A Chance Meeting

If you’ve been hanging around our wonderful community as of late, there’s no doubt you’ve seen some character memes.  I posted about them just the other day and now we can add Jody Moller to the list.  Yay for character memes!  Anyway, I’m not going to post my answers.  I will post my characters though and then the question that led to this short story.

Here are my characters:

  1. Keely (The Double Dare Bridges)
  2. Gary (The Double Dare Bridges)
  3. Myka (Untitled Vampire Story – Werewolf)
  4. Milo (Untitled Vampire Story – Half vampire/human)
  5. Brent (Untitled Vampire Story – Werewolf)
  6. Preston (Untitled Vampire Story – True Vampire)
  7. Landon (Read Me Dead)
  8. Christian (Read Me Dead)
  9. Matt (Read Me Dead)
  10. Alexia (Read Me Dead)
  11. Alissa (Read Me Dead)
  12. Dr. Finnegan (Read Me Dead)

Question 11 was  “What kind of plot device would you use if you wanted 4 and 1 to work together?”  That had me to thinking about my half-vampire and human who happened to be tossed together in a chance meeting.  This story derived from that plot device.  It’s a bit long.  Sorry!  If you manage to make it though it, thank you so much for sticking with it to the end! 

Now, let me direct your attention to my sidebar.  I’m hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of my novella.  If anyone’s interested, click on the goodreads link and sign up!  If the link is broken, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fix it.  :)  Now, I hope you enjoy!

Keely hadn’t been in the city long.  She’d only managed to find a cheap hotel room to rent the week she’d been there.  There had been no luck in the job search, and it wasn’t the first time that she had reconsidered her decision to leave Brownsville.

While sitting in the café, she stared at her phone, trying to figure out whether she should call her dad.  Deciding against it, she pocketed her phone and took a drink of her coffee.  She resisted the urge to scream out when it burnt her tongue.  When she set the coffee cup back down, she fought back tears.  It wasn’t from the burnt tongue that made her want to cry; it was just what fueled it.  The truth was, she had been feeling lonely and stupid for her impromptu decision to leave her dad behind.  Of course, she still believed it was the right decision, but she really missed her dad.  She was all he had left.

She wiped away a tear and grabbed her purse and coffee.  She left the café and wandered out into the city she barely knew.  The sky was a mixture of purples and oranges with the black of night edging its way into existence.  Dark purple clouds floated on the sky.  She took in a deep breath, inhaling exhaust from the car that passed by as soon as she did.  She coughed and thought of home.  This wouldn’t have happened there.  She turned to her right and walked back towards the hotel, feeling lonelier than ever.

The closer she arrived to her hotel, the darker the sky grew.  She’d never been particularly fond of the dark, considering the legend she’d known since she was capable enough of understanding what the Double Dare Bridges were.  Their monster not only haunted the night it haunted every thought of every person in Brownsville.

Right before arriving at her hotel, someone grabbed her from behind.  She screamed as something sharp pierced her neck.  The dark night became darker.  She felt elated and scared all at the same time.  Her purse fell to the ground, and her knees threatened to buckle beneath her.

Something tackled Keely to the ground.  She tried to scream, but she couldn’t find her voice.  The sharp object was ripped from her neck, and all of the pain she should’ve been feeling from the start coursed through her neck and down her spine.  Soon, the street lamps faded into oblivion, and right before her hearing left, she thought she heard people fighting.

She woke in bed, neck stiff and muscles sore.  She groaned as she sat up.

“You may want to lie back down,” a deep voice said from the shadows.  She screamed.  “Don’t be afraid,” he said.  There was something in his voice that suggested she could trust him, but a feeling lingered telling her she shouldn’t.

“Who…who are you?” she asked.  “Where am I?”

“You’re safe.  That’s all that matters.”

She sat up abruptly in bed.  Her head swam.  “Tell me what’s goin’ on.  Now.”  She rested her head in her hands to keep the room from spinning around her.

“You were attacked.”

“What?”  She looked at him.

“You probably won’t remember all of it.  Our victims never do.”

“Who are you?”

“My name’s not important.”

“I want to go home.”  She wasn’t entirely sure if she meant her hotel room or Brownsville, but either way, she wanted out.

There wasn’t any sunshine coming into the room, and she wondered if it was still night and how long she’d been unconscious.  A small lamp beside the bed was the only light source in the room, and off to her left was another room that she assumed was the bathroom.  The room was furnished about like her hotel room was.  She was in a bed in the center of the room.  The mysterious stranger who’d kidnapped her sat at a round table with two matching chairs.  The screen of a laptop lit up his face.  He had sharp features and dirty blonde hair that fell in his eyes as he stared at the laptop.  He was handsome but looked a good bit younger than Keely.

“What’s your name?” she asked again.

He paused for a moment and then answered, “Milo.”

She wasn’t sure if it was a fake name or not, but at least she had something to call him.

“Well, Milo.  Why don’t you tell me what on earth I’m doin’ here.”

“You need to lay down and rest some more.”

“What happened to me?”

“You were attacked.”

“By who?”

“Someone named Paul”

“That’s all you have?”

“That’s all you need to know.”

He finally turned to face me.  “Listen.  What’s goin’ on here – well, you won’t believe it.”

“Try me.”

He stood and walked to the bed.  He took a seat beside her and asked, “What’s your name?”

“Keely.”

“You were attacked by a vampire, Keely.”

She tried to keep the shock to herself.  Vampire didn’t exist, but then again, the monster of the Double Dare Bridges shouldn’t exist either.

“You’re a vampire too?”

“Half-vampire.”

“Half?  That doesn’t even make sense.”

“My mother’s a human.  Father’s a vampire.”

She took in a deep breath.  This was insane.  He was obviously crazy.  “I need to go to the bathroom,” she said.

“It’s right over there.”  He nodded to the room she’d seen earlier.

She stood on weak legs and forced her way into the restroom.  She closed the door behind her, flipped on the lights and stared at her reflection in the mirror.  The collar of her shirt was covered in blood, and a blood soaked bandage covered a good portion of her neck.  She touched it, and pain shot through her neck again.  Flashbacks that felt like déjà vu crept into her memory.  This wasn’t real.  It couldn’t be, but somehow, she believed him.

She grabbed a wash cloth and wet it.  She cleaned around the bandage the best she could and opened the door.  “Tell me what happened.”

“You remember some of it, don’t you?”

She nodded, unable to speak.  “I cut him off in the middle of a bite.  Which I’m sorry about.”  She nodded, hoping to keep him talking.  “He couldn’t finish the feeding process.”He stared at her, hoping to gauge her reactions.  He continued, “When that happens, you remember.  The venom makes the victim forget afterwards.  If you leave them alive.  I wasn’t going to let him kill you.”

“Thank you.”

“Murder is wrong no matter what you are.”

“Don’t you feed?”

“Yes, but I never kill my victims.  And usually they’re willing.”

She nodded, still taking it all in.  She had an easier time accepting the fact that a monster murdered people in her hometown than accepting that vampires were real.  Even with the evidence on her neck.  She walked to the bed and took a seat on the edge.

“So are you like some kind of vampire hunter?”

He laughed.  “Not usually, but we had a new vampire escape.  It was my duty to take care of him before we were discovered.”

“So, you’re goin’ to kill him?”

“No.  Just take him back to the elders.  They can do what they want with him from there.”

“They can or they will?”

“They will.”  She could tell from his tone that he didn’t believe in the institution they had built for themselves.

At that moment, he looked like a small child who had completely lost his faith, and she wanted to take him in his arms and hold him close.  He was more human than vampire, she thought.  He obviously hadn’t chosen this life for himself either.

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Seventeen.”

She almost couldn’t believe it.  She knew he looked young, but he was wise for his age.

“I’m sorry, but I’m confused.”

“Keely, there are monsters that hide in the dark and are very much real.  Unfortunately, you ran across one.  One who escaped our sanctuary and found his way here, where there is plenty of prey.  He thinks he can have who he wants.  But he’s wrong.  I will catch him.”

“What if he kills you?”

“He won’t.”

“You’re half-human.  You can’t be as strong as he is.”

“I’m not, but I’m smarter.  He’s in a feeding frenzy right now.  He can easily be deceived.”

“Let me help.”

“Absolutely not.”

“He’s already bitten me.  He knows what my blood tastes like.  Won’t he be able to find me?”

He thought about what she was offering.  “I can’t risk it.”

“It’s my life.”

“That doesn’t matter.”

“I can’t let a vampire kill people either, Milo.  I’m in whether you like it or not.”

The next few days, she stayed with Milo.  He had gone to her hotel room and gotten her things.  He didn’t want to risk having her out there with a rabid vampire running around the city.  Apparently, they weren’t tied down to original myths.  They could walk in the sunlight which made her want to stay inside the rest of her life.  It also had occurred to her that maybe it was a vampire who lived at the Double Dare Bridges.  She tried not to think about it since her dad was still living there.  She wondered if a vampire would have left behind such messy bodies.  She’d asked Milo, but he wasn’t certain.  Or, he was lying to make her feel better.

Milo sat at the table while she sat quietly on the bed watching him as he talked on the phone.  She knew by the way he talked that whoever Milo talked to was his superior.

When the conversation ended, Milo was obviously angry.  She didn’t know what to say or do, so she sat there and waited for him to speak.  When Keely looked back at him, she felt like she was the younger one.

“We have to find him tonight,” he finally said, getting up and pacing the room.

Her stomach twisted at the thought.  “I can hear that you’re terrified,” he said.

“Of course I am.  Doesn’t mean I won’t do it anyway.”

He sped towards her, pushed her back on the bed and said, “He moves faster than that.  He could’ve had you killed by now.”

Trying to catch her breath, she said, “You won’t scare me away.”

He pushed himself up and off the bed.  He began pacing again.

“Dang it, Keely.  Why can’t you get it through your head that this is dangerous?” he yelled.

Cringing, she said, “I can’t stand the thought of him running around this city, killing innocent people.  Including me.”

He walked to the wall, like he was about to punch it, but stopped himself and kept walking around the room.  That made her more nervous than anything.

“We need to discuss a plan then,” he said, finally accepting her offer to help.

“Milo!  Behind you!” Keely yelled.

Paul lunged at Milo while emanating a growl that could curdle blood.  Milo turned around just in time to catch him and toss him to the ground.  Keely stood behind a dumpster watching them pummel and bite at each other.  She never felt so useless and so scared at the same time.  Milo was right.  There was nothing she could do.  Aside from luring Paul out, there was nothing she could do but keep out of the fight.  Technically, she was supposed to run, but she didn’t want to leave Milo alone – just in case something happened.

Milo pulled out a needle.  She didn’t know what was in it, but she knew he wouldn’t kill Paul unless there was no other choice.  She admired that about him.

All of the sudden, Paul threw Milo into the air, and he landed with a loud crack on the concrete.

“Milo!” Keely screamed.  She regretted it immediately.  Paul forgot all about Milo and ran towards her.  She screamed and pulled out the stake that Milo had given to her for protection.  She didn’t want to have to use, but she wasn’t seeing any other option.

Paul was on her before she knew.  He tackled her to the ground with as much force as a moving van.  His fangs protruded, and he grinned menacingly.  She tried to hold him back the best she could with just her arms, but she was weak.  He pushed her arms to each side of the body and pinned them to the ground.

So many thoughts raced through her mind.  She thought of her dad and how she would never see him again.  She even thought of her grandpa and the old life she left behind.  His fangs sank into her neck, and she screamed in pain.  And then – she didn’t mind it so much.  It hurt, but it was unlike anything she’d ever felt before.

Someone pulled Paul off of her, and when the connection broke, the pain surged through every fiber of her being.

When the pain subsided, she sat up and looked around her.  She didn’t know how long she’d lain there, but Milo and Paul weren’t to be seen.  Blood covered the concrete in front of her, but there were no bodies which she thought of as a good sign.

She slowly stood up; dizziness fogged her mind, and her stomach lurched.  She had to get out of there before anyone saw her, and she had to find Milo before Paul killed him.  Moving at a steady pace, she walked towards the end of the alleyway and turned right.  She figured that would be the best way.  It was in the direction of Milo’s room.

Drops of blood dotted the sidewalk, and her reasoning was validated.  She moved faster although her body protested with each step.  Vampire bites weren’t something to mess around with.  She couldn’t believe that people volunteered for this.

There weren’t many people on the streets, but the ones who were, stared at her.  One man even offered to take her to the hospital.  She’d all but forgotten about the blood that must be all over her.  She brushed the people off and hurried towards Milo’s hotel room.

It took her longer than she wanted to get there, and with no sign of Milo on the streets, she figured it’d be best to stay there and wait on him.  She used her key he’d given her and entered the room.

“Milo?”

There was no answer.  She shut the door and walked inside.  She needed to wash off all the blood before she started another search for him.

She walked into the bathroom and started the water in the shower.  When it was the right temperature, she shed her clothes and stepped inside.  The water ran pink as the blood rolled off of her skin and down the drain, and the heat eased her tense muscles.

Not wanting to miss another minute in the search for Milo, she hurried through the shower, wishing she could soak in a hot bath a lot longer.  She made a mental note to do that after she found him.  She wrapped a towel around her and walked into the main room.  Milo still wasn’t there.

She started to get worried.  He should be back by now.  She walked to the bed and grabbed some clothes she’d left lying out.  As she reached to grab them, she saw a white envelope with a bloody finger print on it.  It had her named written on the front.  She picked it up and opened it.

Keely,

                 I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to ditch you like this.  Under better circumstances, I wished we could’ve had a proper goodbye, but it’s very urgent that I get Paul back.  I promise I will get in touch with you later. 

Milo

 

Keely finally found a job at a local bookstore working for an author named Gary Wade.  They got along great, and she enjoyed working there.  But, while she stocked shelves or sat behind the cash register, her mind would wander back to Milo and their chance meeting.  She kind of missed him.

She hadn’t heard from him since the incident with Paul and if she was honest with herself, didn’t expect to hear from him at all.  She made sure to avoid certain parts of town and being out too late at night.  Milo had opened her eyes to a new world.  One she would never forget.

Keely stocked the latest thriller from Dean Koontz onto the shelf.  The bell above the door rang, and she walked back up front.

“Can I –”  Her sentenced trailed off.  Milo stood before her.  He looked like he might have aged a few years in only two months.  His eyes were heavy and full of, what looked like, pain.

“Are you all right?” she asked, pulling him into a hug he was reluctant to accept at first.  Eventually he wrapped his arms around her.

“I’m fine.  Are you all right?”

“Yeah.  I’ve just been worried about you.”

“I’m sorry.  I had to leave though.”

“I know.”

He smiled weakly.  “I’m glad you’ve managed to stay safe.”

“I’m glad you have too.”

He released her and said, “I just wanted to check on you and give you this.”  He pulled a business card out of his pocket and handed it to her.  She looked at it.  There was no description or anything.  It was a plain white business card with a number scrawled out in blue ink.

“Don’t hesitate to call me if you ever need somethin’.”

“You mean if I have a vampire problem.”

He smiled.  “Yeah.  Somethin’ like that.”

She smiled back, and he turned around and left the bookstore.  The bell above the door rang again, and he was gone.  She looked at the business card, fully aware that this was the last time she’d ever hear from Milo Farrah.  She pocketed the card and went back to work still thinking about Milo.

4 thoughts on “A Chance Meeting

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