Gone From Daylight: Graveyard Shift

by Comicality

It’s hard for me to fight the urge right now. I know that the candy sweets and all can sometimes hurt my stomach, but I’m seriously freaking out right now. It’s been so long since I’ve digested anything other than the blood of my victims. Which…I mean…it does wonders for the body, but not much for the taste buds, I’m afraid. God, it’s been AGES since I’ve been able to actually bite into the sweet tasty crunch of a chocolate bar with peanuts. Or chocolate at ALL for that matter. The suckable candies like Jolly Ranchers and Peppermints are ok. They don’t really interfere too much with my digestive system…which has been inactive for about four years now, since I’ve crossed over into darkness. The craving for actual FOOD seems to get worse when I get this close to having to feed again. More blood…great. But aside from that, I can’t eat much of anything. I’d SO much rather have a thick, juicy, steak. I should have been a werewolf instead. I don’t think people will ever understand the withdrawal and the frustration of never being able to actually EAT anything ever again. It takes YEARS to get used to it. And even after that, you have flashbacks. I walked past a Burger King yesterday…and the smell of a succulent double cheeseburger nearly brought me to my knees right there on the sidewalk. It might even be worth the pain of gobbling it up. Just for the taste. JUST for the taste.

And people thought that BLOOD was a vampire’s biggest weakness.

It was about 2 AM when I walked into the 24 hour convenience store. As I expected, it was dead. I have a real honor and respect for the late hours of the night. It’s quiet. Peaceful. The shadows provide protection and comfort. I don’t miss the harsh illumination of daylight. Never liked it to begin with. People begin to bug me after a while. There are too many of them anyway. Sometimes…I think God invented us to keep their population under control. Which is hard for even US to do when you’ve got the ‘Octo-Mom’ giving me a year’s supply of victims just by herself.

There were maybe…three or four people in the store at the time. In different corners of the place. It was…unnaturally quiet in there. It was almost as if I could feel a certain amount of tension in the air just by being in their presence. But I didn’t let it bother me too much. Instead, I went to the candy aisle and tried to pick out something cheap to take with me. I was blessed with exactly three dollars and forty two cents in change. That’s it. Another thing about being a vampire…no income. Not unless I get into an actual ‘vampire’ related business. But…they all tend to be pretty dangerous. And I’m not really qualified to take any of them on just yet. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what I was doing. Best to leave those job to the professionals for now.

Hmmm…let’s see…I could get some gum. It lasts longer than candy. Not by much, but the flavor is what I’m really looking for. Hmmm…that and some caramels. And maybe some gummy bears…even if they kinda hurt my stomach too sometimes.

I walked past one of the men in the corner of the store, and he was looking at me with a bit of a frown. He stared me directly in the eye, his brow wrinkled slightly as he stared me down. What the hell was HIS problem? He didn’t move. Just glared at me. And I did my best to ignore him as I continued walking through the small store.

Hmmm…maybe some butter cookies? I can suck on the cookies until they’re soft enough for me to digest. Ugh, but they cost too much. I’d have to put everything else back. Beef jerky…mmm…God, I miss beef jerky. I don’t wanna waste money on stuff that I’m just gonna chew up and spit out, though. Not a chance. Ugh! I wish I had more.

I looked over the shelf in front of me, and noticed another man in a trench coat mean mugging me like crazy. It was a bit creepy, to say the least. It made me look over my shoulder to the first guy I passed before, and his eyes were on me as well. The tension in the air got even more uncomfortable around me. I got this freaky suspicion that something was a bit ‘off’ about this whole situation. So I took the beef jerky, a bag of Jolly Ranchers, and some spearmint gum. I suppose this will hold me over for a while. I gave the guy in front of me one last look, and turned to walk up to the register.

There was one other customer in front of me, buying some chips, pretzels, and a few microwave burritos. You know, typical ‘pot head’ snacks. And as the man behind the counter was ringing him up, I noticed that his hands were trembling. So much so, that he nearly dropped the man’s change as he was giving it back to him. Beads of sweat on his forehead…veins in his neck tightening up with stress. I could hear his heart beating rapidly in his chest. It’s not something a human would pick up on right away…but I could.

I looked back over my shoulder again at the two men near the back of the store…and they were watching everything that went on at the front of the store very closely. It didn’t take long for me to put two and two together.

As the guy in front of me left, I became the last legitimate customer in the store. I stepped up towards the counter, seeing the look of restrained panic in the cashier’s eyes. “W-w-will this be all…?” He asked.

With little effort, I scanned his thoughts. Terror.


“Help me! Please help me!”

“No! Keep calm! Do what they say and they’ll let us go!”

“They have my wife in the back room! They’ll kill her if I make trouble!”

“They might kill us anyway!”

“Just get rid of him! Get rid of the customer and give them what they want!”

“Oh God! Oh God!”

 

I put my stuff on the counter, and looked him directly in the eye as he rang me up. My wheels started spinning, and I whispered low enough so the men in back wouldn’t be able to hear me. “Listen…I’m going to make you an offer right now…but I don’t want you to start looking around as if anything else is going on between you and me. Got it?” I said. The man went white, and I pretended to be looking for more candy right there below the counter.

“What…what are you…?”

“I can only pretend to candy search for so long. So I suggest you clam up and listen very closely to what I’m about to say to you. Deal?” He nodded very slightly, but as the beads of sweat got worse, I knew the men in the store would notice how increasingly nervous he was. He wasn’t playing it off too well. “I know that you’ve got yourself a little ‘problem’ at the moment. I know that you’re scared. I know that your wife is being held silent in the back of the store…” His eyes widened, his mouth dropping a bit. He was losing his cool. “Do you card for cigarettes?” I said out loud, hoping to throw the men off for just a few more seconds. Then whispered again, “If you and your wife want to get out of this alive, I suggest you keep your head straight.” The cashier peeked over my shoulder for a moment, then turned to grab some cigarettes and place them on the counter to make the transaction look legit. “I’m not gonna beat around the bush here, ok? I’ll tell you what…give me 50 bucks and a couple of snacks…and I can make this ‘problem’ of yours go away.”

“Don’t!” He gasped, trying to keep his face from showing the fear that swept over him. “Please…just go.”

“They’re not going to let you go. You know that, don’t you?” I said. He was frozen, still keeping up hope. “Let me tell you how this is going to end. I’m going to leave the store, and they’re going to wait until I’m far enough away to not hear any ruckus. They’re going to tell you to close up and lock the doors to prevent anyone else from stumbling in here. They’re going to wait for you to open the safe, which I’m assuming is on a ten minute time delay. Once the safe is open, the main guy over by the cooler is going to say he wants the security tapes. And the second you hand it to him…he’s going to put a bullet in the back of you head, and one in your wife. Do you understand what I’m telling you?” He was nearly shaking himself to pieces, tears welling up in his eyes. “If they promised you a way out of this, it was only to keep you calm while they do what they need to do to get away scott free. Now I’m asking you…do you want my help…or not?”

He was so confused. So frightened. I was a boy of only 16 years in his eyes. What could this frail little boy do against four armed robbers at 2 AM? Was he going to listen to his fear, or his desperation? That was the real question.

One of the men knew something was up, and started to approach the counter himself. “You don’t have much time left. And you won’t get a second chance. Just say yes or no.” He saw the man coming closer, and held his breath. Scared out of his wits. “Trust me. I can make all of this just ‘go away’. Just close your eyes, and I’ll tell you when it’s safe.”

He nodded quickly. “B-B-But…what can you do?”

With that said, I smiled, allowing my eyes to glow brightly through my optrix as they turned from gold to crimson red. And my fingernails grew three inches longer on top of the counter as my extra kicked in…heating the razor sharp tips and transforming my fingers in to a collection of freshly tempered swords. “You just duck down behind the counter….and leave the rest to me.” I dragged my nails along the counter, cutting deep grooves into it effortlessly, wisps of smoke rising from the burn my nails left behind. “Where’s the light switch?”

“The….the what?”

Just then, the man in the trench coat stepped in front of me. “You looking for anything special in here, kid?”

I turned to him as I heard the other man lock the door behind me. “Actually, I was just asking him where the light switch was.” I smiled.

“Light switch?” The robber asked me, but the second the cashier pointed it out with a shaky finger…that was all I needed. My fangs slowly reached downward from their organic sheath, and my eyes showed their true supernatural glow as the robber’s mind attempted to comprehend what it was seeing. “What the FUCK….???????” It was the last words that ever passed through his lips, as I lashed out with my nails blazing…cutting his throat and slashing his vocal chords to shreds! All he saw were the swift trails of heated amber light as my razor sharp attack moved through air at lightning speed. Before he even realized that his life was practically over, I used my vampire speed to dash around him and headed for the light switch. The cashier quickly dropped down behind the counter, shut his eyes tight, and prayed for the best. The whole store went dark, except for the glare of my elongated nails, now stained with blood. This might actually be fun.

“Johnny??? What the fuck???” The man at the door said, just now noticing the healthy spill of blood soaking into the shirt of his partner. Small bubbles of oxygen appearing through the gushing red liquid as he attempted to get air to travel through his severed windpipe. The shock and horror of it all gave me the opportunity to rush into the back of the store at top speed. The fourth gunman had just heard the shouting from the front of the store, and he instantly raised his pistol to aim at the head of the cowering woman in the corner.

A pointless gesture.

I sped over, and with a swift slash of my claws, I cut all of the tendons in his wrist, making it impossible for him to pull the trigger. By the time his feeble brain registered the pain fully, his eyes lifting up to see the boyish face of the angry demon standing before him, I was already in motion again. The darkness was illuminated by the fury of every strike, his flesh being sliced like warm butter as I butchered him from all angles. Brightly colored streaks of light danced around the room, accompanied with the symphony of screams, and the splattered percussion of blood splashing the walls and floor. He didn’t stand a chance. He might as well have been dropped into a blender and turned to mincemeat.

When the chunks of flesh and muscle hit the floor…they were still twitching. Muscles spasming from shock, with no further attachment to the body they were once a part of. I sliced him up until he was unrecognizable, and left him standing…rushing back into the front of the store before his weakened and blood slaughtered body collapsed in a heap of tattered flesh on the floor.

The man in the trench coat was holding his throat together with his hand, sill gasping for breath, and as they saw the back door open, they raised their guns to target me. I was covered in the blood of their friend. It was still warm as I lewdly licked it off of my lips. I let them see me…and with a hiss, displaying my fangs in all their glory…I quickly dodged behind the snack shelves as they opened fire. Unless they actually were good enough to shoot me through the heart, I didn’t really have much to worry about as far as survival is concerned. But just because I can survive it doesn’t mean that it won’t HURT like a son of a bitch! So I stayed low, and used the darkness as a weapon. The two men moved cautiously through the store, while the man in the trench coat dropped to his knees…gasping for air like a goldfish on the living room carpet. They attempted to cover the aisles and come after me with a strategic approach…but it wouldn’t do them any good.

Right in front of their eyes, I grabbed the man in the trench coat by his ankle, and dragged him out of their sight while he clawed the tile in an attempt to stop me. They listened as my heated knives pierced his flesh again and again…and turned the corner to only see an open chest wound…corderized and burned at the edges…and the heart missing.

More tension filled the room, and now it was the remaining two robbers who felt the true nature of fear. They kept their guns up as I hid in the darkness surrounding them. They were trying to be quiet…but I could hear them breathing. I could hear their heartbeats. I could read their thoughts. Humans can be soooo simple.

I ducked down low and waited for one of them to step directly in front of me…his gun held out in front of him. Stupid.

I sprung up out of nowhere and grabbed a hold of his wrist, easily cutting his arm off at the elbow! The muscle contraction caused his finger to squeeze the trigger as I aimed the barrel of the gun down at his foot. He screamed out in agony, just I began my frenzied dismemberment of every part of him. My nails had been ITCHING for an opportunity like this, and that only made it extra painful for him. His skin had no protection from my deep penetration, and by the time his partner in crime was able to react…his accomplice was already a dead man walking. I had severed every main artery, every elastic muscle cluster…no amount of medical attention could save him at this point. Why bother?

I finished my dance with the third victim, and dipped back into the shadows once again. Leaving only guy left. Shivering and alone. Unable to understand what the hell was happening to him and his associates. Wondering how a random convenience store robbery had turned so deadly.

I thrived off of his confusion. His uneasy steps only made me smile. And the blood staining my hands and face created an increased ‘thirst’ within me. He couldn’t see in the dark…but I could. And I was standing right behind him, walking silently as he took a few more nervous steps forward. “Johnny??? Blaine???” He asked with a trembling voice, still keeping his gun pointed outward towards the cold, unknown darkness. “Carl???” Step by step, I followed him. So unaware. So helpless. I’m going to eat well tonight.

My instincts took over, and before I even knew what I was doing, I leapt forward, jumped onto his back with my arms and legs wrapped tightly around his torso…and I sank my fangs deep into his neck.

He screamed so loud. So loud that it hurt my sensitive ears. But once I was locked into a fixed position…nothing he could do could get me to let go. He spun around, attempting to ram me into walls and shelves and the glass of the coolers…but I drank deeply from his well of eternal life. It was an exhilarating feeling. All that adrenaline fueled blood…being absorbed into me…in giant gulps. The more he fought, the more eagerly my fangs sucked in his essence. The sweetest nectar. Life itself.

He began to get weak…and soon, fell to the floor. Allowing me to finish my meal in peace. I made slurping noises as I drained him dry, and replenished my own blood supply. And when I was done…the entire store fell silent again.

Once the last gunman’s body went cold, and the deed was done…I dislodged my fangs from his neck, and stood up, feeling a bit lightheaded and bloated…but invigorated nonetheless. Mmmm…I needed that.

I sorta stumbled my way back to the counter, and tapped my fingernails on the counter. Still scared shitless, even MORE so than when I first walked up to the register, he fearfully opened his eyes peeked over the counter top. “Satisfied?” I asked. And before he could even open his mouth to say anything, I told him, “Your wife is safe. She’s in the back. And I’d…uh…close up for the night, if I were you.” He was speechless. I’m surprised he didn’t piss himself. Then again, maybe he did. I couldn’t tell. “You mind if I grab a few more snacks? Hmm?” He didn’t say anything, his brain still in shock. So I just grabbed a big paper bag off of the counter, and went to the snack aisle to grab a few more handfuls of stuff. Cookies, candy, beef jerky! CAN’T forget the beef jerky! A few sodas, and other pleasantries that I couldn’t normally afford. Then I went back to the counter, and said, “I’m assuming that these snacks are free?” Again, he didn’t speak. Tears of fear rolling down his cheeks. “I believe we had a deal?”

He reached up into the register, and with a trembling hand…he handed me a fifty dollar bill from under the cash tray.

“And….?” I said. “The security tapes?” I think that frightened him more than anything. After what I told him earlier…he was almost certain that I was going to murder him the second he turned his back on me. But we locked eyes until he gave in and stood up to give me the tape out of the security system. “And the digital feed as well. I know you’ve got a back up. Lt me have the box.” He complied, and handed it to me as well. “Pleasure doing business with you. For what it’s worth…I’m sorry about the mess.” I said, grabbing my bag of snacks. “I suggest you call the police. But um…when the questions come…I was never here. Right?” He was frozen. “RIGHT?”

“Right…..you….y-y-you were never here…” He said.

“Pass the word on to the misses. I’d have to have to come back here…if you know what I mean.” I’d never really hurt him, but as long as he thinks I MIGHT…I don’t have to worry about him blabbing about what he saw. Or didn’t see, as the case may be. He cowered behind the counter as I flashed him a smile, and used some napkins from the hot dog counter to wipe the blood and gore off of my face. And just as I retracted my fangs and unlocked the front door…I gave the cashier a grin and said, “You all be safe now…you hear?” And left.

Score! A decent meal, some much needed excitement for the evening, and enough snacks to last me the next couple of weeks. YES! I don’t even know where to begin. Where is that beef jerky? Might as well start there to get this taste out of my mouth.

Mmmmmm, GOD, that’s good! I swear…seriously…I should have been a werewolf! Mmmm…I’m gonna stock up on this stuff someday.

Yeah…flavor. It’s all about the flavor.

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