Just another Hero
"While I can run, I'll run;
While I can walk, I'll walk;
When I can only crawl, I'll crawl
But by the grace of God,
I'll always be moving forward."
-- Joseph Addison
Thunder echoed across the sky, but it was still refusing to rain. It had been like this for several nights, no rain, just thunder. The mid-August drought was upon the little ancient city and everything was suffering. Trees were wilting, flowers were dying, and the grass resembled sand.
I crouched on top of a closed up church, the tallest building in my territory. Clinging to its ledge with my six inch claws, I surveyed the main highway of the city. It was a crime free night; the drought had also evaporated the badness of my territory. How boring.
"Is your territory empty of germs like mine?"
I groaned. "Whatever happened to the law of not going into each others territories Prue?"
Prue landed swiftly behind me, her combat boots making a soft thudding noise on the church's roof as they made contact with the brownstone of the building. "Hi to you too Cooler,"
"Oh come on Cooler, there has to be something up if the germs aren't out playing their annoying little games. Like that's why we're here right? To kill all the germs and leave earth a happy place."
"You keep telling yourself that." I said as I slowly turned to face her.
She was grinning at me. Her fiery orange hair framed her heart shaped face and with mahogany brown eyes, she was what you could call stunning. Dressed in a black corset, with a short black skirt, black and white striped stockings she looked conspicuous, when really our kind worked hard to not stand out.
"Why do you think the germs aren't out?" Prue demanded with a childish stomp of her left foot. "It's been a week."
"Don't tell me you're getting bored Prue."
"I'm dying here Cooler, it's so incredibly boring without some little germ wanting to kill a human." She stomped her foot again, as if to be making a point. "You must be as bored as I am."
"You're already dead Prue." I pointed out.
She stuck out her bottom lip towards me, like a child. "Why are you always so mean?"
"Because you don't follow the rules," I said. "Go back to your own territory."
Prue snapped out her black wings, ready to take off before something caught her attention. "Hey…what's that?"
I turned towards the direction she was looking in. There in one of the alleys was a girl getting chased by a band of thugs. "No germs, not my concern."
Prue looked appalled. "But it's an innocent human girl!"
"No germs, no fight." I argued. "It's not in the job description."
"Cooler," Prue whined. "They're going to rape her! Get a heart and go throw some punches, I know you want to."
"Prue, get out of my territory." I ordered as I turned away from her and the human girl. "Just leave me alone."
Prue looked at my back sulkily. "Do something out of the job description for once Cooler." With one last little sigh; she flew away from me, towards her own territory.
I slowly turned towards the girl in the alley again. She was still running, but she was stumbling now as exhaustion started to creep up on her. It wouldn't be long until the three thugs that were after her could have their disgusting fun.
I moved closer to the edge of the roof, my nails scrapping against the ancient stone. I leaned forward, narrowing my eyes so I could get a better look of the alley. The girl had fallen now and one of the men was on top of her. He ripped at her clothes as she screamed and struggled, trying to get away from him.
Something inside me lurched, a glimmer of fear, a sick twist of my insides, and the terrifying feeling of betrayal and utter helplessness. My nails dug unconsciously into the stone, my knuckles turning white with the harsh grip.
"Do something out of the job description for once Cooler."
I sighed as I snapped out my black wings. At least I would be having a bit of fun by beating the thugs into a bloody pulp. With that thought in mind, I jumped from my ledge, letting my wings catch an air currant last minute and bolted forward towards the alley.
I dropped down behind a dumpster, crouching low into the shadows, I peeked from around the corner to find the girl finally getting up and starting to try and run away again.
"Come on chick." One of the thugs purred, obviously the leader of the trio. "Just one little romp in the hay, nothing more."
"Get away from me!" the girl spat.
I had to admire her bravery as I retracted my wings so they fit snugly against my spine again. Slowly I stood up and stepped out of the shadows, a week had gone by since I had fought anything. This was going to be a little too much fun.
"Hey guys," I said casually as I walked up beside them. "Last time I checked it wasn't very gentlemen like to chase a lady through an alley."
"Who the hell are you?" the leader demanded, glaring at me.
"I would say your worst nightmare…but I find that a little clichéd."
The three thugs turned away from the girl, facing me. I pulled out a crowbar from one of my many pockets of my leather trench coat.
"Now gentlemen," I said, swinging the crowbar in circles, causing it to make a whistling sound. "Lets all be reasonable here… if you leave in peace I won't have to kick your sorry asses. If you prefer to fight me…well I'll get some well earned fun now won't I?"
The leader ran at me, his fist ready to smash through my face. I stepped sideways easily and jabbed the curled end of the crowbar squarely into his ribs. A sound of snapping bone filled the air as the man crumpled to the ground.
"Well that was a nice demonstration." I said as I stared at the unconscious body of the leader. "I was hoping for a bit more fun…but you're only human."
The leader's minions looked shocked, but not wanting to show that were as weak as their unconscious leader, they ran at me too. With a swing of the crowbar, it landed on the one guys head, making him fall like a rock. The other tried to tackle me in the middle, but instead I jabbed the curled end of the crowbar into his stomach, making him double over and fall to the ground.
I finally turned to look at the girl. She looked terrified, her face pale. Her brown eyes were wide with shock, and her lips were partly open as if she was about to say something to me. That's when she fainted.
Cursing I rushed forward to catch her limp body before it could make contact with the pavement.
"Hey you did what I asked for once." Prue said with a giggle as she landed beside me. "But I think I said save the girl…not kill her."
"She's not dead," I growled through gritted teeth. "She fainted."
"Humans are so weak." Prue said simply as she leaned forward and sniffed the girl's hair.
I jerked the girl away from her. "Can you not do that please?"
Prue pouted again. "What are you going to do with her now? You can't leave her on the streets at night."
"I'll take her to my loft…until she wakes up." I said indecisively and started walking towards the main street, carrying the girl.
"Do you think that's a good idea?" Prue pressed as she started to follow a few steps behind me. "Being that close to human blood and all, and especially since you've probably haven't fed for a week."
"I can control myself." I whispered.
"Remember last time…"
"Ok, ok." Prue muttered. "I get the point Mr. Grouchy Pants."
I groaned as we finally made it to the main street. The street was pretty much empty except for a random car passing by or even a horse drawn carriage.
"You can go back to your territory now Prue." I murmured as I looked around. Even though I could be invisible to people by choice, I still got paranoid that they could still see me.
"Fine," Prue said, actually being easy for once. "I'll check on the girl later when you're asleep ok?"
Before I could turn her down, she was already flying away. For once in my life I wished Prue wasn't scared of cell phones, wait I wished she was scared of them, but carried one anyway. Just so I could phone her cell and scare the living shit out of her.
With that thought in mind I started heading towards the all night club where my loft was located. The techno music was still playing and I could hear the echoes of laughter of the people inside.
I decided to head into my loft the back way. Going in through the front to just have a bunch of people giving me questioning looks towards me because I had a teenage girl cradled in my arms was enough for me to stay away.
Once inside I placed her in one of my padded leather couches. I grabbed the old afghan that was placed on the back of the couch and threw it over her. I stepped back, somewhat at loss now. It had been awhile since I had been around an actual human girl, though it was a tad easier since she was asleep.
She looked peaceful, in a memorizing way. Her face was almost perfect, with a well rounded nose, and lush thick lips. Her walnut coloured wavy hair fell into her face in thin wisps. She was pretty, for a human. A whole lot different from Prue, this girl wore much more sophisticated clothing then the stuff Prue wore which she got at thrift shops. Her hair was a normal brown colour and her eyes the same. She wasn't exotic, nor did she seem outrageous. She was normal and normal looking, an absolutely normal teenage girl.
A knock sounded on the door. "Hey man you in?"
"It's open Sebastian."
Sebastian Lombardi walked into the loft, his stare automatically turning towards the sleeping girl on the couch. "Why is there…a human girl here?"
I shrugged as I sat down on a bar stool several feet away from the girl. "Prue made me go save her. Yet there were no germs…just the normal rapists."
"Yeah, because rapists are normal," Sebastian concluded as he opened a beer and sat down beside me. "Do you know why there's no germs' hanging around the city right now? Like I know drought season is always slow…but there's never been no germs before."
"How would I know?" I asked as I watched the girl sleep.
Sebastian shrugged. "You've been around for awhile, thought you'd know. And aren't you hungry?"
"Starving," I said sincerely and then I turned to look at his worried face. "Oh calm down, I'm not going to eat you or the girl. Humans taste like rotten shoes."
"Rotten shoes?" Sebastian questioned, not letting the little insult go. "How would you know how rotten shoes taste like? Have you ever eaten one?"
"No, but it's the perfect way to describe you."
Sebastian rolled his eyes at me. "Ok, what are we going to do when lady luck here wakes up?"
"Make her breakfast." I ordered. "Whatever she wants, and please try to keep Prue out of my territory."
"I'll go get a bunch of cell phones then." Sebastian said. "Wait…here's a personal question."
"I won't answer."
"Come on," Sebastian said as I got up from the bar stool. "I've served you for what? Ten years and yet you won't answer me this one little question."
"I'm going to bed." I said as I opened the door to my bedroom. "You can leave now Sebastian."
I closed my door and waited to hear Sebastian's departing footsteps and the door to my loft open and then close. I could hear the music from downstairs, but I loved it. I had owned the all night bar for twelve years now, with Sebastian managing it for the past ten. It had been an accident on how he'd found out what I was four months after I hired him. Since then, he had clung to me like a parasite.
I pushed my door open a little bit to check on the girl who was still curled up on the leather chesterfield in my living room. She still looked peaceful, but very small on such a big couch.
I closed the door before I was tempted to go over to her and brush the wisps of hair out of her face. Then get a sniff of her blood…Then dare to try a taste.