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JDcat4

Exercise One
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Reply with quote  #26 
Chapter 25: Skylar

At midnight, we went outside and walked up the street a little. A tall guy with brown hair stood staring at us. He wore blue. His red eyes and fangs gave him away, as did ours.

“Sk-sk-sk-Skylar?” I stuttered.

“That’s my name. Don’t wear it out. What’s your name, princess?”

“Josienne,” I replied.

“Ah, Josienne. Pretty name. So this must be Zephyr.”

“Yes,” said Zephyr.

“We’ve never met,” he said, “but we knew the same girl.”

Zephyr said nothing.

“I’ve never known Kat to disappear. I’ve never had to search for her before. She always came back to me after doing whatever she’d been doing.”

He was being rather nice, for some reason. There was no malice in his voice at all.

How could he not have known what his lover was doing? This seemed very odd… unless it was all just a pretence.

“You haven’t found her, obviously,” I said.

“Do you know where she is, Josie?”

“Maybe,” I hinted. “Why did you come to us if you had no idea what Kat was up to?”

“Because last time she spoke to me, which was well over a month ago now, she told me she had stuff to do in northern Holgeirine. It made sense for me to find you if I could because you two are the only vampires in this region.”

“Well, I’m sorry. You’ve had a wasted journey,” I said.

“She isn’t here,” said Zephyr.

“But you know where she is.”

“Yes. I also know what she was doing until I last saw her.”

“Go on,” said Skylar.

“She was a monster, Kathryn was. I can’t believe you had no idea what a horrible little femme fatale she was. While she was away from you, she pretended to love other boys. Boys my age.”

Skylar stared at Zephyr in shock as he heard of his lover’s promiscuous life.

“She was also nothing more than a murderer. I met her in school. She was in the year above me and I became one of her victims.”

After Zephyr told Skylar his little horror story, he told Skylar where Kat was now.

“I killed her.”

“Not on your own, surely?”

“Oh, no, I had help,” said, Zephyr, smiling at me for a moment.

“How did you do it?”

“Ripped her apart and burnt her pieces.”

“She deserved what she got then,” said Skylar.

“Definitely,” said Zephyr.

“Well, I’m glad we met, and I’m glad I know what happened to Kat. Bye, you two.”

“Bye,” we said, then walked off.

“How creepy was that?” I said to Zephyr when we were back in my house.

“I know,” said Zephyr. “We had no reason to worry at all.”

I trusted Zephyr, so Skylar must be friendly. He wouldn’t have known Zephyr was psychic. Zephyr hadn’t told Kat he was psychic, and as we’d found out, Kat hadn’t told Skylar everything, therefore he was actually nothing to worry about. Silly us worrying for no reason.

“Everything alright, kids?” dad called upstairs.

“Yes,” I replied. “Skylar’s gone. Nothing to worry about.”

“What was he doing?”

“Only searching for Kat. So we told him… stuff –” I didn’t think dad would want to know that me and Zephyr once ripped a vampire to pieces “– and he left. He actually didn’t have a clue what the hell Kat had been up to behind his back.”

“Whoa!”

“Yeah, I know. Does that make me a coward or what?”

“Nah, it just means Skylar’s not what we thought.”

I went back into my room.

“That was scary,” I said.

“I know,” said Zephyr, picking up Draco again.

“Oh, please, not a ballad!”

“Alright. I wasn’t thinking of playing a ballad anyway. I was going to play something heavy… not metal. But rock.”

“Rock, eh?”

“Something you’d like.”

“Not The Killing Moon – I’ve had enough of that since the last one.”

“What are you going to do at the next one then?”

“Go hunting with you and we’ll pretend we’re werewolves because they turn into wolves at the –” I nearly said full moon. That would get on silly old Zephyr’s nerves. – “ugh – killing moon.”

Zephyr laughed.

“Fine, say full moon if you want. It’s me being stupid about it anyway. And werewolves don’t exist.”

Well, that was me screwed.

Zephyr played his guitar and sang. Three songs he’d composed himself, others he’d learnt. And none of the ones he’d learnt was The Killing Moon. He was obsessed with that song. Just a little. And he was stupid with the full moon. What a silly young vampire. Still, I was friends with him. I wasn’t not going to be friends with him just because he was a bit silly sometimes.

 


__________________
E. J. O.
JDcat4

Exercise One
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Reply with quote  #27 
Chapter 26: Obsessions

Ugh. I had a feeling today was going to be a bad day. I didn’t know why, but I just felt that way. Like a gut instinct. Sure enough, when I got up and looked in the mirror, I could plainly see the ghastly mess in it. I looked like I’d only just got up out of my coffin in about, I don’t know, a thousand years. My eyes were barely open and were red pretty much all the way round them – they made the pretty scarlet of my eyes look abnormal. I felt like I hadn’t gone to bed at all. My legs ached, and oh, the state of my hair! I was having one humongous bad hair day. There was just no way my brush was going to get through the thick, tangled mess that was my barnet. And there was so much brown in it! Like my fringe and most of my hair – up to about a quarter of the way down was streaked with brown. But, if truth be told, that was my fault for not dyeing it in ages.

Then I looked in my wardrobe, which was looking about as great as my hair. I was down to one pair of jeans, which were dark blue. Then I looked in my chest of drawers to find I was down to two red tops. I chose the one that was stripy and had patches on the sleeves – at least it had some black on it.

I went to the bathroom and had a shower. Washing my hair might help – it might not. Either way, I wasn’t going to school looking like a zombie.

Back in my room, I got dressed and looked in the mirror again. Eyes still red and bloodshot, hair still messy – the best thing I could do was simply put it in a ponytail. It’d still look wild, but at least it would be better than it was down.

At school, Zephyr was in a bad mood. I could guess what about, but I had a feeling cluing him in would make things worse.

Well, one thing we knew was Skylar wasn’t going to bother us again.

As the day went on, it proved to be a day when Zephyr just wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone at all. It was creepy, giving everyone the silent treatment – well, not exactly – but he wasn’t usually this quiet. Something was driving him nuts. Again, I tried not to clue him in on what I thought it could possibly be. We stayed in school all day, not skipping a single lesson. It gave us something to do anyway. If I suggested we hung out at my house and wrote songs, he wouldn’t even manage writing one of his ballads, and that wasn’t like Zephyr at all. Jeesh, something was wrong.

I wanted to talk to him, to find out what was wrong, but I didn’t have the guts, not did I wasn’t to risk hurting his feelings – he was a delicate soul. One thing I knew about being friends with Zephyr was that if he was in a good mood, he was the best person to be around, but if he was in a bad mood, you soon knew about it, and it was pretty scary… and a little crazy. If I was a little less concerned about Zephyr’s sensitivity, I’d probably say he tended to wear his emotions on his sleeve. But enough of that – I wasn’t going to wind him up any more than he’d probably wound himself up about something.

At the end of the day, we went our separate ways. I looked at the lyrics I’d written and pinned to my desk, trying to think of a melody, but nothing came to mind. I didn’t have anything when I’d written them either.

It took until nightfall to realise the reason behind Zephyr’s foul mood. He was feeling remorse already and he hadn’t even killed one human yet this month. He’d said he was used to it after a year. Well, I guess he still felt terrible.

The moon was up and Zephyr looked as though he might cry.

“Come on, let’s go,” he said simply. “I want to get this over with.”

We turned into bats and flew off. We flew miles, like we did the last time before we hunted. If only we could hunt animals – it would make Count Zephyr feel loads better. A nice lion or two would be fun for him as well. If only. The reality was we basically had to live on human blood. There was no other way. I drained ten humans and made no fuss about it. Zephyr drained ten humans and cried a bit.

We went home – well, back to my house – and I tried to make Zephyr stop crying. Dad would worry if he thought one of us was a bit of a wimp.

Again, if I wasn’t as caring as I was – or hyperaware of Zephyr’s delicate state of mind – I’d be tempted to say he was a bit pathetic. But I wasn’t that much of a jerk. I tried not to be nasty at all.

I just hugged Zephyr until he eventually calmed down. Like his music and silly antics, like dashing around, showing his super speed, because human velocity just wasn’t good enough for him, writing his ballads – or whatever else he wrote – oh, and the bat thing, the silly old bat thing that had made me worried he’d hurt his wings or something – the full moon seemed to be some sort of an obsession of Zephyr’s. I didn’t know whether it eased some of his remorse – or self-hatred – but if it was an excuse not to feel like a monster every night, but only once a month, then it was probably an alright obsession to have.

I had obsessions as well. But mine were more like trying to sort my hair out in the mornings – I’d lost count of the amount of times dad had tried to persuade me to get my hair cut short rather than have it tumbling half way down my back as I did, but I knew I could never part with so much hair. It just wouldn’t feel right – trying to keep my “Hyde”, my insanity in. Sanity was kind of an issue with Zephyr as well, but I was the one losing my marbles on a regular basis. Oh, and I tended to go through phases of listening to one of my favourite bands more than any of the others, the one band swapping every now and then of course. And currently, I was trying to put a melody to those damned lyrics!

“I’ll tell you what,” said Zephyr.

“What?” I asked.

“Play your keyboard,” he said.

OK. I didn’t know what he was getting at here… seemed to have something up his sleeve though. I went over towards Bellatrix and turned her on anyway.

Zephyr, meanwhile, sat on my bed.

“Turn that amp on and chuck us that jack lead while you’re there, please.”

I did what Zephyr told me to, then went back to my keyboard. I turned the volume all the way up because I had a feeling Zephyr wanted to make a racket. I watched as Zephyr stared at my guitar, which I’d named Draco. It was almost as bad as Bellatrix, but Draco was a very wimpy Death Eater. In fact, I didn’t think he actually was a Death Eater. He couldn’t kill Dumbledore. Snape had to do that for him.

Within seconds, the guitar was in his hands. Zephyr had so much psychic energy – did he ever get drained?

“No,” he replied. “I have so much of it because I don’t always use it.”

Zephyr started making a racket, just like I’d predicted. However, it wasn’t so much of a racket that I was being drowned out.

Zephyr’s racket was a few chords, sometimes strummed, sometimes picked out broken chords, a few lead parts and a short, but nonetheless intricate little solo. He wasn’t messing about – it all made sense and worked quite well.

After a few minutes of messing about – well, me working on my parts – I looked at my lyrics and hoped they’d fit.

I didn’t bother playing a lot of chords – that was Zephyr’s job – but I messed around with different notes, playing inverted chords occasionally, sometimes playing a particular note in a different octave – for example, I might start on, say, the E below middle C, let most of it ascend from there, go back down to that particular E, play the whole thing again, but the second time, I’d end on the E above middle C. Or something like that.

“You doing your octave thing? Nice.”

“Yeah. It seems to be a habit of mine at the moment.”

“Keep it. It’s a good habit, I’d say.”

We kept experimenting with stuff like that, Zephyr changing his sound and using the various effects pedals I had, and me messing about with sounds on my keyboard.

I eventually found a piano sound that sounded sort of echo-y and very dreamy. It was quite spooky. I liked it. I started messing about on it, playing various chords and stuff.

“Sounds… introspective,” said Zephyr.

“Introspective? What does that mean? I’m not that bright.”

“Gloomy.”

Zephyr used a flanger and played very slightly distorted. Then I began to sing. The words just came out of me like they came out of nowhere. I felt like I was walking through a dream as I sang the haunting, spooky things:

 

 

 

 

 

“Lost in this hellish place where faces bore no smiles and the world has lost its marbles and my life’s hanging by a lonely thread.

 

 The thread is called “doom” and it drops lower and lower draining the happiness out of the place. It’s so could down here and there is nothing but the sadness.

 

 I see a light in the middle of nowhere, but I’ve lost all sense of the world around me and the fangs are in my neck though there’s this beautiful light.

 

 I see no way out, but I see around this melancholy in the land. The night is as black as a thousand dark souls, but it pains me to realise that light is my own.”

 


__________________
E. J. O.
JDcat4

Exercise One
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Reply with quote  #28 
Chapter 27: Love Question

It was Tuesday. My hair looked a lot better today – it was still wild, but I wasn’t having a bad hair day. I could brush it today. I put it up in a ponytail though.

At school, Zephyr wasn’t in registration. I didn’t know where the heck he was. It wasn’t like him. Well, it was sometimes, but then he’d skive – or perhaps hide in the library. He used to do that. I didn’t know what Zephyr had first lesson on a Tuesday, but it wasn’t what I had – Dance. It looked like the first time I’d see him today would be in Potions. Or maybe he wanted me to be with my other friends. He hadn’t told me to talk to my other friends – he never did, in fact – but I think he approved of my other friends. He’d never said anything to suggest he didn’t. So I chatted to Charlie.

“Hello, Josie. Aren’t you normally at Zephyr’s beck and call?”

“I suppose you could say that, yes. I do see him a lot.”

“So what brings you over here?”

“He’s not here.”

“And?”

“I want someone to talk to.”

“Fair enough.”

“What are you doing at the weekend?”

“I’m thinking of inviting some friends to go bowling with me. Would you be interested?”

“Er… yeah, if Zephyr will go.”

“Yeah, ask him first. Say he can go if he wants.”

“Yeah, I’ll ask Zephyr. He’ll probably say yes.”

“He turned you into a vampire, didn’t he?”

Uh-oh… now the cat was out of the bag…

“Come on, Josie, I know a vampire – or two – when I see them. I believe Zephyr may know I know he’s a vampire, but if he does, he hasn’t made a fuss about it.”

“He does know… I think…” I said hesitantly. “But, yes, he turned me into a vampire.”

I’d said enough already. I was half-expecting Zephyr to tell me off when he found out by reading my guilty thoughts.

“How did that come about?”

“Er… I’m not sure if…”

“Go on, tell me. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. He knows me. It’s not like I’m going to blab to anyone.”

“Thanks, Charlie,” I said, still a little worried.

“Do you want to go in the library?”

“Yes, please.”

I followed him to the library, jogging to keep up with his long strides.

“Don’t you have super-speed?” he asked.

“Yes, but I’m not as blasé about using it as Zephyr is.”

In the library, I followed Charlie to the back, where the comfy chairs were.

“Sit,” he said, sitting himself.

I sat on the floor, so I was under him.

“Sit on the chair, Josie. Does Zephyr make you sit on the floor next to him?”

“No,” I said.

“Just something you do?”

“Yeah, sometimes.”

“Well, you can sit next to me, not under me. I’m not going to dominate you.”

I shrugged.

“So tell me about the vampire thing.”

“Well, Zephyr had this horrible ex-girlfriend who was a vampire and she was a monster right down to her boots. He was trying to get rid of her on his own for a while, but he couldn’t so he turned me into a vampire so I could help him kill her.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you want to be a vampire?”

“I didn’t mind. I don’t miss him turning me – that was horrible – but I don’t mind being a vampire. Zephyr’s not that happy. He likes being able to dash around the place and jump out of nowhere and scare the hell out of people, but that’s about it. In fact, apart from that, he’s very pathetic about it actually.”

“Oh. That’s not what I was expecting.”

“It probably isn’t, but it’s the truth.”

I’d missed out a few things here and there, but it was more or less the whole story.

“What does Zephyr do with you?”

“We play instruments – I play keyboard, he plays guitar. That’s about it really.”

“So, he’s not good at being a vampire, but he’s a good vampire.”

“Yeah, I’d say that’s about right. If he was good at being a vampire, he’d be evil.”

“Cool. If being good at being a vampire means being evil, then I’m glad he isn’t.”

“Well, he could probably be good at being a vampire without being evil – I mean just because he is what he is, he isn’t a monster.”

“True,” said Charlie. “He isn’t a monster and he doesn’t have to be.”

“When Zephyr turned you, how long did it take?”

“Only a day and a half, I think. He did a good job of it, compared to what Kat did to Zephyr.”

“What did Kat do to Zephyr?”

“Only bit him twice and left him.”

“Oh, no! Poor thing!”

“I know. I don’t envy Zephyr at all.”

“I don’t either. Sounds like he’s been through hell.”

“He has,” I agreed.

“It’s a good thing he has you.”

“I think so too.”

“Are you going out with Zephyr?”

“Zephyr wishes.”

“What? Really?”

“Yes.”

“How do you know?”

“He told me… well, sort of.”

“How did he tell you? What did he say?”

“He didn’t say anything… exactly. He sang a love song he’d written about me. Stupid really. He could have just told me.”

“What did you say to him?”

“Nothing,” I replied.

“You don’t fancy Zephyr, do you?”

“No, I don’t,” I found myself saying. Clearly my mind had made itself up – or my heart had.

We chatted for some time, not just about Zephyr, though that was primarily what Charlie was interested in. I managed to move us on to talking about school in general and stuff that was going on before the bell rang to mark the end of the lesson. I’d missed Dance. Oh well. Time to go to Potions.

I all but ran down the corridor, stomped down the stairs, jumping the last four because I could and ran through another corridor. I turned the corner and took the next set of stairs in the same manner I had the previous one – rather noisily.

Once outside, I ran at full speed across the grounds to the PE department building. Turning right past the gym, I descended the stairs to the basement where the potions classrooms were situated.

I was just on time. Malfew hadn’t let anyone in yet. But where was the Count? He’d probably turn up half-way through the lesson or something silly like that…

“Boo!”

I jumped and gasped simultaneously. He’d done it again. Then, I suppose, he had to have his fun.

“Half way through the lesson, indeed! What would be the point in that? I hope you don’t think that I’m that much of a rebel!”

“No, you’re just a bit daft and you’re playing the Count again. You do know Dracula’s a villain, don’t you?”

“Villain, tyrant, whatever. Yeah. Bit of a shame, really because I can easily imagine him being a good guy.”

“I suppose so – Zephyr Daniels, the good version of Count Dracula – I’ll bet Bram Stoker never thought about the Count as good.”

“Yeah, but then if the Count wasn’t evil, who would Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing have to destroy and where would be the story?”

“Where, indeed?”

Then we both laughed.

“Hawkes! Daniels! What are you laughing at?”

“Nothing, Miss Malfew,” said Zephyr, still laughing.

My laugh was loud and hysterical – more of a cackle than a laugh.

“I see. In you go, class – except these two lunatics. You can stay out here until you’ve stopped cackling.”

Right, OK. Fair enough.

I was cackling for quite a while, but Zephyr calmed down.

“Right, let’s try this…”

He stared at my eyes – why he thought using the hypnotic powers of his eyes on a fellow vampire might work, I had no idea, but it did. I calmed down within minutes of him staring at me. I fell back a little, but he caught me and took his eyes off me before I fell asleep in his arms.

“Are you OK?”

“A little dizzy,” I replied.

“Stay out here for a bit then.”

“Zephyr, we might as well just skive now – there’s only ten minutes left, well, just over.”

“Yeah, let’s go.”

Another day missed, pretty much. This was happening a lot. One of these days, we’d have to seriously knuckle down.

“Zephyr…” I said.

“I know, you don’t fancy me. It’s OK. I didn’t think you did.”

“I was also talking to someone you know earlier.”

“Charlie of the nine patches. Yeah, I know him. What had you talking to the Humongous Bighead of the academy then?”

I began to cackle at that.

“Oh, Josie! You’re finding everything funny today.”

“Well, you weren’t here and I just felt like chatting. It had nothing to do with the fact that he’s Head Boy – or Humongous Bighead,” I said as we walked home.

 


__________________
E. J. O.
JDcat4

Exercise One
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Reply with quote  #29 
Chapter 28: The Future

 

“Josie,” said Zephyr, “I want to show you something.”

“What do you want to show me?” I asked.

He showed me two bottles of a familiar-looking potion.

“How did you get that?”

“I didn’t get it today. I got it a few days ago.”

“I was going to say, I didn’t see you go in the classroom.”

Zephyr chuckled.

“Do I need both bottles?”

“Most likely.”

“Last time I had this, I was human.”

“So what?” said Zephyr.

“It doesn’t matter?” I asked him.

“No, it doesn’t matter. It only wouldn’t work on someone who’s already psychic – like me.”

“What would it do to you?”

“I don’t know, but it certainly wouldn’t do what it’s supposed to do. I do have more than just those two bottles, so we could see what that experiment would do.”

“You’re not serious?”

“Well, we could if you wanted to.”

“Maybe,” I said. “We’ll see after I’ve taken mine.”

“We’ll be waiting a while then. It doesn’t matter though. What matters when you’ve got all the time in the world?”

That was true. We had all the time in the world. We were never going to die.

Zephyr put the bottles on my bed.

“Take them when you’re ready,” he said simply.

“Do you like letting me inside your head, Zephyr?”

“Well, I’m in everyone else’s heads, so it’s only fair, isn’t it?”

“Fair enough. What do you want to show me anyway?”

“You’ll see,” he said. Oh, he was being mean! Not telling me what it is I’d be seeing. Oh, well, you couldn’t avoid some mystery being friends with Zephyr – he was a mysterious being. Well, not so mysterious now I’d got to know him, but still, he could be a little mysterious when he wanted to be.

I sat on my bed and pulled the stopper out of one of the bottles and swallowed its contents, maybe a little too fast, and did the same with the second.

Zephyr was in a strange place, one I’d never been in, he was playing a game with someone I did recognise – it was one of his old friends, only he was older than Zephyr now. Zephyr’s friend – I’d forgotten his name – looked about seventeen or eighteen. I saw me as well, with another of Zephyr’s friends, Zéphine. I was walking down a street, talking to Zéphine.

“It’s Zephyr’s birthday soon, Josie. Next week, I think it is.”

“I know,” I said. “What are you getting him?”

“A new cloak. He’ll already know though, won’t he?”

“Yes, he will,” I said. “And he’ll already know I’m getting him a guitar.”

“Oh, he’ll love that,” said Zéphine.

“It’s your birthday in a month.”

“Yes, it is,” said Zéphine. “Miserable old me getting older.”

“Well, what do you want for your birthday?” I asked her.

“Nothing,” she replied.

“Just chocolate?”

“Yeah,” she said.

“OK,” I said. Zéphine was easy to please.

I smiled.

A week or so later, we were at Zephyr’s parents’ house. I’d been here before, but it was in Zephyr’s past. There were balloons up and some of them said eighteen.

“Happy birthday!” we all said to him.

“Fourteen again,” I said simply. “Four years now, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” he said. “They all know we’re not ageing, but they’re pretending otherwise.”

“Don’t you want to pretend, or do you want to be fourteen again?”

“Let’s pretend I’m eighteen and we’ll pretend you’re seventeen as well.”

We both laughed.

Next we were at school. We were in the older class as well – again, it was a pretence. No, wait, it wasn’t school, it was an Academy-Zero. Yikes! However had we got to such an advanced place? Still, vampires were a doddle. It was the other things that were hard.

“Describe in as much detail as possible, stating sources used for research, the process of transformation from human to vampire” were the exact words in one of the questions on the test paper on vampires we’d been given. There would be no sources of research stated – I could write this just from experience.

“Well,” said Zephyr, “how have you answered that one then?”

I read my answer to Zephyr. I didn’t need to, but I just felt like reading it. If I read it to myself anyway, it might make some sort of sense. Or at least that was what I hoped.

“A vampire produces venom in their salivary glands in their mouths, which coats the vampire’s teeth – or fangs. It is fairly superfluous as transformation is its sole use, therefore meaning a vampire may never use it. Like other cells, venom contains DNA.

The process of transformation is initiated by a vampire biting a human. When this happens, vampire venom is injected into the human’s bloodstream, slowly burning the human’s blood cells and changing the human’s DNA. It is not just unpleasant, in fact, that is a serious understatement. It is extremely painful for the human. The pain gets progressively worse as the process goes on, often meaning the human is unable to move and is pinned down wherever the vampire has chosen to turn or change them. The pain only decreases when the process is almost over, ceasing completely when it is over. About halfway through the slow process, the human’s skin should be paling and lowering in temperature. A little later on, the human’s eyes should be turning red and their teeth should be sharpening. Once these things have happened, the process ends soon afterwards. The process typically lasts between two and five days depending on several factors: how many times the vampire bites the human, and therefore how much venom enters the bloodstream, where the human is bitten, as the closer it is to the heart, the sooner it is over, and how tall or short the human is, although there are cases of it lasting either shorter or longer periods of time.

Also, as well as producing the visual vampire features, vampire venom creates a physical bond between the human and the vampire turning them once it is in the human’s blood. This bond often means vampire and human stay together as friends, or a romantic item depending on their previous relationship. These relationships can be changed or unchanged.

The vampire transforming the human is known as a sire. There is no name given for the human.

The personality of the sire, their relationship with the human and the circumstances they are in all have an effect on the human’s experience during transformation.

Given the painful and slow nature of vampire venom, transformation can be used as a method of torture by evil vampires. In the worst cases, the human, in this case, labelled the victim, is bitten only once or twice and left in agony. This is dragged out the most and it is, thankfully, rare for such sadistic, brutal and unfeeling vampires to exist. Revenge is often sought following transformation of this cruel nature.

At best, the human only feels the vampire’s initial bites and is unaware they are being turned. This case is only possible if the vampire hypnotises the human by making eye contact with them and staring at them. This numbs all the pain of the venom and can make the human sleep or can knock them out. For the human to feel nothing at all, the vampire would need to exert a lot of energy into using this power, which would eventually exhaust him or her. It is good if the vampire hunts – or feeds – one or two days before the transformation is planned, the human knows what to expect, the vampire bites the human a lot, the human is friends with the vampire, the human is in a familiar, comfortable place and the vampire uses hypnosis as much as they can without exhausting themselves. However, it is bad if the vampire is sadistic and/or evil and victimises the human, leaving them in unpleasant places, uses little or no hypnosis and deliberately drags out the process by biting the human only once.”

“Well, I think you’ve got that exact there,” said Zephyr. “I’m surprised you didn’t mention me or you though.”

“Am I allowed to?”

“You can if you want. There’s nothing stopping you.”

I added two more paragraphs to my essay.

“Worst case scenario – Kat and Zephyr Daniels. Kat and Zephyr met at school and were boyfriend and girlfriend, or so everyone thought. Like most of the boys in his year, Zephyr had fallen madly in love with Kat, whose beauty was known throughout the village Zephyr used to live in. Kat posed as his girlfriend, making him one of her victims. Shortly after his fourteenth birthday, Kat took Zephyr to her house and knocked him to the floor in her bedroom. There, she bit Zephyr only twice and left him, ending their relationship. Zephyr killed Kat with my help over a year and a half after his transformation due to Kat’s being crafty as a fox and having a higher than average survival instinct, allowing her to move through places quickly, making her difficult to catch.

Good scenario: Zephyr Daniels and Josienne Hawkes. I met Zephyr at school, and on discovering his vampiric nature, initially feared him, though we soon became friends later on. Zephyr turned me so I could help him find and destroy Kat. Zephyr bit me many times, had me lying on my bed for the entirety of the process and used hypnosis, meaning there were seldom moments where I felt anything. Zephyr hunted shortly beforehand, returning the day of my transformation. Zephyr never left my side during the process, which lasted only a day, and we have remained best friends ever since, although Zephyr is now in love with me.”

Next, I was in an unfamiliar room. It looked somewhat like a classroom, but I didn’t have a clue where the hell it was. I was singing. My voice sounded weird. Not much weirder than it was now, but still, it was weird. If I couldn’t see that it was me singing, I wouldn’t know if it was a man or a woman singing. It sounded a bit like me though. There was a man standing next to me, much older than I was, then at the tender age of eighteen – or at least that was what I was pretending. I imagined it wasn’t a place a fourteen-year-old should really be.

The man was listening to me sing. I was singing something dark, but I couldn’t think what it was called.

“Tenor,” he said.

What? Me? Tenor? He was CRAZY! I was a girl, for crying out loud! But then, I suppose, he was right. My low voice wasn’t even passable for that of a low contralto.

*

Zephyr had just shown me some weird visions of the future. I knew the future wasn’t set in stone and was very subjective.

“How much of that do you actually think is going to happen?” I asked him.

“All of it,” he said.

Then Zephyr drank the two bottles of the potion he had left. It was intriguing to see what would happen, but I did think it was a bit stupid if the whole point of the potion was to temporarily make a person psychic, if they weren’t psychic already and Zephyr was already psychic, but then Zephyr was more than a bit daft.

Shortly after Zephyr had drunk his potion, we both fell asleep.

*

When we woke up, Zephyr shook himself and got up. I just sat and gazed around my room.

“Come on,” said Zephyr. “Let’s go and stretch our wings a bit.”

“Alright,” I said.

We turned into bats and flew out of my window. We flew a long way, deeper into the forests. We were flying mostly south, I think, maybe slightly east as well. We stopped after three hours and landed in our other forms on an unfamiliar street somewhere. We walked down the street and turned a corner into another one.

“Nearly there,” he said.

We walked down two more streets and finally we stopped. We were near a few houses. It wasn’t until I saw the silhouettes of two familiar people through the curtains that I realised where Zephyr had taken me.


__________________
E. J. O.
JDcat4

Exercise One
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Reply with quote  #30 
Chapter 29: The Undead Bomb

“What are we doing at your parents’ house?” I asked Zephyr.

“Have a guess, Josie! Honestly!”

Yeah, I guessed I was being stupid. Of course, he wanted to talk to his parents.

“Do you really think you can just drop the undead bomb on them and expect them to believe you, let alone be nice about it? Zephyr, most people think vampires are monsters. I don’t quite know what you’re going to say about that. Besides, your parents think you’re dead because they haven’t seen you or heard from you in almost two years – you’ll give them a right scare! They’ll probably think you’re a ghost or something.”

“We’re like ghosts, sort of.”

I was debating whether Zephyr had lost his marbles or not, but then I made up my mind.

“You’re definitely mad,” I said.

He just laughed… until I gagged him with my hand a few seconds later.

“Stop making us look conspicuous,” I said.

“You worry too much,” he said when I ungagged him. “Josie, I have no idea how my parents will react. It’s not something I can foresee – they don’t decide to believe me before they have any idea I’m alive.”

Well then, I couldn’t say Mr. Psychic wasn’t paying attention. There was nothing he could do.

“No, you can’t,” he said. “Yes, it’s a risk, I know. They might believe me, they might want me to move back in, they might absolutely hate me. I’ve no idea what will happen, but it’s a risk I’m prepared to take.”

“What will you do if they don’t want you?”

“We’ll go back to your house,” he replied. “I don’t mind living in Magewood’s cheap side for the rest of eternity. I’d decorate the place and make it so it’s more of a home than just a place to crash. I might get myself a new guitar as well.”

“Alright, see what your parents think of all this vampire stuff then.”

We walked up the path. I walked behind Zephyr.

He knocked on the door.

The door opened a few minutes later. A man answered it. It was Zephyr’s dad, Fred.

“Zephyr?” he asked. “Is that you?”

“Yes, dad,” said Zephyr.

“You’re alive!”

“Sort of,” said Zephyr.

“Come in, Zephyr, and bring your friend in too – I can see this is going to be a long story.”

Once we were in, we were in forever. I didn’t make that joke though. Besides, we could come and go as we pleased – we just didn’t because it was more polite.

“Fifi!” Fred called. “Fifi! Look who’s here!”

A blonde woman came down the hall from the kitchen.

“Zephyr!” she said, hugging him. “Oh, your skin’s freezing cold!”

I’d forgotten how vampire skin felt to humans. I remembered bits of my human life, but not clearly. It was all a bit of a haze. The only thing I remembered sharply was being turned into a vampire. I wondered if Zephyr’s human life was fading a bit or if he still remembered some of it.

We sat down in the Daniels’ sitting room.

“So where have you been then?” asked Fred.

“Well, first of all, can I introduce my friend Josienne Hawkes?”

“Hello, Josienne,” they said.

“Hi,” I said.

“Well,” said Zephyr. “You remember Kathryn, don’t you?”

“Yes, we remember Kat.”

“She was a vampire.”

“Really? How could she walk around in the daytime then?”

“We don’t burn. We don’t sparkle either.”

“So what did she do?”

“She wasn’t really my girlfriend,” said Zephyr.

“Yeah right! We could see how infatuated you were with each other!”

“You only thought you did. I loved her, yes. She actually didn’t love me. She didn’t love anyone in fact.”

Fred and Fifi Daniels gasped in horror.

“That night when I disappeared, Kat took me off to her house and turned me. It was absolute torture. She was a monster. I was scared I’d kill you. I was scared to be around people full stop in those early days. I moved out and was homeless for a few days until an old man in Magewood and his family were moving out and he let me have their old house in cheap side. It means I’ve got a roof over my head.”

“That was nice of him,” said Fifi.

“Yes, it was,” said Zephyr.

“What did you do after that?”

“Well, I only had one thing I wanted to do – to kill Kat.”

“And did you?”

“Eventually, yes. You see, Kat was very hard to catch. She had some seriously good survival instincts and she’d never be in one place for long, so I was lucky to catch her. You could track her through newspapers if you knew what to look for. Obviously, I did. But she evaded me for a long time. After a year, I realised I couldn’t catch her on my own and I was just getting lonely and bored.

I decided to go to school again. I went to the academy there, Magakin Row Juniors. That’s where I met Josie and some other friends too. Josie helped me kill Kat.”

“She must be a vampire too then – she’d have been no good to you human.”

“Yes, she’s a vampire. She’s been friends with me all year now. When we got back from defeating Kat, you and Josie’s parents disappeared. We couldn’t come after you. We had nothing to follow. Anyone’s scent disappeared without a trace not far from both your door and Josie’s door. There was nothing in the newspapers either.”

“Skylar took us in a car. That’s why you couldn’t get us. He let us go though.”

“Yes. He’s quite unpredictable as well. He scared us for a while, Skylar did because he could just sneak up on us, but we couldn’t go after him. He did come after us actually, to ask us what happened to Kat. I was flying to Josie’s with another bat following me, so she shut the window once I was in and we hid for three days until he wrote a note and we spoke to him. It turns out he had no intention of avenging her nor did he have any idea what Kat was up to.”

“How shocking!” said Fifi.

“Yeah, so that’s pretty much it really.”

“Why don’t you move back in with us? When you can anyway.”

“Alright,” said Zephyr.

And we went back to my house.

“Wow, I wasn’t expecting that,” I told him.

“Like I said, I didn’t know what to expect. As it turns out, they were very nice about it all.”

Zephyr smiled and picked up the guitar.

“What’s with you picking it up?” I asked.

“Oh I thought I’d be lazy and not use my psychic powers.”

“I see.”

The next day, it was raining.

“Oh…” I groaned.

“What?” Zephyr asked.

“We’ll be getting our reports today.”

His face fell. Neither of us had high hopes of it being good.

“I wonder what will happen…” said Zephyr.

 


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E. J. O.
JDcat4

Exercise One
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Reply with quote  #31 
Chapter 30: The End of Things

At school, we sat in our usual seats in the potions classroom that was our form room for just one more week. Why the year had to finish in April I had no idea. It seemed very odd. It must be because we had less work to do than the other kids.

“Why are we finishing in April?”

“Well, we really should finish in May, but we’ve got through a lot, so we don’t have to come back until next year. Although we might not be coming back. We did miss a lot.”

“But we had stuff going on.”

“True.”

Miss Malfew glared at us as she gave us our reports. It wasn’t an encouraging look.

We took the reports and put them in our bags.

“These are your reports,” she said as she went round the class. “Take them home with you. Most of you have done well. There are a couple, however, who haven’t. Some of you will be coming back next year, some of you won’t. And to those who aren’t, I say good luck finding somewhere else to go. You could resit the year, if you apply today and there are enough places left for you, but if you do, I will be expecting a great deal more effort out of you than this year or you’ll soon be thrown out. You have been warned.”

What a thing to say. She was harsh today.

“Zephyr, is there any point us coming in next week?”

“Yes. We can say goodbye to people. Tell them we’re not coming back.”

“We can still be friends with them though.”

“Certainly. Charlie of the nine patches would like that.”

“And the others. I’d better ask them if they’re staying.”

“Charlie of the nine patches,” said Zephyr, despite Charlie looking more hobo-ish than ever.

Charlie laughed. “I believe Prince of Shabbiness would be more appropriate, but I’ll go with nine patches. It sounds better than twenty-odd patches just on my trousers and holes in my top. I’m not staying next year. I might turn into a Humongous Bighead. It’s not a title I deserve anyway. I don’t know where I’ll go, but I’m not staying here. I didn’t hand all my homework in. What about you and Josie?”

“We’re not staying either, but I’ll bet you knew that.”

“I might have guessed.”

At lunchtime, we sat next to Becky, Rachelle, Rodolphus and Jazz for what might be the last time.

“Are any of you four staying?” I asked.

“No, I’m not,” said Becky. “Don’t want to. Maybe I picked the wrong subjects.”

“Same here,” said Rachelle.

“My dad wants me to get a job,” said Rodolphus.

“What? A full-time job?”

“Yes. I know it sounds crazy.”

“I’m not staying and I’m not resitting. I’m moving,” said Jazz.

“Where are you moving to, Jasper?” asked Zephyr.

“Holgistorr,” he replied.

“That’s where my parents live,” he whispered to me.

He smiled at Jazz. “You’ll like it there. Nice place. Nice people too.”

“My dad said that,” said Jazz.

When we went home, we looked at our reports together. They weren’t good. Well, mine was a bit better than Zephyr’s.

Josienne Hawkes.

Attendance

Autumn term possible attendances: 100 actual attendances: 80

Spring term possible attendances: 60 actual attendances: 45

Summer term possible attendances: 40 actual attendances: 15.

Total possible attendances: 200 total actual attendances: 140.

Josienne has missed a lot this year and has failed the year. Her grades stand thus: 5xU, 2xB, 4xF. She has failed to hand in most of her homework and hasn’t attended all classes. I wish her luck finding another place to go.

Zephyr Daniels.

Attendance

Autumn term possible attendances: 100 actual attendances: 40

Spring term possible attendances: 60 actual attendances: 45

Summer term possible attendances: 40 actual attendances: 15.

Total possible attendances: 200 total actual attendances: 100.

Zephyr has missed a lot this year and has failed the year. His grades stand thus: 11xA, however he has failed to hand in any homework and has been absent rather a lot throughout the year and cannot hope to return. I wish him luck finding another place to go.

What Malfew had written was very harsh, but nonetheless true.

Over the next week we didn’t do much at all. We went to school a couple of times, chatting to our friends and bringing home any projects we wanted to take home. There wasn’t much – only a few arty things or bits of interesting work we’d done on certain topics.

Also, we spent a fair bit of time making a racket and getting on Martin’s nerves.

“SHUT UP!” he yelled up the stairs for the third time on Tuesday evening. We stopped and Zephyr laughed. Also maman visited – I hadn’t seen her in ages, and Zephyr had never met her.

“Maman!” I cried when I got downstairs. “I haven’t seen you in ages!”

“I know, Josie. How are you?”

“Good,” I said, which was true.

“How’s school?”

“School’s great,” I lied.

“She failed,” said dad.

“Thanks, dad.”

“And who’s this?”

“Zephyr Daniels, my best friend.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter that you failed, but I’m glad to hear you’ve made some friends.”

That was a good day, Thursday. And in between all of that, of course, Zephyr was busy packing his suitcase. He moved out on Friday, telling his neighbour he’d no longer be living there.

One week later, Zephyr invited me to his house. He’d got himself settled back in, his parents had got him various toys and games and two guitars. He was happy. We saw Charlie, Becky, Rachelle, Rodolphus, Jazz, Zéphine, Georgie, Matt and Louis plenty of times and what was more, everything Zephyr showed me in his visions happened. We’d both been through a lot, but everything turned out just perfectly fine in the end.

THE END


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E. J. O.
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