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20.65% Blood & Juniper (A Vampire Tale) / Chapter 19: Meet up (Part 1)

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Chapter 19: Meet up (Part 1)

Two things to put on my to do list; I need a new phone and wifi. I miss the convenience of my scanner app to transfer my sketches onto my editing program, what a pain not having it around. I can't believe Juniper has no internet, she's living in the dark ages.

I add a few more details to Sam's face. I had been drawing for a good chunk of the day. More or less finishing 3 pages from my dream.

Putting down the pencil, I stretch my arms above my head and arching my back. I glance down at the clock on my glaring laptop. It reads 6:47, the sun should be setting soon.

Rain has been pattering on the roof off and on all afternoon, tempting me to go outside, but the thought of the clouds clearing up while out in the open dissuaded me. I'm not known for my patience, exercising it was extremely tiring.

Instead, I went to find the kitchen of the cabin around 4 for a late lunch, only to open a large fridge that was completely barren. A reminder that I don't even eat food anymore, not the kind that would be found inside a fridge, anyway. I'm going to have to get used to that.

Leaping out of bed, I throw on some jeans, slipping the gold watch in the left pocket. My fingers rifle through the poorly folded tops with a frown. Keeping potential stains in mind, I pick out a black one and throw a dark zip up over it. I lean over to shove my feet into a pair of worn combat boots, carelessly lacing them up.

Bouncing the hair brush in my palm, I eye the covered mirror with pursed lips. Tapping a toe against the hardwood as I puzzle over how I'm going to do this.

"You better behave or I'll punch you too," I warn the mirror as if it were a person.

I untie one of the corners, pulling it back slowly, swallowing as I cautiously lift my gaze. I stopped at my chin, then quickly flick my eyes up to see my face then back to my neck. From a glance everything appears normal but this uneasiness stirs in my gut.

I focus on my hair, brushing away the few tangles. It actually didn't need much attention, a pleasant surprise.

Trying to be bold, I gaze at my own face to study it. An enhanced me reflecting back. Everything appears fine, so why do I have this building anxiety grinding away at the back of my mind?

My eyes, it's something hidden back there, something monstrous.

I tear my eyes away, realizing I'm getting sucked into them just like before in my old apartment. Snatching the sheet, I quickly secured it back in place.

I tidy up the room a bit, obviously stalling the action of actually leaving the cabin. Ruffling the tuft of fur on Scars head, I place him on the bed like a watchdog before stepping toward the door.

Glancing over the room one last time I reluctantly leave, locking the door behind me to then stroll toward the front entrance.

Pulling at the sturdy front door, it opens with a fresh gust. I peek one eye out of the opening, squinting from the vibrant orange halo the sun left behind. The sun is concealed behind the heap of trees but the sheen of its light is painfully bright regardless.

I put a hand over my eyes, shielding the orange glare from view as I bounce down the cobblestone steps outside.

I still have a few hours to kill before ten o'clock so I begin my aimless wanderings leisurely through the maze of trees. I turn over my shoulder, looking back to see the cabin hide from view, consumed by the dense plant life.

The vastness and vibrancy of the forest is a site I can't see myself ever getting used to, still spectacular and magical. I close my eyes breathing in the many scents winding in the air, entangling with the crisp noises near and far.

With eyes still shut, I navigate on the smells and sounds alone. The vibrations from my footsteps seem to bounce off of tree trunks and rocks like echo location. I let out a short laugh of enthrallment.

Nocturnal animals scurrying through the forest floor, I examine the stir in a way I couldn't before. The heartbeats so quickened it's like a white noise humming over dead leaves.

I roam a great while, letting the sky darken over head with the stars cutting through like brilliant fireballs ready to rain down.

The wind rolls through shuddering leaves as if speaking in lost tongues and I raise my hands up to let the unknown words whisper around my fingertips, drenching my semblance in the newness and the incredible abundance of it all.

My gaze follows the lines and swirled woody arrangement of a thick winding trunk. My nails dig into the veiny crevices of the tender bark. I bend my knees to hoist myself toward the lowest branch, still a great distance away. Like a frog I leap as if weightless, catching and swinging around the branch like a gymnast. Sign me up for the circus!

Sitting atop the high branch, I peer down to marvel the distance from a single hop. The ground far below my dangling legs.

I jump to my feet, landing on the limb like a balancing beam, thinking about cartwheeling over the top. Am I that fearless?

I lean over the edge again with little regard, a cheerful smile creeps along my face. It's true, I no longer fear this height, I feel no danger.

I carelessly spin and jump on the branch with a giggle as it shakes from my weight when I near the thinning end.

Hardly looking, I dive off the arm of the tree. A leap of faith with hands outstretched to grab a neighboring shrub. The air tickles my face and plays with my hair before grappling the next branch.

I keep the momentum, it's like I was born in the trees, swing and vaulting like a parkour expert. 'I'm queen of the trees!' I smirk as I bound through endless foliage. Absolutely incredible.

I climb to the highest point of a sturdy pine, it's towering over the majority like a king. I reach the top with a gasp. A blanket of green waving and swaying like a giant flag, breathing and wrapping over cliff tops. An ocean of stars in the direction of the city, lights glittering like gemstones in a cave. The atmosphere bellows it's triumphant song of freedom, the sky drinking up the planet in a long open mouthed breath.

This doesn't look like planet earth anymore. The colors and shades are incredibly defined. I marvel at the impossible shimmering before my very eyes.

After a while of soaking in the sites while perched on the tree top, I begin my descent. It's so effortless, I hover my foot carelessly over the edge, dropping down from a very high branch thoughtlessly. My stomach drops for a moment when I realize I'm still falling, I wasn't paying attention to how high I actually was!

Greens and browns whistle as I drop, I somehow avoid a limb, pushing off of it rather than colliding. The floor is rocketing toward me.

I wince, readying myself for the crash, I'm a second away. The balls of my feet touch dirt and my body reacts, crouching and rolling on to the flat of my shoulder with the fall, even ending elegantly upright when I come to a stop. The pressure of impact was miniscule.

I turn my head to look up in astonishment, gawking at the shuddering tree, it's bark and debris tumbling down from the disturbance. 'That was seriously high up! How did I do that?'

My fingers brush the dirt from my shoulder with little more spring in my step as I walk away like some kind of celebrity. I can't stand when people are this cocky but it feels justified. No one's here and I'm not able to hide feeling pretty bad ass as I wonder what else I'm capable of.

Eventually, I stop to lean into some spongy moss coating a nearby stump, it almost looks neon the way it reflects the light.

My fingers slide down my hip corkscrewing around the gold chain, inching it out of my pocket.

'Hmmm, still more than an hour and a half to kill before 10'. I glance out toward the way of town, undeniably eager to explore, feeling overly confident from my little stunt.

'I've got to get used to being out in the open sooner or later. I should be able to manage.' I assure myself, making way for the trail entrance.

The familiar glaring light posts mark the way out as I dance over stones and weeds. The bulbs stabbing violently at the ambushing dark.

The gas station sign to Gus's fizzles in the distance. I gulp, noticing more cars parked along the curb than usual. Even my quiet part of town seems less dead than yesterday. I think about turning back into the peaceful refuge of the brush as my nerves over take my assuredness.

I straighten my shoulders determined not to let fear control my intentions, making strides toward the busier part of town. 'I can do this! I know exactly what to expect, bring on the noise.'

Every shop sign I pass looks so different, more detailed and flawed in a pleasing way. It's as if I'd never been to this part of town, though I had walked this way at least a dozen times.

A heartbeat slices into my thoughts.

My eyes widen with a stop, I crane my head over to see two legs sticking out of a covered bus stop.

Breathing out I continue onward, making an arching bow to give the waiting bench wide girth.

'Just passing by. Just passing by. Just passing.' I think to the rhythm of his heart. Through a thick strand of my brown hair, I eye the platform, staying focused on my goal.

"Hey, Missy?"

'No! Please don't be talking to me!' I keep walking, pretending not to notice.

"Hey lady!" I see a hand wave with a grungy fingerless glove in the corner of my eye.

'Ugghhh, why me!'

I look over with nervous eyes as I clench my teeth together, "Are you talking to me?"

"Yeah, could you spare some change? I'm short, the driver won't let me on no more without the exact."

"Uhh, maybe," I dig into the pockets of my coat and jeans roughly, feeling a folded dollar under the cool metal of the watch, hopefully it's not a twenty.

I hold my breath as I see him stand to approach, if I was smart I would have said no. My heart would be pounding if it still functioned, his seems to be thrumming away just fine. My eye twitches as his peppery drum pounds in my ears, caressing it's way down my spine.

"Thanks so much," he says, eyeing my pocket, "That's a really nice pocket watch you've got there."

"It's a friend's," I rush impatiently as the heat of his skin calls out, my limbs suddenly feel so cold, yearning to touch him.

Fumbling with the money, I hold it out with a straight arm to create as much space possible, no longer caring if it's a 20, I just want him gone. I give him a tight lipped smile trying not to look like I want to eat him.

His eyes shine as he reaches for it, "Oh, ten bucks! You sure? The bus isn't that much."

"It's fine, here."

Ba-dah Ba-dah Ba-dah

The luscious sound coursing through his body, the smell. My mouth falls open a bit and I gaze upon his flushed cheeks. Warm, delicious. My eyes widen trying to get a grip, catching his staring into mine. He looks awe struck.

"Thank... You. You're a very pretty wo...Wow you have beautiful eyes."

He looks absolutely smitten, I immediately shut down the devious idea of seducing him for a bite. Me, seducing? Ridiculous! That's so not me. I need to get out of here!

"Oh," I flash a semi-jagged smile without thinking, "Thanks, Sorry! I've got to go."

The words spill from my mouth so fast they hardly make sense as I speed walk away from him, trying not to move unnaturally.

"Wait!" He shakes out of his trance calling after me, "let me at least give you a few bucks back."

"Just keep it!" I snap without looking back, not able to mask my agitation. I grind my teeth trying to rid the wonderful drumming from my mind.

"Eesh, sorry." I hear him mutter.

He should be, why'd he have to come up to me? I want to strangle that guy! No, I want to *bleed* him dry. I tsk in frustration through clenched teeth.

The signs fly by and I slow my pace realizing I'm walking way too fast. Why is the beating getting louder? It's seems like it's multiplying! I stick my fingers in my ears but it doesn't help, I can feel it pounding inside of me. I made a mistake coming this way. I'm surrounded.

It's incredible and awful all at once, reeling me in like a fish on a line in all different directions. I want to scream or tear out my hair out, hunt down one of these drums and shove a fist through it.

"She did not say that!"

I duck down, back against the trunk of a parked car, fingers gripping bumper.

"Yes! I swear she did! Her exact words were, 'Did you drop this thing into a garbage disposal?'"

'People are going to wonder if you got dropped into a garbage disposal once I'm finished with you…' I envision leaving holes in the woman, taking chunks out of her with my teeth.

A burst of laughter startles me out of the morbid daydream.

"Wow, she can be such a snob. I can't believe she'd say that out loud with everyone there."

"No one likes her, she's such a bitch. I think Josh would punch her right in the face of she was a dude."

More petty snickers erupt as the clacking high heels approach less than three parked cars away. 'Would anyone even miss these catty girls?' I began to justify as the high pitched steps rumble the ground and the bass in their chest pounds away like an elaborate drum solo.

'No witnesses.' Sam's caution emerges from the back of my mind.

'Then I'll have to take them both out', I refute as I coiled to spring on the unsuspecting pair. The perfume doused on each girl isn't enough to mask their euphoric natural scent whirling in the breeze.

I tune out their gossiping as it's like nails on a chalkboard, instead being absorbed in the heavenly rhythm that projects from each moving body. 'I'll snap the first one's neck, then drink the other in slow…'

'This isn't us! This isn't me!' my own muffled voice screams at me and a tangent of the family Christmas card pops into my mind. Damn it.

My face scrunches into itself from discomposure. I clutch the bumper no doubt leaving dents, slithering around the side of the vehicle. Holding the bottom of the car for dear life like I'd slip away into the sky if I let go.

The blonde haired girl who's incessantly droning on flips her hair as she passes by, bludging me in the face with her aroma.

I chomp down on my lip in attempts to stay grounded. As soon as the girls pass I sprint away only to be met with more raging heartbeats. Fluttering like hummingbird wings, a sea of indescribable desire.

I pivot for a nearby alley way only to be assaulted my more drumming.

I steer away and dart into a thin dead end pass. The beating subsides slightly as I press myself against a brick wall at the end.

I slam my fists into the wall, a bit of it crumbles as heavy dust bounces on the ground like sand. I sink to my knees scowling angrily at the sky.

Frustration and distress personifies into a fit of air rushing from my lungs as I bellow at the night. Anything to drown out the pounding that's all around me.

I am not met with the silence I wish for and, to add insult to injury, a dog barks to mock me somewhere in the distance.

I roll over to curl in a ball, trying to think about things that used to make me happy. 'Not being a blood sucking fiend' keeps repeating in my head. My grimace deepens every time the sentence recites.

How does anyone live like this? How do Sam and Juniper go into the general public without ripping people's faces off?

I bury my head in my folded arms as I pout and curse everyone wandering the streets tonight. It's like I don't even know myself anymore, hardly a step up from a wild animal. Volatile, hostile and destructive.

I regret coming here, I'm not strong enough, I'm simply pathetic and *weak*.


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Thank you for the comments, reviews and votes! Your support means so much. I'm working on releasing a long chapter to show my appreciation. I hope you enjoy it! :)

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