Sunday, February 12, 2006

Roundabout -- [A little story I've been working on. I'm sick and tired of the "Ooh, vampire-mystery/exoticism/eroticism" crap on the market right now. I decided to start something that treats vampires like the bloodsucking monsters they are.]

Storms had no fury to match that of Varis Constantin smashing his way through the room that night. That is not to say, however, that no storm raged around the condemned apartment. Varis’ violence was punctuated by the flashes of lightning through the broken windowpanes. Rain poured in through the shattered window, each drop sliced in half by the jagged glass.
A pair of eerie glows remained constant in the strobe of the storm. They alternated between yellow and red as their owner fumed. His black cloak flared as his arms shattered the backs of chairs. Despite the dark of the night anyone watching could easily see the two inexpertly-stitched-up holes where the sleeves had once been.
Varis bared his fangs at the raging storm, meeting atmosphere with amateur anger. This was not been at all what he’d expected. The powers were his, to be sure, flight, transformation, and the strength that he had so desperately sought.
Lightning flashed again, allowing Varis full view of his deathly pale face in the mirror on the wall. A mask of make-up was the only thing reflected in the dark glass. A theatrical parody of a face with empty eyes regarded Varis. Even under the makeup, there were tell-tale signs of clusters of pimples eternally camped under his skin. His flailing fist caught the mirror, breaking it into a thousand pieces, each reflecting, for an instant, the makeup amateurishly coating the indignant face of Varis. The damned transformation had frozen him in a state of perpetual teenagery. Four weeks had been all it had taken for him to exact his revenge on his tormentors at school, another two weeks were enough to realize that he really hadn’t planned on anything afterwards. Varis had begun to run out of enemies. He’d already drained the life out of Jared Thomas and his crew of sycophants, the cheerleaders who’d laughed at him when he was pantsed at the pep rally. He had killed the coffee-shop clerk that had laughed at him while spilling his latte on his shirt, then moved on to a list of smaller affronteries committed against him by the various other cashiers at the food court.
Now, it seemed, fate was determined to add insult to injury. Two nights had gone by without feeding. The pizza-cashier who had turned him down for a date and dropped his pizza on the floor two months ago and still served it to him hadn’t been in her home. Checking the local clubs for her whereabouts had been an exercise in futility. Wearing the cape and the black accoutrements had not been enough to get him into a place that required ID. Apparently being a focus for unholy energy was not the equivalent of being age 21 to the bouncers of the town.
Well, he would show them. He would show them all!
“I’ll tear them all limb from limb and feast upon their lifeblood!” shouted Varis into the night.
“Oh, not ‘feast’—you can do better than that,” drawled a voice from the darkness.
“What!” yelped Varis. “Who dares?” he caught himself, drawing his cape around himself.
“It’s not ‘feast,’ y’know. You don’t technically ‘feast’ on blood, what with it being a liquid and all,” said the voice again, mild and jocular.
“Where are you?” yelled Varis, his nasal whine made all the more pronounced in the presence of the stranger’s warm tenor. His eyes flashed, scanning the dark of the room. His slightly-runny nostrils flared, sniffing in the gloom. “Human?”
“You won’t be able to ‘feast on her lifeblood,’ anyway,” said the voice. “Once I figured out your ‘pattern’ of attacks, so to speak, I had her rushed off to her aunt’s house.”
“Well then you just made two fatal errors, my friend,” said Varis, throwing his cloak over his shoulders, “you’ve told me where she is, and I’ll be upon her within an hour, and secondly, speaking again has let me pinpoint exactly where you are.” There he was, crouched in the far corner of the room, up near the ceiling, with one foot on the top of either doorframe, propping himself up. The intruder was curled up, his arms crossed, and his face down to his chest.
“I wish you’d make up your mind about whether it’s a cloak or a cape,” he said.
“Excuse me?” said Varis, startled out of the menacing pose he was assuming.
“I mean, the stitching is bad enough, but honestly, when you can’t even tell whether it’s a cloak or a cape, well . . . I guess being dead isn’t everything,” called the voice. He lifted his head, revealing plain brown eyes that glinted in a brief flash of lightning. His short black hair hung loosely over his face as a smile formed on his lips. “Game’s over, Vinnie,” he said, smiling a perfectly flat-toothed grin.
“Don’t call me that!” he yelled through a fang-toothed grimace. “I am Varis Constantin, Nosferatu, Child of the Darkness, Son of the Night!”
“You’re Vinnie Conners, child of Meg and Ryan Conners—who’s making a full recovery after your beating, by the way. You became a vampire after searching fifty four chatrooms and finally finding Amanda ‘Altrissa Malvane Tressanor’ Tracy—goes by the handle, ‘malvane_vampire666’ by the way—who agreed to meet you next to the dumpster behind Denny’s. You were bitten twice before she was able to find the right artery on your neck.”
“Who are . . .” started Vinnie, his patchwork cape falling to the damp floor.
“You were then interred at Pinestreet Cemetery,” he continued. “Three days later, you crawled out of your grave, promptly tripped over your own tombstone, then took off into the night sky, clipping a cedar tree and damaging the cemetery gate on your way out,” said the stranger, never moving from his perch in the corner, his brown, piercing eyes focused on Vinnie.
“How do you . . .” began Vinnie.
“I’ve done my homework,” said the intruder. “You killed several bullies at your school for minor offences against your ego, then two cheerleaders, and two mall cashiers. You beat your father within an inch of his life for, quote: ‘Repressing your individualist rights as a free-thinking young adult.’ The total body-count from your perverted kill-spree is eight people dead, three people maimed, and one handicapped for life—that’s your daddy, Vinnie.”
“They all deserved it,” said Vinnie sullenly.
“It stops here, Vinnie,” he said, uncrossing his arms. He was wearing a thin vest over a black shirt. Two white lines crossed on his shirt, making Vinnie’s eyes water when then rested on them. “Time for Vinnie the Vampire to go back to bed,”
“I said not to call me that!” shrieked Vinnie, leaping through the air at the stranger. The stranger’s hand twitched and Vinnie saw the thinnest line of silver illuminated in lightning before he stopped seeing.
“Eeeeyaaaaaaawhatdidyoudotome??” hissed Vinnie, clutching at the red line burned across his face as he reeled backward.
“Silver twine,” said the intruder. There was a thump, as if he’d jumped down. “If you could still see, you could tell that there are tiny, tiny crosses in similarly tiny relief on the twine.”
“You sonuva—!!!” yelled Vinnie, ducking down and lurching forward.
“Incidentally, go with the hiss—it’s less annoying than you regular voice. Sinus problems, I assume?” called the young man’s voice retreating back into the doorway.
“I’ll kill you!!”

This is what Vinnie “Varis Constantin” Conners saw:
His eyes had healed quickly enough to see by the time he followed the intruder into the dark room, though not enough to repair his night vision.
He could see, by a well-timed flash of lightning, that there was more twine criss-crossing the room. Now that he knew was to look for, he was able to easily dodge the silver lines. Standing in the center of the room, he crouched low, baring his fangs at the intruder on the other side of the room. The vampire was now between the intruder and the door—there was no escape. Vinnie flexed his fingers like claws and lowered himself, about to spring forward.
The dark-haired figure shook his head, raising a gloved hand. Around the thick leather Vinnie could see more twine. The hand closed and the arm jerked down, yanking at silver thread connected to the complex web around Vinnie.
Pwing! Pwing! Pwingpwingpwingpwingpwing!
Loosed of its moorings, the twine contracted around Vinnie. He could feel the metal cut into his skin, could feel the burn of the crosses through his leather cape. Tighter and tighter the wire pulled—Vinnie could feel his night-born strength failing him—he couldn’t move his arms, his legs, his head—God, his head! He could feel the thin strands of wire, razor-sharp and burning, slicing their way into his skull! The intruder hauled on his handful of twine and Vinnie lifted into the air, suspended in a web of warded thread.
The stranger stepped forward, a streetlight’s errant beam illuminating the broad grin plastered across his face. One hand raised an old-fashioned wooden mallet, the other raised a wooden rod, ending in a wicked point.
“Say goodnight, Vinnie.”
With silver lines pinning Vinnie’s mouth open, all he could do was scream as the stake plunged toward his heart.

There was a peculiar hush as the rain stopped. All that could be heard was the irregular staccato of the gutters playing their impromptu tune. The clouds slowly left the sky with the sullen march of the final guests at a party, reluctant to leave. The moon shone over the night, illuminating the puddles and painting a damp sheen over everything.
Whistling, the intruder knelt down next to the impaled corpse of Vinnie, held out a silver cross in front of the dead vampire’s face and waved it back and forth several times before nodding to himself. Then, business-like, he removed several tools from his vest. The moonlight gleamed on the serrated edge of the hacksaw.

Love it. Can't wait to read more of what you can do! And though I'm (sorry to tell you) a fan of vampires, it is indeed refreshing to read something a bad vampire who gets what's comming to him. Good for you!
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