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Short story on vampires: Part 1

User Thread
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Short story on vampires: Part 1
Anton looked at his Rolex for the third time and sighed.

12.01

They were late.

It wasn't enough his boss, Darwin, took on people who were totally unsatisfactory for this line of work but the quality of recruit was becoming below standard. These last two were the worst.

Her with her ‘holier than thou' attitude, strolling around, totally unaware of how she made the male agents react, and him following after her with his tongue hanging from his mouth like a love sick puppy. They were tardy, insolent, rebellious and far too naive.

The red light above the elevator door began flashing, signalling their arrival and breaking Anton's brooding. Ten seconds later out stepped the newest recruits. Michael and Sharon.

She was fairly tall for a woman and wore her brown hair tied up. She looked over the underground bunker with a casual coolness Anton knew she used to mask her unease at new things.

Michael, tall, slim, with short brown hair and a face as fresh as bread from the oven, was too busy watching Sharon and only occasionally his eyes glanced away to take in their surroundings deep beneath the earth.

How Sharon couldn't see the boy's infatuation, Anton couldn't figure out. Darwin said that empathy was her finest attribute and yet she was totally blind to the young man's feelings. Or perhaps she did know and feigned ignorance.

Either way, if it were up to Anton, both of them would be removed from training, as affairs between fellow officers were totally unacceptable. It was only Darwin's insistence that Sharon had potential, coupled with the fact they needed the numbers so desperately that kept them here.

He turned to greet his students for the test of mind control and put all thoughts about how hard up Section 12 had become from his head.

**********

‘Punctually is something you will be expected to master if you are to become part of this team. In future, if you are meant to be somewhere at a certain time, you will be there at that time. Not a minute after. Am I understood?'

Their teacher's voice remained cool but the way he spoke had a way of cutting all the same.

‘Darwin called us into his office just before the lesson. I told him where we had to be and he said, if you had a problem with it you could take it up with him.' Sharon explained before Michael could answer. But then she was always quicker than he was.

Anton, who was second only to Darwin, kept his slight frown in place, as to let it drop would mean he was in the wrong. Staring at them with sharp brown eyes, he changed the subject.

‘So far you have learnt theory about vampires and had practice in weapons and unarmed combat. Neither of you has yet had to face a real vampire. Today you will. Oh don't worry; you won't actually be fighting him. You'll just be putting your mental exercises in resisting mind control to the test.'

Michael felt sick. He had never been very good at mental shielding. Unlike Sharon who was as good as some of their tutors. But she was good at everything. She could beat him in unarmed combat, she was a better marksman and she was popular with all the other recruits. He wasn't sure why she hung around him at all.

‘Sir, you mean to say you actually have a vampire captive?' Sharon asked amazedly.

A tiny movement of Anton's thin lips on his gaunt, pale face, the nearest he came to a smile, revealed he thought Sharon's comment naive.

‘How else do you think we can learn these creatures' weaknesses or train our recruits in resisting their powers of mind control?'

‘I suppose you're right.' Sharon said sounding chastised.

'Okay, lets begin. The first thing I want you to do is go into that state of “inner calm” you've been taught to reside in. Then find your inner self. Revel in its power. Remember it's the most powerful thing you own.'

As Michael began to relax he took in his surroundings more clearly. The room they stood in was about 15 meters by 15 meters, made of thick concrete painted white and well lit.

The west wall held a console with a swivel chair and computer terminal. In the north wall sat a huge Perspex window, so thick, it reminded Michael of the coke bottle glasses one of the nerds at his school used to wear.

‘Michael I want you to go first. Step up to that white line.'

Michael stepped up to a line on the concrete floor so he was about a meter from the thick glass.

Behind the window was a small room with two heavy steel doors in the far wall. Anton pressed a button on the computer terminal and a speaker in the north wall revealed a clicking sound coming from the right door as it opened a crack.

For a few seconds silence ruled the room.

Then there was a soft squeak from the door opening, and a thin, filthy man in rags hobbled out. His wrists and feet were shackled and a steel collar around his neck linked to a thick chain impeded his movement.

He ambled as far as the chain around his neck would allow until he stood hunched a meter from the thick glass.

He smiled, revealing yellow stained teeth.

‘Ah, Anton, you've brought me more young minds to play with.'

‘Do your best, fiend, it still won't be enough.'

The fiend smiled and his eyes turned to Michael for the first time. Michael took a step back. The eyes didn't seem to fit in the skull of this shabby, emaciated beast. They pierced him with cruel intensity and the intelligence of many years, and Michael felt the immense will in them despite the creature's wretched appearance.

‘I have a name you know. Anton refuses to use it because it makes me more human.'

The beast had lowered his voice, making it softer, pitiful, innocent.

At the same time Michael could feel a power emanating from behind the glass. It was probing him, testing his weaknesses. He bolstered his strength.

‘Its Jack. You wouldn't think a terrible monster like me would have such a simple name like Jack would you? But I had a mother and she loved me and she named me Jack. What's your name?'

Michael felt his will slipping. He couldn't listen to this beast, with its sickly sweet words and keep up the mental barrier as the mind behind those innocent words probed at his for a way in. He thought of Sharon. He thought of how she would handle this. Her goodwill, her compassion, her courage... Her beauty.

He felt his strength return.

‘Oh, so you do have a little strength after all. Perhaps it was love I could sense giving you that strength?'

That cracked his wall. The force probing outside crept in. Jack had access to his mind. The vampire ran rampant, reading his thoughts and overturning every little dark secret he had ever kept from the world.

Free me Michael. Free me, and I shall give her to you. I know you crave her. Free me and you shall have her.

Jacks eyes began glowing like that of a cat or dog under a streetlight at night. They shimmered with power, holding Michael enthralled. And all the time, the fiend's mind called to him in a voice only he could hear.

Dispose of Anton. Then press the red button that opens the door to this room. Come and unchain me.

Michael turned and slammed his fist into Anton's skull. Anton crashed against the computer console. Michael pressed the red button, spinning snake quick to make his escape to the room that held Jack.

Unfortunately Anton was only stunned. He came to his feet, gun in hand.

At this point Sharon cried out and leapt in front of Anton.

‘He's been dominated you fool!' Anton cried as he tried to push her aside with his free hand.

But Sharon grabbed it, flipping him to the floor, then ran to Michael who had made it to the door. She dived on him, dragging him down, pinning him under her.

‘Look into my eyes. Don't listen to Jack. You're Michael. You're your own free person.'

You'll never have her if you give in now! Jack ranted.

Michael struggled under her weight, but the voice in his head was fading as Sharon's gray eyes filled his with their compassion and concern for him. The power that had entered his head grew fainter and fainter, slowly dissipating like smoke from a hole in a balloon; and then a terrible whining from the other side of the thick glass blurted through the speakers as Jack relinquished his grip on Michael's mind.

As his mind cleared, Michael found himself staring into Sharon's eyes and felt a bond deeper than he had realized.

The two lay there neither speaking.

After a couple of seconds she kissed his cheek and let him up.

Anton stood before them gun in hand, his immaculate suit ruffled for the first time in the six months they had known him.

‘Get away from him. He's been dominated.'

Sharon stood slightly in front of Michael holding his hand.

‘He isn't. I know he isn't. I can tell.'

‘What would you know? You're just a child. You've never even seen a vampire before tonight.'

‘No, but I felt… I felt the vampire leave his mind. I'll stake my life on it.'

‘Stand away. Now.' He cocked the trigger of his gun.

‘If you harm him, I'll kill you.' Sharon said, her protective side coming to the fore. The part that made her strong when someone innocent was in danger. The part that made Michael even more enamoured with her.

She stood her ground, eyes like steel, daring Anton to shoot. Michael could only sit back and watch as these two contested their wills. He had already lost his test of wills; it was now up to Sharon to once again save his life.

Finally, Anton lowered the gun.

‘You two will report to Darwin. Now. If I have my way, you'll both be out of this complex before morning. You're nothing but a liability.'

Michael saw the look in Anton's eye as he and Sharon crammed into the lift. It was ironic; the very quality that saved him from Jack and Anton and made him even more devoted to her had made such a powerful enemy of Anton.

They had one more year of training before they graduated, and hopefully many more years in the field together. Michael vowed he would prove himself worthy of her love if not her respect. And repay her, for not only standing by him, but for also saving his life.

Anton's glare said he would do just the opposite.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 30yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
it's a good read. how long did it take you to write it?
and when are we getting the next instalment?

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Thanks.

I actually wrote this story about 5 years ago for a course I was doing. Each part was an asignment that I chose to link up into one short story.

Id say each one took about 3 nights to work on. The actual story telling is easy for me. I find its the subsequent drafts where you have to go over it with a fine tooth comb and edit that take me most of my time when I write. Bleh.

I will post part 2 in the next day or two. I dont want to stick too much stuff here all at once or it will seem like too big a task to read it.

If it isn't already.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 30yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm a student lol, if it's procrastination nothing is too big a task, and anyway it's a interesting story.

I know what you mean about the fine tooth comb thing, i had to write a story for a-level english in school, and writing it was no problem, it was as you said going through it afterwards checking on word use and grammar making sure that it was going to get the best possible mark.

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
                                                      Part Two.



                                             ***Twelve Months Later***


Sharon had no idea why she and Michael had been summoned to Darwin's office at such a late hour. She took a deep breath and knocked. An intercom on the wall beckoned the pair to enter.

Darwin's room was small and old fashioned, much like something from the 18th century. Its deep brown woods were a complete contrast to the cold steel and bright whites of the rest of the complex.

One entire wall was cluttered with thick tomes and books of every conceivable subject. And the man himself, sitting in a large comfortable chair, seemed to fit in like one of the fixtures.

About fifty, Darwin had a pleasant face with neat combed back hair, once black, now mostly gray. Standing in this room Sharon felt relaxed and at ease.

Except for one small thing.

Anton.

The tall, thin man stood behind the large wooden desk by Darwin's side like a pale skeleton. He eyed Michael and Sharon coldly, and if Sharon wasn't imagining it, his eyes flickered to his boss with a hint of anger. He remained silent though.

‘Ah. Sharon. Michael. Please, be seated.' Darwin's voice was pleasant, with a slight English accent.

‘I have some marvellous news for you two. Your first assignment.'

Sharon looked at Michael open-mouthed.

‘But, Sir. We only graduated yesterday.' Michael said.

‘Quite fortuitous isn't it? Surely you aren't afraid to take your first steps out of the nest?'

‘No. Of course not, Sir.'

‘Now, since we are all agreed,' he paused and his head angled ever so slightly in Anton's direction, as if listening for something. But the sour man only tightened his lips so Darwin continued.

‘I will fill you in on the details.

‘Our Intelligence reports we have a rogue vampire in the city. He's killed five times in the last month and made no attempt to conceal his tracks. Which means he has no fear of being captured. I would anticipate he is either incredibly powerful or completely insane.'

‘But wouldn't the other Immortals in the city try to stop him?' Sharon asked. ‘Surely if he kills when he doesn't need to kill to feed, and is obvious about it, wouldn't they try to put a stop to him?'

‘Good point. But one I cannot answer. Vampires know to keep a low profile or they bring the Section down on themselves, but this one seems to have no fear of humans or his own Brethren. This is why I would like to play it safe. It's why I've called a full team led by myself with you two as backup.'

Anton moved uncomfortably next to Darwin. This was obviously the reason he'd been casting angry looks at his boss. And the reason for the tension in the air. Sharon tried diplomacy. She didn't want Michael or herself to be the cause of a dispute between Anton and Darwin.

'Sir, wouldn't it be best for us to wait for a safer mission if you think he's so dangerous?'

‘I only assume he's dangerous. All we have to go on is the target is killing without need to, and not bothering to hide his tracks. You two will be there in a strictly observant capacity. You will not engage the target.'

‘Sir.' Both Sharon and Michael agreed in unison.

'We already had a preliminary briefing this evening. But I wasn't sure about bringing you two in until now. We just received a report that has shown a definite pattern in his killings. Our Phsyco-analists have traced it and predicted where he will strike next. And I feel this will be the perfect opportunity for you both to get some hands on experience.'

‘He can't be that sloppy can he?' Michael asked.

‘Apparently he is. He seems to have an appetite for females who frequent the most exclusive bars in the richer areas of town. He's almost made a straight line across the city, leaving his victims not a few blocks from the place he picked them up.'

‘He must be mad.' Michael said.

‘Either way, we have a nightclub and a date. All victims have been found a few days after they were killed. Forensics place it to be either on a Friday or Saturday night.

And from what little we know of his psychological profile he will probably take his prey to a large park across the road. It's quite secluded and people keep to themselves. Knowing this, we will lay in wait on both Friday and Saturday night.'

‘And if we don't find him sir.' Anton asked.

Darwin looked troubled. He rubbed his tired eyes.

‘Then we go back to our Phsyco-analists and get another place. Another time. He must be stopped. Now, are there any questions?'

Both Michael and Sharon shook their heads.

‘We will have a full briefing tomorrow night. You two will be included this time. It's getting late though and Anton and I have work to go over.'

His voice sounded flat and his eyes strayed in the direction of Anton without looking at him. But Anton glared at his boss with barely concealed anger.

‘With all due respect, Sir. I still insist that these two be left behind. They only graduated yesterday and are far too untested for a mission of this calibre. They even admitted it themselves.'

‘Just hold on. What are you trying to say?' Michael jumped in. ‘That we're too weak for this mission?'

‘Huge pectorals are no substitute for the ability to think.'

‘So now you're calling me stupid?'

‘The fact you even have to ask...well... Also, remember Jack? If you don't remember your first encounter I certainly can. Then -'

‘Enough!' Darwin yelled at the squabbling pair. ‘Anton, we will discuss this later. Michael the fact that Anton can goad you into losing your temper so easily proves you have lot to learn. Both you and Sharon shall report to the briefing at 0900 hours tomorrow. Until then, good evening.'

Sharon and Michael both said their good-byes and left under the weary but wise eyes of Darwin and the brooding, watchful eyes of Anton.

‘Well, our first mission. What do you think?' Sharon asked once they had left the room.

‘I'm scared shitless.' Michael said.

‘You didn't sound it in there. Besides, it could be good.'

‘Trust you to say that.'

‘It'll be fine, believe me.'

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
[  Edited by Chained Wings at   ]
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
                                                         Part Three.

Never in her wildest dreams would Tiffany have guessed the man of her dreams to be this old. Usually she went for men her own age, but, at 27, she had come to realize that they lacked the maturity and compassion she'd been searching for... and only just found tonight.

All her past relationships had ended in heartbreak when she realized the “boys”, as she had come to call them, had no depth and only used her for sex.

But this man. This man was different. There was such warmth, such charisma, such feeling and understanding in him, that after only half an hour of talking to him she knew he was the one.

Standing at the bar, reaching her own 6ft in height, he was thin and wore a brown leather designer trench coat which must have cost a fortune. His hair was dark and came down just past his strong jaw. His pale face was thin, which accentuated his features, giving the small straight nose and thin lips more definition than most men his age. His stature and bearing made him look like some kind of king, or perhaps a movie star.

And there was also something else about him. Something elusive she couldn't quite put her finger on that made him that much more attractive. A kind of animal magnetism which made her pulse race and her blood warm. Maybe it was the way his green eyes looked at her with such passion and heat.

She took a deep sip of her third bourbon and coke, knowing she was becoming slightly intoxicated, but not sure if it was the alcohol or this man which made her head spin so much.

‘Please. Go on. I was just admiring that ring of yours.'

‘What? This?' He held out an elegant, pale, slender hand, exhibiting a ring on his third finger. A thick gold ring with a black bird of prey in the centre. It caught the pulse of the nightclub lights, flashing every few seconds.

‘It's a family heirloom. It's been handed down through my family for the past five generations.'

‘Really.'

He shrugged his shoulders, almost embarrassed at the fuss.

‘It's worth a lot, but it means more to me than money. I have all the money I need to buy happiness, but this ring represents a whole line of my family. I hope that someday when I have children they'll inherit this ring and appreciate it as much as I do.'

‘So you actually want to settle down and have kids? Now that's something knew. I don't think I've met a man yet who'll let himself be tied down.'

‘You forget, I'm in my forties. I've all the wealth and security I need. I've spent many years “sowing my wild oats” and now I feel I need something more. Someone young and beautiful like yourself needs to experience life first. So it's not surprising that most men you know have a lot more living to do before they settle down. Then, come to think of it, most men my age still feel the need to sleep around.' He smiled benignly showing a flicker of white teeth.

‘Women don't get a very good bargain do they?'

‘No. They don't. The world seems to favour men for some reason. But maybe in the future the scales will be tipped in your favour. If I have a son I'll certainly teach him that a woman is to be respected. But in the mean time you'll just have to rely on guys like me seeing the light and treating women fairly.'

‘Good. That means you'll have to play fair with me tonight.' She said from beneath huge eyelashes.

He smiled again and when she caught his knowing eyes they held assurance in them. They bore into her and she felt her heart quicken again. This truly was the man she had been waiting for.



                                          ***************



What a tedious woman! When will she stop batting her eyelashes at me and come outside. And as if I'd want children. Ha! The night I have children is the night I turn to dust. I cannot believe she can be taken in by all this drivel. If it wasn't for all these stupid men ogling her I'd have dominated that small thing passing for a brain in her skull and forced her outside the moment I met her.

But, it would look too obvious if I just walked up to her and she immediately followed me out the door. She isn't a cheap slut. The way these young pups wet their pants over her she could get any man she wanted and play hard to get for as long as she wanted. No. I'll just have to stare into her blue, witless eyes for a few minutes more before I can end this game and entice her out the door.

‘So, would you like another drink? He asked, letting his charm flow like water. ‘I must say you hold it well.'

'You think so? My girlfriends all say I can't handle it at all.'

‘You seem fine to me. In fact I'm the one who feels a little drunk. My head doesn't want to stop spinning, and I thought I could hold my drink. Perhaps it's the company I'm with.'

He smiled again, letting his power flow into her. He could feel her blood heating up. It had been simmering from the second she saw him. Now it was almost steaming. His powerful eyes made out the throbbing of it in her neck and delighted in the taste that was to come.

Even standing six foot, which was tall for someone born around his time, she still came to his eye level, which was valued in a female of this century. But he had no desire to mate with her and even if he did or could, he found her too thin and his powerful eyes could see her blonde hair got its fairness from chemicals and her tanned skin reminded him of a lowly peasant.

‘In fact I must admit I find you quite intimidating, being as beautiful you are.'

She shrugged her shoulders in unconscious imitation of him earlier and her eyelashes fluttered.

'You must be kidding.'

‘I'm not.'

She began to get all coy again and he decided to end this little charade.

‘But, if you don't want another drink, I'm afraid there is little left for me to offer.'

He left the question in the air, certain his entrancement had her, certain of the answer. Since she'd decided to play hard to get, he'd play a little game of his own and let her come after him.

She did.

‘There is one thing.' She batted her long lashes for the 50th time.

‘Yes. What would that be?' He kept smiling now.

‘You.'

She grinned cheekily like it was some new experience to be so forward.

‘Well, I guess since you put it like that. How could I refuse? Perhaps we could take a stroll in the park across the street. It's quite safe in this neighbourhood. I promise.'

‘Okay.'

She looked into his eyes, grinning knowingly, all pretence at being virginal and coy washed away, and he could now see in her gaze the real her, full of lust and carnal desire.

As she finished her drink and rearanged her handbag, ready to head for the door she turned to him one last time.

'Oh, by the way. Do you want me to call you Maxamillian? Or just Max?'

'Max will do just fine.'

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
                                                Part Four

The moon shone full on the park, illuminating the place they would kill him. Send his body to the grave where it perhaps should have gone hundreds of years before.

Sharon didn't know his name or anything about him, except that he had to be destroyed. Did this make her as bad as him? If she took another life, no matter how much a dark, twisted parody of life it was?

She had pondered this many times since hearing of her mission and still didn't know the answer. But she knew she had to put it out of her mind if she wanted to leave this place alive. Her negative thoughts were making her drop the mental barrier that shielded her presence from anyone with the supernatural power to sense her. She put the moral dilemma out of her head and surveyed her surroundings for the sixth time in the last hour.

She squatted behind a large clump of bushes that surrounded a vast oval. To her right wound a pathway leading through the rest of the park: a well kept gravel walk surrounded by tall trees and dotted with clearings, park benches and fountains. At the beginning of this walk, from across the road, intruded the deep thumping bass of a nightclub.

From the vampire's feeding pattern, making his way across the state, taking young women from upper-class bars and nightclubs and killing them not more than a street or two away, this park was the perfect place for him to make his next kill. Sharon and the rest of her team were waiting here in case he showed.

And if he didn't?

Well, they would just come here again tomorrow night. They would track him all across the state on his mad killing spree until they caught him and destroyed him.

Sharon kept her eye on the well-tended trees at the entrance to the oval. She didn't want to miss him if he did come. Not that it mattered. In a semi-circle around the mouth of the entrance, six of her comrades lay in wait.

Being on the very end, slightly away from the others, it wasn't her task to spot. She, along with Michael, was just here to observe on this mission. But that would still make her a party to this vampire's execution.

A shiver ran down Sharon's spine and her barrier once again wavered. Anton, as cruel as ever, glared at her, his beady eyes glinting in what little moonlight there was behind the bushes.

Although they were prohibited from speaking, his gaze admonished enough. She knew he had chosen his position next to her and Michael to keep an eye on the pair. He had never liked them and made their life difficult every chance he got.

She waited, crouched down in the dirt, muscles sore from not moving, her brain strained from the mental pressure, for what seemed like hours.

Since they were all blocked from each other she could not know how the others felt, but from Michael's fidgeting beside her, she knew he was having difficulties also. The others seemed fine. They were used to this.

Then one of the others further ahead signalled to Darwin and everyone stiffened.

A tall man dressed in a leather trenchcoat with a “Barbie Doll” stuck to his arm, strolled down the path that led to the park they surrounded.

Could he be the one?

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
                                                   Part Five.


As Maxamillian guided his latest lamb through the winding gravel path surrounded by bushes and trees to an open moonlit oval, he sensed he was not alone in the park. Being well maintained and lit, in a rich neighbourhood and conveniently situated across the road from a nightclub, it was ideal for lovers. And the people who frequented this place kept to the bushes and to themselves. They were not interested in a man and woman out to take the night air and the pleasure that came with it. They were too interested in their own base self-satisfaction.

And when he left the body in a bush to be found Monday morning when the local council came to maintain the edges of their immaculate lawn, he would be far-gone from here.

The mere presence of humans in the bushes he expected, anticipated even. The fact there were so many in one small area could be understood also. Humans could be quite strange in their mating rituals.

But what got his attention was the fact that they tried to shield their presence from him. Like a mental barrier, trying to hide their life force. Pathetic really. Only one of his own kind would have any hope of shielding themselves from him.

He looked at the tall blonde attached firmly to his arm, trying not to stumble in high heels and still maintain her dignity. She noticed his attention and smiled at him. He once more assessed the intelligence in her blue eyes, found it lacking and was not surprised that whoever was trying to conceal themselves from him was doing it so poorly. Humans really were mentally insufficient.

He picked the most strategic place to make his stand if his suspicions were correct and guided his little lamb there. Even if it were just paranoia, which he was certain it wasn't, he would still enjoy himself beforehand.

After spending the better part of two hours, chatting Tiffany up so that he wouldn't look suspicious when he left with her, he was not about to miss out on her blood now. He could feel it pumping in the arm interlocked with his, sense it, walking beside him, calling to him. She would be his.

And then he would deal with these others who tried to shield themselves from him.

All in all, he counted seven life forms, spread in a semi-circle behind bushes that surrounded the entrance to the park. That was a great number of adversaries. And knowing to shield themselves from him, however foolishly, they must be competent for their own kind.

Still, he was Maxamillian, and he had lived a thousand years and no one had beaten him yet.

No doubt they would remain cowering until he began feeding to make their “surprise attack.”

Well, he would even turn his back for them if they wished. They were in for quite a shock when they attacked him. He could hardly wait.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
                                                      Part Six


Sharon watched nervously as the man led the woman onto the lawn. The blonde stared up at him with puppy dog eyes, full of admiration, and Sharon wondered if it wasn't some kind of mind power he used on her.

He was very thin, pale and only mediocre handsome, although he did have a kind of majestic bearing to him.

The woman, on the other hand, was every man's dream. Tall, blonde, tanned and wearing a short skirt and low cut top that showed her large bosom, long legs and perfect curves to their best advantage.

She could have any man she desired, yet she was with him.

They came to a halt about twenty meters away and he drew her up in his arms and stared deep into her eyes. Sharon was sure then, by the way she became placid and quiet, that he was controlling her mind.

He was their target.

He leant forward, his thin lips seeking hers, the two embraced as lovers, totally oblivious to those laying in wait.

Darwin stood slightly and signalled.

Sharon could feel the barrier weaken as emotions came to the surface of the calm pool she drifted in. The beast turned his back from them as his lips sought his intended victim's throat.

They had him.

All Sharon could feel was adrenaline. Her heart pumped so hard she could feel it pounding in her chest, throbbing in her legs as the blood began to flow back after squatting so long.

She knew she and Michael had to keep up their mental barrier as their presence, a little further from the others, was to remain secret unless they were needed.

But now Darwin had broken cover, with two men slightly behind fanning out to either side, and the vampire hadn't even noticed.

This was it. Five years of training and hard sweat and it was finally happening. She smiled at Michael and saw her excitement mirrored in his eyes.

She could also see his love for her, but pretended not to notice it. It was made clear before they joined, liaisons between co-workers were forbidden. She did feel for him, but it was more a brotherly love.

They watched as Darwin marched to the centre of the park, his gray hair glowing under the moonlight, a stark contrast to the dark beast slavering over the poor girl under its mental power.

‘Fiend. Let her go!'

The vampire stopped still, frozen like a dog caught by its master doing wrong. It turned slowly, dragging the woman in its embrace. Her tanned neck shone dark with blood and she gaped drunkenly up at him.

The vampire smiled, fixing eyes on Darwin.

It did not appear surprised at all.

‘Why? She's dead anyway.'

‘She still lives. Unhand her.'

‘She may as well be. Living such a dull existence with a mind I would barely call sentient. Her only pleasure in life, jumping from one bed to another, trying to find that elusive quality she would call, Love. I would hardly call that being alive. Would you?'

A popping crack filled the night as the vampire snapped the young girl's neck.

‘In fact. Can you tell the difference?'

He turned her face towards Darwin. The glazed eyes and raptured smile seemed sickeningly the same as before death.

‘You are an abomination! Your very presence on this earth sickens me! You will die for that!'

‘You planned to kill me anyway. Your hypocrisy sickens me!'

‘Don't lecture me; it's too late to talk your way out of it. You will die.'

Darwin motioned to the bushes and two more men broke cover.

‘So, Shepherd, you bring your flock to me. How convenient.'

Darwin ignored him, drawing his sword from its silent scabbard. It glinted in the moonlight as he advanced on the reason for his ire.

‘Stop!'

Darwin faltered a step. The vampire's eyes began to glow, fixing him with a look of authority. Darwin took a stumbling step, then stopped.

‘Now. Come to me, as is proper.'

The fiend pointed a long, pale, slender finger at the ground. ‘On your knees. Shepherd.'

Darwin shook his head in defiance. Gripping the sword in both hands, he fought the vampire's attempt to control his mind and stayed planted to the spot. Sweat trickled down his face.

‘Attack… him!' He croaked, grimacing with the effort of fighting to keep his own will.

Four men clad in black glided silently towards the vampire.

Sharon's heart pumped even harder.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 30yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I hate to sound critical, but it'll nag me if I don't say it. I really like the story and look forward to each new instalment, but I think you really need to be careful with dialogue, there is a tendency with just about everyone who tries their hand at fiction to end up with very jilted dialogue which sounds a bit wooden and forced. I've tried writing stories myself and always found it the hardest part, because with description you can be a bit more creative and use words that wouldn't necessarily be thrown about in normal conversation, but then there is the temptation to go with short sentences that are very blunt and say exactly what they mean. Which is something people rarely do, we either lose the plot or can't find the right words or just beat about the bush for out own enjoyment.

Once again sorry for being mean about what is a very enjoyable story, hope I'm not to much of a pain.

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Al, I dont mind if you tell me something you think could be improved on. I know you're giving me constructive criticism and not just trying to put my work down to make yourself feel good.

I think it would be a good idea if you, or I even, started up a "tricks of the trade" thread for people that enjoy reading and writing to get together and discuss things exactly like this.

But as for this piece of work, sadly your help is over half a decade too late.

I can definitely see what you mean about the language thing though. This is something allot of writers have difficulty mastering.

The scene where Sharon and Michael are asked into Darwin's office was an assignment based exactly upon speech patterns in writing. I tried to create two characters that were more modern in their speech and two characters that were more mature in theirs. Darwin is an English gentleman and Anton is one of those "precise" types of people. (anal you might say.)

Ontop of that, the vampire Maximillian is from a whole other time and his level of sophistication is beyond what a normal mortal has. He should sound anachronistic. Which of course, to a modern person can be seen as wooden.

So really I have 3 out of 5 characters who should sound "different" to what you're used to hearing with their speech patterns.

If Sharon and Michael sound stiff and wooden that is my own fault. Nearly all the books I read are fantasy. The great epic ones like Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time ect. And most characters sound like that. They have that "classical" speech pattern so different to our modern lingo.

The biggest problem I face is this. How do you make someone sound "natural" without them sounding retarded?

Think about the last time you read an interview where some star has had their words written down EXACTLY as it was recorded by the journalist.

Its kinda ya know, like I ah guess.. I mean it sounds like ahh.. well... Ya know?
An' its like, ya might think 'm exargeratin' it abit. But this's just how we sound when we're talkin' man.

It stands out allot more than dialogue that is written more formally. So that's the trick- to create some kind of balance.

But you will find that the way people talk and the way they write is completely different. And when I am writing this post to you, and you write back, we both read it as normal, dont we?

What you wrote to me sounded normal when you read it back it didn't it? Inside your head it all sounds fine. Perhaps if you read it aloud it might stand out in places. But when someone writes how they speak in real life in their posts, THAT sounds jarring and doesn't flow to me.

So its a hard balancing act I admit.

On a side note:
I had a big problem with the last Star Wars trilogy because I feel THAT was wooden and stilted in its dialogue. You take the best actors of our time, like Natalie Portman, Liam Neeeson and Ewan McGregor and they sounded like they were reading their lines off the back of cereal packets. Its as though they read the words EXACTLY as they were written down. And to me that sounded very uncomfortable.

But Im sure if I READ not HEARD what they said in the movies in that formal speech pattern... it would have sounded no different to your last post.

I know it is a challenge to get the right sound out. As I mentioned, my background in reading doesn't help, and most of the characters are meant to sound more sophisticated and formal when they speak.

But I thank you for pointing it out to me. Its making me think on the tricks of writing and that's a good thing.

From now on whenever I write, I will try to keep that in mind.

But even if my characters are as wooden and stilted as the ones in the new Star Wars trilogy- Im not George Lucas, so I am NOT going to go back and change my original work and re-release it for you.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
[  Edited by Chained Wings at   ]
 30yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I will admit to sounding totally different written down to how I sound when speaking out loud, my written speech I would consider a lot more sophisticated than what I say in normal conversation, I have a tendency to use longer words and more correct constructions when writing. But I'll start up the tricks of the trade suggested and continue in there.

Sadly for you possibly the best help you could get on a continuation of this would be to watch buffy episodes lol, as they would show you someone else's approach to discussing demonology in modern language while managing to sound (grammatically) like a normal teenage conversation.

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 30yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Ok having re-read through the story I realised that actually my concern was only on the most recent section. It is purely the fact that Darwin loses any pretence at modernity and you slip into pure fantasy writing, I keep expecting "by the power of Greyskull" or something to slip in. He has changed from cold logic to righteous anger which is what I think causes the conflict, in the early chapters he is clinically precise about why the vampire must be killed, but when it comes to facing him, he starts calling the vampire names. sorry to go off on one again, it's mostly just me trying to work out what it was that was bugging me.

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hehe, Al. Im enjoying our discussion, but you keep distracting me
I will address your last post in the thread about writing and its tricks.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Maxamillian moved back a pace as the four men spread out to surround him.

He watched them to discern any pattern in their movements. If they worked to a pattern he could anticipate their next move. Exploit it.

Still feeling slightly annoyed that the old man had not succumbed to his will, he decided to employ a different tactic.

Brute force.

They might be able to partially resist his mind control but they were no match physically.

The first two, who were slightly ahead, came into range. Both had swords. One lunged and he easily leapt out of reach. The other tried his luck and missed too.

But they were only testing him. And he himself would not attack until he'd made certain they'd tested him. And found him lacking.

The two attacked simultaneously and one managed to slash his right arm, drawing blood. No problem. There would be an abundance of blood after this. Now they looked at each other certain they had him worked out.

They came in for the kill. The fools.

The first engaged him from the front while the other tried another simultaneous side attack. But Maxamillian charged forward, taking them both off guard.

He punched the frontal attacker in the face, crushing his cheekbones into a jigsaw of broken bone and mashing his facial features to a pulp. The man dropped dead without a sound.

His comrade made another glancing blow off Maximillian's shoulder blade, drawing even more blood. The angry vampire turned on him, grabbed him by the throat, crushing his windpipe like a rotten apple.

He swung the man round to shield himself from the other two who had moved in to attack during the last encounter. The foe in front of him, thinking he had a good shot, was now faced with the back of his suffocating, gurgling friend, as the vampire ran forward, driving him back with the body of his comrade.

The vampire moved with such ferocious speed and power, the man tripped and stumbled and the vampire threw his companion on top of him, bringing him to the ground.

Maxamillian turned. Before him stood the leader of the group, still trying to resist his mind powers, sword driven into the ground, perhaps the only thing holding his defeated body up.

One of his underlings was trying to help him come back to his senses, while the other thrashed about under his dead friend's body. And striding toward him, was yet another fool who thought to destroy him.

'So, shepherd, your flock dwindles. Will you not yet lead them to victory?'

The leader lifted his head to meet Maxamillian' stare. The indignant fire had waned from his eyes and his face looked drawn and haggard. Sweat poured from it as he opened his lips through clenched teeth.

‘You will fall. Be it now or another night.'

‘But tonight I will kill your flock. One by one. And you can only stand there like a statue and watch, knowing when they are all gone, I will come for you.'

He moved on the underling, a look of hunger in his eyes and it must have shown for the underling immediately hid his emotions from view. But not before a wave of terror rippled his face.

This man was not armed. And by the way he stood, legs apart, hands ready, he was well versed in the martial arts.

Maxamillian smiled contemptuously waiting for him to strike.

The first blow came as a surprise. He was quick, very competent. But Maxamillian was only playing with him until the other man got there. The death of a friend just as he arrived would hopefully bring out the sweet aroma of fear.

Another strike came from the man's right fist into Maximillian's jaw. The vampire whipped his head back with the shock, feigning more pain than he felt, and watched a glimmer of false pride and hope enter the martial artist's eyes.

Then just as the last of his foes came into range and the fallen attacker had gained his feet, Maxamillian decided to end the charade.

The martial artist, morale increased from reinforcements and the belief he was actually skilled enough to defeat his foe, smiled and came in for the kill.

His legs- which he hadn't used until now because any decent martial artist knows, that to put all your weight on one leg to kick, leaves you open to attack and prone to overbalancing- he now used.

Maxamillian let the first kick through. It collided with his upper thigh. The shock echoed throughout his entire leg, hurting abominably.

But the next kick he grabbed with supernatural speed. He pulled his attacker off his feet, kicked the man in the head, killing him instantly.

The man next to him ran in, trying to take the advantage. Maxamillian stuck his fist into the man's stomach, his hand coming away scarlet and the man dropped to the ground trying to hold his internal organs in place.

The last opponent stood before him, two long knives held out to either side. He reached over six-foot; his face was pale and gaunt. From the look in his dark, beady eyes, he knew he was going to die but it didn't faze him. Maxamillian smiled and advanced.

The man spun away from Maximillian's attack, slashing the vampire's wounded arm with one of the knives. A wolf snarl exploded from the vampire's lips. He turned round and advanced again.

The pale man spun and his knife struck the vampire in the ribs, digging away a sliver of leather trench coat, flesh and blood. Maxamillian staggered back, put his hand over the wound and felt the warm trickle.

This time when his enemy went to spin, Maxamillian countered, grabbing one of his arms, drawing himself closer to the knifeman's body, gripping him tight.

He looked into the dark eyes, smiled and snapped the captured limb with a sickening crunch. The man screamed a hoarse cry that filled the night. Pain welled in his eyes and sweat instantly pricked to the surface of his forehead and around his mouth. It coursed down his thin face.

‘I would like to draw this out but I still have another to kill. So we must end your life at this point.'

The immortal put his fingers around the pale throat ready to squeeze.

At that moment he felt a sharp pain in his ribs. Something had been driven between them and now lay sitting in his lung like a hot shaft of fire.

He looked down to see his victim's second knife protruding from his left side, still held by the man's one working hand. A faint hint of a smile crossed the man's ashen lips, a look of triumph flickered in the suffering eyes.

Maxamillian squeezed angrily, driving the smugness from the lips, forcing them open to gasp futilely for air that would never come. The eyes lost their look of triumph as they began to swell and finally protrude from a face turning purple-black. The man died with his tongue hanging out like a bloated slug.

Maxamillian dropped him down at the feet his leader, who looked on transfixed with horror.

‘Now, shepherd, it is your turn. You have watched your flock die. It is time I showed you what a fool you have been.'

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
Short story on vampires: Part 1
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