Those of you who read Project Goddess are probably thinking 'oh geez, she can't even handle updating one story, and now this... That idiot,' and, as much as I dearly -appreciate- the support, there's no need to 'worry' about me dropping PG (my ego demands that I pretend people care *_*). Yeah... Not gonna happen.
Anyway, any new readers are huggled violently -- and I mean that in the least intrusive way possible. This fic is an idea that's been in the works for awhile. I'm not sure what kind of monster I'm creating, and I've never even read a single vampire-based novel before, so, I'm hoping to be as original with this as I can.
Vampires. Tofu. Unwilling senile heroine. Actual plot motion. Pepper spray. Blood. Dementia. Cynicism galore.
Let's get started, shall we..?
These Bloody Fangs of Mine
Written by: Kit
EPISODE ONE: Assume Nothing
Ah, vampires. The deadly night dwellers whose bloodlust and vicious nature strike fear into the hearts of men, women and children. These heartless creatures can consume your very life and soul as they prowl under the curtain of darkness, waiting, watching for unsuspecting victims.
Or, y'know... -Not-.
It surprises me how many inconsistencies and misrepresentations there are when it comes to vampires. Everyone knows the stereotype: Black cape, pale face, sharp, blood-covered fangs and bat-metamorphosing tendencies. Classic horror to modern-day action; all these vampiric commonplaces lead to the same conclusion:
People are idiots.
Death by sunlight, crosses, garlic -- Garlic? Honestly now, what would a touch of garlic do to a vampire? Bad-breath 'em to death?
Ah, but the 'wooden-stake-through-the-heart' thing, now that has some truth to it. But then again, how many living creatures do you know that can have some pointy object shoved through it's main organ and NOT die, hn?
But, I didn't come here to rant about the ignorance of society (because heaven knows we ARE ignorant). No, what I did come here to do was to set the record straight by offering my account. Share my experience with vampires; my take on the whole thing, right from the beginning.
I wasn't always this way. I used to be an idiot too.
So pull up a chair. Or stay rocking back and forth on the floor, whatever.
Who knows, you just might learn something...
I'd like to start off my story with a bang. I'd like to tell you that I am a famous supermodel, or a successful business woman, or, heck, even that I'm a semi-interesting human being. I'd like to grab your attention with something so incredibly witty that you'd never ever consider skimming over my life and then tossing it aside with a disappointed sigh.
Unfortunately, as you may have foreseen, that isn't the case here.
My name is Omeki Kaho; female, age nineteen -- and I am sitting on a bus.
Or, at least I -would- be sitting on a bus, had I not slept in an hour too long, awoken in a panic, broken my fishbowl, rescued my poor dying guppy by placing him in a cracked flower vase, and then instantaneously... missed said bus.
My name is Omeki Kaho; female, age nineteen -- and I am running like a maniac through one of the most busy streets in the city. I have already bumped into fifteen people, leapt over five dogs, and been cursed at a total of thirty-seven times.
Ooomph!! ..... --Make that thirty-eight.
I skidded around a light pole, narrowly avoiding being placed among the ranks of cliché cartoon characters.
Another fact about me: I cannot re-elongate my flattened face by blowing air into my thumb.
I just thought you should know that.
"Where's the fire, jou-chan?!" A young woman asked me with a flighty laugh as I dodged her and, judging by the leech-like grip she had on her companion's arm, her boyfriend as well.
"Sorry!" I managed to shout, before going back to mumble what had been my inspirational mantra, under my now-heaving breath. I was -far- from being an athlete.
"Gonnabelategonnabelate" I panted, my leg muscles stitching uncomfortably as I made my way quickly across a walkway, "I'm gonna be late... pant... andendupliving... pant... inaboxoutside... pantpant... averyunsanitarybox..."
Yes. Very far.
My panicky psychobable wavered as I spotted the narrow building that was my destination. Sitting more than snugly in between a run-down lawyer's office and a pawn shop posing as a jewellery store, posing as a pawn shop, the slightly crooked dining 'establishment' looked as if it had been crushed into place by a very angry man with a very big mallet.
Setting: My place of work, Tomas's Tofu Hut.
In my elation, which was a sad enough thing in itself, I forgot the well-known fact that after years of being trampled on by the masses, sidewalks tend to crack and shift. My white-sneakered foot, or toe rather, caught on one of the many poorly-tarred holes and I was flung face-first through the air.
It was like flying...
... For a total of one point four seconds.
There are two ways of looking at this situation. You could either be angry and embarrassed at tripping over the ground, or you could be grateful that, instead of flattening your face (my inability to remedy that was mentioned earlier), you landed on a nice soft body instead, and thus your fall was broken.
Or, you could even take the third route, as I had done, and blossom into feelings of angry, mortification, apologia and suicide all at the same time.
Upon slamming point-blank into the back of this rather unsuspecting man, he himself stumbled forward and I, having yet to master gravity, lurched with him, my nose pressed awkwardly into the brown suede of his jacket. Instead of tumbling to the ground, however, he caught his balance and managed to save both himself and his expensive-looking cell phone from being plastered to the pavement.
I looked up at the back of his head and spotted greyish hair. My mind panicked.
I had almost killed an old person. Kami, how was I going to pay for an ambulance? What if he -died-? I'd be a murderer! Ohmigod--ohmigod! I could've broken his hip or something equally horrible and then I'd be sued and then be turned out on the street because of course he'd win the case being that he was old, and I was the young insane psychopath who--
"I-I'm so sorry, sir! Are you all right?" I quickly went about inquiring, grasping his shoulder in a deathlike grip, preparing to drag him to the nearest place of medicine if need be...
"Is anything broken? Do you need to be taken to the hospital? Sir? SIR??"
The head of strange silvery hair spun around and I found myself looking at a rather fuzzy image of either a) a young, very handsome man who went a little crazy with silver hair dye, b) an old jii-chan with a whole lot of botox.
Or.. c) a mirage, conjured up by my imagination, due to a combination of extreme stress and physical exertion.
I'd really like it to be that last one.
"I think I'll live," the man, who was unfortunately -not- a mirage, grunted at me, "But you should watch where you're going, miss." He held up his hand and I was surprised to find that, after the panic had cleared, the entire world around me seemed very... blurred.
I reached up and patted my eyes. Nope, nothing.
"Ah, crap!" I swore, squinting and looking around for a pair of thick black frames. Where were they? I had the eyesight of a blindfolded fruit bat without those coke-bottle lenses that had been mine for a good ten years.
What if they were crushed?! How was I going to get new ones? I listened for the dreaded crunching of glass and plastic. Without my glasses, it was likely that I would just wander around aimlessly for hours, then days, and eventually end up dying from thirst a mere ten feet from where I lived.
Even worse, how was I going to get to work??
A brown arm held up something. I blinked. The arm sighed and slid the familiar weight back into place on the bridge of my nose. Everything regained focus, and I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
"Thank you very much, sir and I'm really very sorry about.. um... falling on you and... uh..."
His cell phone blared something incomprehensible and he dusted himself off before raising it to his ear.
"Cessez ton hurler, je suis ici même. Non, une idiote maladroit s'est cogné dans moi. Rien sur Yukito encore."
I gaped stupidly, but not only at the language (which I had absolutely no idea of, me being simple and uncultured). Now that I could see him clearly, there was something... off with this guy -- aside from having the odd silver hair, that is. He looked sort of Japanese, but foreign too. With that nice patrician nose, and uncommon green eyes, I guessed that maybe one of his parents was European.
He was also young-looking, couldn't be more than twenty-five, and yet, something in his posture, or maybe his face, suggested...
The hand that had grasped his shoulder started to tingle uncomfortably and I jerked my arm back as if he'd bitten me.
His darkened brows lifted for a split second before he snorted, brushed me off, and continuing on his path down the street. I watched him for a moment in a daze before realizing...
Living alone in a big city is not always the easiest thing for a girl of a young age such as myself. I have two part-time jobs this summer, and, despite the earlier example of tardiness, I am usually pretty responsible and serious about what I do.
But it was so, SO hard to keep a straight face and pretend to be content with my life choices while frying frozen tofu burgers over an open grill, and having to listen to the incessant chewing of bubble gum by the two lazy-eyed people at your side.
Chomp. Chomp. Chomp. Smack. Pop. Chomp.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to take this metal spatula and shove it down someone's throat.
But, no, an employee at Tomasu Toe-fu Hut-tuh -- which is how it was pronounced by all, despite Maro Tomas's desire for this to be a Western-style articulately English health diner -- always remained calm in the face of adversity. And Hubba Bubba. And grease-coated metal spatulas screaming at you for a little blood.
Yes, I am Omeki Kaho and I fry tofu for a living.
The excitement kills me. Every. single. day.
Okay, I was late to work, thanks to the grey-haired man on the cell phone (an incident I was trying vigorously to forget), but my friend Jeri had 'gracefully' covered for me, keeping the staff bathroom door locked and saying that I was in there having excessive bowel movements.
Needless to say, I wasn't bothered about it by my superiors.
Ah, Jeri. What a pal she is.
Speak of the devil, the very girl whisked through the off-white swinging doors that led to the privileged customer service position. She wore a charming, if pasted on, smile and her jet black hair still looked as fluffed and meticulously manipulated as it had in the morning when she began.
I'd like to think it was Jeri's developed people skills and almost-fluent English that allowed her to rise out of the Hut's lard-filled kitchens and into the fresh air, behind the cash registers instead of myself. But, I simply can't ignore the fact that the short-sleeved white blouse and tiny green skirt that was the Tofu Hut uniform looked much more appealing on her womanly curves than my... practically non-existent, pathetically-stickish figure.
But I smiled and waved anyway. Jeri Miaoto couldn't help being irrevocably cuter than myself, and I refused to resent her for it. In sixty years we'll all look the same anyway... Well, except for the fact that I'd still be sporting the fashionless, multi-layered eyewear...
For some reason, I felt a warm rush across my face.
"Ah, Kaho-chan," Jeri finally sighed, in that lilting, cheerful voice of hers, "how are the orders?"
The pimply-faced teen beside me blew a big pink bubble and, upon popping, covered his bored and equally-pimply features. He used the spatula handle to scrape most of it off and then continued flipping.
"They're coming along," I grumbled dryly.
"Sakeru has to leave early," she commented with a smile, "so Tomas told me to come get you from the back to take orders. Have fun."
I was shocked. Me? A lowly food-maker, talking to customers? This was a new step on my journey of employment. Small, but substantial -- and equally sad.
So I did just that and took the young Sakeru's usual position facing the street and, of course, smiled as customers gave me their orders. Not having to breathe in the grease-thickened air for many consecutive hours was very good for my lungs, I do believe.
I am Omeki Kaho and I have been temporarily upgraded to Tofu Hut cashier. I'm a proud little pedestrian, yes I am.
About an hour into my new assignment, there was a lull in business and I rested my arms on the counter. I looked out onto the sidewalks and watched people stroll back and forth. Forth and back.
It was strange, but I've always enjoyed watching people.... Wow, that sounded so much less stalker-like in my head... But, seriously, it was funny, and sometimes eccentric what people did when they thought no one was watching.
Grey hair. My eyes immediately shot to the left...
... Only to stare at an stony-faced old lady with three purses and a slight limp.
Brown jacket. I squinted. No, too short; it was just a kid.
Why was I doing this? Wasn't I supposed to be mortified? Wasn't I supposed to be burying that little embarrassment deep within my subconscious..?
And then-- there he was. Emerging from behind the crowd just across the street. Mr. Suede-Jacket had a small bag in his hand.
The tingling feeling returned, this time racing up my back.
Then he turned, and I swore he met my eyes, just above the tops of cars racing along the street. He held my gaze for a moment, and, unless I was imagining all of this (which was quite likely), he mouthed something to me...
It was then I noticed he was holding his cell phone up to his ear.
Mouthing something to me... Right. Wishful-type thinking really does drive people insane.
"Uh, excuse me miss?" My head shot to the right quickly, causing the sharp, but familiar pain of whiplash. I laughed nervously at the voice, while lolling my head at an awkward angle in order to stop the muscle stitch.
"Hello, I'd like to order a number six," he coughed with a false politeness. It was a sideways man, with sideways short auburn-red hair, nice sideways features and equally pleasant sideways---
"... Uh..." I straightened my head out and nodded shakily. The young man looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place him. His lips were pressed together impatiently and his stormy blue stare, while handsome enough, was much more calculating than I would've liked.
"Number six, c-check," I murmured and wrote out the order before punching it into the register, "that'll be--" He dropped a few bills on the counter and nodded swiftly.
"This'll do it, no doubt."
I gaped yet again at the-- obviously loaded (with drink or money, I wasn't sure which) --stranger.
"That'll more than do it, sir," I coughed dumbly and finished processing the order, avoiding the man's glare, which I could feel penetrating through my very cranium. My eyes then wandered back across the street to where He had been. Not surprising, the man's tall, lithe figure had been washed away with the tide of people.
I felt strangely disappointed.
My 'generous' customer followed my gaze and muttered something inaudible under his breath. I let loose a shiver, despite the long-awaited warm weather.
A minute later he was gone and Jeri was prodding my back eagerly.
"How did you not faint?" She teased, "even more, why didn't you at least smile at him instead of freezing up like that? You looked quite dumb, y'know."
Didn't she realize by now? I always look like that.
Alas, humouring my pretty friend, I gave her a confused look.
"Hn? The customer? Why would I smile at him?"
She laughed and swatted me in the head lightly.
"Because, baka, besides being a customer, who you are supposed to treat with courtesy and respect to begin with, -that- was Yukito Ikatouya, the famous stock-holder guy, remember Kaho? From the news?"
I didn't. Probably because my apartment was lacking a television.
Yukito..? It was a common name, and yet..
Ack, I'd better stop thinking on the job.
An innocent, unprotected girl walking the streets at night was not the smartest thing in the world, and I was well aware of that as I placed one hand in my bag, clenched tightly to a spray can of the deadly pepper variety.
You see, I wasn't born in the city. No, my parents raised me in a small neighbourhood where you knew who your neighbours were, what they ate for supper every night, and why they ate it (amongst other unnecessary details, such as the level of nakedness one achieved when alone... Unpleasant memories...). I lived this way with my younger brother Ken for a full fifteen years until my parents decided to break all the Small-Comfy-Community-Rules and get a quiet divorce.
Well, I'm sure they meant for it to be quiet anyway.
My father moved out as soon as possible -- and took Ken with him. My mother got stuck with me. Personally, I think she got the worse end of that particular deal.
But, she just recently got herself engaged to this man named Tsumani Akeno, whom I've only met once, and I'm... happy for her. I am.
You see, I figured the house wasn't big enough for the three of us, especially with Akeno's dogs and children, or children and dogs. --I get them confused sometimes. So, I moved here in order to attend University in the fall, got my own measly apartment and now have to deal with bloodcurdling problems like walking to the bus stop a block away from where I work.
Walking... In the pitch black. (Well, if you ignore the street lights, and cars, and shop signs...)... In the midst of rapists and murderers... --And big alley-dwelling street rats the size of your head.
Better paranoid than dead, I always say-- and then I proceeded to double-check that my Swiss Army Knife-Thingie was all ready for action... Y'know, just in case. My spork was a deadly one.
At any rate, I've done this plenty of times before, and nothing bad has ever happened. After all the training my mother has put me through -- Training that included self-defence lessons, pepper-spray drills, and much practice screaming 'rape' over and over again in my backyard (we won't get into the consequences of that) -- I've never had to defend myself from rapists, murderers, thieves, or big alley-dwelling street rodents of any size.
This was a good thing. Having absolutely no excitement in your life was decidedly safer than having -bad- excitement in your life.
I kept up telling myself these things reassuringly. And I also kept up with not being reassured. Stupid vicious cycles.
I spotted the bus stop after what seemed like forever and heaved a great sigh of relief, despite the fact that the three-sided plastic box would not offer me much protection from the above dangers.
... Especially if the murderer/rapist/sewer rat was already waiting for me.
I stopped in my tracks as the figure in the booth shifted it's position. It leaned menacingly against an equally frightening advertisement for pure mountain water, leaving a long black shadow in it's wake.
I figured I could just wait for the bus from here.
A heavy hand rested on my shoulder. Flashbacks of my rigorous training came back to me. --I sprang into action.
"Kyaaaaa! Take this rapist!!" I spun around and let loose with the spray. I then set a serious of random kicks and punches, hurried and pumped up with some Kaho-adrenaline.
But there was no cries of pain, and my feet didn't connect with anything. Not a shin, not a knee, not any other... sensitive body parts.
A hand grabbed my wrist and I screamed.
Funny how I never needed that backyard practice.
"Girl. Shut up. Where is he?" The harsh, choppy whisper cut through my noise like a knife through butter (or my flesh... Panic ensuing...), and another hand came to my throat. I struggled relentlessly, but it was no use.
"Where is he hiding?" The growl, infinitely male, rang in my ears as warm breath huffed into my ear. The assailed skin gave way to goosebumps.
"What the heck are you.. talking about?!" I demanded, continuing my efforts to pull out of his grip, which, while being firm, wasn't painful in the least.
"You know what, dammit! Hiryuu! Who else would I be looking for?" His grip slackened for a moment and I managed to spin around.
I gasped, staring up at his angry face.
Blue eyes glared down at me and dark red hair blew around his head in a sudden breeze.
"You're Y-Yukito Ika... Ita... ehh... t-that stockholder guy..." I muttered incredulously, eyes wide. He snorted.
"Where. is. Hiryuu?" Yukito growled again, gripping my shoulders tightly, "you smell like him all over, and I know you saw him today."
"I smell like... Hey! I'm a very hygienic person I'll have you know!" I exclaimed, half of me indignant, the other a victim of unthinking terror, "a-and I suggest you let me go because I took self defence and I can kick your sorry as--"
"I'll ask you one more time, and if you don't answer, I'm going to have to kill you."
My blood turned cold and I couldn't speak, not that anything I could've said would be even slightly comprehensible.
Do filthy rich stockholders just go out and randomly kill people? Or was I a special case?
At my shell-shocked expression, Yukito leaned in.
"I don't care what lies that bastard has fed you. He's done some terrible things in this life and he deserves to be destroyed slowly and painfully."
... But... I didn't even know Hiryuu, I wanted to cry... All I did was work at a Tofu Hut and pay my bills and look after my cat and my goldfish, despite the fact that I almost killed him this morning, but surely that didn't warrant me -dying-, by any stretch of imagination---
His hand moved from my neck and yet another layer of goosebumps were born. With a sharp flick off his wrist, he did something... wrong to my collarbone, and then reached around and I felt an unnatural release of pressure in my back. No, my spine.
I waited for pain.
Funny thing is, it didn't come; there was just this dullish throbbing all over. You'd think it would hurt... Or something... But, no, everything was ridiculously calm and I'm not even sure what particular injury had taken place. Then again, it -did-, I did, and slowly my legs ceased to function and my body sunk to the ground like jello.
"What're you doing?!" An angry voice filtered through the droning whirr that was my hearing. My vision was worse; all I could see was a blackish haze.
Oh, that wasn't haze, it was the sidewalk. I had landed face down. I'm not sure where my glasses went... Not that it mattered.
"I knew you'd be around here somewhere. Upset, are we?"
There was an angry growl. "I don't even know that chit! She's some little moron who bumped into me this morning! She cooks tofu for crying out loud!"
I heard a laugh -- Yukito's laugh, I think. It wasn't as pleasant as one might think, but I may be slightly biased...
"Well, that's no good, is it?"
Real black started to fill my vision and the promise of blinding pain scratched at the edges of my consciousness.
Another chuckle. "You won't do it, will you Hiryuu? You'd let her die, hn? Like the others?"
"You already know the answer to that. ... You shattered her bloody spine; she's already dead."
Shattered my spine... Was this how it felt..? I felt a strange twinging, not quite painful, down my back and legs. Gods, what was happening..?
"--And you call me a monster, you moralizing bastard." An arm draped across my form and my head was pulled up to look into a face, "she's quite alive, if not for too long. Paralysed, the poor thing..."
Ah, somewhere it registered dimly. This was Ika--.. uh... Yukito again?
"I don't do that anymore. You shouldn't either... Just let this one die in peace. We can settle this between us like always." The second voice was bordering on anxiety. I wondered why, with such warm arms, warm... I was losing it... Losing something... My sanity, no... My glasses...? Something wasn't right here.
As if punishment for even thinking such an obvious thought, my mind screamed at my body and all of a sudden I felt as if I was being ripped apart from the inside out. Twisted spurts of agony splashed white and red before my closed eyes. I nearly blacked out, dangling my feet over that blasted stone ledge of consciousness.
"Really now," the figure above me rumbled, although I was too busy curling around myself to grasp a single word he said, "you won't even try to stop me, so just sit back and watch. You go for that sort of thing, don't you?"
"Godammit, Yukito," even if the debate didn't mean a thing, the protective growl rumbling in his throat is something to this day I won't forget. "This isn't revenge. So leave her the fuck out of this!"
And then, seeing as it was a rather climactic part of my life, of course the cliff had to go and crumble, causing everything in my immediate vision to plummet into darkness.
... It was the beginning of some interesting (read: borderline fanatical) things for me...
I need blood. But, despite popular belief, I don't bleed people dry. I cook with garlic (or try to anyway) and my reflection is very much visible, even if sometimes I wish it wasn't. My canines are unusually pointed and biting the inside of your cheek is hell. Night is a favourite, although I require much heavily-sugared coffee to stay awake past twelve. I happen to be allergic to sun... lotion.
My name is Omeki Kaho and I am a vampire.
--Nice weather we're having, ain't it?
~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~ Author's Ramble ~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~
So there's the chap... Uh. Yeah. ¬.¬ It's an intro to what I hope will be a worthwhile fic. It's based in Japan, but seeing as I lived in Canada, there's definitely going to be some things a little off. Bear with me, and Please do review. Nothing makes me happier than a good round of self-improvement, may it be in the form of compliment or violent flame-type combustion. And, check out my other fic if you want (sure it's a shameless plug, but that's redundant nowadays). Oh, and have a good weekend. ^__^ Another month 'till school's out for us high-schoolers. *dances shamelessly*
So ja for now folks; thanks for reading -- and, no, I can't give you your time back... ^-^;;