The Vampire Cliché

Chapter 1


They did not stand out at all. If I passed either one of them out on the street, I would have walked by without glancing at them. I always thought that people who would affect my life would stand out clearly the moment I see them. Any sign would've been good – a glance, a weird accessory, a tattoo that stood out, even just my gut feeling. But I was completely and utterly unprepared.

Instead, I found someone who was absolutely so ordinary-looking – a nice, cheeky boy-next-door – and one that was so... pitiful-looking that I did not even process their passing in my brain...

...Until the boy-next-door grabbed the man walking with what seemed to be a hobo and bit him so viciously that just less than minute later, the man crumbled into the wind as ashes.

That was when I noticed that what had been a busy street just mere moments ago had become absolutely bare except for the boy-next-door, the hobo and...

...me!

Since an extremely rude man roughly – I'm so getting bruises – bumped into me just a while before I saw the whole biting incident, I immediately ruled out that I was dreaming. The next reaction was, did I walk into a theatre without realizing it and instead of 3D, technology has evolved that I feel as though I'm in the movie? But that kind of thing would be all over the news so I ruled that one out as well. Oh! Maybe I was in the making of a movie! One of those typical vampire movies and I must have missed a sign that said something like, "Movie in the making. KEEP OUT, COMMONERS!" But then I began ruling that out since I couldn't see any cameras unless they were hidden.

There's also the fact that a man just TURNED INTO ASHES in front of me! No bad-ass special effects could make that happen to a REAL person and I was pretty sure that the man had been alive and kicking before the boy bit him! Maybe this is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie!

I must have been much more buried in my thoughts than I thought I was because the next thing I knew, the boy was in front of me, his hand – and his two front teeth – extended.

"What the hell is someone like you doing here?" he demanded with a frown. When I didn't place my hand in his, he bent down and grabbed my left hand before yanking me up to stand in front of him. I hadn't even realized that I was already sitting on the ground! I must be more shocked than I originally thought.

But already, I was staring at his two elongated front teeth. It made him look like an anthropomorphic rat, bunny, gopher, or any other rodent. I frowned at them. That didn't follow the rules. It was meant to be the canines that were elongated! Plus, they looked better! This guy looked like an animal, especially since his two irises were red!

WAIT! TWO irises? Without thinking, I slapped both hands on his cheeks before tugging his face closer to mine. He yelped something along the lines of, "What are you doing, you crazy kid?" but I ignored him. I was staring at each of his eyes – each of which had two red concentric irises that were made obvious by the fact that one was moving clockwise and the other was moving counter clockwise. The irises were big enough that I could barely see the white of his eyes.

"Vampire!" I exclaimed. But the irritated look on his face went to downright pissed and he glared at me.

"It's an insult to be called a vampire!" he snapped as he swapped my hands away from his face. "Don't you ever compared me to those blood-sucking leeches that seep the life out of innocent people!"

I gave him a reproachful look. "You just did that," I told him gently and patiently. I had a distant thought that I should be more scared and act more cautious since he just killed a man right in front of me but something about him was lulling me to a false sense of security. Maybe it was his vampiric powers.

I really should panic...

...But the lulling sensation told me that would just be too much stressful...

...I don't like stress...

That settled it.

I knew I had a serene smile on my face and he began giving me this weird and odd look.

"Hey, are you all right in the head?" he asked me as he starting waving a hand in front of my face. "Hello? Oi... Hold on a minute! That man I bit was definitely not innocent! He was a mind-fucked zombie!"

I snapped my attention back to him. "A mind-fucked zombie? Is that other guy behind you a mind-fucked zombie too?"

I saw his eyes widen before he spun around and drew a black gun from somewhere under his jacket to ward off this red-thing-that-was-glowing-violet the hobo used to try to hit him. Just as I registered all of that, I felt an arm wrap around my waist and I was suddenly off the ground. I didn't even have time to scream before my feet landed on something solid... something solid that belonged to the roof of a two-storey building!

I had a second to breathe before I screamed, "We're going to die! I'm going to die! NO! I haven't even had my revenge against that stinking, pig of a brother of mine!"

"Will you calm down?" the guy holding me snapped. "You're not going to die and if you were, you should worry about yourself more instead of worrying about some revenge on your brother! Haunt him when you're dead then."

"You don't understand!" I yelled back, struggling against his hold. "He's pure evil! It's my job as his sister to rid the world of such unwanted filth! It's been my dream from the first ten minutes of when I'd met him to see him writhing in pain and immense agony for everything he's put me through! He's horrible!"

There was complete and utter silence but I stared at him defiantly. He was probably thinking that I was being really mean to my brother but he didn't know him. Alex always made me miserable ever since I met him and discovered that I had a half-brother through some whirlwind affair my dad had when he was a teenager. He bullied me to no end and made me suffer the almost ten years I've known him. A vampire who could easily defend himself wouldn't understand!

"Sister?"

I blinked at hearing two voices yell out in shock.

"Yeah, I'm my brother's sister," I said slowly so the vampire and mind-fucked zombie could follow me. Were these guys thick? Who knew vampires and mind-fucked zombies didn't know that a girl with a brother would make her the brother's sister. Ha! And novels and movies always say that vampires have superior intellect! Yay for mankind! *smiley*

"Ah, no, it's not that," the mind-fucked zombie, who was standing on the roof of the adjacent building, said in what surprisingly sounded like a very thick Australian accent even though he looked more like a mix of someone from South America and Europe.

"You're a girl?" the vampire asked in awe.

I felt like someone threw a ton of bricks over me. With all the strength I could muster, I elbowed the vampire holding me on his notably flat and hard stomach. He let out an "oomph" before stepping back from me. I glared at him in what I hoped was fierce enough to freeze his balls.

"Yes, I'm a girl!" I yelled, glaring at them both. "Do you want me to show you my tits?"

"Oooh, yes, please."

"Just for verification."

"SHUT UP!" They held up their hands defensively, and I could've sworn I heard a mutter of "you asked, sheesh!", while I continued my rant, "So what if I'm a unique being belonging to Homo sapiens strain androgynousis? Who cares if I'm gender ambiguous? I got enough crap from childhood with boys who thought I was one of them picking on me because I looked like a girly boy while the girls bitched at me for being such a tomboy! I got bullied and beaten so much that it scarred me for life!"

"Uh," the vampire said awkwardly as he tentatively approached me. "There, there?"

"I'm not finished!" I glared at him and he backed away again. I continued my tirade, "But they were the ones who were sorry instead! I'm a coward, you see and I really hated the pain!" I thumped my chest proudly.

"That's not something to be proud of, boy- er, girl," the mind-fucked zombie, who really didn't seem all that mind-fucked, pointed out.

This time, I glared at him and he took a step back as well. "I'm NOT finished! Anyway, avoiding my bullies and escaping their clutches involved a lot of running. Then, not only that, but when my brother arrived, I did even more running! It was then that I had an epiphany!"

"That you were a miserable kid?" the vampire asked dryly.

"That, and," I took a deep breath before smiling brightly and enlightening them of that great point in my life. "Years of running as a result of bullying and cowardice has made me the fastest runner I know and I realized that I have gained a talent – a skill if you may – and that I should use it to my advantage! So I entered my school's marathon team and I've been breaking school and regional records ever since! Now my old bullies have to swallow the fact that I'm gender ambiguous because I, my dear friends, am a champion!"

"Ah," the mind-fucked zombie said slowly. "I don't know whether I should be proud of you or feel sorry for you."

The vampire, however, was looking a bit teary-eyed. "It must've been such a long journey," he said with feeling as he clutched my hands in his ones. "It must've been so hard."

"Forrest Gump was also an inspiration," I added before smiling happily at him. "For a blood-sucking leech, you're really nice."

"I'll forgive that comment just this once," he said as he released my hands and took his gun out again, along with a second one.

"But shouldn't you be tall, dark, handsome and sexy as nothing I've ever encountered in my life and blow my brains away?" I asked him in confusion. "And shouldn't you be brooding instead of hot-headed? Or if you're going to be hot-headed, you should be brooding as well while being gosh-darn gorgeous. Oh and the voice! We can't forget the deep sexy voice that should melt me in a puddle with lips to die for! While we're in the mouth area, shouldn't your sharp teeth also be at the canines, not the two front ones? You're meant to look like a sexy beast, not a beast!"

I did notice how a vein in his temple started pulsing and standing out while he gritted his teeth but I kept on going anyway, "Then I'm meant to pretend that you didn't just send the shivers down to my toes and although I'm plain, you'll chase me anyway because I hold a certain charm that no other human being has ever seen or noticed – myself included. Then I'll pretend I don't want you but then I'll eventually give in and we'll indulge in carnal pleasure, after which you'll transform me into a vampire as well. Then live happily ever after after defeating the bad guys, and of course, having a child, which shouldn't be possible in the first place, but we're just special like that."

"What clichéd harlequin romance crap have you been reading?" he demanded in a disgusted tone. He threw his hands up in the air in utter exasperation. "First of all, my fangs elongate at the front because it's more convenient. Try sucking liquid from the corner of your mouth as opposed to the centre of your mouth – it's easier plus there's no spills! And I really hope you don't think I'm immortal because you're in for a big shock. I'm as mortal as any human-"

"-Except for the fact that you have a miraculous recovery rate if we were judging by human terms," the zombie lover supplied helpfully.

"The point is," the vampire said, ignoring him. "I don't go on and on forever. The longest living person I know barely reached two hundred and that was a staggering record. No one else has reached close enough to that because most of us die in action."

"Oh," I said.

"But like I said, I don't take the blood of innocent people – just the mind-fucked zombies. Only bad things can come out of mind-fucked zombies so I'm actually doing humanity a favour."

I pointed to the hobo with the Australian accent. "But he doesn't really seem all that mind-fucked to me."

"I'm the one who makes the mind-fucked zombies," he said cheerfully. "I'm that guy's opposite. I give humans my blood and they turn into my mindless slaves."

"Why?" I asked him curiously.

"Why wouldn't you want your own mind-fucked zombies?" he asked back.

I shrugged. "I wouldn't really want them. I mean, groupies are great and all since they worship the dirt you walk on but I reckon they're overrated. Some of them seem crazy too. Plus, when your popularity goes down, those groupies would probably be gone with your popularity as well and they'll be off being groupies to the new thing."

"We are talking about mindless slaves, not groupies," the vampire argued. I just gave him a look.

"Aren't they the same?"

"That's a valid point," he agreed. "But that is not the point. Now step back before you get caught in th-"

He didn't finish his sentence because the guy who makes the zombies hit him with his weird blade with such a force that the vampire, having barely shielded himself against the blow, went crashing into the next building.

Then long and, surprisingly enough, warm fingers wrapped around my neck before I was hoisted off of my feet. My hands automatically grabbed at the wrist connected to the hand holding me as I tried to pull myself upwards to put less stress on my neck. But although I could run for the world, I absolutely lacked upper body strength and the tight hold on my neck was making breathing difficult.

"Should I turn you into my own zombie?" he asked, his dark, almost black, eyes shining in amusement. The patched turtleneck he was covering stretched up to cover his mouth as well. The beige jacket he was wearing was as patched up, as were the rest of his clothes, which consisted of baggy navy blue pants, worn down brown boots and fingerless gloves. His brown curls were as messy as the rest of him and went past his ears. He really looked more like a homeless person than anything else...

...yet he was capable of turning me into a zombie!

"W-Why?" I asked roughly, considering I was being strangled.

He shrugged. "You're just really amusing. My life's really boring at the moment, you know. Why do you think I'm turning people into zombies?"

I stared at him in shock. "A-Amuse-Amusement? N-Not w-world domin-domination? O-Or g-genocide?"

The cloth covering his mouth fell off as a huge, almost insane grin bloomed on his face.

"The world is my playground, boy-girl."

My eyes widened but before I could say anything – if I was going to say anything – he abruptly released my neck before grabbing my waist and pulling me against him as he simultaneously lifted up the red blade he held just as I heard three gunshots. I looked over my shoulder and saw that the vampire was back, looking like a humanoid rat again with his two front teeth extended to sharp fangs.

"Let go of her!" the vampire demanded. "Oi girl who looks a bit like a boy-"

"Don't address me like that!" I yelled at him, pissed, even though I had an evil zombie-obssessed madman holding me. "Prick!"

"-you're a bit odd-" I wanted to kill him! "-but stay alert, all right?"

As soon as he finished his sentence, I brought my knee up and I knew I hit my target as soon as I heard a groan of pain. The zombie lover's hold loosened but he didn't quite release me yet so I stomped on his foot as hard as I could. As soon as I was able to safely get out of his grasp, I ran as fast as I could towards the vampire. I grinned triumphantly at his stunned look before I skidded down past his feet. I grabbed hold of his legs before swinging myself to hide behind him just as my captor's weapon clashed with the vampire's weapon once more.

"Woah, you weren't kidding when you said you run fast," the vampire said with a grin. "I reckon you can beat me in a race."

"Please," I said modestly. "You're exaggerating."

"And would you please focus on our fight?" the zombie-lover said pleasantly, already completely recovered from my sneak attack before. "I really should finish this. I have an afternoon tea meeting at three, you know. It's bad form to arrive late for these things."

I scoffed. "Yeah, that coming from a hobo."

He glanced at me. "Do you really think that a zombie master could only be a hobo?"

"I did find it odd," I said honestly. "And strange. What's even stranger is how comfortable it is to talk to you despite the brawl going on. You did try to strangle me a while ago so heaven alone knows why."

"I was only trying to catch your attention," he said happily with a grin as his weapon began glowing an even more ominous violet. "Nothing better to catch a boy-girl's attention than by grabbing their neck."

"Nothing more painful either," I muttered. "And can you please stop calling me a boy-girl? You're being a real bully."

"Ah, sorry," he said, not looking sorry at all. In fact, his grin seemed to widen if that was possible. "I can't help but be mean to the people I like."

I looked up at the vampire. "Hey, this zombie-loving maniac just said he loves me. Should I be worried?"

"Hell yeah," the vampire replied with some strain in his voice. "Now focus on our fight, damn it! Stop flirting with her!"

"Fine, fine. I understand if you want to monopolize me. A lot of people do."

"In your dreams, dipshit!"

"Language!" I barked. "Can't you use names? Speaking of names, I don't know yours."

"Not the time," the vampire said through gritted teeth as he pushed against the weird blade. Since he was using both guns to block the blade, he couldn't fire either of them. "Now can you step away so I won't have to worry about you?"

I moved to obey and as soon as I did, he got tossed a few feet away once more. I was really hoping it was my imagination that the zombie lover was stronger than the vampire...

...because that would mean it'll be my turn to be a zombie.

"That person you believe to be a vampire is Richard Michaels," the zombie lover said as he stepped in front of me. His red weapon lowered until the tip was pointed right at my throat. I held my breath and didn't dare to swallow – I couldn't if I wanted to live.

He smiled. "And I am Mattia Cezar. May I have your name?"

"Christine Lee," I whispered, trying to be as still as possible. "But everyone just calls me Chris-" –because a few people had already given me weird looks whenever someone called my name since I did not look like a Christine, who was usually a delicate, beautiful and very feminine girl.

Mattia grinned at me. "I really like you, Chris. So instead of turning you into a – as that vampire says – mind-fucked zombie, I'll kill you instead. It will be a sign of my affection."

My eyes widened in shock as I started trembling. "You'll... You'll kill me?"

"Of course," Mattia said cheerfully. His grin turned into a predatory smirk as he bent closer to me. "Would you rather live and worship the ground I walk on until I tire of you? That would be a very ugly thing now wouldn't it. But if you prefer that to dying, then I'll grant your wish. See how much I like you?" His voice then fell down to a purring whisper. "Come on... Tell me... Don't be shy."

"Hey Chris. You're bullied because you never fight back. You just take whatever they give you since you'd rather not make the hard decisions and you try to avoid pain even when you already are in pain. You're so passive it pisses me off."

Ha... So my bastard of a brother was right. When I was being bullied when I was little, I just took it because if I fought them, they would beat me up. But even when I did not fight back, they still hurt me anyway – and at the same time, I lost my dignity and confidence. I was always waiting for someone to save me because I refused to choose the hard decision of standing up for myself.

I fell on my back and rolled away from the blade as fast as I could. Then I got up and ran towards the edge of the roof. Mattia followed me languorously, knowing that I had nowhere to run.

But I wasn't planning on running.

Not this time.

"You have nowhere to go, Chris," he laughed as he opened his arms. "Now come here and tell me what you want: To live as my slave or to die by my hand?"

"I've had enough of grovelling during my childhood and early adolescent years, thanks very much," I said and I distantly noted that I was so calm. I felt a serenity in that I wasn't going to let this monster do whatever he wanted with me.

"Oh? So you'd rather die then?" Mattia asked with a smirk. But his smirk faded when he saw that I smirked back at him.

"If I'm going to die," I said as I stepped closer to the edge. "It'll be how I want it."

So I jumped.