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September 26, 2022

Night Time 20

By Lydia Manx

As if summoned by our standing outside Frances walked out and myopically stared at us from the brightly lit doorway.

"Who's there? I can't see you. Come here!" She was querulous and demanding. To my surprise Harry began to walk towards Frances. I followed somewhat amazed. I don't think I spoke with Frances more than a half dozen times in my entire life. She had spoken at me a few times usually to tell me to get out of her way or to demand that I tell my mother to call her. Mom had some odd relationship with her -- because of the money automatically mailed from my father's family, I always figured. It wasn't like we were in the same social set as the Winters and Greggs. But with the checks showing up constantly for twenty-one years, Frances must have figured my family was very wealthy -- which they probably were given the little I knew.

Not like my mom and I were burdened with vast invitations to social teas and events. We were pretty much left to ourselves, the way we wanted it. While they were all part of the movers and shakers that ran the town, the Greggs were always polite enough to my mom and seemed to tolerate my existence. They were some of the folks that would decide if Kelly Ann Jacobs would be the next mayor or not.

Harry continued walking towards Frances while I trailed reluctantly behind him. This part of town had large lawns and wide walkways. I could've caught up and comfortably walked side by side with Harry but hung back, puzzled by his action. Frances spoke out again, "Say is that you Lynn McKay? What are you doing hiding behind this man? Sir, who are you?" Her voice broke a bit as Harry was nearly to the front door.

Stunned I watched Harry walk right up to Frances' face and say, "Why do you smell musty like dried up old almond shells?" He inhaled deeply and added, "Have you been sipping at the nectars unasked? Your soul's bitterness is unbecoming your position, woman." Her mouth dropped open and mine was positively unhinged by his remarks. They made no sense to me but seemed to mean something to Frances Gregg. She had paled and stumbled back from the doorway.

"I hadn't realized it was you! I am so sorry. Please forgive my lack of manners, you must come inside," she babbled and yanked open the door wide sweeping her arm back even wider and Harry walked past her regally nodding and calling back to me, "Come in Gwendolyn, you need to be here."

I was torn between following Harry or running for the hills. The lack of a home pretty much decided my course. But then, that had been shaping the oddities of my days and nights ever since my mom's murder. Frances shot me a look and said hesitantly, "Sir, are you quite sure? Is she ready?"

"That is not for you to decide now is it?" He smiled and shut the door behind me. But not before I had glimpsed something odd in his smile. I shook my head. I had to be sick. Then Harry put his palm in the middle of my back propelling me further into the entryway. His fingers found one of those odd bruises and I winced. Pain flooded through me and I tried to pull from his touch.

"Good God, you idiots." Harry thundered as he looked at my face.

He casually reached past me and smacked Frances full in the face. Blood leaked from the corner of her mouth where she bit her cheek and she cringed, saying, "It wasn't my idea. They thought she was something else."

I was spinning with pain and unasked questions. The careless violence from Harry was unexpected yet there was a flutter inside me that liked it. What was wrong with me? My head was swimming and I was confused. What was Harry? I knew my eyes hadn't been lying because again I saw something peculiar in his smile. It took me a full minute to register what was different about Harry. His teeth appeared to be too long. His hand returned to my back where he found another mark I winced with the soft touch and he said to Frances, "This must stop. Now."

And with that he pushed me into the sitting room where I stumbled from the pain. My whole back felt like it was on fire. Frances Gregg called out imperiously into the house, "Evan, come here quickly!" Her tone was still demanding and rude; considering she had just been slapped by Harry, I was surprised. And it did have an immediate effect.

Harry reached out with lightning speed and for a minute I thought he was going to strike her again; to my relief all he did was put his hand over her mouth, saying, "Now did I ask you to call your mate?"

Frances trembled; her eyes were huge and glassy with fear above his fingers, which were white against her ruddy complexion. I had sat weakly down on the covered couch. As the heavy plastic crinkled and protested I glanced up, shocked, afraid I was going to attract attention -- then I saw that I was just the audience, as neither of them were even looking at me. Now the reluctant witness, I heard Evan thumping down the stairs. As thin and pinched Frances was, Evan was nearly her complete opposite. He was round on every surface. His bald head gleamed with sweat and he appeared angry at his wife's summoning until he saw Harry.

"Oh, sir, I didn't know you were here." His tone was overly formal and I was frozen on the couch hoping to avoid anyone's notice. Questions were dancing in my head but I didn't think the answers were going to please me. The couch was slick and I winced at the sounds I made. Nobody even glanced at me. I sucked in air softly and tried to keep still.

Then the banker did something that further pushed me into the clear plastic couch. He nodded his head to Harry in almost a bowing motion. Frances tried to catch her husband's eye to no avail. She was still pinned against Harry's body by his hand. Her eyes were nearly bursting with unspoken words. Her mate completely avoided meeting her eyes and said directly to Harry, "What can I do for you?"

Harry smiled and said, "Very good. You do understand what is wrong here, Evan?"

Evan avoided meeting Frances' eyes as he said, "Yes, we may have overstepped. What can I do to help?"

Frances whimpered her instant understanding that her husband had abandoned her to her fate. He had distanced himself from her and she knew it. He simpered and waited Harry's answer. Frances paled and tried to speak from behind Harry's palm to no avail. I tried to be even more invisible than before because something very odd was going on here and I wasn't sure I could handle what it was.

Harry weighed his reply before saying, "We have no choice now. Gwendolyn has been compromised and the town is unraveling."

Then he did something that shocked me beyond words. His long teeth got even longer and he moved his hand from Frances' mouth to her chin. Tilting her chin back I was horrified to see her jugular vein pulsing as her slack skin was now pulled taunt. With a swift movement Harry began to bite Frances' neck. His hands were on both of her shoulders and instead of pulling away from him she was leaning into him and shuddering. Her eyes rolled back and with her mouth freed she said, "Oh, please! Deeper. Take me there, now." Then I shuddered to see how Harry's teeth puncture her neck and he began to pull her blood from her veins. Evan fell to his knees and exclaimed, "Frances, you have been blessed. A master is drinking from you."

Frances smiled and shimmered while Harry kept at her neck. I wanted to throw up but at the same time something about this scene made me happy. Frances didn't appear to be hurting but in some state of excitement I didn't even want to think about from my spot in plain view.

I was so screwed.

Evan was still on the floor near his wife and Harry. I then noticed that Evan was making some obscene noises of enjoyment at seeing his spouse being bitten. I, on the other hand, wanted to find some place to hide quickly. All my bruises were throbbing and I felt very very odd.

Then it hit me. Harry was a vampire. Vampires? Fictional characters in stupid movies. A glazed look in Harry's eyes and he turned to me, blood on his fangs, "Yes, Gwendolyn. And you are part of us."

Looking down at Frances he proclaimed, "Frances Gregg, you taste bad. Like old used up almond shells... bitter and useless, you have corrupted your soul. You are not worthy." And to my dismay Harry quickly snapped her neck. She fell from his grasp like a bag of old potatoes. Her husband simply said, "As you say, Master."

Then the town's banker rose and turned to me huddled on the couch saying, "May I be your first?"

Excuse me? My first what?

Harry looked at me and stepped over the corpse of Frances saying, "She really was quite bitter." Something flip-flopped in my stomach. I wasn't overly fond of the lady but sure hadn't wanted to see her neck broken. Evan felt compelled to say, "Well, she did bring quite a lineage with her."

I looked at him confused. His wife was on the floor dead and he was discussing her family? Harry nodded saying, "Still, she overreached her place. Nobody should have sampled like she did. The mayor and others figured out something was wrong quite quickly. The town is far too small to have such things go unnoticed."

Okay, what things? I still was aiming for invisibility. And failing miserably.

"So Gwendolyn, now that you know what I am, what exactly is going through that mind of yours?" Harry asked me from his spot over the dead lady.

Many things were going through my mind. 'Evan Gregg wants to be my 'first' what? kept screaming in my ear rather loudly as well as what the hell were they? Somehow I didn't think the banker and his wife were the same as Harry. What was it exactly that Frances had been sampling? I had no clue how to ask anything and certainly no desire to point out that whatever they all were, I was definitely not one of them.

Evan looked at me with hopeful eyes. I barely suppressed a shudder. His wife's body wasn't even cold and he seemed to completely dismiss her from his mind. Sure, don't let that pesky stiff bother you. I was more than a bit creeped out by the whole thing.

"Lynn, are you with us?" The corpse's hubby asked me. I wanted to scream but somehow figured it wouldn't do much for me. Here there was this terrible murder that Harry did in front of me and all they wanted to do was ask me where I stood. Well, sat uncomfortably, as all the pinpoints of pain seemed to be dancing over my body asking for some attention of their own. I didn't know whether or not to be glad that Agent Erika and Cinda got to miss this little bit of fun. But had they been with me I doubt any of this would have happened. It made me sad, but it wasn't my fault. It was just another one of those bizarre bits of chaos that was quickly becoming normal in my life. Sadly even with this turning out to be such a bad day, it was becoming all too familiar -- that feeling of no control, coupled with unusual and horrific events.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2005-12-26
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