Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesday Briefs: An Unholy Alliance #4 (2.1)

 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. 

Fleeing the scene of the crime in a stolen car, with a dead body in the back seat... maybe not the best of plans? But Char's had too much to drink... blood, that is... and he isn't exactly in a position to do anything about his current circumstances. See what's happening 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 #4 (2.1)

 “Where exactly are we going?” I was struggling to remain fully alert, fighting against the blood-induced haze of overindulgence. That’s not usually a problem vampires have… unless they’ve had too much to drink. Much like myself. For lack of a better analogy, think of all the humans who stuff themselves silly at one particular meal every November and then nod off after the consumption of the pumpkin pie. Except this was stronger, a force I couldn’t fight.

I can’t even swear my words were intelligible. They sounded like they were coming from far away, even to me. I’d wedged myself against the passenger door and extended my long legs into as comfortable a position as I could manage under the circumstances, and didn’t that just feel so good, and the warmth in Tyrone’s car felt so soothing, so comforting… and wait, this wasn’t his car, was it? Hadn’t the other guy been driving?  You know, whatshisname, the dead body in the back seat? Or was I remembering that wrong?

And why the hell was I even worrying about that right now when I should be formulating a plan to extricate myself from my current predicament so I could be on my merry way. Minus the corpse and sans Tyrone.

Wake the hell up…

“Where we going?” I repeated in what I hoped was a more commanding tone.

“Not far, I promise. I have a little place where we’ll be safe. We can finish out the night there.  You look sleepy. Are you sleepy, Char?”

Who was he calling Char, like he knew me? And what gave him the idea I was tired? And who was he to ask me such questions. Shouldn’t I be the one conducting any interrogation?

So much blood, so delicious… I could hear my mother’s voice now. “You’re a greedy little pig, Charlemagne. Try to act like your brothers, can’t you?”

My brothers. Not genetic brothers, but blood brothers. Dominique was our mother in the sense that she sired us, but she did not beget us. She never hesitated to play us one against another when it suited her purposes. Much the same way she allowed her various consorts to run roughshod over us. At least until we were old enough to fend for ourselves.

But that was the past. I wasn’t with them now. I pushed such unpleasant thoughts away and sank further into the moment, relaxing into unconsciousness.

The cessation of motion drew my attention back to the present. I made a valiant effort to rise through the thick haze long enough to realize we weren’t just sitting at a traffic light (not that I thought there were any to be sat at since we’d begun this little journey in the literal middle of nowhere), but we had actually arrived somewhere.

Finding myself slumped against the car door, I struggled into a sitting position then reached for the car handle and pulled. The door gave more easily than I expected and I tumbled awkwardly onto the ground.

“Are you okay?” Tyrone stood by my side, hand outstretched as if to help me up. Or try to take my necklace again. I grimaced at him and rose to my feet through my own efforts, clutching my precious cross and ignoring his attempt to help.

Glancing around, I saw we were in the middle of dense woods, way way way off the beaten path. So far off that the road we’d traveled to get here was little more than a barely visible path through the trees. The car was parked at the edge of a small clearing, in the middle of which sat a tent. The last thing I expected to see, to be honest. Whose tent was this, and why were we here?

“Home sweet home,” Tyrone said, as if he could read my mind and knew what I was thinking.

As if.

“I have to go,” I maintained, but my temporary awakening was subsiding, which was inevitable, and I could feel myself being drawn back into delicious darkness.

Confession time. Here’s what I’ve got. This wasn’t the first time I’d fallen asleep after drinking too much. Far from it. So I was familiar with all the signs and stages of my sanguine lethargy. The only difference was that normally the only witness to my inadvertent sleep was the victim who had brought me to such a state. All right, I brought me to such a state, but no sense in quibbling. Not to mention that those witnesses were invariably dead and not likely to make any commentary on my comatose condition.

I’d never had to contend with a live human at a time like this, and I wasn’t sure what would happen once I passed out again, but I seemed unable to do anything about it.

I made a final attempt to rid myself of this pesky person. “Go away,” I mumbled, just as I sank to the ground, unconscious once more.

Some time later, I woke to a completely different perspective than what I last remembered.

Instead of open sky, I faced some sort of enclosure. It took me a moment to realize I was on the inside of the tent I’d seen before I fell asleep. Rising up on one elbow, I glanced around, immediately suspicious, but I was quite alone. Just when had I crawled into this sleeping bag? What the hell was going on here?

Shaking off the remainder of my lethargy, as well as the cocooning bag, I searched for a way out of this green polyester nightmare. Spotting a flap, I exited through it and was finally able to rise to my full height as I gratefully stretched my cramped muscles.

What’s that aroma?

Something smelled distinctly like meat.

It was meat, I discovered when I caught sight of Tyrone sitting by a small fire. He held a cast iron skillet over the flames, and that was where the mystery scent emanated.

He waved at me, grinning broadly.

 to be continued

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

Cia Nordwell

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