Shirley The Vampire Slayer
Shirley, a (Buffyverse) Slayer wannabe, has traced, through Quileute legends, "vampires" to La Push. Her time of preparation and training behind her, Shirley is ready to act.
2. Chapter 2 - The Outing of Embry Call
Rating 0/5 Word Count 1293 Review this Chapter
Shirley the Vampire Slayer
Chapter 2 - The Outing of Embry Call [1249 words]
Rain no longer fell but the gusty air was heavy with freezing wet as I pushed open the door of the Lonesome Creek store. Besides the ever present Washington Lotto and cigarettes behind the counter, there was beer and bait, Twinkies and Doritos as well as bread, milk and peanut butter. A few forlorn heart shaped candies and valentine's cards with mismatched envelopes were tucked behind a scrap of card board reading "Half Price". The frozen drink dispenser and soft drink fountain stood near the single dark green plastic picnic table.
Three boys sprawled about, heads brushing against racks of corn chips, legs tangled beneath the table and intruding in the aisle. Their bodies were nonchalant as they engaged in casual banter but their eyes kept careful track of four young women clustered in the back.
"Fourteen or fifteen," I guessed. The boys were big but there was a youthful softness in their faces.
"Hey, guys," I said using my "chipper" voice. "How's things going?"
Their eyes turned and glanced over me. They were wary, but were neither sullen nor afraid. The question, "Who is this strange lady?" was painted across their faces.
Only one responded. "Okay."
"I'm a sociologist from the University of California. I'd like to talk to you for a few minutes, if you don't mind. In fact, would you like me to get you a snack for when we're talking?"
The offer of free food brought smiles and a degree of enthusiasm that had been absent during the first part of my spiel. While the boys jostled at the counter, I fixed a hot dog and got a hot cocoa.
At first my questions were general in nature, names, phone numbers and ages, how they spent their time. I let them see that I was serious by taking detailed notes. Then I tried to find out how familiar they were with their tribal legends. They weren't. Quickly, I moved on to the core of the discussion.
I pulled out my "Questionnaire" and read, "Has anyone of your family, friends, acquaintances or adults that you have known, such as parents, teachers or others, recently had a sudden change of behavior? By this I mean, missing school or work, sleeping during the day and staying up all night, abandoning friends and running with a new group or gang, dropping customary favored activities and adopting new, possibly strange, interests and activities, unexpectedly acquiring new skills, speed or strength or other surprising changes in their bodily appearance, shape or abilities."
The boys glanced at each other. For a second, I thought that I had run into a code of silence, us against outsiders. However, the laughing girls passed by us on the way to the cashier. As their eyes followed them, the youngest, Chris, said, "Embry."
Unable to meet the glares from the other two boys, Chris' eyes dropped to the table. With a mixture of embarrassment and defiance he mumbled, "Embry Call."
"Who? Embry Call?"
"Yeah." Defensively, he looked at the other boys. "Come on, guys! You know he hasn't been on his dirt bike, or to school, in a month. Jake's pissed that he's hangin' out with Sam and he's grown - what, six inches - since the first of the year. Sail, you are the one that told me about the fever he was running the last day he was at school."
Brad caught my eye. "Hey. My dad's said that he's seen Embry coming in every morning this week when he was going to the boat. That's at five, five-thirty. Yet, when ever I go to his house, his mom says that he's asleep."
Other than the tinkling of the door bell as the girls left the store, there was silence.
"Who is this Sam?"
"Sam Uley. He is one scary dude. So are Jared and Paul. They've gotten huge!"
"What do you mean?"
"All of them are over six foot now. Embry has shot up at least six inches since Christmas."
"Well, he's shorter now that he's shaved his head," Chris interjected. "At least a little bit."
"Where can I find them?"
"Emily and Sam have a place out on River Drive, past the harbor. Jared and Paul usually hang out there too."
With the help of a map and a phone book, they gave me directions to Embry's and Sam's homes. When I left the store, they were trying to find out which of them could stuff the most cupcakes into their mouth. I was apparently the chief sponsor for the contest. I think Brad had the lead.
Dark came early this far north, not that the day had been all that bright. The wet streets were intermittently lit by tree enshrouded street lights and a couple of illuminated signs but were mostly tunnels of dark. The Call's house was dark as well. In the gloom, I walked up to the small house along a short driveway. The lush grass hump was dark against the white gravel of the tire tracks. At the side, by the kitchen door, the grass strip withered down to meet an oil spot. I turned on my flashlight and looked into the window. The kitchen had a lived-in air that had me puzzled. On the table, I saw a bowl, a box of cereal laying on its side and an open carton of milk. There was no telling how long it had been there.
On the way back to my van, I noted that the yard was overgrown with an air of neglect. I tried not to read too much into it. It was what you would expect if working parents had a typical teenage boy take the responsibility for maintaining the yard.
Sam's place was also small but soft golden light flowed around the open curtains and illuminated patches of the tidy yard. Even from across the street I could tell that the tiny place was filled with people. With my binoculars, I could pick out details of the curtains. I could also tell that all the guys were huge. I finally saw the young woman, Emily I presumed. She appeared to be petite against the giants in the room. I couldn't get a good count as my view was limited and there was constant motion.
There was a battered Honda parked next to the kitchen door and no other cars parked on the street. "Well, vampires really didn't need cars to get around," I muttered.
I was taken by surprise when the front door opened. A bare-chested giant stood silhouetted in the doorway. Even though the van was parked in the dark, I slumped down until only my eyes were above the door. It looked like he was staring right at me.
I held still. My heart pounded. I held my breath - but I wasn't aware of it until I heard my own gasps. As my lungs and heart slowly calmed, he stared for a few moments more.
When he stepped onto the front porch and closed the door, my dazzled eyes could barely make out any movement. But I think I saw him trot into the woods on the far side of the house. He did not return.
Later, as I was driving back to my room at the resort, I found myself with a slight smile and humming tunelessly, the way I do when I am content. I had found a coven of vampires.