This is a two-sided story that I have been doing with Jules. It’s a Friday Fictioneers story which is where a photo is given and you have to write a story in about 100 words. It features two characters – Raynard and Saskia.
My story is part of an ongoing saga that is between myself and Jules Paige about a vampire (Raynard) chasing down his prey (Saskia). My side of the stories are from Raynard’s view, and Jules’ side comes from Saskia’s side. Occasionally, Jules will add other parts to flesh out the story.
Leap of Fate © Al Forbes 2013
He lay there at the bottom for a few minutes contemplating his next move. He looked straight up to where she had just gone through the door at the top.
He flipped to his feet and dusted himself off. He hated when people didn’t want to stop and play. He had so much to offer them.
He shook his head and decided that playtime was over. Now she would have no choice. He mentally gauged the time reach the top. He extended his teeth and pushed himself up with force so he leapt to the top balcony and his prey.
An Emotional Feast © JP/davh (2013)
All she could do was run. From him. The room at the top just had to have something she could use – the garlic on her breath didn’t appear to be a deterrent. She thought Anita had invited her to dinner because she was new in town. That much was true.
Out of the thirteen of them at the table Raynard must have been the palest being there.
Too much wine, she excused herself – was directed to beautiful stairwell at the end of the hall, glanced back and – he was in pursuit. Frightened of being held in his arms, she ran.
The One That Got Away © Al Forbes 2013
He looked out of the window remembering the chase. After he had launched himself up the stairwell, he chased her down the corridor. As he ran around the corner, she was gone. He remembered sniffing the air and caught an overpowering scent of garlic. Had he been able to, he would have vomited. The garlic, not only debilitating, also crippled his senses. Blood had leaked from his eyes as a result. He shuddered at the thought and sniffed the lily on the window ledge.
He would find her. He would have her. He would turn her and he would torment her for all eternity.
Hit The Ground Running © JP/davh (2013)
Who knew old homes had elevators? She got in pressed ground, hoping that it was at street level. Did Anita know? That witch! While this town wasn’t Salem…
She wasn’t particularly religious, but now she was hoping for and angel. She hadn’t seen many steeples. There were however more cemeteries then you could shake a stake at.
The small electric cube’s single wooden door coughed open. This looked like the Batcave only there weren’t any caped crusaders or fast cars…. There was a light at the end of a tunnel…
The Good Witch © JP/davh (2013)
Mrs. Spellmyn was not like the others. Perhaps she had overdone herself protecting her tenant. She made garlic bread for her to take over to the dinner party Anita had set up. She couldn’t stop Saskia from going.
The wards on her own house were no longer as strong as they should have been. He came out of the shadows…
Raynard had caught a whiff of the garlic in the spice rack but he was too hungry and angry to stop once he started draining the elder woman.
Collateral damage. Upon taking his leave, he knocked the lamp.
The Wrong House© Al Forbes 2013
He stood there, plotting. He was in the house that he had thought was hers. There was no electricity in this house, just lamps which was unusual in a place like this, but also served him well. The spice rack had garlic in it; he could smell it even though it was sealed.
The dead woman in the hallway was not his target, but he had bled her completely dry to send a message that could not be ignored. It would not be long until there would be nowhere left to hide.
“Soon my lovely” he whispered, knocking over the lamp.
Flights of Fancy ©JP/davh (2013)
Saskia had rented the revamped detached garage from a really strange lady.
Mrs. Spellmyn lived in the main house without electricity. The night air helped to clear her brain, it was a good thing she had her purse with her, because for only one brief second she thought about going back to her apartment. Surely they’d all look for her there so she headed for the opposite side of town – to the train station. She’d stow away in a freight car but she was getting out of Dodge.
Then she heard the sirens. Fire engines headed to the north side…
Southern Comfort? ©JP/davh (2013)
Saskia bought her ticket. The look she got from uniformed Gladys was chilling. Perhaps her rumpled look wasn’t appealing? Being the first as well as only one at the window at dawn asking for the farthest location from this town might have been a bit strange.
Once on the train she thought of a plan…she’d get off before the end of the line. After the rhythm of the rails had put her to sleep, she woke, startled but calmer when the conductor called; “Old Sycamore Station!” Seeing the gnarled tree sort of smile at her, she hurriedly got off.
A King’s Ransom? ©JP/davh (2013)
Merit could not have imagined that all that junk could build something that someone would buy. Liam had always been good with his hands. Being her Great Uncle and Godfather he had left his shop to her when he died. She wondered who would buy the odd motorcycle.
Out on the front patio it went. The metal might have been worth something to a junk dealer, she thought.
First Fridays’ was the only time her shop was opened late. The pale man floated through the door, plopped a big down wad of cash – “For the BeastBike,” was all he said.
The Beast Bike © Al Forbes 2013
Gladys told Raynard his prey had taken the train. She had glanced at the ticket and judging by the price, there were three possible stops – Newtown, Old Sycamore Station, or Three Oaks Station.
Raynard was now leaving Newtown on his BeastBike and heading for Old Sycamore. He was still weak after draining Spellmyn. He found out too late that she had drunk holy water. He was laid up for three days in excruciating pain.
There was even more reason to turn Saskia rather than kill her. Maybe he would force her to drink holy water whilst holding a cross made of garlic.
The Trap © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard had been surveying the house for a week, spying on her from several vantage points. Now was time to put his plan into action. The idea came from seeing the empty wasp nest on the beach.
After watching her bedroom light extinguish, he leapt into a tree and gently detached a wasp nest. Holding it carefully, he stepped off the branch and dropped, landing gracefully 17 feet below.
He set the nest against the door and picked up a large stone. He grinned anticipatively and banged hard on Saskia’s front door. Backing up, he threw the stone at the nest.
© Alastair Forbes 2013
Spellmyn’s Silver Bullet Secret ©JP/davh (2013)
Taking time at the Bed and Breakfast at Sycamore Station – Saskia tried to piece together what had happened. Why had she left the comfort of her own nest. Was lured to new job, renting from Spellmyn, the pale man named Raynard. The piece of bark that the smiling tree had gifted her…she put a small piece of it in the silver locket she had found in her pocketbook.
Being the only guest, and knowing that her hosts were out for the evening – she wasn’t sure if she should answer the doorbell…on her chest the locket fluttered a warning…
The Grandfather Oak © Al Forbes 2013
The wasps were buzzing around; she would come out soon. He took a step back and felt something on his foot. Looking down, there was a branch he hadn’t seen before. Realisation hit him as to what the tree was he had been using for spying on Saskia.
More branches shot out and grabbed him by the arms and legs, with one wrapping around his head. The tree pulled him off his feet and straight back into the oak tree, engulfing him. Raynard saw Saskia in the library as the tree pulled him inside. “Oh shit!” he said calmly as a branch pressed against his chest.
Rock, Scissor, PAPER! ©JP/davh (2013)
Marge and Stan Oakwood were related to the old Sycamores. They hadn’t wanted to leave their house guest alone this evening. They really thought she would be safe. It was evident the intruder had not heeded their warnings, clearly visible by most supernaturals. The destruction of the hornets nest alerted them. Giving Grandfather Oak the signal, they relaxed knowing a dangerous element would be delayed.
Saskia recognized Raynard! And watched from her window as he was hugged, engulfed by the tree!
In the morning they found her sleeping, curled at the bottom of the library all ladder bathed by light.
The Past © Al Forbes 2013
The branch presses close to his unbeating heart. Raynard closes his eyes and lets his mind drift back 130 years.
He celebrates his 31st birthday. He dances in sunbeams with his sister. She and her new friend say there is someone he must meet, and drag him laughing upstairs into a dark room. They giggle and slam the door. Raynard has a moment of fear. Then she walks out of the shadows and sinks her teeth into his neck.
He yells and twists, escaping the branch. He will not die whilst the woman who looks like his sire lives.
Moria © JP/davh (2013)
Marjorie was not always an Oakwood. Saskia reminded her of someone, a nemesis of her grandmother…she had heard stories of how young girls had been used as lures, promised safety of their own lives by a beautiful strong vampire …surely the resemblance was only coincidental. Could one of Moria’s children be seeking revenge? She pulled out and old photo
album and looked for answers…settling on her ancestral home.
Stanley screamed! Marge saw him grabbing his chest – “Too damned strong!” Saskia woke startled, still on the library floor…Her locket burned.
Opening it she found ashes…Raynard had escaped.
Bar None ©JP/davh (2013)
Saskia and Marjorie helped Stan into the parlor. They all needed a drink, and a change of scenery. A cell phone rang – it was Stan’s elder twin Crannson on the line, I’ll be there in five bro.
They would regroup at the family’s closed Oakwood tavern as the wards were strong there. Marjorie picked up the photo album to take along and without really being asked or resisting Saskia, after dressing, followed.
Before leaving the house, Marge gently opened Saskia’s locket and put in a new piece of Sycamore bark.
Sycamore and Oak © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard smashed the doors down and entered the bar. He glared at the barman, his eyes – jet-black, his rage – psychotic. “WHERE IS SHE?” he demanded, his voice shattering bottles and causing shelves to rattle.
“Sh-sh-sh-she’s g-g-g-gone” the barman whimpered as Raynard grabbed him by the throat.
Sniffing the air, his gaze shot to a booth in the corner. The barman released his final breath as Raynard let him go. He examined the booth, running his hand across the table. He screamed as flames engulfed his fingers. “Jævla Kjerring!” Sycamore and Oak! Wards! She is protected something heavy. Time to return the favour.
Creepy Connections ©JP/davh (2013)
After leaving the bar, Crannson, Stan, and Saskia were lead to the abandon Cemetery by Marge. Daylight brought safety. Marge lead them to the monumental pillar of the fake headstone of Moria Westen who had once been her grandmother’s best friend. But hadn’t been lucky that night when they decided to cast a spell by the moonlight. Something came from the bushes and stole Moria away. While Moria was still ‘new’ she told my grandmother that she would never harm girls…but she did use girls as lures. Brushing away overgrowth, Moria’s carved stone face and Saskia’s image were visible.
The Remains of the Day © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard knew the tunnels. He had used them many years ago. He was running through them now at breakneck speed being careful not to touch the walls with his hands, the fingers still burnt to the bone. He came to the end of the tunnel and didn’t stop. He threw himself at the wall, smashing through the wood. The remains of Moria were still here, and he jammed his hands into the dust, causing his hands to heal.
He took the stake and the remaining rib. They would not use the stake on him, and the rib will track Saskia.
Too Close For Comfort ©JP/davh (2013)
Marge took her walking stick, twisted the knob…I think you need This now.
“Look,” – out of bottom support a silver tipped spike glistened in the sun. There are several ways to end the life of a vampire… A simple wooden stake would do.
At the end of the cemetery under a nondescript marker, unbeknownst to the four above, Raynard stood at Morias remains. Bone quivering in his newly fleshed hands…
Leaving the graves they passed the old pay phone – Saskia shivered – her locket fluttered.
Turning The Tide © Al Forbes 2013
It was dark when Raynard left the tunnels. He needed help. She had too many people helping her and they needed removing. He couldn’t do that alone, there were a few people that owed him favours; people that were still breathing because he allowed them to.
The phone in the graveyard was still working so he made four calls. Sometimes the scum of the earth have a use. He gave the first two people the description of Stan. He told the other two to meet him. He needed them for something special. To stop any trace, he broke the phone.
The Shot © Al Forbes 2013
He looks through the sights again, reciting a prayer. He adjusts it slightly to compensate for wind, temperature, humidity and distance.
He places a single bullet into the chamber. It is a specifically crafted incendiary round that was made for this rifle. He slides the bolt forward, closes his eyes and breathes methodically. Lifting the rifle for the last time, he looks through the cross-hairs at his prey. He pulls the trigger and watches his target’s head erupt in flames and then explode.
Nodding, he just needs to place the dress to let Raynard know that he has fulfilled his contract.
Dead Ends ©JP/davh (2013)
Crannson and Stan were not identical twins. They didn’t look anything alike. They had a strong twin connection. After escorting the ladies home – they went to town, being alerted to the death of their employee who had been *grotesquely strangled.
The police at the scene had questions they couldn’t answer. They were going to the station. They were separated. Stan was walking towards the second vehicle – when his head exploded. Crannson screamed, gripped his head, collapsed into unconsciousness.
No one on the ground noticed a red dress being hung on the fire escape or the man who put it there.
It’s The Thought That Counts @JP/davh (2013)
Marge couldn’t do anything for Stan. But she could stay with Crannson, the remaining bachelor brother. Who was unable to care for himself. The explosion of his lost connection was like losing half his brain.
Saskia was at a loss as to what to do. A makeshift memorial for Stan had been set up at the gate of the Oakwood Bed and Breakfast. So she did her best to do whatever Marge needed. Marge had asked her to stay. And she she did felt safe at the house…even when the children from the Women’s shelter left the strangely cobbled Elegraftigbra.
The Gift © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard was standing in the shadows, watching. His mind went back to earlier that day.
He saw the dress being placed and heard the screams. He knew Stan was dead and smiled. One favour now pulled. The assassin owed him nothing now; he was free of his obligation … and free for use as food. The twin’s life force also diminished in the attack. A better result than hoped.
Now, after the woman placed the toy, he crept out in the darkness and ripped the head off, placing a bullet on the stump: A warning that he was always watching.
Out of Tune? © JP/davh (2013)
The Sycamores and the Oakwoods had more family than one vampire could count. And Stan’s funeral brought them all closer – he hadn’t counted on that. Apparently he had forgotten his encounter with Grandfather Oak.
Just after leaving the bullet on the stump, his boot got caught in a tree root. As he turned to free himself he watched mystified as roots from the stump gathered and repaired the toy…tree branches bent, a leaf scooped up the bullet, carefully transferring it, until it rested on the ground beside his feet…
OK my link, the title, is tenuous at best, but I wrote my addition last week before even seeing the photo prompt…But it works. A brief intro and tie into Al’s piece: After tripping, picking up the bullet at his feet – the vampire needed sustenance…
Piano Man © Al Forbes 2013
Being so obsessed with Saskia, weakness started washing over Raynard and he needed to eat. He walked down the street and heard a piano playing in a house. A vicious grin spread over his face and he knocked on the door.
A young woman opened it and he smiled at her saying, “Is that a Chappell piano? I think the tuning is slightly out, I can fix that”
Her eyes lit up and she invited him in. He kicked the door shut behind him and sunk his teeth into her jugular. After he finished, he snapped her neck and threw her into the piano. On leaving, he set light to the house.
Memories © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard sat on the corner of the roof, overlooking the Inn, and waited. Thoughts of the past suddenly overwhelmed him as he played with Moria’s rib bone.
His prey ran past the guard and into the building behind. That didn’t bother Raynard as he watched from across the Plaza. He waited until dark and the guard changed, and then casually strolled across to the doorway, nodding to the guard as he passed. His prey turned and saw him. The resemblance to Moria was uncanny. Even more reason to kill her, he thought, as he sunk his teeth into her neck.
Neat and Tidy? © JP/davh (2013)
Saskia held back at the Inn. She didn’t feel she belonged at Stan Oakwood’s funeral. There was much pomp for the honored member of the community. It didn’t help that his twin was still incoherent in hospital. Neighbors insisted that there was no fault to stranger in their midst. And shooed her out of the kitchen.
On her way to her room, Saskia picked up the photo album that she had seen Marge holding. One of the marked pages showed a fancy dress soldier at attention. A vacation during happier times?
Suddenly she felt lonely and homesick. Where was home?
Busted ©JP/davh (2013)
Saskia was staring intently at the photo of the Royal Guard. She hadn’t heard footsteps and didn’t even notice when Marge crossed through her open door. With little patience anymore for secrets the older woman put her hand gently on Saskia’s shoulder.
“Vampires don’t age.” Marge spoke softly, “My Mother was nineteen, Grandmother was sixty-one when they travelled together, taking the bus just the two of them to see the Royal Guard…during a rest stop…That’s when she told my mother that when she was forty-five she had ‘staked’ Moria. Possibly your distant relative. Uncanny resemblance, yes?…
A Walk In The Woods © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard grinned as he watched the woman walk through the woods with the man. He braced himself on a trunk and threw himself, running as fast as he could between the trees. He extended his nails as he ran and sliced the throat of the man. He stopped, turned and leapt on the woman. He sunk his teeth into her neck and drained her just enough to paralyse her. Using his nail, he opened his arm, and forced the blood into her mouth.
Raynard knew the dizziness coming over her as she tried crawling to her camper. Tomorrow, she would help him.
Aftermath © Al Forbes 2013
She sat on the edge looking over, 200 feet up. She wanted to cry, but no tears would come. Three days ago, she and her husband were celebrating their anniversary, walking in the woods. Now, her husband graced the slab of the mortuary.
These were creatures of horror films and books. They were supposed to be loving and sparkly. Where was Edward? Where was Bill? Eric?
The moment of bliss ended when she hit the floor and realised she wasn’t dead. Raynard came over to her and told her to use her anger at the woman who had caused this.
New Heights ©JP/davh (2013)
Marge was tired full and of grief; “This isn’t a game like; “Shoots and Ladders” this is very real. I guess your own family had moved away from here long ago and that is why we had peace… for a while. It isn’t your fault. There are communities in this world that are full of magic, most people just don’t, believe. I’ve arranged for a helicopter to pick you up at noon. It will take you wherever you want to go. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”
Marge hugged Saskia, then after slipping the girl an envelope, left.
Graveyard Shift © Al Forbes 2013
Tess knelt at her husband’s grave. She wanted to cry for him. She wanted to die for him. She shooed a goat away without thinking.
Raynard grinned, knowing his manipulation was working. He strode over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. “I am truly sorry, Tess. I never meant for it to happen.” He turned her face to his knowing at this stage, she was pliable to his manipulation. “It is not permanent yet,” he lied. “She is a witch. Kill her, and we will both be free. She created me and killed my sister two weeks ago.”
Up In The Air © JP/davh (2013)
Saskia only had the clothes on her back, her purse, locket, cane and now a thick envelope, with no real time to look at the contents. It was elevenfiftyfive and the helicopter was arriving at noon. She could already feel the vibration of the blades cutting the air.
The pilot introduced himself as George Guess. He could see that she had no clue as to where to go. “Buckle up and put the headphones on so we can talk.”
Once up in the air, Sasia noticed goats grazing in the old cemetery that held Moria Westen’s grave marker, her relative?
A New Direction © JP/davh (2013)
George knew from what Marge had revealed that Saksia may not have any location in mind. He also knew that if the Vampire had any kind of talisman that could locate the young woman that almost no place would be safe. The first order of business then was to get as far away as possible and have time to see if the Elders could figure out what exactly could be done to protect the girl as well as themselves.
Drawn out of her reverie by the voice in her ear phones – The helicopter pilot said, “We’ll refuel near Oologah Lake”
Bike to BeastBike © Al Forbes 2013
As Raynard led Tess through town, he pointed to a bike attached to a tree and asked her to check on the padlock. As she pulled on the lock, he held Moria’s bone in his hand, turning until it vibrated. Noticing the weakness, he worked out the rough distance.
“She’s out of town,” he called to Tess. She looked back at him, crestfallen. “Don’t worry,” he grinned. “Let’s go for a ride on my bike. You are going to love this beast.”
They made their way to the lock up where the Beast resided. “Time to visit my home – Oologah”
Altered Zephyr ©JP/davh
The evil predator would feel an almost imperceptible relief of weight when whatever the object was, had turned to useless white ash. Through their limited connection the shaman could sense that the pursuer of the young woman in the company of, George Guess, would know something was missing.
Altered to Saskia’s situation, tribal Elders, while waiting for them had held a Ceremony of Separation. Any talisman her tormenter might have to use as a locator would be destroyed. Powerful magic had to dealt with swiftly. With such a quick and intense focus the chanting reached its zenith, the task was completed.
Night Travels © Al Forbes 2013
The journey to Oologah took many days over large open space. During these nights, they rode at maximum speed to travel as far as possible before daybreak. When the dawn came, they dismounted and hid the bike, then dug holes for protection from the sun. Raynard made sure he lay atop Tess to stop her destroying herself.
Several days into the journey, took them over a mountain. Tess squealed as Raynard’s pouch moved. Stopping the bike, he checked, and Moria’s bone was nothing but ash … Tess saw blackness in Raynard’s eyes that chilled her to the core. She began to doubt his story.
To Dream of Sugar Plum Fairies ©JP/davh
Rose spoke calmly to Saskia. Leading her through a maze of hallways to a large private room, drew a bath – motherly, set out a soft cotton nightdress, and fluffy towels on the bed. Set Saskia’s personal items on the desk. Rose told the girl that if she needed any assistance, all Saskia had to do was call – she, Rose, would not be far. Saskia could enjoy a restful sleep waking only when she wanted – she was safe here in this city.
Saskia noted there were no windows in these rooms. Not knowing where she was, perhaps the Vampire didn’t either.
Rose was going to do everything in her power to protect the girl. It was the least she could do for her friend George Guess – who had brought her to her roof via helicopter. And that included shutting out the current news, the weather – the storm that had brewed winds strong enough to knock the trimmed tree down that landed on and crushed a tourists empty car.
After her bath, Saskia had accepted tea – while she didn’t need anything to promote sleep, (Rose had added some natural relaxants) – dreamless sleep would be preferred… Resting her head, Saskia fell unconscious quickly.
After sleeping for literally several days, Saskia woke somewhat refreshed. Now it was time to see what was in that envelope that was shoved in her hand by Marge.
Rose brought everything Saskia needed into the lovely room which was like a fine hotel suite without windows…that was strange. Hopefully left no room for the Vampire to enter. Rose introduced herself as a healing specialist operating an exclusive sanctuary. That would have to do.
The envelope held several documents of various dates all for the same person, Moria Weston. Rose concluded without pause that Moria had been a vampire.
A Surprise Visit © Al Forbes 2013
Tess looked at the church and contemplated entering. The thought crossed her mind that being a vampire would pose a problem for her entering, maybe – according to some films – bursting into flames. She wondered what the vicar would say to her if she told him what she was.
Taking a breath, she walked in and opened the door. Her feet hurt, but after gritting her teeth, she walked on.
“May I help you, young lady?”
“Yes sir. I apologise for what may be about to sound absurd, I need to warn a woman that a vampire is after her….”
The Museum © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard entered the museum to meet his “special” contact. Weeks ago, he called in favours. One resulted in the death of Stan; three others performed their own tasks.
Raynard admired the necklace as the contact came in. Making his way straight over and looking in at the necklace as well, he gently slipped a piece of paper into Raynard’s pocket and walked off.
Sitting down in the midnight coffee shop with an untouched drink, Raynard opened the paper. It contained Saskia’s address – a windowless apartment.
He knew there was a reason he did not kill the helicopter pilot years ago.
The Vicar was old school. He could smell the difference of the blood of vampires and he knew the young lady before him was one. Most were peaceful, kept to themselves. There must be a bigger problem if one wanted to be helpful.
After the alert had been broadcast: “Rouge vengeful killer – Need all eyes”
Becca was careful to study strangers in her midnight cafe. Beings that didn’t drink could be suspect. Morty the museum guard had used his smartphone ‘Pale Gulliver, got ‘a package’
That was enough to signal all sanctuaries in her area – to pass along the warning.
The Surprise Package © Al Forbes 2013
Walking into the late shop, Raynard looked at the items in the pigeon-holes. Picking up items, looking at them and placing them back in their holes, he looked for something with a statement. He thought about the etch-a-sketch and writing on it, but changed his mind.
Then he saw it. Taking the photo of the woman out, he replaced it with the photo of the house where Saskia resided now.
He asked the shopkeeper to deliver it to the house by the morning. It was imperative it arrived early. Paying extra for the delivery, he wrote “To S from R”
In a Nutshell © JP/davh 2013
Rose’s back up plans were ironclad. Saskia needed to be moved, again. The crew had emptied the whole floor at as soon as the warning reached them about the ‘Pale Gulliver.’ Leaving at night was their only option. A special mirrored ambulance would take the sedated young woman to the next safe house.
Rose left some of her people on alert and guard duty to receive any messages. So, it wasn’t a total surprise when Wicchaim’s handed over a dawn delivery. Orion read the message; “To S from R” The typed return reply had been ready;simply stated; “S = SAFE”.
Relationships © JP/davh 2013
Rose knew that they would have to move several times to allude the ‘Pale Gulliver’. New York City was one option. But it would have to be after the Memorial Anniversary. Cities that never slept could be good places to hide. Places with long days and little nights as well.
Rose knew nothing of Saskia’s background. Why would one vampire protect while another sought to destroy? An old passport of a young Moria Weston looked hauntingly like the young girl in her care. The two had to be related, were they family? What would, could a blood test tell her?
The Second Call © Al Forbes 2013
Raynard’s eyes were black, and right now, he did not care. Saskia had eluded him again. Her posse of blood bags kept her just out of his reach.
An idea struck him like a train. He ran to payphone, and called his contact.
“I want a sweater of hers. Do not touch it with your hands. Get me her jumper and ALL debts, including that of your wife, are clear. I don’t care if you have to take a boat to Liberty Island, get it!” He broke the phone to avoid any trace of the call.
If I can’t get to her, I will make HER come to ME!
Murder © A Forbes 2013
The old man, Gregory, looked in the shop window. He liked walking around the empty streets at night, finding it relaxing in his ageing years. He examined his reflection, looking at wrinkles. Laughter lines, he called them.
He suddenly felt cold so changed his view to behind him, and seeing nothing there, turned around. A man stood there, covered Gregory’s mouth with a gloved hand and slit his throat. Gregory was vaguely aware of the man laying him down, drinking his blood, then darkness.
Raynard gently took a fibre from Saskia’s sweater from a bag, laying it on the body before walking away.
Witness © JP/davh 2013
With the ‘Pale Gulliver’ alert in full swing Sanctuary pulled out all the stops. While they couldn’t possibly have eyes everywhere, they did have eyes in some very unique places.
It was almost difficult to stay in character, but with years of experience being a live mannequin Prudence Wainwright couldn’t wait to post her report. Seeing him and witnessing the scene so close – she would be able to derail any suspicions that whatever evidence he had placed on the body wouldn’t hold up in court. Thankfully Sanctuary had some very uniquely skilled assets and contacts. Could they catch the Vampire?
Chagrin Challenge © JP/davh
Saskia had no idea where she was. At this point she was unsure of who she was. How did life get thrown into chaos – it was all because of secrets. She felt like a contestant on a gameshow where the host says pick from three doors. One holds a gag gift, the second a small appliance and the third a life changing prize. The envelope that Marjorie Oakwood ‘gifted’ her with only begged for more answers to questions that seemed endless.
How did being related to Moria Weston make her a target for a rogue vampire? ‘Normal’ had turned inside out.
A Deadly Choice © A Forbes 2013
Choices. Tess wrestled with her demons. Anger seeped into her, as did a growing hatred for everything with a heartbeat. What gives them the right to walk around in the daytime, living, breathing, and having fun? Why did she have to suffer? In her mind, the choice of three doors stood in front of her:
Using the red door meant she would go to aid Raynard.
Using the blue door and she would go to the church and ask for help.
Using the yellow door, and she would sit on the roof to watch her final sunrise.
She chose … RED
Bedlam At the Beach © JP/davh
Saskia felt like it had been for ever since she’d seen the sun. This temporary shelter wasn’t far from a different type of haven and even though she didn’t know what shoreline it was – Rose and the small entourage packed a picnic lunch and she was glad for the breath of salt air.
The two gulls fighting seemed to represent her inner turmoil. It seemed her instincts wanted her to meet with this Raynard, this creature, the vampire and just settle the score. Be done with it – what ever the result.
But that was going to happen soon, was it?
Ambush © A Forbes 2013
Tess heard the commotion as she made her way to Raynard. Rounding the corner, she spotted two men attacking him with knives and stakes. She wanted to stand back and watch, but compulsion bade her aid him. Hearing Raynard’s suggestions in her mind, Tess ran forward and leapt thirty feet in the air, landing on one of the assailants with her extended nails slicing through his spinal cord.
Raynard’s left arm hung limply at his side with smoke erupting from his shoulder. It did not stop him finishing the other assailant though. Tess pulled the stake out of his shoulder, her hands burning, as Raynard let out a fearsome howl.
As I didn’t have the words to describe everything, one of the dead bodies had an accurate sketch of Raynard with the name “Pale Gulliver” and the reason the stakes burned and steamed, was because they had been soaked in Holy Water.
Staged? © JP/davh
It wasn’t an act. Living with magic – having to disguise it, that was the act. What did people really know about those things that they didn’t want to understand. The very real existence of other worldly planes.
Rose had always been sensitive, a medium of sorts. When she first found out about vampires it was just another addition to the long list of supernatural beings that roamed freely with solid people. And it seemed that each type of life mimicked humans and their emotions. Just maybe though it was the other way around. Humans copied fairy, troll and spirit attributes.
Gathering Information © A Forbes 2013
Keyboard pieces lay across the floor. It had not taken Raynard long to convince the man to let Tess and himself in. As a friend of some of Saskia’s friends, he needed to withdraw the information from the any way possible.
Raynard looked around the room at the blood and bodies as Tess wiped her mouth after having fed to gather the information needed. Tess used knives to hide the damage inflicted by their teeth whilst Raynard turned the power off and removed fuses so they could leave in complete darkness with no witnesses.
Their next target now had a name. Rose.
Dangerous Drip © JP/davh
Safety had been breached. Everyone knew what had to be done. Rose needed protection now. Everett knew he was going to be a false decoy so he left the last safe house knowing that he would never see his friends again – he just hoped he might live… though it was unlikely. He went to the town where the vampire had been seen last and raced through unfamiliar alleys.
Meanwhile, at the new safe location the delicate process of giving Rose a complete transfusion had begun. She had done this once before – though the last time she had escaped a werewolf.
Getting The Drop © A Forbes 2013
Raynard ran across the rooftop, glancing down at the man walking up the alleyway. He knew Tess was nearby with a silenced pistol awaiting his move. Both ways were clear as the man hurried his steps, constantly looking behind him. Raynard made his move and dropped down the four stories, and as he made contact with the man, the street light popped and shattered.
Raynard placed a nail in the man’s chin and drew blood. “Where is Rose?” A brief tussle took place as Raynard spilled the man’s blood and extracted information.
Now knowing Rose’s location, he leapt straight up to the roof.
Who’s Afraid Of The … © A Forbes 2013
Tess walked through the door, knowing that for now, she could avoid Raynard having his temper tantrum. Since finding out Saskia moved on, and the last person he tortured was nothing but a decoy, he was in a murderous rage, and felt to be unsafe herself.
The building said “No Trespassing” on the outside so she felt most people would not enter, and she could avoid killing anyone unnecessarily. The odd rat could be a blood donor for her.
She smiled at the thought that Saskia managed to elude Raynard and …
… then she heard the deep guttural snarling growl.
Out of the Shadows © A Forbes 2014
Tess backed away from the shadows, terrified of the sounds. As she strained her eyes, the street-lights glinted off a pair of eyes set close together and low to the ground.
A snout came into view showing the biggest, most vicious looking wolf that she ever laid her eyes on. Tess reached the wall and found she had nowhere else to go. Then the beast spoke to her.
“If you are not a vampire, then I am a dog in a tree. You smell like one, but your scent is not yet evil. Who, or what, are you?”
Tess realised that if vampires really existed, then so could werewolves.
Lights Out © A Forbes 2014
He watched her from across the street, and saw the lights outside her house. He knew this one would be good. He watched her as she moved room to room, and then he pressed a button on his remote, causing all of the lights, outside and in, to extinguish at once.
Pocketing the controller, he strode across the road as she opened the door and looked down the street. She flicked the switch up and down, testing the lights. He called to her, politely asking if he could help, stating he worked as an electrician. Inviting him in, she showed him the fuse box.
Then Raynard pounced.
Sunrise © A Forbes 2014
Leaning against the door, Raynard breathed an imaginary sigh of relief when he heard the tractor thunder past. He looked down at his hand and saw it was still smoking where the light from the sunrise caught it. The pain did not dampen his spirits. After several months, he finally had a lead on Saskia.
He pushed himself off the door and heard someone in the next room. Creeping along the wall, he looked in a mirror to see through the door. He saw the house cleaner making the bed, looked down at his hand, and grinned. Five minutes later, his hand looked as good as new.
Mistaken Identity © A Forbes 2014
Raynard stood solidly in the rising elevator, holding a body by the collar. He smiled, knowing that very soon, another of Saskia’s helpers would die by his hand.
Stepping off at the fifth floor, and finding the correct apartment, he held the body facing away from the peephole and knocked on the door.
“Who is it?”
As the door opened, Raynard dropped the body, grabbed Crannson and threw him against the wall with all of his strength, hearing multiple bones smash at the same time. Then he tore the head from the neck. He swore as he realised this was not his intended target. Crannson had escaped.
Enter Stage Centre © A Forbes 2014
The stage lay quiet after the latest show. Two figures stood in the shadows as the stage-manager walked out onto the boards, looking up at the lights.
One figure stepped out and silently approached the stage. She leapt up and landed behind the manager with no sound.
She stood behind him, looking up at the same light, and then suddenly spoke, “looks good.” The stage-manager shrieked and the woman giggled and waved her trainee over to her. “I have a present for you young one.”
“Thank you Moria”, Raynard said and bit into the neck of the stage-manager.
Tell Laura I Love Her © A Forbes 2014
The duo played their slow rendition of Tell Laura I Love Her, which caused the crowd to turn to their drinks and conversations. One man fed his way through the tables leaving barely a breeze in his wake and moving with such grace that no patron noticed him. He seemed intent on finding someone as his eyes scanned the tables, the bar, and the shadows. Walking up to the bar to order a drink and slid several coins across the bar. Holding the drink in his hand, Raynard heard the words “pale Gulliver”. He listened to the direction the voices went and followed them out of the building.
*Pale Gulliver is a code name Jules uses for people who recognise vampires.
Singing the ‘Pale Gulliver’ Blues © JP/davh
Raynard followed voices out of the bar. There were several men and a couple of women. They had to be connected to the network that Rose had set up to alert her people of the supernatural. They may not have even seen him. They may have just been reviewing information.
It would be easy enough to pick one of them off…but there was an odd stench coming from a very lovey dovey pair. The vampires’ desire to get information about his prey Saskia had led him too close for comfort to werewolves! Raynard folded himself back into the shadows…
A Vampire And A Werewolf Walk Into A Waiting Room … (The Trials of Tess Part One)© A Forbes 2014
Tess still felt nervous around the Werewolf, Zeke, but she no longer felt the urge to run. Now, they sat in the waiting room of the shaman’s surgery. They gave no names or history before entry. Zeke wanted the shaman to rid Tess of her evil before it gained a hold.
The door opened, and a pungent aroma from the Shamans scented mystical candles rolled out, leaving what seemed to a trail of dead air behind it. Tess lay on the table as Zeke and the Shaman strapped her down. She knew she would rather die than turn evil …
The Trials Of Tess Part Two © A Forbes 2014
As Tess felt the wax drip onto her naked body and heard the Shaman chanting, she closed her eyes and thought of a time she spent beside the sea with her husband, clearing the area of debris and then basking in the sunlight.
Pain racked her body as the Shaman sprayed water on her, and she screamed, writing in agony. Her neck arched and her head tilted back, her lips receding and her two canine teeth protruding seeking blood to ease the pain.
Zeke made a grab for her hand, but the Shaman glared at him. He could not interfere.
The Trial of Tess (Part Three) © A Forbes 2014
“Sheep? Why are there sheep? Grass? That’s not right. I don’t remember grass!” Suddenly intense pain brought Tess back to the present. She let out a long, painful, scream as a light wispy smoke exuded from every pore. The pain from every inch of her body felt like a thousand knives pushing through her at once. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, as she could not withstand any more agony. She slumped onto the table, falling into unconsciousness, as the Shaman staggered into the wall.
“Is it done?” Zeke asked him.
“Her dominant personality will control her now,” the Shaman replied, nodding.
The Trials Of Tess (Part Four) © A Forbes 2014
Tess awoke with a foggy mind to find herself still strapped to the table. She glanced around the room, becoming aware of her nudity. She tried to move her legs in an attempt to protect herself from the eyes of the two men in the room. Zeke took off his jacket and laid it across her. She looked at his muscular physique and smiled. Zeke felt his face flush and folded his arms across his chest.
The shaman carefully untied her legs and wrists, keeping a careful eye on her at all times. After the last binding slipped away, her dominant personality showed itself.
A Pain In The Neck © A Forbes 2014
Raynard watched the people walking through the arch, as he looked for someone to feed on. He did not want a charmed person who rapidly forgot the encounter; this time he wanted the scent of fear, to feel the terror as the life drained from his prey. He wanted to be the last thing they saw.
Ninety minutes later, barely a person walked through the archway, so he secreted himself in the shadows. Then a lone man walked through, listening to music on his headphones.
Five minutes later, Raynard laid the body against the wall after healing all marks on the neck.
Lost and Found © A Forbes 2014
Sitting at his table, poring over sheets of paper, telephone transcripts, text messaged and so many other tiny breadcrumbs, he let out a non-existent breath and closed his eyes to focus, to calm himself.
“Patience”, he told himself. He stood and stretched his legs and lit another candle. Sitting back down, he picked up his laptop and started entering data again. Looking for numbers, looking for anything, any kind of sign, he tried to keep calm and failing. He made his hand into a fist when his laptop flashed and a grin spread across his face.
Raynard had found Saskia.
All Roads Come From Rome © A Forbes 2014
Raynard sat at the table and looked down at the corpse beside him, having just satiated his thirst. He picked up the chopsticks and his mind flew backwards. Sitting around the dinner table, he pretended to eat so he did not look out-of-place with the other guests. The aura coming off the woman seated across from him felt all too familiar. It suddenly struck him and he stood fast. The girl squealed and ran, throwing a chair in front of him causing him to stumble and he tipped over the balcony railing.
That was the first moment he laid eyes on Saskia.
Flight Plan © A Forbes 2014
The plane took off in complete darkness and he laid his head back on the rest, closing his eyes. His fine black gloved hands on the armrests. The woman in the seat next to him patted his hand telling him everything would be fine. He drew his hand away instantly as if burned, claiming he had a skin condition. The woman apologised, and looked out of the window at the wing.
She asked him where he was going, he replied that he had a woman he wanted to surprise. She smiled as Raynard covered his eyes with an eye-mask.
Too Many Thorns for One Rose ©JP/davh
With so many avenues of communication there was going to be a slip up. Rose tried to stay in command of the situation. There was a communique that werewolf named Zeke had rescued one of Raynard’s victims. The young woman was strong… what had been her dominant personality – had anyone told Rose?
Rose’s transfusion was successful, though it left her feeling a bit foggy. The little blind girl Cassidy ran to the older woman crying. “I saw him, the nasty man who is after Saskia. He was in an airplane.”
Raynard had to be headed here. Time to move again!
Kumbaya © A Forbes 2014
On the outskirts of Vancouver, Stuart, Rose and Sarah sat around their campfire telling tales and trying to frighten each other. They heard a sound from the shadows, and Stuart picked a flaming stick from the fire. A deep voice came from just out of their sight apologising for startling them, and a six-foot tall man came into the glow. He asked if he could sit with them for a while. After looking at each other and the girls nodding, Stuart agreed, but told him to sit on the other side of the fire. As he moved to the other side, Raynard ran his tongue over his teeth. He would feed well tonight.
Time For Thinking © A Forbes 2014
Time just falls away, like stones dropping from a height. He chuckled at that analogy as he ran his fingers over the stones and shells attached to the board.
140 years may seem a long time to mortals, but to creatures like him, it didn’t matter.
For 140 years the face haunted him. The face of the woman who took his life. He already dealt with the majority of them, now there were only two left. Raynard now fought with his own conscience. He knew he would kill Saskia; that was already in place. But what of her four year old daughter she kept hidden?
Saskia’s head was spinning with all the travelling she had been doing. All she wanted to do was escape from what her family had called her biggest mistake. But to her was her best creation ever. Though she had given up pretty much all rights to her daughter, who was now four. She had chosen her friend from college who had met and married a gent who was from another country – they would be moving to his home town. Knowing that her friend would be a good mother, better than she could be – since she didn’t even know who the girls father was…
Saskia blamed her mother. Who had insisted she join a college sorority. She thought she was being smart when she found a small perhaps even unsanctioned group. The hazing was well a bit hazy. After deciding to switch colleges and majors and even partially change her name to distance herself from her own family… she found out she was pregnant. Her friend from college was an older woman who wasn’t able to have children. And the two of them worked out the details of the private birth and how they would keep in touch.