The humid Vermont weather, coupled with the sun makes it feel like an eternity in an instant as a bead of sweat appears and begin to roll off the Detective's forehead. She keeps her gun trained on the mysterious woman at all times though. Even if the heat was getting to her, she was not going to falter in the face of the unknown.
"Aww baby...you don't have to sound so...mean...",says the mysterious woman.
"Yeah, well excuse me if I forget my manners to the woman who killed my daughter!"
The Detective's eyes widen with intrigue. Whatever happened between them was too juicy to miss.
"Excuse me, I didn't KILL her. I gave her A NEW LIFE. And by the way, I think you mean MY daughter."
"YOUR DAUGHTER?! I been the one taking care of her all this time!"
"YOU THINK YOU WERE PROTECTING HER? By denying her the right to the truth?!"
"SHE DON'T NEED TO KNOW!"
"LIKE HELL SHE DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW. SHE IS A VAMPIRE. SHE IS NOT YOUR LITTLE BABY ANYMORE."
"NO! SHE IS A PERSON. A PERSON YOU KILLED FOR NO REASON!"
"HEY! Guy, I don't know whats going on here, but can you guys handle it later?", interjects Detective Carter.
The mysterious woman stretches out and fashions a chair for herself from the crows blotting out the sun.
"Gimme, baby, who is this woman? Did you already try to replace me with some...bimbo?"
"BIMBO?! What is this, 1986? And who are you calling a BIMBO, BITCH!"
The mysterious woman's eyes glow bright green and a coy smile wraps itself around her face. The Detective's arm holding her gun begins to rise and point at her own head.
"Do you want to repeat your last comment, Detective? I am quite sure you are aware what happens when one rounded is left in the chamber of a gun, or when the hammer of said weapon is cocked back..."
The Detective's thumb removes the safety and pulls the hammer back, placing the weapon in a ready to fire mode. Another bead of sweat appears on the Detective's forehead and rolls down to her nose. Still her face shows no emotion or inkling of fear whatsoever.
"THATS ENOUGH LAUREN!" Yells Gideon angrily as his eyebrows lower
"You're right baby. I'm sorry". Lauren snaps her fingers and The Detective's arm drops to her side.
"I don't want to kill anyone...today. I didn't come here for that". Lauren pulls her long blond hair from in front of her eyes to behind her left ear. She then leans forward in her seat and puts both of her arms on her knees and props her head up with her hands.
"I came to talk to you."
"Well...I love what you've done with your hair. You had it the same way the first day you asked me out. Do you remember?"
"Please Lauren, please don't do this now..."
"Well I remember. I was at the store trying to find the right peaches. Do you remember what I was planning on making? It slips me...but I know you would know...considering its your favorite...Oh well. Anyway, you bumped into me and made me drop the peach I had picked up. You remember that?"
Gideon turns away and tries to walk to the elevator. As soon as he turns a crow flies at him and pecks him in the neck. "JUST BECAUSE I CAN'T DRINK YOUR BLOOD DOESN'T MEAN THEY WONT! NOW TURN AROUND AND LETS TALK LIKE NORMAL COUPLES, OK?" Demands Lauren as blood begins to drip down Gideon's neck.
"Oh GOD!" The Detective's takes her blazer off and tries to rip the sleeve but has a hard time doing it. Gideon stops her. "I'm fine, just a scratch".
"Yeah, Don't worry about MY HUSBAND. He always says that. No matter what the injury. Do you still remember to take your Vitamins baby?"
"WHY DO YOU CARE?!"
Lauren vanishes and reappears behind Gideon. She bites her finger and touches Gideon's wound. His blood sears her to the touch, but she manages to heal his wound. She then vanishes back to her chair and her finger begins to heal from the burn.
"Some of us wives do care what happens to our spouses. She then crosses her legs and leans back. Now back to the story, and hopefully, there will BE NO MORE interruptions, right?" Gideon just glares at Lauren.
"So after I dropped my peach, you apologized and offered to help me find an even better peach. Our paths accidentally crossed on the same fruit. I don't know about you, but my heart was beating so fast. My face got so red, so I pulled my hand back. You smiled at me and apologized for that too. You even offered to buy me a whole bag of peaches for all the trouble... you put me through..." A tear begins to well up in Lauren's eye. One that she had been trying to fight to keep in. Once it rolls down her cheek Gideon's anger calms. His once furrowed eyebrows ease into a more calm version of the savage beast it was.
"Why...why didn't you call me or anything?" Says Gideon sadly. Lauren vanishes from her chair and reappears in Gideon's arms. She was still as tiny as ever as her petite frame was lost in his embrace. At 5'3, she had always been shorter than Gideon, but that always made him feel like he was her protector. That he would rather die than see even a splinter in her finger.
"I did! I SWEAR. You never picked up."
"You know I don't answer unknown numbers..."
"If you did, then you would've known that I was fine...that everything was better". She puts her hand on the side of his face and rubs it, still wearing her wedding ring. "I was the one that sent you the letter."
"It was written in my blood!", snaps Gideon
"I wanted Alley to know...she has a long way to go...which is what I wanted to talk to you about..."
"Yes." Lauren's eyes return to her normal hazel color as she stares into Gideon's eyes. She then feels a burn on the back of her neck.
"Wha...whats happening?!" Asks Gideon with great concern for Lauren's health.
"He...s...HES COMING!" Lauren pushes Gideon down and grabs her head "HES...COMING!" She yells as she begins to feel the burn of the sun on her skin. She finally runs to the safety of the darkness that her crows had created. "I HAVE TO GO. KEEP ALLEY SAFE. I LOVE YOU!" She disappears in a sea of black feathers as the birds begin to fly away.
"What the hell was that shit?", asks Detective Carter positively sweating bullets now.
"She could've killed you ya know. Still don't believe in Vampires?" Gideon says as he makes his way up to his feet.
"I still don't believe in Vampires. Lets get that straight right now. I do not fear that which cannot be proven. And how the hell did you fall?"
"Thats twice today. Twice. You can't even explain that one away, no matter how hard you spin it. It was supernatural."
"No, it was a woman with a motherly, albeit obsessive and weird relationship with birds. You know, those things will follow the first thing they see when they hatch from their eggs?"
"So you mean to tell me that my wife, in her spare time, somehow mothered thousands of baby crows", asks Gideon in a rather mellow way
"Why are you so happy? According to you, your wife could've killed me. And I distinctly remember you being angry at her. What the hell happened to THAT GUY?"
"I saw her face. She didn't have that look..."
"WOAH! WAIT! When the hell did you see her face? How could you see with all those birds flying in damn circles around you?!"
"I didn't have bir-" Gideon smiles to himself and puts his hand in his hair. At the same time, Detective Carter feels something that feels on her neck. Once she puts her hand back there and rubs it, she feels nothing so she just continues like nothing happened.
The two decide to get back on the elevator. Once inside, Gideon notices that Detective Carter's breathing is a bit more heavy than usual. She is also sweating more than an average person should.
"So...You...you alright Detective?", asks Gideon with General concern on his face
"Why you ask?"
"I'm fine...its just so hot here..." She begins to sigh deeply between words and has trouble holding her head up.
"I think you need some water. Lets go to the first floor, its free there cause of the heat."
"Yeah...lets...do that...",says Detective Carter as her eyes start to flutter back and forth. The elevator then begins to rock back and forth. Gideon's voice begins to fade in and out. She then falls down, but as she is falling, she hits her head on the wall of the elevator. Gideon picks her up and once the elevator gets to the first floor, he bolts out of it, carrying her 110 pound body as if she was a light box of old things one would take to the storage. He then feels a massive pain his shoulders and drops the Detective as his arms go limp. All the people in the hospital just look at them like nothing is happening. Eventually Kirk shows up and drags them both into the elevator.
"I leave you two kids alone for 10 minutes and this is what happens?"
"It...wasn't me...she started to spaz out in the elevator..."
"You sure it wasn't the Vampires on the roof with you?"
"Vampires? My wife was the only one up there..."
"No dude. There was was another one too...but what you say about your wife?"
"Just...get us back to the place man..."
About twenty minutes later, they finally arrive at the Thunderdome. Alley runs out the back room in the tunnel with extreme happiness and glee to hug her dad.
"DADDY!, I missed you so much. Are you hurt?"
"Nah babygirl, the Detective is, so I need you to go and play in the back room again, ok?"
"But I wanna help. I'm very good at helping..."
Gideon looks into his daughter's eyes and then puts his hand on her shoulder "you can be a real big help by playing with Uncle Kirk's toys in the back!"
"Ok!" says Alley running back into the back room and playing with the Xbox.
"If She Redrings my Xbox, expect a bill...," says Kirk finally landing in the tunnel with Detective Carter in his arms.
"Damn dude! You wanna give her brain damage too?!"
Kirk just smiles at Gideon "I got the juice now. Besides, it ain't like she needs it. Shes just suffering from dehydration..."
"Wait, why the trail off...?"
"Well...remember how I said that vampire blood can pretty much cure everything? Yeah well, not everyone handles it the same. Some people experience wild hallucinations, nightmares and other weird things like that..."
"How many people have you gave blood to?"
"Hey, thats not important...but..." Kirk sets Detective Carter down on the table in the medical room. He then rolls her over just a bit, exposing the back of her neck "See that?" Asks Kirk examining the strange wound.
"It looks like a ...uh..fang hole."
"Thats EXACTLY what it looks like. Now, either that other vampire on the roof with you had a "unifang", or someone has the ability to throw their fangs..."
"Fang Throwing? Seriously?", asks Gideon in an inquisitive way.
"Hey man, I'm a doctor, not a scientist! Theres all sorts of Vampires in the world...but thats not what I'm concerned with. She'll be fine, big new threat, yada yada. I'm more worried about you..."
"Yeah, you. What you said in the elevator. You said your wife was on the roof with you, did you not?"
Kirk gets an uneasy look on his face and sighs deeply. "Don't be mad when I tell you this, ok?"
"Because its kinda heavy shit. And I don't want to unload shit on you now."
"I'm good man. Just tell me what it is."
"This would be so much easier if I could Hustle you and make you forget it later, then I could casually bring it up to you over a beer...in a bar...somewhere...on a beach...in Mexi-"
"JUST SAY IT!", demands Gideon in a completely enraged tone.
"Ok! Well Vampires do things different. You said you saw your wife on the roof, but she wasn't your wife. Not anymore..."
"What you mean man? She still wearing her ring!"
"A momento from the past bro. Look, whoever made her brought her into their family. THEY can choose whatever role he/she wants. Daughter, Aunt...Wife..."
"And you think that she is married to the other guy? The Vampire?"
"Its the code. The maker dictates what a Vampire can and cannot do. If her maker willed for her to be his wife, chances are, hes been following you for years..."
"No, I don't believe it. Maybe the part about the makers, but...but you know what?! Wheres yours, huh?"
"Yeah! If its the code, where is your mom, or dad or whatever?"
"I don't have one. Lets just leave it at that...", Kirk says as he puts his head down.
"So then...wouldn't you violate the code then?"
"No, the code exists for all vampires REGARDLESS of how they were born. I'm just different. But look man, this isn't about me..."
Gideon sighs and walks over to the door of the medical room. He puts his hand on the wall and tilts his head down. "I'm sorry man...I just...I need some air"
"Hey man! Hey where you goin' bro?"
"Just...out. I'm goin' out. Tell Alley I'll be back later."
"You can't just GO man. Whomever made your wife MIGHT be looking for you to do this...besides, you can't leave me here with her. Last I checked, she called me mythical. Do I look like a damn Unicorn, or some shit?"
"Chill man, I'll be back."
Kirk lets out a loud sigh. The type of overdramatic sigh that teenagers make when they know they've lost an argument.
"Ok. Go, but BE CAREFUL. You took your Vitamin D today?", asks Kirk as he raises an eyebrow
"I think so..."
"Not good enough", says Kirk as he reaches into a toolbag under the table. He then tosses a bottle to Gideon.
"Thanks bruh. I owe you one."
"Yeah...more like 100. Stay frosty."
Gideon takes two vitamins out of the bottom and pops both of them in his mouth at once. He then begins his long climb up the ladder and into the boiler room.
On the table in the medical room Detective Carter's body starts to wobble by itself. Kirk takes a step back but continues to watch. His eyes then glow blue. In the Detective's mind she wakes up in a dungeon, surrounded by lots of filthy and disheveled people in chains. A man then appears in front of her. A man she has never seen before but feels like might not be able to trust him. She can't make out his face, as everything is blurry, but she does deduce a black suit like that of a mortician.
"Right this way..." says the man, taking the Detective's hand and leading her through the catacombs.
"Where are we going?"
"I believe you are asking the wrong question Detective. It is not a matter of where, but when..."
"I...I...I don't understand", says Detective Carter while holding her head.
"There are many things you don't understand, Chartreuse, but allow me to keep the formalities limited to your title, hmm."
The man then pulls the woman into a large area with three paths
"What is this?"
"Right now, we are inside your mind. You now have my blood in your body...temporarily"
"But how did-"
A smile can be seen, although blurry on the man's face. "Where we are now is your logic processing center. One is "Belief", one is "Acceptance", and the other is "Disavowing". This could be interesting. Interesting indeed. So Detective, which path do you think we should traverse first?"
"I don't think we should even be here". Detective Carter's head starts to pound and her vision gets more blurry.
"Oh! I know, lets go down the "Disavow" path. I knew you would agree with me. Great choice!"
The man then grabs her arm and pulls her instead of gently dragging her as he once did to get her there.
"Take a look Detective...your childhood home. I wonder if Mommy or Daddy is here...WAIT they're not. Or maybe they are...but hey, aren't we about to find out!"
The Detective's head pumps into overtime as the room that they are in starts to vanish, blending the reality of what is happening in real time outside of her body with what is going on inside of it. "Well don't you want to see your parents Detective? I'm sure they're just dying to see you." As the man opens the door of a room, the two enter a garage. The world also sees a young Alley standing next to Kirk with her fangs out. The Garage then reappears with the Detective's parents drinking each other's blood.
"Ahh, yes! So the reason you don't fear vampires is because you seem to have...disavowed their existence. Clever girl. Your parents drinking each other's blood must have been normal for you..."
"Not NORMAL...just routine...but that DOESN'T make them VAMPIRES!"
"I think you're hiding something. Do you agree? I think so. Come, lets travel somewhere else", says the man in a pervasive, but charming way.
Detective Carter pulls her arm away from the man and stops walking with him. "VAMPIRES DO NOT EXIST!"
The man vanishes and reappears behind her. He then pulls her bun back forcefully. Fangs then eject from his mouth like two torpedoes at the ready. "You like to think we don't exist, HUH?! Well, I hate to break up your little notion...but EVERYONE AROUND YOU IS A VAMPIRE DETECTIVE!" The man then shows her images of everyone that she thought was normal. "Remember this sterling young man? The strapping young lad who took your virginity? I made him myself. Tasty bird he was." The man then bites the Detective's neck furiously until he stops to let up. "How about this well groomed and vivacious woman? She hired you at your first job." He then takes another bite out of her neck, ripping a chunk of flesh out. "Oh look, its your mother and father. They look so proud of you...but they're not because you don't believe in them. 'Boo hoo' says mommy and daddy!" Though the pain is intense, the Detective does not scream nor squeal. She simply releases tears of pain.
"I thought I would save the best for last. A tall man black man with a lowcut and a fade with brown eyes steps out of the shadows. "Hmm...what was his name...it slips me...oh yes! STEVEN. Your lover of 3 years. Killed tragically by a wild animal on a camping trip...atleast, thats what the reports said... COME ON DOWN STEVEN!" Detective's Carter's eyes widen in horror as the closer Steven gets to the light, the more she can see his fangs protruding. "Let me tell you a secret Detective, since you probably haven't deduced it by now- I killed him. Drained him myself. And IT. WAS. DELICIOUS!" Says the man as his long tongue licks the side of her face.
"Steven, my son, I want you to kill this woman for me. Come over here and bite the other side of her neck. Don't be shy." As Steven gets closer with a bloodthirsty look of glee in his eyes, the Detective can't help but to let out a glass breaking, primal, fear filled scream.
The man smiles a big devilish grin as he and the rest of the world inside of the Detective fades away. Her body then snaps upward off the table, rigid as a board. She opens her eyes gasping for air. Hard. As if she had been lost at sea, inside of it for twenty-eight years.
"Calm down. Its Ok. Everything's gonna be alright", says Kirk trying to reassure the Detective. She looks at his glowing eyes, and then she looks at Alley's fangs and jumps off the table.
"VA-VA-VA-VAMPIRES!" The Detective says backing into the wall to cower in fear
"Hey, you recognized me. Finally. I was beginning to think I might have to hustle ya to make you acknowledge me."
"YOU'RE MONSTERS! STAY BACK! GET AWAY FROM ME!"
"Monsters? I thought I was a superhero." says a confused Alley
"Honey, do what Uncle Kirk says, ok?" Alley nods "I want you to be a good girl and go into the back room and watch Dora, ok? Make sure you close the door."
"Wheres my Daddy! I want my daddy!" says Alley angrily and defiantly, stomping her foot on the ground.
"Oh Great! Now I got two screaming women. Thanks a lot Gideon. You damn right you owe me..." says Kirk as he throws his hands up and places them on his hips.
On the surface, Gideon stands outside the hospital, staring off in the distance, thinking about everything he was just told. He then puts his hands in the pockets of his dark blue Levis. In his formative years, he would never be caught dead in those pants. Lauren knew it, yet every Christmas and birthday, she got him a brand new pair of them. Small touches like that made him wish that Kirk was wrong. But somewhere, deep inside the very essence of his soul, he knew. A crow then flies overhead and a single feather lands on Gideon's shoe.