Feb 5, 2011

Chapter 10 (Connections)


Saturday 2:40 a.m 
Carolyn and Maria had a blooming friendship. They related to each other, and Carolyn had grown to trust Maria more and more as time went by. Perhaps because Maria always seemed to give her the honest answers to her questions, good or bad. Maria didn't make it seem like being a Vampire had no downside, and focused on the reality of it all. Carolyn thought she had a very motherly attitude towards the situation. Always ready to answer anything and help her out.
  "So you're saying I can't have a child of my own?" Carolyn asked again. The current topic was things that made Vampires different than Humans.

  "It's impossible for us to give birth, how can the dead create life? We take life to add to our numbers. It's a disease, but the best disease one can have." she said in jest and that seemed as good a description as any for Carolyn. Since she did improve physically, Caroyln was now a super athlete. Able to run at amazing speeds and crash through doors with one swift punch or kick. No other 'disease' did that. "Also, I've looked like this since I've been turned."

  "I'll live forever and never physically age a day? I'll look the same...like this forever?" Carolyn asked, a bit worried. Her fear came from possibly having her hair cut then never growing back.
  "Hmm sorta. As long as you remain healthy yes. As long as you drink you'll feel and look alive. Disguise in plain sight is our greatest weapon, besides even if you don't drink you will just dry up and freeze. Forever remaining a statue until someone has the means to free you. A horrible experience from what I've heard." Carolyn shuddered at the thought.
  "So...umm, when were you turned and how was it?" Carolyn asked reluctant at first. She didn't want to thread on personal territory, but her curiosity got the better of her and she wondered who was the oldest and strongest? She knew that the oldest are usually the strongest because they have fed more, which is what Marius told her. They also had some amazing abilities, and almost seemed liked deities.

  "Hmmm." Maria said digging through her mind thinking back. Way back. "Around 1793. It was a tumultuous period I grew up in. I was turned against my will much like you. My Brother thought it was the only way for us both to survive. I've lost my entire family except for him." she said so casually that it was frightening. Carolyn realized that over time she would outlive everyone too, everyone except other Vampires. "I was scared at first, maybe confusion is the better word to use. But it helps a lot when you have someone there to help you along the way." she smiled, a sort of subtle way of saying that they were here to help out.

  "Over time." Maria said getting up from her seat and moving over to what looked to be a coffee maker and spoke again. She spoke softly, but Carolyn and her improved hearing could pick it up easily. "You either accept it or you don't. We were in France during my turning, I have suspicion that my brother was a Vampire maybe a few years before me. Either way I thank him for it, if you know your history this would place me in the middle of a historical revolution. I would not have survived if I were human." Maria took a deep sigh as she thought back on her violent history. Her once humble but happy family.

  "It's alright Maria, you don't have to explain. I just-never mind sorry for bringing it up." Carolyn apologized. Maria's mood sure had changed and Carolyn thought she heard a sniffle, but it only took a moment for Maria to land back on her feet. She turned around holding a tea cup with only her index finger wrapped around it's handle.
  "No reason to be sorry dear. I welcome all questions, we have nothing to hide from you." she smiled again as she held out the cup. Carolyn didn't even have to sniff to pick up it's scent. The honeyed smell that filled her nostrils could only be one thing. Blood. "It does have a sweet smell to it doesn't it?" Maria asked and Carolyn barely nodded her head to agree. "Although of course Humans would disagree." Maria placed the cup gently on the table in front of Carolyn. The young vampire took no time to grab it by the handle and take a sip. Carolyn was past hesitation. She had made the decision already. If she were to live and live happily she needed to drink.

  "Mmmm!" Carolyn said amazed as it washed over her tongue. This was better than any she had before. The blood she drank at Alice's shack was more bland, but she enjoyed it since it was her first experience. The type she was fed during her time here to help recover from dying had more flavor but still lacked something. Whatever it lacked, this had it. This was it. "What's the difference?" Carolyn asked referring to her drink that she had nearly finished.

  "You've noticed." Maria said with a proud grin covering her face."This is fresh."
  Carolyn placed the cup down gently on the table and could feel the guilt building up inside of her. She was drinking fresh stuff now, not some donors blood from the hospital...but someone Else's blood. Someone who had just died possibly? Someone still living? Maybe they had a room with living prisoners like a human farm? Carolyn shook away the thoughts as if she continued asking these questions she would throw up at the thought of something like that. "Fresh?" she asked her voice trembling, afraid of the answer Maria would give her. If there was ever a time for Maria to lie to her it would be now.
  "Yes, don't worry the donors are willing. We'll have to show you it sometime. All of our donors are willing of course. The blood you drink here is guilt free." she added a wink which only made things worse in Carolyn's mind.

  Carolyn looked down into the now empty cup only to find confusion. Two sides of her battled. She wanted to enjoy the drink, maybe even ask for more. She would have, if it was the hospital blood she was fed earlier. That was discarded blood, from people who didn't need it. Although she felt guilty then about drinking it because it was supposed to go to others who did need it, now it was like she was contributing to someones death.

  "We should probably start calling your friends and family. It's been a couple of days since your silence, they will want to know you are okay. Remember that you can't tell them anything-"
  "About the whole Vampire thing, yeah got it." Carolyn let out a deep sigh preparing herself for her next question. 'She did say it was guilt free' Carolyn thought. "Can I have one more cup of that?" Maria smiled again and began to pour her another cup.

  "You can have two more if you want."
***

Saturday 9:30 a.m
  "Well..." Hollie said beaten, trying to think of a reason to to convince the police to at least try to look for her friend. She knew it was only a few days, they kept telling her that but still. They had to at least see things her way.  "She just disappears after inviting me over, how can you guys not see anything wrong with that?" she said distraught, the officer went to rebut but Hollie did not let him. "Plus she left her phone on the ground? Who leaves their cell phone lying on the ground like that." she argued but she could tell nothing was going to sway his mind.

  "Look Miss." he said clumsily, preparing to give Hollie an excuse she did not want to hear. "These things take time." Hollie grunted frustratedly and the officer sympathized with her at least. "You're right, something isn't right about it but the bosses orders."

  Hollie was shocked, this should have been national news yet they wanted to act like everything was alright? Her friend was incredibly popular, for the police to blow her off like this...Something was terribly wrong and she had the growing feeling that it was too late to save her friend. "Okay well it sounds like I need to talk to your boss." she said determined and the officer shrugged as he began to back away.
  "Sure go ahead. I'm not going to stop you and I can't imagine anyone who would. Until then take care of yourself." he tipped his hat and walked to his police car.

  As the car pulled off Hollie stared blankly into the distance. Going over mentally where to look next or who to ask. She was going to talk to the police chief or sheriff or whatever the top rank was as soon as possible but she had a feeling it would just be a waste of time.  Another possibility was a private detective but she doubted that would get her closer to finding Carolyn."What to do, what to-" the ringtone to her phone interrupted. Quickly she pulled it out and skimmed over the text on the screen of her phone but not recognizing the number. It was an unknown caller.

  "Hello?" Hollie said curiously.
  "Hollie? Hey! How's it going?"

  Hollie's jaw slightly dropped when she heard the familiar voice. "Carolyn? Where are you? Are you okay? Do you need help?" Hollie said rushing the questions out so fast it was difficult for Carolyn to understand.

  "What? I'm fine, never been better. I just wanted to let you know I'm doing great. Sorry about leaving you like that. Hey, I gotta go talk to you soon." after that the only conversation Hollie could hold would be one with the dial tone. Her jolt of excitement became a barrage of fear. Something was wrong, she was sure of it now. She looked back at the number, glared at it. Trying to get as much information out of it as possible. The only thing she could tell was the area code was in state, so not far.
***

Saturday 6:01 p.m
  When Alice approached the humble Mongoose headquarters she could feel that danger was in the air tonight. Something wasn't right. The sun had began to descend from the sky and it was just too quiet around here for her tastes. There weren't many break periods for Mongoose, Vampires were naturally bad and always broke the rules with the thought that they could get away with it. Those were Alice's favorite targets, they were usually too cocky for their own good and Alice loved to destroy confidence.

  As soon as Alice approached the door to knock on it, it swung open revealing Jake. He seemed to be in a inspired mood and welcomed Alice with open arms. "Ah welcome back Alice!" he chirped as she stepped into the house. She casually greeted him with a curt nod of the head before walking right past him and onto the kitchen.

   "So umm...what have you been up to? You've been busy the last few days." there was a hint of suspicion in his voice. After all he had to consider that maybe Nari was right, it was an Elder who assembled the group, it only made sense to put a spy in the group just to make sure. Alice fit the role like a glove. She was an excellent combatant, her quirkiness was consistent enough not to draw suspicion initially and she did a good job at only being seen when she wanted to.

  "Nothing." she responded before adding a yawn. "Well something...well I told you it was personal. Stuff from the past." she wasn't sure he bought that but she also didn't care. It was partially true, Carolyn was part of her past or at least reminded her of it. "I'm tired." that was completely true. She had been up on her feet, fighting off an ancient Vampire, turning a relative and taking her somewhere relatively safe. Alice needed a rest.

  "Hmm I see." he didn't hide his uncertainty about her reply. Jake was like that, very transparent. It's what made him a good leader. "I hope everything is alright with you....we have a new prisoner." he said changing the subject.
  "Oh?"
  "Yeah, Nari. She wouldn't accept my offer so she'll pay for it until she accepts it."

  "That reminds me, I do have some unfinished business with her friend. Sebastian." the fight played back in her mind. Alice didn't have any problems beating the ancient and if it weren't for Carolyn running away she would have finished him right then. He was making things more difficult for her, getting in the way.
  "Hmmm?" Jake's brows raised and he chuckled a bit. "I'm sure I told you to get rid of him. It's been a few days now. Why the delay?"

  "Ugh!" Alice rolled her eyes. "Eventually I'll get him, don't worry about it." she was beyond a little frustrated. She hated giving prey a second chance. More time to plan, to scheme, to prepare a counter-attack. If anyone was disappointed that Sebastian was still living it was her. Ironically enough she had to thank Sebastian. If he wasn't hanging around Carolyn's house she would have never met the Carolyn face to face and discovered she had a living relative. She had seen the woman on television a couple of times but never thought twice about that possibility, she was sure every bloodline connected to hers met it's end.

  "Worried? I'm not worried about him doing anything to get in the way. He's just a pest after all, we can get rid of him when we feel like it. I'm worried that maybe your talent has been slipp-" as he spoke the sound of broken glass sent both of their mental alarms flaring.  "Someone's breaking in?" he asked rhetorically as Alice shrugged. She seemed to be more bothered than scared. Although she knew it wasn't a human burglar, since she would have been able to smell that. "From upsta-"

  "Well well well." the high pitched tone could be heard as light footsteps trotted down along with a familiar giggle. "Look kiddos, I know you are hiding Nari somewhere in here. I want!" Jake could be heard growling. He knew that voice, that giggle from anywhere. Nourbese.

  "Dammit." he cursed to himself. This was the last thing they needed. "Nourbese." She had a bad habit of poking her nose in others business just for the fun of it. Which is why many guess she was kicked out of the council. "Look, stay out of this. Nari is part of something muc-"
   "We should listen to her." Alice interrupted but Jake immediately shook his head.

  "Be quiet Alice, I am the leader here. Nari stays, we need her for the upcoming war." Alice rolled her eyes. This was the danger she could feel, she didn't have the energy to take on the likes of Nourbese. She hoped Jake was willing to fight this time. "I'm not afraid of you little girl. You're no longer in the council, you have no backup and you have no respect from me. You've always been an annoying little brat, and I'm sure there will be celebrations once you're gone from good." he said talking down to her as she usually did to others.

  The small girl whistles "I knew this would be fun."several other footsteps could be heard coming down the steps.
  "We should have listened to her. At least three others." Alice said blandly but her warning was too late now.