Anger rushed the blood to Fred's face as he finally translated and pieced together my meaning, not a smart man in the least, but instead he was completely puffed up, inflated with his own legend. Fred really thought he had me fooled and he still wasn't clear on the natural hierarchy of all the world's species -- seen or unseen. I slowly stood upright and flexed my vampiric aura into the reaches of the room -- and beyond if truth be told. Any creature of a supernatural element would easily recognize me for my place in the world, but these idiots weren't clear on anything. Even having witnessed my slaying of Karl with my fangs hadn't made any real lasting impression.
Chuck was starting to buy into Fred's bravado and uncurled from his ball of cowardice and stumbled upright standing next to his buddy. I chanced a glance upwards towards the recently killed Karl, but neither of the men followed my gaze instead, they sucked in their guts and went all macho on me. Again I resisted laughing outright by mere inches of my self-control -- admittedly not my best feature -- and instead smiled even broader than before while hoisting my borrowed knife to my left hand. After all the years I'd been on this earth I'd learned to use my hands equally as devastating and without much thought. Both men saw this as an opportunity too good to pass up and lunged towards me.
It wasn't even a challenge. I slashed Chuck open from stem to stern with my left hand while catching Fred on the nose with my right palm. Slamming his nose flat and thankfully not into his brain, yes, that's a thing, he fell to his knees while Chuck just fell back wasted meat onto the mattress that he'd used to his own delight more than once. I regretted the loss of a future snack but as I'd already tasted his blood, he held no secrets and tons of toxicity that karmically I didn't need to filter out of my thoughts. I had enough of my own crap to deal with and the night was still young. Many more bad boys to play with, so I let him die. He didn't make any noises other than wet sloshy kind that didn't need to be discussed or witnessed by supernaturals or humans. Again, death is messy. Fred was too busy looking at his hands as they brimmed with his own bright red blood.
I waited patiently, well for me at least, while Fred came to terms with the adjusted reality waiting for him. He really wasn't very smart. He had two bodies directly in his line of vision. I had personally hit him in the balls once and his nose twice and he still thought there was a way for him to escape. As I've mentioned I was standing between him and the actual doorway so his charging me again, a bit stupid, was his only 'go-to' idea. Hell, had I been in his shoes -- big ugh -- I would've tried to scramble my ass up and out the broken roof before getting near me, but he wasn't clear on my capabilities in the least. Simply raising my left hand, knife still in my palm, I clotheslined his exposed throat with a firm forearm causing him to land back on his ass with a bang. I did put a bit of my over-the-top energy into the arm. His teeth slammed together with an audible snap and he screamed as pain returned to his nose. Fred was having a rather bad night and it wasn't anywhere near over yet.
"Focus up here, Fred." I made a clicking noise, like those used to train animals, "Do I have your attention yet?" I was really being patient beyond my usual boundaries. There was a nasty idea that had begun to push its way into my thoughts that made me smile and mentally dance in anticipation. Yeah, two in the basement and two dead in a fort but the night was still young, and I had some extreme anger issues to work through still and he had a few more playmates out in the wild that I could use.
Fred grimaced up at me and snarled, "Fuck you, bitch."
Again, with that word. I reached over with my free right hand and smacked him on the face hitting his cheek and recently smashed nose. Shaking my finger in his face in the easily recognizable 'no no' gesture I saw he wasn't quite tracking my forefinger. Damn, I think I may have rattled his cage a tad more than I'd thought. He only had a few stray braincells to spare and I'd pretty much decimated those without really trying.
His face contorted as he tried to comprehend my meaning.
Sighing deeply, "Stop calling me bitch." I punctuated each word with a smack to his face -- I should add they weren't full strength but attention-getting only -- while grabbing his eyes with mine I stared until the focus seemed to return. It took a beat or two. He shook his head slightly, causing pain which poured off him like nectar to me. My fangs were out and in the open as my mouth was slightly gaped enjoying the scent of fear and pain in the fort. His pupils widened erasing the iris color completely as it dawned on him that I wasn't a drug-induced hallucination caused by mixing beer with ill-gotten meds. Sucked to be a millennial these days and nights, especially without a posse or hometown crew of likeminded idiots to feed each other's egos and pat each other on the back with verbal participation awards for simply showing up. His buddies Chuck and Karl weren't even room temperature yet, but he hadn't been quite comprehending my power, I concluded, as he kept trying to attack me. After smacking him yet again, I'd hoped that he was starting to take me seriously, but if I was truthful, I had my doubts that he'd ever figure out what he'd stepped into with his picking me. But a girl had to try -- softly pulling my punches were my attempts to keep from killing him too quickly.
Getting him out of the fort and moving to another section of town were on my to-do list for the next half hour. I still wasn't sure if I wanted to torch the treehouse or leave it due to high risk of fire season. I had no desire to screw up my own plans by starting a fire in the middle of the dry season. Fog aside, there was plenty of dry fuel more than capable of starting a massive wildfire if it was started in the canyons. Wildfires were unpredictable. And as a vampire I was more than a bit flammable and that wasn't something easily healed. Yes, I could heal from fire but roasting in your own skin was levels of horror best left to Dante's epic novels and add in that I didn't want to drink a village dry to heal. The whole story of vampires bathing in the blood of virgins did have an origin in fact. We were not immune per se to fire, but it could be mitigated if enough blood was used and nobody lopped off our heads. Missing heads and hearts both meant permanent death for the most part -- no need to give exact details but there were some interesting conditions in our nature and how or what could be done to end us.
Wildfires had this nasty habit of jumping around willy nilly during the dry season. The fog was thick enough for my games and fun but a fire out of control could easily be missed in the mist and take over the canyons and burn down the homes surrounding them quickly. I had no desire to burn tonight and decided just to leave the boys as they fell for another time. I could come back later and destroy the evidence, but I wasn't sure how long I'd be busy. Remembering my earlier thoughts about Karl and Chuck having goodies for me I figured I better check their pockets before we left. That brought me back to the Fred problem. I didn't want to give him brain damage before he'd served my purposes, so I did something not in the least enjoyable given his nature and his varied crimes.
Walking to the man, I placed my hands on both sides of his face, not bothering to take the knife from my left hand, rather using it to remind Fred of my speed and viciousness with the blade. The blade cut into his cheek and allowed a thin line of blood to freely flow down my hand and his face unchecked. My right hand was holding the left side of his face bracing his jaw with my palm and my fingers inches from his eye. He blinked.
"What? What ..." his voice trailed off as my face grew closer and I opened my lips showing my extended fangs and kissed him deeply while pushing deeply into his mind seizing control of him like a puppet master with their puppet. He was mine, and his nasty thoughts flooded me as did all of his pain-filled thoughts and memories and the small remembrances of infrequent joy. It was a mixture of toxic hatred laced with fear of abandonment and rejection. Fred had a bad life he'd made worse by his choice of paths. All his regrets at choosing the wrong directions were long buried by his self-involved justifications that the world owed him everything. All the minor and petty insults life delivered to everyone no matter where they lived and breathed, gave him fuel for his unrealistic hatred and bred his personal sense of entitlement that was deep and vast unfillable by anyone or anything. He'd never be happy or content in life. That was okay, as I didn't much care about his life and was really looking forward to his death.
Sinking deeply into the morass of vile thoughts and remembered evil he'd perpetrated for years made me feel unclean and horrified by his being a human. I'd met vampires with cleaner lives and killed them without any feelings of regret. I wouldn't be sad to end his existence in the least, but wanted to use him first. Tools in the toolbox took many forms and his was going to be deliciously ironic if it fell into the path I'd chosen. I kept digging and pushing his thoughts and memories towards my goal and finally felt everything slip into the proper order. Once done I pulled away seeing his cut cheek had stopped bleeding. More time had passed than I'd thought but shrugging, I concluded my work and stepped away to make sure my commands held.
"As you wish, Mistress. How may I help you now?" His very voice was nearly robotic in tone, but his words rang as true and sounded unforced. It wasn't an easy task, but I was pleased with the work.
"Pull Karl down from the roof. Set him on the mattress for me." The commands had to be simple and straightforward to be followed easily. No sarcasm or any kind of mockery would be understood and if I confused him too much it could easily fracture the mind control I had in place. There were limits to the gift that came with the level of vampire using it. I had centuries in place to adapt and learn how to use my skill, but I didn't use it lightly and knew there were always risks the puppet could be broken or damaged by it. Fred followed my simple directives and I got busy removing money and drugs from Chuck's various pockets. Fred noticed what I was doing on Chuck's corpse and mimicked my behavior unasked. Mentally I made a point of remembering his unasked assistance; it could mean my control wasn't as strong as I'd have preferred or that Fred was a pleaser who would always try to do more than I asked. Both weren't typical, but rather upsetting given my time constraints. I might not get to play with him as long as I'd like.
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