The Pink Vampire...

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Asmodeus, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. CHAPTER ONE: Bleeding to death

    The first time I met a vampire, I was bleeding to death inside a cupboard. I’d been shot in the chest by my uncle, who’d kept me prisoner for nine days. At the time I didn’t know why and it wasn’t till later that I understood his reasons. I’ll tell you now: they were good ones. I guess you’d need a good reason to gun down your own nephew, right?
    My uncle, Stern Baxter, lived in Venice. He’d moved there five years ago after breaking up with my aunt and had bought an apartment where he could carry on his painting. But don’t get excited – my uncle was a shit artist. He’d never sold a picture in his life. He liked to add things to his paint, like cat vomit, piss and mucus – he said it ‘paid homage to the primordial soup of creation’. Yeah, my family tends to talk like that. I come from a long line of artists and eccentrics and Stern was as mad as they came, even before he decided to lock me up and put a bullet in my chest.
    It was in his squalid little apartment that he kept me. I was on a school trip with my history class; but rather than staying with the group I had decided to wander off and find my reclusive old uncle. I have a tendency to do things like that – it runs in the family. Anyway, after coming to the address my Dad gave me, I found a scruffy looking house on three levels, the paintwork peeling or covered by water stains. It looked like it was about to fall into the canal and for a moment I thought it had when I noticed the ground floor wasn’t there. The apartment was built over an inlet where a speedboat had half-sunken. I climbed the staircase to one side and knocked on the door.
    Everything was fine for about two and half minutes. My uncle opened the door in a dirty dressing gown, looking like a monk gone mad. He had a mess of tangled black hair and his beard was streaked with bits of food. The smell of sweat hit me like a wave. On reflection, I should have realised then that something was wrong, but I wasn’t the kind of kid to suspect my uncle of being a psychopath. He’d always been so nice when we lived back home – a little on the quiet side, but he had brought me books for Christmas and shown me magic tricks, even slapped me once when I tried to grab a strawberry from mum’s cheesecake. All in all, a very standard uncle.
    So he invited me in. Then I realised that between him and his apartment he smelt a hell of a lot better. The floorboards were rotten and the sofas crawling with fleas. I lowered myself into an armchair, trying not to throw up when he offered me a cup of tea. He vanished into the kitchen behind me, rummaging through stacks of unwashed plates, and I started telling him about him about my trip so far: which museums we’d visited, which kids had freaked out on the flight, which kids I was thinking of stabbing before the trip home, what Italian phrases I had learned.
    And then the two and a half minutes of sanity were up. My uncle returned from the kitchen and plunged a needle into my neck. I managed to get out half a scream before I passed out, and when I awoke I was locked inside a cupboard. This was to be my new home for the next week and a half.
    I spent the first two days screaming, like you would if you were locked inside a cupboard, right? On the second night my throat was sore and my knuckles bled from where I’d tried to punch my way out. I’ll say one thing for the Venetians: they have strong wood on their cupboards. Anyway, the left door of the cupboard was latticed, so I could see through the holes. Uncle Stern was moving around, stooping and wheezing as he painted something on a big canvas. I hadn’t noticed it when I came in, just like I hadn’t noticed the horrible things on the other side of the apartment. There were dead birds, rats hanging from the rafters, rotting food and buckets of vomit, blood and piss. My uncle was using even more disgusting ingredients than usual. I remember throwing up because of the smell, which isn’t a good thing to do in a two foot square cupboard.
    On the fourth day, the door opened. I staggered towards the light, hungry and with a mouth like sandpaper. But my uncle punched me on the cheek and pushed me back. Then he put another needle in me – my wrist this time – and drew out some blood. It was dull pain, really dull, like when you trap your hand in a door and your fingers are throbbing afterwards. Then the door was locked again and through the lattice I saw him empty the syringe into his paint-pots. He was using me for his painting, the sick bastard. Over the next two days he returned to collect my vomit, my tears, more blood and… other things that I don’t want to mention. And it all went onto the canvas in time.
    By the seventh day I was in and out of consciousness. Sometimes I’d see what he was painting: a giant canvas covered in strange colours; no portraits or objects – just colours. He was mixing my blood with the entrails of the dead animals to make new shades, throwing whole buckets of piss on the paper. Sometimes he would scream and kick at his pots or the carcasses; other times he would laugh and start writing things in a little notebook. I never saw him eat or go outside. I guess that’s why he was going so crazy.
    By the ninth day I figured I’d be dead soon. He was taking more blood each day, keeping me alive on water and bread crusts. But that particular morning something new happened, which made me open my eyes a little. I heard a mobile phone ring, the sound echoing around the horrible apartment. My uncle stopped painting and stepped over his buckets, getting the phone from behind one of the sofa cushions. A long conversation began and my uncle grunted and shouted for most of it. I couldn’t really understand what he was saying, but I could tell he was upset. He went into the kitchen and opened a drawer. I heard a click, but I didn’t know what it was until he came back into the room holding the gun.
    Ever had a gun pointed at you? Well, if you have then you’ll understand why I started crying. It wasn’t something I did often, but this wasn’t an average morning. My uncle crossed the room towards the cupboard, still holding the phone to his ear with his other hand. I started screaming as he opened the door and raised the gun. There was a voice on the other end of the phone; I could just about hear it. A man, his shouts as loud as my screams.
    “Kill him! Do it, kill him!”
    My uncle’s eyes were small and dark, but I could see tears in them. His hand trembled and I was about to call out, to plead with him. But it was too late. He pulled the trigger and all the sound went out of the world. I felt something large and hot move through my chest and then I hit the floor of the cupboard like a rock. All I remembered after that was the door being closed again, the rustle of paper and the sound of my uncle running through the door and down the steps. Then I passed out.
  2. CHAPTER TWO: Why is everyone trying to kill me?

    Is it three pints or four pints of blood you can lose before you die? I never remember. Anyway, I had lost about two pints when I woke up again.
    My first thought was that I’d gone to Heaven, because there was white light everywhere and the cupboard was filling with soft white stuff. I soon realised that it was snow, packed around my legs and bleeding chest. My breath came out in mist as I groaned, the cloud floating through the latticework. Through its holes I saw only whiteness, the whole apartment covered in ice, the dead animals frozen, the furniture snow-topped.
    A woman with pale silver hair was standing by the canvas, but I almost didn’t see her. She was dressed in a long white robe and had a white fur and a diamond necklace hung around her. She looked the same age as my mum, but a lot scarier – the kind of face my teachers had when I did something wrong. I heard her snarl as she ripped my uncle’s canvas apart, tearing the paper and snapping the wooden frame.
    Then she saw the mist that my breath had made. Her head turned sharply towards the cupboard and she lifted a hand. Suddenly the air around me got even colder and I heard little cracking sounds, getting louder and louder as the wood became covered in ice. The woman twisted her hand and the cupboard shattered, frozen wood flying in all directions. I fell into the snow on the living room floor, my chest in agony.
    With just enough strength to lift my head, I looked up to see her coming towards me. She moved like a princess, every step graceful; but she was holding an icicle in her hands, long and sharp enough to impale me. I cried out, trying to shield my face, and for the second time that morning felt that I was about to die.
    Then another strange thing happened. As the woman was standing over me, about to stab me with the icicle, she stopped. A shower of pink rose petals fell between us, landing on the snow and melting it around my face, the air becoming a little warmer. I looked up and saw another woman standing between me and the scary white one. But not really a woman – a girl, about fifteen years old like me. She was crouching and I felt her touch my head, stroking my hair.
    “Oh Mother,” she said cheerfully, “Don’t kill him yet. He might know something.”
    I blinked at the girl who had saved my life. She had white jeans and a short pink top that didn’t cover her stomach. Her hair was long like her mother’s, blonde with a few streaks of pink, the same shade as her eye-shadow. She smelled of strawberries and roses, which completely covered the nastier smells of my uncle’s place. I breathed her in and felt the pain in my chest get a little better.
    “Hello there,” she said, giggling a little as she looked down at me. “My name’s Rosa. What’s yours?”
    My mouth was dry, with snow and ice inside it. When I answered my voice was like gravel, as my uncle’s had been earlier. “He shot me.”
    “Oh look Mother, he’s been shot,” said Rosa, her pretty face creasing in sadness, “Who would do such a thing?”
    “Out of the way, child,” said the woman in white, her voice severe and chilling. She pushed Rosa aside and gripped me by the hair, twisting my head up. “Where is the Painter? Tell me now and your death will be quick.”
    It wasn’t the best of offers. My reply was to scream a little more, but the woman in white didn’t like this. There was a buzz in the air like static and suddenly she was holding something in her other hand: a long piece of bone with a joint at the end. She lifted the club and was about to hit me when the pink girl got in the way again, taking her mother’s hand and gently disarming her.
    “Why don’t I deal with him while you go look for the Painter?” said Rosa excitedly. “He can’t have got far.”
    I held my breath, looking between the savage white woman and her smiling daughter. It was like looking at my uncle again, with the gun. More of my blood was leaking out across the snow, the pain twisting my insides.
    “Very well,” said the white woman at last. She stood and held out a pale finger to her daughter. “Find out everything he knows. Torture him if you have to.”
    “Yes, yes,” said her daughter, waving her mother away as she crouched beside me again and rolled me gently onto my back. I saw the white woman staring at me and her daughter for a few moments and then suddenly she was gone, a freezing snowstorm appearing in her place. A great gust of icy wind rushed across the apartment and through the door, howling into the streets below.
  3. CHAPTER THREE: So, vampires are real?

    The air became a little warmer as the white woman left. I felt Rosa’s hands move around me, coming under my neck and legs. Then, as if I was light as a feather, she lifted me up and carried me to the sofa.
    “This room is terrible,” said the girl, and as soon as she said it a great shower of flowers and petals began to fall from the ceiling and melt away the snow. It was like moving through a forest in autumn, little bits of pink and red tumbling all around. She lowered me onto my uncle’s sofa, where ribbons of soft pink fabric were snaking over the cushions and I collapsed into it. I had barely settled when her hands starting moving over me, circling towards my chest.
    “Okay, um, this might hurt a bit,” she said nervously. I moaned as the tip of her finger entered the bullet hole and then my eyes snapped wide open. It felt as if the wind had been knocked from me and I gasped as my insides twisted again. Something hot and sharp was being pulled from my body, and as it came out the hole was closing behind it. I felt my organs and body tissue being pulled together, made whole again. The bullet lifted out of my chest and Rosa took hold of it, pulling it free.
    “Eew,” she said disdainfully and flicked the bullet across the room. She then rubbed my chest and the bullet hole sealed over completely, the pain vanishing in an instant.
    “Aaagh!” I yelled, wriggling off the sofa and stumbling to my feet. I tried to run, but tripped over the nearby armchair, falling into a heap of pink flowers. Underneath the petals I thrashed around for a moment, then rolled over and scrambled backwards till my back hit the mantelpiece. I stayed there, breathing heavily, staring at the girl who was sat laughing on the sofa. “What the hell are you?”
    “You’re funny,” she laughed. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to torture you like mother wanted.”
    “Damn right!” I shouted. “If you come near me I’ll break your face!” I grabbed one of my uncle’s candlesticks from the mantelpiece and waved it at her to make my point; but she just giggled again.
    “Now, that’s not very nice, is it? Where’s the ‘thank you’ for saving your life? People are so rude these days.”
    I brought a hand to my chest, clutching my blood-soaked t-shirt and prodding beneath it. The wound was gone, healed over completely. “How did you do that?” I snapped at the girl.
    “Gunshot wounds are hard. You have to pull the tissue together and slowly force the bullet out an inch at a time. If only they made pink bullets.” The girl twirled her hair in her fingers as she sat back on the sofa, crossing her slender legs.
    “What are you talking about?” I shouted, waving the candlestick again.
    “Well,” she said, pointing at me and then herself, “Your body is pink, and I’m pink. Bullets are grey.”
    I decided she was a mad woman. There wasn’t much else I could do at the time. Pushing myself to my feet, I waved the candlestick once more and started edging for the door. “I’m going now – my teachers will be looking for me. Get in my way and you’ll be sorr…”
    My head swam with darkness and I tipped forward. The girl was in front of me in the blink of an eye and she caught me before the candlestick even hit the floor. Once again, her freakish strength kicked in, and I slumped against her as she pulled me back to the sofa.
    “My, my, you have lost a lot of blood haven’t you?” She laid me back down on the velvet-wrapped cushions and a strong smell of cherries filled my nostrils. “Here, drink this.” She waved a glass of creamy pink liquid, like milkshake, under my chin. I took it in both hands and drunk, tasting fruit and sherbet as soothing warmth spread through my head. I could smell Rosa next to me, her strawberry perfume sweet. She was playing with my hair, moving the strands out of my eyes as I lay there.
    After draining the glass of its pink drink, I raised my eyes to her, my voice a little softer. “What are you?”
    “Oh, me? I’m a vampire.”
    The glass dropped out of my hand.
    She put her hands against my shoulders and stopped me from wriggling away again. “Now don’t get excited. I’m not going to eat you – you don’t seem to be my type.”
    “What?” I said, sweat running down my face.
    “Well, what’s your favourite colour?”
    “What?” I said again, trying to squirm but helpless against her unnatural strength.
    “Your favourite colour: Red? Blue? Green? Black?”
    “I don’t have one,” I interrupted, making Rosa stop messing with my hair and frown down at me.
    “You don’t have a favourite colour?”
    “Are you sure?”
    She was silent for a while, her frown heavy as she looked to one side, dwelling on my answer. Then she shrugged to herself and the beaming smile came back. “Well, you are a funny boy. No wonder my mother didn’t like you.”
    My trembling eyes looked towards the apartment door, which was still covered in layers of snow where the miniature storm had passed. “Your mother…”
    “Yes, she’s called Ivorene,” said Rosa happily. “She’s the White Vampire. And I’m Rosa, the Pink Vampire.”
    I blinked up at her. “Pink… Vam…”
    “Yes.” The girl suddenly turned, lying down on the sofa next to me. I was frozen in place, my heart beating with terror but my lungs filled with calming perfume. We both lay there, looking up at the ceiling as she talked. “You see, every person in the world (except you, apparently) has a favourite colour – one they enjoy more than all the others. When you choose your favourite colour you pledge a bit of your soul to the creature that made it. That’s us, the Chromatic Vampires. One vampire for every colour.”
    “Right…” I muttered, glancing again towards the exit. Rosa turned over on her side and cushioned her head on hand so she could look at me. Her breath was warm on the side of my face, melting away the ice.
    “You don’t believe me, do you? I suppose you’re like the other boys – all about stakes and fangs and nasty coffins.” She grinned widely, two of her teeth extending into sharpened fangs and making me convulse on the sofa. I was half-tempted to crawl over the back of it and run away. But as quickly as she had shown the fangs they vanished again and she swatted my chest as she laughed. “I’m just joking. Jumpy bones.”
    Pushing myself against the back of the sofa, words caught in my mouth. Stuttering, I started and ended about four sentences, then finally shouted out, “Vampires aren’t real!”
    “Well,” giggled Rosa, “Either I’m a vampire, or you’re hallucinating way too much pink for a fifteen year old boy.”
    It was a fair point. The day was full of surprises. I suppose if uncles were capable of shooting their nephews and snowstorms of happening inside apartments, then believing in vampires wasn’t too big a leap.
    After squirming a little longer I looked down at her and then said uncertainly, “One vampire for every colour?”
    “Mhmm,” she replied, her pink-lidded eyes blinking happily.
    “And, what, you created the colours?”
    “No, we are the colours.” Rosa snuggled closer to me, till our chests were touching. I was a little embarrassed, to say the least, but she didn’t seem to mind. As she spoke I tried to find somewhere to look that wasn’t her face or her bare stomach or the tight jeans around her legs. “See, we all came from Apollo, the god of light. In the beginning he fought with Erebus, the god of darkness, and their battle took them all across the galaxy. After millennia of war, the darkness had consumed most of the universe, leaving only a few scattered outposts – what you call stars. Apollo knew he was about to lose - he was desperate. So he did the only thing he could. When Erebus next attacked him, he broke himself down, trapping parts of himself and Erebus in new forms on the planet Earth.”
    “The colours?”
    “Yeah. Six of us to start with; six vampire demi-gods, with a bit of light and darkness in each. So, you see, it was a stalemate: Apollo and Erebus were now both too weak to beat each other. What was left of Apollo became the Sun, and what was left of Erebus surrounded the planet Earth and has been waiting ever since for a chance to devour it.”
    “So you’re a demigod?”
    “Well, in some ways,” answered Rosa. “I’m the Pink Vampire; so I can control anything that’s pink. See?” The petals around the sofa started to float, falling upwards towards the ceiling. She tapped my nose. “That includes the pink stuff in your chest – that’s how I healed you. And my mother, Ivorene, she’s the White Vampire, so she controls…”
    “Ice and snow, yeah.”
    “And bones and arctic animals and ivory and marble and…”
    I smiled and nodded as she continued listing things, then interrupted her, “So, what about the vampire thing? Aren’t you allergic to sunlight?”
    “Yeah,” said Rosa slowly, her smile fading a little. “See, even though we were demigods, we still had parts of Erebus in us – little bits of darkness. It led to the Hunger. We had to drink blood to survive and the best blood came from those who chose us as a favourite colour. We killed a lot of creatures in those early days. Apollo got worried – he thought we were going to destroy his planet and ruin everything he’d done. So he started to punish us, using his sunlight to drain our power. He made sure we could only be strong at night and weak in the day. It stops us from going too far.”
    The rose petals stopped moving and fell down again as Rosa sighed. We lay there in silence. I could hear the boatmen outside, taking their little gondolas down the canal, and the plucking of a mandolin. Birds were moving between the roofs of the old houses, the water lapping now and then in the wake of a passing speedboat. For a moment I felt at peace in Rosa’s company, her sweet perfume the perfect reprieve to the nine days of stench and misery my uncle had put me through.
    “So, why are you after my uncle?”
    Rosa propped her head on one hand again, her mouth falling open, “The Painter’s your uncle?”
    “And he left you here?”
    “He shot me too, in case you didn’t notice.”
    “My God, what did you say to him?”
    “Oh,” said Rosa, settling down again, “Well, Mother didn’t say. She just came to see me in France and told me to help her track down this guy.”
    “You live in France?”
    She moved closer to me, “Yeah, I have a castle there – you’d love it. It’s pink and I invite all my friends round. We have parties and...”
    My rational side kicked back in – the side that was usually angry and full of denial. Rosa yelped as I pushed her off the sofa and stood up. “No! No! This is stupid. There’s no such thing as vampires or demigods or any of those things. You’re just a pink-freak with delusions of grandeur. This is ridiculous.”
    Rosa rolled around in the petals, laughing as I spoke. “Well, that would make sense, but I still cured you of a gunshot wound, so nyah!”
    She stuck her tongue out of me and I raised my hand. “Shut up!” I then looked down at the sleeve of my sweatshirt and my blue jeans now dark with stains.
    “You need to get cleaned up. I could make you some new clothes, but… y’know… they’d be pink.”
    “It’s fine,” I snapped, “I’ll change back at the hotel.” I suddenly looked up. “The hotel! Oh God, my teachers are going to kill me! I have to get back.”
    I moved for the door and Rosa got up, looking worried, “But mother says I have to torture you.”
    “You stay the hell away from me!” I warned, opening the door, which had almost frozen to the floor.
    “Well at least let me drink some of your blood. She’d get suspicious if I don’t.”
    “Leave me alone you psycho!” I shouted as I ran down the steps.
  4. CHAPTER FOUR: The dangers of Global Warming

    “That’s disgusting!” I said over my shoulder, before quickening my pace.
    “Well at least it’s discreet,” replied Rosa, eating another mouthful of snow. She had taken some snow from my uncle’s apartment – in particular the snow that had been stained with my blood – and was now eating it with a bowl and spoon as she followed me down the street.
    “That’s my blood!” I protested.
    “It’s good,” she replied between mouthfuls. “You’re blood type AB – that’s quite rare.”
    I was stopped in my tracks as a man came running from a side alley, crossing the arched bridge ahead of us. He was breathless, his face pale with terror. I was reminded of a corpse sprinting from the grave as fine snow fell from his head and shoulders like dust.
    “Uh-oh,” muttered Rosa with her mouth full.
    “What the hell is your mother doing?”
    In the distance, behind the rooftops, a great mushroom-cloud of white fog lifted into the sky, carrying bicycles and market stalls with it.
    “She really wants my uncle…” I muttered, before diving to one side as a flock of startled pigeons came flooding out of the same alleyway as the snow-covered man. We ducked into a side passage, Rosa dropping her bowl and hurrying after me.
    “Perhaps we should keep a safe distance.”
    “No, I have to get to my hotel. My teachers are gonna be furious.”
    “Will they shoot you too?”
    We ran down the alleys, twisting and turning through the maze. I could hear shouts either side of us, people coming out of their houses and questioning each other. The Italian babble was lost on me, but as we stopped by a corner-side bar to get her bearings I could hear the TV on inside. It was set to an American news channel, which was reporting on a freak storm in Venice, possibly a result of global warming.
    “Well that’s a silly explanation,” said Rosa.
    “Come on!”
    We ran onwards, turning… blah blah blah (Venice description).
    Finally, we emerged by a larger river, leading to St Marks Square. Several gondolas were in a traffic jam, their oarsmen shouting angrily and pointing at each other angry. Over the buildings opposite, icicles were falling like daggers and piercing the rooftops.
    “Why do all these rivers go the wrong way?” asked Rosa with a frown.
    “Snowball!” I shouted, pointing at the giant ball of ice and snow that was rolling along the riverside towards us. There were more bombarding the opposite bank, as if the city had become a giant pinball machine.
    “Let’s go,” said Rosa, grabbing the back of my shirt.
    “Hey wait, wha…” The rest of my sentence became a yell as Rosa launched herself into the air, carrying me with her. We jumped down onto one of the stranded gondolas, landing for an instant before Rosa pushed off again, leapfrogging across the river to the other side, barely missing a second snowball.
    “No more of that!” I spluttered, stumbling as my feet touched the ground again. “Last time!”
    A few minutes later we entered St Mark’s Square, coming to a halt as we gazed across the wide colonnaded area. People were running in all directions, chased by huskies and reanimated skeletons, probably made from the bones at the museum. The skies were full of startled doves that only added to the panic.
    “Where’s your hotel?” asked Rosa.
    “Over there,” I said, raising a shaky finger to the other side of the square.
    “We’ll never get through all this,” said Rosa, sidestepping as a crowd of screaming tourists fled past her, hotly pursued by a polar bear. I ducked down, putting my hands over my ears as a great explosion shook the square. The opposite side of the arcade collapsed in a shower of snow and ice, the wood and stone shattering apart.
    “Oh cool, Mum made a shortcut.” Rosa grabbed my hand and before I could protest we were running across the square, dodging the snapping wolves and roaring polar bears. I tried my best not to look at the skeletons, the bones of old dinosaurs, elephants and tigers come to life. I kept my gaze on the collapsing building in front of us, watching its frozen pillars topple over and its roof collapse under the weight of snow. Vaulting over the half-ruined wall, we entered the destruction, Rosa’s pace not slowing as she pulled me through the dust and mayhem. We ducked under another collapsing pillar, through a hole in a wall, over a snow-covered sofa, between a pair of shattering statues and finally got out the other side, the building falling in on itself behind us.
    “That was cool,” said Rosa, letting go off my hand and turning to look at the ruin we had just narrowly got through.
    “You have to tell your mother to sto- Woooah!” I fell off the edge of the pavement and into the river on the other side of the building. “Ow!” I groaned as I hit the ice. The river was completely frozen over.
    A short distance away, down one of the other alleyways, I could hear the voice of Ivorene, the White Vampire. She was shouting at someone, interrogating a group of Italians who were pleading back at her. There was another whistling snowstorm, followed by the sound of the next building collapsing.
    “Nearly there,” said Rosa, jumping down onto the ice beside me and helping me up. We stumbled down the frozen river towards the hotel, Rosa giggling as we slid around.
  5. CHAPTER FIVE: Well, it’s like this…

    “Ryan Baxter!” roared the large man stood in the middle of the hotel lobby, “Where the bloody hell have you been?”
    Me and Rosa stumbled through the double doors of the hotel, snow and feathers falling off us. “Hi, Mr Abbot,” I replied, coughing up some chalk dust.
    My teacher was dressed in his faded white suit as usual, a camera slung around his neck, the lens gleaming like the glass of his spectacles. “Your parents will hear about this, boy!” he continued yelling, his few remaining tufts of grey stood on end. We stopped as he raised a dramatic finger and pointed at Rosa. “Who is this?”
    The girl smiled, stepping forward and reaching to shake Mr Abbot’s finger. Hi, I’m Rosa the Va…”
    “Venetian!” I shouted over her, putting my arm across her shoulders and pulling her back. “Yes, Rosa the Venetian – lovely girl. Got a bit lost back there at the museum and she… er… she helped me.”
    “How dare you!” interrupted Mr Abbot, “The class and I have been worried sick!” He jabbed a finger over his shoulder at some bored and disinterested teenagers. Several of my classmates were stood in the lobby lounge, watching the carnage through the windows. Some of them scowled at me, clearly disappointed that I was still alive. I get that look a lot.
    “We called the police, the airport, everyone!” continued Mr Abbot. “And for what - to find you gallivanting around with some local fleusie?”
    “I’m French!” retorted Rosa.
    “We trusted you to be responsible on this trip!” continued the teacher, “I’m disappointed, Baxter – very disappointed.”
    “I’m sorry…”
    “Oh, you’re sorry? Well that’s not good enough, Baxter!” Mr Abbot, a tall and somewhat severe man, then strode towards me, his face getting redder. “What have you been doing all this time? And don’t even think about lying, you little swine!”
    “Well, if I told you the truth, you’d just get more angry,” I replied, leaning backwards.
    “Try me, boy!” screamed Mr Abbot.
    “I got shot by my uncle then resurrected by a vampire whose mother is now eradicating the city,” I blurted.
    “It’s true, he did,” added Rosa.
    One of Mr Abbot’s large hands pointed at Rosa. “You, go home to your mother.” His other hand gripped my shoulder. “You, get over here.” With a hefty shove he flung me into the lounge area with the rest of my classmates. “Now all of you!” he yelled, “Back to your rooms. I don’t want to see any of you until this terrorist attack is over!”
    “Terror what?” I said.
    “Can I go to the rooms too?” asked Rosa, causing Mr Abbot to swing around.
    “Now look here, young lady. I don’t know what they do in Venice or France or wherever it is you come from, and frankly I don’t care! This is a school trip and I’ll thank you to leave my students well alone.”
    “But mother says I have to torture him!” said Rosa, grabbing hold of the teacher’s sleeve as he tried to move away.
    “I don’t care what you Italians get up to. Just leave my children out of it!”
    If the exclamation mark at the end of that sentence wasn’t big enough, then the demolition of the hotel’s west wall certainly emphasized his shout. In a wave of sawdust, masonry and ice the lobby imploded, a snowstorm tearing into the space before us. Mr Abbot staggered back into the lounge area, spreading his arms as if to shield the class, who had taken cover behind the sofas. The wave of snow rolled across the lobby and as it passed the hotel staff and customers slowly peered out from their hiding places to see the white-robed woman standing next to Rosa.
    “Aha!” I shouted, pointing at the two vampires and receiving a frightened glance from Mr Abbot.
    “The Painter’s gone,” said Ivorene to her daughter. “He’s no longer in the city.”
    “How’d he get out so fast?” asked Rosa.
    “I don’t know. We must speak with Raivyn.” Ivorene glanced around as she spoke, noticing me and Mr Abbot standing at the head of our terrified group. Her diamond-like eyes fixed on me and she advanced, crossing the rubble-strewn lobby in a few strides. I yelped and hid behind my teacher.
    “Now look here,” started Mr Abbot, before issuing a similar yelp to mine as he was shoved aside. Ivorene gripped my bloodstained shirt and pulled me closer.
    “Last chance, boy. Where has the Painter run to?”
    “I don’t know!” I shouted, struggling for breath. “I haven’t seen him in years. He’s gone crazy.”
    “It’s true, mother – he doesn’t know anything.”
    Ivorene gripped around my throat, her nails like porcelain as they dug into my jaw. “Have you fed on him?” she asked her daughter, eyes still piercing into me.
    “Mhmm. So you don’t have to kill him,” said Rosa cheerfully.
    The White Vampire peered closely at me, an arctic chill coming from her face. There was a pause and then her pale features twitched slightly. “No, I don’t. The poison will do that.”
    Before I could question this particular comment, she dropped me to the ground. Instead it was Rosa who spoke up. “Poison?”
    Ivorene started back towards her daughter, leaving me and Mr Abbot to pull ourselves up on the sofas. “It’s in his blood. He’ll be dead in two hours.”
    “What?” I shouted, stumbling to follow her.
    “That’s not good. What can we do?” asked Rosa, looking between me and her mother.
    “That’s not your concern, child. We must meet with Raivyn.”
    “But what about Baxter?”
    “He’s dead!” snapped Ivorene, her pearl-white eyes fixing on her daughter. It went very quiet in the lobby. Rosa looked at me, a little anxious, and then followed after her mother. So it was that my classmates, Mr Abbot and I all found ourselves watching two vampires walk away into the smoke and sawdust around the demolished hotel wall.
  6. *lurks around the shadows waiting for Saxum*

    fucking awesome dude.
  7. Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooore!
  8. I'll do some more this weekend. Hopefully I'll be in the right mood...
  9. "I can't live off you. You'll die." Anya suck on his neck playfully.

    *Claws at Asmo's eyes*
  11. Aw... No mention of Raine? My beautiful Blue Vampire? It looks cool to me so far, I like it. :)