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January 23, 2023

The Building 26

By Lydia Manx

The Celina Holston sandwich was starting to dissolve as Jerry drank blood from the back of Celina's neck at the top of her spine while she was fang first deep into Tricia's throat. Tricia had stopped making the high pitched squeals she'd been doing for the past few minutes as Celina was busy sucking her down like a Slurpee on a hot summer day. Jerry wasn't any slouch at draining blood from a human or a vampire, Celina was quickly figuring out, and he had a head start. Jerry Cooper also was flooding both Celina's and Tricia's minds with horrific images culled from centuries of being a top predator in the Great Lakes area of what was now Michigan, Wisconsin and bits and pieces of Eastern Canada. The Vampire Council had damned him for what they knew about him in the past hundred or so years. They hadn't dug very deep into his life, or they'd never have sent a mere half dozen enforcers to try to break him. Just thinking about the lapdogs of the Council made him slam more images into both of their brains. Let them experience how true prey felt when being hunted to death. Both vampire and human had been predators for so long he knew that they'd forgotten the other side of the coin. He took pleasure in giving them something new to feel.

Celina was now making the same unnatural keening noises that Tricia Sanborn had been making before growing silent. Both of the females were trying to unsuccessfully struggle from beneath Jerry. Jerry was luxuriously enjoying the waves of terror and absolute panic flowing from them like fresh water from a new spring. Sadly, all too soon, Tricia was no longer undulating sensually beneath Celina, but her feet were drumming a discordant patter as her heart continued to pump her life's blood down Celina's fangs. He kept drinking long after Celina had drained Tricia pretty much dry. The images firing and misfiring though Celina's mind were bloody and pain filled. The rich vampire blood sung inside his body as he continued to suck. He personally knew it took more than a few pints to absolutely empty a vampire.

Celina had begun to shut down nearly catatonic, as vampires were prone to do as they neared death. He didn't intend to kill her, but make her malleable and easy to handle, so he reluctantly stopped draining the vampire, who wasn't going to go anywhere without help or a pint or three of human blood. He had noticed when snapping open the back door to her home that there wasn't a car parked in the driveway, so he assumed like any smart Floridian, transplanted or not, she had parked her car in the enclosed garage.

He rolled off the two limp women and began staging the scene. He went into the kitchen and looked for some items. When he came back into the room he was pleased to see neither of them had moved an inch. First things first: he took the bust of the Roman emperor and he placed in Tricia's lifeless hands as if she had used the bronze to slam into Celina. The chunk of hair still stuck onto the piece was enough to convince a cop that Tricia had attacked Celina. The vampire's hair would remain on the bronze even if he killed her later because it was no longer part of the supernatural creature. If she'd been dead, true death, it would have disappeared like so much dust in the wind. Celina was still alive and thus she could leave trace evidence until then. Once she was truly dead, her body would dissipate like dandelion weeds in a stiff wind, but until she was dead she could and would leave traces of her existence. Forensic sciences had come a long way and vampires weren't as unsubstantial as Hollywood depicted in films and shows.

Naturally, vampires left rather confusing evidence, but that just worked in his favor as far as he was concerned. He'd been careful to put Tricia's hands precisely where his had been, so with some pressure he obliterated his own prints, leaving hers on the sculpture. He swung it slightly with the human's fingers between his and the bronze and then quickly removed his hands flinging the head off to the side of the room. Without his fingers supporting hers Tricia's hands fell with a thud onto her body. She was little more than a broken doll abandoned on the floor as Jerry had no more use for her. He patted his pocket double checking the flash drive hadn't been jostled out in the tussle with the women. The reassuring bump of the drive made him smile.

The chef's eight-inch blade he found in the kitchen would do the trick, he figured, as he began the steps to set the scenario for the police and reporters sure to follow. Taking Celina's limp hand he placed it around the handle of the knife and slashed at Tricia's corpse. The little blood left in her veins spattered and puddle nicely beneath her still warm remains. The epic struggle had a few more special effects needed that would further make the staging ever so naughty. Nothing like the old adage 'sex sells' he always figured.

Celina became his mindless puppet as he got the various items in place. A bloody handprint inside Tricia's thigh along with her skirt ripped and left around her ankles, the chocolate syrup and whipped cream smeared here and there on a fingertip, the curve of an elbow, the back of her knee on the deceased all began to shape into a rather torrid mating gone wrong. Poor Tricia's body would be discovered eventually in the casual sexual disarray not to mention death in the middle of Celina's living room. Taking care to set the inside air conditioner at around sixty-nine degrees was a cute touch on Jerry's part.

There would be confusion as to when exactly Tricia died at first, the blood loss was going to be hard to explain, and of course with Celina missing and her bags hastily packed, it wasn't going to look good for the news station employee. Jerry smiled as he tossed clothing, cosmetics and shoes into a large overnight bag in her room. He snagged her cell phone and the charger and tossed it with her purse into the bag, and went to the garage to find she had conveniently left the car keys on the hook just inside the door. The garage door wasn't locked, so he used his shirt to open the door not to leave any prints. He also remembered to wipe off his handprint on the outside doorknob of her house where he'd broken inside initially, and used Celina's unresisting hand to pull it shut. An unlocked garage would puzzle most folks in the high crime area, but it wasn't like humans got away with stealing from vampires, so Jerry took pleasure in putting the overnight bag in the trunk followed by Celina. Everything was coming along quite nicely. He wanted her to grow weaker out of sight from any stray truck drivers or overhead cameras. It wasn't a coffin but it would do for the moment. The trunk was dark and stuffed with the overnight bag and the vampire.

He was slightly risking getting his picture snapped if he drove too close to the banks' ATM cameras or if he ran any red lights but he didn't plan on doing either. There were plenty of nondescript back roads to be found if one took the time to research. And he had. As he slowly drove out of the dead area made more so by the chilling corpse he'd left inside Celina's house, he finally smiled and relaxed.

He'd made sure to leave the television on, set to her own television channel for the news station where she worked, liking that bit of poetic license. At some point, he knew that there'd be someone talking outside the house on camera while the folks inside the house ran the crime scene unable to touch anything before the detectives released the scene. The jackals of Celina's own chosen trade wouldn't respect her house any more than any other crime scene; in fact they'd take pleasure in showing her picture while solemnly speaking into the camera as if they'd ever given a damn about her in the least. TV blaring, somewhat imitating life while humans were inside examining death. He'd spattered a bit of Tricia blood off of Celina's hand when he used her finger to push the buttons on the remote; it guaranteed that there would be some attention given to the details of the signs of a fight to capture the cops' eyes.

All in all, a very good night's work, Jerry thought. He'd half wanted to keep Tricia around and use her to torment the vampire, as he needed answers about the Council before he killed Celina. Not to mention that the idea of Celina's eyes watching him torture Tricia while Celina was unable to participate or control the action gave him great pleasure, but it was too much work keeping humans alive. That would've been more time consuming than he wanted, just keeping her captive and fed. He'd dealt with the homeless man in Michigan long enough to know it was labor intensive to keep a human alive. Vampires, on the other hand, didn't have the same needs. He hit a bump in the road and felt the weight of Celina's body as it bounced up and down. He smiled wider, and headed to the warehouse he'd rented a few months ago in anticipation of the capturing of one of the Vampire Council's minion. That it was Celina first was deliciously appropriate since she'd been his first contact with the group of enforcers. From all of Tricia's research he knew that Ben Richland had a home that he seasonally used in Florida, but she and Jerry hadn't been able to find out exactly where. That was all about to change, Jerry thought while navigating the rather large sedan Celina had parked in the garage. Her blood coursed through his body and gave him more insight into the vampire.

Celina Holston had been nearly out of the Vampire Council's clutches when Jerry'd snagged her. She had recognized the Council's power had been building for the past two decades beyond the control of the hierarchy. The leaders weren't leading, but busy with plotting and planning control of the world. Naturally, there were factions that backed the various Master Vampires with their territories, and within the rank and file, dissention was becoming the norm not an aberration, like a century ago. Rogues were gaining their own followers that didn't heed the threats of the Council. From everything Celina noticed, she'd concluded that anarchy was not far behind, and she wanted to be well and clear of the Council when the time came. Self-preservation dictated such measures, Celina had concluded, knowing that the foot soldiers were often the first executed in any fight. And vampires did know how to fight. The Byzantine plots and plans of the Council were being mirrored by the rogues and the Master Vampires who didn't appreciate the Vampire Council's rules and regulations.

Knowing all of this, Celina had begun distancing herself from the Council and creating her own kin -- which in effect made her rogue, as it was forbidden for enforcers of the Council to create their own army. The Council wasn't aware of Celina's transgressions, but she well knew it was just a matter of time before it was discovered. Jerry heard all of Celina's unfiltered thoughts on the subject while poking around her mind. She still was in a catatonic state, but her mind was busy poking around, trying to figure out if Jerry had been sent by the Council or was acting on his own. She wasn't able to crack his thoughts, because he had also negotiated with the creature who had crafted the blood box for a mind block. And to his relief, the magical construct that had been placed on his thoughts had held while he was in Celina's house. The creature hadn't said it would last long -- just long enough.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-08-01
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