Archive for lemons

Case #13 – Jesper: You Make Limoncello…

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by vampirony

Ok, stay calm.  Vampires don’t faint from lemons.  I wave her away, look down at Jesper the Vampire…who’s face is frozen in awe, eyes now closed lightly, mouth gaping, fangs still partly retracted.  He takes a shaky breath.

“He’s coming around.  Ease up there, killer, he’s going to be fine.  Just give him some room.”  Lucky accident that I’m blocking her view and she can’t get around us.  It gives me time to think.  But as I’m drawing a blank, his eyes open to slits, golden light leaking out.  Ohhhhhhhh, not expected.

“Was that expected?” Morena demands, gun still pointed.

I lie.  “A little more intense but yeah.”

Intense my….I have to figure out what to do to keep her from seeing his eyes.  It’s flipping me out so no telling how many times she’ll shoot me for it.  This is soooooo not normal.DSC02644

Jesper the Vampire, laid low by a lemon, suddenly smiles.  “That’s quite a punch.”

My exhale is half-laugh and all relief.  “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Those things should only be taken under care of a, um, vampire psychologist.”

He laughs, grinning deeply, his fangs over his lips, pinching him just there.  Even partially retracted, they’re the longest fangs I’ve ever seen.  Damn, that sounds dirty.

“How do you feel?” I ask, probably with little of the scientific decorum I’d like to think I still have.

His head shakes slowly from side to side.  “No words.”

Ok, so maybe it’s all over and fine now.

I can’t help myself as I peel open one of his eyelids.  His entire eyeball is radiating, like the light was coming from inside his skull.  I let his eyelid slide back and brush an errant lock of hair off his face.  His pallor seems almost human.  Was his hair always so…golden?  Maybe I’d thought it auburn in darker light?

“Have you already fed tonight?”

Jesper’s fangs retract and he licks his lips, seemingly savoring the odd sensation of light.  He made no move to move at all, was just stillness.  “Hmm, yes.”

“Good.  Your feeding will be a bit more intense for a few days, your fangs will be extra sensitive.  Like you’ve gone to the dentist.”

He laughs, open mouthed.

“Jesper?”  Morena.  She sounds scared and yet calmer.  Probably from hearing him laugh…well, most of the time, hearing a vampire laugh is more frightening than their growls.  It means they are totally at ease.  And as a human, you never really want that.  But I remind myself she’s a rookie and doesn’t know enough to know to be afraid of it yet.

I take his wrist, feel a pulse, which isn’t entirely uncommon for recently fed vamps.  I notice a signet ring on one finger and a silver ring on another.  The silver ring has a raised circle with a dot in the middle.  It makes me feel…uneasy.

“Yes, Morena.  I am….unharmed.”  He opens his eyes and for a moment, I get caught full faced with glowing amber orbs.  Then he blinks and blue-grey eyes are appraising me.  “Am I not?”

Uhhhh…..

“Morena, if you’re not going to shoot anyone, can you put that thing away and help me get him to the couch?”

She safeties her weapon and puts it back in its place.  Then she helps me move Jesper over to sit on the couch.  He’s lighter than he should be for his height and weight.  He slumps there, head resting on the back of the couch.  As Morena begins to lean over to him, I butt in her way and sit next to him on the couch, arm resting beside his head.  The next part is tricky.  A large part of me, probably the more rational part, wants to call this a night.  But I’ve not yet shied away from a client in need and regardless of my reaction to him, he has no one else to work him through this….whatever this is.  And my curiosity..well, yeah, cats and all.

He moves his head to look at me, smiling still, like he’s going to ask me for a cigarette.

I forestall that.  “I need to ask you some questions.”

“As I do you.”

“Uh-uh, not how this works.  You’re the patient, remember?”

“You already have my utmost attention.”

“Good.”  I think.  Of course, vampire senses being what they are, he can probably sense…ok, let’s not go there.  I turn to Morena.  This is going to sting.  “He’s fine.  You can leave now.”

“What?”

“Patient privilege.  Can’t have you standing here while I consult.”

She looks ready to get her gun back out.  “You listen here you little—.”

“Morena,” Jesper says softly and I can feel what’s coming.  And so can she.

“Don’t,” she asks of him.

bubblesIn Vox Compulsum, he simple says, “Leave us.”  I’m immune to the voice but even I can hear the ripples of suggestion guided by champagne bubbles and jasmine in his voice.  I watch Morena.  She’s strong, very strong.  She begins to step backwards, toward the door without a word but her face shows every ounce of anger she possesses at this moment.

“Bastard.”  There’s no passion there in her voice; it’s all in her face.  But she backs all the way to the door, then gives up fighting it and hastily leaves, slamming the door. 

I notice the complete quiet and still in the room, his influence gone as easily as waves brushing away writing in the sand.  He’s very powerful and very old to use his abilities with such grace and ease.

“She’s angry,” he says.

“She’s upset.  There’s a difference.”  I turn back to him, see him sitting upright now, all visible effects of the lemon gone.

“You’re a psychologist to human servants too?”

“You’ve heard of me?”

“I suspected she might contact you.”

“First off, she’s a companion, cohort at the worst, not a servant and I expect I’ll never have to explain the difference to you.  Second, it doesn’t take a psychologist to see how worried she was that I’d harmed you.”

Oh, and the sheer jealousy on her face as she left?  We gonna leave that out of the discussion I hope.

“My relationship with Morena is definitely…progressive.”

“We’ll get to that all in good time.  But first, I have more questions for you.  About these dreams.”

He settled into the couch, making himself more comfortable, his arm going up on the back as I moved mine down.  His mouth curved in a half-smile, possibly from the movement.  “Then ask away.”

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Case #13 – Jesper: Life Hands You Lemons…

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2009 by vampirony

Finding a sense of humor when you’re in the thick of things either denotes ultimate faith that things will turn out or a complete loss of reality.  I am hoping for the former.  Jesper, the Vampire, is distracted by the lemon, but he still holds me at his whim and Morena, well, she turns out to be very touchy in a crisis.  Of course, maybe this wasn’t a crisis yet.

Jesper speaks, “I know what a lemon is.”

“Well, you asked.”

He growls at me but it’s half-hearted.  He begins to straighten, lets go of my waist but not my arm, his eyes fixated on the lemon in my other hand.

Fascinated by it, he asks, “What is it for?”

“Treatment.”  I straighten so now he is just holding my forearm.

“You can hardly be serious,” he replies.

The fluorescent blue of his eyes starts to fade, his narrow fangs begin to retract.  I’ve never seen a vampire like him.  The fangs in themselves are a first for me, narrow like reeds but long.  They seem to disappear back into his gums above his canines, not as part of them.  Then just those blue-grey eyes, contemplating the fruit in my hand.  The fact that he can’t tear his eyes away from it says it all.  He’s even ignoring the small scrap of blood he left on my forearm.

“You’re sun-starved.  Your..um…friend came to me for help.  It’s a common affliction in older vampires.  The dreams are a symptom, like a bad cough.”

His hand releases the grip on my forearm and slides down to my wrist, now barely holding it.  It makes me shiver.  He glances at me, quizzically.  He sends a very disapproving look at Morena who trembles for a second under it and then he looks back at me.  And I know what he’s about to say from the way he rolls his shoulders back, tilts his head up a an inch. 

“I am Vampire.”

There’s this moment, this strange moment, when my gut tells me: Bullshit!  But I’ve seen the fangs, the eyes, the super speed.  I don’t trust my gut with this vamp.  I can already tell I need a better wall up for any next meeting.  Time to bore him with the details that most vampires hate to hear.

the_four_elements“Life seeks balance in all things, even vampires.  The Classical elements, whether you go Buddhist, Greek, or Chinese, all have the basic four:  Air, Earth, Water, Fire.  Air, you breath, not like mortals but you do breath.  Earth, blood is loaded with earth elements like Carbon and it is, after all, what you’re made of.  Water, you either drink outright or get from the blood you consume.  But Fire, on the other hand.  Well, vampires are extremely sensitive to fire, like the sun.”

“Sensitive?” Jesper the Vampire raises an eyebrow at me and then looks back at the lemon.  “And that helps how?”

I hold it up for him, watch the miniscule flinch it causes him.  “Think of this as the sun in liquid form.”

“And what do you propose I do with it?”

“Suck on it.”

Jesper the Vampire shakes himself, as if repulsed by the very idea.  But he is staring again.

“You want me to suck…a lemon?”

I push a dirty thought aside.  Damn positive vampire…and he’s not actively controlling it either.  “Yes,” I say a little forced before I reign it in.  “I used to use oranges but they’re more subtle and my early patients were able to deny the effects.  Lemons are unmistakable and pack a sufficient punch.”

He drops my wrist and I grab it back, holding it against my chest for a strange sense of comfort.  His eyes fixate on the lemon, widening even.  I can see him thinking.

“This will cure me?” he asks softly.

“Cure is probably not the right word.  Likely not in one shot.”

He tosses me a look.

“If I’d been given a chance to examine you, I might know for sure.  But it will definitely help.”

Morena, who has seemingly faded from the room with all Jesper’s positive juju floating around me, speaks up, “It won’t harm him?”

I turn toward her, glad for the reprieve.  “Not at all.”  I give myself a breath, try to be subtle about it.  But as I turn around, I needn’t have bothered.  He doesn’t even see me any more.  All his focus is on the lemon, as if his gaze could peel it open and unveil its secrets.  I slowly set it down on the coffee table.

“Why don’t I leave this with you?  You can take your time assessing…it, decide what you want to do, whether you’ll let me help you.” I take a step back.  I reach into my pocket and draw out my backup plan.  “Here’s my card and —.”

His eyes change to bright blue for an instant and then, whoosh, he grabs the lemon, and his fangs descend into it, some juice spurting out, as he swallows the rest.  His eyes flash open, glowing gold now, before he shudders and clenches them shut.  He begins to fall, like the fall of a feather, unconscious.  I react immediately, run over, catch him before he hits the floor.  Or rather, he falls on me, as I slide between him and the floor, his head landing in my lap.

I hear the click of Morena’s gun as she readies it, pointing it at me.

“What did you do to him?” she barks.  I might ask myself the same question.

Case #13 – Skovajsa: First Impressions

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by vampirony

Reason one out of, oh, I don’t know, about one hundred, why I always conduct my first meeting with a client in a very public place: You just never know what you’re getting into.  Skovajsa. One name, like Cher or Sting. The Carpathian vampires are still the most dangerous. Full of power, hunted for centuries almost to extinction. Terrified of the world and ready at any moment to try and conquer it. Not the sort of vampire I would ever expect to call for my services. 

 He’s a tricky read: emotionally disheveled, almost childlike in his discomfiture, like an adolescent trying to fill adult shoes.  Like Bela Lugosi’s shoes.  It’s almost sweet.  But then, all that economy of emotion and movement often covers ill intentions.   It is like a first date; you get to see the persona and if it does its job, if it’s intriguing enough, you might want to see more, to try to tell what’s fact versus façade.  I admit I’m intrigued.  1100 miles is a long way to go for a five minute talk.  He’ll call.  He hasn’t figured me out yet.  And he wants something.  That much is clear.

 Of course, it coulda been worse.  He could actually have been charming or cute. 

 Get back to the hotel# and up to my room, my groceries have been delivered.  Empty out the bag just to check.  A lemon rolls out of its mesh bag.lemons

 *sigh*  No lemons for you, Mr. One Named Wonder.  Bartender hasn’t called me back.  Will try him tomorrow.  He might’ve gotten busy.  Would’ve thought that $100 would have kept me on his to-do list.

Now here comes the strange part.  I’m looking out the window, there’s a moon, and honestly, I’m missing simpler times.  Missing someone to get to know me.  Missing an adult conversation.  Missing…flirting…   So stupid.  If it isn’t in my cards, it just isn’t and nothing on Earth can change that.

 THUMP! Goes my trunk.  Archaic, I know, to travel with one but I need my references.  I open it up, take out the Book.  Give  it a rub.  Ok yeah I talk to it when I’m morosely lonely.

 “Getting a little restless, eh? Been a long time since you’ve stirred.  You seem to like Seattle?”

 It doesn’t actually talk back.  Ever. 

 I set it on the desk, move to the bed to unpack some things.  Have a sudden feeling that somebody just walked over my grave.full moon

 The book’s cover knocks over and the pages start to flip on their own.  Ok, when I moved the book from my carry-on upon landing in Seattle, it moved on me.  This?  This hasn’t happened in my recollection in over a century.

 The book falls over onto the floor with a thud.  I go pick it up, careful to note the page.

 It’s one of the blank pages towards the back of the book, the edges well worn.  I flip back a page and land on the Burim twins.

 “Lucienne and Maurice Burim – My brave charges, how can I write of you and your bravery, so young when turned, without cursing the heavens for damning your souls to this world of pain and suffering forever.”

Heartbreaking but no, not them.  This page.  I’ve touched this page many times before but it won’t give up its secrets so easily.  Sometimes I forget that the magic of this book is all its own.  I can’t quite remember who gave it to me, which lifetime, only that I have ever since used it to record the people I have met in my lives.  And every new life, with every new awakening, I find the book again and it shares with me those that I have met before.  Only this lifetime, every since stumbling upon it 3 years ago, it has been mostly silent.

 Until now.  And yet, it’s not ready to tell me what it wants me to know.  Crazy.

 Hope to hear back soon from Bruno.  Already, Seattle is becoming more than I bargained for.  Better get some shut-eye.  I have a real meetup with a real adult (vampire cohort but still adult human) early morning.  Something about vampire dreams.