This is my #FridayFlash and Author Aerobics: Make it Fresh exercise. This week I’ve taken on vampires. It was harder than I thought to try and come up with something fresh. This could have quickly gone the way of satire, but turned into something else…
by T.S. Bazelli
Samuel’s lips opened like rusted gates. The sides of his mouth were cracked and raw from the effort, and the words came out malformed, a hot exhalation. There was hardly enough moisture on his tongue to form the word. “Son.”
What had he been thinking, bringing his boy to the desert with him? The arguments ran through his head for the thousandth time. He’d been so selfish, so desperate to spend time with his son, that he had pleaded with Kelly. When that did not work, he had the lawyers to back him up. He was entitled to the time. He had not realized how little time that would be.
Johann was making sand castles, looking like a ghost, a memory of better times, under the light of the moon.
Samuel climbed out of the half-buried range rover and his cheek kissed the sand as he stumbled. Part of a woman’s leg gleamed bluish white in the moonlight. The rest of the body lay beneath a blanket of sand. Crescent shaped marks, one the size of a boy’s mouth, one the size of an adult’s, marred the flesh.
He’d done what any father would have done, he insisted, and pleaded with his mind. Hunger had long since died away. The thirst was everything. Their water had run out a week ago. They should have been dead like the others.
“Help will be here in a three days.” His throat ached with the effort of speech. “Do you remember what I told you?”
“I remember daddy.” Johann sifted the sand between his fingers. “Stay in the car when the sun’s out. Don’t tell anyone I’m a vampire.”
“That’s right.” Samuel sat down on the sand beside his son. The bandage on the boy’s neck was dirt soaked but the two evenly spaced pricks had healed nicely. They would not leave a scar he thought.
There was no other choice. Johann had to survive. Under the light of the moon Samuel’s plan seemed foolish, crazy even. He’d cut the two small incisions with his knife, while the boy was sleeping. He’d hardly felt a thing. There had been no other way to convince his son to drink. First the others. Now…
“Now drink.” He held out his arm. No food. No water. He needed nourishment, liquid at the very least.
Johann’s teeth bit down on his wrist, he felt the liquor of his life being sucked away. Samuel would have cried out in pain if he had any breath left. Death would take him soon… “Don’t tell anyone.”
“No daddy.” Johann smiled, his teeth dark with blood. His cheeks still full and flush, and healthy. Three more days. He hoped he had enough to give, so at least one of them would survive. “You’re a vampire too right?”
Samuel smiled and didn’t answer. He’d already lied to the boy once. Another lie couldn’t hurt. “Of course Johann. It’s our secret. Everything will be fine in the morning.”