Archive for crimson kukri

Getting the Kiss-off

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2009 by vampirony

Lucy interrupts, “Your phone has been ringing off and on for an hour.”

I let it ring, try to catch Morena’s eyes.  When I finally do, I know everything.  All of it makes sense.  Now I know the real source of Morena’s temper earlier.  Jesper had told her to look after me.  I feel heat rise up within me and I’m unable to decide if it’s anger or flattery.  Which makes me angry.  Meanwhile, the phone keeps insisting.

I snatch it up.  It’s Nick.  “What?”

“Are you alright?  Been trying to call.  Thought you’d stop by the office before your, um, appointment or at least let me know where and when…maybe even throw in a what.”

“Appointment?”ballard

“Yeah, it’s in you calendar.  Sko-Vaj-Say 11PM.  Wow, what a fun name.  Where are you?”

Crap!  “Uh, Fremont.  I’ll be late.”

“Fremont?  Well judging by the traffic map, that’s where you’ll stay for awhile.  Maybe you should cancel…”

“Where’s a public place downtown that’s relaxing quiet but still, public?  Where you can have a conversation and no one hears it but you’re seen?”

“The Ice Lounge, 3rd and Columbia.  It’s in a hotel, kinda gangster-like inside, lots of cushy places to sit…even settees.  But never busy.”  He has good instincts.  “You can be there in, oh, about 15 given a good driver.”

I look at Morena who’s adrenaline is wearing off.  She’s not fit to drive.  “Can you call me a cab right away?” I ask Nick.

” Give me the address.”

I do so then hang up to text Skovajsa.  With no immediate response, I turn back to the room.  Lucy and Maurice are still staring intently at Morena who looks like she’s long past wanting to leave.

“I have to go now.  But we will catch up.”  I start for the door.  Maurice catches me up.

“Auntie.”  The concern is clear on his face.

“Do not worry.  I have always guarded your secret.”

“This vampire you’re meeting, that smells of magic.  He will smell us off of you.”  He’s assumed and gotten it wrong about my vamp clients but I don’t correct him.

Lucy joins him.  “And look at you…both of you.  We were only protecting ourselves but Maurice is strong, no?”

Morena speaks up, testing her elbow.  “She’s right.  I don’t know how I’m going to explain to Jes—.  J.  how I got my ass kicked by teenage vampires.”

I sigh.  “Nor how my client will react to my face.”  I don’t need to see it, I feel it.  Puffy, hot, achy, skin tight.  Yeah, major bruising.  And Maurice had barely moved.

He looks uncomfortably at Lucy.  She nods.

“What?” I ask at their conspiratory air.  She steps up to me.

“We have a way but you’re going to have to trust us,” she says, taking my hands.  Something in this I don’t like, but she’s sincere and I nod to her.  She looks at Maurice and tilts her head toward Morena. 

I watch the child charge he once was dissolve from his frame as I feel him exuding powerful forces of attraction against Morena as he approaches her.  Lucy squeezes my hands. 

“You must tell her to trust him.  He will not hurt her.”

I find myself a little befuddled myself before I realize why.  He’s not yet directing his abilities right at her, instead letting her see the effect on me, feel the effect herself.  She throws a near-frantic look at me.  “Sophie?”

“It will be alright, Morena.  Better this than Jesper’s interrogation.”  Maurice I know, Jesper I don’t.  And he and I are in need of a serious discussion.  I let her how upset I am with him.  Although, I have no idea what this is, really.

Maurice stands in front of Morena and at first, I think he’s going to share blood with her to heal her.  That terrifies me, knowing how viral vampire blood can be, unsure of how it might effect her permanently.  But as if he can hear my thoughts, Maurice says in a soft voice to Morena, as if she were the only woman in the world, taking her hands in his, “It will heal you.  There will be no lingering effect.”

raggedy annShe’s staring right into his eyes, being the same height as him and while there’s fear there, it’s not the only thing I see in her eyes.  As he leans in and she closes her eyes, it’s clear what he means to do and I feel all flustered and turn my head away, embarrassed.  But I can hear it.  And it goes on…for awhile…and gets louder…

“Do you want me to make you not hear it?” Lucy asks me, grabbing my gaze.  It bothers her too, I can see.  Maybe more than she knows.  There’s worry there in her face, like back when she let him lie or do something but she offered up a unified front.  She’s trying not to look too.

“No, no, it’s fine.  It’s just…” A throaty moan.  I swallow.  “Well, maybe we should leave them…”

Then it stops and I can’t help but look over.  Maurice is gently lifting Morena back to her feet, raising his head away from her.  She looks, in a word, dazed, mouth gaping open, eyes still fixed on him.  When he finally tries to step back from her, she moves forward with him until she blinks suddenly, realizes her hands are gripping his shoulders.  She then steps back, blushes deep red.   Then, she looks at me.  And she’s glowing.  Literally.

Lucy sees my shocked expression and looks over.  She shakes her head, “Brother, you’ve gone too far.”

He steps back away, almost sullenly.  “She was more injured than we expected.  She has a high tolerance for pain.”  He stops near his sister who puts a hand on his arm to draw his attention back.  “It was my fault she was so hurt.”

“Now let her go, brother.”

He fights it for a second.  Then, the humming in the room that I scarcely registered goes quiet and he looks at the floor, suddenly winded.  Lucy’s face shows concern but she covers it quickly to look back at Morena, who blinks like just awakening from a dream.  A really good dream.

“We need to go now,” I say.  I take my hands away from Lucy’s and step to Morena, hand on her arm.  This was not at all what she was ready for and soon, really soon, she’s going to crash down from it.  And I find myself more angry than ever at her so-called vampire Master.  He never used these abilities on her and thus, she was unprepared.  She looks at me with childlike eyes when I tug her arm.  The crash has already started and she shakes off my hand and folds her arms about her.

“Let’s go,” she says and storms out, angry, confused, but holding it together for the moment.

I follow her and as I pass Maurice he ventures a look up at me.  And it’s the look of his 12 yr old self seeking some sort of redemption. 

I pause for a moment, as Lucy says, “Probably not wise to tend your wounds as well, Auntie.”

I swallow past a lump of disgust in my throat, the mere thought of Maurice doing that to me.  “No,” I say.  I give them my card.  And I rush out after Morena.

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The Gypsy Twins

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , on September 22, 2009 by vampirony

 “What could have led them here?” (In French, girl’s voice)

 “What does it matter?  We have to get rid of them.” (In French, man’s voice)

“No!  We can’t do that.”

What else can we do?  We don’t know them.  They smell of trouble.”

At least, I think that is what they were saying as I came to.  My French is rather rusty and from a few lifetimes ago.  Kinda like the recognition of who they are.  A smile creeps across my face and I blink my eyes open.  My hands are bound and I’m sitting on the floor of a brightly lit storage room.  Although, along one wall, is an elaborate display of bladed weaponry.  Morena is slumped against my side, tied up as well.

I can hardly believe what I feel and what I see.   The young woman and young man, vampires, obviously twins, are standing in the middle of the room.  The woman/girl, dressed in her black T-Shirt and long flowing skirt, is leaning towards her brother, pleading.  Her brother stands stiffly, stylish in a  perfectly fitted maroon silk shirt and black slacks.

“It’s good to hear you’ve kept your mother tongue alive, mes enfants.”

The twins freeze, perfect mimics of each other now.  They turn to me slowly, the only difference being her eyes are wide, his eyes are fierce.

“‘Course, to be quite honest, if you hadn’t spoken it, I might not have made the connection.  You’re a long long way from Catalina.”

Lucy leans in first, Maurice grabbing at her arm.DSC02573

In perfect English, not a hint of accent, “Who are you?  Why have you come here?”

Maurice then leans in as well, half to protect his sister, half out of his own curiosity.  “You smell of dark creatures.”

My smile deepens.  My heart confirms it as my mind recognizes the tics their countenance, hidden under new features but still plain as day to me.  “Ma petite Lucienne.  Ma brave Maurice.  My gypsy twins.  You’ve grown so big!”

Both twins look perplexed but anger and fear has turned to wonder on her face, suspicious and disbelief on his.

“It can’t be,” Maurice says, leaning back.

“Tante Giselle?” she says, leaning further in, taking my face in her hands, Maurice still gripping her arm but her straining away.  She sniffs both my cheeks, then tilts her head back, eyes closed.  She then exclaims, and hops in place, staring happily at me.  It’s one of the first times ever that my past has been happy to see me.

Maurice releases her arm.  “It can’t be.  Can it?”

Lucy begins to cry, black tears streaming down her alabaster cheeks.  “Silly brother!  Smell her!”

Maurice begins to lean in, to Lucy’s right side but then freezes.  I look down, confused, to see a small rugged knife, welded by Morena, sticking into Maurice’s shirt.  Morena raises her head quickly as Maurice’s eyes turn slowly toward her.

“Back up,” Morena commands.

“Put that away, Morena,” I chide, completely aware of its futility.

“Give me one good reason, Sophie.”

DSC02547“Allow me,” Maurice seethes.  “First, because my Tante Giselle told you to.  Second, because it would do you little good.”

He grabs her wrist and leans his face close into hers before jabbing the knife into his side without a word or a flinch.  A small wetness appears on his shirt, nothing more.  He removes the knife and twists her wrist until she cries out.

“Maurice!” I object.

He releases her wrist, stands woodenly.  Lucy looks confused but goes to him, pokes him gently in the side, watches him grimace with an arched brow.  I look to Morena who had managed to cut her bonds without anyone knowing.  She rubs her wrist for a moment but then frees me.

“I take it you three know each other.”

Maurice sulks and Lucy puts her comforting arms around him.  They begin to move together in unison, looking down at Morena and myself, a unified front.

“Yes, may I introduce the Burim twins, Lucy and Maurice?”

Reunions aren’t for the weak

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by vampirony

“Sophie?”

Morena grabs for my shoulder as I sway.  I blink and the sensation of my whole being off-shifting two inches in my head is gone.  The murmuring remains.  There’s someone here, someone familiar.  But instinctively I know that, in this lifetime, I’m too inexperienced to be able to sort it out.  Friend or foe?  I honestly don’t know.  For the first time since I’ve met her, I’m glad to have Morena within reach.

She’s staring intently down at me when I finally clear the cobwebs and meet her eyes.  I give her a meager smile.

“What just happened?  You just seemed to, I dunno, disappear for a sec there.”

“I’m alright,” I say and start to follow the pull towards the door of the shop The Crimson Kukri.  Its sign says:  The world’s only 24 hour gaming store.  In the same building is DayGlow, advertising 24 hour tanning.  The irony, if there is a vampire involved, is not lost on me.

It’s not smart but I can’t resist it.  I need to know what this is…who this is.  I need to know now.

“Hey!” Morena keeps a hold of my arm, stops me short, pulls my head around due to the force of it.  I lock eyes with her.  “What, you got a sudden urge to tan?”

“Just have to follow a lead.”

She follows along as well, although I’m not sure I should give her credit or blame for that.  The door to the shop seems unremarkable enough except for the weathered, solid oak frame.  I feel it vibrating towards me.  It’s enchanted somehow.  I push the door open easily and Morena and I walk into the store.  There’s a small chime as we cross the plane, so simple and familiar it’s almost sinister.

The shop is brightly lit, short beat-up wooden shelves stuffed with gaming books and various supplies.  There’s an entire wall of dice of every color and pattern in bins with signs for Chessex and Gamescience.  Large surveillance mirrors hang in both front corners.  I can feel Morena tense up behind me, her head moving from corner to corner.

Straight in front of us sitting ramrod straight behind the front counter is a very comely young women with jet black hair hanging straight around DSC02717her face, obscuring it.  Her black t-shirt has an caricature of some sort of marmot looking creature, sayingFUHyrax‘.  Her head  is half turned and bent, looking at a computer screen, black fingernail of her index finger clicking on a crimson red mouse.  She doesn’t look directly at us but takes a very deep breath in through her nose.  Her hand comes off the mouse and goes under the counter.  I see her shoulders tense.  Morena sees it too, probably even sees the twitch of the muscle in the woman’s alabaster arm as she likely grabs something behind the counter.  Morena unsnaps her gun from her back holster.

It all happens in a flash before I can say a word.  

The woman’s eyes turn black and she snarls at us, fangs bared.  Metal bars fall over the store front locking us in. 

A full six seconds behind, Morena reacts, shouting, “Down!”  She pushes me down behind a case, her gun coming out.  I turn toward her as I fall and before I hit the floor, I see a inky black streak of smoke explode next to her and suddenly, a young dark haired, well-dressed man appears beside her, snarling.

He tosses her aside before she can even turn and she slams into the dice display, richoceting off the wall and landing in a thump, motionless on the floor.  The young man gives her a snarl and then turns to me, stepping slowly over to me, glaring down.  He inhales through his nose and his  mouth opens in a fully fang-filled grimace.  It’s the last thing I see before he kicks me in the face, knocking me out.