Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wednesday Briefs: An Unholy Alliance #2 (1.2)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

Last week, I started a new story in which we met Charlemagne, who has just been caught in a rather delicate situation. See what's going on with him in this week's chapter of An Unholy Alliance. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

An Unholy Alliance #2 (1.2)

Before I could respond, the stranger had scrambled out of the car and discreetly closed the door behind him(thank goodness for small favors, didn’t need the inhabitants of the farmhouse to make an unexpected appearance of their own), making his way as far as the hood, where he had the common sense to stop.

Mesmerized by the sight of the intruder, I suddenly realized I’d become so distracted that I hadn’t reined myself in nearly enough to avoid causing irreparable damage to my dinner, which was made obvious to me by the way he now hung limply in my arms and in the fact I was unable to detect any sign of a heartbeat.

Great, you’ve done it again…

This knowledge didn’t exactly engender warm feelings toward the newcomer. Narrowing my eyes, I glared at him, but he seemed totally oblivious to my annoyance. What sort of man was this?

At first glance, I found nothing remarkable in his appearance. I estimated him to be in his late teens or perhaps early twenties, but don’t hold me to that. I’m not the best judge of age. director In a movie, he’d probably be cast as the Nerd Next Door. Average height and weight. Reddish hair and large brown eyes, framed by tortoise shell glasses. Utter lack of fashion sense. Even in the dimmest of lights, I wanted to question whether he dressed himself in the dark. And he wore the widest grin I’d ever seen on anyone, mortal or vampire. My first impression of him was that he was a typical redneck. I was not unacquainted with the type and generally tried to avoid their dumb racist asses, for obvious reasons, although that wasn’t always possible.

But this dumb puppy seemed almost happy to see me. Scratch that, he was happy to see me. And the fact that he claimed to know what I was made that idea all the more incredulous. Either he was delusional, or he was stupid… or he was some combination of the two.

Thinking furiously, I began to weigh my options. I could leave immediately, which I was certainly capable of, let the chips fall where they may, hope this intruder would be blamed for the death of my meal, and remove myself far from this vicinity. Not like I planned on staying here for any length of time anyway, so why not move on? And should he repeat what he thought he knew to the authorities, I’m sure he would be met with polite…or not so polite…skepticism, a lot of ill-disguised laughter, and a one-way ticket to the nearest mental institution.

Option number Two: I could kill him before he could tell anyone what I was, but that idea was wrong on two levels. The first being I was sated and I didn’t purposely kill for any reason other than hunger. (Although one could argue the point that it was a necessity in this instance). The second reason was actually more compelling. I would then have two bodies to dispose of. Not a situation I would choose to be in.

So don’t ask me why I selected what presented itself as a third option. Namely, engaging in conversation with the interloper.

“What do you mean?” I deliberately chose to play dumb in case I was being paranoid and when he said he knew what I was he actually meant something other than a blood-sucking vampire. For instance, he could have assumed I was a gay man engaged in a little foreplay with his lover. Totally erroneous but understandable given our respective positions, and the way my lips were fastened upon the deceased fellow’s neck in a rather intimate fashion. Just goes to show that appearances can be deceiving. I wasn’t gay, I wasn’t straight, I was just me, and I had no interest in humans other than as food.  And no desire to explain what being ace meant to someone who probably had never even heard of the spectrum.

Of course, the longer this fellow remained unresponsive, the greater the likelihood that ploy wouldn’t likely work.

“I’ve heard the stories,” the young man said. “In fact, I’m a huge fan. Truth be told, I always hoped I’d meet one of your kind. Never really thought I would, just hoped. Know what I mean?”

I didn’t know what he meant, and I was growing irritable.

“Hey, I don’t want to shout. I mean sensitive subject and all. Mind if I come over to you? I’m harmless, I swear.” He slid right back down the hood as he spoke, pushing his glasses up his nose in what appeared to be an automatic gesture. “I don’t have a gun. Don’t know how to shoot, anyway. Not like that would hurt you. Just want you to know I’m safe. By the way, my name’s Tyrone. Tyrone Jackson. What’s yours?”

Caught off-guard, I responded without thinking. “Charlemagne.”

He ambled slowly toward me, hands outstretched as if he were approaching a strange dog he wished to pacify. Somehow I didn’t care for the analogy, even if it was my own.

“Charlemagne? Cool name. I like that. Were you named after him or something? I don’t really know much about him. History isn’t my thing, I’m more into science. But I do remember something about him starting the Holy Roman Empire. Is that when you’re from, back then?”

Caught unawares by his question, my companion slithered out of my limp grasp and fell to the ground. Not that he could feel that, mind you, but still…

“No, I’m not nearly that old.” I happened to know that my namesake lived well before 1000 AD. And damn, what was I admitting to, and why? I needed to take hold of this situation… right now… and deal with it, before it got any more out of hand than it was.

 to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

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