Once Again into the Fray I Go
Kirk's falling apart was completely a shock to Harry. I knew how easily humans broke, having exhausted my fair share and then some of the various offerings over the years after I was turned. Who am I kidding? Years, ha, try decades. I watched the two and kept my mouth shut. I wasn't the warm and fuzzy sort of sharing vampire type. Hell, we ate these sorts for late night snack. I had always thought Harry was more like me than those boring bland baby vampires who asked before supping:
'My lovely, may I dine on you tonight?' he would whine.
'Yes, my master.' She would whimper. Then his fangs would slowly descend while she licked her lips and offered her neck.
But then, he had had plans for Kirk up until this little episode. I sipped at my chilling coffee while Harry tried to pull Kirk back from the abyss. It was not a sight I wanted to really watch, but I didn't have much more to do with my free time until Harry let me kill Kirk.
From everything I could tell Kirk was pretty much a lost cause. Harry had tons vested in his little pal here, but I on the other hand couldn't care less about Kirk. I continued to sip from the cup while watching the emotions flick through Harry's mind and nothing in Kirk's brain. He might have been sitting in front of us, but nobody was home. Major waste of blood, I thought.
Harry turned to me quickly saying, "Stop that, Cassandra. I know what I'm doing!"
Funny it seemed like he wasn't doing anything but wishful thinking. I kept my mouth shut and my thoughts shuttered deeper inside my brain. I really was getting bored and needed to do something active.
"Kirk, look at me," Harry was doing his amazing 'lounge' mesmerizer routine again. I wondered if I should applaud his use of the nice neutral vampiric voice instead of the heavily intoned pre-feeding voice. That was the one I would be using on Kirk here. Come to think of it, I don't think I much used anything else.
Slowly Kirk looked up and met Harry's gaze. "Yes?" His speech was slurred and his eyes blurry. Automatically Kirk tapped out another cigarette. He stopped and looked vacant as he held onto the package. He turned it trying to see if his wayward smoke would fall out. The pack was half empty but the cigarettes were jammed at the opening of the soft package. Cellophane caught the filters and prevented them from falling out naturally. Slowly Harry reached over and took the pack from Kirk's listless hands and pulled a cigarette out and put it between Kirk's lips. Casually he lit it for Kirk and the inhalation action automatically helped Kirk focus on the fiery tip and his slightly shaking hands.
The ash grew as Kirk regarded the burning cigarette between his fingers. He tried to speak, and waited while his trembling slowed. Finally he hoarsely whispered, "Harry, you gotta help me."
Another drag of his smoke then, "This just isn't right. Little children should be allowed to be children. I mean, come on, Harry, they were letting adults suck their blood and worse. It's not healthy. These kids don't have any kind of a natural or normal life. And the predators are out there waiting for the opportunity and then they picked them off like they were theirs to begin with and that these kids had been raised for the killers. Why is it that I keep finding all these mutilated bodies?" He started to shudder again.
His fears were rolling over him again. The scent rolling off Kirk was addictive I wanted to snack on him. The zombie-like behavior was being washed away by his absolute terror. Harry caught my eyes and shook his head. Killjoy. I could let Kirk see how much fun they had if they went willingly. My smile was framed by my desire to taste this meal before me. I leaned past Harry and caught Kirk's gaze.
"Kirk, why do you think that you are finding them all?" My tone was not neutral. Harry could tell I was not willing to wait much longer. He quickly edged me back with a look and a hand on my thigh.
Kirk missed my attention and responded to my question, "I think because someone wants me to find the victims."
That struck a cord with both Harry and me. Morgan liked to toy with the authorities. I recalled that one of his favorite past times was picking some human being and using them to showcase his talents as a killer. The resulting attention from the media further was used as a foil to show how superior a species vampires were to humans. Kirk's vague job title was not a deterrent to Morgan. The whole city would know before the month was out who Kirk was and in what branch of government he really worked. Harry paled as that sunk in and festered. Morgan was not going to simply leave because we had figured out he was out here. Lani's little games were taking a back seat to the activities Morgan could and would bring to our town.
I pulled away from Kirk. If he was in Morgan's sights I sure as hell didn't want to be anywhere near him. Both Lani and Morgan were playing with the same human, and nothing good could come of this. Harry nodded his understanding. We looked carefully at Kirk as he kept smoking and he began to talk wistfully to us, "I mean, the first case I just thought was a rough catch. They happen. The girl was nineteen but looked about fourteen at the most. Frail and delicate with huge blue eyes, she was part of that Goth pack that runs around the streets. Her body was a broken doll set against the dumpster a few blocks from the clubs."
Wasn't one of my kills so I looked to Harry to see if he knew the corpse. He shook his head negatively and we waited to see what else was stored in Kirk's brain. It didn't take long for him to continue.
"My office got an anonymous call saying there was a body down by the river a few weeks ago. I think it was right after Halloween." He raked a hand down his face and quivered a bit as a vision came to him. Damn, his trembling and horror was making me hungry again. I pictured what Morgan had done to one of his past toys and that image quickly shut down the desire.
"I got there and this was a young man. He looked like a pack of dogs had ripped him to pieces. I felt like I was being watched. After that there was a body a week or so. Never was there enough trace evidence to bag and tag. No suspects because nobody seemed to see anything. All I had were whispered clues and dead teens and young adults." I swear Kirk aged while telling us, and how all theses murders had escaped Harry amazed me. I quirked an eyebrow at him and he shrugged to me in silence.
It sure seemed to me that Morgan had started on my personal New Year's resolution a few months before I did. If he was in my town killing my humans, anything I did was bound to be noticed. Morgan really liked media attention and splashy stories at eleven with talking heads looking so puzzled by the mayhem. I, on the other hand, had no desire to attract any sort of interest; it was best if I was simply a shadow of fear that chased at the humans in the night. I growled my frustration deep back in my throat.
Harry turned to me with a killer look while saying, "That doesn't sound good, Cassandra. You working on a cold or something? Why don't you go get some more coffee?"
Heeding the warning gaze Harry had tossed at me, I jerked up from the table, pushing my chair away while snatching the mug from Harry's hand. Kirk didn't seem to even realize I was still in the room as he was shutting down again, and starting to become catatonic. Harry continued to speak to him in a soothing non-threatening vampire voice.
Kirk was about a minute away from becoming dog meat in my book. The only thing keeping me in line was that I did not know if Morgan was outside watching, or even Lani and Seneca and their little crew. This was really getting to be a crowded city.
My phone rang, stopping Harry's voice control lessons. I wandered to the counter to see the call ID screen actually had a telephone number in the display. Not that I recognized the number, but since I wasn't going to be allowed to take Kirk out yet, I decided to find out who was calling.
"Ah, hi, is this Cassie Pepper?" A young female asked in an extremely cheerful tone. I wanted an insulin shot from the immediate sugar overload. Not a voice I recognized but I replied.
"Why?" No need to give a yes answer on the phone. Agreeing to anything just makes for trouble in the long run.
Miss Perky wasn't used to a question to a question format I could tell. She lost a bit of her spunk as she said, "Well, you don't know me --"
"And why would you call me then?" I really liked when callers had to play by my rules. Hey, if I don't ask you to call, I am allowed to screw with you any way I want. House rules.
"Um, well yes and is this Cassie?" Her voice was starting to take on a bit of a shake. It dawned on me this was probably a telemarketer call. I certainly wasn't following the little script they hand these kids. I waited without replying and could then hear in the background all the other little drones in her boiler room making calls. I smiled and Harry sighed.
"Pardon me," I finally answered and then began my side of the call, "Who am I talking to?" My voice held a bit of menace.
She audibly gulped and said, "Well, you don't know me --"
I stopped her with, "We have established that. And who am I talking to again?"
I could hear the pages rustling in her hands as she tried to find her spot to continue her rote sales call.
"Ah, well, I am calling to offer you money --"
Another time I interrupted the girl. "I have plenty of money." I waited.
"You are turning down the opportunity of a life time," she was fumbling in her tone and speech. I don't think she found the right spot. She hadn't pitched anything but fear. That was delicious but I really wanted a bit more.
"No, I am not. I asked you your name. I want to make a call on you in about two or three hours." I had laced my words with enough vampiric talent that she stumbled out with, "I am Tammy Crendle. I don't think I want to meet you."
"But you were calling me to offer me an opportunity of a life time," Now I had full power turned up and was purring the words back at her. She sobbed and hung up.
"Damn, Cassandra, you could have just hung up," Harry was a bit put out by my side of the call. He obviously had a soft spot for telemarketers.
I turned slowly, "Harry, I needed a bit of a distraction or there would be more than a sobbing girl to deal with here." I looked pointedly at Kirk. Harry understood my choice at toying with the caller instead of Kirk and nodded. The night was growing darker out my window and I was in the mood to hunt. All the fears I had been hearing and seeing on these humans gnawed at me.
"Ask him where the tape is now." We needed to start our damage control soon.
"Kirk, tell us about that tape," Harry asked in his most compelling tones.
Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2018-11-26
Image(s) are public domain.