” Haru asked. Chi nodded wearily. I could tell she was exhausted.
“Yes, we are fine,” Luhan agreed.”But we will need to talk soon.” He sighed and looked past Haru to me. “Nora Williams, You are every bit worth the fight.” Then he winked and it was back to old Luhan again. “If Haru ever breaks your heart…”
“I won’t,” my boyfriend replied quickly.
“But if he should…” Luhan blew me a kiss.
“Luhan…” Chi said impatiently.
“Okay, okay…got to go,” he laughed. “See you kiddies around.”
We watched them drive away. I turned to Haru and looked at him with adoring eyes. Since his arrival things had changed so much. He had come sweeping into my life like a whirlwind. I’d lost so much in the past few days, but had gained the type of boy I’d always dreamed about. And while Luhan may be king of the flirts, and Ryo Mr. Competitive bad boy, I knew that come what may, I could handle anything, face down any evil, as long as I had the vampire boys of summer at my side.
“Remember the thought I sent you earlier,” I asked Haru.
I looked at him with a teasing grin. “Race you for it!”
I took off across the yard towards his house. I looked back just in time to hear Haru yell out, “Hey, no fair!” And playfully chase after me.
Yes, we were going to be just fine…
The End Of Season One
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
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.
“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.
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” 2018 PaulD Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
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
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
And just for kicks…..
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.”
She smiled at the worry in my voice. “She’s with Ryo. He wouldn’t leave her behind.”
And with that, I couldn’t leave the humans behind either. Following Chi, Haru and I led the thirty or so who would follow us. Along the wall we went, only leaving it to disappear behind the stage and follow the candle lit tunnel on our way to the boats. We walked a little ways in a hurried pace. I tried to encourage and usher our followers, and as they became further awake to their plight, they seemed more agreeable to the idea. Soon we were all running down the corridor, me limping along and noticing the candles in the tunnel wall were thinning out. We rounded a corner and straight into pitch darkness. No candles. There wasn’t a single sliver of light. I grabbed someone’s hand and urged everyone else to do the same. Lucky for us, vampires can see clearly in the dark. They aren’t hindered by human eyes any longer. Someone grabbed my other hand, and I could tell it was Haru by touch alone. I had held his hand so many times I knew the exact paths of his lifelines. He squeezed my hand and whispered my name, tugging me gently through the dark corridor.
As we eased our way through the pitch black, Haru periodically squeezed my hand for comfort, and I in turn squeezed the hand of the person behind me. I couldn’t see their face, but I hoped that it gave them some small measure of reassurance that things were going to be alright. They squeezed my hand back and I smiled to myself. It felt good to be leading others to safety.
Soon there was a small shaft of light ahead. I sighed in relief. I wasn’t too afraid in the dark with my hand in Haru’s, but I was still happy to see we were coming to journey’s end. “It’s going to be okay,” I whispered to the person behind, hoping they would pass the message down the line. Instead, they whispered back, “I know.”
I don’t know if I found their response strange, or perhaps it was the confident tone in their voice, but I turned to look at them. The shaft of light ahead had grown larger now, and for a brief moment it illuminated their face, just long enough for me to recognize them. My breath caught in my throat, and cold chills shot through my body. Before I could say a word, they had jerked me away from Haru’s grip, pulling me into their grasp. In an instant, they had pulled my head back and were going for my neck. I could feel their breath on my skin. “I told you you’d be my queen,” Colin hissed.
Continue to Ep. 83
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
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.
“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.
Continue to Ep. 82
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
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.
Continue to Ep. 81
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.