She was late getting home. Too, late. Marlene was almost too afraid to walk into her house that evening. Her parents were still up, they didn't go to sleep until the early hours of the morning. If they had their fix today, she was safe from them, but not from her brother.
Jake was Marlene and her two younger sister's elected authority figure. He was the oldest and the only male among them, he was the obvious choice for the three other Jones kids. Jake now being nineteen and the family's main source of income, his discipline now held more weight than before he started working at the local mechanic shop. He was usually a fair parental figure, but, he put his foot down on curfew. His stance was that you were supposed to be at the house before it got dark, and Marlene blew that by well over an hour.
She quietly crept around the small house, on the way to her window she crouched in front of her parent's window to check on them. The dirty pepto bismol pink curtain was pulled back just enough for her to see that they had indeed gotten drugs that day and were both blissfully passed out on their mattress. They weren't remotely close to each other, Marlene had a suspicion that they were always too high to realize they didn't love each other anymore.
Satisfied that one of her obstacles was out of the way, she continued on to the other side of her house, where her window lied. She was often late coming home, so she had gotten pretty good at sneaking back in her house. She couldn't spare a second to glance at her phone to check the time, it was dead anyway. If Jake happened to be home, the glow of her screen could be seen from the kitchen window. Marlene didn't like to take chances when she could help it.
As she grew closer to her window, she lowered her body to a crouch so she was further encased in darkness. The light was on in the kitchen, this could have been because her parents had thought to make dinner that night, or, Jake did. Marlene swore and continued until she was beneath her window. The house had a crawlspace foundation, making her window level with her shoulders. She compensated the height difference with an old milk crate hidden under the house for times like these. Checking her surroundings to make sure she was still safe, she reached under the house and brought the crate out and into position for her to stand on. Her frayed blue jeans almost got caught on the cracked side of the crate, but she un-snagged it before slowly sliding her window open enough for her to lift herself to sit on the sill. From there she slowly slid one leg at a time to the inside of her room. Once she was safely planted on the old ply wood floor, she rushed for the broom handle she kept hidden under her bed and used it to push the milk crate back under the crawlspace.
Confident that the crate was properly put away she hid the broom handle away and shut her window with a heavy breathe. It had been a long enough day, she fell back on her bed and fell into a restless sleep.
With the end of one mortal's day, began the events of an immortal's. Calvin stuck around the park a while longer after the girl had left. Her innocent scent still lingered in the air around that now lonesome bench. It nearly made Calvin retch.
The small southern town didn't have a lot to offer in terms of easy food. Most places in the middle of nowhere don't, whereas large cities held and overflowing abundance of impure souls so easy to lure away from the larger crowds. That is what made them any immortals obvious choice, and, what made them too boring to a well seasoned predator like Calvin. For tonight he cursed himself for his finicky tastes, the burning in his throat punishing him for it.
Lurking in the shadows, he knew he wasn't going to be skilled hunter tonight. No, he had allowed himself to grow ravenous and animalistic. He needed blood fast, before he tore out the throat of the next person he saw.
The park was obviously not where his meal was coming from that night, so, he left there for the only bar in the town. The place could best be described as a dive. The area was small and in obvious need of repair. The leather on the bar stools were torn and cracked from age and lack of upkeep, white stuffing left visible to the eye, reminding Calvin of open wounds displaying a victim's innards. The thought almost made him smile.
The place was not what he would call busy, but it was apparent that the washed out woman tending the bar was overwhelmed. Four out of six bar stools were occupied, the looks on the patrons' faces told him all he needed to know about the bartender's skill. This would make it easier for him to blend in the dark corners. The bartender herself was the first person in the room to be eliminated from his list of available prey. Employees of whatever establishment were all but off limits to him, they were the first in the area to be missed. The owners of the business could also turn back their security footage, showing him whisking his prey away, and he couldn't have his face being recognized. His face on the ten 'o clock news was tantamount to a death sentence.
His dark eyes scanned the patrons next, searching for groups and regulars. They were the next to be eliminated. The drunkards and visitors were his ideal choices, their disappearance wouldn't be as strongly noted. Drunkards were next, but he would have to wait until peak business times to steal them away. The place had no security personnel, only a few cameras tucked into the corners of the walls served as any safety precautions. Calvin smirked behind his sunglasses. He remembered why he enjoyed these hole-in-the-wall places.
He spotted a lone woman in a booth across from his seat. She had bruises on her face and track marks in her arms. The tiny skirt and thin blouse hinted at her occupation, but, he was never one to judge a book by it's cover. He needed to see her eyes to know what was in her heart, but, something just told him he had found his breakfast.