Savior: Chapter 4
By DJ Jone
“Where the fuck have you been?” growled my often angry dad, as I stepped through the door.
“Out with Kim,” I responded quietly, dreading where this conversation might go.
“What’s that in your hands?”
“I can see that smartass!” he shouted, slapping the book to the floor.
“Where do you get all this money to go out and buy this crap?”
“Umm…it’s from the library. Where’s mom?”
“Out. What is this shit? Vampires? Some faggot vampire shit. Figures. Goddamn freaky little queer boy. Get the fuck out of my sight!”
As I reached down to retrieve the book and do as he instructed, I felt his open palm slam across the top of my head. I reeled back, in pain, holding back my tears.
“Go! Go! I don’t want to see you. You disgust me.”
As I turned toward the stairs to make a quick escape, my father, in a mocking girl voice, continued to give me Hell.
“Out with Kim looking at vampires. I’m such a girly boy. Blah. Blah. Blah.”
Then as I was just about out of earshot, he growled “How come I never see you with any guy friends? You fucking pansy ass queer!”
I made it to my room and calmly shut the door. Inside I wanted to scream, but I didn’t dare to draw any more attention. I sat at the foot of my bed and shook as a flood of emotions flooded through my head. I’ve never been able to figure out why my father hates me so much. I’ve always been such a disappointment to him. I don’t like the things he wants me to like. I have my art, and music, and reading. He likes sports, and women, and alcohol. The part that hurts most is his gay comments. The older I get, the more I think he is right. I think I probably am gay, but I definitely will never be able to tell him. I’m pretty sure he would kill me on the spot.
I sat in my room in silence, listening closely to what was going on downstairs. I was waiting to hear my mom come home, allowing me to take my guard down. Or, if that didn’t happen, I was waiting to hear the sound of the bathroom door shutting, giving me a chance to sneak downstairs and out the back door.
I waited patiently as day turned to dusk and then night, through my window, until finally I heard the familiar sound of the bathroom door closing. With my shoes in my hand, I tip-toed down the old staircase and into the kitchen. I timed the flush of the toilet with opening the back door. I slid my shoes on and hustled down the alley. I guess this will be night one of my vampire hunt. Having not thought much about where to go, or what to do, I decided to go back to where it all started.
I decided to go to the little coffee shop across the street from the alley. It was a Saturday night and the place was pretty crowded with what I guessed was students from a nearby college. I got some strange looks and odd glances, but nothing that felt too threatening. I don’t suppose too many young teenagers come into a place like this. Especially alone.
I walked up to the counter and looked at the chalkboard mounted high on the wall, to see what I could afford with the change in my pocket.
A skinny girl with straight, burgundy hair and many random piercings was standing at the far corner, chatting with some other customers. Ignoring me, so it seemed. I didn’t really know what to say or do, and was thinking of bailing, when one of her friends noticed me standing there, on the edge of panic.
She turned and smiled, and started walking toward me.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were there. What can I get you?”
“Ugh…small coffee please.”
“Is the house blend ok?”
“Ok. Buck twenty five.”
She handed me a small mug, took my money, and thanked me, before returning to her hidden dark corner, to chat with her friends.
I cupped my mug with both hands and scanned the intimidating room for a table. As luck would have it, the table I sat at the night before, was empty. I took a seat there and looked out across the street. After a bit, I started to feel awkward, so I took out my sketch pad and started drawing. I figured it would look best if I kept busy and made it seem like I had a reason to be there.
I didn’t really know what to draw, so I drew what I saw. The alley. Absentmindedly, I recreated the scene from last night, drawing the lifeless body with the two teens biting at his flesh. I continued to draw, long after my coffee was gone. Filling in details from what I could remember.
Suddenly, there was a voice from over my shoulder.
“Can I get you a refill?”
I quickly dragged my backpack over the top of my drawings, answering nervously, “umm…no…no thank you.”
Glancing back, I could see she was trying to see what I was hiding. She tried again, “you sure?”
“Yeah. I kind of don’t have anymore money. Do you…you need me to leave?”
“How about on the house? You don’t have to leave. Stay as long as you want.”
She grabbed my mug and walked back to the counter. A little later she returned with a full cup. She sat down in the chair across from me and slid the coffee toward me.
“Sorry about last night. My manager was here and she can be a real bitch. Especially with loitering.”
“That was you? Last night.”
“Yeah, and I felt so bad kicking you out, but you know.”
“It’s ok. I just didn’t have any money last night. I forgot it. You look really different than yesterday.”
“Haha. Yeah. I got my hair done today. You like?”
“Yeah. It looks…it looks nice.”
“Soo…tell me. I’ve worked here for like two years and I’ve never seen you before. But now you’re in here two nights in a row. What’s that all about?”
“Oh…I don’t know. I’ve just never seen it before.”
“Do you live around here?”
“Not really, but not too far away.”
“Are you waiting for someone? You seem to look out that window a lot.”
“Nope. I don’t know…just looking around I guess.”
“I’m sorry. It’s none of my business. I’m just kind of nosey. Well, probably should get back. If you need anything, just come and find me.”
I’m sure I must have looked pretty suspicious to her. Sitting by myself and hiding what I’m doing. I couldn’t exactly tell her what I was really doing. She’d call me a nut job and kick me out for sure. Lifetime ban.
I pulled out my color pencils and worked on some of the details on my drawing. Making sure to occasionally glance around, so I could keep my drawing secret, if anybody should come around. At one point I did become fully immersed in my project and hadn’t noticed the place had thinned out considerably. I set my pencils down and was pretty impressed with what I had drawn. It almost looked like a photograph. I had captured about everything I could remember from the horrific scene in the alley.
I saw the red haired girl look my way, so I closed up my book and started stuffing my supplies back into my bag. She walked over and stood across the table from me.
“Oh. No thanks. I do need the bathroom though. Do you have one?”
“Yeah,” she said, pointing toward one of the dimly lit back corners. “We’re open another two hours, if you change your mind about the coffee.”
I stood up and thanked her, as I edged my way to the bathroom. She stood still and smiled. When I came out of the bathroom she was back behind the counter. I went over to the table and put my coat on to leave. After I had myself ready to go, I walked my empty mug to the counter.
“Is there somewhere to put this?” I asked.
“Oh. Thank you honey. You can just set it in the counter. Heading out?”
“Well, I do hope you come back and see us.”
“Yeah. I will.”
“Cool. Can I ask one more question?”
“How old are you?”
“Aww. You’re just a baby. Sorry. Sorry. That didn’t come out right. I have a little brother. He’s thirteen and bugs the Hell out of me, but you don’t bug me. Do come back, ok?”
As I turned to leave, she interrupted me yet again. “One more thing. What is your name?”
“Tyler. I like that. I’m Jasmine. Jazzy. Bye Ty.”
I stepped back out into the cold and scooted across the street. It was after ten by now, and there wasn’t much going on in this part of town. The streets were very quiet. I walked back into the alley of my obsession and looked around. This time I looked a lot more closely than the night before. Maybe there was some small detail that I overlooked. I squatted down at the site of the murder, scanning every square inch. Nothing. I looked at the large dumpster where the man was ruthlessly slammed and eventually slumped against, as he was bled out. Then, I reached my finger under the dumpster. I dragged my fingers along the bottom edge, just out of view. It was wet with something. I walked over to the glow of the streetlight, held my fingers up to examine what the wetness was. They were red with blood. Unmistakably blood. I had my confirmation that it wasn’t just in my head. What I saw was real, and so was the mysterious vampire boy who followed me home.
I wiped my fingers on my jeans and took a good look around. With my discovery, came a sense of panic and fear. I really shouldn’t be here right now. What if they are watching too? Waiting to see if I came back. I decided to head for home, where I wasn’t so vulnerable. As I walked briskly down the sidewalk, I glanced back toward the coffee shop. Standing in the window was Jasmine. Staring me right in the eyes, with no readable expression on her face.