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September 26, 2022

The Building 29

By Lydia Manx

"What's wrong? Cat got your tongue?" Jerry laughed and wandered to where he'd placed the syringe in visual range of the crash cart. Celina glanced at the old-fashioned hypodermic with horror etching her face. The glass and steel resonated a memory unbidden of a time in her life when she'd been with a particularly bloodthirsty vampire who'd insisted on plunging syringes into his victims' bodies and pulling out measures of blood to taunt the dying. The memory hadn't been buried very deeply in her mind, and Jerry easily drank from the terror and agony of her worries. It was more than he'd hoped for in the first hour of her containment, but it certainly wouldn't be the last flavor of horror to visit her at his bidding.

Celina Holston was nearly dead -- true death -- but still fought the inevitable. Jerry was more than happy to be the weapon of destruction on the Council's vampire. They'd been under the delusion that Celina was nice and compliant with their rules and regulations. She'd been traveling under the radar for decades using the guise of a sweet little Southern vampire who loved to help the Council clean house.

Jerry Cooper had discovered a dark little secret in her mind. He hadn't known what it all meant when he'd been trapped by the enforcers and nearly killed himself. The blood he'd taken from Celina had planted seeds of her inside his mind. Once freed from the house in Michigan back in Detroit, he'd begun to take blood by fang, then he slowly regained the visions and images he'd pulled from her when he first tried to escape. She'd been quite the bad little vamp.

"Yes, Celina, I know all about your little rogues' gallery of minions and fledglings that you've been building down here in Florida." He actually had really figured it out in the past few weeks, and confirmed it when drinking her blood less than an hour ago. The mingling of her tapped into Tricia Sanborn, his human hacker that he'd tricked into driving to Celina's to begin the punishment of the vampires that had imprisoned him, had been a banquet of flavors and fears. It was all he could do to contain his happiness at the evening's adventures. It hadn't been expected, but seemed to be fated from the first sighting of Celina on camera during the news.

Her sunken eyes dashed to find his again. She was in a panic; he could tell by the frantic glances and her mind's mixture of screams and shouts. He currently held her abilities to call her vampires inside him with most of the blood from her body -- she was nearly frozen with the lack of blood or connection to her vampires. He still stood by the draped cart holding the old-fashioned steel and glass syringe used to draw blood and inject medicine in a bygone era. He planned on using it to draw out enough of her blood to feed the blood box that would prevent her from reaching out and touching any of her minion or fledglings mentally. He could personally attest to how strong the magic was that blended with the technical aspects of the black box; the pulse of blue light still haunted his waking moments and at times his nightmares. The creature that created the vampire control boxes sold them at a dear price, and Jerry was a bit queasy over it, but he didn't see that he had any other choice. The poetic idea of 'live by the sword, die by the sword' justice appealed to his warped nature.

Celina wasn't looking half as fetching as she'd been when Jerry'd first seen her. The coy little pink lips resembled half-cooked liver rather than plump berries to be nibbled and bitten. Her eyes were all pupil and the black centers nearly filled her face with the intensity and hatred of her gaze. She was barely conscious and not able to speak easily. That suited Jerry just fine since he'd heard enough from her years ago. She wasn't so cocky now that he had the upper hand.

He was disgusted by how easily Celina was giving up. It wasn't any fun with her flopped on the crash cart nearly dead. He'd thought he'd enjoy her torture more, but so far she'd proved to be nearly worthless. Resigned to the change from his expectations, Jerry went first to the camera set up in the corner and switched it on to record everything. There was nothing like a video to enjoy later to brighten his night. And she was well framed in the camera lens and the camera was far enough back to give a nice view of everything as it unfolded.

"Where to take your blood from? Such tough decisions to make. Let's see, you can't have much in your arms -- your hands are turning a lovely shade of blue. Cyanosis, I wager, given the lack of oxygen and blood in your extremities. Guess that also tosses out your toes for a source of blood. Hmmm, you're pretty much heartless so why jab you there?" Celina was growling softly as Jerry closed the distance, punctuating each comment with the needle pointing at the spot on her body. The metal tip was getting closer to her face as he approached her slowly. He was savoring the fear and anger in equal measure. He knew where he planned on pulling the blood from, but his words were serving to feed his own growing hunger and would make for a lovely montage in the movie of the enforcer's destruction. After all, he'd drunk from both Tricia and Celina; he shouldn't have been hungry, but he knew it was psychological, not actual hunger. He'd been waiting for so very long to have a Council pawn under his power.

Her body shuddered within the confines of the straps, but she had no strength to actually do much more than quake and shake. Without another word he plunged the syringe into her jugular. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she tried to jerk away from the needle. He simply pulled the plunger back filling the glass reservoir with ounces of her blood. She didn't have much to donate, and Jerry loved the rich layers of suffering and pain rolling off her as her mind tried to figure out what exactly Jerry had in store for her.

Once the syringe was full he yanked out the needle and softly smiled into her face saying, "See now that wasn't so bad was it?"

Her eyes slowly focused again on his gaze then filled up with blood tears and she said, "Stop."

"I did stop. You never stopped. Not once while I was in your control did you give me any sign you even cared about what I felt. I didn't line a casket with religious icons and blessed objects, did I?" He looked around the large boxes sitting on the warehouse floor in plain sight.

"Or maybe I did? Only time will tell. Which is more than I can say for your little cadre of fools. Did you really think I wasn't coming for you?" He permitted himself a laugh and made sure to let his fangs snick into view. She didn't have enough blood in her veins to keep alive for much longer and he wasn't going to quicken the suffering. In fact, he'd prepared a few little things in the event he found a vampire from the Council's group. He patted her face and flashed the full syringe in front of her. Her eyes latched onto the crimson-filled chamber and she bit out with her fangs automatically seizing on nothing but air. He was happy to know it was all being recorded for posterity or at least his private enjoyment if not a YouTube moment. Only time would tell.

"Naughty little girl. That's not for you." He walked to one of the many covered areas of the warehouse and dramatically unveiled the creature's blood box. To his disappointment Celina's eyelids had fallen when he'd walked away, denying him the chance to watch her see the box for the first time. He was happy to know that the camera at least would catch her response even if he missed it. The creature's black blood box wasn't the exact same design as the one the Vampire Council had used during his unfortunate incarceration. Since he'd smashed his box and been tossed back into the coffin once he lost to the unseen assailant, the Council's vampires had cleaned up the mess, so he never got to fully explore that one. The creature wasn't overly talkative,, so Jerry just figured the designs varied with the amount of money exchanged or favors. The hell-bound creature hadn't discussed with him what other options were available once he'd tracked it to its lair. Simply it had said for Jerry to come back in a month with an extraordinary amount of cash and what else it needed to craft the magical evil binding box. Hell, he didn't even know if the box could bind creatures other than vampires. Not that he had anything else on his list to harm, but it never hurt to know. His current quest was vampiric, not supernatural.

Jerry knew better than to ask Celina aloud about the box and how it differed from the one that had so effectively aided in trapping him in Michigan. So he let a drop of her blood fall from the syringe onto his forefinger tip, then lavishly licked it off, making sure to suck every molecule into his body. Not that he needed to, but it was for the camera since he hadn't filmed his draining of Celina at her home. Let the vampires watching think he was that strong -- at one time it would have been true and soon, if everything went according to his plans, it would be again.

Carefully he inserted the tip of the needle into the grooved space on top of the box that the creature had shown him, and hit the plunger with his thumb sending the ruby red blood into the mechanism. An odd humming sound started and the blue light he recalled began to move. There wasn't anything more that he was supposed to do but watch, from what he'd been told. He stepped away and waved the now empty syringe in his hand towards Celina and remarked, "See how you like this little toy."

The bright blue light began to strobe quickly at first, then like a metronome on top of a piano with a sweeping motion. Light clicks and a louder hum filled the warehouse. His nerves throbbed a beat as he remembered a similar sound when he'd been under the influence of the blood box the Vampire Council had used on him. He kept his thoughts unspoken and let the fears rolling over Celina do the work for him. He could feel a slight pressure ease in his mind as the box flooded outward the magic that severed Celina from her minions and fledglings, allowing him to be free from that burden. It happened so smoothly that he'd have been hard pressed to say exactly when, but he instinctively knew the box now controlled those creatures not him. That he did know.

Part of him wondered if that was why the creature crafted such artifacts that could paralyze a master vampire as well as one of the Council's henchmen. Was there something flowing magically back to the creature, feeding it as the vampire victim lost communication with minion and fledglings alike? It wasn't something he wanted to explore at the moment but it was something he would consider later. It wouldn't be good for him to feed that creature too well.

Some things went without saying, and vampires held the power to many souls for centuries. He thoughtfully watched Celina half-heartedly try to resist the black box. The night was waning and he went about further incapacitating the vampire. All in all it had been a delightfully complex and busy night. He smiled as he began chaining the gurney to the bolts he'd screwed into the cement floor.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-08-22
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