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Chance Encounter

“She took a deep breath, and then abruptly leveled a dark glance over my shoulder. I turned in time to see the man in the aisle seat looking away as if he wasn’t listening to us. He appeared to be a businessman, in a dark suit with a power tie and a laptop over his knees. While I stared at him with irritation, he opened the computer and very conspicuously put headphones on.”

- pages 427-428, New Moon


2. Shellshock

Rating 0/5   Word Count 992   Review this Chapter

********************************************************** “Herman,” a raspy voice called. “Herman, wake up. It’s too early in the night to be sleeping. Up and at ‘em. Gotta do stuff.” “As though you didn’t spend all of today sick, sleeping off last night’s ‘stuff’, “I thought. With a groan, I heaved myself up and wrenched open my eyes. I hadn’t spent the past twelve hours sleeping. I had been helping my father, who was to hung-over to move. I opened my mouth, to yell, to scream, and thought better of it. One small sigh escaped my lips. It wasn’t as if I wouldn’t do the exact same thing over, if I could. I loved my father too much. As I awoke, I was greeted by the sights and sounds of a depression-riddled New York. The few patches of sparse grass which decorated the alleyway where I slept were grey and lifeless, as were the people who resided there: the criminals: from beer smugglers (alcohol had been outlawed in the Prohibition) to thieves, the sick and wounded, and those poor ones who had struggled financially before the tsunami which was The Great Depression had swept in to drown us. The ones whose lifeboats had already been full of holes; the ones who sunk straight to the bottom. Not that these weren’t colorful characters. There was violence and shouting here, just like everywhere else. Usually, though, these moods were brought on by illegal beer, and were soon smothered. Then life was grey again. Then it was quiet, and there were no distractions; nothing could help you escape from the morbid, helpless eyes of the people who starved in the dark. We were locked in our own little world. We didn’t know who was President; we hadn’t a clue that a great war was brewing in Europe or that the people in the Midwest were suffocating in the dust. We were the trash that lived in the trash; everywhere around us, the ground was littered with debris. Our thoughts weren’t even decent; anyone who could read my father’s mind would condemn him immediately. Still, he was my father. I would go to the ends of the Earth and back for him, even if it took me years. Even if I turned from little boy to old man in the process. Which was why I was forcing my tired eyelids up to feed his whim. I would never do that for anybody else. Hmm. It was twilight. Still, it may as well not have been, stormy and cloudy as this time of year was. Repressing a yawn, I got up and followed my father as he began to stumble away. ************************************************************** That was the day things changed. I was walking home behind my father, feeling repulsed and angry. Everything: my surroundings, my life, even my own actions disgusted me. I wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball and sleep. A flash of white and bronze momentarily blinded me in my groggy state. When I managed to look up, intending to ask my father what had happened, I screamed. My beloved father was on the ground. An extraordinarily striking…man?boy? hunched over his body, kissing his neck? No, I realized with a pang of horror. Drinking his blood. Completely shocked, I fell to my knees. Normally, I was careful moving around this litter-clogged place, but not tonight. Sure enough, something sliced my outstretched, grubby palm. A rusty knife. The murderer ignored me completely. As I watched him drink my father dry, my first thought was to kill the bloodsucking leech before he could turn around. At this moment, he whirled, staring at me with raised eyebrows. I knew that any sort of attack would be impossible. Like a demon of the night, his eyes were red. Tousled bronze hair was the only remotely human feature this vampire possessed. As I gazed at the muscles carved in his pale as death, granite skin, I knew there was no hope for me. Murderers need to eliminate witnesses, of course. He would kill me where I stood. He grinned, a crooked, manic smile, as though pleased I had reached such a conclusion. Crouched like an alley cat, he started towards me. He lunged. I flinched. And then he was gone, ten yards away from me. He had straightened up, and was muttering to himself. “A child,” he groaned in a velvet voice, “a child. What am I becoming? Who am I, to attack such innocence,” he gestured to me, with a hand that moved like a blur. “How do you know I’m innocent,” I thought furiously, “I could have the most loathsome thoughts in this whole city.” I didn’t know any larger place. He rolled his eyes, also blindingly fast, as if in response to my thought. “I can’t do this anymore,” he shouted (with the volume of a whisper). “I need to talk to Carlisle.” With this utterance he streaked away. That last, unnaturally pale blur was the last I saw of the killer who left my father’s drained body on the ground. ********************************************************************** In less than a minute, my life had changed completely. Since then, I had worked my way up, a draft to the second Great War pulling me out of New York. The new weapons of that period also taught me something else. The demon was not invincible. If I found my father’s killer again, technology could help me annihilate him. I had worked my way up, but always searching. There was never a time when I wasn’t scanning the distance for that deathly shade of white. Still, years of defeat wore me down. I had lost hope that I would ever lay eyes on that shade of white again. I was shell-shocked when I looked up to see it echoed in the face of the loud girl’s companion. Then I grinned.