Copyright © 2014 by Michael Litzky
Lavinia searched for a dozen blocks until she found a parking place with no street cleaning until next Wednesday. That gave them a week.
“Although I guess worst that happens is we get a ticket,” she mused as they climbed out, Sally carrying the nearly full duffel bag.
They walked the brightening streets, five blocks to Ocean Beach, hand in hand, Sally bulky in the warmest clothes she had, sweating even in the pre-dawn chill, head shapeless in a sock cap. Vampires preceded them and dogged their heels. She thought of ordering them out of sight, then thought of welcoming them into the “home” space as long as they behaved themselves and finally did nothing.
Lavinia was lost in thoughts that made her smile. Sally had done her best to check weather conditions and use online maps to plan a route but her smart phone was getting older and balkier every day. She pictured it slipping from her nervous hands and plummeting into the infinite blue sea and shivered. At least worrying about that took her mind off KerriAnne and what she half suspected about Walter.
She still could be wrong. Walter might not be the uniquely distinct older vampire that she’d heard about from Malcolm who had heard it from Sister Amanda who had heard it from Jeremy himself. Her revelation had come in a flash when she realized Jeremy was staring at the doorway behind her where Walter had been standing by Jesse and was gone a moment later.
My sister has somehow become a moral person and she thought I was in league with evil.
That was why she had nearly sagged with relief when she realized that she and Lavinia could get to Germany without the help of Walter or Jesse or Charla. That was why she had whispered to Lavinia, “Can’t you just fly us to Germany?”
Lavinia had grinned and said, “Fuckin’ A.”
“You and me,” Lavinia said now. “I’m glad we’re doing it this way. Honest to god, this is the way I wanted it from the first. Just us.”
“Me too,” Sally said. Later she would kick herself for giving up all the support they could have had, but for now she was happy.
They climbed onto Great Highway and crossed empty lanes, feet grating on sand particles which drifted over the roadway. The morning was as still and clear as a July morning can be and, remarkably, free from fog. Although fog wouldn’t have stopped them. They would have just needed to drive somewhere inland to start from. (We should have, she realized, we could have found some secluded place to leave the camper for weeks!)
The ocean gleamed mysteriously as the last stars vanished and the sky behind them became cool grey-blue. From far out at sea came the barking of seals (there were no seals on Seal Rock: vampires could swim that far). The low, ugly rectangle of the Cliff House squatted on the bluffs to the north. The vampires prowling at the periphery of their space bubble slunk one by one off to daytime hidey holes.
Lavinia started taking off her clothes. Sally watched her adoringly. They had been together day and night for months now. The sexual heat of the early days was mellowing but the fierce affection, the intensity of soul-to-soul contact and the delight in each other’s company showed no signs of abating.
Lavinia stuffed her clothes into the duffel bag. Sally slung it over her shoulder with the strap across her chest. She stood near Lavinia, but not in her arms yet.
The sun lifted its glad gold head like a chrysanthemum peeping over a fence. Lavinia spread her arms and legs and took the light in, quivering with ecstasy. She had learned to stand in sunlight without going insane but now she was like a dieter informed that hot fudge sundaes cause weight loss.
As Lavinia’s feet left the ground, Sally threw her arms around Lavinia from behind, twined her legs around her waist and held on tight, fists knotted around Lavinia’s breastbone.
Like a feather before a puff of wind, Lavinia surged upwards, barely seeming to feel the weight of a fully grown human and a thirty pound duffel bag. The beach shrank to a thin line between the city and a sea already kindling into sparkling sapphire.
As soon as she saw that Lavinia had enough juju to keep her aloft, Sally swarmed around and into the safer haven of her arms and lifted knees. Lavinia glued her lips to Sally’s, kissed her with teeth knocking and tongue demanding.
“Babe, babe,” Sally insisted, around the wild kisses and against the urgings of the amazingly sexy body undulating against her. Nothing is more arousing than the feel of someone we love in genuine ecstasy.
“Huh, huhh, right,” Lavinia gasped. “Flying. Around the fuckin’ world. Yeah.” For another few seconds she moaned as she kissed Sally, then pulled herself together.
Sally reminded herself that it didn’t matter if they were seen by somebody looking up from the wakening city or looking out the window of the nearby plane which had just stopped circling and was heading for SFO (it was safe to fly at night as long as you took off before sunset and didn’t land until dawn). But the Air Force had surveillance planes that refueled in midair. The sky was empty except for a few white birds but they should get moving.
Lavinia closed her eyes in concentration while Sally, dizzy, focused on her face. For long moments nothing happened. They hovered between sky and sea as still as a dream.
Sally was on the verge of asking, “Don’t you know what to do?” when without warning the thought of KerriAnne burst into her heart. It was almost like she hovered right beside Sally. Sally felt her eyes flood with tears, for the presence was that of little Carrie Yan, the girl who had sobbed for the poor ladybug in the rhyme until Sally explained that her house wasn’t really on fire and her children weren’t really gone.
She felt her sister’s presence, brighter and stronger by the second. What did it mean?
Just before sunrise, KerriAnne looked at her small, pale hands in Jeremy’s warm ones. “You’re sure you saw a vampire in the sun?” she repeated.
Jeremy hesitated. At the rally he had seen Lavinia fly in the sun. But now that he knew they were in cahoots with utter evil, could he trust that? “I don’t know,” he said at last. “I believed it then. I saw the girlfriend, Lavinia? I saw her fly when the sun hit her. And they sure said she was a vampire. I think that part was real, whatever else they might have been up to.” His face darkened at the thought of the older vampire.
The world spun around KerriAnne again for a few nauseating moments. It was the thought of Sally, the only anchor point she’d ever had, being on the side of evil. No matter how bad she herself had been she’d always known Sally was good.
KerriAnne had never made a decision. She had counted on men (or on Sally) to tell her what to do. Even the decision to become a vampire had been more of a “falling into it,” sinking deeper and deeper until she was a vampire and she didn’t know how it had happened.
She kept her eyes on Jeremy’s hands, only slightly larger than her own. That felt wrong somehow; her man should have big, rough warm hands. She was at the edge, she would jump if he told her to but she couldn’t take the step for herself.
Jeremy, unsure but wanting to believe everything could be wonderful, coaxed her. “C’mon, stay with me now. Worst that happens, like, y’know, you’ll sleep in my bed all day.”
Her heart gave a leap; she looked up with astonished delight at his face. Jeremy was looking off to the right and up, thinking about his parents and how he would come up with some story if they looked into his room before leaving for the day. “But how ‘bout this,” he continued, looking back at her and feeling emboldened by the look she was giving him. “After they leave, I’ll carry you to the sun windows.”
Jeremy’s room faced west but the back of the house faced directly east and would get the first rays of the sun rising over the east bay hills. “We’ll stick just, like, a hand into the sun. If anything goes wrong, we’ll pull it back, like that. No harm, no foul. But if it’s good, well, wow, god, that would be so great.” He saw her readiness. “You game?”
She nodded shyly. If her heart could beat it would have pounded now. She’d nodded yes. She’d stepped over the edge. “Hold me, hold me, hold me!” she gasped.
Like this story? Please vote for “Safe as Houses” at TopWebFiction.com.