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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Tales: A vampire short story (The Flag - Part I)

So yes, I did post this short story on my Live Journal blog back in what feels like another lifetime.  But I hadn't met all of YOU then. Since I (a) wanted to share and (b) am so busy writing another novel that I haven't written any more shorts to share, I'm going to re-post this one.  Hope you enjoy.
Photo artfully acquired from jessmarie on Deviant Art

    I flagged my human when I was ten. As my teeth sank into his wrist, supple and juicy like a peach, my mother had warned me: "trust him, depend on him, but never love him. Love makes you weak."
    When your heritage leaves you destined to fight off the darker of your kind, weakness is a luxury you can’t afford. At the time, I’d had no worries about listening to my mother’s words. The gawky thirteen year old, holding his wrist out to me so I could drink, held no appeal. He would be my protector as we grew, but nothing more.
    Since flagging him, I’d been able to track Brogan’s every move. His presence called to me like a banner snapping in the wind. I could always find him, no matter how far away.
     But tonight, I didn’t need a flag to find Brogan.
     I rolled off his still-heaving chest, sticky with our commingled sweat. “This is a mistake,” I panted.
     He pulled my fingertips to his lips, kissing them. “Not for me. Never for me.”
     “We’re dooming ourselves,” I protested.
     “So be it,” he said. “Lindsey, I lo--”
     I silenced him with a kiss, sucking away his words before they could fill my head with promises I couldn’t bear to hear.
     “You can’t say that,” I told him. “We can’t afford to be weak. Not now. Not with the Carths growing their numbers.”
     “Whether I say it or not, it doesn’t change how I feel.”
      Our foreheads pressed together as we lay there in silence. I started Catching two years ago, when I was sixteen. With every captured soul, I became stronger; blacked out for shorter periods of time. But I was still in the minor leagues. Brogan had to guard me when I was under; my body absorbing a soul of the damned before he could drink again. If a Carpathian found me when I was like that, he’d snap the cord of my life with a click of his fangs.
     I needed Brogan with me while the souls digested too. Although I absorbed their strength and powers, the souls clawed at me from the inside until they were more mine than not. They particularly liked to reach up and snatch me when another Carpathian was near; as if they could weaken me so their brother could succeed where they had failed. Only Brogan could make me ingest another soul when I was weakened.
     “I just can’t, Brogan. I want this more than anything I’ve ever wanted in my life. But I won’t put you in danger.”
     “I’m never in danger so long as we’re together.”
     “You’re wrong,” I argued, even as his arm wrapped around my shoulders and pulled me back. “If I’m distracted – like this – I won’t sense one coming.”
     “I’ll take care of you,” he said. His kisses sprinkled over my eyes and nose.
     “It’s not me I’m worried about. What if a soul pulls me under and a Carth goes for you first? What then?”
    “Then we die together.”
    “No. That’s not okay.” I shook my head, unwilling to imagine a Carth with his fangs in Brogan’s neck. Even I had only tasted his wrist. If anyone drank from Brogan’s most tender flesh, it should be me. But Catchers only drank to flag, to create an alliance. Not even in pleasure could I taste my mortal again. That’s what they did. And I wasn’t one of them.
     Brogan pulled me in even closer, guiding my ear against his pounding heart. “Would you rather live to save the world, or die knowing you’d tasted love?”

Check back next week for part II...


LTM said...

at the risk of sounding like Shirley on Community: Oh, that's nice! ;p

No, this is really good! I like it~

Jessie said...

@LTM - thanks! I hope you'll stop by next week to read part II.

Ezmirelda said...

Can't wait for part 2! :D

Jessie said...

oh yea! glad you liked it, Ezmirelda

LM Preston said...

I didn't dream my ideas originally. Once they form in my head, I dream of them every night until I write the darn thing.

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