Short Story Sunday: Motorhome

Motorhome
An Austin and Elizabeth Story

Austin grew up knowing that Grammy didn’t have many filters. She’d say anything she wanted to anyone. Austin’s mother said Grammy had always been rude. Grammy said she was giving out good advice that might make people want to do something about their situations. Everyone was in a situation so everyone was told what they needed to do.

Grammy’s caretaker, a lovely woman named Kayla, had texted Austin the following:

“Just a warning, Grammy is in a mood today. Completely speaking with no filter. We talked to Tom across the street. Grammy asked how they were doing and before he could say anything she said, “well it looks like you and your wife have completely given up on loosing weight.” I nudged her in hopes she would stop but it didn’t work. She then went on to say, “I thought you guys were dieting. Looked like you’ve completely given up on losing weight. Tom was so red embarrassed. I said he is healthy and happy and always smiling, so I told him to have a nice day and closed the door before Grammy could say anything else. I then said “OMG Grammy u can’t ever tell people that they are overweight. Ever. Men or women. It is not to be discussed. Don’t tell women they look pregnant. None of it. She said “Well maybe if I say something that will make them want to lose weight.” I said, “NO. NO. NO. Nothing you say will change them. You’re just being terrible at that point. No more ever.” Grammy’s mind is in it’s own place sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day. I told her she is the cutest sweetest little Grammy in the world. She has to stop thinking and saying such negative things.”

Austin was mortified. Tom had been a good friend for years, and would do anything for Grammy. But sweet little Grammy had a dark suspicious side. She’d grown up in the Deep South where people generally have fewer filters than those from other regions of the country. She’d also grown up in a family of Vampire Hunters. It was in their blood, no pun intended.

When Austin arrived at Grammy’s house he wondered who the old motor home in the driveway belonged to.

Kayla, a rail thin brown haired, blue eyed woman in her forties came out to meet him. She and her college student son Colt live with Grammy and took care of her in her great big family home. At one time Austin had tried to get Grammy to sell her house and move into a smaller house in his neighborhood, just three houses down from him, but she’d have none of it. She’d rather complain about money and upkeep than move out of the house she’d lived in for sixty-two years.

“Is someone visiting?” Austin looked toward the motor home.

“I bought that last week. I’m going to take Grammy on a road trip.”

It was a small 1981 motor home complete with faded orange and red stripes on the outside.

“Wow, look at this thing,” said Austin.

“Come inside. Take a look,” said Kayla inviting him in through the back door.

Grammy was sitting on an orange couch that could fold out into a double bed. There was a table, a small kitchen, four captain’s chairs, and a tiny bathroom complete with a toilet, sink, and a shower.

“Hey, Grammy,” Austin said bending down to kiss her.

Grammy was small, and still quite pretty for an eighty eight year old lady. Her white hair had been done up the day before with pink foam curlers. She wore bright pink lipstick, a pink flowered shirt, and matching pink pants.

Grammy took his hands, “Austin. What do you think of our new castle on wheels?”

“Great,” said Austin. “The orange and red carpet is pretty ugly, but otherwise it’s great.”

“I don’t see any problems with the carpet. It looks almost new to me,” said Grammy. “Now, Austin, are you still seeing that Vampire girl?”

Austin was in love with a woman who just happened to be a Vampire. He knew it wasn’t exactly the right thing to do but…

“But,” he said, “Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t a shadow creeper, or one of those ghoulish undead types. She lives a pretty normal life. You know the kinds of Vampires I help get rid of, and Elizabeth isn’t one of them.”

“You know those Vampires aren’t right. They do nothing but cause problems. Austin you’re an idiot for getting involved with one.”

“Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t that different from us.”

“That’s what you say. But the next thing you know they’ll be coming out of the shadows. I bet you the first thing they’ll do is call the ACLU and get a bunch of lawsuits in place against us normal people asking for rights and then some. Then they call AARP because they’re all older than dirt. You can’t trust them Austin. Listen to me. You are going to have nothing but trouble ahead of you. Nothing but trouble.”

“OK Grammy, I get your point.”

“I hope so. I don’t want you marrying one of those things. You haven’t have sexual intercourse with that Vampire of yours yet have you?”

“Grammy, I’m not going to talk about this anymore.”

“Are you still killing Vampires?”

“Only the ones without souls.”

“Well, how do you know if they have souls? They’re all a bunch of fanged faced liars.”

“Grammy, I know. I’m a Vampire Hunter. I can tell. It’s in my blood.”

“Well, your blood will be their blood if you don’t watch out.”

Kayla, who’d gone inside to make iced tea, came back out with three tall cold glasses full of iced tea with fresh mint. This wasn’t the popular sweet tea, but strong freshly brewed black tea with just a hint of lemon and mint. Grammy wouldn’t allow anyone to ruin her good tea with the addition of sugar.

Grammy took a sip of her tea and said, “I don’t know why your mom and dad had to name you after a city.”

Kayla smiled. “Be nice Grammy. You know Austin was where they fell in love.”

“Well, maybe. But it sounds like a character out of a trashy cheap romance novel,” said Grammy.

And she wasn’t kidding.

Austin had dinner with Kayla, her son Colt, and Grammy. They’d dined on garlic coated shrimp in a pasta, along with mushrooms and more garlic. Grammy always made sure she had garlic in all of her food to keep the Vampires away now that she had retired. Austin knew for a fact that garlic didn’t keep Vampires away.

Conversation became pleasant and without any caustic remarks. Grammy was charming and full of joy. Kayla looked relieved.

As Austin left his Grammy gave him a hug and a kiss. Then she said, “I wish you’d find a normal girl.”

Austin smiled and said, “Normal girl? Grammy, you of all people should know there is no such thing.”

Grammy just said, “pasha,” and closed the door in her grandson’s face.

 

~ End

Read all of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series) from the start.  Click here for the full set.

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Short Story Sunday: Saturday Afternoon

Austin Durant was spending Saturday morning with a pot of coffee and a folder full of research materials. His mind was on the article he was writing, but also on the end of the school year, his latest landscaping project, and his girlfriend Elizabeth.

He stopped at the sound of the doorbell, then sent to answer. He hoped it wasn’t anyone trying to sell him anything. Two large men, dressed in black, stood at his front door. No clipboards.

Austin looked them up and down. “I’m going to assume you’re not from the Sanders campaign,” he said.

The men pushed their way through the door. Austin backed away.

“I don’t know why you guys even bothered to knock. Can I get you anything?” Now more than anytime he wished his old German Shepard Dogs Lucy and Mina were still alive. They would have ripped these guys to shreds, or at least barked a lot. After three years he still couldn’t bring himself to get another dog. But this wasn’t the time to reminisce about lost loves – he had Vampires in his house.

Who would have thought that Vampires would be at his front door at 2:37 on a Saturday afternoon in May? Sure, alright, he was a part-time, sometimes Vampire Hunter, but not on Saturday afternoon. The plan was to do a little work on an article about the California art colonies in the 1880’s, then do a little yard work, then go over to his sister’s house to eat tacos and watch Dead Pool.  Such is the life of a single History Professor slash Vampire Hunter.

“You know guys, this is a bad time for me. Why don’t you come back later, say in about a hundred years.”

The Vampires stepped forward baring their long sharp fangs. Austin started to calculate in his mind how to distract them so he could get his sword. Then the doorbell rang.

Austin put his hand up. “Excuse me for a minute guys.”

The Vampires stepped back and withdrew their fangs.

At the door stood Austin’s fifteen year old neighbor Ryan. A tabby cat with white paws stood next to him.

“Hey, Ryan. What’s up?”

“I, um, forgot my key to my house. My mom said you had a copy.”

“Sure, wait a second.” Austin looked at the Vampires. “Don’t even think about it.”

He got the key from the kitchen drawer and brought it back to Ryan. The boy thanked him then looked inside the door.

“Seriously dude, you have some creepy friends.”

“They’re not my friends,” said Austin. “Just some guys dropping off some stuff for a research project.”

“Uh, thanks for the keys.”

Ryan and the cat left and Austin turned his attention back to the Vampires. “OK guys, time to go. I have things to do, places to go, tacos to eat, and if you don’t get the hell out of my house I’ll add Vampires to kill to my list. Got it?”

The Vampires showed their fang again. Then the doorbell rang. The Vampires stepped back into the shadows.

Austin opened the door. Dave the mail carrier stood there with a package. “Hey, Austin, I just need a signature.”

“Good, I’ve been waiting for this,” said Austin as he signed the deliver slip. It was a packet of letters from the artist Julian Rix to a woman who would eventually break the artist’s heart. Austin put the letters on the table in his entry way and turned his attention back to the Vampires.

“Sorry about that. I told you this was a bad time,” he said to the Vampires.  “What do you guys want? I don’t have all day.”

The two Vampires showed their fangs and stepped towards Austin. “Listen, I don’t want any trouble. I don’t have a problem with you. I don’t even know you. In fact, my girlfriend is a Vampire.”

The Vampires hissed through their fangs, then stopped. There was a soft knock at the door.

Austin stepped back. “Excuse me, somebody is at the door.”

At the door Austin’s neighbor from down the street, a guy named Bob stood with a clip board. “Hi Austin, I have the petition to close the street on the Fourth of July.”

“Yes, I’m looking forward to it. Just let me know what I can do to help.”

“Sure thing,” said Bob. “Feel free to invite your friends.”

Austin looked around to see the Vampires had moved just behind him in the entry way. “Sure thing. Hey guys, you’re invited. Bring your favorite pot luck dish and some sparklers. It will be fun.”

After Bob left, Austin turned his full attention back to the Vampires. “I know you didn’t come here to borrow a cup of sugar. What do you want?”

The Vampires showed their fangs. “No, I’m not going to do this today. You’ve already waited almost an hour of my time. Either I kill you, you kill me, or you leave. What is it?”

The doorbell rang again. “Shit,” whispered Austin. He opened the door. There stood two college students with a clipboard. “Hey, I know you. How’s it going Tiffany?” The girl was in his California history class.

“Dr. Durant. I didn’t know you lived in this neighborhood. We’re here for the mayor’s campaign.”

“Good for you. I encourage everyone to be politically active. I think a few other groups will be out today as well.”

“Cool.”

The kids talked with Austin about politics and school. All the while Austin could sense the Vampires behind him, lurking in the shadows of his living room. He then wished the kids good luck as they went on their way.

He turned back to the Vampires who were now looking at his book shelf and talking quietly to each other.

Austin approached them. “So do you want to do this or not?”

“You have all of Steinbeck’s books, I’m impressed,” said  the taller and paler of the two Vampires. “Too bad I have to kill you.”

Then the door bell sounded again. Austin went to the front door. His neighbor Joe who lived behind him was there.

“Hey Austin. I’m fixing the fence so Sammy and Shadow can’t get out. Do you mind if I go into your yard for about a half hour?” Sammy and Shadow were two shaggy dogs of unknown breeds.

“Sure, I’ll help you out. Give me a few minutes. I’ll meet you in the back yard.”

Austin turned to the Vampires. “Guys, we’re going to have to do this later.”

The Vampires looked at him with frustration on their pale faces then slipped out the front door and vanished into the cloudy afternoon.

Well, this is the first time I’ve killed a Vampire with boredom, thought Austin. Then he put on his shoes and work gloves to meet Joe by the fence.

~ end

 

As with most of the Sunday Short Stories, this was written in about a half hour. And yes, I am in a roller rink on Sunday morning doing this. It is amazing how weird organ music can put a writer in the zone. ~ Juliette

For all of the Austin and Elizabeth stories click here.

 

 

A Story With Demons and Ancient Vampires and Latin and Love

“There is nothing so wonderful as an attractive man in a historic costume.”

Austin thought about it for a minute. He’d wished he could take his entire group of graduate students to see Hamilton when the show came to San Francisco, but it would be a small fortune. Actually, it would be more than a small fortune.

His sister Chelsea had met her husband at the Dicken’s Christmas Faire, in full Victorian dress no less. Their wedding had also been a full Victorian dress event. Now Austin’s bother Dakota was getting married soon in a Wild West theme wedding.

The parents of the three Durant siblings had met at a Renaissance Faire and of course had a Renaissance themed wedding. No wonder Austin was a history professor.

“I’m married. Dak is getting married. When are you and Elizabeth getting serious?”

“Never.”

“I thought you were in love.”

“It is…”

“Don’t tell me it’s complicated. How complicated can it be?”

“She isn’t like most girls?”

“What? She used to be a man? She has a criminal past? She belongs to a cult?”

“No, none of that.” Austin took a deep breath and changed the subject back to Dak’s wedding.

Austin Durant, history professor, contractor specializing in historic buildings, and Vampire hunter, thought about his girlfriend Elizabeth. Sure he loved her, but she scared the Hell out of him.

Then Chelsea asked, “Have you found any Vampires lately?”

Austin almost spit out his coffee. “No. Jeeze, Chelsea, I told you not to talk about that.”

“Every time you work on a building it seems like you find bodies under the floorboards.”

“Not every time. Just most of the time.” Then he kissed his sister on the cheek and told her he’d see her soon.

He had planned on heading home but decided to stop by his girlfriend Elizabeth’s house. Well, he thought she was his girlfriend. For over a year… he didn’t know what to think. It drove him crazy. It pissed him off. It amused him. It terrified him.

The front door was cracked so he let himself. That was odd. He called her name. No answer.

Austin found Elizabeth in her bedroom. He’d found her in her bed, wearing just a tee shirt and underwear. Long, dark, blackish red scratch wounds were on the left side of her face, going down her arm, then across her ribs, and on down to her left thigh.

She lay there cold, not breathing, with no sign of a heart beat.

“Elizabeth. Wake up.”

She cracked her eyes. They were black. No bruised black but black iris, black pupils, no whites. She gave a whispered hiss and showed her fangs.

“What the Hell Liz?”

She let out a small gasp. “Demons. I ran…into…Demons.” Then she closed her eyes and put her right hand over her face.

Austin said her name again but she wouldn’t respond. He could see the edges of the scratches on her arm and face turning black.

Now what? He wasn’t a Vampire. He just knew how to kill them, not how to heal them. If he called 911 or took her to the hospital they’d ask too many questions, and she was already dead. Sort of dead. Shit, he didn’t quite know how exactly to explain it.

He called his lawyer Aaron Todd, who just happened to be a Vampire too. After Austin explained what he found there was a long pause on Aaron’s end.

Then the Vampire said, “Whatever happens don’t let her bite you. I’ll send help. Hold tight.” Then he hung up. No explanations. Typical Vampire.

Austin sat next to Elizabeth as she lay with her fangs showing and black eyes staring at nothing. He half expected Peter Cushing to come out of the closet and offer him a cross and a wooden stake.

“Hey, you must be Austin.”

Austin looked up. A well dressed hispterish looking man stood in the doorway.

The man held out his hand. “I’m Val, Aaron’s brother. He said you needed help.”

Austin took Val’s hand. It was icy cold. Of course Val was a Vampire.

Val put his hand on Elizabeth’s forehead. “Hey, sweetheart. Shhhhhh. It will be alright.” Then he looked at Austin. “The Demons have been bad lately. She must have let her guard down. They’re drawn to distraction.”

“Distraction? Like what?” Austin didn’t understand what Val was getting at.

“Like you.” Then Val smiled, a sweet charming smile, that made Austin’s stomach flip. This guy could kill him and eat him in fifteen seconds, and nobody would ever know. He brushed that thought out of his mind. He heard a car stop in the driveway, then voices and steps coming up the stairs to the bedroom.

Into the room came two teenagers. One had white blonde hair in a man-bun on top of his head. His face was almost as pretty as Elizabeth’s. His blue eyes sparkled, almost like water in the sunshine. He was wearing black tuxedo pants, a blue and purple Hawaiian shirt and yellow flip flops. The girl had long red brown curls and wore an ugly brown plaid skirt and a worn sweater with buttons shaped like cat heads. She was absolutely stunning, with cupid bow lips and large hazel eyes. They both smiled, showing fangs.

“Thank goodness you’re here,” said Val.

“Of course we’re here. Wouldn’t miss it for the World,” said the boy.

“Not for the World,” said the girl.

“We love our Elizabeth,” said the boy.

“Love her,” said the girl.

Then they both looked at Austin and just stared for a moment, then the girl sat next to Austin on the edge of the bed and took his hand in her icy hand, as the boy put his hand on Elizabeth’s face wounds.

The girl started to sing a song and stroked Austin’s hair. Val mouthed the words “Don’t say anything.”

If you’re callin’ ’bout my heart
It’s still yours
I should’ve listened to it a little more
Then it wouldn’t have taken me so long to know where I belong
And by the way, boy, this is no machine you’re talkin’ to
Can’t you tell, this is Austin, and I still love you.

She’d finished then she smiled and kissed his cheek.

The young man with the white blonde hair glanced at Austin. “Val, you didn’t introduce us. I’m going to assume you’re Austin. I am Tellias. The beautiful woman next to you is Eleora. Give us a minute with Val. You stay here with Elizabeth. Whatever you do don’t let her bite you.”

Austin could hear them speaking quietly in the hallway. It took a few seconds but he noticed they were speaking Latin. The two younger Vampires were speaking in an odd accent, an older version. He knew a little Latin, but this was odd, like old texts he’d seen while studying ancient religious documents.

Elizabeth lay as still as death with her eyes closed. Austin held her hand.

The three Vampires came back into the room.

“Can you help her?” Asked Austin.

“I will need your help young man,” said the one called Tellias. “You think I am a boy, perhaps one of your college students just out of high school. I traveled with the Roman Army before Christ as born. I met Eleora during the building of Hadrian’s Wall. We were both already old by then. We’re much older now. So we know things. We also know things about you Austin.”

Eleora sat and took Austin’s hand again. Val stood at the foot of the bed looking too serious for comfort.

“Austin,” said Tellias, “put your hand on Elizabeth’s face over the wounds. Don’t let go of Eleora’s hand. Eleora take my hand with in yours.” Then he reached out and took Val’s hand in his.

Then Tellias said words in a language Austin couldn’t understand. They were odd words in a magical tone that made his blood run cold. He was freezing, his lungs felt heavy, he couldn’t move.

“Don’t be afraid,” whispered Eleora.

“Don’t be afraid, don’t move, don’t fear, for this will pass,” said Tellias.

Then Austin felt as if an electrical fire surged though his body. Then Eleora shuttered, Tellias squeezed his eyes shut, and Val held his hand out as blue smoke came off of his fingers and the room filled with the smell of sulphur.

The black edges of Elizabeth’s wounds turned white, and the darkness of the wounds turned pink and closed, leaving dark pink red lines, rather than open wounds.

“Well, that was fun,” said Eleora.

“I think we should go swimming now,” said Tellias.

“Yes, swimming. Swim, swim, swim, swim,” said Eleora.

“We will be back,” said Tellias.

“We’re going to swim,” said Eleora.

Then they ran down the stairs, clothes flying as they went. Austin could hear a splash in the pool in Elizabeth’s backyard.

“Don’t take those two lightly,” said Val. “They might be old, but…”

“I know, they could kill me in the blink of an eye. That is what you were going to say, isn’t it?”

“No, I was going to say, they might be old, but they still know how to have fun. I have to go. Stay with Elizabeth until she wakes, which shouldn’t be long. She’ll be tired for a few hours. She’ll be shaken up for a few days, but she’ll be fine. You know what they say, Demons happen. But do me a favor and tell her to stay away from them. Please.”

“You know I’d do anything…”

“I know Austin. You’re a good man. Just be careful. Be very careful.”

Val left. Austin listened to the sound of Eleora and Tellias playing in the pool under the stars. Elizabeth opened her golden brown eyes and smiled without fangs.

“Austin, you’re here.”

“Always,” he said. “Get some rest. You need to sleep.”

As she dozed off Austin thought long and hard about Vampires, Demons, and his brother Dakota’s wedding. He didn’t want to be involved with Vampires. It wasn’t his plan. But one day several years ago he’d pulled up the floorboards of an old house and found two dried up Vampires. He killed them without a second thought. Then his attorney showed up and thanked him for taking out what he called soul-less undesirables.  And that is how he became a Vampire Hunter. The Vampires here were an entirely different thing. They were something he couldn’t even start to explain. His head seemed to spin. He had the wedding, his classes, his latest building project, and now Elizabeth. What would he do with Elizabeth? What sort of future could they possibly have?

He heard someone running up the stairs and saw Eleora standing there, wrapped in a towel with her hair dripping around her shoulders.

“You’ve come to the end of your rope,” she said. “Do you know what that means?”

“No. What does it mean, Eleora?”

“It means it is time for a new rope.”  Then she smiled and ran out of the room dropping the towel behind her. Austin heard a splash and the sound of the two Vampires laughing in the pool outside of Elizabeth’s bedroom window.

He knew that she didn’t mean for him to hang himself with it either.

 

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~ End of Part 17 of the Austin and Elizabeth (The Hunter) stories.

 

Click here for the entire series of Austin and Elizabeth Stories.

Click here for more on Demons.

Or here too.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Conversion

“Durant, we found something.”

“What do you mean you found something?”

“Live dead bodies.”

“Vampires?”

“Yes, vampires. Happy fucking holidays.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Austin Durant had planned on spending the morning grading papers. When he wasn’t teaching history at the local state college he was a contractor specializing in restoring historic buildings. When he wasn’t doing that he was a vampire hunter. The vampire hunter part wasn’t planned. It just happened.

Now a call from his construction site foreman Matt changed his Sunday morning plans. Damn. He made a call and headed out.

His attorney and friend (the term friend was sometimes questionable) Aaron Todd stood on the front porch. How could anyone always look so elegant, even in jeans and a fleece jacket?

“Why don’t you people take care of your own?”

“You people? Really Austin. You sound almost racist.”

“You’re a vampire.”

“The ones in the walls are not my people.”

Aaron had a point. He was an attorney and lived in a beautiful modern house, with a beautiful wife who looked like she was right out of a Botticelli painting.  Aaron had nothing in common with the dried up husks with long yellow teeth and claw like fingers who were hibernating in the old walls.

Aaron was holding a pink box. “I brought donuts and coffee for your guys. It was the least I could do.”

“Thank you. The good kind,” said Austin, looking at the beautiful assortment of donuts, sweet rolls and bear claws. “Do you ever eat these things?”

“No. They make me sick.”

They waked back to the small bricked in room where the vampires had been found. The 8 x 8 foot space had been bricked in from the inside.

Aaron looked down at the still dead looking forms. “I know those two. I’d wondered what had happened to them. Not that I cared. I was glad to see them gone. The last time I saw them was this time of year. My wife Verity and I were downtown late at night and spotted these two on the steps of the new Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“New?”

“It was 1890.” Aaron smiled and sipped his coffee. “They watched us with empty eyes coveting our existence. These two in the walls are creatures with no souls. They exist with nothing but longing for blood. They have no idea what the empty void is that fills them. That is why they wall themselves up to sleep for years. They know no torment. They feel no longing. They exist and that is all.

These two had come out to California to seek their fortunes right after the Civil war, like so many uneducated dullards. They were both pretty enough and young enough that they made a living selling their bodies. They were stupid enough to be seduced by evil. They forfeited their souls for eternal life. Either that or the idiots who converted them botched the job and only brought them back after their bodies were empty of any life at all. It doesnt matter. They might not even have had souls to begin with. They were the kind of people who just survive and nothing else. Their lives have no meaning.”

“You’re harsh.”

“I am realistic.”

“You saw them on the cathedral steps. You were going to tell me something about them.”

“It was two days before Christmas, they sat on the steps huddled together. I was going to approach them and tell them to leave town, when a priest came out into the dark and sat with them. We could hear what he said. I’ll never forget.”

Aaron took a deep breath as if he was almost human. “It was obvious they had been there before. The priest made a sign of the cross then put his hands on their shoulders and said, those who are loved will earn their souls. It is not in the scripture but I believe it. I know it. You are loved. Believe me. Believe my brother and sister.

Austin was amazed at what the vampire told him. “Do you believe that Aaron?”

“I want to, but no, I do not believe it.”

Austin knew vampires were cold hearted but he assumed that maybe… then again, when it came to the heart of a vampire assumptions were dangerous.

“By the way,” said Aaron, “the good priest was found dead a week later. His body had been drained of all blood. Funny how things work out that way.”

They looked down at the corpse-like vampires who lay on an ancient cot, huddled together in a cold embrace. Their old fashioned clothes still showed some color through the dusty and faded threads.

Austin raised the chain saw and was about to start it up when the male opened his eyes. It sounded like paper shredding. The woman did the same.

“Do it now,” hissed Aaron.

Austin started the chainsaw and cut off their heads.

He looked up and saw writing on the wall scrawled in what could have been blood above the cot.

We no not wat we do

“We know not what we do,” Austin read out loud.

In the curled up clawed hand of the woman Austin found a small carved figure of a baby in a manger. The paint looked almost new.

In the hand of the man was a holly branch.

“Those were gifts from the priest,” said Aaron.

The bodies turned to dust before their eyes.

“Aaron, what do you want to do with the ashes?”

“You have a shop vac don’t you?”

“Man, you’re cold. No pun intended.”

Aaron shrugged. Austin put the baby in his pocket and gave the dried holly branch to Aaron.

“Maybe I should believe,” said Aaron.

Austin put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Maybe you should.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tangled Tales

 

Austin and Elizabeth Stories

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

Part 16: Conversion

Short Story Sunday: The Hunter

The Hunter

A short story from Juliette Kings

 

“We pumped quite a bit of blood out of your stomach. We’re not sure where it came from.”

She heard the words but was the noise in her head was still loud…

“Your heart had stopped beating. You weren’t breathing. You were cold.”

A hospital bed. She was in a bed hooked up to equipment. Her throat hurt.

“We still can’t get your body temperature up to normal and your heart beat is extremely slow.”

She’d been found in a room of an abandoned house wearing nothing but a black silk cocktail dress and black high-heeled sandals. The nails on her hands and feet were painted silver. Aside from that there was no jewelry, no purse, no identification. The man she’d been with had received minor injuries and would be in soon to see her. He said he was her boyfriend. Panic started to set in but she didn’t show it.

“Do you remember anything?”

“Not a lot.” She lied. She had remembered almost everything, despite the headache. The man called Austin had wanted to show her a house he was remodeling. He specialized in renovating Victorians and older historic homes. It was charming. It was haunted. “Is Austin alright?”

“He had a few stitches in his forehead, but yes, he is doing fine.”

“We left the club where we met. I mean, it wasn’t a hook up, we’d been seeing each other for a while. We’re friends. He told me about his work restoring old homes. I own some property I was thinking of having restored…He took me to a house he owns. It’s old, nobody lives there. A Queen Ann style Victorian. Beautiful. He showed me around and we ended up in an upstairs room.” She didn’t tell him of the phantoms and the screams that nearly burst her ear drums. She paused, and glanced at the needle in her arm. “Alright, we did fool around some. But we both started to feel really sick. He passed out first. I tried to wake him. I think we were drugged at the bar. Is he ok?”

“I’m fine sweetheart.” In the door stood a man with a bandage on his forehead. His brown eyes met her blue with almost a spark of both passion and hate. He smiled at the doctor.

“She’s a vampire and I’m a vampire hunter. I had no idea the house was haunted when I took her there. Sorry, it’s along running joke between us. Isn’t it Elizabeth?”

Her eyes met his again. A hunter hunting the huntress. “Is that all I am to you?”

He sat next on the edge of the bed and took her cold hand. “You need to warm up dear or they’ll never let you out of here. I know, it takes a lot of effort to keep your heart beating for those machines. You don’t want them thinking you’re dead.”

To think she was starting to fall in love with this man.

“I thought you were going to kill me last night but you saved my life. Why’d you do that Elizabeth?

Doctor Davis spoke up. “What is going on here?”

Austin smiled and spoke in a quiet calming voice. “I’m sorry for the confusion. We have our own language. We had a fight. She wasn’t going to kill me. Just an expression. She was angry. You know, I’m a typical guy. I did typical stupid guy stuff. We went to the house and like she said, we were both feeling sick. Then someone came in and mugged us. She saved me. I don’t know how, but she defended me. It was too dark to tell what was going on. We had a tumultuous relationship but we’re not violent, just a little dramatic.”

“He’d never touch me.” Elizabeth looked back at Austin. “The ones who attacked us… I had no idea. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

“I thought you’d know.”

“I don’t.”

“Huh. Interesting.”

They both talked to the police about what had happened. Their story was the same. They’d gone to a house he owned, it was unoccupied, they were attacked. They both had traces of an airborne toxin in their systems.

Elizabeth was released into Austin’s care. She’d told him she’d call a taxi but he insisted on bringing her home.

On the way he talked. She sat still, feeling sick, trying to regain her energy. The morning sun burned her eyes even through the fog.

“So my building, the house we were in last night is haunted. Those were ghosts.”

Elizabeth glanced over at him, then looked away. “Yes, they were ghosts. I know someone who can get rid of them for you. He’s good and his prices are reasonable.”

“You know Elizabeth, I’ve found at least a dozen of your kind, vampires, in the basements of abandoned old buildings I’ve purchased for restoration. They weren’t like you. They were like rats.”

“I’m not like them. I don’t live in the shadows or in a crypt. I don’t sleep in a coffin. Most of us aren’t like your rats. We live normal lives.”

“When were you born?”

“1834. I’ve been a vampire since 1853. How did you know?”

He gave her a mean smile. “Call it a 6th sense. My grandfather hunted vampires. It’s in my blood, no pun intended.”

They arrived at her house. He was impressed. A beautiful craftsman style, maybe 2,500 square feet, nice old neighborhood. Inside the woodwork was beautiful. Her decorating was a combination of period and modern. Nice.

“You can go,” she told him.

“Show me around. This place is great.”

“I’m the original owner. 1905.”

As she showed him around Austin noticed a diploma in her office. “You didn’t tell me you were an attorney. Go figure.”

“I told you I consulted for the Justice Department. There is no shame in what I do.”

The house was impressive as was the vampire who lived in it. “Was that my blood they pumped out of your stomach?”

“Most of it. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Vampire. I just took maybe a pint.”

Austin noticed a mirror on the wall. He took Elizabeth by the shoulders and turned her around to face it. He could see his own reflection but hers was just a dim shadow.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror. Look at my eyes,” she told him.

Their eyes locked in the glass. Her image became clear. He laughed. It wasn’t the sarcastic bitter laugh she’d heard all morning. This was joy.

“Elizabeth, will you be alright if I leave you?”

“You aren’t going to kill me?”

“Not today.”

“Then when? When will you be back to cut out my heart and cut off my head.”

“Do you want to go out sometime on a real date?”

“You’re scaring me Austin.”

“I know. I’ll pick you up tomorrow around 8:00. It should be dark by then. Wear something nice.”

She watched through the window as he drove away. Her heart had stopped beating. She wasn’t breathing. In the refrigerator was a bottle of blood. She was starving. Her head was light but that was because of him.

Austin drove away with a smile on his face. What a rush. He wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring. Either he’d kill her or he’d marry her. That is, if she didn’t kill him first.

 

~ End

 

Grave Flowers Remembering

 

The Austin and Elizabeth Series

Check the links below for the entire Austin and Elizabeth series. More to come…

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Tangled Tales

Short Story Sunday: Giving Blood (an Austin and Elizabeth Story)

Giving Blood

Part 16 – The Austin and Elizabeth Stories

 

“I can’t give blood.”

“Why not? It isn’t live you’ve been to sketchy African places or are having sex with needle users.”

“I don’t produce enough of my own blood to share.”

“I’ve never heard of anything like that.”

“Now you have.”

Elizabeth moved away from her boyfriend Austin’s friend Jason’s girlfriend Nicole and made her way back to the kitchen. The kitchen was where there was booze and nobody trying to get into her medical history or her lack of civic body fluid donation.

As she poured herself another glass of Cabernet a nicely dressed man with boyish good looks came into the room. She lifted her glass to him.

“Here’s to nosey assholes who won’t mind their own business. I take blood. I do not give.”

Austin put his arm around her and gave her a kiss. “Understood. Was Nicole bothering you about it? She asked me why you wouldn’t sign up.”

“I’ve got a good mind to take a blood donation from Nicole tonight.”

“Nicole is passionate for her cause.”

“It isn’t just her cause. Every time we see them she drills me about something. You know Austin, I am the mistress of polite but…”

“Nicole is just trying to be friendly. I’ve known her since college. She has always be forward.”

“Forward? Try rude. She is always drilling me with questions. She wants to know why I don’t like the sun, or why I don’t eat much, or why my skin is always cold, or why I never talk about my family. The questions are endless.”

Austin kissed on the cheek. “Don’t let it bother you.”

Elizabeth wasn’t going to be pacified. “I would normally ignore someone like her or fill her with nightmares but she is your friend. The only reason I don’t deal with her in the usual manner is because she is your friend. Do you understand. Do you understand what I mean by usual manner?”

“Yes, I understand. But you’ve been around enough that…”

“I know. I have. But I have never been in love with anyone with warm blood… ever, even before I became a Vampire. This is new, just like you dealing with my friends is new. Help me out here Austin.”

“This is all new to me too. One day I was a Vampire hunter and now I’m in love with a Vampire.”

“You’re not really a Vampire hunter. What you do is more like pest control. Unfortunately that doesn’t include pests like Nichol.”

He put his arms around her and pulled her close. “Let’s go home.”

She brushed her cold lips against his warm neck. “Good idea.”

As they walked to the car, arm in arm, a lone figure watched from the sidewalk. Maybe leaving the party for her house wasn’t that good of an idea. The night would tell.

To be continued…

 

About The Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series)

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman