Many Bloody Returns Part 6

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The woods received her with love. She could never go back to her mother's house. Not now.

She hurtled along the path and then left the trail, breaking off into rough terrain. She raced through the woods, leaped fallen

branches, and exulted in the night wind whispering around her. Her tears continued to fall but they were no longer merely tears of sorrow. Her mind whirled in a storm of emotions, but beneath them all, the hunger remained.

Surrendering to the forest and the night, she stripped her clothes off as she ran, paying no attention to where she left them. The moonlight and the breeze caressed her naked flesh and now the warmth returned to her at last. She felt herself burning with want. With need. And then she could feel her skin hanging on her the same way that clothes did, and she reached up to the edges of her mouth and pulled it wide like a hood, slipping it back over her head.

Donika slid from her skin and, at last, took flight, returning to the night sky after sixteen very long years. Reborn.



She flew through the trees, thinking again of the boy she desired, thinking that maybe he would be inside her tonight after all, and they would both get what they wanted.

Her mouth opened in a low, mournful cry. It was a tune she'd always known, a night song that had been in her heart all along.

I Was a Teenage Vampire Bill Crider Bill Crider is the author of fifty published novels and numerous short stories. He won the Anthony Award for best first mystery novel in 1987 for Too Late to Die and was nominated for the Shamus Award for best first private-eye novel for Dead on the Island. He won the Golden Duck award for best juvenile science fiction novel for Mike Gonzo and the UFO Terror. He and his wife, Judy, won the best short story Anthony in 2002 for their story "Chocolate Moose." His latest novel is Murder Among the OWLS. Check out his home page at www.billcrider.com.

If you really want to hear about it, which a lot of people do, being naturally curious, you probably want to know where I was born, and what I was like as a kid, and how I wound up living (in a manner of speaking) under a bridge, and all that Catcher in the Rye kind of c.r.a.p, but I just don't feel like talking about any of that right now, and anyway it's not all that interesting, to tell you the truth.

I'll tell you how I got to be a G.o.ddam vampire, though. That's pretty interesting. It was all because of my sister, Kate, who you'd think would know better, for Crissake, because she was practically a high school graduate, but then there aren't a lot of geniuses in my family, including me, although I did make a pretty good grade in a civics cla.s.s one year.

Kate can't take all the blame. If she'd never seen those movies, it might have been different. It wasn't my fault, though. I was just an innocent bystander.

Anyway, being a vampire isn't as much fun as you might think it is. I mean, you probably think it's all about the cape and the gleaming white fangs and the ripping good times you could have after the G.o.ddam sun goes down. Or maybe you don't think that, but that's what I thought, which shows how much I knew because I was wrong. Dead wrong, just to throw in a little vampire humor there.

What happened is that my sister was planning this big party for her eighteenth birthday, which happened to be on Halloween, and she wanted it to be really special. My crummy parents said she could do whatever she pleased, which is what they always said when she asked for anything because they liked her best. You probably think that's just sour grapes, but it's not that. It's just the way it was, and it never bothered me because I was used to it, after all.

What she wanted was a vampire.

"Like Christopher Lee," Kate said. She has this way of brus.h.i.+ng her hair back out of her eyes when she talks, which is frankly pretty irritating, but she thinks it's cute and that the boys like it. I don't know about other boys, but it just seems phony to me. "Like that movie we saw last year, Horror of Dracula."

She went to a lot of movies like that. I Was a Teenage Werewolf. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. But she liked stuff with vampires best. They'd never made one called I Was a Teenage Vampire or she would have been first in line.

"You know," Kate said. "Remember what the ads said? 'The chill of the tomb won't leave your blood for hours.'"

She tried to say the last part in a deep, creepy voice but it wasn't deep, and it wasn't creepy. It was just phony.

"You don't have to laugh," she said, because I couldn't help it. "It's your stupid friend Binky who says he knows a real vampire."

"Binky wouldn't know a vampire if it bit him in the a.s.s," I said, which I knew was a pretty crude thing to say, even to my sister,

but I was getting tired of the way she was brus.h.i.+ng at her hair. Besides, I was wrong, as it turned out. "And he's not my friend."

"Well, he's certainly not my friend," she said. "And you don't have to use that kind of language."

Binky wasn't really anybody's friend. He was just this guy that was always coming around, wanting to be somebody's friend and

making cracks like he thought they were jokes, but n.o.body ever laughed at them. He had a pointy nose that was always dripping, and big sad eyes, and hair that he needed to wash a whole lot more often than he did. He hardly ever smiled because he had pretty dingy teeth and he didn't use his tube of Ipana any too regularly, at least as far as I could tell.

He'd told me about this vampire that he'd met. It was supposed to be this big hairy secret just between me and him because we were such good friends. That's what he thought, anyway. But Kate had wormed it out of me. She has a way of doing that. I never should have told her, but I did, and there was nothing I could do to change that.

"I guess if anybody knows a real vampire, it's Binky," Kate said. Her name's really Katherine, but she thinks Kate is

sophisticated or something. "Anyway, he says he does, and that's what I need to make the party perfect."

She should never have gone to see that movie, is what I think. Now she had the idea that a party with the girls dressed up in filmy nightgowns and guys looking like Igor or whatever his name was would be just the ticket. But she said it just wouldn't work unless she had a vampire to liven things up.

"Maybe Dad could be the vampire," I said. "He likes to dress up and stuff. He even has a tuxedo."

"That's so pa.s.se," she said, brus.h.i.+ng back her hair. I thought what she ought to do was cut off her bangs, but n.o.body ever asked me about stuff like that. "And Dad would make a terrible vampire."

She was right about that. He was more the Mr. Peepers type, and he seemed to be getting more that way all the time, which might

have been because our mother was a lot like Rip Van Winkle's wife in that story we had to read at school.

"So that's why you have to talk to Binky," Kate said. This time she flipped her hair out of her eyes by tossing her head, which was

even more irritating than if she'd used her hand. "If there's a real vampire around, it would make the party just perfect. Will you do it?" "A real vampire would be pretty dangerous," I said. I didn't even believe in vampires, and I thought Binky was full of c.r.a.p. I was just trying to get her to shut up. I should have known better. n.o.body could get Kate to shut up.

"We'll have garlic and crosses and holy water," she said. "It won't be dangerous."

"That stuff never works in the movies."

"You don't know anything. You don't really like those movies. You think they're not intellectual."

"I never said that," I told her, and it was the truth, even if she was right about what I thought.

"You didn't have to say it. You sit around and observe everybody, like you think you're better than us. But you're not. You just

like to think so."

I couldn't remember ever winning an argument with Kate, and I knew she'd never let up (she was a lot like our mother that way)

so I finally said I'd talk to Binky if she'd do my geometry problems for a week. Not that I couldn't do them myself, which I could, but I had to get something from her or she'd think she had the upper hand on me, which she didn't, not really.

She thought she was a whiz at geometry, so she said she'd do the problems, and of course that meant I had to talk to Binky whether I wanted to or not.

Our high school was a big redbrick two-story building, and it smelled like that red stuff the janitors throw on the wooden floors before they sweep them. I've never figured out how that stuff is supposed to clean the floors, but I kind of liked the smell of it. I actually even liked the school. It's just most of the students and faculty that I couldn't stand.

When I went to school the next morning, not long before the first bell, the girls were all talking about how they'd seen Frankie Avalon sing "Venus" on American Bandstand the day before. That was their intellectual level, for Crissake, watching American Bandstand and liking Frankie Avalon. The guys were mostly farting and picking their noses, which was about their intellectual level. They didn't like Frankie Avalon any more than I did, though; I'll say that for them.

I couldn't find Binky until Fred Burley told me that he was shut in his locker. Binky was small and weak, so some wit was always doing that to him.

"Who did it this time?" I asked. "Harry Larrimore?"

Harry was usually the one who did it. He'd done a few things to me, too, including giving me a terrific wedgie just before geometry cla.s.s one day. Harry was a lot bigger than I was, so there was nothing I could do to him. I just went on into the cla.s.s. I had trouble walking into the room, and everybody got a big laugh out of it, even Mrs. Delaney, the teacher, though she tried to hide it.

"I don't think anybody put Binky in his locker," Fred told me. "I think he just likes it in there."

I didn't see how that was possible. Who could like being closed up in a little dark s.p.a.ce like that? There was no use in trying to explain that to Fred, though. If it didn't have something to do with a ball, Fred had trouble figuring it out.

I eluded the teachers and sneaked up to the second floor where the soph.o.m.ore lockers were lined up along the wall across from the study hall. The lockers were about four feet tall and painted gunmetal gray. They had little louvers at the top. I think the louvers were put there as a safety measure in case somebody left his stinky gym shoes inside but those vents were a lifesaver for some of the kids who got locked inside.

n.o.body else was in the hall because we weren't supposed to go up on the second floor before the bell. We might get into all kinds of unsupervised trouble. Anyway, it was very quiet in the hall, but I heard a noise coming from locker number 146, which was Binky's. It wasn't loud. It sounded as if someone might be reading a book in there and flipping the pages. That couldn't be it, though. Binky was weird, but not weird enough to try to read in the dark.

I stood in front of the locker for a few seconds and listened. "Binky?" I said.

"Carleton?"

That's my crummy name, Carleton, and I try to get people to call me Carl, which isn't so bad, but n.o.body will do it, the b.a.s.t.a.r.ds. They'll call my sister Kate, but they won't even give me the time of day.

"Yeah," I said. "It's me." I know I should have said, "It is I," because old Mrs. Shanklin, our English teacher, keeps telling us how we should use correct grammar at all times if we want people to respect us, but I think it sounds phony as h.e.l.l to tell you the truth, so I never do it. "Were you expecting somebody else?"

He couldn't have been because n.o.body else ever came by to let him out of his locker. I didn't come by because he was my friend, though, because he wasn't. It's just that I couldn't treat anybody like the rest of the morons did him.

"What do you want?" he said.

"I need to ask you a favor."

"I'm busy right now, Carleton. I have a test in first period."

"You're studying in the locker?"

"That's right. Go away and leave me alone."

That's the thanks I got for being the one who tried to look out for him. I started to tell him what an ungrateful b.a.s.t.a.r.d he was, but

I thought better of it.

"It's about the vampire," I said. I figured that would get his attention.

There was a dull thud, like a book being slammed shut. "You know I can't talk about him, Carleton. I told you that. Now go

away. I need to study, and I can't be late for cla.s.s. If I get another tardy, Old Man Harkness will give me detention for a month."

Binky got a lot of tardies, mainly because he was shut up in his locker so much. I did my best to help, but I couldn't remember to go by and let him out every single day.

"I'm going to open the door, Binky. Just don't run off."

"I wish you'd just go away."

"Well, I'm not going anywhere. And you better not, either."

I'd let Binky out so many times that he didn't even have to tell me the combination to his lock. I'd memorized it long ago. But this

time, I didn't need the combination because the lock was missing. All anybody needed to do was lift up on the handle and the

door would come open. Binky could have jiggled it from inside easily enough. He must have been dumber than I thought. I opened the door and Binky stepped out into the hall. He was so short and so skinny that he hadn't even been very cramped. For a change his nose wasn't dripping, which I have to admit was an improvement. He was holding his civics book in one hand with his finger in it like he was marking his place.

He ran the other scrawny hand, the one without the book, through his lank blondish hair and said, "I have to go to cla.s.s, Carleton."

"You're welcome," I said.

He looked at me like I was nuts. "Very funny. I didn't ask you to let me out."

He tried to edge to the side and slip around me, but I moved in front of him.

"The vampire," I said.

"What about the vampire?"

"I need to talk to him."

Many Bloody Returns Part 6

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Many Bloody Returns Part 6 summary

You're reading Many Bloody Returns Part 6. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner already has 185 views.

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