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February 19, 2024

The Building 34

By Lydia Manx

"No, I don't think so." Jerry Cooper smiled at Celina's bravado. Celina Holston had to realize he wasn't a fool by now. Or maybe he was giving her too much credit, since she'd been part of the Vampire Council's enforcer team. Her saying, 'Fuck you' was little more than empty bitterness at being captured by him. That was something he could work with given time.

She growled slightly inside her throat. It took more effort for her to talk than she'd realized. Jerry watched it dawn on the one time beautiful vampire strapped to the ambulance crash cart that she truly wasn't going to be rescued any time soon by her illegally made vampires and minions. Jerry'd made sure to sever those ties right from the start of his escapade with the vamp. All the years of painstakingly rebuilding his world from the ground up washed away, and Jerry felt a thread of joy spread through him. He wasn't ready to name it as happiness, but at least he had the thrill of newness and the challenges of cracking the shell that surrounded Celina.

The irony didn't escape him that it took his capture, and the subsequent painful years that followed of building an existence worthy of him and getting back his true power as a vampire for him to feel alive. Before the Vampire Council had snatched him off the streets of Detroit, with Celina as bait, he'd been growing jaded and bored by all of the centuries of vampiric life he'd lived. He hadn't realized how predictable and shallow his empire had become until he lost it all. Not that he wasn't going to exact his own personal brand of revenge, but nevertheless he did find it somewhat amusing.

Celina didn't resemble that saucy Southern belle of his past currently and it was very doubtful she would ever again. The time spent with the sun beating down on her through the warehouse windows had done some damage. That he'd nearly drained her dry before leaving her to watch the day float by hadn't helped her complexion in the least. As he didn't plan on allowing her any human or vampire blood, she would be dying by degrees unless he took pity on her and took her head. She looked nearly a century old and her creamy skin was a brief memory. Instead hunks of gray-black skin filled in the spots the deep lines and wrinkles didn't cover on her body. Her long lush locks of hair were gone and replaced with gray and white dull straw with little moisture to give her hair any texture. She wasn't a fashion plate at all anymore, but a crone with one foot inside death's door waiting for a chance wind to blow her over into hell.

Pursing his lips slightly, he puffed a few times into her face and watched her flinch at the breaths. She didn't think a mere breath would kill her, but from the confusion racing over her face she wasn't sure what he was doing. He could see easily that her mind was racing and tumbling without any answers. It wasn't in his nature to help Celina, and anything resembling pity for fellow vampires had long disappeared in Jerry's worldview. He knew that he wasn't a favorite of any of the other Master Vampires, but rather a shiny example of why it wasn't good to piss off the Council. Even years later he knew the Council used his disappearance and alleged death as a win, and his loss of territory and minions as proof of how strong the cabal was.

He stepped back to the linen-covered table within view of the vampire and pulled back the cover to reveal all of the surgical instruments he'd artfully arrayed beneath the cloth. He'd used a large old-fashioned glass syringe the night before to pull blood from her and feed it into the magical construct the creature had sold him to imprison vampires. Her blood, once it fueled the blood box, tied her further onto the gurney with its magic and he could personally attest to how it robbed a vampire of their skills and talents. She had used one on him and he still could taste the coppery metallic block in his mind that had prevented him from pulling any of his minions to him, and later kept him from easily escaping their pathetic trap. It galled him that mere humans had rescued him. Too bad they didn't realize that true vampires weren't like the ones in the storybook tales looking for love and companionship from humans. He made sure to educate them quickly and on sharp fang tip before he'd departed.

"My, my, my. So many bright and shiny objects to choose from this evening. What is a pissed off vampire to do? Wait, I know," he spun a tad dramatically with a Stryker saw in his hands, "I'll use them all."

The jagged-toothed vibrating saw was used often in real life as well movies and books to remove part of the skull when scooping out the brains during autopsies. He'd picked up quite a few autopsy tools over the past few years as doctors passed away in Florida. The tools weren't easily broken and often recycled throughout pathologist communities over the decades, he'd discovered. It was rather easy to find the devices and tools at random places without attracting notice. If dressed properly, he was taken for a physician and even got discounts. Between those tools and the various ones from the morgues that also graced the table, he'd assembled a daunting set of nasty-looking toys. Some he deliberately left crusted with tainted human blood while others gleamed sharply in the florescent lights crackling overhead.

Her face drained of what little color she had attained after the meager amount of bunny blood that had been absorbed into her system when she caught a glimpse of the table top out of the corner of her eye. A groan escaped from her cracked lips and she hissed out another word, "Wait."

"For what?" He bounced the sharply edged saw in his palm.

It wasn't running, but truthfully vampiric strength made that moot since he could easily slam the jagged-toothed object down on her skull and accomplish what the vibrating saw did when turned on, which both of them knew. Her eyes were black orbs of hate. Not a sliver of color to create the semblance of humanity. No human seeing her would mistakenly think she was anything like them. The whites were nearly gone, with her pupils blown wide open with fear and anger waging a war over her mind. Her mind wasn't nearly as confused as it had been when he first arrived. The drops of bunny blood he'd tauntingly allowed her gave her just enough juice to make her aware of him but little more than that. With her eyes following his hands and the tool he slapped it down next to her face and said, "Wait for you to let me free in Detroit?

"Wait for you to give me a human to drain when you had me imprisoned in that cursed casket?" He tapped the rough teeth against her flaking cheek hitting the cheekbone with a slight bounce. He set the instrument down just next to her face touching her hollowed cheek. She struggled against the straps, but wasn't able to do much but cause more skin to fall off her wrists. Her jostling caused the sharp edges to scrape a bit more of her off onto the crash cart.

"Oh, I know! Wait for your family to rescue you! That's what you want right?" Her face lifted to his momentarily in hope. He took pleasure in dashing that with, "Ah, too bad they don't know where you are. Too bad they can't feel you anymore and have to assume you are dead. Just like my family in Michigan did all those years ago."

He picked the saw up, drawing it carefully over her face allowing her to grow fearful of his intentions and then once he had it at eye level, he turned abruptly and went back to the table while he taunted, "Maybe your kin is already rotting in the dirt. Perhaps I sent out my family to visit with yours while you sunbathed away the morning hours. Wouldn't you like to know?"

She blinked slowly, and he could feel her try to push out and find anyone in the area of her kin to call to her so she could feed. She hadn't believed his claims of control. But then she and the Council hadn't really understood who or what Jerry was all those years ago. The blood box strobed, and hummed with the sounds he so easily recalled as it thirstily gobbled up her vampiric power thrust. A lick of fear ran from her to him, and he drank it in while waiting for her eyes to find him again. No longer trying to see Jerry or his table of toys, she was studying the ceiling as if the stark warehouse could hold answers to her dilemma. The noise peaked, then fell off as Jerry felt her stop trying to find her fledglings and minions with her mind. He hadn't tried to interfere because it was all part of the lessons she needed to learn before he was done with her. He was happy to school her like she'd 'taught' so many vampires over the years under the mantle of protection from the Council.

Her body dropped back onto the cart as she finally completely gave up her mental search. She looked at him with a dull flat stare. "Why?"

"Because I can. Why not? You decided years ago to harm me and mine. Never once did you show an ounce of compassion or understanding about my family. You judged me and attempted to execute me without a trial. It's only fitting you die by the sword you used. I spared you the 'comfort' of a silver lined coffin, which is more than I can say you did for me. I've fed you." Here he allowed himself a slight smile. Feeding a hungry vampire cold flat rabbit blood wasn't exactly putting out a feast, but still, it was more than she'd ever done for him. He'd tasted her blood, so he knew how she craved warm human blood flowing through her fangs into her body. She'd become even more a blood slut than when he'd last seen her.

The Floridians she drank from at first had been little more than cattle to be culled when thirsty, but the darker side of her species won out along with her own desires. She was a naughty vampire that had lived under the shield of the Council for so long that she'd begun to believe she was immortal. This was a fallacy that muddled the minds of many vampires --one that Jerry took great pleasure in disproving.

Celina shifted restlessly and tried to appear pretty. The normal vampiric skill of glamour was rarely useful against other vampires, and with the blood box in motion it never happened. He doubted she had enough skill to mask her appearance for a human at the moment, even if it meant her freedom. He smiled, letting her see his fangs slightly descended -- a flash of arrogance, as it were since he didn't plan of sipping anytime soon from her -- and she growled again.

Picking up a long sharp steel pick he quickly covered the distance between them and plunged it through her right forearm, pinning her to the cart. She screamed slightly. That took nearly all her remaining strength, he noticed.

"You will not growl at me ever again or the next time I use this it will go through your chest and into your black heart. Are we clear?" Brutally he yanked out the tool, watching her eyes the whole time.

She nodded slightly in agreement, and he stepped back and said, "See, I can be reasonable."

A dark thought seeped out from her and he laughed aloud, mocking her resistance with, "You and what army? Your fledglings are mine as are your minions. You are mine. Haven't you figured this out yet?"

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-09-26
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