Tag Archives: YA

Ghost Boy Blues 16

Sixteen

I stand in the hall a few moments. Mr. Jeffs is right in front of me, Donald Pluth’s schoolbooks under his arm. If I were alive, he would see me easily, but because I am death not quite warmed over, I am invisible to his eye. Even when I step up to him, my face mere inches from his, he doesn’t seem to feel my presence. I’d read once that most adults don’t have true ghost experiences because they have lost the innocence and open minds they had as children. There is something about the onset of adulthood that robs us of many things, including the ability to see the world as it actually is.

As if to prove this theory, Mr. Jeffs steps forward, passing right through me, heading back to his class. It is strange, his moving through the same space as I. I don’t feel a thing. Not a shudder, nor a shiver. Not a single emotion washes over me in those few seconds we occupy the same area. Perhaps if he was one of my peers, a teenager, I would feel something. I would be able to connect somehow, and be tempted to take him over to live inside his skin. But there is no temptation. In fact, I don’t think I can interact with adults in a spirit sense. We have nothing in common, I suppose. If I am to take on a new body it will have to be one of the students. And then it hits me. Goth girl. She seems to be the type who wouldn’t mind being taken over by a wandering spirit.

I head off down the hall, realizing I don’t really know that much about her, other than she has been gothed out all year, and probably the year before too. I can’t say for certain because I’ve never paid her much mind. I guess in a sense she is the female version of me. No one paid me no mind either, except my best friend Will. I don’t know how we got to be friends. We are nothing alike it seems. He plays team sports, gets good grades, and while not ready for his own hunk of the month photo shoot, is good looking enough that the girls call him Sweet William. Sometimes I wonder if this is flattering, or an insult on his soft, almost feminine voice. He told me once the nickname itself came from Mr. Jeffs, who dubbed him that after a song by Van Halen or something. Hell, I would have been happy to be named anything when I was alive. I guess with me gone from their plane of existence they could call me anything now. But still I’m nothing to nearly everyone. I remember my grandma saying when I was little that things eventually get better. But she was wrong. If you start out as nothing, that’s how you’ll end. Even death doesn’t make you popular. I hate to be so negative about it all the time, but I’m dead, you know. I am the original negative, absent of life, yet still chasing a dream.

And right now that dream’s name is being announced over the school public address system. I stop and listen. They are calling her to the office. They don’t say why. They never do. But it must be something bad. What in the world could she be in trouble for? I head to the office to find out myself. Along the way, Anne comes out of a classroom, her bag slung over her shoulder and a fast pace to her walk. I fall in behind her. I want to tell her not to worry; I am with her. But she doesn’t know I’m there. She didn’t know when I was alive either, so it’s no biggie, I guess. Still, I hope to find the means to let her know I’m watching over her. Somehow. Someway.

We round the corner together and here we are standing in front of the main office. She hesitates and takes a deep breath. As she reaches for the door knob, it opens. They have been waiting for her. Assistant Principal Deaner and Guidance Counselor Miss Watkins. This isn’t going to be good. I take a deep breath myself.

“Anne,” Miss Watkins says with a forced smile. She is holding the door open and motioning my dream girl into the office. When Anne steps over the threshold and asks what’s going on, the guidance counselor closes the door behind them. Doesn’t matter. I pass through it and follow them. They will need an exorcist to keep me out now.

To be continued…

If you missed an episode or need to catch up, the main page for this story can be found here

“Ghost Boy Blues” 2018 Paul D Aronson.

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 15

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

15: The Visitor

I sat down on the edge of the bed and waited. When I didn’t hear her footsteps right away, I became madder than I already was. I got up and grabbed the remote to my TV. I turned it on and pulled up Netflix. Scrolling through my list, I couldn’t find anything good enough to irritate her with, so I went to the smart TV menu and pulled up YouTube. I had a playlist of Visual Kei videos I loved to watch. She hated loud rock music. Pop was fine. Country was ideal, but angry guitars she couldn’t stand. Even worse, she loathed music she couldn’t understand the words to. So I hit play and the first one came on. Incubus by Acid Black Cherry. Ah, it was perfect. I turned the volume as loud as I could. Take that, I thought. I wasn’t even sure why I was mad at her anymore, just that I was.

It didn’t take long. The song was only about half way through, and I was dancing and jumping around the room screaming at the top of my lungs, “Incubus, break me! Break everything, even this world!” It wasn’t a direct translation. I’d gotten it off the net somewhere, and it served good enough for now. A knock came at my door, quiet and reserved. I turned the music up louder and ignored it. I even kicked over my desk chair and wastebasket so she’d think I was really breaking stuff.

The knock came louder next time, and when I saw the handle trying to turn, I really got furious. I wanted so bad to slap her now. I bounded across the room, unlocked the door and threw it open. “Leave me alone!” I screamed, my open hand already arcing towards her exposed face. Except it wasn’t her.

The figure caught my wrist before it made contact. “If you wish me to leave you alone I will, though I’m hoping that isn’t the case.”

“Oh my god, Haru. I’m sorry. I thought you were…”

“It’s okay.” He let go of my wrist. “You do have a pretty nasty swing.”

I blushed a little, embarrassed.

He raised one eyebrow. “I’m talking about your slapping hand, of course.”

I blushed even more. To think he may have noticed any other swing I might possess was enough for my whole face to turn cherry red.

“You invited me over, remember? I realize you may not have meant so soon but I wanted to apologize.”

“Do you open every greeting with an apology?”

He smiled. “It seems like it, doesn’t it?”

We stood there, awkward for a minute, me in the doorway, and he still out there in the hall.

“You can wait in the living room downstairs,“ I finally said. “I’ll be down in a minute. Just let me…”

“I can’t come in your room?”

“Um, well…I’ve never had…I mean I’m not sure…”

“Thanks,“ he replied, and before I knew it, he had glided past me and into my bedroom. “Oh wow, this is so cool.” He looked around the room at all the J-Rock posters and manga pictures I had plastered on the walls. He picked up the remote and turned the TV volume down, at least enough so we could be heard. “Yasu is great,“ he said pointing to the Acid Black Cherry video. “Wish I had his clothes.”

For a fleeting moment I had a vision of myself dressing him in those clothes, but I forced it away, not sure if the image was from my own head or his.

“Did you draw all these?” He was standing at my desk and leaning towards the mirror where I had taped some hand drawn manga to its surface.

“Yes, I did,“ I replied a little warily. The picture I had drawn of him in class was among them. He noticed it. Though it wasn’t accurate, it did capture some of his features, mostly his cheeks and the shape of his nose. I had drawn it from the memory of seeing him look up at the stars, so that’s about all I could make out of his face at the time. Still, he seemed to know it was him. I thought he was going to ask me about it, put me on the spot or something, but he just smiled and turned towards me.

“Well, as I said, I came over to say I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what?”

“Breaking down on you like that today. I’m afraid my first impression is that of a cry baby.”

Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth, I said, “I like boys who cry.”

He gave me a curious look. “Oh, are you a masochist?”

“No,“ I giggled. “I just like boys who aren’t afraid to show their feelings.”

“Hm. Well, I have lots of feelings to show.” He looked at me, making direct eye contact. His dark eyes were so beautiful. I had never seen anything so deep and expressive. There was an intensity that screamed loneliness, and in that moment I wanted nothing more than to take that from him. I backed away from him, a little frightened of my own feelings, which up until that moment I thought I had a handle on.

“If you want me to,“ he added quietly.

I must have been in a dreamy daze because I heard myself say, “If I want you to what?”

“To show my feelings more.”

“Oh.” I shook my head as if cobwebs had taken up residence inside it. “I’m sorry I was … um…daydreaming, I guess.”

“I wish I could have my own dreams. Maybe you could share me yours.”

“I..I don’t know what you mean, but…”

He laughed. “Forget it. I don’t know what I mean either. I’m just trying to..um..be your friend.”

I looked down at the floor so he wouldn’t see my smile. “I’d like that, “ I said.

He nodded. “Cool.” Then he smiled, and I froze. For just a moment I saw them. His fangs. He didn’t have a big kind of smile that made his whole mouth open, and when he laughed his lips barely parted, so I hadn’t noticed them before. But for a moment I thought I saw them at either side of his jaw, sharp to the point and glistening white. Self-consciously, he closed his mouth.

“Sorry, “ I said. “I didn’t mean to stare or anything. I’ve just never seen…”

“It’s okay.” He nervously smiled, his cheeks almost trembling, as he showed me again. “Please don’t be afraid.”

“I’m trying,“ I admitted. “This is all so weird. Like I’m dreaming.”

“You can touch them if you want.” He opened his mouth wide so that I could touch the tips with my fingers, but that idea freaked me out just a little too much.

“No, that’s okay. I know they’re real.”

He closed his mouth. He looked hurt at first, as if I didn’t trust him. I don’t if that was the case. All I know is one doesn’t just put their hand inside a vampire’s mouth. No matter how flipping hot they are. And he was that. In fact, he wasn’t just hot; he was like a living drug. Just standing close to him was intoxicating. I don’t think he realized just how beautifully intense he was. He wasn’t trying to hit on me, I don’t think, or using some kind of supernatural power to influence my emotions. No, this was me, completely enamored by this boy whom I barely knew but wanted to know much more. My thoughts flashed to what my mom had said about good girls making mistakes and that seemed to break the spell he was unconsciously weaving.

“I better check on mom,“ I said. “We had a fight.”

“I know,“ he said. “I heard her talking to my uncle in the backyard. That’s how I knew you were alone, so I came over.”

“You wanted to be alone with me?” I asked.

“Yes.”

I thought I was going to cry. No boy had ever said that to me before. “Why?“ I asked.

“What do you mean, why?”

“Why do you want to be alone with me?”

“Be-cause I like you. You’re bright, and fun, sweet…beautiful.”

Again, another first. A couple boys had said I was pretty before, but I’d never been beautiful. “You mean that?” I asked, dreading the possibility this was another of his just kidding moments.

He smiled. “Yes, I do.”

I wanted to tell him how beautiful I thought he was, but something inside was warning me no. This was going too fast. Way too fast. The first time we spoke was last night, and here it was not even twenty four hours later and we were having a personal conversation in my bedroom that danced around being flirty. This couldn’t be real. This had to be something else. If something felt too good to be true, that meant it usually was.

He seemed to detect my uneasiness; to know I was having a war within myself, and so he did what I’d never seen a boy do…ever. He retreated to his corner with no questions asked. “Well, hey look,” he said. “I know your mom will be back soon and you’ll want to try and see what can be worked out. I hope everything goes all right. I’ll be around later if you want to talk about it. I’ll count the stars until you get there.”

He gave me a little wink that was so endearing I wanted to implore him to stop being so damn cute. But I didn’t. Instead I just winked back and watched him leave. It was easy to remember this wasn’t going to be the usual kind of friendship when his way of leaving was right out the window. Literally. I guess he just didn’t want to run into mom, because moments later, she was at my bedroom door with tears in her eyes. She didn’t say a word, and neither of us said we were sorry. Instead we just stood there looking at each other until she reached out to hug me. I let her because I knew it would make her feel better. It made me feel better, too.

To be continued…

 

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 14

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

14: Dinner Disagreement

Have you ever had one of those secrets you were just dying to tell someone? It was so awesome or amazing you just wanted to grab somebody and scream excitably in their face, “Hey, guess what?!!” It’s for that reason when Angela called me on my cell I let it go straight to voicemail. I didn’t trust myself to keep it quiet. Angela could pry anything out of me, so instead I just listened to her message.

“Hey slut, what’s up? You got to give me the dirt. What happened? He is so freaking fine. OMG, you lucky bitch!” Click.

But I didn’t feel lucky. I felt under pressure. I was entrusted with a secret so great it was almost a burden. I was also scared. What did all this mean for me and Haru? We were no longer new neighbors just saying hello. Now every time I said Hi, it would be like saying, ‘I know your secret.’ I mean, I thought he was a vampire from the moment I saw him, but to have him actually admit it was frightening. In the movies that’s when the vampire usually destroys the victim. Is that what I was? His little victim? He hadn’t bitten me or anything, but in a sense I felt like I was his, at least in some small secretive fashion. It was like we were each other’s protector now. Me protecting his secret; He protecting me from whatever was inside Mrs. Winston’s house, I suppose. When I was telling myself I had to kill him, I felt pretty sure what I had to do, but now I was confused. I didn’t know what we were now. I mean, I knew we weren’t lovers, or going together, or anything like that, but I think I felt like my teenage cousin Shelly did when she fell for a guy in his thirties. She didn’t know what the hell it meant, or how to act, or even what to say to the guy. I was at that same kind of loss.

Mom came home about eight. Angela had called two more times by then and I was feeling anxious all over. I felt like I was going to have a breakdown at any minute. It made it worse that mom wanted us to eat dinner together, which almost never happened.

“Are you all right, dear?” she asked, as we sat at the table after the blessing.

This sounded strange coming from her, especially the ‘dear’ part. That was pretty well out of character and made me feel even more guarded. “Yes, Mom. I’m fine.”

“I just thought we could eat together tonight. We don’t get to do that much anymore since your father…” She let that hang in the air for a moment, and I could tell she was searching her addled mind for words. “I thought maybe we could talk.”

“About what?” I asked, cutting a small piece of meatloaf and putting it in my mouth.

“You know. Girl type stuff. We haven’t had that talk, I don’t think.”

“Mom, we don’t have to have that talk. I’m good.”

“Oh I know you’re a good girl, sweetie. But even good girls can make mistakes that affect them their whole lifetime.”

It didn’t take a psychoanalyst to figure out she was referring to herself. I guess it was only natural that she would want to protect me from doing the same things, but hell, to hear her tell it, when she was fifteen she’d been around the block several times over, and most of those times without clothes.

“Mom, I can’t make mistakes if I’m not doing anything. I barely go out of the house.”

“Right now, yes. But you’ll be seventeen in July and your body is going to be developing desires that are difficult to control. Already, you may be feeling something ….um, different. Or perhaps sensations…”

“Mom, please don’t. This is embarrassing. I had my first period just before my fourteenth birthday. Why didn’t you chat me up then? I had to go to Aunt Charlotte.”

She frowned. “I’m sure she told you everything and steered your curiosity away from your natural inclinations.”

“Natural inclinations? What the hell, mom?” I set my fork down. “Why don’t you tell me what’s really on your mind? Why do you have to play these dumb ass guessing games with me? I know you used to play ignorant with dad, but…”

“I saw the Facebook pictures,” she blurted quite matter as factly.

“I knew it. I knew this was what it was about. Let’s sit down to dinner dear so I can find out the name of your dyke girlfriend.”

“Don’t be so rude, Nora. Is it Angela?”

“Mom,“ I yelled. “It’s not anyone. It’s a vicious ugly rumor that got started by some jealous evil bitch at school. They set me up and then plastered pictures all over the net. That girl may have been gay, but I’m not.” I reinforced this statement by shoving my chair away from the table and getting up.

She looked up at me with a stern look and said, “Sit down.”

I fidgeted for a moment and then did as she said.

“Look Nora, I had to ask. I have people I barely know coming up to me in Walmart and whipping out their cells to show me you and that girl kissing.”

“Well, if you had looked close enough, you would have seen it was her doing the kissing, not me.”

“Even so. I need to be able to count on you to be a normal sixteen year old.”

“Normal? What is that supposed to mean? If I were gay, would that be not normal? If I go hang out at a drug dealer’s house, would that be not normal? Or how about smoking a blunt with my pimp? Or how about doing like you did and doing a strip tease on the school bus after football practice…”

Whap! The slap nearly echoed in the room and my head reeled to one side so hard I thought it would give me whiplash.

“Don’t talk to your mother like that,“ she screamed.

I rubbed my reddened cheek with the back of my hand. It stung badly, but I refused to let her see tears. “Fine, I’ll just be normal and not talk to you at all.”

Before she could say anything, I stormed out the room and upstairs to the safety of my bedroom. I made sure to slam the door so hard it shook the house. I knew she’d be up before too long so I locked the door and silently dared her to knock.

Continue to Ep. 15

 

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 13

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

13: The Watcher

I could have slapped him. All this nervousness and sweaty palms for this? If he was right that someone was watching us, they just might see me lay him out cold.

“In the window. The house across the street behind me.”

Now I was really getting pissed. “Dumb ass, that’s a manikin. Old Mrs. Winston put that up to keep kids off her lawn.” I put some distance between us for real by stepping up two more steps on the porch.

“No, behind the manikin. There’s someone there, and it’s not an old lady.”

I looked past him, squinting my eyes in the afternoon sun to try and see what he was talking about. After a moment I saw it, a shadowy figure behind the manikin. At first I thought it was just another one, but then I could see it move. My anger at Haru started to subside, replaced by alarm. Who was in Mrs. Winston’s house?

When he was sure I saw it, Haru turned and looked also, fixing it with a cold stare. The figure disappeared back into the shadows of the room. “I’ll take care of this,” said my new neighbor.

I was confused. “What are you?…”

“Stay here,“ he commanded, but he must not have had very good hypnotic vampire powers because I followed after him across the yard.

“Haru, You can’t just…Look , I know her…She’s not going to be happy if you go in her house.”

He crossed the street. “She’s asleep,“ he replied.

“In the middle of the afternoon? How could you..”

“She’s dreaming of a man at the foot of her bed.”

I reached out and grabbed his arm. “What the hell are you talking about?”

He stopped and turned to me. His hand reached out and took mine gently off his arm. His touch was not cold at all. In fact, he was pretty warm. And his skin was soft. For the first time I noticed he was wearing nail polish the color of his hair. He quickly let go of my hand as if I had scorched him. “Nora, go home. I will take care of this.” Then he gave me a sharp look. “Do not follow me.”

He started across Mrs. Winston’s lawn. I couldn’t believe he was just going to walk up there and enter her house. And for what or whom? And how did he expect to even cross the threshold? Without even thinking, I yelled at him, “Vampires can’t go in uninvited, you idiot!”

He came to a complete stop so fast you’d thought he hit a brick wall. He turned towards me and started walking back to where I stood. The look on his face made me afraid. I took a couple steps back.

“What did you say?”

“I..I’m sorry…I didn’t mean it…I don’t know…”

“Vampires?”

I nodded and started to bolt.

“Stop,” he said. His voice was quiet and lilting, and I was helpless. I had to obey his command. It was like something within me shut down and he could have demanded anything of me. He stepped right up to me and I didn’t flinch. Leaning in, his eyes were nearly touching mine and I felt like he could consume me whole and I wouldn’t care. Then just as quick as the helplessness came, it went away. I must have been holding my breath because it came out of my mouth heavy. Now my head screamed run before he could do anything else.

“Don’t tell anyone,“ he said. “Please, don’t.”

As if in answer to another command, I looked in his eyes. Tears had formed in those dark orbs and were starting down his face. I had never seen a boy cry before. In my world they were tough and invincible. Nothing could hurt their emotionless shell. But not this boy. He was weak, vulnerable, crumbling to pieces before my eyes. I almost cried seeing it.

“Please, not even your friends,” he said.

“I won’t.”

He wiped his arm across his face and cast a look back at Mrs. Winston’s. Then he returned his eyes to mine. “If you dream tonight, and it’s not me, don’t invite them in. Okay?”

I nodded. “Okay.”

He then walked away from me, moving briskly across the yard to his own. He never said goodbye. He didn’t even look back. I stood there watching, wondering what just happened. I knew everything had changed between us in an instant. We were not strangers any longer. I was not a killer. He was not a vampire. We were two souls now connected by something beyond us. And looking past my yard at Mrs. Winston’s house, I saw the thing that could destroy us both as it shifted in the window.

 

Continue to Ep. 14

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 12

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped) Main Page

12: The Walk

I didn’t say anything else about the loveless tattoo and neither did he. He seemed to act like it was normal for me to know this tattoo as if it was just as common as the word “Mom” on a sailor’s arm. I didn’t feel comfortable pursuing it further because then I’d have to reveal a whole range of things about last night and I didn’t want to go there.

“So, what’s your tattoo then?”

“Mobile Suit Gundam beating up on Sailor Moon.”

“Are you serious?”

“No, I’m just kidding. I don’t have any tattoos.”

I frowned at him. “You need to work on all this kidding stuff. A girl likes to be told the truth.”

“Truth. Hmmm. Tell you what. You tell me the truth why you came over last night, and I’ll tell you any truth about me you want to know.”

I looked at him for a moment. This could be very tricky and could bring the hope of any type of friendship to a crashing halt. I mean come on, what was I supposed to say? I just came over to put a stake through your heart?

“I can’t do that,” I said. “Not yet.”

He stopped walking. He sighed, running his fingers through his long blond hair as if he was thinking or debating something within himself. “Fair enough,” he said. We walked on a couple more blocks before he spoke again. “So, you like tattoos?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Do you have any?”

I smiled. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“Um..yes I would.”

“Yeah, I have one. But don’t ask to see it. I won’t show it to you.”

He smirked. “Fair enough.”

The whole ‘fair enough’ thing was starting to irritate me. I was beginning to think he used the phrase whenever he didn’t like what you said.

“How long have you lived here, Nora?”

“All my life.”

“Exciting.”

“Not really. Where did you grow up?”

He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Lots of places. Japan, San Francisco, Queens. Now we’ve moved here.”

“It must seem dull here next to those big places.”

“It’s not dull. Just slower paced, which I guess is what my uncles wanted.”

“Your Uncles?”

“Yeah, I live with my uncles. They are making a show of raising me these days.”

“Where are your mom and dad?”

“Traveling. Always present, but always gone, if that make sense.”

I nodded. “Yes, I think it does. My dad’s gone too, but he’s not traveling.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

I laughed. “It’s not like that. He’s in the state hospital.”

“What’s his illness?”

“Sick in the head, I suppose.”

He gave me a little reassuring smile. “Sounds like we both have dysfunctional families.”

“Yeah.”

We rounded a corner and started down our street. Home was only a block away now. The time had gone by so fast.

“Maybe we should hang out and get dysfunctional together,“ he said.

From the lips of someone else it may have come out sounding flirty, dirty, or just outright insulting, but from Haru it sounded like sound advice and the offer of friendship. I couldn’t believe it but I was thinking it possible that I just might be able to like this guy without staking him.

“Yeah, I think that would cool,“ I replied. “You know where I live. Consider yourself invited over.”

He smiled so big I could see his perfect white teeth. It made me realize I had just invited a vampire to my home. What an idiot. But what puzzled me about that were two things: one, his walking in daylight without catching fire, and two, when he smiled I could see no fangs, not even an overbite. Perhaps I’d been wrong. Maybe I just have an obsessive compulsive “vampires are everywhere” disorder…

We stepped up on the sidewalk and crossed over into my yard. I hadn’t realized while we had been walking, but he was right up next to me only inches from my body. The only way we could be any closer is if we’d been holding hands. Why I thought of that analogy I don’t know. It would be pretty weird holding hands with a vampire. Aren’t they clammy and icy cold to the touch? Still, it seemed as if he had no concept of personal space. And I had no concept of not minding that fact.

It made me a little self-conscious, the lack of distance between us. A girl thinks of these things you know. All kinds of thoughts went through my head: Do I have anything stuck in my teeth? Can he see where I’ve tried to cover up my acne scars? Is my breath okay? Do I smell? If any of these things were noticed he never said, much to my happiness.

We stopped at my front porch. “Here we go,“ he said. “Safe and sound.” He edged closer and I backed up onto the step. I had kissed a boy before and I know what happens when you allow him to go all the way to the front door. He stepped up onto the step with me and began to lean close. I couldn’t believe this. I knew he was hot and all, but it’s worse if he knows it. I could only take this to mean he was making his move. I could feel my palms starting to sweat and my face felt flushed.

“Um…I don’t think you…Well , I…”

His face nearly grazed my cheek, his beautiful dark eyes making contact with my frightened doe look. His lips were at my ear and I could feel his warm breath against it. I closed my eyes and braced myself. It was either that or run, and to be honest, my legs were so weak I couldn’t have moved if I wanted to. I heard the sound of his tongue passing over his lips and then he whispered, “Someone’s watching us.”

 

Continue to Ep. 13

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (re-vamped) Ep: 11

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

11: Haru

The sun outside was so bright it was killing my eyes. We were standing on the front steps of the building waiting for Angela’s bus. It was always the last one, which almost always put us in the line of fire when it came to The Trumps and others who loved to sneer at us. As one bus was pulling away, some stupid jock hung his head out the window yelling, “Come on, kiss her.” We both flipped him off. People are so stupid.

“So you coming to my house?” Angela asked.

“Yeah, I’ll ride with you.”

“You don’t have to stroll the rest of the way. Mom can give you a ride ho…Oh My Freaking God!”

“What!?” I nearly screamed at her. I was facing away from the buses and looking right at her. She clutched her chest and nearly all the color went out of her face.

“I think I have freaking died and gone straight to St. Michael’s bosom.”

“What’s the matter? What’s wrong?”

“That is the most beautiful boy I have ever seen. I want to throw myself at his feet and thank Jesus.”

I turned and nearly dropped my backpack. It was the Asian boy from next door. He was standing at the bottom of the steps looking right up at us.

“Konnichiwa,” he said.

I didn’t know if he was still making fun of me or not, but I heard Angela whisper softly to herself, “dreamy.”

“Konnichiwa,” I finally replied. “What are you doing here?”

He came up a couple of steps and stopped. “I..uh..wanted to apologize.” He waited for a response and when I didn’t give one, he continued. “And possibly…maybe..if you would allow me..to um…walk you home.”

I crossed my arms. He wasn’t getting off the hook this easy; I didn’t care that he was wearing tight leather pants and a white pullover shirt that seemed to hug his frame in all the right places. “I guess it depends,” I answered. “What are you apologizing for?”

He looked around, taking in his surroundings and the fact other students had stopped to watch the exchange. He bowed his head and whole upper body. “I apologize for …being insensitive and having a joke at your expense. My humor was not appropriate for the occasion. I meant no…dishonor.”

I uncrossed my arms and was getting ready to say something when he turned and went back down the steps, walking away at a brisk pace as if he wanted nothing more than to get away. I looked around and noticed a considerable crowd had formed, including two of the three Trumps. They were smirking to themselves.

“Hey wait a minute,” I called out, to which he stopped so fast you’d think I’d threatened him. “What about that walk home?”

He looked up at me with dark eyes filled with surprise. The sad look on his lips turned into a boyish smile. “I would like that honor, Nora.”

“I don’t walk home with people I don’t know,” I said.

Again, he bowed. “I’m Haru.”

I turned around and saw Angela, her eyes gone wide. It had been a roundabout way but I had gotten his name after all. She mouthed ‘call me later’ as her bus pulled up. I noticed the Trumps were gone, too.

“Okay Haru,“ I said, walking up to join him. “You know where I live, don’t you?”

It wasn’t a short walk from school. It seemed even longer because I was walking home with a strange boy I had only spoken to once before, and even then I felt like I had done all the talking. If he was in his element at night, you wouldn’t have known it by his ease at walking home under the burning sun, which in itself was surprising to me. If he was a vampire, how could he stand to be out in the direct sunlight without burning to ash? Hell, he didn’t even sparkle.

“I am sorry about last night. It was very rude of me.”

“It’s okay,” I replied. “You can make up for it.”

He raised an eyebrow as we hit Market Street, just three blocks from the school. “Oh yeah? And how is that, I wonder?”

“What did you say to me last night?”

He grinned. “Oh, you mean when you were looking at my chest to see how my shirt was buttoned?”

I looked away for a moment, embarrassed that he had noticed. “Uh yes, I guess so.”

“I said, Koko Omotemuki.”

“In English, please.”

He stopped and looked at me. He touched his chin and said with a smile, “Face up here.”

My face turned red . I don’t think a guy had ever said anything to embarrass me that bad before. “Oh, was it obvious?” I asked, trying to play it off.

“Um…yes.” He gave me an inquisitive look. “I just wonder if you do a chest inspection with every guy you meet, or if I’m something special.”

“No, it’s nothing like that…” I started.

“What, you don’t think I’m special?”

This stunned me. “I…I’m…I don’t know..I”

Once again he was having a laugh at my expense, but I wasn’t so mad about it this time. In fact, I kind of liked it. His eyes seemed to dance in the light as he spoke. I couldn’t look at them for long; they were too intense, and he seemed to know this because he kept trying to make eye contact.

“Seriously,“ he said, “what was the big deal? Was my shirt dirty or something?”

“No, I was trying to figure out something,” I admitted.

“Oh really. And that was?”

“I was trying to see if you had a tattoo.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You’re not very forward, you know that?” He laughed at the expression on my face. “Yes, I have a tattoo.”

I knew I was being bold, but I had to know. “A moon with vines that says ‘Loveless’ across it?”

He stopped me with his hand on my arm and a look of concern. “No, that would be my cousin Ryo.”

 

Continue to Ep. 12

 

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

Ghost Boy Blues 13

Thirteen

I don’t care who you are. Everyone knows the name of bullies. It’s one of those things you don’t forget, and I suppose they like it that way. For Derek and his two buddies – why there are always two, I’ll never know – this is just the kind of notoriety they enjoy. Invoking fear in those they feel are far beneath them. And today, the one beneath them is a timid little guy named Donald Pluth. They are pushing him around while demanding he not be such a baby about it. This scene has been played out many times over in every school across America. Tougher kids harassing weaker ones to the point of tears. Maybe they take their money, rob them of their homework answers, or just want to be mean. Either way, they are pushing Donald back and forth among them, daring him to do something other than cry.

Donald is a little kid, half the size of Derek. I recognize him from one of my classes. I’m not sure which one. But unlike the goth girl, and indeed myself, he is not invisible. No, guys like him are noticed, if only as targets. And try as they might to blend in, to fade into the scenery, to guys like Derek Wells the sight of them is like a blinking neon sign saying, “come on and pick on me.”

The bullies are enjoying knocking Donald around. They smack him in his head and then complain they got monkey grease on their hands. They finger pluck his ears. They attempt to smack his books out of his hands. All the while they are laughing so loud that a small crowd is gathering to watch the every day spectacle. Sometimes it is best to be a spectator at such events and feed the ego of bullies than to later have to face their wrath.

The attention of the gathering spurs them on. Derek’s cronies – I think their names are Jeff and Chuck – are jostling Don between them like it’s a game of Hot Potato. Neither one of them want to touch him for long and they let it be known by how hard they begin to shove the weaker boy’s frail body. He drops his books and tries to pick them up, but he loses his balance and the next shove from Chuck sends him sprawling to the floor.

“This is more fun than the time we shoved what’s his name’s face down in the toilet,” Derek says with a malicious kind of glee.

“Aiden Smalls,” Jeff reminds him. “Man, what a loser.”

Derek grins and reaches his hand down to Donald as if he’s going to help him up. Instead, he smacks him in the head. “Yeah, you’re just like dead boy. Go ahead, pee on yourself.”

Some in the crowd seem uncertain if it’s okay to laugh. There are a few giggles but it appears Derek may have crossed the line. He has no idea. Invoking the name of Aiden Smalls has caused a few to begin to walk away, shaking their heads. I don’t blame them. On a normal day I would have tried to walk away as well. But as spirit, I can’t tear myself from this scene. I have seen it way too many times.

I have to hand it to Donald, though. He is a trooper through all this, and even now is attempting to stand. To try and retain some kind of dignity. Bad move. This angers Derek even more. This is direct defiance and he will not stand for it. He balls up a fist and hits Don in the nose. There is a crunch and I know the smaller boy’s nose is broken.

He falls back down. It’s easy to see he is going to black out any second. His eyes seem to be swimming in his head and I imagine things are going out of focus.

“Bet you won’t try to fight back now, bitch,” Derek snarls.

I can’t help but smile. This is going to be fun.

Continue to Episode 14

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