Erica Lucke Dean

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tales of the daywalkers (week 11)

Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 10)

The Daywalker ChroniclesIt was just an hour before dawn when I strolled into the house, so full the blood sloshed loudly in my stomach. I’d gorged myself this time.  After feeding on the runner, an unexpected passerby on the path forced me to feed again.  Or maybe I was just very hungry after two days of abbreviated meals.  Either way, I wouldn’t need to eat for a while. 

The runner had put up a good fight.  It was exhilarating. I hadn’t had one fight back in ages.  If I had been human, if my skin had been less durable, her nails would have left marks.  As it was, she did nothing more than damage her own hands.  If I had been lucky, the passerby would have fought back too.  Then it might look like they fought each other to the death.  As it was, there would likely be another report of an “animal” attack in the woods.  Either way, I would have to be more careful…or leave town for an extended trip.  Maybe I could go back to Italy.  I always loved it there.

Before going anywhere, I had to settle the uncertainty.

I felt unsure if I would be climbing into my casket, or watching the sunrise. But after a few hours with my own thoughts, I no longer cared.  I was much more at ease.  The perfect time to re-engage Sebastian and Claude, and their testosterone-rich dispute over the daywalking.

I resigned myself to the fact that I loved them both in different ways.  But I also despised them, each for different reasons.  Sebastian for his deception and arrogance, and Claude just for being Claude…the very same reason I loved him.

But love or hate, I wasn’t looking forward to mediating between them.  Then again, maybe they had killed each other while I was gone. The house was deathly quiet. Even with my enhanced hearing, I heard nothing. 

My bare feet slapped against the marble floors as I stepped through the foyer to the music room.  “Hello…Claude…Sebastian?”  

I was alone.

I wandered into the kitchen to find a single vial of liquid and a note scrawled in Claude’s rustic handwriting. “Drink me.” 

“Very funny.” A nervous laugh sputtered through my lips. “Ok, you can come out now,” I shouted. My voice echoed off the walls but wasn’t answered.

I flipped the paper over to see if there were any other instructions on the back…nothing but a bit of plant dust.  The vial warmed my fingers as I held it up to the light to see microscopic particles floating in a filmy broth. I paused to consider what it meant.  Had they split the potion three ways? Was this one of only two doses? Had they fought to the death for the remaining vial? I had no idea. An icy frisson ran through my bones as I uncorked the vial and put it to my lips.  “Cheers,” I said, then drank. 

The liquid burned the whole way down.  A sudden twinge of fear twisted my insides.  What if this wasn’t the daywalker potion after all?  What if I had just consumed true poison?  I shook my head hard enough to send my hair into my face. That wasn’t a thought I was willing to entertain. 

I held my breath for several minutes before drawing oxygen into my cold lungs. Nothing had changed.  I didn’t feel the least bit different. And yet I knew I was.

Minutes felt like hours as I waited for the sun to rise, desperate to feel the warmth against my skin again. I had almost forgotten about Claude and Sebastian…and the bloody amulet he was so intent to find. My thoughts collided as I desperately tried to put the pieces together.

“I will kill you…you know that, right?” Sebastian’s voice filtered in from the garden.

“One word.  Am-u-let,” Claude whispered.

Sebastian growled as he came through the back door.  “You have one day.”

“Does this mean we’ll all be walking in the day?” I asked. 

“Ah, she’s back.” Claude brushed his lips across my bare shoulder as he passed by.  “Satisfy those hunger pangs?”

“Mmm.” I nodded with a smile.

“Next time take him with you,” Sebastian grumbled.  “He isn’t exactly subtle on the hunt.”

Claude leaned in to whisper. “That’s coming from Mr. Subtlety himself.”

“I take it you didn’t fetch the amulet?” I asked. 

“Uh, no.” Claude scooped up the empty vial on the counter.  “I see you got my note.”

“Yes, I did. Thank you.” My lips tipped into a smile.

Claude wrinkled his nose, holding back a smile of his own. “Wretched tasting stuff, isn’t it?”

Sebastian screwed up his face to stare at Claude.  “Be glad you had any to taste at all, fledgling.  And pray, to whatever maker you choose, that the diluted formula was sufficient to protect us from the sun.”

“I guess we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?” Claude nodded to the window and the pink glow growing in the horizon.

 

Until the next time…I’ll be writing week 12!

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