Monday, March 24, 2008

Round Robin IV

earlier parts


Samuel was working a double. The buzz of the tungsten, the stench of detergent and the waiting room malaise all blurred together. Only Ken’s concerned glances provided flashes of lucidity. Their eyes would meet and Samuel felt himself pulled back into this life he was trying to make for himself here. This was what he had wanted, after all, a normal life. Work, sex, blood each tidily in their place and free of the drama he had become so tired of.

He checked in on Blake when a moment presented itself, in between the usual stream of drunken idiots, persistent hypochondriacs, panicked parents and addicts hoping to trick exhausted residents into writing them prescriptions. Ken watched as he slipped in and out, and must have known where he was going. Blake lay still, shadowed eyes restless with twitching lids like he never stopped dreaming. Light from the doorway glanced over his prone body, every angle and line so beguilingly familiar. Samuel didn’t go past the doorway but he felt the pull of the man. A pull he hoped, with the fatalistic hope of an autumn leaf, not to succumb to.

Hurrying back to admissions Samuel heard a whisper of sound down a side corridor. Too soft to make out the words but resonating with the patina of long life, and the blood of others. Without a thought Samuel went towards the voice. His weariness dropped away, this was his place. And even if he did not hunt here he would not tolerate the encroachment of another. Outrage spiked even higher when he saw a small lithe figure leaning towards another man, all but pressing him against the wall.

Even as they kissed he saw the taller mortal was Ken, the other—the vampire—he did not know. Rage swirled through Samuel, but his blood was thin and starved. He could not sustain the strength of the emotion. As he drew close Samuel saw the swirl of psychic vapor as the vampire drew Ken’s essence up from him as casually as inhaling scent from a flower. Ken leaned back against the wall, clearly dazed, hypnotized… and aroused. His eyes were blank and staring. The vampire looked up casually, belligerent. He was a small, dark-eyed, and old. Looking into his eyes was like plunging into icy water. A vampire so old he did not even need to consume the clumsy vehicle of blood.

“I did not realize this little amuse-bouche was yours,” the elder said archly looking Samuel up and down. "I would have thought you had better… taste. But then, I will know for sure, soon enough.”

The elder seemed to step towards him, leaving Ken standing in a daze. But in a wintery blur he had gone by and turned to the left, towards Blake’s room.

Ken’s voice was slurred. “Sam?” he said, confused. He swayed on his feet, almost ready to fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool story! Thank you, Mary, Ally, Amanda, and Emily.

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