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November 27, 2023

Bohemian Morning 05

By Lydia Manx

Chapter Five

I don't know why, probably the crappy day I'd been having, but I was caught off guard by his lack of fear, then amused by his foul and anger-filled words. Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, much less rabid ones, I tongued my fangs slowly waiting for both men to remember my little threat. But goddess love them, they had come up with an explanation for my very real fangs. The human condition didn't allow for the supernatural or unexplainable for long -- no, what they thought they were, in their minds, the ultimate apex predator vampires didn't exist -- therefore in their world view I must be fake. I waited to hear what they'd concluded. Their eyes had flickered as a light came on inside their nearly empty brains and both came up with what they figured had to be the only explanation. I didn't even have to pop into their minds to know what was coming. Men were so fucking predictable and the glee on both their faces allowed me an instant to figure where they were heading.

"So fucking what? You're just some goth bitch with fake fangs. You forget to wear your black leather shit and crappy ass makeup? Come on, anybody can buy the fangs at the Halloween stores or even online. What you going to do suck us dry?" William interrupted Pauly's rant with, "Stupid bitch. Let us out or we'll really have to make you pay."

Shaking my head, I snapped my fingers as if I was recalling something, "Oh yeah, so like all fake fangs do this." I relaxed, opening my mouth snicking my fangs back into my gums and once I had their attention, I snapped my fingers again and they snicked back down. "Yeah, sure store-bought fangs do that."

Both men paled and they shook their heads slightly, as if trying to forget what they'd just seen. When my fangs remained in biting position I added, "Anything else?" Both trembled slightly like hyperactive Chihuahuas then backed slowly away from the bars. As if choreographed, they both dropped onto the thin beds in their cells simultaneously without another word or another empty, nasty threat. As they sat frozen on their beds, I gathered up the phones and knife from the floor and stuck them in my coat pocket automatically. They probably had more weapons on them but doubted either had a gun or I'd already been shot. Bullets hurt but didn't kill vampires, rather they pissed me off. I'd taken my share of bullets in times past, but I wasn't afraid of guns. They were just a major hassle for us. I cracked up watching shows or reading books where the hero got shot and ten minutes later was up and running like it was a mosquito bite. Even I found them painful and inconvenient and it took me a pint or three of blood to start to heal. But as neither of them were brandishing a visible weapon I thought I was fine to leave them for a while. They'd keep until I had more time to play with them. I had a few more idiots to torment before it would be their turn. Without overthinking it, I'd reshuffled my priorities. I really had some anger issues to work through and the foggy night was giving me some nasty ideas.

Not bothering to address them I simply walked upstairs and left. The fog had dropped into the night even thicker than before we'd gone into the basement. I took a few minutes to pull the brambling bougainvillea back covering the hole William had made with his face and body as I'd hauled him inside the house. It wouldn't pass a close investigation, but the abandoned yard wasn't a draw for vagrants or miscreants. I may have had something to do with that during my remodeling phase when I deliberately fed rats and feral strays to encourage their prowling in the yard. Foot long rats tended to keep visitors away no matter how desperate. It took me a few minutes to get back to the alley where I'd snatched William and Pauly. Not surprisingly I found the other three had fled. Smiling, I headed back through the shadows and fog for the nearest entrance to the canyons. Finally, the night had started to look up for me.

Once I'd started to meander in the darkness, I was nicely cloaked by shadows, traveling undetected towards the canyons nearest the bar, I mentally took note of which lights were on in which of the still occupied homes. I didn't need to be seen and with the current wet fog doubted I'd be easily seen -- but I wasn't stupid and shit happened to me all the damn time I hadn't planned on occurring. The dark night was lit with intermittent streetlamps and slight peeks from a sliver of moon hiding behind the fog. Stranger things have been known to happen to me, so I wasn't taking any unneeded chances. The night pushed back her protection -- but I wasn't going to get cocky and caught if I could help it.

Taking a deep breath, I could smell cigarettes and marijuana drifting on the wisps of fog alerting me to nocturnal sorts hiding on their porches and in their backyards lighting up. Those homes were also marked in my mental map of the local scenery. Since cigarettes had pretty much become outlawed over the years, the rise of weed smoking was skyrocketing and after the state legalized the drug for recreational use, I found the night air often smelt like a crowed Bob Marley concert. Actually, the pot smokers really made my invisibility easier because the high humans rarely believed what they were seeing. When I'd been spotted, I'd discovered that most indulging tended to blame sightings of me on hallucinogenic laced weed or extreme high doses of THC. Cigarette smokers on the other hand tended to be paranoid shits and they were tough to persuade. Thus, I really did my best to avoid them.

I jumped a foot when something rattled in my jacket pocket. It was an unfamiliar feeling and sound. The vibration wasn't accompanied with a tone but the vibration hitting my pocket lining and body made some noise. It dawned on me that at least one of the men had their cell phones thankfully on vibrate not ringing out some lame song as I clawed the offending item free. The phone wasn't locked so I quickly saw a message in the screen.

Where you at?

The caller ID on the screen had 'Bob' conveniently available letting me know who had reached out to touch me. Okay, not me but the next message identified the phone in my hand as William's tech toy.

William -- where are you? Fred just called saying he can't find you.

Gee, I was shocked. Then I jumped another foot as Pauly's phone began vibrating also. Pulling out his cell I saw it wasn't locked either. Damn, these guys really were idiots. But it worked for me. Shaking my head at their naiveté I saw the new message pop into the screen.

Pauly you there?

This caller -- texter -- from the screen said it was Fred. I stopped and found a large rock underneath an old oak tree and sat down to reply. No need to be rude, right? Looking at the two cell phones I gave it a thought before replying to Fred first. After all, he'd reached out and bugged Bob, before hitting their phones so he was probably closer.

Fred, where you? William had to take a piss so we got lost. Fucker took a new trail. They all look fucking the same.

That should quickly get directions if they wanted to get me sooner than later. And I was right.

Pauly, you asshole. The fort still is at the end of the alley about a block north of the bar. Half mile in the thick brush canyon up top of the old oak. Hurry up you fuckers. We want a turn.

Bob's message buzzed in my lap.

William ?? You there? Answer me.

I texted back, Bob, sorry she got wild we had to educate her. We're heading to fort. Tell Fred to chill and keep his panties on. Damn.

Bob answered. Ok asshole talk later. Hit me up if you fuckwits need help.

Slowly I made my way towards the treehouse thanks to Fred's nice convenient directions and I could quite easily overhear that they were all in fine form and seemed to have forgotten that I wasn't as easy to control as most folks. Before I got much closer, I turned both borrowed cell phones off completely and pulled out the knife I'd taken from one of my caged basement boys. Yeah, I had fangs, but I was loving the irony of using William's toy against them before I finished slaughtering and draining them. I made a mental note to snake the other clown's 'Jack' knife he'd petted and threatened me with earlier in this seemingly forever evening.

They certainly were having a grand old time. I neared the described oak tree and saw that some kid and his dad had spent some hours hammering boards up the side of the tree to be used as a makeshift ladder to a large flat wooden floor about ten feet above my head. There actually were rudimentary walls of peeling, painted plywood nailed to four by fours and assorted two by fours creating a rather slick home away from home. A ragged cloth was hanging in the opening to serve as the door. This had been a well-loved fort and time and weather had worn away the pretty fun aspects of the structure. Over the years more than a few knives had carved initials into the tree and the walls while spray paint marked out gang tags and childish warning of death to anyone who dared to enter. I could make out a skull and cross bones painted in black denoting a pirate themed escape at some point in the history of the dilapidated fort. The tree had pretty thoroughly grown over the aged fortress and branches melded covering up some of the edges of the raw wood while heavy leaves filled in the gaps as well as what looked like mistletoe parasitically ate at the higher parts of the treetop. Not that these idiots could possibly have identified the invasive plant mostly known for holiday time kissing that riddled the upper branches.

"Fred, where are they?" A voice slurred while audibling slurping from an unseen liquor container. Someone had taken the time to grab refreshments before traipsing down into the canyon. I guess little old me wasn't enough to slake their thirsts -- ironically, they'd be enough for mine.

The weather was making sounds bounce and echo while at the same time dampening outside noises. In the distance I heard the train whistle blow as the engineer approached a street crossing at tracks that ran along the coast. Sounds of the clattering of a hefty car jumping over the crossing was accompanied by heavier handed tooting of the train horn signaling someone on the tracks or failing to yield. I half expected to hear metal on metal as there was a collision. Who or whatever was blocking the train must've moved, as no crashing sounds greeted my ears; that or the engineer simply rolled over a body, not uncommon, I'd been told.

On the fog drifted a sweet scent of cheap sugary fortified wine. Yep, they went all out and spent maybe a full five dollars at the local quickie mart. Sure, and now they were ready to show me a good time as scummy jerks only could. I thumbed the edge of William's blade to see how sharp an edge it held. Not that I cared because what I lacked in knife skills I more than made up with sheer strength and sharp fangs. I really was looking forward to the challenge ahead. Keeping them alive long enough to have fun versus straight ass slaughtering. It was easy to butcher sheep -- but these ass clowns were not innocent in any way. They needed to pay for their creepy natures before they found a painful death.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-12-14
Image(s) © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
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