Copyright © 2013 by Michael Litzky
“Dude, we gotta ice the Chinese babe,” Brandon, his long face mournful under his green spiky hair, whispered to Jeremy where he sat, still shaken.
Jeremy looked up, just as Malcolm called to the pixie-faced Asian vampire, “Why are you different? Why do you look different? Who are you? Why do you have an individual face when all these thousands are just things?” Malcolm and Sister Amanda stood facing the hissing mob and their child-like leader across a gap of about 20 feet.
Jeremy stood, trembling. “You are different,” he called in his cracking voice. “Just like he was different. The vampire who train-wrecked my life. He didn’t look like all the others. He had original ideas, just like you do.”
He started to walk toward KerriAnne but he was too-visibly readying his right hand to reach for the stake on his belt. She snapped, “You and you and you! Lift me!” A moment later, she gloated at them from the shoulders of three other vampires. “Nah nah na nah na,” she teased in the almost universal five note pattern.
Jeremy snapped, ran screaming at the line of vampires, whipping out his stake before he could stop to cave in to fear.
“Jeremy, no, you mustn’t!” Amanda shouted. But Brandon and the other two young men grabbed her from behind and held her as she tried to stop him. “This is not acceptable,” she snapped and, abashed, they released her again, but too late.
Just when it seemed Jeremy must crash into the wall of icy flesh, Malcolm slammed him with a tackle he’d last used forty years ago at NYU, grabbing the teen around the ankles so that he slapped into the cement inches from the eagerly straining claws.
KerriAnne actually stood up on the shoulders of her supporters, leaning against the magic barrier which sloped inward like a dome at that height. “Too bad!” she teased. “He would have been yummmmmmyyyy!”
Amanda, with more anger than Malcolm had seen her show, tongue-lashed the three young men in an intensely quiet voice. “Brandon, Satsuki, Keevian. Do not ever do something like that again.” With obvious caring masked by toughness, they babbled, “My mom’d never forgive me if I let something happen to you,” “Are you demented? They’d have got you too!”
Malcolm rolled painfully into a sitting position. I’m too old for this kind of shit, he thought. His shirt now had holes at both elbows and his skin was scraped in several places. Jeremy, face bloody, was sitting up inches from the vampires. “I want to kill you,” he roared. “You’re evil. Get off this earth, the earth is a home and you’re not welcome.”
The vampires, still chanting Sally Yan’s name, were following Kerri’s example and climbing on shoulders, sometimes three or even four high. The barrier clearly became a dome over the plaza and the vampires pressed against it as if it were a force field in an old science fiction movie. Three of them reached high enough that they could crawl on it. They shuffled forward in midair on hands and knees, snarling faces glaring greedily down from twenty feet above. The humans inside recoiled involuntarily. But still the vampires could not reach through.
Malcolm called to everyone, “All of us. Hold the image of a home in our minds. Join with me, affirm that no vampires are allowed in, even if there might have been one in here before. No vampires can enter this home!”
But Jeremy still stared at Kerri, so hard that she blinked and her eyes shifted. “You’re like he was. You, you didn’t just get bitten and turned, did you?” His breath hissed with sudden insight. “You chose this some-which-way, didn’t you? Didn’t you??!”
The pixie face looked confused. A motor roared and echoed at the edge of the plaza and a confusion of voices blended with the chaos of the vampires who now blocked out a quarter of the sky like bugs crawling thickly on glass.
KerriAnne made faces. What the hell did it matter that she couldn’t remember how she had become a vampire? She remembered being very very sad and she remembered a harsh bitter taste and then falling endlessly. But not being bitten. So she had chosen to be a vampire? Well, that was because she was smart; she had chosen to fulfill her destiny as Queen of the Vampires. It was like, like someone had called her name. KerriAnne, KerriAnne, what the fuck do you think you’re doing!
Wait, what? Startled, she turned, losing her balance and leaning full force against the invisible wall.
Sally was coming for her with angry strides from a red 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville, parked at the edge of the plaza. Beside her was a dark-haired stranger nearly a head taller than she was, and a couple of men who she immediately dismissed as fags.
They were unprotected in the night, walking like they didn’t see her army of minions!
The vampires turned almost as one and surged toward the unprotected humans. “You fucking idi—aw shit!” Kerri shrieked as she fell from their shoulders and smacked into the ground. “Don’t hurt her!” she commanded, her words lost in the babble. Vampires who had been on the glass dome slid down on top of her and she groaned.
Spitting bullets and cursing, she scrambled to her feet. But before she could do or say anything, the sea of vampires parted and, surrounded by an impregnable shield, Sally Yan and her beloved Lavinia Starr, along with Jesse Casselberger and his beloved Walter LaMont walked up and stopped five feet away from her.
Without hesitation, Kerri reached out for Sally, but the barrier around the four was a solid as any house ever could be. That barrier now nudged against Kerri herself, bumped her back. Sally stopped, looking down at her, face rippling between pity, anger and disgust.
Instantly Kerri was little Carrie Yan again, the whole Queen of the Night charade forgotten. She just wanted her big sister to love her and fix everything. “Boss,” she said in a tiny, cute voice. “You came for me. I need, oh I need you so.”
There it was, that comfortable feeling as her hook line settled into Sally. She was safe and Sally would fix everything and it didn’t matter that Sally was with a tall dark-haired woman who was probably her lesbian lover, Sally would fuck some stranger but she’d never have sex with her, not that Kerri would ever actually have sex with her sister even though the thought sent confusing loops of fire through her belly because that would be incest and she would never stoop that low (unless she had to), she only offered herself out of gratitude, but the lesbian dyke rolled her eyes and snorted and right away Sally wasn’t safe in Kerri’s grasp anymore, she rubbed her lower lip against her upper and looked weird, looked like she might get mad and meanwhile there came voices from behind Kerri, that was those jerk-faces in the plaza, they were probably plotting something the minute her back was turned… Her thoughts tumbled with increasing speed.
Sally Yan, heart aching, looked down at her loved and hated sister. Lavinia’s strong hand on her arm couldn’t help her, nor her voice murmuring, “She don’t deserve you, babe.” (“Does too, does too!” Kerri’s voice darted in.)
Sally stepped forward. The barrier around the plaza pressed KerriAnne from behind, the barrier around Sally pressed her from the front. Sally remembered Lavinia hurled to the door of the camper so hard that her skin split. Trembling, she stopped pushing forward. Kerri panted, face wide with terror.
Behind Kerri, the teenager with haunted eyes stood, mouth working, face twisted, turning the stake in his hands over and over. His eyes darted from Kerri to Lavinia and he gripped the stake tighter. Three other young men stood abashed beside the tall woman they’d called “Sister.” The nun swept a concerned look over Sally and her companions and her sister and seemed to be praying for guidance. Malcolm darted calculating looks everywhere, like a coach desperately seeking an opening for his team, like a teacher who knows that the gunman will get one of her charges no matter how hard she tries.
Sally opened her mouth with no idea in the world what she was going to say.
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