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Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Unforgettable Truth - A Salute to Vampires

“Why can’t you be what we want you to be?” the echoes of Vincent, Chief Ellison, and the other islanders chased him through the dark corridor. Doors along the hall wouldn’t open to let him in. One solitary door remained open. He charged into the room and slammed the door shut. Sounds of pounding fists emanated across the solid oak. He stumbled back, struggling to escape the hold of the voices. An unseen thing on the floor tripped him up and he went crashing to the ground. He turned and his heart jumped to his throat. Kaylynne was sprawled out on the floor in a pool of her own blood. She was gasping her last breaths. “Blake,” she called, tears streaming down her cheeks. An overwhelming desire begins to overcome him. “No!” he screams. “Never again!”That life is gone. Her scent fills him and he finds himself leaning forward, bent on consuming her . . .

Blake jerked awake. He was alone in his room, away from the voices and the horrible truth. His clock read 4:00 a.m. No way he’d be going back to sleep any time soon. He slid out of bed and pulled on a hoodie over his rumpled shirt before slipping out of his crummy apartment. Dense fog shrouded the neighborhood: a perfect white screen to project his dreams onto. He walked down the silent street until he reached the park. His vision of Kaylynne dying was still fresh in his mind. But worse than that had been his dream self’s reaction. Blake thought he was strong enough to resist the desire. Now he wasn’t so sure. He collapsed on a bench and pushed away the thoughts that threatened to consume him.

His sensitive ears picked up the sound of someone approaching. The person’s gait was as familiar to him as his own. He didn’t look up as she sat down softly beside him. A curl of desire twisted in his stomach. “What are you doing here, Kaylynne?” he asked, resigned.

“I couldn’t sleep,” her voice quavered. She was afraid of him. “I saw you walking and I thought, you know, maybe you might want some company . . .” She let the sentence hang.

Blake glanced at her. Even as she sat stiff and rigid, he couldn’t help but be amazed at her beauty. “You shouldn’t be here,” he mumbled softly, keeping a tight rein on himself. When she made no move to leave he stood and started walking away.

Kaylynne jumped to her feet and went after him. She snatched his arm and suddenly they were only inches apart. Blake couldn’t move. She had him right where she wanted him and he was helpless to refuse. She edged forward slightly until their lips touched. Flames coursed through him, flames and something else. Her taste left him intoxicated. He wanted more. He had to have more . . .

Blake pulled away from her, astonished at his weakness. Kaylynne was watching him, her face a blank slate. It was becoming too dangerous for him to stay much longer. He would need to skip town, maybe even the state, anything to get away from her. “Kaylynne, I’m sorry. I can’t—”

Kaylynne cut him off abruptly, “I know what you are!”

Blake reeled back in horror. How was it possible? She couldn’t know. “What?” he managed to gasp.

“I know what you are,” her words were barely above a whisper. Tears pooled in her blue eyes.
Blake was just able to take hold of himself, “So what am I?”

An exasperated sigh burst from her lips. “It’s completely obvious. All the signs are there. I’m not stupid you know.” She stopped and waited for a response. When one didn’t come she murmured, “You’re a vampire.” She seemed slightly embarrassed now that she’d expressed her thoughts aloud.

She became even more so when Blake burst out laughing. “You’ve been reading too much Stephanie Meyer, sweetheart. Ain’t no such thing as vampires.”

Shamefaced, Kaylynne asked quietly, “Then what are you?”

All the humor drained from Blake in an instant. Fine, he thought dryly. If she really wanted to know, he would tell her. Perhaps then she’d leave him alone. “I’m a cannibal.”

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