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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dark Form - Chapter 14


 My conversation with the guy in the alley didn’t last very long.  I cut it short because I didn’t want to take any chances. The thirst was returning. I could feel it creeping up on me as sure as rain on a dark overcast day. And I knew that it was only a matter of time before I’d be back in the state I was in the night before in the alley…so I hurried home. 
 I walked into my apartment and was almost startled to suddenly hear the heartbeat of a small animal. I thought that the ability was gone forever, but now I realized that the thirstier I became…the more I could still hear and smell blood.
 I could already feel the helplessness beginning to overcome me as the darkness began to push its way through. 
 There was no doubt that this rat would become my next meal.
 I grabbed it quickly and before the poor thing knew what hit it…I had my teeth in its tiny neck and began to suck the life out of it.
 The darkness was satisfied for the moment, but this was a cycle…and I was slowly losing myself to the thirst more and more each time.  I had somewhat of a plan, but it would have to wait until the next day. I was drained and ready to go to bed. 
 The books I had ordered arrived the next morning.  I planned on spending the whole day reading and studying trying to learn the ins and outs of my new condition…and hopefully coming closer to a cure. 
 I started unpacking the boxes and before long, there were books covering my desk, my bed and parts of my living room. 
 I knew that I had probably gone overboard.  
 Hundreds of dollars that I didn’t really have to spend would be wasted if I didn’t find what I was looking for… 
 …but I was beyond desperate, so I grabbed another book off of one of my stacks and began to devour it like I’d devoured the rat the night before. 
 When that book didn’t give me any results, I returned to my room…hoping that somewhere in these stacks of books was an answer to my problems. 
 It didn’t take me long to realize that most of the books that I had purchased contained nothing more than a bunch of made-up lore regarding vampires. It wasn’t what I needed at all.  I was searching for facts. 
 My only hope was that somewhere in the middle of these books of fiction, fairytales and supernatural romance…I’d find at least a smidge of truth. 
 I was actually getting into one of the stories, when there was a sudden knock at my door. This time I didn’t hear a heartbeat to warn me.  I figured it was because the rat blood had satisfied me for the moment. 
 Expecting Lizzie, I was shocked to see that it was the guy from the alley. He spoke first…  “So…” his voice faded off into short pause, “you do realize that your front door opens the wrong way, right?”

Just like last night, his voice was silky smooth…the type of voice that resonates with you and remains in your mind for a while.  And he spoke like someone who had all the time in the world. He seemed like the type of guy who was never in a hurry. 
 At first I didn’t get what the heck he was talking about. Then I realized that he was referring to the fact that my door opened outward instead of inward.

He continued, “You really should get that corrected,” short pause, “You could hurt somebody if they’re standing too close when you open it.” 
 I didn’t let his useless banter distract me from the real issue at hand. “What the hell are you doing here?  Are you stalking me?”
 “No… I promise you that I’m not.”

“Well, how did you know where I lived? You do realize that it’s a bit creepy to just show up at someone’s door, right?”
 He didn’t even seem to be bothered by me basically telling him that he was a stalker.  He answered confidently, as if what he did wasn’t so unusual. “You don’t strike me as the type that scares easily, so I took my chances.”

I didn’t let him off that easy. “You didn’t answer my question…how did you know where I live?  Did you follow me last night?”
 Again, he answered with way too much self-assurance… “I’m sorry…guilty.  I just couldn’t help myself, but I wanted to make sure you got home safe.  Sue me…it’s the way I was raised.”

“What? To follow unsuspecting women home from dark alleys at night?”

“No…to look out for those who may need some looking after.”
 “Looking after!? What the hell? This isn’t the 19th century…women don’t need men to look after them.”

“I know…that’s not what I meant. But is it a crime to make sure others, whether they’re male or female, are safe?”
 “No…I guess not, but I don’t even know you. For all I know…you’re the biggest threat around. You’re a complete stranger…standing at my door and I don’t even know your name.”

“Okay…let’s start there.  My friends call me Vee…”

“That’s it?  That’s all I get. Vee?”

“For now…let’s just say, I think my parents were drinking when they named me.”
 “My name starts with a V too.  Except I love my name…It’s Vala.”

“I can see why you love it.  It’s beautiful.” Vee cleared his throat after another short pause. “I actually had another purpose for stopping by.  I wanted to know if perhaps, I could take you out sometime.”

“Uh…I don’t think so.” I remembered all the research that I was attempting to do.  I used it as my excuse. “I’m a bit busy. And I’m not exactly in the habit of going out with dudes that I meet in alleys.”

Vee wasn’t about to just take no for an answer. “Well…can I get your cell number…just in case you change your mind? Or become…less busy?”

I had a better idea…hoping it would make him finally leave.  “I’ll tell you what…you give me yours and I’ll think about calling you.” I pulled out my phone and handed it to Vee
 “I guess I’ll have to settle for that then.” Vee took my phone and put in his cell number.  
 He handed the phone back to me.  I stared at his name and number for a while…wondering what the heck had gotten into me. “I can’t believe I haven’t called the cops on you…I mean, I still don’t know your real name, and I’m standing here with your cell number in my hand.  I must really be losing it.”
 Vee feigned a hurt tone. “I think that’s the type of thing you’re supposed to say to yourself.  You really know how to hurt a dude’s feelings.” 

I used a variation of Vee’s own words against him. “Yeah…well – you don’t strike me as the type to hurt easily.  Now you’d better go before I change my mind and really do call the cops.” I turned and walked back inside my apartment.
 Vee had one more thing to say…”Only if you promise to actually use that number.”

“I might eventually get around to it. ” I said casually as I kept walking, not looking back or stopping. I doubted that I would ever actually call him.  He was good-looking, but I wasn’t in the condition to be seeking out a relationship. ..at least not until I was cured. I went back to my studying and tried to forget that he had even stopped by.  


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