A teen who learns that she may be turning into a vampire...High School just got harder...
| The street was unusually quiet for the time of night. Lyn hardly paid attention to the unusual silence, taking a quiet pleasure in the lack of noise around her as her thoughts wandered with her feet. She adjusted the duffel bag on her shoulder, it’s familiar weight the only constant that she seemed to have in her life. New school, new dojo, new city… Lyn sighed as she found a piece of loose concrete to kick about ahead of her. It was the third move in just about as many months, and she hoped with the start of the new school year that she’d be able to at least finish junior high before they had to move again. It was hard on her having to start over at every place they moved to. She had to go to a new school, and find a new dojo- harder than the school to find- and eventually- hopefully- make new friends. Not that she had any hopes for that. No sooner would she make a new friend, then her mother would pack them all up and move again.
Her brother had it little easier; he took dance class at every new school, and being one of the few boys in the class, he made instant friends- if superficially- at dance class at least. He had the same problem that she had at school though. It was hard to make friends when you didn’t know if you were going to move again. They took console in each other, uneasy allies and friends even with their years apart. They took care of each other as they had to. Their mother worked all manner of hours; doing double shifts every chance she got. Working at the hospital made getting the hours relatively easy. Working as a registered nurse made it so that she was almost always guaranteed to have a job wherever they went. It seemed that their mother was getting an awful lot of transfers lately though.
Footsteps echoed in the silent street behind Lyn as she clutched her gym bag closer to her and quickened her pace. The streets were well lit, but the unease growing from the sounds of footsteps made the girl’s heart race even as she tried to focus on calming her breathing. She knew that she was being followed. There was no doubt about it. Cursing herself for not accepting the ride home from her friend’s mom, she turned the corner onto 5th and was glad to be able to see the street where her house was. As she neared the corner to the street she lived on, an arm reached out from the darkness of the alley and pulled her in, snickers and laughter surrounding her in the near darkness of the alley way. The stench of urine and trash overwhelmed her nose for a moment as eyes caught the light from the street lights, though everything else was thrown into deep shadow.
Instinct and training kicked in then, and she grabbed the arm, swinging her body under it, and twisting it around and behind the person who grabbed her. The boy was taller than her, perhaps three or four years older, definitely in High School, and probably was the one that was following her. Snickers around her told Lyn that she wasn’t alone; she kicked out behind her just as she felt the movement of air, and used the guy in front of her as a shield. Before she even had time to cry out for help though, she found herself fighting for more than just her life.
Six teenagers surrounded the twelve- year old, and she fought back tooth and nail as the boys laughed and taunted her. Lyn saved her breath for fighting, though she couldn’t find the time or the air to scream even though she wanted to. Her bag lay forgotten near the mouth of the alleyway, and she struggled futility as they eventually pined her down to the ground. She expected them to start tearing at her clothes, and wondered for a moment as she kicked and rolled if she would lose her virginity this night, in the horror of the alley way. Tears flowed and she kicked harder. She caught one on the head, and managed to scramble away, thought it was deeper into the alley. Her hand closed around a pipe and she rolled to her feet, bringing up her makeshift weapon of discarded pole. She wasn’t sure what the pole was from, but the weight and diameter suggested broom or mop handle. Thus armed, she fought her attackers. They loomed around her and grinned, white teeth shining in the darkness, eyes catching the light from the street near the end of the alley. They rushed her again, and only then, did she scream.
Six sets of teeth sunk into her fragile skin, the leader biting into her neck, while the others bit into her arms and legs, wherever they could find flesh. She bucked and swung harder, knowing and feeling her flesh being torn as she fought against the monsters that held her in an iron grip. She bit back, biting the arm of the leader, the only piece of flesh that she could reach, causing him to release her and smile wickedly as her blood covered his mouth, and dripped down onto her face. She bucked again, using the force to hit him in the nose with her forehead. Blood dripped out of his nose then and he stopped smiling. He grabbed her head, and yanked it to the side, opening the bite on her neck wider. He moved to finish his kill, as she found herself able to move less and less.
Lyn sat bolt upright in bed, sweating heavily. Diffuse light from the coming dawn drifted in through the window to her room, and for a few moments, she sat just breathing. Her heart raced and she wiped the sweat from her face as she slowly looked around her room covered in medals and a few tournament trophies. She traced the scar on her neck and shuddered. She climbed out of bed, and dragged herself into the shower where she hoped that the hot water could wash away the remains of the nightmare.
Four years ago to the day, Lyn had found herself in the mercy of vampires. Well, a gang of teenagers who thought themselves as vampires. She shuddered at the memory. She was terrified, and since then had redoubled her training in martial arts to an almost fanatic level as a coping mechanism to that time. She was the best in her dojo, and held the awards to prove it. But it was never good enough. Her mom, a registered nurse over at the hospital had her go into psycho-therapy sessions, which of course didn’t help, since it’s not like she could actually tell anyone what happened. She gave the police a description, but that didn’t help, since the guys were never caught, and she highly doubted that ‘vampires’ were high on the list for police to go after. All that she was grateful for was that she was alive. She didn’t know how, and, after nights like last night, when the memories were strong, she didn’t care. She was alive, and that was all that mattered.
“Joclyn!! You’re going to be late!!” Her mom yelled from down the hall. A banging on the door reminded the teen that she still had to share the bathroom. She groaned at the injustice of sharing the morning with anyone, shutting off the water as the banging on the door grew more incessant.
“Lyn, hurry up! I’ve got to take a shower too.” The cracking voice of her younger brother Marcus said, agitatedly. “Don’t hog up all the hot water!” Lyn grabbed the towel, drying off and heading out of the bathroom back to the quiet confines of her sanctuary. Marcus gave a concerned but agitated look at her before diving into the bathroom to get ready for school.
“I’ve got to work a double at the Hospital again tonight,” Lyn’s mother said, leaning in the doorway as the teen packed her school books. “Will you be alright with dinner?”
“Yeah, sure, mom,” Lyn said, “Marcus can come to the restaurant and eat there, I’m sure that Gabe won’t mind.”
“Alright,” her mother said, turning to head out. “Just hurry up, I’ve got to get going and if you two want a ride to school…”
“I’m coming,” Lyn said following her mother out the door and down the hallway. Marcus was already waiting for them at the door, egg sandwich in hand, hair wet from the shower smelling of Irish Spring and apples. He handed Lyn a second sandwich and together followed their mom out into the hallway of the apartment building, Lyn closing and locking the door behind them all.
“So, we meeting up at the restaurant after class today?” Marcus asked between mouthfuls. Lyn nodded, her own mouth full of egg, bread and bacon. “I was hoping to go to Lily’s house after class…”
“Will her parents be home?” their mother asked.
“They’re making spaghetti,” Marcus said, “Lily said that we could come by after class for an impromptu party.”
“Who’s all going?” Lyn asked.
“Me, Jacob, Lily, of course, Milly, Jilly, Cilly, Filli and Rilly,” he said spouting off the names in a sing-song type cadence. Her mom looked at him using the rearview mirror. Lyn translated.
“Jacob, Lilian, Michelle, Jillian, Cecilia, Fiona and Rachael,” Lyn said with a smirk. Marc shrugged.
“Well, I don’t see a problem so long as you’re home by ten.”
“Yes mom…” he drawled. Lyn smirked silently relived that Marcus wasn’t going to be at the restaurant where she worked after school, and sometimes on nights after her class as the dojo. Since she had class and work tonight, she was hoping that between all the work and homework that she would have, her mind would be occupied enough to not have to think about that night. At least she hoped so.
They climbed out of the car a block away from school, watching as their mom drove off. Lyn looked at her brother and he grinned. Running his fingers through his hair and adjusting the collar on his school uniform.
“You are such a prima donna,” she teased. Marcus shrugged. “Is everyone really going over to Lilly’s house after class?”
“Well, everyone was invited,” Marcus said with a shrug. “Are you alright though? I mean last night…” Lyn shrugged and shook her head as several students from the high school passed by. He started walking backwards towards the middle school that was across the street from the high school. “Anyway, how should I know if everyone actually comes or not,” he said going back to the original subject, sensing that his sister didn’t want to discuss the subject of her nightmares to him in the open. Lyn gave him a smirk and walked off towards the high school shaking her head. “Just don’t tell mom!” he called out as the crowds of the school drowned out his voice.
“So long as you don’t!” she called back. He gave a nod and Lyn watched as he headed into the building before she turned to her own school , running her fingers nervously through her own hair. The fact that Marcus had heard her, meant that she probably cried out in her sleep again, and she had no doubt that her mom had heard her. That her mom hadn’t said anything that morning only said how tired her mom was; when she was tired, she could sleep like the dead when she wanted.
The lawn before the school doors was full of students waiting for the school bell, catching up on last minute homework or hanging out with school friends. Lyn found a spot by an old oak and leaned against it, looking out at the crowd, watching as the sea of blue and burgundy uniforms moved with a languid purposefulness. Most of her friends went either to public school or some other private school on the other side of town. She had people that she spoke with here, and her classmates that she occasionally interacted with, but most of the students were above her social status, and they all knew it. How her mother got her into such a prestigious private school was always beyond her, but she knew that it was because of family connections and that her mother worked so much just so that she could afford the tuition for not just her, but Marcus’ school as well. It really wouldn’t have mattered, and it wouldn’t have really impacted her social standing, there were a few students here that had parents working long hours to get them in and afford the tuition. There were even the scholarship students, who all tended to stick together, because they were shunned for ‘needing help’ in order to get a decent education. It didn’t stop the rich kids from paying for their services though. Those guys had a really decent business in underground papers and homework assignments going. So even they got a certain amount of respect. Lyn on the other hand, was fine until last year when she managed to land a part-time job to help out with the expenses at home. That was like the mark of death in the school. Not that having an after-school job was bad, as many of the students tended to learn the family business and hang out at the large corporations and firms, but none of them were paid for it, and none of them had to be there. Lyn worked as much as she was legally allowed, and then spent her money not of clothes and frivolities, but on bills, food and school. Well, martial arts classes for herself and dance class for Marcus. Their mom worked hard to give them as normal a childhood as possible, but after-school programs didn’t run cheap, and Lyn had to change dojos several times to adjust to ever increasing tuition prices for belt tests and class fees. It was either that, or stop going to the dojo all together, and let Marcus stop going to dance as well. Marcus had an absolute love for dancing. It was a talent, gift and his only real enjoyment. Lyn smiled at the thought of her kid brother; it used to be the other way around- Lyn went to dance and Marcus went to Karate, but when Lyn was ten, she started to join Marcus in his Karate classes, and Marcus had to wait for her while she went to ballet. He would copy them in class and the teacher saw the potential in the precocious six-year-old, and they struck a deal. Marcus went in her place, and she went in Marcus’ place to Karate. It took about a year for their mom to realize that the switch had been made, and only because Marcus needed a new costume and shoes. By then, she whom also needed a new uniform, and her mom’s permission to take the yellow belt test. The rest, as they say, is history. Now, She did everything that she could to keep Marcus in dance, and knew that as soon as he was old enough, he’d be able to help out with his own part time job.
The bell to school rang and she moved from her spot under the tree, only to be stopped by a group of upperclassmen who enjoyed taunting her on a daily basis. They never did anything that could be called criminal, or get them into any sort of real trouble, but it was of major trouble to her and it always set her on edge. With the remnants of her nightmare still fresh in her mind, she took a step back, suddenly thrown into the memory of that half-remembered night again.
“Didn’t think that you could afford to come another day, Magini,” the boy in the lead sneered, his dark hair perfectly tousled to look like he just got out of bed, yet had that slight shine to it to show it probably spent some time and a lot of gel to get that look. He had a piece of gum in his mouth being tossed from side to side as he spoke, and he pressed her back up against the tree. The thoughts of the nightmare came up fresh in her mind, by the flash of teeth and the grins of his friends as they stood behind him. She froze, her mind racing down a hundred different scenarios as she wondered how she could get away. The only thing that could have been worse was if Trisha decided to show.
“Did your mom sell that old jalopy to keep you here for another week? Or did you happen to get a scholarship?” he looked at her up and down, in a look very like the one in her dream, “Or maybe you’ve become the principal’s little pet?” He grinned, moving closed. Lyn backed up against the tree, and heard the warning bell. She took a deep breath, and let it out, pushing away the thoughts of the dream and seeing the hoped for opening at the same time.
“We are going to be late for class,” she said slowly, hoping that her fear wasn’t leaking through her voice. The others laughed. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the teachers at the entrance to the school, looking over the crowd of students, making sure there were no truants or trespassers on the property. She slipped under the arm of the boy, Gregory, and walked quickly towards the door. He moved to catch her arm, but was stopped by one of his friends who pointed out the teacher that was watching them just at that moment. Instead he matched pace with her, planting a smile on his face for the teacher and making it look like she was a part of his group. A lot of the clicks here did that, it was usually a precursor to a beating or serious humiliation. To make matters worse, Trisha was there, just inside the doorway. Lyn saw the frown on the girl and tried to ignore it as Gregory nearly herded her to her own locker.
“I hear that you don’t have a date for the school dance yet,” Gregory said as they entered the building. “I’m sure I could hook you up with someone, if you ask nicely…”
“No, thank you,” Lyn said managing even to sound nice. “I was probably going to be working that night anyway.”
“Oh? But it’ll be all over the school if you don’t come,” he said, sounding genuinely concerned. “You’ve got to come.”
“You’ve got a bet on it or something?” she asked, coming to a stop at her locker and doing her combination by feel. “No thanks.”
“Look, here,” he held up a set of tickets, “I’ve even got a pair of tickets for you,” he grinned, “That is, if you can find someone who’s willing to go with you.” She opened her locker, put her books inside and looked at him.
“Leave me alone, Gregory. I don’t need your pity, or your ‘charity’. Whether I go to the dance or not is none of your concern. Leave me alone.” Gregory kept his smile on, and tucked the tickets into the pouch that was on Lyn’s door where she kept extra pens.
“Just think about it,” he said, walking away with his group of friends. She glanced at the tickets and sighed, moving to close the locker. Trisha Aiden came up behind her, grabbing the tickets that Gregory had left, looking them over thoroughly.
“Gregory asked you out to the ball?” Trish sneered, two of her own groupies behind her, the trio making their own sort of popular group of ‘bullies’. Lyn took a deep breath. As much as she didn’t like Trish, she could handle the girl better than she could handle Gregory. Trish was like every other popular girl that she had ever met in every school that she had been too. Since Lyn was always labeled the ‘new girl’, and had no desire for the cheerleading squad or in grooming herself in public on a constant basis, she was usually labeled as an outcast since she couldn’t always find a place in the school hierarchy to fit into. She wasn’t a techno-geek, or a nerd or in need of a scholarship (except for college), so she didn’t hang out with those crowds, and she wasn’t about the latest fashion trends and styles- not that she could afford that anyway- so she didn’t hang out with them either. She wasn’t into Anime- who could always be picked out from the crowd since they tended to revel in the fact that they wore uniforms and looked like live anime characters themselves, and she wasn’t into grunge or punk, where somehow, they managed to look punk or Gothic even with their school uniforms to perfect par. Lyn sighed. She was a jock, so on the rare occasion when there was a sport that she could play, she jumped in with both feet and had friends the equal. However, other than the football and lacrosse teams, there wasn’t much in the way of female sports in this particular school, so other than physical education, she had no team sports to play in. Unless you counted swimming, and she could no more make the swim team than a cat could.
“No, Trisha, Gregory didn’t ask me to the ball,” she said closing the locker door. Trisha still held the ball tickets. “He wanted me to give you those tickets the next time that I saw you. He sees us together all the time and thought that we were friends. So he asked me to give them to you.”
“We aren’t friends, Charity,” Trisha sneered, using the name they had given just about everyone in the school below the level of ‘rich’. This admittedly was only just under a third of the school. Lyn sighed dramatically.
“You could have fooled me,” she said dryly. Lyn moved past Trisha and her posse, “I’ve done my part, your tickets and all. I have class to get to.” She looked back at the trio of girls, “Maybe if you try to not bother me so much, Gregory wouldn’t think that we were friends…on the DL and all.” She turned back, hiding a small smile at the sour look that Trisha and her friends were displaying. She turned the corner and ran into the only friend that she really had at the school.
“Lyn!” Keisha cried out, holding up tickets, “Finally, found you!”
“Don’t tell me those are ball tickets,” Lyn groaned. Keisha beamed, her eyes bright as she smiled holding out the pair for her friend.
“Of course they are,” she said, “You owe me big time,” she grinned. “I managed to get them off of the teacher selling them for a decent price. Two for you, two for me.”
“Who are you taking to the ball?” Lyn asked, curious.
“Malcom of course,” she said with a grin.
“From the dojo?”
“What? You think I go just to cheer you on?” her friend grinned. “He’s cute. And we have like nothing whatsoever in common.”
“Nothing in common? Why would you date someone like that?” Lyn asked, then saw the sly grin on her friend’s face. “Oh, that’s sarcasm. Oh, very funny.” Keisha shrugged.
“So…are you going to take anyone?” Keisha asked. Trisha was still nearby and within hearing distance. Lyn frowned and started to lead the way to class.
“No, and I’m not going,” she said resolutely. Keisha moved through the crowd behind Lyn, letting her friend carve the way through the hallway to the classroom. “What would be the point of me going anyway. It’s not like anyone would actually miss me if I went.
Sirens sounded off in the distance. In the alleys of the warehouses a lone man runs through the cluttered byways always looking behind him. Running from something, and obviously running somewhere. Perched on the corner of one of the taller warehouse buildings, Sebastian watches the figure race like a frightened mouse through a maze. Moonlight catches his pale blonde hair as his grey eyes penetrate the darkness to the street below. He moves from his viewpoint, only as the man in the alleyway turns a corner out of sight. From the tops of the warehouses, Sebastian follows; a mere specter in the night of the full moon. A scent on the wind catches his attention, causing him to stop and conceal himself out of sight from a gathering of others below.