Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

the blood of the first (week 13)

You asked for it, and here it is. The long awaited return of the Daywalker Chronicles. Season 2 - The Blood of the First. Week 13. Enjoy!

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The incessant dripping had driven me to the brink of insanity. Had I any idea the basement walls were so porous; I might have had Claude fix them before he was changed. Before I changed him. But things like that simply didn’t matter to me then. Now, as I lay rotting in the casket I wished I’d never chosen, leaky basement walls overrun with juicy mice gave me something to focus on other than my own despair. The loneliness was unbearable, and yet, I had no choice but to accept my fate. But the hunger that ravaged my soulless shell...that left me wishing for death, swift and merciful nothingness. I had lost all hope. 

My fangs, no longer able to fully extend, twitched as I caught the delicious fragrance of fresh human blood. Was it possible? Was my trapped mind playing tricks on me? If my voice had been working, I would have called out to see if someone had truly wandered this close.

Hello? My brain sent the message, but my vocal cords wouldn’t cooperate. Come closer.

Could it be, the terrifying monster I once was had been reduced to a desiccated bag of bones and a barely functioning psyche?

A snap, like dry twigs along the forest floor, echoed in the space around me, then the distinctive sound of a pulse quickening.

My nostrils flared, at least inside my head, as I pulled in another lungful of the sweet scent. Perhaps they’d returned. Claude promised they would. The measure of passing time meant nothing to me here.

“Shhh…we have to be quiet.” A muffled voice spoke low and clear. The reverence laced within the boy’s tone—and yes it was a boy, a young boy—was clear.

“Is she really in there?” Another boy responded, his excitement punctuated by an increased heart rate.

“Yes…I think so…I don’t know. The others drove off weeks ago and haven’t returned. The woman wasn’t with them…so she must be in there.” A quiet thud sounded off the side of my casket.

“And you really saw her…her fangs?” The other boy stumbled over his words, his heart now pounding in his chest like a siren’s call, flooding my senses with the promise of a life source.

“I did.” The boy said. And a rubber soled shoe, I assumed to be his, tapped out a gentle rhythm against the damp floor. “And she was beautiful.”

“Justin, you lie. I don’t know why I followed you here. Everything out of your mouth is a lie. You ain’t seen a vampire…beautiful or not. Not unless it was on your Mama’s TV.”

“So open it,” the boy said. “If you don’t believe me, just open the damn thing and see for yourself. But don’t blame me if you get eaten.”

His mirth amused me. This boy—Justin—had quite the set on him. I remembered him, more for his biting temperament than his smell. This must be a side-effect of my illness. His smell should have triggered the memories first.

“Fine.” The second boy snapped like a rabid dog. “I’ll open it, and when there’s nothing there, I’ll be sure to tell the whole school how you’ve been making up fairy tales again.”

It was faint, but Justin’s chuckles managed to reach my ears.  Then I heard the latches along the sides of my coffin snap open. One, and then the next, until none were left.

Oh, to have my strength back.

My withered gray matter fought with motionless limbs to engage…to push the lid, like I’d done not so long ago, with great ease. It was no use, but no matter. The boy with no name grunted as his own limbs struggled to raise the ceiling on my involuntary prison.

“Holy shit!” The boy screamed, dropping the lid with an explosive bang.

Justin’s laughter echo against the stone walls. “Told you.”

“No…” The boy coughed a few times, clearly gathering his faculties again before joining in with laughter of his own. “You got me there. Wooh…I thought she was real for a minute. Where’d you get such a lifelike dummy? Is it one of those CPR dummies? Did you expect me to give her mouth to mouth to bring her back?”

“Nah, Billy. She’s no dummy.”

He had no idea how right he was. I may have been paralyzed by circumstances out of my control, but my intellect was sharp. Still, I had no idea what these foolish boys were playing at…or how it would ultimately affect me.

“Try again. Open it. Touch her. She won’t bite.” Justin snickered, the little shit. If only he wasn’t more right than wrong. I wouldn’t be able to bite poor Billy. No matter how delectable he might be.

My lid rattled again, the sound of hinges straining filled my ears, along with his rapid breathing and stuttering heart. How I wished I hadn’t been as unmoving as carved granite.

“What the hell is she?” His breath fanned over me, warmth skimming across my icy skin.

“She’s my ticket to forever, dumbass.” Justin growled as a warm liquid flowed over my throat, pooling in the valley between my closed lips.

Billy thrashed above me, choking to say words he would never utter, his very life-force flooding my casket like a warm bath.

“Drink,” Justin urged, his fingertips glancing over my lips, parting them as hot blood filled my mouth.

Cursing my blindness, I struggled to shake my mystical bondage as Justin forced Billy’s dying body further into my bed, completely coating me in his essence.

“Please, wake up,” the boy muttered, an edge of panic in his voice. “I did everything the book said. I brought you the fountain of youth. You’re supposed to wake up now.”

But his attempts were misguided. There was no fountain of youth. There was no redemption for me…not by his hands. I would have to wait here for the others to return. I would have to trust Claude would never forget me. I would have to…what is this?

My tongue twitched in my mouth, my lips parting to accommodate my extending fangs.

The air shifted around me as the boy, my unforeseen savior, gasped. “That’s it, swallow it.”

His excitement was contagious as my throat opened and the warm liquid slid down. Then my finger jerked away from my body.

“More…you need more.” He pushed his friend’s dead weight until Billy dropped across my front, his head lolled beside my cheek.

My eyes still didn’t function, but I didn’t need to see to know Justin was doing CPR…his jerky compressions forcing a fountain of blood from the wound in Billy’s throat straight down mine. And as each mouthful of blood reached my frozen core, I began to feel warmth within me yet again.

The fountain of youth?

A wracking cough rattled my body as long unused systems sputtered back to life. My eyes snapped open, taking in the dim surroundings, finally focusing on the face of the boy who had brought me back.

“Hello, Ma’am.” He averted his eyes from mine, his cheeks flaming. “Nice to see you again.”

“It’s…” I cleared my throat. “It’s very nice to see you again, Justin. How did you...I don’t understand. Please explain to me how you came to me today.”

“Explanations will have to wait. First I figure you owe me a favor, since I did one for you.”

Arching one eyebrow, I gazed at his unreadable expression. Then quirking my lips into a smile, I licked them clean, in the leisurely way a cat might lap at cream. “You’re right, of course. I owe you a favor. And what might you ask after going to such lengths to awaken me.”

“I want you to bite me.”

"And why would you want me to bite you?"

"Because I want to be like you."

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