My past continued to haunt me. Because of that, I certainly wasn't ready to attempt a pop out from my current little cubbyhole deep beneath the earth's crust. My little gift wasn't something I shared with just anyone. There were very few that had any idea I even existed, much less how I existed. I well knew that my Uncle Harry had my best interests at heart and even though I'd never tell him, Riley also did. He wasn't a stable person in any manner, but as a werewolf he'd kill for me like any well-directed missile. And Uncle Harry had directed him more than once for me and others associated with the vampires that Uncle Harry took care of and protected. I never asked if Uncle Harry had Riley shelter and shield various vampires, but then admittedly I never thought that vampires needed much protection. But who was I do know?
So yeah, Hollywood had made more than a few silly movies about talents somewhat like mine but they really didn't grasp the entirety of what I could actually do. What they thought creatures such as I could do was very faulty -- thankfully -- but they did make pretty movies. They often had slick muscle cars flipping with fire-filled scenery behind backlighting the horrific view on the screen while actors were sprinting across the sides of buildings -- not on the ground, but gravity-defying sideways maneuvers like Spiderman -- not being harmed in the least. Okay that's not totally true, if there was someone in the group who was the best buddy of the main character, much like old Star Trek shows, they were toast to make the plot more 'real.' The movies overall were pathetically crafted and of course blockbusters for the producers. Naturally I laughed at all the wrong parts. I laughed too loudly during movies and was occasionally not-so-nicely asked to shush by other moviegoers and at times the movie theatre staff. As a spiteful bit of my own personal craft I would pop out during the next dark scene, leaving the movie theatre employees and the offended ticket holders sitting near me to wonder when exactly I'd slipped out. After a few such episodes, I decided it was in my best interest to get the movie DVD later so in the privacy of my own home, I could see the movie without pissing off the locals. And then I could watch a particularly bad movie in my own space that was made about people who could pop or 'jump' around with pretty vapid humans assisted by wires and good CGI craft without snickering at the wrong time.
That said, I didn't use my particular set of 'gifts' to do anything wrong like robbing banks or stealing from rich folks. I preferred to go somewhat back in time and find long lost archeological sites that nobody had any sort of vested interest in, or much less knew about and find my little treasures. It wasn't like I was stupid, I took the time to research my finds and didn't pillage anything that would be considered modern as a rule. There were plenty of pretties beneath the earth that had been long forgotten, and yet well-documented for anyone who was smart enough to invest the time in a good library.
All the while part of me wanted to reach out to Uncle Harry and see if I could connect with him, but there was that uneasy feeling that kept me from trying to touch base with him -- I didn't want him hurt or in any way cause him to be harmed. There were undercurrents of craziness that had begun to shift and land willy-nilly around me and mine. So because of that I was being cautious with my life. And besides, Uncle Harry was like a totally awesome vampire ... but at the same time I didn't question my fears, but embraced them and tried to puzzle out my problem. Besides, I knew that the ability I had, to focus and go wherever I wanted wasn't usual -- I now knew that creatures that went thump, bump and feral in the night weren't just rumors and bad bedtime stories, but I was something different.
I also knew now that when I was a teenager my life had shifted and given me access to this dark gift. But I had to recognize that on the night it all had happened, basically my life as a child was over, that I had gone to a dark place that evening, and I hadn't been in a coma on that very shadowy and scary night. In fact I knew that all in all, I had been tempted, shifted and changed by that night. Sighing, I mentally sunk back into my past to try to see if there was another clue to what was currently haunting me. I leaned my back against the wall of the chilly cave and let my thoughts drift back to my childhood.
"Esmeralda, what the hell?" The young man made it seem like a question but I didn't feel the need to reply.
Instead I curled my toes and felt the beach sand squish grittily between them. It kept me quiet and the ocean continued to pound the shoreline, giving me solace. I'd yet to dip my toes in the surf but given what I'd seen, I wasn't exactly running to see if it was an icy fifty or so degrees or maybe a 'warmer' sixty-five. Not to mention the sleek-finned locals I'd seen. The various creatures in the ocean off to my right had given me pause, but then I remembered it was just a dream. I peered down the beach, trying to see if there were any clues to exactly where I was, but gave up. There was a fog bank that had drifted in as dawn approached, making visibility less than a hundred yards or so.
"Why are you refusing to listen to me? I am a vampire. I am here at the Council's request. The Council-owned witches sent me to find out if you should live or die." He no longer was a teenager or twenty-something that had caught my eye moments before; his appearance wasn't the same in the least. That earlier man had shifted and now he had long honey-colored hair with blue eyes speckled with gold. He looked tan and still fit but the fangs in his face definitely made him different from the usual suspects.
I smiled and said, "What 'Council; and fuck all if there are witches -- what the hell are you babbling about?"
Mentally I added another dollar to the swear jar. At this rate I'd be seriously rich. My dreams were so odd.
He stayed out of range of my fist, I noticed. His nose was still swollen but at least it had stopped bleeding. Even his weird shifting from the somewhat cute guy my age to what he now was hadn't changed his nose. I think I may have broken the creature in my dreams. My head still hurt from his pulling out a chunk of my hair, but I think my smacking his nose had damaged him more.
"What is wrong with you?" He paced back and forth a foot or so from me in the sand.
"Dunno, why don't you clue me in?" I said with a sardonic tone. His slight flinch let me know that I'd hit the target. For all his bluster he wasn't immune to my daggers. I bit back a grin and waited.
It wasn't long in coming, "The Council was wrong to send me. All I want to do is drain you dry and let them sort out this mess."
I grinned and said, "Why don't you?"
It wasn't a challenge as far as I knew but he took it as such -- with venom he stated, "Because!"
I found it a nice non-answer. But in thinking about it I knew that it meant he wasn't really in control. Taking that bit of news to heart, I said, "Well, then you better suck it up and tell me what you really mean."
Growling through his fangs he said, "Fine. You aren't to be touched because the Vampire Council ruled you were safe. If I can break you without touching you then it is allowed."
Touching the side of my head where he'd pulled out a chunk of my hair I commented, "Well, you screwed the pooch on that one already, didn't you?" My delivery was slow and careful. I wanted him to take me seriously but wasn't sure that he could. He definitely had a bad attitude about me and it was flipping dream!
He growled and said, "I don't think that counts because you don't believe this is real, but still think this a demented dream from bad food." He was right; that was pretty much my take on the dream but at least I felt safe from his fangs for some reason.
"But isn't a 'no touch' rule pretty much self-explanatory? Or is there another set of words you need to hear? Hmmmmm?" I danced in the sand by his feet while throwing fake boxing moves out. After all, despite his grandiose comments, he'd broken his own set of rules. The spot on my head where he'd yanked out my hair still hurt. It hadn't proved to me this was anything other than a weird long dream, but with his own words he had said he wasn't supposed to touch me.
The look on his face gave me hope. He'd crossed some line from the supposed vampire rules. I didn't have to ask, but I knew that he was fearful of what would happen if this news drifted back ... even in my dream. Why it would make any sort of sense to me, I couldn't guess, but nevertheless it did. So I waited by the shoreline and watched a few seagulls swoop down to the beach to see what was going to happen next. The birds walked along the beach pecking at the bits of debris that had washed up, utterly unconcerned by the supposed vampire much less me.
I didn't have long to wait, it turned out. In a blink there was another figure on the beach walking directly towards us both. Somehow the man didn't scare me in the least, even though he was a tall well-built man. In fact, something about the man gave me comfort. As for the vampire to my left he let out a girl-like squeak.
"Fuck! They found out already. This wasn't supposed to happen." The vampire sounded terrified. His fangs made his words a bit garbled, but at the same time it was pretty funny to me. His nose began to leak a thin line of blood. The vampire was terrified and his questionable blood pressure had shot up beyond a safe region, I rationalized while still not so sure about his being a vampire. I mean pink unicorns and talking bears were the usual fodder for strange dreams from what my school friends gossiped about. I'd never heard of any of them telling about vampires in their nightmares.
He began looking around the empty beach as if seeking an escape route. The man came closer and I noticed he was smiling. He also had a set of fangs but they looked more permanent and real to me. It made me start to question my dream. Not in a bad way, just oddly real.
"Master, forgive me. She didn't believe anything I said. I didn't know any other way to get her attention," the formerly snotty man was nearly groveling at my feet as the 'Master' approached us. I couldn't resist kicking sand up and a bit of a smile flashed over my lips. The wind took that moment to further lift the sand and I watched as it stuck to the blood rivulets under his nose, running into his lips and down his chin. He certainly didn't look scary in the least.