David and the Dying Buzz: A Vampire Short

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David and the Dying Buzz: A Vampire Short Page 2

by Ellen C Maze

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  “To Worship a Rakum”

  Terrence was late.

  David checked his watch and sat down on the stoop, hoping the professor would honor his promise to stay inside. He kept the old guy in line, but had to watch him more closely than his other Cows.


  David got to his feet and looked up and down the quiet street. It was a half past midnight, and he heard the call for help in his head, not in his ears. Wherever Terrence was, he was scared to death.

  David stepped to the sidewalk, listening for any clues as to his friend’s location. Terrence couldn’t receive him; it took years for a Cow to learn how to listen for their Rakum master’s telepathic voice, and David had only been visiting the kid for a little over ten months.

  “David, please!”

  David frowned and concentrated on the last transmission. He had no idea from where Terrence was calling, so he took a wild guess and turned east, jogging at a good clip. He’d always had excellent instincts.

  David ran for two blocks under the decorative shepherd’s hook street lamps, and when he came to the T-junction, he stopped. It was a major thoroughfare, but on a Tuesday night nearing 1a.m., it was deserted.


  “It’s about time,” David mumbled, and turned right, happy that in his panic, Terrence remembered to offer him a location. He’d be in front of the library in less than a block. He listened for Terrence as he covered the distance incredibly fast.

  Skidding to a stop in front of the locked building, David heard the sounds of a struggle coming from behind. Rounding the western corner of the huge white stone edifice, David came face-to-face with a thug exiting the alley at top speed. The guy tried to avoid him, but they collided violently, and the guy went down. Unaffected by the blow, David stood over him and looked for his friend.

  Off to his right, Terrence yelped, and then slumped against the wall, his face bloody. Had he been mugged? Robbed? David was about to check on him when the ruffian came to his feet, and threatened him with a short switchblade.

  “What’s it to you, buddy? You want a piece of me?”

  The man gestured with the knife and lunged into David’s space. David easily dodged him, but the guy was manic, swerving and cursing, his eyes wild. He recoiled and lunged again, thrusting the knife with vicious intent as David feigned to the side once more.

  “Get him, David! Get him!” Terrence called from the wall, cradling an injured arm.

  David glanced his way and the attacker took another swipe, nicking his forearm. David felt no pain, but his mind raced with possibilities if the fight progressed. He couldn’t fight a mortal. How could he be sure he didn’t accidentally kill the guy?

  Terrence shouted again and David frowned, holding up his palm to shush him. Terrence knew better. The anonymity he required hinged on staying out of the eye of the authorities. David would rather be stabbed than retaliate and perhaps kill the guy. He backed away from the maniac and hoped he’d turn and run off, but his blood was up. He stepped forward and tried to trap David against the cool stone wall.

  David considered his options. He had to incapacitate the guy without injuring him. His choice made, David reached forward quickly to grab both of the man’s wrists and head-butted him, not sure how much power to exert. David’s skull would heal if fractured, but too much oomph would put the attacker’s lights out for good.

  The thug’s gaze went soft and David released him to stumble backwards and hit the ground. He would live, no bones broken. David sighed with relief.

  “Finish him, David! He tried to kill me!”

  David shook his head as Terrence pushed himself up the wall to a standing position.

  “Let’s go, Terrence.” David reached his side. “You know better.”

  David pulled on his friend’s arm and helped him begin to walk away. When they passed the mugger lying on the ground, he rolled onto his back and gestured toward them.

  “I’ll get you! Both of you!”

  David ignored the man, but Terrence called out insults as he limped away. When they were safely on the sidewalk in front of the library, David tugged his friend to a lamppost and examined his injuries.

  “What did that guy want?” he asked as he checked Terrence’s cheek laceration. It was deep, but had stopped bleeding.

  “He’s been tailing me for weeks. Thinks I have a lot of money. Tried to rob me.”

  David examined his friend’s injured arm. The guy’s blade was dull, but had inflicted a three inch gash on the inside of Terrence’s elbow. David applied pressure to the seeping wound with his palm.

  “That doesn’t make sense, Terrence.” David looked up and down the deserted street and pulled his friend out from under the lamp and into the shadows of the neighboring building. “This guy wasn’t after your money. What did he really want?”

  “What do you mean?” Terrence asked as David pulled his knife wound to his lips.

  “This has something to do with drugs, Terrence,” David said before unceremoniously pressing his tongue against the leaking wound. It wouldn’t clot without stitches and David’s saliva would accelerate the kid’s natural healing.

  “You gonna lick my face next, David?” Terrence remarked smirking, trying to change the subject, but David didn’t fall for it.

  “Your face is fine. What does that guy have on you, Terr?” David dropped his friend’s arm, the cut sufficiently closed.

  Terrence lowered his head.

  “I’m not going to ask you again,” David threatened him, beginning to feel the first pangs of anger. His life depended on a precarious set of variables that he had to maintain. If one of his Cows stepped out of line, the rest of his world could easily tumble down around him.

  Terrence still hadn’t answered him and David placed a heavy hand on the youth’s shoulder. “I love you Terr, but you must remember our agreement. You do, don’t you? You want to honor our agreement?”

  Terrence nodded his head and sniffled. “Yes, David, I’m sorry.”

  David cleared his throat, hating to exert his superiority, but he knew he must.

  “Yes, master, I’m sorry,” Terrence mumbled.

  David could count on one hand how many times the kid had called him master, and each time it was because he’d stepped out of line. David waited to hear an explanation.

  “Marijuana. I bought some Marijuana from him and he let me have an extension on my loan…and today I came up short.”

  David bit his lip and forced down a few unkind words, furious on many levels. Not only had the kid endangered his own life by inviting an altercation with a drug dealer, but he endangered David’s way of life too. Worse, he transgressed against his master by defiling his blood with narcotics.

  “Marijuana?” David whispered, trying to maintain calm. Life had been sweet the past three years. Was it about to end? Would he have to move on? The situation with Oppum was not perfect, but he was safe. He had plenty to eat, a roof over his head, and five worshippers at his beck and call.

  “Terrence, do you hate me so much?”

  “No!” Terrence released the air from his lungs and began to bawl. His chest heaved with emotion and after a few seconds he fell into David and wrapped his arms about his waist. “I didn’t take any drugs. No, I was just trying to make some extra dough. I was re-selling it, I was desperate. David, I’d never do anything to hurt you. I’m…I’m…”

  David stood motionless, arms out awkwardly, and absorbed the pain wracking his young friend’s soul. He intuited his sincerity and in another moment, overheard telepathically what Terrence had not yet admitted. The kid lost his scholarship and was being kicked out of school.

  “You’ve been suspended?”

  Terrence nodded his head and sniffled again, wiping his nose on his sleeve before resuming the one-sided embrace. “I couldn’t keep my grades up. It’s been coming for months, and I just never could face it. I don’t want to leave you, David, but without school, my par
ents insist I move back home. I don’t want to live without you, David. Not ever.”

  David nodded and patted Terrence’s back. “You should’ve come to me in the beginning. I’ll always do what I can to help you. Don’t you know that?”

  “But this is my fault. I just didn’t study hard enough. I kept thinking it’d get better on its own.”

  “Get off me,” David said, his tone uncharacteristically harsh. Terrence slowly released him and stood back. “Come live with me and Oppum. He has plenty of room. Get a job, tell your folks you have a place to stay. This really isn’t a problem, Terrence. You overreacted.”

  Terrence blew his nose and wiped his hands on his jeans. “Oppum would go for that? He hates me.”

  “Look who you’re talking to, Terrence.” David waited for the kid to meet his eye. “I messed up befriending you guys like I did. That’s my nature. But you don’t respect me for what I am, do you? I am master to Oppum. His master. He won’t make a move without me. I’m disappointed in you.”

  “No, David…”

  “I’m disappointed in myself,” David mumbled the last and turned away.

  “No, David, you’re right. It’s my fault. I lost perspective. I lost faith. I’m sorry. I should have believed in you more. I should have known that you would do everything in your power to keep me by your side. It’s my fault, not yours.”

  David shook his head and took a few steps down the sidewalk. Terrence caught up to him and took his elbow.

  “You proved yourself to me over and over the past year. Friend, teacher, master—you’re everything to me, David.” Terrence pulled David’s arm until he turned. “I don’t have eyes for anyone else, David. You noticed that, didn’t you? I stopped seeing Tammy six months ago. I just can’t be with anyone, because you’re all that matters to me.”

  David turned his mouth to the side and regarded the kid’s treatise. Terrence was a good kid, honest and loyal, and apparently, more devoted than David gave him credit. He hadn’t noticed the boy stopped dating; his other Cows still carried on their outside relationships. Without realizing it, David had accomplished what he was trained to do as a youth: Acquire a servant who truly revered his master.

  True worship.

  True faith.

  David offered Terrence a small smile and put his arm about his shoulders, pulling him in tight. “Okay, forgiven all around, right?”

  Terrence nodded, relieved.

  “Let’s go wake old Oppum and get him to fix up the spare room.” David pulled Terrence along with him and they headed home. “He has two houseguests now.”

  Terrence smiled and touched his painful cheek. “And I’m sorry about Masher. I’ll pay him tomorrow. He won’t bother us again.”

  “Masher,” David chuckled, “that’s a good name for him.”

  Terrence laughed aloud, and the sound was music to David’s soul.


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