The night is calm. A good calm. The type of calm where even the creatures and the insects of the night know not to make a noise. The moon stands full and proud, giving his glorious night glow to everything under him. Outside a random building stands a man draped in a black hoodie and sweatpants. The moon doesn't seem to want to give its glow to the man's naturally dark skin, save for a couple of his beads of sweat.
"I can do this. I can do this. I've been over this plan a bout a hundred times..." The man begins to pace back and forth, similar to a runner before a big meet. He claps his hands together and begins to bounce a bit.
"alright...I just bust the window, unlock the door, and just take alittle. Not alittle alittle, but a lot alittle... whoo boy!"
The man picks up a rock from the gravel pit that adorns the outside of the building. A decent sized rock, and chucks it into the window. Instantly, a loud roar from the alarm is heard.
"No turnin' back now!"
The man turns the doorknob on the outside of the building and lets himself in. He then searches frantically for where the good stuff might be held. He figures since blood has to be kept cold, there must be a deep freezer or cooler filled with the stuff somewhere.
He checks every room swiftly, but not very gracefully, until he comes across a waste high deep freezer with a master lock on it.
Searching frantically for something heavy, he decides to go back to the door to get the rock that he broke the window with. While trying to search for the rock in the darkness of the night, he cuts his finger on the glass, just before grabbing the rock. He sticks his finger in his mouth and sucks it to stop the bleeding, and switches hands.
"This...is worth it...for Alley...all for you babygirl..."
Once he gets back to the cooler, he vigorously smashes the rock against the lock. Then he pauses. The sound of tires pulling up slowly on gravel.
"police can't be that fast! I...I...researched. This town don't have a high crime rate.
The lights from the marked police cruiser cut through the night, almost as if challenging the moon to a jousting competition. The man again continues to pound away at the lock.
COME...ON! BREAK! BREAK...!
The cruiser stops just outside the window and a footstep is heard planting on the gravel. Then a second. A rather short and rotund man gets out of his "City of Bartin" Sheriff car and proceeds to walk to the door of the building.
He reaches for his radio and calls back to the station.
"this is Sheriff Williams. I'm at the Red Cross Blood Bank Annex. Break."
The man sounds as if he has food in his mouth. Probably a donut or two.
"Be advised...the front door is open. Looks to be blunt force entry. Going in on foot, Over."
The man tries to move as slowly as possible, so as to try to not arouse suspicion that he, the perp, is still on ground. Remembering that he has a rock in his hand, he enters another room steathily. Looks to be a processing office. He tosses the rock into the gravel pit. And the sheriff turns around to check out where the noise came from.
When the sheriff turns around, the man notices that he has managed to break the lock off the freezer. He throws his hand in haphazardly and grabs what feels like a blood bag. He pulls his hand out, and looks, amazed to see that it truly is blood. He grabs another, and one more, just to be safe. He puts them in the pockets of his hoodie and tries to creep on the floor. Just then the man feels an ache in his knee.
"oh...not now...not now. Out of all the times...Please God. Please just..."
"Please God WHAT?"
the sheriff jumps into the building, gun at the ready, pointing it at the man's face.
"ON YOUR FEET!"
The man complies, but slowly
"yes...sirr, he answers, albeit crippled from the pain he is starting to feel in his knee
"WHATS THE MATTER BOY?! ON YOUR FEET I SAID!"
"I heard...you...its just...I need a little time to-
The sheriff then cocks his weapon
HANDS ON YOUR HEAD, ON YOUR FEET NOW!
The man struggles to his feet with his hands up, careful not to make any sudden movements.
Now, get outside, slowly. Ya hear me boy! One false move...and I swear to So help me God...
The man walks out the entrance of the blood bank slowly with his hands on his head with a slight limp. The sheriff then makes him walk into the high beams off the cruiser.
NOW! You listen carefully boy. You gonna put both hands on the hood and spread them legs out, ya understand? AND DO IT NICE AND SLOWLIKE!
The man complies and does everything that he is told. The sheriff then walks around him and puts the gun to the back of his head.
Now lets get a good look at that pretty face a yours, boy.
Once the sheriff pulls the man's hood back, his expression turns from an angered one to a coy smirk.
I knew it. I doggone knew it. It wouldn't be long before we let you blacks in our great state that yalls would start on everythang that ain't nailed down. Unreal. Unreal. Now, you gonna tell me what you was doin' out here at a blood bank...or-
DID I SAY YOU COULD TALK?! HUH?!
The sheriff turns the man around and places the gun on the man's temple.
DON'T FEEL SO GOOD WHEN THE GUN IS IN THE OTHER HAND DO IT, BOY?!
The man stammers just a bit "I...I...please...my daughter...shes...sick..."
Really? You got a daughter huh? You mean, you people ACTUALLY take care of your kids? WHAT WAS YOU DOIN' OUT HERE? I WANT THE TRUTH NOW!
"I was trying to get blood for my daughter. I swear to God"
Yes sir. Blood.
What is she...some kinda vampira? The cop laughs to himself. Whats yo name boy?
You ain't from round here is ya boy? So I tells you what, We gonna run your name through the database. And if you come up...SO HELP ME...
The sheriff grabs Gideon by the collar of his hoodie and guides him forward with the weapon.
This blood. Its not gonna last long without refrigeration. I gotta do something...
Gideon stops walking and resists the sheriff
Whats wrong boy?! You see a ghost?
I think I saw somebody over there...in the woodline.
The sheriff leans in and smells Gideon...expecting to find a reason for this foolish business.
Well you don't smell like marijuana...
Sir...SOMETHING just moved. I SAW IT!
The sheriff pulls his weapon off of Gideon for just a second, but it is all the time that Gideon needs to push back against the fat cop. They both fall to the ground, but with Gideon's somewhat athletic build crushing down on the plump officer. Gideon then darts off in the dark off the night, leaving the cop gasping for air, rolling on his back.
"Central, this is Sheriff Williams. I've been accosted by a black male. Approximately late twennys, early thirties. Last seen heading east bound past the Red Cross Blood Bank Annex. Officer down. I say again, OFFICER DOWN".
Gideon ran through the woods and into his his spot that he had planned for an emergency evacuation, should the need arise. Waiting for him was a bike, a helmet, and a reflective backpack to store the blood. If anyone had asked him why he was out at night, he would have told them he was training for a triathlon. And the lie fit perfectly with his somewhat athletic build. He took off his hoodie, revealing a University of Georgia T-Shirt. He also changed his sweat pants to athletic Nike shirts. His fro was still as defiant as ever as he tried to put his bike helmet on.
I think I got enough so that I won't have to come back out for a while...
It would be a rather long and painful journey back to Newshine for Gideon. His knee injury had caused him all sorts of trouble as a child, but he had never thought the problem would persist to his adulthood. Eventually, he peddled into a driveway of a house in the middle of a cul-de-sac. Wobbling and unsteady, he hopped off the bike and let it ride itself into the side of the lawn. He knocks on the door with a "one-one-one-two" pattern. He then puts the key in the hole and turns the knob and quickly jumps in the door and slams it shut.
Once inside, he flops down on the couch in pain. The pain that started in his knee, had now spread to his neck. He opens his backpack and looks inside and grabs a bottle and shakes it.
"good...I...still have some left..."
He then opens the bottle and pops two vitamins. From the corner of his left eye, he sees a small set of bright green eyes staring at him, a stark contrast to his dark brown eyes. The eyes then vanish and reappear on the other side of him, this time as a whole body.
"Babygirl...what I tell you about all that disappearin' stuff?"
The little girl dives on Gideon with a glee filled hug
"DADDY! I missed you so much."
I know babygirl. I was out getting you dinner.
"Really?!" The little girl's eyes widen and fangs start to elongate from her mouth.
Gideon reaches in his bag and pulls out a blood pack and the little girl begins to salivate.
WHAT I TELL YOU ABOUT THAT YOUNG LADY?! You clean your room?
The little girl makes a puppy dog face and pokes her bottom lip out. Her big green eyes light up.
You know the rules Alley. We clean our room before we eat. And put them fangs away! NOW!
"yes daddy, I understand"
And we clean our room THE NORMAL WAY. No flying around, no running super fast. Our toys go where?
"toys go on the shelf"
And our dirty clothes...
Go in our dirty clothes basket.
Good girl. Says Gideon with a smile as he puts his hand on her afro puffed head.
Now get going so you can eat.
And with that, the little girl walks into her room from the living room and begins to pick up her toys and clothes. 10 minutes later, she is done and ready for her meal. Gideon takes out a knife and pokes a small hole in the blood pack and sticks a crazy straw shaped like a heart in it.
"drink up Al. Sorry I was a little late, but...this isn't actually normal...maybe..." Gideon lets out a deep sigh "...maybe one day you'll understand."
Gideon hands Alley the blood pack and she sips it like a child with a juice box.
"yummy in my tummy" Alley says as she smiles, showing the blood on her teeth.
After youre done...lets go brush your teeth, ok?
After Alley is done drinking her blood, she gets her teeth brushed and her dad puts her to bed, but tonight is different...
"Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Daaaaaad."
"I'm not the butthead, YOU are."
"real original Al, really." Gideon finishes making her bed and holds it up for her to jump into. She jumps into bed but looks scared.
"Whats wrong babygirl?"
Alley leans in close to her dad and whispers "monsters" in his ear.
"Yes...the monsters under the bed."
"There is only one monster in this whole room...
Alley gasps and her eyes widen.
"THE TICKLE MONSTER FROM PLANET DADDY! Its coming to get you!"
Alley screams as Gideon tickles her. She squirms with giddy and knocks her teddy bear off the bed.
"See, told ya, no monsters".
But can you check still daddy...PLEASE?!
Alley smiles showing all her teeth, even her long fangs. There is a sadness in Gideon's eye as her looks at his daughter's fangs.
"...Yeah, sure...yeah. I'll go on patrol, and I'll be right back, kay?"
Alley smiles, hiding halfway under the cover, showing only her eyes and above. Gideon gets up and looks under her bed. Then he checks her closet. Nothing there. Finally he checks her toybox...just so that she can't say he didn't.
"Nothing there little lady. Looks like your dad scared them all away."
Aww Daddy! You're so big and strong and brave! When I grow up, I'm gonna protect you!
"Well, you don't have to worry..." Gideon looks down and catches himself before a tear falls "...about...that..."
Daddy, can you tell me a bedtime story?
Uhh...Yeah...which one you wanna hear? Gideon says slightly caught off guard and wiping his eye.
"Tell me about how I got my super powers!"
Gideon's eyes widen with shock and surprise.
I knew this day would come...
Gideon leans in close to his daughter and kisses her on the forehead.
Well once upon a time ago. You and I and your mom...we were walking through the woods. You two were hot so I went to go get you something to drink. I came back and you were flying all over the place.
But what about Mommy?
Well...Gideon takes a huge gulp "You...flew her to the moon...and then she became the new queen. And we all lived happily ever after."
WOW! You mean...I can be the princess of the moon?!
Of course babygirl. You're princess of the moon. Mommy is the queen...
But...will mommy every come back?
Gideon is silent for a few moments before he blurts "whenever shes done doing it!"
Alley smiles and snuggles into her cover. "Thank you Daddy. I love you"
"I love you too, little lady. Night night"
Gideon turns on Alley's "Flower Power" night light and switches off her main bedroom light. Instantly her room is coated in a light show of flowers. He closes the door to her room and flops down on the couch again.
"One of these days...I'll tell her the truth...about everything...but until then...this "Osteomalacia" is kicking bad. I'm about due for my next injection soon anyways..."
He picks up the remote and turns on the tv. Coincidentally, the news is on.
There appears to have been a breakin at the Red Cross Blood Bank Annex in Bartin, Vermont tonight. We take you there live with our correspondent "Justin Bagley. Justin!"
Gideon's eyes widen as he watches the file footage of the forensics team taking samples of the glass he cut himself on.
Yes, we are live on the scene in Bartin where someone vandalized the Red Cross Blood Bank Annex. A local sheriff was wounded in the scuffle but only sustained minor injuries. He was able to give us this detailed sketch of the alleged criminal...
Gideon grabs his hair and rubs his 2 days worth of stubble.
That sheriff...he has a pretty good memory...but I guess it is time for a change...
As Gideon begins to get up off the couch, a familiar pain shoots through his body once more, causing him to slump back down on the couch, grimacing in pain.
I took the vitamins! I did...so why is it getting worse?!
The pain is so intense that Gideon's vision begins to blur. The wide open living room begins to twist and contort into something different. Something vaguely reminiscent a whirlpool. He falls on the hardwood floor under the couch with his eyes wide open. Consciousness is a long forgotten concept at this point. As his vision begins to gradually darken, he is taken. Taken aback to somewhere. Somewhere more infamous. Somewhere more haunting.
Gideon wakes up with a huge, deep inhale. Almost as if he was held underwater and had finally gained a breath of fresh air.
Gideon forces himself up on one knee and refocuses his vision. Its not too hard because the skies are a nice shade of overcast gray. The kind of overcast you could take a family portrait with and not worry about lossiness. Gideon finally stands up on both legs, surprised that the debilitating pain that was once there, is now but a distant memory. He turns around to take in his surroundings. Woodland. Perfectly green woodland, what Newshine, Vermont was famous for.
This...has to be a dream...right...?
A squirrel runs up to Gideon and stares at him. Being a naturally outdoorsy type of person, it neither bothers nor shocks him that animals would like him. He had always had a sort of "magnetism" for nature. Somehow Gideon senses that the little creature is in need of help, so Gideon follows the squirrel when it decides to run away. Gradually, the squirrel increases speed through the twisty brushes and lush branches, somewhat leaving Gideon behind. The more he runs, the less lush the woods become. The vibrant greens begin to turn to lifeless hues of brown. The strong branches now snap back dryly and become brittle to to the touch. Suddenly all life around Gideon quickly becomes choked by death's long and uncaring hands. A kiss from the mouth of Hades himself.
Once Gideon stops running to catch his breath, he sees the squirrel again, this time pointing at something. What could possibly be worse than progressive death? Gideon looks off in the distance and his eyes widen in horror. He tries to run closer to the event but it gets further and further away and his legs start to feel a strong and sharp pain ringing throughout. Like the buzzing of an alarm clock. Like the buzzing of an alarm clock...like the...
The alarm blares next to Gideon's ear and practically forces his eyes open. Awakened in a cold sweat and somehow in his bed, he begins to ponder what his dream was about. His thinking is then cut short when a small familiar voice derails his train of thought.
"GOOD MORNING DADDY!" beams a positively happy Alley, just brimming with vitality and youth.
"Mornin'...WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP?!
Alley covers her ears at her dad's abrupt loud tone.
I saw you daddy. You were on the floor, so I moved you.
"while I appreciate your help babygirl, you need to go back to bed..."
Aww...but I wanna go outside today. I haven't been outside in a long time
Gideon's mind warps alittle bit as he mixes his wife and his daughter's voices together in an instant. He shakes it off.
"No! End of story...we can watch cartoons...you...umm...you like Dora right?"
I love Dora Daddy...but I still want to go outside.
"One day baby...one day we will go to the beach, ok?" Gideon says, hoping the bargain bait will make the little fish bite.
"Ok...but...I'm going to open the curtains. Its too dark in here..."
Before Gideon can jump out of bed, the little girl pulls back the heavy dark curtains and her skin starts to sizzle. Her skin begins to smoke up and curl back like that of a 2nd degree burn. Gideon jumps in the way of the sun and shields his daughter from any more of the sun's rays. He carries her back to her room and puts her on the bed.
Alley! ALLEY! BABYGIRL! SAY SOMETHING!
Gurgles of blood come out of Alley's mouth as she tries to formulate words, but soon her eyes roll backward and she goes into shock. Quickly thinking, Gideon jumps up and runs to get the other blood packets.
DAMN IT! I left the blood out. I LEFT THE BLOOD OUT! STUPID! STUPID!...Maybe it won't matter though...maybe...blood is blood. WHATEVER. I DON'T have time for second guessin'!
Gideon grabs the two blood packets and runs back to his daughter's side. He rips the plastic top off the first packet and props his daughter up so she can drink some of it. Once she gets just a few drops, her skin begins to heal, and the burns begin to vanish, but soon, the healing effects stop, leaving Alley a pale shade of white with her veins highly prominent throughout her pallor skin. Her complexion never makes it back to the golden light brown of normal days.
"Dad...ddy...I don't feel...so good" says Alley weekly. The blood that she just drank begins to dribble out of her mouth with a darkish purple tint.
THIS CAN'T BE BECAUSE THE BLOOD WAS LEFT OUT...OK! CALM DOWN GIDEON! THINK! THINK!
Gideon rubs his head and looks back at his daughter with a look of anguish and pain.
"I...think...I need a doctor daddy. So he can...feel me better"
"I know baby...but...if I take you to the doctor...they might try to kill you" says Gideon in his most earnest and sincere way.
"why...would they...?" says Alley, coughing up blood
"because of your super powers little lady. They would be jealous of you...plus they don't know you are princess of the moon"
Alley smiles weakly before closing her eyes and passing out
"Alley...Alley baby! ALLEY, WAKE UP! ALLEY!"
Gideon pounds the ground so hard. Never had he had to make the choice between saving his daughter and exposing her secret. A secret so big, it could destroy everything he had worked so hard to build.
To HELL with it!
Gideon goes to Alley's closet and pulls out her winter clothes. Things like a heavy coat, a scarf, some mittens and snowpants. He dresses his daughter firmly then wraps her in a blanket, making sure to cover any exposed skin. He then lays her on the couch, grabs his car keeps and pops the trunk. He returns to Alley and puts her in the trunk and locks the front door of the house. He did not notice that in the darkness, he grabbed a blood packet that read "HIV POS" on it.