A taste of this slice-of-life, action adventure about a father and his unusual daughter...
|Judge me If you want, that's your decision. All I ask is that you listen to my story.
I was the middle son, the feminine, "faggot" and an outcast. My father disowned me, didn't want a faggot for a son and my mother agreed. I was diggin' through garbage for recycling and scarfing down anything I could eat without catchin' a disease. After a couple years I turned eighteen and I saved enough money for a nice set of clothes. I begged people to hire me. After months waiting the manager of Tammy's Tasties called me back. Rest her soul. I was working half a year before I noticed a red haired girl who came in every Thursday and Friday, dressed down in sweats and a wife-beater. She ordered the same thing every time.The usual. It was the cheapest thing on the menu.
One night, just before closing, she limped in and sat down counter-side and I gave her the usual and made her order myself. Chicken noodle soup. I diced chicken, boiled broth and used the good noodles, when I came out she was keeling over, eyes half-open, a little drool on her lip. I set the bowl of soup down and came closer, asked if she was alright. She groaned and murmured before I got a straight answer. She was feeling weak and had been for a while. That's when I noticed her nails. Sharp and long like talons. I reached out to lift her head up and saw a pair of viper-like fangs. Implants, I thought. I came around the counter and put my hands on her shoulders. She looked up at me and breathed something. Didn't realize till later what she said. I came closer to listen and she lunged forward and sunk her fangs into me.
Felt like getting a pair of needles jammed into me. Her lips coerced the blood messily from my neck. I stood there, transfixed by the moment and growing weaker quickly. Just when my legs started to buckle I felt a delicate pair of hands around me. Her purple eyes met mine. She said thank you but I couldn't hear her, I only read her lips. After that night she showed up more and more. Asking for me whenever I was at work. She kept asking me to keep it a secret and said she'd tell me about it in full later. December, 12th 2235 was the exact date, at midnight behind the restaurant. I gotta admit, I had my doubts. After all, if a vampire came, weak and injured, fed on your blood and then wanted to meet you in a dark place at midnight, wouldn't you be a little skeptical?
When I stepped into the alley she was standing there, dressed in a bodysuit. She asked me if I had a girlfriend. I laughed and shook my head. She asked me if she was my type. I admitted it, stuttering a little. Then she asked me if I would like her if given time. I stopped her. "that now, I was still struggling and I just couldn't work romance into my schedule," I said. That's when she handed me a glimmering golden card. A limitless credit card. She told me that she wanted to know that I what kind of person I was so she came to the restaurant disguised as a frumpy poor girl. I laughed again, though this time I was a little shocked when she explained why she had come in that night so weak.
She told me that she'd fallen in love with me. "Love takes time friend, but I'll happily give you a chance."I recited, grinning. She looked at me, obviously confused. My heart was racing. I didn't let her know it but I was terrified, not of her but the moment. Noone ever told me that before. I stepped closer myself. I was shakin' like a rattlesnake tail and dunked in sweat. She looked me in the eyes. We took each other's hands and she said: "I have to show you my other self, what I look like when I'm not like this." That's when she leaned up and pressed her lips against mine. Her breath tasted like almonds and ice and as her mouth began to grow I soon realized that I was kissing a snout. The snout of a human sized bat. Her eyes hadn't changed and everything else did but, I simply looked on in awe. That night we left each other, promising to return.
From there, we met every single day at Tammy's making plans to rent an apartment downtown. When I finally resigned at Tammy's I'd trained a new recruit who did well in my place. We went to the concrete jungle with hope and love in our hearts. The apartments we found were small and dingy but we helped build it up. I got the position of manager after the old one saw me working as hard as possible while holding down two jobs; another restaurant gig and a Janitorial job. At 20 I was doing more for myself than most people my age and with Lazuli by my side, I thought nothing could go wrong. That was my mistake, and I paid for it dearly.
Right after we finished kicking out drug dealers and violent tenants, Lazuli started getting sick. She was throwing up every ten minutes and was in the bathroom more often than not. She slept most days and was gaining a lot of weight. One day, she up and vanished. I tried to contact her for weeks getting no response. I panicked. A month later and I was losing hope, crying and trying desperately to reach her. Then, her phone number came up on my phone. It was her brother, Nathe. He arrived shortly after with a baby in his arms. He handed her to me, the somber look on his face striping color from my skin. Lazuli was dead.