A chill wind swept though the alley and rose to ruffle the short blonde strands of the woman who sat perched on the back of the stone gargoyle. Her denim duster swayed in the breeze and she yawned slightly, not concerned in the least by the fact that she was perched 3 stories above the busy Dallas streets. Her green eyes glittered as the neon lights became brighter and the stars began to peek out, although with the glare, one could hardly see them. A thin sliver of moon shone above the skyline of the business district.
Around her the other night life began to appear. Hookers took to their corners with their pimps lurking in nearby alleys, waiting in hyped up cars. Clubbies marched down the sidewalks chattering, peacock like in their clothes and hair colors. Her glassy eyes took in the sights of a minivan pulling up to a convience store. Three kids barreled out of it and rushed into the building screaming with a hassled tired mother yelling after them. Stray cats went diving into the dumpster of the Chinese restaurant. A cynical smile graced her lips, wondering if they might be the "Special of the Night" later on.
She sighed and flicked a Tic Tac into her mouth. The neon lights bounced off her white pointed teeth, causing them to flash and gleam momentarily. She was getting tired of this. She'd always hated Dallas and wondered why she put up with staying here even now. The hunting was good, no doubt. But the city reeked with an underlying insanity. There was a constant feeling of impending doom and it seemed like everyone was waiting for the explosion.
It made her itch.
She didn't like itching.
Tucking one leg up to her chest, she rested her pointed chin on her knee. The other leg swung over the head of the statue and her foot kicked aimlessly in the air. She could hear the constant rumbling of the cars and trucks. Rush hour? More like 3 hours. On a good day. Damn humorless city.
She checked her watch and gazed up to the building a few blocks away. Her eyes had no trouble picking out the lit window, 26 stories up. She could see him pacing behind his desk. On the phone again she figured. Closing one more deal before the night was over. There was always one more deal. She knew he would be there for a while yet. Like the Rolex around his wrist, you could tell the time of day by his movements.
She yawned again and sighed. Her mind began to wander, and since she had nothing to do, she let it. She supposed this listlessness wasn't this city in particular. It was any city. She was tired of people. The pleas for mercy, the babbling while on their knees. Almost made her wish she DID kill them when she was done with them. She hated whining, but she couldn't blame them. All they knew, all she knew before she had Become, was death. Stupid superstitions and movies. She didn't kill when she hunted. Hadn't in a very long time. It wasn't necessary. Another Hollywood myth gone too far.
Her dream she supposed would be somewhere in the frozen north. Cold didn't bother her. She rather thought she might like to see real trees. Might have trouble with the six months of daylight though. That legend was true. She had to avoid daylight at all costs. Not a great hardship since, before she was Born, she never saw the sunrise anyway.
She didn't miss a great many things from her previous life. She had few friends and her family was gone. She never liked her job, so when she called and quit, it was no big loss. The one thing she did miss, and learned that she could no longer have was gum. Chewing gum. The first night she fanged out while chewing it she damn near sliced her mouth open. Since that night, she took to Tic Tacs. Those she could suck on.
What also irked her about her present situation was the hunting itself. Before she became what she was, she had a strictly vegetarian diet. The Nightwalker who Turned her had a twisted sense of humor she grumbled to herself. She'd always joked about never being able to eat anything with a face. Now, she didn't have a whole lot of choice.
Ha ha, very funny, she thought.
Her predatory attention was caught by a darting shadow. Two people, just kids really, were walking down the street, heading for the Goth club no doubt, by their black clothes and hair. Two blocks up, in the alley, the shadow waited for them. Her eyes narrowed. Street gang. Scanning their thoughts she picked up that this was an initiation run, not a robbery. Murder was on their minds. She hated the scavengers of the city. Like hyenas they lingered around the edges of society and fed on the weak and the refuse. Only they didn't kill to survive.
Not tonight boys.
Focusing her mind on what looked to be the leader of the group, she sent an image out of his worst nightmare. As if it had just walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. The two Goths jumped and clutched each other as the gang came racing out of the alley shrieking as if the hounds of hell were after them. She cracked a feral grin. Some parts of being a Nightwalker weren't so bad. The mind control had it's benefits.
The two kids resumed their walk, with caution this time. Good, she mouthed. When walking through Hell, one should watch their step. There are dangerous things in the dark. She turned her gaze back to the office. Now he sat, hard at work, on his computer. Squinting her eyes she could see the monitor. Stock quotes. How exciting, she remarked dryly. Here was a guy who needed a shock she thought.
Talk about White Collar ruts. Same cereal every morning. Closet color organized. Shoes, polished and lined neatly. Same bathing rituals. Same route to the gym, then work. Same routine. Same greetings. If it weren't for his healthy lifestyle and all the fiber he ate, she would figure him to be dead in six years of constipation. How utterly dull.
Well, tonight, things were going to change in Mr. John Q. Public's life. Green glass eyes followed him as he shut down the computer and packed his briefcase. She knew the routine by heart. Grab the jacket, shake the imaginary wrinkles, put it on, buttoned fully, check the tie and the appearance and out the door. She watched his progress, stretching slightly on her perch. She knew when he would be stepping into the elevator and how long it would take him to make it to the ground floor. Sliding her leg down, she straddled the gargoyle and sat, as if she were riding on it's neck.
She could see him waving goodnight to the security guard as he was buzzed out. Time to move. She drew herself up, denim scraping against the cold stone. With a pat on the head to her silent companion she was off into the night.
"Night Mr. Graves."
"Goodnight Arthur, have a good shift.", Swinging the briefcase he stepped out into the cold December night. He turned the collar of his trench coat up and grasped it shut as a blast of cool air swept past him. Dropping his head he marched briskly towards the parking garage. His mind already working on the next day's trades. Stocks and figures whirled around in his mind and so he did not notice at first the footsteps behind him that fell into pace.
He stopped suddenly. He could have sworn he heard his name called. Looking around, he saw nothing. Just empty street and closed shops. The hair on the back of his neck rose and he shrugged it away. He hadn't made it far before he heard it again. The voice was soft, caressing. As if speaking to a lover. This time he scanned the shadows a little closer. The street was totally deserted. "Who's there?", he shouted, "Show yourself." There was no answer. Just a faint giggle.
Clutching his briefcase tighter he sped up his pace. He knew if he could make it to his car, he'd be ok. The wind blew around him, and it seemed as though he heard the giggle again. Closer. He stopped again, holding his briefcase before him like a shield. He was breathing hard and his heart thundered in his chest. The wind whirled through the office complexes and shops, moaning slightly. He circled and could find nothing.
A tap on his shoulder gave him a start and with a scream he dropped the briefcase and whipped around. Before him stood a young woman, a pretty blonde with green eyes and a smile on her lips. His eyes met hers and he was struck speechless. That was when the right hook caught him and blackness descended.
A throbbing, pounding in his skull told him that he had possibly had one too many Martini's at his bar. Slowly awareness came to him and he realized he was lying on the cold cement of the parking garage. He groaned and opened his eyes. Definitely the garage floor. The smells of rubber and oil were all around. His briefcase lay just to the left of him. Squinting, he saw a small bag sitting on top of it. Just as he was about to rise he heard footsteps.
"Good, you're awake. I was beginning to wonder if you'd sleep till dawn." He swung his head toward the voice and was immediately rewarded with an increase in the hammering. She saw him wince and chuckled. "Hurts still, eh?" She lightly touched his temple and blessedly the pounding stopped. "Better?" She turned away slightly, not needing an answer it seemed.
"What the hell is going on here!", He demanded, feeling his jaw, "You bitch, you HIT me! I'll sue your pants off for this!"
She knelt down next to him and laughed. That was when he noticed the teeth. Suddenly he wasn't interested in suing anyone. He'd gotten cold cocked and woken up in a bad B-flick Vampire movie. Only there was supposed to be a slobbering monster. Not a woman that looked like she stepped off the cover of Cosmo. He closed his eyes and groaned. "Ok, ok...whoever paid you to do this, game's over. You did a good job. Who was it? Bob, from the office? Or maybe Steve...", he trailed off.
She didn't answer, but cast him an enigmatic smile. Her hands went to the small bag perched on his Italian briefcase. Pulling out a pair of rubber gloves she slid them on, snapping them suggestively, with an evil gleam in her eye that would have made any man nervous. She turned back to her bag and reached in. His eyes caught the flash of light and grew wider as she pulled out a small scalpel.
"What the HELL!!", he started to move. One cool finger reached out and with a slight touch to his forehead, he fell back.
His heart hammered in his chest. He struggled to rise and run, but couldn't move. His mind fluttered like a butterfly trapped in a jar. She hunched down before him, resting her arms on her knees. Her green eyes flashed as she watched him slowly calm as his mind began to grasp the concept that it was no longer in control of his body.
He looked her over. She had a slim face, pointed chin. A little severe for his tastes. She has to have the greenest eyes I have ever seen he thought. Her ears were slightly pointed at the tips he noticed and from them dangled multiple earrings. He closed his eyes. Ok, this is a setup. One of the guys at work did this. The ears and teeth, movie props. Hell, even he knew you could buy this stuff in costume shops. The Gothic community of Dallas must own stock in them for all that they bought the same things.
He opened his eyes again and looked at her. She was grinning, her mind following his thoughts. He's so rooted in his mundane boring life, he can't even fathom the truth, she chuckled to herself. She always found the Daywalkers need for explanation amusing. Oh well, time to get on with this. She turned to her bag and began removing the first aid kit. Gauze, bandages, antiseptic ointment. She felt his eyes on her and could imagine that they were getting larger with each item she revealed.
"What the hell are you?", he whispered. Ah, finally, the questions. She sighed and halted her arraigning of bandages to look at him.
"Well, I would think that was obvious Jonathan", she said, "Is the concept so hard for you to grasp?"
"But there's no such things as...", his voice dropped even lower.
"What? Vampires? We actually prefer to be called Nightwalkers.", she answered flippantly, "And if you will cooperate with me, this will all be done in a jiffy."
His eyes closed and he groaned and then laughed. "Ok lady I'll play along with the gag, but you don't strike me as the typical vampire. Shouldn't you be, you know, biting me or something? The guys at the office are going to pay for this one."
"Superstition. And a silly one at that. Can you actually imagine having to bite someone? Who knows where they have been, or how clean they are.", her face scrunched up in distaste. "It's bad enough that we have to drink the blood of you Daywalkers. I couldn't live if I knew I had to put my lips on your dirty skin."
He frowned, he was clean dammit! Then he shook his head. I'm taking umbrage at a vampire insulting me, what am I thinking?! He heard her laugh as she turned and checked over the contents of her bag again. His mind whirled with the oddity of his current situation. He couldn't move. Well, couldn't get up. He did realize he had some movement. She hadn't denied him all mobility. With his free right hand he reached up and tugged out a gold necklace.
"Ah ha! This will set you straight. Now you can't suck my blood.", he announced triumphantly. She cocked her head around and peered at what he held. A white gold cross dangled on a thin chain.
"That's a nice one", she said, " but it won't work I'm afraid."
"What!? It's a cross, you should be running and screaming by now!", his triumph dimmed a little, he began to feel the first squirmings of worry enter his mind.
"It only works if the bearer has complete and total faith in it's symbolism, Jonathan. Tell me...", she leaned close enough for him to smell the slightly metallic scent of her breath," ..are you a believer?"
His hand dropped the dangling charm and he grew quiet.