Tag Archives: young adult

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 59

Vampire Boys Of Summer

59: The Odd Miss Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah, me neither.”

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

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

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

“What do you mean, strange?” I asked.

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

I stopped. “What?”

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

“Do you know who they were?”

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

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

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

“What do you mean?”

“You know, your dad.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Thank you.”

“If there’s anything I can do…”

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

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

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

“Yeah, no problem.”

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

“No.”

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

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

“So what exactly happened?”

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

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

“Did he say anything to you ?”

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

She made another note. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

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

“No.”

“Eating a rat isn’t unusual?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Uh, Nora?”

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

“See you in summer school.”

“Yeah, great.”

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

To Be Continued…

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

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 58

Vampire Boys Of Summer

58: Rabid Teacher Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ryo and I are going grocery shopping.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Grocery shopping?”

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

“Please be careful.”

“I will. Say hello to Angela for me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Forgive me first.”

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

“Uh-uh, you first.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What is going on here?!”

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

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

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

To Be Continued….

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 26

Vampire Boys Of Summer

26: Colin

I took a seat by the window right behind Mr Ed. To my relief, nobody seemed that concerned about me. There were no snickers or guarded whispers like I thought there would be. Maybe the talk of what kind of slaughter I could expect had died down. That’s the thing about school. News travels fast, but interest sometimes fades just as quick. Of course, the internet would probably be buzzing tonight with news about Amanda’s beating. Though I think she more than deserved it, I was hoping the damage wasn’t too severe. The more she got hurt, the more likely she’d try to hurt you back. After the post it note on my locker, I was going to have to be more vigilant in the days ahead.

“Hey Nora, heads up”, someone yelled, and on instinct I ducked. Instead of some projectile however, a body plopped down in the seat beside me. I looked over. It was Colin Deeds, he of the mismatched clothes and uncombed hair. He slung his book bag into his lap and for a moment I thought he’d injure himself it was so loaded with books.

“Missed my bus,“ he explained. “Can I sit with you?”

“Sure, go ahead,“ I mumbled. After the verbal abuse I’d given him the day before I was surprised he would even ask, but I guess he figured if he was with me no one would pick on him out of fear of my new friend Chi.

“Heard about Amanda,“ he said. “About time.”

“Don’t say that too loud. She still wins popularity points.”

He ducked down in his seat a little. “Oh yeah.”

The bus pulled away from the curb and we started the long way home. Since he rode the same bus as Angela, it was going to be a longer trip for him today.

“So, did you just snap or something?”

“Excuse me?”

“Way I heard it, you really kicked her butt.”

“I didn’t do it.”

He looked at me strange. “You didn’t? That’s not what everyone is saying.”

“It was a girl named Chi.”

“Chi? Never heard of her.”

“She’s new.”

“Oh.” He looked at his watch. “Well, you better watch out then. Trumps are liable to think you’re spreading stories that you did it.”

I turned to look at him and my mean streak came out. “Don’t you ever take a bath?”

That shut him up for a moment. He looked like I had hit him with a brick. His eyes welled up with tears. I felt bad that I had been so harsh, but he always brought out that side of me. Maybe it was because of his weakness and cowardly ways that made me talk down to him so much.

“You don’t have to be so mean,“ he said, getting up to move. “One day you’ll wish you had a friend like me.” He moved a couple rows away and sat down in an empty seat.

I inwardly beat myself up over how cruel I’d been. He had just been trying to help and I had insulted him; lashed out for no reason other than I thought I was better than him. I shook my head. I was just like Amanda Trump. I almost got up then and there and said I was sorry, but something, call it pride I suppose, wouldn’t let me.

Colin got off at the first stop.

Late afternoon. I sat on the front porch step. Dummy me had either forgotten or lost the front door key. Mom wouldn’t be home until later. I didn’t know what time she’d gone in to work, so who knew how long I’d have to wait. I guess I could have climbed the tree outside my window, but if I fell this time, there wouldn’t be a strong vampire boy there to catch me. I’d looked over at the house next door when I first got home, but Haru wasn’t out. Neither was the Jigsaw Man. Across the street at Mrs. Winston’s, the house itself looked asleep. I wondered what Ryo was doing over there. I hadn’t seen the old lady of the house since he’d arrived. For a moment, I caught an image in my head of the shirtless vampire sleeping in a coffin. I could see his heartbeat under his tattoo, as sweat glistened his body. A rivulet of moisture seemed to run from chest to abs, before disappearing under the band of his jeans.

Across the street, the front door swung open and it shocked me out of my nearly pornographic thought. Someone stepped out on the porch, and at first I thought it was Ryo come to answer my daydream , but it was somebody else. The person seemed hesitant to come out into the daylight, but they soon walked down the steps onto the front walk. It was a young guy, about my age, or maybe a year older. I didn’t recognize him as someone from my school, but to be honest, I didn’t know every single person there. The guy was sickly pale, as if he was suffering from a bad case of the flu.

“Hey, what’s up?” A voice said from beside me. I almost jumped out of my skin it had startled me so. I turned to the intruder of my private curiosity and saw that it was Haru. He was casually dressed in gray khakis and a white button up shirt. “What you doing sitting all alone?”

I looked up at him and gave him a weak smile. “I got locked out.”

He smirked. “So, you’d figure you’d spy on the house across the street.”

“I wasn’t spying,“ I replied. “I just saw this boy come out and…” I turned to point to the boy in question, except he was gone. Distracted by Haru, I had lost sight of what had been going on over there.

Haru looked at me like maybe I had a screw loose. Then he smiled. “Well, Ryo always does like the attention.”

I wanted to tell him it wasn’t Ryo I had seen, but some kid who looked like he just saw his name written on a death note.

Haru sat down beside me. “Saw him talking to you last night,“ he said.

“Yeah.”

“What did he say?”

“Not a whole lot really.”

Haru nodded. “It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. I can just about guess.” He stood up. “I’ll get the door for you.” He walked up to the front door and put his hand on the knob. He looked back at me. “Just a little advice, Nora. You can’t trust a vampire to always tell the truth. They’ve been living in lies and truth so much they aren’t sure which is which anymore.”

“Well, you’re a vampire,“ I reasoned.

He smiled, and for a brief moment I saw his teeth as his lips curled back. “Precisely.” He turned the knob and the door opened. “There you go.”

I wasn’t very surprised that the door opened for him like magic. I’d probably open up too if he touched me. I got up . “Thanks. I thought I was going to have to wait for mom.”

He shrugged. Somehow I thought I had lost his attention. Maybe it was the talk of Ryo that did it. Perhaps vampires were more competitive with each other than I thought. “See you around,“ he said, as he stepped off the porch.

“Yeah. See you,” I replied, wondering why I was getting the brush off so quickly.

Continue to Ep. 27

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

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

Ghost Boy Blues 21

Twenty-one

The Volkswagen drives off. Nothing so much as a wave goodbye. But from where the car had been parked, I see something else. It’s a figure sitting in the grass, their back against a tree. This is the spot where a lot of the students sit waiting for their rides. Today only one person is there, sitting and staring off into space, their face empty of emotion. Even from here however, I know they have been crying at some point, for I can see the streaks of dried tears. I’m a good distance away, but I can see these things clearly. I can also see it’s Donald Pluth.

My heart feels for him. Having fled the bullies and school itself, he’s now just sitting there as if waiting for the grass and weeds to grow up over top of him. I wish I could leave the school building and go over to him and tell him it wouldn’t always be like this. One day he’d free of bullies, but I’m not so sure of that. We are picked on mercilessly as kids, and I’m uncertain if we ever escape that. Perhaps we just trade in school bullies for those in the workplace as adults. Teasing at the water cooler. Harassment at the annual office party. A supervisor bullies you into quitting so he can hire his wife’s brother’s cousin. Perhaps bullying is a vicious whirlpool, and once we get caught in its current, it never stops until we drown in it.

Looking at Pluth, I wonder what he’ll be like when he grows up. Probably a timid shell of a man, scared of relationships and people in general. I hope that isn’t the case, but it’s still better than being me. Better than being bullied to death. Wait a second. Is that what happened to me? I don’t remember the details of my passing. Could fate be using Donald Pluth to tell me this is how I died? Is he the one to lead me to the light, to find my closure and die the way people are supposed to, peacefully and going on to Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, or whatever?

I wish I could remember. This really sucks being a ghost and not even knowing the details of your death. But maybe someone else does. Perhaps if I keep taking over bodies, inhabiting other skins, I’ll eventually find someone with that memory. Then I can relive it myself through someone else’s experience.

I turn away from the door. Anne won’t be back until at least tomorrow. Until then I can look for someone who knows why I’m like this. But before I can think about it too much, the bell rings signaling the end of another class. Doors open and students pour out into the hall. For the next ten minutes I know it will be chaos, as kids rush to lockers, then to the next class. With all the confusion, it is the perfect time to become someone else again. I’d done it twice before, and each instance had been somewhat bizarre, if not eye opening. So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, hope for a better experience. And take a leap.

I brace myself for the impact of colliding with another’s emotions, but the cacophony of thoughts are not emotional this time. There are no big secrets bubbling to the surface, no fear and anguish about bullies. Instead it’s a jumble of numbers and equations, a passage from “The Red Badge Of Courage”, the path of a maze in “Legend Of Zelda.” I don’t even have to open my eyes to know I’ve leaped inside Charles Bruner.

Bruner is the kid every parent wishes their kid was. He gets excellent grades, never misses a day or assignment. He is attentive in class and doesn’t participate in many extra curricular social activities. He’s one of the few kids who doesn’t have his own cell, but he does carry a pocket calculator that can translate up to seven different languages, so there. He’s clean cut, great hygiene, and most of all, never, ever gets into any kind of trouble. And though it seems he is ripe for bullying, the bad kids don’t mess with him. It’s like he is existing in a universe all his own. No one steps inside of it, and he certainly doesn’t step out of it.

But now I’ve stepped inside. I am Charles Bruner. And for a moment, he is me. There is nothing remarkable in my spectral head, so he manages to push my thoughts aside for his own. It throws him off for just a second and then he is back in control, the dominant mind between us. Now I’m just an observer, unable to make him do anything. It’s like I’ve taken a taxi that goes where it wants, no matter where you tell the driver to take you. And right now he is taking me towards his locker to switch out books for his next class.

We move down the hall, sliding past other students who pay him no mind. And he is so focused he isn’t paying them no mind either. In fact, he is thinking of an upcoming trip with his dad to the science museum. Lost in thought, he is on automatic, turning a corner, going up a staircase, around another corner and stopping at his locker. He works the numbers of the combination lock as if it were a Rubik’s Cube and opens the door. Before I can catch a glimpse of what’s inside, I see goth girl out of the corner of my eye. It’s easy to spot her. She stands out like a sore thumb with her Ghost BC shirt in a sea of students who don’t even know who that band is. Just more Satan stuff for a creepy girl.

But for me I’m excited to see her. She stands out to me in a good way, possibly the ticket to learning what happened to me. I still don’t know her name but I find myself yelling, “Hey!” Except it’s not me yelling. It’s Charles Bruner. And he doesn’t know why he yelled. I’m surprised by it too. He must have let his mind wander for a second, and then mine took over, if only for that brief moment.

Goth girl has stopped and turned. A look of surprise or annoyance on her face, I’m not sure which. “What!?” She declares to a confused Bruner.

He stammers, and for a second I think he’s scared of her. “Um…nothing,” he replies, now back in control of his mind. “Uh, sorry…I don’t know what…”

She doesn’t wait for him to finish. She turns away and resumes her way down the hall. I force his head to follow her. It’s not that I want to see where she is heading so I can catch up later. Not really. No, I’m watching her and wondering to myself why I never noticed her much before. Most of my peers, if they had been watching her walk away at this moment would have been thinking, there goes a freak. But I, and even Charles Bruner against his will, is thinking , there goes a girl on her way to being a woman. An old song my dad used to listen to, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon” pops into my head, or I should say Bruner’s. He doesn’t seem to like it as much and gives me my eviction notice.

To Be Continued…

Ghost Boy Blues Main Page

“Ghost Boy Blues” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 25

Vampire Boys Of Summer

25: Luhan

Angela snatched the note out of my hand. “Oh crap,“ she said after seeing what it was. “Maybe you’ll get lucky and Amanda won’t be back until after school ends.”

“Damn it,“ I muttered. “I hope she doesn’t have to take summer school.”

I worked the combination on my lock and threw the door open. Angela squealed, and I jumped back in alarm. There was a boy inside my locker. At first, I thought it was a little kid. He was only about four foot tall, though he looked even shorter squeezed into my locker. His curly blond hair was half in his eyes, which were a bright baby blue, and he was so thin I thought even a strong breeze would bowl him over. He reminded me of a leprechaun when he jumped out of the locker and danced around us.

“It’s about time you got here,“ he cried. “I thought I was going to suffocate in there.”

“Who are you?” I asked. “And what the heck are you doing in my locker?”

“Well, I was waiting outside of it, but I saw some ugly girls coming so I hid inside. I think they stuck something to the door.”

“Yeah, I got it.”

“But hey, I’m Luhan. Luhan Kai.”

He held out his hand. I must have looked at it funny. After all, who shook hands in greeting anymore? And in high school? The guy looked young enough to know this. He also looked too young for high school, but his eyes and attitude said he was old enough. And the fact he was Asian gave me enough pause to consider the fact that Chelsea Valley’s Asian community was growing in leaps and bounds.

“So what were you doing outside my locker?”

“My sister told me to wait here for her. Locker number SS501.”

Angela spoke up. “Well, that’s her locker, not your sisters, so why don’t you get lost?”

“I’m tired of being lost,“ he replied. “Oh, what am I going to do?”

The boy began to cry and I gave Angela a stern look. Then I looked back to the kid. “Hey, don’t cry. We’ll help you find your sister. What’s her name?”

He looked at me and sniffled. “Chinatsu.”

Angela and I led Luhan down the hall, each of us holding a hand so he wouldn’t get lost in the crowd. Because he was so young and short, we didn’t feel high school hallways was the proper place for him to be wandering. He was definitely a weird kid. His hair was so curly it looked like something you’d find on an old porcelain doll, skin so flawless he was either too young for acne or he had the most perfect skin tone ever. And if that wasn’t enough, when I took hold of his hand, to which he looked up at me and smiled, I noticed his fingernails were painted a light violet.

Chinatsu wasn’t very hard to find. A girl like that can’t hide very well in the crowd; she tends to attract onlookers. Word had spread about her, so girls looked to her in awe, and the boys stood by with mouths hanging open as if transfixed by Venus herself. I found this kind of strange, because in my experience the super pretty girls were always bitches. Chi seemed to be likable, friendly, and didn’t carry herself like she was the Belle of the ball, to coin a phrase of my dad’s. We came across her outside the cafeteria where it seemed she was holding court with her new fans.

“Chi!“ I yelled, trying to be heard over the crowd. She had excellent hearing, for her head turned in my direction. She flashed a smile that if I had been a boy, or gay as the Facebook rumors suggested, you would have been looking for smelling salts to revive me. She pushed her way past her admirers, which brought out more than several exclamations of disappointment.

“Nora,“ she happily called. “Angela! Luhan!” She stopped, looked at Luhan, and then at the both of us. “Forgive me for asking, but why are you girls holding hands with Luhan?”

“We didn’t want him to get lost,“ I explained. “This isn’t a place for little kids.”

She laughed. “Lost? You couldn’t lose Luhan if you tried. He’s like a heat seeking missile. Literally. Especially with girls.”

Angela and I looked at Luhan, and then back at each other.

“And also,“ Chi added with a mirthful grin, “Luhan isn’t exactly what I would call a little kid. He has five children of his own.”

We both jerked our hands away from him. “Gross!” Angela exclaimed, and for me the feeling was mutual. I gave Luhan a stern look, but he just shrugged with a mischievous smile.

“Sorry, one has to use his size and looks to his advantage with high school girls.”

Chi was still grinning over his ruse. “Don’t worry about him ladies; he’s harmless. Flirty as hell maybe, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“Killed my first this morning,“ he joked.

“Well, Luhan, you found your sister,“ I said. “But we have to get to class.”

“Aww, and I was going to try and entice you to skip classes with me..” He gave me a wink, and I thought, Oh my god , I’m being hit on by a fourth grader. The last week of school had gone mad…

After school, I stood waiting for my bus. Angela had already boarded hers and was on her way out of the parking lot. I declined to ride home with her because I thought maybe Haru would show up to walk me home again. I don’t know why I thought this; he had only walked me once, and now here I was expecting it of him. But I was on my own. Ryo didn’t seem like the walking-the-girls-home type, Luhan couldn’t drive because he couldn’t reach the pedals, and I hadn’t seen Chi since lunchtime. My bus pulled up and I got on.

Our bus driver was an older man in his fifties called Mr. Ed. Someone had told us that Mr. Ed had been a talking horse on an old black and white television show, but our Mr. Ed was no horse, and he wasn’t much on making conversation. He talked to you if you were disrupting his driving, but other than that he just nodded or shook his head at you. I think everyone respected him because they didn’t know his deal. Was he a mild mannered bus driver ready to snap, or was he already plotting out ways to wreck the bus? With thoughts like these running through my head, no wonder I chose to walk home half the time.

Continue to Ep. 26

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 23

Vampire Boys Of Summer

23: Friends By Association

I sat in the guidance counselor’s office awaiting my turn. When we arrived, Chinatsu had marched right into the inner office and declared in a loud, cheery voice, “I did it,” which I’m sure threw Miss Thomas off her guidance game. I looked over at Angela, who raised both eyebrows and made a gesture that let me know she thought our new friend was crazy. When she emerged from the room, Chi was feigning sadness with a drawn down frown, but as she passed by me she gave a thumbs up and said, “I got summer school, too! Isn’t that killer?!”

At first I thought, who uses phrases like ‘killer’ these days? Certainly no one in rural America. She looked Asian, and the fact that I just recently met two Asian guys, my mind was screaming she was of the same family. Did that mean she was a vampire, too? And how in the hell were they all walking around in the daytime like all they had to worry about was a light sunburn?

“Cool,” I replied, as she headed towards the hall. She threw her hand up in a wave and smiled so bright you‘d think she was advertising for a toothpaste commercial.

Miss Thomas poked her head out of her office and saw me. “Ah, Miss Williams, come on in.“ I got up while Angela fumbled with her cellphone . I knew she was watching YouTube videos, probably some new Korean boy band. BTS, EXO, NCT, or some such.

“Have we made a decision?” Thomas asked, as I sat down in front of her desk.

“Yes, Ma’m. I’ll do the summer school.”

She clapped her hands together. “That’s great, Nora. I know you can pull your grades together with this. You are a smart girl.”

“Thank you.”

She opened her desk drawer and pulled out a folder. She rummaged through the papers it held, making sure everything was there, and then handed it over. “You’ll find everything you need to know right here. You won’t be alone. Several students will be attending this summer. Just concentrate on your work and we’ll see you pass this grade.”

I took the folder and got up to go.

“Question, Nora.”

I looked at her and waited for it.

“Do you know the young lady who was here before you? The tall Japanese girl?”

“Yes, I suppose so. Her name is Chinatsu.”

She paused a moment as if turning over information in her head. “Hmm, okay,“ she finally said. “Something about her seemed strange.”

“Like what, Miss Thomas?”

She shook her head. “Oh, I don’t know. She just seemed to be playing at this. Like she doesn’t really want to go to school, but has to.” She paused for a beat. “Oh well, since you know her, please tell her that study is important, and nothing goes further than a good education. “

“Yes, I will. Thank you.”

Angela was out in the hall getting impatient. We had first period together and it was getting late. We both ran down the hall to our class. If I thought the beating of Amanda Trump would be the only highlight of the day, I was mistaken, for something bizarre awaited us in our first class.

Odd enough, I have never done well in World History. Until a certain thousand year old vampire showed up, I didn’t even think much about it. It was just a class to try and breeze through the best I could. Angela didn’t do too bad in it. That’s one thing I could say about her: boy crazy or not, she got excellent grades in every class she was in. No summer school for her.

When we both strolled into history class, word had already spread about Amanda Trump. A lot of people were in awe of Chinatsu’s knockout punch, but there were still a lot of students who were concerned about the famous Trump retaliation. Many were saying Chi was going to have one messed up face when Amanda was done with her.

Angela and I had our seats next to each other by the window. We tried to get there without anyone saying anything, but because Chi had come to my defense, it was assumed we were best friends. Everyone reasoned that the Trumps were going to ruin me so bad no one would ever associate with me again. I hadn’t thought of that. It was becoming clear it might have been better for me to take an ass kicking from Amanda.

A couple girls we knew kept looking at us in the same way people looked at car accidents. It was a little awkward, but I had to keep a brave face about me. I wondered if people would have behaved this way if Chinatsu had this class. Other kids were snickering behind their hands in almost anticipation of the upcoming slaughter. But everything went silent when the door slammed and a feminine voice cleared its throat. “Front and center,“ it said.

Continue to Ep. 24

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

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

Ghost Boy Blues 17

Seventeen

Assistant Principal Deaner is behind his desk. His office is sparse, much lighter than I imagined. There’s only a few pictures on the wall, mostly of his family. There are no awards certificates, no educational recognitions, not even a diploma. The place screams humility.

It is my first time in this office. In my life I never had to get summoned here, which is pretty good, I suppose. You only come to Deaner’s office if you are in trouble or something bad has happened. One look at his face and the way in which he eyes Anne tells me today it is the latter. Before he opens his mouth, I know this visit isn’t to go over her academic record, no matter how promising it looks.

“Miss Taynor, please have a seat,” he says, offering her a chair in front of his desk. She does as he says, carefully folding her skirt under her. She glances at Miss Watkins, who sits down in a chair next to her. The guidance counselor reaches over and pats Anne’s hand in a gesture of reassurance. I find myself getting nervous about what is to come.

Deaner sits in his own chair behind the desk and folds his hands in his lap. “I have some unfortunate news,” he says. “There has been an accident.”

Anne pushes a lock of hair away from her face. “What kind of accident?”

He clears his throat. He seems to be a little uncomfortable with this. “It’s your mother. She’s…”

“Is she dead?”

Her response surprises them. Assistant Principal and Guidance Counselor look at each other, neither one quite sure how to answer.

After some hesitation, Deaner manages to reply. “Um, no. But she is hospitalized.”

“Not life threatening,” Miss Watkins adds. “Your aunt is on the way to pick you up.”

I’m looking at Anne now. Her eyes are tearing up, but she doesn’t seem ready to let them fall in front of the adults. I want to go to her. Wrap my arms around her and convince her she can cry on my shoulder if she needs to. But I know that’s impossible, unless I take over one of these adults and then try to console her. I think that will be just a little too creepy for her though.

“Why isn’t Jeremy picking me up?”

If the question throws me off, it seems to throw off the adults even more. They look at each other and the distress I see on both their faces tells me the answer before they speak it.

“He’s being detained by police,” Deaner answers. “They are questioning him about the incident.”

I notice they don’t give any detail about what has happened, but Anne doesn’t appear bothered by the omission. It almost seems that whatever happened, it was expected. And though I’ve never heard of this Jeremy person before, I can take a guess. Dad. Stepdad. Her mom’s boyfriend. I know it’s not a sibling, because she’s an only child. You learn these kind of things when you are obsessed with someone.

“The incident,” Anne says flatly. “What exactly happened?”

“Um, they’re not sure yet, “ replies Deaner. “We can’t really say…”

“Is there anything you wish to tell us?” Miss Watkins interjected. “It can be confidential if you wish.”

“No, not really. I mean, I knew one day he’d hurt her. That’s what he did, right?”

“We don’t know. All we’ve been told is she has some facial injuries. She apparently called police and then told them that she walked into a door during their argument.”

Anne scowls. “Of course she did.”

The Assistant Principal rifles through some papers on his desk. I know he isn’t looking for anything. He’s just nervous. “Well, take all the time off you need, Anne. If you need a couple of days, or even more….”

“No, I’ll be in school tomorrow. They aren’t going to ruin my education too.”

I’m seeing a new side of my dream girl I have never seen before. Angry and determined. Anne has always been a good student. Exemplary I’d say. She gets good grades, treats teachers and other students with respect. I can see her being valedictorian or prom queen easily. But here in the office, she is letting her guard down and showing a side of herself no one else gets to see. And though it throws the adults off, it adheres me to her more.

“You know, she’s not the first person he’s hurt,” she says, and for a moment I wonder if she is saying this for Deaner and Watkins’ benefit, or her own. “If they don’t do something, she won’t be the last either.”

“I’m sure the investigators will do their best to get to the bottom of things.”

Anne just nods her head. I know she doesn’t believe that. Things have apparently been bad at home a long time. She wears one face at school, and it’s not the same as the one her family sees. All this time I have thought her a charmed girl, leading this perfect little life of joy and happiness. Until now, I’d never even seen a frown on her face, much less anger or resentment. But here it is. Behind Anne’s walls, the rest of her world is crumbling. I wish I could have seen this side of the wall sooner. I know it wouldn’t change things. I’d still be unnoticed, an unknown and unseen admirer, but maybe in life, I could have done something for her. I don’t know what, but something to let her know that on this side of her wall she was not alone. Her problem is a lot like mine used to be. Except mine didn’t run me over; hers did.

Now where in the hell did that come from?

Go to Episode 18

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“Ghost Boy Blues” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

 

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